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Friday, September 27, 2013

When you feel the universe is screwing with you.... Look for the signs.

Ever feel like the universe is just totally screwing with you?

That's exactly where I am right now.

Life's been so full of ups and downs. Typical.

My life has definitely contained a consistent stream of change and decisions.  Especially lately.  Closing doors & having great things land in my lap.  Other things, not as much.

Change - good or bad brings DECISIONS...

Have I mentioned that I am not the best little decision maker?  I like things to be very cut and dry.  I like to be able to see the illuminated path and say, OK - there it is.  Gimme the menu, a la "My Cousin Vinnie" Breakfast or Lunch? Don't give me the 12 page menu full of wonder and delight - give me this or that.  If I can't figure it out, I look for the sign.


I believe in signs.  I often pray (beg) for signs.  Not just signs, slap me upside the head signs. Something to light my way.  The AH HA!  If I don't see the sign, I reach out to those who know me well.  Or, shall I say know me better than I know me in many cases.  Sometimes their perspective is so much clearer.

Lately, my "signs" have been screwing with me.  Sometimes they're so straight forward that they slap me hard in my face and I say YES - that's it!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

...and then the very next day I'll get 4 more signs that say, 
"Yes, that's for you - but not just yet."


OK - so now what?  I am genuinely...confused.  Is the "not just yet" a part of the plan?  OK.. so what then?

For sure, I'd noticed over the past year that things in my life weren't flowing the way I'd like them to. I'd been dragged into a situation I didn't want to be in.  No matter how hard I tried to stay out of it, this person kept dragging me in. I inevitably stayed, out of loyalty to a very good friend. I'll never regret that decision.

Loyalty, believe it or not, became my downfall.
Not because of the person I've been loyal to, but the idea of my loyalty to my friend made the other person who kept dragging me in spit nails. Hence, dragging me onto the chopping block.

Mostly, I don't care.
I'm secure in myself.  I had this person's number from day one. I can handle the things that are said about or done to me. I don't care what other people have to say.

Sadly, this person decided to use my child against me to try to hurt me. That I have a problem with.

There is never any reason to hurt someone's child - to get even with a parent.  It's inexcusable and shows the true character of the offender.

All I care about is protecting my child.

This person had already acted on the "best defense is a good offense" approach against me, lying and formulating "proof" of how they were abused. They further laid out a tract that made me look like the harasser. Again, I don't care about what people say. All that kind of nonsense shows is desperation to be "right" and have people believe them. I'm totally secure in myself.  I know what's real and I know who I am. I'm not going to scramble for made up proof to try to manipulate others. I'm fully confident that those who are my true friends know what's real. That's enough for me. Sadly, the others involved in a specific incident took the nonsense as the word, and let my child down. What a disappointment when you try to take the proper routes to protect your child.

I won't go too far into any of this because if I do, I'm no better than the abuser.

I turned to God and prayed for an answer.
Although I didn't like the answer at first - I realized that God was weeding my garden. Suddenly the things that didn't seem right were more obvious to me. I saw the things that I needed to remove from my life more clearly. I realized that many of the "fun" things I'd been involved with, were messing with other areas of my life. Dragging me down to a place I don't want to be and making me someone I didn't want to be.

My daughter will always be OK.  In many ways, she's so much wiser than me. She sees things as they are and makes her own decisions. She is an amazing young girl, who knows I will always love and protect her. Some situations were a piece of cake to replace - other's not as much. We'll see how it goes and I'll continue to let her make her own decisions to see how she feels.

Again... for myself, I truly don't care.
I have real, true friends who know and love me. Those people who know me - REALLY know me. If other people want to continue to roll in the gossip and negativity, have fun. I know who I am and where I belong. I choose to walk away!

So while in some instances, I feel that the universe is screwing with me. I believe that problems force you to focus on God.  The situations before me were placed there as signs - like it or not.

I truly believe He has mine and my daughter's best interest in mind in every situation and I will continue to be strong.

And THAT is what's important to me.

Thank you for reading my blog!

~Jenn

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Take your paranoia and move on

Monday, September 16, 2013

The things I want to be sure my kids learn....

To my children:

There were a lot of things in my life I wish I'd been taught.  Ways I wish I were guided properly.  I will do all that I can to give you all the guidance, love and support for as long as I'm around - and in case you forget, I've put it here in writing...

Life is entirely too short to be so serious all the time!  Lighten up - let your freak flag fly!

Hate, anger, jealousy - WASTED emotions...  There's no point ever in perpetuating negativity or surrounding yourselves with negative people.  It only lingers & sucks you into a dark hole of ick!

