23 August 2016

I am Extraordinary

Yes... you read the title correctly. I am extraordinary; however before you chalk this up to another egotistical keyboard warrior blogger gone mad - give me a few minutes of your time, please.

I love the word extraordinary. I find it funny actually, because (as those of you who read my babbling already know) I love to dig into words.

I am not a special snowflake with super powers. I am no stronger than any other person walking this earth. I am no different than you. We all have strengths and weaknesses. We all have gifts - talents - passions - skills. We are uniquely made and yet remarkably similar.

Let me give you one simple example. I work out. Most of you know this. What you may not realize is that over the last two years I've lost over 60 lbs. I can't tell you an exact number because once the scale crept over 220 lbs - I stopped weighing myself. I was ready to give up. I'd destroyed my ankle, had reconstructive surgery and lost mobility in my right foot/ankle. I wasn't sure where to go from there.

So. I tapped back into those good ole Army resilience skills and sat down to do some goal setting. I knew I wanted to ruck march with Ruck to Remember the following year. So I started with something simple. I walked. I kept walking until I was back into a routine. Then I headed back to the gym. Once I wasn't so ashamed of my body. I kept walking. The weather had changed and the Y had an indoor track. Until I was cleared to do more - I would keep walking.

Slowly my ankle regained strength. I was able to add some different mobility exercises into my routine, and eventually got back under weights. I love being under the bar. There is no hiding from gravity and iron. Either you can pick it up or you can't. If you can't you just keep working until you can. Yes. It is really that simple.

After months and months in the gym I was still frustrated with my progress. I couldn't seem to find a balance between maintaining strength and fighting the body fat I'd collected over a year of injury/recover. So what did I do? I waived a magic wand and BOOM my ass was perfect. No. I asked for HELP. I looked to someone who could give me that something extra to help me reach my goals. For ME - that was Cize. I HATE running. I HATE HIIT. I HATE HATE HATE CARDIO. Anyway, but without cardio, that body fat isn't going anywhere.

With Cize I found how to eat to feed my body as well as how to move enough each day to drop 20# in 4 weeks. All I did was move. Nothing special. Nothing crazy. Nothing magical. I asked for help. I listened. I moved. Yep.

I didn't have some magic pill, or super celebrity trainer. I had regular people helping me see that I was ENOUGH. I had Lindsey reminding me to get my workout in and eat (yes I never ate enough). I had Allison reminding me that strength is beautiful and that I was making progress. I had Amy pushing me to be kind to myself and recognize the small victories AS VICTORIES. 

So so so often I hear people say "I don't know how you do it all". Well here is a confession. Neither do I, and sometimes it doesn't ALL get done. Why? Because I am extraordinary.

E-X-T-R-A ORDINARY

That's right. I am just like you. Yes you - reading this - right now. We are so very very much alike. I have failed. I have cried. I've hidden from the world. I have felt shame. I have made terrible mistakes. I have fought the demons in my head over and over and over again. I am so very very ordinary.

Here is why that is important. Don't let that voice in your head tell you that you can't do something. Don't let those whispers in your heart hold you back from living your life. It is ok to be ordinary - because it releases us from having to be perfect.

YOU CAN DO THIS. Whatever "this" is for you. Get up. Go out there and take the steps to make it happen. Try, Fail, Try Again. Ask for help. Talk about your failure. Share your experience and learn from mistakes.

At the end of the day even the most amazing stories are about ORDINARY people who took the EXTRA step of BELIEVING they could do/give/make/BE MORE.


Take care of yourselves. Love this life we are given.

XO XO & Stuff,

Jinger

19 July 2016

The Wolf, The Sheep, The Sheepdog, but...

Most of you will recognize the modern characterization of today's populace. In any civilization each of these characters play a part.


The Wolf:


A predator. Hunting the weak, the distracted, the young or old. Preying on others. The wolf never stops and their hunger drives them. That hunger could be greed - lust - power. Whatever it is they never have enough. Not all wolves are violent. Some prey on your emotions. Their desire is to control you, your thoughts.. your actions. Others will hunt your money. They'll manipulate you into prioritizing goods over GOOD. They'll push you to pervert your value set to match their own for their personal benefit. Then there are the wolves who just - openly - hunt. They will hurt you. They will cut you down. They will end you - because it is in them to do so. This is their nature. A predator - and everyone is their prey.


