Easter 2017 is exactly three days away and I can’t believe how fast this year is flying by. My little one, Jordyn, will be three years old this June. Ever since she was born I have found a new hobby in do-it-yourself projects for toddlers. Read More
Congratulations, Wilcox Family!
I’m sure most of you remember me posting a status on Christmas Day asking you all to pray for our friends, Lacey and Brandon, as their youngest daughter battled a strand of bacterial meningitis in the hospital.(If you are unfamiliar with what meningitis is click here to learn more) As most of you know their baby girl, Alaiya, didn’t make it. She passed away on December 26th, 2015. I don’t share any of this to make you all sad, because Alaiya was so full of joy, her smile could light up any room, and she has two of the most caring parents anyone could ask for. I share all of this to explain why Lacey telling me a few weeks ago she is pregnant with their third baby brought me so much joy. Yes, there will be a 3rd Wilcox baby girl, Averie Laine, due on October 18th! Yayyyy!
The news of Lacey’s pregnancy made me so happy, because she and her family have endured so much loss, and heartache the last few months. (Lacey’s mother and her daughter died within a week of each other in December) The question “why do bad things happen to good people” couldn’t be more relevant when talking about the Wilcox family. But there is such an explainable joy brought into our lives with the announcement and birth of a baby. I honestly believe there is no hurt the birth of a child can’t match in joy. It doesn’t take away the hurt but it balances it out by adding much needed joy. I believe, God and Alaiya, showed up right on time to remind them joy comes in the morning.
I asked Lacey last night if it was okay for me to share her baby news, and write a blog post about their family, because it’s something I wanted to share with people all over who take the time to read my blog. The faith and strength Lacey and her family have shown throughout the last few months is nothing short of admirable and heartbreaking. I first met Lacey in college through my husband, what now seems like eons and just a few weeks ago, (that’s the first sign of getting older, right? LOL) and from then she was always a sweet heart. It has been since about 2009 I have really considered her to be one of MY friends though. She’s the type of friend who although she lives hours (and a whole different state away) makes sure she comes to any birthday parties, baby showers, weddings etc. no matter how far she has to drive. She’s the type of friend all of us should be so blessed to have in our lifetime. Which in turn makes it even harder to see your friends go through such trying times, and know you would do anything to bring them joy again. It’s genuinely hard to see great people go through bad things. Especially when we see so much turmoil, so many bad things and people in the world, because we always naturally wonder “why them?” It’s even harder to live so far away from your friends when they’re hurting because all you want to do is wrap them up in the biggest hug and cry for hours. Being present doesn’t make anything happening to them easier, but sometimes crying with a friend makes everything seem better than it is for those few minutes.
We are planning a trip back home to Illinois in October for a wedding and had already planned to stop in Indiana for a few days to see the Wilcoxs, before heading to Washington D.C. for a postponed vacation. I was already excited to see the Wilcoxs in October, but I’m even more excited knowing I’ll get to meet and hold little baby, Averie, in my arms! I write all of this because I hope they know how much we love them and how happy we are to see them happy. I think Alaiya has already been sending Averie tips on how to make parents crazy considering how Averie has been treating you this pregnancy, Lace. Ha! I’m gonna stop typing and go text you now haha. I love you, girl! And of course Brandon, Alanna, Alaiya, and Averie. <3
P.S.- funny story about the day of my baby shower and this picture: Alanna was not a fan of me holding Alaiya and basically said “put her down” in baby terms. LMAO. Also, Alaiya, was clearly just as confused as to why I was holding her and both of her parents are standing nearby hahaha.
Merry Christmas 2015
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!
Selfish vs. Selfless
In the spirit of the season, I have decided to make my Sunday blog posts for the month of November about giving and gratefulness. I know this tends to be the cliché trend of everything in the month of November, but what is wrong with doing something for others and sharing positivity? In a world where hatred and sadness seems to be more popular than love and happiness, I think a month of thankfulness is needed.
This won’t be a long blog post, because this post is simple. I challenge everyone (myself included) to be less selfish and more selfless this month. It is quite an easy task if we truly find the compassion in our hearts to put others before self. Becoming a wife and mother has taught me this lesson more than I could have ever imagined, but I can still be and do better. It doesn’t have to be some grand gesture to prove selflessness either. Maybe instead of buying that new shirt or pants for yourself, you buy a few pairs of sweatpants and sweatshirts at Walmart for the homeless. An alternative for those who may not be in the financial place to buy such items can go through your closet of clothes and give away anything you don’t wear or need anymore to the less fortunate.
