A Long Needed Catch Up!

it has been a long time since I’ve written a post. No excuse, really. Last year I worked 3 part-time jobs and managed to travel to 14 countries catching babies, visiting friends and speaking at conferences. I’m currently on a flight to Newark and then off to Paris to assist another family with their birth. But I could have eeked out a few posts a week, for goodness sake.

While doing all that traveling I also reduced the amount of exercise I was doing and the weight crept on. A bit depressing and a lot disappointed in myself I grabbed back ahold of the reins in January. There’s no excuse really for reducing the exercise needed to keep the weight off. I could have gone for a 30 minute walk each and every evening, and in fact, while in China last summer I ran nearly every day, but I stopped  making it a priority. Big mistake. In January and February I did the Whole30, the goal of which is not to lose weight, but get rid of some bad stuff out of your diet. I managed to shed 9 pounds. In the process I did not have Splenda, coffee or dairy in my diet for those 30 days. Actually no artificial sweeteners, including Stevia. Coffee was allowed, but because I couldn’t get use to coconut creamer in it, I switched to a Hi-Caf Toasted Coconut Tea by The Republic of Tea and I’ve pretty much stayed away from coffee. I’ve only had 4 cups of DD coffee since January! The hardest thing to stay away from, but I did, was dairy, because I love cheese and Greek yogurt. I’ve introduced it back in, albeit in small quantities. 

So where did I travel last year? I’m going to spilt the year into many posts. That’s how many where’s I was! 

January 2014 – The Redneck Ice Storm – TALLAHASSEE

Jackie and I traveled to Tallahassee in late January to attend a Medicaid workshop on improving midwife and birth center reimbursements with the DOH. At the time I was driving my 19 year old Nissan, which ran fine. But, all day I kept getting God nudges to rent a car, so I did. A 2013 Ford Fusion, and it saved mine and Jackie’s lives. As we got on I-10 to head west it had been getting colder and colder, and the roads slicker and slicker. We were a good distance behind a Sonny’s BBQ van when the smoker they were towing jack knifed on the icy over pass in front of us and it flipped the van over, right in front of us. Listening to the sage advise my daddy gave me many years before, I took my foot off the gas and ever so gently applied the brake, the car gripped the road and we narrowly avoided the accident… By INCHES! I pulled over at the bottom of the overpass and Jackie and I, freezing our butts off, ran back up to assist the 3 cooks out of the van and call  911. We were in the middle of nowhere on a closed down (because of the storm) highway. It took 30 mins for rescue and highway patrol to get there.no critical injuries, but a couple serious ones. Needless to say, we drove like snails the rest of the way, literally sliding across the overpass at our exit, but the Fusion kept gripping the road and stopping the sliding. Long story short, I bought a Ford Fusion the following week. :D 



We took a Royal Caribbean cruise to Belize and Mexico. We have so much fun just being together that it really doesn’t matter where we go! We had a bump out, en suite deck room, mid-ship. It was heavenly. We watched sunrises and sunsets, sat quietly and read and enjoyed the door ajar while we slept. The best thing we did was zip-line in Belize. Physically challenging, but we did great! 



I also ran a couple 5Ks with friends…


Assisted my favorite birth team at a fabulous, it takes a village of midwives, birth…


And had fantastic family photos done by my friend Danny Pesto…




March was filled with movies and dinner dates with friends…

Of which I can’t find a single photo!!! 😁

April 2014 – Domenican Republic with the Student Midwives

So this trip started out with 3 different airplanes, including an emergency landing! It had its ups and downs, but the students got some experience which is awesome. 


And that’s it for this post. It’s good to have a catch up with y’all!


Essential packing guide for the Camino de Santiago


Walking the Camino again next month and this list was perfect for helping me last minute pack!

Originally posted on Jen's Journey - Camino de Santiago 2013 & 2016:

Lots of soon-to-be-pilgrims agonize over what to pack for their Camino. I know I certainly did!

