I recently participated in a “Share Your Blog” experience over at the Captains Speech. Several bloggers from all over left their calling card in the comment section allowing everyone to shop around for new blogs. From this, I have had several new friends stop by and follow my journey in nonsense and satire. Because the majority of the stuff I post is strange, weird and questionable at best (ha) I thought I would give my new friends a quick chance to know more about me!
What’s your whole name?
Jennifer Lynne Shidler (please don’t steal my identity 😉 )
Do you have any siblings?
Yes, 1 older brother William, a half-sister Angela and two sisters in-laws, Tifany and Jonie.
Where did you grow up?
West Central Indiana. I lived in that general area for 25ish years before moving to Texas in 2012.
Are you close to your parents?
My mom, yes. She has several health issues and my husband and I moved her into our home 2 years ago to help her. I was not close to my dad, he had his issues and while he would try to call or come around when I was youner I pushed him away. He passed away in 2012. I hope he has found his peace, I have.
Where did you go to college?
I graduated from Indiana State University (home of the great Larry Bird) in 2010 with a BFA in Communication and Marketing. Even after all that, my grammar skills are less than desirable. #sorrynotsorry
What did you study in college?
Public relations and marketing. I guess you can say I studied my husband as well (ha). We met in my junior year and have been together ever since.
What kind of music do you like?
My Apple music play list consists of 60s, 70s, 80s, & 90s music. A lot of oldies, a lot of folk and a lot of easy listening. Think Wings, Jim Croce, America, Mama Cass, Eagles and Fleetwood Mac. Also add in musicals. Fiddler on the Roof, Sound of Music, Moulin Rouge, Camelot, Hamilton, Rent, Chicago
What’s one hobby that you’d like to take up?
I want to learn to play an instrument so bad it hurts. I kick myself for not sticking with band in 6th grade. If I was ever in a position where disposable income could be used for fun things and not real life stuff, I would invest in either piano, guitar or singing lessons.
What did you think you wanted to be when you grew up?
When I was in elementary school until Jr High, a meteorologist. I am terrible at math and didn’t think I stood a chance. In high school and college, radio broadcasting. I still would love the opportunity to work in this field.
What’s the biggest project on your to-do list right now?
Creatively: Finish some craft projects I have paused and writing consistent content on my blog.
Real life: I’m preparing to head home to Indiana to back up and sell my child hood home.
Do you have any irrational fears?
Spiders, snakes, scorpions. I hate the THX sound that plays at the beginning of some movies (check it out). I also get nervous with fireplaces and leaving furnaces running when we are not home.
Have you ever traveled outside the country? If so, where and when?
Yes, I have left the good ol’ USA a few times in 2014 & 2015. I have been to Mexico twice, Jamaica, The Cayman Islands, Honduras and Belize.
When’s your favorite hobby?
I love baseball and dabble in several different crafts at any given time. Cross stitch, crochet and anything I can make with a silhouette Cameo.
Do you speak any other languages?
Not even close.
What’s one talent that you wish you had?
I’m sure my husband and whoever has had the pleasure of driving long distances with me would all agree that I need to learn how to sing, and I would agree! Also, as stated above, I want to learn to play the piano or guitar.
What are your favorite movies and books?
You’ve Got Mail
Sound of Music
The Mirror Has Two Faces
When Harry Met Sally
In & Out
Anything by Debbie Macomber
Cedar Cove series
Let it Snow
Mail Order Bride
The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks
The Harry Potter Series
Anything that reads like a Hallmark Movie 😉
So there you have it new friends and readers! Want to know anything else? Drop a question in the comment section or stick around, I tend to be an open book!
Do you have a blog and want to invite other readers to check you out? Do what I did and head over to the Captains Speech and leave your calling card in the comments!
Exactly 2 months have passed since my 31st birthday and my public declaration to accomplish 10 tasks before my 32nd birthday. (Read that declaration here.) Today we are going to see what dent, if any, I have made on this lofty list.
Finish abandoned craft projects…
I can tell you right now I’ve already slightly failed at this one. Part of the terms of this task was that all of these would need to be finished before starting a new one. Yet at Christmas I gave out several handmade presents, so that ship has sailed. I will say I’ve got the box of my MLB coasters out and have finished 1 more. Welcome to the club Baltimore Orioles! Now to tackle the last 13, finish my Yellow Submarine cross stitch and start my MLB hexie quilt. sigh.
