June 1

Jun 01

June 1

It’s the first day of summer.  These two cuties are officially classroom-free until August.


Already, I love it.

Maren has been in a Lego phase for a while, and during much of the school year she just doesn’t have time to see her visions come to creation.  She’s working on a whole civilization as far as I can tell, and she has figured out how to include Greta.  (Smart girl!)  She asks, “Greta, are you ready for your Lego class?” and gives Greta some direction and Lego pieces.  Greta assembles some sort of structure and Maren gives her all kinds of praise and incorporates Greta’s work into the master vision.  It’s quite fun to watch.  Since Greta is often Godzilla in Maren’s world of toys, it’s nice to see them figuring out a way to compliment each other.

Greta has been into painting lately.  We have paints with glitter — “sparkle paint” — and Greta loves it.  She still makes abstract blobs, but I am hopeful that soon she will realize she can do more.  For now, it’s all about the sparkles, and I love having her work up on display.  Greta refers to tasks like painting, coloring, scribbling as “homework” and often wants to play school so she can be like Maren.  Her attention span with painting is really quite good for a just-turned-three-year-old.

The other night, Brad and I got home from a date to discover both girls asleep in Maren’s top bunk.   (Luckily one side of the bed is against the wall and the other side is has a hefty railing.)  We both checked on them multiple times to soak in the cuteness.  Greta’s arm was draped across “Sissy” as she has been calling Maren for the past six weeks or so, and they both had their blankies against their cheeks.  I often think how lucky they are to have each other.  Greta is very dependent on Maren in new situations and with new people.  Likewise, Maren enjoys shepherding Greta in those new situations as it gives her something to distract from her own anxiety.  Sisterhood is a wonderful thing.

I’ve spent some time tonight thinking about the summer.  I want to be Popsicle Mom and Sprinkler Turner-On-er Mom and Bicycle Mom and Make-A-Fort Mom and Fun Mom and Yes Mom.

I struggle a little bit with the things that get in the way: for example did you know that dust has the nerve to settle in my house?  The nerve of the dust to land in my house and get everything all, well, dusty, is just preposterous!

And also, my oven doesn’t just churn out healthy meals?  You have to make them first!

Don’t even get me started on the kitchen floor.  I swear there are crumb gremlins who crumb-ify my floor five times a day.

I feel like the dust, and the oven, and the kitchen floor had better get it together because don’t they know: I deal with cancer maintenance and sometimes I feel like I should not have to deal with other nonsense-y type things like cleaning, cooking and other adult responsibilities.

In order for me to be Fun Mom I’ve been making Yes lists.  As in, Yes we can do all the things on this fun list as soon as our jobs are done.  See how I did that?  I get to be Yes Mom, and we’ll all do the responsible stuff too.  Wish me luck–I’m clearly full of optimism and hope and sunshine and fresh-cut grass and fruity drinks. It’s summertime!

Cheers to summer.



  1. Michelle /

    There you are!!! I’ve missed my special time reserved for optimistic writer Jen who captivates me. Glad to hear that you are having fun doing mommy-things!!!! I certainly don’t want you to take time away from that all important experience…but know that your followers love the window into your world and miss you!!! Thanks for sharing! Happy Summer!!!

  2. I love the description of sweet sister moments. When my youngest was Maren’s age, we would dust together with feather dusters (he loved it!) so if you can make it a game and not care too much about the results, it is a win-win solution. A friend of mine had wonderful summers with her kids by enlisting her kids’ help with chores each morning before they had their adventures, so your idea is proven to work beautifully. Enjoy!

  3. Lisa Smith /

    Seriously, totally agree with Michelle, especially after this super crap-tastic weekend of personal baggage. Thank Goodness for this little ray of sunshine awaiting me in my inbox. THANK GOODNESS! Love you Jen. Just got your card in the mail and it makes me smile daily. xoxo

  4. Tina /

    Yes!!! HooRay for summer indeed!!! Have a wonderful fun and Popsicle filled summer!! Muah!

  5. Peggy /

    I agree with Michelle ~ I’m glad to be hearing from Writer Jen again. Your “yes” list is such a great idea! Wish I had thought of that one when I was raising children. You know, Jen, your girls will think anything is fun when the 3 of you do it together. Lower your housekeeping standards. Give the girls each a Swiffer…there can be Swiffer races! Dusting can be fun with socks on the hands. Dinners can be super easy this summer. I think the girls can manage to learn to do a little cooking with mom. I’ll just bet your other friends can share some easy-peasy recipes that are kid friendly. And I think all of this would be so much more fun if the 3 of your wore “Cleaning Tiaras”!!! Enjoy this magical summer…popsicle mom!!♥p

  6. Bonnie J /

    Was wondering HOW you were? Smiling, planning, relishing time spent with the girls and Brad, freedom to soak in summer. …. Enjoy and SOAK it ALL in !!

  7. Karin /

    My boys are getting job tickets this summer to help us stay somewhat on top of things. Nice to be “yes” mom for sure. 🙂

  8. Tina /

    I am so glad to see a post from you. I found you thru a friend of a friend of your mom’s. I’ve never posted before but felt pulled to do so today. I have 3 boys. My 2nd graduates from high school Friday. I love how you embrace each day. Believe me it goes by so quickly. Here’s my fun cleaning suggestion…children pulled around the hardwood floor on a blanket makes a wonderful dust mop. Be sure to make wide turns to get the corners. And when they get bigger they can pull you too! ;). Keep writing. You make my day!!

  9. Lori6NV /

    Happy summer! And that’s a heck of a cute outfit you’re rockin’ in those pics. 🙂