Posted in Craig

All that we have: An anniversary letter

The London West Hollywood, The London West Hollywood bed, MacBook ProDear Craig,

As I write this, I’m sitting in my hotel bed, 400 miles away from you.

And in just less than an hour, it will be our anniversary.

But I am here and you are there.

And as much as it pains me to be away from you, I am here because of your endless, unwavering support, because you always encourage me to enjoy every amazing experience that comes my way.

I am so grateful that you not only love and believe in me, but that you buoy me as I explore my world.

The past year has been filled with things both amazing and challenging.

And while our days have been filled with incredible joy, heartache filled an unfathomable amount of space in our lives.

Thank you for remaining by my side through the weeks of optimism and the following weeks of disillusionment.

As we faced each new month with renewed hope for another baby, I was ever grateful to have you by my side.

As each cycle slipped through our fingers, I knew that I would crumble without you there.

And now, as we each come closer to accepting that we’ve likely reached the end of our infertility journey, I know that as long as you’re by my side, I will survive this.

We will survive this.

Thank you for continually reminding me that our love can withstand anything as long as we continue to approach our marriage with an honest heart.

Thank you for holding my hand when I cried and listening to me as I struggled to understand the whys.

And most of all, thank you for reminding me that we aren’t defined by what we don’t have…but rather, by all that we do.

I can’t imagine a day of my future without you in it.

And with your hand clasped firmly in mine, I’m certain that we’ll be fine.

Thank you for the gift of your love.

I love you beyond words,


All is right with the world…

I often tell Katie that in a family, it’s important that each person is a team player.

I’ve always wanted her to understand that she is a part of a larger whole and that she has a responsibility to the rest of us.

Craig left on Friday to visit a friend in Southern California for a much-deserved boys’ weekend.

To say that the weekend without him was rough is an understatement.

There was a plenty of whining. And plenty of wine.

Yesterday, Katie was truly lost in thought. When I asked her what she was thinking, she replied, “Daddy is on our team. I need him to come home.”

And my heart just melted.

I was more than ready for him to come home, too.

Katie, Matthew, and I were at the airport 30 minutes early today because we truly couldn’t wait to see their Daddy.

And now that he’s home? All is right in our world.

A Letter to Myself … Things I Hold Most Dear

If you knew that you were going to lose your memory and you could write a letter to yourself that contained the things that you most wanted to remember? What would you write? 

Here’s what I wrote last year…

If My Memory Should Ever Fail Me

If I was gifted the ability to stop time for twenty-four hours, what would I attempt to accomplish?

Without hesitation, I would spend those hours writing a letter to myself in case my memory ever betrays me, a letter I could hold in my hands, something tangible to prove that I had truly lived.

If such a letter could dislodge even a fragment of memory, it would have been worth every moment spent writing it.

I would attempt to capture…

…what it feels like to be loved unconditionally.  I would write about the relationship that I have built with Craig and what it feels like to hold his hand in mine. I would write about the soapy smell of his skin, the feel of his stubble on my cheek, and what it feels like to hear his thoughts as we drift off to sleep each night…what it is to know true contentment.

…how comforting it is to know that a promise for forever is exactly that…to know that I can breathe and just be, without worry.

…what it feels like to have chosen a man who is such an amazing father, who knows such random, yet important, things as how to do Katie’s hair, how to assemble a preschooler-friendly, healthy meal, and how to comfort Matthew when he’s teething.

…how much being a mother to Katie and Matthew fulfills me…that although I am exhausted much of the time, my heart stretches as I close each of their doors at bedtime, knowing that they are safe and happy.

…the way Katie’s gentle golden curls frame her face, how she wakes each morning full of things to say, brimming with excitement, and eager to learn what I have planned for her. I want to remember the way she smells like a mixture of Play-Doh and blueberries and the way she gleefully sings If You’re Happy and You Know It while spinning in circles on tip toes.

…the way Matthew goes limp in my arms at bedtime and how when I shush him and ask him to put his head on my shoulder, he just melts into me.  How he wraps his still baby fingers in my hair and pinches the skin under my arms.

…how it feels when Katie looks me in the eye and says, “You’re so nice, Mommy.” I pray that I remember the way she fits into me right now, how her long arms and legs wrap around me and the way her hair tickles my face when I hold her.

…that Matthew lunges for me when he catches sight of me, the weight of his soft body in my arms as I nurse him.  I long to remember the way he lights up when I do The Itsy Bitsy Spider on his belly…how his impossibly-long eyelashes flutter as he drifts off to sleep.

…that I was not me before them.

…the happiness that this life brought me…from the small things to the big things.  From the moments to weeks to months to years to a lifetime.

..the gratitude that I feel for having been given this opportunity to hold happiness in my hands and that I never took it for granted.  For even one second.

And if my memory does truly fail me, then I would hope that I could at least read this letter and be comforted by the fact that I had been a part of such a family, a family that knew joy and appreciated the smallest of moments.

And I’m Off…BlogHer ’11 Awaits

Wow…I can’t believe I’m leaving today.

I’ve known about this trip since Craig bought me a ticket to BlogHer ’11 for Christmas.

But, somehow, I still have 4,209 things on my to do list before I leave in just a few short hours.

One of those things I wanted to do is pull a few posts out of the archives to run for the next few days…posts that make me happy and that you may not have seen. 

I’ll miss you all while I’m gone! 

The post I chose for today is one that shows why I know Katie and Matthew are the in best hands while I’m away…

Thank you, Craig! I love you so much.

I’ll Never Ask

I was sick a couple of weekends ago. I spent forty-eight hours in complete misery. I don’t do sick with any grace whatsoever. I cried, felt bad for myself, and moaned, all while quarantined in the guest room.

And my children were fine. Actually, they were more than fine.

They went to the library, to the grocery store, and for a long walk.

They played games, blocks, and babies.

They were bathed, loved, tickled, and read to.

All while I lay in bed on what felt like the verge of death.

I could hear squeals of laughter, the muted, happy tones of back and forth daddy-daughter conversations, and endless Matthew giggles.

My husband.

He brought me water, then broth, then soup, and finally toast. He made certain that my bucket was clean and nearby.

He anticipated my every need and rubbed my back when I cried.

When I finally emerged, weak from my stomach flu-inflicted stupor, the house was completely clean, the dishes done, laundry folded and put away. I can’t remember the last time that my washer and dryer were not only empty, but had no clothes piled on top.

The refrigerator had even been cleaned out.

He stepped in and took my place. He filled the shoes that I so often feel like I can’t even begin to fill.

He accomplished more in forty-eight hours than I do in a week.

And, although I appreciated having the time to focus on my misery, when I emerged, I was filled with conflicting emotions.

My children were smiling and clean.

My house had not fallen down around me.

Meals had been made, eaten without complaint, and cleaned up.

And I had no hand in any of it.

If I’m honest, there was a part of me that was uncomfortable with the realization that the rhythm of my family continued in my absence; I suspect that perhaps things went even more smoothly.

I looked around, hoping for a stray sock, a dirty plate, a misplaced toy.


Craig had not only coped with my absence, but he had excelled where I often feel like I’m just barely hanging on.

I should have been happy with that. Our children were happy, loved, and content. Why wasn’t I?

So much of my self-worth at this point in my life is tied up in my role as a mother. This job of mothering is incredibly difficult in that there are no performance reviews, no raises or promotions. No pats on the back for a job well done. No real way to measure success.

When someone steps in and appears to do your job better than you do, it’s humbling and disconcerting.

But, there’s a huge part of me that finds comfort in knowing that Craig handles it all with such ease. I know that if something should ever happen to me, he could handle things. He would remember which outfits match Katie’s brown shoes and how to do her hair. I know that he would make Matthew smile and help him grow into an amazing man.

Then, two days after my return to the land of the living, Matthew was sitting in his highchair and his sippy cup completely leaked. It had been incorrectly put back together. Craig had somehow missed one of the eighteen puzzle-like pieces necessary for a leak-free cup.

And I stood in the kitchen, looked at the massive puddle and Matthew’s soaked shirt, and I smiled.

I’m fairly certain that Craig threw me a bone.

But, I’ll never ask.

Fresh Air and Joy

Fresh air, time spent completely off the grid, and the ability to give Craig, Katie, and Matthew my undivided attention brought me tremendous joy this week.

I took no fewer than 4,839 photos in four days of camping, but I’ll go easy on you and just share a handful (okay,a huge handful!).

Matthew, waiting patiently as we set up the campsite…

There’s something about camping that brings Katie a sense of peace…she is so at ease and happy…

Matthew is so in love with his new shoes, he would barely let us take them off…

Why yes, Matthew is wearing Katie’s hand-me-down pajamas. Don’t judge! I looked everywhere for footed fleece jammies and it turns out you can’t find them in August. Go figure. Just focus on the sweet doughnut faces.

Oh, sugar, where have you been all my life?

The best seat in the house…

You really can’t beat three trucks from Target’s dollar aisle…

…unless it’s a balloon on a rubber band. Does anyone remember these? So much fun!

He acts like I never put the camera down or something…

Let the sand throwing commence…

Sand between my toes will forever make me homesick for Maine…

I melt… (note the sand in the corners of his mouth he ate a peck, at least!)

…and I melt some more…

Boundless joy…

Did I mention I melt?

Some of you asked how Katie reacted to all of that sugar she consumed while camping. Here’s your answer…

If you’ve made it this far, thank you so much for peeking!

There is something about camping that soothes our souls and recharges us as a family. So much joy.

Now, it’s your turn! What brought you joy this week? Please share!

About me

Nichole Beaudry @NicholeBeaudry Location: Northern California
Each and every day, I strive to appreciate the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments, the moments that, when strung together, form a lifetime.
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