Thankful Thursdays | 08.11.2016

Ashokan Reservoir | In Jennie's Kitchen

It occurred to me yesterday that while I’ve been writing this blog for 7 years, Michael was only alive for one and a half of them. How crazy is that? He is so much a part of In Jennie’s Kitchen. His love and support from wherever his spirit exists fuels my inspiration to keep going on here, a silent muse.

I found that thought very comforting, more so than I could’ve ever expected. Aside from my mama, he was my biggest cheerleader, often believing in me more than I did myself. I wish he could see the beautiful girls our daughters are growing into. In the case of Isabella, I suppose I should say woman. She continues to amaze me. We’re often oil and water, battling to fuse into a happy unit, but when we do come together I just know that kid is going to be my best friend one day.

I say one day because as a parent, especially a single mom, I have to tow that delicate line between friend and guardian. The one she loves, and hates, sometimes all at once. I’m seeing the hormones loom in Virginia, too. Actually, anyone who knows me in real life, knows Virginia has always been a bundle of hormones. She’s a potent combination of her mama and papa.

I captured these photos on one of our evening walks along the Ashokan Reservoir. It’s such a sweet privilege to live so close to such beauty. I’ve started running again, and wish me luck that I can keep this momentum going. Lately I feel like there’s just never enough hours in the day to get work done, be there for the girls, and be there for myself. It has been a challenging summer having them both home, and no camp. And yet, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It feels like a great gift to have given them a summer free of schedules. Almost unheard of these days for children.

Ashokan Reservoir | In Jennie's Kitchen

Thankful Thursdays 08.10.2016 | In Jennie’s Kitchen

Saturday morning we leave for Cape Cod. We’re all so ready for this vacation, me more so than previous years. The sweet, salty scent of the beach is palpable. I’m not yet sure, but feeling like I might take a little break from writing my Thankful Thursdays posts while we’re away. You know me, I’m not going to commit to not doing it in case the urge to be here and write strikes.

There’s lots in the queue for the recipe part of the site. I’ve been working like a mad woman to get some recipes I’m really excited to share scheduled for when I’m away. Just wanted to let you all know that if you don’t see an update here in this spot, don’t worry—I’m just soaking up some much needed sun and energy to refuel my soul.



  • Denise @ Creative Kitchen

    Ahhh……unscheduled summers, unscheduled time makes my heart sing! We’ve had a very different summer here. As homeschoolers we’ve been blessed with spending a lot of time unscheduled. As they’ve gotten older, the times are a changing! This summer my 17 year old was invited to take on an apprenticeship with our church in Life Missions…20 hours a week spent out in Belle Glade (poverty stricken area an hour away next to Lake Okeechobee). We’re so proud of her pouring into the lives of the children out there. Combined with her 20 hour a week job at our local library meant she rarely had any downtime.

    What I didn’t expect is how drastically that would “schedule” my summer since I’m her source of transportation. About midway through I realized I was spending 2.5 to 3 hours a day in my van toting her to and fro. LOL! It meant my other girls and I had to squeeze in our fun which was hard to do, especially with an almost 14 yr old middle girl who sleeps till almost 11 or noon. 😉 It’s been a bizarre summer for sure, and I’m finding as they get older we are finding our new normal. Enjoy your vacation! Those are my most precious moments these days when I get my girls all to myself.


  • Jennie

    I can sense we’ll be at this same crazy point in a couple of years with Isabella, so thankful to be able to savor the slow time now, Denise. Your daughter sounds amazing; growing up to be such a fine young lady. xo-Jennie