Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Story of T, Part 1

So if you've followed my blog for any length of time you knew I was starting to date again. 
I ventured out using dating websites, mainly Plenty of Fish (PoF), on recommendation of a friend. 
I chatted with loads of guys. 
Met two of them. 
One of them I married.  

*A bit of back story*
So, we started "chatting" for a while. Back and forth, back and forth as you do through dating websites. We had a pretty good flow of conversation. Then, I brought up favorite movies. He stated his was "Garden State", to which, I replied, "I like the sound track better". His response, was nothing short of a 5 paragraph essay in support of why the movie was better then the soundtrack. Then, I didn't hear from him. This was BEFORE Christmas. Come January 15th-ish I got a message from him asking me for my number. I kinda begrudgingly gave it to him (I assumed there was no harm in giving a phone number out, right?). IMMEDIATELY he called me. I was totally caught off guard. This from a guy who 1) ripped me a new one on a topic that was opinion based and 2) I hadn't heard from in nearly a month. Well, he immediately apologized for the lapse in communication and explained is was "severely sick" and "had very bad stomach issues". In my head I  didn't know weather to believe him or not. Either way, we continued the some what brief conversation and he ultimately ended it with asking me to go horseback riding with him and some friends. I accepted, but only on the terms of allowing me to pay for myself. He refused but I told him I'd fight him for it.  I had a lot of friends give me advice as to what to do, including one friend who told me to bring a check and if I like him, to rip the check up, but if I don't like him, leave the check on his car seat when I get out. I showed up prepared, check in hand.

First date: January 23, 2011
Where: Horseback riding at South Mountain
T is wearing a stripped shirt

Here are some of the facts from our first date:
He may have been right... can't really see my face.
  • T was 45 minutes late
  • We wore the same outfit, jeans, black shirt, black chucks and sunglasses, doesn't get cheesier then that. :-/
  • He claims he had NO IDEA what I looked like because I was covered from head to toe and could hardly see my face because of my huge glasses. See Photo
  • I was all the way at the front of the horse line, T was all the way at the back. I spent 1 1/2 hours talking to no one, because I knew no one. 
  • We ate hamburgers and hot dogs afterwards. We talked about family, what we're looking for and life. 
  • I believe HE asked me to go see a movie. Neither of us remembers what movie it was (looking back, I *think* it might have been "The Rite".) I paid. 
  • He asked to put his arm around me and I said "NO". T claims, this is the point he knew he wanted to marry me. 
  • We went to eat sushi at Teharu Sushi. It was ok. :-P
  • We were going to go to ice cream :-D but I had to get home to Z
  • Our FIRST date lasted 8 hours.
We spent the next couple of days talking on the phone. I was so giddy and so rebellious, that I had to talk inside my closet. 1) I didn't want my parents knowing I was talking to a boy and 2) I did want to wake Z up, so I had to muffle my voice somehow. We talked all hours of the night, once, staying up till 4am. It was junior high love! We talked about our pasts, our past loves, our past heartbreaks, some of our fears, our faith, our desires for family, for our future and loads of other stuff.

Second Date:
Pacific Roll
Mid-week he asked me to if I could meet him at Ra Sushi for dinner. I obliged. As we walked down the road I noticed two things, not only did he guide me (without touching me) but he also made sure to stand on the side of on coming traffic. At one point, there was a large crowd of people crossing the street. He QUICKLY grabbed my hand to keep me close (He was so sneaky! After me telling him "no" the first time, I think he may have been hesitant to ASK a second time). He turned to me a few seconds later, shocked I didn't let go and asked "Is it OK if I hold your hand now?", with a big smile on my face, I said "Yes, that is fine". In typical Jasmine fashion, I don't remember much about what we talked about. I do remember I ordered the Pacific Roll and halfheartedly ate a piece. Knowing T MUCH better know, I understand why he was SOO hesitant, but he did it for me <3

I'm sure we spent copious amounts of time on the phone. I was guarding my heart now more then ever because of She Who Shall Not Be Named, continuously speaking into my life. I didn't rush out to see him every moment I had and I was very specific about timing it so it did not affect my time with Z. The amazing thing, is that T was SO INCREDIBLY understanding of my role not only as a mother but someone living in a parents house with rules.

