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4th of July

I’m not trying to sober up anybody’s 4th of July drinking parade, but I would like to take a moment and remind all of us Americans that the day before the 5th and after the 3rd , is not just about fireworks, burgers and red cups.

Though the Hermosa Beach Iron Man is an important tradition as well as the Strand-house parties and community fireworks, it is just as important to recognize the reason behind why we put on those red and white bikinis and Uncle Sam hats.

Let’s start by recognizing the 1,343,812 men and woman who have died for our country since The American Revolutionary War to our current War on Terror. Let’s also remember each and every single brave man and woman who is currently fighting for our country, as well as all of the surviving veterans who have ever put their life on the line so that we could celebrate our independence.

All you high school graduates out there, who are getting ready to go off to college and celebrate your independence, just remember with independence comes an extreme amount of responsibility. Our country claimed its independence 236 years ago. Relatively speaking, the United States of America is still a teenager. However, though we are one of the youngest, we are the most self-sufficient, smartest and strongest unions in the world. This doesn’t mean we are perfect, but despite our issues (and right now we have a fair amount) we are still the most desired country to live in or be from.

Our country began its independence with 2.3 million people and 13 colonies. Today, according to the United States Census, that number has grown to 313.9 million people.

In honor of our country’s growth [...]

By |July 4th, 2012|Articles|0 Comments|

Changing Your Norm

My future sister-in-law, Jill and her husband Doug, wake up at 4:30 a.m. on a regular basis. For most of us, that hour is considered the middle of the night, but for them, that is the hour when one or more of their children start the day.

During our weekend visit, the BIL and I usually didn’t make our way upstairs earlier than about 8 a.m. Considering when the rest of the house had woken up; I was surprised they weren’t sitting at the table ready to eat lunch. Instead Jill was in the kitchen making her brother and myself a breakfast of eggs and fruit and ensuring us that the coffee was brewing.

When it comes to juggling life with smiles on their faces, Jill and Doug are master ringleaders of their circus.

The BIL and I haven’t started our circus yet. As a newly engaged couple, we still live a pretty selfish life. Most mornings our biggest decision revolves around paddle boarding or sleeping in an extra hour. We both know we want to have children and we both are confident in our parenting skills. However, fantasizing about a life with children and the reality of having children are worlds apart.

I have been around children long enough to know that minute-by-minute they can throw you for a loop. One minute they are giggling and cuddly and the next minute they are arching their backs and screaming. In a single day a child can have more mood swings than a person who is bi-polar. Nothing lasts. By the time a parent figures out how to stop their children from sucking their thumb, the child has moved on to picking their nose. By the time they have [...]

By |June 26th, 2012|Articles|0 Comments|

Too Good To Be True

I probably need therapy but instead I’ll just unload all my fears and anxieties to you. As some of you might know, I recently graduated college and got engaged to the BIL (Boy I Love) all in the same day. It was a dream day, except it wasn’t a dream, I woke up the next day, looked at my finger and there was the gold and diamond ring that has been in his family for 100 years.

Every time I look at the ring, which is about 1,236 times a day, I have a mixture of love, excitement and terror. Make no mistake, I know I am marrying the best man in the world. He is everything I could ever ask for and more. I am just worried he doesn’t know what he is getting himself into. Hasn’t he read my columns? Doesn’t he know that I loose stuff and I forget stuff and I don’t always pay attention when I am driving and sometimes I accidentally gain five or six or seven pounds. I get parking tickets and my car is a mess and I usually run about 10 minutes late for everything.

Anyway, as we all know, actions speak louder than words and I think lately I have subconsciously been trying to prepare him for what might be a lifetime of “opps moments.“

A couple of weeks ago I lost the key to his house, I didn’t say anything, instead I took the hide a key and then I lost the hide a key. Opps.

Last weekend we drove to Mammoth and when we got there I realized I left my purse in a gas station bathroom in the Mohave Desert. Opps.

The BIL is so forgiving, [...]

Engaged

There are weekends when all you do is laundry and walk the dog and then there are other weekends when all of your dreams come true and your life is changed forever.

Last weekend I didn’t do laundry.

