Yesterday, my second child turned 3. How did this happen so quickly!?!? I remember like it was yesterday driving to the hospital while in very serious labor, yelling at my husband that I would definitely NOT be having more children (yeah, right ;), and that if he didn't hurry up and get me to the hospital, I may do something awful to him. Lately I have been thinking about moms with young children and the challenges we face. Having 3 kids, 5 yrs. old and under, is not the easiest job I have ever done. Sometimes I find myself wishing that my kids were past the stage where they need/want me to do everything for them. But then I come across older parents whose children are grown and no longer around. And they say things like "what a lovely family you have!", "enjoy them while you can", "your children are so precious, you are so lucky", and "wow, you have your hands full!" Ok, that last one doesn't really count as sentimental and encouraging towards young families, but I hear it EVERY SINGLE TIME I GO OUT! And, quite frankly, I'm tired of hearing it. My 5 year old has begun saying it...like I need to hear that from her! Anyway, my point is, I've decided that my New Year's resolution (kind of late, I know, but still worth doing) is to just sit back and enjoy the boat I'm in - and to remember to ask Christ to calm the seas when it gets overwhelming! Live for the present with joy! That's my New Year's motto. Sometimes I struggle with the joyful part when things get hard. Because, yes, it's hard. Yes, It's exhausting. Yes, It's mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically draining, but the more I look at my life, the more I realize that I don't think I have ever been happier. Never again do I want to be 17...please, Lord, do NOT make me do that again! College was fun, but this phase of my life has got to be the most joyful and vibrant and exciting time that I have ever been in - both as a married woman and a mother. And while the work load and struggles are immense, it's worth every single ounce that goes into it. I hope my husband realizes how happy and thankful I am that he brought me back to my Catholic Faith and helped me find the life that God intended for me to live. Alot of people give stay-at-home moms a lot of slack for "giving up on their dream's", or "wasting their time and career", or look at it as something repressive, but for me that's just crazy! Christ tells us that there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for a friend. I could care less how 'successful' I am in the eyes of society (although it does hurt sometimes to be though less of because of my choice to forego a mainstream career). But, I do care if I fail at providing a loving environment for my husband and my kids. So, Happy Birthday Andrew! I'm so glad that God gave you to us!
Andrew's first days of life:
Andrew made 3 yesterday!:
Natalie made a birthday sign by herself:
Enjoying his birthday gifts (he got a tool belt w/hammer, wrench, flashlight, and work gloves like Daddy's =) And the cool pirate shirt from Phil's Aunt:
"Mom, say 'cheese' for my hammer":
She put the beads on all by herself!: