Toddler Time

Eventually our budget couldn’t really take the stress of me not working. And to be fair, I was starting to get bored and I am pretty sure that Annie was ready for something more exciting than sitting at home playing with me and the cats and only going to mommy group 1 day a week. (And for everyone thinking, “there’s lots of free/cheap things out there, why didn’t you find something?” Again, the internet was not what it is today. There was no googling where to go with a baby, there was no google.)

I began calling around to find out who was hiring and trying to find a job and child care. It was not fun. I didn’t have a college degree and I had a baby so interviews had to be done when my husband wasn’t at work and it was all so complicated.

Finally, I got a call back!

The job was not amazing, but I was good at it. I was the Office Manager for a temporary labor office location. It was as not glamorous as it sounds. In fact, it was downright awful. I really disliked the job. Over time, it got worse, until finally I had to quit. I don’t remember anymore, what the “thing” was that finally made me quit, but it was one of those days where I just knew, I was done.

I called my dad, he was hiring a receptionist, and asked to interview for the job. And thankfully, he made me an offer. So, I went to work for my dad, and back to school and Geoff continued to take pictures with the school photography people and Annie went to day care and life was grooving along.

We loved, we fought, we played, we slept and we did all the things.

We took Annie to the pool during the summer, where we discovered that this girl REALLY loved the water. Have you ever seen a baby throw a temper tantrum? The kind where they throw themselves backwards and if you aren’t holding onto them, they fall out of your arms and onto the floor? That’s what Annie did when it was time to leave. EVERY SINGLE TIME. And do NOT let it rain and you already told her that we were going to the POOL! Consoling her was nearly impossible.

We took Annie to Crossville to meet Geoff’s grandfather, John, during that summer. We had no idea that would be the only time they would meet. Annie was named for John’s wife, Ann. They had a wonderfully romantic romance and had loved each other fiercely for their entire marriage. She was always talked about as one of those incredible women you would want to meet. She changed her birth certificate in order to be able to get married, for crying out loud! She taught Geoff to read when he was very small and loved her family fiercely. She died long before I ever became a part of the family, but John made sure I knew how much he loved her and how much she was loved. 

When we put Annie in John’s arms, she got very still. A wiggly baby by nature, she managed to be quiet calm for his well-aged body. They locked eyes and seemed to have a virtual conversation for quite a while. It was beautiful to see. He got teary eyed and thanked us for introducing him to his first Great-Grandchild. An honor I think he really enjoyed.

As time dictates, Annie started to learn to walk. And then she started to talk.

Her first birthday came and we filled our home with as many friends and family, mostly family, as that tiny duplex could fit. We made her a cute little cake that looked like Winnie the Pooh, complete with a honey pot! We let her smash her cake and had a fabulous day.

Life seemed to be moving along in a mostly good path. We were absolutely broke. Our little tiny home was not really the right size for us. Neither of us had graduated from college yet and our little girl really needed a yard, but we were mostly loving and mostly making it…

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