Archives for musings

I Love Back to School

I have developed temporary carpal tunnel in my right pointer finger this week clicking “like” on so many first day of school photos that have been posted online.  I love them all!  I love seeing all of my friends’ children from across the world…how they have grown, how excited (or not) that they are to be going back to school, and am continually amazed at how much their children look just like them!  Their mini me’s make me smile! I’ve always loved the first day of school.  Don’t get me wrong, I hold a soft spot for summer vacations in

Tis the Season

Each time we transition from one season to the next, we feel the change in the weather and we adjust accordingly…stocking up hats and gloves, or shedding down to our swim suits.  Activities and interests change and availability to friends differs.  This is not unlike the seasons that we experience in our lives, albeit not ones that last only three months and are quite as predictable. As I look back on my life, I’ve had many “seasons”. My first being my toddler years (what I can remember of them) and into elementary school where I forged my first friendships and

4 Strategies for Surviving the Holidays

As a corporate event planner, the time between Halloween and just before Christmas is my busiest time of year.  It flies by, somewhat painfully, but always in an instant and it takes every part of my being not to be swept up into it.  So here are a few of my strategies for making the most of the holiday season and as always, the goal is more about thriving than surviving! I also truly believe that the following strategies apply to any month of the year, not just December.  Let me know if you agree! 1. Take a Tool from

Holiday Letter Throwbacks

Sick of hearing your friends pontificate about their “perfect” life in their annual holiday letter? Growing up my parents had friends that sent one every year that went on and on and on about their trips to Aruba, their summer homes, and their honor roll children.  We read it with humor more than jealousy at how ridiculous they were–everyone gets at least one of those right? So years ago I decided to do the opposite.  I write a realistic view of my year (originally as a single and now as a family), which has become something that is anticipated by

Surviving a Road Trip

Here is the next installment of episodes from our webisode series.  This month is all about surviving a road trip–or thriving as it were!  Here is the teaser to get you started! So the first step to “surviving” a road trip is to ensure that everyone is entertained.  The key is spreading out the entertainment over the life of the trip–don’t show all your cards from the beginning, so that they don’t get bored too quickly. The license plate game is a must!  Here is a downloadable version and here is the Melissa and Doug game that I mention in

The Origin of Jennessa

Whenever I introduce myself, I generally get reactions like, “wow, what an unusual name”, or “I love that”.  But I also get a lot of “is that a family name?” and the like.  So here is the story of the origin of Jennessa!  At least how I understand it.  My dad can chime in with any inconsistencies! Once upon a time…Just kidding!  My parents grew up in the same town as I did–Alta, Iowa and both graduated high school in 1967, so they knew each other their whole lives.  But they didn’t start dating until they graduated and then got

Tickle Me Organized

I have always considered myself firmly in the “Type A Personality” category, even before I knew what that meant.  Growing up my mom would say, “She tends to bite off more than she can chew.”  When I was in graduate school my behavioral sciences professor said, “If you do something that isn’t on your list and then add it to your list just so that you can mark it off your list…then you are Type A.”  Yep, that was me!  My lists spawned lists that would need to be rewritten and categorized each day. But in retrospect, just because I

Throw Back and Flash Forward

In 1975 I met my best friend Molly. We lived kitty corner from each other and were both attending Mrs. Thompson’s preschool class. Our moms weren’t friends. They didn’t seek out a friend for us. It was purely by chance and by geography that our friendship began. And if you had told me then that nearly 40 years later we would still be best friends, I would have said, “Huh? 40 years, we are going to be so old then!” And there are days that I couldn’t have been more right! {Molly is the cute one–second from the left in

Sunday Cookingpalooza!

In January 2013, I had an “a-ha” moment, which followed on the heels of a very rough fall/winter.  I lost my mom that August and following it I was a complete crank.  Anything would set me off—everything was a bigger deal than it needed to be.  This “anger” phase of grieving meant that I was a bit of a ticking time bomb.  What exasperated the situation was getting behind schedule.  If Zain wasn’t waiting by the door in his karate uniform and ready to go at the moment that we needed to leave, I would lose it.  If we were

Full Transparency

I am what I am. What can I say! As I’ve been putting together the launch items for this site it has been very important for me show it as it is. I troll through Pinterest and drool over the “food porn” that is online from food bloggers that are exceptional stagers. And while I appreciate the beauty, I can’t buy it. Who has that much time? When I post a recipe it is actually what I just made for dinner, dessert, lunch, breakfast, etc. I have just swipped dirty dishes out of the way to get a remotely respectable