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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013.... HELLO 2014!


It's no surprise that this year wasn't all I'd hoped it would be.

Is anything ever ALL we expect it to be?

Maybe we should expect less and be grateful for more!

While it is true that I have had my share of ups and downs this year, I am incredibly grateful for those "down" moments / days, as they gave me clarity and the phrase, "when a door closes, another one opens" rang true.

2013 opened my eyes to many things I didn't want to see.  Things in others.  Things within myself.  I learned that while it's always good to give people a chance, that I should trust my first instinct at all times - especially when it comes to my babies.  I was given an opportunity to evaluate the things around me and take positive steps to change things in many areas of my life.  While some steps were difficult, they opened me and my family up to a world of new possibilities.  That I am incredibly grateful for!


It is only in looking back and letting go you can truly see what lies ahead.

This post is going to be short, sweet and to the point today....

My wish for you all is that you can look through the "ick" in your life and see where you are meant to go, what you are meant to learn and SEE the happiness that lies ahead.  I wish that you learn to embrace the negative as a learning experience and take steps forward, no matter how scary.  Life is really good, and really short!  Embrace it.  Love those who love you.  Take all the love that is offered to you, because you never know what tomorrow brings.  Don't turn down a dinner invitation from an old friend.  Be happy.  Have fun.  Be goofy.  Dance in your underwear when no one's looking.  Sing loud.  Laugh louder.  Spin around in circles until you get dizzy and fall down... then get back up and do it again!

Goodbye 2013 and welcome to a brand new, clean slate in 2014.

Thank you all for your continued support.

I am truly thankful for each and every one of you!!

Happy New Year!

Cheers,
Jenn

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Comments make a difference... YOU make a difference.

Today I was reminded why I blog about the absolute SHIT that I have endured in my life.

Most of you know I don't usually swear in my blogs and on my page, but I think you get what I'm talking about when I refer to "absolute shit".


Life hasn't always been sunshine and flowers.  I had a crappy childhood.  I endured some "stuff" and many times created my own problems.  I have also lived though the suicides of both my dad and my brother.

 These are things I will NEVER, EVER, EVER get over.  EVER!

I miss my dad and my brother every single day.  No lie, I often beg God to give me a "pass" to hang out with them for one more time.  Just one time to hug them, to tell them the things I never got to tell them.  To say I love you and to find out why they left this place without even saying good bye.

This is the stuff that haunts me.

...But I get over it.  Otherwise I couldn't exist.
Some people call it strength - I call it survival.

Today, I got a comment on a post I'd written.  The post which was commented on was totally unrelated to the comment, but I got why this individual commented where they did.  Anonymity.

This person is someone who is struggling with being a survivor.  Someone who has lived every single day, after finding someone they love in a way no one ever wants to find a loved one.  Someone who has to live with that mental image that he has to overcome.  Someone who, as a result, struggles to see the amazing individual they are.

His comment brought me to tears.  He thanked me and let me know that my posts do help.  He told me that my posts made a difference in his life. To me, this is powerful.  To me - this is what it's all about.  Helping.

I blog for many reasons.  Sometimes it's to get rid of the stuff that's pounding into my head or making me angry, or hurting my heart.  Sometimes it's to turn that hurt into a resource that will help another.

Whatever I post is meant to help, not hurt.  Even the negative posts have a spin that is meant to bring about an ah ha moment.  Whether it's found or not is up to the reader.

I always say that if my posts help even one person - I am happy.

Thank you to this person who let me know I made a difference in their life.  That my post helped.

Thank you for reaching into your "inner hell" and making peace with it.

This is a Christmas gift to me like no other.

This season is tough for so many.  When depression takes its hold on you - shake it loose!  I know that sounds easier said than done - but you are here!  You are amazing and wonderful.  You are a survivor.

We are all survivors in our individual situations.

Take hold of it.  Own it.  Go be you - all of you.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  You are here, you are good, you are worth every single breath!

Thank you all so much for your love and support of my blog.

For those of you struggling, I love you so much.  Please find the good.  There is always good.

I am so incredibly blessed to have each and every one of you.  Your support of my blog is immeasurable. When it comes down to it, I'm just some chick from Jersey who doesn't know when to shut up.  Thank you all for continuing to listen!  <3

Total gratitude!

Thank you for reading my blog!

~Jenn

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

What'd you just call me?????

My husband and I are foster parents...

