Wednesday, May 19, 2010

what's in you wednesday

So, uh, what day is it?


I think it's Wednesday, but can't be completely sure, even with the use of a calendar.

Is it the beginning of May? Middle of May? June?!

For the past few weeks, I've been relying a lot upon my husband to give me critical nuggets about what's happening. Take for example this past weekend. When I climbed out of bed at the crack of dawn mumbling that I had an important call, Charlie patiently said, "Jen, it's Saturday. You don't have any conference calls today. Remember? It's the week END."

It feels like I'm in a fog but most days, I'm so busy I don't have time to stop and dwell. But just after I tuck the children in to bed at night, things sort of hit me. That is the time my mind wanders and I'll find myself consumed with what wasn't meant to be and what may be.

So, that's typically when I get in to my pajamas, grab the remote and jump in to bed to watch Comedy Central clutching a big mug of hot tea with honey.

It's funny how just a few weeks ago, I had so many reservations about accepting this job and relocating our family to Virginia and now, I'm chomping at the bit to go. I've lived in California for 20 years. I feel like I've experienced just about everything this wonderful state has to offer - and while I absolutely love it here, I'm ready to try something new.


(At least until the humidity and mosquitoes and ice storms get the best of me.)

From a maternal perspective, I know that working in an office every day will be an adjustment, but I have every confidence that I can do it and do it well. I've already determined that I'll have an early schedule so I'm optimistic there will be plenty of time in the afternoons to spend with the children - just about the time they're getting home from school. And since we're planning to buy a house within 10 minutes from the office, my commute each day will be virtually nil.

What makes this whole situation considerably easier for me is that Charlie is extremely excited at the prospect of being home with the kids and working on his business venture part-time. He is such a wonderful father and husband, everything will be fine. And while I'm going in to this with an enthusiastic and open-minded attitude, I'm also very much aware that if it doesn't work out ... for whatever reason ... Charlie and I can adjust our path, accordingly. It really helps to ease our mind when we remember that we possess the power to alter our course and do what is best for our family.

(Even if that means tucking tail and running back to California in a year.)


Obviously, there is a lot to do between now and July, and thankfully I love a challenge. Just not the kind that comes in the form of a significant health issue, so hopefully, these cysts are nothing to worry about.

In other news...

Way back in December, just after I completed my 3-Day breast cancer walk, I spoke to my doctor about scheduling my first mammogram. Seeing as my sister has breast cancer, there is a family history of the disease and that puts me at an increased risk. As such, I'm eligible to have this procedure completed despite the fact I'm younger than the typical screening age. When I called to schedule the mammogram, they told me that I needed to wait six months after I stopped nursing. Since Henry wasn't fully weaned until the end of December, that meant the soonest they could schedule the procedure was in June.

As it turns out, I'll be having my ultrasound one week, and my mammogram the next. So hopefully, within a few weeks, I'll be reporting that everything is great and I'm so relieved and hallelujah, AMEN! Because I don't want to cloud my thoughts with dark images, I'm choosing not to consider alternative possibilities, but I will interject that my heart and mind are totally open to the chance that there might be an issue and I'm fully prepared to embrace whatever challenges might come my way.


(At least right now.) (As I'm typing this.)

Last month, when my cousin Margaret called to offer her congratulations on my pregnancy, she could not contain her excitement that she was off! the! hook! to do! the 3-Day! walk! this! year! Because really, there was no way I'd be walking 60 miles while eight months pregnant and if I wasn't going to walk - she wasn't either.

Last week when it was confirmed that I had an ectopic pregnancy and then found out that I might have a significant health scare, Margaret was one of the first people that I called. Not only because has a wonderful shoulder to cry upon, but because I felt compelled to tell her that raising money for cancer research has never been more important to me and she absolutely is doing the 3-Day walk with me this year.

Then it was her turn to cry.

(Happy tears, I'm sure.)

Earlier this week, I moved my 3-Day walk registration from San Diego to Washington, D.C. and am already envisioning hosting lemonade sales at the Washington Monument and National Mall. (Note to self: add "find out if I can sell lemonade in front of the White House" to my gargantuan list of things to do.)

