About Me:

Aloha! I'm Wendy Kennar. I'm the mother of a seven-year-old son and a wife living in Los Angeles. I was a public school teacher for twelve years until a chronic medical condition made it necessary to leave my teaching career.

I've always been described as "quiet" - really, I'm just biting my tongue. I've got lots to say, and lots of thoughts to share, I just prefer to write them. That's the purpose of this blog. Each Wednesday, I post a personal essay offering my observations and thoughts.

A few fun facts about me: I've wanted to be a writer since second grade, when my teacher, Mrs. Jones, made me a "book" with a yellow construction paper cover. I have never learned to whistle, have always preferred sunflowers to roses, and have spent my life living within the same zip code.

Through the years, my writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, United Teacher, GreenPrints, L.A. Parent, DivineCaroline.com, RoleReboot.org, XOJane, and Brain, Child Magazine. Additionally, my personal essays have been included in several anthologies, including: The Barefoot Review, Beyond the Diaper Bag, Lessons From My Parents, Write for Light, Being a Grown-Up: A User's Manual for the Real World, Ka-Pow!, How Writing Can Get You Through Tough Times, Breath and Shadow, The Grey Wolfe Storybook, and Sisters Born, Sisters Found.
I am a regular contributor at MomsLA.com, and you can also find me at Goodreads.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Feel free to comment and share my blog with others!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

      Yesterday, I asked my son about his favorite part of Christmas.  He told me it was getting presents.  (He is five-and-a-half years old, after all).  When I asked him what else he likes, he told me giving presents. 

So, on this Christmas day, I would like to give my readers virtual gifts.  I would give you boxes of joy, packages of contentment, bags of good health, and bundles of love.  I thank you for checking in each week and reading my blog.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Protocol for a Pisces Princess

   When my husband and I were dating, he referred to me as his “Pisces Princess.”  We were delighted to be out on a date and hear Cuba Gooding Jr.’s character in Jerry Maguire also refer to his wife as his "Pisces Princess."  

   Unfortunately, I have lived my life not as a princess but as a worker.  A wife, a teacher, a mother, a writer.  Not a princess.  Now, I’m realizing that I can do my jobs with a princess flair.  Which doesn’t mean I need to be wearing a gown I can’t sit in or a tiara worth more than my car.  It just means I should be treating myself better, more reverentially, more specially.  Here are my seven guidelines for living like a Pisces Princess (or a Capricorn or Cancer Countess, an Aquarius or Aries Angel, a Sagittarius or Scorpio Superstar, a Libra or Leo Lady, a Taurus Treasure, a Gemini Gem,or a Virgo Valentine).

  1. Wear something pretty (that others may notice and admire).  Whether it be earrings, nail polish, or a pendant.  Something you see on yourself that makes you smile.  This does not have to be an item that is extravagantly priced.  No one needs to know the cost but you.  It just needs to be something that makes you stop and think,  “It’s so pretty.  And I’m wearing it.  And that makes me happy.”  
  2. Wear something pretty just for you.  A cute nightie, red underwear, or a purple bra.  They don’t need to be purchased and worn in the hopes of enticing someone else.  They should be purchased and worn for me, just because I am a Pisces Princess.
  3. When you look at yourself in the mirror, you are only allowed to say two types of statements - facts (my hair is brown, my eyes are brown) or compliments (your hair has a cute flip today).  No self-deprecating comments, no “Do-these-pants-make-my-butt-look big?” remarks.
  4. You can choose your own company.  It’s absolutely okay to decline a breakfast/lunch/dinner date (romantic or otherwise) because you need some “you-time.”  A soak in the bathtub.  Thirty minutes to read your novel.  A cup of anything without being interrupted by anyone else.
  5. Splurge on things that make you happy.  Splurges don’t have to be overly-indulgent and cause you to worry about how you’ll make rent this month.  A splurge is simply spending money on something you want, but don’t necessarily need.  A splurge can be a butterfly-patterned shower curtain, a pedicure in the winter when no one will see that your toenails look like little bits of cotton candy, buying the hardcover instead of waiting for the paperback, or a car wash even though there’s a chance of rain in three days.
  6. Do something that scares you, but that you still really want to do.  Often times, it’s just fear of the unknown that stops us from experiencing something new.  We won’t be harmed, we’re not in danger, we’re just out of our comfort zone.  And that’s okay.  So, maybe it’s finally getting your ears pierced or getting a tattoo, eating alone in a restaurant, singing karaoke in front of a large crowd, riding a motorcycle, or traveling solo.
  7. Accept compliments.  I am too quick to dismiss compliments.  I always feel I must clarify, “Oh, that sweater is older than my son” or “I got those earrings on sale.”    Instead, compliments should be graciously accepted with a sincere “thank you.”  

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Happy's Anniversary

                                                       Our new car on its first trip to Cambria

   Recently, my husband and I acknowledged the tenth anniversary of one of our cars.  We didn’t celebrate with a dinner out or a slice of cake.  We simply talked about the fact that ten years have passed (already!) since we signed the papers and drove our new car home.

   Ten years, lots of memories.  One trip to the Grand Canyon and multiple trips to Cambria, my favorite vacation spot.  This is the car my husband drove to the hospital and three days later drove home with our infant son accompanying us.  

   Ten years, two car accidents.  One major, one minor, neither my fault; thankfully, no injuries.  

   The purchase of our car was the first time in our relationship that my husband and I paid for, and got, exactly what we wanted.  We knew the make and model we wanted.  We requested our preferred color and our desire for a moonroof.  

   Never before, had we been such discriminating customers.  When we became engaged, finances and store stock dictated what type of ring we purchased.  When we moved into our first apartment, we chose from the units available at the time.  And while I loved our apartment, I detested its sliding shower door.  

   Our car was ours.  We named it “Happy,” although our son knows it simply as the “blue car.”  And it is simply a blue car.  It’s a material object that if, need be, could be replaced.  I know it’s just a “thing.”  But, it is a thing that represents so much more to us.  For two young people, our car was an important sign.  Our car signified improved finances, a shared commitment, and strong discipline.  (We paid off our car earlier than anticipated).

   In regards to wedding anniversaries, a traditional gift for ten years is tin.  Tin represents qualities that a marriage requires:  a marriage needs to be flexible and durable, so that it can change and move and bend without being broken.  

   Certainly, our blue car needs to be durable, and to an extent, it has needed to be flexible; we now use the same car in different ways.  My husband and I don’t have date nights any more.  Over night trips to Laguna Beach don’t happen either.  Instead, we have daily trips to kindergarten and weekly trips to the public library.  

   And we’re looking forward to the next ten years and the new batch of memories we’ll make!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The MOON Magazine

Aloha Readers!

One of my essays has just been published in the December issue of The MOON Magazine.  Here's the link:


Delicious Affection

   I am not a pie person.  Given a choice for a sweet dessert, I will always select the chocolatey, fudgy option.  And I certainly wouldn’t say I’m a “foodie.”  Yet pies and foods are an important part of the way I show affection to my loved ones.  

   I never made a conscious decision about the nicknames or terms of endearment I would use when referring to my son and husband.  However, over time certain names have made it to my daily rotation, and I’ve realized that many of them are food-related.

   My son, Ryan, is my only child and thus receives Mommy’s full attention and affection.  Objectively, he is a good boy -- he does not climb over the booths at a local restaurant, doesn’t run and scream down the hall in a museum, has never attempted to draw on our walls or eat the dirt from our houseplants.  He is a curious child, an avid reader; he is musical and playful.  He is my “angel pie” and my “sweet pea.”

   Ryan is also known in our home by two rather unconventional nicknames.  One is “tushie pop;” a name I don’t know how I invented or why.  I just know that my son’s bottom is soft, and a baby’s bare bottom, when clean and poop-free, is a sweet place to kiss.

      Ryan’s other nickname is “farfalle.”  Technically, farfalle are bow-shaped pasta noodles.  Yet, when talking with my mom about my son’s latest adventures, I often begin the conversation with “Farfalle just ...”

   My husband, on the other hand, is another story.  I rarely call him “Paul.”  Paul is the name anyone can use:  his parents, his boss, his customers.  In our home, my husband is “honey pie” as in “Honey pie, did you reschedule your dentist appointment?”  Early in our relationship, we never had a conversation about nicknames; they just happened to evolve.  

   It’s interesting to stop and consider the ways we show and express love and affection to those closest to us.  Often times, there is no logic or set reasoning to explain a certain nickname or special good-night ritual.  But, as with love, logic doesn’t always factor into the equation.  Love just is.