Friday, December 16, 2011

the story of the boy (part 2)

About three months ago, I received a Facebook message from a mutual friend of Heath and me.  He told me that Heath didn’t have Facebook but wanted to get in touch with me and catch up. He gave me Heath’s number and said that he would just let me take the next step if I wanted.  I was excited and incredibly nervous. Getting in contact with an old friend! After all this time! This is going to be so much fun! …or what if it’s like one of those bad movies where the person rejected in high school tries to get in contact with the person who rejected them, only to tell them how awful they are!  “Surely Heath wouldn’t do that,” I thought.   I was incredibly nervous to text him but ended up texting him on the way a weekend getaway with my family (sister was driving…safety never takes a vacation, y’all—even if you do).  I texted something silly like, “Heath Ring?!?!”  And proving true to form, he knew it was me. We played a quick game of catch-up. The usual: where we lived, what we did, where we worked, etc. Gradually in the days after that, I would hear from him every couple days. Small conversations but fun stuff like favorite movies, books, music, etc. I found myself pleasantly surprised that we had many similar tastes.  I was also pleasantly surprised to know “grown-up Heath” and realize how he’d matured into such a great man.  After a few weeks of catching up, I realized how much we had in common and our conversations turned into marathons.  I never even entertained that anything would happen romantically but was happy to have an old friend back in my life. As days went by, the more we caught up, the more I realized I really enjoyed him, and he was just as sweet as he was before.  Could I like him now? Was I allowed? What if he didn’t feel the same way? All these things started building up inside of me, and the Enemy tried to rob me of the joy I had found in Heath.  I never verbalized these thoughts but looked forward to any contact I shared with him.  
One day,  I told him I would be coming home to visit my family and asked if he would be interested in grabbing a bite. I tried to keep it casual in case he wasn’t thinking anything with us was headed down a romantic road.  His response, “I’d love to :)” A couple of days before we planned to have dinner together, Heath sent me this text: “Can we call this a date? I’d really like it if we could call this a date. I mean…it has been a dream of mine for a long time to take you on a date”  My response (you know, because I’m Joe Cool over here): “I already thought it was a date…”  (smooth, Jordan, real smooth…) But I was so very happy! I was so delighted! He DID feel the same as I. We were going on a date! Then there came the overwhelming task: WHAT IN THE WORLD AM I GOING TO WEAR?! Anyone who knows me knows that fashion is a huge part of my life. It is a way I love to express myself. Now, I am not the same girl that Heath knew in high school, and I was nervous about showing him how I had changed, as far as style. I used to be the queen of all things Abercrombie and Fitch/GAP/ and American Eagle. Now, I usually wear things that are homemade or vintage from a thrift store/flea market. Would he think I was silly? Would he want to be seen with me? I was full of nerves. I have since then told Heath that I think I HAD to be more nervous than he was because I had more at stake (he heavily disagrees). He didn’t know that I had developed a crush on him…but I had.  And on top of it, I am the one who turned down his romantic advances 8 years ago, and now I was going on a date with him. My feelings had changed. So, October 22, was our date.  I spent most of my time trying to find something to wear. I took advice from friends. Jeans? A dress and cardigan(my go-to)? Ah! So, thank you, Jesus, for smart phones. I took a photo of myself in an outfit I had thought about wearing and texted it to my friends for feedback (fashion is serious, my friends). They gave me the thumbs up. Cute but casual.
the first date outfit winner
`Heath had asked me if I would like to come to his house first, seeing as we were going to end up there later, and then ride with him to the restaurant. I was so nervous walking up and knocking on his door. I knocked twice. Then he opened up, and there was Heath…a grown man version of Heath. We both just looked at one another for a moment, soaking up the changes that 8 years make. We were fresh-faced kids the last time we saw one another. Now we were muscle-man Heath and curvy Jordan. After a few seconds, there was the bear-hug I was promised. As he held me, he let out a sigh and said, “It is so good to see you.”  After that, we smiled really big, and left his house for a little Italian restaurant in town.  We sat and talked and ate and talked more. Heath told me that he was incredibly nervous and had spent about 45 minutes trying to find something to wear. I was so happy that he had spent time preparing. Not only had he done that but he cleaned his house top to bottom. I remember sitting there thinking, “what a precious man he has become.” He has always been precious, but the older you get, you realize what you want.  And sitting there in his company that night, I knew I wanted him.  After dinner, we went back to his place to watch some movies.  I found out that he is extremely OCD and I was sure to let him know that I am his worst nightmare. Truly. I can make a mess like nobody’s business. Another sweet thing about him is that while we sat watching the movies, he on one side of the couch, me on the other, he would pause the movie any time I said anything. It was nice that he made me feel like what I had to say mattered to him because he didn’t want anything to distract from it. He sure knows how to make me feel special.  We spent that first night staying up reminiscing about high school and I thought I would surely have internal organ damage from laughing so much. When it reached the wee hour of the morning, I left for my family’s house in Searcy.  As he walked me out, I said, “This was really fun. I am so glad we finally met up. Wanna do it again tomorrow night?” His response, “Absolutely.” So, the next night we grabbed a pepperoni pizza and came back to his house to watch a movie. I didn’t have to be at school on Monday till 12:45 because of Parent Teacher Conferences, so I had planned to stay an extra night.  As we were watching the movie (on his very uncomfortable couch),  I was having a hard time getting comfortable. I had pillows and was propped up on my side of the couch. I felt Heath studying me and he quietly said, “ummm…you can come over here if you want to. (pointed to his side/shoulder, indicating a perfect snuggle position. Woo!) It will probably be more comfortable for you.” I smiled and said, “okay.” A big smile came over his face, “yeah? Okay.” Then enter awkward movement by yours truly in order to get to cute boy. I like to think that if we had been taped, it would have been the funniest/cutest thing ever. Once my head hit his shoulder and my body spooned to the side of his, he let out a big, nervous sigh, kind of like, “okay…she made it. Good job.” Later that night he said, “I have a surprise for you!” He went to another bedroom and returned with all of our yearbooks from 1st-12th grades, our class photos, and his senior memory book. We devoured them, laughing at our outfits, how my signatures were always the same, and remembering “that one time…” The last thing we looked at was his senior memory book. As he flipped, I learned that gas was 1.59 a gallon and other fun facts. I noticed, though, that when it came to the graduation page, he nonchalantly flipped it. I told him to go back, I wanted to see! He got nervous and said he was going to get us some bottled water. As he did, my eyes scanned the pages. Who are you going to miss the most: “Josh Edwards and Jordan Simmons”. “How sweet!” I thought. Then my eyes caught, What was the most memorable moment of graduation: “Well, this isn’t my favorite memory, but I will never forget seeing Jordan cry because her grandmother had been able to come, when she didn’t think she was going to.” OH.MY.WORD. No one knew about that, but he did for some reason. I had forgotten all about that memory until reading it at that moment, and as he shyly came back with the bottled waters, I wanted to kiss him right on the mouth. But I didn’t :)   

