Bruce is a Nice Name

Well, guys, it’s D-Day. Really H-Day, but that doesn’t sound so catchy, now does it?

By the time you read this, Emily will begin her transition from a being woman to being a man with a uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes, to being one without those oft-crucial but now unnecessary and troublesome parts.

Yesterday I was at the OB-GYN for my yearly fun and to follow-up on that business with MY ovaries from last month (apparently the SuperCousins are keepin’ the doc’s kids in college this year) and so I said, “Hey ya know, Dr. P, Emily was in the OR when I had my last C-section so I think I should be allowed into the OR when you do her hysterectomy on Wednesday so I can live tweet it!”

She laughed really hard.

And then she said NO.

DANGIT! Can you believe that?? Dr. Buzzkill! She also told me I can’t make Emily laugh for 2 weeks, which is going to be difficult because

a) I am naturally hilarious and

b) I plan to be by her side literally 24/7 as she recovers. (Except for when I’m working, sleeping, taking care of my kids, showering, running carpool, at speech with Jonah, or at church.)

But I’ll try not to make her literally bust a gut.

Anyway, naturally last night we had one final text convo before the big change:

texts with Em


I won’t screen shot what Emily texted next because she will literally kill me as soon as she regains her strength. SO. Sorry!

Anyway, on the off chance Em does wake up a dude, instead of just a lady with no lady innards, I’ve been thinking about what name she should give her male persona. And since the famous Olympian-turned-reality-star-turned-chick has recently vacated the name “Bruce” – I think that’s definitely on the table!

I’ll keep you updated on Facebook on how Em is doing, especially if I get any videos of her getting wacky on painkillers.

But really…she appreciates your prayers as she gets operated on and recovers tomorrow. I’ll keep you posted!

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Here we go again. Probably.

So, my surgery is scheduled for this coming Wednesday. On the one hand, after months of waiting I am so beyond ready to get the show on the road. On the other, I still have 9 million things on my “Surgery Preparation” to-do list, and now I’m running out of time.

Probably, I mean. I am probably running out of time. I am so traumatized by the postponement of this whole thing two months ago that I have a hard time believing it is actually going to happen. I keep thinking of things that would screw it up. Yesterday, for example, I stumbled over a curb and nearly fell off my cute wedges, and my immediate thought was “If I break my ankle, I can’t have my surgery.”

On the third hand, I feel like I am making far too big a deal out of this whole thing and I should just get over myself. I worry that this stupid surgery is all I talk about and that everyone is tired of hearing about it. (So what do I do? Blog about it. Again.) I also feel an immense amount of pressure (completely self-induced, btw) to bounce back right away. A few days ago I started researching post-op exercise plans, trying to determine how I can get back into shape asap.

That particular google search led me to an article about just how many internal stitches and clamps and staples and paperclips are involved in total abdominal hysterectomies and what exactly can happen if one tears, and let me just say it is not pretty.

But! The good news is that in just a few short days, you won’t have to hear me drone on and on about my upcoming hysterectomy. By that point, I will have moved on to being self-absorbed about my recovery. And then menopause.

I do wonder what that will be like – menopause. I mean, what if after going from estrogen-overload to complete estrogen deprivation, my personality completely changes? (Not that it’s ever been particularly sparkling, so maybe that would be a good thing). I could become No Filter Emily and say whatever comes to mind. Basically then I’d just say everything that I now only text to Jenny, and though I might make a whole lot of enemies, it would be quite entertaining. Or I could become Mean Emily. Ergh, I am pretty sure that’s already happened. If I come out of this more grumpy and irritable, my husband and kids will probably be on the next bus out of town.

Or absolutely nothing will change and I will have to come to terms with the fact that there’s not a surgery or medication or diet that will make me any different from what I am. And what then?

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This is Why You ALWAYS Check Your Dates Out on

Hey remember that time I told you that I am my own Grandpa? And Emily is her own Grandma? And we are related to each other twice because we are so inbred that if we ever got into a fight we’d have to disown each other like 12 times to make it official? ‘Member, ‘member? In case you’ve forgotten, here’s the diagram!

