Sunday, June 25, 2017

Who I am

While I realize I have spent the last 28 years figuring out who I am, I have spent the last 2 years REALLY discovering who i am.

At 26 years old, I was working what I thought was my dream job, Running a successful non-profit that meant the absolute world to me, and just all in all ecstatic to be alive. I knew who my friends were, and what they meant to me. 

Later that year, my world completely changed. My husband's mental health went down the drain, one of my "best friends" destroyed any sense of trust I had in humanity, and I was put into the behavioral health unit for daily horrific panic attacks. I quit my job (slightly because I felt obligated because of said "best friend" and slightly because 24 hr/day adoption was too much for me), and I started fresh. I began once a week therapy and leaned on a very small inner circle. I had to soul search, REALLY search.What I knew was that I loved my family, my non profit was important to me, and that I needed better boundaries. The question for myself came on how to do that. 

I had forgotten a little bit about what my ultimate goal with my non profit was. That was to help birth parents. Help them grieve, help them feel loved, and to know they weren't alone. I decided to take it slow. Planning just one retreat at a time, and being conservative and careful. I put up so many walls, even my very closest friends and family were held at arms distance. 

What I found was, people still wanted the retreats, they still found out about the retreats, and they still came to the retreats. I realized that although I was not a perfect person, my heart was still in it and still the same old overly compassionate and empathic me. 

I found my love with e-commerce and marketing and had fun with my inner circle. I learned the hard way that this life is about quality not quantity. I decided to start really participating in my life for me, not just for others. I took one vacation every month that year, and it was G L O R I O U S. I was starting to remember what made me laugh, what made me cry, and what I was about. 

I got really sick, and my close and loving friends banded together to support me through it all. I started to realize that I had left many old friends in the dust and that made my heart hurt. I started to reconnect with them and with what mattered. 

That year included many tough blows, but also many amazing miracles and moments. 

While I realize this post is so far discombobulated, I needed to write it for cathartic reasons. 

I am Jessalynn. 

I am beautiful. While I may not be as thin as I'd like to be, or as graceful as I wish, I am beautiful. 

I have a good heart. One thing that has never changed about me is that ultimately I will always put others above myself. ALWAYS. I will make every move possible to ensure someone's happiness. However, my heart now has some more boundaries, where I make sure that I am protected. The boundaries don't change the fact that I love others fiercely and loyally. I feel their pain and feel their joy. I want to always be someone others can turn to. 

I have a voice. A voice that matters. 

I am a mother. My children need me, but I need them more. They are everything to me. 

I am spiritual. I believe in God deeply. I know he is there for me and he hears me. 

I love adoption and I will continue my non profit as long as I remain able. I am still currently able due to many angel friends (and some unicorn ones) who also felt passionate about my work. 

Through all of this, I have so much more to discover, so much more to learn. 

My second reason for writing this post was to say, 

If I have offended you, I am sorry.
If you have questions, you can ask. 
If you need me, I am here. 
If you question me, that is fine, I am trying and learning and becoming a better me.

p.s. shoutout to my kick ass therapist, friends, family, and animals. You da hero. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015


the other day i was driving my kids to an appointment. i reached back and grabbed something for Mina, then i realized i could have gotten in an accident. 

this triggered me into remembering a time when my mom was single. i remember she reached back into the backseat for something and we crashed. 
it got me really thinking... my mom was single, she didn't have expendable income, that crash must have been really stressful for my mom. i don't know if she cried after it all or during i don't remember that. 

but i wonder if she did. 
i wonder if she just wished for someone to give her a hug to calm her down as she did for me and my sister. someone to tell her it would be okay and make her believe it, if only for a moment.
i wonder if she sat pouring over her checkbook wondering how she was going to afford to get a new car if it was totaled. 
i wonder if she was worried how she would cover the medical bills for her whiplash.
i wonder what else was on her mind that day that was already stressing her out, and the crash was the straw that broke the camel's back. 
i wonder how she made it through all she did and still held her head high. 

just so many things i didn't even realize she must be going through when i was so young. i just was. i was just me, living my kid life, playing outside, making plays and talent shows with my sister.

so many times i am stressed. stressed to my limit. 
how will i keep on working from home while juggling 2 kids?
how will i deal with the health issues?
how will i make it through this miscarriage?
how will i ever raise my kids to be functional adults if i myself don't feel like one?

but i know. there is something to be said about unconditional love and trying your best. they are alive, they are fed, they are loved. loved so so much. 

yes, i know. 

the kids, will be okay.

Friday, April 24, 2015

And Cheer Our Cougars of BYU

Guys. My sister Kylie graduates today. Well she is actually graduating RIGHT NOW. ... and Chad too, I love him but this post is not about you Chad :)

Kylie is my sister...junior by 3 years. 

We went through a lot of traumatic events our first few years of life. It wasn't easy for her from the time she was born. But she was loved. 

When she was 6 (i think. I am so bad at dates) She was diagnosed with something scary. It was called Chiari One Malformation, its not a joke. Seriously READ IT! We were all scared. The doctor told us she shouldn't have been able to be doing stuff like gymnastics and dance which she was doing very well. I remember my parents spent a lot of time at the hospital with her (Yay Primary's!). I remember visiting her and being so scared that something was wrong and she wouldn't be okay (Boo Anxiety) 

But she was. Her face was a little fat for a while, but we won't hold that against her on the account of her B R A I N ----- S U R G E R Y!

