Top Shot

Have you ever seen this show? It’s on Tuesday nights on the History Channel, and Anthony and I LOVE it!

The show is about 16 of the best sharp shooters in the US coming together to compete in every weapon you can think of for the title of “Top Shot.” Top Shot doesn’t mean you are the best pistol shooter, or best sniper, or best trick shooter… it means you are the best at ALL  of them. If you know anything about competitive shooting, you know that most shooters specialize in ONE weapon. But to win Top Shot, you’ve got to be the best of them all.

Tonight was about being the best trick shooter. They set up some of the most famous (or infamous) shots, like shooting a corn cob pipe out of someone’s mouth, or shooting two objects at once. Tonight’s elimination challenge was shooting 6 bottles, 35 feet away, UPSIDE DOWN! Holy cow! They’ve also done cross bows, rapid fire arms (like a Tommy Gun) and even the Tomahawk. You really have to know your stuff.

I know most of you wouldn’t peg me as a fire arms fan. But I am! Anthony is, too. He’s been hunting with his dad and brothers from an early age, and I find the skill fascinating. I want to go shooting at a range. Anthony is going to teach me. I think that is going to be really cool, and much more of a challenge than I think it is. I mean, I’m learning that it really is SO FAR from “point and shoot.” I can’t even imagine what it takes to do these incredible shots they have to do on this show.

This is season two, and we are totally hooked. We followed season 1 and couldn’t wait for the next round. The challenges just keep getting harder and fancier and crazier. Next week is “Back to Basics” week and they set up a carnival target practice range and shoot everything from moving ducks to soda cans with a rifle. Now that sounds like fun! I love those carnival games, and to do it for real would be a blast!

If you are in to shooting or just like competition shows, you should check this one out.

-Jen

P.S. I will be without internet from tomorrow until Wednesday. So I will be blogging, but I won’t be able to post until we get the internet back up and running. See you all on Wednesday!

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VooDoo Baby

This little cutie is a key chain that Anthony bought me a few years back. She is a VooDoo Baby, and her body is made entirely of balled up or wrapped up string. I love her. She’s so neat! Plus, if you didn’t know, I’m FASCINATED with the idea of witches and wizards. A witch is sort of my alter ego. I’ve been a different kind of witch for Halloween on multiple occasions, and will continue to perfect the costumes and persona in the future.  That is why Anthony bought me this little gem. He knows how much I love witches.

But the best part about her? Her magical abilities. According to her tag, she can, “keep stupid people at bay, mean people at home, and jerks in the dark!” OMG, I can’t tell you how much I love that! My biggest pet peeve is easily stupid people. Hahaha. She hangs in our living room. She is so tiny that no one notices. But I have to say, she does her job well. 😉

Just another little tid bit into the world of Jen.

-Jen

bored

I’m bored.

Not in general – my life has WAY too much going on to be boring. But right now, this minute… I’m bored. I can’t think of anything to write about, even though I know there are a million possibilities.

I think boredom is one of my biggest writing blocks. Usually when I get bored, I stare at that blinking cursor for quite some time before giving it up as a bad job and heading to bed. I’m not sure why boredom does this to me. It just does. And unfortunately, this isn’t the first time I’ve experienced this.

As a result, this is quite possibly THE MOST BORING POST I have ever written and posted. But a deal with God is a deal with God,(for those of you who don’t know, I’m blogging every day for Lent) and I’m not about to let the big guy down. So I’m boringly writing about my boring moment and my writer’s block… And now, sort of playing with how many times I can write the word “boring” in one post.

Oh well. Hopefully there will be something way more interesting (and significantly less boring) to write about.

Hope I didn’t bore you to sleep!

-Jen

Prayers, Prayers, and More Prayers

I can’t tell you how many of my prayers over the last 9 months have been for our dear friends, Ben and Janelle.

These two are fierce. I don’t know if my sanity or my faith could withstand everything these two have been through. But here they stand, tall and proud, ever faithful, and ready to just keep moving forward. When Janelle told me in January that her pregnancy had been confirmed, I cried. FINALLY – TEARS OF JOY for my friends. I’ve followed her progress closely, and have kept in touch often to help support them. My prayers turned from that of peace to that of health and safety.

But again, today, I cried tears of pain for these soldiers of life. Janelle called me today to tell me the news: The baby had no heartbeat. I was crushed. I literally felt the weight of this news in my chest. I had no words. Nothing I could say or do would comfort my friend. I felt so deeply sorry. I tried my best to be positive and to find some sort of silver lining to cling to. Of course, there was none in a situation like this. Reality hits you, hard, and it does this ugly little dance in front of you that says – “Nothing you can do about it!” We both agreed – the only way to describe it was, “This SUCKS.”

I waited for Janelle’s post to go up before I posted my own blog tonight. I wanted to ensure she was ready for people to know before I called out to you all. If prayers were ever needed, tonight is the night. Janelle prepares for a DNC later this week, and then has to face coming home from the hospital for a second time without her precious baby. I can’t even begin to fathom. There is no way to “prepare” for that.

Please add your prayers to ours tonight. Please ask the Lord to hold this couple in his grace and to give them the guidance and peace they need to get through the next few weeks, and months to follow. Please pray that there is an end in sight for their suffering and that a family is on the horizon for them. And please, please, please don’t forget to tell the people you love how much you care about them. Abigail looks a million times more precious to me tonight, as I am reminded that we are one of the lucky ones.

Thank you for your support. God Bless.

-Jen

Pampered Chef

So, I’ve been going back and forth for quite some time about whether or not I should mention my latest endeavor on this blog. So far, the answer has been no. And the reasoning was because this blog is about me as a mother. It’s about our family. It’s about Abby. It’s about our life together. It is NOT about my work. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this is becoming more than just a “job.” It’s becoming more of a mission. A mission to be home with Abigail during the day.

So, I’ve decided to blog about it. Last October, I became a Pampered Chef Consultant. Actually, I meant to become one several months before that. I was supposed to become a consultant on June first, 2010. Well… I sort of ended up in the hospital that day… So we had to postpone. 😉

I’ve been loving being a consultant. It’s been a lot of fun! And the perks of getting to use PC products all the time makes me do a happy dance. I’ve been using Pampered Chef stuff since I was about 15 when my Mom introduced me to them in our own kitchen. My shows, and therefore my sales, have been going well. I have a lot of fun with my shows, and my guests are a blast! I’m excited to do my first Bridal Shower next month.

But the best part of it all has been the team I became a part of. My director (the woman who recruited me) has been selling Pampered Chef for 18 years! She is a great teacher, and an Executive Director. She has a team of over 400 consultants! (Wowza!) And on a monthly basis, a handful of us that are based locally meet at her house to learn. We try out all the new products, we give and receive insider’s tips, and we build a support system. Plus, we always eat really good food! It’s awesome!

But I didn’t just join because it is fun and I like the products. Those are perks. I joined because we needed the extra income. Because of Abby’s compromised immune system, she can’t be put in daycare. In time, this will change, but for now it is simply something we have to accept. So this meant I had to go down to part-time work, while my mother watches her (God, bless her!). PC is giving me a chance to help our little family stay afloat.

I’ve learned that the hardest part of being a consultant is getting people to host shows. It’s all about networking, because the “selling” isn’t work. This stuff sells itself – quite literally. I can’t tell you how many people come to a show JUST to get something they’ve been needing or wanting for a while. 85% of people who show up to a show buy something. Over half of the people who buy at a show order at least one item they already had in mind before showing up. The work there is so very simple. The real work comes in getting people to open up their homes. They say it takes about 6 months to really get rolling with a constant flow of succesful parties. And here I am, about 6 months later, looking forward to April because it has the most amount of shows I’ve ever done in one month!

Ultimately, the goal is to only need Pampered Chef, and quit the day job. We hope to have reached that goal by the end of this year. I really think I can do it, too! And that would mean that I would get to stay home with Abigail for good. The dream is to be a stay-at-home-Mom until we are done having kids and the youngest one gets to kindergarten. Then maybe I’ll go back to an office setting…. but we’ll see. If I love PC the way I love it now, I’m guessing probably not. 😉

Anywho – now you know. And I feel good that I shared!

-Jen

Crazy people

So, I’ll admit it. I’M CRAZY!!! So is my friend, M. Because we ventured out into the elements today.

On any other Sunday in SoCal, that would be the greatest idea ever. Because the weather out here is amazing 99% of the time. But today, we got rain. And not SoCal rain, either. Around here, we have a “Flood Watch” on the news when we get about an inch of rain and it’s drizzling outside. But today was REAL rain. Torrential downpour all day. And the wind was high, so it was sideways torrential downpour. Totally NOT something we know how to deal with around here.

But M (Abby’s God Mother) and I have had shopping plans on the calendar for weeks! We are starting to prepare for Abigail’s Baptism and her Birthday celebration (let me tell you how crazy THAT is!) and getting several special outfits for the little princess for upcoming events. We needed to find her Easter dress, her Baptismal gown, and a dress for her to wear to her God Father’s wedding the weekend after her birthday. Plus, we wanted to start pulling together decorations for her birthday and start working on the invitations. That is a LONG list! And we did the best we could.

We started out with a game plan – we felt that to keep Abby warm and dry, we would need to tag team the day. So M was the “Stuff” lady (diaper bag, umbrella, shopping bags, etc.) I was in charge of Abby, her car seat, and the stroller. This system worked really well! We were able to stay pretty dry… or as dry as it was possible to stay. We went to Babies R Us, and it was not raining too hard when we parked. So, we got out of the car, and started to gather everything up  to go in… and as I’m pulling out the stroller, IT. STARTS. POURING. We were both yelling out instructions to one another, M couldn’t get the umbrella to cooperate, and I was doing my best to keep Abby dry. (I succeeded, btw). Once we had everything, we ran for it, with the umbrella turned inside out and everything… We were dripping wet and panting by the time we made it inside the store… but Abby was dry (and looking at us like we were crazy) so it all worked out. We had to laugh. We stayed longer than we needed in the store because it was still raining so hard. We didn’t want to have to run like that again!

Once the rain calmed down, we went to a nearby Chipotle for lunch. My and M’s favorite eatery. It was great – we enjoyed our meal, caught up on each other’s lives, played with Abby (who makes new friends EVERYWHERE we go) and geared up to move on to our next location. We headed back to the car, and it wasn’t pouring – just lightly raining. But all of a sudden, the wind kicked into high gear. It blew the hood of my jacket right off of my head! We briskly walked to the car and hurried to get in. In any other situation, I am really, really good about putting the break on the stroller. But in the chaos, I forgot. I pulled Abby and her car seat out of the stroller, and as soon as that weight was lifted, the wind was too much for it. The stroller started to roll away!!!! Oh Lord. I got Abby locked into the base and chased after it. Luckily it didn’t get far. And it was starting to rain harder again, so I threw it in the back of the car and jumped in.

*Whew* Between the classic inside-out umbrella and the runaway stroller, M and I were laughing so hard. It was just too cliche to not be funny. We haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. At that point, we decided to take 2 of our stops off the agenda. We just wanted to get to the mall and stay out of the weather! We headed out that way and were commenting that WE were crazy for going out on a day like today – with an infant, no less. But Abby was having a great time, and we were getting things accomplished, so we found justification. And then, we saw something SO CRAZY we decided that nothing we were going to do today was going to compare. The rain and the wind were at its worst so far for the day, as I was going 55 on the freeway to stay safe and in my lane. And as we are talking, we both had to stop and stare…. because we were passing a guy on a motorcycle. On the freeway. In the pouring rain. He had no protection on other than a helmet and a jacket. There was no wind shield on his bike, no way to wipe his visor. He and his bike were as soaked as the freeway itself, and there he was, just riding along. We couldn’t believe it. We both laughed in awe. I said, “What happens when he gets to where he is going? It isn’t like he can just throw a change of clothes in the trunk!” We were amazed. And glad that it wasn’t us.

We saw several accidents today, and even a tree that fell over in the wind and blocked an entire road! It just kept getting crazier as the day went on. We got to the mall and were relieved to find parking in the garage. We did our shopping and had a blast. Abby couldn’t get enough of the abundance of things to look at. And, other than the elevators that kept trying to eat us (doors closing too quickly), it was an awesome trip.

We got what we needed and came home. M got home safely, and Abby and I spent the rest of the day inside with our toys. Anthony got home from his weekend away with the boys, and she was SO HAPPY to see him. She’s now asleep for the night after a very exciting day and I am off to make her baby purees for the upcoming couple of weeks. It was a great day! And we loved getting a day with M. We miss you, hon.

What did you do in today’s crazy weather?

-Jen

 

Buried

There are very few chores that I HATE. Doing the dishes is one of them. So, I just don’t do them. Anthony is in charge of that. I also hate taking out the trash. Something Anthony is also in charge of. But don’t worry – I share the weight. Chores I don’t mind include: Vacuuming, cleaning the bathrooms, and “tidying up.” So I am in charge of all of those. But one of those middle of the road chores for me is Laundry. I don’t hate it the way i hate the dishes, but it’s nowhere near as fun as vacuuming.

Dusting is really the only thing we BOTH hate, and so it often gets forgotten. Oops! But Anthony and I split the chores around the house pretty evenly, and laundry was one of the chores I got.  Before Abigail was born, that wasn’t so bad. 1 or 2 loads a week, and I was in good shape! But with burp cloths, bibs, 1-2 outfits a day, sheets, blankets, and about a gazillion socks, I’m doing 1-2 loads of laundry for her every week. Plus our normal laundry. I’m the Laundry queen!!! I feel like I am literally buried in laundry.

I think the hardest part is when she gets new clothes – because I have to wash everything before she can wear it. So the occasional “go buy a top because the laundry didn’t get done and I’ve got nothing to wear” doesn’t work. I’ve got to do the laundry no matter what. even when it is 1am, and I want to go to bed, but I know that Abby’s got nothing to wear tomorrow until I finish. The silver lining is that I don’t have to separate colors or anything like that – it all just gets dumped in at once, and we are good to go!

Then, I’ve just got to fold her tiny little onsies and hang her little jumpers and I can go sleep! Speaking of which – the dryer just buzzed! Gotta go!

-Jen