Saturday, December 10, 2011

Life is Precious

I'm not really a "Today Show" fan, but I caught part of a story on my way out the door the other morning. One of the news anchors was interviewing an OBGYN about the emotional effects of miscarriage, in light of the fact that Michelle Duggar (mother of 19) had just lost her 20th child at 19 weeks. I was heart broken for her. I don't care how many children she has, losing a child during pregnancy is very painful for any woman, no matter her situation.

But I'm even more heart broken to think of all the women who voluntarily choose to miscarry through abortion. If the Today Show can acknowledge that a miscarriage is indeed a painful loss for any mother-to-be, why is it taboo to say that abortion is also a loss of life, and is therefore a tragic choice?

Tragically - and ironically - people tend to minimize the seriousness of abortion, just as they do miscarriage, perhaps to spare these women any additional pain. But this doesn't do anyone any good. We lose millions of lives to abortion every year (abortion facts here) - Millions of our rising generation are being snuffed out before their births. And women who lose a child during pregnancy can't help feeling a deep sense of loss for the life that might have been lived.

Isn't life precious? It's truly a miracle. Left - 20 wks (Michelle Duggar was at 19 wks); Right - 8 wks ( I was at 9)

A while ago, I tried to talk about what to say to women who have lost a child during pregnancy, but I didn't do a very good job. I think I came off bitter, and I'm sorry - Please know I'm not bitter, but - a year later - I am still coping with a sense of loss. Maybe it can't be understood unless you've experienced it, but I'm going to make a second attempt to offer some advice, because I think it's important. Not for myself, but because I know what it feels like, and I understand what other women are going through and what they need to hear.

***

Really, it all comes down to taking a woman's loss seriously. So the pressure is off! Don't worry about offering theories or trying to find a positive side. All you have to do is be there for her, whether she brings it up or if you want to bring it up. See, it's simple. :)

Also, it's okay to cry about it and laugh about it. I'm not always good at that, but here are a couple people who are:

Like I said, I'm not a Today Show fan, but here's a great blog post they cited in their story, which offers 5 helpful things to say. Here's the author's profile, too. Amazing.

And here's a blog post we can all laugh about from my friend Lara about infertility, which I think goes hand in hand. She does a beautiful job busting some myths you might've heard before.

***

I hope you don't mind that I keep bring all of this up, but it's my reality for now. Keep up the comments - I love them!

- Jenny

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

News

First (Real) Snow


New Pictures (Thanks, Jennifer Whatcott!)


New Haircut


New Job

I’m now working as Director of Marketing at Home Care Pulse in Rexburg. My company is a research and benchmarking company that consults with businesses who provide in-home care (think assisted living, but in your own home). We help business managers improve their quality of care, as well as the profitability of their businesses. In summary, a great company with a great mission and great people - I'm happy there. :)

New House?

We’ll probably be moving back to the Idaho Falls area when Ben finishes his classes this spring. We might even settle down there for a while. We’re not sure – we’re just praying ALOT and figuring it out as we go.

In case you hadn't heard the latest, Ben wasn't accepted to the Air Force Pharmacy Program due to a now minor health issue that could become more major later in life. So at least we've ruled out going overseas after graduation...!

In Other News...

We’re thinking of starting the adoption process sometime next year so that we can adopt after Ben graduates in a year and a half, or hopefully sometime before our 6-year anniversary. We’ll see how it goes! :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Everyday Moments

You might have noticed the new look. It's a work in progress. I basically just picked a new layout and color scheme, courtesy of Blogger. See, I’m keeping it simple.


As for other part of the blog – the content – that's a work in progress, too. I'm sure it always will be. That's what makes it fun, right?

It’s always nice to take time to appreciate the everyday moments that make us laugh. I wanted to capture a few of those moments from this week – I’ll let you guess who said what. Sorry if it's TMI.

***

"Why is this lasagna fuzzy?"

"Come over here and kiss me like you’re in love with me!"

"I call not doing the dishes!" (Surprisingly, this wasn’t me…I must be rubbing off…)

"Why is it so cold in here?" "Because we’re too cheap to turn on the heat!"

"Guess what I have! A candy bar!" "Thanks, honey!! How about I share some with you?" "Well, since it’s my candy bar, how about I share some with you?"

"We don’t like your presence, Ellie (our cat)." "Yeah, your presence is offensive to us, Ellie!" "No, I meant her 'presents,' as in her 'gifts' (i.e. farts…Our cat frequently passes gas, hence her nickname ''Smelly Ellie'').