Every once in a while I discuss that, but I try to keep it low key unless there's a topic worth discussing.  The "short one" is our youngest, and our foster child who we are waiting to adopt.


When she first came to us, I was Miss Jenn.  She had a mom whom she still had visitation with and I don't like to interfere in those situations.  Her mom was her mom.  With the exception of the real little ones who call me whatever they decide to call me, I'm not mom until I'm actually MOM, regardless of the role I play in their lives.

The end of last year, the short one's biological mother surrendered her parental rights to us, which put us on the path to her adoption.  In this, the short one began to try on what she'd call me, "mom, mommy, momma."  It was all very cute hearing her practice.


Anyway....  In all of this, our daughter decided to step up to the plate with what she thought needed to happen.  She told the short one that she's rather she refer to me as something other than "mommy" because that belonged to her.  I get that.  I didn't fight with her about it or correct it, because that's a sensitive issue as well.  Another kid coming around calling HER mommy... mommy.  We all talked about things and discussed how to best make everyone happy and comfortable.

A few days later, my daughter decided she was going to go in a completely different direction.  She'd decided that from here forward, she was now going to refer to me as Jennifer.

Oh really?

Her logic was that calling mom in a crowd got many head turns, but not necessarily mine -- so calling me by my first name would be much more effective. Besides - she's at the ripe old age of 11 and entirely too mature.  No need to refer to me as mommy anymore. Jennifer it will now be.

Yeah... I don't think so kid.

I'm MOM!  I earned that title!  I equate that to Dr. Smith - who spent so many years in school studying for his/her doctorate.  Go on... Call 'em Mr./Mrs. Smith - see the correction come flying.  I don't blame 'em... They earned it!  You WILL call them DOCTOR!

I am MOM.  I've earned it...  I spent 9 grueling months fighting hormones & the desire to eat whole pizzas and 5 lbs of mashed potatoes simultaneously.  I spent 3 months throwing up at the mere site of Port Wine Cheese or the smell of steak cooking....  I earned it!  I bear the stretch marks.  I can no longer wear a bikini and will forever have this extra skin from 9 lb children living inside of my body.


Have I also mentioned, my child - that I've been peed on, puked on, pooped on... I've spent countless months walking around sporting the "zombie" look as you poked me in my eyes and whipped my boobs out in public.  I'm mom.

I became the human taxi cab when you wanted to be shuffled from one side of town to the other and was awoken in the middle of the night various times for various reasons.  Many times, to be puked on.

The list goes on, shall I continue??

You call me MOMMMMMMM.....


At the end of this conversation - my daughter turned three shades of pale.  She'd already informed me that she doesn't want to have kids because she's "not shooting a baby out of her coochie."

This conversation may have sealed the deal of no grand kids for me from this child....

Or maybe, just maybe -- she will think carefully about the things I've told her and grasp the fact that I've earned my "Mommy Stripes" and will continue to do so through out all my kids' lives.

Whether your 8 or 80 - you'll always be my baby and I will ALWAYS be Mommy!  That goes for you too, Kyle!

MOMMY!
That's what you call me!

Thank you for reading my blog!!

~Jenn

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Oh M'gosh! I could be your mommy!

.
It's finally sunken in...
I'm just a few crinkled laugh lines away from being an old bag.

I don't feel old.  I guess I'm not actually OLD, but I'm no spring chicken that's for sure.  Mentally I feel like I'm 20 something.  Most times I act about that old, if that old, but my teeter totter has definitely tipped and I've got my claws sunken deep into the center trying to hold on.  It's happening..I'm getting old.


I was talking to one of my customers on the phone the other day, discussing my care free "single days".  The days when I used to go down to Treasure Island in Florida and hang out at this really cool outside bar, Gators, and watch the people bungee jump from the crane that was owned by the professional wrestlers, the Bushwackers.  Then I realized -- holy CRAP - that was the late 80's early 90's.  More than 20 years ago.  Eek.  Is the WWF even a thing anymore?  Is bungee jumping??


The old bag mentality has most recently kicked in while my husband and I were out for dinner at the local bar/restaurant.  I made friends with the waiter (but of course you did, Jenn) and in conversation he mentioned that he was 21.  I very promptly uttered, "Oh m'gosh...I could totally be your mommy."  My husband got a total kick out of this - because as some of you know - I'd talk to a rock and make friends with that rock if it gave me 5 minutes.  I also don't pick up on the social cues while I'm talking to these people.  I completely miss that they're probably thinking "man, when will this old bag shut her pie hole." I just keep rambling on and on - being my silly ol' self.  They're all really polite.  Their mommies are probably my friends & raised them well because ya know...

