Archive for January, 2014

It’s Snowing!!!!! (News Alert: I live in Michigan)

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

We are getting a snowstorm with much fanfare here in Ann Arbor.  It is *quite* big–but I’m also surprised at how so many people act as though the world is ending.  Apparently when a storm comes into town you go to your local supermarket and buy enough necessities to last for ~6 months.  That’s just how we roll here in the Great Lakes, Great Times state.  I won’t lie–I went to the grocery store on Saturday like the rest of the gd town–but it was only so that I could keep to my New Years resolution to menu plan more effectively.  Luckily, I have a driver who dropped me off at the front of the store and picked me up when I was all done.  His name is Lars but in these instances, I call him Jeeves.  Either way, he keeps an air of professionalism and doesn’t interact with me much.

Here are some photos of the epic snowstorm of 2014.

The Jensen Family Tackles the Snow

The Jensen Family Tackles the Snow

Megan & Elsa

Megan & Elsa which we probably violate child labor laws and try to get Bjorn to (unsuccessfully) shovel the driveway.

…in which we probably violate child labor laws and try to get Bjorn to (unsuccessfully) shovel the driveway.

With the week ahead already being off kilter due to me traveling to New York on Thursday/Friday, a snow day tomorrow on our first scheduled day back into the office was the last thing we needed.  That said, here we are.  I’m taking first shift at work in the morning assuming I can get out of the driveway and then Lars will head out for the remainder of the day.  Despite the routine breakdown, there will still be meal preparation–oh, yes!  Tonight we had tortellini and salad (my go-to easiest meal ever)–but I”m legitimately cooking with leftovers in mind for the rest of the week.

…and now its time for the season premiere of Downton Abbey (after a Chargers win earlier today!).  It doesn’t get any better.

A Return to Domesticity (and Updating this Blog)

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

A couple of years ago, I blogged about “dinner for the week ahead” in an attempt to be better about meal planning for my family.  I kept it going for awhile and then it feel to the wayside.  I’d like to try this again.

Firstly–life.  The Jensens have had an eventful 2013 with the addition of our adorable little girl Elsa.  She was born on June 25th at 11:37pm in the middle of a thunderstorm.  Like Bjorn, labor was very fast–but at least we knew it was likely to be quick this time and we were able to get the epidural.   Elsa makes us laugh and brings us joy.  She makes us feel complete as a family of four.  Her New Year’s resolution is to sleep through the night.  I fully endorse this and wish her all the success in the world.  PLEASE BE SUCCESSFUL, ELSA.

A few photos….

We're doomed when she asks us for a pony.

We’re doomed when she asks us for a pony.

Bjorn in Fall

Bjorn in Fall

A walk in the woods

A walk in the woods


For the amount of photos we take of these two, this is usually on par with the best we can do, which is to say, we don’t do very well

I was anxious and a little sad to return back to work at the end of a wonderful maternity leave that was filled with lovely walks to downtown Ann Arbor for coffee and companionship, baby Elsa sleeping on top of me while I read or binged on “Friday Night Lights”, and getting to know my baby girl in general.  Not having anywhere to be but with her was amazing and perfect…and a privilege, I know, but I still was bemoaning having to return to the grind.   In hindsight, I’m so glad I was able to return to work when I did.  The woman that I have directly supported for the past eight years was diagnosed only two weeks after I got back to work with a neurological condition that was invariably fatal.  We thought we had more time, but she ended up passing away quite quickly.   My thoughts on all of this are complicated and hard to process–so I don’t really want to do it in a public forum.  But know that this fall I was very sad, confused, anxious, and tired.  

I also lost an  important person in my family–my Nonni–who has mentally not been with us for awhile, but was so linked to happy memories of my childhood.  Spending a week with her over the summer every now and again. swimming for endless hours at the pool in her complex (and wearing the ugly towel dress she made me that I actually thought was pretty cool at the time), playing spite and malice, building card houses, clogging (oh yes, she took me clogging), going to cirque du soleil, spinach balls & meatball soup, sleeping in a big brass bed, drawers in the bathroom full of bright colored lipsticks, fake jewelry galore, getting lipstick all over my hair when she kissed Meredith and I’s heads whenever we came to visit her, being called “precious little lambs”….even when we were not so precious.  

My Great-Grandmother and my Nonni (R)

My Great-Grandmother and my Nonni (R)



Meredith, Nonni, Me

In near all photos of Nonni, she was smiling and happy and beautiful.

In near all photos of Nonni, she was smiling and happy and beautiful.

So, maybe in a sense, I am trying to return to normalcy and routine–whatever that may be.  And that perhaps can be meal planning.  So here, in all its glory, is our meal planning for this week through Saturday and we’ll begin again on Sunday.

  • WEDNESDAY:  Mediterranean Lentils
  • THURSDAY:  Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • FRIDAY:  Leftovers
  • SATURDAY:  Breakfast Burritos for Dinner (I hate that so much breakfast food looks amazing but when does anyone have time to make breakfast burritos in the morning.  I am lucky if I get to eat a bowl of cereal!….in that same vein, watch for Huevos Rancheros to eventually make an appearance.  YES, PLEASE.)

So let’s keep with this, shall we?  I plan on updating this while watching Downton Abbey and reveling in the hour or two I get free of child-responsibilities (so long as no one is puking) every evening.