I already knew when I woke up the day would be one I would remember forever. I put on my fancy new dress, matched with super cute shoes and waited for my very awesome friend Carly to arrive to do my hair and make-up. While the hustle and bustle of getting ready took place, my cap and gown hanged in the living room as a reminder this wasn’t a dream anymore. I had actually done it; in a matter of a couple of hours I would be a graduate. No longer would I have to carry around the insecurity I had not finished college. No longer would I have to settle for a job I wasn’t 100 percent in love with. No longer would I have to explain to people where I had gone to school and why I had left but that I planned to finish one day. That “one day” was here.

Graduating would have been enough for one day, but the BIL (Boy I Like) thought I deserved more, he always does. He loves to think big. Like he said to me when we designed our Halloween costumes, “Babe, puff paint is for amateurs.”

And he was right, though it took more time and effort, sewing a “B” and a “G” onto our super hero costumes, it took it to another level. It’s that level of hard work, creativity, risk taking and love for life that I want to spend the rest of my life with.

Graduation would [...]

Graduation

Today is Tuesday. For you it is probably Thursday or Friday or a week from now, depending on when you picked up the paper from the driveway or outside of your favorite coffee shop.

Anyway, for me, today is Tuesday and besides being Tuesday it is also my last day of college as an undergraduate. I take my last two finals tonight and then that’s it, I did it, I graduated.

It hasn’t been a flawless journey and toward the end though I hoped everything would be sealed up in a bow and looking good, it’s not. But it’s done and I did it.

Someone said to me the other day “You should be proud of yourself.” My response was self-deprecating and a bit pathetic. “It’s not that big of a deal, I’ve gone to school so long I should have my doctorate by now,” I joked.

Well, I take that back. Yes, I am proud of myself.

Recently, I perused my roller-coaster transcripts and I remember the good times and the bad. My transcripts are decorated with enough letters that if I wanted to play scrabble, I’d be in pretty good shape.

But I digress.

Today is Tuesday and today I will take my last two finals and this weekend I will walk with the class of 2012 and I will graduate with my English Education Degree.

More times than not I believed this day would never be here, but as soon as I stopped believing that way, it was here.

My sister once told me that all I had to do is want it for myself, believe I deserve it and then I would get it. She is right. If there is one thing learned from this journey besides how to [...]

Feeling Sick

As I am writing this I am home with a fever and strep throat. The only way I can think to explain strep throat is that it feels like two giant hot coals are sitting at the back of my throat and every time saliva starts to build up I have to make the decision of to spit or swallow. Spitting is just gross but swallowing is painful. My fever got up to 102 at one point and I have changed my pajamas about 12 times in the last 12 hours.

Right when I was about to feel very sorry for myself, I picked up a magazine in the doctor’s office in which I read an article about a woman who had cancer and her body was being held together with metal rods, which included a metal halo around her head. The article went into detail about how painful it was for her to vomit (a standard reaction to chemotherapy) but how she wanted to keep fighting because she had two young children.

Several minutes after reading the devastating article the doctor called my name after taking my weight and blood pressure and temperature she asked what my pain level was. I would have said 9 or 10 but because I had read the article about this heroic woman, I said 7 and then even felt like that was too high of a number.

I think unless we are chronically ill or have a major handicap, most of us take our health for granted. I know I do. I don’t remember the last time I had a fever and I don’t know if I have ever gotten strep throat. But here it is and I am realizing [...]

Elizabeth Birthday

Born April 3, 1990, Elizabeth Grace Evans weighed just 4 pounds. She was born a few weeks early but as far as I was concerned, she came right on time.

The day she was born I was playing out in right field. My dad interrupted the softball game to ask the coach if I could leave. Seeing as though I hadn’t caught a fly ball in two seasons and my batting average was in the single digits, the coach quickly obliged.

On the way to the hospital, I had a million questions for my dad as to why she was born  early and if she was okay. He answered them to the best of his ability and warned me that she was in a special incubator and it would be a few days before we could take her home.

Ten days later, on Easter Sunday, Elizabeth came home. She was dressed from head to toe in pink and I was so proud to be the first to change her diaper.

