Messy Jessy

enjoying the beautiful mess that is life

What I Learned While My Husband was Out of Town August 18, 2013

Usually I’m the one traveling between work, school, and family, but this week was a bit of a role reversal. I was the one at home, while J.T. was out-of-town for work.

This past week has been a good learning experience about myself and our relationship.

  • He does a lot around the house. I mean a lot y’all. Since he works from home and I’m usually done with work later, he often does the dishes, laundry, makes coffee for the morning, takes care of the dog, the list goes on. I’ve always appreciated him, but this week has reminded me again how thankful I am to have a spouse that helps out so much at home.
  • I have a natural workaholic tendency. I took full advantage of having no one but Lola to come home to. I left the office several nights and came home to work some more on my couch. It was  10 pm before I knew it and I was yawning with my laptop in my lap. He brings the life to work/life balance. He never makes me feel guilty for working hard and sometimes long hours, but I want to come home and hang out.
  • I would watch too much crappy TV. Mindless TV (Hello Real Housewives of Orange County Reunion) while working. I can’t wait to watch some “good” TV with him when he’s back! I couldn’t cheat and watch our shows without him.
  • As I was cleaning up this morning and picked up 5 pairs of shoes in the living room I laughed. He hates it when I leave my shoes everywhere. This week’s mail was still on the kitchen bar. The cereal box (I had granola/Greek yogurt for dinner) was still out on the counter. I am so messy – my nickname isn’t Messy Jessy for nothing!
  • I will always be a horrible bed mate. Even with him not here, Lola and I (mainly me) figured out how to take up the whole entire king sized bed
  • Oreos do not stand a chance! I had a package leftover from a recent party. This is why I don’t keep junk in my house!
  • I struggle to just relax and do nothing. It just happened most of my “go to girlfriends” were out-of-town or busy Friday night, so I was all by myself (queue the sappy music). I got take out from a restaurant around the corner and just sat on my couch. What should I do?  The past two weeks have been so busy at work and I’ve been going non-stop, I sometimes struggle to just be still and not do anything, but just be. I watched “I AM” on Netflix (highly recommend this documentary) while i ate dinner.Then in the spirit of “being”, I poured myself a glass of fine bourbon and drew up a hot both. Slowly the noise in my head started to quiet down a bit.

Being married isn’t about some one else completing you or being your fulfillment, despite what Hollywood says. I am strong and independent woman who wants to be with my husband because I feel like life is truly better when we’re together and balance each other out. I’m extremely thankful for some time apart, to remember how much I love and appreciate my husband that sometimes gets lost in the day-to-day shuffle. As the cliché goes … “Absence does make the heart grow fonder”


Cultivating a Green Thumb March 31, 2012

Filed under: family,Home Sweet Home — Jess @ 4:53 pm
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For the past several years, I’ve wanted to grow a garden in my back yard. Apartment living really only made a herb container garden possible. I made lots of yummy pesto from that basil plant last summer.

A few weeks ago when my parents were in town for the weekend. I convinced my dad to make an early Saturday morning Lowe’s run with me.  To say I’m not a morning person would be a gross understatement. Very little gets me out of bed before 9 am on a Saturday morning. My mom and JT were both extremely doubtful that I’d make it to Lowe’s, so I had them put their money where their mouths were. I was at Lowe’s before 7:30 am and was $40 richer (minus Hardee’s breakfast for my favorite day laborer).

We built a four by eight foot raised bed. It’s been a while since I’ve gotten this much done before noon on a Saturday : )

Garden Week 1

I planted Kentucky Wonder Beans seed along the back row. Once the beans really start to grow I’ll be able to put some string across the back — maybe that’s why they call them string beans?? ha!
I planted two varieties of tomato plants. There are fewer things better in the Summer than a BLT sandwich with a garden fresh tomato!
Across the front row I’ve planted several different herbs: basil, sweet mint (I’m feeling some mint juleps in a few weeks for Derby!),  cilantro, and flat leaf parsley.
In the front right and left corners, I planted yellow summer squash and zucchini seeds.

Garden Week 2 

 What a difference and some good rain makes! In the middle of my garden, I added strawberries (2 varieties) and broccoli.I also planted a green bell pepper and red sweet pepper plants. At the advice of my Dad, I added marigolds. I hate the way they smell but apparently so do tomato eating bugs.

The seeds that I planted last week (beans, zucchini, and yellow squash) have sprouted and broken through the ground.

