Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sum Up

It hasn't been a good week, and I am ready for the weekend.

Actually, I have been ready for the weekend since Sunday morning. This week has been one of those that kicks you in the ass and leaves you lying in the puddle by the side of the road.

And poor Mike has had to be the sounding board for my frustrations this week. He has been the support that has kept me going.

No, not any one thing is wrong, I promise. Just one of those overall rough times, ya know?

Someone wake me up when it's Friday afternoon, please :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Little Bit of Blue October on a Tuesday

I wanted to share this video with you... it is from a few years ago, and it is the way that Blue October used to close their concerts. The honesty and "lay it all out there" attitude is what drew me to them in the first place. This video is composed of two songs, "Amazing", and "Weight of the World". "Weight of the World" is still my absolute all time favorite Blue October song, because of the raw emotion that I can hear... I hope you enjoy this...

Note: There is a little bit of cussing in parts

Friday, October 23, 2009


I was reminded today of how much I love Snow Patrol's song "Chasing Cars"... especially the quiet peacefulness of the lyrics..

"If I lay here, if I just lay here...would you lie with me and just forget the world"

Off to forget the world with my sweetheart for a while...

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Yes, I know that isn't a real word. But it is the made-up word that I use to describe that feeling of a million thoughts racing around inside my head. That state of not being able to pin a thought down. That frustration of wanting to write an entry for my blog, but having flittering, random thoughts buzzing around like a hive of bees. The state of randominity.

When I am in Randominity, the only cure is to spew the thoughts out in one messy conglomerated entry that has no direction, no focus, no theme, it just IS.

So here you go...

~it is really raining today, and while I love the rain, it is so dark outside, and that is making it tough to wake up.
~I just made eye appointments for tomorrow afternoon, and I find those annoying
~I need to remember to put the new flea collar on the cat today.
~I feel like baking something this weekend, but I am not sure what I want to make
~I really want to be home right now, curled up under a blanket with Mike.
~Daylight savings is coming on Nov 1, and I am glad. I am tired of heading out to work when it is still semi-dark outside.
~I am hungry

So what about you? For your comments today, share some of your randominity with me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Try, Try Again

I have started three different entries so far this morning, with three different themes, and three different titles... but I can't focus.

I took a sleeping pill last night to help me get some solid rest, and although it certainly did its job, I can't shake the groggies this morning.

I decided not to do the product review. I don't know... if it was something I really wanted to do, I would not have been so conflicted about it.

I hate the fog in my mind right now...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

To Review, or not to Review...

So yesterday, I received my first request to review a product in my blog. They offered to send me a free copy of said product in exchange for me doing a blog review... My thoughts are muddled, so forgive the squiggly bullets as I mull out what I am thinking...

~I know I am not the only person they sent this review to, but still! I got asked to do a review!
~They offered me a free copy. Free! (translation: ZOMG! Free loot!)
~Doing product reviews is a great way to get free stuff, and to increase traffic to my blog. Since one of my goals IS to increase my readership over time, this would seem like a good move.
~But I don't want to seem like I have sold out. I want my blog to be MY blog.
~But if I do an honest review, whether I like it or not, then my words will still be MY words, right?
~ But what if I hate the product and I am gonna feel bad about a bad review
~ZOMG! Free loot!
~What do I do?
~What would others do in my situation?
~What is your opinion?
~Why can't I make up my mind?
~What should I say?
~I HAD planned on putting ads on my site if I ever got a decent readership
~This IS more controlled than random ads, right?
~What are the rules for this sort of thing?
~Are there legalities that I am not aware of?
~UGH! The agony of making a decision that could alter the direction of where my blog is going
~Why do I stress so much
~I should probably just say no, and move on, shouldn't I?
~But what if this is a good thing?

Help me, friends...

I am not asking you to tell me what to do, but give me some thoughts, some opinions, some insight into what others would do if they were me.

Please, before I end up in a padded room, all over a simple email request lol.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

As Long As You Are There...


After our engagement in March, Mike and I began planning a wedding for later that fall. We picked out October 15 as the date for a variety of reasons including that it gave us enough time to plan. At the same time, it wasn't too far away, and it didn't clash with any holidays or birthdays. Personally, I liked it because I like the number 15. I have an odd obsession towards numbers, which I will go into at a later time, but the 15th sounded like a nice, solid number. Anyhow, the date was picked, and the preparations began.

