Candid Keepers #246

I remember the first time I “met” Jane.  It was right after we announced the House of Koop auction and she was one of the first emails I received wanting to do whatever she could.  Her enthusiasm to help is admirable, her thoughtfulness is contagious and the joy she spreads is abundant.  I’m absolutely thrilled to be interviewing Jane this week.  I’m certain she’s nervous for her big debut on the blog, so help me give this old friend a warm welcome.
Q:  Tell me about yourself.  Where you live, where you grew up and about your family.
A:  Hey Jami!  Well, I’m Jane Flower Blackman and I’m an Iowa native. This is my fourth season as a MJC Trunk Keeper forging the path for Matilda Jane as the only IA Trunk Keeper. I’m also a F/T at home momwife. I’m married to Luke (8 years), who keeps me grounded and mom to three.  Sylvie who’s 8 years old (smarter than I could ever hope to be), Hila who’s 6 years old (has more tenacity in her little finger than I have in my entire body!) {lots of laughing} and Reid is 3 years old (best side kick this mama could ever ask for i.e. lots of inside jokes with this 3 year old guy).   We live in Davenport, Iowa which is in the east central part  of Iowa right on the Mississippi River.  We’re a part of the Quad Cities (Bettendorf, Davenport, Moline, IL and Rock Island, IL).  I grew up in Bettendorf, Iowa, and I like to joke about how my house was a split foyer. Not fancy, but really it was a great place to grow up with my two brothers. my Mom still lives in the house we grew up in.
Q:  Have you always known you wanted kids?
A:  I knew I wanted children when I was little.  I had lots of baby dolls I  cared for and loved.  I  still remember packing those babies in boxes to store at my Mom’s place once I’d outgrown them, lovingly dressing them, fixing hair and making sure they all had shoes on; even the Barbie dolls.  Then, after finishing college I went with a ‘childless by choice’ thing.  The idea of a child-free restaurant was alluring while I managed restaurants!   I just wanted to travel around to see a band I liked or play around jumping from job to job.  I also hadn’t met anyone I liked enough to have children with.  But then I met Luke and look at me now! I’m the one bringing the kids to trash those restaurant floors.  {Bahahaha}
Q:  What are your dreams for your children?
A:  I dream that their lives won’t be filled with heartache but mostly happiness.   I am hopeful that my kids can learn how to figure out life lessons for themselves because we all know that life’s hard so I just want to make it as easy to navigate as possible.  One thing I know for sure is that “things happen” and we can’t always control them.   I hope they learn to react to challenges good and bad with grace.   I want to show them that they have a choice when presented with different scenarios.  I want them to think before reacting instead of using emotion.  That’s a tough one with my girls already. It’s cliche’, but truth is we just want to see them happy at whatever it is they do. 
Q:  If you could pick up your family and move anywhere, where would you go and why?
A:  Oregon.  The mountains, the forests, the Pacific. the laid back lifestyle.  Hey, I’m from Iowa: I like extreme weather so I have to go with it.
Q:  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?  
A:  I don’t have a vision for this.  I wish I did. “My life…is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it without knowing what’s going to happen next” ~Gilda Radner
Q:  What made you fall in love with your husband?
A:  Conversation. We put everything out on the table early on and I just saw eye to eye with him and enjoyed talking to him. His sound advice, his ability to be a cultural chameleon, his bringing me away from the “ledge” when I think something is going to be the end of the world.  But mostly I fell in love with him big time when Sylvie, Hila and Reid were born. 
Q:  What is one thing about him that makes you “crazy?”
A:  Inability to make a decision and go with it.  Example: We’ll decide that I’m not cooking and I’ll get everyone ready to go out (which doesn’t happen) and then he’ll switch and decide we have leftovers or that he wants to slap together some grilled cheese!!  I guess it could be worse but hey!  Make a decision that works in my favor and stick with it???!! {Lots of laughing}
