Bold and fancy and fabulous

Dec 27

Bold and fancy and fabulous

When I look at pictures of myself, I’m drawn instantly back to the feeling I had when the photo was snapped.

This one is one of my all time favorites.


Today I’m telling the story of my happiness:

The setting is the lobby of the theater before the Nutcracker ballet just a few days ago.  Brad and I made our first trip back to this performance after eleven years.

In 2002, after the impromptu dinner date, Brad invited me to go to the Nutcracker.  It was a bold and fancy second date.  I was not a girl used to bold or fancy; I had been waiting for bold and fancy.  When I told my Mom I had a date and he was taking me to the ballet, she admits she fell in love with him right in that minute.  As Dad has slept through many an arts performance (while dutifully at her side), she was bedazzled before I was at the prospect of a man who appreciated the arts.  At the time, I was a high school teacher.  The ballet date was on a school night.  I had Baby Sister, who was still in high school, go through her closet and my closet at “home”–home still being Mom and Dad’s house–to find the perfect outfit.  I was frustrated that my tall roommate–the only one of the six I could really share clothes with–had moved to California.  All these years later, that’s how I remember I was really excited about the date: I really wanted to wear something that made me feel fabulous.  It was so very girlie of me, and I’m not often so girlie.  I ended up in a floor length brown velvet skirt that flared out around me when I moved; it was indeed fabulous.  It was also bold and fancy–out of my comfort zone, but so very worth the risk.  I remember holding Brad’s hand that night and my skirt swishing around me as we navigated the steps of the old theater and found our seats.  I remember the breath of anticipation that blew through the evening.  I was smitten by both the whimsy of the dance and the dimension of the man beside me.  The memories I have of that night in 2002 are such a beautiful foreshadowing of the life we have built for ourselves in the years that followed.

All of those memories were surging as Brad escorted me, once again, to the Nutrcracker along with our two beautiful daughters.  I wore the dress he gave me the previous Christmas, sassy boots, a necklace from my aunt’s boutique in Australia, and a hat we chose the week before while sitting side by side in bed looking for warm-yet-stylish cancer headwear.  Each item was carefully chosen for it’s fabulous-ness.

The girls, too, were dressed in their favorite dresses: what my sisters and I call Spin-Around-Dresses.  When you spin, the dress swirls up around you and you feel like you are the most beautiful creature in all the world.  Every little girl–every woman–should know that feeling.  (And only she can choose to feel that way for herself.)

As we lingered in the lobby before the performance: greeting prima ballerinas, shopping for ornaments, buying decadent treats, I was thinking…

Look at these girls.

Look at this man.

We are so very blessed.

I can almost reach back in time to the girl with the swishy skirt and whisper to her: all your dreams will come true.  

You are deliriously happy and radiant.

It was at that moment that Brad caught my eye and grinned.  He does this a lot.  I grinned back, as I always do.  He then quickly pulled the camera up to face and snapped the look I gave him in return.  In essence, what you are looking at is how I look at Brad in the midst of “isn’t this a glorious time in our lives” moment?

Telling you that feels like I’m letting you — you being all of the people on the internet — in on a secret, but what can I say?  I’m an over-sharer.

Bold and fancy and fabulous is a great way to live, is it not?  I’m so grateful to the man that’s been holding my hand and allowing me to swish beside him.  There’s no place I’d rather be.  I love you babe.



  1. Rebecca /

    Thank you for blessing me with your story. You are radiant.

  2. Tiffany /

    I love that THIS is the first thing I read today! Such a visual of bold, fancy and fabulous! You certainly are FABULOUS, my dear!

  3. LOVE!!! What a blessing it is that you have such a man to walk this life with you!! YOU ARE FABULOUS!!!

  4. Kim Rourke /

    Radiant! Love the hat, the jewels, the everything, but ESPECIALLY love the glow!

  5. What a fun way to start my day…reading about such a bold, fancy and fabulous young lady who happens to still be head over heels in love with her husband so much so we all can see it on her face! You are blessed…as we all are that you’re willing to share with all of us! Maren and Greta are truly blessed because they know what true love really looks like and therefore will never settle for less for themselves (and when you intend to spend 50 or so years with a man…truly being in love is a must!!) Let your radiance shine on! ♥p

  6. Maureen /

    Not the first time you have brought tears to my eyes. This is a love story. And every girl (ok woman) I know loves a good love story.

  7. Karen Almand /

    You have this crazy way of bringing me to tears and making me smile all at the same time. May 2014 hold every grace and blessing which you so richly deserve. Shine on beautiful girl!

    Karen from Memphis

  8. You are truly the most beautiful person inside and out and every direction, that I have EVER met!! And Brad is a true Prince Charming!!


    Just staring at my phone…

    Love and prayers and hugs!

  9. kathy swim /

    You are more beautiful in your chemo hat than most people are with their expensive salon hairdos! Keep up the radiance! We’ll keep up the prayers!

  10. Marsha Vonderwish /

    How very special! Thank you for sharing with us. Keeping you in my prayers!

  11. Marlayne Skeens /

    Jen ~ You are so Photogenic !!! Truly Beautiful & Elegant ~ It is a Wonderful Feeling Pretty & being w/the Man You Love So Much <3 🙂

  12. jeanne deckert /

    Î loved reading that story. I think God blessed you with the most wonderful man and two adorable children. You can tell from your beautiful face how happy you are. If we didn’t know you are fighting a battle, you would never guess by looking at you, because you look radiant. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to your next post. Love, Hugs and Prayers

  13. Oh how I miss the days that we shared clothes! I look forward to our future in the retirement home where we can once again have a common wardrobe!!!

  14. Mary Ann /

    Whoa, girl. . . you make me smile ….. radiantly. Keep letting your cup flow. Thanks for continuing to write.

  15. Jim & Michele /

    Our very beautiful, Jen!! In Heart, In Mind, In Soul!! Such a glow to behold!!! It gives us all goose bumps!! We love you dearly. Jim & Michele

  16. Sharon House /

    Happy New Year Jen to you and your family. This says it all: