10 Reasons Why I’m Not A Successful Blogger.

I am a bad blogger. Not even like a “cool and edgy” “bad blogger”… nah, I’m just bad at being a blogger. (For example, I use quotation marks when there is ZERO NEED TO USE QUOTATION MARKS. So… maybe that makes me edgy? Or just bad at third grade English.)

Sometimes I like to pretend that I’m a good blogger. I’ll glance through my content and pretend that I’m a “visitor”, a “viewer” of this amazing site. Just a regular old Internet person and – “Wow! This is great content! I’m really funny!”

I think that to myself. “I’m really funny!” This is probably why I don’t have a lot of traffic and it’s taken me three years just to reach 1,400 subscribers…. which is crazy, because I’m, like, really funny. “If more people knew about my site – my traffic would skyrocket. I might even be famous.”

Yea. Sure. It’s been on the Internet for three years and you’ve promoted it on every social media platform out there – but obviously people don’t know about it. That’s why you’re not famous yet.

There may be other reasons. When I got cocky and asked the Facebook-blogging-community-group for feedback on my TOTALLY AMAZING site… not one of them said it was funny. Or amazing. Or that they would even come back! I did not gain ONE new reader from this experiment… which, honestly, is a little disheartening, especially since I’m so funny.

Continue Reading

On Patience.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it does not argue about kitchen cabinet organization, or how to load the dishwasher “correctly”. It is not proud, it does not grumble about cleaning hair out of the shower drain or throwing out a full carton of expired Almond milk because someone declared that they were going to start making “smoothies for breakfast” and then forgot about it. 

Love is patient. It’s about being patient. The Bible doesn’t really dig into that, it just assumes that you will know how to be patient with someone you love, and you won’t get all pissy just because they forgot to clean the lint trap out of the dryer. 

The lint trap is a hot button issue in our house. Really, the dryer in general is pretty controversial. I won’t get into the politics of “when you should clean out the lint trap” (EVERY. TIME.) or “how many towels you should cram in there before you’re going to break the dryer”, because I know that not everyone agrees with me, and because I’VE never broken a dryer, so I wouldn’t know the answer to that. 

Someone would tell you that it’s okay to stuff twenty towels in there because “they have to get clean”and because “I don’t want to do six loads of towels”.

But, again, we’re not going to get into that. 

Continue Reading

Confessions of A Shopaholic.

“So after we get married, whose bank are we going to use?”

Whose bank are we going to use? Not only do Kyle and I have two separate checking accounts, we have two separate banks. For now. Word on the street is that “married people” have this saying- “It’s not MY money, it’s OUR money.”

Right. But, technically, it is still my money, right?

“Uh…” To say that I hadn’t thought about it would be a lie. I’d thought about it. Of course I’d thought about it. “Mine…” I suggested, “I guess?”

Not like it matters. Eventually he’s going to see how much money I spend on make-up and hair products. Where the bank statement comes from doesn’t really matter.

“But here’s the thing,” I said – because I have nothing to hide – “Maybe we should still have separate accounts. Like, we can have a joint account – you know, for bills and groceries, but then we’ll each have our own SEPARATE account too… for, other things. You know, personal things.”

“Personal” things. I sound like a fifteen year old girl who’s embarrassed that she has to buy tampons. This man is going to be my husband. What could I possibly have to hide from him?

Besides the fact that if he saw a $130 charge to Sephora pop up on our “shared bank statement”, he’d probably have some questions. Like “Why did you spend $130 at Sephora? Isn’t that a make-up store?” And when I say “I needed some moisturizer”, he’s going to ask me why I need moisturizer that costs $130 and “can’t you find something cheaper?” and when I say “but this is the Kate Somerville Wrinkle Warrior moisturizer with retinol”, he’ll ask “So? Don’t they sell moisturizer at Walmart?” and then he’s going to try to make me buy the moisturizer at Walmart.

You guys. I can’t start buying my moisturizer at Walmart. It may have worked for me when I was a teenager, but I’m thirty now. I need the hard stuff.

Continue Reading

On possibly-maybe building a house.

We don’t know anything about building a house. One day last summer, Kyle dragged me through a “model home” for a builder company that has homes popping up all over Chicagoland. “It’s just for fun,” he said. “Just to get ideas.”

And it was fun. And boy, oh boy, did it give me ideas.

The open floor plans. The stone fireplace. The shiplap “accent wall”. The fake-wood floor that looks like a real wood floor. “The can lighting is nice”, Kyle said. I didn’t even know what “can lighting” was until we started this adventure – but now I’ve realized that I can’t live in a house without it.

I know this because, after we sat down and started “building our house” with the builder rep last weekend, I asked her what the “alternative” was if we didn’t do can lighting. Because apparently can lighting – much like pull handles and stair railings and granite counter tops – would be “extra”. “You’ll have a switch with an outlet,” she said. “So you could just plug a lamp into it. And it would be on the switch.”

I don’t know why I was expecting her to say “uh, different lights?” Instead our only other option is a lamp. On a switch. And I’m assuming they don’t give you the lamp as a housewarming present. So, the alternative to can lighting is no lighting.

“We’ll need can lights in every room.” I said. “Add that to the list.”

“The list” started filling up fast with things like – stainless steel appliances, “Group 2 cabinets” (because that’s where the white cabinets are), brushed nickel faucets, a 4-ft garage extension, the fake-wood vinyl floor that looks like real-wood-and-not-vinyl, the French doors for my office, plumbing for the basement, one of those blower/fan/exhaust things in the kitchen…? It’s supposed to help with smoke, I guess, when you’re cooking. I don’t know, that one was Kyle’s idea. Apparently he thinks I’m going to be doing a lot of cooking.

Continue Reading

On Writing A Novel.

“I want to write a book.”

This is one of those things that can be kind of scary to tell people. “You want to write a… book?” they’ll ask. “About what?” And then what am I supposed to say – “I don’t know”…? Because that’s the God’s-truth-honest-answer: I want to write a book, I just don’t know what it’s about. Yet.

“That can be your first line.” Kyle said. “‘I want to write a book, but I don’t know what it’s about.'” I’d been hesitant to tell him. (And when I say ‘hesitant’, I mean hesitant for about five minutes. It was too exciting NOT to tell him! I’m going to write a book! I think!) But what’s he going to say? I thought. What if he doesn’t believe me? Why WOULD he believe me? What aptitude have I shown that proves I’m capable of WRITING A BOOK?

“You should.” Kyle said. “I think you’d be good at it.”

I’d thought he was going to say, “Hah. Right.” or “Sure – what’s it going to be about? Shoes?” Or worse – the same thing one of my friends had told me years ago when I’d told her I wanted to write a book – “Oh come on, Jenn, you’re not smart enough to write a BOOK.” (True story.) But he didn’t say any of that – he, without hesitation, was SUPPORTIVE.

Which threw all of the excuses that I had lined up “I really think I could do it!” and “I’ll show you!” – well, it threw them right out the window. Because it turns out my fiancé is a supportive, kind human. (Which are two things that you really want in a fiancé.)

Continue Reading

Living with Intention.

Do you remember high school? I mean, really remember it.

I thought I’d grow up to be a model.

I’d forgotten about that until recently when I went back through and found the old diary I’d kept when I was 15. There’s a whole story in there about how I told my friend I wanted to be a model and she was like, “What’s your back up plan?” and I was like – “uh, RUDE” –then went off on a spiel about ambition and drive and told my super-rude friend that “If I didn’t believe I had a CHANCE to make my dreams come true, I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning” – to which my dumb, mean friend said, “So you’re telling me that you wake up every morning and say to yourself ‘I’m going to be a model’…?”

No. No, I did not do that. I was ambitious and overly optimistic, but not clinically insane.

Her next question (according to my notes) was – “What are you doing to get there?” as in, what steps was I taking at that point in my life to make this whole ‘modeling dream’ happen. This should be the first question you ask yourself for any career path. If you genuinely want to do something, or “be” something in this case, you have to lay out a plan and take the necessary steps to get there.

I get that now – at 30 years old, but I did not get it at 15. Instead of coming up with a career plan at 15, I got all bent out of shape because my so-called-friend didn’t “believe in me”. How DARE she? I’m going to be a STAR!

I had no formal training. No experience. No portfolio. And when I’d asked my parents if they’d pay for modeling classes at Barbizon, they said – “Eh……..?” and changed the subject.

But still. I wanted to be a model! How DARE she ask me about my “plans”. Did she think I couldn’t get “discovered” at the mall like one of those girls on America’s Next Top Model? I thought we were FRIENDS!

So that’s who I was in high school: lots of ambition, a little bit of delusion. And a lot of frizzy hair.

Continue Reading