Sharing meals and playing games

*Reposted from January of 2014…because my heart feels the same way this year!*

One of our goals for this year is to have more meals around our dinner table.

Our formal (not formal to us) living room is currently under construction.We are adding wainscoting and molding. We have a half painted piano and no light fixtures. We thought we would wait until it was all finished, but we decided that could be months from now.

We also realized that we don’t have a non- Christmas time table cloth and we don’t have more than 6 matching place mats. I couldn’t find our old cloth napkins and napkin rings, and almost none of dinner glasses match…unless you count the mason jars.

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Easy Friendships

Easy friendships are a blessing. They are one of my many favorite things.

When I say easy friendships, I mean the kind of friendships that remain in place when life gets busy. The friendship, that after months of not speaking, you can grab lunch and catch up. No one complains or pouts because someone forgot their birthday or didn’t call when their youngest started kindergarten. You share the latest news, your upcoming plans, and make it a point to get together more often. Those are the friends that if I needed them….they would be here fully, but because I do not interact with them daily….I would be responsible to make my needs known. In the same way…I would be devastated if they needed me and I was unaware. Easy friendships are valuable and real and fulfill a need for us to share our lives with other women and know that we are cared for.

Now to speak of tough friendships!

The ones that take time every day. The ones that cause me to ask tough questions….or speak true answers. The ones that make me write notes to myself to remember to pray. The friendships that cause me to rearrange my daily plans in order to meet for lunch when I have so much I really need to do. The same friendships that come along when you are not really looking…when you think you have enough friends.  The ones that you expect more from. You know the busyness of life can take over at times, but only for a day or two….then someone checks back in. Tough friendships are just that, tough…but so worth it. They give us the security that we need to be real and messy and still accepted.

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Welcome & about me, the extended version.

Hi there!  I’m Jen, a 40 something happiness enthusiast, and this is the place where I write!

If I had my way, we’d be sitting down to chat in this cozy cafe over coffee and muffins with our phones tucked deep inside our purses.

Funny thing about blogging… even without a cozy cafe, we can still connect.

We can share recipes, and home decor projects and outfits of the day. We can encourage each other to exercise, eat right and save money for retirement (or vacation.) We can learn from  each other …things like how to organize our pantry or make a pretty printable in Canva.

Now… Before I go on, you must know that though this blog is the place where I write…in real life, I am much more of a talker.

My children will tell you that I rarely meet a stranger. One question can open up an entire conversation and make the world seem that much smaller. One question just might lead you to find out that the lady you met in the fast food bathroom on the way home from vacation lives right next door to the only people that you know in the small town they mentioned when you asked them, “so…where are ya’ll from?”

Between sips of coffee with French vanilla creamer,  I would ask you questions. Where are you from? What brought you here? Who do you live for? What makes you happy? I would love to hear your answers and learn about your story. Then, in all honesty…because I am a talker, I would probably interrupt you ….telling you more things that you may or may not care to know…I would add things like “Oh…me too” and “I remember this one time…” and “I have always wanted to do that!

I would tell you….I live in North Carolina, exactly halfway between the Atlantic Ocean and the Appalachian Mountains. I feel lucky to live in a small town just minutes from a vibrant city, where we get to experience fully…all four seasons.
I work the night shift…part-time as a Mother-Baby nurse. I love my patients and I never get tired of hearing a woman say ” I can’t believe I am someone’s Mommy!” I go to work to get a little break from my full time, always demanding but extremely fulfilling day job of wife and mom!

I have been married to David, my high school sweetheart for over 20 years and we have three (not so young) children; Emily, Jonathan and Zac. I live for them and for the One who blessed me with them…and I live for me. As my children have grown older and become more independent, I have become more aware of things that make me feel alive. I have given myself permission to enjoy these things while cheering on my family at the same time. I hope I can encourage you to do the same.

I enjoy quiet mornings, easy friendships and community, being outside, thrift shops, game nights, lunch dates, occasional get-aways and then coming back home. I know the grace of a loving God who in the middle of my messiness, picks me up and continues to remind me of who I really am.

Way back in 2010, I started a blog as a scrapbook of sorts. A place to record things with photos and words that could be shared with others and looked at anywhere. I did not know anything about blogging, but I quickly learned that there are so many wonderful people across the world that long for connection and community… and real friendships can be found.

After a few years of blogging consistently, life became busy …and Instagram became popular. It was easier to post a quick pic and move on through the busy day. Blogging took a back seat. And I have missed it.

Lately, I have been blogging on my Instagram account. I have had so many comments from friends in real life advising me to start a blog. I think about telling them, but then I think again.

As I look back over my old blog, there are many things about me that have changed. I am older. My kids are older. My goals are different and as much as I love the memories, that place just isn’t me anymore.

So… I decided to jump back in. Same name, new space, new look and new voice.  I hope those of you who read before will recognize me as the same person, because it is me after all.

However, I want this new space to be a place to not only share moments, experiences, ideas, and goals, but to share them with a purpose to inspire, guide and encourage someone else. To not be “about me”…but “about us”. As in, all of us in this community.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ll feel welcome here. And if you’re anywhere near Charlotte, let’s meet for real and chat over coffee.

You can also find me on Instagram & Pinterest at JENSINKPEN or you can send me an email at