Saturday, March 31, 2012

Am I Officially in the Mom Club Now?

After 6 good years and 100,000 miles in my little Honda Accord, we traded it in and came home last night with this:

A Ford Explorer! 

As I sat in the driver's seat, I turned around and said "Whoa. There's gonna be a baby back there."

I've known for awhile now that the Honda wasn't going to be with us for forever, so any minor repairs were just tolerated since we didn't want to spend any more money on that car. For instance, I could no longer push a button on my keys to unlock or lock the car. I had to do that manually.

So, Grant has been making fun of me since this Explorer has all these crazy features and I'm seem to be most giddy about the dang remote lock from the keys!! I also exclaimed, "Look how big these cup holders are!!" 

For me, it's the little things :) 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I Don't Participate

Every few years, some new mega-frenzy sweeps the nation. Whether you're "into" this new trend or not, you are subjected to have it shoved down your throat via social media, television, pop culture, or just basic conversations with friends.

Sometimes, it's hard not to join in and see what all the fuss is about. But sometimes, if you're like me, you have zero problem saying "that does not interest me" and just hope that it all dies down soon.

Exhibit A: Lord of the Rings

The main reason I never got into Lord of the Rings was because of the genre of the books. Any time you open a book and there is a map in the front that you have to learn, that is a turn off for me. If the text reads, "then, young Itamus left Gyanfov and traveled all the way to the land of Plindor" that means nothing to me. Is Itamus the name of a person? An animal? And how far away is Plindor from Gyanfov? Is that 20 miles? I would rather read a book that says that "then, young Mikey left  New York City and traveled all the way to the land of Cincinatti". That I get.

So that was why I never got into the books. And then the movies took over.


It was all you heard about for months, and then years. They won every Oscar they could. They were all anyone could ever think about or talk about. I was OVER IT and I REFUSED to participate mainly because I get really irritated when things take over the world.

That being said, I have never seen a Lord of the Rings movie or read a Lord of the Rings book.

Exhibit B: Harry Potter

Harry Potter. When the books came out, I remember thinking 3 things:

1. Wow, that is a large book
2. Oh, it's about a boy wizard
3. That doesn't sound very interesting to me

So I didn't read it. Or the next 9 books after that.


Someone once asked me, "Oh, so you are one of those people that thinks that Harry Potter is demonic because it is about magic?"

Look, it's a story of fiction. Yes there is magic, but it is a story. And I don't really care. You're talking to a person who watches The Bachelor and Grey's Anatomy so I don't really think I can condemn a book about a little boy wizard. However, again, I find myself realizing that this genre does not interest me so I choose not to read them.

AND ALSO HARRY POTTER TOOK OVER THE WORLD. And I don't like when things take over the world. So I dug in my heels. And to this day I have not read a Harry Potter book nor seen a Harry Potter movie.

Exhibit C: Twilight

Oh. Twilight. I thought nothing could take over the world more than Harry Potter. Oh. My. Goodness.

Let's get one thing clear: I don't like vampires and I don't understand the attraction. I think they are gross looking and creepy and the whole concept is disturbing to me. I don't want to read about it. And I certainly don't want to read about a vampire falling in love.

Once again, I thought the books and movies would never end. I thought people were going to talk about it forever when Twilight started taking over the world.

I have never read a Twilight book, nor have I seen a Twilight movie.

Exhibit D: The Hunger Games

I love a good book. I really do love to read, as much as this post makes it seem like I hate reading.

I love a good Nicholas Sparks novel, a James Patterson thriller, and the classics rock my world. I recently read Jane Eyre again and loved loved loved it. But again, the Hunger Games propels you into another universe and brings you to a place where children are fighting to the death.

This does not interest me.

Has The Hunger Games taken over the world?

Yes. It. Has.

Is Jen irritated by this?

Yes. She. Is.

Is Jen going to read the books?


Is Jen going to see the movies?


Do most of Jen's friends think she is crazy because she hasn't seen Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Twilight or The Hunger Games?


Is Jen okay with this?


But, she is very happy for all her friends who are so excited to see the movie. Y'all have a wonderful time! :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Tree

At my parent's house, there are lots and lots of trees. If you have allergies, their neighborhood is like kryptonite.  But living in the forest sure is pretty! Anyways, their backyard has lots of beautiful things in it. A few years ago, they started adding some pretty things to this one really big tree. 

There are 3 butterflies and 1 lizard. The 3 butterflies are for Scarlett, Juliet and Grace. The lizard is for Mr. Dean Jackson. 

Last night my dad texted me this picture:

There's a 4th butterfly! Our baby girl got her own butterfly on the grandbaby tree!
(If you're wondering who the frog represents, that's Pops. He's chasing them, which is pretty typical!)

Also, this is me Friday night at 22 weeks. 

Holy Moly. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

And Then I Got Over Myself

Y'all are so sweet. Thank you for your comments and emails and suggestions. I am 100% confident that I am going to find something else I like. I know Baby Girl's nursery will be BEAUTIFUL and I will love it! Seriously, if this is the worst news I get all week, I should consider myself blessed! 

Would you like to see her bedding?

Isn't it so lovely and soothing? Her furniture will be white, but to add some color to her room I will do a little "pop" of turquoise throughout the room using accessories and decorative things! I'm so excited. The bedding is from Pottery Barn Kids. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Welcome to My Pity Party


I need to write a blog where I take a moment to vent some frustration.

Make no mistake, I am WELL AWARE that this is not that big of a deal. I know that in the grand scheme of things, this is nothing. Everything will work out just fine and I need to gain some perspective and realize that THERE ARE BIGGER PROBLEMS IN LIFE.

However, in this moment, I need to vent. Okay, we'll go ahead and call it what it is: COMPLAINING.

I picked out furniture for baby girl's nursery and it was perfect and beautiful and lovely AND IT IS NOT GOING TO FIT.

I've spent much of the last two weeks registering for baby items and designing her room. I had scoured the internet and made some awesome decisions regarding her furniture. I picked out everything and was feeling very on top of things scheduling wise and was low stress and all I needed to do was click purchase!

I had a beautiful crib, a changing table/dresser combo and a comfy chair with an ottoman.

However, I asked Grant to come into our little nursery room tonight to mark where all this furniture would go. I read off the dimensions and he measured.


I've been in denial regarding the size of our nursery. It is a tiny, tiny little room. TINY. To make matters worse, there is VERY little wall space. Combine the little wall space with TWO doors on opposite sides of the room and you've got yourself a problem.

I am sure I will be able to find something else that I like, however:

1. It won't have the same vibe I had previously envisioned in my head
2. It won't feel as comfy
3. I am back at Square 1 and have to start all over in my search!

I wanted larger pieces so I could have storage (drawers, shelves etc) and comfort (a big upholstered chair with an ottoman for those early morning feedings) but it doesn't seem like there will be room for that. I won't even have a place to have a table with a lamp on it.

Okay, this has been Jen the Newlywed's Pity Party. Thanks for stopping by. I'm sure you didn't have fun, because who likes to listen to someone whine and moan for what seems like never ending paragraphs?

Sorry. Thanks for listening. I'm gonna get over myself now and realize that there are some real problems in this world, and tiny bedrooms are not one of them.  :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Reason #14,321 Why I Love Maria

I used to get embarrassed to say this, but I'm getting over it: We have a maid.

I don't know why I feel guilty saying that. Maybe because I work from home and have no children and I should be fully capable of cleaning my own house? 

We started using her over a year ago when we were both working crazy hours. While I'm fine at putting things away, I am NOT great at deep cleaning. Mopping floors, scrubbing bathrooms, eliminating the mounds of dog hair in our home.... I'm not the best at all that. I got her name from my friend Kelli because we were having a big party.... she came once and I knew we had to keep her forever. She comes twice a month and I don't regret one minute of it. I am well aware that this is a TOTAL luxury and I am so blessed to be able to have Maria!

Most of the time when she comes I am not here. A few months ago, I came home to see my ultrasound photo taped to my bathroom mirror. She left me a note saying "so happy for you and baby!" and ever since then she has been going above and beyond. 

Today, I came home from the grocery store to find this:

She made me a diaper cake. IS SHE NOT THE SWEETEST!?

