Since my husband and I got married, I can't count how many times we've been asked, "So when are you going to have kids?" Guess a double digit number, times it by ten and maybe you'll be in the ball park. I get it, I've asked my newly wed friends this exact question hundreds of times. I couldn't wait to have another bouncing baby around for me to 'ooohh and ahhhh' over. Quite frankly, if you would have asked me that exact question a few years ago, I would have eagerly replied that I wanted kids within the first year of marriage. That's what people do, right? We date, fall in love, get engaged, tie the knot and pop out babies. Don't worry family and friends, we absolutely have every intention of following this pattern, we just need a little more time. We both adore children and are genuinely excited for that chapter in our lives but we are simply enjoying our time together as newlyweds. We are settling into our new apartment, starting new jobs, have a house to sell back in MT and have moved the opposite direction of our family and friends. Besides, how do you have a new baby when you don't have grandmas, grandpas, aunties, uncles and friends nearby?!? You need someone to show off his charming toothless grin to or her cute, excited squeal. And what about that supportive friend that will listen for hours and won't be scared off by stories of poopy diapers, spit up, feeding times, sleepless nights, etc. The time will come and we will know when we are 'ready.' But for now, we need to get out, explore, try new things and meet new people. Beyond all the obvious reasons, I am constantly learning new things about myself... my passions,my weaknesses, my strengths, my faults and what in the world I want to do with my life. I feel I have a few more years of self exploring to do and want to grow with my husband before we introduce a sweet child into our lives. In this way, we will be (slightly) better prepared to enjoy every single second, the good and the bad, together.
For now, I will enjoy learning from friends, family and endless episodes of 'Parenthood' and 'Super Nanny." Oh and have I mentioned I have the privilege of being an auntie?!? You see, being an auntie is the next best thing to parenthood. You love these little munchkins more than anything in the world, but you can spoil them rotten, feed them chocolate before bed, laugh when they throw temper tantrums and hand them to their mother as you head home for an uninterrupted night of sleep. All jokes aside, I truly cherish every moment that I'm with them. From the second my nephew entered this world, I knew he would hold a particularly special spot in my heart. After spending many weekends visiting them in the Billings NICU and having them in Bozeman for a short time, I was positive he would have me wrapped around his little finger...forever. Two years later came my precious niece and I wouldn't get to meet her until our wedding. By then she was almost two months old, I felt like I had missed so much. It broke my heart when I thought about how long it had been since our wedding, I decided seven months was far too long. I saved up some money to buy a plane ticket to surprise them for my nephew's 3rd birthday. I would fly out Tuesday and return Saturday. Once I booked the flight, it took everything in me to keep from spilling the beans to my sister.
My alarm rang at 3:45 that Tuesday morning. I crept out of bed to finish packing and a few hours later my hubby was dropping me off at the airport. I was almost bursting at the seams with excitement! Lucky for me, I remembered my Mama was just getting off of work. I hit 'M' on my speed dial and we chatted while I sat sipping my soy latte. My planes were all on time despite the snowstorms and I arrived promptly at 1:35 pm. I took a shuttle to meet my Dad at his hotel room, where he filled me in that my sister was on her way with the kids. When they arrived, her look was priceless! I knelt down, extended my arms and my nephew ran right in for a big squeeze....it was the best. hug. ever. Then I set my eyes on the sweetest little cherub face I had ever seen....only for her to look at me, start crying and cling to her Mama. She wasn't going to let anyone pass her off to that strange lady. Fortunately for me, she came around rather quickly but only after a little baby talking, tickling and funny faces.
Time to be one of the kids. In no time I was running around the room, chasing, tickling and taking endless photos of two of the cutest kids around. We went swimming, played arcade games, went out to eat and on Thursday my mom and my brother joined in on the fun. That evening we had a small, family birthday party at my sister's apartment. Andre' ripped through his presents, let out a few excited squeals, bounced around as fast as usual, challenging auntie and grandma to capture a decent photo. Sooner or later, one of us would shout, "I got a good one" and we would all gather around to confirm. Did I mention that three year old boys have boundless energy...they just go, go, go! We ordered in pizza and shortly after it was time for cake and ice cream. As we were posing it in front of the birthday boy, a mischievous smirk crept across his face. He took a quick look around, bent down and took a big, sugary bite of red frosting. He let out a long, "MMMmmm," seemingly pleased with his first bite. Of course, we all chuckled which made him go in for another taste during his birthday serenade. Lots of fun and full bellies made for an early night.
Friday evening, my aunt invited us all over to her house. Where she spoiled us with hummus, pita chips, veggies, shrimp, girl scout cookies and a little wine. Within the first few minutes, I was playing 'Guess Who,' followed by a High School Musical card game, coloring, beauty salon (of course I was the victim, ahem, I mean customer), covered in glitter, being scolded on the 'Time Out' bench, giving Super Man rides and absolutely loving every second of it! My mom's side is a large family and most of them live in SD so I usually only get to hang out with everyone at our annual family reunions. I love that we have kept them up year after year and look forward to the time we get to spend with everyone. However, with so many people in one spot, for only a few nights, it's hard to get conversations in with everyone. Therefore, this night with my aunt and cousins was a special treat. I can't wait to see everyone at the end of July!
Saturday, was more like 'Sadday' for me. I woke up that morning feeling a bit heavy as I've never been any good at goodbyes. Who decided to call them "good" byes anyway? After my brother and I were all packed, my sister came to pick us up. I gave my dad a long bear hug and felt my throat tighten and the tears start to swell. I made it out of the room but as soon as we started driving away, I couldn't hold them back. They were streaming down my cheeks continuously, like the rain drops out my window on a rainy Seattle day. I have always been the crier in my family...today at 25, I'm just like that little girl looking out the car window, tears streaming down her face as we left Grandma and Grandpa's farm. My sister was driving and looked in her rear view mirror, "Awwweee, stop it or your going to make me cry." I sniffled the whole way to her apartment, where we met my mom and the kiddos. We all hung out for a bit before it was time to get some lunch. My mom's boyfriend treated us before giving me a ride to the airport. When it was my time to head through security, we all exchanged big hugs and again I was fighting back the tears. I don't like having to say goodbye to my family when I know it will be another 6 months before I see them again. It's a tough reminder that I'm getting older and the visits are becoming far less frequent. Now, instead of 500 miles apart, we are approximately a 1200 mile drive or a $400-$500 plane ticket apart. These pictures and the many phone calls, e-mails, texts and Facebooking will have to hold me over until then. To my family, I love you guys very much and cherish the moments we have together. Until next time, I'll be dreaming of July....
|Cuddling w/ Papa|
|I luckily caught a natural smile|
|This is what you get when you say, "Cheese" :)|
|Quite the hair do|
|Dogpile on Auntie|