Monthly Archives: March 2013

Happy Day…

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Awe what a lovely, beautiful and happy day!! My day was full of people, sunshine and was pretty peaceful even with extra kids, a playdate in the park, and the eggstravaganza at my church. I had little stress and lots of smiling all around. I really hope that there are a lot more days like this in store for the Peanut girl and I. We need it!! Tomorrow we are looking forward to Easter with my parents and Nana it should be another day of peace and will most likely be pretty quiet. I am also going to attempt my first real massage in 6 years!! So here is hoping that my Momma enjoys it and that I am not as horrible as I fear I am. ūüôā I have many pictures of our day and will put some up tomorrow with our Easter pictures. I hope that you all have a great Easter!!

Jenness

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Modesty and Feminism

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Modesty has been a subject that was drilled into me as a child and for that I have¬†extremely grateful to my mother that she stood her ground about it. I¬†have had this post sitting in my drafts for sometime and the reason that I was¬†I was prompted to write this post¬†was because¬†of¬†the half time show during the Super Bowl. During which I¬†watched yet another woman flaunt her body and sexuality in front of millions of people as a form of “family friendly” entertainment…a few years back I was even more appalled at Shakira¬†on a 2009 episode of America’s Got¬†Talent where she sang her song She Wolf and during her¬†performance she¬†literally humped¬†a speaker¬†in the most graphic and provocative way¬†I was sickened and lost respect for her in that moment.¬†Why has the world made this acceptable entertainment? Why is it that I can’t get clothing at Target that covers my daughter’s body? Seriously, how did the woman’s liberation movement and fight for equality and empowerment come to mean oozing our sexuality¬†all over the place wearing it like a badge and hitting people over the¬†head with¬†it. How do I train my precious child to cover her body and protect herself from the dangers of the world when the media touts sexuality as being something¬†to be flaunted. I was prompted¬†to look up feminism, and modesty in the¬†dictionary¬†the¬†clearest and best definitions are my opinion is listed below…

Feminism

1.¬†belief in women’s rights:¬†belief in the need to secure rights and opportunities for women equal to those of men, or a commitment to securing these

2.¬†movement for women’s rights:¬†the movement committed to securing and defending rights and opportunities for women that are equal to those of men
And a feminist is someone who advocates such rights…
Modesty
1. freedom from conceit or vanity, 2.  propriety in dress, speech, or conduct
I discussed this issue at length with my mother¬†(who raised 3 daughters and has two beautiful granddaughter and one more on the way) just before I began writing my post and with her permission I share why she was so adamant about it this is what she has to say on the subject…
I was so strict about this subject because modesty is a Biblical principle.¬† Not only that, but girls get judged by their appearance too often.¬† If girls dress immodestly they become objectified and begin to think that is more important than character.¬† I see more women manipulate through these means every day and then they wonder why no one takes them seriously. I have many other reasons. self-respect, respect for God and his principles, respect for men, immodesty increases the chance of immorality, etc., etc…One of the main reasons is that I wanted to protect you (my sister and I) from the potentially¬†wonderful feeling of that kind of attention, but horribly false sense of value you would get from men paying attention to you just to get something from you.¬† Young girls don’t always draw attention from their peers.¬† But from all kinds of men, young and old. It might¬† be flattering attention from that¬†cute guy you noticed in English.¬† But your 50-year-old math teacher, grocery store clerk, quiet uncle, Dad’s¬† best friend, etc. notice¬†too.¬†You know, our society is selling women and men a false bill of goods by using sexiness¬†and attractiveness to sell everything, as if it is more important than any other quality a woman could have.¬† Beauty and sexiness¬†is fleeting, but quality of character, intelligence, friendship, ability, knowledge, kindness, insightfulness, humility, etc., last a lifetime and improve with age like fine wine.¬†(Linda)
Frankly, I could not have said it better.  My daughter is beautiful inside and out and I hope that she continues to grow her inner beauty and have quality of character to accompany her throughout her life. Even with that being said I see things that have the influence of society and people in our life that have begun to eat away at her confidence telling her that beauty is defined by her body structure and face. I have such strong feelings about this and I really think that it is more about the protection of my daughter and others daughter and sons. Even though it is a Godly principle I think the concepts apply to all people. It is a matter of teaching our daughters and sons about character,  that inner beauty and that the quality of your heart and character are what matter.  How can we teach the sons and future men of this generation to treat woman with respect and treat them as their equals with the pervasive idea that you are nothing if you are not sexy. With super stars running around in the their underwear or less in videos and on TV how can we teach them to value the quality of a woman heart and mind to find her worth in actions other than how her body and face look.
We are on a frightening path and are children are in the middle of it all do you think that the future leaders of this world are going to serve their communities well when they cannot see past the surface to see people’s humanity, seeing a person for their true inner beauty allowing them to open¬†their hearts and minds to all the¬†qualities¬†they possess¬†like being able to hold an intelligent conversation, using their minds to be creative in whatever way God has blessed them,¬†their drive, ambition, respect for authority, respect for themselves¬†and a love of people. These things are what will carry them through their lives. God put everyone on the Earth for a purpose lets help our children live out that life and encourage them to live authentically and with integrity and honor, with a good sense of self-worth that has nothing to do with their outward appearance.¬†Therefore, raising true Feminists who fit the definition…advocates for equality for not just woman but for human kind that radiate beauty from the strength of their character that¬†reflects onto their beautiful faces making them the most beautiful of God’s creatures.
Jenness
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Depression is a four letter word…

