Category Archives: luck


Today is the second anniversary of my blog.  My first blog entry was called “Hello!”  Today’s entry doesn’t have a title yet because I woke up in a fowl mood with no clue what to write to mark this important occasion.  Maybe it should be called “Grumpy Pants.”

It’s ironic to wake up on the second anniversary of the project that has completely transformed my life and feel so crappy.  I actually said to Mike this morning, “I can’t believe it’s my blog anniversary and I’m in such a bad mood.”  Maybe the title should be “Blah” or “It’s My Party And I’ll Cry If I Want To.”

I had one unpleasant and reoccurring dream all night long – that we were late for soccer – and then thanks to Harry’s 4:00 a.m. romp in the backyard, I tossed and turned until 6:20 a.m. when Riley woke up moaning.   He fell back asleep in my bed (yes, my bed), but only after crying and kicking me (yes, kicking me) because I didn’t know exactly how he wanted the pillows arranged.  As it turns out, it didn’t matter because when he finally stopped crying, he decided to use me as a pillow.  When Dylan woke up twenty minutes later, I was relieved to get out of bed.  Maybe the title should be “The Dark Side (And Dark Circles) Of Unintended Co-Sleeping.”

Before we left for soccer, Riley had a poop accident.  Yesterday, he had a pee accident on the carpet (yes, the carpet), a pee accident on Mike (yes, Mike), and a poop accident in the pool (yes, the pool), and earlier in the week, he peed on the couch (yes, the couch).  The accumulation of these accidents is beginning to take its toll.  Maybe the title should be “Back To Diapers We Go!”

When we finally got to soccer (early, by the way), I realized the kids weren’t supposed to wear cleats because it was indoor soccer and the cleats would mess up the gym floor.  Oops.  Dylan’s sneakers happened to be in the car, but Riley’s were at home.  He played in his Crocs until Mike brought his sneakers, but by then his game was over.  He didn’t mind the shoe predicament, but I had an overwhelming feeling that the day was going to be filled with blunders.  Maybe the title should be “Close But No Cigar.”

Mike went straight to the office after soccer and the boys and I made our way home to bicker over whether to watch Thomas The Train or Transformers.  The sink was full of dishes, the laundry situation was the usual – there was way too much of it – and the house was generally a mess.  Then, a few minutes after the boys got in the pool, it began to thunder.  Maybe the title should be “I Give Up.”

And then something happened.  I spotted this on the shelf in the kitchen:

JT is Mike’s nickname for me, and RM, I realized after a few seconds, was for Runaway Mama.

Inside the envelope was this card:

Look at that happy penguin leaping into the unknown!  That’s me!

Inside, it said:

Maybe the title should be “Game Changer.”  Or, “I Have The Best Husband On The Planet.”

Early on, I wrote a blog post called Lucky after a bird pooped on my head through the sunroof of my car (this really happened).  The post was about how luck exists outside of our actions.  Finding a twenty-dollar bill in a Red Lobster parking lot (this really happened, too) is lucky, but starting this blog, developing a passion and a talent for writing, and a having a joyful way of expressing myself didn’t happen because of luck.  Rather, it’s been the result of hard work, determination, commitment, and a belief that if I leaped – like that penguin – a net would appear.  No, I’m not lucky.  I’m fortunate.  Maybe the title should be “Lucky Fortunate Duck Penguin.”

During my last session with my life coach, Lauree, I told her how grateful I was for the blog, for having this journal of my life for my children and me, and for having the discipline to practice the art of writing every day.  I was grateful to have discovered that underneath all of my layers, I was a writer.  I told her, “I’m fortunate to be a writer.  Not everyone writes.  I do, and I’m grateful.”

She asked me if I’d thanked myself.”  “What do you mean?” I asked, to which she replied, “How would you say thank you to yourself?”  I had no idea, so we decided writing a thank you letter to myself would be a perfect homework assignment for our next session.  Maybe the title should be “Speechless Writer.”

Dear Jen,

Thank you for getting off the couch.  Thank you for being honest.  Thank you for taking a risk.  Thank you for giving a voice to all of the Mamas inside you.  Thank you for writing.  Every day.   



The letter was originally much longer, so either I edited it to death or realized saying thank you didn’t have to be so complicated.  Maybe the title should be “The Overthinker.”

As this post comes to a close, I can’t help but think how similar motherhood and writing are.  Some days are easy and some days are hard (like today), but you have to keep going, because it’s in the depths of the challenges that inspiration – and the net – inevitably appear.

Thanks for reading.  Thanks for laughing.  Thanks for listening.  Thanks for sharing.  Thanks for caring.

And the perfect title has emerged.  “Thanks.”


Filed under luck, motherhood

Thank You, Oprah

My sister-in-law, Heather, had surgery yesterday to remove a mass from one of her ovaries.  Going into the surgery, we didn’t know if it was benign or malignant, or if they would have to remove one ovary or perform a full hysterectomy.  It was an exhausting day that had some missteps – her surgeon was called to an emergency at another hospital and her surgery was delayed several times – and, thankfully, some humor – I accidentally went to the wrong hospital and was helplessly lost for over an hour before I realized I was in the wrong place.  Oops.

I’m happy to report the surgery went well.  It was the longest two hours I can remember, but the news was very good.   They only had to remove one ovary and the growth was benign.  I’ve known about all of this for several weeks but chose not to write about it until now.  Partly, it was because it was her ovary and her story, not mine.  But also, it was because whenever I thought about writing something, I felt an intense urge to curl up into a ball and watch “Bridget Jones’s Diary” on a continuous loop.

I have a unique ability to imagine terrifying medical scenarios, especially for myself.  Remember my colonoscopy?  I can definitely be a whole lotta crazy, but it’s fear more than pessimism.  At my core, I’m an optimist.  Yesterday, in the hospital cafeteria, I told my mother-in-law I couldn’t see the doctor coming out of surgery and telling us it was ovarian cancer.  I was literally unable to imagine the scenario playing out in my head.  I was either in denial or it just wasn’t going to happen.

On the phone last night, I said to my mother-in-law, “We dodged a bullet, didn’t we?”  I regretted the words as soon as they came out of my mouth because dodging a bullet feels lucky, and luck is something for which you can’t really take any credit.  Whatever was growing inside Heather’s body was out of our control, but on the outside, we had a choice – to swarm or dance.  (Are you sick of that one yet?  Sorry.)  We chose to dance.  We put all of our energy into love, hope and even some laughter (ending up at the wrong hospital helped).  The outcome of Heather’s surgery wasn’t just luck.  It was a lesson, too.

In the afternoon, I had a half hour to kill before picking up the boys at school, so I watched the first few minutes of Oprah’s final show on the DVR (I missed watching it on Wednesday).   She spoke of how all life is energy and you get what you give, and she said something incredible:

“You are responsible for the energy that you create for yourself, and you’re responsible for the energy you bring to others.”

How true!  I’ve experienced this energy force many times in my life – when I danced on stage, when I healed from my molar pregnancy and when I gave birth to my two boys.  I felt it yesterday, too.  I wish none of this ever happened, and I’m beyond grateful about the outcome, but I’m also thankful for the reminder that energy matters.  Thank you, Oprah.

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Filed under cancer, colonoscopy, energy, gratitude, luck, molar pregnancy, Oprah