A Non-Comprehensive List of Things That Have Happened Since 2016

Sooo before last week, it had been a long-@ss time since Emily or I had blogged. I explained why in that post, SO GO READ IT. (Please.)

I’ll wait.

So anyhoo, here’s what you need to catch up on,

  • I went from part time to full time at my job, because I am an insane person and ignored the advice I gave Emily for years.
  • Joshua (mine) and Kate (Emily’s) both turned into TEENAGERS and they are both TALLER THAN I AM and it’s NOT OKAY. They’re both now 14. Also not ok.
  • Kate looks like a freaking model, SUPER NOT OKAY. Gah. At least have the decency to look like an awkward teenager.
  • Kate also loves makeup, hair, and mirrors, so she’s basically more like my kid than Emily’s and this THRILLS ME TO NO END (payback for all those eye rolls at me, cousin!!)
  • Joshua, at 14, no longer adores me like he did at 4. Very not okay.
  • Sammy (Emily’s) just turned 10. The only one remaining in single digits is Jonah (mine).
  • My left eyeball decided it wouldn’t tolerate contact lenses anymore so I got glasses. Which made Sophie (mine), who is now eleven, and I look alike, which is a development I AM on board with!
  • My nephew Drew won the world championships in Pyraminx again in PARIS freaking France, and broke the world record at the same time. It was pretty epic.
  • In other nephew news, my brother Andy & his wife did me a solid adopted a 2-year-old named Jayce, and I am in loooooove with him! #fanaunt
  • Jonah, despite my fervent prayers, continues to have some developmental issues, so we’ve had him at the Brain Balance Center since December 3 hours a week. He is doing SO AWESOME. He’ll be done in June. It’s the best money we’ve ever spent. I mean besides Christian school and speech therapy.
  • Also, Jonah is the MOST FUN KID EVER and I want to FREEZE TIME right now because he’s so fun!
  • I started selling MONAT hair care, because it’s amazeballs and you should totes buy some from me. I started using it because my freaking hairline was receding and that is MAJORLY NOT OK! Fortunately Monat fixed that and now it’s growing back in nicely! TO check it out you can join my FB group where I do lots of ridiculous hair and makeup product testing (anyone can join) or check out my MONAT website here. Or, comment and and ask me about it. I won’t get all salesy and weird on you.
  • I turned 40 and my friend and family brought me like 500 cans of Mountain Dew, which is totally cool, and Emily did NOT turn 40 which is SUPER LAME. She continues to fulfill her role as “whippersnapper” in my life.
  • Emily went to Europe without me, which is STUPID. In her defense she DID ask me to go with her, but she DIDN’T offer to pay for it, soooo…
  • Emily got promoted at her job to Vice President of Everything Awesome and she pretty much runs the place. Also, people are VERY afraid of her. And her office smells of mahogany and leather-bound books.
  • Also, Emily’s husband and I dressed the same accidentally on Halloween this year.  It’s not weird!
  • (Please note: Emily looks like she actually LIKES ME in this photo because she had wine for trick-or-treat. True story.)
  • Some other not-super-fun stuff happened to but we’ll save that for a serious post or two.
  • Both of our husbands keep continually agreeing to staying married to us, which is kind of great (but really who would want to leave THIS?)

And now you’re all caught up! Stick with us, we’re bringing sexy funny back, I swear!

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No, We Didn’t Fill a Baby Pool Full of Slime to Become Internet Famous

mommin it up

Hello old friends, and welcome NEW friends!

Allow me to introduce ourselves. We’re Emily and Jenny, two cousins who have been blogging at Mommin’ It Up since June 2007. We became moms within 8 weeks of each other in 2004, and by 2007 we just HAD to start writing about the ups and downs of motherhood.

Every year our kids (there are five between us, ages 14 to 7) go trick-or-treating together. This is a typical photo of us on Beggar’s Night, or any night, actually: Jenny is the weird one, Em is the normal one.