I could totally be their mommy.


It hit me again when we got new neighbors.  They're the cutest little couple... 23 and 25 (if that, I think).  I could be their mommy.  We considered inviting them to one of our "neighborly get togethers" on our corner of the block - but then we wondered....would we scare them?  Would they think the old bags have totally lost their marbles... Start calling their friends to say "HEY... There's this house across the street.  Yeah, the people still live there but they're OLDDDDDDDDD (and off their rockers)....they're sure to retire and move (or die) soon.  Come take a look."

Seriously....  I could be their mommy.  One of the "old folks" on the block.  Me?  Wait, what?

I am NOT the hip cool 20/30 (and almost not even 40) something anymore.  I don't blend.  I am NOT the one "they" think of as fun to hang out with, I'm the one who could be their mommy.  Heck...I could even be a grandma... When one of my son's friends was over our house, I had on Led Zeppelin.  L.E.D.  Z.E.P.P.E.L.I.N.  I went to change it and my son's friend said, it's OK, Mrs. C....  I love the oldies.  Ahhhhhhhh  T.H.E.  O.L.D.I.E.S.   Led Zeppelin??


I already knew I could be his mommy.

Is anyone else feelin' me here??  What happened?  When did I hop on the old lady train?

I was cool with the age thing - until this last birthday.  45 didn't bother me, 46 didn't bother me, 47 didn't bother me (much) but 48?  Forty eight represents the moment that the teeter totter tipped hard and fast and has sent me rolling furiously toward the next big 0.

Not cool.  I'm not even sort of close to 40 anymore.  Heck - if you were to round off the number mathematically - it wouldn't even round to 45... it rounds to 50.  Yuck.

Beats the alternative - but when the heck did I blink so long that I gained all these extra years??  That these really fun and cool people are now my son's age.  That all of the really fun stuff that I did when I was younger has turned to distant memories.

I've still got a few more years of 40-something.  I plan to still be fabulous at 50.  Things haven't really changed ALL that much.  I'm older.  I might be a little wiser.  Old enough to know better, young enough to keep trying...

All the while trying to be a good example (or horrible warning) because Oh M'gosh... I could TOTALLY be your mommy!

Thank you for reading my blog!!

~Jenn

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

My Husband is FAT and it's all my fault...

No - that's not my hubby...
Revised from March 15, 2012

As the morning started here, more than a year after I originally wrote this post - I'm reminded why this post was created....



Hubby and I have been dieting for over a year.
Combined, we've lost a person in weight, but here we are in the holiday season.  Although I've continued to cook healthy to keep us on track, there's fabulous food everywhere, which is so hard to resist.

The scale has been moving in the wrong direction creating this morning's conversation between rooms...

Hubby:  "Honey, I can't find the butter."
Me:        "Well, I used it last night in the Alfredo sauce"
Hubby:  "All of it?"
Me:        "Yes, ALL of it.  It was a half stick of butter."
Hubby:  "That's WHY I'm getting fat again."
Me:        "Oh yeah... THAT'S why you're getting fat again."

ALL.MY.FAULT.

Hence this re-post.

Before anyone gets all up in defense of my hubby... this post is complete sarcasm on my part.  I would NEVER call my hubby fat!  I'm not that person, and he's plenty good at calling himself fat.

This is what HE says to ME, "I'm fat, because you cook dinner.  I love what you make & I can't just have one serving.  It's your fault!"

Well thank you, sweetie!  I'm so happy that you enjoy my meals - but don't get mad at me!
Yeah, I cook, and I love to whip things up and think to myself, "hmmm, what would make this taste even better."  Not all my "concoctions" make a second round - but when they do - well, they're not necessarily low cal.  Sorry honey.


Hey, I eat too, ya know... Not like I haven't blown up like a wood tick since he bought and paid for the 120 lb package.

Hello...Fat & Happy?  Have you not heard of this?

Yeah, I'd like to drop a few lbs too.  I've got many more to go before I'm the trim slim 120 I was when we got married.  Those size 3 days are long behind me, so what the heck is he complaining about?!?

The only time in my life I was an emaciated, anorexic blonde was when I was going through my divorce with Kyle's dad & I referred to that as the "nervous breakdown diet".  Yeah, I dropped like 20 lbs - but I don't recommend the accompanying stress.

