2013 was...

too much.

At the begining of 2013, I chose a word to be my theme:  ENOUGH.

I'll admit here and now that I didn't stick with that theme.

But at the beginning of the year, I didn't really understand what I'd be dealing with in 2013.

The year started with high hopes.  I remember not being happy with 2012, and having big plans for 2013.

And then the year happened.  From a move back to Minnesota, nearly losing a best friend (not because of a fight but because of a darn bacteria), adapting to life as a working mom, the passing of two aunts and one uncle within four weeks of each other this holiday season, building a house and trying to get an old one sold... sigh.

What other things were 2013?


...was a year of development for my kiddos.  Potty training, pre-school, writing and both speaking...and speaking...and speaking.
...was a year with too many hotel night stays.
...was a year of good-byes, and hello agains.

It's done {well, jut about}; a year to remember fondly for a move back to Minnesota and many, many beautiful moments watching our children grow up and spend time with those closest to us.

Oh, one more thing 2013 was: a year of gratitude.  Each day I added a photo to my 'Gratitude 365' app.  EVERY day.

One thing 2013 was not: 
a blogging year. Fourty-four total blog posts.

I pledge now, even before the new year starts, that 2014 will bring more blog posts.

At least 45.

Here's wishing you all a happy, safe and fun New Year's celebration!


Be Happy Now: Sieze the Day

Remember when I was going to share my 31 days of 'being happy now'?  So it begins... please feel free to comment here or on Facebook, I'd love to make it a conversation! 

How many people spend a ton of timing thinking about how they can be happier?  You know...you'll be happier when: 
  • all that weight is lost
  • that darn to do list is all checked off
  • the next season begins because this one is [too cold, too hot, too dark, too long]
::Raises hand:: Looks around... 

I know it's not just me.  There was a post that someone shared on Facebook last night, and I decided to make it prettier so I could share it on Instagram.  

I have no idea who came up with these so-called rules.  But he or she is right.  On every single point.  Enough that I think I might just have my next seven blog posts.  Because you know what?  As I look at this, it's an instruction manual on how to be happy now. 

So thanks anonymous.  


Sieze the day.  

Think about one of the items above that you could try today to make your day happier.  

See that's the trick.  To be happy now, means that you need to be. happy. now.  Not tomorrow, not two weeks from now.  

We have the power to make any change {small or big} today. 

* * * 

So what are you going to do?  What one change are you going to make to be happy now? 


Hello??? Is this thing on??

So, I've been pretty quiet around here, haven't I?  I'm going to blame our move back to the United States, living in an extended stay hotel for six weeks and the two additional weeks it took us to get settled into the town house we are living in for a while.  Plus a few more weeks of adjusting to life, period.

Now three months post move (to the day!) I feel like my feet are under me...mostly.

Here's a secret for you--I was going to do the whole 31 days of blogging series hosted  by the Nester, as I have the last few years.  And then I decided...quit being crazy, Jenny.

BUT I had planned out 31 posts about how to be happy NOW.

See, I find myself thinking next year is going to be better and I will be more happy then, because I'm not going to be doing the whole repatriating thing.  {By the way, the repatriating thing?  It's not as simple as it might look.  A fellow expat posted this article on Facebook, it summarizes where my mind is right now better than I ever could.}

While my mind is thinking next year will be better, the rest of me knows I need to be enjoying the moment this year.

I need to be grateful for the several blessings I have in life:  an awesome husband, brilliant children, family and friends who I get to be around daily, and new friends that I can keep in touch with via Facebook and email.  Not to mention a great job, a comfortable home and and all the comforts of "home" that now surround me again.

All that being said to let you know...I'm back to the blogging game.  And I'm going to take those 31 days I had planned, and spread them out over the next few months.  What better time to focus on being happy now then during the holiday season?

Seriously--have you seen a four year old and two year old understand for the first time what Halloween is all about?

