Dec 24, 2013

Christmas Grinch

This Christmas has been a lot harder than most. I normally get into the Christmas spirit, get my tree up, get the stockings hung, and have lights out on the house. Not this year. I asked Dave after Thanksgiving if he cared if I didn't put up the tree this year. I have been so exhausted and haven't felt great this year, and the thought of decorating for Christmas was overwhelming. He said that would be okay, but that I would probably regret it. In my head I just figured that the only reason you decorate is because you have kids right? I also send out Christmas cards every year. When the company screwed up on my card and I didn't get them to send out, I felt like Christmas was pointless. Why even try?! Nothing is going right, and I don't have anyone I really have to do Christmas for. You could call me the Christmas Grinch this year. Then something happened to change my mind. 

As I got all my presents for friends done, and delivered, I was feeling sad and a little depressed. I have never felt this way around Christmas. As I tried to figure out what was causing my sadness I realized what it was. I don't have any kids that I get to spoil. I was throwing somewhat of an adult fit because I don't have any children. I was so down and depressed, when I got a text from a family member telling me that they were pregnant. I felt like my heart stopped. I felt like I got punched in the stomach. I stopped functioning at that moment. Dave and I were watching TV and I couldn't tell you what the last part of the show was about. All I could think of is that God wants to rub it in my face yet again that I can't have children. Twist the knife in my heart a little deeper. I was done.

The next couple of weeks, everywhere I went I only saw the pregnant women. I saw women buying pregnancy tests, girls picking up jewelry were pregnant, I saw babies everywhere. Was I going insane, or was everyone in the world pregnant?!  I was so mad I can't explain. I was making jewelry to clear my head (something that I do often. I sit at my desk and hammer the crap out of jewelry) one evening when I got the feeling that I needed to call this family member. Up to this point I hadn't responded. I hadn't congratulated them, I had even acknowledged that I got the text. At that moment I realized how selfish I was. This wasn't about me. This was about a beautiful baby that is going to enter my family, and I should be thrilled. I should be so thankful for this precious new life. I picked up the phone and called. That phone call changed my Christmas.

As I sat on the phone and talked to this family member for 2 hours, I cried, I was honest, I told them exactly how hard this was for me but how happy I was for them. I shared in their excitement, I expressed my joy at getting to be an aunt again, and I let them know how much I loved them. More than anything, I let go of myself, and cared for someone else. I put someone else before me. That was something I hadn't been doing thus far this Holiday season.

This past week has been a whirlwind.  Even though I didn't get the tree up, my spirits were lifted by talking to this family member. I realized what an amazing thing life is. I realized just how special my Savior's life is to me. This is the time of year we celebrate Christ's birth. His coming into the world to save the soul of men. What an amazing thing. Because this family told me they were pregnant I was able to focus on others. I was able to focus on the birth of my Savior, and all he's done for me.

As I get ready for Christmas tomorrow, I sit here next to my husband. No we don't have kids, no I don't have presents under a tree, I don't have elf on a shelf, I don't have last minute Christmas shopping to do, and I don't have a baby girl or boy wrapped in my arms. But I have the arms of my Savior wrapped around me. I have his strength, his love, his guidance, and his friendship. He's blessed me with the greatest thing nothing can buy; the love of my husband. He's given me my soulmate, my best friend, the love of my life, the pure joy in my heart, and the reason I wake up every day. He's given me the greatest gift I could ever ask for, the gift of everlasting love. Something that he freely gave to all.

Although I don't have a tree up, and Dave and I aren't wrapping gifts for little ones right now, I can find comfort in the love that my husband as for me. I can find peace in knowing that God is in control of my life, and as long as I follow him everything will work out as it should. It doesn't always work out like I want it to, but it always works out the way it needs to.

I hope each of you have a Merry Christmas, a wonderful Holiday, and a very Happy New Year. I hope as you spend time with family, friends, or by yourself, that you know that you are loved. That you have peace in your heart that your Savior loves you.  He died for you.  He came to this earth so many years ago, to live a life of serving so that we could have all that we do. Take time this Holiday season to thank him for the gifts that we have. Find peace in your life, and love in your heart, and have a very Merry Christmas.


Dec 5, 2013

To be "Well Loved"

I heard someone today say that their greatest wish for a friend in their life was for that friend to be "Well Loved."  What a beautiful wish.

This statement got me thinking about what it meant to be "Well Loved."  As I thought about this my sweet Dave came into my head and it made me smile.  I have had a few relationships in my life.  I have had really bad ones, some that were okay, and some that I even thought were Real love.  I thought I knew what love was back when I was in these relationships.  Maybe I even was in love, but I had never been Well Loved until I met Dave.  I now know what it means to be "Well Loved."  It's now my greatest wish for everyone else as well.

I know I've talked about Dave many times on this blog.  He's been my rock, my best friend, my biggest supporter, my strength when I've been weak, and my happiness when I'm sad.  He's truly my everything, and I can't imagine life without him.  He's the most amazing, loyal, hardworking, dedicated, and loving man I've ever known.  He's bright, driven, motivated, and best of all, he's nice.  

Dave embodies everything I wanted in a man as a little girl.  He's everything that my Dad hoped his little girl would one day have.  He's a lot like my Dad in so many ways which is why I think I love him so much.  And most of all, he treats me like I'm made of Gold. He's respectful, a gentleman, eloquent, strong, and he makes me feel SAFE, which is so important to me.

Let me tell you a little story about my Dave.  I know you've heard a lot, but this one is very recent, and meant to world to me.  For those of you that know Dave you know he's not dying to be the center of attention.  Dave lets me shine.  He lets me have the spotlight, and he sits in the wings supporting me.  He's always on my right side, but he let's me be the outgoing, spirited personality that I am.  We work very well with one another.  We're exact opposites, but perfectly complete.

A few months ago the Oprah Winfrey show called me again to see if I would do an update show.  This will be the 4th time I'm going to be on her show.  Every time I've gone on, I have gone on without Dave.  The main reason is  because we weren't married.  This time I wanted him to be with me.  I knew he wasn't going to like the idea, because he has no desire to be on TV.  I wanted him on for me though.  I wanted to show off my husband.  I wanted to show the world how proud I am of the man I married.  I wanted the world to see the incredible man that I get to share my life with.  I wanted him by my side on TV, just like he is in real life.

When I asked Dave about the show his first response was a resounding "NO!" It makes me smile to think about because I knew that's the answer I would get.  As another month went by while the show was getting things in order, I would bring it up every once in awhile and ask him again.  He would brush it off, and move onto the next thing.  I would always drop it knowing I would bring it up again.  Sneaky, I know.

As the show got closer, and things started to progress, I knew that they would be wanting to film soon.  I sat Dave down one night and bore my heart out to him.  I told him that I knew he had no desire to be on TV and let people see his life.  I told him that, that wasn't the reason I wanted him on.  I wanted to show the world how proud I am of the man I am married to.  I wanted to show off my life, and what I have.  I wanted to have the people understand who have watched my show in the past, how great my life has turned out.  I wanted to show a happy end to my story.  I wanted to show them how happy my life is.  I wanted to show them not only the woman I am proud to be, but the man that helped me get there.  That's why I wanted him on the show with me.

After a couple of days of letting him think about this, and having the cameras start showing up at the house, I brought it up again.  I asked him very sincerely if he would consider being on the show with me.  He hesitantly said he would.  I was beyond thrilled.  I don't think I have squeezed him that hard in a long time, and of course, Me being Me, I started to cry.  I thanked him over and over and told him how much it meant to me.  I knew he was doing it for me, and that meant the world to me.

