Jenni's Jargon

the thoughts that run through my head

Parenting…..I love it and I hate it

Mom Quote

Eleven years ago I was in the very early stages of pregnancy. I was already in love with the little person growing inside me. I loved being pregnant. I loved having this little being with me all the time. I had a pretty easy pregnancy, very little illness, and just a couple bumps in the road. My hubby and I were so happy to become parents. We knew there would be hard times, we were reading the books and preparing our house and ourselves. When we found out that we were having a boy, out lives felt complete and we began to prepare even further. Picking a name that had a meaning was important to us and we decided on Ethan, meaning Strong. And strong we got!!

Ethan in hat

This sweet little boy came into our lives a little early and he was such a good baby! He slept well, he ate well, he was a happy baby and we knew we had hit the jackpot!! Life was cruising along and he was growing fast, learning a lot and it was such a joy to learn about the world through the eyes of a child. We loved taking him to the mountains and teaching him about nature. Trips to the zoo had a very new meaning and so many sounds to learn. We quickly found out that our son has a great sense of humor and loved to be silly! I mean really, we are raising a clown!!

Mohawk

Raising a clown can be very fun and very  frustrating at the same time. Not to mention our son is a Scorpio, which is a whole other blog post in itself. Once Ethan turned 4, our world changed. He was becoming more “strong” or maybe just headstrong. I have to say he does come by some of these traits quite naturally (one or more of his parents are headstrong and opinionated, one might even be classified as being bossy). We quickly learned that Ethan is quite inquisitive and loves to have the “knowledge” of all things in the world. This is when parenting really got hard. I don’t have all the answers to his questions and while Google is great, I can’t always take that moment to look up the answer, they frown on looking stuff up on your phone while driving in CO! Ethan gets frustrated when you don’t have an answer for him. Trying to help a 4 year-old have reasonable expectations is quite a chore and managing his expectations is even harder.

Bossy Ethan

Now that Ethan is in school and getting older, we have gotten a better routine. I think the thing that has helped us from the start is just talking. Talking to each other to be on the same page and present a united front as parents, talking to Ethan and letting him be part of the process as much as we can while still maintaining boundaries. The things I hate the most about parenting are very similar to many parents; the worrying, the feeling inadequate, the “am I going to screw my kid up” feeling we all have. My hubby and I mess up as parents, I don’t know any parents who don’t mess up. What we really try to do is, once all is calmer, sit down with Ethan and talk it out. Apologize to him for things we could have done differently and talk about what he could have done differently. We are trying to teach him that conflicts are not one sided and both parties have a hand in what happened and have to have a hand in resolving the conflict too. I hope we are teaching him to be mindful of himself and thoughtful of others. This is a great reminder to me as well to be mindful of myself and thoughtful of others. They say you learn the most by teaching and boy is that statement so true of parenting.

I do love being a parent, teaching him, playing with him, new adventures, learning more than I ever wanted to know about: Airplanes, 18-wheeler trucks, nuclear power, the Titanic, the largest ships in the world. I hate that I have to constantly worry about him, I really hate when he is sick and I feel helpless, when he is sad my heart breaks. This is truly the hardest job I have ever done and I would not trade any moment of it. Ethan is the joy of my life and I thank God each day for this silly, inquisitive, STRONG boy in my life!

Jenni

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I am a…Christian….shhhh

Cross-on-Block

I have always considered myself a Christian. I was raised in the Catholic Church and enjoyed learning about God and Jesus through church and the few classes i attended. I continued with the Catholic Church through college. It seemed to serve my need for order and ritual very well, I am a very linear thinker and a bit (or more) of a control freak.  However, I also consider myself a feminist and love the rights that women before me have forged for me. This is where the church and me clashed. I am very Pro-Choice and very Pro-birth control. I also have many friends who are in the LGBTQ lifestyle and I just can’t be part of a religion that shuns them for loving who they love. Those points among some other spiritual difference caused me to leave the church.

I began a spiritual journey, as many people in their 20’s or in College do. I began to read books on different religions, including Christianity, to figure out where I fit in the world called Spiritually or Religion.

I tried for a time (very short lived) to be a Buddhist. I love the teachings and principles of Buddhism. However, the practice of meditation was one that was (and still is) very difficult for me to grasp. I have a very hard time clearing my mind and this just made me feel like I was failing. The other part that was hard for me was Buddhism is quite an individual journey. I can see how this can be quite enticing for many people, but for this extrovert it seemed quite lonely.

Buddha

Then I came across this book. This book helped me put a lot of my spiritual life in perspective. As a linear thinker, I have a lot of doubts about things that can’t be proved. I know there is proof that Jesus was a real man and when he lived. It has always been hard for me to figure out how he could be the son of God and perform all the miracles that are listed in the Bible. My heart was telling me to have faith and just believe and my brain was telling me to find the proof. What Paul F. Knitter’s book did was help me deal with the doubts I have and help me to apply the principles of Buddhism to my everyday Christian life.