The Sheep:


The herd. Those people willing to go along as others do. Moving together, but without any purpose. They are soft. They are trusting. They are followers. The herd is the embodiment of those who don't wish to be bothered. They "dont' talk politics" they just "go with the flow" they just want "a peaceful life". They believe that government or civil servants or anyone but them is more capable to deal with the problems and wolves of this world. When asked what to do in an emergency they'll say "run" or "hide" or "call 911".... their thoughts are don't make waves and stay out of trouble. They are also those easily swayed and pushed. They allow the opinions and passions of others to influence their thoughts and deeds. Without anyone to direct them the herd can easily form a mob... lost.... chaotic.


The Sheepdog:


The protector of the herd. It stands watch for the wolf. Preying on the predator. Vigilant. Courageous. Aggressive. Always ready for a fight. There is an edge to the sheep dog. They check the exits. Read everyone in the room. They calculate - threat, vulnerability, ally. A sheepdog does not relent. They do not waiver. They are loyal protectors of the herd. They will do what is necessary to keep the herd together - including pushing the sheep back to the masses. They will risk their well being even as the sheep reject their protection in panic or anger or disregard.


but...


There is something drastically wrong with this picture of society. Something missing which explains the chaos within which we are all wading through.


Where is the Shepherd? Where are the men and women ready to stand up and lead with integrity? With purity of heart? With a focus on justice and truth? We have black Americans afraid they'll be killed for doing 5 mph on the high way. We have police officers who LOVE their communities being gunned down in the street. We have terrorists hacking people apart on trains, blowing up bombs at races and shooting people dancing at a club. WHERE are the Shepherds?


We need more unification and less division. We need more leaders standing up and pushing the herd toward peace instead of stirring them toward violence. Look at The Game and Snoop Dogg. Seriously. Yes. Read and learn. Then ask yourself - is what your saying, doing... POSTING.... is it productive. Is it regurgitating hate and rhetoric? Are you allowing others to form your thoughts? Are you listening to the people - the human beings - to your left and right? Are you a wolf, a sheep or a sheepdog - perhaps it is you who needs to be a shepherd.


Who are they really?
Celebrities?
Politicians?
The Media?


What is their motivation? I ask you truthfully - are we THE PEOPLE - seeing the WHOLE truth. Are we taking a step back and seeing the WHOLE picture. ARE we acting as sheep - part of the herd - or are we pulling ourselves above the fray, as shepherds. Sacrificing time, energy - PRIDE - to bring our community our NATION together. If you have a voice, if you are driven by love and integrity for ALL PEOPLE I urge you to stand up, pick up the rod and staff. Open your heart and BE A SHEPHERD.


Martin Luther King, Jr: I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

I will continue to pray for our Nation. I will continue to speak out for peace, understanding and calculated efforts to improve our situation. Will you stand up and lead? or will you allow the wolves to drive the direction of the herd?


XO XO & Stuff,


Jinger


Psalm 23: The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

28 June 2016

Finding Forever - Putting Down Roots

Well. We're in the 3 year window officially. Big Sexy enlisted in June 1999 and here we are June 2016. We've got three years to get our heads on straight. Fortunately after a very very low point (for me) things are turning around. I'll go into the other stuff later so I don't end up babbling about how much the VA makes me crazy and you have to sift through grumbling to hunt the good stuff.

SO!!!! Here's the GOOD STUFF!!!! We found a builder and community we love. We found a floor plan that is PERFECT for our family, and we are truly enjoying the process. On top of that I've found overnight oats and AAAAHHH yum, but sorry that is for another day. Back to the house.

Big ole house with a decent yard for the kids to play/dogs to run/husband to grill (mow) and for me to have a SMALL (probably vertical) garden. We talked. We've dragged poor Sherri through hell and back with we want a neighborhood... no we don't... maybe we do... can we look at land.... ok maybe we'll look at the neighborhood. Oh and side note - she told me back in FEB which builder we should go with. ((We're building with Dream Finders, Jacksonville)). It is amazing what happens when you shut the hell up and LISTEN to the PROFESSIONAL who's lived here her entire life. Duh... seriously.

Ok so lessons learned so far:
1. Get on the SAME PAGE with your spouse BEFORE you go into the builder meeting - ANY of the builder meetings. Know what you and he/she are and are not willing to compromise on.

