Dec 26, 2012

"How did you Know?"

I have never really thought about this question since I have been married.  I use to think about it all the time as a single girl, and I used to ask people all the time too.  It didn't cross my mind though, until this weekend at my sister's house.  On Christmas, I was talking to a girl whom I had just met that day.  We were swapping stories about our husbands and life in general when she asked me, "How did you know that Dave was the one for you?"  It took me off guard when she asked me that, and it took me a second to respond.  I had to think of how I could explain that "I just knew" to someone who didn't know Dave, or me.  So I wanted to explain how I knew that the love of my life was the person that I wanted to be with for eternity.

The very first time I saw Dave he was walking through a parking lot in workout clothes heading straight towards me as I sat behind a desk at LA Boxing.  As I watched him my heart started to pitter patter and my mind got all fuzzy.  I remember thinking how gorgeous he was, and for the 1st time I actually got nervous about talking to a guy.  That was my 1st sign.  Being me, I could talk to any guy; in fact I was the Queen of flirting and could flirt with any guy at the drop of a hat.  The fact that I couldn't think of one thing to say to this gorgeous boy walking up to my gym was terrifying.  I had been hit on multiple times at that gym before I met Dave and I had brushed every guy off like it was nothing.  I didn't really care what any of the guys thought of me until that moment.  As Dave opened the door and walked into the gym I couldn't speak.  He walked right up to the desk and smiled his beautiful smile and said, "Hi! I'm Dave."  All I could muster was, "Hi."  Then I grabbed his key card, swiped him in and pretended to have something else to do.  The fact that was I so infatuated with him from the moment I saw him, was my very first sign.

Throughout the months that followed we flirted back and forth, but the one thing that kept getting me was that this boy could get me to lose my train of though in the middle of a sentence because I was to busy starring in his eyes.  I would forget what I was saying, not respond when he had asked me a question, and had to be brought back to reality on multiple occasions.  No man had ever done that to me; EVER.  

1. He left me Speechless

As Dave and I dated over the next year, I grew to love this man who would give anything for me.  I knew that Dave would give his life for me at any moment if asked.  It was a feeling of pure, unconditional love that I had never felt before.  It took him forever to tell me he loved me, but when he did; I felt it.  When I say that I felt it, I mean when he said the words, "Jilli, I love you."  My entire body got warm, and my thoughts got fuzzy, and my heart filled with such peace and sense of security that I can't describe it any better than that.  

2. I felt Secure

After Dave and I got engaged and I was planning my wedding, there were moments where I would get so frazzeled.  Like any bride, I would get stressed out about the details. I remember one moment when we were sitting at his house and I broke down and started to cry because I was so overwhelmed by doing everything that had to be done.  I felt like I was all alone.  I hadn't wanted to bother him with details of our wedding because I knew how busy he was with school, but when I broke down and started to cry I told him everything that I was feeling.  I was so worried that he would get mad because of how I had been treated by men in the past.  I will never forget how he responded.  He hugged me until I stopped crying and then said, "We will do whatever we have to do to make it work.  We're a team now and you don't have to do this alone.  Tell me what I can to do to make this easier for you."

3. We were a Team

As our wedding day came and I showed up to marry him, I will never forget stepping out of my car and he offered his hand to help me out.  I was so shocked because I didn't know he was there.  I got the biggest smile on my face (like I always did when I saw him) and he said, "Hey my girl, are you ready to become my wife and make me the luckiest man in the world?"  I knew he meant it when he said that.

4. He Treasured me

A month after we were married I became deathly ill.  I ended  up in the hospital for a month and half after a bad surgery.  I was unable to eat, and most of the time I was to weak to walk.  I will never forget feeling so terrible because Dave hadn't "signed up for this".  I kept thinking that he was going to leave me because I was so sick I couldn't take care of him like he needed.  For over a month Dave would wake up at 6:30, shower in the hospital, go to school until 4 while I sat in a hospital bed, come back to the hospital and do his homework, sleep on the uncomfortable couch, and then do it all over again.  He spent every waking minute that he could with me.  Not only that, but every single day when he got back to the hospital from school we would put his arms around my waist, help me out of bed, and basically carry me around the hospital for our walk.  It would take us well over an 30 minutes to go less than 100 yards because I was so weak, and he never complained.  He never whined that he had to eat hospital food.  He never cried that he was so exhausted he could barely stay awake during class, and he never had a pity party that his new bride was dying in a hospital bed.  

He took care of me like it was the last day we would ever spend together, and he cherished every moment he got with me.  He would bathe me, wash my hair, paint my toes, do my makeup, and went home once a week to do laundry and clean the house.  He did this all on his own while trying to cope with the fact that he never knew if he was going to come back to me dead.  I can never repay my love for what he did for me; but like he would say; "You don't have to. I'm your husband, and I love you. You never have to pay me for loving you.  It's a choice that I made and would do it again."

