Ok, so, the last blog was about settling down in the south. Buying ”home.”
This one. This one isn’t as glorifying as the past blogs.
I’m about to get really real.
I miss the gym. Not like… “damn I miss that place”… but “FUCK, what have I done, that was my entire world. My identity, and my heart.”
Depression has been REAL for the past year-ish. Here’s a little back-story…
It was great and exciting to move, and I still absolutely know we made the right decision, but after we closed on our new property, we spend three months renovating- Jared lived at the new house, and the kids and I lived at the rental. Jared was all go go go working all day and night trying to get the place somewhat ready to move into. He renovated the basement from concrete walls to three bedrooms and two bathrooms. He even cut all the plumbing out of the house and re-plumbed it-as well as ran all the electric etc… All I did was insulate the walls and cut boards between Paisley’s naps- (what help I was)!
It was a stressful time, and by the time we laid the carpet and moved in- two weeks later the basement flooded. Great. We had nothing left at that point. We were drained. Not to mention- at the same time- we were very nervous about riders coming to stay with us. Our house was barely live-able for us- let alone having paying clients live with us.
Yes- it it all is fine- but we are not used to living in this mess! We like things just so- esp when it comes to our services to others. We were panicking. AND it had been three months since any sort of ”normal” for our family- and we were getting ready for guests to come.
It all worked out fine, but during Jan/Feb the house was FREEZING. It needed a lot more work than what we had anticipated. The potential is there for sure…but man oh man there is still soooo much to do. So much so that we highly considered selling in March. We were going to go back to living life on the road for a while, until we could figure out the next adventure. Long story short we had decided against that for a few reasons.
Since then we have tried to settle down a bit and slow down the train on renovations. Race season started and there has been little time for anything else anyways.
Work- Jared’s business was not taking off like he had thought, and we had conversation’s of what to do next. I said “hold on- give it some time, do x,y,z, and once the season gets going I’m willing to bet it’ll pick up.” At the time of writing this his business is doing well and showing great growth.
Ok-back on to my point…
This WHOLE time- I have missed the gym. (Well, really since December 2020ish. Before that- I really just needed a break.) I desperately miss the gym. When I walked away from that place my heart remained. My purpose remained. I now know how Jared felt when he stopped riding for all those years-and the struggles he went through.
I want a gym again in the worst way. And maybe someday It’ll happen (…because I did say a few years back that I was “going to open a second affiliate before I’m 40”….)
Right now though, I’ve been really digging into my faith. Learning about God and how I can live presently through him. Depression is when you live in the past, and I am trying to let that chapter go. The ”problem” is that I’m not sure where to go for the future, because lets face it- I have a family to feed and care for.
Don’t get me wrong- I LOVE changing people’s lives through Project Wellness. I get to connect deeply with each client. The problem is finding those clients to work with- that’s the not so fun part. There are a BILLION weight-loss “coaches” and quick-fixes out there- and the successful ones (in terms of getting new clients) are what I refer to as the “bubbly” ones. I am just not one of those!! I am very real and NOT bubbly at all. That doesn’t mean I can not provide results- it just means I have a hard time putting my face out there to get new clients. Just like at CFI, I was never the face of the business. So as much as I love what I do- I am struggling to compete with social media. I’d rather just coach my clients than film myself dancing in the kitchen. But I know it’s part of the process if this is my path… or is it?
I get excited to help and work with Jared on his side of things- because I have ideas and don’t have to be the face!! Maybe that’s where I need to put my focus?!
Or then there’s the affiliate thing… Do I make that happen again? If so- where?
Before I wrap this up, I feel like I’ve been all over the place with this one… Basically- the house is a disaster but has sooo much potential (we just need patience). And lordy lordy I miss having a gym- but I am working on letting it go so when God sends me my next career purpose, I am ready to be fully invested.
“Let go and let God”. I need peace from the past to be present in the now. Our pastor said a few weeks back ”The windshield is a whole lot bigger than the rear-view mirror”. What truth!
For now, I am leaning into patience and persistence in the pursuit of gratitude. All is well.
(This was written in September- but published in April…as usual it takes me a while to actually get things around and hit the ”enter” button!)
As the time went on we knew we made the right choice and moving to the south. We knew that this year we wanted to find a home for a family again. We still weren’t sure exactly where we were going to end up or where we wanted to call home in the south. we were still stuck between Tennessee and Alabama. This summer we spent a month and a half up north. We decided to end that trip short because we wanted to get back and start our search for a house.
Alabama kept coming up as an option and we tried really hard to want to go there, for several reasons. So on our way home from our trip up north we by passed Tennessee and went straight to Alabama to see one last time if that was where we wanted to be, or if Tennessee was going to be home.
After driving around once again in Alabama we decided that Tennessee was going to be our home. So we went right home and started our search right away. Jared has a dream that requires a lot of acreage. So we started right away looking at as much acreage as we could. Among my original searches, a cabin and 40 acres popped up. This was less acreage than we were hoping for… but it just looked like it was something worth looking at. That next day we drove out to the property. While we were sitting in the driveway we decided to hit contact on the Zillow listing. Not long after we got a phone call from the agent giving us more information on the property. The very next morning we went out and had a showing at the house.
We liked it…. and I said to Jared that this could be home. (Although I was still very skeptical because it was the very first property that we had looked at.) Also it needed some work- scratch that- it needed a lot of work. After a few conversations together we decided to put in an offer.
