A Happy List

I found this note yesterday. It was tucked inside of a publicly shared magazine. I hope nobody wants it back. It was just sitting there, its yellow skin flashing me a mischievous grin as it poked out of a page.

I couldn’t help myself.

I took it.

I don’t know if this makes me a thief or an official hoarder.

Probably both.

I believe it was written by a bored child waiting for a parent to finish an appointment. I also imagine it was written around Christmas time. It is a list. A list of presents for children. For boys and for “grils.” It was as if the child decided to ponder for one day what it must be like to be Santa Claus.

Right now my mind is full of lists. The bills I need to pay. The chores I need to do. The groceries I need to buy. The packages I have to send. The returns I need to make. The posts I need to edit. It can be overwhelming.

For all of those things… for all of those lists… this list that I found made me happy. It reminded me to breathe. All lists are not bad. Or naughty, as it were. The hope or imagination of a child is irresistible to me. An innocent handwritten list of toys made me smile. And I hope the simplicity of it makes you smile today, too. Because maybe our lists aren’t so simple. And maybe we can’t be Santa. But we can imagine what that must feel like. Or put ourselves in someone else’s shoes for one day, whether those shoes meet up with a red suit or not is up to you:


It’s The Little Things: Head Sculptures


My family and I went to the San Diego Del Mar Fair on Monday and we had a wonderful time. I will have a post coming up soon about the day and the $10 H&M dress that I wore. But while the fair is still going on, I wanted to highlight an amazing find that we discovered while we were there.


They are these wonderful portrait sculptures by Hu Tian. He can be contacted at Hootian at yahoo dot com. I know he can do sculptures based on photos, too, if you are not in Southern California. He is incredibly talented. We are fortunate to have stumbled upon his booth. If you are there this year, it is in the shopping building across from the carousel. I cannot believe what he can create in such a small amount of time.


Each one took about twenty five minutes to make. It was relaxing to sit and watch them coming to life, so to speak, through the clay.


I plan on hanging my sculptures in my living room, surrounding the square arch. They are still drying. It takes four days to cure from the time the clay was created before I can hang them.


The price for these was $52 each, including frame. It was a fantastic price for a really cool piece of a period of time captured forever.

Had you seen something like this before? I had not and it was my favorite thing to discover at the fair.

*this is off topic but I wanted to note it: If you plan on attending the San Diego Fair this year, Costco has the best package. It was $60 and came with parking, four entry tickets, 50 ride tickets, the Passport To Savings book and four free drink vouchers. It was a great deal! We purchased ours at the San Diego Costco on the way to the fair. Maybe a Costco near you also has fair packages for your local fair, if you are not near San Diego.

I shared this on Cozy Little House.

And Savvy Southern Style.

Interpreting A Dream: The Hamburglar


Last week, I woke up in a cold sweat. Terrified.

I had been dreaming.

In my dream, my son was four (he is ten in real life).

In diapers. I know this because in my dream I tried to change his diaper with a maxi pad.

That wasn’t the disturbing part.

In my dream, my husband and I went to a tattoo parlor. My husband didn’t get a tattoo. I didn’t get a tattoo. We let our son get a tattoo.

On his forehead.

It took up the whole space.

It was of The Hamburglar.

What could that possibly mean?

It gets worse. In my dream, we loved the Hamburglar design so much on my son’s forehead (and who wouldn’t?), that we decided to go a little further and tattoo Scooby Doo on his neck.

We are fantastic dream parents.

But Scooby Doo wasn’t enough by himself.

So we added the whole theme song across his throat.

The piece de resistance was the “Rror Rror Rror Rror” speech bubble above Scooby Doo’s head.

I think dream Jenni spent too much time in Shaggy’s van.

Then I realized what we had done and that it was permanent. And now his life was ruined. Unless in the future, Hamburglar is President and our National Anthem begins with, “Scooby Dooby Doo, Where are you?”. I panicked and sobbed and sobbed.

I woke up crying.

I tried to look up the meaning with some key words: “dream interpretation four year old tattoo Hamburglar.” Google spit back a character name from Glee at the top of my search results, “Finn Hudson.”

Thanks for nothin’ Google.

Now I will never know what my sub-conscience was trying to tell me.

Although, if I were to guess, I would imagine it would have something to do with wanting a hamburger as a snack.

I think it has everything nothing to do with my parenting skills.

I also looked up “dream interpretation tattoo on forehead.” Some other poor soul had dreamed that they had tattooed a tattoo on their face. They asked, “What does it mean to dream you have a tattoo on your face?”

To which someone on the internet replied, “it means you shouldn’t always follow your dreams.”

Dream Jenni only has one response to that, “Rror. Rror. Rror. Rror.”

Dear Children: The Cut


The hardest thing about being a parent (and there are many hard aspects to it, despite what you may think) is learning when to let go. Learning when to allow you to have your freedom. For eighteen years you are our responsibility and then one day, you just aren’t. One day you are your own responsibilty. If I never give you any freedom now, how will you know how to use it when it is finally all yours? Every bit of it.

How much space is too much?

How much space is too little?

If I let you go will you float away like a balloon and never return?

I’m having a hard time of it.

It would be an entirely easier decision if there were not crazy contraptions in the sky. Designed to steer you off course. There are balloon thiefs. And, worse, balloon poppers. There are balloon gangs. And, God forbid, balloon addicts addicted to getting high.


It is so so so so so so fragile.

And you are not of the age that you can understand that yet.

Last month, I let you go to your very first concert.

Without me.

I drove away and left you. A part of me felt empty. Disoriented. The mother beast in me was fighting with the fact that I had just left you. By yourself. Okay, you had two friends with you, but there was not an adult. It was such a tough decision. Did I make the right choice? Even dropping you off at the mall with your friends is hard.

You know I will not be giving you your online freedom until you reach eighteen. It is one thing to physically drop you off at a location with your friends where there might be predators. It is another thing entirely to let you navigate, by yourself, the entire dirty world of the internet where I know there are predators.

It is a scary world when the virtual one becomes more dangerous than the physical one.

God forbid those two should ever collide.

I recognize I am somewhat sidetracking, but it all has to do with the same thing. The ever so hard choices we parents have to make. The scary consequences we will have to face if we allow you to make the wrong ones.

And we will.

And I will.

And you will.

And I need to tighten this darn string. Because this letting go thing is killing me. And I have just discovered that the string of your balloon is tied directly to my heart. This is rather inconvenient timing. It is going to hurt to cut that string. It hurts when you pull on it. When you attempt to break free before the string has been allowed to fray. To naturally make the cut on its own.

I feel as though time is a pair of ruthless scissors.

The choices more important than helium or air.

I am the clown that cannot laugh. I cannot mold my balloon fast enough for the circus of life that awaits to take my creation away.

Life is not fair.

Nor a fair.

But I am preparing you for it nonetheless.

Those scissors are looming closer. They are so sharp. So cutting. So very dreadful.

It makes sense that their cut would hurt.

I just never thought it would hurt this much.