Monday, May 20, 2024

Hello Monday -- a mini road trip with my 93 year old dad


Happy Monday, friends! I'm linking up with Holly and Sarah for today's post. I hope you had a good weekend! I thought I'd share about what I did with my dad on Friday. If you're my friend on social media, then you've already seen these, but I wanted to put them here for my friends who read and aren't on socials. 

I had an appointment in Jackson, Tennessee on Friday morning at eleven; when I realized the time I'd been given, I decided it would make for a perfect outing with my dad! He loves to travel, and they really just don't do much of that these days because of his age and how hard it is on him. This was the perfect solution to getting away, even if only for the day. I picked him up at 9:30, then we were on the road ten minutes later. Jackson is one hour away from Memphis, and is also where I attended college. Back then it was called Lambuth University, but now it's University of Memphis at Lambuth. I was excited to see this again with my dad, and to walk down memory lane, so to speak. For the rest of this post, I'll let the pictures do most of the talking.

It's funny how when 29 years go by, you forget lots of things, like how beautiful the campus is. The flowers and trees are meticulously kept, and I was impressed. 

This building pictured above is the student union, where I ate most of my meals. I also remember doing a lot of eating late at night at Perkin's for a midnight study session.

This was our chapel where we had our weekly meetings. I have always had a thing for church steeples!

I loved doing this with my dad! It was such a sweet time, and a day I'll always remember. 

I love the huge trees all over campus!

This was a little amphitheater type place right outside the chapel.

This is a U of M Tiger (their mascot) similar to the ones that we have all over the city of Memphis. 

I was in front of my old dorm, Carney Johnston Hall. I spent many an hour out on those steps talking with friends late into the night!

I lived on the third floor of this dorm. My roommate was my high school friend Angel, and our suitemates were Maryann and Angela. 

As much as I loved seeing the campus this past weekend, and meeting the few friends that I made while I was there, college was not for me, and I came home before I finished. Being away from home wasn't anything that I liked; I went home every single weekend, except for the few that Mom made me stay on campus so that I could bond with my friends there. She was smart to do that, by the way! I should have stayed there every weekend, truth be told; if I had, maybe things would have been different. 

But then again, they probably wouldn't have been any different at all. I told Dad that I felt peer pressure to go to college while I was still in high school. I remember being in a class and us having to go around the room telling where we wanted to go to college and what we wanted to do afterward. I was embarrassed to answer this question, because all I ever wanted to be was a wife and mom. My mom was (still is) the best mom, and I wanted to follow in her footsteps! But because I was ashamed to admit that, I told everyone that I would be attending Lambuth and pursuing a degree in elementary education. While that's a great career, it was never meant to be for me. I left for school in the fall of 1995, Todd proposed to me in October of the same year, and one year after that we were married on October 4, 1996. I came home and worked full time when I decided to quit school, and I've never once regretted my decision!

Because of that, I've always felt self conscious about telling people that I was "just" a wife and stay at home mom, because our society made us feel like that wasn't enough. Shame on them, though! While working outside of the home is great for some families, it was best for my family that I was able to be at home with them. I always did some type of part-time work, like giving kids rides to and from school everyday that I was compensated for, but I was mostly at home with them all the time. I started working part-time at their elementary school when Jonah and Noah entered Kindergarten, and Graham and Drew were in fourth and fifth grades; I was their lunch lady and was in charge of about 600 students as they ate lunch each day in three shifts. I loved that job! I loved getting to know all their friends and being such a big part of their day. Once I started homeschooling, I stopped working completely, only going back part-time in the fall of 2022 after Jonah and Noah graduated. 

While I'm thankful that I had the experience of this beautiful campus, I am most grateful that the Lord allowed me to have my dream job of being a wife and mom. I have loved taking care of our sons and I also love the phase of life that we're in now, as they're all grown up and living their best adult lives. I'm  very thankful that I got to see this place again with my dad. It was wonderful being able to show him the places where a lot of my memories happened. I will always, always, always cherish the day that this was in my heart. I consider myself extremely blessed to have what will now be a core memory for myself in later years. 

Thanks for reading my blog, friends, and traveling back to my college with me. I hope you enjoyed the visit! Love to all.

Jenn 💚

Saturday, May 18, 2024

how to be a woman of God who walks with integrity (according to Psalm 26)


Happy Saturday and bonus blog post day, friends! I was inspired to write this as a result of my quiet time on Friday morning. Psalm 26 was one of the chapters that I read that day, and it was so good and full of practical advice that I couldn't help but share it with you. I titled this post for women, because that's mostly who reads my blog (except for you, Bill), but this can be for anyone who wants to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord. Here's how we can all do that:

  • Trust in the Lord (Psalm 26:1-2)
  • Seek the Lord (Psalm 26:3)
  • Guard our hearts (Psalm 26:4-5)
  • Have "clean hands": be diligent in every word we speak, every thought we think, and every move we make (Psalm 26:6-7)
  • Love to dwell in His presence (Psalm 26:8-10)
  • Live with integrity, stand on level ground (or the solid foundation of His word), and bless the Lord be telling of His wondrous ways (Psalm 26:11-12)

Here's the whole chapter of Psalm 26:

Vindicate me, LORD, because I have lived with integrity and have trusted in the LORD without wavering. Test me, LORD, and try me; examine my heart and mind. For your faithful love guides me, and I live by your truth. I do not sit with the worthless or associate with hypocrites. I hate a crowd of evildoers, and I do not sit with the wicked. I wash my hands in innocence and go around your altar, LORD, raising my voice in thanksgiving and telling about your wondrous works. LORD, I love the house where you dwell, the place where your glory resides. Do not destroy me along with sinners, or my life along with men of  bloodshed in whose hands are evil schemes and whose right hands are filled with bribes. But I live with integrity; redeem me and be gracious to me. My foot stands on level ground; I will bless the LORD in the assemblies. 

Thanks for reading my blog today, friends. Love to all! 

p.s. The pens that I use in the pages of my Bible are these Flair pens that are my favorite. And if anyone else wants to know, my Bible is the She Reads Truth rose gold leather touch Bible. Additionally and lastly, I use these Bible tabs in mine to help me quickly get to the book I want to find.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Friday Favorites, 5.17.2024.


Happy Friday, friends! I'm linking up with Andrea and Erika for today's favorite blog post of the week. How has your week been? I hope you can say that it's been a great one! I have some favorites from this week, and I am sure you do as well. Here are a few of mine:

Antique stores and quirky home decor items are a couple of my favorite things...

... and so are fresh flowers!

Time with family was fun this week! My sister Lisa was here from Denver, and we ate lunch with them at Mom's and Bill's after church on Mother's day.

Graham was coming home from Nashville as we took this picture, but these guys and Graham are my faves!

Having our Denver family members here are always a favorite...

... and so is having fresh flowers by my bedside!

I love it when my boys know all my favorites; Drew knows my love of candles and he picked this one for me as a gift.

The bouquet of flowers from Graham was so big that I split it into two vases; one is here in the living room, and the other is the one by my bedside.

These new pink slides are a favorite...

... and so is reading and studying the Bible and writing out prayers for my family on the pages.

Having a clean, organized closet is a favorite...

... and so is this new dress from my recent Shein order! (I love bright colors in the summer!)

Someone asked me on an IG message what my favorite pens were, and these Flair pens will always be number one in my heart.

This picture of Graham going to his friend Abigail's junior prom with her was a favorite to see this's hard to believe that was eight years ago!

This is another favorite dress from my recent order!

This t-shirt is my new favorite thing to bum around in! It says, "Joy comes in the morning", and it's from Psalm 30:5. I ordered it from the company LoveLLX. 

Handmade things that my sons gave me will always be my favorite! We painted these sticks one day as part of our history lesson while we homeschooled.

A baseball game as a staff field trip from work was a favorite this week...

... and so is this neon phone cover and royal blue dress. I'll be sharing about some recent wardrobe updates on my blog one day next week, so stay tuned! I've been having all kinds of shopping success, thanks to some social media people that I follow. 

And lastly, celebrating my mom-in-love's birthday yesterday after work was a favorite! We went to get pedicures, then we went next door to eat at a place called Cheffie's and dined al fresco. I got my newest favorite OPI color this time, Suzi Chases Portu-geese. It's mainly white with a hint of mint. I love it and think it will look great with the tan that I'll get started on this weekend. (Hopefully that'll be the case! We'll be using our neighbors' pool while we watch their dogs again._

Did you read all of my blog posts this week? I'll link them below, going back to last Saturday.

The Cozy Chronicles: the practice of being content (this will be a continuing series, so keep coming back!)

Dear Mom

Hello Monday

Things I'm Excited About & One Thing I'm Dreading

Closet Organization & How I Set Up Mine to Work Best for Me

Thankful Thursday

What were some of your favorites this week? I'd love to hear from you! Thanks for reading my blog, friends. Love to all! 

Jenn 💙💚

Hello Monday -- a mini road trip with my 93 year old dad

  Happy Monday, friends! I'm linking up with  Holly  and  Sarah  for today's post. I hope you had a good weekend! I thought I'd ...