Looking Back For Five Years

The other day, I was talking to my Aunt Marci on the phone.  We were talking about all of the changes we, and our families, have undergone in the last five years.  I couldn't believe the amount of change we'd had in our lives.  Sometimes it's easy to forget the transformation you've made, and you need to reflect to see how far you've come.  Today, I'm taking the trip back to see some big points from over the past 5 years.

Warning: This will be a long post, with lots and lots of pictures.

Five years ago, we had just moved into our lovely little house.  It was our first actual house as a couple.  We'd lived in apartments until this point, but were moving forward as a family and found a house that seemed meant to be.

It was important to us to move to this house because our family was expanding as well.  Yup, we were having a baby.

We spent a lot of time prepping for the baby, but didn't tell any family until we had already found out that we were having a boy.

September 17th 2007, I gave birth to Benjamin Robert Scott Tiemann by c-section.  He was 7lbs .5 oz and 19.5 inches long.

We were so in love and such a happy family, but one thing was missing.  Shawn and I had been together for 6 years, and had been living together for about 3, but had never gotten married.

On January 19th 2008, Shawn and I got married.  It was the coldest day of the season, but inside it was nice and warm.  We had our best friends and closest family there.  Thankfully we had several family members and friends pitch in with lots of help to make our day super special.

Four years ago, my mom was graduating from nursing school with her LPN.

Little did I know, this would be the last time I'd really see my dad.

On June 12th 2008, my Dad died and left us all heartbroken.  He was an amazing man.  He used to say "I'm not perfect, but I'm damn close."  He was my best friend and we had the best relationship.  I can luckily say that I have no regrets about our relationship.  Only that he died too soon.

July 12, 2008, after battling a cold for a week or so I went to the doctor and was prescribed Amoxicillin.  We were on our way to a dinner in Kansas City when we stopped to pick up my prescription and I took it in the pharmacy parking lot.  Not two minutes had gone by and my tongue, hands, and feet started burning.  I felt like my hands were being held to a fire.  I started to panic and then my vision started to go.  Everything turned white.  By the time we'd gotten to the ER, I was pretty much unconscious.  The next thing I remember is opening my eyes and they were about to intubate me.  I had an anaphylactic reaction to the Amoxicillin.  Thankfully I took it in the parking lot and not after we'd gotten on the highway.
That summer we moved into a much larger house.  It was sad for me because this was the first place we would live, that my Dad would never visit.  It was exciting though because the house had so much more space.

September 17, 2008 the whole family gathered to celebrate Ben's 1st birthday.  Growing up, birthdays were always a big deal in our house and it was the same in Shawn's home, so we like to continue that tradition.

Dad's 50th birthday was September 22nd.  We gathered at the cemetery and released 50 balloons as well as put the portion of the ashes my grandpa and uncle had in their possession into a memorial wall.  It was very nice, and I'm sure Dad appreciated it.

In December, I became an aunt for the very first time.  My sister, Courtney, gave birth to Christopher Wesley Collett Jr., who we call CJ.

At Christmas time, we added another member to our family.  A beautiful 2 year old black lab, named Maya.

The following January, I fell down some stairs in our home, while we were having a dinner party, and broke my foot.

About a week later I had surgery on my foot.

I luckily healed just in time for my sister's wedding.  I was the matron of honor.  Shawn and Ben were in the wedding as well.

Around the same time of my sister's wedding, my mom graduated with her RN.

Also, Shawn's sister Kelly graduated from high school.

At the same time as all of these positive things in our life, Ben was diagnosed with a severe peanut allergy.  At the time, we were completely unaware of how much that would change our lives.  We were unable to eat at most restaurants, family get-togethers became a nightmare, grocery trips doubled in time length due to package reading in the aisles, and we spent all of our time worrying about possible exposures.

In June, we went to visit my dad.  It had been a year since his death, and it was Father's Day.

A few months later, we found out that we were expecting again.

(I was about 38 weeks in this picture.)

One weekend day in November 2009, Ben had been jumping on our bed.  I told him no, and in the midst of a tantrum he slammed his own head into the wall causing a concussion and a full day in the hospital of tests and CAT scans.  Luckily he was okay, but this was a scary experience for all of us.

A few months later, March 9th 2010, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.  Sydney Ann Tiemann was born by c-section, weighing 7 lbs 1 oz and 19 inches long.

Around the time Sydney was born, I lost my job.  We were forced to move to a cheaper home with a more usable layout for our family.

That June, the 12th to be exact, my best friend Lauren gave birth to a beautiful little boy named Cullen.

This was a wonderful reminder, on a day that we were mourning, life goes on, and instead of being sad and locking ourselves up to mourn, we should get out and celebrate life.

February 2011, I became an aunt again.  My sister, Courtney, gave birth to her second child.  A little girl name Abigail Toni Leigh Collett.  We call her Abby.

A couple of weeks later, Sydney turned a year old.

In April of 2011, my mom got married to a long time family friend, Rob.

That summer, we were surprised to find out that we would be having another baby.

We went through so much stress with this pregnancy.  I was sick the entire time, I had bleeding during the 2nd trimester, a blood clot, and a very difficult labor/recovery.

In between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we found out that Ben had outgrown his peanut allergy.  Only about 20% of children diagnosed with a peanut allergy grow out of it.  Thankfully our son was one of that 20%.  I'd like to tell you that we don't worry anymore, but I'd be lying.

For Christmas the whole family pitched in and bought us a van.  We were so thankful, because we'd been driving a two door Pontiac Sunfire and were trying to figure out how to buy something bigger that we would all fit in.

On February 14, 2012, we were blessed with Rylie Jane Tiemann.  She was born by c-section.  She was 7lbs 5 oz and 20 inches long.

The following month, we moved again.  We desperately needed more room.

Now, I'm about to be an aunt again, twice!  My sister, Courtney, is expecting again and Shawn's brother, Chris and his girlfriend are expecting.

Now, I have left out a few job changes for Shawn.  He went from working weekends when Ben was born, to working through the week but late at night through a lot of Ben's early childhood.  He got a job where he was able to finally work the traditional 8-5 during my pregnancy with Sydney And around the first of the year, this year, he got a new job.  He works the usual 8-5 although now he travels a lot.  That is a huge adjustment for the kids.

Also, we've gone through a lot with Shawn's mother's health and his grandmother's health.  It has taken a long time to diagnose Julie (Shawn's mom) with rheumatoid arthritis, liver cirrhosis, and CREST syndrome.  Also, during my pregnancy with Ben, she almost died from an infection following her hysterectomy.  Thankfully, they are both still here, and doing relatively well.

We've made friends that have made a huge impact on our lives as well as our children's lives.  This is Torren, who is our children's God Father and Shawn and I's real good friend.  He's an important part of our family.

We've bonded together as a family, even though some of us have a few differences, to help each other through a trying time with Shawn's uncle.  He's currently in jail awaiting sentencing.  He's a good man that like many of us made a few poor decisions.  I shouldn't really talk public about the whole thing although people close to us know about it.

The crazy thing is that I'm probably forgetting a lot here, but to be honest, who remembers everything from the past 5 years?

I do encourage you to try it though.  Remember and reflect on the big things that have happened over the last five or so years to you and your family.  How have you changed, grown, matured?  Our experiences shape who we are.  It's quite an interesting activity.


Anonymous said…
This is really neat, Liz. Thanks for sharing!

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