Living Single While Very Married…. Who are these people?

Before I get into our story I thought a little info about who we are might be in order.

My name is Jennifer. I was named Jennifer long before it was the most popular name on earth..well it used to be.  I would like to believe my parents were ahead of their time, a little edgy and cool.

Truth is they found my name in a dictionary. So much for edgy and cool.

As an afterthought they said I was named after my Aunt Jenny who I never met and don’t know much about.  What I do know is that I am not nor have I ever been a Jenny. Perfectly nice name but it is not mine. I have been Jennifer most of my life, Jenn to some and even J-RO ( a parody on J-LO that stuck) but never Jenny.

This is the story of how my husband and I fell into a marriage sabbatical.

We never intended for it to happen, it just did and we learned quite a bit along the way. Will try to leave out the boring stuff. Won’t leave out the hard stuff and sorry but I have to include the mushy stuff because that is part of the story.

Most of all it is a story of love, gratitude, appreciation, frustration, depression and celebration. It is story of a small part of our life.

 Our story.

Everyone has a story…believe me everyone has a story. Just strike up a conversation and you will hear some incredible stuff.

Paul is the other half of this dynamic duo.

If you had him write about himself it would consist of

“Hi, I’m Paul “

How did Miss Social, Miss run at the mouth get married to a man of few words? Who knows but it works for us. Took me years of dragging him to large  social events to learn that he really prefers smaller gatherings. Once he gets to know the group he is fine but I  literally dragged him to neighborhood events. Now he can’t wait to go. And I might add he is very popular. Go figure

As for names, his parents like mine, were not really edgy or cool in choosing his name. He is a Junior.  Named after his father. If the “junior” part of this story remains after editing it will be a coup for me because he never uses it and really doesn’t care for it.

Ironically our son in law goes by Junior as his first provigil name…it fits him. It does not fit Paul.

A few other things you should know. Paul leans towards being type A (organized, gets things done in a timely fashion, detail oriented).

I am not sure what type I am but it for sure is not type A. I am the type that leaves every door (car door, cabinet door or front door) open (self closing doors would be good for me), I have  unique organization system ( I sometimes don’t understand it) I have raised procrastination to an art and I love adventures…big and small. I don’t think there is a “type” label for me. I’m fine with that…not really into labels.

Before I met Paul I was a little concerned about the kind of guys I was attracting.

The ones I wanted to date had no interest in me and the ones who wanted to date me were not even close to what I found attractive. The top of that list being a sense of humor and at least as tall as me. I admit that is a little shallow but I am only 5″ 5″ so I wasn’t really asking for much. It seemed all the short humorless guys were beating a path to my doorway.

I really wondered if this was what was in store for me for the rest of my life.

I was all of 20 years old.

I later learned, long after we married that Paul often wondered if there was anyone out there that would love him just for him. This puzzled me since I have always thought he was really handsome, tall (6’2″), funny, and intelligent…I mean really…what’s not to love?

Honestly when we got married I wondered if someone was going to break out in that song from the movie “Funny Girl” when Barbra Streisand marries Omar Sharif:

“To tell the truth it hurt my pride, the groom was prettier than the bride…”

Which just proves that we are all vulnerable in the love category.

After 7 short months of dating we got engaged. He graduated from the Naval Academy and went to flight school and I went back to college to finish my last year.

That was our first clue that time apart would become a big part of our relationship. We just didn’t know how big. Stay tuned.

me and paul

Are you ready to See Jenn Tri “Living Single While Very Married”?

I have been wanting to share this story for awhile now.   I wasn’t sure what to call it.  I started calling it a “Marriage Sabbatical” but it was missing something so while I still use that phrase it seems these five words seem to capture the essence of our story:

“Living Single While Very Married”

So how do two fifty somethings maintain a marriage, a relationship and more importantly a sense of humor while living 8 states and over a thousand miles away from each other?

Surprisingly

That’s it.  Not surprisingly well or surprisingly bad or ooshy gooshy in love with each other ( well we are but I am not into making you all gag) but it was loaded with surprises and another learning curve.

