Reality settled in quickly during years 3-6. We settled into a one bedroom apartment in Raleigh, began graduate school and part time jobs, and began to figure out what we wanted our future to look like. We tried as hard as we might to NOT work at the YMCA, but that is where the Lord landed us. And, Dean was quickly into a groove and began to make his way in the YMCA world. We are so thankful for those we met in Raleigh, a few of whom we still keep in touch with now. They’ve watched our family grow from 2 bumbling 20+ year olds to parents of teens. And, what a transition it has been.
During this time, we experienced grief through a miscarriage, celebrated as our daughter Rabekah was born (the picture was taken one month before she was born), cried as our first dog, Heidi, died, and then welcomed another dachshund into our world – Java. Dean continued with school, going to part time classes and full time work. I continued part time work using my English degree at Sylvan Learning Center and full time work as Mom.
As I reflect on these years, the main idea seems to be the grasping a new reality – a new normal. We were now a family of 3, with the heady responsibility of a child. And, our normal was different now. It wasn’t just Dean and I figuring out each other and our roles of husband and wife, but rather the roles of husband/wife/mother/father. Some days, it was quite cloudy. Other days were crystal clear. But, we continued on.