Be the first to like this!

I just squealed like a (very geeky) 2 year old because I managed to download and install a Facebook Like button on my blog ALL BY MYSELF.

Do you see it up there at the top of my post? ISN’T IT AMAZING?

In its virgin state it says, “Be the first of your friends to like this.” And since I’m a very kind friend to myself, I did the honors of “liking” my own post on my own blog JUST BECAUSE.

And then when I went back to refresh the page it said, “Jen Zug and 2 others like this.”


Two people like me besides my mother and my husband!

I frantically clicked all around the page to try and figure out who these other people are that like me, but I could not ascertain this very important information.

So whoever you are that likes me: THANK YOU.

In related news, you can also TWEET my post if you’re hip like that. Oh yeah, check out that retweet button down there at the bottom – you know you wanna hit that.

It’s only a matter of time, now, before my page loads go from the high 70’s to, like, much higher than that.


Ignite Seattle: The Sanity Hacks of a Stay At Home Mom

Here it is. My ignite presentation.

I’m pretty proud of it, just to let you know. I think maybe I like public speaking because I never really get nervous at the time of presenting.

I DO, however, have a nervous breakdown SEVERAL TIMES during the preparation of a presentation – particularly this one, as I feared NOBODY WOULD CARE about what a stay at home mom has to say to this particular crowd. But as you can tell by the laughter at appropriate times, I think I pulled it off.

Huge huge HUGE thanks to Bryan & the kids for putting up with my irrational mood swings, the growing laundry piles, and the generally chaotic home environment as I prepared for this event. Also, Bryan put up with a disproportionate amount of verbal abuse whenever he said the words “bullet points.” But in the end he was avenged, and did his victory lap around the house.

Also, big thanks, of course, to Brady and the selection team for picking me. Yea!

It was great fun, but I’m so relieved to have my regular life back, slaving away at home.

Merry Christmas from The (Snow) Pile


Apparently I’m taking a blogging break. If you want to keep up with me, I’m still going strong on Twitter.

It’s been snowing here for 40 days and 40 nights. The running metaphor among Seattle residents is from The Shining, in which Jack Nicholson goes crazy while snowed in at a remote resort for the winter. Seattle owns something like 20 snow plows for all its roads. Renton owns six. The Puget Sound area has chosen to not use salt on the road for melting ice in defense of the environment.

All this adds up to a gagillion people stuck in their homes, riding tricycles down hallways while chanting, “REDRUM! REDRUM! REDRUM!”

So, Merry Christmas to you. And if I make it out of Snowpocalypse 2008 with all my faculties intact, you’ll hear from me again.

This, that, and the other.

I’m so not in the mood to blog anything, and I haven’t been doing much writing either. But I thought I would just mention that I am NOT a 75 year old man with gout. I saw a podiatrist on Monday and it turns out I have tendinitis, which likely developed as I overcompensated for pain due to plantar faciitis.

Wait a minute, maybe I am a 75 year old man…?

Ruthie starts full day kindergarten September 2nd and I’m simultaneously partying hard and dying inside a little. While I can’t imagine what my life will be like again with just one kid at home who sleeps for two hours every afternoon, I’m also realizing I’m setting her on a conveyor belt that will continue to eke her away from me little by little, year by year, day by day.

I’m not sure my heart can take it.

So we’ve been spending our last free days together, loving each other as we usually do – by yelling and screaming and slamming doors. Okay, you got me. There’s other stuff, too, happier stuff. Usually.

You can participate in my 15 minutes of fame… maybe.

I’m going to the Blogher conference this summer in San Francisco. I’m glad it’s back on the West coast, because I went two years ago, but missed it last year when it was held in Chicago. Looking forward to seeing everyone again.

I just learned of a potential opportunity to read one of my essays at the closing keynote of the first day – twenty essays will be chosen across the five categories of Best Rant, Blogging About Blogging, Humor, Letter to My Body, and Parenting (details here). I need to submit my entries by Friday, so I’ve been poking around my archives, looking for something to send in.

