Oh hey there! Thanks for popping by to creep on my page. I’m Jen. Welcome to the longest introduction ever. If you’re looking at the picture and wondering which one is me, well, I’m not the one in the middle. I’m on the left. That’s my daughter Kerrianne on the right (pssst Kerri wave to everyone). This pic happened when we visited Kerrianne at grad school and this gigantic duck was floating in the river. And we just needed a selfie.
I work full time in human resources for a retail company. I like to say I’m on the happy side of HR because I’m a recruiter. It’s the kind of job that hits all my sweet spots. I get paid to talk to people all day about why they should do what they love to do and how they can do it for my company. I even get paid to travel to talk to job seekers and college students and help them find their passion (which we hope is something they can put to use at my company but sometimes I just get the sweet pleasure of meeting someone that’s so out of the box that I’m inspired to think bigger!).
I’m a knitter and you can find me on Ravelry and Instagram as jenbenson2. I’m a note keeper, yarn stasher, project queuer, forum lurker, pattern finder, project documenter. I started knitting in 2014 so I’m a newbie in knitting years. I crocheted for 20 years before the knitting bug bit. I post pics on Instagram of my knitting projects and love to see what other knitters are making. It’s cool to me. I listen to knitting podcasts (and a lot of other podcasts but for reals, if you knit, you gotta check out The Sweet Georgia Podcast for some knit-spiration).
I’m a cook (just for the family, definitely not for the public) and search Pinterest for new twists on traditional food. I’m a yo yo South Beach dieter because I’m a carb lover (great big sigh). I don’t really bake although I can make some bangin’ Rice Krispie Treats. Basically I’m a meal maker with the occasional batch of cookies tossed in the oven. I drink sweet wine or oakey chardonnay. No strong stuff, no dry stuff, no red stuff. And I do love me a good Captain ‘n Coke.
You still with me? OK. Well here are the things that make me me. I love the color blue. If I go shopping and see a shirt in 7 colors and one of them is blue, well that’s the one that goes home with me. It’s a problem. I buy more yarn than I will ever knit. I need to go “cold sheep” but the thought of not acquiring yarn is scary. I love summertime. I don’t like winter even a little bit. Maybe just that first pretty snow but after that I’m thoroughly cold and annoyed and begging for a one way ticket to the Caribbean. When it’s summer I’m outside. I used to work from home so my office was my deck as soon as the temps hit 60 and man do I yearn for a job that lets me go back to working at home just so I can love up the summer sunshine. I live in the woods but I don’t like snakes. At all. They freak me out. I like to read books that suck me in and leave me with a book hangover. No mush, gush, fluff. I like to watch movies that tell a story. One day I’ll share my list of favorites and you’ll see what I mean. I actually like to watch the same movies over and over (Princess Bride anyone?). If I’m not on an adventure with the characters, I don’t bother. I read psychology books too. Social psychology is my thing. MY THING. I still read research papers and cheer on the hypothesis. I’m a psychologist by education but I would definitely make a crummy therapist. I like to know what makes people tick. I analyze the bejeepers out of situations and rationalize why they do what they do. My college thesis was all about Facebook and how it affects people’s self esteem. I’ve done quite a few papers about social media and it’s impact on people’s lives and although that sounds crazy weird to some, it keeps me up at night. My idea of a vacation is to go hard and sleep when I get home. I don’t go on vacation to relax. I’m kind of a sucky relaxer. Must have a plan.
I am a baseball fan and by saying “baseball fan” I mean simply baseball. I follow about 8 different teams. I’m not very loyal. I don’t talk baseball lingo. I have tshirts for lots of teams. I watch football to appease my husband and to eat the good snack food and to have some sit on the couch with my man time. My favorite “sport” to watch is the Olympics. Something about hearing their story of giving up everything for the chance to have this one moment to compete in the Olympics sucks me in and keeps me from opening ceremony to closing.
I have two dogs that will make their way into my blog occasionally. We have an older dog named Buddy. When Buddy’s human went to college he got sad so we got him a puppy. His name is Billy White Shoes and this dog is full of opinion and personality and he can’t do anything without Buddy. Buddy just stares at him like SERIOUSLY. They’re besties though.
I’m a wife and mom. I have a turkey dinner kind of family so hold on here and try to follow along, k? Husband Michael and I have been married since ’99. This is the second marriage for each of us. We have this philosophy that the first one was what you wanted but the second one is what you deserve. I can’t decide if that’s good or weird but it works for us. Mike and I met at a church. I was going there and he showed up one day and the pastor decided that HEY these two have a few things in common and he introduced us and about five minutes later we were dating and planning a life together. I have two daughters from marriage 1 (you can apply our philosophy to the kids too). I have two step sons. All four kids are within a 4 years of each other so raising them was like raising this herd of frantically moving targets. Nothing like 4 teenagers at the same moment. They’re all over 21 now so it’s a constant party when we’re together. Add to that, I’m also the “mom” to three international daughters. We hosted three foreign exchange students from three different countries and we love them like they’re family. I have to be careful telling people I have 7 kids. They just stare and blink. I don’t have an extended family. My husband doesn’t either. So it’s just us and the friends we’ve made and the kids that are lucky enough to be considered “ours”. They’re lucky gosh darnit.
Oh. One last thing. I’m a thyroid cancer survivor (almost). It’s not terminal. It was (in the words of my surgeon and endocrinologist, both of whom I adore) “a simple snip of the thyroid and now a daily med and back to life” kind of interruption. Maybe one day I’ll share the details but for now this cancer thing is off of my radar. It’s just an uncolorful piece of who I am but it’s also a contributing factor to why I’m blogging. One day this might be all that’s left of what went on in my head and most of what’s going on my head is also what’s coming out of my mouth. So maybe the people that brought me joy will read what I’ve written and I’ll bring them joy Jen-style once again. And one day I might need to relive what I’ve lived and inspire my own bad self. Who knows?
I’ll stop here. After all, this is a blog about my adventures and you’re going to find out more about me soon enough.