Friday, July 8, 2016

7 Years!!

It took me a while of scrolling, but I finally found the last pictures taken of Jim and me together. In the past, it wouldn't have taken long for me to find a photo of us. Partially because we hardly took any in those early years before kids, and partially because when we did, we normally had a picture of us together, doing something we loved outdoors.
However, today I had to scroll past oodles of pictures of the boys. Mostly Owen cuddling with someone or lying contentedly on the ground, Ian playing independently or with a loving family member, or one of us with one or both of our children. The number of pictures we take has increased tenfold (maybe more!) since we had our first child, but the numbers pictures of the two of us have vastly dwindled.
That's the way it is and should be in this stage of our lives.

While life has certainly changed in the last few years, and our focuses have switched from ourselves to our children, I'm blessed to be traveling this road with this man. He chooses me every morning. He's a devoted husband, father, rugger, and doctor. 

We have our struggles, but we also have a lot of laughs and joys.

This road, at times, seems endless.  One more year until training is over. We've spent six of our seven years of marriage on this path. But one thing's for certain: this man is going to be a great doctor; he already is. He's worked so hard to make our dreams a reality and to build a life for our family.

Overall, year seven has been a great year. By far the best thing that happened was the birth of our healthy baby boy, Owen David. What joy he brings into all of our lives! Watching Ian become a brother has been so sweet and we are grateful for the relative ease of this transition to being a family of four.

So here are a few stats from our seven years of marriage!
  • CHILDREN: Most importantly, our two darling boys: Ian Forrester (2.75) and Owen David (days from turning 5 months)
  • CAREERS: We've survived four years of medical school, two first years of teaching, three years of teaching, two years of residency, and almost three years of parenthood.
  • MOVES: We've moved four times in two states. Once to Louisiana and three times around Blacksburg.
  • PETS: We bid farewell to Jim's childhood dog, adopted one that was dangerous and had to give him back, and adopted our sweet Leifster. We got chickens and rabbits in the last year or so.
  • CARS: Four cars. The trusty Subaru from my uncle John & aunt Beth (that we shared for two years of marriage as our only car), the Passat (purchased from Judy and sold last summer), the focus (purchased from our friend Mike), and the CRV.
  • HEALTH: One health scare for me, but completely healed. Three hospital stays total, two of them for birthing our sons!
  • FAREWELLS: We bid goodbye to both of Jim's paternal grandparents (Grampy aka Red & Grammy aka Lois) and my paternal grandparents (Grandpa aka Walter & Grandma aka Marian), and my uncle John.
  • ADVENTURES: Lots of hikes, bikes, canoe & kayak rides, climbs, road trips, camping stays, flights, trains, and visits in Louisiana, Alaska, Maine, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, New Jersey, New York & NYC, Switzerland & Germany. Most adventures in year seven were nearby or at The Pinery since we had many stay-cations during the pregnancy and post-baby :)
  • PASSIONS: adventuring, traveling, gardening, cooking, woodworking, rugby, reading, homesteading, MOPS, music/singing, and enriching the lives of our children.
Our lives right now are spent doing a lot of cuddling, explaining, encouraging, apologizing, disciplining, laughing, and starting again. At the end of the day, I'm grateful to have Jim's love, support, wisdom (yes, I said it) and encouragement. He sees me at my absolute worst and still somehow loves me. That's cause for celebration. 

I love this picture. It's a true window into our current stage. Coffee helping us start the day, cuddles on the couch, a toddler and baby who assume that our space is theirs, and a whole lot of love.

Happy 7th Anniversary, Jimbo!

Thanks for loving me through thick and thin.
Thanks for these darling boys & this life we're carving together. 
Home is wherever I'm with you.
I love you.

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