Learn to bake 3 new things…
Surprisingly I only have one more of these items to attempt. I made the noodles at Thanksgiving and while they were far from perfect, they were edible. (Their shapes, however left much to be desired), and the pie was featured on my Christmas eve post (a lovely poem that you can read HERE). That leaves us with bread and I must say, this one is going to have to wait for a while as my husband and I are on a bit of a carb cleanse. Sigh. Bread would be too much of a temptation. Don’t worry, still have 10 months for me to fall back into bad habits 😉
Complete 300 writing prompts
If you have been following my blog at all, you will already know that I have been trying to get these knocked out. I thought 10 months is a lot of “time” until I realized that there are only 365 days in a year to begin with. I’ve only completed 5 of the 300 prompts and after a quick check with the interwebs have found that there are only 305 days left until my birthday. Yikes, I should have started sooner or relaxed my goal a bit. We will see how this one turns out!
Finish the books I have before buying more…
The section right here is the real reason I haven’t accomplished much else on this bucket list. Again, I technically failed because while I only have 3 of these books left to read on this original list, I have bought and read almost 20 more books since. (Santa must be a librarian ;)) The good news is, it won’t take me long to get these 3 out-of-the-way in 10 months, so I feel less guilty reading other books in between.
For the sake of time, energy and my dignity, we are going to combine the rest of the bucket list tasks into one big block of idle failure…
I’ve learned 4 notes on the piano, (last time I checked not a lot of hits can come from four basic notes played with one hand…)
I have yet to change a tire, although I would rather to tackle this one when the weather is better…
y todavía no puedo hablar español con fluidez.
I haven’t found a spot to volunteer yet, but I have my eyes set on the local animal shelter (don’t tell my fur babies I’m cheating on them..)
I have yet to join a small group at church, and while my anxiety is still partly to blame, timing is also a key culprit. Our churches small groups reset shortly after my birthday and start back up middle of January. Not giving up on this one yet!
As you can see I have a lot of work ahead of me! What something you are looking to complete this year or before your next birthday?
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” —Mark Twain.
First off I want to state that this is not a list of resolutions. Resolutions require commitment and often end in disappointment, plus I already wrote about resolutions I should make but won’t because they don’t last. Think of this as a list of things I am excited and hopeful for in the next 365 days (this way no one gets hurt mmkay!)
I’m excited to be more at peace and happier in 2019. 2018 had a rough start. I was having a hard time juggling working full time and taking care of my mom full time. I wasn’t happy,I was struggling with depression and trying to hide it from family, friends and co-workers was making it a lot worse. With the support of my family and friends I left my job of 8 year’s, so I could focus on my mom full time. The end of 2018, while still not perfect in every way, ended 100 times better than the way it started. I plan to carry this positivity forward!
I’m looking forward to reading more in 2019. In October I put down the Roku remote and got back into reading a book series I started the year before but lost interest. I read 24 books from October to the end of December, got back into a normal sleep schedule (binge watching ruins sleep) and exercised my brain that’s been on hiatus since I graduated college. I am on a mission to read all of Debbie Macomber’s books and re-read all of Nicholas Sparks books. Deep literary stuff, you know.
I am excited to cross off as many items as I can on my ‘Quarter Life Crisis Bucket List” as noted above, I’ve been working on the book portion of that list as well as the craft project part of the list. I’ve begun to dabble on the musical instrument part and have ideas for my volunteer projects!
