Amber Ethridge-Williams and her husband of 13 years, Timothy, live in Corinth with their three children: Ryan, 12; Nathan, 8; and Lillian, 2. Timothy works as a service technician for Holt Caterpillar in Lewisville and Amber is a stay-at-home mom and owner of a photography business, Ambiance Photography.
6:30AM My alarm goes off. Wait, wait, wait! Technically, the day begins at midnight, so let's start there.
12AM I’ve been in bed for about half an hour. I'm reading a book on my phone, while listening to snores from my husband Tim and my little girl Lillian. She is 2 years old and still sleeps in our room. Sometimes she sleeps in her Pack ‘n Play next to our bed, but usually she ends up right smack in the middle of us — sideways. Every once in a while, we get another visitor to our room. This would be Nate when he has had a bad dream. On really special occasions — when it's storming outside — Ryan joins us across the end of the bed. Community bed nights are awesome!
5:30AM A strange noise emanates from the opposite side of the bed. It's my hubby's alarm on his phone. It goes off four times every five minutes thanks to that nifty snooze feature. After my hubby gets up and kisses me goodbye, I pick up my phone and read my book.
6:30AM I reluctantly put my phone down and begin the long process of waking my boys up. First attempt: "Nate, time to get up, honey." Him: “Leave me alone!" Half the time Ryan is already up; this can either be a really good thing for me or a really bad thing for everyone in the house.
6:45AM Second attempt: "Nate, get up!" I pull his blanket off. Him: “I’m tired!" He pulls the blanket back up. Back to the living room, where Ryan has procrastinated with his online homework. There’s an argument that involves excuses and yet another speech on personal responsibility.
7AM Third attempt: "Nathan Lee get up right this second!" I pull him out of bed. Now begins the dance of Nate doing anything but getting ready for school and me following him around saying, "Get dressed — that includes brushing your teeth!" This goes on until 7:30am.
7:30AM Time to wake up my sweet girl and load her in the truck. When the boys stumble out, there is almost always a fight over who gets the front seat. Sigh. Finally, we are off to school. We first have to make it over I-35, which is always fun in the mornings. The rest of our drive is pretty and scenic.
7:40AM Arriving at the elementary school, we get in line. I think to myself, "I swear that I have spent half my life in one line or another." I'm pretty sure that all these other drivers have too, so why can't they properly handle drop-off? We pull up to the next available cone, where a student safety patrol officer is waiting.
7:45AM Ryan, Lily and I tell Nate goodbye and that we love him and pull away. We drive a whole three driveways down and turn into the middle school parking lot. I drive around the parking lot and get in … you guessed it, another line! Ryan gets his stuff and gets out. Lily and I wave bye and tell him we love him.
7:50AM Lily and I head back home. Getting home, I feed us and turn on Lily’s show Tinker Bell. I know every line, every song and every expression in all five movies. I catch up on Facebook and read my text from my hubby. He sends, “Good morning, beautiful!" every single day.
8AM I try to get some editing done. I am a photographer and do photo shoots on the weekends. Recently, however, Lillian isn't at all cool with me working on "her time,” so we play! I soak up as much of this as I can. I did the same thing when my boys were little.
9AM I do a load of laundry. I read somewhere that hell is built specifically for each individual. So, if I were to end up there … it would be one giant laundry room complete with mile-high piles of clothes. Cringe. I digress …
9:30AM People who really know me know I love to sleep. Fortunately, my daughter likes to get her sleep as well, so we take a nap.
11AM We get up, eat lunch, play some more and get ready to go get the boys.
2:30PM After buckling in, we make the trip back to the schools. I join the long line of about 50 cars that wraps around the building. School lets out in about 10 minutes, so I read a chapter on my phone while Lily jabbers to music in the backseat. We finally pull up to the front and Nate gets in the truck. He tells us about his day. I love it when he is all smiles; I hate it when he's all tears.
3:05PM I drive over to the middle school, park and await Ryan. This seems to take forever. I try to read, but usually Nate and Lily are fighting. Ryan finally gets in the truck and tells us about his day.
3:50PM We hit up Sonic happy hour. I tell them to get something 'snack sized,’ but we usually end up getting Nate something ‘regular sized’ because he's starving. I sip my Dr Pepper and find my happy place.
4:15PM We head home where the homework monster lurks.
4:35PM Hubby is home. Yay! I missed him. Lily yells, "Daddy, Dad, Dad, Dad!" I get a quick kiss, then he hits the shower. It's Friday, so the boys have karate practice. I keep Lily home with me. Lily and I cook dinner.
7:30PM When they get home, the boys eat dinner and get ready for bed. I get Lily ready for bed and settle on the couch. We usually try to watch a movie or catch up on a DVR show. When the kids leave us in peace (which is rare), it's so nice.
12AM We head to bed. On the weekends, my wonderful husband lets me sleep on his side of the bed with earplugs in. He takes care of the kids, should they wake. I read for a bit and try not to think about the house needing a full overhaul the next day. I'm exhausted, but I feel incredibly thankful for my crazy, beautiful life. Blessed am I.
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