What I Wore Sunday, July 28, 2013 — #WIWSunday

What I Wore Sunday, July 28, 2013

What I Wore Sunday, July 28, 2013

What I Wore Sunday, July 28, 2013Also worn in March for 17 Days of Green.

We drove just over seven hours to get home from Chicago, tossed our stuff into our house, drove another two hours to pick up our kids and dog, and then drove another two hours home. Exhausted doesn’t begin to describe how tired I am after a week of hard work, good friends and great conference time. All the same, I prefer to travel in skirts or dresses.

I suppose I could blame that on my Dad.

Throughout my childhood, my Dad worked for one of the major airlines. We flew everywhere, all the time. No need to travel the wide state of Pennsylvania by car on the ridiculous Turnpike! Nope! Just jump on a 45 minute flight to visit family in Philly. I flew by myself frequently as young as age eight. I thought nothing of jumping on a plane; I thought people who feared flying were just whiny.

Especially in the 80s, flying as a non-rev employee and family member meant that you had to dress a certain way. Most people dressed nicely to fly back in the day, and the employees were expected to keep up the standard of dress.

The only time my family really drove any real length came once a year for our family beach vacation to Emerald Isle, North Carolina. We’d all load up in the van and make the 12 hour trip with absolutely everything you could possibly pack into the family vehicle. The summer after my senior year of high school, I made the annual roadtrip with everyone, but flew home a few days early so I could attend the graduation party for my high school boyfriend. I dressed in a sundress I wore in my senior class pictures and a pair of dressy but open-toed sandals.

Being a flying pro by the age of 18, my parents stayed with me at the gate at the small airport until the call came to board. I hugged and kissed, grabbed my luggage and walked out onto the tarmac to board the small prop plane. My parents waved, walked out to the car — which I could see through the glass of the small airport — and drove away.


About 10 minutes later, a flight attendant pulled me off the plane.

She crassly informed me that they weren’t going to let me fly because I had on open-toed shoes that resembled flip flops. She looked down her nose at my shoes, her voice dripping with disdain. Flabbergasted, I tried to explain that they weren’t flip flops; they were dressy sandals purchased specifically to match the light green of the leaves in my floral sundress. She was having none of it, determined to stick to her guns. And yes, it was a rule.

This was 1999, the days before cell phones were in the hand of absolutely everyone. To top it off, I couldn’t even call my parents from the airport phone as I didn’t know the phone number of the beach house and no one in my family owned a cell phone. I cried. I’m a crier, but the thought of being stranded at the airport by myself while missing my boyfriend’s party, woe is me, turned me into an epic weepy mess. A separate flight attendant took pity on me and asked if I had any other shoes.

Of course I did. What teenage girl goes on vacation with only one pair of shoes?

Sadly, I had only gone on vacation with two pair of shoes. The open-toed, perfectly matching dressy sandals on my feet — and the white, stacked platform, 1990’s sneakers that everyone wore even though, looking back, I cannot figure out for the life of me why we thought they looked cool. The second flight attendant sighed and gave me permission to change into the sneakers. With the dress. Because that was somehow better.

I sob-choked the whole flight home and blubbered the story at my grandparents who met me at the Airport. They took pictures so that my Dad could file a complaint. Nothing came of it…

Other than the fact that, to this day, I still travel — even by car — in a skirt or a dress… and flip flops.



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52 Weeks of Brotherhood: Week 29

52 Weeks of Brotherhood, Week 29

52 Weeks of Brotherhood, Week 29

52 Weeks of Brotherhood, Week 29

52 Weeks of Brotherhood, Week 29

Sometimes you let them take a photo like this… with tongues hanging out and silly facial expressions and pieces of grassy weeds being held in the air simply because they let you take a picture like this…


Love These Boys

I’m missing them something fierce right now, but I know they’re having the time of their lives.


The Time I Accidentally Inspired Other People

I am participating in a sponsored campaign hosted by Advil®, as a part of the Advil® Relief in Action campaign. I received compensation for this post. While all opinions stated are my own, I make no claims about Advil® as a product or its effectiveness.


I never meant to inspire anybody with my running.

I just wanted to run. Or, really, I just wanted to move again, to feel my body and all of its parts working together for good after nearly two years of pain, both physical and emotional. A back injury that left me nearly unable to walk almost decimated my belief in myself, in my abilities, in my personhood. So when the doctors fixed me up and sent me on my way, I started putting one foot in front of the other again.

I kept on putting one foot in front of the other. Over and over. Slowly at first and for short amounts of time, I’d hit the road in my neighborhood or a local trail. I’d gain a little distance, lose a little speed and then gain a little speed and lose a little distance. I kept on going, kept on lacing up my shoes, kept on moving my body. Some days hurt as the pain in my back sorted itself out, worked its way back out of my body as I began to use muscles that I hadn’t used in quite some time. I pushed on, through the pain and, mostly, through the self-doubt.


12. 12 miles. Ah ha ha. #PicTapGo


And of course, because we live in this technological, share-it-all age, I tweeted. I updated my Facebook with monthly run totals. I shared photos of runs achieved — and runs failed — on Instagram. I blogged. I talked about it during weekly coffee meetings with close friends. They all encouraged me, cheered me on. I was the one being inspired by the love and encouragement of my friends, online and off.

Then, less than a year after my return to running, I ran my first half marathon. I felt pretty good about myself, inside and out. I felt new. I felt whole. I shared.


Love. #clemarathon #runjennarun



And then people shared with me.

“Your running has inspired me. If you can do it, I can do it. I’m going to run a 5K.” “You’ve inspired me to train for a half marathon.” “I’m going to start running because of your journey.” Multiple messages rolled into my inbox, all sharing this same theme. What I believed to be the simple — though difficult — act of running back to myself through residual physical pain and emotional barriers was inspiring others to do the same, to do more.

I blinked at my computer screen.

Me. Inspiring others. To go and do something more, to be more, to feel more. Me.

I haven’t always felt like the kind of person who inspires, who pushes people to do good, to be and do more. I’ve been the girl who looked to others. Even through this journey, I looked to the words and actions and sharings of others to find my inspiration: fast runners, accomplished runners, real runners. I wasn’t fast or accomplished and, most days, I didn’t feel real — despite having run 13.1 miles. And yet, here were others telling me that they had been looking to me, from the days when I started walking the neighborhood all the way through my training plan. Some weren’t planning on running — just moving more, just being more active, just getting up and going out.

I chased my boys through the yard a few evenings ago — something I wasn’t physically able to do in the midst of my worst days. Giggles pouring forth, I stopped and caught my breath, a smile on my face. Inspired to run or not, I hope that people understand that the point of my journey was more about this — being active with my family and being happy while doing it — was what inspired me most, was what became my relief in action on those days that I just didn’t want to get up and lace up and go out and run and run and run.


52 Weeks, Week 19


All of that said, it took inspiring others with my mere acts of getting up and running to remember the joy of helping and serving others. Or, maybe it was the day I was out running and my sons held up signs as I passed the driveway over and over — the joy on their faces evident. Now that I feel like me — inside and out again — I am reminded of the need to get out and help others feel like themselves again, and not just by posting running updates online.

One of our local pregnancy resource centers was destroyed in a storm last year. As you know, helping moms — young or old — be the best moms they can be remains a passion of mine due to my experience with my daughter, adoption and a system that doesn’t always work as it could or even should. As I thought about what my daughter might think someday, knowing that her birth mother runs half marathons, I made some calls to get myself back on the lists as a resource for mothers — pre-birth or postpartum — who are dealing with situations that often involve a lack of support, living below the poverty line, and sometimes scary domestic issues. If my simple act of running can inspire people to get up and go, then sharing my story, putting my arm around the shoulder of an expectant mom who feels alone and saying, “I’m here for you; this is my story,” can surely inspire as well.

The Advil® Relief in Action campaign honors and supports people who don’t let pain get in the way of helping others. You can Follow @ReliefinAction on Twitter and Instagram. Share how you see Relief in Action by posting a photo with the hashtag #ReliefinAction on Instagram and Twitter. Visit http://www.advil.com/reliefinaction to learn more.