I can honestly say the last 7 years have been work.
4 moves, 3 children (2 miscarriages), 1 more college degree.
We could have done things a little differently – I could have put off having babies till I was closer to the age of 40 – I mean, it would have been a lot easier to get my husband through school without kids.
We could have stayed in Texas.
Dan could have avoided extra school all together and just started a career…
Hahaha, we would have taken way more vacations.
More time on the beach, just the two of us.
No diapers, no night time feedings or arguing over who was more tired (Mom or Dad) and which deserved the nap or night away with friends.
It seems we choose to follow Robert Frost and that darned road less taken.
In place of warm naps on a sandy beach, we get warm baby snuggles.
In place of extra vacations, we are saving for a debt-free house.
In place of the Texas economy, we are enjoying lovely Missouri summer evenings and country life.
Dan and I agreeing on a name when I was six months pregnant, was the soonest we decided on a name.
We had driven down to Texas for my sister’s August wedding, so we had ample time to talk names.
On our drive back to Missouri, Danny had his cellphone out and was telling me all the cool bird names he liked (because I really like the name Birdie, and we were trying to find a bird name for awhile).
I smile when I hear ‘Kestrel’…my youngest sister could have been Kestrel.
So, from Houston, TX to Tulsa, Oklahoma, Danny and I tossed names back and forth. Separately, he and I decided we liked the name Bell, but not as a first name.
Our little family made a really fast stop in Tulsa to stretch our legs and visit a close friend of mine.
My friend Rachel happens to now work at our alma mater, The University of Tulsa. It being August, the football team was in the middle of their two-a-day practices.
So, our brief stop was in the football training room to catch up with Rachel.
As she and I were catching up, one of the long time Orthopedic Doc’s came into the training room and joined our conversation.
I think some things are truly meant to be.
Out of no-where, Rachel says to Dr. M, “So Katie and her husband are having a hard time choosing a name for their baby girl.”
Dr. M has been a long time friend of my mother’s family, so when he got a sparkle in his eye and said, “I know a nice name.” I knew he was going to say, “Adrien.”
Dr. M’s wife died of cancer in her early forties, and I have heard, for many years from my Grandmother, what a lovely and gracious lady she was. He never remarried and adopted The University of Tulsa athletics as his family (in addition to his children).
Rachel and Dr M said how they liked the sound of Adrien (how his wife spelled her name) with our last name.
An hour later, Dan and I back in the truck swapping names again, I asked Danny what he thought of the name Adrien.
He said he liked it!
Dan looked up the origin of the name, depending on where you look, “dark one” or “one who comes from Adria” which makes way more sense to me.
Adria is on the north eastern coast of Italy, sitting on the Adriatic Sea.
Now that Dan is neck deep with research in Water Engineering, it only makes sense that he said, “if we spell it ‘Adrian’ after the body of water.”
And that is how our sweet little Adrian Bell came to be named.
Alert, Smiles all day, babbling, a great sleeper (when she isn’t sick) and trying to get up and walk to keep up with the boys.
“It is [God] who in the beginning created Adam and Eve in His image, male and female, and joined them as husband and wife to become “one flesh” and to multiply and replenish the earth.21 ”
“Each individual carries the divine image, but it is in the matrimonial union of male and female as one that we attain perhaps the most complete meaning of our having been made in the image of God—male and female.
Neither we nor any other mortal can alter this divine order of matrimony. It is not a human invention. Such marriage is indeed “from above, from God” and is as much a part of the plan of happiness as the Fall and the Atonement.”
Marriage creates families, which is central to God’s plan of happiness.
See why this wedding was a big deal?
It was “the most complete meaning of our having been made in the image of God.”
Marriage and family has shown me how much I needed to change – to become more like Christ.
Having children has shown me how much further I need to go, to be more like Christ.
I would have liked to have spent more time, just Danny and I before we started having children.
I would have liked for him to see me normal for awhile…before the constant roller coaster of hormones.
