The Day We Found Fall

^^Playing with their monster trucks in a super gorgeous Autumn-like spot^^
^^His facial expressions kill me!  So, so animated.  Wish you could just watch him talk.^^
^^Tyke is such a smart and sweet dog.  He always brings up the rear wherever we go--be it bike rides or hikes.  He looks out for his family.^^
^^Ross Falls!^^
^^Hanging out in a real cave covered in wet green moss!  "Mom, it doesn't hurt me, see??"^^

Brotherly love.  It doesn't always look like this, but when it does, my mommy heart swoons.  Different as night and day, I love watching Jed do something thoughtful for his brother and hearing Levi sweetly reply, "Thank you, Jed!  It's enough of an indication that I know these two are forming a special lifelong bond.
^^Beware the crazy-haired bridge troll!  Haha.^^

September has been a rough month for me and the last few days have been especially tough.  Feelings of inadequacy have been eating me alive!  I've really been struggling to find my groove since school started.  I try my hardest (oh do I try!) to be the best wife, mother, and friend I can possibly be.  I try to keep a clean home, teach my children the Gospel of Jesus Christ, keep a budding photography business afloat, cook healthy meals, exercise, and a host of other really good things.  But I feel as if I come up short every single day.  I am painfully aware--and sometimes blissfully unaware--of my personal quirks and faults.  And my daily plans to accomplish always seem to be thwarted completely in the other direction because someone or something demands my attention.

Tuesday I was in tears.  I felt so completely overwhelmed it was paralyzing.  That's when I decided to leave all my cares behind with a trip to the South Hills, just my little boys and me.  Fall is in full swing up there!  The hills are aflame in gorgeous yellow leaves.  We had a blast.  The boys and I spent four hours in the afternoon hiking and 'sploring' and playing among the trails and trees.  Even Jed noticed how quiet it was.  "It's so peaceful up here, Mommy!"  I know.  It's perfect.  Turns out, some fresh air was just the pick-me-up I needed.

I'm feeling better today and much more like myself.  Yesterday's time-out helped me push that proverbial reset button and to realize a few things:

1. I expect way too much of myself.  I've gone this circle before and need to keep reminding myself that my self-worth is NOT in any way equated to how many things I can cross off my to-do list.  I am not lazy; I do accomplish a lot.  It's just that many of my daily accomplishments come in the form of listening to a friend or babysitting a neighbor's child or reading ten chapters of a book with Jed tucked under one arm.

2.  I feel as if my Heavenly Father is showing me that He is in fact the one in charge.  My own grand plans for the day--or even my life!--mean zilch.  A certain talk given by Hugh B. Brown called The Currant Bush keeps coming to mind and brings me some comfort.  "Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me down."  Read it, you'll understand, and I promise you won't be disappointed.    


  1. Oh my Jessie! I love you so much--you are a wonderful daughter, and a great mother to two cute, darling and adventurous boys! I'm sorry you've somehow inherited my "to do list" mentality of feeling like my accomplishments equal my worth. Please know that you are "good enough" and keep striving to do the most important things everyday and then let the other things go. Trust Heavenly Father, and life will work out better than you expect!

  2. Oh boy do I relate. September has been hard on me too. I have laundry piled up in my bedroom from weeks ago, I haven't meal planned in months, and struggle to get much of anything but existing and covering basic needs done each day. An escape to nature sounds absolutely fantastic. I think sometimes we just need to step away from the struggles, let go for a few hours, and sleep it off. Tomorrow typically is brighter than gloomy yesterday.

  3. That place looks amazing and your photos are gorgeous as always! Keep your head up, you're doing a great job!

  4. You are a fantastic momma to those adorable little boys. A day away in the mountains always seems to lift the spirit and put things in perspective. Beautiful photos and I am pretty sure I need to meet Levi one day. He seems hilarious!!

  5. These are such beautiful pictures Jessie. That place looks amazing... (It's hard to find places that are perfectly quiet by us.)

    You are an AMAZING mom and person. I've been following your blog for years now, and quite honestly, you're one of my favorite people (even without having ever met you in person). Please know that everything is happening perfectly just the way God intends it to be. Your little family is so happy, and it's all because of you! :) XOXO.


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