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What’s my “S”? December 8, 2015

Posted by jeneypeney in a little help from my friends, all growed up, in it to gym it, life, return to athleticism, tattoos-day, Uncategorized.
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I have this great idea for a new tattoo. I want to get the outlines of all the states I have lived in together as they are on a map across my thigh; Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, North Dakota, and Minnesota. I also want to put a star on the spot of each town I have called home; Park Forest, Oak Creek, South Bend, Fargo, and Hewitt.

In my mind, this tattoo is badass and would echo those big changes in my life that always seem to be marked by a move.

But in reality, it will show so much more.

It will show the fact I never really found a place to truly call my home. It will show the sad truth that I’ve moved so much that I failed to keep in touch with SO many friends. This tattoo will show the matter of how I’ve never really found my footing in my professional career; I’ve never found my true passion. It will show that I have simply felt lost and alone for well over a decade.

All of this instability and uncertainty came to an epic climax when my mother died and no more than 3 months later my husband and I moved to a town with a population smaller than my high school graduating class. I was truly on the edge of a very long, very destructive downward spiral.

Alas, in the infamous words of my late grandfather, “Things work out.” And work out, things did.

You see, my mother’s passing kick-started a sort of obsession – not so much with health – but with not kicking the bucket. The last thing I wanted was to pass away from a heart attack that I could have prevented before I even turned 55. So when a good friend of mine entered me into a contest for a month of free personal training, I took her up on it. That is when 3S Fitness came into my life and I couldn’t be more grateful.

The 3 “S”s of 3S Fitness are strength, sweat, and soul. There is also an unofficial, invisible “S” – support. But in reality, the “S” that this company provides for ME that is most important is STABILITY. And I’m not just talking the kind that you get from the million and a half minutes of planks my trainer has assigned to me since starting my training program.

I have incredible workouts that I can count on to make me sore everyday (never has peeing or washing my hair been such a challenge) – and a trainer that I know will be with me every step of the way.

After years of depriving myself of foods and obsessing over calories, I have finally developed a healthy and satisfying relationship with food.

I now have a job that I adore. I work from home. I have been granted the opportunity to help women – and men! –  grow with fitness and healthy relationships with food. I am ACTUALLY using both of my degrees. I couldn’t have asked for a more rewarding and fulfilling career.

I finally have an incredible group of friends that transcend distance and location. The 3SFitFam is an incredible group of women who will lift you up when you are failing, congratulate your accomplishments, and tell you it’s okay when you really just don’t feel like being a human that day.

So what’s your “S”? I suggest you begin with START. 



Our New House… a Patriotic Adventure May 15, 2013

Posted by jeneypeney in all growed up, being appropriate is overrated.

I have been keeping this kind of quiet on the social media front due to unfortunate circumstances involved with a third-party*, but The Actual and I just closed on our first home!


I have no idea why I’m making that face.

We are beyond excited and super pumped about having a space to call our own and to finally feel like we’ve settled down. We are both definitely over apartment living and all the noise neighbors, inept management, insect problems, and itty-bitty living space that comes with it.

(…and I was sick of The Actual’s woodworking hobby getting saw-dust all over our shit in the garage.)

After signing a gazillion papers and receiving the keys, we headed over to our newly purchased home and started prepping the place for painting and moving.

Now, we knew the previous owners loved America from our first step in to the house. But it wasn’t until last night that we truly realized just how MUCH they loved our country.

You see, even when you first turn on to our little street, we easily have the most unusual and eye-catching mailbox on the block. We didn’t really get a good look at it when we first viewed the house because it was mostly buried under several feet of snow…


No terrorist mail for us, thanks!

The living room, kitchen, basement, and hallways are fine with the exception of a bizarre paint job of the kitchen cabinets (more on that in a future post).

However, the first bedroom is what the “Man Cave” was originally.  When we were viewing the home for the first time, this room came loaded (pun absolutely intended) with a poorly hidden gun cabinet (blankets are deceiving, you know), an ammo reloading bench, and related hunting paraphernalia. The icing on the cake, however, was the hunter’s dream wallpaper  surrounding us on all four walls (thank the sweet baby Jesus this isn’t floor to ceiling…)

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Not so bad from far away…


… there it is!

For now this will be a crafting and workout room. Eventually, we’ll convert it in to a nursery. We plan on painting the walls a light yellow now and later we’ll paint the paneling a light gray when baby-making time comes around.

Right next door to the “Man Cave” is what I like to call the “Patriot’s Lair”. This room, when viewing, had bright red curtains, an American flag blanket on a futon, and of course, a lovely Red, White, and Blue “I LOVE AMERICA, DAMNIT!!!” wallpaper ribbon around the entire room.


What country are you from? I can’t place your accents.

