Seven years

Today Jarom and I are celebrating our 7th anniversary. Since we got married we have…laugh

  • moved twice (this seems like a low number!)
  • graduated with a BA (Jarom, 2008), a BS (Mika, 2012), and a JD (Jarom, 2012)
  • held 8 jobs
  • had 3 kids (Evan, 2009; June, 2010; Christian, 2013)
  • bought a house
  • had 4 cars (and only 1 currently running)
  • traveled from coast to coast
  • been to 4 family reunions
  • gotten 9 new niblings (6 nieces and 3 nephews)
  • survived car problems, health problems, financial problems, parenting problems, and the death of our baby
  • been to the ER at least a dozen times
  • had 7 pets (3 lizards, 3 rats, and a dog)
  • attended 5 weddings and 2 funerals
  • stayed friends, stayed married, still like and love each other

Way to go, us! We’re headed for Korean food and ice cream tonight.

The Sorting Hat

I can’t be the only one who does this, right?

Jarom and I love to play Sorting Hat – which is, to figure out which Hogwarts house our friends and family would be sorted into. It’s best if you make an initial sorting when you first meet someone and then revisit your guess once you’ve gotten to know them better.

Recently I started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to Evan at bedtime. June was jealous so I’m also reading it to her, separately. Today I’m working on a crochet project while I watch the first Harry Potter movie.

My own assessment of myself is that I’d be in Ravenclaw. On days when I feel blah, I tell Jarom I’d definitely be in Hufflepuff, but he says I’m clever enough to be Ravenclaw. And good company there with Luna, right?

Where do you put yourself? Do you agree that I’d be Ravenclaw?


We were gone Friday to Monday – kid-free, courtesy of Jarom’s parents! – for our anniversary. We stayed at a resort near Ogden and I looked up a lot of things we could do: dinosaur park, nature preserve, huge movie theater, historic downtown to stroll through. Guess what I ended up doing instead? Crying and watching hours-long marathons of Pawn Stars and My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding*.

On Saturday we went to lunch at a mostly-decent Mexican restaurant and I really, truly meant for us to go to the dinosaur park and then see Iron Man 3 after that. But by the time we were done eating, all I wanted to do was go home and sob. I felt bad using up our vacation to cry; Jarom told me to go ahead anyway, so I did. And I had a long nap afterwards. When I woke up, the first Back to the Future movie was just starting, and we watched all three. Cable, I love you.

I also ate a lot of donuts . . . and tortilla chips . . . we’d gone to dinner at a steakhouse Friday night, courtesy of a giftcard from my brother (matched by the owner – we have been getting a lot of free stuff lately). Even the leftovers were amazing. Medium rare steak with bacon and a fried egg on top? Yes, I will eat that for many meals in a row.

After Saturday, I mostly did okay emotionally. Monday was fine too – and today, until I got tired of my attempts to only eat desserts/sweets on our date night (don’t worry, I haven’t caved yet!), and the kids got wild(er), and I needed dinner but didn’t feel like eating. Then I snuck off to the bathroom and cried.

When I feel like this, I have a million things to say. I want to scream them and shout them. But the idea of actually letting them out – I can’t do that. I’m not brave enough to tell anyone how broken I feel.

That being said, I’m glad that when I do get around to talking, Jarom listens to whatever’s on my mind. Even if it’s just that I wish today was Thursday (date night) so I could have a donut. Or two.

*I swear to you that is a real show and it’s impossible to stop watching once you start. It was horrifically mesmerizing.


I met Jarom when we were 14. We had Mr. Facque’s honors biology class together (for the record, the teacher wisely chose to pronounce his last name “fake-way”). That first year of high school, we didn’t interact a lot, but over the summer between 9th and 10th grade we spent a little more time together because of mutual friends. We were seated alphabetically in our sophomore world civ class – Hillery was followed by Lee and then Lewis, so poor Jessica was doomed to be the middleman for the notes Jarom and I passed back and forth. Junior year we had no classes together, but had become best friends; we exchanged notes during passing period, ate lunch together, hung out after school and on the weekends.

There is absolutely no way I could have pictured then the way our lives would turn out. I’m sure whatever teenage ideas I had about romance and marriage and love involved a lot of swooning and candlelight dinners and serenades. It’s been so perfect to discover that I hate romantic crap like that, and what I really love is my best friend.

We have beautiful kids. I adore them – and I love how much Jarom adores them. I hate to be grieving the loss of one of them, but it’s so much better to be going through it with Jarom. He hurts with me. He brings me donuts. He laughs with me. Everyone suffers uniquely, but his feelings are the closest to mine of anyone in the world, which makes it so much easier to talk and complain and cry and remember together.

At 16 years old, I felt like Jarom was steady and constant and he understood me. Our friendship just seemed to fit. I’m glad I can say the same things after 6 years of marriage, but also add that he’s patient, hilarious, generous, selfless, quirky, and just what I need. He’s still my best friend.


I mentioned before that Jarom and I were planning on doing a joint Christmas present this year. We ended up getting a memory foam mattress pad, but it cost so much less than I anticipated that we had money left in the budget for more gifts. Jarom had the idea that we’d each take half of what was left and get at least one present for us together, and one for the other person.

