Wednesday, December 30, 2009

oh the mommyhood of it all!

mommyhood is such a strange and delicious journey. somedays i am just so amazed when i look at my small girl. she's just a little vision all the time! i can see the wheels of her mind working. she's always trying to figure something out, learn how to do something, and now that she is able to walk...assert her independence a bit.

i have to say that the last thing is my favorite. i truly LOVE watching her assert her independence. it is no small secret that i'm an independent heart. i truly believe that people can and should follow their dreams, regardless of where they take them. i like to break the rules of what is "conventional" or "expected" because i know that i can. i also know that i'd rather fail at something than never try.

there is so much more to the world than what we know and i think it's a pity to stay in our small boxes because we think that's all there is for us. O is just now exploring her little "world." she's started to figure out how to navigate her surroundings and get the things she wants in this life. i want her to get it all, as much as she wants, and enjoy everything she can.

being a mommy gives me membership in this exclusive club. a club of women who have given up pieces of themselves to make space for this new role. sometimes i wear my mommy hat, sometimes i wear my jenn hat and sometimes i wear both. finding that balance of mommyhood and jenniferhood is not's just different. i think if i polled 100 mommies i'd find that we all feel the same way...we struggle to hold onto ourselves when we join the mommyhood. it's a struggle, but it's not impossible.

my jenn hat is multi-faceted. my jenn hat is designed to be more than just the 22 year old girl at Avalon making out in the corner. my jenn hat is more than the girl making the slot machine for a station promotion for KMEL's Summer Jam. My jenn hat is more than lost loves and bad decisions before i met my husband. the jenn hat is always on and always changing. i think that sometimes it's easy for us to let our "hats" collect dust in the hat box in the closet. we put ourselves on the shelf to become this person that we think a "mommy" should be. But for me, the mommyhood is about being who i am, keeping myself closest of all. without me the O won't become the O she is destined to be. She needs to see her mom is more than just a "mom." She needs to hear about my desires, my dreams, and my fears. She needs to know that it is possible to have all the things you want...even if it means wearing many hats.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


tonight i was watching "Confession of a Shopaholic" and something that Rebecca Bloomwood's dad said in the movie hit me, it actually is resonating in my head as I type. He said "the only thing that defines me is your mom and you" to his daughter as she tried to tell him that the RV that he bought was the definition of him.

The real reason this speaks to me is that I've been grappling with what defines me for about 3 years now. Since I left radio I have fought with the definition of "me." I always defined myself as a girl who worked "in the media." I prided myself on the fact that I have always known what musicians were the next big thing. I remember telling my dad, in the very room that I am typing this now, how Sarah MacLachlan would be huge. I have always had an ear for music that is uncanny. I have always felt connected to music. In college I thought I would be an architect, but truthfully my talent and passion drew me to communications. I ended up spending 8 years employed in the radio industry and I left nearly 3 years ago to go into education.

I went into education with the intention of becoming a teacher so that I could become a Communications Professor. I never intended to be at a HS or to be a Transition Coordinator in Special Education. I thoguht I was going to teach Radio to College kids. I hoped that I could help people find their way the same way that Estill, Bush and Batra did for me. I am so pleased with how well I did in the industry that I wanted to give back. I had no idea that I would find another path, and in turn struggle with that path. In fairness, I am a good, not great, but good Transition Coordinator. I truly love that I am helping people with disabilities find their way in the world. I feel gratified knowing that I am really impacting people who need me.

Hearing the line in the movie that John Goodman so eloquently delivered reminded me of the most important fact in my life...Olivia and Dave define me. In the end, when I die, it's not going to matter as much what I did for work, but it is going to matter how I loved my husband and daughter. I have struggled my entire life with thoughts of "who" I am. I've thought about my gravestone. I've thought about that fact that I do not want it to say that I am a good "Promotions Director" or good "Marketing Director". I want to be remembered as a mom and a sister, a wife, a woman.

