Writing is Hard

10 06 2014

There are so many distractions in the world—so many excuses to stay away from my keyboard.

Writing is hard.

I write blog posts in my head all the time. I tell you all about the woman I met at the playground who was just angling to give me her business card, the jerks who swore at me when I refused to sell them pseudoephedrine because they didn’t have proper ID, the way I struggle to get out of bed every day, but I do it because my children depend on me and I can’t let them down.

So much to say.

Sometimes I wonder if I did tell you these things, if I wrote all the thoughts in my head, if you’d keep coming back. After all, not every post is thought-provoking, award-winning content.

I worry.

But I need to write. Writing is a healthy outlet for me, and the longer I go between posts, the less I write, the harder it gets to turn to my keyboard.

So now I make a promise to you. I will write at least one blog post per week. Those of you close to me, or even those of you who are simply casual readers—keep me honest.

Writing is hard, but it’s what I know, and I don’t want that to change.

Y’all come back now.

I’m a Winner

24 01 2012

Today I found out I won a ticket to the Story @ Home conference from Camille, who blogs over at Make it Work Mom. I’m too lazy to go into detail about the conference other than to tell you the following details:

  1. It’s in March in Salt Lake City.
  2. It’s all about telling your personal stories, which is obviously right up my alley.

You should read up on the conference, and then if you’re into that sort of thing you should sign up for it and come hang out with me. Really, even if you aren’t into that sort of thing, you should come hang out with me, because I’m just that awesome.

Anyway, I was pretty excited to win, because I wanted to attend the conference but didn’t want to shell out the money for the ticket because we’re poor. When Car came home for lunch today, I attempted to share my excitement. The (possibly exaggerated) conversation went something like this:

Me: I won a ticket to a blogging conference! (Yes, I know it’s not specifically a blogging conference, but whatever.)

Car: (After whining about how I’ll probably end up spending money on other stuff even though the ticket is free.) You should probably actually get back to blogging then, shouldn’t you?

Now that it’s a full hour after the conversation ended and now he’s back at work, I have this to say, “Go ahead, Car. Show me the last thing you wrote.


*I totally told him I was blogging about this, lest you think I’m a terrible wife who bitches about her husband behind his back.

**If I really wanted to bitch about him behind his back, I’d need to start another blog, since he reads this one.



Search Me

12 01 2012

Every once in a while I glance at my stats—not to see how many people read my blog (that number just depresses me, as based on my sheer awesomeness I should have thousands–nay, millionsof readers), but to find out from whence y’all came. What site referred you? What magical combination of terms did you type into the search engine to be led so very astray?

I really should know better than to ask these questions.


A few things here:

  1. Who asks a question like that? 
  2. Who googles it? 
  3. Why the hell did it lead them to my blog?

I know I talk about poop a fair amount on this blog, but to the best of my recollection (though I’m sure I killed a few brain cells with the drugs), I’ve never named—or even contemplated naming—a bowel movement.

I thought the “megatron baby birth certificate” search was hilariously random until I realized someone was probably looking for proof that people actually named their child Megatron based on the number of likes or fans or something received on Facebook. If I cared more I’d look it up but honestly, I’ve lost interest now that it isn’t a cartoon baby Megatron.

I do find it hilarious that I consistently (seriously, every day) get hits from “Billy Blanks,” since the only time I’ve mentioned him on my blog is when I talked about how phenomenally creepy I find his peek-a-boo nipples.

FYI: I’m perfectly aware most of my readers are my friends and family. Bless you for finding me amusing enough that you’re willing to a) maintain contact with me and b) read my nonsensical ramblings. As for the rest of you—those who found me through blogging, mutual friends, Twitter, or (heaven forbid) freakish search engine requests and have, for some bizarre reason, come back for more—please seek professional help.

*I totally just upped my search ranking for “Billy Blanks.” BOOYAH!

**I think we all know if I had to name a bowel movement, I’d name it Bob. Partly because I name everything Bob, and partly because Mr. Hanky is already taken.

***Wait, did I talk about Mr. Hanky in a blog once? That might sort of explain the naming of feces. But not really.

****If you don’t know who Mr. Hanky is, you probably shouldn’t look it up. You might be scarred for life. I’m looking at you, mom and dad.

*****Wait, how would I know it was my last bowel movement? Are we talking about the last one I had (say, this morning), or the last one I would ever have? That might make a difference. If I actually know it’s my last crap on this earth maybe it means I’m on death row and I’ll want to name my poop something more bad-ass than Bob. You know, something like Slash. Or Killer. Or Captain Huggy Face.

