I have known Tessa since high school and have had the privilege of photographing her family when she just had one son, then two sons, and now FOUR sons! I asked Tessa to give me a little story about their life, because I want people to get a better glimpse into their day to day. Pictures tell a thousand words, but when I scroll down the words that come to mind are “beauty, joy and fun”. I am so glad that I was able to capture those emotions in these photos, but I KNOW that in between the moments of “beauty, joy and fun”, there are moments of “frustration, exhaustion and doubt”. I think that can be said for every mama, no matter if you have one child or ten.
Here is her story!
“If you had told me that by the age of 28 I would be the mother of 4, and 4 boys at that– well I might have believed you actually! Growing up I had always envisioned myself having 5 boys, but after giving birth to my first 2 (who are 20 months apart) while simultaneously being overwhelmed with grad school, I thought “maybe I’m done.” Imagine my surprise when 2 years later I was pregnant again… with twins!!
A few months later as I was holding our twin baby boys in the hospital, I experienced the feeling that our family was complete. Four beautiful boys. One less that I had envisioned growing up, but completely perfect for us. In that moment I felt pure joy.
However, I’ll admit that some days I have a hard time remembering that joyful feeling– ya know, when my almost 5 year old is literally running around the house screaming “you shouldn’t have given me sugarrrrr, mom!!!!!” While my 3 year old is throwing himself on the floor with a shrieking scream because I wouldn’t let him eat another waffle dinner… and then the twins are… well the twins are usually happy (knock on wood) and I think, “is this a movie?! Am I the star in a comedy? I’m finally an actress!!” Except there is no acting and this certainly is not a movie!
Sometimes I imagine what they’ll say about me when they’re older. “Oh mom, she was always yelling at us to sit down and eat, or pulling us apart so we didn’t kill each other!” I just have to laugh at myself. This is my life! At the end of the day they all go to bed and suddenly it’s peaceful and quiet. Most nights I end up sitting in the silence, drinking a glass of wine and reflecting on the day. Some nights I’m exhausted, I want to cry, and I’m ready to give up. Other nights I feel the pride of accomplishing yet another day. Every day is a different day. Every day is a “crazy” one in its own way, whether it be the good crazy or the not-so-good crazy.
This is the season of life we are in: crazy, loud, dirty, poopy, funny and exhausting– and from what I understand, I can expect most of those parts to carry on into the next season.. and the next.. and the next! I love my Beau Grayson, Tripp Jameson, Heath River and Jed August with everything I have, and if I didn’t love them so much then I wouldn’t get so boiled up and frustrated sometimes, right? Balance is key, right? 😉
Now if you asked my husband if he thought we would have 4 boys by 28?? Ha! He’d think you were crazy and had lost your mind! Luckily he too has learned to embrace the chaos, and some-days when I look over at him in the middle of a “Stuckey hurricane,” I see that same 20 year old I met 10 years ago. I am blown away by how fast it’s gone by and how much things have changed, but I am so grateful for our beautiful life. So bring on the crazy! Little do these boys know who the real crazy one is!!! I mean who has 4 kids in 4 years???!!!!?? Muahahahahahhaaaa!!!!”