We've already got their costumes waiting in the closet.  And they've been there for a few weeks already too.

Those are the kind of moments I plan on enjoying now.



Life is finally settling down.

Er.  Scratch that.

Parts of life are starting to settle down.

Fun moments with a 4.5-year-old and 2.5-year-old are still the norm, but right now they are taking place in an extended stay hotel.  Which, while it is supposed to have all of the essential 'comforts of home'?  Is not a home.

But we continue on, trekking through our days creating a new normal and a new routine--for the next month at least.

Then we'll move to another rental, while we build our forever {if I have anything to say about it} home.

I've got some posts simmering around in my brain about returning to life in the U.S.  And how surreal, and somewhat overwhelming AND underwhelming the past several weeks of this journey has been.  However, my first week back at work...in an office...with adults...and thinking about businessy things...is draining my brain of all energy.

So you'll just have to wait just a little bit longer.

In the meantime, check out this great video that my friend over at My Life in Scotland shared.

It's sort of a little peak into the differences of living in the U.K. versus the U.S. of A. and what I'm getting used to as my normal again.


tick. tick. tick.

Time is winding down.

We have just over a month left in Scotland.  And within that month we have visitors that arrive tomorrow for ten days, and then we have another visitor arrive just a few days after that who will be here for a week.

Time is going to fly by.  So the trick will be to stay in the moment.

To not be looking towards the next thing...or the next visitor...and for sure the next flight that will take us "home" to Minnesota.

I'll be working outside the home come August, so my days at home with these little people are limited.

And I'm going to enjoy every last minute {or at least try real hard to, because lets face it...sometimes there are just moments}. 

So if you don't hear from me much around here, that'll be why.

I will however show up over here at least three times every week.



I have all of these thoughts of how I want to be.

The kind of mom I want to be. 
The kind of wife I want to be. 
The kind of daughter and sister I want to be. 
The kind of aunt and Godmother I want to be. 
The kind of friend I want to be. 
The kind of woman I want to be. 

If only I had the energy for all of it. There are days right now {not every one, but a few here and there...ahem, like today} where I am lacking the energy just to sufficiently get halfway to where I want to be with the first two items.

Do you ever feel that way?

I find myself trying to remind myself of my word for the year:  enough.

I'm trying to tell myself that I am doing enough.  That all of the things that are up in the air for our family will eventually work themselves out and settle as is planned for us.

If I could just leave all of the thinking to someone else, maybe I'd get more energy?

So I will try and rest my mind, and take these thoughts to Him. My prayers were answered in one area this past week.  Literally, between prayers, some medication and more accurate testing I am blessed to be able to avoid a medical procedure (at least for now).

I will continue to work on developing more patience, and choosing joy through each day.

I will shift my mind to a positive place, because that is how I am intent on living right now.


Summer 2013 Bucket List

Ooooh, boy girl, do I have something fun for you today!

I saw there was a link-up for summer bucket lists. And I thought, "well why not?" Clearly this is bound to be one of the more exciting summers of our life.

Half of it will be spent in Scotland, where 'summer' may not be the best word for season.  Seriously folks. No air conditioners, because the temps rarely get over 70 degrees.

The other half will be in Minnesota, and after two full summers away, we are excited to get back there, mosquitos and all. (No, seriously. You should see the Jenny Long Legs in Scotland. Look like a mix between mosquitos and daddy long legs.  Gross. They don't bite, but still.  Gross.  And no screens on windows....so.  I'll let you think about that for a second.  Eeew.)

With that being said, I humbly present our 2013 Summer Bucket List:
What do you think?  Anything we should add?  Who's up for a bonfire?

I should have added a bubble gun fight.  Oh, wait.  That already happened. 

Alright, I'm off to find out how to make our own bubble solution, since I have a feeling J#3 and J#4 will be chomping at the bits to take these bubble guns out again.  Pinterest, don't let me down.  