What's in me this week?
  • The realization that none of us are going to be here forever. (Chew on that for a minute or two. It is simultaneously very sobering and very motivating.)
  • The realization that these, right here and now, are the best days of my life.
  • The realization that nothing is as important as family and it's impossible to love on them too much.
  • The realization that things don't always go as you'd like it to go, but when life hands you lemons, it's best to make lemonade. Preferably that you can then turn around and sell in an effort to raise money for a cure.
As my Aunt Grace always says, "If you fall off a horse, you need to get up and ride it again."


SO ... Giddy up! I'm grabbing the reins and taking this pony for a spin.

What's in you?


  1. Right now, I got nothing. Haven't worked out since completely the 10-K three weeks ago. Amanda broke her arm on Sunday. I'm with ya in the overwhelmed department.

    Happy to hear that you are feeling better though.

  2. Glad you're back Jen. I so love your positive
    attitude and your sense of humour, whatever
    the situation.

    I know that come the end of June, you're
    going to be fully focussed on your big move only.

  3. i am so glad you are posting again and I hope everything works out ok for you and your family

  4. Honestly, I don't mean to be negative but I couldn't get out of va fast enough! It's COLD as all get out - the only really nice months are mid-June to August and the rest of the time it's dreary like Seattle and just plain depressing. I lived there 56 years and trust me, I know it all too well. So glad I finally got to move to the beach. But I hope you'll enjoy it.

  5. Glad to see you are up and blogging again - writing really is the best medicine!

    Bee :)

  6. Powerful words to live by:
    "I'm choosing not to consider alternative possibilities, but I will interject that my heart and mind are totally open to the chance that there might be an issue and I'm fully prepared to embrace whatever challenges might come my way."

    You are awesome!

  7. Uh, pretty sure you can't sell lemon aid around the white house or on the national mall. Try in front of a metro station instead.

    Excited you're going to be in my area!

  8. What an inspiring post. It's great to hear that you are doing better.

    And as a North Carolina girl, I just want to say that you are moving to a great part of the country. You (and Charlie and the kids) are going to love it!

  9. Safire, WHAT? No lemonade sales in front of the White House???

    Well. I do follow Barrack on Twitter. Maybe I'll just send him a tweet and see if the Secret Service will make an exception. It's for a good cause and Charlie makes AWESOME cookies...

    (Just kidding. I wasn't really expecting we'd be selling lemonade on the national mall. Maybe just in the lobby of the Smithsonian...)

  10. (Of course if I send him a tweet, I should probably get the spelling of his first name correct. [There's only one "R" in Barack.] Unless I referred to him simply as B.O., and I doubt he'd like that very much...)

    (Obama, Obama, you're the man ... please let us sell lemonade, it's not from a can!!)

    (It's a good thing I don't live in another country. I'd probably be hung just writing this comment. Yay for Freedom of Speech!)

  11. So true! Life is ours for the taking and most decisions can be "undone" if necessary.
    You are sounding like you have your Boxing gloves back on reADY totake on the world.

  12. oAs always, thanks for your words, Jen. You are such a gifted writer (among many other things) and you make me feel good about life.

  13. I got on today not really expecting you to have posted but what a wonderful surprise. Your positive attitude is truly inspirational. I won't go into what is in me Wednesday since I wrote that on Monday (I think). But...still going good, I have spent the entire day outside killing weeds, trimming bushes and cutting limbs out of trees. It has been many, many years since I have felt like doing that kind of work. Again thank you for your inspiration.

  14. Oh and by the way I do think you will love it in our part of the country. I have a feeling you and Charlie would make the best out of anywhere you live.

  15. God Bless you, Jen. I love this post. I love that you have got your game face on and are all excited and gung-ho. You are going to be fine. I don't know why I know this, but I FEEL it in my very bones.

    I can't wait for this next chapter in your life. I am so excited for you.

  16. I hope this doesn't sound condescending - as it is not meant to be...but I am so proud of you. You are facing your challenges and beating them down. I love that you are moving and doing your best to deal with all that life is throwing at you. GO YOU.

  17. Gratitude. I lived through breast cancer, surgery, chemo, radiation and losing my hair.
    2 weeks ago I thought I might have to do all that again - I don't the biopsy results were clear.

    I'm here, not the same person I was 4 years ago before breast cancer but I'm here and I'm alive.

    You're beginning to sound a bit more like yourself which makes me happy so more gratitude for having you and the gang in my "life"

  18. my prayers and good vibes are with you on the results of your upcoming tests, the move and your next fundraising/awareness for the walk for cancer.

