Missed Chapter 3? Read it here.
Thinking back to the first few months with McKenzie and Kasey, I laugh. I was obviously inexperienced being only 18 years old. I had no idea what to do when they cried all night. Thankfully I lived with my parents. My mom took a couple weeks off work to help me which taught me a lot.
During the first weeks, we would take shifts in the middle of the night which allowed me to get some much needed sleep. I didn’t have a husband or boyfriend to help me at all so I relied a lot on her. She also babysat for me so I could hang out with my friends once in awhile. I underestimated how hard it was being a mom, both physically and mentally. So, I’m very thankful I didn’t have to deal with everything completely alone.
I had McKenzie and Kasey over my school winter break. I went back to school right away. I took night and online classes so my mom could help watch the babies. It felt good to go to college and not have a huge pregnant belly – I felt like a normal person finally! I didn’t work until the summer of 2009. My parent’s house was feeling pretty crowded so I knew it was time to save some money to move out.
I got a job at Bed Bath and Beyond as a cashier. I made lots of friends pretty quickly (some who I still have to this day!). The job was easy and flexible with my busy schedule. McKenzie and Kasey started attending daycare and they LOVED it. They have always been very social and interacting with other kids was their favorite thing to do. Since I clearly couldn’t afford daycare for two babies, I had to get state assistance to cover the costs. I tell people this because I think its important to not let people shame you for utilizing the help that is available. If I didn’t get state assistance for daycare, I wouldn’t have been able to work or go to school at all. Where would I be today? I’m thankful it was there for me when I needed it.
I continued to work and go to school. I was officially apartment hunting and so eager to get out of my parents house. McKenzie and Kasey were almost one year old! Around October, a familiar face started working at BBB with me. I knew that I had went to high school with him but didn’t know his name or anything. I was secretly crushing on him and I’m not sure if it was because I was actually into him or if it was one of those “he’s the best looking guy at work” type of thing. He was extremely shy and awkward to talk to so I wasn’t really committed to it fully. Ha! His name was Cody 🙂 and I did confirm that we went to high school together, (actually we went to school together since 1st grade!!) he was just a year younger than me.
I finally moved into my first apartment! It was a two bedroom and just perfect for my little family of three. 🙂 I was so excited to be out on my own but was definitely missing all the help from my parents.
After a couple months of working together, Cody finally started coming out of his shell. It was still nothing more than being friendly at work. We were closing the store together one night and I had asked him to hold onto my chapstick because I didn’t have any pockets. Fast forward a few nights… I was at my apartment with my best friend and we were getting ready to go out. McKenzie and Kasey were at their dad’s house that weekend. A Facebook message pops up on my computer and its from Cody. It said “Hey, I used your chapstick… I hope you don’t mind”. LOL! That was his freaking pick up line. My friend was the one to type back and said “its like we kissed”. LET THE FLIRTING BEGIN.
The first time he came over to my apartment to hang out we watched a movie and figured out all kinds of things about each other. Most importantly that we were both huge Harry Potter fans. We gave each other an awkward hug goodbye that night but I knew I was totally into him at that point.
We hung out almost every day. The relationship moved pretty fast. It was funny to watch him interact with McKenzie and Kasey! He had no idea what he was doing, haha. But he never made me feel like I had a ton of baggage because I had two kids and he was so great with them. He ended up asking me to be his “official” girlfriend that month. Then slowly I would find different items around the house that were his. He was basically moving himself in!
We became a team. He came into my life when I needed someone the most. He helped with the girls, he helped with bills but most importantly he made our little family complete. Sure, we struggled a lot during the first year because we were still trying to learn each other. He was learning how to play a father role and I was learning how to let a man come into our lives.
When the girls were learning how to talk, they couldn’t fully say Cody. Instead, they would say “Doey”. They are almost nine years old now and still call him that. I’m so happy that Doey walked into Bed, Bath and Beyond that day. It’s hard to imagine a life without him.