One Year Later

Yeah....so if you have been reading or know me in real life, then you are probably aware that I keep things pretty real...even here where it's all out in the open. So things are about to get pretty raw...

Some days when I think about him it seems impossible that he isn't here. Even when I walk through the  memories of this day last year it still feels like a dream, not something that I lived. But I can still remember everything as if I were watching it all in a horror movie that I can't seem to turn off.
Andrew & Me
 Monday, October 31. I was playing on my computer about to leave for Body Pump when Mom first called to tell me about the rumor but not to panic. I immediately called Daniel and just started crying because I was afraid it was true. I pulled it together and went to the gym to help keep me from over worrying. Then I went home and waited for what seemed like an eternity for her to call back. I remember Mom lying to me about how she still didn't know anything because she thought I was home alone and wanted someone to be there with me (I understand why you did that, but never do that again. I really can handle more than you realize!) It's like I could feel the truth coming the way my anxiety and heart rate were rising.

About 5min later she called and told me Andrew was dead. My heart shattered. I asked if Mom wanted to call Dad, or if she wanted me to. Of course she wanted to do it, but I offered because I wanted to do whatever I could for her. We got off the phone I can't remember if I called my boss or Daniel next. After enough time had passed for Mom to call Dad, I called him to check in. This is the second time I've heard my father cry (the first when I left for Houston after Tech graduation). I remember that Cole, Brittany, and Emma came over. But I was too busy talking to family to see them. I booked my flight home and just cried until the tears stopped coming. I couldn't sleep and didn't want to. I've always been like that when bad things happen. It's like I feel that once the next day starts it makes everything official. Luckily Lindsey had weird nurse hours so she was up when I called at 2am.

The next morning I went to work super early to try and miss my coworkers so I could put my out of offices on and get everything in order for Stacy to cover for me. That was awkward when my boss caught me. I got home, cleaned the pantry, and talked to Kayla (she's rather good in these situations) and just waited for my flight. I'm so glad that B was able to take me because Mom ended up calling and mentioned how we would be viewing the body...for some reason seeing the body is something that didn't even cross my mind, and made me nauseated at the thought.

I landed in Amarillo and Kara had told her mom about the situation so Melissa met me at the airport with a box of cookies from the bakery. This worked out perfectly because my Mom was still at the Police station, so now I wasn't stranded. I was able to catch the end of the meeting with the detective and give attitude to an authority figure of this sort for the first time in my life. I still don't understand how they "dropped the ball" and we didn't find out he was dead until 4 days later. After the police station we went to the funeral home to make the arrangements. We had dinner and this is probably the last time that I ate a full meal over the next few months.

Andrew, Dad, Me
The next day we saw the body. Dad met us at Grandma's house so we could all go together. I was really worried about how Marshall was doing with all of this, so I made sure he wanted to go in. I told him that he didn't have to, but whatever he decided I would be right there with him the whole time. When we pulled up Dad started crying and didn't get out of the car for a bit. When we walked into the funeral home Mom was already in there, I could hear her wailing. Marshall was wearing shock face, so I asked him again what he wanted to do. He said he wanted to go in. I linked his arm and we went in together. We got halfway across the room and he broke down. I pulled him in for the eternal hug and just held him. And told him that we were going to be ok and that Andrew is safe now. I didn't really cry at all, which I think freaked Mom out. I just prefer to do my crying in private if I can help it. And I felt like I needed to be strong for my parents and Marshall; someone needs to have it together. It was so weird to see him. It didn't look like him, especially the way they had his hair done.

After that traumatizing experience we went back to grandma's and finished picking out pictures for the slide show. That was actually pretty fun (minus the circumstance) because we got to look through a lot of pictures from our childhood. It's funny because before we had Marshall all of the pictures are me & Andrew. But once Marshall arrived I think I was forgotten because they were all of Marsh & Andrew.

