At 20, I got married and moved 3 hours from home to start my life with my husband. Not old enough to drink or rent a hotel room, I was old enough to get married and was blissfully in love with my new life. I knew it was going to be hard, but little did I know HOW hard it would be.
|Our wedding, 2004- 20 years old|
At 21, I gave birth to our first child, Caleb. I was in full time school, working part time, student teaching, and trying to hold together a home, as well as be a good mom and wife (I failed miserably). We also bought our first home- a 100+ year old home that had rotting floors, extension cords running through the walls to power the outlets, and an ancient furnace. Let's just say our home inspector was not very honest with us.
|Our first home. Lots of renovations|
|Caleb less than 24 hours old|
At 22, I graduated college and began my search for a job. I was hired on as a teachers assistant and we tried to make ends meet. I was young and didn't know what I was doing as both a wife/mother and as a professional. My life was pretty chaotic at that point.
At 23, I began my first full time teaching job. I loved teaching, but I soon found out I was pregnant with baby number 2. I gave birth to a sweet baby girl, Hannah.
|Big brother meeting baby Hannah for the first time|
At 24, I started teaching in my own classroom. I loved teaching, but it was not easy to balance being a young mother. Unfortunately, I chose my career over my family during this time. I also realized that the principal I was working for was not an ideal boss and I could not wait to find a full time job that was out from under him.
At 25, I was unemployed. The housing market crashed, there were major budget cuts within the school districts and I was lowest on the totem pole within the teaching positions. We had a house fire that required a kitchen remodel. I also found out I was pregnant with baby number 3, Joshua. I was placed on bed rest because of a placental hemorrhage. This was also the year that we were told our baby had a severe heart defect that would require surgery immediately after birth.
At 26, I gave birth to Joshua. I spent 2 months of that year hours away from home caring for our critically ill baby. 2 months after he was born, he died in my arms. I also became a stay at home mom for the first time in my 5 years of parenting. I was terrified of this change- up until that point, I had failed miserably as a wife and mother. We also moved to a new rental home after we sold our home as a short sale. Finally, we also found out I was expecting baby number 4. Age 26 was the biggest year yet.
|Joshua just a few minutes old|
|The only time Joshua came home- he was already gone.|
At 27, I gave birth to our 4th child, Luke. Caleb began Kindergarten, and my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.
|Luke, less than 24 hours old|
At 28, my dad passed away just 7 weeks after he was diagnosed with cancer, and one day after his 56th birthday. We began looking for a new rental home closer to Shane's work and through God's provision found out we were able to build a home. We moved into our newly built home this year and Caleb began 1st grade. I also started working with my best friend Molly, making handmade dolls.
|Working with Molly|
|My sweet daddy.|
|Our new home.|
At 29, I developed kidney stones and my relationship with my mom fell apart (my dad was always the glue that kept us together). Hannah started Kindergarten and Lukey had multiple surgeries to place tubes in his ears and have his adenoids removed.
|Me, now…ready to be done with my 20's|
Whew….are you tired yet? It's no wonder I feel so tired from this past decade.
Tomorrow, I turn 30. It is my prayer that my 30's will be boring and uneventful and a time of rest.