Hi! I am Alyssa! Toddler chaos coordinator, multi-passionate, lover of hobbies, and proud extrovert.
If you saw me out in public, I would have my typical mom uniform on: grey v-neck Tee, cropped black yoga pants, and a pair of kicks I got from the local Costco. I would be baby wearing, carrying two toddlers that are refusing to walk, and holding a conversation with a kindergartner who excels at holding a conversation without catching a breath. There is a good chance I would have some sweat on my brow and a smile on my face, kindly nodding and laughing as strangers tell me I have my hands full.
I live right in the middle of Lansing, Ann Arbor and Detroit. I graduated from the Douglas J Aveda Institute with my State License in Cosmetology. Later, I moved far up north and attended Michigan Technological University. My boyfriend at the time also went to MTU, and when he graduated, we both moved down state and got engaged. Steve and I got married in September 2011 and moved to Ann Arbor for his job. I went back to work for Douglas J as a stylist and Salon Coach.
We always knew we wanted a large family. Before getting married, we would go back and forth about having kids and what our goals as parents would be. So we started trying to get pregnant soon after getting married, and we remember hearing from someone, “Sometimes it takes a few months.” Months turned into a year, and a year turned into almost two. We started talking about fertility specialists, even scheduling our first appointment, temping, and using ovulation kits. After finally getting a positive test and telling our families, we suffered a miscarriage. That loss rocked me. I remember not wanting to leave bed, feeling this haze of having to tell everyone. I was confused and felt let down. Quickly after the miscarriage, we got pregnant again.
…And Then the Kids
In 2013, we had our first daughter Addison. We lived in South Lyon for the first year of Addison’s life and then decided that we would move our family to Erie, Pennsylvania for a job advancement for my husband. Throughout all of this, we were trying for baby number two. Knowing how long it took with our first pregnancy, we wondered what that would mean for following attempts. Eventually we made the move back to Michigan and settled into a smaller town. After two years of trying, we decided it was time to schedule an appointment with a fertility specialist. A few days before the appointment, I took a “Just in case, I better check” test, and it was positive! Our second was born in 2016. His name is Callahan.
Let’s circle back to the beginning of my introduction when I said that Steve and I both wanted a big family. Remember that? When Callahan was five months old, we found out I was pregnant with baby number three. Blair was born in 2017.
And let’s revisit that big family thing another time because yep, you guessed it: when Blair was six months old, I found out I was pregnant with baby four. Keegan was born in 2018. We thought our family was complete after four babies… but the surprises kept coming!
Baby five, another boy, will be joining our family at the end of April 2020!
I am also a proud C-section mama. Four cesareans and approaching my fifth. My first was a surgery that followed a 72-hour hospital labor and failure to progress. It was scary, and it was nothing like the birth that we had planned. So alongside a wonderful OB-GYN, we decided to make my following C-section births a birthing experience that I loved. We used clear drapes, so that I could watch as each baby was born. The doctors held the babies up to the clear drape, so we could be face-to-face while they delayed the cord clamping. As soon as the babies could safely join me, I was able to be skin-to-skin, breastfeeding them. As much as there was to dislike about my first C-section experience, advocating for gentle C-sections with my following three babies was so empowering and absolutely wonderful.
What Else Am I Up To?
To spice up my schedule, I lead a Girl Scout Daisy Troop, and I am involved in MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) where I lead a table of mothers. I am the founder of The Motherhood Mixer, a touring motherhood workshop event series. What started off as a venture to bless other moms became a complete traveling workshop with consecutively sold-out tour dates.
The life that my husband and I are building is built on our faith. We attend 2|42 Community Church. We raise our children to know and love God. Our family tries our very best to show God’s love in practical and real-life ways. The community and friendships we have built are truly amazing. I have a strong passion for my marriage and continually building our relationship. Patience and peacefully parenting my little ones is so incredibly important to me and a constant lesson in growth and grace.
We thrive off of this sleep-deprived childhood loudness. Our home is, in fact, busy with children, but it’s also busy with joy, busy with prayer, and busy with love and a whole lot of grace! We are raising a tribe of children, having a big family, and sacrificing things for the best reason.