Posts Tagged ‘love’

Dec
23
2016

12 Years


It seems a little bizarre that I’m only 30 years old but celebrating my 12th anniversary today. Mathematically it doesn’t seem right. But what can I say–I was a young bride (I’ll be 31 in a few weeks) and we were in love.

us

Lucky for us, we still are.

More than any anniversary before I wanted to get away this year–Not far away, close enough to get home easily for Christmas but far enough so that we feel like we’ve escaped.

First of all–Who gets married two days before Christmas? College kids, that’s who. College kids who have a break between semesters to have a quick (and insanely cheap) honeymoon and get back before classes start.

Of course back then we didn’t think it was a big deal to be married right before Christmas, we thought it was pretty cool actually. Now, six years into parenthood every year I ask myself what we were thinking! How did we not have the wisdom to think ahead to parenthood?

You just don’t when you’re 18/22 I guess. At least we didn’t.

wedding-pic

So we’ve escaped to a wooded hideaway a few cities away surrounded by trees, hammocks and running water. Our only plans are to pig out (I’ve already eaten about two dozen chocolate covered strawberries), watch movies, laugh until we cry watching news bloopers and other amusing YouTube videos, get a couples massage and relish in the child-free silence.

It was something else waking up this morning without curls in my face and a toddler laying on top of me. I’m used to starting the night with a husband in bed then waking up the next day with a missing husband, two kids and a dog all on my side of the bed. Today I woke up the same way I fell asleep, without interruptions and I can honestly say I’d forgotten what that was like.

One thing I’ve found myself saying to my husband over and over yesterday and today is “wow, we really know each other!” We are so different. SO different in so many ways. Personality wise especially. But I get him and he gets me and it works. Let me give you an example from this week.

My mom offered to give us her piano. It’s a beautiful upright and since Lil’ J and I have been taking lessons I was really excited to get one. Well my husband was NOT excited about us getting a piano. “The kids will bang on it… Where will we put it?”… blah blah blah.

Logistics. He doesn’t like them. So I handle them.

So one night as he went out to get dinner, I strategically timed the piano movers to bring it in then, rearranged the living room furniture, cleaned everything up and snuck everyone out. When he got home he wouldn’t even have noticed it if our daughter hadn’t pointed it out as soon as he walked in.

“Woah, when did that get here?” he said. I explained and he said “cool!”

But did he freak? No. Because all the work was done. And it looks great!

Twelve years in and we know each other’s buttons, likes and dislikes. We have our moments, like all couples, but I couldn’t have asked for a better husband or father to our kids. I don’t talk about him here too much but my husband is loyal, funny, cynical, compassionate, and thoughtful. He’s my best friend and my biggest cheerleader. He thinks some of my goals and dreams are crazy but he never tells me to give them up. He’s the ying to my yang, and I’m so happy I have him.

I’m normally a “let’s pack in lots of fun stuff” kind of gal for our anniversary but I thought this year–Especially with the year we’ve had, it would be nice to slow down.–Which is totally his jam. So I’m typing up this little tribute from a little queen bed while he watches some sports show.

After hitting publish we’ll head out to lunch and I may eat a few more strawberries.

husband-and-i

I love this man of mine.

12 years down and forever to go.


I’m so glad we were able to get away for our anniversary the memories are truly priceless. If you’re looking for a way to have a priceless get away during the holidays and beyond, get the most bang for your buck using IHG Rewards. Big thanks to IHG Rewards for sponsoring my priceless anniversary story.

With every stay at an IHG hotel between Dec. 1, 2016 and Feb. 15, 2017, members will receive automatic entry into the Priceless Experiences sweepstakes. Each week, two winners will have the option to choose from a list of various prizes and eight winners will be awarded 60,000 IHG Rewards Club points. Members will also earn up to a $100 Mastercard Reward Card following their second stay at an IHG hotel during the promotion period. Additionally, five grand prize winners and their guests will receive a trip to Chicago including a three-night stay at the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile and a $600 pre-paid Mastercard. The winners will also get to experience a VIP helicopter tour of the city, spa treatment, wine tasting at one of Chicago’s finest tasting rooms and unique culinary experience with celebrity chef, Graham Elliot. Members can register for the promotion at www.ihgrewardsclub.com/priceless2016.