Nobody told me that a learning curve can be a wild ride.  Thankfully this wild ride has been mostly exhilarating and funny with a few scary, I want to throw up moments in there for variety.

So come on in, set a spell, enjoy the ride and laugh with us.  It will be anything but dull.  Stay tuned!!

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Sorry Starbucks, I no longer love you a latte!

Dear Starbucks or should that be Dear John,

Yes I am breaking up with you.  It has been a tumultuous caffeine ridden realtionship.  It has had its jittery ups and exhausted downs.  I have gone from simple lattes to cappucinos to eggnog lattes to  non fat skinny mochas no whip to skinny non fat soy peppermint mochas.  I have been fickle among your offerings at best but we have stuck together.

I did stray a couple of times over to Caribou Coffee but you always drew me back in you devil you.  Your green and white signs beckoned and I was weak.

Even though paying $5-$6 seemed outrageous I had my whole list of justifications about why I needed you:

  •  I deserve a treat
  • I’m tired, overworked etc.
  • I just need your warmth
  • I just can’t resist
  • It’s just this once..right? ( NOT!)

I even ignored the fact that honestly most of the time the coffee wasn’t that great, it just tasted off.  I thought it was me or that particular Starbucks but it happened over and over and I still came back for more thinking things would change.

And then I had this:

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It came in a real coffee cup, it made me smile, it was simple..just a cappuccino..no non fat, no whip, extra hot, blah blah blah.

Most of all it tasted divine and made me smile.  And my new love is  cheap  inexpensive.  Truly there is nothing cheap about it ..rich in flavor, rich in experience and most of all real coffee.

And you my friend, for as long as you have been at it, you are still clumsy and inexperienced and nobody wants that in a lover.

So be well my friend in your paper cups and fake pumpkin spiced lattes.

I’ll be with the my new love..maybe not tall but dark,rich in flavor  and with a heart just for me!

Ciao

 

 

 

See Jenn Tri to write and eat pancakes!

I love to write.  I love pancakes.  If I could write all day with a big stack of pancakes beside me I would be a happy camper.  I would be a HUGE happy camper but happy doing what I love and eating what I love.

But I don’t do it…often enough.   Truth is I eat more pancakes than I write.

I get why I don’t indulge in pancakes more often but the writing is something I love to do.  Just to do it.  That’s it.  Not to be published or write the best seller but because it  brings me joy.

Just writing that seems like I am confessing to a secret passion.  WHAT?  I don’t do it to get paid, for recognition or some huge goal?  Nope.  Just because.

Problem is I don’t indulge myself often enough.

It may be written at the top of my “to do” list but it often falls under the unwritten category of  “today, maybe if I get the time”

I think sleeping aids there are a lot of musicians, painters, gardeners, inventors, bakers and candlestick makers that are just like me.

Maybe you are one of them.  I had a dear friend who had an incredible story to tell of her life.  She was a wonderful writer.  Notice the past tense.  She left us yesterday and so did her story.  Never written.

That wasn’t her plan.  That is not anyones plan.

So today in honor of Gwen I made pancakes.  Homemade pancakes from scratch.  They were the BEST ( recipe is below) And I am writing.  Not just this but other writing that brings me joy.

My plan is to do it everyday.  Even if I only get 10 minutes to write.  I deserve it.  So do you.

The pancakes…well..they have to stay at twice a month. Just the anticipation of them makes me happy.
"Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography / FreeDigitalPhotos.net".Serge Bertasius Photography

Go do your own version of writing and eating pancakes.  Do it everyday !
image courtesy of kortamember@freedigitalimages.net
Keep Triing!

Jenn

PS.  Here is the link to a delicious pancake recipe! http://allrecipes.com/recipe/fluffy-pancakes-2/

Good-bye old friend….

It’s that time of year again.  I have avoided it for several years but it is a must this year.  It’s time.  I have to say hello and good-bye and both will be painful in a way only women can understand.

My time came earlier than for most of you.

I have to …I have to..I have to find a new…..

