Raise your hand if you need a BREAK

Look at all that SILENCE!

Do you want to hear about my morning? About the moment when the kids woke up the baby just after I finally got him to go to sleep? About how I think my eyes might have actually popped out of my head while steam exploded from my ears like a cartoon character when my attempts to outsource lunch duty ended up with a Rice Crispy apocalypse on my table? Would you like to hear about the “I hate my life!!!!!” voicemail I left Joe that was, as usual, followed by another voicemail five minutes later where I explained that I don’t actually... Read More

The courage to rest

Praying the ancient Vespers prayers at sunset. That's the life.

A few years ago, I found myself in a state of being perpetually overwhelmed. I mean, I still feel that way a lot of the time now, but back then it was worse. There was more of a sense of hopelessness, a feeling that I was sinking and couldn’t figure out how to pull myself up. Nothing I did seemed to get us any closer to having a peaceful routine or a house that didn’t look like it was b-roll footage from Hoarders. I pondered and prayed and whined about the issue for months, then, finally, something clicked. I had an epiphany that would... Read More

Ice cream truck, you’re killing me

Unlike Mommy No-Fun, Yaya is always happy to take the kids to the ice cream truck.

You know how I was going to get all the important things done the other day, but I wrote a post instead? And then I got sick? Well, I finally had a free moment to sit down and tackle some of these pressing items, but an unfortunate event took place, and now I am forced to write instead of working yet again. It’s cool, though. When Joe settles in to watch sports tomorrow night and the house suddenly goes dark because I never did get around to paying the electricity bill, I know that he’ll smile to himself and say, “At least Jen... Read More

22 things I learned in my first ten years of parenthood

Doll face-down in urine on the couch, 2010

As I was sitting here thinking of all the awesomeness that this wonderful, new, non-2013 year will hold, it occurred to me that my oldest child will turn ten this fall. Ten! I have officially been a parent for a decade now, and I’ve had six kids during that time. When I took a step back and considered that I’ve been living in Baby Central for the better part of my adult life, it occurred to me that I must have accumulated some knowledge during that time. I mean, surely I’ve learned at least one or two things about this whole “keeping... Read More

Why I’m going to keep letting Santa and the Tooth Fairy ruin my life

A rough trip down from the attic leaves us with a statue of Mary, Jesus, and St. John the Baptist.

My daughter told me that she has a loose tooth this morning, and her words struck dread into my heart. Right now, I just barely have some holiday cheer going on up in here. We’re actually having a nice Advent instead of having the weeks leading up to Christmas be the stress-fest that they usually are — but we’re hanging on by a thread. I’m like a woman trying to walk a tightrope while juggling a lit Advent wreath with Christmas tree ornaments and a baby. It’s all going fine now, but the slightest breeze could send this... Read More

On planning babies: Jen from seven years ago talks with Simcha Fisher


Seven years ago, I found myself in a place of great upheaval. I was in the middle of a profound religious conversion and found myself in a no-man’s land, adrift from my old belief system, yet not fully integrated into my new one. Around that time that I came across a small blog by this woman named Simcha. She was a brilliant, hilarious writer on par with the famous names of the secular world…yet she was religious, describing herself as a Hebrew Catholic since she comes from a family of Jewish coverts to Catholicism. Reading her blog... Read More

Ten images that tell you everything you need to know about this blog


I was cleaning up my media files in WordPress today. As I scrolled past all the images, I realized that you could let someone who’s never visited my site look through them, and he or she would have a very accurate impression of what I’ve been writing about lately. That got me wondering: If I were to choose 10 images that I’ve used in previous posts that I think tell you everything you need to know about this blog, what would they be? Joe got in on the challenge, and we were laughing out loud as we pointed out the pictures that... Read More

Are you suffering from Tired-Think? A quiz.

The reason I've had so much experience with Tired-Think lately.

For a friend who has been tired lately. Based on much personal experience. 1. List the five objects nearest to you in five seconds. How many did you refer to as “the thing”? A. None! I named each item quickly and accurately. B. 1 – 2 C. 3 – 4 D. I stared at the wall and drooled on myself instead of undertaking this challenge. 2. When you look at your to-do list, how does it make you feel? A. I think of how great it will be to accomplish all these wonderful things! B. A little overwhelming, but I’m up for it. C. It... Read More

The days are long (and loud, and sometimes involve messes in resort lobbies)


Grace ventured out here to the Wild West a few weeks ago, and we finally got to meet in person. I was going to drive down to her hotel and show up at her room whether or not we had anything arranged, so the fact that she actually invited me avoided a potential run-in with security guards. Grace has three kids under age four; I have six kids under age ten. I brought four of mine to our meetup (though the crazy toddler was in the group, and she counts as five normal children), so let’s just say that we had our hands full herding our minions... Read More

We interrupt this blog to bring you the ultimate Pinterest carpet-cleaning challenge


Let me begin by saying that I know that nobody comes to this blog for cleaning advice. Like, not one single person in the history of the internet has ever had the thought, I need to get my house sparkling clean. Let’s see when Jen Fulwiler has to say about that! But I made a huge cleaning discovery this week, and it’s so cool that I would have my blogging license revoked if I didn’t tell you about it. I’ve mentioned before that our carpet is a disaster. The previous owner of our house installed gleaming, ivory-white carpet... Read More

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