I have always wanted to be more than what I do for work. Ironically, I am easily drawn into my profession, regardless of what it is. I strive to be a model employee, a hard working person. It's hard for me to not do my best and excel. I almost feel guilty for being good at my job now. I have no real training and spent 8 years working to be the best I could in messes me up to be so good at Transition. I feel awful even talking to other professionals about it...I feel like I should just keep my mouth I am not qualified to speak. I always find myself qualifing statments I make about students with "I've only been in education for 3 years," or "I don't have my Master's Degree yet, but...." It's just not right. I am either in or out. I have to be either about it or not about it...I know that I care for the students I oversee. I want them to have a great experience in the work world. I want them to feel like their internships are worthwhile. I am overwhelmed sometimes, even when I do my best.

I guess in the end definition is an individual thing. It's about what we take seriously, what we take personally, and what we internalize. It's what we believe we are. What we want to be. it's more than today or next week, it's about tomorrow and the day after that...and it's about the future.

I will never regret my definition as long as O takes the positive from it. I want her to be a good person, an honest person. I want her to keep her heart open, her mind open and to live her life to the fullest. I want her to put her head down each night knowing that she did the best she coudl each day. I will always worry about her, but will keep my heart open for her if she needs me.

Definition is fluid. beyond today but before tomorrow. i will always keep my heart open to O's definition of her life so that I can guide her as she wants me too. The truth in my heart reminds me to keep my definition loose and fluid...I believe in reinvention and change. I believe in today.

Monday, August 31, 2009

you can go home again

what is the true meaning of "home?" it's the word used to describe the place you go to feel at ease, relax, recharge, rest and live. it can be more than just a place. it can be a feeling or a sentiment. it's where you, as a being, identify as your beginning; the place where you became you.

recently, dave and i have taken stock of the things we want for ourselves and our family. we want to give O all the things that she deserves, most importantly, a sense of home. currently we rent an apartment that though it is where we live, it's not our "home." it's someone else's home that we live in. and with the cost of daycare, student loans, diapers,'s not likely that we'll be able to purchase a home in the next 7-8 years. it's not that we can't afford a mortgage, it's that we can't get enough money together for a down payment towards a home of our own.

We want to give Olivia a backyard, a swingset, a neighborhood. we want her to grow up on a street where she can go outside and play with other kids her age, where her neighbors become her friends and playmates, where she can learn to ride her bike, play one-two-three red light, and build a lemonade stand.

To give her this better life that Dave and I envision we have accepted a gracious offer from my parents to move into their home. The commute for Dave will be long (45 miles each way - through the city) plus we'll be living in three rooms upstairs in their home. a bedroom for O, a bedroom for us and a living room/playroom.

it's a compromise for them and for us, but in the long run it is going to lead to O having a sense of self, a sense of belonging, and living a wonderful life in her own bedroom and growing up in a house that she can call home. it will give dave and i a place to call our own, the place where our family can grow and we too can find ourselves. i want a yard, i'd like a fire pit, a pool maybe and be able to decorate the way i'd want too. i want to invite family and friends over and have the space to entertain. i want to get up on a nice warm morning and drink my coffee outside on my porch. i want a home that we own.

as for Olivia, we are going to give her a sold base from which to explore. no matter where her journey through life takes her, she'll always have this place to return too, a place where she can come to recharge, relax and reconnect. a place she will know as "home."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Goodbye old friend

Hearing about the end of WBCN is like hearing about the passing of a sick friend. In the back of my mind I always thought the death was coming, but I didn't know when it would be, and even though I expected it eventually, I am still shocked and blindsided when it happens.

Even 7 years ago, when I left BCN to head to California there were rumblings of the flip to sports talk. It was something that was always in the back of my mind and yesterday it finally happened. My first job, the site where I got my start as an employee, as an adult, has become Boston's new home for sports talk. The rock station I know and love no longer exists.

I remember my first day at WBCN in July of 2000. I walked in, nervous, uncertain and afraid. I had accepted the job of Continuity Director, a job that in all honesty I wasn't entirely sure that I knew how to do, at the biggest and most powerful rock radio station in Boston. It was my first job after Norwich, the first step in what would be an amazing journey.

On my first day I met people I had listened to on the air...Bill Abbate, Nik Carter, Deek, DJ Melissa. It was surreal to meet people I had listened to and admired. It was bizarre to be part of something that people listened to everyday...even if I was just making sure the commercials ran on time and in the right spots.

Over the course of the 2 years that I worked at BCN I grew not only as a person, but as an employee and a professional. I figured out what I wanted to do in the industry, I learned from the best - with people like Oedipus, Tony, Steven, John, and Chachi around I always felt like I was surrounded by professionals who were always willing to share a story or some advice. I fell in love with radio there. I fell in love with the energy, the lifestyle, and the joy it brought me to be part of something bigger than myself.

While at BCN I found love, had my heart broken, and made out. I got over my ex-fiance there and let go of the hurt he left me with. I learned how to navigate Boston after a few festive beverages in the North End. I went to rock shows on weeknights, I stayed out too late and laughed to hard. It was more than just a place I worked, it was like a second home. I always knew that I could count on seeing a friendly face there, regardless of the time of day or night.

I will always fondly remember my time there and will forever value the lessons I learned within those walls. It was more than just my first job, it was THE place that I needed to give me my start in the world.

I am honored to be a small part of a place that meant so much to so many. I will forever to be indebted to WBCN for helping build my confidence and helping me find my place in the radio industry and giving me the confidence to travel out into the world and pursue my dreams.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

obviously ordinary...

lately i have been feeling ordinary, i've been feeling like my life has taken a turn to the plain.

as a child i'd walk home from the park on bailey road and my life felt like a movie. i felt like i was the star of a journey bigger than myself...and ultimately i do think my life has been extraordinary...i've done things that i never dreamed of, i've lived in beautiful places, i've driven across the country, changed careers (successfully), got married, had a beautiful daughter...

maybe i'm just in a lull. the calm before the journey picks up again...

i am a victim of my own desire to challenge myself and experience as much as i can. maybe i need to calm down, take a breathe and enjoy the calm...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

summer vacation

so it's here. it's june and summer vacation has started! O and I have approximately 10 weeks to hang out, explore, and just continue to grow our mother-daughter bond.

it's weird to be home with her. i'm not used to having so much free time. our days are usually scheduled so we don't have much flexibility, but right now we are just feeling our way through the day. I'm trying to help her get comfortable with being home and i'm trying to find things to do to fill the day!

we play, she eats, she naps, we play, she eats, she naps...that seems to be the pattern.

today we are going to go shopping, maybe go for a walk (if it doesn't rain), and probably just play a bit. so much fun!

Monday, May 25, 2009

the end result

lately i've been feeling nostalgic. it started when an old friend of mine posted pictures on his facebook of a trip we took with the Wilmington HS Marching Band to Washington DC in 1994. I was looking at the pictures and honestly couldn't remember the trip. I have seriously NO memories from it and remember NOTHING about it. Scary as that is and the fact that it indicates another possible long-term problem in itself is huge, but after seeing those pictures I began to think back over things and wonder how many other events, just like this I've forgotten.

Do I block things out?

And the things I do remember, do I distort them in my mind to suit what they mean to me?

And those questions lead to a bigger question, if the only things we have to take us back in time are memories, how can anything ever be historically accurate?

As my Dad always said "Perception is Reality" and wow, how right he is.

I perceive so many things as being learning experiences for me, that for the person or people involved might be horrible memories. They might remember it completely differently so there is no real record of the events or even of what really happened. It was after seeing those pictures from a trip I was on and can't remember that I realized just how personal history and the past really is.

I remember a lot of my life, or at least I think I do. I wouldn't trade those memories for anything. The people I remember and the events I remember...they shaped me, make me the wife, mother, and person that I am today.

