Name: Jennifer Kraushaar
Family: Married to Nathan, with two sons, Thomas (6), Simon (5)
Profession: Esthetician, and owner of The Spa Garage in Grenfell
Years in Grenfell: 8 years
Describe one of your closest friends.
My girlfriends are one of the reasons I love living here in Grenfell. The girlfriends I've met here are all really genuine, and I'm lucky, because our kids are all kind of the same age. I really like that I see them all at hockey games, at the grocery store, at school functions, and that's also what I love about living in Grenfell - the sense of community. I've met some awesome friends here, and that's nice since I'm away from my family. Girlfriends are important. Women need women. One of my closest friends is Debbie Kenny. She's just awesome. She's genuine. She's supportive. She's a wonderful mother and I learn a lot from her, as a mother and a wife. We're both married to guys who farm, and work another job, so we depend on each other during seeding and harvest, and can relate to things that come along with that. The lifestyle, because farming is a lifestyle. It's not just a job. It's nice to have someone who understands exactly what I'm going through, how things can be, and the struggles. It makes it easier to get through those times for sure. We connected right away, and it's nice that our kids are the same age. We started doing baby yoga together when our second kids were born. And the rest is history! We became tight on those drives to Kipling.
What's the oldest thing you own?
It's not just mine - it's a shared family heirloom, but my family has a bible from the mid 1800s. It's just huge and it has some family tree stuff in it. It's got pictures in it too. It's just gorgeous. The pages are so fine, yet it's so thick. It's at my parent's place right now, because they were getting a little work done to it, and had family down over the summer. They were fixing it up. I just think it's cool, the family history, and knowing the history it's been through - I was a history major in university, so that kind of thing really intrigues me.
When I say the word Canada, what does that make you think?
Oh gosh... I love living in Canada. I've lived in Alberta and Saskatchewan. I've travelled a little through B.C., and Ottawa, and the east coast a little bit - just as far as Quebec City. I'd love to see the Maritimes though. I love our diversity, our free health care. I love our freedom, and that we can express ourselves without worrying about being persecuted. With everything going on in the world, I think we are very lucky to live in Canada. I am a proud Canadian, for sure. I wish it were easier to get around our country. It's not affordable at all, and that's unfortunate. I really love being Canadian though. Just being thankful. I would love to travel to Vancouver Island and the Maritimes - the vistas in Newfoundland would be amazing to see.
It's Halloween. Are you the parent that dresses up?
Ya, for sure. I would absolutely dress up with my kids. If they wanted me to be the princess from Super Mario, which may have been discussed already, I would try my hardest to look for a pink dress for trick or treating. So I guess it depends on what they want to be really. But if I can play a part, I will. I haven't dressed up with them yet. One year they were Spiderman and Superman, then last year they were Mario and Luigi and they're on that still this year. It's a few months, so their minds are bound to change. But ya, for sure if they wanted me to, if they thought that was a good time, absolutely.
Are you a leader or a follower?
That's a tough one. It depends on the situation I think. I can make decisions easily and decide what we're going to do, but I can also follow the crowd and be a helper and a supporter too. I like to sometimes let other people take the lead, because that's how you learn about them a little bit. With my job especially, it's a lot of one on one which I enjoy. I usually let people guide the conversation because I like to learn about them. I think that's how you learn why people are the way they are. Or what makes them tick. That's one thing I really like about my job. People come see me once a month and I get to catch up, learn about their family, the recipe tips. It's just awesome. So I guess, leader vs. follower, I can be both, and I enjoy being both. I do like to get involved in things, with my kids or the community. If you don't volunteer, then things will just fold. I'm on the GAA board, and was on the daycare board getting that going. With the GAA, I don't know a lot about hockey - I have a sister, and I was a girl guide and a baseball player growing up. The hockey world is all new to me. I didn't know much about it, but I wanted to learn. My boys are just little now, it's not travelling as far, it's not as much of a time commitment. It's not as political yet with these little guys, so I figure if I can get in and learn now, it'll make me a better hockey parent down the road. Learning how the league works, what managers do, I really didn't know. It's been fun, and interesting. It also helps me meet people from around town.
What's one of your favorite memories?
I would say time with my grandma and grandpa. We were quite close growing up. My grandma and grandpa were a little bit older when they had my mom, and she was a single parent when I was little. So they would watch us all the time, because they were retired. They would come to our ball games, and take us to Dairy Queen afterwards for a treat. They would come over and my grandpa would always have Skor bars in his pockets, and we'd always take the Halls out of grandma's purse, then she'd giggle like crazy. I really miss my grandparents in this time of my life, having my own children. I wish I could sit down and ask them questions - things that I never thought to ask when I was younger. They passed in 2004 and 2007. I was lucky to have them. They were both in their 90s. I lost them when I was in my 20s. I think about them, probably every day, and even more now than when I first lost them. I think as we get older, we reflect more. It makes you think about what they said, and the knowledge they tried passing on and how you really do come to appreciate that more when you're older. And your parents always say that to you when you're younger - "Oh, you'll understand when you're older" and then you get older and you do understand. They were right. So for sure, when I think of happy memories, often it's that - just chumming around with my grandma and grandpa. We did a lot with them, and I'm so thankful for that now. I really try to promote that relationship with my kids and their grandparents. I hope they can experience some of those same things that I did.
Have you ever been taken to the hospital in an ambulance?
Yes, I was, a few years ago, because I was having an appendix issue. I thought I had the flu, and I just didn't feel right. We were at hockey practice on a saturday morning and came home. Just before this I had read a book called "I am Hutterite" and the little boy had an appendix attack in it. So after feeling like, hmm, this isn't how the flu normally feels, I said to Nathan, maybe you should google appendix. So I called a girlfriend of mine who's a nurse and I said, how do I tell the difference? She said if you're even questioning it, go to the hospital. So we headed to Wolseley and I ended up in the hospital in Regina that night. They took it out the next day. That is my one and only ambulance ride. It was awful, but 4 or 5 days later, after they took it out, I was fine. So why do we have this useless organ that does nothing and just causes issues? My gastro doctor said that black bears are the only mammal that actually uses their appendix. We all just have them because we do!
What inspires you?
I think people inspire me. In general, I like people. I enjoy people. Even as I'm aging, I'm coming to enjoy people more, because I think we all are the way we are for a reason, and I think it's interesting to know why. So ya, I look to the people around me - my girlfriends, my kids, my husband, and I try to appreciate the things about them. Like I love that my husband is a really hard worker and everything he does is for us. So I try to be like that a little bit. Then my kids, they find such joy in the little things. They're goofy and fun and playful, and can really pick me up if I'm not feeling like that on a certain day. And my girlfriends inspire me as a mother, and as a friend. I would say people do inspire me. People are a product of their environment and I think if you can look past the surface behaviours, and just understand people a little bit better, maybe you wouldn't feel like someone who becomes bitter as they age. I try to be an optomist, because I feel like there are a lot of pessimists in this world. I try to have fun, and smile and I kill them with kindness. That's what I do. People don't always expect that.
What do you consider your best characteristic?
I guess my positivity. I have had people tell me that - it's weird talking about myself. Sorry. I would say being an optomist, and positive. I always try to pick people up rather than complain and be negative, because I think there's enough of that going around. I don't need to contribute to that. So I think that's probably my best characteristic. And I try to live like that in every aspect of my life, whether I'm at work, or volunteering, or out and about buying my groceries, or with my family. I think it's important to see the good things in life. There's too much negativity and complains sometimes. It's like when people complain when they're in line at Costco. You came to Costco. You know you'll have to wait in line. It's fine. Is two or three minutes extra really going to bog up your day? I hope not.
Have you ever relocated for love?
Yes!! Yes I have! Ya. Of course. I met Nathan and I knew right away that he was the one. I told my girlfriend that, I think it was after two months, that I was going to marry him. Of course I knew he was from Saskatchewan, and I knew eventually he wanted to move back home and farm (they met in Alberta where they worked together) I had done some travelling already, and gone to university, so I was ready to settle. When I knew he was ready to go back to Saskatchewan, there was no hesitation. I was 29 when we moved back here. We've been married for 8 years. We got married in 2010. Absolutely no regrets at all. When I'm coming down the highway and I see that big G, and the elevator, I feel like I'm coming home, and I'm very happy to be here. I've learned lots being out here, from my husband, from my mother-in-law. I couldn't be happier. I love raising my kids here. I love the sense of community we have here. I really like this community. So ya, I have relocated for love, and it's been one of the best things that's ever happened to me.