Monday, November 24, 2008

You May Think It's Too Early But We're Not The First (or the third) In Our Neighborhood

Yesterday was the warmest day in the next little while so Ryan and I decided to get some things done. He climbed the roof while I untangled lights only to discover that half of our icicle roof lights were dead. So we went to Target (twice) and to Lowe's (once) and staked mini-Christmas trees and plugged in candles and fluffed up window wreaths and Ryan climbed the roof again only to discover some of the brand new lights we just bought were also dead and Ryan yelled from the rooftop while I unrolled rope lights and plugged in the snowman and tried to figure out the ten extension cords and which timer does this one go to and by the end of the whole ordeal we were both tired and hungry and irritable and bah humbug.

Just then our little neighbor boy ran outside and screamed at the top of his 3-year-old lungs:

"MOM!!!! LOOK!!!!! It's sooooooooo......BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!"

So, totally worth it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Some Things To Tell You

#1 - We're having a baby.

#2 - I thought about telling you with a big post full of every detail and tiny moment but the whole thing is so overwhelming I couldn't think of one thing to say. So I posted a photo of the ultrasound and hit publish. It wasn't until later that I noticed the photo had completely taken over the blog. Appropriate since that little nugget has completely taken over my life.

#3 - Being pregnant is everything I was told it would be by countless (COUNTLESS) friends - only worse. And better. And also worse. I was prepared for the crazy fatigue, prepared for the moodiness. I was ready (I thought) for the nauseousness and the sore boobs. I was not, however, prepared for the constant nausea at level 10 that robbed me of my very will to live. No one told me I would have so much saliva in my mouth that anyone within ten feet of me would get a fresh spray, so much saliva that I choke on it. Which causes me to vomit. No one mentioned the horrific Swamp Mouth that absolutley nothing will cure. And most of all, NO ONE told me I would lose all desire for Mexican food. Ya'll, I love me some trashy Mexican. Only not right now, UGH. Even typing the words makes me a little queasy. I have zero control over my body. There is now a tiny little kumquat ordering me to eat every hour but only things that are bland or boring. If I dare waiver from Baby Illingworth's demands, there is hell to pay.

#4 - Something else no one warned me about, the breast exam at my first pre-natal visit. Here's the thing, if your breasts hurt so bad you can barely take a shower, you really don't want your OBGYN smashing and pressing and generaly making you scream in agony. It hurt.

#5 - But that ultrasound...oh the ultrasound. I was worried about having a Rachel Green moment and not being able to see the baby, but the second that image flashed on the screen I knew exactly what I was looking at - my little bean. And that's what it looked like, a kidney bean with a flashlight in the middle flashing at an alarming rate. It was both surreal and soothing. Unreal and so very real I burst into tears. It made all the pregnanacy horrors worth it. My baby. In me. Finally.

#6 - Baby Illingworth is due June 10th, one day after my birthday.

#7 - We're having a baby.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween

Minnie says "Happy Halloween Ya'll!"

Hatred in a Costume

Ok, really she's saying "I'm going to kill you in your sleep."

Such a kidder!

Saturday, October 04, 2008


Oh October,

You're my favorite month, that's no secret. Over the years we've had some great times together. Remember 1994? Yeah I know, awesome. The point is, you've always come through for me, always provided tons of fun memories and laughs and cool weather and general goodness. You should know, 2008 has been kind of a jerk these past nine months spreading badness at every turn. And I'm talking real badness, not just "crap, my yogurt is expired" badness. But here we are, October, together again. I'm counting on you to turn this ship around, to be the friend you've always been. To spread the love.

Let's do this.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

On Gas

Dear Nashville and surrounding areas,

Please calm down. The only reason there is a current gas crisis is because you, dear friend, are in a panicked panic running around filling buckets and travel coffee cups and trash cans and lawn mower gas cans with whatever gas you can find. I saw you at the Spring Hill Shell station, in your gold Lexus, filling as many gas cans as your spacious trunk would hold. It's your fault that my friends can't make it home from work. Please take a moment to step back from yourself and realize that we are all in this together. If you're out of gas, by all means, fill up. If you still have half a tank, take a deep breath and CHILL OUT. You're starting to get on my nerves.


P.S. If you do manage to find a working gas pump and choose to wait in the long line, here's a tip. Once you pump your precious gas PLEASE DRIVE AWAY FROM THE PUMP. Do not park your car in front of the only working gas pump in fifty miles, go inside the station and buy yourself a candy bar and a coke, take a bathroom break, buy a lottery ticket, and then stroll every so casually out to your car and finally drive away. The good people of Nashville cannot be held responsible for what happens to you.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I Love This Guy

This Guy

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Because I Have A Life, That's Why

TV shows I obsess over and must watch the day they air:
Project Runway
The Office

TV shows I tivo and am excited to watch:

Biggest Loser
Grey's Anatomy
American Idol
30 Rock
Private Practice
Mad Men
Samantha Who?
American Gladiators
Top Chef
Flipping Out
Rob & Big
Jon & Kate Plus 8
Pushing Daisies

TV shows I tivo and might watch if I have time but sometimes I don't:
Ace of Cakes
Man vs. Wild
The Soup
Best Week Ever
Ice Road Truckers
Hell's Kitchen

TV shows I tivo but I don't want you to know that I do:

The Bachelor
America's Next Top Model
Rock of Love
Dancing With the Stars

TV shows I HATE and ABHOR and IRRITATE ME SO but somehow I continue to watch no matter how many times I declare that never again shall I watch:

The Hills

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hit Me Baby One More Time

In a recent fit of trying to be nice a friend said to me, “Try not to think about it!” She was referring to babies, of course. I smiled and said OK. Then the following true story happened:

I spent the weekend attending a one-year-old birthday party complete with pregnant party goers, the third such party in several weeks. Then Monday I got to work and opened two emails from friends containing cute photos of their cute babies. Then an IM popped up on my screen with a cute icon – baby photo. Then I went to lunch with a friend and her cute-as-a-button baby. While we were chatting another friend came by to say hi…with her brand new baby. After lunch I got another email chock full of precious little baby photos when my phone rang – pregnant co-worker asking if I remembered something she couldn’t remember since she was having a “pregnant moment”.

