Gettin’ Belay’d.

So many exciting possibilities have happened in the Sniper family this weekend…but I don’t wanna jinx ’em. So you’re gonna have to wait!

So Ben and I got invited to go rock climbing this past Friday. It sounds like something to do with good friends to get us out of the house so we decide to give it a try. The week rolls by and before I know it I’m driving home tired, hungry, and dirty. (Dirty b/c I didn’t take a shower that morning b/c I stayed up too late b/c I can NOT put down my new book series…but anyway). So needless to say I was not overly excited about our new adventure. We get to the place though and let me tell you…it’s really awesome! It’s called Stone Summit and I’m immediately intimidated as soon as I walk in the door. There are pros here and 5 year old’s that make me feel completely incompetent. So we walk up to the counter.

Jess: “Um… we wanna climb?”

ClimberDude: “Ok…reservation or belay test?”

Jess: “Um…no, and…what?”

ClimberDude: “Do you need a belay test?”

Jess: “Hmm..I have no idea. What is that?”

Ben: “It’s the person who stands on the ground and holds the rope for the climber…”

Jess: “Oh. Um. No.”

Yeah, I’m the last person who needs to be responsible for holding someone up on that rope. I get my gear and shoes, and Bob shows me how to put it all on. It makes me feel even more out of place and awkward but it makes SB’s package look nice…so I comply. Maybe it was my hesitation…or it could’ve been me telling Kit that I’m not even sure I’m getting up ON that wall…but we head to the “training/kid/n00b” area. James shows me how to tie the right knots and gives me enough info to get started. I start to climb and I literally.petrified. The only option I have is to keep going up b/c down is not possible. (Mind you, I’m only about, eh, 5 feet in the air). BUT…I make it to the top. Letting go was the hardest. I kept telling James “you don’t know how heavy I am! Please don’t drop me”, but he lowers me down nice and easy and I’m immediately proud of myself and have a huge sense of release. We practice a few more times then head down with the big boys.  These guys were hanging from places in the wall that had me in awe. The muscle strength and balance and physics that it takes to rock climb is unbelievable. Kit, James and Bob are awesome. We all took turns and helped each other out and by the end of the night I was tired, blistered, and sore…but I felt great. It’s definitely a hobby I want to keep up! Eventually…I may even get up the guts to belay someone. Anyone want to be my first climber??!!

the best laid plans…

It’s funny to look back on my last post. It was not that long ago and since my “balance and peace” post I have been in quite a little rut. I haven’t been able to pinpoint that exact reason why I’ve been in said rut…it’s just been a long month. I do contribute a huge part of it to my 2+ hour a day commute. Despite my efforts I didn’t get a job closer to home, so we’re in the process of finding a home closer to the job. We did some house hunting this weekend and found a really awesome area and I’ve got my fingers crossed that something comes through for us. Apartment living is fun, but we’re ready for the next step. A house with a yard and neighbors and a bit more privacy is definitely a step in the right direction.

Besides the drive, I feel like I’ve been a bit overwhelmed with the weight of life. My immediate family is, I’ve decided, going to be forever a work in progress. It feels a bit like a roller coaster with them where I feel close and healthy one day, then it’s all fallen apart and drama and tears ensue by bedtime. I’m trying to just take a deep breath and do my best with them. I’m staying at my mom’s house a few nights a week and it seems to help a bit. At least until that next hill. Additionally, HBK’s dad is an idiot. And that’s putting it nicely. I try to maintain some semblance of peace with him, for my son’s sake…but the fact is he is a moron and a bigot. It’s a biweekly reminder of how much harder I want to work with Chase to be a loving, healthy, accepting person.

Thankfully, I do have a much needed 2 week break from grad school. Work is starting to level out and I have a great group of 4th graders this year. I miss last year a lot. I shared stories and laughed more and looked forward to different things when I walked into work. Life changes and babies and grade level changes have made this year much more “work” and much less “fun”. I do love having HBK with me and observing a bit of his life in elementary school. He has a “friend” he has become very fond of. His shyness about her is very sweet. 🙂 Oh..and did I mention the weather? I swear this Georgia heat/humidity has added to my crabbiness. This weekend we finally got a break from it and I even felt a breeze. I didn’t sweat the second I stepped outside and maybe it’s dumb, but I know it’s helped me “cool off” some of my grumpies.

And then there were the Snipers. We had such a wonderful summer of sleeping in and road trips and vacations and relaxation. Now…we have house hunting, moving, work, and a wedding on our plate. Yikes! Oh..and did I mention the new addition? We rescued a retriever/lab mix from the Atlanta Humane Society. Her name is Jan and she gets a post of her own soon. She is an adorably sweet self made princess and she’s a LOT of work. (I know…did we really need a dog? I whined and pouted though…so he gave in). There’s been lots of talk about moving and the wedding…but tiny baby steps towards each. This is what I love about our relationship. We talk. When I’m pissy and moody and snappy about things (yea, those who know me nod in agreement) I’m just not a fun person to be around. SB is patient…and we always talk about it. I’m figuring out where these moods stem from and taking care of them on sarcastic phrase at a time.

I’m cautious about the move…and cautious about the wedding plans…and these are both a very good thing. I’m SO not good at baby steps. I like big ol’ giant leaps a lot better. But I want this next year…this life of ours…to be built with thought and analyzed with a purpose, not just thrown together. I want peace and love and seren….ah shit…did Jan just piss in the floor again? BEN!!!!!


Scott Pilgrim vs. The Critic

Well, not realy. I’m not a critic by any stretch of the imagination. I just like to watch movies. In fact, I like to watch movies like this. For starters, let me just say that I was not a Scott Pilgrim super fan. I didn’t read the graphic novels or really know that much about the story. My friends started posting stuff about this Scott Pilgrim movie and I was like, yeah…another Michael Cera where he plays an awkward teen. Then I saw the trailer. In fact, I think you should see the trailer as well. I’ll wait below the fold for you to watch.
Continue reading “Scott Pilgrim vs. The Critic”


I feel like I am on a journey. a spiritual, growing up, peace finding journey. Actually…once I realized this, it became clear that I’ve been on this journey for almost a year now. At times it seems crazy to think about how much life has changed in the past few years, but when I look at the changes I smile. I used to constantly fight with myself between doing what’s right…and doing what feels right.  I almost always did the latter even though I always knew better.  And I almost always felt the blow of consequences that followed. I was frequently frustrated…always confused with what I wanted. Now, for the first time ever, what I want is what’s right. What feels right…and what IS right…are very seldom two different things for me now. I can’t begin to describe to you the peace that has brought to my life.

When Ben and I met we were both extremely unbalanced people.  We were so wrong for each other and the timing couldn’t have been worse. About a year later…everything lined up. We went on a date. Started over. I wasn’t sure we would ever earn each others trust, and let me tell you it was NOT easy. But we did. We found trust, and balance, and priorities. We became a family and most importantly I learned how to put other people first. I was such a selfish person…and I’m learning how to love selflessly. I’m learning how to love the way people need to be loved. The rewards and the contentment and the….peace that comes from it is nothing like I can ever explain.

I don’t know where all of this has come from. Maybe from the awesome weekend that is ending. The weekend I so needed to relax, recharge my batteries (as Ben puts it), and reflect. School has started back and I feel the stress starting to build back up.  I don’t, however, feel that “thing” I used to feel. I used to have this little…ball of energy. Negative, confused energy. It bounced back and forth from side and side and never allowed me to just stop. and be content. and feel peace. This journey of mine has helped that crazy energy go away. I’ve finally said “this is what I want…and I am going to do what’s right to get it”. at times it was damn near impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel…and the number of people who are no longer in my life or who are no where near where they used to be in my life is huge. but the people who have embraced the change..or have at least acknowledged the change and remained patient, i am so so thankful for. no…i can’t do this by myself. yes…i do need help. this is just the beginning ….stay tuned. 🙂