Hey, Girl In My Zumba Class,
Hey, Dude That Actually Applies Himself In College,

This one's for you. ;)

The world will tell you that's lame to try. Trying and applying yourself will result in you becoming a total loser.

Society isn't the only one who will tell you this. Your family and closest friends will too.

But you know what?

It's okay to be a tryhard. It really is. It's okay to be so passionate about something that you put for an effort. Especially as a Christian.

Colossians 3:23 says, "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men."

You can buy this HERE

I have the above photo on my desk as a daily reminder to put forth some effort into my 9-5, and I think it applies well to putting in more than a fair share of effort into something you love.

So don't let anyone put you down for giving something your all.

You do you, and do it well.

-Jessie
Photo Cred: Philip Male
I love taking photos. I have more photos on my iphone than all my friends combined. Pictures or it didn't happen, amiright? 

I feel so beyond blessed whenever I have an opportunity to take photos for OM/MDT. (You can see the some of the latest photos I've taken here.) It is seriously an honor, and to say I like it would be an understatement. You know what I don't like? When people that I've been told to photograph have a sour attitude about being photographed. 

I get it. I really do. I hate having my photo taken too. I suffer from crazy insecurities as well. The thought of someone putting a photo of me I don't like on Facebook to be forever immortalized isn't exactly comforting. But, before you (once again) fuss me out in front of God and everyone else, you should take these points into consideration:

Don't blame me for how you look. Yes, I do whiten the occasional smile, and I will tweak the size of the photo to make subjects seem slimmer if I know that will make people happy. I also remove any facial blemishes, because I'm just a fantastic person like that. (You're welcome.)* It's photoshop, not plastic surgery. We look the way we do. It's just the hand we were dealt. 


Do you honestly want your daughters to grow up with the same crippling insecurities you have? Whenever you say no to a photo, your daughter hear you. Say what you will, but your insecurities will become hers. I thought I was overweight at 100 pounds because my mother's weight is very important to her. (Which is fine for her. I just happen to think life's too short to not enjoy food.) Your daughter is watching your.every.move. Kim Bongiorno has a great article over at the Huffington Post you need to read about this. 

No one is picture perfect. Even Hollywood's stars have flaws, yet when they're on the red carpet, they flash their pearly whites like they were born for the sole purpose of gracing glossy magazine covers. If they can do it, then you, as a child of the King, can do it too. 

I promise it won't hurt a bit. ;) 

Stay classy,

Jessie 

*It should be mentioned that I mostly tweak photos of women. The men I photograph do not whine like toddlers when they see my photographs. #justsayin' 

My friends and I often say we get together and complain. This is usually just a healthy dose of venting and whining, but seriously, why is it so easy to focus on the negative? 

Often in my life, I will see the silver lining, yet still chose to complain. Complaining feels good, and in some cases, I'm sure it is justified. 

But, lately, I'm just over all the negativity surrounding my life. I recently did a Facebook friend purge, because life is too short to have people surrounding (or spying on) my life that are against me, and not for me. That's not to say each and every one of Facebook friends is cheering on my every move (if I'm about to do something questionable, I appreciate the people I love intervening), but when it got to the point where I had to make most of my posts partially private, I knew it was time to go through the list. 

This isn't just some Holy Facebook Move (which I'm not big on) though. I also went through my closet and removed every piece of clothing that doesn't fit. I went through a second time and removed everything that I didn't like. How many times have you put something on, only to find you didn't like how you looked in it, and felt bad about yourself? With my recent weight gain, it was happening way too often for me. I only want clothing hanging in my closet that makes me feel happy and positive. So far, I have three kitchen bags of clothes to sell. More money for things and people that make me feel happy and positive. That's a Wynn win right there. :)

From blogs, to magazines, to shoes, I'm making cuts left and right. 

Stay positive,

Jessie
Recently, H and I started attending a local Zumba class.

Pictures or it didn't happen, right?
Source: Instagram (Mine)
I have to admit that this is the first athletic course I've taken as an adult. If you've seen any photos of me from the past two years, you can tell I don't do fitness. Therefore, I have not purchased fitness clothing. Like, ever.

Many years ago, before M and I started dating even, I bought some plain black yoga/stretch pants from Wal-Mart for $9 on an impulse. My love for these pants was strong. Although I never wore them out, they accompanied me on many overnight trips, and have never failed me. Until recently..

I wore them to our first Zumba class, which I feel could be a factor. But, If I'm being honest with myself, I realize I've owned these Wal-Mart pants for 6 years now, so I shouldn't have been surprised when this happened.

:(
So yeah, the pants have died. Whatever. I'm wearing them while I write this post. But unfortunately, they cannot leave my house.

I don't know if you've checked the price of athletic wear lately, but it ain't cheap, my friends. 

Take for example this Under Armor capri sold at Dunham's.

Source: Dunham's

Cute, yes? It could be yours for $39.99. Let's be honest, compared to brands like LuLuLemon (be still my heart!) with bottoms pricing around twice that much, it's not a horrid deal. Of course, I'm a big advocate of buying not as many higher quality clothing pieces as opposed to a lot of cheaper grade clothes. Normally. BUT, as we discussed before, I'm not into fitness. I really just needed a few cute outfits to get me through a few classes a week.