The six o’clock bell couldn’t come soon enough.

That night I decided to watch Medical Mysteries on TLC, sure that it would be safe. Baby free. Turns out it was about a woman trying to get pregnant. I sighed and channel surfed stopping on a TBS re-run of Sex and the City thinking Yes! These women are never going to be talking about or having babies! Turns out Carrie had a pregnancy scare. I watched long enough to see a commercial for First Response HPT and the release of Baby Mama on DVD before I looked for something new to occupy my cluttered thoughts. I found an old episode of Will & Grace on Lifetime and new I was home free! Finally a baby free moment! Turns out Grace was knocked up and Karen was jealous so she hired the make-up counter girl to be her surrogate.

My friend was right. Maybe I should try not to think about it.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I Cannot

Launch a boat
Watch the Olympics without crying
Drive an 18 wheeler
Skip a meal
Turn a cartwheel
Play the banjo
Style my hair
Do sushi
Play chess
Speak Maltese
Pee standing up
Own a cat

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Even Though Tomorrow I'll Change My Mind

On the way home tonight I pass by a champagne colored, 90s-ish, Buick/Chevy/sedan/something driven by a tense looking young woman. The car and the young woman are entirely forgettable except for all the I'm Sorrys - bright orange I'm Sorrys written on every window. Nothing more, just I'm Sorry over and over. Obviously a desperate (and no doubt unwelcome) attempt at an apology from what I presume is now an ex-boyfriend. I imagine this outburst was preceded by hundreds of unreturned emails, phone calls and texts. There were probably a few late night visits to her door. Maybe even some calls to her best friend to plead his case. Obviously the young woman wouldn't hear it. Wouldn't answer. She's deleted him from her iPhone, her email contacts and her Facebook. She is DONE with him. So he steps it up a notch, or fifty. He forces her to deal with him by painting her car with his grief, splashing his desperation publicly and maybe even permanently. She's humiliated. When she walked out of work to go home the words burned into her, twisting the pain deeper, and now she's driving straight to the car wash hoping for washable bright orange paint. He doesn't know it yet but this last ditch effort has merely driven her further away from him.

I smirk thinking only an idiot would go to such lengths. Thinking there's no way such desperation could ever win her back. Duh. She's strong and confident. She knows she deserves better. But as I drive, my thoughts towards him begin to soften. This poor guy is trying to make amends. Trying to move forward. Trying to heal something terribly broken. No matter what went wrong, he’s trying to make it right.

He is sorry.

My old self has started quietly resurfacing - scattered emails from fans of my first book, old friends who ask what I'm working on these days, questions about my "writing career" (ha!) and what my new book is about. I usually stutter and stammer and say something sarcastic, unsure of how to respond, how to explain these past few years in a casual reply. The only thing that comes to mind is I'm Sorry.

I'm Sorry to my old life, the life where the words flowed out of me. Back when I had something to say. Back when my general disposition was hilariousness and fun. Back when I was on the brink of being a real writer.

I'm Sorry that I lost my publishing deal and then sort of drifted for a while. I'm Sorry I wasn't able to get my crap together. Sorry that my blog is boring. Sorry I don't write hilarious and poignant words that continue to get better instead of slowly getting worse.

But before I take a spray paint can to my heart and declare that GEEZ I'M SORRY ALREADY, I have an announcement.


Sure, my life hasn't gone the way I believed it would and, dare I say it, maybe not even the way it should have gone. Things have happened that have stunned me silent. The course of my life shifted and I never did regain my balance. I’ve blathered on and on about some of these things to no end. No real writing, just a general “life sucks” every couple weeks. But all in all, I’m still here. I've survived. Am surviving.

And I've decided that I'm not going to care anymore. I’m not going to care what the words are; just let them come as they will. I’m going to read again without the pressure to write. Write again without the pressure to perform. Be who I am instead of worrying about who I could have been.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Show Me That Smile Again

So you remember that I recently caught our backyard neighbors celebrating their marital love in their hot tub. I was walking Minnie Dog after work one hot afternoon when I heard a strange splashing sound and wouldn't you know it, Big Al and Mrs. Big Al were participating in some afternoon/early evening delight. It was that day that I told Ryan I didn't care how much it cost, we were getting a privacy fence.

Since the privacy fence has been in place, things have been glorious. I have heard strange splashings, but the point is that I haven't had to SEE anything. My retinas are no longer subject to being burned by the vision of Al's back hair waving in the evening breeze.

Cut to tonight and the annual company picnic at the Nashville Sounds baseball game. Ryan was working so I went to the picnic solo. By the time I left it was dark and the Sounds stadium isn't in the safest of neighborhoods and my car was parked in the back 40 of the furthest parking lot from the back of the last aisle way in the back. It was far. As I walked through the rows of cars listening for any sounds other than the crunch of gravel under my flip-flops, singing the theme song to Growing Pains in my head, I saw them.

Two teenagers.
In the back of a pick-up truck.
Doing things teenagers shouldn't be doing.

