Jeremy got his first job for IN State Parks in March as security at Shades State Park. This job would mark the beginning of his carrer in state parks. We moved from Murray KY to New Market IN to begin his new carrer. I had no job when we moved up but within a month found a job working for the local Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD). This job would lead to many other great carrer oppourtunities for me. We got our dog Gus as a 1 year anniversary gift to one another.
In June Jeremy was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkins disease. He began chemo and radiation treatments. He was declared cancer free by Christmas! Praise God! I left the SWCD in August fgto pursue my masters degree in Aquatic Science at Purdue University, with a paid research assistanceship.
Jeremy had since moved up to wastewater operator at the park and was taking on many more duties there as well. I continued my education and research at Purdue. Statistics classes were killing me!! (ok I still had a 4.0 but I think my brain is still fried due to straining itself on these classes!)
Jeremy was hired as assistant manager of Versailles State Park. This job includes housing so we moved to the park in June. I had finished all classes for my masters and was able to work remotely from campus on finishing my thesis. After much wailing and nashing of teeth I completed my thesis and sucessfully defended it to my professors and peers in December and thus graduated from Purdue with Master's degree in hand!!
After "birthing" my thesis I decided I was ready for the real thing. We became pregnant in late Feburary. Very near this same time our dear friend from college, Kenny Jones, was killed in an accident at work. I began working at the local library early in the year while continuing unsucessfully to look for a job in natural resources. It was a really nice place for a pregnant book worm to work! In August I was tracked down by my now current boss, who knowing of my research at Purdue, was very interested in hiring me to help him with forestry watershed conservation work. I left the library to work for IN Forestry. In September we became aware of an assistant park manager opening at Brown County State Park (largest and most visited in the state). We had friends living in that area and they really pushed us to at least check it out. We were reluctant as I was due to have the baby in November. We checked it out and couldn't pass it up. It was a great opportunity for Jeremy to improve his management skills and the house and yard were a huge improvement as well, not to mention it allowed me to have an office in the same building with my boss at Morgan Monroe State Forest. This deal was meant to be. So we moved in early October and a little over a month later miss Brenna was born to us and forever changed us, for the better!
This year found us struggling to find balance, as all new parents do. It also found us deeply in love with a tiny sweet baby girl. I reflect on this year now and think of how difficult this year must have been on my husband. He had a new job which was quite overwhelming all by itself, and added on top of that a new baby and a wife who was struggling to juggle it all. In June we found out that a miracle (very literally) had occured and we were pregnant again. This would make the two children 16 months apart! So the second half of this year I found myself chasing an increasingly mobile infant and growing another inside of me. It's no wonder I remember little about this year!
In March I gave birth to my sweet baby boy Brayden with the two biggest dimples and blue eyes you have ever seen. Brenna had no problems with accepting him as she was only 16 months old. I continued to work my forestry job part time and Jeremy continued is position at Brown Co. My Mamaw passed away in July the same day that Jeremy sister got married. Brenna was in the ceremony so we stayed and went to the reception then drove home quickly to grab a few things and head down to KY to the funeral. We were so glad that Mamaw had got to meet Brayden and hold him.
We both held the same jobs this year. I finished nursing Brayden in Feburary and was able to resume my running (as much as I could squeeze in anyway). This year was full of the fun and work of raising an infant and toddler. I think there was even a trip to the beach with my brother and family in there too. Again, another year that was very good, busy, tiring but joyful.
No moves or job changes this year. Kids getting big Brayden turned 2 and Brenna 4 in November. Brenna was quite a pistol most of the year, which was very different from her first two years where she was quite an amiable baby. Brayden was a baby that needed more attention so this year was trying at times, but oh so much fun and gosh they were so stinking cute at these ages! My Granny passed away at 93, she died suddenly and at home. She lived at home the entire time and always retained her mental ablities. She was a great influence upon many lives.
This year brought some unexpected struggles which we have grown through and can look back now and see that everything worked out for the best. Brenna became very ill and was diagnosed with a ruptured appendix. She was rushed to Riley Children's Hospital for surgery and after five days was as good as new. Children's resilance is so amazing. Jeremy and I celebrated 10 years of marriage this year. We are closer than ever and I can truly say that we are best friends (I know, gobble-dy-goop!).
Summarizing the last 10 years I'd say that we have grown greatly in our relationships with people and God. We have learned and implemented our beliefs about conservation into our lifestyle more and more every year. We have learned truly who we are this decade, not who our parents wish us to be, not who we used to be, not who we should be, but who we are. And I believe we work very hard not only to be ourselves, but the very best version of ourselves. And that is why I know that no matter what the next decade brings us, we will continue to grow in love, peace, understanding and acceptance. And that is all we can truly hope for.