If we want to start allll the way at the beginning, then I suppose I’ll tell you that I was born in Laramie, Wyoming, but of course I only have a few memories there considering I moved to Idaho with my family when I was five-years-old. I was brought up in Jerome, Idaho which is on the north side of the Snake River Canyon opposite Twin Falls. Aside from a two-year period spent living in Colorado, I’ve lived the rest of my life here in the great state of Idaho.
I married my high school sweetheart in 2015 and we moved to Idaho Falls. The city was a good middle ground so I could finish my associate’s degree at Idaho State University and he could pursue his studies in Rexburg at Brigham Young University – Idaho. We’d planned to move north once it was time for me to move on to my bachelor’s degree but found that we couldn’t pry ourselves away from Idaho Falls. To this day, we are still in love with that beautiful city even though we don’t live there anymore!
Once I finished my associate’s degree in Spanish, I went on to pursue my bachelors in Education. I specialized in teaching English as a second language (TESOL), Spanish, and theatre while my husband finished his math degree. As much as I loved college, it proved to be a difficult time of my life. My husband and I had wanted a baby so badly, but after years of trying I was left heartbroken. The ache of denied pregnancy was always eating away at me, making it difficult to concentrate or even enjoy my time at the university. We were working with a specialist to try to conceive, but we quickly drained our savings (which weren’t much to begin with as struggling students). We had 2 failed IUIs before we decided we might be better off saving up for adoption applications instead.
Not too long after that decision, to my great surprise, I finally found myself staring at two pink lines. Finally. Nine months later, we had our son during finals week. The rest of my college experience with an infant proved challenging, but I’d take bad grades due to lack of sleep over bad grades due to crippling depression any day. The depression I’d been diagnosed with as a teenager was multiplied tenfold while waiting for a baby, as was my anxiety disorder. Today, I take an active role in preserving my mental health and I’m a strong mental health advocate thanks to my grim experience.
These days, I stay preoccupied with my active toddler who now has a little brother who follows his every footstep. I do believe that my experience with infertility has led me to be a better mother for these boys than I would have been otherwise in so many ways. I’m not sure if I identify as a stay at home mom or a working mom since I work from home. Perhaps I’m a stay-at-home-mom-who-never-actually-leaves-the-house-because-that-is-also-where-she-works-mom. I’m also an introvert, which contributes to the content I feel about not getting out much. Contrarily, my children are socialites so I make compromises now and again.
As I mentioned, I work from home which has been a dream come true. During the hours while my boys sleep, I use my TESOL degree teaching English online to children in different countries. I also tutor college students with writing and Spanish assignments.
Post-graduation, my husband and I had plans to stay in Idaho Falls where I could easily work from home. However, plans changed, as they do, and we moved to Twin Falls where he was able to apply his degree to his new career. We had mixed feelings moving back to our hometown after all these years, but ultimately, I cried a lot over the big change. Neither of us had been entirely willing to leave Idaho Falls, not to mention our new baby was only a few weeks old when we moved, and the baby blues meant that I cried a lot more than I normally would have. Once we got here, though, we embraced Twin Falls more than we had during our childhoods. We thought we knew everything there was to know about this area, but we surprised ourselves through our exploring (the baby blues also lifted so that helped with the happiness factor as well).
I was born in 1994, which puts me at twenty-six years old now. For the longest time, I couldn’t believe I was as old as I was because I still felt like I was stuck at seventeen. I think the moment when I started to actually feel my age was once I had my first baby. Of course, my priorities shifted, but my interests also changed and even my sense of humor evolved. Some constants that always remained, however, were my obsessions with reading and writing. During my college career, I sure did a lot of reading but none of it was for leisure. Same was to be said about writing. It was always for an assignment and never for me. I’d forgotten how great a part of my life these two hobbies were. I felt like I rediscovered myself once I started reading for pleasure and writing for fun – I believe it’s so important to hold on to these core parts of ourselves especially after we become mothers! Unlocking those passions has become a key part of my happiness. Some other hobbies that contribute to my good mental health are cycling, napping, crafting, sketching, drawing, painting, digital art, road trips, photography, and window shopping.
The things that take up the most of my time, however, are the absolute most important to me. I live for the moments when my husband and I lie on the living room floor while our boys pounce and crawl all over us and themselves. I love pulling out the puzzles for my toddler and I to do together while the baby pulls everything out of the diaper bag. I am a writer and and an artist and a mental health advocate, yes, but above all I am a mother and I absolutely love that about me.