Although Mike left most of the planning to me, he never was too far away. He was always willing to share his thoughts and his opinions on things. Our wedding would be fairly intimate, with just family and a few close friends. Our wedding party would consist of just me, the maid of honor, Mike, and his brother as the best man.

Through each stage of the planning, whenever I asked him what he thought of something, Mike would always give me an honest answer, and then would finish his comments with "but really, as long as you are there, it will be perfect".

As long as you are there.

I bought the dress, I printed our invitations and sent them out. His mother (a florist), offered to do my flowers for me. His aunt (a very talented seamstress) altered the gown for me when it arrived. Family and friends pitched in to help us keep the cost of the wedding as low as possible, while still making it the wedding of our dreams. We planned to have the wedding in the local Presbyterian church that his parents were attending at the time. Months and months before the wedding, all the details were complete. If I remember right, by about July, all our plans were in place, and we only had to wait for the day to arrive.

September 24, 2005
Three weeks before the wedding, Hurricane Rita landed.

This might not mean that much to you, but living in Southeast Texas, it meant our worlds were about to change. Mike and I evacuated for the storm, although his parents decided to stay behind. When the storm hit, it changed everything. The church where we planned to have the wedding had serious water damage, and wouldn't be ready before the wedding date. His parents had a tree come through the roof of their house. Our town was without power and water.

Mike and I drove back into town two days after the storm had landed, and we couldn't believe our eyes. Everything had changed. Someday, I will tell you the story of our evacuation and the aftermath of the storm, but that is another story.

On the drive back, Mike and I talked about what to do now. We couldn't have the wedding the way it was originally planned, that much was for sure. We didn't want to change the date, because we were leaving for a honeymoon cruise the day after the wedding, and we wanted to be married when we took our honeymoon (silly us!). His uncle told us that we could use their church if we wanted to, so we considered just moving the site of the wedding. However, the town was still without water and power, and they were predicting that it could take up to a month to get it restored. People, I don't know if you know this or not, but Southeast Texas in October can get HOT, and that was one of the hotter years that I have lived here. I had no intentions of putting on a heavy wedding dress in a church with no power. It would have been miserable. My sister was planning on coming in for the wedding, and she was about 7 months pregnant. I wasn't going to ask her to go through that.

But most of all, his sweet mother, who was perhaps even more concerned with what we were going to do now than we were, had just had a tree come through their roof, and they were dealing with insurance, and repairs, and no power, and no water.

And suddenly, I realized something. It just didn't matter that much to me, the wedding, that is. I remembered back to what Mike had said so many times during our planning process, "As long as you are there, it will be perfect". I stopped for a minute, shocked to realize that I didn't care if I wore the dress, I didn't care if I walked down the aisle, I didn't care if there was music playing, and Mike was in a tux. I wanted to be married to my love, the rest was just trappings. Truly, as long as he was there, it would be perfect.

So in the car that day, driving home from evacuation, I turned to Mike and asked if he would mind if we just had the Justice of the Peace marry us in his parents' living room. At first, I don't think he was all too sure if I would be really okay with that, but after I explained to him what I felt, he was all for it. I didn't need a church, I didn't need a preacher, I didn't need a dress. I needed Mike, and I needed to be his wife.

So as quickly as they had been made, the wedding plans were scrapped. We called his parents and made arrangements for the Justice of the Peace (who was a family friend, so that made it easier).

And on October 15, 2005, I stood next to the man I love, in the living room of his parents house, with his parents there, his brother and his girlfriend (now his wife) as our witnesses, and we said our vows. It was, without a doubt, the best day of my life.

I cannot stress this enough, my friends. The day was perfect. Absolutely, without a doubt, perfect. To this day, I have no regrets about not wearing the dress, no regrets about not being in a church, no regrets about anything.

I was there, Mike was there, and it was perfect.

I said it then, and I still say it now, our wedding day was absolutely nothing at all like we planned, but it was absolutely everything I always dreamed it would be.

Happy Anniversary, my love.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I Knew

I remember when I was a teenager and a young adult, I didn't date very much at all. I would go out on a first date with someone, and just KNOW that this wasn't the one that I wanted to spend my time with. Friends would ask me what exactly it was I was looking for, and my response was "I will know him when I find him".

