Sunday, January 30, 2011

WWB and Stealing Sunday

Weekly Workout Blog - Week 85

Monday - Curves, Elliptical for 15 mins, C25K Week 3 Day 1

Tuesday - Nothing, but it wasn't my fault. I went to Curves, but they were closed because of tornado warnings. I totally would have worked out.

Wednesday - Curves

Thursday - Curves, Elliptical for 15 mins, C25K W3D2

Friday - Curves

Saturday - Zumba..... I attempted to do W3D3, but after about 2 mins my legs said "NO." Zumba kicked my butt.

Sunday - Nada

I did pretty well! I missed a day of C25K, but I'm not too upset about it. I tracked all of my food. Even the mass of bad stuff I ate yesterday at a BBQ competition....... which may or may not have included Fried Oreos. Allegedly.


Here are my goals for Week 86...........



  • Track ALL food.
  • Attend Zumba at least once.
  • Curves at least three times.
  • Repeat C25K - Week 3

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


34. HAVE YOU BEEN OUT OF YOUR HOME COUNTRY?

Yep......... Honduras, Canada, and Mexico


35. WEAKNESSES?

Overeating....... Insecurity...... Too Critical


37. FIRST JOB?

Besides babysitting, I taught dance.


38. EVER DONE A PRANK CALL?

Once. In the 6th grade.


39. DO YOU THINK EVERYONE OUT THERE HAS A SOUL MATE?

Hmmmmm............ I think everyone has several someones with whom they share a great connection. It doesn't even have to be a romantic connection, just where you "get" each other.


40. WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE YOU DID STEALING?

Catching up on recorded programs. Do you know that I went 48 hours without being on the computer? Actually a little more than that......... unintentionally, I stayed off the computer since I left work on Friday.


41. HAVE YOU EVER HAD SURGERY?

Yeppers. Several.


42. WHAT DO YOU GET COMPLIMENTED ABOUT MOST?

My eyes and my hair.


43. HAVE YOU EVER HAD BRACES?

Yeppers.


44. WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY?

No clue, but I have 7 months to figure it out.


45. HOW MANY KIDS DO YOU WANT AND WHAT DO YOU WANT THEIR NAMES TO BE? (OR IF YOU HAVE KIDS, TELL US ABOUT THEM.)

I'd like at least two...... a boy and a girl. Crawford and Miley.

Just for the record, I've wanted to name my little girl Miley well before anyone had heard of Hannah Montana.


46. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?

My two middle names......... after my great-grandmother and a character on my mom's favorite TV show.


47. WHAT IS THE BIGGEST TURN OFF OF THE SEX(ES) YOU'RE ATTRACTED TO?

Smoking/chewing...... Gross teeth...... Being rude to kids.


48. WHAT IS ONE THING YOU LIKED ABOUT HIGH SCHOOL?

All my best friends were there :)


49. WHAT KIND OF SHAMPOO DO YOU USE?

Head and Shoulders........ and, apparently, the formula mixes well with my hair. I'm constantly being told that my hair smells good, lol.


50. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?

Yes. It's pretty textbook.


51. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?

Turkey or chicken


52. ANY BAD HABITS?

Cupcakes.


53. ARE YOU A JEALOUS PERSON?

Not overly so, but I do get twinges every now and then.


54. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?

I think so!


55. DO YOU AGREE WITH FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS?

No. I think that, regardless of what they say, one of the people feels more and will eventually want more.

56. DO LOOKS MATTER?

Yes. They shouldn't, but we all know that they do. Sadly, we live in a world where appearances do matter.


57. HOW DO YOU RELEASE ANGER?

I talk to a friend..... I blog.....


58. WOULD YOU RATHER GAIN 58 POUNDS OR LOSE 58 POUNDS?

Um, lose 58.


59. WHAT'S YOUR MAIN GOAL IN LIFE?

To live as God wants me to live. I'm really, really trying to work on this.

Hopefully, that will include being a wife and mother, some day.


60. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TOY AS A CHILD?

My Cabbage Patch doll, Kimberly.


61. HOW MANY NUMBERS ARE IN YOUR CELL PHONE?

I don't know...... somewhere around 100.


62. WERE YOU A FAN OF BARNEY AS A LITTLE KID?

NO. Barney was a little after my time. However, between my mom's daycare and my little brother, I got my fair share of that stupid purple dinosaur.


63. DO YOU USE SARCASM?

I do, but most people don't pick up on it, lol.


64. MASHED POTATOES OR MACARONI AND CHEESE?

Mac and Cheese........ not that nasty Kraft stuff, though.


65. WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A LOVER?

A ring on both our fingers.

 
66. WHAT ARE YOUR NICKNAMES?

Jess, JB, J..... among others.

 
67. FAVORITE SUPER POWER?

Flying

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Productivity at its finest...........

Ever have one of those days where you get NOTHING accomplished?

Yeah, today is one of those days.

Three meetings before noon + An invite to EPCOT for dinner + A new band coming in =

Jessica sitting at her desk, not sure what she shouldn't do next.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Because this amused me.............

