I Hope You Always Know…


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 

One More Hug

My sister was talking with me the other day about when I go into labor and the plan for her to stay with my daughter Emma. I couldn’t even think about it without almost bursting into tears. I know it sounds silly but I’m not ready to leave her because I know in doing so everything changes. Of course this change is wonderful and a gift from God but I’m still having a difficult time.

It sounds so selfish to say that, it really does. But it’s as honest as I can get. I have so many emotions about another baby coming along and so much love for my baby girl that it’s all becoming a little too much for me (and too real with today being September 1st!).

So, I wrote this poem sobbing imagining that day not to far away when I will hug her one last time. I love you my sweet baby girl!

One more hug

I want to give you one more hug,
Before I say good bye.
Because this is the last hug,
Where it will be just you and I.

I’m going now but will be back soon,
And with me I’ll have someone new.
A baby that will live with us,
A brother just for you!

But as I look at you so grown,
With tears in my eyes.
I know this will be harder for me than you,
Having to say this kind of good bye.

So my darling sweet first daughter,
I give you one last hug good bye.
Our family is growing and that means some changes,
But I still promise moments of just you and I.

I will always cherish,
These first two years we shared together.
From you saying mama to I love you,
My heart is full forever.

And now we’ll make new memories,
With our growing family of four.
And it will be just as special,
If not, even more!

So here I go with one last hug,
I squeeze you tighter than you know.
A part of me doesn’t want to leave,
Or ever let you go.

God has blessed us abundantly,
And I’ll be back to hug you again.
I hope you know how much I love you,
And my love for you will never end.

Why Growing Up is Hard as a Mom


Today my daughter went to my girlfriend’s house to play with her twins and be watched by their nanny. She hadn’t gone in a while due to scheduling conflicts so I was worried she would cry pretty hard this time. I prepped her that I would be leaving and she would reply with ‘bye mommy’ and I said ‘yes, but I always come back to get you, right?’ to which she would sweetly say ‘yes’. I braced myself for today because leaving my crying child, even if it’s just for a few hours, breaks my heart. I know she’s okay, not in any danger and completely safe but it’s still tough.

When I told her it was time for me to go she said ‘bye mommy’ and blew me kisses. She didn’t cry or pitch a fit. She was okay, in fact, she was more than okay! I turned around and walked out so fast because the tears were streaming down my face. As I drove home crying a smile hit my face and I realized with great joy and some sadness that my baby girl is growing up. She’s growing up so fast while at times I feel like I’m standing still (even though the grays in my hair and stiff muscles in my body tell me otherwise!).

I never thought being a mom would actually be so emotional. I didn’t realize the incredible love and joy I would have for this little person. I still feel like I can’t fully put it into words. But what I do know watching her growing up is hard as a mom. I am proud yet fearful, excited yet nervous, happy yet sad and with every joy comes a little sadness as I see how independent and amazing she is becoming. God gave us the beautiful gift of life and we get to watch and help mold our children to become something incredible all the while knowing one day we’ll have to let them go. One day we’ll have to set them free and hope everything we ever taught them sticks.

Every other night I read my daughter ‘On the Night You Were Born’ and try my hardest not to cry. She’s too young to understand these feelings I’m having and I don’t think ever will until she has children of her own. I finally get all the things my mom had told me for so long now that I have a little one (I love you mom!). I have visions of the future and think about my daughter getting married and how at some point during that special time I will read again to her or somehow incorporate ‘On the Night You Were Born’ so that she knows heaven truly ‘blew every trumpet and played every horn on the wonderful, marvelous night you were born’.

I love every moment I get to spend with my baby girl and wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world. She is happy, she is safe and she is SO VERY LOVED. Growing up may be hard for me as a mom, but watching her is one of the most incredible gifts I will ever be given.

Finding Balance…


You and I….we don’t live in the same world. You work out in the real world. I work from home. You’re gone all day, interacting with adults and discussing worldly things while I’m home trying to entertain a toddler and figure out if or when I’ll have time for a shower. You day is busy, filled with meetings and continuous conversations and at times, even stressful. My job is busy, filled with play time, meals, nap time struggles and our ‘little miss independent’ exuding herself in that exact manner.

You come home and you’re exhausted (rightfully so). You have follow up emails to do or you want to go to the gym or sometimes you just want to be left alone. When you come home, I’m exhausted too (rightfully so). I want to talk and hear about your day. I want adult interaction. I also desperately want a break. I want to pee in quiet and not here ‘mommy’ for five seconds. I want to lay on the bed and take a nap! I want to go to the store alone and feel freedom for an hour. When it’s time for our daughter to go to sleep, you get to unwind while my work is only continuing. I know I chose this path of work-from-home-business-owner/mom, but it’s tough. Our worlds are different. They collide because of our daughter but at times feel like passing ships in the night and I miss the connection.

