HAPPY OCTENNIAL 

How have eight years already transpired?! Yes, that’s me, happy as can be, just 9 months after our first BLIND date, prompted by my grandpa’s persistent encouragement. 


Thanks Grandpa! 

So in honor of our octennial, I thought I’d list (and picture) highlights from these eight great years!

YEAR 1 

We were once young cubs!!! Here I was 26 and Christian bear a mere 23! I think we had known each other about 1 week when he took this shot from his laptop. 
Oh the life ahead!

Right off the bat we hit a huge homerun as Christian was accepted to medical school!!! 

So young!!


I don’t have many pics of our pre-kid life. To be honest, we didn’t have much time before kids lol! But we enjoyed walking along the Canal downtown in Indianapolis….apple picking (and eating)….


…and then getting ready for our lives to be changed FOREVER! 


…..because you already know the story–first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage! 


Don’t let the look on my face trick you. I was eight months pregnant as we closed in on our first anniversary, and couldn’t wear my wedding ring for the swollen sausages my fingers had become, but I LOVED being preggo, every second of it!

(Eight years later we have the same TV and green rug!)

YEAR 2 

What’s more amazing than being married? Being married with a baby! 

So year 2 we moved from our luxury apartment in the Carmel Arts and Design District to downtown Indianapolis. A one bedroom apartment was simply too small. 

Year 1 Home


Year 2 Home 


And we had a baby!


Alexander Lorenz made his appearance in June of 2010. 

We loved it!

(There’s that TV!)

Alex was nine months old when lo and behold we shared the news….


Life was about to get ultra crazy! 

I took on more work, 6 days a week! I loved teaching, and I couldn’t say no to new students on my schedule. 

As a Language Specialist and later Language Director, I met men, women, and children from all over the world!! 

Can you guess which countries my students were from based on these names?

  • Türkiye
  • Schweiz
  • Deutschland
  • Brasil
  • Zhongguo
  • Magyarország
  • México
  • Nippon
  • Hanguk

There were so many more! 

In any case, I thrived in learning my students’ stories and teaching them the six allophones of T and the silent signals intonation would send among other lessons. Someday soon I should share some of these lessons–they were truly some of the best!

YEAR 3

We moved again!! We bought our first house in May 2011 just north of Garfield Park, still in Indianapolis. At almost 100 years old, this house had character! 

Best of all, Christian could continue biking to work!

And as 2011 grew, so did I! For we were expecting Bear 2.

Bear 2 tried to arrive when I was just 31 weeks pregnant–though by a miracle and a bit of medicine we prevented that. 

I spent 4 weeks on bedrest, diving into and finishing –naturally–the Game of Thrones A Song of Fire and Ice saga (I’m still waiting for Winds of Winter along with the rest of the universe…)

At 35 weeks and 1 day Autumn Genovefa was born! 


It was not the arrival we expected. Within minutes, Audi was whisked away from us, grunting and blue. Unable to use her lungs, she went from being placed on a CPAP to a ventilator to an oscillator. 

For 10 nerve-wrecking days, she was sedated and motionless, except for the pulses of air going in and out of her chest.


It’s a blur now, but those five weeks in the NICU were a defining moment for us, and our strength was tested at a level that felt impossible to handle.

I recall questioning why God would allow us to bring a baby safely through a pregnancy only to possibly take her away. Yet I wasn’t ready to blame God or trust Him either. 

The both of us simply existed, though growth happened. Through the experience Christian realized he wanted to move into acute pediatric care–inpatient, hospital care.


Our hands were full! 

Though not too full. Audi was 6 months old when the memo went out about Cub Tres.

YEAR 4 

And with glee, we launched into Christian’s fourth year of medical school and my fifth year as a full time English Second Language teacher. 


As is typical ahead of big moments in our married life, our friendships with young couples at church and family in central Indiana seemed to get better and better. 

Christian applied for residency across the Midwest, but our hearts were in Indiana. 

He flew to Minneapolis, drove out to Cleveland, and even took me along to Nashville, TN at 8+ months pregnant to interview at Children’s Hospitals. 

I secretly hoped for adventure but was content to stay a bit longer in our home! Especially with cubbies dancing in cribs!