Third Date: January 30th
Where: Redemption Church, Tempe and Oregano's
There are no pictures from this date. I had been very intentional through all online communication (on PofF) and through talking over the phone that God is FIRST and that any relationship I have will also follow that motto. He obviously agreed with me and we decided we would start looking for a church together. He came across their website and started listening/watching Pastor Justin Anderson speak and T was sold. To say that church that morning was a punch to the face (in a good way) is putting it lightly. I stepped in and immediately felt at home and T claims the same. We were both brought to tears and blubbered like idiots in front of each other. But most important, we BOTH felt God INDIVIDUALLY. It was one of the most powerful moments of my life.
After that emotional hour, we went to eat lunch at Oregano's. Being the beezy I am, I asked him when he was going to ask me to be his girlfriend. He said "Will you be my girlfriend?" to which I replied "No.". I'm evil, I know. But, from then on, we were "official". Lunch was good. Recently, I've figured out why I've never enjoyed their food. Apparently THE ONLY THING to eat there is pizza, not pasta. So the next time I make it there, I will order pizza to see if my  mind has changed.

Thankful for
1) I am thankful that God is continuously working in my heart to grow me into a better women for Him.
2) I am thankful for memories 
3) I am thankful for trials, because without them a person would grow stagnant. 

Memories.... aren't always shiny

My husband asked me if I've written any blogs lately and obviously the answer was no. This comment has kind of gotten my wheels turning in my brain. There are so many things that I want to get written down on "paper" but haven't made time for them for some reason. This is a SUPER random post. So, bare with me.

Garden 2009

Tonight I was laying in bed, tossing and turning, as has become common place for me. I started looking through pictures on my Mom's FB and then pictures on my FB of my "old life". I can 100% say without a doubt that God has put me right where he wants me, but boy am I starting to miss that house. T and I have briefly talked about never owning a house. Recently as we were driving through some neighborhoods, he said "ugh, I'm getting house fever". I kind of brushed it off because there is still no part of me that wants to own a house again. BUT tonight, while looking through all those pictures, I came across a lot that were taken in my house. My kitchen. My living room. MY BACKYARD. I miss it. I'd be lying if i didn't say  there was a growing part of me that yearned for a house again.

Which brought me to this thought:

Cruise, 2010
My amazing Mother's Day card, 2012
Boy, Z looks a lot happier in all those pictures. :( Is it just because she was such a naive baby, with everyone around her that loved her and took care of her? Was it because life was "easier" then? Was she really happier then or is it just me? I know that children go through a lot of changes and emotions through a divorce and through remarriage. I don't know how my divorce and remarriage has affected her, maybe i am just blind to it. She in no means has ever been a bad or naughty kid. In fact, she's quite awesome. But she NEVER smiles for pictures like she used to. More like, she refuses, maybe it's just the stubbornness inside of her that wants to exercise itself more now then it did when she was little. I remember her playing with tea party with my mom and tormenting her dog. I miss capturing her smile on film. I need to take more pictures.

This thought then brought me to this:

I miss him (the one my open letter was addressed to). I look back at pictures and think of all the wonderful things he did for me. I don't know how to mourn his loss aside from bottling it all up and allowing only bits to come out here and there. I feel like I'm not allowed to let things fall apart because I have too much on my shoulder. Too much depending on me. I can't be weak.

Then I came to this point:

Life really is easier as a kid. I don't remember family drama, family issues, friendships falling apart, stressing out about money, dealing with broken relationships, dealing with drug addicts, etc. I remember playing Aliens in my aunts pool with my brother, starring at my cousin while she ate delicious food (and DIDN'T share), playing four square at school, chasing the ice cream man and drawing "tattoos" all over my body.
It's not that I am ungrateful for what God has given me, I am just realizing how easy I had it as a kid and how I wish I appreciated it more and used that time more wisely.

3 Things
1) I am thankful for God, who not only provides for my needs but is gracious enough to give me my hearts desires too.
2) I am thankful for a husband who eagerly seeks me out. 
3) I am thankful for a family that no matter what, won't turn its back on me.

