Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday | In Jennie's Kitchen

I started a new job this week, and on the train ride home it occurred to me that making the decision to take this position is the first time I’ve truly put my own professional desires first since my belly was swollen with a life incubating inside my body. Yes, 16 years.

I’m trying to wrap my head around where that time went, and it feels quite inconceivable. In many ways I fell into the trap I was determined to run from, finding my life on a path I never wanted. Oh, how the ideas of our youth soften with the wisdom of age and experience, and more often circumstance.

Falling in love with motherhood and marriage took me by surprise. I had a career the whole time, but once I became a mother my whole perspective changed, as did my priorities. Focus shifted towards how I could mold my career in a way that allowed me to also live up to my own ideal of motherhood. I never once thought about how to make motherhood and marriage work with my career.

Today is a work from home day. Three days a week I get a much-needed NYC infusion, and twice a week I can enjoy slow summer mornings, tending to the garden before switching gears to work from home.

I wake at 5:00am most mornings for good reason. Michael used to often say I accomplished more before he woke than he got done in an entire day.

This morning, though, was a bit lazier than usual, for me at least. I had to pass on my stretching and meditation to tackle the pile of clean clothing that’s been piling up on my grandmother’s cedar chest. She passed away just before (or was it after?) I was born, so never met her, but hear she was an amazing baker.

In my bedroom sits her cedar chest, and up in the attic her old Singer sewing machine which I used often until just a few years ago when I treated myself to a newer one. I made my high school graduation dress on that sewing machine, and when I had to take my first business trip away from Isabella, I stayed up most of the night sewing her a dress to wear so she could literally wrap herself in my love while I was gone.

After dropping Isabella off at work, I perused the garden to see how everything is doing (go take a peek at the garden update in my IG Story). Delighted to say the roses I planted last year are thriving. Seems the third deer repellent I bought recently is really working (unless I just jinxed it!).

And to my delight, Virginia wanted to make me breakfast today. I had asked her to go out to eat for a mommy daughter date, but she said, “Mama, let me make you eggs. Please?” How could I say no?

There’s much more I want to share, including some new recipes, but my focus this week has been on getting used to a new schedule and routines, including a rather long commute. It’s all good, though. This new job is exactly the opportunity I’ve been searching for to use my love of cooking, and vast professional experience to do something meaningful. But, I must confess something.

I feel happier and more peaceful than I’ve felt in a long time. Just writing this makes me nervous, as though it might tempt the fates. Perhaps the universe has fallen asleep on the job, unaware of this happiness? It’s a foolish notion, I know. I never thought being happy would frighten me so much, but I shall push those thoughts from my mind, and focus on how I feel right now rather than how I’ll feel if it all crumbles.

Nine Years Ago: Spanakopita, Pistachio Cupcakes
Eight Years Ago: Chocolate Olive Oil Cupcakes, Grilled Pizza, Roasted Chicken Salad
Seven Years Ago: Simple Marinara Sauce, Why I Cook
Six Years Ago: Roasted Rhubarb Jam, Parallel Lives, Lemon Olive Oil Cake
Five Years Ago: Roasted Strawberry Basil Sauce, How to Cook Perfect Sunny Side Up Eggs
Four Years Ago: Simple Strawberry Pie, Strawberry Blood Orange Jam
Three Years Ago: Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies, Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie
Two Years Ago: How to Poach Salmon, Stuffed Cheeseburgers, Italian Cadillac, Fried Chicken Bites
One Year Ago: Strawberry Ginger Crumb Muffins, Cherry Strawberry Pie, Raspberry Violet Jam, Creamy French Dressing





  • Diane

    I haven’t seen your writings for a little while and I love hearing the happiness in your “voice”.

    ENjoy your summer!

  • Carol

    I enjoy every story that you share ~ I’m caught smiling, laughing, with tears leaking down my face and waiting with baited breath for the very next installment. I appreciate them so much, as well as your recipes ~ thanks for what you say and do ~

  • Wendy Banker

    I love your thankful Thursday’s and didn’t realize how much I missed it until it returns. Thank you for always opening your heart to us. It makes me more aware of my own emotions, as crazy as that might sound. Best of luck at the new job!

  • Marlene

    Jennie, best to you in your new job! I always enjoy reading your words ( and trying your recipes!). I especially connect to your honesty and openness about about what’s going on in your life. It helps me understand my own life experiences. Thank you!

  • Rachel

    Long time reader- never commented… merry jennifer was my college roommate. That is how I found you!
    YOU DESERVE HAPPINESS!!!! THIS IS AWESOME!! May your new working/mom life bring you peace and joy!

  • Susan

    Congratulations on the new chapter…glad to read you again…good luck, sounds like you’ve found a good fit

  • Jennie

    Thank you! I do feel so incredibly lucky. It’s been a long few years, and trying to appreciate the overall good energies in all parts of my life right now. xo