Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Something I realized recently...

I miss watching television. 

I don't know the last time I followed a tv series. I can't remember. 

I don't have anywhere to put it. 

Is that weird, to miss tv?  
     *I mean some people like strive and set goals to watch less tv because it really isn't that great for 
       you but that was never a goal for me...it just happened slowly and before I knew it, poof gone. 

Oh well....just something I noticed. I won't over think it. It is tv by all means. 

So a friend and I were talking about stress and stress management and came up with the idea of trying something new and I'm kind of liking it so let's chat a moment shall we :

We all have stress. Good, bad, inevitable right?
Research does show a few things help such as journaling and the whole method of getting thoughts out of your head and onto paper. Also we know the brain is visual. 
Our theory:
What would happen if you made a list of the things you stress about on a regular basis?  
Then go back to the list and assess: 
There are some things that we each stress about that are good..things we should focus on, think about, work on....go through, experience. We have the potential to impact these things. Highlight those things in green.
There are those things we stress about but really aren't of highest priority or perhaps pertinent currently so maybe highlight those yellow
AND then there are those things we stress about and lose sleep(lets be serious I sleep like a rock. I'm tired) over that regardless of what we do, say, ponder, focus on, we can't control.  Those babies are red. Highlight those bad boys red. 

Try it.
Now, the moment my mind goes to a red one, I see it in my mind. Red. Instantly I'm like: That's a red stress. I can't change it. Don't waste my time and energy on  a red. 
I was. 
I was spending a lot of time on reds when in reality I could have been putting that same amount of time on greens and getting somewhere. 

Just a random tid bit. Two people's research to validate it. That makes it valid. 
It's Legit people. 
Evidenced Based Practice right there. 

Since I'm in random land right now.
You should try it. 
Don't know where to go or how to start?
No Problem...try Be you Yoga.
Tell her Jen said you want:Candlelight slow flow, beginner's style, stress reduction, life is good, find some peace and grounding again
She'll hook you up. Trust me. 

Image result for random reflection

The randomness is avoiding the heart of the issue right now. 
Avoidance is a great asset right? 

A series of recent interactions with a variety of people have me pondering....a lot. 

Have you ever taken the time to look at how you're perceived?

That doesn't mean you have to change who you are to meet another's perception or expectation but if inevitability you want to grow as a person you have to be vulnerable enough to see who you really are. 

I making a commitment to really being open to seeing that.

"Vulnerability is at the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experiences/"~Brene Brown

This is what happens when I don't fall asleep putting Benson to bed....Randomness

Damn I should be watching T.V. 

Ugh What the heck.

Also a random tid bit

I've been follow Brene Brown for a little over a year now and find her literature fascinating.  I pondered taking one of her courses last year: Living Brave, but to be totally honest I was intimidated and didn't sign up AND it cost quit a bit so that didn't help....

But I am signed up and going to start this:


The gifts of imperfect parenting. Watch the video in the link. 

I believe a few friends were brave enough to want to sign up to because as she says...we were never meant to do this alone. (shoot me a message if you sign up!!)
Please join me! I am going to make a closed FB group so we can have some random chats about the lessons! Wanna join? Do it with me!

I just signed up and used the promo code FBTRIBE and got a 20% discount making it $48.

Hey that's worth it right there.


Sunday, August 7, 2016

The war of two worlds...

“I am a human being, not a human doing.” 

In this doers world, simply being is becoming rare and precious. 

“Everything is hype, noise, desire, desperation, speed and greed. We in the modern world are good at ‘doing,’ but anemic at ‘being.’ 

Entertainment, busy-ness, texting while walking or even driving…’Efficiency’ is an addictive myth based on our fidgety fear of opening up. 

We can not ‘do’ properly until we can, first, ‘be’ fully. 

Practice doing nothing – then – we can accomplish…ANYTHING.” ~Feinberg

*The above is taped to my computer screen at work...take a moment to think about it. 

I have felt a little torn between two worlds lately. 
In the one world I want more...

...yet I want less.

That makes no sense at all does it?

When we turn the corner to August every year I get a little melancholy.
Summer is winding down and we are turning the corner into a new school year soon. 
The reality of that for me personally is just so.....
I had put it aside mentally, until a couple weeks ago when a friend asked an innocent question about school shopping and before I could form a sentence I was crying.
*If you can relate call me. We can start a support group.

The last day of school the kids and I started making our summer bucket list. 
It includes all kinds of ideas from big to small. 
In passing, a friend made a comment about our bucket list and rolled her eyes 
like I was just over the top. 
Here's the deal. 