The next weekend, I surprised him.  Well, Lucy and I both did. I was nervous surprising him with my dog with his OCD (btw. Our first date, I rearranged some of his alphabetized books/DVDs while he was in the bathroom…and about 30 minutes later, he figured them all out!) He thought I was out of town for the whole weekend, but I cut it short and sent him a text when I hit exit 48 that said, “oh boy, you’re in for it now. I just took Exit 48.” He was so excited, and we stayed up watching Conan O’Brien reruns. Lucy (I’d only had her for a week) left a couple presents in one of his extra bedrooms. I freaked out when I realized it and said, “umm…heath, there is a situation in one of your bedrooms…where are your cleaning supplies?” He told me they were in his laundry room. I go in…do a clean up, get it looking nice…then I took back the supplies. He was in his bedroom and didn’t see my next move. As I returned the stuff, I noticed he had Febreze Air Effects and Extra Strength Febreze. Thinking I could take it to the next level, I used both. I had the Air Effects in one hand and the Extra Strength in the other. I went to town on the whole room. Covered every surface. Well…the next day, I hear back from Heath. “So…you used the extra strength Febreze, huh?” me, “Yes! I wanted to make sure there wasn’t a trace of Lucy smell in there.” Heath, “umm…well that wasn’t Febreze…that was bleach solution that I use for my vents. I had ran out of Febreze not too long ago and used the bottle as a spray bottle for my solution, and seeing as I live alone, I knew it and didn’t label it.” Y’all, he could have performed surgery in that room, I had used that much. I thought I was going to pass out, and I thought, “oh. my. goodness. he is going to stop seeing me. I FRIGGIN BLEACHED THE WHOLE ROOM. BED. CARPET. COMFORTER. AHH!”  I have still not seen that room. But…he was so sweet about it, “you didn’t know! It is ok. It isn’t  a big deal.” It was then that I thought that this boy was absolutely a keeper.
Anyway, throughout the weeks that followed, we shared our first kiss, and it was sweet and precious, just as I expected. What I appreciate so much about him is what a gentleman he is to me. He has shown me so much respect when most guys try things right off the bat. It is refreshing. We also have been going to church together when I come home. This has been a great thing for both of us. I have enjoyed going to church and then talking about the sermon in his truck on the way to lunch. It is such a special time for me. On November 25th (my birthday) he turned to me that after noon and said, “Hey, Jordan. Will you be my girlfriend?” It was asked in such a precious way that is uncommon to our times. Of course I said yes. Later, I texted him something like, “Hey, Boyfriend.” He replied, “Oh, I like the sound of that. I’ve been waiting for that for 20 years.”
So if you’re wondering why I refer to him as Boyfriend, now you know why :)

