When I started this blog in 2006, I titled it Jen and Kendra. Simple enough. The two of us were headed off on an epic European adventure, and I figured blogging would be a fun way to keep our families updated on our travels. Over the next few years, I blogged occasionally, usually when we were traveling out of the country. It wasn’t until we were trying to conceive our first child that this space became a regular creative outlet for my writing and photography.
With more regular content, my audience expanded beyond my mom and Kendra’s parents. I started actively thinking about my readers, trying to tailor posts so that they had a message. A theme. Some sort of nugget of wisdom about parenting, adventuring, or traveling. For some time, I was able to find inspiration for my writing. Yet these days, I am finding it harder to write. It’s no longer fun – it’s a chore. I was never very good at doing my chores.
I’ve realized something needs to change. No, I am not entirely giving up writing pieces that appeal to my audience. I am just making a commitment to writing more often, and writing more about the everyday, without regard to an overarching message or need to insert sage advice. So here goes…
Addie turned four this week. We celebrated with an Anna and Elsa Frozen cake, because how else do you celebrate the birthday of a princess in training?
The day after she turned four, Addie asked me some hard-hitting questions. “What are humans made from?” and “How do babies get in mommy’s bellies?” I successfully deflected both with, “What do you think?” I wasn’t as successful today when she started asking what chicken is made out of, which led to a conversation about live chickens that I know in my gut is not over. She also has taken to drinking out of coffee mugs. This kid’s a thinker… and I think we’re in for some big talks this year.
The twins are now 10 months old and growing fast. Kate rolls over and crawls everywhere. Evan rolls, crawls, can sit himself up, and pull up to a standing position. Which is adorable, but also means he can stand in his crib and cry when he doesn’t want to go to bed. Today I tried putting him in a sleep sack to keep him from standing, but it didn’t work. He’s a determined little bug. With both of them crawling all over the house, the baby-proofing has begun…
Evan had his latest cardiology checkup last week, which went great. No surgery for the foreseeable future, and he doesn’t have to go back for at least six months! Relieved doesn’t begin to explain how we feel. Now we can focus on summer, and having fun! The last two weekends we’ve been in Maine with my mom, my sister and her family, exploring the beach, going to the arcade, playing mini-golf, eating seafood, and taking evening walks to our favorite ice cream stand.
Our weekdays are much less exciting. Or at least for me. Kendra is having a blast with the kiddos while I’m teaching summer school English. Who am I kidding? I am loving it. We’re reading No Choirboy by Susan Kulkin and discussing tough topics – prison conditions in the U.S., violence, racism, poverty. My students keep teasing me, saying they feel like they are starring in Freedom Writers. I’ll take it :)
I am going to miss them – after spending 12 years teaching in my urban hometown, I am moving on to a new position – college professor! Though I am sad to leave “my kids,” I am super excited for this new challenge. The best part – I am still working with urban students. Growing up, I wanted to get as far away as possible from my city, and all its troubles, but it’s been an amazing experience to return as a teacher. Urban Ed has become one of my passions, so I am excited to be able to continue fostering that interest as I transition into my new role of Professor of Communications.
But I still have six weeks before I start. Six weeks to enjoy more summer fun with Kendra and our little boos. Six more weeks of sleepless nights as the twins wake up teething. Six more weeks of Addie skinning her knees as she explores the world with her cousins and neighborhood friends. Six more weeks of snugging with Kendra on the couch while we catch up on shows we missed during the school year. And hopefully, six more weeks of writing more about the everyday.