This week, on Small Moments Mondays, I am thrilled to feature my amazing husband, Craig, as my guest poster.
When I first dreamed up the concept of this series, not only did Craig serve as my sounding board, but he was also at the top of my guest poster wish list. I am honored that he wrote this piece for me, which is his first blog post.
Many of you are already familiar with Craig and know how much I adore him. His integrity, kindness, sincerity, and sense of humor have blessed my world and I don’t take a day of my life with him for granted.
There is so much more that I want to say about Craig, but I don’t want to take away from his words below.
Thank you, Babe. For your words here, for this life that you’ve given me, and for bringing me joy that I never dreamed possible. I love you.
My One…and Only — by Craig
When Nichole came up with the idea of Small Moments Mondays, I thought it was genius. Who, in our diverse and complex lives, hasn’t stopped for a moment and experienced an event that will always resonate and provide the imagery and memories that allow us to go back to that cherished moment?
Nichole’s blog is about sharing those small moments and more importantly, giving our children a historical reference on their youth beyond milestone events, baby books, and pictures. And for that? I am incredibly grateful for this gift our kids will one day appreciate.
I was honored when Nichole asked me early on to guest post and share a small moment. I always imagined I would talk about the ways in which being a father has profoundly impacted my life.
I thought I would reveal that my heart melts every time my sweet baby girl looks me in the eye and tells me, “I love you, Daddy.”
I thought I would share that hearing the joyful squeal from my son when I open the door after work is the perfect end to a long day.
I thought I would talk about how I get choked up each time one of my children squeezes me tight and envelopes me with their love and trust and how I am reminded of the tremendous responsibility I bear to protect and guide them through life.
But I grew up in a broken family. Nichole grew up in a broken family. We always said that when it came to bringing children into this world, that we would strive to provide what we sought as children – a loving, accepting…and moreover, complete family.
Without our marriage, we don’t have that family unit. Without our love and respect for each other, we’re missing out on teaching those important life lessons we yearned for as children. Our relationship and commitment to each other has to come first or we won’t honor what we promised our children and ourselves.
So with that, I take you back to the day I proposed to Nichole…
Nichole was buried in the work of completing her Master’s Degree. But I somehow convinced her she deserved just a single day off to enjoy a nice glass of wine, a bubble bath, and the soft crackle of a fire at our favorite bed and breakfast. She reluctantly agreed.
As she studied, I made my final preparations. I sat at a park down the street carefully pulling off rose petals from two dozen roses. With each gentle pull of a petal, I was transported back to a memory or a moment or a feeling shared with my best friend.
After we arrived at the bed and breakfast that afternoon, I snuck away and retrieved the ring, rose petals, and jewelry box. I went to the main house and finalized the game plan that I had previously discussed with the owners. We were going to go to dinner at a local restaurant. During our meal, the room was to be transformed. Over 300 rose petals would be delicately strewn about the room. Candles would be placed to create ambiance. A fire would be prepared. And the ring would be held in the jewelry box I had engraved with words from my heart that had special meaning in our relationship.
We went to dinner and had a delightful time. As we ate, I worried that my plans for the perfect proposal wouldn’t come together. But as I looked across the table at this woman that I loved so dearly, I saw her relaxed and enjoying herself for the first time in weeks as she escaped the mounting pressure of her final exam. I saw the beauty and sparkle in her eyes. I knew I wanted to wake to that sparkle every day for the rest of my life. I relaxed…everything was going to be all right.
We finished dinner and slowly made our way to the exit. With each step, my heart began to pound faster with anticipation. I opened the door and allowed Nichole to walk out before me and as I turned around, the waitress smiled and winked as she held the phone. She was calling the rest of the team to let them know to light the fire and candles…we were on our way.
As we approached the door of our room, the dancing light of the fire flickered through the window. Nichole turned to me in wonderment as I gently pushed the door open and the warmth of the room embraced us. She saw rose petals everywhere. She looked at the tea light candles illuminating the room, and as she looked towards the fireplace, she saw champagne on ice, chocolate-covered strawberries, and a jewelry box that read:
You are my one…and only.
We’ll be in the same boat forever.
As I slowly descended to one knee, the tears in our eyes began to swell. A few private words were followed by the word every man who asks that question wants to hear.
A small moment. One that changed everything that followed. One that set the stage for the beautiful marriage and family we have built. One that helped define my purpose in life and allowed for an unforeseen level of happiness to become my future reality.
A small moment that meant everything to me…the moment when Nichole agreed to marry me.
I love Nichole. I love being a father. I love our family. I love the life we have built.
Thank you, Nichole.