Thursday, July 13, 2017

Bringing Back 25 Random Things About Me



Who remembers when posting 25 Random Things About Me was all the rage on Facebook? 

If you don't remember, it was this deliciously narcissistic exercise in self disclosure that was sort of irresistible. I loved reading 25 random facts about my Facebook friends almost as much as I loved writing my own list. Perhaps its popularity was because Facebook was still in its toddler years and we hadn't all become the gross over-sharers we are now. Maybe it was back when Facebook limited your characters so we weren't getting as much stuff off our collective chests as we would have liked. Who knows. 

At any rate, in the interest of getting reacquainted, I thought it would be fun to resurrect this oldie but goodie. I actually went back to my original Facebook list-some of them no longer apply but there were a couple timeless ones that I left in for good measure.  Like the one about tuna. Tuna was and will always be the devil. 

25 Random Things About Me
{The 2017 Version}

1.  I loved college. The nerdy parts, I mean. I loved taking notes and studying for tests. I loved class discussions. I miss that.

2.  A few years ago, I started attending a weekly writer's workshop. I meet on Monday nights with a group of 10 or so writers, many are novices, a few are published authors, with everything in-between. We critique each other's work with the help of our instructor. It has been the single greatest thing I've ever done for myself. I've found my tribe.

3.  I LOVE to travel. I get an actual high whenever I book a flight. 

4.  I love Disney World more than is probably socially acceptable for a grown woman. I'm a Disney Trip planning nerd. I know everything about the place. Go ahead-quiz me!

5.  My idea of hell is being forced to eat a tuna fish sandwich. 


6.  My four grandparents are each 100% Irish, Italian, German, and Norwegian, respectively.  It's on my bucket list to visit all of those countries. I've been to Germany, so three more to go!

7. I loathe winter. This makes living in Wisconsin sort of inconvenient. 

8.  I love that both of my kids were born on an even numbered day. It would have totally bugged me if they were born on an odd day. That's makes absolutely no sense, especially since my own birthday is an odd numbered date. I probably need help.

9. I'm lactose intolerant but ice cream is my most favorite thing ever so I eat it anyway. This is makes life extremely unpleasant for me and my entire family. It's worth it.

10. My favorite flower is a Peony. I really want to plant some peony bushes in my yard but it seems like a lot of work.

11. I'm kind of lazy (see number 10).

12.  I'm seriously considering getting a tattoo. I'm not really a tattoo kind of girl which is what makes it so appealing to me. 

13.  I have a well documented fear of rats. I once saw a rat the size of a cat walking in the gutter in downtown Chicago late at night and I was so scared I was literally frozen in my tracks and couldn't make sounds come out of my face. 

14. I love books. I love reading them and collecting them and looking at them and smelling them. I've been a total bookworm my entire life. This is a current photo of my dresser: I've read about half of these, the rest are on deck to be read next. I can't help myself.



15.  It feel like I've recently entered a new season of parenting and I love it. My kids are (almost) 12 and 9 now and are pretty self-sufficient. My butt-wiping days are over. I'm actually able to leave them home alone and that feeling of freedom is borderline euphoric.  While we still have our difficult drama-filled moments just as we always have, they are genuinely good and interesting people who, it seems, I have yet to completely screw up. Which is nice.



16. Despite loving my place on the parenting continuum, I can't confirm or deny that I got teary the other day at the grocery store watching another mom talk to her one year old whose scrunchy diaper butt was a perfect fit for the grocery cart seat. Those days are over for me, which, is sorta sad.  


17.  I've never fallen into the stereotype of a woman who loves shoes. I'm just not that into them. Disclaimer: rain boots don't count. 

18.  I hate housework and I'm horribly disorganized. This is a pic of all the junk I found in my kitchen drawers recently. Don't judge me. 


19.  I discovered last summer that I love camping. I'm a camper now. I camp. No one is more surprised by this than me...

20.  I really want to be the kind of person that works out all the time and says things like, "I get so cranky on days I don't get my workout in" and mean it...but I can't. I will never be that person. I do my best not to be a complete sloth and get some form of exercise in when I can but it will never, ever be my thing. 

21. I love dip. All kinds of dip. French onion dip, spinach dip, taco dip...if I could have a meal entirely comprised of various dips I would be in heaven.  Unless the dips have meat in them.  Meat dip is all kinds of wrong on a stick as far as I'm concerned. And no, I'm not a vegetarian otherwise. I am a dip vegetarian. Is that a thing? It is now. 