Linking up with these ladies:  



my ode to stay at home moms

I'll tell you a little secret.  Well, if you know me, then it may not be a big secret. But for those who are just meeting me on this here interwebs, it may be.

I never thought I'd be a stay at home mom.  

I was raised by a working (and from the age of nine, single) mother, whom I respect and admire. I didn't know a different way of life, and I was just fine with that.  I saw myself growing up to be just like her, working daily and spending time with my family on nights and weekends, while entrusting the care of my children to trusted day cares and the superb schools that we are lucky enough to have in Minnesota.

Then my husband got an offer to move overseas for three years.  And I no longer was going to be a working outside of the home mom.

A new world thrust itself upon me, and I have to admit, I've been fighting it ever since.  Perhaps, for my last two months overseas, I'll embrace it.  Eh...maybe.  But either way, I want to make sure I remember this experience.  I want to remember it both for its glory and its trials.

So...a little essay:

* *

Why stay-at-home mothers will forever be my heroes

by Jenny H.

For the times when you are losing your mind, but you swallow your holler and sing that song or give that hug or fill that milk glass, because you know their precious eyes will startle from the holler.

For the times that you just about trip over your two year old daughter inevitably sending one or both of you to the E.R., but you save yourself at the last minute by grabbing ahold of that vacuum cleaner that you have to push around once too often, because you realize that there simply isn't time for a hospital visit.
For the days when they wake before dawn, and stay up past sunset with nary a nap or school to break up the day, and you maintain even an once of patience.

For the rainy days that seem endless and impossible, but your optimism reminds you that in fact, the sun may come out tomorrow.

For the moments it would just be easier to give in to the whining and crying, but you stand your ground so that your children learn that isn't the way to get what you want (even though sometimes you wish maybe that would work for you).
For all the photos you take and albums you make to remember the madness, that you barely are pictured in but thats okay, because you know you were there.

For all of those days and moments and all of the others that make you cringe, smile, cry, laugh, sigh and that give you goosebumps...you are my heroes.

* *

Linking up today over at:


Memorial Day thoughts

There are a few things that help me to appreciate holidays such as Memorial day even more as I grow older.

First, having now spent nearly three years outside of the United States of America, I've learned to appreciate all that our fair country has to offer.  I can't even explain what the specifics are, its just a feeling that America is HOME.

Second--while it compares in no way, shape or form--having spent this much time away from 'home', family, and all that is familiar, I have a new found appreciation for what our troops experience as they leave all that they are familiar with and love to serve our country.

So on this Memorial Day I send thoughts and prayers to current troops, veterans and those who have gave their lives to protect our country and our freedom.



My mind and my heart are in battle today, deciding who is going to win the thought war that I'm experiencing.

I'm on the edge.  Worry is trying to needle its way into my day, robbing my heart of joy.

Scotland is delivering it's normal with a cloudy day at hand.  I should be okay with that, since there have been several days of sun...but today?  It just adds to my 'cons' list.

The trick is to pull myself out of this place my mind is taking me.  So I turn to my new tool in dealing with life, the book Shift Happens by Robert Holden

Every time you worry you make movies in your mind that are full of imagine horror, disaster scenes, and unhappy endings.  Fear is the director, producer, and writer.  A frightening fiction take the place of reality.  You do not perceive your won best interests   you have no real vision, clarity or perspective. 
Worry solves nothing. The fact is, worry never once in the whole history of the human race saved the day. At best, worry is an alarm bell, but no alarm bell ever put out a fire.  Worry is not enough.  If you are worrying, you are blocking your true creativity. You are not in your true power. There is a better way.  
Shift happens whenever you decide to give up worry for something better.  For instance:  
"I worry about the future." Worry is a waste of time.  It kills spontaneity, fun and happiness now.  Commit to now. Give your best to this day. Bless your past. And put the future in God's hands.                                                             (Shift Happens p 199-201)

So today, I'm going to give up worry for something better.  At least three 'something betters', in fact. I'll document it on Instagram (click there to see the photos online), where I'll hashtag the something betters (I'm obsessed with hashtags right now) with #betterthanworry.

Who's with me?

* * *

A Royal Daughter



We were talking about some chocolate chip cookies I baked over the weekend at dinner last night.  J#1 agreed that they were good (here's the recipe), but fragile.  I joked, "just like me".

* * * 

April was a month that showed me, in more than one way, that life as a whole, is in fact, extremely fragile.  One event can change your world forever.

* * *

May continues that trend, with the devastation that occurred in Oklahoma yesterday. My mind can't seem to stray from the parents who have lost their children, and all of the other families who have lost loved ones. I can imagine, just a bit, the terror that must have pierced those parents' hearts as they heard of a tornado knowing that they weren't with their children. Praying for them so that they may find some peace throughout this ordeal.

* * * 

As I continue to read Shift Happens, I've learned about The WAIT problem. 
"The WAIT Problem" is a common block to happiness, love and success. In fact, there is no need to wait.  Happiness awaits you. Love awaits you. Success awaits you.  They await your choice, your acceptance, a sign from  you, a "Yes" from you.  For as long as you wait, you cannot see what is already possible, what is already here, and what is already waiting for you.                                                                              (Shift Happens, pg. 163)

There is a great amount of truth in those words.  

And in these:

* * *

So in honor of those who have been affected by the fragility of life, think about what you are waiting for, and then stop waiting.

What do you enjoy?  Do it.
Who do you love?  Hug them. Kiss them.
Stop waiting, and live life today the way you've always imagined you'd live it.

At least that's what I plan on doing.

* * *

Will you join me?


moving madness on Mondays: week 1: dreams

A new series begins on the blog today. 

Moving Madness on Mondays

See, about every second thought that runs through my head right now has something to do with our upcoming move back to Minnesota from Scotland.  I know I'm not the first -or the last- person to move, and this is far from being my first dance with the experience, but I thought, "hey, I should share my thoughts on the blog, maybe someone else who is moving can benefit from it".  Or, sometimes even if you aren't moving, you could benefit from it.

* * *

Since this is the beginning of the series, seems only appropriate to show you where my head is at a bit.  And I had a dream this morning that is a perfect representation of the typical worries thoughts I have right now. 

A little background: last night my husband and I had a conversation about Windows 8 (Microsoft's newest operating system), and the fact that they are bringing the "start" button back.  A few things occurred to me as we were talking about that: 
  1. I didn't even know they had removed the start button
  2. He had to remind me where it was since I've only been using Apple computers since our move
  3. I promptly started worrying that I wouldn't know how to run my computer when I start working again, because the chances are pretty good I'll have a pc. 
Fast forward to this morning, and the dream that Kanye West woke me from {my alarm is his Stronger song}.  

I'm in my new office {at my old company, so sounds like my subconscious is hoping to be back there} and for some reason there is a cartoon on. Why do I have a t.v. in my office?  I have no idea.  A few of my co-workers are in the office with me, waiting for our meeting to start. 

But guess what?  I hadn't even turned my computer on yet {probably because I don't know how to work it, right?}, so I didn't know what we are meeting about.  Then, as my boss helps me turn on my computer, I realize that somehow I forgot to get daycare set up for the kiddos.  

So I wonder, since J#1 took care of drop off that morning, where did he take them?  

Then I woke up.  

Probably a good thing, since it sounds like it was turning a bit more into a nightmare than a dream. 

* * *

So tell me below in the comments or on the Facebook page...
What sort of topics would like to hear about in the Moving Madness on Mondays series? 


"Shift Happens"

Turns out the most recent book I've been reading works in perfectly with my word for 2013 {enough}.

No amount of self-improvement can make up for a lack of self-acceptance.
Self-acceptance = enough.  

