Similar Names and Awkward Text Messages

photo (5)

I have a problem.

My husband and my best friend have very similar names. Well, kind of similar in the fact that in both their names the first two letters are the same and in both their last names the first two letters are the same.

My husband is Jeff Mitchell and my bestie is Jen Mil… (not sure she wants her name on the Internet so I’ll protect her innocence from you all crazy stalkers)

See, not exactly the same but very close. It confuses me and has produced a some awkward situations.

These two people are the people that I text most so they are both on the top of my texting list. I have been know to send a bitchy text about my husband meant for my bestie to my husband. Or a sexy text meant for my husband to my bestie. Or worse a text about how I want to jump the hot construction worker that just winked at me meant for my bestie but sent to my husband.

It’s all good. Jeff will just text me back saying, “Are you sure you wanted this to go to me?”

I can almost see the eye roll through the phone.

Another way I get confused is that by their responses. Since I am constantly texting these two, I will often not pay close enough attention to the sender.

If I just sent Jeff a text and then my phone beeps with a new text message I just assume it’s from him when  a lot of times it’s actually from Jen.

This just happened recently.

I had texted Jeff something about something he needed to do after work for the kids. I don’t remember specifically but probably something along the lines of ‘Hey dude. Don’t be a dumbass and forget to pick up our kids’ or ‘Can you get milk because our kids guzzle it by the gallon daily and we really need a cow’.

I hit send and then went back to scrolling through Facebook to pass the time.

As I was scrolling a text banner flashed across the top of my iPhone meaning I had a new text message. I glanced up, quickly saw a ‘Je’ and then part of the message that said “my dress keeps riding up when I sit down…”

Not exactly the message one would get from their husband but my brain processed it and I said to myself, “Huh, I don’t remember Jeff wearing a dress this morning. I wonder which dress of my dresses Jeff borrowed to wear to work?”

I paused for a moment.

This is didn’t make sense. I probably needed to read the whole message. I felt like I was missing something. Something was off. I wasn’t getting the whole picture.

I closed the app I was using and opened my text message.

“My dress is riding up when I sit down and my vagina is acting like a suction cup on the stool.”

Well now this was weird. I know my husband does not have a vagina. I checked that this morning. So I looked more carefully at the message and that’s when I realized, it was my bestie sending me the text and not my husband.


Glad, I cleared that one up because I really didn’t want to share my dresses with Jeff. He just doesn’t have the boobs to make them look good.



The Wine Pour Battle

“Ok, they are all ready for you,” I said with a sigh as I walked down the last two steps.

Jeff didn’t look up from his computer but only grunted.

“Did you hear me? They are waiting for you.” I said, slightly annoyed.

“Yeah. I’ll head up in just a minute,” he answered me.

Since he answered me, I knew that he heard me so I walked into the kitchen, opened the cupboard and pulled out a wine glass.

It was my favorite time of day. The kids were finally in bed, sure they were still messing around and I could hear them giggling but I didn’t really care. The day full of constant, “Mom. Mommy. Mom. Momma. Mom. Mommy” was over. It was time for me.

It’s not that they are bad kids or anything or are constantly misbehaving. Quite the opposite, for the most part they are pretty good. They make me smile and laugh They show me the world in a different way. I do enjoy them. I like them. It’s just that by 8pm, I am done. I want time to have a complete thought or no thoughts. I want to just be still and not have to get anyone anything. I’ve been up and moving, constantly doing something for someone for almost 14 hours and since nap time is long a thing of the past, I’ve had no break.

Yeah, their bedtime will always been my favorite time of day.

I chose a bottle of wine from the wine rack and rummaged around in the drawer for the cork screw. When I found it, I opened the bottle and poured a glass. I took a sip and exhaled. I felt the warm red wine coat my throat and I could feel my body relax.

“All tucked in?” I asked as Jeff returned from upstairs.

He nodded as he too went to the cupboard and removed a glass.

I watched him intently.

“What are you doing?’ I asked.

“Um…isn’t obvious?” he began, “I am going to have a glass of wine. Is that alright with you?”

I snickered, of course it was alright with me, him having a glass of wine didn’t bother me, him pouring the glass did.

“Yeah, that’s fine… can I pour it for you?” I asked.

Jeff rolled his eyes at me.

