Sunday, October 28, 2007

Dear Diary

I don't know about you, but when I was little I kept diaries. A lot of the books I read for young girls were about diaries, and writing your thoughts down. The earliest journal I remember writing in was when I was 7.

And, guess what? I kept them. In fact, I have several boxes in the attic I call "Memory Boxes" with pictures and yearbooks and postcards and lots of other things from when I was younger. Included in that mess are all of my old journals.

I kept journals up through high school. I have been reading them, and they all make me smile. I don't know that I'll ever share those high school journals with too many people...but for your pure enjoyment I figured you'd all get a kick out of my childhood journals. I swear....I really wrote this stuff. Misspellings and all.
These excerpts are from the "Ramona Quimby Diary", which I was given when I was 7 years old. It gave you ideas for what to write, and fill-in-the-blank entries.

"I have orangeshred colored hair and blue colored eyes and I weigh 48 pounds." (Eat a Snickers bar or something!)

"My favorite food is cheeseburgers." (couldn't see that one coming, could you?)

"This year I hope this wish comes true: my birthday is very excitinger then last year." (Wait until you're 26 and you hope for no more birthdays!)

"My little sister did not be very nice to me. I got mad at her. I tole my mom and she talked to my sister. I was happy that julia got in trubble. I forgived her. I played with her for awhile. then It was time for supper." (Supper fixes everything)

"I like to order my food myself. I feel so proud of myself. I wish I were a grownup. Then I could have children. It would be fun but I would miss being a kid. Because I could not play outside and I could no Go to school. I like school beacase I can lern more stuff. It is very fun. Math Is fun in borrowing. It is easer then carrying. I like It o.k. but I still hate math." (Still hate math)

"I love Robbie Stroble. He is very nice. I want to tell him but I am too emberest. I used to love garret hughs." (Getting around, even at age 7)

"For Valentines' day I got alot of letters. Garrettes was funny. It said a heart for my sweetheart. I could not believe it. Because he dose not like me too mutch. All the letters I got were nice. I wish I could send some thank-you notes out to evrybody. But I can't do all that work. It would be very hard to do. I could try but I do not want to." (Lifetime of laziness started here)

"The nickname I hate the most is Jessie" (I knew, even then)

"If I have children I'll name them Sarah and Tara." (cute)

"I like March 20th. It is my sisteres birthday. And I get early birthday presents. It is nice to get birthday presents when It is not your birthday. It wonderful when your birthday comes." (Happy birthday, Julia!)

"Sometimes I wish I was still little because: I would get mor attanchan."

"The secret I don't want anyone to know about: is my boyfriend Robbie Stroble." (score!! we hooked up not long after I mentioned my love for him!)

"The secret I don't want anyone to know about: L KDWH PB VLVWHU." (translation through Ramona's secret code is: I hate my sister)

"I wish these things would change in my family: Getting in fights, medison."
(guess the family was highly medicated??)

"I hate Courtney. Because she hates me. She never did like me. I am glad." (so THERE, Courtney!)

"In May, I most want to forget: screaming"

"These are foods I really hate: lasonua"

"These are my favorite foods: hot dogs, cheese burgers"

"I would like the try this food: I taste everything" (liar)

"I never even want to TRY this food: salad" (still don't)

"I'd love to have a meal where I could eat all the choclat cake and Ice cream I wanted." (when you grow up, you can!)

"I don't like to be teased about: I'm little and I have short hair."

"I'm happy school is over because: no more Mrs. Know it all's like mean girls." (Lindsay Lohan hates Mean Girls, too)

"The most embarrassing moment I ever had was: I have a hole bunch of embearrassing moments." (wait until high school!)

"I felt embarrassed recently when: Boys saw my panie's." (perverts)

"I am most worried about: somebody braking into our house." (still worry about that...what kind of TV was I watching back then?)

"Dear Diary. Today All I did was get in big, big, big, big, big, big trubble. It was an offial, Horrible, NO good, very bad day"

"Dear Diary, Worst day of my life. First I got a bad paper cut. Next I got in truble and almost got a check. Last I was playing chase and broke a window."

"Dear Diary, Today I past my alls test. Today was a great day. We won best row prize! Also I cheated on my alls." (funny how you didn't mention the cheating before passing the test)

"When I grow up I want to be a vetranairn an author Illistrater or a poet." (Nothing about being in PR)

"Today we don't have to go to school! It will be a pretty good day. I hope it will go pretty well. It probably will be a good day."

