Messy Jessy

enjoying the beautiful mess that is life

The Whirlwind July 18, 2012

Filed under: Charlotte,family,reflections,Travel — Jess @ 9:16 pm

There’s so much to blog about… the past three weeks have been a whirlwind and a bit of a blur! I’ve gotten to spend time with some of the people I love the most celebrating friendship, the 4th of July, Road Trips with Mom to Philly, another grad school residency, a baby shower for my sister and soon-to-arrive niece Adelyn Parker, and much more!

There’s certainly blogs and pics to come, it just may be a while!

The time that I normally devote to blogging has been replaced with school work again. I”m choosing
 to doing to “introspective blogging” — meaning focusing more on cultivating my inner and spiritual life. I’ve been “blogging”, but more in the sense of writing journals and reflecting. There may be some “real blogs” that result but my thoughts are too raw and beginning to come to surface.

I’m thankful for the people in my life that keep me from floating just on the surface of living
and help pull me into the deeper waters of the soul and living.


Girls Birthday Beach Bash Weekend 2012 July 3, 2012

Filed under: family,Travel — Jess @ 7:01 pm
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June … the official start of summer and our summer has gotten off to a fun start! I’ve been meaning to write several blogs over the past few weeks, but just haven’t gotten around to it.

My first grad school class was in full swing with two major papers due this within the first two weeks of the month. I had to movtivate myself to get everything done because the sun and sand was calling my name.

Last weekend, I went to Isle of Palms, the barrier island to Charleston, SC for our annual Birthdy Beach Bash weekend with my mom and sister. Since Rachel is due with sweet Adelyn this August, we decided we should probably move up our get-a-way. We had an awesome time relaxing on the beach and just enjoying being with each .

Mom, Rachel, and Me

We visisted all of our favorite eating spots: Acme Cantina, Seabiscuit Cafe, and even found a new spot right on the Intercoastal waterway- Morgan Creek Grill. And since we had a preggers with us, we just HAD to eat Ben & Jerry’s ice cream every day! This little B&J ice cream “hut” has to make a killing and is the “chain” on the island.

The Beach Mama

Is she not the cutest?? Rockin’ that baby bump in her bikini!

Saturday evening, Rachel and I went down to the dunes and beach to do a mini-photoshoot to capture this precious time. I shot mostly with her Cannon but got a few pics with my point and shoot.

I think this one is my favorite.

Our long weekend was so relaxing and I can’t wait until next August! : )


The Road to Grad School May 9, 2012

Filed under: Grad School,Travel — Jess @ 1:40 am
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Last weekend I officially began the journey of grad school. I’ve started my Master’s in Organizational Leadership at Eastern University. It’s a 22 month hybrid program with weekend intensive residences at the beginning of each course (every 10 weeks) followed up with eight weeks of online learning. The residency is on the beautiful campus of Eastern University in the west suburbs of Philadelphia. I could go on with SEVERAL stories about how excited I am about the program and my cohort mates, but I’ll leave that for another post.

With any long, road trip – a play list of good tunes is essential!

