About me?


I have always loved to write. I didn`t realize this until about 3 years ago.

When I was in the second grade, I won some sort of writing contest. There are no  more details on the contest part, because my brain just goes fuzzy every time I try to stretch my brain for more of a memory of it.

I know there was some sort of prize, I`m thinking it was a $2 bill and I think a boy took it from me.

But what I really remember was that the line that won me a spot in “Descriptive Writing” was this,

“They were so hungry, their stomachs stuck to their backbone”.

Not bad for a second grader.

I can still hear my teacher saying, “That takes quite an imagination!” with a kinda, surprised look on her face.

I remember feeling good.

I remember my mom reading Emily`s Runaway Imagination to me a couple different times . (It`s a chapter book.) I think it might be by Carolyn Haywood? I can be corrected on this. Or I could be less lazy and look it up on Amazon.

I can still HEAR her saying, “You`re just like Emily, Jenny. Oh, your wild imagination”.

It`s funny how the little things you hear older people say about you when you are yet un-molded, are the things that later define you. Or the things you don`t fear being good at.

I have wavered in about every other thing, sometime in life. But one thing I have never felt incompitent in, was my “wild imagination”. Often, I have wished for more, something better.

But, I`m finding it`s a glorious thing. Writing, with a crazy mind can literally take you anywhere.

When I around 12, I didn`t really have a lot of friends, and since I was homeschooled, I had a lot of time. I started filling tablets and tablets with my stories. They were my friends and my getaway.

I was always the heroine in my stories.

I wasn`t really self absorbed, I was just the only person I really knew at that point.

My name was always  “Karina” because I thought it was the most beautiful name in the whole world. And and my best friend was always a boy named “Gilbert”.

Was someone heavily fascinated with the hero in the popular “Anne of Green Gables” series?

Yes, she was.

My stories were very superficial and always included boring dialogue about what I wore, down to details like “purple and pink slouch socks, brown high top shoes, and a aqua dress with a scrunched collar”.

I dressed lovely Karina so odd.

They also included a lot of meaningless details about Gilbert and I, and all the things we did together. Pretty sure we were secretly in love.

I`m sticking my pencil down my throat right now. Pre-teen memories are the WORST.

But anyways. I remember that whenever I slipped into my world of tablet paper, pens and the door to my room closed– I was blissfully happy.

Awwww, let`s hear an awww for painful little Jeanette.

In the years after that, I managed to become friends with some of the best people in the whole world. I loved my life and had more fun than a person should have. I can`t say it enough- I feel like God blessed me in a powerful way– with meeting and loving so many sweet, hilarious, honest people over the years. What I ever did to deserve this, I still have no idea.

Sometimes God gives us more than we deserve.

I got really busy. I did stuff. I met and married G! Who is just the perfect man for me- there is no other way to say it. My arms are red from all the times I have pinched myself, trying to figure out if this wise, funny man is really the person I get to live with, and every-now-and-then-fight-with.

Yes, we are fighters. In a talking passionately, hand waving, I still love you when we don`t agree way. In a good way.

And yes, that`s a real thing. Fighting in a good way.

I didn`t write for YEARS. I didn`t even know I LIKED to write.

Soon after I was married, I was spending a weekend with some really special girlfriends, that I got together with periodically- we were having a Super Time. Since we were from all kinds of states, we decided to try this thing they were calling Xanga.

A blog ring. What a great way to stay in touch.

Since G was always called Bailey in highschool (what a cool guy), and we didn`t have any children I thought, Well, it`s just us and it`ll be mostly me- so how about Baileyandme?

I started writing out my boring thoughts and it became therapy. I fell in love for the second time. To be clear. With writing.

Last night I watched Julie and Julia with my sissies. I connected with the movie on so many levels, but the thing that stuck out to me was how Julie tells her husband,

(I have to paraphrase, since I was not able to find the exact quote anywhere on the web.) “You can like to write all you want (or be a writer) , but you can`t be an author unless someone publishes you”.

So I`m a writer, not an author. But this thing called blogging means that I can write for conversation with other people, even though no one would ever publish me.

That means a lot to me.

When I was aching with the pain of losing two babies after blissfully being pregnant, I took to writing. When I worked 6 days a week waitressing , to help put my husband through college, I kept writing. When I went to a church where I was lost in a sea of people, I kept writing. To you. And you kept listening.

I have no idea why.

Looking back- through all the painful and the beautiful years of my life, a finger peck here, and a computer monitor there-  kept me in touch, more worldy wise and impossible to be lonely.

Thank YOU.

So to bring you to present.

I somehow was given two beautiful little girls, Elin (Elle) 2, and Laila (Lolla), 1.  (Thank you, Jesus) Soon after the time we were getting used to having girl number 2– we were getting geared up to but a 110 year old home in town. This was FAR from anything we had ever done before.

That era of my life will forever be remembered as The Most Burnt Out I Have Ever Been.

There are no words. The house was filthy when we became owners. I remember the first couple of times we came over to work on it, I couldn`t bring the girls because I didn`t want them touching the floors. Junk everywhere. My husband was crazy busy with his work life and this house that I was so crazy about, became a life sucker for me.

I felt like a negligent mom. The girls were shipped to pry 10 different sitters over the course of that time. I had tears in my eyes when I fell into bed every night- I was bone weary 100% of the time. I was lonely. I was utterly overwhelmed and had no choice but to plod on. My hands were raw from scrubbing.

Painful memories.

I didn`t write or blog for not quite a year. So many of you were SO KIND, and I got a lot of emails asking me if I was okay. I was fine, but had completely checked out socially.

Things got better. I slowly started catching up. Winter was coming on, and those shut in times gave me lots of hours to be a better mom and to paint and work.

Do you know where I am now?

Resting. I stay home a lot, I love being with my girls again, I love to nest here. We are enjoying our new old house. It feels so good to live life SLOW. I don`t see my friends as much as I used to. I will again. Right now my brain is catching up. And wasting time, doing meaningless, therapeutically healthy things like fixing up junk.

I felt ready. My husband was eager. He set up Baileyandme2 for me.

I am loving it.

But blogging can be difficult, in that there is always the fear of being misunderstood, of seeming self absorbed. It happens easily.

Because the writer of a blog- writes about what they see, what they like, and what they do.

Some days I feel very I-sh. I hate, no, despise, that. Some nights I go to bed hoping I didn`t offend anyone. I have learned I have to pretend everyone and no one is reading. Then I won`t be too scared to share.

Why did I write all this? Because if you come here and take the time to read what I had on my heart that day, or what I wasted my day doing– you`ll feel like you know a little more of me. I`ll have peace that you might understand me better.

And you`ll know with out a doubt that I am low key, below average, person with highs and lows… and I`ll share them with you here.

In the future…

…wherever God chooses to take me/us.

Thanks and love, Jenny

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  1. Ruth says:

    Jenny, I must say you inspire me! Love your honest heart and I can soo relate with so many things you wrote about here. I will be honest and tell you this.. just last nite I was showing hubby some of the most cool things you create and how I really love them and then told him how dull and boring I feel after seeing other peoples beautiful things. I think I may be in the valley you were talking about and sometimes feel like I am just getting by. So ready to get out and yet sometimes so content to just stay at home in my safe little world. Anyway, thanks for being real and sharing your heart. Don’t know you but by face, but this really made me feel like a “kindred spirit.” On the Gilbert note, I think my 6 year old has a crush on him to 🙂 Have a wonderful day!

    • Jenny says:

      oh, this really touched me this morning. thanks for being so open to a known stranger, like me. 🙂 maybe one day we can meet and talk. i am here to say when you have little kids- mom goes through a lot and it`s soo helpful to hear other moms talk and be real about it.
      i hope today you feel special. rested. understood..
      love, jenny

  2. Laurie Mullet says:

    I only know you through this blog but now I feel like I know you a little better! Somehow its always really good to hear about the hard things a person has experienced as well as the good. Its probably half selfishness and half its just good to know i’m not alone in the things I struggle through. Your section on repurposed junk has been added to my favorite magazines as a place to hunt for creative ideas to turn something cheap into something pretty. I was first a camp wife, now a college student’s wife, probably next a teacher’s wife so creative and cheap and pretty are very likely always going to be a part of my vocab. So thanks for sharing your ideas with us, for being brave enough to put yourself “out there” for the world to dissect. In a way, putting ourselves “out there” to be critiqued is a way to get better at what we do or to become better people, although its not something I do well. So blessings to you and your blog!

  3. Cheryl says:

    Wow, Jenny, what a neat intro into your life. I love coming to your blog and seeing what’s new. You inspire me to try and create things out of something old. Not that I actually tried anything, but some day, I’m going to. God gave us minds to be creative and you are truly doing it!

  4. Thelma Musser says:

    hey Jenny, thanks for writing this. Thanks for being so honest and sharing how things really were/are. you’re not afraid to admit life isn’t always easy.
    It’s been a fun thing, this blogging adventure, i’ve loved every post of yours and am so glad that you are going at it with a new sleeker blog, and oh-so-many fun ideas. Am always excited when your name comes up on my bloglines:-)

  5. Jenny, just read this now. Our computer crashed over a week ago, and now I’m finally catching up again. Feels like all I do right now is play catchup because of being so busy….

    But I loved this… I love your heart, your honesty, your realness and vulnerability. I’m kind of in the “checked out” stage with blogging, not that I want to be, but we are crazy busy with the house and I’ve had sick kids and…. But a computer that isn’t 10 years old will definitely help my motivation, I know… But I can relate with writing being so, oh, so freeing, and like it just has to come out! My journal sure has been smoking these days even though my blog doesn’t show it!

    What I love about your blog is that a real person comes alive in it. That’s probably the very thing you worry about sometimes because of wondering if you offend someone, etc. but really, that’s what makes your blog what it is. I read it because I like YOU in it, and you do some really cool stuff too, but it doesn’t feel like a field manual for junk re-do’s, like some blogs. I feel like I can connect with you as a person, and I really like that. So, all that to say – I really like YOU. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your writing, your thoughts, your creative inspirations with us. I feel blessed!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Jenny, I admit, I was snooping at someones blog and found your blog quite accidently but I started to read and look and the more I did I knew it had to be the Jenny I knew from way back when… And you weren’t really my friend, I think it was through my sister or something… All that to say, I still love your style and am amazed at your talent of seeing beautiful things and for sharing them. I get so tired of all the food blogs and the guilt I feel for blogging what I like. Things and decor idea. Somehow in my mind food ideas have more value than decorating/home ideas.{must be that good mennonite background} Anyhow, do you mind if I add you to my favorites? I relate to almost everything I read on blog. Keep it up … Shilah, from way back …

    • Jenny says:

      heeey. i remember you! oh the delightful skrivseth sisters. 🙂 so where do you live now? you married bruce and i can`t remember his last name. anyways. do you have a blog too? i`d love to see your stuff.:) glad to have you stop by and thanks so much for leaving me a note!!

      • Shilah says:

        Not sure how delightful ,though it is my middle name…Ugh.. I married Bruce Hartman. I have a blog but it is oh so boring and I’m a little new at it… Nothing as wonderful to look at as yours… here’s the link. http://shilahs.blogspot.com nice talking to you…

  7. Lori says:

    I hate to admit this, but I think I am liking you really much, and wish I could know you more. You are so good at writing just how you feel. So glad to have found you. The other bloggers I like aren’t conservative Mennonite, so I feel more at home with you. You have such a neat style. I have 6 children and my house is usually untidy and cluttered, but I can enjoy looking at your pics and dream of how life could be if i were more organized! Keep blogging!

  8. Greatly Blessed says:

    Hi, I stumbled upon your blog a few weeks ago, and have been so truly inspired and blessed with your humor, honesty and creativity!! I will be a follower from now on! But as I had randomly “grazed” from post to post ect.. and noticed on one of your tips.. Somebody had posted something about a quick brownie recipe with a chocolate glaze.. It sounded so delightful, I am anxious to try it out… But here is my dilema.. i am hosting a party tommorow morn at my house.. I love hosting but when it comes to food, i am terrified!! I have no illusions about being Martha Stewart and I know its scary to serve a recipe you never tried out before… But these brownies sounded so yummy and easy, that i thot i would take a whack at it.. Finally to my actual question.. Is this something you need to prepare just before serving or could i make it the eve before? (Just in case I totally screw it up and have to run to my local bakery to bail me out again:))

  9. Maria says:

    Hi Jenny,
    Do you remember going on a choir tour about 4 1/2 years ago, and there was a newly-engaged couple up at the front of the bus who just sat and planned wedding the whole time?

    Well, that was us. So you probably didn’t learn much about me, although I remember you and Galen telling us how you met, and I’m still laughing as I remember your description of him showing off for you at volleyball.

    Anyway, I just enjoy your blog. You make me laugh–just the perfect, sarcastic phrases and funny little observations of life and people. I love a quote I read somewhere, that it is an important work for a woman to “spread light on dark days”, and that is what you do.

    Thank you.

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