I am excited to get back home to Indiana in February and start the process of getting my mom’s house packed up and cleaned out. Don’t get me wrong, packing up and selling my childhood home is going to be an emotional rollercoaster, but I know in my heart this is what needs to be done to bring some closure for my mom and will bring her some peace. Plus, spending 2 weeks with my family and my best friend won’t be bad either 😉
I’m excited for another year of renewed friendship! Up until this past fall, I had done a terrible job of keeping in touch with friends from home. Moving 1000 miles away doesn’t help, but it’s not impossible to maintain a long distance friendship, and I failed. I’m lazy and let life get in the way, but after a much needed trip home to Indiana I feel like I have a social connection again. Sometimes life is funny, sometimes life is sad and sometimes you witness random people do weird things in public. It’s important to have a friend to share all of that stuff with who won’t judge you (and will ask for pictures ha) #myarmsaresobig #hottfuz #warmlint
Looking forward to House shopping. In connection to selling my mom’s house, we have decided in the next year or so to put our own home in Texas up for sale in an effort to find something that fits our current needs better. This is bitter sweet. I LOVE our house, but when we moved my mom in we began to burst at the seams. Also, even though our current house is a new build, it was NOT built for a wheel chair. RIP my door frames and walls. A new house means more room, possibilities for having house guests again and just maybe we won’t all be at each other’s throats (this ties in to bullet point #1 ha)
I’m excited to get more involved in church this year. No more walking in quietly, worshiping, than leaving quietly. I know I mentioned this in my quarter life crisis bucket list, but this definitely deserves mentioning again. I have social anxiety, so this task has required baby steps but I’m getting better and I plan on finding a small group to join soon!
Baseball Season!! I am beyond excited about baseball season, but if you’ve been following me for a while you already knew that!
Several people have asked where I have been hiding this past few months. No blogs, no videos, I have vanished once again into thin air without explanation. I do have a reason, a shotty one to be honest. A perfect trifecta of incidents has combined to cause my absence. One-part travel, one-part motivation (or lack there-of) and one-part writers block. Well, non-writer-writers block. I am not completely convinced that jotting down every weird thought or scenario that comes into my head makes me “writer” just yet.
To be truthful, my truancy hadn’t bothered me much until my sister in law, Tifany, grilled me about my poor writing attendance in the middle of Barnes and Noble on a cold and rainy Thursday afternoon. I made a vague excuse about not having time and that I was just waiting for life to return to normal. I was partly hopeful but partly lying. To be honest, I am not sure what normal in my life looks like right now. If you assembled normal and other seasons of life in a line up, I would not be able to positively ID it.
My sister in law didn’t buy my excuse and well, neither did I. When they left to go back home to Indiana a few days later, she insisted that I write something soon or she would ground me.
Since no one at the age of 30 should be grounded, I decided to take action. With my travels for the year over (unless any of you readers want to send me on a cruise) and my new-found motivation pushing me forward, I have no other excuses than to tackle that pesky “writers block” excuse once and for all. #letsdothis
Here we are. Day 3 staring at this screen with nothing. I just keep glaring at this blinking curser. I wouldn’t say it’s mocking me just yet, but there have been a few times where I swear it just disappears to check and see if I’m still paying attention. I am, but barely. I have started, stopped and erased at least 4 different blog posts in the last 3 days. Is it still considered non-writers-writers block when 90% of the words you type are grammatically incorrect anyways? My theory has always been, you can make up for poor grammar as long as you make the reader laugh. It’s not like they will have time to whip out their red ink pen and fill up the margins with corrections if they are too busy wiping their tears and catching their breath from laughter, right? Right!
So, what should I do when I don’t have a funny commentary to offer but still have a writing itch to scratch and a wonderful sister in law to appease? I guess just write something and hope you, the reader, see past the imperfections and stick around. I have nothing to bribe you with other than the promise that one day the funny will return and we will all once again rejoice as we “roll on the floor laughing” or whatever phrase the cool kids are using these days.
So that’s the plan. We are going to take this one day at a time. Some days will be funnier than others and some will be more grammatically coherent than others. The important thing is we will get through this together, mmkay!
It has been 445 days, 38,448,000 seconds, 640,800 minutes or 63 weeks since I last wrote you. Ugh. When I set out on starting this novice blog some 3 years ago I swore to myself I would never have to do one of the “I know I haven’t written in a while….” post and yet here I am…Hi..do you still remember me? Do you forgive me?
During my 2014-2015 hiatus I was tagged several times to fill out surveys by bloggers I follow or who follow me. While I have already posted a survey blog a few years ago, I thought that this might be a great way to catch everyone up on the last year of my life. So, with out further ado…
My Last Year (s) In Review
What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?
