Super Blog Friends, It’s Time to Activate!

Ahh, so all week I’ve been trying to get over here to blog. I am really jonesing to tell you all about my all-expenses paid for trip to Vegas courtesy of Monat. I mean…ME?? In Vegas?? You know that had some hilarious highlights. I don’t drink or gamble, LOLOL!

HOWEVER, last night something more important and much more blog worthy came up, so y’all are gonna have to wait a hot minute for “What happens in Vegas…Jenny Edition.” I promise it will be worth it.

So what could be even MORE important than me bumbling my way through Sin City? Why, a BLOG FRIEND in need, of course.

I first met Natasha Baker through the hilarious Holly Michael (longtime reader of this here train wreck) a few years ago when we all entered (AND LOST, COME ON!!!!) the Erma Bombeck writing contest. Then, I met her in PERSON at the actual Erma conference in 2016. I’ve enjoyed following Natasha’s writing on Dayton Moms Blog and Dayton Magazine, and on Facebook, the adventures of her farming family as they sold one farm, moved to another, and lived in a trailer for a ew months while building their new home. Twin tween boys and a teenage girl + two parents in a small space made for some very funny FB posts!

Natasha and her hard working farmer husband David live in Waynesville, have been married 26 years and have a 16-year-old accomplished ballerina daughter and twin 12-year-old football playing sons. They work super hard to provide for their family.

Recently, I had the wind knocked out of me when Natasha posted an article she had written for the Dayton Moms Blog announcing that, after months of odd incidents and medical tests for David, he had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease.

He is 48.

David and Natasha Baker

If this news knocked the wind out of me, imagine how it felt for Natasha, David, and their kids. Life as they knew it is a thing of the past. The new normal is what just weeks ago would have been unimaginable. David can no longer work, and Natasha has had to scale back her own work, resigning as editor of Dayton Magazine to start this new chapter as caregiver. They need to sell their house and their farm and move to a more practical space ASAP.

They need to try and give their kids as “normal” a life as possible and soak up family time together.

Many of Natasha’s friends have asked “WHAT CAN WE DO???” all the while knowing, the practical answer is… “not much.” ANd that kinda sucks. HOWEVER there is ONE thing we can do, and that is support the Bakers financially. David can’t work, Natasha’s had to quit some of her gigs, and they need some help getting over the hump while they sell their home & land.

Honestly I was so relieved when I found out that a friend had set up a GoFundMe for the Bakers. Now we can HELP!!!!

Years and years ago, you all stepped up to provide for my friend E when she was battling cancer. Now I am asking you to step up for the Bakers. They need some “$5 Friends” – friends who are willing to support them, complete strangers, simply because you trust me, the messenger, to tell you they’ve earned it. So I am asking you to hop over to their GoFundMe link and give $5 or more. I’ve given $20 because I would not ask you to do something I was not willing to do a few times over. Their goal is $5000 and I want the Mommin’ It Up crowd to help us SMASH it!! I really hope they go way over because in my opinion it’s not high enough. Let’s crush it!!

While you’re there, read what Natasha has written about David and their situation. I want you to hear the facts of their situation from her, and learn about the man she loves so much.

Feel free to email me with any questions, but what you really need to know is: these are good folks. They have been dealt a hand in life that has been largely full of joy, and they are thankful. But the current hand they are holding is full of some hardship. So let’s start stacking the deck the other way as this next hand unfolds. Thank you, friends, from the bottom of my heart!!

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The Death of Retail Is Entirely My Fault {Oops!}

This morning I saw an article on our local site Dayton.com with the headline “Update: First three months of 2019 post nearly as many store closings as all of 2018”. Uggghhhh. Love reading good news first thing in the morning!

Since, as we discussed in my last post, I am REALLY OLD, I no longer enjoy hitting the mall like I used to. However, I was really sad when Sears closed last year because I enjoyed going twice a year and buying ALL THE CLEARANCE LANDS’ END. All of it. I am legit super super super sad about that lost opportunity!

But as I read the article and thought about my shopping habits of late, I realized something: the death of retail as we know it may rest squarely on my online-shopping shoulders. OOPSIE!!! You see, I haven’t shopped in-store for Christmas in YEARS. At some point the pressures of having kid birthdays on November 16th and December 17th and hubby’s birthday on November26th in addition to Christmas just got the nest of me, and I let Amazon and Target.com take over. NO REGRETS! I did recently shop for Joshua’s birthday in-store (Gamestop, yo) on THE DAY BEFORE his birthday, because it took me forever to get him to tell me what he wanted. LOL! And it was in the middle of the day and I was the only one in the store…this is how I like to shop. Ha!

But anyhoo, recently I upped my online shopping game thanks to FREE RETURNS on Amazon. OMG BFFs!! It’s amazing! You see you guys, I am about to do something CRAZY! I am going to VEGAS! I’ve never been, and I am going for FRREEEEE thanks to MONAT! Yep, my shampoo slinging earned me a free trip, and I leave Monday. I AM SO NOT READY, logistically (I’m getting there!) But I am SO EXCITED! {again, if you want to learn more about Monat, do your shampoo shopping online, or have hme send you a free sample, you can request your freebie at this link: http://bit.ly/fixyourhair}.

When I found out that I had earned my Vegas trip with a few of my shampoo BFFs, one of my first thoughts was “CRAP I NEED A NEW SWIMSUIT”! So, I ordered one from my old standby, Lands’ End. BUT…when it arrived, I hated it. It was NOT flattering, and I didn’t have a lot of time to order another. So I went the Amazon route, and discovered suits by CupShe – and FREE RETURNS! HELLO!!! I ended up with two suits that I LOVE, and combined they were cheaper than the one I got from Lands’ End! Here are the two I got, this yellow one is my fave: https://amzn.to/2UdbtjN

But I also really like this one: https://amzn.to/2Fxi6Ei

Both of these suits keep me covered and comfy and hold in my c-section gut. WINNNN! I also bought one other one that ended up being WAAAAY more low cut than I realized, so I sent it back to Amazon. I dropped my package off at the UPS store at about 11 am, and my credit was issued to me by 1 pm. I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING! WHAT DARK MAGIC IS THIS???

Soooo next, I needed a cocktail dress to wear to our Monat fancy Vegas reception. For this, I turned to Emily, because I haven’t needed a cocktail dress in YEARS and I was pretty sure she had one or seven I could borrow. I narrowed the choices down to these two and had my Facebook group vote.

My group chose the navy one, but I don’t have SHOOOOOES to go with it. Because I have flat feet and a bad back, I really have VERY specific dress shoe needs. I can’t do a high heel (See again: OLD OLD OLD.) Sooo I did INDEED have to leave my house and hit the retail stores for this. SIGH. After two days of wasted efforts, I came home empty-handed. A friend had also suggested to me that Amazon had free returns on SHOES too, sooo…this morning in a last-ditch effort, I ordered these: ¬†https://amzn.to/2Wt8sJL

They will be here on Friday, and I’ll keep you posted on how they worked out. But I am so glad that if they don’t, I can send them back and know I will have my money back QUICK. If they don’t work, I am just going to go with the teal dress, because I already had shoes to go with those and I found some pretty, inexpensive jewelry to go with it when I was out shoe shopping (already had jewelry for the navy dress, go figure.)

So…to all the stores closing, I’m sorry. I REALLY AM! I honestly feel bad about it…but dang. How can I turn down online shopping with super low prices, great quality and FREE RETURNS!??!?!?

What are your favorite online shopping destinations? And can we talk about ClickList and Instacart/Shipt?? YASSSS! WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE!

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I Think I’m Still Me But Sometimes I Wonder

If you’ve been following this blog over the years, you know that I am now old as CRAP. I’d say I’m old AF, but since I’m OLD and all, that seems a little vulgar (and let’s be honest, trendy) for me. I mean, to be honest I am still loving my 40s (for those who are counting, I’m 41.) But I’m suuuuper irritated that my young cousin Emily still hasn’t joined me in that decade. HOWEVER, THIS IS THE YEAR THAT HAPPENS and I am preeeety jazzed about it. Jazzed enough to create this, apparently:

BUT ENOUGH ABOUT EMILY, right? Seeeriously let’s get back to the topic at hand. One of my faves, naturally: me. And how much I’ve changed.

For instance, I’ve spent much of my adult life abhorring exercise, and making fun of those who live that #gymlife or must post every.single.workout on social media. WE GET IT, YOU’RE FIT! Congrats #fitmom, I’m truly happy for ya. Jaykay, I’m actually rolling my eyes at you. And STOP it with the before & afters, people! True story, you CAN track your progress by actually looking at your sports bra selfies YOURSELF instead of posting them on the Insta erry-other-day. NO LIE. You should try it!

So, I was perfectly content to keep on not exercising (#nevermissamondayonthecouch) but then…OH CRAP I started struggling with a back injury. Like, struggling hard. FOR MONTHS. (See above paragraph about being old.) So now, I exercise. EVERY DAY. Seven $%#! days a week, against my will! Treadmill AND yoga! Because if I don’t, my back hurts. And it makes my right leg hurt and spasm and it really WRECKS my life.

So I exercise. I #nevermissadaythatendsinY. HOWEVER, I have never one posted on social media about it. So did it REALLY HAPPEN? You’ll just have to believe me. I’m almost ashamed to say it because it’s so not me…but…I exercise DAILY! Whaddyado?

SO, NEXT UP in the big life changes: only working part time. In June I went to part time with ForEveryMom, and in November I lost my gig there permanently, which in all honesty is NOT a bad thing. So, now, I write freelance for a variety of clients and I love it. If you want to check out some of my signature Jenny-type articles, you can find them at Her View From Home. I LOVE writing over there. I also do ghostwriting of newsletters, blogs, and emails for a variety of businesses, including photographers and a marketing agency. (If I can learn about it, I can write it, so if you have need of a ghostwriter, email me at jennyrapson at gmail dot com.) The nice thing about this part-time, freelance life is that it gives me plenty of time to EXERCISE and shower before starting work every day because I’m the BOSS OF ME! Which is great because I am a sloooow exerciser (still a fast writer, though!)

The other big change is that for the past 14 months (which is crazy to me!) I’ve been a market partner with MONAT hair care. That’s right, I am a shampoo slinger. What surprises me the MOST about this is that I freaking LOVE it. It turns out you CAN do direct sales without being creepy, pressuring people, and posting photos of your paychecks. You can do it by sharing the product you love and why it’s helpful! I have loved helping people with their hair problems and making money through that. It’s funny, I would have thought that makeup was my thing, but it turns out I was wrong. It helps that I believe in these products that have transformed my hair. Just check out some of my before and afters!

Anyway, I am not gonna give you a sales pitch, but if you want to know more, email me at jennyapson at gmail dot com. If you want me to send you some freeee samples, take my hair quiz and/or request a sample here: http://bit.ly/fixyourhair. I won’t stalk you – I will just follow up to see how you liked them!

Sophie will still let me post pics. Joshua, not so much.

FINALLY, here’s another thing about 40ish me that weirds me the heck out: MY KIDS ARE OLD. I mean, two out of three. Joshua is FIFTEEN you guys. Like, a few months away from a learner’s permit, which makes me sweat and want to barf. And Sophie is 12…all very preteen-y and going through the things that happen at that age that moms don’t blog about because we don’t want to humiliate them. This is all weird territory for me, you guys. I HOPE to have it figured out by the time Jonah (still a blessed eight years old) gets there. And I hope I haven’t scarred the older two in the process.

Thankful I still have ONE little kid!!

The long and the short of it is…my life looks soooo different than it did last time I was regularly blogging! So I am really trying to figure out how to do this blog thing again. I want to so badly…my creative juices seriously want to flow, I swear.

I’ve just gotta figure this out…I want to tell STORIES again. It’s my favorite. But I have to figure out how to, again. And what those stories will be. And convince Emily to write one once in awhile!!!! I hope you can bear with me while I do!

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