There's so much more...but I will save it. If you have kids, encourage them to write a diary or journal! It is so much fun to look back on...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Alive and well

I'm still here! I've been Atlanta for a few days this week, so work's been keeping me away. You know, 'cause I still can't blog from my computer.

But, alas, I plan to sit down tomorrow and try to fix the problem. So hopefully I will have more blogs to come.

I'm also working on a very interesting post....coming soon!
P.S.--how much do I love all these car commercials lately that feature songs from Neil Diamond and the Partridge Family?! Love it....makes me smile!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Bread and Water

I have decided what I am giving up in my weight-loss efforts: pre-meal bread. That means breadsticks, rolls, biscuits, croutons, anything of a carb nature that would come out before my meal.
This does not mean carbs as a whole, does not include potatoes. It does not include bread on sandwiches, though it does include the occasional hamburger bun. It doesn't mean pasta. But think of the calories I could save by skipping the pre-meal bread?! And, no, I can't just eat them during or after the meal. I will be avoiding all side dishes of bread.
But it still allows me sweets. I know, I know I'll have to give up my pre-meal brownies (more common than you might think) but it doesn't include post-meal brownies!
I've thought a lot about this, and some people may think "it can't be that big of an impact, she can't eat that much bread". Au contraire, my friend. It is a big deal, and it should have a big impact. Carbs are bad for you, very very bad. And while I can't go all out on Atkins (I'd waste away) I can cut back dramatically on my bread intake. So, now I will lament my decision through the always popular Top Ten list.

Top Ten Breads I will Miss the Most

10. Cheesecake Factory's variety of breads before the cheesecake...I mean dinner. But this one is ok, since there's always cheesecake waiting for me.

9. Hideaway Pizza's garlic cheese bread. If I could marry bread, this would be my third husband. After John and Cracker Barrel biscuits. I would consider polygamy if the bread would accept my proposal.

8. Johnny Carino's spicy Italian loaf of goodness. Is it MY fault that I'm not keeping count of the loaves? I mean, if they keep bringing me bread, is it a problem that I can't remember if I ate 3 or 4 entire loaves? Limit me, and I won't eat that much....but it's their own dang fault for indulging me.

7. Mackie McNear's (or Mickey McNasty's as we call it) entire bakery section. Except the cookies. And brownies. And I think there are strudels and cinnamon rolls that I could replace the Texas Toast, white, and wheat rolls with. If it has sugar on it, do I really have to count it as bread?

6. Ted's/Poblano's tortillas. Now, since tortilla's are flat, I don't normally count them as actual bread--I think you have to eat 4 or 5 or 12 of them to count for one slice of bread. So technically I should be able to eat up to 2 with no real effect. But I should probably cut them out all together, just in case.

5. Steak and Ale's pumpernickel bread, which also means I'm going to have to give up my pre-meal salad at Steak and Ale. You know, seeing as it is a salad with no lettuce--only croutons, cheese, and eggs. Croutons are under the bread category and I have to let them go.

4. Delta Cafe's rolls. I will especially not miss them when the butter is all melted and honey is dripping out all over the plate and then you can soak it up with the last bite of roll. Yeah, I hate that part.

3. Olive Garden breadsticks, ridiculous and terrible little whores of the bread community with their melty garlic salt on them and the way they soak up sauce in all the right ways.

2. Texas Roadhouse Rolls with creamy cinnamon butter and "awful" "greasy" melted butter on top that makes your fingers slippery and makes them literally melt in your mouth. Stupid rolls.

1. Cracker Barrel biscuits with their dirty, very bad flaky buttery goodness and their disgusting, sweet, cold apple butter. Very bad....very, very bad. I will not miss them the most. At all. Not in the least.

I feel very depressed now, and despite the Hideaway Pizza (not garlic cheese bread) I had for lunch I'm starting to drift into a bread coma. I love bread....but I can do this!

I will also continue to cut down on my French fry intake, which should help as well. When there are viable alternatives (i.e. something other than green) available I will choose them.

We'll see how it goes--wish me luck! And go eat some bread for know you want to!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Continued Technical Difficulties

I don't know what to do about my blog. Something must have changed with our computer system at work, and I can no longer login to blogger/blogspot. If anyone has suggestions or remedies, please let me know. It is a very serious issue for serious I called the IT guys with my company down in Dallas and posed the problem to them. They politely informed me, as it wasn't work related, they couldn't help....crazy, I know! It's my BLOG! I have READERS!

