six years

My love.

Six years of wedded bliss.

Thirteen years of being in love.

It has been an amazing adventure with you.

Thus far.

As each year passes, my love for you is stronger.

Our life is nothing what I pictured at nineteen.

It is far better.

This life.

Our life is magic, babe.

six years 01

Let me take a moment to say what you do not hear enough throughout the year.

Thank you.

For loving me unconditionally.

For reminding me constantly God is in control.

For working hard to provide us with this beautiful life.

For cooking with attention and detail.

And, for being the ultimate grill master.

For always, always, always being there for Noah and I.

For being an exceptional father.

For cleaning the toilets and cleaning the dishes.

For rubbing my swollen feet every. single. night.

For reminding me to never lose my sense of adventure with you.

For grocery shopping, making lunches, and fixing my car.

For always having time to play soccer and being silly pirates with Noah.

(You have no idea how full this makes my heart.)

For making me laugh with your ever so witty one-liners.

For staying calm and cool even at the most crazy of times.

For dreaming big and crazy with me.

For encouraging me to never give up until I have reached the stars.

For being my partner-in-crime in this journey of parenthood.

It has been challenging.

But, oh my word, it ROCKS!

(Five weeks, babe.  Before we welcome our second love.  We got this.)

Most of all, thank you for being my husband and best friend.

I am unsure of what I did to deserve you.

But, I owe the big man upstairs a major shout out.

(Thank you, God, for blessing me with my forever guy.)

I lub you, B.

More than I can put into words.

six years 02Happy Anniversary, my love.

 

  

fathers, they are the very best.

Fathers.

They hold their little one’s hands.

They show up.  In the stands cheering for that little league game or big track meet.

They cook and clean dishes just to ease Mama’s heart and make her smile.

They hug their minis tight to remind them they are safe.  Always.

They teach their children how to be smart with our money and change a tire.  Those valuable life lessons.

They hope and dream for their babies.

They are strong and silent.

They work hard.  The kind of work that goes unnoticed.  And, they never, ever ask for a pat on the back.

They heal broken hearts and ensure no future heartbreak ever takes place.

They are the very best.

May every child have strong arms to run into and a soft heart to call home.

To all the great fathers out there, hopeful, current, or expecting, especially my amazing father-in-laws, my wonderful daddy, and the man, my one heck of a husband, who had me fall in love with him all over after seeing him become a papa bear…

Thank you.

For all you do.

And, for continuing to protect, love, and support us.  

father

Happy (Early) Father’s Day!

  

letters to noah man: happy THIRD birthday!!!

Dear Noah, 

Wow.  

They said it would fly by.

They were right.  

But, seriously…

Three.  You are three, love.

third birthday 01

(Deep breaths.)

(Give us a moment.)

We met you on that sweet May day.  We held you and took one look at each other to know our lives would forever be changed in that moment because we had fallen ridiculously in love with you.  

third birthday 02

It was that same day, we felt God whisper to us, “Just wait and see what I have planned for your sweet boy…”

(And, here come the waterworks.)

third birthday 03

You are the bravest person we know, Noah man.  Enough said.

third birthday 04

You smile with your eyes.  And, it lights up any room and heart.

You love tractors & fast cars, exploring on the farm, playing soccer, snuggling, eating cupcakes, learning & reading books, and being our sous chef in the kitchen.    

third birthday 05

You inspire us daily by your strength and faith.  Watching you fold your precious hands together and thank God for your many blessings melts every inch of our hearts.

You fight and love with an unbelievable amount of passion.  

third birthday 06

You never turn down the opportunity to be silly.  It is probably one of our favorite things about you. 

third birthday 07

You give us more joy than you will ever know.  In the way you say ever so sweet, “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me.”  In the way you ask for hugs and kisses before leaving for school.  And, in the way you make us laugh by your random questions and singing.  We never knew being parents could be this “love bursting out of our hearts” kind of journey, but it is.  It so is, sweets.

third birthday 08

You are an entertainer at heart.  Your dance moves alone rock.

You love unconditionally like daddy and laugh loudly like mama.  

third birthday 09

You are going to make an incredible big brother, best friend, and role model to Baby Brother.  

You have a humble and kind heart.  And, the reasons we beam with pride as to how we got so lucky to have you as our son and best little bud.  

third birthday 10

We are honored and privileged to be chosen by God to be the ones who love and support you through this beautiful thing called life.  

Happiest of happy THIRD birthdays, love bug!!!

third birthday 11

May you continue to dream and hope as big as your sweet heart.

We are just crazy about you, kid.

third birthday 12

xoxo,

Daddy and Mama

  

a tribute to the greatness of mothers

Mamahood.

A powerful journey.

Filled with grace, joy, pain, and passion.