Well, recently, things in our family tree got a whole! lot! more! confusing! And of course, fun…

{cue banjo music}

You see, a few weeks ago, my mom and dad took my cousin Amy and her husband Tom on a trip to their place in Virginia. Amy is my first cousin on my dad’s side (i.e. not related to Emily) and she and Tom have been married about 6 years. Aren’t they cuuuuuute?

Amy and Tom

They had a great time on their trip. Tom is a grizzly mountain man like my dad so they enjoyed manly stuff like hunting and fishing and what-not. However, it wasn’t until the car ride home that the party really got started.

“Aunt Diane,” said Amy, “I can’t believe I’ve never thought of this before, but Tommy’s mom’s maiden name is Burns.”

My mom’s maiden name is Burns, as is Emily’s.

“Oh where is she from?” said my mom.

“Clay County, Kentucky.” said Amy.

Guess who else is from Clay County, Kentucky? My grandparents! My mom and Emily’s dad were born there. WITH THE LAST NAME BURNS.

“I’m sure we’re related!” said  my mom excitedly.

And within hours, she had discovered that we are related to my cousin’s husband.

I am my cousin’s cousin. I am also my cousin’s husband’s cousin.

{Turn up the banjo music.}

Emily is my cousin! And she’s also my cousin’s husband’s cousin!

Confused yet? Slightly grossed out? No worries! Tom and Amy are  not related {that we know of}.

But I am related to them BOTH. Rock on! Need a visual aid??

fam tree 3

Emily and I are 6th cousins to Tom. And I am first cousin to Amy. Tom got to meet his newfound cousins, Emily and her kids, and her dad (my Uncle Dan) at our extended family Mother’s Day picnic the  other day. ALL COUSINS! SO MANY COUSINS!

So my cousin has been married to my cousin for 6 years.

And I had no idea.

But let me stress again, they are not each other’s cousins. So it’s cool.

HOWEVAH, All my children’s dates will be thoroughly researched on JUST IN CASE.

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Things That Would Be Good For This Blog

Last night I was at my nephew Charles’ baseball game (he’s a senior and it’s the last one I’ll get to attend which makes this #FanAunt sad, nostalgic, and rather old-feeling) and it was getting pretty TENSE up in there – HELLO, extra innings?? I can’t handle the stress!!

SO naturally I texted Emily to tell her about it because THAT’S WHAT I DO IN STRESSFUL SITUATIONS! Lucky Emily, right? She responded in a way that was less about MY PROBLEMS and more about how said problems could be used for the betterment of this blog. Exhibit A:

EMily text 1

Naturally Emily’s solution to my PROBLEM of baseball game-related stress was that I should lose my shark and get arrested so she can post my bail – and my mug shot.

This made me think of another time when I texted her recently when I was having some pain in my ovarian areas and I decided to go get ‘em checked out because we take our ovaries pretty seriously around here. SO – turns out I have a cyst on my right ovary but it’s the kind that can just hang out there with no problem. But naturally when I texted Emily with this news, she had another solution:

EMily text 2

Because OMG wouldn’t it be awesome if we had hysterectomies on the SAME DAY by the SAME DOCTOR?? SO BLOGGABLE!!!!! Twin hysterectomies and twin MENOPAUSE!! Whee!!!Blog fodder for months!!

But, I don’t want to turn into a dude. So I’m gonna try to keep my lady parts for now…even though Emily doesn’t want me to.

But anyway…do you see why I always run to my cousin Emily with my woes, people? She always has my our best interests at heart.

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Brain Chase Summer Learning Challenge

Brain Chase logo

A few weeks ago, I told you about the Brain Chase Summer Learning Challenge, which helps alleviate the dreaded brain drain that can happen over the summer. Brain Chase has several new announcements, and I wanted to bring you up to speed on the latest!

