Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Nice To Meet You

I recently received an email from a former roommate (hi, roommate!) who said she had been keeping up with me via my blog (proof that I have more than 12 followers!).  She mentioned that the blog seemed to be more about my husband than it was myself.  She wasn’t criticizing, just observing, but it definitely made me think.
My life is dull, but in a very good way!  I work, come home to our 3 crazy dogs, go to the gym, clean the house, sleep, repeat.  I’m very fulfilled, but it’s not much to blog about.  Enter JD, who has turned the answer to “What’s new?” from “Oh, nothing much,” to “Oh, JD had another near death experience today.”

Still, it is MY blog, and maybe I do need to make an effort to put more of myself and my own life into it.  So, here are some things you should know about me.  Some of them I’ve probably already mentioned, so we’ll consider those parts a refresher :)

Hi, I’m Jenny.  My full name is Jennifer, but most of my friends call me Jenny.  My family calls me Jennifer or Fer.  I was born and raised in Central Ohio and am passionate about all things Ohio, including (but not limited to) my family, Ohio State football, Graeter’s Ice Cream, and Cincinnati Chili.

I went to a small college in NW Indiana called Valparaiso.  I graduated with a degree in Broadcast Meteorology.  Although I loved what I studied, I decided I wanted a more stable career and lifestyle (working in broadcast involves a lot of weird hours and a lot of moving around).  After a year of waitressing and bartending while I figured things out, I decided the first step was to move somewhere warmer.  With a few of my high school friends already living in Raleigh, the choice was easy.

I started temp work with a marketing/advertising company and after 8 months, they hired me.  Nearly 5 years and couple of promotions later, I’m in a digital support position where I troubleshoot issues with customer’s internet advertising.  I am a corporate 9-5er living the Office Space dream, complete with the stubborn printers and horrible fluorescent lighting.  I also happen to really like my job.

My ultimate dream is to buy a bunch of land and open a dog rescue.  We already have 3 rescue dogs, but it breaks my heart that I can’t take in every dog that needs a loving, stable home.  It’s not completely unrealistic, but the reality of dealing with dogs that have severe personality issues scares me, not to mention finding a way to fund something like that.

In my free time, you’ll find me at a yoga class, hanging out with friends, enjoying a marathon of my latest guilty pleasure (currently, The Tudors on Netflix) and on a nice afternoon, walking (really, holding back) my dogs.  I love the beach, but since moving here have found almost equal appreciation for the beauty that the mountains have to offer.  I LOVE dancing.

I stopped eating meat 2 years ago, but not really because of animal rights, mostly because we put so many hormones in our meat that it just seems healthier to me.  I’m not a hard core vegetarian- I still eat fish and eggs, have an occasional bite of steak off David’s plate, and don’t question whether something has chicken or beef broth in it.

So now that shared a little about myself by putting together what probably sounds like a profile from a dating site, I vow to write more posts that are Jenny-related.  Not all of them, because most of my exciting stories will still have to do with JD, but enough that friends, family, and followers can know what's going on in MY life, not just that of my husband :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Things I'm Loving Right Now

Rice Milk:   Last year, I was having really bad breakouts.  Like, worse than I'd ever had in puberty.  I didn't know what was causing them, and I was growing increasingly frustrated and self conscious.  I'd tried Proactiv, but all it did was dry my skin out.  "Natural" soaps from specialty stores didn't help.  Not even handmade soap from the Farmer's Market helped.  When I was about to give up and see a dermatologist, I read a few articles stating there was new evidence that milk (even organic milk) can cause breakouts because of all the hormones.  I was skeptical, since years of medical research only seems to have gotten us slightly closer to understanding our bodies, but I realized that my breakouts had started around the time I had seriously increased the amount of milk I was drinking, so it seemed worth a shot.

For me, giving up milk was actually pretty hard.  I drank a lot of chocolate milk as "dessert" and ate a ton of cereal (sometimes for 2 meals of the day), especially in the summer.  I like soy milk and almond milk, but they never tasted quite right to me in cereal.  Still, the sacrifice was worth it, because my skin totally cleared up (I still can't believe it).

Recently, I finally decided to try rice milk, and I'm pleased to announce that I've finally found a delicious alternative to dairy milk for my cereal.  It does taste a little different, but in a good way (to me, at least), and the consistency is the same as dairy milk (almond milk, for example, is really thick).

Rice milk, for the win!