Example. Big Sexy at this point has included a third bay for the garage BUT he is willing to give it up so WE (ehhh heemmmm we all know that is really "I") can have a beautiful kitchen. We talked about what is more important - fireplace or master bath shower? WE chose the shower. 

2. VALUE at build vs DIY - spend the money on structural must haves compromise on changeable aesthetics.

Let's go back to that Bathroom again - we KNOW that WE WANT the rainfall shower head. We also know that this requires extra plumbing installed through the ceiling of the shower. Why does that matter? Ok - if you say "we can do that later" you'll now be paying to rip tile/drywall off the wall and ceiling, plumbing installation, fixture and the repair of everything you had to rip out. If you do it at construction you're just paying for the plumbing because there is no drywall/ceiling in the way (yet). 

3. Be REALISTIC about YOUR abilities: Let's talk about PINTEREST shall we?

Look at yourself and/or your partner and truly evaluate what you are PERSONALLY capable of. Now, determine if your HOUSE is where you want your trial and error lab to be. If you feel GREAT about serendipity and your skill level - ROCK IT - but if you are unskilled just let the pros wire the garbage disposal, mkay? Now I am blessed blessed blessed - Big Sexy is a handy guy. He can turn a wrench, construct stuff and do the stuff we need done, but he also knows when a job is too big or requires more technical skill AND experience than we have. Bottom line? We aren't going to pour our own concrete kiddos. 

So yep. Get ready for me to mix in some home decorating along with my fitness, food, family, crafting, snarky, crappy, sarcastic life posts. Here's where our forever will GROW!



The soup to nuts of it is - be honest with yourself - be honest with each other - and go with the flow.

XO XO & Stuff,

Jinger

22 June 2016

Enjoy The Ride

This week has been a roller coaster to say the least.  It's been over 30 days since I completed my annual training and battle assembly with my USAR unit - yet I still have no payment. This is the result of a plethora of administrative SNAFUs. My integrity and judgement were questioned by an individual who had not been fully briefed on the situation and unfortunately took the word of a drunken narcissist as truth. I've had some low points in my career, but this was one for the record books. Needless to say, the situation is being resolved. The individual who was mislead has been brought up to speed on the entirety of the situation, and the waters are calming. 

While all of that was going on, we got some good news. The individuals with whom we have a contingent offer with on our home have found a buyer for their property and will be closing next month - which frees us to start looking for the right home for our family. Under the brilliant guidance of our Realtor, Sherri (she's amazing y'all) we've found a builder, a floor plan and a community we KNOW is right for our family. 

THEN THEN THEN - after 9 MONTHS of job searching and applying and interviewing a job offer FINALLY CAME THROUGH!!!! Don't get me wrong JB Serendipity is NOT going away, but for my family I need full time employment. This opportunity will enable us to tackle residual debt, get ahead of bills (car payment, mortgage...) and provide funds to get our kids back in sports/camps. ((Its the little things y'all)). 

When the greater galaxy speaks of "good" and "bad" stress I get it now. This move has pushed pulled and jostled me to the very core of who I am. People said "give it time" and I pushed back since I had no control. Recently I gave it over to God, asking Him to let it happen as it should. Here we are. On the roller coaster of life, GOD isn't the track - He's the safety bar. He knows where you're going, how you'll get there AND keeps you in one piece by holding you close. 

Have a great day everyone. 

XO XO & Stuff, 

Jinger

18 June 2016

New Ventures and Value


Because of the Brave Paintinghttps://img0.etsystatic.com/139/0/30874678/icm_fullxfull.85612796_dvdya6qeuc08wwokwg00.jpgSo, as most have picked up from my Etsy post I've opened a shop, JB Serendipity, and it is gaining traction. This is great. I love it. Honestly, working with people to get ideas out of their (or my) head and into their hands is VERY rewarding work.

I've learned over the years to value my time - my friend Danielle from TurtleBay Jewelry taught me that OVER and OVER and OVER - now her voice will pop into my head when someone asks for a "favor" which involves me spending hours with pen in hand creating their artwork... VALUE your TIME and EFFORT, Jinger.

There is something risky about making (drawing, painting, writing) an item and posting it publicly for the world to judge. For a very long time I would track trends now I want to set them. I know where my wheel house is, and for the most part when I go with my gut and draw what I enjoy it gains more traction than when I follow others.

What does all this translate to?


