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Category Archives: The Young Adult Years

Colonel Mustard on a rollercoaster with a plastic fork


This is the 6th and last post in a 6 week series joining Ginny who is guest posting at Mommy’s Piggy Tales hosting the Young Adult Years version to record your youth.
This is my final post for the Mommy’s Piggy Tales Young Adult Years series.
This week I decided to write using the “Just Plain Fun” prompt, although at the time this story wasn’t all that funny to me.

2000
Just Plain Fun
Colonel Mustard on a rollercoaster with a plastic fork

In August of 2000, Cool Daddy and I decided to go on a vacation to Orlando, FL to visit my paternal grandparents. Unfortunately my grandpa ended up going into the hospital before we got there, so we stayed with my aunt and uncle. The last time I had visited Florida was 3 years prior, after my graduation from high school. Although I’ve never lived in FL, I’ve visited so often throughout my life that I certainly consider myself a veteran of the theme parks. In the 3 years since my last visit Disney had opened Animal Kingdom and Universal had opened Islands of Adventure, so there were a few parks that were new to me. I’ll spare you the details of all of our various trips to the parks (including a story about a man yelling at us for thinking we were cutting in line, me making Cool Daddy practically run from attraction to attraction, and getting lost for hours (yes, hours) trying to find our way back home from “The World”). Instead I’ll tell you about one park in particular.

Universal’s Islands of Adventure was having a special. I don’t remember the details of it now 10 years later, but basically you go to the park much earlier than it’s normally open, you buy a ticket (at a discounted price?), they give you a pass to go on certain rides, once you go on the ride they mark your pass and you can’t go on it again until the park opens. I don’t remember how early we had to be there…but I am not a morning person so any time before 10am is early to me. I think that they opened it at 7am which means we had to get up around 6am. Now that all of that nonsense is out of the way, here’s how our trip went.

I’m pretty sure that the first ride that we went on was The Incredible Hulk. It’s a big ‘ol scary rollercoaster. I am scared to death of heights and therefore never go on a rollercoaster if I can help it. This was Cool Daddy’s first trip to FL and there was only the two of us and he really wanted to go on the ride. I told him that I would go on it just this one time and never again. I was terrified throughout the entire line. I wanted to throw up or pee my pants or both…but I didn’t want to go on that ride. But I did and I hated every.single.second. Now I was a tiny little thing so there’s a lot of room between me and the shoulder bars. Throughout the ride I was flopping all over the place and being thrown towards the bars. I kept feeling like the bars would just swing open and I would plummet to my death (I’m not dramatic at all). I kept my eyes shut tight and prayed through the entire ride. And I’ve never went on it again.

For your viewing enjoyment, here I am having a near death experience on The Incredible Hulk.

After riding The Hulk and Spiderman we decided to walk past the water rides to the Jurassic Park ride. We didn’t want to be soaking wet when we went on the other rides so we figured we’d save those water rides for later. The only people on The Jurassic Park ride were us and a family of four who sat in front of us. The ride is on a boat and at the end of the ride there’s a drop and you can get wet. Now I’ve been on Splash Mountain (Disney World: Magic Kingdom) before and I’ve hardly gotten wet on that ride, so I wasn’t expecting much from this ride either. The boat dropped and we got absolutely soaked and for whatever reason, I got the worst of it.

Here we are on the ride. This is one of me and Cool Daddy’s favorite photos, but it has nothing to do with us. Take a close look at the face of the kid in the front row.

Here I tried to crop it so that you can see the kid better.

This picture just cracked us up. His face is hysterical. LOVE. IT.

So now we leave the ride and I am completely soaked. I was wearing a tank top with spaghetti straps and my shirt was just hanging off of me. My hair was soaked and at the time it was too short for me to pull back into a pony tail. I walked over to one of the (closed) outdoor food stations and grabbed a plastic fork and started combing my hair with it (hey, if Ariel can do it, why can’t I? Maybe because I was at Universal and not at Disney). This embarrassed Cool Daddy who begged me to throw the fork away. There was no one around so I’m not really sure why he cared so much. Maybe it was because I was singing songs from The Little Mermaid while I was combing my hair with the plastic fork. Nah…that couldn’t be it.