Q:  What would he say if I asked him the same question about you?
A:  Ahahahahaha.   My projects in every room of the house that aren’t exactly  finished.  Just the day to day stuff, not so much home improvements.  In my defense: I start in the kitchen organizing a paper pile and find a kid’s toy that belongs in the toy baskets, so I go up to put that toy in it’s “home” and I find everything out of order, so I start organizing then I find that the girls were playing with my jewelry so I go to my dresser and next thing I know, I’m re-designing my jewelry display.  That happens to you too right?!??!  {ha?!}
Q:  What is the best part of being a TK?  
A:  Ha!   Getting our hands on the beautiful pieces before anyone else can. Bar none. Every time a new collection arrives on our porch, the world stops spinning.
Q:  What advice would you give someone who is interested in becoming a TK?
A:  Oh there’s so much to say; Most importantly, know your crowd.  Talk to everyone about Matilda Jane, wear it everywhere, have your children wear it everywhere.  Even before I was hired as a Trunk Keeper, I carried a little notebook to write down phone numbers and emails of the women who stopped to compliment my ruffle pants. Even if you just like the woman’s flats and her daughters hair pretty at Target, approach her and ask if she knows about Matilda Jane. I’d ask them if they would have a trunk show if I got the job!
Q:  If you could have one wish, what would it be?
A:  I would wish to have my brother Steve back.  He died in May of 2009.  That’s my wish. {awww darn tears and tears darn}
Q:  Tell us about a time when someone did something unexpected for you in a time of need.
A:  Oh my goodness so many people have surprised me with their unbelievable kindness and selflessness.    It’s a simple one, when my friend  brought us dinner in July when our baby wasn’t due til October “just because”. I didn’t really know I needed help until she showed up.  That inspires me.   
Q:  What is your favorite random act of kindness?
A:  That would have to be the pay it forward in the Starbucks drive thru line.  I don’t know why I love that so much, I just do.  It’s like wow you really just did that for me? why? Oh, for no reason…  Huh.  OK now I’m going to pay for the guy behind me now.  Then, I burn away in my wagon before they can catch up to me at the stop light and thank me~
Q:  Favorite blogs or websites?
A: Oooooooo  I have some secret blogs that I’m protective of & would never tell but…  I love A Blog About Love.  She is a beautiful person every way you slice it. and I think if we knew eachother, we’d meet for coffee once a week.  “My Life and Kids’ is a belly laugh- a- day-keeps-the psychiatrist-away kinda blog.  She’s hilarious; it’s this really honest “like yeah, I love my kids, being an at home Mom, it’s the best but they make messes, my house totally doesn’t look like a Pottery Barn catalog & they gave me these varicose veins”.  I make Luke listen to me read her posts sometimes; (SARCASM it’s his favorite part of the day).  If you don’t already follow a cooking or baking blog ‘Lucy’s Kitchen Notebook’ is one to bookmark.  She’s a Frenchie and so cool.
Q:  How do you plan to leave this world a better place?  
A:  I want leave the world a better place by being connected to people so that they feel  they were important to me.  And it’ll be a better place because I was a great tipper.  {Lots of laughing}
Q:  If you could give a “plug”  to one company, which one would it be and why?
A: TOMS  I’m on trend here, great company, great cause.  If you’re not already on board,  TOMS is a ‘one for one’ movement.  They carry Men’s, Women’s, Youth and Toddler shoes plus a line of eye wear.  For every purchase of a  pair of shoes/sunglasses; TOMS give a new pair to a child or adult in need.   Everyone should have at least one pair to give one.
You’re the BEST, Jane!  Cheers to many more years of trunk keeping and smile spreading.
For you fabulous readers out there, we haven’t had a contest in awhile. So, here it goes:
Once a year our amazing TK’s get together to pow wow.  I’ll pick 2 random winners who can tell me what they call this weekend and where it’s located.
Have a great day!

