I've written and rewritten this post over the last year or so in my head. I've gone through the things I would say, the moments I would share. I've even written notes here and there so I don't forget anything I want to say.
And if you know me, you know that I ALWAYS have something to say.
So let's get this
We're having another baby.
That's right. The Newkirk family will now have three children.
Sorry, I just have to remind myself that we've actually taken that plunge.
You see, we went back and forth, back and forth.
We have a mid-sized crossover right now that comfortably seats two car seats in the back.
We have a house with three bedrooms.
We have a four and six year old. Our kids have been out of diapers for quite some time.
We sold or gave away all of our baby stuff.
I had my bladder fixed. I'll spare you the details, but let's just say when I went in for my pre-op appointment before that surgery, my doctor said, "Now if you're thinking of having a third baby, you'll really want to do that before you have this procedure done."
Well, back then, I wasn't thinking of having a third baby!
And as time has gone on, we just realized that maybe we weren't done.
I know what you might be thinking. "Gotta try for that boy..."
That's not really it at all. We just didn't feel complete.
We'd love to give our nephew Greyson a little boy cousin and I would love for the girls to have a baby brother, but our prayer is really for a healthy baby.
A healthy baby boy or girl.
Let's talk about perfect timing.
I am a planner. I like to work out schedules in my head. I like to know when we're leaving, when we're going to be home. I put things on the calendar months in advance.
I am a planner.
And so when we decided to try for baby #3, I knew exactly when we should start. My plan was to have a baby in March, April, or May.
We didn't get pregnant right away, which isn't the norm for us.
And by the time September rolled around, we had decided we were done trying.
Funny sense of humor God has though.
We decided to be content with our two darling daughters and stop trying. I had accepted the fact and was moving on with plans of how to redo the house to make it fit our family of four's longterm needs.
Of course, then came October. I started to feel very tired and blamed it on teaching preparation for the end of first quarter. I got a little nauseous every once in a while, but decided my sugars must be a little off.
I was still losing weight (15 pounds since the beginning of the school year), and was able to do my Couch to 5K workout with no problem whatsoever. So of course I wasn't pregnant.
Or maybe I was.
As time went on, the signs began to point towards that and I finally took a test and it revealed that indeed, baby #3 is on the way.
I added it all up and found that I should be due in mid-June. Works pretty perfectly for a teacher. That fit into my nice little "plan".
We should probably start preparing.
Of course, going from two to three kids would be enough of a change by itself.
Add in the fact that we have no baby equipment, no baby room, and haven't had a newborn in the house for 4 1/2 years and there's going to be some preparation that takes place.
And so, I purchased a handy-dandy notebook.
I labeled it with month names, from November to June and started making a to do list for each month.
Did I mention I'm a planner?
So I have categories for each month...baby, house, studio, school, girls, and "other" (you know, for all of those things that don't fit nicely into any of the other categories). :)
I'll share my progress on our "to do" list throughout the next nine months, as we have decided to try to get rid of at least 1/3 of our possessions over the next year or so.
We're building on. Eventually, that is.
My original idea was to do that immediately.
Build on a basement, a few bedrooms, and a family room and call it good. Each kid would have her (or his, maybe!) own bedroom and we'd be set for life.
Of course, when we began looking into the "building on" situation, we decided that maybe taking a loan out for $40- or $50,000 wouldn't be the smartest financial decision.
So we decided to put it off for a little while and "make it work".
The girls already share a bedroom. The other bedroom is now the "playroom".
Our current plan is to redo the playroom for the girls' Christmas gift and make room for a crib and baby clothes in there too.
It's funny the differences in my "must have" list with this baby and with Harlee. I am thinking the BARE MINIMUM with this one and with Harlee, I thought we needed every gizmo and gadget under the sun!
So we're planning to make the playroom/nursery situation work for a year and a half and save our extra debt snowball money towards a down payment on a construction loan sometime in 2015.
Baby will be a year old and we'll be in a better position to fund the project.
Here comes the hard part.
I've gone over this conversation a million times in my head and I just can't decide how to say it.
So I guess I'll just say it.
Newkirk Photography is going to be making a huge transformation in 2014. I am planning to finish out the sessions and weddings I already have booked for next fall, but beyond that, I'm planning to shut my doors except for an occasional mini-session.
I have slowed down a large amount over this past year and the time with Matthew and my girls has been INCREDIBLE.
The wonderful part is that we started this business to help families gain affordable high-quality photos and I have accomplished that goal for a number of years. We also have been able to pay down a large amount of debt since the time I opened my doors, which has been a huge blessing for our family.
And now, it just feels like the "right" time to slow down.
For the time being, I am planning to keep the studio, so I will have a location to do inside portraits if I need to.
I am planning to still offer some mini-sessions here and there.
But my main job is going to be wife, mom, and third grade teacher.
I am extremely excited about my new journey of "mom to three" and am looking forward to this new chapter in our lives.
We are so grateful for your love and support since we opened Newkirk Photography over five years ago. We have been extremely blessed in this community.
There are so many wonderful photographers in Bates County and I know they will be able to capture more of your journey as I step out of the photographer role.
Blessings & Love,