Another example of a small, but large impact gesture, could be buying some cheap canned goods on sale at your local grocery stores and donating some to your local food bank or church. The alternative, you may be shocked at what you have in your own pantry and don’t eat/need that can be donated to someone else.
A few other examples of selflessness is donating your time to a cause to help others. Find a local church or shelter who may be looking for volunteers to bless someone in need this holiday season. You would be amazed how appreciative people are to those who share their time and love with complete strangers. Another idea is making sure your coworkers or neighbors have somewhere to go on Thanksgiving. As hard as it is for some people to understand, there are many people who do not have family and/or close friends to share Thanksgiving dinner with. So ask your friends, coworkers, and neighbors if they have plans for the holiday. Not only will you be given the opportunity to bless someone else who will always be grateful for your hospitality, but you have the opportunity to strengthen a relationship or make a new friend.
I hope we all have the opportunity to show multiple acts of selflessness this holiday season. I pray all of us are able to be a blessing to someone else, and in turn be blessed by them as well. What other ideas would you like to share of selflessness with others? Please comment below. Also, as the month goes on, please share your acts of selflessness with me and other readers by commenting below, and/or tweeting and Instagraming me @JamiesonDiaries.
Here is to a wonderful season of spreading love and happiness to those around us!
Happy and blessed Sunday everyone!
Happy 1st Birthday, Jordyn Denise!
A year ago, today, my water broke at 2:30 a.m. I remember feeling so many emotions once the realization set in that the next time I walked into our home, we would be a family of four. I remember the nurses asking me as they wheeled me to the maternity wing “are you having contractions?” and my response being “I’m not sure. I feel a little uncomfortable, so maybe?” to which they followed up with “this is your first baby, huh?” and we all laughed. Never, in my wildest dreams, did I imagine how much being a first time Mommy would change my life forever.
I only got to see your beautiful face and hear your equally beautiful cry for a minute before they gave Mommy the “sleeping medicine” on the table LOL. But I still remember how I cried immediately upon seeing your little face over the sheet before I fell asleep. However, the part I remember the most was when I finally was wheeled from the recovery room, and I was able to hold you for the first time. I don’t think I’ve ever cried that much in my life. I’m crying right now as I think about how perfect you were and still are. Your perfect little lips, nose, eyes, chin, ears, hair, fingers, toes, heartbeat…I could go on forever because everything about you was seriously perfect. I couldn’t believe the little baby girl I had shared my body with for exactly 37 weeks was finally in my arms. I couldn’t believe I could love someone so little, so much. It was that day I learned what it meant to have my heart on the outside of my body.
Everyday I say the same prayer for you. I thank God for bringing you into our lives, for allowing me to be your Mother, and for keeping you safe and sound. I thank Him for the joy and happiness you bring to everyone you encounter, as well as, being a blessing on this Earth. I pray you do God’s will and fulfill your purpose on His earth. I pray that no weapon formed against you shall prosper, and I end the prayer thanking God one more time for bringing you into my life.
You have taught me a love I will forever be grateful for. You have taught me why the title “Mommy” means the world and more. You have taught me how to love even deeper than I could ever imagine. You have taught me why being a parent is the greatest gift I could have ever received in this life.
Today is such a bittersweet feeling. I have spent the last eight months of your life sharing with the world how wonderful you are. I have written each blog post knowing it was only getting closer to your first birthday. As happy as I am you are growing into such a smart, beautiful and independent little girl, it makes me sad my little itty-bitty baby won’t need me as much as she once did. I am beyond excited to see what this next year will have in store. I especially can’t wait for all of the lessons you will teach me over the next year as well.
Happy birthday, Jordyn Denise Jamieson!
I pray God blesses you to see many many many more.
You are such a blessing and so loved.
Love, Mommy <3
Happy Easter/Resurrection Sunday!
This is Jordyn’s first Easter/Resurrection and we are going to a new church with Jordyn’s BFF Amelia and her Mom and Dad. There is something special about being able to worship His name and everything He does for us with your friends. Growing up, after going to church on Easter/Resurrection Sunday, we always had a big dinner and hung out with the family for hours on end. Now that I live so far away from home, I plan to keep the tradition going, and have our first “framily” Easter/Resurrection dinner at our home here in Montana.
But above all else on this day, I pray you and your families enjoy celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Take the time to reflect upon the ultimate sacrifice HE made for OUR sins. Remember without Him there is no us, and there will never be anyone who walks this Earth that loves us more than Jesus did, does, and always will.
