A Letter to my Grandparents in Heaven

*** Note: People tend to get confused when I call my grandmother “Mom”. My mother has not passed away. My siblings and I have always called my grandmother “Mom” because we were the first grandchildren on my mother’s side and no one called her “grandma” in front of us.

This year has brought a lot of change to my life. All the change has been wonderful, and I am incredibly grateful to the life I was given, and for the decisions I have made. However, with all this change, comes thought. Lately I have been doing a lot of reflecting, and have been thinking about my grandparents a lot. They have always been there for me, but are both deceased now. I wanted to take the time to write down all my thoughts in a letter form. The following is that letter. ***

Dear Mom and Papa,

It has been a little over a year now that Papa left me and went to Heaven. Although I am happy that you two are finally back together, I wanted to take this time to reflect on my thoughts.

 

You were always there for me. To some, this may be an obvious statement to make about a grandparent or family member. However, I grew up with a grandmother who really couldn’t care less about me, and aunts and uncles who followed suite when “necessary”. So for me, you two were extra special to me. I realized that family doesn’t always show unconditional love. So I appreciated everything that came from you, because with you, there was only unconditional love.

Thank you for all the sleepovers, lunch dates, shopping trips, and holidays. Thank you for attending every sporting event, dance recital, birthday party, and other major moments in my life. Thank you for all the life lessons you provided, whether they be on purpose, or unintentional. Thank you for being people of love, strength, and wisdom. Thank you for all the story, conversations, hugs and kisses.

And thank you for showing me how to grow from pain. Because the hardest thing that I have ever been through was losing the two of you.

If you know me, then you may know that I cry at silly things. Commercials about dogs or babies, songs that represent growth, and movies that depict drama or romance. However, I do not cry at the big moments in life. Graduations, car crashes, broken relationships…or even death.

Since I was a little girl, my family would comment on that. They very rarely saw me cry at these important moments of growth. I would wait until I was in private, and cry alone. In my mind, I believed that I was letting everyone else cope with their sadness. No one had to worry about me, they could cry their tears and know that I was strong enough to withhold it all.

Until you both passed away. I cried in private and in public. The crying seemed to not stop. You two were some of the most important people in my life. I think of you during every big life-changing, I hope that you are proudly looking down on me. In my heart I know- if you made it to every important event while you were living, you must be looking down at every important event while you’re in Heaven. It’s just how you are. Because I honestly believe unconditional love doesn’t stop at death. I think that it lives forever. So thank you for giving it to me, because I loved you unconditionally too. And I always will.

Thank you for building an incredible family. I am so, so lucky to be apart of it.

Love and miss you,

Jennifer

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Life Lesson: Settling Into A New Home

If you were to ask someone if I am a free-spirit, they might reply “no”. Growing up, I was always nervous. I told on myself and always aspired to please others. I love a rigid schedule, and thrive under structure. Maybe that’s why I am a teacher. Step-by-step lesson plans are my jam. Furthermore, I know that I can get a tad grouchy when I need to be spontaneous (just ask my boyfriend). But, even if people may not say I am free-spirited, I believe myself to be. And therefore I am. I am a self-proclaimed free-spirit…when it comes to the big word, love.

Twenty-four years of what if’s, and self-doubt, began to fade when I met that one person that changed my what if’ to why not’s, and who had so much confidence in me, that I felt silly thinking otherwise. Now, this isn’t some sappy love post. I just merely needed to point out my source of motivation. Love is what motivated me to transform my life. And I find it important to point out, that your life does not need to be unfulfilled for you to want to transform it.

I loved living in Boston. And I miss the city and my friends and family dearly. But I do not want to go back. Maybe this is just my nerdy, book-loving self talking, but I don’t want my life story to end, and realize that every chapter was set in the same place. Which brings me to my big move.

January 15, 2017 I hugged my family good-bye. Tears filled their eyes, but as always, I held it in. It wasn’t until our plane flew over Boston, that I began to cry. Not tears of sadness, just tears of the unknown. Change can be a funny thing. But, now I am over 3,000 miles away from all that I’ve ever known. After a little over two months, this is what I’ve learned about settling in…

Be patient. I have never moved before, and being patient doesn’t always come easily for me. When I get frustrated, my boyfriend (who has moved multiple times throughout this life) has to remind me that everything isn’t going to happen at once. Opportunities will come, but you have to be patient. When you’re used to a certain routine, it’s hard having an open schedule. I moved to California with no job, no family (other than my boyfriend and our GSD), and no friends waiting here for me. And when things didn’t come together quickly, I started getting upset. Which brings me to my next point…

Don’t be too tough on yourself.  This has always been hard for me, so I am not surprised that I had to work on this once we got to California. Dealing with the pressure of struggling is not my strong point. Since I was sixteen years old, I always worked two jobs. I pride myself on being a hard worker. But we moved in January, and schools weren’t looking for teachers. I would sit at my computer and job hunt for hours, and I mean hours. I would act like my 9-5 job was job hunting. Which is great! I was being proactive and my loved ones saw that. But some days I would cry from frustration, and my boyfriend would have to tell me to take a break. And then, the universe heard what I was putting out there, and brought me a job (but more on that later). The point is, try your hardest to get settled, but always remember that everything will fall into place when the time is right. And that everyone struggles when they are first starting out.

