InvadR- Busch Gardens’ NEW and FIRST Wooden Coaster! With my POV Ride Footage!

Like many people, when I hear the two words “Wooden Coaster” I think, OH NO. I typically avoid them like the plague, they’re just too rough for the ol’ neck & back these days, but Busch Gardens’ new wooden coaster InvadR, nestled in the wooded forest of New France, is unlike any of the rickety wooden coasters that I’ve been on before.

As a wood/steel hybrid coaster, one of the things I was the most excited for was the smooth ride it promised. Well, that, and the 74-foot drop, 9 airtime hills, two tunnels, and speeds reaching nearly 50 miles per hour. Excited enough to drag myself out of bed at 4:30am to be able to get to Busch Gardens’ before it opened and give it a whirl.

Yes, I said 4:30 in the MORNING. And I am not a morning person. The excitement was real.

Sunrise over Griffon @buschgardensva

A post shared by Jenny Schoberl (@holdinholden) on


Even though Parker is finally, FINALLY, well above the 48 height requirement for at least a few of the coasters, I can’t tell you how amped I was to hear that the height requirement on InvadR is 46″. Which means minis, who are too big for The Sesame Street Forest of Fun, but still too small for The Loch Ness Monster, can still hop on a “big kid” coaster and have fun with their families– something Parker spent a couple of seasons being really upset about. If only InvadR had come sooner!

STILL, it’s here now, for all the new little thrill seekers out there, and I think he was even more excited than me to hop on.


If you know anything about Busch Gardens, you know that not only is it beautiful, but the theming is pretty much perfect. InvadR and its gnarly hulking Viking self fits perfectly into the wooden, lumberjack-esque New France area of the park, and no, they did NOT tear anything out to put it in (trust me, people ask all the time). It interacts with both the Le Scoot Log Flume and the Caribou Train Station.

Granted, I’m not the greatest with photos, which means you should really just go and see it for yourself.

Don’t believe me yet?

How about this face, does this convince you?


No? STILL not enough. Sheesh, you’re really gonna make me pull out all the stops aren’t you?

FINE. I saved the best for last!

The footage of my first ever ride aboard InvadR in the front row.
Hold onto your sunglasses, people!



I’m seriously– hold on to your sunglasses! Put them somewhere safe! Bonus points to anyone who sees the point Thomas lost his. BUT, we had so much fun, he’s not even mad.

InvadR is open to the public now. Get to Busch Gardens and hop on!

Posted on April 10, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 1 Comment

Was I Morning Person Before Kids? No. Am I a Morning Person now? Also no.

Over nine years–ten if you consider time in the womb– of sleep deprivation followed by early morning wake ups. Nine years that have included everything from midnight feedings to being stuck in the carpool lane at the elementary school before 8am because apparently no one rides the bus in the rain. Nine years of one child who wakes up so early he literally read the entirety of War of the Worlds before I woke up at 7am, followed by another child who doesn’t know the meaning of sleeping in, even though he’s incredibly grumpy when he wakes up early- which is every. single. day. of. his. life.

Nine years of being forced out of bed at ungodly hours, before the sun comes up, even on days where it makes zero sense to be awake and there’s no need to be– nine years of honestly believing I wouldn’t be able to drag myself to make breakfast and get the kids ready, nine years of going almost completely against my nature as a human being and playing the role of a morning person, and you’d think I’d be used to it. You’d think I’d find a way to thrive in the wee hours of the AM. You’d think it would grow on me. That I would naturally morph from a morning hating curmudgeon to a productive morning person.

Nine years and I still hate mornings just as much as I ever did. Hell, I probably hate them even more. HATE. They make me miserable. I’m not cheerful. I’m not productive. I don’t get things done before the sun rises just because I’m up. I’m up because I have to be up, and I’m grumpy about it. The only difference is that I have kids to witness it. Poor things.

People say parenthood changes you. They’ll tell you it over and over again– that it will change your brain, your feelings, how you react to things, treat people, so on and so forth. It doesn’t. It just makes you even more of who you you already were. It amplifies the tiny things, and pulls out both the best and worst in you.

I’m not a damn morning person. Never was, never will be. I was never patient, having kids certainly didn’t give me any extra of that. I’m STILL not magically good enough at math to help with homework. I’ve never been a pushover, and I never will be, not even with the addition of adorable puppy-dog eyes. If anything, I’ve become even more immune to it.
I honestly think that we become even better, stronger versions of ourselves… and I guess we have our kids to thank.

But let’s agree to NEVER tell them that.

…. and I’ll never, ever be a morning person.

Posted on April 7, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 1 Comment

The Pre-Sentimental Parent & Wanting to Freeze Time

Sentimentality has never been in my nature. Or, if it was, it must have broken along with my leg in the 2nd grade.

Over the weekend, as those of you who follow my Facebook page and Instagram account sort of freaked out over Parker chopping off his long locks, I was just sort of…. meh. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED him with long hair. Sure, I’m his mom, and I think he looks great no matter what he does, but I’m incredibly partial to his hair being epicly long and flowing, but I shed no tears. I didn’t even do a good job of trying to talk him out of it. Laziness? Nah. It just didn’t bother me as much as it does a lot of other parents.

That’s not to say I don’t have moments of nostalgia. Things that I definitely miss from their younger years.

I may not miss late night feedings or not being able to pee alone, but I definitely still carry a torch for when they were so little I could still rock them to sleep and they didn’t yell “UGH! MOMMY! I’M NOT A BABY!”
There’s no part of me that misses shitty diapers of all colors and consistencies or considering only being upchucked on twice in a day as a “good” day, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the days where they didn’t know what a vagina was. And while we’re at it– I will NEVER miss feeding them from jars, cord stumps, or teething.

What I am, and I can’t hide it, nor will I try, is pre-sentimental. Which sounds far more like something dirty than I’d intended when I came up with the term, but it’s an affliction all parents have that has nothing to do with where I know your mind is at right now.

Pre-sentimentality is the act of becoming completely aware that things with your kids are on the verge of changing drastically due to age, or maturity, and wanting to freeze time so that they don’t. It’s knowing you’re about to lose something that you don’t want to lose, but you know eventually the day would come, so you’d just like to stop time in this place forever so you can keep them just how they are in that very moment.
It’s basically a long winded way of saying- NO! I DON’T WANT YOU TO CHANGE! CAN’T YOU JUST STAY THIS AGE FOREVER??

I’d far rather be sentimental than pre-sentimental. At least when you’re sentimental, you don’t know you’ve lost the thing until it’s already in the past. When you’re pre-sentimental, you can see that shit coming from a mile away and there’s nothing you can do to stop it short of getting a letter of Hogwarts and discovering you’re a fucking wizard with powers that make you capable of fracturing time. Not likely.

Pre-sentimentality has smacked me hard. I swear, no matter how I type this, it sounds dirty. Especially over this past weekend.
Much like when my sweet, innocent babies learned about vaginas, and way before they were so amused by saying it starting with an F as loudly as possible- FAGINA! FAGINA! or when they went from crawling to walking and you cried like the big baby you are about how your baby isn’t a baby anymore, mine decided to go and grow up again, flaring up my pre-sen like a mofo.

It was bed time. I was tucking my baby, my itty bitty baby boy, who just cut all of his hair off, and has SIX LOOSE TEETH, into bed, like I always do. I leaned in and asked him for a smooch, like I always do. And instead of obliging, he informed me that he would no longer be “mouth kissing”.

“I’m not mouth kissing again until I get married.”

After I was resuscitated from the floor after laughing so hard that I stopped breathing and nearly died, the gravity of his statement hit me. Parker’s always been a smoochy kid. He loved giving smooches. You didn’t have to ask, he’d just run up and smooch you. It was his thing, you just knew when Parker was around you were getting smooches, and it was lovely.

