The Thing About You

The thing about parenting is, nothing can prepare you to become a parent. People give you ALL the advice. Advice about pregnancy, advice about birth, advice about babies and advice about children. You read the books and the blogs, you do your best to ask the “right” questions and notice the right things, but, nothing can truly get you ready.

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I remember when we found out we were pregnant like it was yesterday. I knew something was different, so after work, I went to buy a test, and waited for you to get home. I just knew it would be negative. I set a 3 minute timer on my phone and before a minute had even passed, I saw the word… Pregnant.

I ran back to the den and I couldn’t even get the words out. You saw the test and we both started crying. We knew our lives would never, ever be the same.

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For a while, it was just our little secret. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops, but we made a promise to one another to keep it between us as long as we could.

I remember one night after dinner we went to WalMart and we went down the carseat aisle — strictly out of curiosity — but the whole time we were looking over our shoulders to make sure no one saw us.

It was so hard to keep it a secret, but looking back I’m so thankful for that special time.

The thing about pregnancy, is it goes by so fast — and at the same time, it lasts for 3 years.

But, pregnancy really was so kind to me. I enjoyed every minute. (Until my lips swelled and I looked like I got bad lip injections , but whatever) And you were so good to me, too. Every craving, weird mood, and nesting project - you were there. And with a smile on your face most of the time! You helped me create the perfect nursery for our future son, went to every doctor’s appointment and stood strong with me when everyone in our lives wanted us to find out our baby’s gender : ) You made me feel confident in myself as a mother when I was feeling insecure, and helped me see the meaning during the seemingly mundane moments of pregnancy. It was such a special few months. I really do miss it sometimes!

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I love this picture. Most people don’t know about all the moments that lead up to this. From timing my contractions on the couch, to waking up at 3:00AM when my water broke… To going to get us Bojangle’s on the way to the hospital and yelling at the drive thru lady “We’re going to have a baby!”

… And then came the decision by our midwife to move forward with a c-section. I know how scared you were in this moment. But you stayed strong for me and our boy.

You held my hand through my surgery, and prayed and sang over me during the chaos in the recovery room. I have never felt love like I did in those moments. They were some of the most terrifying moments of my life, but also some of the most meaningful.

The thing about giving birth is, it’s anything but glamorous. I was so sore and drowsy from my surgery, you had to do everything. Every diaper, every bottle, every middle of the night wake up. I knew you were exhausted in every way, and I was helpless to do anything about it. You helped me get in and out of the bed, go to the bathroom, take a shower, and even eat. And you never complained.
You never snapped at me or blamed me. You never got outwardly frustrated with me or Bryant — even though I know you had to be ready to shake both of us in your mind.

Looking back, I know they weren’t fun. I know they were long, hard, and exhausting. But I wouldn’t change a thing about them.
I realized how much you loved me, and how much you loved Bryant from the moment he came into the world.
You took the role of husband and father so seriously, and in turn made me better.
Growing up, I never had dreams of being a wife or even a mother. I just knew that’s what I was supposed to do.
But you made me realize that dreams I didn’t even know I had were coming true.

The thing about coming home is, all bets are off. No more nurses, no more doctors and no more visitors.
It was just you and me and baby makes three.

I think as I get older and reflect on the past, some of the most significant days of our life together will be the weeks after we got home from the hospital. I struggled so badly with post-partum anxiety. They were truly some of the most trying times of my short life. I felt trapped, I felt alone, and I felt like I would never be myself again. But you were right there through every moment.

You listened to me cry, talked me out of wanting to drive myself to a mental hospital (more than once) and constantly encouraged me in my new role as a mother. As tired as you were, on top of starting a new job TWO WEEKS before Bryant was born, you never once complained to me or about me. And an even more significant moment for me was when you completely supported my decision to talk to my doctor about medication. I believe a lot of women are hesitant about this because they are afraid of the judgement or stigma regarding anti-depressants, even from their spouses... But you never made me feel silly or crazy or like I was bad mom for needing a little extra help to make it. I’m reminded daily that this was the right choice for our family. And I will always credit you for giving me the final boost I needed to take that step.

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But, that’s the thing about you.

You know. You see. You pay attention.

You recognize the things that make me me. You are committed to me. You put me first.

You are loving

You are kind.

You are good.

And I truly cannot imagine a better man for Bryant to look up to as a father.

I hope he sees your quiet strength. I hope he learns that you don’t talk much, but when you do, he should listen.

I hope he gets your patience, your wisdom and your steadfast heart.

I hope he learns to love and care for the people in his life the way you do.

He’s got big shoes to fill.

Happy Father’s Day, B.

I love you.

Anniversary Getaway to Savannah! Day 2

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We decided to have breakfast in bed on Friday morning. The only time slot they had available was 10:30, and that was fine with us...We got to sleep in!

  

I loved wearing my robe every morning and evening in our room. Nothing like a robe and slippers to make you feel fancy.

  

We pretty much just wandered around with no plan on Saturday. Savannah is called "The Walking City" for a reason. There is so much to do and see, all on foot. I am a total history nerd, and Savannah is absolutely fascinating. I'm not a big River Street gal, but the downtown squares are my jam.

We stumbled upon this "Fragrant Garden" in Forsyth Park and it was a perfect spot to sit on a bench in the shade and relax for a minute.

    

It reminded me of the movie "The Secret Garden" ... I was obsessed with that movie as a little girl.