…and the story continues…


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

the story of the boy (part 1)

Generally, I am not very open about my private life. It isn’t that I have many secrets or skeletons in my closet; I have just viewed many people who are way too open about their personal lives, especially on social websites, that I have opted to stay in the background with such things. I love to share about my loved ones and my kiddos at school: they rock my world daily.  Recent developments in my private life, though, have attracted attention from a lot of people. It has caused me to giggle on a daily basis the reactions and kindness people have displayed that I feel like I must tell you the story of me and this wonderful fella in my life.
Originally from West Memphis, my parents moved my sister and me to Judsonia shortly after my kindergarten year.  Wanting to be closer to my grandmother after the sudden death of my grandfather and enroll me in an elementary school without barbed wire and bars around it, we made the move, and I was enrolled in a small, country school: White County Central Elementary.  Moving is such a mind blowing thing for a small child and going from a somewhat “citified” lifestyle to “pure country” can be rough, plus trying to make friends and such.  I was so excited about my new school and nearly skipped to Mrs. Wyatt’s first grade classroom.  Contrary to popular belief, I was actually a really tall child, so I was seated in the back.  While sitting in the back, I was befriended by another tall kid. His name was Heath, and he had a mop of curly hair and a big ol’ grin. (Btw. Heath remembers our first day together. He says my smile hasn’t changed and still remains one of his absolute favorite things about me. He also says he remembers that day very well because when he saw me for the first time, he got a “very funny feeling” in his stomach; he didn’t know what it was, but he just knew I was special. It gives me chills when I think of this).  We became friends and then found out we lived two houses down from one another.  Missing friends I had in West Memphis, I was so happy to have a new friend and playmate.  Heath came over to my house, and we would play. Being the sweet kid he was, he played my favorite game with me: Pretty Pretty Princess.  We would sit on my floor and play round after round. I loved being the purple piece; he would play the blue, naturally. He would win sometimes and be such a good sport at my urging him to wear the crown and look into the mirror and say “Pretty Pretty Princess” (what can I say, folks…rules are made to be followed).  One time he came over to watch one of our favorite movies at the time, Kindergarten Cop.  His mom made sure that my mom knew that Heath didn’t need to watch the part where the ferret attacks the bad guy; it freaked him out, poor guy. Anyway, in the first grade, I remember him giving me love letters.  One time I had a complete “Regina George” moment when we were cleaning out our desks,and I found multiple love letters from him. “Heath! Stop writing me love letters! I’m not your girlfriend!”  (a bit harsh for first grade, right?)

Mrs. Wyatt's first grade class photo.