After I picked myself up off of the floor, because, let’s be very matter of fact here– he’s full of shit — it became clear that in the blink of an eye, my once smoochy baby became too old, too cool to kiss his mommy. Next thing you know, he’ll be asking me to drop him off on the corner and calling me “Ma”. Ew.
If I could have, I would have frozen time. I would have kept him smoochy and lovey-dovey. I’d have kept him little, and sweet, and innocent enough to believe he’s never going to kiss another person on the lips before he’s married. But I can’t. That’s not reality, and that’s the hardest part of parenthood. Knowing they’re going to grow up, and as proud as you are watching it happen, it hurts you to watch things change, to watch them change, too quickly to ever get comfortable, or to ever be prepared.

IT SUCKS. That’s all there is to it. I can’t tell you how to make it through, I just know that you will. I don’t know how… probably with the assistance of adult beverages. But we got this. Don’t we?? I’m not sure….. cheers!

Posted on April 4, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

To Selfie or not to Selfie– Why is there even a Debate?

Don’t you just love it how you grow up being told to love yourself, and once you finally do, they’re like “wait, no, not like that”?

It’s a frustrating life-long battle with how you feel about yourself vs. how society wants you to express how you feel about yourself that all comes to a head, right now, with “selfies”.

Yeah, selfies. I don’t like the word either, but it is what it is. And what it is, is a picture of yourself, typically followed by being posted online, whether on a social media account, or in an album. I’ve never been able to tell whether the visceral reaction to “selfies” is because the word is so simplistically stupid, or if it runs deeper– all the way back down to that whole “love yourself- WAIT, STOP. NOT LIKE THAT” bullshit I mentioned above.

There was a long while that I avoided posting “selfies” of myself online at all. I won’t dance around the fact that I absolutely have self esteem issues, and although 99% of the time I consider myself to have zero fucks to give other peoples opinions on how I look, how I dress, what color my hair is, getting negative comments on your photos is never what I’d call “fun”.

People made fun of my “obsession” with my hair, one lady called me a “conceited cunt” and insisted I needed to be “brought down” (I still can’t figure that one out), and you just kind of get to the point where you pause before posting and wonder- okay, who’s going to be shitting on my photo this time? Who’s going to be sitting behind their computer or phone rolling their eyes and mumbling that I’m an attention whore?

Posting a selfie because less of not feeling good about myself, and more wanting to avoid the drama, which made me feel bad about myself, and I know I’m not the only one.

Of course, stupid shit like this doesn’t help:

So… because someone posts photos of themselves, they don’t read? Or they must read because they post selfies? OH WAIT. I GET IT. YOU’RE LOOSELY IMPLYING THAT PEOPLE WHO POST SELFIES ARE STUPID.

I don’t need to say this- but I write books. I read books. Writing and reading are part of my job. I am not the smartest person you’ll ever meet, but I’m not a moron– and I don’t lose brain cells every time I post a selfie. It also doesn’t mean I’m vain, conceited, narcissistic, or have a mental illness (yes, these are all things I’ve read, because, OH, wouldn’t you know it, I read!)

It may sound like I’m mad, but I’m not, I’m just frustrated and exhausted by all the assumptions, stipulations, and judgment placed on all of us over absolutely everything. From how we talk, to how we dress, to how we parent, to what we do for work and their perception of how well we do it, or how “important” it is, all the way down to a stupid selfie.

The “too easy” thing to do would be to tell you to give zero fucks. Stop caring what people think. But we all know it’s never that simple, so I’ll appeal to everyone in a different way.

