I Wish I Could Just Float Through Life Like Emily Does

I am epically sorry that I haven’t written here in awhile, you guys. I thought I’d have more time and energy to blog after I went part time with my job writing for ForEveryMom, but the truth is…I write eight article a week there and THAT…is A LOT. Creative juices are hard to come by after eight 700-1,000 word articles a WEEK. I mean maybe I could have done it in my prime (whenever that was), but now I’m OLD. Like I’ve got five days left of being 40. And yessssterday that indignity was solidified by a trip to the BMV, where:

  • I was told my Social security card (which we’re not allowed to laminate, BTW) was to ripped up to get the fancy new TSA compliant license
  • I almost failed my vision test in my left eye because I wore my contacts instead of my glasses because you’re no longer allowed to wear glasses (or SMILE, GAH) in your driver’s license photo and my left eye doth protest a lot about contacts these days,
  • I answered multiple questions about how many times I’d been married (UNO thanks) and had to pony up proof of that just ’cause I had the gall to change my name 18.5 years ago, AND
  • I paid $25 for the “regular” license that won’t get me on a plane so I could stay street legal while I’m getting a new social security card


I am fairly certain NONE of this would have happened to me if I were one Emily Berry. In case you’ve forgotten, she’s this one:

The one without the beard

And this is basically her EVERY DAY.  I mean firstofall, she’s only 39 and secondably (I love inventing words! It’s my fave), she’s still got perfect vision. I’ve been blind since I was EIGHT.  Coke bottle glasses or contacts for THIRTY-THREE YEARS and all this one has to do is OPEN HER EYES to see in the morning. UGH. So irritating.

I’m fairly sure when she goes to the BMV they let her bring a giant ring light like Khloe Kardashian and take 12-15 photos and let her CHOOSE which one she wants.

Case en pointe, last Sunday we held a spectacular event at a salon for our Monat customers. And by “we” I mean my team, of which Emily is a part. Earlier in the week she stayed up 36 entire ours moving every last freshman into the dorms at Miami University ALL BY HERSELF so she was all, “Look I’ll show up to the event and help you pay for it, but I CANNOT help plan it.” And I was all, “Fine, but could you at LEAST bring your fancy hair dryer (which I ordered you from Costco because that’s what you do when you love someone) so we can use it on a customer?” And she was all, “YEP.”

Well let’s just say the event started at five and it was CRAZYPANTS, which was awesome, but that I got a text from Emily at 6:30 saying she’d taken a long nap and just woke up and oopsie she was sorry she missed it.

And you know what? DO you KNOW how easy this woman’s life is? Here’s how easy: Not only was I not mad, until I got the text, I hadn’t even noticed she and her hair dryer weren’t there!!

Now, you might be insulted if you were Em, but the truth is I was so busy I didn’t have time (FOR ONCE) to think about Emily.  And I was not even mad because look at her, I can’t be mad at her!! And she got a FOUR  HOUR NAP!

I mean, she DID stay up 36 hours that week personally making the bed of every last freshman at Miami (#loveandhonor) but COME ON.

I guess the main point I’m trying to make here is: Where have I gone wrong with my life?? I’ve GOT to start riding this girl’s coat tails. Or at LEAST just start copying literally everything that she does.

Because it’s clearly working. I mean I’m writing this entire jealous rant about her and I still just really wish I was with her right now. *Sigh*

How does she DO IT??

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That Time I Quit My Job

If you’ve been around this blog for awhile, you might remember that, during my many years of stay-at-home mom-hood, I would often tell Emily that “work is for suckers.

Then a few years ago, I did not heed my best advice, and I went and got a job. Only part-time though! And actually, it was perfect for me. So all was well and good and this particular work was NOT for suckers.

And THEN…I liked the job so much that I thought after Jonah went to kindergarten, I would like to go full time. Be a REAL employee, get benefits, etc. I really wanted to further my career and I thought this was the way to do it.

Long story short, after about seven months of full time work, Mark Zuckerburg of Facebook fame decided in August 2017 that he was going to drastically reduce the reach that Facebook business pages got -especially if they linked out to articles that took people OFF of Facebook.

Which is exactly what I did all day – write articles for the website I was editor for, then post them on Facebook so people would click off to Facebook and go to said website.

So, after August 2017, my job got a whole lot harder. I powered through it for about 10 more months, but the added stress was no bueno. To write article after article and have NO ONE read it…pretty disheartening. Maybe once a quarter I’d find a glitch in the matrix and I’d have one go viral, but it was seriously just luck. When you publish 4 articles a day, 5 days a week, and have one or two out of over 200 really do well…it’s demoralizing. ESPECIALLY when you used to have success on a much more regular basis than that and everyone thought you were great at your job. WOMP WOMP.

In April Bobby’s Lexus dealership got  bought out. This, while not all bad, has added a lot of stress to his work load (he is shop foreman now). So, this whole spring we were both VERY stressed. With two VERY STRESSED parents, our household wasn’t functioning well. Something had to GIVE.

So, I asked my work if I could go back to part-time. Back to being a contractor. Have a little less stress and more flexible time. And they said YES!!! I am soo soo blessed by that. To accomplish this, I had to formally resign my full time job, and sign a contract to be an independent contractor. Now I am ONLY writing, not managing the Facebook page or the website traffic, and after two weeks of having that off my plate, I can say I made the right choice. I’m so happy to still be writing, which I love to do, and on parenting subjects I am passionate about. I am also happy to be working less hours, so I actually have less child care and MORE TIME to spend with my kids this summer, and to start managing our household better.