Those brave and beautiful mamas though.

The ones who dream, plan, hope, cry, lost, and waited wrapped in desire.

The ones who spend nine months in excitement, anxiety, and wonderment if their bodies and hearts are ready for this journey.  This oh so beautiful journey.

Yet their hearts will never be prepared for the love of the biggest blessing(s) to enter their lives.

The ones who wake in the middle of the night to nurse or prepare a bottle with tired eyes to feed their newest bundle of joy only to remember one day, those quiet nights will be greatly missed.

The ones who chase monsters out of closets, lay next to their babes scared of the dark, and kiss “owies” to keep those tears away and sweet smiles forever on their faces.

The ones who walk this journey accompanied or alone, with their bodies or hearts, they will be forever changed and never truly their own.  In the best of ways.

The ones who will birth for twenty plus hours, take fertility medications, fly across the country or world only to hold flesh on flesh the one they have prayed for weeks, months, or years.

The ones who create everlasting legacies and silly traditions.

The ones who are always available to hear their grown babies tell of their pain, fears, and joys of their own babies.

The ones who prepare meals with heart-shaped pancakes and “ants on the log” only to once again see the joy and excitement we take for granted at times.

The ones who stay awake into the early morning hours to create a handmade Valentine’s card box or finish the science project due the next school day.

The ones who sing silly songs in the bathtub and have pajama dance parties on Saturday night.  Just because.  The sound of those giggles.  It is the very best.

The ones who try to stay afloat through those dark and exhausting days, they carry on.

Because they are the nurturers, the glue, the warriors, the realm of calmness and love.

And, through those most joyful and trying times, they remember over and over again.

The gift.

Filled with chaos.

And laughter.

And tears.

And beauty in the most hidden places.

Of mamahood.

To all the great mothers, hopeful or expecting, new or seasoned, especially the two I am constantly inspired by, my mum and mama-in-law.

This tribute is for you.

Thank you.

(Although, thank you is not nearly enough.)

For all you do.

Your sacrifice, unconditional love, and strength.  

a tribute to the greatness of mothers

(photo credit: nicole j photography)

Happy (Early) Mother’s Day.

  

i’m back!

Oh hey there!  I promise I did not leave or quit this little space of love.  Maybe we can just call it an nine month writing “sabbatical” leave instead?

How about I rewind back to the summer of 2015, in which, I let life get too busy, my priorities were all wrong, and I found myself in the middle of a fight between my heart and brain?  Enter tiny whispers of telling my heart to slow the heck down.  Guess who won that fight?  My heart.

So, for the past nine months I did exactly this.  I chose the three most important pieces of my life and put them at the top of my list: my health, family, and faith.  I realized I was not my best self if I could not eat healthy, exercise, and sleep right.  And, I quickly discovered I may screw up quite a few things in life, but my marriage and mamahood were not going to fall in that category.  Above all, without my faith and remembering to practice the phrase, “let go and let God,” I would literally be lost.  This meant putting everything else aside, and you know what?  It turned out to be the best nine months.  Because here is a little glimpse of what happened…

We spent every moment we could adventuring to the most beautiful parts of Kansas City.

i

i

We made family date nights happen with our love bug.

i

But, soaked up “just the two of us” nights as well.

i

We seized the opportunity to travel to here…

i

i

And here…

i

i

ii

We made memories.  And laughed a lot.  But, please do not be fooled.  We also battled with the terrible twos (is this why they invented wine?!), potty & big boy bed training, some nasty illnesses with our little love, and did I mention the tantrums?  Yet, I would not trade any of those memories for different ones.

i

The most amazing of those nine months.  The day I took a pregnancy test and two pink lines showed up once again.  And, we suddenly became a party of five (including Pebs…NOT expecting twins!).  Our hearts have been even more full ever since that beautiful November day.

i

Which led us to do this crazy thing Bryan and I have been dreaming about before Baby L came in the picture.  To take Noah man to Disneyworld for our last “three musketeers” vacation.  To say it was truly the best is an understatement.

i

i

Here is the thing.  I have missed writing something fierce.  However, I do not regret taking time to enjoy the simple things in life like eating ice-cream on the couch with my husband, laying in the playroom and coloring with our ever so fast growing toddler, lunches with girlfriends, reading a good book, cooking Sunday dinners with Noah, and taking evening walks with no agenda.  Too often, we get caught up in what is expected of us in life.  We forget sometimes to cut ourselves that break.  To ease up.  And remember.  This life…it is messy, imperfect, and quite beautiful.

It is good to be back!

Shamim J. - Welcome back, Shefali! As always, I love reading your insightful posts! You write beautifully. Your little boy is so cute! And a hearty congratulations on baby #2! Take care. -Shamim