Be happy - really happy!  And be weird - who the heck cares what anyone else thinks?  This will take some skill on your part - because not caring about what people think doesn't truly kick in until after 40 - that's when you realize that this is who you are... Love me as I am or don't love me at all.

As goofy as mommy may be rockin' out to air guitar in the kitchen or singing goofy songs and calling you silly names -- I ASSURE you that when he thinks no one's looking or listening, Daddy is doing the same thing.  No matter how big & tough Daddy is - you WILL catch him rocking out to air guitar & singing MOMMY'S silly songs, trust me!  Never be "too cool" to have fun!

Be YOURSELF!  You are the best you that you can be!  Don't waste your time trying to twist yourself in a knot to please someone else - because you are still you and the truth always floats to the surface.

What works for one person won't necessarily work for you...  If you're all about jeans & sneakers - but your bff is a stilettos kinda chick - well good for her and her aching feet...Stick with what works for YOU!

Love with all your heart.  Love is as much for you as it is for the other person.  Yeah, you may get your heart broken from time to time, but no love is wasted.  It feels good to have that butterfly feeling in your tummy.  Don't waste the chance at feeling that by being to afraid to go for it!

By the same token, not all love is reciprocated & that's ok.  Being a stalker is not Ok - as a matter of fact, there are laws against it & it's really just not cool.

Don't care about what other people have to say about you.  If someone is dragging you down it's only because they are feeling badly about them self in some way and want to drag you down to their level.  Don't go there.

Never let the words, "I can't" leave your lips.  Once you've said it, you've already set yourself up for failure.  You CAN, and you will!  I can't is a cop out for I'm scared, I don't want to and I won't.  Just do it!

There's no shame in asking for help.  Some things are just to big for one person to handle & that's Ok.

Follow the rules.  Yeah, some of the rules are dumb - but they will make sense as you get older.  (or not)

Yes, you will get older.  There will come a point in time when you look in the mirror and say - hey, who the heck is that old person looking at me... and my love, that old person will be you.

Don't be shocked at 40 something if you mentally still think you can go head to head with a 20 year old.  Your brain has not figured out that the body ain't quite what it used to be...  Ya know when it kicks in??  When you're jumping on the trampoline with your kids & see them jumping up and landing on their butts & think I wanna do that too -- THEN your brain will kick in with the "what are you CRAZY?" and you will stop.  Trust me ... Mentally, I think I can still do cartwheels and round offs into a back hand spring...  but the sensible part of my brain laughs at me and flashes a mental picture of me in traction...  This day will come.

This should have been up closer to the top -
Love God - He is there.  Really!  Don't ever forget to pray and thank Him daily.  One day, you will see that He really is there and He really is looking out for you.

Do what you say you're going to do & be where you say you're going to be.  Honesty & trust are two of the biggest things in every relationship.

Lies are a waste of time and energy.  The truth may get you in a boat load of trouble, but at least you will always remember what the truth is.

Don't waste your time trying to reform someone or trying to make someone love you. If the gears don't fit, the gears don't fit.... Move on.  Not everyone is meant to be your forever person & that's Ok.

Be VERY careful of the person who you set yourself up with as your forever person.  Keep your eyes open & use good judgement - because I assure you, if you have babies together & this is the wrong relationship - you are stuck with this person FOREVER.  Like it or not!

That goes for your friends too.  People aren't always what they seem and sometimes looking beyond what you see can hurt you.

Surround yourself with people who like to have fun.  Honest and trustworthy people who will be there for you - in sickness & health - just like marriage.  There's nothing more healing than a true friend in your darkest hour or more amazing to share things with in your brightest hour!

Don't lose touch with your friends!  This is one thing I try to live by... If too much time has gone by since you've seen or spoken to a friend - change that!  You never know what a call can do for either of you.

When things get hard, and they will at some point - keep moving forward.  If you don't climb the mountain, you'll never know how great the view is from the top - or the treasures on the other side.

That which does not kill you, will make you stronger.  Don't be afraid.

Smile big - Laugh loud.  Even if you feel like crap - it's amazing what a smile & a good hearty laugh can do!

Always remember that this Momma will always love you truly, deeply to the moon & back - forever & ever - and I know that God has an amazing plan for you... Go get it!

... and in typical Jenn fashion, Spin around in circles until you get dizzy and fall down.  Then get up and do it again!

Thank you for reading my blog!

~Jenn

Originally written and posted in January 2012

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Whispers & Conversational 'isms from the children

I've said it before... I love my neighbors and our neighborhood.

