Why did I start blogging?
I actually fought it at the beginning. My close friend, Beth, suggested it when she moved to New York. You know one of those "everyone's doing it" kind of conversations. To me, it just sounded like a lot of work and maintenance. Well, I was right. It is, but little did I know that it was going to start an obsession and hobby of mine. At first, it started out as a way to keep my out-of-state relatives updated on the boys. But then, I realized when I put things in writing just how funny my life can be even when it's insane. Sometimes, I use it as a journal on those rough hair-pulling days (I figure it's a lot cheaper than a therapist) or I might be seeking advice. Other days, it's just my brag book about my incredibly beautiful family and how ridiculously blessed I am.
One thing I know that I've discovered about blogging is that I LOVE to write. I mean I really love it. You would think being a writing teacher and communications major in college I would have already known that. Nope, it took this blog to really slap me in the face. Now I truly know what it means when people say, "When you do what you love, it doesn't feel like work." And that, my friends, is why I stay up late and spend a ridiculous amount of time blogging.
Andrea: I went to college at Texas Christian University and University of Texas at Arlington and received my BA in Communications/Advertising in 2000. I worked at Pier 1 Imports Home Office for 6 years as an assistant buyer. I really loved that job and I have so many good memories from it. We had Nolan in 2005 and was looking for something a little more conducive to being a mommy. I went to go work for small importing firm for a year and then realized I really wanted something with more meaning and purpose. So I made a huge career change and became a teacher in 2007. It completely flipped my world upside down and I thought I might have made the worst decision in my life. Now four years later, I can definitely say that has been the most rewarding job I've ever had. I'll admit it's exhausting being around children all day and coming home to more children, but both give me so much love in return. I'm truly thankful for having a job that gives me purpose and allows me to be a mom as much as I can.
Justin: Justin went to Transylvania University (really...that's the name!) in Lexington, KY and graduated as a Studio Art major in 1996. He's been fortunate enough (and insanely talented) to find jobs at advertising firms in Memphis, TN and made a leap of faith move to Texas where he met me and fell wildly in love. :) Can you blame him? He worked as a designer of baseball caps and now works as a graphic artist for Alcon Laboratories where he's been since 2003. He has more talent in his pinky finger than I do in my entire body. He can draw, paint, and do just about anything with graphics. It comes in so handy having a such a talented husband.
Campbell AKA Campbelloni: Meet your typical second child...doesn't really care about your rules because he's the boss and going to do what he wants to do. If he disappoints you? Oh well, you'll get over it. His greatest accomplishments: Knowing that he can almost get out of anything because he's so stinkin' cute and usually makes us laugh 80% of the time when he's in trouble...unless he's past the point of no return with mama. He absolutely loves horses, everything about them. He has an amazing memory and can retell a book almost word for word without even knowing how to read and he's our little comedian.
Landry: Our sweet precious baby girl. I love this little muffin. I had always dreamed of having two boys and a girl and can't believe I'm blessed enough to have it be true. She's been such an amazing baby and is the most laid back of all our children so far...guess you have to be when you're third in line. She is a happy, smiley baby and loves to snuggle. We're still figuring out her personality but so far we're so in love and she just keeps getting cuter and happier every day.
Our Family Story
I met Justin back in 1999 when we were both working with the youth group at our church. I asked him out and we joke that I'd still be waiting for him to ask me out if we left it up to him. We got married in July 2002. We bought a house and everything was working out according to our plan. You see, I'm a planner and things are supposed to go my way. Then God steps in when you think you've got everything so figured out.
Next on my plan was to have babies. We were pregnant after trying the first month. Wow! This plan was really working out great. We were so thrilled and started planning right away because that's what I do best...plan!
Six weeks in, we miscarried. It was devastating in more ways that one. "It's ok," we said through our tears, "We'll try again." Two months later, pregnant. Ok, we're back on track.
Another miscarriage. None of this was fair and none of it made any sense. Ok God, really? Do you know what you're doing because it really doesn't seem like it.
Then, NOT according to plan we were pregnant again very quickly. Feelings of elation were overshadowed with, "Well I hope this works."
And it did.
And then it all made sense.
Fast forward to November 2010 and I found out that I was pregnant again. It was all perfect timing again and I was due in the summer which worked out perfectly with being a teacher.
Days later I started miscarrying but soon discovered that it was a tubal pregnancy. I waited to miscarry for a month, all the while being pregnant, but not really. It was a difficult time. Finally, we decided to see a fertility specialist after now having our third miscarriage. In the days leading up to my appointment I was filling out paperwork that asked a lot of medical history, last menstrual cycle, etc.
You guess it, two days before my appointment to see the specialist we discovered we were pregnant again. After seeing the doctor, it was discovered that I have two conditions called MTHFR where my body doesn't absorb folic acid (which is essential to prevent birth defects) and my antiphospholipid antibodies were borderline (which cause blood clots) so I was put on blood thinners for my entire pregnancy with Landry.
It's been a long road to have our precious children but there is no doubt that God had a bigger dream than I did and knew exactly what dream I had in my heart. So all the heartache has been worth it because this family I have now is exactly what happened when I wished upon a star.