Getting Old {ish} With Jennifer

You’ve heard of having a mid-life crisis, right? Well, I like to have a midnight crisis. My thought process at night when I should be sleeping but can’t is reminiscent of a hyper active squirrel struggling to bury all his nuts just days before hibernation. (googles to see if squirrels actually hibernate…they don’t). I am anxious, disorganized, and frantic.

Screen Shot 2018-07-24 at 7.39.12 PM
it appears squirrels and I have more in common than I thought

Lately we have been binge watching Comedians in Cars Drinking Coffee with Jerry Seinfeld as well as NBC’s Seinfeld. 3am rolled around rather quickly and I decided that I needed to go to sleep, so I turned the tv off in an effort to fall asleep. That didn’t work, so instead I took a stroll through IMDB for interesting facts on Jerry himself and the show (I live for IMDB trivia, it is my most used app after Facebook).

Screen Shot 2018-07-25 at 12.31.04 AM

That was when I saw it. At the time of the pilot of NBC’s Seinfeld, the character of Elaine is written to be the age of 27. 27 years old. This led me down the Wikipedia rabbit hole. Next thing I know I was the head of my own make believe census and was researching the ages of all my favorite characters during their debut on their respective shows. For instance, the cast of Friends are written to be in their mid 20’s when the show begins. Will & Grace, 30 years old. I’m 30, that can’t be right.

Screen Shot 2018-07-25 at 12.34.58 AM

Now I know what you’re thinking, “Who cares how old a fictional character is on a show that’s been off the air for 20 years?” Well, I do. You see, I grew up watching these shows and in my mind, those characters will always be “older” than me. They are real adults and I’m still a young adult, an imposter if you will, waiting to have my training wheels taken off.  They are a moving goal. No matter how old I get, I will never catch up to them. In reality, I kinda have. At season 1 episode 1 of any of these shows, I am supposed to be in the same stage of life as them. Yikes.

Screen Shot 2018-07-25 at 12.51.12 AM
Teach your adult to be an adultier adult in 5 days!


It seems so surreal to me. I don’t seem nearly as responsible as these people. (George Costanza, Joey Tribbiani are not included in this equation for obvious reason) I mean, if I was in a room with a bunch of people and something were to happen that an adult is needed, I don’t think I would raise my hand to volunteer right away. Not that I wouldn’t want to help, but because my first instinct would be to find a more adultier adult. It’s like when you fly and the flight attendants show you how to find the exits and remind you that sometimes the closest exit is behind you. Well, I would look around for an adultier adult forgetting that in some instances, the adultiest adult could be me. Lord help us all!

Screen Shot 2018-07-25 at 12.37.46 AM

Cinema {ish} With Jennifer: Ben-Hur

AFI Ben Hur

AFI # 100: Ben-Hur 1959

I will begin each review with a “What I know, or What I Think I Know…” intro. These intros were all compiled before I set out on this journey, and can be read in their entirety (HERE). Let us begin with # 100 Ben-Hur.

Screen Shot 2018-07-26 at 2.31.46 AM

What I know or what I think I know

  1. There are chariot races.
  2. This features Charlton Heston (what kind of name is Charlton?)
  3. This is a long movie, it required 2 VHS tapes to watch and we all know what that means.
  4. I know that this movie has some sort of cultural significance to a town about 25 minutes from where I grew up. Crawfordsville, Indiana.

My Guesses

This movie is about Roman gladiators, and the main character is a slave/prisoner and is trying to win his freedom by racing chariots.

The Real Review

“Jewish prince is betrayed by friend and faulty roof tile. Prince turned prisoner joins competitive rowing team only to be adopted by his wealthy boss after winning a close game of battle ship. Prince comes back with new-found fame and title and kills backstabbing “friend” in a chariot race (unknown tile man remains at large). Mysterious water boy comes and goes through out the story but graciously saves the life of the Prince, his family and every person who accepts him for all eternity. (John 3:16)”

Ok, this isn’t exactly what happened in Ben-Hur, but I tell you what, if MGM had put that synopsis on the back of the box, chances are I would have attempted to watch this a lot sooner! The point is, I made it! The movie was 3 ½ hours long ( I swear 40 mins of it was overture, credits and intermission) but I watched all of it. (turning on closed caption helped me keep focus, #adhdprotip)

Screen Shot 2018-07-26 at 2.34.47 AM

Screen Shot 2018-07-26 at 2.35.09 AM
30 mins of my life I will never get back

This movie was not what I expected at all. I mean, I got the little things right, there was a chariot race, and while Ben-Hur was at one time a prince, he was also made to be a prisoner and a slave. But for a film from 1959, I was impressedat how real the boat scene and chariot races appeared. I consulted my old friend IMDB and read through the trivia section (read it here) and saw that MGM paid 15 million for this movie, a gamble for this time, but they earned over 75 million for their troubles. The chariot scene alone cost 4 million and took 10 weeks to shoot. I can see why they won 11 Oscars.

The biggest shock for me was its parallels to the Bible. I had no idea. I know this is a work of fiction and Ben-Hur himself does not appear in the Bible, but from the birth of Jesus to the rise of Pontius Pilate, sermon on the mount to the crucifixion, it’s all there. I had no idea! It was a big box office reminder of the power of God’s Grace and how precious his promise is.

Screen Shot 2018-07-26 at 4.04.13 AM.png

Oh, I mentioned earlier there was a cultural connection close to my home town. Upon further research, the movie is based on a novel: Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ  by Lew Wallace. Wallace was born in Indiana and spent much of his adult and retired life (including death) in Crawfordsville Indiana. Read more about him and his life Here. #themoreyouknow


Are you already a fan of Ben-Hur and want to read my scene by scene reactions while I watched the movie, click HERE to read along. You know you want to!


1 movie down, 99 to go. Next up, Toy Story!





Cinema {ish} With Jennifer


Dear Readers of the {ish} Adventure, I have a confession to make. Are you sitting down? I, Jennifer Lynne Shidler have never seen the movie E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Snow White, Citizen Kane or 85 of the other movies listed on AFI’s 100 GREATEST AMERICAN FILMS OF ALL TIME list. I’ll give you some time to calm down before I continue. Are you settled yet? Good now? Ok, lets move on, shall we!

AFI Website intor

Now, I know what you are probably thinking, “She’s lying, there is no way at the age of 30 you have never seen E.T. or Snow White. You must have seen it at some point as a child.” Well, I haven’t. Don’t sue me. I grew up without cable and in a house hold that couldn’t afford to purchase massive amounts of VHS tapes. For example, not only were Disney movies expensive, but sometimes they were hard to find, thanks “Disney Vault” (is that still a thing?). By the time I was old enough to have cable tv or the funds to purchase the movies I wanted, I wasn’t interested in some of them anymore.

Screen Shot 2018-07-25 at 2.46.45 AM
Snow White, come out come out where ever you are!


As for some of the classics like Citizen Kane or Casablanca, well. It just never came up, I guess. I know that is no real excuse, but in a day and age where Netflix rules and cable drools, if I can’t stream it, see it in the theater or if a teacher hasn’t assigned it in class, there is a fair chance I haven’t seen it.

AFI survey result
This is a generous score..some movies I barely remember watching.

Well my friends, that ends now. I have been to the AFI website, taken the quiz (results displayed below) and will be watching all 100 movies listed on their most recent 100 greatest list. I’ve checked 22 movies that I have seen. Some of them I have seen a million times (I’m looking at you The Sound of Music and Wizard of Oz) and some of them I’ve “seen” as in it played in the background while I did some homework, or it was in fact the homework itself (I’m looking at you To Kill a Mockingbird and Schindlers List).

Whether I have seen it a million times or not, I will be watching it again, in order, starting with # 100, Ben-Hur. Check back tomorrow to see how badly I regret this decision. Given what I’ve read about the movie, this seems to be a likely scenario.

AFI 1 to 20AFI 21 to 40AFI 41-60AFI 61 to 80AFI 81 to 100

Getting Old {ish} With Jennifer

5 Things 20 something Jennifer could do, that 30 something Jennifer can’t (shouldn’t) do. 

Pizza after 5 pm. College freshman Jennifer would have A 5$ large pizza from Papa John’s delivered to Blumberg hall at 1 am to aid an all night study session (oh hey there freshman 15 50, how you doin’). 30 year old Jennifer needs to clear her schedule the next day as well as stock up on Tums and Prilosec if she plans to eat pizza after sundown. 

Screen Shot 2018-07-24 at 2.35.10 PM
I looked through old Freshman photos not expecting to find any proof…20 Something Jennifer didn’t disappoint.

Paint my own toenails. I used to change my toe nail polish with the change of the wind. Not anymore. And while my flexibility comes into question with each passing year, this is listed because toe nail polish LASTS FOREVER and requires a level of commitment I’m no longer able to give. Even though a few of my Santa themed ‘piggies’ went to market by spring time, most of the pack was holding on by the 4th of July and if not for an intervention by concerned friends and family members, they would have made it Halloween. 

Screen Shot 2018-07-24 at 2.44.11 PM
who doesnt want to rock Christmas Nails on memorial day?!

Midnight Movie Premiers. 20 something Jennifer would drive 30 mins to work, put in 8 hours, drive 30 mins home, change, grab my friends, drive 30 mins back into town, go to a movie that wouldn’t end until 2ish, drive the 30 mins back home, sleep briefly then get up and do it all over again. 30 something Jennifer wouldn’t even go to a 7 o’clock movie unless I have the next two days off afterwards for recovery time.

