a very good Friday

Friday, March 29, 2013

Today is a solemn, yet beautiful reminder.

So often we forget the hands that nailed Jesus to the rugged cross. We forget whose sin weighed so heavily on his beaten, bleeding chest. It was ours. Mine. Yours. The world's. Christ died to help those incapable of helping themselves. To breathe life into our lifeless lungs. To rescue the lost. To heal the broken. To redeem our wayward souls.

Today and every day, I am incredibly thankful and undeserving of my beautiful Savior who went to such great lengths to redeem His creation. Let us love and sing and wonder and praise our great Redeemer today.

Let us love the Lord who bought us
Pitied us when enemies
Called us by His grace and taught us
Gave us ears and gave us eyes

He has washed us with His blood
He has washed us with His blood
He has washed us with His blood
He presents our souls to God

Confessions of a Bad Kisser

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It happened over a Taco Bell meal. Grahm was sitting atop our island, nonchalant as ever. I was standing up, chowing down on a 5-layer burrito like it was my last supper. And then we, in our usual fashion over cheap beans and cheese, started to reminisce. The topic: our first kiss.

We love to laugh about it now, because it was a complete train wreck. Messy and confusing. Essentially, I played it like I play a round of paintball--afraid of getting pelted, dodging at every corner. (Retreat, retreat, retreat.)

He thought I was about as interesting to kiss as a corpse, I thought he was as overzealous as a pubescent teen. I was like a blind scuba diver just praying I could come up for air, and he was like a medic trying to breathe life into his dying patient. It's a wonder we ever recovered, honestly.

So over our abundant meal of I-regret-this-five-minutes-after-eating-it burritos and funny memories, I told my sweet husband, "It's a good thing you have me. I taught you everything you know about kissing." Immediately, he guffawed in my face. He practically spewed "refried" beans in my face.

And then he said it, those seven life-changing words: "Babe, I'm a better kisser than you."

An awkward silence passed between us when I realized that he wasn't joking. Dead pan (like how my dishes look after I cook). He was as serious as a the wedgie that ensues from running in a thong.

Obviously, I didn't take this revelation well. Three years of kissing and all this time, he's thought he's better? The nerve. As if that wasn't enough, he even had a list of reasons why he's apparently more skilled than I am.

After he presented his dissertation on How Mr. Roach is Better than Mrs. Roach, I whined in my best two-year-old voice. "YOU DON'T THINK I'M A GOOD KISSER!? I'M YOUR WIFE. I'M PRETTIER THAN YOU, SO I'M BETTER... RIGHT?"

He back-tracked, smart man, and claimed he never said I was "bad" only that he is "better." But whatever, the deed has been done. Apparently, I need to start busting out the special moves I've been saving for later on down the road. (Ha.)

So if you need me, I'll be in therapy.
And oh, and in case you were wondering, yes . . . our first kiss after this conversation was incredibly awkward and hilarious.

This caption could be a thought bubble for Grahm: "Ewwwwww!"


Monday, March 25, 2013

There is nothing better than race day. I love absolutely everything about it--even the pain I feel afterward. It's an unbutton-my-jeans-cause-I-ate-too-much good kind of pain. Except it burns. Shakira is right, my child-bearing hips don't lie.

I just love the anticipation of running a ridiculous amount of miles. The exhilaration of standing at the start line, no matter how cold my little Jenas are (umm thanks, random cold front in Dallas). The camaraderie of the thousands of runners around me, all of them every bit as crazy as me. The encouraging spectators cheering and clapping loudly for everyone. The hilarious and somewhat obnoxious signs they're holding ("Run, Random Stranger, Run!" and "Toenails are overrated!").

I love the dead sprint to the end. It's right when you think your muscles can't muster any more mustard, right at your breaking point. Yet somehow you're able to make one final push toward the end. It's such a rush. Such a feeling of accomplishment. You absolutely cannot beat it.

I've done three full marathons (I'm an all-or-nothing kind of person), but never a 13.1-mile race. This was my first half marathon. It was crazy windy and freezing (something San Antonio did not prepare me for), but I loved it. So much better than the San Antonio Rock and Roll, do y'all remember that sad tale?

Halves are wonderful. You still get that amazing feeling of accomplishment, but you don't quite feel like you're about to keel over and die when you're done. It was the first time I didn't cry when I crossed the finish line (though I did get teary listening to "Defying Gravity" around mile 10). I plan on doing many, many more.

