Saturday, December 30, 2017

Brace Face: Tray 26

Tray 26 of 28! 

This tray irritated my gums A LOT. I wasn’t sure what to do. I was feeling a little alone right since my dentist is between practices. But then on Thursday I needed something so I texted her personal phone and she got back to me right away. It’s nice to know she’s there for me. 

The irritation of my gums never got better so I was relieved to switch to tray 27 (which was a few days ago....sorry for the late post, I kind of forgot I was a blogger once the snow started falling). 

I hate winter.

Like, hate it. 

So I’m not in a good spot right now. Plus boys are mean. 

So here’s a cute pic of my nephew on his first birthday. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Brace Face: Tray 25

I'm not going to post any more pictures until the end. Frankly, I'm sick of looking at my teeth, and I'm sure you all are, too.

This week I got a call that my dentist is moving practices. She called me from her personal cell phone to let me know, and that I can stay with her and move to her new practice, or I can stick with my current office and just find a new dentist. I thought about it, and decided to stick with her. It took me enough courage to just start this process in the first place, so I want to stick with someone who knows me and knows my history. Not to mention, I love that she hijacked my number and called me from her personal phone to let me know what was going on.

Tonight I will switch to Tray 26. So close to the finish line!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

2017 Holiday card

I had an amazing 2017. Let me show you.

Missy, Ryan, Natalie and I took a long weekend and explored Oklahoma City.

All of my siblings were actually together for Father's Day. This may never happen again. Also, not sure when I got so short.

Missy and I spent a lot of time hiking.

I spent a lot of summer nights at Stir Cove.

I spent 4th of July weekend camping with Nick's family.

This Dysfunctional Family took a day and explored all the hidden gems of Omaha.

I actually said yes and went tubing down the ElkHorn River. And I didn't drown!

I met Chris Young, then turned 37 the next day.

I was THIS CLOSE to Rob Thomas. 

I went and spend a week with Juana and John.

Leslie had a baby boy.

Katie had a baby boy.

I finally got to dress up as a mime.

I spent Friendsgiving with these lovely people.

2017 was a good year, but there were a few things that have made it a pretty difficult year. I've lost some sleep worrying about other people's actions and feelings. I constantly have to remind myself that I can only control my actions and feelings, and I want people in my life to know they are cared for. 

Other highlights of the year:
  • I started Invisalign braces and will finish in January.
  • I went to the eye doctor and my lasik surgery from six years ago is still sticking and I have perfect vision.
  • I am still at Clarkson College and enjoying my job.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Brace Face: Tray 24

I know y'all are sick of my teeth. I am too.

I started Tray 25 last night. I went to the dentist this week, and we started talking about the bridges getting done. It's going to be a million dollars, and we are switching dental insurance providers at work so we can't be for sure yet exactly how close to a million dollars it will be. So I will know more about that after the new year, I guess. I may have to stretch those out, since I am all on my own paying for this business. Sometimes I wish I had a husband to help with this kind of shiv. Also, my "check tire pressure" light keeps coming on in my car, so it would be nice to have a husband for that, too. 

But I digress. As of right now, my dentist is still thinking I won't need additional trays, so I am scheduled to get all buttons taken off on Tuesday, January 16th. Then I will get molds taken for retainers.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Brace Face: Tray 23

Again, I've been on Tray 24 for a few days but I just realized I forgot to do a write up about Tray 23.

I'm very happy with how things are looking! I am very excited to get the buttons taken off my teeth after I am done with the trays. They don't hurt and are really not noticeable by me, but I want to feel my teeth without them again.

I get a lot of compliments on my teeth these days! I highly recommend this journey to anyone who is self conscience about their teeth.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving came and went. The food was good, the football sucked and I'm ready to tackle these remaining 19 days of work left in 2017.

Alex thinking he won at Tenzi (he did not). 

2017 edition of the Wilson Christmas Lights

Anytime Nicole asks "Who will sit with Quinn and try to get her to nap?" I scream dibs.