Anyway....I can still view all of your blogs, I can even still comment. I just cannot sign in to post. I've tried everything.

So, I will be updating in the evenings from home (if John will let me use his computer!). And if I cannot fix the problem, I may have to switch blogs to another format like Wordpress or something. I can't even sign in to e-mail Blogger and ask what to do!! I can sign in to comment, but I can't get to the help section.

Sigh....just FYI on my plight because I know all 7 of you that read are wondering where I'm at...

In other news, because inquiring minds want to know, fresh off our trip to San Fran we headed to another doctor's appointment today. We actually went to a different doctor. We just needed a second opinion. I wasn't upset with the last one, he was a nice guy, didn't do anything wrong. Just a chemistry thing, I guess. And John wasn't thrilled, and most of the things we've heard about him are similar to our experiences: a lot of 'hurry up and wait'.

I don't mean that I'm a ticking clock and will lose all reproductive abilities next month. But it's now coming up on 23 months and I am frustrated and ready to move forward. We've heard wonderful things about this specialist we're now seeing, and he did put us right at ease. So we decided to move forward with him and see where we end up. I haven't taken my records from the other doctor or officially "quit" him, but I'm taking a break from him to see how this one ends up.

So, we'll see. In the meantime, we have something to look forward to with experiencing a new doctor. We started thinking and praying about this decision about a month ago after we got word there was no polyp and we'd lost two months of trying. It seemed like once we started thinking about it, we had an influx of people sharing their stories and experiences and providing recommendations. Thank you to everyone who continues to jump in and provide support and share experiences with have no idea how much we thank God each day for you and pray for you as well.

I bought a new book and I am waaaay excited about it. It's the new Stephen Colbert, "I Am America (And So Can You!)". I'm only a few pages into it and I'm cracking up. I'll have a full book review soon...

I guess that's all I've got for now. John lost a pound at Weight Watchers this week. I gained a pound. Vacation, you know? And we went to Eischen's on Saturday with dessert stop at Tower Cafe so I'm sure that didn't help.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Yikes! I'm having issues with the blog....can't log in from several different computers, so it may be a while before I can post again. Wish me luck!

This message brought to you from John's computer!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Back from San Francisco

Here I sit, a familiar scene for me: laptop open, waiting for an airplane. This time…it’s so much better. John’s with me, I’m relaxed and refreshed, and (while ready to be home) not terribly anxious to leave.

I thought about blogging during the trip. I pulled pictures over each night off Julia’s camera, thought about documenting each day as it was fresh in my mind. But I was so tired each night and we didn’t have internet access in our room anyway. Which was a blessing….made me truly “unplug”.

So here we are, ready to head home. We miss Faith, miss water pressure, can’t wait to take a shower with hard water, but wish we could take the bed at the Pickwick home with us.

Will we go back to San Francisco? Definitely if they clean up their homeless population or enact some laws that keep the panhandlers under control. It was INCREDIBLY uncomfortable everywhere we went. You could not walk on the street, in and out of any hotel, restaurant or shop without being approached by very dirty, very stinky people begging you for money then cursing you when you didn’t give them any.

It is hard for me to feel sad for those truly down on their luck when you have people clearly drunk and stoned out of their mind approaching you left and right. And then the homeless advocates out there asking you to contribute money to help the homeless—I’m sorry, I don’t live here and I’m on VACATION. To get away from my own stresses and the troubles plaguing my own hometown. I wanted to scream out “leave me alone!”. Why is it the tourist’s responsibility to clean up the homeless in another town? We’re already contributing thousands to the economy just by being there.

It was the most uncomfortable I’d been in a big city. Worse than New York even. So if you want to go to the city—get your stone face ready and be prepared.

Other than that—it was beautiful! The weather was perfect, the sights gorgeous, the people overall very friendly. Seafood was great (you were right, Melanie!) and it was wonderfully relaxing.

I truly didn’t think about work or babies the whole time, so it accomplished my mission. I did sneak a peak at my Yahoo e-mail while browsing the Apple store, but work e-mail remains unchecked. Guess it’s back to the real world on Friday!