  19. You are so inspiring Jen, I've been thinking of you and wishing you all the best for your scans.

    xx Em

  20. I am going to be a bridesmaid on Saturday and rather than being able to control my eating/exercise more to improve my toning, all I have been able to think about for the past month is yummy food. I have ZERO self-control it is terrible!!

    I just wanted to say that as always, you are complete inspiration. I was wondering when you would get around to posting again and have been keeping you in my prayers and I have faith that you will be reporting that everything is just fine as far as the cysts and the mammogram go. I would love to join you for a 3 day walk and if you ever do one in the UK, I am SO there!

  21. Jen- Just got caught up on your last two weeks. Wow! You have been on quite a roller coaster. I am sorry. Anxious to see what God has for you next. Shutting off the computer and praying for you tonight!

  22. Jen. Jen. Jen. JEN! JEN! What are WE going to do with you??

    Before I let you know how much I am already sweating bullets at The Thought of raising money; again!!!! I want you to know that I support your lemonade stand in front of the white house!! When has a little sign like "no loitering" ever stopped you? Hey maybe they'll invite you in for dinner! ;-)

    Now. Okay. Okay you know it's not the charity's the other part....Ugh!!!! I'm a nervous wreck! I'm glad your feeling better and I love you dearly but Why do you do these things to me????? ;-) Talk to you soon. Love, Marg.

  23. Good to hear from you again...and a 10 minute commute? So jealous!

  24. Haha...oh Sally...try living in Grand Rapids, MIchigan. Now there's no sun for ya. I'm fairly sure 50% of my college campus was suffering from seasonal effects disorder 6 months out of the year, and the other 50% were hitch hiking as far away from the lake effect weather as they could get. It's aaalll about perspective. I moved from GR to just north of NYC, and let me tell you it is MILD this far south! I only have to use my winter jacket like 3 weeks of the year! Jen you and the fam will be totally fine...unless it snows and the one plow Virginia owns doesn't get to you for a while. :) Blessings on your journey, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  25. There is no shame in going and then changing your mind after a year (or going somewhere even more of an adventure)- but even if you hate it for the first 6 months (there will definitely moments) - plus you have the advantage (like me) - you can alternate careers with Charlie because you were one of those lucky women who picked a man that is just as smart as you!!

    Congrats on being excited about change and starting to plan and organise again.

    It will work out - you've got the right stuff.

  26. Hi Jen,
    I have just not been able to find the words to let you know that I have been avidly waiting for your posts and that there are hundreds, (if not more) of women across the world who have been thinking of you, hugging you, praying for you and crossing every thing thay can possibly cross this past month. Now I've decided to just tell you that we have! No beauty or eloquence in my words, but I need to say that I'm glad you are coming up the other side and (at least) on the outside, coping amazingly. I have just had my first mammogram at 35, knowing I lost my mother at a young 'middle aged' 50 only a few years ago and have had scares such as yours and had to do the same 'pill' that you just took, and are currently leaving my international home of Jakarta for a whole new unknown world in the Middle East. All I can say is I feel what you are feeling. Or have felt what you are feeling. And I am (at the moment) on the up and other side. For how long, who knows? ... But I consider myself an uber-positive person and know from your blogs that you are too. Although my husband Andrew would also say I am a complete pain in the ass worrier, but that's a whole other story! Hugs xxxx

  27. When is the three day walk? If it's the autumn, I will be back in the DC area. And can I come walk with you? :)

    AND, and, and...whereabouts would 10 minutes from your work be? And can I come live next door to you? I'm homeschooling next year and can totally throw three more in with my first and second grader. If you'll do science experiments with them on an occasional Saturday...:) Yes?!

  28. I just wanted to let you know that I miss your posts Jen and I hope you're hanging in there!!! :) Sunny, cheerful wishes from the East Coast!!!

  29. Oh my goodness, what a roller coaster! You'll be in my thoughts...

  30. I think you are amazing. Just caught up after not being able to read blogs for months (moved from Japan back to the U.S.) Now I see you're headed to Virginia! Where? Anywhere near Norfolk? If you're going to be anywhere near Norfolk, I'm happy to help you out in any fashion whatsoever.

    I admire you and am inspired by you. You're a pretty fantastic human being -- thank you for sharing your life with us via your blog.