SWIMSUIT

I heard the collective gasp, the memories of poorly lit dressing rooms with unforgiving mirrors in stores that are sometimes cruel enough to carry the latest  copy of Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Edition.

o-SWIMSUIT-SHOPPING-570

Seriously

I have been avoiding this for several years managing to eek out one more season from my ever faithful friend.  It has seen me through several sprint triathlons and tons of training ( well maybe not tons since swimming is still my worst sport) and great times with the grandkids at the pool and ocean.

It deserves a decent burial..the elastic is so gone it leaves black marks on my back.  A not so subtle plea to be replaced.

So I ventured out…well I ventured online to find another replacement hoping beyond hope that this same style was still available.

Yes I am a dreamer.

I surfed the net and even called TYR.  I sent them a photo and the very nice gal called me back and said  incredulously

“Did you buy this in Canada”  Uh..nooo  right here in the good ole USA.  “We ( TYR) don’t even make that style with that back”

mmmm..Well somebody there did because it has your logo monogramed on it.  What she meant to say was “You are out of luck”

As I started to surf again I wished that I could just plug in my dream suit into someplace like map quest and it would direct me to the exact suit I needed.  I guess that is what google is suppose to do but it misses the mark…alot.

Zappos was my online choice.  Love them.  I call them just so I can hear the joke of the day.  The gal was so helpful and my suit came the next day.  Loved the color, the feel of the fabric and then I noticed it was missing something.

The shelf bra.

Ugh  Double ugh.  It’s not that I even need it for support because the newer suits are so snug everything is smooshed anyway.  I want it for the extra lining because…how shall I say this….I would rather shiver to show I am cold than have my breasts tell the whole world “It’s a bit nipply in here”

As luck would have it I ended up near a sports store that specializes in triathlons.  Called ahead to see if they had suits which they did.  What the really nice guys failed to tell me was that ALL but two of the suits were size small.

One of the two looked like it would do.    It was lined, had a shelf bra ( yes) so I tried it on and… no, no and no.

So that is how I found myself having a conversation with a really cute guy about swimsuits and shelf bras.  Yep I had that conversation with a really cute guy. And yes at the beginning it was embarrassing ( we did not get into the nipply part but he got my drift)  I needed some answers and he ended up being very helpful.

Turns out the need for speed has ruled out the shelf bra in  99% of the kind of suits I like to wear.  Wow.  This turtle swimmer has no need for speed..just the need to finish without drowning.

So hello new TYR suit from Zappos..you must do as I have a swim training this week-end.  You fit fine..let’s just hope the “girls” behave, stay in place and decline to do any weather forecasting.  I’ll keep you all posted  or…. not!

Keep triing!

Running on the beach, Bo Derek made it look so easy!

If you are younger than I am you may not remember the movie “10” so the reference to Bo Derek may escape you.  Let me catch you up quickly.

bo-derek-10-bikini

This is how Bo Derek looked running on the beach in the movie.

And when I finally had the chance ( after several attempts) to run on the beach guess what??   I did NOT look like this!

Where is the laugh track when you need one ? 🙂

As with most things I have never tried, my imagination and reality had a disconnect.  First off I discovered ( in a blonde moment) that not all beaches are made for running.

I tried in Florida and my feet just sunk into the soft sand .  I got a better work-out trying to get my feet out of the sand than actually running on it which I quickly gave up.

So when we were in Myrtle Beach this past week-end and I saw  so many people running on the beach I knew my Bo Derek, and Chariots of Fire moment had come at last!myrtle beach

I headed out to the beach in the morning, the heat was rising, waves crashing, and wind blowing and I started running.  I am gliding along the perfect sandy surface that gave just enough to cushion my feet and started thinking we have got to move here, I want to run on the beach everyday, this is fabulous, this is easy and then I….

TURNED AROUND

and my delightful run turned into a battle with the wind.  Running into it  slowed me down, left me gasping, sweating and a little discouraged and my thoughts of running on the beach every day disappeared.

So my Bo Derek moment ( minus the braids, the boobs and the fabulous body) had started in a spectactular fashion and ended like I end most of my runs..a sweaty mess.