"My back hurts." "Well, then I’m about to give you the best back rub of your life."

"Macaroni and Cheese???!!! WITH HOT DOGS???!!! This is the BEST NIGHT EVER!"

Monday, October 10, 2011

It puts the "blah" in blog

First of all, this blog started out as a way to keep family and close friends updated. I do this kind of thing for work all the time, so I wasn't interested in making it fancy - I just slapped up a Blogger template and some stories, and before I knew it there were people I didn't even know reading and commenting on my blog on a regular basis.

Wow, I wasn't expecting that. But now I'm inspired to make my blog a little less "blah" and "ug," and little more "ahhh!" so I'm asking for your input.

We'll make this easy - We'll play 'Would You Rather?"

1. Would you rather me to keep it simple - mostly text with a few visuals - OR would you rather see me add some fancy features like polls and banners?

2. Would you rather me continue to post every 2-3 weeks OR write at least one short post every 2-3 days? (Dare I assume that you could care that much?)

3. Would you rather me keep the subject matter mostly about my life (because apparently you find it sooo interesting) OR would you rather me write more posts about other subjects (i.e. politics, hobbies, places, people)? (OR - watch out, third choice - would you rather me keep the mix of topics about the same?)

Just looking for a little feedback - I already have some things in mind for this "makeover," so I'll still make it what I want it to be (especially since that seems to have worked well so far), but I'd love to have everyone's perspectives to give me some guidance.

Please post your comment below or on my Facebook!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Speaking of Dreams...

American was founded on the dream of our Founding Fathers, that a nation could exist where people were free to work for their own dreams and live in peace, free from the oppression of any government - including their own. They weren't a group of men acting out of hatred.

On September 11, 2001, over 3,000 Americans were murdered by a group of men who believe - to their very core - that it is their destiny and duty to their god to destroy us off the face of the earth. They still believe this, and they are still trying to destroy us. They are not fighting for freedom, they are fighting for control. They will never be negotiated with. In their book, we are going to be on the losing side of the Final Battle.

But, by the grace of God, our nation is stronger than they are, and we stand for freedom from such malicious violence. But, because standing for freedom will always make us the enemy of any world power fighting for control, we can never stop fighting for it.

Now I'm going to bring out the soap box and say a few words: We cannot shy away from securing our borders or fighting terrorism because we're afraid of offending certain groups. This isn't about legal status or freedom of religion, it's about protecting anyone and everyone living in America - What meaning do any of our Constitutional rights have, if we can't live free from fear? It is our most basic right - THAT is what peace really is. And it's JOB NUMBER ONE to secure our nation's borders and protect our citizens. Read it in the Constitution. If anyone has a problem with that, consider moving to another country.

Okay, I'm done now.

The point is, remember September 11, but most importantly, remember why our freedom is so precious - above all things that we hold dear in this life - because without it we could lose those things in an instant. That is what that day reminds us.



(This is my brother-in-law, Adam Steinmetz, who serves
as an officer in the Air Force - We are proud of you!)


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Field of Dreams

Sorry if you're bored, but this is another blog post about me (believe me, I would rather have other things to write about)...If you are, skip to the end and read the last paragraph. But trust me, this is a happy blog post!

When I was in college, I thought the best thing that could happen to me would be to land a job with a top advertising agency and live in a big ol' city like New York (Sing it!...Somedaaay I'll beeee livin' in a big ooool' city...) Of course, I planned to get married and have kids too, but I wanted to pioneer the new frontiers of high-tech advertising, I wanted to go new places - It was my dream, and I sped through my degree in less than 3 years to get there as quickly as possible.

But, two things happened when I was in my very last year of school that changed my mind. I truly believe it was by divine design.

First, I spent a week at the home of a friend, Travis Sorensen, and his wife and three kids. My plan was to help them out by watching Travis and Leslie's kids for a few days so they could get away for a while and celebrate Travis' graduation. What really happened was that they helped me, and they'll probably never really know how much. Not just by giving me a place to stay when I needed it, but by showing me what I really wanted, although I didn't fully realize it at that point. Their 3-bedroom house was in the middle of a field of dirt and rocks (which was in the process of becoming a neighborhood), but it stood for something beautiful to me.

I realized that summer that what I really wanted was to build a home, not a career.

(By the way, it was a good thing that I realized this when I did, because that was the summer I met Ben. But that's not the second thing that changed my mind.)

The second thing was that I went to New York City to interview for that big important job as an account executive for a top advertising agency. New York was definitely exciting, but it was busy and crowded and just so...phony. I was surprised how much I missed Idaho's big open spaces and North Georgia's tree-covered mountains. I realized that living in a big city was definitely not the life for me.

So a few months later when Ben asked me to stay in Idaho and marry him, I didn't feel for a single moment that I was giving up my dream. I had already given it up, and I was happy about my choice.

And, of course, I've never regretted it since! My life has just gotten better and better, and my new dream has gotten bigger and bigger. When I picture it, it looks something like a big, open grassy space with trees all around and a house full of books and kids. I guess we'll see if I ever change my mind about this one...

I'm gonna live where the green grass grows
Watchin' my corn pop up in rows
Every night be tucked in close to you
Raise our kids where the good Lord's blessed
Point our rockin' chairs towards the west
Plant our dreams where the peaceful river flows
Where the green grass grows



Sunday, August 14, 2011

Just trying to be helpful, really :)

Do you have friends or family members that are having a hard time starting their family? I know quite a few (including myself, of course!) Here are a few comments they may often hear, and which I might suggest you avoid.

It's not that we don't appreciate people trying to be helpful and supportive, it's just that some comments are not what your friends/family need to hear from you. What they really need to hear is that you're there for them while they're going through a difficult, emotional and potentially very long (who knows how long?) trial.

***

"Don't worry, you'll probably end up having lots of kids.

"I know this couple that had a really hard time, and it worked out for them."

"You're young, you've got plenty of time."

"You're lucky that you don't have to deal with the stress of having kids right now."

"You can always adopt." (or "You should try adopting, and then you'll get pregnant!")

"Just have faith, and it will happen."

***

The truth is: It may work out (that is, a successful pregnancy) or it may not, adopting is an equally emotional process, the uncertainty of not being able to start a family is difficult at any age and for any length of time, and an increase in faith will likely not cure infertility (although it is certainly necessary to endure it).

I hope this doesn't come across as scornful, because I really am truly trying to be helpful. :) Your suggestions and comments are welcome, of course! I'd really, really love to hear from as many people as possible on this.

(Speaking of comments, thanks to all of you who offered your support in response to my account of the "worst doctor's appointment EVER." I've wanted to reach out to each of you individually, but I've been out of town and out of touch for quite a while, so I'm still working on that. Just know that it meant ALOT to me, especially in light of this being the week that our first baby would have been due - which is why all of this has been on my mind - and I love all of you!)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Summary of Summer

Places we have visited this summer (in order):

- Hell's Half Acre and 17-Mile Cave (Idaho)
- Las Vegas, NV
- Hoover Dam
- London Bridge at Lake Havasu, NV
- Yuma, AZ (including the famous old Arizona state prison)
- San Diego, CA (and Sea World)
- Phoenix, AZ
- Grand Canyon (North Rim and South Rim)
- Pipe Springs National Monument (Utah)
- Yellowstone National Park
- Summit of Scout Mountain (Idaho)
- Salt Lake City, UT
- Atlanta, GA
- Smoky Mountains (Georgia)
- Washington DC (including the Smithsonian, National Archives, National Monuments, War Memorials and National Cemetery)
- Lancaster, PA (Amish Country)
- Palmyra, NY (including the Hill Cumorah Pageant and LDS church history sites)
- Niagra Falls
- Kirtland, OH (including the original LDS temple and town center of the early members)
- Louisville, KY
- Vale, OR
- Boise, ID
- Ogden, UT
- Boston, MA
- Merrimack, NH
- Downata Hot Springs (Idaho)

***

Obviously, from this list you can assume that we have more to tell. All in good time. :)

It's a little daunting to be honest - all the pictures, stories, etc. that we have to share - but don't worry, I won't be posting all of it only for you to enjoy (not that you aren't a good enough reason, of course!). It will also become our personal album to print and keep for ourselves to remember our incredible travels.

Anyway, it might take me a while since our "new" house and yard have been mostly neglected for the past couple months and I want to jump in and get some projects done (meaning, have Ben get some projects done) before school starts again. In the meantime, check out our Facebooks for a preview of the pictures!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Worst Trip to the Doctor EVER

I've had some pretty lousy experiences with doctors over the past 3 years, but this one tops them all.

