I was born and raised in this beautiful city of Birmingham. Although I have not spent all my 36 years living here, I truly believe the time I spent away helped me realize just how much I love Birmingham.
I married my high school sweetheart when I was twenty: just before I received my BSN from Auburn University. We spent four years after graduation living and working in Berkeley, California. That was a lifetime ago–and a beautiful blog post in itself–but that will come another day.
We came back home because Birmingham was the only place where we wanted to raise our children. Clara, our oldest, set that desire in our hearts the minute she came out kicking and screaming into this world. We’ve never regretted bringing her back!
I love this city. It is beautiful. We can easily move from city life to suburban life to farm life in a single day. It has abundant resources for homeschooling, public schooling, private schooling, or a hybrid if you choose! There are churches, restaurants, state parks, and a zoo by a beautiful botanical garden. There are parks where other mothers join with you to laugh, cry, advise, and cheer you through the ups and downs of motherhood. And there’s no place I’d rather be.
Mark Twain wrote, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Clara, my beautiful eleven-year-old daughter, is the one who made me a mom. At 25 years old, I had big career plans. I was working in an ICU and gearing up to go to graduate school.
As I held this tiny breathing light in my arms, I wept. All my plans changed the minute she was born. I am forever grateful for the beauty, thoughtfulness, and book reading she has brought me in life. She has two younger brothers. Joseph is eight. He is my creative sensitive soul, and the one who reminds me to be kind and grace-giving. Samp is five, and he is my wild child. He is forever keeping me laughing and on my toes.
These three crazy, tiny humans keep me busy. They fill my days with fun, laughter, and tears. There are big moments where I feel like I am the luckiest person in the world. Then there are moments where I feel like I am being punished for something I did wrong in my past. Nothing in this world can make you feel more amazing, more terrified, more joyful, and more sad than being a parent. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I am sure you can relate. Motherhood is challenging, and I am so very excited to share it with you!
So why am I excited to be a contributor? I’ll be honest, I am more nervous than excited right now! I am not a writer. I have erased, spell-checked, made up words, and read this out loud over one hundred times!
But here’s the thing: how many of you were given that big manual in the hospital that told you exactly what to do to raise your children? You know: beautiful, healthy, well-adjusted members of society that will live a long, happy, healthy lives? No one? Yeah, me neither.
I cried my eyes out and begged the nurse to let me stay at the hospital just one more day. I had no clue how to do anything at all, and I was terrified! That’s why I’m here. I want other mothers to know they are not alone. There is no such thing as a perfect mom no matter how hard someone else might try to convince you that they are.
I am excited to share my failures, my mom hacks, and my tips and tricks that I’ve learned over the past eleven years. I intend to be very vulnerable in letting you know you are not alone.
We all cry in the laundry room and eat candy bars alone in the pantry, and we all love our kids more than anything else in the world. We just want to do the best for them. I feel like my perspective is unique because I have worked full-time, part-time, and not at all. Right now I work part-time as a fitness instructor, and I love my job.
I have homeschooled, co-oped, and private schooled my kids. Right now I have one at home, one in a co-op, and one in private school. I have nursed and bottle-fed, cloth diapered and disposable diapered. I am a road and trail runner, a camper, a gardener, a candy addict, and a hater of all things laundry. Do-it-yourself home projects are fun, but sometimes I don’t follow instructions–okay, I never do! And I love a house full of joyful children. I can’t wait to begin sharing this journey with you!