Monday, November 20, 2017


This blog has been lame lately. I'm sorry. I just don't feel like updating it. So here is a quick Jen update:

  • I went to see Murder on the Orient Express yesterday, and I could not keep my eyes open. I wasn't that tired, so I think it was just the fact that the movie was so boring, which is highly disappointing.
  • All I have been doing on my weekends is helping my dad with Christmas lights. I've donated all my November weekends to him, but I still don't feel like I've contributed much.
  • Yesterday was my grandparents 62nd wedding anniversary. I love how my grandma still giggles at my grandpa when he's being ridiculous (which is often). 
  • We're off Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving, and I cannot wait.
  • I get like a real, legit Christmas break this year. I'm off December 22nd through January something (I think we come back on the 3rd?) I am SO EXCITED. I'm going to sleep in every day.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Brace Face: Tray 22

Like I said in Tray 21's write up, I started this tray one day early. I had a dentist appointment this time, too, which meant more grinding and shaping of my poor, sore, stressed bottom teeth.

My dentist said everything looks so good I probably won't need additional trays at the end!! I'm really hoping she is right. She said when we get done, we'll get my bridges done and then shape my teeth and smooth everything out. I cannot WAIT TO BE DONE!!!!!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

2nd Annual Friendsgiving

Last week was our second annual Friendsgiving. This year we had it at Ryan's house, so we could put up all his Christmas decorations.

The food was all delicious and Ryan's Christmas decor is just gaudy enough. Also, here is an outtake I can't stop laughing at.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Brace Face: Tray 21

I've actually been on Tray 22 for a few days now, but let's just pretend this is a timely entry.

I have been tracking my trays and the days on this app I found, Invisaremind. However, during this tray is completely whacked on out on me and stopped keeping track. Because of that, I wound up starting Tray 22 a day early. Whoops.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Don't speak

I have always always wanted to dress up as a mime for Halloween. I don't know why I haven't done it yet. But, finally, on Friday night I did it! There are several pictures of me smiling normally, but do you know what is incredibly ugly? White face paint and invisalign. So here are the pictures where I'm not smiling like a freak.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Me too

The first time I remember getting sexually harassed was in sixth grade. Overnight, it felt like, I grew the boobs I have now. Huge. Not only huge compared to the other flat chested girls in my class, but huge compared to grown woman. I hated them at the time. I hated being different from my other girl friends; I hated having to wear a bra when my friends weren't there yet.

And I hated the attention from the boys in my class. And Jeez Louise, there was a lot of it. I was the first girl to really get boobs, and the boys were obsessed.  They would follow me around asking if they could touch them. One boy asked if he could try to "palm" one of them. I still am not sure what that means.

While the boys were obsessed with them, the mean remarks from girls were just as bad. One girl who I thought was a friend downright bullied me, I realize now. She would follow me home from school just making fun of the fact that I was wearing a bra.

The teachers in school had to have known what was going on. But I didn't say anything to anyone, not even my parents or siblings. What were they going to do? It's not like anyone could make my boobs go away.

With the social media movement last week (woman putting "me too" on their social media if they had, too, been harassed), it got me thinking of that experience as a kid. Of course there was other examples of sexual harassment that I have been through...including one from a much older man in high school in which no one believed me and I even went to the police about...the one in sixth grade is different, though, because I know I should have just stood up for myself. I should have told those boys off, or told on them, or told my dad, or something. Those boys were young, and it was their first experience being disgusting sexist pigs. I'm hoping they changed (I think most of them have).

But this movement on social media has got me thinking about just how unfair it is. As a sixth grade girl, why was I even in the position where I would have to stand up for myself like that? And now, as a grown woman, I can't even go for a run down my street without some guy hollering out me from his car window. Or, when my coworkers and I walk to Walgreens over a lunch break, we get catcalls several times during one five block walk. NOT OKAY. Why are we put in that position where we have to awkwardly ignore those kinds of things? I would be willing to bet that every single day I encounter some sort of interaction where I am uncomfortable with what is going on but I just ignore it, or giggle and walk away, as to protect the harasser from being embarrassed about his behavior.

In high school when I had the issue with the much older man, I was told to just be quiet about it because it would get him in legal trouble and he was foreign. I was 17 and told to let him continue to be inappropriate with me because he would be forced to leave the country. And guess what. I shut up about it. Then, when he started doing the same thing to my sister, I couldn't deal and I went to the police. I'm honestly not sure what happened after that. But again, as a woman, I was told just to deal with it.

This entry is getting away from me. Maybe I should have just left it as this: Me too.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

5 years ago

So, I just looked at my diploma for my MSM degree and realized I received it five years ago. In a way, that seems like a lifetime ago, but in other ways it seems like just yesterday.

One other milestone from five years ago is that it was when I finally decided to start taking care of myself. I lost some weight, starting eating better and started working out. Now I can't even imagine a life where I drink mostly soda, eat mostly fast food and the only physical exercise I got was from walking around a grocery store.

While I am up from my what my weight was in 2012, I still feel like I have some things to be proud of. So I did what any long-term blogger would do...I went back to my entries from 5 years ago, found some pics, and compared them with what I look like now.

5-ish years ago at my parents house vs last night in my living room with a selfie stick

Employee pic from Kaplan vs last weekend 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Brace Face: Tray 20

So it only took me 20 trays, or 200 days, to realize that the first picture I took was not using the "selfie" mode on my camera - I must have just held it out in front of me and taken the picture. That's odd, as I am the queen of selfies. But while examining my latest comparison pic, I realized my moles were on opposite sides of my face. So this morning I awkwardly held my camera in out in front of me and took an actual comparison photo:

I am so so so so so so so over braces this week.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

2017 Juana trip

I recently got back from a week out with my aunt and uncle, Juana and John, at their home in Vancouver, Washington. It was a lovely week, and we were busy! We did the following things:

  • Went to see Florida Georgia Line - Russell Dickenson and Chris Lane opened for them. Nelly was supposed to, but he ran into some legal issues before the show...#bastard

  • Went to every TJ Maxx, Marshall's and HomeGoods in the tri-state area (looking for Rae Dunn stuff...I will write about this at the later date because I am obsessed).
  • Went to Goodwills looking for BSC books (another obsession) (and I blog about that obsession at
  • We, along with John, went to Seattle for an overnight adventure. We went on an Underground Tour of the city, ate snacks at an Irish pub, went to the top of the Smith Tower, went to dinner at Ruth's Chris, went to the Pike Market, went to the Seattle Aquarium, ate mac and cheese at a cheese place, rode the Seattle Ferry Ferris Wheel, and went to the Unicorn Bar. It was an awesome getaway within the getaway.

  • Did my hair (obvi)
  • We did an escape room, and we escaped! I was SO excited when that final door opened.
  • Ate breakfast at the Grant House (SO GOOD.)

  • Had family dinners at home.
  • Watched movies.
I loved my vacation! I hope John and Juana know how much I appreciate them. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Brace Face: Tray 19

I get to switch to Tray 20 tonight!! Officially in the 20's and on the downward end of this adventure!

I am like 98% certain they are going to add trays at the end. That left front bottom tooth is just not moving up. Little bastard.

I was on vacation for most of this tray (more on that later), so it was awkward and frustrating. You know what's gross? Taking your tray out and dealing with your teeth on a three hour plane ride. My neighbor enjoyed the slurping sounds when I removed my tray to eat my free airline cookies, I'm sure.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Woah baby

Look. At. This. Nugget.

My friend Leslie and her husband, Joe, had this babe last week. Jacob Wesley.

I love him.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Brace Face: Tray 18

Who else is sick of my teeth? (girl raising her hand emoji)

I had another dentist appointment during this tray, where she grinded away. I asked her to be honest with me about the possibility of me needing more trays at the end. She told me everyone is different, but I should prepare for needing more. That way, if I don't, it will be a nice surprise. So basically...I will need more. I'm on to your reverse psychology, dentist.

Right now I am on Tray 18 of 28. I did the math correctly (I think) and that means I will be done with the originally prescribed set on January 14th. It seems like forever away, but to be honest this is flying by and I can't believe I am already on Tray 18.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

10 Reasons I love Missy

10. She used to say she hates running, but then she started running and before I knew it she was a much, much better runner than I am.
9. She loves puns and is the corniest person I know.
8. She plans and organizes all of our trips and adventures.

7. She knows when I need a distraction or I need something to keep me busy to keep from thinking about stupid boys or just stupid people in general (like Halloween at Worlds of Fun when I was dealing with a breakup).
6. She is always up for an adventure or trying new things (like the 110 story climb on 9/11).
5. She is the reason I hiked in Colorado, ran a Disney race, stayed on the beach in Florida, saw the Hollywood sign and experienced the Memorial Day service at Mount Rushmore.

4. She knows the things I hate and doesn't pressure me to do them (music festivals, any trip outside of the United States), but knows what I secretly want to do and am just too scared, and gives me the push I need (hiking in Colorado when I had a panic attack, going down the Alpine Slide in the Black Hills).

3. She is the most generous person I know, and she cares for her family better than anyone I know.
2. She has seen me through a miscarriage, a neck tumor, my mom's cancer, thousands of boy problems, several new jobs and countless family fights.

1. She (and our friend David) ran like hell and managed to avoid all the gun shots at the deadly Vegas mass shooting during the Jason Aldean show.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


Here is what is going on with me currently:

Food: I have not tracked my food in about a year. I tried to restart Weight Watchers a few months ago, but the new tracking system just did not work for me. I found an app yesterday that recreated the Points Plus of the olden days, so I bought it (it was only $4) and I'm going to see if I can make that work. I really liked Weight Watchers when I did it back in 2012 (or memory escapes me), so I am hoping I can recreate some of that magic.

Weight: I have lost about 20 pounds in the last year - I would be happy losing about 15 more to put me back where I started. I'll get there.

Exercise: I am still doing Farrell's Extreme Bodyshaping about five days a week. That gets me three kickboxing days and two strength training days. I take Saturdays for myself - usually a long hike or walk. Sundays I usually rest, but I also use that as a make up day if I had to take a day off somewhere in the week.

Work: Work is going really well. Obviously I wish I was retired or a stay-at-home-mom-with-no-kids, but it is what it is.

Social life: My summer was incredible, and fall is shaping up to be just as awesome. I leave for Juana's next Saturday, and I'm very excited for all the adventures she has planned. I'm also excited to just get away for a week!

Family life: Everything is good there.

Love life: Noneya.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Brace Face - Tray 17

I am obsessed with this comparison picture.

Again, Tray 17 has hurt. One day I could not handle the tightness on top, so I took the top ones out and just wore the bottoms ones for a few hours. I needed to give my face a break from the tightness.

I am very very very happy with how things are looking!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Fall Bucket List ( blog entry)

Originally posted on
I had an amazing summer. I explored Omaha, went to several concerts, found new hiking and walking paths all around us, went camping, went tubing down the Elk Horn River and spent a lot of time with friends and family. I made a point to say “yes” more and it paid off. I am planning on continuing this amazing adventure collection as the temps grow colder and the days grow shorter.
Here is my bucket list for the next few months:
CLICK HERE to read my list! (It's amazing and you will probably want to join me on these adventures.)

Monday, September 18, 2017

Catch up

September is just flying by.

I've watched some football, drank and ate some pumpkin flavored things, and started planning my Halloween costume. But the temps are still in the high 80's/low 90's, so there's that. I'm ready for fall weather and some layering. I tried to force it by wearing a vest today, but I'm currently sitting here dying of a heat stroke.

I spent this past weekend in Eastern Iowa with Nick and fam. We took advantage of the 90 degrees and went boating. It was the absolute best way to spend a September Saturday. Even if we did end up getting rained on a little.

For those keeping tabs on my nephew, Alex finally got to start pre-school this past week. He wore his new, huge shoes (1.5 sizes too big to fit over his feet).

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Brace Face - Tray 16

Tray 16 brought the pain!

It was a rough couple first days. I know I say this with every tray, but that sucker was TIGHT. I snapped it into place for the first time and it instantly hurt. I took some tylenol and went to bed, and the pain actually woke me up. My dentist had told me to tell her if it didn't feel like a tray fit right - like if my teeth hadn't moved enough for the new tray to fit properly. That wasn't the problem, the problem was just the tightness. I took tylenol every couple hours for the first three days.

My teeth have been super super sensitive during this tray. I haven't been able to really eat anything that requires a great deal of chewing. This will be worth it, right?