Jen

My name is Jennifer, Jen to everyone that knows me, except my mom who still now and will always call me Jenny. I am 36 years old and have been married for 13 ½ years to JR, or as I like to call him MacGyver, the man can fix anything. We have been blessed with two amazing kids; Brenden is 14 and just started high school, Zoe is 11 and in the 6th grade. We are a family that live by our calendars, eat quick meals, say hi in passing, and live in the bleachers. Both of my kids are very active in sports, Brenden plays soccer, basketball, and baseball. For Zoe it is volleyball, basketball, softball and more softball and more softball. Did I mention that dad is the coach and takes his softball very serious? After years of traveling and thousands of miles driven, I was so thankful when Brenden started playing sports for the high school, less travel, right? Wrong! I didn’t really think that one through, now we travel two or three nights during the week, instead of just on the weekends for Brenden and I forgot that Zoe is just getting started in the weekend travel. It makes for a very hectic life, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
It took JR and I several years to figure out how to juggle work, kids, and well, life. We would come home stressed out after a long day at work and never really enjoyed our time. We were always thinking, “What’s next?” One day, we sat back and realized that life was just passing us by, our kids were getting older and even though we were there with them, it seemed like we were missing it all. We realized that we were living to work, instead of working to live; we needed to make a change. We are both driven and take our careers very serious, but we decided to put it away each night to focus on the things that are most important to us, our kids, our marriage, and our family. I found my own personal joy in the one thing that used to make me crazy, sitting in the bleachers. This was the idol time that I would sit and think of all the other things I could be doing or needed to be doing; now I use it as time to watch my kids do what they love to do, and that makes me love it too.
I used to wonder if I would ever have the time to do the things that I enjoy, cooking, photography, I don’t know, long walks on the beach, anything for just me. I realized that I do everything that I love every day, well accept the long walks on the beach, I do live in Missouri and we are running short on the beaches. But I cook every day (almost), it may not be meals cooked from scratch, but I try to make each meal my own. I take pictures all the time, maybe not artistically brilliant, but they are of the best subjects, my kids, which make them brilliant for me. I have a have a wonderfully loud, sarcastic, unconventional family that I love more each day, and I realized just for me. Everyone has their own idea of what a “Picture Perfect” life would be; mine just happens to be chaotic, loud, and rushed. I love every minute of it!

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