More on this:
Self-acceptance is your number one goal in life.  Why?  Because for as long as you believe that there is something unacceptable about you, you will push away love, you will sabotage success, you will unconsciously conspire against joy, you will struggle, and you will never really find out who you are or what you are really capable of.                                             
With self-acceptance, you fear you will lose something, but really you lose nothing that is real and gain everything that is. For instance, with self-acceptance, you lose your fear of lack and gain wholeness, you lose your guilt and gain innocence, you lose your self-criticism and gain great creativity, and you lose your ego and you regain your Unconditioned Self.                                                                                                                        
(Shift Happens: How to live an Inspired Life...Starting right now! pg 95)
So expect a little less self-improvement around here.

And my goal is to replace the self-improvement with giving.  Because the author Robert Holden has some life-altering things to mention about giving of ourselves as well:

You are a gift-bearer, blessed with gifts of God, and you are here on earth to live fully and give fully--not just things, but who you are.  You are the gift. My work has shown me over and over again that when people do not give themselves fully they experience lack, struggle with discontent, emptiness, isolation and illness. Do not sit on your gifts. 
The truth is giving is a treasure in itself.  For instance, when you offer your smile, it is your body that produces more immunity-enhancing "T" cells; when you give love, it is your heart that gets the message; and when you give praise to someone , it is your consciousness that is raised.  What you give to others, you affirm for yourself.  Giving is receiving.  There is not loss. 
                            (Shift Happens: How to live an Inspired Life...Starting right now! pg 84) 

So being lazy on the couch and getting nothing done?  Doesn't make me feel any better, and definitely doesn't benefit anyone else. Although I do need to figure out how watching my favorite t.v. shows is giving {ratings, perhaps? helping people with their careers?} because that I can't give up.

But as much as I can, I want to create scenes like this one of J#3 and me with our (according to him) "roofs" on:

Those are the types of moments that give me enough happiness to last all day.


fork in the road

I'm at a fork in the road of life.

We are on the crux of a move back to the U.S. after almost three years of living abroad, with two children instead of one, setting a life back up there, and dealing with a health issue that I wasn't expecting.

There is a split in the path, and I have a few different routes to consider.
  1. Continue feeling sorry for myself, and wallow in the fact that there are a lot of "hard" parts of life right now. 
  2. Work up the courage to start each day with positivity; remembering all the good that can happen instead of fearing the bad. Make a habit of being productive and accomplished instead of being stagnant. 
Being truthful, for about the last month or so, number one seemed to be the path I was taking.  It was easier.  The path well traveled, I guess a person could say.  But where does that path get a person?  

No where I want to be at this point in my life. 

Have you had these moments?  What have you done to send yourself on the narrow path?  The harder, but more beneficial, path of living positively and making your future bright instead of letting it find its own way. 

I like to think of myself as a positive person, but when things get me down... well, I'm down.  I want to be a person that chooses joy no matter the circumstances.  

I have been keeping a list of things to be grateful for since the beginning of the year, along with a photo for each day on the app Gratitude365.  129 days into the year and I have 439 gratitudes.

It's a lot to be grateful for.  And the fact is, each day for the rest of the year I'll find things to be grateful for as well.

So really...why not be positive about what life has left to bring me this year? 


I am beautiful: a link-up

Today I'm excited to be part of a huge event hosted by Speak Now

From their site:
Speak Now has been established as an online and hands on community designed specifically to empower, join, and love as a group of women who believe in themselves. 
And specifically the goal of this group is to empower and support young women, high school and college age girls who are looking for and learning confidence.

Did you know:

So instead of letting this be a never ending cycle Ellie at Speak Now has put together an event today where 25 bloggers are sharing their stories of empowerment. Read on (below my post) to learn more about today's event.  Plus...shh... a surprise.  There is a giveaway!

Here's my story.

# #

"Do you dye your eyebrows?"  I've wrote in this space before how that one question helped to begin the cycle of worrying about what other people thought of me, at the ripe old age of six or so.  

