As you can imagine, having Quadruplets has been quite a life changer for Ashley and I. It has required a lot of adjustment from what our lives used to be, and a mountain of effort to keep up with the daily tasks of 4 very active toddlers. One of the most common questions we get asked is “How do you manage Life?” I want to share a little bit about our daily life, working from home, keeping our marriage strong, giving our children all they need, and running several businesses to support our family!
There are many moving parts to our lives, our relationship, our children and business, but they all stem from one common foundation that allows them all to flow consistently. That is the relationship Ashley and I have as husband and wife. We are a team, with everything we do. No matter the task or role that is presented, we work through all of our decisions and actions as a team. This is the first building block of how we make our life work!
Over time in our marriage, we learned each other’s strengths and weaknesses. As the years went on, we focused on each other’s individual strengths, and build our life together doing everything as a team. What I lacked, Ashley overcompensated for, and vice-versa. We grew to realize that trying to accomplish our goals in life alone was extremely difficult, but seeking them as a team made the journey all the more enjoyable and easier. By the time the quadruplets came along, we both knew each others strengths and weaknesses extremely well, and we played off these as we adjusted to life as parents of multiples. This knowledge, along with our communication skills built over years with trust and love, helped us through this initial stage of parenthood.
Learning to communicate in our marriage was the huge as moved through our early struggles and then into one of our biggest, infertility. Knowing each others needs and making the best efforts to meet those needs was crucial in our development as a husband and wife, not only for our comfort and survival, but in our preparation for what God had in store for us. Over those first 8-9 years of marriage, we learned more from our struggles than we did from our successes, but the key to this educations was our willingness to communicate with each other and know intimately what each of us was feeling during these times. I can’t stress enough how communication built our marriage, and what it would do for trials that came in and out of our lives. Although it was only one key factor in molding who we would become, it was an important one. Ill save the rest for another blog!
Flash forward, the girls are home, we’re slowing adjusting to our new roles, and we have just started one of our businesses. Some people ask if this was just adding more stress to our plates. The simple answer is no. As I was in a sales job previously, I traveled more than Ashley or I wanted me to. Knowing that my job would continue to require that schedule, that thought actually brought on more stress as we scrambled to figure out what would work best for our family and our new needs. We both decided that me being home with Ashley was going to be best for our family at this particular point in time. Luckily, the stars aligned, and things worked out in our favor. TLC came knocking, and although we were very hesitant in the beginning, things worked out well with them which allowed us a little breathing room financially to work on a game plan of having me home permanently. This is where we took our leap of faith, together.
Knowing that filming our story would have its limits, we knew we needed to do something that could be long term. We needed something that could support our family alone, and continue allowing me to be in the home with Ashley. This is where our Etsy business started, and bloomed. I’m not going into all the details of that or filming in this particular blog, but they needed to be mentioned so I could talk about how we handled this as a team. Starting our own business required time and dedication. This required both of us to give all we had of our particular strengths, once again. Ashley obviously handled the creative end of the business coming up with the product, styles and patterns to put in our new shop, and I handled marketing, sales, and the technical end of things. Once again, a new pathway that would venture down began with us working together as a team. Through much hard work, things paid off for us, and our shop began to show a lot of promise. It eventually got to the point where I was able to quit my sales job, and focus 100% on our new endeavor. Our faith as a couple, combined with our labors allowed us to be able to provide for our family, and also for us to have a more than ideal situation of raising our new family together; going through the ups and downs hand in hand. What a blessing this was now looking back.
As things progressed, more doors opened. We found it a blessing, yet at the same time a new trial. As we struggled to find our roles as parents, and to support our now larger family, we had to stretch ourselves a bit to make things work. I will tell you right now, nothing that has been successful in our lives has not been done alone. Whether that be Ashley and I tackling new challenges together, us relying on doctors and nurses, or our faith in God to lead us along our pathway; our successes are shared with many. I think this has been that something special for us. Watching miracles unfold, one by one, and sharing with so many other people. It has not only brought us closer together as a couple, but brought us closer together with those we have shared these moments with. This has only strengthened these relationships, and once again allowed us to build upon them, giving even more success.
As we continue to find new opportunities and challenges, we also continue to grow; but again, we do not do this alone. We are a team. Hitting back on something I mentioned in the first paragraph, this has only enhanced our marriage, our roles as parents, our roles as business partners, and even our roles as siblings, children, and friends. Speaking specifically about marriage, personally I’ve found that my marriage is only as good as I choose to make it every day. As I choose to show love, empathy, understanding, compassion, service, charity, and a willingness to listen to my partner, I’ve never received anything less from my better half. Imagine that! What I put out into the world, I get back. Who would have thought?
Sometimes I start writing a blog not knowing what it is about or where it will end up, but I hope this blog has meant something to somebody, somewhere. I know I’ll read it years down the line, and take something from it, but I hope you can too. If you take just one thing from it thought, I would want it to be the realization of how important it is to honestly and truly know, respect, and communicate with your better half. This has worked miracles in our marriage that have only led to other successes. Thank you for your time and willingness to read my thoughts that I jot down from time to time. I hope and wish for you all to have an incredible week leading up to our Thanksgiving holiday! I love you all!
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