Archives for 2014

It’s Thoughtful Thursday! Feeling a little stressed as Christmas approaches? Join me for….

A little cup of self compassion and letting go.   At the risk of getting horse whipped by Elf on the Shelf and shamed by Pinterest addicts I will share with you that Christmas is not my favorite holiday.

Pause for a collective GASP!

I mentioned this to a few of my friends and was dutifully shamed since evidently I am suppose to LOVE everything about the holiday and put up my decorations mid November.

I think not.

I don’t LOVE everything.

What I do love is the spiritual side, advent and getting together with family, and pulling out the faded construction paper ornaments with macaroni and toothless grins from long ago.

I love the music…in December and not before.

What I don’t love are the little voices in my head that constantly barrage me this time of year:

  • Did I remember everything and everyone?
  • Wait where did I put this gift…did I even buy it or did I just think I bought it?
  • It’s Dec. 10th and my tree is not up..what’s up with that? ( It is actually up with a trillion boxes surrounding it full of ornaments yet to be hung)
  • The sale ends tonight, must hurry, must bake, must do everything

and the quintessential:

 “What’s wrong with me, everyone else seems to do this without breaking a sweat”

I actually know the last one is not true, it just feels true.  Especially when I hear things like this starting on Nov. 29th:

“My shopping is all done, cards are ready to be mailed and I just baked 15 dozen cookies”

And me….I am thinking ( among other things that can’t be written here):

“Wait, I haven’t even finished digesting my Thanksgiving dinner and you are all ready for Christmas?”

And then to console myself I have another piece of pie.

So what does all this have to do with Thoughtful Thursday?

Aside from starting a support group for those of us who would like to celebrate Thanksgiving and then ease into Christmas then the  best we can do is really, really practice self compassion and let go of what does not serve us.

Take a breath, have a cup of tea, keep it simple and do what brings you joy.  Elf on the Shelf might need to take a vacation this year..or permanently.

If you have small children think about what you remember about Christmas.  I bet you hardly remember the gifts but you do remember your Grandpa’s laugh, fun with your family or making cookies with your Mom ( just not 15 dozen and slice and bake work just fine)

As for me, I am putting a mute button on all those nagging questions that run through my head, making a cup a tea and hoping I don’t trip over all those boxes around the undecorated tree as I go to the kitchen.

Make this Thoughtful Thursday about you today!

P.S. Written quickly so all my typos and grammatical errors are my gifts to you!  Phew..

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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

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It’s Thoughtful Thursday! Time to slow down

I am writng this quickly for reasons that will soon be obvious.  For the same reasons this will be relatively short.

I didn’t sleep well Tuesday night.  I found out a dear friend who I would have expected to be the last person in my world to have a heart attack, had one.  I believe she is going to be fine.  I don’t have all the info because it just happened and I really do want to talk to her just to hear her sweet voice.

I was surprised because this really shook me to the core.  It came out of nowhere and I tossed and turned all night worrying about her, worrying about everyone, wondering and fretting how scared she must have been.

If she didn’t live across the country from me I would have been at her doorstep dropping off chicken soup.

Needless to say I was exhausted this morning and getting ready to have my almost three year old grandson for a couple of days.  Sort of dreading it since I was sooo tired.

He was just what I needed.   He is a gentle soul and was very happy to go grocery shopping with me.   A quick lunch and then we cuddled in my bed for his/our nap.

I woke up and watched him sleep thinking I should get up and tackle a few things before he got up but my list of urgent things didn’t seem so urgent anymore.  Instead I enjoyed a cup a tea and right now I am waiting for him to wake up.

Tristun reminded me of the poem:

 “So quiet down cobwebs ; dust go to sleep; I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep”

Tristun may not want to be rocked but  he won’t be this age for very long  and I needed a day just to be  and he is giving it to me.

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So this Thoughtful Thursday take some time to slow down and just be…cherish the moment.  I hear little feet hitting the floor so I am off for more Tristun time.  Make it a Thoughtful one!

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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

 

 

 

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It’s a Thoughtful Thursday Riddle: What do we ALL have that can be one of the most loving and generous gifts ever?

This is not my usual Thoughtful Thursday post but keep reading.  I guarantee it’s worth it.

What can be some of the most loving things in the world?

We all possess them.  We create them, we change them, they can be loud or soft and they have the ability to love endlessly.

A toddler has them.  Even some animals.

Give up?

The most loving things in the world can be our words.

I have always been a lover of words. Written, read, spoken, and sung. I remember the first word I learned to read: “jump”. Suddenly all those letters put together made sense.  I couldn’t get enough and devoured those wonderful  Dick and Jane Books with their dog Spot and their cat Puff.

When you hand write an encouraging or loving  note to someone your words become personalized with your distinctive handwriting and thoughtfulness.  You took the time to jot down a note and either mailed it or gave it to them.  The pharmacy time and thought you spent is honored and treasured by the recipient (at least it is by me).

Recently while cleaning out some forgotten boxes I discovered some old letters written by my grandmother. Her distinctive handwriting immediately brought a smile to my face. Her words created a picture in my mind of a time long ago and I could hear her words,smell her fried chicken and picture the long harvest table where we all gathered for family dinners.
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As I embraced her words that made pictures in my mind I am reminded of other loving words that were given to me over the years.  Some I have in written form and some are written on my heart forever.

Whose heart can you write on today? Guess what? It can even be your own! Embrace and cherish your words today and go make it a thoughtful  one!

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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! https://allrecipes.com/recipe/fluffy-pancakes-2/

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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!

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