It seems a little bizarre that I’m only 30 years old but celebrating my 12th anniversary today

I love taking a walk down memory lane and seeing the crazy things I used to say on this here blog. Oh man, if I could time travel–Wait, I think I wrote about that already.

But really, if I could go back in time at this very moment to the day I was writing these posts about raising multiracial babies, I’d have a lot to say to her–me–myself. But mostly it would be: SIT DOWN!

first 48 birth photography

Let’s start with #1.

#1 My baby face generator obsession

I spent way too much time playing with online tools that left me worrying my baby might come out looking nothing like me and more like someone from the Addams family.

make-me-babies-baby-face-generator

And I quote myself from seven years ago “I’m going to be honest here… I would like a baby girl but really all I want is 1. A healthy baby and 2. A cute baby. Boy or girl, if Spawnie is cute (not just to me, but like to everyone) I’ll be happy!”

I’m not sure if I was really being as honest as I said I was. I kind of don’t doubt her… That silly young girl who thought how her baby looked would affect her love for her child.

Reality: Your kids are cute to you. No matter if they’re 10 shades darker or 10 shades lighter than yourself, have brown, blond or red hair, you are going to love that child of yours with all your heart.

#2: Nanny mixups

“My friend mentioned earlier said people have mistaken her as the nanny before and see — I’m not sure I’d be able to handle that in a nice way. Or what if our daughter takes more of my complexion, and when my husband’s out he’s asked where he got our daughter from, implying she’s adopted.”

mommy-and-me-yoga

Reality: Been there, done that, we survived. I think there’s a little bit of shock the first time it happens when your baby is tiny and sitting still and you’re more aware of glances and whatnot. Now? Goodness gracious I can make it through an entire shopping trip without making eye contact with anyone, much less notice if anyone gives us awkward glances. And when someone does flat out ask what’s up, we usually laugh it off. Because honestly? We pick our battles.

Now when someone says this … That’s a different story.

#3: Will our kids drive us further apart?

“I’ve heard children can bring you closer together but I’ve also heard they can drive you further apart… I hope our love for the Lord can keep us from driving each other crazy after kids!”

Reality: This was something on my mind before kids and from time to time it creeps back up. In fact, out of all of handful of pre-baby worries I’m re-living today, this one is probably the most valid. Funny enough, this one has nothing specifically to do with raising multiracial babies, it is a fear any parent could find on their mind.

Valentines photo shoot with biracial siblings

Kids DEFINITELY change things. We don’t get nearly enough alone time to have adult conversations much less date nights. Our kids are both finally sleeping in their own rooms for most of the night–That’s something. But our children haven’t gotten between us emotionally. In that regard they’ve brought us closer together.

I’d tell my younger self to enjoy those pre-kid moments together. As insanely boring as they seem, they’re the last boring moments we’ll share together in the foreseeable future.

#4: My multiracial kid won’t have anyone to date

“I worry especially that my daughters will face the same [dating] challenges I faced growing up, but won’t deal with it as I did…I worry my sons will have a hard time finding women to date because their parents don’t want their daughter child “dating a black boy.”

Reality: HA HA HA. My kids are never dating, and I like it that way. Seriously, this was a non-issue. Next!

#5: A desire for open-minded friends

“I hope as my children grow up they meet other children who are taught to have friends of all races, and date people of all nationalities.”

Reality: Right now, this actually falls a lot more on me than I expected. I’m with my kids way more than I imagined I’d be (I don’t know why in my mind I imagined them schlepping off to slumber parties with acquaintances at the mere age of 3). I meet the other kids’ parents and 99% of the time, I’m talking to mom and/or dad while my kids are playing with their friends. You can tell pretty quick if someone is going to have a problem with you or your relationship and I can choose to distance ourselves from those people. We have been blessed with amazing neighbors, church friends and now homeschool friends from all backgrounds. Beyond that, we are branching out of our own bubbles as well. Consuming books and literature about people and places that are different from us.

juicing-with-friends

I think like tends to attract like and we’ll keep meeting families and friends who have the same wish for their children.

Many of these worries have deescalated or dissolved since having my kids, and others have had new ones take their place.

For us, parenting has been much less about bracing ourselves for the hardships that can come from raising multiracial children, and much more about raising children to become compassionate members of society who know where they come from and where they want to go.

Were your pre-baby expectations different than your reality?

Multiracial Multicultural mom bloggers

Today I’m linking up with some other wonderful mamas who are sharing their stories of multicultural motherhood.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting Multiracial Babies/ De Su Mama

Will My Child Look Like Me? Thoughts from a Multicultural Mom /Raising Whasians

How to Prepare for a Multicultural Family / Almost Indian Wife

Books for the Multicultural Family / Are Those Your Kids

If you couldn’t tell, there’s no one I love more than these three people. Right after church Lil’ J and I worked together cutting up a pizza box and fabric to make a heart for pictures together. We took turns with my camera taking photos together. I shoulda tried one more with my remote, but the boys weren’t very patient.

Tough choices for today’s photo of the day. I’m not gonna lie, there were many many outtakes. But I’m so happy with the few good ones we got, including one of the hubby and I taken by my little girl, today I’m focusing on the positive. *wink*

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentines photo shoot with biracial siblings Valentines photo shoot with biracial siblings Mother-daughter-Valentines Valentines photo shoot with biracial siblings Valentines photo shoot daddy daughter


My daughter and I sat side by side at the kitchen table while she worked on a Valentine’s art project for school. We sipped on some colorful Tampico to match, and had a little girl chat. She told me one of her friends is in love with a boy. I didn’t realize these conversations started so young. I mean I thought 5-year-olds still had cooties.

I asked her if she was in love with anyone and she told me no.

Discussing love with your children

“Not even with me?” I asked.

“NO!” She said. “Daddy is in love with you! But I love you!”

Ok… My 5-year-old was suddenly schooling me on love. How did she know the difference between parental and romantic love? Seriously, how is this happening?

“I have to be in love with a boy,” she said. A hundred thoughts shot through my mind in that instant but the one that came out of my mouth first was the one that rang most important in that instant.

“Well, you can tell me when you are. And that may be a long LONG time time from now.”

As we sat and I watched her painting her colorful Valentine box and I thought about how much I love her. How much I love her love of arts and crafts, her colorful and bright spirit, and her quest to learn more and more about the world. Her innocence and natural sense of kindness. I want her to stay young. And I only want her to love me (and her dad and brother, ok and other family) for at least the next decade and a half.

*Frantically searches for the pause button*

Discussing love with your children

At the time of this post Lil J is 5 years and 7 months.

*This story was brought to you in partnership with Tampico. For more photos of my girl and her cute Valentine box visit Tampico is Color.  

I know, it can be daunting to commit to a project that takes all year. The thought of a photo a day–What if you forget? What if you miss a day? What if you’re starting late? Listen. It’s never too late. First off, this year is a leap year, so you get an extra day to miss and you’ll still have 365 photos. You can capture two moments in one day to make up for lost time if you REALLY want to get them all in, or you can just do a photo a week, or once a month if you’re a more laid back type of journaler. Each of these are great 365 project ideas that don’t take a daily commitment but help you document your year and make your memories last.

The idea is to be mindful and appreciate every day. If you’re up for sharing your special moment now and then, remember to tag #Cherish365 so we can follow along on Instagram or Facebook. I’m already enjoying seeing your photos!

Here’s how my second week of 2016 went. I turned 30 and shared some special moments with each of my kids.

Cherish 365: The days are long but the years are short. A project to making moments last and cherish every day.

Every morning is a battle with this girl. A battle of will over what she’s going to wear. I normally don’t mind giving her (almost) total freedom except when it’s cold. Today, after telling her 458 times that she could not wear her leotard and tights outside in 50 degree weather, she finally changed… Into this. You’ll rarely catch her in pants. And when you do, she’s likely wearing a dress over top.


Cherish 365: The days are long but the years are short. A project to making moments last and cherish every day.

This boy! Going to church with him has been a struggle the past few months. He enjoys the first hour but then melts down right after the closing prayer in sacrament when it’s time to head to nursery. After insisting he needed to go potty twice and sitting in class with him for half an hour, then unsuccessfully sneaking out, I picked him up an hour and a half later and the first thing out of his mouth was “I had fun at church Mommy!” Hopefully this is the start of happier Sundays.