We blogged super consistently here for about eight years until I (Jenny) had to go and get a full time job and ruin EVERYTHING. My full time job is as editor at ForEveryMom.com, a parenting site. And, since I write 5-10 articles A WEEK (you read that right) over there, my creativity was pretty much sucked dry. So we shelved Mommin’ It Up for awhile, always intending to come back to it when we could. We were also hoping blogging would go back to the way it was in our heyday 2008-2012 or so, when it was really about TELLING STORIES, not about starting YouTube channels and making viral videos. Neither Emily nor I are interested in being talking heads on a video screen. We ARE interested in telling stories through our writing about motherhood and married life with kids. USUALLY funny stories, but OFTEN hard ones. ALWAYS real ones.

We are NOT interested in making viral videos or fantasical Pinterest crafts in the interest of becoming Internet Famous. #sorrynotsorry

And sidenote: It’s harder now that our kids are older. Emily and I both have TEENAGERS now, teens who were THREE when we started this blog. We have to get permission to post ANYTHING about them, much less write an entire post. It’s hard.

BUT ANYHOO, let’s get to the reason for the title of this post.

About a year ago, we noticed that someone else was using the name Mommin’ It Up on twitter. There were TWO of them, just like us, but one since killed off the other and is now flying solo. People were mistaking Emily (@momminitup) for her, so Emily and I tweeted her something along the lines of, “Hey this name’s already taken, how ’bout you get your own?”

Oh wait, here is EXACTLY what Emily tweeted, and I re-tweeted.

mommin it up

She BLOCKED US BOTH on Twitter, and did NOT get her own ORIGINAL name. I mean, RUDE. All we did was ASK A QUESTION.

mommin it up

Though she can pry the Momminitup.com, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram URL’s from our cold, dead, hands, she’s worked around it and just made her own very similar handles. And also, she’s made some “viral” videos that are starting to get her a little internet famous. Twice at least, the Today Show has posted her stuff and people come and like OUR FB page in droves. It’s KINDA GREAT! The most recent one was her filling a kiddie pool with slime IN her house and letting her kids go to town. A kiddie pool filled with slime INDOORS. And then she films it and sends it to the TODAY show? Yeah, clearly she’s just doing that because she LOVES playing with her kids.

mommin it up

When the Today show posted it just a little while ago, they again tagged OUR page. Because, yeah, she has a page, but because she STOLE OUR NAME, it makes it really hard for people to GET IT RIGHT. Seriously, lady? DO you not see how you screwed yourself by failing to be original here?

Look, if you know us you know Emily and I are super-nice, low-drama people.  That’s why we didn’t come out swinging after she blocked us a year ago. We don’t want to cause this woman any harm, but we DO want her to re-brand.

We  planted our flag on the Mommin’ It Up planet in the Internet Galaxy ELEVEN FREAKING YEARS AGO. I love Jesus and He loves you, but Lady, you need to re-brand. You change your name and allllll your followers stay with you. It’s amazing how that works, but we’re not doing it, ’cause quite simply, we were here first.

And thanks to you, we’re also BACK.

Let us know if you need any help with name suggestions.

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The Ring

Hello, friends. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’m dropping in to say hi, and because – after so long – I have a story to tell.

Here we go.

When my mom turned 16, my grandparents had a ring made for her. It was a unique design, and it contained the diamond from my grandma’s engagement ring. When I turned 16, a number of years after my mom had died, the ring was passed down to me.

Later that year, I sat in sophomore English class as the teacher read from a book. The passage ended:

Inherit their strength, their resilience, and become who you choose to become.

I’ve never seen it again and I don’t know to whom I should attribute it, but that phrase struck a chord with me and I immediately jotted it down. It reminded me of my mom and grandma – both exemplary models of strength and resilience – and this simple sentence told me that I could draw upon those traits while still forging my own path. The ring, then, served as a tangible reminder of the “tough stock,” as my grandma would says, from which I came.

