Tag Archives: moving

unlocking doors

15 Apr

So Cruz has figured out how to lock and unlock the doors throughout our house. It hasn’t been a huge deal, really. I let him help me let the dog in and out of the house. But when we’re all inside, I always make sure the dead bolts are locked so he can’t sneak outside. And the dead bolts are way too high for him to reach.

So we headed to Scottsdale today to house hunt for a new place since we are planning on moving up that way in the near future. One of my best friends, Rachel Ronning, is an amazing realtor and she graciously offered to help us out in finding a place to live. Seriously, if you’re looking for a realtor she’s the gal to hit up! So let me know if you want her info!! She did all the work for us- you know, the work I felt so overwhelmed by? She researched for us, made all the phone calls and then went with us all day long to help us find the best place to live.

Thank you SO much Rachel! I can’t thank you enough!!

We arrived at the second house that we were going to look at for the day, and it was actually a place that we really could have seen ourselves living in. It was completely remodeled on the inside, 3 bedrooms, a little smaller in square footage but we are looking to downsize a little bit. We loved it. The neighborhood was awesome and that house was awesome!

So while we were checking it all out, we all headed upstairs to see which room would be Cruz’s room, which room would be the baby’s room and to day dream about where all our furniture would go. Jason, Rachel, and I were all in the master bedroom and Cruz was running around from room to room. It was very small upstairs, so I could pretty much see him at all times.

BUT. For one split second.

Cruz disappeared into one of the other bedrooms and I heard the door close.

“Jay. Where’s Cruz?” I asked. He had literally been out of my sight for a split second.

” He’s in the other bedroom.” he said as he walked out of the room to go and find him. As he was walking out, I started explaining to Rachel that we really have to watch him because he’s figured out how to unlock doors. She has a two year old so we were chuckling about it. Jason heard me start to explain all this to her because then he said:

“Um, Jess? Cruz locked himself in this room!”

“What??!!” I ask.

By now, Cruz is crying. He can hear us, but we can’t open the door to get him! Ok, don’t panic, I’m thinking. But I couldn’t really think straight because all I could hear was my frantic little man’s cries getting harder and louder! Rachel ripped a bobby pin out of her hair and Jason started trying to unlock the door that way- you know how that works sometimes? Of course not when you need it to!

So now, I’m starting to get a little frantic. The bobby pin’s not working. Cruz is crying harder. Jason’s trying to ‘jimmy’ the bobby pin so it will unlock the door. In the meantime I’m saying to Cruz:

“It’s ok baby! Mommy’s right here! Unlock the door Cruz like you do with the doggie!”

He wasn’t having it. This made him scream harder. He could hear his mamma and his dadda but why weren’t them opening the door??? Gosh, thinking about what he was thinking absolutely broke my heart! At some point, Rachel said that she was going to go door to door in the neighborhood to find someone who had a screwdriver. Thank God for her and Jason because I was completely useless and totally ready to bust the door down! Jason had to stop at one point, look at me and say:

“Jess, it’s ok! He’s not in any danger and we will get him out. He’s not going to get hurt and we’re right here!”

Ok yes, he’s right. I remember thinking. But Cruz’s little cries still made me super anxious and frantic. GET HIM OUT, is what I was really thinking!

It didn’t take long for Rachel to come back WITH a neighbor who had all the right tools for such an occasion! He first tried unlocking the door from the outside, but when it didn’t work he just took the door knob off! Ha! Cruz ran out of the room, straight into my arms and had pink and puffy eyes and crocodile tears to match!

Poor little guy! I know he wasn’t in danger, but he was scared and in a strange place and didn’t understand what was going on. Oh, my heart STILL breaks to think of his little face on the other side of that door!

That very kind neighbor put the doorknob back on and within minutes we were 1). Thanking him profusely 2). Back to looking at our new potential home and 3). Laughing about the entire incident and talking about how it’s a story that we’ll tell him someday! I carried Cruz for the rest of the time in that house- I didn’t really want to risk him locking himself into another room. Although, he’s pretty smart so I can’t see him doing that again for a while!

So needless to say, we are going to be keeping a very, very close eye on him and his new fascination with the door locks. I knew 100% that he wouldn’t have been hurt today, and I would have busted down the door myself and paid for it later if it meant getting him out of there! It’s amazing how they can get into so much even if you aren’t watching them for one split second. I mean, I blinked and he had locked him in an empty bedroom! In our home, we have keys all over the house that will work on the opposite side of every door in our house, which I have never been so thankful for! I always thought we had too many but now I am going to make sure they are everywhere in the house- just in case!

