All Star Mom: Jessie on "How do you like being a mother?"

I am going to be featuring an "All Star Mom each Sunday. The first mom I would like to feature is a friend/past missionary companion of mine from when I served a mission in Spain with my church. She has a little girl name Skye who is absolutely adorable and who is almost 6 months old; she is the owner/founder and artistic director of Wasatch Contemporary Dance Company. She is an office manager of a student housing complex in Provo and juggles everything with such grace. She is a great example to me of a mom who absolutely loves and adores her babe, but that still finds time for herself and the things that make her "Jessie" and that make her the best mom she can be.


How do you like being a mother? Did any of you get this question when you first became a mother? I feel like I get it pretty frequently and I honestly don’t know how to respond to it. And this is why…
I feel like this question is pretty much the same thing as asking, “Do you like being alive?” 
“Uh, well, I sure wouldn’t pick the alternative but there sure are some things that suck in life.” I sure wouldn’t ever want Skye to not be in my life, but there are some things about being a mom that just are no fun and no one will ever like doing. pastedGraphic.pdf
I guess it depends on what your definition of being a mother is that determines how you would respond to this question. If you think being a mother is never getting continuous 8 hours of sleep EVER again, changing the most foul smelling diapers, and having every outfit you own stained by spit up, then no, being a mother is not very fun. If you define being a mother as getting to watch front row a tiny human discover everything for the first time, having a tiny little buddy to do everything with, and being the cheerleader for every big milestone and “first”, then yes, being a mother is awesome.
I have to admit the reason I am probably a little miffed about how to answer the “Do you like being a mother?” question is because I grew up my whole life thinking that being a mother was defined by no sleep, foul diapers, and spit up, as well as sacrificing everything you want to do and your whole personality so you could do everything for young people that don’t appreciate you. Not sure where I inherited such a bad outlook on motherhood since I myself have an awesome mom, but I was terrified of having kids and sure that I would be unhappy as a mother. To make a long story short, I finally began to see  motherhood as a divine and SUPER IMPORTANT role when I served my mission in Spain from June 2009-November 2010. Even began to think that maybe I could enjoy being a mom someday. And so it was with great joy and anticipation that both LJ and I looked forward to becoming parents when we decided to start down that road.
Now I am a mother and some of my fears were legit – it IS a hard balance to care for your child and maintain the things about yourself that make you YOU. Once used to getting lists and lists of things done everyday, I have to settle for only checking off one or MAYBE two things off my To Do list everyday.  I can’t keep the house as nice as I used to. Getting out to go running by myself takes a LOT more coordination than before. But I do still run my dance company, attending dance rehearsals 4 days a week, as well as shopping for costumes, teaching dance to high school students occasionally, meeting with assistants, choreographers, designers, and the theater, and choreographing 2-4 pieces per concert. It’s enough to make a grown woman crazy, but it’s important to me that I maintain this important part of myself. Yes, it takes time away from my baby and I, but I am a better mom because I get to continue dancing and creating. Because I’m still fulfilling those important parts of myself, I am happier, more fulfilled, and feel good about myself.
I guess the answer I want to give to the “Do you like being a mother” question is this:
I love Skye. I love spending time with her and watching her grow and develop. I am most happy when LJ and I are both playing with her, relaxing on the weekends, not worrying about LJ’s homework, a disaster at work, or that I can’t find an affordable costume for this one particular dance. I love her so much. But I also hate spit up. And poopy diapers. And I can’t stand that leaving the house to do something as easy as grocery shopping has become a feat comparable to Everest. But I work hard balancing those things with the positive creative outlets in my life so that I don’t become consumed with spit up and diapers and all of a sudden become defined by those things. Becoming a mother didn’t change my personality, it didn’t even change who I am. I’m just me, Same old me. So while a lot of things and tasks in my life have changed since having a baby, I am still Jessie. I just have this beautiful little girl in my life now that gets all my love. And thanks to the support of my wonderful husband and my awesome company assistants, I get to “fill my well” every day with the things that help me feel like me so I can keep giving and giving to my daughter.


What's Cookin' Wednesday: Crockpot Pesto Chicken

I am hesitating to post this recipe this week because I just devoured the rest of this without thinking and did not take a picture! Let that just confirm that it is that good! It has quickly became a family favorite. (I will take and add pictures to this post next time I make this, which will be soon!)

Pesto Chicken
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 packet of Ranch dressing mix
1 cup prepared *pesto
1/2 cup chicken broth

Mix ingredients together and pour over chicken in crockpot. Cook on low 5-6 hrs. or high 3-4 hours. Serve over pasta or rice, top with fresh diced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella or parmesan cheese or fresh basil.  I found a new parmesan cheese that I love. I don't think I will ever be able to go back to the regular Kraft cheese. I found this new paremesan at Walmart by Mama Francesca. They have several "flavors". I have only tried the Parmesan, Basil & Oregano, but it is amazing. My sister -in- law took a taste of the presto chicken and thought it would also taste delish in tacos as well.

