Archive | August 2013

Blog Challenge-Day 21 My 10 favorite foods

I’m short and I’m over 40, and I love food.

The fact that I am short and over 40 shouldn’t matter, but when 2 lbs looks like 10 lbs, it makes all of the difference in the world. So here are the top 10 foods that I love, that don’t always love me:

1. I loooooooooooove Ice Cream. I’ve recently discovered Pierre’s chocolate sorbet, and I totally love it. Its a lower fat option for Ice Cream, and doesn’t make me feel as guilty!
2. Seafood~Salmon, Tuna, Swordfish, Halibut, Shellfish of any kind…
3. Mashed potatoes~they just make me happy!
4. Sushi~It’s good and I feel healthy when I eat it.
5. Chocolate~Specifically Peanut M&Ms. I could eat a thousand of them at one time. They’re just GOOD.
6. Pasta~Lasagna, Fettucini Alfredo, Seafood Pasta, Spaghetti, Tortellini
7. Chinese food~ YUM. I always feel icky the day after, but it’s definitely worth it.
8. Cheesecake-There is nothing wrong with cheesecake! Nothing at all.
9. Pierogies~again, they just make me happy. 🙂
10. Steak~Medium rare. Melt in your mouth gooooooood.

Now I also love vegetables~brussel sprouts, broccoli, fresh green beans, but I’m not going to lie~The foods that I’ve listed are amazing and wonderful and I would eat them every day if I could!!

Blog challenge Day 20-a Difficult Time in My Life

When I started this blog challenge, this was the blog day I was dreading.

Nobody wants to rehash difficult times…or dwell. We work hard to overcome them, move past them, and if possible- forget. I also knew that I needed to be able to share without sharing any of the gory details. I can write a mean scene in a book, but I have no desire to openly share the ugliest moments of my life.

I finally realized that every difficult time in my life involves loss….physical, figurative, perceived. But loss nonetheless. I lost two friends in car accidents in my 20s, my grandmother who I adored when she was in her 90s. I lost the parents who adopted me. The dad I knew as an adult was struck down with a debilitating stroke, and the mother I knew to encephalitis. Though they are still physically there, the people I knew are gone forever. I lost friendships. I lost relatives to death, and I lost my birth parents, or maybe they lost me. I almost lost my niece to cancer, but thank God she was spared. And I almost lost love, but love always seemed to come back for me.

I write a lot about Loss because I’m intimately in tune with it. And while I do as much as I can to move past it, it still haunts me. So I try to dwell on what I’ve found instead of what I’ve lost. If I only thought of what I had lost, I don’t think I could get up every day. I try to focus on my happiness and not my sadness. The difficult times are bound to find me, but I’ve been through them before. Loss will find me again, and I dread it, but I can’t hide from it or live in fear of it. So instead – I search for joy, laughter, and love, knowing that I can’t stop the rain.


Blog Challenge-Day 18 & 19

What the meaning behind my blog name & what do I collect?

I decided to merge the two days because my blog name is quite simply…my name. I chose “Inside Jen’s Mind” because I didn’t want anyone to think that I was writing my blog believing I was an expert in anything. Other than what is in my own mind, of course 😛

And what do I collect…..?
This has been the question that has plagued my Mother-in-Law for years. She’s tried to convince me to find something to “collect” to make gift giving easier, and I tried but failed. The fact of the matter is, I’m just not a collector. I never have been. Not even as a young girl.
If I have more than one of something, it’s out of need, not out of want. I’ve never really found anything that captured my fancy enough to seek it out, search for it, display it and keep it. I don’t know what that says about me, if anything.
If I’m a collector of anything material, it’s stories, books. But even those I’ve lost a lot of over the years. At least physical copies. I have more on my kindle than I have in paperback. The stories that I collect, I write down. I journal, I blog, or I just keep the stories in my head.

Don’t Worry Baby

I wrote this for someone I love who is struggling to find her happiness in life. It breaks my heart to see someone so young carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders. But I know what that can feel like, and how hard it can be to feel so old when your young. It’s been awhile since I’ve written a poem and I’ve only ever done it for me. But I thought I would share it because that’s what this blog is all about. Sharing, even when I’m not completely comfortable doing it.

