Hope.

One of my best friends moved to California. I was heartsick to see her go, but so excited for what her future held. She was crafty and made beautiful things and had an eye for style and color that you don’t see every day. I met her when I was working as a server, and her father was one of my most difficult customers.

This pretty apple, fell VERY far from the tree.

Her pops and I came to a sort of understanding over the years, but one sight of her lovely face and I knew that she would never allow the evening to be anything but magical….

because she’s a second sunshine in the universe, and everywhere she goes is a little lot brighter. Her second baby landed her on high risk bedrest, and with a preemie sweetpea, ultimately. I’m one of the lucky folks who can call her a close friend and got to catch up with her on the phone during her long stay on bedrest.

Anything she touches, thrives… and her sweet baby was no exception. Theirs was a charmed life full of love and hard work. It was too good to be jealous of. It was something to be celebrated because we all knew they worked so hard at it. They were living proof that happily ever after, exists.

I hated to see them move away, but it made sense to be close to so many more customers, and they were helping out family.

We snuck in late night phone calls over giggles, work and wine. It was SO  exciting to see her dreams come to life, even if it was from a distance.

My phone rang early one morning in August and I saw it was a missed call from her. Morning calls were not the norm and I called her back

Her voice was different. She was barely not sobbing.

H-He drowned. My baby is gone.

J- WHAT?

Time stands still when I think of that moment because it did then too. It’s taken months to write anything in regards to him or her or the millions of dreams that died with him that day. She was calling me from the ICU and the prognosis was dire. He would never be the Sweetpea again, IF he survived.

He did not survive. It’s taken me two more months to type that sentence. She holds a place in my heart that my sisters do, and I can’t fix this. This is one of those hurts that never heals. It grows from a hurt into a part of who you are. You can’t walk around bleeding forever and you have to celebrate the time they don’t get.

You have to move on and find joy, or you waste the life you’ve been given. I just never wanted anything like this to happen to anyone, least of all her.

Her divorce will be final soon. Her husband went off the deep end and she’s been carrying their son and this grief, in her own hands. Those same strong hands that carried her babies and made a million beautiful things, are rebuilding a beautiful new life for them.

I’m so proud to know her, call her my friend and have her heartbroken wisdom on the end of the phone when I need to hear her laugh again.

Some people walk through fire and get burned. Jessica is that fire. Please help her keep her flame burning bright this holiday season.

https://www.gofundme.com/support-the-sternbachs?member=585936

Terrible Holiday Letter

My goodness, this has been a hell of a lot harder than I thought it would be. I’m a big fan of checking in with myself and being honest about my struggle, because life is hard for everyone and I know plenty of people who are not comfortable sharing difficult feelings. 

I volunteer as tribute. lol….I’ve actually sent something out like this before, so my family wouldn’t be shocked in the slightest. 🙂

This is a heartbreaker podcast, but you should stop what you’re doing and listen. 

https://www.apmpodcasts.org/ttfa/2018/11/happyish-holidays-iii/

Dear Friends and family, happy holidays!

It’s been a busy year in our household! Little Red graduated and moved into her own place. She’s running a tight ship and has threatened her boyfriend into putting the seat down and bringing home flowers, regularly. I’m so relieved she didn’t inherit the doormat gene. She’s a gorgeous hammer, and I have no doubt that she will do and have anything she wants. Heaven help the man who stands in her way. I’ve realized just how many dishes she actually washed, and desperately hope she moves back home. 

The Dumpling has stopped having screaming temper tantrums, no longer runs to the calming tent and has stopped shouting at the other children. It only took 8000 conversations and an extensive loss of popsicle privileges. Single parenthood from birth has proven to be the most exciting adventure I never imagined. We are a team and I treasure even the most trying moments, of which there are many. It’s a darn good thing she’s so cute and thoughtful. She’s a whole lot of heaven and a smidgen of hell… just like her mama.

Speaking of yours truly, it’s been a fantastic year. Ish. My garden officially died this year, as in: never-happening-again, died. $900 in water for a handful of potatoes, a couple tomatoes and a shitload of beets and gourds. It provided ample exercise, which helped carve 60 pounds off of me, prompting some terrible dates and a freshly broken heart. Though the garden changed, my love for unavailable men, has not. The longer I’m single, the more inclined I am to believe that it’s intentional and more a form of self preservation than masochism.  My professional life has never been better and it’s hard for me to be anything but happy when I consider all the amazing parts that make up my life. I’m a very lucky lady with an amazing bunch of friends and family. I love you, one and all.

xoxo Jenni & the girls. (my boy still isn’t speaking to me.)

Uck. Fun.  

My Grandpa used to send out an offensive holiday letter. It wasn’t funny and rude, he just only included his second round of kids. My mother’s blood would boil and so I began making it a tradition of reading it aloud with a twist. We miss those shitty, inconsiderate letters. 

When I got divorced, I sent one out that was awkwardly honest and everyone loved it. One of my sisters still talks about it. I think we all want to show the world (and more importantly, our loved ones) the rosy side of our lives. We don’t want to “burden” anyone with the sad stuff, even though Christmas really is the saddest time of year for MANY people. Myself included. When you share the real stuff, it lets someone know they are not alone in not giving a fuck about singing carols and hanging up lights. They’re just trying to make it through to January, too.

Life isn’t perfect, but it’s always worth it and changing. Even the worst times don’t last forever.