22. I compulsively buy blank journals that I don't need. I can't help myself. Blank pages and the prospect of someday filling them make me happy. 

23. I love water slides. I've been known to strap on the old mom suit and take a few turns down them along with the kids at the local pool. Much to the horror of the 17-year-old lifeguard who looks pained, like he wants to suggest that this might not be the greatest idea but can't muster the courage to confront me.  I offer this short video of said shenanigans for your viewing pleasure. You're welcome.



24.  We have an ancient Golden Retriever named Skyler who will turn 13 next month.  Our relationship started out rocky but she and I have moved past that and I've grown to adore her. One of her favorite things to do is to creep up behind me like a wounded soldier when I'm cooking, as though I won't notice. She's in reasonably good health but I know our days our numbered. I can't go there. Not yet. 


25.  Justin Timberlake and I are BFF's. Ok,that's not entirely true outside of the confines of my mind. Justin is probably not currently aware that I exist. But he was once, my friends, yes, he was. For approximately 30 seconds in 2012 he knew I was alive and said like, 5 actual words directly to me and I'm pretty sure bonds like that can never truly be broken. So there. 

Phew....that was a LOT harder and more self indulgent than I bargained for. My inner narcissist is going to be satiated for quite a while. 

But, it was fun to get my blogging juices pumping again. I'm a little rusty and truth be told, I feel worlds behind as far as all of the inner workings of the blogging world but whateves. I'm just going to keep writing and see where it takes me...

Now, your turn! Shout out a few quirky things about yourself that others may not know in the comments! I dare you!



XOXO,
JEN

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Filling Up My Cup {Again}





Who takes a four year hiatus from blogging and then dares to try and return? Apparently, me. 
Here goes nothing...

Here's the deal: I'm letting go of the pressure of having to apologize and explain myself to death. Henceforth, my plan is to just start writing about random/funny/interesting/weird stuff again and pretend that no time has passed. After this post, we'll just do this dysfunctional family style and never speak of this again.  I'm going to assume that we are the kind of friends that can go years without seeing other and then pick up where they left off without missing a beat. We're cool like that, right? Sweet.  


 To be clear, no one died, I wasn't placed in the witness protection program, and I have not been trapped under something heavy for the last four years (name the obscure movie reference for 10 bonus points). 

Really, all it was, at first, was that I needed a break. I started to feel like blogging was taking over my life and stressing me out instead of adding to it which went against the whole point of doing it in the first place.  And then, life got in the way and there always seemed to be an excuse not to write. After that, I just plain got lazy. For the longest time, I really wanted to come back-but too much time had passed and it felt like it would be weird to try and jump back in as though everything was the same. You know what I mean? 

It's like how after you graduate from high school there's a very short window of time, maybe a few months, where you can walk back into the gym and watch a varsity basketball game and it's still okay for you to be there. Folks are happy to see you, even. You have actual friends that still attend high school and no one questions your homecoming. Part of you feels kinda cool. But after that, it starts to get weird.  People look at you like, "What are you doing here? Your time has passed. Move on, loser." It was kind of like that.  Does that make any sense? No? Good. That means not much has changed. 

In the end, my instinctive need to write has won out.  FUMC has been calling to me in the night and begging me to return, so here I am.  Still dorky and mellow dramatic as ever, clearly. I've decided to go back to where it all started and just write for the sheer joy of it and not worry about anything else. In the last four years, I've come to understand that writing is actually what I'd like to do when I grow up and it's what makes me happy. So, I'm going to go ahead and do that which makes my skirt fly up, as they say, without worrying about my inner and outer critics, and hopefully good things will follow. 



If anyone is still out there, thanks for reading this meandering, rambling post. I have a lot of ideas for revamping this place a bit but all in good time.  Wanting everything to be perfect and a need to have it all figured out before I published another word was part of what was holding me back so I decided just to dive in and write something for Godsakes and figure it out later. Cause figuring it out later is still how I roll. 

Have any of you ever taken an extended blogging hiatus? How did you handle your reentry? I'd love some advice! 

In the meantime...I'm back, bitches! (Woo hoo!)

Disclaimer: Sorry for repeatedly calling you bitches. It just felt right. I got a little carried away. I meant that in a loving, you're my girl squad, I am woman, kind of way. But you probably knew that. So, never mind.
XOXO, 
 
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