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momHappy Mother’s Day, Y’all.  It’s that day where you all get together at your Gramma’s house.  Or your Sister’s or your Aunt’s.  Or Buddies.    And eat.  Everybody brings a dish!  I made a lemon bundt cake and three French Toast Casseroles!  I LOVE EATING FOODS!!!

Oh.  AND celebrate moms. Yes, yes.

My mom was great.  Everybody loved her.  Everybody misses her.  Everyone is going to say really nice things about her in the comments on this post.  And, that’s super nice.  It’s nice to hear nice things about my mom.

She was funny and pretty and driven.

There are a lot of things I learned from my mom.  But they aren’t the things you’d think.  She really taught me more in her dying than she did in her living.

My mom was 16 when she gave birth to me.  That’s young.  She wasn’t great at being a mom then, because how could you possibly?  She and I grew up together.  With my Gramma raising the both of us.

And, my mom made some really shitty decisions on my behalf when I was little.  Because, when you are learning how to do a thing, sometimes you screw it up a little before you get better at it.

And she got better at it.  She wasn’t perfect.  I was so ready to leave home when I graduated, like most kids.  But, man was I ready to GO home after college.

As I got older, she became my friend.

And, then cancer.

My mom was 50 when she died.   I think we had it pretty good with her dying.  She was up and talking until just about the end.  It was so hard to see her like that in that bed, but I’m so glad we were able to talk to her and laugh. You don’t appreciate that until it’s something that is happening to you.  And then you become keenly aware of what other people might miss or what other people got in a Dying.

As I’m sitting in my bed writing this, and crying, I remember why I don’t like to do this kind of thing.  allofthesadness.

I love this picture up top.  It is hilarious to me.  I have another really good picture of me and my mom, but we are being Sweet in it and we are Posing so it’s not as fun.  But this picture?  This picture is a hoot!  We are cracking up because of all the hilarity.

That night my mother was drinking EVERYBODY’s drink and was stealing all of the lighters and she thought she was incredibly funny.  So did I apparently!  I love this picture because we are just SO. Damn. Happy.

When she died, I took her Bible. It’s mine.  Everyday I see something she underlined.  Something she thought was important to remember.  Her loopy cursive is all over the place.  And I notice the passages that she was reading when she was sick.  The handwriting is a little scrawl-ey.  I love that Bible.  It’s a part of what she has taught me.

I learned from my mom to be a better mom.  To make time for life.  To commit.  To be strong.  Tolerant.  NICE.  To be faithful.

I carry her heart in my heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ness

Many of you reading yesterday were probably all like, Jen.  You have TWO kids.  I know.  You do not have to remind me.

There are 13.5 years between my firstborn and my lastborn.  I never thought I would have another kid.  Then, I met my husband and we just felt like we needed to really just never sleep again. So we had a baby.  Go us!

I really never wanted another child because, honestly, I didn’t think I had enough room in my heart to love another one.  I love my son so much – I was convinced that he filled that space.  Luckily, he was able to be gracious and make a little room for his sister.

This kid is exhausting though.  From get she has been trying to wear me down.  She nursed for five hours straight one day.  She’s trying to Alpha Female me.

She’s a story teller.  She likes to run my sister’s long driveway up to their house.  So, if it’s a nice day, I’ll let her run.  One day we got into the house and she immediately tells her aunt that I made her run and that I kicked her.  Preschool’s gonna be fun.

I have found that she is better behaved if she is wearing a dress.  She loves to play Princess, but hates when the crowns always get caught in her hair.  She loves to play Superhero and jump on the couch.

When she says “I love you” and then I say “I love you, too” She thinks I’m starting an argument and follows it up with “NO.  IIIII Love YOU.”  But not in that fun way.  She says it in that TERSE way.

She plays dead.  A lot.  I mean, laying on the floor, arms splayed, tongue out of her mouth: dead.  And then your job is to pump her chest and say “wake up Ness!!!”  And, she giggles because she is so hilariously not dead, after all.

Her favorite word is Dammit.  She uses it often, and correctly.

She has the most beautiful hair which turns into a constant battle of wills to brush.  She wins a lot of the time.  I’m old, guys.  I don’t have the energy to chase her.  Thank God messy buns are a thing.

She’s my snuggle bug.  My little artist.  My beautiful singer.  My crazy dancer.  My climber of everything.  My tickle monster.  She’s my best girl. She’s teaching me patience.  And perseverance.