First of all, here’s a sneak peek of the 2015 challenge – The Sunstone of Cortes.

I’m excited for Kate and Sam to take part in this! They’ll be able to monitor their progress using the Brain Chase dashboard and see how close they’re getting to finding the Sunstone – which is were the $10,000 prize is hidden!


Brain Chase has partnered with Rosetta Stone this year, and participants will have the option to replace a writing module with a language module. They can choose from any of the 30+ languages offered!

The Brain Chase Challenge has two pricing packages. The regular package is $199 for the first registration, and then $100 for each sibling, and the premium pricing package which includes Brain Chase registration plus a Brain Chase-branded adventure backpack, a Brain Chase t-shirt and Sunstone of Cortés patch is $249 for the first registration, and then $149 for each sibling.

Additionally, Brain Chase will be hosting a 4-city Library Challenge this month. In each of the following cities, they will hide a voucher worth $1,000 in a local public library:

o Salt Lake City (May 4)
o Seattle (May 11)
o Boston (May 18)
o Orange County (June 1)

For more information, visit their website or check out the Brain Chase Blog!

This post was written in partnership with Brain Chase and

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Avengers: Age of Ultron Giveaway!

This post is sponsored by Meijer. All opinions are my own.

Eeeeek I am so excited about the Avengers: Age of Ultron movie! Are you surprised? Perhaps you knew that my kids love the Avengers:

Exhibit A: Joshua and Jonah on Halloween

avenger boys

Exhibit B: Joshua and Jonah’s bedroom door:

avengers door

But I love them TOO! My husband does too. We really enjoy the Marvel movies and Agents of Shield on TV. I am obsessed with Joss Whedon (have loved him forever as he created Buffy the Vampire Slayer) who directs/produces the Avengers movies and Shield soooo…I AM SUPER EXCITED THAT AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON is coming out tomorrrow! (oops did I yell that??) So, when Meijer asked me to team up to spread the word about Avengers: Age of Ultron the movie AND products you can get at Meijer, I was more than happy to oblige!

Emily and I were just discussing (as she lives in an Avengers-crazy household, too) that we are TOTALLY drawn to the Avengers branded items at Meijer. She even bought Avengers-branded Ziplock bags because, well…AVENGERS! Here are some of the products from Meijer that my family has been enjoying.

avengers cheez its

These are some of our favorite products that we buy for school lunches. Now – with AVENGERS: Age of Ultron packaging!

Breakfast with Avengers Age of Ultron? But of course!

avengers cereal

I forgot to take a pic of the Avengers Age of Ultron Dr. Pepper I bought for myself at Meijer and drank. It was even more delicious than usual! :)

As I mentioned, Meijer has all these great products and many more with Avengers Age of Ultron packaging your whole family will LOVE! And to celebrate, I am giving away TWO ticket vouchers for Avengers Age of Ultron and a $25 Meijer gift card! Whoop whoop!! All you have to do to enter is comment below with your favorite Avengers Age of Ultron character AND your favorite product to buy at Meijer (can be anything! Not just Avengers stuff.)

I will pick one winner this FRIDAY, May 1 at 6pm EST! Ticket vouchers will be emailed so you can use ‘em quick, and the gift card will be sent via mail.

Good luck and happy Avenging!!

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Jenny’s Life Klass: What NOT to Put On Your Car


Oh my, my friends, it’s been too long since I ripped a portion of the general population a new one here on this blog and woo-wee am I ready! Are you ready? Jenny’s Life Klass is back and it’s meaner than ever!!

Let me tell you what’s got my biscuits all burnt up today, friends.


Specifically, people who drive around with profanity, lewdness, and general skeevy perviness on their cars in decal or ornament form.

