Posted in Marriage

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,


Swirled Around Us

This week’s Small Moments Mondays post comes from the lovely Meghan, from Phase Three of LIfe.

Meghan is a new friend, but she is full of surprises. My first impression of her was that she was so sweet, but then, after reading Dinnertime is different with a kidMoms are organizationally challengedI have a name, thankyouverymuch, I realized that she’s really funny too.

The more I learn about her, the more I like her. I think you will too!

Thank you so much, Megan, for sharing your small moment!

Swirled Around Usby Meghan

Mike and I live in a condo and we like to walk the streets of a quiet little retirement neighborhood behind our complex. We have a specific path we take each and every time. The streets might be worn in those spots with our footsteps.

We look at the houses, the same houses we see during each walk, and comment about what we like, what we don’t like, storing up all the details for the day when we finally buy our own.

When I was pregnant, we’d walk those streets and talk about how our lives were going to change. We’d wonder. What it would feel like to be a family of three instead of two. Would we know what to do? Wouldn’t holidays be fun? How long would it be before we slept again?

I got bigger and bigger, approached my due date, passed my due date. Now I walked slower, with a slight waddle thrown in for good measure. It was the heat of the summer in the desert, so we walked at night after the sun went down.

The warm air swirled around us as we decided that fake cacti are tacky lawn decorations in a place rife with real ones. And was Ryan ever going to arrive? What would it be like to go on this walk with him? With another human being. One that we created. One that we waited so many long months for.

I knew he’d be here soon. I knew it the same way I know the sun rises every morning. That is, I knew it because it is a fact. But I didn’t understand it, deep down. I couldn’t wrap my thoughts and feelings around something so big. So I walked and wondered.

Ryan just turned 9 months old. He’s been here, a part of our lives, for as long as I carried him inside and wondered. The other night, we plopped him in the stroller. We clanged through the gate of our complex and hit our stride on the familiar path. This time, pushing a stroller with a little guy who kept looking up and backwards to find us, as if checking to make sure we were keeping up with him.

The warm air swirled around us, the sun was setting, and I remembered. I remembered waddling through the streets night after night with all that pent-up excitement. Excitement and confusion and wonder.

And I know there was a time Ryan wasn’t here yet. I know it the same way I know the sun sets every night. I know it because it is a fact. But I can’t wrap my heart around the logic of it, because my heart has known this moment, this walk of a family of three, forever.

You can also find Meghan on Twitter and Facebook.

My full weight

She secured the final yellow elder flower in my hair, handed me my simple, yet glorious bouquet, walked me to the beginning of the path, and wished me luck, her voice like golden honey, thick with her melodious West Indies accent.

“I wish you tremendous joy…” she pronounced, her hands warm and kind, her eyes clear and deep.

I started down the path, alone, fatherless, joyfully anticipating all that awaited me.

Even before I saw him waiting for me, I could sense his radiant love.  I could feel his joy at my slow approach.

I knew he would be there.

I knew he would always be there.

With each step I took, the satin of my white dress slid across my bare legs, whooshing and gently grazing the sandy ground, shifting ever so gently beneath my golden shoes, just as my present and my future solidified before me.

The air was heavy with moisture. The sun shone overhead in a sky so blue it rivaled the ethereal, glistening sea, which sat directly in front of me.

I stepped forward…each step I had taken in my life, every ache, every loss, had brought me closer to him…to this very moment.

From this moment on, every joy, every failure, would be wrapped in his love and support, buffered by his love.

The heady scent of plumeria carried me past the last turn in my path.

He stood at the end of the winding path, his golden face lit with love and anticipation.

Though my feet continued, my mind paused…caught in that moment…hoping to etch that feeling in my mind, memory, and heart. Hoping to always remember what it felt like to have someone look at me with such adoration, with acceptance that knows no bounds.

He waited. For me.

No guests. Just the two of us. The way we had begun, the way we needed it to be.

For the first time in my life, I knew that I was part of a whole.

I could set down my worries and lean with my full weight into true and unconditional love. I could stumble and fall without fear of losing everything. I could stop being the one who things happened to and I could start making my own life happen.  Making our life happen.  Together.

I stepped forward to a place of acceptance, safety, and unconditional love.

I stepped foward.

Into us.


Photos? Well, of course, I have photos…

This post is linked up with the Red Dress Club’s memoir prompt, which asked: “imagine that after you have died and your daughter/son will be given the gift of seeing a single five-minute period of your life through your eyes, feeling and experiencing those moments as you did when they occurred. What five minutes would you have him/her see? Tell us about them in the finest detail.”

You Just Can’t Have It Both Ways

When I was at the grocery store over the weekend, I ran into an acquaintance who I hadn’t seen in a while.

She asked how we were and I stuck with the usual, expected script that you follow with those you don’t know all that well… “we’re doing great … the kids are getting so big … Craig’s been traveling a bit.”

Then, I asked how things were in her world and she went on for fifteen minutes about what a jerk her husband is … he doesn’t empty the dishwasher, help with the kids, blah, blah, blah.  I honestly stopped listening and started thinking that she was a complete idiot.


Now, before you think I’m heartless, let me explain.

Of course we all need to vent.

But here’s what happens when you vent in a public forum to someone who barely knows you…

You say “he’s a jerk, he doesn’t understand me, he’s vacant, blah, blah, blah.”

I listen and I remember.

I then talk to you a few weeks later and you tell me that you’re doing well, your husband has been busy playing with the kids and doing household chores, etc.

But this is what I hear: “he’s a jerk, he doesn’t understand me, he’s vacant, blah, blah, blah.” Because you can’t unsay those things, especially when I don’t know you well enough to have a full picture of your life.   You can’t have it both ways; you can’t tell me one week that he’s a jerk and then weeks later tell me that he’s amazing.

My grocery store acquaintance isn’t the only one who I’ve heard disparaging her spouse lately.  I see it on Twitter, I overhear conversations of people on their phones out in public.  It’s everywhere.  And I honestly don’t get it.

I’ve actually witnessed a group of women competing with each other over who had the biggest jerk of a husband.  How do you win a competition like that?  I couldn’t figure it out. (Please know that I am talking about garden variety jerk-ness here, not abusive husbands.  If a woman is being abused in any way, she should tell everyone who will listen until someone helps her.)

Does Craig ever irritate me? Well, duh.  We’re married.  It’s inevitable that we’ll make each other crazy from time to time.  But the bottom line is, that’s between us.  

If you know me on Twitter, you won’t hear about it.  You also won’t hear about it here on my blog.  If I run into you at the market, nope, you won’t hear about it.  If you are my closest friend?  You might get a rare mini-rant.  Do you want to know who I tell that he’s acting like a jerk?  Craig.  Because I love and respect him, even if in the moment, he’s on my last nerve.  And those little things don’t come close to outweighing all of the great stuff.

And I know that if he was out golfing or playing basketball with friends and disparaged me in any way, I’d be mortified. 

Bottom line?  It’s unfair to offer only one part of the story and it will likely bite you in the butt if you do.

I won’t trash my husband because at the end of the day, he is the person I promised forever to.  For better or worse.  As sentimental as that may sound, it’s a promise that I made…not only to him, but also to myself.

I love him and I truly believe that love and respect go hand in hand.

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.

*This post is inspired by a blogger I met through Kris at Pretty All True.  She is new to me, but I was so moved by her post that I’ve thought of little else since I read it.  Please read this powerful post, The Weight of Tears.

**I am also over at my friend Abigail’s today, sharing my dreams in a guest post, “It Isn’t That Simple,” please come by and say hi!

Mama's Losin' It

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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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