So, do you remember Non-NYE Date?

Let me give you a little more background.

When we first met, he had just gotten married. I became fast friends with both he and his wife....... they were a fun couple. In fact, I was one of the few women with whim his wife didn't mind him being friends.

He's a very flirty type, period. With everyone. However, I always thought of him as an older brother or uncle type. Due to our jobs, we spent a lot of time together and he really did become a good friend.

He'd always say complimentary things like, "Oh, you're going to make a great wife one day." or "Some guy would be really lucky to end up with you."

Then, he would add on slightly flirty things........ "If I weren't married and were a bit younger, I'd totally be going after you." or just plain "If I weren't married, I'd totally be going after you."

I always tried to laugh it off and make it clear that it wasn't going to happen. Even though, we were "just joking" I didn't want any confusion.

Then about 2 years later, he left his wife and they filed for divorce. He directly went into another relationship, but we stayed friends (I was friends with the new one, too....... before they even got together). When he told me he was leaving her, he "jokingly" asked, "So, now that I'm single, do you wanna go out?" I honestly told him no...... even though he was being light-hearted about it..... and gently made it clear that I didn't think I'd ever be interested in that way.

On the day his divorce was final, he "jokingly" asked, "I'm officially single...... does this mean you want me?" while a couple other people were around. I told him to shut up, lol.

I also let him in on the fact that I had serious feelings for someone else. Eventually, he found out it was The Guy. He didn't like TG before this revelation (sidenote: To NNYE, TG represents everything he wants to be and have, but doesn't) and liked him even less after. Regardless, he was in a relationship and we were friends, so he was as supportive as possible.

Enter August 2009......... his relationship crashed and burned, in a nasty way. A couple weeks later, TG announced that he was moving. I, being devastated, was crying to NNYE about the whole situation when he made a comment that I thought was referring to his most recent ex.

"I didn't mean her. I meant you."

Oh, crap.

He then went on to explain what we both already figured............ even though he was always "joking," he's always had a thing for me. "And, even though I'm not saying this because I don't want you to feel like you can't talk to me, it really sucks to know that you're this torn up over him. It sucks to know that I'm not younger or more charming or less divorced....... that everything you love about him is everything I'm not. Again, I'm not saying this so you won't talk to me about him, but it sucks that you're sitting here crying over him when he doesn't give a crap about you. To me, you're everything and to him, you don't mean anything."

That, my friends, was the LAST time I ever talked about TG to him. Our friendship started to change, pretty quickly.

Within a couple months, he was living with someone else. I was going through the rollercoaster of emotion over TG.

At one point, about this time last year, we had it out. Over several things, really, but the underlying problem was that I didn't fall into his arms simply because TG wasn't there. He was pretty mean and nasty about a lot of things, but he made sure to get some digs in about TG, too.

Since then, we're more of acquaintances than friends. Honestly, I've been fine with that. It's better that way, for everyone.

FFed to early December. We were at a function and he randomly asks me if I'm still hung up on TG. Remember, we haven't talked about TG in over a year. I gave a generic answer about moving on and he responded, "Good."

A week later, I find out that he and his girlfriend (with whom he'd been living) had broken up.

A couple weeks after that, he asks me out for NYE. I turn him down.

A week or so later, he asks me out again. I turn him down.

Yet, a week later, he texts me about some dream he had about me. I do not ask for details.

Later in that same week, he tries to brush off the whole dream thing. I ignore him.

Yesterday, he tells me that he's back with the girlfriend.

I laugh.

Ladies (and possible gentlemen)............. Let's cross our fingers and pray that he's finally gotten it.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bringing back the WWB and Sunday Stealing

The last time I did a Weekly Workout Blog was right after Thanksgiving. Go me, lol.

The good news is the from Week 77 through Week 84, I did workout. With the exception of the week before last (the week I went to St Jude), I worked out every week. Sometimes, it was just once. Other weeks, it was 5 or 6 times. The only reason I didn't go to the gym the one week was because I was like death warmed over.

This week, however, is a new week. I'm going back with gusto. My high school reunion and a wedding I'm in are in June, so I want to really do some "damage" (in a good way) until then.

Here are my goals for Week 85...........
  • Track ALL food.
  • Attend Zumba at least once.
  • Curves at least three times.
  • C25K - Week 3 (that's right........ I'm going back to Week 3 and starting from there)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



1. ONE OF YOUR SCARS, HOW DID YOU GET IT?

I have a huge scar across my stomach. When I was born, my intestines were wrapped around a bunch of organs and tied in knots. Obviously, that had to be corrected, so I underwent surgery when I was 9 days old. It's an ugly scar, but it's the only reason I'm alive, so I deal with it.

Honestly, I can't even imagine what my stomach would look like without it, lol.



2. WHAT IS ON THE WALLS IN YOUR ROOM

Nothing. For some reason, I've always preferred blank walls in my bedroom.



