Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Circus came to town :)

A few weeks ago while Andy was gone the circus was coming to town! We have taken Hensley every year and didn't want to miss it this time. We took my mom along and had a blast :) 

We caught some dinner at our local favorite restaurant and got to the circus early to attend the pre show and buy some stuff :) 

The pre show was a little overwhelming for Hensley so we hung out in our seats played with our new circus toys and ate some cotton candy :) 

We saw TIGERS :) 

And elephants :) 

It was all about the clowns this year for Hensley :) 

It was a blast :) So fun to watch and even more fun to watch his face during the whole thing :) 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

And I thought being a mother was complicated.....


    Being a mother is hard, very hard. But those hard times have no comparison to the amazing times. I found over the past three years that I have been faced with countless difficult times. Times where I felt guilty or inadequate. But when I try to recall certain instances where those times have occurred, I can never remember. I only remember amazing memories. Or trips. Or times where I have held and rocked and kissed and laughed and played with Hensley. And as complex as the emotions and thoughts of being a mother are nothing compares to complexity of being a step parent. 
      When I met Andy in 2007 he was a divorced father of two and as we spent more and more time together I got to know and see the relationship he had with Hailey and Kevin. They were so little then (just just 3 and 1). They were adorable and sweet and so loving. But, they weren't a constant in Andy's or my life. Some times they came regularly every other weekend and sometimes months passed without seeing them. The separation between Andy and his ex was still fresh and with that came raw unpredictable emotions, like anger and frustration. When our relationship progressed and we moved in together we saw them few and far between. Not because we didn't want to but because there was a lot of unhealthy arguing between Andy and his ex as they found their place as co-parents   
      As our wedding day came and went the kids came to our new home a few times and things were always good! Then I became pregnant with Hensley and emotions started to change. I had never thought of myself as Hailey and Kevin's stepmother at all. I don't know why but I didn't ever feel like that was my role in their lives. 


     As Hensley was born and my love for him became all consuming I found that my tolerance for Hailey and Kevin became lower and lower. I loved them no doubt, I have always loved them since seeing their sweet little faces for the first time but I don't think I ever considered how they would fit in my life if I ever had a child of my own. I was selfish during this time. I wanted Andy to spend so much time with us and with Hensley. It was so important for us to be a close family and be a solid unit that I never considered how important it was for Andy to be a part of their lives too. This time in my life is nothing I'm proud of. It's a time where I was closed minded and selfish. I never ever wanted them to feel left out or unloved at all but I didn't take the time to look at things through their little eyes. I treated them differently then my own child. I didn't treat them as equal. There were even times (and this is very very very hard to actually sit here and type), there were times I didn't want them around. TERRIBLE I KNOW! Like I said nothing I will ever be proud of but it happened. It was real. The feelings were something I just let control me. 

  Over the past year things have shifted for me and for our family. Something inside of my shifted. Hailey and Kevin have grown so much. They have formed such a bond with Hensley. Hensley absolutely adores them and it breaks his heart each and every time they leave. He sees them as his best friends.  They interact and play and love one another. Hailey and Kevin both have expressed to me what I mean to them over the past year. They are more likely to say "I love you". They hug and love and cuddle. I have started to see them for who they are. They are two very special kids who want nothing more in this world then stability and love. They want to know they are being seen and heard. That they are being acknowledged. They both at any given time will walk up beside you and hold your hand or lay their head on your shoulder. 


 The mundane things have become easier too. They know the rules of our home and they understand it run very differently then their everyday home with their mother. They are respectful and kind. It's rare that they are sitting on the couch alone, they are usually curled up to whomever else sitting at the time whether it be Andy, myself, Hensley or even Sophie! They have smiles that contagious. They love music and dancing and will break out in song at any given moment. They have brought out characteristics and traits in Hensley that are adorable and that remind me of them when they are not around. 

I miss them when they are gone. 
We all miss them when they are gone. 

And even though there are many complicated situations to come in our future that come with all families that involve step children and ex's and other families. I feel so much more confident that we can handle them together and continue to build our relationships with each other and all the love that comes with that! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

An eventful weekend in Feb 2012 (Updated)

What an eventful weekend in the Whitt home this past weekend. This weekend was filled with love, laughter, friends and family, and memories :)

We spent Friday afternoon at a place my husband and I take Hensley alot! Country Park in Greensboro. We love it there its so relaxing! Two playgrounds, several huge ponds full of ducks, lots and lots of trails and nature. If you know Hensley you know he couldnt be happier outside. Its a definite favorite for him. We always take bread to feed the ducks and we walk and run and swing :) Its always a good time. The weather was perfect on Friday and we had an amazing time :)

So anyway....Friday was awesome :)  on Saturday we had plans with some family friends of ours and a their kids who we love love love. We went to a local place called Safari Nation. Its a huge bounce house facility with snacks and games and bounce houses :) Hensleys favorite place!  Andy also brought along his two other children which were visiting this weekend (yep..i'm a step mom too). They all bounced and rode the zipline and ate junk food :) It was perfect!

We also went exploring in the woods at Northeast park this weekend. These kiddos had an amazing time this weekend! It was one for the books.