introduction

Some of you know me well, some of you know a few things about me & some of you know hardly anything about me. I'd guess that the majority of you are in the latter category. My blog has become more a part of my life than I ever thought it would. It has become my almost daily outlet for documenting our family life, a savored spot for distant family, a place where friendships have bloomed & a source of my personal growth. For all of this I am so blessed and so thankful. I know some of you have been here since the early beginnings, and a few came along around the time the girls were born, then there are those who have joined us these last 2 years. With that I thought this would be a great time for an introduction of sorts. {grin}

I was born in the South in the early 80's to 2 amazing people. Sadly, my parents separated when I was 3 and I moved to the midwest with my Mother. My ever-devoted Father thankfully followed soon after. My Mother remarried when I was five to another amazing man. After 6 1/2 years of being an only child my 1st brother was born, exactly 2 years later my 2nd brother was born. I was raised in a wonderful, loving, Christ centered home. I went to public school, sang in the choir, took ballet, jazz & gymnastic's lessons & loved school for the social side. I wore bell bottoms, leather motorcycle jacket {that I still have} Birkenstocks and later platforms. I straighted my hair & never wore it curly until my sophomore year. I drove a tiny red manual sports car with tinted windows & an awesome stereo system. We ate what I would call the S.A.D {standard american diet}. I remember eating fish sticks & tater tots, lucky charms, Campbell soups, frozen pizza, pop-tarts, bagels & cream cheese, ice cream, ect. I'm sure you get the idea. We didn't just eat junk, my parents served veggies at most meals & generally tried to serve a balanced diet. I had a TV in my room and my own phone line. I remember using the phone a lot more than the TV. {grin} Overall I had a wonderful childhood and was surrounded by an ever-loving family.

I met my husband when I was 14, he had just transfered from a private school after years of begging his parents for the opportunity to attend public school. He drove a black dodge ram and raced dirt bikes. It was love at first sight. {grin} We dated for 6 months before his family moved to the south. 6 months later my family moved east. We were still dating long distance, off and on, mostly on. My senior year my future husband left the south to come live near me. I graduated highschool early. I was an intern for a bridal gown designer, I wanted to go to collage to be a fashion designer. God had other plans and I am incredibly thankful for that.

My husband and I were married 6 weeks after I turned 18, shortly before turning 19 our first son {Grayson} was born, 2 months after turning 19 we bought our first home which was the home we sadly left last spring. The day after I turned 20 our 2nd son {Vance} was born, 2 weeks after turning 22 our 3rd son {Gavin} was born. I had 2 miscarriages in between Gavin and Ozzie... one at 15 weeks and one at 5 weeks. 10 months after my last miscarriage our 4th son {Ozzie} was born. We were unsure if we were done having children or not but felt a very strong desire that we were not done shortly before becoming pregnant with the twins. I was 26 when our twin girls {Eliza & Nolia} were born.

Looking back I have changed dramatically as a young mother to now. We were young parents, young marriage, young home owners, my husband was a young well paid IT professional and we felt we had a lot to prove. I read books on babies, marriage, homemaking & nutrition after a near cancer scare. I tried to do it all and do it all perfectly. We continued to add to our family, my husband continued to pursue his career and we kept on striving for the ideal life. We had 3 children in just over 3 years. Our home was almost always spotless, I attended 2 mom's group and was the assistant leader to the local MOPS group, my husband worked 80-120 hours a week, the boys took karate classes, I took yoga at the local arts center, we had money to live a very comfortable life and all seemed fine. But it was just that. Fine. We were living the American dream and felt happy but somewhere along the way we hit a wall.

My husband was working too much, I was trying to be too much, do too much, prove too much, we thought we needed too much and our easy life started to feel much harder. Around this time my husband made a job change, which at the time looked like a step up, moving further from just another big corporation to something that would really become a fulfilling job. From one step to another my husband continued to climb the ladder, 2 rungs up, 1 rung down. For the first time we had trouble adding to our family, which only made things feel harder. We pressed on, because that was the life we wanted. Or so we thought we wanted.