What it takes to post a selfie online these days, KNOWING there’s going to be someone who may either talk shit, complain, or mumble shit under their breath, assume you’re an attention whore, fishing for attention (again, all things I’ve read before), are balls. Beach-ball sized lady nuts (or just nuts, for the dudes selfie-ing out there). It means you were feeling confident enough to say “screw what anyone might say” and post it anyway, and that’s. fucking. awesome. IT IS AWESOME. Confidence isn’t always easy to come by in the day of digital media where everyone seems to look perfect, so if you’re feeling yourself enough to put yourself out there- you are amazing. Instead of shitting on each other, we should be building each other up. Fostering that kind of confidence, for adults and for young people, so they can grow that confidence as they age and actually grow to the point where they can be themselves without actually giving a fuck, without second guessing. That’s where we all should be, and it is possible to get there, if only we could stop shitting on one another.

Feeling yourself? Post a selfie. Just finished a kick ass work out? Go ahead, selfie it up. No makeup, don’t care? Go for it, more power to you. Feeling awesome about your outfit? Show it off. Go somewhere awesome? Share it! Do something fun? Take a picture! Just because you feel like it? Why not?

Cheer each other on. Lift each other up. Kindness is FREE. Sprinkle that shit everywhere. And post your damn selfie. I’ll be here hitting the like button.

Posted on March 30, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

Mom vs. Kids: How to win EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

I’ve been having trouble deciding what to write about lately, and I think part of that is because in my daily life with kids, 90% of it is dealing with ugly, obnoxious cases of “I can’t”. Fellow parents are well versed in this hideous affliction. It’s the one that makes your kids whine about doing even the most mundane of tasks– ones they’ve done pretty much every other day of their lives without issue, suddenly, they are physically, mentally, and/or emotionally unable.

It has taken over my life like a suffocating, stinky wet blanket. So many minutes I could be spending doing something slightly more productive with my time, like staring at my wrinkles in the mirror, or wondering where all these new gray hairs came from near the crown of my head, is, instead, spent trying to calmly explain to my children why they CAN in fact brush their teeth, tie their shoes, eat a fucking sandwich…

Spoiler alert: it ain’t workin’.

As hard as I tried, as much as I tried to do the “right” thing by being patient, and calm, two words I would never use to describe myself are patient, and calm, so by the fourth time my kid claimed to not know how to put toothpaste onto his toothbrush, I’d about had enough. RIP Patient Mommy. This is about the moment all the promises I made myself so many years back, before children, when I was full of optimism and arrogance about my skills as a mother, go out the window.

This “can’t” affliction has forced me to take drastic measures to counter it. I’m in a dark place, people.

Over the weekend, at the head of all the can’ts, to the way of the Dodo, along with “I’ll never lick my thumb to clean my kid’s face” and “I will never lose my patience in public!”, went “I’ll never use my child’s birth to guilt them.”


….. and I’m never going back.

                                  awwww yisssssss

I mean, I did it, I DID blow out my vag to bring them into this world. I gave up my body, my mind, my skin elasticity. Why shouldn’t I be able to bring it up when they’re pulling all kinds of nonsensical bullshit about not being able to do something menial that isn’t going to rip their parts in half? It would be stupid not to.

Can’t figure out how to get noodles onto a fork? Well, I didn’t think I could squeeze your comically enormous dome out of my hoo-ha, but I did that, didn’t I?

Can’t finish your school project in time, even though you started it a week ago and only have one thing left to do? Well, I didn’t think I would survive labor with you when my blood pressure hit 200/100, BUT I DID, DIDN’T I?

Don’t tell me you “forgot” how to tie your shoes overnight. I didn’t forget to breathe while shoving the entirety of your body out of my birth canal, and trust me, that’s far more difficult.

There’s NOTHING they can say that can ever beat that. It’s a straight flush. And as much as I thought I would hate pulling the ultimate mom card… I don’t.

I DO still hate the “I can’t”s, but it no longer stands a chance. MOMS WIN!



Tell me, what is it? What’s the ONE “mom” thing you said you wouldn’t do, but now you do all the damn time, with no regret, because it’s the best shit ever? We all have one. Don’t be shy. Let me know in the comments!

Posted on March 27, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment