Today Call Me Honored.

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Today I’m honored to welcome my one of my bloggy crushes, Julie Gardner, of By Any Other Name. Julie is a writer, a mom to two children and some canines, and is a lover of books, tortilla chips and mascara. I adore her for many reasons, mostly that she doesn’t pressure herself to publish all the time–which translates to high-quality, very readable & relatable posts. If you don’t subscribe to her blog, hurry here immediately and sign up. You won’t be sorry. She never wastes words. She says what’s on her mind and isn’t afraid. Her content is always engaging. She is a blogger and a person I really look up to and love.

Photo shamelessly stolen from Julie's blog

Some of my favorites by Julie include:

Today Call Me Inked

Today Call Me Brazilian

Today Call Me Complete (bring your Kleenex)

Today Call Me JulieNancy (bring more Kleenex) 

She’s darling in person, so watch her vlog about her favorite books: Today Call Me Obsessed (Snow Flower & the Secret Fan is on her list, and she got to meet the author and I’m super jealous. Also? We share many favorite books. Le sigh.)

Anyway, enough out of me. Time to let Julie shine. Please visit her blog, tell her hello, and follow her on Twitter @JulieCGardner.

Goodnight, My Someone

I balance a laptop where I once bounced my baby boy. 

I still feel the weight of him; hear his wet giggles; smell the Dreft from the days when I bought special detergent for his tiny socks. I would gaze at him and think, “I made this. He is mine.” I marveled at the power of it, the depth of love he inspired.

Tick tock, tick tock; I’m a little cuckoo clock.

He is fourteen, jogging by me with the rest of his Black Belt team. They’re running circles around their studio to train for a 5K race scheduled for October. He waves as he passes me. I wait for him and count another lap.

Tick tock, tick tock; now I’m striking one o’ clock.

My daughter drapes her legs across me as we sit together after school.

This is not the couch where I once spread the blanket from her great grandmother; these aren’t the cushions where she perched Lamby and Alligatey beside her in the fading daylight; my fuzzy-haired cave-girl with her entourage.

Goodnight, my someone; goodnight my love.

She is twelve, her sippy cups of warm orange juice long since recycled. Although we still read together on this new couch, she enjoys her own book, turns her own pages. She no longer asks me to sing her bedtime songs.

Sleep tight, my someone; sleep tight my love.

I was 28 when I became a mother for the first time and 30 when I had the last of my children.

Just the two.

As if two babies could ever be “just.” But in the secret folds of my heart, I wanted more.

And yet.

We weren’t sitting around, my husband and I, thinking we were doing such a miraculous job raising children that we should bring another human being or two into the mix.

Life wasn’t perfect. There was fatigue and work stress. Fears about finances. Ear infections and doctor’s appointments.  The right time for another baby did not present itself, nor did we become “accidentally” pregnant as I’d hoped we might.  

Instead, we changed houses and jobs; we ordered pizza or barbecued chicken; made costumes and counted squares on the calendar until summer. There were taxes and car payments and insurance premiums and bills.

There were also Christmases and home movies; camping and s’mores; we took family ski trips, enjoyed nightly tuck-ins and stories and music. There was love. More than enough. For more.

Tick tock, tick tock; I’m a little cuckoo clock.

We rushed through chaotic days slowly and watched long years pile up behind us. Our time was at once crowded and invisible; both busy and also gone before we’d turned our heads to say goodbye.

Was it really more babies I wanted or simply more time with the ones I already had?

Tick tock, tick tock; now I’m striking twelve o’ clock.

I am 42 years old, facing two middle school-aged kids and a life that balances tenuously on a semblance of structure. I am grateful. Lucky. And I mean no insensitivity toward those for whom having even one child has been or is still a struggle.

What I ask is that you tell me that my lingering doubts are okay. That we may never know what we want. Or get what we think we need.  That I can let go of what is not and fully embrace what is. Because there is no “perfect” and “what is” for me is lovely; because I haven’t yet been able to stop myself from wondering.

The star is shining its brightest light.

But I need to stop wondering.

So goodnight, my someone; goodnight.

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  • http://twitter.com/galitbreen Galit Breen

    Oh you and your beautiful words. I adore you Julie and if there’s one thing that I can tell -with all sorts of bloggy authority- is that your doubts are 100% normal, okay, and common. But you? Are a breath-taking mother. 

    Amazing guesting, you two! XO

  • Juliecgardner

    Thank you, Galit. So much. Speaking of breath-taking: Your support and lovey words are always just what I need to remind myself why I write.

    And Erin, I am thrilled to be here. Especially because it’s giving me the opportunity to support you now, on the occasion of your pregnancy with your third. I wrote in my own post about being honored when you asked. Then I came here.

    Speechless.

    Thanks, beautiful friend. You have one amazing family, three incredibly lucky babies.

  • http://twitter.com/sellabitmum Tracy Morrison

    We all have doubts.  I’m also old like you but you are TWO MONTHS OLDER..and also have doubts. You are an amazing mother so I am totally sending my kids out to you when they are pre-teens as I seem to do toddlers best.  Also you look better in jeans and my damn kids like jeans and it’s bothering me that I cannot provide them the best jean resources.

    I love you and your beautiful words. How do you do it every time. Swoon. xoxo

  • Juliecgardner

    Tracy – Will you come to my birthday party? (I mean, technically, I’m not having one. But I would if you could. And we could all wear jeans.)

    Karly is leaving today in a few hours for a three-day trip for her school service class. DANG it I shouldn’t have raised her to want to help others…I miss her already. And she’s still here.

    So you can send me Astrid. Or Esther. Or Eloise. But I might dress them in denim and watch Oprah reruns with them. It could happen. (Except for the Oprah reruns part.)

  • bywordofmouth

    Beautiful words that we all pass thro our heads, just not quite as eloquently as yours.
    The what if’s, have made up many of my waking hours and seeped deeply into many of my dreams. But my children are growing up too fast, I want to slow those hands of time, soak up every minute … but that tick tock, like the beating of my heart, cannot stop.
    Lovely post Julie … your words are always … lovely.

  • Juliecgardner

    Thank you so much Nicole. I know how much love and effort and time and hope hope hope went into the forming of your beautiful family.

    So this comment means a lot to me. Really.

  • Ally

    Your doubts are okay and normal. Especially as those babies grow. Mine is a junior in high school and my chest gets tight and my eyes start to tingle every time I think about how short a time I have left with him as my ‘child’. And no matter how hard I hold and claw and drag my feet, I cannot seem to slow time down and hold onto him longer.

  • Juliecgardner

    Ally,

    That’s exactly it. Exactly.

    Every time we approach some watershed moment, my kids sigh.
    “Are you going to cry again?” 

    Yes. Yes, I am.

  • Taming Insanity

    I think we all just have to go through with things as well as we can. None of us are going to get through all of this life stuff without some questions.

  • Juliecgardner

    KLZ – I was counting on you for ALL the answers. But I guess I’ll have to be satisfied with your bow staff skills…

  • Lady Jennie

    This is wonderful.  And I might need some kleenex too for this one.

    I will be 42 on November 21.  That’s November 21 everyone.  ;-)  And sometimes I secretly hope for an accidental pregnancy, even though I still get to cuddle babies.  Actually, my youngest who is not yet 3 is in public school and he’s known as the kid who “does caca” (in his pants).  Yes, I have *that* kid.  I digress.

    Even though I have babies I still miss breastfeeding and still wish I had a family of 6 and still wish I could smell baby necks on a regular basis.  But my husband has firmly said I’ll have to wait for the grandkids.  Comforting huh?

  • Juliecgardner

    Oh Jennie,

    I relate to it all. Through the hazy, rose-colored glasses of nostalgia I miss everything about pregnancy, newborns, breastfeeding…

    I know that wasn’t the reality. But such is the memory that it has erased the hard parts and left me with a longing for all that was good.

    I need to remind myself that there is still so much good yet to come.
    And also right now.

    So much good.