No, you're right honey, it's ALL MY FAULT!  It has absolutely nothing to do with that doughnut you're washing down with a Coke.  It's my dinner.  You just go ahead and blame me!

Personally, I like a little something extra to hold onto on my man.  Could WE (yes, WE dear) stand to drop a few pounds.  Of course!  Yes, I am working toward preplanned menus of healthy lo-cal meals - but what will the children eat??

I could see it now...  Mommy where's my Twinkies??  Miss Jenn, this tastes like crap - where's the good and greasy cheeseburger pie?  What's this green stuff?  I don't liiiiiiikkkke thisssss.  Can we have McDonald's instead?

I believe it's a trade off...The kids are "in charge" - and as long as we get to feed them - sorry baby...Cheeseburger Pie it is!  I need something to hide the vegetables in!

Want a salad with that?

Besides -- you got hit by a flippin' car and you did more damage to the car than it did to you!
 Here, have a sandwich!  I love you just the way you are!

Thank you for reading my blog!!

~Jenn

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Why yes, I am jumping on the Thanksgiving Bandwagon!

Tis the season to be outwardly thankful for the things in your life.
Personally, I'm thankful every single day for the things in my life - but saying that is exactly the same as the Valentines Day line of "I don't need a day to tell you I love you, I love you everyday."

Meh, truthfully?
I am thankful and I am totally going to jump on the thankful bandwagon!!  Why not?  It's a great thing.

The past few years have been, um...weird.  I've had health issues.  I've made a flaming a'hole of myself in some situations.  I've had wonderful lessons on friendship and loyalty.  I've been given an opportunity to to revive, rekindle & repair true friendships.  I've worked really hard to be healthy - mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually.  Yeah - It's been a great year!!  I'm thankful!!


Let's start with health:
I am truly thankful for my restored health.  I may never be 100% healthy, and that's OK.  I've got this.  It's been a long, crazy, stupid road.  I've written about it and all of the repercussions my health issues and the accompanying medication issues many times.  I'm so thankful to have been able to find the strength to work beyond all of that and get through the fog, the weirdness and the (manage) pain. I will always have an autoimmune disease (Lupus).  I will never take medication to help me with it again.  No matter how bad it gets, I never again want to be a cartoon character of myself.  I've got this and I'm so incredibly thankful!!


Lessons:
I'm thankful for learning true friendship.  It was a year of standing up to nonsense, in my own way.  I took a stand for my child.  I took a stand for loyalty toward others.  I learned that the old adage, "if everyone else is saying this and you're saying THIS, you must be lying" is not necessarily the truth. Some people are just wonderful liars.  I've learned that people aren't always what they seem to be and some people are easily led.  I've learned that I don't need to care about those things - that the truth always shines through eventually.  I can wait.  I'm thankful that I will always be true to who I am and my true friends will always shine through.


Unexpected Gifts:
I am thankful that after more than 20 years, and more than 7 years after his death - my brother's ex-fiancee has returned my brother's Navy things to me; his jacket, his dog tags, his pictures.  They had a bad break up.  She could have set them on fire, thrown them in the garbage - anything.  She instead chose to give these things back to me.  Even if it's more than 20 years later, I am truly grateful and thankful to have these things given to me.  My brother may be gone - but having such a big part of who he was back truly warms me.  For these gifts, I am thankful.


Core Friendships:
I am thankful for the ability to work on my core friendships that have suffered, or friendships that have fallen by the wayside because life gets in the way.  I've had most of my very close friends for more than 30 years.  As with any relationship, there are ups and downs and time issues.  Over the past year, I've been able to really work on repairing and rekindling friendships that mean something to me.  I'm beyond thankful to have these people back in my life.  People who know me to my core.  People who I will love until the end of time.  People I am truly thankful for.


The man I married:
I am always thankful for my amazing hubby.  I don't often write about my hubby... mostly because I write about the past.  The past is the past.  The present is sort of no one's business.  My hubby has stuck by me through thick and thin.  I'm no piece of cake.  I'm actually a huge pain in the ass and he puts up with my crap.  He loves me for who I am and the giant ball of crap locked in the closet.  I am truly thankful for all of my mistakes and idiocy of my past.  Some good, some bad - whatever it was led me to my husband and helped me to appreciate the amazing human that he is.  I truly relate to the song that says "God blessed the broken road that led me straight to you."  Thankful!

