Jan. 7th 1987 - Born
19 days after my original due date, can you believe that?!?! I know that I couldn’t have done it. Way to go Mom!
Aug. 22nd 1988 – Jessica is born
1988 – Moved to “yellow house” in DeWitt
DeWitt is the town that I will forever refer to as my “hometown”.
1990ish – Grandfather committed
This is one of my worst childhood memories. One night I remember getting loaded into my Mom's station wagon and heading to a nearby "big" city. It was the middle of the night, and we went to pick up my drunken Grandfather (maternal). He was standing outside a building, which I am pretty sure was the police station, stumbling all over the place. It was awful to see my grandfather in such a state, I refer to this event often when asked why I don’t drink alcohol (occasionally I do, but it is probably only 3-4 times a year). Anyway, this was the night that my Mom and Uncle had my Grandfather committed. He spent the next day or so in the hospital, but this event changed his life just as much as it changed mine. He was no longer an active alcoholic, he was a recovering alcoholic. To my knowledge he didn’t drink alcohol again.
June 14th 1991 – Lauren is born
Early 1990s – Start of sexual molestation
I really hate calling this that, however I cannot come up with a better term. I have an Uncle who is only 19 months older than I am, and when we were little we would play “House”. Which I think is a fairly normal thing in a kids life, however my Uncle was VERY interested in the “sexual” aspect of the “married relationship”. At first it was just a kiss when the husband got home from work…but over the years it escalated. We never had sex, however I did feel pressured to “fondle” him and continue this “game of House” until I was about 12 years old. At this point, I just avoided him. If he was coming over I would go to a friend’s house, etc.
I have never really shared this with anyone (other than my husband) , and do I feel like a “victim”, no. But, I know that it hindered my life, especially in the social aspect. I felt ashamed, and because of that became VERY shy. I basically kept to myself, and while I had a few good friends….I never really had that best friend you tell everything to, because I was afraid to share what was really on my heart.
1992ish – Meet my Dad’s “real” family
My Dad was adopted at birth by my Grandma S., however in 1992 my Mom figured out who his “real” parents were and we had the opportunity to meet some of them. This was the beginning of our relationship with Duane (my Dad’s father) and Elsie (my Dad’s grandmother. Both of whom are fantastic people, and I am so glad we got to have a relationship with them. Unfortunately we didn’t get to spend much time with Duane, as he passed away in 1997. Elsie, however, lived until August of 2005. We enjoyed going over there, and it was great to know where my Dad (and I) got our personality from She was a sarcastic ass just like my Dad and I. Haha.
1994 – Family moved to Des Moines
1995 – Timothy is born
1996 – Grandma Connie died (Mom’s mom)
It was really hard on all of us because the progression of her breast cancer was so fast. She went from diagnosed to dead in less than three months.
1998 – Grandpa Hansen’s died (Dad’s adoptive grandfather)
This particular death has stuck with me the longest. I don’t know if it is because I was finally old enough to really realize what was going on, or if it is something else.
The day of his death I wrote him a letter (which was later read at his funeral by my Mom). In the letter I apologized for not spending more time with him, and expressed how much I loved him. He was my favorite grandparent.
I know that it affected my “singing career” (haha, career). A few days after my Grandfather’s death, I was scheduled to perform in a solo contest at the Middle School. However, I was not able to participate because of his funeral. So now, and probably for the rest of my life, I associate the song “Edelweiss” from “The Sound of Music” with him. This particular song is very calming to me, and I love hearing it because it bringing his smiling face to mind.
1998ish - Jessica ruined my friendships
I know what you are thinking, how could Jessica have ruined my friendships, but believe me she did. I was friends with Jen, and she had a crush on a guy friend of ours. Jessica knew about this, and somehow hacked into my e-mail account and sent an e-mail to this said guy friend of ours proclaiming Jen’s love for him. Jen found out about this e-mail and destroyed our friendship, as well as my friendship with the other friends we shared. I was completely alone, and this caused me to go into a DEEP depression. I would cry in the shower, and never talk to anyone. I kept to my self, and spent my time watching tv, sleeping, or eating. (Through writing this, I think this is the beginning of my weight issues.)
It took me several months to become friends with anyone else, and when I did become friends with other people it was with a “bad crowd”. Don’t get me wrong, they are great people, but I was encouraged to drink and smoke in their presence….and because I NEEDED friends, I did. I never got drunk, and rarely smoked more than one cigarette….but, it definitely started bad habits.
