The Special Olympics Montana Spring Games 2017 took place this past week on the University of Montana campus, in Missoula, MT. This is the first year I was able to go to the event with my team. Even though I have been coaching track and field for a few years I always had a scheduling conflict. This was also my first year coaching the adults (Purple Hornets) track and field team. We had such a great but exhausting time because we went non-stop for four days. Jordyn accompanied me for this trip too which quadrupled my level of tired. Ha! We took a charter bus to Missoula, MT for the games. It was Jordyn’s first time on a bus trip and she loved it. Between seeing the animals outside and movies playing on the bus, she loved every second.
Happy and blessed Sunday, everybody! I hope you all enjoyed your first Sunday of September 2016. It’s hard to believe it’s already September isn’t it? We’re officially 75% done with the year 2016. I know, I freaked out a little when I sat back and thought about it in terms of percentages too. Anyway…Read More
Happy Monday everyone! It is the day after Valentine’s Day, and I hope this past weekend was a great start to your week. If you’re one of the lucky folks, you have today off for, President’s Day. We had a very simple but perfect Valentine’s Day weekend. We decided to go to dinner on Saturday evening to avoid the crowd on the actual day, and not only was the food good, but a couple we met while in line waiting for our food paid for our meal. I’m still smiling due to their enormously sweet gesture towards two strangers. We bought them a bottle of wine to thank them for their generousity. They insisted it wasn’t necessary but we wanted to let them know how much we appreciated what they did for our little family. They shared and spread more love to others and that is what Valentine’s Day is all about.
On Sunday we decided to hang out and relax as a family. One of my husband’s favorite foods is cinnamon rolls so I decided to make him some, from scratch, using a recipe I found on Pinterest. They turned out super yummy and took SO long to make! But he was happy and that made me happy. He bought Jordyn a teddy bear and a pink soccer ball for her Valentine’s Day gifts and she LOVED them. When she saw her ball in his hands, her face lit up, and she yelled “BALL”! It was absolutely adorable. Jordyn made her Dad a beautiful canvas painting with her hand prints and message saying “I <3 DAD” for his gift. Dad loved it. 🙂
Later that evening we went to the community center on base to play some basketball, and run around the gym with Jordyn, before we came back home to make/eat a homemade heart shaped pizza, and watch a movie together.
I got my Valentine’s Day gift from the hubby earlier this morning when I went to a local spa/salon to have a two hour, Caribbean Spa Treatment, done. I can’t think of a word strong enough to explain how amazing this treatment was so I’ll just use GLORIOUS. It was a much needed and much appreciated Valentine’s Day gift from the hubby. He is the best.
Whether you spent the holiday with a significant other, friends, family, or even by yourself, I hope you felt and shared love in the process. Valentine’s Day is all about love and there is more than one way to love, show love, and spread love. I hope you are all recharged and enjoying your evening. Have a happy rest of your day and even though it still isn’t Valentine’s Day, tell someone you love them, today.
I’m sure you read the title of this article and figured it would have to do with the MANY diversity and racial issues going on in the United States right now. However, this is more so a open letter or venting session of how hard it is to be a Black woman living in Montana sometimes.
I haven’t had any aggressive or negative run ins with people of any color here in Montana due to my skin color. This, unfortunately, is not the same story for my husband, but that’ll be a topic for another day. If anything, Montanans have been genuinely some of the nicest people I’ve met in my 27 years of life. People smile and speak when they walk by you, and most even stop to ask you how your day is going, and expect a response! Crazy, right? This is still something I’m adjusting to coming from living in Chicago prior to living here where people don’t even make eye contact with you let alone truly care enough to speak and ask you how you’re doing. I share this information before getting into what I want to vent about because I don’t want to paint Montana as some unfair, terrible, place to live, when in reality…my life in Montana isn’t too bad. But at the end of the day, I still live in Montana, and as I’m sure most of you know, Montana isn’t know to be home to many people of color or much…diversity.
