23 January 2017

30 Random Things About Me

I haven't written in nearly a year. How did that happen? For my 30th birthday here are 30 random things about weird little me...

1. I'm terrified of sinkholes. Really everyone should be. I mean the earth can open up beneath you and swallow you whole, burying you alive, never to be seen again. 

2. I have a light freckle on the end of my nose. While we were dating Daniel frequently thought it was dirt and tried to wipe it off.

3. You know those "which state should you live in?" quizzes? I get Texas every time. Every single time, on every quiz, ever. It's always Texas.

4. Things I get weirdly worked up about: wildfire prevention/suppression (against), Red Delicious apples (the carp of the apple world), the county jail part of the criminal justice system.

5. I didn't learn to whistle until I was 15. I finally figured it out while in line for Space Mountain while on a school trip to Disneyland.

6. I haaaaate the sound of pouring liquid. I don't know why. Commercials where they're pouring a drink? Makes me gag.

7.  My favorite movie is Waking Ned Devine.

8.  If I could have lunch with anyone it would be Leslie Knope or Amy Poehler...or Michelle Obama...or any of about 6 mom friends that it'd be cool to get together with without all our kids. :)

9. My favorite book is Les Miserables. When I was in middle school an adult in my life yelled at me that I was stupid (they were angry about something I'd done). Being angry, hurt, and stubborn I went to the school library the next day, grabbed the thickest book I could find and started reading (because "stupid" people don't read thick books I guess?). I picked up Les Mis. I'm sure part of that love comes from reading Les Mis helping me feel like this person was wrong and I wasn't stupid, but even without that...Les Miserables...I just love it.

10. Speaking of "stupid", I think stupid is one of the meanest things you can call someone. That's why I don't let my kids say it.

11. I've never been pulled over (while driving) or been the driver during a car accident. 

12. Second year at BYU I was "pulled over" by a police officer (along with some friends) for longboarding in a private county parking structure in the middle of the night. 

13. Whenever I make pancakes I turn on Jack Johnson's In Between Dreams and start with "Banana Pancakes".

14.  One of my favorite things about snow is how it makes everything glow at night. 

15. I've been working on my undergraduate degree for almost 12 years now. That is concurrent enrollments, not "going back to finish". I've taken a semester off here and there and since Aurelia was born I've been doing 1-2 classes at a time. I worked full-time for all but one year of school until Aurelia was born.

16. I hiccup every time I take my first drink of a soda. 

17. I saw Jaws on TV about a week before I started swimming lessons when I was a kid. Around the same time I also learned about barracudas. I was convinced that if I went into the deep end of the pool then a shark would eat me and barracudas would come out of the pipes in the side of the pool. Even now I get really freaked out when I'm swimming anywhere that I can't see the bottom. 

18. I was terrified when we found out we were having a girl (Aurelia) because I didn't think I would know how to handle or be comfortable with the whole mother-daughter dynamic. Turns out I do and I am. :)

19. It creeps me out when swimming in a lake and I reach my toes down too far and hit the colder layer of water.

20. Smarties are my favorite candy. Or Giant Chewy SweeTarts...or Cherry Sours...or Peanut Butter M&Ms...I have a sugar problem.

21. I have a small birthmark on the back of my left leg that I was so self conscious about as a kid that I refused to wear shorts until sometime around middle school.

22. One of my all-time favorite songs is Cigarettes & Chocolate Milk by Rufus Wainwright.

23. I want a pet goat. And some ducks. And a small pig. And a few chickens. Plus a bunch of land and a humongous garden. Basically I want a farm.

24.  I have weirdly straight teeth for never having had braces.

25. I frequently initiate random dance parties with my little goons.

26. When I'm driving alone in the car during those sweet, blessed, child-free-driving moments, I turn up my "Mama's Jams" playlist (thank you, Amazon Prime Music), sing super loud and dance like a crazy person at every red light. 

27. Sometimes I make myself a microwave S'more and eat it while I hide from the kids in the bathroom behind the locked door. The same hiding method works for candy stashes.

28. I still wear a pair of shoes I have from 7th grade. They still fit and don't have holes sooo...they're good. 

29. I really like weightlifting and loathe, LOATHE running. Running is the worst.

30. I love washing laundry. I avoid folding clean laundry for as long as possible. A lot of times I'll put a clean load of laundry on my bed thinking "I'll have to fold it to go to bed" but then I go to the bed, see the clothes, pause for a second, then push them all to the floor.

19 February 2016

So, this time of year is hard. Really, really hard. We're almost to the anniversary of Noah's death. Something great has been happening though. In the last few weeks I have actually WANTED to do things. There have been little events here and there (going to visit friends, helping with a foster care event) that I have genuinely WANTED to do, looked forward to, and enjoyed doing. That's big, I mean really big.