Lesson Learned Round 1:

Originally wrote on January 17, 2011

So as I've ventured into this world of dating, I've come across a lot of "interesting" characters and some nice guys. I started seeing "K" right around the New Years. We had talked quite frequently for about 1 1/2 weeks before we decided to go on a "date". I use that term loosely because 1) I paid for myself (which I totally was down for) and 2) we figured out quite fast that we'd never work out because of our vast differences in religion. I believe in God and he doesn't.

After that first meeting, we didn't really talk for a few days. I was so hesitant because I have been in an unequally yoked marriage and wasn't sure I wanted to start my new life with someone like that. Well, obviously, we ended up talking and hanging out again. There was just something about him. I wasn't and am still not quite sure what it is. So over the course of the next 3 weeks, we hung out frequently. He was always respectful of me, my beliefs and my time.

On our "first" date, we went ice skating. We had gone out multiple times before that, but we had actually planned that one out. We ice skated around the rink like Junior High kids do at Great Skate. In fact, we talked about Great Skate (he's a native Arizonian). We talked a lot about family, our children's parents, what we want in life, where we're going and what we're looking for. We talked about dreams we had, life experiences we went through. We found we had a lot in common.He had told me a few days prior about a snowboarding trip he was going to take with his family. He brought it up again while ice skating. He told me he had 1/2 the mind to invite me. This spurred discussion about family and introducing others to them.

In my family and even with my friends, I don't know that I feel right inviting a guy over unless we are serious. It's just kind of how I've always felt about my family.
K on the other hand, is pretty open with who he invites over.

We had a great time ice skating. It was a lot of fun and I hadn't done it in a very long time.
Later that week, I decided that it might be fun to go snowboarding. So we planned the logistics of the trip and he was very excited. Over the course of the next week and 1/2, I had this gut feeling that I shouldn't go. 1) it was a big step to meet his parents 2) it's a big step when you're not exclusive and 3) I knew I shouldn't put myself into a position like that. Despite those gut feelings, I pushed forward. I bought a bathing suit (they have a jacuzzi) and borrowed snowboarding clothes from a friend.

Slowly I was kind of getting excited. On Saturday night, I went to a party at his sister's house. She was very excited to meet me and even more excited that she was the first one out of her family to meet me. It was clear, they knew who I was. That gut wrenching feeling started to hit again.

All day Sunday, my stomach was a bit sick with this feeling that I need to tell him we need to not see each other or just be friends. I thought to myself  "I'm starting to really like him, I'm all about going through feelings and ups and downs, but I KNOW this will end in heartache. Not just for me, but for him too." I kept running scenarios through my head on how I was going to tell him, that this was not going to work out no matter how much we wanted it to. I decided I'd tell him after we went to a museum with the kids (he has one too)
Later that evening while I was eating dinner, K called. It was a bit out of the blue because he knew I don't really take phone calls at home. But, none the less, I did pick it up and instantly I knew from his tone of voice, something was wrong. I quickly told him I was eating dinner with my family and he said to give him a call later when I was free. I did a few hours later.
He basically told me he was feeling everything I was feeling. It was so awesome we both felt the same way. It made the whole conversation so much smoother and way less awkward. AND WHAT A RELIEF!

It's funny, because the next day, we took the kids to a museum. I almost canceled because I thought it might have been too awkward, but it wasn't. We all had a lot of fun and I didn't feel like I had to attend to his needs, which was nice, cuz it freed up my time with Z. He also pointed out some interesting facts about me when I was discussing with him an argument I had had the previous night. Insight from a third party is always good and often times easier to handle. He told me once that he doesn't want female friends, because he has "enough" of them. So I asked him, why the exception this time? He told me that although we have vastly different views in religion, he hasn't ever met anyone like me that had so much in common with him. That he could make an exception this time. He also told me that he hadn't eaten all day Sunday because he was so sick with how he would tell me that we weren't going to work out. Ha, I know that same feeling.

Yeah, I'm sad, but no I'm not broken hearted. It was a great experience to find someone who although they're pretty cool, I still can't sacrifice some things on my list. He also gave me a few things to add to my list, which I suppose is a good thing in dating.
Date: 1/17/11
*no favorite things, because I wrote this way before I was ready to post it. 

*Edit #1:
Holy cow, he matches most of my requirements...there is hope after all that one guy can possess everything or I'm aiming low. 
*Edit #2: 1/20/11
Total right decision.  
* Edit # 3: 6/24/12
seriously total right decision. 1/20 was my first date with T <3 

Monday, December 19, 2011

What a girl (like me) needs.

1) Love
2) Affection
3) Support
4) Gentleness
5) Lots of patients
6) Compassion
7) Strength
8) Guidance
9) Humor
Most importantly: 
10) Reassurance. I grew up in a family where reassurance wasn't given. I never knew when I made people happy, only when they were displeased/dissatisfied with me. Now, as an adult, I constantly seek out reassurance. If I'm in a situation where I know I'm not doing the BEST, I'll avoid you. Afraid you'll point it out. Even worse though is when I'm doing my best and it's pointed out that I did something someone wasn't satisfied with. THE WORST feeling is knowing someone is dissatisfied with you. So, I need constant reassurance. Some people see this as being needy. It's not needy in the sense that I need you there every moment of my life it's needy in the sense that I need to feel like I'm doing things right for you, weather it be friendship, relationship, work, parenting etc. The moment I feel like you become unsatisfied I go into overdrive, afraid you will retaliate. So I want to know everything, I won't drop the situation, I become manic about things and that's when I lose control and just kinda go in a downward spiral.
As a child the retaliation I experienced was discipline, kids not wanting to be my friends etc. I responded by either fighting back or begging for friends. Regardless, neither was the right approach.
As an adult I have mainly seen this affect my relationship with my SO. In past, it's pushed them away, in present it does the same. I respond by being overly dramatic, turning the situation onto ME so I can "fix" the problem. I just want to move past the situation. "Get over it" sort to say.

Regardless of my up bringing, my past or my current stage of life, I am the one who needs to "get over it". No one on Earth is responsible for reassuring me. No one on this planet can fulfill that constantly and eternally. The only one who can fill my cup up is God. I know all the stories, I've read a lot of the books, but I need to start actively leaning on Him. Humans are sinful and will ALWAYS disappoint. If I continue to depend on them, I will continue to feel inadequate. When in reality, I am and always have been sufficient enough because of Him.

3 things
1) Today I am thankful for my sweet sweet daughter. She was so bright today
2) Today I am thankful for a day to get things done around the house
3) Today I am thankful that it will be the last night I'll have to go to bed worrying about the alarm going off at 5AM.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A year in review.

lived with my dad
Commuted INTO work, 45 minute drive
Z went to school in Glendale
Searching for Him
Searching for "The One"
Serious diet control (this was the only real thing I had control over)
Mourning loss of a marriage
Mourning loss of friendships
Partying EVERY weekend
Neglecting my work
Neglecting my daughter

Found Him
Found The One
Live in Buckeye
Commute 15 minutes to school
Z goes to school in Buckeye
Commute into Tempe 2-4x week (45 minute drive)
Rebuilding friendships
Learning to live life with The Ex
Spending more time with Z (she loves helping me cook!)

I started writing this post about two months ago. I've kind of picked it up and dropped it since then. My life has made a complete 180.
I can not believe how much God has shown himself and changed me for the better. I am amazed at the people he has put into my life, taken away and/or brought back. I am amazed that I was strong enough to do this myself (because of Him).  I am so in love with Him and can PROUDLY say I have found a home church, after not having one for nearly 5 years. Not only has God lead me to this church but I have also become a member of this church and am SO SUPER excited for what will come from this community, spiritual growth and support. Some days I'm still in amazement that I went from a dry desert to a habitable, nutrient dense jungle.

Not only has God worked in my life on a spiritual level, but He has worked in me and through my Ex to make what little "relationship" we have conducive to raising a child. He has taught me through multiple outlets that not only do I need to swallow my pride for Z's sake, but to strive to behave the way Jesus would've. I am incredibly thankful that we (T and I) can have dinner with him and his fiance. I am thankful He has placed a women in his life that 1) speaks to his needs, 2) communicates with me, 3) doesn't over step her boundaries as a "step" parent and 4) helps him to see my perspective.
A year ago, I was so done with him, I really was ready to cut all communication but I did have a dream to make things civil amongst us for Z's sake. My heart has truly changed and, although I still go through rough patches communicating with him, and emotions get mixed up, I am glad I sucked it up and worked it out with him.