Stephen Colbert:  I have a small (or maybe large) crush on him (yes, JD knows this, but he's madly in love with Zooey Deschanel so he can't say anything).  What can I say?  I can't resist a man who makes me laugh out loud while flashing a charming smile.  I love him because he makes fun of politicians and politics in general.  Because he can make light of some pretty depressing issues facing our country (honestly, sometimes you just have to shrug and get a good laugh out of something).  And because his series on Super Pacs was brilliant, and I think educated a lot of people on what Super Pacs are, and why they do nothing to reform campaign finance other than make it harder to figure out where the money is coming from in the first place.

I would totally vote for him for president.  Just sayin'  Best State of the Union Addresses.... EVER.

Tempurpedic Mattress:  I'm embarrassed to admit that the mattress JD and I had been sleeping was used when we bought it (not trying to put anyone down here, but mattresses are a pretty personal thing, so sleeping on a used one kinda grossed me out... most of our other furniture is used and I have no problem with it).  Shortly after we moved into our house, we had gone to a furniture sale looking for dining room furniture, and stumbled across a bed frame and headboard we really liked instead.  The only problem was, it was a queen, and our mattress (at the time) was a full.  Also, we were pretty poor, so we were cutting it close even getting the bed frame, let alone a new mattress.  Used mattress it was.

Fast forward 2 years and we're still sleeping on that same used mattress and I can't face JD when I sleep because of the huge valley that has formed in the middle of our sagging bed.  Plus, we both wake up tired and cranky because we slept so poorly.

We finally decided it was time to purchase a new bed.  From the beginning, I was interested in Tempurpedic.  JD wasn't, but after testing one out at the store, he was definitely sold.  It took 2 torturous weeks for the bed to get delivered because they had to ship it from the factory, but it was well worth the wait.  I like to call it "heaven in mattress form."  I literally miss my bed during the day, but not because I'm tired, because it's so friggin' comfortable.

Honorable Mentions:
Wind chimes
The Hunger Games
The Tudors
Spring-like weather
My new wedge sandals

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Our Silent Heroes

It's not surprising that the stories about police officers that get the most media and public attention are the stories about officers who do something unethical or even illegal.  Yes, there are corrupt officers (the same way there are corrupt politicians, teachers, coaches, CEOs, and everyone else on this planet).  It's heartbreaking, but they are NOT the majority.  

Though I shouldn't be surprised, I still find it disappointing that after one of the officers on JD's squad did something heroic, something newsworthy, it wasn't mentioned anywhere.  The officer, who is expecting his first baby with his wife this fall, was out on patrol last night and passed a house that was on fire.  He called it in to dispatch, then ran towards the house to see if anyone was inside.  He helped a family escape out the back window, then went back up to the second floor to make sure no one else was inside before the fire department even got there.

That's right... he's a newlywed and soon-to-be father and didn't think twice about running into a burning building.

These acts of heroism are merely everyday tasks to our officers.  They don't ask to be splashed across the news or declared heroes, but I still found myself extremely disappointed to see that the news article didn't even MENTION his assistance.

There were even quotes from the family.  Didn't THEY mention the officer who helped them out of their house?  Who ran inside to make sure there was no one else?  Wasn't that worth ANYTHING to them?!

Maybe someday I will be able to shrug off the misguided opinions about the police.  Maybe someday I will resist the temptation to read the hateful and hurtful comments at the end of news articles about police officers.  Maybe someday, I will be able to meet this ignorance with a laugh.

But not today, because that is my life, my love, and my best friend out there on the streets.  He, along with the rest of his fellow officers will be there to save you, no matter what you think or say about them.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Here's to 4 Years.... and Many More to Come

Today is the anniversary of my first date with JD.  We cherish this anniversary more than our wedding anniversary, because we feel this was when our life together truly began.  It's crazy to look back at how far we've come in our 4 years together.

We met and fell in love (here is one of the first pics we ever took together)

JD ended active duty with the USMC....

... and moved home with Harrier

He pushed me to try new things like camping

Then proposed on top of a mountain

We had a small, intimate wedding on the beach

Then bought our first home

We adopted a big, goofy companion for Harrier named Boyd

 Then invited our friends and family to a larger wedding celebration

 We found an injured, homeless puppy, named her Sadie, and added her to our bunch

We survived his journey through the police academy, and I proudly pinned his badge on when he was sworn in

 With so many great things to celebrate already, who knows what the next year will bring!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ordinary, Everyday Love

JD and I are pretty good at making time for date nights.  We know that we have to take advantage of the time we have before kids, when time alone will become more scarce and family outings will probably involve some sort of cartoon character.  Plus, with his weird work schedule, it makes us value the time we do have together even more.  Since he has this weekend off, and he also happens to be transitioning to night shift for the next four weeks, it seemed like we were due for a date night.

