A Month of Milestones


The month of August has been a big one for our family this year. It has been full of milestones for every family member which has made it a bit of an emotional month for this Mama, all for wonderful reasons.

First in the beginning of the month this little guy:


turned into this little guy:


Being the second child sometimes certain milestones don’t seem to be as big of a deal or  can easily get over looked a little more than they did with the first kiddo but Mr.O  turning 1 still felt like a really big deal to me. It has been such an amazing year since he joined our family. There is still so much to learn about parenting and motherhood even with your second child because of course they are going to be exactly the opposite of what your first child was. Mr. O has taught me so much this year. I learned I had a capacity to love even more than I thought possible, to multitask even more than I already was as a mother of one,  and that I could be stretched in ways and circumstances that I always thought I would crumble under, for example learning to function and go about my daily life on four or less hours of sleep for months on end. Mr. O has been an amazing addition to our family and other than his sleep issues the transition to a family of four couldn’t have gone any better. It has been such a wonderful and joyous year for our family because of this little man and we are so excited to see what the next year with him brings.

The next big thing that happened this month is that this little lady:


turned in to this little lady:


(I’m pretty sure it didn’t happen over 5 years but actually over night)

Miss E started kindergarten! I worked at an elementary school when I was pregnant with Miss E and now that is where she is attending school which is very cool. I have been a stay-at-home-mom since Miss E’s arrival in 2009 and while she did attend preschool for two years it was only part day and not every day so this milestone is going to be a huge change for our family. I was not very emotional about her starting preschool but kindergarten has been a whole other story.This is an exciting time in our family for sure. Miss E is very ready for school and it is fun to see her excitement over it. I have  really enjoyed the last two days, sitting down and having a snack with her when she gets home and hearing about her day. However, this is the end of an era for her and I. We had 5 whole years together at home everyday! Other than summers we will never have that again and that makes me sad. I’m not sure in another 5 years how much of it she will even really remember, there is already so much she has forgotten. Of course now that that part of her life is over and I have been thinking back through all that we did, toddler art, music, gymnastics, Mommy and Me Pilates, dance, preschool gymnastics, and second guessing everything I did with her. Maybe we should have stayed home more, maybe we should have done this activity instead of that, I should have played with her more, I let her watch too much tv, I’m going to do it so much better with her brother,blah, blah, blah. Of course, I did a fine job but I think this is all part of the process of letting a little bit of her go, questioning how I have done as a parent. I’m sure I will do this again for junior high, high school, college…everything. I think the other big scary party for me has been letting her ride the school bus. This little lady just moved out of a 5 point car seat about two weeks ago into a booster seat which was a big step for us so the idea of putting her on this giant tin can with a bunch of kids I don’t know all bouncing around and not being strapped down to anything while some little old lady who I’ve never met drives them through town doesn’t sit so well with me. But I have another child at home that needs to take naps so driving her to school myself wont work so well.So in all this I just need to trust…trust God…the other adults….trust her and who I have raised her to be so far…just trust that it will be ok. (By the way, I’m a bit of a worrier and not very good at trusting at times so I’m sure this will be a learning process)

And the last big milestone that happened this month happens tomorrow.

13.5 years ago these two kids who were best friends started dating:


10 years and 3 months ago they got engaged:


10 years ago they got married:


10 years later all the above mentioned grew into this:

Caldwell (1 of 3) (1)


It has been a wonderful 10 years. I have been thinking about whether it turned out like I thought it would or not. Other than my career and where we live I’m not really sure how I thought things would turn out. I have always said if we had three kids I would like one to be like me, one to be like my husband and I figured the third would be a funny mix of the two of us because we are polar opposites. So far we have the Little Abbey and the Little Mike…we’ll see what we get next time! Would I change how anything has turned out so far? Absolutely not! Everything we have done has led us to where we are…the career and location choices I had thought we would make have all worked out for the best, especially where we live. I love the fact that we still live where Michael and I met. Penn State is so dear to me because it is my alma mater but also because it is where my family began. I love walking around campus with our kids and pointing out all the locations that are special to Michael and I . There is something so sweet about being able to take your daughter to the spots you fell in love at, on a campus you fell in love with. I’m sure there are little things about our life that have not turned out like I thought or hoped they would 10 years ago but that is just part of life and I love the life that we have built together. I am so proud of our family and our little life together. I hear so many woman complaining about their husbands or needing a break from their husband and it makes me so sad. My husband is my favorite person to be with and probably the only person in the world that I never get tired of being with. That is not to say that we never fight or disagree but even when I’m mad at him I still would rather be sitting next to him than anyone else. I take great pride in our marriage and our family. We have been blessed beyond what I probably ever imagined. This month has brought about a lot of reflection in our house…reflecting on the last five years of having kids and reflecting on the last ten years of our marriage. Husband and I have had some very sweet times reminiscing this weekend and it has made me that much more  excited for the next ten years. I don’t know where in the world we will be in ten years or what we will be doing, who knows…by that point there might even be more of us! But one thing I do know is that as long as our little family is together we will be just fine because us being together is all that truly matters.


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