After The Jurassic Park ride we were heading over to the water-ride portion of the park (why?! I was already soaked!). On our way there a group of people were coming towards us but they were no where near us. Somehow my equilibrium was off and I started walking in a diagonal directly towards them and walked smack dab into some guy. And Cool Daddy laughed. This ended up happening two other times before we left the park that day. Next we went on Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls which is a Log Jammer kind of ride. The line is inside of a building and the floors sloped down hill at times and turned many corners. Because there weren’t many people in the park, the line was moving pretty fast. At one point I turned a corner (apparently a little too fast) and walked right into the wall. And Cool Daddy laughed.

It was almost time for the park to officially open and we had been on almost every ride. For the special early opening they didn’t open any of the gift shops or restaurants. At the Port of Entry there was a deli called Croissant Moon Bakery that was open. We decided to stop there and grab a quick bite before heading over to the Studios. Since it was the only place open it was really busy in there.

We walked through the line and we each had a tray with a sandwich on it. I took my tray over to the condiment counter. I grabbed some napkins and straws and then applied mayonnaise to my sandwich. Then I wanted some mustard. The mustard was in one of the pump-type dispenser thingys. I pumped the mustard and applied how much I wanted and then attempted to “turn off” the pump. But it was stuck…and the mustard kept coming. At one point I had enough good sense to move my sandwich out from under the stream of mustard. I couldn’t figure out how to shut the stupid thing off. I called Cool Daddy over who was both amused and horrified. He likes to keep a low profile so the fact that the whole restaurant was watching me scramble to turn off the pump while mustard went everywhere and a line was building up behind us was more attention then he cared to get. Finally Cool Daddy managed to make the mustard stop. Now there was a gigantic pool of mustard covering my tray. It was all over the tray station as well. Mustard was everywhere. I asked Cool Daddy to help me clean it up but he has some strange hatred for mustard and didn’t want to touch it (Yeah, who’s laughing now, buddy? Well, actually, neither of us…but still…that’s what you get for laughing at me.) I think I used a whole box of napkins trying to clean up my tray with little success. I truly don’t remember what happened after that, but I have my suspicions that we told one of the workers about their malfunctioning mustard dispenser and left the mess for them to clean. I wasn’t getting anywhere with the napkins.

By the time we left Islands of Adventure and got to Universal Studios my shirt was completely stretched out from the weight of the water pulling on it for hours. It was just hanging off of me in the front showing all my bits and pieces. If I pulled it up and back to cover up it would show the band of my bra and almost my entire back. We tried knotting up the straps but it was uncomfortable and looked ridiculous. We went to the gift shop and I bought a Back to the Future tank top and wore that the rest of the day.

I don’t remember much else about the rest of our day at The Studios since things must’ve went uphill from there. I do remember that for some reason Cool Daddy and I got into a tiff after getting some slushies and I just walked away from him. He had no idea where he was since he’d never been to the park before. I’m pretty sure that he didn’t cry, but it was still kinda mean of me. I didn’t leave him alone for long and the rest of our day was lovely, near as I can remember.

So for those of you keeping score: I got up at 6am, was scarred for life on a rollercoaster, was drenched on a boat ride resulting in stretching out my shirt which in turn resulted in me nearly flashing my goodies to innocent families, walked into 3 people and a wall, formed The Great Lake of Mustard in a crowded restaurant, ate a mustard-drenched sandwich, and abandoned my boyfriend in an unfamiliar theme park.

I’ve really enjoyed writing about my young adult years…and I hardly scratched the surface! I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading it and I hope that you’ll read the rest of my Piggy Tales (birth-12th Grade).

My Piggy Tales:
*My Birth Story: I’m always late!
*Ages 3-5: Dancing in a box
*Age 6 First Grade: There’s a bra in my lunchbox!
*Age 7 Second Grade: Bossy Wheels and Shady Deals
*Age 8 Third Grade: I will not talk in class
*Age 9 Fourth Grade: I didn’t really need those fingers anyway!
*Age 10 5th Grade: Nothing’s Scary in the Fifth Grade
*Age 11 6th Grade: Jenny Got Ran Over by her Grandma
*Age 12 7th Grade: Youth Camp Stinks
*Age 13 8th Grade: “Talent” Show
*Age 14 9th Grade: (N)O Christmas Tree
*Age 15 10th Grade: The Newsboys Wouldn’t Ditch Their Friends
*Age 16 11th Grade: Acrophobia Gets You the Good Seats
*Age 17 12th Grade: In School Suspension

