5 Things I’ve Learned About Relationships


I’ve learned a lot about relationships this past year and I wanted to write some of them down. These can and should be applied to all sorts of relationships; from your church friends to your school acquaintances, the real-life besties to your dearest friends on the internet, and to guy and girl relationships, whether romantic or not. I’m very thankful that I’ve learned these now as young as I am and I hope they help me with all future relationships that I create.

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Z. Know when to speak and when to shut up and listen. 

   In any relationship there’s always communication going on between two or more people. And it’s good for us to know how and when to speak up; to share our mind or state our feelings. That’s healthy. But what’s just as important is to know when to just be quiet and become a supportive or listening ear to someone else. (This applies especially with girls because we often work through things just by talking about our problems out loud–so guys, just let us talk. We’ll let you know if we actually need you to solve our problems for us.) Speaking and listening should be a decent balance on both sides of a healthy relationship. I personally need to learn to speak up more around friends and learn to be able to disagree politely.

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Y. Understand that your standards, convictions or personal beliefs may not be the same for your friends and that that’s okay. 

   I’ve discovered that this is a basic ingredient to any healthy friendship, even though it’s hard to do. Admit it it, it sucks when people don’t respect your opinions or standards. It sucks for me. This is often a big problem in Christian or religious communities because each family or church has their own golden standard and can become very critical of anyone who doesn’t 100 percent agree, even of other people in their same religion. I know this because I’ve both done it myself and I’ve been in churches where that’s pretty much the norm. Seriously, understanding where our boundaries are in regards to how other people feel is important. Be sure to also surround yourself with people who will be gracious to your convictions too.

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X. Respect Their No. 

   We need to respect the other side’s no just as they need to respect our no. Note: this doesn’t mean cater to the other’s every want (that becomes a unhealthy relationship) and it’s also important to distinguish between them saying no for themselves (the good no) and saying no in order to control a you or a situation manipulatively (a bad no). I’ve realized that this is important for when we and our friends hit our adult years. Understanding the good no is simply being considerate of the other person’s feelings. If they don’t want to debate a certain topic or if they’d rather stay home for the night and not go out with the gang, then we should be able to respect that no. This is really hard for me when it comes to respecting my sister’s no, so I have to use the “do unto others” rule as a reminder to help me remember how I would want to someone to respond to my no. Also, being able to say no is a part of being honest and healthy, so we need to be able to feel free to say no to our friends or other people when we need to.

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W. Relationships, of any kind, do take work. But know when it’s too much work. 

   My sister came and talked to me one day about some trouble she was having with a friend; she said something along the lines of, “I know friendship takes work but I don’t think it should take this much work.” It is important to understand that good friendships do take time, clear communication and thoughtfulness to build trust and strength. But I’ve discovered that healthy relationships should be a two way street; we should be giving as well as receiving when we are in a healthy friendship. If we’re in a relationship that is constantly sucking our energy, excitement for life and our time away from us without getting our own needs met, then we’re probably in a unhealthy relationship. We are going to run into unhealthy people our whole lifetime and it’s important to know that we should be able to address this problem with the persons in question. And if need be, be able to back out of harm’s way.

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U. Marriage Is Hard

   Since I’ve been old enough to seriously think about marriage, I’ve known that it wasn’t easy. But it wasn’t till these past couple years where I got some serious wake up calls on just how hard making marriage work actually is. It’s probably the scariest relationship to enter into. I no longer take the issue lightly anymore and in many ways I’m now quite terrified of it. I would still like to get married someday because I know it’s worth it if both sides put the effort into making it worth it. The guy is just going to be dang special for me to strongly consider entering into such a responsibility. However, I am glad to have been thoroughly scared,too, because I feel way more prepared for reality then I was a few years ago…

Seriously; reality is–surprise!–real. So let’s be prepared for it. Even if it’s a few years away…

~Jamie

To Be Treated All Grown Up


*I ramble so much; I made a short story almost too long but it all just flowed out, so yeah. 

