Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Oh How the Years Go By

It’s simply the Ache of time passing, because this is what time does, and our souls are noticing the passing of a season, and it’s okay. It’s okay to let it Ache. It means we’re living and it means we’re loving our life as it stands. ~Sarah Bessey
We had some family photos taken last month.

After last year’s family photo debacle, I swore off family pics for a few years. It’s just too much work to pretend to look happy while someone is crying, someone hates his "dumb handsome clothes” and someone else runs off to look at a stick.
We took pictures downtown for a fun, urban look, cause we're edgy like that.
We used this photo for our Christmas card and an elderly relative asked which penitentary we were at. 

But the truth is I’m such a sucker for cute photos of my kids. Who isn’t? It's a great way to capture their little expressions and personalities at this age; also, you can't hear bickering and fighting in photos, so that's nice too. Besides, my good friend’s husband is a fantastic photographer and his prices are extremely reasonable, so I figured if it all turned out to be a complete disaster then we weren’t out that much anyway.

I braced myself for the worst, but you know what? It was ok. Actually, it was better than ok. We kind of had fun running around downtown with our little munchkins. And guess what? NOBODY CRIED. And guess what else? THEY ALL SMILED.

I mean, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. At one point they got distracted by a cat and we had to spend a good 10 minutes peering through the slats of a fence to try and catch a glimpse of the dang thing, but Aaron, the photographer, even used that to his advantage. He would occasionally meow and then capture the glee on their little faces when they thought they heard that illusive cat.
Henry persevered on the cat quest even after everyone else gave up.
The more I thought about our family photo shoot, the more I realized how it resembled our past year.

I started this blog in 2013 to capture some of the beautiful craziness that comes with having 3 kids three and under, but in all honesty, 2013 felt more crazy than beautiful on most days. On more than one occasion that year I contemplated committing a small crime because being locked up by myself in a tiny jail cell with only a bed and toilet sounded like HEAVEN.

I suppose I expected more of the same from 2014. But you know what? It was ok. Actually, it was better than ok. We kind of had fun with our little munchkins, exploring pirate ships, surviving grandparents and even tackling Disney World. This year Elise learned to walk, Jack shared a slice of my childhood and Henry finally got a birthday all about him.

Our babies are growing into their own little people. They are sweet. They are funny. They are filled with wonder and curiosity and lots and lots of questions. They say things like "mashed po-toe-toes" and "bednight snacks" and "Christmas makes my heart feel glowy!" There are times they see us at our worst, but they always inspire us to be our best. No one loves John or me the way our kids love us at this very moment. They are our biggest fans and we love them to the very depths of our souls.

2014 wasn't always easy, but this was the year it felt like we really became a family.

I look to 2015 with bittersweet anticipation.

Jack will start "real" Kindergarten. Henry and Elise will both go to preschool 2 mornings a week which means I will have the house to myself for 2 mornings a week. I just want to reflect for a moment on the gravity of that last phrase. I WILL HAVE THE HOUSE TO MYSELF FOR 2 MORNINGS A WEEK. I WILL BE ALONE IN MY HOUSE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 6 YEARS. Just thinking about it makes me want to cry.

This could also be the year that we are done with cribs. We might even be done with diapers in 2015 (that’s a BIG might, but at this point I’m convinced that Elise may be potty-trained before Henry). But the closer we get to no more stinky diapers or clunky baby gear, the farther away we move from tiny, chest-napping infants and that delicious, milky baby scent. No more gummy grins. No more chunky cheeks. We are moving farther away from bedtime rocking, sticky toddler kisses and tiny little pigtails.  Just thinking about it makes me want to cry.

I’ve wanted a baby ever since I could say the word baby. When people asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I was never quite decided on a profession, but I knew I would be a mother. I had my future children's names all picked out by the time I was 12 (all girl names of course, I wasn't planing on having any boys). It's funny how my babies were nothing I expected, but everything I needed. So what does it mean when the babies are no more, when babies are a memory instead of a dream?

Should we have another, just one more? Would we have a boy or a girl? What would her name be? What would he be like? How can we not find out??

Or do I only want one more to avoid living with the ache of an empty nursery? Because no more babies means I’m old.

After all my moaning and groaning about sleepless nights and never-ending days, its funny that it feels so hard to shut the door on this chapter of our lives. 

I guess all the old ladies at the grocery store were right after all; enjoy it while you can, cause one day you'll miss it.

Darn those old ladies. 

But I guess that mantra holds true at any stage, and even worse than living with the ache would be to not embrace the present. I look forward to new memories and new adventures with my little family, even if the coming years also bring new heartache.

I suppose it's the ache that highlights the sweetness of our memories in the first place. If our memories are photographs, then the ache is the frame, propping them up, making them standout in our minds, showing that these are the moments we cherish most of all.

Oh, how the years go by. Sometimes I can't wait to jump into the promises of the coming year and sometimes I long to relive my sweetest memories passed, but tonight I'm standing somewhere in between.

Tonight, on New Year's Eve, that's a pretty good place to be.

Welcome 2015, whatever you may bring.


  1. I loved this one. It was so sentimental it made me cry. I read it after fighting my 2 year old to take a nap and miraculously getting my 3 month old to sleep in the cradle (which I moved outside the dryer since the noise helps him sleep). This one hit home:) I always enjoy your posts so much.

    1. Thank you, Emily. :) I used to get my daughter to nap in a swing in the bathroom with the vent/fan on, haha! I feel ya, those first several months with an infant are rough!

  2. I'm going to look like SUCH a stalker commenting on all these posts, but I just adore your voice. I laughed out loud at this: "On more than one occasion that year I contemplated committing a small crime because being locked up by myself in a tiny jail cell with only a bed and toilet sounded like HEAVEN." I completely agree with that sentiment and it is cracking me up. Anyways, I subscribed so I won't miss any more of your posts :)