All posts by Jessica Linville

About Jessica Linville

Would-be writer, amateur blogger. Once described as "Charmingly off-center," and it's still my favorite description. Life isn't about balance, it's about learning how to deal when it's off-kilter. Some assembly required.

Playing “The Fool” Card

In Tarot, there’s usually (depending on your deck) a card titled “The Fool.” The most classic depiction of this is a young man with a knapsack looking behind him at a dog without realizing he is walking straight off of a cliff. This card could mean the guy’s an idiot for not realizing he is about to die, or it could mean that he’s aware of dangers but is trusting the path he is on will work out I’m the end.

It is a perfect representation of my life right now.

I had enough at my job. I tried so hard to do both of the positions they had forced on me, but the stress literally had me depressed and on the verge of crying all the time, which is not like me. I couldn’t sleep. I was barely eating. It was to the point I was considering going to the doctor and being put on medication to calm my anxiety so I could concentrate on the tasks at hand instead of staring at my computer screen frozen because I was terrified anything I did would be wrong. Huge red flag – I should not have to medicate myself to work.

I was talking about it with my sister-in-law and she mentioned they were needing a manager pretty bad at a new pizza shop her work opened a few weeks ago. I drove up there to apply and to my surprise also interviewed. A few days later I was offered the job and I was off on the next adventure in my life.

I’m so sad at the way it turned out at my previous job – I had worked hard, had some big successes, and it is the failures that will always haunt me. I liked working there, but trying to do two demanding positions as one person was too much. In my exit interview I begged them not to do the same thing to the next person. No one should be broken down like I was. I had no confidence left by the time I said enough was enough. It seems they took that to heart because they have now divided up my previous position into two.

My new job – managing a pizza joint in a nearby town – is a huge adjustment. I barely use any of the skills I learned at my previous job, I took a huge paycut, I work long hours on my feet and I get really bored sometimes when it’s slow. However, it’s a job and when I do get time off I don’t have to worry myself to death about what’s happening while I’m gone or try to catch up on less-critical work I wasn’t able to get to during the week. I can just be home and enjoy my family. That alone has been worth the transition.

I don’t necessarily feel like this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I’m not even entirely sure what my goals for that are anymore, honestly. This last six months has changed a lot of things for me and I’m on my way to becoming a new person because of those changes. Like The Fool, I just have to trust that things are going to work out. 

The theme of this blog is Life, Family, and Hilarity – so let’s get back to that, shall we?

Just a Little Bit of Prose

Just once I’d like to lay my head down and go to sleep. Sleep without the play play play pause play of constant loops in my head and all the conversations I never had with the people I should have burning in my throat.

I need to go to San Fransisco. I need to see my unbiological brother and sit by the ocean smoking cigarettes and listening to waves until we finally break down and start talking about all the ghosts that haunt us because he gets it. He gets how people are there and you watch them spiral down and no matter how hard you try to hold on you’re just left with splinters and bleeding onto pages. 

Because even though it hurts like hell to relive the worst moments in your life, sometimes it’s the only way to fall asleep and make room for dreams.

Once Upon a Time Birthday Party

The big kid turned 11 a few weeks back, and for various reasons we didn’t have her birthday party until today. She’s obsessed with all things Once Upon a Time right now and requested that as her theme this year…not an easy thing to pull off. Walmart sure doesn’t carry those kinds of decorations and as seen in previous posts, I am so not a crafty lady! But I am determined and creative. I can usually throw something together and make it work out alright.

​I chose gold, black, and navy blue, and white for the colors since that’s what’s on the posters that I’ve seen. 

​I used apples as some of the decorations and as snacks for people, threw some fake rose petals down (Beauty and the Beast shout-out), and put out some chocolate chip cookies and store bought brownies for more snackage.

​Some of the kiddo’s stuff became decorations as well as more of the apples.

​The coffee table with the wicked witch’s apples.

​My unbiological sister helping me put together the cupcakes.

​I’m super proud of how these turned out…caramel apple cupcakes with roses on top! These tested me so much. When my first batch was in the oven, I went to pull open the door to see if they were done yet and I’ll be damned if the oven handle didn’t come off in my hand! The Mr. had to be my hero and fix it for me while I hyperventilated and wondered how in the hell I was going to fix the rest of my cupcakes! And you ever made caramel icing? It is surprisingly frustrating to unwrap all those caramels and takes forever to melt them down. 

​This was my absolute favorite part of putting together the party! The hearts in a box, ala Snow White and the Huntsman. The evil queen wants Snow White dead so she hires a hunter to kill her and bring her the heart as proof of Snow White’s death. So I came up with these little numbers – heart stress balls (for squeezability when you want to crush your enemies’ hearts) and filled the rest of the box with gold coins as a nod to the payment the hunter received for his dark deed. Thank you Amazon for having the perfect item readily available and shipped in two days! Lol.

All in all, the party was a big hit for the kiddos and I am so so happy it’s all over and done with until next year.

Minecraft Party, Take Two.

The last couple of years, the little one has wanted the same birthday party theme the big one had the year before. We had two Frozen parties, and now we’ve had two Minecraft parties. I’ve previously posted about Sophie’s Minecraft party (where I dyed my teeth green and made a cake so bad I looked for a toy dinosaur to stick on there and blame!), so at least I knew what mistakes I didn’t want to repeat this go-round. 

And I admit – I have a problem with procrastination. I always think I have so much time and then it bites me in the ass because I’m rushed and stressing. We seriously had NOTHING for this child’s party until the night before. I got out of work Friday and ran a few towns over to a Party City and decent-sized Walmart for decorations and presents.

The party was fantastic – we had just enough kids for chaos and screaming but not so many you couldn’t walk without knocking over anyone. Here’s some highlights:

​The cake mix – this time, I thought a green cake mix would be a fun surprise for everyone. I got nervous when it came out of the oven looking like mottled green and brown on top, 

​but when I was cutting it up to serve to the masses it was the vibrant green it advertised. 

​The blocks were part of the girls’ Minecraft playsets and the spider was A toy I bought for $10. It actually has wheels on it so it moves too. Brown icing and green sugar glitter made it more presentable. I wish I had taken pics after the candles were in and lit – it was so cool! 

​My little candle bundles. Red candles bundled together with a black one in the middle pushed up slightly higher to make a wick, wrapped with masking tape and I wrote “TNT” with a black Sharpie. Big hit!

​Our balloons. Regular colored balloons I took a giant (the biggest I have EVER seen!) Sharpie to. I inhaled so much Sharpie smell I started getting dizzy. 

​Now these little guys, I’m super proud of. While I was shopping at Walmart, I came across tiny cans of edible spray paint in the fondant section. I immediately grabbed them even though I wasn’t sure what I would wind up doing with it – but just look at ’em! Campfire marshmallows are bigger than the regular ones and worked perfectly for this idea. Then I just grabbed a small tube of black icing to draw on the faces. The kids went crazy for them!

​Pardon the bluriness, but you get an idea of how I decorated the ceiling fan over our table with poofy tissue paper balls and streamers torn into different lengths and tied to the fan blades. I went back and forth on whether I liked how it turned out, and there’s some debate on whether I almost set fire to the streamers while bringing the cake with the lit candles over to the birthday girl (I’m fairly certain there was no danger, but others watching disagree).

​Our table spread. I layered black tablecloth under the green (thank you, dollar store!) So both colors showed on the bottom, found a pot of green necklaces at Party City for St. Patty’s day I comandeered for the party because what kid doesn’t like to layer on the bead necklaces, bought pudding cups that I added icing to in our theme colors, and found jello cups in lemon-lime that were the perfect color. Everyone loved it, but the icing did start running and get a little watery-looking if not eaten right away.

​Party favors were a repeat of last year’s style, but almost all the candy was on sale this year and I didn’t make creeper faces on the cartons – I’d already inhaled way too much Sharpie and was afraid I’d go loopy! No one seemed to mind, but I wish I had done it.

So that’s my little’s Minecraft party in a nutshell. I also had green tassle banners over our balcony doors I didn’t get pics of, and spiders made out of balloons and streamers like the last time. All in all, the party was a huge hit and we all had a blast! Since we did so much ourselves it really kept the cost down which made me a happy mama.

A Stranger Called Me Fat Today.

That Mr. of mine plays a lot on the XBox and has made tons of friends on there…and a few frienemies. He has a headset so he can communicate with (aka, yell and/or boss around) the other guys on his team, and sometimes there are some heated moments. 

I guess today there was a guy on there making fun of autistic people. This immediately pisses off the Mr. He has worked with autistics for years and those people are near and dear to his heart. I’m not saying it was mature of him, but he turned the tables on the guy and started making fun of him. 

The guy proceeds to look my Mr. up on facebook (hello, creeper…) and make fun of me for being fat.

Yep. FAT. Wow…you’re a grown man and that’s what you come up with? I’m a little sad for him. Obviously he was so astounded by my big personality and shiny lady boobs that he couldn’t come up with anything better. 

Why does that always seem like “fat” is the default insult?  There’s so many better insults you can come up with! So disappointing, dude. 

So here’s my advise to him: take off the headset and go searching for those little bird eggs you call balls. You’re going to need them when you get tired of pounding palm town and finally venture out into the real world hoping for some female company that doesn’t involve “accidently” rubbing against someone at your local Walmart when you’re reaching for those hot pockets you’ll probably wind up going at American Pie style at. Grow up, little boy. In an actual fight, this fat lady would make you my bitch in about 30 seconds and then go make some cookies for my kids.

Just saying 😉

Kate Daniels is My Long Lost Bestie

I’m a bookworm. Always have been, always will be. I remember very clearly my sixth grade teacher once telling me to “get a life” when I turned in the number of books I’d read that week. In hindsight – what an asshole – but that’s generally the attitude I’ve always gotten when people uncover my bookish ways. Usually when they open my closet and see the shelves groaning under the weight of hundreds of books I’ve not been able to part with over the years. I may have switched to Kindle now (under duress!), but there is a certain magic in holding a book in your hands, the smell of paper and ink drifting to you as you turn the pages as fast as you can because you want to know where the story takes you next.

I also lean toward series of books, probably for the same reasons people get into tv shows. I want to see what happens afterward, I want to see characters develop and change. And one of my very favorites is the Kate Daniels series. If you haven’t read it and you like an alternate/world, little bit si-fy flavor, you’ll likely love it as much as I do. Particularly if you’re into mythology. The world building is these books is incredible, but the character development is just as amazing. Kate has insecurities and struggles just like us,  sometimes it’s hard to push through and let herself be happy, and she always gets knocked on her ass when she feels like she’s getting somewhere.

Hmm. Does that seem familiar to anyone else? No? Yeah, me neither.

Anyways, if you’re into reading you should absolutely give this series a chance. 

It Was Beginning to Look a lot Like Unemployment

Holy Bejeebus, it’s been a rough few months. There was the wedding and finally being able to relax a little bit, but of course life kicks you right in the lady balls when you least expect. Darrick’s grandmother passed away right as I was transferred into a different department at work and he developed a sore in his foot (one of the most dangerous things for a diabetic) right within a few days’ span. When he finally notice something was wrong, he already had angry red spikes going almost up to his knee.

Darrick spent a few days in the hospital getting pumped full of antibiotics and wearing special leg booties that squeezed at intervals to encourage increased blood flow, then was released just in time for trick or treat. He’s been put off of work ever since because he can’t stand eight hours on an open wound.

Finances have been tight, but we are making it thus far. Unfortunately, being transfered at work for me was incredibly hard on me. A few months back they had asked me if I would be interested, but I wasn’t. Shipping is easily one of the most stressful areas of the place and will eat your life if you let it. I didn’t want to work all of those hours! Not with my two young girls. But then they cut my materials planning job, so it was either make the move or be without a job for the holidays.

And when you put it that way…

But oh, it’s been rough. You’re thrown in the fire and trying to figure it out. Every customer wants shipments made in a particular way with particular paperwork done and sometimes sent to particular people. Don’t get me started on overseas shipments! The whole department was dropping balls left and right while we juggled around each other trying to figure out our places. I was so stressed I had trouble eating and sleeping and just existed in a state of anxious, balled-up nerves, only to be told I should know more and be better at my job.

I almost walked out twice. The only thing that kept me there was being the only working parent at this time, and even then it was a close call. Darrick actually sat me down one night and told me how this job was affecting our family. My four-year-old said I never come home before bedtime, I would snap at my ten-year-old to the point she felt lile she couldn’t talk to me, and I didn’t laugh or make jokes anymore. All I would do is come home, eat, and go to sleep.

I refuse to be that person anymore. Family is my number one priority. I’ll work in McDonald’s 50 hours if I have to if it means we’re happier. I don’t care.

It flipped a switch for me, really. I had been so terrified of doing something wrong at work that I was afraid to do anything at all. So I just dove in. I restructured my tasks throughout the day and I’m leaving as close to my 8 hours as possible now. I’m doing my best, and if it isn’t good enough, then that should tell them something because I am not a slacker and everyone around there knows that. I’ve never been one to shy away from difficult or overwhelming tasks, which is why I tend to get the crappier jobs no one has previously done correctly. Sucks for me, but ok.

Since I’ve made the changes in my attitude and restructured things, it seems to be doing a lot better. I hope it stays that way! 

Upcoming Birthday Shenanigans

I have an idea.

Scary, I know. But I’m really excited about this. 

My mama’s birthday is coming up in November and she truly needs some fun in her life right now. And today on my lunch, it hit me: an intervention.

Don’t get me wrong. She doesn’t have a substance abuse problem. It won’t be that kind of intervention.

It’s for shooting opossums.

Let me explain: she owns a farm that’s about 70 acres and keeps getting stray cats dumped on her. She feels terrible for them, so she leaves food out so they don’t go hungry. Of course, since there’s food around, it attracts scavengers like raccoons and opossums and they attack the cats. So my mama shoots them. 

Let me tell you, I have seen my mother run across a house with a gun and no pants waaay too many times. #farmerproblems?

I’m just in the beginning stages of this little plan, but so far I plan to have friends and family writing letters explaining how her “problem” has affected all of our lives (mine is going to be about having to help with body disposal) and consequences if she doesn’t stop (I’m going to make her bag up her own dead critters), a cake in the shape of an opossum that’s been shot – not in the head though (gross!), and varment-themed snack foods.

I’m ridiculously excited to put this together!

Those Wedding Bells Finally Rang


Except they didn’t because we didn’t get married at a church because they tend to frown on people like me.

What can I say about that day? It was exciting, it was nerve-wracking and stressful trying to get everything done. We made it, we got married, and then I almost starved because they made me get pictures done while everyone else was eating. I had a great picture of me taken while trying to cram a whole cupcake in my mouth for that first-dance thing. I haven’t seen it yet,but I bet it’s a thing of beauty.

For the wedding, we rented a shelter at the park where we had our first (this is so not a date) date. Here’s my brother helping with setting up our decorations:

And my fabulous sister-in-law:

​My un-biological sister:

​And my lovely aunt, who hurt her foot and leg a few days before the wedding, but came anyways to help decorate:

All of whom I owe massive thanks to for helping me pull off my wedding. They showed up early, they showed up injured, and what they pulled off was better than I imagined. They hung lights, they hung paper lanterns, they hung balloons, they stapled down tablecloths and wrapped ribbons and made centerpieces. It was amazing! You can see some of it here:

​The wedding itself was short and sweet, but very Christian – Darrick did have his requests after all. I figured I owed him since he puts up with my shenigans. Like slapping him with raw bacon.

I haven’t gotten all my pictures back yet, but here’s some teasers:​

I’m trying very hard not to laugh in that one because Sophie had just farted.​

​That sign says “lost my balls.” I’m so proud.​


It was an amazing night, and everything I could have asked for except one thing – my dad. I held it together all day. I was too busy and nervous for anything else. It wasn’t until the ride home alone with Darrick that I let myself feel that missing piece and started crying.

He held my hand and said nothing.