  • http://moveovermarypoppins.com/ CDG

    I would love to reassure you. Except that even though I’m pretty sure that I’ve turned out to be a one-and-done Mama, I still have all the stuff… on the off-chance.. even though I like things as they are… but if I sold the clothes… and he does love babies… and I’m not 35 yet.

    • Juliecgardner

      Don’t sell the clothes.

      And I love you. Even though you’re young.

      XO

  • http://mikenmitch.wordpress.com/ Mike D

    Wow. My favorite truism is, “The days are long, but the years are short.” You’ve expressed that here better than I ever could. Now I need to go home and see if today is the day my teenage daughter became taller than me. She checks everyday because she knows she is getting close.

    • Juliecgardner

      I’m rooting for you, Mike!

      She looks up to you; but you want her looking UP to you.
      I get that.  

      And she will.
      Always.

  • Kpiccini

    I absolutely know we all harbor that”what if”, that “if I could have what I truly want” so yes I think it’s absolutely natural to feel like you do. It took us 4 years to get PG and an IVF and a twin pregnancy etc..and now my boys will be 4 in Jan and I am wishing for the another baby..”mAybe the girl?” And I’ll be 42 in Feb…and it’s not practical or rational or financially sound, but I still think about it. I’m thinking we all long for that…that “one more chance” moment.

    I really liked this post…and I hope you always know how lucky your kiddos are to have you and that you are not missing anything !

    • Juliecgardner

      Kir -

      I love to hear that I’m not the only one who’s “north of 40″ and still feels this way. Most of my friends and family FELT done and just knew…I never had that “done” feeling and don’t think I ever will. So I guess I have to live with the what if -And you’re still a spring chicken, lady. 41 is YOUNG so cheers!

  • Missy@Wonder, Friend

    Oh, Julie, how do you do this to me? Leave me breathless with emotion every time I read. I relate to this completely. We have “just” the two, as well. And you are right – there is no such thing as “just children” in any quantity. They are such amazing gifts and my heart is filled daily by them both.

    I don’t long for another child, but I’m not closed to the idea, either. I don’t have the answers there. I don’t know if I ever will, either. Will I always wonder “what if”? Possibly. Do I have regrets? No. Not in the simplest sense of regret, anyway. My two are so much more than enough; but I often think I’m supposed to have another child in my life, but maybe not through the traditional means. So then, by what means? I don’t have any idea. Adoption, mentoring? Time will tell, I guess?

    In short, no, I don’t think we always know what we want. I’m not certain we always get what we need, but I’d like to believe that’s the case. I like the idea that I do not have to be in charge, that my needs are met by someone so much bigger and wiser than I am.Sorry – started writing a blog post in your comments!Great guest-poster, Erin & lovely post, Julie.

    • Juliecgardner

      Missy -

      I’m the queen of blogging in the comments, so no apologies necessary, here!

      This may sound corny (or crazy) but a woman once saw me with my two babies and said, “Oh, you’re not done.” And at the time I said, “I know.”

      But then I never had another. So I’ve always felt that even OTHER people thought I should have more kids –  Wacky people, maybe. But people.

      Anyway, I love the idea of mentoring, and I suppose that teaching for 16 years kept me feeling like I was constantly parenting. 

      I just love children. Of every age. And I can’t believe how quickly mine are becoming young adults…

  • http://www.misselaineouslife.com Elaine A.

    My “baby” will be 2 next weekend and I have this pulling at my heart like never before.  See, when my baby before her turned 2 I had a baby in my belly. ;)  Another “chance” per se, for all those firsts and amazing things but they are quickly slipping away again and even though I don’t necessarily long for another baby or child, I believe, as mothers, we always wonder and wish. I’m trying to cherish it as much as I can, as I see you are too. 

    Maybe there is another child out there in some way that will enter your life?  I don’t know.  Just other things I wonder. 

    Beautiful, heartfelt post. xo

    • Juliecgardner

      Thank you, Elaine.

      That comment was just lovely. You made me smile and wonder…something different than I’ve been wondering.

      Which is simply perfect.

      Cheers to the heart of a mother.