(Since we had just gotten home and just started the process our offer was contingent on financing. While we were waiting for a response to see if the seller excepted our offer, the real estate agent called us to tell us that another offer was put in at the same time- and beat ours because they had their financing and we were still waiting. We were pretty bummed to say the least.
We ran through all the scenarios of why this happened and blaming ourselves for not coming home sooner and starting our search sooner. We tried to put a backup offer in and were told that it was pretty much a guarantee that it was going to be sold so we never ended up putting in a backup offer.
Soooooo we continued our search, on our own, and spread out our area to practically all over the state. We drove around to a lot of different properties, one day we even drove for eight hours looking around. (If I were to guess…we probably viewed 30? 35? different properties..)
For what we were looking for we didn’t have a lot of options, and anything we looked at was only second-best to the first piece of property that we had found. I was trying to get over it, but Jared was really stuck on that one property that we lost. One day after driving around all day looking at different places he decided to look back on Zillow at the original house that we had put an offer in on. He noticed that it was still pending and kept asking me out loud “Why is it still pending it shouldn’t still be pending!”
So finally he just had this urge inside him that told him that he should call the agent through Zillow again and ask The status…What we found out was that the person who put in the offer and went under contract disappeared and stopped responding to any correspondence. So at that time they would accept a backup offer. So we were very excited to put in a backup offer and crossing our fingers that it would be excepted. It was, and the next step was to make sure the other buyer was actually backing out.
It was a long few days of waiting….
The original buyer backed out and our offer was taken. We went under contract immediately. We couldn’t believe that we had a second opportunity to grab this piece of property.
Closing only takes about 30 days down here so everything was going to be happening very fast. Although throughout the entire process I was very nervous and almost in denial that it was actually happening. It just seemed too good to be true.
Now I know that the way that I talk about this place makes it sound like this big fancy place up on top of a mountain but it’s actually nothing like that. It’s located down a long dirt road that I like to call a cow path- in the middle of nowhere and the house needs so much work! It’s a one bedroom cabin, and there’s three of us plus a dog…
But one thing I know for certain is that I am confident that Jared will take care of us and has the ability to make this house a home for us. I know that when we are done, well…we’ll never be done… but when we are happy with how things are it will be a totally new and different place.
We close on October 1st. And boy what a process it is to get a mortgage for the self employed.. I said it before and I’ll say it again.. ”I NEVER want to have to go through that mess again!!!”
A few days before he turned 80 He was sittin’ out back in a rocker He said, “What you been up to lately?” I told him, “Chasing a dollar” And in between sips of coffee He poured this wisdom out Said, “If you want my two cents on making a dollar countBuy dirt Find the one you can’t live without Get a ring, let your knee hit the ground Do what you love but call it work And throw a little money in the plate at church Send your prayers up and your roots down deep Add a few limbs to your family tree And watch their pencil marks And the grass in the yard all grow up”‘Cause the truth about it is It all goes by real quick You can’t buy happiness But you can buy dirtBefore you get caught on that ladder Let me tell you what it’s all about Find you a few things that matter That you can put a fence around And then he laid it outBuy dirt Find the one you can’t live without Get a ring, let your knee hit the ground Do what you love but call it work And throw a little money in the plate at church Send your prayers up and your roots down deep And add a few limbs to your family tree And watch their pencil marks And the grass in the yard all grow up’Cause the truth about it is It all goes by real quick You can’t buy happiness But you can buy dirtYou can buy dirt And thank the good Lord for it ‘Cause He ain’t makin’ any more of itSo buy dirt Find the one you can’t live without Get a ring, let your knee hit the ground Do what you love but call it work And throw a little money in the plate at church Send your prayers up and your roots down deep Add a few limbs to your family tree And watch their pencil marks And the grass in the yard all grow up’Cause the truth about it is It all goes by real quick You can’t buy happiness But you can buy dirt
I have been writing this blog, in my head, for nearly eight months. It’s a hard one. Here is my story; so far.
I am currently on my second weight-loss journey.
After my first baby, I could EASILY see (and feel) why a woman would accept that their bodies are “ruined” after pregnancy. It’s in our culture to hear women of all ages to say “well I had a baby”, or “I’ve never been the same”, or even “..you won’t look that good after you have kids honey!” I’ve even referred to myself as “ruined” after my first pregnancy.
The fact of the matter is, you are not! Sure, things will never be the same, your body went through some MAJOR changes. But that doesn’t mean that you are not able to have a body you feel confident, proud, and sexy in.
For me, it was 10 months after my son was born that I slapped myself across the face and refused to live my life WISHING I was happy in my own body.
That decision led me to learn how to fuel my body for my desired goals, and ultimately left me at the leanest and most confident my body had ever been.
If I never made that decision to take control, I would have never found out that it really IS possible to be a mother AND a confident “sexy” (whatever your definition is) woman.
Now, you may say- “Yeah, but your tiny any ways” or “It’s just not that easy for me”… It wasn’t “easy” for me. It still isn’t easy for me. Some women bounce back pretty easily- I’m definitely not one of them. In both pregnancies I gained 50lbs. (I’m 5’1″).
I’m now on my second weight loss journey. This one I started only two months after having my second child. It’s not going as fast as the first, but I still refuse to believe that I can’t or won’t get back to a body composition that I feel good about. I won’t stop until I do.
No I’m not starving myself, nor am I taking any weight-loss supplements- I’m eating food (the right food) all day, and exercising.
With both of my weight-loss journeys, I hired a nutrition coach/mentor. Did I know what I was doing? The first time maybe not- the second time, yes. I still hired one to support me along the way. (Because even coaches and mentors need their own coach and mentor!)