Montana lacks diversity so much that when we go out to eat people usually automatically apply the military discount to our bill because we’re Black, dining in Montana, and the only explanation of us being here is the military LOL. I’m reminded every time we go visit another city or state how much I miss seeing people of ALL colors on a daily basis. When we first moved into our house here on base and met our first set of neighbors, apparently she shouted to her husband (who is Mexican), with excitement, “WE HAVE BLACK NEIGHBORS”! Hahaha! To this day this is one of my favorite stories, but one of the saddest at the same time, because seeing a Black person in Montana is like seeing a unicorn. I have a handful of other stories like this one from run-ins with other people of color who were happy to see another one of “us” lol.
However, the hardest part of living in a place that lacks diversity, are the lack of culturally different activities and lifestyles around us. I sometimes get jealous seeing my Facebook friends and Instagram and Twitter followers post pictures of RSVPs to concerts and events I know I wouldn’t be able to find in the entire state of Montana. Some examples are R&B/Neo-Soul concerts, blues/jazz lounges, festivals, upscale evening lounges, restaurants, etc. When you live in a place where diversity is lacking you miss out on all of these amazing things to do, and see, which add appreciation and cultural value to our lives. Do you all know how much I took having authentic Thai and Caribbean restaurants within 10 minutes from my apartment in Chicago? Do you know how much I appreciate walking into a Mexican restaurant and seeing a menu in Spanish and seeing an all Mexican staff cooking my food? Do you know how much I would love to go to a Jill Scott concert for a date night with my husband instead of the two options we have here of dinner and/or a movie? Do you know much it means to walk down the street, through a store, or drive by people of all colors, ethnicities, shapes and sizes? For my friends who live in places that offer all of these options and then some, take a minute to just soak up the beauty that is diversity surrounding you.
As a military wife I try my hardest not to complain to my husband (in a non-joking manner) because I know he is/we are here because it is what is needed for our family at this moment. I also try to remind myself of the countless military spouses whose loved one is overseas or died serving this country before I complain. As upsetting as it is some days that I’m not surrounded by everything I want I remind myself I have everything I need. I know there are plenty of people who would trade places with me if it meant being with their loved ones everyday. Sometimes it’s hard to not be selfish and think about what I want, but I’m human. However, I feel it is important, no matter who you are, what you do, or where you live to be exposed to life outside of your little bubble. It’s much harder to understand someone else’s life and experiences if you’ve never had the opportunity to explore their culture and lifestyle.
As much as Montanans love their bejeweled flare legged jeans, cowboy boots, country music, hunting, rodeos, and cowboy hats…I miss professional sports, multi-cultural authentic food, big name concerts, date night in a little black dress, and round trip plane tickets for under $200. But the upside of being a military wife also means this won’t be my location forever, but man, it sure does feel like forever when diversity is missing.
Yesterday evening the weather here in Montana was finally above freezing passed 5pm. This means we were able to finally take Jordyn out to play in the snow for the first time, ever. Man oh man, did she enjoy herself! We were curious if she was going to like it at all (confused, too cold, unimpressed etc.) but she LOVED it. It only took her less than 10 minutes to figure out what her favorite part was: eating the snow. The story behind her tasting the snow for the first time is pretty funny too. She was walking in a deeper part of the snow and fell forward. While lying face down in the snow she decided to give it a lick and the rest is history LOL.
Jordyn wasn’t the only “child” of ours who enjoyed running and playing in the snow either. Ares, was having the time of his life chasing after his ball and was rather confused at me throwing snow balls at him. Now that I think about it, so was Jordyn, because every time I threw a snow ball at her she gave me this look like “okaaay” then proceeded to eat the snow. I did however enjoy throwing snowballs at my husband. (And yes, I threw snowballs at my one and a half year old and the dog 😉 )
We hung out and played in the snow until little miss Jordyn’s cheeks (and nose) turned a nice rose color. However, if she would have had it her way we would’ve stayed out there for another two hours. She didn’t want to walk inside the house because she knew that meant play time was over haha. It’s supposed to snow again sometime this week. Hopefully the temperature stays above freezing again so we can go out there and play again.
Have a great Tuesday evening everybody!
Now that we’re in the year 2016 I wanted to make a list consisting of 16 goals to accomplish this year. I chose sixteen goals because who’s really going to write out two thousand and sixteen goals? Exactly. But in all seriousness I like to brainstorm things I would like to accomplish or improve, write them down, and hold myself accountable to these goals. I refuse to call them resolutions because goals that are taken seriously and strategically planned out tend to drive me more than the cliche new year resolutions ever will.
