Where I was

This isn’t a real post.  It’s more of an apology for being gone most of the week.  But I do have a good excuse.  My sister and I threw a hard-core 1800’s party for my parent’s 40th anniversary, complete with full chuck wagon, fiddlers, home-made costumes, all mixed together in an abandoned, haunted fort.  It was awesome and terrible in a way that only my family could make it.  Once you read my book this behavior will all seem perfectly normal.  But for those of you who didn’t follow the party live on twitter, a few pictures:

My parents:

My sister, Lisa:


The grandkids (Hailey, Gabi, Eliana, Bella, Tex):

And the cake.  Because we are nothing if not classy.

Then to stay in full character we experimented with cannibalism and then we all died of dystentery.

All things considered?  Still the best party I’ve every thrown.

229 thoughts on “Where I was

Read comments below or add one.

  1. And then you were trapped in a Dairy Queen FIVE MILES from me but I wasn’t driving and I couldn’t convince my boss to pull over. I cried for days.

  2. You are amazing. I only hope my kids are as awesome as you when I celebrate my 40th. It sounds like it was so much fun. I forgive you for being gone since you were in the middle of amazing awesomeness that I’m sure made you furiously happy.

  3. That cake is giving me a Steel Magnolia’s flashback. “Hey Weezer! Nothing like a good piece of ass!”, he said as she sliced off the back part of the armadillo for his cake plate. Ahh, good times.

  4. Are those GOGGLES? I’m loving the cake. That’s hilarious. I like that idea of celebrating an anniversary all oldy timey. Traditional anniversary parties are so freaking normal.

  5. Your parents appear chuck full of awesomesauce…. Glad you got to spend some high quality time with such fabulous people!!!!

  6. Love the pics, and how clever of you to steampunk your outfit! Tex has a mighty luxuriant mustache — bet he’s quite a catch.

  7. I love how the armadillo cake is red inside so it looks like ‘meat’ or something.

    Did you get the dysentery from eating each other? Or was that from something else…like the armadillo maybe?

  8. Your folks are adorable! And, the apple did not fall far from the tree! Thanks for sharing..looks like it was a really good time. An Armadillo cake….there are no words…………………..

  9. So happy to see you all had a great time – have to do our parents 50th this year (if dad doesn’t do himself in with bacon before then). Just have to get my sisters in line so we have a party half this awesome rather than some type of family intervention.

  10. How cool and well done……I am sure they will be talking about this for years to come. Cannot wait to hear and see what 50 brings. Congradulations to your folks……….

  11. Our family parties are never this much fun. Although, Aunt Char did stick her leg thru the attic floor into the living room ceiling this year at Christmas. That was funny.

  12. I LOVE your goggles! And, I had to laugh when I saw the cake… a friend of mine had one just like it as the groom’s cake at their wedding.

  13. Armadillo cake? I bow down in awe. I bow down also to the idea of staying married for FORTY YEARS? HOLY CRAP. How do you *do* that? Will there be a section in your book about that? Maybe it’s the cake. And for their fiftieth, will the cake be, like a long-horn steer shape? Because that would be pretty cool too.

  14. First of all, I didn’t realize you had an Aunt Fern who made the cake. Second of all, I LOVE the Amelia Earhart goggles as part of your outfit!

  15. You could just about pass for Scarlett O’Hara in that big get-up dress and hat.

    (If it was green.)

    (And made from drapes.) (And much, much tackier.)

    But then that would make Victor….Rhett Butler.

    Oohhh…I think I’ll let you make that call.

  16. Oh good, I was beginning to wonder when you would start doing things that would make you more awesome.

  17. Red velvet!? I just dont see why this is so popular! And I am a girl from the south. But I LOVE the way your family gets together. I lived in Oklahoma *and yes, I DID just sing that out as I spelled it* and in elementry school we would always dress up and do those runs…for land. I can’t remember what they care called. But I loved it.

  18. It’s about time you got some goggles for that parasitic twin on the back of your skull….

  19. First of all, I want your outfit!!

    Second, your family is awesome. This looked like such FUN!