When I’m not writing about the Camino, I’m actually a professional organizer and, this week, I got an idea for a new way to approach packing for the Camino. Although “how to” guides are not the norm on my blog, I’m excited to share this!

Remember those “choose your own adventure” books? My idea combines this with a packing list, leaving lots of room for personal preferences. Best of all, it removes some of the stress and confusion.

A request: If you like this list enough to share it, please send friends a link to this post, rather than a copy of the original document.

Here it is! Jen’s “Choose Your Own Adventure” Camino Packing List!

Big thanks to Kim, Lisa, Rebecca, and Karen for your ideas, help, and extra eyes!

I’d love to know what you think! <3

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I am grateful, now fuck off.


Don’t read if you’re offended by bad language, LOL… This momma NAILS it!

Originally posted on Mama Said:

It was some time between midnight and 3am. I was dead asleep. I’d fed the littliest at midnight so it was after that, and it was before he woke up for a feed at 3am. This hardly matters, because that time of night is Hell unless you’re pashing, happy drunk, smoking in a bar, dancing, or on drugs – y’know, generally having a fulfilling life that doesn’t involve milk dripping out of your breasts or playing the fart or shit game. So, I’m asleep and I feel this tiny hand on my face and then there’s a kiss on my forehead. And for a second I’m confused like – did the tiny one do that? He’s only four-weeks-old? Is he a mutant? That would be amazing. And then I realise it’s my big baby and I pull him into my arms while still asleep and think “oh he’s delicious”. But…

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Confession #119: Birth Story, Reflections, & Photos


Enjoy :)

Originally posted on Jillian's Missionary Confessions:

10805747_846249074389_5836844655328044562_n Hunter being handed Jake for the first time.

I’ve never automatically loved someone. I guess as a newborn baby you “love” your parents, but as a baby you don’t know that.

As a wife and as an adoptive mama of two, I have “fallen in love” with each member of my family. But never have I loved someone, head over heals loved someone, simply after hearing their first cry for air.

It’s an exhilarating feeling- the rush of that kind of love. And last Wednesday at 7:42 pm I experienced it for the first time.

*   *   *   *   *

I had previously pulled an all-nighter. Anxious about just passing my due date and experiencing hours worth of inconsistent contractions, I nervously paced our house for most of the night. Thanks be to God my good friend Erin came over to keep me company and tried her best to call…

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Why didn’t anyone tell me I was wrong?


Important message!

Originally posted on mommyofanangel51313's Blog:

Have you ever seen someone do something that you know was wrong but were too afraid to tell them? For instance…. let’s say you know a good bit about car seats and you see a lady in the Wal-Mart parking lot that has her child in a forward facing car seat and you know that child should still be rear facing and buckled in properly. You don’t know her so you decide it’s best not to interfere because your scared she may get upset or think your crazy.

Cameron all buckled in the WRONG way! Cameron all buckled in the WRONG way!


I can NOT stress this enough….TELL THEM HOW TO FIX IT!!! I was that mom… the one placing her child, the most important thing to her, in the car seat wrong. I was that mom that would share pictures like the one above on social media sites and never was corrected. I was that…

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Nice Surprise In the Sky

Flew JetBlue West Palm to JFK. The leg room in coach is like first class.
Best quote overheard, “I’m not use to flying fancy airlines like this!”
Free: Terra chips and Dunkin’ Donuts coffee!!!
Flight attendants: A hoot! I give the service an A+.
I am always amazed at how it doesn’t matter how long it’s been since you’ve flown into this city, you know the skyline!
I’m an American Airlines girl because of my international flying, but I give @JetBlue two thumbs up!

Me On The Jerry Springer Show circa 1992

I’m a little fired up about the skin head talking to me. I am an audience member and suppose to be writing a paper for the professor at my school. I get involved because what is said is driving me to raise my hand up to speak. So here for you, my dear readers, is my 43 second to Jerry Springer fame ;)