‘Minute To Win It’ has changed my daily life

My name is Jenni and I’m addicted to competition. There, I said it.

Never ask me to be on your team if you don’t want to win. I’ve been known to make my teammates cry while playing board games. Jeremy accuses me of racing him to the car when we leave the mall… and I usually win. There’s a trophy in my house that bounces from bedroom to bedroom depending on who won the most recent challenge (bowling, shuffle board, tennis, anything).

I was recently introduced to Minute To Win It and my competitive nerve has nearly tripled in size. Thank God my boyfriend and my roommate feel the same way. This is how we (plus three friends) spent our Friday night:

This is Josh. He’s “Noodling Around.” How to: Six penne pasta pieces spread around an end table. Pick up each penne using a single uncooked piece of spaghetti and no hands.

Kristen’s attempt at “Ping Pong Plop.” How to: Three dinner plates set on three different surfaces (chairs, end tables, etc.) in a row. Bounce the ball on each plate and into the basket at the end of the lane.

Our game started out like this, but it was so easy even Roommate John could do it. So we took it to the next level and incorporated all three plates. Click Here to see Jeremy dominate Ping Pong Plop.

“Baby Rattle in Action” took some planning on my part. I raced into Walmart on the hunt for small bubble gum balls and the cheapest 2-liter colas I could find (Diet 7-Up). I poured out the soda (I don’t think that drain will ever clog again), and let all four 2-liter bottles dry upside down for a few hours. I filled two of the bottles halfway with bubble gum and Gorilla-taped the other two bottles on top.

The competition is bad enough at home, but of course I bring it to work too. This was my first attempt (at work, of course) before I brought my hard work home for everyone else to enjoy.

Roommate John had the record for the night.

I’m writing this while watching Minute To Win It and if you missed Wednesday’s episode shame on you! You gotta catch the Minute To Win It Fever!

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Picture Perfect Sunday!

I woke up to a beautiful day Sunday! It was absolutely gorgeous – finally weather above 30 degrees! After I picked up my room and did some laundry, I grabbed Jeremy’s camera and made my way into the sunshine in search of a muse. Luckily, my neighbor Jason and his adorable dog Cash were hanging in the field out back. Cash is just four months old.

And here are the animals in my house…

And just so you can see the color I painted the accent wall in the living room:

The wall is a tad more ‘mint’ in person than this picture leads on.

I’d like to believe that my photos get prettier every time I pick up Jeremy’s camera. And there seems to be a never-ending supply of cute and photogenic animals nearby!

Posted in Pictures | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

How to Manage Emotions in a Heated Situation

Monday Motivation

On a trip home to Florida a few months back, I was forced to come face-to-face with a very bad flaw I’ve maintained my entire life: I have no ability to wait… on anything.

I left work that afternoon a total wreck. I was irate. My integrity had been challenged at the office and someone was going to pay. I wanted to call that person immediately and flip out on him (not Jeremy, promise)! I wanted to write the nastiest response e-mail and cc half the universe! I wanted to instantly mend my broken feelings while verbally (and physically) destroying the opposition. Instantly is the operative word. Unfortunately there was nothing I could do while sitting in the passenger seat just one hour into a seven-hour trip.

Then something happened: I fell asleep.

I woke up nearly two hours later and felt… different. Still hurt. Still angry. But not irate. I was finally able to use actual words to convey my feelings to Jeremy and rationally discuss the options for how to handle the situation. Then it happened again: another hour, two hours, three hours went by and I was still unable to do anything to immediately resolve the circumstances.

Would you believe that being strapped inside a car going 75 mph for seven hours was the best possible solution for me? And that my immediate, knee-jerk, emotionally charged response would have only escalated the situation into something worse?! (Go figure.) In the end, a ‘higher-up’ who was cc’d on the original e-mail handled the situation for me by the following Monday. I never had to respond or let anyone know how the accusations made me feel. I simply had to wait, which was harder to do than any of my other options.