I look back at photos from those days, and as a Mom now, can see that I was a cute kid.  What was I worried about?  Who cares if someone thought I had dyed my eyebrows? 

But isn't that what we all do?  From a young age, we learn that we need to be worried about what everyone else thinks.  I'm not even sure how to prevent that cycle from continuing with my daughter, but I'm going to try.

Here's the issue though.  As much as I try, there is a good likelihood that I'll be defeated because of the messages that media and society in general put out there about women.  I'm sure my mother did all she could to let me know that I was a pretty girl, that I was smart and loveable.  In fact, I know she did.  I can remember the notes in birthday cards, the mentions of proud moments and just random comments throughout our days.

Why do we let the naysayers take over and outshine the positive?

The one thing I'm teaching my kids to do now, that I hope will have an impact on the future:  when they get a compliment, I am trying to teach them to say "thank you".

"Thank you." And then I need to teach them to file that in the good pile.

Of course parenting is all about leading by example.  I've (somewhat successfully) been doing the same thing.  When someone tells me it looks like I've lost weight and look good, I'll say "thank you", instead of coming up with an excuse for it, or saying, "eh it was only five pounds."

The trick now is to remember those compliments.  I'm at a point in life right now where I don't actually get many (if any) disparaging or judgmental comments about my outside appearance--or personality for that matter.

And lets be real.  I  never got a ton either.  Well, except for that knobby knee song that a boy wrote me on the bus...but I digress.

With all of that in mind, I'm going to give myself a challenge.  At the end of the day, instead of focusing on the negative inputs into our day (if there are any), let's make a list of compliments.  We can list all of the nice things people said about us, right there with our gratitude lists--because they are definitely something to be grateful for.

Are you with me?

# # #

Ellie Coburn // elliecoburn.com | Ashly Griffith // After nine to five |  Keri-Anne Pink // Gingerlilytea | Franchesca Cox // So this is love | Kristine Foley // The Foley Fam | Lena Baird // Lena B. Actually | Emily // Dashboard Diaries | Cristine // Life with a side of CoffeeShane Prather // Whispering Sweet Nothings | Shantel Cannon // Our Funny Little Family | Heather // Finding Beauty in the Ordinary | Ady // When in Doubt, just add Glitter | Beth Lewis // Through the eyes of the Mrs. | Brooklyn // This Little BlondeCassie Yielding // Live. Laugh. Love | Tamika Rybinski // No Time for Tea | Torie Jochims // Lattes and Love | Laurel Martinez // Heart of Wanderer  | Laura Williams // Lulu's Little Wonderland | Kayli // Truly LovelyAli Mills // Our Happily Ever After |  Jean // What Jean LikesHannah Stocker // All of My days with you | Jen Hallquist // Living a Listful LifeJill Wilhelm // I know the plans I have for you
  Happy May Speak Now friends, both new and old! 
Today is an exciting day for Speak Now
Today, some fabulous ladies have teamed up to link up and tell you that you're beautiful. 
Speak Now is all about beauty from the inside out.
We believe in your dreams + passions. We believe in you. 
Today we want you to look in the mirror and tell yourself that you're beautiful.
Identify what makes you feel beautiful. Make this feeling an obligation in your life.
Today we are here to remind you that you can do anything.
Today and everyday, you are lovely, you are perfect, you are bold, you are unique.
Today and every day- you are beautiful!
Speak Now is a women empowerment organization 
built around the philosophy that self-love, self-respect, + self-confidence will make you beautiful.
We empower. We create. We educate. We inspire.
Link your blog up to connect with other bloggers who believe in the empowerment of women and help us spread awareness about the importance of women empowerment!
Once you link up, no community experience would be complete without a little welcome gift!  We are giving away a $100 visa gift card and any piece of beautiful jewelry from the Speak Now shop!
So link up, enter our giveaway, take a look at some of our blogging friends, and share our mission with your friends, family, and fellow blogging community. 
We are an online community designed to believe in you.
Today, we want you to join our movement. 
&  win a $100 visa gift card and a custom jewelry piece from our jewelry store
+1 for each // Follow Speak Now on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram - COMMENT FOR EACH
+ 1 for each // Follow via GFC, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for any of our co-hosts - COMMENT FOR EACH
+ 1 // Share Speak Now's I AM BEAUTIFUL May link up with your FB or twitter friends - COMMENT FOR EACH
+1 // Spreading the word via status/tweet/instagram post- COMMENT FOR EACH
A very special thanks to  Aunie of Aunie Sauce, Casey Wiegand,  Keri-Anne Pink, and Salena Lee  for sponsoring our link up!