These are the sixteen goals I wish to accomplish in 2016:
1) Bi-Monthly Food Box
Now that I am getting into couponing I want to be able to bless others as well. I would like to put together a food box at the very least every other month to donate to a local family in need. It’s not major, but it’s a step in the right direction towards helping others beyond volunteer work in 2016.
2) Potty Train Jordyn
I’m pretty sure this is pretty understandable to those who have and don’t have children. However, we would like to talk about another child in 2017 (yes a whole year from now) but the conversation won’t even begin until Jordyn is fully potty trained.
3) Pay Off (A) Major Debt
As your average millennial buried in wonderful college loans, I would like to eliminate some, if not all, debt unrelated to my college loans. I’m aiming for financial freedom as soon as possible.
4) Visit 3 States BESIDES Illinois
My husband and I both are from the surrounding Chicago suburbs. Which means we always to IL for vacations to see family. However, in 2016 I want to explore and travel more than around/to IL.
5) Squat 150+ lbs
Because we all know strong is the new skinny. 2015 has shown us being fit and in shape is more important than being skinny. I plan to work on conditioning and strength this year.
6) More Base Activities
Now that pretty much all of my close friends have moved to new bases and states I need to find more friends. Haha j/k (sort of) I want to be more involved in base activities in general because I believe as a military community it’s important to be an important part of the community.
7) Visit 1 New Montana City
I’ve lived in Montana for almost 4 years and there are many large/popular cities I have never been to yet. Since we live here we need to take advantage of the places around us this year.
8) Visit The White House
We are planning another trip to Washington D.C. to see friends this year since we did not make it there last year. I want to reschedule a White House tour because this is the last year President Obama will be in office.
9) Spend <$100 On Grocery Trip
I’m officially one of those crazy coupon people trying to learn the ways of the couponing professionals. A major goal of mine is to spend less than $100 on a usual two week grocery shopping trip. I believe in me!
10) Take A Cooking Class
I’ve always wanted to take a cooking class. It has always looked like so much fun and would be a perfect date night idea. The husband and I have to make this happen this year.
11) Grow Blog Subscribers By 100+
I currently have 75 subscribers to my blog and would like to grow this list by at least 100 more this year. This is a huge challenge, but it’s one I am up for!
12) Do More Volunteer Work
As most of you know I am a (now level 1 certified) basketball coach for Special Olympics Montana. However, I would like to spend more of my down time helping others vs. doing things selfishly for myself. Selfless vs. selfish is the motto.
13) Eat Cleaner
This goes right back to fit being the new skinny. I want to eat cleaner for my health and my appearance. 70% of losing weight and getting in shape is what we put in our bodies so I need to do better this year.
14) Monetize Blog
I haven’t gotten a lot more serious about blogging. Writing is something I love to do and I would love to merge my passion with my purpose and create a job from it. Who doesn’t want to make money doing what they love?
15) Take A Dance Class
I’m not just talking about any dance class, I want to take a professional ballroom dance class. Learn to salsa, foxtrot, merengue, swing dance…anything!
16) Go To A Concert
Unfortunately living in Montana means we don’t have many diverse, main stream artists come here to perform. This year I would love to go to a popular artist’s concert even if it means traveling to a bordering state to do so. Especially if the artist is worth the hype.
You have officially read my goals (and reasoning) for 2016. I will try my hardest to accomplish all of them this year. What are your personal goals this year? Share in the comments below!
Happy 2016 everybody! I hope you all brought in the New Year surrounded by love and people you want to bring closer to you in 2016. We spent the evening at dinner with family and bringing in the New Year, at our home, playing games and having tons of laughs. I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend the evening.
2015 had it’s ups and many downs (especially towards the end of the year). With losing multiple family members to various health issues, the end of 2015 took a toll on my loved ones and those closest to us. However, as always, we try our best to come back up swinging, because we know joy will come in the morning. In November of 2015 I decided to take a blogging hiatus because to put it simply: I needed a break. Not from blogging itself, but just a break to collect my thoughts and come up with ways to improve myself, which in turn, includes my blog.