In case you're tempted to pity me at any point in this story, I want you to know that I'm sharing this highly personal account only in hopes that you'll get a really good laugh out of it! Every single word is true, I promise you. Enjoy! :)

DISCLAIMER: This is a very up-close-and-personal blog post; however, please know that it isn't meant to be offensive or inappropriate in any way. Just open and honest.

***

First, it took us over a month to get an appointment with a new OB doctor - any new OB doctor - in Pocatello.

Finally the day came...

We waited for over an hour in the waiting room. Several people who arrived after us were called in first. We were the last people in the waiting room when we were finally called in after 5:00 p.m., when their office closes.

After being herded into an office, we went over the usual questions, but the medical assistant was absolutely convinced for at least the first 10 minutes that I was pregnant, in spite of our telling her over and over that I wasn't pregnant anymore (Yes, I cried).

Turns out she thought I was someone else - another patient named Jennifer. Oops!

The staff finally found the right records. More waiting. At one point, a nurse thrust a pointed finger in my direction through the open doorway and said - well actually, yelled - to another nurse, "DOES SHE NEED A PHYSICAL?" The answer was something like, "No, that's the wrong patient."

Apparently this was just too much for her after 5 pm and she lost it, "Well, there are just TOO MANY JENNIFER'S around here!" (The funny thing is, Ben had gotten up to use the restroom and was walking by her at that very moment, so she practically yelled it in his face...We enjoy doing imitations of this scene when we need a good laugh.)

More waiting. The doctor was very busy, and it was almost 6pm by this time. Our appointment was scheduled at 4. A nurse took me to an exam room. "Would we get to talk to the doctor? Tell him our issues? Talk about what we've been through so far and what's ahead?" we asked her.

Yes, of course, but first take off your pants, please.

More waiting. The doctor finally came in and chatted about Clomid and in vitro for a while (I was half un-clothed, with only a small sheet to provide some slight modesty).

Last, how about a good ol' pelvic exam, just for good measure?...Sure, why not? I love having my ovaries squeezed. (Do they do that just for fun?)

Right in the middle of the exam, a nurse pokes her head in to notify the doctor that his next patient's family is waiting in the car (so hurry it up!). Then another nurse walks right in...Is she there to help? No, just to get some supplies out of the cabinet, which she has to lean over my lap to reach. During a pelvic exam. It's like I'm not even there. Naked. In stirrups.

Finally, it's over...It's close to 7 by now. The doctor scribbles on his pad and ducks out, "Here's some new medication, give it a try and I'll see you in a couple months."

Thanks, that's just what we came here for. More medication. More trying. More being ignored by our doctor.

I dress. We leave. I cry.

***

The moral of the story? We're going back to a great doctor in Idaho Falls, who we went to for a second opinion right before we found out we were moving back in January. We've had an incredible experience with him and his staff. Anyway, it's worth driving an hour for great one-on-one care, rather than waiting an hour to be herded like a naked sheep.

By the way, Ben is wonderful. Trying to start a family wouldn't be nearly as frustrating if the only person I had to deal with was him. I guess that how it works for most people, huh? :)

- Jenny

Our Wedding

By accidentally signing into the wrong Gmail account today, I discovered that our Wedding Blog is still intact!

Maybe this isn't thrilling news for you, but it was fun for me to browse around and recall the excitement of getting married - all of the hopes and dreams for the future that made that event so momentous. Well, in honor of our being married three years this month (June 21), here is the link to our Wedding Blog:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mother's Day!

First, I survived the business trip to Boise and back. Actually, I really enjoyed it - Boise's quite a lovely city.

Second, Easter was wonderful. I didn't find a new sundress (although my mom sent me a cute yellow cardigan with a frilled collar just in time - Thanks, Mom!); however I did find joy and peace.

It was such a comfort to take time to remember and celebrate the love of Jesus Christ, who died for everyone! Can you imagine the love of someone who would die for every single person who ever lived, not just one or two of his friends? But He called us His friends - the sinners that we are - and He made it so that we could come to Him and be in His presence again, as His friends. And He wasn't just someone, He was the Son of God. And so He overcame death, and now He lives to make us His forever. Isn't it wonderful?

Well, knowing that makes me feel a good deal less boring than I was feeling a couple of weeks ago. Plus, I have a few blogging mommy's to thank for their recent insights:

- Eliana, for reminding me that everyone feels boring sometimes (even her...and she is seriously the LEAST boring person that I know!)

