A new baby can quickly remind you what matters

I am grateful for a home that is a constant mess. It’s a sign that joyous, busy little people live here.

If you followed my pregnancy journey, you know I was journaling while pregnant with baby No. 3. Well, the first year is over, and we survived!

On May 9, 2016, we welcomed a beautiful baby girl, Clarke Iris, into our family. She made our little family complete and has been a pure joy. She is the best third child ever. With our busy life, there was no such thing as getting her on a schedule. We just strap her into the car, stroller, baby carrier, and take her along to all of our activities. And she goes with the flow — she’s perfect.

Now that she is 1 (I can’t believe it!), I’ve had some time to do some reflecting on her first year. I keep thinking about perspective. Even with some stressful downs in what should be a joyous first year with a new baby, perspective has made me grateful even in those moments.

My 3-year-old broke her leg the week before going to the beach and required a leg cast. At the time it seemed like the most stressful thing in the world. But it wasn’t. The thought of my husband’s cancer coming back was. It technically never went away, but an extended illness signaled some red flags that his cancer had perhaps progressed. While waiting what felt like an eternity for blood and PET scan results, I really had some time to put my life in perspective. Luckily, after a week of waiting on pins and needles, our oncologist came to the conclusion that it was more than likely a viral infection rather than his cancer spreading.

Plenty to be grateful for

A lot of reflection during that week revealed how grateful I am for this beautiful mess that is my life with three young children and a brave husband. I am even grateful for my exhaustion from sleepless nights. It means I have a baby that needs to be nursed, a toddler that is crying because she wet her bed or a little boy who needs comfort from his mother after a nightmare.

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I am grateful for a demanding job that, while it takes time away from my family, offers me the flexibility to go to school parties and my husband’s doctor’s appointments. It challenges me and provides for my family.

I am grateful for a home that is a constant mess. It’s a sign that joyous, busy little people live here.

I am grateful that my husband’s cancer isn’t worse — and that we have Clarke to distract us from the fear and what if’s.

Having Clarke in our life has taught me that life is beautiful no matter what. Through the mess, the fear, the chaos, she snaps me back to what matters in life. I’m not sure how we did it, but we did. Year one is in the books. And it was awesome.