Tribe Tuesday: FIGHT LOVE FIGHT-Then the Miracles

I can barely describe this last week, but I’ll try.

Tom and I were at each other’s throats all week last week. The tension of the family issues with one of the resident teens was pretty stressful. So we kept it in and worked the problem. We thought were were successfully dealing with everything. (we weren’t) We then tried to take a weekend away, and even drove all the way to Hood River and paid for two nights in the cutest Air B and B. However, we got in a fight right after we got there and drove the 3 hours home in complete silence. We spent all of Saturday giving each other the 1/2 silent treatment.

If this proves anything it’s that:

1.) we are twins in so many ways     2.) we are exactly the same amount of stubborn 3.) we desperately love each other  4.) well, we fight a lot

Ugh. I hate fighting, let me just say that right now.


I happen to love and live with someone that is scarily just like me. We are on the opposite ends of the political spectrum and one book smart and one mechanical smart. I’m not hetero and he is.

OK. That is a scary thing to bring up in my blog that even parents at my school read.  For me, sexuality is a spectrum and I’ve never been with anyone but a man. But I know that’s not my full identity. I know I love who I’m with. I’m not waiting for some other thing. But I know myself. It’s complicated. I’m going to let this comment sit,  and hope that those of you that know me only in one area of my life are willing to be as flexible and open minded as I am.

Ok. Breathe.

Back to me and Tom. We are as different as apples and oranges but we go together like peas and carrots. Or simply, we are Tom and Jen, Jen and Tom. A unit. An unbreakable unit, that even in times of stress when I’m thinking “what will I do if this goes sideways??” it is still obvious that I have found the person that I’m meant to grow and love with.

I have gained so much confidence from the love and wisdom he’s shown me that I know I’m capable of anything. The fact that we met online through a dating app is hilarious and doesn’t fit either of our personalities. It’s like we were on there because it was the only way our disparate paths were going to cross.


This relationship is making me so much a better person. After almost 3 years with him I’ve accepted deeply that God sent me someone that won’t take my bullshit in order for me to grow as a person. I’m pretty loving and kind and aware and authentic. I’m equally capable of being an inflexible stubborn asshole. One thing I have going for me is that I’ve learned enough to talk myself down out of asshole stage pretty well if I focus and try. I’m proud of the work I’ve done on myself that has led to this breakthrough.

Another thing I’ve found that helps me calm down and act from kindness and not stay stuck in my amygdala brain is using stickers and making plans in my Happy Planner.

I have tried every planner under the sun, and I can tell you that I’ve never stuck with any for more than a month. Oh have I suffered. It’s hard as a teacher to be useless at planning because I have low skills in sticking with a planner. And then suddenly I realized these were a thing and now I always want to do my plans. I got a second one for my private life I love them so much. Having ADHD is hard. It requires extra stamina to stick with things. And having planner accessories like stickers make my planning a dream. When I need a brain break to refocus I open my stickers and put some in my planner for a few minutes. It’s incredibly satisfying and calming. I told the girls it’s like scrapbooking with more productivity. Nothing against scrapbooking, another craft I love that involves cute paper and accessories-but it doesn’t help my life go more smoothly to do it. Planning sure does!

So who knew?! All this time I just needed accessories!! ❤️

I’m a pretty happy human usually. Sometimes I get as mad and angry as a bat out of hell or as sad as a moody teen. I can get stuck easily. But now, I can get unstuck quickly. And when all else fails I have leaned to do something productive like clean or remodel or play with planner stickers and plan to get myself out of it. For me, it works.

In addition to the fights and drama we also had deep loving conversations and understanding. We hold each other in our hearts.

The fight led to us changing plans, and what happened felt like a miracle.

  1. On Saturday I adopted a puppy for Liam.
  2. He named the puppy Baloo, like the bear in Jungle Book. The Jungle Book is a special story to me and Liam, as he wanted to go live like Mowgli since he was in Kindergarten.
  3. Watching my son become the dog dad to his first dog all his own was amazing and very close to what I imagine being a grandparent to a human child is like. I am so proud and happy for his love and pride. It is like a drug it’s so good. It fills me with joy.
  4. I Bought a new truck and the sales manager not only was the brother of Tom’s former apprentice and our plumber’s best friend, but I was his kid’s teacher at Creslane. The whole process was joyful.
  5. We are ditching (trading in) our albatross of a motor home that is 21 years old for a new travel trailer. It will be easy to travel with and we will go all.the.time now!
  6. Between the new truck and New trailer I’m paying less than I was for a used Subaru and used RV.
  7. The teenager that is hurting is more ok. They are learning and piecing a life together that feels better. And letting me feed them and love them, which fills my heart and Tom’s with joy.
  8. Every time I’ve listened to my gut-my intuition-I was successful. When I didn’t follow it, things went downhill. Lesson still being learned. Those are God moments that I ignore, I am starting to realize.
  9. God is sneaky. And God is already in me. God is in all of us. We just have to pay attention.

I’m so stunned about the last few weeks that I’m just going to breathe and take it day by day. I’m clearly not in charge of everything. But when I follow my intuition, things are much better.


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