I was 28 when I met Mike. I left La Zona Rosa that night unaware of how much my life has changed, and how much more change was coming. I returned to my apartment in Dallas, where I stayed for the next couple months. Later that summer, severe financial difficulties led me to accept my brother's offer to stay with him and his family in Maryland for a few months while I got back on my feet. So I packed my bags, loaded up my car, and headed across the country.

Life in Maryland was not a happy time for me. The living situation was miserable, I was working two jobs to try to get the bills paid off, and I was unsure of where I was going next in life. In addition to that, all my friends lived far away, and I felt cut off and alone. One day, in late September or early October, I was at my day job, and looking for someone to talk to. I booted up AOL Instant Messenger, and Mike was the only person online on my friends list. Now this brings up a mystery I don't have an answer for. I don't remember ever EVER adding Mike to my friends list. I don't remember talking to him again after that Austin show. I am not sure how his name ended up on that list, but I am sure glad it was.

So I sent Mike a message. We began to talk. I remembered him. He remembered me.

During the time since the concert in June, Mike's relationship with the girlfriend had gone south, and was in it's death throes when we started chatting online. I was drawn to his sense of humor, his compassion, his sensitivity, but I cautioned myself not to get involved too deeply, because he was still tied up in the final stages of a bad relationship. But somehow, I knew.

Mike and I got closer, my feelings grew stronger. I made plans to fly to Nebraska for another Blue October show that October, and Mike made plans to drive up from Texas with a couple friends to see the same show. We were still just friends, but my heart went all pitter patter when I thought of seeing him at that show. Of seeing him in person again. You see, I knew.

I saw him again at the show in Nebraska, and oddly, we didn't hang out at the show at all. That was still in my "I HAVE to stand right in front of the stage days", so silly me traipsed off across the bar with a friend to go watch a band when the man that I was to spend the rest of my life with was standing back at the bar with another group of friends. After the show, we headed back to their hotel room (with a HUGE group of friends) to hang out, have some drinks, and just do what friends do after concerts, talk. Mike and I talked for a little while that night. I remember him making fun of how little I ate, I remember being drawn in by the sound of his voice. All too soon, I had to go with a friend to drop someone off at their house. Before I left, I wandered out to the balcony walkway outside the hotel room, and I told Mike I was leaving. He gave me a hug before I left. When he hugged me, I knew.

The months between that night and Christmas are a blur of drama, rough times, misunderstandings, and struggles. There came a point where I had to decide if I wanted to fight for Mike. Was this guy, that I had only seen twice in person, that I didn't really know all that well, was he worth it? He was, because I knew.

Making my decision to be with Mike was at the same time the easiest and the toughest choice of my life. He was the one I was giving my heart to. He was (and still is!) the man that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. But being with him would mean losing some relationships. It would mean facing a decision that I had been putting off for a long time. The decision of whether I really believed the rhetoric and doctrine that I had been fed in church and by my family. The decision of whether it was okay to stand up for myself and do something that would make ME happy, but would not make my family happy. The decision to put myself first for probably the first time in my life. The decision to do what was right for me. And still, in every moment that I weighed this decision, I knew.

I made my decision, I cut the ties that needed to be cut, I fought for the man I loved, and I won. At the end of 2003, I moved back to Texas, and moved in with Mike. Walking in the door for the first time with him at my side, I knew.

As you can imagine, as happens with any life changing decisions, more turmoil came along. But more than that, happiness. I was truly happy for the first time in a very long time. I had someone who loved ME, someone who didn't measure my worth by how "good" I was. Someone who didn't frown in disapproval when I made a choice that didn't go along with what they wanted. Someone who not only gave me strength, but encouraged me to use that strength, to stand on my own two feet, to make my own choices, to decide for myself. Someone who wanted me to be happy, no matter what path that took me down (although I am absolutely sure he wanted to be going down that same path with me!). Living with Mike, I knew.