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As those closest to me have I am sure have seen I have not been myself…during my fourth long-lasting panic attack¬†in the last¬†month I decided it was time to see the doctor. On Friday I had my Dad pick up Peanut and I headed off to the doctor’s office and as I sat far too much in my own head,¬†I waited to discuss all the crazy that has been becoming a permanent resident in my mind and life. As I sat tears fell down my face and I was so afraid of what I would say and how I would act. As soon as the doc came in I couldn’t control the stream of frustration and pent-up emotions of the past 6 months. I discussed the numbness in my face and arms I discussed how I feel completely incapable of even doing simple tasks like doing the dishes or vacuuming the floors. A connecting theme in it all was the kind of parent I see myself becoming and that I cannot even seem to control my own thoughts…and I¬†abhor it, I hate that my mind is betraying me and I am becoming my own worst enemy. My doctor said words that I didn’t want to hear she said…I think you are seriously battling DEPRESSION and that often it is interlinked with anxiety and panic attacks. To me DEPRESSION is a FOUR LETTER WORD. I hate the word I hate the stigma I hate that she was right…

Depression…¬† a condition of general emotional dejection and withdrawal; sadness greater and more prolonged than that warranted by any objective reason.

Partnered with…

Anxiety…distress or uneasiness of mind (1) one of its synonyms is disquiet…that is such a good explanatory word it means…lack of calm, peace, or ease; anxiety; uneasiness…to deprive of calmness, equanimity, or peace; disturb; make uneasy. (1)

Ok so lets combine these two definitions (my issues with anxiety I have¬†discussed about in my blog Undone By Anxiety)…Distress or¬†uneasiness¬†of mind laced with emotional dejection and withdrawal topped off with ¬†lack of calm, peace, or ease with a chaser of sadness greater and more prolonged than that warranted by any objective reason. I mean REALLY?? No wonder I am freaking losing my mind that I feel so out-of-place and not at all like myself!! I feel stupid and trapped by my own brain, it has been betraying me at every turn and certainly did not see the danger and darkness that was looming ahead. Shit it seems as though it was purposeful in its trajectory and I think that is part of what pisses me off about depression and anxiety is that I have little choice about where it takes me I know I have been trying to battled it and to keep my sanity not only for my sake but for Peanuts too. But, it snuck in there anyway and took charge of my life.

Here is the silver lining of it all I was placed on a cheap medication that I can only pray to God works and I found out that my doc’s office offers counseling at $10 a session!!!¬†It was such a relief to know that I had enough sense to ask for the kind of help that I needed and also that I can find affordable means of combatting the crazy. The social worker that I talked to said something that made a lot of sense…he said “sometimes we out grow our coping mechanisms and we need to learn new coping skills”¬† Also in the course of the conversation he mentioned that the things that brought you to this point are different from the things you have dealt with in the past. Awe enlightenment and some sense returning to my brain.

I am truly glad that I had enough sense to reach out and ask for the help I needed and I pray that in a month I am far more on top of my game and on the path to a more stable and productive me, a better parent and a better person.

