Self Portrait # 9

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Family.

This is it for me. This is my core, my life, my heart. At the end of the day, this is all that matters. I never thought I would have four children, it was not something I dreamed of. My sister told me not too long ago that this was never the life she imagined for me. She thought I would be off on adventures, living free and wild.

There are times I daydream about that, because she is right in so many ways. But then I look at these four. That one holding us all together, he made me a mom, and showed me what unconditional love is. those two girls on each side of me, they showed me what strength was when they were three pounds and fighting for their life. That little man snuggled into me, he showed me how important it is to laugh and stand behind your feelings. And the four babies that watch over us, they showed me that grief can be overcome.

We aren’t perfect. I make mistakes with them all of the time. But I love them with every bone in my body and breath in my soul. They keep me going when I don’t always feel like I have the strength. If I raise my girls to stay wild and strong, and my boys to stay respectful and sensitive, I feel like I win.

I am told by many how wonderful they are. How I am doing something right with them. Thank you to those that tell me this. Because most days, I question myself. Now more then anything, I wonder what they will learn from me. I wonder what type of a role model I can be for them.

This is my family, the five of us. My dad tells me that one day, someone will see us for the gift that we are. That someone would be crazy not to want to be a part of this. Maybe he’s right, maybe not. And I’m ok with that. Because this is my tribe. And not only do I have these four, but a dad that is my pillar, and a sister that is my best friend. Life is good.

And to those friends that have stuck by my side, you are my family too. I love you all very much. What a tribe we are.

*side note: hardest self timed photo ever….I had 10 seconds to get from camera to them and set up….and I didn’t yell at them once!

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