Friday, May 07, 2010

My Life As A Mother And A Detail About Me You May Not Know

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, naive.

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. 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.

Punkin Jack.

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!!!


Unknown said...

AWWWW i loved this post to bits!~

And btw, i am also building my third train track for today--why is taking it apart the boys favourite thing to do? ugh

Tutus and Choo-Choos said...

Great post!!! Motherhood is indeed a work in progress. The job that you don't get paid to accomplish, that lasts for the rest of your life, and is the most fulfilling!

Happy Mother's Day!

The Potters said...

Love this post. A true modern-day inspiration you are, Casey! Happy Early Mother's Day to you!!

Dee Stephens said...

WOW!! that made me tear up! Awesome post Casey!!
Happy Mother's Day! You're a GREAT one!
BTW - I did know that tidbit already :)

Pam Bowers said...

What a sweet post. I absolutely love how you were smart to plan for your second and third child. My favorite pic is the one where they were monkeying had a can in his mouth. Funny.

Happy Mother's Day!

FROGGITY! said...

definitely the american dream you have there, casey!! 3 beautiful children, 1 sweet hubby, and a darling cat. :) it's all there! and soooo sweet!

happy mother's day to you... may each day of the year bring you wonder and happiness!

Sara said...

For real?? I'm crying...yet again (please see my post today about being emotional).

You are such a great mom, wife and friend, Casey. I feel so blessed to have met you!

Happy Mother's Day, sweet friend. xoxo

Carrie Darney said...

Casey, I think I can speak for alot of us that you are an inspiration to most of us. When I do outings with Hagen I think, "Casey would be proud of me for this one!".

I love going on outings with him, but am not as brave as you are. You inspire me alot. I remember going to your could feel the love between the two of you. THEN I saw you at our wedding and little sweet. I need to send you pictures of him from the wedding!!

Becca Jane said...

I loved this post too! I still do those things too. Some days I feel like I've got this motherhood thing down okay....and then BAM..something happens that makes me feel like I'm at square one again! Such is life!

If the shoe FITZ said...

Way before I was married and when Liam was just a twinkle in my eye, it was the snowcone era that I learned about how great a mother you are. Always had things planned for Carter. You worked so hard of your little family. Got there at the butt crack of dawn...left early to pick up the sweet boy and ate Healthy Choice EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. If that ain't sacrifice I don't know what is! ;)
Thanks for all the pregnancy and mother advice. You're simply the best.

The Luis Family said...

Happy Mother's Day, precious Casey!

You are indeed at knock out mom to those beautiful kiddos! They are lucky to have a mom who goes all out for them all the time! We are lucky to have inspiration and ideas from you!

Kick back this weekend and know you are a fabulous mom and that so many of us out here in blogland think so!

Brittny said...

i have a lump in my throat. thanks. your family is so cute and you are hilarious and your husband is precious b/c he never seems flustered! that's why i keep coming back for more.

Jodee said...

What a sweet post! You have the sweetest husband and cutest punks! You are one blessed mama! Hope you have a Happy Mother's Day, and I can't wait to see what the punks and Batman do for your special day!

merrilee said...

Happy Mother's Day to one of the best mom's I have the privelege of calling a friend. You are awesome and making me tear-up right now. You have such a beautiful family, and they are so fortunate to have you. xxoo

Allyson and Dave said...

So sweet!! I have really learned over the past 2 days how big of a role the Dad plays. Sweetpea's baby does not have a Dad. I was the Dad during the c section and then Mom played the Dad role and stayed with her last night. We were there for her but it is just not the same. I know one day she will find a Dad for the baby but I am kind of sad for her right now to not have that. You are so very lucky to have such a wonderful husband...and beautiful kids!!

SASS said...

I can personally vouch for your Mommy Skills. Even as a teenager, you and Caroline were our second mothers. And rightfully so. You have such a gift, dear friend. Even now, I look to you for grown-up advice. Marriage advice. You've taught me to swallow my pride. The best lesson yet!

Those kids are incredibly blessed to have you and Blake. What 2 bright futures I see ahead. Jack's is questionable.

Heather said...

That is precious Casey... You inspire me to be a better mother in so many ways... Happy Mother's Day! You have made a precious and perfect little family!

Tammy said...

love it Casey. Your candid-ness always makes me feel like I'm doing okay, too! Happy Mothers' Day!!!

Hattie said...

I think we are all a work in progress! I love this post. So heart felt. You have such a beautiful family. Hope y'all have a great weekend and I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day!!!

Merry Mack said...

Beautiful post, Casey! Happy Mother's Day to you. This parenting journey is interesting and always a work in progress. I say you have done damn good so far. Keep up the good work.

timmonstimes said...

Me too! Great post. Happy Mother's Day Casey!

The Rand's said...

Happy Mother's Day!! xoxox

Shannon said...

I knew all of this stuff but love that you were willing to put it out there.

Love, love, love. So glad you can see the upside and make the most of sometimes tough situations.

Kelly Beatty said...

Love you. You're the coolest. Miss you everyday. So happy I've known you all this time. Happy Mother's Day.

The Soladay Family said...

Loved this post, and love that you and Blake have made the family that you have, together, every step of the way. That's the true key to a stable, healthy, happy home. You're an inspiration and a sounding board for great advice or just to lend an ear to vent! Happy Mother's Day to a wonderful mother!

Coco said...

Love this post! Love you!

ps. Could you of used a better picture of me? Terrible.

Kristen said...

Happy early mother's day Casey! I feel like I "know" you even though we've never actually met... and I am 100% certain that when it comes to moms, you're as good as they get. Your punks are so blessed to have you, and someday when my future babies make their way into this world, I will pray every day that I'm even half the mother to them that you are to your kiddos... because if I can pull that off, I will have done something pretty amazing with my life.
Love all the pics... you have such an amazingly beautiful family.

starnes family said...

Yall are too much! Thanks for all the kind words.

Jen - snowcone era!

Coco - that's the picture I like. Not the black and white.

Sass - you were one of my first babies! And, now a close friend. Weird. So happy to be in touch with you and Katie!

Kim said...

I have to admit it made me a little teary. So glad I met you. have a fantansic mother's day!

Lauren W said...

Maybe the sweetest post ever. Happy Mother's Day to an amazing and inspiring Mom!

aunt caroline said...

Can not wait to see you and the crew this summer! Love you so much.

The Lenzers said...

you are such a wonderful mom with a beautiful family. you should be really proud of yourself. and you wouldn't believe how you have influenced me as a mom and so many others I am sure. i hope that you have had a wonderful mothers day.

donatelli98 said...

Sweet post - I am so behind on your blog since i can't read it at work anymore!