The Jensen Family
Sun Prairie, WI
What is your favorite family tradition?
Our son recently turned a year old, so we are, of course, still creating new traditions. However, we love hiking and spending time outside together! Most evenings, we drive to a nearby county or state park to go on a family hike. Everett loves hanging out in the hiking backpack and now that he's becoming more vocal, he tells us about all the new things he sees.
My husband and I loved traveling and hiking before we had Everett. We wanted to do some big trips this summer, but with COVID-19, that obviously hasn't happened. This has helped us appreciate the beautiful trails we have in our local area and hopefully keep training for bigger hikes once it's safe to travel again!
Tell us about your favorite family story.
We adopted a cat (our third one) in April through a contactless adoption due to the pandemic. It was really fun to meet our household member just by having him show up on our doorstep. We named the cat Byron, and he's quickly become our son's little buddy!
He is so patient with Everett as first learns to pet gently and is somehow Everett's little shadow. We love that they are equally enamored with each other and have become fast friends.
What is your family's motto?
Be kind to yourself and always ask for help!
Share Your Parenting Wisdom
What's your number one tip for new parents?
You'll be amazed by how much you learn and grow! Those first couple of days home with our son were so tough, and we felt completely overwhelmed by how much we didn't know about taking care of a newborn. A week later, we were amazed by how much we had learned.
One month later, our knowledge and confidence was growing exponentially. And now a year in, it's incredible just how much we've experienced and learned in the past year. All this to say, don't feel like you need to have everything figured out. Give yourself grace and kindness, and also take time to celebrate and look back on what you accomplish!
What has been the most surprising thing you've learned as a parent?
The most surprising thing I've learned is how funny a baby can be! Our son makes us laugh every day and has since he was born. Whether it was funny faces and projectile poop in the early days to his growing and developing sense of humor as a toddler, I cannot believe just how much laughter he's added to our home.
Tell us about your funniest parenting story (we all have them!)
My first time taking Everett out alone for was my six-week postpartum check-up. My husband was working, and I was really nervous to venture out just baby and me. Of course, we had a random late-October snowstorm the night before, and I had no idea how to dress Everett.
When we got to the doctor's office, I had the longest wait I've ever had, and Everett was super fussy. Turns out he had a massive blow-out! Luckily, my first sweet doctor helped me change him and we shared a good laugh. Everett fell asleep on the drive home, so I decided to treat myself with some Starbucks drive through.
I happily drove up to Starbucks, only to see the drive-through was closed that day! I had never seen that before. Just my luck! That whole outing felt like a bit of a disaster, but I ended up being really proud of myself and told myself it could only get better from there. Now I look back and laugh! I'm also really proud of my new-mom self for getting out there and trying my best - snowstorm, blow-outs, and closed Starbucks drive-thro
You can find the Jensen Family on Instagram at @_KaylaJensen.