Reflections on Year Two

Year Two
  • BALANCE: We decided we should have some fun before bringing a child into the world, so we started enjoying each others' company a bit more. This meant that Steve would only play volleyball twice a week and I would try to be more productive with my free time- this makes for a husband who actually wants to spend time with his wife. Haha. I may have been a bit spoiled in our dating relationship, so it was shocking when he didn't want to work long hours at a hard labor job and come home and do laundry and vacuum and cook dinner and clean the bathroom and be super loving/kind etc... I get it now :) We made a point of trying new places to eat and going for walks and just spending more time with each other, which made for more communicating, which makes for better married life. I guess we were two very independent people pre-marriage? Haha
  • PERSPECTIVE: We gained a whole lot of perspective during this year. We started planning for Kalea to arrive, and realized that we had totally screwed ourselves over financially in that first year. That was a real fun wake-up call. Then our rent got jacked up. Then we realized that we couldn't afford for Steve to do the semester he needed to keep up the education part of his machining apprenticeship because I would be on maternity leave and, unlike most employers who take part in apprenticeship placements, Steve's refused to help out financially so that he could finish the schooling that he needed for his ticket. So in a grand attempt at grown up thinking, we put our name on a list at a housing co-op so that we could have cheaper rent and get our debts paid down faster, so then maybe we could afford to do the important stuff, like school. Then we had Kalea and I obsessed over making her tiny room in our apartment perfect. HA. Then we gave our notice to the apartment that we were moving because we heard back from the co-op that they had a place for us, then we went and looked at it and it was not in very great condition and we couldn't live there with a baby with it being so bad. So we turned it down. But the apartment building had already found a renter for our place. So now we had a baby and no place to live, so we moved in with Steve's parents! What we thought would only be a few months turned into 8, but luckily we got along pretty good, and they vacationed a few times in that period and we house-sat for some friends for a few weeks, so it wasn't quite as crazy as it could've been. Kalea was super lucky to get to have that much time with Steve's parents and I was lucky to have so much help with baby Kalea. I actually kind of miss walking into the bathroom every Tuesday morning to find the glass cleaner and other cleaning supplies ready for "marathon morning of clean", it was actually fun cleaning with somebody else. I also miss the dishwasher...
  • EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED: Right around our 2nd anniversary Kalea was at the age where we were really having a lot of fun together, she was portable and she was always happy to smile and giggle and coo at strangers. She was magnetic and as such Steve and I loved to be together with her, we have loved marriage more since we've had kids, maybe because we bond over the misery of some of the "joys" of parenting? We definitely have a lot more to talk about at the end of the day than we used to! It was also around that time that I began to be suspicious about some things, like how I was always super tired. Also, I was doing an Abs/Buns class at our community center and I was finding that it was taking me a few days to recover from each class, which was strange because it was difficult but not crazy intense and I had been fine besides the first few weeks when I was getting used to the burn. Then there was this time that Steve's mom cooked us these pasta nests with sauce and I woofed it down and found myself running to the bathroom before it even hit my stomach. So I went to the doctor that week and found out Brynlee was on her way. LOL We definitely weren't planning on having another baby, but we were still somewhat excited about it. It's a good thing that we had applied for a "large 3 bedroom townhouse" and not the small 3 or 2 bedroom. 
  • PRAYERS GET ANSWERED: I might have been a bit of a stress case at the end of year 2. I was already planning to go back to work since we had help with Kalea and yet I was super hesitant about it. I kept feeling torn and unsure and a lot of the time I felt like I had zero answers for anything. The day that I had my back-to-work meeting was the day that I found out I was pregnant. Knowing how stressful my job had become while I was pregnant with Kalea, I wasn't real excited about the thought of going back while pregnant with #2, so I decided that I'd take the next 8mths to get as much 1on1 time with Kalea before we rocked her world. Everyone had an opinion about that, but besides missing out on the extra money, I can't say that I really regret that choice. I think it was important for my mental health not to go back to an unhealthy work environment while dealing with pregnancy hormones and guilty mom syndrome, and I feel like Kalea got the attention that she deserved from her Mom- even if some days I just laid on the couch and watched her play. Steve worked really hard this year and he worked as much overtime as his boss would let him so that the pinch wasn't so bad. He also got two raises in year 2- almost unheard of at this shop. He got one right after we had Kalea and then a bonus that Christmas and another little raise around our anniversary. That was a huge answer to prayer when we had no idea how we were going to afford 2 kids and make our debt payments and keep a roof over our own heads.
I think in year 2 we learned a lot about just how much married people need to rely on each other and trust in Heavenly Father. We found it a lot easier to feel like we were getting answers when we were more open with and kind to each other. We weren't perfect and we didn't always agree with each other 100%, but I think with Kalea's birth, we really learned what we were made of as a couple. Seeing Steve as a Dad confirmed to me that I had really made the most awesome choice for my kids and myself. His level of involvement is impressive and I knew he'd be like that I just didn't expect that he would be so willing in all areas. In year 2 we kind of proved ourselves to each other, like "Ha, I laugh in the face of living with your parents!" and "Well, ha, I laugh in the face of 2a.m. feedings and diaper changes in the dark!" it was almost a bit of a competition at who could out-do the other and it was a good time.
Stay tuned, exciting yr.3 is next!

    1 comment:

    The Staheli's said...

    How fun! These are great posts. I love your honesty and think it will benefit you and your family to have all of this written down. :)