Hey guys 🙂 It’s been a while since I last posted, so thought it was time for an update! As most of you learned via IG or FB, in early December, Doug and I got a nice little surprise when we learned that I was preggers. When we initially learned the news, it kind of went unspoken, mainly because we were too busy to talk about it and also… because we really were surprised. I like to say Doug was in serious denial. How did we go from 2-5 in 1 month?! We always talked about having at least 1 or 2 more (let’s be honest… I always wanted 5 or 6), but when all of this happened we decided we should wait a while, get adjusted, and decide when and if the time was right. Well… God had other plans. And I’m thinking Shannon had something to do with it, too. Like “Puff! Don’t change your plans just for me, silly. I know you’re not that selfless!” HA! Also, the guy I dated for a million years before I met Doug had 7 siblings. I LOVED being over there. I even went to hang out when he wasn’t there. I still love his siblings. My mom has 5 sisters, my dad has 3 siblings, and I always wished I had more. Thank God for Janet and all of my “sister” friends! I am so excited to give that life to my kids. I asked my mom the minute I told her “Are you more worried for YOU or ME?” She laughed and said… “Me I think!” — she was (kind of) kidding. Really everyone is SO excited for us! And now that I am not puking and feeling I need a 3 hour nap every day, I am excited, too.
We plan on NOT finding out the sex of the baby this time around. I still can’t believe it, but I was talking to my friend Carrie one day and she was like, ‘yeah I mean we found out with #1, but we didn’t with #2, and it was really the coolest thing in the world. I wish you would consider it!” And then I did consider it. My dad never wants to know, but always ends up finding out. And we decided… we have each sex already. We are going to be extremely busy leading up to the baby’s arrival, and there is really no reason to find out since the little peanut will live in our room for a few months anyway. I also think Doug thinks less money will be spent in total if I don’t know whether to buy bows or bow ties in advance. I fully intend on letting him believe this for the remainder of my pregnancy. Then we will be too sleep deprived for him to notice what I order off of Etsy and Instagram websites during late night feedings. Brilliant.
Connor wants a girl because he adores his Maddie-cakes SOOO much he wants a clone of her. Danny also wants a girl, but he informed me this week that his feelings will NOT be hurt if we have a boy as long as we name him James or Noah. He also said it would be pretty cool if it WAS a boy because then Maddie would always be really protected. Ryan says he wants a brother and he wants to name him Jackson. He said if it is a girl, he still wants to name her Jackson. I am not even sure of a Jackson that he knows, but OK, Ryan. I think Alli wants it to be a boy, because she loves sharing the “girl bond” with Maddie. I imagine Nick & Jake don’t care either way, but they were both SUPER cute when they learned the news. They are (almost) 17 and 15. HOW did that happen!? Doug and I really don’t care either way. I just think it is another blessing from God and the fact that I am due 2 weeks after the one year anniversary of losing my best friend is her way of sending her love to all of us. In any case, it will be a welcomed distraction.
All of the kids are doing really well. The boys are SO busy with school, basketball, lacrosse and soon to be baseball that any spare time they have seems to be spent with friends or wrestling with each other/driving us bloody mad. (I might forget to mention that we have amazing Brits living with us at the moment, but you may pick up on it as I have changed the way I speak and live my life as a result of their rubbing off on me). They are doing extremely well with counseling… making a lot of progress. They both have their days. They both have their moments. But overall, they are doing really well. Better than any of us ever expected. Connor is already planning his MAY birthday party, and Danny makes me laugh constantly. He also makes me really dizzy with all of the cart wheeling and flipping he does around the house. But I wouldn’t change a thing. Last night I got on them BIG time because they were completely taking advantage of Uncle Doug being out of town and causing a riot at 10:45. They told me they have never seen me act more like mommy. I told them I take that as a compliment 😉
The littles are also doing great. I can’t imagine them growing up any other way than being toted to ball games, running out on the court during time outs, and being a part of my great big amazing family. They go to Peter Panda School 3 days a week, and absolutely love it! I can’t wait until the weather gets nicer so they can experience an Indiana Spring, and a Summer living at mom mom and pop pops pool, the Children’s Museum, Holliday Park & beyond. We all have a lot to look forward to and for that, I am thankful 🙂
Doug proves to me on a daily basis that he was born to be the man he is to me, my family, and our family. He is a one of a kind, hard to STAY mad at, sweet, caring, unconditionally loving person with intentions only to better our lives. I am one blessed woman to be married to such a driven & kind hearted person. I am excited for him to start a new job on Monday, and couldn’t be more proud of him. I know it was a tough decision, but I feel that he is also being guided by Shannon, too 🙂 I am so lucky to have him in my life.
I know the post is long, but I wanted to share one more thing. Today at counseling my counselor told me she wanted me to paint 3 pictures. 1 picture of what my life was like before Shannon died, during, and after. You can see my “paintings” below. We are going to talk about them next time, but I told her I would journal or blog to get my thoughts mapped out. Before Shannon died, I considered myself to be one of the luckiest, most blessed people in the world. A lot of that could be attributed to the fact that I had her in my life. She was my morning, noon and night texting partner. The first person I called if I needed to vent. The person I laughed with the hardest, joked around with the most, and learned the greatest lessons from. During….. that week specifically… I felt hopeless. I felt lost, like a part of me was missing. I didn’t think I would ever live wholly again. I didn’t think that I would be able to get out of bed or put one foot in front of the other or raise my kids or be ME, any day for the rest of my life. I was wrong. I was really wrong. After…. and today…. I feel so full of hope. My heart will always be broken. But it is so full of love all at the same time. I know that everything happens for a reason and though I may not ever learn why this happened, I have learned to fully accept it and make the best of the life that is a result of her passing. I have never been able to look at the bright side as easily. I have never been able to SEE the good as clearly, and recognize the bad. I know that she is not physically here with me, but I can feel her spirit each and every day. It is now and how I will always explain how I am doing as well as I am doing.
I also wanted to make a shout out to all of you who continue to pray for us, feed us, spoil us and think about us. We couldn’t do it without you all. We love you so much!