I am behind on the blogging. For good reason- who wants to sit in front of a computer to write about memories when you are busy making them? Summer and the beginning of fall have been full of fun, full days. So here I am, with a blanket on my lap, sipping some hot tea, and settling into a colder day kind of activity- catching up on the blog!
This blog post may involve some tears for me. It has to do with a changing of seasons, which we have been experiencing this fall. Little Miss Addelyn and the other sweet girls in this picture are growing up! Crazy, where does time go. These girls have been together at Ilene's daycare since they were little ones. Addelyn started there when she was eight months old (with Katie, Ilene's daughter watching her the months before that).
I have been on quite the mom journey when it comes to work/childcare/being gone/being home. I think every mom is different so moms that read this, please understand I have no judgement and expectations of other moms! I've learned every situation, household, season are different for different families. For me, I was doing full time ministry when Addelyn was born. And to be honest, I (along with Mark) didn't see much changing when I was pregnant. Except for maybe that I'd be bringing my baby with me to every outing, trip, student event, coffee date, etc! In fact, I didn't even line up childcare at first because I thought I could make it work- which is another story in itself. After Addelyn was born and I had a three month maternity leave, I wondered how in the world would I leave my sweet girl with ANYONE? After having a few months of stress/fretting, we figured out the Boelmans could make it work to watch her - with Katie helping til Addelyn could start there in the fall (as an 8 month old). These other sweet girls in the picture were also all there at that time too.
Ilene (and her family) was a huge blessing as she loved my little girl, taught her so many things, and didn't make it feel like I was taking her to a daycare- but to a home where she was loved and cared for each day while I was gone from her. Addelyn also grew to love the other girls in the picture. At the same time while Addelyn was growing and learning at the Boelmans- I as a mom was changing. I wanted to be home more- I wanted to be with my little girl each day as she grew, changed, and learned. Ilene was caring and thoughtful each day when I had a hard time leaving my little girl. It took awhile to get there, but after some big sacrifices, choices, and decisions made between Mark and I- I cut to part-time and changed my focus (which meant less nights/weekends/trips). This ended up being one of the best decisions for our family. I still got to be home much more, but still got to do ministry outside of our home too. Also, Addelyn had a great influence in her life through Ilene, her family, and the other kiddos (plus some other great options, like Learn and Play at my friend Jess' house one day a week.) Not long after I went part-time, we got pregnant and had Jacers. Having a part-time schedule is something I've been truly thankful for. As for Ilene, she still watched my kiddos and all was well. And the whole group of little girls in the picture all split this fall as they headed to school. Addelyn started preschool and this also meant my schedule changed and it didn't work for the kids to go to Ilene's anymore. This change was a sad, sad thing for me. When you aren't the one home with your kiddos, the one thing you want is someone who loves, cares, disciplines, reacts, etc with the same kind of love and care you have. I was sad to close the door on such an important, influential season of Addelyn's life. I know the Boelmans will be people forever in our families lives but it sure is different not taking my kids there. We have a college student living with us now which is amazing but I'm putting off the question of what will happen next semester. Whew...a semester at a time! It seems like once we get something figured out- life changes again anyway so I'm trying to hold loosely to my future "plans" as we see what God has in front of us RIGHT now. We will get this figured out. And in the meantime, we send our love and thanks to Ilene for her influence on our family in so many ways. We love you Ilene!