Updated Sept. 2017
My name is Jen Strange. No, really. And yes, I am. Ok, now that we have THAT out of the way.
Some things about me:
I've been scrapbooking in one form or another since I was a child. Started getting hard-core when I had my son Jake (9-12-02.) I blogged about scrapping from 2005 to 2010. I don't really scrapbook OR blog anymore . . . most of my energy now is dedicated to writing and creating educational products, which I sell at my Teachers Pay Teachers store. My focus is early literacy.
Last year I finished a Master's of Education with a literacy specialist focus. It was a long, hard journey, and possibly my biggest accomplishment.
I like to write, I love to read. I am a classically trained pianist and I like to sing - these days, mostly in the car. I have an artistic spirit but no great talent. I'm completely mediocre in most things I do. I've learned to embrace this and be thankful for the humility it brings.
I have always wanted to be a mom. Because of medical issues I wasn't aware of at the time, it's kind of miraculous that I ever got pregnant, and I am VERY thankful for my blessing of Jake.
I've been baby-sitting since I was 11 and I actually still enjoy it. I especially like the part about lovin' on kids and then getting to send them home. Sometimes motherhood feels a little like the longest baby-sitting job ever, and I'm continually amazed that the kid is actually mine.I had Jake about a year after I gradated from college. In retrospect, waiting until I was a little older might have been a good idea, but like I said - he's kind of a miracle baby, and there's no looking back.
I blogged some thoughts about raising a not-quite-neuro-typical kiddo, but haven't updated it in years. It's here: Just a Little Odd.
I've had lots of random jobs: in retail (Lane Bryant), in lots of offices, as a pianist accompanying vocalists . . . I started teaching piano when I was 15 and have done so on and off ever since. It's my back-up plan for when I'm a blue-haired old lady. I worked for 3 months after college in a daycare / early-intervention center for special needs and high risk children; I am forever thankful for that experience.
I'm a big fan of writers Emily Dickinson and Jane Austen, composer Frederick Chopin, the painter John Waterhouse . . . I really dig artists from the 19th century.
I try to embrace simplicity and non-materialism, but honey I LOVE my book collection and my scrapbooking stash.
I'm a fan of Jesus and His teachings, but religion and dogma? Not so much.
I grew up in extremely rural Montana, left for college and middle Tennessee about a week after high school graduation. Both experiences have been odd.
My parents moved to TN from MT when Jake was 13 months old. This is a huge blessing and my mom is like a second mother to Jake. I would truly be lost without her.
I spend my days as an office drone; gotta pay the bills.I LOVE the color purple, although I mostly wear black; not trying to be goth, it just hides the chubbiness well. :)
Two quotes that rock my world:
"Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with books on algebra etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the creative bug is just a wee voice telling you, 'I'd like my crayons back, please.' " -- Hugh MacLeod, www.gapingvoid.com
"Your problem is how you are going to spend this one and precious life you have been issued. Whether you're going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are." — Anne Lamott