The next day was the funeral. Daniel came up for that which was nice at the time, but looking back I wish that he hadn't. It was a nice service, even though I can't really remember what was said. And it was incredible how many of Andrews friends came. There were so many that  people had to sit in the choir loft and there were still kids standing. Everyone filed through and hugged us...well not me because most people probably wondered who the random girl sitting with Andrew's family is. Which is fine because it's all a pretty awkward situation. It was weird knowing that was the last time I would ever lay my eyes on him. Mom & Dad kissed his forehead and Marshall touched his hair before we closed the casket. I didn't touch it because it was just too much. Then we headed out to the burial. It was cold - very fitting. A few more words were spoken, we all laid hands on the casket, more hugs, then we said goodbye.

The church put together a really nice dinner for the family. The mood was definitely lighter as we all just chatted and ate. After what seemed like an eternity we got ready to leave.

That night Marshall and I went to Dad's house. We just spoke about memories, ate mint m&m's, and managed not to cry.

The rest of the week was a blur of depression mixed with family time. My mind is still boggled as I try to comprehend what happened, what went wrong. One of our last emails, though it had been months earlier, he told me about how he was enjoying family time and was finally clean...

Marshall, Me, Andrew, Mom
I still think about him every day, and figure that will never change. No matter how much I try I will never understand why people do drugs. I think part of why Andrew did it was to escape feeling down. But even dealing with the most painful stuff that life gives you (like this), I'd much rather feel it than be numb, which is why I can't understand when people chose the numbness. It always reminds me of this convo from Garden State:
Andrew Largeman: Fuck, this hurts so much. 
Sam: I know it hurts. That's life. If nothing else, It's life. It's real, and sometimes it fuckin' hurts, but it's sort of all we have. 
To end on a positive note...some of Andrew's friends have cleaned their lives up. So at least there's that.


Pole 3.5

I hit up open pole to have a spin fest and to focus on the invert. aka - my usual session.

The spins are feeling good on the right, so now I need to start practicing my left. I had taken a break from them since my body has been in shambles for what seems like forever (since June).

Cierra and I had joked before about how the shoes give you power, but I think she was on to something. I have noticed that most of my spins (with the exception of the v-spin) are all better with the shoes. It must be the 6 inches of added height.

I even flip camed a set of spins to show the parents since I'm not about to share a graduation video that's full of body and hip rolls.

And the invert? After straight up kicking the pole with my bare feet and jamming some toes two week in a row, I am happy to report that I'm getting it consistently! I do have to kick into it still, but progress is progress! I got it about 5 times in a row without the shoes, and 3 times with the shoes before my body was exhausted.

So when class time came the following week I was pumped. Too bad that at bodypump I actually did get pumped by increasing my back weights so my muscles were a little tired...

After warm up we started with free style floor work. I'm getting better at it. But by better I don't mean that I will ever claim it as something that I'm good at. And do you know how hard it is to do floor work for about 4 min when you still don't have full hip movement? Really hard. That cuts out at least half of the moves that I can do!

I probably had my best set of pole circuits this day than I've had all level! I even managed to walk into my invert. #skills.

New skills:
  • V-up into invert - Basically you just do a v kick, but invert at the same time.
  • Twizzler (or corkscrew): You basically walk around, grab high with your outside hand above the inside hand, and lift while keeping your legs together and your body facing out, try to snake your body around the pole (your back is to the pole) and spin once your inside foot hits the ground. (YouTube it). As you spin it helps if you can kind of hula your hips.
I did get the V up into invert. It wasn't pretty or graceful, but I got it one time before my body said it had reached it's invert limit for the day.

As for the twizzler. ugh. I was having a lot of trouble with this one. My upper body was fatigued from my weights class so I wasn't getting as much lift as I typically do. I was frustrated. This will be #1 on my practice list for open pole.

I didn't leave this class walking on sunshine, but with practice I'm pretty sure I'll get these skills down and can return to fun pole Jes.


Life Coach Croc

Croc, Adam, & I have kind of become our own wolf pack.

It happened naturally because we:
1. are all single so we have free time to hang.
2. all love Halo.
3. like to hit up Wild West.