In the four years I’ve been married, I’ll have had three kids.
When I got hitched, I was an old maid, at 29 with expiring eggs; so, you know, I had to start popping those kiddies out.
While our family was down in Texas, back in March, we met up with my sister and her soon-to-be husband for a Sunday dinner.
As it turns out, the young man my sister is marrying is a good friend of my husband’s family…isn’t it nice how that works out?
After a big family dinner I made those two sit for lots of photos – I’ll spare you – and only show you a few.
In an effort to be silly, I like to play a game where I give a scenario for their life and then I capture the look on their faces:
Scenario: “you just found out you’re having triples!”
Scenario: “You just found out you’re having a second set of triplets.”
I then told them to try to give me their best American Gothic pose:
Ah well, I can’t wait for those to tie the knot in August…a little less thrilled about the Houston heat and humidity; but then again I married in Houston on July 9th, it wasn’t any better and we survived.
SO cheers to marriage and love and all the happiness that accompanies such things.
Wiley spent the first two years of his life on a ranch, but in the last year our lives have been very suburban and it’s easy to forget our country life.
Replaced are the early morning sounds of the rooster, cows and baaing sheep. I’m now bothered by large trucks zipping by or cars blaring awful music that occasionally threatens to shatter my windows.
It’s not coyotes that howl late at night, it’s college kids racing their crotch-rockets.
The life I’m living now is so far from what I had as a child growing up…from what I can remember. I wonder how much of this my children will remember?
So getting away for spring break was perfect for lots of reasons, first to see family and second to escape the city.
We stayed with Danny’s Papa and Gregre (the grandparents who looked like Barbie and Ken) and we got to watch silent film of when my mother in law was a toddler!!
Wiley got to play freely outdoors – free to dump sand in his hair – any time I couldn’t find him, Papa would say, “did you look in the sand?” (Which Wiley called the beach) that was right outside the door.
Wiley was always playing in the sand when he could.
One afternoon, my in-laws took us out to see the property they purchased. They bought a huge plot of untouched land in the middle of a “sub-division”… not the typical sub-division you’re thinking of or living in.
This “neighborhood” consists of “homes” that are mostly airplane hanger with a garage/house attached.
A beautiful grass airstrip makes up the majority of everyone’s front yard, where old guys go pleasure cruising…in their planes, not classic cars.
We had been in the neighborhood about twenty minutes when a plane pulls out of it’s hanger, taxis about and takes off (maybe) 40 yards in front of us.
I’m waving at the pilot as the plane lifts off the ground right in front of me and he waves back, like he’s in Mayberry…full of planes.
What the heck? People actually live like this?
They do! And if my father in law gets his dream, he will too and my kids will experience this type of thing on a regular basis.
One of the awesome parts of marriage is you get to experience ways of living that never existed before your partner came into your life.
I’m so blessed and grateful for my life and my family…and so sad that spring break is over already. Take US back!!
So I was on Pinterest this week and I happened to be looking at a recipe for candy popcorn – the blogger was telling a story about going to the movies – with her husband – and the amazing (shirtless) abs of the actor on screen… how she was so intently watching this movie (and his abs), she ate too much popcorn.
I realize she was being “funny” and I’m sure she loves her husband – but I for one am too uptight for that kind of “funny.”
My husband is my celebrity crush, #MCM (mom, that means “Man Crush Monday” and it’s just something people hash-tag about on social media…please don’t ask me about hash tags…again) and will always be the sexiest man alive – to me.
It really is the small things that keep marriages strong, especially in a world with so much divorce.
Choose your love, love your choice and make it last Forever!
Disclaimer: Does not necessarily apply to the single ladies and gents… Those movies abs are for you!
SO I am still a bit off track, my head full of yuckies and I’m in recovery from a nasty flu. The baby? Oh, he had croup, no biggie. We both saw professionals.
Don’t get too excited about seeing a photo of my mountain man wearing mom jeans – it didn’t happen – we don’t keep “mom jeans” in our house…but he did take over my mothering duties for a few days.