My Young Adult Years
*Dreams and Aspirations: The Long Road There
*Friends and Fellowship: Friends Don’t Get Friends Grounded
*My First Job
*How I Met Cool Daddy Part 1
*How I Met Cool Daddy Part 2
*Colonel Mustard on a Rollercoaster with a Plastic Fork

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

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My First Job


This is the 3rd post in a 6 week series joining Ginny who is guest posting at Mommy’s Piggy Tales hosting the Young Adult Years version to record your youth.

1997-1998
My first job

1997 Jenn

It was 1997, the October after graduating high school, when my mom said that it was time for me to get a job. She took a week off of work and drove me around to put in applications. I memorized my Social Security number that week.

I don’t remember all of the places that I applied to, but I remember 3 of them. I applied to The Deb and I think I may have even had an interview with them but never heard back from them after that. I was bummed about that one because I liked their clothes and thought it would be fun to work there. They had this really weird, tricky survey that you had to take that didn’t make any sense. It would have a statement like “I steal most of the time” and your options would be (1) I totally agree (2) I mostly agree (3) I don’t disagree…wait, what? No matter what I answer I look like a thief! Where is the option “I don’t steal anything at all ever…” It was very confusing and I think I answered all of the questions backwards and probably looked like the most honest thief that’s always late that they’ve ever interviewed.

I applied to Shop N’ Save and was called back for an interview. The interview went like this: The manager brought me over to a closed register and he bent over the conveyor belt looking at my application. He basically said, “We have an opening in the deli, when can you start?” Um, no thanks. I was very turned off by how unprofessional the “interview” was. I didn’t like the idea of having to work around deli meat all day and I was pretty much terrified of the giant slicing machine. I turned the job down. My mom understood.

The third place I applied to was Giant Eagle. I had an interview and got hired. This was my first job. I worked as a Front End cashier part time about 17 hours a week. I had them work my schedule around church so that I could still attend 3 times a week (Wednesdays, and twice on Sundays). We had to wear white tennis shoes and khaki pants with a navy blue smock. My smock was the smallest size they had but it was still huge on me since I was so tiny at the time.

My first paycheck

Popsicle Jenn: The Buggy Master
(This title is way more interesting than the story. I’m trying to keep you from falling asleep due to boredom.)
I became really good at bagging. Most of the time I preferred to bag my own stuff rather than having a bagger because I was so good at it. The bags always looked so nice, neat, and organized when I was done! One day when they had me bagging instead of cashiering they decided to enforce a new rule that each bagger had to take turns going outside to bring the buggies back in (usually the boys that were hired only as baggers did this). It was snowing outside and aside from a coat (with no hood) I didn’t bring anything to wear in the cold with me because I was a cashier and didn’t think I would be going outside until my shift ended. This was before the days of those fancy buggy collecting machines that they have at the supermarkets now. Being only 5’1 and 98 lbs I could only push 3 buggies at a time. As quickly as I could I cleared the whole parking lot of buggies. I’m not sure how long it took me (although I remember it being a pretty impressive time considering I was bringing them in only 3 at a time), but by the time I was done I was wet from snow and completely frozen. My hands were red and stiff and I could barely bag anything for a little while. I’m pretty sure that once the managers saw me they disbanded the new rule and went back to the way things were. At least I know that I never had to collect buggies again. And the peasants rejoiced.