I never really thought that him being able to lock and unlock doors would be a problem- because he always UNLOCKS doors. But today he was just so scared I think he didn’t even know what to do! Poor little guy. Every day’s an adventure in our house it seems! And he’s just such a curious little guy who loves to figure out how things work. From now on, I will be teaching him NOT to play with the locks without mommy near!

And I’ll be figuring out how to get on with my days WITHOUT blinking.

house hunting

15 Apr

The more time we spend at Scottsdale Bible Church, the more I realize that we are in the most absolute right place. Tonight was the first time that I really felt like I could look around the room and see a group of friends, a community of people, that I could see us totally doing life with. Couples with small children or babies on the way and who are in our life stage. Friends that I already feel like if I needed anything, they would be there in a heart beat.

Today we head up to Scottsdale to search for another place to live. The house hunt begins. I am so anxious to move up there and be apart of this new community of truly amazing, astounding and fantastic people. I’m not even just making it sound better than it is. God has already blessed us with a circle of friends; women who I already see myself doing life with, leaning on, crying with, sharing stories, kids playing, and most of all- being real. The only word I can think to describe this, over and over, is that it’s refreshing.

So we head up tomorrow with the day dedicated to finding our new home! Whether it’s a house, condo, townhouse or apartment- I don’t even care. It doesn’t matter to me in the least bit. What matters is that we have space enough for our growing family, in a safe and clean neighborhood, close to family and friends, and preferably with a Yogurt Builders nearby. YUM. I’m ready to move. I’m anxious to move. And I’m excited to move.

I do sort wish we could move our house with us. I really love our house that we’re in right now. But the fact of the matter is, the drive is way too far and we really wish to be able to immerse ourselves into the lives of the people there. So slowly, we are making it happen. If any of you, dear readers, know of anyone who needs a place to rent, please email me. We love this house and are searching for an amazing couple or family who can take good care of it for us.

It’s pretty cool how God can make your wildest dreams come true. It’s been six months since we left the last church we were at, and our lives have dramatically changed since then. I’m still astounded to look back on such a short time and see all that He’s taught and brought me and Jason through. All He’s provided for us. Everything He’s given us and entrusted us with. We’re in Scottsdale together twice a week and every time we drive home, I always catch myself thinking that I’m so amazed with how well God knows me. He knows everything I need, in the timing I need.

I realize more and more that I’m in no better hands. Don’t you feel like you can breathe better just by knowing and believing that?? I know I do!

refreshing excitement

9 Mar

So we’ve been at Scottsdale Bible Church, officially, for about 3 weeks now. It’s been long enough for me to come away with some first impressions- even though I’ve gone there off and on for my entire life. And I have been simply blown away.

Our first official Sunday was a couple Sundays ago, and we were welcomed with open arms. Literally. Scooped up, hugged and loved on by staff, volunteers and those who just attend the church. One of the first questions out of one of the executives mouth was “Where are you are Jason going to plug in together to get filled up? Have you thought about where you’ll plug in together so you can maintain the health of your marriage?”

I nearly fell over. It’s been a long time since someone has said something like this to me, let alone someone high up in the church. This church genuinely cares about their staff, their wives, and their families. I’ve had several pastors wives approach me with invitations to dinner so our families can get to know one another better. People who see that we are new to the community and want to make us feel included and at home. Women who don’t play favorites, who don’t care what stuff you have and who truly are reaching out to us. We haven’t been bombarded with “Don’t forget to tithe!” or “Where ELSE are you going to serve?” or “You were hired for 30 hours but you know you’re really going to work 80, right?”.

None of that.

And I need to say that we have some fantastic friends who live in the East Valley. And I am so thankful that we aren’t going to be moving far. I have a couple women in my life who touch base daily as I’m going through all this change. Women in my life who know that I feel lonely. Women who get it. And I am deeply sad to move away from this small community that we still have in Gilbert. But those gals in my life are friends forever. You know you who are.

That said, I’m writing this because I am excited to move. We have met several couples who are eager for us to move up there. Friends and community that I already feel God preparing for us there. I always, always say it, but God’s hand in our lives always feels present these days. He’s always one step ahead of me- not too far that I can’t see him, but not too close that I feel too comfortable. I find myself having to trust him even for simple things like good friends! I’ve been praying for good friends in Scottsdale; I’ve been praying for this boldly. And I already see him beginning to answer my prayers.

While transitioning to a church that does things completely differently than what we’re used to has been a major adjustment, we’ve never felt more surrounded by a community of people that we don’t even live nearby yet! I’m feeling so blessed by the people that have reached out to us. I feel blessed to hear about how the church values their staff from Jason when he comes home each night. We love what we are doing so far. It makes me so anxious to move up there so we can fully immerse ourselves into the community.