Jenness

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15 years later…

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To say that 15 years later¬†that the death of my friend¬†Kay Lynn Jackson (April¬†5, 1998)¬†left an indelible mark on my life would be an extreme understatement. There is not a day that goes by that I do not see the lasting impression that the tragedy of her murder left on my heart and mind. Here is what I have learned about grief…there literally is no time-table for healing and don’t let anyone guilt you or pressure you into “being ok” with an event that negatively changed your life forever. I would say that yes indeed time is your friend and that the severity and rawness that comes from the feelings you experience in the midst of tragedy do fade into a bearable faint reminder.

15 years is a long time but the tears were fresh in my eyes a few Sunday’s back when my Minister brought Kay’s name up in the course of his sermon…my family was sitting a row behind me and I knew if I turned and looked at their faces when her name came up that the tears would be uncontrollable. So I physically willed myself not to look behind me and I sat up straighter and steeled my emotions. I think part of why this was such a life altering moment in time for me was because of the lack of closure,¬†her murder has yet to be solved and in many ways because of that it has been a lesson in forgiving the unforgivable and finding a way to lean on God’s justice and trust that it will prevail.

Many times I have heard my mother say forgiveness is not for the person you are forgiving it is for you…how can you move forward in life if you choose to hold onto the past? I have found this ideology to be true and frankly quite poignant because in my short life not only have I needed to be forgiven a million times over but I have found myself needing to forgive and the least of the people I have had to forgive is myself. Something changes when you see the absolute worst part of¬†humanity, you go to a dark and cynical place and begin to dwell there…bitterness and hopeless begin to blacken your heart and the lies of the enemy become your constant companion robbing you of sanity and the ability to use¬†forward thinking. (What I mean by forward thinking is having the courage, strength and fortitude to move through rough times and tragedy.)¬†This state of mind is a very emotionally draining and potentially detrimental place to reside for any length of time…trust me I know.

After Kay’s death this is where I resided I begged God to let me switch places with her I thought out plans¬†of how I could end my life bringing the least¬†amount of¬†pain to my family as possible yes a na√Įve thought but nonetheless I was in immense pain and wanted an escape. I remember very little of the week after her death and I remember very little of the months to follow…but looking back I can see the poignancy of the footprints poem specifically the part about their only being one set of footprints…

“The Lord replied, “The times when you have seen only one set of footprints, is when I carried you.” Mary Stevenson

Truth be told I am sure this is the reason I survived that time in my life. I had nothing to hold onto and the world that I knew had been shattered into a million little pieces and I didn’t have the proper tools to recover. Everyone around me had great intentions and¬†they were¬†also hurting because this tragedy touched many lives either directly or indirectly, the whole community of Boise was mourning. I also¬†didn’t share with my loved ones (even though they could probably read it¬†in my actions)¬†the depths of pain I was in and I didn’t do one key thing…I didn’t ask for the kind of help I needed.

With time the monsters in my mind became a dull roar and some sense of normalcy came back but I have never ever been the same. My innocence was robbed from me and not only that but the dark place that I described above¬†continued to reside¬†in a deep¬†part of my heart and some of the bitterness and blackness lingered. Not to say that it has ruled my life because I have always had this idea¬†that¬†there is something better out there for me and I have been hopeful to a degree about things but I think that Kay’s death was a trigger for the deep pain that was inside me that I always hid behind my smile.

Though I have so many negative correlations to this time in my life one lessons that I learned has served me well and it is this…pour into people…pour love, understanding, forgiveness into the people who touch your life because you never know if you will have a tomorrow with them. I loved Kay and I wish that I had let her know how much she and her friendship meant to me¬†and the¬†good that I have been able to¬†gleaned from the situation is just what I mentioned…cherish the ones you love hold them close and build into their lives…and, that we can use the tragedies in our lives to better the world one person at a time. I pray that¬†with all the lessons I have learned through her death and all other paths that lead me to the place I am today can aid me in doing just that, pouring love, understanding, and forgiveness¬†into people’s lives to positively affect them and help them through the trials and tribulations that life brings. Lord thanks for getting me to the 15 years later point. ‚̧

Jenness

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Kindergarten and tears…

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My baby girl is headed to kindergarten in the fall and last Thursday she got all registered. It was a long wait and very hot with the nearly 200 people who were in the lobby of her new school. I have always thought that I would put her into a private school I have had this dream because I had such struggles with school not only because of my ADHD but because kids like me at the time were looked over and undereducated pushed through the school system and not given the proper tools to succeed.¬†I never developed a love for learning that I envied in other people and many times have wished that I could have had. And being that things like learning disabilities and with my own experiences I had a pie in the sky idea for my precious peanut to attend a school where she would get any and all the attention she needed to succeed. With that being said in our current financial situation I decided to give public school a try…I am calling it a trial run.

