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Once upon a time...

Me.  

Where do I begin?

Many of you know me. We're family. Or friends. Or acquaintances. Or you're someone my mother sends an email to each week.

Or maybe you don't know me. Maybe you've just happened upon this itty bitty place in the vastness that is the internet. If that's the case, then this is for you.
You should feel pretty special. 

My name is Joy, and my story is not unlike many of your stories. 

I'm first and foremost a Christian, and as such, I'm a sinner saved by grace.
Disappointingly, I don't live like I know it or believe it often enough. I have failings, that left on their own, would total a number too huge to fathom. But they're not left on their own. They're covered by the blood and power and mercy of Jesus Christ. Praise God!

Secondly, I'm an imperfect, devoted, smitten wife to The Husband.
He and I met in a small group Bible study at church, and the rest was history. Neat fact:  I'm several (um many lol) years older than he is. I always assumed I'd marry someone much older. You know what assuming gets you...
We met, we friended (I had a bigger-than-huge crush on that funny, kind, charming, red-headed guy), we dated (and fought and laughed and planned and dreamed), we got engaged (he proposed on a scorchingly-hot Sunday after church), and we got married (a year and a half to the day we started dating).
And, oh that first year was a doozy.  We conceived and lost our first baby.  Hadley's story is a difficult one to share, but the telling of it gets easier as time flows by.  She was a desperately-wanted, dream-come-true baby. And, we lost her nearly 24 weeks into that pregnancy. Such heartache. Such grief. Such strength found in our Lord and through each other. That year could have broken us.
On the contrary. It made us strong and our marriage stronger.

Third, I'm an ecstatic, loving-every-stinkin'-minute stay-at-home-mom to our boy Jack and our girl Ella.
Before becoming a wife and a mom, I was a teacher. I taught in a public school for two years before making the move to a private classical and Christian school. I taught there for six years, and those were by far some of the best years of my life. I taught pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and third grade. My last year there, I was gifted (and I mean it in the sense that I felt BLESSED every day by the position) with the job title "Librarian."  LOVED doesn't even do justice to how I felt about my job that year. It wasn't just the job. It was the school itself. It was the ideology behind everything that was done there. It was the faculty and staff who felt more like family than co-workers. It was the students and their parents. It was life.
We found out near the start of my last year there that we were expecting our Jack-Jack, and life as we had known it changed.
Four weeks prior to Jack's expected arrival (after already being placed on bed-rest for a month), we got to meet our handsome boy in person in June of 2013.  A month early, 6 pounds 2 ounces, not a minute spent in the NICU=some major answered prayers.
Then, The Husband lost his job in July.  Talk about stress!  Brand new momma. Husband out of work.  Crying-often newborn.  Yikes.
Shortly before August, we moved in with my parents.  We began sleep-training (thank you!thank you!thank you!), and our days became a bit less harried.
The month of September was a blur, but The Husband did find some work in my parents' town.
And, in October, we put our condo up for sale. We are waiting, sometimes not so patiently, for it to sell so that we don't have those major expenses looming over our heads.

In the meantime, we enjoy our time with Jack and my parents. We miss desperately our family and friends we left behind.  We try to plan the future knowing full well that only our gracious and merciful Father has those plans in His grasp.

And, through it all, I blog.   I hope to one day point our children to this tiny corner of the internet, and say, "This is what life looks like. It's messy. It's scary. It's hard.  It's precious, and it's everything. Don't miss a moment. Don't try to rush through the hard times. The scary times. The messy times. Take it all in. See the beauty and wonder. See the blessings."

**Updated on July 3, 2014**
I left you wondering in November.  It's now July.  And, SO much has changed.  So much.
Well, in December of 2013, we found out we were expecting again.
I was finally able to see a doctor in February 2014, and we found out we were going to have a baby girl. My doctor was very cautious and wanted to monitor me closely because of my history with both Hadley and with Jack, so I had twice-weekly doctor appointments starting in April.
At the end of April, The Husband started working for the county as a correctional officer and continued going to the Sheriffs' Academy in the evenings.
We found and closed on a house of our very own in the middle of June. We moved our things in and began work on the kitchen.
And, at the end of June, I had an emergency c-section and delivered our baby girl, Ella Hope, at 34 weeks.  6 weeks early, our girl has spent some quality time in the NICU.  She is there currently (4 days old), and she has done a wonderful job improving so far!  She's cannula-free, antibiotic-free, she started nursing today for the first time, and they think she might get to come home next week.  I spend my days healing from surgery, pumping every 2-3 hours, going up to the hospital to spend time with our girl, and dreaming of the day we'll be able to call our house our home.

***Updated on July 15, 2017***
Three years have passed, and we've added another sweet little one to our family! Oliver Flynn joined us last December, and he has brought immense joy to our lives.  He's such a gift :)

Comments

  1. How beautifully written! We love you so very much and will always be here for you and your sweet family. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. My sweet little sister, thank you for your testimony. We are so glad you are back and for the blessings God is giving you. Keep running the race! Love, Beth

    ReplyDelete

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