3. DO YOU SNORE, GRIND YOUR TEETH, OR TALK IN YOUR SLEEP?

Apparently, I mumble in my sleep. Nothing coherent, just soft nonsense.



4. WHAT TYPE OF MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO?

Mainly Country and Top 40.



5. WHAT TIME WERE YOU BORN?

I think like 2-something in the morning.



6. WHAT DO YOU WANT MORE THAN ANYTHING RIGHT NOW?

A nap.



7. WHAT DO YOU MISS?

Having my best friends live near me and seeing them everyday.



8. WHAT IS YOUR MOST PRIZED POSSESSION(S)?

My pictures and my cross necklace that has Mike's ashes in it.



9. HOW TALL ARE YOU?

5'7"



10. DO YOU GET CLAUSTROPHOBIC?

I don't know if it's necessarily claustrophobia, but there are times when I get antsy in crowds. Sometimes, it doesn't bother me. However, if I don't know where I'm going or if I'm just standing still, I don't want a ton of people around me. I want air and room.



11. DO YOU GET SCARED IN THE DARK?

Depends on the situation.



12. THE LAST PERSON TO MAKE YOU CRY?

One of the parents of a St. Jude patient. She had the whole room crying.



13. WHAT'S YOUR WORST FEAR?

My loved ones getting hurt.

Not reaching my full potential.

Not getting to be a wife and mother.



14. WHAT KIND OF HAIR/EYE COLOR DO YOU LIKE ON PEOPLE YOU'RE ATTRACTED TO?

I tend to be attracted to brown(ish) hair and blue/green eyes. It's not a hardfast rule, but it is my trend.



15. WHERE CAN YOU SEE YOURSELF PROPOSING?

I want to be proposed to.



16. COFFEE OR ENERGY DRINK?

Coffee in the morning, just as a habit.

If I'm desperate for a little push, I'll drink a 5-Hour Energy.



17. FAVORITE PIZZA TOPPING?

Sausage



18. IF YOU COULD EAT ANYTHING RIGHT NOW, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Nothing. I ate way too much at lunch.



19. FAVORITE COLOR OF ALL TIME?

Blue



20. HAVE YOU EVER EATEN A GOLDFISH?

Cracker, yes. Actual fish, no.



21. WHAT WAS THE FIRST MEANINGFUL GIFT YOU'VE EVER RECEIVED?

Um.............. I don't know that this was the FIRST one, but when my brother was in 1st grade, they made teddy bears. The 1st Grade Teddy Bear Tea Party was always a tradition at our school. I was in 11th grade at the school (we went to a K-12th school) and got to attend. When I got there, I found out that he had made his bear for me!! I cried, it was so sweet.

Also, in Kindergarten, he gave me a kangeroo Beanie Baby, for Christmas. Again, we went to the same school, so I saw him pretty often throughout the week (if not every day). I made sure he got to his classroom, etc. Well, the kangeroo had a baby in its pouch and he said it was the two of us. Me looking out for him, at school.

I cried then, too.



22. DO YOU HAVE A CRUSH?

Not really.

For the first time in a looooonnnngggg time, I'm not pining after anyone. I'm not doing the typical girl thing where I go out of my way to see someone or making up excuses to talk to someone or any other girl move.

Now, if some things happen like are being planned (not my plans, someone else's), that could change in an instant, lol. But, I'm not hoping for it. I just probably would like it if it happened, lol.



23. ARE YOU DOUBLE JOINTED?

Nope. Not even close.



24. FAVORITE CLOTHING BRAND?

As of now......... Old Navy. Cute, comfortable, and cheap.



25. WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE FEMALE/MALE CELEBRITY?

George Clooney is always my favorite.



26. DO YOU HAVE A PET RIGHT NOW?

Nope



27. WHAT KIND IS IT?

Not applicable.



28. WOULD YOU FALL IN LOVE KNOWING THAT THE PERSON IS LEAVING?

I don't think you can help it. If I knew a person wasn't going to be around long, I'd probably keep my distance and try to protect my heart. That's not to say it would work, though.

I will say this.......... when I heard TG was leaving, that's when I finally admitted to myself realized that I was in love with him.



30. SAY A NUMBER FROM ONE TO A HUNDRED?

14



31. BLONDES OR BRUNETTES?

I prefer brunettes.



32. FAVORITE QUOTE?

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined." - Henry David Thoreau



33. FAVORITE PLACE?

Home



Random Thoughts.............

  • I slept 12 hours, last night. I slept 12 hours on Sunday/Monday, too. That's 24 hours of sleep in the past week. Clearly, my body hasn't quite gotten the message that I'm supposed to be better.

  • My friend Kristen just asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding, in June!!! I'm so excited!! The dress is so pretty online............ here's hoping it's that pretty, in person, lol. Just one more reason for me to rev up the fitness train!!

  • Speaking of the fitness train, I need to start doing WWB, again. They help to keep me accountable. I haven't done one in two months. Whoops.