This particular Thursday the three of us hit up Wild West. As I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before, this is Croc's least favorite time to go because the lady selection is very low. Which makes it my fave time to go because it's not too crowded so there's always room to do spins, and we are usually the best dancers there! (I love being the best!)

The dancing was fabulous! I was doing so good that Croc accused me of coming to Wild West without them! As if I could even do that - none of my other friends are really into the country dancing thing.

As the night wore on I 1. got a brief history about gun registration that led into Hitler and his war strategy. Very educational because I like history, just not enough to really remember the details of it. 2. Croc basically designated himself as my life coach.

He made some good points:
  • How are you going to find a husband if you won't put yourself out there?
  • He told me how pretty I am and how I have so much to offer. (I'm glad I'm not the only one that thinks so).
But then he almost got slapped when he said that him & Adam weren't going to dance with me because it's time I put myself out there...then he attempted to pick up my chair (with me in it) so he could place me by the dance floor until I danced with a stranger.

He then decided that it must be a self confidence issue. Thanks? But it's actually not that at all. I'm very confident in myself and what I have to offer. In fact, I feel bad for anyone that's missing out.

The problem is this: I'm stubborn. When I decide on something, it's all that I want. I can't be bothered with anything else during this time, so I just wait Wait to die, wait to live, wait for an absolution which would never come while I figure out what the eff I'm supposed to do when I can't have it. So I've been waiting for this one track mind set to pass.

Exactly. Damon knows best.

After thinking about Croc's life coaching for a few days and Damon reminding me of what I want, I knew what I had to do. I came up with a new plan that involves me actually not being so off putting and closed off if/when boys try to talk to me. But until I find the new winner of my love and affection I have plenty of friends and activities to keep me busy and mostly fulfilled.


Happy Birthday Baby Marsh!

Today is my baby brother's 17th birthday!

And yes, I'm pretty sure he doesn't like when I call him my baby brother or baby marsh. But I can't help it. We are 9 years apart and he is the youngest, therefor making him the baby by default.

I still remember going to see him when he was born. Andrew and I were in our Halloween costumes because we had pictures that day. I can't remember if I was thrilled to have another brother or not, but either way he has grown on me over the years.

I wish that Marshall could stay a little kid forever, but there are perks to him getting older. The main one being that he's tall and strong enough to give me piggy back rides!

I am very blessed to have a brother as smart, clever, and funny as him.


Awesome & Awkward Friday

This was a short week since I was on holiday Monday. It was cram packed with activities and I think I might be suffering from a sleep deficit, so naps will def be scheduled in on Sunday...hopefully.

Linking up with From My Grey Desk to share my fave 5 things from the week.

1. Even though the cherry donuts disappointed, these fresh donut holes helped to warm my cold heart.

2. We ate outside for girls dinner. The table next to us consisted of 3 mom's and 2 screaming kids. And I don't mean screaming because they are throwing a fit, but screaming just to make noise. It was rather annoying. I gave them a nice sssssshhhhhhhhhhhHHHHHH! That started out kind of quiet, then crescendoed (is that even a word when you add the ed?). I wish I could share with you the mental picture of their shock. BUT the mom's did tell the kids to quite down after that.

3. The new bodyjam release is amazing! I can't wait to hit that up again tomorrow morning.

4. My phone is crazy. I've been up for an upgrade for months, but I had decided to keep my droid until it kicked it since it's only a year old. I think that time is coming. Last night I was making a call but it wouldn't accept my click. So i kept clicking on call...about 7 times. FINALLY it made the call, but then it started trying to conference in the same person about 6 times since I had tapped on the call button. What is that?!? I couldn't get it to stop so I had to restart my phone. I don't want to get rid of Droid, but its like he's sabotaging himself to force me into the loving embrace of the iphone.

5.  This week I went with brownies - nothing fancy in it, just brownies. The original gangster, if you will. (I will.)


Popcorn Cake

I spent two days baking with my grandma last week. I love that she was up to make whatever my little heart desired. Well, I was craving popcorn. And what goes better with popcorn than m&ms? And something salty and crunchy never hurts.

