7 Quick Takes about recording things in hot cars, impending gala fails, and barely surviving the week

January 31, 2014 | 87 comments

— 1 —

Joe has been working late all this week, so I’ve been living a life of Grace — not like supernatural assistance, though I’ve needed that too. Grace like Grace Patton. This thing of doing breakfast and lunch and dinner and bathtime and bedtime for a bunch of young children all by yourself, for multiple days in a row, all to the soundtrack of whines and screams…it is INTENSE.

I had to restrain myself from sending Grace encouraging texts like “how do u survive this bad life?” and “tell Simon to quit residency now because YOU CANNOT DO MUCH MORE OF THIS!!!!” Instead I just drank hot toddies and spent an obscene amount of time on Twitter.

— 2 —

What makes me even more lame is that I did have some help. After a long and sad babysitting drought, I’ve been able to have a wonderful family friend come to help. It struck terror into my heart when she recently mentioned that she might be allergic to our cat. I had the One-Eyed Cat for Sale eBay ad typed up in my mind before I even finished reading her text, but then I remembered that some people around here might have a problem with that:


Cat allergy people, what can we do about this? Would it work to have the cat stay upstairs while she’s here, or would it be better to burn down the house and reconstruct it out of allergen-free titanium that does not attract fur or dander? I’m open to all possibilities, because NO CAT SHALL STAND BETWEEN ME AND A GOOD BABYSITTER.

(Sorry for all the caps lock. It’s been a long week.)

— 3 —

Hey, my conversion story talk has been published by Lighthouse! You can get it now by joining their CD of the Month Club, which has some great stuff. If you have big questions about theology or morality or prayer or other deep subjects, Lighthouse is a fantastic resource. They have tons of short talks by brilliant and talented people (and me), and the content is entertaining in addition to covering fascinating subject matter. If you don’t do the CD of the Month club and just want to get my talk, you can do so March 1.

— 4 —

I recorded that talk in my car. In the garage. In the middle of summer. Speaking into an extremely sensitive microphone was a journey of discovery in which I realized that there is not a single silent place in this house — even in the upstairs closet it still sounded like I was recording in a house of horrors with really whiney ghosts. So I ended up in my car.

It was about 10, 000 degrees in the garage, and even hotter in the vehicle. All through the talk I fought being distracted by sweat dripping into my eyes and the occasional glance of a moldy milk bottle sticking out from under a seat. When I came back inside, it looked more like I’d been wrestling crocodiles than recording a conversion story.

When you hear it, you’ll have to tell me if you can hear the impending heat stroke in my voice.

— 5 —

We’re very close to signing a contract for the new venue for the conference, at which point we’ll finally be able to tell you all the fabulous details! Funny story about the previous location that fell through:

When I first toured the property, the friendly manager asked me a bit about my event. I was extremely distracted by chasing my children, who were acting like homeschooled shut-ins who were awed to experience the amazing outside world (oh, wait…), but I managed to get out that I have a partner named Hallie, we each have six kids, we’re only inviting women, people will pay to attend, and there may be a contest involving ridiculous prizes based on outrageous dress.

When we were done with the tour, she asked if I’d like to book the place for my wedding. When I explained that it’s not a wedding, she was flummoxed. With a description like that, what other type of occasion could it be?

We’re very open-minded here in Austin.

— 6 —

Joe and I are going to the Austin Bar Association Gala tomorrow. It’s a fancy black-tie event where I will know nobody, so it’s right up my alley. (How it can possibly be that I am a super-introvert who would happily go to something like this every weekend, I will never understand.) Anyway, it’s an endless source of entertainment when I’m at an event where people know Joe and his resumeΒ but do not know me. I have the following conversation every ten minutes:

THEM: Are you also an attorney?
ME: No.
THEM: Did you meet at Yale?
ME: No.
THEM: Did you also go to business school at Stanford?
ME: No.
THEM: Ah. Where did you say you work again? [Clearly expecting me to say that I’m an investment banker who runs a tech startup on the side, since that’s who someone like Joe must be married to.]
ME: I don’t. Although I got what was either snot or vomit out of this one part of the couch today, if you count that.
THEM: [Awkward silence.]
ME: I have a blog.