I'm going to respect the gifts I was given. I'm going to value my time. No freebies. No giveaways. No favors. Will I work with your budget, ABSOLUTELY! Will I giveaway product to anyone who asks? No. This is a business venture through which I will learn to respect my abilities and value my time.

It will be a constant learning process.

I hope you'll grow with me.

09 June 2016

Take One Step - Ruck to Remember

This is start number 3 to this post. Mainly because while I am usually pretty good with words, I'm not quite sure there are words to capture the experience that is Ruck to Remember.



I want to share with you the stories of our team leader Luke, our team mates some in retirement others fighting cancer... I want to tell you about blisters and bad ideas (all mine by the way). I want to tell you how we each had moments, but none of those anecdotal tails will truly capture what 60 to 60 is all about. Mainly because It's Not About You.

When I came home... tired and walking funny... people asked me "what happened to you" I simply responded with the truth. I ruck marched to Arlington National Cemetery this weekend. Other than my immediate family the response was some sort of "Why the hell would you do that?". I have to say it was hard not to be annoyed. I'm a vocal and confrontational person (I know you're shocked)... I wanted to say "because what would be better? floating around on a boat getting drunk? why the hell WOULDN'T you be at Arlington?" I wanted to say "Oh I'm sorry, didn't realize I was such a fool for wanting to DO SOMETHING to Honor the Fallen, sorry my plans don't make sense to you". My INSTINCT was blocked though. Here's why....

All weekend you heard:
"Suffer in Silence"
"It's not about you..."
"This is for THEM"

We heard about "Schnoz" we learned about Ian Helms and Andrew Maitner. We talked about Joe and Christian. We honored Justus and Christopher... So while the question of "why the hell would you do that" popped out of other people I knew exactly why and a smart ass response would dishonor the mission so carefully crafted to Honor, Empower and Remember. My response was simple - It was the right thing to do.

I'm not quite sure there is a phrase that can sum up what Ruck to Remember is. What I can tell you is if you ever want to have a truly meaningful experience over Memorial Day Weekend. If you are the type of person who wants to DO something to Honor our Fallen. When the "holiday" comes each year if you feel you are falling short I encourage you to join us. You spend your days and evenings surrounded by like minded patriots and athletes from Operation Enduring Warrior. The "down time" is filled with Stories of Valor... "A Warrior dies twice, once on the battlefield and again the last time his name is spoken aloud". Their names are spoken, their memory lives on, their families are lifted up.

Keith Jolly, the founder of the event, will tell you over and over it doesn't matter how many steps you take as long as you take them. He doesn't keep time on a race clock (pace, well pace is a different story), he doesn't hand out medals for who came in first. In fact... we all come in together. From Alpha team who takes off through the trail at a crushing pace to fresh feet that join us for the final miles. It doesn't matter. What matters is that Gold Star Families SEE our commitment. They know the name of their loved one is on our lips and their story in our hearts. They can see, feel, touch that WE haven't forgotten.



So again. I wish I had something brilliant to say. What I will say is you will never make better friends faster. You will find brothers and sisters you never knew you'd needed so much. You will do something greater than yourself - just by taking one step.

Who I Rucked For:
LCDR Joseph Clunie

CTTC Christian Pike

Thank you Crystal and Diana for allowing me this opportunity to represent the men you loved so very much. I'll be back next year with Joe and Christian with me each step of the way.

Thank you to everyone who donated, sent packing list supplies, met us along the way to give encouragement, Mom, Paulie and Julie for watching the kids, NWCA Eleanore Roosevelt for cookies and fruit. All of our hosts for rest specifically the amazing FDs throughout the journey. The Red Shirts for every smile and high five. Belt for taking my Ruck and keeping me going. Rhonda for donuts and Bridget for a ride. Charlie and Luke for keeping us together til the end. So many moving pieces to this puzzle of life - and all of you played a big part. I cannot begin to capture my gratitude in text. Please don't think I've forgotten anyone. Kristina and Josh - what an amazing 7 miles we did visiting friends at Arlington. Thank you for letting me share that time with you. Sully for the pep talk and finally, my loving husband Byron, who sent texts, called and kept telling me to keep going. 

Love -

Jinger

09 May 2016

Burn Out or Phoenix

Life has been hectic lately. Ups, downs... good and bad... all of it at once.

I like to preach to people that admitting weakness is a sign of strength. I like to say that asking for help means you are ready to learn. I love helping others through tough times.

