Where I Live

RKSquared is participating in Project 365 (I think I will do this next year, after my 365 days of blog posting are over), and last week she posted a simple picture of the Post Office in her hometown. It got me thinking about where I live, where I have lived in the past, and if I will be able to remember all of those places someday.

Internet, this is where I live.


It was a strange day to be taking pictures because there had been an ice storm the night before. I’ve never seen an ice storm before this, and it’s a really interesting experience. It’s different from hail and snow, it’s literally just ice.


I swear to you that there was a girl sunbathing by the pool just last week. I’ve never seen weather stranger than what I have experienced in the few months living through winter here.


I’m thinking about asking my sister to make this a little side project while she is still at BYU. I would really like to have pictures of the outside of all the different places I lived while I was there. And I realized that I don’t think I’ve ever taken any of my childhood home either. Well actually my childhood trailer. Did you know I grew up in two double wides stuck together?

That Wife’s Bean Soup

After today’s post you guys have been calling me out on all of the treats I’ve been posting lately, and you are right, I’m making myself look a little bit hypocritical aren’t I? I obviously didn’t lose weight by eating treats all the time, and I wouldn’t be able to keep it off if I was always eating them either.

So I’ll tell you three secrets:

1. I don’t have willpower of iron (it’s pretty strong, but it’s not amazing) so I don’t cook/bake like that every night.

2. I enjoy both making and taking photos of the treats more than I like eating them.

3. When I do make treats I try to give them away. The chocolate cake? I only ate 2 slices and TH and a family we visited finished off the rest. The whoppie pies? I sent those on a business trip with That Husband. The oreo fudge bars and red velvet cheesecake bars? I gave those away to the women I visit in my ward.

You will learn in finer detail what my eating habits are really like in future posts, but I thought I would show you a staple recipe I’ve been using a lot lately, in an attempt to make up for all the naughty treats I’ve been tempting you with.

I admit that I developed this using a recipe I found off of allrecipes.com, but I feel I’ve made enough changes to call it my own. Plus it’s made in my signature style, different every single time I make it, depending on how I feel that day. If you cannot cook creatively, you will not like this recipe.

Just so you know, That Husband likes this soup so much that he has declared it must be available in the fridge or freezer at all times.


That Wife’s Bean Soup


(All ingredients are optional and interchangeable. Go ahead, mix it up a little bit!)

Lots of cans of beans (In this batch I used chickpeas, black, kidney, pinto, and ranch style)
1 Can of crushed tomatoes
1 Onion, diced
1 Packet of ranch salad dressing mix (the dry stuff)
1 Packet of onion soup and dip mix


1. Find a really big pot.
2. Pour some water in the pot. I probably use like 6 cups or something.
3. Pour all of the beans in the pot, with their liquid, except the black beans (you should drain and rinse those).
4. Add everything else to the pot.
5. Boil for hours. I’m not joking, for hours. Once I boiled it for 4 hours. Just boil it down so that it is nice and thick and a little bit salty. Stir often enough that it doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pot because then it tastes bad.

Nutrition Stats

(As weighed, measured, and calculated by me)
Serving Size: 1/2 lb, or 8 oz

Calories: 209
Fat: 2g
Sat Fat: 1g
Cholesterol: 0g
Sodium: 513 g (This number may be off because I’m not sure that it includes the salt used in the preservation of the beans)
Potassium: 501 mg
Carbohydrate: 38g
Dietary Fiber: 11g
Protein: 11g


We love it because it’s cheap (that’s why there is no meat in it) but full of fiber and protein. One bowl will fill you up for the entire night. Plus it freezes well, so I can make double batches and then pull them out a ziploc bag at a time and reheat them.

Yum. Just looking at the picture makes me want to warm up a bowl right now.

To Fat and Back: How I Got There

Fat. F-A-T. I used to be it. Now I’m not. There are many people who find this term offensive, and might want to tell me I just said something vulgar. In my case, it’s just the truth. I wasn’t almost 200 lbs because I was so muscular, I weighed that much because my body was covered in fat. So I was fat.

Want to see how I got to there?

Here I am at 16 years old. Wasn’t I precious?


Looking back on these pictures of my weight change I realize why I always had a boyfriend in high school and never had them in college.


This was the time when my sister and I looked more alike than we ever have. I wonder if we went to this church dance attempting to look like twins?


High School Me: “That Wife Jenna, take that picture down right now! How awful to be seen in our swimsuit.”

That Wife Me: “High School Jenna, we have never looked so good!”


Now you understand where I started from. Somehwere around 140 lbs, thin (for me) and muscular from years of sports and dancing. I started college and it didn’t take long for me to lose control. In April of 2004 I still looked good but you can see I started to get a little bit of a belly.


One thing that you usually don’t think about in relation to gaining weight is that you don’t take pictures as often. If you aren’t happy with your body you aren’t going to be jumping in front of the camera every chance you get. So I find that there are huge gaps in the pictures I have of myself, and the changes in my body end up looking incredibly drastic. I look at the pictures now and wonder how I could have missed preventing such a huge change in my body.

The picture above was taken in April 2004, the picture below in December. Only 8 months to get to this point.


This is my 20th birthday party, April 2005. I can’t stop scrolling between the picture of me in April 2004 where I look healthy and happy wearing white and yellow (two colors that disappeared from my wardrobe for several years), and this one where I look almost unrecognizable.


3 months after my 80’s themed 20th birthday party I moved into an apartment in the same complex as That Husband. We weren’t just neighbors, we were next door neighbors. If you walked out of my door, took a left, and knocked on the next door you would have met my cute and slightly nerdy future husband.

People often ask what took us so long to meet. Why didn’t we start spending all of our time together in July of 2005 instead of January of 2007? Truthfully, it’s because I looked like this. One of the things I love most about my relationship with That Husband is our ability to be honest about touchy subjects. We both acknowledge that I was so heavy at this point that he never would have been interested in me. If our roles were reversed and he were 50 lbs heavier than he is now I probably wouldn’t have been interested in him either. It sounds harsh, but it’s simply the rules of attraction. If I hadn’t lost all this weight, we could have become friends, but we would never be married.

2005-10 (3)

In October of 2005 I dressed as Little Red Riding Hood for Halloween. I wandered around at the big Halloween party at the house next door for a little bit, but then I just came back up and watched a movie. I wasn’t happy with who I was and it showed.


While I was upstairs sulking my roommates were wandering around dresses like cute little fairies. On the right you can see my roommate Megan, and on the left is my future husband! Why didn’t I dress up like a fairy with them and take a picture with that hot guy dressed as Zorro!??!


By this time I was medically considered obese, falling behind in school, and unhappy. I was leading a really social life and participating in loads of activities, but I was also spending lots of time talking using the free counseling program that BYU provides. I started taking Prozac and I started scheduling regular appointments with my bishop (church leader). One day he recommended a psychiatrist to me, unlike my couseling through BYU I would have to pay for her, but said she had been very successful with cases like mine in the past.

I went, and I told her what was on my mind. She paused, and then handed me a  book that changed my life…


Oh, did you not realize this was a multi-part story? I’m leaving you in suspense over the weekend concerning what the book was. Any guesses?

Oreo Fudge and Red Velvet Cheesecake Bars

This is Jill. Don’t worry, she isn’t always this scary. She just had a baby 3 months ago. Can you believe it? (It is her baby that I put up pictures of 2 days ago).

This is Jill 5 years ago, the night we met. We haven’t seen each other since that time. She didn’t know I got fat, which is funny to think about. Jill is dancing next to Natalie, the one who introduced us.

New Years 2004

New Years 2004

A few weeks ago this cute blonde girl came up to me at church and said “Are you Jenna?” and I said “Are you Jill?” and now we are friends again. We decided to get together and cook delicious things to give away to people. I think in this picture I am trying to make it look like I wasn’t just dipping in to “taste test” the batter.


We made these: Oreo Fudge Bars. Red Velvet Cheesecake Bars. (Which weren’t red because we didn’t feel like buying food coloring).



Usually I like to do things from scratch, but sometimes I like to do things from easy. You should make them too. Wait 24 hours to eat them and you will be glad, they are much better that way.

Pink Pill of Death

Last week I ended up writing a rather scathing post about people who offer unsolicited advice about my sex life (for if you tell me to wait to have a baby aren’t you essentially implying I should be managing my private affairs a certain way?)

I didn’t sit down with the intent to write a post like that, but as I took the time to explore my feelings and experiences in relation to the situation the angrier I became. Now I suspect many of you are wondering what’s keeping me from holding that sweet little baby in my arms?

I’m happy to say it isn’t the dreaded “I” word: Infertility, as we haven’t yet moved to the stage where we would know.

It isn’t That Husband either. When we were dating he said kids in 3-5 years, and I said 1-2. Then we got married and I said “Now” and he said “Why?” and I said “Because I believe my purpose in life is to be a mother.” And he said “Okay, we will do this together.” I love my husband.

The stumbling bock in my road to motherhood? Me. Yes, I’m the only thing standing between my own desires. How ridiculous is that? I feel stupid typing it out, because once you hear what it would take for me to become impregnated you will shake your head and think to yourself “That Wife is an idiot. I only suspected it until now. Now she has confirmed it.”

To have a child, all I have to do is prove to That Husband that I will finish school. I don’t even have to finish. I just have to prove that I will finish. I will admit that the terms we agreed upon are a little abstract, but this open ended agreement means I could have a baby in my belly by March if I wanted. And I do want to, except apparently not enough to actually STUDY. What is wrong with me?

I’m such an idiot. I’ve tried all kinds of systems to motivate myself, but these last 19 credits are haunting me. I hate them, and avoiding them is currently my method of choice. I did agree to let my friend Christiana hound me about my daily study habits, but I discovered today that all I need to do to avoid her is turn off Gchat. Christiana don’t be mad!

All of this means every morning I wake up and do the thing I hate most. I take the Pink Pill of Death. Why the Grim Reaper title? Because every morning I wake up with dreams of my imaginary baby. Sometimes it’s a boy, sometimes it’s a girl, always it has dark hair and light eyes (I realize how rare this is, but imaginary babies can look however you want them to). I check my phone, say my prayers, pee, and open the medicine cabinet to kill anew my baby dreams for the day.


It’s a vicious cycle, and sometimes it makes me want to crawl right back into bed again, but I know what everyone would say, “You are doing this to yourself.”

Goodbye January 29, 2009 baby. I would have called you Harvey.