Author Archives: Jenn

I’m Over at Blogher

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A few weeks ago I saw a comment on a Facebook post looking for mothers who feel strongly about the danger of concussions in youth sports. As a hockey player and mother of a soccer/hockey player, I offered the other side of the conversation. About how Husband and I are not holding Daughter back from sports she loves because Something Might Happen.

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Well, Blogher responded. And I wrote something. Now it’s live. And I’m so excited. Enjoy!!

http://www.blogher.com/worth-risk-3

A New Year…

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The last few weeks have been spent shopping and baking and wrapping and celebrating. And we’re not done. We’re having friends over for New Years Eve and then our annual Best Neighborhood Ever Progressive dinner is this weekend. Thankfully, I was able to take some time off to slow down and fill up. I’ve been writing a bit, thinking a lot, and reading constantly.

I also signed up for a class through Creative Nonfiction and I can’t wait for it to start. The class I chose requires me to write 300 words each day,  Monday-Friday. I can find 300 words, right? I KNOW I can crank out 300 words. Just these two paragraphs are 110 words already. Now it’s at 115, see how easy?

And with the new year comes a fresh attitude and hopefully some fresh snow. I’m not making any resolutions this year, I’m not going on a diet, I’m not going to tell myself I’ll do something just to do something. I’m just going to try to smile more, eat more vegetables and slow down.

So here’s to a New Year. Enjoy!

(179 words)

December 1

And then, suddenly, it was December. There is snow on the ground, lights on the house, pine boughs in the pots on the porch. Lists have been made, gift wrap has been purchased, meals have been planned. I love the holiday season. I love the planning, the gift-giving, the cookie-baking, but mostly I love the 24th and 25th when family fills up our house with food and laughter and cookies. Yes, more cookies.

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It’s not only December, but December 1st. Which means it was our dogs’ birthdays until they passed away nearly two years ago. Facebook was kind enough to remind me of this date. I had all but forgotten it. All but forgotten that for 11 years we celebrated Bogey’s birthday. We had a few parties over the years, but every year, without fail, we brought him across the river to Petco. We let him pick out a toy and some treats and without fail he swiped a few from the friendly cashiers. When he was 10, we adopted Lovely Luna and she just happened to have the same birthdate (or it was close enough). We had one lovely day two years ago when they turned 11 and 1. Luna wore a party hat, Bogey did not. We sang happy birthday and we showered them with affection and treats.

Three months later Luna passed suddenly from a lung infection. Two months after that Bogey passed too slowly and too painfully from a broken heart and a worn out back.

We still have sad days when we miss his snorts and cuddles and we miss her chatting and smile. But we gave them good lives. And they gave us beautiful memories. So today, I will think of them and their antics and be grateful that we had them for as long as we did.

Happy Birthday Bug. Happy Birthday Lovely Luna. You are missed.

Blogging for Books: The 13th Gift

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I requested this book, the 13th gift by Joanne Huist Smith, nearly a year ago. Right after the holidays. And after all the planning and gift wrap and sequins and bows I really had no interest in reading a book about Christmas. Yet here we are, in early November and I’m starting to plan Thanksgiving and Christmas (I know, I’m one of those.) I figured it was a great time to set the tone and start thinking about the holiday season!

The 13th gift is a memoir, “A True Story of a Christmas Miracle,” of a family in the wake of the father’s unexpected passing. The author doesn’t go into the details of his death, other than he had a heart condition and passed in his sleep, but rather the book is about how a stranger’s unexpected kindness, in daily gifts, brings the family back together.

At the beginning of the book, Joanne and her three kids are falling apart. School is skipped, meals are not made, emotions are raw. But 12 days before Christmas they receive a gift on their front step. Each day another gift appears. At first Joanne does not like the gifts, but after a few days the gifts bring the family back together until the family realizes that even though they lost a husband/father, there are still people that love them and are looking out for them.

By the time Christmas day arrives, the family has put together a holiday to remember. And by the time I finished the book, I was in the holiday spirit. I’m making lists and planning meals (because yes, I’m one of those.) Joanne and her family lost an integral part of their family that year, but with the help of strangers, and loved ones, they were able to find themselves and each other.

If you’d like to read it, leave a comment and I’ll share it with a lucky reader. I can’t be the only one starting my holiday shopping already. 

 

Glasses

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I’m wearing glasses today. And not just to look smart. I’m wearing them because my right eye has “an abrasion.” Meaning that it hurts. And when there’s a hard contact on top of it,well, then it really hurts. So now I have a “contact band-aid” in that eye (remember the old pirate patches we wore back in the day?) This patch is invisible. It looks like a contact. I can’t even feel it. I have eye drops and more expensive eye drops. I will visit the doc again later today. And hope that the “abrasion” has healed. In the meantime, try to stay off the roads. I’m not a fan of driving with glasses.

And then it was Fall…

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It feels like just yesterday that we were splashing around in the pool, looking for relief from the heat. And then this morning, the calendar tells me that it’s Fall. Or Autumn, the, is it more formal seasonal term? Or is it more prestigious? Either way I love fall. The trees change into an array of colors, the temperatures cool down, things seem to be falling into place for a long winter of hibernating.

Fall also feels like a new beginning. School is in full swing. Work is busier than ever. And I’m taking an online course that is challenging and frustrating but very interesting. It all leaves little time for writing and reading and relaxing.

But that’s exactly why I’m here. I’m aiming to do 90 posts in 90 days again, and when better to kick that off, but the first day of Fall. So here goes. Day 1 is done. Enjoy!

Two Weeks

My annual triathlon is coming up here in, lets see, two weeks? Actually two weeks and three days. But who’s counting? I started training early this year so I was mentally prepared for the big day, AND because Husband and I did a duathlon the first weekend of May. So really, I was ready to go months ago.

And then I ignored a pain. And that pain grew. And it crept up my leg. And into my hip. It stopped there for a couple weeks and kept quietly calling my name, but yes, I ignored it. And then on a bright Friday morning, when Daughter and I were running/scootering around the lake, the pain moved into my glute and oblique and put a stop to any sort of forward motion. Daughter saw a playground. I saw an opportunity to stretch. And we both were done/scootering for the day.

The following day I could barely walk. I certainly could not do stairs with my left leg. And I couldn’t imagine doing a triathlon in 5 weeks. So, I set to texting some smart friends that know lots about the body and I got a recommendation to a PT, but not just any PT. He got me in the next day (on a Sunday), and while the visit was painful and did I say Painful?, I could feel relief within minutes.

I didn’t run for a week, instead I focused on the swim (which feels great) and the bike (which is still boring, unless I’m with a friend). I ran once with the dog (my right arm is now longer than my left) and once with both dog and daughter (let’s just call that one a walk, okay?), until this morning. When I got out there and gave it my all. No leash, no side ache, no pain. But man, it was hard.

I have some catching up to do in the next 17 days.

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So. Worth. It.