Thursday, January 25, 2007

The good people in my life...

I am blessed to have some amazing people in my life. Here's a sampling of a few people that have humbled me, this past week.

My sister, Beth.

When I was a freshman in college, she signed me up for Pepperidge Farm's Desert of the Month Club. Every month, I would have to sneak to the campus post office and smuggle out my cheesecake, brownies, carmel popcorn, chocolate chip cookies and fudge. When I would return to my dorm room, I would sit in the dark and snack on my tasty treats ... ignoring my ringing phone and friends banging on the door that would shout "I know you're in there! Come on, share!!!"

These days, Beth sends us almost every toy that her 6-year old son, Michael, has outgrown. It is because of Beth that we have a Little Tikes kitchen, even though Little Tikes stopped making this exact kitchen several years ago. When it was still on the market, the kitchen retailed for approximately $80.00. Since it's no longer available - Beth boxed Michael's up - and mailed it from Massachusetts to California ... for $78.00. Beth also recently mailed us 14-miles of Brio Railroad Track and at least 50 Brio and Thomas The Train, trains. Not to mention books. And videos. And clothes. And stuffed animals. And a Kelty backpack. And wooden puzzles. And pictures. And blocks. And piggy banks. And puppets. And Fisher Price Little People sets. And play food. And trucks. And coloring books. And ... the list goes on and on.

Even though all of these gestures are amazing ... the energy and time that Beth is devoting to my 75-year old father as he is going through one of the most challenging times of his life (including a sudden divorce and struggling with Parkinson's) is downright incredible. We're extremely lucky to have Beth in our family. It's no wonder we named our first born daughter after her.


Early last week, just before the sickness hit, my long-time friend, Mary Drury, sent us a package, out of the blue. In that package was a beautifully illustrated children's book "Kiss Good Night, Sam" and three little stuffed animals - that are perfectly coordinated with the stuffed animals in the book - that Mary had sewn by hand. Mary will always tuck some kind of wonderful homemade creation in to her packages. Her last package included scrumptious desserts that kept me us content for two weeks.

I met Mary while attending church in South Carolina. One week - just before Christmas - I was asked to babysit Mary's two daughters, Meg and Susan, while Mary stayed home taking care of a few holiday chores. I spent a fun afternoon helping the girls bake Christmas cookies ... and then we ran around and played hide-and-go-seek in the front yard. At the end of the day, Mary reappeared and paid me $20.00. It was the funnest, easiest $20.00 I've ever made. And, the most noteworthy - considering 19 years later, I still remember it.

The last time I saw Mary was in 1987. But, we've continued to stay in touch, even though we live in different parts of the country. Mary is one of those people that I suspect I will always have within my life. She is an amazingly gracious and talented woman. I wish our children could meet her, soon. I know they'd think just as highly of her as I do.


Last week, in the midst of the sickness ... out of the blue, I received a package from my co-worker, Felicia Jones. When I opened the package ... I found a bottle of Comet, a book written by The Super Nanny ... a laundry bag to keep little shoelaces from getting lost ... and a box of peanut butter cookies. Comet and peanut butter, the two things that I needed more than almost anything at that moment in time. The only thing that could have made me any happier is if Felicia managed to get Super Nanny, herself, in the box.

Yesterday , Charlie was talking with me and I could smell peanut butter in the air. When I got a little closer and checked his breath - there was no doubt. He had dug in to my stash, yet again. To protect my husband from me an untimely death, I promptly wrapped him in a queen sized sheet and catapulted him to the roof of our house.

Felicia is an incredible athelete. She competed on Charlie's Los Angeles triathlon team, and may be his only hope for getting him down.


This afternoon, Alex and Kathleen dropped by for a very quick visit - on their way home to Arizona. They were just returning from a week in Mexico, where they got up close to migrating gray whales. Yesterday, out of the blue, we received a large package from them. It was a tower of sweets from a local outfit - famous for their candies. They knew that everyone had been feeling under the weather and they thought that a bit of suga would help to cheer us up.

It certainly worked for me.

Although the kids enjoyed the candy - what they really enjoyed was crawling around on the ground with Kathleen and playing with the Mexican marionette that was brought over the border. What I didn't enjoy was seeing Alex and Kathleen leave less than 30 minutes after they arrived.

Sometimes, I really wished we lived closer to family. Or, at least the kind of family that will watch the kids so I can take a four hour nap in the middle of the day, like Alex and Kathleen did when they visited us last month. Thankfully, the kids took up all of their attention this afternoon and they didn't ask about Charlie, who was still wrapped tightly in a bedsheet, on our roof.


Today, out of the blue, I received my first subscription to Prevention magazine, courtesy of my sister-in-law, Susan. The timing of this gift could not have been more perfect considering I had a doctor visit this morning where I received my 18-week checkup.

I almost fell off the scale when I saw how much I weighed. Since this pregnancy began, I've packed on a whopping 21 pounds.

Sweet Peanut Butter Cookies and Tower of Candy. That's more than a pound a week.

My doctor told me that if I didn't want to weigh 400 pounds by the time our singleton is born, I ought to switch from 2% milk to nonfat. And, I really need to stop shoveling everything that doesn't move in to my pie hole. Hmmm. Pie. That sounds good.

It definitely appears that I need some help and I'm absolutely sure that my new subscription to Prevention magazine will get me on the right track. But, first, I need to finish off the candy tower and peanut butter cookies.

I can't stand temptation. And as Charlie can attest ... these days, I most certainly cannot stand to share.


  1. Cool fact I've been randomly waiting to tell someone who brought up Prevention: I babysat one of the editors of that magazine!

    I know, not so wonderful in the celebrity-relation thing, but you gotta start somewhere....

  2. Jen,

    First of all "Kiss Goodnight, Sam" is one of our favorite books and we read it every night. The story is so sweet and I think that Mary made the little friends to go with the story is an incredible gift.

    I also wanted to find out where you got that tree image that is in the picture with your Mom chasing William. It is up on the wall. I am very into my family tree and that is such an amazing image. If you get a chance between your three kids, sick husband and pregnancy could you email me and let me know.

    Thanks so much!

  3. Jenna-
    I give you permission to eat as many peanut butter cookies as you want!

  4. It's SOOO good to see happy little faces in your pictures! They're catching up on their food, that's for sure! They're entitled to and so are YOU!

    I can't believe you're already 18 weeks along....are you going to find out what you're having? just curious. It's just flown by...of course I'm not the pregnant lady dealing with triplets in my spare time.

    You are truly blessed with the special people in your life.

  5. I can't believe you've gained TWENTY ONE pounds already!!! That is hysterical. You are right on track for triplets! Good for you! aren't HAVING TRIPLETS this time?

    (Did you see the size of that pinata we had for the kids birthday? I've gained 5 pounds in one week. I'm not kidding! Maybe I'm pregnant?)

  6. Oh. My. God.

    As you may have noticed I have been MIA for a few months. Just decided to mosey back onto the computer today and see what's what.

    Oh. My. God.


    Don't worry this one will be a piece of cake after trips. Even when you already have 2 year old trips.

    I don't have time to lurk anymore (it's true, life actually gets busier once they hit kindergarten) but I WILL be back to find out gender and name. I bet girl.

    Good luck Jen!!


  7. Dad and Kathleen1/27/07, 9:17 AM

    Jen, Guy and children:
    We just had to stop in, even though for just 30 minutes. Just to see you all alive and smiling and the twinkle in the children's eyes....short, yet sweet.
    We did not want to tire you further, and like the mother whales, we just needed a "spy hop" to see that our children and their children were on the mend.
    Our Higher Powers never give us more than we can handle....They must think you and Charlie can handle anything.....because you are!
    Love and more love:
    Dad and Kathleen

  8. Thank you, Sweetheart, for your kind words. I just wish I had a Nimbus 2000 so that I could swoop down and take your little ones off to play, giving you a break!

    Love, Susan

  9. What a great support system you have, even if they aren't local! I can feel how much everyone loves you.

    Btw, I've been meaning to tell you--I ordered "It's a Wonderful World" off of amazon several months ago. It is Nathan's favorite book! It is all mangled and torn, though. I wasn't able to keep it pristine like yours! Thanks for that amazing recommendation.

    Big hugs,