A Leap of Faith: Goodbye, Oregon. Hello, Utah

A Leap of Faith: Goodbye, Oregon. Hello, Utah

Crater Lake Oregon

Our hearts are breaking, but yet there is this huge wave of peace and relief coming over us as we make this announcement and take this incredibly massive leap of faith.

The Jouberts are moving to Utah.

We have experienced challenge after challenge the last 5 months, and everything recently came to a breaking point. We knew something needed to change — bad things kept happening to us. Were we missing something? Was Heavenly Father trying to tell us something?

But there were so many variables involved with leaving Oregon. We knew we needed to do it, but when? At first, we decided after the baby is born would be best. Because it either had to be now, or after she is born. Moving out of state while in my third trimester and needing to find a new midwife scared me to death, and I knew that if it was what Heavenly Father really wanted, I would do it. But I told Cristian I just couldn’t do it if it was the beginning of April, since that would be four weeks from my due date.

Then there was the problem with our living situation. We couldn’t just up and leave in the middle of the month without paying a lease break fee (since we’ve been staying in and paying rent for a friend who moved to California, and the security deposit is still in her name) or finding someone to take over the townhome. We moved forward and waited to see if someone would take it. I was in charge of posting listings on every rental site I could think of. I spoke with over 50 people, and I showed the house probably 10 times. Because we were waiting for someone to take it, we still had no idea exactly when we would move.

Pregnancy has been hard on me — both physically and mentally. And the idea of not being able to give birth to my baby where I had planned (a beautiful water birth center in Portland that we were totally in love with, and the birth center my mom went through when she had my little sister) was hard on me emotionally. During one of my many emotional breakdowns the past few weeks, I weepingly yelled to Cristian, “I want to know where I’m going to have my baby!”

I was dealing with all of that, and Cristian was dealing with what to do with his marketing company. Yes, we’ve experienced unforeseen financial difficulties since he took it over, but most of all, he realized how badly he just didn’t want to do the job anymore. It was demanding, and he knew it. The lifestyle that comes with it would not be conducive to the kind of father he wants to be. Owning a business in direct marketing is not what he went to school for (which is International studies/Linguistics). He originally went into it so he could have the marketing and managing experience he needed for the type of job he ACTUALLY wanted but couldn’t get after graduating college.

Letting go of it has lifted such a burden. Cristian has this fire I’ve never seen in him before — he’s excited for the future. And we’ve experienced blessing after blessing when it comes to shutting it down. His colleague is able to take it over so he won’t have to leave his employees in the dust. And all of Cristian’s coworkers and mentors have been so understanding.

Cristian’s company will be shut down by the end of this week. However, we haven’t been able to find someone to take over our townhome, so we decided that since the company was shutting down, paying our March rent would be pointless if we were going to have to pay the lease break fee anyways. Which meant the sooner we left the place, the less money we have to pay (since we have to pay for each day we’ve lived in it for March).

My parents are driving up tonight and I will leave with them and all of our stuff on Thursday, and Cristian will follow next week after everything with his company is taken care of. We will be living with my parents in Midway for a few months until we get back on our feet.

There have been many tears, fights, and uncertainty between us. It’s tested our marriage. It’s affected my depression and I’ve experienced multiple panic attacks — the kind where Cristian had to hold me and tell me to breathe because I was hyperventilating.

There’s so much we’re going to miss about Oregon.

It’s where we really started dating 7-ish years ago.

Where we got married and started our lives together.

Where we got pregnant.

And created so many memories together.

Are we crazy to move without a new job? Yes. But we have no doubt that this is what we are supposed to do, and that Heavenly Father will bless us for our faith. We’ll be with family and friends again, which we are so excited for. We know we will be taken care of. We’ve kept thinking about what is best for our little family and especially this little girl coming our way, and we know Utah is where we need to be.

Our Christmas present gender reveal: We’re having a GIRL!

Our Christmas present gender reveal: We’re having a GIRL!


We got the best Christmas of our lives on Christmas Eve during our gender reveal — our baby is a GIRL!

Entrusting my sister Brynn, we had our ultrasound tech email her the results at our anatomy scan the Thursday before Christmas Eve, without telling us if the baby is a boy or girl.

We had planned (for months!) to wait until I was more around 20 weeks, since it would be near Christmas, and do a special gender reveal with my family in Utah, since that’s where we were celebrating Christmas.

My sister’s plan was to get a teddy bear (since we’re the Joub-BEARS) from Build-A-Bear, dress it in either a girl or boy outfit, put it in the box it comes in and wrap it as a Christmas present.

The anticipation was crazy! Watch the reveal (recorded on Facebook Live) below.

Brynn tricked us and put a raincoat (that had both pink AND blue on it) over the outfit! She had told me she was maybe planning on doing that, as a “Portland joke,” but I forgot. So all we saw when we started to pull the bear out of the box was the blue hood. We totally thought it was a boy. Then I remembered, and asked if we were supposed to unzip the jacket. Then, we had some trouble unzipping it. I WAS DYING.

Then, finding out it’s a girl, brought me so much peace and relief. I even started to cry.

We were so focused on opening the box and finding out that we didn’t notice my aunt Asuka had snuck out somewhere and pulled out this cake she made for us with pink hearts all over the front. Brynn had told her when she found out so she could make it ahead of time. It was so sweet (and delicious! 😉 ) of her!

Crazy as it is, I’ve always felt a connection to this little girl. I’ve prayed about her, had dreams about her, and have felt little spiritual “nudges” from her throughout my young adult life, even long before I got married. I knew without a doubt that I would love a little boy just the same, but couldn’t get over how strongly I felt about having a girl — this girl — first.

And Cristian is just as happy. He wanted a girl too, especially in the last few weeks as the reveal got closer and closer. Of course he wanted a boy, but mostly to oppose me and to “carry on his name.” But the more he thought about it, the more he knew a girl was just right. And that little girl is going to be SUCH a daddy’s girl, I just know it.


And funny story: at our anatomy scan, the tech sent all the pics and videos he took EXCEPT the one showing the gender to my phone. We were sent back out to the lobby to wait for my midwife, and I decided to take a look at the pics. Cristian went to the bathroom, and as he was coming out, I gasped, put my hand over my mouth and told him I had just accidentally found out what the baby was. “Don’t you DARE tell me!” Cristian said. I explained to him that I had been looking at the screen of stats the tech sent, and saw the sex written there. (Because it said SEX: FEMALE.) He grabbed my phone and instantly deleted the photo without looking at it so he wouldn’t find out too, since he didn’t want the reveal ruined for him. I sat there in shock. A couple minutes passed, and I realized something. He had sent us the same screen of stats during our 9 week ultrasound. I went through my phone and found the pic, looked at it, and it said the same thing, SEX: FEMALE right next to 10/20/91……my birthday. You guessed it — I had been looking at my own stats. 😂 When I thought I had found out, SEX: FEMALE was of course the very first thing I saw (Cristian says I was looking through the photos digging for something…he might be right ☺) and I was sure that wasn’t my own sex because duh I’m female….I’m having a baby.

Cristian asked me after we realized I hadn’t actually found out if I was disappointed that I ruined the reveal for myself that we’d been planning for months. I told him “well yeah, I was bummed. But not really — I had a few really happy minutes there.” Since I so badly wanted it to be a girl.

We’ll laugh about it for the rest of our lives.

We are so, SO excited! We’ve even started our registry since I’m measuring at 23 weeks. We were at Target last night and as we were going though the aisles and I was oooing and ahhhing at all the cute girl stuff, Cristian said that while he’s so happy we’re having a girl, he’s not excited about all the girly shopping 😉




A little Joub-BEAR cub is coming!

We knew we were pregnant when I changed the name of the blog, but we were WAY too early to tell anyone.

I’m 14 weeks and the baby is due May 1st! So it could come the end of April or who knows…I was early and my mom’s first baby, so we’ll see!

Today marks my 2nd trimester (FINALLY!) and I’m really hoping I start feeling better soon. My nausea is getting a little better, but I still have plenty of it. And I feel even more exhausted now than ever, but feel so glad to be carrying this little Joub.

Getting pregnant wasn’t easy, and the timing of it has been so crazy we cannot deny the divinity of it all. More on that soon!