- Lara, for not being afraid to tell about the "bad mommy days" AND the big dreams she has for herself (which I know she'll make happen soon)

- Christie, for pointing at that letting your kids define "who you are" can make you end up feeling like you aren't your own person anymore, and so you've got to remember the talents and dreams that make you special - that make you a great person and a great mom!

- Sandy, for confiding that every now and then she feels like she could be more useful if she was working full-time and using her degree instead of being the amazing full-time mom that she is (the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world...)

So the truth is that motherhood is a delicate dream. Some women see their dream come true in one magical wedding night, and others wait and hope for years - even their entire lives! Once it does come true, it might feel like it's taking over who you are and your dreams and your chance to do something amazing. Instead of feeling like your dreams have come true, you might feel like you're just trying to get by every day.

Thank goodness for Mother's Day. Moms, remember how special you are. Daughter, Sons, remember how special your moms are and how they put all of their hopes and dreams into you. True, you might've spent your whole lives just trying to get by and get along, but this is one day not just to get by, but to recognize the lovely dream that brought you together and to be thankful for it.

- Jenny

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

AHHHHH!

That would be a frightened "AHHHHH," not a relaxed "ahhhhh."

I am riding on a shuttle to Boise at this very moment, in a state of mixed fear and amusement. The driver keeps driving off the road onto the rumble strips (per, pardon any typos) and the engine keeps sputtering off as we're cruising down the highway. The driver's had to restart the van at 70 mph three times just since I started writing this post. I'm not even kidding.

On the bright side, the driver's been talking the whole time about how he clips coupons and how much money he's saved (that's why he keeps running off the road, of course), and so I'm feeling pretty inspired to start couponing when I get home from this little trip (that is, if I ever get home). :)

Also, it's a nice sunny day in Idaho and the scenery is BEAUTIFUL. I love it.

- Jenny

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easter

I learned that my friend and her husband are studying the final days of Christ's life in the New Testament each day this week, leading up to His Resurrection on Easter Sunday. I thought, Wow, that's a much better idea than trying to find some little dandy with frills to wear on Easter Sunday (refer to recent blog post below).

So I started thinking about the magnificent and terrible events of that week, and I did a little searching myself. While I was looking up a scripture online, I discovered this short video clip entitled An Easter Declaration. It sums up those events from the scriptures much better than I could in my own words, and so I'm sharing this with all of you in celebration of Easter and Christ's glorious triumph over death and sin. I know that He died for us, and now He lives for us to take away the sorrow of sin. That's what we'll celebrate this Sunday - that He lives!



One last declaration I'd like to share - the words to song (you can listen to it here).

I know that my Redeemer lives.
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, He lives, who once was dead.
He lives, my ever-living Head.
He lives to bless me with His love.
He lives to plead for me above.
He lives my hungry soul to feed.
He lives to bless in time of need.

He lives to grant me rich supply.
He lives to guide me with his eye.
He lives to comfort me when faint.
He lives to hear my soul’s complaint.
He lives to silence all my fears.
He lives to wipe away my tears.
He lives to calm my troubled heart.
He lives all blessings to impart.

He lives, my kind, wise heav’nly Friend.
He lives and loves me to the end.
He lives, and while He lives I’ll sing.
He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King.
He lives and grants me daily breath.
He lives, and I shall conquer death.
He lives my mansion to prepare.
He lives to bring me safely there.

He lives! All glory to His name!
He lives, my Savior, still the same.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
“I know that my Redeemer lives.”
He lives! All glory to His name!
He lives, my Savior, still the same.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
“I know that my Redeemer lives!
I know that my Redeemer lives!”

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dear Idaho,

Please stop being so windy. It really spoils the beautiful scenery. Snow is okay, but I'm ready for sunshine and playing outside, and for goodness sake, IT'S ALMOST MAY!

- Jenny

About Me...?

WARNING: LONG BORING BLOG POST ABOUT ME

Today an oldies song I used to love - "Oogum Boogum" - started playing over the loud speaker at the grocery store. My mind was flooded with images of my 17-year-old self cruising down the highway in my pink sunglasses and blue flowered sundress, singing along to radio with my friends, radiant and laughing.


