Monthly Archives: June 2007

Here we go again

Back in January I got a frantic message from the mama of My Boys asking me to call her back AS SOON as I got her message because she had something VERY important she needed to ask me. Those little boys definitely get the need for the drama honest. So anyway, being the avid caller-backer that I am, I went downstairs to get a Diet Coke and a snack.

First things first.

Once I returned, I grabbed my cell phone and called her back. By this time, I was intrigued to know more about the VERY important matter at hand. My anticipation grew until she answered the phone and we embarked on a very exciting conversation that ended with plans for A BEACH TRIP! WE’RE GOING TO THE BEACH! (emphasis mine).

So the beach trip, which includes their whole family (totalling 16 people, 7 of which are children I will be partially responsible for) was written in the planner for the last week of June. And I won’t lie, I drew a smiley face beside it. And a small beach scene.

So all these months have passed and tomorrow is the big day. Crazy Beach Extravaganza, 2007. And while I am excited about this trip, I am not naive to think it is going to be a relaxing week of sleeping in and sun and reading my book with my toes in the sand while the children play quietly. Those dreams were shattered last year during Crazy Beach Extravaganza, 2006. Last year, Ashley (Baby Mama) called on Monday (I had planned to drive down Thursday to babysit all the kids the last night so the adults could have a child-free evening) and said, “Well hey there, Miss Jenna…what are you up to?”

Babysitter Code: Can you bump your arrival time up a 3-4 days? The children have gone crazy and and we need you…NOW. Bring wine.

So, while I know that this week isn’t going to be like going to the beach with my own family–where the youngest person is 23, and that person is me–I am up for the challenge. The boys are at the cutest ages and make everything so funny. “Oh my gosh, Jen Jen! Seagallies!” Plus, we are old pros since we already have one beach trip under belts (or bathing suit cover ups, as the case may be).

By next week at this time I am sure I will be pulling my hair out and vowing not to have children (kidding, Mama, kidding), but as for now, let the games begin! Ya’ll have a great week πŸ™‚

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Vital lesson from college

I failed to mention in my last post as I lavished in my bridesmaidness, that bride-to-be Bri was actually in town visiting this week. You see, she is marrying one of my friends from high school who has now become one of my best friends from college.

ALERT TO ALL COLLEGE GIRLS: Make sure at least one of your best friends dates and marries someone from your hometown.

Why you ask? Because, if you go to college in your hometown and “meet your bridesmaids,” it is a HUGE added bonus if any or all of them become eternally attached to someone who is deeply rooted in aforementioned hometown. Indeed, I am so thankful and lucky that B met and fell in love with this amazing guy because 1) E. is indeed amazing and entirely hilarious and 2) she will forever be tied to (and may potentially reside in) my hometown.

And if being able to hang out with B and E wasn’t exciting enough, Lin was also in town this week. She is not engaged to a hometown boy, but she does have strong emotional ties to a very good hair stylist whom she could not part with after we graduated. We all know that finding a good hairdresser wins a silver medal in the race to someone’s heart (after finding a soul-mate, of course).

So we had a mini one-year college reunion. It was a great week filled with eating, movies, and Catchphrase tournaments. And, if THAT wasn’t enough to put someone over the edge with happiness, I also got a very cute pair of sunglasses from Goody’s that were only $6.50.

Hope your week was equally as sweet! πŸ™‚

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Always a scripture reader

I once read a quote that said something along the lines of “you don’t go to college to meet your husband, you go to meet your bridesmaids.” I always remembered that saying, even though I feel sure that it was written by some lonely single girl who was boyfriend-less in college and was trying to make herself feel better. Still, I always admired her because at least she was looking on the bright side.

Another reason I liked that quote was because for me, it could not have been more true. I went all through those fun college days as single as a one dollar bill. And despite the fact that a boyfriend/husband was not to appear during those years of my life, I did “meet my bridesmaids” as that annonymous sage had so encouragingly proclaimed. Indeed, I was eternally blessed by the friendships I made in college, and hopefully one day I will be able to employ those lovely ladies to stand by me on what is sure to be the best day ever. I am not sure when this day will occur and could add my own line to the quote saying, “you also don’t go to your first year of grad school to meet your husband, you go to meet one more person to add to the bridesmaid list.”