When time came to film the episode, there was a part that was just for Dave.  They interviewed him for the show, about how he felt about certain things pertaining to me.  The questions were based a lot about how sick I am all the time, and how I struggle daily. It was about how he felt, and what he goes through watching me suffer.  As I watched the film of the questions he was asked I started to cry.  I have never been so deeply touched in all my life.  I knew then what it meant to be "Well Loved."

Dave is a very strong, and tough man.  He puts on a very good front for people, including me.  When he has hard days he never complains.  He never tells me when he's hurting, he never tells me if he's struggling, and he never whines about anything.  All he cares about is how I'm doing.  When he gets home from work, he instantly starts helping me with the house.  Dave does the dishes, the laundry, he cleans the bathroom, he basically does anything he can see that I need.  If I have had a tough day and he can see how weak I am, he doesn't even need to be asked, he just simply does anything I need.  He will make dinner for us, go grocery shopping, vacuum, and fold the clothes.  Last night he sat on the floor for 3 hours and put necklaces together for me because I was just too exhausted.  I'm crying right now thinking about how much he does for me.

Now that you know that let me share with you something that he said during this interview.  He was asked "How do you cope with Jill being sick?"  He said that he constantly worries about me.  There isn't a minute of his day that goes by while he is away from me that he isn't worried that something is wrong.  He is constantly concerned that I am doing too much, or that I am in pain.  He is always wondering about what I am doing, or what I need him to do.  He said that I am on his mind 24/7.  This is how he copes though....

"I cope with Jill being sick by being with her.  She is so much fun, and so positive that I don't really have to cope.  She is so happy that even when she's hurting she's smiling.  Jill's positivity makes coping with all that we go through so easy.  Our life is hard because of what she goes through, but you would never know it if you met her.  She's always thinking of everyone else, and even when she's had the hardest day she still tries to do everything for me when I get home.  She's just so much fun.  So I wouldn't say I cope, because that sounds like I'm suffering through it.  I would just say that we have the best life ever because of the love that we share, and how much fun my wife is.  She makes me happy even when she's hurting, and she makes life fun even when it's hard."

Wow.  I feel like I put my husband through so much.  I constantly worry that he feels jipped in this world because a month after he married me I got sick, and that will never change.  I worry all the time that we don't do more of the things that he would like to do.  How wrong was I?  

To know that my husband loves our life so much, and that he doesn't mind any of it was incredible to hear.  To know that he loves everything about me, and thinks I'm happy all the time blew me away.  I think I'm a brat at times because there are days when I just don't want to deal with being sick anymore!  I feel like I complain to him all the time, and make life miserable.  LOL  Funny how you see things so differently about yourself.

Dave truly loves me.  He loves everything about me, and he wouldn't change a thing.  It's amazing because I feel the same way about him.  I'm so lucky, and I truly do have the most amazing marriage on the planet.  I can't believe how blessed I am to have my soul mate as my best friend.  I never thought I would have a life like this.  Even when it's hard it's fun.  Dave is right.  Our life is hard, but we enjoy every minute.  Not only do I know what it's like to finally be Well Loved; I know what it's like to Love Well

Nov 6, 2013

Being Nice

I learned a very valuable lesson today.  It's a lesson we all should learn by the age of 5, but unfortunately, in certain situations we forget.  My mother taught me very well, but I still falter at times.  Being Nice to people is one of the greatest parts of our character.  It can define the person we are.  I'm not sure if I'll ever forget the lesson I learned today.  I certainly hope that I never forget again.

This morning I turned on my TV and all the channels had been taken away.  The only screen that was on was a man from comcast telling me that some changes had taken place and I would now need a new system to be able to watch TV.  Well, being a morning news person who wakes up at 5am to watch Dan and Keri, I was a little irritated.  Of course I tried everything I could to see if I could fix this, but in the end the man on the screen was right and I had to call in.

As I was dialing the numbers I was already pretty irritated about this situation.  Not the best terms to call someone, I know.  As I waited during the hold music for someone to pick up, I got even more furious.  Then finally someone picked up.  Of course this person was going to get the brunt of my frustration because "Well gosh dang it, he's the person who shut off my TV!!"  

I started my conversation by giving them a whole slew of my info that I'm sure they already had (right?!)  Finally when it got to be my turn to tell him why I was calling, I was so irritated and he could tell (the poor kid).  I was so upset and couldn't figure out why my TV was shut off.  As he struggled to explain it to me I got even more irate because I realized that he wasn't quite sure what was going on.  Then he started to tell me about how it could be turned back on.  

"There's this package (for $25 more).."  or "There's this promotion.."  "We can upgrade you to this for a small fee.."  and on and on.  I was so mad.  I just wanted to watch the stupid news!!  Finally when he had tried to sell me $50 more worth of pointless products that I probably already had, I said, "Isn't there a program that I can do that is the exact same cost at what I'm doing now?!"  Finally he reluctantly said, "Because of the changes made to your area that is no longer an option."  By this time I could tell that he was irritated with me too.

Right then my husband walked in.  I asked if I could put the man on hold so I could explain it to Dave.  Well Dave had just woken up, and so I wasn't making perfect sense especially because I was mad.  Because of my irritation, Dave became irritated and that started an issue between us.  Ugh!  The conversation ended with Dave saying he had to get ready and for me to do whatever I wanted. I got back on the phone and told the guy I didn't want anything if he couldn't give me what I had before.  (What a 3 year old I acted like.  I mean if I couldn't have my toy, then I'm not going to play with you even though you didn't take my toy!)  Boy was this a bad way to start the day.

I took Dave to school and apologized, he apologized, and I gave him a kiss goodbye telling him I loved him.  As I drove home in tears because of the way I had acted all morning I realized what a brat I had been.  Not only had I caused problems for Dave, the man on the phone, but I had caused problems for myself.  I hurt someone over the phone and I hurt my best friend.  Goodness, I was such a snot.

When I got home I washed my face and dried my tears.  I went to call Comcast again.  As I waited during the hold music I said a little prayer asking God to keep me calm.  Then Maurice answered the phone.  I don't know if I would have had the same experience with anyone else.

Maurice said "Hello" and asked me all of the standard questions.  Then he did something else.  When I told him what I was calling about he said he had to look some stuff up.  They normally would've put me on hold, but Maurice didn't.  He asked me where I lived.  I said Utah.  He asked if it was cold, and I said it snowed yesterday.  Now mind you, I still wasn't too happy to be on this phone call, but Maurice was softening my heart.  I then asked him where he was from.  He told me he was from Mexico.  This started one of the greatest conversations I have ever had.

As we chit chatted back and forth, not even worrying about the issues I was having, I found myself caring about the other person on the phone.  I found myself truly enjoying my conversation with Maurice.  He told me that he had just become a new Dad.  His little boy is 2 months old.  This tugged at my heart strings, as I told him that "No, I don't have children.  My husband and I aren't able to have kids of our own."  He said something that no one has ever said back to me before.  He said, "Wow, that must be really hard for you.  Are you okay?"  It took me so off guard that I started to cry.  I didn't even tell him if I was okay I just said thank you for asking and responding like that.  Most people get stuck and don't know what to say.  His kindness touched my heart so deeply.

