“I think togetherness is a very important ingredient to family life.”
– Barbara Bush
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I’ve been watching my family grow with each passing day, for just over three years now. From the first time someone placed Collette into Marty’s arms, and he looked terrified, to her running at full speed and jumping into his arms, trusting that he’ll catch her.
Watching love grow that way is a blessing.
A little background: Our family began as a dream, in October of 2006. We were fourteen, freshmen in highschool, and we knew it all. Both being from broken families, all we wanted when we grew up was an overabundance of love for our future children, and for ourselves. Little did we know, the next five years would be some of the worst years of our lives. It wasn’t until Collette was born that we finally knew what loving someone and really being a family truly meant. That’s when the best years of our lives started. At 23, Marty and I are hardly “grown ups” by some standards. There is always someone who thinks we’re not doing good enough. But, we’re all about enjoying life, keeping our relationship strong, and raising our little one to be the best she can be. Aren’t those the things that most people strive for in life? Being 23, parents, happy, and financially stable might not be good enough for other people, but it’s great for Marty and I. It happened a little earlier than we wanted, but it happened right when we needed it.
Fast forward to teaching a mini version of ourselves how to do things that we’ve been doing for as long as we can remember, and getting so frustrated we can hardly stand ourselves. Why is it so hard for her to remember to flush the toilet?
She’s hungry for information, and we’re the chefs feeding it to her. Our kitchen gets a little hot sometimes. But, taking the time to rest and enjoy our little Lady’s personality makes everything so worth it. There is such a blended mixture of Marty and I in her that we often say “oh, there you are” to each other when she does something that is clearly one of our traits. I’m thankful that she got my love of nature and, at three, is already doing well with a camera. Marty’s love for story telling and food was surely passed along. All good things so far!
I feel like I’m always chasing them around, trying to keep up with their adventures. Collette really gets him to go out of his comfort zone, and he boldly takes her hand when she’s scared of something. She’s at the perfect age for adventure, and we’re taking advantage of it. Everything is interesting to her, and when we come across something that Marty and I don’t know the answer to, we all look it up and learn about it together. Little things like that help us grow as a family.
Growing is something we’re getting good at. I’m happy with how our life is unfolding. It’s rich with memories and love, adventures and midnight hide and seek games, and all of the best silly stories.
Watching Collette grow into a sassy little smarty pants with a big heart, a love for telling stories, and an even bigger love for her Daddy, has been the best thing I could ask for. Right next to her is her silly Dad, who has grown from a terrified twenty year-old holding his sweet daughter, into a semi-responsible adult, who works hard to take care of his Ladies.
This chapter in our lives is sure to be a colorful one!
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Thanks for reading!
All photos are mine.