Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Know Stephanie Better

Write about something - or someone - that defines you.

This one's not hard! My children define me.

As you know, if you've followed my blog for any length of time, that I've gotten very into running and maintaining a healthy lifestyle lately. I've worked for a great company for going on four years now. I try to keep a clean house, and my social life is extremely unexciting.

But you also know that three years ago, my husband and I conceived a little life. We knew - thanks to every single person with whom we spoke about our pregnancy - that "our lives would be changed forever." But we didn't begin to realize how. Our lives were so enhanced and brightened that we decided to conceive another little life ten months later.

So, after two of the most awesome experiences of my life on November 19th, 2009, and June 24th, 2011, Matt and I were the parents of two precious little boys. Sometimes I still look at my life, and I'm like, "Wow!" There was a period in my life - my teenage years through my early twenties - that I had no interest in marriage, let alone children. I couldn't see myself rocking a baby, being up at 6 am on Saturdays and Sundays, changing diapers, speaking baby talk, etc. Ick, it just wasn't me.

But after I met Matt and realized that we were going to spend forever together (ok, gushy moment over), my thinking began to change and we became parents. And then we did it again.

Parenting has taught me patience. It's taught me resignation. It's taught me that some things are absolutely worth fighting for, and other things aren't worth the fight at all. It's reminded me how quickly time really does pass. It teaches me every day to forget the work worries at the door, to take off my shoes, and to get down on the floor and build that choo-choo train and set off on an adventure to fight alligators and monsters. It's showed me a love that I truly never imagined possible. It's also showed me how amazing God's mercy and forgiveness is. After some of the bad choices I've made in my past, I'm still forgiven in His eyes, and to show me that, he blessed me with my two beautiful boys, who I cherish so closely in my heart.

My sons make me so irritated. They force me to walk away in order to collect myself. They make me cry. They stress me out and have already - in my 27th year of life - given me at least 1 gray hair. They make me feel guilty, and they make me doubt myself - almost daily. They have me searching for advice on the internet, then feeling worthless if I'm not following it.

But my sons also make me happy. They are the reasons for my smile on my worst days. They have me laughing so hard, that I pee a little. They motivate me to accomplish things. They keep me sane, when work gets crazy (ever find yourself sitting at work, then busting out in out-loud laughter just at the thought of your adorable kid?). They've taught me naivety and childlike innocence. The allow me to cut myself off from the negativity in the world and just enjoy playing make-believe in our small playroom upstairs. I live in the moment with them. I absolutely can't get enough of the conversations we've started having. I've learned to truly appreciate my parents' love for me, based on how much and how unconditionally I love my children.

I really have no idea who I'd be if I didn't have my boys today. I love my husband, he's great! But if it were still just us two, I think I'd be fat and lazy! Hehehehe. These boys of mine occupy every one of their waking minutes, between bath time, meals, diapers, play time, bed time....the list goes on. But what would I be doing if it wasn't taking care of them? Sitting on my tush, watching TV and eating takeout? Ick!

Yes, these boys are my world and I love them beyond the slightest hint of anything that words can describe. I'm normally a quiet, keep-to-myself kind of person. But when people start discussing kids, and I have a chance to bring mine into the conversation, it's almost comical to watch how I suddenly become so animated.

So - without a doubt - my children define the person I am today, in early 2012. I'm a mother before I'm anything else, and I will be that person for the rest of my days. :)

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