Alex and I met in seventh grade.
My first memories of him involve birthday party invites, trick-or treating, and bike riding escapades. He had gelled hair and a raspy voice, and I had a big ole middle school crush.
We maintained a friendship throughout our tween and teen years losing touch occasionally as we split ways to different schools, but eventually we launched into a full fledged, complicated, drama-filled high school fling complete with movie theater dates and well thought out text message conversations.
His hair style had changed from gel to dreads, he wore thick rimmed glasses and a guitar around his shoulder, and let's just say I was rather smitten. As most high school relationships go we made questionable choices, but I hesitate to use the word mistakes.
Then I got pregnant. I'll skip the details because they are riddled with teenage pregnancy hormones and he-said, she-said disputes.
When I think about that time in my life I still see the stares and hear the questions and feel the disapproval deep in my bones so I'm going to do a 1-2-skip-a-few and possibly revisit the topic in a later post.
We had a beautiful baby girl, Georgianna "Georgi".
Recently I was feeling extra grateful for everything in my life and I thought out loud "wow how did I luck out with such amazing little girls!". Georgi looked straight at me and without hesitation said "but we chose you momma."
Thank you for choosing me Georgi. Thank you for making your announcement of life when I was eighteen and too naive to understand all that motherhood would entail. You have shown me what it is to love deeply, to sacrifice immensely, and to experience pure joy. I was able to shape my future around this new found mom awareness and I'm extremely grateful.
When Georgi was three years old we went through nursing school together, got our nursing license, got married, and rode off into the sunset...
As is the case with most sunsets, they end, and the darkness settles in. Marriage is tough, both of us working three, 12 hour shifts weekly is tough, raising a child is tough, life is tough. But we had jobs, we had a house, we were settled. We got pregnant with our second baby girl. I foolishly thought that I had the whole mothering thing down pat. My thought process went something like this...
I'm older now, well not a teenager anymore at least. I am a pediatric nurse, I could diaper and swaddle a wailing newborn with my eyes closed. Come on, this baby thing will be a piece of cake (insert experienced mother laughs here).
We welcomed Margaret "Margo" into our family the lovely morning of June 1st. Her newborn lungs were capable of screams that could pierce through the skull for an insta-headache. Laying in a carrier or swing was out of the question, she required constant rocking and bouncing that was borderline shaken-baby extreme. She was and still is our energetic, uncontrollable, squishy, lovable baby girl. She is filled with unpredictable emotions and has given us unending reasons to smile and laugh on a daily basis.
The unbelievable sleep deprivation, the breastfeeding struggles, and the upheaval of our peaceful, one-child family routine sent our marriage spiraling down.
We needed a change. We needed adventure. We needed to jolt love back into our marriage.
We had always been wanderlusters together. Talking about far off lands with phrases like "one day" or "if only" or "once the kids are older". We wanted to be the type of people that didn't hold back, that lived life, climbed mountains, took leaps...but kids equal responsibility and responsibility keeps you grounded. Or what if it didn't? What if we stopped letting kids hold us back and instead picked them up and dragged them along with us?
We discovered travel nursing. Our initial thoughts included doubts and concerns about the logistics of uprooting our comfortable family life, and without much thought we tossed it into the pile of discarded dreams. Then somehow it got brought up again and slowly we drifted our thoughts away from the impossible and into the realm of possibility. We went back and forth bouncing questions around, trying to find a real end-all reason not to do it. Pets? School? The house? Grandparents? The car? When we found solutions to all the questions the answer was clear, we had to take the leap. And if we were going to leap, we might as well leap far...
We moved our family across country from Charleston, South Carolina to Olympia, Washington.
Marriage and family building is where the story begins, not ends. We are east to west travelers with our #littlenomads. Follow us on on Instagram @weelittlenomads .