I know that I have enemies out there, better yet, I know I have people who dislike me based on something that happened or didn't happen and I may never know it. But the flip side to that is the folks out there who right now remember me fondly, even if I can't remember them.

I guess the thing about memories and the past is that they follow us. It's like these images haunt dreams, in moments of deja vu, and in my scrapbooks. I know that as I get older, I might forget more things, but the things that do stick with me, I will hold on to as long as I can.

It's in looking at the past that I can see clearly what I need to do in the future to be who I want to be...and that's the end result.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

scrapbooking season!

So, I finally have free time!

It's amazing just how busy I have been at work, with Grad School, and my mommy duties! Finally, now that my Grad School commitment is over I feel like I can breathe again! I refer to the days ahead as scrapbooking season because finally I can use my time for my favorite hobby and maybe get caught up! lol...

Today is O's 7 month birthday as well. I am still in amazement that she is that old! It feels like yesterday that I found out I was going to have the small girl...and now she is starting to get teeth, eats baby food and is starting to develop quite a little inquisitive personality. I love that part the most. I hope that she is like me in that respect. I love to ask why and explore my surroundings, I hope she is like that as well.

Monday, March 16, 2009

waking up sober in a jail cell

so i've never experienced this, and I hope I never do, but a gentleman driving down my street yesterday at approximately 3:45pm was fortunate enough to have that experience today.

i was sitting at my kitchen table, just paying our bills, when i heard the sound of metal scraping against the pavement. i of course jumped up and went to the front door. I looked out and saw a black SUV just sitting in front of my house. I went outside and ran into my neighbor, who was also out there because heard the commotion from his backyard, where he was cooking on his grill. We looked and had no idea what had happened, but from the sound of it, and the smoke, it appeared like he had possibly dropped his transmission on my street. I came back in and woke dave up from his nap. Both he and Olivia were taking a little nap. he went outside to see if the guy needed help, and came back in to tell me that he had infact HIT a fire hydrant and it appeared he had been drinking. Dave immediately picked up the phone to call the police and report the situation.

by now, several of my neighbors came out to see what was going on, including the guy who had the fire hydrant driven into the side of his parked car. I watched as all the neighbors came out and started calling the cops. The street was filled with people watching the driver of the black SUV sit in the street. He was clearly not sure what was going on and at one point he seemed to even try to drive away - but luckily he had two flat tires and a smashed hood so his car was totaled.

The arrived pretty quickly and gave the guy who was driving the black SUV a sobriety test...which he failed. He was cuffed, stuffed and driven away by 4:30pm.

I am glad this guy was caught. It was a beautiful day out and he hit a fire hydrant. Thank God that was all he hit. There are children who live on my street and it could very easily have been a child riding a bike or playing on the sidewalk. My street isn't a through way. It runs parallel to the main road and usually is travelled by residents and friends of residents. I think it's awful and foolish that people drink and drive. i am VERY much against it, so I hope when this clown who was driving that car woke up in jail today he realized just how dangerous he is..and how important it is that he NEVER drinks and drives again!

Friday, March 13, 2009

you know your a mommy when...

You know your a mommy when...

1. it's 8:15pm, all the lights are out at your house...everyone is alseep, including you.

2. you go out to shop in old ratty sweats with unbrushed hair, while baby is all dressed up!

3. you praise DVR! you can catch up on your shows during the late night feedings.

4. even when you are dead tired, one little smile can wake you right up!

5. you should buy stock in Kodak due to the amount of pictures you now take.

6. everytime you go into Target, no matter what you need, you head to the children's department first, just in case there is a cute outfit on sale!

7. You wash more bottles than you do dishes.

8. you sing songs about pee-pee everyday to your child just because it makes them smile.

9. you don't sleep past 7am EVER!

10. you think about your pre-baby life, but wouldn't change a thing!