Popcorn Cake
5 quarts popped popcorn
3 1/2 c chopped pretzels
1 medium bag m&m (12.60 oz)
2 bags marshmallows
5 tbs butter

  1. Coat paper bag and tube pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Combine popcorn, m&m's, and pretzels in paper bag.
  3. Melt butter and marshmallows on 1 min intervals stirring in between until smooth.
  4. Pour marshmallow mix into popcorn mix and stir (spray your spoon with nonstick spray!)
  5. Once fully combined, pour into tube pan while pressing down to get everything to fit. You may have a smidge that doesn't fit...just eat it.
  6. Let set until cool, then put on platter and eat!


Pole 3.3&4

I didn't post about 3.2 because that's the only post I did from my last attempt at 3. The only noteworthy thing is that Honey has decided to join my class! I did notice that I haven't been as excited about Pole this time around. One reason is that it's hard with my slightly injured hip/glute muscle, and that's frustrating. But another is that I don't get to see my friends in class every week. It's starting to feel like old times now that I know I'll see Honey!

Well...I actually missed this class. Personal stuff, blah. So I made sure to hit up open pole.
It was so nice because I had the whole studio to myself! My muscle issue is getting better, but I still can't move my hips in a way that I need to for the dancing portion of practice. Irritated. So I focused on spins, climbs, and inverting.

My spins still feel a little awkward after taking a few weeks off, but they are getting back up to par. I think part of the problem is my left leg isn't giving me 100% yet, but hopefully that'll change as I continue physical therapy.

I made it back for the 4th class.

Turned out that I only missed the lesson in head stands. Headstands are not my fave, but I'm working on it. I can't get into it by lifting both legs at the same time to make it seem extra fancy...yet. But I can hold them for a while and do moves, so whatever.

The big thing about this class? I made a friend. What's her name? I think you already know that I'm terribly about covering introductions...but I call her k.stew when I talk about her. What? She kind of reminds me of her, so naturally she's me new pole bestie.

We learned the Fire Ball - 3 ways

  • Regular - Grip the pole (thumb up) at shoulder height, then hook your inside leg as close as you can to your hand grip, then fall forward keeping your bottom leg straight. As you start to spin, grip the pole with your other hand (thumb up) before the hooked leg. Spin until you land on the floor.
  • Bent leg: same thing, but bend your bottom leg at the knee so that your feet are touching.
  • Backwards: Basically the same thing, but you fall backwards instead. I can't do this one yet. It just feels really weird.
I don't want to be over the top with my confidence...but I would have to say that I've mastered it on my right side. The left needs work (as always), and I'm too scared to even try the backwards one.

Overall this was a good class (even though Honey wasn't there) and has started to renew my love for this sport!


High Five For Friday

Or high five myself in the face after a little flight sitch...don't worry I got it all sorted.

Linking up with From My Grey Desk!

BodyJam led by Amanda with Jess, Gavy (newest member to our front row takeover), and my shoe twin Stacey,!
Home for Lindsey's wedding!
In flight entertainment. Too much?
Grandma's hot chocolate always tastes best at her house in my personalize mug. 
Two days of baking with Grandma
What's a top moment from your week?


Oreo, Peanut Butter, Brownie Cups

This is seriously one of my faves. I love the mix of the flavors and the textures. I even had two people say this is the best thing I've ever made.

If you love Oreos, peanut butter, and brownies, then you will love this. If you only love Oreos and peanut butter, I promise you will still love this. I'm not a huge brownie lover myself, but I die for these.

