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My good friend Camille and her family are moving away! Camille was one of my first friends out here in Jersey City and I taught her son at church for a year. She also has a daughter Eva’s age who Eva loves playing with in nursery each week. We will surely miss them but are excited for their next phase of life!

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Adjusting to a Move

First of all, no, we are not moving. This is a random blog post about something I’ve been thinking about this week. I was talking to a friend at church on Sunday who recently moved in and were discussing how it takes some time to get used to a new area. Since then, I’ve been thinking about how Jersey really feels like home now and I rarely ever get discouraged about living here anymore.

Anyway, feeling this way doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t even happen in just one month. Change is never easy.

No matter how you get there or where you end up, human beings have this miraculous gift to make that place home.” -Creed

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 11.47.25 AMI think Creed spoke wise words, but it’s not always an easy road. So, here are five tips for making that transition smoother:

  1. Stop living in the past. Quit focusing on everything you’re missing, don’t compare your old place to your new. Embrace the new life around you and move forward. You will find new friends… if you make an effort. You will get in a new routine… if you get up and make one.
  2. Become part of a community. Whether that is at church or in your neighborhood. Serving others will make you love the people and the area. It will also give you a purpose, make you feel needed and appreciated. If you moved away from family, the sense of community will ensure that you never feel alone.
  3. FaceTime, call, email, blog! Just about every single Sunday since we have moved here, we have FaceTimed or called both sets of parents so that we can all catch up and so that Eva stays connected to her grandparents. It’s been the only way that has made it bearable/possible to live away from both sets of families. I also love blogging so my family doesn’t feel like our life across the country is a complete mystery. Keep in touch with your friends and family who live away from you. Make an active effort to send texts, check their Facebook photos, and catch up on their blogs so those important relationships won’t be damaged by distance.
  4. Get out! Get to know where you live! Explore the area, become a local. Try out new restaurants, site-see, just get out and exercise! On days where I am homesick or just unhappy, it’s usually because I haven’t left the apartment!
  5. Stay positive. I remember I was bashing Jersey last Winter at a dinner with friends because it was so cold and I was really struggling. But a friend of mine who had lived here for much longer said, she makes her kids say one positive thing for every negative thing they say. I learned two valuable lessons from my friend that day. 1-Don’t badmouth places people consider home. It’s rude. 2-If my friend loved Jersey and considered it her home, so could I. Look for the positive things because they’re always out there.

There you have it! To my friends and family who are moving and in transitional places, I hope those tips work for you!




These are My People


As a Mormon, we are assigned to a congregation depending on where we live. These areas are called wards. When we moved out East, we had no idea which ward we would be in or how the ward would be.

At first, I was pleasantly surprised because it was such a large congregation. No one wants to be in a tiny ward! But as weeks went by, I noticed a couple other things. To sum it up, our ward had some…. quirks. Yes, I think “quirks” is a good way to describe it. Without going into specifics, let’s just say we are a unique congregation and not a week goes by without something interesting happening! After living here for about a year and a half now, I have to say that I have completely fallen in love with our ward and all of the people.

I am the organist/pianist for our congregation so I sit up on the stand and get to look at everyone. Yesterday, during the Sacrament meeting I started tearing up looking at all of the faces in our ward and thought, “These are my people! They are really my family!”

Our ward is filled with people who are always willing to serve, act in multiple callings and capacities, and most of all, love and support each other. Our ward is also on fire with missionary work! We have had 9 baptisms in the past two months. It’s really incredible and I’m so grateful to be a part of it!

When we were praying about moving out here, we felt like it was just because of T.J.’s work. But now I know another reason is because we were needed in this ward. About a year ago I was kind of struggling with coming to church. It wasn’t anything you should be worried about (mom!), it just is hard sometimes to take the subway to and from church and stay three hours on Sunday with a toddler. But from the example of many others in our ward, I have tried to dedicate myself and serve more! It has truly made a difference and has made me embrace our ward and all of its eccentricities. They have helped me become a stronger Christian and to love without judgement. JC2 forever!

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Parks • City adventures • Boots for one cent • Perfect weather • Fall Fashion

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Choosing to be a Young Mom

I’ve had something on my mind a lot lately. In Utah, it was never an issue, but since moving to the NYC area, it comes up almost every time I’m out in public and talk to a stranger. Let me paint a scenario for you:

(Eva and I check out at the grocery store and the cashier and I make friendly chit-chat)
Cashier: (Looking at Eva) She is so cute… how old is she?
Me: She’s almost three!
Cashier: Wow! So… (I see her trying to calculate the numbers in her head) are you her nanny?
Me: hahaha, no, I’m her mom.
Cashier: Oh, really? You look to young to be a mom.
Me: haha uhhhh yep!

At this point in the conversation, depending on the day and what mood I’m in, we will either finish the transaction in awkwardness or I will say (this is my most popular reply as of late even though it’s complete BS): I look younger than I really am. Which, who am I kidding, nope… I definitely look my age, which is 25, which to most non-mormons is young.

Anyway, like I said. This happens all the time. At least once a week. At the park. At the mall. In the subway. They may not ask if I’m the nanny, but most of the time the person tells me word for word, “You look too young to be a mom.”

