Day 6: What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?

It’s a shit day in the grand scheme of things. I wish this prompt came at a time I were feeling grateful, happy or hopeful. I sent an honest text and prompted another verbal slaughter from the man that was lodged in my heart for far longer than he deserved. Wiping tears away, I forwarded them to my Fancy and she said it best.

F- Ouch.

So forgive me while my bleeding heart drips on the keys as I type. I’m not happy and it’s incredibly hard to wipe the grief off today.

What makes me happy?

  1. My Fancy Best Girl. I regularly refer to her as my red headed security blanket and when I count my blessings I count her a dozen times, then a dozen more. This has been the hardest year and when my whole world tilts on its axis and I’m drowning, she reminds me who I am and why there’s not a soul in the world worth sacrificing that for.
  2. Exercise. This one will forever shock me, but I have finally found the magic behind sweating to the point of nausea. I like the sting of sore muscles that are getting stronger and if you can’t sleep, nothing knocks your miserable ass out like a few miles on the elliptical machine. CrossFit was too expensive and I had to quit, but it’s only inspired me to workout more at home. Misery loves sweat, trust me.
  3. Books. I stopped reading for myself when the Dumpling was born and it’s only in the last 6 months that I’ve picked them back up again. I’m too busy for a vacation and my personal life has been nothing short of prison, so Harry Potter it is. I forgot how much peace you can find when you escape in a few hundred well-worn  pages.
  4. Music. Yeah… some of it’s crippling and the tears running down my cheeks say this may not actually be one that should make the list right now, but even when you’re crying you’re at least feeling SOMETHING. Numb is worse than sad and there’s definitely no shortage of sadness motivating my playlist. I love showtunes, Top 40 and 90’s love songs, but Etta James is saving my soul these days.
  5. Mr. Dick Appointment. Bless his smoking hot heart, sometimes what you really need is a hot youngster to fuck the devastation and memories right out of you. He’s like an animated sex toy at my beck and call. I adore my vibrator but it can’t rip my clothes off and pull my hair. I sent him a text the other night, letting him know I was leaving the door unlocked and going to bed. I was tired, inspired and hopeful. My alarm clock will forever disappoint me after that. Lord have mercy… he reminds me exactly why I’m single and worth so much more than feeling sad. I wish I could clone him and hand him out.

What makes me happy, changes regularly. What makes me sad, has been the same damn man for too long. My children keep me going, my family sustains me and this list of favorites keeps me smiling when I’m more inclined to cry.



I had a lousy time with Mr. Right last night. I’m not sure what happened but he was awkward and distant at something he invited me to. To add insult to injury…. Incredinope walked through the door and proceeded to give me the ice cold shoulder. I sat there, feeling uncomfortable and out of place, itching to pull my pajamas on and climb into bed… and decided to do just that.

I left.

Without saying goodbye.

I’m at the point that I’m no longer willing to feel inadequate or unwanted. The second that shoe drops, so does my interest and I am only too happy to retreat to the cozy castle I call my own.

No habla red flags, thankyouverymuch. If I learned anything from the last year, its how devastating uncertainty and rejection can be. I will not climb back into that wretched mud puddle.

They both got a piece of my mind via text message and I was in the shower and slipping into my ugliest comfy pajamas in no time. Mad as a hornet, but also very proud of myself.

I hardly slept, and woke up to the realization that I had CrossFit this morning. For the first time in my adult life, I counted the minutes until I could go… knowing that I’d feel a million times better afterwards. My eyes were puffy from crying and I was on the verge of more tears. Walking in to see my darling trainer waiting for me with a beaming smile, almost pushed me over the edge.


N- Hiiiii! We were just talking about you. You’re someone who makes us all smile when you walk in the door. Seriously. You ok? What’s up?

J- I’m really glad it’s a you day. I’m having a tough one.

N- Well let’s go then!


He turns the board around and I see the two words I dread most.

Jump Rope.

