Monday, June 14, 2010

Slippin' Through My Fingers

Today my baby turns one year old. If I am going to be completely honest, this scares the living day lights out of me. Here's the deal. She is all I've got. I try not to be weird about it, but she is pretty much my lifeline. She has been a lifesaver for me. I don't know what I would do without her. Hi, my name is Brooke Jenkins,and my best friend is one year old. I know, weird. I would pay every penny I have to own a time machine. I looked through several of her newborn pictures last night and was struck at how she doesn't even look like the same kid anymore. I guess my only option is to take one day at a time and enjoy every minute of it. How do you suppose, out of all the children in the world, I got the best one?

To celebrate, we had a little shindig last night. I tried to keep it small, with just immediate family on both sides and a couple of friends. We had pulled pork sandwiches and everyone brought sidedishes. I made a little slideshow to music of many of the pictures of Reagan taken over the last year and we watched that while we ate and talked. After that, we sang to Reagan and let her go to town on her own cake. Considering I limit her sugar considerably, she freaked out over this little treat. Betty Crocker and I made my own cake and it feel apart, but as lame as I am, I was still soooo proud of it. I have ZERO creative or baking abilities. Finally, she opened, or more accurately, I opened, her presents and we sat around and talked for a long time. It was chill and it was perfect. I couldn't have asked for anything better for her first birthday.

Reagan Abby, one day old
Enjoying some pulled pork and a kiss

Okay, think what you may, but my child is THE CUTEST baby out there.

stressed out that she can't have that cake right now

She loves lemon

working her new cheesy smile

The cake. Yea, I know. You're jealous.

playing with some of her new toys

Thanks mom. That party was awesome!
I thought I would try to capture the portrait of what Reagan is like on her 1st birthday:
  • You can't walk on your own, but you cruise around furniture with the best of them and you can stand without holding onto anything. And geez, are you a fast crawler!
  • You've got sweet hair, a little more than the average kid with all kinds of highlights in it.
  • Green Eyes
  • 18 lbs. 10 oz.
  • When I say "Where's Jesus?", you can find his picture on the wall every time. That's your best party trick.
  • When I say "Close your eyes. It's time to pray", you automatically clasp your hands to get ready for prayer. I used to think you were destined for sainthood, but then I realized you clasp your hands in prayer every time I say the word "close". Close the door. Let's put on your clothes, etc. Also, you get ready for prayer every time I shut a book, because we always pray right after I shut the scriptures we have just been reading. We'll keep working on this one.
  • You give the best sloppy kisses in the whole wide world.
  • You aren't afraid of the water at all. I can let go of you and you'll sink down a bit and not even be afraid.
  • You have allergies like nobody's business, so your nose is always running. You can thank your daddy for that. He used to tell me he was just preparing me for when you came whenever he would get snot on me :)
  • You have 1.5 words learned. Maybe "Hi", and maybe "Mom".
  • You freak out over balloons, balls, and animals of all kinds.
  • You can read. Okay, maybe you can't, but you sure try ALL the time. Your love of books is really encouraging.
  • You know what a bear says, where your nose and feet are, and how to do a couple of words in sign language.
  • You just started doing the most ridiculously cheesy smile I have ever seen. It sure doesn't look real, but it makes everyone smile who sees it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Poor Unfortunate Soul

Being that this is the year of my 10 year high school reunion, I have been reflecting a lot back on who I was at that time. I have been wanting to do a blog post for awhile that captured the essence of Brooke in high school, but last night clinched it. I was having a conversation with four 15 year olds about....well, I don't really remember about what. Anyway, I made the comment that I was a tragic nerd in high school. THEY DIDN'T BELIEVE ME! I insisted and then one said (you know who you are) "Well, when did you all of a sudden just become really cool?" I looked around to see who the conversation was being directed at. Well, the truth cannot be hidden anymore. I was a Poor Unfortunate Soul in high school, and I am not talking about the Disney movie where a voluptuous octupus shakes her shimmy in a way that is scandalously marketed to 4 year olds. I was the epitome of a nerd cake, and I am about to prove it to you. And just so you know, this is nothing like the clip I saw of Jennifer Aniston where she swears she was a nerd in highscool. I think she may have been referring to that one day she got a pimple.....