So anyways, Fat face Kylie turned into cute Kylie. 
Although there was that one time that she was talking to herself in the bathroom, saying, I'm not a chicken nugget, YOU'RE a chicken nugget...Weirdo

We grew up acting out plays, making ridiculous videos on the video camera, playing at the Draper pool, going on roadtrips every summer, flying out once a year to see my dad and experience cool life things. We have experienced 1 divorce, 2 remarriages, 7 more siblings, several moves, and more. 
We have done a lot. 

I was a hard person to live with, and because of that I wasn't always the best sister. I struggled with what I now know is severe anxiety disorder, but i didn't know how to control it. This meant that Kylie had to deal with my grand psycho-ness all the time. I hate that. But she managed to still live with me. 

As long as I can remember my sister has always wanted to go to BYU. She studied hard in high school, she got the grades, she got in and left for college. She has had a rough couple years in college dealing with various personal issues. But she got through them. She didn't give up, even though there are times I know she wanted to. In the middle of that she got married to Chad (oh hey again Chad). They got a dog named Piper. NOW they are finally graduating!!! I am so proud of her! 

Kylie is an incredible aunt and an awesome person! She is very passionate about what she does. She supports me in my open adoption. She loves my kids, sometimes probably more than me. I am beaming with pride and joy to introduce you to the newest graduates of BYU!!! (yes, even you Chad)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Why we should SHUT UP about other's bodies...

I love to get together and talk with my girlfriends. I will admit honestly that it hasn't always been the nicest conversations either. We gossip about mutual friends sometimes, and that is not okay. It is my 2015 goal to no longer do this needless gossiping. No one is perfect, we all need to vent, but it is mean.

What bothers me more than gossiping is gossiping about other's bodies. This I  r e a l l y shy from for a few reasons. 1. My body is not what the world says it should be and I have no reason to make fun of anyone else. 2. I used to work at an eating disorder clinic where I saw girls and women struggle EVERY DAY with their bodies even though in the world's eyes they were gorgeous women. They all had their own stories to tell of how their eating disorders started by being bullied, their parents' comments, media, etc. All reasons had to do with one time or another, someone telling them how their body should look.

I believe in being healthy, which is something I really have to strive every day for. For some reason I love crappy food and I work on it EVERY SECOND of the day to resist it.  It has always been a struggle. I have been through endometriosis, the trauma of placing a child, having two children shortly after, and many bouts of depression, to top it all off my genes are terrible. "Excuses" I know, but to me they are very real "excuses"

A few weeks ago I had someone who I would consider close criticize my weight within ear shot.

Things like:

 She looks P R E G N A N T

Her legs look fine but her stomach...

Her face is chubby

She  just looks HUGE

She will struggle her WHOLE life being fat.

Yes person (that I can no longer stand to think about with crying or feeling rage), I am bigger than I should be and is publicly "acceptable". Yes my stomach is very bloated. I struggle with things like IBS and Endometriosis that certainly don't help with that, but mostly I struggle with social eating. Yes  I will struggle my whole life. 
You don't need to say it. I don't need you to. You don't get to say that. My body is NOT your body. 

What if she had chosen another topic, like the weather or who got the latest rose on the Bachelor? Would I be hurt at this point in time? Would it have absolutely destroyed any last ounce of self confidence I had? No. I would of continued about these last few weeks, fighting my demons and still finding a little bit of beauty when I took the time to get cute, and to feel proud instead of discouraged when I chose a protein shake over waffles in the morning. 

I understand we are the masters of our own happiness, I am striving to find my happy regardless of the above conversation. But we also have the chance to be contributors to someone else's happiness rather than discouragement. We have the choice to build others up rather than tear them down. 

Since that conversation, when I see food, I seriously get terrible anxiety, i watch if others are watching me, I generally come close to tears or do actually cry... All because someone felt the need to criticize me..out LOUD. In ear shot. 

So let's do what Ellen says at the end of each show, " BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER"

We have so much power to do good and lift others up. We have power to be the change. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

About this girl they call Mina.

Mina turns Three today! THREE!!!! 

Where has my little girl gone. 

I remember when she looked like this: 

my itty bitty 7lb 11oz babe. 

I could never imagine her growing into THIS GIRL:

A girl who is OBSESSED with daddy. He is her "buddy" Mommy is her "baby" but Daddy is her "Buddy". She loves to do things with him. She gets so excited when he comes home! 

Mina loves music and loves her aunts and uncles. This is from when she got to see her Uncle play in the marching band! Mina's current favorite songs are Boom Clap, Shake it Off, Ain't it Fun, and Madness.

Mina loves to be outside. She loves Water. She loves to help mow the lawn and chase grasshoppers.

Mina loves to wear socks on her hands. She calls them her Guh-loves. a LOT of nights she wants to wear them to bed. She will go to the grocery store in them and everything. I am glad she is unique and quirky. I wouldn't have it any other way.

My beautiful baby turning into a beautiful young girl. 

her current favorite words/phrases:

For example
Nannylicious (my mom)
Grandude (my dad)
___, you are so great, good  choice
___ you are beautiful
Evan is my brudder? or is he my sister? 
No Evbot, you wittle stinkhead

her current favorite movies/ shows:

Nightmare Before Christmas
 (random note, I hadn't seen this in years, Izzy showed it to her and now she is OBSESSED with this movie.)
Despicable Me 2
Wreck-It Ralph
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

her favorite books:

Good Night Gorilla
Anything Dr Seuss
Anything Eric Carle
Five little monkeys
Anything with trucks in it

Happy 3rd Mina Mooseph.

Wes and Jessa

Daisypath Anniversary tickers