Cherish 365: The days are long but the years are short. A project to making moments last and cherish every day.

This boy! (Why do so many of my sentences start that way?) I thought the up-all-night phase was long gone with my newborns but last night he woke up at 12:30, thinking it was morning and time to play. I’m talking asking for waffles, iphone videos and train tracks. This went on until 6am when he finally fell asleep. Then I had to wake him to take his sister to school an hour later and he didn’t go back to sleep. Praying that was a one-time fluke cause mama can’t do that again. I’m trying to think of something positive to say to go with this moment but… I’ve got nothin!


Cherish 365: The days are long but the years are short. A project to making moments last and cherish every day.

Construction underway! Was so happy for sunshine and warmth today so the littles and I could work on a fun project for Big T’s room. We aren’t quite done, but getting close. Lil’ J LOVES anything creative and she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty. I need to make a point to introduce more avenues for her to express herself creatively. As for this project… I’m hoping it turns out as cute as the Pinterest picture but I’m not holding my breath.

Cherish 365: The days are long but the years are short. A project to making moments last and cherish every day.

Today is my last day in my 20s. I’ve been anticipating my 30th birthday for a year and I’m finally ready to welcome this new decade with open arms. My 20s treated me well and were full of unlocked dreams and accomplishments. All day I was thinking of a way to commemorate my last day as a 20-something and I decided to buy my first lottery ticket. Well, 3 tickets. One for each decade. Wish me luck!


Cherish 365: The days are long but the years are short. A project to making moments last and cherish every day.

I turned 30. And it feels so good already! We went to my favorite camera store and the hubs treated me to a new (used) Canon lens before we had a lunch date and celebrated with our kids when they got home from school. A highlight was Lil’ J surprising me with “herself” by jumping out of a bag she was “hiding” in. She was so happy and it made me tear up. She, her brother, and her daddy are the best gifts God has given me. I’m feeling quite blessed.


Cherish 365: The days are long but the years are short. A project to making moments last and cherish every day.

Last night my mom threw me the most beautiful 30th birthday party. Friends joined me in creating vision boards! A vision/dream board helps you stay focused on your life goals and dreams daily as you look upon it. I first made on in my early 20s that is now complete, so I worked on a new one for my next decade of life! I’m so thankful for my awesome mom who put in so much love and effort into this on the anniversary of the day she became a mother! I can only hope I am as awesome as she is when my little girl turns 30. More pictures coming soon!


Cherish 365: The days are long but the years are short. A project to making moments last and cherish every day.

I spent years at this desk every weekend. Luckily weekends at work are much more rare now, and usually involve a field trip for my kiddos.–Who are much more intrigued by the elevator, spinning chairs and vending machines than the fancy lights and cameras. Nevertheless to them, Mommy’s work is the coolest (that is, until we left and saw daddy in the police car.)!

How was your week? What was your favorite moment?

A few nights ago I confessed something to my husband that I hadn’t previously verbalized.

See, he stopped wearing his wedding ring several months ago for numerous reasons: The job, the gym, and fat fingers. It used to annoy me. You’d better watch out for badge bunnies! But it doesn’t bother me anymore. I realized I was dealing more with the insecurities I have when taking my ring off.

I don’t worry about men hitting on me (HA!) but people judging me. It all came out over a (very rare) discussion we were having about race.

“If I go to the grocery store and the kids are acting up and I’m not wearing my wedding ring, I’m going to get disapproving looks and people shaking their heads at ‘another baby mama with more kids than she can handle’,” I told him. “I don’t get the benefit of the doubt, or adoring looks like you get when you’re out with them.”

He didn’t argue.

This isn’t a realization as much as it is an awakening of sorts now that both of my kids are exiting toddler hood and approaching adolescence. I’m more hyper-aware of reactions they may receive.

When people look at my kids right now, they see two happy, adorable bright youngsters smiling back at them. That’s what I see (most of the time), but as I watch my biracial children grow older, my worries for them, and how people see them grow as well.

