Coming home from a photo shoot this evening, I pulled into the driveway and saw this:
While all the chalk drawings were nice, these words jumped out at me and gave my heart a nice big tug...and squeeze...
At times I have mixed feelings about my "job" away from home - it is very part time in terms of the time I am actually away from my family (about 4-6 hours/month usually) but it does steal many late late nights. I feel super blessed to be able to have a little something that I can contribute to our family's needs and goals - especially since I quit grad school with 6 months left of my clinical internship. Everyone said I was crazy for quitting when I was "so close" but what they didn't realize is that my dream job was to be a wife and a mother. I vowed when I started grad school that if the opportunity arose, I would quit and put my focus where my heart had always been. Of course, half way through grad school I started dating Jacob. And I realized my biggest dreams were about to come true. After doing a lot of calculating, we realized that if I wanted to be able to stay at home with the kids I would have to quit - if I finished, I would have to work to pay student loans for a long long time. So, I quit. I went back to nannying, and we pretended we only had one income. Jacob did a lot of freelance, as well. And AMAZINGLY, 13 months later - and the week before Sawyer was born, we had paid off $80,000 in student loans from my my expensive, private, unfinished graduate education.
There is a little joke from that time - we were visiting with some family and Jacob was drooling over an avocado. We told them we didn't buy avocados because we we were paying off student loans. Later, that same family member (you know it, Kara!) handed us a handful of avocados to take home.
Well, we still very rarely buy avocados - and it's not that we don't like them. Now, instead of school loans, there is preschool (oh my goodness who knew preschool tuition would cost more than my first semester at BYU!) and health care and dentist visits and swim lessons. I'm sure there will always be something.
And now, I'm rambling. But I'm reminiscing a bit, I guess, super thankful that we are debt free. Super grateful that somehow I have been able to magnify a talent and something I love to be able to help our little family to grow. I am so lucky I get to spend each day with my kids and super lucky that I only have to go to "work" in as many hours as some moms leave their kids in childcare at the gym or for a girls' night out. Of course, they notice I am gone when I am gone - but I am also lucky they are spending some quality time with their dad the 2-3 hours at a time I am gone for a session. Sawyer is old enough now that he knows why I go take pictures of other people's families sometimes...like tonight when we were going to pick up Jacob from work so I could drop them all back home (we have one car) and then fly across the 520 bridge to Medina for my session. He knows we're saving our pennies for a mini van. And for a new brother or sister to (someday) join our family (he for some reason keeps saying he really wants another sister, just like Aspen, but there are no guarantees - and we are not making any announcements...just carefully planning, saving, and calculating the costs of adding a third child to our family.)
And he's excited about it - all of it. And so are we!
I likely won't be doing this "work" forever. But it's nice to know I'm missed when I'm gone. And that they love me! It's nice to know that by contributing a bit to the hard work Jacob does in supporting our family, we can remain debt free - which is freeing in oh so many other ways.
I sure love my little hooligans.
And, their Daddy - who takes such great care of all of us.
Here's to sidewalk chalk! (and so much more)!