What’s your full name?
Jennifer Butler DeMartini
Were you named after anyone?
Nope, but I did drop my middle name of Lynn and officially made my maiden name my middle name because I couldn’t part with it…and I also didn’t want to do the hyphenated thing.
What’s your average day like?
Wake up before my daughter to shower and eat. Get her up. Fight with her over getting dressed / not wanting to go to daycare/not wanting to get in car. Sing the ABCs 20 times on the way to daycare. Work. Pick daughter up. Be silly and play. Dinner. Movie. Fall asleep with daughter. Put her to bed. Pretend to be productive. Fall asleep shortly thereafter.
How far away do you live from where you were born?
Probably 5 miles. My house is also less than a mile from the house I grew up in.
Is that distance something you think about? Do you any connection to your place of birth?
I do think about the distance and I laugh because I had always thought I would have gone out of state for college (I went an hour north). I would have thought I would have moved to Chicago (where my family originates).
Although I traveled a lot, I always came back. I really did not expect that I would end up staying right here and finding so much joy in living so close to my parents and my brother. We all get along and enjoy each other very much. I think not being able to see the rest of my extended family often makes me want to stay close to immediate family.
What do you consider to be your “home”?
My house in San Jose.
What’s your ideal way to spend the holidays?
Surrounded by family and friends. Decorating the house with my daughter. Mimosas in the mornings and wine by noon.
What items do you always take with you when you leave the house?
Purse and bottle of water. I may not have the best eating habits in the world, but I do love my water. I actually get worried if I don’t have water because what if I get stuck somewhere and get thirsty? The horror!
When you look in the mirror, what do you notice first about your appearance?
Is it time to change the cut or color of my hair again?
If you could change something about your appearance, what would it be?
Trim the fat.
What do you first notice in strangers?
Eye contact and a simple smile. It bugs me that people actively try to NOT look at you and say hello when you pass by. What’s so wrong with acknowledging the people around you?
What do think those that know you say about you?
That I’m a goofball and fun to be around.
What would you hope they would say?
I hope they say that I am there for them when they need something.
What do you think strangers notice first about you?
Ha! I really hope they notice me intensely staring at them with a huge smile wondering if they are going to say hello! But really, I just hope they notice someone with a smile and it makes them smile.
What is your proudest moment? Biggest victory?
Proudest moment was winning an award in senior year of high school. It was an “example student” kind of award. It really blew my mind that participating in the things I enjoyed doing and being my silly ole self would be recognized in this way. And the next proudest moment was having my kid.
What is your biggest regret? Biggest failure?
There are a few friends that I regret not talking too much now. Biggest failure is really still ongoing and that is not always capturing my feelings in words correctly and that usually results in miscommunication.
If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?
I wish I had more discipline. The kind of discipline that would get me out of bed earlier so that I could exercise. The kind of discipline that would make me put down the second cookie. Hell, it would have told me not to buy cookies in the first place! And probably the discipline that tells me that I don’t need to finish the bottle of wine just because it’s open. I do enjoy the journey of creating a healthy lifestyle, but I just need that discipline to keep me on track.
What makes life worth living?
Easy: my daughter. And yes my husband and family and friends too. But there is something so magical about that kiddo. I felt myself always thinking, “what would she think of this?” or, “how will this ultimately help her out?”
What is the one rule you try to live by? Do you feel successful at following it?
This isn’t so much a rule as it is just a phrase I say a whole hell of a lot to myself and that is “this too shall pass”. I think I started saying that to myself when I was a junior or senior in high school because that is when people really lay it on hard about “your future” and how high school stuff won’t matter. And then it helped get me through exams and some tough times in college. Today, it gets me through a hang over.
Point is, the saying helps remind me that although I might feel overwhelmed, frustrated, or sad….the tough times will pass. On the flip side, the happy moments will also pass. And life is just full of all types of moments, nothing lasts forever. Create and embrace the wonderful, beautiful moments. Acknowledge the bad ones. Choose which of the good and which of the bad moments you want to shape you and move on.
I thought of this phrase the day my daughter was born and I cried thinking that one day she would be too big for me to hold. Although it was painfully sad to think about that, it also made me hold her tighter and snuggle longer (yes, still).