Years later, in 2003, my purse, containing my car keys, wallet, cell phone, and a brand new tin of Altoids, was stolen. I was in my first trimester of pregnancy and rather hormonal. While in retrospect, the theft was not a huge deal, the whole experience felt quite traumatic at the time.

A year or so after that, I realized I hadn’t worn my ring in a while, as my fingers had swollen during my pregnancy. It was then that I had a distinct memory of putting the ring in the inner pocket of that purse, the one that had been stolen.

The ring was gone. I was devastated.

I’ve told this story many times over the years, and I always say that I consider it a blessing that it took me months to realize the ring had been stolen, too; it would have taken an already-emotional situation into the next stratosphere.

Regardless of putting that spin on it, though, the sadness I felt about losing my ring hadn’t waned. I didn’t even have photographic evidence of it, despite magnifying every picture I could find of my mom’s or my own hands. It was gone, but it was often in the back of my mind. Just a few months ago, I read an article about inviting what we need into our lives – the law of attraction, so to speak. As I read the article, for whatever reason the ring came to mind. It was impossible, though, for it to come back into my life, since it was at the bottom of a landfill.

Or so I thought.

Last month I had been scheduled to fly to Chicago for a professional conference, but my flight was cancelled the night before due to an impending snow storm. That morning, Andy and I awoke to an alarming sound coming from our bedroom wall. An alarming chewing sound. An alarming chewing sound that suddenly stopped when I pounded on the wall.

Yeah. This was not good.

An investigation of our basement led us to the indisputable conclusion that mice had invaded the storage area right below our bedroom. I can hardly even type that sentence without shuddering. I am deathly afraid of mice (something I definitely inherited from my grandma and presumably my mom, as well) and I was NOT AMUSED with this development. However, since I had planned to be out of town, we had the entire day free (which never happens) to deal with the situation. Cleaning out this part of our basement had been on our to-do list for ages, but we never had the time and/or motivation to do it. Suddenly we had both, and we decided to do it right. I went to the store and spent $100 on plastic tubs, rubber gloves, and garbage bags (which spawned a number of questions and theories from the people in line behind me, including one person who said “If Andy doesn’t show up to work on Monday, we know where to look!”) and we went through every item in every box; we uncovered stuff we forgot we had – posters that had hung on Andy’s wall in college, pictures that we had actually had to send away to develop, all sorts of junk.

We kept some and pitched four times more.

It was Marie keep-only-what-brings-joy Kondo on steriods. Because mice.

As I sifted through a box filled with my high school mementos, I stumbled across a scrap of notebook paper.

Inherit their strength, their resilience, and become who you choose to become.

That little scrap of paper without a doubt brings me joy, and it went in the “keep” pile.

We continued through the storage room and moved on to an adjacent closet, where I keep my out of season clothes. (Or where I kept them, until I had to throw them all away. Because mice. My sweaters, though. Lord have mercy, it pained me.) In any case, this closet also contained a small cardboard box that I had never unpacked when we moved into our current house (it’s only been 10 years…), which evidently contained whatever happened to have been on my nightstand at the time. Reader’s Digest, a half-finished cross stitch project – important things like that. It also contained a small wooden box, which was full of safety pins. As I dumped the pins in the trash bag, something caught my eye.

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The ring.

It was there, in my house, for the past 13 years. Even though I remember looking there for it before. Even though I remember seeing it in a zippered pocket of that old purse. Even though I thought it was impossible that I would ever find it again. It’s here.

I truly don’t have words to describe what it means to me. More than two weeks have passed, and every time I glance at it on my finger, I am surprised to see it there. And the chain of events that led me to find it — the canceled flight, the disturbing sounds inside the wall, the day devoid of any plans or obligations, the determination to de-clutter our house in a way we’ve never done before — it’s incredible.

For years, this ring represented the strength and resilience of my mother and grandmother. Now it also serves as a reminder to trust that life will bring us what we need, and that nothing is impossible.

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