The bucket list isn't for the kids.  
It definitely isn't for any super mom status.
In fact, it is the direct opposite. 
The summer bucket list is for accountability. 

It holds me accountable 
to stop.

That's it. `

If there is no list I will, "maybe next weekend" us right into fall. 

 I know that this day will come every year where summer is winding down and the weight of the school year will begin and if I can't remember to just stop doing and start being...well it scares me. 

Most summers include the "where are you going on vacation?" question. 
If I am completely, honest deep down I really want to answer something exotic or magical. 

I had started tucking away a little money through the year to put toward some sort of a summer vacation, but as life would have it I made the decision to use our vacation fund on something that came up that I felt was pivotal. Not fun. Not exotic or magical,  However necessary. 

I know that's just part of life. 
Part of "adulting," but that doesn't mean I can't take a night to cry about it right?

Knowing that most the vacation fund was now "spoken for" the next question came to light, what will we do for a get away?

One day I had Kadence review our summer bucket list and her top thing to do this summer was swim and Cohen's top item was fishing. Well it didn't take a genius to put the picture together that perhaps camping was just the thing for us. Thankfully mom and dad put on a brave front and accompanied the Calahans camping, since I don't have a boat and there is no way this mama is taking a fish off the hook. 

Here's the thing I know but seem to so easily forget......

You do not have to spend a lot of money to go somewhere that feels exotic...

or magical really......

Maybe the magic is in the simplicity. 

Maybe the magic is in escaping reality for a few days. 

Maybe you just have to be willing to find magic wherever you are. 

so tell me: How do you find the magic where you are?

Monday, June 20, 2016

You can't make this stuff up

This happened this weekend. 
You can't just make this stuff up! 

An older, wiser, amazing couple were in the pool this weekend.

They grabbed my attention as I noticed the wife heading over to the slide. My first thought was "that's awesome she is going down the slide!
Then I glance over and there is her husband...
fidgeting with the phone, 
telling her to wait a minute, 
then came the hand gesture for her to go...
he made a video of her going down the slide!

It didn't stop there. They watched the clip. Laughed.
Then off he goes. 
Yep. He was headed down the slide and there she was standing with her phone to video it. 

I could not stand the awesomeness of the moment so after contemplating it for about 3 minutes I swam over to where they were hanging out and said...."ya know if you wanted to race, I could record it for you." It took them all of 1 second to make that decision! 
She responded with "Oh yes then I could post it on Facebook!"
Oh I love them even more now.

Afterwards I got their phone number and texted the video to them (their phone died) as they were watching it on my phone he harassed her that he obviously won. They re-watched it and she noted he took off before she said "Go" so she planned to post it on Facebook with the caption "Cheater!" 

As I walked away smiling to my core, 
the gentlemen said "Thank you so much, that just made our vacation." 
I just said "No, thank you." 
It made my day.
Still makes me smile today.

Life is hard.
Life is full of responsibilities, stress, day to day tasks.
How does one  maintain a sense of adventure, like these two lovely folks?
I'm sure they have had their fair share of hardships.
I don't know their life story.
I don't need to.
I can see it in their eyes. 
I know that they choose to live this one wild and crazy life they've been given.
That's all I need to know to find admiration for who they are. 
When I grow up I want to be like them.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Where am I?

It is in me to be the person I want to be.

I know its in there but sometimes it gets hidden, buried, tangled with other parts of me.

I want to be the person that embraces life.

I want to be the person that realizes bad things happen, but that we cannot let those define the next day.

I want to be the person that when my day comes to make the journey from this life, whether that is tomorrow or 70 years from now, there are no regrets, no wish I would have's or could have's.

I realize there will always be things you want to do, things to dream,
but the regrets
they come from a different place than dreams.
Do you get that?

I want to be the person that is always dreaming of new adventures,
yet is perfectly content with the here and now.
(Currently I've been a tired, not so content, slightly cranky version of me)

I had gotten in the habit a few years ago of making smaller, more seasonal bucket lists, but I let life take over and that fell by the way side. Tonight I dug for my car keys at the end of a visit. I checked each pocket twice and started to freak out that I locked them in the van.
They were in my hand the entire time.
I was holding my keys as I frantically dug to find....my keys.

I am pretty sure it's  sign that I need to find my center again.

 I thought to myself on my way home tonight....
tonight you will make your spring bucket list.
It's fun to dream yes,
however it holds me accountable,
that seems like the wrong word but it holds me accountable to what really matters.
To the things that could be regrets some day.

My spring list is blank.

It's funny really because usually my lists do not involve grand, difficult to plan tasks, but more everyday pleasures and still the cursors sits and blinks at me...mocking me. Stupid cursor.