Oreo, Peanut Butter, Brownie Cups
2 eggs
1/2 + 1/8 c cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 stick of butter
1 1/8 c sugar
3/4 c flour
1/2 c chocolate chips
15 Oreos
15 tbs Peanut Butter (appx)
15 cupcake liners

  • Preheat oven to 350* and put liners in cupcake pan.
  • Beat the eggs, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl microwave to melt the butter, add the sugar, and stir. Microwave a little longer until hot. It should become shiny as you stir. Heat once more (about 1 min)- this will create a shiny top crust on the brownies.
  • Add the hot butter/sugar mix to the chocolate concoction and stir until smooth.
  • Mix in the flour (in three parts) and chocolate chips.
  • Pour a little bit of batter into the bottom of each liner (I used my 1" cookie scoop, filling it about 3/4 of the way)
  • Spread peanut butter on top of an Oreo, then place it in the liner on top of the brownie batter (do this 15 times).
  • Once you have a peanut buttered Oreo in each liner, scoop more batter on top until all you see is batter.
  • Bake for 15 min, let cool, then enjoy!


Friendship First Dates

Making new friends is like finding a new beau. It's stressful and seems impossible. How do I approach a stranger? What if she thinking I'm hitting on her? What do we talk about? What if she thinks I'm too weird?

I do have a small group of girls that I hang out with in Houston, but when most of them are married it's harder for them to have time for you. So it's necessary to friendship court some new ladies so you don't end up all alone with your stuffed dog Bogart.

I have actually met some girls through pole & the gym that I talk to pretty regularly, I just need to make the transition into hang out friends.

Sarah used to work out of our New York office but recently moved to Houston. I had met her before and she seemed cool, so I sent her a text to make plans for Friday.

I was honestly nervous. We had shared brief conversations so I didn't know if we would really have anything to talk about.

Friday night I picked her up...after missing her street and not noticing until I was practically downtown. We headed to Gloria's for a late dinner, and it was so much fun! Luckily Sarah is such a cool girl and really chatty so there weren't any awkward silences. We talked about work, how we both ended up in Houston, and dating/boys.

Next we walked over to midtown. We were going to start at Wonderbar but it was practically empty. I don't know where everyone was because it was after 10. That's a highly logical time to go out, right?

Instead we kept on to Little Woodrow's. Little Woodrow's is really laid back. The whole bar is practically outside. Here we had one of the most awkward pick up lines ever. Do you remember the show Pick Up Artist from the CW? One of the techniques that the boys were taught was to open up with a random question. Ok, so this guy comes over, "Can I ask y'all something? Do you prefer a guy that's wearing a tshirt because it's so hot in Houston or a guy that's out wearing a long sleeve shirt with pit sweat?" Did he really just open up with a question about sweat? I just kind of looked at him like he was crazy. Sarah is more sociable than I am, so she humored him. We ended up letting his friends come over to our table. They turned out to be pretty cool. One guy was married so we got to hear all about his wife and how they met. It was a really sweet story. And the other guy resembled Stefan from Vampire Diaries. (I may need to hit up TVD rehab).
**side note. The next time we hung out we stayed in, watched suites, and played board games with her co-worker...that looked a lot like Jeremy Gilbert (from TVD). I hope this trend continues!

Next we hit up shot bar to get the dance party started. Sarah even found someone that tried to teach her how to two step. It was a great night and if I would stop being a hermit, I'm sure we'll hang out again soon.


Pole 3: Back In Action

Soreness in my shoulders, biceps, triceps, and upper back?

Tenderness on the palms and pads of my hands and fingers with mini blisters and calluses forming?

Inner legs and arms polka doted with bruises of different shapes, sizes, and colors?

Must be pole time.

So Honey's brilliant plan of me joining Pole fell threw when practically no one else but me signed up. Where's the dedication ladies? I can hardly do some of the moves from my one practice sesh, but I was still willing to commit!

I will admit that it may be for the best for me to fully take and complete level 3, but I'm still disappointed. I really miss Jay, Cierra, and Honey in my class every week. Luckily Erica happened to be teaching a level 3 class on Wednesdays, so at least I get to keep my teacher!

Since my last pole sesh with Honey I haven't practiced...That was about 4 weeks ago. While my back was on the mend my glute was all like "you know what would be fun? If I decided to knot up so tight and deep that using me is going to make you want to lay down and die." No, that actually wouldn't be fun at all. I've been hitting up Koala more than I would care to in order to get that shiz rubbed out. While that's been happening I did the responsible thing of not practicing pole. That's really code for, it was too hard to do tricks when it hurt to lift my leg.

Anyway, I went to class. A class full of strangers. Dios mio. I have to make friends all over again!

After our warm up stretches we started off with free style floor work for the duration of one song that seemed like it was never going to end. I am def watching the class schedule so I can get into one of Erica's floor work classes to pick up some moves!

Next up: the invert. I'm doing ok at it, but def need a lot of work. some times my legs will get high enough, other times I have to reverse climb it to get all the way up. Since we don't know any fancy dismounts yet we just reverse slide down it which causes a lot of bruising on my inner legs and arms. So on one I figured I'd just release my back leg to touch the floor, then I can let the other one down and I'll be on my feet! Great plan...if my glute was at 100% (it's getting close!). When I released the first leg, I managed to pull at the hurt muscle and let out a little squeal from the surprise pain. Great execution, Jes.

We moved on to pole circuits next. This is probably my fave part. You have the options of either copying what Eric does, or improving your own. I just try to copy Erica since she's the master. I love spins and climbing, so it felt good to be doing that again! A lot of the spins felt weird, but I figure if I warm them up a few times than I can get back to where I was before.

One of the dismounts she did from the pole climb was pretty cool: you get to the top, then as you hold the pole with your arms, you bring your body to the side, do a V split, and slide down a bit. Then bring your body back so that the pole is in front of you and continue down however you like.

I attempted the V split...turns out that even though it didn't hurt the glute, the muscle isn't at full strength on the left side, so it was a lazy V.

We ended with full on free style. Def needs work.

I'm super excited to have my stripper heels back on!


Awesome & Awkward Friday

[Linking up with From My Grey Desk]

  • Mom sent me a text that started with "Omgosh girl." I immediately emailed Stacy "omgg! My mom just texted me Omgosh girl." There for a sec I thought maybe someone hijacked her phone!
  • New kicks

  • Amanda turning up some B.Spears so Jess and I could break into choreographed dance for her. 
  • I made this and didn't eat it for breakfast despite how early I instagramed it. I seriously had multi-grain cheerios with skim milk for breakfast:

  • TVD, duh.

  • Snot rockets after a bug flew up my nose. The whole situation was bad. Between this and the bug that got in my eye during my run a few weeks ago? I am officially not down with nature.
  • The amount of times I said how excited I was for TVD this week.
  • The location of my pole burn after this weeks class.
  • My physical therapist said that I shouldn't be doing squats until my glute is healed...so Taylor had me do bridges aka pelvic thrusts instead. I hope the class enjoyed watching that!
  • It's should probably be awkward that Jess and I were having a dance party in QLF's parking lot as the last of the staff left...but it was so much fun!
What are some awesome & awkward moments from your week?


Fall TV...It Is So On!

Yes, I am aware that most shows have already returned weeks ago. But the CW pushed their start dates to October, so this is when I get officially excited about the return of my fave shows!


The Vampire Diaries is finally back tonight! This is obviously my favorite show since I've mentioned it more than any other show throughout this blog. This summer I managed to get a super deal on Seasons 1 & 2, held about a two week marathon, the followed it up with season 3 (still saved on my DVR) for probably the third time. This week I rewatched the last two epps to get me emotionally set for the premier. I do have dinner/book club tonight, so I will have to put off watching for a few hours. There are so many new fun things happening this season: Will they be able to make Elena human again? How will they restore Klause's body? Will Elena finally pick Damon? Please tell me Elija will get some camera time!

OMGG! It's the last season. I've been with this show through thick and thin...even when it sucked last season, I still watched holding out for it to return to it's former glory. And the season premier was the the light of hope that I needed. I'm def looking forward to the end game of Chuck & Blair and the reveal of gossip girl!