5. He truly meant in Sickness and in Health

To this day Dave loves me unconditionally.  He puts up with my crazy behaviors, my bipolar disorder, my shopping addiction, my exaggerated stories, my lack of loving to do dishes, the times when I'm to weak to do anything, and the endless trips to the hospital that have become our daily life.  He has accepted that we can't go out to dinner because I will most likely throw it up, he has gotten use to renting movies and having our "date nights" at home, he loves that a lot of the time I'm too tired to do my make up because getting showered and doing my hair takes all the energy I have, and he appreciates the fact that I still wake up every morning with him and make him breakfast.  He loves the little things and cherishes each one of my flaws.  He protects me when my someone tries to push me to hard, and he comforts me when I am scared.  He his my cheerleader in the background whether I'm on Oprah, or sitting on my floor making jewelry.  He is my biggest fan, and my greatest supporter.  He loves me so fully and completely that I never thought it was possible.  He accepts the fact that I'm a little crazy, cry over the cheesiest things, and the fact that I can't have children.  He accepts every little thing that makes me his "Jilli Pepper".  He completes me, in every sense of the word.

As we continue along this beautiful life together, I never cease to be grateful for his endless love.  I never take it for granted when he walks in the door at the end of every day, and I make sure to wrap my arms around him and kiss him each night when he gets home.  He fills my life with a joy that I never thought possible, and I truly can't imagine my life without him.  I don't want to ever be away from him, and I count the hours each day until I get to see him again.  He's my best friend that I can tell anything to, and he loves me no matter what it is.  We tackle every obstacle together.  He's my family, my love, my life. I can't remember anything before him, and I don't want to imagine anything without him.  The fact that my heart aches without him is enough for me to know that he is all I have ever wanted.  He is the greatest man I have ever known, and that fact alone makes me so thankful that God sent him to me.

6. He's Perfect for Me, and is my Best Friend

Everyone will have their love story, and this is ours.  I feel as though there are very few people that ever get the true joy of experiencing the kind of unconditional love that Dave and I have, but those of you that do; cherish every minute.  The one thing I have learned from almost losing my life is that I want to make every minute count.  Dave and I have learned to "not sweat the small stuff".  I don't know if we've ever truly been so angry at each other that we haven't wanted to see them.  We have our battles just like everyone, but instead of pulling us a part, they always end up making us stronger.  The plain and simple fact is, is that the way I knew that Dave was "the one" was so many little things all tied in one.  It wasn't 1 thing that let me know, it was the journey that we've experienced.  We both took a leap of faith, and it was the right choice for us.  We make it work.  He's the greatest thing that has ever happened to me, and being with him makes me a better person; and that's all I need to know.

7. He makes me a better "Me"

I hope this explains a little about how and why I knew Dave was the one for me.  I hope you get the love story that you're looking for, and can be as happy as I truly am with mine.  Everyone deserves to have this kind of love in their life.  Everyone deserves their own "Happily Ever After."

Dec 20, 2012

Jilly Bean Jewelry and the Utah Food Bank

 I have been blessed with the talent of creating jewelry.  It has provided for my family while my husband has been a full time student pursuing a medical career.  I'm very grateful that God blessed me with this talent.  I also have the ability to talk and touch other people.  Recently I volunteered a day at the Utah Food Bank and was blessed to get to know a person in need there.  They have a family and 3 of their family members are small children.  

When my husband and I were 1st married we couldn't afford groceries a couple of times, and we were blessed by my parents coming to our rescue and purchasing groceries for us.  I can't imagine having 3 little tiny children and having to try to explain to them that I don't have money to buy them food to eat when their little tummy's are so hungry.  It was a very trying, yet touching day in my life.

For the month of December and January I will donate 10% of every sale through Jilly Bean Jewelry to the Utah Food Bank to help Utah families in need of food.  This is the least I can do.  God has been there for me and provided for me when I have been in need, and then he gave me a way to support my family so I could put food on my table.  I just want to give back and let my Father in Heaven know how thankful I am for my talent that he has given to me and for the graciousness of strangers who support my small business; because in all reality they are supporting my family during some of our most difficult times.

During this time of year, if you are able to, please donate to your local Food Bank.  No child should go hungry, and no parent should have to tell their child that they can't eat tonight.  Give back a little of what we are given.  Even if all  you can afford is a couple of cans of food, ANYTHING is better than nothing.  

If you would like to look through my jewelry and support this cause please click here.  I sell all my products through Facebook and use paypal for purchasing.  You simply get on my Facebook and find something you like, tell me, and I'll send you an invoice and I ship EVERYTHING for free.  Thank you, and have a very Merry Christmas!

Dec 10, 2012

Valuable Lessons

This weekend and today have been physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting.  I have been dealing with a lot of stomach problems and have surgery on Friday.  I lost a very dear friend which was heart wrenching because of some stupid decisions, and lastly going through the repentance and forgiveness process in your heart and mind if very hard to deal with.

I have never claimed to be a great person.  I like to think I'm a good person, but I make mistakes on a daily basis.  I will be the 1st one to admit when I am wrong, and I take full responsibility when I screw up, especially when I hurt someone I care about.  I apologize, and try to right the wrong the best way I know how.  I really try to do all I can do, so I don't look back and think, "I wish I could've done more."  

