Beginning of a Great Adventure

Arenal Hanging Bridges park of Costa Rica

There’s a big change going on in my writing world, the beginning of a great adventure. And it’s all happening on top of itself, rolling into each other like dominos.

It feels exciting, unsettling, and makes me tremble just a little bit.

But I like that.

I spend my days teaching, my early mornings and late evenings writing, and mothering all the way through.

That gives me a lot to think about.

I spent 2014 with my head down, riding it out, powering through the change. It was rough at times, the vulnerability uncomfortable and the uncertainty intensely painful.

But I made it.

I started 2015 sick in bed, questioning how I spend my days and how it impacts the rest of my life. It was challenging, and the not knowing left me positively miserable.

And then the Universe opened up and my dream of blogging on the Huffington Post came true.

And this week, I was asked to be a part of #WomensLives, a a media partnership between Public Radio International (PRI) and SheKnows Media, created to increase the news coverage about women and issues that impact our lives

And yesterday, I completed my blog update, thanks to great help from Anna Hartman and Jessica Ziegler. Didn’t they do a beautiful job?

2015 is off to a exhilarating start!

 I thought one way I could say thanks for supporting me on this great adventure is to share this beautiful poem by Pema Chodron, words which speak to my state of vulnerability and delirium, and remind me that it takes courage to embrace the ‘not knowing’ and make change.

When we think that something is going to bring us pleasure, we don’t know what’s really going to happen.

When we think something is going to give us misery, we don’t know.

Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all.

We try to do what we think is going to help.

But we don’t know.

We never know if we’re going to fall flat or sit up tall.

When there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of the story.

It may be just the beginning of a great adventure.

Life is like that. We don’t know anything.

We call something bad; we call it good.

But really we just don’t know.


Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle PlusYelp

A Year of Change and Possibilities: September, October, November & December 2014

September came and went with two freshmen living in two states – an official emptiness in our home.

I made friends with a great new author and read some terrific books.

Meeting Erin Lindsay McCabe
Meeting Erin Lindsay McCabe

Cameron turned 15, and continued to heal his broken leg and dashed dreams.

Healing a broken leg
Healing a broken leg

I was finally able to write about the change in our lives with Lily going away to college.

Lily loving her new college life.
Lily loving her new college life.

The year ends with an interlude between pain and healing, our family back together, and hope for 2015.

Hope for health and happiness in 2015
Hope for health and happiness in 2015

Through all this change and tumult in my life, I turned to writing; my favorite posts of the last third of the year were:

Broken

Extraordinary in the Ordinary

These Moms, They Don’t Know Me

Home

Interlude

 A huge, grateful thank you to all of my readers, my friends, and to my family who tolerates my subjecting them to sharing their lives here on mamawolfe. Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2015.

All my best,

Jennifer

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle PlusYelp

A Year of Change And Possibilities: May, June, July, August 2014

Oh, the spring and summer months, so simultaneously anticipated and dreaded. Months and years of preparation came to a head, as my children and I were thrust into turbulent change.

Lily turned 18 and graduated from high school; we saw joyful high school traditions and the rewards of hard work on the snow and the pole vault.

Senior Ball
Senior Ball
L pole vault
Lily setting her high school record in women’s pole vaulting.
Lily's graduation
Lily’s graduation

At the shore, we celebrated endings and beginnings of next chapters.

Cameron at Santa Cruz
Cameron at Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz beach
Lily at Santa Cruz beach.

I experienced a true ’empty nest’ that terrified me. So I traveled – without kids.

Bend, Oregon
Bend, Oregon
Deschutes River
Deschutes River

And in one of the most spectacularly horrible Augusts in recent memory, life turned completely and inexplicably upside down as dreams were dashed for one, opened for another.

IMG_7371
broken leg in Oregon
Moving Lily into her Salt Lake City dorm room
Moving Lily into her Salt Lake City dorm room

This quote, by William Stafford, reflected this tumultuous time precisely:

“There’s a thread you follow. It goes among things that change. But it doesn’t change. People wonder about what you are pursuing. You have to explain about the thread. But it is hard for others to see. While you hold it you can’t get lost. Tragedies happen; people get hurt or die; and you suffer and get old. Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding. You don’t ever let go of the thread.”

Through it all, I tried to keep writing, to reflect the upheaval; as my posts were sporadic and at times, many far too difficult to write in the moment. Some of my favorite pieces from May, June, July and August were:

 Every Day Is Mother’s Day For Me

Past And Present

A Month of Quiet

Letter To My College Bound Daughter

Today, I Love You

The theme of change and possibilities culminated in the fall and winter…more in my next post.

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle PlusYelp

A Year of Change and Possibilities: January, February, March, April 2014

Lily and Cameron racing at Sugar Bowl, January 2014
Lily and Cameron racing at Sugar Bowl, January 2014

The year started with fireworks in the snow. Ski racing was front and center for Lily and Cameron, and me, by default.

Cam at Sugar Bowl Academy
Cam at Sugar Bowl Academy
College acceptance letters started!
College acceptance letters started!

I struggled with changing perspective in motherhood as Cameron moved to Sugar Bowl Ski Academy, and Lily received college acceptance letters.

On our way to Salt Lake City, Utah, for our last two college visits.
On our way to Salt Lake City, Utah, for our last two college visits.

Lily and I took our last college exploration adventure before her big decision.

And, I did a bit of writing, too. Some of my favorite posts were:

Thanks, Coach, For The Life Lessons

I Thought I Knew What Was Best For My Kid, But He Had Other Ideas

At This Moment, She’s Right Where She Needs To Be

Live A Life of Amazement

I had no idea that these moments, these bits of time and change and glimmers of possibilities, were only the beginning of the upheaval to come in 2014….more to come in my next post.

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle PlusYelp

My Year In Books: Top Ten Titles of 2014

What a fabulous year in books! I’ve compiled my top ten choices from last year’s “books I’ve read” titles- not all were published in 2014, some I wrote reviews on, and others I just simply savored. I definitely notice a leaning towards women writers telling the stories of strong willed, independent women – and lots of historical fiction. I’ll miss these women, but I’m eager to start my discoveries in 2015- my shelves are groaning with new titles!

I Shall Be Near To You by Erin Lindsay McCabe

A fabulous novel by a northern California ex-teacher-turned writer – after years of research, Erin Lindsay McCabe’s tells the love story of Rosetta, a strong willed young woman who follow her new husband into battle during the Civil War. I had the most wonderful time getting to know Erin this year – I love it when a great author is living right in my backyard! You can buy her terrific novel here: I Shall Be Near to You: A Novel.

Cover of "These is my Words: The Diary of...

These Is My Words/Sarah’s Quilt/The Star Garden by Nancy Turner

I fell in love with Nancy Turner’s stories last summer – I couldn’t put down her thrilling stories of Sarah, a tough willed woman living in the 1900s Arizona Territory. This trilogy was the type of story that sucks the reader in, riding the prairies alongside her as she shows us how very hard it was to be a strong woman at the turn of the century. You can purchase her stories here: These is my Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 (P.S.)

Mitten Strings For God/The Gift of an Ordinary Day/Magical Journey by Katrina Kenison

I must say, finding the books of Katrina Kenison was a true highlight to my year. I first read her blog, and fell in love with her simple yet poignant stories of the changing landscape of motherhood, and what it means to keep in touch with our selves during it all. I found myself savoring each word of each book, knowing how much they would be missed when I came to the last page. My books are highlighted and flagged, and in her words, I found so many quotes to include in my own writing. If you’re a mother, start with Mitten Strings for God: Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry and relish each word through The Gift of an Ordinary Day and Magical Journey. You’ll be glad you did.

The Opposite of Maybe by Maddie Dawson

I discovered this book through From Left to Write, an online book review group I’ve been writing with for the past few years. Maddie’s story of 44-year-old Rosie, who suddenly discovers she is pregnant, made me think a lot about motherhood and how simple, yet not always easy, parenting can be. You can buy Maddie’s book here: The Opposite of Maybe: A Novel

Mom and Me and Mom by Maya Angelou

Oh, the sadness of losing the brilliant voice of Maya Angelou in 2014…only tempered by her heartwrenching story of her relationship with her own mother. One of my role models, mentors, and most cherished writers of all time, Maya’s words of love and her stories of being raised by Vivian remind me of the importance of showing our daughters how to be strong, confident, and fiercely loyal to our ideals. You really should read this book – you can purchase Mom & Me & Mom here.

Impatient with Desire: The Lost Journal of Tamsen Donner

In keeping with my fascination with strong women in history, picking up this title was a natural. When I read stories of the Donner Party, particularly as I’m spending my weekends in the Sierras, I’m endlessly fascinated by their sheer determination to not only survive, but to maintain a ‘normal’ family life amidst the complete devastation of all they knew to be true. If you enjoy historical fiction, fiesty women and stories of survival, pick up a copy of Impatient with Desire: The Lost Journal of Tamsen Donner this winter.

If you’re looking for more titles, you might find some additional ideas on lat year’s post, My Year In Books 2013. If you’re a book nerd like me, I’d love to connect with you on Goodreads – I love adding books to my shelves and reading and writing and chatting about books!

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle PlusYelp