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One Year

A year ago today I wrote this post: My Farewell to Utah. Oh, Utah, you will always have a place in my heart and I certainly hope we get to have more memories together one day.

Last night, as T.J. and I laid in bed, we were talking about how fast and slow this year has been. In some ways, it feels like we just were eating at JCW’s for the last time with his family.

Photo-May-21-8-48-59-PM-1024x1024But we got on a plane and had faith we were doing the right thing. I remember those first couple of weeks of living out here so vividly. Trying to find a place. Having no money. Being stressed out of our minds. Even the smells of Spring in the city again has made me remember some random memories of when we first came here. It was so humid and sticky as we apartment hunted and frantically tried to find a place to live. T.J. and I agree that those first couple of weeks of living out here were the most stressful and difficult times we have had together. But once we signed for our apartment, our new life and adventure began and what a year it has been.

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It took a while to get used to being out here, but finally I was able to call it home. I met some good friends, we got callings in our ward, and have tried to really live it up this year since we’re unsure of how long we will be living out here. I just went back through all my old posts from the past year. We really have done a lot… and another summer means more exciting things to come!

A while ago, a member of the Stake gave a talk in our ward and talked about how everyone needs to act and serve in the ward as if this is our permanent home. In such a transitional area, where people are moving in and out so often, it’s easy to continually think of this part of our lives as temporary and always think about what life is going to be after we move away. But he reminded us to enjoy the now and fully dedicate our lives in the church no matter where we are. That talk REALLY impacted me. I stopped thinking about this time in our life as a short phase and adjusted my attitude so I wouldn’t miss out on the memories around me. We are here NOW so make the BEST of it!

And I really do love it out here now. It definitely has its quirks, but one day we will look back on this time here and think about how they were the good ol’ days! I don’t think I want to raise all of my children out here, so that certainly does put a shorter time limit on our Jersey life. But for now, we’re happy we are here and enjoy the life around us. Except for the Winter. The Winter was miserable! haha!

Cheers to us for making it one year!



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Instagram Update

Here are some more random instagrams from the past couple weeks:

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I told Eva to smile and she made this face.

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Eva and her new boyfriend, Grayson, on a date playing Hungry Hippos.

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Jenny and I went to an Earth Day market in Jersey City.

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Doesn’t she look adorable? I can’t get over this outfit. Thanks to my MIL!

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We went to the Liberty Science Center one afternoon… it had been a while since we had been so it was a huge hit!

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Eva went to her first big birthday party! Big as in, she actually knew what was going on.

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The view of Jersey City from the other side of the river in Manhattan.

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 8.11.30 PMBack across the river on a walk with Ashley (get back to town, already… I miss you!).

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A Couple Outings with Friends

One reason I am grateful for our church is the fellowshipping aspect. No matter where you move in the world, you will be greeted by other Mormon families. We are so lucky here in the Jersey City area to have a great group of women who have come together and become friends. But as new people move in so often, people are always leaving too, especially in our ward where the turnover is great. A friend of mine just moved away (not too far… just out to the ‘burbs), so we had a little get-together one night at Grimaldi’s.

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Another night I was walking through the mall when my friend called and said she was at the mall too… so we treated ourself to pedicure (which turns out is the best thing to do with a friend… how come I’ve never done that before?). I was so tired that night but she was going to go into the city afterward for a movie with another girlfriend. Jenny convinced me to channel “college Katie” and to forget about “mom Katie” for the night. So, since “college Katie” used to do spur of the moment things all the time and stay out late, I went for it! I was dead by the time I got home (1:30 am… yikes! And don’t worry mom, I took a cab home from the train so I wouldn’t get raped/murdered). But what a fun night!

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Park Days

Since the weather has warmed up, we’ve gone to parks almost everyday. It’s been amazing. I was getting awfully sick of being cooped up in my apartment all Winter and it’s just so fun to see Eva run around and play for hours outside. She’s finally to the age where I don’t have to chase after her the whole time… so the park is actually quite relaxing for me and I even bring a book!

My goal for the summer is to visit as many different parks as possible. So far, we’ve gone to Hamilton Park, Newport Green, Rockefeller Park, Union Square Park, one other park by Exchange Place, and Central Park. I can’t wait to explore new areas this summer with Eva!

