First Halloween

His first Halloween,

Twelve years ago,

I picked his costume.

He toddled,

And fell.


And fell.

But he was

Such a cute



Today’s slice is a throwback to maybe seven years ago.  I was stuck for an idea, so I started scrolling through my phone and found this picture:


From this book my son found at Barnes and Noble:

deep dark fears.jpg

We LOVED this book, as we are both worriers.   But the reason I took a picture of this specific page, even though this isn’t a worry either one of us has had, is because of this slice…

Troy was five and an early riser.  I could hear the television on in the living room, but I could also hear him playing, so I didn’t rush downstairs.  When I did drag myself out of bed and walk downstairs, he couldn’t wait to tell me what he had learned from A Baby Story on TLC…

“Mommy!  Guess what?!”


“Some babies get cut out of their mommy’s tummies like me, but other babies get pooped out in a pool of water!”

He had turned on the television and watched an episode of A Baby Story that included a water birth…I didn’t correct him at the time, but he does know the truth now.  Don’t worry.

Before Digital Cameras

We sat on the couch, side by side, looking at photo albums from when I was a kid – about the same age as he is now.  Lots of comments about my age each time there was a page that stated the year.  Anything earlier than 2000 is ancient, you know.   I had to explain to him how some of the pictures were off centered because I grew up before digital cameras.   We didn’t have the fancy screen to see what the picture was going to look like before we even clicked.  We had to wait until they were printed to know what it was going to look like.  And then we got to this picture…


“Woah!  That coat!  That’s so retro!  That’s what you see in the movies!  That’s like the coat Will wears in Stranger Things!”

It seems like not long ago to me, but to my son – it’s the stuff from movies.

Very Important Information

Ring. Ring. Ring.

“Hello?”  I answered.

“Hey, your nephew needs to tell you something.”

“OK?”  I could hear my sister passing the phone and telling Brady that Aunt Jennie is on the phone.

“Hi!?  Brady?”

“I saw… I saw Dominoes!”  Brady shouted into the phone.

“You saw Dominoes?”  I asked to clarify.


So, he saw Dominoes – the pizza place.  Yep, that simple.  But he was excited and wanted to tell me.  The little things…

The Unwanteds

I sat at the table in Starbucks, sipping my coffee and reading.  I able to push the nerves aside because of the story.  I was immersed, occasionally drifting into the real world to check the time.   I was early.

The battle began to unfold in the book and in my mind.  Time.  Five minutes late.

Paint and spells flew.  Time.  Ten minutes late.  He’s not coming, but I can’t leave in the middle of this battle!

Clay balls flying.  Enemies locked in place. “Hi!  Jennifer?”

That’s how it happened.  That’s how a book is the reason I met my fiance.  He was late, something I despise, but I didn’t want to stop reading.  If not reading that book, I would have left at the five minutes late mark and maybe never met the man of my dreams.

P.S. He was late because he got lost, so I have forgiven it.  And we are both incredibly grateful that I was lost in the world of Artimé that day.


Cousin Time



“I’ll push you!”  Brady says, jumping off his own swing to go behind Troy.

“OK?”  Troy responds, doubtful of how this is going to work.

He “pushes” and Troy starts to move, in large part because Troy is making it happen with his feet.  The swing and the much larger child start gaining some momentum.  Unfortunately, Brady’s timing is a little off…and…Whack! Brady goes flying backward into the wood chips.

We all laughed and Brady picked himself up out of the chips. No big deal for this kid. But it did change his focus a bit…

“I’ll throw this at you,”  Brady says with a mischievous smile, gathering dirt and wood chips in this hands…