Screen Shot 2018-07-24 at 3.03.09 PM
even with the lack of sleep, this was a pretty awesome summer!

Souvenir anything. 20 something Jennifer would have a keychain, magnet or shot class (even though she doesn’t drink) from every truck stop on any trip that was outside of the usual distance. 30 something Jennifer now realizes the signs of hoarding and it doesn’t matter how big my kitchen is, cabinet real estate is always tight. Disclaimer: this only applies to the 10 million Hard Rock Cafe, Medival Times, Carnival Cruise and Margaritaville glasses in my cabinet. Not my baseball stadium glasses. Thats not hoarding, that’s just good taste 😉

Just a sample of the collection. 30 more are still in the cabinet. No, its not out of hand at all.

Road trips. 20 something Jennifer had a “let’s just go and get there” mentality. In high school I once rode from Indianapolis to Houston without getting out of the car once and was still able to function once I got there. 30 something Jennifer still prefers to drive straight through but an IV drip of Red Bull and 5 hour energy is now needed and terms like deep vein thrombosis are thrown around. Also, you can forget me being productive for at least 2 days after my arrival.

Screen Shot 2018-07-24 at 3.30.39 PM
18 hours in a car was worth it! Now I only have to drive 4 hours to get here!

Thinking {ish} With Jennifer 12 Years Later

Oh boy folks, hope you got a good nights sleep and had your coffee this morning because you are in for a long one today.

I recently underwent a digital purge. Whats a digital purge you ask? A digital purge is the intangible equivalent of going through the junk mail that’s been sitting on the island for months, or cleaning out those receipts that have been lining the bottom of your purse since Christmas. I basically went through files on my computers, deleted Facebook accounts I made for my pets ( I wish I were kidding) went through old emails and even deleted old email accounts I have not used since high school. It is a really gratifying experience and I highly recommend it if you need something to help you avoid doing real chores like mowing the yard, doing the dishes or washing the laundry from your recent vacation. (guilty on all 3 counts)

I was minutes away from closing out my old email account from High School  when I spotted it. A myspace survey that I emailed to a friend to fill out over 12 years ago. It appears to have been filled out days after my Senior prom. I looked through the questions and answers and was amused. In some ways 2006 Jennifer and 2018 Jennifer are so much alike..and in other ways we are so different.

So grab a seat and some popcorn and cringe/laugh/cry with me. My 2006 answer is on the left and the 2018 on the right in bold.

  1. What are you listening to right now?  Watchin TV…Seinfeld. Watching TV still..this time Murphy Brown
  2. What was the last thing you ate? Pizza rolls Hot Tamales..
  3. Do you wish on stars? Nope Didn’t then, still don’t
  4. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Pink Pink? Wowzers. Blue
  5. How is the weather right now? Cold Hot and dusty
  6. Do you like the person who sent this to you?  Yes!!!! I have no idea who sent this to me…it was 12 years ago but I liked them then, so I’m sure I do now.
  7. What do you do to vent anger? Listen to music Listen to music
  8. What was your favorite toy as a child? IDK? Gymnastic Barbie
  9. What color is your house? white?  Green Tan
  10. When was the last time you cried? This morning July 1st
  11. What is on the floor of your closet? Clothes…Clothes
  12. What’s under your bed? the Blue Bed (I haven’t thought of the blue bed in ages!!) vacuum sealed clothes
  13. Who inspires you? My Brother My husband, although my brother is still up there on the inspiration list!
  14. What is your favorite car? one that works..Hahaha I still give this answer in regard to cars. I don’t care as long as it runs and doesn’t cost me a fortune.
  15. What’s your favorite color for a car? Silver Ha. I don’t have a favorite color now..but my current cars color is silver
  16. What book are you reading now? Macbeth for English On Monday I begin The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and I can not wait
  17. What is your least favorite sound? Craking of knukles Cracking of knuckles and the sound of chewing and swallowing
  18. What is your least favorite color? Orange Anything neon
  19. Storms: cool or scary? Really cool!!!!!!!!! Realllly Reallly Cool…I still love storms!
  20. Do you eat the stems of broccoli? yeah i love brocclii Still love broccoli and now I even know how to spell it.
  21. What are your parents’ names? Carla Carla and Rodney. Im mature enough to acknowledge my Dad, yay me. And my mom hasn’t changed her least not that I know of.
  22. What are your grandparents’ names?  Anita and Robert….my grandma is died Robert and Anita Gallion & Bruner and Ruth Kilburn…Why I left out half of my grandparents and felt the need to say my grandma is ‘died”..dead..I am not sure.
  23. lied to your parents about something really important? define really important..I know I have lied..several times..but none of it would be considered important
  24. had your life threatened? No no..not that I know of
  25. stumbled across FBI secrets online? i saw something on myspace about the number 11 and all the 9/11 stuff it was really creepy. Unless the FBI are hiding secrets on DIY pinterest boards or IMDB trivia..the chances of me stumbling upon anything of value is slim to none
  26. stayed up until the morning light talking online? yea…..not as much as i used to when i first got internet Bahahaha..I miss the days of instant messenger. I haven’t done this since my husband (then boyfriend) and I used it so we wouldn’t go over our texting limits
  27. made people give you really weird glances? yeah…talent show baby! Yep, still weird as ever. Talent show not needed
  28. read a Shakespeare play? reading one right now….Macbeth, not to bad..absoultly love a midsummers night dream. Not since high school…Macabeth was probably the last one, actually.
  29. sung at a karaoke bar? no but i have in emilys waiting room… Emily’s waiting room?! What? And yes..I have sang karaoke in a bar and on a cruise ship
  30. cried during a chick flick? yea…..i hate the notebook  its a beautiful book….but it makes me cry every time to the point where it hurts yep. Still a sucker for sad movies. 
  31. gotten in a car accident? No oh sweet, safe and responsible Jennifer. You have been in 3 car accidents since you filled this out last..only 1 one of them was your fault
  32. liked someone so much you cried? not for a long time well I love my husband..but I don’t cry about it lol
  33. cussed when your parents were around? never…i get yelled at for saying crap (shhhh don’t tell) bahaha…yes. But if you knew my current family dynamic you would understand.
  34. called your sister/brother a cuss word? when we were 6/7 i called him a horses ass! lol he was thought we dressed up as a horse!  I totally remember the horse incident from above. I’m sure I’ve called him something since then…but not in a serious way, so I can’t remember an exact instance
  35. sung in front of the mirror?  i sing all the time! Yep, all the time. Some things never change
  36. made faces in the mirror? Yea…yep! 
  37. spent more than one hour on your hair? sadly enough..and each time it gets me no where to be honest..not anymore. My hair is short and curly. I wash it, put gel in it and call it a day.
  38. walked or talked in your sleep? talk in your sleep, i talk all the time….(its better than playing with paper at 3 in the morning) im sure the paper at 3 in the am is in reference to something, but don’t ask me what. And Im told I still talk in my sleep.
  39. watched a scary movie and couldn’t sleep all night? Na yep. Janelle and I used to watch scary movies in our apartment and then have to watch Christmas movies to fall asleep too. 
  40. gone caroling? all the time when i was little…u see i live across the street from our church.. I haven’t been caroling since High School
  41. fallen in front of someone you thought to be quite good looking?  i don’t fall in public…Fall in public yes..not because of good-looking people. I fall because I’m trying to text, walk and breathe at the same time.
  42. gone skinny-dipping? um we used to have a bath tub!! Lol I have been skinny dipping. Sorry mom. lol
  43. kissed someone? only family Matthew. Everyday for the last (almost) 10 years
  44. snuck out of the house at night? Yeah…its rather easy…actually no not 18 lol I am 30 and own my own house..I don’t have to sneak. Besides the lizzards come out at night. I dont like lizzards. I prefer the indoors. 
  45. laughed so hard you just spit out what you had in your mouth? i love to laugh….so naturally Yep! I love to laugh and make others laugh. This is a side effect.
  46. kept a new year’s resolution?  never make them Yes!
  47. dyed your hair? once…it lasted 2 weeks I have lost count of the number of times that I have died my hair..
