Creativity · Faith · Family · Fitness · Health · Parenting · Perspective

The One Word Goal


Self improvement season. We are a couple of days out. Sitting on the cusp of when people will pledge to themselves to eat healthier, exercise, change spending habits or make another life change for the better.

Perhaps it will be to add in more reading or quality time with friends and family?

Reading Rainbow – One of my favorite childhood classics!

Suppose it’s a mental shift to a minimalist lifestyle? Or to go back to school?

Why do we wait until self improvement season to set these goals?  The new year. A fresh start. Flipping the page on the wall calendar.

Marketing people love this time of year. When better to push a new product or equipment on us? There’s no better time to remind us that we have flaws.

It is unlikely that I will be bucking this trend. I set goals as well. Goals are useful when kept in perspective.

  • I know I want to be more efficient and intentional with the end goal of being able to freely flow in my non-work time.
  • My parenting fuse is too short with my 7yr old… I’m a work-in-progress to expand my sense of humor and patience. *sigh* Boys are so LOUD!
  • Running half marathon #4 or dipping my toes in the water with another sprint or longer triathlon. Plans to train will have to wait until after my annual MRI in February. (aka – what is going on with my right hip and leg?)
  • Finish the sort and purge leftovers from doing the remodel last year. Our extras could be someone else’s treasures!
  • Laugh more. Smile more. Play more.

A dear and wise friend texted me yesterday with her one word resolution for 2018. After a particularly hard year of burying family members and friends, she is seeking to again find JOY.

To encapsulate all of one’s goals for a year into one word is a challenge. I started this entry four hours ago.

After much deliberation (drum roll….. da da da da da da da…..) the mindset to ENJOY. Is it all going to be good? Definitely not. I’ll likely have to move my mind around a little bit to make it happen, but L.M. Montgomery says it best:


With best wishes and kind intentions for a healthy and safe start to your new year, much love — Jen

Family · Parenting · Perspective


I’m sitting here on my couch reviewing the past week and looking ahead to the next. My daughter is trying on clothes from the cousin hand-me-down bag (which is amazing).


We are on Day 2 of fall break. Day 1 was parent-teacher conferences, an hour in the office at work, Cosmic Kids Space Club, and dance class.

Space club is a group of my son’s buddies that were invited to check out Saturn on one of the boy’s grandpa’s telescope.

We just finished soybean harvest. The guys are drilling on the last few dozen acres of wheat. For a blessed day, we are still a few points too damp for milo harvest.

As I sit here, I realize that the role of mother, wife and working mom isn’t what wears me out. It’s all the extras.

It’s the Ear Nose and Throat specialist we will visit in Monday for 3 rounds of strep throat in 60 days. The additional meeting I need to attend.

It makes me wonder how necessary some of those commitments are. The ENT is a must. What about the others?

At kids’ youth group Wednesday night, another volunteer from the generation before mine asked me if my parents scrambled around as much as my generation is to make it all happen. After a few days of thought, I’m convinced they did. However, I don’t think it started this young.

Is it really going to put my kids at a disadvantage if they don’t do that next extra activity?

I speculate that having a mom who isn’t scurrying, rushing and occasionally loosing her sh*t  patience is likely better for everyone.

Family · Parenting




Ah the joy of the Christmas vacation from school…

I’d like to freak out on  thank the amazing and unassuming sales lady who offered my children these free balloons on a solid 18″ plastic stick in the mall on Monday.

We just went to get a package of socks for my husband with a gift certificate and a few last minute late Christmas gifts. We were day-after-Christmas sale virgins. What in the what?! Who knew it was like the running of the bulls?

The mall was packed. I was frazzled by the time we reached the checkout line of our first of four stores. The same woman almost ran me over with her stroller three times. It was like stroller road rage. We get to the checkout and this sweet 20 year old asks my children “Do you want a balloon?”

Exuberant yes from Thing 1 and Thing 2! I think “how nice of them to give away balloons!”

From store one to store two I am playing tetherball trying to keep my loving littles from pelting other determined shoppers speed walking thru the holiday hustle. By the checkout at store #2, I am ready to confiscate the metal detector and dollhouse that were so excitedly received on Christmas due to the behavior of the balloon holders.


It’s like dodgeball to get from the second store to the car without pummeling someone with the beloved balloons.

Frazzled mom and dad put the offending purple and orange balloons in the backseat….  where my kids find them again this morning to go to town.

What the flip?! Was it seriously not cold enough the last few nights to deflate those suckers? By mile four of our morning car ride, they are beating each other balloon-style, my four year old is howling, and my six year old is overreacting defensively to everything his sister is howling about.

But we do love balloons. Looking back, I should have held my hand up nicely as a non-verbal stop sign when the nice young sales clerk offered the balloons.