My kids:
Well, this is a no brainer.  I'm always thankful for my kids - even when they're driving me crazy.  Most of my life, I just wanted to be a mom.  I'm incredibly thankful for the gift of being a mom.


YOU!!!
I'm thankful that even through the days that I haven't felt like blogging - that so many of you hung around and offered me words of encouragement or whatever.  I do not personally know many of you.  It truly means the world to me that you continue to support me.  I love you all for being here and I'm truly thankful to each and every one of you.  Thank you!

God:
More than anything, I am thankful to God who gives me everything.

So there it is...
My 2013 Thanksgiving list of thankfulness.  I'm pretty sure I'm grateful for all of these things every day - just like I said in the beginning, but ya know what... It's not so bad to have a day just to say Thank you!!!

Whether you are in the United States, where we celebrate Thanksgiving, or someplace else in the world, I wish each and every one of you a wonderful day of Thanks.

As always, thank you for reading my blog!

~Jenn

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

International Survivors of Suicide Day 2013

One of the lines I clearly remember from the 1984 movie, Gremlins, is:

"While everybody else opens up presents, they're opening up their wrists."

Yeah, I know not everyone catches those kind of lines in movies and commits them to memory.  Not everyone thinks like I do now.  I also know that's not all happy go lucky, welcome to the holidays and it sounds really unpleasant, but ya know what - it's not supposed to sound pleasant!  Suicide is not pleasant!

While most of us are all caught up in the joy of the season, others just don't feel joy - no matter how hard they try.  Their closest friends and family may not even know their pain.  The inside turmoil that tells them every single day that no matter how much happiness they SHOULD feel - they don't want to be alive anymore.

I, personally, don't know that inner turmoil.  I'm not one of those who looks for the joy that they can't seem to find.  I'm not one of those who open their eyes in the morning and still see darkness.  Those who are depressed and suicidal.  For that, I'm incredibly thankful.

Sadly both my dad and brother suffered - and succumbed to their pain.  They left this earth, at their own hand, because they couldn't go on.  No one could stop them.  No one's love was enough for them.  Neither of them reached out to say, "Help."  I wonder if they knew they could.  They never said.  Neither of them left behind a note, an explanation - anything for the rest of us to make sense of the pain.

Suicide is very prevalent during times like these.  No, I'm not going to quote facts and figures - I'm not that smart.  I'm not a researcher.  I'm a survivor.  I'm someone who knows that when things are hard and you feel badly, you don't feel the need to carry on.  I know people who don't suffer from anxiety or depression, clinically, who feel defeated.  It just is.  Times are tough.  People are out of work.  Money is an issue that causes stress.  Stress breaks up families and causes more stress.  It's not rocket science.  I'm not someone who knows the details - I'm someone who's felt the loss and pain of losing someone to suicide.  I'm someone who strongly believes that no matter how bad things are -

No one needs to die.

Today, I both write for those struggling with their pain - and for those trying to make sense of their loss.  The survivors.

Today, November 23, 2013 is International Survivors of Suicide day.

There is always someone to turn to, no matter how bad things are, even for those left behind.

If you are new to the loss by suicide, or have been through it time and time again - this post is for you.  Don't suffer alone.  Reach out.  You are loved and you are not alone.  You are never alone.  There IS someone else who knows what you are going through.  There WILL be someone who can give you a comforting hug who GETS IT.  There are others, just like us.

We all know that there are some among us that will NOT have a happy holiday, no matter how hard they try.  They may put on a happy face, or not, and go through the motions.  Both my brother & dad put on the happy face.  My brother threw himself a "going away party."  No one knew.  My dad, always laughed, always smiled, always tried to help someone else who was down.  No one knew what was REALLY going on.

If you are suffering in silence, please reach out...
Someone DOES love you. Someone WILL miss you.  Someone WILL ask themselves every single day of their lives... WHY?  I know this for sure, for fact - because I am a survivor of suicide times 2.

My dad has been gone almost 30 years.  My brother has been gone 6 years.  I've never stopped questioning why.

Today, is International Survivors of Suicide Day.
If you are struggling with the loss of someone close to you, 
you are not alone.
Please click the link below to find a resource near you.


If you are feeling hopeless, please don't give up!
Someone DOES love you!  Someone WILL miss you!
Someone will ask themselves every day, WHY?

Please reach out!
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Or visit their website:  http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

In Loving Memory of my Dad,
William R. Cooper ~ August 8, 1942 - March 28, 1984
and my brother
W. Eric Cooper ~ September 9, 1968 - August 27, 2007

Rest comfortably in the arms of angels.
May you find the peace you so desperately sought here.