Honestly, I've gotten to know her and I so enjoy visiting with her and hearing her story. I hope we can continue bless her the way she has blessed us! (I love to give her presents too!)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Dean Turns 3 and Other Happenings

In my last post, you read about how Evan and Emmy turned 3 in Disney World. They were born February 27, 2009. 

Not even a month later, on March 18, another little stinker arrived in our lives! Dean Jackson's birthday is today and we are so proud of what a big boy he is! I love my Deanie Monster.

Isn't he just a total pumpkin?! 

Yesterday we went to a birthday party for Dean at Gymboree Play & Music. The kids had a ball. The photo below is cracking me up..... all the other kids had their cupcakes and then ran back out to the play area to get back to running around like crazy kiddos. But Dean? Dean stayed to finish his cupcake. 

Here he is, all by himself at a big table, eating his "pupcake" as he calls it and ignoring all of us.

 He finally finished his pupcake!

This was the best pic I could get with him... he was not in the mood to take pictures with Aunt Jenny!

After his party, he wanted chocolate chip pancakes. And by golly, he got them. Cause it's his birthday :)

Grant and I are really so, so blessed with all of our nieces and nephews. There's 7 of them total, but we love each of them to pieces. We love how unique and different they are and how fun it has been to watch them grow up. They fill my heart with joy!

They are all very excited to meet their little cousin this summer :) 

At my parents' house, they have one of those electronic picture frames in the living room that rotates pictures every few seconds. For the last 5 years, this has had pictures of all the grandbabies. They update it frequently. As I sat in their living room yesterday, there was a new picture in the rotation. It was my ultrasound photo! I got so excited... it's so weird that my little girl will be part of the grandbaby pack! 
I've had a blast picking out all the stuff for her room and registering. So much stuff! But it makes me pretty giddy. 

I'm ready to attack this week head on. I downloaded a new app for my Mac called "iProcrastinate" which is a productivity/time management tool that I have very high hopes for. I'm hoping it will help me knock stuff out if I can visualize it. I do love to cross things off of a list!

Also, I would like to give a high five to whoever invented this awesome thing:

It's so you can open and close doors without making a sound. I found it on Pinterest.! Perfect for nurseries or classrooms! People are so dang smart and inventive! 

I've been on a frozen yogurt kick this week. Specifically vanilla yogurt with nilla wafers, oreos and chocolate chips. DELICIOUS.

Right now, I'm eating a healthy choice soup... Chicken & Dumplins. It's not NEARLY as good as Chicken & Dumplins from the Cracker Barrel... but really, what's better than the Cracker Barrel? Kudos to Healthy Choice for a valiant effort.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Disney 2012

Once again, we were blessed to be able to have a Disney vacation with Grant's family at the end of February. (Sorry I'm just now getting around to blogging about it!!) We had so much fun. The main purpose of the trip (other than quality time together) was to celebrate Evan & Emmy's 3rd birthday. Yep, those kiddos are THREE! What a blessing they are.

I love Evan and his joy. He's ALL boy and such a sweet thing. He's always been my buddy and I love watching him grow into a big boy. I love Emmy and her sweet smile. She seriously has one of the most precious smiles I've ever seen. She is dainty and such a little lady. Grant and I took them into one of the Disney shops and let them pick out a birthday present. Evan picked out a big set of cars from the movie Cars. Emmy picked out a red and white beaded Minnie Mouse purse. She held it on her wrist like such a little woman. Her mommy gave her a few things to carry in her purse and she was so proud walking around that park! It was adorable. I'm so glad for extended time with them to build great memories. 

This was our baby girl's first trip to Disney! I wasn't really able to ride many rides and I had to take frequent potty breaks, but it was fun to walk around with her :) Her "Baba" (Grant's mom) took this picture of us in Epcot. This is about 18 to 19 weeks.  

This is the little birthday celebration for Evan and Emmy. They had a character breakfast at Hollywood & Vine in Hollywood Studios. The characters from Disney Jr. walked around and even brought the kids a little birthday cupcake! Here are Evan & Emmy blowing out the candles.

This is Jake from "Jake and the Neverland Pirates". I had Grant take this picture so I could send it to Jaclyn so she could show it to Grace and Dean. They love Jake :) As soon as I sent the picture, she texted me back with "OMG. Kids attacking my phone" :) 

Evan was very excited to see all the characters. He gave Special Agent Oso a hug. (Emmy was not real comfortable with all the characters, so she isn't in a lot of these pictures. Poor darling!)

