Have any of you seen “Moms Night Out”? It’s one of those super cheesy movies with a great message. (Fireproof –  same type of thing)
The mother of three needs a night out, but everything goes wrong.
The moral of the story, “you are good enough” “Jesus is there with you and loves you no matter what” Anyway, at the end of the movie she writes a blog post similar to this and I thought it would be fun since I haven’t done many personal posts lately. Sometimes I get new readers following along so I thought it would be a good idea to tell a little bit about myself.

My name is Jess and I have been married for a little over nine years, and with him for almost 16! It was quite difficult for us to get pregnant, I had two miscarriages and Jesus blessed us with our son on the third try. He is two and a half and is the light of our lives.. We short sold our house two years ago and I can’t wait to get into our next perfect-for-us house. Scott works as a EMT for an ambulance company but has LOTS of goals and I just know something good is going to come along for him. I have a day job which I don’t love but is perfect for us right now, three days a week and the boss is pretty lenient with my schedule, plus it’s like four minutes from my house. My love-work is photography, I have been “a photographer” for about 11 years now. Crazy. Just like everybody I have thoughts of quitting it, and just like anything in life there are hard days. But my love for people keeps me in, and if I can shine even a little of the light of Jesus into their lives that is enough for me. Okay now onto a little true and false. (You kind of have to pay attention to this when you read it, it was tricky writing the opposite on some of these)

TRUE: I get bored super easy.
FALSE: I am not a picky eater.
TRUE: I want four kids and a farm.
FALSE: I am not good enough.
TRUE: Five out of seven days a week I am in bed by 9:00.
FALSE: I exercise on a daily basis.
TRUE: Trying to be better at that ^^.
FALSE: I like doing the dishes.
TRUE: I love with my whole heart.
FALSE: Other people’s opinion of me matters.
TRUE: I have an obsession with Taylor Swift.
FALSE: I don’t care what people think of me.
TRUE: I have been attending the same church for 22 years.
FALSE: I never, ever let my laundry sit in the dryer for days and days.
TRUE: I adore my husband and son more than anything in the world.

Because every post is better with a picture. Look at this little handsome dude.grayinsunglasses

That was surprising really hard, and a little confusing. It’s kind of like opposite day on the false ones… If you are reading this right now I want one true and one false from all of you in the comments, GO!

Someone’s something

I am sure you all do it, you read someone’s something that leads you someone else’s something that eventually leads you to the last someone’s something before you tell yourself “okay time to sign off because this rabbit trail is killing my productive time”. As usual that happened to me and I just wanted to share with you because it hit me right where I seem to be lately. Tightly wound. I thought maybe you’d like to read it, you know just so you know you’re not alone. For Kate’s original post you can go here.

It is the unwashed dishes. The dirty kitchen sink. The four baskets of clean laundry being scattered over the crumb flavored carpet by a drunk toddler.

The kids aren’t eating enough vegetables. I’m not eating enough vegetables. I can’t remember the last time I actually scrubbed the bathroom floor. There are tiny balls of my hair in every corner of the house. I always say I’m going to organize all the papers on my desk but I never, ever do.

Yesterday I went to the grocery store for the fifth time in one week. This is either a sign of hopeless irresponsibility or early onset dementia. I never remember to buy honey.

Somehow there is something on the calendar every day for the next six weeks. Last month I bought a pack of 22 baby hair clips. There are only 7 left. It all feels very tragic.

A list of unfinished projects sits on the stack of Martha Stewart magazines I never read. I want to paint the living room but I don’t know how to paint a living room.

Every week or so someone texts me, “How is your writing going?”


Sometimes I fantasize about falling into a drainage ditch and slipping into a mild coma for a little while.

This could be great for two reasons:

1) Easy weight loss

2) An excuse to not be writing

No one walks up to someone who has fallen into a drainage ditch and asks, “How is your writing going?”

Or maybe they do. I guess it could be good writing material.


It happens every night. Twelve hours of parenting has passed, the kids are finally in bed, and I feel the weight of it all on my chest.

Austin will suggest we go to bed. We need more rest! But I can not go to bed. I am too tightly wound.

Anyone who has parented a human for more than five minutes has felt the coils of the day wrapping around their insides, making the chest tight and the stomach hungry for nachos. By 9pm, I have no words left. I just want to sit in the dark, watch Michael Scott, and not have to think any intelligent thoughts.

Shark tank idea: a service that comes to your house, gives you a glass of wine, ten minutes of uninhibited dancing, then rubs your back until you fall asleep. (That or someone who just shows up to play with your hair while you binge watch Orange Is The New Black).

A service specifically built to help us unwind.


It is late, nearly 11pm, but I can’t go to bed yet. I pour a glass of water and watch Jim propose to Pam. I take deep breaths and text a friend about her newlywed life and a mama about her newborn life and my sister about the time that thing happened and it’s fine.

There is a lot of mom-shaming around these days despite our best efforts to cover it up with positive op-ed pieces on Huffington Post. Disdain for the working mothers, the home mothers, the breastfeeding or formula or unvaccinated mothers. We shame ourselves into thinking we’re the only ones who are overwhelmed, who cry in the bathroom, who sit in the grocery store parking lot as a “vacation.”

There is no moral to this story except: I see you. I see you out of the corner of my eye feeling tightly wound and it’s okay. Find 30 minutes of silence and remember two things:

1) We are lucky to have kids and most of our organs and dental floss.

2) You hid dark chocolate in the freezer. You can eat it now.


The toddler is potty trained without really being potty trained and the house has a faint smell of urine.

The baby smells like a cheesesteak and I still haven’t unpacked from last month’s trip but it’s okay.

It is so old news and cliche and irreparably optimistic but I’m going to say it again. We are in this together. You and me and the 42-year-old mother at the library who has finally had that baby after twelve years of trying but still feels tightly wound at the end of the day.

I don’t like to make friends at the library because I’m a jumpy introvert, but this mama did not give me a choice and left me with some words I’m carrying around with me this week.

She said, “Isn’t it funny how parenting works out? It’s just so loud, even when they are asleep. You can never turn parenting off. It’s a good thing it’s what we always wanted, isn’t it?”

Press on.


and counting..

IMG_8265This goober (as I’ve mentioned many, many times) will not let me take a picture of him for anything. But last week was different, I had just had a session with a one year old boy and was getting ready to set up for Molly and Grayson walks over just begging to be photographed. Little crazy. So of course I took advantage! I can’t believe my baby will be two in a month and a half. I love him so much.

Today marks one week and counting of work left at the water district.
It also marks two months and counting until we are back in our own place.
Happy Tuesday friends.