After our 4th son was born times became tough. I needed my husband home more. He needed me to stop trying to do it all and focus on him more. I needed him to focus on us more. We both became bitter at each other for doing what we thought was 'the best for our family'. He had a career to keep up, I had 4 young children to take care of, a house to keep immaculate and a busy life to live. We needed each other more than ever but our well intended choices were keeping us apart. It was a cycle that just kept on going until it broke. Looking back I guess it was just the beginning of the brokenness that would follow.

My husband left his unsatisfying, overworked, underpaid job for similar job that required fewer hours and less stress. It seemed like a great move. I took a serious look at myself and the mother and wife I had become. I was a wonderful mom, a loving wife & a great homemaker. Unfortunately I had never let go of that pressure that I had put on myself as a young mom that had to prove herself. And until that moment, I didn't even realize that was my driving force. Needless to say my husband and I had a lot of "ahhhh" moments discovering where our choices and actions were leading us and where our true priorities laid. We started slowing our life down, refocusing & finding true joy again.

Our life seemed to be gliding right back on track, with much ease & satisfaction. My husband made another job change. One that promised to be for the long haul, leadership in a company with a firm foundation & a job that would be fulfilling financially and mentally. We decided to continue to add to our family and sure enough, we soon discovered we were pregnant with twins. Life was lovely. After the rough road we had just passed we felt for sure things were going to be smooth for a while. A great job, a rejuvenated marriage, 4 amazing sons & twins on the way. Little did we know what God had in store for us.....


23 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing. I'm still in awe about you guys having all those wonderful, beautiful children where I only have the one but we're the same age. O_o

    I've been following you for 2 or 3 years now (wow..time flies)... hoping for many more lovely posts. :D

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  2. sixcrazychildren2/4/11, 4:56 AM

    and......... I've been reading your blog long enough to know you aren't done telling this story......

    You've written it beautifully. You do an amazing job. I don't understand the self pressure as a young mother but maybe that's because I feel like that as an older one.
    "I must have energy....I must be on time, I must be healthy"... so maybe I get it a little. Did you feel people were judging you both because you started out as a family so young?

    Your posts always make me smile. Thanks XX

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  3. What a wonderful transparent post...one that will be a testament to your children someday.

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  4. Thanks so much for your honesty.

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  5. No! You can't stop now! =)
    I've been following you for around a year now. I just Love your blog!
    Thanks for sharing your story....I'll be looking forward to the rest.

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  6. Caseybumpinalong2/4/11, 7:30 AM

    Wow, great story, great writing. I've been following your blog for about 2 years now - yours was one of the first blogs I found when I first started blogging (thru your photo meme) - have loved it ever since. LOVE your photography and your love for life and your kids even through the rough times. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  7. And P.S. I totally get it about the pressure (SELF-pressure) - I've been a stay-at-home mom since the beginning, but felt compelled to do it all - served on the boards for MOMS Club, our homeschooling group, ran their websites, newsletters, started our homeschool music program, etc.,etc. and then all the sudden my health was affected by all the stress (go figure). So I am now returning to my REAL job of just taking care of my family and home, and wow, what a great life. I was so proud of myself for shunning the world and being a stay-at-home mom, but I wasn't really staying home (or present) for my family. Thankfully God showed me that His plan was better. :) Anyway, nice to know I wasn't alone, and glad things turned around for you, too.

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  8. Thank you for this post! I have been reading you for a long time now but so much of this was new info to me. What an amazing story you have.
    I can imagine that pressure to prove yourself to all the doubters out there is immense when you are a young married couple with children. I have a feeling I would have felt much the same way if I were in your shoes. Amazing that you were both so wise to recognize it. God certainly has been working in your life.

    God bless!

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  9. Kristin @ Blue Skies2/4/11, 7:53 AM

    I loved reading your story! I read your blog when you first had the twins and then somehow lost the link. I found you again a few months ago and I'ved loved reading again. I would love to know about your big move and how all that came about!

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  10. I really enjoyed reading that post...I forgot where I was for the moment! Can't wait for the next part!