And as far as our announcement goes, I wanted to incorporate our last name, since it is pronounced Joe-BEAR. I thought getting a little bear suit and holding that up would be cute, and I picked up this cardboard banner from Michaels to use with it. I just used a sharpie to write our due date on it. The bear suit is from Carters, and is sooooo soft!

We can’t wait to welcome this little miracle into the world!

How we make the most out of a studio apartment + some news!

How we make the most out of a studio apartment + some news!


We’ve been living in a bonus room turned studio apartment above the garage of some members of our ward (LDS church congregation) since last November and have LOVED it. It’s been the perfect little place for the two of us as we start our lives together.

However, it’s not very glamorous at times. So I wanted to put together a post all about how we’ve made the most of it!

For example: We have no dishwasher and no oven. Which means we’ve had to get pretty creative when it comes to meals, especially dinner.



The kitchen has a small two-burner ceramic stovetop, but that’s it. So we’ve made use of our crockpot, griddle (can you say french toast?!), electric skillet and Vitamix.

Something that has really helped us make the most of the space is to create little sections or “pockets,” if you will. So even though it’s one big room, we have little areas that help separate it a bit.

Like the living room (the couches and TV came with the place)…



We got this cube organizer/bookshelf from Target, and keep our DVDs in two of the drawers/bins at the bottom and then miscellaneous electronics items in the other. I got the wire basket from the Target value section for like $3 for all of our Bath & Body Works candles (we/I have a problem).


I had fun decorating the top of it, with an engagement photo of us we had printed and framed for our reception, some art of Christ, the galvanized “J” I found at Joann’s, and a fake flower arrangement I found on super sale at Michael’s. The jar it’s in is also from our reception — I had collected vintage/thrifted amber bottles and vases for the tables. It’s fun to find ways to re-use them!



Then there’s the kitchen, with the IKEA island that also came with the place.



And our little office space!


I loved putting this area together. The desk and bookshelf are from Walmart, and the chair is from IKEA.

We’re obsessed with our printer (the HP Envy 7645) we got from Costco (I think on sale we spent around $60 for it) and we can print from our phones!



I decorated with another photo from our wedding decor (one of my favorites), a fake potted plant from Michael’s (since I kill anything alive…), and the “let it be” art I made myself a few years ago. For organization, I got various photo boxes from Joann’s and Michael’s (white ones) for things like important pieces of mail, receipts, and coupons. Then the two gray baskets are from Ross Dress for Less and are for games, office supplies and other miscellaneous items. I got the clear pen holder from the Target value section.

P.S. Tip for shopping at places like Joann’s and especially Michael’s — NEVER pay full price! Pay attention to the sales and also be sure to look online before you go for a coupon. Usually they have 40% off a full-priced item or specific brand of decor, etc.


And probably my favorite part of this little area is this cute photo banner I put together with some wedding photos printed with our printer and some beautiful temple art from my gal Sadie Banks Photography. Check out her Etsy shop, she has some amazing pieces!


Our bed also came with the apartment, but we’ve definitely tried to make it more our own so it doesn’t feel so much like we’re in a hotel room.


The duvet cover is one I’ve had for years from IKEA, but luckily they still make it! I love that it’s white but not JUST white. The stripes of gray are fun.

The bench at the foot of the bed is from Home Goods, and we LOVE it. It opens up to storage, so we keep blankets and our bath robes in there.

And I also got the white rug from IKEA a few years ago.



I believe Cristian got the pillowcases from Ross back when he was single, and the crocheted blanket was made as a wedding gift by my dear friend and former Standard-Examiner newspaper coworker, Loretta.

And just so you get an idea of how big the room is/a feel for our “real life,” here’s a wonky pano I shot on my phone from bed yesterday morning.


We’ve loved living here and are so thankful to our landlords. It’s been the perfect place for us, even with it’s quirks.

But with Cristian’s new promotion (I announced it in this Instagram post — his boss is stepping down to start a new marketing campaign in California so he gets to become the CEO of the business here in Portland) we no longer have the need to live somewhere “temporarily.” We’re so happy that we get to stay in Oregon permanently (or at least for a few years), and are SOOOO relieved that we can finally put down some roots.