I know I look like a fat kid about to devour a baker's dozen of donuts, but I was so happy. It was over, rover. And Grahm was right there at the finish, snapping away. I was so proud of myself for accomplishing my goal of finishing at 2 hours. (2.00.53 to be exact). It's not a great time, it's not a terrible time. But I was happy with it.

Next month, as my dear friend Molly put it, it's double or nothing with the OKC Memorial Marathon. No halfsies there. We'll be running the whole 26.2. And it's gonna be awesome.
P.S. On an unrelated note, do y'all love my new blog design? My amazingly talented friend Sar did it all because she's as brilliant as she is kind. Seriously. She's a gem if there ever was one.

Linking up with Sami for Weekend Shenanigans!


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Happy 27th birthday, Butternut Squash.

I am so glad you popped out of your mamma's tinkle taco so long ago.

I'm grateful you let me call you ridiculous things (booger buns, dingle hopper, homeslice, Grahmsterdoodle), you think farting is just as funny as I do, you never complain when we have cereal night three days in a row, you encourage me to do what I love, you hold me when I cry crazy lady tears about an embarrassingly ridiculous thing (like I didn't clean the bathroom today... yes, that happened), you put up with my "morning smell," you are always always always challenging your mind but you still love me when all I want to do is watch The Bachelor, you love trying new things, you forgive me when I soil/shrink/stain all your clothes in the laundry, and most importantly, you're more fun than a clown on fire.

You make every day wonderful. I got mad love for ya, dollface.

Jena, come back

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Guys, something happened.
My type-A, make-my-bed-every-morning, perfectionist self has disappeared faster than a package of Oreos at our house. She's gone. And here I am, up to my elbow fat in laundry, toilets that need scrubbing, and meals that need making wondering if I'll ever be able to woo her back into my life.

I used to be the definition of an overachiever. I'm sure I even tried to blow out more diapers as a toddler than any of my baby friends. (You're welcome, Mom.) I loved (note the past tense) doing one million things at one, juggling an unmanageable amount of projects like I was the fruit of Martha Stewart and Rachel Ray's loins.

I used to do so many things. I look back in college and high school, and I wonder when I had time to pop a squat on the pot, let alone do all the things I did . . .

Part of this ridiculous urge to constantly do and achieve stems from my insatiable competitive drive (that's another post altogether) and wanting people to like me. "Look at her! How does she do all those things?" (PS. No one has ever said that about me. That movie with Sarah Jessica Parker is actually not my life story. Mission failure.)

You know what I think really killed her, my perfectionist self--I'm talking stabbed her between the boobs with a butcher knife and wrung her scrawny little neck into the ground? Wedding planning. ("It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . .")

Now is a different story. Now my idea of productivity is lounging on my sofa, watching reruns of Ellen while nomming on a pound of bacon that someone (Grahm) had to cook for me. I'm about as motivated lately as a stuffed walrus. It's as if my body is saying, "We've done this overachieving thing for 24 years. Time to be lazy."

Now I'm just tired. All the time. My thoughts upon hearing my obnoxious alarm clock every morning are as follows and I quote, "Crap. Must. turn. off. I can get ready in five minutes, right? When can I go back to bed?"

I wish I could say that I had too much is on my plate. (I also wish that wasn't figurative.) But I don't. I'm just tired and crotchety and constantly thinking about curling up in a hybernating ball of boring. I feel sorry for my future children, that is, if I'm not lazy enough to, ya know, make them. (...Too far?)

Come back, perfectionist Jena, my laundry needs you.

hope anchors the soul

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Yesterday I was reminded how marriage is a beautiful, precious gift.

Not many people have strong, joyous marriages. Not many couples last. It's incredibly rare--a testament to how broken we all are. How fickle and fleeting and false. Every single one of us.

Protect your marriage, friends. Guard it above all else. Cherish and nurture it. Love your spouses. Forgive them even when it's hard. Forgive them even if you're right. Show them grace every minute. Extend mercy. Be kind. Be gracious. Be uplifting.

And most importantly, when you fail at doing these things (and you will), rest. Rest in Jesus's forgiveness and his never-ending mercies. He is the only hope for our marriages and our ever-wandering souls.

I Disagree

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I have a blog pickle. And it's juicy. And dill. And looks like a green, warty big toe. . . . Brace yourselves, you aren't going to like this post.

I recognize I'm in the .0003% minority here. I fully admit that I'm a big fat blog snob. (They should offer therapy classes for gals like me.) I also recognize that this could all sound like a post coming from a crankity old lady whose panties are a little too tight around her crotchbiscuits . . . and you're right. They probably are. You're more than welcome to disagree with me, in fact, I'm sure you already do. I just thought the world deserved a different opinion. 

Sometimes I feel like blogging is one fancy club, and I'm the awkward, overall-wearing girl who's standing in the corner twiddling my stubby thumbs and pretending like I don't care. But I do. 

But at what cost?
I've asked myself this lately, because I feel that if you ain't sponsoring you can't keep up. There. I said it. Sponsorship. 

This past month I've read a lot of "Why I Sponsor" posts. They're all the same. They all spill the same crusty lines that no one's buying, including them. "It's not about the number of followers on my sidebar" always puzzles me. If it's not, then why are you trying so desperately to woo gals to click that fancy gold button? Why are you shelling out money every month in the high hopes of gaining an attentive eye? Why? Be real with yourself. You want the followers. We all do. 

For me, it's more than that. 
I want people to actually care about the silly nuances about my little life, the stupid words I come up with in the hopes of getting a chuckle, and my daily failures as a wife and housekeeper. And in my eyes, that doesn't come from sponsorship. That doesn't come from clicks on my sidebar.

Maybe I'm being too optimistic. Maybe I live in a land filled with donuts and roses and free ad space, but I want people to come to my blog because THEY want to read it . . . not because I paid someone with more followers than me to post a tweet to tell them to or because I'm hosting a giveaway for a Michael Kors watch.

But Jena, it's advertising. DUH. 
Well sure, I'm not against advertising. (Wanna swap buttons?) I am against the fake. I mean, who are you more inclined to believe? Someone (who has probably never read your blog) who was paid to tell you about a little space on the Internet, or some sweet soul who wanted to put a button up . . . just because. For me, it's the latter. I love seeing sweet blog posts or emails from readers who merely wanted to tell others about me from the goodness of their hearts. Any button on my blog are gals I actually read, and any blogs I follow, I do so because I actually, ya know, follow them. 

I've never spent/received a dime on the ol' blog. Maybe that's obvious. 
My twitter/blog posts shout outs have come from friends, who I know genuinely read my blog--girls who are truly interested (for some reason) in my writings and weird buns stories. Now some would argue that I have a long way to go before I become "successful" (whatever that means). And that's absolutely right. I'm well aware of the fact that I'm but a tiny drop in the blogosphere pool. But I love where I'm at with my blog because I know I have genuine readers, a real audience. I didn't pay anyone to "advertise." I didn't buy "followers" through some fantastic giveaway. I just wrote and read other girls' blogs, and people eventually found me.

That's why I don't pay/receive payment for sponsoring. Paid sponsorship cheapens this whole blogging thing. It makes it about some number and not about actual readers, friends, and the community I've so grown to love.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go try to get rid of this massive chip on my shoulder . . .

sucking lately

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The past few days have been a struggle for yours truly. Between dealing with my vertigo husband this weekend in the ER and flying out to Atlanta for my first official business trip, I don't know my left foopa from my right.

In particular, here's some things I've been struggling with...

Adjusting to Atlanta EST time. (Is one-hour jet lag a thing?)

Paying attention in my all-day meetings. (Can't someone make a fart joke to liven this joint up? ... Employee of the year over here. )

Applying chapstick to my crusty crusts. (It's like the Sahara met one of Betty Davis's buttcheeks.)

Waking up on time, so I won't look like a homeless person. (And it's not because my hotel mattress is extra plush.)

Training for my marathon. I'm about to be in real trouble, y'all. I can't keep eating waffles and fried chicken every night, or I'll only ever be able to run to the fridge.

Not missing my dizzy husband. It's almost pathetic how much I miss him, and it's only been two days. Thankfully his vertigo is on the mend. He can now walk without throwing up. Wish I was there to take care of my little pumpkin butt.

Blogging. I know most of you don't have a Jena-size hole in your hearts, but let's pretend you do. Maybe next week I'll improve, but for now, I find myself not caring. Don't hate me.