I thought I’d try a fun new-to-me blog carnival, hosted by Lena B, Actually called Tuesday 10. Each week Lena has a theme to help guide your posts about ten things. This week Charlie of Learning Lessons in Mummyography is her co-host and Charlie selected the theme of My Life in 10 Photos.
Have you ever tried to pick just 10 photos to represent your life? At first I thought it might be hard to come up with ten photos, but then I remembered how many pictures I take in a given year and then I looked at all of the photos on my computer and suddenly found myself with a conservative 45 pictures that were amazing and perfect. But 45 is a lot more than 10. I started making hard cuts like “no pictures of my favorite cats and flowers” and “maybe just one picture of each kid” and “probably we don’t need five pictures from my wedding” and “How many pictures of my kids dressed up as Doctor Who characters do people really want to see again?”
Eventually I got it narrowed down to the essentials – the pictures that, more than just being about my likes and dislikes (peas) and hobbies and so forth, are pictures of the people and moments and places that have truly brought me to the life I am now living.
Let us start at the beginning. This is Baby Jen waaaaay back in the day, snuggling up with likely my first kitty cat. I was a perfect baby according to my father, I never cried and never fussed and never kept my parents up until 4 in the morning every night for a year. My father’s memory isn’t stellar though, so we probably shouldn’t rely on his story telling, though considering how perfect I am today, it may well be true…
Jumping forward about eighteen years, give or take, this is the moment I knew I wanted to be a mother. One of my best friends is the proud mother of this adorable girl (now much older, old enough to maybe even be embarrassed by this photo, sorry C). It was afternoons like this, going to the dairy farm or the beach with the two of them, that I realized probably for the first time that I wanted to be a parent someday.
These are my best friends. I have other close friends from different times in my life and although none of these ladies live in the state I currently reside in, they are still the gals I refer to as “my best friends” and have since meeting all of them in high school. This is a picture from my wedding day (spoiler alert! I’m married!!).
This is the guy I’m married to, six years ago when we said our “I do’s” – he’s very tall and had to crouch to kiss me even when I stood on my tip toes. We still have to do that, cause guess what? I’m still short. When I was little, I remember aunts and uncles saying “look how tall she’s getting!” as a child and then I remember that one day they stopped saying that and nobody has ever said it about me again since. Weird.
Another wedding picture, this is me, my grandmother, my son and my father. Yeah, clearly you can probably tell from this picture that I like to do things out of order. Sometimes I eat breakfast burritos for lunch, too. Anyway, my grandma and dad are probably two of the closest people to me in the world and the most important. They are largely responsible for the wonderful woman I am today, so any complaints can be directed at them.
This is the little boy who turned me into a mother. Before him, I was pretty much just a spoiled, naive, relatively thin person who liked to buy shoes and read books. Now I am a less thin, exhausted mother person who likes to drink coffee and read books sometimes. But I’m also happier and grateful every day to have such a wonderful son, so I think it was all worth it.
In 2009 my husband lost his job while I was about 5-6 months pregnant with our second child. That was pretty terrifying but we like a good challenge and we ended up all the better for it. He found an amazing new job with an awesome company that continues to be excelling in it’s industry even in a bad economy. The bad part? We had to move 1,500 miles away from all our friends and family. Dan and I are both very close to our families, making it a difficult decision, but in the end, you go where the money is. And we found quickly that we love our new home here and the new friends we’ve made and though I miss being near our families, I am so glad we took a chance on this new life of ours.
The picture above is my dad and my son at Niagara Falls. My dad drove with us all 1,500 miles to our new home so that I didn’t have to drive 7 months pregnant (two cars). We made a mini-vacation out of the trip, stopping at places like Niagara Falls along the way and after helping us move in and settle, my dad flew back home. I am so grateful that he helped us through that experience.
A couple months later my beautiful daughter was born. I remember being terrified that my heart would not be big enough to love both children equally, that I wouldn’t have the energy to keep up with both children, that I’d made a grave mistake. But then I learned that hearts expand to meet your world and life, that there is always enough love and that you find the energy within (or make it work when the energy really isn’t there – did I mention coffee?) and that being a mother of two beautiful, amazing children is the best thing that ever happened to me.
Did I mention we are obsessed with Doctor Who these days? We are a dorky little family with nerdy little interests and when my son started watching Doctor Who with us and was absolutely crazy about the show (just like us) and asked if he could be Doctor Who for Halloween, we may have squealed like a little girl. Or at least, I probably did. It took months to track down all the components for a price I could live with and I think maybe two people, besides Dan and I, understood his costume. BB (my daughter) totally bailed on the whole thing the night of Halloween in favor of a Snow White costume (you can tell she’s a young Amy Pond in the photo above, right? RIGHT?) but my son could not have been more thrilled with how we made his dream of being The Doctor come true. My point is that we are nerds and I love it.
And bow ties are cool. Sorry, I totally am breaking the rules – that picture is just for fun. Here is my final picture, regular readers have been seeing this one a lot lately….
Me in 2013 with my two adorable children taking family photos at my husband’s office. My life right now pretty much revolves around these two (and coffee). I am a happily married SAHM to two beautiful children who give me a run for my money every day. And I love it.
Wanna play along?
Tuesday10 is pretty laid back when it comes to linky. The only rule is to link up a list… of 10 things. Whether you use the prompt or not!