Garden Week 3

Things are continuing to grow. My Uncle Kim dropped off some “mater cages” for the tomatoes to help provide support as they grow. These belonged to my Pa (dad’s dad) and have such strong memories of his (much bigger) garden. It’s a pretty awesome thing to have a little bit of him with me and my garden.


What Did You Do This Weekend? November 21, 2011

That’s the common question of office small talk on Monday mornings. Since you probably weren’t at work with me today to ask around the proverbial water cooler, I’ll tell you!

  • CLEANED!! I did a lot of cleaning. That’s the only drawback to a bigger house — more to clean! All of those random, “company’s coming” cleaning tasks that you NEVER do — you know, like putting Old English to make your kitchen cabinets shine kind of stuff!
  • Baked – I love making these pumpkin cake bars (see recipe below) It’s like pumpkin pie — but oh so much better!
  • Had a Girls’ Night Out! on Saturday. One of my friends is about to have a baby girl any day now, so we went out for one last hoorah before baby girl gets here. Nothing too wild and crazy! We ate dinner at On The Border and came back to my house for dessert and watched Bridesmaids. It was great to have some “girl time” and get to know a few other ladies in Charlotte a little better.
  • Woke up Sunday morning with a massive migraine which had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the previous Girls’ Night! I woke up at 5 am and took meds, back up at 11 am and took more meds. Sunday definitely started out rough and took it easy most of the rest of the day. I procrastinated Thanksgiving shopping, but luckily today I secured “Hank” and he was not “the last turkey in America”.
  • Oh! Did I mention I applied to Grad School? I think I’ve decided on the Master’s of Organizational Leadership at Eastern, but will probably apply to Eastern and Trevecca. I was waiting on my transcript from Asbury to apply because I couldn’t remember my exact GPA and decided it probably wasn’t best to “guess” on my application. Reviewing all of my old courses (and grades) brought back memories from what sometimes seems like a whisper from another lifetime ago. Now, I’ve got to work on my essays and get a few reference letters.  Things are looking good and I’m still excited! Trying to envision what my life will look like as a grad student and working full-time — lots of reading, papers, and less TV!
Here’s my favorite pumpkin cake bars recipe. Skip the pie this year and make these. Seriously!

Pumpkin Cake Bars —


  • 1  package yellow butter cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • 8 oz cream cheese — softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg


  •  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  •  Combine the cake mix, egg and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Press into the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan.
  •  In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth with an electric mixer.
  • Beat in eggs, vanilla and butter. Add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well.
  • Pour pumpkin filling mix over the cake bottom.
  • Bake for about 50 minutes. Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a little gooey.

Happy Hanksgiving! November 17, 2011

I’m so excited about Thanksgiving being just a few days away (a week from today!). Ever since we’ve been married, Thanksgiving’s with JT have taken on a new meaning – adventure! In case you missed my special posts last year recounting the “Ghosts of Thanksgiving Past” and of course all of the adventure that last year brought in our first Thanksgiving spent with JT’s family in Kentucky.

This year will not disappoint I’m sure! It will be our first of many holidays spent in our new house. JT’s dad will be here and our Charlotte friends, Rick and Melissa’s (she’s 9 months pregnant!) are coming over too! After watching this week’s Thanksgiving episode of “New Girl” – I have promised Melissa that I’m not like
“Just Jess” in my cooking skills in the kitchen. I did forget one Thanksgiving to defrost the turkey, but promise NEVER to use a clothes dryer as a cooking method!


My parents are coming up late Thanksgiving evening and spending the rest of the weekend. My Aunt and Uncle are coming down (and bringing the last of my stuff that we’ve been storing at their farm) at some point during the weekend. This Thanksgiving will be spent with lots of food, family, and friends — I think that sounds like a great plan!

If you haven’t seen William Shatner’s precautionary tale about deep-frying turkey —


Faith November 5, 2011

Filed under: Home Sweet Home,reflections — Jess @ 2:07 pm
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“To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for,

to be certain of the things we cannot see.”

Planted some tulips bulbs today in the flower beds in my front yard
with faith and hope they’ll be blossoming beautifully this Spring.


What a Difference a Week Makes! October 30, 2011

Filed under: Charlotte,Home Sweet Home — Jess @ 9:47 pm

Here’s a few pictures of some of our progress. Hard to believe we’ve been here for a whole week! It really is starting to feel like home – or at least the rooms (kitchen, living room, master bed and bath) that count! There’s SO much that I want to do and buy – just trying to be patient!

Master Bedroom

There’s still some work to be done (window treatments and ultimately new furniture), but for now I love this room!  What you can’t see in this pic is the flat screen TV mounted on that wall. Last night, JT commented that he felt like he was in a hotel – ha!

Master Bathroom

There are SO many things I love about this room – the tub, the HUGE shower, a separate “water closet”, his/hers vanities!

The Kitchen 

I love the appliances! This week I’m planning on testing my abilities to cook with gas since it’s a first for me.  Hopefully no burnt meals will ensue. This weekend we made pumpkin pancakes using the center cast iron griddle insert. The pancakes were delish and I loved cooking on the griddle.


Her October 25, 2011

Filed under: family,Home Sweet Home,reflections — Jess @ 8:52 pm

Over the past two days I’ve been unpacking and trying to reassemble my kitchen. I’ve discovered gadgets I forgot all about and a few things I’ve desperately missed over the past year and a half they were in storage. As I’ve dug through boxes and things, I’ve also unearthed and remembered quite a few things that reminded me of her.

Hand-knitted crochet pieces handed down from an older generation of family. Cookbooks with her handwritten notes and additions to make the recipe perfect. Serving dishes and utensils that were given as a wedding shower gift. A few of her glass platters that always served the best homemade baked goods at numerous family and church gatherings. One of her many teapots in a collection that filled the ledges at the top of her kitchen. A blanket with the  faintest trace of the smell of her home. A rolling pin that made the best cinnamon rolls.

It’s in the simple and everyday ways I miss and remember her the most. I’m pretty sure that’s the way she would want it to be.


It’s BO Time! October 24, 2011

Filed under: Charlotte,Home Sweet Home — Jess @ 8:40 pm


This picture sums up the last few days.

I’m exhausted but yet giddy. Chaos of moving, boxes, and unpacking have filled the day.
Tonight, we celebrated our first official meal -Bojangle’s- in our new house around the dining room table surrounded by boxes. Hardly gourmet, but being with those you love makes it pretty dining to me.


Paint Party! October 23, 2011

Filed under: Charlotte,Home Sweet Home — Jess @ 5:01 pm
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I may not have figured out 100% what I want to be when I grow up, but I’ve definitely crossed professional painter off the list. Here’s a previous post on my “unique” style of painting – I paint in “thirds”!

We closed this past Friday at 4 pm and immediately left the lawyer’s office to head to our new house and start painting! I know – we’re crazy. I wanted to go ahead and get a few rooms (kitchen, living room, master bedroom, and master bathroom) painted before all of our “stuff” was moved in on Monday.  It really has made a huge difference in the rooms and makes our house feel like “home” and “ours”. The only bad thing about painting is it’s made me want to paint the ENTIRE house. I guess I’m going to have to be okay with the “vanilla” for a little while longer because I don’t think my painters (my dear father-in-law and JT) will hold out for any more.

Here’s a few pics of our progress:

The kitchen is an earthy green – “Withered Moss” to be exact. I can’t wait to get our appliances on Monday and see how everything looks together!

The living room – So much taping, edging, and painting!

I forgot to take a pic of the master bedroom, but it’s a nice “mocha” color.

Making our house a “home” is very much a work in progress. But if home is where your heart is – then I’m already there!


T Minus Two Days October 18, 2011

Filed under: Charlotte,Home Sweet Home — Jess @ 7:57 pm
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This chapter of unsettled, apartment living is coming to a close quickly.

I’ve reached the place of packing exhaustion and I’m not 100% sure what to pack any more. I’ve packed up my entire kitchen and my shelves are literally bare.

I went to Trader Joe’s last night to get a few essentials – COFFEE! and meals that could either be cooked in the microwave or baked on a cookie sheet! Fun right? Baked shrimp for dinner tonight!

Yesterday we spent an hour or so walking through our house for our “Final Walk Through” with our project manager Seth. I have pretty high standards when it comes to service and our Ryan Homes team has exceeded my expectations. I fought the urge to pinch myself as we were walking through. We’ve been through a lot over the last 18 months in the house drama department and it feels almost too good to be true! I’m sure it will feel like “ours” come December when the first mortgage is due : )

We are all set to close this Thursday. The game plan is to paint this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. JT’s dad will be here to help us with painting and then we’re all set to have the appliances delivered and movers move us on Monday. I’m quite sure it will be worth every penny that we pay them to move all of our junk in liquor boxes – ha!


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