I come from a family of dedicated students and teachers.
My maternal grandmother was a teacher, and my mother, a Montessori Education Specialist, also taught for years. First, teaching on a Native American reservation, then as a Montessori Early Childhood teacher, facilitator, coordinator of programs, and taught for years as a tenured professor of Early Childhood Education and Family Studies at a local college (where she now teaches business classes).
When I was young, my mother pursued her Masters Degree. In the early 1990′s, she earned her MBA, with the steadfast support of my father, who helped her balance her mothering, work, and her studies all at once. As I pursue my degree in Public Health and IBCLC certification1, I find that I have both been influenced by and am currently inspired by her model of a mother/student/professional all-in-one.
My father is a dedicated intellectual, even in his retirement from teaching. He goes to the library weekly to check out new books and explore new topics and perspectives. He expresses himself through writing and in creating and flying beautiful and intricate model airplanes, which take an incredible amount of energy, creativity and skill. He earned his Masters in Psychology early in life and he has worked as a counselor for the blind as well as for 20+ years as a resource educator and advocate for Elementary school children with special behavioral needs. With the patience of a saint, vast knowledge from all the reading he does, and a very friendly and fun-loving attitude, my dad has been pretty much my favorite person since I was tiny, and he means the world to me.
I have one brother, who is nine and a half years my senior. He attended the University of Texas, which is why I am a Longhorns Football fan . . . he and his wife have three beautiful children and live in Texas, near my parents’ house.
So, growing up around teachers, and with a much older brother, I had a wealth of information and support behind me in my childhood and adolescence. I participated in all sorts of creative and intellectual after-school clubs and activities, and was highly active in speech and debate as well as dance performance. Starting with a Montessori background to my education, I learned to read at an early age, loved language arts in elementary and middle school, and as a junior and a senior in high school, took International Baccalaureate classes and prepared for 7 high level tests to earn the prestigious International Baccalaureate Diploma.
And then a couple years after graduating in the top third of my class of 735 seniors from my high school, I fell madly in love with a young military man, and started a family of my own.
My Little Family
In 2007, I met and married my husband. Some would say our courtship and marriage was out of the ordinary – and they’d be right. All I have to say about it was that it was God’s work in both of our lives, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Though my family loves him now, their perception of the young, dashing, devil-may-care military guy that I fell in love with so quickly and firmly was . . . not good at first. There was anger and spite surrounding our quick and seemingly carefree decision to marry in July of 2007, that was slowly (but now completely) eased and resolved on both sides.
Now, five years after our marriage, we are growing personally and as a couple every single day, and loving the journey we are on together. We complete each other and are each other’s greatest fan and greatest devil’s advocate, and together, we nurture and raise up our two children (and three fur babies – our dog Raven and our children’s two teeny tiny dwarf hamsters, Todd and Henry) wherever the Coast Guard takes us.
I mentioned that my mother was a very determined and successful student, mother, and professional. And in talking with her about her successes and her trials in being all of the above, I’ve learned that there is great power in having a steadfast, loving, and loyal partner beside you, which is why I am so grateful for my husband and the support he gives me in fathering our children, loving me, and supporting my multifaceted avenues of expression: advocacy for balance and self-awareness, natural parenting, breastfeeding, and creativity on my blog. . . professionalism and creativity in my WAHM business. . . passion for my college courses and goals for certification through La Leche League and the IBCLA. . . and of course, most importantly, raising our two beautiful Silly Bears with connection and direction. I am so thankful that God brought my wonderful husband into my life, and he has told me on many occasion, he feels the same way.
He, commonly referred to as Hubs, is active duty in the United States Coast Guard. He is an Electriciansmate, currently stationed at the Aids to Navigation Team in Kodiak, Alaska. He is active in the outdoors, and loves kayaking, working out, mountain biking, hiking, and shooting at the firing range. He looks forward to the day that the kids are old enough to really enjoy camping – though we did do some camping on our PCS from Maine to Kodiak, AK – but he’s starting them out young with a love of playing outdoors, and getting into nature on hikes with the family.
Our Silly Bears
Our oldest, Abbey, is currently almost 5. She attends preschool while I pursue my education online and work creating handmade goods for my Etsy shop. She thrives at preschool, and brings home lots of new skills to practice at home – pretend play, social skills, learning to write, and drawing more and more intricate and thoughtful pieces of art each day! She is active and certainly spirited – MORE of everything that a 4 year old is made of. Full of life, with an “extra zest for life,” she can truly be a handful, but her never-exhausted spirit is one of the most unique and amazing things I have ever witnessed! Energetic, creative, spunky, and sweet, she is growing beautifully and loves dancing, singing, playing pretend, and active play. “I need to get my exercise!” and “Pretend you are ____ and I am ____ . . . ” are frequent utterances of hers. She loves Merida, the princess from the Disney movie Brave, and also adores watching and pretending she’s in the recent Alice in Wonderland. Oh, and she is currently also really into Ninja Turtles.
Our second child, Joseph, is two years old. He is loving and curious, exploring the world around him with a good balance of attachment and wonder. He loves to play with trucks and cars, as well as sorting shapes, playthings, and clothing – and doing simple puzzles. Like Abbey, he loves books. Unlike Abbey, he actually sits still while he looks at them! Joseph stays at home with me, and we frequent the playground by our house to join our friends in exploring the world, and I work and study while he sleeps during nap time, and also during his independent play. He loves Thomas the Train, Little Einsteins, and puddles, among other things.
Both of our children are lovely, strong, and resilient military children. They would say goodbye to their daddy on a frequent basis, for approximately two months at a time each time he deployed while we were at our last duty station. I’m not going to lie and say that it is easy for them or for me to be military family members, but it is certainly rewarding.
We are so blessed to be a family, and we look forward to growing in love and wonder for the fantastic years to come!
- Now that I know what I have a passion for, which is totally different story altogether ↩