“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” (NIV) Matthew 28:1-10
Happy Easter/Resurrection Sunday!
“Precious Lord, Take My Hand”
In honor of Music Monday (and to fix our ears from the catastrophe that took place at the 2015 Grammys last night) here is the original song by none other than Mahalia Jackson, AND the re-make by the amazingly soulful Ledisi for the movie Selma, who made us fall in love with the song all over again. Have a happy and blessed Monday everyone!
Merry Christmas- From My Family to Yours
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11
Today, I pray all of you enjoy what this day is all about. Faith, family, and food. Thank God for his son, Jesus Christ, and everything He has done, is doing, and will do in our lives. Thank God you have family, or friends who have become family, to share this day with. And thank God you have food on your table to eat and share with others. While we are rejoicing in the birth of Jesus Christ, with our loved ones, please remember to pray for those who do not have the luxury of faith, family or food. If you are able to be a blessing to someone else during this season, please do so. Nobody should spend this day alone and/or hungry. So always remember to give thanks for the many blessings we have received in this life, and lets all try our best to pass those blessings onto others.
A very Merry and Blessed Christmas from my family to yours!
P.S.- it’s this beautiful little girl’s first Christmas. The greatest blessing God could have ever given my husband and I! <3
My Christmas Playlist
Tis’ the season to be merry and listen to even more merry music! Here are a few of my favorite Christmas songs, I must listen to, this time of year. They are in no particular order, but these are my favorite versions of each song by various artists. What are some of your favorite songs to get you in the Christmas mood?
Homeless (adjective): (of a person) without a home, and therefore typically living on the streets.
Homeness (noun): The condition of being a home; homeliness, domesticity.
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve others, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (NLT)” -Matthew 20:28
I have always wanted to help people. It’s something I’ve known I have been called to do for many years, now. For a long time I fought a losing battle of trying to find my passion vs. my purpose. There are many things we can feel passionately about, but feeling something due to passion doesn’t always mean it is the best option for us. Passion has gotten a lot of folks in unwanted trouble. However, when we find and serve our purpose, there is no greater way to honor The Lord. By fulfilling our purpose, we are doing exactly what God has individually created us to do. I know my purpose, in this lifetime, is to serve as many less fortunate people as possible.
For about five years I have had major aspirations and plans of creating a homelessness non-profit organization that eventually goes well beyond just clothing and feeding the homeless. The way I feel knowing so many people go without basic necessities hurts my heart. I don’t understand how we can live in a world where there are more than enough resources to go around, and take care of everyone, especially the children…but we don’t. I really don’t understand how we can live in the United States of America, and so many people here go without. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe everyone should be living the high life, but I do feel everyone should have clean water to drink, food to eat, clothes on their back, shoes on their feet, and a roof over their head. I don’t think anyone is undeserving of those basic living conditions. I believe I feel even more moved about homelessness, because of the verse that opened this post. How can Jesus, the Son of God, the only perfect man to ever walk this Earth, see fit that He serve others when it was He we should be serving? It really puts into perspective how nobody is ever too high and mighty to serve others.
This really all started my sophomore year of college. I was walking back to my dorm when I passed a homeless man in a wheelchair, outside of the CVS on Sheridan Road. Anyone who attended Loyola University Chicago probably remembers this same man. I was doing my usual routine of walking home after class to go get ready for work when I heard a man say “It’s a beautiful day today young lady. You should always smile!” I was a little confused and asked him if he was talking to me. He confirmed he was, I smiled, and told him to enjoy the beautiful day. It wasn’t until I got home that it really sunk in of what took place in the mini exchange I had with the homeless man. Here I was- a privileged young person who had the opportunity to be in college. But even more so a privileged human being who had clean clothes to wear, food to eat, water to drink, and a roof over my head…and a homeless man had to remind me to smile. It still blows my mind to this day how ungrateful I never knew I had been. How could I not be smiling when I had everything in the world to smile about? Why did it take a man who had practically nothing, to remind me I had everything and more? It was at that moment I recognized I needed to be a better person for myself. Even when I thought I was a nice and giving person, I realized I could be even nicer and give even more. I didn’t really know how I was going to go about this “new me” but I knew I had to start somewhere. The upcoming school year I signed up for a mentoring program called “GirlPOWER” through Loyola. The group aimed at encouraging elementary school girls, in underprivileged Chicago communities, to continue on the path of the importance of education. It was almost like having a little sister you mentored once a week on everything from academics to personal life. I enjoyed the program, and I really enjoyed hanging out with my little. After doing a semester of the program, many of the girls signed up for extracurricular activities, and we had to dismantle the group. It was bittersweet, because we wouldn’t get to see the little ones anymore, but it was a proud moment of knowing we encouraged them to sign up for the activities to keep themselves out of trouble. When this program ended, I once again was looking for somewhere or someone to lend a helping hand to.
