October 24th, 2011 was the day that I found out I was pregnant with Christian. At the time he wasn't named Christian, and we weren't even aware that he was a "he." But it is a day that I will never forget.
Driving home from our trip to Houston a few weeks ago, I was looking through the pictures on my Mom's phone and I came across this picture. It was taken the night before I found out. As I look at it, I can't help but think how the thoughts and moments surrounding this picture were, in essence, life changing for me. It was Sunday night and I was completely oblivious to the fact that I was pregnant, in fact, I was pretty positive that I wasn't pregnant. I had no idea that the following July a beautiful baby boy would be born into our family. It was just a Sunday. I wanted to be pregnant then but thought that it just wasn't in the cards for us. I smiled for the camera thinking at the time that I knew what my life had in store.
The next day would change our family forever. The next day would lead to this, and two additional pregnancy tests.
It would lead to tears, and hugs, and texts, and phone calls to any and every family member we could reach. It would lead me to feel like I was in a happy state of shock for days.
And ultimately, it would lead to July 3rd when Christian Clark would be born. The day that would change us, the day that would prevent us from ever remembering that CCB wasn't a part of our family.
Regardless of how high my "hot mess" status gets, I will never, ever, take for granted the incredible blessing that Christian and Grace are in my life. October 24th is a wonderful reminder that I wanted this. I wanted the chaos and the stress. I wanted the struggle and the tears and the fighting to figure my crap out. I wanted it because I wanted Grace, I wanted Christian, and I begged on my knees countless times just for the chance to have them. And I won't forget those days, the days that I found out my life would change, and the feelings that I had when I knew. They might seem like distant memories when there is milk spilled all over the kitchen and I haven't even looked at my shower in days. But those memories are there, constantly proving to and reminding me that this is exactly what I wanted.
The day after Aaron got back from his New York trip, we packed up my parents car and headed down to Houston. Aaron had tons to catch up with school, and I can never pass up a trip to Houston (it's basically my second home) so we tagged along for the adventure.
The drive down was awesome. Homeboy slept almost the entire time, waking briefly to eat.
Grace was completely self-entertained
We only stopped once for gas and snacks. Christian woke up then as well, basically to smile at me and melt me into a puddle with his cuteness.
We made it to Houston in record time, literally 2 hours faster than when I made the trip alone. We even made it in time for Sunday dinner at my sisters house. Christian hung with the boys watching football after dinner.
We've become quite good at all sleeping in the same room together.
The week was full of fun activities. Playing "faces" on Poppy's iPad
Hanging with Tay
"Helping" Carly with her homework
Skpying with cousin Will for the first time. (I find it so weird that Christian won't know a world without video chatting.)
Playing with Carly and Tay (or maybe just attacking them).
Sleeping with the big kids
Fishing for Grandparents (I think she caught one!)
Partaking in glorious beverages
Sending Dad pictures
Hanging with Aunt Liv and cousins Tarynn and Avery
We love our Liv
Eating at our fave: Lupe Tortilla
Sleeping, or at least attempting to.
Loving on Taylor.
Driving with a questionable amount of people in a five-seater car.
Enjoying awesome Texas BBQ
Snuggling with Cade
After all of our fun activities it was time to pack things up.
We hung out together
And then said our goodbyes.
We then hit the road again to head back to Dallas. Only in Texas would you pull up to a stop light and be next to a large piece of farming equipment.
The drive home wasn't nearly as flawless as the drive down. The kids were much crankier and less self entertaining. However, all things considered, they still did really well.
We finally made it home and Aaron had a few surprises waiting for us. And by us I mean me, because when I comes to cookies, I'm not very good at the whole sharing thing...
We loved our Houston trip. But, after two different trips and 10 long days, our little family was happy just to be back together again.
In September Aaron got the opportunity through his school to do a "Wall Street Roadshow." In a 24 hour period a group of students from his school got to meet and sit down with the major banks. The weekend was jammed packed but in between meetings Aaron snapped and sent me some pictures.
I soaked up all the pictures he sent, wishing that I was there taking in the sights and sounds of New York City as well.
Aaron in front of the New York Stock Exchange
I kept Aaron updated on the kids and our goings on at home
CCB held down the fort in the "Man" department. He might have slept while on the job a few times...
On Saturday before his flight Aaron was able to tour NYC more
But by Saturday afternoon, Grace and I were dying to have him back home.
Thankfully my parents drove in and proved to be a good distraction while we waited for Aaron.
After a plethora of flight issues and delays (darn you American Airlines) Aaron was home. We soaked up as much of Aaron as we could before my parents, the kiddos, and I took off for Houston the next day.