I have done this countless times since I have started blogging. I started blogging back in 2009? I think? I initially started my blog because it was therapeutic to me in what we were going through at the time. We were having trouble conceiving and months went by and so did the negative tests, my blog was where I felt comfortable. Then it turned into a mommy/lifestyle blog when we found out we were going to have twins after going through IVF. Then again after Maddie. I was so good at blogging when they were younger, how? I know I was tired then because I am very tired now, and I get more sleep now. Kind of ironic. Its no secret that since my mom was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, I kind of left my blog in the wind. Its just been sitting here for whenever I need it. I feel like most my posts are all about catching up, or apologizing to myself for not blogging as much; none of it is about what we’ve done in the recent days that have passed, or recipes or DIY projects, the things I love blogging about. So Today? Im not going to bitch about the fact I haven’t blogged about Halloween, or Christmas, or the twins turning 6. I am going to re-introduce myself and not put so much pressure on myself about all of it. That way I can get back on track of why I love blogging so much, its an out for all the feelings and a wonderful way to connect with all of you.
So here goes nothing….
HI! I am Jennifer Vanzant, a 30 year old stay-at-home mom of 3 beautiful children under 6. I am married to my best friend Matt. We met when I was 15. My family bought our lake house from his family, long story short that lake house ended up being our home after 6 or so months and I married Matt 6 years later. As you read above we had trouble getting pregnant. It was hard on both of us. We wanted babies so bad, right after we married. Years passed and we still weren’t pregnant. We ended up at the ART clinic where Dr. Allemand helped our dreams come true. We had two beautiful babies in December of 2011. It was a dream come true. Little did we know God had more plans for us a short 6 months later when we found out we were pregnant again!! We had the most perfect baby 9 months after that and she’s been our angel ever since. I am not perfect. I am going to go ahead and make that very clear. I try to be a good mom, good wife but life is hard. I turn to The lord for everything else but I will drop the F bomb in an instance. I spend way too much money and time on my children’s birthday parties, I have way too many pictures of my children holding birds up (they like to show their tall man) (relax, people), I weigh more right now than I ever have before, I hate dieting but also want to lose weight, I cry when I am overwhelmed; like f’ugly cry all by myself. Not perfect, like I said. I could be better, healthier and all of the above but I am doing my best as of right now.
My mom is/was my best friend. After I was diagnosed with Lupus/AI in 2013 she started coming to help me with ALL the babies more often (her health wasn’t good either from previous severe neuropathy). In 2014 my Auti-immune and lupus got worse, I couldn’t walk without screaming and one morning I couldn’t get Maddie out of her crib. Maddie was screaming and I was balling. Worst feeling ever. I am so glad that storm passed. As it turns out life is all about storms, or it seems so in my case, and waiting them out. Waiting for the thunder to roll on or finding a dry spot to hide under while the rain comes down. I know life isn’t perfect and I am not complaining. In fact I am just the opposite. I am thankful for everything thats ever happened to me because I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I had not gone through these things. I am stronger because of it.
My husband ended up being almost paralyzed that year too. His legs had started going numb months in advance and when a doctor finally figured out what was going on, it was almost too late. A hospital stay and neck surgery later, he was better immediately. Thank God for that doctor who discovered Matt needed surgery immediately. Ill never forget how I felt during that time. All 3 of our babies had ear infections and I couldn’t be with him the whole time. I did go and hold him before and after surgery but had to get back to the babies who wanted their mommy. It was tough seeing the one I care most about in this world to go through that and me not being able to do anything about it. Like I said before, storms. Its made us who we are today.
