Saturday, October 26, 2013

{Early} Birthday, Fall Festival, Etc

Anna's birthday is so close to Christmas that (for now, at least) we are celebrating somewhere around the 3/4 mark.  So, today was the day for her 3rd birthday celebration - even though the actual day isn't until Dec 19.

{the last two photos - of me with Anna and Emily - were taken by the girls....not too bad!}

Then tonight was the Fall Festival at Emily's school.....

this clown costume was actually made by my mom for me 35+ years ago.....worn by me, then Heather, then Emily and now Anna!

with Emily's teacher Ms. Cagle

And some beautiful clouds on my way home.....

Sunday, October 20, 2013

15 Years

Just finished a busy ACU Homecoming weekend ..... it was my 15 year reunion, so it was extra special.  Friday I took off work to prepare for my houseful of guests.  Enjoyed lunch at Bogie's with Mollie and Sara, then Sara and I ran a few errands. Katie met us at Rosa's for dinner before we headed to the Sullivan's house for our casual dessert reception.  The crowd was small, but it was good conversation time catching up.  Sarah met us at the Sullivan's and Dara joined us at home later.  Fun evening catching up again with my girls!

Saturday morning dawned bright and early (and cold!) for the parade.

hanging out - waiting for the parade to start

Sara, Sarah, Katie, Mollie/Mattie, Astrid/Laura, Jenni/Anna

Some of the girls went on to chapel after the parade and then we all came back to my house for lunch - with the addition of Kristen (who drove in on Saturday morning).  A yummy lunch of Hickory Street Cafe's famous chicken salad and zucchini bread, then we all split to enjoy our afternoon pursuits - some to the football game, some to visit other friends and family.

Then it was time to get ready for our reunion dinner.  It was held at the 181 Pine Event Center - songs, laughter, Sing Song memories, truths of God's faithfulness shared, and photo booth silliness rounded out the evening.  Here are a few snaps:

Such a fun idea - and so thankful Katie has a box full of props!  It was a relatively small crowd - looking forward to more of my classmates making it back for our 20 year. Then ACU had a post-reunion dessert concert and fireworks back on campus.  It was a fun way to mix and mingle with folks from other reunion years and enjoy some yummy treats.

After church this morning, everyone scattered to head back home and I've been crashed out on the couch most of the day in between transferring loads of sheets and towels -- I do LOVE having guests, but there is a bit of work to do putting the house back together when they all leave.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Good Thoughts.....

So, I've been {at least somewhat} transparent here that being single at age 37 wasn't in my plans for my life. I fully intended to be married with several kids at this point in my life.  I don't typically do a great job of expressing all my thoughts and feelings in a way that makes sense without sounding like I'm whining or complaining, so I'm just gonna link up to some good things I think you should watch and read.

My church is currently doing a series called "Sequels" about how we've turned love, dating, marriage, sex, family etc into idols.  A few weeks ago, the topic was on being single and how the church has made being married the be-all, end-all of Christian life - never mind the fact that the man we follow, Jesus, was single!  I thought that Jonathan Storment (our preaching minister) and Jeff Childers (ACU bible professor) did a good job of tackling a topic that I've never actually heard preached in church - that being single is ok and I'm not broken because I am not married.  (And that it is still ok for me to want to be married -- and for others that it is ok to NOT want to be married.)

It sounds a bit harsh, but those two comments are things that I have struggled with for many, many years - and they reinforce lies that I have been told by my churches. Oh, not in overt ways, of course. But in the subtle, subversive ways that Satan tells his side of the story.

So, here are some of the lies I heard the church telling me about being single and how I fit in the body:

  • Jenni, you are single, so of course you have to volunteer for every event the church is putting on (and if you don't, we'll make you feel guilty).
  • Jenni, you are single, so of course the best place for you to spend your time at church is in the nursery - those poor parents need a break (oh, I'm sorry, does this make your heart shatter with the unfulfilled longings for your own children? sorry)
  • Jenni, you are single - and our young families are SO busy, so we need YOU to help out with XYZ, as we can't expect them to contribute to the body.....
  • Jenni, you are single and I forget that you have a job and home and other commitments, but of course they aren't nearly as important as our young families and the raising of their children, so you need to blah, blah, blah.
  • Jenni, you are of course an integral part of our body, but you are single, and we don't really think that is important enough to find a way to make you feel valuable to our body, so we aren't going to try to find a way to support you in your life. Instead you get to go to bible class where the lesson illustrations are all about family - or you are in a class with strictly college aged kids.  Oh, and the sermon illustrations -'s all about the family.
  • Jenni, you are single, and that means you must not need close community, intimacy, trust, touch, are an INDEPENDENT WOMAN. 

And the part about me not being broken - I have heard the unasked questions and unspoken comments (and sometimes, the overtly asked questions/comments).....

  • Jenni, when you stop looking, you will find your husband!
  • Jenni, have you tried eHarmony,, etc etc etc???
  • Jenni, why don't you go to ABC church up the street -- I've heard they have a great singles program.
  • Jenni, think of all the heartache you have escaped! You are so lucky....
  • Jenni, when you fully trust in God and rely only on Him, then you will be blessed with a husband.
  • Jenni, when you have solved {whatever it is in you that is broken}, then your husband will appear!
  • Jenni, why don't you try exercising at the gym? When you feel good about yourself, you will be more attractive to potential mates.

Jonathan and Jeff's lesson certainly doesn't "fix" anything or solve the lies that I've been fed - and believed! - over pretty much my entire life (including my time at ACU - it's not referred to as a marriage factory for nothing), but it at least opens the conversation.  You can check out the recording here - the sermon starts around the 30 minute mark (

Jonathan then wrote a blog post the next day and referenced an article I had also recently read.  Here is Jonathan's post and the article he referenced.  There is a topic in this last article that I first discovered a few years ago - that of disenfranchised grief.  I read this article a few years ago and it really spoke to me about my feelings of pain over not having the chance to be a mom - yet or maybe ever.

And, even today, I read another post.....about the pain and baggage of never being chosen....and it resonated mightily with me.... except I'm a bit older than the author.

I don't have any way to wrap this post in a pretty bow.  But, I wanted to have these links all in one place - and give you, my readers, resources to try to hear and grieve with a sister.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ten on Ten - October 2013

up EARLY to drop my parents off at the airport for their big anniversary trip adventure

some of my rose bushes are blooming AGAIN!

somewhat creepy statue in the park near my office

Cat in the Hat!

Anna ready for ArtWalk

Emily posing with Seymour at the Center for Contemporary Arts

shoulder rides for both girls throughout the evening

October ArtWalk = Zombie Walk.  Ugh. Not really my cup of tea!

Took the girls home early while Mommy & Papa continued to serve hot dogs at ArkWalk. Rows upon rows of bows!

and dessert! my fall happy snack

Linking up here