7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 206)

February 8, 2013 | 33 comments

— 1 —

Aaaaaaaand it’s a wrap! The third and final episode of Minor Revisions aired last night and, as always, it was tons of fun to live-tweet it with a bunch of other folks. The surprise hit of the evening was my conversation with our parish’s adult education director, Noe Rocha, in which he told the story of how God delivered him from his life as a bordertown heroin dealer (starting with him walking into a priest’s office with the intention of hustling him out of enough money to buy a gram of heroin). The best quote of the whole series is what that priest said to him in that moment: “I’m not telling you that Jesus has all the answers. I’m telling you that he’s your only answer.”

If you missed it, you absolutely have to watch the archived version when it’s up, if nothing else to see that scene.

— 2 —

But I know what you’re all really wondering about: “WHERE CAN I GET ONE OF THOSE MUGS?”

As you know, the artist behind their creation is a mysterious man of the arts who has henceforth refused to go commercial with his work. However, with much pleading about the good it would do for humanity, I finally convinced him to set up a Cafepress shop. You can buy your own mug here.

— 3 —

Earlier this week I was complaining to Joe about some scheduling issues I was having with live-tweeting the show, and agonizing about how certain scenes would play out. It occurred to me that this officially makes me queen of the #FirstWorldProblems meme. You think you know what First World Problems are? Excuse me while I chuckle condescendingly. You don’t know First World Problems until you find yourself STRESSED OUT ABOUT YOUR REALITY SHOW.

— 4 —

Melanie’s book comes out today!!!!! For those of you who aren’t familiar with her, she blogs at Big Mama and has written a memoir about motherhood called Sparkly Green Earrings. I was lucky enough to get an advance copy, and let me tell you, it is fantastic.

As you know, I have been a student of the blog-to-memoir genre for many a moon now, so I am something of an armchair expert on this subject. And I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone make the transition more flawlessly. It has the effortless, light tone of her website, yet is polished enough that it doesn’t read like copied and pasted blog posts. Also — and this might be the hardest thing of all for a writer to pull off — she is even funnier in the book than she is on her blog! I was reading it during some extremely rare time for me to sit by myself in a coffee shop a few weeks ago, and I actually had to cut my precious cafe time short because I kept laughing out loud and disturbing the people sitting near me.

If you’re looking for a book that’s funny, inspiring, super easy to read, and will make you feel a little less alone in this craziness we call motherhood, go buy this now. It’s not just a great memoir by a blogger, it’s a great memoir, period.

— 5 —

Joe pointed out the other day that this is his first year as a CPA. He warned me that he’s going to be doing intense work alongside a more experienced CPA to overcome the last of his learning curve, and told me that I should basically not plan to see him much from mid-March until April 16. He had forgotten one little thing: we have a new baby coming the first week of April.

We’re now trying to figure out what we’re going to do about that. He’s pretty sure he can take the day off for the birth, though I wouldn’t be shocked if he brought some forms to look over while I’m in labor (which would actually be fine with me, since I’m more into Tupac and epidurals than supportive gestures from my husband as pain management techniques). But the last few weeks of this pregnancy and the first couple of weeks after the baby’s born should be…interesting.

— 6 —

I’m trying to think of something to give up for Lent that will challenge me spiritually without expecting too much of myself. I asked Joe what he was giving up, and he looked up from cleaning vomit out of the carpet from one of the latest stomach-flu-related incidents, stared into the distance, and said, “There’s nothing left to give up. My life is Lent.” I’ll, uhh, wait until he feels like there are a few fewer snakes on his plane to bring it up again.

— 7 —

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who voted in Bonnie’s “Sheenazing” Blog Awards! I was delighted to see that 7 Quick Takes won Best Link-Up EVAH. I was a little surprised to see that I won Coolest Blogger, though. You do know I still listen to Backstreet Boys, right?



  1. Katrina

    Couldn’t watch the episode tonight, but I can’t wait for it to be archived. And I sure do feel for Joe’s Lent life! What a funny (but not so funny to him) reply. Good luck with the new baby/busy husband! I’m sure help will be offered from all around!