  • Copying the blogging trend, I've decided that I'm going to commit to reading at least 12 books, this year. Only, I've just got 11 and need one more to round out the resolution. Any suggestions?

  • Social Network is an awesome movie. I watched it last night and this morning. 1/2 and 1/2, because of that whole sleeping situation. Anyway, I actually feel sympathy for Mark Zuckerburg. I mean, those twins really got on my nerves. And, I suspect that, based off of the movie, he has some form of autism or Asperger's.

  • Despite my above commitment to rev up the fitness train, I went to a strawberry stand and got a homemade strawberry milkshake this afternoon. I love strawberry milkshakes and am sooooo glad that it's strawberry season!

  • Some pretty cool things may be happening for our St Jude Radiothon. Please do me a favor and pray about it. I really want us to turn around from the past few years. With the economy, our totals have been dipping each year and we're hoping that this year will show improvement.

  • A year ago, I wrote this post. Thanks to all of you for helping me through the rough times. It's hard to believe that a year has gone by......... in some ways, it feels like forever ago and in some ways, it feels like just yesterday.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Because I trust Kelly more than EHarmony.....

*** Edited for the June Version ***

Kelly over at Kelly's Korner is doing her "Show Us Your Life - Singles Version" again. She did this last summer and again back in the beginning of the year and SEVEN couples have resulted.

So.............................



I'm Jess. Nice to meet you!

Quick stats:
  • 27
  • Born and raised in Central Florida
  • Promotions Director
  • Single, never married


Things you should know:
  • I love Jesus. I've always been raised in the church and went to a private, Christian school for 13 years. While I've been a Christian since a small child, I've grown more in my faith in the past year than ever before. If you ever want to chat about the ways I've grown or what I believe, let me know!
  • I *heart* Disney. As a native Central Floridian, I am well-versed in theme parks and I fully fall on the Disney side of things.
  • I love my family and my friends. I've been blessed with some great people in my life who keep me grounded and love me for me!!!
  • I'm known for being sweet and mild.......... and for being Miss Mary Sunshine. That can be true, but I also can be feisty, with a love of well-placed sarcasm.
  • Children are a passion of mine. I eventually want a small herd of my own :)


What I'm looking for:
  • A Christian man.
  • A guy with a great sense of humor.
  • A guy who loves children and wants to be a father, someday.
  • Southern gentleman............. or, is at least willing to travel below the Mason-Dixon line so I can visit home :)
  • Someone who isn't too serious.......... I love life, but can sometimes be too serious. I need someone that lightens me up, a little, lol.
  • And, just because this has come up, recently........... smokers and chewers need not apply, lol.

If you're interested or know someone who you think would be, feel free to leave a comment or email me!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Just a few of the million reasons I love St. Jude........

This past weekend was my annual trip to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Words cannot express how much I love this place. As in, I wouldn't be surprised if, at some point in my life, I'm actually working for them in some capacity.

I look forward to this trip all year long, so when I woke up last Saturday with a feeling in my throat, I became nervous. See, I knew what that "feeling" is........ it's a precursor to nastiness. Had I been able to get a good night's sleep and rest, I probably would have been fine. However, I had an event that required me to be out most of the night. When I woke up Sunday, my voice was gone......... once again, a precursor to more nastiness. When I woke up Monday, I was in full-blown cold mode.

Panic followed - I slept, I Vitamin Ced, I drugged myself up, I used Vicks, I even went to the Dr. I prayed.

Thankfully, my "Get Better Boot Camp" worked and by the time I woke up at 3:30am on Thursday, I was well enough to get on a plane. More importantly, I was well enough to enter the hospital. See, you have to be fever-free, nausea-free, green snot-free, sore throat-free to enter the hospital because those poor babies have such compromised immune systems. My precautions left me free of all of that for at least 24 hours and I'd been on antibiotics for 36, so I was cleared to go into the hospital.

Thursday, we hopped on a plane and got to Memphis at about 11:30am. Once we got to The Peabody, we registered for the seminar and were pleasantly surprised to find out that we were staying in The Peabody!!! Usually, we're in The Doubletree, next door, so this was a fun cherry on top. Besides the hospital tour, all of the events at the seminar are held at TP, so it was super convenient to be there. Plus, it's a historic 5-Star hotel.......... score!

Our rooms were ready, right away. We got settled, grabbed some food, and explored our territory a little. At 3:45, we were to be on the bus to go over to the hospital!

It was cold, but not snowing. However, there was still some snow on the ground from their storm earlier in the week. Right in front of the hospital was this little snowman.......... too cute....



When you enter the hospital, this is what you see....... this cheerful mural. Every year, I love it, but never take a picture......





If you'd like to see more pictures of the hospital, I've posted pictures in other recaps. This time, I tried to focus my picture-taking on things I hadn't focused on before.

One of my favorite parts of the hospital is the 'ABC's of Cancer' wall. They take the children's artwork and post it. Some of the letters never change (like 'V is for Vomet'), but others rotate.