Being a Christian in the last 5 years or so has come with its own challenges. Ever since politicians have been using Christianity during their campaigns, and all the extreme Christian groups have been coming to the forefront, it has put a stigma on being a Christian. There are several denominations that are Christian but don’t bear the brunt of the stigma based on their name; Lutheran, Baptist, Presbyterian. However, if you come out and tell people you are a Christian, they look at you sideways with the “Oh, you are one of them” looks. I am here to tell you that I belong the the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, and I am proud to call myself a Pro-Choice, Feminist, Liberal Christian and it took me a long time to come to this place and know my relationship with God. I am currently bringing my son up as a Christian as well and so happy that he is finding his own journey with God and finding people in our church that he can love and trust. I will never protest at a funeral, I will never tell you that I am better than you because I am a Christian. However, I will love you for the person you are, no matter what, I will conserve judgement (or I will try), I will make mistakes in my life and I will try my best to live a good life every day. I will also express my opinions (and I have some big ones) and not apologize for that expression based on my freedom and free will. I want to hear your opinions as well. Tell me about your spiritual journey, I am quite interested in other spiritual practices and I love to see how I can incorporate those practices in my own journey.

Jenni

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For the love of reading…

untitledFor many years I described myself as “just not a big reader.” I read a lot in college and most of that was assigned reading and for whatever reason in my head that turned me off of reading for quite some time. Now, I can’t say I didn’t read at all from college until now (ahem…20 years or so), I became quite the magazine reader.  When I got pregnant with Ethan I began my non-fiction portion of my reading journey and continued that for quite some time. I found this type of reading very utilitarian and serving a purpose in my life. I can’t say that I particularly enjoyed this type of reading either, it evoked similar feelings as the assigned college reading did and so it really didn’t last. It was back to magazines and at that point, reading books to Ethan that had no more than 4 words on each page and very cute pictures.

Part of my problem with reading is that I am a slow reader, my mind often wanders while I am reading and I end up reading the same page several times.  I have often watched my hubby sit in our living room with the television on, our son running around, the dog barking and me blabbing about something and he is lost in the book he is reading, oblivious to the world around him. I’ll admit that at times this pissed me off, mainly because I am envious that I can’t really do that. I don’t have the ability to read and have other things going on around me, especially stuff with Ethan.

The Help

A couple summers ago I decided that I was going to utilize public transportation to work (I have a very long commute) and decided to pick up a book that my friend had given me called The Help. I had heard from several friends that this book was great and since I had it in my possession I decided to give fiction reading the old “college try” again. I was immediately hooked on this book. It was so well written and the characters were developed so well that I fell in love. I read various other books that summer on my transit commute, but this is the one that stands out in my mind at the one that pulled me back in. Now, I can’t say that I jumped in with both feet into the reading pool. When that summer was over and I went back to my regular driving routine, my reading dropped of once again. Life just seemed to get in the way…

Fifty

Fast forward to last fall, the same friend gave me another book. It was all the rage and she had bought it without knowing much about it and all I knew was it was the first book in a trilogy. When my friend gave me this book she told me a little about it and that I might not want to read it in public. Yes, it is true. I got tangled in the Fifty Shades Trilogy web. I will admit at first I had a very hard time getting into the book. Fifty Shade of Grey was a little slow and the writing was not the very best. However, the character development was there and that is what hooked me. It took me quite some time to finish this book, I would go through spurts of reading and then put it down. Then Ethan and I took a trip to Nashville!! On the plane rides I got into the meat of the book and when I got home I had to finish it. Once I finished Fifty Shade of Grey I had to get the others, I had to know how this whole story ended. With books in hand, I became like my hubby, able to block the world out and read about the kinky, dramatic love story of Anastasia and Christian. By the end of Fifty Shade Freed I was in love with these characters. Some people might call me obsessed (I do subscribe to some FanGirl blogs and websites that are dedicated to all things Grey), but call it what you like, E.L. James had pushed me into the deep end of the fiction pool again.

HungerGamesTrilogyStacked

I have recently discovered the joy that is audio books. This has turned my long commute into a very enjoyable time of my day. The first three books I got for this audio journey were The Hunger Games Trilogy. I had not seen the movies and wanted to check out these books and I will say, they were fantastic. The narrator was quite good and kept my attention. I tried to listen to these at work as well but found myself being quite unproductive at times and I was just entrenched in the story of Katniss and Peeta and all the other fantastic characters in these books. Even tough I have listened to these books, I think I will try to grab them from the used book store next time I am there just to have the copies. I will probably like to read them again.