And that is okay.

I would do it again except  I would only run one way and have Paul come pick me up at the end!  Just kidding..maybe.  And next time for sure I need to have “Bolero” on my Ipod.  Whatever works and gets us out there running, right?

Until next time..keep triing,

It’s Thoughtful Thursday! Forgetting to be grateful for….

Happy Thoughtful Thursday!  Feel honored as I am postponing cleaning my frig to write this post.  You see cleaning my refrigetrator is one of my all time favorite things to do!

NOT!

There is a lesson for me in gratitude in that statement.  As many of you know I sprained my wrist this week when I “gracefully” fell off my bike.  I stopped to get a drink of water, was lost in my thoughts and didn’t clip out of my pedals fast enough and over I went.

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Since then I have found myself becoming aware of all the little things I take for granted.  So in addition to Thoughtful Thursday it is also Thankful Thursday!

Here is a short list:

  • padded bike pants ( saved my behind)
  • bike gloves
  • my friend who was home and came and got me
  • its a sprain and not broken ( phew)
  • motrin 🙂
  • healing quickly
  • my son being home to do things like cut up that yummy watermelon and basically do the things I can’t
  • the ability ( when this heals) to ( without pain) open toothpaste tubes, turn doorknobs, tramadol carry stuff, turn the ignition on my car, write…..

I could make a list a mile long with that last one.  Holy Cow!  Oh and it is my right wrist..and, of course, I am right handed.

So as I headed upstairs to my office to write this and avoid cleaning the frig I wondered “have I ever been grateful that I have a refrigerator to clean AND the ability to put food in it week after week?”

Of course not..I just looked at it as one those “necessary” pain in the butt things I have to do.

So today and hopefully everyday ( no promises from this very human person) I will be grateful for all those things, people and abilities that I have that I often just assume will always be there for me.

It is humbling to see how very rich I am in those people and abilities.

So go out and make it a Two for One Thoughtful AND Thankful Thursday!

I’m off to clean my frig with a smile on my face for a change!!

Cheers!

My life as a Sitcom: Am I turning into Maxine? OMG

Lately I have been noticing alot of little things and they are all starting to irritate me.  Then I had an awful thought:

“Am I turning into one of those cranky people that complains all the time about the little things?

This picture came to mind:

Maxine

Oh no!  After I tell you my thoughts and experiences please let me know if I now resemble..at least in attitude the above image.

Here goes:

  • Twice I have been to restaurants where I practically had to beg for silverware.  What?  The waiter informed me they no longer had a sliverware wrapper.  I’m assuming this is a person and not a machine.  Still how hard is it to get silverware? ( and it wasn’t busy)
  • At the  second restaurant , after multiple requests for silverware,  I was handed just  a fork and a crappy one at that ( think camping silverware) . At that point I got up and got my own.
  • Vague Booking on Facebook also known as “I see you confused FB with your diary again”  These are just random posts that tell you nothing but are like cliffhangers begging for questions, sympathies, and concern as in “Do I have the courage to…..”  So we all have brain/facebook infarctions but when people do it ALL the time it is time to de-friend.
  • Why is my veterinarian’s office cleaner and better kept than my doctor’s office? ( oh wait I just looked at my vet bill..question answered)
  • Why are we fascinated with Kim Kardashian ( sympathies to her baby girl North by Northwest) and  Lyndsey Lohan ( sympathies to anyone who has to deal with her except maybe her lawyer who is making bank).

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  • And why do we let people like Andrew Weiner ( aka let him show how photogenic his is) and Tiger Woods ( golf and PORN are his passions) get a second chance and we beat up on Paula Deen.  In all fairness I am not saying Paula Deen is totally innocent BUT Nike took a lot longer to un-endorse Tiger than than the Food Network did to drop Paula.
  • Movies that put all their best scenes in the trailer.  Argghh..the movie most guilty of this that comes to mind is “This is Forty” which should have been named “This is Boring”  OR celebrities like Will Smith, who made the movie “After Earth” solely to showcase his son who spent the entire movie running around with a constipated look on his face ( disclaimer: I am NOT a Sci Fi fan and my husband is and he thought it was an ok-good movie.
See....the most honest scene in the film..This IS boring!

See....the most honest scene in the film..This IS boring!

  • And last but not least are magazine subscripiton renewal notices.  Now they start coming before the first issue of the magazine arrives.  Or heaven forbid I should cancel a subscription.  Dear Oprah..Please don’t take this personally but I DID cancel my subscription in January.  I hear more from you than Publishers Clearing House.  So one last final time NO I DO NOT WANT TO RESUBSCRIBE!

OMG  I AM  Maxine and Oprah forced me to use all Upper Case Letters.

Well I guess I could do worse..but if Kim names her next baby “South” I’m breaking out the blue hair dye and making Maxine my new BFF!!

My Relationship Status with the Treadmill: “It’s Complicated”

Dear Treadmill,

I need you, I want you, I dislike you intensely.  You are always there for me, calling me, acting coy.  You whisper sweet encouragement like:

  • I will go as fast or as slow as you want
  • Your running wish is my command
  • I have a fan for you and lots of buttons for you,the gadget queen
  • I will keep you warm and dry
  • I will hold your water and make it available at any time
  • Music or TV..whatever you wish
  • If I fall ill my friend is right next to me as my back up

So I succumb to your sweet whispers as it rains or snows or even in the dark of night.  And you…

BETRAY ME…with

  • confusing buttons that make me go faster than I want
  • boredom…the scenery never changes
  • throwing me off when I dared to lose concentration
  • throwing me off again when I dared to remove my jacket and forgot to keep running
  • video taping the whole thing ( I think you have a deal with American Funniest Home Videos)
  • no sympathy for my scraped hands and knees ( see above)  I swear I heard you chuckle

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And yet I can’t resist going back and giving,you, Miss Treadmill, another try.  We are getting better at getting along.

You haven’t thrown me off the last couple of times ( my knees and  hands thank you), I’m learning to push the right buttons and have outsmarted you by staying focused ( instead of being like the dog who suddenly sees “squirrel”)

After looking for a you tube video to post to this blog I now understand your reluctance to be nice.

I found people who abused  you by:

  • running on you with high heels ( yeah..I’d throw her off too in a nano second and you did )
  • trying to bike on you instead of run
  • running drunk ( no explanation needed on what happened there)
  • trying to jump on after you are already running at full speed
  • playing hopscotch on you and your friends ( jumping from one running treadmill to the next)

Here’s a link to some of  “those”  treadmill abusers:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4XFDweEgeU

So despite your attitude problem, Miss Treadmill, I will continue to try but in the meantime I have bad news.

The open road will always be my main squeeze…oh yeah!

Let’s play “Where is Jenn?” on her Virtual Tri to Florida aka the UNamazing Race

I think it might be easier to find Waldo than to find me.  Trying to keep all my plates spinning in the air has been quite a challenge.  This virtual tri is quite the opposite of the Amazing Race.  The only amazing thing about it is that I am still determined to do it.

Hit a few roadblocks but I decided to declare this a “no whining, no excuse zone” so will just leave it at roadblocks.

Okay I will whine about one thing.  I usually love “springing forward” and daylight savings time but my body does not!  I should have been adjusted to the time change by the end of that week.   Instead there were a couple of times I would have paid big bucks to have that hour back.

Then, of course, we have the arrival of spring more winter.  We’ve had more snow in March than in any other month.  Ugh.

Guess that makes two whines!

I even did the treadmill and experienced bad treadmill karma.  You’ll have to wait on that story or perhaps see it on America’s Funniest Home Videos.

So my total mileage so far is 74.58   which means I am almost to the North Carolina border, somewhere on  US 301 S near Sussex Dr.

I truly thought I would be halfway there by now.  Maybe I need a new travel agent.

Swimming will be coming in April…indoors..where there is no snow, it’s warm and hopefully no mirrors 🙂

Who knows..I may find Waldo on my journey…wonder if he tri’s??
bldg

I guess he does!!

Keep Triing!!