I don’t always understand your daily struggles and you don’t always understand mine. We share and we love but maybe not as much as we used to. I’m married to you, but at times I feel like we don’t even live in the same world…yet we do. It’s just about finding the balance to do so.

Things change when you kids. Things people never really talk about or maybe are too afraid to say. No one wants to admit they don’t live in the bubble they portray on Facebook. No one wants to share the hardships, the arguments, the tears. No one wants to show vulnerability or imperfections. No one wants to say their marriage at times can be tough when it is. Well I’m saying it. At times, my marriage is tough. At times, we struggle. We argue, we get upset and we even yell.  I’m not proud of it, I wish it didn’t happen but we are human and far from perfect.

We have great days. We have amazing days! There isn’t anyone I would want to spend the rest of my life with. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a challenge. That doesn’t mean that it’s not work because it is. Raising children and being a wife are two of the hardest jobs I’ve ever had and they are non-stop. There are no vacations, there are no sick days or personal days with these jobs. These jobs are 24/7, give it all you got, smile when you want to cry, drink enough coffee to make you functional, do your best to keep everyone alive (completely child related) while still trying to feel and look sexy (completely martial related) jobs. When you’re a mother and a wife you’re never a quitter, you just can’t be.

I’ve been a working mom and a stay-at-home working mom. There are pros and cons to both. There are things I miss and would miss in one situation over another. But what I do know is I’m working to find the balance. I’m working on figure out running a business, being a mom and being a wife. I’m working to make sure my husband feels important, loved and supported. He does a lot for our family and that shouldn’t go unnoticed. I’m also working on not making myself crazy but being home all the time. That can be a challenge!

We don’t have to be passing ships in the night though. Maybe we can be ships traveling together that veer off at different points but always meet back up and continue on. No matter what your situation is, never stop communicating how you feel. I’m lucky my husband lets me share so much, just like he’s lucky that I do so much 🙂 ha!

My Last First Date…


Seven years ago today I went on my last first date. Around that time, I had been going on a good amount of first dates. I had been in a series of serious relationships prior to and fed up with they way they dragged on for years only to end in heart break. I really just wanted to find the person I was to spend the rest of my life with and decided if the first date wasn’t a hit, I wasn’t going to try and make something happen.

My now husband and I spoke on the phone for a few weeks before our first date (which I fearfully canceled a few times). The conversations were so great I worried it would end up like all my other recent first dates….in disappointment. However, I had a small amount of hope that maybe this time would be different. I was caught in the middle of hopeless romantic and negative Nancy. After my second cancelation I’ll never forget him saying over the phone, ‘Renee, we are going on this date.’ We rescheduled for the final time and I went on my last first date.

It still feels like yesterday. I remember impatiently waiting for him. He hit traffic and texted me he was running a little late. I was nervous, excited, scared and filled with so many emotions and then he walked in. We were already Facebook friends so I knew what he looked like. He smiled and walked towards me and I melted. I knew this was it. I’m marrying this man. Sounds silly, cheesy and totally cliche but it’s true. He smiled and I fell in love.

We didn’t even order dinner yet and he was already asking to see me the next day. We spent the next two weeks together and by my birthday (August 20th) he told me he was falling in love with me. He was it. He was the one. He’s still the one.

Now, we are married (celebrating five years at the end of the month) with a toddler and a little baby boy (!) on the way. Our journey isn’t always a fairytale and we definitely have our moments but oh do I love this man. Even when he drives me crazy I still just love him so much. I love him not only because I chose him but HE CHOSE ME. He didn’t have to marry me. He could have married anyone, but he picked me. He fell in love with me. I am far from perfect but he never tells me that. He only builds me up. He reminds me what a great job I’m doing and how proud he is of me. He tells me he loves me and he shows me. He makes me better.

Isn’t that the hopes for one another as spouses? To make each other better? To want to be better? To give the love we want to receive. To do things because we care without the expectation of something in return? Marriage isn’t easy…then throw kids in the mix….WHOA….marriage just became a whole new ball game…but sometimes it’s nice to go back and remember the reasons you fell in love. Remember why you both say YES!

I would never want to experience this life with anyone other than him. The good times, the bad times and everything in between…he is ALWAYS there for me. Seven years ago today he stole my heart, and I’m so lucky he’s never let it go. I love you MPD. Here’s to us….