We allowed ourselves to be out numbered in our household. We now have 3 animals to 2 humans because we adopted our first ever dog; Miss Lucy. She is a dachshund pug mix with sass and spunk who gives our 21 pound cat Mosby a run for his money.
Did you keep your new years’ resolutions?
Keep them? I cant even remember what they were. I avoided the grasps of natural selection for one more year, was not arrested for anything and you did not see my face in the news for anything stupid or cringe worthy. Reguardless of what my new years resolution was or wasn’t, I would call this past year a success.
What is your favorite number and why?
My favorite number is 5. Why you ask? Because it is approximately the number of try’s it takes me to spell the word resteraunt, restrainut, reseteraunt, resterunt, restaurant correctly. (note to self; next years resolution should be learning how to spell)
Did anyone close to you die?
What countries did you visit?
We visited Belize, Honduras and Mexico. All were a great experience and I can not wait to see where our next travels take us.
What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015 or 2014?
My first reaction is to say children, but then I realize that I probably need to master the act of remembering to let the dog out for a walk on time before I take on a human being. I also would like to have more of Matthews student loans paid off. So my second and more realistic answer to this question would be more confidence.
What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I cant think of any specific dates but I do have several events that do pop into my mind. Our cruise in January was wonderful and we had a great Plane, Train, Automobile trip home this past April where we got to spend some time with family. The day we got our puppy miss Lucy. November when I met the vacuum cleaner of my dreams..(yes you read that right…more details to come in a future blog post) These are just a few events of many that stick out!
What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year?
Confidence in my job. I know I just told you that confidence is what I lacked this year and would like more of next year, but the change in confidence in my job in 2015 is what made me realize how good it feels to be good at what you do. The ability to stand out in a positive way makes me hungry for more.
I also would like to add the achievement of being a better morning person. This time last year I would have been begging for closing shifts in my job. If the alarm clock when off before 10.30am it was bound to be a bad day for someone. And while I am still not miss Mary sunshine every morning, I also do not hate the world or my life everyday when my alarm clock goes off at 7:30-8am (and yes, I realize that still is not early…but it is an improvement for me)
What was your biggest failure?
At AT&T we like to call failures as “Areas of Opportunities” and that sounds like a question I would rather answer. My areas of opportunities for 2015 would be..
Diet—less food, more exercise
Money –less spending more saving
Blogging—less procrastinating more writing Did you suffer illness or injury?
2 words…Kidney Stones. Worst pain in my life and I hope that I never have to experience it ever again.
What was the best thing you bought?
It sounds weird to say, because we didn’t really “buy” her, but I would have to say Miss Lucy. Lucy along with her sister where surrender by their original owners because they could not take care of them. She needed a home and we were oh so glad to give her one. I am still a cat person to the day I die but seeing the excitement on Lucy’s face every time I come home from work is definitely something to write home about!
Whose behavior merited celebration?
Today is my day off and while I had no plans I still managed to get up before 9am, shower, get dressed and put make up on my face. Normally it requires an act of congress to remove my body from my bed on a day off. Should a parade be thrown in my honor for this? Definitely not. Should my love ones be shocked and submit me for testing? Wouldn’t hurt? 😉
Where did most of your money go?
Food and varying institutions that have loaned us money for our house, cars and our educations. Sigh. Debt..can barely live with it, would be living on the streets with out an education with out it.
What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Several memories surrounding vacations came to mind, but the stand out excitement of this past year would be the 2015 Chicago Cubs. My love affair for baseball and the Chicago Cubs began in the 90’s. we spent a lot of time with my grandparents and if there was a game on we were either listening to it or watching it. This year has been the most fun to watch/listen to since right before my grandpa past away. While I enjoy the game whether we are winning or losing I will say that a winning season such as this years feels darn good!
What song will always remind you of 2014/2015?
While the song “Timber” with Ke$ha and Pitbul is not my style of music nor was it released this year, it was used as the theme song from our vacation with Chris, Emily, Tom and Amy. We had so much fun creatively counting down to that trip and on the trip itself.
Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier!
b) thinner or fatter? You say fatter…I say more readily prepared for the winter season…the opinion is yours
c) richer or poorer? Richer, in more ways than just money.
What do you wish you’d done more of?
Blog writing, reading and being more social
What do you wish you’d done less of?
Complaining, eating, spending money.
How will you be spending Christmas?
With Matthew and our 3 furry animals. First Christmas with just us as a family. Right now we are optimistic of starting new traditions for the all the years to come, but I know that once the holiday season hits, the realization that this the first one with out any family from home ever will weigh heavy on us. We shall prevail, however.
Did you fall in love in 2014/2015?
I have been in love everyday since fall 2008 with the same person.
How many one-night stands?
2! Who has just one night stand? We have two night stands and we tend to switch them out every once and a while. Matthew has one and I have one. Where else and I going to put my midnight glass of milk and phone for charging?………you see what I did there. But seriously though..this is a stupid question and anyone who knows me already knows the answer.
What was your favorite TV program?
I am a product of Generation Y or the Millennials. We helped jumpstart the social media revolution and saw the births of streaming media giants such as Hulu and Netflix. That being said, it is impossible for me to pick which program is my favorite because so many different shows from different years are available instantly. A more appropriate question would be, which 12 hour binges have I enjoyed more than others? The answer would be The West Wing, Greys Anatomy and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.
Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Life is too short to hate.
What was the best book you read in the last year or two?
House training your dog for Dummies & the manual that came with my new vacuum cleaner was a page turner.
What was your greatest musical discovery?
I have always enjoyed Harry Nilsson, but this past year I have really dug into his discography and found a sincere appreciation for a lot of his work.
What did you want and get?
If you haven’t gathered from previous posts, I struggle with the past time of spending more money than I should. As a side effect from this past time, I often find a way to get what I want. Not proud of it and realize that this is something that needs to be “nipped in the bud”……..p.s. I got the Vacuum cleaner of my dreams 😉
What did you want and not get?
World Series Championship
What was your favorite film of this year?
No movies really stood out for me this year. We saw the Furious 7 movie..but those types of movies are not my favorite to begin with. The Wedding Ringer, Spy and Ricki and the Flash were among some of my favorites.
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
November 5th 2014 I turned 27 and it was spent in Lake Jackson with family and November 5th 2015 I turned 28 and spent the day doing a major merchandising reset at work. It was a long and busy day but my family and co workers showered me with flowers, balloons and cupcakes!
What was one thing that would have made your year overwhelmingly more satisfying?
2 things come to mind. Chicago Cubs World series champs and or loosing the equivalent of a small overweight child from my body my own body weight.
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?
1 word. Cats. 😉 Ugh. Lands End Team colors….
What kept you sane?
My husband. He deserves an award or a stipend for putting up with my crazy.
Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I have never been one for celebrity crushes. I am too grounded for all that. My last real celebrity crush was Brendan Fraser in like 1995.
What political issue stirred you the most?
Anybody who was alive and connected to the world in any meaningful way in 2014/2015 knows the major political issue that has everyone taking sides. And that is for the right for ALL individuals to choose which way the toilet paper should be pulled off the roll. I personally am pro-pull from the top and down but I have many friends that choose to pull their toilet paper from the bottom upwards. While this has driven a slight wedge in our friendship, we have managed to look past our political differences.
Who did you miss?
I miss all the family and friends that I got to see on a daily basis back home in Indiana.
Who was the best new person you met?
This may sound weird, but I really enjoyed finally getting to know one of our neighbors! I doubt I will ever get to have neighbors like the amazing ones I grew up with on all sides of my child hood home, but knowing them by name and exchanging meaningful conversations when our paths cross is a far cry from knowing my neighbors just as cars in a drive way.
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014/2015
Trusting God. I fought over a decision earlier this year that involved switching job titles. The switched offered less stress but could have potentially meant making less money and I wrestled with the idea of replacing one stress with another. I prayed a lot about this decision and decided happiness and success outweighed money. I put trust in God that everything would work out, and in the end everything worked out about 100x better than I had ever imagined.
Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
At Least We Made It This Far by Relient K
“Oh I guess we made it, or at least we made it this far, And it all looks smooth from here. Oh in a future day there may be waves but I must say, The skies have never looked so clear. And Oh, I guess we made it, ’cause it ain’t far to go from here”