Closing a Chapter, Starting an Adventure

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15966126_10212273992511497_1899950151819027003_nI have lived through the fidget spinner era, water flipping fads, the whip/nae-nae, and the most confusing one of all – the “dab.” For the last five years, I have been a full-time, often 60-80 hours a week, English teacher. And, let me tell you, it has been crazy. Many of my days were spent trying to maintain a semblance of classroom management (fake it until you make it, am I right?) Countless nights were spent stressing about my students, their home lives, and their futures; I never figured out the whole “don’t take work home with you” sort of thing (Sorry, Matt). I know that meant that sometimes I cared too much, but caring too much will never be something I regret. While my decision to become an educator has been the most terrifying, stressful and overwhelming experience I could have ever imagined, it has also been the most beautiful, joy-filled and rewarding chapter of my life.  I have students whose lives have forever changed mine. They have challenged me to be better, to be more, and to DO more than I ever thought possible. It has been painful. It has been blissful. It has meant everything to me. My time as a teacher can be summarized by these words: “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well”  (Theodore Roosevelt). I haven’t always succeeded, but I’ve always strived to be my best, to reach as many students as possible, and, in the end, I will never regret one tiring day or sleepless night. Thank you to all of my students who were so much more than that to me. I love each and every one of you.

As sad and unimaginable as it seems to be closing such a special chapter in my life, I am filled with excitement as I think about this next adventure: BEING A MOM! As of TODAY, I’m officially nine months pregnant and hardly a second goes by that I don’t think about when little Evelyn is going to arrive and how wonderful it will feel to finally hold in her in my arms after feeling her little kicks and movements for so long. These last 270+ days have been filled with lots of Greek Yogurt cravings, a dislocated SI joint coupled with physical therapy, insane insomnia, acid reflux, swollen feet and my current favorite: pelvic pressure that makes me waddle everywhere I walk. Most days, my body doesn’t feel like my own. She is nearly six pounds now and getting bigger every day! I wouldn’t trade even a second of it. I know every bit of discomfort will be worth it. I can’t wait to see her Daddy hold her for the first time, to bring her home, to give her a bath, to read books to her, to snuggle her. I haven’t even met her yet, but I love her more than anything in this world. I am so grateful that God has given me the opportunity to be this little one’s mother.

After a few “false starts” to labor, my husband and I are at the edge of our seats waiting for her to be here. Bags are packed, car seat is installed, and I’m nesting like nobody’s business, like cleaning shower liners and scrubbing car carpets kind of nesting. We would appreciate all the prayers we can get as we prepare to bring Evelyn home (as if one can ever truly be “prepared” for this). In the meantime, I will be taking a mini-break from photography, but I look forward to getting back to it with my first wedding scheduled for September. Since I will no longer be working full time as a teacher, I’m excited to find more time to grow / improve my photography business. Thank you to all who have supported me along the way!

Well, I didn’t intend for this blog to be so long, so I will wrap it up with a huge thank you to Photography by Kelsey Rae for capturing these sweet images for Matt and I. Kelsey, you did an amazing job and we couldn’t be more pleased to have such beautiful images to remember the sweet bump. Also, shout out to Jamie of Blushing Blooms Event Florist for creating the gorgeous floral halo that I’m wearing – it made my inner hippie very happy.

I’m sure the next time I post it will be to share baby photos! So, until then… enjoy some sweet golden hour maternity shots! Love you all!

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