Prairie Wife of the Week: Jansen from TheTallMom.com #giveaway
Posted September 18, 2015 by Prairie Wife - 25 comments
Sometimes being a blogger can get a bit lonely. Even though my friends and family are very supportive and more than willing to share the posts they enjoy on their various social media pages, it’s hard for them to truly understand the hours of work and the emotional ups and downs of the blogging world. When I came across some posts by TheTallMom.com on a friends Facebook page I was pleasantly surprised. Her open and honest posts about life as a woman, wife, and mother struck a chord with me. While there is most definitely a message in most of her posts there is just enough sass and humor to make them relateable rather than preachy. I began to follow the blog and learned that she too was a Wyoming blogger…and lived in the same town as me! I eventually connected with the Tall Mom herself on social media. After some confusion on my part (I blame it on baby brain) on whether or not our kids attend the same school (they do), I was finally able to put a face to the name and I was so excited when Jansen agreed to be a Prairie Wife of the Week! Not only was I thrilled to spread the word about her blog to all our readers (trust me you’ll love it) but for purely selfish reasons I couldn’t wait to talk to another Wyoming blogger. I can happily say that Jansen didn’t disappoint. She was as refreshingly relaxed and candid in our interview as she is on her blog. I left our interview feeling inspired and invigorated to not only keep on kicking blogging butt, but to strive to be a better woman, wife, and mother each and every day!
Make sure you stop by the end of the post to enter to win one of TheTallMom.com’s super cool shirts!
Prairie Wife (PW): First tell us a little bit about your family.
Jansen (J): I’m married to my high school sweetheart. We have three kiddos—two daughters ages 10 & 8, and a three-year-old son. Both my husband and I grew up in Wyoming and we knew as soon as we were ready to start a family that we wanted to raise our children here. Every February I question that decision, but otherwise I can’t think of a better place to call home.
PW: You are Tall Mom of the Wyoming based blog TheTallMom.com. Can you share with us what prompted you to start a blog?
J: Honestly, I started because I’m an obsessive thinker. I have a hard time moving on from ideas or big emotions until I’ve totally processed them. My rants on Facebook addressing these ideas and feelings were inappropriately long. A friend suggested I start a blog, so I did.
PW: A message that can be read over and over in your blog is having love and compassion for yourself. Where are you personally on your journey of self acceptance?
J: I have good days and bad days like everyone, I think. The thing is, I don’t believe I have the luxury of failing at self acceptance. Since becoming a mom, I’ve developed an acute awareness of what I’m teaching my children through example. I want my kids to have love and compassion for others, but also and maybe more so, for themselves. How could I ever expect them to know what that looks like if I’ve never shown them? I’m a work in progress, but that’s okay. Working and progressing toward love and compassion are more than worthwhile in my opinion.
PW: One of the most touching posts (it struck close to home for me) that you’ve written was about a young man named Chase who is currently battling Leukemia. What have you learned through your experiences supporting Chase and his family?
J: Wow. This question is tough for me. To pinpoint what I’ve learned in a few sentences feels like a big undertaking. What immediately comes to mind is the uncomprehendable strength faith can lend to those who truly lean into it. Fear is a really powerful force—the strongest, I would argue. And it’s the main contender to faith…to love…to believing that no matter the outcome of a situation, things will be “okay”—not easy, not perhaps as we would choose, but somehow “okay.” Chase, his parents, his aunts, uncles, grandparents, and numerous friends—my family and I, everyone was scared by his diagnosis and the horrific treatments that followed. It would’ve been much easier to allow fear to take over, but Chase and his family didn’t allow that to happen. I think I can speak for them when I say it was their faith—it was love, a knowledge that they were loved and in God’s care, not anything they alone were capable of, that allowed them to walk through fear and tragedy. Chase and his parents leaned into their faith and led us all through the darkness that cancer created. Chase is home now. He is cancer free. After six months of brutal physical and psychological warfare, he is home. I have to take a deep breath and really soak that up everytime I think about it. He still has some recovery to do, and there are dark shadows of fear that lurk in the far-off corners. Statistically speaking, he still has some fighting to do to remain in remission long-term. But I believe it will be okay. Chase has faith and so do I.