Last night I came home from work and literally had to ask myself this question to get myself back on task "Did you rush from work because you felt bad about the dishes on the counter or did you rush because you feel bad that you haven't seen your children today?
Then I ask of you why are you spending your time on the other?"  FOCUS

Maybe I just talked myself through a full circle to realize I am lacking FOCUS currently.

So until I reorganize the pieces I am,
back into proper order,
anyone want to take a stab at starting a spring list for me?

FOCUS PEOPLE! This is important!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Our day. March 13th.

My job since day one has been to raise you, grow you, guide you, to set you free one day.

This week was filled with reminders of how fragile life is,
so this weekend we celebrated life.
This crazy, chaotic, sometimes hard, but still blessed life.

Sometimes I lay awake at night wondering what your journey in life will be. What paths will you walk. Will you know happiness? Will you know love? Will you feel success? Confidence?
Will you take on this world and make it a better place?

Will you always remember what really matters? Will you make the right choices when faced with a choice between what is right and what is popular?

Will you remember to love life!? Will you smile. Laugh. Enjoy. Treasure all that you can.

When you are grown will I look back and know I've done all I could to give you all those things.
Have I lived my life the way I want you to live yours? Have I given you the correct "shoes" to walk the paths that your life is going to take you on. I know all too well that the ground work is already laid for you. Oh Cohen have I done what I needed? Will I do what I need to as time goes on?

Will you recognize the value of your own wife and kids someday?

What secrets will you carry?

Will you remember to pursue the things you love? The things that make you happy?

There is such an enormous amount of responsibility when taking on the role of "mom" or "parent." When you blew out your candles and wished for derby cars, spray paint, a phone, you know cool stuff,  I was along side you blowing out mine and wishing more than anything that I have given you everything you need to take this journey in life and find happiness. My love for you is immeasurable. Happy birthday Cohen.

Friday, March 11, 2016

What just happened?!

Never say Never.

I should know that already but once again I am reminded that all minds are brilliant and all minds operate differently.

About a month ago Cohen asked if he could go to the lumbar yard to get some wood to build a box car. I said......sure. He had a paper with measurements on it but I am not sure what he measured. We ended up with like 1/2 a sheet of plywood and some really big screws. I said...ya know the guy at the lumbar yard was asking a lot of questions about what you were trying to build so he knew what to help you buy...I know you like to build from scratch but for something big like a box car that you intend to ride in I think you will need to google and find some directions or blue prints or something. He argued with me. We dropped the conversation.

Then he was harassing Grandpa to cut the plywood. He drew out where to cut etc.
Grandma told him to look up some instructions.
He walked away shaking his head.

Again I "nudged" him to just look up some directions so we would know how to build a box car. Again he got mad.
End of discussion.
I may have rolled my eyes as he walked away. 

Last night I got home and he said look at my car! He finished it.
I was impressed.
I said how did you ever do that without looking up instructions.
He said "I don't need instructions. It's all in my head."  
I don't know how because they are not in mine!

However I still needed to dig a little so I said you know directions would have helped because right now you don't have steering or brakes so how are you going to keep from crashing. If you want to ride in it. You are going to need at least one of those. I drove away thinking...good luck with that little buddy! 

This is what I came home to today.
He wired brakes.

That my friends is genius and again one more time I have been proven dead wrong.
What just happened?!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Be still.

Sometimes you just need to be still.

An idea was born between a work friend and I and it came to fruition this evening. 

A relative has recently started a Yoga Studio (Shout out to Be You Yoga) and she will post her classes and doings on Facebook and one always catches my attention.  
Candlelight slow flow. 
I think to myself.......I don't know what that is but I want that. 
It sounds

We decided to pull together our work team for an evening out. Only in the end, I decided to not tell them any details about what we were going to be doing. 
They totally trusted me (well kind of!) and just went with it. 
How beautiful and fun is that?!
Very little in life is a surprise anymore!

In the stillness of the candlelight 
for a moment
 I was overwhelmed.

My thoughts went to  "are you crying?"
wait return my thoughts back to breathing....
"yep that's a tear
Jeepers Jen. 

In the stillness surrounded by the people who inspire me everyday
I was reminded of...
who they are,
who they are to me,
who I am because of them.

Recently I have been so caught up in and overwhelmed by...jealousy.
I want a vacation.
I want a nicer house.
I want ...
When are we ever going to catch a break?! 

All I needed was the stillness to ground me again.
Surrounded by the very people who have had such an influence on who I have become as a person,
even more than that
who I have become as a parent. 
In the way they live their own lives.
In the passion and commitment they show up with 
Every day. 