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I cut my hair last night. On my own, in the bathroom at about 11:56 PM, without talking to anyone about it first.

*rewind noise* Let’s take a step backwards now.

I growing up. And my mom rocks because she’s helped me really see that. And since things have gotten tough and I hit eighteen and have gone through some self discovery, she’s been really cool about actually letting me grow up. And, with the whole divorce thing going on, I will be getting no child support because, well, to the state, I’m a legal adult. I don’t count as a child anymore. And besides that my parents for the past couple years have been saying, “yes, Jamie, we see you as an adult.”

However my mom has actually begun to stand behind her words and has begun letting me make more of decisions on my own. Not that I don’t like running things by her–not at all. She’s just letting me make my own choices instead of making them for me like when I was little.  “You are old enough to decide your own standards now.”

Here’s an example: she loved the music of Sweeney Todd but she didn’t like all the gory violence that sadly came with it. But she didn’t give me a bunch of crap for watching the movie, she actually said, “You are old enough to decide what you will put up with, with violence in the movies.” Not that I liked all that gore, I actually closed my eyes to a lot of it. But it was awesome not having her stand at the top of the stairs with her arms folded asking, “What are you watching? I would never watch that, turn that off now.” Instead, she appreciated the music and gave me room to have my own convictions. And that really rocks to be trusted like that.

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Now, like I’ve been mentioning here on my blog, I’ve talked several times to my mom that I was thinking about chopping off a lot of my hair. I myself wasn’t exactly sure why I wanted to do this, until I happened to read somewhere that women usually like to cut off their hair after a very traumatic experience and then that all made sense. Nearing a long end of a exhaustive three year ordeal, it was no wonder I was wanting to chop my hair off to my chin and dye it all red and black (don’t worry, it’s actually not that short and I’m not going to dye my hair; that’s just what I felt like doing.) So, with this obviously psychological thought running through my head, I mentioned it to my mom on several occasions; I like getting my mom’s approval on my ideas!

While she didn’t seem too keen on cutting my hair really really short, she didn’t ever say, “I’d rather you not have your hair cut that short” or anything like that. She was actually overall very supportive about my thoughts.

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But last night. Everyone was upstairs in their rooms. I was far far away (it feels like) in my room, feeling icky and I decided to take a shower. And I happened to think while getting the water warm, Wow, hey, after I condition my hair, I’ll be able to brush through it and I could cut it tonight! I wouldn’t have to wait anymore! In case none of you have noticed, I’m a spontanous person. I like to jump right into things. So here I was at about 11:30 climbing in the shower thinking: I should just cut my hair tonight. But for about five minutes I had this inward battle.

Shouldn’t I ask mom first? What will she think in the morning when I emerge from my room with my hair no longer reaching my middle back but instead just going past my collar bone? Aww, she knows I’ve been wanting to cut it, it shouldn’t matter. Oh, maybe I should talk to her first– but she’s already gone to bed. Should I just take another shower tomorrow after I talk to her about it tomorrow and do it then? Nawww, that’s no fun, if I don’t do it tonight I won’t want to do it tomorrow!

And then I realized something, a reason why inwardly I was fighting myself so hard against cutting my hair. And it was a rule that my parents had laid out when I was very young. NEVER CUT YOUR HAIR WITH SCISSORS. Who else was told that as a kid? And here I was, feeling a little guilty for thinking about picking up a pair of scissors and snip-snip-snipping.  Because what would mom say?

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And that’s where I learned this lesson, and where my mom’s graciousness really kicked in. It struck me liking lighting: I’m grown up now. If I want to cut my hair tonight, then I can cut my hair tonight. I’m not a child anymore, I’m a big girl, and I even know what I’m doing! YEAH, I’M CUTTING MY HAIR TONIGHT, WHOO, THIS IS AWESOME!

And I did know what I was doing! I got the tangles out of my curls, leaned over so I was staring at my knees, brushed my hair straight down towards the ground and tied it up right on the top of my head, and I pulled the pony tail in front of my eyes. And I cut it. And it came out in beautiful layers just like I wanted it to.

