Saturday, January 18, 2014

Saturday Blogger Spotlight: Meet Jenny


Hello! My name is Jenny and I blog over at Growing Up Jacobson. I mostly write about my 20-month-old daughter Callie but I also write about running, my efforts to lose weight, my attempts at being an amateur photographer, our family and all of life little adventures! On occasion I share a recipe or meal prep trick and I’ve shared some of my parenting rants! I am so excited to be guest posting this month as a part of Stephanie's new “Saturday Blogger Spotlight” Series. I've really enjoyed reading Stephanie's blog and getting to know her and her beautiful family!

On your blog, you detail your constant focus on losing weight. What was the turning point for you? When did you decide to make the effort to focus on you and your health?
My health and weight has been a focus for me since graduating college in 2001. Now my motivation is different. I want to be healthy for my daughter. I want to role model to her healthy eating, exercise and body image. I want her to know good foods but also to know it’s ok to enjoy food. I want her to know you don’t have to be perfect at food or exercise to be healthy. I also want to keep up with her. I am physically exhausted after a day of chasing her around and I want to have the energy and strength to enjoy the chase! I realized all of this right around her first birthday. I recommitted to this journey in June and since then I’ve lost 15 lbs. While that is very slow for most people that’s an average of 2lbs a month. For me that’s about as fast as I could loose weight when I was 21 and we all know our metabolisms slow down so it’s a huge success for me! I also truly love running. I’m not competitive, I’m not into long distances but I love to run. Even at my fittest the fastest pace I ever ran was a 10-minute mile so I’m definitely the tortoise not the hare! However I love every minute of the run! I love the challenge, I love how I hate it while I’m going up a hill, I love how my pace quickens as I turn around to head back home (I always run out and back paths) and I love the runner’s high that stays with me all day long after a run! I know that loosing weight will allow me to enjoy running more. While I can run now at my slow 15-minute mile pace it’s hard on my body and I’m more prone to injury at this weight – things I’d like to avoid. I also know that healthy eating and exercise are directly connected for not only my weight loose but also my mental well-being.

As a mother to a sweet little girl, what do you think the your greatest parenting moment has been so fair? 
Your biggest parenting fail?
I think this is a great question but a hard question. As parents, particularly moms, we are so hard on ourselves. For me my greatest parenting moment isn’t a moment but it’s eleven and a half months long. That’s how long I breastfed Callie. To this day I’m not really sure why it was so important to me to breastfeed. Neither my husband nor myself were breastfed and we didn’t really know many parent friends who had either. However it was important to me to try everything I could to be able to breastfeed Callie and my husband supported this. If it didn’t work we knew we could feed her formula and there’s nothing wrong with that. Breastfeeding was hard at first but not the usual hard. I had a complicated delivery, which delayed my milk coming in (even with round the clock pumping), Callie was in the NICU for a week and was on oxygen at home for three more weeks and we had latch issues. She had some formula in the hospital because of my supply delay. I sought out help and we overcame those early issues and managed to breastfeed until almost a year. When we weaned it was time for both of us and was short and easy. Breastfeeding was super hard and a lot of work but I’m glad I did it. I didn’t really get that motherly bonding from breastfeeding that so many moms do. My daughter hardly ever fell asleep at the breast and I wasn’t comfortable using breastfeeding to soothe on a regular basis. For me it was about feeding my daughter the best way I knew how and that was important. I didn’t love every minute of it but I am proudest as a mom that I was able to breastfeed my daughter her first year.

I think my biggest failure was in the early days not knowing how to advocate for Callie. It started even in the hospital. She was moved from the well baby nursery to the NICU without us being woken over night. The NICU nurses were very pushy with feeding schedules regardless of my own recovery and we had lots of issues about breastfeeding/bottles/formula. Once we were home I didn't think it was normal that she was spitting up so much after every feeding or that she was so unhappy all the time. You hear from doctors and other moms that babies cry, babies spit up, etc. I never felt like I got what we really needed from Callie's doctor and always felt rushed or my questions brushed off but I had no comparison (we have since switched doctors). It turned out Callie had reflux but we didn’t start treating her until she was two months old. I knew something wasn’t right before that but I didn’t know how to bring that up. I also knew it wasn’t right that she was so unhappy all the time and hardly napped during the day but I didn’t know what to do. It took me until Callie was about four months old to figure out how to advocate for her. I’m sure many people wouldn’t describe this as failure but I feel like I failed to recognize my daughter was sick. That’s a failure no matte how you spin it.

If you were stranded on an island alone, what 3 personal items would you wish to have with you?
First I’d like to have my laptop with me (let’s pretend there’s a magical power outlet on this island). I have all of my memories electronically on my computer. Starting with our wedding photos, our travels, Callie’s photos and all of her memories I’ve documented. Second one of my Michigan State t-shirts. I don’t have a particular favorite but having something of Michigan State with me would be important as it was and is such a huge part of my life. I met my husband there, we got married in the alumni chapel and we both worked there after college. When I think of home I think of MSU. Finally I’d want to have the first piece of jewelry John bought me after we got married. It’s a very simple platinum necklace with a heart pendant that has a diamond in the middle. I’ve had it for over ten years now. Whenever I get a little dressed up it’s my go to necklace. I love it not only because it was the first “adult” gift but also because it’s so perfectly me. It’s simple, goes with everything, can be dressed up or dressed down. I’m not particularly feminine and I like things very simple. I love that John got that about me so early in our marriage.

What part of blogging is your favorite? What do you dislike that most?
I love connecting with other moms. I’ve found many great ideas for toys and activities for Callie through blogging. I also got the photography bug from blogging and I not only love capturing photos of my little ladybug but photos in general. I feel like I’ve grown as a person through blogging and it’s helped me to redefine me as a mom. Dislike would be a strong word but I struggle with figuring out where I want to go with the blog. How big do I want to grow it, do I want to sponsor blogs, do I want to offer sponsorship, what type of link ups should I participate in, etc. Mostly I want to make sure my content reflects who I am and that I don’t just post things to simply post or because I know it’s something that will be popular.

As mentioned before, you are very focus on your fitness and health. If you were given a day to eat whatever you want without worrying about calories, what you would have for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
I love this question! As much as I focus on trying to be healthy and fit doing so is something that is a constant struggle for me. I like food. I like sweets mostly. Eating well is and I think always will be hard for me. If I had a day to eat anything it would look like this:
Breakfast: chocolate chip pancakes, sausage links, Starbucks peppermint mocha with the whip cream (still skim milk because whole doesn’t taste right to me)
Lunch: Cheeseburger well done with sharp cheddar cheese, sweet potato fries and a local wheat beer on the side
Afternoon Snack: Chocolate chip cookie or brownie (ideally homemade but if not from a local not a chain bakery) and either a hot chocolate or a tea latte
Dinner: Chicken Parmesan, breadsticks (or bread with olive oil for dipping), pasta on the side and some yummy chocolate dessert. Oh and a side of lots of sweet wine like Riesling and/or Ice wine!

Using the first letter of your first name, J, describe yourself in 5 words
Jannock, Juggler, Jazzy, Judger and Jungle

Jannock: This is the favorite that I came up with! It means outspoken, outgoing and honest. That word sums me up in a nutshell! I have always been very honest, not completely blunt, but very straightforward.

Juggler: I feel like juggle my weeks when my hubby is gone and then weekends when he’s home I have two different mom modes and the Juggler really speaks to me now.

Jazzy: I like to have fun, be goofy and just enjoy life and I think jazzy speaks to how I try to do that. It doesn’t always happen that way but it’s a goal. This word makes think of my dance parties at 6am with my daughter in the living room and just makes me laugh!

Judger: I’m a hardcore ESTJ on Myers-Briggs. I try to manage it but I own it. I judge myself, others etc, Good thing I’ve learned how to do it in my head and not out loud. I’m not mean spirited. I just have strong opinions on how “I” think things should be.

Jungle: My house is a jungle. I have two cats that think they’re dogs, a crazy hyper 85lb four-year-old Weimaraner dog and a HYPER 20-month-old daughter. It’s a wonder I haven’t broken a leg getting around every day! I love it (well most of the time) but man the Jacobson house? It’s totally a Jungle! Haha!

Thanks so much Stephanie for letting me take over your blog today! I hope the Wife Mommy Me followers enjoyed hearing my story! Thanks for stopping by!

Feel free to connect with Jenny through the following social media outlets


  1. I love reading other parents insights on parenting and even more so when I can relate and share a struggle. I am also working on my weight loss journey for my child so i like to follow along on others journeys as well as inspiration for my own journey. Thanks for introducing me to another blog to check out!

  2. Very insightful! And as a mother of two, I agree. We are often quite hard on ourselves.

  3. Wow! Now that's a spotlight! Great job.

  4. Nice to meet you! As the mother of two children in college (how did that happen so quickly?) I can say my greatest parenting accomplishment was always putting them first. It has paid off ten fold.

  5. Love the series and this post! J your day of eating had me cracking up...and I love the J words you came up with (we only have one in common! ;)). Happy Saturday, ladies!

  6. Great series. It's great to read more about another mommy blogger. I love the word Jannock. It's just fun!

  7. I loved reading this! What a great series! I, too, felt like I didn't advocate enough for our oldest (who we eventually discovered is on the Autism Spectrum), and that can be hard for your first child because you just don't know! Heading over to check out your blog, too! :)

  8. This is so lovely! It is nice to read about you :) Thank you for sharing!

  9. Loved reading this! I struggle with the same things as a blogger and have been having that sponsorship debate in my head currently!

  10. Thank again Stephanie for having me! ALso thanks everyone for taking the time to read my post! This was a great way to connect with some more bloggers!

  11. This is such a great way to meet new bloggers.

  12. Awesome spotlight, Stephanie!
    And, great answers, Jenny!!


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