That leads me to the fact that we need to rent our home out. And that task seems incredibly daunting. But, my motivation is the community of people that we will be living near and the lives that we will be apart of. I am so excited and I’m continually encouraged each and every time we are there on a Sunday. It’s continual confirmation that we’ve made the right decision to stay. I can’t wait to move. I just hope we can get our act together and get up there soon!

Ok, enough rambling from me. I feel that’s all I do on this blog anyway. But I’m thankful for my faithful readers. You guys rock! Now, here’s a cute picture of Cruz. Because you KNOW I have enough of those to share!

scottsdale, baby!

19 Feb

Yes, we have reached a decision!

You might remember that Jason and I have been give two amazing opportunities. Two opportunities that are nothing alike and that are in two completely different states. Seattle, Washington and Scottsdale, Arizona. Coming to this decision has been a difficult process for us. We so desperately wanted to make the right decision for our family and we honestly could have seen ourselves in both places. But since we can only be in one place…

We have decided to stay in Arizona and Jason has accepted a position at Scottsdale Bible Church!!

We are so happy to have been able to finally come to this decision. I have loved the community at SBC for all of my life. It’s the church I grew up in and started attending when I was seven years old. I’ve been super involved there since I was a little girl- Sunday school, Awanas, Jr. High, High School, Choir Tour, volunteering in the nursery. My parents were apart of the Choir and Orchestra there- my mom is still in the orchestra there and loves it more than anything. There are so many more things that I’ve been apart of at this church. There is a community of people there that I have been craving for a long, long time. It’s a Biblically based, God-filled, financially responsible church that really, truly cares about people. There isn’t really any other place like it in the valley.

And it’s home for me.

When we were in Seattle, we really truly prayed for clarity in our decision. I wanted to get off the plane and ‘immediately know’. We even had people that were praying for us telling us that we would have a clear direction just by being in Seattle. And it’s weird- that honestly didn’t happen. While we were in Seattle, we fell in love with the city. There is no place like it! It’s such a beautiful and amazing place- we definitely could have seen ourselves living there. The community at the church we were considering was fantastic. Everyone we came into contact with was extraordinary. The church there was awesome and we could have seen ourselves there easily too.

The truth is, I really feel like I had the clarity I needed before I even left- and I didn’t even know it! Seeing Seattle and the church and meeting the people didn’t change the way I feel about Scottsdale Bible Church. This is a community that I am deeply in love with and it excites me to no end to be apart of it once again. And that is how I wanted to feel about Seattle in order for us to make a move 1,400 miles away. And there was nothing wrong with the Seattle opportunity. It would have been a great fit for us too!

Before the plane touched back down in Phoenix on our return, we knew where our hearts were. And we knew what God was telling us. Even though we couldn’t tell most of you right away. We were both bombarded with emails, texts, face book messages with all of our loving friends eagerly wanting to know where exactly it is that we were going to go. I apologize if I still haven’t gotten back to you. But we needed to wait to share until we respectively told both churches the decision that we had made.

So we are heading to Scottsdale to be apart of a very healthy, thriving community. A place where we can focus on what we love to do but most importantly- focus on people.

(And yes, we are moving there. No, I’m not sure when. And yes, we are still doing photography- even when we move. I will drive anywhere for my work and my art so please, please know that we are still very actively taking pictures in this state!)

We have been so blessed by God during these past months in our lives. He’s removed us from where we belonged no longer, He’s provided for us while we were waiting on Him, and He presented us with more than we could have ever hoped for with these two decisions. Two decisions that we truly feel He would have blessed us in either way. What freedom we have been given ever since October. I’m blown away by how much life has changed for us. I’m blown away with how we’ve been able (along with most of you) to physically watch the hand of God guide our steps. May I never forget at how He’s taken care of us. May I never doubt Him again whenever life seems like it doesn’t make sense. When I can’t see how He’ll provide, I pray that I will KNOW that He will.

All that I have learned I am grateful for. And I am thrilled for the future in a city that makes my heart beat like it hasn’t in a long time.

Thank you for praying for and encouraging us like you have! We’ve felt very surrounded and supported by so many of you and we can’t thank you enough!

a blank slate

19 Nov

The thought of moving has been exhilarating. I feel like I use that word a lot, especially lately. But it is truly how I feel about our life on most days.

Exhilarated. Thrilled. Free.

As we are processing where we might be heading to, a move is a definite possibility in our future. All of the opportunities that have been presented to us will require us to move somewhere, most likely. And we are happy about it and ready for the adventure!

I’ve been cleaning out our house, de-cluttering, reorganizing. I’ve just felt the need to clean out everything. I don’t know if it was our layoff, the miscarriage, the need to spring clean or all of the above, but I got rid of a ton of stuff. Including our dining room table and chairs and if you know anyone who wants a coffee table with matching end tables, let me know. I’m selling those too.

