Archives for ‘family’

T1′s Birthday Celebration and T2′s Blessing Weekend

April 27, 2013 By: Jenna Category: family

In March my parents came down for a weekend (my dad hadn’t had the privilege of seeing T2 in person yet) and we packed those few days as full as they could get. We decided to celebrate T1′s birthday a month early, took family pictures, and gave T2 her blessing.

One of the presents my parents gave T1 was a kite. We took it over near Google’s main campus to fly it. Note: You are not supposed to fly kites here. We did not know this when we started.

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Nana and Me Photos

February 21, 2013 By: Jenna Category: family

I have only a handful of images of me with my mom growing up. She says she tried, but no one ever wanted to take over the camera. I’m trying to make sure this doesn’t happen with me and my own kids, but I’ve realized that the same thing is happening once again with my own kids! There really aren’t that many photos of T1 with his grandma, and I want to make sure that doesn’t become the status quo for us.

So four days after T2 was born we cleared out a corner of my bedroom and did a quick photo session with T1, T2, and Nana. I was tired, sweating, and exhausted afterward but these pictures are so worth it. My parents are coming back in early March and I might try and convince them to do one more quick session with the kids while both Nana and Papa are here so they have nice pictures with grandpa as well. Next time we visit Poland I want to do the same thing with That Husband’s family as well!

When I launched Jenna Cole, my mom told me “No matter what kind of success you find with your business, you’ll be so glad you have this equipment and these skills when you have kids.” She was so right.

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Christmas Card 2012

December 25, 2012 By: Jenna Category: family, Holiday

Yet another year where I (Jenna) am writing this Christmas card from a different location than in years past. This year we are located south of San Francisco in the Palo Alto area of California. It took me approximately three days to declare that I love it here and want to stay forever. We are so grateful that TH not only has a great job, but one that allows us to live in such a beautiful place.

When 2012 started, we thought we had an idea how things would go. TH would graduate with an MBA from the University of Chicago, we’d move back to Dallas, T1 would continue learn and grow and amaze us with his interpretation of the world around him. The first and last have turned out as expected, but a new job offer for TH has taken us in a completely different direction than previously anticipated.

While I went back to school this Summer my parents generously offered to employ, house, feed, and entertain TH and T1 up in my hometown while I finished up at BYU. I was so grateful to have my mom, dad, and sister present as I walked across the graduation stage (I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English), and three days later we were lucky enough to find ourselves in Poland enjoying the company of TH’s family while eating Krakow Cake in the backyard.

T1 has reached the language explosion stage, and conversations with him become more entertaining as each day passes. He loves preschool, talks all the time about “friends”, and comes home singing songs that I have to look up on YouTube so I can sing along. All those who spend time with him consistently describe him as a sweetheart, and he is developing into an earnest, determined, and meticulous little boy. He loves to whisper secrets to and hug the baby inside of Mama, and though we didn’t find out the sex of our second little one he will always predict that it’s a girl when asked what mommy is having. It’s going to be such a treat to watch him fill the role of big brother.

Our plans for 2013 include surviving with a determined/demanding preschooler and a newborn. We know many of you have done it, so it must be possible… right?

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone!

Thanksgiving 2012 (Mini) Road Trip

November 27, 2012 By: Jenna Category: family

That Husband started traveling this week and T1 and I are working on figuring out how to adjust to him not coming home at night. I was very careful to use new language when describing where TH is. Usually we talk about how he is “working hard”, but now we say he is “travelling” and I talk about the place where he has traveled to. I hope that over time T1 learns to distinguish between the days that I tell him TH is traveling (meaning he won’t be coming home that night) and the days TH is working hard (meaning he will get to have daddy put him to bed!). Although there are many ways it will be stressful, one positive benefit I’ve already identified is that I’ll get a little more “me time” (if T1 ever decides to go to bed, it’s 10:00 pm and he is refusing to do so as I type this). Usually I make dinner and clean up and then devote the rest of my night to spending time with my boys. Now that TH is gone 3 nights/week, that hour I spent with him can be some time I use for my own little projects.

Of course I’m not going to make any assumptions about what blogging will be like for the next few months, especially with the baby, but I did cross a item off my to-do list last week — I finished sorting and scanning in all of our receipts from the past year! I still need to go into Mint and categorize everything from April/May until the present, and then a bunch of Jenna Cole related tax stuff (which is extra annoying considering I haven’t even been working much!). If I finish that up before the baby comes then I’ll get to attack all of the blog posts that have been building up over the past few months. Hooray!

For now though, I wanted to share some photos from our post-Thanksgiving road trip down to Monterey. We originally planned on doing the 17-mile drive and then visiting the aquarium, but we left late and the weather was so nice that paying a bunch of money to stay inside didn’t sound appealing just yet. So we did the 17-mile drive and then went over to Capitola (and yes, we went to Gayle’s :) ) to check out the beach over there. It ended up being one of our favorite family-together-time weekends ever!

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Just A Mom

June 07, 2012 By: Jenna Category: family

Soccer mom?

Going out to California last month was a bit of a wake-up call for me. All of the women that I met were so incredibly accomplished! One of them actually worked as a anesthesiologist, and then decided to become a lawyer. How awesome is that?!?! I was surrounded by consultants and lawyers and people working at promising start-ups and women who have young children now but who did those things before they had children and are taking a short break.

Me? I graduated from high school, went to college and shopped majors until I settled on one that’s part of the humanities, which virtually guarantees me a tiny salary if I decide to go to work (they really need to post that Georgetown Study in big letters in college advisement centers across the country). Oh yeah, and I technically haven’t even graduated yet! Marking “some college” on forms is always a thrill.

This summer I’m moving past the college graduation hurdle, but I don’t have immediate plans to pursue a career which means I’m slated  to continue to show up at cocktail parties embarassed about what I do. We’ll be standing in a group and my husband will introduce himself and be asked what he does. He will reply, and it will be my turn.

What’s your name? “Jenna.”

What do you do? “Oh, I’m just a mom.”


I don’t want to be that way anymore. There is no need to get in some sort of flame war arguing about who has it harder, stay-at-home-moms or working-moms, because both groups are both spending time doing something valuable throughout the day. If I decided to get a job and we hired a nanny that person would never say “I’m just a nanny.” I’ve also never heard “I’m just a doctor,” “I’m just a consultant”, or “I’m just in sales.” I’ve certainly never seen a man cast his eyes down and answer apologetically about his job.

I am choosing to do this. It is my profession. It is what I do. Arguments that posit you can only count something as a profession if you’re paying taxes or being handed a paycheck are silly and not worth paying attention to.

Next time I’m asked what I do I have a variety of responses I can give. “I stay home with my son,” or maybe “I split my time between photography and motherhood.” But you won’t hear me say “Just a mom” anymore. We as women can all lend a little more respect to our chosen vocation by showing how proud we are to be doing what we do each day.

      I'm a farm-raised almost-crunchy stroller-pushing picture-taking lifestyle-blog-writing gastronomy-obsessed divine-seeking thrift-store-combing cheese-inhaling pavement-pounding laughter-sprinkling lover of individuality and taking chances.
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