As you all know I enjoy watching the daytime talk show “The Real” during the week. The last few weeks, Tamar Braxton, who is one of the regular co-hosts had been out sick, and to keep things interesting the show had been inviting other celebrities to guest host the show with them. My favorite co-host by far this season was Tisha Campbell-Martin. Apparently the other viewers really enjoyed her as well, because she was invited back to guest host a second time only a few weeks later. I’ve been a Tisha Campbell-Martin fan since the “House Party” and “Martin” days, but she particularly brought insight to the girl chat discussion I think most women can benefit from. In my case, specifically: married-mothers. Tisha has been with her husband, Duane Martin, for twenty plus years, and this information was shared when Tisha was asked by the ladies at the table how she has managed to have a successful relationship. She stated they have a house rule her husband came up with called “You, Us, We” that has kept them going and successful. She broke it down for everyone to understand: the “you” is Tisha. She has to take care of herself first because as she stated “you can’t pour from an empty cup”, which means she can’t benefit her husband or her children without taking care of herself first. The “us” is Tisha and her husband Duane. If they aren’t taking care of their marriage it will fall apart and cause issues that trickle down to their children in the long run. They want their kids to see the best image of a successful marriage through themselves. The “we” is in regards to the children and the entire family. If Tisha is taking care of herself, and enjoying her marriage, she will then share the abundance of love and happiness she feels with her entire family. We are able to take better care of others when we are truly happy in all aspects of our lives.
I knew right away I was going to write a post about these “household rules” because I already understand how important they are (due to the lack of following this model) and I’ve only been married for close to three years. About a week prior to watching Tisha on The Real I had noticed how drained and run down I was beginning to feel. I was trying so hard to take care of everyone else and everything else in the house I was leaving myself last in the equation…it doesn’t work. So although I don’t care for resolutions I told myself I was going to actively do better in 2016. I wrote out a detailed guide of how I will do better each month by concentrating on a closer relationship with God, taking care of myself, my marriage, and my family, in that order. There will be a blog post to follow this weekend explaining the detailed changes, how I plan to implement them, and hold myself accountable.
2015 taught me to love my loved ones while they’re here, love myself as much as I love others, and find a way to bring my plans to life through organization and planning. I hope 2015 was great to you and your loved ones. I hope 2016 brings you all of the positive love and prosperity your heart can handle, and I pray you do His will above all else.
Happy New Year from my family to yours!
Merry Christmas everyone! We thoroughly enjoyed our Christmas day here in the Jamieson household. We were even lucky enough to have my Mother-in-law here to celebrate this special day with all of us.
Christmas is my absolute favorite day of the year (followed closely by my birthday) so it’s safe to say I’m the cheesy, corny, overly excited person on Christmas day. I expect, starting on Christmas Eve, to play Christmas music, watch Christmas movies, cook Christmas-y foods, and spread Christmas cheer and love. Yesterday I hosted Christmas Eve dinner with our Montana “framily”. It was always a tradition with my immediate family to have a large Christmas Eve dinner so we could all relax and eat leftovers on Christmas Day. Last night we all ate plenty of food and shared even more laughs. It is always a great time to create more memories with the people closest to you.
This morning Jordyn woke up after 9:30 a.m. due to her running around with her friends the night before and staying up later than usual to mingle with our guests. However, once she was awake we got the party started! We facetimed my Mom, Grandma, and sisters in Chicago while Jordyn opened her gifts, and we all opened our gifts to/from each other. Although Jordyn loved all of her gifts, she particularly loved her kitchen set and shopping cart from Grandma Kim. Grandma Toni was awesome enough to put both of them together so little miss Jordyn could enjoy them right away. Yay for having two awesome Grandmas! 🙂
We have spent the rest of the day lounging around the house watching Jordyn and Ares play with their presents, the Bulls won, we called family members, and felt more than thankful to have so many loved ones to create awesome memories with. Oh, and of course eating plenty of leftovers!
The Jamieson family hopes all of you had a blessed Christmas day and an even more blessed Christmas night. Remember through all of the gifts and material things that will cross your path today what the day is actually about. If you didn’t get the chance to thank God for the birth of His son this morning, it’s not too late to do so now. There is simply no Christmas without CHRIST.
