• Artsy Stuff,  Painter

    Project #3x3x365

    At the beginning of 2019, I decided to embark on a daily painting or sketching practice. Each page has 12 3×3 inch squares, and for the most part, has a theme. There are days when it just doesn’t work out — it’s called practice for a reason — and you’ll find some cries for help in there! Enjoy!

  • Cruising,  Lessons,  Life as a Lawrence,  The Kids,  US Travel

    The Summer of Life Skills

    Life with teenagers is a blast. It’s basically the gift that keeps on giving. This summer, Brian and I decided we were going to help the big kids (16 and 14) learn some life lessons. Skills, if you will, that they will need as they face college and adulthood in the next few years. I found a few lists to use as inspiration, but as usual, we ended up flying by the seat of our pants. They did learn a few things, though. Groceries Are Expensive. We told the kids they were in charge of cooking dinner for us one night a week. They were to plan a menu, research…

  • Fun Memories,  Writer

    The Sounds of Summer

    Right now, Africa by Toto is playing in my ear. Before that, it was Aja by Steely Dan. I’m sure in a little while it will be Kiss on my List by Hall & Oates. I call this station the “Official Station of the Pine Needles Country Club, 1985” #YachtRockRadio A post shared by Jana Lawrence (@ohjanabelle) on Jul 29, 2018 at 4:25pm PDT Yacht Rock Radio is my jam of choice these days, and I’ve decided that it’s because of the feelings that bubble up inside me when I listen to the music. The slow melodies take me to the chair of the orthodontist’s office, and even the first…

  • Charlie,  Life as a Lawrence,  Watercolor

    Charlie Blue: The Painting

    For years, I’ve lived by the belief that grief is like a rock in your shoe, an analogy shared with me by a friend only months after Charlie died. It was life-changing in the way that I remember exactly where I was and how my heart fluttered when I realized that YES! This is so true. Grief is different for everyone. It’s always there. But sometimes you find yourself surrounded by reminders. Little snippets of memories. They seem to be everywhere. Numbers, names, colors, smells… ***** My newly joined family recently moved. The thing about being married to someone who wasn’t part of your life when your child died, is knowing how…

  • Life as a Lawrence,  The Kids,  Writer

    When Your Heart’s Content

    Left. Left. Left. Ugh. Left Good God this is horrible. Left. Why am I doing this? Left. I can’t believe I got talked into downloading this stupid app. Left. I’m going to turn this stupid thing off. Left. Oh hey, he’s cute. He likes fun and food and beer and whiskey? Pause. Lef…. Right. Shit. Shitshitshit. I should just delete this app. I’ll definitely do that tomorrow. This sucks. Whatever. Being single is fine. I don’t need anybody. ……… Apparently, he thought I was cute and since I declared my love for bourbon in my profile, too, he swiped right. We talked for hours, learned we were both from Middle Georgia,…

  • School Days,  The Kids,  Writer

    Reassuring The Mom

    I’ve never been a dreamer. I’ve never been one to look far into the future and imagine things like my own wedding, having babies, retirement. Once I had a wedding and had babies, looking to the future didn’t get any better. In fact, it got worse. I’ve written before that while I was pregnant with Charlie, I dreamed of caskets. I never dreamed of first birthdays or graduations. Only very unhappy endings. A side effect of losing a child is that you have a somewhat irrational fear of your living children being taken from you for any number of random reasons. Like dying from the same thing their brother died…

  • Charlie,  Group B Strep,  Sad Stuff,  Writer

    Thirteen. 13. A Teen.

    Thirteen. It feels as awkward rolling off my tongue as it actually is to be thirteen. It’s hard to fathom, really, the possibility of Charlie being here and being thirteen. Waking up with scruffy hair on his head and a hint of facial hair. He would surely talk back to me with a cracking voice and when he might smile, the little boy in him would likely peek through every so often. He would have an attitude like he’s either king of the world or the most sullen teen who ever lived. Lived. If only he’d lived. Damn, there are so many things I would have — WE would have — done. All…

  • My Family,  Rock n Roll Lifestyle

    The First Thing I Ever Was…

    The first thing I ever was, was a groupie. Yes, I was born with groupie blood running through my veins. Seriously. It’s a thing. The Beginning. My Dad has been in a rock ‘n roll band since I was born. Well, since 1964… way before I was born actually. For his 17th birthday, he was gifted a 1964 Fender Stratocaster. It was shiny and pristine and brand spanking new. He basically taught himself to play and well, the rest is history. He started playing lead guitar with The Velvetones and then moved to The Malibu’s (punctuation error on purpose) and later, The Sixpence. This group of guys played together through…

  • Word of the Year

    2016: Filling My Life With Passion

    Passion: noun – a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something Passion. It’s been right there, right under the surface, tickling my skin to get out. It’s been on the horizon, waiting, lurking, stalking me until I couldn’t ignore it anymore. The word has been taunting me for weeks. I’ve made lists of options for this year’s word that will, hopefully, guide me through the 366 days of 2016. None of the words stuck out like passion. They just didn’t grab me by the arm and run through a field of poppies with me like PASSION did. It basically chose itself. But if I had to guess,…

  • Disney Running and Travel,  Fun Memories,  Just Jana

    2015: The Gloriously Weird Year of Finding Myself, Divorcing, and Turning 40

    What a weird year this has been. I mean, I knew it was weird, but then looking back through my photos and calendar… wow. It’s been a doozy. I’ve been rather quiet here over the course of 2015, my words few and far between. Much has gone on that hasn’t been for public consumption. My (now) ex-husband and I have never made our private matters public, especially in this space, so starting now would have been odd. When we decided very early this year to separate, that things weren’t ok, my words left me. My mind was on overdrive and well, elsewhere. The year started very restlessly. I was restless and…