People, I can't put a privacy fence around my face.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Miss Manners

What’s the etiquette when running into your gastrointernologist at the Costco gas station? There he is, wearing his doctor scrubs and his gold nugget bracelet, gasing up his Porsche, probably just back from peering into some poor sap’s colon with his mile long scope of death. Do you walk over and say hello? Maybe show him your backside so he recognizes you?
Hey Dr. King! How’s business? Seen any ulcerative colitis lately? Colon cancer on the rise? What’s that? You haven’t seen any colons as nice as mine? Oh Dr. King, you charmer! We should have you over for a BBQ!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


You know it's going to be a good day when the lawn mower dies, the rear tires on your car are "dangerously bald, seriously, I'm surprised you're still alive", the DVD player dies and one of the posts on your brand new fence is cracked and leaning causing the gate to bend. Oh, and also, you discover that you accidentally wore a "hootchie" shirt to work.

Good times.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Wii Fit: A Conversation

Wii Fit Board: Oh my, hello there!

Me: Here we go.

WFB: It's Jo, right? I almost forgot, it's been so long!

Me: I know, I've been pretty busy.

WFB: Busy doing what, ordering Value Meal #2 every day?

Me: NO! I've just had a lot going on.

WFB: My, my, you must have! You know, the best way to lose weight is to exercise every day!

Me: Yeah, I know. I've had a lot of stuff going on. Stuff! A lot of stuff!

WFB: I can hardly imagine! The fall TV lineup hasn't started yet, what else is it that you do exactly? I know! How about a quick body test?

Me: Fine.

(I step onto the board which subsequently winces.)

WFB: You've gained weight! Big surprise! Did you know that overeating and no exercise leads to weight gain! How about a fitness tip?

Me: Oh brother, here we go...

WFB: If you want to lose weight, try not to eat so many cookies. Since you're so fat, how about another fitness tip?

Me: Why not, I still have one small shred of dignity left.

WFB: If you don't want people to see you and think they've seen a beached whale, try to eat a vegetable for once! How about another fitness tip?

Me: Look, Wii, I've had a lot going on. I told you. A LOT. I've had things going on that would put hair on your board. Get off my back already.

WFB: Here's a fitness tip, maybe if you carried me around on your back you could lose some of that disgusting fat you have there! How about another fitness tip?


WFB: Ok, Jo! Of course, that would require some muscle strength and you don't have any! How about another fitness tip?


WFB: Ok, Jo! Of course, seething with rage isn't really considered a form of exercise. How about another fitness tip?

Me: .....................

WFB: Picking up a fork is not considered a form of exercise. How about another fitness tip?


WFB: You really oughta think about trying to put the French fries down before you become an unrecognizable blob! How about another fitness tip?

Me: .....................

WFB: Are you still there, Jo? Waiting around won't help that fat go away! How about another fitness tip?


WFB: Oh no, it seems the fat has rendered you speechless!

Me: Well this was fun. I'm gonna some cookies.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Reason #2

Reason #2 Why I Love Ryan Illingworth:

Because even when I'm being unreasonable and sad and irrational and weeping and silent. Even when I'm inconsolable and irritated. Even when I make it worse. Even when the reason for our sadness is ultimately my fault. Even when hopelessness is whistling through the cracks in my heart so loudly passers by are stopping to stare. Even then. Without hesitation, he're perfect.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Don't Read This If You Are Afraid of Grease and Goodness

Several folks have asked me about the bacon wraps featured at The Illingworth Fourth of July Extravaganza. I stole the recipe from The Pioneer Woman but I will list it for you here since I'm a giver. It's so easy even a monkey could do it. Or your husband!

Club Crackers
Thin-Sliced Bacon
Parmesan Cheese

(Yes really, that's it)

-Open up the package of bacon and slice it down the middle, Moses style.
-Take a Club Cracker and dump 1 teaspoon of Parmesan Cheese on it.
-Wrap one half slice of bacon around the cracker securely.
-Place assembled crackers on a baking sheet with a rack*.
-Bake at 250 for 1 hour and 45 minutes. The Pioneer Woman says to bake them for 2 hours but that was too long for me and mine.
-Prepare for greatness.
-In the event that other people are around when you make these, prepare to run out.
-Also, prepare for them to talk about these weeks later and say things like "I only got one of those bacon things! Why didn't you make more of those! When are you making more of the bacon things?" as happened to me this weekend.
-Also, wear elastic waist pants when eating.

*I did not have something as fancy as a baking sheet with a rack so I put my assembled crackers on a cookie cooling rack on a cookie sheet. Innovation!

For a full recipe with helpful photos, see The Pioneer Woman. That is a link directly to the bacon wraps but I must tell you, I've made quite a few of her recipes and they are always fabulous. In fact, because of her, lots of people think I'm a great cook.

Mmmmmm, bacon.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Why Yes, A New Post! Rub Your Eyes and It Will Still Be Here!

So, some things have happened.


The Fourth of July was celebrated in spectacular style at Illingworth Manor. Partly because it marked year three of Illingworth Wedded Bliss and partly because we had a wild party complete with family members and fireworks. I made a ridiculous feast from scratch that was a bit ambitious but also delicious. It included these bacon wraps:


...which very nearly caused my brother-in-law to kiss me on the mouth.

I also made this:


...which can only be described as THE CAKE. Because I made it from scratch. If you're not familiar with the term "scratch" it means three hours of hard labor that result in lower back pain, sore feet, a sweaty brow and the inability to interact with your party people. But also, cute. And delicious.

I made some other stuff too but Ryan was in charge of the camera and was quite selective in what he deemed photo worthy. We have lots of shots of nothing, his thumb, my cute niece not looking at the camera and carpet. But the party was super fun and worth the effort.


Since we were having a party on the actual 4th, Ryan took me to an anniversary dinner a few days before. And if you've read this blog for any length of time, you know that I adore Ryan to a sickening point. But I'll tell you, at our anniversary dinner he surprised me yet again. You see Ryan isn't one to remember the details. At this moment he couldn't tell you one piece of clothing I own besides "jeans". But while we were sitting at The Cheesecake Factory scanning the menu book of dreams, Ryan casually mentioned the first time we ate a Cheesecake Factory together. And I was stunned because it was a moment I had to think about to remember. A moment that happened before we got together or hung out. A moment before The Kiss. But he remembered. And I gotta say, lately I've been swallowed whole by marriages breaking up around me. And crumbling. And spontaneously combusting. And shattering into a million unrecognizable pieces. And it's shaken me up a little bit...or, a lot. But no matter what is happening around us, I know that for me there are no other fish. He still makes my knees tremble at just the right moments.


-Dolly Parton is singing the new theme song for Target commercials. And I thought I couldn't love Target more! Ya'll, if they bring their return policy up to Bed Bath and Beyond standards I might just move in!
-Last night my friend Angela was telling a funny story from her younger days when she paused to say, "Bless My Heart". Could NOT love her more.
-Illingworth Manor is now surrounded by a hot-tub-blocking privacy fence. Seeing Minnie frolic freely makes it worth every hard earned dollar.
-I was in Orlando on business this week and rode the hotel elevator 24 floors with Kirk Cameron. Just me and him. Me and Mike Seaver, hanging out. I RODE THE ELEVATOR WITH KIRK CAMERON!


-While on the 24 Floor Ride with Mike Seaver (the one celebrity whose poster hung on my teenage wall) I didn't say one word. Even when he told me he hoped I felt better soon, I giggled nervously and looked at the floor. HE talked to ME and I said NOTHING.
-I've been sick for the past week with a horrible congestion/sinus/throat plague. On my flight to Orlando I was pretty sure my right eyeball was going to shoot out of my eye socket, never to return.
-While in Orlando I'm pretty sure a 22-year-old blatantly hit on me. Even though I'm married. And I was sick. And grouchy. And totally uncharming and weathered and weary and just plain yuck. I told Ryan about it, confused how someone could (at that moment) find me remotely attractive, and he said YOU'RE A FOX! Now that I think about it, maybe I should have listed this in the batch of Good Things.
-I've been considering hosting a funeral for my creativity. It's been missing for so long no one's even looking for it anymore. The posters I hung around town are now covered up with ads for yard sales and carpooling options.


If you've been living under a rock then you might not know about the Twilight book series from Stephanie Meyer. It's a Young Adult series about love and vampires. And I have become completely obsessed. I can't say much more about it for fear of not being able to stop. I LOVE THESE BOOKS. I talk about Edward the Vampire so much Ryan is starting to become jealous. As he should...even Perfect Ryan cannot compete with a romantic vampire.

Also, we're going to see The Dark Knight Sunday night. And tomorrow we're going to see Addison for her one year birthday. These two things should contribute to more Good Things.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Because I Love You

...and because watching this video made me laugh SO HARD that several people came to make sure I was ok. And breathing. And I was neither. All the laughs that 2008 has robbed from me came SHOOTING out of my body when I watched this video.

It's funny, is what I'm saying.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Reason #46

Reason #46 Why I Love Ryan Illingworth

Me: RYAN!I just got an email from (insert name here) that said, "So! Are you and Ryan planning on having a little baby soon?"

Ryan: Well, maybe I should just burn her house down and then say, "So! Are you getting a new house soon?"

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wii've Missed You!

The Wii Fit is bound and determined to drive me to drink....high calorie soft drinks. If I miss one stinking day Wii scolds me in a cheery tone reminiscent of the southern belle "bless your heart" nicety-fake-nice-ness. Hi Jo! I missed you yesterday! Were you too busy to work out? You know, the best way to lose weight is to work out every day!




But I gotta say, never in my life have I been so motivated by someone so condescending. But the more Wii Fit beats me up, the more I want to prove it wrong. I'm not a loser! I can stick with it! I can do the Warrior Pose and hit soccer balls with my head and hula hoop for six minutes straight! The more Wii Fit taunts me the more I want to work-out. When the virtual trainer says "your legs are shaking!" I will do whatever it takes to make her happy. When she claps and praises me I blush and feel like a champ.

Nintendo has finally cornered the market on mind control and I am but a robot doing whatever my virtual trainer tells me to do.

Alice over at Finslippy said it way better than I ever will. (Read her hilarious thoughts here.)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


My friend Heather has recently taught me about The Slow Drift. She’s young and fun and tends to attract That Guy. You know That Guy. He’s the one you meet at a party or at a movie with friends and you immediately think he’s nice or sweet. You laugh at his jokes. You think he’s cool. But then the third or fourth time you bump into That Guy it becomes clear that he’s into you. Like, into you. And you don’t want to be mean. Don’t want to hurt him. In fact, you really do want to be friends! Thus begins The Slow Drift, that subtle nuance that women are born with and men cannot seem to grasp no matter how many times we explain it.

Step 1: He calls and you talk for a few minutes. You remain friendly, but breezy.
Step 2: He calls and you don't answer.
Step 3: He calls and you don't answer.
Step 4: He calls and you still don't answer.
Step 5: He sees you out with another guy and begins to wonder if something is up.

There are more steps but I don't know them all. I probably drifted off when Heather was explaining them. I think the summary is basically ignoring and using blatant silence to send a message that you are not interested. And you know...I was all set to write a riveting post tonight filled with hilarious observations and insights and stories and...stuff. But then I blanked out in front of a bad episode of Wife Swap. Kinda like on my way home when suddenly I found myself turning into my neighborhood, unable to remember the drive home. Sorta like when I zoned out during the four hour meeting at work today.

Apparently I'm trying to send my life a message that I'm not interested in a serious relationship.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Future So Bright

This morning while I was drying my hair and thinking about my imaginary children (hi kids!) I realized that they could potentially live to see the year 3000. And I thought about what that will be like and thought surely they would have flying cars by then and probably a personal robot and best of all, could work from home.