revisiting: enough

At the beginning of the year, instead of choosing a new year's resolution, I chose a word.  The funny thing is...life happens.  I honestly forgot about my word until I saw someone post about their's just a few days ago.

My word for 2013 was enough.

When I think of that word now, five months into the year, it begins to take on a different meaning than I had originally intended.

It started out as being about "enough excuses, enough of thinking too much, enough of being too hard on myself." Huh.  Well, I guess it hasn't changed all that much.  Although, frankly I haven't made a ton of progress on those items.

So here's to reigniting a dedication to my word: enough.

The original intent was actually the idea that I am enough. I don't need the opinions of others to make me feel better about myself.  I don't need to keep trying to improve myself.

I am enough just the way I am.

You know what that means?  Anything else is just an improvement.

* * * 

How about you? Did you pick a word for the year?  Or tackle any new year's resolutions?  
Tell me how they are going.  


Getting Blog Fit

See?  Told you I'd be back really soon.

Now that I've decided to get back into this fun blogging game, I figured I need to exercise my writing muscles a bit.  Get them back in to shape, get 'blog fit' you could say.  I have SO many things I could and want to be writing about.  It leaves me not knowing where to start.

That means today I'm going to be a copycat.  Over at Living in Yellow Erin answered some questions and invited people to join her.  What better way to get back into 'it' then with pre-set questions to spur my thoughts.


1. If you could do one thing differently in your life, what would it be?
There was this one house we bought several years ago.  It was a split entry, and we knew we didn't like split entries.  But we bought it anyways, since we were in what we thought was a crunch situation.  And sold it five months later.  I wouldn't have bought that house in the first place.  

That's about it.  Everything else in life has made sense at some point or another.  I guess there are a few late college nights that may have not been a good idea at the time, but that's all part of the experience.  

And I'm a firm believer in everything happening for a reason (as cliche as that is), so I'm good with everything else and the fact that everything that has happened is part of some bigger, master plan that I'm not privy to. 

2. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In Minnesota. 
With a (gulp) 9 year old and 7 year old. 
Working. Married.  
Surrounded by family and friends just cities away. 
In a home. Our home.  Hopefully our forever home. 

3. Do you honestly want kids?

Skipping this one; because obviously that ship has sailed.  And it's a cruise that I surely enjoy. 

4. What has been the best moment of your life so far?

The summer before my senior year of college I was working at an office in my home town.  I saw a guy that I had known in high school and been friends with on and off through high school (ending with the 'off').  I called his name as he walked by my co-worker and friend's cubicle (she encouraged me to do it).  That is probably the best moment of my life so far. 

Fourteen years later, that guy has been my husband for 12, the father of my two precious children and the best friend and supporter a girl could have, among other things.  

Yeah.  That was definitely the best moment.  I don't take many risks, but that was surely a good one.

5. What is your life theme song?

Foo Fighters: Wheels
"When the wheels come down; When the wheels touch ground; And you feel like it's all over; There's another round for you"
6. What is one thing you have yet to accomplish that you want to do before you die?
To figure out my "dream" and work towards it.  I realized just the other day I don't really have a "dream"; that one thing that people work for in life.  I have a few ideas, but I need to figure out something solid. 