And thus began another round of the longest standing argument in our marriage. ‘The Jeff Pour’ vs ‘The Jen Pour’.

wine pour battle

I like to pour a smaller glass and have more of them and he likes to pour a larger glass and nurse it longer. We normally share a bottle which means about 2 glasses of wine each.  The problem with this is that is larger glass sometimes means there is less wine for me. It’s selfish I know and I suppose we could just open another bottle but then I’d want some of that wine and mixing two bottles of wine is just not right.

In the grand scheme of things, I realize this is a silly argument. I know I should not care but I do. It’s just my thing. Just like I like the light switches all up or all down, I care about how much of an over pour Jeff does.

I didn’t know what we are going to do about this. I tried not to care. I tried just not to look but I can’t stop. My annoyance grows and grows. There has to be a solution.

And one day while walking in the grocery store down the wine aisle, as I sacrificed my body to save a bottle of wine one of the kids was about to knock over, a solution presented itself, literally right in front of my face.

Black Box Wine.

I was skeptical at first. Being kind of a wine snob, I had always turned my nose up at boxed wine. It was cheap and usually not very good but I need a solution to this problem. I didn’t know if I could have another ‘Jeff Pour’ vs ‘Jen Pour’ argument.

I picked up the black box and studied it.

The description, “This wine blends Merlot grapes from California’s finest regions which combine to make a blend brimming with redberry fruit, soft tannins and a smooth concentrated finish”  woo’d me and made my mouth water. The shiny award labels made me smile.

And the fact that it contained 4 bottles in one bag made me place that box in my cart.

Then later that night when I tasted the wine, the flavors of  plums, sweet red currants and cinnamon spiced oak danced on my tongue, I was completely won over.

Curious, Jeff walked over to investigate. I allowed him a sip from my glass.

“Nice,” he said, “That’s really good.”

I nodded, smiled and then handed him an empty glass.

“There are about 4 bottles  in there. So you can ‘Jeff pour’ away.” I said as I walked away with my glass.

It was over. The pour battle was finally over.

Thank you Black Box Wine, thank for ending a many year long argument in such a beautiful and blissful way.

Black Box Wine

It’s time to think inside the box. Available in ten delicious varietals and two sizes (3L and Tetra), Black Box Wine will have you ready to lose the bottle! Black Box Wines is perfect for all your summer gatherings!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Black Box Wines. The opinions and text are all mine.,affiliateId-Jen-2P).js

From the Moment…

From the moment you tried to kiss me but I turned to let you only kiss my cheek because that is what the ‘good girls’ the the movies did, I knew that I would marry you.

From the moment you walked around the car from your side to mine to open the door for me, I knew that I would always be treated like a princess.

From the moment you made me laugh so hard my sides ached and the tears streamed down my face, I knew that when I was with you, I would always laugh.

From the moment you looked deep into my eyes and told me, “you are the most beautiful woman in the world,” I knew that in one look you could make me feel gorgeous.

From the moment you said, “I think I love you,” I knew you did and always would.

From the moment you held me while I cried, I knew all my secrets would be safe with you.

From the moment you said, “Will you marry me?” I knew all my dreams would come true.

From the moment I told you over the phone threw broken sobs that I was pregnant, asking what I should do next and you said, “um… call the doctor?!” I knew you would be a good father.

From the moment our oldest son came out looking just like you, I knew you would help him grow to be all the best of you.

From the moment you said, “Yeah, I’m gonna need some time” and then left me standing in the parking lot, alone after finding out I was pregnant with triplets, I knew it was going to be a bumpy ride but we would be ok.

From the moment I came home and you had a list made of things we needed to be ready for triplets and had called to schedule your vasectomy, I knew, together, we could handle this.

From the moment, you sat with me in the hospital eating take-out and watching bad TV while I grew our babies, I knew that I would always been supported.

From the moment you held each one of our children in your arms, looking down at them with so much more love than I even though possible, I knew our children would never want for anything and be your top priority.

From the moment you took over from me when I was stressed out, exhausted and done after dealing with screaming children all day, I knew we would always be a team.

From the moment you crack a joke when the tension is high and the whole family bursts out in giggles, I knew our family would always find the humor in life.

From the moment the kids scream with glee as you wrestle around with them and rough house, I knew that they would always like you a little more than me and I am just fine with that.

