In celebration of the plane that is taking off in the morning at 5:55 a.m. WITH ME ON BOARD...
I decided to think about all the signs that it has clearly been too long since I've been on vacation. 

It's been almost exactly 11 years since I traveled somewhere outside a 200 mile radius. Sad I know. But tomorrow that changes when I pop my Philly cherry, fly to New Jersey and tourist-ly walk around New York City on Friday. 

Excited? You betcha. 

Here are signs that it's been too long since you've traveled: 

  • Your suitcase has flappy ears and wheels that look like paws

  • You are disappointed when you don't get a Wing pin.

  •  You can't wait to recite as many Bridesmaids quotes as possible while in the air

  • When you are at the airport you stop and stare when people have passionate reunion hugs.

  • When you think about going to the airport, all you do is hope you'll see passionate union hugs 

  •  You get excited about riding the escalators in the airport 

  • You secretly wish someone was going to be holding a sign with your name on it when you land

  • You feel the need to drink on the plane even if they cost $5 and are watered down. 

  • You seriously consider how to join the mile club 

  • You get excited waiting to see your luggage emerge and ride down the baggage claim 

  • You look up celebrity's "airport" fashion on Pinterest. 

And that's my list of things I've been doing for the past 2 weeks.   "how you know you haven't traveled in forever" list. 

Mostly I am just excited to leave the world behind just for a couple of days. No blogs, no obsessively checking Facebook for no good reason, (Although you are guaranteed some major action on  Instagram (jennijo13) and Snap Chat (jennijoho13). Obvi. 

Bon Voyage, Friends! 

Peak and PIt

You know what day it is ! 

I have GOT to get back on the bandwagon with blog posts. I swear I do have good ideas to write about but the problem is they stay in my head because I can't seem to find the time to type them all out. 
But I assure you, if I did, they'd blow your mind. 

My Peaks the week are pretty simple (I'm easy to please)

First, these: 

I can't stop staring at my feet when I wear them. So cute and so comfy! 

Another peak: I finally have a Chloe & Isabel party this week. Selling this beautiful jewelry isn't taking off like I thought but that might be my fault. Maybe I'm not aggressive enough. If these people on Facebook can get all these people to wrap their faces up in some magical wrap, why can't I interest them in beautiful jewelry? 

I got my hands on Chelsea Handler's Uganda Be Kidding Me and am ready for some laughs. 

I discovered Lea Michel'e album Louder. It's amazing.

I've been on a music bend lately, so I am pretty sure I'll be spending most of today listening to everyone's #backthatazzup picks! 

Image Map

Lastly, I am coaching the Rs' soccer team and our first practice is tonight. R1 just wants to be the best goalie in the word and R2 is concerned about wearing shorts instead of a skirt or dress. She has little athletic shorts and I would die of the cutest if I could actually get her to wear them. 

I did what I said I was going to do and have deleted almost 200 people off on Facebook in the past week or so. It's pretty freeing and I feel good about closing in on my safe circle of friends who I can actually trust and do care what they are up to. I don't know for sure if I weeded out the moles yet but I bet I am getting close! :) 

This winter won't go away! Yesterday it was 70 and this weekend it might snow. Just leave us alone already, will you? 

The News. The news is definitely bugging me this week. I don't give a fig if Lady Gaga had someone puke on her for "art". I just don't want to hear about it. And the plane? It's just plane weird and gives me the heebie jeebies that something can just POOF be gone. Especially since I am about to board a plane myself (FOUR DAYS PEOPLE, FOUR DAYS) 
If I was in charge of the news, it would be pretty much just be me and Robin Meade showing funny videos of goats passing out and cute kids telling their mom off for the sake of a cupcake. 

So that's that folks. 
Hope you all have a bright and shiny weekend! 

Oh and PS do you love my new design? We can all thank my BBFF Mal @ From Cal To Kansas for the new look! 

How to Not Suck At Being Divorced

There are just some things that happen in life that there are no real answers for. If there was a Divorce for Dummies book out there, maybe I should have a grabbed a copy but for the time being, I'm just taking it day by day. 

There are a few things that I have learned along the way though. 

For starters, today is the kids' dad's birthday. Initially, you'd think that two divorced people would hate each other and not give a hoot about each others' birthdays. And you're probably right, but that's not the point. The point is to show your children how to treat someone they love. 

So I got the kids some canvas, paint brushes and paint. And away they went. 

As I was thinking about whether or not it's normal for exes to exchange birthday presents, I figured out that I'm not giving him anything, really. I'm showing the kids when someone you love has a birthday, you celebrate them by giving them a thoughtful gift. 

There are a few other things I've learned in this past year. (I guess I should also add that just because I have learned all of these things, that does not automatically mean I have mastered actually doing them, but it's a start, right?)

1. Know your faults. Divorce (and relationships too) aren't a blame game. If blame is the game you are playing, you will always lose, even if initially, you felt like you won the argument. I've found that it's important to acknowledge when you are wrong or if you are making a mountain out of a mole hill. Just because you're divorced doesn't mean apologies still don't count for something. 

2. Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill. Is whatever you are fighting over texts about really worth it? If it is, then by all means, fight for it. But if it's the difference between a couple hours with the kids, or one of you not going to some event, in the words of Elsa, LET IT GO. You'll feel much better in the long run.

3. Don't be unnecessarily mean. Yes, your ex makes your blood boil. Yes, your lip curls unintentionally when you see or hear about them and their new significant other, but who cares really? (Honestly, if you are female, if your ex is getting laid again, chances are he'll be nicer anyway). Here's my motto that I remind myself of as often as possible: The more time you spend being unhappy for others is less time you spend happy for yourself. 

4. No trash talk. And yes, I know that's totally unrealistic. EVERY body trash talks and gossips. If you need to vent or want to share a story about someone that's funny, go ahead. Just do it with people you can trust not to repeat it. Because, let's face it, stories of your exes doing the walk of shame on a Sunday morning are just funny, I don't care who you are. But like I said, let's be classy. Share it with your BFF or your mom, both of whom will totally get a kick out of it, but you won't seem like a gossip hound spreading it all over town. (This may be one of the hardest rules to follow, I probably should have given up trash talk for Lent). 

5.And for the love of Pete, never talk bad about your ex in front of your kids. That should go in the number one slot but I haven't had coffee yet so this is all coming out willy nilly. Your ex is still the parent of your children. Every good and wonderful miracle that is your child is half of them. Respect that. Know that. And even when they frustrate you, even when you want to scream, even when you want to cry, know that the person who is driving you crazy is also the person who helped create the people you love most in the world: your kids. Just remember that. 

6. Don't ever be too embarrassed to try and be nice. I've reached out to certain people and was totally ignored, but I am still glad I did it. I can feel better about a situation if I know that at least I tried to reach out and be considerate or kind or appreciative. Never regret extending at thank you to someone.   

And that's really all I know. Like I said, I wish I could master doing all of these things but I figure that at least knowing them is a good place to start. 

Divorce sucks. Do I have days that I wished I still had a family unit? DUH. But if the clock could be turned back, we'd all be in trouble. So you just keep going forward. And the great thing about time going forward is that your mistakes will fade along with it. But in order for that to happen you also have to start doing BETTER in the  future. So I'd rather work on that then to focus on the past. 

And that's how I feel about that. 

Pit & Peak

It's that time of the week! 
Currently, I am writing, windows open, sun shining, trees chirping. It's a beautiful day and I couldn't be happier. But let's be honest, I'm perkly mostly because it's Friday and I have no plans that require a real bra all weekend long.

So you know we do Pit&Peaks every Friday in these parts so let's get started shall we? (please blog along with Allie and me and link your own pit and peak posts below!)


My Facebook is really only there for me to share my own fun posts, pictures and funny things my kids say, plus to see what funny shenanigans my grandmother is posting (pictures of her with strippers from the 80s, selfies in bathroom mirrors, you know, the usual grandmother things). 

But I learned this week that it's being used for other reasons: for people to see what I am doing and report back to my ex-husband. Cute, huh? Last weekend, the kids and I went to a friends house because she was having a Mary Kay party. She has kids the same age as mine and invited us all over, so off we went. R1 played and R2 set next to me. We had a great time. So you can imagine how frusterating it was for me to get a phone call from their dad asking why I got babysitter when it was my week with my kids. ("Don't you get enough time away when it's not your time to have them?")

 So basically, someone saw 2 sentences about me being at a Mary Kay party on Facebook, ASSUMED that meant I wasn't with my kids and tattled to my ex. New flash, he DOESN'T want or need a report card about me. It took all self control I could muster not to either A) Delete my entire account or B) Post a tangent telling people where they could stick it. But because I don't want to stoop and because I have manners, I didn't. 

Why do people care? Is your own life so boring that you getting your jollies off by causing drama in other people's lives? I pity you. 

*lets out a deep breath, smiles and changes subject

On to the PEAK! 

Today, I had a parent-teacher conference with R1's teacher and I could not stop smiling afterwards. He's smart, he's got a big heart, he's reading at an advanced level and I am SO proud to be his mom. Then she basically repeated the script from all of my own parent-teacher conferences: self control is a challenge, talking gets out of hand, attention spans seems short. It was the 90s all over again. But hey, the apple doesn't fall far, right? All in all, I know that is typical behavior for a 6-year old and we will continue to work on. He's a rock start, that kid of mine! 

And also, my BBFF Mal is helping me give my blog a new look! 

Another peak: VACA IN LESS THAN 2 WEEKS! Plus I have a new pair of Toms Ballet Flats to wear on the trip, which just adds to the overall awesomeness of it. 

So that's it, friends! Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Book Round Up

Good Monday morning! 

Do you spend the days following day light savings time mentally telling yourself "it's actually 5:15 a.m., I should keep sleeping," because I sure do.  

This past weekend the kids and I went to the circus, visited friends, played outside and went to see Mr. Peabody and Sherman. It was a pretty good movie and both kids liked it a lot and were angels during the entire movie! But by the end of the weekend, we were all exhausted to say the least!

As the kids were winding down for the night, I had time to finally read my People, Entertainment Weekly and browse Goodreads to find my next stack of books I tackle. So here you go, another edition of Book Round Up! 

There are suspects and motives aplenty when Dr. John Taylor, a well known plastic surgeon is found murdered in a hotel room. What's so interesting about Taylor? He's a closet polygamist and his wives all have stories to tell. With a rare combination of gripping storytelling, vivid prose, and remarkable insight into character, Alice LaPlante brings to life a story of passion and obsession that will haunt readers long after they turn the final page. A charged and provocative psychological thriller, A Circle of Wives dissects the dynamics of love and marriage, trust and jealousy, posing the terrifying question: How well do you really know your spouse? (Info from People & Goodreads) 

From Goodreads: When George first met her, she was an eighteen-year-old college freshman from Sweetgum, Florida. She and George became inseparable in their first fall semester, so George was devastated when he got the news that she had committed suicide over Christmas break. But, as he stood in the living room of the girl's grieving parents, he realized the girl in the photo on their mantelpiece - the one who had committed suicide - was not his girlfriend. Later, he discovered the true identity of the girl he had loved - and of the things she may have done to escape her past.

Now, twenty years later, she's back, and she's telling George that he's the only one who can help her...

Have you heard of the new TV series Resurrection? Well, the series is based on this book:

From Goodreads: Harold and Lucille Hargrave's lives have been both joyful and sorrowful in the decades since their only son, Jacob, died tragically at his eighth birthday party in 1966. In their old age they've settled comfortably into life without him, their wounds tempered through the grace of time ... Until one day Jacob mysteriously appears on their doorstep—flesh and blood, their sweet, precocious child, still eight years old.

All over the world people's loved ones are returning from beyond. No one knows how or why this is happening, whether it's a miracle or a sign of the end. 

And because I am going to see her live in May (thanks Manfriend!!) 

I have to read Chelsea's newest book. It's a book about travel stories..I've read all of her books and loved them so much. She's so raunchy but so funny that it just works. In an interview in EW, she said she practices Hemingway's advice: "Write drunk, edit sober." and with a mantra like that, you really can't go wrong! 

So what are YOU reading right now? 

Pit and Peak !

This week: The "Mom Fail" Edition of Pit & Peak! 


This week went by sooooooooooooo fast. 

I am so glad each time Friday rolls around (for multiple reasons, I am sure you can guess) but mostly I love when I have to sit down and really think about the Pits and Peaks of my week. It's always a great moment when week after week I have to struggle to come up with a Pit to share. That's pretty much a win right there. 

Pits: This week the kids have been wayyyyyyy testing my patience at bedtime. AND I forgot that it was snack day and was 30 minutes out of town by the time I checked my phone and saw the reminder text from his teacher. I am not so sure why my patience has been close to non existent. Don't you sometimes wish that there was a fairy god other-mother who magically swooped in the second you got frazzled and "bippity boppity boop," there was a craft laid out on the table for the kids to work on while you made dinner with healthy ingredients that magically appeared in your kitchen?  