Enjoy the pictures. For more, you can check my Facebook album. But for your enjoyment I included some of the best on here. If you want to brave the next few loooong entries—thanks for reading all the way through! These entries were mostly for me: my travel journal. But don’t worry—I didn’t leave my heart in San Francisco! I’m home!

Day Four: Lazin' Around

Wednesday was probably the laziest day. We didn’t have any scheduled plans or tours and we figured we’d shop around Union Square. Our hotel was just a few blocks from Union Square (we had views from our window of Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom) so we were centrally located. We ate breakfast at Sear’s, famous for their pancakes (which were very good) and then began walking around. We were still early so Tiffany’s and Saks and even Gap were not open. I did manage to find the Old Navy flagship store and buy a jacket on sale.

But the shopping wasn’t suiting us (for the price, we could buy 2 of everything in Oklahoma) so we headed back to Fisherman’s Wharf and planned on walking to Crissy Beach to satisfy my desire to see a beach and get more views of the Golden Gate.

We got about halfway—and we were just too tired. It’s so many hills and the sun can’t decide if it’s out or behind clouds so sometimes you’re freezing, sometimes sweating. So we gave up and headed back for some lunch. In-n-Out Burger won out because of it’s convenience.

Then we headed back to the hotel. And we just hung out. Took a nap, watched some TV, bummed around. It was a nice way to end the vacation since this day we were actually relaxing!

We finished the day at John’s Grill for steaks and seafood (not cioppino this time!) and headed to bed, once again, before 10:00.

Keepin' it real--we know how to spot them!

Day Three: Tour of the City

On Monday evening, we’d had an interesting conversation with Eduardo, the bellhop at the hotel. He suggested taking a tour of the city via double-decker red bus. John and I are “city travelers” and like to normally try to be a local and explore the city on our own. But there was SO MUCH we wanted to see in San Francisco, and the bus system was a little difficult to figure out. So, we booked the tour….and it was worth every last penny and then some.

We saw City Hall, the Mission District, the Castro district (lots of rainbow flags there…we didn’t stop, but John was uncomfortable even driving through!), then headed up to Twin Peaks. This is the highest point in the city and offers 360-degree views of the Bay and beyond. It was gorgeous (albeit a little windy and freezing) and we got lots of great pictures.

Then we headed on to Golden Gate Park and spent some time in the Japanese Tea Garden. Then it was past the beach and the seal rocks and over the Golden Gate Bridge, where we stopped at Vista Points for major photo opportunity.

We passed the Palace of Fine Arts, and ended up in Fisherman’s Wharf where John and I spent the rest of the afternoon. We definitely wouldn’t have been able to do and see all we did on our own—so thanks, Eduardo!

Fisherman’s Wharf was very peaceful, despite all the tourists. We saw the sea lions lounging (and barking) on the Pier, shopped and ate chocolate, smelled all the street vendors with their fresh crab legs, shrimp and crabcakes. And then ate dinner at a fancy restaurant called Scoma’s right on the water. I learned something new: “cioppino” is a fisherman’s stew. It’s not a plate full of seafood variety fried up and served like Joe’ Crab Shack. It’s all together in a tomato-based stew. Important to know, especially when you pay $35 for it!

Anyway, it was tasty. Some Ben and Jerry’s for dessert and a cable car home….in bed asleep (once again) before 9:00.

Day Two: Alcatraz and Wharf

We got up early on Monday to grab some breakfast and maneuver our way to the piers for our trip to Alcatraz Island. This was the main thing John wanted to do, and it was a lot of fun. I mean, it’s a prison….how exciting can it be?

But it was interesting the way you took the tour and the views of the city. The prisoners must have gone crazy, being able to see San Francisco from the island—normal life so close, yet so far away. It was cool and breezy, glad I brought a coat!

After Alcatraz we headed to Boudin Bakery for some famous sourdough bread sandwiches, then headed to Ghiradelli Square where we indulged Ghiradelli chocolate brownie sundaes with Ghiradelli chocolate chips, topped with Ghiradelli hot fudge sauce. It was DELICIOUS. We also made our first chocolate purchase at the gift shop.

Then we did something really, really stupid. Having missed our chance to see Lombard Street by car, we decided to walk there. Up Hyde Street. At a 70-degree incline. About a mile, uphill, 70-degree incline. Immediately following a very chocolatey ice cream sundae. Very, very stupid. Very.