Although I'm leaning towards it being this:  I want to make a difference in at least one (hopefully many more) young woman's life.  Girls who are in the pre-teen and teen years, who need support and encouragement.  I want more girls to grow up with a confidence that can't be shaken and positive self images, so we aren't faced with a generation of woman (again) who are fighting to: learn how to be healthy, find themselves and learn to be strong and confident well in their 30s.  

7. If you could choose one thing to be known for, what would it be?
Being a good friend and a kind person. 

Oops.  That's two. 

8. If you could do anything you wanted right in this very moment (no consequences, no fear, etc), what would it be?
Move to the north shore of Minnesota and buy a resort.  

9. What has been the most challenging moment in your life?
How about the most challenging years?  That would be the last two and a half years. As a wise woman and friend of mine that I had lunch with a few weeks ago said, "I imagine its been the highest of highs and the lowest of lows".  And truer words had never been spoken.
The life of an expat is just that.  The highest of highs (traveling to countries and locations I never thought I'd see in my lifetime) to the lowest of lows (being away from friends and family when things are rough for them...and honestly when things are rough for me too). 

10. Summarize yourself in one word.
In general?  Thoughtful (sometimes too much so)
Today?  Unsettled. 

So if you are curious what how some other random strangers answered these questions...head on over to Living in Yellow!

I'm back?! And Bloglovin.

Hey there!  It's been awhile, huh?  Well, I'm back.

I've got a little bit of stuff going on in life right now, so I figure I might as well just add to it.  Busy bee, just call me.  Although its not so much all busyness as it is thinking and deciding {and frankly, trying to not worry about everything}.

While I was away, there was this big dealio with the google reader going away.  SO, if that is how you read this here blog {now that I'm finally back!}, then may I ask you to head over to bloglovin & follow me there?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Muchas Gracias amigas.  Talk more soon. Really soon.


simplify. part 4. {a blogging break}

I've talked about different parts of my life--from online life to quotes to other forms of media-- that I'm simplifying over the last week or so; and now its time to talk about this blog and the other blog I created to track my journey to living healthy (Jen Lives Healthy). 


The first time I wrote this post, it was something along the lines of the fact that I was just going to get 'back to the basics', and talk about list updates here and basic updates on where my weight loss is over at the other blog.  Maybe just a few posts total each week.

But as the past week went on, and I found myself busy with life--good life moments--I decided that it might be time for a break from blogging here.

For those of you that know me in a space other than this blogging space, and want to stay caught up on our world, I am going to be updating our family blog more {I promise!  And I don't break promises}.  And that is actually one of the reasons I want to take this break.

I want to make sure that I am capturing all of the beautiful, once in a lifetime moments that we are experiencing right now for my children, my husband and myself.
Last Wednesday was one of those moments days.  A soul filling, beautiful, random afternoon and evening in Edinburgh.  We played at Edinburgh Castle--which is usually full of tourists--on a sunny and mild day, and felt like we had the place to ourselves.

Which is something we don't mind in the least.
And yes, I have a little idea in mind of something else I'll be working on at the computer, if time allows and my brain cooperates.  {wink}

During the months of March and April, if something real exciting comes up, I may pop back in--so don't go away! Keep me in your reader or however you happen to read these posts.  Once those two months roll on by, I'll check back in and see how life is going. See if I'm feeling a pull to write here or if something else is pulling me somewhere.

Also, (at least for now) I'll still be over at Instagram, so feel free to follow me there (jenlives). I will write monthly updates over at Jen Lives Healthy, so I can keep a good record of the 'action'.

AND if you want to still follow along with our family, and haven't gotten our family blog URL, please comment, email me or comment on Facebook, and I'll get you the URL.  I'm keeping it a bit on the private side, as I use all of our real names and such, but I'm willing to share it with my friends here in the blog world.  {smile}

So until May... may your spring be bright, beautiful and full of joy.

Ciao for now.

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