1999 – Grandpa Jim died (Mom’s dad)
There has always been a lot of speculation surrounding his death. The coroner ruled it a heart attack, but my Mom thinks otherwise. According to her, my Grandfather NEVER took medication….in fact he was afraid of doctors (and banks). But, when they found the body there was a prescription bottle of medication near him, supposedly for a heart condition.
As I said before he never believed in banks, so he always had a large wad of cash on him. However, when his body was found he didn’t have a cent on him.
This led my Mom and her brothers to believe that something “fishy” happened with his death. However, nothing has been proven and probably never will be.
A few weeks after my Grandfather’s funeral my Uncle received a phone call. It was from this woman, Amanda, claiming to be my Grandfather’s daughter. Umm…none of us had ever heard of any daughter, so we were all really skeptical. But, my Mom and her brother went to meet Amanda and decided on the spot that she was my Grandfather’s daughter. She looked identical to several of our relatives, and they had no doubt in their minds that she was my Grandfather’s daughter. We had a short lived relationship with her. We attended her wedding a couple years after we meet her, but then she basically disappeared. It is rumored that she is now divorced, and is in a relationship with another woman. But, who really knows.
2004 – Grandma Baird died
May 2005 – Graduated high school
I was so thankful to be done with high school, however I really should have gone better in school. It was so easy, especially compared to college. I should have gotten straight A’s, however I was a slacker and was content with a C average.
Jan. 2006 – Meet Mike
Here is where the story starts to get interesting. Haha.
I started working at a car dealership, and Mike was a salesman. At first I just thought that he was a cool “old” guy to pass the time with while we worked (he was in his mid-40s when I met him)….but, our relationship quickly turned into more than just a casual friendship. I was smitten with him, I don’t really know why. But, I can say that this was the first man that I thought I was in love with (I don’t think you really know what love is until you experience it….so, you can think you are in love with many people, but really it is only one person).
Don’t worry, we never really had a typical “dating” relationship. We just talked a LOT. He was recently divorced, and he would share some of his struggles with me….and I would probably give him something to laugh about with my childish struggles. Haha.
He made me grow up. He made me realize how a man should treat a woman. And to be quite honest with you, I miss talking to him, and his friendship. I don’t miss “dating” him….but he was a good friend to me when I needed one, and he provided me with a lot of wisdom.
Our “relationship” ended just as quickly as it began. We were never really “dating”, but in his mind we were….so my relationship with my other male friends threatened him (which I totally get because his wife cheated on him, thus the reason for the divorce). He finally had “enough” of my “flirting with other guys” (I didn’t think that I was, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion).
Jan. 2006 – Started working for the Wrights
I love this family, and I started babysitting their 3 kids in 2006.
While I love kids, that wasn’t my favorite part of working for the Wright’s….it was the hours of conversation I would have with Ben and Melissa.
We would talk about everything, from politics to relationships. It was a great way to become more confident in my opinions, and they both always offered up great advice if I asked a question.
They now live in Texas, and I miss being able to hang out with them each week. Maybe we will have to plan a trip down to visit their adorable little family.
July 2006 – First Tattoo
In July of 2006 I got my first tattoo. I don’t really regret the tattoo, however I think that I was doing it for all the wrong reasons. First, I wanted to impress my sister Jessica. I have no idea why I have this need to try and impress her, but I do. I wanted her to think that I was “cool”. I thought that if she thought I was cool, we could have a better relationship. I was wrong.
The second reason was to appear older. I was “seeing” Mike at the time, and he always said that I was too young. So, I thought that if I did an “adult” thing it would make me appear older. Looking back on it, it probably made me look irresponsible and even younger than I really was.
I have come to realize that you should only make decisions for yourself, not for anyone else. Don’t let people’s opinions affect the choices that you make.
Jan. 2007 – First kiss
On Jan. 1st, 2007 (right around 2am, I was celebrating the new year) I had my first real, official, first kiss. My first kiss was not with the best man, however, I did not know that at the time.
Dave, worked for my Uncle as an auto mechanic….which is where we met. I should have been suspicious from the beginning because Dave asked me to not mention anything to Ted about our “relationship’ (which was primarily just texting and getting to know each other). I was okay with this at the time, I simply thought that he didn’t want it to be weird at work in case things didn’t work out. I understood it, at least from my point of few.
Anyway, after a couple of weeks of texting and phone calls he asked me to come hang out with him on New Year’s Eve. I had prior plans, so I couldn’t meet him until late. He seemed okay with that, so we met at the movie theater parking lot. We sat and talking, and after a while it ended up being my first kiss (and first time making out with a man).
It wasn’t until a few weeks later that I learned he was married. He tried to cover it up, telling me that he has never been happy in his relationship, and was in the process of getting a divorce. He is still married today, and has no plans of divorcing his wife. I found out later, from my Uncle, that he has done this to several woman.
You live and you learn I guess. Don’t get me wrong, I feel terrible that I was the “other woman”, especially after seeing how much it hurts the wife (my Mom). I don’t really have any hard feelings for him, overall I still think that he is a nice man….he just needs to get his priorities straight.
Feb. 2007 – Second Tattoo
July 2007 – Started working at Ashford
I would say that this was a turning point in my “adult” life. It was my first “adult” job, the first time that I moved out on my own (more on that in the next section) and really the first time that I “went out” with the girls. This was the first time that I had ever drank in a bar, had a random make out session with a guy, and had to haul my drunk friend home because she couldn’t even walk straight.
Anyway, I suppose I should mention something about the actual job. It was great for me, a sales position and I really excelled at what I did. I loved it! And the only reason I left the job was to be closer to Zach, and I don’t regret my decision for a second ;o).
Aug. 2007 – Moved to Park View with Ashley
Ashley was more of a friend to my sister, however she worked at Ashford as well. She was looking for a roommate, and I didn’t care either way….so I agreed to move into an apartment with her. It didn’t last long, but that is because I met Zach and felt that moving to Peoria was the best thing for us. So, about 2 months after moving into the apartment, I moved out and into Z’s apartment in Peoria.
During the short time I lived there we did throw some rockin’ parties. One of which included a “Passion Party”, which was interesting to say the least. I will say that it is more fun when guys are there, it is HILARIOUS to see their reactions as the toys are being pulled out. Haha.
Aug. 2007 – Meet Zach
This is a story in and of its self. I will start a little before we actually met.
He was engaged to the daughter of a woman at the church I attended. Their relationship didn’t end up working out because the daughter, Amanda, wanted to “explore her options” (in my opinion). So, the Mom, Sue, thought that it would be a good idea to introduce Z and I . I don’t know what her thought process was because she was very disappoint, eh PISSED, when Z and I got married.
I have a feeling that she just wanted me to keep him “warm” (haha) until Amanda was ready to settle down with him.
Little did she know, but Z and I are perfect for each other and hit it off right away. I will say our introduction started off a little rocky.
Zach attended church this one Sunday in August, and Sue took this opportunity to introduce us. I thought that he was cute, however I was positive that he didn’t like me. I talked to much, that’s what I said to myself. Z was VERY quiet, and didn’t even get my number or anything….so, I didn’t expect anything to happen. However, on the following Tuesday I got a message on my MySpace (does anyone even use MySpace anymore???) saying that it was great to meet me and he would like to have my number. So, I gave it to him, and he called me that evening. We talked for something like 10 hours on the phone (thank god he had Verizon otherwise my minutes would have been gone!).
It was great to get to know him, and we basically have not stopped talking since. That entire week we were e-mailing/texting/calling each other, and we planned on getting together when Z came home from Peoria that Friday night.
He came over to my apartment in Park View, and we hung out for the entire weekend. (I also met his family this weekend, and that is probably the start of his Mom not liking me. She was not “dressed” correctly to meet me so she always seems a little embarrassed around me.)
And the rest is history…..haha.
Sept. 2007 – Z and I started dating
He asked me the morning after our first “date” (if that is what you call hanging out at my apartment all weekend….oh wait, we did go to Village Inn on Saturday night, I guess that counts as a “date”). It was pretty cute. However, looking bad….why were we in such a hurry?
Sept. 2007 – Stopped working at Ashford
Oct. 2007 – Moved to Peoria with Zach
I loved living in Peoria. I worked at a bank, and got the feeling of being more independent. Even while living in Park View it didn’t feel a whole lot different than living at home. This was my first taste of freedom, and I loved it. However, we did come home almost every weekend because we are both very family oriented. But, during the week it was fun to be a “carefree adult”.
Dec 2007 - Jessica announced she is pregnant
Where to begin…. My sister Jessica found out that she was pregnant after a standard blood panel was performed prior to a surgery she was going to have the following week. The doctor called her to let her know that she was pregnant, and would not be performing the surgery the following week.
She panicked, and texted me saying that she was pregnant and didn’t know what to do. My first thought was “what do you mean, what are you going to do? You are pregnant, deal with it…that’s your only opinion.” (Sorry if you are pro-choice, however I am not….if you are pregnant I don’t think there should be the option to terminate in most circumstances.)
However, I didn’t say what was going through my mind. I just let her talk, telling me the story. She didn’t know who the father was….and was a freaked out about telling Mom and Dad (which she had to because my Mom was planning on taking her to the surgery the next week).
I told her to tell Mom, and see what she says. So, she did…..and totally milked the fact that she was pregnant. She didn’t move her ass off the couch for a good month….and had everyone cater to her. See my entire family (aside from Jessica) is pro-life and my parents and other siblings were trying to be as helpful as possible so that she would choose to keep the baby.
So, during this month she was contemplating whether or not to keep the baby. But, what kills me is what she said to me. “If you get pregnant I won’t have an abortion.” How can anyone say that….why would she want to pass the responsibility of a life, that she created, onto me? I don’t understand it. It killed me! I feel the guilt of that little life on my shoulders.
Dec. 2007 – Trip to Florida
This was a trip with most of Z’s family. It was fun, however a little awkward at times. I love his Dad and at the time I got along really well with his sister, but the other two are a little strange.
Jan. 8th 2008 – Jessica killed her baby
The day after my birthday, a day that I will always remember. My sister had an abortion of her first child mid-morning on this cold wintery day.
Her then “boy-friend” took her to the appointment (one of the possible father’s). My mom knew of the appointment and drove down to the clinic to be with her daughter, but Jessica would not allow her to come into the building. There is a security guard at the door, apparently, and he would not let her in….and he especially wouldn’t let her in after Jessica refused her.
Jessica’s boy friend had to leave before the actual procedure, so my sister was all alone during the actual termination.
It was ultimately a good thing that my Mom was there because she had to drive Jessica home, because she was in no state to drive home. She vomited several times on the short ride home, and stayed in bed for several days.
When I had a conversation with her later she said that she regretted her decision, and would never have another abortion. However, to another friend (who has had an abortion in the past), she glamorized the whole event. Saying that she didn’t regret her decision, and she would do it again. So, I don’t really know what to believe.
Jan. 2008 – Moved into Zach’s parent’s house
Mid-January was an interesting time for us. Z’s employment with a temp agency ended, and we didn’t really have the means to stay in the VERY expensive apartment we shared in Peoria. So, we packed up and moved to Z’s parents house. It wasn’t so bad. We lived in the basements, and I rarely spent time with his family, except when Z was home. I kept myself busy with work, and visiting with my Grandma.
Feb. 2008 – Zach and I broke up
This was a horrible day.
For the past several weeks I had a feeling that something wasn’t right with Z. And then I found out that he had been talking to his ex-fiancé, Amanda, via e-mail. So, I got into his e-mail (sneaky I know) and read their conversations. I was appalled because in the e-mails he sounded like he wanted to get back together with her. So, one evening I confronted him with the e-mails and asked him to choose. I wasn’t going to be the “other” woman in his heart….and he needed to pick which person he ultimately wanted to be with. Me or her.
He said that he was going to think about it, and a couple weeks went by without an answer. So, on this Saturday morning I told him that I needed his decision today. A few hours after (during my lunch break at work) he picked her. It was very difficult to keep it together for the remainder of the day, and as soon as I was off work I packed up most of my stuff from his parent’s house and moved into my Mom and Dad’s.
While I was moving out I left his Valentine’s present and a note lying on the bed, along with all the things that reminded me of him. I walked out the door, and went to my old bedroom in my parents’ house and cried my eyes out.
Around 11 o’clock that night Z called me. While the phone was ringing I really debated answering the phone, but for some reason I did. He said that he got my present, and after reading the note that I left he realized that he made the wrong decision.
He asked me if he could take me out to lunch the following day (Super Bowl Sunday) to talk things through. I agreed.
So, that next morning I got all dressed up…..make up, cute outfit, everything, and met him for lunch at Cheddars (I am really disappointed that they are no longer open). Doesn’t every girl do this??? ;o)
After hearing his “story”, and hearing a promise that he wouldn’t contact Amanda again, I agreed to get back together.
He had one week to let Amanda know that he would not be speaking with her again, and he actually did it. Much to my surprise.
Mar. 2008 – Engaged
As you can see, things started happening pretty quickly after this. One morning I was just kidding around with Z and I asked him “when are you going to marry me?” He said, sheepishly “I don’t know.” But, later that night he asked me to marry him, and he went out and got a ring the next day.
We went to my parents a few days later (they had already heard through the grape vine) but Z wanted to ask my Dad before it was “official”. So, Z pulled my Dad into the hallway and asked him if it was okay if he married his daughter. My dad said yes, however to this day I am intrigued to learn what was going through his mind. At the time, my parents didn’t know Z very well…..and they love him today, but then I am not so sure. Haha.
Apr. 2008 – Pregnant with Jack
This freaked me out! However, I was really excited because I have always wanted to have a baby. My greatest goal in life was to have children, and a family.