I started attending Second Baptist Church downtown Evanston, IL in the Spring of my Junior year of college. It was while attending this church I learned of their Tuesday soup kitchen in the basement of the church. I decided to volunteer on a random Tuesday afternoon, since I was done with class early on Tuesdays, and only worked on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. I showed up early and I was able to help prepare the food. We made spaghetti, with dinner rolls, and salad for the meal. There was bottle water to drink, and hot chocolate as a dessert/a way to warm everyone up because it was the middle of February. When they opened the door, I was so shocked and so sad at how many people I saw enter the basement. I couldn’t believe so many homeless people lived in the area, or needed to travel to this church to have a hot meal that day. Some of the people were just parents that had fallen on hard times and needed the help to feed their children and themselves. I met so many awesome people that day. I learned how so many of us are just a paycheck away from being in the same position. I think it is a common stereotype that the homeless have made a bad decision somewhere in their lives that has landed them where they are. Thus, giving many the entitled attitudes of them deserving to be where they are. The more I made my way around the room after serving food, the more I wanted to break down and cry. The more I wanted to cry, the more I realized I had found what I wanted to change about the world. In all of the volunteer work I had done over the years, this one really hit me hard. I’m pretty sure it was at this exact moment I realized what I wanted to do with my life, but like a typical selfish young 20 something year old, I convinced myself that I didn’t have enough to give. It’s funny how we equate everything to money, not realizing that all we need to give is our time.
Fast forward a year and a half, and I was working as an IRA Administrator in Montana. I graduated with a degree in Sociology, and somehow ended up working in the financial world. I knew the job I was doing was strictly for a paycheck and not because I enjoyed it. However, I loved the company I worked for, I loved my coworkers, and the paycheck was paying the bills and student loans. I can’t express how long I had been job searching while working in this position for something that would put my degree to use. As much as I tried to avoid it being about the money, it seemed this was the first thing I looked for while job searching. It’s funny how hindsight is 20/20, because I now get why I never found what I was looking for. Searching for empty reasons will always bring up empty results. Fast forward two and a half years, here I am, a stay at home Mom, making “nothing” (monetary wise), but finally deciding to not make any more excuses and figure out how I can help others. I have started working on my business plan for this homelessness organization, and am praying to have it up in going within the next year or less.
The name of the organization will be “Operation Home(less)ness”. If you refer to the definitions in the beginning of the post, you will see the difference between the words “homeless” and “homeness” and the goal is to rid many of the word “less” in the middle. My current, simplified plan, is to start off with finding and collecting the basic necessities. Clothes, shoes, food, water, etc. I will plan to make “care packages” of these items so that I am able to pull them out and hand them out to people as I see them on the street. The long-term goal of this organization is to help people physically, mentally, spiritually, and financially. I want to eventually have something along the lines of a shelter that will teach people how to care for themselves in all aspects of a healthy life. I want them to leave the organization with more than just new clothes and food to eat for a few days. I want them to leave with spiritual guidance, a way to make money to get back on their feet, and at peace with themselves. For now, I will work on finding family, friends, and local companies that would like to help contribute to the cause. I know many people do not trust donating money to organizations because they do not know where it goes, and I am perfectly OK with people buying specific necessities to give. I am working on the mission statement, and once I have it figured out, I will create a web page, and social network accounts specifically for, Operation Home(less)ness, to start spreading the word of what people can do to help me get this organization up and going. I know this will take a lot of time, and dedication, but the time will pass anyway, so I might as well spend it helping others.
It is even more important to me for my daughter to grow up learning how important it is to serve others. If she learns anything from me, I want her to understand the amount of money she makes, will never define her as a person, but what she does with her time does. Of course I want her to be successful, but I also want her to put her success to use by redefining what we consider to be “successful” in this world. I want her to be thankful for everything she has been blessed with before she ever opens her mouth to complain about what she doesn’t have.
Above all, I want her to learn and understand at an early age, what took her mother 26 years to figure out: if Jesus Christ can serve the needy, there isn’t anything in the world that should make her ever look down on the less fortunate, or make excuses of how she is unable to help them herself.