Meant to be

From 1999 to 2009 we went our separate ways, which at one point included a distance that stretched from Australia to Arizona  . . . Relationships with others came to a hault, which brought us both back to Fort Myers.

With only minutes separating us, a lunch finally reunited us. A lunch with my best friend, a man who I missed tremendously, but didn’t know the full extent until I saw his smiling face. His smile filled his truck and years of memories flooded my thoughts.

Sometimes our journeys don’t go as planned. But for me, my journey led me back to the one that has shown me more than I could have ever imagined.

image

Sometimes these thoughts come at the most random moments.

This September we will celebrate five years of sharing our lives. There have been so many wonderful moments created in this time span. Some trying moments, that now looking back have only made us stronger as a couple.

Life has been a beautiful adventure since Jason entered my life again.

He just knows

Today was an up and down kind of day for me.

The first positive:

I was able to hit all my writing  deadlines early, so I took today off of work and had a lazy day with Jason. The weather was overcast, one of the reasons why we didn’t go anywhere.

Sometimes it’s nice to have a lazy day.

The second positive:

As I was in and out of sleep laying on the couch, Jason already fast asleep next to me, the phone rang with the familiar name “Monica.” I was suddenly not tired anymore as I sprung up from the couch, carefull of course, so I wouldn’t disturb Jason, as I grabbed the phone.

You see, this familiar name was my mom calling. A surprise call, one that I always love to get. They are so much better than text messages.

We haven’t talked in a while, of course our busy schedules getting the best of us. So after about an hour of catching up and sharing laughter we finally said our goodbyes.

The first down:

I was in good spirits of course because we finally talked, but I was also struck with homesickness, which kind of blindsided me. It caught me off guard when I put the phone back in its charger.

The thing about this is I’m not homesick because I miss Fort Myers, the feeling grabs a hold of me because I miss family and friends. When I think of home it’s here in Kingsport. When I think of home, it’s where Jason and I are together.

I’m usually on a pretty intense high after mom and my conversations because, well, my mom’s my best friend and I miss her dearly.

This time of year mom and I were inseparable on the weekends, especially with dad playing baseball and Jason always working. We always found something to do even if it was just hanging out at the house.

So needless to say those thoughts consumed me when we hung up. Don’t get me wrong, I love that Jason and I made a move to Tennessee from Fort Myers to start a new life, if you will, for ourselves. But, I miss having our mother, daughter days.

With all this said my third positive of the day happened.

After Jason and I were done with dinner, I went upstairs for a little while. Once I returned Jason was laying on the couch. With the couch being the only furniture in our living room right now, my first thought was hmm, where am I going to sit. Then I looked at Jason and he made that motion with his hands of “come here” with that look I absolutely love … that caring and loving look.  

He just knows. He is so intuned, most of the time I don’t even tell him what’s running through my head, he just  knows. He reads my moods, sometimes catches the change before I do.

As he wrapped his arms around me, the homesickness feeling began to loosen its grip. Tears began to fill my eyes, but never fell, as I thought, “wow I have such a good man.”

Jason, I don’t know what I would do without you. I have never experienced a love of this magnitude before. It’s an incredible feeling, one that fills my heart with so much joy.

Special bond

Jason and I rescued Leo from a shelter in Naples, Florida on April 29, 2010.

Leo, May 2010.

Leo, May 2010.

Although my family had a few cats when we lived on the farm, and my older sister had a persian, which was not friendly, when I was growing up, I never had a cat that was really my pet.I’ve always had a love for dogs, that has always been my pet of choice. Jason on the other hand, loves cats. One day he saw a sign at the gas station near our house that read free kitties, but when he called they were all gone. This of course got the ball rolling in searching for a cat we could call our own.

It took a while to understand the mentality of a cat, how to coexist in the same space.  Jason and I joke all the time that Leo is our dog, some of his habits and characteristics are not kitty related, they scream dog.

Jason picked a perfect cat for us. His personality is like no other cat I have ever been around.

IMG_1053It’s been a whirlwind of emotions and stressful at times as this kitty and I learned how to live with one another. With that said, over the last few years Leo and have developed a pretty special bond.

IMG_1048

I love when he curls up on my lap purring his soothing loud purr, or head butts me so I will pet him or his comical meow when he wants something. Leo has definitely won over a very special place in my heart.

One month down . . .

Last year I read a post on Facebook about an idea I wanted to try, which I’m proud to say is still going pretty strong. It has become a habit that’s for sure, second nature if you will.

Today starts month two and I finally went and bought a pretty jar, well vase, for my 2014 project, so I could see all the paper pile up as the days and months go on.

That Facebook post said to write about a surprise gift, accomplished goals, the beauty of nature, lol moments, memories worth saving and daily blessings on a small piece of paper.

JarWell I added my first hint of color, pink, for the month of February. I’m still on the fence of what color I should add for March and April for that matter. January was easy, I decided to write on white because of our first snowy winter in Tennessee.

It’s been a fun exercise. Some days that moment stands out and other days I have to think a little more. Those days really make me appreciate my blessings.

Today’s moment was a text from Jason, one that brought me to tears. I heard his voice, saw the concern in his eyes and felt his love, all through a couple of lines that appeared on my phone before he clocked in for his shift today. He’s such an incredible person, always finding ways to make me smile. The thing I love the most, more than four years later, he still finds ways into my heart that make me fall in love with him a little deeper.

A post I shared on Facebook towards the end of last month: “These last few days have reminded me why Jason and I are so good together. No matter what lies before us, we work together as a team. We balance each other and bring out the best qualities in one another. This man, my best friend, is my rock. I’m beyond grateful to have such a special relationship, one that makes me smile each and every day.”

Jason’s response: “It’s all too easy when you are open, honest, and expectations are based on actions and not delusions.”