— 7 —

If I were to offer an ebook freebie, what would you want it to be about? Here’s why I ask:

I’m putting together a virtual goodie bag as a thank-you to everyone who pre-orders the book, and I’m creating some new content to offer as short ebooks. I already have a couple of ideas in the works, but I’m not sure if they’ll pan out, so I’d like to hear your suggestions. Is there any topic I could address that would make a good, short book (about 20 – 30 pages)? If there’s anything I could write that would be helpful to you, please let me know!

UPDATED TO ADD: You should know that I am eagerly awaiting your answers to this one, because I know that you’re not going to be able to resist making suggestions like How to Fail at Killing Scorpions on Carpet.



  1. Margo

    Super pumped to hear sweat-soaked conversion story! As for #6, just be like “yes, I’m THE Jennifer Fulwiler, nationally-known blogging goddess of the Catholic universe and I’m a TV star on the side (you know since you’ve been on EWTN)” πŸ˜€

    Wow! I totally just noticed the tiny footnote at the bottom of the site about Joe dressing up like a banana, now that’s how he should dress for the gala!

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      Hmm. Maybe I’ll try out that line at the gala. I’ll report back on how it’s received. πŸ™‚

      And the banana outfit idea is genius, although I suppose he’d need to wear a bow-tie with it since it’s a formal event.

  2. Maia

    “I have a blog.” I am (silently) howling. (The baby is nursing, and I’ve already woken her up once tonight laughing at a blog post. So my shoulders are shaking. This doesn’t bode well.)

  3. Leila@LittleCatholicBubble

    Oh, man, the sweaty-car-for-silence trick! Mine is the hot garage while pacing ’round the cars, but I can’t figure out how to lock people in the house, so it doesn’t always work.

  4. Considerer

    Just make sure you always have antihistamine tabs ready for your babysitters!

  5. Joanne@Our ABC Life

    When I was in Guatemala for a few summers there were some serious SCORPIONS – I shutter at the thought of them especially the blue one that was on the wall of the bed I was sleeping in – and the people used machetes to kill them. They worked quite well actually.

  6. Kathleen Basi

    I had the solo parenting gig for one day and let’s just say I didn’t handle it with grace.

    As to internet freebies I’d go for the scorpions. But as for useful suggestions, I’m still half asleep…

  7. Erin

    re no 6 – Well now you can say, “I’m an author, my first book is currently in its final stages at the publishers” Don’t be like me and forget to worry about ‘what to wear’ until the 11th hour

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      Thanks for reminding me that I’ve been putting off the (mildly depressing) task of figuring out what I have to wear that would work for a black tie gala! Ugh.

  8. Kelly M.

    “Tips for hiding stains on your couch from guests”
    “Tips for using the stains on your couch to keep away guests”
    “Tips for masking that sour milk and B.O. smell in your minivan”
    “Spooky stories to tell after dark”-where you just reprint all your blog posts about scorpions and freakish stinging worm things
    “How to make carpet cleaning fun by calling it a science experiment and other tips for disguising chores”
    “Minor Revisions: What happened when the cameras weren’t running” – or what about a limited release DVD blooper real?
    “The Fulwiler’s garage, live and unplugged” – CD of phone interviews, conversion stories and screaming children loading into a minivan without shoes

    I’m here all night people! Try the veal and tip the waitress!

  9. Bonnie

    I’d love a book on YaYa. Or maybe you could write a little piece of historic fiction based on one of your dad or grandfather’s amazing experiences and associations. (Is this helpful? Or just lame?)

    “I have a blog” cracked me up.

    About the cats. Locking the cat upstairs while she’s there would probably only work if you also (deep) cleaned the first floor because it’s the dander that’s the problem. If she’s mildly allergic you could probably lock the cat away, dust with a wet rag all the hard surfaces, and sweep and mop well.
    Or gosh, you should just ask her. James is highly allergic to cats so maybe I’m a little more intense than is needed.

  10. Amelia @ One Catholic Mama

    As far as your cat goes, my SIL is allergic to cats and we have a cat, yet she has spent a considerable amount of time at our house. What we do, is we keep the cat closed off in another room while she is here. She takes some sort of medicine and she also avoids sitting on anything the cat sits on. This basically means she spends her time sitting on hard dining room chairs or our hard benches instead of the soft, comfy living room furniture. But it works.

    For your free e-book thing, I think you should write a detailed memoir of your recent pregnancy experience involving lots of needles and stabbing and whatnot. It would make everyone else feel better about their health problems.

    • Tracie

      I’m also moderately allergic to cats and my SIL has a cat. When we go there I try to remember to take a couple of Benadryl before we arrive and stay far away from their lower level (they live in a tri-level home) where the cat usually hides out. I’m kind of lucky in that their cat is pretty anti-social so I don’t usually have any trouble avoiding him, but I would definitely try to keep the cat in a different part of the house when she is there. I have heard that some people have more allergy trouble with some breeds of cats than others. I’m guessing it has something to do with long hair vs short hair. I do notice that I have less trouble at our friends’ house with their two cats than I have at my in laws’! I think it’s maybe because their cats enjoy being outside as well as my friend vacuuming a lot more frequently. πŸ˜‰

  11. Kelly@ A Mom for Life

    Nobody ever seems too bothered by our cat, even the allergics. Unless he is in one of his tearing-around-the-house-steeple-chase-moods. THen, only just a little.
    Yes. Number six. Yes.

  12. Kim

    My parents run an air purifier when my allergic husband goes over to their cat infested house, and it does seem to help.

    When attending social events I usually say ” I’m a professional mother”, which appears to be the fastest way to be socially dismissed. I’ve been relieved of many small talk obligations with that line.

  13. Christine

    For #7: an e-book about prayer tips would be helpful. (Or is that too blah?)

    You could always copy Tsh, and write about 20 things you’d tell your 20-year-old self. πŸ™‚ In fact, there is a post today about it:

    Or, you could write 20-things you’d tell your recently-converted self? (Perfect for people going through RCIA, but would still be interesting for us cradle Catholics, too.)

    Can’t wait to read your book! πŸ™‚

  14. Deanna

    I also love galas; my husband not so much.

  15. Colleen Martin

    Our babysitter is also allergic to our cat, but she just takes her allergy meds before she comes.

    And just say “I’m with him” when people ask you who you are. Every successful man needs a trophy wife, right? πŸ˜‰

    • Kelly M.

      Oh, I’m going to call myself a trophy wife from now on! Great idea Colleen.

      • Jeni

        ok genius. Trophy wife from here on out. forever.

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      Count me in for the Trophy Wife answer too. Although, if this day continues going like it has gone so far, people will think I mean “trophy” more in the “hunting wild boar” sense.

  16. Dorothy

    I must stop reading your 7 quick takes at work. People gather in my office to find out what is so funny that I laugh*snort*laugh, tears streaming down my cheeks. If all else fails, you must go into stand up comedy! Love you so much.

    • nancyo

      wow, thanks for this link. My daughter has been recently diagnosed with a severe cat allergy and my other daughter just acquired an abandoned feral cat.

  17. TheresaEH

    #6…carry a purse that will discreetly hold a Ziploc food container so you can sneak party goodies into for the kids lunch the next day πŸ˜‰

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      For some reason this made me laugh until I was just about to cry — probably because I would seriously think about doing it! (“What’s for lunch, mommy?” “Oh, just some filet mignon on toast bites and petite fours…”)

  18. Jenni

    For your freebie, I’d like something on “how to parent without having a pouty bad attitude and hiding in your closet all the time” you have a few posts that lean that direction.

    Also, did you know that there are toy stuffed scorpions??? I didn’t either until my two year old got one for his birthday. I can’t stand to touch the terrible scary thing!

  19. Heather

    I would love to see an ebook explore further a few posts you’ve done on the domestic monastery idea. Ie having hard stops in your day, etc.

  20. Marie Bernadette


    My fiance has two cats. I’m super-duper-allergic.
    I feel like maybe I should begin making “NO CAT SHALL STAND BETWEEN ME AND MY HUSBAND” posters as a way of helping us get to a decision. (There are NO easy decisions when it comes to pets, I’ve learned…)

  21. Erika

    #5 and #6 had me dying of laughter.

  22. Amy

    I want an ebook about your adventures in homeschooling!

    • Jeni

      oh me too!

  23. elizabethe

    Still waiting to be able to pre-order the kindle version. (fingers tapping….).

    Anyway, I’d like to see an ebook from you about homeschooling and how you made your schedule and how you adjust that schedule when things hit the fan during the school year. I don’t know if that would fill 40 pages, but I’d take a blog post on it, too.

  24. Jan

    How did you get away with a few minutes to do a recording? Even if I retreated to the car, in the garage and locked the door, at least one child would find me and stand outside, knocking on the window, gesturing wildly,and yelling about some emergency that happened yesterday that needed my attention-like a gallon of milk spilled on the kitchen floor or we are out of frozen pizzas. I’m impressed!

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      Joe had to be on duty by himself for HOURS. It was harder for him than it was for me I think!

  25. the other Becky

    For your babysitter/ cat compatibility problem: there are a lot of variables. Depends on how allergic, also the kind of cat. Some people are more allergic to Siamese cats than other breeds, some more allergic to long hairs. With mixed breed cats you can’t tell until you get the allergic person in the same room with the cat. If your friend is highly allergic no amount of keeping the cat in the other room is going to help. The short answer is to ask your friend to take an antihistamine BEFORE coming over, open windows if you can, encourage babysitting to include as much outside play time as possible, tell her to wash her hand and face very often. Just to warn you: cats have a very strong, very deep attraction to people who are highly allergic. I have known cats who were totally averse to strangers, capable of completely disappearing when there is company, to come and jump into the lap of the guest who was highly allergic. There does not seem to be the same effect from people who are only mildly allergic.

  26. jamie

    #5 made me laugh out loud. I’m sure odder things have happened….I guess you don’t have to worry much about keeping Austin weird!

    My practical suggestion for a short ebook would be something along the lines of this post: http://jenniferfulwiler.com/2009/06/tips-for-surviving-and-thriving-in.html. It was so incredibly helpful to me a few years ago as a FOCUS missionary. I wasn’t married and didn’t have kids, but… I mean, college students are sort of like babies & toddlers…. πŸ˜‰ I think I had renamed it “Tips for Surviving the, Uh, Life Phase” in my head.

  27. WB

    You might not be able to do much about the cat allergy issue. Even if you did get rid of the cat, the dander is still in the carpet. Even steam cleaning it won’t do eliminate it depending on how bad her allergy is. Your best bet, if you have the time, is to put the cat away in a room and do a really good vacuum and dusting just before she arrives, and put fresh clean clothes on the kids that have no cat hair or dander. I know, you don’t have time for that, but it’s the only thing that might work. I have really bad allergies myself.

  28. Smoochagator

    I think you should press Joe and his la-dee-da resume into service for you e-book goodie bag. Something like “Banana Man Explains Bankruptcy Law” would be awesome.

    Interestingly, one of my friends in RCIA is married to a guy who works for Booz Allen & Hamilton here in Virginia Beach. The government contractor that I work for (AMSEC) has also partnered with BA&H on a couple of proposals. Then I see that Joe’s done consulting work with BA&H… It’s like Six Degrees of Catholic Separation.

  29. Smoochagator

    Oh, and the cat allergy issue really depends on HOW allergic your friend is. I’ve known folks that were very allergic but could handle being in the same house as a cat as long as the cat didn’t touch them. I would assume, if your babysitter has experienced pet allergies before, she would know how to deal with it…? Maybe add a pack of Zyrtec to her compensation package?

    Also, that picture of your daughter cuddling with said One-Eyed Cat? PRICELESS. ADORABLE. AWESOME. YOU CAN’T GET RID OF THE CAT.

  30. Elizabeth

    Give the cat a bath. Every week. Helps a LOT. (And if your cat, like mine, is a not-declawed-Siamese, stock up on bandaids.

  31. Jennifer Short

    Your conversion story talk was on EWTN this week. I watch on iPad, and Journey Home is on at 3 in the morning on the UK section. Unfortunately it was on at 3 in the morning and I fell asleep before it was finished!

  32. Jenna@CallHerHappy

    Ah. I love dropping the blog bomb on people. “I, uh, stay at home. With my blog. I mean, with my kids. But I blog. I neglect them for the blog. I mean…”

    And, I am hoping for a reminder on March 1 about this Lighthouse deal?

    See you in TX!

  33. Jeni

    #5 I thoroughly enjoyed that.

    #6 Ahem–AUTHOR. Don’t forget your snazzy business cards!

    #7 I think you know it’s an ebook about crazy mom life with littles. While blogging (or some other attempt at grown-up interaction). Bonus: with honest spiritual advice for those of us in the trenches. Or just your insane year last year would make a super interesting read, honestly. Whatever it is, it won’t disappoint. I am SO excited to get my hands on Something Other than God πŸ™‚

    And yey conference!! can’t wait for that either!! You and Hallie rock!

  34. kharking

    I live in the state of recently legalized gay marriage so your #5 made me laugh so hard that the toddler on my lap had to hang on. I wish that I had a picture of the grocery store clerk’s face from last week when my daughter announced to her that she had two mommies and two daddies (We had spent some time with my sister and her husband the day before). You could just see the wild chasing of the disgusted thought with the determined non-judgy face. Especially as she looked at me in my long skirt, headcovering and towing three little children.

  35. Stefanie

    I have pre-ordered your book, but a hard copy, not an ebook so your virtual goodie bag would not apply to me.

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      No, no, the goodie bag will be for anyone who orders anything at all! The ebook would be PDF, so you can read it on any computer.

  36. Barbara C.

    You know us too well. You would get 500 “Book about Scorpions” suggestions.

    With the cat allergies, like others said:
    1) Vacuum and dust, especially any couch cushions that the cat really likes. You could also try setting a sheet over the couch before she comes.
    2) Put the cat away in another room.
    3) Change the cat litter—when we had a cat my allergies were always worse the longer it had been since the litter had been changed.

  37. Iris C

    About the cats, I’m semi-allergic to cats, which is a problem because I’m definitely a cat person. If your baby-sitter thinks she “might” be allergic to your cat, it’s probably not a severe allergy (in which case she probably would have known she was allergic to cats). In that case, what I’ve always done is avoid touching my face after I’ve pet the cat in order to avoid getting dander or fur in my eyes, nose, or mouth (which for me is what starts all the sneezing and watery eyes). Or I just take a Claritin.

  38. LPatter

    E-Book: Fulwiler Family Outtakes! Just give us all the funny stuff. I love it.

    I am SO allergic to cats, it’s sad – non-allergic people don’t always get it when I say I can only come over for about 30-45 minutes. (The thing is, my allergies take awhile to ramp-up and the next 3-24 hours I feel like crapola, after I’ve left!) I see Barbara C has some good suggestions above. I usually take allergy meds AHEAD of time, wash hands frequently, avoid touching my face, and limit the amount of time I spend in a cat-house. The vacuuming REALLY makes a difference, and putting the cat out of kiddos reach early in the day and putting them in fresh clothes (I know…maybe they can stay in jammas almost til she comes?!) after said vacuuming and secluding has been accomplished will help her avoid cat-hair/dander transfer from kids to her when she’s caring for them.

  39. Maria

    Back when we had 3 cats and lots of allergic friends, we found good Hepa filter running in the living room for a few hours before guests arrived helped.

  40. Mandi @ Messy Wife, Blessed LIfe

    I have cat allergies, and honestly, every time we go to a friends house with cats for just a few hours for dinner, I’m wishing I never went. I’m being really picky about spending time at houses with cats now – it doesn’t matter if the cats are outside the whole time and the entire house was scrubbed clean, it’s just too much for me. But if your friend “things” she might be allergic to your cat, I’m guessing it’s not nearly as bad of an allergy, so hopefully she can withstand it for a few hours at a time. There is never any “I think I’m allergic” around cats – it’s pretty much “I think I’m going to die” after about an hour.

    • Bonnie

      Mandi, it sounds like you and my son James are pretty much the same. When we found out about James’ allergies I was told by a nurse to never take him to a home with cats and that she was surprised he hadn’t gone into anaphylactic shock. Now whenever someone gets a new cat I mentally cross them off my list of places we can go. As a result I pretty much hate cats.

  41. Jane Hartman

    More Minor Revisions – please!

  42. Rakhi @ The Pitter Patter Diaries

    I think you should totally make up professions based on any number of experiences you have in a day. Exterminator, environmental control sciences, author, amateur meteorologist, superintendent of a private (very private) school, comedienne, cat wrangler…so many possibilities, so little time!

    Short book? How about keeping humor and joy even in the rough patches? Or a primer on composing your testimony or journey to God (so far)? Hearing God’s call in your life and running with it? A Day In the Life would perhaps be amusing as well…

    As for cat allergies, our friends just medicate prior to arrival and we corral the cats in a different room and vacuum everything. Depending on the severity of the allergy, that may be the trick. We also offer beer or wine. I’m not sure that has to do with the allergies, though…

  43. Susan

    As to the question of allergies (I didn’t have time to read all of your comments, so perhaps these are repeated) vacuum the day before the baby sitter is coming, not the day of. If you vacuum right before she comes, you’ll get most of the dander but there will still be particles of dander floating around the air and that will affect her. If you vacuum the day before this will give those particles time to settle back down to the carpet where they’ll be less bothersome.

    Also…I have heard that theoretically you can rinse the cat with distilled water every other day and that will cut down on allergens. Whether or not anyone has actually survived after doing this, I cannot say.

  44. Donna

    I have a cat allergy which can be life-threatening (as in…can’t breathe at all) depending on the circumstances and the cat. My parents have a cat in a big house with no carpet and I just get a little sniffly–I make *sure* to wash my hands after touching or brushing the cat. If I get “cat” in my eye it’s all over.

    My recommendation: get rid of your carpet. No matter how clean it is, the allergen–dander–will get in there, and in upholstery. It makes a huge difference, but it might not be enough. My sympathies….I love cats and dogs. I have 2 dogs and am a little allergic to them too.

  45. Trisha Niermeyer Potter

    As per usual, you have thoroughly amused me and made me feel better about the times when chasing little ones by myself for hours on end leads me to wonder how in the world people do it day and in day out. I can’t wait to read (and review) your book!
    I have just posted an entry in which you are named more than once because of your humor, blogging success, and motherly prowess. Let me preface it by saying that the top 10 mommy blog epic fails are all my own! It’s right here: http://printsofgrace.blogspot.com/2014/01/top-10-mommy-blog-epic-fails.html

  46. Patty

    Where/how can I pre-order the book??? Cannot wait to read it:)

  47. Cari

    …I have a blog.
    Best resume ever.

  48. Kris

    Responding about the cat allergy – I’m highly allergic and so is one of my sons. Unfortunately, not much you can do. The thing that makes people react is NOT the fur – the allergen is in the saliva and the dander (little bits of skin). It’s highly sticky and will adhere to the walls, furniture, etc. People who are allergic can experience symptoms even after the cat is no longer in the house, because it’s almost impossible to get rid of the allergen. That being said, my MIL has a cat, as do multiple friends, so here’s what I recommend. Definitely keep the cat out of the way when she is there – that will help. She should take an anti-histamine about an hour before she comes over, which will help with the symptoms. After she leaves, she should change her clothes and thoroughly wash her hands, and even shower if she starts to experience symptoms. If I do all these things, I can usually last several hours at someone’s house. My son spends the night at a friend’s who has a cat and he doubles up on the anti-histamine and usually fares okay. It’s just multiple days in a row that would bother him. Hope that helps!

  49. Stacy

    I was all set to miss Ignited by Truth this year since we’ll have a newborn but then I opened my email this morning and AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH we’ll be there in the front row with the nursling!!!!!!!!!!! πŸ™‚

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      WHOO-HOO! You must come say hello!

  50. Hilary

    hmmm… Cat allergies are the worst. In my experience, burning everything the cat ever touched is safest haha. When I was younger, it didn’t matter if the cat was in a different room or outside even. Good luck though!

  51. Lori

    #7 I would love to read more about your saint diet and changes you have made to your families meal plans. Also, prayer or spiritual guidance would be topics I would enjoy. Thanks!

  52. Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner

    HAHHAHAHHA to: “It was about 10,000 degrees in the garage, and even hotter in the vehicle. All through the talk I fought being distracted by sweat dripping into my eyes and the occasional glance of a moldy milk bottle sticking out from under a seat. When I came back inside, it looked more like I’d been wrestling crocodiles than recording a conversion story.”

    What a picture that makes! You poor thing! LOL

  53. Lynn W

    I’d like an ebook on your thoughts on the saint diet. What gives you energy and why, what to do if you can’t afford organic, how do you manage to get up early enough to run, etc.

    Also how do you prepare to interact at galas? Do you read up on news, etc so you know how to start convos?

    I’ll read anything you write. πŸ™‚

  54. Crunchy Con Mom

    I have a severe cat allergy. I take Claritin and it helps, but not enough. Vacuuming with a HEPA filter ahead f time would help, as would banishing the cat to a room or garage or outside or whatever while she’s there, getting a HEPA air purifier, keeping the cat away from places she is going to have to go like the kitchen and bathroom, encouraging open windows and outdoor play and outings away from home, etc.

  55. Jen

    I’d love to see short ebook on the following (if, of course, you haven’t already covered these) ideas:
    -Negotiating relationships with those who don’t share your faith – ups/downs, funny stuff, awkward stuff and everything in between
    -More stories about Yaya
    -Homeschooling adventures

    Thanks! Looking forward to reading more and eagerly anticipating your book.

  56. Claire Rebecca

    Things no one tells you when you convert because they assume its common knowledge
    Converting when your parents do not also convert

  57. Laura M.

    Re:2 – Vacuum and put the cat away. I’m allergic and I’m fine as long as I don’t touch the cat and there isn’t a ton of cat dander/fur.

    Re:6 – When I had to do a family tree growing up, I had to put each family member’s occupation. My grandma insisted that she was a ‘domestic engineer’. I think that’s pretty perfect.

    Re:7 – I can’t wait to read your book! I’m not sure whether I will go for the hard cover or digital version. Will there be lending options for the e-version? I’m sure I will want to share your story with some friends.

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      Thanks! And yes, there will be an ebook version. It should be available for pre-order soon too. πŸ™‚

  58. Linebyline

    Apologies for posting without reading through the comment thread first, but I have some relatives who deal with cat allergies, and their solution seems to involve a product called Allerpet. The product’s official site appears to be demite.com and that looks to be about five years outdated, judging by the 2009 copyright notice.

    However, Amazon being Amazon, you can find it there. It seems to have positive reviews. http://www.amazon.com/Allerpet-Cats-People-Allergic-Ounces/dp/B000S0L0M4

    I’m guessing you can also find it at pet stores.
    I’m not endorsing the product or anything (in fact I barely know anything about it) and it’s not like they’re paying me. I’m not a spammer–honest! (But now that I think about it, your on-page SEO could use some work… πŸ˜‰ )

  59. Eva

    For me, extra writing on spiritual dry spells and doubt would be interesting because, well because it’s me and I like to read about other people’s traumas. I’m fun like that.

