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227 E Edgewood Dr
Friendswood, TX, 77546
United States

Jennifer James Sapaugh is a homeschooling mother of 5, singer/songwriter, and adoption advocate from Houston, Texas. is designed to better share and connect Jenn with other like-minded people in hopes of her crazy life adventures encouraging others in their crazy life adventures.


The Crazy Hard Goodness Known As Parenting

Jennifer James

I have always dreamed of being a wife and mom. Like....... other people wanted to be doctors, nurses, teachers.....and I would answer at the ripe age of 11 and 12 that "I want to be a mom & a singer". I feel blessed.  I don't have a song on the radio (yet ;) but for the most part, I get to do what I have always dreamed of doing. 

But to be honest, grown up life is NOTHING like what I expected. We married 10 months after our highschool graduation, so, for Kyle and I, our entire "adulthood" has been shared. And there are many times we have shared the feeling that we had been dropped on a deserted island to figure this whole life thing out, but probably we would just die there. It is hard! 

Throw in kids and it is alot hard.

Throw in kids old enough to see you, understand what's going on, & even call you out, and all of a sudden the pressure/accountability is gut wrenching and all up in your face.

We experienced this early on, as we got our oldest daughter added to our family when she was 17 years old. We were 24, had a 4 year old, & were expecting our 2nd baby. But overnight, we went from the privacy that a 4 year old's ignorance gives you, to the all knowing, always watching (& sizing you up) eyes of a teenager in the house. I remember,  I stopped watching Laguna Beach (and MTV in general) and apologized to her for referring to the neighbor's pet as "that damn dog" one day, because all of a sudden -- it was real, someone was watching me. Someone I wanted so much redemption for and so much "life changing Jesus" for,  was constantly watching me. 

And so the rubber met the road for us.

Fast forward to a little over 3 years ago, when we were begging God to heal our 14 month old niece. There was no secret she was sick and not doing well, so naturally all of our then 5 kids were well in the know. But something about having to lay in bed explaining to my 8 year old, things I was struggling to hold on to, like "God is still good - even if He chooses not to heal Olivia" and "If He doesn't, it is not because He can't". It was an exercise of faith to say those things out loud -- terribly hard, and even more so after He chose NOT to heal our sweet Liv. To stick by those truths that I wanted Tanner to clearly see and know, regardless of our earthy emotions and hurts and doubts and fears; God was still good. That was tough stuff.

Tonight was no different. 

Kyle and I have prayed and talked and talked and prayed ourselves into the same circles for the last month or so on whether or not we should continue to foster the boys during our transition to welcome a new baby girl. There are rules , appointments, visits, evaluations, & paperwork - Honestly, stuff I don't have time for. Not now, and not in a week and a half when 1/3 of my day will be taken up by breastfeeding. This was why we hadn't signed up to do foster care, but to adopt kids out of foster care who needed forever homes. But like most things in our lives it seems, things didn't go as planned - and we accepted an emergency placement for these 2 boys. So now, regardless of all the mess - here they are, calling me Mom, with no real chance of me being their forever mom. 

Tanner has heard us have these conversations. She has seen me frustrated and frazzled, overwhelmed and annoyed how things have played out. But tonight, as we layed in bed, I told her we have decided to keep the boys. 

And then how fitting for me to have to explain to her why, as I myself need to be reminded why. I continued to tell her that the situation is not exactly how we wanted it to be for this pregnancy and for enjoying the new baby, but that sometimes we sacrifice and put other people first for the sake of loving them like Christ; even when its not necessarily what we want. We know the boys are happy here; they are adjusted & thriving, but even more than just them, we are getting to love their dad like Christ, as he works to get his life in order and get his boys back. That doesn't make this an east choice, but there is peace in knowing that when we aim to live and choose based on love, that God is most definitely with us.

I teared up laying in her bed, hearing my own words just then. I needed affirmation tonight too and God gave it to me in the form of my responsibility to my ever watching, ever perceiving, not so much of a little girl anymore.

Parenting is the hardest, most exhausting, selfless, vulnerable, & reflective thing I have ever done. Sometimes it is so hard I wonder why any of us ever choice this life (again and again even) but I am grateful for so much of the time God uses it to refine me, shape me, grow me, and make me more like Him. 

Ultimately, I suppose that is the actual goal of all of our crazy lives. 

Strep Throat, Pacifiers, & Closing Chapters

Jennifer James

So, I'll start by disclosing this mom fail:

Andie, Andersen Blythe, Andie "Snake Bite" Sapaugh...our 5 almost 6 year old, still uses a sucky (what we call a pacifier) Mainly at night, but definitely, if she is sick or sometimes resting in the afternoon, she will ask for it - and I kinda don't say no, and instead throw out a random mocking one liner - about her having her sucky at her wedding or how ridiculous it is to be a great rollerblader and still have a I said, mom fail. And my comments don't phase her at all - bc she is a legit addict, so she rolls with it, rolls her eyes, and sucks on.

Now another mom fail. Andie had strep throat on March 10th. And because I am awesome, I religiously gave her her 10 day antibiotic...for about 3 days. So yesterday when she said "my head hurts" and today when she said "my head hurts, my tummy hurts"....I knew I'd have to fess up. I took her back in to the doctor, paid a new copay, she tested positive for strep again, and we picked up a new prescription for the same ailment that we still have a leftover prescription for. Whatever.

The doctor asked "Did she have a hard time getting the medicine down? Or what?" And I just said "Oh no, I just sucked."

So, there's that.

All this brings us to bed time tonight. I told Andie the doctor said we need to get a new toothbrush bc it has all the strep germs on it...but also, the suckies need to go too. She immediately got sad and a little indignant, but I reminded her that she doesn't want to be sick again and she gets a prize for giving them up, so its win-win! And all that on top of the fact that she is almost 6 and its past time anyways. She then reflects a minute, her voice got quivery and she asked, "Can I at least save one so I can remember it?" She then stuck her hands in her eyes and said she didn't want to cry. (of course I did, just like I am now)

How crazy, right?! It is clearly time for her to not have a pacifier - for the love! It makes me so annoyed - but tonight, it was that weird last time, closing of a chapter thing.

This is not our first go round with sucky lovers. Tanner was quite an addict herself - she would smell her pacifier and ask us to smell it like it was just the best crack ever. We cried as a family when Tanner turned hers in. This is actually really sad stuff. It's a door closing. It's moving on. It's sad.

Tonight I was laying down after bathing the foster boys, bc my back hurts pretty dang bad these days, and overheard Tanner in the next room giving Madden her bath. Afterwards she got Andie & Presley in and out of their showers in a timely manner - and all without me even asking her to. The little girl who used to think she was a dog named Cooler and would make us sniff her suckies is now taking initiative to meet a need when she sees one. WHAT?!

That is a beautiful thing. This is what gives me some hope, this glimpse into the future - into the next chapter.

I thought of Tanner, when I told Andie (and myself) that it was gonna be OK for her to move on sucky-free. Yes, a big part of her "baby/little girl" chapter closes with the start of no more suckies, and that honestly makes me nauseous, but it's OK. It's OK because God has plans to grow her in the next chapter of girlhood, just like He is doing with Tanner; and yes, it is different, and yes, it will never be the same, but it is also amazing and good and right.

And as I think about closing chapters, my mind races with bittersweet thoughts about this being my last pregnancy, my last baby.  I am reminded that it is OK for me to close chapters too. It is OK for me to be done with baby days, because there are beautiful things ahead for me as a mom (wife, singer, whatever) outside of pregnancy and newborns. God is not done with me yet either. There is more to come.

Who knew there would be so many things to reflect on with a repeat Strep diagnoses.

Spring Break, Heart Break, & 13 years of Marriage

Jennifer James

So, it's Spring Break. A glorious week, when students & teachers get a break....and some families, if they are lucky, get to make some memories by traveling or doing some fun stuff together. We look forward to this break, plan for this break, & expect this break. But tonight I am thinking of all the things that don't get a break; like employees in every other field besides Education; my foster boys - they don't get a break from the confusing, broken reality of them being with us - calling us mommy & daddy; financial burdens - those hang around; grief and devastating loss - they certainly don't take a break in the spring.

In particular, a dear friend of mine weighs heavy on my heart. While we may have plans to meet up and let kids play or what not this week -- her failing marriage, her devastation & her heartbreak is by no means sitting this week out.

It is unfortunate that most times people look around and compare and measure their marriage to what they think is the status of the marriages around them. It is a shame that so few of us are honest, and that so many of us succumb to this weird pressure to make their life, family, marriage, etc. appear to be great and grand with no issues (especially in front of others).

Kyle and I will celebrate 13 years of marriage a few days from now. I am pretty proud of that (kinda shocked by it too....I def don't feel old enough to have that notch in my marriage belt, but it is really true you guys!)

13 years is a pretty dang long time! We have worked hard for these 13 years and not without some very intense hardships. Of course, we have been blessed with some great highs, like 4 healthy babies born & a 5th on the way, plus an adopted daughter (and now son-n-law & granddaughter). We have shared joys of life with family & friends, but we have crawled through some pretty low lows too. From personal failures, financial issues, to a failed business that I used to fear would get the best of Kyle's sanity and health (it had already taken pretty much everything else - gosh those were very hard days!) Add on to that family death....lots of unexpected, tragic family death. And then just the normal challenges of parenting and the natural ebb and flow of a marital relationship... It has been a hell of a ride so far.  (Can I say hell here? I just feel like it fits best)

I wish I could shake my friend's husband by the shoulders and give him an earful. Marriage has seasons - and they aren't all fariytale-ish. There are times when you can be easily annoyed, when you can lose interest, even attraction; there are seasons when the stress & distraction of raising and providing for kids can leave you disconnected and isolated. There are times when your sin gets in the way. There are soul searching, discontented days, when you question everything you have got going on. There are tragedies that make you numb to everything, even the people you are supposed to love the most.... (I wish we were all sitting here together, throwing out scenarios, bc this list could literally go on and on)

Life is hard. Marriage is hard.

But that doesn't mean we give up or walk away. I hate the situation my friend is in right now. Some of you may be there too or maybe have been there. The rug is being pulled out from under her marriage and she (and her 4 kids) have no say in it. While we are spring breaking - her family is breaking. I just hate it.

Our marriages are worth fighting for. Don't be tempted to look around and assume everyone else's relationship is better than yours -- that is just not true. And if they say or imply that it is, then they are lying and you should hang out with someone else! Ha! (but seriously)

There are seasons! Really, really good ones and really, really terrible ones. (and in my opinion, the terrible ones actually make the good ones ever better!!) We are in this together! Get honest friends to do life with. Be encouraged - and encourage each other. You are not alone in your hard season! This too shall pass, and a better season is coming - we just can't give up!

I wanted to share a song of mine that I just love. I didn't actually write it when Kyle and I were going through a particularly hard season, it just kinda came out that way. But I love it - bc we have been there. We have both played the fool; we have both been desperate, and at the end of our rope. (If we are honest, I think we all have) This song is honest & vulnerable, but not without hope too; acknowledging that we can make it if we just don't give up! When I think of this song now, I think of my friend and it takes on a whole new meaning. I want so badly for them, for him, to fight for all they have and not give up; I know it doesn't always work out that way. But I am praying!

Feel free to download & share with anyone who you think could use the encouragement today.

Our words got mixed up tonight, we both lost this fight; I guess that's how it goes sometimes. The things we don't want to say - we said them anyways. So much for sleep tonight.
Before the sun goes down, let's turn this thing around.
Don't say goodbye, don't walk away. Don't tell me now that you can't stay, no. Come on, come back to me. Come on, come back to me.
It used to be so easy, but baby I think lately, it's always something new. So much at stake now, honestly I don't know how I'd make it without you.
Before the sun goes down, let's turn this thing around.
Don't say goodbye, don't walk away. Don't tell me now that you can't stay, no. Come on, come back to me. Come on, come back to me.
I know we can beat this, yeah, if we just don't give up this fight tonight.

Baby you and I, we can get it right, if we just try.

Don't say goodbye, don't walk away. Don't tell me now that you can't stay, no. Come on, come back to me. Come on, come back to me.