The past couple of years have been hard and chock full of life transition.  Some were easy, some hard, and all have felt a wee bit crazy. In November of 2015, my little family of 3 became a family of 4. After a relatively short period of dealing with secondary infertility, my husband, myself, and our at the time 4 year old, welcomed sweet baby Grayson! He is a total answer to prayer.


Grayson Lee, photo by Michelle Sailer Photography

Most of you incredible mommys embrace being a mother of 2 beautifully and seamlessly! That was NOT the case for me! Like, um, not at all. Don’t get me wrong, I was so happy to have my new baby. However, I did not handle it with grace! Grayson was a hard baby, and is now a hard toddler. I love him with every fiber of my being, but that’s just the truth! He is silly, makes me laugh constantly, and gives the best snuggles. He also screams, STILL doesn’t sleep (he’s almost 2), throws things in the toilets, screams, fills the sink up with toilet paper and turns the water on, screams, chunks toys at his brothers head and dents walls… you name it, he does it. Oh, and did I mention that he is a screamer? He keeps me on my toes to say the least, and I love that little stinker more every day! Big brother, Cullen, loves him so much, he might actually kiss his face off one day!


Cullen and Grayson, photo by Michelle Sailer Photography

Other transitions have included no longer working for my church, starting to do freelance Graphic Design from home, opening up my store Joyful Life Studio, publishing our first children’s book, “The Giant Fish & Jonah”, and my oldest starting Kindergarten.

Perhaps the biggest recent transition was moving in with my mother this past summer. A number of factors went into this decision:

1. I NEEDED SOME HELP! My husband is an INCREDIBLE art teacher, and an even more incredible high school football coach. However, during football season, I am pretty much a single mom. They don’t call them “coach’s widows” for nothing! Coach’s work 7 days a week, and on many weekdays he is gone before we wake up, and home after they have gone to sleep. Last year was hard. Really stinking hard. I don’t know how you single mothers do it. Hats off to you!

2. DEBT FREE LIFE! My husband and I decided to pursue a debt free life, even if that meant extreme momentary sacrifice. And y’all, guess what?! We are already debt free! Our next task is to start saving like crazy so that we can purchase a dream house and not be “house poor”.

3. MY MOM HAS A BIG ‘OL HOUSE! After my grandfather and younger sister moved out, my mom was left in a big ‘ol house all by her lonesome. It was more than she needed, so it went on the market for the better part of a year. Long story short, it didn’t sell, and I convinced her to let us move in!

4. GOD ANSWERS PRAYER! Here is what I hadn’t told you yet. I had been praying for at least a year that Shane (hubby) and my mom would be on board with us all living together. For valid reasons, both were leery of this. Then a few things happened that seemed horrible at the time. We prayed over it fervently, and I felt like God was telling me, “I AM SO MUCH BIGGER THAN THIS!”. A couple of weeks later, all of a sudden my mom called me and asked “Well, what if you guys just came and lived with me?” … say what?!!!! Expecting a firm, “no”, I texted Shane asked him if he would be willing to consider. He replied back immediately that God had been changing his heart towards this and that it would be a good idea. Shane thought it would be wise financially, and that it would be great for me to have my mom there during football season. …SAY WHAT??!!!!!

I could not believe it! We put our house up for sale, and the timing worked out perfectly. My mom and my sister were taking a trip to Scotland during the first week our house was on the market. I loaded up my 2 little rascals, and we stayed at her house so ours could remain spotless. We all know, that is nearly impossible with young children! Our house showed 1-3 times each day that week, but on the 6th day it still had not sold. I know! You’re thinking 6 days is not long at all. The thing is, I was convinced that we were doing what God wanted us to do, and that he was gonna get this baby sold fast! On the 6th day I went to our house to pray over our neighbors, and whatever family was meant to buy our home. 30 minutes later, I got a call from our realtor that we received an above asking price offer on our home. We said goodbye to our first home a few weeks later.

bye home

Transition can be rough. There were times of serious stress, but I always felt like God was building great character in us. I know that he was, and still is, preparing us for something bigger. He has shown us signs of his love and has proved that he is a God of provision on countless occasions. I am thankful for taking that journey and I hope that my story can be one of encouragement to others. Even when it feels like you are in the belly of the whale, God is there.



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