  48. thought about killing yourself? never…i love life No, life isn’t always easy, but I am precious, and God can restore what is broken and he can change it into something amazing. All you need is faith.
  49. hated yourself? na…i like myself no wait i love myself sure. I’m not perfect
  50. liked someone older than you? yeah…i think…yea Matthew has a full 6 months on me.
  51. liked someone way younger than you? no not really. I don’t believe so
  52. had surgery? No Still no surgery.
  53. talked to strangers? Yea I have worked retail in some capacity over the last 10 years. Talking to strangers is part of the gig. And I write on here, a lot of you are strangers! Hello there.
  54. ran away from home? once, i got the key and hid in my aunts house for like an hour..then i got hungry and whent home! No, the desire to run away disapates when you realize that even if you don’t live there anymore, the bank still expects the mortgage payment on time.
  55. did the opposite your parents told you to do? NEVER!!! Bahaha im 30 and this is still the first instinct
  56. sang in public?..yeah…i got you babe…hair…and bohemian raphsody..just last night yes, I have sung karaoke a few times.
  57. worn a dress? Yea I actually like wearing dresses!
  58. worn a tie? No yes, I went as a pilot for Halloween one year, I wore a tie
  59. worn a suit? Na Still no suits
  60. gotten in to a physical fight? william/…..i kicked his but! lol  no fights just yet. Maybe this year will be my year…haha
  61. hurt someone emotionally? oh yeah prolyl Yes. I am sure I have L
  62. hurt someone physically? Na No, in a fight or flight situation I chose flight every time
  63. made someone cry? Yea Yes. :/
  64. said you hated someone? my mom i know its mean i know….but she said it to me first  2006 Jennifer and 2018 Jennifer are similar in some respects. :/
  65. talked to yourself? Yea half of my blog posts are nothing but the things I say when no one else is around to hear it. I write them down and type them up for all to read. your welcome, I think. 
  66. driven a car? yea but not nearly enough yes. I hate driving. 2006 Jennifer didn’t know how good she had it.
  67. danced in public? oh yea Yes. I’m not afraid to get down and dance
  68. cheated on a test? yeah im a senior! Not since high school.
  69. did someone else’s homework? no they do mine I haven’t had homework since one would want me to do their home work now
  70. let someone act like you on the phone? what? ohhhhhh yea I have no idea why this would be necessary today or back then for that matter.
  71. asked out your crush? No Not since Paul McCartney and Brendan Frasier filed those restraining orders.
  72. Split up a relationship? No Why would I then or now?
  73. rode a roller coaster? no…..YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yes! Still love a good ol rollercoaster
  74. chickened out on a roller coaster? not yet NEVER!
  75. went to a concert? YEAH!!!!! cornerstone 7 years in a row I have been to severalll concerts since then
  76. went to the beach? no…its my dream…that and riding on a plane…lame i know Oh just wait 2006 Jennifer. 2018 Jennifer lives 3.5 hours from the Gulf and has traveled to the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Gulf in Texas and in Florida. You will travel the beaches of Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Belize, Honduras and Mexico. As for the riding on a plane by 2018 you will have taken off and landed over 62 times on commercial flights at various airports..oh and you Marry a Pilot.
  77. been to an ocean? no thats my goal see above answer.
  78. said you loved someone when you really didn’t?  no no, I have only said it to one person, and I have meant it since day one
  79. been toilet papering? No Yes, Senior year right before or maybe after graduation we TP’ed a teachers house. It was all in fun, teacher had all the other teachers at his house for end of school gathering. It was a fun time, and the teachers got a kick out of it.
  80. told a secret you swore not to tell? Yea Yes.
  81. broken any bones? (if so, which ones?) my thumb Still only my thumb
  82. tried to impress your crush and ended up embarrassing yourself? alll the time! When I was trying to get my husbands attention right before we started dating, I made him cookies and tried to get him to eat them. He kept saying no..and I wouldn’t stop until he said yes
  83. eat bugs purposely? No still a hard no on that.
  84. commit a crime? No Only of the fashion variety
  85. change clothes in front of an open window? yea, i got old folks neighbors……they don’t care old folks neighbors? What was wrong with me?! I don’t change in front of open windows. And to be honest, I shouldn’t have then either..neighbors may not of cared, but my room still faced the street and the church?!
  86. sing a harmonized duet in front of 500 strangers? if the people know ahead of time  that i can’t sing I still can’t sing..that hasn’t changed. 
  87. tell someone that you liked them if they were much older than you? no they have to come to me Matthew is Six months older than me. I tell him everyday I like him
  88. jump out of a plane?  No Sure. If I could do it tandem and I fit the weight requirement
  89. kiss your best guy friend? Yea Yes, my husband Is my best guy friend
  90. go bungee jumping? i want to that would be awesome I would if I fit the weight requirement
  91. stay in your room for a whole day? today! I have. I have done a few days without leaving. Not proud of it, but im not perfect and those demons are real.
  92. go in the snow without clothes?  um…NO ive taken the trash out barefoot in snow before.
  93. skinny dip?  lol…see above I have in the past, dont for see myself doing it again.
  94. drink salt water? No only by accident
  95. take a job even if it meant you’d be away from your guy? what guy I’m married and my husband and I are a team. I could never leave him unless it was necessary for our family.
  96. play 10 bowling games in one night? No no, bowling is expensive.
  97. gamble? sure…but not much I’ve been to casinos, gambling isn’t for me.
  98. have a make-out party? um no if by make out party you mean, me a big bowl of cereal and a Netflix binge then yes..all the time
  99. go to a foreign country? No I have been to 5 different countries
  100. fly a plane? that would friggin awesome I’m married to a pilot. So yes

So there you have it, 100 pointless questions that both imature and mature (I think) Jennifer have answered. Did you make it through this whole blog post? If you did, kudos. Leave me a comment below answering any of these 100 questions about yourself! If you are reading this and you have your own blog site, I challenge you to fill this out and post it there (let me know of course!). Maybe 12 years from now you will stumble upon it again and see how much you have or havent changed!



Traveling {ish} With Jennifer

Disclaimer: If you clicked on this blog post because you think I am about to give you some wisdom on traveling that will change your world for the better, turn around and don’t look back. This is not the blog you are looking for. Come back next week when I have written something slightly more inspiring. (who am I kidding, this site is nothing but one creative train wreck after another 😉 )


Historically the husband and I don’t have the best of luck on vacations. Examples include:

  1. September 2013: While on vacation in San Antonio with great friends who drove 1000 miles to spend time with us, Matthew thought it would be cute to canon ball jump into pool 4 feet deep….with his feet tucked underneath his bottom. Yep, he broke his foot and we ended up in the emergency room the next dayIMG_2038
  2. June 2015: While on vacation in Gatlinburg with friends (same friends from example 1) I became ill with a kidney stone and we spent the late night early morning in the ER hooked up to IV medicine.
  3. July 2016: While home in Indiana for my brothers wedding, my mom broke her leg the day before we were to leave home for Texas. Because her condition was so severe, I stayed behind in Indiana with her for an extra week and Matthew drove home by himself. IMG_2039
  4. May 2018: Recently we borrowed a plane (my husband is a pilot) and flew to Denver Colorado to catch a Rockies game. Upon landing we realized our tire had gone flat. It was Memorial Day weekend and all repair shops would be closed until Tuesday, leaving me with a 90$ Uber fare and leaving Matthew stranded in Colorado until the following Tuesday.


Cut to July 1st, 2018, a day of travel that will live in infamy. My husband’s family was gathering in Florida for a family reunion and we decided to make the trip down. What could go wrong? Everything..everything can go wrong. #murphyslaw. The following is a highlighted timeline of some of the shenanigans that took place in just 1 night of travel. (chances are if we told this whole story in its entirety it would sound made up)

Murphy's Law cushion copy2


DON’T GO, GO, DON’T GO:Right off the bat, our first flight of the day went from being delayed, to not delayed to delayed again. We boarded the plane, taxied down the run way got ready to take off only before being told we were going to be held in our spot for 30 minutes for weather. Annoying, but no big deal, we’ve seen home alone and know how to run through an airport to catch a plane.926dc50f3e6bb3af0af6ca048d822849


UNEXPECTED PHONE CALL:Upon landing in Dallas for our connecting flight, I received a call from my mom’s rehab care facility. Mom, who we had actually spent all morning and afternoon with celebrating her 68thbirthday, had suddenly taken ill with stomach pains, chest pains and shortness of breath. They immediately sent her to the ER to care for her. We were shocked to say the least as she was fine all day and now we were faced with trying to get updates from an ER in between catching flights and trying to decide if I should or could come home. (Mom demanded I NOT come home and that she would be fine)


RUN FORREST RUN: Because our first flight was 30 mins late landing, we had to make a mad dash for our second plane, all the while on the phone with nurses and Drs trying to get updates. We made it to our 2ndgate with 3 mins to spare!! We were sweaty, stressed and hungry, but we made it!9f42e05d3a1ba7b011d3287dc7bbcc8d3803a0be_1_375x500

BRAKES ARE OPTIONALNON-NEGOTIONABLE: We began to board the last flight and made it all the way to our seats, but noticed quickly after getting buckled in that nobody else was entering the plane. Minutes later the pilot came over the speaker and said he had good news and bad news. Apparently during the pre-flight check, it was discovered our plane needed new brakes. And that we would need to de-board the plane and wait until it was fixed. While we are grateful this bit of information was found sooner rather than later, the news was still frustrating.


Ill TRADE YOU TRANSLATION SERVICES FOR YOUR AISLE SEAT: I don’t even know where to begin on this one. When we began the initial boarding process for the plane, Matt and I were not able to sit together. Instead we both had the middle seat  (UGH) of the same row on different sides of the aisle (close enough). I got to my seat and my new friends were already there waiting on me. A sweet older couple who I quickly realized spoke zero English. (I want to clarify that this in no way bothered me) When I saw they were married, I attempted to ask them if they would like to sit together versus being the bread on a Jennifer sandwich. After 2 mins of poorly acted out charades, we came to an understanding and they were happy to sit together. Now cut to the pilot explaining the issue with the brakes to everyone. Everyone but my new friends who smiled naively. All at once everyone on the plane stood up, grabbed their stuff and walked out. They freaked out and since my charades training did not include aircraft maintenance, I was of no help. The husband then quickly shoved a phone in my face to where I talked with his son about what was going on so that he could translate back to them. This type of exchange would happen on and off for the. Rest. Of. The. Night.images