From the moment you brought out the baking soda and vinegar to show our children science, I knew that they would always know the joy of learning new things and you would be their greatest teacher.

From the moment you kiss each child good night and say, “I love you, dork,” I knew you are the best father in the world and a true blessing.

photo (2) (1)

Happy Father’s Day

We love you.

Being Married to a Directionally Challenged Wife

I have a terrible sense of direction. Not so terrible that I couldn’t find my way out of a paper bag but pretty damn close.

I took a map reading class in college for one of my PE credits and I had to take it three times because I just couldn’t pass it and ended up dropping the class to take knitting instead.  I just couldn’t get past the fact that when I was told to go north that didn’t mean I had to go literally up. North is ‘up’ on a map but apparently when you are not on a map, it means something else, I think. I don’t know, it’s all very confusing.

When someone tells me to go north or south, I am lost. That means nothing to me. I look at you like you have two heads. I need to be told left, right, up, down and if you could add a few landmarks that would be fabulous.

This has been a slight point of frustration to my husband.

directionally challenged wife

Jeff had picked a new restaurant for us to try for a family night out.  Since I wasn’t sure where it was and I was already driving, it seems like the easiest thing to do to call him for directions rather than fumble around with my GPS.

“So where is this place?” I asked when he answered the phone.

“It’s up by the movie theater.” he said.

That was good, I got that.

“Ok, where by the movie theater, in the same little strip mall?” I ask for clarification.

And here is where things got a little messy because my mathematical man brained husband said to me, “No, the movie theater is north of the restaurant.”

I paused on the phone.

“So you mean that it is up from the movie theater?” I said.

“No, if you go to the movie theater you will have to do a Michigan left and then go south to get to the restaurant.” he said.

“I don’t know what that means. Is the restaurant before or after the theater?” I asked.

“It’s south of the theater.” he repeated himself.

“Does that mean it’s on the road closer to home or like more towards your dad’s house who lives up north?” I asked.

“It’s not near dad’s” he said and I could hear the frustration rising in his voice. “Do you know where the Wendy’s is by the movie theater?”

“Um…” I said thinking, trying to get a picture in my head of the area, “Kinda.”

“The restaurant is south of the movie theater and then west of the Wendy’s.” he said.

I rolled my eyes and sighed, he might as well have been speaking French to me.  “I don’t understand what you are saying to me.”

I could hear his eye roll through the phone.

“The restaurant is south of the movie theater after you do your Michigan left turn,” he said

I wanted to beat my head of the stirring wheel but since the kids were in the van with me, I thought knocking myself out wasn’t my best plan. This was getting us no where fast.

“Ok, fine. I’ll just drive around and try and find it. I’ll pull into the movie theater and I’m sure I ‘ll see it.” I said in a huff.

“No.” He said, “Then you will be too far north.”

If he said “north, south, east or west” one more time, I was going to scream. My brain hurt and he wasn’t making any sense.

“Whatever. I’ll find it. I’ll stop on the side of the road and ask a hobo if I need to.” I said.

He took a breath. I knew he was calming himself, not one to give up easily, I knew he was going to try one more time.

“Do you remember that restaurant where we had dinner with Jack and Ann a few years ago for New Year’s Eve?” he asked.

“Oh yeah, that place had the best martini’s and Ann wore the cutest little gold and silver heels,” I answered.

“This restaurant is right by where that one was,” he said.

“Oh, I know exactly where that is.” I said, “That is just down from the movie theater. Why didn’t you say that in the first place?”

I could hear the face palm over the phone.

“Ok, yeah…” he said through gritted teeth. “See you soon.”

As frustrating as that whole conversation was, it was kind of his own fault. For when you are married to a directionally challenged wife, you should just skip north and south and talk in landmarks and cute shoes.

It wasn’t Because of the Interent

My new laptop doesn’t have a clock that can be easily seen in the corner like my old one did. This is not a good thing since before when I could see the clock, I still lost hours surfing the web.

I know this about myself and the Internet. I know that I can get sucked into rabbit holes faster than a turtle pulls it’s head inside it’s shell when it sees my kids running after it to pick it up.

So I obsessively check the clock when I’m on the computer, especially around 3:30pm.  Because at 3:47pm I have to get my kids off the bus. Who wants to be that mom that forgets to get her kids off the bus because she looses track of time while watching flash mob marriage proposal videos on YouTube.

Not me.

computer not to blame

I had shut the computer earlier in the day because I got this wild hare up my butt to do some cleaning. I was in the mood to vacuum, dust and wash the baseboards. This is very rare for me. At first I didn’t know what I was feel until the vacuum touched my hip when I went into the pantry and I got all excited. I decided to just go with it and before I knew it, I was cleaning.

After about an hour, I was exhausted. Cleaning is hard work so I decided that I would just continue with laundry because I could lay on the couch and rest in between loads. I saw no reason to push myself so hard. And who washes baseboards anyway?

I turned the TV on and found some day time drama, ok fine a soap opera, and like a kid being given a lollipop, I was totally sucked in. I glanced at the clock to check the time because I knew the bus would be coming soonish and then settled in to watch.

About 30 minutes into the show, the dryer buzzed and I got up to fold and put away the clothes. Before going upstairs, I glanced at the clock, “2:47pm… Plenty of time,” I told myself.

As I was hanging all Claire’s clothes in her closet, I heard my phone ring downstairs. I didn’t feel like racing down to answer it so I let it go to voice mail and finished my task. When I returned downstairs, I picked it up and the message display read something that sent my heart racing.

“Bus Garage”

I looked at the clock… 3:58pm.

‘What the hell!?” I said and then, “Shit. I missed the bus.”

I grabbed my purse, phone and keys and ran out of the house like someone tied dynamite to my tail. I started the van and threw it into reverse as I sped away down the street. I drove one handed and called the bus garage back.

“Hi. Hi. Yes, this is Jen Mitchell. I’m here. I want my kids, where can I meet the bus?” I stumbled to get my thoughts out.

The dispatcher had me hold as she radioed the bus driver, “Yes, Mrs Mitchell, you can meet the bus at Blankens Bobbit Dr.”

“OK, thank you,” I said.

I ended the call and hit my Siri button and said, “Directions to Blankens Bobbit Dr.”

“Ok,” she began, “Here are your directions to Blankens Bobbit Dr in Enigma, GA.”

“GEORGIA!?!” I screamed, “I am in Michigan.”

Siri said nothing. As it turns out, she doesn’t like being yelled at.

I stopped the navigation and used my old methods of getting me around before GPS and Siri, I called Jeff and work.

“ImissedthebusandI’mtryingtogettopickupthekidsbutIdon’tknowwheretogoandSiriisn’thelpingme,” I spilled into the phone when he answered.

“Hi,” Jeff said.

I took a breath, “I need you to help me get to Blankens Bobbit Dr so that I can meet the bus there and get the kids. I missed the bus at our stop.”

“You couldn’t just type it into your phone?!” he asked.

“I don’t know HOW TO SPELL IT!” I yelled.

I could feel him rolling his eyes at me.

“Just help me. Please!” I whined.

“Hang on, I will call you back on a desk phone so that I can look it up on my phone.” he said and then hung up.

I hated how calm he was. I forgot to do my one important job that day, pick up our kids. He should be pissed off at me. I was pissed off at myself, that’s for sure. I sped down the road not really know where I was going when feeling that I had to go fast when I realized I was going away from where I should maybe be.

I slammed on the brakes and did a U-turn. I raced back in the direction I came when my phone rang.

“Ok, where are you?” Jeff said after I answered it.

I gave him the name on the street I was on and the name of a cross street.

“You are close,” he said, “Like two more streets and then you should see it.”

“Ok, thank you,” I said as the street came into view and I saw the bus pulling up, “I see the bus.”

“Good. Now, after the kids are home will you please tell me what happened that made you forget to pick up our kids?” he asked.

“It wasn’t the Internet ” I blurted out.

“Uh, huh,” Jeff said, not believing me.

“It wasn’t,” I protested. “But I will tell you after I make homemade chocolate pudding for the kids to ease my mommy guilt and ease all furture emotional scars.”

The Broken TV Woes

Today, I cried over our TV getting broken. Not just cried but full on sobs with big crocodile tears and snot, lots of snot.

Go ahead, laugh because as I type those words and think about my reaction to the TV being broken, I’m shake my head.

I know it’s just a TV but there is a little more to it than that. Let me tell you the story.

I was laying on the couch half watching, half sleeping when Hayden appeared before me, “Mom, I kinda sorta put a crack in the TV.”

I opened my eyes wide and looked at him.

“Yeah, um, yeah there is a small crack in the TV but it’s really small that you can barely notice it,” he said.

I shot up, looked at Jeff and we both headed to the stairs as Hayden called behind us, “But I am telling you now. I came up and told you right away instead of hiding it, that is good right?!”

When we got downstairs the TV was blank. Jeff and I both looked at the screen and surrounding areas of the TV. All appeared fine. I released the breath I was holding and figured that maybe there was just some small scratch that could barely been seen.

“Well, you have to turn the the TV on to see it,” Hayden confessed.

“Yeah..yeah, then there is a circle rainbow on the screen,” Claire stammered.


Jeff and I both looked at each other and we were both thinking the same thing. Our flat screen TV was now an almost $600 paper weight. Totally fucked, never to work again.

Never in my life have I not been able to find the words as to what to say but in that moment as Hayden looked to me and then to Jeff and the TV showed us a brilliant circle rainbow, I was speechless.

I felt the tears begin to sting my eyes and I almost laughed at myself. Was I seriously going to cry over a TV? Suddenly, it was all too much and I had to be out of there.

I heard Jeff send Hayden to his room and I took the steps two at a time to mine. I threw myself on my bed and I couldn’t help the sobs that over took my body.

“Oh my God!” I said, “It’s just a freaking TV!”

But it’s more than that. That TV was a Christmas present that we gave our family two years ago. We saved for months to be able to get a good quality TV that would last. That TV is where we spend time together as a family having carpet picnics and watching movies. That TV saves my sanity so that I can make dinner while they play the Wii. That TV is where Jeff and I watch Downton Abby.

Jeff and I worked hard for the money to be able to buy that TV, to give something nice to our kids and in an instant, in the moment of one stupid decision it was destroyed. Could we get a new one? Yeah, we can but that is not the point.

I like the fact that Jeff and I have a life style where we can ‘spoil’ our kids. We can buy them things just because. I didn’t necessarily grow up that way and neither did Jeff. But maybe that has taught our kids that things come easy. It appears that we forgot to teach them to value the things that we have and by work hard is how you get those things.

I had a whole other set of tears for Hayden. Even though, I was so angry at him I couldn’t look at him, half of me knew that he was down in his room crying his eyes out too. He was beating himself up. He was angry at himself. He was hurting. I wanted to hold him, hug him and tell him everything would be alright.  Being a mother can be so conflicting sometimes.

And it was because of that, the only thing I could do was cry essentially over a broken TV.

After sometime, Jeff and I gathered Hayden and we talked. We tried to explain him how much money that TV costs and how we wouldn’t just be able to buy a new one tomorrow. We explained what that TV being broken meant, no more video games or family movie nights. We told Hayden he was in our debt and we came up with a system of extra jobs that he could do to help pay for a new one.

Things seem settled for now and who knows, maybe a month of less TV will be good for us all.

Oh but I bet you are wondering exactly how our flat screen TV came to be a very, very expensive paper weight.

Hayden and the triplets were watching a movie and Micky Mouse came on. Apparently, Hayden does not like Micky Mouse and thought it would be a good idea to throw a Nintendo Game Cube controller at him and therefore at the TV.

Yup, Hayden threw a controller at our flat screen TV because he doesn’t like Micky Mouse. He said this has something to do with him watching too much Micky Mouse Clubhouse as a baby.


Remind me to warn Micky of Hayden’s dislike for him if we ever go to Disney Land and maybe even buy Mickey a shield.

Just Call Him

“This time of year sucks. Every girl in the hall has her face buried in some guy trying to what I can only assume is clean off his uvula. Why doesn’t every one just get to class. School is for learning, not uvula face sucking.”

That was the internal monologue that usually went through my head every day as I walked to class. Being that is was almost Valentine’s Day just made things worse. The hormones of those around me were so thick you should smell them and the fact that the annual Valentine’s Day dance, which was ladies choice, was that weekend didn’t help.

I had assumed that at least one of the three guys that I hung around with would have said yes when I asked them to go with me but they didn’t. They said I was too much of a ‘friend’. Well, screw being the ‘friend’.  What I really wanted to be one of those girls getting their faces sucked off in the hall.

But for whatever reason, none of the boys in my school saw me like that. I was not girlfriend material. I was the friend they all came to for advice on what ‘to do’ with said girlfriends. And because I hated that, I usually gave them bad advice.

I put up such a strong exterior. To the world, I didn’t care that I didn’t have a boyfriend. I didn’t need one but every night when my prayers told a different story, “Dear God, please please please get me a boyfriend. Please. I’m 17 and never been kissed. That’s a movie title, God and that’s just sad.”

Well, I was tired of waiting. And it seemed like God wasn’t answering so I decided to take matters into my own hands.

There was this guy. He was cute, shorter than me, but cute. He saved me from the mosh pit, covered me in his coat when I was cold and rubbed my feet.  He had the bluest eyes I had ever seen but he wasn’t calling me. 

Well, if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.

“Jen! I got it. I got it,” my friend Wendi squealed as I walked into her kitchen. “I got his number.”

She handed me a scrap piece of paper with seven numbers written on it. I looked up at her.

“Now what?!” I said in a daze, all my confidence pulling an Elvis and leaving the building.

“You call him, silly” she said.

“What?! C-c-call him? M-m-me?” I stumbled, “I can’t.”

“Yes you can,” she said. “You like him. You want to go out with him. You’ve been obsessing about him for two weeks, call him.”

“What am I going to say?” I asked, “No. No. No. This is a bad idea. I can’t.”

“Too late,” my friend said with a smirk and it was then I realized that in my stooper, she had taken the piece of paper from me and was shoving the phone in my direction, “It’s ringing.”

I looked at her with eyes wide as saucers. Ringing?! The phone was ringing. Holy crap!

My friend smiled at me and then as if reading my mind, she said, “Say hello and ask for Jeff.”

The phone rang for what seemed like an eternity, each ring seemed longer than the last. What was I doing? This was crazy. Did I really like this guy? What if he didn’t want to talk to me? And worse of all, what if he didn’t remember me?

Suddenly, someone saying  “Hello” cut through my panicked thoughts.

“H-h-hello,” I stumbled, rolling my eyes at myself. “Is Jeff there?”

“You can do this. You can do this,” I repeated, giving myself a silent pep-talk, “You are a strong, independent, modern woman. You can do this.”

“This is,” Jeff said on the phone.

I breathed a sigh of relief when I heard his voice and for the next two hours, I didn’t think. I just talked to this boy, this man, like I had been talking to him for years. I don’t remember what we talked about but just that we never lacked for words and I laughed.

Finally, there was a pause in the conversation and I remembered the reason I called in the first place.

“Listen, I know that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and you probably have plans but if you don’t do you want to go see a movie with me?” I asked, my heart began to race, feeling like it was going to beat out of my chest.

There was a long pause on the phone and I thought that I was going to die.

“Well, I would… I would like to go out with you,” he paused and I knew there was a ‘but’ coming. I just knew we was going to say that he had a girlfriend or he just wanted to be my friend. I prepared my heart for the worse while trying to still be cool, “but I kinda have mop the kitchen for my mom first,” Jeff said.

“What?” I asked, shocked, trying to process what was going on.

“Yeah, I told my mom I would mop the floor for her tomorrow.” Jeff answered.

“Will that take all nigh?” I ask, bluntly still confused. Did he say, yes?!  Oh my! Oh my! What was happening here?

“No. I can still go see a movie. It’ll just have to be a little later,” he said.

I smiled. I smiled so hard I looked like a clown with perma-grin.

“Awesome, how about we go see Scream at 8:30?” I asked

“Yeah, that sounds great. Maybe we can get something quick to eat first. I can mop fast.” Jeff replied.

“I can’t wait,” I said, “See you then.”

And with that I hung up the phone and removed it from my ear, feeling for the first time the throbbing in my ear from being on the phone so long.  I walked into the main room of my friend’s house to find her watching TV. The smile on my face said it all and she ran up to hug me.

“Looks like you have a date for Valentine’s Day.” she said.

“Yeah, I have a date… ” I said breathless, “Oh. My. God. I have a date!”

And 16 years later, he is still my date.