Don’t Worry Baby
There are moments that come,
And moments that go.
But don’t worry, baby
That’s the way life flows.
Just hold your head up,
And keep your heart close,
And don’t worry, baby
That’s the way life should go.
The weight of the world
Can’t all fall on you.
You’re just a girl,
You’re not the glue.
Your life wasn’t meant to make it all better,
To keep us all sane,
To hold it together.
You can’t wear the heaviness
Of everyone’s pain.
You can’t carry the mantle,
Of everyone’s shame.
Let it go, baby,
Let them carry their own.
Let them figure it out,
And leave you alone.
You’ve got your own life
To live and to breathe,
You’ve got your own sadness,
You’ve got your own needs.
So go find your smile,
Go find your bliss,
Go live in the moment,
Life is better than this.
Don’t worry baby,
Life is waiting for you
To find your own happiness,
But until you do,
Let the sadness go
Just a bit at a time,
Then you’ll see what I mean,
And you will be fine.
You’re a beautiful girl~
With an angelic soul
You need to find peace,
To make you feel whole.
There are moments that come
And moments that go.
But don’t worry, baby
That’s the way life flows.
You hold your head up,
And keep your heart close.
And don’t worry, baby
That’s the way life should go.


Blog Challenge Day 17-What is your most Proud Moment?

I’ve been racking my brain trying to think of one significant moment where I felt the Most Proud.

It’s difficult to pin point just one. Most of them involve my children, some of them are career related, and some are related to my writing. A lot of these are big, loud, obvious moments when you get to stand up and cheer.

But there was a moment yesterday that was so small, so insignificant, yet so precious. I was standing in a line with my two boys, and I looked down to find that the oldest was bent over tying the shoes of the youngest. The youngest didn’t even ask him to tie his shoes and neither did I. He just looked down and noticed that his little brother’s shoes were untied and that he needed to be taken care of.

To anyone else, it would’ve looked like a normal every day act. To me, it was the culmination of all of those moments when I heard myself say “You’re the oldest, you should always look out for your brother.” And in one innnocent simple act, he let me know that he’s been listening all of his life. I was so proud of him for listening, but mostly I was proud of him because it gave me a glimpse of the person that he is, and who he is going to be. He is a kind, sweet, strong boy who is generous and loving, and I am so proud to be his mother.

I love that I have taught him that, and I tell his sweet brother how lucky he is to have such a wonderful big brother! When I went to check on them before I went to sleep last night I found them lying next to each other in the top bunk.

My oldest’s explanation was that “I got scared” so the youngest climbed up and slept with him. I love that they are growing up, looking out for and taking care of one another and hope it will always be this way.

So far, these are my proudest moments. These boys who I love so much, loving each other.


Versatile Blogger Award

I want to thank Kristen Mazzola for being so encouraging in my writing by nominating me for the Versatile Blogger award. 

I also want to thank Staci Bailey for doing the same! Both wonderful, supportive, encouraging writers.

I’m nominating the following Blogs for inspiring me as well!:

They are beautiful, interesting, funny, entertaining, and thought provoking blogs that I thoroughly enjoy reading. When I began blogging, it started out as more of a writing exercise. I just hit my 30th post (this will be 31) and I find that it has become more than that. It’s become a way to share and to learn and to grow as a writer and as a person.
In accepting the Versatile Blogger Aware, I’m supposed to share 7 things about myself that you may not know. So…here goes.
1. I’m a Pisces
2. I hate Lima Beans-the texture grosses me out and makes me want to GAG 😛
3. I have a potty mouth. I wish I didn’t, but I do. It’s a bad habit.
4. The quality that I have needed to work on the most in my life is Patience. I finally have it, most of the time.
5. I am well aware of every single one of my shortcomings. It sucks to have that much self-awareness.
6. I love to cook and I love learning how to make new things. I can barely bake.
7. If my nails aren’t painted, I bite them. Another bad habit.

Thank you again to Kristen and Staci for nominating me and for reading my blog. I am so humbled that you think that much of it. Writing this blog has been a wonderful experience which I have loved doing.
I will continue to write it as long as I have the privilege to share!! XOXOXO

Unable are the loved to die~Emily Dickinson

Unable are the Loved to die For Love is Immortality, Nay, it is Deity—

Unable they that love—to die For Love reforms Vitality Into Divinity.