ILL CLEAN UP MY OWN MESS I SWEAR:  Shortly after we got off the plane we were given an updated departure time (an hour away) and told that we had a new plane at a gate just a few steps away. After translating to my new grandparents, the developments, we took off as a happy family to our new gate. Upon arriving they told us the plane would be ready soon and that we were just waiting on a cleaning crew. One hour and 5 pages later, a cleaning crew could not be located, and our departure time was pushed back another 45 mins. As you may have guessed the other half of my translator team and I became real acquainted real fast.7eb57f390cefa0be8f79c7d5f3803762--airplane-humor-aviation-humor

I LOST MY NEW ADOPTIVE FAMILY:  It had been almost two hours since we were kicked off that first plane, and the whole lounge was getting anxious. My new grandparents included. When we got word, it would still be another half hour, they motioned to me that they were going for a walk and would be back (I think that’s what they were telling me anyways) 5 mins had passed and as luck would have it, they started boarding. QUICKLY. The desk agent was not messing around. She went from boarding group one to saying groups 2-5 could board all at once. Frantic I looked around. My grandparents were nowhere to be seen and were not likely to understand the messages over the intercom. I took of down the hallway in a run trying to find them. We had come this far, they were not going to miss this plane for a language barrier and a stale bagel. They were nowhere to be found so I headed back to the desk where I thought I could have them paged. (I knew their last name form the luggage tag) Luckily they returned just as I got there. We laughed, we cried we hugged. It was a beautiful moment, no translation needed

My new adoptive family!

I CAN FLY, IM A PILOT: Remember when I said that they started boarding in a hurry and quickly had the first 5 group on board? The attendant suddenly and without comment, stopped calling groups. 10 mins went by and no announcements were made. Next thing we know, the flight crew, PILOTS included, were getting off the plane, luggage in tow. Because of all the shenanigans (I’m choosing this word because this is a family friendly blog. But feel free to insert a stronger word there. I know I did at the time) that had taken place throughout the evening., they had reached the work hour max for the day and would need to be replaced with a fresh crew. They soon announced that  A new crew has been found but they are in another terminal and it would just be another 30 mins. Matthew and I wondered if they drew straws to see who would be assigned to us.


AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER: After what would be my last translation aided exchange with my new grandma and grandpa, we finally boarded the plane. Before we knew it we were wheels up and headed for Florida. We landed 3 ½ hours late without any further issues. I exchanged my final goodbyes with my new family. (we are working on holiday plans) Matthew and I grabbed our bags and were soon in the presence of our family who graciously picked us up at the airport in their van (which has great brakes by the way) at 3 in the morning. I was able to reconnect with my mom and her Drs at the hospital, and while she was admitted and would need to be kept for a few days, is doing much better and is in great hands.


If you have learned anything after reading todays blog post I hope it is that planes do in fact need brakes, we shouldn’t let a silly thing like language separate us, and we can survive what seems like our worst days. Oh, and don’t vacation with Jennifer and Matthew if you prefer the kind of travel that leaves your refreshed and relaxed. Our brand of crazy isn’t for the faint of heart.

Skin Care {ish} With Jennifer

Previously on the {ish} Adventures, I wrote a polite yet firm letter of dissatisfaction to the infamous Sun. (read it HERE) No no, Not this Sun,

Charles Barkley of the Phoenix Suns
Charles Barkley of the Phoenix Suns

Not this one either! (Who could write a letter of dissatisfaction to Sonny Bono?!)

“I Got You (a bottle of 70SPF sunscreen) Babe

I’m talking about the big fire-ball in the sky that makes it impossible to sleep past 9 am without black out curtains and that has been leaving me with 1stand 2nddegree burns over various parts of my body over the last 20 years. That one!

The Sun Hates me
Ghosts of Sunburns Past

“But Jennifer, I thought you were 30, what about those other 10 years?” That is a great question, you see my mom was in control of my life (body included) for at least that many years and she is far more responsible than me, so those 10 years of being sun burn free are all on her! Yay Mom!! (bet you can’t find that sentiment and appreciation in a hallmark card..)


I will say that this week’s sunburn has not been a bad one by my standards. I’ve had worse. Much worse…

Remnants of a Sun burn that lasted 2 months #killme

but this new one was uncomfortable and came at the worst time ever.  (not that there is ever a perfect time for a sunburn) This particular ‘searing’ mostly affected my face and it came 4 days before vacation. A vacation in which I will not only be spending time with my wonderful in-laws that we hardly get to see, but will also be hanging out with several people of my husband’s family that I haven’t met before #familyreunion. THIS is not the Jennifer I want these people to meet.

Hi, name is Jennifer. I enjoy long walks on the beach and using crisco as a sun barrier. Nice to meet you!

In an effort to repair the damage that I and the sun (you didn’t think I was going to take full blame for this, did you?) did to my face, I consulted my primary care physician—AKA Pinterest—and dug up some ways to keep my skin from melting off of my face.

Pinterest hack # 1 Aloe.

IMG_1787 2
Aint no party like an aloe vera party!!

Trying aloe for me is like shutting your phone off when the ear piece stops working. You do it because customer service (and the intetnet) tells you to do it, but you and the service rep both know it’s not going to help and you are probably screwed.  My husband and I learned years ago that this was a two-man job. (seriously, I should have had them write it into our wedding vows) His job is to rub the aloe in and my job is to tell him the following “just do it, get it over with, wait wait wait, I SAID WAIT, that’s cold, that burns, your rubbing too hard, GET AWAY FROM ME.” as you can tell, we make a great team!

So, did it work? I was not impressed. (As usual) I am certain that the aloe only works because the pain you endure putting it on takes your mind of the fact that your skin is melting of your body. On the other hand, If you asked my dog Wrigley, who uses his tongue like ants use feelers (HE LICKS EVERYTHING, sigh.) he enjoyed the minty aloe popsicle on my shoulder and thought it was the best idea EVER.

Pinterest hack # 2 Black tea.


I’ve seen this hack floating around the interwebs for quite some time, but to be honest, until about a year ago I was on a strict diet of Mt. Dew and milk and the chances of finding tea in my house were slim to none. Thankfully my husband and I gave up (for the most part) pop for more water and un-sweet tea so this time around I could give this hack a try. Apparently The natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties in black tea work together like the justice league to take away some of the redness and puffiness associated with a sunburn. Sounds right up my alley, question is how do you put tea on your body?

My primary care physician Pinterest suggested actually placing the tea bags directly on the affected area after you have soaked in warm water for a while. Um, tea bags at most are the size of a credit card. There are not enough tea bags in the world to cover the square footage of this burn. (Not without a Costco membership at least). Other articles suggested using wash cloths or even pouring the tea mixture directly on the area. This seems like a better option but will not be any less awkward than layering tea bags all over my body. You see my burn is pretty much face, neck, chest, shoulders and upper thigh. So, however and where ever I do this I’m going to need to be partially naked with the ability to not only layer strips of cloth on me but also pour pitchers worth of  it on me.

Let us have a quick moment of silence for our minds eye for the image I have just placed in your head.  If it helps, you can try to just imagine Jennifer Beals from Flashdance. 

Dramatic recreation of Jennifers tea soaking experience.

I decided to lay in the bathtub to do this. While I wasn’t particularly happy about the ring the tea might leave around my freshly scrubbed white tub, hiding in the bathroom meant I could lock Wrigley out, who, as I sated earlier loves to lick and is fond of tea. (counterproductive and just plain yuck) Because the part I am most concerned about is my face I took a clever approach and cut up an old pair of leggings, soaked them in the tea mixture and then placed them around my head like bandanas. (now that I think of it…a bandana would have been easier. sigh)

Don’t be surprised if you see this fashion statement at Coachella next year…

I then took an old t-shirt, or should I say TEA-Shirt, soaked the top half of it in the tea mixture and wore it proudly like the winner of a redneck wet t-shirt contest! Somehow i managed to miss capturing this special moment on camera..your welcome.

 So, did it work? Surprisingly, it did. My shoulders in particular were no longer red and puffy and Lord help me, I looked like I had a tan. UPDATE EDIT: upon further review and shower…the “tan” was nothing more than a tea stain that rinsed away with the shower. Sigh. Forehead and cheeks were better, but were still a little red and while not puffy, swollen, I had lost all ability to show any emotion from the eyes up.

Pinterest hack # 3 Menthol shaving cream.

Paid actor dramatization.

Now, I’m going to be completely honest with you. I don’t own shaving cream. Shaving cream tends to be messy and in the end I always thought water from the shower worked just fine.  I mean, look at the cave men and women for example, they didn’t have shaving cream and they got along just fine! (ok, so maybe I shouldnt compare my grooming habits to cave people…) Thankfully my husband cares more about the softness of his skin than I do, and he was able to provide just enough shaving cream to coat my chest and face for a full 30 mins (again..sorry for the image)

So, did it work? Well, it made my skin feel all tingly, giving it the illusion that it was working and Wrigley was once again impressed (if it looks like cool whip, it must taste like cool whip, right?), but in the end the only dermatological advantage I gained was 2 brand new pimples. yay me!

Entering the final stages of the peel process…Top half of my forehead looks like the southern half of Mexico

I gave it my best, but in the end I think it is safe to say that the damage is done, and while the redness is gone for the most part the unfortunate peeling process will be beginning soon. Just in time to meet about 20-30 new people. Yay.  Maybe when they meet me again at the reunion 2 years from now they won’t recognize me and assume Matthew ditched me for a girl with a better skin care regimen.  #fingerscrossed.