Monday, March 2, 2009

buttons and babies

finally, nearly 4.5 months after baby O was born, i am able to button my pants again. fantastic isn't it - the small pleasures we take in life. buttoning my pants is such a small thing, but knowing that i can do it makes me happy.
i am only 2 lbs. away from my pre-baby O weight, which is a fairly amazing feat considering my effort to lose this weight has been minimal. I mean, i eat healthy, work out as much as I can and take care of myself, but it's not like i am a workout fanatic.
I am just glad that I am so close to being back to my normal self. Once the weather FINALLY gets nice I do actually plan on going out more often and enjoying the beautiful weather and going for walks with little O. That will be fun.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Due Date?

Contrary to one person's completely inappropriate question, I am not expecting.

Recently I was asked by a colleague when I was due. Now, though I do realize that my once svelt mid-section has been stretched a bit, I do not think that I look pregnant, in fact; I am a mere 3 lbs away from my pre-baby weight. So to be asked rather bluntly "So, when is your baby due?" I was not only taken aback, but quite honestly, I was offended.

I responded with "Actually, my baby was due in October, she's 4 months old now." I tried to be cool and calm, which in turn I believe made this person feel even worse. Their face got a charming shade of crimson as they said in a rather embarrassed tone, "Oh, so you are a new mom?" Nice.

As an educator I try really hard to impart on my students the nuances of social cues and behavior, which for most of them are all ready hard to read, but I do believe that none of them would ask a woman when her child is due without a dramatic cue that they were in fact expecting.

All that being said, my baby is 4 months old. She just had her 4 month check up in fact and is currently weighing in at 15lbs 1oz. and is 26 inches tall. She smiles, laughs and coos. She can roll on her side and is working on leaning on her elbows when on her stomach. She enjoys being nude, likes to drink 6-7oz. of formula at each feeding, enjoys music videos and the Fox 25 News at 5am. She is starting to look more like me everyday and loves to look at the "baby" in the mirror.

Now, I am not expecting another small friend. Am I mad that someone thought I was? Not Really...I just hope it's a lesson to them to NOT ask that question unless you are 1oo% sure you are not going to ask a really inappropriate question.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

My Story my new blog

So after writing Chapter 1, I feel like I need to keep going, this means I've started a NEW blog just for my writing project. is the new spot for my book project that I'm working on. I figure this way I can keep my real thoughts...and my chapters project separate and continue working on it...I love writing my story. The chapters are easily the most important days/events in my life...the ones that i remember (and i have a horrid memory - thanks dad) anyway.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Over My Head - Chapter 1

It was a hazy, hot, and humid day at the end of July. We were sitting in my car in the parking lot behind the building. We were headed to Dunkin Donuts' to pick up coffee for some of our co-workers. It was the first time, since I had started working there anyway, that I admitted to myself that maybe I was in over my head....and I don't mean professionally.

My job was great. It was the kind of job every college graduate dreams of. I was actually using my degree in the field I studied - Communications. I spent my days making sure commercials were in the station to be put on the air. I was working at the legendary WBCN in Boston. I was only 21 years old at that time and I knew this was the beginning of a fantastic future. I felt very gratified professionally and very capable of doing my was personally, in my love life actually that I was starting to sink.

The sinking feeling in my heart didn't happen gradually, or at least looking back now, I don't think it did. If you had asked me how certain I was about my love life, up to that point, even a moment before I got in that car, I would have said with unwaivering certainty that I knew where I was headed. I knew that my life would always involve him. I would have bet money on it; until I got in that car.

"I love warm days like this," I stated. Clearly a little nervous, not sure what to say, or how to proceed. so I stated the obvious, who doesn't like warm days in Massachusetts?
"Me too," he replied. "Nothing like an ice coffee run on a hot summer day."
"Yeah," I agreed. "Glad we're on the list!" I said with a laugh. The list was a huge joke at work. The cool people were on the "list" meaning they'd get coffee when someone went on a run, and I was one of the people on the list. And today it was my turn to go get the coffees, and he had agreed to help me.