* I cannot for the life of me find the recipe I used to make cilantro pesto, but it is divine. So from the best of my memory...

Cilantro Pesto
1 bunch of cilantro
juice from 1 lime
1 tsp minced garlic
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
olive oil

Blend all ingredients together, slowly adding olive oil until you get the desired constancy.

The best thing about this is that it makes a great freezer meal as well. Mix ingredients together and pour over chicken in a gallon sized freezer bag. Seal, label and freeze. Crockpot low for 6 hrs or high for 3-4 hours.


Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Price-Matching

This weeks Tuesday's Tips & Tricks will save you a few dollars! Let me start out by saying I have a love/hate relationship with Walmart. I usually avoid Walmart at all cost! That was until I learned a few things about price matching and the savings was greater than my pride. I also found that I was saving more money and time than shopping with coupons. It took me a little while to give it a try because 1. I despised Walmart 2. I was nervous about how the whole process worked 3. I was worried about the quality of produce (I have yet to have a problem) 4. I despised Walmart. However, once I gave it a shot I was and still am hooked. I cannot justify not saving as much as I do because of my very justified reasons for despising the store! It is not as intimidating as I thought it would be and there are several sites that aid in making price-matching easy and help in stock piling as well. 

DealsToMeals- In my opinion  I think the $4.95 a month is worth every penny! I personally do not use many of the recipes, but use it strictly for the price matching. Although, I have tried several of their recipes and they are delicious. 

  • compares prices of the major grocery stores to Costco, Sams Club, and Walmart
  • tells you where the best deals are to stock up your food storage and freezer
  • provides a meal planning service to help you incorporate your food storage into your weekly meals, saving you money by having your meals planned around sale items
  • allows you to design a weekly grocery list to make meal planning easy
  • shares delicious recipes
  • gives weekly tips & information on food storage
  • offers a two week free trial with no obligation, no contracts to sign, cancel at anytime (give it a try!)
For about $1 a week, they scour the ads, tell you where the best deals are, plan your week's meals, and create your weekly grocery list.
*Utah friends, another great site, that I admit, may be a little more overwhelming than DealsToMeals is Price Match With Rachel. Although, it is a little more intimidating I think it is still helpful in addition to DealsToMeals. Not necessary, but I personally like to take a quick peak at it as I am planning my shopping trip. She has been featured on Good Things Utah and has given a great explanation of price-matching. Her site is also a great alternative to DealsToMeals for those not wanting a subscription. I
*For those of you in Utah another site that I like is Utah Deal Diva. She gives the top 10 price-matching finds each week. Follow the link and once at her site, click on the tab "Money Saving Tips" and at the very top of that tab you will see "Weekly Walmart Deals".  This is a great option for those who do not want to subscribe and/or those who want to start out small in price matching. 
I still do use coupons, but not nearly to the extent that I did. I love price-matching and being able to feel like I can feed my family healthy and nutritious food for the same amount and sometimes less than the cheap, fast, easy processed foods. (Don't get me wrong, my toddler still eats Dora fruit snacks and loves her chocolate Teddy Grahams, but those have become treats and not the every day go to snacks, but clean eating is an entire new post altogether... maybe for another day!) 
I hope that this has been helpful! Please feel free to comment or send me a message with any questions/comments you may have! 


For the love of Halloween

We love any accuse to celebrate around here! Halloween is no exception, which is why our door is already decorated and we have jack-o-lantern placemats on our table! I have been fighting decorating since September 1st and wanted to wait until October 1st, but here we are on the 20th of September! I made the felt wreath and loved how it turned out. Be sure to use a 40% coupon if shopping at Michaels and/or Joannes. Almost every store has weekly coupons, so save yourself a few dollars! The spider is from the Dollar Store. The fun saying and bats were cut are vinyl cut from my Silhouette Cameo, but it could be cut from black construction paper as well... get creative! Please follow us on Instagram and be sure to tag #MajorLeagueMoms so I can see your fun Halloween decor! 


Product Review: munchkin Shampoo Rinser

I wish someone would have told me about this shampoo rinser! I saw it every time I walked through the baby aisles at Target and finally one day I decided to splurge and spend the $4.99. Boy am I glad we did. I once got soap in my littles eyes and so rinsing her hair has been quite the ordeal ever since. Not any more. This soft cup by munchkin forms to your little one's head and is worth every penny!