Sometimes I Think Before I Speak

The boys headed off to stay with their Nina, their paternal grandma, this weekend while my husband enjoyed 36 hours of childfree bliss.

We lazed around the house a bit. We shopped — with no whining. We ate meals while they were still hot. We drank coffee — while it was still hot. We listened to inappropriate rap music. We laughed so hard we cried. We slept the peaceful sleep of adults not being woken up by a little face right next to the bed, not-so-stage-whispering, “Mommy… Mommy! Can I have breakfast? I AM STARVING!” We were still somehow almost late for church, which maybe leads me to believe it might be our fault and not theirs but the jury is still out on that one. We enjoyed our time together.

Our 36 hours of dating has come to an end. We're off to get the boys. @cfd46 is impersonating Booey.

Really, the weekend was a much needed little bit of respite. I like spending time with my husband. I do!

Someone asked me what I did this weekend, and so I briefly shared the truth. “Oh, my mother-in-law watched the boys and we had a Date Day, Night, Morning and Afternoon.”

The Someone snort-smirked. “Must be nice,” The Someone hissed.

I just kind of blinked.

Well, yeah. It was nice. That was kind of the point of it.

I didn’t respond right away. I mean, what do you say to someone who is seemingly mad at you for living your life? I apparently raised an eyebrow which was an obvious cue for The Someone to launch into a tirade.

“Well, I just don’t understand why couples think they can just pawn their kids off on the grandparents all the time and go out and party and do God knows what. Why have kids?”



What now?

I could have gotten all defensive and told The Someone that my mother-in-law hadn’t had the kids since before her surgery in November. I could have called a spade a spade and called The Someone a Jelly Face. I could have told The Someone to shut its pie hole, but my husband and I have disagreed on whether or not Jesus would actually say that, so I am trying to refrain just in case he wouldn’t.

I could have said any number of things and, really, no one would have blamed me for getting on my soapbox and laying into this Someone. But I had one of those moments in which I pause and think before I speak, which is a rarity, I know. I then, in that moment, had a flash of a saying, pinned often and in various forms. “Be kinder than necessary for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Though I kind of like the one that goes, “Everyone is fighting their own battles; try not to be a ____.” (I don’t write that word here. Fill it with your own. Jackwagon works nicely.) I kind of sighed a little, not because I was all that angst and woe about what had just been said to me but because I couldn’t get on my soapbox. Everyone needs a good soapbox on a Monday.

“Well, our kids are just so lucky to have grandparents that argue over who gets to have them next!” I forced a smile across my face, the tone of my voice much sweeter than usual. Saccharine like; very un-Jenna. “Well, we have to finish this errand! Have a nice day!” And I walked away, pushing the cart and pulling my children along behind me. Because, oh yeah, they got to witness that unnecessary exchange as well.

I bought expensive dog food and treats, dragged my children into the grocery for my new weakness, mint and chocolate cocoa, and then made my way home where I made dinner, cleaned the house and played Go Fish and War with my boys.

Getting schooled at Go Fish. #punny

As I was getting them ready for bed, BigBrother asked, “Mommy, are we not supposed to go to Nina’s house?”

I forced myself to take a breath so I didn’t yell my answer. Obviously I wasn’t mad at my son, but the anger I felt toward some random semi-not-really acquaintance was really starting to cramp my style.

“Buddy, that’s not it at all. And listen, I want you to take each and every moment you have with your grandparents and cherish them. Remember them. Make the most of them. Grandparents are something really, really special. Don’t you forget that. Now go get in the shower.”

I maintain that the relationship between grandparents and grandkids is something special, something to be cherished and nurtured. I am thankful, especially so after this exchange, that my children are blessed with grandparents who not only want their grandkids’ presence but actively seek it.

And since Someone asked, I had children in hopes that they might grow up to bring more good to the world than bad. You know, unlike that Special Monday exchange I had with Someone. So shut your pie hole. Please. And that’s what Jenna would say — if she didn’t think first. Ahem.