March 11, 2005. I came home from a rough day at work, and Mike was already home. I was tired, and Mike sat me down on the couch. I don't remember what we talked about, but we chatted for a while. Then he mentioned that he had lost the remote to the TV. As is my nature, I jumped up from the couch and said that I would find it, but he insisted I sit down and rest. He said that he knew I was tired, and that it had probably fallen under the couch, and he would get it. So I sat back down, and was watching TV. He got down, and reached under the couch to find the remote. He said that he loved me. I said I loved him too. He said he wanted to marry me someday, and I said I felt the same (this was a conversation we had been having for some months). He asked me if I was sure I wanted to marry him, and I said yes, I was sure. Then he pulled out a ring box from under the couch and asked me if I wanted to make that official. I sat there stunned for a moment, I grinned, and maybe cried, and said YES! I said yes, because I knew.

I knew I had found the one I was looking for.

I knew that this was the man I wanted to share my life with.

I knew that he was the one.

I knew he loved me.

I knew that I loved him.

I knew.

(Tomorrow: The wedding that almost wasn't, but the marriage that was never in doubt)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Day We Met

June 28, 2003

The first time I met Mike wasn't the epiphany moment you read about in romance novels. We didn't look at each other, and stars appear. The rest of the world didnt fade until it was just Mike and me with Air Supply music playing in the background. We were at La Zona Rosa, a small bar in Austin. I was there to see Blue October for only the second time. I was insecure, unsure, meeting a lot of new people I had just previously talked to online. I wanted to fit in, I wanted to belong to this crowd, I wanted to be liked. Mike was there with his girlfriend, and was celebrating his birthday, which would be a few days later.

But that moment we met, it changed my life. Months later, when we would start talking online, I remembered meeting him. I remembered what he had been wearing at that moment, I remembered that I had been introduced to him, and that it was his birthday celebration. I remembered that I had been introduced also to the girlfriend, although for the life of me, I still cannot remember what she looked like. Mike remembers meeting me too. When we talked about it later, he told me what I had been wearing that night.

The funny thing is that that memory I have of meeting him, that visual picture I have in my head, he IS the only thing that stands out. The rest of that mental image is just a blur. So I guess it was the epiphany moment after all, I just didn't realize it at the time.

That is the fact that has stuck with me all this time. We remembered. Out of the whole crowd of people I met that night, I remembered Mike. He remembered me.

The rest of that night is pretty unremarkable. A concert, hanging out with friends. I actually didn't talk to Mike again the rest of the night. I am not sure I even saw him again in the crowd that night.

But we remembered.

(Tomorrow: Later that fall... aka... how we got together)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pictures from Roll #3

Ok, so I have a LOT of stuff that I want to blog about this week, but first things first. I finished up another roll of film almost a week ago, and I have just been really lazy about getting them uploaded and posting about them. But here you go!

I have to say, I am very happy with this roll. There was, in my mind, a noticeable improvement in picture composition and color, etc. Tell me what you think...

Mike and I took a wonderful trip to Houston to celebrate our upcoming anniversary, so that is where most of these shots came from.

This was the inside of our hotel room at the Four Seasons... pretty isn't it? What I like about this picture is the lighting, and the fact that I feel it looks like a brochure picture, even though I took it myself...
The people at the Four Seasons were amazing about recognizing our anniversary. They gave us two cards, and sent up a complimentary dessert plate full of goodies. What I like about this picture is that even though it is unintended, the lighting reflected in the glass table makes it look like it is split in half, light and dark. Also, the focus turned out wonderfully. This is probably my favorite picture on this roll (Mike agrees).
This is another shot of the same plate (although you might notice some of the treats are gone by this point). I am very happy with the crisp focus on this flower in this one.
One of our stops in Houston was the House of Blues, which is where we went to see The Decemberists in concert. Inside the restaurant, was this mosiac of glass tiles, each imprinted with the face of a blues musician. The odd thing is that in the actual restaurant, these faces are not that easy to see, they blend in, and make this look like a bunch of blue glass blocks unless you look closer. I will admit, I used auto focus on this one, but I was happy with the way the flash highlighted the faces and brought them out. What I don't like is the red whatever in the corner that obstructed part of the view.
This one is my second favorite on the roll. Again, I have to admit that I used auto focus, mostly because I was standing on a busy street corner, and I didn't want to take a long time with this shot. I like the off-centeredness (is that even a word?) of this picture, the fact that it all is in focus, and the contrast of the sky behind it.

