Updated: May 31, 2022
If you asked me what I am the proudest of, my answer would be, hands down, "My family!"
A big blended family
Between my husband and me - his, mine, and ours - we have 8 children, our oldest being 27 and our youngest being 10. I never knew I wanted a big family until I had one, but every one of my children brings me such joy. I love being a mom! The breakdown is this: "His": son 28, daughter 22, son 15, son 14. "Mine": daughter 19, daughter 18. "Ours": son 11 (deceased), daughter 10. So when I say I have 8 kids, I have 8 kids, but they aren't all home all the time. One (sweet boy) will never get the chance to come home.
Our oldest lives in Florida now with his wonderful girlfriend. The next two oldest girls are both in college. The next oldest from there will be headed off to college in the fall. We couldn't be more fortunate than we are with how exceptional these four turned out.
Out of our three youngest, two are in high school and one is still in elementary school. The two in high school spend the school week with their mom and weekends with us. Of course, our "ours" baby is with us all the time.
I wish I could go on and on and tell you all about my amazing kids, but I have to respect their privacy. Just know, if you know them, you're pretty lucky. I know I am.
Even more blended family
I still have a very close relationship with my girls' dad. His whole family is an extended family to us. My girls have three more brothers at their dad's house and sometimes our youngest even likes to go over there to play. We've all worked adamantly to make sure the kids always come first.
As you can see in the photo, we do have one dog, Hera. She's not the only one though; she's just the best at posing. Hera is our sweet girl dog. Our other dogs are Apollo, our tubby boy, Gaius with his overly large head and inquisitive look, and Jasper, the family protector. All four of our dogs are Australian Shepherds. We also have one cat, Missy Cupcake who is the old matriarch over the pets in the home. Yes, our home is busy, and YES there is a lot of fluff.
The best guy
My husband is supportive of everything I do. We are very fortunate that he is able to work from home so he can see our littlest off to school and be there when she gets off the bus in the afternoon. Plus, he'll be home with her all summer. After the struggles we've had finding affordable quality childcare, this is a welcome relief. When I made the final decision to run and started circulating my petitions, so many people asked what my husband would say. I told them, he'll say, "Ok," and that's exactly what he said. When I got on the ballot and asked him if he was ready for this he said "No, but it's happening. You know I support you." I couldn't imagine a better partner, as someone who goes along with all my plans, never doubting for a second that I can and will do whatever I put my mind to.