Every day they raise the bar 
for themselves, 
for families, 
for children...
for me. 

I was overwhelmed tonight because I don't know who I would be without them. 
They are my people. 
They get it.
They get me.
I need them.
Every one of us is flawed.
Not perfect.
 We are vastly different, 
but because of that, together we are strong
That's the beauty.

It's been just over 13 years since I started this journey in the world of  Early Intervention.
I walked in the door not knowing a thing about what I just signed up for, not only job wise, 
but life. 
Life wise.

This "job"
This journey.
Changes you.

Someone on our team once said to a new member...
This team is a blessing.
You will never find it anywhere, ever again.
Cherish it.

Sometimes you just need to be still, 
and take in how rich you really are. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

The chaos

Here's the deal.
Every day seems just as busy as the next, sometimes more. 

I so easily get caught up in the "well next week I'll have more time"....facade.
Most days we are barely keeping afloat. 
(no pun intended after the giant flood in the basement last week)

There's been plenty of that at work
and home (above mentioned flooding)
The Kids. 

Last week on the phone with a coworker I said....I feel like I'm always finding a soap box to stand on.
I need less boxes to stand on.
I'm tired.  
We talked.
I came to a resolution thanks to her wisdom and insight.
That's not who I am. 

I put passion into all the things that matter to me. 
It doesn't matter if its
My kids.
As she said "That's not who you are.
When you live with passion you can't help it."

When I came across this quote
"Sometimes it is not about balancing your life; its about balancing your mind despite the chaos." ~Burchard
It was the solid reminder I needed. 

It is just so true. 
Life is always going to be crazy. 
I am always going to wish I wasn't working and could give more attention to my kids.
I am always going to wish I could do more for the families I work with. 
I am always going to wish I could balance those two passions,
and I can't. 

I can't. 

I can, however, do a better job of choosing to balance my mind despite the chaos.
...not letting guilt creep in. 

Turn that passion toward
Being Present. 

I know that I need to be present. 
Being Present with whatever I am doing. 
Seems so simple
some days is so hard. 
It really is a choice,
I just have to make it. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Ordinarily extraordinary

It replays over and over in my mind tonight.

 Don't let anyone steal your dream. It's your dream, not theirs. ~Dan Zadra

There is so much hurt in the world today.

There is so much pressure.
There are so many opportunities, yes, there are those too.

Maybe the world has always been this way and I've been blind to it all.
Seems if one looks around, at home, school, work, government,
whatever is happening according to the "world" it is not good enough.
There is so much pressure to perform from a young age, that it scares me.
We tell each other that it is okay.
We tell each other that no matter what happens as long as you (or your kids) do their best that is what matters.

We say it,
but we don't believe it.

We know the "world" doesn't see it that way
and we feel the fear attached to not living up to this elusive undefined standard.

As Kadence's birthday comes and goes.

I want to celebrate not just her 8 wonderful years of life, 

but celebrate every little spunky fiber of her being.

 She demands attention.
I call her my "watch me" kid.
In her defense there are days that has probably been her only way to be
I hate that.

So many life lessons to teach,
and there is no guide book for the ones I value most.

How do you teach someone to keep dreaming?
How do help someone find their purpose? Their drive? Their passion?
How do you help someone become a dreamer and a do-er?
On the eve of her birthday
I have a lot of questions
and some idea of things I need to focus on for her.
in her.
with her.
As she grows, I grow.

I am trying really hard to trust the process.

For your birthday my dear I want to commit to this as your gift:

Make the Ordinary come alive
Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable
but it is a way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself. 

I have no idea where it came from.
I've had a picture of it on my phone for a couple years as a reminder.
Sometimes I need the reminder.
Sometimes I need to do better. 

As she blows out her candles tomorrow morning
she will be wishing for something wonderful I am sure....
but I will be wishing for a way ~ for her~ a girl in the world today
~full of messages of not good enough, pressures, standards, and hurt~
to bottle up those characteristics that define her today so she can rise above "the world"
and continue to believe inside that she is "good enough."

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. ~e.e. cummings, 1955

I brought you into this world and will do my best to help you "fight" the good "fight" my dear.
It is a big task in front of us...finding the way in this world

Yes, there is a lot of hurt in the world today,
but I can't help believe with every fiber of my being
that it is still a wonderful place
and life is full of happiness,
sometimes you just have to be willing to see it first.

Yes I must teach her that.

I have some streamers to go hang now...
and birthday treats for school to pack up...
because tomorrow is an ordinary day,
and we plan to celebrate!

Happy birthday