Hi there! My name is Julie and I am Jenny’s sister. Just a few days ago Jenny and Jeff were sitting on my couch when I told a story about Jenny from our childhood. I’ll never forget the look on Jeff’s face as he looked at Jenny and said, “Did that really happen?” As she nodded I said, “You bet it did! And I have plenty more stories like that to tell.”
When Jenny asked me to guest post I joked with her that she might not want me telling some of the stories that I remember. You see I have a remarkable memory. Jenny always says how she can’t believe the detail with which I remember things. I actually have to laugh when she says, “I did NOT say that!” I usually say “Really? Are you actually arguing with the queen of memory?” It makes me laugh even harder when Jeff then says to her “Honey, she has a point!”
I remember pretty much everything. There are some things that I think Jenny may have forgotten and Jeff doesn’t even know. Some of these things I think you should know about our childhood. A few of these happened after we were both married and had kids. It might help explain Jenny’s love of family and overall zest for life.
I remember shopping for the family across the street that didn’t have enough money for Christmas. I remember peeking out the windows and seeing the smiles on their faces as they opened the door and saw all the presents. I can still remember my dad saying, “Girls, they are NEVER to know that this came from us!” (So thankful for parents that instilled in us a love of giving!)
I remember coming home from trick-or-treating with Jenny and her sitting down to “organize” all of our candy. It was a very specific system. I should have realized then that she had some issues!
I remember when I was in the 3rd grade and Jenny asked me if she could help me with my Christmas list…..in March!
I remember the Christmas that Jenny asked for a stereo and when she had opened all of her gifts and the stereo wasn’t among them, she started to cry. I remember how those tears turned to smiles & laughter when my dad disappeared down the hall and returned with her stereo saying “Ho, Ho, Ho”.
I remember the day when a kid came to get me on the playground to tell me that Jenny had been punched in the nose by another student.
I remember that Jenny had to have surgery to fix the mess that the kid made out of her nose! (I still tease her that she has had a “nose job”!)
I remember when our mom cut our hair so short that we looked like boys. I remember Jenny crying as she was sure her life was over!
I remember the summer Jenny went to Camp Foxtail for Girl Scout camp and came home singing the camp song. She probably sang it a thousand times. I remember every word of that song because it was best sung in a round, therefore I had to participate.
I remember that Jenny had a crush on the pastor’s son when we lived in Arizona. I also remember the night that his dad yelled at him, from the pulpit, because he was sitting in the back row talking to Jenny and another boy.
I remember that Jenny NEVER sat in the back row of church again.
I remember my mom getting up early every morning to make Jenny eggs & toast before she headed to swim practice. I would watch in amazement as she would use her index finger to perfectly smooth out any lumps of jelly that might be on her toast. Lumps were (and still are) unacceptable!
I remember when Jenny wrote a song about George Washington and set it to the tune of God Bless America. I still remember every single word of that song to this very day.
I remember Jenny’s various hairstyles through the 80’s and early 90’s. She used banana clips, an ungodly amount of hairspray, and bangs that looked like a giant, fluffy cinnamon roll had been stuck on her forehead.
I remember Jenny receiving Prince’s Purple Rain cassette tape for her birthday and my dad pulling all the ribbon out because he thought it was “trashy”. I remember Jenny buying a 2nd Purple Rain cassette with her allowance. It also was destroyed by my dad a few days later.
I remember my parents trying every different type of diet known to man as we were growing up. I remember that during one particular diet, “Fit For Life”, my dad tried to force Jenny to eat some type of creamy concoction stuffed into a pita. She said she’d starve before she ate the pita. I remember that I was actually concerned that Jenny wouldn’t survive the pita standoff. (She NEVER ate the pita!)
I remember that Jenny was very particular in the way she ate certain foods: she had to eat all the crunchberries before she ate a single captain crunch; she ate the bottoms off of the Pillsbury cinnamon rolls and then proceeded to eat the soft, chewy top; she would eat crumb cakes directly out of the freezer; oh, how the list could go on and on.
I remember Jenny getting in a fight with her high school boyfriend at the Friday night football game. I remember a girl I did not know making a rude comment about her & how I told her that she better shut her mouth or I would shut it for her. You see, I can say whatever I want to about my sister, but if you do, beware the wrath!!
I remember Jenny telling me and Chris that she had met a nice guy named Jeff who had just graduated from the U of A and was waiting tables. I remember her happiness when we said we would go eat at his restaurant and scope him out.
I remember Jenny calling late one Friday afternoon saying “Could you watch Becca this weekend? Jeff and I are going to elope.”
I remember the list that Jenny made several months before Ben was born. It was 5 pages, color coded by priority, and very detailed in what she wanted to accomplish before he was born.
I remember the suitcase that flew off the top of the car as we were driving together to Disneyland when Ben was only 3 weeks old. I remember Jenny, Jeff, and Chris jumping out of the car and running down the side of the interstate to retrieve said suitcase. I remember seeing Jenny stop about a ¼ mile down the road and vomit. Clearly she didn’t remember that she had just given birth a few weeks earlier. I then remember a semi-truck running over the suitcase that was filled with brand new clothes for baby Ben. I remember the choice words she had for the truck driver as we drove the remainder of the way to California.
I remember how speechless I was when, in my parent’s backyard, Jenny mooned all of our kids to get them to smile for a picture! I remember her words to us when, just 2 days later, our daughter Hailey mooned us in the same backyard because her Aunt Jenny had done it. “My bad! Totally should not have mooned them!”
I remember not being surprised when Jenny started this blog and told me that she had over 1300 things that she wanted to cross of her life list. You see, Jenny has never done anything half-way. You could even say that she is a bit “over the top”. Nothing on her list surprises me and I’m sure that she won’t stop until every single item is marked off that list! I for one am happy to help her do just that!
I sure have enjoyed sharing some of the funny things I remember about growing up with Jenny. I will be back next Sunday to share some of the things I remember about walking through some of the more difficult times with Jenny! Hope you all have a great week! Make it a great one!
I have a blog of my own, I Am JuJu, where I share the joys and struggles of raising a child with autism. I love to give people a glimpse into our everyday life. It’s not always easy, but Life is Good!