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Holiday Amnesia

Of course the holidays were more fun when I was a child and could just sit back and enjoy them with none of the work. I have gotten a little less enjoyment each year in scheduling when we can possibly get a tree and how we will find some extra Jacksons to pay for it and ultimately slogging out the same decorations to adorn it.

I know I sound terrible. And the tree is my FAVORITE PART OF CHRISTMAS!

But I have reached a new low this year…

This year, I can’t even remember it.

That’s right. I can’t remember what happened.

It was a blur of buying gifts, wrapping gifts, buying ingredients for cookies, going to holiday events which seemed to be happening not only every weekend, but then every night of the week. I remember the holiday party at work, and how much I was looking forward to it. That night, we saw a listing for a dog online who would turn out to be part of the litter we would ultimately adopt our new pup from.

Then, there is a blur.

Puppy arrives

I know a dog started living with us between Christmas and New Year’s. We went to my sister-in-law’s New Year’s Eve party. We took the dog. I think. My husband and I had birthdays too, but I only remember coming out of a sickness fog to return to work.

Did this really happen?

I am finding items around the house that I don’t remember. They all turn out to be my son’s Christmas presents he received. I know when we got the puppy there was a mad rush to remove items from her path that she may destroy or eat. But having them out of site also put them out of my mind.

Maybe I am just out of my mind.

Has anyone else ever experienced this, or is it just me?

Maybe the 24 hour stomach flu that went through our house had a coma effect? Except, well, I am the only one experiencing this problem.

Oh well. I have always said that Christmas should be like the Olympics—we should take a break in between them. Even Christmas every other year would be more palpable.

Maybe the Jennifer’s Holiday Amnesia Episode of 2017 is Santa’s way of granting that wish. He managed to grant all my other wishes this year.

Your past shapes you. It can’t be undone.


Mommy’s Day Out

Today I had a Mommy’s Day Out.

It was wonderful.

I highly recommend all mom’s take one now and again.

But I’m not telling how I spent my day.



From the broken mind of Jennifer Friess, the joining of hearts & souls…
NOW AVAILABLE! Troll Gurl and the Cursed Kingdom





Exercising a Different Kind of Creativity

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On Saturday, I went with my family to a National Train Day event at the Amtrak Station in Toledo. Who knew that there was a National Train Day? There definitely exists no website for it.

I was afraid it would just be like one table giving away Operation Lifesaver stickers and keychains with, like, homeless guys peeing in the corner or something. But we got to ride on a railroad work car, tour an Amtrak train, see several locomotives up close, and saw two and a half rooms of train-related booths. Some were of places we have been, like the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso, and others we have on our to-do list, like the Fostoria Iron Triangle. We also found some destinations we might add to our list, such as the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum in Bellevue, Ohio.

The Pere Marquette 1225 A.K.A. The Polar Express

The Pere Marquette 1225 A.K.A. The Polar Express from last year’s visit to The Steam Railroading Institute


After several hours, we agreed we had all had fun, but we were tired and hungry. We headed to Chick-fil-A for a rest and some lunch. We would eat, I would make my husband stop at Five Below for a hat I believed I had to have, and then we would head home. I would probably be lazy the rest of the day, if possible.

Me in my new cool hat. Sorry I didn't take a better pic.

Me in my new cool hat. Sorry I didn’t take a better pic.

Our intentions were almost thwarted when a carnival was being held nearby and parking was heinous. But we persevered, and upon entering the restaurant, it was busy but not over-crowded. My husband spotted his sister there with her daughter. Soon my sister-in-law’s sister-in-law showed up to too. We ditched the boys and through a crazy, unpredictable set of circumstances, I ended up awake past my bedtime an hour and a half from home on a girl’s night out with a completed painting inspired by my family. I had felt like the universe had given me an opportunity and I had no choice but to take it.

I used to list art as my favorite subject in school. Now I am sort of a non-practicing artist, like how someone could be a non-practicing Catholic. Those skills don’t disappear, they just lay dormant and get a lil’ rusty. But it felt good to use the colors and shapes part of my brain rather than the letters and grammar part I have been running marathons with for the past few years. I kept telling my sister-in-law that it felt like we were in art class back in school. Because, well, we indeed did go to school together and here is the proof, a picture taken in art class almost 22 years ago.


My S-I-L: The OG JS

So, here is my finished painting. I am kinda proud of it. Sure, it isn’t up to professional standards, but it is nice enough to hang on my wall. I stole the saying from Hallmark. And I’m not sure if you can tell, but the hearts have glitter on them. Because, well, when you carve into this tree, there is glitter inside. It is a magic tree.

My Masterpiece. I really love it.

My Masterpiece. I really love it.

Yes, even my painting has to have a story attached. But then, a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Sorry to disappoint, but this post is only 500…

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish ForAVAILABLE NOW!
The Wind Could Blow a BugWHERE IT ALL BEGAN!


Feeling Like A Failure (2013 Resolution FAIL)


I did not achieve my goal for 2013.

I blame part of that on the fact that I didn’t make my goal/resolution until, like, April.

I could also say I was busy with my job.

Or chasing around my 3 year old son.

Really, I just didn’t have the drive to follow through and get it completed.

But I did complete other aspects that are still moving in the same direction as my goal. I have not lost hope. I just think my original goal may have been too–ambitious. Maybe another 6 months and I could achieve it. Afterall, it has taken me 4 days to publish this post.

Part of the process

Part of the process

I just need dedication.


And time.

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