I went to the doctor the day after I took the pregnancy test, and they confirmed it….yes, I am pregnant. So, I went and told my Mom (she didn’t believe it….but it didn’t help that we made the announcement on April Fool’s Day, haha.) I told my Dad the next day in his birthday card.
May. 2008 – Married
We had about as laid back of a wedding as you can get. We literally threw it together in two weeks. It was at a local park, with our Pastor officiating, and only our immediate family in attendance. We got married on the bridge, and after the ceremony headed to Applebee’s with the family to “celebrate”.
I looked like shit, I didn’t even wear a dress! Haha. I felt horrible for the first part of my pregnancy, and I didn’t feel like doing anything other than sleeping. It was a wonder that I even made it to my own wedding. Not only did I look like shit, but Z was on crutches. He broke his knee a couple weeks before while riding a “wheelie” on a dirt bike….stupid, haha.
We are so glad that we got married, but someday we would like to do it “right”. See, we didn’t have a lot of money, so we just got married VERY cheap. The wedding itself didn’t cost anything, and my Dad paid for everyone’s dinner. We had a reception a couple weeks after, but again my Dad paid for that. So, really it was FREE for us. Anyway, in a few years (once we are out of debt) we are planning on getting married on a beach somewhere.
My only regret from the day is that I didn’t get to dance with my Dad. We have always looked forward to a father/daughter dance to “Butterfly Kisses”, however I didn’t get a chance to make it happen. But, when we renew our vows it WILL HAPPEN!
I seriously couldn't have married a better man. He is perfect for me, and the best father in the world!
May 2008 – Moved into Park View Apt.
Oddly enough we took over the lease to the apartment that Ashley and I shared. We moved in on May 10th (Z’s birthday), and lived there are just about a year.
Nov. 2008 – Jack was born
He was/is the most perfect little boy, and our lives where changed by his birth. It was a difficult delivery (all deliveries are difficult), but there were no complications. I couldn’t believe that I was a Mom! (I still can’t believe that I am a Mom)
Dec. 2008 – Jessica announced she was pregnant again.
She was in a “stable” relationship this time, and she was so excited to be pregnant! I was happy for her, and I was especially happy that she was not going to have another abortion.
But, just wait until you hear the whole story….
Jan, 2009 – Jessica miscarried.
In my head I want to say “Karma is a bitch”…..but, that is mean. However, it expresses what I feel very accurately.
Shortly after her miscarriage her “stable” relationship ended. And this is when we hear the true story from her former boy friend.
I guess she became very jealous of the fact that I had a baby, and she decided that she NEEDED to have a baby. So, she approached her boy friend, Chance, and asked him if they could start trying to have a baby. He said a firm “No.” He doesn’t want to have kids, at least not at this point in his life…..and he wasn’t even sure if he and Jessica were “meant to be”.
So, what does she do? She stops taking birth control, without telling him….and they continue to have sex as usual. Until the day that she ends up pregnant. He was pissed (according to him), but there was not much that he could do at this point….so, he deals with it, choosing to stay with her even though he is FURIOUS!
The miscarriage was for the best, ultimately. No one should be tricked into having a child, and you shouldn’t have a child just because someone else has one.
Mar. 2009 – Pregnant with Ady
This was a huge surprise!
We were being careful, however we did not have a “semi-permanent”(we were not, and are not, ready for a permanent form protection) form of birth control in place. When it was finally time for me to go in and get Mirena IUD put in, they did the usual testing two days before the “procedure”.
That’s when I got the call.
“Jenn, you are pregnant.” Eeekkk! We were not ready for another, but her pregnancy is definitely a blessing.
May 2009 – Moved to DeWitt Apt.
We love living in DeWitt! It is both Z and I’s hometown, and we hope to raise our children here.
Nov. 2009 – Ady was born
Our beautiful little girl was born, only 366 (haha) days after her big brother. It is certainly challenging at times to have two so close together, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love both our children, and so does Z. He says that we are a “perfect little family” (he is for sure that we are done having kids, however….I am just not sure). ;o) He adores his daughter, and marvels at his son.
So that’s basically my life story. While reading the complete version I have come to the realization the Jessica is a major source of my “pain”. I think that if she would just apologize for some of the choices that she made, which affected me, it might be better. So, I just have to man up and actually have a conversation with her. I am really not looking forward to that….because I have tried in the past to initiate this type of conversation and it gets shot down. I just need to do it, and leave the ball in her court. If she wants a relationship with me, she will know what to do, and if she doesn’t that is a choice that she can make.
What is your life story? Any advice for me?
Hope you weren’t too bored….I know that it is extremely long!!!! ;o)