I'm currently fighting to agree with myself.

When people say burning the candle at both ends I think they've missed the people who light up a candelabra throw on some gasoline and blaze through life like a homecoming bonfire in a wind storm. I feel like kindling, and I'm getting burnt.  Maybe that will be a part of my growth. To let go of yesterday to embrace our tomorrow.

Leaving NC was much harder than I'd anticipated. My middle dude hasn't made any new friends. I have gained a few acquaintances, and even bright spots like Mother's Day have me longing for "home". I'm pushing away any roots that try to take hold, and trying to drown out the lonliness with a high level of activity.

That being said - some of the changes are good. I'm back in the Army Reserve. Met some new Soldiers. I'm enjoying working with them (so far). I've entered a new civilian career field, Employee Benefits with Liberty National. I've passed my state licensing exam. I've got a 60 mile ruck march on the horizon, and we found a church we like.

but.....

I'm not sleeping.
I'm not hungry.
I'm not happy....

YET.

So there. I've put it out there. Lil miss "we can do it" is in a bit of a funk. I'll dig myself out, but it will take time, it will take effort and it will take acceptance.

Now that I've identified an issue I can face it.

Sweet. All better... well no not really, but it is a start.

Time to start putting down roots, volunteering, investing in my community and finding our forever. It may be a broad stroke solution for now, but I'm sure the details will come to me.

Night y'all.

XO XO & Stuff,

Jinger

07 April 2016

Dear Etsy...

Dear Etsy,

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JBSerendipityHello darling it is I, JB Serendipity by www.pinchofjinger.com. We've just been introduced, but I've known about you for a very long time. 

You are very very pretty. I look at your artists, your instagram... I follow you. It is really almost weird. If you were a person there may be a protective order involved, but you are not so I am free to wander your pages and stalk your content. So I was thinking...

Let's make this a little less casual, and go for an official relationship. I like to make things with my hands, and you love people who are good with their hands. I'm a crafty kind of girl, and you have a special way of making people like me sexy. But Etsy, oh etsy...

I'm worried this relationship won't go anywhere. That my new found excitement for figuring out all of your bells and whistles will fizzle into an abyss of pinterest fails and mediocrity. So I'm going to invest in this blossoming love. I'm going to add a page to my blog just for you, JB Serendipity - An Etsy Shop, and I am going to read the Etsy Seller Handbook. I'm going to commit to learning about your nuances. I'll ask those who've known you for a long time, to help me make this work for both of us. I will respect your opinion, and I will honor your vision. Yes, I will be a good little seller.

What I need from you in return is honesty, and well... money. I need money. I'm going to sell my stuff on your pages. I'm going to advertise and market and invest and research... I'm going to take you, me, our relationship seriously.

So, dear dear Etsy. Here's to us! Can't wait to see where tomorrow leads.


XO XO & Stuff,

Jinger

ps for the rest of my readers - check out the shop (please) - and check back for updates on the trials and triumphs of my letting my creativity run wild for money. ((pretty sure that is illegal in some states))

29 March 2016

Super (Lazy) Mom's Guide to School Day Pancakes

Yes. I am fully aware that I can buy frozen pancakes. I am also fully aware that "complete" pancake mix is NOT from scratch. I am also fully aware that some of the people reading this are too full of themselves to have fun...

if you're gonna pin something pin this one... please.


Here we go. According to my blue eyed devil child (yes I call him that to his face) I am a super mom.
I present exhibit A:
  • I am a super mom.
  • I cook enough for my son to feel a cup with an apron on it is applicable to me.
  • This cooking has NOT lead to his (nor his siblings) early demise. There for it can be concluded that I am not an utter failure in the kitchen.

