Fantasy of a Domestic Home Assistant

I have been indulging in a little fantasy lately. I’ve been wondering what it would be like to employ my very own “Domestic Home Assistant.” This is the job title I have given to the imaginary person I’ve been dreaming of hiring. I’m not even sure if this is an alluring position name, but it is exactly what I feel would make my life a little easier right now. You see, there are some domestic home chores, such as toddler laundry and grocery shopping, that I would gladly give up or hire someone else to accomplish! Continue reading


Happy Birthday Jelly Bean Journals! 1 Year, 100 Posts!

This week we have officially been blogging one year! Our first post, Our Story was published on January 16, 2014. We have also officially published 100 posts! We didn’t plan to hit 100 posts on our birthday, but sometimes things just work out. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? In honor of our first birthday, we thought we’d take a look back over the last year and look ahead to the year to come. Continue reading


Questions Every VBAC Mom Should Ask

I learned a great deal from my first birth experience. Additionally, the VBAC Casper movement I helped co-found in 2013 continues to keep me in touch with women who regularly share about their birth experiences. I’ve heard hundreds of birth stories over the past few years. I continue to hear themes of oppression, which has helped motivate me to share the list of questions I’ll be asking my next OB when the time is right. (I must say, I’m extremely proud of the women in my hometown and state! The more they become educated, the more they insist on having access to the labor and delivery options they not only desire but deserve.)

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Kerstin’s 2015 Resolutions

For some reason, I’ve never been big on New Years Resolutions. I have never understood why anyone waits around for New Years to set resolutions. I’m constantly self reflecting and if there’s something I want to work on, I usually just start working on it. I also think I’ve watched many people, including myself here or there, identify a resolution and by the end of January it’s already been forgotten. But instead of throwing the whole “New Years Resolution” idea out of the window this year, I decided to take a different approach. Continue reading


Santa Claus Came to Town!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and were able to spend it with those you love most. Not surprising, Santa was able to find us in Iowa! Phew! We must have been good boys and girls this year, because he was really, really good to us! Some circumstances out of our control put a kink in our plans and we only made it to Iowa on Christmas Eve day instead of the Sunday before as expected. While it was disappointing that plans changed and we didn’t get as much time with our family ahead of Christmas, it was a good reminder to be thankful we were able to celebrate together. Enjoy your weekend and safe travels (if you’re traveling)!


We Wish You A Merry Christmas!

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Another cherished shot from Corrie L Photography. We have grown so much as bloggers, people, friends, and mommies over the past year. Thank you for sharing in our journey and helping us build this beautiful Jelly Bean Journals community. We hope you can always find something to relate to in our writing and sense the love and acceptance we share for each other and all of you. We look forward to the new year and all the experiences it will bring. We can’t wait to hear from you and share our stories just the same. Take good care and enjoy a blessed holiday season.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and we will be back for the new year!

Merry Gentlemen

This time of year always causes reflection for me. As I was browsing through images to share this week, I came across this gem and my chest instantly tightened. Not long after, tears began to flow and in the middle of this physical reaction I felt a mix of sadness and joy. You will remember that my family lost this wonderful man, my Grandpa John, this past fall. We celebrated many Christmases with him and this will be our first without him. Even though this picture is two years old, it allowed me to remember the amazing grandpa I was blessed to know and the type of man I hope my son becomes. Baby A was almost 6 months old his first Christmas and I remember being delighted over this image of Grandpa John with a spiked eggnog and our tiny boy with his favorite sock monkey. They looked like such merry gentlemen sitting together on the couch and gazing at the tree while the rest of us frenzied around to get dinner on the table. Christmas is sure to be a total delight this year with a toddler who now understands the spirit of giving and the excitement of the season. Even if he doesn’t remember my grandpa, I hope for him to always understand his loving spirit through our memories and actions.


We will miss you this Christmas and always, Grandpa John.

My Light

This is one of my very favorite photos from last Christmas. As soon as the lights were on the tree, it was like N was mesmerized. This Christmas has been much different than last. Just like I didn’t expect how excited he’d be about Halloween, his enthusiasm about Christmas has brought so much surprise and joy. Everywhere we go he spots and is thrilled to point out the Christmas trees, snowmen, and Santas. At the beginning of the month, I decorated the house during his nap time. When he woke up and saw all of the lights and decorations, he said, “Beautiful Christmas, Mama.” What more does this girl need? Nothing. This little guy brightens every day and is the reason for so much of what I do. I am so excited to continue to tell him why we celebrate Christmas and where our traditions come from.  Watching him learn and experience everything that is Christmas brings a whole new perspective and energy to our holidays. Merry Christmas my dear JBJ friends!

A Shared Love

This is a special holiday week at Jelly Bean Journals. Instead of our regular posting schedule, we will be sharing an image with you everyday until Friday. Each picture is precious to us for a particular reason and we are excited to reminisce with you.

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To start the week, I picked this picture from our shoot with Corrie L Photography. She captured some wonderful images that day and this particular shot conjures so many thoughts for me. Because of our silhouettes, this picture is universal and could represent any set of moms and their little people, much in the way we hope that our blog is ubiquitous. When I look at it, I am reminded of the magical love shared between mothers and their kiddos. I appreciate the way that our children are ever so splendid in our own eyes. I reflect on the way Kerstin loves N and that I admire her as a fellow mommy. Then, I become surprised at how very much I also love N because he is not mine yet I would do anything for him. I know that we will adore this picture even more when our boys are taller than us and we have to stand on our tiptoes for a kiss instead of bending at the waste. Better yet, we will probably be the ones receiving a forehead kiss! While the thought of losing these seconds as they pass saddens me, I’m also excited to see what the future holds for these precious young boys. This is an image of shared love I will always cherish.


Santa Brush: A Fun Christmas Craft


Santa Brush

This is such a cute and simple craft! You are going to want to try this DIY and you probably already have most of the items you will need in your own home. Depending on the size of paintbrush you purchase these can be used as door hangers, tree ornaments, or gift tags. It is also easy to write on the back for keepsake memories.

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