During the next hour we spent on the phone together I learned about his tough living situation and how scary it is in Mexico.  I also learned that he loves his little boy like nothing in this world.  I learned that he loves his wife.  I also learned that he has seen pictures of Utah, and of all the places in the world he would like to move his family here.  Then he said something so profound.  I was telling him that we have a large latino community in Utah, and what incredible people they are.  The love they have for life, how hard they work, and what kind people they are touches me deeply.  He said this, "I have found that you can find good people in any race, or ethnicity. You just have to look for the good in people."  WOW.

As I thought about Maurice's humble living situation, and all he goes through, I was blown away on his outlook on life.  All that he goes through and he still looks for, and believes that there is good in everyone.  What a beautiful soul Maurice has.  He touched my heart today, and I'm so thankful I talked to him.

When we finally got to my issue, he was able to help me, but not only that, he also gave me an amazing deal.  He gave me what I needed for cheaper than I am paying now.  What a blessing.  Then I ended by telling him that I would remember this conversation always, and that he would be in my prayers.  Then he started to cry, and said, "You Pray?"  I said "Of course I do."  Then he said, "Jill, thank you for praying for me.  I don't think anyone has ever prayed for me."  What a sweetheart.

He told me that he hoped one day I would get to talk to him again, and I said the same.  I told him that I hope he gets to make it to Utah one day and see all the things he loved in the pictures.  We ended our conversation and said goodbye to one another.  

I got off the phone and just sat on my floor and smiled.  Then I got on my knees and asked God to bless Maurice and his family.  I had to pray for him, because I told him that I would.  I had to keep my promise.  I knew it meant a lot to him, and I know he means a lot to God.

I was so irritated when I called the 1st time, and it got me nowhere.  I was still irritated when I called the 2nd time, but because of Maurice being Nice and Kind, my heart was softened and I was able to forget my problems and truly care about someone else.  What an amazing thing kindness is.  It truly can change people.  It changed me today.

I'm so grateful for this beautiful example and lesson that this sweet Mexican man taught me today.  He taught me that being nice will get you a lot further in life than being mean.  What a great lesson to learn (even though I should've learned it when I was 5).  I needed a reminder, and today I got one.  I thought I was pretty good at being positive, but even I need a reminder class at times.  Thanks Maurice!!

Jul 7, 2013


Tonight I had to run a few errands and one of those included a trip to the Pharmacy.  As I'm walking through the aisles, I walk past some pregnancy tests, which I pick up, look at, and place in my cart.  I don't know why I'm buying them, but for the simple fact that I had a random menstral cycle back in May, for the 1st time in years and I haven't had one since, so I thought what the heck?  Now I know as soon as I put these in my cart that I'm going to use them and they are going to give me a big negative, but for some reason I decide to put myself through this pain anyway.

As I'm checking out the guy grabs my box and says, "So are you hoping for, or hoping not?"  It took my by surprise but I said, "I'm hoping for."  He then goes on to tell me that his girlfriend just took one and they didn't want another child because they just had one, but that the pregnancy test told her that she was pregnant.  "So I guess I'm going to be a dad again."  I looked at him and smiled although in my head I was screaming.  I was holding back tears with all my might, and I was cursing God at the top of my lungs but no one could hear it.  I managed to say, "Well I don't have any so this would be my 1st."  He ends the conversation by saying, "Congratulations."  I grabbed my package and I couldn't help it, a tear fell from my eye.  I left by saying, "Thank you."

As I drove home I cried the entire way.  I got home and sat in the driveway with my package just crying.  I couldn't get out of my car.  Then I started to question God.  "Why God?  Why can't I have children, when I actually want them?"  "Why won't you allow me to have the joy that a child would bring?  Am I not a good parent?  Would I not raise a child the way you want?"  "I know it can't be Dave because he's perfect, so it must be me that you're mad at.  So what did I do?  What did I do that was so wrong that you won't allow me to be a mother?!"  Tears are streaming down my face, and I'm shaking a little bit.  This isn't fair.

I get out of the car and walk to the backyard where my clothes are drying and let the wind blow my hair.  I pulled out my phone to distract me, and started looking at instagram.  (Wrong thing to do when you're sad about being infertile.)  As I scrolled through the pictures of kids and the parents, parents taking adoring pictures of their kids, and of a brand new baby that had just been born that day, I started to cry all over again.  My tears were hot against my burning cheeks because I was so furious.  All over again that anger rushed through my body and I wanted to punch something so bad, but I had to control myself.  I went in my laundry room and started cleaning.  It was the only thing I could think to do.

As I walked back to my living room, I stood there with my pharmacy bag, and looked at my husband sleeping on our bed.  My heart was filled with the warmest feeling of love that I wasn't prepared for.  Even though I don't know God's plan, in that moment I knew he loved me.  And because he loved me, everything was going to be okay.  As I went and shut the door to my bedroom, I looked at my sleeping Dave and smiled.  Oh, how I love that man more than he knows.  How I wish I could give him the children I know he wants.

As I went and took the pregnancy tests and they came back negative, my heart didn't really fall.  It wasn't anything that I wasn't expecting.  I knew it wouldn't read the way I wanted.  I knew it was a waste of money right from the start, but at least I had an intense feeling of love from my Father in Heaven.  If I couldn't be thankful for anything else in that moment, I can be thankful that he loves me.  He loves me even after I spent the last 30 minutes cursing him.

Infertility is hard, and it's a daily battle.  It crushes me to see people have children that they don't really want when I want a child more than life itself.  It's hard to see single mother's have children, when Dave and I are so ready to have that moment.  I wish so badly that I could change how things are, and make it right, but it's not in my control.  I can't control God's plan.  Only he is in charge of that, and I just have to make peace with that.  It doesn't change how hard infertility is though.  Because it is the hardest thing I have ever dealt with.

Jun 26, 2013

Being a "Grown-Up"

I just turned 29 this month, and it got me thinking...what do I want to be when I'm "Grown-Up"?  A lot of people might think that I should have this figured out because 29 is pretty much all grown up, but I must disagree.  I still feel like a little kid.  I still play with toys, I still play dress up, I play house, and I still play with my friends. 

I'm learning that most people don't feel like they are a true "adult" until after the age of 40.  In all actuality, I'm starting to wonder what an actual "Adult" feels like?  Does that mean that you stop playing, or loving life just because you're living it?  Because if that's an adult, then I think I'll pass. 

For those of you who know my Dad or my Grandmother, you will understand a lot about why I am the way I am.  I have the most amazing father who still acts like he's 16.  He cracks me up.  He still plays jokes, still sings as he walks around the house, still jumps out from behind a door to scare the crap out of you, he still prank calls people, and he rides around on his motorcycle without his helmet because he thinks he invincible.  If these aren't signs of being a "kid" I don't know what is.  All I know is that when I'm 58 like he is, I hope I still enjoy and love life as much as he does.

People comment on my style all the time.  It's almost a daily thing when I go out and about, that someone stops me to tell me that they like what I have on.  I'm not bragging when I say that, I'm simply stating it because after they tell me they like it, this statement normally follows, "I could never wear something like that, but it looks amazing on you."  I always follow this up with, "Why on earth couldn't you wear this?"  They smile and say something like, "I just couldn't pull it off."  or "It's a little to loud for me."  I just smile and say thank you.  Moments like these make me so grateful for my Grandmother.