The Stand

Now, my hubby is a huge Stephen King fan and he has told me about several of the books. I did read some King when I was in college, The Green Mile & The Dark Half, but I had not gotten into his longer books. Since I was utilizing my free trial of Audible.com I thought it was a great time to dive in head first to the big bad world of King. I decided to start with The Stand. This seems to be a quintessential good vs. evil book that has many twists and turns. I was prepared for some gore and big battles. I was pleasantly surprised when what I found was a story that felt relatable in today’s world. I felt a spiritual connection with this book and many of the characters in it. In the 48+ hours that I listened to this story, I came to care about many of the characters on both sides of the fight. The journeys of Nick, Tom, Stu, Frannie, Larry, Trashcan Man, Randall Flagg and Mother Abigail spurred me on to keep listening and not wanting the story to end. I would talk to my hubby at night about the parts I had listened to that day and found myself awed that one person could come up with such a story and tie it all together so nicely.

I am so glad I have decided to jump back into reading again. My hubby and son both love reading and inspired me to get back into this wonderful hobby. I feel like I have been on many journeys, had my heart broken, stood up and cheered, made new friends and enriched my life for knowing these stories. I hope you all find as much joy in whatever hobby you might have. My new favorite card in my wallet is my library card and I intend to put it to great use this year. You can follow my progress on Goodreads.com and please request to be my friend as well.

Happy Reading!!! ~~ Jenni

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Getting to know me…

Shamrock

Happy St. Patrick’s Day Everyone!!

I thought I would take a little time to tell you more about myself. I hope we will be spending more time together so I thought it would be a good idea if you knew me a little better.

You already know my name is Jennifer, Jenni, Jen; I will answer to any form of Jennifer and most names that begin with “J.” Some people might say I come from a big family, mostly my extended family. My grandparents had 5 children, my mom is #2. However, I am an only child so that has sort of stunted my “large” family. Most of us in the family were named with a name beginning with “J” so I have been called many names with that letter.

So, as I said before, I am an only child and I was raised by a single mother. I have never met my father and his name is not even on my birth certificate. I do know he is from Mexican and Native American decent and that is where I get my big brown eyes, olive skin and high cheek bones. However, I am the spitting image of my mother so there is no denying her when we are side by side. My mother’s side of the family I mostly Irish and English/German with a little Dutch thrown in for good measure. I am what most people would call a classic “Mutt” and I am quite proud of that heritage!

Mom and MeMy mother is a strong woman who raised me to be a strong women. Most of the time being a strong woman is fantastic, at times is has gotten me into trouble. Well maybe not so much being a strong woman but having a sharp tongue. My mom and I have been close since the time I can remember. She was/is close with her parents and siblings so it just seemed right that we would all be close. I also grew up being close to my grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins. I never knew my grandfather, he passed before I was born, but have always felt close to him based on all the stories my mother would tell me. I have his love of baseball and especially the NY Yankees!!

CO.pngI am a Colorado native and I live south of Denver in a town called Castle Rock. I love living in the state that everyone wants to come to for their vacations. As a family we do enjoy outdoor activities, but often don’t make the time to get outdoors as much as we need to. I hope to change that and share some of those experiences on here. I am married to my great hubby, Brian, and we have a very veracious son named Ethan.

Brian & Me

Brian is from TX and moved up to CO in 2001 after we met online and got to know each other over the phone and after one fun week I spent in Houston. We were smitten from the start! We were married in 2003 in the beautiful setting of Estes Park, CO and took a honeymoon in Lake Tahoe!

EthanOur son was born in 2005 and our life has been an amusement ride ever since. He keeps us on our toes for sure. He is currently in the 4th grade and a self proclaimed “Nerd” who likes to play football and plays the saxophone and ukulele. You will hear a lot about his shenanigans on this blog as they are ever present and dominate our lives.

That is just a little tip of the iceberg information about me, I am a pretty open book and open to share my life on here, ready or not…here we go!!

♥Jenni

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Hello…again…

Hello and welcome to my new blog!

Some of you may know me from Force Family Journey. I have not posted to that blog since 2012. I was sad to leave the blog but  life was too hectic and something had to give.

Not that my life has slowed down any at this point, but I found that I missed blogging and just sharing my life in general with others. I am making some room in my life to write again and share some thoughts, recipes, books I’ve read, knitting projects and craziness of my life with you.

My son Ethan is now 10 years old and such a busy guy. He is finishing up the 4th grade this year and doing very well! My hubby, Brian, and I have been married for 12 years and everyday try to find the balance between being ourselves, partners and parents.

I would love to get to know anyone who is reading my blog. Please feel free to leave comments, let’s start a conversation!

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