Biracial kids, biracial siblings, biracial brother and sister

I hope strangers look beyond any preconceived notions and see the smart, jovial, kind, thoughtful, amusing people they are.

But will they see my son’s fro and darker skin and subconsciously think he’s a troublemaker?

Will girls tell my daughter she is too dark to play with them? Or will other girls say she is full of herself because her skin color is lighter than theirs? Will my daughter be confident enough to pave her own way despite outward appearances?

Will my son be able to play with his friends’ toy guns without causing alarm? (We don’t and won’t have them at our home).

A long, LONG time from now, when my children are old enough to date, will their friends at church bat an eye at the prospect of dating someone outside of their race? Will some people still see our family as less-than?

Will people assume my kids claimed some sort of handout because of their minority status, or will they believe my kids when they say they earned their way into a competitive college?

Biracial kids, biracial siblings, biracial brother and sister

And then there’s the tiny voice in my head that tells me I’m worrying for nothing. Is this just my insecurities talking? Will any of this even be an issue in the next decade or two, or am I just concerned for no good reason? Is that tiny voice my optimism, or a likely reality? Maybe I shouldn’t allow these worries to marinate too long.

Maybe it’s time I lead by example, own my confidence and let go of my insecurities. Let go of what people may be thinking, and relish in the knowledge of knowing who I really am.–Even as I wait in the checkout line with two kids on my hip and my wedding ring back at home.

 

“Is it bedtime yet?”

I don’t know how many nights I’ve looked at the clock and asked that question this year.

Then, it never fails, I open up my folder of pictures from the past year, or scroll through the videos on my phone and I’m overcome with so much guilt, remorse, and longing for those moments back.

The days are long but the years are short.

In the world of parenting, there are no truer words.

Today is the last day of the year. The last day of an amazing year with these two kids who are my world.

This year we’ve traveled together, learned new skills, and really began to see both of their personalities flourish.

interracial family photo

I’m so excited for this year ahead. For the chance to try again. To soak it all in a little more. A chance to enjoy the long days, and maybe make the years a little less short.

Last year I made a video wrapping up 2014 and I treasure it so much. I’m trying to keep it up and do one each year. The past few weeks have been busy and fun with traveling and family visits so I was finally able to sit down and start working on it last night. Here’s a look back at 2015 in under four minutes.

Instead of doing my usual editing in Final Cut, I decided to take the easy way out and to throw a bunch of video clips and pictures into Animoto and let the program do all the work.

I did this a few years ago to make a Father’s Day video moved my husband to tears. That was a first I witnessed.

Anyway, I recommend this program is perfect for people who know little to nothing about video editing, or just want a an easy way to make a video fast. Just pick a song, upload your files, choose the background you want, and rearrange the order. It’s a lot like making a photo book. For me, the hardest part is finding just the right song, but there are many to choose from.

I’d love to challenge you to make a video of your year. Take an hour to unload those pictures and videos off your phone and turn them into something beautiful. Make a lasting legacy for your family.

You can try Animoto for free for two weeks (I used the free version when I made the video for my husband). If you love it and decide to upgrade, use my code: “babymaking20” to get 20% off.

Thank you for taking a look back at 2015 with me, and for tagging along on our journey. I hope along the way you’ve been inspired to make beautiful memories with your family.

Happy New Year my friends!

*A big thanks to Animoto for their awesome program and providing a code to share with my readers. This story was sponsored by Animoto, and as usual, all opinions are my own. 

I had plans to hop online and post some holiday wishes yesterday but I didn’t make it to my computer.

I didn’t manage to check in on Facebook or post on Twitter. I got lost in the joy of my family.

“This was the BEST Christmas ever!” Lil’ J said yesterday as we gathered our things to leave my mom’s house after dinner. I looked at my husband and smiled.

“I agree,” he said. And my heart was full.

Surrounded by my family, and my sisters, it was a great day!

As we close out 2015 I have so much gratitude. This year has been the best year of my life. And I’m thankful to be able to share so much of it with you.

merry-christmas-blog

Thank you for stopping by, and for reading this blog of mine that has been so many things over the years.

Wishing you a belated Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and soon, a happy New Year!

With love,

Jennifer

interracial family blog

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget



I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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