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Miss RadioJess

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Bachelorette in the SBC… Or Better Yet, Paradise

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Earlier this year I had the absolute pleasure of hosting my cousin’s bachelorette party. The ladies rounded up in Dallas and traveled to the land of casinos, crawfish and crazy good Cajun times. My sweet husband was kind enough to vacate the property for the weekend.

It was three days of nonstop laughter, dancing and of course adult beverages.

I was nervous to host such a pivotal event in her life so I enlisted the help of my K945 listeners. They told me the best places to go for a bachelorette party were Superior Grill, El Dorado’s Celebrity Lounge, Margaritaville for gambling and Central Station for the drag show.

To top it all off, I scored a sweet deal on a limo for all of us to travel in style.

It was one of the most fun weekends in my house and I never saw the floor the entire time. Air mattresses, clothes, makeup, shoes, hair products… everywhere. And I didn’t care one bit.

Oh, and I got to check off another item on my “30 for 30” list… Host a part for someone else.

Home Sweet Big Apple

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One of my goals before I turned 30 was to take my husband to New York City to see where I lived and worked my senior year of college. We did that earlier this year and subsequently checked off another item on my “30 before 30” list.

We both love the Big Apple.

Between me living there and he visiting so often, I’m almost positive we’ve spent the same amount of our lives in this electrifying city. We can’t get enough of it!

One day we’ll move there, I just know it.

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We visited Brooklyn, where I lived. We braved the walk down to the freezing cold Promenade to see the skyline of southern Manhattan. I spent many days down here reading, calling family members, and even building snowmen went it snowed.

I was filled with such feelings of nostalgia seeing Clark St. again.

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We also took in some entertainment in NYC. We saw Cabaret with Alan Cumming and Emma Stone (fabulous), we saw Blue Man Group (phenomenal) and even saw the Rangers take down the Stars in a game of hockey.

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Of course, we had to visit the newly built 9/11 Memorial. We spent about an entire day in the exhibit filled with sadness, respect, and pride for our country. I highly recommend you visit if you get the chance. It will absolutely change you.

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And, as the nerds that we are, we hunted down some iconic locations from Seinfeld and Flight of the Conchords.

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I’m so thankful we had a chance to visit a city that we both adore, yet had never experienced together. It was fun sharing my underground perspective of living there and his above ground perspective.

A Thanksgiving to be Thankful For

As I look through my “30 before 30” list, I see many items that I completed without even realizing it. I guess that means they are natural goals that I have set for myself.

Truth be told, my husband and I hosted Thanksgiving dinner a week after we moved into our first home.

We weren’t even married yet. *gasp*

It was the November we moved to Shreveport-Bossier. I had just finished breaking down the last box, when his parents pulled into the driveway. It was a major transitional time in our lives and it felt so good to have family around to make our home feel like home.

I didn’t even really have to cook.

Well, aside from making my famous from-scratch mashed potatoes. We sat around our dining room table (which was a steal on Craig’s List) and talked about things we were thankful for.

Three weeks later we were married.

Now, I sit in our home making plans for this year’s Thanksgiving. When you’re as busy as hubby and I are, you have to plan Thanksgiving in August. It’s amazing that just three weeks after this round up at the table, we will be celebrating two years of Mr. and Mrs.

Incredible.

And I secretly thank the Lord, were not hosting this year.

What Else Is There to Know?

I did it.

I finally took my husband to my hometown. The town that built me. The town that made me who I am today. He had no idea what he was in for when we loaded up the plane and took off for California.

Another check off on that #30Before30 list I’ve been chipping at.

You see, hubby and I come from very different upbringings. I am from humble, small beginnings. He grew up in a big city and went to a big school. I graduated with 48 very close friends.

So he was shocked to see how small my hometown is, how itty-bitty the school is, and how isolated my home was. But I think deep down he loved every minute of it.

We shot guns with the family, ate apple pie at the local pie shop, visited my first job (a candy store), and had a chocolate shake at the soda fountain.

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It was so important for my man to see how I grew up. I think he better understands me. I think he sees where my passion for people comes from and where my humility stems from. The place you grow up in always stick with you.

