Somehow another month has passed since I last posted. Here I thought this pregnancy was dragging and now a month has flown by without me even realizing it! We did end up to the early gender test after all. In the moment when the lab tech asked if we would be doing the test or not I made a silly pouty face at Eric. I was totally playing and we had already discussed we would be waiting to do the test (which I was totally fine with). Eric was feeling generous in the moment. Just an hour before we went in he got a call that he was promoted to the Conroe store as Store Manager. He told the tech to draw the extra blood for test! I was so excited! I was stressed that when it came time to do the gender ultrasound that the little one might not cooperate and we wouldn't get a confident answer. The blood test is over 98% accurate and as a bonus we got to find out 5-8 weeks early. We are happy to announce that Claire is going to have a baby BROTHER! Luke Thomas Westerman! I was shocked when I heard it was a boy. I always wanted one of each, but was totally fine and so was Eric with having all girls. We knew that 2 kids is what we wanted (unless God has other plans) and no matter what this baby was we were going to be "done". I kept thinking it would be another girl. After loosing the little one in February I kind of thought maybe that was our boy. We are so happy to be having one of each. I'm not real sure yet what to do with a boy, haha. No bows? No dresses? What am I going to do? Leaving the house will be so much faster! I love knowing what the baby is early. It truly helps us as a family bond with the baby more, especially with Claire. We call him by name, tell Claire about baby Luke. We don't say "the baby", we say Luke! I think waiting to find out until the day the baby is born would be amazing, but the day we found out with both kids was an amazing day as a family.
With Claire rapidly approaching 2 it dawned on me the other day that I haven't worked in nearly 2 years! It feels like only yesterday I had a job outside the home and at the same time feels like a million years ago. I worked in a very corporate environment and really did enjoy my job for the most part (of course nothing could every compare to being a stay at home mom). Anyway, before I had kids part of me wanted to stay home and the other part of me wanted to have it all. The family and the career. I really put my all into my job and tried to move up the ladder. For the first few years I felt like I kept hitting wall after wall. Never going anywhere. Several years in, the company I was working for announced they were opening up a new division. Something in me felt led to speak up and say I wanted to be a part of that division. I was so excited when they eagerly said I could be a part of the division. I thought this was finally my chance. God had opened a door for me to climb the ladder. Getting in on something from basically the ground up and being one of the firsts involved. I told myself to put my all into it and learn everything and every angle I could. Looking back I know I was naive to think hard work and being one of the firsts was all it was going to take, but I was young and eager. I truly did put in my all. In my downtime I spent time researching the industry, reading product manuals, underwriting guidelines, all the nitty gritty stuff that no one wants to read and learn about. I vowed I would be the girl with all the answers. In a way I was. As the division grew men who had been in the industry 20+ years came to me with questions. As time progressed and I didn't move up like I thought I "should" I became discouraged. It seemed like no matter how hard I worked I still wouldn't be a good as the guys. I learned that industry and career experience often means more than having a Masters Degree. It was a lesson I needed to learn. That having a degree is great and useful, but it also takes time and experience to go somewhere. A few short years, a degree, and being a knowledge hound does not equal getting where you think you deserve to be. The most important thing I learned that God's plans and our plans do not always go hand in hand. I remember trying so hard to move up in the corporate world while at the same time struggling to become a mom. Crying night after night asking God what is it he wants for me? I'm busting my butt to get promoted and struggling to conceive a child and not getting either thing I was asking for. I'm sure God was rather frustrated with me as he tried to tell me to wait for his timing and all I could to was complain. Little did I know he was going to give me everything and more I ever wanted. Claire came along and changed my world forever. I never dreamed I would be able to be a stay at home Mom. I even fought it and tried to tell God I knew better. That I had to work at least part time to make ends meet. Then he closed every part time door in my face. The money still doesn't make sense, but month after month God makes sure the bills get paid. We don't go without anything we need. Sure we had to cut back on bills and luxury items and we will drive our cars until they die, but being able to watch my children grow and learn every day all day is a bigger blessing than driving fancy cars or having a big house.
For some reason it took me nearly 2 years to figure out a reason why God allowed me to join the new division of my old company, but not to climb where I thought I should go. Now I am able to stay home with my daughter and future son and still able to keep my foot in the door. I sell insurance from home at my leisure to bring in some extra income and do some servicing work for an agency on the side. It isn't a lot, but every little bit helps. If I hadn't felt led to join that division and then given the opportunity to do so I would not at all have been able to work from home. It's a much needed slap on the forehead from God reminding me his plans are always a gazillion times better than we could have ever imagined and just to sit back and let him take the reigns! When I was pregnant with Claire and planning on paying daycare I always worried if we would be able to afford additional children. Daycare is pricey, especially in Houston, and there was no way we could afford daycare for more than one child. God sure did work out that worry. Stay home and no daycare cost to worry about!
Sure having another child will of course cost more money, but truly the first year is relatively inexpensive for a second child. We have all the basics, and I plan on breastfeeding again. The biggest expense is getting an extra bed and few other things like a double stroller. Over all nothing like $800+ per child per month in day care cost. We can hopefully get everything Luke will need for less than one month's day care cost.
Hopefully my rambling makes sense. Just something I wanted to share about learning that God's plans vs our own and God's plans are always better than we could ever imagine. We just have to sit back and let God do his thing and quit trying to tell him we know better than he does.