Jen’s Favorites of the Week

My Favorites of the Week….


  • The most recent Indigo Girls CD, Poseidon and the Bitter Bug, especially the song, “Digging for Your Dreams”.


  • My new iPhone, worth every penny and more. I can read manuscripts, update Twitter, check blog stats, write e-mail, take and send pictures, and practice Jazzercise routines all on one little device, no matter where I am.


  • Our new backyard that George worked so hard on before leaving for the Southeast Alaska seine season. We’ve finally got lush green grass and a fully fenced yard for children, dogs, and mothers to enjoy.


  • My Story Circle Network writing circle, who so graciously understood my leave of absence for the summer so that I could focus on reviewing the manuscript of a writer friend (which has already garnered the interest of editors and agents!).


  • My kids. They did not come easily to George and me, and therefore they are truly blessings. I do not take them for granted, and I savor our singing in the car and our afternoon naps. I don’t wish this time away. Their little selves (2 and 3)  are so cheerfully and gladly my priority and joy.

No Salmon Updates Yet!

It’s been over a week since George and everyone left for the SE Alaska salmon seine season, and a couple of days since they went out on the first opening. I’ve received a few calls from people wondering how the first opener went, but I haven’t heard anything official yet. I assume they fished Sunday and Monday and unloaded the catch early this morning, and expect to receive a call later this afternoon.  I can’t wait to hear all about it!

Wow, and wasn’t that some announcement from Sarah Palin last Friday afternoon? I’ve been enjoying reading all of the articles and Twitter tweets about it, as well as watching the cable news political panels discuss the latest developments.

Now, I will concede that it seems a bit peculiar to leave a Governor’s term just halfway into it, and it was an incredibly risky gamble. Yikes!

However, I’ve always admired Sarah Palin’s spunk and ability to withstand the vicious criticism, appaling personal attacks, and extreme sexism that has been thrown at her since she stepped onto the National political stage. I think she has demonstrated a lot of personal strength in the face of being constantly ridiculed and written negatively about.  It never fails to astound and amaze me what a threat she appears to be to so many!

So, although I’m as confused as anyone else about her latest move, I’m rooting Palin on. I don’t know which direction she plans to take at this point, but I’m waiting and watching with definite interest. No matter what she does–write a book, get a TV show, or increase her presence in National politics–it will be exciting, and I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds over the next couple of years.

We Miss You Already. You’ve Got It!

The Sweetest and Best-Looking Crew in Southeast Alaska (Brett, George, Dad, Bryan, Johnny)

The Sweetest and Best-Looking Crew in Southeast Alaska (Brett, George, Dad, Bryan, Johnny)

The Boat is Ready to Go Seining

The Boat is Ready to Go Seining

A Final Wave Goodbye

A Final Wave Goodbye

Surely Jesus Loves Fishermen

Last spring, I attended the funeral of a lifelong fisherman and dear family friend, Joe Little. Joe’s funeral was attended by many local commercial fishing captains, crew, and industry people, along with other family and friends. The program celebrating Joe’s life included the wonderful poem “Surely Jesus Loves Fishermen”, which I’d never read before.


Surely Jesus Loves Fishermen


Surely Jesus loves fishermen

for He chose them for His own,

To be with Him and learn from Him

and someday share His home.

It must have been their trust in God

and patience He found rare,

That keeps them very near His heart

and ever in His care.

  • Anne Kujawa


Good luck to Dad, George, Bryan, Brett, Johnny, and to everyone else as you begin the next commercial fishing season. We will miss you and we love you!


Happy Father’s Day!

I keep waiting for a moment of quiet and opportunity to write a new post, but  it’s become clear that with very active almost-two-and-three-year olds in the house, that isn’t about to happen anytime soon. So, I just have to jump in here and say:

Happy Father’s Day


Happy First Day of Summer!


For the first time ever, I was actually able to buy George gifts for Father’s Day from  my own little savings account (from teaching Jazzercise and bits of writing/editing). I wiped out half of the account on a new stainless steel dishwasher for the household, as well as his-and-her iPhones for the two of us.

Our previous dishwasher, while only three years old, turned out to be a lemon. It would half-fall out of the cabinet whenever someone pulled out the bottom rack, and the top rack (which didn’t come out at all) could barely stay on its track even just sitting in place. I put up with that thing all through longline season but decided there was no way I was going through the salmon season with it!

As for the iPhones, it was just time to get current. It occurred to me recently that I never talk on my cell phone, and the minutes were getting wasted every month. However, I do a lot with the Internet (blogs, Twitter, Facebook) and thought I should transition into the type of phone that would allow me to do those things. Then, George surprised me by suggesting one day that he was thinking of upgrading to the iPhone, so it all worked out just in time for Father’s Day.

Over the weekend, I ran into another commercial fisherman who was shopping with his small children. He told me he was getting ready to take his boat South on Monday, while our boat plans to head out next Sunday. We’ve all had a great time off, but it’s definitely that time of year when all the fishermen-Daddies go back to work.

In the meantime, Happy Father’s Day, and here’s to a great start of summer for everyone!

Favorites of the Week

Here is the second installment of Jen’s Favorites of the Week (an idea borrowed from the blog of my friend, Kim):

My Favorites:

  1. The Facebook group Commercial Fishing Feeds the World! that I joined last week;
  2. Being asked to review the first 50 pages of a writer friend’s manuscript, which has already garnered the interest of agents and editors;
  3. Ryan Fest ’09 (aka the 33rd birthday party of my brother-in-law, Ryan);
  4. Spending a sunny Sunday afternoon with fishing industry families at a beautiful bayfront home;
  5. Finding a swimsuit that a mom can actually chase a 2-and 3-year-old around in all summer long while Dad is seining in SE Alaska.

