Hello, Hello! I’m Amy Anne Jenkins and this is my personal journey and story. I’m writing to you from the deep East Texas Pineywoods where my husband Cody and I live. It’s where my story unfolds most often in a pretty ordinary way. Even still, I believe my story is worth documenting. Capturing my own story helps me appreciate life and record memories I don’t want to forget. No moment is too small- in fact, the smaller the better because I’ve found those are the really special ones. They don’t have to be perfect either. I’m prone to “Blonde Moments” and I’m not afraid to share them. The truth is I love real life stories- the good, the bad, the funny, and the down right silly. I blog to remember those stories. I don’t have life all figured out. I often wonder what God’s plan is for me. Sometimes, I feel like life has thrown me just a few too many curve balls. Goodness knows life took a path I never imagined. God’s plans don’t always look like those we imagine for ourselves. But, this is my story. It is my life. I blog to reflect on my own story. Our stories are personal. They are both our history and a part of who we are today. Our stories build our future. When I look back at the stories of my life, I can see the path to where I am today and where I want to be. Themes emerge. Story is just one of those themes- one that I’ve learned to capture through blogging, photography, scrapbooking, and now also in art journaling. I blog to inspire others to capture their own story. I blog to celebrate the power of story.
Somewhere between Amy & Anne
The real me lies somewhere between Amy & Anne. Everyone knows me as Amy. Anne is short for my middle name- one I wasn’t even sure of for many years (as blogged about in this post from an old blog).
Amy is me, the way I see me. Or perhaps the version of me that I’m hardest on. She’s often a little too quiet, a little too reserved. She definitely doesn’t have it all together- or at least her definition of “all together.” But, she’s finding her way. She’s learning to accept who she is and enjoy it. She’s a geek and that’s okay. She watched as Skinny Lister’s Lorna danced on stage totally free and wished she could be her. But, soon realized, that’s just not her and that’s okay. Still she yearns to have more fun, let her guard down, and maybe even get a little wild everyone in while.
Anne, well she represents a lot of things to me. Sometimes she represents the me I want to be. Braver. Put together. Always Organized. She’s exploring who she is and where she wants to go in life. She dreams. She’s confident. She doesn’t wonder what other people think of her. She’s probably thinner and in much better shape too. She’s determined. She’s tenacious. She has an unwavering faith.
Other times, Anne represents accepting just who I am. There were many years growing up that I didn’t like my middle name. You see there was a wild child I grew up with with the same name- she always did what she wanted to do and often got in trouble for it. I never wanted to be her. (Funny thing is now, I’d love to break out and do what I want to do.) It wasn’t until after I solved the mystery of my middle name, that I realized it could be shortened to Anne. So, even just using the name is accepting who I am in a new way.
When I think that combination of Amy & Anne, I realize that I’m just me. Not always sure who I am. Other times, I’m perfectly happy just as I am. Together, Amy & Anne are whole, full of possibility. It’s me, myself, and I. Amy Anne has a ring to it and I like that.
More Somewhere Between
Show Me State Gal & Texan
I was born in the Show Me State It still feels like home to me even though we moved to Texas when I was just 10 months old. While completing a quiz, asked my husband, “What’s one thing you’ve learned from me?”. His response was priceless, “Missouri has the correct title for their state as the “Show Me State”. I admit it, I might resemble that remark. My Show Me State traits run deep- I’m inquisitive. I prone to doing things my way rather than someone else’s.
But, as much as I claim that birth right, I’m proud to be from Texas. One of my favorite phrases is “It’s a Texas Thing, y’all”- like our Texas Sized Road trips. I love to see Texas through the windshield. This state is known for being independent- we were after all once a country.
Maybe that’s the part that aligns so well with the Show Me State. Either way, it’s an interesting duality in my life.
Geek & Creative
Geek. Embrace It. That’s me alright. When my friends were getting Atari’s, we got our first home computer- the first model of home computer. I wrote programs as child and kept a baseball database with statistics when I was in middle school (a taste of my analytical side).
Creative. Well, I never thought about myself as being creative as a child. I had an imagination, I suppose, spurned on by the stories my mom would read to me and the ones that my Grandma Lantz would tell me. I could come up with unique and practical solutions to problems. But, in Art, I failed. Or at least nearly failed. I never had a teacher who encouraged me and as a result have no artistic training. It was after I started scrapbooking that I began to realize how creative I am.
Because I started scrapbooking digital, scrapbooking of course was the bridge between the geek and the creative. It’s led me into other creative pursuits. Photography involving both time away from the computer and some geek time. And, now there’s Art Journaling which I love getting messy and letting loose in a bit of reckless abandon.
Baseball & Hockey
Considering the number of hours that ESPN or other sports are on in my home, it’s hard to believe that I grew up in a home virtually sports free. I only ever remember my father watching open wheel racing- EVER! It wasn’t until the 1985 World Series that I ever remember watching a game of any sorts on TV. It was the Royals after all! The Kansas City Royals. My mom had been a baseball fan in her life before marriage and kids and, as I tell it, she put her foot down and we saw baseball. But, I don’t remember the conversations leading to the historical day that we watched baseball. What I do remember is falling in love with baseball. I have to say, I really think college ball is where it’s at. Baseball will always be my first love.
Then came hockey a little over 10 years later. You might wonder how a Texas girl fell in love with hockey- even more curious when you factor in we were living in South Texas. When minor league hockey came to Corpus Christi the shop my husband worked at had season tickets and we were able to go to most of the games since everyone else had kids. I sure do miss those nights. In East Texas, you can’t see live hockey. We get the hockey package so we can see the games and it was flipping through the channels that introduced me to Rick Jeanerette. If you’ve ever heard him call a game, you’d know you can’t turn away. And so, I became a Sabres fan because I found myself wanting to hear more. I’ve always been a sucker for broadcasters that bleed the team colors and provide interesting insights- and I love the old school guys.
The two games are strikingly different and me, watching them, is just as different. Quiet and analytical keeping score at a baseball game but loud and rowdy cheering at a hockey game. As much as baseball games are a calming getaway for me, Hockey is a release.
I started blogging a few years after I started scrapbooking when I added blogging abilities to the community at my first website dedicated to my interests, The Old Front Porch. My blog there was called Through the Front Door. Eventually, with the ability to build communities on blogs and social media, forums seemed to take a back seat. I decided to focus my online time to blogging and moved by blog to Reflective Snapshots. This was a time when I had taken a break from scrapbooking and really focused my creative energy on photography and my new dSLR. When I came back to scrapbooking, I found I was much more focused on the ordinary moments and details in my life. As such, Reflective Snapshots became Ordinary Details. My blogging has certainly evolved and Amy Anne Jenkins is the result of that evolution. Just as my early scrapbook pages might not be as good as they are today, those early blogs are early works. We all start somewhere. They tell my story. So, I’ve moved their archives here. There are some great stories within them.
Just a Note About Our Family of Two
Do you have kids? If only I had a dime for the number of times I’ve been asked that question. If only I could just brush it off like that. It’s never that simple. I’ve answered that question “no” enough times to expect the next questions or the next opinions. “Why not?”, “You don’t want kids?”, “It’ll happen.”, “You never know”. The thing is that more than twelve years since our journey to become a family began, I know. It’s not going to happen. It’s not God’s plan. And, I’ve sorta accepted that. Accepted it the best that anyone who never imagined not having kids can. If people would just not ask. I think though that unless you’ve felt this struggle, you just don’t understand how much of a loaded question that can be. I wish I could find an easy way to say that we are simply a family of two.