  • I was Captain of the Badminton team. Yes, badminton.
  • I had a uniform that I wore almost everyday to school. It went something like this: run the brush through your hair, put on your oversized polo or t-shirt, slide on your baggy jeans or khakis, and slip into your canvas, boy-like shoes. Done. Once or twice I wore something that my mom convinced me was "feminine". All day long I was sure that boys were looking at me inappropriately, so I went back to the uniform.
  • I earned the "Outstanding Orchestra Member" award. You know that whatever I had to do to earn that can not be good.
  • I think the grand total on my friend count was 6.
  • I am recalling an experience that scared me away from makeup until I was 18 years old. I decided one day in 8th grade that I was going to wear some makeup. This was not a regular occurence for me, though I owned all of the neccesary equipment. I think my mother had purchased it for me, hoping I would somehow overcome my ugly duckling status. I did my best and then went about my day, including Mr. Granio's Honors Earth Science class. The next morning, when I went to put on my makeup, my mom said "Oh, sweetheart. Can I help you?" I went back to science and as Mr. Granio was passing out papers, he stops at my desk, analyzes my face for a second, and says "Much Better".
  • I loved grownups way more than I loved people my own age. I was on a quest to make them all like me and be my friend. I think I did a pretty good job, because every adult I ever came in contact with was convinced that I was a saint.
  • I was nominated as "Math's Student of the Month". Once again, whatever that required surely put me on the nerd list.
  • I never went to any "boy ask girl" dances. I suppose I could have paid someone to take me....
  • Oh yeah! I forgot! I liked two boys my senior year. Now both of those boys also like boys. It's probably safe to say that those relationships were dead in the water before they even started.

I am having nightmares just reliving some of these experiences, so I will stop here. I am sure the pictures will fill in the details.

This was my 16 birthday. Hmmmmm, Looney Toones and a walkman.

This is a good example if the uniform.

The day I got my driver's permit. What I remember from that day was I was 5'5'', 105 pounds, and I thought I was fat. Oh, and somehow I convinced them to let me play softball at Highland, which was kind of a cool sport.

Practicing away
I think the point of focus in this picture is that I am 16 years old and wearing one piece pajamas and holding a stuffed animal. If I remember correctly, this was supposed to be a blackmail picture.

I gave this picture of me sitting barefoot on a dirty bench outside of target to the boy I somehow convinced to go out with me because I thought it was cute. Baggy polo, baggy jeans.

You see that green and purple huge tie dyed t-shirt. Yea. I wore that way more than I would like to admit.

Grrrrrrr. First day of 11th grade.

I thought my boom box was suh-weet. Funny thing is I couldn't have told you a top 40 song to save my life, but I could have written a 10 page paper on Buddy Holly.

This is a good capture of me and my friends. I think there is only 2 of them missing. Also, I do not possess the ability to be serious in pictures.

Morp, Junior year

I really don't know what is going on this picture, but someone should really rescue that tree.

Senior picure, 17 years old. I think this was the high point of my highschool looks, and I can't take any credit for it. We just came from the salon where someone cut and styled my hair and my mom did my makeup.
Praise be, it's over!
In retrospect there was no one day when "all of a sudden I became really cool". I don't think that's ever going to happen. Some people were just never meant to be cool :) But I did gain confidence somewhere along the way. This came in two waves. First, about the time I turned 18 I discovered that it was okay to be a girl. I could pluck my eyebrows, wear makeup every day, wear clothes that showed off my figure, heck, shower everyday! Second of all, I had a profound life changing experience when I was 21 that taught me that we are all worth so much in God's eyes. So, I started trying to get to know people just for the sake of getting to know them, and no one intimidated me anymore. This has made all the difference. I think I am ALMOST as cool as Jennifer Aniston now......

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A few of my favorite things

I am in a good mood, so I thought I would make a list of the things that put me that way. I believe we are put on this earth to have joy. So, here is my joy!

1. pulling Reagan into bed with me to drink her morning bottle. She is just so.....squishy!
2. decluttering
3. A good book that I just want to feast on till 2 am and cry because I have finished it
4. A clean house
5. A recurring daydream that goes a little something like this:
knock, knock
Me: Yes? Can I help you?
The guy in the uniform: Are you Mrs. Jenkins?
Me:Yes I am
guy: Mrs. Jenkins, this is extremely embarrassing, but the Secretary of the Army has requested that I inform you that your husband has not, in fact, been blown up. He has been conducting a secret mission in Afghanistan that has secured the safety of our nation. And, since we sent you ALL of his clothes, he has been doing it naked.
Me: Sweet. Atleast he won't have any tan lines. Tell him dinner is at 6.
6. A good cry. You know, the kind with lots of snot.
7. My calling in Young Womens
8. Teaching in any way, shape, or form
9. Someone who understands and empathizes with me completely
10. IMing with realling interesting people
11. Intellectually stimulating conversations
12. Hearing stories or seeing pictures of my husband that I have never seen/heard before
13. Pinning people down and making them listen to MY stories about Cory.
14. Really wet and openmouthed kisses.....from Reagan. Geez! Get your mind out of the gutter.
15.Music that takes me somewhere else
16.Salt: french fries, chips and salsa, crackers, etc.
17. Facebook-I know. This is embarassing that this is even on here. But with HOURS of dispensible time every day, it has been good to me.
18. The Biggest Loser
19. Best friends
20. Learning instruments
21. Going to lunch with somebody, not because I am hungry, but because I like their company.
22. Watching my baby grow
23. Trying new things. Veganism, anyone?
24. Feeling like I have made my husband proud
25. Traveling. There is so much out there to see and so little time!
26. Random signs from the universe that Cory just might be watching me and cheering me on
27. Prayer
28. Watching the numbers on the scale be just a LEETLE bit lower than the week before. My goal is to have this baby weight off by the time Reagan starts school.
29.Staring into space in a trance like daydream
30. thrill seeking: surfing, bungee jumping, skydiving, etc.
31. Finding money on the sidewalk family
33. Studying History. Those old guys are just so fascinating. And Hott!

Alright. This list is not comprehensive, but it is a good cross section. I am grateful for my life, even if its the kind of life that no one else would trade with me for a billion bucks. I guess thats the beauty of THE PLAN.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Life's Lessons

Excuse me as I turn this post into a little bit of mental upchuck. I just have had a lot of stuff on my mind lately. I need to start keeping a "real" journal so that I don't have to put anybody who reads this through the psychotic rollercoaster that is my thought process.

I included the picture of myself shooting because over the last month this is mostly how I have felt, like killing somebody. Maybe everybody if they don't stay out of my way. I don't know if it was the onslaught of Memorial Day or the fact that reality is FINALLY starting to sink in. It could be that all of Cory's comrades that he served with are starting to come home. But ultimately, here's the deal. I miss my husband.......bad.

But that is not the subject of this post, only the precursor to it. I have been in a trance for the last 10 months. I was being someone else, not myself. I used to love people and thrived off of my friends. Nothing gave me more happiness than getting to know people and trying to serve them. I have been so self-absorbed that I forgot that, and it turned into a cyclical downward spiral. I was hourding all of my energy, afraid that I wouldn't be able to function on a day to day basis if I spent it on anyone else. But, how could I feel better if I wasn't doing the things I loved the most? So, It was high time I had a wakeup call. That wakeup call came in the form of girl's camp.

I have always adored working with teenagers. If I can dare say so, I feel like it is kind of my calling in life. I chose to teach middle school for this reason, and I have had the chance to serve in the Young Women's program in my last 2 wards. Someday they will catch onto the fact that I am no more mature than a 14 year old and they will stop having me be responsible for them.

I had the distinct privilege this year to be in charge of the YCLs (Youth Camp Leaders). These are the girls age 16ish-18ish. It was a TON of work, but the girls were superhuman and I couldn't have asked for anything more.

Dani, Caryn, Alyssa, Anamaria, Alyssa, Lacey, and Me!
So, what the heck does this have to do with anything?! Well, I had a Nephi moment at camp. "Awake, my soul"! There is this Einstein quote that I have always loved, "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results". Whatever I had been doing over the past year was NOT making me happy, but I was holding onto my method for dear life. In the words of the genius Garth Brooks, I was "standing outside the fire", spiritually, socially, and in every other way possible. Christ was right when He said that "whosever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it". I found my life again. I found what makes me happy, and that is my relationships with others. I am excited to get back to the "old" me. I have so much good around me and it is time to dive in. Wahooooooo!