Margaret Welsh is one of the most fabulous women I have ever known.  She still to this day wears loud, and obnoxious clothing, big bold jewelry, and bright fashions.  Her closets are something I swoon over, and her jewelry is something I covet.  She is truly my style inspiration, and I like to think that I'm a lot like my Grandmother.  This week she is in the hospital because at age 92 she has gotten a little sick.  I love her to death, but I have a feeling that her time is coming close. It breaks my heart, but makes me so thankful for the time I have had with her.  She is beautiful, and has the most amazing stories of anyone I have ever known.  Everyone who gets a chance to meet her, loves her.  You'll never have a dull moment when you're with Margaret.  I can only hope that I can live the life that she has lived, and live to tell about it.

All of this being said, I had to share a few pictures of a woman I have never met, but is one of my Heroes.  She is truly beautiful.  I love that at her age she still isn't "Grown-Up" and she is still as loud, and fun as ever!  So this post is to her, where ever she is, and whomever she is.  She inspires me, and I hope I still dress like this and am as fabulous as she is when I'm her age!  Hopefully by then, I'll figure out what I want to be when I'm "Grown-Up".

May 31, 2013

Flowered Pants and the Best Month of my Life

If you follow me on Facebook you know that I have been out of town for the last month.  My husband and I have been staying with my sister's family in Spokane Washington while Davey studied and prepared for the MCAT (the test to get into medical school) which he took yesterday.  It was truly the greatest month of my life, and if I could start from the beginning right now I would.  I'm not sure Dave feels the same. :)

We got there the 1st week in May, and seeing my sister was amazing.  Her husband is a doctor as well and he just finished up all his schooling and got a permanent job in Spokane.  They have a beautiful home, where they let us invade, and they have 4 beautiful children.  From the moment we got there things were crazy, hectic, and so much fun!  Dave was stuck in the basement in a office studying from 9am to 7pm every single day but Sunday, and I had my sister to play with, and man did we play!  This is the longest time I have got to spend with my sister and her family since I lived with them in medical school when I was 18.  

For those of you that don't know, Jamie is my best friend.  She and I are as close as any sisters can be.  She's truly my everything (other than Dave) and I have looked up to her my entire life.  I love her children as my own, and so this was set up to be awesome even before we got there. 

While Dave studied everyday I got to hang out with the kids and Jamie.  After we got all the kids to school the day was ours.  We conquered Spokane.  We shopped till we dropped, went to kids activities, we even went horseback riding (or she did).
  :)  We really did have a blast.  On one of our adventures, we were walking through Target, trying on clothes, when out of the blue the Flowered Pants were hanging out of the corner of my eye.  I about died.  I think I stopped breathing and gasped.  I grabbed them to see if I could find my size, and of course they had every size available (because who really buys flowered pants?)  So I grabbed my size and showed my sis.  She said, "Those are you soooooo YOU!  Go try them on!)  So of course I run to the dressing room for the 8th time (I think the girl at the dressing room hated me) and put them on.  

As I looked in the mirror I squealed with delight!  I ran out of the dressing room, threw my hands in the hair and said, "James, what do you think?"  Like any good "sidekick" shopper, she said I looked "Amazing, and you HAVE to have them!"  So, what was I to do?!  I threw them in the cart and added them to the pile of clothes I had already collected.  3 hours later, we were checking out with our treasures.  As we got in the car I said, "I can't wait for Dave's reaction when I put them on."  Jamie just laughed because she knew.  She knew. 

We got home and decided that we wouldn't show the pants off until the big reveal the following day on "date night".  That would be the perfect time to show him the amazing pants!  In the morning Dave headed downstairs and Jamie had errands to run.  I jumped in the tub, got all cleaned up and put on the pants.  I ran downstairs to show Dave, and with the best Dave style he said, "Well, those are the ugliest pants I've ever seen, and they are sooooo, totally, my wife."  :)  That was all I needed!  I jumped up and down, wrapped my arms around his neck and said, "I know! Right?! They're just so fabulous!"  "Well that's one way to put them."  I didn't care, he couldn't bring down this girl, I kissed him and said, "How does it feel to have the hottest wife in town?!"  Before he could respond I ran out of the office, giddy with delight.
Right at that time Jamie was getting home from her photo shoot, so of course since the camera was already out, I said "Let's take some pics of me!"  She laughed, but of course agreed.  We started shooting all over the house and decided that, Only "Jill-Pill" could pull those pants off.
So what do you all think?  Am I just the funkiest chick ever?  Is my style so over the top that it's terrible?  Or did I nail it like I think I did?  Whatever you think, you're totally entitled to, because it won't change one bit of how much I love these pants.  :)  I think they are my most favorite item I own!

That was just a sample of one of the many great moments that happened this month.  It was so wonderful to be with my sister and brother in law.  Not to mention my brother and sister in law that welcomed their beautiful new baby girl, Emma; into the world.  That was a beautiful moment that I'm so grateful I got to be there for.  I would post pics, but I'm not sure if that would be appropriate. She is perfect, petite, and beautiful.  I love her more than words can express.  I think being an Aunt is the greatest calling in the world.

Speaking of being the "Best Aunt" I went to pick up my nephew from his last day of school and his teacher didn't know me, one of the moms (that I had never met) said, "Mrs.  _____  It's okay! That's the favorite Aunt Jilly."  I loved it more than I can say.  It made my day to know that Charlie had told his teacher that his favorite aunt would be picking him up from school. It takes talent to be the favorite aunt in my family with so many amazing sisters in law.  :)  Little to say, it was an amazing month.

Dave did amazing on his MCAT and is now in the process of applications and interviewing.  Thank you to all of you for your thoughts and prayers that have been with him and our family during this time.  Even with a 
hospital visit while I was there (my stupid stomach) he was still able to focus, study, and nail the test!  We may end up in Spokane for Med School after all.  We're keeping our fingers crossed! 

I can't describe in words what an amazing month we had, and how bittersweet it was to walk in our home this evening.  I have an amazing sister, and I am missing her like crazy, but it's onto our next adventure in life.  Thank you again for your love and understanding of my crazy life.  Thank you for following my life and crazy stories, and letting me into your homes even if it's just on a computer screen.  I feel so blessed to be in them.  I have the greatest followers on the planet.  :)  I hope you all have a great weekend, and wonderful start to your summer!!

May 18, 2013

Not Happy Just Real and Raw

I need to preface this little post.  I have an amazing life. I have amazing family, friends, loved ones, and doctor's.  I am beyond blessed.  There is not a week that goes by that I don't receive an email from someone who knows me (or feels like they do) from Oprah, my Blog, places I have spoken at, and/or magazines/TV.  Thank you to each one of you who tell me how I have touched your life and made it easier for you to get through a tough time.  I try to respond to all my emails, but if I ever can't please know that your kindness touches my heart, warms my soul, and makes me so grateful to be alive.  The truth is, whatever you may get out of my writings is coming through God and not me.  He lets the things I say touch you, not me. There also isn't a day when I don't get on my knees and thank him for giving me a second chance, because I know I shouldn't be here. That being said, here we go....

I'm in Washington on Vacation and having a great time with family and friends.  This last week was a bugger though.  I ended up in the Hospital out here and was there for 3 days.  I wasn't able to keep anything down, and was nauseated 24/7.  Now I know those of you whom read this blog know that nausea is just a part of my day to day, you also know that these "health" issues are part of my day to day as well, but gosh dammit, I get so sick of them!!!  I just want to eat what I want and not have to worry if I have a carbonated drink in my hand to help it go down.  I don't want to have to carry "Throw-Up Bags" in my car at all times, and I hate having to stop 12 times on a trip to WA to pull over so I can throw up on the side of the road.  ARGH!!  It's so frustrating.  

