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A Day in the Life of Jennifer Serra

Jennifer Serra lives in Fort Worth with her husband Frank and their 2-year-old daughter Lily. Jennifer is a Stila Cosmetics education artist responsible for education, sales and events for Stila in the Fort Worth area. Frank is a full-time student and owns a college-textbook business.

5AM “Mom, I don't want to sleep in my big-girl bed right now.” Half-asleep myself, I pick up Lily and wedge her between Frank and me in our bed. She grabs an earlobe. Most kids have blankies, but Lily has earlobes. I count to five to let her know she has five seconds to let go. She smiles and drifts back asleep.

7:20AM I usually give myself a 10-minute window to get up and moving. I pretty much pop up today. I choose soup for breakfast. Lunch options for breakfast usually signify a big day ahead: I have a beauty event to run at the ULTA off Hulen Street. I check emails and do a quick Google search for eye-shadow inspiration. Bold and bright is the current trend. I opt for bright blue on the eyes and nude on the lips.

8:30AM I change and load event props and the director’s chair into my car. Mid-make-up, Lily awakens. “Mom, why are you going to work already?” She sees that I've changed into my work clothes, and she begins to tear up. Rushing toward her, I give her a little snuggle. She falls asleep again, but only for another 20 minutes.

9AM I let Frank sleep in while I slice an apple and pour some cereal for Lily. She asks to watch her favorite cartoon, and I hear her giggle as she chomps on an apple slice. I peek in to see what she's laughing at. “Play it again, Mom! I want you to watch this part!” A penguin hitting a snowman's nose. Hi-larious. I continue blending out my blue eye shadow.

10AM My dad calls to see how his favorite (and only) grandkid is doing. I put him on speaker and tell him how Lily has been saying all morning that she wants to go to work with me. “Don't worry about working right now. When you become a grown-up, that's all you’ll be doing,” he tells her. Oh, the priceless look of confusion on her face. Today also happens to be the last day of her Parent and Me swim lessons. I make her promise that she’ll dunk her head underwater today.

10:50AM Pulling up to the parking lot of ULTA, I spot the Tom Thumb right next door. Green tea or smoothie? Why not both? I speed through the aisles, pay, head back to the car and haul event props into ULTA in one load.

11AM Kelly, another education artist teaming up with me for the event, greets me. We set up.

2PM Yet another bride. This is the third bride today needing make-up for her wedding. I show her all of my personal kiss-proof and cry-proof favorites. Stila has a plethora of bridal must-haves, including a foundation made for film and photography.

2:20PM My stomach is grumbling, so I bum rush Tom Thumb again for a quick lunch. Sandwich and tres leches cake. Yum!

4PM I love new beginnings. This particular young lady is looking for something more professional and chic. Just out of college, she wants something very “put-together” – not something that makes her look like she just rolled out of bed for her final exams. I apply a lipstick called Fiery on her.

6PM “My son is getting married in July, and I need make-up,” says a gorgeous petite woman. “Indoor or outdoor wedding?” I ask. “Outdoor.” Outdoor summer weddings in Texas are beyond me. I've worked on brides in the summer, and it's rough. I usually pack two extra shirts along with my make-up kit to keep myself from smelling like Texas Sunshine (and sweat).

6:20PM I thank management and staff for a great day, pack up and carry everything in my car in one load. I call my dad to see if Frank dropped off Lily yet. She usually gets grandparent time on the weekends. I try to talk to her on the phone, but she's “busy.” She says something to me and somehow migrates her conversation to her stuffed animals. I head home to change.

7PM With work clothes still on, I plop down on the couch. Frank brings over Lily’s Parent and Me swim certificate. He tells me how they played a game where they got to hunt for toys in the water and how she jumped in underwater four times. I lay my head down on his shoulder, just watching TV. Downtime feels nice.

8PM Frank makes pasta with chicken. Thank goodness for a man who cooks. The phone rings. “I'm gonna spend the night,” I hear Lily say. I know my parents probably coaxed her to say that before calling. Lily has always been a mama's girl.

9PM I finally change and take 15 minutes to do yoga. OK, more like random stretches. A little something is better than nothing. My feet are sore from wearing wedges at the event. Note to self: Don't wear heels for a 7.5-hour beauty event. What was I thinking?

9:30PM The house is way too quiet without my little shadow. Thinking of her reminds me that her birthday is in three months. I go online for more birthday ideas. We've established that we’re doing a superhero-theme birthday party. I’ve been pinning away on Pinterest for five months now. A little obsessive, I know. It's just one of the things I hope Lily looks back on and appreciates one day.

10PM I shower and get ready for bed. What an exhausting day.

Diaries are penned by moms (and dads) in the Fort Worth area. The authors volunteer to share a day of their choosing and are not paid or endorsed by FortWorthChild. Send your diary to editorial@dfwchild.comAll submissions are subject to editing and may be cut for space.

Published September 2013