Three Categories

There has been a lot of stuff on my mind lately - maybe like 3 or 4 blog posts worth of stuff. However, my life lately has been divided into three categories: Want, Need, and Absolutely Require.

For example, I Want to write a good blog post, but I Need to clean up the house, but before any of that I Absolutely Require a nap.*

So, until the next time I have a spare few minutes, thanks for tuning in!

*If you are concerned that Millie isn't sleeping any better, don't worry - she is sleeping much better, thank heavens. It's Jonah now. He just realized that Kade, Millie and I sleep in the same room and he has to sleep by himself in a whole different room. He wakes up a couple times at night screaming. Suuuuuper. 



It's been awhile! I know you'll forgive me though, because sheesh, I just had a baby.

Speaking of which, I am finally feeling like I'm getting the hang of this toddler + newborn business. For the past few days I have been running errands like a BOSS. (Kade tells me that I used to use the word "boss" way too much. So apparently it's not cool to say anymore - but I don't care because he says "totes" and "jelly" (jealous) and "brah" and "yolo" all the time. According to him he only says it ironically but I'm not convinced.)

Anyway, running errands like a BOSS. <-- I am deserving of this emphasis because I was so nervous to leave the house alone with two kids for the first 6 weeks after Millie was born. And if you've been following along, yesterday marked week 7 of her existence on the earth. Eventually I decided that I can't live my entire life waiting for Kade to get home from school - because let's face it, he lives there now - so I put my big girl pants on (that still don't quite fit yet) and went to Old Navy yesterday.

Turns out Old Navy was inside the mall. The Mall! I had not mentally prepared for a mall trip with a toddler and newborn. But apparently, the big guy upstairs knew I could use a boost of confidence, because the stroller and baby carrier were conveniently in the back of my car! So I strapped Jonah in the stroller, and he let me. Then I strapped Millie into the baby carrier, and she let me. They usually scream and kick and protest, so I was feeling pretty great. As we strolled in I decided not to press my luck and go straight to Old Navy, find the shirt I saw online and get out. But the kids were so good that we ended up at Forever 21 and the soft pretzel place too! And I'd say the whole trip was fantastic, but there were two things that were dumb.

1 - some kiosk guy said "hey you want more babies strapped to you?" as he was laughing at my "circus." He was foreign, so I don't think he was propositioning me for anything, just commenting on all of my children. Yes, all two of them. But I just laughed with him and strolled faster before he could try to sell me whatever hair or skin miracle potion was on his shelves.

2 - I went into Charlotte Russe for the first time ever, and less than two minutes in I was on my way out. Not because they didn't have anything for me to look at, but because there were all these girls in there watching me struggle to maneuver my stroller between the racks. All I wanted to do was shout, "You know I'm your same age, right? I could wear this stuff if I wanted to!"

Basically, I've been struggling with my age lately. Or, rather, the perception of my age. Two kids really does something weird to ya - at least to me. Luckily I still had a bunch of my birthday money left so today I went to Ross, my most favoritest store. Yeah, yeah, Ross is kind of the weird younger sister store to TJMaxx and Marshalls - but I tell you what, I've shopped at all of them and Ross is the store that always has the stuff I end up loving for years and years. So I went to Ross. With the two kids. Am I superwoman?? (Just kidding. don't fuss, I know I'm not. My mom had seven kids after all, and I was one of them.)

I picked through everything (because again, the kids were so good!) and brought home a bunch of stuff that fit into at least two of three categories: different than my usual style, easy to nurse in, and didn't need any extra layers. Then I tried them on. Then I got to this outfit:

Which I snapped a picture of and sent to my mom and sister with the question, "who do I remind you of?" Brooklyn immediately texted back, "Hahaha mom!" Yep. I'm pretty sure my mom has this exact outfit in her closet. No really, she does. Go ask her. Now, I know my mom is young (had me at 19) and trendy, and beautiful... but I just don't know how I feel about dressing like my mom when I'm only just barely 24! I mean, I already sound like her on a daily basis. And it's not a bad thing because she's not a bad person, but I can't shake the feeling that all this put together makes me seem like a 43 year old. 

Ah, oh well I guess. I think I only feel weird about my situation because I'm not in Utah anymore. In Utah, I'd fit right in - in fact, I would even be considered lagging behind! But here, in their twenties, everybody's like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece, jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash... no wait.

But really, I feel old. I have two kids. I have a husband of nearly 5 years. Meanwhile all the other early-twenty-somethings I run into are... well, I don't even know. But I know they're not changing diapers!

But I guess if I had to choose between their lives and mine, I wouldn't even have to think about it. Because even though they can be little turds on a daily basis, they're just too cute. Even if they've each screamed all day long, all it takes is a teeny glimmer of a smile and all is forgiven somehow (even I surprise myself when that happens). Plus it'll all pay off when I'm still young enough to run around with my grandkids, right?


The Modern Mormon

This morning I read something pretty disheartening. A blogger who I've followed for years wrote a post about her "own kind of Mormonism," explaining that though she loved the Mormon church and will still continue to attend, not every gospel principle seemed to fit her particular personality. She feels that the church was never meant to be an "all or nothing" church, but that the rules got confused by well-intending members. After struggling with the decision, she has come to the realization that God not only loves her, but made her that way, and so she must be true to herself and live the way she feels is right.

Sounds poetic, right? It seems as if so many members of the church today have taken a similar stance. And aside from the fact that this blogger has tens of thousands of worshippers followers that will adopt her viewpoint as their own - here's what bugs...

I know that God loves me, I know that He created me, too. He created my short temper and inward resentment of sleeves and knee-length shorts. He created me to be naturally rude and short with others, and gave me an extra helping of coffee-loving taste buds. But to pick and choose which rules apply to me and which were probably meant for someone else is just plain and simple justification of sin. It would do me no real good, but it would make me feel a little bit better about myself for the time being.

God did create all of us. He created everything. He created our weaknesses not so that we could one day say, "I have to be true to myself," but so that we could overcome them and be better people. He created our weaknesses so that we would have to earn our way back to Him.

And since when was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints NOT an "all or nothing" church? If it really was just another one of the many "come as you are" churches in the world, don't you think Joseph Smith would have lead a very different life? Do you think a lot of the pioneers would have gone ahead a crossed the plains? If only they had been as enlightened as this blogger, they could have realized that they could still be Latter-Day Saints without trekking halfway across the country, cold and starving, burying their loved ones along the way. Gosh, it's too bad. Of course, they only did it because of the abundance of enormous blessings that were promised to them if they trusted in God, blessings that a lot of us Mormons are reaping today.*

From the beginning of time, God has given us rules, commandments, guidelines, etc... and from the beginning of time they have all had consequences. Picking and choosing which rules don't apply to you directly translates into picking and choosing which blessings you don't really care for. Personally, I don't pay tithing because I happen to have an extra 10% left over at the end of the month and have nothing else to spend it on - I do it because even though it's hard, I need the blessings it brings more than the money. I don't dress modestly because I think sweat circles are fashionable - I do it because I respect my body, and even more so the God who gave it to me. Even though I love coffee-flavored anything, I don't drink coffee because God has asked us not to - and even though I don't know why, it's a great exercise in faith. Faith is a big part of being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

I am in no way saying that if you can't adhere to every single rule you can't be a Mormon - I believe this church welcomes anyone and everyone so long as they have an honest desire for truth and light. What I disagree with about this blogger's post is that she seems to be saying that no matter what you do or don't do, as long as you're true to yourself and follow your heart you will be blessed and rewarded here and in the afterlife. Because God made you the way you are, there is little to no accountability. (To those of you who are already members, doesn't that sound a little familiar?)

