Blissful, easy feeling

Describe the last moment you felt really, truly blissful

This probably means in a non-chemically induced state of bliss. The meds that the oral surgeon gave me had me hallucinating but I don’t think that counts as “bliss.”

I don’t know that there is something in my life that I would call ‘bliss.’ I think the closest would be something like the dance performance I highlighted a couple of days ago. Performing made me so happy. There was this light euphoria that went along with it.

Redbox Text

Lucky number 13…

Describe how you met the last person you texted and talk about your friendship/relationship

The last person to text me was who ever runs the Redbox text deals telling me about a 50% off code that I didn’t use. We have a great relationship. Person texts me deals and I usually ignore them — unless it’s a free Redbox. Because with free Redbox, I rent the movies I would have NEVER paid to see or wind up being glad that I didn’t pay to see.


  • Underworld: Awakening (STINK BOMB. The only good thing: Theo James.)
  • Django Unchained (surprisingly better than I thought it would be. Very Tarantino… I don’t know how he could get more himself, but I think he did.)
  • Sucker Punch (stopped halfway through and returned it the same night. Can you regret a free movie? Yes.)
  • Silver Linings Playbook (so good. Very funny and honest about how people deal with mental illness.. until that kinda sappy Hollywood ending. But the dance rehearsals – worth it. LOVE J-Law and B-Coop. They have great chemistry.)

What I’ve done with my life (thus far)

What day is this? Day 12!! Not… quite… half way there. (Though I got it all out of order on Twitter. Eh. They will figure it out.)

Your proudest accomplishment

I am not going to say something like “getting my degrees” because I didn’t have to work all that hard for them. School is easy for me. So it was great to rock it out walking across the stage for my M. Ed., it isn’t the thing I am most proud of.

It isn’t buying a home either. Lots of people buy homes. Big deal? Sure! Proudest accomplishment? Nope.

I’ve done lots of other awesome things, too. Mission trip to India, managed 4 estates (my parents and grandparents dying) in 4 years, learned how to figure skate, lost a bunch of weight (then re-gained. OK. Maybe not so proud of that part). I’ve traveled a bunch. I’ve eaten interesting and very scary things (beef heart and pig trotters anyone?) But I think this is what I am most proud of…

Back in 2006, I entered my first ballroom dance showcase. You can view the video here. I would encourage  you to take 3 minutes out and go take a look.

But I put that up on the internet for everyone to see… and comment upon. Scary and terrifying but I was so proud of how hard I worked – first on losing, I think about 40 lbs at that point. I practiced every day on that routine – at least an hour – for weeks. So much so that shortly after, I had to go to Sports Medicine for work on my back and ankle.

My friend was blogging for a local TV station at the time and she linked to it. She thought it was awesome and wanted to share it with the world. For the most part, the response was positive… except for one guy from Memphis who called me a “blogging whale.”

The Nashville blogging community was very tight knit (at the time). We could tear each other to pieces but the second someone came in from the outside… no. You just don’t do that.

I cried a lot. I was so hurt. It cut me to the core of who I am. On a certain level, I probably still think that no one will see the good that I do for the fat. That being fat negates performing well in anything – as a writer, as a dancer, as just a human.

I finally responded to what this dude had to say a few days after the interwebs erupted (at least for me. It wasn’t viral-viral but many more people watched it than I ever thought would). As proud as I am of the dance, I think I’m more proud of what I learned from the tiniest bit of hate thrown at me.

I will continue to live with joy.

It is a lesson I have forgotten of late. Joy can be a choice.

Don’t make a scene!

Day 11… Your worst/funniest/most embarrassing date

Maybe I’m delusional, but I can only think of one bad thing I did on a date, which wasn’t show up. It was a blind date with a guy I met on the internet and I walked into Outback (where we agreed to meet) and he had been “coy” about telling me what he was going to wear (like “I’ll be wearing a white shirt and khakis”). “You have my picture, you should be able to find me.”

I walked around, only saw one guy that kinda looked like him but not really from the picture and walked back out to sit outside.

10 minutes later, some dude comes storming out and leaves. Whoops. I guess that was him from the angry email I got from him later that night. We didn’t try a second time.