A big man yells at me
During my time at the grocery store corporate put a new policy in place that ALL people buying cigarettes must be carded. We had to physically look at the id of each person buying cigarettes and then enter their birth date into the computer before the register would allow us to sell them. We were told to do this no matter what. Most people that were older than 18 thought it was funny and I heard, “Wow, I haven’t been carded in years!” a lot. I always explained to everyone first, “Corporate put a new policy in place where we need to check the id of every person buying cigarettes regardless of age. Could I please see your id?” Most everyone complied with no trouble. A few people grumbled, but still did it. But one man was furious with me. I told him about the policy. He laughed. I said, “Could I please see your id?” He said something like, “Now you can tell that I’m old enough to buy these and I’m not going to show you any id.” I explained the policy again, politely. He got louder. Eventually he was yelling something like, “You just sell me these cigarettes! This is ridiculous!” He was big. I was scared outta my mind. Eventually a manager finally came over. She explained the policy. She also explained that I didn’t have the authority to override the policy, but she did. She entered a fake birth date with out ever checking his id. I was glad that the whole experience was over, but I was honestly a little miffed that she didn’t insist on getting the id from him. Oh well. He was probably the oldest looking 15 year old I’ve ever seen and he got away with it 😉

I got an owie 😦
I injured my wrist somehow while I was working. I think it had something to do with the repetitive motion I made while scanning items (and I was pretty fast), but I would often have to wear a wrist brace. This wrist pain would end up bothering me for years. Our Giant Eagle had the kind of registers where the cashiers unloaded the buggies. The registers were set up differently than your typical one. You would push the cart right up to the cashier and then the front of the cart folded down. The cashier would take the item straight from the cart across the scanner and then on to the conveyor belt that was immediately to the left. I really liked this. The whole “checking out” process seemed to go so much faster because you were eliminating the whole step of waiting for the customer to put their items on the belt. This was particularly helpful when you had elderly customers. Eventually (some time after I left) the Giant Eagle was remodeled and they went back to the traditional register style and added a lot of self-check-out registers.

There’s a girl under those coats…
and she has no friends

While I got along well with a few of the male baggers, I never made any friends when I worked there. During my 15 minute break I would sit in the coat room and write letters to my boyfriend. Sometimes I would bring a sandwich or snack cake in there with me, but usually I just sat in there and wrote. The ladies coat room was right by the door to the ladies bathroom. I was always startling people that were going into the bathroom. Still it’s surprising how many people didn’t even see me sitting there underneath the coats.

Moving on…
I worked at Giant Eagle just shy of a year before I left to start a part time job at a new department store at the mall. This new job would be the one I would have for the next 5 years before becoming a homemaker. This new job would be a move that would lead me to eventually meet the man I was going to marry.

This certainly wasn’t the most interesting or exciting year of my life. It was almost difficult finding something to write about. I hope it wasn’t too boring! Now wake up…your snoring is scaring people away and you’re drooling on my blog.
(Oh wait…this boring post is scaring people away and that’s not drool, those are my tears. My bad.)

My Piggy Tales:
*My Birth Story: I’m always late!
*Ages 3-5: Dancing in a box
*Age 6 First Grade: There’s a bra in my lunchbox!
*Age 7 Second Grade: Bossy Wheels and Shady Deals
*Age 8 Third Grade: I will not talk in class
*Age 9 Fourth Grade: I didn’t really need those fingers anyway!
*Age 10 5th Grade: Nothing’s Scary in the Fifth Grade
*Age 11 6th Grade: Jenny Got Ran Over by her Grandma
*Age 12 7th Grade: Youth Camp Stinks
*Age 13 8th Grade: “Talent” Show
*Age 14 9th Grade: (N)O Christmas Tree
*Age 15 10th Grade: The Newsboys Wouldn’t Ditch Their Friends
*Age 16 11th Grade: Acrophobia Gets You the Good Seats
*Age 17 12th Grade: In School Suspension

My Young Adult Years
*Dreams and Aspirations: The Long Road There
*Friends and Fellowship: Friends Don’t Get Friends Grounded
*My First Job
*How I Met Cool Daddy Part 1
*How I Met Cool Daddy Part 2
*Colonel Mustard on a Rollercoaster with a Plastic Fork

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

Friends and Fellowship: Friends don’t get friends grounded


This is the 2nd post in a 6 week series joining Ginny who is guest posting at Mommy’s Piggy Tales hosting the Young Adult Years version to record your youth.
This week’s Young Adult Years subject is “Friends and Fellowship”.
I’m also linking this up to Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop
4.) We’re too old to be getting in trouble…aren’t we?
Write about a time you were scolded…as an adult.

Summer 1997
Throughout high school I had a handful of really good friends. I never saw much of my friends during the summertime unless they were in band like I was. I spent most of my summers with whatever boyfriend I had at the time. After graduation this didn’t change. My summer continued just like any other summer, except this year when it was over my friends would mostly be leaving for college and I would be getting my first job.

This is how I spent the summer after graduation:
I got my really long hair cut short.

I helped out with VBS at our church.


I went to Florida to visit my grandparents.

I worked as the assistant choreographer for the marching band dance line at my former school.

My best good friend, Meghan, worked as the assistant for the flag line.

After the first day of summer dance camp Meghan and I were talking. A lot. We’ve always done a lot of talking…for hours. We had a whole lot to say to one another that day, so we stopped at McDonald’s which is right across the street from the school. We sat there and talked for hours and hours. I couldn’t tell you one thing we talked about that day. When we finished talking, I walked home. It was nearly 5:00pm. When my mom came home from work she was furious at me. She had been calling the house since 2pm (when I should’ve been home from band camp) and naturally I didn’t answer because I wasn’t there. I was supposed to come right home. She didn’t know where I was or if something had happened to me. I told her where I was and what I was doing. She believed me, but that didn’t stop her from being upset. So upset that she grounded me. For a month. When I was 18 years old. I was particularly upset about it because I was supposed to go away with my boyfriend’s family on the fourth of July. The grounding held firm and I was not permitted to go. And I didn’t go. I accepted my groundation. You better believe that I was always home on time after that. And you better be home on time as well or my mom will ground you too! (And I’m only 50% joking. She seriously will ground you if you don’t behave.)

Meghan and I would continue to keep in touch over the next several years. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding. A few years after getting married we would drift apart. Aside from my sister and cousin I haven’t seen or spoken to any of my bridesmaids in years.

I saw very little of my high school friends once they left for college. We didn’t write, we didn’t call, and we didn’t keep in touch. Things probably would’ve been a little different if the internet and social media had been then the same way that it is now, but they weren’t. Those were the days of dial up…if you were even lucky enough to have that (“not I” says Jenn who didn’t receive a dial up connection until The Year 2000). Those were the days before everyone and their Grandma had a cell phone (P.S. Both of my Grandmas have a cell phone and one of them is on Facebook. Rock on, Grandmas, rock on.). In the 12 13 years* since graduation I think I’ve seen my good friend, Kelly, a total of 4 times (One of those times was at her wedding, and another was just this past March when we ran into each other at Wal-Mart when she was home visiting her dad in the hospital.).

I haven’t made any new friends since.

*Edited to add: I have been out of school for 13 years now, not 12.  Perhaps they shouldn’t have let me graduate at all considering that I lack the ability to do basic math.  Me smart.*

(Since this seems like it ended on a depressing note, I have edited this to add: I am now Facebook friends with all of my old high school friends.  Almost all of them live away and some of us don’t have much in common anymore, but I love to see the pictures of their cute kids and the funny things they say and do.)

My Piggy Tales:
*My Birth Story: I’m always late!
*Ages 3-5: Dancing in a box
*Age 6 First Grade: There’s a bra in my lunchbox!
*Age 7 Second Grade: Bossy Wheels and Shady Deals
*Age 8 Third Grade: I will not talk in class
*Age 9 Fourth Grade: I didn’t really need those fingers anyway!
*Age 10 5th Grade: Nothing’s Scary in the Fifth Grade
*Age 11 6th Grade: Jenny Got Ran Over by her Grandma
*Age 12 7th Grade: Youth Camp Stinks
*Age 13 8th Grade: “Talent” Show
*Age 14 9th Grade: (N)O Christmas Tree
*Age 15 10th Grade: The Newsboys Wouldn’t Ditch Their Friends
*Age 16 11th Grade: Acrophobia Gets You the Good Seats
*Age 17 12th Grade: In School Suspension

My Young Adult Years
*Dreams and Aspirations: The Long Road There
*Friends and Fellowship: Friends Don’t Get Friends Grounded
*My First Job
*How I Met Cool Daddy Part 1
*How I Met Cool Daddy Part 2
*Colonel Mustard on a Rollercoaster with a Plastic Fork

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

Dreams and Aspirations: The Long Road There


This is the 1st post in a 6 week series joining Ginny who is guest posting at Mommy’s Piggy Tales hosting the Young Adult Years version to record your youth.
I’m also linking this up to Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop
1.) What was your big dream for yourself when you were 18 and had graduated from high school? I also linked up #5 here and #6 (vlog) here

Today I will be talking about the dreams and aspirations I had when I graduated high school. The pages of a book that you’ll see contained in this post are from an actual book that I filled out before graduation called “Senior Year Reflections”.