Moral of writing this story is:
Don’t settle. Don’t give up. Don’t think you are “ruined” or never going to feel good again. You can! It’s hard, it’s definitely hard work.. but what’s even harder is the emotional roller coaster of feeling like you want to hide your belly- your arms- your back fat.
This is why I have shifted my 13 years in the fitness industry, to helping women specifically. I’ve been there. I am there. I get it.
Wednesday December 9th, 2020. I can not believe that today is the very last full day in our home.
Two things happened this year that were never in my plans; #1, shutting down my gym and #2, selling our home. (No, we haven’t officially sold yet, but one of these days it will no longer be ours.)
Before we even moved to NY we had plans of living in the south. So that’s not news. But moving without still operating my #1 passion, and selling the home that I poured my heart into- is all news…. even to me.
WHAT!? Part of me is like; “wait, how could you ever walk away from all of those years of hard work and the love that you had for the gym and this home!?” But the other knows that this is what is BEST for my family.
We don’t like the winters. We want to raise our kids in the south with ‘Yes mam’ and ‘no sir’s’. And we certainly don’t fit in… in Ithaca anyways. Country music, dirt bikes, tractors, shot guns, and pregnant mama’s on motorcycles just don’t go here. To each their own.
The hardest part of leaving, for me, is leaving this home we built together. (Although, taxes rising every year and all of NY’s BS does make it a little easier.)
I feel like we just moved in, and are still making it our own… and in the selling process it is CLEAR that it is our own… no one seems to like the way we layed it out for our family… I mean what can I say, we like to all be in one room together? There is no privacy in this house.🤷🏼♀️
The choice to leave before selling was a hard one. One that we spent two months deciding on. We took two trips to the south in those two months. 1, to figure out if we were going to TN where we fell in love with in February, or AL where my family has property and extended family. During that trip we did over 2500 miles of driving around to different areas in the two states. We made the decision that TN was a better fit for us.
One the second trip we were trying to decided whether to really pull the plug and go-NOW. We decided that if we could find a rental house that suited us, we would go. We traveled around a looked at a few properties before applying to get a lease on a house in a neighborhood. We didn’t know until we got home the next day whether we were accepted or not.
Long story short- We were approved, money sent, lease signed- and starting to plan the packing process within just 2 hours of getting back to NY. Oh- and we only have three weeks to pack our entire house. AND… remember that last blog I wrote… I believe I talked about telling Jared that I was “NOT GOING TO MOVE AT 8/8.5/9 MONTHS PREGNANT!” Well… Here we are. 33 weeks pregnant y’all. Yup-it’s a joy. Luckily Jared is packing almost everything himself while I sit on my comp and work all day. What a saint! AND not to mention the “muscles” of Syd came over and helped lift some stuff…AND we have the muscles of Mama J and Savannah riding down to help lift things back out of the trailers… (oh and our dad’s are going too… but they’re just not as strong and they know it😂.)
Stella- Ultimately the hardest part of leaving our home is leaving our dog Stella “Sissy” who lays to rest out near the gazebo under a cherry tree. We will miss that sweet girl who we always say “Hi Sissy, we miss you” every time we walk out to the gazebo. Jax even remembers her licking his face when he was tiny, every time he sat in his highchair.
Leaving here without our house being sold is definitely nerve wracking. But, so is the thought of having to move with a newborn baby in the house. The other deciding factor was that Jared kept getting contacted to work in the south- but couldn’t unless he lived there because of all of the travel restrictions in NY. After the 5th time- it was a sure sign to us that we should probably really consider doing the move NOW. Also- it really does suck living in “limbo” of what’s next. Feeling like our life is on hold due to the virus and waiting to sell our house to make a move. We want to get back in control, and start making moves. This is a big one.
SO- here we are. Moving to TN tomorrow. Three trucks, three trailers, 5 people going..plus a 4 year old and a big ‘ol tired mama! Hopefully the un-packing will go smoother and faster with many more hands on deck! I’m ready to start nesting and prepping for a little baby… oh wait then there’s x-mas to throw in there👌🤦🏼♀️
We always jump in with all 4 of our feet, Jared and I.. for better or worse, it seems like that will never change.
Well, here we go, on to the next chapter of our lives.
“Truth is that we all got stories Gotta fail on your way to glory Takes time tryna get it right But every future has a past And right now I can hear God laughin’ Guess he must have heard my plans And my odes, thought it was a joke Gave me more than I could ask And I wish I knew back then, oh
There’s no perfect life You can’t hold back time But you hold on tight Hopin’ you might find Every page you turn Is a lesson learned Ain’t we all, ain’t we all just tryna get it right? These are the chapters of my life”
I’m sitting in my bed, it’s 8:15 on Wednesday night May, 26th? I don’t even know. (Days are just mushed during this lock down..) As usual, I’m doing 100 things at once. Listening to Kip More on instagram live, I’m whitening my teeth, and adding items to my cart on Amazon.
I’m still listening to instagram, and whitening my teeth, but I stopped surfing the web to write this because I am feeling cramps. Why am I writing about my cramps? Because two days ago, on Memorial Day, I took my (seems like 30th) pregnancy test…
(Funny side note: I peed on a stick, set it down, and then went into our closet room to change when I looked out the window and saw Jax down in the yard…. pooping.😂 I started laughing and yelled to Jared downstairs to look outside at his son… and completely forgot about the test sitting on the windowsill in the bathroom.)
Yup, we’re growing our family!