I felt bad about this abrupt assignment shift and on the weekend of his birthday. In the middle of the night, I wake Dan up because the baby was crying and spitting up and I could barely hold the baby while feeding him. Dan couldn’t figure out why I would need help, I didn’t sound sick or look sick.
“YOu saw me give birth, you know I ain’t a pantywaist dude. I say I’m sick, I am sick.”
During the few days I was entirely useless, Dan was “mom” and dad to our 10 month old. He took his little boy to our favorite sushi restaurant Sakura and some of our other favorite shops in Springfield, MO, Dynamic Earth and Mama Jeans.
After lying in bed all day shaking with a fever, living from one minute to the next, my husband returns from his day in the city with our little boy to tell me baby was so good everyone complemented how good he was. Dan then asked me – feverish on the bed – if I could change the baby’s poopy diaper.
You can put a man in mom jeans, but you can’t make him a mom.
Last year I was pregnant on Valentines Day and my husband spent the majority of the day getting crapped on by ornery cows.
Did I mention it was our first Valentines Day as a married couple?
He came home from the dairy covered in cow poop and handed me a single red rose. I got a kiss and he got a shower.
The year before last, we had a lovely day together. I wasn’t grumpy and he wasn’t poopy.
He and I have many lovely days together, so it’s to be expected that somedays wont live up to others.
This time last year, I had my teenaged brother’s friend, a teenager himself, take my maternity photos….on a very cold February day.
I didn’t feel well most days and I was annoyed constantly with everyone around me while I battled migraines, which I never had prior to pregnancy. Even with me barking orders at people, everyone was real nice to my cranky-pants.
I did not however, make myself look slimmer…they were, after all, Maternity photos.
I am thankful I have this good day to remind me pregnancy isn’t all awful, Danny and I plan on more children. I am determined to be a better pregnant woman next time around.
I really, really dislike being sick.
Dan and I really love our first son, it was worth all the inconveniences to us both, plus some.
I got to type this entire post and upload photos one handed, as I’m cradling my sweet, sleeping babe with the opposite arm.
Many Happy Thoughts To You This Weekend – and as my Senior High School English Teacher said every Friday, “make good choices.”
The first time I ever witnessed Hot Irish Frosting was when my husband bit into our “One Year” cake after our second reception.
I’ve never before or since seen a handsome man of Irish decent frost his face.
Just a good memory.
Last night, I said to my husband, “ask me something.”
He asked me, “what is your happiest memory with me?”
I have to admit, that the first thought (right after my wedding day) was rather odd, one day, early in pregnancy….Dan came home from work, tired, hungry and asked me what I made for dinner. I had made nothing. I had spent the entire day laying on our sofa staring at the ceiling.
He went to the store and bought steaks. He made dinner and it was delicious. That was a really happy memory for me and the first time in a long time I ate a steak.
After that we discussed our two week honeymoon driving around the western portion of the United States….that was awesome.
The random places we stopped and with no real agenda – just spending time together exploring!
After being in the car for too long, we would find a place on our map that looked interesting and visit.
Climbing the rocks for no reason other than enjoying the beauty of the Earth!
After exploring the National Monument, Dan and I drove to Denver – I have always wanted to visit Denver….definitely not a disappointment.
Drink the tap water there – just trust me – enjoy.
I really enjoyed that road trip…so much seen and yet, so much was missed. We must do that again.
I also fondly recall another night early in pregnancy. I again had been sick all day, Dan was hungry after work and made popcorn to eat. I was sitting on the sofa and just started crying followed by hard laughing. This went on for several minutes. Meanwhile my husband moves into our living room and sits on the other sofa opposite me. He sat there eating his popcorn watching me. Finally I say, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me?” Dan says, “who needs T.V., just get your wife pregnant.”
Anyway, it’s hard to have a favorite memory with one person. Life is compiled of happy memories that help us through hard days.
And that’s why we take photographs, it makes remembering that much easier.