And then I realized that I'm not very good at math.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Hello World, I'm 34

Today is my birthday. And things around here haven't been awesome, that's no secret. This particular birthday has hit me much harder than I was prepared for....and I wouldn't say it's been a great day. But I don't care about the obvious. So, in honor of today, I will now attempt to list 34 things that make me happy. Take that 34!

34. Milkshakes.
33. Blockbuster online.
32. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.
31. Grilling out at Illingworth Manor.
30. Tivo'd episodes of The Hulk - seventies style.
29. Nieces.
28. Seeing the look on a new friend's face when they learn I was in the handbell choir.
27. Growing my own flowers.
26. The Wii.
25. And Wii Fit.
24. And Dr. Mario on the Wii.
23. And a husband who introduces me to such things.
24. Edy's Slow Churned.
23. Time off.
22. Friends who get it.
21. Minnie Dog chasing flies.
20. Buying in bulk.
19. Loose fat jeans.
18. Coke Zero.
17. Ryan's laugh.
16. Happy Birthday voicemails.
15. Ryan's giftwrapping skills.
14. The new privacy fence.
13. That 2008 is half over.
12. Vacation anticipation.
11. Gift Cards.
10. Family.
9. Super Target down the street.
8. Strawberry Lemonade
7. Cheetos - all natural.
6. Hugs.
5. Air conditioning.
4. Having enough.
3. Hope, even in the midst of extreme heartache.
2. Love, even when I'm hard to be with.
1. Ryan.

I cried a lot this weekend. Cried a lot today. But I know this is only a season, only a blip in what I hope is a long and happy life. And truly, I'm much more than a number. Much more than 34. I'm Thirty Fortunate.

Friday, June 06, 2008


#1 - I can't seem to watch anything but Top Chef without crying. Seems like every movie, TV show, infomercial and dirty reality farce has some sort of baby storyline aimed directly at my ovaries.

#2 - A year ago my sister-in-law gave me a bracelet that had gotten her through some "will it ever happen for me" roughness. It's a silver link bracelet inscribed with the verse from Matthew that says "Ask and Ye Shall Receive". It was an amazingly thoughtful gesture and I immediately put it around the gear shift in my car so I would see it every day, partly for the message and mostly to remember that there are those who understand. And who love me. This afternoon I got into my car to leave work and noticed that the links were scattered around the gear shift. Apparently the interior bands holding the links together had dissolved into nothingness. And ok, it's been hot lately. Sure, it's been so hot my flip-flops have nearly melted while watering my roses. Yes, it's been August-in-Miami, seventh-level-of-hell, Graham-from-The-Bachelorette HOT. But. I had no idea it was hot enough to melt wishes and dreams.

#3 - I ran into an old (and dear!) friend at Costco with her gorgeous (gorgeous!) 3 year old daughter. Upon seeing me, her daughter said, "Where's your baby?"

Where indeed.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Yet Another Reason

Old Life Motto: Don’t Go In The Water.

New Life Motto: Don’t Sleepwalk In Homes That Feature Sharks As Wall Art

British Teen Suffers Painful Shark Attack in His Bedroom

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

One unlucky British teen suffered a painful shark attack without ever going near the water. In fact, he was bitten in the face by one of the sharp-fanged animals in his own bedroom, reported.

The “attack” happened at 14-year-old Sam Hawthorne’s home in Dudley, England.

Hawthorne was sleepwalking when the teeth of a dead souvenir shark from a family vacation, that hangs on the wall of his nautical-themed bedroom, became embedded in his face.

The teeth left blood pouring from the teen’s face, his mother, Susan, told

“It was like something out of a horror film,” she said. “The shark must have been embedded in Sam's cheek for about 15 minutes and he was in a lot of pain.”

In the end, Hawthorne came away with only a small scar. “It was the most frightening experience of my life,” he told

Ya'll, seriously. As if I didn't have enough to worry about.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Today was full of tears. And sadness. Not all of it was personal Jo sadness, but sadness nonetheless. At the end of the day we got news that a friend lost his daughter in an accident. Words don't really seem to suffice. I can't seem to think of anything else to say.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Apocolypse Can't Be Far Behind

I've joined Twitter. Please don't ask me what it is because I don't really know much more than that it's a way to bore you even further with my inane drivel. Now on your cell!

My first Twitter is about nachos, natch. Foreshadowing! Beware!

P.S. Are you Twittering? Better yet, is Twittering a word? Sounds like something my HR department would classify as sexual harrassment. Inappropriate or not, if you're doing it let me know so we whatever it is. Together. Like friends, or something.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

If At First You Don't Succeed

So it's nearly June and we're all wondering if things are going to get better. If the Great Shift of 2008 is ever going to happen. If grey skies are gonna clear up, or something. I can say, a new Lost episode certainly helps matters. Although now I'm all HOW IS HE GOING TO MOVE THE ISLAND every other minute.

Oh yeah, and three more people are pregnant. This should not come as a surprise. It's been raining babies since December 2006. Since then I've had seventeen (or is it eighteen? nineteen?) babies come into my life. And I'm only counting friends, not all the babies I know about. My fridge looks like the bulletin board at my gynecologist's office - here a baby, there a baby, everywhere a FREAKING BABY. But I do love them, the babies. Each one of them is special to me and precious and I would never wish them to be anything different than exactly what they are...or where...or when, specifically. I'm not (exactly) jealous of my friends and their babies. Not harboring resentment towards my nieces. Have nothing but total love for each gurgle and new tooth. Love to see them. Love to hold them. Love to babysit. Love to get new photos for my fridge/wall of babies.

But it's hard.

Everyone I know (yes, EVERYONE) seems to be getting on with it. Starting families. Having their second or third or fourth baby. Meanwhile I'm here hanging out with Madam Vaginismus and her violent mood swings. She's mean, that one. You never know what she wants, never can seem to appease her. One day you think you've got her figured out, think you can finally be friends. Then suddenly she flies into a rage worthy of an Oscar nomination. But you're not applauding.