 . . . I love this man to pieces . . .

As you could imagine his name appears on many small pieces of paper that are filling my vase.

I’m excited to read 365 pieces of paper at the end of the year to see what my special moments were. I’m also excited for Jason to read them.

The embrace that speaks volumes

I have to share my entry for today’s jar exercise that I began seven days ago.

The best part of today is the embrace, that hug,  Jason gave me before he left home for his second shift at the restaurant. There is something about his embrace that grounds me again. His hugs speak volumes, it tells me everything I need to hear and shows me just how much he loves me while his arms are wrapped around me. No matter what my worries or stresses are at that moment, he takes it all away.hugs

His hugs have brought me to tears, yes the good kind, because that silent communication is so powerful. That special hug has also stopped my sad tears from flowing.

I remember the first time I received this powerful hug from Jason after we reunited in September 2009 like it was yesterday. Jason walked me out to my car to say goodbye at the wee hours of the morning after we spent hours and hours catching up. Something sparked inside me when he engulfed me with his arms. I felt hope, compassion, love and a sense of how much this man still cared. That feeling of a good friend entering my life after more than a decade consumed me when the hug finally ended.

That hug meant the world to me because it also brought me back to our high school years when we dated. A special bond, no matter how many years go by, lasts.

I guess this is why I am always stealing hugs when I have a chance. What better way to feel better than to receive a hug from someone you love?

A hug has so many silent voices . . .

Very fortunate

Last night as Jason and I laid in bed talking, many feelings completely overwhelmed me. I couldn’t help but smile as I snuggled a little closer.

I am incredibly fortunate to have this man in my life. I am reminded on a daily basis why he holds such a special place in my heart.

Yesterday was the first time in a few years that we spent a holiday away from my family. That’s when homesickness hits me the hardest, on the holidays, when I know everyone is gathering.

That’s when I pick up the phone and call mom, it gives me that sense of home and helps me carry on. I just hope she knows how much I truly treasure what we have. This woman is the best mother I could have ever hoped for, she is my best friend!

Jason understands, completely understands, how hard days like Thanksgiving can be for me. Because of him, we made it through that homesickness. We are starting our own traditions.

Our first Thanksgiving in Tennessee was good, the food was tasty and the company was good. Jason’s mom flew in from Wisconsin to spend the holiday with us.

As the day went on I learned a little more about Jason and his childhood. It began to show why I love this man so much, why I respect him, why he is my partner and best friend.

I truly have never loved anyone this much. That love only grows every single day. When I look at him I see my present and future, I see many, many years of happiness.

I am continuously touched by this man … touched in ways that leaves my heart happy.

The two of us laying under the covers talking before I finally fell asleep will be a memory that I will hold forever. It was my Thanksgiving moment. The depth of conversations, the raw emotions that we share with each other is something I am truly grateful for. It’s the foundation of this incredible relationship we started more than four years ago.

I love knowing we can talk about everything and everything. That the conversation will continue ….

I am grateful for having two incredible people in my life … Mom and Jason, my go to people!

Outstanding weekend

Jason and I traveled to Illinois this past weekend to help celebrate my cousins big day on Oct. 4.

After Jason worked an eight hour shift, he drove us to Des Plaines, an 11 hour trip. We hit the road about 10 p.m. Thursday night and drove straight through. Yes, this man drove the entire way, which was only on about 6-7 hours of sleep from the night before. Of course I took multiple naps along the way, it happens every time we travel long distances. Every time I woke up, Jason was in good spirits singing along to the endless music coming out of his MP3 player.

We arrived at my grandparents house around 8 a.m. Friday morning, just in time to eat breakfast. This was definitely a great way to kick off our mini vacation … sitting around the table, talking and eating some great food with my grandparents, mom and little sister.

I have to admit it was great seeing my mom and little sister. I have missed them over the past months … hopefully I can see everyone else soon.

We hung out for a while and had some great conversations, while going down memory lane.

I love looking at old photo albums, I learn a little more about our family each time.

An incredible memory for all of us was a trip to Gatlinburg, Tenn. in 1999. A trip where all of my aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins gathered to celebrate my grandparents 50th anniversary. We had so much fun that trip, endless great times were had. It was great looking through those albums because our memories were triggered of what those days entailed.

Next year my grandparents will celebrate 65 years. They are truly an inspiration for all of us, they have so much love for each other and for each and everyone of us.

Before Jason and I headed to our hotel to get ready for the wedding, grandpa and I had a conversation about my grandmother. The amount of love this man has for his wife took a hold of me as he shared how she was doing. The great part of their story is my grandparents met when they were little kids, more than 80 years ago. I love seeing them together, they have something very special, truly special.

Friday afternoon kicked off the fun filled weekend. My cousin Pat got married at a beautiful church in Glenview to his stunning wife Karen. The service was beautiful and the reception was a lot of fun.

Whenever you get my crazy Italian family together many laughs will always be had.

I will always remember walking out of the reception into the hallway and spotting Pat. We instantly gave each other a hug as he expressed how happy he was that I came. Pat was glowing, his whole face lit up as he talked about his wife and how beautiful she is. It was great to see how happy he was, how in love he was.

Saturday was also a ton of fun. Aunt Lisa put together a beautiful party for everyone to get together again before we all left and others went back to work. The amount of food spread out on the U shaped tables was endless, snacks of every variety was laid out before us. This beautiful afternoon and evening was another great way to catch up and get to know a few of our new family members.

I love being a part of such a large, loving and fun family. I’m glad Jason was finally able to meet my mom’s side of the family.

I am beyond grateful to have Jason in my life. All the driving he did, so I could spend time with my family, was incredible.

Another weekend full of memories, another weekend I will always remember.