  • Leanne Shirtliffe (Ironic Mom)

    Hi Erin: I’m here via Julie’s blog and I’m happy to meet you!

    Julie, I hear you. I’m 40. I had twins at 33. I mostly knew they were my Alpha and Omega. But I know I have love for more. And that’s okay, I tell myself (and you…).. There are a lot of people who need our love.

    Hugs.

    • Juliecgardner

      Yes, Leanne. A lot of people need our love. 

      And there are only so many white boards we can fill with our children’s genius ;-)You are so right, my friend.

  • Anonymous

    Somehow you do this to me every time.  You and I are in such different places, yet I FEEL your posts as if they were my own.  I know that feeling of “what if…” or “what’s next…” while at the same time looking back and thinking, “where did that time GO?”

    I love your words.  They assure me that what is happening NOW in my life will not always be…but they also remind me that time is fleeting.

    Love.

    • Juliecgardner

      Katie,

      I am so so so thrilled to be vicariously experiencing the new babies coming for my friends right now…

      (Although I’m sorry about the sickness! Wish I could help with that, but…)

      I can’t wait to read about (and see pictures of) the growing nation. This new baby of yours couldn’t ask for a better family than You, Cort and Eddie.

      Couldn’t ask for more love.

      XO

  • http://lessthanperfectmel.blogspot.com Mel

    Must. Choke. Back. Tears.
    I think we all must struggle with this one.  I tell myself that when we reach the right number then I won’t wonder every day whether or not there should be more.  But, who knows?  Maybe we just run out of time…in which case, I say, go for it!

    • Juliecgardner

      Hi Mel,

      I’m sorry if I’m glad you’re ambivalent too; because it’s not that I want anyone else to wonder; to be anything but perfectly content.

      But it does make me feel better to know that there are others who wonder about the choice.

      Good luck knowing when you have reached the right number…

      That’s a great day right there!
      XO

  • http://www.carolinavaldezmiller.com Carolina Valdez Miller

    I don’t know that you ever really know. It’s not like there’s a magic number, yeah? Perhaps we have those moments, like when someone asks, “Will you have any more?” and you chuckle an “Uh, no. NO.” But there are also moments when you wonder. When it’s not so hard to imagine the feel of a tiny foot against your ribs, from within, but also in your bed, nestled against you as you try to sleep. I’d imagine it’s only when there gets to be more moments than the other that you have an idea not necessarily what’s right for always, but what’s right for now. I think, maybe, it boils down to time (and money and health and energy and–everything). There’s never enough, not for the kids you have, not for the kids you don’t have. How can there ever be enough? Most days, I’m flying by the seat of my pants, big decisions included. Do most people slave over decisions like this and then have brilliant light bulb moments when the answer is crystal clear? I don’t think that’s ever happened to me. I always feel like all my decisions are either, “Eh, sure” or “Eh, nah,” and then I commit.

    Beautiful post, Julie. As always.

    Hey, Erin! Nice to meet you!

    • Juliecgardner

      Carol - 

      You said it exactly the way I would have said it if I were you…
      That’s why you are so damn awesome.

      Eh, Sure. or Eh, Nah.

      But I’m 42 now. Almost 42. So the Eh, sure seems selfish. And unrealistic.
      So then it comes back to time which you mentioned earlier.

      I had my time. And it didn’t happen. So done.
      But really?

      XO 

  • http://tiaras-and-trucks.blogspot.com Angela

    I am in tears.  First of all, I am so sad knowing how quickly it is all going to fly by.  Second of all, I absolutely know that feeling, not knowing for sure if I am finished.  (My husband KNOWS.  The snip-snip kind of knowing, with my ok, of course.)  I still wonder “what if?”, even though most times my heart is so full of love for my babies, and I can’t imagine my life any other way.

    • Juliecgardner

      Angela,

      We never did anything “permanent” so to speak, which made the ambivalence all the more difficult. I’ve been in a semi-permanent holding pattern for ten years. When I was 32, I assumed I’d end up un-doing the situation – but there would have had to be appointments and procedures (etc.). So.

      I kind of feel like the decision was made for me by an overly-enthusiastic OBGYN who pushed me in the direction of a long-term device saying, “We can ALWAYS take it out.”

      I know. More information than you needed. But it probably explains my nagging doubts because I never really decided on my own. It was kind of done before I knew what I was doing…

      But my heart too is SOOO full of love for the children I have. My boy. My girl. I have it all. And I shouldn’t be greedy.
      Right?

  • Funnyorsnot

    I envy the women that are so sure they’re done after two, three, or whatever the number.  I also envy the women that have a houseful of kids (sometimes).  On a rare occasion, I even envy my childless friends who do whatever the hell they want.

    Loved this, I’m pretty sure my ovary just released an egg.(you better watch your back Julie, I think you have a lot of admirers.  “Most likely to get gang banged” on the internet is not a title I would take lightly.)  

    • Juliecgardner

      Poppy,

      My husband doesn’t help the situation. He had three sisters and now he looks at big families and says, “We should have had more kids.”

      At which point I say, “Where was this attitude 8 years ago?”

      But now? I’ll can tell him about my internet offers. And I’ll let HIM watch my back.
      Oh yeah.

  • http://www.thewatson6.blogspot.com jessica

    Okay so could there have been a “don’t read this the day after your husband gets a vasectomy” warning at the top of this post? I have been looking through old pictures of my pregnant belly and gazing at my kids that much longer this week, knowing that we are done.
    This is so beautifully written and the line “she turns her own pages now” is sitting in my heart. Love both of you ladies. xo

    • Juliecgardner

      OH NO! My heart just skipped a beat and I may or may not have crossed my legs…

      I’m sending HUGE hugs to you and wishes for a painless recovery to him.

      But you’re so right. Those pregnancy pictures are a killer. So much hope. And excitement. Full of possibility. (And just plain full ;-).)

      It’s hard to ever be “done” with that kind of love, isn’t it?
      Like the first kiss you can never have again.

      Thank goodness for memories. And new kisses. And never-ending love.
      And thanks so much to you.

  • SmartOne Kym

    This caught the breath in my chest. I have four children and I am quite sure that we are done. Completely done. 

    Yet still, when my OB asks each year if I’m so certain that I’d like to have my tubes tied, I stop short and pause. I cannot bring myself (or my husband) to do something so permanent. I am certain in how I feel today, but I do not fool myself into knowing how I will feel tomorrow. Perhaps it has more to do with the difficulty we went through getting pregnant in the first place. 

    Whatever the reason, your post whispers of why I can’t permanently end our ability to conceive – there is the lingering idea of “what if,” of the possibilities of what we could create. To do anything that would end those maybes – even if we never intend to turn them into certainties – is too much for my heart to bear.

    Your post was simply lovely, and I will be following through to read more from you.

  • http://thesmartness.com JW Moxie

    This caught the breath in my chest. I have four children and I am quite sure that we are done. Completely done. 

    Yet still, when my OB asks each year if I’m so certain that I’d like to have my tubes tied, I stop short and pause. I cannot bring myself (or my husband) to do something so permanent. I am certain in how I feel today, but I do not fool myself into knowing how I will feel tomorrow. Perhaps it has more to do with the difficulty we went through getting pregnant in the first place. 

    Whatever the reason, your post whispers of why I can’t permanently end our ability to conceive – there is the lingering idea of “what if,” of the possibilities of what we could create. To do anything that would end those maybes – even if we never intend to turn them into certainties – is too much for my heart to bear.

    Your post was simply lovely, and I will be following through to read more from you.

    • Juliecgardner

      “There is the lingering idea of “what if,” of the possibilities of what we could create. To do anything that would end those maybes – even if we never intend to turn them into certainties – is too much for my heart to bear.”You said it better than I did. Yes. We haven’t been able to go the “permanent” route either. Time has become the final say in our debate.So I can’t thank you enough for your thoughtful, spot-on comment. It means a lot to know that someone understood exactly what I was saying. (Someone with four kids, no less!)It was absolutely lovely to meet you. Really.

  • http://rasjacobson.com/ Renee Schuls-Jacobson

    Oh, Julie. Wowser.