******I’m trying to not contemplate the implications of having poop named Slash, but I’m failing miserably.

*******I also might be snort laughing.

********From now on, every time I need to use the bathroom, I’m going to say, “I gotta go make a Captain Huggy Face.”

*********I so win at blogging right now.

All in My Head

10 07 2011

I write so many posts.

I know what you’re thinking, “Er…no you don’t, Jenny. You’ve hardly been writing at all.”

Okay, maybe “write” isn’t the exact word I’m looking for.

I craft so many posts in my head. I spin a tale while I’m in the shower, while I fold the laundry, while I sing my boys to sleep. Then late at night I sit down at the computer, ready for my Pulitzer-level brilliance to spill forth…and I’m empty.

When I first started blogging, I kept a notebook of ideas. I’d jot down random thoughts to jog my memory, and that would be enough to start the creative process.

But I want—no, I need you to understand these aren’t just ideas. They’re fully developed sentences and paragraphs, right down to the italicized text…and they’re gone.

Even this, as I write it, slips through my fingers. The idea materialized 30 minutes ago in the shower, and the nuances already shift and slither away, more difficult to catch than those stupid garter snakes in my mother’s pond.

I have so much to tell you, and it’s all coiled up under a rock in my brain.

It’s maddening.

It has to come out for sun at some point, right?

Lie to me if you have to. I’m okay with that.

So Maybe I Should Write Something

4 07 2011

Oh, hi. Remember me? I know, your lives have been lackluster and meaningless during my absence. I hope y’all comforted yourselves by perusing the archives here. You didn’t? Jerks.

So, here I am, and I kind of feel like my writing muscle is out of shape.

Remember back when I said if I stop talking, there’s a high probability I’m not doing well?

I’ve stopped talking.

I was hit by that realization a little over a week ago. Go ahead, try to find the last time I wrote something serious. You’ll have to do some searching—it was on Mother’s Day. Two months ago.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to this to be a super-serious blog. I love writing posts that make you (and me) giggle. Still, y’all know I’m not like that all the time, and to make my blog all sunshine and unicorns and rainbows simply wouldn’t be an honest reflection of who I am.

If I’m not being open with you, I’m not being open with myself. I’ve stopped talking, and I’m not okay.

I’m sad.

I’m lonely.

I’m exhausted.

I don’t know why I stopped telling you these things. I think I fell into a dangerous trap—the all-too-common one that says I need to be strong. Y’all have to think I’m doing well and everything really is sunshine and unicorns and rainbows, because I’m just that awesome.

If I stop and really think about that, it’s hilarious. After all I’ve written about addiction and depression, now I’m going to try to portray myself as perfect? Awesome plan, Jenny. You’re totally going to pull that one off.

Still, I want to be Jenny the Great. I want to be the mom who doesn’t threaten to set her son’s paper airplane on fire; the wife who has dinner ready when her husband gets home from work (or at least knows what dinner will be); the woman whose clothes actually make it into the drawers before it’s time to do laundry again.

I’m not any of those women. I likely won’t be any of those women for a long, long time (though hopefully I’ll soon stop threatening immolation of my son’s belongings), so rather than mope about what I’m not, perhaps I need to redefine Jenny the Great.

I don’t know who that is, but I’m going to do my best to find her.

I hope it happens fast, because talking about myself in the third person is kind of creepy.

*And now I take a deep breath, press the publish button, and launch myself back into…something. I’m not really sure what.

**Love on me a little in the comments, won’t you? I’m feeling needy.

***And bossy, apparently, though that’s nothing new. Admit it, that’s part of my charm.

****I said admit it.

*****Now dance for me.

At Least Someone Thinks I’m Mature

30 05 2011

Last week I decided to searc CityDeals for a last minute gift for Big G’s preschool teacher. What? Doesn’t everyone look for printable gift certificates 20 minutes before the end of the last class?

Shut up.

Anyway, since I’m smart and stuff, I thought I’d go to my blog and click on my little link over there on the right, because then I get a kickback for linking myself to CityDeals! I know. It’s like I’m a rocket scientist or something.

I happened to be at my parents’ house, which is how I made this fantastic discovery:

I haven’t been this proud of myself since I graduated from rehab.

*These CityDeals links? Yeah, if you click on them and buy something, I get a wee bit of money. Not a lot, but every little bit validates my blogging habit.

I Meant “Bad” Michael Jackson, Not BAD Michael Jackson

19 03 2011

Or, “Know Your Audience.”

Last week on Twitter someone asked this question:

“So. If I were to, say, mix up a batch of brownie batter, and then proceed to sit with a spoon and eat it (all), would that be bad?”

Now, we all know the answer to this question is “No.” However, I had 140 characters available in which to convey that sentiment, and anyone who has read this blog knows brevity isn’t my strong point.

Instead, I opted for an answer that made me giggle. That’s how I plan most of my conversations—the things I say might not make you laugh or even (if I’m being totally honest) make sense half the time, but if they make me laugh, I’m pleased with the outcome of our interaction. I’m a fantastic conversationalist like that. I tweeted: “Depends. Are we going with the Michael Jackson definition of bad? If so, then yes.”

I sat back and waited for the hilarity to begin. Then came the reply: “You may have saved me from myself.”

Wait, what? Saved her from herself? That made no sense. I just told her eating the brownie batter was good. I mean, that’s what the song “Bad” is about. The “whole world has to answer right now just to tell you once again…who’s bad!” That’s pretty frickin’ bad. And by bad, I mean awesome.

Then I realized…that’s the Michael Jackson of my generation. The Michael Jackson of the newer generations was on trial for child molestation and then overdosed on Diprivan. It’s not a bad that anyone wants to be. Ever.

I tried to explain myself by tweeting: “I meant it more in the sense of his song “I’m Bad” – ie, bad = good. Because I’m old,” but by then it was too late. I felt hopelessly outdated and ready to be put out to pasture.

It’s okay, though. Don’t feel too sorry for me. After all, you know I’m bad, I’m bad – you know it.

Sorry. If you don’t like what I’m sayin’, then won’t you slap my face.

Okay. I’m going to stop now. Seriously.

*You may have noticed a drop in my posting frequency. Now that the Year o’ Blogging has come to a close, I’ve decided to give myself some leeway on the whole “post every day” thing. I know this makes you sad, as it means less Jenny, but try to be strong. I’ll do my best to post as frequently as possible. This may mean daily, or it may mean a few times a week. I’m not sure yet—we’ll just have to see how things work out.

**Your butt is mine.

***Okay, now I’m done.

Pretty Good Year

3 01 2011

I wasn’t planning to spend a post talking about 2010, but I got an e-mail from WordPress detailing my stats from last year and it got me thinking (that seems to be happening a lot lately) (the thinking, that is).

January 1, 2010: a whopping 24 posts.

On March 11, 2010 I made a decision to blog daily. I haven’t been perfect, but I’ve made a pretty decent effort.

January 1, 2011: 314 posts.

January 1, 2010: 31 comments.

January 1, 2011: 2003 comments.

Please, please, pretty please with sugar on top don’t think I’m bragging. I’m not. I’m such a very small fish in the blogging ocean. But when I see these things in black and white? Suddenly I feel like I accomplished something last year. Maybe it’s not really important, maybe it’s not world-changing…but it’s something. So often I feel like I’m treading water—trying so hard to stay afloat that I can’t manage anything else. But look! I created! I wrote! I did this!

And you guys? You read it. You come here, you read my words, you comment. There aren’t enough words to tell you what that means to me. Without you, none of what I just wrote would’ve happened. I love writing, but without readers, there’s no reason to write. You laugh with me, you cry with me, you keep me honest, and you (usually) do it all without making me feel like a complete freak.

So, to sum it up: I’m awesome. You’re awesome. Let’s all dance and be happy and frolic through the meadows.

Or, you know, we could just go out for lunch. That’d be cool.


All Aboard: Our Trip to the North Pole

11 12 2010

So y’all know I’ve never done a review (translation: nobody has ever asked me), and I’ve often wondered what my price would  be. Would I say yes to the first offer? Or would it need to be something truly special?

You’ll be pleased to know we have an answer: train tickets. That’s right. When I received an e-mail offering a complimentary ride on the Heber Valley Railroad’s North Pole Express, I nearly peed myself. I don’t think there’s a way to adequately portray just how train-obsessed Little G is at this point in his 2-year-old life. Just know that riding a train is pretty much nirvana.

I was a little concerned we might not be able to go, what with the plague hitting our house and all, but I needn’t have worried. Monday night Big G was up until 2 am vomiting, and Tuesday morning he woke up at 5:30 asking, “Are we going on the train today?” Car left work early and we headed up the canyon. Little G treated us to a continual chorus of “CHOO CHOO!” for the entire 45 minute drive, so we were pretty relieved when we arrived at the train station.

We met up with Grandma and Grandpa (I may have finagled tickets for them as well. Ahem. We all know the ideal adult-to-child ratio in chaotic situations is two adults to every child.) and boarded the train.

Did I mention Little G was a bit excited?

The atmosphere on the train was very festive—decorations, music, and a passel of energetic kids—and we were soon on our way. Our emcee made a half-hearted effort to get people involved in jokes and singing. I’d have to say that’s one of my small complaints—she didn’t seem particularly involved or concerned in the entertainment aspect of the train, and when the ride is an hour and a half, that’s a whole lot of time to kill if you don’t have a very enthusiastic person at the helm. But the kids didn’t much mind.

Notice most of my pictures are of Little G? Big G was busy bouncing off the walls and shushing other people.

Cute little elves served chocolate cookies and scalding-hot chocolate. That would be caution number two: do not let your children drink the hot chocolate until a period of approximately twenty minutes has passed. It’s that hot. I ended up throwing ours away because really, holding two cups of dangerously hot cocoa while children scurry about is not my idea of a good time.

Still, we weren’t on the train for the hot chocolate. We were headed to…The North Pole. The train finally stopped to pick up an extra-special visitor. It actually stops for a little while, as they need to hook the engine to the other end of the train to head back to the station. I started to feel a little claustrophobic, because it was a bit warm and there were a lot of very noisy kids and we were trapped on the train…but that’s just me. I have issues, as all of you very well know. Everybody else was just excited Santa was on the train.

Oh, did I not mention that? Yeah. The special visitor was Santa. Duh.

Little G wasn't quite sure what to make of Santa...

...so he checked with Grandpa.

And all the kids received little souvenir tops from Santa, which I like much better than the usual sticky-finger-inducing candy canes!

I don't know why my kids can't take a normal picture with Santa.

The next day I asked Big G what he thought of the train ride. His answer: “When can we go again?” I tried again, thinking I could do this brilliant review in “interview-the-preschooler” style. “What was your favorite part?” I asked. He said, “Can we go tomorrow?” I finally gave up. I think we can safely say the North Pole Express was a huge success with my boys.

Do you want to take your kids on the North Pole express? Great news! The Heber Valley Railroad has generously offered a discount to my lovely blog readers! You can get $5 off coach tickets on December 14, 15 and 16. Just call the train directly at 435-654-5601 and ask for the “Utah Blogger” discount. Be sure to mention my blog name. If you don’t know what that is, you make me sad.


Heber Valley Railroad’s “North Pole Express” is a magical journey Utah families will treasure this holiday season. As a new twist on an old tradition, the North Pole Express will feature a live reading of “The Night Before Christmas,” a classic holiday favorite that will come to life as families enjoy a festive ride to the North Pole.


Guests aboard the North Pole Express will enjoy singing carols, sipping hot chocolate and eating cookies while reading along or listening to the “The Night Before Christmas.” Children are encouraged to wear their pajamas for the ride. Upon arrival at the North Pole, Santa and his sleigh will greet the children and give each child a special Christmas gift.


Tickets are now on sale for this popular holiday train, which is a long-standing tradition for thousands of Utah families. First class service is available most weekends during the North Pole Express schedule. Due to the high demand for tickets, the Heber Valley Railroad is offering two matinee excursions on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 23-24, 2010.


The North Pole Express will depart every Monday through Saturday through December 24, 2010.


Nightly Excursions

  • Depart 5 p.m.; return 6:30 p.m.
  • Depart 7:30 p.m.; return 9 p.m.


Matinee Excursions (December 23-24 only)

  • Depart 2 p.m.; return 3:30 p.m.


Schedule and Fares

Family Night: December 1, 2, 6, 13

  • $29 adult, $26 senior (ages 60 and above), $18 child (ages 3-12)


Coach: December 3, 4, 7-11, 14-18, 20-23

  • $32 adult, $29 senior (ages 60 and above), $21 child (ages 3-12)


First Class: December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 20-23

  • $47 adult, $44 senior (ages 60 and above), $36 child (ages 3-12)


Matinee: December 23, 24

  • $29 adult, $26 senior (ages 60 and above), $18 child (ages 3-12)


Tickets can be purchased by calling SmithsTix at 800-888-TIXX, by calling the railroad at 435-654-5601, online at www.HeberValleyRailroad.org, or at the Heber Valley Depot, 450 South 600 West, Heber City. For more information and directions, contact the Heber Valley Railroad at 435-654-5601 or visit www.HeberValleyRailroad.org.

Just in Time for Christmas!

4 12 2010

I have a Google alert set up for articles about my autoimmune issues. Today I clicked over to one, only to find it featured those really annoying little key word ads—you know, the hyperlinked ads that pop up a little window when you hover over a word. It was distracting. And annoying.


I don’t even want to know.

Also, I’d like to apologize to those readers who feel they didn’t need to know my period started. After I posted last night I thought, “You know, my readers really don’t need to know that.” That thought was immediately followed by, “But if I only tell them what they need to know, this will be the world’s shortest blog,” because when it comes down to it, none of you need to know any of this stuff. You obviously want to know it. Why else would you keep coming back? Unless you have some sort of self-flagellation thing going on. But if that’s it, I really don’t want to know about it, so I’ll pretend you really want to know about stuff like vomiting toddlers and my period starting.

I like how we have an understanding about these things.