In the month I had been working at BCN I had met so many new people. I loved working and would spend a lot of hours there. The relationships I had with people seemed to grow and develop quickly. Part of that was because we worked hard, but when work was done we'd go out and get drinks or go to a concert. We were never just "co-workers," we all quickly became friends. And now, it was one of those friendships that was going to get me into trouble.

The truth was, I was engaged. I had a fiance who I loved, who I wanted to be with forever, or at least up until this moment I wanted to believe that we were meant to be together. But in that car, I felt attracted to someone else, and I finally admitted it to myself. I smiled, I flirted and most importantly, I did the one thing that it took years for me to admit to myself - I hid my ring.

It's true. I'm not proud of it, in fact, I think it is truly dispicable to HIDE your engagement ring by keeping your left hand out of sight...but it's true. I HID my hand. I kept it out of view as much as I could. Maybe I did that so that I would be able to keep the shreds of doubt from creeping up into the forefront of my mind, maybe I did it so that I could feel what it would be like to be 21 and available to possibility. I really am not 100% sure why I did it, but in hindesight I think I did it to be free. I think in the deepest regions of my heart I knew something wasn't right between my fiance and I. Not that my feelings in any way justify my actions. I shouldn't have hidden my ring, but I did.

Now, it's not like he didn't know I was engaged. I am sure he knew. I am pretty sure that all my new work friends knew that I had a fiance in New Jersey. I had never hidden that from anyone, but in my car that day he went along with it. He smiled and flirted and I smiled and flirted back. when we got back to the station we lingered in the car for a few moments. Just long enough for him to smile at me and my heart to flutter. I liked the attention he was giving me. I liked being the object of attention. And it was that attention that was going to lead me into trouble just a few months later.

In all honesty, nothing ever happened between he and I, on that day or any day. It was his attention that served as the catalyst for several of the great romances in my life. I see now that hiding my ring was admitting that I wanted more, more than my fiance was giving me at least. I got that more, but it was never from the guy in the car that warm summer day. I ended up getting so much more out of my life because of that day in the car. This event let to changes beyond my grasp. The events of the next few months would prove that.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

oh sweet addiction

it's true, i have joined the ranks of those addicted to the Twilight Saga. i had no desire to read the books initally, then one day, while at Target, i casually picked up a copy of the first book, Twilight and brought it home with the intention of getting to it at some point.
i put it on my bedside table and left it there, days went by and i hadn't even opened the cover. i'd been busy with life. i'm a new mom, a relatively new wife and i was preparing to go back to work so i didn't have much time to really dedicate to reading...then it happened...Olivia went to bed one night at 9pm.

i had a few moments to myself so i decided to treat myself to a book. i climbed into my bed picked up the book and thus began my addiction. the first night i read about 50 pages before going to sleep...from there, i was hooked. i read the first book in 2 days and immediately went out to buy the rest of the Saga. i needed to finish the books, I had to know what was going to happen to Bella and Edward, to Alice, Jacob, was like i was living it, like i was in their world.

there is something charming and romantic about a human girl falling in love with a vampire. perhaps it's the idea of wanting something so badly, so passionately that you are willing to risk anything and everything to get it. the idea of finding a love that is so perfect, so overwhelming and so dangerous is appealing to anyone who has ever been in love or wants to be in love.

it's been a long time since i've been so wrapped up in a fictional story. the last time this happened was in 2003 in San Jose. I was reading a book of short stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald and one story stuck with me for weeks. i was impressed with the plot and it really had an effect on me. That story - "Curious Case of Benjamin Button".

Clearly I have very good taste in fiction!

Friday, January 2, 2009

new year's resolutions

i don't like to make resolutions, mostly cause i never keep them. i try and for the first few months of the year i am a champion...but then it quickly falls off...and i'm back to my old, here they are - in no particular order - my list of resolutions for 2009...

1. send out birthday cards/gifts to people I care about
2. stop biting my nails
3. continue to learn how to be a good mom and wife
4. run a 3k with my sister and cousins in March

we'll see how i do with them!