Saturday, February 16, 2013

how we grew from 4 to 5.

There you have it, the last photo of our family of four, before our McKenna was born!  We were so ready to meet our new baby girl!  I remember my biggest fear was how I was going to manage all three children, especially in the early days - getting them loaded into the van, getting them dressed, feeding them, getting them to sleep, making enough mommy time for each of them, showing them each how much I love them and how important they are to me.  I knew Elyssa would be my nurturing helper, by nature she was that way, but I wanted to make sure she was playing and having fun too.  I knew little Jackson might have the hardest time, suddenly forced to become a little more independent and having to share my attention with a baby.  I didn't want him to get lost in the mix.  And although I had my worries, I knew these two kids, with their loving, sweet, and caring personalities, would also be excited to meet their little baby sister.  I was a mom though, and so I worried about these things.  Two is such an even number, but three?  Three means someone gets kicked to the back of the van.  Three means someone sleeps in a downstairs bedroom.  Three means someone doesn't get to ride in the grocery cart. Three also means, will I ever shower again or wear something other than pajamas?  Will I ever get any sleep?  Will I ever have enough energy?  

But then your third sweet, little baby is born.  And you realize it all doesn't matter.  It will all get done, as it always has.  All that matters is that your little ones are healthy and loved and well, yours.


And our little McKenna was loved from the very start.  And somehow, as if by magic {because I remember being a walking zombie most of the time}, life went on.  We all woke up and managed to get dressed and fed and bathed and loaded into the van {Elyssa happily in the back}, and off to school for all or part of the day.  We managed to get to Girl Scout meetings and indoor soccer practices and to the grocery store.  Life went on.  And it was fun.


We even managed to get our nap times in...

McKenna added so much to our family.  She was happy and content and eager to watch and do what her older siblings were doing.  She was a forward thinker, always working toward that next step.  She had no fear, which was actually perfect for her older brother, who was apprehensive about most things. For example, that darn tunnel slide at McDonald's.  Jackson would never go down on his own.  He didn't trust that he would come out safely on the other end.  But one day his little sister decided to go down it, fearlessly.  I don't think she gave it a moment's thought, as we watched her.  And that Jackson, he had to go down right after her - to save and protect her.  He learned it was okay.  That was their young relationship in a nutshell.  McKenna doing things daringly and Jackson doing those things to protect her.  It was lovely, really, with big sister Elyssa watching over them all.

There was a short time, after McKenna was first born, that I remember telling people that "if you can do two, you can totally do three."  I don't know, maybe I was on a roll.  Looking back, I don't think two is anything like three.  Some people might actually find three children to be a little bit more of a challenge.  But three is for me.  It's hectic and zany and busy at times, but boy is it wonderful.  Sometimes the moods are contrasting and bad days do happen, but when it's good - it's the best thing ever.  McKenna came into our lives and added a splash of sass.  She's the kid who can do anything.  And I think that's partly accredited to an older sister and brother who showed her the ropes.  When she was two, she wanted to whistle so she blew and blew for weeks on end until she could whistle.  When she was three, she wanted to cartwheel, so she stumbled and fell and tried until she could finally do a cartwheel.  She just doesn't give up, even now.  But as tough as she is, she is just as cuddly.  Even at 11 years old, she's not too big to wrap arms and feet with on the couch.

I rather like our party of five.  We've been through so much, but have been blessed with such rich lives, in the ways that really matter.  I feel like we've all been growing up together.  I was certainly still growing up {still am growing up}.  I feel like I was so young when I began this journey.  I learn from these kids everyday, probably more than they'll ever learn from me.  Whatever the future holds for us, as we continue to grow up so fast {why does it have to go so fast?}, I will treasure all of these times we shared and all the joy and humor these people bring to my life everyday.

I am truly blessed with a loving husband and three amazing children.


  1. I have enjoyed reading the story of your family. You told it beautifully, thanks for sharing, I really enjoy checking in with you daily.


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