Saturday, June 28, 2008

Summer Fun!

How can summer be half over already?!? (We go back to school in early August.) We just got back from a fun-filled trip to visit all of our family and some of my close friends in Ohio. We fished with Papa, visited a horse farm where my niece and nephew take riding lessons, and had three (yes, THREE!) birthday parties for my "baby", Alison. (She's 7 today. Not quite a baby anymore, but I tell her she'll be my baby until she's 84!)

One thing I was reminded of during this trip (besides what I've known all along and, more often than not, have taken for granted - the importance of family) is exactly how long I've been writing and exactly how much I've written. I got to visit with two of my really good girlfriends from high school and they both told me about poems I'd written for them that they still have and that I don't even remember writing! It just reinforced in me, in my brain and my heart, that writing is as much a part of who I am as being a wife, a mother, and a teacher are, and it's something that I have to do . . . no matter how much sleep I lose in the process! :)

Here's a pic from our vacation - our annual Maple tree picture. Chris planted this tree in his parents' yard when he was in grade school and it was just a sapling! It's fun to see our family grow in it year after year.

One last thing: please pray for my best friend from high school, Patty Smith. She has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and is getting ready for chemo in about 4 weeks. Add her and her family to your prayer lists - at church, at work/school, at home, where ever you have one, and I'll keep you posted on her progress. There is power in prayer!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Farewell, Tim

This afternoon, as most of you know, it was announced that journalist Tim Russert died at age 58. I never paid too much attention to Tim as he was always covering the political scope of our world and, well, politics bore me. But Tim's death has touched me today and this is why: he was seemingly untouchable. Tim Russert had reached the pinnacle of his career. He was greatly respected by his peers and feared by many that he interviewed because HE WAS THAT GOOD.

People always say that, "When it's your time, it's your time." To me that phrase is almost identical (and just as useless) as the infamous, "Because I said so." Neither one gives me any answers and, oooo, that drives me nuts! But Proverbs 3:5 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." I'm learning that sometimes I have to be satisfied with the things I do know and let go of the huge, haunting questions that will never be answered in our lifetime - the whys.

So, in closing, according to statements provided by his colleagues, this is what I do know about Tim Russert: He was a hard worker and he loved his job. He was an excellent journalist. He sought out the truth, the facts. He had a ton of friends in a dog-eat-dog career, which speaks volumes for his character. And I know that while life will go on without him, it won't be the same.

Please, say a prayer for his wife, Maureen, and his son, Luke, today.

P.S. Happy Father's Day, Daddy! I miss you!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

What's in a name?

In my previous post I mentioned that I would occasionally ask for your feedback on various topics and this is one of those occasional moments!

See, I'm having a bit of trouble deciding what my "name" should be - "Jennifer Stephens" or "Jen Stephens" or something all together different. For example, my dad always liked "Jenni Lynn". Those of you who know me know that I'm not too crazy about Jenni (with an "i" or a "y" - in any form). Or maybe J.L. Stephens. Or perhaps Jennifer L. Stephens. Or I could use my maiden name - "(Jennifer, Jen, or Jenni) Dominick". Etc., etc., etc. The only rule is that you BE NICE! :)

So . . . I guess I'm giving you input as to what name will appear on the cover of my books! I do have a favorite, but I want to know what you think. Leave a comment at the bottom of the page and cast your "vote". No, I can't promise that it'll be a completely fair outcome, as I do have the final say, but I can tell you with certainty that there will be NO RECOUNTS! :)