Here we go. Super (Lazy) Mom's School Day Pancakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 325* F ('MERICA!!!!) .
  2. Get out big bowl and spoon.
  3. Get out two 9x13 cake pans and spray w/ non stick.
  4. Open box of "complete" aka "just add water" pancake mix. 
  5. Pour decent (as in half the box) amount of mix into large bowl.
  6. Add water until you get to the consistency you USUALLY prefer when YOU make pancakes.
  7. Divide batter between two cake pans (you remembered to spray that non stick stuff right?)
  8. Put some sprinkles and crap on the top (that is where the Super comes in, if you don't do this than these are just lazy mom pancakes. Stop being just regular lazy and be super lazy).
  9. Place in oven; bake until golden brown around edges (approx 15 min, I didn't really pay attention because I was being lazy and making dubsmash videos.)
  10. Remove from oven when done.
  11. Cool(ish)
  12. Use pizza cutter to slice because we are super lazy and a knife would require more effort. Duh.
  13. Divide into baggies.
  14. Put baggies in freezer. 
  15. Pull out baggy when brat wants pancakes at 0600 on a Monday. 
  16. Warm up in Microwave.
  17. Slap on Butter and Syrup.
  18. Hand to kid.
  19. Tell Kid to SHUT UP AND EAT.
  20. Enjoy having time to do other flipping stuff instead of flipping pancakes.. like drink coffee. Better yet, Irish Coffee. 




You're welcome.

XO XO & Stuff,

Jinger

28 March 2016

What's It Worth?

We had a great weekend. No, honestly. We did. I had an encouraging week, no I haven't had a job offer yet. No, I haven't made any friends yet. I did however spend time with family, celebrate Jesus' resurrection and do some creative work which resulted in some jingle in my pocket...

but most of all.... I learned something greater than any dollar amount.

(keep reading, I'll get to the point eventually, 
and you need something to do while you drink your coffee)

Let's start with the creative aspect of the week/end. I LOVE to work with text art. Those little signs you see at Hobby Lobby, JoAnn's, Walmart - I can make them. Show me a picture and I will paint, chalk, draw whatever it is you liked only it will be done by hand, by me, for you. It is something that brings me joy and personal satisfaction. I've been making signs, shirts and other "word art" for over 20 years. It is a hobby. Not a job. It isn't a job because I seriously SUCK at running a business. We'll get to that later. 

Anyway... 

When we were in the process of selling our home (insert tears here) I sat down at the large chalkboard in the hall to do some chalk art for a weekend full of showings. I was trying to give our home that little edge that people would remember. So, after thinking about it for a couple hours I came up with a phrase, looked around on Pinterest for some building blocks/font inspiration, and away I went. A few hours later I had something I loved, and decided if someone bought the house that weekend I'd leave it for them to enjoy...

It is simple really: a house is built with sticks & stones, but love and laughter make a home.

Cute, to the point, and reminds the "buyer" that it isn't just the four walls you should consider. Is THIS the place you want your memories made, well it worked. We were under contract two days later. 100% because of the sign. Yeah. No. Not really. Let's not get into the mixed emotions.

Back to "word art" I call it that because it doesn't matter the material, paint, digital, chalk or ink, it is ALL word art. Capturing a bigger meaning with a phrase and carefully selected imagery. So after I posted this picture I had many requests for "how can I buy that" or "where did YOU buy that" and "can you make me one I'll pay you"... For the most part I have never charged for this type of work. I usually tell the "client" you buy the chalk board and bring me the chalk pens and I'll do the rest for free. Well, I've learned that I am a moron.

I've been praying. A great deal. I've asked over twenty-five women of faith who know and understand me to also bring my life to God in prayer. Well I'm not sure if it was Him talking this weekend, or if I'm just hearing what I want to hear, but within three days I've had seven orders for word-art. Here's the problem. I DON'T DO THIS FOR MONEY! Then I have not one, but TWO people tell me I'm crazy. Tell me I should be earning income via my blog and creative endeavors. I sold two pieces of word art over the weekend, and got an education on pricing (average is 25 cents/ square inch on Etsy).

So, over and over and over I'm being told that I should take what comes naturally to me, and turn it into a business.


I said I would consider it. I told people, if someone needs something... from invitations to chalk art... just let me know. You can help me figure out a price and do the "sales" I just want to make the art. Really. Honestly. I HATE the business of business. I feel BAD charging money for something that doesn't feel like "work" to me. My mom say's I need to get over that. Maybe I should listen to my mother. DON'T tell her I said that.

So with all of this talk about money. All of the encouragement to put a price on it. The hopeful consideration on my part, that "maybe they're right"... Something amazing happened.

As we were packing up to leave mom's and head back home after Easter Dinner. My mom picks up the luggage tag on Kadee's American Girl Doll carrier and calls me over. I said "oh yeah, she wrote her name on it on the way here" (she'd asked me for a pen while we were driving over in the morning). My mom says "I think you need to take another look."






I guess I really should listen to my mother... 

Just remember y'all - our little ones are watching. Through the struggle, the confusion, the wonder of it all - the are looking to us for what it all means. I think God was listening when I asked him "what should I be focusing on".

So at the end of the day... what's it worth? My baby girl. My little miss. Has taken a small message of hope and attached it to something she loves. I'm not sure anyone can put a price on that.


XO XO and Stuff,

Jinger

24 March 2016

What Works for Me... Isn't Working

We hear it all the time "just do whatever works for you"... well... what workED for me was getting up, going to work, hitting the gym for 90 minutes while the boys were at home doing their homework/chores. K-baby and I would get back, I'd knock out dinner and if was time for showers and bed.

What works for me isn't working. 
1. No Job 
2. No Gym
3. No Friends
4. No Routine

If I'm being real with myself the last item on that list is the actual problem.  I thrive in a world of regulation and routine. I need order and boundaries. Being in a new place with the kids on spring break doesn't provide my "normal" my "happy place".

How does it go? "In the absence of order there is chaos" or something like that or whatever. Well,  I hate chaos. Right now I'm drowning in it. So I guess the truth of the matter isn't that what works for me isn't working, its that I'm not making it work. <---- whoa! See what I did there. Almost like taking responsibility for my own well being. Crazy. I know. Let me keep going who knows I might save myself some therapy co-pays when this is all over.

1. No Job
I could sit here and lament about how the Navy has completely destroyed my life by ripping us out of our home and moving us to Florida; on the flip side we're a Navy family there is no such thing as a "home" until you're Sailor is OUT of the Navy (yes I'm aware that some people are able to homestead however some are not most and most are not all so nah nah boo boo). Sorry, back to the job. I am currently unemployed. I am applying and interviewing. I've started to sell some of my creative work for income. At this point I really have done everything I can do. Time to let it go, and enjoy the "time off" even if I don't like the lack of control.

2. No Gym
BS. No really that is totally BS. Well kind of. No, it really is BS. Yes, we just moved here. Yes 2 out of 3 kids got hit with a stomach/head flu which crushed about 5 days of availability. Oh, and I'm pretty sure I passed a gallbladder baby on Monday. Yeah. It has been a rough couple of weeks, BUT there are two gyms within 10 miles of my house, I now live in Florida (aka walking/running are a no brainer), and no-one is stopping me from working out. Husband is on shore duty, and I just need to get moving. Anytime Fitness, here I come.

3. No Friends
Wrong. So so so very wrong. We no longer live in a world where you are bound by geography for relationships. My best friend walks through the door every day with a smile and a 'hey babe", my dear friend Jamie and I have made the most of FaceTime ((even maintaining our evening wine chats when appropriate - you should check her out she's a Traveling Vineyard Wine Guide - seriously so good)), sorry I got distracted by wine. I was feeling pretty lonely so I reached out to friends via FB message to request prayer. I receved so much more. Not only do I have friends I have VERY GOOD friends who remind me to be faithful. To trust that God has a plan for us, and that we as a family are strong, loving, and will grow even closer through this.  Understanding, camaraderie, and encouragement. I may not have made local connections yet, but it is simply time and opportunity. Relationships will come. For now I will focus on my family, my marriage and maintaining my long distance friendships so they can me LIFE LONG friendships.

4. No Routine
Here's the confession. I'm a pouter. When he deploys I pout. When we move I pout. Hell, I pout when the kids have a birthday 'cause they are growing up too fast (technically one year at a time and time is a measurable constant, so it isn't "too fast" I just don't like it).... anyway. I pout, usually in ranges from 5 minutes up to 3 days. Well, my pouting has resulted in a lack of action, planning and follow through, leading to a lack of routine, enhanced frustration and spiraling mood. Who's fault is that? The Navy? My Sailor? Nope... Mine. I knew this was coming. I knew where we were moving. I can GOOGLE with the best of them. I chose to wallow in self pity instead of executing a plan of action to integrate into our new community. Time to put a stop to that, and establish my routine. I need it.

 ~

So, there you have it. What's Working for Me - Isn't Working... because I am not doing any work. Today I will lay the foundation for a better tomorrow, and tomorrow will be a new day filled with promise and determination. For now? Time to hit the kids with more antibiotics, so they don't end up singing a death rattle.

