Turning Left: the next chapter in my hypothetical future memoir

It has been a while since I’ve blogged. I remember a time in my life when I had time to blog like once a week. I love writing. I love finding poignancy in the fragments of life, in the little windows. One day, I hope to find the time to be able to do that again. It seems nowadays life is just so busy. But tonight. Tonight I have some time and I feel inspired. I normally have about 8 blogs a month I write for Owen’s clients and so when I do have time in the evenings, I’m spending them writing other people’s business blogs. But this month the baby is due. And so Owen gave me the month off. Another one of his bloggers is taking over the blogs this month and that means I have time to breathe, pack the house, prep for the baby, and then in two weeks—July 17th to be exact, take care of a newborn again.

Tonight, Owen has some Christian rock ballads playing in the living room stereo, the cool summer breeze is blowing through our balcony window bringing in light whiffs of smoldering coals from the bbq shrimp kabobs we made for dinner, Jameson is sound asleep in his crib, and Kanan is off with his dad. I just sat down and pulled out my grandmother Lois’s composition book of her memoirs. My project for this summer is to type up her stories so she can give them to her kids. My grandmother’s stories are the best. She really has had an amazing life. And just the idea of starting the first page of her book, gets me thinking about my own life and where I am right now. I am in the midst of living out the stories that one day I might be able to share with my kids. And right now so much is going on. So I thought, I’d take a pause here for a moment and write some of it down. How much of the emotion that permeates this very moment I’m not sure I can explain when I’m 85. Will I even remember it exactly? I don’t know.

Owen and I and the boys are at a cross roads in our life. And we just decided to turn left. The blinker is on and the car is starting to idle out. We are excited. I’m a little scared. But we’ve got God taking care of us and that makes it feel less scary. Like a roller coaster. You know you will be okay in the end because you’re confident in the ride’s engineer. But what is the ride going to be like?

I look back at the road we have been on. I am ready to turn left. Where have we been? Two people who lived in the world and had a blast, but found ourselves in a place where the world just didn’t satisfy anymore. Two people who found Jesus and then found each other, married quickly and experienced a volatile first year of marriage as we got to know each other fully. We made adjustments and grew, our rough edges smoothing out with each friction to something much softer. In our second year of marriage, we moved and mourned the surprise death of my father, then had a beautiful baby together named Jameson. In our third year of marriage, we grew some more as Owen finished school, started a business, and watched Kanan and Jameson grow as well and fill us with love and laughter and inspiration. We also discovered to our surprise that we were pregnant again, and watched out little apartment shrink and our stuff crawl up the walls with each month my belly grew. We anticipated the possibility of me staying home with the kids when I was pink-slipped, praying God would use this to build Owen’s business to the point of breadwinner and bring me home. We recognized that our timing is not God’s timing when my layoff was rescinded and used the benefit that we still have two incomes to look for a house to rent and call home for our growing family.

And now here we are. We found a three-bedroom house in a cute neighborhood next to all of our friends and places we go often. It has a backyard for the kids to play in and sits on a quiet street that dead ends, so I don’t have to have a heart attack if the kids ride their bikes on the side walk. We move in 14 days and the baby is due in 17 days. Owen’s business is growing and he continues to learn and make it better. A new school year is around the corner where I will return to work about 4 weeks late from maternity leave and try with all my might and lots of prayer to teach full time in Temecula and raise three boys, maintain a house, and be a supportive wife to my hardworking husband who is desperately trying to build the business enough so that in one year, I can take a leave of absence and be really be home.

So much changes with renting this house. We will have more room so it will actually hopefully look clean and therefore reduce our stress. It will have a backyard for the boys to play in so they don’t get restless on those Saturdays when I have to catch up on all the work I couldn’t do during the week because I spent it teaching instead. But it will also require us to spend differently. We actually need Owen’s business income now to maintain. Before, it was just extra cash for paying off things and saving for a rainy day. The baby changes things as well. Now on top of adding an extra human to our home, we need to find a daycare provider who can take care of both our baby boys—and for hopefully cheap because we will be tight. We have no idea yet who that is going to be. And on top of all of that, Kanan starts kindergarten in the fall. He will be going to an elementary school near his dad’s house in Oceanside. It is full-day, thank God. And I found a little Lutheran church next door to the school that has a preschool and after school program for kids in the public school. So Kanan has a place to go to afterschool and be safe until I am able to grab him after my commute home from Temecula. Not too bad either in price–will cost us about a hundred dollars a month.

So we are turning left. Down a road of a house, a brand new baby boy added to our two active boys we already have, a growing business, a teaching job in Temecula, kindergarten, and finding/paying for daycare for our babies. I’m looking up articles and ideas on how to cook fast and healthy meals so I don’t get too stressed in the week with just making dinner. I’d love ideas on how to organize everything else too….chores, family time, work time….you name it. Do kindergartners have homework?

It really feels like it’s a whole new life ahead of us. A new life filled with new blessings and trials. Of opportunities to grow closer together and closer to God and also to find new cross roads in the distant future. On July 14th, the day we move out—we are officially through the intersection. And three days later, when Benjamin comes, we will be on the road, the two of us in the front seat holding hands and giggling, three kids in the back seat with crackers and juice boxes loaded, and the stereo playing that old Amy Grant Song, “Thy Word is a Lamp Unto my Feet.”

Okay Grandma Lois, I’m ready to type out your memoirs now. Thank you for inspiring me to think about mine.


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