Peanut was so excited to be going to her new school and registering while we were in the hot line of kids and parents she saw the school mascot a million times and gave him high 5’s and hugs a plenty and chit chatted with the other kids in line her new potential little friends. It is funny to me because they all seemed like babies to me and that they were so much younger than my Peanut, who is 5 going on 15. ūüėõ Truth is sometimes I have to remind myself that she is 5 and that 5 year-olds act like 5 year-olds. Crazy I know but if you knew my daughter you would understand. ūüėČ I didn’t know what to expect with the process and after filling out all the paper work we took a trip down the hall to meet the school nurse, the principle, and both of the kindergarten teachers.

Through the process they gave her a paper with a test of sorts on it and had set up all these little booths. At each booth was a different task that tested her readiness for entering kindergarten. At each station I saw my daughter get the opportunity to shine she tackled each task with precision and excitement, as she was praised and encouraged that she definitely was ready to start school!! At the name writing session they asked her to write her name and I said Peanut why don’t you write your whole name…first, middle and last and she did it perfectly!! Tears streaming down my face my thoughts racing that my baby is growing up just hit me straight in the heart. The teacher that was helping at that station told her she was the only child that wrote her whole name and I will not lie I was beaming with pride my heart full that she is ahead of the game at this point. Of course more tears for Momma…I can only imagine what the teachers thought. She is a special and unique child,¬†she has¬†a thirst for learning, is articulate and sharp as a tack. I can’t wait for her to start growing and learning leaps and bounds! I also can’t wait for her to once again be able to participate in the social aspect of it. She is a people lover just like me and she gets so bored and lonely at home with mom being that she doesn’t have siblings.

All in all I am excited for this new adventure in our lives and I am sure the day she walks from my arms and into that school-house I will be smiling though my tears and not wanting to let her go. Her cuteness is extreme in the pictures and she is sooo excited!!

Jenness

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Art with Abby…

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Today was a day of cleaning and art…I cleaned house vacuumed,¬†did dishes and watched my girls do art. I have been trying to do little bits of things everyday that contribute to the cleanliness of the house because the mess drives me seriously crazy. I feel like if I bite it off in manageable pieces I won’t feel so overwhelmed by the task. I love that we get to add people to our family by choice and Abby girl is someone I am grateful is a part of my family. She is an enhancement and I appreciate her willingness to help and play with Peanut girl. Many times she has swooped in and saved the day by being my cleaning fairy or my babysitter all without asking for anything in return, other than maybe a hot cup of coffee a good meal or a few of my tums that she thinks are yummy. ūüôā Abby is a beloved person in our home and we cannot imagine our lives without her. The pictures of the art are her and Peanut’s creations of a day of fun and art in the beautiful sun on¬†Wednesday. (I love the warmth of the¬†Sun I just wished it loved me.) ūüôā¬†It was a relaxing and¬†beautifully¬†nice day.¬†‚̧

Jenness

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Love…

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This post is a month overdue but spreading love doesn’t have a time limit right?? On Valentines Day my Peanut was showered with love from start to finish…I started her day with a pedicure at Monkey Dooz¬†she got sparkly polish¬†a lovely foot soak and leg and foot massage!! ‚̧ Then we were off to have heart pancakes at her favorite restaurant IHOP¬†(they custom-made them just for her.) ūüôā She was treated like royalty. We then¬†hung and watched movies shared a¬†heart pizza (another of her requests)…she donned¬†her V-day monkey/heart jammies and snuggled momma. All in all it was a good day I love to celebrate her and show her how special she is. It is also a great opportunity¬†to teach her¬†gratitude for all that we have and all the love that surrounds us in our family and friends. And the greatest love of all is that of our Heavenly Father who always blesses us and takes care of us. I have post some pictures of the fun day I hope that you enjoy them and that today not just Valentines Day that you are shown how special you are and that you let the people in your life know how much you love them and how special they are to you. ‚̧

Jenness

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