Emily and I grew up in the same area and went to high school together. I think it’s safe to say we both have grown up a lot since then. 🙂 It’s been wonderful being able to watch her become a mother. Her energy and positive outlook on life is so inspiring. Enjoy reading her Story of Motherhood and taking a peak at their sweet girls.
HOW HAS MOTHERHOOD CHANGED ME?
Motherhood is a PRIVILEDGE!! it is a gift from God! Motherhood took my focus off of myself. It is no longer me, myself, and I. There is now a part of my heart that beats outside of my chest. As i sat beside our daughter’s NICU bed and held her hand, every s.i.n.g.l.e part of my being FOUGHT for her! I cared VERY little about the rest of the world. I cared less if the sun was shining or if it was storming outside. Our daughter was now my whole world! The nurses had to tell me to go eat. Never before in my life was I so passionate about something/someone!!! And that my friends is called, being a mom!! That little someone depends COMPLETELY on you and i pray that gives you an overwhelming sense of AWE!! Going into this mom adventure looked so huge! I had been around moms and children all my life (our daughter was #33 grandchild on my side). I knew that being a mom was the most high-demanding, never-ending, completely “my problem” kind of job! And that reality shook me to the core!! But when i met our daughter and saw her fighting for her life, the power level of that love just blew me away! There was another whole part of my heart awakened that i never even knew was there! I was HER mom!! and i PRAYED that God would give me the opportunity to “raise” her! God gave that to me and I am ever so grateful!!! He has taught me and spoke to me about the meaning of life through her and now through our second daughter! Motherhood has broadened my view of life. It has changed from “low-beam” to “high-beam”!
WHAT IS YOUR FULL TIME OCCUPATION?
I am a therapist, nurse, doctor, patient advocate, special needs teacher, care taker, secretary, but, most of all i am a wife and mom!! i am a special needs mom!! The first year and a half of our oldest daughter’s life I worked full time in sales at a beautiful quilt shop! i am now a full time stay-at-home-mom! Some days that means we are “boxed” in our house all day and other days that means we are out meeting doctors, therapists, and just trying to figure out the next BEST plan of action! But let me tell you, even when i worked full-time, i was still a FULL-TIME mom!! Even when a mommy works away from home, her babies NEVER leave her heart!!
WHAT IS A FAVORITE PAST-TIME YOU DO WITH YOUR CHILDREN?
Anything that is not therapy related is fun for us! It’s hard for this mom to switch off of therapy mode and just do fun. Therapy is incorporated into everything, even as we play. There is a certain way I make her go from sitting to standing position, a certain way I make her use her core muscles as we are putting puzzles together, a certain way I have her crawl to the next toy she is insisting to play, a certain way i have her help me turn pages in a book but, when we lay in bed and I tickle her and we just giggle together it is pure mom and daughter fun time!!
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY
I am the youngest of 8 and my husband, Darwin is the oldest of 5! Before i was born my dad was diagnosed with MS. When i was 2 years old he was confined to a wheelchair, so i do not remember him walking! He has fought that ugly journey with grace! My mom is a cancer survivor!! She had cancer before i was born. between the chemo and being dad’s caregiver she has gone through MANY surgeries. And with God’s grace she does NOT quit! After 6 years of marriage we had our first daughter, Whitney Bree. She had an extremely traumatic birth resulting in brain damage. Her diagnosis is spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsey. She is our little fighter!! 3 years later we had our second daughter, Cambrie Shae! And now we are starting the fun of watching sisters bond!!
WHAT ARE YOUR “MUST-HAVES” AS A MOM?
GOD. He is a MUST-HAVE!! Seriously, I am a “wing-it” type of mom so i just work with whatever I have but if there is any accessory that i believe has made my mom life easier/simpler it would be a back-pack diaper bag!I I highly recommend that investment. I already don’t have enough arms/hands and this sure helps to free them a little bit. And a sound machine! (if your child is a light sleeper…get a sound machine!!)