And guess what; I don’t feel guilty about it. I am excited and a little apprehensive to see my mom’s face when I walk out of my room. But I know that she will support me; because she already has.

And that’s how my mom rocks and that’s how I felt like a giddy grown up last night.

Life lesson learned: growing up means making your own decisions. Sure, you still want to have council from your parents and you don’t want to be foolish, but when it’s time to make the jump into adulthood, you should come out with flying colors if you’ve already been treated that way. I’m thankful my mom has shown that she can start to let go and that she has confidence in me. Because you know what? I now have more confidence in myself.

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Thanks Mom!

PS. My hair really is swell, I don’t have pictures of it yet, though. I’ll see how I like it and if I just can’t help it, maybe I will cut it down to Natasha length!

~Jamie

finally, pictures of my new room!


I finally have pictures to share of my new room, guys! I know, they are way overdue. But Wednesday I finally hung up the last two posters on the wall and straightened the  bookshelves and folded my blankets and; well, I basically got it as picture perfect as I could.

So.

May I present you my new room? (If you are wondering or have forgotten what my old room used to look like, you can check this post out to refresh your memory if you would like.)

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^My bedroom door from across the hall.’Nuff said.

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Okay, here’s a shot to give you an idea of what it looks like to just stop at my bedroom door and look in. You can see the “Dr Who” chair with all my pillows, the curtains my mom rehemmed (she also made the tie-backs that match the one pillow).

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I stepped into the room to take this shot, you can see actually see my Batman headphones there on the desk, they unintentionally matched the Batman clock I got for Christmas.

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Turn to the left and you can see what I have against my wall. My two shelves and yes, I have my clothes hanging on a double rack because Mom wouldn’t give up the closet for me to use (it’s full of canned and boxed food and I couldn’t have hung my clothes up in there anyway even if we did empty it.)

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My Batman clock which I have sitting on my windowsill right now. I’m debating whether I want to keep it there or hang it over the window or hang it over my door….

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A view of my desk if you stand in front of my clothes. You can see my candle and I was just using my C-3PO pez machine and the two pictures I keep on my wall of Kayla and Daryck and me and The Doctor. ALSO, THERE IS MY SHERLOCK POSTER!

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I ordered this off Amazon and it looks amazing. It’s perfect. And, yes, I really do blow Sherlock and John both a kiss each night before I go to bed. I really do. Yeah, I know I have a screw loose somewhere in my head…. It’s kind of a ‘sorry/not sorry that I’m in love with them both’ sort of situation right now. But moving on…

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Here is my matress on the floor, right next to my desk. No, I don’t mind sleeping on the ground, it’s worked out very well. Oh, my mom made that pillowcase. And those are the two posters I just put up. Sorry/not sorry I have an asylum nut and the boy scout right next to each other. I’ll probably rearrange the posters around when I get a Dr Who poster in the near future.

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Oh, and here’s Sully! He matches my room and he is the perfect cuddling/hugging size. He scares away the monsters who lurk in the hall and closet at night for me. ;)

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Here is a shot of my door/behind my door from inside my room. You can see the covered shelves that my mom had to keep in the room, they hold the family movie collection. You can also see my large Captain America shield. It guards my door at night.

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If you are standing at my desk, you can see the closet’s sliding doors that are right next to my door. Yeah, all that space I could have had but it’s still the family pantry. I will eventually hang posters on the doors though, so that’s nice.

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I can’t believe I used to put my stuff all on one shelf before. I guess I did have half a closet at one point, but still. Having two shelves instead of one is really nice. You can see the top of my one, has my first Darth Vader helmet, my telephone replica and my tigers.

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I’m very proud of this little corner collection. I love my Basil Rathbone/Sherlock Holmes tin that I randomly found a few years ago at Savers . You can see my pipe Kayla gave me for Christmas, my keys, my old pocket knife, my trick cigarette and my lipstick pen.

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Here is my small and private dvd collection, which I am very proud of. You can see from left to right, Dr Who season two, The Avengers, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, Sherlock seasons one and two, Star wars bonus material and The Phantom Menace, Spider-Man and Spider-Man 3, Toy Story and Toy Story 2 and yes I own Cloudy with Chance of Meatballs. So what if I liked that movie?!?!? :)

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Here is my soundtrack collection which I have been building since I was about fifteen years old. And some of my nail polish. And yes, the sliver thing back there? It’s exactly what it looks like.

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Favorite books collection right here with the rest of my nail polish. Also that brown container used to be a cocoa powder container but when I was fifteen I washed it out and put a slot in the top and I’ve been keeping spare coins in it for ages. Chocolate and money, how does it get better?

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And I have only the top of my second shelf to show you; the Darth Vader head you see there is actually a boom box. I’m serious! It’s a boom box and it’s the coolest thing ever. When I’m hanging out tonight I’ll probably put the Beetlejuice soundtrack in it. And yes, that’s a top hat with a masquerade mask on it with another hat on top of it. And there’s Buzz Lightyear and Woody. And my box of matches.

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I know some of you were probably wondering where all my Star Wars posters went; well, I put them in my new bathroom; it’s a loosely Star Wars themed bathroom now, which I absolutely love!

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So, those are the pictures!

What do I like most about my room? Well…. I have it all to myself. No negotiating with anyone where I can put this or that or keeping things seperated or any of that difficult crap. That sounds selfish, but I think it’s okay that I can be glad to finally have some space and privacy to myself. I shared that room for seven years, it’s time I was able to shut a door and have someone actually knock before rushing in and disturbing me for once.

Is it very different for me? Yes. It is strange to wake up and be downstairs already. I rarely go upstairs now, and I’ve slept upstairs my whole life. The room that is now mine has been the family junk room (full of shelves with misc. stuff that had no place else to go so it wound up on the shelf) and the guest room/excersise room before and so on, so that’s odd. Never in a million years did I know that one day, it would be my room.

But now it is, and no longer that horrid yellow but a beautiful bluish/green with brown contrast and my posters up on the walls and it’s all to myself!

One thing I miss?

I can’t look up from my pillow at night and reach out and touch the stars. Okay, so, ever since I was about six or seven, I’ve slept on the top bunk. And, I should have been born blonde so that this doesn’t sound as bad as it does, but it was only within last year did the idea dawn on me that I could put glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling. Wait…. I was born blonde, it just darkened over time…. ANYWAY, I’M RAMBLING; a year ago I put glow-in-the-dark stars on my ceiling over my bed. And so, when I’m lying on my right side or on my back in the middle of the night feeling wide awake and thinking or feeling down, I would reach up and touch one of the stars. Because people say you should always reach for the stars, and for the last year of my life, I’ve been able to do that, figuratively speaking.

Not any more though, at least, not from my bed. I put them on the wall over the sink and mirror in the bathroom, so I suppose if I wanted to, I could get up out of bed, stumble across the hall, stand on the bathtub’s edge and smack one of them with my palm if I’m feeling really depressed, but that just won’t be the same. It certainly doesn’t sound the same, lol.

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Anyway. I love having my own room but I have a feeling I’m going to appreciate it on a whole new level with Kayla home. :D

Lots of thanks to my mom who was open to the idea of me moving downstairs and put so much time and work into cleaning out and painting and even buying me new carpet even when we didn’t have to! Love you, Mom!

~Jamie

Sucessfully Graduated


Well, my graduation/birthday party went well and without a hitch. It was a beautiful day, the weather was perfect and nearly everyone we invited showed up. There was just over fifty people in my house and backyard between four and eight o’ clock. The Boys’ family stayed till ten and we played Cops and Robbers together, so it was basically the best day ever.

I was very happy to be surrounded by friends from all times of my life. Old church friends and new church friends got along wonderfully. My old friends all told me as they were leaving, “I love your friends!” and my new friends were happily stating “Your friends are nice!” Everyone mixed well and I was pleased to hear everyone talking and getting along nicely.

Here’s one of the two chocolate cakes we got from Costco; the other said Happy Graduation. Mom got lots of balloons (I love balloons). There was pork sandwiches and meatballs, veggies and cheeseball. The meatballs were easy to make but it didn’t feel like it because my mom stressed over them for over a week and a half. We now have a running joke about how meatballs are stressful and they were suppose to be easy. lol

Everyone watched a slideshow of pictures that Kayla made and Dad gave this mini speech in front of everyone about it and it was quite nice. I got my certificate and everyone was clapping and cheering. Happily, no one asked the dreaded college question, except Dylan and that was after everyone had left and we were lying ‘dead’ in the front yard during Cops and Robbers and were simply talking. And it was okay because he said he probably wasn’t going to college either. And than we talked about Latin and shouted at Daryck to stop swinging over our dead bodies. Lol.

(me and my adorable adopted sister Nechet who wrote me the sweetest card; I love this picture! lol )

I got many beautiful gifts (and sweet, sweet cash, lol.) A hat from one dear friend, a beautiful scarf made with my favorite color purple, a necklace, several books, lots of notebooks and writing supplies. Some of the money has already been spent on See’s Candy, an Avengers Calender for next year, the official Avengers poster, and two shirts from the Disney store.

My favorite gift was easily the one Dylan gave me and that wasn’t until the Monday afterwards. Mom and I dropped off two tables we’d borrowed from his family at their house and Mrs B raced us inside all excited and was like, “Dylan just got Jamie her present, we literally just brought it home!” And inside he handed me a huge book which contained every single book and story of Sherlock Holmes by Arther Conan Doyle, complete with golden edged pages and a beautiful cream colored cover with Holmes’s silhouette on it. I’m so excited to now own every single Holmes story in such a gorgeous book; and to read them all with Dylan for the rest of the year. Thanks for the wonderful book, bro!

All in all, it worked out just about perfectly and I loved every minute of the party.  The family is still recovering a little bit but we’ve got the house all back in order and I’ve mailed most of my thank you notes already.

Everything school and graduation related is now out of the way and I’m ready for two more weeks of world building before NaNoWriMo begins!

Life is taking a change but I’m looking forward to it.

~Jamie

When I Grow Up…


In the culture that we live in, throughout our lives, we’re always asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?” But when we get older the question gets really serious. One starts feeling very pressured to decide on ‘something to be’ by graduation time. This normally means picking some type of career.

I’ve been thinking about my passions and wants and hopes and heart desires recently in terms of what I want to be doing in the future. What do I really want to do, what do I want to accomplish. What do I see myself doing in ten years and what I’ll have behind my name. What has God laid in my heart?

For a while I thought writing was my calling and it is something I’m going to fiercely pursue. But when I look down the road, having books published isn’t really what I want to see. While I know that I have a gift for writing, it’s not my strongest passion.

The question comes down to, what have I always wanted to do?

It ain’t being a published author.  Selling a popular book would be awesome, don’t get me wrong; big dreams would maybe see it inspire a motion picture even.

But accomplishing that goal is not my life’s yearnings.

I realized my heart’s desire has always been marriage and motherhood. What I want more than anything in my future is to be with my best friend for life and have children of my own. You know; my own house to clean, my own kitchen to cook in, my own little gaggle of children racing around the backyard with lightsabers and Captain America shields screaming “Hiemdall, open the bifrost!” complete with a tree fort for Robin Hood and a playhouse for Sheild’s base to fight Loki and the Chatarri.

Love, laughter and life with my very own. That’s what I want more than anything else. I want a clean slate, I want to take everything I’ve learned over my eighteen years and start fresh. I don’t know if that’s actually possible but that’s what I want.

I don’t know if this is in my future or not, but I really pray that it is. This is my heart’s desire.

Oh, I’ll be taking a week break from computer/internet very shortly here; so… if I disappear, that will be why.

~Jamie