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  11. love the story so far!! i've been reading since before you announced your pregnancy with the twins! it has been so neat watching your life change so drastically in the last 3 years.

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  12. I love this story so far! I can't wait to read the rest :)

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  13. We've been following you for a couple of year. Really liked reading your story and can't wait for the next part! I admire your gumption. Wish you the best.

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  14. I have been following your blog (life) for a few years now. Way before the girls were born I think. I love seeing all your kids grow up. Your photography is priceless!

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  15. I started following your blog when you girls were babies... before the big move... Love your blog!!! We both are young mothers, so happy we both knew what we wanted and succeeded!!

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  16. I just wanted to say thank you for this post.

    Life is hard, marriage is trying and it's reassuring to know that we are not alone. You are an incredible person and do so much for your family.

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  17. I can't tell you how much.....I love your blog and your photographs...This post especially has touched me.....I am much older than you and my children are no longer babies.....when I read about your life I remember what it was like to have small children... I always thought I would live the kind of life you have chosen and to some extent I did.....I love you and your family's grace and eloquence...thank you for sharing

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  18. i can relate on so many levels. the upbringing (not so much the split parents… or a Christian home… but the happy stability overall). the lucky charms. campbell soup. life in the midwest.
    you and your husband are journeying well. the day to day struggles and raising a family and making a living and learning how to LIVE WELL while multitasking and nurturing… it is exhausting. add in clean laundry, wrangled dust bunnies and healthily filled tummies… all while remaining focused and genuine. i seriously don't know when you sleep. love how you share life, see the world around you, shape little hearts and minds.
    thanks for your transparency. and if it wasn't so dang frozen where you live, i wouldn't mind being your next door neighbor for a minute. i'd bake cookies and invite your girls over for tutu tea parties and build a wiffle ball field at my house and have your boys over to play with mine. nevermind mine is in college. but he's a huge fan of wiffle ball and kids.
    but all the snow? sorry. deal's off.

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  19. Thank you for the udate. I started reading about six months ago and tried to start from the start to find out more about your family. This is great...but......I got to the end and went "OOOOOOOOOOOnooooo .." Love the pic's. Your kids are beautiful and I love the fact that y ou get to live in the country on a farm.........can't wait for part 2!!

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  20. Dear Momma to Gavin, Grayson, Vance, Ozzie, Eliza, Nolia,

    I am not yet married (it is something that I definitely desire for the future) and read your blog on the daily! Photography is also a passion for me and I love the way you capture your children and the small moments that are special to you and your family! I started reading your blog around the time you got into a car accident while you were pregnant with the twins. Is it weird that I know so much about your life and you know nothing about mine?! Know that you are an encouraging source. Your outlook, honesty, and view of life remind me to appreciate those around me and the small things that God gives us to bring us joy.

    As I read your blog I see only the happiness and joy that you have for your family. I relate to the pressure to do things well and perfectly. I have learned that I need to let somethings go, but its true that it is a continual process. I don't know if it helps you to hear what I'm saying or not.

    Keep writing. Keep sharing. Keep loving your family. It is extremely evident that they love you back without measure. :)

    Abby

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  21. AdventureInBabywearing2/5/11, 9:32 AM

    This is a wonderful intro, Brittany! I love it. We are so alike in a lot of ways but so different, too, which makes for such good friendship. I hope one day our lives get moved to the same area! :)

    Steph

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  22. God bless you dear! (And he has...6 times over!). I also have twin girls, 2 boys, one passed away sadly, but I can not leave him out, and a 5 yr. old daughter, and life is crazy but I love my family.

    I wouldn't change a thing, except for my husband to be in the place that yours is now at. His job is shakey, his pay cut. He needs to get into a better, long term position that suits him, his family, and our wallets, because we are struggling big time.

    Your story is uplifting and inspiring. Through the hard times and all of the bad, will come good. It's just in God's time, not always in our own. Your children are gorgeous, and oh my those twinkies are just darling!!

    Take care. New follower here.

    Shelly

    http://www.twinpossible.com/blog

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Thank you for blessing me with your words!

Brittany