So we started looking at some apartments (because the real estate market is ruthless out here and we’re not ready for that yet), but Cristian’s boss needs someone to take over the lease for her townhouse and we’re jumping at the opportunity. At first it was a little bit hard to decide because we found an apartment we absolutely adored (with an open layout, beautiful kitchen WITH A PANTRY, and a freakin LAUNDRY ROOM) but decided we couldn’t pass up the townhouse because in reality, it would actually be cheaper for us and it has a 2 car garage with storage (we won’t need our storage unit anymore!), 2 bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms, a huge kitchen with a gas stove, and an outdoor patio area with garden boxes Crish is absolutely obsessed with.

And we move in next weekend!


Cristian’s transition into CEO is beginning this week, and I’ve also agreed to come on as an admin/social media manager for the office and will be starting Monday. It’ll be fun to work together, but hopefully he won’t be too distracted by his sexy receptionist wife 😉

So many changes are coming up and we’re so thrilled. This experience of waiting for the past year for this promotion has truly shown us how to have patience and realize that good things come to those who wait and make the most of their current situations.

Stayed tuned for some fun posts about moving in! We’re both really looking forward to making the townhouse our own and being resourceful when it comes to furniture and decor, especially since we didn’t get a whole lot from our wedding (we got a ton of giftcards and cash) and have to stock up on lots of stuff.

Cheers to change!

Welcome to the Joubert Den!

Welcome to the Joubert Den!


I can’t tell you exactly how relieved I am to be writing this post.

Last week, I took to Instagram feeling a little defeated. I admitted that I was feeling lost in my marriage.

I told my sweet husband a couple of weeks ago that I feel like I've lost myself these past few months, or really, since we got married. What husband actually wants to hear that from his wife? We haven't been without our struggles. But last night, when I said it again after a particularly anxious day (we've been through a lot of decision making lately and are waiting on some pretty big news that will affect our future) I explained that yes, I feel like I've lost myself a bit, but I also know that I've GAINED so much since we've been married. So how could that be? Looking at me, he agreed, and said, "you just need to reDEFINE yourself." Whoa. I knew in an instant that he was right. He said that if I were to go back to who I was before marriage, would I still feel lost? Yes, yes I would. More so, most definitely. I mean come on, I couldn't live without my Cristian. Yes. Marriage has changed me. And I would be so naive to realize that it's not for the better. It's just that our circumstances right now are a little stressful and not ideal. And I get to decide on whether or not I get lost in that. So like my smarty pants hubs said, I'm going to find a way to redefine myself in the midst of change and struggle. Because now is as good a time as ever! 😉So instead of wanting to stay in bed all day (let's get real — depression doesn't go away once you get married…I think that needs to be it's very own blog post) I'm going to work really hard on rediscovering myself and who I want AND need to be in my marriage. Who's with me?! 💪🏻any and all tips appreciated. 😘

A post shared by Sonja Joubert (@sonyjoubert) on

There’s been a few contributing factors that I’ve recognized and can call out: Cristian’s job — he’s been in training and awaiting relocation, which means we’ve been in Portland “temporarily.” I put quotes around it because at first it was supposed to be temporary. Then, the months started to go by and nothing was happening. He wasn’t getting the team members he needed. The right opportunity for relocation wasn’t available. (But good news! We’re getting closer…) So, that meant that looking for a full-time job in journalism in the Portland area wasn’t really an option, as I would most likely have to leave it soon after starting. Most likely.

So I resorted to nannying here and there, as it was the most immediate solution. I’ve hopped from one family to the next (the jobs have always been short-term or filling in for someone else) and nannied 11 children within like an 8-month time period.

I’ve gained weight — a lot of it for me — even though I’m the healthiest (and strongest) I’ve ever been probably in my entire young adult life.

I stopped taking my antidepressant/fibromyalgia drug for other health reasons.

Other facts include ones like oh, I wasn’t ready for the adjustment marriage was going to be. Don’t get me wrong — I was totally ready for marriage, especially spiritually. But morphing from an independent woman to a married one was kind of a shock to me. I love my husband. More than anything — and he’s my light and my joy. We have so much fun together, and life is pretty blissful, despite not the most ideal of circumstances. But having to adjust has filled me with a certain anxiety that does awful things to my self-esteem and I’m not going to lie, has affected my relationship with Cristian. I often doubt that I’m being a very good wife or that I’m who he deserves or has always wanted (even though he tells me constantly that I am).