This is perhaps one of my favorite photos of all time. Olivia Claire was also not interested in interacting with Special Agent Oso. Rather than cry or sit in her mama's lap, she decided to turn away from him and freeze in place. No movement. No blinking. Just frozen. You can almost hear her internal dialogue "If I don't move, he can't see me... maybe he will go away".

Here's the whole fam! Uncle Grant, Aunt Jenny, Olivia Claire, Evan, Chase, Ronda, Emmy Grace, Baba and Papa!

The men (plus Olivia) meeting Mater and Lightning McQueen! (They are Evan's favorite!)

Sorry, these pics are kinda scrambled and out of order. Blogger is being spazzy.

Here we are at breakfast. 

Again, Olivia will not give Special Agent Oso the time of day. Totally frozen. 


Oh man. Laughter is good for the soul. On a boat ride, we drove straight into a storm. It started out as a drizzle, but then it started coming down in sheets. Grant's mom took this picture of us trying to stay dry. It didn't work :) I haven't laughed that hard in awhile!!

At a 3D showing of Fantasmic in Magic Kingdom. Aren't we lovely? 

At Downtown Disney, there was a Lego land place that Grant stayed in for a good hour. I couldn't get him out of there. He played with Legos for an hour. Seriously. 

Grant and his brother Chase went back to the parks late at night to walk around and ride the "real rides". With all the kiddos and with me being pregnant, we don't really get to do the roller coaster kinds of things. So the guys go back to the park during extended hours and ride till their heart is content. And they also take silly pictures. 

This is Grant and his brother with Mickey and Minnie. Seriously. 

One last picture of the birthday boy! He loves Handy Manny!

Again, sorry for the scattered photos. Blogger is not cooperating with me tonight :) 

We had such a great trip, and I slept HARD when we got back. All that walking will take it out of you, plus all the travelling. Special thanks to Baba and Papa for such a wonderful trip! We LOVE family time!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Right Now

Right now.

Right now it is Wednesday morning and I am feeling rested. For the last several weeks, I haven't been sleeping very well and am waking up at least once in the night from back pain. However, last night I slept through the whole night and I am VERY thankful for that!

Right now I am eating scrambled eggs, a handful of grapes, and drinking half a cup of coffee. I just finished my morning Bible study and spent the last few minutes scheduling some pretty awesome meetings for tomorrow. I've got my to-do list written out and feeling pretty confident that I can accomplish it!

Right now I'm pretty stinkin' happy that my husband works from home. Did I tell you about that? Grant got a new job and he is working from home now. He does go into the office and go out to meetings a lot during the week but he is definitely here more and that is fun. Most of the day we are in separate rooms getting our work done but it's fun to meet up in the kitchen. Yesterday he made breakfast and it's just fun. He killed a wasp for me yesterday and I was very glad that he was here to do that :)

Right now, baby girl is 19 weeks and 5 days along. According to my phone app, she is almost the length of a banana! Can you believe I'm almost halfway finished?! On Friday, we had a regular check-up appointment and the doctor suggested that since we are already 19 weeks that we go ahead and do the 20 week anatomy ultrasound! We were SO excited to see her again. She laid so still. She had her feet crossed just like I do when I lay down. Everything looked great, she is growing right on schedule and the doctor was very pleased with her development Here's her most recent picture. Isn't she just perfect?

Right now I'm finally feeling rested. We went to Disney World last week with Grant's family to celebrate the twins' 3rd birthday! Evan and Emmy are THREE! We had such great, quality time with the kiddos and with their little sister Olivia too. I need to upload some pictures from my phone, but we had a great, great trip. It wore me out though! So much walking.... we are so blessed to have such great family that we genuinely enjoy spending time with.

Right now the television is off and it has been for a few days. We realized that we're watching waaaay too much TV and feeling waaaay behind on everything else in life. While we did turn it on last night to watch a few shows, the television has been off for the most part and it has made such a difference! We're just more intentional about when we turn it on and how long it stays on. During the day it is rarely on at all.

Right now I'm gonna get some work done :)