Wednesday, August 18, 2010

oh, the drama

So, tonight I finally sat down and read through the almost 300 comments that I've received over the past couple of weeks and haven't possessed the ability to 'digest' until now.

Thank you for all of your kind words, thoughts, advice and prayers. I promise that once I can find my camera (buried in one of the numerous boxes I have yet to unpack) I'll do a better job posting pictures. Although we've taken a few photos over the past few weeks with our iPhones, this is the longest stretch of time I've gone without taking pictures of the children with our "good" camera. I just hope I can remember how to (not) use it properly once I do find it.

Now, before I go any further, I need to inform BlackOrchid that I actually DO listen to you. It is because of your advice in 2007 that we opted to stay put in our house and not cash out and buy a larger house. Thank goodness we followed your recommendation. While we would have walked away from our house with a very large sum of money, we would have been investing that money in to a house that would absolutely tank in value and we'd be in really big trouble right about now.

Hopefully, your most recent projection that the market in Northern Virginia is now (also) going to tank within the next year, is totally and completely wrong.

A lot of people have suggested that we rent, and while that certainly does seem to be the most logical idea given our situation, we have decided to buy a house because we feel desperate to be settled. And since the money that we'd be spending every month on rent is comparable to what we'd be spending on a mortgage and we've absolutely loved the old house by the creek since the very first time we saw it, why not just buy this house, build some equity, have a tax shelter, and throw down some roots in an area that I'm sure we'll soon come to treasure?

So we bought it. We're in escrow which is scheduled to close two weeks from today and when it does, I'll post more pictures than you'd ever want to see and if anyone that reads this blog shows up at my new front door because THEY FIGURED OUT WHERE WE LIVE, I'll drop dead of a heart attack. I'm talking to you, Sarah. How you deducted all that you did about where our new home is located, I'm not quite sure but I'm certain with your sleuth investigative skills you could easily land a job with the CIA, FBI or Dog the Bounty Hunter.

Regarding the school issue in South Carolina and whether or not we'd enroll the children temporarily - for those who wrote to tell me it was awful I'd consider doing such a thing to the teachers, because there is so much preparation that they put in to getting ready for the children and assessing them the first part of the school year ... I know all that.

While I didn't go in to great detail on my post about the subject, you might be interested to know that my primary reservation with enrolling the children in school, temporarily, was I didn't want to negatively impact the teacher or class. EVEN THOUGH my high school guidance counselor suggested it and told us that parents temporarily enroll children all the time, just because other parents do it ... doesn't mean that I'd do it.

Besides, after having gone through the kindergarten pre-assessment this past April, I know how much work the teacher's put in to getting ready for their class and I wouldn't want to disrupt that. Nor, would I ever temporarily use school as "FREE CHILDCARE" for my children, regardless of how much we might NEED free childcare what with all the other things we're trying to accomplish without completely losing our marbles.

I could have cashed in on the free lunch, but my conscience wouldn't even let me do that.

See, I have one! And it really works!!

In other news, one of the comments that I received was from "Beth" in Virginia. She expressed great disappointment in me over my Cracker Barrel post. Apparently, she was offended because I had suggested that a waitress job was "beneath" me and I've since lost her as a reader.


Now I'm a little worried that if she sees me on the Virginia roads, sporting my BE NICE or BE KIND license plates, she's going to blast her horn and force me in to a ditch. So in the off chance you ever came back to this blog, I'm very sorry for offending you, Beth.

Please don't make me crash.

It was my intention to suggest that since I was in the midst of a life crisis after having dragged my family of six 3,000 miles cross-country and was now possibly facing financial ruin and unemployment square in the face, it made me feel good to know that there are places where I could seek NEW employment opportunities.

Although, perhaps it does makes me a bit snobbish to admit that working at The Cracker Barrel wouldn't necessarily be my first career choice. Considering I spent a lot of time and resources pursuing a Bachelors and then Masters degree, and then countless hours pursuing my professional registrations and years upon years advancing my career, I don't think it would necessarily be a good return on my efforts to now direct my energy in to waiting tables.

(No offense to anyone who waits tables. That is undoubtedly one of the hardest jobs in the world what with interfacing with the public and standing on your feet and keeping a happy face when the kitchen is running slow or mixes up your orders. I've done it. It's tough work.)

Please let the record show that I'll do whatever I need to do to put food on the table and keep shelter over my children's heads. Even if that means serving up grits and chitlins 24/7.

Now y'all come back now!