Then the tsunami came in 2015. My mom was diagnosed with cancer. A pretty advance stage of it in her abdomen. She called me the night she found it, worst night of my life. Not even kidding. I couldn’t sleep, I remember crying all night long because there was a feeling I felt from God like he was telling me listen, I am going to have to take her from you, I just knew it would happen. Eventually. So I did what any daughter would do who loved their mom. I searched high and low for a home for her so she could move back to Alabama. She wanted to be with her kids and her grandkids during her last moments of life. I found the perfect small home for her that was located perfectly in between hospitals, food and anything she would need. My brother lived with her and became her care-taker for that year. The worst part was the chemo. It took her away from us. If she could do it all over again she would tell you she wouldn’t have gone on chemo at all. Everyone has different reactions to it and I am not at all telling anyone what to do, I am speaking from our experience. The doctor initially told us that if she didn’t go on chemo she might have a month. With chemo we were given another year with her. But it was a long year for her, she was in pain all the time or sick. Not able to enjoy us the way she wanted to. I am so incredibly thankful for that year but it was hard watching her go through all of that. I spent most of my time with her, took the kids over there every chance I got. I wanted my mommy and my mommy wanted me. I needed her as much as she needed me. We had some great times during that year, some of my best memories with her ever. In august of 2016, God called her home. My mom was gone. I knew she was in heaven and in a better place where she got a brand new cancer free body but selfishly I just wanted my mom back. I still do. Like right now, I just need her more than ever. My friend, who I can talk to and tell anything and everything too and receive advice in return or one f her comforting hugs and tell me everything will be alright baby girl. If I spend my life devoting myself to my children with half the effort that my mom did us, I will be a great mom. Because there is no doubt about it that she was the absolute best. Just the most amazing, selfless woman, caring, compassionate person you’ve ever met. People ask when you’re younger What do you want to be when you grow up? My answer most of the time was a mom. Now I know why my answer was that. I had the best mom in the world, she made being a mom look fun, cool and made me realize at a very young age it is the most rewarding job one could ever have. So to answer that question now, as an adult, I want to be MY MOM when I grow up. I want to be just like her in every aspect. I miss her everyday y’all, so bad. It hurts so incredibly bad but its selfish of me to want her back when I know she is pain free right now. Mom, I miss you and love you always.
I had a surgery go wrong last year that left me with an ileostomy for a little bit of time. I am not going into detail of this because I hate talking about it. But this pic that my wonderful other half took of me sums it up…
Like I said, we’ve been through a lot of storms in the short 9 years that we’ve been married. But so have a lot of other people. In fact, to some, our storms are probably just rain clouds to them. I know other people have bigger problems and I pray for peace for all of you. Social Media likes to show us all the good things and none of the bad. It is misleading and I am guilty of doing it too so I today with my re-re-re introduction I figured I would share the bad with the good. And while this might seem like a lot of bad, theres a lot of good. I have three amazing children who are healthy and who I prayed for hard, I share this life with my best friend and we moved into our dream house just a year and some change ago. My auto-immune is better, I am close to my sister and my dad now, I am closer to God and grateful for everything we have.
My most recent venture is that I am now an affiliate of Academy Travel. We do disney vacations. Disney cruise line, disney world and land, Adventures by disney and Aulani Hotel in Hawaii. So if you are ever interested in a disney vacation contact me! Find me on IG @Vanzantfamily1 and message me or email me (my username for IG @ gmail). I am excited about it! Last august I was searching on Pinterest “ways to make money from home” and that came up. I went to disney often as a child and figured it would be so fun to share my love for disney with others by helping them plan their vacation!! Me and the family actually set sail on Sunday for our first Disney cruise! We are so excited! I have been a little bit overwhelmed and stressed trying to keep us all healthy. All the kids had strep throat last week and then I got sick. Lord, please please keep us safe from all the yucky germs so we can go have a much NEEDED family vacation. I even picked up some masks for the kids to wear on the airplane to try and keep germs away. I know I can’t protect them from everything but as a mom I sure can try my hardest to TRY to prevent it.
So no more putting pressure on myself on catching up on all of the things I haven’t blogged about, instead I am looking ahead and letting myself enjoy blogging again. Hope you stick around and enjoy reading!!