  • Meet Virginia – Train
    It was a small victory to get out of North Caroline and into Virginia. Little did I know the real victory would be getting out of Virginia. Interstate 81 is a nice scenic and diagonal route through the state.
  • Mountains – Folk Family Revival
    “I can hear the mountains calling me”. I decided to take the scenic route on the way up (read: avoid crazy DC traffic). It was as if the mountains rose up from the ground and were met by the clouds as soon as I crossed the border into Virginia. Really beautiful hours of driving to decompress and relax.
  • Ride wit Me – Nelly
    By the time I hit Harrisonburg, VA I began to wonder if I was going to ever make it out of Virgina. Late 90s/early 2000s rap/hip hop is always a good remedy to escape the boredom.  “If you wanna go and take a ride wit me…” I’m not afraid to admit there’s a Nelly station on my Pandora.
  • What Makes You Beautiful – One Direction 
    Confession: this song is my guilty pleasure song of the road trip! When this song came on the radio (and it did often!) I would jam out and sometimes crack up that I liked this song just as much as most tweens!
  • Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song 
    As a fan of 90s sitcoms, I could help by thing of  “In West Philadelphia born and raised…” as I made the last leg of my journey from Harrisburg to King of Prussia, which is a Western suburb of Philly.
  • Life is a Highway – Tom Cochrane/Rascal Flatts 
    In an effort to avoid paying the toll on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I had my GPS go the “toll-free” route. Before long there was a huge “Freeway Ends Now” sign and I was trekking through the heart of Amish country going 35 miles per hour with only 45 miles left to go. I called JT and told him I didn’t know if I could take my last 45 miles of my journey going 35 miles an hour. I’d just passed a horse and buggy beside the Paul Revere Inn (I’m NOT making this up!!) Life is a highway but I did NOT intend to ride this highway all night long.
This cow parked at a rest stop just before the Interstate “ended” should have been my clue!
After 20 hours of instruction in 2 1/2 long days – it was time to make the trip back home to Charlotte. I left as soon as class was over at 4:30 pm on Sunday. I decided to take the more exciting route of Philadelphia – Wilmington –  Baltimore – Washington, DC – …….. – Charlotte. I was afraid if I returned the way I came, I would never make it out of Virginia awake. I chatted with my parents from Baltimore until somewhere in Northern Virginia catching up on life and my “back to school” weekend. I decided to stop for gas in Virginia due to the considerably lower gas prices (compared to Maryland and North Carolina). I took advantage of one last stop at WaWa. I’ve heard my friends who live in the Northeast rave about this gas station and now I fully understand what the fuss is all about. I got some infamous WaWa coffee, a grapes/cheese snack tray, and 5 hour energy drink – only 4 more hours left!
  • The drive on 85 from Durham (Raleigh) to Concord is long and boring – especially at midnight.  I was SO ready to be home and get reminding to keep my eyes open. I plan on writing a letter to my local state Representative to lobby for the speed limit to be raised from 65 to 70 mph as soon as I find some spare time in between work and reading.

Oh the Places You Will Go! January 30, 2012

Filed under: India,reflections,Travel — Jess @ 9:50 pm
Tags: ,

A year ago this week, I took a trip that would shape and change me in several expected, but many unexpected ways. It’s hard to believe I was there a year ago because in so many way it feels like ages have passed, but in my heart it feels like just a few weeks ago.

I’ve always believed traveling  helps give you perspective and insight into not only another culture, but your own culture and life. This could be no more truer for me and my two journeys to India. I can truly say I’m a different and better person for my almost 6 weeks spent in the land of beauty and mystery.

When I miss my friends and time spent in India, all I have to do is close my eyes. Then suddenly all of the tastes, smells, sights, sounds come rushing back and are all strangely familiar.

If you want to catch up on my experience while in India, you can click here to read my blog posts from last year.  Namaste!

P.S. If you ever have the chance to go to India – GO!!! I am dying to go back some day and take JT with me.


Ode to Texas January 23, 2012

Filed under: family,life,Travel — Jess @ 8:01 pm
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Oh Texas! I had to breakup with you and move on to be able to fully appreciate you!

You worked hard last month to woo me back, but I’m afraid you weren’t successful. You reminded me of quite a few things I miss about the Lone Star state. Bonus points for visiting in December and not August!

the best Tex-Mex food

Boots and Trucks

Feeder roads

Texas Beer – Shiner an old favorite and a new find – Southern Star

Texas Country Music – If you don’t know what I’m talking about check out Randy Rogers Band or Cody Canada and The Departed for a quick primer.

Donuts and kolaches

Big open skies


Dosey Doe Coffee

towns named Cut ‘n Shoot

Texas-based Grocery Store: H-E-B


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