I recently announced the incredibly happy news that Matthew and I are expecting a child together. (If you are a fan of The Life Aquatic this photo should make sense to you, if you're not then please just enjoy the fact that this tiny little goat is peering over the dashboard the way she is).
Here's some of my favorite questions that people have asked me:
Are you going to get married?
Yes! Even though my first marriage didn't end the way I thought it would I still believe in the beauty and sanctity of marriage. I love being a wife and I love having a family unit solidified around the vow of marriage. That's not to say I don't think that perfectly happy and healthy families can be the product of a non-married couple, because I do. I think happy families come in all shapes and sizes. But for me, personally, I want to be married. Matthew and I are planning a wedding at the farm this Summer after our son is born (he's due at the end of April). I've already had a fairytale wedding so for me, honestly, the party wasn't that important. But Matthew has never been married before and a wedding was something that he has wanted for awhile. And so, never one to scoff at a chance to wear a fancy dress, eat cake and dance the night away, we're throwing a peacock and goat themed wedding at The Farmstead (more to come on that I promise!) My daughter Gizmo (she'll be three) is my Maid of Honor and most likely a goat will walk down the aisle with us.
Are you changing your last name?
This was a tough one for me. I originally wanted to go back to my maiden name but I wanted my daughter to do it with me. When it became evident that wasn't going to be an option I quickly decided there was no way I wasn't going to have the same last name as my daughter. But now I'm having a son with a different man and of course I want to have the same last name as him too. So, I'm hyphenating. Taylor-Tuller. I'll have the same last name as both my kids and also sound like a cartoon character. Win-Win!
Are you still opening the dairy?
At this point in time, yes. we are still hoping to open the dairy this Spring. I'll be home on maternity leave for three months in the Spring and of course we both think that's a great time to go ahead and launch a giant business venture. Newborns sleep all the time, right? We have altered our perception of what "opening our doors" looks like. We know that we won't be able to sustain a salaried employee this first year and so Brian, who had moved onto the farm with the intention of running the dairy, is moving off to pursue other ventures. Our plan right now is to keep babies on mamas for longer than normal (around two months) and then milk just once a day this first season. From there we'll focus on hard cheeses that age a year or longer in the cave (Three Legged Gouda, perhaps). We've also toyed around with the idea of having a "Weekend Chevre" that we only make on weekends (get it? get it? we are so clever.) I will go back to my full time job off the farm and Matthew will keep his job as a nurse in the ER, but, we're optimistic we can make something work. The bottom line is we're not giving up. If a divorce didn't stop me the first time there's no way a newborn is going to stop us now!
Okay, be honest. Was this baby an oops?
The timing of this pregnancy isn't exactly well thought out, however, you will never hear me call this baby an "oops" or a "mistake". Matthew and I had been talking about adding to our family and I guess once we put that intention into the universe the universe answered. Here is what matters. This child is coming into a loving, stable, healthy home and is wanted and loved. Our families are happy and supportive of both our marriage and the birth of this child and, to be honest, I'm thrilled Giz is getting a sibling who is so close in age to her (they will be 2.5 years apart). My marriage to her father ended when she was 10 months old. I feel so lucky that I was able to navigate the horror of divorce during a time when she will likely have very few memories (if any). And then I feel even more lucky that I found the perfect match for she and I so quickly.
Phew! Do you feel like we just went to coffee together and now you know way too much? If you do then I guess my work here is done. But first, I'll leave you with this.
At the end of the day this farm is still run on love. The love that I have for my children and the love that I have for a man I have opened my heart to. The other night Giz threw up right before bed. She was so sad that she had inadvertently vomited on me (she really is, the sweetest little girl ever) that I ended up laying in her crib with her until she fell asleep.
There we were, both of us, laying on our backs, looking at the ceiling. She reached out her tiny little hand and said, "hold my hand," so I did. Then she gave me her other hand and said, "now hold this one," so I did. And now it was the two of us, laying on our backs, looking at the ceiling and holding hands, like two little sea otters who are worried they'll float away from each other while they sleep. Right before she fell asleep she mumbled, "I am happy."
And I did everything I could to choke back the tears of this beautiful life. This photo was taken on Christmas Day at our friend's house. My mom made both of our sweaters, mine just happens to be a little bit older (she made it for me when I was in 5th grade!). Matthew had to work in the ER but three of us are here. Me, Giz and our son (22 weeks pregnant).