NEW SITE (!!!!!!)

Hey y’all! Thanks for loving me enough to read my little ol’ blog. But I’ve got some exciting news! (Okay, it’s really only exciting to me.) I’m finally at pearlsandpolitics.com!!

That means, this site will no longer be updated. You can click through here –> http://www.pearlsandpolitics.com.

If you have me on your reader, first of all, THANK YOU! Secondly, you’ll need to update the URL.

Okay, what are you waiting for? Head on over to the new site and start commenting away!!

Love y’all!

❤ – Jen



There’s something about a brand new year that makes my borderline-OCD heart happy. Maybe it’s the clean, not-pen-marked-or-ripped-off calendar. I do love that.

Maybe it’s the inspiration that comes with a fresh, new beginning, and a feeling that nothing can stop me from doing all things correct. (At least until the second week of January.)

But mostly, I think it’s just the excuse to make eleventy billion lists that makes me giddy.

Last year, I made a Flexible Resolution List.

It ended up being really flexible.

Let’s take a look at the outcome:

Goal: Write.
Outcome: Fail.

Goal: Read.
Outcome: Fail-ish.

Goal: Take pictures.
Outcome: Epic fail.

Goal: Learn to sew.
Outcome: Never got the machine out of the craft room.

Goal: Make our house a home.
Outcome: Somewhat a success, although I really owe all the credit to my Mother.

Goal: Love myself.
Outcome: Worse.

Goal: Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Outcome: Not too shabby, actually.

Goal: Hold family close.
Outcome: YES! I did this.

Goal: Budget.
Outcome: Cringe.

Goal: Be a good wife.
Outcome: Eh.

Maybe allowing my goals to be “flexible” wasn’t the right way to go about it. I let myself fail before I even started. I think that’s called laziness.

Even so, 2012 was great. I know that if I put a little effort into life, 2013 could really be wonderful.

So, I made a simple little list for the new year. I couldn’t not.

Live Proverbs 31. I have a post brewing on this, so I don’t want to go into detail just yet.

Eliminate idleness. This is an aspect of Living Proverbs 31, but it’s actually quite broad. I spend a lot of time doing nothing. I sit on the couch and watch Netflix. I get on my phone and jump from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram to Solitaire to Facebook to Twitter to… (you get the point). I walk through my house and think, “My goodness, this place is a wreck,” and do nothing about it. I want to do. No more being idle or, let’s call it what it is, lazy.

Well. At least not most of the time (because I really want to finish the seasons of Parenthood.)

Create. An apron using my sewing machine. A pie. Decor for my home. Anything. Everything. I pride myself in my creativity, so I really want to put that to use.

Give up grudges. I also have a post coming on this, as well, so I’ll elaborate later. But it’s pretty self explanatory.

Take care of me. I’m not talking pedicures and massages, new clothes and designer bags. In fact, I want to see how much of those things I can do without. (Well, I mean, I need clothes. For the public’s sake.) But, I don’t take care of my body. I don’t love what I see in the mirror, yet I allow myself to put way too many processed foods and carbonated drinks in my system. And then I wonder why my face is a mess and my jeans are tighter. Duh, Jen. But it’s not just about feeling and looking good. It’s about long-term health. I want to not only be alive when my kids have kids, but I want to still be strong and active enough to play with them. I need to start taking care of myself now.

So, there’s that. I want to take advantage of this life God has given me. It’s so short. I want to make sure I do it right.


On this day two years ago, Evan and I stood in Times Square for ten hours sans food, a bathroom or a sitting break. But it was worth it. We watched the ball drop mere feet in front of us and kissed at midnight under the neon lights of Broadway-show billboards and the downpour of confetti.

On this day one year ago, we quite literally went down to a little white church where we said “I do” and kissed in front of our families and closest friends on the day that started the rest of our lives.

Today, we are working.

We have joked about how much pressure New Year’s Eve 2012 has on it’s back for us – the past two years have been so huge, we weren’t sure how we could possibly top it.

Turns out our normal is pretty fun, too.

I don’t know exactly what we’ll end up doing tonight, but I’m pretty sure it will be lovely. I’m so happy to celebrate our very first anniversary. Even if we’re celebrating on the couch with a calzone and alternating episodes of The Walking Dead and Parenthood.

This is my life. And I kind of love it.

And for your enjoyment, we put together a little vlog in honor of our anniversary. We answered the same set of questions, and didn’t see each others’ answers until we revealed them on video. It’s kind of boring, but you can see me make really weird faces. You’re welcome.

Also, the audio messes up and doesn’t sync with the video a couple times. I tried literally for hours to fix this, and did the best I can with my limited iMovie knowledge. Basically: deal with it. xo

Posts through the past year of marriage:


First Week-ish

Month Four

Meet My Husband

Month Seven

Month Ten

Cookie the Elf

Well, y’all – Christmas is over. The presents are are now unwrapped and strewn through every room in my house. The food is eaten, and I’m still feeling quite full. The Christmas music has stopped (because there’s only so much Mariah Carey, Glee & the Chipmunks that I can take).

You know what else? I no longer have to move Cookie (our Elf on the Shelf).

I know I wrote about why I love elf on the shelf, and I firmly stick to that. Watching Christian every morning looking for and finding Cookie was so sweet, and I’m absolutely going to be crushed when he no longer believes. But for now, he does, and that’s why I think it’s important.


I’m probably not going to miss waking up at 6am several mornings with a small (but very real) panic inching up my throat, hoping Christian hasn’t woken up yet because I forgot to move Cookie. At which time I would feel my way through the darkness, down the stairs and – with barely open eyes – find an interesting spot for our Elf.

I like to make you think I’m perfect, but I’m kind of a mess.

Some days were kind of boring for our Find Cookie adventures, but such is life.

And because I know you’re on the edge of your seat, dying to see photos, here are a few of our Cookie placements. (I was failblog a lot and didn’t take pictures everyday. Don’t judge me.)

Until next year, Cookie.

I hope y’all had the merriest of Christmases!


Some weeks are pretty boring, if I’m being honest. I drop the kids off at school, go to work, maybe do my Dad’s Christmas shopping, grab a Starbucks, pick the kids up from school, help with homework, cook dinner, sometimes clean up the kitchen, watch some TV, go to bed. Every day. It’s a good life, but not too terribly exciting.

Not this week, my friends.

Well, actually, for the most part, yes. But not entirely.


Wednesday night I started on teacher gifts. Considering Thursday was the kids’ last day of school, I figured it was probably time to put some stuff together.

Nothing like procrastination at Christmas.

I decided I wanted to make Peppermint Sugar Cookie Pinwheels. Not because they taste amazing. But because they look amazing. And, let’s be real – that’s really what matters most.

If you’ve ever baked before, you know that when a recipe calls for flour (lots), sugar, confectioner’s sugar and red food coloring – it’s gonna get a little cray up in here.

It got a lot of cray up in there.

My kitchen was a disaster. (And might still be. Don’t judge me.)

And I’m not even talking about the piece of trim that keeps falling out from under my dishwasher and the despicable cabinets which need to be taken down and burned. I mean, that’s a given.

Think: flour making a halo around my KitchenAid mixer, red food coloring making the kitchen look like a crime scene, powdered sugar covering the island (and the floor, and me), a little cookie dough smeared on my face, and pearl-like sprinkles. Oh, man, the sprinkles. I’ll probably find those up until next Christmas.

So, after I popped the first batch of cookies in the oven, I surveyed the horrendous mess that ensued, and imagined Martha Stewart’s kitchen as she inevitably bakes her dozens of cookies and cakes and all things wondrous this Christmas.

It looked nothing like what was going on IRL in my kitchen. It was heavenly and gleaming and clean and white. I mean, my kitchen was white, too, but not from beauty. It was mostly flour.

So I tweeted.

So I went on about my evening. I finished the cookies, took a bunch of Instagrams, put together potpourri mason jars, dipped marshmallows in white chocolate and peppermint, tied bows, wrote cards.

My phone dinged. With flour-covered hands, I checked it.

Okay, sure, Fake Martha. Let me email you my home address so you can find my house in West Virginia and steal all of my pretty cake plates and tablecloths and aprons when I’m not home. I don’t think so.

With enough dough still stuck in my hair to make at least three cookies, I finally went to bed.

The next morning, I woke up, got the kids ready, pushed them out of the car dropped them off at school, and started my short drive to work.

My phone dinged.



Did you just pee your pants?!

I mean, you do realize that little blue check mark beside her name makes her legit, right? That little blue check also means I’M GETTING A SIGNED COOKBOOK FROM FREAKIN’ MARTHA STEWART!

I’d hate me, too.

Of course, the very first thing I did was text my good friend and fellow celebrity stalker, Dawn. Although she was jealous (rightfully so), she was excited for me, as any good friend would be.

And then at 4:30 pm, she texts me again.

“CALL MARTHA!!,” she said (or something similar), talking about Martha taking calls to her SiriusXM radio show. I immediately got a knot in my stomach. What in the world would I say to Martha? I could thank her for the signed book coming my way, as Dawn suggested.

But the socially-awkward introvert inside me knew it would come out something like, “Martha! Thank you the book for sending me you are!”

Legit. I can’t talk.

Dawn wasn’t going to let that happen. I mean, I had received a Direct Message, a tweet and (prospectively) a signed cookbook. It was IMPERATIVE that I talk to the Queen of All Things Perfect, too.

So Dawn called. And then added me to the call. We could hear Martha talking to some guy who was talking about how to cook the perfect bird or something. Not important.

We both admitted later that we were super nervous waiting for our turn to talk to Martha.

And then about a minute before her show was over, the producer came on the line and apologized for not being able to fit us in.

I was a bit relieved, if I’m being truthful. Martha needs to remember me by that Sugar Cookie Pinwheel, not my inability to form a correct sentence.

Then again, she already knows my kitchen gets messy when I bake.


This Week…

… I’ve been a horrible blogger. As in, nonexistent.

… we celebrated a special little someone’s 7th birthday with inflatables and firetrucks. But no real fireman because he didn’t show up. Or fire hats, because I forgot them in the closet where I hid them so Little Man wouldn’t find them before the party. But the cake? Amazing.

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… we ate pancakes with Santa on the Actual Day of Birth (note: candle). And tracked down a friend, too.

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… I found this gem. “My favorite part of Charlotte’s Web was when the last part when the rat got fat.”

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… we watched Faith play her little heart out in basketball, while we entertained ourselves with piggybacks.

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… dude was the cutest kid in school. (Then again, when isn’t he?)

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… this happened.

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… I watched a little tiny baby sleep.

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… was good.


Things Little Man Says (v.2)

IMG_2183This? This was five years ago. He was two.

And tomorrow? That sweet little baby turns seven.

Did you hear me? I said SEVEN.

So, in honor of a day full of Christian, here’s some funny things he’s said…


Christian: A cricket!!!

Me: KILL IT!!!

C: No! They’re God’s creatures! I only kill spiders and snakes.

Me: Well, those are God’s creatures, too.

C: Yeah, but He doesn’t really like them.


C: What are you playing?

Faith: Life.

C: Life stinks.


C: (Doing something super annoying.)

Me: That’s super annoying.

C: Yeah, I know. That’s what I like best about life – being annoying to parents. And I like God and Jesus in my heart.


C: It’s funny to annoy you and Daddy because then you get all worn out and we get to play with our toys. And when we ask you something you say, “eh,” and we will take that as a yes. (Giggle.)


C: When are we getting that elf out?

Me: What do you mean get her out? Santa sends her in December. She’s real.

C: Oh. I thought since she was plastic she wasn’t real.


I know he’s adorable, but seriously. Make him stop growing.




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