Thank you for reading my blog!

~Jenn

Even if this blog post saves just one...  it's all worth it.


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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

City Mouse, Country Mouse...

You can take the girl out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the girl.

Mmmm, partially true.  I grew up in and and around the city most of my life.

Not NYC...  If you're from North Jersey and you say "The City" most people automatically think you mean NEW YORK CITY... Manhattan.  No, I lived in the Paterson & Clifton area of New Jersey most of my life, living in the nicer towns in the outskirts before and after my teens.

Throughout most of my childhood, it was normal to think that if I didn't lock my doors someone would break in and rob us.  We locked our house, we locked our car - we locked everything.  We kept things out of plain sight so that no one would smash a window to take whatever it was that looked tempting, even if it was just some change in the ashtray.

It was normal thinking to look over your shoulder, to be aware of your surroundings.

At night, I didn't walk alone because there were creepy people lurking the streets.

Every night, I heard sirens - police, ambulance - whatever.

Even thought it wasn't totally awful,
It was really a piss poor way to live, as far as I was concerned.
I hated it!

On weekends, my dad used to take us to Greenwood Lake, NY to visit his friends.  On the drive up, I was always in awe of all of the lakes and trees - the beauty and the quiet.  It was pretty desolate.  I loved it, and swore that some day I would live there.

In my late 20's I made that a reality.  I moved to Greenwood Lake AND then I moved out of Greenwood Lake.


It's funny how you get used to certain things.  Even if they're things you hate, it's your "normal."

I can clearly remember my first night sleeping in my house in Greenwood Lake.  It was SO QUIET. Too quiet.  All I heard was the babbling brook. Doesn't that sound lovely??  Well, I couldn't sleep.  The quiet actually kept me awake.  I could hear EVERYTHING - creaking floor boards, the house settling, an animal walking through the yard.  I didn't hear one siren.  Instead of loving the peace and quiet, it became absolutely jarring.
The culture shock totally freaked me out!

Funny, isn't it?  Thing things you want so desperately you can't handle all at once.

Inevitably, life took a few turns and as I said, I moved out of Greenwood Lake.
I didn't move completely out of the area, mostly because I didn't want to keep switching my son's schools, but out of Greenwood Lake.  It was a good move.

There is nothing in the area that was close to being in the city - and really, I was OK with that.  I always wanted my children to grow up where there were lots of trees and roaming animals.  Someplace safe, where if I left my door open - no one was coming to rob us.  Besides, it's really pretty up here and I always loved that.

Yes, it's safer here.  Maybe I've created a false sense of security, who knows.

Due to my upbringing, YES - I always lock my doors.  You never quite get over the fear that someone may violate your space, but I think absolutely nothing of pulling into my driveway if I've forgotten something, leaving the car running with my purse inside and the doors open to go into the house which I leave wide open as I search for what I'd forgotten.  I would NEVER have done this growing up.  NEVER.  My car would very possibly have been gone.

I've become very accustomed to the area we now live.

I love the quiet, the roaming beasts - even the bear.  I love the feeling of safety and the non-city environment.  Deep down, I will always have that built in caution button.

Every so often, I need to drive down to the "old neighborhood".  Nothing looks the same.  Even my OK area seems so much darker now and extra busy.  Maybe it's always been that way.  Maybe I'm just so accustomed to the area which I now live.  A place that's quiet.  Traffic is only on the highway heading to work.  Crime is limited to stupid stuff and not muggings and regular burglaries.

I don't miss living in the city.

Things may have been much more conveniently located, but I'm OK with the little drive I need to make.  I'm OK with knowing if I forget to lock my car door at night - my GPS will still be in the dashboard in the morning.

Many things from my previous life have sunken into my soul.  The watch outs, the lock ups - better safe than sorry.

I don't miss trading in city life for being someone who lives "in the sticks."

I made the right decision.  Guess I'm a country mouse now.  I wouldn't change a thing!

Thank you for reading my blog!

~Jenn

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Monday, November 18, 2013

NOT a Bandwagon fan! ...OK - well, maybe sometimes

I am a Broncos fan!

Not a Peyton kicks ass and they're winning, Broncos fan.
A REAL Broncos fan!

I have been a Broncos fan since 1986.  Seeing the Broncos vs. the NY Giants in 1987 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA sealed the deal. This was a historic Super Bowl, as the first recorded Gatorade dump was initiated by L.T. over Bill Parcels... memorable, for sure!

I'm a Jersey girl.  Why the Broncos??  John Elway.  Plain and simple.  Yep, I even still have (and wear for luck) my John Elway jersey.

Let's go back... wayyyyy  back.  While I was young - it was a Jets household.  We bled green.  If you're a Jets fan, you already know that being a Jets fan can be painful.  Very, very, painful... but there is no truer fan.

A few years later, as I grew into pre-teen dom and the boys in my neighborhood were watching football - it was a Giant's world.  Not for me... No, no, no.... NOT for me!  Me, I'm a pain in the ass...  Ohhhh  you like the Giants??  Well I will absolutely LOVE whomever they are playing against.  As a young female protesting football taking up my life, that became my stance.

In time, I learned to actually like football.  In high school, I attended games.  I sort of knew what was going on.  Then I joined the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" club.  If you're going to be dating boys / men - they will, most likely, watch football.  You can piss and moan about the 75 games going on every Sunday (and Monday) or you could shut up and watch.  I chose the latter.


As I got older & started going to clubs, local bars and eateries - the Giants players were everywhere.  Sean Landetta, A.J. Green, Mark Collins, O.J. Anderson, Harry Carson (just to name a few) - these guys were just nice, regular guys.  Hanging out.  Heck, I even got invited to L.T.'s New Years Eve party one year.  No, I did not go :)

I dabbled in Giant waters for a while, but found the fans to be annoying.  (not all of you)  Especially as they became my exes.  I still loved the Jets as my home team, but as I said...it can be painful.  It wasn't until I watched John Elway in action, and THEN learned how fun Broncos fans are to hang out with that I signed my loyalty over to be a Bronco fan for life.


Yes, I hung tight during the sad days after Johnny boy's retirement...  but I still remember the sound of angels singing from above "Aaaaaaaaaaah" (think majestic angelic voices from above) Please all rise as we welcome John Elway to the field...  Oooh, I mean while we sing the national anthem.  Yeah... that was it for me.

No judgement, people!

Now, we have Peyton.  While I do - almost always wear my Elway jersey for luck... I may actually get a Peyton jersey.  Just because.

All this said...  I am a loyal fan and he is a Bronco.

My loyalty IS true...
That is, unless Green Bay is playing Chicago.  THEN - I become a Green Bay fan.  This, all brought on by my pain in the ass nature - and the fun little rivalry I have with my friend, Heather, who is from Chi-town.  She is a die hard Bears fan - and when she has Chicago Bears Football parties... I show up with a bear in a noose, a variety of green & yellow food and my finest, created Green Bay garb. Come on.. it's funny!  Even she thinks so... While I've learned to love Big Mike (Ditka), a little something rises to my throat when the Bears hit the field, and sorry, but Jim McMahon and the Superbowl shuffle ruined me for life.  No can do, Bear fans, sorry.

My Broncos will always be my heart, and I will always show loyal patronage.  I will also switch in a heart beat to ANYONE who is playing against the Giants, Patriots or 49'ers as well.

And that's where my "band wagon" mentality kicks in.

Thank you for reading my blog!

~Jenn

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Give a damn's busted.


It's funny.  I started writing this sometime last year and it's been sitting in my "drafts" file waiting to be completed (along with about 45 other pending blog posts).
I browsed it over and I started laughing - because it's so true about where I am in my life right now.


Finally after years of trying to keep everyone happy, I've finally reached the "I don't give a crap" phase in my life.

'bout damn time!

I can hear that song blaring in my head... "I don't care... I LOVE IT."  (Are you listening with a British accent?)

I'm not quite sure when it happened, it sort of just snuck up on me.

One moment I was all about self redemption and trying to save face - caring all about what people though - the next minute, meh - *#%% 'em!  I've done all I can to keep things good, it is what it is.

...just like that.


No, really people, this is a big deal for me!

I've always been the person who just wants everyone to be happy and sing Kumbaya and to LIKE ME.  I didn't want to make people feel uncomfortable or be mad at me.  I just wanted complete serenity.  I let people walk all over me and did all I could, in my very over the top way to keep everyone happy, whatever.  Like it or not - real or not.


True - I've always been pretty blunt in my little life.  If I think it, I speak it.  I sometimes have a tendency to ask questions or say something that may be deemed inappropriate, without thinking.  Then I feel stupid for doing so.

