Friday, February 27, 2009

Sweet Dreams Nick

Thursday morning we woke up and found one of Connor's tadpole/frogs had died.

We ordered two tadpoles off the internet and were enjoying watching the little guys grow bigger and swim around playing hide-and-seek with us. We figured out Nick was the older of the two when he sprouted legs before Sam, and he seemed to be doing great. His front legs had sprouted the day before, and his tail was disappearing fast. But whether the water inadvertently got contaminated, he got too cold, or too hot, or simply couldn't figure out how to get himself out of the water (there was a lilly pad to get on and crawl out)...... we'll never know.
So now we are going to have a funeral in our yard for Nick the frog, and we will do everything we can to keep Sam going strong, so hopefully my buddy will have his froggy friend for several years to come.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Why I Love & Need My Husband....

In response to my previous post, my husband (who is definately the stable one in the relationship) sent me this email. I share it here because
1. I want to brag to the world that I have the best man out there
2. they are wise words for anyone who is struggling with the question "Who am I and where am I going?"

So now, a word from R:

Just in case you needed to be reminded:

You are Jennifer Hampton Towns.

You are a child of God. Your life has great importance to Him, so much that He gave everything to adopt you as His own. He has seen your next steps, and if you remain in Him, He will take you there. You are a dangerous person when you read the Word of God on a regular basis.

You are the wife of Russel Towns. You are a steady hand in a marriage that stands apart. You support and encourage him at every turn, and he will do the same for you. Two things are rock solid – God is your salvation, and Russel is your husband.

You are the mother of Julia and Connor – two very smart and well behaved children. They will grow up knowing that their mother loved them and cared for them unconditionally. The nurturing and the tough love are creating a balance in them. They are created from you, as seen in their beauty, and their lives will be forever intertwined with yours.

You are the daughter of Joe and Diane Hampton. They taught you wonderful things about life and parenting. Judging by how you turned out, they did a pretty good job!

You are the anchor of a home – keeping the house in order by handling the daily operations such as groceries, homework, schedules, shopping, and bills. Your home is your first ministry, and God blesses those who are faithful in ministry.

You are a great asset to the YMCA. It is a job, and it is a means by which God has chosen to provide the finances you need without being stressed at every bill. What a blessing it is that you have a job during this time, and one that allows the schedule that you need.

Where you have been is merely preparation for now. Your college degree, your business, and the difficult church situations we have been through – these are not wasted moments. They are stepping stones on a path of your life; they are not rungs of a broken ladder. You have a wonderful future, and you are probably right, it is likely filled with things you didn't know you wanted. We don't search for one thing in our future that will define us, but we live through many experiences that grow us and direct us. Life is a collage of experiences that we need to sew together with a common thread – that we were doing our best to follow Christ during them.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I have a Blog. Now what?

Ok, so I have my very own blog. Now what?

I guess this endeavor is my way of trying to find out who I am and where I want to go. After years in the Mommy Trenches doing the Diaper Dash and Carpool Shuffle, I now have two grade schoolers and a part-time job. Too much time on my hands to be classified as "workaholic" and not enough time to be considered "stay-at-home." So, I am somewhere in the modern day woman's purgatory trying to carve out my own identity, while juggling so many hats I could get a job in the circus.

When trying to figure out where you want to go and who you want to become, it is always good to look back and see where you have been, like it or not, and try to learn something from your past experiences or at least come to terms with them. So here is a little about me and my adult years to date.

I love stories, whether in the form of book or movie or weekly TV show. My degree is proof of that. I have a bachelors from UGA in English Education. I can churn out a paper on almost any given topic with ease. I devour books like my husband does chocolate. And my new best friend, the DVR, works harder than an ant in a rain storm. It is the latter half of that degree where my aspirations were misguided. Running head-first into the education system with blinders on because I really wanted to coach cheerleading, I figured High School English was the best subject area for me to enter. College Chemistry 101 weeded me after the first test, and the only reason I passed high school Calculus was the constant tutoring by one of my best friends, Amy. My sister got the art gene. I always fell asleep in history class. There is no way I could stomach the B.O. to teach P.E., and masses of small children made me run away screaming.

It only took one year of teaching, however, to realize that I should have thought a little longer and harder when my mother asked me, "Are you sure you want to be in the classroom?" She has worked in high school offices as a secretary since I was in elementary school. But I was thinking, "Of course I know what I want to do. I'm all grown up and out on my own. What could you possibly know about being in a classroom that I don't?" .........aaaahhhhhh, the ignorant bliss of youth.

The very convenient excuse of getting pregnant and wanting to stay at home to raise the baby (traditional roles were making a big comeback at the time) gave me an easy out without having to admit that I hated the choice I made and felt that I really couldn't hack it anyway. Although, in my own defense, I think some of the blame for my lack of confidence in the classroom lies with the school, which I will be nice and not name, and my 'oh, was I supposed to be talking to you?' mentor.

My next chapter can be titled "The Baby Years." I stayed home with my beautiful little girl and got to make a little money in the process by keeping a friend's baby only five weeks younger than my baby. They are now almost inseparable after eight years. I got a break when they went to preschool, but then little brother was born, and the best friend's little sister six months later. This led to numerous play dates, field trips, and did I mention that I started a business?

I think it was too much HGTV that led to the idea of starting a Professional Organizing business. But it was a lot of prayer and encouragement from my husband that solidified the decision to go for it. So, Order Restored was born, and I was a small business owner. I put up a website & networked like crazy. Got a few clients, made a little money, had a blast, and then as a precursor to the economy tanking, all my prospective clients disappeared. I got a few nibbles, but nobody could afford to splurge on a beautifully organized closet, much less a room. After some prayer and a few tears, I realized that it really is ok to put this chapter on the shelf for now.

So, here I am. In a part-time job at the local YMCA that pays well enough and has some good perks. After working my way up from answering the phone, taking registrations, and selling memberships, I am now in the background as the Office Manager, doing bank deposits, revenue reports, coding bills to send downtown, and assisting the director with anything and everything. Not much to do with literature is there? But I do get to run a cheerleading program, albeit with cute little giggly girls, not high school athletes. At least I don't have to grade 200 research papers in a week!

Where to from here? Not a clue. But if you are willing to go for a little walk with me, we can have a good time and maybe learn something along the way. Who knows? I might just end up where I never knew I wanted to be.