Explore.  Seriously-explore, explore, explore. Get to know your surrounding. For the time being, we only have one car. LA is not that walkable, but I made sure that I walked around my town as much as I could. Now, I know the street names, the best grocery stores, and my favorite restaurants. We also explore a lot of outdoor areas, like parks and beaches. Exploring this will make you feel more at home.

 Put yourself out there.  One thing that is tough (at least for me) is putting myself out there. Before I moved, I thought to myself: I will make friends through my new job! But then, when I didn’t find a job right away (not for 2 months), I began to stress. How does one make friends if they 1. Don’t have a job, 2. Don’t have a car to drive places, and 3. Don’t feel comfortable walking up to people and just starting a conversation?!? Well, my boyfriend helped with that a little. He knew a handful of people who had attended college with him, and they had wives to introduce me to. He is also great at starting conversations with people. We took our GSD, Piper out one day and found out that our neighbor was our age and also had a GSD. Yesterday, we hung out and took our two furbabies on a walk. The process is slow and can feel lonely. But don’t worry, you’ll get there. And for the time being, fake it until you make it. You’ll be glad that you did!

Finally, Facetime has been a blessing. My family and I will agree that the distance is not as bad as it seems because we Facetime regularly. I honestly do not know what I would do without their love and support.

I hope this post helped anyone that’s going through a move!

xxo, Jennifer

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delia organics

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a relaxing weekend. If you follow me on Snapchat (username: jennd3389) or on Instagram than you may have noticed that I have been working on my health lately. By health, I mean both mentally and physically. I have made a few adjustments to my daily routine by increasing my work out and cutting back on alcohol, sugar, salt, and take out food. As well as reading self-help books and attending motivational seminars run by successful women. These new habits have helped me create a more positive and inspiring outlook on life!

One of my new favorite daily routines is treating my skin. You may have read in my previous post, New Nightly Routine, how I absolutely love delia organics and their Restore Treatment. Well, I was fortunate enough to try a few more magical products from this wonderful company! delia organics blessed my skin and sent me the following products (descriptions are from delia organics’ website):

This plant-powered mask deeply detoxifies skin and fights free radical damage with delia organics’ antioxidant blend of organic Cranberry, Blueberry and Green Tea.

Botanical Hyaluronic Acid increases intercellular moisture while Tamanu and Seabuckthorn Oil smooth lines and uneven skin. Use weekly for smoother, younger, happier and truly vibrant skin. 

Acne can be a tough issue to deal with. Whether you have acne scarring or you are suffering from blemishes, this masque is beneficial for you. This masque will help brighten, smooth and add hydration to your dehydrated skin. It also has exfoliating properties that will help remove dead skin cells and leave your pores clear with regular use.

Key Ingredients:

  • Grapeseed Oil
    • Contains potent antioxidants that help diminish sun damage & reduces free radical damage by repairing and restoring your skin.
  • Avocado Oil
    • Great source of skin repairing fatty acids in Avocado Oil which help to restore your skin’s layers.
  • Jojoba Oil
    • Enhances the skin’s barrier function, stimulates collagen and protects against UV damage. Also great to soothe skin from swelling, reaction from it’s strong healing properties.
  • There is some promising research that if the Vitamin C concentration is above 1%, it can help against the bacteria that causes acne.
  • Concentrations higher than 5% reduce inflammation related to acne.
  • This serum also has Hyaluronic Acid which will help boost skin’s moisture barrier, reduce inflammation and prevent moisture loss.
  • Serum is a staple in your skin routine as it is the vehicle to pull the active ingredients into the skin’s layers

organic skin care

I have been using these products for the past week, and have already seen AMAZING results! In all honesty, when I started the week by taking my before pictures, I didn’t know what to expect. I am fortunate to say that I typically have okay skin. Meaning, I usually only have a few random (and annoying) breakouts during the month. But throughout my time using these products, I felt my skin become healthier. By the end of the week, when I took my after pictures, I was beyond happy with the results! My skin has fewer blemishes and feels fresh and healthy. I would recommend these products with 100% confidence that you will love your results as well!skin care face masqueIf you are just as impressed with my results as I am, give delia organics a try! My week of using these products looked like this:

  • I applied the Dose of C Serum every morning after cleansing. You do not rinse this product off after applying.
  • I cleansed and applied the Berry Buffering Masque in the evening. I did this three times during the week, and left the masque on for thirty minutes. To remove the masque, you simply rub it off over the sink (without water). The mask will come off like eraser pieces. After using the masque I applied the Restore Treatment. You do not rinse the Restore Treatment off after applying.
  • I cleansed and applied the Clear Sailing Enzyme Masque in the evening. I did this twice during the week, and left the masque on for fifteen minutes. To remove the masque, you use water and circular motions to slough off dead skin and exfoliate. After using the masque I applied the Restore Treatment.

For additional information on delia organics check out their About Us page. Or you can follow them on…

Instagram: @deliaorganics

Twitter: @Delia_Organics

Facebook: @deliaorganics

Thanks for reading! And don’t forget to check back in next Monday.

xxo, Jennifer

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