Lucky for me, I had a wonderful town to grow up in and an even better family to raise me in it.

I Met Taylor Swift… That Is All

Whew!

It’s been a hot minute since I have been on this thing. Over a year to be exact.

First of all, it’s so hard for me to believe that I have been graduated from Baylor University for five years now, to the day. Wow. I remember that day like it was yesterday. Shaking Judge Starr’s hand and walking across that stage. My entire focus was on trying not to trip while navigating the stage through tear-filled eyes. All while hearing my brothers let out a “WHOOP!” loud enough for even the elderly to hear.

Life has been insane in the SBC. I am now the midday girl on K945 (ahem, the best radio station on the planet) and I am moving and grooving as the Assistant Program Director and Music Director. Might I add that we smoked our competition so badly this year that they have switched formats? Woohoo! Feels good.

I have to admit, I had done some amazing things this past year.

I have interviewed some amazing people. I’ve talked with Ludacris, Fifth Harmony, Nate Ruess, Alesso, Andy Grammer, among others.

Check out the others on my SoundCloud.

If that wasn’t enough, I have had the opportunity to meet people like Taylor Swift, Vance Joy, Carly Rae Jepsen and more.

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Insane, right?

I’ve also had some very rare opportunities come my way. Like the chance to be the voice of Melony on Stern Pinball’s latest production, “Whoa Nelly! Big Juicy Melons.” Yep, I am the voice of a pinball machine. A ditzy, innocent, Ellie-May-Clampett type woman who sells melons on her father’s melon farm.

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My voice will forever be in people homes, bars, arcades, etc.

And 2015 isn’t even over yet! Can you believe it? This has been such an incredible year already and I am so excited to see what else will pop up in the next four months.

One thing you can count on, I have no intentions on slowing down!

Featured post

You there, SBC? It’s Me. (v. 1)

About a month and a half ago I uprooted myself from seven comfortable years of living in Central Texas and moved to the magical land of SBC. For those of you unfamiliar with SBC, the acronym stands for Shreveport-Bossier City. I guess I should really say that I was swept off my feet by my then fiance. He slaved away putting together our beautiful home in SBC, rescued me from my ivory tower and led us to our land of milk and honey.

Needless to say, life has been insane these last few weeks.

We celebrated Thanksgiving immediately. Next was my husband’s bachelor party, then the wedding, honeymoon, Christmas and New Years. Following all of that hustle and bustle, I came down with a hefty cold and have spent the last four days taking exceptionally hot baths and vegging on the couch.

Sidenote: Bravo TV has been a nonstop marathon of housewives and hormonal servers/bartenders at a popular Hollywood restaurant. 

Now let me start by saying my wedding was absolute perfection! (I’ll blog about it as soon as I receive pictures). It was a dream come true to finally marry the man who I absolutely adore. The best part was that as I held myself together throughout the whole evening, he got teary-eyed as I came down the aisle. He can’t deny it because it was caught on film.

Psst…He doesn’t need to know I spilled the beans with all of you so that will just be our little secret.

We then cruised into paradise for our honeymoon and it was the most wonderful vacation we have ever taken. After a few days at home, we split Christmases with our families. Our New Years celebration was just the two of us and surprisingly we were actually able to stay up till midnight… the first time in years. Now, with me getting sick, real life is beginning to set in.

Honestly, I’m so stoked!

Between you and me, I could not get this city off my mind while on my honeymoon. It was intriguing to take a vacation and not be completely distraught when it came to a close. I’m in a unique situation where real life is pretty darn sweet and, even on the trip, I couldn’t wait to get it started.

I owe that to SBC.

I still can’t leave the house without Google Maps blasting on my car stereo however, in the midst of maps, street signs and plenty of U-turns, I can see that this city is alive. It’s growing and thriving and uniting. I have never lived in a place like this before; a southern bayou, military-centric, Vegas of sorts. I can drive along the river looking at gorgeous buildings and see a B-52 flying on the horizon alongside a flock of birds flying in formation. All in the same windshield view.

It’s breathtaking.

And it’s not even close to being all this city has to offer. So here’s to learning, discovering and falling even more in love with my new home.

