Family · Parenting · Perspective

Rockstar

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Some days you’re a rockstar and knock out everything on the list by noon… some days you find jello on your bathroom wall and send your child to the bus crying because it’s 40 degrees and you required she wear a sweatshirt….

Which day are you having? Where did that jello come from?!

Faith · Family · Health · Parenting · Perspective

Heart Check – Thursday

A podcast I listen to starts out with a few questions from one host to another. They call it a “heart check.”

What’s in your ear?

What’s pulling at your heart?

What book is in your hand?

I’ll also add for this post (because I like food)…

What’s in your mouth?

So, Jen, what’s in your ear lately?

–Yesterday, it was my Pandora thumbprint station. I was solo in the office for most of the day, thus almost a completely uninterrupted soundtrack for the day. Eclectic, as is my taste in music, songs range from the last 6 decades and a wide variety of genres. A personal favorite is Ashokan Farewell, but that might be followed up by Rump Shaker (Wreckx’n’Effect), a song from Ray LaMontagne, the Avett Brothers, Meghan Trainor, Amos Lee, Lee Brice, George Strait, or Casting Crowns (among many, many others).

What’s pulling at your heart?

–Of course my kids and family. Anxiety. Worldwide events that are completely beyond my realm of physical connection. How can I contribute to those around me? How can I be a more patient mother, wife, and friend? After a meeting last night…. when will I ever stop being socially awkward?!!!! 30 years of socializing hasn’t made me a social butterfly. Still inept at the art of surface-style conversation.

What book is in your hand?

–I truly love my 5:30am quiet reading time. I am awake to see the sun rise quietly and peacefully. The past month, I’ve reread three Anne of Green Gables books: 1, 3, & 4. Apparently somewhere in the last 25 years, book #2 disappeared. My devotions in my study Bible are out of Psalms. This morning, I finished “365 Thank You’s” by John Kralik. Focusing on gratitude, he turned his life around one thank you note at a time. Inspiring!

What’s in your mouth?

–Like all people vainly trying to shed the winter carb-fest padding,  focusing on better food choices, I’ve been packing a bountiful amount of fruits and veggies in my daily lunches at the office. Due to my MS med, I have to hit the carbs first thing in the morning to settle my stomach. Therefore, I make my lunch vegetable based instead of building it up from bread or pasta. Almost all my veggie-based meals feature the previous night’s protein choice, aka leftovers. Makes for a lot of variety! Yesterday’s masterpiece:
salad

Mixed baby greens (thank you husband for buying a super large container of these at an amazing discounted price!)
Fresh Mushrooms
Leftover BBQ Chicken
A handful of French fried onions (the ones without whey)
Balsamic Viniagrette (I only use vinaigrettes, no dairy! But if you go this route, be sure to make your own or read the labels.)
I wash and re-use this Subway salad container daily. It’s the perfect size for my lunch bag.

That sums up my Thursday morning heart check. What does your heart check look like today?

Much love — Jen

Family · Parenting · Perspective

Monday Momday

Hello Monday! I’m actually quite happy to see you.

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We are going thru a rough patch at my house. I can’t tell if it’s just my introverted personality rebelling against the zero amount of personal space or time I have?

Or if the bickering between my kids is at an all time high?

Or if it was a combination of trying to celebrate an 8yr old’s birthday mixed with a blizzard in April plus it being the annual dance rehearsal and recital weekend?

Either way, I’m feeling a bit crazy and I need the kids to get on the school bus so I can take a shower alone.

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Carry on world. Carry on….

Perspective · Uncategorized

Spring in the Midwest – USA

If you follow my blog, you’ll have gathered previously that I live in a “fly-over” state. Miles of cropland, small towns, and tall concrete grain elevators dot the landscape. Rolling gradual hills and small creeks, gravel and dirt roads, and limestone fences posts are the view.

We are on a rollercoaster this spring. Depths of winter to the heights of spring, then back down to winter, then back up to spring.

Today, I have the office door open. It’s beautiful and sunny out. Our high is forecasted as 89 degrees F. I can hear birds. The air smells fresh. Our Bradford pear tree is trying to bloom.

When winter comes in again tomorrow night, it will feel like a villain with icy teeth and a cackling windy laugh. It will shrivel the spring plants that have just emerged. Children and parents at the soccer fields Saturday morning will hide in their cars between games. Teeth chattering, they’ll brave the cold to cheer and play. We’ll do the same on Sunday afternoon for our baseball scrimmage.

tempThis is our week’s forecast April 12-18.