PW: Here at PrairieWifeInHeels.com we are huge advocates of orphans and families that are trying to (or have) grow their families through adoption. Can you share your personal experience with adoption with our readers?
J: Growing up, our house was a revolving door of sorts. I learned through the example my parents lived. Sometimes people need help, and sharing your home is one way of helping. We didn’t have an overabundance of resources when I was a young child, but we had a home and plenty of food to eat. We shared both with whomever needed it. Some stayed for a couple of nights, some stayed for a couple of years. I don’t mean to make my parents sound irresponsible. Our guests were friends and extended family, but the lesson was the same—there is almost always enough room in our home and our hearts for one more. That was where my desire to adopt was first born. Several of our friends have adopted through an agency in Utah called Heart and Soul Adoptions. Their experiences, while emotional, were beautiful. My husband and I shared some long discussions, did a lot of praying, and decided we wanted to adopt. Less than a year later I sat in an operating room and watched my son come into the world. I have loved almost every aspect of adoption. There were parts that were frustrating, stressful, emotional, and I’m sure there are more challenges yet to face. But, would I do it all over again? I wouldn’t even have to think about it—yes, yes, yes! I don’t say that because it’s what’s expected. I realize it would be taboo after going through the process to say I wouldn’t do it again. I understand what that would implicate with regards to my son. I’m a big advocate for honesty, and…that is honestly how I feel.
PW: As a busy mom of three young kiddos how do you keep your sanity?!
J: Uhm…could you define sanity? Lol! I’m not sure I do, keep myself sane, I mean. I sort of believe anyone who takes on the parenting gig is kind of batshit crazy. You have to be a bit of a masochist, and you need a sense of humor that teeters on insanity. I have amazing mom friends that I can commiserate with and they offer a judge-free zone of love and support that keeps me from thinking I’m “ruining” my children. I also have a partner that is my best friend, and extended family and what I call framily (friends that are family). Take out any one of these support structures and you can just order the straight jacket…I’m a large tall.
PW: When do you find time to blog, and how does it help you as a woman, wife and mother?
J: I blog at night after the kids are in bed. My husband tries to adjust his work schedule when possible to give me a couple hours a week to write. The beauty of my blog is that it has no expectation. I can come and go as it works into my life. I really appreciate that about blogging. Writing, or rather thoroughly thinking out something into organized sentences, helps me to remember who I am. I forget sometimes. Too often I identify who I am exclusively with what I do on a daily basis—cook, clean, parent, grocery shop, exercise, love, support. Anyone can ‘do’ these things. But only I can be me doing them. Blogging brings me back into myself. It helps me to remember who I am, what I think, feel, and where my passions truly lie.
PW: Where do you hope to see your blog as well as you and your family in the next few years?
J: I hope to see my family healthy and relatively happy. I’ll have two teenage girls in the next five years, so I’m not going to set the happiness bar too high. I might be borderline insane, but I’m not delusional. I hope to have published either with an agent/publishing house or self-published a book or two. I’ve discovered a love of writing fiction and I’d really like to see some projects completed. As for the blog, I hope I’m still organizing thoughts into sentences (grammatically correct or not) that resonate with others and encourage us all to stand TALL, love ourselves, each other, and this crazy life.
PW: Any last Prairie Wife words of wisdom?
J: I’m not sure I’m qualified to dish out wisdom. I can share some of my mantras, though. I rely heavily on Love Wins. Those two words sum up a lot for me. I believe that God is love. In my opinion, anywhere there is love—love in action, love triumphing, someone feeling love, someone giving love—that is the divine working in our lives. And if I’m ever in a place where I can’t find it, feel it, see it…I just have to dig deep and dust off the love I brought with me. If I put it out where I can easily see it, that means everyone else can too. That way, we all win.
Jansen from TheTallmom.com has given one lucky reader the chance to win one of her shirts! The winner will be able to choose a Ninjmama OR Be(YOU)tiful shirt! All you HAVE to do is comment on this post. Earn more points by following us on social media! Please be honest we will check.
Categories: Prairie Wife of the Week