XO XO & Stuff,

Jinger

20 March 2016

Finding Forever - So this is happening

I enlisted in 2003 and my husband already had four years of service under his belt. June 2016 will be 17 years of enlisted service to this great nation, and we will have been married for 11 of those 17 years. Our family will have moved eight times with our oldest son attending 4 different school in just 5 years of formal education.

Not all that wander are lost... With a combined 30 years of service, this wanderer is weary, but there is hope. There is always hope. Almost a year ago Big Sexy made it clear he wanted to plan for retirement at 20 in 2019 (that's 20 years of service for those not trackin'). He was overseas... again... and we were nearing the end of nearly a decade of Sea Duty (which equates to rarely home, as in 20-27 days out of the month they are gone not including deployments). Bottom line, he was tired, I was lonely and WE were done living our life via FaceTime, email and messenger.

We'd bought a beautiful home in NC. Our kids were doing well, I was looking for full time work now that our youngest was in school... we were actually in a pretty good place. The major issue we were having was poor morale at his assigned unit, and a lack of job opportunities for me. Big Sexy began to look for open billets near our home for his final tour and I up'd my efforts to reenter the work force. He found a great opportunity just 20 minutes up the road, and I was hired by an OUTSTANDING unit for the PERFECT job.

Then Murphy showed up in the form of a lovely detailer who had other ideas.

**For those unfamiliar a detailer is an individual who manages the duty assignments for a specific military job field. They have a great deal of influence and control over where a Sailor ends up**

I'll spare you the details of that wonderful experience, but let's just say karma's a bitch and she remembers everything.

So, instead of staying put, enjoying our home and sailing off into a well established sunset. We found ourselves heading to Florida for one final Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move. I'd finally found a wonderful job with great pay and people... and now I sit here unemployed in a rental house, back on the hunt for a job, 3 kids in a new school and a whole lot of ?'s on the horizon.

HERE is the HOPE I was talking about. HOPE is based on looking for the good. Searching for what can be. Taking advantage of the opportunities before us - instead of mourning what was left behind.
  • I have my family, and other than a current stomach bug for two of the littles we are generally healthy
  • This PCS has moved us 10 hours CLOSER to both sets of Grandparents
  • I am registered for the Military Spouse PPP list (I'll write more about that later)
  • Cost of living is lower here
  • We've found a community we'd like to build in
  • We have THREE YEARS to get our foundation set, so BIG SEXY can walk away from the Navy with confidence
  • I have FAITH that GOD has a plan for us (Psalm 147:11)
 So... when you see "Finding Forever" in the title know that I'm going to be sharing about our steps toward retirement. I'm not going to preach to you, or give you some magical answer book; but I'll share what we are doing and how those actions pan out.

Have a great day y'all. Remember failure to plan is a plan to fail.

XO XO & Stuff,

Jinger

18 March 2016

Holy Hiatis Batman

If there is one that is constant in the military spouse life... well anyone's life... its Murphy. That little jerk struck again by crushing not one but two computers, and slapping us with a PCS. The result? No blogging. Should have planned ahead right? Yes, you're right. Feel good? Awesome.

Anyway, have a ton to say, too many subjects to comment on for one post, but the bottom line is I'll be back to sharing my sarcastic realism with the general public on a regular basis.  Never actually stopped doing that, but I can only yell so loud. 

Just a couple of admin notes now that I'm back with bombs of knowledge worthy of  decimating entire trains of thought.
  • These opinions are my own and apply only to the subject matter specified within the text. So, if I am writing about humans born of the female gender voting based on the genitalia between their legs, I am NOT in fact implying that transgender doesn't exist. I am saying you should vote with your brain not your sex organs. See how that works. Write about A. People read Q, still only wrote about A.
  • If you disagree with me, agree with me, hate what I said, love what I said, don't like my hair or whatever - leave a comment, but make sure you include an identifiable title. Basically, if you want to talk crap or engage in the exchange of differing ideas/opinions leave your name; if you do so under the title "anonymous" I'll delete your comments. Cause I'm a jerk. Yep. If you don't have the guts to put your name to what you say - just keep your mouth shut... well fingers still, but you get the idea. 
  • Last but not least. I don't get paid. I write my thoughts, my way, on my own time... so grammar police beware. I don't care what errors you find. When you start paying my bills I'll pretend to care what you think (well, no I won't but whatever).
Ok y'all. I'm baaaaaaaaack.

XO XO & Stuff,

Jinger