While we sometimes try to get creative (winery tour and tasting, ice skating, mini golf and arcade games), we usually opt for dinner, and maybe a movie if we’re feeling especially adventurous.  Even this weekend, I mentioned a comic that looked funny who would be at a local comedy club (mostly because I felt like I needed to suggest something other than dinner and a movie), but when I asked JD what he wanted to do, he said dinner and renting a few DVDs.

It may be cliché, but it’s still my favorite date night.  JD is my best friend.  He’s the one I tell everything to.  He makes me laugh more than anyone I know.  There is no better way for us to connect than to enjoy each other’s company over dinner- without the distraction of cell phones, computers, TVs, cooking, cleanup, etc. (i.e. no better way to trap him into listening to my incessant babbling than by bribing him with a greasy burger and a beer).

I love that the romance in our relationship isn’t about roses and diamonds.  It’s about real, everyday stuff.  Companionship, sharing, listening, laughter, and being equals when it comes to the “I’ll get my butt off the couch and let the dogs out” kind of moments.

Last night we went out for greasy food and came home to watch Courageous (JD liked it, but had hoped for a few more action sequences) and The Help (just finished reading The Help, so had to watch the movie... for those of you who haven't read it, it's amazing, so you totally should).  As we were getting ready for bed, standing at the sink brushing our teeth, I was struck by how much I loved him and the life we have together.

Everything about the night had been so ordinary.  But we are happy.  Very happy.  And if you can find someone you can love through the good, bad, ugly AND ordinary, then you have it made.

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Facebook Pet Peeves

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Facebook, but there are a lot of things people do that really irritate me.  I feel like I need to get a few things off my chest....

Hashtags: Hashtags are a Twitter thing.  Yet somehow, they’ve started popping up all over my news feed in friends’ statuses.  Why?!  If you like updating your status and hash-tagging certain phrases, you belong on Twitter.  They mean nothing on Facebook.  #NOTHING

Complaining about privacy:  Here’s an idea, next time you want to keep something private, DON’T POST IT ON FACEBOOK.  Now, I know a lot of the complaints have to do with changes Facebook makes behind the scenes that affect the privacy settings we’ve set for ourselves, but that’s why I never post anything that I wouldn’t want to be public information anyway.  I don’t even have anything on there that I “hide” from people.  I assume everything I post may eventually be seen by strangers and non-friends.  Oh, and to all the people who are complaining that the new timeline feature allows people to see all your posts back to when you created your profile?  NEWSFLASH: That information has ALWAYS been there, it was just harder to get to before the most recent changes.  Don’t act like Facebook is digging up dirt from your history.  YOU POSTED IT.

Complaining about changes:  Does anyone else remember the ORIGINAL Facebook?  You know, before photos and statuses and likes? Remember when you could pretty much ONLY post on other people’s walls and join groups?  Yeah, that Facebook was BORING, and I’m pretty sure everyone would have moved on to something else (a better social networking site with more features perhaps?) if Facebook hadn’t been continually adding features and making changes all along.  Is it mildly annoying to have to re-learn how to use Facebook every few months?  Sure.  But we could all afford to exercise our brains once in a while.  Besides, once people get USED to the changes, I never hear anyone complaining anymore.  So don’t claim you don’t like the changes; you’re just being lazy and don’t want to learn the new features.  For the record, I LIKE timeline.  I think it’s a refreshing change… and it only took me a few minutes to learn about it.  There’s even a TUTORIAL.

Posting every mundane detail of your life: Also included in this- oversharing.  We’re probably all guilty of doing this once in a while, but there are some people who seem to make a career out of posting stupid crap on Facebook.  I don’t care about every little thing you ate today.  I don’t care to know where you’re at 24/7.  I don’t care how bad your menstrual cramps are.  People who post this kind of stuff are more than likely removed from my news feed.  Imagine that.  REMOVED FROM MY NEWS FEED.  But wait, this is a feature Facebook hasn’t always offered, is it?  They had to make a CHANGE to add it… and aren’t you glad they have it now?  Thought so!

So next time, think before you Facebook.  You never know who might remove you from their feed....