Alex and Audi kept us busy, but we really had no idea what busy was–not until January 2013 when Lucas Christian broke into our world with his wonderful, flashy smile. 

Then word came. 

Christian had matched. 


Not at Riley in Indianapolis. 

Not the cold-loving Minnesotans in Minneapolis. 

Nope. 

Vanderbilt. 


Tennessee was in our future.

Our second biggest trial (adventure) had fallen! The list of life expanded suddenly!

  • Find a place to live
  • Sell the house
  • Move five people (3 under three!) 
  • Start residency (which we’d heard was tougher than med school)

Things did not happen in that order (you can learn more about that by clicking back through time on this blog and Beuschel Bears.) But they did happen!

YEAR 5

We said goodbye to Indiana!


And hello to Tennessee!


Residency, it occurred to me, gained its name through the fact that those going through it practically live at the hospital. 

This was, in fact, accurate. It took me months of waiting for Christian to be off on a Sunday to realize I needed to just go to church on my own. go to church. Because who knew when he’d be off! 

Most of his rotations gave him 4 days off per month, but that wasn’t the rule and often those days off were not convenient for our one-car family. 


Christian continued his tradition of biking, though now it wasn’t a quick 4-mile jaunt but a hilly 15-mile journey through windy roads and pre-dawn greenway.


He was pretty amazing. Still is. 


We had to grow closer charting a new life in a new city, and while Christian is not a man of many words, those words he did share gave me the strength to be the wife and friend and mother I needed to in a new place. 


This is one of my favorites, where he proclaimed his love for me exceeded “the weight of 10 humpback whales falling into a black hole,” also clarifying that this “was an infinite weight” and then illustrating exactly what such a thing might look like. 

Though we felt welcome by Tennessee’s stunning green, gorgeous hills, and neat little neighborhoods, I was 100% out in left field when it came to being a mom. 


I knew I was in for it! 

I’d been a working mom for almost three years, and I knew next to nothing about schedules, arranging play dates, or life as a stay at home mom.


Year five of life as a married couple led us to renting this pretty home on Cain Harbor. 


We subsided on so little looking back yet we were richly blessed with three thriving kids, wonderful weather–I discovered a thing called “eternal fall!” and despite my lack of experience being home with the kids, I eventually adjusted to life as a SAHM. 


Then would you know, Lucas hit the magic eight months and we discovered we were pregnant again! 


There were plenty of things to be thankful for–a car that got us from point A to B and a job that sustained 5 Bears in middle Tennessee.

Life was an experiment for me. I learned to cook. (So did the kids.)


We went to parks.


Alex began preschool. 


We were a cute crew. 

Oh, and I fell into accidentally matching all the kids weekly.


Before we knew it, we’d found a church, plugged into a small group and had begun to make inroads as Nashville transplants.

 

And Christian met the Green Power Ranger. 

YEAR 6

 

That’s right. The beginning of year 6 (marked by our fifth anniversary) found me pregnant not only with another boy, but ready for a bigger home. 


We moved to our lovely 30+ year old home in a quiet cul de sac just minutes from a great elementary. 


And within weeks of the move, Cub Quattro joined the club. Quinnten Lee arrived, a colicky but oh-so-cute cub he was!!!

Year five was a year that I jumped with both feet into the world of editing and contract blogging. When Quinn was born I had allowed 25 hours of writing to pile up on my plate. To help offset the demand, I proposed creating a team of writers I would manage. 


In the renewed world of wordsmithery, I wrote hundreds of articles, learned how to put white papers together and spent way too much moolah at Starbucks, especially considering the fact I didn’t like coffee. 

In between all the wordsmithery, there was Quinn. Quinn Bear. Quinny! I was hoping for another set of brown eyes, but I was totally in love with these blue ones!


Life with four cubs….I can’t say it was harder than life with three. Life just took more time and definitely more space. 


Our family life became richer.

Our church life grew richer. 

The grass in our lives grew thicker and greener. 

We were halfway through residency and seriously wondering if we should move or stay in place after Christian finished his training.

While our thoughts were serious, we continued life focused on the daily things. 

Like kids.

Preschool.

Long walks along beautiful greenways. 

Writing. 

Running. 

Running away from the four kids. 

A date night every couple months away from the four kids. 


