I think my toughest challenge as a public writer is the balance of celebrating my life, and sharing the trials I go through as a human being.  This blog I did not start to become the next big blogger. I didn’t intend to write for anyone else, I just wanted to document our story.  Over the years it has gained readership and instead of being put off by that, I have really been blessed by it.  I have been able to connect with mothers and women far and wide I would not otherwise know.  I have been able to share my story and help encourage others with theirs, and I love that.  I get something from writing on this blog that I don’t get from any place else in my life.  It’s a sense of belonging, purpose, passion.  It’s invaluable for me and has really helped keep my perspective in check.  But it is for me – it’s my own life in my own words in the things that I want to remember.  I love sharing funny stories about my babes, or bits I want to remember forever and ever, or things that I like that I think you all might like as well – but at the end of the day, this is our story.  One I want to be able to read anytime in the future and look back on fondly.

THAT BEING SAID, the tough part is knowing how much of the dark to show through.  I don’t only write about the good things in my life, I often write about the struggles I’ve had and learned from.  But I only write about my personal struggles.  The ones that don’t involve anyone else, because it wouldn’t be fair for me to use my public platform to tell someone else’s story.  You know?  And I think that is a disservice sometimes, because there is an assumption that everything in my life is perfect, and it’s far from it.  I do choose happiness and I have SO SO SO much to be grateful for, and I absolutely celebrate those aspects here on the blog.  Those things are what matter most, and writing about those things helps me to be grateful.  But underneath all of that, is the reason I am this way.  The struggles I’ve overcome to get here.  There is a reason I so appreciate marriage, and family, and God.  Because there was a time my life didn’t have those things in it.  I struggle writing about my “life before Brady” in detail, because it would involve a lot of people and tell parts of their stories that aren’t fair of me to share publicly.  Maybe in my book one day, but I’m not sure the fit is right for this here blog.

So in reading the pages of my darling daughters that I prayed for through years and years of uncertainty that I would get them, or the happy marriage that I have fought hard for, or the darling house that we have put our blood sweat and tears into purchasing and nesting.. remember these things.  Remember that I myself come from a broken family, where relationships are sometimes very complicated and tricky and stressful to navigate.  Remember that I have dreams and accomplishments that have been hard won (and some I’ve lost), and some we’re still fighting for.  Remember that I have bills and taxes and obligations just like every other person.  I have shortcomings that are too many to count, and my house is only spotless after my cleaning lady leaves. (of all the comments I get on my “perfect” life, the “how is your house always so clean?” makes me giggle the most.)

Make no mistake that the love I have for my family is real and effortless.  I really do believe Mr. Miller is the nicest man alive (but imagine how many not-so-nice guys I had to go through to find him).  And I believe a happy family thrives on a happy marriage (but my parents have been divorced for 18 years and still can’t be in the same room.) And I really believe that being a mother is the greatest opportunity this life has to offer (but growing up living apart from my own mom, made me appreciate daily motherhood all the more).  And I believe that God knows me and loves me deeply and has a plan for my life, and for my family (but the years of darkness I trudged through without that knowledge or guiding light is scarred in me forever).

So before you’re judging our life as perfect, remember that this happy chapter isn’t always easy to maintain.  And it certainly took lots of long, hard lessons learned to appreciate the simplicity of having a baby in my kitchen sink, or a husband who kisses me like he means it when he comes home from a long hard day at the office.

If you get anything from reading this blog, I hope that it is that life can be what you make of it.  And choosing happiness is always an option… sometimes you have to dig a little deeper to find it, but I promise you, it’s there.