And it's becoming harder not to talk about it. I've reached an age and a point in my marriage where casual friends and co-workers are starting to ask the inevitable. So when are you guys going to have kids? Are you trying?

I hate that phrase..."trying". The polite way to ask if you're having sex ten days after your period. What do you want from me, a schedule? A flow chart of my flow chart and if I'm ovulating and how often my husband and I...try? There's no other moment in life when people so freely ask about your most personal. When did it become ok to ask this? To assume that trying is easy? And for some of my friends it is that easy. Their husbands give them "the look" and suddenly they see two pink lines instead of one. They say "we didn't even try!" and giggle as if we're all part of the inside joke.

If only.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Moral of the Story

I just had an email conversation with Kelley that ended with me saying this:

"It's never ok to eat fish at 10am no matter WHAT the cleaning crew did in your office last night."

Folks, the rest of the week is going to have a tough time coming up with something better than that. Wednesday wins.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What Is This, the Bachelor?

In the spirit of giving, Ryan and I decided to christen our new grill tonight. Nevermind the fact that we got it for Christmas and haven't used it yet. Or the fact the neither of us have ever technically used a grill before. How hard can it be? You put some meat on and flip it a few times. It's not often Ryan and I get to spend the evening together what with him working nights and me days so we were both pretty excited about the whole Grill Out Extravaganza.


Remember last summer when I told you about my neighbors? The ones with the above ground pool? The ones with the backyard that connects to Illingworth Manor? The ones who were DOING IT (yes, it) in the pool while I was trying to walk Minnie Dog like a normal person?

They recently upgraded.

To a hot tub.

That they were in.


During the Grill Out Extravaganza.

Here's the thing. I don't find it particularly appetizing to see Neighbor Al with his back hair blowing in the evening breeze. Not even a citronella candle can cover up that mess.

If you would like to donate to the Illingworth Manor Privacy Fence, we accept.

P.S. In the spirit of fairness (cause today we're all about the spirit and being in it) I should tell you that Ryan just pointed out that the neighbors are probably right this second thinking "OH SURE! The FIRST NIGHT we get our sexy new hot tub THEY decide to suddenly USE THEIR GRILL and HANG OUT OUTSIDE even though they haven't used their porch in the ENTIRE THREE YEARS they have lived here. THAT'S IT! WE ARE GETTING A PRIVACY FENCE!" The neighbors, they like to talk in all caps while soaking inappropriately.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

It starts with THE because there's only one

While in the meat section of The Super Target a desperate woman ambushes me from behind and whispers one inch from my ear "Have you EVER bought meat here?" as if the very idea of buying meat from Target will cause a third eye to sprout from her toddler's forehead and DCS to come a knockin'. I say "...Yes?"

Also, I grew these! (The roses, not the neices.)


Friday, May 09, 2008

This Time You've Gone Too Far


So it's May now and we're almost half-way through our tumultuous relationship. Is it a relationship? It feels more like being in front of a firing squad of sloppy drunks - lots of bullets flying around with most of them hitting me right where it hurts. I thought that by now you would be out of ammunition. Over it. Done with the whole Worst Year Ever campaign. But, no. Since I last wrote to you I've had a friend lose her father, a friend's boyfriend lose his mother in a tragic car accident, friends and family whose divorce proceedings have gotten ugly - real ugly. Several....(sigh).....

Look. I'm not even going to go into because you already know. It's been bad.

Oh sure, there have been some happy moments. Some laughs. I've even thought about talking about some of those rare happy moments here on the ole' blog but right as I'm about to hit "publish" you go and screw everything up. What is your deal?

And sure, I'm trying to rise above it. Trying to ignore you and your evil ways. Trying to focus on the positive and all that crap. Trying to muddle through. But this time, you've gone and done something I cannot forgive. Something so heinous I wonder if I should even speak it into existence. Something so harsh, so hurtful, so DEVASTATING that I'm not even sure I can continue this relationship. You have been very, very bad.

Don't shrug your shoulders at me. I've got you this time. There's no other explanation for this atrocity other than your downright lack of common decency.


How could you stoop so low? You almost made Ryan cry for Locke's sake.

It's inexcusable.

I officially, without question, hate your guts.


Monday, April 28, 2008

Can't Stop

Eating Doritos
Watching Samantha Who (seriously? LOVE it)
Wearing flip-flops even though there's a freeze tonight
Wearing black and grey
Texting (what am I, twelve?)
Watching Rob & Big
Mourning the loss of Rob & Big
Telling Tivo to NEVER delete my episodes of Rob & Big
Wishing Rob & Big lived on my street
Wondering how the heck I'll get it all done
Thinking about my mid-thirties
Missing my nieces
Caring Less
Drinking Diet A&W Root Beer
Fearing the election
Fearing the inevitable
Wishing Ryan and I had the same schedule

Sunday, April 27, 2008


If I'm sitting in the Walgreens Pharmacy waiting area sporting greasy hair and yesterday's clothes barely able to sit up in my chair from the sheer agony of my closed nostrils and burning throat of fire and I'm forced to listen to the Walgreens Pharmacy DVD where Dr. Lisa keeps telling me over and over how to take prescriptions properly and the only thing I care about is GETTING my prescription so I can go home and die...

And if you're a ten year old boy wearing Husky jeans and mustard on your face and one million questions What's That! Who's That! Where's That! How's That! and constantly touching the condom packages with the questions and shouting and your two brothers who are equally as husky and annoying are hovering and touching me and stopping and starting the DVD and jumping on the chairs and complaining and coughing and causing me to think the prescription isn't worth it and I should just leave and risk dying...

Please do not sit next to me.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Thank You Please

You know you're at a classic Chinese dive when you bite into the "Oreo Fluff" and it's straight up Cool Whip with crushed up generic chocolate sandwich cookies mixed in.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Warning: Obvious Observations Ahead

This week 2008 has done an amazing job letting me know that I am in complete control.


It's funny really. Right about the moment I think that things in life are starting to make sense, starting to flow, I'm sucker punched with NO! You know NOTHING! You control NADA! (Yes, 2008 is bilingual. So annoying.)

But honestly, the lack of control has little to do with the ultimate battle. It's really about the colorful displays of pure UGH currently being hurled in every direction, touching nearly everyone I know and care about. These past 92 days (and nights!) 2008 has dished out more than I care to take. Divorce. Cancer. Job loss. Financial struggle. Death. Fertility drama. Sickness. Betrayal. Depression. Through it all I've been reminded that you can never assume anything. Lately my friends have been a daily dose of pure wow - dealing with things that would split me in half. Some of them have faced their demons with an obvious false bravado, losing before the game even comes out of the box. Others have been plugging along - almost flying below the radar. But as each day passes their quiet strength becomes more and more evident. All of them impress me, no matter how they handle the pressure. They're despondent but full of hope. Careful while careless. Mature and impossibly childish. Totally broken and fiercely unbreakable - all at once.

The other day a friend (who's having a particularly heinous go of it lately) said to me, "I've prayed it all. I've said every prayer you can say, done everything I can do. I give up. God's going to do what God's going to do." I think a lot of us feel this way. It's hard to wait for rain when you're stranded in the desert. Hard to trust the future, to leave it in God's hands, when today feels like forever.

Bottom line is that no matter what we're all still here. And He's still here. Whether or not things get better. Knowing full well that they may not. Are we frazzled, yes. Tossed to and fro to the point of exhaustion, sure. Over it, absolutely. But we're still here. Seeing the daily struggles my friends are facing, and walking through it with them, has been nothing but encouraging to me. I've had the opportunity to see the many layers stripped away, public inhibitions abandoned, lifelong insecurities ignored, to see the real depth. And I'm learning that every single person has more to offer than you'd expect. And sometimes it's scary...sometimes pretty ugly....often times inspiring. But always...ALWAYS surprising.

And I love surprises.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This

Me and Ryan

Watching The Biggest Loser

On a giant flat screen

In Burger King

Eating onion rings

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Why We Are Kindreds

"On the plane ride to Heaven there will be an endless loop of Lost episodes...and the headphones will be free!"
-Kelley Kirker


Friday, April 04, 2008

Thanks A Lot Oprah

Ok. Did you watch Oprah yesterday? DID YOU? I mean.......




All I can say it this.

It's official. Everyone, EVERYONE, is pregnant but me.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

....but it's enough

Even though I'm probably the last person on earth I finally watched the fabulous Irish film Once. I'm pretty sure it made my heart seep out of my eyes and my ears. So much so that after the credits rolled I watched it again a second time making Ryan watch with me. Proof that there are good moments left for us all. That music does still have the power to transcend. That there's movement left in this empty heart of mine.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Title of This Post is PBBBBBBTTTTTT

Ya'll, seriously.

I'm a little tired of the whole "I Hate 2008" campaign I have going on here. I've been working up the nerve to write a post about how things are on the up. I've lost 5.5 pounds (P.S. the hardest 5.5 pounds I've ever lost in my 33 years), I spent Saturday with some of the best women I know - women who knew me when and know me now and love me anyhow (is that a country song?), I got to adequately squeeze both of my cute cute cute nieces, Rob & Big, Tim Gunn getting weepy on The Biggest Loser, spring, reaching goals at work (and surpassing!) and maybe some other stuff. I even thought things might be changing...thought I might actually invite 2008 to movie night and see how things go.



No, no, no. And that's the thing with 2008. He's a crafty devil, smacking me upside the head with juicy badness at the exact moment I decide to let my guard down. Rendering me (and my blog) a lifeless heap.

2008, listen up. Quit playing games with my heart.

Or else.

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Willing Subject

Ryan has never been much of a tech guy and is generally far behind the trends that even soccer moms have moved on from using. Before me, he thought iPods were useless and Tivo was a brand of TV dinners. For the longest time Ryan has had the most ghetto cell phone ever. The only bell and whistle it possessed was the ability to make calls without a phone cord. No camera, no video, no color, etc.... I could care less but Ryan's lack of updated phone technology was a huge embarrassment for his hi-tech friends. Recently one of his friends upgraded and decided to give Ryan his "old" phone. A phone that's so "old" and "out of date" that all it does is take photos and videos and has a texting keyboard and ringtones galore and can probably do your taxes if asked nicely. Now everyday Ryan plays me a new ringtone he's downloaded or specialized text message alarm or voicemail beep. And the photos. Ya'll, the photos! The new cell phone has awakened Ryan's inner photographer. He can turn on the camera mode faster than you can scream DON'T TAKE MY PICTURE I HAVE A HUGE ZIT RIGHT NOW!

Lucky for me, I don't have to scream that. Because it isn't me he's so desperate to's the one true love of his life.

Minnie 3

Minnie 1

Minnie 2

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Plot Thickens

An IM conversation with Ryan this afternoon:

GlamJo: Look at this news story!! Link
GlamJo: ....just another reason to not go in the water
RyanIsAwesome: what the heck
RyanIsAwesome: so it jumped out of the water....and killed a person
GlamJo: OUT.
GlamJo: OF.
GlamJo: THE.
GlamJo: WATER.
RyanIsAwesome: if the sharks catch wind of this....
RyanIsAwesome: there will be no hope

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

But It Kinda Gave Me A Rash

Ryan and I got invited to a birthday party, or more accurately, a Birthday Moustache Bash. And this is what happened.