Without the lows, I wouldn’t appreciate the highs. Right?

Right?????

I’ll just keep telling myself that.

Summer will come eventually and sweltering heat will settle on us. We’ll all be wishing for the crispness of cooler weather.

And so keep riding the rollercoaster of seasons in the Midwest.

Faith · Family · Parenting · Perspective

Ordinary is Good

Today I get to wake up sleepy children. I get to go to work. I am allowed another day to do the ordinary. But that, in itself, is extraordinary!

Our adult Sunday School lesson yesterday was about perspective. It was a colorful conversation dotted with laughs and frustrations.

Perspective helped me get thru a rough, cranky day where my children fought and whined continuously- achieving a rare level above and beyond in the disagreeable department. I wasn’t able to find much to be thankful for, but I settled on the fact that they were all living, breathing creatures. Sometimes that’s all you’ve got. Just tuck it in your heart and run with it.

Perspective encouraged me as I was unclogging the pipe under the dishwasher. I am thankful for the water that flows freely. I am fortunate to have this dishwasher and the mental and physical ability to do DIY minor plumbing projects. The plumbing issues can stop at any time now…

Today I get to take on a new week. I’m going to take the ordinary and appreciate it as extraordinary.

#gratitude #perspective

Perspective

Destination: Key West, FL

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Destination: Key West, Florida
Purpose: Connect time with husband, relax, and as a business owner- a smidge of working/ board meeting remotely

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While we were there, we checked out Hemingway’s house and his 6-toed prophylactic cats. Pictured are both his pool and the “last red cent” he threw down when he returned home from cavorting with his future wife in Europe. His current (at the time) wife was none too pleased about his travel and put in a pool while he was gone. He accused her of spending his “last red cent” installing this beautiful in-ground pool. It wasn’t a smooth marriage…

The Arts and Culture Museum and Mel Fisher’s Treasure Museum were both excellent stops. The Shipwreck Museum left a lot to be desired. The viewing tower was damaged by Hurricane Irma and closed. I’ll consider our entrance fee to that one a donation towards rebuilding after the hurricane.

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Truly, there are fantastic fruity both non-alcoholic and spirited drinks all over Key West. Did you know they don’t put pickles in their Bloody Mary’s down there? Maybe that’s just a Midwest USA thing….

Food was expensive. The Inn we stayed at on Duval had a continental breakfast, so we appreciated the simple breakfast most mornings. We ate well while we were on the island. It was March Madness basketball and our team was in the Elite 8, so we ate and watched at Jack Flatts two nights.

One morning, we took in a French bakery. Another afternoon, the French restaurant “La Petit Paris” had delectable sandwiches. We visited the Hog’s Breath for appetizers. After a warm day on the water, we enjoyed dinner at the “Old Town Mexican Café.” Our final evening meal was at the Blue Macaw with live music.

Traveling the island. Bring comfortable walking shoes or sandals! We walked EVERYWHERE with two exceptions: 1) the airport to Duval Street, and 2) Uber to the harbor and airport. The taxi drivers were absolutely crazy drivers. Uber drivers seem to be a bit more careful with their vehicles… and the pedestrians walking along the roads.

I found a good book, “The Pink Suit,” on a shelf at our Inn. There was also a nice hammock by the pool. Fantastic combination! The iguana wasn’t by our place. He was down by the docks on a bush. Silly creature wasn’t the least bit concerned about us. That speaks to the full-to-the-brim population on the Key.

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This is Ryan. He was on our fishing expedition. I was just getting ready to stick my finger in the mouth of a fish to take out the hook and throw him back. That’s what we do with fish in the Midwest. Apparently, reef fish have hidden teeth… and I would have had a new finger ornament until we got back to shore. It would have looked lovely with my curly, wind blown boat hair, and sun-encouraged freckles.

Ryan was excellent. I highly recommend our outfitter “Gulfstream Fishing.” It was $65/ person plus the license for 6 hours. The boat held multiple parties. Food and drink were available on the boat. Everyone was friendly and helpful!

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We only had 5 days for the entire trip including the travel portion, but we made it worthwhile. Neither of us are big partiers, so there wasn’t any table dancing. (haha) Naps, drinks, food, sightseeing, a day on the water with fishing, and reading. We had the conversations that connect us as a married couple, not just business partners. We hit the topics that needed to be covered outside the walls of our office. Flirting with each other and laughing is so refreshing!