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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Who Stole My Spandex? Meonpausal Mother Book Review!!!

Oh my gosh, Oh my gosh!!!  It's out!!!
Who Stole My Spandex by Marcia Kester Doyle a.k.a. Menopausal Mother.

Several years back, while roaming the blog-o-sphere, I stumbled upon Marcia at Menopausal Mother's blog page totally by accident.  I still can't recall how I got there.  I was new to blogging and stumbled upon her page and was initially fascinated by the trailing hearts on her cursor. (It's the simple things that fascinate me.)

So I stayed and began reading her blogs and these few years later I've never left.  I instantly fell in love with how easily her writing made me laugh and sometimes cry.

When I found out Marcia was writing a book, I was super excited for her and for ME!  Ya know, being one of her bloggie BFF's  I'm totally on the inside track ;)  But Shhhh, I'm not sure she knows about the BFF thing.  :)

I am so super excited and honored to have been not only given the opportunity to read a pre-release of this book, but to be able to give a true, honest, from the heart review.

I was not at all disappointed!

If you are a mom.  If you are over 40 - you can relate to her writing.  If you have a pulse - she will crack you up!

Not only am I super proud and thrilled beyond words for her - this book is well worth the read!  It's funny.  It's heartwarming and it's a quick, easy read (which is super important if you have to lock yourself in the bathroom to read like I do.)  It will make you laugh and it will make you love her even more.  It will make you want to pack your bags and vacation at the "Nut House" where there's so much love and humor and furry friends.  I'll be checking in for Margaritas in the garden (my drink of choice) hoping to wear the cat mask.  (Please Mr. Doyle???)

While you're waiting your turn to wear the cat mask... please go check out Marcia's book, available at Amazon by following this link:  Who Stole My Spandex?

You can thank me later for the suggestion.

Marcia, Congratulations!!!  I'm super proud of you and I'm honored to be your online bestie. Whoops, looks like the cat's out of the bag.  :)

xoxoxoxo

Thank you all for being here!!

~Jenn

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

When the reasons you're thankful changes....


This is the time of the year that we stop to reflect on the prior year, and make a conscious effort to be thankful for the blessings in our lives.

Last year around this time I decided to start a thankful / gratitude jar. 


What a great way for my family to see all of the wonderful things that happened to us during the year, and reflect upon those things at Thanksgiving.

We started off with a bang.  Everything good thing that happened, or that we were grateful for (mostly I, since everyone else quit on me) got written down on a piece of paper and put into the jar.

Now almost a year later, I began to go through our jar reading all the little pieces of paper.  Some things brought a huge smile to  my face, others that the kids had written gave me a giggle, some gave me great reflection.  I got to see how some of the things I was thankful for, at the time, have changed completely.


Have you ever thought about the times when the things you're thankful for change completely? Sometimes they're not always obvious. Sometimes the changes are so subtle you almost miss them and turn into miraculous new opportunities.

Have you ever thought back on the things that you really wanted - the things that made you so incredibly happy and grateful - but then that thing changed?  Was that change for the better or worse? Sometimes it's hard to see the blessing in disguise.  Sometimes the thing that you're really grateful for changes completely and you realize that the first thing wasn't at all good for you - but what came of it, the change that metamorphosized, was even better and suddenly you received a  moment of complete peace and clarity....


It's amazing how you can be so incredibly thankful for  one thing and then, over time, the original reason you were thankful changed.  Maybe your eyes were opened to something you hadn't seen or a situation changed and the original blessing is even more magnified.

It's those moments of clarity that I'm extra thankful for this year - the ways my initial thankfulness has changed.

Thank you for being a blessing in my life.

I'm so incredibly thankful for each and every one of you who hang in there with me... even during the long droughts of NOTHING in this blog - and still you hold me up and support me and send me love.


Wishing you all a very blessed and happy Thanksgiving!

You are all nothing short of amazing.


As always, thank you for reading my blog!

Lots of love,

Jenn

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Brittany Maynard's choice to die - My feelings on the suicide aspect.

Brittany Maynard, the 29 year old young woman with terminally ill brain cancer, ended her own life on Saturday, November 1st, 2014.
Her choice. Her terms.  Her death with dignity.

There are so many sides of this coin that I'm not even sure where I fall anymore.

No matter what I say, no matter how I feel, someone will disagree with me.  I don't care.

I've been someone who advocates AGAINST suicide.  I don't believe in suicide for any reason.

Yes, I know this was different - but is it?

For YEARS I struggled with the suicides of my father and my brother.  Being raised Catholic, I was taught that suicide meant that you gave up on your faith in God, and you were going to spend eternity in hell.  For me, that shook me on more levels than I care to admit.  It's one of the things that shredded me for years, and eventually took me away from the Catholic church.  Well, that and other reasons...
On the Christian, Biblical level - I believe God forgives.  I believe that in the 11th hour even the biggest sinner can be forgiven and go to Heaven.

But that is not what this post is about.

This post is about the suicide itself.  Is it really OK to choose to die?

Yes, it is her "right" to die with dignity.  Yes, she wanted to die before her body gave in to all of the awfulness that lay ahead with the severe diagnosis she was presented.  Yes, it was a really awful future for her and her family, from what she was told.  But WHAT IF what she was told was wrong?

This situation makes me think of my brave friends who've fought cancer.  My beautiful, wonderful friends who bravely took cancer on and beat it!  I think about those still struggling to fighting it - because they want to be here.  For what ever reason, they WANT to be here.  They WANT to live. They WANT to fight it to stay alive.  They do / did not WANT to die!  I remain in awe of them.


Brittany chose to die, and I don't understand that.

Was it bravery?  Was it fear?  What if she was wrong?  What if there was more?  What if the doctors were wrong?  What if, just what if  3 days from now - they find the defining element that will cure her - save her from the awful that she's faced.  What if?  What if?  What if?

That is what I struggle with.  The what if.


Being a suicide survivor, this would never have been my choice.  I would have fought, if not for myself - for my children, for my husband, for my friends - FOR ME.  I would have fought to live.  I would have soaked up every single second, the good, the bad and the ugly.  THAT would be my choice.

I genuinely believe we all have a plan for our lives.  Whether or not you believe in God or a higher power - most people DO believe there is a plan for their life.  What if her plan was NOT to die, but to live?  Maybe even to live and be an example of greatness in some way.

That chance is gone forever.

So many people fight daily to be alive, to live every single second.

I am truly sorry Mrs. Maynard has left this planet.  I don't condemn her choice.  It was, her choice.
I wish her and her family much peace.

I know how it feels to be left behind with the questions and no answers.

I know that somewhere in their hearts they wish she were still there - even with the awful cancer that was consuming her.

You may agree with me.  You may disagree with me.  That's OK.

You'll think about this, and when you do - think about what choice you'd make.  Think about why you'd make that choice and then wonder...

What IF?

Rest in peace, Brittany.
I wish your family much love and peace.
Thank you for reading my blog.

~Jenn