The next year my family and I moved in with my grandmother while we built our dream house in the horse pasture behind her house. That meant no more play dates with Heath; however, we still went to the same tiny school.  Heath and I didn’t have another class together till 5th grade GT. We continued to be friends, and I often referred to him as “PPP”.  Moving through elementary, middle school, and high school, Heath and I remained friends and shared a handful of classes together. Being one of my oldest friends, we often clung to the nostalgia of that time in our life, even though we both started hanging out with different friends and choosing different paths, so to speak.  During this time, I had a few boyfriends; he had a few girlfriends.  Through it all, though, we were still good friends.  Our senior year of high school came, and we found ourselves hanging out more because neither of us had significant others and  the idea of senior year was “this is the last time.”  Some of my favorite memories stem from that year.  Heath was always a sweet guy in my mind but strictly my friend.  We would ride around with different friends on Friday or Saturday nights in his white Dodge Dakota (his pride and joy. Seriously, one had to wipe one’s feet in order to enter).  We’d cruise down Race Street, occasionally making a Sonic run.  It still blows my mind how much fun you can have in a truck with your friends, a radio, and plenty of laughter.
One sweet thing that has always stood out in my mind that Heath did involved Norah Jones. Our senior year, I was obsessed with Norah and her music. I found it calmed me through the stress of the year.   Looking up her concert tours and such only made me feel at a loss because her nearest concerts were hours and hours away from me.  One Saturday afternoon in the spring semester of our senior year while I was getting ready for work, I received a phone call from Heath telling me he left me something in the front seat of my car (and that I needed to start locking my car at home. Ha). This is what I found:

That sweet boy had brought the concert straight to my living room on DVD. 
The story continues and a few weeks before our graduation he told me about his feelings for me and how he’d cared deeply for me since the 1st grade and was interested in taking it to the next level. I was shocked. My middle name must have been oblivious because I really didn’t see it coming.  I was so depressed because here was this sweet guy confessing his feelings for me, and I did not feel the same way. I actually had a crush on his best friend! (Now how awkward is that?) I spent a few days thinking and praying about it and finally told him I didn’t feel the same way. At that point in my life, that was the hardest thing I had ever done.  I cried for days over it; I even prayed to God that he would give me the feelings for Heath that he had for me.  We graduated and life went on.  It was hard to get past that because how do you act like everything is normal? You can’t. Most of that summer, I worked at Kanakuk, and then it was time to go to freshman orientation at Ouachita.  Through new phones and losing contacts over the years, I lost contact with Heath.  I didn’t see or speak to him for 8 years. He had remained in our hometown, and I had gone off to college and lived in different areas after graduation. Then that all changed about three months ago... be continued...


Monday, October 24, 2011


so, this weekend was one for the books. the sun was pretty. the breeze felt nice.
plus i got to do something i love to do: shoot a senior.

heh. you know...with my

this is a rockin' gal who is in the youth group at my church. everyone meet rachel. she is a senior this year and honored me with taking her senior photos.

hope you enjoy!


Monday, October 10, 2011

"it's the comic con for english teachers"

When telling my students what I did this weekend, this is what a kid in my 7th period class said when I told him about a fun literature-themed party I went to this weekend. He was actually quite right.

Saturday night Best Friend and I headed to our friend Kellie's house for a little themed party called "Literature and Libations." Being a reading enthusiast, I was totally smitten with this idea. This is like a nerdy girl's best dream. Those attending were asked to dress as a favorite character in literature or author. I perused my closet to see what it had to offer as far as costuming. I got it down to three ideas: Tiny Tim, Oliver, or Scout Finch. I ended up choosing Scout A). because she is just so ridiculously awesome B). because my friends told me to C). because her outfit required the least amount of layers. I arrived to Kellie's in a white v, overalls, and my Steve Madden Troopas. I made a heart patch with the name "Dill", gave myself Heidi braids, a "bloody" lip and then asked Kellie to use her mad makeup skills and give me a black eye. We had such a fun evening with some great people, some fun literary trivia, and some tasty Sun Chips...
"Lolita" AKA "Kellie" AKA "Hostess with the Mostess" AKA "Best Literature Game Maker EVER"

"Anne Frank" AKA "Laura K" AKA "Best Friend"

"Humbert Humbert and Lolita" AKA "James and Lauren" AKA "Cute Couple Award Winners"
"CS Lewis" AKA "Doug" AKA "Pretender of not knowing people"

"Anne and Scout" AKA "Jordan and Laura" AKA "BFFL's"

"Douglas Adams" AKA "Ethan" AKA "Most Comfortable One There"

When Lolita wasn't working on her new modern dance routines, she was skating around on the stairs.

Some just showed up for funsies.

Best Friend and my personal photographer. Holla.

"Zelda Fitzgerald" and "Lolita"

What a super fun weekend. We up late talking and listening to stellar tunes while munching on some super tasty Sun Chips. If I had to grade this party, it would get an A+.