A new stop on the tour for us was the Patient Art Gallery. Like with the ABC wall, the patients are encouraged to get their thoughts and emotions out through art. They have a gallery dedicated to the artwork and some of it is simply amazing.







After the tour, we headed back to the hotel and chilled, for a while. Then, we met everyone downstairs, for dinner. Our region was eating at BB Kings, this year. The food was soooooo yummy..... the best I've had at a Thursday dinner. The atmosphere was great, too!!


The house band........




The one and only time I hit Beale, this weekend. Even though I was feeling better, my energy level just wasn't up to Beale standards, this year. I called it a early night, each night.



Despite my early night on Thursday, I still found time to document the commitment to ducks that The Peabody shows.


The mat for the bathroom floor..........




They tie their toilet paper with ribbon..........



They wrap their washcloths up.........




They carve their soap into ducks and put pictures of ducks on their shampoo and conditioner......



Also, I just have to tell you that their service was top-notch. When I called down to schedule a wake-up call, the lady answered the phone with, "Good evening, Miss _________, how may I help you?"

Unfortunately, I didn't need a wake-up call. At 5:30am, my next door neighbor woke me out of a dead sleep, SCREAMING on her cell phone. Then, she put it on speaker phone, so that I could hear both sides of the conversation. Eventually, they stopped their arguement, so I could grab a couple more hours of sleep.

Friday was a learning day. While everyone else was touring the hospital, us Early Birds stayed at the hotel for sessions. We met patient Caitlyn and the team that cared for her. Then, we met with Dr. Steve who is a researcher at the hospital. Dr. Steve was so interesting to listen to......... and, we learned a lot of important things about St Jude that I wasn't previously aware of.........

  • St. Jude is working on a cure/preventative for Swine Flu. While there is a vaccine out now, it's not like a TB, etc vaccine. They are working on trying to create that.
  • St. Jude has certain treatments that unfortunately show hearing loss in patients, as a side effect. They are doing studies and tests to try to reverse that hearing loss. The Department of Defense is interested in their findings and are keeping an eye out. As we all know, many of our soldiers are coming home from war with hearing loss, so the DoD is hoping to be able to benefit from St Jude's research.
  • A tour guide/St Jude rep has a father who has Parkinson's. The father was telling his docter that his son worked for St. Jude and the Dr commented that the treatment they were giving him actually came from St. Jude.
  • St. Jude has a 24 hour a day referral line. Physicians from all over the country and the world can contact St Jude at any time for consults. They also have a website, where they publish all their seminars, lectures, and findings. All of their research is available..... they do not hide anything.
We ate lunch and met Eliza. Eliza is currently 18 and a college freshman. She was diagnosed with cancer when she was 2 1/2 and has been in remission since she was 5! Her treatment unfortunately left her with a severe case of scoliosis and when she was 14, she needed a special steel rod to attach to her spine and meet her rib cage. Insurance wouldn't cover the surgery because "it wasn't medically necessary." Her parents contacted St Jude and they did the surgery for her, for free.
After a day full of sessions, we had a bit of a break. There was an artist taping thrown in there. I went to get some liners, but honestly just wanted to chat with some of our record reps. We never use the liners...... the sound isn't the best in there and can usually get the liners through the label.

Another break followed and it was time to get ready for Casino Night. Right before Casino Night, I met with C down in the lobby to say good-bye. He had to leave early and wouldn't be there. C is the older brother I wish I had.

To be perfectly honest............ there are a lot of sucky people in this business. There are some great people, there are a ton of fun and interesting people.......... but, there are a lot of SUCKY people. C is one of the good guys and I always look forward to seeing him.




Casino Night started. We won nothing, but had some fun. And, D got hit on by a roulette dealer. A male roulette dealer. It was pretty funny, actually, lol.


D and R, being all manly and trying not to give any dealers the wrong impression.




R and I



D and I........ I adore him



At the end of the night, I grabbed three of the bottles of water they were giving away. Why, you ask? Because, to buy water in your room/on your floor, it was $3.50. Yes, $3.50.

If it's free, it's for me, so I stocked up!




Sunday morning was breakfast and then Radiothon sessions. We get tips, etc on different things we can do before, during, and after our Radiothons. Then, it was lunch.

So, R is a bit anal retentive. As in, lunch started at 12:15 and he wanted to be down in the line at 11:50. Jess doesn't play that when we're staying in the hotel. So, R drug D to lunch and Jess texted them to just save her a seat. At 12:15, I was standing in line when I get a text from R...... they were stuck at a table and couldn't get back in line. I got my food, found the table, and let them up to get their food. As I was giggling about the fact that I got my food before them, I heard their story................ they were the first in line when a worker suggested they go ahead and get their table. "The line will move faster."

R and D did as they were told. As they sat down, it hit them............ they just got out of line. Of course the line will move faster. They just freed up two spots.