  2. Joy

    #4 I’m going to have to check it out!! That looks/ sounds great! I am in desperate need of good reading material right now.
    #6 Seriously cracked me up. Poor Joe…

    But, truly, I’m praying for you daily. Hope you continue to heal.

  3. nancyo

    I caught Minor Revisions on the midnight re-run and it was the best episode of a really good series! I cried right along with you at the end (and also teared up when Noe was telling his story) (and it was so weird to see his name written because those are my initials and I’ve gone by “NOE” for years!)

  4. Jenn @ Home is Where

    Ha! Number 3 had me laughing- how fit for the times, eh? and Number 5…I have memories of giving birth and my husband standing in the window at the hospital with a big sheet of blue-prints rolled out and talking on his phone about a job he was managing — at the window because he got better phone reception!

    happy Friday! 🙂

  5. Kelly

    Huh. We often have felt that our lives are Lent, but since you are way ahead of us now I guess we’ll have to admit our lives are maybe just conveniently penitential enough for ,say, a Friday. Darn!

  6. The Boring Blogger

    Best line ever, ” My life is Lent!” I think sometimes that is all too true! Maybe he should join my son in his lenten idea of “giving up cleaning up stuff.”

  7. Colleen

    When I used to work as a tax accountant, we used to call our spouses “tax widows” during tax season. Poor Joe, and poor you. I don’t miss those hours at all!

  8. Laura

    Great show last night! Congrats on the book, can’t wait to read yours. I think I might have to get Melanie’s too 🙂 I’ve said the exact same line as Joe just recently. I’m having a hard time trying to figure that out too 🙂
    God Bless.

  9. Mamabearjd

    I like to say “oh I’m a lawyer/CPA but I’m taking a break while the kids are little,” which translates to “I will keep having babies and homeschool them until retirement age so I never have to look at the tax code again!!!” But keep my secret.

  10. LR @ Magnificent or Egregious

    That really is the best line ever – “My Life is Lent!” Awesome. That’s the way I’ve been feeling this year too.

    I really enjoyed your reality show and I completely teared up when you talked about your book after chatting with your agent. Count me among the first who will buy a copy – your writing has really inspired me.

  11. Scott Alt

    My life does feel like Lent most days; truer words … I was thinking for a while that the best question to ask myself before deciding what to give up for Lent was: “What am I most attached to here that I can’t take with me there?” Realizing that the only true answer to those questions was either “my books” or “my cat,” and realizing that I wasn’t about to go without either of them for 40 days, I have now returned to the same state of perplexity you are in. I might have to resort to a penance more mild, like scourging myself daily with a flagrum. But I do like the idea of choosing something that would force me into a spirit of detachment from the things of this world.

  12. Deanna

    Lent: a friend of mine used to say, don’t make a plan for Lent, let God plan it and he will send you whatever you need to work on and then do it without complaining.

  13. Cate

    The fact that there is a “destroyed the dragon with all of my love” baby blanket available at Cafe Press pretty much made my day.

  14. Katrina

    Hey I blast a little Backstreet boys once in awhile too, so I think it’s cool. Great show last night, my hubby and I watched it. It was great to have a reality TV show that we didn’t have to turn off because someone was cursing, flipping tables or throwing drinks so thank you 🙂

  15. J.R. Baldwin

    I think everyone needs one of those mugs!! And I feel you about the baby… my Dad is a tax attorney, and I think there is a very good reason no babies came after March 12 and before July in our house!!

  16. Kelly M.

    Okay, so I’ve put Melanie’s book on my to read list and her blog in my reader feed. What other blog to memoir books should I be reading? I just finished ‘Bloom’ by Kelle Hampton and have the Bloggess book on my list too.

  17. Laura @ (frmr) Show Me a Day

    My dad was a CPA growing up and we just didn’t see him from Feb-Apr. So, sorry: Joe is most likely right.

    ALSO….yes to already “feeling” Lent this year–before it’s begun. For what it’s worth, we’re focusing on what we’re grateful this year rather than giving up. AKA: Jesus gave us Dave Ramsey. And Dave Ramsey is already making me give up enough this year…lol.

  18. Agnes

    I haven’t watched the 3rd episode yet but I just spent 2 hours watching the first 2 episodes and O MY GOD they are amazing! Inspiring, entertaining, funny! You’re such an amazing woman Jen! They made me tear up several times! I love you

  19. Liz

    Too funny about your first world problems!! I had to laugh at that one; and about the Lent comment. I think my husband could completely empathize!

  20. Michelle

    Your husband’s response to your question about lenten sacrifice reminds me of how I’ve been feeling lately. I need to get it in gear. 🙂 Can’t wait to watch the archive shows!!

  21. Jenna@CaIllHerHappy

    I’m pretty sure BSB is the reason you won.

    Also, so upset I missed part 3 last night. Totally can’t wait for the archived edish. I will pop popcorn and send you annoying amounts of tweets. Be ready.

    And, check out the blog Held By His Pierced Hands. She just did a redonk list on Lenten sacrifice. There has to be something there. Something!

  22. Carol

    My brother-in-law, father of nine, always says, “penance will be provided.” Joe is in good company.

  23. Dwija {House Unseen}

    Sometimes I think all that’s left is “I’m going to give up saying awful things while I clean up vomit”. Because really? I think Joe might be on to something.

  24. Sarah B.

    My husband asked me the same thing and I said, “I’m infertile. I’m living it.” Yep. When you are giving up your dreams for your family month after month after month, a little bit of chocolate seems laughable.

  25. Bonnie

    Poor Joe!!! “My life is Lent.” No kidding. I can only imagine what all of this has been like for him; five very young kids, one on the way, wife with life threatening blood clots, work pressing in, unexpected hospital and drug bills, tax season, vomiting—yikes! Man, that narrow road sure can get steep and rough. God bless him, a thousand times, and get him through this. Hang in there Joe. Lots of prayers coming your way.

  26. Joanne

    i had some FirstWorldProblems this week too… and one problem that kinda brought it into perspective!

  27. Alice

    I can’t believe I missed the final episode! I forgot about it and we ended up watching a really boring Hercule Poirot episode instead. I suppose I’ll just have to wait until it’s on YouTube.

  28. Sister Anne

    Loved the show! But what I really wanted to share relates to Joe’s tax-season commitments and the impending arrival of Little Boy Fulwiler. About 50 years ago, my dad was a young attorney in a small firm that did a lot of income tax work. When he informed the senior partner that Flanagan #5 was on the way, the reply came, “As long as the kid isn’t born on April 15!”
    Guess when my brother’s birthday is.

  29. Becky

    Oh dear. The Backstreet Boys. 🙂 That’s okay, lately I’m liking One Direction.

    Can I suggest trying to add something in for Lent? I’ve been doing the Stations of the Cross ever since my Dad died 2 and a half years ago, and I’ve gotta tell you, it has helped me progress in my spirituality than any other prayer I have done. Praying the Stations has helped me become more repentant for my sins as well as have more clarity of what my sins are and why I commit them. It has helped me develop a relationship with the Blessed Mother, because it’s almost impossibly not to develop one, seeing that she was with Jesus every step of the Way. I didn’t get all this right away–but over these past two years, I’ve realized how special the Stations are. In fact, since I already say them every Friday for my Dad, I’m going to say them every day for Lent.

    Just a suggestion! 🙂

  30. Brooke

    lol My husband said the same thing as Joe when I asked him about Lent earlier this week. Our twin boys were born last month (hence the late comment to this post), and I don’t think he’s done anything purely for himself since. Thank God for men like these two that put their families first and are willing to endure the rough times as well as the easy. Also, hope everything goes well with the new baby. We’ll be praying for y’all!

  31. gh

    I love your blog and want so much to love the videos. But I CAN’T HEAR YOU so often in them. If your sound people can’t make the dialog louder, could they at least lose the “background” “music” that drowns you out? Some segments are fine, but I miss enough to encourage me to just click off of the videos. I’d rather hear you and everyone else than listen to random percussion as I watch your lips move. Thanks for your consideration of this request. Sorry to be negative. You’re very inspirational and enjoyable to read. P.S. — I’m not hearing impaired, and considering how frustrating it is for me to watch the videos, I can imagine many people can’t enjoy them at all, even with the partial subtitles.

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