There are many who say Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die and it shall be well with us.
But, according to scripture, there are others in addition to these that say "Eat drink and be merry; nevertheless, fear God - He will justify in committing a little sin; ...there is no harm in this... and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God." **

You know what God says about the people that believe this? "Woe unto them."

The rules are supposed to be hard to follow, what better way to separate the wheat from the tares? God never intended us to coast through life, never learning or developing. In fact, I'm pretty sure that was someone else's plan - but whose was it? Hmmm... Oh yeah - SATAN.

It's perfectly fine to have weaknesses - but we were put on this earth to overcome them. We were given the priceless gift of agency when we chose to come to this world. Sure, there are a whole lot of rules and some seem silly - but lucky for us, God has a reason for wanting you to keep them, and He delivers on all His promises. If we live healthy lifestyles and avoid smoke and drink, He promises that we will walk and not be faint, run and not be weary. If we keep our covenant to dress modestly, we will be given extra protection from temptations. If we obey all His commandments and endure to the end, He will grant us everlasting life. And really, that's the whole goal. We are here to learn to better ourselves, to become like Christ, and to one day be worthy enough to live with both our Father and Jesus Christ in the celestial kingdom.

Find out more about Mormons at Mormon.org

* Remind me to write a post on the Modern Utahn - a lot of things seem to bug me, don't they?
**2 Nephi 28:7-8


To Tide Y'all Over

I had all these great intentions to write an inspiring birth story and a tear-jerking Mother's Day tribute, but I severely underestimated the amount of time it takes to make sure both a toddler and a newborn make it through each day alive and healthy. I still have intentions of writing them, but they're on the back burner right now. Even if I had a third hand, I can't type very well one-handed - and for as long as mothers across the world have been praying for a third hand without response, I feel it would be ludicrous of me to ask for a fourth, ya know?

But... because I care about my readers, and because I love to show off, I will treat you to a few adorable photos:

If I look exhausted, it's because I was.

Technically our first whole family photo, but let's try and top this, shall we?

Love me some baby feets!

Oh, look! We did top it! But I'm sure we can do better - once we finally get those newborn pics under way.

First "outfit" I dressed her in, still a bit big, but adorable nonetheless :)

Yes, we went to the mall. I was sick of lying on the couch! Don't worry though - I didn't let anyone touch Millie. But Jonah had a blast riding the carousel with Gammy, trying to give high-fives to Bobo so it was worth it. Look at that cute scrunched up face!

I will tell you that I paid for that mall trip later - I'm currently on the mend from plantar fasciitis... which had the best timing ever! (psych) Right after my mom and Brooke left and Kade went back to school. So I've been limping my way through taking care of two kids for the past few days. But don't worry! Kade Anderson (future) DPT, has been taping my foot every day and it's been helping a lot! But for now, I'll continue to take everyone's advice and "not overdo it."

 There have been a couple rough times, but overall I think Jonesy really likes being a big brother. He brings me diapers and wipes when I need them, and every time she cries he gasps with his mouth and eyes wide open like he doesn't know what to do about it. It's super adorable :)

This is about all I can accomplish in one day these days. You'll be happy to know I was able to check off 6 out of 8! Those whole toilets can wait - but I need to get going on the newborn pics! She's already growing way too fast.

And this is my view lately. Not all the time, but probably more often than any other mom would like to admit. Jonah has been watching more Thomas than I ever thought was humanly possible - and unfortunately I now know every lyric to some of the most ridiculous songs ever written. Save me!!


Photo Dump!

Welcome to Jess 'n' Kade's Photo Dump 2014 Spring Edition.

Due to the impending addition of a new baby to our family, I thought it would be best if I cleared out some space on the old DSLR. So, while the battery is charging, you get to look through all the last photos of our family of three.

Also, I always intended to post lots of pictures of our beautiful new area, but up until recently it hasn't been too beautiful. So I guess I should warn you that almost all these pictures were taken within the past few days. Enjoy!


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