During the summer we routinely get together for whatever reason... BBQ's, swimming, bonfires or just to hang out.  Very impromptu.

As the summer wound down and work, school and sports programs started back up, it's been hard to find the time (and energy) to get together.

Summer's last hurrah had kicked in.  We are a tired group of moms and dads - BUT we did want to have a neighborhood "last hurrah" while we still had decent weather.

My husband REALLY wanted to have another bonfire.  He mentioned this to one of our little friends, who was very excited for a bonfire, so it HAD to happen.  I texted everyone and set a time.  We had an earlier engagement, so we decided between 7:30 and 8 PM would be the perfect time.

Well, we were detained...  Things happen.

I again texted all to let them know that the festivities would begin about a half hour later.


Once we got home, hubby got the bonfire going.  I got snacks and music rolling and we waited for our big and little friends to arrive.

I sat down by the fire with my lovely Blue Moon Pumpkin Harvest and when my one of my little friends arrived he sat beside me.

"Miss Jenn," he said.  "I just want you to know that I was aggravated that I had to wait for this bonfire to start."

I immediately got a chuckle.

"Aggravated, really?  Are you sure that's the word you're looking for?  Do you maybe mean impatient?"

"Yes, Miss Jenn.  Impatient.  I was getting impatient.  You said 7:30-8 and now it's almost 9:00."

"Well, yes I did.. but I texted that I'd be a little late.  Besides, I waited a WHOLE 20 minutes for you to get here."

He continued...

"Yes... Well I was impatient.  I saw you come home and I wanted to leave to come here by myself, but my MOM made me wait...and THEN my mom had to change her clothes and her shoes and that took FOREVER.  That's what took me so long."

Of course at this point, I'm cracking up - I love the viewpoint of the short ones....

I've taken note to never again aggravate my young friend and I promise to work on my promptness.

A few hours later, I went inside to check on the other shorter ones who lost interest in the fire.  After all, the s'mores were done... What's the point in hanging out with the old people if they're not making s'mores?


As I crept in to check on them - the "let's pretend" conversations that I over heard made my jaw hit the floor.....

"OK, let's pretend we're in the 10th grade and we're pregnant"

Before I go on, let me state - they are 7 years old - 10th grade seems REALLY old to them.

I jumped in - shocked, of course...
"UM... No one here is going to be pregnant in the 10th grade!"

"Well, ......... isn't pregnant anymore, mommy.  She had her baby.  I WAS pregnant, but MY baby died in my stomach."

WHAT???

Holy heck!!   These are not the kinds of conversations that normally fly around our house.

I assure you - there were plenty of conversations had the next day!

(On the "dead baby" note, the girls heard discussion of their teacher losing her baby, so this is how they processed the situation.)

I also must add that in the boys' pretend world...one one was a professional wrestler, another a college educated life guard, his little brother was the life guard assistant.  None claimed rights to any of the babies and stated... EWWWWW, that's gross.

All is well in boy world.

Now to explain to my short one that there will be no babies, pregnancies or heaven forbid "dead babies"  until after high school, college and an established career or 75 years of age.  Whichever comes first.

Kids, gotta love 'em.

Ya just never know what the next jaw dropping moment will be.

Thank you for reading my blog!!

~Jenn

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Again?? You're going to throw the 9/11 stuff in our faces AGAIN??

I wasn't going to blog on this... I wasn't.

The news hits you from every angle.  It's redundant and over the top and everywhere in your face.  People are sick of hearing about it already.  LET IT GO.

Ya know what... NO!


I wrote a little blurb on my Facebook page about where I was, what I remember about September 11th, 2001.

Every generation seems to have it's own "Always Remember, Never Forget."  This is ours.

We need to remember.  We need to stay angry and we NEED to remember that some weasely bastard snuck through a hole in the security of our amazing country and did the unthinkable.

My husband and I were newlyweds.  We just got married a few months earlier.  My dad was sick and living with us.  We were starting fresh in our life.  I moved out of my condo.  We were living in an apartment upstairs from a business, across from the NYC park and ride & a biker bar, while we were waiting for our home to be built.

That morning, my husband kissed me goodbye.  I tended to my dad and made sure he would be comfortable for the day.  I got my son ready and on the bus & went to work.

Just like every other day.

I got to work early, but felt a bit rushed since traffic was horrendous.  It was 8:27 on the nose.  I got my coffee and began to get my desk in order for the day's work.

Shortly after I'd settled in, Gene, the mail guy, stopped at my desk.  He was early for mail that day.  He looked - concerned.  "Did you hear that a plane just crashed into one of the towers at the World Trade Center?"