One of the biggest blessings to come out of this year is T. To write the story would not do it justice. I met a boy one cold windy Sunday morning who I thought nothing of, aside from the fact that we had chatted online for a few months. In all honesty, ever since then we have pretty much be inseparable. He has grown immensely and I see God shaping him and I see his eagerness to please God. I see his love and desire for all that is good for me and for us. I have never met a person who express so much how they feel for me and actually follows through with those words. Here we are almost 12 months later, we are engaged and planning a wedding, but  more then that we are seeking God's desire for us together and consistently. It was hard for me to image letting someone into my heart again, but he has become my best friend, someone I can depend on. I am grateful and immensely blessed that God has chosen to place him in my life. 
Thankful fors
1) A God who NEVER forsakes his children
2) A daughter that is so freakin cute
3) Having more places to call home then 99% of the population.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Sometimes, the littelest, insignificant things bother you. Not only do they bother you, but the enemy has away of allowing those things to anchor in your heart.

The last few days, maybe even a week or so, I have really been struggling with inadequacies with my own body and movement within relationships.

Growing up, I was never comfortable in my skin. I was ridiculed by family and classmates about my appearance. I remember in 5th grade, I stood before my aunts cabinets (where she stashed all the yummies) and consciously made a desicion to not eat snacks any more. In fact, from there, I stopped eating all together. I would eat dinner, just a bit, to keep my father from asking me questions. I remember I used to hide candy bars in my bedroom. I'd never eat them, but kept them "just in case". When I'd want to eat one, I would just look at it and smell it. The sweet aroma that came from package was satisfying enough.
As an adult, I was still ridiculed by my family and in some ways my ex. I had gained a lot of weight and was by all means obese. I went from eating nothing to eating everything. I didn't want to stop. Food was the only thing that made me happy. It never talked back, never called me fat, never backed out of chores, duties, arrangements. It was also the center of a lot of my friendships.
During this time, I never once dieted. I was "content" with were I was and how I looked. I had a husband, friends, family and a good job. What more should I want? Anything above that is being greedy. Eventually, it was decided that we would try for a second child. Before we started, I wanted to loose some weight in hopes that the new baby wouldn't come 2 months early like my daughter did. So, with a ready heart and mind, I started dieting. I ended up loosing a total of 43lbs. (woohoo)
Fast forward, I have been in a serious relationship for about 7 months. I have gained about 6lbs back, which in reality is NOTHING. I know it's nothing, but I seriously feel like shit about the way I look. I hate that my thighs jiggle. I hate that I have a muffin top, I hate that my arms are fat, I hate that my boobs sag and that I can't wear a two piece. I hate that there are other people more "perfect" then me. It makes me feel deficient. Trust me, I know how far I've come. I know that a lot of other people have a much greater struggle then I. I know this is really just minuscule in the scheme of life, but it has really gotten to me this week. I have a man who loves me for the beezy that I am. He loves me EXACTLY the way I am, and that isn't good enough. He constantly builds me up, spiritually and emotionally. I just can't get past this.
Last night, I read a blog from Myra at Although her blog isn't specifically about struggling with self-image, it really spoke to my heart. A big part of me feels like my best isn't good enough. No matter how hard I try, I will have all these physical (and other areas) imperfections. And at this stage in life, I feel this way not because anyone specifically says anything to me, it's just the expectation I've placed on myself. T and I talked after he got home from a men's bible study and He just spoke to me through T's lesson last night. Not only do I need to allow God's love and grace to be enough, but I have no right to doubt it. T is amazing with words in these situation. He truly knows how misguided my heart and thoughts are, but knows how to steer me in the right directions using those calm, encouraging words I so desperately need. After our talk, I laid in bed tossing and turning. I reflected upon all the things that have got me to this place, about the way I look. I need to forgive people for what they say. Truly forgive, not just excuse the comments. I need to work on letting God be sufficient, because no matter what, I will always fail myself. T will always fail me, work will always fail me, friends will fail me. The only thing perfect is God. I also need to realize that I am exactly what God made me to be. I was created after his image. I need to allow these words to penetrate my heart and wounds and allow them to soak in and be absorbed. I will only find satisfaction through Him.
Speaking of failure, to go right along with T and Myra's "talks", I feel like I've failed Z in so many ways. This summer I had so many dreams and expectations for us. I wanted to do a lot of art with her, start writing, get better with colors, shapes, ABC's and numbers. Instead, I've sat on my butt, doing school work, overall not placing her first. She deserves so much more attention and better effort. UGH.
I am also struggling with the way my ex is doing some things. He seems to have found a girl and is ready to introduce her to Z. I feel so uneasy about this. Just knowing where he is in life, it makes me wonder what kind of women would consider really dating him (enough to be a part of his daughters life). I know I have no room to judge and don't have the full story, but I just don't feel at ease about this.
I'm also bothered by the fact he keeps trying to add me on Google+ because he has personal things on there I am not ready to see or be apart of. I purposely hide those from him because I do not want to cause awkwardness, but he seems to not have that same respect. It may also be that I don't want to see him move on. I don't want him to be happy....he doesn't deserve it. (ouch that's harsh, and deep down I don't REALLY feel like that, but right now, I still have a lot of anger towards him) Honestly, I just want him to be away from me. I want to not have to always consider him, think about him or wonder how he's going to react to things in my own life.
I'm kind of in a dark place. This time of summer, I always get restless and a bit depressed.