That doesn't mean that I don't sometimes look back and say "I wish I could've handled this or that differently, but we are all humans, and we all make mistakes.  Who would I be to judge someone or to treat them badly when they screw up, because I screw up all the time.  "Who am I to cast the 1st stone?"

As I sat in church this last Sunday, a lesson was being taught on forgiveness.  This past week I had to ask for forgiveness from someone that I love.  It was then up to them to forgive me or not, but I couldn't let that affect what I did.  I knew I was in the wrong, I admitted I was in the wrong, and I said sorry.  I then knew that I needed to ask my Father in Heaven to forgive me.  Sitting in sunday school listening to this lesson I was getting down on myself thinking that I was such a terrible person because I had wronged someone.  Then a part in the lesson said that "When you have done all you can do, you need to turn your broken heart and contrite spirit over to God and let him deal with it."  It hit me that even though I had asked for forgiveness and had been forgiven by my Heavenly Father, I was not allowing him to forgive me because I was holding on to those horrible feelings and thoughts I was having about myself.  I was thinking I'm a horrible person, when in reality I'm a great person.  Even great people are allowed to make mistakes.  Even great people are allowed to make HUGE mistakes.

I then realized that I was holding resentment towards the person I had wronged, and that was wrong of me.  I got on my knees when I got home from church and asked my Father in Heaven to remove this burden from me, and also to forgive me for having ill feelings towards that person.  They are allowed to handle the situation anyway they choose, and they get to work through it as they chose, but it is my responsibility to forgive all.  I had to let these hard feelings go to move on.  As I got off my knees I instantly felt better.  I knew I had done everything I could do, and the last step I needed to take was to forgive myself for the feelings I was having; and I did that.  It was a great feeling.

This one act of mistrust, this one slip of a weak moment, and this instance where I fell for temptation had been cleaned away from me, and it was time for me to move on.  It meant moving on without a friend, but that is the way it had to be.  That was their decision and what they needed to do for them, and I respect that 100%.  

It's amazing to me how much my Father in Heaven loves me.  I'm so grateful that he loves me enough to forget my shortcomings and love me in spite of the wrongs I commit.  I'm truly grateful for this experience.  It made me realize that temptation is real, and that no one can escape it.  It's beautiful though, that we are able to be forgiven and forgive ourselves in times like this though.

I have the greatest family and friends anyone could ever ask for.  I'm so blessed to have the people in my life that I have and I'm truly amazed by the love they have for me.  It's pure unconditional love.  They love me even when I make mistakes, and they forgive me and move on.  I will always be grateful for the people in my life, and for the experiences they give me.  

You should be grateful for every single person that passes through your life no matter how long of a time period they are there for, because they are placed there to teach you valuable lessons.  Lessons about yourself, about them, about the world around us, about our morals, and beliefs.  I'm grateful for all the people who have come in and out of my life because they have shaped the woman I am today, and I love the woman I am today.  I wouldn't change a thing about me; even the bad things.  It just means that I have more to work on while on this earth.

Thank you again to all of those who love me unconditionally and teach me so many valuable things in this trip called life.  I'm glad you're here with me, along for the ride.  And Thank You to each of you, for allowing me to be in your life and a part of your trip.


Dec 4, 2012

Some Lessons I've Learned

I've had some amazing women come in and out of my life.  My mother, my sister, my grandmother, my friends, and women I've never even met. I wanted to thank all of you by letting you know 30 things that I have learned from you along my journey.....

1. How to put on makeup, but more importantly how to put on mascara without any clumps.
2. How to Flirt with Boys
3. How to share. (this was very hard for me.)
4. How to love unconditionally.
5. How to not be judgmental.
6. Confidence is very important, so fake it until it becomes real.
7. Heartbreak is real and a very important part of life.
8. Don't bring your cell phone out to the pool, it will end up at the bottom of the pool.
9. The Office, Arrested Development, and Sex in the City are all shows worth watching.
10.Don't be afraid to Fail.
11. Try new things, especially new foods.
12. Wearing socks with flip flops is not fashionable.
13. If a girl is giving you a mean look, smile at her and it will instantly disappear. 
14. Classy never goes out of style.
15. A boy that wants to be with you will find a way to do so.
16. Treasure your childhood, and tell stories about it often so you don't forget.
17. Respect your father and mother.
18. Manners are essential.
19. Wear Lipstick. It's a game changer.
20. You can never own to many high heels.
21. Things do happen for a reason.
22. Dream Big.
23. See the world. It is how you learn who you really are.
24. Be the best friend/neighbor you can be.
25. Love unconditionally.
26. Forgive fast, but don't forget.
27. Bright Tube Socks and Shorts aren't cute together.
28. Be an amazing mother, it's the greatest calling you will ever get.
29. Love your husband 1st and forever.
30. Have Patience, and be calm.

So to all you amazing women in my life, thank you for teaching me some amazing things. I am grateful to each of you who have had a hand in raising this crazy little Jilly.