We are surrounded by incredible women and it’s a special treat when we get to share them with you. Many of you already know the awesomeness of the The Tall Mom, one of our favorite blogs. If you are a fan of that blog, the book Seeing Ione, or Jansen Curry, the fabulous creator of both, you are going to love today’s post!
I had the opportunity to ask Jansen a series of questions, Jelly Bean Journals style. From each of our blog’s headings, I had Jansen tell us about her own Momma, Kiddos and the Love of her life. Then, I got some Health advice, asked for Confessions and received some inside information on her book, in Everything Else mode. I have also included a bonus Seeing Ione question for those of you who have already fallen in love with the story!
As a Wyoming blogger and Casper native, Jansen and her husband moved back to their hometown after living in Denver, CO. They have three beautiful children and she was a stay at home mom for most of the past decade. She just released her first book in December and recently transitioned to working full-time outside of her home as an event coordinator.
“I like to cook, I hate to clean, and I am indifferent about beauty regimens. I believe life is an adventure. Sometimes the adventure is exotic global travel, other times it is the testing of tolerance for bodily fluids as it pertains to potty training a toddler—both are equally adventurous.”
Jansen also loves to read and write. She reports having an aching affinity for horses, mountains, and travel. She played volleyball at the University of Wyoming and still enjoys being active.
Momma Question: In other interviews, you have shared about the influence your own family and upbringing have had on the person you’ve become. What attributes or lessons have you taken directly from your own mom?
My mom is pretty kick ass. We joke that when the apocalypse hits, she is the VIP among selection candidates for our compound. Seriously—she knows how to do just about everything when it comes to basic old-fashioned survival. She returned to school in her thirties and completed a nursing degree while raising four kids (my dad worked three jobs to make that happen). She worked ICU and telemetry for the better part of 25 years after she earned her degree. We learned how to work hard from both parents, but my mom was a real example of strength for me as a woman. I have always been opinionated and strong-willed, I come by that naturally. I remember screaming in heated moments that I hated her, although I can’t now remember why. The other—more important thing I remember is her rote response, “I’m sorry you feel that way. I love you and I always will. Now…GO TO YOUR ROOM!” Honestly, my mom has always been and continues to be a huge blessing in my life. I can only hope and pray to be the kind of mother she is.
Kiddo Question: We love birth and adoption stories here at Jelly Bean Journals! In your post, For My Son, you talk about the dynamics of raising a “predominately African American male in an all Caucasian family.” After welcoming your first two biological children, why did you decide to adopt a third?
I had two high-risk pregnancies because of a spinal injury. After our second daughter was born, I was told it wasn’t a good idea for me to be pregnant again. That realization made me think about the possibility of adoption—I had always wanted to adopt, but it wasn’t something my husband and I had really discussed up to that point. Then two things happened when our youngest daughter was about four (when we would have liked to add a third child to our family). First, some of our closest friends lost a child after a traumatic birth event, due in part to a condition I was at risk for experiencing myself. Then, several of our other friends adopted through an agency in Salt Lake. I think the two separate events created a kind of connecting of the dots for us. We felt led to find our son through the process of adoption. As for dynamics, the fact that he is Black and we are White has been a non-issue for us so far. He has been accepted and treated with the same love and respect that our daughters have received from family, friends, schools, and our community. This is not to say that there won’t be a time(s) when we are faced with the ugly reality that racism still exists—it does. And we will have to deal with it, I am sure in very personal terms. But like I said in the blog post you reference in the question, I think Dr. Marin Luther King Jr. was right in his belief that unarmed truth and unconditional love are the pathways to achieving equality and acceptance. That is certainly our aim as parents for all our children.
Love Question: Like many women, you wear about a million different hats! Loving wife is clearly one of them. Tell us about the dreams or goals you have set with your supportive husband for the days when you have adult children and it’s just the two of you, again.
I’m not going to lie. I have a kind of pining for the days when it’s just the two of us. I know that statement will make many moms cringe. It’s not that I’m eager to see my children grow up and move away. I know I will miss “the days when they were little”, I already do. I miss their sweet baby rolls and tiny toddler snuggles. But I miss my husband too. And…I miss me. Logistically, there is A LOT that goes into raising three kids, running a household, working—family living in general. Being parents is a real time suck. Not that it isn’t worth it, but I do look forward to the days when we can make plans based on our wants and needs and likes without consideration for anyone else. I know travel will be in our future, God willing. We both love to discover new places. I hope to continue to write, having time to write seems to become ever more difficult. Hubby will golf…lots of golf. Mostly, I look forward to slow mornings. Enjoying coffee while it’s still hot. Spending time with my adult kids and my grandkids—and sending them all back to their own homes.