WHERE DO YOU CALL HOME?
Greencastle, Pennsylvania. I grew up in the next town, but half of our married life we have lived in Greencastle and it’s home! After we were married a year Darwin’s parents moved to southern, Indiana. We lived out there from March 2016 – March2017. It grew on me like i never knew it would. A piece of my heart is now out there, but PA will always be HOME!
WHAT IS ONE FAMILY TRADITION YOU HAVE RAISED YOUR FAMILY WITH?
I am sure that we have traditions that I am not thinking of but none are really coming to me. What i remember growing up is my mom singing. Singing to wake us up, singing as we cleaned, vacuumed, did dishes. Singing as we worked in the garden and did canning. At one point it got on my nerves and/or I was embarrassed but now I am so thankful because I will now find myself singing throughout the day and it sure helps with the mood!!
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU ARE TALENTED OR PASSIONATE ABOUT?
This is rather hard for me to answer because I don’t like to talk highly about myself as I feel like I am saying “I’m better than you” and that’s the last thing I want to portray. EVERYONE has their own amazing talents!! it is good to take some time and think of what you are good at, not to make yourself proud but to be confident of yourself!! Whatever is in front of me to do…I do it with ALL OF ME!! I don’t believe in half way! I remember as a kid, while i would be folding clothes I wanted to fold them the neatest, some OCD coming out, plus I wanted to be fast! When we had corn day I wanted to scrub those sticky buckets and pans until they shined. When we put papers in the chicken house I wanted to be super fast! (I also have a high competitive side to me. I try to use it to benefit me but it does get me in trouble at times also!) That traveled over into when I got a job.. It was either ALL of me or none at all! I would try to put myself in the other persons shoes. I would want the best hoagie made for me. I would want the best cleaning service for me. I would want the best fabric picked out for me. And now I want to be the best mom I can be! I love my girls and I want to give them the best of care! That would also be why I push Whitney so much and why I can’t sit back and do nothing when I see Whitney begging to be out of her chair and doing something! I know if I was her I would have never been satisfied to just sit there. Since I can’t do things half-way, multitasking is almost impossible for me!
WHAT HAS MOTHERHOOD TAUGHT YOU??
What motherhood has taught me goes a lot with how it has changed me! God taught me A LOT through motherhood. The very first thing He taught me was to lay down my expectations, my dreams. He had a completely different route than I ever wanted. It’s not at all what I had pictured motherhood to be…it has made my heart shatter into many pieces that only God can put back together. And it is an ever so slow and painful process. Sometimes as He puts a piece back, the sharp pain catches me off guard and I want to fight it, but i know He sees a much bigger and more beautiful picture than I do. Motherhood has taught me to see the miracle of life in a whole different perspective as I have had to watch my daughter fight for her life and as I see her struggle to do the simplest of tasks. I see JOY in the very s.m.a.l.l. details that i never would have other than the through the journey God is taking us through! God has taught me through our daughter that life doesn’t have to be perfect, goodness, it doesn’t even have to be easy to be HAPPY! Being joyful is a choice! I can’t focus on all the negatives because they OUTNUMBER all the positives. We focus on the positives, no matter how small, and give life our ALL because then that is when the positives OUTWEIGH the negative!
ANY ADVICE FOR NEW MOTHERS?
There is NO one size fits all. We are in this motherhood “mess” together but we all have our own paths and what I say worked for me will probably not work for you! Get to know YOUR child! Block out all the advice that leaves you spinning and feeling overwhelmed! Discipline the wrong. See the GOOD in your child and praise and encourage that! Let those hurtful words that are to be well-meaning advice make you a better person, not a bitter person. LOVE YOUR HUSBAND!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE ABOUT MOTHERHOOD?
It’s not a parent’s responsibility to have godly children. It’s a parent’s responsibility to make sure their children have godly parents.