~This post is in collaboration with PinkBlush.~
Happy Birthday to me (2.16.18).
I had no idea where to begin this post. I have never been excited about the idea of turning 30. It sounded old. Aren’t the 20’s what everyone talks about? My 20’s meant living abroad, graduating college, meeting my husband, marrying him, having two children and traveling to Asia, Europe and the Caribbean. Jake and I moved around and made friends all over the world. We bought our first home, hosted our first major holiday and went to any concert that pleased us. We lived in a cottage on a lake because we could. We went cliff jumping, kayaking and did a couple mud runs. It was everything it should be.
But I think that’s missing the point. While those are highlights of my life no one can ever take from me, it is missing all the parts that made them highlights:
Those all-nighters during college while working part-time, taking classes and student teaching. Living in another country by myself and missing my family. Long distance relationship for nine months and lots and lots of driving to see each other. Sleepless nights from babies. The endings and beginnings of friendships and relationships. Experiencing death. The uprooting several times from churches and homes as we pursued jobs and dreams. Nights of prayer as we came up to the decisions of children, missions and ministry.
It is not that I think my 30’s will be perfect or not contain highlights. It will just be a different decade and season of my life. I’ll become the mother of middle schoolers, Jake and I will enter into a different “decade” of marriage. Topics of conversation will turn from “where do we birth this child?” to “where do I send this child to school?” We may revisit those other conversations of adoption and overseas missions and it may finally, really be time for them.
I suppose what I am getting at ultimately is that maybe I should be excited. Maybe this will be the best decade of my life. And maybe I will keep saying that about every new decade I enter 😀
The dress I am wearing is from PinkBlush and is the perfect dress for winter! You can get your Lace-Up-Maxi-Dress here. You can also head over to my instagram page where you can win a $50 gift card to shop their site!! All directions are on this post, so head on over ❤
This is a continuation of last post’s 2017 highlights. However, I really did not want to call this the “2017 low-lights reel.” Instead God is working on my attitude this week in general, so why not put it to work here too?
2017 stretched us for the better though it definitely did not feel like that during. Here are  of those “growing moments”:
- Hadley’s Birth. Yes, this makes the top in both categories. I really don’t want to drone on and on about this because I’ve talked about it before here extensively. But going from a mom of 1 to a mom of 2 is NO JOKE. Everyone says these are the “motherhood trenches” but I feel like I needed a lot more than just that phrase to understand the intensity of what life with 2 would be like. I love them. Fiercely. But man, has life changed all over again. At around 5 months I felt like we were finally getting into a groove but by no means does that mean it is easy! We still work hard at this everyday just trying to survive! So thankful to have my husband to do this alongside of!!
- My grandfather’s heaven birthday, August 4. My grandparents were/are grandparents to everyone. I have had the storybook set of them and have always been so beyond proud to say they are “mine.” So the end of his life hits our family hard. His love for God was undeniable and I know this separation is only temporary because of it. He is the first person I have lost that was significantly close to me. I am so thankful for God’s grace as he prepared me and worked inside me to be more accepting of his death this past summer. I have always feared death and loss like this. But God has been so good and blessed our family throughout this time. “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted…” Psalm 34:18
- Jake’s job. Gosh, I don’t know where to start. First off the company he quit last April is the company that landed us here in western PA FIVE years ago. It helped pay off my student loans. It paid for our trips. It allowed me to be a stay-at-home-mom. It was a good job financially. But right after we bought our house (in March) and I was about to hit my third trimester of pregnancy, the job went south. I don’t need to go into it. But let me just say it took every ounce of me to not write an e-mail or make a phone call with rage seething out of me to his bosses. The way Jake got treated at the end was wrong and we knew it was time to quit. But, again, God is so good. Because right when that was happening there was a job opening up at a very amazing company here. He applied and was working there about a month later. The timing was amazing for many, many reasons. But it has allowed me to be a stay-at-home-mom still and has given my husband the opportunity to thrive in more of his talents and less work stress. He loves his new job so, so much!
So here is to 2018! And enough about the personal posts! What do you guys want to see on the blog this year!? Let me know below!
2017 was a monumental year for our family but one I am grateful to put behind us. While it brought the birth of my sweet baby girl, it also was the final year for my grandfather. There were so many emotions and roller coasters Jake and I navigated together. It brought us closer together, stressed the importance of teamwork even more than we knew already and allowed us to experience the beginning of dreams we did not know existed.
number 1. The birth of Hadley Rose. I was able to experience the natural birth I had hoped for with Emmett. Her birth was healing for me as I realized (due to it) that I had experienced some trauma after Emmett’s birth. Though shifting into life as a family of 4 was challenging (and still is often times!), we learned this year to slow down and take this year for what it is: a season.
number 2. We bought our first home! What not many people knew a year ago is that Jake and I were contemplating leaving western PA. We were given the opportunity to move back to New England and really wanted to (mainly because of family). But it was through praying and researching for the potential move that we felt God calling us to stay put. We spent ONE day with a realtor here and bought the fourth house that we saw. This house is a haven and most importantly the one we call home. (We moved in March.)
number 3. Hawaii vacation. We had the awesome opportunity to vacation on Oahu with Jake’s parents. It was such a fun week complete with Hawaiian food, hiking, swimming and just being a family. What a beautiful island and place to be!
number 4. We started to pursue new dreams. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, becoming a stay at home mom has granted me more opportunities and ways to pursue my dreams…sometimes dreams I did not even know I had. So what does this look like? For me it was photography and writing. I started my own small photography business taking family photos. My Instagram exploded (in my terms) from 500 followers last November to 3000 in less than a year. The real clincher was when I started making money off of some posts. Jake and I then decided to really give this Instagram thing a “go.” (Look out 2018!) For Jake he continued making his paint cans but also continued making drink openers. He also has another really, really huge idea but we are keeping that one a secret currently.
number 5. Two week vacation. Since before Jake and I said “I Do” we have never had a full two weeks off together. Even though I taught for a couple years and had my summers free, Jake still had to work. We were blessed with an awesome week long honeymoon and several other week long vacations, but this year topped it time wise. Jake had off a total of 16 days in a row….perks of him working for a college and getting Christmas week off! We spent it mainly in NJ and NH visiting a ton of family and some we hardly ever get the chance to see. It was so fun and Emmett had a blast with all his cousins. He was without want of a playmate for 2 weeks. Thankfully since being home he seems to be doing all right overall ❤
[my brother with our kiddos]
2017 was a huge year for us, but it was also very trying. I think I will share those moments next time! Until then, See ya 2017!