Guys, this is brilliant.

In addition to the mattress pad, we got a new (completely luxurious) shower head, a new rice cooker, and a replacement can opener (ours was so broken that it took me 15 minutes to open a can of tuna last week). These were things we needed, but hadn’t bothered upgrading yet – and they were lovely surprises. Both of us looked into the best models available, so we have really nice new things. I liked that we each bought joint gifts, so there was the excitement of unwrapping a mystery item.

We talked about it afterwards and decided to do Christmas this way every year!


Ok, finally. I know this is mostly all old news but for anyone not paying attention, we’ve had a lot of big events this year!

First, YES WE GRADUATED. I walked with Jarom at the law school convocation, which was smaller and more interesting (in theory) than the one for my college would have been. My parents and Jarom’s sister, brother-in-law and their kids all came out from California, which definitely marked it as a Big Occasion.

Posing for pictures is not my strong suit.

Afterwards, we had a big party at our house. Tons of people helped out, so aside from the frantic housecleaning and preparation beforehand, I was able to just chat and enjoy myself during the party. If you ever want to throw a casual but delicious outdoor buffet dinner, here’s what we had: chili and cornbread, pulled pork sandwiches, fruit tray, meat/crackers/cheese tray, veggie tray, chips and salsa, and an ice cream bar for dessert. Most of the planning was done by Krista, and she even served the ice cream! Super thanks.

Jarom had been doing a one-year internship with Provo City’s legal department, and a new student was scheduled to replace him at the end of April. He’d been applying to jobs for months, looking for something permanent for after graduation. On April 25, he was contacted out of the blue by a Salt Lake firm he interviewed with last year. Apparently they really did keep his information on file, and asked if he was available for and interested in an interview now. We were at Jarom’s parents’ house (enjoying Indian food) when he got the email, so he wrote back and said YES, let’s schedule an interview. Encouraged by the sudden contact, Jarom applied to a half dozen other jobs when we got home.

The next day Jarom realized that he left his phone at his parents’ house, so he drove up to get it in case a lucky call came. By the time he got there, he had two messages from other firms asking him to come interview! One was in Mesquite, Nevada (no offense Nevada, but I have no interest AT ALL in living there), so he did a phone interview. The other was a company in Orem looking for in-house counsel. He set up an interview the following day (April 27).

That interview went so well that he was asked to come back on Monday to interview with the company’s president! They offered him a job starting Wednesday, May 2, so he ended up with no gaps between the Provo position ending and a new job beginning. The company loves him (of course), and Jarom is enjoying his work, even though he’s insanely busy.

So! Graduation and a new job! AND our 5th anniversary!

I’ve been home with the kids full-time, which is amazing. I spent all of May basking in the no-homework-no-tests-no-reading-for-class bliss, playing outside and taking the kids to parks and play areas.

Also, here are pictures of the kids.

June can say cheese.

And she can smile.

She had a friend come over. June is a month OLDER than this other girl but…well…quite a bit smaller! We got the giant bear as a reward for Evan, who was having trouble remembering not to put things in June’s crib at bedtime. When he reached a certain number of days without incident, we got the bear, which is fortunately too big for him to pick up and put in her crib.

More smiles.

Siblings on the couch.

A rare moment of both kids looking at the camera, without any fingers in nostrils.

Reading books! June has Blue Hat, Green Hat and Evan has Disney’s Mother Goose.

Still reading.

I finally took Evan to get a haircut at a barbershop. There’s only so much I can do with clippers at home. He was really shy and nervous, and sat silently in the chair the whole time, but came out with a much neater looking cut!

My guy.

Outside in the morning. Nice pajamas, June. Same ones Evan wore in this video from last year!

Insert typical little boy rocket noises.

My miss.

Here’s something fun: I have a picture of the kids from January 2011 and a similar one from a few days ago. First…

January 2011. Evan, 22 months / June, 2 months

June 2012. Evan, 3 years / June, 1.5 years

Other news: yeah, the house, that’s pretty exciting. It’s in Springville – built in 1901! See it on the map here, and try street view (rotate left to see the corner house with the big tree).

What do you think, has our year been momentous enough so far?


Last night was miserable. After we got the kids in bed (by the way, this routine of putting them down at 7pm is working wonderfully), I sat down to do homework. I spent several hours on it without feeling like I was making progress or understanding the material. I wound up worn out, hungry, and on the verge of shutting down thanks to a massive headache. What else to do but consider myself a failure?

(This is interesting because lately I’ve moved away from the idea of failure. A lot of people are afraid of failing {myself included}, but I’d realized that for most of life, failing isn’t such a big deal. There’s a lot of wiggle room. When I get tired, though, I don’t think as rationally.)

The Romgi was so nice. He kept offering to go out and get some Dunfords for me, which I refused partly because I’m trying to eat less junk food and partly because in my miserable state I felt like I didn’t deserve the happiness that comes from donuts. (Truly sad!) I finally fell asleep, and when the kids woke up this morning, the Romgi got up with them – even though he’s been home sick with a sinus infection. He let me sleep in until 10am! Is that guy considerate or what?

And for your viewing pleasure: