Monday, May 5, 2008

20 Years Ago to the Date

Okay not really "to the date". Actually not even close. I may be months, even YEARS off, I really don't know. I just said that because Janae always says that in her stories and it sounds cool and I know I'd never be able to remember anything "to the date" since almost all my brain function has been lost with having 4 kids.

Anyway, back to the story...I went downstairs last night to get a bowl of cereal before bed time so I could sleep with a nice case of heartburn. Who doesn't like to have heartburn at night? While preparing my food, I reached in the drawer to grab a spoon and it's almost like THIS spoon grabbed me. At first glance it may look like your average spoon. A little babyish with the small mouth, but normal, right? Well, a closer look will tell a different story. The handle of the spoon is engraved, "JESSICA DID IT!" Not just written, but in ALL CAPS like it was screaming at me.

I didn't use that spoon for my cereal, I got another one that was bigger and would allow me to shovel more lucky charms in my mouth with each bite, but I grabbed the "JESSICA DID IT!" spoon and sat it next to me while I ate.

I've always been a big fan of Cheerios, the plain ones. I'm not a honey nut girl. One time (since living here) my mom who is a "merrier" decided that since we had two half full boxes of Cheerios, one honey nut and one plain, they needed to be merried. Not a good idea, both boxes were ruined from that point on because those who like the honey nut usually don't like the plain and visa versa.

As a kid, I ate Cheerios all the time. I loved the sugar you would get on the tip of your spoon when you scraped the bottom of the bowl with each bite. I earned this special spoon from being a Cheerios eater. Well, I wouldn't say "earned". It's not like I had to eat 72 boxes or anything. I don't remember exactly what I had to do to get this spoon, but I know it wasn't much. I probably sent in 3 proofs of purchase and then maybe $2.50 for s/h. I DO remember getting the spoon though. It came with a bowl too and once again, my memory has failed me as to what the bowl looked like. The bowl didn't survive the past 20 years and now all that is left is the spoon, but what a great spoon it is.

The pride I felt when I received this spoon was nice, but it wasn't anything like the pride I felt when I found it again last night. When I read the words, "JESSICA DID IT!" my heart beamed. I did, I DID do it. I did it all. I started to think about this last week and how hard it was for me, but I did it, I made it through. I cried every day, but I did it.

I thought about my 3 (almost 4) children. I did it. I made them. I've raised them to be beautiful children with good manners (most of the time) and nicely tamed hairdos. I take them to church and I teach them about life and I hope that they listen to what I tell them as they go out into the world and make their life decisions.

I thought about my perfect husband. I've wanted him to be mine since I was 14 and I did it! He's mine, all mine. I lived as husband and wife with him for almost 10 years now and our relationship seems stronger than ever before. I did it.

I thought about my business and how before having it, I always thought of myself as an uneducated fool who would never amount to anything. But, I did it. I started a business with nothing but an idea in my mind and I built it to be so big and so awesome that I was able to sell it and make an unimaginable amount of money off of it. I did that.

I thought about my life before I got married and how I made some mistakes that I'm not proud of. How off track my life was at one time and how I never thought I'd be the person I am today. But you know what? I did it. I don't know how I had the courage at the time being so young and so immature, but I made it my priority to come back to church. It was hard and embarrassing at times, but I did it. If I hadn't done it I don't want to think about where I would be right now.

My mind was filled with so many "did it" moments and I was proud. Proud of myself. I'm not a prideful person, you can ask any of my family members. I'm usually the first one to beat myself down because I don't consider myself to be one with high self-esteem or self confidence. But sitting there at the table last night something hit me. ALL of this hit me. It's like Heavenly Father wanted me to know that I DID IT. and I can KEEP on doing it, all of it, any of it, whatever I can dream up. That made me feel so good and so empowered which is something I don't think I've ever felt before.

I keep telling Austin that being apart from him is so hard and just does NOT make sense to me. I tell him that I pray every day and night to KNOW WHY. What is the reason for us to be apart. What am I supposed to learn or what will grow from this? I just don't see why HF would want a family to be apart unless there were a reason. Maybe something will happen with the baby or the kids and I need to be here with family to take care of it. Whatever it is, I don't know at this point. But what I DO know, is that each day seems like I learn something new about myself, my kids or my relationship with Austin. I'm learning more about who I am. I'm learning more about my children and each of their very different and individual personalities and I'm learning more about Austin and how much he REALLY does love me and this family we've built together. I AM growing even though it's only been one week. I'm becoming a better wife and mother for my family because I'm learning things about myself that will help me to grow as a person. I feel like I'm one of those Jenga towers with holes in it and each time I learn something new, another block is replaced to make me, as a whole, stronger (insert Britney Spears "Stronger" song here). Maybe HF knows that before Austin and I move on in our life, before he finishes all this junk and we have a REAL life, we need to have all our holes filled in so we don't fall. So we have a firm foundation to build upon.

I hate being apart from Austin, but right now I know it's right. I don't know for how long it will be right (hopefully not TOO long) but while it IS right, I'll be okay. And after it's over, I can look at my spoon again and say to myself, "JESSICA DID IT!"


Tara said...

Oh thanks for making me CRY! no, really, that is such a beautiful post! I know you are going to come out of this in awe at the strength you will develop. You are setting yourself up for being a great Marine's wife. Out of all the services, spouses of a Marine should get the biggest hunk of an awards metal ever made! You ROCK Jess! You are pretty incredible as is, and you are just going to develop into an even MORE amazing person as you go through all these "experiences". I'm so happy I know you, you are inspiring. :)

Vagabond Mother said...

What a perfect, motivating spoon. Also a very funny spoon.

You are the toughest, crying person I know. Three kids, a million months pregnant, and on your own for awhile.

God put my breaking point much lower than yours. It must be that spoon.

Amanda said...

WOW--I love how you share such personal thing with your blog readers:) Your right you DID it and you will continue to do it:)

Anonymous said...
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kay said...

i am a friend of janae's. I do often read ur blog. i think its gr8 you have so many kids and so much strength. I liked this post oif urs and so riting in. hope u dont mind.

Stay Happy and Healthy!!

Unknown said...

Wow, Jessica. I really admire you for so many reasons. Thanks for this wonderful post. Go you for realizing your strength!


Lindsay said...

i loved this story!!! :) It made me wanna cry but i didn't... did you?... i feel that way sometimes too and actually after reading this it's making me think about all the things I'VE done. You're such a good big sister. I love you and Amy so much and i'm so glad that I was able to learn from you guys.

Amy Herfurth said...

I remember that spoon and never felt right using it because I knew YOU DID IT!! The bowl was yellow with black writing in the center it said JESSICA, YOU DID IT!

Sandra Huntsman said...

Jessica - I need to call you! My situation right now is very different, but I'm totally getting bogged down in the why! I just totally understand!

Oh, and PS - I'm BLOGGING again. Let me come out of time out sometime, ok?

Jess said...

Aw...what an inspiration you are - to discovering strength within yourself and seeing that God's plan to make you stronger is being seen before your very eyes!