Stache Bash 006

I have to say, the Stache Bash looks good on the Illingworths. Under-eye baggage. Red eyes. Oily skin. A skin color that doesn't occur in nature. Yes....I think this is the look we will now adopt for any and all future parties.

Also, making out with fake moustaches? Hot.


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Nice Try

OK 2008. I can see that you're trying to reach out. Trying to disguise yourself as an alright kinda guy. And I'll's been a good effort:

-Christian won Project Runway
-Ryan got a raise
-Lost has been better than ever
-Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii
-Success at work
-Super Target is finally open...and glorious

But listen, it's going to take more than that to win me over.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Yes, Still

Dear 2008,

I hate you.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Even Though the Ticket Counter at Thoroughbred Cinemas Thinks I Look Sixteen

WebMD just sent me an email entitled:

Going Gray, Staying Gorgeous!

I can't decide if I should be flattered that they assume I'm attractive, or freaked out that they've somehow seen my hairline and were concerned enough to send me a charming email about how to fix my problem.......


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Storm Tracker 2008

So ok, things are still a bit...ugh times three. 2008 and I are still in a standoff, neither of us willing to budge from our respective corners. Neither of us willing to give the other any credit, instead just seething at each other and making empty threats. My sick friends are still sick. My heartbroken friends are still heartbroken. Writers are still on strike. We still don’t know who Jacob is. Work is still work. And Madam Vaginismus still has her claws imbedded deep into my marital social life. Never mind the fact that it’s raining babies everywhere I look. What is up with all the babies? Of course, maybe it’s like being on a diet. The second you decide no more fries! you see five commercials an hour about hot, salty, glorious fries. Maybe I wouldn’t notice all the babies if I weren’t so ready to have one. Also, if there weren’t so many. Seriously, I’ve had seventeen friends give birth recently. That’s double digits, ya’ll. If you’re trying to get pregnant, come and sit next to me. Every woman in my general vicinity is guaranteed to be great with child before I can even ovulate. Except that lately I’m not ovulating at all. And in case you’re counting, that’s two strikes. And that’s enough for me...I’m out.

It feels a bit like a hamster wheel...running and running towards something that just isn’t there. Striving and searching and hoping in general. But the badness continues to pile up. And up. These days my friends and I are getting stuck on the giant life questions – what does it all mean? Why doesn’t God answer prayer? Why doesn’t my husband want to love me anymore? Why can’t I get pregnant? Why did I get cancer so young? Why are some things so easy for others and so hard for me?

Last night a line of storms came through Tennessee bringing with them all the rage and anger that feels appropriate for this time of year. During the first line of storms a tornado touched down at my old college campus and completely destroyed some of the dorms. Looking through photos of the wreckage I saw that my old dorm room was one of the worst hit. A room that has always held such significance for me. I feel like I grew up there, became who I am today. Discovered the world and my small place in it. That room was my jumping off place. And now it’s gone. A storm came through and wiped clean any evidence of my time there.

In some ways, I wish a tornado could roar through my current state and wipe the slate clean. Rip the roof off and let everything

Just go.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Don't Wanna Be Your Monkey Wrench

For Christmas I gave Ryan Foo Fighter tickets. Ryan loves the Foo Fighters. And I knew he would all but freak over the tickets. Which he did. Which is also why I got us floor/general admission tickets. I knew when I bought these tickets that I would not enjoy this scenario. Sweaty bodies pressing themselves upon me, pushing and shoving, is not my idea of a good time. I'm in my mid-thirties, ok? But floor/general admission also means you're closer to the action and this was for Ryan. I was trying to think of others and be filled with Christmas spirit and stuff.

The moment we arrived the kids behind us were talking about how many bowls they should have smoked before the show. And then people blew smoke in my face. And then a strange man hit on Ryan. And then the shoving began. And the pushing. And the suffocating. Most of the show I could only see the sweaty armpit of the large man in front of me...the large man who hadn't showered in a few days. And several people were kind enough to grope my butt without my permission. And everyone felt free with the cursing and the screaming.

But ok, the band was great (what I could see) and Dave Grohl was hot (from what I could tell) but mostly what I learned is the one thing I've known for a long time.

Do Not.

P.S. 2008, I still hate you.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

An Open Letter to 2008

Dear 2008,

Look, we need to talk. I can't even start off with the how-are-you pleasantries or where's-the-flying-cars-I-thought-you-would-have-by-now brouhaha. It's time for some tough love, 2008. Time to get real.

You are wearing me RIGHT. OUT.

I realize our relationship is new. We've only known each other for a couple weeks now but seriously. I'm about done. The chaos, the break-ups, the divorces, the troubling ovulation news, the working late, the unending writer's strike...the snow for crying out loud! The snow that made Minnie Dog bark and freak out with wonder. The snow that I normally would have taken photos of...would have taken video of Minnie frolicking in...but I was too busy! Too busy dealing with YOU and all the PROBLEMS you've brought. What is wrong with you?

We've got a long way to go together, 2008. But if we keep going at this pace I am not going to make it. I don't have time to see my friends. Or my husband. I don't have time to read or write blogs! I feel like you're trying to cram a year's worth of stress, drama and badness into one day.

Ease up will ya?

I'm raising the white flag over here. Calling for a truce. Asking you for one tiny break.

Could we be friends?


(2007, if you're reading this, I'm sorry for all the nasty things I said about you. I didn't mean it. Please come back. I miss you.)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Happy New Year, Ya'll

I do realize, you know. I realize that my blog looks like one of those crazy houses with all the Christmas lights still lit up. I've been absent, with my crazy candy canes half blown over and my icicle lights falling off the gutters. And I'm sorry about that. I've had good intentions. I've had lots of posts in my head. Lots of interesting things to tell you. Lots of pointless observations to make. So why haven't I written? Where have I been? I'll tell you.






....also, we got a Wii.


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