One of the first things we did was get a family picture taken. We had gotten one taken when Jake was about 15 months but I had put off updating it since then because we were about to get pregnant and have another so I might as well wait until then. Why waste money on a photo of the family that will be obsolete so quickly? In an effort to put action to our resolve we went out and had family pictures taken.
(I would scan in that picture here but I am too lazy. I will just tell you it is adorable and we all look young, fresh and energetic.)
You don't always realize how you are putting your life on hold waiting for something until you let go and stop waiting. In the back of my mind I had avoided a significant vacation because our family wasn't complete. I wanted our whole family to experience the world with us. So we headed to Disneyland the following year. The truth is that we don't really travel all that much, not that we wouldn't like to but we just have never prioritized our money that way, so the next time we took a trip of any significance was almost 10 years later when we went to Kenya, but that Disney trip was a huge symbolic step to embracing and celebrating the path God had put us on.
With this appreciation of God's guiding in our life we have more quickly embraced the road blocks and changes that have come our way over the years. Not seamlessly, not perfectly, our will still conflicts at times with God's plans and I do still fight it at times. But we have learned to live our life amidst whatever reality is before us.
This past fall as we were house hunting for this downsized home we got to embrace a reality we hadn't expected to experience quite so soon. Jake being gone. When we started house hunting we were looking for 3 bedrooms expecting Jake to still have seasons at home with us. But by fall he had joined the army and decided to marry. Both those actions guaranteed he would not need a bedroom in our home again. Moving our sights to a 2 bedroom gave us the option of prioritizing the needs of the child we still have at home and finding the perfect fit for our family. Embracing the stage of parenting we are in now.
At Jake's wedding I returned to the symbolic action I first took when we embraced him as an only child, the family picture. Our family has changed, in a variety of ways, and we now need 4 family pictures to represent who we are today. We captured that change in the moment it happened.
A family of 3 once again embracing the only child lifestyle.
A new family created.
A wedding is a place where a family both multiplies and divides.
That only child God gave us has grown to become 3 beautiful children for us to love.