Merry Christmas family and friends!
This past Thursday evening to Saturday afternoon was the annual Special Olympics Montana state games. I haven’t been to the games since November of 2014 when I was still pregnant with Jordyn, and oh man did it feel great to be back with the kiddos in that crazy, fun atmosphere. I took last year off to adjust to new mommyhood a.k.a. I was a walking zombie who still learning how to walk around and not fall asleep in the process.
This year my team, the Great Falls Lions (team B) took 4th place in our bracket level and I couldn’t be more proud. Three of my only seven players played every single minute of all FIVE games played on Friday and Saturday. Talk about determination and toughness!
They were so tired and worn out by the end of the tournament on Saturday afternoon, but there were so happy to receive their 4th place green ribbons. My kiddos were the definition of the Special Olympics athletes oath:
In addition to the opening ceremonies for the games the kids got to have multiple team and family dinners, a carnival and dance to keep them going and having fun when they weren’t playing basketball games. They even made some awesome posters during their downtime to cheer each other on. If that’s not teamwork I don’t know what is!
Jordyn even did some “cheering” and made many attempts to run out on the court and “help” the team play basketball LOL. She was also a huge fan of Billy the mascot at the opening ceremonies. She wanted him to pick her up and she followed him everywhere she could. haha. It was adorable. My husband was a major help by taking care of her while I was crazy busy “Coach Brie” for 3 days.
I can’t wait to see their faces again for the spring practices and games next year. Until then, go lions go! #LionPride
Today, our awesome and close friends, the Millers, started on their journey to start their new chapter at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Talk about a bittersweet (definitely more bitter than sweet) feeling. They have been
stuck here at this base for a very long time so this new journey of positive changes and more opportunities is much deserved. But to start a new journey it requires leaving your current one, and that is where the sadness comes in.
Krissy and I have become extremely close since I moved here in January of 2012. She’s for sure my best friend here, and we’re so close we even call each other “Sister Wife.” Let me explain…(LOL) when either of our husbands were gone for long periods of time doing Air Force stuff, the other’s husband stepped in and helped out where the other couldn’t. For example, when I was in my first trimester of pregnancy Kris was gone for six weeks doing work in California. This means Krissy’s husband, Isaiah, would come take my trash out, lift heavy stuff around the house if needed, invited me over for dinner etc. We joked that each other husbands was our second husband and started calling each other Sister Wife.
When I found out I was pregnant Krissy was the second person in the world who knew. When she found out she was pregnant six months later I believe I was the second person to know about it as well. And when I say we shared this news with each other, in both instances it was an actual picture of the positive pregnancy test right after getting the results hahaha. If we ever needed anything or someone to rely on for any reason, we always knew (and still know) we could count on the Millers. They’re the type of friends who become family and a part of your life forever. In this crazy world, military life world to be even more specific, it is hard to find people you genuinely can call lifelong friends. It’s part of the life we live to meet people, become friends, and start over again once getting orders to a new base. Thankfully, we had a pretty great group of friends here in Montana who have all left by now, but are still some of the closest people to us.
It’s going to be a huge adjustment for my family and I to not be able to call you guys and hang out whenever we want or watch our baby girls play together. Jordyn and I will actually have to start attending playgroups without our BFFs :-(. I think I’m even more emotional than usual because of the holiday season. We always spent Halloween at you guys house eating delicious soup of some sort and passing out candy to the kids while looking at their awesome costumes. Isaiah always deep-fried the Thanksgiving turkey (which I refuse to eat any other way now lol) for our big f(r)amily dinner and the same goes for Christmas.
Although we will miss you guys for the small activities and huge holidays, I am so happy you all get to finally be near an ocean again! (The Pacific will just have to do for now 😉 ) Have tons of fun for us, and prayerfully we will meet you guys there in Vandenberg one day soon. Safe travels, we love you guys tons, and miss you so much already. But of course we miss Norah a.k.a Chunky Cheeks the most ;-). Thank you for being great people and even more amazing friends. We are thankful for all of the memories we have created over the years.
It wouldn’t be right if we didn’t take one last group picture filled with hilarious-ness and attitude from our little divas LOL.
Farewell, Miller family!