So. Like in my Instagram post, something he told me last week has sparked a fire in me. The fact that I’m not necessarily lost — I just need to redefine myself.

So I’m taking some baby steps. The first one? Changing this blog!

I’ve decided I need to take it in a different direction. Don’t worry, there will still be beauty and fashion posts, but there will also be some more serious ones — like about the struggles we’ve faced as a newlywed couple,  little personal essays about being Mormon, etc etc.

And I’ve had the idea for the name and the direction, really, for a while now but wanted to save it for when we could fill our den a little more. (wink, wink.)

But after having the realization I did, I was like, why should I wait for babies to start “The Joubert Den?” That way once I do, it’ll be all ready for them! And it won’t be strange that I all of sudden start blogging about motherhood and family life because I’ll have already been doing similar with blogging about marriage and the life Cristian and I share.

I’m so excited and feel so strongly that this is what I need to do right now. I miss journalism and my old newspaper job. So much that it often makes me cry. So I’m deciding to change it by being more serious about this blog. It won’t be the same, but it will be so, so good.

I’m so excited and hope you all will join me and Cristian on this journey!


Summertime, and the livin is not so easy

Summertime, and the livin is not so easy



Summer is FLYING by! And it’s been so incredibly hot here in Portland that all I’ve been wanting to wear is ALL THE LOOSE FITTING clothes.


This dress has been perfect. I love the ruffled hem and I can wear sandals, booties OR heels to dress it up/down.



Life has been crazy lately with a lot of big decisions to make and I’ll be so sad to see summer go, but at the same time, I really can’t wait. I’ve been stressed out of my brains the last couple of months and let me tell you, I know Fall is going to bring some relief and it’s going to be soooo good. Stay tuned, because there will be some fun news announced here sometime soon! 😉



Dress, shoes: Ross Dress for Less (similar) // Hat: H&M (similar) // Lip Color: Fly Girl LipSense via Gingersnap Lips

But despite all the stress and uncertainty I’ve been feeling lately, I can’t help but feel so blessed. It’s cliche, but true. It’s just hard to remember all of the time, ya feel? So my goal for the next few weeks is to remember that I’m blessed. That I have an amazing eternal companion (who is a good sport and looooves taking pictures for me), we have a home, jobs, love, the gospel, etc. etc.


Farmers Market style + a night downtown Hillsboro

Farmers Market style + a night downtown Hillsboro


One of my VERY FAVORITE things about summer/early fall is all of the farmers markets. I love just walking around soaking in the atmosphere…tasting all of the yummy treats, buying produce, petting ALL the dogs…you get the idea.


My husband and I recently went to the Hillsboro Farmers Market (the city does one downtown on Tuesday nights and then also Saturday mornings), which is about 30 mins away from Portland, for all of you PNW lovers.


Cristian’s favorite thing to do is definitely picking out…and eating…the produce.



I’m all about the samples!





He doesn’t mind them, either.




We even treated ourselves to some fresh-squeezed lemonade.




Okay and seriously, the pups at the market are so cute. My parents actually found their Catahoula dog breeder at this very same market years ago and fell in love with her dogs.

But can we just talk about this pug?! I just had to include these pics…

Now, when it comes down to what to wear to a farmers market…always go with comfy cute!


For me that meant my new favorite pair of jeans and a fun but flowy top. And sandals!




Top, jeans, sunglasses: Target // Sandals: Payless Shoesource (old) // Lip color: Gingersnap Lips

Lucky I’m in love with my best friend

Lucky I’m in love with my best friend



I used to kind of think it strange when a couple would take photos together and call them “family photos.” But now that I’m married — and we don’t have kids yet — I get it. Because Cristian is my family. It helps that he’s also my best friend.



Plus, this mortal life is so short. We never know when it could end. And we all need to do a lot more cherishing of one another.





So while we were on a quick trip to Utah to visit my family last weekend, I jumped at the opportunity to have my Instagram friend, Sadie of Sadie Banks Photography, take our photos. If you live in/around Utah County, check her out!