When I was a little girl I wanted to be a ballerina. I thought that they were beautiful and I loved dancing. We didn’t have the money for lessons so I would check out books and videos on ballet from the library and teach myself. I would watch ballet on tv and try to mimic the moves. When I was 11 years old I was able to take ballet lessons for the first time and I loved it. However, I was realistic enough (even at 11 years old) to know that I was too far behind at that point to become a professional ballerina.

It wasn’t just ballet. I have the performance bug. I love to act, and sing, and dance, and make people laugh, and otherwise get attention. I wanted to be an actress. I loved acting and during high school I was very active in theater. As much as I would have loved for someone to come along and drop a movie or television deal in my lap…I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I didn’t want to leave my hometown and I certainly didn’t want to go to California or New York. I knew that it was a tough life with all of the auditions and rejections. I also knew that I desired a normal family life that may never happen if I “made it big”. At 17 years old I was realistic enough to know that as much as I loved acting I did not want to pursue it professionally. (Little does the world know that the greatest actress that ever lived spends her days elbow-deep in dirty diapers and her nights writing mediocre blogs 😉 For this I apologize to you my unknowing public.)

While I was in middle school I realized that I liked helping people. My friends were always coming to me for advice (although they rarely took it, ugg!). I thought that maybe I should be a guidance counselor or something like that. I even thought about being a talk show host which would pair my love of performing with my love of helping people. Although “talk show host” isn’t really one of those jobs you can just walk up to and fill out an application…so I had to be realistic again.

I enjoyed teaching others and I had thought about becoming a teacher. But then I thought about how I wasn’t a great student (a good student with a 3.0 average, but not great) and figured that a teacher should probably be smarter than that (or at least more ambitious) if they’re going to teach other people.

I’ve always loved to write. My “heaviest” writing years were during middle school. I wrote a lot. I wrote in my diary. I wrote poems. I wrote short stories. I created a series of books. I began a novel. By the time I was 16 any desire I had to write had left me. I had some very bad experiences with my 11th grade C.P. English teacher (Including having her tell me that I had written the best argumentative report she had ever read. I received a D- on it. Others received considerably higher grades). Unfortunately she turned me off to writing for a very long time.

When I was 11 years old I felt God’s calling on my life to minister to youth. I don’t remember one particular experience or moment that brought me there. I just know that sometime during that year I began to feel very strongly that one day I should minister to teenagers. I wasn’t even a teenager myself yet, but that’s how I felt. I knew that the calling was there, I knew that the desire was there, I knew that the passion was there…but God didn’t give me any other details. I had no idea how I should minister to youth. Should I go to college for youth ministry? Will I marry a pastor or youth pastor someday? Will I be offered a youth ministry position at my church? Would I start a ministry in my community? I had no idea. I left it up to God and figured that He would let me know what to do and how to do it when the time was right.

The dream that was the most important to me was to become a wife and mother. I knew that I wanted a family and I knew that I wanted to be able to stay home with my children if we were able to afford it. I think this might be why I never really gave too much thought to what I wanted to be when I grew up. Maybe I would be a wife and mom that was also a ballerina, or a movie star, or a guidance counselor, or a teacher, or a writer, or a youth minister. Or maybe I would be “just” a wife and mom. It didn’t matter to me which way it happened but I knew that I really wanted to get married and I really wanted to have children. My parents had met in high school and got married a few years after graduating. I always assumed I would meet my guy in high school and get married young. Although I did have boyfriends in high school, none of the relationships lasted. Some of them broke up with me, I broke up with some of them, but I didn’t find the one. The summer before my senior year I met a guy who was a P.K. (pastor’s kid) that wanted to become a pastor himself and we began to “date” and everything seemed perfect. We decided right away that we were meant to be together that we would get married some time after graduation. Our long distance relationship consisted almost entirely of letters (the kind that you mail with stamps and everything!), a few phone calls, and a few visits. I didn’t have a good feeling about our relationship, so I broke it off only a month before graduation.