    You know I have one Monkey.

    That wasn’t part of the plan. At all.

    So, as you said, I can only be grateful because I got to have one. I get to orrow this beautiful boy for a few years. Because he doesn’t really “belong” to me.

    I’ll never be able to have more. He will always be my only reference point. There will be no do-overs.

    I guess that makes it strangely easier, as opposed to being left wondering.

    I love everything you did with this post, my friend.

    And thank you for introducing me to another one of your blogging faves.

    • Juliecgardner

      Isn’t that so true? About the borrowing. They do not belong to us. (Even though really they SHOULD! They just should completely be under our control like forever because of everything we go through, damnit!)

      But instead, we grow this incredible love for them and then have to watch it walk away…and hope we did a good enough job that they want to come back.

      Occasionally. Not to live, of course. 
      Sigh.

      No do-overs. Yes. That’s the hardest part. We only get this one chance to get it as right as we can.

      And then keep our fingers crossed…

  • http://andthenkate.com Kate

    Erin, you couldn’t have picked a better guest poster. Julie, as always, does things with words that I only hope to do, some day, some way.

    • Juliecgardner

      Kate - 

      Holy cow, girl. Thanks! But you are my humor HERO. I adore your posts and envy your sense of humor and writing ability.All the time.So there.

      (See how good my words were there? I really told you, didn’t I? Oh yeah.)

  • Terri Sonoda

    Wow, Julie, I am an avid reader and fan of your blog, but I have to say this was one of my favorite posts ever from you.  I usually “tune in” for your wit, but this reflection, warmth and raw yet poetic honesty had me from the very beginning.  It brought me back to when my sons were middle school age, and then forward through their high school and college years.  Whenever I have the privilige of spending time with one of them, I see a beautiful young man, accomplished, compassionate and successful……but I also see a tiny 6 year old face smiling at me and asking for another cookie.  You did all this for me.   Thank you .  Love you!

    • Juliecgardner

      Oh Terri -

      I love that you described time with your sons as a “privilege.” What a beautiful thing to be able to say, to know, to have accomplished.

      Job well done, lady. I can only hope I’ll have that kind of relationship with my kids when they’re grown.

      And that I’ll always have a healthy supply of cookies around to offer their smiling faces ;-)

  • http://www.bellebeanchicagodog.com/ Liz

    I’m one of those “things work out how they are meant to be” people. I’m sorry you are left wondering at this point in time, but maybe that’s normal? Maddie’s preschool teacher, who has a daughter in her early 20′s, said to me how she was jonesing for a baby a few years and then found out that her daughter was pregnant, so she better be careful what she wished for. ;-)

    So maybe lots of moms of teens wonder what it would be like if they had had one more??

    • Juliecgardner

      Liz-

      I’m sure that if I went to a therapist, she’d say my wishy-washiness is part of some deep denial about growing older myself…But that can’t be true. Because I’m still so young, you see!FAR too young to be a grandmother. So I will be sure to watch what I wish for…For at least another fifteen years or so…

  • http://www.literalmom.com Missy | Literal Mom

    I am so touched by this.  My husband and I just had this same conversation last night.  Saying, we can’t imagine having another one, but feel heartbroken if we don’t.  It’s tough.  And who knows if it would even happen.  I’m getting up there into my 40s also and the first two didn’t come along easily.  

    Julie – you are a wonderful, beautiful writer.  Thank you for putting exactly what’s in my own heart today.  

    • Juliecgardner

      Missy -

      This part of your comment really struck home to me:”We can’t imagine having another one, but feel heartbroken if we don’t.”That’s EXACTLY what we have gone through. So I can relate. But we are older and our kids are older than yours. So. I think we’re finally on the other side of the debate.As for you and your husband, I sincerely hope you find a resolution that makes you happy.(And if you get pregnant, I’ll do a guest post for you – ha! ;-))

  • Janie Fox

    We had five but lost the twins . I wanted more. The doctor said no. Now I have 5 grands and life is grand. It all works for the best. hugs my friend.

