|Scott holding Cody on October 14, 1993/Cody's Birth Day:)|
|Home from the hospital...he had so much hair!!!|
|Cody's first day of Kindergarten 1999|
|Cody's first day of Kindergarten 1999|
|Cody's last first day of grade school/2011|
So last week Scott and I celebrated our 20th anniversary and this week I sent Cody off for his last first day of grade school...where have the years gone?? I remember people telling me when my kids were little to enjoy the years because before I knew it, the boys would be grown up. I would think to myself, yea right...some days seemed like they would never end!! I now know exactly what they meant and it's so true!! It seems like just yesterday that I held Cody Bear (that's what we used to call him...can't do that anymore:) in my arms for the first time and cried tears of joy...not realizing how much this little baby boy would change my life forever...he stole this mommas heart from the moment I laid eyes on him...
I'll never forget the day I found out I was expecting Cody...it was a surprise to say the least!! I was only 20 years old and wasn't at all ready to have a baby!! Besides the fact the I was still in college working toward a degree, Scott and I had just been married a little over a year and were still trying to figure out this whole marriage thing and how to make it work. It was very overwhelming to say the least!! We were living in a one bedroom apartment in Houston, TX....Scott was a youth pastor making very little money....and I was working a little part time and going to school. How in the world were we going to be able to afford a baby???
I don't think Scott and I ever had a big discussion as to whether I would work or stay home...Besides the fact that daycare would have been expensive, I knew I didn't want to leave my baby with someone else....and Scott felt the same way. We didn't know how we were going to make it work, but we decided it was worth it. I can honestly say today that being a stay at home mom was one of the best decisions I ever made!! I wouldn't take back my time at home with my boys for anything....it has been so rewarding!!
I took a year off after having Cody and then went back to college. I remember taking the earliest classes possible so that Scott could watch Cody and we would only have a little overlap time with him at the sitter. I worked hard and graduated when I was 8 months pregnant with Zachary. Then when the boys started school I would work little part time jobs for some extra money, but I was almost always the one to pick them up from school and loved being involved in their classrooms!! As the boys got older, I loved that they would have friends over and I always wanted our home to be a place where they and their friends felt comfortable. One of the main things we've always looked for in buying homes is whether or not it was a good home for entertaining the boys and their friends....I wanted them to want to be home and not always want to be somewhere else like I did growing up:) Now that they are 15 and almost 18, my grocery bill is huge...not just because of what my boys eat, but because of feeding all their friends too:)...the basement, where their rooms are, is almost always a tornado zone and requires many odor eater plug ins:)...and I constantly have to remind them to clean up their messes in the kitchen....but, for the most part, I love it!! I know that, soon enough, they will be gone and I'll miss the days they were around (my house will just stay cleaner:). I'm going to soak it all in while I can!
I do work now, but I have my own business which I love!! It allows me the time freedom and flexibility to work when I want and design my own schedule, yet have my own identity outside of being Cody and Zach's mom and Scott's wife. I always said when my kids were out of the house and didn't need me at home, I would get a "real" job that pays "real" money, but now I know that I can have both with what I do and I'm so thankful!!! I am excited that I can travel anytime I want and go see Cody play soccer in college (if he decides to play:) and not have to ask anyone for time off. I think what I've realized is that just because the boys will be out of the house someday doesn't mean I want to, or have to, be tied down. I like being my own boss (just ask my husband:) and the opportunity it brings to help other people!! But most of all, I love that I can work my job around my family in such a way that I still have the opportunity to speak into my boys lives and watch them grow into amazing young men!!
So in my countdown to 40, the fourth thing that I've learned from the past is that time really does fly by so I want to soak it all in and not wish it away!! I know I've not always appreciated the time I had staying home with my boys...in fact there were days when they were little I seriously wished I worked outside the home because they were driving me crazy...but I'm so glad that 18 years ago, Scott and I decided that making it work on his pastor's salary alone was worth it:) Because of our decision, we may not have our retirement built up to where it could have been....we may not have as big of a savings account as we would have liked....we may not have been able to go on big fancy vacations whenever we wanted or had a lot of disposable income while the kids were little....BUT I have never regretted the decision to make being a mom my #1 job! I can't get back yesterday and tomorrow will be gone before I know it so I'm going to enjoy each day as it comes. It seems like yesterday I was holding Cody in my arms in the hospital, then I blinked a few times, and now he's a senior in high school. Thank you God for motherhood!! I love (almost) every minute of it!! :-)