Have you ever noticed the tagline of this little Saturday series? “Because everyone has a story to tell.”
It’s so true. Everyone has some kind of story, and today’s blogger in no exception. Though I always hope these featured bloggers receive new traffic, I really hope today’s will because Jen is fabulous. She blogs so openly about topics that are sometimes hard to talk about, but she somehow manages to do it with an optimistic voice that is so refreshing. This interview will take you about 10 minutes to read, and I guarantee that once you’ve finished it you’ll agree that Jen is dynamic and incredible!
If you’ve lost a parent, Jen can relate to you.
If you’ve suffered from infertility, Jen can relate to you.
If you’re a military spouse, Jen can relate to you.
If you’re a runner, Jen can relate to you.
If you have a non-traditional wedding story, Jen can relate to you.
I just adore her!
Q: In three sentences or less, tell us a little bit about yourself.
A: I am mom to our precious rainbow baby Emersyn, wife to Kyle, and furmom to Emma and Fishy. I am an Army wife of almost 10 years, avid runner, holder of a Master’s degree in Psychology, and lover of all things Disney.
Q: Interviewing you is like having coffee with a friend. I have so many things I want to pick your brain about! First of all, tell us about your whirlwind relationship and wedding. It’s one of my favorite stories!
A: This is probably one of my favorite stories as well! Kyle and I met when we were in the 6th grade in Las Vegas. He was the nerdy kid in history class who claims he had a crush on me. We stayed friends over the years, tried to date in high school (it was hard as we attended different schools), and ultimately lost touch after high school. We reconnected in early 2008 thanks to Myspace, after our respective relationships had ended. He had already commissioned into the Army and was living in North Carolina. We talked for a few weeks and he flew home to see me in April (and his family). It was truly love at first sight, and roughly 75 days later we were married and starting our new life together. For 21 years Kyle has been in my life and I could not imagine being on this journey with anyone else!
Q: You have been so vocal about your journey to have a child. Would you mind telling me a readers a little bit about what you and your husband went through in order to meet your perfect Emersyn?
A: Having a child was something Kyle and I wanted more than anything. Our journey began in 2009 when I found out I was pregnant for the first time. At 8 weeks it ended in a miscarriage. Over the next 6 years we experienced 4 more losses including an ectopic pregnancy and multiple failed fertility treatments. We went through various types of genetic testing, with none of those tests showing any abnormalities. We were at a complete loss as to what to do next. Kyle was then referred to the only male infertility doctor in the Army at Fort Sam Houston. She discovered a potential problem and performed surgery to correct it. Less than 2 months later, we found out we were expecting our precious miracle, Emersyn. It was a journey that we never expected but it made us all the more grateful for this precious little girl.
Q: You are such an optimistic military wife. What have been some of your favorite experiences after marrying a man in the Army?
A: Let me be very candid when I say that this life is certainly not for everyone. It has challenged me in more ways than I can count but it has also made me independent, resilient, confident, and so ridiculously proud of my husband. It is hard to pick out my favorites experiences because there have been so many. Everything from changes of command, promotions, award ceremonies, homecomings, and graduations.
It’s no secret that I love the pomp and circumstance of the military, the history and the meaning behind every ceremony is amazing. One of my favorite experiences was the 82nd Division Run during All American Week. Watching roughly 14,000 soldiers running in formation with cannons going off and music playing was incredible! Also, watching the Pass and Review that followed. Seeing the entire division in formation and march was mind-blowing.
My second favorite experience was watching Kyle receive the Bronze Star Medal for his accomplishments during his deployment to Iraq. Watching him be recognized for his tireless efforts of keeping an entire FOB safe was remarkable. He is one of the most humble people I know and acted as if it was not a big deal. I was proud enough for the both of us in that moment.
Q: When did you develop a passion for running? How many races have you run as a family since your daughter was born?
A: Running is something that I never thought I would enjoy let alone do on a consistent basis. I was never the athletic type, I left that to Kyle. My passion for it really started when we moved to El Paso, Texas. I had gained roughly 50 pounds from fertility treatments and I was determined to lose it. The running community in El Paso is huge and I knew this was a good place to start. I started with a mud run and it snow balled from there. I realized how good it felt to be really active and once I started seeing my body change I was hooked. Since I started this journey in 2013 we have completed 90 races to include a full marathon and 26 of those have been completed since our daughter was born.
Q: I know you’re close with your family. Do you have any tips for maintaining close relationships despite the distance?
A: I am very close to my family; they are a huge part of our lives. My Dad, sister, niece, nephew, and I have a very strong relationship. My Mom passed away in 2011 and that really strengthened our bond as a family. They currently live in Florida and I spent a considerable amount of time there when we lived in Louisiana. If I have to give a tip for maintaining that relationship, it’s communication. I talk to them almost every day with regular FaceTime calls. It’s so important to stay involved and to make each other feel like you are living right next door.
Q: If you had a whole day to yourself and unlimited money, where could we find you?
A: Oh gosh, this is a great question! Honestly, you would find me at Disneyland haha! This really is my happy place and somewhere that is so special to me. I could spend all day everyday there and not get tired of it.
Q: Where should new readers start on your site?
Emersyn’s Grand Entrance: http://kyleandjensmith.blogspot.com/2016/09/its-story-time-warning-its-long.html
I am Grateful For All Of It: http://kyleandjensmith.blogspot.com/2016/07/i-am-grateful-for-all-of-it.html
Q: Where can we find you on social media?
And just for fun…
- Nike or Adidas? Neither. I stick with Brooks.
- Summer or winter? I’ve never experienced a true winter so I’ll go with Summer.
- Disney World or Disney Land? 100% Disneyland! I grew up going there and it’s always held a special place in my heart.
- Snickers bar or sour patch kids? Snickers bar, anything with caramel is a winner to me.
Thank you so much Jen!
Is this your first time to Whimsical September? Welcome!
Hello! I’m Erica. 🙂 I created the Saturday Sit-Down series in January 2017 as a way to give back to the blogging community and link readers with new bloggers whom they may share similar interests with. Click here to discover more bloggers that have been featured in the Saturday Sit-Down.
Want to be featured in this series?
I have openings starting in February 2018 and would love to feature you! Please fill out the form below and I’ll be in touch with you.
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Hi! I’m a proud Army wife and mom to two little girls (ages 1 and 4), and I love sharing our lives with you. I blog all about motherhood, our time in the military, our travels, our meals, my fitness journey, my fashion favorites, and so much more. I truly enjoy sharing it all! I can’t get enough of birthday cake ice cream, weekend sunrise runs, or making my girls belly-laugh. I write almost daily about my family’s lives, and though I like to keep things light, I also share the messy parts too. Welcome! So glad to have you around. I’m active on Facebook and Instagram and would love to communicate with you there!