Friday, September 30, 2011

oh, hey, Fall

Fall is without a doubt my most favorite time of the year. For me, Fall is layering out of need rather than preference, drinking hot tea for warmth rather than mere enjoyment, and loads of lamplight while devouring a new (or old) book. Tomorrow marks the first day of October, hands down my favorite month of the year. I anticipate Fall moving into full swing with the smell of leaves, crisp mornings and nice evening walks with a good coat.

To intensify my excitement for Fall, I have made a playlist that seems just right in my mind when it comes to the season. Download it here

My description: "these songs are ones to be enjoyed with a hot mug of whatever tickles your fancy while sitting beside someone who is really good at holding hands**."

**note** On my Fall to-do list: meet a good handholder. Y'all may work as my accomplices and find one for me, not that I am nudging any elbows or anything...

1. "Little Garçon" by Born Ruffians
2. "3 a.m." by Gregory Alan Isakov
3. "Sort of Revolution" by Fink
4. "In Winter" by Matthew and the Atlas
5. "Dream" by Priscilla Ahn
6. "Orange Sky" by Alexi Murdoch
7. "Your Arms Around Me" by Jens Lekman
8. "Cosmia" by Joanna Newsom
9. "My Lady's House" by Iron & Wine
10. "Casmir Pulaski Day" by Sufjan Stevens
11. "December Baby" by Ingrid Michaelson
12. "Raining in Baltimore" by Counting Crows
13. "Raising Cain" by Gregory Alan Isakov
14. "Shape Shifter" by Local Natives
15. "Saeglopur" by Sigur Ros

Have a great October, y'all.


Monday, August 15, 2011

the story behind the feather

when someone passes away, the people left behind will generally try to remember only the good things about them. i am not opposed to this. it is much better to remember only the best things about them. however, you do fall into danger of making the deceased person a "thing of legend."

when my dad was killed in a car wreck almost four years ago, i remember being showered with nothing but the best and kindest regards for him. i knew he was well-loved by many; this was not a shock to me. after he died, i found myself in a room with many of his co-workers who got to see him longer than i did each day. they told story after story, many of which i didn't know. they talked about his uncompromising morals, but they didn't fail to tell of his practical jokes and contagious laugh. i knew he was a good man, but hearing just how human he was made me realize that my superman was in fact a living breathing thing who couldn't defy death like my little girl thoughts would believe. devastated by our loss, hearing these amazing moments those men got to share was something i craved. i loved hearing things i didn't know. it added to the mystery of his life and made me realize just what he was to different people: father, husband, chum, best friend, employee, mentor. this made him more real to me than i had ever thought.

one of my favorite stories involved my father and peacock on his construction site. the men started giggling like little girls telling the story of how my father chased down this peacock to get a feather and then the owner became irate and gave him a good chewing. the infamous "plucking of the peacock." it was one of their favorite memories to tell. that was the reason the men gave my family a wreath for our door that was covered in gorgeous peacock feathers. the wreath endured a lot of blistering winds because my father was killed in the end of october. when we got down to one lone feather that winter, my mother took that feather and framed it in the above photographed frame for me. a constant reminder of my father and the giggles that came with his story. it also served as a reminder of how proud my father was. he couldn't get over the fact that i was graduating college soon and going to become a teacher. i was the first person from my family to go to college.  

after that, i became obsessed with peacock plumes. the colors are so rich and beautiful, i was mesmerized. then, lucky for me, they came in style the following year, and i was able to have my fill. and now, many people associate me with peacock plumes, and i don't mind at all.

i am not one for getting names of people tattooed on my body. not my thing. however, for the past three years, i have desired to have a peacock plume tattooed on my body in memory of my father. i have researched and researched and had yet to find one i was fully committed to. Best Friend got a tattoo at this new place in hillcrest called electric heart tattoo. she raved about it. then another dear friend of mine, karissa, told me she was coming into town to visit from florida (jel) and wanted to get tattoos while she was here. she and Best Friend set up an appointment for us, and i was paired with katie from electric heart. i sent her a message telling her what i wanted: something feminine, whimsical, and classy. when i got to the parlor for my appointment, i was nearly knocked down by the sight of her design because it was EXACTLY what i had been wanting for three years and could never find. i had wanted to have something beautiful and spirited by which to remember my father and a vivacious peacock plume was just that.

 so, i tattooed it close to my heart.