Wow! It's been quite some time since I've put words down in this little space of mine on the web.
As a matter of fact my blog has been on completely private setting for the last 4 or 5 months due to my indecisiveness as to what I do or don't want this space to be.
Honestly, at this point the only blogging decision I've made is to NOT start a brand new blog.
So, we'll just have to wait and see what happens.
I guess this post will be a mini update as to what has been going on in the life of Jen in the last 9 months.
As I was thinking about life this morning and all of the many changes that have happened, and not just in this last year, but in the many years before, it hit me just how much I have to be thankful for.
Life isn't always, and definitely hasn't always been, a bed of roses, but I'm a firm believer in the fact that part of what defines us and our character and how we are in the "blessed" periods, is what we do, and how we are and act, during the thorny times.
The life that Bryan and I often talked about having leading up to marriage and during the newlywed stage is a far cry from the life that we currently have in pretty much every way, except that even with things not going as "planned" we are still so very happy.
In more recent years, our life has often lived up to the hamster wheel metaphor.
We've lived in the same 3rd floor apartment for 5+ years, we both worked super hard in jobs that we had no clue whether we would progress in, or when. We tried to add to our family with heartbreaking results, etc., etc.
But you know what? We have been HAPPY!! We were so very fortunate to learn some years back that each other, and our little family, will remain our "constant". Circumstances might change, but we're what remains. Being truly happy with what some would call a "simple" and "unexciting" life has truly been a liberating experience, at least for me. When you focus on the small blessings and happinesses (yes, I made that up), two things happen....1. bad news/circumstances seem more manageable and not quite as dire, and 2. you are THAT much more thankful when bigger blessings come along.
After continuing along like we had been, 6 months ago our "year of change" started.
Our "original" plan had been to have me stay at home and raise a whole gaggle of kids.
But due to a variety of challenges in multiple areas, that didn't happen.
I started working part-time outside of the home when Audrey was 9 months old, which eventually led me to going back to work full-time when she was 3 years old.
After Lawson was born I knew with all my heart that I wanted to be home with him, but I also needed to contribute significantly to our household income, so I eventually had 5 part-time childcare jobs that I could take him to, and that worked with Audrey's school schedule.
After a year and a half I got a promotion at my "main" job and was able to feel more secure in my work hours. A year and a half after that (this past August) I was offered an amazing promotion, that can only be explained as a gift from God. For the first time in 3 years I was able to pull back on my evening and weekend work hours, to be able to spend more time relaxing with my family. I am so incredibly thankful for this on a daily basis!!
The day before Thanksgiving is when we found out about the next BIG change in our lives, our rainbow baby.
Let me tell you now, the first trimester was HARD.
I was SO sick and exhausted, but I remember mentioning to Bryan that at the very least I was thankful for the time of year this sickness was happening in, as November/December are when my "on site" work hours slow down. So at least I had the extra downtime to be able to be miserable in my own bed. ;)
During this time I also had some issues with early placenta previa, which earned me two ER trips and 3 weeks of modified bedrest. Thankfully the previa has resolved itself and my second trimester has been fairly uneventful. It is really strange to think about a new family member being added in less than 5 months though. Lawson will be 4 years old when she is born, so what has been normal and typical for us for so long is about to change drastically!
After having past pregnancy issues though means that every kick, movement, or the sound of her heartbeat is that much more special to us!
On top of that, Bryan was given an amazing job opportunity in January that not only puts him in the field he really should have been in all along, but also is of huge benefit to our little family!
With all of these changes we will also be moving for the first time in more than 5 years in the very near future. We still haven't quite figured it out, as we want to make sure that we make the smartest and best decision for us that we can, but at the very least this pregnant mama will be getting off of the third floor!!
So, come July we will have had two great job opportunities, a pregnancy, a move, and a new baby, all in less than 11 months!
In all of this I've learned that being faithful with (and thankful for) the seemingly small, being willing to sacrifice for what makes you happy (my family!), and working hard and consistently to build the best (and happiest and most fulfilling) life that you can, is more than worth it!
It might not be what you had envisioned, and you might go into it kicking and screaming and asking, "why me?!", but sometimes, many times, it can lead to something even better than you had planned.