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Story of Us…The New Normal

New York day one!!
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Story of Us…The New Normal
Story of Us…The New Normal

Over that school year, Jaime and I were virtually inseparable. I slept at her house almost as much as I slept at my own. Susie became kind of a second mom to me. “Mama Sue”, as I came to call her was a confidant as much as my own mother. Jaime was two grades older than me, but we didn’t care. We hung out pretty much every day and talked about absolutely everything. Predictably, our conversation was often about what boys we thought were cute and Jaime became very well aware of my “life altering” encounter at her birthday party with her cousin. She said, she thought it would be cool for her best friend and cousin to get together. It was all just talk, just a crush. After all, I was only 12 and not allowed to even go on a date until I was 16 anyway. But it was fun to talk and play.

Jaime and her family would go and see Jordan and his mom, Sandy, pretty regularly and Jaime took me with her. I remember getting butterflies when we would get close to the house.  It was fun getting to hang out with the family. The house was tiny and it was always overcrowded with people, but it was so fun.  Of course, I didn’t mind being in a small place with Jordan. It just meant we were close all the time which gave me a great excuse to get to know him really well. Of course, it also meant that he would be close to me and I always thought I would be more attractive to him from a distance. Oh well, I would just have to make sure to be super careful when I was there. No mistakes. No goofy faces or awkward comments. It shouldn’t be too hard. I’d just ignore all of my natural instincts and I should be fine.

Jaime, me and her other best friend, Brycie would pass a journal back and forth throughout the day at school; one of the reasons, I’m sure, my GPA was not quite up to par with where my parents would like it to have been. We would write about anything and nothing and then pass it to each other in the hallway between classes. I quite regularly wrote about Jordan. Jaime would get the journal and have it to me before the end of the class period! I, on the other hand, seemed to keep it for a while (meaning…about a week) before it found its way back to either of them. I never considered myself the kind of girl that would keep a “diary”. That was for highly emotional, dramatic girls who wore pink and glitter. That was not me, but I found myself writing…alot. I would think about him and words would just appear on the page! However, Jaime and Brycie soon lost the ability to write in the journal as it just became my personal “memory keeper”.

Jaime, me and Ryan at Perkins (2000)


I wrote often in my math class where I sat next to my friend, Kayla Schustermann (we called her Schusty). Luckily, I was pretty good at math, so it went unnoticed by my teachers, but not by Schusty. Mrs. Peterson gave each student a personalized white board during class and it very often became the medium for me to practice what my name would look like with Jordan’s. Schusty said I had a “dilemma that I needed to deal with” in an only half-joking tone. She often paid me back by joking about flirting with my brother. Which normally, I suppose would have worked if I hadn’t become so accustomed to people talking to me about my brother. It seemed like it happened every day since I caught Jaime giggling at Alan the first night we met. I was quite numb to it by now.

It seemed like a different girl would joke with me about Alan almost weekly. One girl would have a crush on him, but then it would wane. Then another girl, then they’d move on. That was the way normal crushes worked. One day it would be one boy, then the next, a different boy. Even Schusty and Jaime would talk about many of their crushes throughout the next couple of years, but mine never changed. It stayed Jordan. I would go up to visit him with Jaime and wait for him to do something that just turned me off to him, but he never did. Is this normal? It’s been like two years?! I would always think surely this is the trip! This is the trip when he farts obnoxiously or wears pajamas in public or teases me incessantly… which he did all of !! But it turned out to be endearing!! Who knew?

 I just couldn’t shake this feeling. I had started dieting to better my chances that he may notice me. I may have been a total goofball, but I didn’t have to be fat on top of it. Just a few pounds would make me feel better. I may not be able to get smarter or more graceful in as short a period of time as necessary, but at least I could look skinnier! Who knows where it could lead? I may get smarter too.

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We are a family of four just trying to figure out what our "new normal" looks like in Manhattan! I'm Kayla, a 29-year-old creative with a passion for theater and writing. Jordan is a musician and experience pastor with a heart that loves people. And we have two awesome little girls, Jozlyn and Kendall. Our house is crazy...always full of energy and laughter.... and we have no idea what we're doing! Help us figure it out as we go!

  • Sandy Henderson says:

    This is amazing! I have never watch reality show but wow I am with you! Just love you all and praying for the very best for you! I’ll be awaiting eagerly for your next post! Love to you all from Texas!

    • lovethk6 says:

      Thank you Sandy. I’m not sure we’ll be as entertaining as reality tv, but I’ll do my best to post regularly. God bless.

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I'm Kayla. Mom of two, wife of one and new New York transplant. We're a family of four fumbling our way through our new normal in Manhattan! We're excited to learn as we go... we can't mess this up too bad, right? :)

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