But the views, of course, were spectacular and it gave us a good feel for the city. And Lombard Street was beautiful—covered in my favorite flower, hydrangeas. We caught the cable car back to the hotel then found a great little restaurant for dinner nearby.

Once again—we were out before 10:00—our legs thankful for the rest!

What does brunch in wine country look like?

Day One, Otherwise known as Napa Valley

Our adventure began at 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning. At that time, we got up, finished packing, ate some breakfast, and headed out.

Both flights were on time (even early) and all luggage landed safe and sound. Rental car was ready (complete with a GPS) and we were off!

We arrived in Napa Valley a few hours later, but we could smell wine country long before we arrived at our first winery. The smell of grapes and wine is all over the place, it comes through your vents and rolled down windows as you drive. I’m not a wine buff (don’t even really like it) but it smelled great.

We stopped at a winery called V. Sattui, where we had a free wine tasting, found a couple of wines we could tolerate, and stared at the exotic deli items. Lots of fancy cheeses and sprouts and spreads.

We were STARVING at this point (it was about 2:00 California time, we’d been up since 2:30 Oklahoma time and only had a donut). So we elected to skip the deli and find some substantial food down the road.

Remember how excited I was to “have Sunday brunch in wine country”? Well, apparently everyone gets excited about that. The crowds were thick, restaurants were busy, and we were both starting pounding headaches from lack of food. But there was one restaurant that had no wait and a perfect view of vineyards: A&W/KFC. That’s right—we had A&W burgers and fries for lunch. Oh…and cheese curds. Can’t forget the cheese curds! It was delicious and set us up for the drive to the next winery.

We arrived at the beautiful tree-lined streets of Sterling Vineyards (are they vineyards or wineries? I don’t know and never figured out). They have a gondola ride up the mountain to their main building and we rode that up to the top for beautiful views. Autumn has hit Napa Valley and the different colors of the leaves were a perfect setting. We’d already bought our wine, so we enjoyed the views and then headed back into the city.

We checked into our darling hotel, the Pickwick, and then John wanted to drive down Lombard Street (“the crookedest street in the world”) but we failed to realize one important thing: it was Fleet Week and the Blue Angels were doing a show over the Bay. Which means we were driving 3 miles through over 100,000 people. It took us two hours to get through the masses…..2 hours for 3 miles and we didn’t even see Lombard Street. We took the car back, caught the train into downtown, ate dinner at the hotel restaurant and fell asleep.

Wow, you know it’s been a successful day when John was asleep before me at 9:00 pm!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

I'm Leavin' on a Jet Plane

Well, BOOMER SOONER!! We beat Texas! It's the start of a great week....thanks Sooners!

I'm headed to bed. Getting up at 2:30 for our flight tomorrow. Wish us luck. By this time tomorrow, we'll be in Napa Valley!

I'll try to post pictures and updates while we're gone. Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Hump Day

I very much hope to be sipping coffee in Golden Gate Park this time next week. And maybe exploring some funky hippie thrift shops in the Haight-Ashbury district, who knows.

John was asking me today what we're going to do in San Francisco. And other than Napa Valley on Sunday (partly because we want to rent a car only one day, and partly because it sounds so sophisticated to have Sunday brunch in wine country, and partly because having wine will be practically like having communion) and Alcatraz on Monday morning....I have no itinerary. Of course, I want to have an idea of what's close by and what would be best suited for visiting on the same day. But I don't want to feel tied to a schedule. Exciting and scary all at the same time.

In other news, I have a new addiction. I think I shared with you all when I discovered MySpace and how worried I was that it would take over my life. I was so overwhelmed, that I resisted turning to Facebook at the same time. But now....I have discovered Facebook. WHOA! There are so many more people on Facebook, and it's so much easier to find people. I'm having a lot of fun with it....maybe too much fun. If you're on Facebook, friend me. If you're not....join!

I know you're ALL anxious for me to share my TV schedule for the new season. I'm sure you're all waiting with bated breath on what new shows I've decided to invest in, which shows I'm abandoning, what does my DVR look like? I am holding out for a reason: I haven't had time to watch everything. Turns out the last couple of weeks I've decided to get a life and I'm gone most evenings. Since the DVR is in the living room and I have a very strict bedtime, I can't watch my shows late at night so they are delegated to the weekend.

Once I'm caught up and have a good 2-3 week feeling of investment in some of the new shows, I will certainly share with you my insights. If you want a preview, make sure and catch Big Shots, Dirty Sexy Money, and Private Practice. Looks like they may make it to a permanent place on the DVR!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Letter into the Future

I've seen this on several blogs lately, where the challenge is to write a letter to yourself as a teenager. So, I did my best to tell my high school self about what's to come, and what I wish she could understand. Enjoy!
Dear High School Jessica,

As you're beginning high school, I know it seems overwhelming. Especially since you haven't quite mastered self-tanner cream, you're not sure how to kiss (or even flirt for that matter), and all your friends are across town at Memorial H.S. But I'm here to tell you--you're going to love it.

If you could fast forward through senior year, I could guarantee fun and games from here on out. But, just know that 12th grade is the exception to the rule. Start preparing now--it's a bumpy road. I'm happy to report you make it through with flying colors--and a lot of life lessons that will change who you are for the better. The reward for this heartbreak will be four years in college and you will love every stinkin' minute at OU.

I have some advice for you. You won't listen, as the school of experience is the best teacher. But, in case you could here is what I want you to know.

You won't end up alone. And even if you did, it would be better than wasting hours, tears, and energy over some of the boys you think matter. Don't get me wrong--there are some great guys you stumble across along the way. But, man, do you know how to find a couple of losers!

What I really want you to know is not how it ends up. Because the truth is your heart will break into pieces more than one time. And you'll meet THE guy long before you're smacked in the head with the realization he is THE guy. What I want you to know is how amazing you are all by yourself. I wish I could prove to you that you don't need a guy to make you special or worthy or even attractive. You have been smart and full of possibility since you were born--YOU make life what it is. It's so easy to get caught up in dating that you forget who you are and what you want. Please, please remember what you want and don't let anyone change that. Depend on yourself first--you're capable, I promise!

Every girl learns the hard way....but they all learn. I did, and while I have no regrets, if I could do it all over again I would treat myself much better. I'd believe in myself a lot more.

Friendships will come and go, and once again this will be a source of much heartache and frustration. And it's constantly changing--growing up doesn't do much in solidifying friends. However, you will have lots of great friends, and keep them close. And pay a little more attention to the loud, crass girl in your choir class--she will end up being the very best friend you've ever had.

I wish I could say that grades matter. In high school they matter only enough to get you into college. But in college? Grades just don't matter. Your sophomore year at OU, when your GPA drops to a number you didn't even know existed, don't worry. I can honestly say the fun you have is worth so much more than making a better grade in macroeconomics. Or French. In fact, change your foreign language classes to Spanish right now. It will be so good for your career. So, while it's probably bad advice, you know your limit--skip the classes you want and hang out with friends. Just know you'll have to work that much harder to pass later on!

A word on forgiveness. There will be a lot of opportunities to both give and receive forgiveness. It might be the hardest thing you ever have to do, and it's something you have to teach yourself. After you teach yourself the value of forgiveness, you will have to wake up every morning and choose to forgive. You will not always find it easy, and it may take a very long time to finally give in and forgive. But holding grudges and being angry is not worth it. It's just not. So, forgive those who need it. Especially those that love you, and even those who don't ask for it. Walking around as a ball of anger all the time does nothing for your health or your demeanor.

This will be much easier to realize once you have to ask for forgiveness (which you will). Second chances are better than first impressions--just ask your husband. And one other thing--forgiving yourself is harder than forgiving any one person. But prayer can help you through that.

A few random pieces of info to look forward to?

There will be a newfound interest in college football (I know it sounds crazy but just go with me). There will come a point in time where you'll fly all over the U.S. for work BY YOURSELF. And you'll step into a cab in L.A. one day and realize how strong and brave you really are. It's exhilarating, this moment of realization. It makes long hours in airports worth it.

Work really hard, but don't be afraid to step back and breathe every now and then. Take time to really enjoy a cup of coffee. Keep writing, even if it's just a journal. Save all your sweater coats and satin blouses because they come back into style! Go ahead and give up shorts--your legs are just too white to wear them.

And two final things: 10th grade when you think you should cut your bangs on your own, just don't do it. That, combined with a really horrible polyester shirt will make for a TERRIBLE yearbook picture and if you ever become famous that is the one they will print in People magazine. And eat everything you can now--your metabolism will never be this good again!

Enjoy the ride!

26-year-old Jessica