Personal Stuff

Oh Lordy. I’m 40.

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I’m 40 tomorrow.

I feel 30, but I’m 40.

Here’s the thing about turning 40, I started thinking about it the day I turned 39 and now I am SICK of it. I am ready to just be 40 instead of thinking I am almost 40.

The “I’m turning FORTY” realization made for a roller coaster of emotions over this past year. In hindsight, I behaved rather ridiculously so I thought it warranted a blog post about turning 40.  Please, someone tell me I am not alone with my journey on the Imminent 4-0 Cray Cray Train?

Blog post about turning 40

The Rah! Rah! Stage

When I turned 39, I went all Rah! Rah! about turning 40.  It wasn’t going to bother me! Life is good! Life is for LIVING! Let’s celebrate it! No time like the present! Woooo hooooo! I want to do new things!

This Rah! Rah! made me do things like go indoor rock climbing and trapeze flying. Damn daily deal sites for feeding my mania.

trapeze2

Botox or Bangs?

Then as the date loomed closer I started looking closer at my face. Geesh, I am really turning 40, and I have the fine lines to show for it.  Should I be DOING something about it?

As I was pondering this, I volunteered in my daughter’s 3rd grade class for the first time and a boy asked the teacher loudly in front of the class (talking about me) “Who is that? Is that your MOM?”

The teacher’s MOM?!

The teacher is not 22 right out of student teaching. She’s my age. Actually she’s two years older. 

Are you kidding me? Was I the teacher’s MOM?

She thought it was quite hilarious. I did not.

That same week I was shopping for a costume at a Salvation Army and the lady asked if I was over 55 to get the Senior Citizens 30% off Wednesdays discount?

I almost jumped over the counter and wrung her neck. Was I OVER 55?! I had to convince myself that she didn’t actually look at me but asked everyone in hopes of getting them that 30% off, but REALLY?! Was I on Punked? Is the Universe playing a cruel joke on me?

That pushed me over the edge. OK, I need to do something. Grow bangs? Get Botox? Buy some daily deal to laser out my 39 years?  Fill some lines up with God knows what?

So I made a Botox appointment.

I had done it a few times in the past, but never kept it up, because although effective, when looking at photos I sort of thought I looked a little odd.  But odd was better than Senior Citizen 30% discount, right?

The topic of Botox came up with my sister around and told me, like only a sister would, to NOT do it. Yes, that’s what sisters are for, they will say the things friends can’t. Because we can’t un-sister them.

But she was right,  even with the fine lines and wrinkles, I do think my face looks better when it moves. So, what’s an almost 40 girl to do?

Enter PartyZilla.

PartyZilla 

Now the question was, how am I going to commemorate this milestone? Pretend it didn’t happen or celebrate it? I am in the celebrate it category.  If the big 4-0 was imminent, I might as well use it as an excuse to have the celebration of the century!

So I threw myself into the throes of thinking about what I wanted to do for my 40th.

My husband wanted to throw me a party because, well, I love parties. I used to be a party planner, if that tells you just how much I love parties, so we started off planning a small party. Then I became obsessed.

Everything about “MY 40TH” became SUPER important. I lost my marbles and I knew it.

PartyZilla had to be exorcised.

Special thank you to my husband for remaining married to me. Moving on…

Time to Let Go 

Let Go

Here’s the deal. I had to let go. I was turning 40, like it or not. It took the entire year to get here, but I finally came to the stage of acceptance.

Yes, I am as close to 60 as I am to 20. Yes, I have fine lines because I have made expressions the last 40 years.  Yes, the metabolism isn’t what it used to be, but when I finally, finally let go, I made some importation self-realizations.

Looking back, my 20′s were spent sort of insecure and lost; trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted to do. Once, I finally had a better idea of who I was when I hit 30, I had my babies.

That changed everything.

My identity. My priorities. Everything. 

I spent my 30′s figuring out who I was as ME in this new role as Mom. I have grown more as a person in the last 4 years than I have in any years of my adult life – and have worked so hard to find myself and create a life that is balanced.  And sorry to sound so cheesy, but I truly LOVE my life.  My husband, my kids, my family, my friends, the experiences I have had, they are what make me THIS happy and it has been 40 years in the making.  There is a lot to be grateful for.

I’m Gonna Let This Little 40-Year-Old Light Shine 

My cousin Kristin, or more accurately, my dad’s cousin Kristin, is an esthetician and I started seeing her for facials regularly a few months ago.  Incidentally, regular facials are the one thing I am doing for my face these days and it is definitely an improvement. Although I have to visit Salvation Army on a Wednesday again to test it.

During my facial time, we have some really great conversations about life and aging and philosophy.

This last week we were on the topic of turning 40, and she told me, you know, when it comes down to it, beauty isn’t about the number, it’s about the inner light that shines in all of us.

She’s so right.  I am attracted to people with beautiful lights, and when someone is a beautiful person, that overshadows all the rest. I am going to spend my 40′s working on my light, instead of my lines, and let my little 40-year-old light shine as I exclaim, “Good Lordy!!! I’m 40!!!!!!!”

Bring it ON!!

family2

photo credit: the talented www.kristineldridge.com

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The Power of a Compliment

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the power of a compliment

“You have really beautiful legs.”

The year was 1995 and I was a waitress at Ruby’s Diner in Santa Barbara while attending college. The compliment was not from some guy trying to pick me up, but rather, an old lady who was dining out with her husband. She said it in a way that was very matter-of-fact, and, genuine.  I will never forget where I was standing.

I was wearing a pinstriped dress, apron, suntan nylons and white tennies, the Ruby’s uniform, in which I didn’t feel particularly beautiful. Especially with the extra college pounds I had put on that year thanks to pizza, beer and bagels. It was a season of my life when my self-esteem was at its lowest.

She made me remember, I did have nice legs, even with the + 15 – 20 lbs and her genuine compliment lifted me up at a time when I needed it.

The rest of my shift, I had a bounce in my step and felt uplifted. And here we are, almost 20 years later, and I still remember it vividly, because of the way she made me feel.

The Power of a Compliment 

The power of a compliment is a beautiful thing, it’s a gift.  Not only that you give someone else, but it also is a gift to yourself too, because when you see the reaction when you give a genuine compliment, it makes you feel good too.

Since that time, I have made an effort, when I think something nice about someone, to tell them.

If we have really great service at a restaurant, I will tell the server, and have the manager come over so I can tell them too, just how awesome our server was.

If I think someone I know is smart, or talented, or looks particularly beautiful, or if I admire their parenting, or pretty much, whatever it is that I genuinely think that is positive to myself, I say it to them.

I am trying to teach this to my children too.

At my youngest’s soccer game last weekend, our awesome team mom had put together these amazing game treats for the kids.  My oldest daughter said to me, “Mrs. Wilson is a REALLY good team mom.” I told my daughter, “Yes, she IS! You should tell her that! It will make her feel good.”

I would encourage you to give it a try.  If a thought crosses your mind that is positive about someone else, if you are with them, say it right there out loud, or pick up the phone and call or text.  I guarantee you will make someone’s day.

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Happy Halloween!

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Elsa Drinking Game

Happy Halloween friends!

I saw this Elsa Drinking Game on Facebook and had to laugh out loud because my 5-year-old, along with millions of other little girls will be donning an ice princess dress tonight. There was no talking her out of it.

Yep, Elsa is coming to your door.

Again, and again, and again…

DRINK UP!

Have a fun and safe holiday!

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To Third.

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Henderson700

As I’ve just entered my 8th month of pregnancy, I guess it’s time to write my follow up post about how my husband and I decided to go for the third child.

Some of you might remember my first post on the subject, written years ago “To Third or Not To Third?“ where I layed out all of the reasons why we should and why we should not add another member to our family.

We talked about it and talked about it, and waited for the right time and talked about it some more and couldn’t come to a decision.

My husband was so sick of the topic.  

One night last Spring we were out on a date night (which included some tequila) and we decided to give ourselves a window.  A very short 3 week window, effective immediately and ending with a trip we had scheduled to Cabo for our friend’s 40th birthday celebration.

In this time frame we would not take precautions not to get pregnant.  (See what I did there with that double negative?)

Our thought process was, if we get pregnant in that time frame then it was meant to be, and if we didn’t we could feel good that we had left it up to Fate who had decided for us.

The next morning after that date night, when the tequila had worn off, we both woke up terrified and looked at each other (almost in a scene out of a movie) and said “yeah, that’s enough of that plan.”

We thought we had our answer.

Flash forward to the last night of our Cabo trip when we were having a SUPER fun time celebrating our friend’s birthday, and our friends who happened to be pregnant with their third started into a sales pitch about why we should have a third kiddo along with them.

Which got me thinking…something was a little late…

There will be a six year gap between our middle and our baby!  We will be going back to sleepless nights, and breastfeeding and bottles, and diapers and spit up, and strollers and carseat adaptors and high chairs and, and, and…

But after the initial freak out, the excitement set in:  we get to do this all over again!!

It will be the first time we are being surprised with the gender.  Our girls love to hug and kiss my pregnant belly, and get so excited to feel the baby kick and they love when s/he has the hiccups.  They are SO thrilled to have a little brother or sister. (Although Lyla swears she won’t change a poopy diaper.)

We can’t wait to meet this new member of our family who was SO meant to be.

Do you have a story to share on how you decided to go for the third? Share in the comments below! 

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 12.32.16 PM

(Photo Credit Top: Kristin Eldridge Photography)

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Meet Our Team

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ourteam

The past several months I have seen a huge jump in traffic to our site (and if you are reading this now, I have YOU to thank for that!) so I thought it was a good time to make some introductions for any new readers of the women behind Tiny Oranges in an “Meet Our Team” post!

jen That’s me, Jennifer Scheumann, and I founded Tiny Oranges in the summer of 2008.

At the time, I was a new mom to a two-year-old daughter, contemplating going for another baby at the time and I was looking for a way to share ideas with other moms.

For the first three years I ran the blog myself, barely, especially with a 3-year-old and colicky infant with reflux. Sometimes I look back and wonder how the heck I did it.

My blog was also a business and I was doing all the writing along with all the sales. It had grown to a point where I really needed a sales person to take care of that part of the business so I could focus on blogging, which was and is my passion.

I knew I wanted it to be someone who already read (and hopefully liked) my blog, so I did a help wanted post looking for a sales person back in 2011.

Going in I had decided I didn’t want to hire someone I knew, because God forbid, it didn’t work out. I didn’t want to have to run into that person around town and have it be…awkward.

SUSANNE Susanne, a mom I knew (and really liked) from a former Mommy & Me class we took together, emailed me to “apply” and I wrote back and politely explained how I wanted to hire someone I didn’t know and the reason why.

But Susanne didn’t take “no” for an answer, so she politely wrote back to tell me she really thought she would be a great fit. She told me she was a “no drama mama” and would love the chance to meet and at least talk about it and if it didn’t work out,  no big deal.

I went on a run that morning, and out of all the emails I had received, I just had a gut feeling Susanne was the One. We met that week and my instinct was confirmed, she seemed like the perfect fit.

She was and has been for over three years now.

Susanne is Tiny Oranges’ Sales Director and works with all of our sponsors to put together marketing proposals, contracts and manages our ads. I can’t imagine doing Tiny Oranges without her.

Susanne also happens to have a culinary degree, so I often rope her into sharing her talent with easy recipes from time to time. I joke and call her SUS Chef! This recent garlic maple pork roast recipe was to-die-for and her “How to Properly Cut an Onion” video was also one of our most popular posts.

Friends of mine, even to this day talk about how she was the one who actually taught them the correct way (including me!) to cut an onion!

Susanne’s a mama of two girls, ages almost 8 and 5, and a third on the way (gender will be a surprise) in December. For those of you who read her “To Third or Not to Third?” post awhile back, well, there’s the answer. For the record, I have a gut feeling it’s girl #3, and their house will be full of little women. Can’t wait to find out!!!

You can read more about Susanne here.

christy It was always my goal to keep our site full of fresh content so I have consistently blogged five days a week since the beginning.

But that’s a LOT of blogging, and once again, as work got busier I realized I needed someone to come on as a contributing writer.

About a year and a half ago, I did another help wanted post and received a great response with many talented moms wrote in with a sample writing piece.

I met Christy when she submitted this post entitled “Babies, Crosses and Sprinklers” and I fell in love.

Christy has been writing for Tiny Oranges since that time and is the mastermind behind some of our most popular posts including Top Ten Trips for Visiting Disneyland with Toddlers, Disney California Adventure Tips for Little Ones, An Easy Way to Teach Your Kids Their Phone Number and Reward Charts for Kids.

Christy’s a mama of a girl and boy, ages 4 and almost 7 and a passionate advocate for The Moms in Training Program for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In fact, just this past weekend she ran a half marathon in San Francisco to raise money for the organization.

She is a huge inspiration to me, and just about the most energetic, on-the-ball person you will ever meet!  She often has things to me before I even realize I needed them.

You can read more about Christy here.

suzanne When I first started Tiny Oranges, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter did not exist or, if they did, were not mainstream.

In fact, the way I first spread the word to start my blog was to send a mass email to my contacts along with a POSTCARD in the mail to everyone I could think of.

Yes, my social marketing in 2008 included snail mail.

No one could have fathomed what would happen in the realm of social media at that time.

But in recent years, with the demands of so many emerging social media platforms, I found that trying to keep up with updating our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google + accounts was a job in itself.

Suzanne (yes, I work with TWO – one with an S and one with a Z!) is my younger sister who happened to leave her full time job to stay home with her kids a couple years ago.

When her youngest was out of the baby phase, one day she asked me if I needed any help and the answer was a resounding YES! I desperately needed someone to help with my social media accounts and she was the perfect person to do so.  It was once again, a match made in heaven.

Suzanne does our regular updates on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and is responsible for many of the amazing Facebook shares the last 6 months along with growing our following with her amazing social media content.

Recently she has also started pinning for me as well, which is fab for me, because she also has impeccable taste.

Suzanne is a mama to two boys, ages 2 and 5, and I am very lucky to have a sister that I absolutely love and also love to work with.  She has also contributed content as well including 5 Must Have Baby Items for a Second Time Mom and LEGO Organization Tips which were both extremely popular.

Being a major foodie, she recently wrote this Tamarind of London Review, which is hopefully the first of many OC restaurant reviews to come.

You can read more about Suzanne here.

So, those are the talented women that make up our team and make it happen here at Tiny Oranges. To say I am lucky is an understatement.  Running a blog is a ton of work. A ton. To have such a support system of women to help me has made all the difference. Blogging has always been fun, but they make it extra fun. I am one lucky mama in more ways than one!

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