I’ve been really focusing on finding key items that I am in love with and bringing those into our home. Now, we are on an obvious budget but thankfully I don’t have expensive taste. I’m really all about things that are practical and simple. I’d rather spend my money on traveling than on a $500 coffee table.

It’s just not my style.

Jason and I were randomly in Goodwill looking for some props for an upcoming photo shoot when I stumbled across the most amazing dresser I’ve ever seen. It’s an old school lingerie dresser- tall, skinny and slightly victorian. It was $40. So while we don’t have extra cash laying around to just purchase new dressers, I also just couldn’t live without this incredible find!

So we worked it out and it’s in our bedroom right now. Our plan is to sand it down and paint it a super fun color, so I’ll post pictures as soon as that project is complete.

Hopefully before 2010. But probably not.


But it’s been fun to begin to find a few new things. It’s made this transition in our lives really seem like a new beginning in a lot of ways. A fresh outlook on life. A fresh beginning, even though we haven’t really begun anything yet. It has a lot to do with the freedom I feel.

And while I am still sorting through the loss of both our job and mainly the miscarriage (I’m not sure that I’ve truly dealt with it yet), it’s helped to focus my mind on our work, our home and our life moving forward.

And this beautiful dresser is a reminder to me that there are great and beautiful things in our future. Amazing people to meet. Wonderful friends to get to know. And a new place to head to. A blank slate.

We’re getting closer!


24 Oct

Ever since Jay was laid off from his job, I have really felt the need to simplify our lives. It’s weird. I’ve never felt more free, more liberated and more excited for our future than I do right now at this moment. It’s like we can go anywhere and do anything- the options are endless.

We are in a great position and I never thought even a month ago, that I could possibly be this stress-free. I’m ‘breathing’ about a lot of things for the first time in a long time.

Yesterday, I was catching up on the shows that are on our DVR, and I will proudly admit that I love watching Oprah. She did a show on how different people live all around the world and I was just fascinated. It made me want to travel all around the world in the worst way ever and it inspired me tremendously.

I was specifically fascinated with how the people live in Denmark. Everything just seems so much more simple. I would love to live in a place where I can take my bike instead of my car and where I can walk to the market. She went inside a couple of homes there, and I found myself wanting to live like that. Why do I need a huge house? Living in a loft or town home suddenly seems so appealing to me. Jason and I talked about how people with pretty big families live in very small homes, all over the world! Why do I need all this ‘stuff’? There’s nothing wrong with having a big house- we are in one that we are still growing into! But I’m finding my ideas of happiness shifting.

And it’s incredibly freeing.

We are still trying to decide where we are going to go and what we are going to do. Are we going to move? Are we moving out of state? Are we staying here? Working at a church? Just working our photography business? Maybe both?

We are considering everything and anything is possible. We could be across the nation in 30 days if the right opportunity presents itself- that’s how open we are. Or we can stay here if that’s the right opportunity.

All I’m saying is that I am digging deep into myself and my ideas of happiness, home, style and life- is changing. So what is the point of this post, you ask? Simplifying is where I’m at. Not that we’re moving to Denmark or anything (well, not today at least! Ha!). But my favorite thing about where we are at is that we are going to start over. Whether down the street or down South.

I’ve never felt this excited and liberated!

* These pictures are of a couple apartments in Denmark that I loved. I love the cleanliness and the simplicity of it. Beautiful.

Love this style!Love it!


9 Jul

Dirt Lot 2We received some great news for us as far as our house is concerned…

Everything has been ok- I mean, we could be in a better spot financially that’s for sure- but we have everything we need and we have never gone without. But it’s still been rough, going down to one income.

We started weighing our options as far as selling our house and moving into something smaller a little bit closer to Chandler and not so far out here. We didn’t know if we’d buy or rent- we didn’t get too far into the whole process.

But I’m happy to say that we’ve figured out a way to stay put for a little bit. It’s a long story and has a lot of details that I am not even clear on (Jason’s good at that stuff!) so I’ll spare you here. BUT, we don’t have to move or think about it for a little while, which is a relief to say the least!

We built this house in 2005 and have lived here since. This is our first home and the first home that our little man has ever known. When we bought this house, we only planned to be here for a couple of years, but obviously things have changed. And we love this house. I mean, it’s not my dream home or anything but there are really only a couple things that I would change about it.

It’s been a great first home.

While I would love to live closer into Chandler, it is hard to ever think of leaving something that you built. Not only the house, but we started our family here.

I’m happy to stay put and that God gave us an answer at a faster speed than we saw possible. It’s home. It’s comfy.

And it’s ours.

Frame 7Stucco's doneDrywall 4