It would be another 3 years before I would meet my hubby, 6 years post-graduation before we get married, and 12 years post-graduation before I would give birth to our daughter. But those are stories for another time.

I had a great time during school. I was very involved in extra curricular activities (theater, dance line, chorus) and having a blast. I was really sad about graduating. Sad and scared. I couldn’t think of anything that I wanted to do with my life. I just wanted to stay right where I was. I wanted my senior year to just keep going. But it wouldn’t.


Graduation approached and I had never applied to any colleges because I didn’t have a major. I still had no clear direction on how to pursue youth ministry. I looked into a few different programs, but nothing seemed right. In 1997 I graduated from high school with absolutely no plans for my future.

In September 1997 I would get my first job working at a grocery store. One year later I would leave the grocery store to work full-time at a department store where I would eventually become an area department manager. In 2000 I would meet my Hubby. In 2003 we would get married and I would quit my job.

In 2004 I was asked to choreograph the all school musical for my former high school. I accepted and had a blast creating and teaching dances to the kids. I formed a bond with the girls in the musical. I kept in touch with quite a few of them via email throughout the summer. I felt God calling me to start a Bible study and I began planning that summer. The girls came to my house for a Christmas party later that year and I asked them, “Would you girls be interested in meeting here once a month for a Bible study?” They said yes.

In January 2005 I founded the G.I.R.L. Club (Guiding and Inspiring Righteous Ladies). I was almost 26 years old. The G.I.R.L. Club would meet in my house every month.

We would sing, pray, and have Bible study. We had sleepovers and parties. We would go to the movies. We would go to purity seminars. We would go to See You at the Pole.


We would be weird. We would laugh together. We would cry together.

I tried my best to be there for them and to mentor them in any way possible. For various reasons (the main one being that God was done with it) in January of 2008 G.I.R.L. Club meetings ended with absolutely no fanfare.

In June of 2009 I sat in the same gymnasium that I graduated in 12 years before and watched my girls graduate while I was pregnant with my daughter. Once again I felt sad and scared. Sad that the girls were growing up and leaving, scared to finally become a mom after so many years. But I felt something else that I didn’t feel 12 years before that. I felt peace. I felt like I was right in the middle of God’s will.



In 1990 (the year when I felt the calling to minister to youth) one of my oldest G.I.R.L.s was born 12 days before my 11th birthday. The girls have now all graduated high school and are in college. I am so proud of the intelligent, lovely young ladies that they’ve become. I love each of them dearly. I learned so much while I was mentoring them. It was a part of my life that I never could’ve dreamed up on my own and one that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

I’m not a ballerina, or a movie star, or a guidance counselor, or a talk show host, or a teacher, or a writer, or even a youth minister. Now I’m “just” a wife and a mom. I don’t know if there’s another group of girls for the G.I.R.L. Club in the future. I don’t know if I’ll ever minister to youth again. But I know that I have everything that I’ve always wanted. And I know that God is good.

My Young Adult Years
*Dreams and Aspirations: The Long Road There
*Friends and Fellowship: Friends Don’t Get Friends Grounded
*My First Job
*How I Met Cool Daddy Part 1
*How I Met Cool Daddy Part 2
*Colonel Mustard on a Rollercoaster with a Plastic Fork

My Piggy Tales:
*My Birth Story: I’m always late!
*Ages 3-5: Dancing in a box
*Age 6 First Grade: There’s a bra in my lunchbox!
*Age 7 Second Grade: Bossy Wheels and Shady Deals
*Age 8 Third Grade: I will not talk in class
*Age 9 Fourth Grade: I didn’t really need those fingers anyway!
*Age 10 5th Grade: Nothing’s Scary in the Fifth Grade
*Age 11 6th Grade: Jenny Got Ran Over by her Grandma
*Age 12 7th Grade: Youth Camp Stinks
*Age 13 8th Grade: “Talent” Show
*Age 14 9th Grade: (N)O Christmas Tree
*Age 15 10th Grade: The Newsboys Wouldn’t Ditch Their Friends
*Age 16 11th Grade: Acrophobia Gets You the Good Seats
*Age 17 12th Grade: In School Suspension

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