10 lessons I learned from my 10 year reunion.

Name tags for days. 

Last weekend I had my high school reunion. I know, the whole thing snuck up on me pretty fast...too fast for me to get fake boobs or rent a really expensive car, so I begrudgingly did as all rational thinking women do, and cut my hair into a pixie.

  Because that's what you do when you go back to your old stomping grounds, you try to fit in and hide your insecurities behind a life change, and since having a baby wasn't enough of a life change, you chop your hair. 

So this reunion had been brewing in my mind as an awkward experience just dying to break free. I mean, these things are awkward as it is, but I had some baggage from high school (and part of college) that I had yet to address, so needless to say my anxiety level was clocking in at about 11 (on a scale of 1 to 10). Also the whole not being a millionaire-or even remotely successful financially thing was also weighing pretty heavy as well. The cherry on top however,  was that we didn't want to burden family with watching our two crazy boys and newborn (who happened to hit her witching hour at the same time as this event) so the hubs decided to stay back and do the dad thing, while I braved the memory lane all on my lonesome.

Because I'm a "strong" woman and all that.

All jokes aside though, I had a wonderful time, and it got me thinking about things I wish I knew 10 years ago that I know now. Almost like a reverse Tim Mcgraw "my next thirty years" type thing, but in reference to my late teens. So here we go.

10 lessons I learned from my 10 year reunion. 

1. Enjoy the ride.
Ten years ago I was so worried about my future. So worried about getting great grades, going to  college and trying to be involved in everything, Now as a stay at home mom, I would love to get to do anything without worrying about my kids. Even in the rare event that they aren't attached (figuritivly or literally) to me, I still worry. It's very hard to enjoy anything the way that you do when you are carefree and living on your parents dollar.

2. Live a Little. 
Back in high school I was very cautious, afraid to get into trouble, afraid to let down my parents, and I was afraid to do anything to accidentally ruin my future (see number 1). I never drank and I hung out with a crowd that really didn't either. I never broke my curfew and I always tried to do things that were pleasing to others. A big part of me wishes that I would have just done something for me. I was always afraid of hurting someone else's feelings. I didn't take that extra dance class because I didn't want to hurt my current dance teachers' feelings. I didn't take a drink of that room temperature vodka in a water bottle because I was afraid to get caught and let everyone down. Okay, that was a bad example. Who really was ever dying to drink room temperature vodka? But you get the idea. 

Disclaimer: I am in no way advocating for underage drinking, however I do wish I would have been more "footloose and fancy free" and not so judgmental to those who did choose to party. 

3. Don't sweat the small stuff. 
This one is a tough one for high school girls. Especially high school girls who grew up in the 2000's watching Laguna Beach reruns and actually living the ups and downs of Kristin and Stephen's relationship. Everything is #sodramatic at that age. I don't know if it was because all the girls were having their periods at the same time, or what, but I can remember something so small becoming such a huge deal quickly, and with the new technologies of the time (AIM) it only took one poorly worded away message to ruin your day.

4. Flaunt it.
As the mother of a daughter now, I'll never say this out loud to her (because eye contact is so awkward), but  most people's bodies will never look as great as they did in high school. I for one, wish that I had known this and actually worn that cute dress without a bra,or those oh so trendy crop top halters with confidence. How was I supposed to know that everything would sag and bag? I mean, I'm at the point now that I use dusting powder under my boobs for crying out loud!  I didn't even know there was a space for that, let alone a need back in high school. 

5. Spend your time with those who really deserve it. 
I don't have any regrets in my life per say, but now that I am older and my friend time is extremely limited, I wish I would have skipped out on some of the lame dates, had more girls nights and spent more time with those who actually love me, and not just those who can tolerate me. In high school, quantity seemed to trump quality in friendships, and it took me 10 years for my eyes to open, and to see who was really there for me in the thick of it all.

6. Don't judge a book by it's cover.
Those people that you think you'll never be friends with? They may have a lot more in common than you think. Or maybe they don't. Either way, you never know unless you actually be a human and talk to them. Branch out of your normal comfort level, find people who may not outwardly be like you, but may carry the same struggle, or hopes and dreams in your heart. I found out that a girl that was merely just an acquaintance in high school, is a member of one of my closest online communities. We totally get each other, and unfortunately it took us 10 years, Mark Zuckerberg and the Brittany Gibbons body love movement for us to figure that out. Who knew? Maybe we missed out on a ton of great times. ya know?

7. Go on Spring Break. 
Seriously. For crying out loud. I wish I would have gone, because after all of the "hey what have you been doing these last ten years" talk, everyone began going shot for shot, reminiscing about the good times that I had to again remind myself and them that I wasn't a part of. I've got to hand it to you, those stories have lasted the test of time. I still regret that I wasn't a part of the epic trip and I don't understand the references to the Belvedere, although I'm 99% sure that story ended in vomit. 

8. Stop trying to earn Prom/ Homecoming Queen votes.
So many times I didn't stand up for myself and loved ones because I was afraid of being labeled a "bitch" or that people wouldn't think I was nice. It's taken be about ten years and a ton of struggles with fear of confrontation, but I've finally learned to use my voice and throw my weight around when needed. I've won some, and I've lost some friends in the process, but it feels good to stand up for what you truly believe in. And you know what? I'm really not that nice, and that's totally okay.

*Also I was never even nominated for any school dance titles, so being nice never really got me anywhere anyway. 

9. Leave High School in High School. 
This one was the hardest for me to write, because I was one of "those" girls in high school with a super serious high school boyfriend that thought we would be together forever. Clearly it didn't happen that way, and we carried a relationship into the early years of college doing the whole breakup/makeup tango (totally healthy amirite), and finally calling it quits 6 years ago. I knew that almost all of our couple friends had gotten married, and in the rather messy breakup he got to keep the friends (bummer) and I was replaced (thank goodness). Now, more than ever I'm so glad that we didn't work out, as I have found my hubs and had the best three kids ever, but a big part of me wishes we would have just left it all in high school, and not dragged it out to be as messy as it really didn't need to be. In high school that drama is expected, almost coveted, like a rite of passage, and leaving that mess in '04 would have just been way easier. High school relationships should be fun and silly, and definitely not taken too seriously. That way you can totally avoid the uncomfortable feeling of your ex totally blowing you off when you say hello at the reunion. 

10. Be true to your school. 
Even if you don't want to go, GO. Even if you feel like you have nothing in common, with your former classmates. GO. I cannot stress it enough. The truth of the matter is that no one is super happy with where they are in life yet.It's a journey, and everyone is climbing the mountain, some in completely different ways, but climbing nevertheless, and taking some time to reminisce and talk about the "good old days" is a great way to reconnect and actually meet the people that you didn't get to know back in high school. And if none of that is your bag, they usually have drinks. And cake.

2004 was a great year, full of ups and downs and lots of juicy couture sweatsuits, but one thing is for sure is that 10 years goes by fast. Before you know it, it'll all be hairplugs and  Botox.

And cake.

Don't forget the cake.

Rocking the heavy eyeliner/no brow trend of 2004 so hard. 


Flying under the Radar.

A few weeks ago I lost my driver's license. In true Jess fashion, I decided to go with the "wait and see" option of finding it, and as it turns out, it still hasn't showed it's face, which is a total bummer in my opinion because it was a great picture...taken when I was 25 and much more carefree than I am today.

So it's beginning to look like I'm going to need to get a new one. BLERGH. Although I am running in circles trying to find these documents to get a new one. For example, I don't have my married name on my birth certificate (duh) so I need my marriage license. Which would be super easy, if it wasn't also lost. But to get a new Marriage License, I need to have a picture ID. See where I'm going with all of this?

Yup, the wait and see sounds good to me.

Except it isn't, because in today's world it is impossible to accomplish ANYTHING without a picture ID.A girl can't even go rogue anymore, you know?

And how much of a crazy person do you sound like when you are asked for your ID and you have to explain that you don't have one? Everyone has an ID. No wonder people automatically look suspicious when I tell them that my ID is missing. Even criminals have ID... it may not exactly be theirs, but they have one none the less, so I haven't really been shocked by all of the "side eyes" I've been getting lately.

So while all of my Facebook friends are debating politics ( I too found myself in some debates) and trying to change the world one Facebook status at a time, I'm just praying that I don't find myself in a situation that I have to prove my identity before I have all of the necessary documentation.

God Bless America.

Truly though, I am so glad to live in such an awesome country, one where we have the freedom to speak our minds and beliefs and to carry on a small potatoes blog like it means something. Blame it on the world cup but I'm feeling extra patriotic this year.

Oh, and there's this little gem for you all.

Troop 877's finest. 

Can you believe that someone actually wanted to get me pregnant? Not only once, but three times for that matter! Man alive, I must have a great personality!

Have a safe and Happy Fourth blog friends!



A date with Ray Lamontagne

Before you get all "cheater cheater pumpkin eater" I'll have you know that I didn't actually go on a date with Ray Lamontagne. I was with my corporate hubster who gets the most amazing free tickets at the very last minute (shout out to the mother in law for jumping is and babysitting). Holla!

Now as a major fan of Ray, I was super excited when he told me he had gotten the tickets and a babysitter. So much so that I called his work line and screamed inappropriately in his ear, but that's neither here nor there.

Even bigger of a deal was that this was our very first date night without kids since Minnie was born, so by the time our sitter arrived we were ready to blow this popsicle stand and have fun just hanging out.

So the concert was great. Like, cry your eyes out, get lost in the scratchy deep warblings of a man who clearly felt enough pain to make you ache to the core, great. There's just something so earthy about a man who literally is there to just play. In the entire two hours I'm not sure he said 10 words to the crowd. The man is not an entertainer. He just plays to your heart. It was everything that this tired mom of three (holy hell there's three now) needed.

Plus the mere fact that the stand up bass player (uh coolest instrument ever) was named Zacheriah Higgins (coolest name ever) and not only could he make the standup bass literally tear up the music (stand up bass...who knew), but he had a handle bar mustache and dressed like he was on a quick break from serving ice cold "Beah" here at the local saloon. FYI That was my best saloon voice if you couldn't tell... I stand by the mere fact that there just aren't enough handle bar mustaches in the world you know? I guess no one makes that type of commitment to facial hair anymore. What a world we've become!

Speaking of hair, not only were there floral crowns as far as the eye could see, but being bald is truly in. I told my husband that this is his time. Seriously, being bald only comes around every couple thousands of years ( I think the last time it was in, the Spartans defeated Persia) and that he needed to bask in the moment. If eye rolling is a sign of basking then I think he took my advice.

But my hands down, favorite thing was that our seats happened to be a row and a seat behind my cousin, which was a PRIME photo bombing location and totally not planned. What in the heck are the odds of that?

Actually our real seats were two over to the right, but a young, trendy drunk couple were sitting in them and seat confrontation is the worst confrontation, so we decided to let bygons be bygons and just sit where we fell. That happened to be two seats closer to my cousin. Those people never showed up by the way. Their loss I guess. 

All in all it was a super fun, hipster esque evening that was capped off with a badass stand up bass solo (not being facetious it was amazing). The only bad part was the he did not play our wedding song, which outraged my husband a bit. With clenched fists he demanded a "refund" (free tickets hardy har har), but he quickly got over it as we walked hand in hand back to our car. 

Date night complete. 

Three Kids. We got this.


Minnie Sue Newborn Photos {Sponsored post}

Once upon a time I dreamed that I would be  that mom who had pictures of her family covering every surface of the house. In this dream they wouldn't just be your standard run of the mill JC Penney or Olan Mills posed picture....oh no, these would be artistic and beautiful.

But then reality hit and I got knocked up not only once but three times in five years and the only artistic photos I have to show for any of it are on Instagram with a Sierra filter (okay maybe 1977).

Let's just say that I dropped the ball majorly on that one. I mean, I always meant to schedule a time, but life seemed to put a total damper on having photos taken and before you know it I'm 28,postpartum  and all emotional like, " we only have 18 years....wahhh" so when Lori Baskin of LB Photography asked us to be models I jumped at the chance, peed myself a little and excitedly agreed all the while my hubs rolled his eyes, because even after three babies he still thinks the peeing yourself thing isn't a real ailment...shows how much he knows.

So north we went to my hometown of Beavercreek to meet with Lori and she worked her magic. But I'll shut up and show you the pictures because her amazing work totally speaks for itself.

Oh but here's a little fun fact... we used my grandmother's gold chair and quilt as a photo prop, you know, because I'm totally sappy like that.

And my very favorite Minnie moment...

Swoon worthy. Am I right?

Check out Lori Baskin Photography Blog as well as her Facebook page and Instagram for rates and availability. Lori Baskin Photography services the Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati areas specializing in Newborn photography.For more information email her at Loribphotos12@gmail.com  Seriously HIRE HER. She is the real deal.

^^This is a sponsored post and although I was gifted photographs all opinions are in fact, my own. So trust me when I say she's absolutely awesome. 


All the things.

First of all, let me start out by saying how tired newborns make me. I mean, I'm getting used to the sleep patterns and the craziness that are my two very jealous boys constantly vieing for my attention, but one thing I have yet to do is to venture out into the world on my own.

Holy hell guys, I'm  totally outnumbered.

I know eventually I'll have to actually submit my skin to sunlight, I mean, it's bad enough that we are lacking so much melanin, but since we tend to lurk around with our drapes closed (what can I say,  I have sensitive eyes) I'm 99% sure people assume we are vampires, which would have been cool if it were 2007 but we've all moved on and vampires are officially dead.

Also the whole wearing your child on a leash is still looked down upon even if said leash is attached to an "animal backpack" if you know what I'm saying. So until I figure out a patent for an invisible fence like mechanism to keep my kids within an arms length, I guess I'll be here re-arranging my furniture and trying to convince myself not to repaint every  room again.

But alas I'm thankful to be home with my kids (on  house arrest) happy (for the most part) and healthy (knock on wood).

What does this beautiful summer weather have in store for all of you? Remember I'm living vicariously through all of you so throw me a bone and paint me a pretty picture of what normal people do in the summer...you know, when bathing suits fit and the stretch marks have faded.

Until then though, here's Minnie. Pondering life and all the things.

Home Sweet Home is what it is.

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