For years she was my little shadow. Until she was about five, her favorite outfit was a pair of pink bike shorts with cowboy boots. She had little round glasses and long hair, which she rarely let me put in a pony tail. She loved dogs and although one bit her, she was still never afraid of them. She would do her homework in the back of my car so she could have enough time to play when she got home from school. When she was toddler she didn’t like the sand, but by the time she was 10-years-old she was enrolled in surf camp and loved the beach.

For her 12th birthday I threw her a huge birthday [...]

Two Week Road Trip

I counted 12 mosquito bites by the time I got home from my two-week road trip, which included six states, five National parks, a friend’s lake cabin, lots of hiking, one European in a pair of Speedos and a beetle that looked like a baby dinosaur.

I survived, rather I thrived. For a person who never was, but always wanted to be a girl scout, I feel like I have earned some patches.

First on the list I should get a patch for best backseat driver; the space I created for myself in the truck sitting behind my friend Amy and her husband Christian was one that allowed enough space to make an on-the-road-Toby-Keith- music video. There is nothing like driving on a highway sandwiched by rolling hills and cattle while blasting “Made in America” to make one feel like they should have a shotgun in the rear window and an American flag hanging out the back. Yee haw!

Next on the list I earned a patch for hiking. Although I wont get into each hike because that would be super egotistical and boring, I will brag that despite my fear heights and tears streaming down my face, I climbed to the top of Angles Landing in Zion National Park. Unfortunately, the picture I have of me on top of the landing looks like my arms have blow up water wings on so needless to say that one didn’t make the Facebook cut. Next on the list, I earned a patch for sleeping in a tent. Maybe I didn’t sleep as soundly as my road trip partners did but I also didn’t opt to sleep in the car when I had convinced myself that both the dinosaur [...]

Family at The Lake

As I am writing this column i am with the BIL (Boy I Love) and his entire family at their Piseco Lake house located in the Adirondacks (upstate New York). The nearly 100-year-old cabin  is alive right now with about two dozen family members ranging in age from 22 months-old to 888 months-old. We are four days into our vacation and the group has had only one minor trip to the emergency room (stitches in the chin) and one trip to the clinic (stomach virus). We take out the trash 40 times a day and do the dishes 140 times a day and because of the water shortage (lack of rain) we are encouraged to bathe in the lake, which I  like. We have water skied, tubed, boarded, canoed, kayaked, and tore up the lake riding the wave runner. The home was built by my BIL’s great grandfather, Luther Edwards and his son Frank  and was to serve  as a summer vacation spot for the family. To build the home, the father son duo had to haul wood on a unpaved road via a model T. As I look at all the family pictures on the wall some dating back to 1862, I wonder if the Edwards men ever realized what they were building at the time.

This  is the thickest home I ever been in, there are layers upon layers of family memories. Generations have grown up here, been married here, laughed, loved and died here. This house has felt pain and known how to comfort, it has felt frustration and known how to sooth, it has felt lonely and known how to give company and more then ever, it has felt joy and [...]

Difference between Boys and Girls

It’s been said a million different times a trillion different ways: Boys and girls are wired differently.  Books have been written, seminars have taken place and therapists have made a lot of money from people who just refuse to believe that boys think differently from girls.

Here is my story: The BIL (Boy I Like) and I are sitting in the Jacuzzi, enjoying the moonlight and the hot water when all of a sudden his eyes drift off into the distance and then focus back on my face. He takes a deep breath and I think to myself, wow he is about to tell me he loves me and he can’t live without me.

“So babe” he says.

“Yea,” respond in a sexy whispery kind of voice, knowing for sure that I am about to hear the words I have been waiting for.

“I’m really thinking that I need to move that bamboo tree over to the other side of the yard,” he says very seriously.

I rest my case.

If I wrote a book or hosted a seminar it would be called “Boys are simple and girls are not.” With that title, I’m pretty sure even boys would buy the book.

Of course there are exceptions to every rule, believe me I have dated my fair share of girly-boys in my time and let me just say to the ladies; if you think dating a guy who is constantly “in touch with his emotions” and has no problem expressing himself or how he feels about every little thing, its not, it’s exhausting.

Ladies, here is the deal in a nutshell (no need for Mars and Venus or Dr. Laura) maybe guys don’t always tell us how they feel about every little [...]