Meet Kendra Jernejcic
Hey there, Austin mamas! I’m Kendra Jernejcic (pronounced jer-nay-sick) and I’m so excited to be a part of the Austin Moms Blog team!
Five years ago, if you’d told me I would one day be contributing to a blog for moms in Central Texas, I would have laughed in your face—then apologized with a hug because I’m an inveterate people pleaser and wouldn’t want you thinking I was rude. But back then, nothing about that description would have made sense to me: in 2014, I was living in Southern California, a place I’d called home for my entire 30 years, and I couldn’t imagine ever leaving. I was also not a mom then and, still reeling from a recent miscarriage, wondered if my hopes for motherhood would ever be fulfilled. I had just started a personal blog, so the writing part of being an AMB contributor might not have seemed too far out there, but my blog was still a new venture, and the thought of writing something that would be read by more than just my mom would have terrified me.
So, how did I get to this rather unexpected place? For that story, let me take you back a few years. I met my husband, Luke, on eharmony in 2007—a time when meeting your spouse on the internet was considered a dirty secret. Luke, a computer programmer, is quiet but brilliant and one of the most loyal, patient, and honorable guys you will ever meet. He was my first real relationship, but we hit it off right away and were married exactly one year later. Our trajectory toward parenthood was not quite as smooth. During our early years of marriage I was waging an all-consuming battle with severe anorexia, and I needed to get a few years of solid recovery under my belt before my body was ready to carry a baby.
We welcomed our miracle son, Charleston Michael, in January of 2015. And while I had spent my entire adult life working with children as a teacher, tutor, and nanny, I was not at all prepared for motherhood. Being Charleston’s mom is the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, but it’s also, hands-down, the greatest blessing of my life. Before becoming a mom, I couldn’t have fathomed the joy and fulfillment that motherhood has brought me, and being a stay-at-home-mom to my son is truly the career of my dreams.
Charleston is insightful, curious, affectionate, spunky, and always on the go. He keeps me laughing with his silly antics, and he occasionally brings me to tears—especially during his rough Three-nager stage; thankfully we’re past that now, and Four is proving to be fantastic! Through it all, he teaches me so much about the world and about myself, and every second I get to spend with him is a gift. Full-time mommying isn’t for everyone, and it certainly isn’t glamorous, but it is far more rewarding than anything else I’ve ever done.
In 2016, just after we’d celebrated Charleston’s first birthday, a series of surprising circumstances opened our family up to the possibility of leaving California. Luke works remotely, so we had our pick of anywhere in the United States; my only stipulation was that we couldn’t move somewhere with harsh winters, which definitely limited our options. My sister-in-law had moved to Austin just months earlier and assured us we would love it here, so having never stepped foot in Texas (outside of a weekend trip out here to find a rental home), we packed up our lives and our home in California, said goodbye to our friends and extended family, and caravanned our way to our new home state. Looking back, it was one of the best decisions we have made for our family.
Our little trio has now called Texas home for three years, and we love everything about our lives here. On any given day you can find me scootering around Cedar Park with my son and our rambunctious but lovable labradoodle, Arlo; volunteering at our church; hanging out at the library or the park with our MOPS friends; or pretending to exercise at the Cedar Park Rec Center, where I take full advantage of the free childcare to get some reading in while I’m on the elliptical.
While life is wonderful, our family has faced plenty of heartache. Luke and I would very much like to grow our family, and are now three+ years into a hard and painful battle with secondary infertility. We are still holding out hope for a second child. In the meantime I am ever-cognizant of what a gift Charleston is and how blessed I am that I get to be his mom. And in those moments when all the gratitude practices in the world can’t keep me afloat, I’m a huge fan of counseling for helping me stay sane.
A little more about me: I am a Jesus-loving gal and about as straight-laced as they come, but I’m far from perfect, and nothing has made me more aware of my own shortcomings than becoming a parent. I am a hopeless bibliophile, an avid podcast listener, and an all-around voracious consumer of information. I care way more than anyone should about personality frameworks (I’m an INFJ and an Enneagram 1, for all of my fellow personality junkies who are curious!), and I’m ridiculously obsessed with baby names (if we’re friends IRL, I’ve likely helped you—or tried to help you—name your children). I’m also a chronic list-maker and an enthusiastic Diet Dr. Pepper drinker, and I’ve never met a hat, necklace, earring, or scarf that I didn’t love.
I’m a firm believer in reflection and documentation, and few things make me happier than getting a glimpse into the lives of other moms, and in turn welcoming them into my own perfectly imperfect story.