This thought made me my smile until it made me think, "Maybe I'm not as interesting as I used to be." Now I don't even own sundress, let alone a dress that isn't work-appropriate. My job is practically my life, the only pair of heels I have are plain black ones, I have a cat but no kids, and I'm watching Wheel of Fortune on TV right now.


I've never felt like such a nerd in my entire life.


It makes me want to run out and buy a dress with fluttery frills and a hot pair of high heels. Actually, this sounds like a perfectly practical idea to me right now. Hmmm...


Anyway, I've been thinking alot lately about the kind of person I am, or rather, should be. Anticipating parenthood (no, not in the next 9 months) will do that to a person, I suppose. What kind of mom should I be - Should I be perpetually tidy and put-together like my aunt? Energetic and helpful like my mom? Compassionate and hard-working like my grandma? Hip and humorous like my cousin?


Of course, the envitable conclusion I've come to is that I should be myself, only that gets a little complicated with the recent realization that perhaps I've become a different person than who I used to be. Am I the same person as I was at 17, who wasn't bothered by what other people thought I should be like, or look like or act like? Maybe I should stop paying attention to the "perfect mom" magazines in the waiting room at the doctor's office.


I'm sure this is getting a little too introspective for all of you, but I'll end with this: I'm at an age where most of my friends' identities have become tied to adorable chubby baby pictures and Facebook status updates detailing their children's latest antics and accomplishments. Number one, sometimes this makes me feel like a very uninteresting person in comparison, since the book I read last week or what's happening at work just isn't as fun as talking about or looking at babies (You know, it's not just me...We're all hard-wired to love babies. It's a good thing, since babies eventually hit the terrible two's, and before you know it, they're teenagers. It's also a good thing for preventing human extinction...replenishing the earth...you know, that sort of thing). And number two, it makes me a little unsure of "who I am."


Maybe it's time to figure that out again. At any rate, I'm pretty sure whoever I am is totally awesome (because there's nobody else like me, right?), even though I might be going through kind of an awkward phase right now. :)


- Jenny

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Random Rantings

What is up with Mormons making appearances in beer commercials? Both main actors from the popular Mormon missionary film The Best Two Years have starred in Budweiser commercials in the past several months. I don't get it - Can't they find other gigs? To me, this is a disgusting trend. Who's next - Charlie?

***

If you're going in to see a doctor anytime soon, be prepared to be handed off to a non-doctor at the moment you arrive for your appointment (PA, NP, RN). If you do happen to be lucky enough to get in to see the doctor, you will probably be asked to set up your next appointment with one of the non-doctor practitioners.

I don't necessarily have an issue with this sort of practice - Being in healthcare, I know it's an efficient way to run a clinic, especially since the doctors have to be available for surgeries and other things (plus, the non-doctor practitioners are usually really well-qualified). But here's the thing, when I'm dealing with something like not being able to get pregnant and stay pregnant for almost 3 years and I have to re-explain everything every time I go in and then I have to wait for you to get an okay from the doctor without him/her even seeing me, I'M DONE. I'm going to see the doctor. Every time. Don't even ask.

***

I was going to write a little rant about one more thing to make it a nice round 3, but I can't think of anything else...I guess there's not much that makes me feel miffed, which is probably a good thing. I asked Ben what gets him riled up, and he said that he hates it when people don't take their leftovers home from the restaurant and they just get thrown away. As for me, I hate it when he feels like he has to eat ALL of the leftovers, even the stinky old ones in the fridge. Ew.

- Jenny

Monday, March 14, 2011

Time for a New Topic

Well, if this isn't a reason to change the subject, I don't know what is...

We moved! Yes, and I would've announced it via blog earlier if we'd actually had Internet service before yesterday (we moved mid-February). So, we are settled in, but not settled in enough to take pictures and show them to the world...On second thought, that could take a while with school in full swing for Ben and a new job for Jenny. So, if you're really itching to see our new love nest and you'd like a Skype tour, I'd be happy to oblige (Mom). :)

After grinning and bearing an hour-each-way-five-days-a-week commute for almost two years, Ben is happy to now be living a mere hop-skip-and-a-jump from where he goes to pharmacy school - much better! And Jenny is excited to be working in health care again as a marketer for a home care company - Now that she's completed all of her training, she's really starting to pick up speed (And I've fallen in love with our patients!...It's a little bittersweet when they get better and we have to say goodbye).

