Something for the Weekend: Inspiration & Fun Links!

I’ve taken the liberty of skipping my Something for the Weekend posts the last two weeks as I’ve been focusing on family over time online. It was kind of a nice break and a much needed one.

The last week in August, we were on vacation at our cabin for most of the week over the holiday weekend. It was just my husband, the girls and I and we had such a great time and made wonderful memories. I got this beautiful shot of Ella above while she was waiting on a ride on “Tuffer” our four-wheeler! My hubby and I are planning on going back up the first week in October to enjoy all the leaves, just the two of us (and I’m so looking forward to that!). We’re also re-doing our cabin rental website this fall and I need to shoot all new photos for the website. It will be nice to concentrate on that without worrying about the kids falling in the lake!

Last Saturday, we went to our favorite apple orchard which opened for the season and enjoyed taking pictures, eating apples and supporting a fundraiser for the hurricane relief efforts. I also met up with a new friend and her sister later in the day and we took our children to Bookworm Gardens, a beautiful children’s garden based around storybooks. Despite having lived here for many years, I’d never been there and it was so much fun to discover a hidden gem in our city. I shot tons of photos of the girls enjoying themselves and it was really nice to make some new friends!

And Sunday I turned 39 – one year away from 40, which actually doesn’t bother me at all! I’m choosing to look at it like 39 is going to be a much better year than 38, which for the last six months of dealing with all my health issues, just sucked. It’s funny, I was telling my mom earlier this summer how young I feel despite being this close to 40. I told her I remembered distinctly riding with her in the car when I was about 14 and thinking just how old she was … and I was realizing that my 14 year old son probably thinks the same thing about me. It was something of a revelation to me to discover that my mom likely felt the same way I do now at the time … very young!

Today I’m meeting with my GI doctor for lab work and to determine where we go from here. I’ve been really struggling mentally and physically to work my very reduced 8-12 hours a week. I’m having terrible “brain fog” issues/memory issues and working even a four-hour shift wipes me out for the rest of the day and into the following. It seems like it’s gotten much worse over the last month and is bad enough I’ve pretty much stopped driving unless absolutely necessary as I don’t feel I can adequately judge my surroundings. I’m not sure what my doctor will have to say about it and I suppose a lot of what we end up doing will be determined by my bloodwork, but all of this points to pretty severe malnutrition. While my medication is helping and I am able to eat small amounts of healthy food, I’m just not sure it’s enough at this point. I’m trying to stay positive though!

So, what’s inspired me the last few weeks?

  • Read this great post about Why You Need to Take a Blogging Break by Kari of Bloom and Clemantine – she pretty much sums up the reasons why I’ve been a little absent here!
  • Monday I started my week off by reading this great post Life is Our Responsibility … lots of very relevant, eye-opening advice in this one!
  • My hubby got me an Amazon gift certificate for my birthday and I’m debating buying The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC Book for Digital Photographers as I’ve been trying to teach myself how to edit in Lightroom and struggling a little bit. What I really need is a photographer to sit down with me for 30 minutes and just walk me through their process … that would help immensely as I learn best by doing.
  • I purchased Kelsey Freeman’s Transpire Collection of Lightroom presets, which are just swoon-worthy, while they were on sale over Labor Day weekend. I’ve been having so much fun playing with them!
  • I’m eagerly awaiting the release of The Milky Way Family Retreat photography videos, which should come out next week. Looking forward to soaking up everything I can from them when I have time.
  • This post about Why You Need to Have Family Dinner really hit home for me. We’re guilty of not doing this routinely and our oldest daughter Hannah has voiced that she really enjoys it when we all sit down together so we’re making more of an effort to do just that.

So, what has inspired you the last few weeks? Leave me a comment and let me know – I love inspiration in my inbox!






  • Kimberly Theodore

    So glad to hear that you’ve been getting in some true quality family time lately, although I’m a little concerned about your upcoming tests.
    What’s truly inspiring me these days is the book “The End of Alzheimer’s “. I’ve experienced so much suffering in my family for so many years, and this is the first time I have some real hope (especially for my future). What’s hit me the most before reading the book is hearing “everyone knows someone who’s survived cancer, but no one knows anyone who’s survived Alzheimer’s “, and, the fact that it’s now the 3rd top killer in the US now, and even higher in Europe.
    I’m still praying for your continued, albeit small, improvements. I love you ❤️

    • Jen

      Thank you … it’s been a struggle to feel well enough to really enjoy much of anything lately, but the family time was nice! I’ll have to check out that book, it sounds like an inspiring read. I had an interesting conversation with my pain management doctor about low dose naltraxalone (which is sometimes used to treat chronic pain, it’s actually narcan, the reversal agent for narcotic pain medication) but it has also looked very promising in treating Alzheimer’s as well. There are a lot of medical benefits to it, though I don’t know what you’re on, if you could even take it, but worth researching! I’m trying to get into Mayo ASAP and looking at needing a j-tube for nutrition in the near future. I’m off work for the next month and have made the hard decision to apply for SSDI at this point. I’ll try messaging you later! Tell Dad we said “hi!”

  • Steph

    Thank you for sharing! The family dinner link hit home for me as well!

  • Amanda Elize

    It is so hard to find that balance of making family time but yet still pursuing time for yourself. I’m glad the break did you some good. I always find my inspiration from Gods word. It’s my fuel to keep on keepin on!