I want to wake up, get out of my bed, stand up and stretch, and not instantly fall back to my butt because I'm so dizzy.  I would like to be able to eat enough food in my life so I'm not dizzy non-stop, so I don't constantly have to deal with vitamin shots, or get IV injections of iron.  I would like my leg, arm, and eye, to stop twitching 24/7 since December because I'm so deficient in vitamins; NO matter how many I shove down my throat.  I would like a doctor to run blood tests and find out what in the hell is going on inside this body of mine.  I would like to simply wake up, have energy, eat like a normal person, and have 1 normal day.  

Now when I say normal, I'm not saying I want to hike to the highest peak of the highest mountain in Utah; I just want to wake up, be able to do my dishes, clean my house, and get my laundry done, without having to take 10 breaks in between.  I would love to not get winded when walking up the stairs (I thought that would only happen when I was 300lbs! NOT NOW) and have to stop half way to grab the wall and breathe.  I would like to be able to do Yoga, Boxing, Running, all the things I used to be able to do before 2009 came along.  I would like parts of my life back.  I just want to be a normal woman with normal challenges.  I mean I have the money probs, the school probs, the 800 things to get done in a day probs, now all I want is that my health issues give me a break for even just a year.  JUST GIVE ME A BREAK!!!

On most days I can suck this up an go about my day and not think about it and just be, but this week sent me over the edge. I'm so done with hospitals, and surgeries, I could vomit (literally!) I'm so mad I could punch a hole in the wall (except I'm to weak too. Don't feel sorry about that one.)

Okay, thank you for letting me vent.  I just needed to get out some frustrations and now I can go back to doing it with a smile on my face, well tomorrow anyway. Have a great weekend y'all!!

Apr 23, 2013


 People have been asking me about instagram....I wanted to let your hearts not be troubled, for I have one.  :)  You can follow me @jillstrasburg

 I can't wait to see all your pics!!

Apr 15, 2013

Jill's 3rd Annual Live Day (written by Dave)

Jilly asked me tonight if I wanted to write the post for her annual live day. My initial reaction was a resounding "No!" But then I started thinking, and changed my mind. What a better opportunity then to be able to thank all of you for giving me my life back.
You see, Jilly is my entire world and without her my world would cease to exist, or so it feels like. There were often times when I believed Jilly was going to die, and I would literally shut down. That girl that all of you love so much, is my entire life. Without her, life would not be worth living. So the thought of losing her almost killed me.

When Jilly got sick, I kind of shut down and didn't know what to do. My new bride, the love of my life, and my very best friend was being taken from me. I was mad at God, I was mad at myself, I was mad at the situation, and I truly didn't know how to save her. Luckily I have a wife who refused to give up and die. That girl wasn't leaving here without a fight and I'm so grateful for that. That's where all of you come in.

When Jilly didn't have anywhere else to turn, she made one of the most humble moves she could. She admitted we couldn't do it alone and she asked for help. You amazing people came through and saved her life. You saved the girl of my dreams, and gave me my life back. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I can never repay your love, kindness, generosity, and giving hearts. I will forever be in your debt.

So on this 3rd annual "Live Day" as my sweetheart likes to call it, I want to thank you. The people that I will never meet, the people who so freely gave me my life back. Thank you for saving my wife so that I could continue to live, for without that amazing woman that we all know and love, I am nothing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving her a chance to live this beautiful life of hers, and know that she doesn't waste one moment of the gift you have given her.

Happy "Live Day" my sweetheart. I love you more than words can express. I'm grateful that you are alive, and so thankful that you are mine. I love you more than life itself. Here's to another beautiful year, and all the rest that God is willing to give us. You make this life better than I could've ever hoped for. You make life so much fun. I love you with everything I have. Thank you for being my wife.

Apr 8, 2013

The inablity to have Children

This weekend was great, but also very tough.  Every 6 months my church holds a conference where our leaders speak to us in 5 sessions for 2 days.  I'm always excited about this conference, but I'm also hate them at the same time.  They always bring so much happiness and sadness.  Without fail they always speak about the most important thing in my life, and the thing that I will never be able to do.  Have children.

I was in the car driving when a lady got up to speak.  I was listening to her on the radio and she started talking about how women are the most amazing creatures that God ever created, for they are "prized above all else because they bring life into this world."  Instantly my heart sunk and I gulped out loud.  My eyes started to fill with tears, and I soon had to blink just so I could still see while driving.  I missed the rest of her talk, because I was too busy screaming at God.  (Trust me he's used to this.  He knows me and I get in heated arguments with him quite frequently.)  I'm sure the people driving by me thought I was crazy because I was crying my eyes out and talking to myself.  lol  I hope I gave them a good laugh.

As I sat there in my car screaming at God and how horrible I think he is for sending me here and giving me the most amazing husband on the planet, and blessing me with a love for children that very few possess, and then not allowing me to bring my own child into this world.  How cruel and unjust can you be?!  Aren't you supposed to be a God of love?  Well then how can you send children to mother's who don't want them or father's who abuse them, or drug addicts for parents; yet you won't send me a child that would be loved beyond compare!  I don't understand you, and quite frankly I don't want.  I want you to beg for my forgiveness and give me a child!!!

As the tears streamed down my face I was suddenly filled with the most incredible love.  My heart was calmed and at peace, and I knew my Heavenly Father was letting me know that he loved me.  That he heard my cries, and screams, and that he understood.  Even though it didn't "fix" me, it fixed my heart at that moment.  I realized that he has a plan for everyone, and I have to let things go that I can't control.  This is not in my control, and I have to have faith that he will work it out.  No matter how frustrating it is, or how badly it hurts my heart, I have to turn this hurt, and this pain, over to my Father in Heaven.  Only he and my Savior know what I am going through, so I must ask for their love and support.  

Even though I felt his love, it didn't make everything okay and I don't think he was trying to make it all better.  I think he just wanted me to know that I wasn't alone.  That in my darkest times he is there for me.  I just don't understand how he would spare my life and give me the opportunity to continue living and then not allow me to have children.  It crushes my soul, and there isn't a day that goes by where I don't think about it.

I know how much it breaks my heart, and I can't imagine how it hurts my husband.  The entire time we were dating we talked about the children we would have and what amazing parents would be.  How much we would love them and how we would raise them, only to find out that he is never going to get the opportunity to be a father.  He holds it together for me, but I see the pain in his eyes when he see's babies, or when he plays with his niece's and nephews.  How could God have done this to my husband?  I can't help but blame myself.  I feel so terrible about it, even though I know that Dave would have married me even if he knew we couldn't have kids.  He loves me for me and he married me because he loved me, not because I could or could not be a mother.

I know whatever is supposed to happen will happen and I know I have to have faith in God and leave it up to him, but that doesn't change the hurt and the pain.  It doesn't change the tears that come every single month on cue.  It doesn't change the horrible feelings I have toward myself all the time.  And it doesn't change how guilty I feel whenever I look at my sweet husband.

I'm sorry this isn't a very happy and uplifting post, but this is what I am struggling with right now.  This is very real in my life, and a situation that I deal with daily.  Please be grateful for the children you have and love them like today was their last day on earth.  You don't know how truly blessed you are to be a mother or father.  And to those of you who understand how I feel, know that you are loved and that some little blonde spaztic girl in Utah understands your pain, and I pray for you.  Hopefully one day we will all find peace.

Mar 27, 2013

Thank You Mitchell

These past couple of weeks I have had the opportunity to make a necklace for a mother who lost her little boy.  I didn't know the story behind it, only what his favorite things are and what charms I would need to look for.  