So there you go, folks, roll #3.
What do you think? What are your favorites?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

An Award? For Little Ol' Me?

Thanks to Chelle for my first ever blog award!
And although I don't usually answer these survey thingies, I will in this case because I got a purty award!

1. You Can Only Use One Word!
2. Pass this along to 6 of your favorite bloggers
3. Alert them that you have given them this award!
4. Have Fun!

The Fun Part
1. Where is your cell phone? Purse
2. Your hair? Frizzy
3. Your mother? Complex
4. Your father? Nerdy
5. Your favorite food? Cheese
6. Your dream last night? Scary
7. Your favorite drink? Margarita
8. Your dream/goal? Children
9. What room are you in? Kitchen
10. Your hobby? WoW
11. Your fear? Loneliness
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Here
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. Something that you aren’t? Bold
15. Muffins? Blueberry
16. Wish list item? House
17. Where did you grow up? Military
18. Last thing you did? WoW
19. What are you wearing? Slacks
20. Your TV? Wonderful
21. Your pets? Gato
22. Friends? Few
23. Your life? Content
24. Your mood? Stable
25. Missing someone? Family
26. Vehicle? Cruiser
27. Something you’re not wearing? earrings
28. Your favorite store? Amazon
29. Your favorite color? Black
30. When was the last time you laughed? Everyday
31. Last time you cried? Forgot
32. Your best friend? Mike
33. One place that I go to over and over? Church
34. One person who emails me regularly? Nobody
35. Favorite place to eat? Tokyo

Grace in the Home
The Sages
Drops of Jupiter

What the Heck is ~Ifer?

You know, I just realized that I never explained the name of the blog, and I suppose with more and more people reading now who don't know where that name came from, this is something of increasing importance.

It is, plain and simple, the second half of my name, Jennifer.

Several years back, in a chat room of internet friends, as we tried to carry on a conversation, there was another Jennifer in the room (when in my life HASN'T there been another Jennifer in the room?!), and everyone was getting confused as to who was talking. It was decided on that since the other Jennifer (let's call her Jenn) and I made a lot of the same comments, that we must really be two halves of the same person, so our friends started calling her Jenn, and me ~ifer. It just stuck from there, and people still call me that, at least among that circle of our friends.

Important things to know about the name ~Ifer

~You must ALWAYS have the squiggle in front of it. I know technically it is called a tilde or something like that, but this is my nickname, and therefore, I call this a squiggle. I have actually had characters on games that I named Squigglyifer. So don't neglect the squiggle.

~Pronounciation: Just like you were saying the name Jennifer, except leave out the Jenn part. It is a short I, so "ifff-er", not "eye-fer"

~the i can be capitalized or not, same difference to me.

So that's how it came to be... and it would probably have died off after that, except that around that same time, Mike and I started dating. It was long distance at first, and he would send me emails and cards, and he addressed them to "My ~ifer". I liked being Mike's ~Ifer, so that name has extra special meaning to me now.

And yes, I know I promised a while back the story of how Mike and I got together, and I will, but not today...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

To Every Thing... Turn, Turn, Turn

How do you handle change?

Specifically, how do you cope with things when you yourself begin to change, and you feel yourself pulling away from the things and people that you used to find comfort in?

How do you tell friends that view you one way that you aren't that way anymore?

How do you tell people that your beliefs have changed, or are changing, without making it sound like you are judging them for staying the same?

How do you let people go when they refuse to let you change, when they insist on you being the person you used to be?

How do you fill the spots in your life, the holes left by the people that you have to move on past?

These are the questions that we have been dealing with lately. The struggle to grow and evolve and become a better person while dealing with some people that scoff and scorn. The struggle to explain to your friends that yes, I used to feel like you do now, but my beliefs have changed, are changing.

And then when you get past that sometimes necessary culling of people that are in your life, what then? Now you have empty spots, relationships gone, situations where you need people to count on once more, and now those people are gone.

How do you handle change?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I am a bad, bad blogger...

Life and work seem to be moving along at such a fast pace this past week or so that I have trouble finding time to sit down and write a post out.

I have pictures, and stories, from this past weekend's trip to Houston to see the Decemberists (who were phenomenal!), and I promise, I will try to post them all up sometime very very soon :)