Being forced to wait in that situation helped me re-evaluate the way I handle many day-to-day interactions. In the past few months I’ve been able to recognize the truly majestic outcomes of ‘just waiting.’ In fact, I recently created a six-month plan for re-directing my career goals. Although I have many action steps in place, a lot of waiting will be necessary for my plans to come to fruition. Before my “waiting epiphany” I wanted everything to change immediately. I wanted to buy today. I wanted to quit tomorrow. But it turns out that more often than not, outcomes are so much sweeter when they’re waited on. Waiting allows for the right people and events to take place in the meantime so you can get the best possible result.

In closing, I’m not suggesting a nap for the next time you’re in an excitable situation. Sometimes you won’t be able to leave the room, the office, the car, etc. But you will be able to control your emotions and wait. Wait for your heart to stop racing. Wait for the perspiration on your brow to dry. Imagine me going ballistic on my colleague and know that you don’t want to be seen like that.

Wait long enough to:
1. consider your options
2. be able to effectively communicate your response plan to someone else first (ie: mom or boyfriend, not another colleague)
3. remember that punching someone is assault and you can be arrested, then the other person wins and you don’t want that

Posted in Monday Motivation | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Mom’s French Toast

My go-to Saturday morning breakfast is buttermilk pancakes, but today I was craving something different. Eggs, waffles, a smoothie… nothing fancied my taste buds. Jeremy loves French toast, and although I’m not really a “bread” person I called my mom for suggestions.

I quickly scratched down her favorite French toast recipe.
For 12 pieces of French toast whisk together the following ingredients:
1 /4 cup flour
1 cup milk
a couple shakes of salt
3 eggs
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbs sugar
12 pieces Nature’s Own Honey Wheat bread

I whisked the ingredients together in a large cake pan. Since my griddle is still packed (somewhere) I used a grill pan on the stove to cook the bread. Dip both sides of the bread into the mixture and place onto the pan or griddle on medium-high.

Cook both sides of the bread until they’re golden brown. Add toppings of your choice: bananas, powdered sugar, syrup, strawberries, etc. I attempted to use the grill marks on the pan as a cool presentation effect for the bread.

Final product:
Since there was just two of us for breakfast, I cut the recipe in half (using 2 eggs) and it was fantastic! For once I actually liked French toast! Thanks, Mom!

Posted in Mom's Recipes | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Dr. Matthew Horkey: Chaos, is it a good thing?

Monday Motivation:
Today I get to introduce my first guest blogger! Dr. Matthew Horkey is a chiropractor currently practicing in Jakarta, Indonesia. Matt graduated from Michigan State in 2004 and consistently sinks more 3-point shots on the court than anyone I’ve ever seen! I first met Matt before he became “Dr. Matt” while he was in school to be a chiropractor.

It didn’t take long for me to figure out that Matt is someone who is going to flip the world on its axis. His passion for life has landed him on the other side of the world, and he has the fire and determination to create major changes in the profession and in the health care industry, as a whole. This is Dr. Matt’s personal recap of 2010 – his most challenging and rewarding year yet.

“The beginning of 2010 placed me in Indonesia, with no knowledge of the language, no friends or family and not a dime to my name. I scratched and clawed to grow a clinic from the ground up only to see myself uprooted and deported out of the country. I landed in Singapore with a backpack on my shoulders and most of my possessions still back in Indonesia. I bounced around from hotel to hotel, and floors of two of my boss’ empty homes only to find out I could not return to Indonesia, a country I was starting to call home, for one whole year. After practicing in two Singapore clinics I decided to take two weeks and head to Thailand to get my head clear. Upon arrival back into Singapore I discovered I would be opening a new clinic there, I would only have to wait three more months…

I vividly remember after getting back from Thailand, sitting in my boss/mentor’s car with tears flowing uncontrollably from my eyes. Why was everything in shambles for me? I had prepared so hard for this moment, the chance to practice chiropractic, the chance to make a difference in people’s lives. I was completely discombobulated, totally confused. What should I do? I thought seriously about giving up my dream of becoming a great chiropractor, perhaps the universe was trying to point me in a different direction.

It’s funny when you look at the curve balls life throws at us. I truly believe we are tested to see what we are made of, and yes the strong survive. Calvin Coolidge said it best:

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

With the help from some friends and some good ole words from cool Cal, I made the choice to put my head down and move forward. So here it is…

In 2010 I began my career practicing chiropractic, I started two clinics from scratch in two different countries, I was on television twice, I learned what it felt like to become deported, I was published in two chiropractic journals, I went out with a Miss Indonesia finalist, I lost everything financially, TWICE, I traveled with a great healer through the Golden Land (Thailand), I lived in a guesthouse, a high rise apartment, two hotels, and floors of two different houses, I shed more tears and had more self-doubt than in any time of my life, and while building the second clinic, increased my income ten fold in two months time.

In 2010, I truly can say I laid it all on the line. It was painful, crazy, and exhilarating all at the same time. I now sit in gratitude as the second clinic is flourishing, and I’m having a blast once again turning on life in the clinic each and everyday. In 2010, I not only hit the bottom of the barrel, I got trapped in it while it was rolled down a steep hill. I wouldn’t change anything about the tumultuous year, because it was in 2010, that I faced the biggest challenges in my young career.

Chaos, is it a good thing? On the other side of chaos lies growth. Chaos is necessary for adaptation, for survival. We all have a dream, however, are we going to shrivel up and turn our backs when challenges come our way? Or do we choose to be steadfast and exhibit perseverance like President Coolidge suggested? What are we willing to do to make our dreams reality?

One of my favorite chiropractors, John Demartini said it best, ‘You must do whatever it takes, travel whatever distance, and pay whatever price…’

May your journey be fruitful, and full of chaos.”

As we embark on resolutions and the hope of what a new year will bring, it’s important to reflect on the past year and all that we’ve accomplished. In 2010 we have attempted; we have succeeded; we have failed; we have experienced; we have dreamed; we have given; we have reached; we have committed; we have detached; we have tried harder. The bottom line is: We are here, now. And we continue to “press on.”

Posted in Monday Motivation | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Jeremy’s Birthday Week

Jeremy turned 31 on January 5. I celebrate birthdays just like my mom – it’s a Happy Birth-week, not just a birth-day. We like to drag out these events for as long as possible.

January 3: La Parilla, just the two of us

January 4: Celebrating with John (who spilled his drink on himself)

January 5: Romantic dinner for two downtown at Legal Seafood

January 7: Celebrating with everyone else at Dixie Tavern

More pictures throughout the week:

31 is my lucky number, so I bet this will be a fantastic year for Jeremy! And we’ll keep celebrating until his next birthday rolls around!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Mya’s First Foam Party

Roommate John’s boxer “Mya” is back and she’s prettier, stronger and more playful than ever!

While we were in major renovation mode and John had non-stop soccer games and practices, Mya stayed with John’s parents in North Carolina. It was summer camp with grandma & grandpa!

This weekend John had to take a short soccer trip, so Mya stayed here. I’m not used to having to entertain on this scale. She is more human than any dog I’ve ever met – she doesn’t like it when you raise your voice and she loves to play rough and tackle… constantly. And when you talk to her it’s as if she’s genuinely trying to comprehend what you’re saying.

Mya and Seven don’t exactly… play well together. Actually, Mya loves to play with Seven, he just doesn’t love to play back.

I followed John’s directions precisely. I fed her. I played with her. I walked her. When I left for a few hours Saturday night I let her hang out in John’s room instead of forcing her into the crate, which is usually fine. Not this time.

After arriving home I immediately went upstairs to let her out. I didn’t look around the room, I just opened the door and she followed me downstairs. We walked outside and it was clear she needed to “go,” but for some reason she was extremely uncomfortable. I was patient in the 22-degree weather. I sat next to her and patted her back, showed her I wasn’t in a hurry. Still nothing. Finally I called John, who insisted that this had never happened before.

I got the bright idea to run around the block in my 3-inch heels (no time to change), hoping that might ease her situation. Nope. In the meantime Jeremy went upstairs to check if there was something she may have eaten. Uhhh, ya think?

Apparently Mya hosted her very first foam party – foam from a pillow, that is. This is very unusual behavior for her. I think she was missing her daddy – her constant entertainer.

You’ll be happy to know she was able to “go” first thing this morning, and John came back this afternoon. All is well in the household again!

Posted in First Home, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment