seven years

To my love,

It has been quite the year.  

Can you believe this is our seventh wedding anniversary?

Where has the time gone?!

We joke if either has felt the seven year itch.

Yet we both shake our heads no and agree, it still feels like our first year of marriage.

Bryan, you have shown me what true, raw, and unconditional love looks like in our seventh year.

To love me at my absolute worst.  

To look past my flaws. 

To only see the good my heart holds.

You make sure I laugh each day.

And, you always walk through the door with a smile, kiss, and a helping hand ready to tackle the evening with our sweet, little circus.  After a long days work.

You seize to amaze me because with everything you do and how exhausted you may feel, I have never heard you complain.  Once.

In which, I lay awake at night at times and ask God how I was gifted with you as my husband.

The one that leads our family.  Strong and steady.  

Always with a patient heart.

In all my fourteen years of being in love with you, I have yet to hear you raise your voice.  

You always say, I have helped you become a better man.

I am sorry, my love.

But, it is you who has helped me become a stronger version of the girl you met in college.

In the past, I have said I wanted four little boys just like you.

Halfway there, and this dream of mine, it has not changed.  

Because you make it easy, my love.

Even on our most challenging days.

The days where we want to throw the towel in and wonder what were we thinking with this thing called parenthood.

Even on those days.

I still go to bed dreaming about four brown-haired, hazel-brown-eyes boys.  

What I love even more is how you dream about a brown-haired, brown-eyes little girl.  

“Just like her mama,” you say.

Who I know, if we have, you will be her best friend. 

I want to thank you.

For not letting me get lost this past year.

I did briefly.

Yet, you helped me find my way.

You encouraged me to dream.

You told me not to give up my love for the camera and writing.

To try new things and revisit old things.

And, I am so proud of you.  

For not giving up on your passions.

To make time for what you love while somehow juggling a career and being a hands-on dad beautifully.

Babe, I thought the day I met you was the day I would love you the most.  Because I knew.  Deep down, I knew you were it for me.

But, I was wrong.

Because I was sure the day I married you would be the day I love you the most.  

Yet again, I was wrong.

The day you made me a mum to our second, healthy baby boy was the day my heart exploded for you.

And, that love gets stronger each and every day for you.

I mean it when I say, I literally cannot breathe without you.

You are my home.

Thank you for seven years of absolute wedded bliss.  

It has been beyond spectacular.

Far better than my wildest dreams.

I love you with all my heart.

seven years

Happy Anniversary, my love!

  

he dreams of being a daddy

The other night, I asked Noah what he wanted to be when he grows up.  Fully expecting him to say an astronaut, scientist, doctor, Lego builder, or teacher, he replied without hesitation, a daddy just like my daddy.  I stopped everything I was doing at that moment, and just squeezed our sweet boy.

For all the wrong you think you are doing during your day as a father, you are doing one very important and big thing right, B.  You have taught by example to our little love how to be an AMAZING daddy.

I wish I could keep track of the number of times Noah tells me he misses you throughout the day.

Or the way, Nik crawls into every room searching for his dada. Only to light up with a HUGE smile when you come walking through our front door.

The way they find you the fun one.

Their partner-in-crime and adventure seeker.

You are the strongest person Noah knows.  He tells me all the time.

And, I am told you can fix anything. Even if I tell him, I can do it. But, he insists you do it better (which is probably true).

One time I asked him who is stronger, Daddy or Superman.  In the very next breath, he answered, daddy.  No questions asked.

He is so proud of you.

I told him what you do every day when you are working hard.

He knows you design and build important things.

Which is always followed by, when I become like daddy, I will build big things like daddy. 

And, let’s face it.

After the amazing Lego buildings he has built, you know he is going to do something great.

And, I know, you will be the first one he thanks.

Because you are always there for our boys.

Big or small.

You have never missed one event, game, or celebration.

To our boys, you are their bestest buddy and their forever hero.

Cheers to all the spectacular fathers, hopeful, current, and expecting, to my wonderful father-in-laws, my kind-hearted and loyal daddy, and my husband, the love of my life who continues to beautifully juggle both fatherhood and a career.

Thank you for all you do.  For the love and support.  And, for always having a place for our children to land into with your soft hearts and strong arms.

Happy (Early) Father’s Day!

  

beach getaway to Florida

This vacation.  Our family vacation.  It was an absolute DREAM.

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On a whim, we decided to get away and visit our dear friends in Jacksonville, Florida.  This was the start to what turned into the most amazing vacation we have taken to date.

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We started in Jacksonville, explored St. Augustine, and drove thirty minutes south of Fort Myers to Sanibel and Captiva islands where we spent the remainder of our vacation just the four of us.

For those seven days, we had no set bedtime for anyone in our little tribe, we ate an abnormal amount of ice-cream, we adventured and filled our bellies with GOOD food, I had not one dairy or gluten attack, and we were kissed by the Florida sun resulting three quarters of our crew coming back at least two shades darker than our original skin colors (poor Bryan!).

We laughed, we felt rested, we counted our blessings every morning and every night, and we returned with full and very happy hearts.

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So blessed to have amazing friends who loved on our babes as their own!

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My soul sister and I.  She is truly a gem of a girlfriend.

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We got a chance to explore Atlantic beach.  Holy amazing food!!!

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My people.  I sure do love them.

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My sunkissed babe.

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Cannot believe next week will mark seven years of wedded bliss with this handsome hubby of mine!

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The beaches in Sanibel are gorgeous!

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Lucky to call them mine!

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While it was raining cats and dogs one of the days on the island, we decided to visit the shell museum and Noah man created a masterpiece!

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We asked him to show us his “excited” look.  It looks a lot like his screaming look.