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Easter Sunday

On Sunday morning, Eva woke quite earlier than normal (which made for a very long day with church in the middle of when she usually naps). When we got her out of her crib, she had some type of cream alllllllllll over her face and hair. We soon realized, some of T.J.’s pomade (hair stuff) was on the ground next to Eva’s crib and when she woke up, she stretched out her hand, and then went to town applying it over her face. She smelled like Old Spice hair product for the rest of the day.

But we cleaned her up and told her the Easter Bunny had come but he had hid the basket so she had to go find it. She was very confused, so I had to give a little help. When she saw the basket she was so cute and exited. The Easter Basket brought her a microphone because she wanted to play with her Papa’s microphone back in Kentucky and has been talking about it ever since. She got a couple other toys as well and wouldn’t put them down all morning. So cute.

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I was very nervous about playing piano at church today. I have been getting so nervous accompanying everyone recently, so I practiced all week long for about an hour each day. The practice really payed off. I still made some dumb mistakes, but overall it went well. Maybe I’ll get my confidence back up to play the organ one of these weeks.

During Sunday School, we teach the 4-6 year olds and today we just had four boys. We were going to make Easter kites to symbolize Christ rising from the tomb. Well, it turned into them wanting to change the kites into shields and swords. It was pretty nuts but hopefully they got something out of the lesson. One of favorites is moving and today was his last week. We will miss you, buddy!

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After church, we had two couples over from church and the missionaries. It was such a fun evening! I am so grateful for friends out here since we are so far from family!

IMG_2430 IMG_2431Oh, and do you see my little make-shift table I made to put in front of the couch? I’m pretty thrilled I came up with the idea. I took Eva’s chalkboard and put it on top of the keyboard stand. It worked like a charm!

What a great weekend! We hope you all had a great Easter holiday as well!


Random Instagrams

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Eva wore one of my old baby Spring coats… such a heart breaker!

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Being lazy in style! She’s sitting in her old baby bathtub, having a snack, and watching some Mickey.

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Just another cold day in Jersey, pretending that the Kohl’s patio stuff is in our backyard.

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Eva has a very diverse group of dolls for her doll house.

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Pinterest fail. I didn’t wait for the bars to cool before putting the icing on top. Yuck.

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Soaking up every drop of sun at the park.

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Doesn’t Eva look so grown up here? WHERE DID MY BABY GO?

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The baby bath tub again… she really loved playing with that thing.

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 6.07.54 PMPulled this out of storage and cried when reading it to Eva. I’m going insane.


My Little Shoplifter

Eva and I went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond one Monday in March. After we bought our items, we headed over to the bank. When we were standing in line, I noticed Eva had a little Piggy chip clip in her stroller. OOPS! She didn’t even realize she had taken it, and neither had I. So, we had to go back to BBB and return it. They thought it was pretty funny when Eva said something like, “I give back,” and handed them a pig clip. Oh, Eva… you are a riot!

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What to do, what to do?

So, here’s the deal. We have to let our leasing company know if we are resigning our lease for another year by April 1. And I can’t decide what to do. I know none of you care, but I thought maybe writing a post about it will help me clear my head and perhaps seeing it in writing will help.

Please enjoy this video to prepare you for my intense pro/con list:

The pros of renewing our lease:

  • No hassle of moving
  • We love the location
  • We’re safe
  • It’s clean and renovated
  • Laundry in building
  • Elevator
  • Mall, grocery, Target all nearby
  • Close to the train
  • Close to parks
  • We feel comfortable and feel at home now.

The cons of living here another year:

  • Rent and utilities are expensive
  • Rent is going up an extra $75
  • Only one bedroom
  • Too expensive to have a car

The pros of moving:

  • Cheaper rent
  • Bigger apartment
  • Could get a car
  • T.J. could have a shorter commute

The cons of moving:

  • Such a hassle to find a new place and actually move
  • New apartment might require us to have a car, which is a major expense.
  • Have to get used to the new area and try to settle in again
  • T.J. could have a longer commute

The pros of having a car:

  • Can get anywhere we want
  • Can visit family in the East
  • Convenient

The cons of having a car:

  • A car payment
  • Have to drive it across the country to wherever we move next
  • Parking, traffic, paying for insurance, gas, and tolls
  • Probably gain weight from not walking everywhere (I know that sounds silly, but it’s a serious con)

So, there you have it. All of that is going on in my head, so I’m about to lose it! If you have any tips or would like to tell me what YOU would do… PLEASE SHARE! On top of that, we also need to sign up for insurance by the end of the month. Which brings me to my final Office quote that parallels to my life:


#btoml with B.J. Novak

(#btoml=best time of my life)

A couple months ago, I read on a Jersey City blog post that B.J. Novak (Ryan from The Office) was coming to a bookstore a mile away from me to do a book signing for his new book. I marked it on my calendar and knew I had to be there. I tried not to get my hopes up. I didn’t want to think I’d meet him but then not even be able to step in the bookstore.

But I gave it a shot. My father-in-law was in town that night for business and so we picked a restaurant next door to the bookstore. I ate quickly and then snuck out to get in line. Within ten minutes I was next to meet B.J. and was about to have a heart attack. Danica can attest-I was texting her, all caps, saying, “OH MY GOSH WHAT SHOULD I SAY WHAT DO I DO!?!?!?!”

I was SO incredibly nervous/excited to meet him! I didn’t know what to say, so I kept it very brief. I had missed the Q&A since we were at dinner, so I didn’t want to ask him a question he had just answered. So, instead I just asked him to sign it as the Fire Guy (a joke from The Office), he laughed and said sure, then we took a picture together. Kind of lame story, but guys. It was amazing and I was/still am so start-struck!

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 7.02.14 PMNow, if I was that excited to meet B.J., can you imagine how excited I would be if I met Steve Carell? I’m pretty sure I was cry and pass out!


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On to February

I’m so happy January is over. My mom always says we shouldn’t wish away time but I really can’t wait for Spring! I’ve never experienced a more intense Winter. Perhaps I’ve seen colder weather and more snow in the past in Utah or Kentucky, but nothing compares to living in Winter without a car. Walking everywhere through the snow, cold, and wind… oh, goodness… don’t get me started about the wind… I just can’t wait to be done with this season! And it’s right around the corner, even though we had another snow storm today!

So, what have we been up to?

T.J.’s dad came in town for business and took us out to eat. We went to Little Town in Hoboken, which was delicious. We are so lucky that Mark has been sent to NJ three (going to be four tonight) times already since we’ve moved here! And twice during T.J.’s internship two summers ago.

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We finished Law and Order: SVU. So, that’s something we really need to brag about. HA!   We watched the seasons kind of out of order… which is why this is a picture of Elliott even though he’s gone in the later seasons. I’m so obsessed with SVU!

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We put up black out curtains in the main room to try and warm up our apartment. Our electric bill is as much as a car payment, so we are not thrilled about that. It could be worse though… my friend’s was nearly double ours this last month! Why does everything have to be so expensive out here? On the bright side of all of this, the black-out curtains really block out the light and back when Eva was on MT, we were sleeping in until 10 or 11 every morning. #btoml

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Eva has been as crazy and fun as ever. Always wearing princess dresses and playing in her tent.

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We survived several snow storms.

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On snowy days, I let Eva run up and down the hallways. She had a blast and I pretended like I was just sitting on my front porch, relaxing in a lawn chair.

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I finally found a category of food Eva will always eat: Breakfast food. She’s a little Leslie Knope in the making, I guess. So, I made tons of waffles, pancakes, and eggs in January.

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We celebrated turning our taxes by going out to eat. Why don’t I buy corn on the cob ALL THE TIME? She chowed that thing down to the core! When I make regular corn on the stove, she’ll only take a couple of bites. So nuts.

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My friend rented a car and invited us to go shopping at Garden State Plaza, which is a HUGE mall nearby. Nordstrom, Macy’s, Lord and Taylor, Neiman Marcus, JCPenny, Uniqlo, H&M, Anthro, and about 300 other stores! I didn’t want to spend much money, so I just bought a yellow dress at BabyGap on Clearance (you should click through and take a look at how darling it is! And then buy one for your daughter/future daughter/niece/stranger) and then a JCrew bracelet on sale for $5.00. Yes, FIVE DOLLARS. So, I’d say the shopping trip was a success!

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Oh, just more snow.

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We bought bath paints and Eva was so excited to use them, she took a bath in the middle of the day.

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I finally saw Frozen and there were a handful of people singing along (and no, it was not really a sing-along!). Besides the annoying people, I reallllllly LOVED it! I had my doubts, but I thought it was one of the best Disney movies recently!

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I went to the gym a bunch, which meant babysitting switch-offs with these besties. Eva can’t get enough of Brooks! And quite frankly, neither can I!
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And that’s about it! Hope you had a good January and celebrated Groundhog Day this weekend! We’re going to watch the movie tonight 🙂