I hope that as she grows we can become buddies.  I hope she confides in me and thinks I’m funny.  I hope she always wants to bake cookies with me.

I want to teach her to be strong and confident and loving and caring.  I want her to be faithful and joyous for all of her life.

But most of all?  I just want her to sit still so I can braid her hair straight.

 

 

 

me n hg

Mother’s Day is coming up.  It’s generally another one of those holidays that, to me, amounts to:  Eating.

And, I’ve been seeing a lot of posts recently about how heartbreaking Mother’s Day is for some of my friends who have become motherless.  And, that’s something I know a little about.  Being motherless sucks, and I miss my mom.  But, I don’t experience the hollow feeling so many others have.  I don’t feel like something is missing.  And, that really got me thinking about Why.

For me, it’s because I have kids.  So, whatever feeling I have in my cold and twisted heart, is completely usurped by the Big Feelings I have for my two kids.  One, who is my favorite, and one, who I’m sure will be my favorite in time, but she can’t even use the remote, or get her own pop tart right now.  So…

Mother’s Day is my day.  But really?  What is mine anymore?  Everything is Theirs.  That’s fine by me.

My son is the very breath I breathe. My right arm.  My Siamese twin.  People have told me that I treat him as if he is the most special snowflake in the world.  Duh.  He is.  Suck it.

We have a blessedly unique relationship which I am eternally grateful for.  He is my friend.  My buddy.  My favorite person to watch T.V. with (even though we terrify my husband with the inappropriate shows we watch…).

My son will be a Senior in High School next year.  Every year in the past when I’ve picked him up on the last day of school, I’ve said, “You are officially a (Insert next year’s grade)!!!”  I’ve been practicing saying, “You’re officially a SENIOR!!”  But, I can’t do it without getting a catch in my throat.  When I say it to him for real, I know I will start crying.  I’m tearing up right now.

I mean, he is going to KILL it as an adult.  He has his own personal code of ethics that even I don’t measure up to most of the time.  He is great at making good decisions.  He makes the best friends I could ever have imagined for him.  He has a goal.  Since he was in FIFTH GRADE.  And, I know he will attain it.  Or, maybe he will change his mind and attain a different goal. I can’t wait to watch him fly.  (also?  he has the voice of a thousand angels and if you don’t believe me, I will text you the video.)  Don’t get me wrong.  He can be a real dick sometimes (i.e. EVERY EFFING MORNING).  But for the most part, he’s pretty ok.

He is my greatest gift.  And, I’m thankful everyday God gave him to me.  He gives me purpose.  I look forward to the fabulous man he will become. My proudest moments are getting to be his mother.

Happy Mother’s Day to my own self!  I did, after all, make this kid.

I know I’ve neglected this blog and it’s because I’ve been busy Getting a Divorce, a New Boyfriend, a New (old) House, and breaking up with said New Boyfriend.  More on said New House later.

When we moved home whenever it was that we moved home, my father got us a kitten.  His name is Gregory Allen.  He is a manx, so he has this little stub of a tail, and he is all jet black.  He is as slender as Kiera Knightley, and he hates everyone.  Except me.  He loves him some me.  And, I in turn love him just slightly shy of how much I love my son.  Some days I love the cat more.

We went to great pains naming this cat, yet we call him Kitty.  It’s not like he comes when we call him or anything.  We could’ve named him Booger.  Wouldn’t have mattered.  But we call him Kitty, nevertheless.

About a year after we moved to the basement Cottage of my family home, my dad picked up a rat of a kitten who looked like she needed to be loved.  And, like so many other Things My Dad Picks Up, the kitten was immediately neglected.  Well, okay, maybe not neglected, but definitely not loved the way a kitty is supposed to be loved.

~This is how you love a cat: When it purrrrs, you purrrr back.  When it wants to rub his face all over your person, you let it, because you want the cat to know you love it. 

~This is how you don’t love a cat:  When it wants to play, you lock it in the bathroom because its “buggin’ the shit outta” you.

So, when my dad bought a house Up North, we obviously couldn’t let him take the cat with him.  So we took her in like the little orphan we knew she’d end up being.

My dad named her Pepper.  Which is a stupid name for a cat.  I’m sorry if your cat’s name is Pepper, but I will not change my mind.  Holden and I immediately renamed her Talulah Milwaukee’s Best Buttercup Peapod.  We had every intention of calling her Lulah, but, you know….we call her Kitty.  Since sometimes calling two cats Kitty doesn’t really differentiate betwixt the two, we call them Mr. and Mrs. because, of course they are married, and not living in sin.

