Foolywank Friday: Last Week

Jury Duty

The death of three young adults.  Very young adults... like 18 years old.  Felt and still feels so swift and untimely... My heart literally aches for their friends and family.

Paper trails and red tape of the insurance process.  How someone can have insurance, need an emergency surgery and yet be waiting in the hospital for treatment is absolutely asinine.  

Watching a couple walk through a hellish, real-life nightmare within the legal system.  Tough, bizarre and surreal, especially when I think of the numerous chronic offenders who traipse in and out of the justice system.  

Did I say jury duty, already?

Many times last week it felt like I was seeing life through a dark and cloudy glass.  I kept rubbing the window pane trying to create a clear spot for viewing however my visibility remained somewhat obscured.  I continued moving forward.  Slowly.  When it's foggy, you have to travel like that despite your hopes, aspirations and plans.  Keep moving forward even at tortoise pace.  Even when things are not turning out the way I wanted them to and especially when I have to do things that I don't want to do. I am reminded that Growing Up...  Maturity is a continual process.  Last week drained me.  I felt mentally, physically and emotionally tired.  Thus the foolywank.  Not the issues and incidents that happened but my response? Foolywank.  So after I throw a fit or two or three, I finally land on these facts: 

During the times I cannot make clear, direct meaning or really grasp the greater purpose of all that is going on, I cry and cling Hope.  I am Broken and Hopeful all at the same time.  Broken because I am physically unable to alter or fix anything that is going on.  Hopeful because I know who can. And in the event that He does not work things out to my specifications, I am Hopeful still because I know He is good and that ultimately (somehow, someway... EVEN THOUGH I CAN'T SEE THROUGH THE CLOUDY WINDOW PANE) things will work out for good.  So I invite my brokenness in, have a real good cry and then cloak my brokenness in Hope.  Hope that things won't always be Broken.  I actually heard an amazing and uplifting message on this divine paradox just the other day.  Click here if you'd like to hear/view a video of the message.

As I type this Foolywank Friday post, a few lessons start to emerge:

I cannot get mad at God for what others do with the gift of free will.    

Being grateful (for what I do have/did have ...for how ever long I have/had it) is key.  

Jury duty made me especially grateful for my daily gig, way of life and many blessings.  (Soon-ish, I will write a post about my final day of jury duty because it was really sweet.)

Hold on to Hope.  Hold on to Hope.  Hold on to Hope.  Never let go. 

Trust Him and Surrender to His Process   

So, in light of our weeks that look like pure, unadulterated foolywank, let's cling to Hope, shall we?  The Hope that one day what is now cloudy will become crystal clear.  

p.s. On a non-Foolywank Friday note, last night I got to see the screening of an AWESOME, INSPIRING, and FAMILY FRIENDLY movie, Courageous.  My sweet friend, Vanessa hooked me up with tickets.  Thanks again, Vanes!  :D ... The movie made me think, laugh and cry.  Yet I left uplifted.  The movie is good.  So good that I will pay to go see it again this weekend.  Click here for more information about the movie Courageous

Love and Hugs!!!

One of my favorite quotes

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." -Marianne Williamson

10 Things No One Tells You About Being an Adult by Deidra Romero

I just read the most wonderfully written post about the stages of life and adulthood (is that a word? lol).  It was so delicious that I had to share it with ya.  Click the link below to read an inspiring, encouraging and timely word from my sweet, sincere, full of wisdom friend, Deidra Romero. 

Click here to read Deidra's brilliant post.

Best Advice

Jadyn Noelle Photography

Wear clean underwear (In case you get in a wreck and have to go to the hospital, you want to have on clean underwear...) Never mind the fact that clean underwear (wreck or no wreck) is a good idea everyday.  Am I the only one who received the underwear/wreck advice?

Put your pennies all away.  Save them for a rainy day.  

Birds of a feather flock together.  


Never give up!

Always tell the truth. 

Give freely without obligation or expectation.



Don't believe everything you hear.

Think before you speak.  (Still growing in this area.  Even when I manage to keep quiet, my expressions betray me.  Help me, Jesus!)

Work hard.  Play hard. 

Live a simple life.  (Simple = full of love, purpose/meaning and all the things that aren't things.)


Do your best.  

Don't worry. 

Be yourself!  

These are pieces advice that I have heard over and over again from the folks who raised me.  I appreciate and value every lesson they've given me.  I do my best everyday to live by these principles and pass them along to my fam, especially the bit about clean underwear... minus the wreck, of course. ;)

What about you?  What's some of the best advice you've been given?

Jury Duty

Jadyn Noelle Photography
Yep, that's where I'm at this week.  Holding down the justice system.  Not really haha.

So far, I have met:  
-some of the cruelest, school of hard knocks female administrators on earth
-some of the coolest and nicest ladies and gentlemen on earth
-a girl who is just like me
-folks who are nothing like me but groovy all the same

So far, I have sat still for more hours than I care to count... more hours than I ever imagined possible...  

I have observed hilarious, antiquated practices and machinery.  I have been accused of being an undercover cop.  And been reminded that hearing a person's story makes all the difference.  

People watching. People watching. People watching. I'm so nosey that I could hardly read any of my books (and I LOVE to read) for people watching, people watching, people watching.  

I ate the most delectable chicken burrito imaginable.  It was healthy and delicioso.  Imagine that!  

I have laughed, cried and cursed the day I was born (not really, just going for dramatic effect here).  More like I have cursed the day I received the notice in the mail.  

I have made new friends, reconnected with a college friend, whined via text message to my good friend Holly and squealed with glee when I got to go home a little earlier than expected.  

I get to do this again tomorrow.  Yay.  *itty bitty bit of sarcasm*

Surely it can only get better tomorrow... right??? 

Any of you ever been called for jury duty?  Any tips, pointers or coping mechanisms?  haha

*Click here to read: Jury Duty Part Deux*

Foolywank Friday: Forgetting that seasons change...

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 Is this Fall weather not delightful?!?!  I find myself daydreaming about lighting the fireplace, drinking hot chocolate and noshing on homemade caramel corn.  It's really hard to fathom that a few weeks ago, I was sweltering in the throes of a blistering and unrelenting heatwave.  Today the temp is a cool and breezy 57 degrees and I am lovin it!  A good friend on FB pointed out how our temps today are half, yes HALF of what they were when we were living in the days of the outdoor incinerator.   As I pondered the dramatic drop in temperature, I realized the foolywank-ness of forgetting that seasons change.  This foolywank is especially present when in the midst of an adjustment period or a tough time AKA the inferno.  This too shall pass and when we adjust to the "new normal" it will then be time to evolve again.  Such is the journey of life.  I wonder when we will accept it.  Today is as good a day as any, don't ya think?           

People change.

I change.

You change.

Hopefully for the better.

Seasons change...

Embrace Embrace Embrace.

Things I Miss...

I usually don't miss anything.  

However, I came across this picture of me and my mom:  

...  and it started to stir up some sentimental nostalgia.

Here are a few things I miss:

Simple Times 
(eat, play, sleep, poop & pee)

Friends &  family members who live out of state/overseas

My sweet cousin who just left for college

Spending time with my Granny

My abs

You missing anyone/anything today or is it just me?

Reflections from my journal

photog courtesy of Jadyn Noelle Photography

I have been re-reading some of my old journals and it is amazing how I have grown, how my perspectives have changed and yet how some people and situations have remained unchanged.  

Right now I am in a journal from my senior year in high school in 19somethingsomething ;)

In addition to poetry about my precious, beloved Granny, one of my BFFs and the precious baby (of a good friend) who died,  here are a few highlights:

"February 5 ... No comment."

"February 12... I have been stressed beyond belief for the past two weeks and I would like to thank Red Bank High School for making it all possible."

"February 23... Change will come, but not without a price.  We cannot acquire change otherwise..."

"March 15... We carry so much dead weight.  Sometimes I wonder how we can walk even..."

"March 20... I will never drink soda again."

"April 4... Always be prepared to deal with whatever is in front of you- Positively!"

April 6... I am beginning to see that open wounds will only get worse with time.  Lack of repair causes more pain, which will cause you to hurt others..."  

Love Love Love re-reading old journals... laughter, insight, the ups and downs, joy, pain, heartbreak and plenty of good times...

What about you?  Do you (or did you ever) keep a journal?

In remembrance of 9/11

Today my heart goes out to every man, woman and child who lost a loved one on September 11, 2001.  The United States of America was forever impacted in a way that will never be forgotten.  Despite the tremendous suffering that took place then and still continues for many today, the resilience of our country and our people stirs my soul to the very core.     

I still remember exactly where I was, precisely what I was doing and I highly doubt that I will ever forget because some things in life are indelible like that.  My mentor teacher showed me an email with the tragic news. I vividly remember the simplistic two-lined email with substance that was too large to comprehend, believe or process.  I thought maybe something happened to a local building downtown... there is no way this happened to the towers in NYC.  

Utter disbelief... Denial is sometimes funny like that.  

The mood for me and my mentor teacher instantly plummeted.  Our apt students picked up on the shift and asked us what was wrong.  Their questions sat suspended in mid air and just about the time the silence got totally awkward, the principal came on and made an announcement that now seems generalized and vague...  and that is how the rest of the day went, actually.  I was in a suspended state of being.  Present but not really.  Vague with clouds of dark gray.  

Parents got their children out of class early... my boyfriend (who was working in a high rise very similar to the towers) was released from work early and came to see me at school.  We sat in the lounge during lunch and watched the images on the TV in appalling and apprehensive silence.  Denial.  Utter disbelief.  

I distinctly remember thinking about my mom attempting to describe what it was like the day JFK was shot.   Somehow ... I knew that we were all experiencing that same sort of thing ...on a much deeper level.  