But the one bad date that really was a date that sticks with me goes back to… way back when. Another guy I met online and I agreed to meet for a movie. We drove separate cars and when we got to the window, I only ordered one movie ticket as I figured we would go Dutch because I already knew I didn’t want to be obligated to this guy for even a McD’s cheeseburger after.

Well, dude threw a hissy fit. “I’m the guy! I’m supposed to pay! You should let me pay!!” And he’s all screaming and yelling and the poor girl behind the counter is looking at me like “Whaaaaaaa?”

I raised my hand, showed “2”, thumbed back at him and then walked inside. I barely talked to him after that.

This is a Jonnelle-story. It gets better…

After the movie, which wasn’t just on 11, it was about 97374032 decibels in there… we were chatting out in the parking lot and I was kinda deaf-ish. He asks, as compensation for my movie ticket, if I would be willing to pass out fliers around campus of his computer/web business. I thought I wasn’t quite hearing this right, but no! Because he was certain that college students would need his help and since I was also a student (at the time) , I could tell them what a great guy he was and help him get clients and stuff.

I took the fliers, got in my car and left. I threw them out weeks later when I cleaned out my car. Never heard from him again.

What’s in a name?

This one will be fun and you will learn a bit of family history:

Google the meaning of your name and talk about how it fits or doesn’t fit you.

You can’t just Google my name. It was made up. As you’ve seen at the bottom of each post, my name is Jonnelle. I’ve seen “Janelle” or “Jenelle” or “Jennelle” but never another Jonnelle. This doesn’t mean we aren’t out there and that we shouldn’t all join up in a support group for people with unusual names that couldn’t get the keychain at a theme park gift shop.

I am named after my dad, John. John means “God is gracious” – something that really didn’t apply to my dad a whole lot of the time. I think he was the best dad he could have been given how he grew up and how he lived. But that doesn’t make him a great dad. My brother and I have said on occasion that we are very grateful that God has broken the chains that bind and created a new path and new legacies for the future that rest in Him.

My dad wanted to name me John – after all I was supposed to be a boy. My mom said “No” and added “nelle” to make it more feminine. Nelle is a variant of Helen, meaning “torch.”

When I was 8 years old, I begged my mom to let me change it to “Christine.” No idea why I picked that name but I know at 8 years old, I hated “Jonnelle”. In a world of Jennifers, Melissas, and Careys/Carries, it was hard.

Back to the meaning. My dad was probably named after his dad (also John.) And a relative up in Wisconsin has put together a fairly extensive family history on and reviewing it, John and its variants are very popular in my family. Also know what little family history that I do, grace isn’t a big part of it.

There was Walter (“ruler of the army”), who was a drunk, philandering bastard who abused his kids. His father, Robert (“bright”), wrote the kids (8 of them!) from his first family out of his will, cut them off and abandoned them (3 were under the age of 12 when the left, the youngest – a year old), and charged them usurious rates from his bank when they tried to save the family farm as adults.

Both my dad and grandpa were “be faithful to one woman”-ly challenged. My nana (Frances – “Frenchman”) stayed with my grandpa. My mom (Sandra – variant of “Alexander” – to help man) didn’t stay with my dad.

But God is indeed gracious. He met me at my lowest point (which I talked about a few days ago) and gave me love, peace and grace. I was able to be there for my mom in her final months before He called her home. My brother, whose first name is William (another popular family name – “to helm, protect”) but goes by Eric (the name I picked out for him when I announced to my parents that they were expecting before they knew they were expecting… “ruler”), told me that one of the biggest influence on his coming to Christ was how God changed me. Now he’s married to a lovely, Godly woman and they have a beautiful daughter who will (hopefully and we pray) never know the pain of a divorced family or abuse.

He is Gracious in that he met me and a new legacy began. While I am learning to show grace to others, I am thankful for all the grace He has given to me.

My Weird Behaviors

Your favorite “weird/funny single behavior” – Anything you do that is uniquely YOU and that living alone allows you to do.

I hog the remote control, watch marathons of TV shows from the DVR and Netflix (even if I’ve seen them before) and foxtrot from the kitchen into the living room (having hardwood floors and lots of open space allows for proper technique).

I will play the same song on repeat for an hour (or hours). I have long conversations with my cats or imaginary people (this is very helpful in working things out because sometimes I just need to HEAR myself say things).