Here is a picture to hold you over for awhile. I will put some more up on Friday!



My Confesssion

Hello, my name is Jessica Christensen and I weigh 165 pounds. Yes, I just posted my actual weight on the internet. And, surprisingly, no, I’m not ashamed of it.
True, it’s 10 pounds more than the high end of my “healthy” weight range. Yes, it’s 40 pounds more than I weighed 4 years ago at my wedding. No, it’s not really where I’d like to be. But, for right now, I’m happy with it, and this is a huge achievement for me.
I am a woman, and, as such, have constantly fallen victim to the self-consciousness and insecurity with my appearance that plagues most, if not all, women. We are constantly bombarded by messages telling us we’re too fat, too skinny, too white, too dark, too tall, too short, too anything at all to be considered beautiful or desirable. The sad thing is, even though we all know there is no “ideal” body type and that what we see in magazines, movies, and on TV are airbrushed, make-upped, over-styled fallacies, we can’t help but feel like we don’t measure up. I’ve always seemed to be especially susceptible, and it only got worse after having kids.
My pregnancy with Kyle left me with stretch marks not only on my belly but on my thighs, calves, and sides. It left me with a “pooch” that never went away, even after losing all of the pregnancy weight and then some. It left me with widened hips and a more robust backside. I absolutely HATED the way I looked. I longed for my trim, narrow pre-pregnancy figure. I longed to fit into my size six jeans again. I was absolutely certain everyone was focusing on my flab every time I went out in public. My self-esteem was at an all-time low. Eventually I became resigned to the fact that I would never be “skinny” again so I should just accept how I looked. But, I still wasn’t happy.
During my pregnancy with Lucas, however, my attitude and outlook began to change. I didn’t stress about how much weight I gained. I didn’t worry about the size of my protruding belly (well, at least not TOO much—I’m not perfect, after all). I knew my body was doing something amazing, something so few can do, something many women would give anything for. How could I hate it? Plus, I realized that I wouldn’t trade anything, not even my 125-pound, size six pre-pregnancy body, for my children and the amazing experiences I had bringing them into the world. After having Lucas, I’ve learned to embrace my body’s changes rather than regret them. I can honestly say I love my new curves! I do, of course, have my insecure days, and I do have goals to improve, but overall, I’m happy with how I look. Plus, my husband can’t get enough of me.  Nothing gives a woman more confidence than knowing someone thinks she’s sexy.
I know my confidence radiates as well. I’ve received more unsolicited compliments on my appearance after having Lucas than I did after having Kyle, even though I was 10 pounds lighter then and I’m still not back to my pre-pregnancy weight yet. I love myself, I am confident, and it shows, and that is what people see, not my tummy pooch.

Family Update

I sincerely apologize for the lack of blogging. Since Lucas’ birth, we’ve tightened our belts a little, and one of the things to go was home internet. Beyond feeling just a little out of touch with the rest of the world, I don’t miss it at all. I spend a lot more time with my kids, my house is cleaner, and I actually make dinner for my family!

Lucas grows and changes every day. He’s an extremely good-natured child. People constantly ask me if he ever cries. The truth is, he rarely does. He is, however, extremely sensitive to the emotions of others and the emotional climate—he’s my little Jasper Hale. He can tell when people around him are tense or angry or upset, and it upsets him. He can also completely change the emotion of the room just by giving us all a huge grin. He loves to coo, and he always looks as though he has a million things to say. We love to just sit and talk to him and listen to him talk back. He already loves Kyle and focuses intensely on him whenever Kyle is around. He loves to watch people and see everything that’s going on. At his two-month appointment, he was more than 4 ½ pounds heavier and 6 inches longer than when he was born. He still loves to eat! He still nurses like a champion, which makes me so happy. I’m still a little paranoid about my milk supply dropping or Lucas deciding he wants to stop nursing, so he’s only had a bottle once—I pumped an ounce of milk and gave it to him to see if he would take a bottle in case I was away from him for too long and he got hungry. He’s only slept through the night once, but I’m not that concerned about it. He is quite a snuggler, and snuggling with him has a soporific effect—it’s nearly impossible to stay awake! He still has to be swaddled to go to sleep, but he doesn’t need a pacifier. He’ll take one, but he prefers to go to sleep without it. He loves to watch the fish mobile in his crib, and he gets so excited when we turn it on. He loves music, and he always gives me huge grins when I sing to him. We’re pretty sure he’s going to have beautiful blue eyes and hair that’s a lighter shade than his brother’s. He has chubby little cheeks that I just love to kiss all the time. He’s my little sunshine baby.

Kyle seems to have changed from a toddler to a kid overnight. I’m constantly amazed at the things that he picks up. The other day, he told me that my hair looked beautiful (for the record, it really didn’t, but I appreciated the admiration). He loves to tell stories to anyone who will listen, even if it’s only himself. He actually talks himself to sleep at night—when he’s lying in bed we can hear him recap his day to himself. He’s a great big brother, and he loves Lucas so much. He knows all of his colors, all of his shapes, and he counts to 20 without much prompting. We’re working on learning the alphabet right now, and he loves to sing the ABC song. I know he’ll pick it up quickly, and after that I’d really like to get a head start on reading. Since he’ll be almost 6 when he goes to kindergarten, my goal is to have him reading before then. I’m confident we’ll be able to get there because he already loves books and has his favorites memorized. He still loves cars, trucks, and trains, and he already identifies cars by make and model rather than color, which I think is kind of quirky. Whenever he sees a suburban, he tells us he sees “grandma’s truck.” Whenever he sees a Chrysler minivan, it’s “Papa’s truck.” We suspect he may turn out to be left-handed. He’s already making a mental list of things that he wants for his birthday next month. J He thrives on routine and some nights, he’s the one who tells us it’s time for him to go to bed. He loves to brush his teeth. He’s quick to say “I’m sorry,” “please,” “thank you,” and, best of all, “I love you.” We still have a tantrum every now and then, but they’re over much faster than before, and they can usually be headed off if we avoid letting him get overtired. He’s growing up so fast, and I can’t believe he’s going to be 3 next month!

I still love being a stay-at-home mom. I’m becoming more and more domestic every day. I’ve perfected my banana bread-making skills, and I recently made my first loaves of zucchini bread. I enjoy cooking more and more each day. There is little that satisfies me more than having a clean kitchen. I don’t mind doing the dishes anymore, unless they pile up. I still hate ironing, and my ironing basket is perpetually full. Poor Cole has to get creative when looking for shirts to wear to work! I’m hoping to start learning how to sew, and I’m hoping to get a sewing machine for Christmas. I’m the Young Women’s secretary in our ward, and I’m finally beginning to feel like I’m supposed to be there. I’m still incredibly intimidated by the women I serve with, who all seem to be creative, crafty, and composed, but I’m trying to learn everything I can from them. I’m almost finished scrapbooking the pictures of my single life. I have a good start on a scrapbook beginning with Cole’s and my wedding. I go to a sort of scrapbooking club one night a month, and by the end of the year I’ll have 44 pages made—I’ll just have to add the pictures! For the first time, I want to try to go running (this is a big deal for me—I hate running). I’m super excited for football season and the premieres of the fall shows, particularly Glee and Bones.

Cole is working hard in Park City and getting ready for the busy upcoming ski season! When he has spare time at work he’s been applying for jobs all over the country, just to get interviewing experience. He’s had phone interviews with a couple of hotels in Arizona and with the Drake Hotel in Chicago. When he’s home he’s been spending time fighting the jungle that is our backyard and trying to tame it into something manageable. He loves to keep our lawn green and well-maintained. He attacked a wasps’ nest on our front porch with a lighter and my hairspray yesterday. He loves to take Kyle outside with him when he’s doing yard work, and Lucas loves to chat with his daddy whenever he can. Cole is terribly effective at scaring the hiccups out of Lucas—but this bears the unfortunate consequence of making Lucas cry hysterically. He still loves to torment Kyle just to make him scream. He teaches Sunday School to the 16- to 18-year-olds in our ward, and he really enjoys it. He loves to snuggle with his boys and is particularly susceptible to Lucas’ soporific charms. He’s extremely excited for football season and hopes the Tennessee Titans will win the Super Bowl this year. He’s become something of a news junkie and listens to KSL news radio in the car to and from work. He has become my connection to the outside world and brings me news updates every day. He’s also excited for the start of Glee and Bones, but he’ll miss watching Wipeout twice a week.
And there's our family update.
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