I didn't immediately think terrorist attack.  I though - WOW - that sucks and started looking for the news stories online.

What seemed like seconds later, one of my co-workers emerged from her office - in tears.  "Another plane just hit the second tower."

My mind immediately reflected back to February 26, 1993, the day a truck bomb was detonated below the North Tower a.k.a. Tower #1 of the World Trade Center.
I remember that a woman I knew was on the 67th floor Sky Lobby when the bomb blew, and had to walk the stairs all the way down.
I was 8 months pregnant with my son at the time.  I was terrified.  Thankful that the building still stood & praying for the lives of those making their way out.  That was 1993.


This day, it became very clear that America was once again under attack.

This time, the North Tower, Tower #1 wasn't spared, but now a blazing inferno with the lives of thousands of Americans trapped inside.



As the radio got louder in the office - all movement stopped.  Many of us sobbed at our desks or hugged each other as we'd gotten news that a friend, or loved one was able to get out alive.

It's a day that I won't forget.  Ever.

For days/weeks afterward, smoke billowed from the horizon - where the towers used to stand.


This is our generation's "Pearl Harbor," for lack of a better example.  The day to remember that some weasely bastards got by and disrespected this great country of ours.  A day to remember that even if you don't agree with the war - you NEED to support our troops.  THEY are defending this wonderful and amazing country of ours.

They are the ones working day and night so that we can sleep peacefully.

So yes - I will ALWAYS REMEMBER.

God Bless America!

Thank you for reading!!

~Jenn


Jenn-ism re-run from 9/11/12

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Forest fire anyone?

It's funny the things that stick with you from your childhood.

I've said many times, my childhood wasn't positive. That does not mean that my brothers and I didn't have fun.  We made plenty of fun.  Plenty of trouble, but plenty of fun.

Often times, I felt it necessary to keep my brother's out of the house.  Even as a child there were things I wasn't always comfortable with.  So I'd get creative.  Creativity as a ten year old isn't always fabulous.  Especially if you're a ten year old well beyond their years, with no supervision and a wild imagination.

Perception

One day, I decided that I was going to take my brothers to a picnic in the woods back behind our house.  We'd go up over the other side of the "mountain" (which I'm sure was just a large hill) and have a campfire and roast hot dogs and marshmallows and have a grand old time.

Yes, I did say campfire.

With this decision in mind, I set my brothers outside on the swing set to wait for me and guard our picnic basket.  I went inside and dialed up my cousin, Michelle, so that she and her brother Craig could meet us for the picnic in the woods.

Michelle and Craig only lived a few blocks away.  Things were different when we were younger.  We could just go out and say I'm going... wherever... and it was fine.  We just went.  No questions asked.

I had it all set up.  It was fabulous.  I had an old bed sheet from the rag pile in the basement for us to sit on.  I had toys to entertain my baby brother and whatever food I could find in the refrigerator that wouldn't be missed.  Two hot dogs, a few slices of bread, a jar of Goober Peanut Butter & Jelly spread and a bag of mini marshmallows someone had brought over.  My cousin, Michelle, also brought animal crackers and some other snacks from her house.

We were ready to feast.

Oh yes, I also had matches.

We very carefully set rocks and stones around a bigger ring we'd already found.  Clearly someone else had the same idea to picnic in our woods.  We loaded our pit with sticks and leaves and whatever we could find and lit the fire.  Did I mention it was October?  Leaves had fallen & began to dry on the ground.  We loved the smell of the crisp air and the crunch of the leaves under our feet.

We climbed, we laughed and we ate.

We had a grand 'ol time... All 5 of us, under the tender age of 10 with the youngest being 4.  Picnicking and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows around an open fire.  Ahhhh that was the life.

When we were done, we did our best to clean up.  We didn't want to pollute - so we took all of our trash and put it into our bags to bring back home and set off on our way.  We dealt with everything properly.

Everything except....the fire.

I took my brothers by the hand and led them back to our house and my cousins walked the few blocks back to their house.  All was well in our little worlds.  We had a fabulous day picnicking in the woods.  Being campfire people.

And shortly thereafter, there it was.....Sirens.


Reality

Not sirens in the distance - sirens in the woods behind my house.  Fire trucks racing through the next door neighbor's driveway and through the easement up to the woods.

Around our mountain and over to where...

We had our campfire.

Unbeknownst to us, we set the woods on fire.  Five children, having a picnic in the woods - totally unsupervised managed to create a fire that brought 5 fire trucks to contain.

Thankfully no one was injured.

It's a moment I'll never forget, and one we didn't speak of until we were adults.

