I always planned on having children, but not at the time it first happened. Blake and I were not even married. Did you know that? We were head-over-heels, can't-breathe-without you in love with each other......and were dreamily planning one day to get married.
We were young.
And, unprepared. Financially, emotionally, and mentally.
But, God brought us Carter......this precious, little child......who started our family. Part of the reason we waited 5 years to have a second child was because we were catching up. We built our savings account and then built a house. Our careers were still blooming and although I stayed home with Carter initially, I went back to work when he was close to a year old in order to help us further establish our finances.
We worked tirelessly those first couple of years......for months, paying bills with our paychecks, leaving $100 in our checking account and then moving every other dime to savings. We lived on $100 for two weeks until we got paid again. I still wonder how we did it sometimes.
But, we were determined to create some stability for this new baby and we were successful. Sacrificing a lot. For the sake of our family. It's not a noble act. It's an expected one when you become a parent.
So, I jumped into motherhood. I read books. I scoured the internet. I wrote on message boards every chance I got trying to prepare. I still do those things. And, will likely continue, as we continue to try to figure this whole parenting thing out.
A few random pictures from our journey thus far:
My football player.
My less-than-ladylike pretending-to-vomit daughter.
A typical family picture.
Pa......such a very important part of our lives since he's the lone grandfather.
Lainey practicing with her babies. I know she watches me. Because one day she might be a mother, too. I hope I am setting a good example.
I'm a mommy to a feline, too. Who follows me around the house because I think I'm the only one he's not entirely afraid of. So, I keep some extra love stored up for my Batman.
The punks. Interesting as always.
Skiing with Jack at age 2 in the Rocky Mountains. He was scared, so we didn't push him. Glad he likes it now.
Coco.....one of my dearest friends......and one I know because of motherhood. She keeps me grounded. And, laughing.
When I became a mother, my sister became an aunt. And, she's been my shadow through this journey thus far and I can't imagine doing this gig without her. I rarely make a parenting move without consulting her first.
And, she's really good at tolerating the meltdowns.
We're not always the tamest group.
And, I like to keep my babies close to me. Hence, the Ergo carrier.
Coco says I have to stop carrying Jack in it. Good thing I can tune her out at times.
What's so wrong with this?
My first girl. And, probably last. What a blessing she is. And, a peak into a whole new world.
Lainey's first birthday party. Another new thing for us.....celebrations for girls. Lots of pink.
Something else we're getting accustomed to. High maintenance Lainey Bug.
This man.....this gorgeous man.....has been with me every step of the way of this 10 year journey thus far. Putting baby gear together. Tolerating my desire for newer or better baby gear. Listening to me constantly trying to plan the perfect family vacation. Going on those vacations and showing up at the museums rather than what may have been on his ideal agenda. Holding my hand. Protecting my heart.
He's not always graceful. But, he's always here.
And, I adore him.
So, while I'm building my 3rd train track of the day, I'll thank God for these precious 3 punks that keep me so busy.
That keep me in tears.
That continue to inspire me to do better.
And, to all the "mothers" in my life......thank you for your inspiration and tireless efforts to help me become a better mom. I'm a work in progress, no doubt!!!