The old me would overly apologize 75 different ways....  Now it's more "hey, how did you enjoy the show?"

I'm working on it.  I am who I am.  I'm not someone who seeks to harm.  I just want to have fun.  I know I act dumb sometimes.  OK....
If I embarrass anyone, it's usually myself.  As far as I can tell, that would be my problem, no one else's...

Same goes with others.  If they want to be foolish and act dumb - I don't care.  I don't need to care.  I don't want to care.  None of my business.

Where the heck was this I don't give a crap gene 20 years ago... I really could have used it!


Could it be that life has jaded me further??  That life's crap has finally piled up so high that I really just don't care anymore?  Partially true.
Hard to know for sure.

I'd rather just wash my hands of it all and stay the hell away.  I can't be bothered.  I have my own silliness I don't need anyone else's.  I'm too old for this crap!

In truth - I love my family, I love my friends & I still want everyone to be happy.  That's a given...

I know when a true apology is necessary and when I've actually done something that I NEED to be sorry for.  Silly stuff?  Get over it.  Be an adult.  If I have a problem with you, I'll tell ya - I expect the same.

Aside from that...I will always be my happy, friendly little self and I will always be me.
Like it or not...

Just sometimes - ya know - when I'm making an ass of myself - or maybe you...  the show will just go on, without apology.

'cuz my real friends know who I am.  They know I'm not out to hurt anyone.  I'm just here for the good time an then I'm moving along....

My give a damn's busted.  And ya know what???  I'm OK with that now.

Thank you for reading my blog!

~Jenn


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Monday, November 11, 2013

Thank you to all the Veterans! I love you all!! ~ism Re-Run from 2012

Re-run post from Veteran's Day 2012...  Shortly after power was restored here in Jersey after Super Storm Sandy

Good Morning from my, now illuminated, little corner of the planet.


It's Sunday morning as I type this.  It's just me & the girlies today since hubby went to DC to meet up with some old Marine Corps buddies for the Marine Corps birthday and Veteran's Day.

I'm feeling all warm and gushy this morning.
Ever have those days where you just feel like wow, everything really IS great?

I'm feeling that today.

I was doing so good on my little happy train letting go of all the ick & then this flippin' Hurricane / Super Storm whatever the hell it was Sandy came along and kicked my state in the face, right along with my happy, peppy mood.

As bad as things were here, we are really lucky and one of the things I feel most lucky for is that the US Navy gave my first born permission to call and check on his momma while they were out to sea.  I haven't seen my son in a what feels like forever.  Yes, I know that I should really just get the hell over since he's a "big boy" now - but ya know, I'm a momma - he's my "baby boy" and that's that!  Hearing his voice just made me feel so over joyed in the face of crap.  I'm so grateful for that call.
Thank you, US Navy.

Now, even though I've been alone with the girls (yeah, I know I shouldn't say this out loud on line, but hubs is back now) for what seems like an eternity, I'm sitting here sipping my coffee and listening to Toby Keith Radio with a big ol smile on my face.

I'm blessed.

I'm such an incredibly spoiled brat sometimes and I really needed perspective.  Our home was not damaged in the storm.  Yes, we were without power for a good long while and it sucked, but some of my friends, only a few miles away are, still without power!  Other friends down the shore & in New York lost their homes.  People I don't even know lost their lives.


...And then I think of our Veterans.
Those giving themselves, daily to protect our freedom.  I am so incredibly and amazingly grateful to our military; Our men and women who are or were living in tents, cramped quarters or worse - away from home - putting their lives on the line so that spoiled people like me can blog about how crappy it is to be without power.  Wow!  How's THAT for perspective?
To those who are currently serving, to those who have served 
& those who plan to serve - I love you all!


I have a HUGE amount of respect to all of the individuals and families who give themselves over to defend this amazing country of ours.

I have always gravitated to those who've served.  Mostly because of the awe I feel to think that they've given themselves over to something bigger.
That's amazing to me.


Today Veteran's Day is observed here in the United States.

Don't just let this day pass without saying thanking a veteran.  No matter how you may feel about this or any other war, the fact is that they put themselves on the line for YOU.

To all the Veterans & their families - THANK YOU!

God Bless you all and God Bless the USA!

~Jenn

"American Girls and American Guys 
We'll always stand up and salute 
We'll always recognize 
When we see Old Glory Flying 
There's a lot of men dead 
So we can sleep in peace at night 
When we lay down our head"
~Toby Keith - Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (a.k.a. The Angry American)



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