I had already taken a pregnancy test 6 days prior, that was negative. I was taking one every month, because I was SURE I was pregnant. Every menstral symptom that I had, every month, I thought it could be
So back to the cramps..I stopped what I was doing to talk about them, because they make me so happy. It’s uncomfortable, but I feel connected to this little nugget when I actually feel something. At the time of writing this, I am less than 5 weeks pregnant. So I’m “just barely” pregnant. But I am SO excited about this pregnancy. I’m prepared (or think I am..) for all that’s to come with this journey. Welcoming it with open arms. As I’m writing this, the cramps are getting worse, and it only makes me feel more connected.
This one is (and will be) much different than it was with Jax. For so many reasons. One big difference right off of the bat is that we weren’t “trying”, or “not trying” when we got pregnant with Jax. This time we tried. For nine months. Which, is a short time for some, and a long time for others. I was to the point where I was JUSSTTT starting to get nervous, asking questions to my Mom, and Jared’s Mom. And we just starting to talk about “what is the next thing that we should do..” Little did we know that we were pregnant at the time of having that conversation.
It is now September 19th. I haven’t touched this post since I started it in May. Since then, we have done a LOT. We have made the hard decision to close down our brick and mortar gym location, and go 100% online. That involved a ton of work shutting operations down, and practically starting a business 100% over. That was an incredibly emotional ride for me. Once it was “over” and we had closed our doors, I made the decision that “we needed to go now”… meaning I want to move south now, not wait. That was the 5 year plan since last year, but, since closing down the gym I feel misplaced and ready to go now. SOO, we are now past the half-way mark in our pregnancy, and our house is going on the market this week.😳 I’m a mess over it.. I want to go, but I’m also really nervous about being 7, 8, or 9 months pregnant- trying to move!!
Any-who….back to the baby talk
This whole time we (and everyone who knew) were convinced we were having a girl.. and sure enough, girl it is! We’re pumped! I’ve been waiting for 4.5 years to pick out girl clothes. 💁♀️ Jax and I went through all of his old clothes to sort out what we could re-use. We bagged up 12 garbage bags of clothes to get rid of. 12 bags. Like- how does that even happen. The kid is only 4 (this week!). How can one little boy have had so many clothes?!? Anyways- Jax has been really excited for all things baby, and he was really excited to find out that he was going to have a sister- he wanted a sister. The only negative thing Jax has said so far is “I need to get a little tiny crate for the baby, so she can’t touch my toys..and you can keep her in your room Mama, in the crate” 😳😂
Jared is pretty excited too. He’s going to be wrapped around that little girls finger, that’s for certain!
I’m getting more and more excited. This time around is TOTALLY different than the first time, so far, and I’m ready!! (I think..) I have a little bit of an idea of what’s to come. This girl is so special already, vs when I was pregnant with Jax, I really didn’t know how to connect with him in my belly- or actually until I had him home and I got to know him better. Idk why, but it took me a while to really connect. Now I understand, I feel the bond with Jax, and can’t wait to share a mother/child relationship with another baby!! Perhaps feeling her move since 13(!) weeks, has also helped.
So far- that’s the story of baby #2. 19 Weeks to go!
I’ve thought about this post for a year. I started it May 13th, 2019. Every time I go to write I’ve stopped.
One year ago today, I was coaching my beloved 6pm “Tuesday night crew” when Mom called. I muted her… She was clearly calling to talk to Jax. Then she called again. Pure panic was on the other end of the phone.
“Trevor crashed in the desert and they can’t find him! He can’t feel from his nipples down!”
I knew it wasn’t good… But my Mom’s a Mom.. a super caring one. I wasn’t sure the REAL extent of what she was talking about. Then Jare called… So I switched over to him, I said “did they call you?” Jare said hold on- he had Trev on the other line. It then became a three way call with Jare myself and Trev.
He was laying somewhere in the desert, no feeling below the chest, waiting on a chopper that couldn’t find him.
Between cries and whines, “I’m fucked” was his line. He was calling to tell us he was hurt, and sending his love to our little family.
I packed up and headed home as soon as I could. I knew that I was most likely getting on a plane. When I got home Jared was standing in the kitchen of the house we just built- it was our 5th? night there. Jared looked at me with a sincere kind of smirk.
“He’s going to be okay.”
I cried in his arms while he assured me of God’s plan. I agreed, but it didn’t make it any less sad. We waited to hear from Dad with the medical report. The report confirmed our fears. I booked the flight we already had picked out for the morning.
I’ve always been protective of Trev. But not like this. I knew right away that my family needed me. Maybe more so than Trev: Mom and Dad. Let’s face it; Trevs physical abilities have shone bright throughout Trevor’s entire life for my Mom and Dad. There’s nothing wrong with that. But I knew that this was going to be a rough transition of life for all three of them.
I knew, without a doubt, that he was in fact okay, and that most likely with the proper support, this could actually turn into the best thing that ever happend to him. But I knew the support of myself and a few close friends wasn’t going to cut it though. Before publically announcing that Trevor was paralyzed, I sent the medical report to our dear friend to confirm that what the report said..indeed meant he was paralyzed. Once she confirmed “it wasn’t good”, I spent the entire trip out to CA, creating a GoFundMe account for him. When I landed I shared it everywhere I knew how to. My phone never stopped going off. I had people I hadn’t talked to since I was a child contacting me. And..People I didn’t even know.
The whole trip felt numb. It was like everything was on mute. It went so fast. I never once got off my phone, doing all I could to help, and respond to peoples messages.
