|Me and my awesome husband, Ben (Yes, that's right, we are a real life "Benifer")|
Hey Ya'll, I'm Jennifer! Welcome To Our Southern Style!
My blogging adventure started in September 2014 when my sister, already a very successful blogger herself, suggested I might want to be a contributing writer for her blog as a way to earn a little extra spending money and review some items our family could use. It only took me writing a post or two and I was hooked on blogging! As a wife and a mom, working both outside the home and inside the home, I didn't have too much to call "mine" and certainly didn't have a lot of time to devote to myself. Blogging quickly became my way of having a little "me" time each week and gives me an opportunity to share life with so many other families all over the world. Truly, I love hearing from all of you and it's become one of the things I treasure most about blogging!
|Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, overlooking Jefferson's Rock. The Shenandoah River in the background and just off to the left, the B.& O. railway, still running coal cars.|
Why Our Southern Style?
Growing up as a kid in West Virginia, I never really appreciated how great it was to live in the country. I hated the "simple life" and having never really traveled outside of a 100 mile radius, I longed to see the world and find adventure. I graduated from high school, worked for a year to save money for college, and then (without even visiting the school) applied and was accepted to North Central University in downtown Minneapolis, MN. I can still remember how sure of myself I was as my Mom and I packed up all we could fit into her Toyota Corolla and hit the road - finally, I was getting out of here! How quickly the feeling changed as we drove over the 35W bridge and into the city and I realized I was about to be dropped off in a city where I had no family, no friends, and into a whole new world I knew nothing about. After we unloaded my things and I turned to hug my Mom goodbye, the tears rolled and as much as I longed for adventure, my heart was aching to return to simple way of life I had always known.
I lived in Minneapolis, MN for 8 years where I graduated from college, met my husband, and had my first baby. My time in Minneapolis still holds some of my fondest memories, but I found that the longer I lived in the city, the more I tried to bring my southern way of life into my every day. In May 2008, I accepted a position at a church in (how crazy is this) my home town of West Virginia and this time it was me, my husband, and our 1 month old daughter who were loading up or car to leave Minnesota. I found through my experience that no matter the adventures you have in life there's nothing like the comfort of home and whether you live in the city or hang your hat in the country, I think we can all agree, there's something about the southern way of life (the food, the family values, the front- porch- swing kind of nights) that we all treasure and I'm convinced, no matter where life leads, we all seek to inhabit those values in some way in our own lives. It was out of this heartbeat in my life that Our Southern Style was born. My hope is that through sharing some of my own recipes, family stories, and products that we use and love, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a little southern style of your own!
You can read more about this journey in my very first blog post, Return To My Roots.
Our Southern Family
Every day my husband and I are blessed to be called "Mom and Dad" to this crew pictured above. Life has never been filled with more fun, laughter, and love then when each one was added to our family. Levi is our youngest, now three and full of adventure. He definitely keeps us on our toes! Elijah is our third child (now 5) and has the most caring and sweetest heart of any boy I have ever known (I suppose I might be a little biased). He hates to see people hurting or sad and is the first to offer a hug when they're needed. All of our children are miracles, but Elijah's story is extra special, well, because doctors told us he wouldn't survive. You can read more about Elijah's story in my post My Son Wasn't Supposed To Live. Eva, age 7, is our second in line and is wise beyond her years. She loves science and math and for three years now she's made up her mind that she is going to grow up to be an archaeologist. She loves to learn and we love watching her reach for the stars! Mariyah is the big sister, and at age 12, she's in the 7th grade. I still can't believe I have a kid in middle school! Her story also started out a little difficult in that I'm not her biological Mom. My husband, Ben became a father earlier in his life than he ever expected to and Mariyah was a part of his life when we first met. From the beginning she captured my heart and I tell her all the time, she may not have been born in my tummy, but she was born in my heart. She has never been "step-daughter" always just my daughter and it's a privilege and and honor to hear her call me her Mama each and every day. Our children are our most treasured gifts from God and they make every day a reason to love living. They also enjoy helping out with the blog from time to time and the girls are already plotting blog take over when they are older. No matter where you live, there's nothing like the love of family!
Thanks for taking the time to get to know Our Southern Style a little bit more! I look forward to sharing this blogging journey with you and hearing about all of the ways you bring a little bit of southern comfort into your own life!