I Hope You Always Know…

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Being pregnant affects you in ways that are difficult to explain, especially to your spouse. As much as I feel he’s tried to understand my aches, complains, swollen feet and roller coaster of emotions, there is no way to really know what it’s like unless you’re actually pregnant. It’s taken every ounce of me to grow this tiny human. It’s physical, it’s mental and it’s EXTREMELY emotional. And let’s not forget women that work and have other children to take care of (raising my hand here for both). When you add that into the mix, pregnancy can take its toll on you. But honestly it’s a miraculous gift from God and despite the tough road I’ve had this time around, I feel very blessed He has granted us with another baby.

I happened to be looking at my wedding pictures the other day and it brought me back to what still is the most incredible day of my life. I remembered each picture like it was yesterday, despite how long ago it feels. I recalled my life when it was just my husband and I and things were….simpler. It sounds silly to say that but they were. Life before kids is different. It’s not good different and it’s not bad different…it’s just different. There are less expectations, demands and stress. There’s more sleep, spontaneity and on some level, more carelessness. You’re not waking up in the middle of the night for feedings or figuring out the best ways to discipline your child or deciding what schools they will go to. The decisions you make as a couple are definitely difficult at times, but nothing like the decisions you make as a parent. When you’re a parent, you grow up more than you ever thought you needed to (and fast!). You struggle as a couple at times because you both feel strongly about something child related and being first time parents your only basis for arguing your point is your opinion/beliefs. 

Yes, parenting together is challenging but it’s also the greatest joy I’ve ever experienced. I have never known a love like the one I have for my daughter. It’s incredible how complete they make you. It humbles you. I feel so grateful to God.

As we prepare for baby number two I’ve been thinking a lot about my marriage and how another child will affect us so I wanted to take some time to tell my husband things I hope he always knows. 

Dear Husband,

I hope you always knows that you were, are and always will be my first love. Yes, our children will hold a place in my heart no one can take and above all God will always be first but my love for you is one that took and has stood the test of time. It was butterflies, holding hands, the first of many kisses, smiling so big my face hurt, the look in your eyes, feeling your love, knowing you were the one and finally understanding what all the other heartbreaks before were for. It was sometimes challenging, breaking down walls on both sides, not giving up, never letting go, forgiving and remembering why we said “I do” on some of the hardest days. It’s a relationship that’s helped me grow, caused me to change and continues to make me want to be better. I always want to be better for you. 

And I don’t always show it. I let the days sometimes get the best of me. I’m tired, I’m crabby, I’m needy and I’m sometimes just downright un-pleasable. I get angry, resentful and irritated. I lose my patience and take my tough days out on you. I say hurtful things I don’t mean. I falter. But you love me. Through it all, even at my worst…you still love me. I hope you always know how much that means to me. And not because I want to continue to make the same mistakes, but because I have your unconditional love. I have your promise. And when the world around me seems to be crumbling, I have you. 

I hope you always know you’re my rock and the rock of this family. You work so hard to make sure we are taken care of and provided for. I see your stress, wanting to make sure we are going to be okay financially. I know those worried eyes you get. But you keep going. You fight and bust your way through life to keep us afloat. I hope you always know even when I don’t say it, I see it. 

So as our family prepares for this new addition, I want you to always know how much I love you. Even when I’m mad at you, I love you!  Life wouldn’t be as amazing as it has been if I didn’t have you by my side. It hasn’t always been easy but it’s always been worth it. Thank you for loving me the way that you do. 

Love always,

Your wife 

For My Baby Sister…

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My sister and I have this awesome connection. It’s like we’re twins even though we’re two and a half years apart. We can sometimes feel what each other is feeling (while not being together), we know what each other is thinking or wanting to say with one look, we say the same things at the same times (A LOT!) and have even found ourselves giving each other and our parents the same cards for birthdays and holidays.

I admire her for so many reasons and she is truly my best friend. I feel so blessed for the close relationship we have. I have to say our mother did an amazing job raising us to never stay mad at one another, even if that meant forcing us to hug and say we were sorry. Truth be told, we never really fought that much…maybe as kids but the older we got our bond and friendship only got stronger.

Being older, I have only wished for the best for my baby sister. I’ve watched her grow into a beautiful woman, inside and out. I’ve watched her faith life help shape her into an even more incredible person than she already is. I stood by her side as she married the man of her dreams (that she’s been with since she was 14!) and now I get to experience what I truly believe is God’s most beautiful gift, watching her become a mother.

With just a month apart, my sister and I will both become moms, her for the first time and me for the second. While there are so many things I’ve wished for when it comes to my sister, as we got older I prayed for this the most. Getting pregnant was very easy for me. I don’t like saying that because I know the struggles others have faced. When there were struggles with my sister, I couldn’t help but ask “Why God?”, “Why her?” There were so many times I prayed and begged God to allow her the same blessing that I was given. And when I found out we were pregnant for a second time, my heart broke knowing I would have to again tell my sister that I was pregnant (even though I knew she would be nothing but happy for me which she was) knowing that she wasn’t. Little did I know that a month later she would be telling me the same thing. I will forever remember that moment in my kitchen. Every time I think of it tears fill up my eyes. I cannot tell you how hard my heart leapt out of my chest in joy for her. She and her husband patiently waited and God provided. They did not get angry at Him, give up on Him or turn away from Him. Instead…they praised and honored Him for the blessing they were receiving. I’ve never witnessed such a strong and beautiful faith as I have in my sister’s journey to becoming a mother.

So with a few weeks left for me and a month for my sister, I have to say it’s been a lot of fun being pregnant together. We took pictures to document the experience (one shown above) from the awesome duo at Up the Hill Photography. A big thanks to Jill for capturing these special moments for us. From growing up together,¬†currently living¬†just two miles down the road from one another to our annual Dave Matthews concerts and now pregnancy, I can honestly say I’ve experienced it all with my sister. I am so thankful to have her as my best friend.

Steph, God knew just what he was doing when He gave you to me as a sister. I couldn’t imagine life any other way. You’re going to be the best mom there is. I can’t wait to begin this journey with you. BFF! Now get these babies OUT!!!!