If Love Is Chemistry, We All Failed the Test

I’ll admit, I got suckered into reading this “Match.com on Yahoo” article about chemistry. Unfortunately, it had nothing to do with empirical formulas, stoichiometry, or pH values. Yes, I loved chemistry as a kid. And to be honest, it would have better served the world if it had some Bill Nye flair.

Chemistry has always been included in the love conversations and I had high hopes for this article in the opening paragraphs. It talked about blending and complementing, both of which take effort. At this point I was blissfully fooled into thinking this would be an article about choices and commitments until I came across the phrase that I believe destroys marriages…

“Feeling butterflies in your stomach.”

Really?

I’m lucky to have been raised in a household in which love is a commitment. It’s not a “feeling” we get in the pit of our stomach. It’s not the “heat” we feel when our lover looks at us. It’s not the “happiness” that our partner brings us. Those are temporary. Those are fleeting. And I don’t want my relationship to be based on things that are passing. I want a firm foundation. I want a rock.

Don’t you?

Now, don’t get me wrong, the feelings, heat and happiness will come. However, they will also go. Then what do you do? Even chemical reactions die down. The catalyst serves it’s purpose. The bonds are created. The agitation ceases. The experiment as a whole is complete.

The article says this, “Chemistry is a very strong indicator of relationship success, but it’s not the whole enchilada…” Incorrect. The whole enchilada… in fact, the rice, beans, plate, margarita, and restaurant, is Christ. Without Him, your relationship is… “meh.”

Trust me.

Your relationship may pass all the worldly tests without Him. I mean, a “C” on a test is passing, but is that all you really want? Don’t you want that “A” to take home and wave in front of your parents? That “A” to hang on the refrigerator next to your finger paintings?

Then you must have Jesus Christ at the center of your relationship.

God created marriage and the power he places on it is incredible. Through marriage, we become the person God intended us to be. We enable our partners to become the people they are intended to be. God lives, works, moves and breathes through marriage. It is the closest we get to the eternal, unconditional love of our Father.

You see those two words… Eternal? Unconditional?

I read those words as “unending” and “without ceasing.” Isn’t that the kind of love we want with someone on this Earth? Don’t those words sound so much sweeter than “feeling” or “heat” or “happiness”?

I think it’s about time we stop lying to ourselves about “chemistry” being the glue that holds us together. Women use it as an excuse for why they are dating the bad boy… “We just have great chemistry.” Darling, that’s called lust. Men use it as an excuse as to why they feel it’s necessary to be with multiple women… “I just have great chemistry with a lot of women.” Sugar, that’s called polygamy.

Instead, are you pushing each other closer to God?

It baffles me that the “love experts” in this world continue to sell us this lie of fickle emotions. It’s time we sit back and really think about why we love. Why we decide to give someone our highest form of praise. Why we get married. And you know what, it’s not about us. It’s about the other person. Thank goodness some people get that.

Like this guy.

You know, I fell in love with my fiance because I saw the person God intended him to be and I wanted so badly to push him toward that. I still want that. On our wedding day I will not vow to give him butterflies. Instead, I will promise to shower him with the love that can only come from above. Including the times I don’t feel like it. He will do the same. It’s the only way we can have a marriage full of joy, passion and trust.

And what really kills me is found at the end of this article, “How to keep the chemistry alive in your relationship.” Ok, make the relationship a priority. Good. Make time for one another. Even better. Not letting yourself go. That’s not bad. I can reason with taking care of yourself to honor your partner.

However, it’s the justification that Judy Mandell (a WOMAN, I’ll point out) gives that drives me up the wall. I can’t paraphrase ignorance so I copied the quote:

“I see this way too often where women get men by looking hot, sexy and alluring — then they stop wearing makeup, putting on sexy heels and have a drawer full of granny panties stashed where Victoria’s Secret used to reign. No wonder your man is looking elsewhere! Make your best self — as in, the self you were when you got him — the norm.”

I was left speechless after reading this. My only wish is that this superficial outlook on women would have been the flashing lights in the first paragraph, alerting readers to the useless information they were about to encounter.

Friday Flue

Happy Friday to everyone!! It’s time for some Friday Flue. You know, the fluff, the rubbish, the stuff that doesn’t really matter. Today we’re going to talk about things that irritate us. Let’s get it all off of our chests so we can enjoy the weekend, stress free!

Now, according to Reddit, there are the eight things people find themselves getting more irritated by as they age. Here are the top eight:

1.  Noise.  Especially at restaurants.

2.  Rudeness.

3.  How lazy today’s teenagers seem to be compared to us, especially considering how EASY they have it.

4.  People spouting uneducated, inflammatory political rhetoric.

5.  Older people who refuse to use basic technology.

6.  The way people gather in a mass swarm to get on a plane . . . then take forever getting off a plane.

7.  A false sense of entitlement.

8.  Chronic lateness . . . especially without an apology.

Allow me to add my own list.

1. Liars – Especially when it comes to things that can easily be checked with a simple Google search or a little Harriet the Spy know-how. There’s just no need for it. If you need to boost your self-esteem by shredding the trust others have in you, you’re going to die alone. Honest Abe and Humble Harry always win in my book.

2. Rudeness – Reddit nailed this one. We are called to love. It doesn’t matter if the person is our family, friend, enemy or a complete stranger. You know the phrase, “A person who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter is still a rude person.” Don’t be that person.

3. Lazy People – Reddit had it half right. I’ve seen plenty of lazy adults, but trust me, I don’t discriminate when it comes to people who sit around and do nothing. There is no entitlement in this life. Nothing you have done makes you deserving of anything. We are all sinners saved by grace so the next time you start thinking, “I deserve…” or “Someone else will…” bite your tongue and set yourself in motion.

4. Bad Drivers – I’m a recovering road-rage-aholic. And to be honest, it’s very hard to go through my 12-step program when people fail to heed the laws of the road and act selfishly. If it’s my right-of-way you just sit tight.

5. Lack of Social Media Skills – Forgive me on this one. I hate that this irritates me, but being in my 20s, I grew up with social media. From AOL to MySpace, Facebook to Twitter, and beyond, I have seen the evolution of online presence. And call me a snob, but I can’t stand it when someone “likes” their own status.

6. Non-Observers – This has nothing to do with holidays. It has to do with people who disregard social awareness. This encompasses a lot of situations, but what it boils down to is focusing only on yourself and what’s in front of you. Take a second to look around you. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

7. Opportunists – These are generally lazy people who love to latch onto other people’s success. They have to be the center of attention and they are very good at using pronouns, especially when speaking of other people’s accomplishments. They are also the people who tend to be insecure and rely on others for validation.

8. Messy People – How old were we when we learned to clean up after ourselves? If you move something, move it back. If you share an office, keep it clean. If you borrow something, return it. If you (or your kids) make a huge mess at a restaurant, at least try to clean it up. In the radio world, we call this “leaving a clean board.”

These are my top eight things that have come to irritate me more and more as I have gotten older. I’ll admit, I have seen myself fall victim to these very things. And yes, it irritates me when I commit them just as much as when someone else does. We’re all human, but I believe my irritants can be remedied with mere effort.

What’s on your list?

All About the Bride

I had my first “All About the Bride” weekend. It was orchestrated by two of my lovely bridesmaids, one being my Maid of Honor. It was bridal shower weekend and since we all live in different cities, we decided to toss bridal portraits and bachelorette party into the mix.

Oh, and that “All About the Bride” weekend, was more like an “All About the Bride” loooooooong day.

I spent much of this past Friday working on elements for the Saturday to come. A fake bouquet and makeup trials for pictures, bridal shower host gifts, and packing. After a late day at the office, I was up until midnight.

Saturday began with a 4:30 a.m. wake up call, followed by a 6 a.m. coffee run and a 6:20 a.m. hair appointment. How I convinced someone to get up that early with me, I will never understand, but I think the caramel macchiato was a start. My hair was complete at 7:30 a.m., just as the sun was waking up.

How nice of it to join the party.

At 8 a.m. I was stripping down in the parking lot of our picture location, covered only by my dress and bridesmaids. Unfortunately this must have also been “Family Picture Day” for the whole city as there were children, mothers, fathers and grandparents all around. I think I actually saw a mother cover her son’s eyes.