We came to our 6th anniversary at the peak  of things.

I’d finally lost the accumulation of weight four consecutive pregnancies had given me. Christian had been given an interview at a hospital in Southern Indiana. A family vacation just an hour outside Seattle was planned. 


Visiting family in Washington.

What more could we have asked for?! 

YEAR 7


This is an accurate depiction of the summer of 2015. 


There were children everywhere! All the time! And I loved every minute of it. 


The adventures too have become laughable memories….


What was harder to believe was that Alex was starting kindergarten!


But it happened. Alex started kindergarten! 


And excitement of excitement, after a visit, interview, and tour to Southern Indiana’s St. Mary’s (Now St. Vincent’s Evansville) Hospital, Christian accepted a REAL JOB as a pediatric hospitalist! 


Yay! 


From there, getting all the little items ticked off were in sight! 

Then life threw another defining moment at us. 


Quinny was 14 months old and the others 2, 3, and 5 when I got another positive pregnancy test!

While we were all surprised by the timing of a fifth pregnancy, a Mother’s Day baby seemed doable. We started talking how we’d have six weeks between New Baby and the move to Indiana. 

Look at our happy selves!

Sadly, however, all the plans we began to make for life with 5 cubs came crashing when I miscarried. 

I aged ten years in two days. 


We released a balloon to say goodbye. Probably the hardest thing ever, though it did bring closure.

The next five months were full of both shadows and light. The devastation sharpened our perspectives–bringing both of us closer to each other than we’d ever been. 


I don’t even feel right saying it wasn’t easy or it was tough. There really just aren’t words to capture the hole from an experience like this. All there was was sorrow and time with kindred spirits, among the best of them, the kids.

The kids asked us lots of questions.

They were instrumental in ensuring neither of us ignored or stuffed our feelings away because they were both physical reminders of what should have happened and actual reminders of what did happen as they talked about it with us and friends. 

Certainly prayers made an enormous difference. 

Our focus was also moved forward to the next step in our journey….moving! And all that entailed. 

Oh and the fact that we became pregnant again!!! 

Leaving Nashville wasn’t easy but that we were only moving 2.5 hours away made it a little less bittersweet. 

YEAR 8


Life in a new city!!!! 

We moved to Newburgh, IN, a suburb of Evansville and started exploring right away!


Christian had his photo shoot with the hospital and got himself official with his big job. 


Quinn ran the house as Batman, Captain America, and Ironman, whatever costume he could find. 

Alex started 1st Grade, riding the bus, and we finally entered the world of organized sports by letting Alex join a soccer team! 

We tried hard to stay in shape. 


And found a great church and small group to get involved in. 

Some of our favorite activities continued:

  • Visits to the zoo
  • Walks (now along the Ohio River!)
  • Trips to coffee shops
  • Park time
  • Library fun

And with the kids just a hair older, we found the older ones could now start biking alongside the stroller! Nifty!

Oh and this!


Play dates at Chick-Fil-A became much more frequent!

As for Christian bear, with his amazing schedule of getting 1-2 consecutive weeks off, there was more time for his hobbies, like cooking with the kids. 

This particular month he baked a pie with each kid! 


And we found time for a date night once a month and sometimes more! Major change from the first seven years! 

I’m pretty sure this was our first time out alone as a family….ever. 

Then to add to the merry making Anneliese Lenora joined the crew in December! 


An amazing perfect baby girl!! With the cutest dimples! 


Anni loves her big brothers and sister and they love her! There isn’t a day that goes by that Lucas or Quinn don’t grab her hand or Audi doesn’t ask to hold her or Alex forgets to pray to “keep Anni safe.”


The outlook right now is super sunny. There are kids in our hands and kids at our feet, and the path beneath us is as full of adventure and ambition as it’s ever been! 


Who would have known that we could put down roots in three cities, or live under six separate roofs, or grow five vivacious children….in eight short years? 


They aren’t done growing. Neither are we. There are more things to do! Audi starts kindergarten this year (cue the tears) and Quinn is around the corner from being potty trained. 

Oh the talking and stories and coloring that go on every day!!! 


This anniversary we are extra thankful for our family, our friends, and absolutely our faith. 


Oh and cake pops. 

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