P.S. I wore this AMAZING dress that I got from the coolest Shop Stevie Rep around, Hailey Laret. It’s the best of both worlds — comfy AND flattering.




Check Hailey out on Facebook and Instagram!

Our 6 month wedding anniversary cake smash

Our 6 month wedding anniversary cake smash

Even though we forgot to pick up our cake on our wedding day, it sure made for some fun 6 months later.

If you haven’t heard the story, you can read it here.

So, the bakery we went through was just as frazzled as we were that day and had a ton of other cakes getting picked up that day. They said we could get the cake remade for free any time. We decided our 6 month anniversary was a perfect time.

To celebrate, the two of us cut it and did a little cake smash on Facebook. Watch it below! Skip to 3:55 to see the smashing. The end is the best part 😉

It was so much fun.

Life with Cristian has been far better than I could have imagined. He is all I ever wanted and SO MUCH MORE. We have our challenges, trust me. But they are easier knowing that we were married in the temple and are sealed for eternity. Remembering that makes everything we experience together so worth it, and the tricky things about marriage seem so silly. He makes me an infinitely better person and not only helps me make goals, but he tries to accomplish them with me!

Here’s to the next 6 months, years, decades, and eternity!

Cristian and Sonja’s wedding: The details

Cristian and Sonja’s wedding: The details


Our wedding was filled with the sweetest details…it was exactly what I had envisioned/dreamed of.

My dress was perfect…I call it my “miracle dress.” Read the story here.



Our flowers were done by Jennifer Ladd of Sweet Posy Floral in Bend, Oregon.

My bouquet
Bridesmaid bouquet

I sent her photos of my color palette and floral designs I’d seen on Pinterest. I told her I wanted lots of greenery and that I loved the “cascading bouquet” look. She’s a close friend of my aunt’s so she was able to give us a fabulous deal on the flowers and really went above and beyond for us.



As Jennifer and my aunt were prepping the flowers the day before the wedding, I texted my aunt asking if they could somehow incorporate my uncle’s (who passed away a few years ago) ring into my bouquet. It’s just a simple ring that spins, and a couple of the stars are worn out, but it’s one he wore often. And ever since he died and I got the ring, I’d always planned on incorporating it into my future bridal bouquet.


The bridesmaids chose dresses in a burgundy/wine color, and the groomsmen’s ties matched. Cristian’s tie was a forest green.


Believe it or not, the flower girl dresses were from Dillard’s!

And our reception…don’t get me started. It was so beautiful!



I collected vintage amber bottles for the flowers from antique and thrift stores.


Our florist’s husband used his chainsaw to cut the wood rounds out of a tree my aunt had recently cut down in her yard! (Again, above and beyond, people!)


We also found various chalkboards to write fun things on, like our wedding hashtag and the menu. Oh, did I mention we had our very own Snapchat filter for the reception?!





My mom catered, and it was amaaazing. (Well, what I had the time to eat at the reception was amazing 😉 )

We wanted an Italian/comfort food theme to go with the Autumn season and colors. So we served things like Lemon Chicken Piccata and Mac n’ Cheese, complete with an antipasti crostini bar.





And oh man, our desserts were to DIE for.



We decided to do a few different types of cupcakes and HAD to do a French Toast one, in honor of the French Toast tradition we have, which stems back to when we were dating 6 years ago.



I had to include this photo of my cute cousins 😉

My aunt made the sign for the entry with this pin as inspiration and it turned out EXACTLY how I wanted it! (Thanks, Tana! xoxo!)





For our exit, we put LED lights inside gold and white balloons, since our venue didn’t allow sparklers.



Ceremony: Portland Oregon LDS temple
Reception venue: The Lodge at Mountain Park, Lake Oswego, Oregon
Flowers: Sweet Posy Floral, Bend, Oregon
Photography: Stephanie Jarstad Photography
Dress: The Bridal Suite & Special Occasion, Bend, Oregon
Seamstress: Sheryl W., Fruit Heights, UT (contact me for her info)
Veil: David’s Bridal
Flower crown: Miss Stevi Marie
Shoes: LuLu’s
Exit dress: Bohme

See more posts about our wedding: