Archives for parenting

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

Just Jennessa Junior

Recently I posted this photo on Instagram after asking the boys to collect their library books.  While they did in fact do just that, it looks more like library book Jenga and only lasted as a stack for a few minutes.  A day later a friend of mine posted a similar picture of her son’s bookshelf after asking him to put his books away and some were upside down, some were in backwards, etc. and again–he had done what she asked, but not “correctly”.  It was that week that the idea of Just Jennessa Jr. was born!  Our regular monthly challenge videos

Where’re Max and Ruby’s Parents?

The boys successfully “fasted” from hand held screens throughout Ramadan this summer and once the season came to a close, they didn’t really ask for them, so I’m certainly not going to offer them!  The only place that it has come up of late is at restaurants when they ask, “What are we going to do while we wait?!?!”. Hmmmmm…let me see, I have a novel idea, why don’t we talk to each other.  To their response, “Okay, what are we going to talk about?”. So randomly, we have been talking about popular children’s shows and the parts of them that make absolutely no sense.  For example: Why

Mystery Pot Family Cook Off

For the month of March, my video challenge is to “beat March madness” with weekly family fun nights.  The only requirements–they have to happen at home and be focused “in the round”, not facing a screen.  Easy, right?  Our typical family fun night is home made pizza and a movie.  But kids movies can not hold my husband’s attention, so he starts to wander and I can always find something to busy myself with and next thing you know, we are not family focused at all.  So we’ve set out to try a few new things.  Our first attempt was

Systems

Here is the debut series in my Just Jennessa webisodes. Not sure the correct thing to call these…shows, podcasts, webisodes, hot messes? In any case, each month I will do a new series of webisodes that center around one topic. This month the theme is “It’s Time for a System”. In January, my video challenge was A Pile a Day–challenging everyone to spend 15 minutes a day tackling one pile, drawer, tub, bin, cabinet, etc. to decrease clutter in the new year. One question that came up was, “How can I prevent the piles from returning?” For me, that is

2015 Monthly Challenges

If you have followed me at all, you will know that I’m obsessed with my timer.  And with the fact that you can get a lot done in 15 minutes.  In there was born the idea of my monthly challenges for this year.  Take 15 minutes a day to focus on a theme for the month.  At the beginning of each month I post a video with the challenge and then update you on Facebook of my progress.  And I LOVE it when folks share their progress as well.  See below each of the challenges for 2015!  Love one of

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