  60. Jennifer Gregory Miller

    Jen, First of all, thank you for reflecting reality and keeping your linky open for all weekend. Sometimes Fridays morph into the whole weekend!

    I know I could not record in that heat. Just no way. You are amazing! Congrats on getting your own cd!

    The cat thing — it’s real, and cat dander gets everywhere. It’s not about the actual cat in the room, it’s what is all over the house, in the carpet and such. The good news with your new couch that the allergens are limited there.

    If she has really bad allergies with cats, it is miserable to deal with and try to concentrate on watching your kids. If she has asthma, I wouldn’t want to be you and find her going into anaphalactic shock when return from drinking your latte at Starbucks. Seriously, though, cats are a problem for me and my son, and we’re still dealing with dander at my MIL’s from the cat who resided indoors several years ago.

    Your question about an e-book. I’ve wondered how you balance your time with all the little ones, homeschool, and your big health problems during pregnancy. And how you keep positive and patient? I just went through a big thing with my heart, and I failed before and after in everything. My problem now is how to pick up all the pieces and finally stop playing catch-up. All I do is just baby-steps and put blinders on with the rest.

  61. Jennifer Gregory Miller

    Oh, and I’d love to hear how you got your kids to eat the Perfect Diet…or are they still? How did you ease into real foods for the kids?

  62. Jane

    I’d love to hear about which drinks you’ve found go best with which disaster situation you find yourself in at home. Kind of like food pairing, but not. These are the real kitchen skills, yes? I mean, if the monks could turn nearly everything they touched into some type of alcohol, that should give us a little leeway in using it under any/all circumstances, right? πŸ˜‰

  63. Kathi

    #5 with the trend of women dating/marrying men much younger, as my children age, I’ve been asked if my sons are my spouse. They’ve learned to introduce me quickly, “This is my mother…” before there is any misunderstanding. My daughter and I never expected we’d be mistaken for a couple as well when she became an adult. We learned during a very awkward moment at a benefit dinner when someone presumed, because we shared the same last name, we were married. We even look alike. Now my daughter has learned to quickly introduce her mother as well.

  64. Nicole

    Doubt. Write a short book on combating doubt. Just when I think my faith is solid, I realize my brain starts to question everything the church teaches. Adding to my doubt is that I am surrounded by very loving Protestants and agnostics. Maybe something is missing in my formation?

  65. Lynne

    Wedding–snort! I never saw that one coming!

    Fancy gala convo–simply perfect!

    Short book idea–I don’t know, but I think I’d most enjoy a whole book filled with imaginings just like that gala dialogue. Make yourself the subject of a fictionalized story of a former-atheist-turned-Catholic woman with six kids who is married to a high-brow lawyer. It would be a hilarious, yet action-packed, adventure story. Just make it have a happy ending like, “After viciously clawing the ice-cream man and rendering him unable to drive ever again, the one-eyed cat cast a sleeping spell on all the children while Mother, clad in her glamorous size 4 evening dress, drove away with Father for an all-expense paid evening featuring a five-star restaurant and Broadway musical as the melting orange sun set in a seventy-five degree Austin sky.”

  66. Michelle

    Way to go Jen.

    I got to your blog today and I’m loving it already. But, the thing is this, I doubt if I will be able to get a notification if you or someone else reply to my comment.


  67. Aileen

    How about an e-book about your saints diet? Or are you still doing that? I think you’ve also talked about The Perfect Diet but I’m interested in what this saints diet entails and whether you had any luck with it. Also, maybe something on praying, alone time with God, staying on track spiritually, etc.

    I pre-ordered your book awhile back but Jen, how do you know who pre-ordered? Do I need to send you something like an email receipt or something?

  68. Ruthie

    The Saint Diet, how you do it practically, what it is precisely, why you did it, and how it continues to affect your health. Thanks!

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