Ya hear?!


  1. I love the house by the creek!!! I have been in favor of that house from the start and am really glad that you are headed that way. Best of luck in the rest of the transition. May the good energy around the old place infuse your family with love and build memories to sustain you all in your years there.

  2. Welcome to VA then. Good to read that you at least seem a little calmer now. While I'm pretty sure I won't be showing up on your doorstep, I can't promise to not come say "Hi" and introduce myself if I should happen to see you/the family out and about in DC on a future visit. But that's because I love reading your posts.

    still kicking myself for not doing it the last time

  3. You sound much better:o) See ya at Thanksgiving, you did say Thanksgiving at your place, right?
    Did you get the e-mail I sent you, the one that said "what's wrong with this picture?" That sign just ain't right! LOL
    Hugs and Kisses to you all,

  4. Happy to see that your happier now with your decisions, and very glad that you will soon not be homeless. Hope things continue to move in a positive direction.

  5. I have to admit, while I was once an avid reader of your blog, you do find a way to make every situation a drama filled tragedy. You have been given so many opportunities and you manage to focus on the negatives in every single one. Nothing is ever easy for you, when really? You have four kids...yes, you went through a lot to have the triplets, but so have a lot of people...and some never get them. (I will admit you DO point out how "blessed" you are AFTER you have done your long drawn out "woe is me" post.)

    You are a gifted writer with a beautiful family and a load of opportunity in front of you. (MUCH more than others these days) Of course there are always bumps in the road and stress in our isn't interesting for me to read about any more when I know with each post, there will be what comes across as an expectation of sympathy from the reader while also a disclaimer of how "blessed" you are.

    You are blessed...I wish you luck with your new adventure and hope your new job is wonderful and your children have a ton of fun in kindergarten.

  6. Well I for one have no idea how you've kept it all together these past few months, and I applaud you in your strength to do so. I love your blog and the tales of your daily life...and while I may not have to ambition/need to move my family across the country, I would secretly love to do so just to see if I could make it work and to have a new adventure. So, I live vicariously through you!

  7. Jani, I'd like to take a moment and reflect on your comment. You think I make every issue a DRAMA FILLED TRAGEDY?

    Really? What issues might those be??

    Losing a baby?

    Finding ovarian cysts that are now the size of GRAPEFRUITS?

    Moving cross-country?

    Not having a home for almost two months?

    Please. Do tell. Because I really TRY to look on the BRIGHT side of life and quite frankly, I think I'm doing a PRETTY DAMN GOOD JOB recognizing and counting my blessings every single day.

    I've got a FULL life and I'm very glad for it. I'm certainly glad that I've always followed my heart and if that means that the road is sometimes a little more bumpy than so be it. It makes for wonderful memories and dare I say, a stronger than average, family unit.

  8. You are freakin hilarious - always wondered what people's intentions were when they leave nasty comments on someone's blog - their point??? - I hope you get settled soon and I will not stop reading any time soon - an "Old Ducky Friend" - Lori

  9. ps: tarichuck - I wish you had come to say hello when you saw us!! I absolutely love meeting people when we're out and about. It's just I'd rather not have an absolute stranger come knock on our door and ask me to make them a pan of O'Henry's.

    KWIM? :)

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  11. Okay you can publish this one.

    I only read blogs of tragic drama whores. Everyone else is BORING. DUH! ;)

  12. I love the idea of a house on a creek. I grew up with a creek and desperately want for my daughter, but for now at least, she'll have to enjoy that luxury at her grandparents farm.

    Hope you are all settled quickly. And are finding your new feet quickly.

  13. Great post -- enjoyed it and glad you are going to be settled soon. Can't wait to see pics of the house!

    And by the way, what people say/do is more about them than about you.

  14. I've been reading for a long time, and I don't think you make everything drama filled at all! I very much enjoy your writing and reading about you and your family. I wish you all the best with your move. You're much more brave than I ever would be to move across country (but I completely understand the desire to be closer to family). I'd be lost without my extended family!

    Leah (formerly 1girl2boys)

  15. off topic here -- your tweets about kindergartners, criminal records & big bird...HILLARIOUS!!!!

  16. As I always tell people when they ask my advice, you have to make the decision that works for _you_. While I wouldn't go for a house that was being sold "as is" and needs a new septic system, you - having seen it for real- and Charlie have made the decision that works for you. It is obvious from this most recent post that you are in a better place mentally and emotionally for having made the decision.

