Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Aprils A-to-the-Zizzle: J

J is for Jess.

Let's be honest, most of us who blog think we have something interesting to say, which means we think we're interesting people.  Some of us are mistaken, but hey, we can't all be winners.  As such, I figured what better way to prove how interesting I am than by dedicating an entire post to the awesomeness that is me?  (Humor me, guys.  I need the confidence boost.)

So, for the post ALL ABOUT ME, I decided to share with you guys some of the things that make me, well, me.


Ah, the southern state in all of its country, backward, deep-fried glory.  Born and raised here, I have spent many a day swimming in the creek, sucking the heads of crawfish (because that really is where the good stuff is) and parading down Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras (and yes, it's a ridiculous celebration, but we just can't seem to grow out of it).

As a teen I swore that someday I'd get the flock out of dodge and see the world.  Get away from the rednecks and their pickup trucks and rebel flags.  I was so serious about moving away that anytime a relationship got to the point where the guy started talking about the future I was like, "Later."  I wasn't planting any roots, no sir.  So what happened? I turned 19 and moved to Tennessee.  Because it's SO different from Louisiana.  Ha ha ha.  Truth:  the only differences between Louisiana and Tennessee are that the food is more bland, cars are MUCH worse and people say you'ins instead of y'all.  Oh, and Tennessee has hillbillies while Louisiana has rednecks (I have no idea what the difference there is).

Seriously though, I love Tennessee.  It's one of the most beautiful places in North America that I've seen. I lived there for a year, and I never got tired of the view. I did get tired of snow and ice on the roads.  Daredevil, I am not.  Plus my Dad lives there with my stepmom and my two baby half-sisters, so I enjoyed spending some actual time with them instead of a measly two weeks in the summer and week at Christmas. I made some great friends and gained some experience, but about seven months in I realized that - gasp! - I missed Louisiana.  What?! What was wrong with me?  I couldn't figure it out, but I couldn't deny it.  The 'ol bayou was calling me home.

The older I get, the more I appreciate my home state, and I notice more things now that are beautiful and unique about Louisiana.  The trees, for example.  Louisiana has some of the most whimsical, beautiful old trees. We all know the food is better here.  Basically I could talk about Louisiana and how great it is all day, but eventually you'd get bored.  If you just crave more, check out a previous post about Louisiana and the myths surrounding it here.


Mine is big, loud, obnoxious and full of some of the most crazy and fun people I know. My mother's side of the family is the side I've spent the most time with in my life.  My grandmother was one of 13 (thirteen!!) children of a poor preacher/sharecropper and a full-blooded Seminole Indian.  They had an outhouse and almost never had meat to eat and spent a LOT of time at church. My grandfather is one of 5 children, and although my great-grandmother is still living at 95, I have no idea what she or my great-grandfather did for a living.  I do know great-grandpa collected tennis balls and sent them to children in Honduras.  His entire legacy is tennis balls.

My family on my father's side spends a great deal less time together.  My dad has three brothers, one of which lives in Tennessee near my dad, one in Oklahoma and the other in Maryland.  My uncles are great, and I wish I could see them more often.  (Long-distance family is one reason I'm thankful for Facebook. Otherwise I'd never get to talk to them.  For real. Like, ever.) My dad's parents passed away in 1996 and 1998.  They had a doll shop and made porcelain dolls.  It was the coolest place, and my grandparents would take me with them to the shop and teach me how to use the kiln, how to paint the faces and dress them.  I always considered myself their favorite grandchild, and I suspect I was right because they called me Miss Priss, and the doll shop was called Miss Priss.  My dad and uncles gave me the stained glass shop sign after my grandfather passed away.  It is one of my most treasured possessions.

Altogether (counting step-family, because they're awesome and I consider them real family), I have eight uncles, eight aunts, twenty-one first cousins, seven second cousins, two brothers, four sisters, my mom, my dad, my stepmom, four grandparents, and one great-grandmother.  Whew.

Then you have MY family; that is, my husband, me and our two daughters.  I blogged about them the other day, so you know they are my whole world.  Hubs is my Prince Charming, my rock, my supporter, my sexy stud muffin   He's also a wonderful father.    My kids are hysterical, frustrating, sweet, beautiful, precious little  fascinating people.  Their personalities are so completely different, but they're best friends and are so much fun.  It's such a joy watching them grow and start to figure out who they are, what they like and don't like, what their interests are.  I love every moment of it.


Like I said, my great-grandfather was a preacher, and my family has always been very involved in church activities.  As a child I probably spent more time at church than anywhere else.  Now, as an adult, my faith is extremely important to me, and I am actively involved in my church.  It is also important to me and Hubs that our kids are raised in church and know about faith and God and heaven.

My oldest child, at 5, is super-curious about where exactly Heaven is, and why do people go there, and what do they do there, and on and on and on.  It started when my stepfather passed away in 2011.  It was very sudden and she had a difficult time with it.  She was Papa's girl, so when one day he was there and the next day he wasn't, she felt very frustrated and confused and sad.  She reminds us frequently that Papa was sick and Jesus made him better, which makes her happy.  That happiness helps the rest of us to deal with it.

Each person is entitled to their own personal beliefs, and I would never force my opinions on anyone else.  If you want to know what I believe, ask me and I'll be more than happy to share it with you.   :)


My major.  My hobby.  My future career.  It's all wrapped up in History.   I love it, I can't get enough of it, and I can't shut up about it.  It's like this gigantic collection of stories - romance, war, comedy, mystery, drama - all rolled up into one book called Us.

There were so many fascinating characters throughout History: some leaders of nations, others seemingly insignificant people who contributed to the world in some way or left their words to help us better understand an event.  An everyday Joe who happened to be in the right (or wrong) place at the right (or wrong) time could change the course of history.  A guy who put his 99 arguments against the Catholic Church on the door of the church because nobody was home, forgetting the next day was a national holiday and EVERYBODY would be attending church....(led to the Protestant Reformation, btw.  Just in case you missed that day of class).   A little Jewish girl whose family was hiding from Nazis during WWII and kept a journal of what was happening around her... The son of a candle maker who went to work with his older brother at a printing press and learned to write, only to later be named one of the founding fathers of a nation...

Each example of one person who made a contribution to our world's history is a story, and each story is available to us to study, to learn and appreciate.  My hope is to share that love and excitement, so that others will develop an affection as well.

So, Louisiana, Family, Faith and History - four things that play a major role in who I am.  Of course there's a great deal more to me (my love for comedies, Aerosmith and vanilla oreos, for example), but you guys don't have time for that.  Neither do I, for that matter.  You'll just have to settle for a sneak peek of Jess.  For now....

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