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BFF Reunion

My good friend Ashley who lived in Jersey at the same time as us was in Utah for her sister’s graduation, so we got to spend some time with them at the end of April! If you remember, the last time they came, they all got really sick and it was incredibly disappointing for all of us; so this trip really made up for it! Eva and Brooks were best friends immediately again and played so well together. Brooks would copy everything Eva did and she loved it. We went to the mall one evening, and those two were running ahead while we pushed our little boys in the strollers. It was major deja vu since in Jersey/NYC, we’d push our kids in the stroller together every day… but now we have two more sweet kids in the mix! Thanks for coming, friend! Come back soon (and stay forever pleeeeeez!)

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JFF

JFF=Jersey Friends Forever! My good friend Ashley who lived in Jersey while we were there came to visit for a couple days. Unfortunately, it came to a terrible ending when they all got a terrrrrrible stomach flu and had to leave earlier than planned. We were both in tears because it was such an awful scenario and so sad to leave like that! But we still enjoyed having them come, stomach flu and everything! Come back soon!!!

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Museum of Curiosity

We have genuinely loved having our Thanksgiving Point pass. We’ve used it countless times, one of the latest was at the Museum of Curiosity with some friends that were in town. They were some of our best friends back in Jersey and so it was great to see them and spend some time together again. The museum is so close, we can actually walk there which has been perfect since TJ takes the car to work about three times to work.

The museum was packed as usual, we are so excited that kids are back in school and it won’t be as busy, but we still had a great afternoon seeing all these kiddos play together!
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These are my people

A year or two ago, I was sitting at the piano on the stage of our church back in Jersey. I was brought tears as I looked down at the congregation when the following thought came to me, “These are my people. They are my family.”

I won’t forget that moment. I knew at that point that we were sent to Jersey for a reason. Tons of reasons actually. But one of which was to be a part of that great ward.

Well, fast forward to now. We’ve lived in Lehi for almost a year now. The congregation we are in at church definitely doesn’t look or act the same as that ward back in Jersey City. I definitely miss those Fast & Testimony meetings back in the city because you never knew what was going to happen. Break into group prayer? Sure. Sing at the pulpit? Go for it. Bring your harmonica? Give it a blow! But although this new ward has different quirks, yesterday I was at Stake Conference. I was standing in unison with my fellow neighbors and friends singing a powerful hymn. I looked around and saw the faces of many who have really reached out to me this past year, some who probably didn’t even know the influence they’ve made. The relief society counselor who always is honest in her testimony. A mom who’s always kind to me in the nursing room. A couple who always has a smile on their face no matter what trial comes their way. These people… They are my people now. I love them. We all may have families close by and may not need each other exactly how we needed each other back in Jersey. But this congregation is where we are supposed to be right now, and I’m so glad for that amazing confirmation yesterday.

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The Best Two Years

As you may know, we moved. 2198 miles. It was kind of a big move. And very emotional. But let’s go back a couple months.

It was the end of March and we were about to sign our apartment lease for another year. TJ was offered a full time job with Johnson & Johnson, the company he had been with for two years but as a freelance employee. It was our dream. We had prayed for the whole two years that the hiring freeze at J&J would be over and that they’d bring him on as a “full time” employee, which the only difference was a that it was a salary with benefits job, instead of an hourly wage. Well, the freeze was finally lifted and they really wanted him to stay once his freelance contract was over. He was about to say yes and sign another year for our home, when one of TJ’s old adjunct professors from BYU randomly called him and said he had a full-time senior designer position available in Utah and wanted TJ to take it.

At that point, we were so confused. Several weeks earlier we had looked at the prospect of moving away from the city just because we are expecting another kid and Eva will be in preschool in the fall, but none of the options really worked out and so we decided to stay put. But then this job just kind of fell into TJ’s lap. And when all of the details came through, we knew we had to at least consider the option. The details of the job were right but was the move? And was it right to leave J&J? We toiled back and forth day after day. We both made intense pro/con lists and then weighted the importance of each item. They were intense lists, y’all. There was the whole- we live in NYC which is really cool… do we want to go back to the burbs-attitude? It took a little bit to get over that city pride, but we really did love the city and it was something consider. The lists went on and on… We loved our ward SO much. The diversity of Jersey City. Everything to do in NYC. The simplicity of life. We had just gotten used to Jersey and considered it home. We weren’t ready to say goodbye to that life yet.

So, we went to the temple to help us decide. At the end, we joined each other in a room. As we met on a couch, we just looked at each other. I started crying. (I’m tearing up again just writing it…) We both knew. It was time to move.

The subway ride back to home was an emotional one. We couldn’t believe what was ahead of us and how this had just happened. TJ’s new job would start June 1, meaning we only had about five or six weeks until we were out of there.

We almost just wanted to move a week later because it was hard to draw it out and say goodbyes. But we decided to stop moping (well, try to… I definitely memorialized every last thing and cried if I thought about it too much) and use those next couple weeks to do some fun things! We did the bridge, saw some Broadway shows, ate at a few new restaurants, explored the city, and played hard with friends. Oh, and did the Fallon show which was on my all-time NYC bucket list! I waited until the last week to pack up the apartment because I just wanted to play and soak up every last minute.

But the day came. We said our tearful goodbyes, our apartment was empty, and with a final turn of the key (which TJ insisted we do together), we locked up our little home at The Roosevelt for the last time.

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You know, I always thought I would serve a mission. But I met TJ and got married before that could happen. I didn’t understand why my patriarchal blessing pretty much said YOU WILL GO ON A MISSION IN YOUR YOUTH when I didn’t get to go as planned. I mean, I know those blessings have so many interpretations, but guys… it pretty much lays it right out for me! I told myself I’d be an example to people throughout my life instead, and my blessing probably does mean that too. But when we were moving, I realized we were in Jersey for exactly two years, which is how long a traditional mission is (for a male… but that’s a technicality). We served with the missionaries, had new members and investigators in our home countless times, served in our ward to the primary and young adults, met so many people in our community, and shared pass along cards at Christmas. I may not have served a traditional LDS mission when I was 19 years old. But I will forever look back at my time in Jersey as my best two years, fulfilling some of the promises in my blessing.

We will love you forever, NYC/Jersey! You were so good to us.

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