    • Juliecgardner

      I love that you life is grand with the grands ~
      I’ve seen their pictures and smiles. I’ve seen you with them. 
      What a lovely family you’ve assembled yourself…

      You’re all the evidence I need that life works for the best.
      Indeed.

  • http://twinisms.com Bridget

    It’s never enough. We thought about it a lot before we had another (twins again) weighing the options, thinking, planning. I’m glad we did. I’m glad I got to be pregnant one more time. But still, even with 4 I wish I had one more. Just one. We won’t, but I still wish we could. It’s never enough.

    • Juliecgardner

      Wow. I would have thought someone who had already had TWO sets of twins would feel that sense of finality. Would reach that “done-ness” I’ve been waiting for.

      But you just made me feel so much more normal. 
      Thanks for that. A lot.
      XO

  • http://twinisms.com Bridget

    It’s never enough. We thought about it a lot before we had another (twins again) weighing the options, thinking, planning. I’m glad we did. I’m glad I got to be pregnant one more time. But still, even with 4 I wish I had one more. Just one. We won’t, but I still wish we could. It’s never enough.

  • http://www.amothersthoughts.com A Mother’s Thoughts

    What a lovely post!!  Beautiful writing!

    Lynn

    • Juliecgardner

      Thanks so much, Lynn.

      And it’s lovely to *meet* you here ~ 

  • Anonymous

    You know I echo that sentiment. It’s growing stronger everyday, even as my husband and the bank account and our shrinking house all say, “What? No!” 

    I love the way you wrote this. Beautiful.

    • Juliecgardner

      I DO know…I also know bank accounts and houses always shrink. There’s never enough money or time or space.

      But there’s always enough love.

      I know where you’re headed…and it will be beautiful. And chaotic. And perfect.
      For you.

  • http://bestoffates.com Megan (Best of Fates)

    This post is so beyond beautiful. And I think everyone always wonders about what could have been, you just have to keep it at the initial stage of fleeting thought.

    • Juliecgardner

      Thanks, Megan.

      It is the “could have been” that can drive you crazy. But the “what actually is” for me is pretty darn good. So I need to remember that.

      And the fact that another child would just make more laundry, so there’s that.
      XO

  • http://twitter.com/NinaBadzin Nina Badzin

    I think you hit the nail for many moms, Julie. It almost seems like everyone I talk to says they wish they had one more . . . BUT I’ve noticed they say it when the kids are older, not during the toddler, kids always at home stage. So you have to remember why you made the decisions you did at the time and trust that you guys made it based on what was right. Therefore, it’s still right!

    • Juliecgardner

      You are so RIGHT, Nina.

      It is easy to look back through the rose-colored glasses of a decade of distance and sigh thinking more children would have meant a simple expansion of the family…

      The truth is we were overwhelmed. 
      Just hanging on to what we had.

      So now, a dozen years later, what we have is wonderful.
      And will continue to be.

      So thank you (my yes AND no friend). 
      For your wisdom. Always.

  • Grumpy Grateful Mom

    I loved this post!  I still want another one, but I think I will be a better mother if I don’t.  I’m trying to cherish my days now. 

    • Juliecgardner

      That’s what my husband and I decided: that we’d be better parents to the two we already had if we didn’t add a sibling to the mix once the age difference between them would be upwards of ten years.

      It would be like two different generations of children.And I didn’t want to miss out on the time I had left with my first two while I was tending to a baby.

      Cherishing the days is what it’s all about…

  • Tim@sogeshirts

    What a fantastic post. So important to cherish the time you have now with your kids. Your family sounds so wonderful with just the two kids you have. I can definitely understand wishing you had another though. 

  • http://ostricheslookfunny.blogspot.com Ostriches

    you. kill. me.

    This post is amazing. It makes me feel a certain peace about a certain thing my husband and I have decided…

  • Kari Marie

    Another amazing post. “As if two babies could ever be “just.” ”
     
    Wow.

    Love this blog too! I’ll stop back again.

  • Charlene Ross

    Just beautiful Julie. As always your words simply take my breath away. You may always be wondering, but your family sounds “just” perfect.