Avoiding Skunks, Wasting Time, And Other Stories

In Motherhood, Parenting by Jen29 Comments

Avoiding Skunks, Wasting Time, And Other Stories

Many of my fabulous blogging friends are well known for doing their “Lately” posts that share a bit about what is going in their lives. I do not think I have ever done a post like that. So today I am going to share with you some of my updates with a few of the pictures from our family camping trip we took this week.

OK, so the word camping might be a bit of a stretch, because we “camped” in a cabin with beds, showers, hot water and all, but we had to do all of our cooking out in a pit fire. So it was my kind of camping, Glamping at it’s best! Look at how cute our cabin was!

Realizing I Don’t Have As Much Time As I Thought I Did

My daughter Samantha just turned 14 last month in September and recently I woke up in the middle of the night in full panic attack mode. With the realization that I only have her at home with me for another 4 years and then she will be off to college and onto other adventures! Somehow the last 14 years went by so very fast. I imagine the next four won’t be any different.

I know there is still time to teach her as much as I can, but I kind of wish we could rewind the “life tape” back a few years to give me just a little more time with her. But that isn’t possible. I know she isn’t a little girl any more, but she will always be my little girl no matter what. And as she has grown and matured I am so impressed by the young women she is today.

Being Sandwiched In The Middle

I am a member of the sandwich generation. If you are unfamiliar with this term it is a person who is caring for both young children and elderly parents. It’s a hard and exhausting job. Luckily I have a completely supportive family that helps to care for my elderly mother and pick up the slack when I just can’t give anymore. If you have a friend who is going through this, please make sure to hug them often. They are having to help navigate the changes in their own lives, that of their children AND their parents. Sometimes feeling like they are parents double over.

Skunks Really Do Stink. Most Other Animals Don’t.

My kids have been on Fall break from school for almost 2 weeks. It has been amazing! We have gone to family run farms and ranches, been in some of the most gloriously beautiful places ever and had our fair share of animal interactions. If you missed it last week here is the farm we visited.

On the ranch where we glamped, best to just admit that is what it was I think, my husband Jen’s Guy did indeed prove that he is a Lord of The Fires as well as showcasing his superb camping guru-ness.

Anyways back to my original point, on the ranch the owner had so many animals and I think my children became magical animal tamers, because every time I turned around there was a herd of animals following them.

This beautiful husky was the sweetest guy ever. He loved Anneliese and I would really like to know what they “talked” about, because he was a very attentive listener. On our last night there he was unfortunately sprayed by a skunk. I am happy to say I am glad that all members of my family avoided that same outcome.

Going Out With Your Boots On

I say that all of the time. Because when my time to go comes, I hope I do so “with my boots on”. Having lived a full life, no matter how long it was. We took our dog Zoe up to the ranch with us and although she is 15 years old in human years, which is like 100+ in dog years, she was like a puppy up there. Enjoying every moment of her time. I want to be like that. I think we can learn quite a lot of from animals. Someday she won’t be with us, I think sooner than later, but somehow I think I will always remember her like she was on this trip. Running with a herd of dogs through fields, horse pastures and mountains.

Gratitude Is Always In Style

I have been so supremely blessed in my life. How grateful I am for these blessings.

There have been hard times, nights spent on my knees in prayer and mornings full of miraculous blessings I did not expect to come way. But all of these experiences have helped me to grow and find beauty in the calm and even in the middle of the storm.

I feel humbled by all that has come my way and want to say thank you to all of you, my blogging friends and readers who continue to come back here to support and encourage me through all of it. I love you guys! Seriously.

This week I also realized was the gathering for my 20th reunion from High School. Not surprising, but somehow I had missed all of the invites and Facebook chatter. I saw updates on Facebook for this gathering as I was sitting in the ER with my oldest daughter Samantha for the following reason.

Luckily we got the ring off, thanks to some serious power tools and an amazing doctor.

But that same night I also discovered that one of the young men I knew from my college days, who had become a great adult, had just died from a heart attack. His now widowed wife, who was also a college friend, is now left with 4 beautiful children to raise alone. My heart weeps for her as this is not what she would have planned to have happen to her, but how she must now live her life. Her words of strength and the quiet moments of grief she has publicly shared since her sweet husband passed has shown how she plans to weather this, with quiet strength and determination.

Life can change in the blink of an eye and we never know when it will happen. I have always chosen not to focus on the unknown or to live in the darkness that fear can give you. Instead I will look forward and up, looking for the surprises and joy that can come my way.

I am much changed from that young girl I was 20 years ago in High School and even college. That young girl is still with me, but I am stronger, wiser, more humble and living a life more full of joy than I could have ever imagined 20 years ago.

Stay Happy! Stay Informed!



