Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Ambitious... is that the right word?

It’s easy to imagine how hectic the home life of a family of 7 can be. Throw in teaching, blogging, part time work, small business ownership, and coaching and I’m sure your head is spinning. A normal response from someone I’m meeting for the first time is “whoa, that’s a lot; you must be tired” or “really, 5.. I can barely manage my life with 2”. My favorite all time response was: “Wow, you’re ambitious.”

I like to hold onto that “ambitious” label. I’m proud of that idea. My wife and I... ambitious:

We were ambitious when we moved from Denver to Atlanta for my wife to go to school. I had to find work. I struggled in a post 9/11 world. My wife worried for me, then her mom had a medical emergency, but came out smiling. I fought to pass a Praxis test to get into an Ed program; she was top of her photo class with a project inspired by the beautiful song “Round Here.” We felt far away. Worried about her mom, I rejoiced at my acceptance into an Ed licensure/masters program in her hometown. 

We moved. Drove all the way from GA to AK. She worked to find a job; I thrived on my new Ed path. I received my teaching license, and she worked as an after school program coordinator helping students get the support they needed. She was great, but wanted more. We started our family; I accepted my first teaching position. 

Our first kiddo was born, and she still worked. I taught and took a class here or there to complete my masters. Money was tight, but it didn’t need to be... debts had piled for school... moving.. life.. She followed her heart and started her photo business. First born wasn’t a fan of sleeping. He was sensitive to so many things. We were exhausted; I taught and went to night class. She carried, soothed, fed, built her business, and researched everything to help our boy. 

Tragedy.. we traveled 3 times to say goodbye to loved ones back in Chicago.. through sorrow grew hope; our fist baby girl. Her small business continued to grow. I change schools, but haven’t finished my masters.

We took a vacation. Life was great. Then more sorrow. So unexpected to not even get to say goodbye.  Rattled, we moved forward and planned a path to grow our family through adoption. Over a year later having shifted our plans, we have our twins. Money was tight, adoption expenses were high, but we did fund raisers.. it’ll be ok.

I finished and defended my masters project. Our 4 kiddos were great. Business was growing. But the school district was suffering. Pink slips and low moral. I began to feel like I was done. I looked for a new opportunity; we tried for another baby. It happened altogether a new opportunity and our new pregnancy. We moved from AK to WA.. the house didn’t sell, pregnancy was tricky, stress was rediculous. Healthy baby was born. Debts grew.. more moves for homes and a new school.. restarting a business.. 

Ambitious? I hold onto that, but maybe it was all just crazy. The fact that I’ve done it all with the same person at my side it just amazing. Of course we’ve argued, cried, said terrible things, thrown things, and I’ve slept on the couch a couple of times. But maybe that’s just what ambition is sometimes. It’s pushing yourself and your partner out of comfort zones to cause conflict that you then have to work through together. And I can tell you honestly that there was plenty of conflict through all of the “ambition” we’ve lived through, and some of it was down right aweful... but there is no other person in the world that I would have rather grown this life with than her. We continue to build our family on ambition and I can’t wait to see where we go from here.. but for the record, there will be no more actual moving! We’re staying put here.


*Side note: this week our oldest turns 12 marking the anniversary of my lovely wife becoming the greatest mom in the world. Happy BIRTH day!