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If only I could convince my boys how it is completely acceptable to live in a pink, yellow, and teal beach shack!

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Before catching our flight home, we visited the historic downtown in Fort Myers.  Such a charming little area full of wonderful boutiques and shops.

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Beyond thankful for the countless memories and a refreshing week I had with my sweet, little tribe!

  

letters to noah man: happy FOURTH birthday!!!

Dear Noah,

How are we already here?!?

Four years. 

Just typing those two words made our eyes water up.

You came into this world four years ago with fight and strength.  Incredible strength might we add.  All four pounds and one ounce of you.  And, you have never stopped showing us the fight and strength you have within the very core of you.

Three was a hard year.  For you and for us.  Your world became instantly rocked shortly after turning three years old.  With a baby brother.  

Let us say this.  

You. are. amazing, Noah.

You struggled.  And, we knew it would be a challenge for you.  

Tears were had by both parties.  

Yet, you used your fight and strength to power through this past year with joy, with love, and with an indescribable amount of spirit.

And, those three things, those are the reasons why are are absolutely, insanely in love with you.

We have learned this past year…

You have passion.  Sweets, you received this quality from your mama.  And, nothing makes us more proud than seeing how much you believe in something and stand by it no matter what.

You have a temper.  And, it is quite possible the cutest yet most terrifying thing sometimes.  But, we like to believe it is tied to your passionate spirit. 

Your faith in God is something that is hard to put into words.  It is the most surreal experience watching you develop your relationship and trust in God.  And, the fact that you walk around the house singing church hymns makes us wonder how in the world we got so lucky to have a son like you.

You have made the biggest leaps and bounds in school.  Of all the things we changed in your life, school was one of your more difficult adjustments.  Yet, to see how far you have grown and flourished and the amazing friendships you have made with your “best buddies” is nothing short of wonderful.

You are incredibly cautious.  Our favorite is the time you “lectured” daddy for driving incorrectly.  To this day, it sends us in fits of laughter when daddy retells this story.  Little love, never, ever please change.

You have a smile that literally lights up the room.  It is our favorite part of you because your smile emulates kindness and love.  You have no idea how many people’s days you have made when you look their way and smile.  

Your imagination is magic.  We could watch and listen to you play for hours in amazement.

And, you are brilliant.  We are in awe of how quickly you catch on to a concept or a new idea.  

You have compassion.  Nothing makes our hearts melt more than when you know we are feeling ill and you do everything you can to make us feel better.  Including pretending to tuck us in and kiss us good night.

The most amazing of all has been watching you be an outstanding big brother to Nikhil.  Our hearts have exploded numerous times for the love and protection you have over your baby brother.  And, the sweetest part is listening to you tell us of all the adventures the two of you will have once Nik gets a bit older.  Noah man, you have blown us away.

Kid, you are going to move mountains one day.  In whatever you do and wherever you go.

Yet, today, we are going to bask in gratitude to God.  For giving us the best, most amazing surprise blessing we could have received four years ago.  

We cannot imagine life without you, love.

Happy Fourth, Birthday, sweetheart!

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We love you to the moon and back.

xoxo,

Daddy and Mama (and Nikhil)

  

before I was a mother…

Take a moment and time travel with me.

To a time that was simple and relaxed.

Before I had tiny feet pitter pattering on our wooden floors.

A time, before I was a mother where…

I slept eight to ten hours a night.  Uninterrupted sleep that is.

I played the “I never” game referring to our future children.  Especially the “my child will never act like this in public.”  (Insert gasp.)

I judged my mama friends for not being able to sneak out for a drink or talk on the phone.  On the same day I had asked.  (Insert a bigger, more shameful gasp.)

My home was always clean and the walls did not have an “accidental” mural of our two year old’s masterpiece done by the mysterious crayon he found from an even more mysterious spot.

I went on a date with my husband and enjoyed dinner in the evenings while talking about our dreams.  Dreams we hoped to achieve within a few short years.

I ate breakfast while reading a good book and getting ready for work at my own leisure.

I experienced the stunning sights the world had to offer with my better half without a care in the world and wondering if our toddler was behaving, sleeping, and missing the living daylights out of him.

And, there is that moment when I realize after I became a mother…

When nothing else, no accomplishments, no dreams, no amount of travel and no amount of peace and simplicity would ever compare to the challenges and absolute joy of raising our boys.

I suddenly did not care that our dining table had dried up milk rings, our walls had scuffs from when our oldest little love thought it would be hilarious for the trains to collide, or that I cannot remember what my hair looked like from last night because it is three o’clock in the afternoon and I am pretty sure I am still rocking the bedhead look.  As in I showed up at pick-up at our son’s school with said bedhead hair.

And, I realized the hustling to make morning drop-off or pick-up at school on time, the never ending piles of laundry to fold, bathing our littlest babe, scrubbing milk stains out of the couch, and chasing our toddler on the playground to convince him naptime sounds more fun is all a part of this sweet season of life that is passing by all too quickly.

Those dreams I spoke of before motherhood, they may look different.  But, my reality.  Well, it is far better than what I had dreamt of years ago.

Before motherhood was pretty great.  But, time and time again, I will always choose life after motherhood.  Hands down. No questions asked.  I am crazy in love with our chaotic and adorable mess of little loves that have truly bestowed upon me this wildly wonderful thing called motherhood.

To all the amazing mothers around the world who are expecting, current, hopeful, and ones who have lost, especially to the two OUTSTANDING women better known as my mother-in-law and my own mum, THANK YOU.

Although it will never be enough, thank you for your kind (and very patient) hearts, for showing what unconditional love and a nurturing soul can do for a child, and for teaching our children to become humble individuals in this crazy world.

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Happy Mother’s Day!