I took my first ever Uber from John Wayne Airport to the hospital. It was a 60? 90? minute drive and I don’t remember any of it- other than designing a shirt to be used as another fundraising tool. When I got to the hospital I remember going into the ICU, Dad was there, I walked around the bed, and kissed Trevs forehead.
In the first few hours, I helped feed him some yogurt. I remember him telling me groggily “you’ve gotten pretty good at this between taking care of Gram and Jax” …Trev doesn’t make you feel special very often..So I took it and ran with it.
My mom had just flown home to MA from CA just a day or so before the accident. She then booked a flight back to CA as soon as she could. I can’t remember when she showed up, but I made sure to go with Dad to pick her up. She was a wreck. I didn’t want her rushing into the room with Trev and loosing it, the last thing he needed was to see the sadness of everyone else. He needed positivity.
Trev was in a great deal of discomfort, and was scheduled for surgery to stabilize his spine on the the 1st. Mom and Dad (Dad more-so) was fixated on knowing whether the spinal cord was “severed” or not. Basically is his chances of walking 0- or does he have something to work with. I believe they (Mom and Dad) thought that the surgery was going to “fix” him.
I don’t blame them.
1. God “fixes” things every day.
2. He’s their baby, I get it.
To me, it didn’t matter. I was looking at the situation from the big picture.
He’s alive. How incredible is that!!??
He has the use of his arms! (His injury was high on the spine.)
He’s going to become a better person because of this.
He’s going to do incredible things.
My Hope was that he would find his own version of faith. (Peacefulness)
Legs or not. He’s still Trevor. My brother.
I remember many hospital hall way cries on the phone with Jared and our dear friend, Lisa. Hidden from Mom and Dad. I didn’t want them to see my sadness.. I felt like I was, and needed to be, the glue holding them up. I still knew he was okay… but I was still sad for him.
The surgery was long, longer than they expected. Dad Mom and I left the hospital and got some food. At one point we pulled into a gas station and were parked.. I can’t remember what we were doing, but we all were on our phones… Not one of them stopped ringing. Then we all just stopped and looked at each other with an amazingly overwhelming sense of gratitude for the love and help that was pouring in. All over the place. People organizing events, donating to the GoFundMe, reaching out, helping at home, ect. It was an astronomical amount of support. Unbelievable. The GoFundMe account had raised a significant amount in a very short period of time. (At the end of it, there were 550 contributors and $58k raised.)
The first was also my birthday. There was an event going on at the gym that day. My phone rang, it was my sister-in-law. She turned the phone around and 60+ people sang me happy birthday over FaceTime from the gym. I was a mess of uncontrollable sobs sitting in the waiting room with Mom. I was so grateful for their call.
When he was getting stitched up, the surgeon came out to talk to us. Mom and Dad were still trying to get the “truth” out of him. How bad was it? The docs don’t like to say, nor will they tell you it’s severed. He said: “it’s bad, really bad. It’s mush.” Mom lost it. It was not what they were hoping to hear. (Prior to this, a nurse pulled me aside and told me the extent of the injury. Now whether it was, is, or isn’t, [severed] it doesn’t matter. The fact was that he wasn’t walking out of the hospital, and isn’t going to walk tomorrow. I knew, and know, that it’s possible..and NOW the way that he’s going today, that he will someday hold his own body up again.
At one point I was looking at flights home. By this time there were enough people there that I felt like I could go. Even though he was just out of surgery, and super groggy..Another moment I’ll hold dearly is when he kept telling me “that’s the worst news I’ve heard all day” about me leaving. It was SO much harder than I thought it would be to leave. I felt like I was abandoning him. But I had a family and business at home that needed me too.
Then on the way home…a song came on that I’ve never heard before. As I’ve written about before:
Just be Held by Casting Crowns- I was sitting on an airplane, crying, heading home from seeing my brother, laying helpless (paralyzed) in a hospital bed, when this song came on Spotify. Unbelievable timing. I was immediately connected probably more than any other song I’ve ever heard. Not only did this song articulate to a T the message I wanted so badly to express to Trev, but it also holds true for life in general. You are always taken care of. Just simply be held. Your path is already paved…But I didn’t know this until Jared’s second accident, (which is a whole other blog in itself.)
When I got back to the gym, everyone was super supportive. The day after I got home, I walked into my bedroom and there on our bed was a wedding dress, and Jared on one knee- again. He had my ring- (that I left in MA weeks prior to get worked on) and a custom wedding band to match. He then explained to me that over the last three months he planned our wedding and honeymoon. It was planned for the following Saturday. WHAT!? This just crumbled me. I knew how much this meant to him, but I just couldn’t do it without my family. He was crushed, but completely understood. Then we had to make a decision: go on the “honeymoon” or not. We couldn’t get the money back, but I was feeling super guilty about going on vacation during such a time. We did end up going, It was really hard for me to get my mind off of what was happening in CA, but at the end of it, it was the best trip Jared and I have ever taken together. We joked and called it our “test run honeymoon”.
The next Friday we had another event at the gym. I started my workout to the song I heard on the plane on the way home. I sang the whole time, and somehow didn’t feel any of the discomfort that comes with what we do. I was moving because Trev couldn’t. He no longer had the opportunity to feel that discomfort. Despite lack of training, food, and recovery, It was by far my best performance I’ve ever done. Of the 60+ people there screaming and cheering, I didn’t hear anyone. I just moved. I’ll also never forget that night, the workout, and the significance of it.
