I took these pictures while blueberry picking a few days before Colby's 1st Birthday. He was walking all over the fields, bucket in hand like he owned the place. At first, I was carefully breaking the berries in half and feeding him one at a time - because he is a baby and all.
But, he quickly learned to pick the berries and shove them in his mouth - green, blue, stems, leaves - no matter.
Before long he figured out it was more efficient to find a big brother or sister and steal a handful from their buckets.
This is who Colby is.
He is fiercely independent, determined, and brave. He is a dancing, ball throwing, hair pulling, hugging machine. We all adore him and continue to fight over who gets to hug him first, or make him laugh, or bring him a toy.
As an infant he melted into our hearts with his quick smiles and easy going personality. Now he has us all wrapped around his little fingers and he knows it.
Happy Birthday Colby!
You have brought us so much joy and love this year...xoxo
In the 15 years we have been together, I never loved Mike more than in that moment.
It wasn't because he agreed with my plan. It wasn't because he was making good on a promise (made before our wedding) to move to Boston one day. I fell more in love with him because I was so proud of his courage. What we were proposing was no easy way out. Mike was planning to leave a job and a career that he spent 11 years investing in. He built a solid reputation for himself, sought out, fought for and excelled in every opportunity he could find. He had a good title, a better than good salary - a lot to walk away from. He was agreeing to move from his home, where he grew up and where he feels comfortable. And he was going to leave his family - the sadness of that is something I can't put into words, but know the feeling oh so well.
But still, he wanted to try. And over the next few weeks as the details started to fall into place, he was excited. He turned to me in the car one day as we drove and talked - and he looked positively giddy. I remembered what my husband looked like happy, excited, and hopeful.
We are both nervous, very nervous. I think that is ok. Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone to learn, grow, and achieve something bigger. And we have learned in our marriage that the tougher the times, the closer we become.
We have moved into my parents house, temporarily. He starts a new job in a few weeks. The kids start Kindergarten. I am getting my real estate license (did you see that pig just fly by?!).
Im excited for us and Im super proud of us.
So, there is no ending to this story, only more beginnings.
2 AM. My eyes shifted from the clock to the white ceiling and I squirmed under the blanket of sadness that spread from my toes to my nose. I knew we were both unhappy, but the thought of us living unhappily was the worst part of all. I don't live unhappy - I make my life happy.
But this time I didn't think I could. The only option I saw was to go back to work. To free my husband from the breadwinner role so that he could follow his dreams...or at least have a moment to figure out what those dreams were. And then we could move away from the city and we would all be happier. But, the thought of going to work knocked the wind out of me. No one was going to raise my babies but me. And the tears started again.
And then I stopped. I stopped wallowing in the "poor me." I stopped feeling bad and hopeless and defeated. I remembered that I have always done exactly what I wanted. That a happy, fulfilling life was there for the taking and no one was just going to hand it to us.
I stopped wallowing and started planning. We have a purpose - to enjoy each other, our family, and to raise our kids the best we can. Simple. Now it was time to pattern our life for that purpose. To live a purposeful life. I spent the next hour or so thinking about just what we needed, what we wanted, and what we could do without. We would no longer be dragged along behind a life we didn't want - we would be taking back the steering wheel.
I didn't plan for perfect, I planned for hope. The hope that with change we would be happier.
The heavy blanket of sadness gone, I fell asleep giddy with the anticipation of sharing my nighttime revelations with Mike.
are you bored yet? there is more to come tomorrow...
It doesn't happen overnight. You don't go to bed one night as happy as a Lark and then wake up miserable. No, it is a gradual build up of little things that just aren't quite right. And don't get me wrong, Im the master of looking on the bright side. In a funk, I do as my mother always taught me and I change the channel. I think of all the amazing things in my life. I gain perspective and it feels good. But, this time, way down deep was the feeling, the knowing, that our life wasn't what I wanted.
And in a twisted sort of way I was lucky, because my husband felt the exact same way. So, although the feeling of being in a quicksand pit of unhappiness didn't arrive overnight, our decision to do something about it sort of did.
Mike hated his job. It made him miserable. It sucked the energy out of him like a Hoover set to turbo - all he wanted was to enjoy our kids, and me, and life - but once he finished a job that he despised and the commute from Hell, he was drained. Nothing left.
I didn't want an unhappy and exhausted husband. And I didn't want to be where we were. I wanted more for my kids. To play outside with space, with woods, with bike rides whenever they wanted. I dreaded the school they were entering, big time. I told myself it would be ok, but really I wanted to grab them and run. I wanted my family. My 2 grandmothers, my parents....I wanted out.
The miserableness, the stuck feeling, the helplessness piled up and hit us like a mack truck one weekend. We cried and felt sorry for ourselves. How could we move to more space if it meant a longer commute? How could we move to Mass if it meant quitting a good job and moving to no job? We went to bed defeated wondering how to build the life we wanted, the one that seemed impossible to attain.
Part 2 to come.....
ps. Happy Birthday to my adorable baby Colby today!! I can't write a birthday post with no pictures, but as soon as I get my own computer back I will honor his birthday blog style :) xoxo Baby boy!