My Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey

My Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey

This past Sunday, I may have mentioned it felt like Christmas Day seventeen times. That’s huge if you know how I get about Christmas.

Ginni and I scoot out of the house with no agenda whatsoever except to take our sweet time getting to Austin. There is a near immediate stop at Starbucks, where I not only get coffee, but add milk to it. (I can tell this day is going to be large living.) We stop at Common Grounds in Waco for a granola bar and some kombucha and then proceed to sit in the car and watch RachTalk videos because WE CAN. Plus, we want to catch up before seeing Rachel Hollis in person in just a few short hours (!!!).


We arrive in Austin with the brilliant idea to change clothes in the Whole Foods bathroom. Why did we think that would be a relaxing choice? I really don’t know—but I get my first smoothie bowl afterwards, which changes my smoothie world, so I barely remember whipping on skinny jeans in a stall while a long line of women were most likely shooting angry eyes at me through the door. Sorry, y’all! I’m going to see Jamie Ivey!

Ginni showed me how to take a selfie while I showed her where to look. It takes a village.

Ginni shows me how to take a selfie while I show her where to look. It takes a village.


And then we arrive. At Jamie Ivey’s house.



Hello! We are at Jamie Ivey’s house! Jen Hatmaker is here! Rachel Hollis is here! Jessica Honegger is here! Jamie’s kids are dressed in oversized vests directing us to park, and it is the cutest thing ever. Ginni and I quickly promise to tell each other if food is stuck in our teeth and give no guarantees we won’t be complete dorks around these amazing women. Point proven immediately.

Right as we’re walking across her porch, we get a full frontal hug from Jamie, and I was just so over the moon for her. This night has arrived out of passion and drive and hard work and asking for help and the desire to encourage women. She did it, and I realize how much I admire her in this moment.


After scanning that breathtaking hill country of a backyard, I catch Jen Hatmaker out of the corner of my eye and audibly squeal. We walk over, and she talks with us and hugs us and takes a picture with us like there isn’t a line of women wanting the exact same thing.


Ginni and I get a glass of wine and sit at a front table because that’s how we roll only to find a mountain of goodies waiting for us at our seats. I didn’t go through it all until getting home later, but I can tell you now we scored big time. Holy peaches, the loot.


Jamie and her three guests make their way to their table at the front and begin the chat. It starts off in super serious territory when Jamie brings up the issue of not being able to hold it and peeing on herself on a regular basis. My cheeks, you guys. They are hurting from the laughter. My eyes are watering. And when Jen tells the story of peeing while riding horseback and having to stop the trail ride so she can finish up behind a bush ten feet from Matt Chandler, I think I might just die.


Jamie asks each gal to talk about what success is to them. I start taking notes on my phone (if only I had realized there was a beautiful notepad in my fresh stash of goods!), but that is annoying so I just listen and will now have to paraphrase. There are answers like:

When I’m working hard but it doesn’t define me.

When my confidence comes from how Jesus sees me and has nothing to do with what I’m doing or not doing.

When I don’t make my success in comparison to someone else’s success.

When I’m not about approval or recognition.

And then Jen says this (or something similar):

I wrote so much before anyone ever read it. But I don’t regret a single day of it because that’s where I learned who God was. And who I was to God. I got to practice and find my voice and learn without a large audience watching. Don’t wish the beginning days away. Practice and learn. My success was never connected to the approval of others. It was doing what God called me to do.

My eyes brim with tears. I knew I would find encouragement through this night because I find it every week in Jamie’s show, but this is one of those times when my soul is searching for affirmation about its life’s work. And then I actually hear those exact words spoken, and I feel breath fill my lungs.

Jamie asks Rachel about going to the Oscars because her husband works for Disney (nice!), and that leads to discussing if they would skip out on good food to look like Charlize Theron, if a celebrity. The consensus is that bread is too good and we only get one life on this earth to enjoy it. And that was pretty much the end of that talk.

There’s talk about extracurricular activities for our kids—everything from football to jazz dance, and making decisions for the goodness of your whole family. They follow Happy Hour protocol and discuss their three favorite things and what they’re reading right now. The topic of sex is brought up but quickly left behind because there are kids and parents present (but the point of it being a good, healthy thing was more than hinted at, and going to a hotel for that reason alone may have been mentioned). They talk about Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic, and the importance in realizing we are meant to do things because we love them, not because we’re told we’ll be the best at it. Any talk about this book makes me want to stand on my chair and cheer.

Jamie’s husband, Aaron, is a rockstar. Have you heard the guy sing? I’ve always said if I ever moved to Austin, I would be broke because I would spend all my money on delicious food every day. But now, I’m thinking I just need to become friends with the Iveys because his food is right up there with any restaurant, and now I know where they live. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Sweet and spicy pork tacos and Brussels sprouts tacos (seriously) that Aaron and his team dress for us to ensure all toppings are given a proper chance. True Vines provided the beer, which is so exciting because they’re located in Tyler, TX! After all of that, there is still the coffee and pie bar. You guys know I’ve missed coffee so. And you really know my love for pie. So yeah, I ate it ALL and relished every single bite and sip and smell. See you later, elimination diet. I was just told life is too short for you.

Chef Aaron made a quick appearance on stage.

Chef Aaron made a quick appearance on stage.


While we are eating, Q&A is going on, and an awesome question was asked by one of the Milk & Honey girls:

How do you differentiate between mommy guilt and true conviction that pursuing your dreams is detrimental to your family?

These were some of the responses:

Check to see if your family is thriving or dying. (Whining is not dying.)

It is good for your kids to see their mom pursuing goals outside of them.

It is a privilege for moms to pursue their dreams through work while in other countries (and in the US, too), many women don’t have a choice because there is a financial demand for them to work for the survival of their family.

Ginni and I could have hung around until the sun made a new appearance, but we had a bit of a drive ahead of us, and there would be babies waiting for us the next morning, so we headed back. Completely on a high, we watched/listened to Adele sing car karaoke with James Corden and put a Jamba Juice employee through a circus on Ellen. All of the road construction and 18-wheelers hardly bothered me because my mind was on greater things.

What an incredible night! What a gift to be able to connect with women who love encouraging women. What a privilege to read their words and hear their talks about pure passion, the whole time giving recognition to Jesus. What an example of who I want to be as a human being.


So if you’re not already on the Happy Hour train, hop on over to your Podcast app and search for “The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey.” Subscribe and be happy. You can also check out good stuff about previous guests on her website!

PPS! Goody Bags made possible by Paint & Prose (the featured print below is theirs!), Persimmon Prints, Prep Dish, Milk and Honey Tees, May Designs, Paper Works, Noonday Collection, Beauty Counter, Two Sparrows Roasting Company, and Maker + Ink.




  1. Ginni Rickerson on March 8, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    Jenna!!! Such a great summary of our day!! Loved it! So glad we got to experience it together friend!

    • jswinegeart on March 9, 2016 at 4:46 am

      I couldn’t have asked for a better travel buddy! What a lovely day!

  2. Kathy King on March 9, 2016 at 1:09 am

    Love, love reading your blog!!! Also love the pics you post. Jenna you have so much talent, keep writing😍😍😍

    • jswinegeart on March 9, 2016 at 4:47 am

      Wow, Kathy, thanks! Your words mean so much to me!

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