Nine years ago, Jenny Tyler immigrated to Nova Scotia.
Once a Registered Nursery Nurse in the UK, growing up not too far from where the Queen spends some of her leisurely holidays, Jenny has thrown everything she knows into being a supportive Mom to Isobel (15) and Xavier (12)…and a loving wife to Geoff.
As the proud mom of two children, Jenny is quick to chat about their accomplishments. Isobel dreams of one day joining the Navy. She’s actively involved in Junior Achievement and Cadets (winning awards this year for being top in Cadets and attending a 6 week camp). Isobel is a strong role model for her younger brother and is a huge help around the house. Xavier also has his daily chores and is one of the best “gamers” around…completing new games within hours of getting one! Xavier has Pierre Robin Sequence and Autism and helps his family see the world through his eyes. He’s coping well with big changes in school this year, and is excelling at his lessons.
How does this busy family’s day go? Despite not being a morning person, Jenny stirs around 6:30 a.m and sips on hot water with fresh lemon that her husband brings before he’s off to catch the bus. From there, she switches on her phone and begins the day checking in with e-mails and social media. By the time Jenny is starting to come around, her daughter is up, dressed and starting her chores (after a few outfit changes) and her son is working through his morning routine. By 8…they’re in the car and headed to Halifax where Jenny drops Xavier and another student at Paths2Learning and continues on to work.
Some days…Jenny’s not wearing make-up and her hair is barely brushed or styled…but she’s dressed, she’s smiling…and she has matching shoes on!
With a background perfectly fitted for raising a child who requires a little extra attention, Jenny has thrown herself into making a great life for her family…and for others. Each morning, Jenny works with an amazing team at Autism Nova Scotia as Family Support, then drives across town to spend her afternoon with another wonderful team and fabulous children at Paths2Learning Academy and Society, again, as Family Support. By day’s end, she’s off to therapy where she’s dealing with the effects of a car accident…then she collects her husband from work and arrives home in time for supper where she enjoys preparing good, clean, wonderful meals…a new creation every night! In the evenings, the family balances their time between Geoff coaching his Special Olympics Soccer team, Isobel attending J.A or Cadets, various meetings and catching up on work! Jenny crashes around 10:30…to do it again the next day.
As if she doesn’t sound busy enough…Jenny runs her own direct sales business as an Epicure Consultant, she’s the Head Coach of Active Start for Special Olympics AND, she’s the Vice Chair of Special Olympics Sackville/Bedford Region!
Jenny’s calendar is jam-packed with not a moment to spare. Fitting in full-time work, appointments, activities, therapy, grocery shopping, meal planning and a home business…down time is usually spent on the couch in front of the TV with Geoff…where the couple likes to watch something British to help them “wind down and switch off.”
Things weren’t always easy for Jenny…not that things are easy now! She grew up with abuse and never thought she’d be able to live her life the way she wanted. Meeting Geoff changed things and she’s grateful to have both survived and succeeded.
My life is no bed of roses, I know that no one really lives that life, I don’t want a grand life, I am happy where we live (wouldn’t mind an extension and a second bathroom), would love to take my children to enjoy a carefree holiday where we are not worrying about bills mounting up, and above all would love to be able to one day have a small second car so that my life could be made a little less stressful running around between all appointments etc. I am grateful to all who are in my life, I have amazing people who took me into their home and treated me like a daughter when I was 17 giving me a few years of being able to be “just me.” I am proud to call them my children’s Grandparents. I am grateful to all others who are in my life, for all that they teach me each day and for lifting me up when I need it and bringing me down to a better level when I need it! I am grateful to my husband who has not had an easy life because I am not easy, but who despite it all has stuck with me.
When things are going well, Jenny is known to smile and cheer on her friends and family though she never feels she can quite get comfortable…there’s a feeling that the next ball will drop but she gets through…depending on her husband who’s quick to support her…children who mean the world to her, friends who make her smile and laugh and coworkers who help her learn and grow. As well, Jenny counts on her Special Olympic families who are a tremendous source of happiness…making her realize that a smile and a cheer can make a day go so much better!
About Jenny’s car:
Jenny spends three hours (or more) each day in her KIA Sorento. She claims that her favourite feature is the seat warmer and uses her “mobile office” to get her where she needs to go, grab snacks, guzzle drinks and catch up on phone meetings on her bluetooth! When she reflects on the shiny KIA in the driveway, she realizes how far she’s come. Jenny’s first car was a heap of junk that leaked gas and at one point forgot to stop as the brakes fell out while driving! Upon moving to Canada and buying their first Canadian car…they didn’t even make it onto the driveway before the front suspension fell out! Jenny has had a couple of cars from various makes and she’s thrilled with her shiny red, stick shift KIA…allowing her to travel around the Province in style.
Jenny’s GPS is named Mavis and her Bluetooth (often confused by her British accent) is named Doris. Though often, when not following directions properly, she changes their names to something a little more unsavoury!
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I know Jenny! My youngest is in JA with her daughter! A lovely lady who certainly deserves this recognition!