    To me, the only good use for red velvet is as a carrier for cream cheese frosting. Otherwise, I can’t tell the difference with my eyes closed between it and other half-assed chocolate cakes. But using it as the base for animal-shaped cakes is awesome. Steel Magnolias <3

  20. Oh. My. God. THE CAKE. I wanted to have one just like that at my wedding, but the fiance said no. Something about maintaining his dignity. Yeesh.

  21. There is something about the head and feet of that cake that make me wanna yarf. It reminds me of the seeds inside a pepper, which made me gag when I was pregnant with my son…hmmm. I wonder if that armadillo of yours is telling me the rabbit died?

  22. O M G… Were you in San Angelo?!!? I have so many fond memories at Fort Concho! So many scary stories about the ghosts there! I even went to school on the fort for 6 weeks… Hope my hometown treated you well!

  23. You had me with your Dad’s beard.

    But the road kill cake?

    Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding.

    Serious extra points!

    Your party looks WAY more fun than the Grammys.

    And at least as musical as Nicki Minaj.

    (ALERT: did you note the Whitney-related tweet by Wil Wheaton? Of course you did).

  24. Can you give me an idea for my husband’s 30th birthday? I want to do something totally crazy. I want to throw a kick ass party.

  25. You and your sister have nothing to worry about in the aging department, huh? Your mom looks great!

  26. First of all, I love that this is your family, because I’d totally go to something like this. Second, I love that you have goggles on the back of your hat (you look shmexy, btdubbs). Third, I love the Oregon Trail reference. Everybody always dies of dysentery.

  27. My birthday is coming up in March. I live in Texas. I MUST HAVE AN ARMADILLO CAKE!

    Seriously, that needs to happen.

    Looks like an awesome anniversary party….even with dysentery!

  28. So, inquiring minds want to know: how DO you make grey icing???? (This party looks awesome.)

    The groom’s cake.
    lt’s awful.
    lt’s in the shape
    of a giant armadillo.
    An armadillo? You’re joking, right?
    No. Jackson wanted a cake in the shape
    of an armadillo. His aunt makes them.
    lt’s unusual.
    lt’s repulsive.
    lt’s got gray icing.
    l can’t even begin to think
    how you’d make gray icing.
    Worse, the cake part is
    red velvet cake. Blood red.
    People will hack into this poor animal
    that looks like it’s bleeding to death.

  29. I had an armadillo cake commissioned for our rehearsal dinner party. In 1997. So glad to see tha there are other awesome whackjobs out there. In the most awesome way, of course. 🙂

  30. And what are those wonderful goggles on the back of your head? Have you read Soulless by Gail Carriger? I think that you would enjoy the Alexia Tarabbotti novels.Your goggles remind me of the heroine.
    In the first novel my favourite line is,”It was as shocking as being shouted at by plum pudding” And you have to admit if your plum pudding started to shout at you it would be pretty shocking.
    In her second book Heartless the catchline? ( I can’t remember what it is called but catchline sounds apt because it caught me) anyway the catchline is, “A novel of Vampires, Werewolves and Teapots”
    Congratulations to your parents on 40 years as well. x

  31. Although the cake actually looks a little bit like somebody smeared menstruating road kill with re-fried beans… or the after result of too many re-fried beans..

  32. I like the hat. I think you should wear it more often. Not like, the whole outfit, but just the hat, with like, jeans & a tshirt. Because you don’t need much else. The hat speaks for itself. It’s jaunty!

  33. Omg, how did you get everyone to play along?? Or do you just have such a cool family that everyone is game for such things? The cake was definitely my favourite part.

  34. That icing is not grey…If it had been my party, I’d have forced everyone to ford the river, and then I’d lose half the food, all the oxen, and half my party would drown…because i was too cheap to pay for a ferry.

  35. Ya know. I would expect to see more cakes like that since I live and attend university in the town where Steel Magnolias was written and filmed, but there isn’t any place around selling things like that! You guys should consider coming to Natchitoches, Louisiana and start a bakery. There has to be some kind of revenue in this.

  36. What an amazing bash! And both my husband and I squealed like pre-pubescent girls when we saw your outfit. Glad you all had fun and nobody called me for bail money.

  37. Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! Please adopt me.

    All of you are beyond awesome. It looks like so much fun and the cake is the best.

    I’m serious about the adoption. Include me with the others who want to be adopted. We’ll make a great, big, happily-warped family.

  38. Looks like your family are beautiful and wonderful people. Thanks for sharing all those great and fun pictures. Love the clothes and that cake! -drools-
    Congratulations to your parents 🙂

  39. That party looks amazing. LOVE your costume. The cake was creepy cool. And who says this wasn’t a real post? Cuz, it came complete with photos and everything!

  40. So someone has to tell the obligatory armadillo/Aggie joke and it might as well be me. How many Aggies does it take to eat an armadillo? Three. One to eat the armadillo and two to watch for cars.

  41. @em:

    “The groom’s cake.
    lt’s awful.
    lt’s in the shape
    of a giant armadillo.
    An armadillo? You’re joking, right?
    No. Jackson wanted a cake in the shape
    of an armadillo. His aunt makes them.
    lt’s unusual.
    lt’s repulsive.
    lt’s got gray icing.
    l can’t even begin to think
    how you’d make gray icing.
    Worse, the cake part is
    red velvet cake. Blood red.
    People will hack into this poor animal
    that looks like it’s bleeding to death.”

    *laughs* I flashed back to Steel magnolias and KNEW someone would know the exact words in that scene!!!


    I don’t for the life of me know why you write a post like this beginning with an apology.

    1. To throw your parents such an amazingly cool themed party is amazing, and exactly what we’ve come to expect from you. Completely normal! ( Goggles are the best part of your outfit )

    2. This post is USELESS without a picture of Victor in full costume. 😛

  42. I think that apunds like an awesome party. I kind of wish my family was game for costumes at get-togethers. It would make the underlying bitterness so much more tolerable!

  43. Armadillo cake? That’s three parts awesome to one part buttercream.

    Did you know armadillos can catch leprosy? So if the Oregon Trail theme didn’t end with a touch of dysentry, there’s still a chance you could all contract one of history’s most popular disfiguring illnesses (fingers crossed – well just so long as you’ve still got them).

  44. …What on earth are you apologising for?
    Including that Armadillo cake photograph made everything better.
    Or worse. One or the other.

  45. You totally have a second career (or third?) (Fourth? I don’t know. . .) in party planning.

    Or, you could totally move to Virginia and start participating in all the Civil War re-enactments they have going on all the time around here. You don’t get paid for them, but still. I mean, really, the possibilities are endless.

    AND, if you can stand REALLY, REALLY still? You could fool the zombies in the upcoming apocolypse that you are all wax figures.

    Sooooo many benefits.

  46. A red velvet armadillo? How very Steel Magnolias of you! 🙂
    I love a hardcore theme party. My winter luau is shamed by yours!

  47. Where’s Victor?????
    Loved the cake. Reminds me of the cake in STEEL MAGNOLIAS…only your armadilla cake isn’t steel plate grey. And your goggles are heaven!

  48. Well done Jenny! But, where is the picture of Victor? I’m going to guess it will be forthcoming in the “real” post 🙂

  49. Oh my God, a bleeding armadillo cake! As if I didn’t have reason enough to love you, you just keep giving me more. Awesome job on the party, it looks like it was a lot of fun.

  50. Happy 40th Anniversary to your parents!! Mine celebrate 40 in July. Frankly, that party sounds like a lot of fun!! The pictures are great and I love the costumes! So, was it haunted? 🙂

  51. Haha, love the cake and the super awesome goggles on the back of your hat. Very steampunk-ish.

    What you should have done to make it a full blown Oregon Trail party was to take everyone out into the woods and shoot 15 bears even though you can only carry 400 pounds of meat and you only need 12.

    The End

  52. O-M-F*ing-G!! You did NOT wear Steampunk Zombie glasses on your hat! If I didn’t already adore you, I think I would’ve just tripped over something in a sad attempt to fall for you that would undoubtedly end in my clumsy death. If you had had some zombies at this party, some bat signal would’ve gone off to let me know to crash it, I am sure.

    In case you don’t know what I’m talking about (which is usually the case with other people when I mention Steampunk zombies. My chiropractor should thank me for the head-tilt epidemic): http://www.amazon.com/Boneshaker-Sci-Fi-Essential-Books/dp/0765318415

  53. Love Love LOVE the armadillo cake and the steampunk goggles.
    Jenny, you rock out loud.
    (I so needed to see this. I’ve been deep in the rabbit hole for the last few days. Thanks for shining a ray of sunshine down there for me.)