Health Question: Tell us about your health hacks. You often share about your healthy lifestyle habits and are very encouraging with your Be-YOU-tiful message. We all have days, though, when life happens and we detour from our regular health routines. What are your secret “quick fixes” or “pick-me-ups” when you want an instant kick start or motivation to get back on track?
Okay, well…I feel a little like a fraud dishing out health hacks right now. Life has felt pretty nuts lately, and my healthy-lifestyle has been put on the back burner in place of a just-keep-everyone-fed-and-alive lifestyle. With that said, there are three things that usually make me feel like balance isn’t a myth much like rainbow farting unicorns.
- Get in a workout. Even if it is 15 minutes—move. I can’t tell you enough how grateful I am for my workout girls.
- Drink your veggies if you have to. I often rely on green smoothies to boost my veggie intake. When I’ve been eating like crap, it is always a guaranteed shift in the right direction if I go back to a green-smoothie breakfast.
- Drink. More. Water. That is my mantra when in doubt and feeling blah. If nothing else, it makes my skin look better and that can go a long way in making a gal feel good.
Confession Question: Mommy wars are all around us and so are the moms working to eradicate them. As The Tall Mom, you are one of those warriors fighting for a judgement free sisterhood of mothers. Is there a time in your life you have passed unwarranted judgement on yourself or another fellow mommy that you aren’t proud of? What was your take away lesson and how did it impact the Tall Mom brand?
Ugh. Tough question. Of course I’ve passed unwarranted judgment on other moms…and good grief, I’ve certainly done so to myself—too many times to count. I’m never proud of it. I’m grateful for my first-world problems, don’t get me wrong. But just because my basic needs are met, doesn’t mean life is easy. Parenting, sure as hell, is not easy (in this world or any other, I’m sure). We don’t make it better for anyone by being judgmental trolls. In fact, the only way to improve the situation is to openly and lovingly accept and support one another and ourselves. I hope The Tall Mom is a place where people—especially women, are bombarded with the message that each of us is here for a reason and purpose. And simply because of that fact alone, each person is worthy of love and appreciation. There are always going to be assholes that make life harder than it has to be, but we can offset their impact by being vocal, living examples of a life of acceptance. I’m a work in progress, but it’s definitely what I aspire to achieve.
Everything Else Question: Congratulations on your recently published book! You have a rapidly growing support base and you can’t seem to hold on to the books you’ve ordered to get out to friends, family, and fans! What has been the hardest thing about becoming a published author and when did you know that you had “the book” that would go to print?
Thank you! It’s been fun, but I’ll tell you, I was terrified to publish. It was one thing to say I was writing a book; it was entirely different to put that story out into the world for people to actually read and develop opinions. Honestly, that was the hardest thing about the whole process—growing the confidence to pull the trigger on publishing. I only dabbled in pursuing a traditional publishing contract. I queried some agents. I was rejected a handful of times. I do believe that had I persevered long enough, I would have landed an agent and a traditional publishing contract. But like other aspects of my life, I find I tire easily of wasting precious time. The publishing scene—agents, publishing contracts, etc.—it is a game. It is almost entirely about timing and luck (unless you’re a massive celebrity already). For me, publishing was about completion of a project. I wanted to write a book, and I did. Next, I wanted someone (anyone) to read and enjoy my story. I was not seeking a long-term career or large-scale notoriety. If I sold enough books to pay for the editing and cover design— that would be icing on the cake. I learned about a platform for independent authors called Createspace. They handle publishing and distribution at no cost to the author other than a simple commission on royalties. After learning a little about the ins and outs, I did it. I have no regrets. The response from readers has bolstered my confidence and encourages me to continue to write. I couldn’t be happier about it. There is certainly missed opportunity for exposure going with Createspace as opposed to a traditional publisher, but I think it has worked out well for what I was trying to achieve. I’m excited to add more books to the Ione McCreery series and finish some other novels I have started as well.
I asked Jansen how she came up with the name “Ione” for Seeing Ione. She shared that a close family friend had the name and she has loved it since her childhood. She waited patiently for the right time to “bestow it” and along came her main character, Ione McCreery.
Thanks to The Tall Mom for a great interview!
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