jeanne who? The Scoop.

 February 2014

Since April 2013, I've come a long way...

I was nudged by a buddy.

"Hey, isn't time to update 'Jeanne Who?' "

Yes, yes it is.  I have been putting it off. 
How much do I tell?  Do you really want to know?
Do I sugar coat it? 

I am thinking that maybe if I just tell my story, I can stop putting it off and continue on with the moving forward.  Good Plan. So here goes.

I moved out of the original Bees Knees Bungalow house and into my apartment, B2, in May. 
The divorce was final in December.  I am seven months into this new life.  I'd like to say that I stayed super brave, remained strong and started my own greeting card company to inspire others. However, I am not there yet.

I was warned that this first year would be the toughest year of my life.
I underestimated how true that would be. In my life I have lost babies and moved across country, leaving my family and friends. I know grief.  But this year was a new kind of tough. The nights I do not have my children are very long and very quiet. That is not easy when I am used to a household of six.  Loneliness is big and ugly. It is not good for me and I do not do it well.  That is hard to admit.  Out loud, in blogland.   

I've second guessed everything. Especially and inexplicably at 4:22 am. That's when I automatically wake up and every decision I've ever made since 1985 comes to mind. In the dark, I am absolutely sure that all decisions from that point forward have been wrong and will continue to be wrong.  I am positive that I have hurt everyone and everything in my wake.  
I really have grown to dislike 4:22.  A miracle happens and I fall asleep again.  By 6:10 am when the alarm goes off and I'm done hitting snooze, all is right in my world and I carry on.

In between my moments of stellar strength and utter terror, I do have moments of clarity.  Thank goodness for that.  I am finding my voice, growing a backbone, sticking up for myself and standing taller.  This has not been easy.  I am literally teaching myself how to do it.  I have realized that for a very long time I had no voice.  I have one now.  My girlfriends remind me tirelessly with unwavering support.  I take lots of baths. With eucalyptus bath salts to be specific. I've soaked my way to strength.  I remember to cut myself a break. 

To combat the quiet and regain control, I've scheduled a few things to keep me busy.  I've found that too many nights of DIY and giant glasses of iced coffee does me no good.  Instead, I've made plans with the kids, scheduled volunteering events, started revisiting the project list and spent time on a treadmill.  It's working.  I've already had less 4:22 am wake-ups.  I do not watch sad movies.  I do make sure to laugh.  I surround myself with only positive people.

How long till that one year is up?  

In May, my friends said to give it one year to see how different my life is as compared to where I started.

In February they are saying; 'Look how far you've come!'

xo jeanne.

November 2012

First of all,  If you read the original below....since then, the dog really did die.. in the living room on a Sunday.. poor Mike. So did my dad, but not in my living room.
And the children really are smart. More book smart then I will ever be and where they got it I have no idea. They amaze me daily. As in a 'what did you just say? I have to get the dictionary to decode it' sort of way.  Where did they get the brains? 

This past year, I did away with the minivan. (High five to myself and to mothers of children everywhere.) and purchased a zippy little car.  It holds garage sale finds splendidly and has a great stereo. Two essentials.  

In the past two years since starting the blog I've been a painting maniac. From walls to lettering and much in between.  Thank you for reading along and sticking with me. It's fun to see the blog evolve. It's my alter ego and has a life of it's own.  It's crazy. I've become the artist and photographer that I've wanted to be. Who knew?

What drives me insane:
  • Spitting in public. Omg. I can't handle it. Gross. Please spitting dudes, control your saliva.
What makes me giddy happy:
  • People who are genuinely kind.  Simple.
  • Naps.
  • Great coffee.
  • When the dishes are done, the kitchen is clean and the lunches are made and in the fridge.
That's a tiny updated glimpse of me, a wildly creative gal, a working full-time wonder woman, a crafty and crafty.. mom.

xo jeanne.

January 2011

I need to make stuff, paint stuff, add stuff and then do it again. I need to write, draw and create.  If for no one else but for me- it's taken me 44 years to say it out loud.  Being creative comes easy to me. I used to think everyone could just do it if they wanted to.  I'd kind of look at them strange if they couldn't  picture a room totally redecorated in their mind even before the first paint can had been cracked open.  Can't everyone do this?  The same with a scrapbook page.  I see them in my head, finished and perfect before the paper is even bought.  Call me crazy.  Now I realize this is a gift and I should be thankful for it and share it.
Eureka! And so I have Bees Knees Bungalow.

I'm into 'how things really are' and not so much the fluff.  One thing you won't receive from me is a Christmas Letter.  Instead of how fabulous life is and how many trips to the Caribbean we took - my letter would sound something like this:  "The dog died, we put the couch on the curb with a 'free' sign on it, the basement flooded twice and oh joy of joys - the marriage counselor looked at us like we were hopeless. But by some gigantic miracle, the children really are straight A students!  Happy New Year!" 

I love a fabulous garage sale where I stumble upon Mabel selling her grandmother's old jewelry for well... a quarter.  I've seen it more times then I can count.    Or "That was my Aunt's about $10?"  Sold!  This blog is born of such stories. Filling the car and driving home looking like The Clampet's.  I can't wait to get that on film this coming Spring and Summer.  And oh the fun we have. Delirious and silly.

And the Vintage Love. I dig objects with character and style. I love grandma's linens. I like old stuff with panache.  Antique stores have me at 'hello.' 

Somewhere in there I can decorate my house, with the help of The Cabinet Maker - Paul my wood worker extraordinaire husband.  He is the reason I have a wrap around porch, fab kitchen, a fun little stairway and custom furniture.  He can build anything and is a perfectionist at what he does. 

Those four children:  The four kids did not come easy. There were years on infertility and losses.  If you told me then that I'd have 4 children I wouldn't have believed you.  I took more Clomid then I could calculate. I can tell you about basil body temperature and ovulation.  It's indelible in my brain. I am sure I bored my friends to tears. So hugs to anyone who is going thru it.  There is light - and lots of laundry waiting.

I love a deal, but not so much that I'll buy 12 of something just because it's on sale.  I love a deal because with 4 kids, a full time job, a mortgage, pets and a yard... well I have to love a deal.  I really don't mean to be cheap. Right now it just comes with the territory.  I am busy.  I work full time. This blog is not my job - I do it for fun.  I love a good nap. My home is not dusty, it merely has patina.

My decorating co-captain Linda inspires me, pushes me and we laugh along the way, thank god.  Because of our friendship I am a better person.  Thanks Quandie.  I am blessed to have many darling girlfriends who put up with me.
They are all saints.

Somehow, I get to write about it all, take pictures of it and share it here. It's amazing and I'm happy dancing that I get to do it.  I am a Southern California girl, transplanted to the Twin Cities in Minnesota.   During the long winter months I have learned that when all else fails.......Decorate!!

xo J.
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