While backing up some of my FTP files on AOL I came across some pictures that I had posted in my old journal. Seeing some of them reminded me that while those that followed my AOL journal knew me and my family, many of my new friends here don't. So, if you're interested I'll post some of those pictures and some others here to introduce you to my family. The picture above is one of my absolute favorites. It was taken about 6 years ago at my niece's wedding.
First a little background: We live in Northern Kentucky, about 10 miles south of Cincinnati, Ohio. I just turned 50 years old this summer (gosh that hurts to admit!) and in June my husband Jimmy and I had our 30th wedding anniversary. We had three children in pretty quick succession starting in 1980 and finished up in 1983. Well, actually that's not accurate! We THOUGHT we finished up in 1983. We learned that the old adage "We plan - God laughs" is verrry true! In 1998 at the ripe old age of 40 with our son Patrick in his senior year of high school, our daughter Emily a sophomore and our "baby" Sarah Kate a freshman, the rabbit died!! My whole identity to this point in my life had been being a mother. I know without a doubt that is what I was put on this earth to be and do. My children were absolutely my life and heart. But friends at this point in my life I was absolutely and completely worn out! So, when I did my little thing on that stick and it turned pink in 2 seconds instead of the 3 minutes it was supposed to take I absolutely fell apart. I literally saw my life pass before my very eyes! I did what any self respecting 40 year old mother of three teenagers would do at such a time. I bawled my eyes out! My husband and children were downstairs patiently awaiting the results of one of the biggest tests of my life. When I came downstairs crying they knew what the results were and they were thrilled beyond belief. I thought and said, "You're all crazy, I can't do this"! By saying that I don't mean to imply that I ever considered an abortion. I didn't. I just could not imagine how in the world I could manage a baby at this stage of my life. I had been imagining the park bench that I was going to be parking my behind on in a few years when I finally had these three kids raised and it was soooo within view. It instantly moved on down the road about 1,000 miles and I was none to happy about that! I cried for 4 months.
Finally, one day I realized that I would have a little believer again at Christmas. Then I began to remember how many times I'd wished that I could take each of my children back to their baby stage and savor every minute of that time instead of letting it go by in a blur (moral here is: be careful what you wish for!). Anyway, long story short, in October of 1998, with Patrick away at college in Florida and Emily and Sarah well into their sophomore and junior years of high school, the absolute gift of all our lives, Austin Barret was born. And to say the least, none of our lives have ever been the same since. That little guy is getting ready to celebrate his 10th birthday and the "first litter" as I call them are all grown up. You will be hearing about all of them as I keep up this journal because they all remain "my heart".
Patrick and Austin with our Golden Retriever Tucker
Patrick and Austin on Bengal game day (Big Bengal fans here...pray for us!)