I really don't like talking about depression, anxiety and all that because I still (even after almost two years) haven't fully accepted and been kind to myself about it. I still have (what I know are incorrect) thoughts that this is all my fault and I need to just snap out of it, suck it up and get back to fully living life. Quit making excuses and just get back to it.
I put all of that on myself and then constantly worry that other people are losing patience with how unreliable I've been, how unwilling I am to do the extras, how difficult it is for me just to show up, to do even normal things like running errands. I know I should be kind and patient but most of the time...I feel like a failure, like a weak failure of a woman.

Add to all of that the guilt I still carry every day about Noah's death. "If I'd have done this differently, if we'd have been more insistent, if we'd have held on longer..." I have tried and tried to forgive myself and let go of that guilt but I'm nowhere near it yet. He was/is a sweet, tender little boy who should not have died.

I've been doing my best to make sense of all this, trying to grow and learn and be patient with and kind to myself, taking it all a day at a time. I've been able to find joy in little things and I've been sticking to the basics, the most important things in life. Then a few weeks ago I noticed I had gone a few places, seen a few friends without feeling at all like I had to drag myself around. I did it, I ENJOYED it and there were more things I was looking forward to. For a long time I've been going through the motions on nearly everything, just getting through and surviving, getting by with the bare minimum.

Yesterday I wasn't doing well. "Bad days" like that are exhausting and discouraging, especially after a string of really good days, but it was also a reminder of how far I've come recently. I'm really hopeful now that I'm slowly but surely progressing and healing. I know I'll still have really difficult days but feel like overall I'm both learning how to better cope and making progress toward healing.

It feels SO. GOOD. to actually want to do things. I feel hope returning, feel strength growing and joy building. I feel like I'm coming back but as a stronger, more compassionate, more empathetic, and overall better me.

Thank you to everyone who has been patient and understanding. :)

06 January 2016

Dear 2015

Dear 2015,

You were such a beautiful year for our family. You were full of joy, healing, growth and smiles. You were full of flower gardens, pixie hunting, bug studying, book reading, happy tear crying, and bursting-heart hugging. I have loved you so.
Thank you, 

Jessica

11 September 2015

Degrees of Predictability

A friend is waiting on news from a potential employer. With this new opportunity they could stay where they are, they could be moved across the country, they could be near family and friends, they could be far from anyone they know, they may not even get an offer which would then bring a myriad of other possible outcomes. Right now everything is up in the air and they're waiting to see where it lands. Big decisions have to be made but they all rest on first knowing this outcome. It's a stressful situation to be in when there is such a wide range of possibilities in front of your family and you have no idea what will happen next.

In talking to this friend I felt relief.

Our days of the wide unknown are behind us for now. 

In trying to adopt there is constantly a vast unknown before you. You could be chosen tomorrow and be parents, you could be chosen years down the road, you may never be chosen at all. You could be chosen by someone who knows you personally or by someone who saw your profile online. Someone may initially want to choose you but later choose to parent or choose someone else. You might be chosen by someone at the beginning of their pregnancy, the end, or someone who has already had their child. You might have to travel across the country or just miles away. It may all happen tomorrow it may never happen at all. In trying to adopt there is all of that constantly in front of you, completely beyond your control and unpredictable. 

Right now life feels so comfortably and peacefully predictable. 

We aren't trying to adopt. We're open to it but we aren't seeking out or expecting to adopt. We aren't using an agency and we don't have our profile published anywhere.

We aren't trying in any way to get pregnant which means we don't have the roller coaster of hoping, waiting, wondering, failure, frustration and heartache.

Even with as unpredictable as foster parenting can be there is still far more about it that we can be sure of...


  • DCFS in our region puts families on hold for 6 months after an adoption while the family acclimates to being permanent. We know that for these 6 months we won't be called to take in any children. For this 6 month period we know it will be just the 4 of us in our home.


  • Our license only approves us taking in one child and only between the age of newborn and 2 years old (because of space requirements). We know that when our 6 months is over we will very likely have one child placed with us and that child will be under the age of three.


Right now it feels so good to soak in the comfortable predictability of the day-to-day. It's lovely. All is calm, all is bright, and I'm loving the sweetness of the peace. :)


31 August 2015

Ezra is 1!

Our little Ezra turned 1 a few days ago! He is such a happy boy and is almost always giggles and toothy grins. :-) He loves books and being read to, crawling after the dog and cat, snuggling and playing with mommy and daddy, and thinks his big sister is the funniest person around. He is adored from his nearly bald head to his chubby little toes and we couldn't be more thankful to be his family. :-) Hooray for this stinkin' cute 1-year-old!