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I honestly have to say I am surprised the top portion isn’t red.

Originally we were going to paint the whole room a light green. We decided to keep the textured brown paint job on top and we’ll be painting the lower portion an earthy green. Brian plans on replacing the “USA” ribbons with a John Deere strip because… farming.  This will be the office!

Finally, we have the master bedroom. Four of the three walls are painted a dark blue – which we actually don’t mind. However, the fourth wall is a deep, dark red (of course keeping with our patriotic theme!) Needless to say, we’re not big fans.


I think I should feel bad for making fun of this so much…

Initially, we thought the carpet was a dark gray color. Upon further inspection, however, it revealed itself to have red and blue hues interspersed throughout.



::cue moment I stopped feeling bad about making fun of this so much::

We are painting the red wall either light blue or gray with SPARKLES!!! (not the vampirey kind, though.) The carpet will eventually be replaced with laminate hardwood with the rest of the first floor when we renovate the kitchen.

I am now taking suggestions for an America themed playlist for painting this week. I’m starting with this song on repeat.

I’ll be updating periodically through the next couple weeks as we paint, move, and unpack the house… let the adventures of homeownership begin!

* I’ll post this story later as well… it was it’s own adventure in and of itself.

A Letter to a Hero August 30, 2012

Posted by jeneypeney in all growed up, letters, life, schmoop, sentimental stuff, the famn damily.

Dear Grandpa,

It is almost unfathomable to believe it has been a year since you passed away. I don’t think I will ever forget how hard my stomach fell and how hard my heart stopped when I heard my phone ring at 5am on this day last year… I couldn’t even make myself get out of bed to answer it.

I knew deep in my heart who it was and the reason she was calling.

I have been struggling with writing this letter for some time now. Every time I would start typing, words would just cluster together in a series of random thoughts and severe blubbering; they were really more like a manic stream of thought than any kind of organized thought.

Although you have been gone from this earth for an entire year now, it took me up until about 3 weeks ago to really realize it. Funny how that happens, right? It hadn’t completely registered that you were gone and never coming back until over 300 days later. I spent over 7,200 hours in denial, Grandpa. Pretty pathetic for your smart little Jeney Penny, huh?

I cried over your body (and cursed the cosmetic mortician person for shaving off your moustache) for two days. At this point I was in the first stage of grief; denial.

My brothers and I spread your ashes on the property you were born on, the farm where you grew up, your favorite fishing lake, and your favorite hunting post. Still in denial.

Buried the remainder of your ashes and said my final goodbye… yep. Still in denial.

Ten months afterward, my dad walked me down the aisle, I said, “I do,” and it STILL hadn’t completely registered to me that you weren’t there on my big day.

So three weeks ago? When I finally came to terms with your passing? I went through the last four stages of grief in a whirlwind of erratic, insane emotions I don’t think a seasoned psychologist could have handled.

I was angry. So angry I ended up screaming at my husband for absolutely no reason one night.

I began bargaining. I prayed every night that God would send you to my dreams (and that I would remember it). I just wanted a few more moments with you.

I was sad. I’m still sad. So sad that it has taken me 3 hours to get to this point in my letter because I can’t see the computer screen through my tears.

I selfishly wish I could call you up and you would just tell me everything will work out. I would give anything for you to have watched me walk down the aisle and dance with me at my wedding. I’m not sure I even want to walk in graduation when I get my Master’s because you won’t be there. I find myself overwhelmed with grief when I think about the fact that you will never get to hold your great-grandchildren.

But through that selfishness, I am finding peace in knowing you are no longer in pain – knowing your legs are strong, your heart is healthy, and you are smiling again. I see you playing fetch with Leo and Max in a big, open field. I can imagine you teasing and giving your sisters and brothers a hard time for silly things; something that made you such a wonderful man to be around. I know you are fishing and hunting and doing everything your poor health and immobility wouldn’t let you do the last couple years of your life.

The past couple weeks have been really hard, and I know today will probably be the worst of all. But please know I am not crying for you. I am crying for me today. I am crying because I miss you. I am crying because I wasn’t able to tell you all about Brian and my camping trip last weekend. I am crying because I am selfish and I want to hear your voice one last time.

I remember watching an episode of Grey’s Anatomy and the characters making a big deal about actually saying, “So-and-So died.” The word “died” was key here. Not “gone,” or “passed away.” They had to say the loved one, “DIED.”

I think that’s going to be my goal this year, telling (and convincing) myself you died. I think maybe that will help me shift in to accepting this whole shebang. I know I’ll see you again someday, but for right now I need to realize you’re no longer here. I need to come to grips with the fact that you are dead.

(Holy shit that is hard to say.)

I love you and I miss you so. much. So effing much.

Goodbye, Grandpa… I will see you again someday.

All my love,

Jen Pen