My best work does not really fit into any of these categories, but alas, they did not supply a category of Best Downer or Most Likely to Make You Need a Drink. Nonetheless, I scraped together a few options to submit, and I wondered if you, dear readers, had any opinions on their quality? Be honest, because we all know I don’t need any more help making a fool of myself.

So if you can, please leave a comment here, or email me directly at jenzug (at) gmail (dot) com.

In the category of Parenting:
Secure Your Own Mask Before Assisting Others

In the category of Letter to my Body:
He should really teach all young men everywhere how to extract the truth from tired, chubby, stay at home moms.

In the category of Humor:
Cue Eerie Music in the Background of this scene (I hate this title, by the way)

In the category of Blogging about Blogging:
Blogging = fear + failure

If you can think of anything else I’ve written that might apply, please let me know. Not that I expect you think about it every day, and recite it to yourself in the shower. I’m sure that phase of fan-girl will come much later.

It’s Business Time

Things are backing up here at This Pile because I’ve been busy living life, which is what we all hope for, right? So here are a few things I need to update you on:

  • My blog peeps gone done me proud. When Zoe’s dad, Paul, thanked me for taking on this fund raiser for a laptop, I reassured him I had no idea how it would turn out, that I could very well be handing him a check for thirty-five bucks when all is said and done. But you? You, Internet, made me cry. You raised $1,065 for the Faultner family, and I can’t even imagine how I could thank you for your participation in this. As soon as I figure out how to get Paypal to shake out all that money into my piggy bank, they will have their laptop. I’ll keep you posted.
  • As promised, everyone who donated will be receiving a CD mix from me, so hopefully you all added legit addresses to the paypal transaction. The winner of the random drawing for a t-shirt from Mommy Needs a Cocktail, is (drum roll….) Jenny! I’ll email you about how to get that, darlin’.
  • And lastly, the winner of the random drawing for my last Muxtape is Elisabeth! Be looking for that in the mail next week. As for the rest of you, the bad news is Muxtape experienced a database error that deleted this mix online, so you actually can’t listen to it anymore. The good news is, I’ll be posting a new mix on Sunday, so be sure to check back in!

Naked This Pile (doh!)

Welcome to my website. I’m sorry it looks so crappy today, but my CSS disappeared. And? I have no idea how to fix it. We’ll see if I can convince my loving and handsome husband (flattery sometimes works) to fix it tonight after spending the entire day staring at his computer for work. He’s been known to say things to me like, “Please don’t ask me about CSS on Sundays.” Sigh.

Update: FIXED!

Feeling Twitterific

Lee LeFever over at Common Craft posted a new tutorial on Twitter that’s entertaining to watch. In fact, I posted the video here:

I’ve been blogging a lot less, lately, in an effort to focus more on my responsibilities at home. This has been good for my family life, but being a Stay At Home Mom can be lonely at times. Twitter helps me feel connected to internet friends – both far away and close! – without investing the time or brain power a well-crafted blog post requires.

For instance, a couple weeks ago I twittered through the Oscars along with several other twitter friends. We shared snarky comments about tacky dresses and commentary on acceptance speeches.

Twitter has become a huge part of my blogging schtick. You can sign up for your own twitter account here, and you can sign up to follow me here. You can update and read from your twitter home page, or you can set it up to update through your regular IM client if you use one.

One more about the bloggy giveaway…

Yesterday’s post was a bit hasty, and I forgot something very important: Thanks to Jeffrey Overstreet for signing a book for this giveaway! I encourage you all to check out his blog, Looking Closer. It’s full of great movie reviews, links, and other culture-related information.

Also? He’s sending Cyndere’s Midnight, the sequel to Auralia’s Colors, off to print, and it should be published in September!

My giveaway winner is a fantasy novice, interested in discovering new authors. Hopefully I had a hand in turning a new fan onto Jeffrey’s writing!

Bloggy Giveaway Winner Announced!

I will have to pass on writing an eloquent post for announcing the winner of the Bloggy Giveaway – I had a sick child this morning and am now rushing around Getting Things Done before the next person in this family comes down with the pukes.

So, in this very anti-climactic way, I announce Knittinchick as the winner of the random drawing. Congratulations! I’ll send out the book as soon as my kids are not throwing up on me.

Thanks everyone for stopping by This Pile. Hope to see you again soon, even if I’m not giving away free stuff!


Judging by my plummeting stats, you all are feeling the same about this blog as I am – bleh. I hear ya. I’m just not that into it either, so no offense taken.

I’ve been putting a lot of energy into my new lifestyle of waking up, working out, cleaning the house, and going to bed. I was not prepared for how exhausted strenuous exercise would make me, but at least during round two of weight lifting my muscles are not sore. There is yet hope for getting into shape.

I’ve also been putting a lot of energy into other writing projects. I’m exploring the possibilities, but I may have a collection of essays available in the next few months. We’ll see what time and circumstances allow for.

In the meantime, head on over to my NaBloPoMo page where I am reflecting on Thirty Things I Love. It’s been a very therapeutic process, and a welcomed break from my usual worried-email-inspiring posts here. This week I wrote about Fall, Coffee (my personal favorite of the week), Getting Organized, and Sleeping.


Visit NaBloPoMo
This year I’ve decided to participate in NaBloPoMo during the month of November.

Ah, what was that?

NAtional BLOg POsting MOnth: Post every day for a month.

I set up my own page at the NaBloPoMo site, and will likely make all my daily posts there with occasional links from here to remind you that I will be engaging in too much of a good thing, and likely going mad because of it. I’m still working out in my head how I want to use the time/space, as in, I’m thinking I might like to write on a theme for the month.

Some themes that I’ve considered are these:

  • reflecting on a scripture passage
  • tracking my workout/diet record
  • recording all the ways I give into or give up control (the bad kind of control!)
  • doing something fun every day just with Ruthie, and writing about our adventures

I still have a few days to mull it over before we begin, so if you have any votes or others suggestions please leave them in the comments. I think the trick will be finding a topic that will be both relevant to me and interesting to the reader (i.e. it will be a long month if all I’m writing about is how many minutes I ran on the Monotonous Machine of Monotony, and Oooo! I had a salad for lunch! Yawn.).

Also, if you are one of my blogging friends – sign up to participate! Do it! Go sign up right now! And if you don’t have your own blog, go sign up anyway, because in signing up they give you a blog of your very own to use! Go on! Take that 30 day challenge like the guy who ate supersized meals at McDonald’s for a month – pick a topic or theme and explore it every day for 30 days.


My mother’s wish granted: More Jesus, less swearing.

Things are finally falling into place concerning my other writing gig (I just love saying that – writing ‘gig’), and I will hereby unveil it in this post.

In juuust a minute.

But first, a little context. By now you’ve probably figured out that despite the drinking and the swearing and the boob shots, I am a Christian. It’s a tricky topic to talk about directly for many MANY reasons, so I have chosen to refrain from any overt declarations and simply lend a few clues into my faith through my writing. If I do talk about my faith here at This Pile, it’s because there is no other way around processing through the topic at hand.

That being said, I have wanted an outlet for thoughts and essays that speak more directly about my life as a Christian. Recently I discovered my church has a network of blogs called The Vox Pop Network. I thought this was a very cool thing for a church to have, and a couple months ago I inquired about being a contributor to one of these blogs.

Aaaand despite the swearing and the drinking and the boob shots, they gave me a password and said, Go For It! So if you are interested in reading me in a different context – one that is more about Jesus and less about me, one that is several times refined and not a first draft, one that is filled with more hope and less angst – you can follow me (along with other contributors) here.

My first essay contribution, on the topic of baptism, is here.