Tourist pic.

     

It's honestly a sin to visit Savannah and not get some fresh pralines. We stopped at River Street Sweets to cure our craving, and we may or may not have bought fudge and truffles, too...

   

Since Friday was our actual anniversary, I was getting sappy all day. "Remember this?" "Oh yeah, when we were here last time we did this!" Of course, we had to go take a picture of Huey's, which is the first restaurant we ate at after we got married. (To be honest, the first meal we ate as husband and wife was Popeye's in Dublin. LOLOL But, this is far more romantic.)

What better way to celebrate your anniversary than to walk through a cemetery...

  

If you're ever in Savannah, you really have to see the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.

   

It is truly one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen.

  

The stained glass, the paintings, all the details... It is literally breathtaking.

  

*Nerd alert* I was literally tearing up looking around. I couldn't help but think about the temple in Exodus (NERD) and how Jesus deserves even more than this beautiful place. It was just so beautiful, and honestly, very humbling. Told you: NERD

We were super sweaty after our day of exploring, so we headed back to the room to shower and get dressed for dinner. The restaurant where we originally planned to eat dinner didn't have reservations available until Saturday night, so we decided to do something more casual. Cotton & Rye is a newer restaurant in Savannah, serving elevated southern food.

   

We had about a 30 minute wait, but it was so worth it. I ordered the fried chicken and B got the burger. Everything was so fresh and flavorful! I loved that macaroni and cheese, but I would be lying if I said I didn't fight the urge to ask for hot sauce for the chicken ; ) But, I refrained...

 

After dinner, we decided to get coffee at the Foxy Loxy Cafe. The cafe was so cute! I loved the rustic decor.

  

The latte was amazing, and I love the art! I got the coconut brownie bar, but it was so rich I only ate 2 bites.

All the heart eyes for this guy : )

The Gastonian, looking gorgeous at night. We ended the night by *finally* watching Moana in our room! I know I'm late to the party, but I loved it so much! Such a cute movie.

 

Camping in the Smokies: Wednesday

312 No rain Tuesday night, which meant we got a good night's rest! We slept a little later and just relaxed before it was time to start packing everything up.

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My favorite part of our tent was the "porch" on it. It was just a nice little area to sit and listen to the creek.

I really hated to leave. I could have stayed for the rest of the week. It was wonderful! I seriously cannot wait to go camping again!

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On the way home we stopped at the coolest salvage shop ever. It was full of old doors, old windows, nick nacks, antiques, etc. It was just so cool! We had no room in our car, so I didn't get to buy anything unfortunately, but this is definitely a place I want to go back.

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The last place we stopped was a restaurant in Cleveland, Georgia called Fromage. It. Was. Amazing. Their lunch menu was full of unique sandwiches and neither of ours disappointed!

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B ordered the Banh Mi which was Pork Belly on a French roll, and I ordered the Roast Beef & Butternut Squash on Sourdough. Of course, we tried each others' : ) On the side we got cous cous salad, which was strangely good.

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Now, I am sitting at home, catching up on our DVR and blogging. I love traveling, but I sure do love coming home, too. Anywhere with my B is my favorite place to be!

3 Years Later...

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On June 23, 2012. I said, "I do".

In some ways, it seems like we just got married yesterday. In other ways, it seems like way longer than three years.

For those of you who have been married for a while, you may think we are still young and in our "honeymoon phase"... Which, I guess I would agree with in a lot of ways. But, in a lot of ways, I feel like we are wise beyond our years. We have been through a lot together. And I think that's what makes our bond so strong.

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I thought I would share a few things I have learned throughout these three years... It's not much, but if you are going to be married soon, these are just a few words of wisdom...

Go ahead and accept this: Thing are not going to be perfect.

In my dreams, we would get married. We would save a lot of money within a years' time. We would start a family and buy a house on a hill. It would be beautiful. The stuff of Pinterest boards.

But, life did not turn out this way. We struggle. Our life is not what you pin on your Pinterest boards.

But, you know what? I'm OK with that. The older I get, and the more life I live, the more I realize some things really are just not that important. Our house does not belong in Better Homes & Gardens... I don't cook gourmet meals every night (Hamburger Helper, anyone?)... Sometimes, laundry is in very high piles... And it is what it is.

And knowing that we have the rest of our lives to figure it out sure makes it easier. : )

Pick your battles.

B and I really don't fight that much, but I'll be honest with you: There are a lot of things we could fight about.

But we don't. There are things B does that drive me crazy. And I am 100% sure there are things I do that make him want to scream! But, we roll our eyes, laugh, and move along... And we're happier for it.

Celebrate the little things.

It's so easy to celebrate the big victories: your anniversary, your new job, buying your first house... And there's nothing wrong with getting excited about those things!

But, those moments that are easy to overlook: those rare Saturdays when you both have nothing to do, the late nights when you hop in the car in your PJs to get milkshakes, those times when everything is going wrong, but you look at each other and laugh it off... Those are the things you should make a priority to celebrate. Those are the things that make being married fun.

B, I love you. You are everything I ever dreamed of. You love me, you respect me, you honor me... You are patient with me, you make me laugh, you keep me on my toes... I praise God for you, and thank Him every single day for our marriage. You were made for me, and I'll tell you what: God hit the nail on the head.

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Best day of my life.

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PS: You can take me back to Disney World whenever you want. : )