Case en pointe (that’s FRENCH, I’m KLASSY, remember?): yesterday I was innocently driving my kids home from school in the very nice area of town that they matriculate in, literally right next to the fancy Lexus dealership where my husband fixes cars for rich people, very far away from where we live in the dirty city, and at a very long stoplight, right in front of us was a new-ish Chevy pickup truck with a decal on the back window…

of a cartoon man and woman having sex. In a style that was decidedly NOT missionary (not that THAT would have been ok either, but this was just to be over-the-top-CRUDE, apparently.) And underneath this lovely cartoon couple engaged in what I’m sure is an act fueled by their great love for each other, the words, “Making My Family”.




God help us all.

I’m sure the beautiful children born of a man who depicts their conception in a crude cartoon bang decal on the back of his Chevy have a bright and beautiful future. I have no doubt they will respect others, work hard, and contribute to the betterment of society.

I mean, I think the family that displays cartoon sex acts on the back of their vehicle is also definitely the family that stays together, too. Right? And probably the kids of that family have lots and lots of friends because whose parents don’t want their kids to be around THAT Dad, amIrite?

I was praaaaaayyyying that a) the light would change really fast  or b) God’s hand would reach down and pluck that truck from the road and deposit it and its decal in hell before my kids SAW that monstrosity. Fortunately, Joshua and Sophie had their heads buried in books or homework and didn’t see it, and Jonah is clueless.

But what if they see it next time? What if they ask me about it? What am I supposed to say, you d*ggie-style exhibiting jackwagon??

AARGGHGHGHGH!! There is STEAM pouring forth from my ears as I think about that. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?

Ok. Deep breaths. Namaste. Center myself. Take a mental walk in the woods. I’ve got to calm myself down so I can educate the rest of the world, in case, like that Chevy-driving pukebag, you don’t know what is and is not appropriate to display on your motor vehicle. HERE GOES.

1) Sex acts. I think I just covered that. Keep your cartoon Karma Sutra under your mattress, perv. My 8-year-old doesn’t need to learn about that stuff until she’s at least 30. DO NOT MAKE ME TAKE A SLEDGEHAMMER TO YOUR CHEVY, mmkay?

2) Your scrotum. SERIOUSLY, if you have your ball sac hanging from the back of your truck…this is a DIRECT ADMISSION that you’re a eunuch. 100% non-refutable PROOF. You’ve just outed yourself, grossed  me out, AND stolen my kids innocence, NUMB NUTS.

3) Profanity. HEY GUESS WHAT? A VAST MAJORITY OF TINY HUMANS CAN READ. And that “Don’t like my driving? Call 1-800-EAT-Sh*T” bumper sticker is a) a total fraud – that number is answered by some Bangladeshi guy who wants to sell me a satellite dish and b) a doorway to a room in the American lexicon that I am not ready for my 4-year-old, WHO CAN READ, to enter yet. I mean at least not until we get him through speech therapy so he can REALLY understand how to  use  those words properly. YOU IDIOT.

4) Naked ladies in profile. Just don’t, pervert. Like, you’re driving, YOU CAN’T EVEN SEE IT. I mean, do you just need us to know that you know what a naked woman looks like? CONGRATULATIONS. Next time I am behind you at a stop light I am going to get out and shake your hand (nope, nope, nope I cannot even FATHOM where that hand has been). Really, what an achievement. Your mother must be BURSTING with pride shame.

Ok. I am SURE there are more categories, but this is a good start – and now I need to go take a mental shower because I am so disturbed by the free speech that the general population CHOOSES to put on their vehicles (????).

So I will let YOU add to the list my friends!! What do you see on someone’s car that makes you want to CUT a jack@$$$?

GO forth and spread these wise words so EVERYONE CAN KNOW – in case they don’t – that it’s not ok to put cartoon sex acts on your car window! BECAUSE YOU GUYS, I DON’T THINK THEY KNOW!



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And now she’s 11.


My Kate turns 11 today.

I’m having trouble with that, to be honest.

It feels like we’re on the precipice of an entirely new stage of parenting and our relationship with her, and I’m not sure I’m equipped to deal with it.

I really don’t want to screw her up.

Also, eleven. That’s like 61 percent to adulthood, yet she’s still very much a kid.