Fucking hell. Honestly if you haven’t attempted to use a jump rope since childhood, go get one. It’s the most humbling experience you can have for $5. It turns out, we all should have continued to jump rope since childhood, because it destroys you better than just about any other workout. I could hardly do it my first day. Now I bemoan the weight of my body and jumping it off the ground in time to the hand-held plastic torture device.

J- I told you I was sad, can’t you come up with another form of torture?

N- But you’re getting SO strong and SO good at all these things, I want you to see how much easier it is for you to do. I know you can do it. It’s just 45 second intervals. I promise it will be easier.

For the record: labor pains and jumping rope make 45 seconds feel like the longest 10 years of your life. He was right and it was so much easier than it was before, but it still really sucked. I did russian twists until I thought I was going to vomit, flutter kicks until my ass lit on fire and one arm kettlebell swings to the point my arms and shoulders screamed at me to stop.

He high-fived me and two fat tears rolled down my cheeks.

N- Oh no… that’s not jump rope related, is it.

J- I feel so much better and I’m just grateful and emotional. It’s been a horrible year and this has given me so much of myself back. Thanks for putting up with me.

N- You’re getting stronger, do you feel it?


That’s such a weighted question for me. Physically I’ve never done the things I’ve accomplished in the past two months of CrossFit. I did 78 pushups and 144 kettlebell swings on Wednesday. I still can’t believe that’s even possible for me. The cellulite is disappearing from my thighs at record pace and my ass looks amazing. I’ve only lost 30 pounds but my arms look and feel so much stronger. My posture is improving, my neck doesn’t hurt anymore and the sharp pain in my left elbow is gone.

More than that? My heart feels better. My soul isn’t so shattered. I can sleep again and food is starting to taste good. I’ve grown so much as a woman in the last year by truly falling apart in order to put the pieces back together in a healthier way. I’ve learned to say the hard things and lift the heavy ones. My body is starting to look like the one I lost so many years ago to motherhood.

I’m getting better. Which is why I spoke up today and cleared the air with Mr. Right.

R- Are you mad at me???

J- No, I felt disrespected and leaving was easier.

R-  I was super nervous, I don’t know why. I am so sorry. That wasn’t my intention at all. That makes me sad. Come over, please? Let me make it up to you.

J- Another time… I’m going to take a nap and soak my broken body in epsom salts.

R- I’m sorry baby. It will never happen again.

See? I’m learning from my mistakes and demanding better.

It’s going to be a happy new year, I can just feel it…

….. along with every other muscle in my poor body.



In the worst month of my adult life, I’ve had to take stock of what’s important and face reality about what’s not. I’ve had to stop and count my blessings at a time when they all felt like sand slipping through my fingers.

I’ve never been more sad or had more reason to be hopeful about the future. I’ve also never had more stress or reason to worry, in my life. The high points seemed to come at an exorbitant expense while the low moments stacked up like firewood.

This was not my year, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. I have so many things to be grateful for and on a day like today… a reminder sure won’t hurt either.

I’m grateful for my friends. Especially my Fancy best. I wish I had more time and opportunity to be a better friend, but my goodness I am blessed with those of mine I consider the closest. This has been such a horrific month and I would be lost and broken without mine, and I am so grateful.

I’m grateful for CrossFit. I can’t even believe it, but it’s true… I actually found an exercise program that I love. One that absolutely slaughters me and leaves me shaky and begging for mercy. It’s carving my body into a new shape and I have some muscles I haven’t seen since I was a kid. I feel stronger, I’m sleeping better and I’ve made a handful of new friends. I can’t afford it, but I can’t afford not to, either. It’s a gift I’m insisting on giving myself, and I’m falling in love with my own body again, something so priceless I can’t put a dollar sign on it.o

I’m grateful for ham and swiss Lunchables. I realize this is silly and probably doesn’t make a lot of sense to anyone, but on the road to uncovering myself, the diet gets boring. I had a very wholesome and healthy childhood and my mother would have died before she bought us pre-packaged lunch… let alone processed meat and fake cheese. Over her cold, dead body…. So when I need a treat and to cheat on my diet a little, nothing makes me happier than those pressed ham circles, refrigerated crackers and fake swiss cheese. It’s one of my favorite guilty pleasures.

I’m grateful for my family. For my sisters, my brother and my mom. My dad gave me a beautiful family of siblings that make my life rich and rewarding. I can’t imagine adulthood without them, as much as they made my childhood grand as well. I am so lucky to have the people I do. ♥

I’m grateful for men who smell good. I walked by a handsome older man in the store tonight and he held out his hand to take my empty cart when his cologne hit me. Mmmm…. It’s like an olfactory kiss on the lips. One that so few men exploit to their benefit. I have friends who hate it, but very few. I don’t care if it’s Old Spice and you smell like my daddy, just wear it.

I’m grateful for Tinder. I’m also really shitty at it. I have 47 messages, waiting. I only open it when I’m feeling especially bad for myself, swipe, swipe, swipe and then I forget about them for a week. I don’t have the desire, the attention span or the interest necessary to weed through them all. There’s too many, they’re too rabid and none of them are the him I want them to be. They do a whole lot collectively to make me feel better about feeling so rejected, but not so much that I want to date 25-30 year old boys.

I’m grateful for flowers. My gardenia is blooming in the kitchen while the wind howls outside and I picked up a fresh bouquet this evening from an old love of mine. I’ve been single for so long that I don’t think about flowers being sent anymore so when I got the call, I was sure they were in regards to Anthony’s passing. I was stressed out and frazzled, none too thrilled about having to schlep downtown in the wind to pick up flowers. When I walked in and saw them, I knew immediately who they were from. A once upon a time lover who memorized my favorites and used them to his benefit. I hadn’t seen a dozen cherry brandy roses since the last time he sent them to me. I picked up the phone and called the last number I had saved in my phone for him and he answered on the first ring.


B-Babydoll. You got them.

J- Awwww, thank you! I love them! Hiiiiiii!

B- I don’t know why but I hopped on your blog when I was flying home yesterday, just to check in and hoping you’d be knitting or canning and instead you’re wasting your time with a guy like me.

J- You know what they say about old habits.


B- I’m really sorry about Anthony. Remember topless karaoke when you rapped that Chingy song? Or that lap dance we bought you in Twin Falls? He was a great guy and a good friend. We have some great memories.

J- I was just telling someone that story the other day. My goodness… I’m lucky I survived that weekend. Thank you for the flowers, he would have loved them, too.

B- The flowers are a reminder that you should be getting them. You need a real date with a real man.

J- I need a raise, light snowfall and to win the lottery.

B- Touche.

He’s right though. I do need a real date with a real man. He’s NOT it… but I love the reminder, the gesture and a dozen of my favorite fall roses. It’s nice to feel like a treasured girl instead of an overcompensating bother.

I’m grateful for dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, matte 24 hour lipstick, and coffee, without which I would die. 

I’m grateful for eyelash extensions and the incredible friend I made who glues me into a prettier version of myself. Not just with tiny fake lashes, but also with the love and care she gives me. I have cried a dozen times, she’s helped me through some of the hardest days and when I leave I look a million times better than I felt walking in the door. She’s the type of person that makes everybody’s day better just for crossing her path. One of those million watt souls with a personality and character to match. She’s good people and she makes me gooood lookin’. ♥

I’m grateful for my career. I am the Vice President of my company and carry a lot of stress from work home with me. It’s not always sunshine and roses, but I have the staff I’ve worked hard to build, the ability to work happily within those four walls and the luck of getting to do something that I truly love for a living. I’m valued, appreciated and respected for the hard work I do. That’s saying something in these days and ages. I love my coworkers and look forward to how good it can be after a little more tweaking. I always think of the line in the desiderata that says : “Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.”

I’m grateful for frozen pizza, LOL Surprise dolls and Minecraft… without which I would never have a break. 

I’m grateful for that guy I loved so much. That one that is determined to hurt me, regardless of the many reasons why he shouldn’t. He’s taught me so much about myself in the last year and I’ve learned to say hard words that I’ve swallowed my entire lifetime.

I’m grateful for my children, especially that firecracker eldest daughter of mine. She’s fire in all the ways I’m soft and I feel like I managed to do the impossible and make a strong woman with my fragile doormat hands.  The tables have turned and she’s kind, nurturing and maternal in every way I need love these days. She swoops in to hug me, fill the house with her beautiful laughter and make the world seem right again.

I’m grateful for my son. He raises the bar without being here and makes me dig deeper to be a better version of me, every day. If he ever comes back, he’ll be really happy to the mom he comes home to, and that is everything to me.

I’m grateful for my Dumpling, who hugs me all day long. We were born three days apart and see eye to eye. We can bake the day away, play babies for hours and snuggle in front of movies for an entire lazy Saturday. She’s a tiny version of me and her big sister, and I treasure every second of every day with her.

I’m grateful for the woman I’ve grown to be. I’m not always good at adulthood and I fail regularly, but I do work hard at being a better example for my kids, myself and my community. I’m learning and I’m trying. I’ll never be perfect but I hope I’ll always be kind.

and I hope I always remember to be grateful. ♥

Jesus Almighty Crossfit


Y’all… there aren’t words. My thighs feel like I had a one night stand with Jeffrey Dahmer and he fell asleep after eating a little of each.

Every step hurts. Every breath hurts. I liken stairs to natural childbirth.

Walking down stairs hurt last week.

Upstairs feels like unmedicated surgery this week.

I. Am. Crippled.

Handstands and pull-ups. Push-ups and squats. It has kicked my ass in every imaginable way.

Kettlebell swings, burpees and wall balls have become my new least favorite activities. I have done things physically in the last month that defy my own imagination. I’m stunned after every workout that I actually pulled it off. This is one of those areas where being too nice is dangerous as hell. I can’t let my beloved Nick down… so I have to do all 15 of those goddamn box squats. Even though my ass is on fire and my legs feel like chopped gelatin.


I am purple and panting on my way out the door. It takes a cool shower and a quart of water to get dressed and headed to work. The stairs to my office are tall and painful with a million more in the warehouse.

Today’s workout was push-ups, handstands, hanging pull-ups, and deadlifts. My arms feel like they were ripped off a little. Not enough to come off entirely, but enough to break the sockets and separate the muscle from the bone. Yeah. That’s fun.


My back feels like I got sideswiped by a rearview mirror on the highway. It’s a little sore. 

My shoulders ache, my chest throbs and that left pectoral muscle I had lifted last January is angry. It’s a rough day to inhabit this body. Especially running on 3 hours of sleep on the same day the coffee ran out.

Three hours of sleep wrapped up in him, which was not exactly restful. I’ve wanted to sleep in his t-shirt forever and now that I’ve tossed and turned in his hoodie, I’ve learned my lesson. A noteworthy orgasm at a very high price. <yawn>

Of all the days I’ve been scheduled to go to CrossFit… this is the one time I really didn’t want to.

I’ve promised myself not to quit and my body already feels different enough in my own hands after just a month, that I’m hooked. 

It’s nice to like the reflection staring back at me a little more and feels really great to do something healthy for myself.

Assuming I survive it, I’m actually really happy to have found something I can love that will make me feel better, naturally. I’ve been so damn sad that I was at my breaking point and ready to ask for a half dozen happy pills a day.

Anthony was over the moon that I’d decided to finally try it, and even more so that I loved it. Even more reason to stick with it and find the me that’s been hidden under all this mommy for the past 24 years.

I’ve joked from the beginning that I want to tear down the factory to build a playground, and now I’m knee deep in the demolition and construction phase. It’s rough, but I’m stubborn as hell and twice as driven to be successful. It’s that firstborn thing that can get me in just as much trouble as it does good.

Only this time, it’s going to land me in a bikini… after a whole lot of soul-stomping, back-breaking exercise, a few trips to my plastic surgeon and my own raw determination. My firstborn claimed my beautiful body in exchange for his sweet perfection, when I was just 18 years old. I’m going to dig it back out if it kills me. 

So if anyone has a wheelchair, a toilet riser or a nice handsome home health care nurse to help me in and out of bed, I’d be most appreciative.

Bonus points if he’s a good cook.