~Emily Dickinson

I’ve always loved this little poem.  It’s given me comfort in the death of loved ones on several occasions.  But it doesn’t completely remove the sting of death.  Death is cruel.  Death is painful.  Sometimes for the ones who go, but always for the ones who are left behind.

In the wake of losing a loved one, it pains me to see the hurt in those who loved him the most, knew him the best.  When I lost my Grandma, I felt like a piece of me died, never to be returned.  I can still hear her calling my name, talking, telling me stories.  I can still feel the softness of her skin and see her smile when I close my eyes.  And I know that one day it will be me.  I know that, if I’m lucky, that one day I’ll be the old woman and they will have to say good-bye to me.

I know that part of life is death.  But it seems cruel and unusual nonetheless.  I watch the news and see mothers, fathers, and babies, gone before their time.  And it makes me wonder What is the point?  What are we really meant to do in this short time?  Life IS short.  I’m at least, if not more than halfway through mine.  And it’s been wonderful, and awful, and amazing, and unbearable.  But sometimes I wonder What am I really meant to do?  Is this all that there is?

I look at my children, and I know that it is so much more.  The promise, the expectation, the anticipation is all wrapped up in their little hearts and minds.  And like all loving parents, I am hopeful, so hopeful that their life will be so much more than mine.   And then I think that I’ve gotten it at least partly figured out. 

Then I think about people who suffer, truly suffer, without the reward of hope. I wonder what the purpose of their life was, and I hope that they knew before they went. 

Death makes you think of the damndest things. 

I think that the cruelest thing about death is the bond that is ultimately broken between those who go and those who stay.  When you truly love someone and they leave you, it becomes a chasm so big in your soul that you wonder if it can ever be filled.  And while you know that those who go wouldn’t want you to suffer, you can’t help but suffer anyways.  Because that’s how it feels without them. 

Empty, lonely, terrible, sad.  You miss their essence, their love, their spirit, and everything about them that made them special and endeared them to you.  And when they are your confidante, your protector, your everything, it’s difficult to imagine that you can ever be whole without them. 

I imagine that my gift to my grandmother is my children, my life, and everytime that I laugh or think of her.  I have missed her during some of the most difficult times of my life, wishing that I could feel her arms around her or hear her tell me she loved me.  I know that she could have made everything right with the world again, had she been here. 

I regretted every time I didn’t see her when I should have and that I didn’t love her more when she was here with me.  It’s only then I understand that she is always with me in my heart, in my soul, in my mind, in my very being and as long as I think of her she will always live on.  

My sons never really knew her, but they know that I loved her and they know the stories that I tell them about her.  And they know how much she would have loved them too.  

Unable are the Loved to die For Love is Immortality, Nay, it is Deity—

Unable they that love—to die For Love reforms Vitality Into Divinity.


R.I.P~Jack and Jean Qualey, Bob Walton, Alberta and George Walton, Clarence and Frances Campbell, Jill Rendel, Colin Kelly, Kristina and Kayla Harding, Ed Bryner, Donna Moran, Mickey Tober, Donald Walton, Christopher Ashley, Emily Glaser, Merikay Walton


Blog Challenge Day 16-Bucket List

What is at the top of my bucket list?

Once upon a time, writing a book was at the top of my bucket list. It’s been at the top of the list all of my life, but I could never seem to do it. I had great ideas, I had wonderful starts, but then something else came along….work, getting married, having a child, a sick parent…and I lost focus and never finished.

But those were all just excuses, because I still have all of those things in my life yet August 9th I self-published my first book. So at the top of my bucket list now, is to finish my second book. I am 80% finished with the first draft of that one.

I’ve been fortunate and when I think about it, I have most of the things in my life that I want. Not everything, but I’m thankful for that too. There are still things in my bucket list~ Travel internationally, transform into a size 2, write my 10th book, but right now at the top is to finish the second. I’m sure book 3 will work it’s way to the top of the list when book 2 is done.

I never imagined that I would finish book 1. But then I realized that I wasn’t getting any younger (bummer) and that the only person holding me back, was ME. I had stories to tell, and hadn’t yet told them, so I knew that it was time to just sit down and get it done. And I did, one word, one paragraph, and one chapter at a time. Next thing I know, I get to be an Author, and I feel fulfilled and complete but eager for the next challenge.

As for travelling the world and transforming into a size 2….. I think I’ll finish book 2 first and then see what happens 🙂