Despite my freaking out that my dress would get dirty and my eyes watering like crazy (come to find out, I was allergic to the eye shadow), we got the pictures done. They turned out beeeeeeeautiful.

At 10:30 a.m., my Maid of Honor and one of my bridesmaids were on the road headed to my bridal shower. A two-hour drive that allowed us to catch up, laugh and vent. Without these two, I think I would lose my mind.

My bridal shower was absolutely gorgeous. Everything in our wedding color, food for days, a beautiful cake made to look like an oven, and great company. I received some lovely gifts, including handmade etched glassware, and ate my body weight in jalapeno cheese dip. My maid of honor’s mom opened up her home for me and my guests. The three of them put together a wonderful shower.

After an hour-long game of “to nap, or not to nap,” it was time to get ready for the bachelorette party. We met my other two bridesmaids (two of my dearest cousins) for dinner at The Fox and the Hound, where a man discretely bought us a round of shots. We’re pretty sure he was on a date with another woman. However, what guy could pass up a pink sash with “Bachelorette” written on it?

We headed next door to Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar where we laughed, sang, and yelled about how much UT stinks at football.

From there we headed back to the house and had a lingerie shower, something I had always dreaded. However, it was super fun! I even got a gift from my grandmother (a.k.a. my cousins signed her name to the card).

It’s a weekend I will never forget, spent with women I could not live without. Their love and support is more than I could ever ask for or deserve. I am so thankful for them. And I found myself getting emotional after it was all said and done.

(pause to wipe your tears)

I can honestly say that after this weekend, it really feels like I’m getting married. I have been engaged for 15 months now and it’s easy to lose sight of the finish line when you’ve been in this chapter for so long. However, my girls have definitely catapulted me back into the “Bride to Be” phase.

So let’s get hitched!

Marriage: The Greatest Gift

It’s pretty safe to say that I have been pretty busy. Between wedding planning, flight school graduation planning, Drop Night, moving, and trying not to have my face breakout or gain weight, I am two setbacks away from a meltdown, maybe three. I mean, it’s still June, right?

It’s the last day of SEPTEMBER?!

(deep breath)

All of my weekends have been planned out for me for the rest of the year and that includes premarital counseling. It is not required for us to enter into this kind of process however, we take our marriage super seriously and we are about to embark on a crazy Air Force journey.

We’re reading a book titled, “The Meaning of Marriage” by Timothy Keller. Chapter four hit me like a ton of bricks and really has set me on fire about my marriage. Even if you don’t plan on reading the book in its entirety, I high recommend you snag a corner spot on the floor at the bookstore and read this chapter.

Keller talks about marriage in a way that I never thought of before. I know that the Lord created spouses as helpers in this world however, I severely underestimated the power that the Lord places in and on marriage. He lives and moves and breathes through marriage. Marriage is the closest we get to the sacrificial love of the Father. It is our responsibility as husbands and wives to make sure that we are pushing our spouses toward the image/life/person that God intended for them.

This, of course, takes time, love, energy, effort, sacrifice, and, above all, commitment.

When we stand up at the altar, dressed to the nines, we are not only laying our relationship down at the feet of Christ. We dedicate our lives to Him and to each other. This resembles that moment when we stand before the Lord when our time has come, and he looks down at us saying, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” We are presented holy and blameless at that time.

As I read Keller’s words describing this moment, I became overwhelmed with emotion. It ignited a fire in me to serve my future husband in this way. It has also made me love my future husband so much more than I ever thought was possible. I know there will be bumps along the way, but I fully intend to cultivate this love and passion so it grows uncontrollably.

In addition, so much of this chapter talks about placing your marriage before everything else in this life. Problems will arise if you allow other feeble things to become bigger than your marriage. In the garden, when Adam was lonely, what did God give him? A wife. He did not give him a job, a big house, a vacation, or even a child. He gave him marriage. And Adam cried out, “At last.”

Adam received a best friend. A companion. A partner… An “everything.”

How beautiful is it that God allows us to enter into this union?

It just leaves me speechless.

But one thing I can say for sure… “I can’t WAIT to get married.”

 

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