Mrs. is white as snow (thusly, Pepper…der!) and she’s not very bright at all, but don’t say that to Holden because it will make him cry that you called his cat mentally impaired.  Mrs. has a tail that goes for miles like a piece of white silk ribbon comin’ out of her butt.  She uses that tail to tell Mr. that she isn’t interested, thank you very much, and swat! in the face, Mr.

Mrs. loves everyone, and this is good for Holden.  Since she isn’t the brightest bulb on the string of Christmas lights, she lets him pick her up with her front hunched over the crook in his arm, and her backside just dangling in the wind as he bobs along doing whatever unnecessary thing he’s doing.  Mr. knows better.  He takes one look at that kid, and says, “O hell know, buddy.  You do not need me in your arm while you are looking for your tennis shoes.  You’ll do very well without me.”  And, scram! he’s gone inaflash to hide under the sofa.

But, not the closet.  No, he won’t be hiding in the closet anymore.  Not since I inadvertently locked him in there for Lord knows how long.  To make matters worse, I called and called him for Lord knows how long, not thinking anything of it, since he doesn’t come when he’s called in the first place!

People who don’t have cats just cannot understand this kind of love.  People often think of cats as snooty and self reliant on account of the fact that they disappear when you have company.  This is not the case, Cat-not-likers!  Our cats just don’t like you.  That’s why they go away when you are over.  They hate your stinkin’ guts, and cannot figure out for the life of them why we keep your company. 

Well, except for Mrs.  She loves you anyway.  But, then again?  She ain’t too bright…

Holden is doing very well.  He’s getting A’s in everything except science.  We had a rocky start and are playing catch-up.  But, who gives a frig, I’ll tell you.  He’s still taking piano lessons.  He’s joined 5th grade strings – violin.  He’s in the Drama Club.  He’s taking Saturday art classes at Michigan State University.  The kid’s a monster genius and no one is going to tell me any different.

My boss asked me what I was doing for Thanksgiving.  I said I was going to my Gramma’s.  “You know,” I said, “going upstairs.”

I like living here though.  I love my Cottage.  I painted a wall orange.  Like the perfume Happy – that box?  It’s that color.  And, it DOES make me happy.  Everytime I walk downstairs and walk into my Cottage, I smile!

We are Happy.

The other night I was reading Holden his little devotion that we do before bedtime.  It was about life’s ups and downs and how God is always there for you.  I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to talk about the divorce!  That if he had to say anything THIS would be the time.  At the end they ask is YOU are having any ups and downs in your life right now.  He says, “Yeah…” and shakes his little head forlornly like.  I said, “What, buddy?  You can tell me anything!”  He says, “My loose molar is really bringing me down right now.”

He was dead serious.

These are the issues that bring him down.  I will not lie to you: I immediately thought, We Are The BEST PARENTS EVER!

We are.

Holden and I saw New Moon with on Friday 11/20.  Holden was so geeked about seeing this film on its OPENING DAY that we could barely keep him in his seat.  We got there an hour before the show so that we could be the FIRST ones in line.  I was so pleased that I could give this kid a pleasure that was so simple.  He is such an easygoing dude.  He loved it, of course, and is half-way thru the book.  Again.

I had gone with my girlfriends to the midnight show.  I’d never done that before.  It was almost as exciting as seeing Justin Timberlake in concert.  I’m not even lying.  I was effing stoked.  And, it was what it was.  I didn’t have high expectations.  Twilight, really, wasn’t that good.  The books REALLY weren’t that great.  Yet I am in a total choke hold.  I am beholden to this fad.

The thing about this movie is this:  Jacob.

I was never on Team Jacob.  I am an Edward girl all the way.  I mean, really?  Vampires are Hot.

But when Edward takes his shirt off, though he sparkles in the sun, there just isn’t much there.  I mean he’s built an all.  But, he’s a skinny built guy.

Jacob?  Holy crap.  It was like porn for me.  The kid had his shirt off for almost the whole movie and was I ever grateful.

After the show, my girlfriend’s and I stood around (at 2:45 a.m.) and kibitzed about the movie.  They said how they were a little disappointed in the story line and the stuff they changed from the book…

I was like, “Storyline? Wha??  I quit thinking after that dude took his shirt off!”  Those abs changed the whole landscape of the movie for me.  It stopped being a love story and started being a lust story.  Mine.  And, you know?  Whatever, okay?  I know he’s like 16 or whatever.  Suck it.  God made him that way, and God let him be in that movie.  And, God let him take his shirt off.  And, God let me look.

On this Thanksgiving Day when we sit around the table and say the three things we are thankful for, I’m not going to be the least sorry when I say, “Wherewolf abs.”

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!

Dear PRESIDENT ELECT Obama,

I haven’t been able to keep the tears at bay in two days!  My sheer elation has opened the flood gates, of course, and so now I’m crying about everything…but this isn’t about me.

This is about US.

I am so proud to live in this country.  Tuesday night I was prouder than ever.  I really didn’t have any faith that this would REALLY happen.  I mean, I had an inkling, but I had no idea.

I can’t wait to see all the good things you are going to do for our nation.  I know you will.  Do good things, I mean.

I really believe you have our best interest at heart.

Keep on rockin’ in the Free World,

jen

Dear Candidate,

I love you and you are not a liar.

xojen

 

Dear Other Candidate,

I don’t love you and you are a big fat meanie.  Why you gotta tell lies?  Right in someones face?  It made me mad.  I got my eyes on you.  And, also?  Your arms are too short.

Truthfully,

Jen

 

Dear Other Candidates VP Choice,

Yeah, I didn’t know what that was, either!  I think yer perty.  (Other Candidate?  I’m still available…)

Love and Lipstick,

Jen

 

Dear Clay Aiken,

Gosh.  You ARE brave.  I mean, I know it takes a lot of courage to say something that everybody ALREADY KNOWS.

Sheesh.

Obviously,

jen

 

Dear Star Magazine,

Don’t talk about Jude Law like that, okay?  I mean, its one thing when your calling Rumor a whore, but its a whoooole nuther story when you are picking on a beautiful dude for going bald.  Back off, or I’ll quit receiving you in the mail.  For free.  Wait, no I won’t…But still.  Also?  Leave Sarah Jessica alone.  I also love her, and she’s my fashion icon.  Don’t kill my dream that they are the perfect Hollywood Couple.  Because I already don’t believe anything you say about Brad and Angelina (who I also love).

Devoted to Trash,

Jen

 

Dear Stupid People That Actually Write to Star Magazine,

Losers.

Loserly,

Loserville

 

Dear The Word Love,

I know.  I use you too much.  If only there were a word that meant that I loved something a little less, but didn’t hate it at all.  Ergh.

Emotingly Yours,

jen

Happy Birthday to YOU!  Happy Birthday to YOU!

Its your day to party, so put on your hat!

Grab you some Johhny, say goodbye to the cat!

Have Su take you tu a really great lunch.

Be sure to get the “Happy Time Punch”.

Cuz its yer birthday beyatch!

Blow it up like a bomb~

Im sure that you party with the greatest aplomb*!

*no idea if I even used that correctly in that sentence.  And, I use the word “sentence” very loosely!  Happy Birthday, Friend.  Mr. Postman has a Goodie for you, but Mrs. Lazipants has to give it to him for you to get it.  Be on the lookout! xoxojen

We were invited to Gabe’s Sister’s Boyfriend’s Best Friend’s lake house this weekend.  I assure you that I know how I could have made that so very much easier to read, but until I can call him my Brother In Law, I have vowed to make it as complicated as possible.  So there!  I’m really letting her have it, huh!!

ANYHOO…so there was this lake and this house.  There was also this boat.  And, this boat went weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  And, also?  There was this little boy.  And a rope.  And a tube.  You put it together.

Watching my son go tubing for the first time in his little life was the scariest, yet most hilarious thing I have ever witnessed.  When I asked my sister in law Vanessa how many tubing accidents she thought there were a year, she replied, “a handful…and they were all on this lake.”  She’s a smart ass alright, but her point was made.  But there was my kid, being flung too and fro, suspended from this very fast boat by a peice of dental floss.  Its a bit scary.  He made it, though.  He’s still alive.

And, he’d go back there in a heartbeat.  it was the best time of his life, indeed.

Holden was back there Running His Mouth the entire time he was speeding over those bumpy waters.  I said to the crew, “He’s a superhero.  He’s out there talking to Mission Control.  He’s fighting bad guys, I know thats what he’s talking about!”

Sure enough, this kid falls off, we go fish him out of the lake and he gets on board saying, “…and there’s these bad guys called Waveys, and I’m like in Outer Space ‘cept its under water, and there’s blodgers, but not like in Harry Potter…”

I knew it!  I love this kid for his imagination!

I tried with the tubing, and I had fun, for sure!  But.  Yeah, not so much did my body.  For it is achy in places that I would never have thought would get achy from tubing.  Like my breasts.  Why?  I can barely lift my arms up.  Gah.  The pain.  Plus I have a nifty bruise on my thigh from being flung and bounce over the water when my dear BH fell of the tube we were on together.  Good stuff.

At least those kind of bruises are good for telling people that your husband beats you.  At least I have a lie to tell. 

I’m not lying (okay, I’m just gonna be straight with y’all, and let you know that first?  I spelled it lieing…) when I tell you that I have not had a cigarette in a whole week.  I am not even messing around with this quitting thing.  AND?  Nor have I killed anyone in that week.  I am batting 1.000*, friends!

And, to top it all off, we are walking every night after dinner.  I know, right?  Erin is probably going to stop talking to me altogether now.

Here’s where I’m going with all this health business:  I want to go organic.  Ish.  And, my complaint is that its so expensive.  Yet, I have no problem paying four thousand dollars for a pack of smokes.  Makes no sense to me.  AND, if I buy organic foods which are suppose to be better for you, the environment and the world, yet still smoke, what sense does this make?  None, thats what kind.

So, I’m just trying to put my organic carrots where my cigarettes were.

Yeah.  The walks…we go as a family, and Dharma dog comes too.  Except we are like the worlds worst dog owners, and we’ve never taken her to training, and she is a horrible walker.  She pulls, and its just miserable.

So I bought a halti.  If you don’t agree with these methods, just shut yer pie hole, cuz I don’t give a rat’s patootie what you think about them.  Tonite was our first walk with it, and while Dharm tried her hardest to shake it off her face, it was the most relaxed walk I’ve had with this pooch.  Soon she will learn, and then I will not make her wear it on walks anymore.  If it makes you feel any better, I gave her a scoop of ice cream afterwards, as a treat.  And, holy cripe, if you are one of those people who don’t believe in giving your dog treats: again, with the shutting of your yapper.

So basically, “Jen!  What have you been doing lately?”
“Oh, me?  Well, I’ve been putting the smack down on some bad habits, bitches!”

*Thats “a thousand”  BH didn’t think you’d understand the reference.

When I was a kid we used to watch Soap Operas.  My mom worked days and my dad worked nights (still does, actually…) so we were home with our dad for a while til he went to work.  He likey the Soaps.  Especially Young and the Restless and Bold and the Beautiful.

I don’t watch them anymore.  Not since I left home.  Saying that makes me think that you might think that I actually left my home…I just moved out.  You know…because I was a big girl and stuff.  But I do occasionally listen to them on the radio when I go pick up Holden from school.  I listen to Guiding Light.  Because that is whats on at that time.  I love listening to the Soaps on the radio.  Love it.  I have no earthly clue what these people look like.  Except for Allan Spaulding, Reva and Josh.  I have no idea whats actually going on either.  Really?  I just like to hear them kiss.  Its absolutely disgusting.  Sounds like tongues sloshing around.  I hope I don’t sound like that when I kiss BH.  Because its gross.

Still, even though I only am half paying attention, and don’t have any real interest in the plots, I do find myself siding with the people that I have known pretty much all of my life.  Reva and Josh are right.  Will is a nasty little boy who should be put down.  When will Cassie realize this?

My youngest sister is pregnant.  Again.  Fourth Child, third baby daddy.  I mean, really.  Her life IS a soap opera.  I’m really just waiting for The Boyfriend to come out and tell us that he really is his own sister’s father because he had a brain transfusion from their dad.  Or something as equally weird.

Four kids!  I can’t even believe it!  It astounds me!

Still.  I find myself a bit jealous…even though the circumstances are a little less than ideal.  Her tummy will grow bigger.  Not mine.  She will have another little baby.  Not me.  I hope its a boy because that’s what I would want.  And, I hope she names him Jack Henry.  Because that is also what I would do.  I find that to me?  Her pregnancy has very little to do with her and her situation, and more to do with me, and my lack of a situation.

In reality, I am super glad that I only have one kid.  And, really, I don’t even want another one.  I am perfectly happy with the decisions that I’ve made.  But every time someone I know tells me they are pregnant a little part of me wonders…

And, then I wake up and remember what a drag it is to haul your ass out of bed at 2a.m. to feed a crying baby.  And, how babies can’t say anything or walk for, like…EVER.  And the diapers and the formula and the baby food.  Gah!!

So, good luck, Sister Rach.  These, I guess, are actually the days of YOUR life!  Sucker.