Monday, June 8, 2009

who i am, part 3

here we go!!!
if you missed the first 2...
who i am, part 1
who i am, part 2

so...we graduated from JMU and moved "back home" to Northern Virginia.
we are both from there.
we moved into a 1 bedroom apartment in Centreville, VA.
i spent the summer "setting it up" {what in the WORLD!?!}...i was also applying for jobs.
and pat spent the summer studying for his CPA exam.
ok, ya'll. this man can be FOCUSED when he wants to be.
oh, how i love him for that {most of the time!}
he studied his BRAINS out...and passed the first time!
SO proud of him!!! {he's WAY smart!}

at the end of the summer...he started working for Arthur Andersen {accounting firm...that exists no longer...had some "issues"} and i started teaching 2nd grade at a Christian school.

i LOVED teaching.
my first year teaching...i would be there til 8 or 9 and night lots of times.
but i still loved it.
my second year teaching...the hours were much better.
and i still loved it :-)

pat was also working VERY hard {those accounting firms pretty much like to work you into the ground.}
he knew he was just "putting in his time". he had no desire to "climb the ladder"...he knew the price that cost and wasn't willing to pay it. but he wanted to be in the "public sector" for 2 years so that he could move on with some good experience. he was blessed to have some good co-workers and bosses along the way.

we were doing great.
enjoying being married.
spent some of our free time being counselors for a high school youth group.
in between our first year in the real world and our second year...we moved to another 1 bedroom apartment...but closer to pat's work.
enjoying being in the "real world."
still enjoying our friendships from college!

we decided to go on a cruise...12 of us...the fall of 2000...

it was a BLAST! so so so much fun.
i'm not sure pat and i would enjoy a cruise just the 2 of us.
but going with a group of friends is SO fun!!!

a few weeks later...we found out we were pregnant!
we were on a "5 year plan"...and we were only 2 years into that plan...

after we got over the shock {those that knew us then can attest to the SHOCK we were in!}
we were thrilled!

we were going to have a baby!!!

a couple months later we had some big decisions to make.
HUGE they felt at the time.
i decided NOT to return to teaching {baby was due at the end of i could finish the current year}
but we weren't sure how it was going to work.
we were NOT going to be able to pay even just the bills (rent, utilities, groceries) but we knew that i wanted to be at home.

a month before rebekah was born...a job literally landed in pat's lap.
a job that would move him out of the public to the private arena {a desire of his}.
a job that would allow us to pay our bills.
and a HUGE answer to our prayers!
he's been at the same company ever since.
and they have been so good to him.

rebekah was born Aug 31, 2001 {5 VERY LONG days late...}
i won't go into all the details...but i learned that i'm not very good at showing when i'm in pain {sitting in the waiting room for 2 hours...with contractions 2 minutes apart...HARD contractions...and still smiling and saying, "i'm fine"...all the rooms were full...til another lady said, "you have GOT to stop smiling or they are NEVER going to give you a room."...pushed for 2 hours once i finally got in a room...she was sunny-side up...but healthy and beautiful.}

oh...those days with 1 baby.
they seem like SO long ago.
a lifetime ago.
i hope it doesn't sound awful to say that i wouldn't want to go back to those days.
they were sweet.
but it's kind of like how you don't want to go back to junior high again.

i was SO clueless {BY FAR the first of ANY of our friends to have a baby!!! most of them weren't even married!!!}
i felt very alone.
rebekah was NOT a happy baby {cried ALL.DAY.LONG...we got called back to the nursery EVERY SUNDAY til she was a year old because she would be so hysterical...HATED the car}
those were some HARD days.
our family and friends were so supportive and encouraging and helpful.
but you just have to figure it out!
and it felt so HARD...and like it would never END!

the days run into the nights run into the days...and it's just me and this little person that screams and eats and poops all over the place...and i felt so GUILTY for not LOVING it! {this is what i've looked forward to my whole life!}
i felt so fat and gross.
money was SO tight...i worked at the nursery at a gym for awhile...but rebekah would just scream the whole time and i really wasn't helpful at all...we didn't have cable...or internet. to check email i would go to the library {and try to hold rebekah...if i left her in the stroller she would i didn't check email very often!}
did i say i felt alone??
but, again, like my first year of was good.
back to me and God.
CLUNG to a way those were some of the hardest, simplest, sweetest days...

gosh...this is hard to re-live!

pat was wonderful. so patient with her (and me!)
so supportive and encouraging.

and we survived!!!
and even agreed to have another baby...


Katherine Marie! said...

I really enjoyed this!!!! I can so relate to so much of what you said. Thanks for sharing YOU.

Your writing style is really refreshing and fun.

Kate and Geoff said...

love all these old school pictures! and isn't it weren't good at showing pain back then....(or even now?). wonder who joshua gets it from... ;-)

good thing you know him well enough (and what its like to feel that way) so you can zero in on things!

love you and love reliving these memories with you, and even learning new details. xoxo

Tisha said...

I've loved them all, but this excerpt of your life is my FAVORITE so far!! That picture of you three is really sweet.

Holly said...

I'm still giggling over the fact that wanting to go back to one child is like wanting to go back to Jr. High.

hee hee...

Julie said...

I love these posts Courtney, thanks so much for sharing them with us, even though they are for your kiddos and the blog book : ) We are benefiting. Oh and I found out that my book was processed and sent out last Friday so I am thankful that it will come with the group that is arriving for our summer english camps. When I finally get it, I will post pics for sure!!!

Michelle said...

I love the cruise picture...I didn't have that one! And I still remember when you told us you were guys had come to Richmond for new year's eve I think...we were in shock too! :)

And now I find myself in the days melding into nights of first-time babycare, too much crying and trying to figure it all out!

Christy said...

uh...yeah I loved the cruise picture too! Ha!! :) No seriously, so fun to relive those memories!!! And so fun to hear more about you...and those days...which is so encouraging to hear about from your perspective!! LOVE learning more about you!!!

Oh yeah, got your email!!! :)

Christy said...

yeah, that didn't make sense..."those days" were supposed to refer to your first days/months as a new mom...sorry I'm a little distracted!! LOVE YOU! :)

beckley said...

loved reading this :)

jackson was 5 days late (MISERABLE), 2 hours 14 minutes pushing, sunny side up, etc. and a lot of loneliness, too, as we were new to Ohio and totally alone in a parachute church plant (unexpected baby and no health insurance--it dropped us cuz we had jsut switched from grad school insur to prof insur--always mean to write about this- good reminder.)

so, i can relate. tough days. and babies that need a lot of attention in a year when you feel so strangely alone? weird how that only makes us feel more alone, huh?

you are gorgeous. what a pretty mommy with a new baby. our similarities in story stop there :) i look terrible after baby birth--but you pull that off just beautifully.

God is so faithful through our lonely times, huh?
He is Good. I am grateful for your story.

anthonyandbeth said...

i love reading these. makes me want to do a version of my own...maybe... :) we too were the "first" of all our friends to get married and then also to have a baby. felt very alone. very far away from family. it was a sweet time but a very hard time and it took me a while to be ready to have another baby. learned so much during that time. thanks for sharing...i'm loving getting to know you like this. it's weird but i feel like i know you. ha ha ha!

Peyton said...

I love who you are and I love reading all about your formative years