This weekend’s trip to California was a special one. A smidge bittersweet as we were thinking about how next time we’re there we’ll have a new little one in tow. I am so excited for this next chapter for us, but I have so enjoyed the current chapter we’ve been living. Life with two little girls has been magical. My babies have grown into little girls who can potty, buckle, walk, dress, bathe themselves pretty much. They can tell me when they need something or if they’re hurt, they can clean up (mostly) after themselves. They can enjoy life with us in a way they couldn’t when they were younger babies. This has been such a fun time in our lives. Our house is mostly calm, our nights are quiet, our days are busy and on the go.
On the way home, Brady and I were talking about the seasons of our life. We laughed as we remembered breaking down in Baker in my old Jetta on our honeymoon trip (funny now, not so funny then!). We had to drive across the California/Nevada desert in the middle of June with no a/c to keep it from overheating. It was miserable! We (I) also got anxiety remembering how Stella used to just scream and scream in the car. The whole way to San Diego, she would sleep about 30 minutes and scream for the other 6 hours of the drive. I still say I think that phase of Stella’s took years off my life. We remembered driving as the girls were potty training and the headache that brought. Traveling with the “pink potty”, having to stop at a seconds notice (and forgetting not all potty breaks are #1 only…). Now we have a more reliable car, equipped with a DVD player and the girls watch movies and chat with each other and keep themselves quite entertained, compared to years past. They (Stella) have to pee at every rest stop, but at least they can make it til then. I can now take little snoozes on the drive or have some quiet conversation with B while the girls watch movies with their headphones on. In our 6 years of driving to California, things sure have changed as each year rolls by.
I kept these seasons of life on my mind over the last few days. I have such fond memories of each stage of our life and I have enjoyed each of them in different ways. The days I had a one-year-old and a new baby and didn’t leave the house much for really an entire year or more. The days I had a 2 and 3 year old and holy mother of mercy – the chaos at any given moment of the day. The time that I realized how there was no longer a baby in my house and how my heart ached, but with time I learned to truly enjoy watching my girls grow and appreciate their stages and the blessings that each new phase brought to our lives.
If my children can only know one thing about me at the end of my life, I want it to be how much I enjoy them. How much I enjoy being married to their father. How much I enjoy watching our family grow. How much I enjoy taking on adventures with our little crew, and even how much I enjoy being at home with nothing exciting going on around us. I enjoy every minute of raising them. I enjoy all the moments, even through the chaos and struggle. I have been blessed beyond my greatest imagination with this family of mine. I sit in wonder at that each and every night before I go to sleep.
To the many family trips (and all those moments in between) to come… We are ready.