Maybe it's the winter blues? Maybe it's that we are dying to get outside for once? Tonight it was just barely in the 40s so I let us bundle up and play outside for a little bit. I just can't stand being cooped up all the time! We are craving the sunshine! I am running out of things to keep them entertained! Sometimes don't you just feel like you just miss the "awesome mom" train? Like it's pulling out of the station right when you have this great idea or moment of calmness and it's too late... 

Here's a mom question for you: What would you do?
For the past couple nights I have discovered that the Rs are getting up in the middle of the night or early morning and watching movies instead of sleeping. Monday night at like 3 a.m. R1 came and woke me up to ask if he could watch a movie (he'd already started but must have had a guilty conscience and broke down and asked) and of course I said no and put him back in bed. So today, I told them if they get up and watch movies before it's light out or before I am awake, I am taking the tv out of their room. So then guess what happens this morning at 5:00 a.m.? You guessed it, I walk into their room and they are both up and at 'em, watching Tickerbell. Really? That's the show you went with? So tonight I have to follow through and take the tv out and I know all hell is going to break loose but I don't have any other options. How would you handle it ?

Peak wise...I'd say it'd have to be Wednesday night, when I played Barbies with R2 (we recreated the scene when the step sisters won't let Cinderella go to the ball over and over and OVER again) and then I played endless games of Tic Tac Toe and Pig Pen with R1 plus some math problems, after that, when they  finally closed their eyes and went to sleep, there was the moment of peacefulness when I realized they went to bed happy, warm and content which is always a huge peak. I can't be that fail-y of a mom all the time if that happens at least once in a while right? So I did what every mother does, I rewarded myself with a  bottle glass of red wine and cuddled on the couch with my favorite blanket and watched tv. Then I read more of The Cuckoo Calls and went to bed. Well played Wednesday evening, well played. 

This weekend it is supposed to get in to 60s, I can see the muddy tennis shoes now! Come hell or high water we are getting outside this weekend! The kiddos and I are going to the circus too! 

How do you beat the winter blues?? I think I need some tips to get through this last stretch! 

Thanks for reading and for linking up with Allie and me!


A Serving of Randomness

You know what's super ironic?

I have a night to myself, time to watch whatever I want on TV, time to blog my little heart out, time to read, time to practice calligraphy (new obsession alert!) and with all this time on my hands, all I want to do is lay down and couch potate.

But instead, I'll blog a little about what's been going on around here, a half-hearted "life lately" post if you will.

Let's see, lately I've been reading...

Fallen Women by Sandra Dallas (I gave up before I got half way through, not enough description. It did start off strong but then petered out.).

Now I've moved on to The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbrieth (aka JK Rowling). Sidenote: If you had the chance to be any male name ever, Robert Galbrieth is what you'd go with, really? What about something soap opera-cool, like Sloan Scott, you know? But whatever, he she wrote a great book so far so she can name herself whatever boring man name she wants.

Anyway the book. It's great so far. Lots of great character development. Murder, a sapphire engagement ring, a private investigator and a stylish, quirky main character with blonde hair. I'm sold, pretty much.

I'm also listening to A Mad, Wicked Folly on audio.

 It's read in a British accent so basically I don't care what the plot is about. No, jist kidding. It's set in the early 1900s about women's suffrage and high society and art. It's beautiful and I love it so far.

Other than that, life lately has been pretty good. Manfriend and I are having fun planning our trip to Philly, New Jersey and NYC at the end of the month. I've got my eye on some pretty awesome food trucks in the city and plus I get to witness my grandma in an airplane. It just doesn't get any better than that. And also it's an excuse for me to get a new pair of shoes. I'm thinking Converse or Toms. Or both, if my Fairy Godmother should appear and grant me all my wishes. 

Lately, I've been watching more TV. Have you watched Mixology on ABC yet? If it keeps it up, I think it's a contender for a great show. Which reminds me, I really want to catch up on episodes of Happy Endings because I have a feeling it's the next Big Bang, which I've never watched and I know I am totally late to the game but I still want to jump on that bandwagon.

Life lately has also been revolving around the Oscars. In my book, the greatness of the event can be summed up in pretty much just a couple of words. 1) Jared Leto, 2) Ellen's suits, 3) and this:

I'm also pretty much in love with Jimmy Fallon. 

Oh and this:

Oh! And my taxes are done. Something about getting a divorce, not making alot of money and suddenly being the head of household really makes the government my new best friend. In some ways anyway. I'm not complaining.

That's all folks. Have fun watching Scandal tonight, because you know that's what I'll be doing.