     
Lisa Beard - April 28, 2012 - 5:16 pm

it has to be in Ft. Wayne! And is it called Dress Rehearsal or New Season Dress Rehearsal? Either way, I’d love to win!

Mandy B - April 28, 2012 - 3:39 pm

Schools out for Summer!! No, that song isn’t coming from my kids…they are not old enough to be in school yet. I am the one looking forward to summer break. I teach 1st grade and have two under age three at home. This June I turn 30 and celebrate 7 years of marriage. WOW where does the time go?! This summer I am going to slow things down and enjoy not rushing out the door each morning, coming home from work to cook, clean and do laundry so I don’t fall behind! I can’t wait to wake up with my kids and make scrambled eggs and pancakes for breakfast! We will spend lots of time at the zoo and just being together most likely outside. I love my job but I am counting down the days… 🙂

Michelle Lynch - April 28, 2012 - 2:06 am

Dress Rehearsal in Fort Wayne:) Love these fun random contests!

Courtney Puhl - April 27, 2012 - 2:53 pm

I’m thinking its the Conference in Fort Wayne?

Lindsay H - April 27, 2012 - 2:01 pm

I have a 4 year old daughter and 16 month old triplet boys so NO slowin down here. But, I am truly looking forward to our family vacation to South Carolina this summer with my parents. So, with my parents help I will get to relax a little! 🙂 Would love a hobo bag for this fun trip to the beach.

Cami - April 27, 2012 - 11:05 am

It is in Fort Wayne and it is known as a Dress Rehearsal.

amy boutin - April 27, 2012 - 10:44 am

FORT WAYNE,INDIANA new seasons dress rehearsal

Kealii - April 27, 2012 - 10:34 am

The dress rehearsal and I’m guessing in Ft Wayne

Monika M. - April 27, 2012 - 10:08 am

Dress Rehearsal and it’s usually in Ft. Wayne =).

Betsy r - April 27, 2012 - 9:50 am

How about a random pick for someone who doesn’t know the answer! Ha!!

Sarah L-B - April 27, 2012 - 9:33 am

Dress Rehearsal in Ft. Wayne 🙂 Love the name 🙂

Pamela M. - April 27, 2012 - 6:07 am

Hi – It’s called the Dress Rehearsal and it’s in Ft. Wayne. I know the trunk keepers always have a blast and get fun goodies! Love the interviews with the trunk keepers…keep it going!

Tish Burns - April 27, 2012 - 6:07 am

Dress Rehearsal in Fort Wayne!!!!!

Kay Dougherty - April 27, 2012 - 4:20 am

Oops looks like it did take my comment from yesterday. It kept giving me an error message so I tried again this morning 🙂

Kay Dougherty - April 27, 2012 - 4:18 am

the annual dress rehearsal in fort wayne IN

Anna - April 27, 2012 - 4:10 am

Awww – that’s the sweetest compliment ever, Jane! So glad you enjoy reading my blog!!

Mel F - April 27, 2012 - 3:27 am

It’s called Dress Rehearsal and it’s in Ft. Wayne, IN over the summer. The Teams get together at different times of the year and have smaller gatherings that are more local to them.

Rachel - April 27, 2012 - 12:54 am

Dress rehersal and it’s in fort wayne…it has to be so much fun!!

Brannon - April 26, 2012 - 10:41 pm

They are called dress rehearsals and are in ft. Wayne Indiana. 🙂

Stephanie - April 26, 2012 - 9:39 pm

Dress Rehersal in Fort Wayne, IN

Mary Patterson - April 26, 2012 - 9:15 pm

Dress Rehearsal held in Ft. Wayne, IN. 🙂

Leah D. - April 26, 2012 - 7:42 pm

New Season Dress Rehearsal in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

Courtney - April 26, 2012 - 7:35 pm

Dress Rehearsal in Fort Wayne!! 🙂

Rebecca Parvin - April 26, 2012 - 6:56 pm

I don’t know but it sounds like a great place to be. 🙂

natali - April 26, 2012 - 6:26 pm

Loved reading about Jane!! Sounds like such a cool chick …the annual pow wow is called the dress rehearsal and is held in good ol ft. Wayne!!

Kayla - April 26, 2012 - 5:41 pm

Dress rehearsal in Ft. Wayne. (:

Dawn M - April 26, 2012 - 5:36 pm

New Season Dress Rehearsal Conference held in Fort Wayne, IN. This would make my day to win this contest. It would put a skip in my step for sure. 😉

Tammy Taylor - April 26, 2012 - 4:40 pm

It is called New Seasons Dress Rehearsal and it is located in Fort Wayne, In. Jane your children are beautiful.

Arianne Johnson - April 26, 2012 - 4:04 pm

Its the Dress Rehearsal of course. Held at non other than 435

Nicole P - April 26, 2012 - 4:04 pm

NEW SEASONS DRESS REHEARSAL Fort Wayne IN

Megan Presal - April 26, 2012 - 4:02 pm

NEW SEASONS DRESS REHEARSAL Fort Wayne IN
Thanks for the fun contest. <3

Addie P. - April 26, 2012 - 4:00 pm

NEW SEASONS DRESS REHEARSAL <3 In Fort Wayne IN

Jamie M. W. - April 26, 2012 - 3:45 pm

The TK pow wow is the Annual Dress Rehearsal, Trunk Keeper Conference held in Fort Wayne, IN. Thanks for these fun TK interviews. It’s nice to learn about all of these amazing women that have a passion for MJC!

Rochelle - April 26, 2012 - 3:27 pm

Yay Jane! You all look so cute! 🙂

And it’s dress rehearsal, in Ft. Wayne

Erin McCauley - April 26, 2012 - 3:24 pm

That one weekend is where I met my wonderful friend! Jane, you are one of my favorite reasons that I’m a TK. What a wonderful way to end my day. Of ALL days, this would be the one I didn’t call you on my way home lol 🙂 You’re a blessing to us all.

Jennifer Raymond - April 26, 2012 - 3:02 pm

Dress rehearsal in Ft. Wayne Indiana! Go Hoosiers!

Loretta - April 26, 2012 - 2:58 pm

Dress Rehearsal in Ft. Wayne, IN. The weekend before Art Fair, I believe….

Kim T - April 26, 2012 - 2:26 pm

Dress Rehearsal – in Fort Wayne, IN! Thanks for the chance!

Marla H. - April 26, 2012 - 2:22 pm

Its called Dress Rehearsal held in Fort Wayne IN!!!! Pick me!!! lol!

Alyssa P - April 26, 2012 - 1:53 pm

You just held this gathering recently, so my general time from is winter, I am guessing January in Ft. Wayne, because I seem to remember a recent look book that celebrated this event and the women were all dressed for fall and winter. Since I cannot access that actual look book the pics and explanation were from, I am also guessing trunk keeper weekend gathering…

Sorry, that’s all I remember

JJARMOMMY - April 26, 2012 - 1:47 pm

Its Dress Rehearsal in Fort Wayne IN…… Loved Reading about Jane! What a fun lady and talented mom you have as a TK! She is a keeper 🙂

Joann E - April 26, 2012 - 1:26 pm

~~~~~~Its Dress Rehearsal in Fort Wayne IN~~~~~~~ Thanks for the fun contest 🙂

Kylie - April 26, 2012 - 1:25 pm

Dress Rehearsal in Fort Wayne Indiana!

Sandra Skevington - April 26, 2012 - 1:23 pm

It is in Fort Wayne Indiana and it is called the New Season Dress Rehearsal! Yay for contests. 😀

Courtney Voss - April 26, 2012 - 1:18 pm

Dress Rehersal at 435! Love the toms plug because I’ve been contemplating a pair, now I’m gonna go for it! Now the question is: plain or pattern?

Carrie T - April 26, 2012 - 1:18 pm

Great job Jane! I’m proud to call you my friend!

Allie Rae - April 26, 2012 - 1:12 pm

*** NEW SEASONS DRESS REHEARSAL **** In Beautiful Fort Wayne IN!!!

M. Joy Williams - April 26, 2012 - 1:10 pm

This pow wow is called the New Season Dress Rehearsal. It takes place in Fort Wayne, Indiana. 🙂

Katherine - April 26, 2012 - 1:07 pm

Confrence

Kay Dougherty - April 26, 2012 - 1:06 pm

Annual dress rehearsal in Fort Wayne, IN. Go midwest!

Amy Littlefield - April 26, 2012 - 1:05 pm

Dress Rehearsal is held in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Kay Dougherty - April 26, 2012 - 1:05 pm

annual dress rehearsal in Fort Wayne, IN. Go midwest!!

Meghan Wise - April 26, 2012 - 1:02 pm

Is it the the annual dress rehearsal held in New York City

jennifer wawszkiewicz - April 26, 2012 - 12:58 pm

Dress Rehearsal in Ft. Wayne, IN!

Maryann Eden - April 26, 2012 - 12:56 pm

Dress Rehersal….Fort Wayne? I love these candid keeper posts! They are so fun to read about the different ladies!!! Cant wait to read about the wonderful Chrissy

lois - April 26, 2012 - 12:53 pm

ITS IN FORT WAYNE,INDIANA AND ITS CALLED “NEW SEASONS DRESS REHERSAL”

Mindy Heisner - April 26, 2012 - 12:50 pm

New Season Dress Rehersal, in fort wayne, IN. In July 🙂

Wendy H - April 26, 2012 - 12:30 pm

Dress Rehersal!! Its at 435!!!

Caryn Sachar - April 26, 2012 - 12:08 pm

The meetings are called dress rehearsals. The big one that all the TKs go to is in July in Ft. Wayne, and the other meeting is team meetings (my TK’s was in Nashville). Thanks Leigh for the help!!

Jessica - April 26, 2012 - 11:49 am

Jane– your family is absolutely beautiful! I love to see these TK pictures.

Kate - April 26, 2012 - 11:34 am

It’s in Ft. Wayne and you call it Trunk Drunk? (At Least that sounds fun!!) Maybe you call it Keepers gone wild.