As I posted the pictures of the finished necklace on my website today I started to get so many comments about a boy who had touched so many lives and that had to be the boy that I was making the necklace for.  Me being me, I started to investigate to see who this little boy was and not only him, but who this amazing mother was that I created this necklace for.

As I got to their facebook page and started to read through the story of Mitchell I was touched so deeply.  There was a picture of him looking out the window with the sun shining in on his face.  When his dad asked him what he was thinking he didn't want to talk about it, just wanted to be with his thoughts.  I don't know what Mitchell went through, but I remember those days.  I remember when Dave would be gone to school and I would have enough energy to get up from the couch and open the blinds. I would sit at the kitchen table and let the sun come in on my face, and I would wonder how many more days God was going to let me see the sun rise.  How many more mornings he was going to let me kiss my husband goodbye, and how many more sunny days I was going to have shining on my face through those kitchen windows.  Lucky for me, God chose to keep me here for now.

As I read the story of Mitchell and watched his eyes, and his face, and the way he just "knew" things I started to cry.  I wasn't crying for the loss of a little boy, but I was crying because I know those feelings and I remember thinking of what an old soul I must have for me to have the thoughts and know the things that God allowed me to know at that time.  I feel so blessed that I was given a second chance to continue to live this life.

As I made this necklace I've been moved to tears multiple times. Not because I knew the story, because I didn't until tonight, but as I have been making these "Memory Necklaces" as I have started to call them on my jewelry site, I have been touched by the love that the family members, friends, and loved ones, of our passed loved ones.  The love that they have for the people that they have lost moves me to tears and makes me even more grateful that I was given life.  It makes me so grateful that on the day where I was given a choice to choose to go home and be with my Heavenly Father, that he let me see Dave, and that I chose to stay here.  

I don't know what pain and hardships I will have to endure on this earth.  I don't know how long this sick little body of mine will continue to keep going, but I know I am thankful for everyday that I get.  I am thankful for every morning that I wake up and get to open my blinds and feel the sun on my face.  I am thankful for the beautiful smile I see on my husbands face everyday when he walks in from work, and I'm truly grateful for the lives that not only I get to touch, but that touch me on a daily basis.

I don't know what plan God has for me on this earth, but I know I am here for a reason.  I know he allowed me to make the choice to live so that I could accomplish some plan of his, and as long as he lets me keep breathing I am going to do it. 

So thank you to each of you who touch my life, thank you to each of you who trust me to make jewelry for those people that you love, and thank you to each of you who have lost someone, but continue to go on, and love life, and embrace each day with a passion that only God understands.  You are truly amazing examples to me, and I'm thankful for your stories, your love, and your compassion.

Thank you Mitchell, for touching me tonight, and that you to Mitchell's mom's dear friend who asked me to make a necklace that would change the way I look at the world yet again, and remind me of so many reasons why I am thankful I chose to live that day.
Jilly Bean Jewelry 

Mar 17, 2013

Forgive and Forget...Truly

As I get older I have come to some realizations.  Sour candy doesn't taste as good as it did when I was 5.  I actually like smoked oysters.  I still love big, bright colors, like I did when I was 10, and forgiving people isn't as always as easy as it was when I was younger.

When I was in Kindergarten, my friend and I could be playing on the playground and she would "ditch" me to go play on the monkey bars with someone else.  Yes, I felt cheated, and used, and like a little fat "unpopular" girl that no one wanted to play with, but 10 minutes later when recess was over and we were back inside, we were friends again making a craft project.  Forgiving was easy.  It didn't mean that my feelings didn't get hurt, I guess I was just more resilient back then.

As I have gotten older I have learned a few things.  I have learned that I care less about what others want me to be, and more about who I want to be.  I have learned that my waist size doesn't determine the size of my heart.  I have learned who I can trust, and who I can share only "surface" details with, and I have learned who my true friends are, and who they're not.  I have learned who I can depend on this life, the people that truly matter to me, and that I will actually invest time on.  I've also learned that when one of those people hurt you, it's the hardest to forgive; even when you too have done something to hurt them.

In my daily reading of one of my 100's of self help books, I came across a quote that hit me very hard this morning.  "Most of us have to do our forgiving while we are being forgiven."  That was so huge to me because I realized, "Yeah Jill, you're not perfect.  You screw up, and even though you're mad, the other person is just as mad at you."  It never clicked to me that while I was trying to forgive someone who had hurt me, that someone else, or the same person, may be trying to forgive me.  

We all do things that hurt each other.  The majority of the time we don't mean to offend, or hurt another person.  We are human though, and we are going to.  We are going to offend no matter how hard we try.  We're not in control of how another human being reacts to our actions, but we are in control of ourselves.  We are in control of saying "I'm Sorry" when we've done something wrong.  You are in control of making the situation as right as you possibly can, but once you have done all you can, you have no more control.

I guess what I didn't realize is that even when I screw up at times (which is a lot) and I hurt someone, and I know I have hurt them; I will apologize and try to make it right, but at the same time I have learned that, that is not always enough for me.  I tend to hold grudges and have bad feelings about something completely unrelated to the screw up that I made.  Now is that fair?  I quite frankly don't know.  I don't think a lot of things in this life are fair, but this is how I feel, and I'm just being honest about that.  

Sometimes I hurt people, but at the same time they have hurt me.  They have hurt me without even knowing, and although I will do my part and apologize, I still have to take my own time to work through my issues on forgiving them.  I don't have to let them know about it, because it's MY OWN issue.  It has nothing to do with them.  They probably don't even know that they have hurt me, and they don't need to know.  It's my issue that I have to come to terms with and either be okay with or not be okay with.  This is part of growing up and learning to be the bigger person.

During this process of me letting go, and forgiving them, I don't need to go to them and say, "Hey by the way I want you to know that I forgive you too." because that's going at the situation with bad intentions.  That's trying to make YOU feel better, and get revenge.  And trust me, revenge is a lot different than forgiveness.  Revenge is NEVER a road you want to take.  It only ends in sorrow.  But acknowledging in yourself that 1. You have been hurt, and 2. That you have to forgive them within yourself, before this relationship can ever hope to have a chance again; is a HUGE step.  It can't be forced, it can't be put on a time limit, and it's okay if they have forgiven you, but you have yet to forgive them.  You don't need to tell them you haven't dealt with it yet, you simply thank them for their forgiveness, and say that you still need sometime.  Simple as that. (Yeah, so simple. Right?!)

These are the things I am learning as an adult, having adult relationships.  Relationships are hard, especially when you let someone into your trust zone and they hurt you.  Trust me my friends, that is hard to forgive, but for you to ever get on with your life, YOU HAVE TO FORGIVE THEM. You have to work it through for YOU. You don't have to have them in your life anymore, but you do have to forgive them for you to ever be able to move on as a full functioning human being.  You have to forgive them to be the best you, that you can be, and isn't that what we all really want from this life?  We just want to be the "Best" that we can possibly be.  

So let it go, move on, choose to have them in your life or not, either way forgive and forget.  I promise you will be happier when you do.  It doesn't have to be today, or tomorrow.  You have to work it through and it has to be in your time frame, but you need to do it, FOR YOU.  You need to love every second of this life, and you can't do that with resentment and hurt in your heart.

Mar 9, 2013

The "Fiction" of "Falling in Love"

 I'm reading a book called "The 5 Love Languages".  For the majority I know it's true, but a lot of it makes me sad, and also makes me realize that Dave and I do not have the normal marriage.  For that 1 fact, I am eternally grateful.

The other day in the kitchen I was making dinner and Dave and I were discussing how our 4 year Anniversary was coming up in a couple of weeks.  That's 5 1/2 years of us being together. (Now please know that I don't claim to know everything about love, and I realize that 5 1/2 years is a VERY SHORT time in the big scheme of things).  As we sat there chatting while I whipped up some spaghetti, I made the comment, "Isn't it amazing how I still feel like I just married you yesterday?  I love you just as much as I did the day I said yes, and even more if that is possible.  I still love all your little things you do, and nothing that you do really ever bothers me enough to get mad.  You leaving your clothes on the floor or towel on the ground are things that I would miss so much if you were gone, and they are things that I love about you, because they ARE YOU."  

Dave got a little smile on his face and he said, "You know babe, it is crazy.  I feel the exact same way about you."

I understand that what Dave and I went through during the 1st year of our marriage really changed the way our marriage would be.  After a month of being married, and almost losing the "love of your life" you tend to not sweat the small stuff.  The toilet seat being left up doesn't matter, and the dishes in the sink can wait over cuddling on the couch watching a movie.  You learn that time together is much more important than time spent worrying over all the other miniscule things in life.

As I read this book they talk about "Falling in Love" and that it lasts as the most 2 years.  The thought blew my mind.  I feel like I'm still "falling in love" with Dave.  Everyday he does something that makes my heart go pitter patter, and he makes me bite my lip.  Every day I find myself starring at him while just thinking about how much I love him, until something happens to make me snap out of it.  I believe that I'm never NOT falling in love with him.  Every day is another day that I get to fall more in love with my husband and I'm so grateful for that.

Now I know there truly are 5 love languages.  Dave has his as much as I have mine.  The thing is though, that if one of us do something outside of the other person's love language we are able to acknowledge that they are still trying.  Not only that, but Dave and I have the most amazing communication.  There is nothing that we don't talk about, or that I feel I can't share with him.  We are constantly talking about what is important to us, and what the other person can do to help us feel more loved and more important.  It never irritates either of us to hear that the other person needs a little more of this or a little more of that, we just look at it as a way to love each other more.
I was very lucky when I found Dave.  I found a man who is not only my best "guy friend", but he is also my lover.  He is the most unselfish man I have ever known.  His main goal in this life is to provide for me, and make me happy.  Everything he does is based around the thought, "will this make Jilly feel more loved?"  I never knew that existed until I met him.  Not only did I not know it existed, but I didn't know that I was capable of loving a man that same way.

For those of you who know me, I tend to be selfish and self centered at times.  I love shopping for myself, I love cooking for myself, I love taking time to do the things that I love, and I absolutely HATE doing the stuff that needs to be done.  Now, because I love my husband, and I love other people I choose to serve, but not always as fast as I need to.  Now take a lesson from my husband.

I had let the dishes pile up and up and up.  Why?  Because I absolutely despise doing dishes.  I don't think in a million years I could truly explain my disdain for washing a dish.  It is my arch nemesis.  I HATE IT!  Dave knows this.  He knows that a week is going to go by and I'm going to leave the dishes in the sink.  Now finally I will have had it and I will break down and do the dishes.  Here is the amazing thing about my husband though, when he can see that I am really struggling mentally, with my bipolar, or physically, with being ill all the time, he will lay me down on the couch, bring me a drink, try to get me to take a nap and he will stay up until 3 in the morning at times, to do the dishes.  After he has gotten home from his lab at 10, worked all day at the VA Hospital, and studied until 1am, he will then put those dish gloves on and scrub those dishes for me.  He never expects a thank you, and he never gets mad that he does them.  He does it because he knows how much it means to me, and because he loves me so much.

He scrubs the bathroom weekly, just to help me out.  My husband understands the physical challenges that I deal with on a daily basis.  I know I complain, and he's an angel and just listens, but not only does he listen, he goes above and beyond to help me out.  He goes to school, work, and study time, and he still comes home and helps me clean the house, fold the laundry, and wash the dishes.  He does all of this without ever expecting ANYTHING in return.  To me that is true love, and that is why I continue to "fall in love" with this amazing man every day.  That is one of the many reasons why after 4 years of marriage we still feel like we said "I do" yesterday.
I know I haven't said the things that I do for him, but I don't need to.  They're not important.  The important thing is that I feel truly lucky to have the marriage and relationship that I do, because by reading this book I'm finding that it is very rare.  I'm finding that so many people live in "loveless" marriages, and it breaks my heart for them.  I can't imagine how, nor would I ever want to experience what that feels like.  It almost brings me to tears to know that people are married and don't share what Dave and I share.

Dave and I learned a very valuable lesson after 2 months of marriage; nothing in this world matters if you don't have the love of your life to share it with.  When I laid in the hospital bed, and was almost dead, we got the opportunity to see that, 1. I would do anything to live one more day with Dave.  I would overcome anything just so I could wake up and see his face again and 2. Dave learned that nothing in this life is worth an argument because your spouse could be gone tomorrow, and that thing that they do that bugs you would no longer be there, and you would miss it.  

I think if we each could change our perspective a bit and learn to cherish the thing that "Bugs" us about our spouse, whether it be that wet towel on the ground, toothpaste in the sink, or clothes dumped around the house.  If you learned to love those things,  your entire perspective would change.  You would know that those are the things that make them who they are, and you fell in love with "who they are" so you need to keep loving them.  You shouldn't want to change your spouse, you should want to change how you feel about them.  They love you for who you are, and they accept you with all of your faults, so you need to love and accept them with theirs.  Plus, they could be gone tomorrow.  Nothing in this life is permanent.  Nothing is guaranteed.  Those things that you let make you crazy today, could make your heart ache tomorrow if they were gone.  I promise you, you would miss picking up their socks off the ground if they were gone.

So on this 4th Anniversary to my sweetheart, I want to thank him for loving me in a way that is unlike any other love on the planet.  A love that is so rare, and so few and far between, that I am truly blessed to have it.  I am the luckiest girl on the planet, and I'm so thankful that Dave continues to love me with ALL of my faults. And believe me, I have a TON!!!  Turning this corner into year #4 I love him as much as I did the day I looked him in the eye and said "I Do."  

That day 4 years ago was the greatest day of my life up to that point, and now each day that I get to wake up and see his smiling face is the next greatest day of my life.  I will cherish every morning that I wake up holding his hand and see him sleeping next to me.  It's the small things that matter, and the little things I treasure.  So happy Anniversary my love.  Here's to another 4, and another 50 after that, if we can both keep on kicking.  I love spending my life with you, and I look forward to spending the rest of my life with you.  Happy Anniversary and all my love in the world,
Your Jilly Pepper

Feb 27, 2013

A Decision....

I received an email today from a guy in New York wanting to "buy into" my blog.  What that really means is he wants the rights and wants to put ads on and whatever and basically turn it into a for-profit blog.  As I got to thinking I realized that, that decision alone would change the entire feel of my blog.  I politely turned him down.

The reason I blog is because I love it.  I love telling the story of my life.  I love being candid and letting people see what "real life" is all about.  I don't want to have to write when I'm not feeling it.  I don't want to have to make stuff up just so it fills my obligation.  Everything I write on this blog is real, candid, and how I am feeling that day.  I write for my readers, my friends, my associates, my family, and mainly for my husband.  I write so I have an detailed description of this beautiful life I am blessed to live.

I see so many "Mommy Bloggers" who fill up their pages with ad's and that's great for them.  It's just not my thing.  I started this blog on my own, and it will stay on my own.  I'm not tech savvy, and I don't know how to do all the cool little tricked out things to blogs, but I don't need to.  The point of this blog is to express my thoughts and views, and let you, the reader, connect with a real person.  For you to see that you're not the only one that has struggles or hard times or goes through "real life".  There is a girl in Utah, who loves you for you, who has up's and down's just like you, who hates her life some days, and loves her life the next.  I am real, and this blog shows every real detail about me.  That's what my readers deserve and need.  They don't need  to know what dress is on sale.  It's not that kind of a blog.

Thank you to all of you amazing readers who enjoy my crazy, twisted ride through this life.  Thank you for your acceptance and love.   Thank you for prayers, your thoughts, and patience, and your kindness.  I couldn't do what I do without each of you in my life.  Your emails and messages mean more to me than you will ever understand.  You are amazingly beautiful people, and I feel honored to have you in my life and call you my friends.

Feb 21, 2013

Just because you don't Understand, doesn't make it Wrong

I have met some amazing people in my life and have been truly blessed by their love, and support.  They have come from all different backgrounds, with many different stories, and from all walks of life.  Some people have been great and some have been not so great, but I have learned this one valuable lesson from each of them.  Just because I don't Understand everything about them, doesn't make who they are, wrong.

I have the opportunity in my life right now to be a volunteer at a local hospital.  It's an experience that I will treasure where ever this life may take me.  I have met incredible people with amazing strength, courage, and love.  They have taught me patience, understanding, and grace.  I will forever be grateful to each one who I come across.  

On my first day at this hospital I had the opportunity to meet a woman who has changed my life forever.  In Utah, (where I am from) there is a pretty big population of people that belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  For many people who live here who have not been members of the church, they have felt judged, criticized, and at many times, ostracized.  It broke my heart to hear this woman's story the 1st day that I was at this job.  Because she was not a member of the church she had been treated very poorly.  She had really never met anyone who loved her and ACCEPTED her just as she was.  She would make friends and they would always be trying to bring her into the church, when that is not what she needed.  At a time in her life when she needed love and support, she got judgment and pain.  It made me so sad to hear what she had gone through, but I understood.

As we talked that 1st night I had the opportunity to tell her a little bit about myself, and although I am a member of the Mormon church I tend to have very different views than a lot of my fellow "Utahan's"  :)  I tend to be a bit more on the Liberal side.  I have an open mind, and I know that "the worth of every soul is great in the sight of God."  The greatest commandment of all is, "Love thy neighbor as thyself."  The only thing we need to worry about in our life is how we treat another human being.  Because of the pain I went through while very overweight, the constant bullying, and mistreatment I received, it opened my eyes to what people in this life truly need.  Everyone just wants to love and be loved in return, so that's exactly what I am here to do.

That night talking to this woman, I knew that not only had I made a friend for life, but I had met one of the most amazing women I have ever known.  Her soul is beautiful and her heart is priceless.  I was truly blown away by the amount of love and compassion this woman has towards the human race.  She is indeed a divine daughter of God.  Even though our religious beliefs were not the same, we both knew the purpose of life.  To love one another, and to be an example of Christ.  I'm so grateful for the lesson she taught me that day.  She confirmed everything that I already knew to be true, that while here for the short time that we are, we are to do as Christ would have done.  We are to love each and every person no matter who they are.  We don't have to like their decisions or choices or beliefs, but we do need to love them.

There are many things that I don't understand about so many people, but that is my opportunity to not only get to know them, but to get to know more about myself.  Every person I meet shows me a bit more about the person I am.  They shape and mold me for the better whether they have a good or bad influence in my life.  As I continue in this life, there will be many things that change for me, but that's okay.  We aren't supposed to ever stay the same.  We are to continually grow and learn and do better.  We need to take every experience we have to use it towards becoming a better "You".  We each have a divine purpose in this life, and it is up to us to know what that is, and then to do it.  

Every person you meet may not have the same beliefs as you, and that's okay.  You don't need to agree with everyone, but you do need to learn from everyone.  I challenge each of you to truly listen to another person, even if you don't agree with them.  Listen to every person, and instead of waiting for your turn to tell them what you believe, try to understand something new about them and learn something new about you from them.  Don't try to convince everyone of the same beliefs you have.  If we all saw the same things, what a boring life we would lead.  Love everyone.  Learn from everyone.  And become the "You" that you have always been meant to be.

Jan 21, 2013

Thank You to all of YOU

I have to tell all of my amazing readers "Thank You!"  I received a pretty amazing email this morning about this blog, and I was so flattered and touched by the words they wrote to me.  I have the most amazing readers and people who just fall upon this blog by accident.  Thank you for letting me into your lives.  Thank you for letting me into your homes.  And most importantly, thank you for letting me into your soul.

I hear from people how I inspire them, or how something I have written about or said has gotten them through a rough time in their life.  I can't explain what each of you have gotten me through.  A lot of you think I'm so strong, and have this positive attitude all the time, but you don't see the days where I sit and cry because I can't eat, or I complain to Dave because I'm nauseated (again) or I whine because I only have a couple of hours of energy a day.  Those are the days when I know God loves me, because I will get on my email and have an amazing letter from someone I have never met.  

You each lift me in ways I can't explain and can never thank you enough for.  You got me through 18+ surgeries.  You supported me when I didn't know where to turn for help, and you have been there from the beginning when Dave and I felt so alone.  It has meant so much to my husband and I that we've always had this blog for support.  I know that I can sit down at my computer and write my feelings and just be "Jilli" and that you will accept me and love me as I am.  Not very many people in this world feel that way, so thank you for accepting me, as flawed as I am.

I'm moved to tears so many days by the comments, letters, emails, text messages, and phone calls, that I receive from people I have never even met telling me that they read something I wrote and it lifted them when they were down.  I wish you could see the strength that gives me to continue fighting.  There have been so many days where I have wanted to give up, stop trying, and let go.  In those moments one of you special individuals must know what I need because you are always there.  You each have so much amazing love in your heart, and I thank you for sharing that love with me.

Thank you for your love, support, kindness, hugs, letters, words of encouragement, kind devotion, and faith in me.  I can't express in words what you have done for my life.  You have made me into a woman that I have become very proud to be.  You have built me up and carried me on your shoulders in the hardest times of my life, and I have come out on top because of you.  So as much as each of you tell me that I have done something for you, please know that it is only because of the love you've shown me that I am able to express my gratitude for the life I have.

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!  Thank you, for being the most perfectly flawed, amazing, beautiful, fabulous, and talented; YOU!

Jan 6, 2013

42 of Life's Greatest Lesson's

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio .
"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 42 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written.”

“My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:”

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short – enjoy it..

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. Save for retirement starting with your first pay check.

9. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

10. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

11. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

12. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

13. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it...

14 Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

15. Get rid of anything that isn't useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

16. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

17. It's never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.

18. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

19. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

20. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

21. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

22. The most important sex organ is the brain.

23. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

24. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

25. Always choose life.

26. Forgive but don’t forget.

27. What other people think of you is none of your business.

28. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

29. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

30. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does..

31. Believe in miracles.

32. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

33. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

34. Your children get only one childhood.

35. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

36. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

37. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

38. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have not what you need.

39. The best is yet to come...

40. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

41. Yield.

42. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.