I’ve told a couple people about this and they said I need to take it as a nice compliment because they’re just telling me that I look youthful.

Well, it would be a nice compliment if I was old and they thought I looked youthful. But here’s the deal, guys. I AM young, in the world’s eyes (especially in NYC’s eyes). I am in my mid-twenties. I am not the normal age of a mother out here. And guess what. I know it may seem BIZARRE to the rest of you New Yorkers and Jersey Folk, but I CHOOSE THIS LIFE! 

I just want to explain myself to the blogosphere, because I can’t fully explain it to the cashier at CVS or the man sitting next to me on the subway giving me a judging glance with my kid who apparently could be my baby sister.

I chose it. I wanted it. There are times that are hard and may not seem like it’s worth it to the outsiders. But to me. To my loving husband. It is exactly right. And you know what, we love it. 

We love it. Honestly, how could you not? Look at this darling girl! She is everything to us!


So, why? Why is it looked at so differently out here? I don’t know if it’s necessarily looked down on but I know it’s definitely strange to most people! Sometimes I feel like people my age in NYC are looking at me like, Bless your heart. (Which we all know really means… You’re out of your mind and I’m not sure why you thought this was a good idea.)

When I see those people, I just want to stand up in the middle of Madison Square Park and scream… You just don’t know! You really don’t. Because motherhood… chasing my child around the park, changing her diaper in the stroller, singing Row Row Row your Boat a hundred times, all this that looks like craziness to you, this right here… has changed my life.


I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Maybe I should print this blog post out and hand it to people when they tell me I look too young to be a mom. What do you think? No… they will just think I’m even crazier! Haha! I’ll never win these NYC people over!

PS-I’m not saying everyone needs to be a young mom! Heck, I’m not saying everyone even needs to be a mom. What I AM saying is that becoming a young mom was the right decision for me and I know it is a huge blessing!

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The Nana Series: Hoboken & Washington Square Park

Friday was our last full day with my mom. In the afternoon, we pushed Eva on the bike all the way over to Hoboken which was about a mile and a half. Ate lunch, looked through Anthropologie, and got free 7/11 slurpees!

IMG_3751 IMG_3748 IMG_3736 Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 10.13.32 AM Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 10.13.26 AMEva was a champ with the bike that day! I was certain she’d get sick of the bike and I’d end up having to carry her the whole way home. But she pedaled the whole time! And when we got home, she wanted to keep riding around the apartment.

We met T.J. in the city for dinner at Bare Burger and then walked around Washington Square Park. Eva wanted to throw in all the coins we could possibly find. Good thing I didn’t have my laundry quarters with me or I’d be in trouble! How can you say no more coins to a girl who’s that cute?!

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 10.13.37 AM IMG_3756Well, that wraps up the Nana Series! Clearly, we had a great time and Eva keeps asking me where Nana went. I so wish my dad could have made it this trip but hopefully we will be seeing him later this summer or fall! Now the other Grandma and Grandpa need to visit too 😉 !




The Nana Series: Newport Green

Thursday, we took Eva to the Newport Green where we played in the splash pad and at the park for quite a while.

IMG_3686 IMG_3691 IMG_3701On our way home, we stopped by Target and got Eva a trike! Ever since we put that thing together, she has been on it almost constantly. She even asks to eat her meals on it.




The Nana Series: Beach Day

After visiting DC, my mom drove back up to Jersey with us and stayed for the week. Since she visited last year, I didn’t feel like we needed to sightsee as much in the city. We got to do just everyday type things, for the most part, so Eva was in heaven playing with her Nana everyday.

On Monday, we still had the rental car so we went on a big grocery shopping trip, spent time at the pool, had dinner together at home, and then went to the outlet mall once T.J. got home.

Since Eva is usually always in her stroller when we go grocery shopping, she was obsessed with pushing/pulling the shopping cart around.


Tuesday, we drove down to Spring Lake Beach, where I went for the first time a couple weeks ago. My mom loves the beach, so it was fun to show her this gorgeous one on the Jersey Shore. It was a crazy windy day, so we didn’t stay but a couple hours.

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In the evening, we got dinner at Raaz, the Indian restaurant nearby, then took a walk along the river. We let Eva play at a park there and I started catching lightning bugs for her. All of a sudden, I had like five little Indian kids running around behind me telling me to catch more! I felt like the lightning bug queen. It was so funny!


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Living the Life

I have a couple friends who have community or apartment pools where they live and they are so kind to invite me over often. I’m been to the pool much more than I did last summer and July isn’t even here yet! I grew up swimming all summer long growing up, so going to the pool in the summer with Eva brings back all those memories from being a kid! But instead of being surrounded by the woods of Kentucky, I’m surrounded by city skylines and buildings… still great!

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Summer Days

Summer is my favorite. We go on a walk or to the park before Eva naps and then go on another walk or to another park after her nap. Then go to sleep and repeat it the next day. You can’t get much better than that. Picnics, beautiful weather, friends, and great views. I love it. Here are some snapshots from our recent local outings:

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