New Girl has been back on for a few weeks and it just keeps bringing the laughs. This show gets better every epp. I watch most eppisodes twice and end up discovering lines that I missed the first time. Love it!

What shows are you watching this fall?


S'mores Blossoms

This is my last s'mores recipe for a while...I promise.

I took these to work, like most of the things I make, and they are co-worker approved. It was rather amusing to watch Henry eat them. Instead of taking it in two bites he would take it in one and then try to talk. I probably shouldn't have laughed as much as I did.

S'mores Blossoms

2 sticks of softened butter
1/2 c brown sugar
1 c sugar
2 eggs
 2 tsps vanilla
2 2/3 c flour
1 1.2 c graham cracker crumbs
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 bag large marshmallows cut in half
1 bag Hershey's kisses unwrapped

  1. Preheat oven to 350*, unwrap the Hershey kisses and cut the marshmallows in half.
  2. In a large bowl mix the white & brown sugar and butter. Then add in the eggs and vanilla. Mix until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together the graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet to create your cookie dough.
  5. Scoop 1 inch cookie dough balls onto your baking sheet and bake for 9 min.
  6. Remove the baking sheets and immediately place one marshmallow half on top of each cookie and place back in the oven for 1 min.
  7. Remove and immediately smash a Hershey kiss into the middle of the marshmallow.
  8. Let cool, then enjoy!


Wrong Side Of The Bed

I don't know what it is about traveling, but I often get grumpy after a few days. I think this mostly happens when I'm in a travel situation where I don't have many choices about what I will be doing or when. Having my independence smothered doesn't go over well. My family doesn't do this intentionally when I go home, it's more due to location.

I woke up a little grumpy Sunday. The only thing certain about my day was that I would fly out that evening and at some point I would see Mom since her and Sam were finally home from the hospital.

Around lunch time the grandparents took Marshall & I back to Sunray. We hung out there for a bit while I helped her set up a blog. Easy peasy. Then she was asking questions about how to blog. I am def not an expert. I mean, have you read the crap I post? Ok, it's not crap. But I just stick to what I know: my life and baking.

On our way to Amarillo Mom was talking about how we were going to my fave place for lunch - Papasito's.

At this point I did have to question if my mom even knew me. Papasito's is ok and I didn't mind eating there when we lived in Canyon because it the better of the two Mexican places we had, but my fave ever ever is Ruby Tequila's. I was appalled.

Anyway, it was nice to spend a few hours with Mom & Marsh before heading back to Houston. I do miss them a lot even though I don't visit often.

This was my third time to go home since the funeral last year, and it wasn't as bad dealing with the dead brother stuff as I thought it would be. It felt weird seeing the pictures of us on the walls at Grandma's house and seeing his bedroom was turned back into a guest room, but it didn't get an emotional response from me.

But then I went to Mom's house. She had done more decorating since my last visit and there were our old family & baby pictures in the hall. I don't know why, but that made me cry. It's weird because I don't even have memories with Andrew in that house (She had just moved into the house when she got married last year...which was also the last time I was home before the funeral).


Sunray Funday

Saturday was Sunray Funday. What exactly is Sunray Funday? I don't really know. What I do know is that they have a parade and BBQ. It reminded me of Canyon's Fair on the Square...but a lot smaller.

We left the house a little early to hit up some garage sales on the way out of town. I haven't been to garage sales with Grandma & Papa since I was a kid! At the first house I found two milk jugs that I had to have. And? A cart that reminded me of the one that A Beautiful Mess fixed up! Sweet!

We had time for one more. And I found these:

I.died. I love the nurse one. the color, the pictures! USA!USA!

We got to Sunray and found a sweet spot (literally) in Dairy Queen's parking lot. There were kids on either side of us, so I knew it would be kinda tricky to get some candy. I lucked out and got my hands on a few pieces...while Papa was picking it up and giving it to the kid by us. Uh, whose team are you on?

As the marching band approached I had my camera ready to capture Marshall. This was the first time I've seen him march. I may have shed a tear or two. He's just so grown up and I'm so proud of him. I snapped as many pictures as I could. I even considered running down the block to get more, but I didn't want to embarrass him.

We found Marsh after the parade and headed to grab some BBQ. The chopped brisket was pretty good, just a little spicy for my liking. The church had free watermelon. Marsh and I hit that booth up twice. I don't like watermelon, so the first time I got a piece for Grandma. The second time I got two slices, one for Papa and one for Marsh because that kid loves it. We had even discussed just grabbing a whole watermelon and running. But I figured it's probably not good to steal from a church.

Grandma, Marshall, & Papa

An added bonus? It was kind of hot outside, and even in direct sunlight I was barley sweating! If this had been in Houston? I would have had sweat running down my back and legs. It was nice to be in less hellish weather conditions again.

We walked around the booths, got some homemade ice cream, Marshall was called Justin Bieber 3 times, then we all went back to Dalhart.

That afternoon I hit up the local grocery with Grandma to prep for the cookout. I had this genius plan of getting the caramel filled Ghirardelli bars for the s'mores...until I realized that we were in a small town and they don't have them. I was in shock. Gma and I searched the shelves a few times in hopes of finding them. No luck. I almost bought some when I was in Houston, but figured 1. I would eat them all before I got to Dalhart, and 2. Dalhart will have them, so it'll be fine. Yeah, bad call Jes.
Marsh, Dad, and Me.
When I got home Marsh and I headed over to Dad's house for a bit before the cookout. Dad showed me disc golf videos and techniques. Now I see where I get my obsessive side from. Marsh & Cameron (step-brother) watched Batman things. And Cam even put on his batman mask! He's leaving for college and I suggested that he have the full suit on when his roommate shows up. It's important to make a good impression.
Cam pretending to sunbath as Batman and Marshall.

That evening Joann & Jarrett came over for a cookout at Grandma's house!

I love nothing more than roasting marshmallows in grandma's cauldron. Ok, It's not really called that, but that's what it makes me think of.

We also had hot dogs so it wasn't only a sugar fest!

Andrew, Marshall, an I used to spend a lot of weekend at Grandma's house! It was the best place to be! She always made the best dinners, had our favorite snacks, had tons of great things for us to play with, and let us roast s'mores! I'm glad that's something that we can still do every now and then.


Awesome & Awkward Friday

Can you believe it's already October? This whole year is going by too fast. This is probably one of my favorite months to live in Houston as far as the weather is concerned. It's cooling off so that I'm not always covered in sweat and there are days with low humidity - a runner's dream.

Linking up with From My Grey Desk and Bargain Blonde to share my fave 5 awesome & awkward moments from the week. Check them out!


  • Great bodypump class this week. I upped my cling/press weight a smidge because my back has felt fine for a bit now so I think it's ready for small challenges.
  • Amanda did my bodyjam request. It was so much fun...but only the back half of it.
  • New Girl this week was amazing. It always is. The fluffer, winston's creepy stare, Tuff Romney? So good I watched it twice.

  • Dinner/the start of book club. I love when we get together - so much laughing and jokes being made even while covering some serious drama topics.
Starting at the left and taking it clockwise: Amanda (thanks for the photo), Mandy, Jess, Me.
  • I made these s'mores blossoms: 


  • Flat tire. Joined AAA. Waited for an hour and a half. 
  • I started to approach two different tables of girls that I thought were the friends I was meeting for dinner before realizing that they were strangers. Both tables noticed. 
  • Told my physical therapist about how squats were hurting again this week. He told me I shouldn't be doing those. I think that would have been something good to mention when I started seeing him back in August...or at least when I straight up mentioned doing them last week. 
  • About the bodyjam release I requested...turns out I didn't remember hardly any of it and it happens to be one that really irritates my shin splints. good call.
  • Remember that small increase in my weight lifting? I wasn't sore two days after when I had pole, but my back muscles were tired and didn't want to lift me to work on our new tricks. I love looking incompetent...great.
How was your week? Tell me something awesome & awkward about it!