Friday, May 27, 2011


I remember one time when I was sorting through my mom's photos, I came across a picture that was ripped in half. After looking at it for a bit, I realized it was my dad that was cut off. At the time, I just accepted that that was the way it was. My mom and dad didn't want to share the memories they once had and wished that the other wasn't there. (I understand now the pain that comes with a divorce and understand why that action was taken to begin with).

That moment always kind of stuck with me for some reason. I decided early on that should anything happen to my marriage, I would not do that. Anything worth taking a picture of was obviously a good memory.

For those of you who know me, know for an extended period of time I was a pretty avid scrapbooker. Over the last 3 years I have slowly backed away from it because I didn't have anything "worth" taking photos of. My life wasn't "picture perfect" or happy. During the summer I'd scrapbook an entire year in about 5-10 pages.
Once I moved out of the house, I got rid of all my major scrapbook supplies. Ready to walk away from scrapbooking. I tucked my books away on a shelf and didn't bother looking at them for a bit.

But within myself, there were many moments that I wanted to go through them. One reason was to relive those past memories, to take me to a place that was happier. Ultimately I didn't. I thought about looking at those pictures and all the feelings coming  back to me (memories evoke feelings right?) and decided if I want to keep these books intact, I need to walk away from them.

I have decided that I will not alter those books at all. The fact of the matter is this:
1) Those books contain some of the most important events, milestones and happenings that have happend to me in the last 13 years. It would be unfair and selfish of me to get rid of these things.

High School Graduation, 2002  
Wedding, 2004

New York, 2007 
Birth of Z, January 16, 2008

Phamily vacation to Mexico, July 2008
Christmas 2009

2) I don't want Z growing up thinking/feeling she was a mistake or that her parents didn't care about each other or her. In all honesty, The Ex and I had 13 years together. We had a lot of great times, millions of memories. I want her to know all those things. I want her to know that she was created out of love and that she wasn't a result of a fight or an accident.

If I were to change anything about those books, I would  be lieing about my life, about where she came from .
I've also decided that I will back up all my pictures on my computer from that time and lock it away for Z for when she gets older. She can decide what she wants to do with them from there, but I have no need for them on my computer anymore. 
I am also madly in love with a very special man in my life. We've started to make memories and I am excited to solidify them in a book. I've heard a lot about digital scrapbooking and think this will be my new adventure.

3 Things
1) I am thankful for time. It helps to make rational decisions
2) I am thankful for my daughter. No matter what, she was the light in that darkness
3) I am thankful for a real and active God, who continues to heal me and move me forward for the next journey in my life.