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  1. Oh so sad about your college friend! Too young.
    Well as you know, Athena was sprayed by a skunk over the summer and it was so much worse than I ever imagined. The up close skunk smell is NOTHING like the distant one. I feel for that sweet husky above. When my grandmother was alive last year, my mom and I were BOTH in the sandwich generation, but my mom more. She was caring for her 100-year-old mother and still looking out for me as my mom, AND watching her grandkids for me. Sheesh.
    Tamara recently posted…The Busy Mom’s Guide To Creativity.My Profile

    1. Author

      I remember that, blech! I am really glad we didn’t have to drive home with a skunked dog! I think there would have been bad barfing to boot in the car! No one needs that.

      It really is hard to take care of parents in a different kind of role than you are used to. It’s hard mentally, emotionally and physically. Props for sure to your Mom for doing it :)
      Jen recently posted…Avoiding Skunks, Wasting Time And Other StoriesMy Profile

  2. What a delightful read. Kind of like mine today, but yours is way better.

    I can so relate about old dogs. Glad yours had a fabulous vacation too.

    Sorry about your friend that died way too young.

    I’m so happy you had a wonderful time with your family. You always do.

    I too dwell on the good in life, the now. Focusing on the negative seems to be what many do these days.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺
    Comedy Plus recently posted…The Auzzie VisitMy Profile

    1. Author

      Thanks Sandee! I get so caught up in blogging, sometimes I don’t share the day to day of what is going on. I think that sharing it makes me a real person and it helps me too.

      My kids were worried she might just go ahead and pass up there on the mountain and I told them she would “Go with her boots on.” What better way to go!
      Jen recently posted…Avoiding Skunks, Wasting Time And Other StoriesMy Profile

  3. Thankfulness and gratitude are so important. You have many blessings in your life.

    Sigh… that Samantha certainly is growing! Can’t we press pause?!

    I’m sorry to hear of your college friend. How tragic.

    Thanks for sharing this glimpse of what’s going on for you – I love updates like these. I end up finding so much about my blogging friends this way.

    I appreciate you linking this post up to the #SHINEbloghop.

    Wishing you a lovely weekend.
    Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom recently posted…What It’s Like to Live With AnxietyMy Profile

    1. Author

      Thanks Jennifer!

      Sometimes I feel like I should share a little bit of what is going on in my life in order to explain my blogging absences, pauses or lapses. Sometimes you just can’t do it all.

      Thanks for taking the time to read this and for being a part of my cheering section. Hugs!
      Jen recently posted…Avoiding Skunks, Wasting Time And Other StoriesMy Profile

  4. Such a busy season of life for you. You made my chest hurt a bit at the thought of my daughter suddenly being 14 before I can blink an eye, UGH.

    So humbling to realize just how blessed we are sometimes. Things can change so fast.

  5. This could be one of my FAV blog posts of yours, so beautiful. ” I have always chosen not to focus on the unknown or to live in the darkness that fear can give you. Instead I will look forward and up, looking for the surprises and joy that can come my way.”

    You my dear have so much going on, I’d never heard of the sandwich generation. But you do it with grace, love and kindness. THanks for sharing a piece of yourself with us!
    Kristen recently posted…What Did You Do For Yourself This Week?My Profile

  6. Hi Jen, I love your outlook and your appreciations for the simple pleasures in life! We are most definitely in a similar place in life; my daughter turned fifteen last January and it dawned on me too how little time we have left together. Her dream is to go study in England and whilst I back her all the way, it make me a little sad that we may only have three more years of Friday evenings left!

    I don’t believe for one minute that was a friendly Husky that Anneliese befriended! It sure looks like a wild wolf to me that she had tamed so well she could put a collar on!… I can’t imagine life without a dog, but why do they live such short lives (compared to us). We lost one dog a few months back (I still have her medication schedule on the fridge door) and I still miss her. Your Zoe looks a proper Mut and it is amazing when older dogs get their puppy spring back, they are never too old to play.

    Take care.
    Debbie recently posted…How To Create Simple HTML Coding To Display Blog Badges Neatly In A SidebarMy Profile

    1. Author

      It’s hard isn’t it? When they are toddlers we long for the day they are older, until they finally ARE older. Then it just comes too dang fast!

      Isn’t that dog gorgeous? I think he would have slept in the bed with Anneliese if we would have let him! He is part wolf I hear. His father was full wolf!

      It took Zoe a full week to recover from all of her escapades!
      Jen recently posted…Halloween Treats: Who’s Your “Mummy”My Profile

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  8. That does kind of make your heart skip a beat when you calculate how many years are left to have everybody at home sleeping under the same roof! I try to keep calm and remember that they’re not blasting off into outer space never to be seen again on their 18th birthday. They’ll be around. I’ll be able to see pictures and be involved in their life (differently, but still involved). It’ll be okay… right?
    Jenny @ Unremarkable Files recently posted…7 Quick Takes about Mediocre Housekeeping, Kayaking Tips from Someone Who’s Done It Twice, and Going Back to the FutureMy Profile

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