    Enjoy your new house and I cannot wait to see photos!

  17. The best of luck with your new house! I'm sure everything will work itself out :) you're so courageous for starting off across the continent with your family and possessions (rather like a backwards settler, as you're coming from the West and settling East? :D) and I just can't believe there would be a problem or dilemma you can't work out! Good luck!


  18. Well *I* enjoy reading your posts, and I understand some of the hustle and bustle you've gone through with all the military moves we've had. (though, not to quite your extreme)(yet)(never trust the military) Go ahead and bitch and change your mind and change it back and make jokes about possibly having to work as a waitress. I get it. And I like how you're much nicer then me, because if I got some harsh criticism like that I'd have a very difficult time NOT telling them all to "F*** off!"

    And if you ever become homeless and destitute and are forced to work as a waitress just to feed your children(heaven forbid!)-- I wish you all the love and happiness to you and your family! (and may you find an internet cafe every so often so I can still read about your adventures!)

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  21. so now i understand why you review the comments.....i live by Bambi's mommas words...if you don't have anything nice to say than don't say anything at all...

  22. Jen: I love your blog, have been reading it for years (since the Resolve board days when I was also going through IF (am now blessed with two healthy girls)) and will always continue to check in just to see what new adventures you and your family are experiencing.

    But a word of unsolicited advice. Stop responding to/trying to address all the silly, self-righteous, critical, negative comments. They are much more a reflection of the writer and where that particular person happens to be in their own life journey than they are of you, your character, your writing, your family, your "dramas", etc., and I would rather see you focusing your limited time and energy on tackling everything on your plate and coming up with funny, entertaining blog posts for us to enjoy.

    Just because you are blessed with an amazing family and amazing opportunities does not mean you are now required to become a robotic, unfeeling shell of a human being who no longer has a right to feel the spectrum of human emotions when confronted with a stressful, life-altering experience, such as a cross-country move with 4 small children.

    In addition, your joke about Cracker Barrel was just that, a joke. There's no reason for anyone to take it as a down-your-nose, snobbish indictment of the entire food service industry profession resulting in that person no longer being able to read your blog. Ridiculous.

    You are a wonderful, deep thinking person who clearly always strives to do what is best for yourself, your family and humanity. You think about the consequences of your decisions (a trait absent in an alarmingly high number of people) and consider the impact of your actions on others.

    The negative, judgmental comments people leave on your blog are just absurd. Everyone needs to lighten up and get a grip.

    Anyway, good luck with everything; I very much hope it all works out for you.


  23. Ha! Sorry to give you a jolt. I didn't mean to do that. I promise I won't show up at your doorstep without an invitation. And I promise that I'm not a psycho Internet stalker, either! I'm so glad that you will be settled in soon. I think you all will enjoy living on the East Coast for a while. Let me know if you want more restaurant recommendations. ;)

  24. Gosh, I apologize for coming across nasty. That was not my intent. Did you read any of the nice things I said? Maybe I should have been more clear that I loved reading about the good things you have going on in your life and I am sorry for the bad things. No one deserves difficulties. Yes, things can be difficult and you are a strong person and so incredibly fortunate. Even in your post back to me, instead of focusing on being fortunate enough to have a wonderful family, having been able to sell a house and buy a house at the price you dictated, as well as getting a job in place that brought you closer to your family, as well as having the choice to stay in a beautiful city if you were so inclined, you focused on the bad things. I was just making a point that I felt like there was more focus on the negative than the positive.

    I apologize for offending you and wish you nothing but the best...truly...

    Also, my intent is NOT to get in to a war of words with you. My intent was to apologize and try to clarify why I said what I said, not to be hurtful or mean or nasty or bash you in any way. Like I said, I loved reading the great things you have going on and hope that continues.

  25. Jen~

    I have marveled at your fortitude, strength, and grace since you left CA. It's amazing how two people can read two totally different things from the same words.

    Part of why I come here, is to be reminded of what it looks like to be closer to the person I want to be. You are amazing Jen.

    May the following weeks and months bring you peace, health and love. I'm always cheering you on from MA girl. Always.