As Usual…Never a Dull Moment!

As I left my parents’ house last Sunday after an afternoon of  discussing and processing the previous night’s events, I waved to my dad and called out, “I wouldn’t trade my life for anything in the world!” Now, I wasn’t implying that my house, husband, kids, or choices are all wonderful and perfect. No, no.

I was actually referring to the fact that there never seems to be a dull moment around here. I have the most entertaining assortment of family, friends, and associates around. They combine to form a group that provides plenty of joy and surprise and keeps things very interesting on a regular basis.

“It’s pretty bizarre, alright,” my dad called in response, shaking his head as I backed out of the driveway.

When one considers the competitive and sometimes hostile world of Jazzercise instructors and centers, to fisheries and fishing-related friends and associates…things can get very interesting indeed. Especially in a small town. I’ve been around the block a time or two, and I’m not caught off guard very often. Last weekend, however,  I must say that I was…along with a few others…rather surprised by certain events. And that’s all I can write!

In other exciting news, I decided to sign up for the Elite Jazzercise Instructor Conference next Spring in New Orleans. I think at this point, we’ve got five local instructors flying out for the four-day adventure. I’m nervous and I don’t know if I will actually go through with it, but my conference spot has been reserved and my plane ticket has been purchased.

Now, my kids and I are attached at the hip (as is what happens when you are the parent most often around) and I hate flying. I also get homesick easily and have a high level of anxiety. Once I reserved my place on the trip and listened to George’s first comment (“Oh, that’s great! Five Jazzercise instructors traveling together to New Orleans! I can just imagine!”), I was calmed by his later point that in fact, I have a whole year to get used to the idea of going.

Speaking of flying across the country, George flew out early this morning to Florida to visit his dad. I hope he enjoys his trip as he deserves a nice break, but I can’t wait until he comes home. 

In the meantime, here’s to our beloved family, friends, crew, and Jazzercise ladies for always keeping things so interesting and fun.

A Race to the Finish

This past weekend could not be beat. Our town always puts on two full days of Memorial Day weekend festivities, and this year, my family tacked on two more. As a result, we all enjoyed four full days of parades, parties, barbecues, festivals, music, family, and friends.

Two additional items made the weekend even better; the fact that the sun was out in full force the entire time, and George was home for the festivities for the first time in five years. This past Memorial Day holiday will go down as one of the best!

Here are a couple of pictures from the weekend:

Vincent at the parade

Vincent at the parade

Eva at the parade

Eva at the parade

Ryan and George. What are they doing?

Ryan and George. What are they doing?

The Fam'

The Fam'

In other news, George is hard at work on a couple of projects—getting the boat and gear ready for the upcoming seine season, and building a fence for the backyard. George and my dad have been hard at work every day on the boat, and in his free time, George works on our yard.

In the interest of saving money, George likes to do all projects himself, no matter what they are. He’s a talented and capable guy who can do most anything and because I’ve seen him build fences from scratch before, I know he can do it.

It’s the amount of time we have available that worries me, since we don’t have the luxury of a full summer available. We also want to go to my parents’ beach house for a few days, and George is flying across the country to visit his family. All in the next three weeks. I’ll keep you posted!

Favorites of the Week

My friend, Kim, recently started a blog about her days parenting a baby and a toddler. It’s a fun blog, and it has a cool feature on the sidebar called “Favorites of the Week,” in which Kim compiles a weekly list of five things that stood out as interesting, fun, or important. I’ve always thought it was a bummer that my blog didn’t have that neat feature, because the list seemed fun to put together.

It occurred to me recently that I could simply make my own list and publish it once a week as a blog post.

So…here’s my first official posting for “Jen’s Favorites of the Week.”

  1. Snuggling with Eva on the couch for three hours this afternoon while Vincent took an especially long nap;
  2. Kenny Chesney’s most recent CD, “Lucky Old Sun”;
  3. The new Jazzercise instructor DVD R2-09 and all of the fun cardio and strength routines I get to teach;
  4. Hanging out with Steph and Ryan for a couple of days following their return from Hawaii;
  5. George coming home for dinner each evening after working on the boat.

That was fun. I may have to post lists more than once a week. There are plenty more “favorites” where those came from!

Our First Mother’s Day Together

Last Sunday was one great Mother’s Day. For the first time since I became a mother (only three years ago), George was home to celebrate the day with me in person.

I was treated very well from start to finish and enjoyed myself tremendously. George presented me with gifts from Seward, Alaska, and set up a spa appointment. He also helped out a lot with the little ones and made sure I had quiet time during the day. We finished up the afternoon with a family picnic at Mom and Dad’s. The day couldn’t have been better!

The transition time from sea to shore has gone surprisingly quick this time. By “transition,” I mean the time that it takes for George to get adjusted to home life and the time it takes for me to get used to having him home.

Some years, it seems like it takes his entire time off to get “adjusted,” and then as soon as we get there, he’s off to sea again! Since he’s finished up this last halibut and blackcod season, though, the transition been smooth and only taken a few days. Extending extra courtesy and giving each other space has helped a lot!

I want to give a shout-out and a big congratulations to my longtime friend, Apryl, on the birth of her first baby, a tiny little girl (and future soccer star!). The baby arrived just yesterday morning. Apryl is a great gal who never forgets a birthday, organizes all gatherings, attends all functions, and makes the biggest and most sincere effort towards her friends than anyone I know. I am thrilled for Apryl (and her husband, Travis) for their Mother’s Day miracle!