The Story of Us

Dear Chris,

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much our lives are going to change in the very near future.  And, I’ve been thinking a lot about the story of us.  After 15 years of friendship, something happened, and suddenly, we were in love.  I love our story, and I can’t wait for the new chapter, with our new addition, little Gracie.  So, here’s our story, so far… I love you forever and ever.

We started dating in late 2009:

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And we had a pretty great first year:

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Halfway through our second year, your proposed at my favorite place:

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And then a few months later, we got married:

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We went on our honeymoon, and on a catamaran in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, you shocked me, saying you were ready for a baby.  We captured the moment a few seconds later:

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And then, 13 long months later, this happened:

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After containing our excitement for a few months, we were finally ready to share with the world:

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And now, here we are.  Just a few months away from meeting our daughter.  Our lives will forever be changed, but there’s nobody else in the world I’d rather experience all of this with.  I am lucky.  Grace is lucky.  And I hope she makes our story that much more amazing.

XOXO.

The Challenges of Life

I’ve been thinking a lot about the challenges that life brings and how you can either let it take over everything, or just adjust your life until it gets a little bit easier.  To me, the latter is the better choice, though it’s sometimes easier said than done.

I’ve talked about it previously on this blog, but our big challenges started shortly after we got married.  At the time, I thought it was just the universe testing our new marriage, but now I realize that it’s just life.  It’s likely never going to get really easy.  Everything takes a lot of work, it’s just not a simple world of unicorns and rainbows.

We’re still dealing with a lot of the challenges we faced last year, but we’re adapting.  We have a lot of things that are nerve wracking and scary that are facing us, but, we’re making it, and I feel like that’s all that matters.

With as many challenges as we have, we also have a lot of wonderful in our life.  Chris has his health and hasn’t relapsed with the internal knee infection (we’re past the point where it was likely that could have happened), we’re moving into our new house in just a few weeks, and of course, we have a baby on the way.

So yeah, my mind has been thinking about the difficult stuff, but ultimately, the good and exciting stuff prevails.  Our  marriage is strong, our love is strong, and with that, we’re really capable of anything.

A Celebration

Chris had to work this weekend, so we split our anniversary celebration over the past two evenings.

Saturday night, we made filet mignon, crab cakes, scalloped potatoes and caesar salad.  I paired it with a 2004 Robert Mondavi Cabernet, while Chris stuck to his Miller Lite.

After dinner, we exchanged gifts of paper per tradition.  From me to him, the lyrics of “Everlong” by the Foo Fighters (one of our favorite bands and a song we played the acoustic version of during the seating of guests at our wedding), and one of our favorite lyrics from Mumford and Sons song, “Awake my Soul,” (also played at our wedding).  From him to me, a beautiful print of our dating anniversary, the date he proposed and our wedding date.  Loved it all.

 

I even wrapped Chris’ card in paper, which happened to be a copy of our ceremony, including our vows.

 

Tonight, when Chris got home, he one more paper surprise for me:  A newspaper with today’s date.  :)  We had our photographer take a picture of our rings on our wedding day, and Chris decided he wants to do that every year, so, we did.   Love it when he thinks like that!

And thennnnnnnnnnnn…..what we’ve been waiting for all year!!  Our anniversary cake!!

My mom actually surprised us by driving up near Baltimore to pick up the cake a few weeks ago.  The bakery we used was really small and they don’t ship cakes, so we were expecting not to have our anniversary cake (the baker doesn’t believe in freezing cakes, so she makes a complimentary cake at the one-year mark).  But, when we were in VA a few weeks ago, she had planned a trip to pick up the cake and surprise us, so we were ecstatic.  We froze it when we got back to NC, but when I thawed it yesterday, it held up great and was super tasty.

We’ve had a low key weekend, but it was awesome, and I’m thankful for this year, and I can’t wait to see what the next year brings us.

A Thousand Cheers

44 days ago, Chris and I were in our own personal hell.  He was two days post-emergency surgery, sick as a dog with a massive infection, and uncertainty and fear surrounded us.  Everything that was being thrown at us was overwhelming and we really didn’t have a sense for which was up.

Two days after his surgery, the orthopedic surgeon mentioned something about a long-term IV but in his words, that would only be in the “worst case scenario.”  Everything was such a blur at that point that it went in one ear and out the other.  Surely that wouldn’t even be a possibility.  We ignored it.  Forgot about it.

The next day, the infectious disease doctor delivered the bad news that his inflammatory markers were off the charts, his white blood count was crazy high, and he had staph.  That long-term IV we were told about?  Yeah that was happening.

That.  That was the moment that broke us.  For four days leading up to that moment, we were strong.  We were optimistic.  We were positive.  We were not prepared for anything long-term.  It felt like our world stopped.

After we processed the news and slowed our roll (no seriously, our roll needed some big time slowing), I hugged Chris, and through it all, I promised him that when the IV was removed, he would celebrate with a steak dinner.  He exhaled and he laughed.  Mission as a wife:  Accomplished.

It’s been 40 days being at home with an IV.  Every day for the past 40 days, an alarm has gone off at 5pm reminding us to take the antibiotics out of the fridge, and another alarm would go off at 6pm as a reminder to administer the medicine.  This morning, the IV was removed.  Freedom.

Tonight, we had that steak dinner I promised Chris (his prime rib was fantastic and my filet was incredible, if you’re wondering).  We went to one of our favorite restaurants, Firebirds, and it was everything we’ve been waiting for.   A Blue Moon for him, a glass of Shiraz for me, and a toast with smiles as we close this chapter.

Never could I have imagined everything that has happened to us in our first year of marriage.  But we’ve come through it stronger and tougher than ever.

A thousand cheers to the next chapter.

Babel

For almost three years, I have been waiting for this album. 

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There’s something magical about Mumford and Sons.  Their music makes me warm and fuzzy; calm and filled with comfort.

So this morning, as soon as my alarm went off, I logged into iTunes and downloaded the magic that came out today.

This album will be on repeat for the next 12ish months.

I recommend you check them out.