The best part of living in our new house so far - aside from being close to school and a new job - has been a weekend visit from Jenny's dad and brother Robbie! We enjoyed the mountain majesty of the Portneuf Valley while cross-country skiing, and re-cooped in our cozy cottage. (Attention Friends and Loved Ones: Spare Room Available for an Enjoyable Stay in Scenic Idaho).

Give us a shout if you plan to pass through on your way to Yellowstone! Here are some quick pics to entice you...


Quaint, but cozy...

Come on in!

Just kick back and relax!

There's plenty of room for everyone!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

When things don't exactly work out...

Sorry, I usually write for you, but right now I just have to say what's on my mind. I should be 16 weeks pregnant, but I'm not.

The past few weeks have been some of the hardest I've ever had, but I've come away from it feeling thankful for what I've just experienced. I realized that this is one of the best things about my life, not necessarily the hard things I've been through (and that all of us go through in life), but that it's made me stronger, more trusting and more compassionate.

I’m thankful that the Lord let me be the little girl who was left out all through school, so that I would know how you feel when you’re lonely.

I’m thankful that the Lord let my family move when I finally found a friend, so that I would know how you feel when you have to start all over again.

I’m thankful that the Lord let my senior prom date dump me for a party, so that I would know how you feel when things don’t work out like you’d hoped.

I’m thankful that the Lord let me lose my first love, so that I would know how you feel when your heart is broken.

I’m thankful that the Lord let me lose my first real job, so that I would know how you feel when life has given you the short end of the stick.

I’m thankful that the Lord let me lose my first baby after almost three years of waiting, so that I would know how you feel when you just need to grieve for a while.

And last, I'm thankful that the Lord has blessed with me with such a loving husband, family and friends, and for all of the joy that you've brought to my life. It's been a great support to me. I love you all!

(And thank you for indulging me this one time - I don't mean to complain or ask for sympathy, just to offer some new perspective that life's blessed me with...)

- Jenny

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Five things I love about drugstore.com


1. I don't have to go to the store (I dread shopping).

2. Shipping is free.

3. The prices are cheap, plus they give you online coupons for a dollar or two dollars off the things you like to buy (things that you put on "Your List").

4. You can order pretty much anything that has to do with home or personal care (and more).

5. They give you free samples, gifts, and cash toward your next purchase with every order you make.

So far I've gotten a Gillette 5-blade razor, 3 tubes of eye cream, and 3 pairs of earrings...I've also earned over $15 toward my next purchase, and I've only been shopping with drugstore.com since the beginning of the year. Like I said, I dread going to the store, so shopping online is perfect for me. Just had to share what I thought was an amazing discovery!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Squash

So, I told some friends that I would post my recipe for Squash Souffle. It's a great way to make squash into a main dish, especially if you get a boat load of it in your Bountiful Basket every week and you don't like that slimy texture you get when you cook it. This combination makes the squash much more palatable - that is, soft and fluffy...like a souffle!

Squash Souffle

4 medium to large squash, sliced (any kind of squash works, or a combination of different kinds)
1 medium size onion, diced
1 medium tomato, diced
4 eggs
1/4 stick of butter
1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
1 cup of milk
salt and pepper to taste
parsley (fresh or dried)
bread crumbs (optional)

Steam or sautee the squash and onions together until tender. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and mash until chunky. Mix in eggs, butter, cheeses, milk, and salt and pepper. Spread into a large greased baking pan. Top with diced tomatoes, parsley and bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

...Very nutritious!

Also, here's my recipe for Stuffed Spaghetti Squash that I've been promising to divulge - It's a little trickier, but I think it's better than the best Italian pasta:

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

2 spaghetti squash
1 medium tomato, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 c. + 4 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
4 eggs
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. pepper
parsley
olive oil

Prep both squash by pricking all over with a fork and microwaving each one for 1-2 minutes. Cut squash in half and remove seeds. Submerge the squash halves in water in a large pot and bring to a boil - Simmer for 20 minutes until the "flesh" is thoroughly tender. Meanwhile, mix together the 1 cup of Parmesan and seasonings in a large mixing bowl. Sweat the onion and garlic in olive oil on the stove and add to the seasonings - Mix in the eggs.

Remove the squash halves from the water and remove the "spaghetti," leaving the shells intact. Add the "spaghetti" to the egg mixture, making sure the strands are thoroughly coated. Spoon the mixture into the shells and top with diced tomatoes, parsley and Parmesan. Bake right-side up in an ungreased baking dish at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

And here's a picture of the finished product!