Which lead me to Wal-Mart.

I think we've gone full circle, y'all.

What do you know? Cute stuff abounds!

Outfit #1 (The Blue One): 


1. Hard Candy Juniors Zip Front Hoodie $12
2. Avia Women's Singlet Tank $6
3. Danskin Now Women's Allover Printed Capri Tight $11, but I paid $8

That's an entire outfit for $29! That's less than the price of the capri from Under Armor.

If you're not digging the blue, I put together some other outfits.

1. Hard Candy Sport Juniors Zip Up Hoodie (Pink) $12.88
2. Hard Candy Sport Juniors Tank (Link Not Available) $8
3. Hard Candy Sport Juniors Athletic Pant $12.88

Total: $33.76

Jupiter approves
Okay, last outfit: 


1. Hard Candy Sport Juniors Athletic Pant (yellow) $12.88
2. Hard Candy Sport Juniors Tank (Link Not Available) $8
3. Hard Candy Sport Juniors Zip Up Hoodie (charcoal) $12.88

Total: $33.76

Another really great place to get new athletic wear on the cheap is ebay.  I purchased this super cute shirt for $2.99 and the capris were $5.50.




Stay classy,

Jessie
A couple of weeks ago, M asked me if I wasn't around, what would I want to tell my future daughter or son. I have rolled that thought around for days. I chose to address my future daughter first. The following letter is my answer.


Dear "Baby" K,

If you're reading this, I'm either dead, or decided to print this off of my blog I had in my twenties. (Hopefully, it's the latter.) It is my hope that you can take away some wisdom (if not truths) from this letter that will help you along your life journey.

First, let's address those middle names of yours. Growing up, I always told myself I wouldn't be one of those people that gave my kid two middle names. People change. I'm sure you've been told that you have your second middle name because of your paternal grandmother. She is an amazing godly woman. She is also one of the most incredible human beings I have ever met. You are blessed to have her as your namesake.

Your first middle name just proves my personalities flaws. Did you know I hate(d) my middle name? Your maternal grandmother hates her middle name. My maternal grandmother told me that she likes her middle name because "it's different, and I was named after my aunt." Blame her mother if you will. But we all have middle names that start with the letter a. So naturally, the sentimental child within me had to give you a middle name that also began with the letter a. You understand, yes? Also, your middle name is the french version of mine. I know it's weird. Deal with it. (Or least humor mother.)

If you choose to marry a strong-willed man (think your father, your uncle, and both of your grandfathers), know that you will need to compromise a lot. It's not wrong, it's just the way it is. Marriage isn't (and will never be) 50/50. There may be days when you feel like you're giving (up) more, but I promise that your strong-willed husband will be your best friend, and take care of you, cherish you, and love you like no one else ever could.

Settle while not settling. I know while you're being raised up in church that you will hear and see girls waiting on their PERFECT ONE. Here's a piece of earth-shattering news: there is no perfect one. You have no Prince Charming waiting on you somewhere. Instead of dying alone waiting on God to give you a scroll with your future husband's address written on it delivered by a dove from Heaven, settle. But, don't settle. Don't settle for someone who doesn't love you, or the Lord. Don't settle for someone that doesn't have the same long term goals you have. Don't settle for a man that is just as good as you could get. Settle for a man who has his bad days, but is trying with all his might to get where he needs to be in the Lord. Settle for a hardworking man, even if sometimes he works a little too hard. Settle for a perfectly imperfect man. You'll know. You just will.

Your cousin, Lena once said, "Being right is not the most important thing." Those are some seriously true words. You don't need to be right every time. No one likes an argumentative person.

More than not being right, I think there's something to be said about a person who knows they're right, but chooses not to mention it. Be graceful with people. I've learned they appreciate not being corrected more often than not.

Your husband comes before your friends.

You come from a long line of educators. Don't feel pressured to go into teaching. Don't feel pressured to go into a high-demand field (in 2015, it's nursing) for money. Do what makes you happy. Life is too short to do something that doesn't give you purpose.

Don't belittle people. Look people in the eye when they are talking to you, no matter how insufferable they are. Learn to smalltalk.

Don't become bitter. People will lie to you. They will try to do you wrong any way they can. If you let them, they will take advantage of you. People are only human, and they will disappoint you so many times that you'll want to throw them all away. Don't. While I'm not advocating you naively trust everyone, give people a chance. Every once in a while, you'll find a diamond in the rough.

You are so beautiful. Don't let anyone else tell you any different.

If you give Jesus your all, He will take you farther than you could ever dream. He is so good. Give Him a chance, and I promise He won't disappoint you once.

Clear nail polish will stop runs in panty hose.

Drink your daily recommended amount of water.

Wear sunscreen religiously.

Trust your instincts. Even if they make you seem paranoid. You're not.

Birth control pills can make you gain up to 5 pounds. It is socially acceptable to say they make you gain up to 15. Take advantage of this as needed.

More than anything, I want you to guard your heart. Guard it more than anything. Your heart is precious. Once you give a piece of your heart away, you can never get it back. Ever. So please, K, guard your heart. Because, men are jerks. I promise that if you keep all the pieces to your heart, your husband and marriage will thank you.


Momma loves you.
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