At the time, none of our parents knew we were responsible for the brush fire that people in our neighborhood discussed for weeks.

None of us told this story for years.

At the time it was a horrible secret.  Now, it's a funny little memory of the things we did as kids - with the thank God no one was hurt, still resonating in our minds.


It's also a huge lesson to never leave my children alone with any type of fire.


Having kids so much like me, it's just not a chance I want to take.

Thank you so much for reading my blog!

~Jenn

This one's for you, Eric.  <3  Happy Birthday (yesterday) in Heaven.  I love you, I miss you.  Rest in sweet peace little brother.




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Saturday, September 7, 2013

No-Compete Clause....



Growing up, I had step-siblings. Well, technically - I still do, but we lost touch when my (step) dad died.

The blended family life, as a child, was not always easy for me.  My step-sister was always going out of her way to compete with me some how, in some way.  She always needed to be better, prettier, have more, do more and try to make me feel badly about what she had.  What flippin' ever... I never really cared.  I'm not one to play that game.

If I want something badly enough - don't you worry, I'll get it.  Maybe not today, tomorrow, next week or next year, but I will get what I want & no one's going to stop me.  If I don't have it, I didn't want it that badly, trust me! (or I saw a reason that it wasn't in my best interest)

It was annoying, especially on the weekends when I didn't go to my dad's & she came to the house.  She'd come with her giant bag of make up and cake on a pile of crap on her face & eyes (we were like 14) I'd just go out as I was.  I didn't need it or want it.  She'd always tell me how I needed this kind of make up or that kind of make up to be prettier.  After all, her daddy always told her how beautiful she was & that I was the smart one... Ok - whatever - you can have that.  I have my own daddy telling me how beautiful AND smart that I am...  Again, who cares...

I'm not a joiner & I don't want to be.  I think that's why I'm still so even in that way - I don't play the game.  Don't care, don't need to care, don't want to care...  I'd much rather be individual and unique.  I love everyone & like I said, if I want something - I'll get it.

Feel free to come around me and throw down your cards - challenge me to whatever -- never mind, don't do that - I've never been one to back down to a double dog dare, lol...  Well anyway -- what's the point??

I'm secure enough about myself to feel ok with what I have and who I am.

I may not be Miss America - but that's Ok.  I may not have the best house, best car, biggest diamond - again, who cares -- if I wanted it - I'd have it...


I can't be bothered with the competition.

I don't see the point???  I'm good with who I am, if you're not good with who you are - I'm sorry for you.  I'm not interested in trying to step on someone else's face to be the queen bee.  I don't need to try to make others look bad to make myself feel better.  I'm just me and I'm good with that.

Go on and throw your compete clause elsewhere.  I will just walk away. This momma can't be bothered to play the game.

Thank you for reading my blog!

~Jenn

PS.  Despite how this post may appear, I do love my step-siblings dearly, miss them & wish them all the happiness in the world.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Age Alzheimers...How old am I??

It happened...

A few weeks ago I met someone who grew up in the town where I graduated high school. Someone, who was clearly younger than I.


As we spoke, she asked about people I may know and politely asked how old I was.  The number rolled off my tongue so naturally... as if it were truth...

Without any thought, I said - "I'm 37"

What?

"Oh, me too!  I don't remember you from high school.  What year did you graduate?"

Then I started to think....How could she be my age???  Was she some sort of a prodigy or something??  She looked equally confused when I gave her the year I graduated.  Then I realized the number I'd just rattled off.  The number that is 10 years younger than my actual age...

Ummm humina, humina, humina....  Did I say 37??

There it is... Age Alzheimers.  The point in your life where your brain decides, "Hey - this is a nice number, I think I'll plant myself here."  It's the number that rolls off your tongue so gently, it feels like fact.  That is until people look at you as if you have four heads, or think mannnnn, it's been a bumpy ride for you, huh??  37???  Wow!

You can't reel it back in.  You can't stop it and most of the time, you don't even know it's out there.  And then the correction....


Sorry, I meant 47.  Ohhhh, 47 - that's more like it.  I think my Mom's 47.

I'm exaggerating, of course - these are the thoughts that run through my head when I realize I've created my very own face palm moment during my age Alzheimer's.

Truth, I'm OK with my age.  At least at this particular second.  Last birthday, I was none too pleased - but it beats the alternative, right?

Remind me of this on my next birthday, or the next time you hear me rattling off some outlandish number believing it's real...

For now, I think I'll just tell people I'm 10 years older...this way they'll say HEY, you look GREAT for your age.

Meh, who cares?

37, 47, 57... just a number, right?

Thank you for reading my blog!

~Jenn

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