I rarely ever watch the news, yet I was glued to the TV screen.  
Immobilized by the images and sickened by the reports.  I think I kept tuning in hoping that somehow everything would go back to normal or some report would somehow make sense of it all.  Denial is funny like that.  

I fell head over heels in love with Rudy Guiliani, the first voice and face of leadership to respond with direction, confidence and strength.  His voice snapped me out of denial and became a glimmer of light in the midst of a very surreal nightmare.  Denial lifted and after getting over my desire to open up a can on whosoeva was responsible for this incomprehensible catastrophe, I realized that ultimately all I could do was cling to was faith, hope and love.  Faith.  Hope.  Love.  That and the knowledge that in the end, evil never wins.  


"Mistakes are a part of life.  It is response to the error that counts."  -Nikki Giovanni

If I'm really honest, I don't want to make any mistakes. 
Don't get me wrong, I know that I do and will make mistakes.  
I just have to resist the temptation to PRETEND like I didn't or don't.  

Does anyone like to admit when they've made a mistake?  I don't think so.  Even when people are supposedly owning their mistake, the unsavory aroma of blame and justification are present, which tends to negates the whole admitting-that-you-made-a-mistake thing, right? 

Today I am thinking why do we justify our mess?  We know it's mess...
But because it's OUR mess, we protect it...  

Today, I am changing my mind about making mistakes.  I want to see them as a necessary part of life, embrace the lesson each mistake contains, respond to my error appropriately and move forward with love and grace.  

I no longer want to justify my mess.  

Mistakes (no matter how big or small) will happen and I will respond with a contrite heart.  How many lingering apologies are above our heads?  Apologies that we know we need to make, but for some ridiculous reason (PRIDE) we refuse.  Or has pride become such a habit that we never apologize to anyone for anything for any reason?  

Whenever I make mistakes (and I WILL), I want to own my mistake (without the yuckiness of blame or justification) and respond to my error responsibly, appropriately and as soon as I know I am wrong. 

Who's with me?

*tap tap* Is this thing on? 

Random Deliciousness

fab photog courtesy of Jadyn Noelle Photography

I feel like the richest person in the world when I am leaving the library with my arms full of books (just happened a few moments ago... cha-ching!) and whenever I drop off my recycling.  

The noticeably cooler weather makes me want to bust out my boots and sweaters.  Totally inappropriate, yes; however, the fact that we're done with triple digit heat makes me want to celebrate with my winter clothes... soon and very soon, this wardrobe dream will become a reality! 

I am surrounded by and get to do life with really incredibly awesome peeps.  My friends and family rock!

I still dream about changing the world and try my best to do so.  I typically start with my corner and work outwards from there...

Where I live, there are no clouds in the sky today.  Just brilliantly beautiful shades of blue.

Fun and peaceful holidays full of laughter and love with people you love (and people who love you) are invaluable.  

Click here to see what currently makes me giggle uncontrollably...  (Then I start to dance just like the girl in the purple dress swinging her arms from side to side.)  

What random deliciousness is going on in your world today?

Foolywank Friday: Pretending like the images in magazines are legit

photograph courtesy of  Jadyn Noelle Photography

Sometimes... (usually while standing in the checkout line at the store)... I find myself being sucked into the false world of magazine covers.  I have to snap myself out of the dream world of perfection and back to reality with the quickness.  (You can see where I wrote more about kicking the idea of perfection to the curb over here.)   Since we all know these doctored images are not based on truth, why is the temptation to accept the false sense of beauty and the lie about reality so great?  The ongoing barrage of ads, photographs, campaigns and advertisements has become an assault to the mind, will, senses and emotions.  These images are everything except authentic; therefore, they should have no valid place in our minds, hearts and souls.  

A few days ago, my good friend, Holly, posted this link by Beauty Redefined about the foolywank "standards" of the industry.  I'm not blaming Photoshop, the celebrities or even the industry.  I am saying that it is time for us, the consumers, to become non-consumers and totally reject these false notions and images.  Period.  

Throwback Thursday: Remember when...

photograph courtesy of Jadyn Noelle Photography

Grass was just grass... and all you had to do was cut it?

You thought you knew everything (or maybe that was just me lol!)

TV went to sleep (seriously... silent static was on the screen and sometimes the national anthem was playing with the flag waving in the background)

News wasn't so ridiculously outrageous and sensationalized... shout out to news anchors back in the day like Dan Rather and Walter Cronkite.  They remind me of the days when the news provided facts and then people decided how to feel about those facts.  

Most everything was made in the USA

Gas was 89 cents a gallon... I can still remember being ticked off when gas reached 99 cents L to the OL!

Food was actually food (with little to no man-made ingredients)

Blue light specials @K-Mart... I witnessed many folks act a fool trying to get a deal on the featured "specialty" item.  If you are unfamiliar with the blue light specials @K-Mart, think shopping the day after Christmas condensed into five and ten minute intervals.  

What do you remember?

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