Firefighter Apparel by Black Helmet Apparel

Giveaway: HTC One X+

I am thrilled to be giving away an HTC One X+!

I have been loving some of the camera features and I wanted to share a few of them with you.

  • Continuous shooting. I just hold the shutter button and bam, a whole smorgasboard of photos. I choose which I want, delete the rest (easily) and, bam, better photo experience than ever!
  • Real settings! I can easily, without an app, adjust the ISO, saturation, white balance and so on. This makes the photographer in me very, very happy. Did I mention that it’s easy? Ahem.
  • There’s a feature called Smile Detection. It’s great if you’re trying to get a group shot of the family smiling.
  • Auto-upload. With Flickr for HTC, you can set your photos to upload immediately, daily, or wifi only. That’s great if you forget to upload/backup your camera phone photos regularly. (It’s not so great if you take inappropriate photos and your mother-in-law is one of your flickr contacts. #justsayin)
  • You can easily take photos while taking video. No, really. And really on the easily again.

Oh? And really great photo quality. Like this one of my office mate sleeping on the floor.



She’s the best, isn’t she? That was the first photo I took with the camera and I was just shocked at how crisp and clear her fur was, how bright the whole photo turned out. Shocked and pleased!

We have some fun things to show you next week with the phone, as I found out on a Snow Day that it makes for a great video camera for the boys. Even they found it to be user-friendly and easy! But to close out the month of January, I want to give you a chance to win one of your own. That’s right: I’m giving away an HTC One X+ right now!

How to enter:

Tell me why you want to win in a comment on this post. Need an extra family phone? Looking for something new and improved for yourself? Is your teenager bugging you for a phone? Did you drop your phone in the toilet? (That’s called a pPhone, in case you where wondering.) Just let me know in the comments.

To receive additional entries, please leave one comment per each of these extra options you complete.

  • Tweet about this giveaway using the hashtag #TroopOneX & #HTCOne (there’s a button just below).
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook (there’s a button just below).
  • Share this giveaway on Google+ (again with the button).
  • Pin this giveaway (BUTTON, HOLLA!).

Details: The giveaway is open to US residents only, and AT&T service is not included. Giveaway closes on Thursday, February 1, 2013 at 12:00pm EST. A winner will be randomly selected and contacted via email. Winner’s information will be forwarded to the company in charge of providing winner with prize.

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, HTC.

#WIWSunday: What I Wore Sunday, January 27, 2013

What I Wore Sunday, January 27, 2013


What I Wore Sunday, January 27, 2013

What I Wore Sunday, January 27, 2013

What I Wore Sunday, January 27, 2013
On Flickr || On Instagram

  • Dress: Jessica Howard, Zulily
  • Tights: Merona, Target (on clearance now)
  • Shoes: Kmart, 2008(?)
  • Necklace: Lia Sophia
  • Dog: Old man in Amish country

I adore this dress. It’s a super thick jersey knit — but it’s also lined so it hangs the way it is supposed to hang. I bought it specifically to wear for Christmas Day this year, which I did, and it is probably one of my more favorite dresses in my wardrobe right now. (And it’s not even green!) The dress is a Jessica Howard and is actually for sale on today until, I think, Wednesday. (I’m going to be honest: I’m eyeing this tan and brown plaid belted Jessica Howard dress.)

Those black flats have had a lot of wear since 2008 and, really, I need a new pair. They’re getting a little thin, a little worn. I’ve been looking to see if I can find a good replacement pair at various places, especially now that “winter” shoes are starting to go on clearance. Have you seen anything I should look at? I wear a 6.5!

I also wore today: running tights, green knee high socks, yoga pants, a purple running tank, pink running jacket, green running vest, black texting gloves, gray and black hat. And then later, jeans, a green and navy striped shirt, navy tank, green and blue striped socks, a silver shamrock necklace, and a pair of black and pink sneakers. And a smile, because yesterday was Date Day, we were kid free all night, and I ran eight miles today. Hooray!