But, to me, that just doesn’t flow quite as well or have the same emotional punch as the preceding part of the quote.

I bring up bridesmaids because even though I am not quite there yet, Brittany, one of my best friends from college, has recently asked me to be in HER wedding. Even typing that now sends me into a state of excitement that makes me want to reprise my “I’m gonna be a bridesmaid, I’m gonna be a bridesmaid” song I wrote the night she asked me.

The one I performed for my mama in which she told me she was going to call me BM for short if I kept it up.

ANYway, to say that I was excited and deeply touched by her invitation would be a huge understatement. I adore this girl and most of my funniest memories are with her. We were friends, roommates, and partners in crime for a huge chuck of college life, and something tells me we’ll always get into trouble together. And if I had to choose two people who epitimized genuine, good, and funny people, she would most definitely be one of them–and her fiance would most certainly be the other. I am telling you…quality people.

I think what makes this so special for me is two-fold. Firstly, even though we are great friends and she will most certainly stand with me on That Day in the future, Bri is one of those people who has deep and lasting relationships with a lot of people. She has a very close core group of friends from high school as well as a solid group of college friends whom she is very close to. Not to mention two sisters and a soon to be sister-in-law. Sufficed to say, the girl’s got people, and as much as I am sure she would love to have 17-20 bridesmaids (literally that is how many names she has been throwing around), it’s just not feasible if she wants to also, you know, invite family and other friends to the wedding. Secondly, I have never been a bridesmaid before. I have participated in some close friends’ wedding by reading scripture (which I loved doing), but those particular wedding parties were small and comprised mostly of family. Plus, most of my really close friends have yet to tie the knot.

So, while most girls are crying “always a bridesmaid, never a bride,” I’ve just been thinking to myself, “always a scripture reader, never a bridesmaid.”

All this might explain why I burst into tears just upon hearing her say, “JT, I have something to ask you.” It was a sweet, semi-embarrassing moment as I screamed yes into the phone. All the while listening to her laugh as I am sure she started rethinking the whole decision when she suddenly envisioned all the stories I could tell on her in my bridesmaid speech.

And it goes without saying that I cannot wait to start preparing it. I am sure there will be a repeat of tears, as well as my bridesmaid song.

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Jenna: True Bloggywood Story

I saw from Boomama and Big Mama that there is a fun blogging questionnaire from Chilihead flying around this little blogtown, and I thought, as a new bloggy gal, I would give it a try.

How did you start blogging?
I have actually started blogging twice. It all began once upon a time in May 2005 when I went to work as a camp counselor at a children’s home for the summer. It was a total God thing that I was even there, and it was a great and life-changing time in my life. My time there with those kids gave me truckloads full of memories and lessons, and He even threw in several very funny and inspiring co-counselors to help me keep my sanity. It was definitely not all rainbows and ice cream cones since we were working with children who had been dealt really hard hands and were dealing with a lot issues that really were unfathomable in the way that you try not to, you know, fathom. Plus the staff was CRAZY (and not in the, “oh they are so crazy, I just love ’em!” sort of way). But that is definitely a whole other post that probably will never be written because, seriously…CRAZY. Anyway, a couple of my new found friends kept talking about this weird blogging thing they did and kept encouraging me to start one. And by encouraging, I really mean bugging me about to no end.

So, my first attempt to blogging was underway. Surprisingly to me, I totally enjoyed it. It was such a great way to process and vent about all the goings-on of crazyland–and all that God was showing me in the midst of the chaos and in the eyes and hearts of those sweet babes. Yet, once I returned home and back to school for my senior year of college, the writing sort of gave way to all the happenings of Merrywood. I became busy with class and trying to plan my future. Not to mention all the TV we had to watch and roommate dinners we had to eat. My plate was sort of full (literally and figuratively).

Fast forward to that future I was planning, and there I was at The Gradschool in a whole new town with mostly all new people and a stack of books that needed to be read for class. So, I did what any great student would do, and I started playing on the computer. I somehow stumbled upon some blogs that were just so great, I was drawn back day after day. Blogs like In the Midst of It , Boomama, Big MamaΒ and so many more that I found through clicking on all their links. I LOVED reading about their lives as mamas and all their funny accounts. I just related to so much that they said about life and God and laughed my way into wanting my own blog. So I thought about it…mulled it over in my mind as my daddy would say…and decided that I should give it a shot because I do love writing and making people laugh, why not give it a go?

It has been a slow process so far, but I really am enjoying the mess out of it.

Did you intend to be a blog w/a big following? If so, how did you go about it?

n/a πŸ™‚

What do you hope to achieve or accomplish with your blog? Have you been successful? If not, do you have a plan to achieve those goals?

I think my main goal at this point is just to write. I really love so much about my life and all the crazy and amazing people that give it color, and just want to talk about it. I have never really been short on words or laughs, so I want to try and spill some of that onto this blog. I anticipate, just like with my Summer Blog, that it will be a way of processing my experiences at this stage in the game.

Plus, now that it is summer, my calendar is cleared of all that school nonsense, not to mention that there is hardly anything good on TV besides Food Network Star, Top Chef, and The Real World: Vegas Reunited. So I am looking to fill up some hours of the day between babysitting and lolligagging.

Has the focus of your blog changed since you started blogging? How?

Well, from the first attempt in 2005, the focus has changed only because I am no longer in the throws of the glamorous counselor life. But since the second attempt, my focus is holding steady at relaying all my deep experiences like keeping My Boys alive and planning to watch.

Not to mention, it really all started in like April and my first entry was just about 7 or 8 posts ago. Even a cameleon of a person would have a hard time changing that much since then, and I am more like a plant of a person who never really changes just keeps growing (again literally and figuratively).

What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you started?

I wish I had just jumped in sooner. Daddy tells this story about me when I was 4 and took swimming lessons. I made this HUGE stand against jumping off the diving board. I wanted no part of hurling myself into the great unknown, aka the deep end. He promised me he would tell the teacher not to make me because I am his little girl and he loves his Jenna Babe and when the baby wasn’t happy, nobody was happy. Sometimes the hardest part is just doing it. I knew this at 4, but what I didn’t know that morning of the meltdown was that later that day, that teacher would tell Daddy to sit down and be quiet because she was going to teach me to swim if it was the last thing she ever did. She was a joy of a woman really…very sweet and complying. So I jumped. And I actually did not drown and it all worked out well.

So to make a long, slightly-related story longer…I wish I hadn’t worried so much about the unknown. What would I say? Would anyone read it or care? Could I actually keep it up and it be as funny and fresh as all those blogs I love to read?

I guess the vote is still out on most of those questions, but I am having fun jumping in and swimming around.

Do you make money with your blog?
I think technically in the end I will loose money, as I am sure I will blog when I should be studying for the master’s degree I am paying for.

Does your immediate or extended family know about your blog? If so, do they read it? If not, why?

Actually, none of my real people are participating in the reading quite yet. I believe that this is mainly because no one knows about it. I am still waiting for the big reveal. I thought I would try it out, see how it went, and get a few posts under my belt. Then unleash the craziness and see how people like my parents who are just now coming alive in the world of email, yahoo.com, and ‘cut and paste’ will respond.

What two pieces of advice would you give to a new blogger?

I really have none at this point besides the very inspirational “jumping in” story above. But, personally, I will take any suggestions! πŸ™‚

Well, that was very fun, I must say. Maybe in a few months, I will be a more experienced blogger of a girl a can revisit some of these questions. Until then, I hope you all have a great week!

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“I wanna be to da beeaaachh”

Hopefully all of my posts will not be about my adventures in babysitting, but since my summer days usually consist of much time with My Boys, most of my stories and thoughts are geared towards things like juice and Baby Bop and shooting imaginary bears. When my mama just brought me a Diet Coke, I automatically told her “tank tu” like Little Boy does. She looked at me oddly, and I just smiled and thought to myself how that was really sad, but in a cute way.

Thankfully, I do not normally use baby phrases when addressing adults, but I just returned home from a 4-day babysitting weekend extravaganza at the beach and my brain is still reprogramming itself. The Diet Coke is helping, as we all know it is a powerful AND delicious beverage.

The trip went well and everyone came back alive, so in my eyes, that is a huge success. I recieved lots of hugs and snuggles and only a few “Jen Jen, you are mean” encounters. Life is hard when you are 4 and your babysitter won’t let you jump into the deep end of the pool all by yourself despite the fact that you can’t really swim.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

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