  26. Geez Louise, people are SO touchy! You ARE doing a damn fine job of counting your blessings (not that you need MY approval, thank you very much), I've been praying for your family every night - hoping you don't go over the edge with all you've been dealing with lately! I GOT the Cracker Barrell post, I get you (I've had a few glasses of wine, it's been one "those" days, so I REALLY get you). Hang in there, Jen, it will all be worth it in the end. XOXOXOXOXO

  27. OH Please...... drama.... you have the right to have DRAMA, I'll admit I thought you were over thinking the job and moving thing, however, when I read the miscarriage entry it all made since.... since that you did not even realize at the time. Your hormones were going CRAZY and I am sure they still are..... But on the other hand (sort of) you already were are a MOM when this was going on and moving your kidos from CA to VA is cause for SERIOUS thought and OVERTHINKING which is what you did.... I was not even a mother when we bought our house and I picked it BECAUSE the bedrooms were BEHIND the fence line which would be safer for MY FUTURE CHILD(REN)!!!!

    Seriously, someone figured out where the house is you are buying.... that is a SERIOUS INVASION OF PRIVACY.... while you do share allot, that's too much for her to find your location...... And the lady that was upset about the CRACKER BARREL comment.... I have an Associate’s Degree and am unemployed due to a layoff and can understand the thought of a job at Cracker Barrel, a job that you could leave there which would relieve one stress from you (bringing the job home) which was something to think about briefly right now as you have SO MUCH GOING ON!

    Everyone has the right to have some drama now and then..... your posts are typically very FUNNY, FULL OF REAL LIFE and yes right now DRAMA...... your blog always shows that you are doing one of the most important things in life....... living your life to the fullest! God Bless You!

  28. Jen - I must say that you are my hero for addressing all of these people that think that they have to let out all of their issues within what you have to say on YOUR BLOG. It's yours and you have the right to put anything that you want on here.

    I think that it is a great depiction of your life/values/lessons and that you should only be encouraged for putting yourself out here like you do!

    Those negative comments are the reason why I will forever be a reader and rarely even drop in my two cents on the blogs that I do read.

    I feel like you need to hear it (read it) now more then ever, upon my 3 years of reading your blog, I have never noticed anything but you trying to do the right thing and make the choice that is right for you and your family.

  29. Amanda in MS8/19/10, 9:44 PM

    LOL, I'm not sure why you put so much energy into the comments of those who are entirely too sensitive or negative, but hey you need to get it off your chest eh? I think if I ever started a blog I wouldn't read my comments because they would be worse than yours. You know what you are doing and are an awesome mom in my opinion. I would say I don't know how you do it, but thanks to your blog I do and I really admire your strength.

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  31. Jani, I wrote a second response to you - that I just deleted - but if you are automatically receiving comments on this post, you would have received it, anyway.

    If you're not automatically receiving comments - it's probably a good thing. Because I typically don't spew venom like I just did.

    These have been some very challenging times, the most challenging times I've ever faced in my entire life. I don't want your apologies, nor your sympathy. This is a blog that I write for ME and for my immediate family. While I appreciate that there are so many people who seem to enjoy it, I don't write it for them.

    That being said, I'm not responding very well to "constructive criticism" these days, particularly from a stranger who knows absolutely nothing about the intricate details of my life. There really is a lot I don't SHARE with the world, so it's best to keep your opinions about what you perceive to be my shortcomings, to yourself.

    Okey Dokey then.

  32. Hang in there Jen. I have read your blog for about 3 years now, too. Sometimes I comment, sometimes not.

    When I was in my mid 30's I moved from S CA to N CA(I may have shared with you before that I lived in N. County, S CA, so I know how it is to miss San Diego county, and my relatives are still there). It was the hardest move I had ever made. I didn't have kids, wasn't married, and I moved on a whim. I wanted something different in life.

    There were times I wondered if I had made the right choice and I missed SD, I missed my family, etc. The first few months in my new area were hard, there was no way around it. But now I've been in N CA for 13 years and I have met and married my husband and adopted two daughters, who were 4 &6 at the time and are now 6 & 8.

    You have so many emotions, especially after such a major life change. But you are doing what you have to, making it work, and doing the best you can. That's all you can do. As soon as you are settled in your new home and life seems a bit more normal, things will be better.

    Too bad the negative commenter could not understand this and have a bit more sympathy, to NOT write out a post blasting you for your negativeness at this time. Of course you will have some doubts, life will be hard with 4 young children in a hotel, etc.

    Just know there are those of us here who enjoy your blog, are glad you write it, even if you write it just for your family and close friends, and we support you all the way.

    Can't wait to see pics of your new house.

    I think you've done remarkably well through all you have been through.

