First Day of Daycare/Preschool

August 26, 2014 By: Jenna Category: Personal

This Monday was the first day of daycare for T2 and pre-k for T1. I took the kids to the front yard for a photo and had one child enamored with a balloon and another shivering from the cold. I went back inside and grabbed some jackets so we could try that again.

Much better! And I will unabashedly brag here and say that I did not ask them to hug OR smile. They hugged and smiled for both my dSLR and my iPhone, which earned them a lot of mommy brownie points. I have trained them well.

T1 is going to the same school he has been at for the past year, a school that we chose our housing location based on, and a place that we are already to anxious to enroll T2 in. We love this school so much! When the kids attend as four-year-olds they make a really big deal out of it being the pre-k year, breaking the kids off into a special corner throughout the day to focus a little less on play and a little more on letters and numbers. In the last few months I’ve seen a big change in the detail in his drawings and his desire to engage in imaginative play, and I’m looking forward to watching him progress even more through 2015. We are currently thinking that he will attend the school’s private kindergarten next year as well.

From December of last year to June of this year T2 had been spending 3 days/week with a family down the street, playing with a mom and her six home-schooled children. It was so reassuring to know that she was in an environment where she was loved and adored by so many people, and she had no problem waving goodbye to me each morning when the teenage girls came to pick her up. Unfortunately the mom’s schedule is changing this school year and she is unable to continue the arrangement. Having regularly scheduled kid-free time is really essential for my happiness and emotional well-being, and after about 3 months of no regular help for T2 I told That Husband it was time to find some daycare for her. I waded into the Craigslist postings and spotted one close to our house that has a webcam in the playroom where I can check in on her throughout the day. It’s a home-based place with about a dozen kids and 3-4 caretakers at any given time. They provide the food and offered me the option of Monday-Friday care from 8:30am-1pm, which allows me to spend some time with her in the afternoons before she goes down for her nap. When I picked her up after her first day of care she babbled all the way home in excitement, so I think it’s a good fit for her as well.

Now to wade through my mass of photos from the past year and write a few catch-up posts. Because I know everyone is dying to know what we did for Christmas in 2014 :).


Brain Dump

August 21, 2014 By: Jenna Category: Personal

There’s been lots of talk about happiness, and what makes us happy, round these here parts (and by that I mean, large swaths of conversation with That Husband) and it’s helped me realize that one of the things that makes me happy is writing about my life on this blog. I used to document so many things, open up my mind through my interactions with all of you, and I’m trying to figure out what changes I can make to come back to that point again. I know that blogging (as we used to know it) is dying out, but I was a fairly early adopter and think I’ll plan to be someone who holds on past prime.

I’ll kick things off with a brain dump, broken up by some of my favorite film shots from the past 6 months.

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How I’m “Making It Work”

August 04, 2014 By: Jenna Category: Parenting

I’ve been following Julia’s Moms Make It Work series for several months now, but had been hesitant to contribute because there was a very specific approach I wanted to take in writing my post and I knew that it wasn’t going to be appreciated by everyone. I was tagged on Instagram by someone who wanted to hear my perspective, and I decided that even if she was the only one I would give in to my inclinations and write out my account of our parenting approach, schedule, and how we balance it all.

Click here to read my Moms Make It Work post on My Life in Transition. It’s my attempt to talk openly and practically about the ways we juggle parenting and childcare, not just how I feel about it, but what I am physically doing to make it all come together.



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One Quick Take

May 07, 2014 By: Jenna Category: Personal

I’m running out of ways to title my post that say “Hi, I’m dropping by to say life is good. Bye.

Today I want to write a little bit about what’s been going on with me lately, so I decided to set a timer for five minutes and write whatever comes to mind between now and then. After that I’ll get ready and pack up the car and take the kids over to my friend’s house for a portfolio-building shoot I’m doing with her. I’m giving Jenna Cole another big push, trying to figure out if I can stay home and work for myself or if I need to think about job hunting once T2 joins T1 at his preschool next year. I’m trying not to think about the possibility that we might move again, because it’s always hovering over me like a giant question mark of doom, leaving behind any clients I’ve worked so hard to add to my base.

Only one more minute! Goodness I am slow at writing now that I’m out of practice.

My other focus lately has been switching up my life to eliminate the clutter, the things that cause me anxiety, the things that don’t bring me happiness, and replace them with the things that do. I’ve got a giant pile of stuff to give away or sell, and I’m working to restructure the way I spend my time so that I’m outside more in the evening with the kids when the light is soft. I hope it doesn’t sound sacrilegious, because it’s not meant to be, but I’ve found that being outside in nice light feeds my soul the way Mormonism used to. Fresh air and pretty light and organized spaces are the things I need more of in my life.

The timer went off so that’s all for now. Someday the kids won’t be small anymore and there will be more time for things like blogging.┬áis the best place to see what I’m up to on a daily basis.

A Little Bit of The Latest

March 24, 2014 By: Jenna Category: Personal

This is one of those weeks where I open up my calendar and to-do list and feel my heart begin to race as I see how much needs to be done. How do you manage your stress during those time periods? I have a playlist of songs with a fast beat that help me dance around and calm down a little bit. (I’m listening to Daft Punk by Pentatonix as I type this.) Why the escalating stress levels? It’s tax filing season, the time where I curse Jenna Cole and self-employment and wonder why I persist in working for myself (then I file and it’s all over and I love it again).

Also, this Thursday and Friday I’m doing preschool pictures for T1′s preschool. They have two locations, and 120 kids between all of the classes. I’m finalizing my paperwork and plans, and preparing to overdose on coffee so I can bounce around like a maniac for several hours trying to get kids to flash the perfect smile into my camera so their parents will feel they absolutely have to have the shots I present. This past weekend I assembled the backdrop supplement that I invented and I’m really excited about how it’s all going to come together. Here’s a little glimpse into what it’s going to look like, though the actual photos won’t be backlit by the sun, will have a gray backdrop, and won’t have kids with messy faces (I’m hiring someone specifically for messy face and hair patrol!).

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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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