In the past 12 1/2 years, I have gotten married, had 3 children, started a new job, and lived in 4 different houses in 3 different cities. It's kind of crazy! There have been many highs and lows along the way and we have learned so much.
I remember the days of being absolutely exhausted from being up all night with a newborn, and then having a needy toddler wanting all of my attention. I remember watching other moms at the park read a book while their children played, and longing for the day when I didn't have to push 2 kids on the swings, while also wearing one in the baby carrier. It seemed like the day would never come where I could actually stop and look at something in a store, without gently moving the shopping cart back and forth to keep the baby happy. I looked forward to changing my last diaper, and having kids old enough that we didn't need to rush home for nap time everyday.
And, it is nice, and I am very happy with my life now. I love this stage. But, I also miss that one. Sometimes I let myself get so caught up in what is going to happen next, that I actually miss out a little on what is happening now. My boys are older now, and they don't need me as much, and that makes me a little sad. They don't need me to brush their teeth, give them a bath, make their breakfast, push them on the swing, or even make their bed. It's nice, but it's different and new for me.
Now, we can go to the zoo and the mall without a stroller, we can stay out all day, and we can go on rides together. Brady likes to play board games, football, and basketball with me. Logan likes board games too, but he also likes adventure and excitement with me. Marshall loves to pretend and he knows that I'll always play along.
They all find special ways to make me feel special too. Brady usually goes out of his way to set up for school, help a brother with school, or clean something up. Logan will usually bring me a blanket or give a great back massage. And Marshall always tells me how much he likes me and gives hugs and kisses. They are each so different and so special.
Doing school at home and having the boys home so much has been wonderful for our relationships. They have grown so close to each other, and I feel like I know them so much better than I did a few years ago. These years go by so quickly, and it means so much to me that our relationships stay strong.
Things will continue to move forward and change. Brady will be in middle school next year, and that will mean some big changes. Logan is nearing his last year in single digits for age, Marshall will be 6 years old next week, and Peter and I will soon be celebrating 13 years of marriage (and 17 years together - roughly 1/2 our lives already).
God has been so good to us so far, and I am so excited to see what great things he has for us next! I am cherishing these days with my children, because I know there won't be children in this house forever.