A little while later, Jared flew out to help Trev and Dad in the transition from the rehab facility to our house in CA. It was a rough transition, as nothing was set up for someone in a chair. I remember Jare calling me and saying “I have no idea how Dad is going to take care of him when I leave”. They did all they could to make things easy, it was rough for all three of them to learn what he could and couldn’t do outside of a facility that was set up for SCI. Jare wanted to help, but he needed to be home too. He stayed for 9 days then flew home.
We had a benefit planned for April 20th, and Trev wanted to be there, so he decided to fly home the day before. He showed up and surprised everyone at the benefit, and we raised around $20k that day. There was an entire committee of people that organized it. They did so much work to get that thing to what it was. So grateful for their love and commitment to make it happen. Such great people.
That’s the bulk of “the story”.. but the actual truth of it all, and what I learned above everything is;
I have an undeniable love for my brother.
Probably too much..for how much of an asshole he is.
Trev and I used to be close, I followed him EVERYWHERE when we were kids. And then…girls happend. 🙄 I’m not really sure if it was because I was protective, or because I was jealous of the attention they got over me… But either way.. I then became the asshole to every girl he ever dated. Because of that, it distanced us for quite some time- like for 15 years or so. I continue to play that part of asshole sister..except now I know I’m just protective.
Since his accident one year ago, I talk to him at least once a week. It’s something I now cherish.
Also, something I must not forget to mention, is how proud of him I am. Throughout this past year everyone kept saying “he’s never been one to give up” … I call BS. That’s not true. (Sorry, I’m here to be honest.) He was always good at everything and didn’t really have to work at much. I’ve seen him quit and have an excuse many of times- particularly racing (esp when Jared would beat him…those were never happy rides home from the races.) Any-how… I was happy that he was optimistic.. but I was waiting for that to end once all the chaos faded and he was back to “real” life. To my pleasant surprise, that has not been the case. I’m extremely happy for him to have found hard work, positivity, and dedication. The use of his legs will not just show up for him. He gets the opportunity to work for it, and he’s taking full advantage of that opportunity. (Life!) I have more determination and work ethic than he does.. but I don’t know that I would be as strong as he is if the roles were reversed.
He has gotten himself back in the position to be able to do what he loves again. It’s not two wheels (for now), but he’s able to go fast and have a good time in his new (fully custom) ride. (And i’m sure he now know’s EVERYTHING there is to know about those four wheels.) It makes me happy to see that he has something he can look forward to doing again.
He is stepping up to help others in similar situations… He asked last month to be appointed to the town’s newly established Disability Commission.
He has some pretty awesome ideas to get others back into an action sport after SC injury that he wants to pursue.
He’s working with people at Berkshire Health Systems on a possible plan to regularly speak to staff and patients about his experience and rehabilitation.
And he has a “rough” business plan sketched out to improve rehab equipment that is subpar and isn’t always covered by insurance or takes months for approval.
I believe that things are just getting started for Trev, his path is already paved, and I’m excited to see where it goes.
As for me, I think I’ve said it all above. But one last thing..
I am eternally grateful for the gift of life that was provided for him on this day, one year ago. In so many ways.
14 months after losing my Grammie, on her birthday, we opened doors at CFI.
We had no members- not even one. We signed one person on that day. One.
Today, we celebrated CFI’s sixth birthday. Days go by so fast that it’s sometimes hard to really SEE. We held a small event today for our members in appreciation of them. It’s not until now- at 8pm- that I am taking the time to realize that 1. we’ve been in business for 6 years (WOW, how fucking awesome is that!?), and 2. remembering and reflecting on the memories of Gram.
Gram taught me so much about life, and how to navigate it. I didn’t know it then. Things come up in my every day life that I can now look back and recognize that she taught me how to deal with them. I am forever grateful for her lessons. Whether it be household stuff, caring for others, or mischief making..She made sure I knew how to do it.
I see so much of myself in her…and in Jax. I swear sometimes she’s putting him up to no good… which leads me to a side note… Some time ago Jax started talking about this “Kaka Mama” person, which now I chalk up to be an “imaginary friend”.. he will start talking about this person and what he’s doing with her.. and EVERY time he “hangs out with Kaka Mama” he gets in trouble. His famous line is “Kaka Mama told me to” or “Kaka Mama and I are.”..XYZ.. Jared and I always know to pay attention to what he’s doing when he informs us that he’s about to do something with “Kaka Mama”. If you believe in that kind of thing.. I assume it’s Gram. Wouldn’t surprise me at all. She was such a mischief maker. I will always carry that forward and teach my kids the beauty of harmless mischief.
I wonder what it would be like to talk to her now. What would our relationship look like now. I am totally different than I was 7 years ago, and certainly view life and relationships differently. I would be curious to learn more about her experiences in life from a deeper level, and tell her of my own.
I take my hat off to all entrepreneurs, it is NOT for the faint of heart and some days I even question myself if I’m strong enough for it. If I didn’t have her strength, I wouldn’t have made it as a business owner for this long. And I wouldn’t have the determination to keep going.
I’m happy this day shares both Gram’s birthday and CFI’s.
(For multiple reasons)..Without Gram CFI wouldn’t exist as it is today, and I probably would have quit years ago.
I am currently stuck in PA in a plane, on the runway. (With Jare.)
I’m learning a lot about society….
It’s currently 9:22pm, and we boarded at 5:30ish?
We were delayed because of a storm. Then the new route required more fuel, so we needed to go back to the gate to re-fuel. That was over an hour.
Then we had multiple other updates and confusions with the route.
Now we’re stuck because the storm moved, so they need to find a third route.
After every announcement, all you can hear is bitching and more bitching. Blaming the crew, pilot, and American Airlines.
PEOPLE…. what in the actual f*ck is wrong with you!!
We are not in the air because it is not okay to fly. Period. Would you rather stay on the ground where it is safe? Or risk your life for a few extra hours in Vegas?
I’m writing this because I am blown away at the way grown ass adults react to things that are COMPLETELY out of their control. Seriously. What are you going to do about it? The crew is doing their best, and we’re safe.
Sometimes it’s best to take a big view of what is actually happening. Count your blessings. Don’t be the ungrateful asshole that complains about everything under the sun.
I didn’t need to get married to know or show our love. But we did, and I couldn’t be happier…
We didn’t tell many about our wedding, because it was super small, unorganized, and we (I) didn’t want anyone asking questions everyday about it. It has been a very career oriented busy summer, and we actually didn’t start doing anything FOR the wedding until the Monday before.
All week, I checked the weather. On the day of…. I checked it every three minutes. And the weatherman lies..
Our wedding was planned to be at 7pm. It was down-pouring at 4:30 and I was happy, but not happy. I just wanted that moment of sun that shines so bright almost every night on our property. It’s absolutely beautiful. … it didn’t look promising. I was actually afraid that it was going to be completely dark out at 7pm. We also didn’t have a rain plan… umbrellas?
Around 6:15? It started getting a little bit lighter, and at 7pm, the sun was shining. The sky parted perfectly. It was everything I was hoping for.
I was super happy to see our family walking out across the yard…. (even though it was 7:15 and they were panicking me… I thought the sun was going to go down before I walked!!!)
A lot didn’t go “as planned”.. not that there was ever a real plan.. but a lot definitely got screwed up. It was funny. I love that it happened. Because it really doesn’t matter.
Before I go… I want to talk about the family we have..😳
Had a role in making yesterday what it was. Every one.
We are incredibly lucky to have such an amazing group of individuals surrounding us.
If you were one of them, and you’re reading this, thank you thank you THANK YOU. We are once again blown away by your generosity and love. 🥰
The word “perfect” is used way too much. I don’t like it. Nothing is perfect. But I would say, our (OUR) day (the way WE wanted it, where we wanted it) was as close to perfect as we could have ever imagined it to be.
I wouldn’t have wanted our day to be any other way.
(Insert the “Wait, I thought you were married?” and “I didn’t know that you were getting married!?” and “It’s about time” lines here..)
Yup, today is my wedding day. Which is totally fucking awesome.. but lets be real here- we’ve been married. 😆
Gol-lee, what a journey it has been up till this point. I will take you through a quick abbreviated version of that journey….
2007– Is when it all started… My pick-up line was “You need help with that?” as Jared stood off the back of our boat and peed into the lake. (As my current boyfriend sat there in the passenger seat.) Yup, sorry Mom & Dad.
I had always wanted that (in my eyes) “big bad Jared Jordan” boy who spanked all the other boys in the mini class. He was so bad, and I knew it, but told myself that if I could just once get my hands on him I would take advantage of it.. Well, that opportunity came closer and closer as he and his friend came to our house one summer. Then when he came back a second time the next summer- gosh I don’t even know why.. I took that as another opportunity to weasel my way into GF status.
2008– Long story short- I hooked him. And I was shocked for about a whole year that it was actually real.. Then I settled in. I definitely calmed that boy down, and continue to every day. 😆
Now keep in mind- I’m 15 and he’s 17. No way did I ever really imagine he was going to be my husband someday, even though he told me (and my dad) so. My dad- did.not. like him. I could see that he wanted to, but boy did he smell trouble. Jared and dad would get into arguments.. I would be torn between who to side with.. it was a rough start.
2009– I don’t remember too much about this year. We still lived 206 miles apart. ( Jared got more speeding tickets in those first years than anyone should get in a lifetime.😳😬) We raced almost every weekend. And it was the year my sweet nephew, Treyson, was born. April 13 – April 21st. I was heart broken, mostly to see the hurt in my brother and his soon-to-be wife’s eyes. I will never forget the look on Sarah’s face as she had to fill out the paperwork at the funeral home. Absolutely heartbreaking.
2010– I graduated high school a year early. Jared decided he was going to ride bulls. (Yup more on that later..) We got a puppy together. (Kaine) And later that year Jared moved to MA to live with me at my parents house. Meanwhile, my grandfather went downhill FAST. My family was there at the very end. The day that Jared wiped my dying grandfathers ass, was the day I seen Dad really changed his mind about Jared. TODAY, I swear to god he would choose Jared over me. Hands down. 😂
2011 / 2012– Back to the bull riding…🤦🏼♀️ I had no idea why in the f*ck this was a thing.. like seriously. Who in their right mind… anyways.. I wasn’t happy about it. Jared told me he was going to be a professional bull rider. I packed his shit up, and left it at the gate of the farm he was riding at. I was not going to watch him get killed by a bull. He quickly realized that he was heading down the wrong path. Jared and I moved out of my parents house and into one of their apartments. We were still chasing the races, traveling almost every weekend up and down the East Coast with my dad, brother, and his wife. I was going to school for exercise science, knowing that one day I was going to open my own fitness studio. Then… I (2011) dragged Jare into our local CrossFit. We both thought we were fit….😂. I quickly changed my mind about school and fitness studios.. and was dead set on opening a CF affiliate. During this time I was also taking care of my grandmother, after Grandad passed. She too was going downhill fast. I was her primary caregiver and spent every day with her. She was a blast. I miss her everyday. She would always try to “steal” Jared from me, saying that “if only I was younger”. She loved him. She passed away in November of 2012. (I wish she could have held Jax, just once.)
2013– How did we end up in NY? We broke up. One of the 100’s of times.. or so it seemed. This one was a bad one though, and Jared actually moved home. We were young, (still are🙄) and crazy emotional. I remember waking up to his stuff gone, and calling Dad at 4am to come watch the dogs, because I was NOT letting go. My gut told me that if I didn’t chase him down, I would regret it for the rest of my life- and boy would that have been the truth!! I moved to NY and shortly there after (after REALLY hating working FOR someone) we ventured into opening CFI. We had started planning it before we moved to NY, but It was going to be in AL. We actually even had our affiliation letter approved before moving to NY.
2014– We opened doors at CFI, got engaged, and was also the year Jare had his accident racing in South Carolina. (I stopped racing in 2012?, but Jare continued.) A bad concussion really messed him up for years afterwards. Depression amongst many other symptoms swept through him, and our relationship. Boy it was tough those first years as business owners and dealing with the effects of a brain injury.
2015-We continued to fight like little kids. Then we had a kid. 🤷🏼♀️ No, Jax wasn’t an accident. He wasn’t planned either. We were fully aware that no BC = baby, at some point. I actually was beginning to think I was “broken” and couldn’t have kids… then the week we moved into our new location for CFI, we found out I was pregnant.
2016– That year was hard on Jare, I didn’t do a damn thing at our business, pregnancy took my brain for SURE. When Jax was born, it took a toll on us, mom and dad life was more than we were ready for. Jare was trying to run a growing business by himself, and I was staying home with a baby who did.not.sleep.ever.
An affair took us over. I knew it was happening but didn’t want to admit it. It was by far the hardest thing I have ever gone through. But I did. We did. It made us stronger than ever. Today, I am thankful for it. It has shaped a lot of who I am today. I am a much better, stronger, confident, grounded, woman than ever before. I don’t however, wish it upon anyone. I have forgiven, not forgotten.
2017– Next came Jareds brilliant idea to get back into racing. I wasn’t happy, but I made the decision to support him regardless. At his very first race back, he had his second accident. He hit his head again, in the exact same spot. Broke his helmet, and was unconscious for who knows how long. As I wrote in my last blog..
There is not one single doubt in my mind, that he should have left Jax and I that day. Something….someone….put him back on this earth. Call me crazy, I would have prior to experiencing this. But I’m telling you with 100% certainty. That event changed our lives forever.
That day was also a huge turning point in our lives. Probably the biggest. Extreme love & gratitude swept through our family, as well as a belief in something greater than us.
That was when we started really working on our relationship- nurturing it and feeding it. Trying new things, listening and learning from podcasts, reading books about how to be better humans, etc. We finally really started working as a team, and pushing each other toward the best versions of ourselves.
2018– Was a fantastic year. (Other than loosing Klutch and Stella.🐶) I was 100% fixated on getting our mortgage to go through so we could start building our home. After tons of monkeying around, it went through and we broke ground in October. Jared was the absolute best through building, he knew enough to get out of my way and say “whatever you want honey” whenever I asked him about a faucet, light fixture, or which rug to put where. After all, he really doesn’t care about what is where or how or when, but I DO!
2019– We moved into our home!!! And 3? mornings later, I was on a plane to CA because my brother had been paralyzed.😳 Because of the newfound faith in our lives, Jared was able to hang up the phone with Trev, as he was laying in the desert unable to move, and look me in the eye and say “he is going to be okay. Regardless”. I knew it too, but I knew my parents didn’t. I needed to be there for them, so I flew to CA. However, it didn’t make it any less sad. Oh- and when I got back from CA, I was informed that we were to get married the next weekend, and we had a honeymoon trip the next day. 😳 Yup, Jared planned a surprise wedding for us. He knew that if he didn’t just do it, that I would put it off forever. I just didn’t want the stress of one🤷🏼♀️. He planned EVERYTHING. I couldn’t go through with it without my family involved, so we rescheduled it. Today I wear the dress HE picked out and bought for me. My girls wear the dresses he bought for them. And we have the people that he invited. It will be small, super unorganized, and just the way we want it.
So … After all that, let’s talk reality. We actually have had more bad times than good for the first 9(?) years that we were together. Or I should say more rocky times than good streaks. Why on earth are we still together!?!? Something deep inside me, from the very beginning, has told me that we are what’s best for each other. As you can see from above, things have come a long long way. We have had one hell of a rollercoaster ride. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. The bumpy ride makes the present day so much sweeter. We are without a doubt totally different people than we were even 3 years ago. I am extremely proud of the growth that has happened individually and together for Jared and I.
Jared and I have been engaged for over 5 years, together for over 11. We’re not married. And I’m SO glad we’re not. Yet. Looking back, if we would have gotten married 4/5 years ago, we would have never gotten the opportunity to truly feel what a wedding (i think) should feel like.
Life has changed so much for us, we are completely different people than we were when we met. Completely. Things are much much better, happier, united. That doesn’t mean we don’t fight. We do. And if anyone pretends like their life is rainbows and sunshine 24/7- I don’t trust them. Things aren’t easy. We work hard at our relationship.
Jare asked me the other day if I was excited to get married… Yes, and no. I am not excited to “get married” …I am excited to be married to my absolute rock. The person who pushes me to be my best. The person who was absolutely placed on this earth for me.
Jare, I am proud and extremely blessed to be your wife.