About

About Jennifer

JRWho am I? This is the question that has preoccupied man and womankind alike for centuries.  I, like so many others, struggle with the answer. In an effort to adequately define who I am, I could start with explaining who I used to be. I used to be the nerd in high school who got her emotional clock cleaned daily by bullies. Sadly, making good grades and being the first to raise my hand in class didn’t win me any popularity contests. I spent most of my Friday nights at home alone with a bowl of popcorn and an episode of the X-Files. Yes, the X-Files was on the air when I was in high school. You can probably now guess my age. Oh well. It was my favorite show at the time. The truth is out there, people.

I used to be an avid reader. If I didn’t read science fiction, I couldn’t really call myself a nerd. And, I love science fiction. In my opinion, Michael Crichton is the best science fiction writer of all time. I remember reading Jurassic Park on a beach in Florida during a family vacation. I was twelve years old, and I would not tear myself away from this book for any reason. Swimming in the Atlantic? Body surfing? Cute boys playing beach volleyball? No, no, and no. I then dragged every immediate and extended family member to see the movie. I must have seen the Jurassic Park movie fourteen times in the theater alone. Of course I did. That’s what nerds do. We stand in long lines to see a movie on opening weekend, and then we see the movie again. And again and again and again. Seeing the same movie repeatedly is part of the nerd contract. If we don’t fulfill the obligations of the nerd contract, we can’t get the nerd badge. And, I wanted the badge because it depicted Captain Kirk, Fox Mulder, Han Solo, and Chewbacca playing a rousing game of “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizards, Spock.” I digress.

I used to be a horseback rider. I used to be an artist. I carried a sketchbook with me at all times. I used to be a volunteer at the Humane Society and Texas Children’s Hospital. I used to be a marketing major at the University of Houston – Clear Lake. I used to be a marketing specialist at an oilfield chemical company. I used to be a lot of things. Who am I today? Well, today I’m a wife and a stay-at-home mother. After my son was born, I thought that I would have to say goodbye to the person I used to be. I’ve since learned I’m essentially the same person. I’ve had to trade some of my priorities, but they were good trades. I’m not a marketing major anymore. I’m a marketing graduate. I’m not a marketing specialist anymore. I’m a full-time parent. I don’t ride horses anymore. I do ride my bike, and my son rides with me. I may not always find time to sketch, but my son and I enjoy spending an afternoon coloring.

I’ve discovered some new interests too. For instance, I’m a chef. I’m not a four star chef, but I’ve made a few meals which were actually quite edible. I’m also a maid, a dry cleaner, a teacher, a life coach, a career counselor, a nurse, a personal assistant, a butcher, a baker, and a candlestick maker. Ok. I’ve never actually made a candlestick. Maybe candlestick making will be a project I try in the future. Stay tuned. I suppose the point is that I’m still sort of the person I used to be with some new stuff thrown into the mix for fun. However at my most basic, I’m a woman who happens to be a mom.

 JenniferRyan@womenwhohappentobemoms.com

About Stella

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I’m the other woman here who happens to be a mom. Okay, I’m not like “the other woman” but I’ll snicker with my sarcasm at the thought.

At nighttime, I’m the constant thinker, worrier, planner and next-day-to-do list maker. I am a runner of the rat race, whereby my day job has me as an economist and data analyst  in the big-bad-world-of-big-business. Because my day job has me in my much beloved world of spreadsheets, numbers and truing up fact over fiction, I love to be creative in my “spare” time.

Normally you’ll find me taking photos, Pinterest-dreaming until my heart’s content and preparing something for my kiddo as a result of my searches. I love easy fun crafts that require little to no talent.  Mainly for the short-term enjoyment and gold star of success that quick projects deliver. As for my long game, I spend my time learning about photography and applying it to my part-time job of family and child photographer.  Between these two worlds, I normally love to report back on whether a particular lens was good, or the scrapbook I ordered was worth it, or how I made that cool patch with the photo on it for my kid’s daycare sack. I love finding new ways to use photos in art and daily life – as I love looking up and seeing my little nugget dude smiling back at me from my notepad or cell phone.

As a mom, traditions have really gotten big. I started to do ornaments with my husband, but since having a kid, I love the idea of archiving things for future storytelling. I probably go a little over the top, but one day, my child will have a house of his own and inherit all of his stuff. I want to make sure that they know why we kept those art projects or onesies or toys. Finding projects that help me tell his life story are super important to me – both because I want him to know about himself and his life, but also – in a small way – to prove that I lived, and that we left behind our own story when we have made the trip to The Big Upstairs.

I love to cook. I love to share my table with family and friends. I have a dream that one day I will have three dozen people at my Thanksgiving table. I love sharing my family recipes – both the difficult, all day, it-is-totally-worth-the-time ones as well as those quick recipes that can be thrown together after a hectic day at the office. My kiddo is proving to not be a picky eater, but my husband is a self-proclaimed hater of many foods, so I am always at the ready to modify something so it makes our meal rotation.

I am a wife. I’ve been married for two years after meeting my husband online and running off to Vegas and making it official. I’m super, uber, duper in love with my husband who is a band director, who is my rock, and my calm and my partner in life. I am one lucky girl, without him, I wouldn’t even have time to type this little diddy.

That said, I don’t know where my energy or drive comes from. I just know that I want to do “ALL THE THINGS!” and “LIVE BIG.”  But that said, I’m not just an employee, or a photographer, or a crafter, or a cook, or a mom, or a wife. I am a woman. I am all the things, and probably more things that I haven’t discovered yet and can’t wait to see what hat I wear next.

 StellaForth@womenwhohappentobemoms.com