    (found you through CB and read my first about one of your trips to Costco, LOL)

  33. All I can say about the waitress thing is - I worked as a waitress, a store shelf filler and a dish washer in a hospital through high school and university in order to pay for my private high school, car and university.

    When we started out in our professional careers - 17 years ago, going back to bar work was our "back up plan" if it all fell over in the professional world. I don't see anything wrong with saying that - but what a waste of effort all of my education (and the sacrifices we made to get it) would have been as I was already doing that job before all the little letters after my name.

    I cannot understand the issue.

  34. All I can say about the waitress thing is - I worked as a waitress, a store shelf filler and a dish washer in a hospital through high school and university in order to pay for my private high school, car and university.

    When we started out in our professional careers - 17 years ago, going back to bar work was our "back up plan" if it all fell over in the professional world. I don't see anything wrong with saying that - but what a waste of effort all of my education (and the sacrifices we made to get it) would have been as I was already doing that job before all the little letters after my name.

    I cannot understand the issue.

  35. Seriously, after all the hell you and your family have been through these last weeks, people feel the need to lob criticism at you? Clearly, they've never btdt. You do what you have to to get through. Lordy....

    As to those taking offense at the Cracker Barrel post, if I'm not mistaken, it seems to me they've completely missed the point. NO, there is nothing wrong with waitressing (my own, PhD biochemist hubby has delivered pizza and driven a cab to support his family without an ounce of shame and boy, was I ever proud of him!). The point here, as I understood it, is the humour in the idea of uprooting a family of six and hauling them and all your earthly goods clear across country to take a waitressing job. I think we ALL can agree--waitresses included!--that waitressing is not a job you relocate 3000 miles for! Actually, for many, if not most jobs, we aren't willing to relocate that distance without some additional incentive (moving closer to family, disliking the area you currently live in, needing a change, whatever).

    Alright, rant over. I hope you and your family are feeling healthy, settled, happy and content very, very soon. Not having a permanent address is harder that one might imagine.

  36. Shhh, Michele, you weren't supposed to tell her it was that easy to find! I'm enjoying imagining my new career as a CIA operative.

  37. Well, for the record (not that it does or should matter to you), I stared reading this blog because your triplets interested but continued to come back because you've made me care about you and your family. For one reason, because there are times when I feel as if you've plucked my thoughts right out of my brain and published them in your blog. For another, because you are so damned inspirational. And motivated. And determined. And fallible. And moody. And oh-so-wonderfully HUMAN!! As a mother of four myself, as a woman who has experienced (multiple) losses of of unborn babies, a woman with more questions than answers about her faith, I love to be able to read posts about your ups and your downs, your successes AND your failings. And anyone who feels you are being dramatic about your situation has clearly never been through an experience like this. What I love best about your blog is your straight-from-the-heart HONESTY. You don't paint yourself to be anything other than what you are.

  38. t in hd: Ha! Ha! You expressed it far better than me. It's not that I wouldn't take on a waitressing job, it's just not the kind of job I'd move my family 3K across the country to pursue. I mean, come on! They've got Cracker Barrels in San Diego! :)

  39. I can't believe that you get such negative comments. I can't imagine the stress you have been under with the move and the miscarriage. My husband has been unemployed for nearly a year (also oil industry) and we are possibly facing move from our state. As much as I know that we will do what we have to do, our whole life is here and it will be difficult for our 4 children (well, probably not the baby). I am telling you this because you have every right to feel stressed! I truly hope that you and your family will settle soon and the tough times are behind you. I look forward to pics of some calmer days ahead!

  40. Jen, I hope that things are coming together for your family. You are one strong person to be going through what you are and to come out a better person for it. I hope that the coming months will fall into line and you can all enjoy your new home, school, and job. Krn in IL

  41. Finding a home is easy. Building a home for your family is the hard part. You seem to have done great the first time, so don't worry about it this time. After the dust has settled everything will turn out great.
    All the best for the obstacles yet to come ;o)

  42. Oh Jen you crackerbarrel me up! I agree with "T in hd" 100%! I have never read this blog in 3 years and come up with an ounce of judgment. I have been so excited about this move its crazy, I check often for updates. I had a dream I came to your house asking for Oh henry's! TOO FUNNY! I was with Michelle S and she made me do it.

  43. BlackOrchid8/22/10, 9:40 AM

    lol Jen. Am glad you sometimes do listen to my crazy advice.

    will have to catch up on all this - just back from vacation.

    you know I only wish you and your family the best, right? am naturally pessimistic, but I ALWAYS hope to be wrong.