On a Lighter Note

Netflix giveth, Netflix taketh away

A list of Netflix movies that evidently involve a guy named Shaun.

I was going to write something else today. However, since my blogging time has been adversely impacted due to circumstances that you will understand presently, I am forced to pen this letter to a certain streaming movie service instead. Dear Netflix: First of all, let me take a moment to thank you for the excellent service you offer. I have often thought that your wide selection of streaming movies and shows is the sole reason that I am able to cook dinner each evening. My husband once suggested that we cancel our account in a brief and very unfortunate... Read More

Organizational hacks for the rest of us

When I was pregnant with my first child, I spent too much time reading Martha Stewart Living and Real Simple. Friends of mine had used the suggestions from those pages to bring order to their homes, and I came to the very unfortunate conclusion that those tips were just what I needed too. About a year later, I found myself staring at the color-coded toy bins I’d so carefully set up in my son’s room, realizing that they were filled with ALL THIS STUFF that was NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THERE, yet finding that the prospect of sorting it all out... Read More

Photos from a great day

Next time I commit to writing a post a day for a week, I’ll make sure to do it when a good friend whom I rarely see is not in town. Although, actually, maybe the timing is perfect. Hallie understands better than anyone that sometimes blogging duty calls. She looks pretty happy to hold my baby while I write a post, doesn’t she? In my defense, I did give her coffee. Yesterday was a blast. Since I so thoroughly document the less-fun aspects of this phase of life, here are some pictures from a great day. The baby is thinking, “Please... Read More

If you want to whine about your alligator problem, don’t come to me


I was recently involved in an email exchange with Joe and some of his friends from Houston. The topic of conversation was a recent news story that took place at a house near where one of Joe’s friends lives, where a woman discovered this in her backyard pool: Evidently this is pretty common in their neck of the woods, as illustrated by this story and this one and this one. After that last set of links was sent around, someone chimed in to say, “Hey, Jen, you should be feeling thankful that all you have to deal with is scorpions!”... Read More

21 tips for survival mode

A few years ago I made a passing comment about being in “bare minimum mode” because we had four kids under age five. I was surprised when I opened up email the next morning to have a flood of questions asking me for more details about this concept. Ever since then, any time I bring up the topic I get a great response from others who find themselves in seasons of life when things are too crazy to do anything other than just get by. I find myself in a survival season once again since I now have six kids under age nine, so I thought I’d... Read More

Fabulous finds: Rats in a cage edition

Summer is off to a rolicking start here in the Fulwiler household, and by that I mean our TV is about to explode from overuse. Every weekday I announce dramatically that we cannot spend one more day sitting around the living room, solemnly promising that there shall be activities, starting tomorrow. Then, the next day, I wake up and count on one hand the number of hours of sleep I got the night before. I think through the logistics of getting myself and six young children out the door, and my brain starts melting around the time that it occurs to... Read More

To the ladies who sent me that quilt


A couple of weeks ago, a beautiful quilt arrived in the mail. And this wasn’t just any quilt: it was a prayer quilt, handmade by a group of ladies who specifically prayed for me while they were created it. Look at how beautiful it is: The attached label said it was from the prayer quilt ministry at an Episcopal Church in Arizona. I wanted to assure the lady who sent it that I had received it and tell her how wonderful I thought it was, so I went to grab the card it came with to get her contact info. Only it wasn’t where I left it. I... Read More

“Domestic monastery” or “annoying introvert”? – it’s a fine line

An old friend got in touch with us recently, and his experience was proof that trying to contact one of the Fulwilers by telephone often yields different results than you would expect it to. Below is a transcript of our friend Sandeep’s experience with this endeavor. Before you read it, there are three things you need to know: 1) As part of his never-ending quest to thwart The Man, Joe is constantly switching to new, cheaper cell phone plans, which always involves changing his mobile number. 2) He recently switched our home service as well... Read More

Where do you write?: A photo tour for nerds

Okay, internets, ARE YOU READY TO ROCK?! If so, too bad, because we’re just doing some pictures from my house today. Why? Because I love, love, love seeing where other people write, and didn’t think I could get folks to ante up if I didn’t post a few shots of my own. So here is my office: Our house isn’t all that big, but we decided it would be worth sacrificing the dining room for me to use as an office. I’m so grateful to have that space to pay the bills, keep track of finances, plan homeschool, write, and other... Read More

Birth story haikus

I am limited to one-hand typing while holding the new baby, so how about if you all do all the work for this post? How about this: Let’s do birth story haikus! I love hearing birth stories, but they’re always so long — I don’t think I’ve ever been able to capture one of mine in less than 2,000 words. I thought it might be fun to put them in haiku form (if you need a refresher, it’s a 5-7-5 syllable scheme). Here are two of mine: BABY #1: Natural childbirth: this is gonna be great, right? Doctor Bradley lies. —- BABY... Read More

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