After lunch, we had a speaker. Dr. Lori is at the top of her field, but still managed to talk so that we could understand her. Her main point was that she, unlike many doctors, doesn't have to deal with a lot of the bureaucracy that prohibits her from giving her patients the best care. Many times, doctors cannot do a procedure or prescribe a medicine because insurance won't cover it. Or, because the medicine isn't profitable enough for a pharmaseutical company to produce. Not at St. Jude....... Dr. Lori is able to give her patients the care they need. If the medicine isn't produced massively, they have a GMC and Pharmaseutical building that will produce it. Through our donations, insurance doesn't matter.

It was then time for our surprise guest speaker. One year, it was Ronnie Milsap. Another year, it was Patient #17. Last year, it was Tom Shadyac. When the hostess started introducing this year's speaker, gasps were going out before she was finished with the first sentence. I was lost. The crowd was whispering excitedly to themselves. I had no clue who was coming out. Everyone was on their feet before she got out his name. I was befuddled as to who Joe Theisman was and why everyone was so excited.



After a quick Facebook post, I found out that Joe was the guy that broke his leg at the beginning of the movie The Blind Side. My brother knows how to speak my language, lol. Despite the fact that I wouldn't know who he was if it weren't for Sandra Bullock, Joe Theismann was super inspirational, entertaining, and funny.





He let a guy try on his Super Bowl ring. Despite my sports ignorance, I thought that was pretty cool!



After Joe Theissman, it was time for our last and my favorite session, "Meet the Patients." It's super cute, every year. Yes, the parents get emotional, but the kids usually cut up and make it fun.

The story that stuck out to me was Cassidy, age 7. She was diagnosed with ALL when she was 2 1/2........ 2 weeks after her mother passed away from cancer. She has relapsed FOUR times. They were at another hospital, but came to St. Jude a little over 2 years ago when she relapsed for the 2nd time (and with an additional form of cancer, AML). The hospital she was at said there was nothing they could do for her. Her PCP asked her father for permission to contact St. Jude.  They were honest that chances were slim, but they did have a protocol they wanted to try. When Cassidy, her father, and her step-mother (her dad got remarried......... he proposed and then Cassidy's first relapse occurred 4 days later. He told the woman that if she didn't want this life that she had an out and he would completely understand because it's a difficult life to lead. She married their family 12 days later) walked into St. Jude, Cassidy was 5 and uninsurable.

5 and not able to get insurance. At all.

They asked her father if Cassidy had insurance. When he started to explain, they stopped him and said, "No problem. We'll take care of it." They haven't received the first bill. :)

Cassidy has since relapsed an additional 2 times since coming to St. Jude. Three months ago, she relapsed for the 4th time and underwent a procedure that didn't exist the 6 months prior. Cassidy's scans are showing that she is now cancer FREE!!!!!!!

Sadly, the end of the weekend was upon us and it was time for the Songwriter's Dinner.........


Ashley (our St Jude Rep) and I




R and I




Trumaine (another rep) and I



The food was yummy and so pretty.............




Once dinner was over, the concert started. The songwriters weren't Keith Urban, unfortunately.

Rivers Rutherford, Aimee Mayo, Roger Murrah, and Sonny Curtis joined Randy Owen on stage to sing the hits they penned. As much as I enjoyed listening to Who You'd Be Today (Aimee Mayo/sung by Kenny Chesney), the theme to Mary Tyler Moore Show (Curtis), Ain't Nothin Bout You (Rutherford/sung by B&D), When I Get Where I'm Going (Rutherford/sung by Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton), and Don't Rock the Jukebox (Murrah/sung by Alan Jackson), I cut out about halfway through the concert. I was tired, still had to pack, and had an early flight to catch.


Rivers Rutherford and Aimee Mayo



The next morning, we got to the airport 2 hours early (thanks, R) and got home around 1pm. It was an awesome weekend and I'm literally counting the days until my next trip (359, lol).

If you made it this far........ Thanks!! I know it was super long, but that place is so important to me. I didn't want to forget the things that stuck out to me.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Vicks Vapor Rub........ Only for the kids

Have I ever mentioned how much I loathe, despise, and HATE Vicks Vapor Rub?

Well, I do.

I hate the smell. I hate the feel of it on my skin. I hate how my clothes stick to it. I hate how it makes my chest burn.

I hate it.

I hate it second only to sunscreen.

I blame my mom, for both hatreds. When I was a child and I went out into the sun (which was often in The Sunshine State), I was basically dipped in a vat of sunscreen every two hours. When I was a child and was ill with a respiratory problem (which was often, thanks to my severe allergies and the humidity in this state), I was slathered up one side and down the other with Vicks.

She was just being a loving and responsible parent, really.

However, the after effects are that I'd rather just stay indoors than apply sunscreen and not be able to breathe than put on Vicks.

Now, we're to the present and I've come down with this NASTY cold that has been going around. People in my building are coughing, sneezing, sniffling, talking all nasally, and are generally just miserable. We're all dropping like flies. And, of course, the fact that we all come to work like this doesn't help matters....... but, like I told one of my coworkers this morning when he told me to go home, there's too much to do that won't get done if I'm not here.

Especially, since I'm supposed to be gone on Thursday and Friday. To my most favorite place on the planet.... St. Jude. I'll go to the seminar regardless of how I'm feeling, but if I'm still sick, I can't tour the hospital. I *really* want to tour the hospital. 

Double-edged sword......... if I don't come to work, then the work that needs to be done before I leave won't get done. If I come to work, then I don't get the rest my body most likely needs to heal quickly.

I've been taking all the fluids my bladder can handle......... Upping the sleep as much as possible, assisted by Nyquil........... Dayquiling it during the day........ Ingesting Emergen-C like it's my job......... and eating lots of fruits and veggies (more than normal).

Still feeling like crap, though, my mom had two comments.........

The first, "I TOLD you that you should have gotten a Flu Shot!!"

The second, "If you use Vicks, it will help you breathe easier and sleep at night."

I protested. I whined. I complained.

Then...... I relented.

Because, at this point, I have exactly 48 hours to clear up and I'm willing to do whatever it takes.

Including Vicks Vapor Rub.

Friday, January 7, 2011

On "being a girl".....

So, a couple days ago, my friend M and I were FB chatting. She met this guy and hung out with him a little, over the weekend. She really liked spending time with him and was hoping their talks of hanging out THIS weekend would come to fruition.

Only, he was "being weird" and she wasn't sure if it was going to happen. I told her to chill and not worry about it. Go about her business and let him come to her.

FFed to today when I chat her up, again, to see how things were going.

Want to guess what happened?

I'm sure you can.

In a moment of freaking out, with no one to talk her down, she texted him. Checking to see if everything was kosher. He took it that she was psycho. And, now she's depressed because she messed something up that potentially had potential.

Then, I spent time trying to encourage her that she's not psycho..... she's just a girl........ while also cautioning her against the whole "texting your girly crazy thoughts to a male......... talk it out with another female" routine.

I suggested that if he freaks out over her "being a girl" then he's probably not right for her.

I also tried to get her to stop trying to figure everything out....... because it's hard enough to figure a guy out when you know him REALLY well. Trying to figure out a male that you barely know is just pointless.

And, despite my craziness about TG (on here and in general society), at least I know him. Like the back of my hand......... or, as much as you can know a man like the back of your hand. I don't even bother with men I don't know.

Back to M..............

Why do we do this to ourselves?

Why do we let guys drive us to craziness?

I told her.......... "Look, just try to relax. And, in my opinion, you should never let a man see the crazy at full-force. That's why your girlfriends are there. That's why I talk it out with you and others....... so, I'm not calling up MN with all my crazy."

I almost suggested that she start a blog.

Because, as you all know, it's a great place to get out the crazy.

Which is why I'm thanking you all. For reading. For commenting. For texting. For calling.

If it weren't for you ladies and your awesomeness, I'd be all girly-psycho to a poor shlub that relocated to Minne-friggin-sota.

Because, I promise, with the exception of "The Letter", I'm actually the picture of calm, cool, and collected to the male species. Almost too much, but that's another post, entirely.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Letter to Resolutioners

Hi, there!

Congratulations on making the decision to get fit in 2011! We are all so proud of you!

Since you are approaching the gym with great gusto, in your new sneakers, workout clothes, water bottle, and towel, let me share with you a few pointers about how to fit in nicely with your fellow worker-outers.....

1) The parking lot. It gets pretty full this time of year, so please adhere to those white lines that make up a space. We are already a little annoyed that we have to circle the lot four times to find a space and having one car take up two only exacerbates our irritation.

2) The cardio room. See all those pretty machines? They are for getting your heart rate up and sweating. They are also limited. So, we have a 30 minute time limit. If you come during non-peak hours, that limit bends. However, if you glance around and see that there are NO machines available and yours says 30...... well, your time is up.

3) Cleanliness. Once your time is up, wipe off your machine. There are towels and cleaner all over the place. Take a towel, spray the machine, and wipe it down. Because, no one wants your nasty germs.

4) Laughing. If you are laughing hysterically and carrying on a loud conversation with your Resolutioner Work Out Buddy, then you aren't working hard enough. And, you're probably taking up a machine that someone could use.

5) Cardio room 2. The Elliptical, the Bikes, the Stepper, the Stair Master, the Treadmill..... they are not part of a circuit training. As in, 2 mins on each aren't going to do much. Get on one and stay on it for a while.

6) Zumba. It is an intense class if you are taking it from a woman with a name that starts with R, in Central Florida. You probably shouldn't start out there on your first day. Because R will kick. your. ass.

7) Your dance space and my dance space. If you decide to forgo my warning and come into the class because you've heard how great R is, then please heed Patrick Swayze's instructions. We all have dance space. Be aware of it. If I can feel you breathing, then you are too close and need to move back a little. If you don't and I accidentally whack you in the middle of a routine, I won't be sorry......... because you were taking up my dance space and you weren't watching to see that R changed directions.

