Legible Bookcase

September 16, 2011 By: Jenna Category: Home



I really want this. What would we make it say? Maybe TH’s last name+house.


September 05, 2011 By: Jenna Category: Home

I think an excellent birthday/Christmas gift for That Husband would be some terrariums, but they’re expensive to order from sites like Etsy, and I always felt a little overwhelmed at the though of DIYing it (I feel overwhelmed at the thought of DIYing pretty much anything). Bonnie wrote a really great post about some that she made though, and I’m feeling like it might be accessible after all!


Now the real question is, do we have anywhere to put them that T1 won’t have access to. Lately our home has been stripped of pretty much any and all knick-knack style home decor unless it’s placed really high, because he is a bit of a terror that likes to pull everything down.

That Apartment #3

June 14, 2011 By: Jenna Category: Home

Before I left, I finally got around to taking pictures of our apartment for a tour of our third place. You can see our first apartment here, and our second apartment here. We are slowly building up a collection of items we’d like to keep forever, and I’m forcing myself to be patient while we don’t have the money to decorate our rooms to a Pinterest worthy level. My mom has created a beautiful space in her home, and it’s hard for me to remember that she’s been working at it for almost 30 years, while I’ve barely been married for 3.

This is the entryway, where every guest is greeted by the jogging stroller. It takes up a lot of space, but sometimes I use it as a high chair so it’s nice to have it next to the kitchen. The little teardrop vase is from CB2 and filled with turbinado sugar. Random, but free, and That Husband likes to dip his finger in and have a little taste of something sweet every once in awhile.

To the right of the entryway is the kitchen. Kristin of Bien Living chose the green shade that we painted in here and I love how it brightens up the space a little bit. I want to have a kitchen space that is free of clutter and items littering the counter, but I can’t seem to get rid of enough space to make that happen!

To the left of the entryway is the guest bathroom/T1′s bedroom.

The speaker on the counter blasts white noise whenever he is sleeping, and the pitch black room helps him sleep longer.

Next our bedroom (which is technically not the master bedroom in this layout but we liked it better for our bedroom), with our bed still sitting on the floor. Maybe in Dallas we can get a cheap metal frame to set it on? T1 likes it this way because it’s low enough that he can climb up on top of it. My jewelry display to the left of the dresser was free (just hammered a few nails into the wall) and is so convenient.

Each time we move I put a new quote above our bed. This time it is If you asked me to say why I loved him, I can say no more than because he was he, and I was I. The colorful square to the right of the closet is a picture of TH’s childhood home, and will look a little out of place until I order a second photo that depicts my childhood home. I thought that was a sweet little touch for our bedroom.

Our bathroom.

The room I like the least, the office. Why can’t we keep have it more organized? When we move to Dallas we plan to finally invest in some storage, instead of stacking things on the floor.

My desk to the left was $20 on officemax.com, and I think TH’s cost about the same. The changing table to the far left, and the matching cabinets/drawers in the middle were free from someone moving out of our building the same time we moved in. As you can see we change diapers right next to my computer desk. It stinks (literally). The baby prison keeps the baby out of our stuff while still allowing us to be in the same room we are.

The green wall is T1′s little corner. I’m working on getting some more stuff on the wall.

Whew! Let’s look at a much prettier and better organized room. Kristin is responsible for many of the beautiful pieces you see in this room that I’m excited to reuse in our next place. She chose the paint color, and linked me to the blue/white bowl in the left of the frame,t he rug under the dining table, the futon, the pillows on the couch, the white coffee table, and the blue table that sits next tot he couch that you can’t really see from here. :)

Our last living room looked like this, and without Kristin’s house I think that’s exactly what this one would look like as well. Using her long distance design service* though, I was able to see the potential our living room had, even on a limited budget. I’m going to have her draw up a board for my office when we move because I think it’s time for me to be working in a space that helps me feel creative and inspired. Maybe That Wife will make enough money through advertising for me to help fund that little project of mine!

So that’s our Chicago apartment. What you can’t really see here, are the breathtaking views, which I’ve showed before here. Our next place won’t have the same views, but we do think it will probably be a HOUSE. I’m really looking forward to renting a house and having a backyard and a garage once again.

*Kristin is a friend (she was Mrs. Quiche!) and provided her long distance design services free of charge. She didn’t ask me to blog about this but I wanted to anyway because I liked it so much.

The Chicago Blizzard

February 02, 2011 By: Jenna Category: Adventures

Last night before I went to bed I decided to record what it looked like outside. When I woke up this morning it was clear and no snow was falling, but by the time I came back up from my workout it was a blizzard again. Up until this morning my CSA and Co-Op were telling me I would need to drive out and pick up my deliveries tonight! They have since changed their mind and I’m going to go pick things up tomorrow.

Too bad T1 is so young that he doesn’t care about the snow. It would be fun to take him out to build a fort after the wind dies down!

Chicago Blizzard 2010 from Jenna on Vimeo.

2010 in Review

January 01, 2011 By: Jenna Category: Personal

I’ve seen a few bloggers do posts like this in the last few days, and I love it for a few reasons. It’s a great way for me to look back in a few years and remember what my year was like. It’s also a great way to point out some favorite posts from the past year to any new readers!


I wrote about my struggle with pregnancy weight gain and accepting my new body shape. I started eating in the style of the Real Food movement, something I am still doing today. I started answering questions on Formspring, and kept doing so even when it felt like everyone else was dropping out. To date I’ve answered almost 3500 questions! That’s a whole lot of talking about myself :). Baby was going to arrive in a few moments and I knew the time would go by in a blink, so I started thinking about the post-partum period.


I talked about Good/Better/Best, and I’m still working to do better each day. We stressed about what we would name T1. I admitted that I pee my panties a little bit sometimes. We had a snow day in Dallas (very rare) and I went exploring in a wooded area near my house, coming frighteningly close to getting lost!


I gave you a tour of our apartment at Villa Miranda in Dallas. I made baklava for the first time, something I would most definitely like to do again. My stomach exploded with stretch marks, a part of my pregnancy that is still with me to this day. I had maternity photos taken by my friend Bethany! I devoted a post to my caring and devoted husband. I was showered with love at my baby shower. This was an exciting month, but the highlight was most definitely finding out that we were moving to Chicago!


I wrote about how I had been preparing my body to have a baby. I tried live blogging general conference, something I’d like to do again in the future but probably won’t happen now that I have a baby to entertain! I was getting so little sleep that it started to consume my thoughts, which of course led to a post here on That Wife. I wrote one final letter to T1 in embryo. Finally, T1 arrived! I wasn’t producing enough milk, which starved our son, and so I started supplementing with formula and wrapping him in a biliblanket to treat the jaundice which resulted.


I posted the story of T1′s birth, and tried to answer your birth questions. I wrote about how we are paying for our expenses while at business school, even though TH isn’t currently working. Stopped breastfeeding. Ignited a whole lot of controversy why I wrote my interpretation of the LDS views on mothers working outside the home. Highlighted ways that blogging had made me a better person. I had the first of many awful OBGYN appointments. My diet changed once again as we drastically cut back on the amount of meat we consume.


We used cloth diapers! I wrote candidly about what post-partum recovery is like. Let’s stop using “retard” and “gay” is derogatory terms! We buzzed T1′s hair, which made you all a little crazy. I realized that mommy blogging kind of sucks sometimes. Yet another sucky OBGYN appointment. That Food Diary was launched. I showed what it’s like to take care of a 4 month old. We had a little family outing at the Dr. Pepper Festival in Dublin. I took a little break from blogging.


I fed the missionaries, which was a big deal because it was my first experience trying to cook a meal for guests and manage a baby at the same time. I caught on to the idea of voting with my food dollars. We flew to Washington for T1′s baby blessing. T1 had two notable firsts, swimming and laughing. I became obsessed with the farmer’s market.


I’m a baby-wearin’ mama, and changed my eating habits even more drastically. We found an AMAZING apartment. Sadly, this caused us to give up cloth diapering. I spent time with e-friends at a pool party at my apartment building, a soda shop in Dallas, and in Boston.


We moved to Chicago and suffered through weeks and weeks without internet. I was able to spend some time with long-time reader Sophia and the Chicago bees. I attempted to save money and dye my hair myself, which was most definitely not a good idea. I grossed a whole lot of people out by creating a placenta print and posting pictures of the process. I came to terms with being a self-taught photographer. That Wife Book Club was launched! We struggled with juggling our baby at church, and I talked about postnatal cuddling. No internet was stressful, but TH not having a passport weeks before we were set to leave for Europe was most definitely a low point for us.


We went to Europe!!! (A trip I still need to post about in full.) I stressed about greeting my in-laws with a kiss, they introduced T1 to solid foods. I advocated for less helicopter parenting. T1 dressed as the Sleep Bandit for Halloween. My parents came.


T1 gained two teeth. I dressed up as the housing bubble and TH was a mortgage backed security for a University of Chicago MBA party. I officially lost 25 pounds. I attempted to go to Ikea alone with a baby, which was a very bad idea. We spent Thanksgiving in Washington after the wedding of TH’s best friend brought to the Pacific Northwest.


We want to shave T1′s hair yet again. I finally finished revamping my Jenna Cole sites. I pulled off a holiday party for That Wife blog readers, with about 10 people in attendance, and vowed to do that no more than once a year. I posted my thoughts on motherhood so far, T1 started crawling, I spoke in church, we joined some CSAs, and I showed what it’s like to run around after an 8 month old all day. We didn’t buy T1 anything for Christmas, and we decided we won’t be telling him Santa is real. We flew to Utah for 7 days and spent some time at a house in Heber City with my parents, we were spoiled by the amount of gifts we received and I felt a little guilty because I am so fortunate. Our entire family loved this way of spending Christmas enough that we’re considering repeating it next year.

You know what? After going through all of these posts and reviewing the past year, I realized that I really, really loved 2010. I feel like it’s an appropriate time for a little letter.

Dear 2011,I bet you can’t beat 2010 on the awesomeness scale. But why don’t you give it a try?


That Wife

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      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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