At this point last year, I remember thinking ahead over the upcoming year. I remember thinking that either everything would be the same or nothing. Today, looking back, I have concluded that nothing is the same. As I write this I am looking at my newborn sleeping beside me, I am waiting for my husband to return from his new career and living in a new house in a new state. Last year I was a teacher. This year, I am a mom. Everything around me has changed. Everything in me has changed. Who I am has stayed the same.
It’s amazing to me how drastically life can change in such a short time. How the circumstances around us can so deeply impact the person within us. This past year has changed everything and I am so thankful for the people, our community that have walked through this journey with us… with me. I am moved by generosity. I am humbled by the sacrifices. There are no words that can express how deeply grateful I am for everything that people have done for my family over the last year. I am thankful for the words of encouragement, the hugs, and the people that listened and just let me cry. I am thankful for those that filled a physical need. Those that gave up weekends to help a very pregnant woman move, those that took me in when I was homeless, those that threw baby showers and loved on me and my baby. The sacrifices shown by these people, by our friends and our family, by our community has inspired and changed who I am, and proven to me that small and large acts of kindness can truly shape lives.
Over the past year so much has happened. In September Aaron and I found out that we were expecting our first child. Two weeks later, Aaron received a tentative offer letter to Air Traffic Control. A job that he had been working towards and waiting for for over four years. A job that would take him away for training in Oklahoma for over 3 months. The date that they gave us for him to go was in April. I was due in May. Aaron ended up going down in February and came back on my due date – May 6. In that time, we were tested and tried. I sold our house, prepared for a baby, continued working and bounced from home to home in temporary living situations. Aaron studied and underwent an immense amount of stress through training and testing as he was away in Oklahoma, all the while worrying about his pregnant wife and praying he would make it back for the birth of his son. In May Aaron passed his tests, was assigned to the Green Bay Tower, made it back for the birth of our son, moved to Green Bay and began a new job.
We moved away from our family and community into the unknown. In a sense we started over. We broke down our lives, cleared away everything that we once thought defined us and now know what’s at our core. We know what can’t be shaken and what can’t be taken away. At our core we have our faith, our marriage, our family and our friends. Now we are left to rebuild and to figure out what our new life will look like and we will build upon the core foundation that we have. The journey is not over. In a sense, our journey has just turned a page and begun a new chapter. We have a lot of building left to do. There will be more hardships, there will be more trials, but there are so many joyous occasions to look forward to.
Over the past year I have taken a break from blogging but used writing as an outlet. I processed through unpublished blog posts and journals. Through the ups and the downs I wrote. Through the excitement and the unknowns I used words to process at each step along the way. Now, as people have asked about the process and about what has happened, I have decided to go back and share these posts for those that are curious about the process.
It has been a long process, one that began long before a year ago. It has been hard. It has tested me and shaken down everything I thought I was. But through everything I have learned and grown, I’ve gained a son and become closer with my husband, my family and my friends. None of this is what I would have pictured or asked for but somehow it was just what I needed and for that I am thankful.
Stay Balanced <3 Kendra