8) It gets better by March. If you are one of the few Resolutioners that stick with it, then don't worry. Not only does the routine of going to the gym get a little easier, but actually being at the gym gets A LOT easier. See, in about 6 or so weeks, most Resolutioners figure out that this whole fitness thing is really hard. And, they aren't going to be able to lose 50 lbs by June. So, they just stop coming. The machines multiply..... dance space widens...... it's heaven, really.

I hope I've helped! Just print this out and memorize it. Mkay? Thanks!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

"Stop Thinking About Men"

..... That was my goal. More specifically.............

6) Stop thinking about men - That's right. I'm swearing off men for the rest of the year. As in, I'm done trying to flirt or "hang out" or over-analyzing every word, text, FB chat, etc, etc, etc. I'm done posting about The Guy or Fun Distraction or any other guy that comes my way. I'm done talking about them. I'm done whining about being single. Done, done, done. For the rest of 2010, I'm embracing the single and putting all thoughts/actions regarding the opposite sex out of my head. This may mean that on January 1st, you'll be getting a 50,000 word post about all of the above...... so, enjoy the two and a half month break :).


So, how did I do?

When I made the concentrated effort, I immediately went to a few of my closest friends with my declaration and made them promise to keep me accountable. If I went to them talking about The Guy or Fun Distraction or any other man, they were to tell me, "Plan, Jessica!!! The Plan!!!" If I started whining about being single, they were to tell me, "Plan, Jessica!! The Plan!!"

Overall, I did well. Not 100%, 100% of the time, but pretty darn good!!

Let's do a quick update on the major players.............

Fun Distraction - No longer confuses me, at all, lol. He was the easiest to stop stressing over......... which tells me that I wasn't as into it as I sometimes thought. We still flirt (when he initiates, I reciprocate) for the fun of it, but we're so not meant to be together and both of us seem to know it. The flirting is fun, but that's about it. I flirt and let him flirt, but I don't think twice about motives or whether it will go any further, which is nice.

The Guy - Still confuses me, on occasion. He pops in and out of the picture. For the past week, he's been in..... and, playing it up pretty big over the past few days. Ask Marianne or Gina or my cousin Heidi or my best friend Meg.......... he's a puzzle and still likes to mix those darned signals. That said, I'm handling it a lot better. Recovery/confusion time is less and less. I love the man (and probably always will). It's that simple. But, I'm definitely moving forward, which is good. In fact, one of my friends recently mentioned that I "seem a lot lighter..... overall aura is just happier and carefree."


Other progressions.............

Younger Crush - That's right. I managed to develop a crush over the past couple months :) He is a few years younger (totally not me). He's also not going to happen for various reasons, but that's ok. It was super fun to have a crush on someone new...... fun to giggle..... fun to get butterflies...... fun to find that I could have a connection with someone else. The best part is that I had all of that without it going so far that I was sad when it became clear that it's not in cards, for us. I miss all the fun, but I'm not sad about it.


Non NYE Date - So, I got asked out for NYE. By a guy who I've known for a little over 4 years. We used to be really close friends, but that friendship has subsided over the past year. One of the reasons is that he has feelings for me and can't keep the line un-blurred........... at one point, he was being pretty nasty about my feelings for TG and non-feelings for him. Anyway, he's asked me several times over the past few years about my feelings for him and I've told him all those times that I don't feel the same way. I'm simply not interested. I've always tried to be nice about it, because I'd hate for someone to be mean to me over feelings I have, but I've always been clear and firm. Not interested. I thought we were over the attempts to make us something we're not................... then, I got some texts on Wednesday. Asking me out on NYE. Sigh. I declined as politely as possible. Then, I got a big smile on my face.

Because, as annoyed and distressed as I was over the weirdness, I was also proud of myself. This may sound horrible, but it hit me that I wasn't as desperate as I sometimes think I am, lol. I don't want to sound mean......... because, again, I don't want to be treated that way. I'm sure it took some courage to ask. However, I got the choice to not go. Instead, I CHOSE to go Putt-Putt Golfing in Orlando with my parents, siblings, and my siblings' 18 year old friends. Then, we went for burgers....... came home..... ate birthday cake....... and rung in the New Year on my couch with cheesy party decorations, lol.

I could have gone out and had a date on NYE. But, I chose differently. Because, I *know* I don't want to be with this person. Not only do I not want to be with him..... I shouldn't be with him. He's not the one for me. I feel like God gave me a choice........... Here, you can have a relationship right now. You say you want one, so you can have one. Or, you can wait for MY perfect timing with the person I have picked for you.

Honestly, it wasn't that difficult of a choice. Had I been presented with someone else, I may not have chosen so easily, lol. Still, I feel like I discovered something really important about myself........... I'm not settling. Period.

Now, I'm not as excited about having to see Mr. Non-Date, on Monday. Most likely, he'll be hurt and/or embarrassed. Hurt/Embarrassed = Bitter = Mean/Nasty with him.

So, overall........... I think I did pretty well. I can't say I went the whole 2 1/2 months without over-analyzing or stressing. But, I did a lot less of it than normal and am getting better and better about it.

Go me!!