  54. Mine is the Georgia version of your Texas family, with a Virginia pedigree going back to Thomas Jefferson. This year, my father gave my mother a pellet gun for Valentine’s Day so she could punish the squirrels in the yard. Beyonce wouldn’t stand a chance in our neck of the woods.

  55. Yes, yes, your fans clamor we want Victor, we want Victor, we want Victor!!! Okay, I can understand his wanting to remain ‘anonymous’ to all of us adoring nuts out here, but seriously, we want to see his costume. Can you either post a picture of him in it with one of those censor type black blocks over his face, or at least put his costume on James Garfield for us?

    Your whole family is gorgeous! You should all agree now, that you will all go back and haunt that fort when you are each gone. You’ll know exactly where to find each other and we’ll have a cool place to visit you.

  56. LOVE The Armadillo. We visited Texas on a road trip and my sick Brother-In-Law made us stop and take a picture of all the roadkill. He is still planning to make a RoadKill poker deck. (and now you can’t steal the idea). Perhaps if Zazzle made playing cards, I would already have helped him on that one.

    Glad you had a “good” time.

  57. I will be eternally pissed off that I was not part of this epic party.

    Your parents are delightful, I LOVED the smiles on their faces! And Ms Jennifer! Are those GOGGLES on your bonnet?! Heaven forbid.

    You looked lovely =D What a great way to spend the week and hello!!!!!! Bleeding armadillo cake? BEST.

  58. Woke up this morning craving armadillo. That’s probably not a good thing. I don’t think I’m up to date on my leprosy vaccinations.

  59. SUCH a good idea. Cute pictures, cute family. Let me know if you get the dysentery figured out – I could stand to lose a few pounds…

  60. Love the costumes. My wedding was a halloween costume party. I was five months pregnant and had my uncles follow the groom with toy guns.
    Going to have to steal your idea. Except I’m in New England. Don’t know if dressing up as puritans will be as much fun as pioneers getting dysentery.

  61. That cake is awesome! It needs a raspberry filling though so it ooozes when cut into. Ha!

  62. That is awesome! Way better than the surprise 25th we threw my parents back in the Reagan era. Right before they got divorced. Maybe it was that “divorce theme” we chose. Huh.

  63. I love it!!! I am going to have to have an 1800s themed party now! Also, I have totally been to that fort! My friends got married there!

  64. This is brilliant! My in-laws are celebrating their 40th next year, and they would LOVE this sort of themed party (they are unabashed LARP-ers, which I wasn’t fully cognizant of when I married into this family, but oh well…).

  65. Seriously awesome. I never had a wedding party. We got married, fast and furious style. I hope that our children will one day throw us an awesome themed party for one of our big anniversaries! Congratulations and much happiness to your parents!

  66. We do a lot of historical re-enactment, so I think this makes perfect sense! It gave me a great idea for my 40th birthday party! All Gone with the Wind and stuff!

  67. The only way the party could have been better is if you had attempted to cross a ford with oxen and everybody drowned, because clearly paying the ferry to take you across was the better decision.

  68. Totally awesome! Reminds me of Em-Tee Town here in Alberta.

    Your hat is a bit freak, though, esp from the back. Are those weird green goggles? Kinda looks like some alien is poking black netting LMFAO!

  69. I want to steal your parents and incorporate them into my family. It’s a toss-up who will weird the other out first.

  70. So.

    I think you have outdone yourself little lady. I didn’t think there could be so much amazing-ness in one haunted fort, but you did it! Extremely jealous. I need for your family to adopt me. I’m begging (you just can’t see me, and there are no stupid little icons that will look like they are begging.) Thank you for making my day better.

    Can’t wait for your book in my mail box! (that sounded kinda dirty)

  71. I used to volunteer as a school marm at that fort. Can’t say that I ran into any ghosts, but rather some very interesting people.

  72. Your parents look adorable, but why do you have alien goggle/eyeballs on the back of your head?? And that cake is all kinds of awesome!! I think I’m going to make something similar for my mother’s birthday this year. It’ll make her so happy she might cry.

  73. Yep, the bleeding armadillo groom’s cake is the bomb-diggity.
    Favorite lines from Steel Magnolias:
    “Looks like two pigs fighting under a blanket.”
    “Miss Truvy, I promise that my personal tragedy will not interfere with my ability to do good hair.”

  74. The best part of this whole thing for me, is that if you had NOT thrown a 1800’s theme party, complete with a dead armadillo cake, for your parent’s 40th anniversary, you would have disappointed so many people …

  75. Nice! The only thing that’s missing is the interview with your parents- and one question in particular “What’s it like having Jenny as a daughter?”

  76. That looks like SOOOOOOOOoooooooo much fun. I wish we could do stuff like that in my family. All I would hear is grumbling about why we had to wear this silly stuff. Although, my boys would love the cake. I may have to make something like that. Call it Roadkill Cake…

  77. My friend was reading a book about prostitutes of the old west and we started to chat about the subject. I told her that if I was a “soiled dove” my POTOW name would have been Ample Fanny. “Time to saddle up Ample Fanny! And fetch me that there bottle of rot gut.”

    Sweet cake.

  78. You father’s beard contains more awesome than can be contained in this post. Can I have him? I mean as a backup, in case mine skips out.

  79. There is a running joke in my family that I have “The San Angelo Curse”. It isn’t a bad curse. Just that I am destined to run into people from my hometown no matter where I go in the world. It happens more often than you would think considering I moved off to the big city, east coast almost twenty years ago.

    As a joke I sent the link to this blog post to my parents asking if they knew anyone in the photos. Yeah. My dad knows your dad though he says it has been years since he ran into him around town.

    I will never joke about the San Angelo Curse again. Clearly taunting it is not wise.

  80. hahaha this looks like so much fun! I want a cake like that for my birthday now :)…and the goggles on the back of your hat-classic!

  81. Love Love Love the Steel Magnolia’s and Oregon Trail references! good thing your wagon didn’t capsize 🙂

  82. Your dress is fantastically amazing, and I am very jealous.

    And the idea of doing red velvet cake as the insides of some hapless dead creature is so morbidly creative, I wonder why I haven’t seen it before. Much as I love armadillos, that’s still kinda awesome.

  83. Okay so seriously…ARE YOU STALKING ME?! First, the creepy doll-head stand at Fredericksburg Trade Days (which I posted photos of to Facebook FIRST, so I am SUING!), AND NOW Fort Concho in San Angelo. Thats basically my stomping grounds. But while you are in the process of planning my demise, you must check out Enchanted Rock. Its stunning. AND theres a giant metal chicken on the way out there.

  84. I’m not sure if I’m disturbed because of the Steel magnolias grooms cake, or because SO MANY PEOPLE recognized it as the Steel Magnolias grooms cake.

  85. As someone who was NAMED after Steel Magnolias, the Armadillo cake is positively legendary. And you make a totally hot 1800s steampunk daughter. What a wicked idea for an anniversary party!

  86. I love that a real person made the Steel Magnolias cake! I totally want to, but can’t figure out how to make gray frosting.

  87. I’ve always been a Victor fan – but I don’t think he’s awesome enough to be part of your family. I mean seriously – your dad is Kenny Rogers! Can I be adopted? And I think you’re parents got married in their cribs. They both look WAY too young to be married 40 years.

  88. Don’t know if anyone else spotted them (not reading through all the comments), but are those STEAMPUNK GOGGLES i see?!? LOVE IT! 🙂

  89. Moderator/adminess–please delet my previous post. I had no idea it would link an actual product…that’s as close to my own website as I get. I’d not intended to whore my wares here…The Bloggess is my fun time!

    I repeat–without the shameless self-promotion…

    Red velvet armadillo cake? BRILLIANT! You are an Excellent Daughter.

  90. Adopt me. Please? I can cook really well and will help you dress any assortment of taxidermied, plaster, clay, metal, etc animals you desire.


    Er…ahem…in our family gifts are brought by The Birthday Armadillo. I should mention we live in Michigan, far from any Armadillos. Except the birthday one.

    You rock.

  92. Holy shit, I have that exact same pair of goggles. I used them when I dressed up as a mad scientist for Halloween.

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