About Me

I am a 43-year-old widowed mom. My children are 17 and 11, and I have a foster kid who is 16. We also have two cats.

I graduated from high school, have taken several college courses and completed vocational training. I have had only three paying jobs in my life: the local movie theater when I was a teenager, as a "mother's helper" for a friend who had twins, and as the Parish Secretary for my church at the time.

I am visually impaired. I lost the sight in my left eye when I was 15 and my right eye acted up when I was 18 and 19 which left me corrected (with glasses) to around 20/200. I can see, but it's blurry, or sometimes I describe it as "dirty". Good lighting makes a big difference. I wear bifocals and can read with the bottom portion, which is how I can see the computer screen and such. The biggest thing I can't do is drive.

I have a strong sense of fairness, am politically liberal, open-minded and tolerant, and believe wholeheartedly in leading with love. But I am not a doormat. I believe in God, Jesus and angels...and universal truth and karma. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I try not to judge. I think you can love someone, but not always like them. I'm a multitasker, yet I procrastinate. I have a great sense of humor. I think I'm a good person.

I'm pretty big into watching TV and movies and listening to a wide range of music (I dig pop culture in general). I also enjoy reading (or listening) and have dabbled in scrapbooking, but haven't touched it in years, even though I keep insisting that I will at least fill the books I have. I know how to knit and crochet, but am a huge chicken to try anything complicated. I'm a quoter; love me some good quotes! Oh, I kinda love coffee too.

I started this blog in the spring of 2010 just because.  Literally just because people blog about stuff and so could I, so why not? I just had a blog, I wasn't necessarily a blogger.

I started out writing about day-to-day life. We were buying a house at the time which was very exciting. For awhile after that I thought maybe blogging was silly for me because I didn't think my life was really very interesting and maybe it's just completely narcissistic anyway. I mean, my life is interesting to me, but to others? So I didn't write anything for a couple of months, but then the "night from hell" happened.

The "night from hell" was the night of my late husband Mark's double bypass surgery when his heart stopped three times. After that incredibly scary night I was kind of traumatized (PTSD, anyone?), so my BFF suggested that maybe writing about it would help. I gave it some thought and wrote The First Step, which rebooted my blogging.

Now that I've been at it for awhile (7+ years), and have discovered many other bloggers, I've come to realize that blogging is one way to have a voice. My entire life I have been shy and quiet. Literally. My actual voice seems to be quieter than others' (not to mention I tend to sound like I'm 12), so people are always talking right over me. It's not necessarily on purpose and I don't usually take it personally, and I am capable of speaking up when I really want to. But here, in my little bloggy world, I can write out the things I want to say and it's here whenever someone wants to "hear" it. Blogs are another way of connecting people via common experiences, but also differences that lend an entirely new perspective. I think blogging is empowering.

Just one more thing you should probably know:  I went through A LOT with my late husband in our 22 years together (much of which you can read about here), and no matter whatever else I write about as I move forward with my life, his chronic health problems and death, and the effects on myself and our children, are always in the background. Always. Mark was my best friend, life partner, and mate to my soul, and I will always love him and carry him with me.

So this blog encompasses all the parts of me.  I talk about whatever is on my mind or heart. There's probably not much I won't blog about. I do try to be careful and tactful, however. Blogging has become therapeutic for me and if anyone else can glean anything from my musings, insights, revelations, trauma, humor, grief, perspective....then I'll think that's pretty damn awesome.

You can contact me at jenannhallblog (at) gmail (dot) com

"Each time I hit the publish button, it is with a delicate balance
of vulnerability and bravery." - Julia Hembree, Elated Exhaustion