Even her birthday presents reflect this weird in-between stage. A board game and a movie… a comforter and a pair of shoes. All at her request.

I really don’t know how to do this. Just thinking about it makes my heart pound.

But, I’ll do my best to figure it out. And, as she navigates the bumpy road of adolescence, I’ll do my best to show her the grace she’s always shown us as we’ve fumbled our way through this parenting thing.

I love you, Kate. Thanks for being you.

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We Are the Dirty People

You guys: I have good news and bad news.

The good news is, I love my job, and it is going really well. I signed a year contract in March and For Every Mom has had a couple of really killer weeks. Thanks to all of you who hop over and support me every day!

The bad news is, I suck at literally everything else in my life.


I mean, I haven’t like, forgotten to pick up a kid at school or anything (there’s still time, though) but for instance, I have gone over a week without blogging! That has never happened in the history of the WORLD, not even while I was on vacation or after I had a baby, I don’t think. Not even when I was super-depressed. So, I am sorry, I really am. I have missed it, and you. I’m finding that working and mothering and wife-ing and carpooling and speech therapy-ing is kinda just leaving my brain a big ol’ blank at the end of the day. I will do better this week. Maybe I just needed a week off!

Also, I haven’t drugstore shopped with coupons in like 3 weeks. I really miss it!! I just can’t seem to GET THERE. :( Scandalous!!!

Next big fail in my life: housekeeping. Ok, we all know I’ve always been terrible at that, but now I am like REALLY BAD. So bad that Bobby graciously researched and found for us, someone to come in and clean twice a month. Because in my current state, there is no way the shower is gonna get cleaned more often than that anyway.

So the first time she came, she estimated it would take about 3 hours, since it was her first time and all, and the house was a *bit* dirty.

YEAH…four hours later she had to go because she had another appointment, and she hadn’t even gotten to my kitchen yet! BECAUSE IT WAS THAT BAD YOU GUYS. I’m feeeeelthy apparently. Well, not me personally. You’ll be happy to know I am showered and made up before my children leave the house at 7:10 a.m. every morning, but as always I prioritize my face before my floors.

So, that’s embarrassing. I hope she comes back. I know I can keep it much cleaner with the extra deep-cleaning help twice a month. I’m already doing better! BUT I REALLY NEED HER TO COME BACK!!

Anyhoo. That’s the update with me. I’m still here. Still crazy. Still stressed 24/7, but in a good way.

What’s going on with YOU??

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Time Hopping

Do you have the app TimeHop? It is pretty clever – it links to your social media accounts and every day it shows you what you were doing on this date in history. Or at least as far back as when you joined Facebook.

It’s probably one of my favorite apps, as it often sparks a memory I’ve forgotten.

For example, three years ago today, we went to a Reds/Cardinals game with my dad.


Anyway, it got me wondering what we were up to on the blog on this day in history, so I took a little stroll through the archives.

Would you believe it was nearly exactly a year ago that I first told you all about my gigantic tongue in a lovely post called “My Tongue is Trying to Kill Me”?

You're welcome.

You’re welcome.

That was, I must say, one of the most memorable events in my life.

In April 2013, Jenny brought us one of her famous editions of Jenny’s Life Klass.


I think it’s about time for another one of those, don’t you? I mean, it’s been a while and we know Jenny hasn’t become less judgy, she’s just keeping it from us. Not cool.

In April 2012, Kate and I went to Portland to visit the Nike Headquarters.

nike kate ready to go

Jenny and I have done a lot of amazing things because of this blog, but the Nike trip will always have a special place in my heart because they invited our kids. It was the only trip Kate and I have taken together – just the two of us – so far, and it will likely be the only time either one of us flies first class for a long, long time!

In April 2011, Jonah had a side mullet.

sideburnspic copy

Jenny found herself knocked up in April 2011.


In April 2009 I blogged about how we always forget to pay our taxes.

In April 2008, Sophie became famous.


And in April 2007, this blog didn’t exist.

All this has left me with one question. Where does the time go?

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