I’m also hashtag blessed to have more time to put into the MONAT hair care business Emily and I are doing together! If you are curious as to what that is all about, you can request to join our Facebook group. I’m also doing beauty product reviews (earlier this week I announced a NEW FAVORITE MASCARA!) there, too!

Finally, I’m so excited to be able to blog HERE more. I have missed writing just for me, and to crack Emily up, a LOT. But working full time left me zero creativity to spare. I can’t wait to spin you some more yarns about what my family is up to these days.

So, yeah, I no longer think work is for suckers,  but I do think I’ve found  my happy place with work and I’m thankful!

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A #FanAunt Walks Into a Rubik’s Cube Competition…

This past weekend I had two wild and crazy dreams come true: 1) to attend the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop (even though, once AGAIN, I failed to win their essay contest) and 2) to see my nephew Drew, the speedcubing champion, in a competition in real life.

Jenny Cube

(This is not creepy by the way, it’s TOTALLY NORMAL)

I was dismayed when I found out Drew’s only local tournament of the year was going to be at the same time as Erma, because last year the local tournament was the same weekend as my 15-year college reunion and I missed it. (I am starting to think that Drew plans these specifically so that I cannot attend, and I gotta say it’s a pretty plausible theory.) But HAPPILY, there was a 3-hour break in the Erma action Saturday afternoon, so even though I was TOTES EXHAUST from conferencing all weekend, I got in my sweet minivan and drove across town in time to see Drew in some finals, including Pyraminx (at which he is World Record Holder – watch him break the record here –  and some other fancy title like Lord of the Trigon)

Oh, by the way, this is a Pyraminx
Oh, by the way, this is a Pyraminx

and the regular Rubik’s cube, known to cubers and their overly-interested aunts as the “3×3”. Drew is national champion at the 3×3 but his pal Lucas is the World Record Holder aka LORD OF THE CUBE on that one (you can watch him blow the world’s mind in just 4.9 seconds here).

3 x 3 to those of us "in the know"
3 x 3 to those of us “in the know”

SO ANYWAY.  I walk in to this church gym where the competition is, and STRANGELY, there are not hundreds of people there, so I was able to walk right up front and get a seat. I didn’t see Drew’s mom (my sister-in-law Sarah) anywhere so I moseyed up to the front row where Drew was solving one cube or another. And his eyes met mine and they were filled with the glowing excitement all 16-year-olds when they see their embarrassing aunt walk into a room filled with their peers. You can imagine, I’m sure. Well, after Drew locked eyes with his fave #FanAunt, his eyes immmmmedately shifted away and then BACK to me and I saw that he had sent a secret message to his pal Lucas (see Lord of the Cube, above) and that the secret message said “MAYDAY MAYDAY! Embarrassing Adult Female Relative on the Premises!”

So naturally I got up and sauntered over to Lucas and stuck my hand out and introduced myself because OBVIOUSLY he wanted to meet me. DUH. (You’re welcome Lucas!)

I mean, look at me, you guys, I’m KIND OF a teenage dream.

Jenny is Crazy

So, I found my sister-in-law, acquired a pack of Skittles and a coke (very necessary to sugar up for cubing comps) and watched the action—which, honestly, was SO fast I could barely keep up. They had this thing really well-organized and it was all I could do to follow Drew from table to table as he completed the different rounds. I was trying really hard to be not embarrassing but in one round, he solved the Pyraminx in just 1.7 seconds and before I could stop myself, I WHOOPED aloud. Even though it was an accident, the look on Drew’s face was pretty priceless so I’m not even sorry. I DID do my best to keep it under control the rest of the time though. I SWA-EAR. And mostly, I did a great job, except for one time when he solved the 3×3 cube in just 6.36 seconds and I turned to the complete stranger next to me and declared proudly, “I saw him be born!” which is important because my being present at his birth DEFINITELY has a lot to do with how good he is at cubing.

Let's face it. I am the WIND BENEATH HIS WINGS
Let’s face it. I am the WIND BENEATH HIS WINGS

Long story long, Drew won Pyraminx, and he placed 3rd in 3×3 after his pals Lucas and Andy – which leads me to a HUGE revelation— Andy is also local to the Dayton area and ALSO HAS A FAN AUNT. When I walked in I saw another mom from my kids’ school working concessions and I was all “What are you doing here?” and she was all “my nephew helps organize this” and I was all “SO DOES MINE”! Crazy right? Turns out she’s Andy’s aunt. What are the odds? Her daughter in in Joshua’s class and her son is in Sophie’s class, so they have cubing cousins in common! Soooo I guess I’ve got some #FanAunt competition now….good thing I like you, Robin!

Here’s the fab 3, preparing to take over the world at an earlier competition:

Lucas Drew Andy

So, I really enjoyed my first cubing competition! My only regret was that I had the conference all weekend so I wasn’t able to prepare with any super embarrassing posters or life-size cutouts of Drew’s head to wave in the air.

I guess this blog post will just have to suffice!

Congrats, nephew! Can’t wait til the next one!



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