Round-Up: SAHM Edition

Last week, I was on vacation.  Glorious, stress-free, vacation…AT HOME.  I have always wanted to take a full week of vacation time and just sit at home, eating nachos for breakfast, watching Kathy Lee and Hoda, reading Us Weekly and wearing yoga pants with zero intention of actually doing yoga (or any physical activity, for that matter).  Now that we’re parents, a week of time at home gives me a peek into the life of a stay-at-home mom.
I learned a few things in those 7ish days; some of those things are valuable life tools.  And some of those things involve The Wiggles.
Top Ten Things Learned During SAHM Week…
10. You’re an anti-TV parent until you are forced to become a TV parent.  Let me clarify this by saying we are still anti-TV parents; however, when you need 15 minutes to vacuum, take a phone call, find the cat or just poop, well…plopping Miles in the Jumperoo and giving him some PBS was the answer.
9. Your coffee will probably be cold by the time you finish it.  Every morning, I would play with Miles on the floor in the living room and attempt to drink my coffee.  This worked fine, until he noticed my coffee mug.  Once the mug was in his line of sight, it was game over.  He would stop at nothing in his attempts to grab my mug, because suddenly that mug of coffee was more important than anything in the entire universe, ever. 
8. All electrical cords belong to Miles.  I thought I could work on our family Christmas card while Miles was playing with one of his favorite toys (a measuring cup).  He was intently putting his orange monkey under the measuring cup, scooting it over, then picking it up again to see if monkey was still there.  He had no idea I was even in the room.  I quietly plugged in my laptop, and started working.  That was the moment his spidey senses kicked in…realizing an electrical cord was nearby, Miles immediately stopped playing with his cup.  After 10 minutes of attempting to work, I gave up.  A similar situation arose with the vacuum, steam mop, and phone charger.  Some of you may be wondering why electrical cords are so awesome.  Like all awesome toys, you can BEAT THEM ON THE FLOOR AND MAKE NOISE.
7. A majority of children’s programming is frightening, or created by people taking psychotropic drugs.  I thought I’d check out that BabyFirst channel, only to find some terrifying show with three large and incredibly realistic looking mice singing and dancing, with no movement from their mouths.  Just these blank, vacant stares from their beady costume eyes.  

And now you can share in my nightmare.


So that ended up on the “do not watch” list.  Then I tried something called Lazy Town, but found most of the actors had rubber masks or weird hair, and added that to the list as well.  These very strange shows also seemed to lack any educational value.  

Not good role models.  Also, questionable fashion choices.


What made the cut?  The Wiggles, Barney and Friends (YES, THAT IS STILL ON THE AIR!), Sid the Science Guy, Sesame Street and The Chica Show.  Good stuff.

6. A majority of new children’s music is also frightening.  While I am anti-TV, during playtime we do have music going…Miles loves music.  We usually listen to jazz, but I decided to venture into the world of children’s music.  There’s a lot of good stuff out there.  For instance, Caspar Babypants (you can’t make this stuff up) is now in my regular playlist.  He’s like a Jack Johnson for babies, and it is awesomesauce.  

How can you not love this guy?

SERIOUSLY.  He’s awesome.  I would listen to him even if I didn’t have children.


However, when a group called “Preschool Popstars” came on singing a song about a daycare dance party, I decided I did not want my eight month old in da club.  You would also be amazed at the number of adult pop songs (Lady Gaga, Beyonce, etc.) that make it to the children’s station because they are being sung by THE CHIPMUNKS.  This type of torture should be saved for Guantanamo.  Fun fact: These tunes will also make your ears bleed.

Sippin’ on juice.  Just juice.


THIS IS AN ACTUAL SONG.

Yes, I could have made the entire post about this one thing.
It’s like a train wreck, I just can’t turn away from it.
WHY IS THAT TODDLER WEARING SUNGLASSES?!


5. You can wear the same clothes five days in a row, and no one will know.  Except the UPS guy.  And maybe the mailman.  Also, employees at Publix, depending on how many times you visit the store.  Fashion be damned, I wore the same yoga pants and Grateful Dead t-shirt ALL. WEEK. LONG.  It was awesome.
4. You get to eat lunch with your kiddo!  Feeding Miles while simultaneously feeding myself is nothing new, but eating lunch at 11am is.  So at 2pm, when I was suddenly hungry in a way that can only be akin to a bear waking from hibernation, I would usually binge on something sensible, like an entire sleeve of Ritz crackers and half a jar of Nutella.  Don’t look at me like that.
3. You finally see why all the other moms won’t stop talking about the blue Wiggle.

 Oh, you think he’s kind of lame?

TRY AGAIN.
2. You get to read a book!  And a magazine!  And watch re-runs of SATC!  Miles’ longest nap usually happens around lunch time…two hours of glorious, uninterrupted ME TIME.  Choirs of angels sang the first time I sat down to read. 
1. YOU GET TO TAKE A NAP…EVERY SINGLE DAY!  Oh my gosh, naps.  I haven’t taken a nap since…how old is my son?  That long.  It was awesome.
Besides these learning moments, I also really, really, really enjoyed just getting some downtime with my kiddo.  These are the days that go by quickly, where he seems to still be swaddled one minute and somehow riding a tricycle the next.  It happens that fast.  So having many, many days of “just us” was an incredible, tremendous blessing.  I cried The Ugly Cry three times last week, just sitting there watching him play, because I suddenly realized he was no longer my teeny, tiny little baby.  He’s a big boy.  An amazing, smart, funny, snuggly and loving little guy. 
Dropping him off at school on Monday was like that first day, all over again.  Only this time, Miles eagerly crawled to the basket of toys and immediately began dumping them all over the floor, totally oblivious to the fact that mom was standing there, teary eyed, watching her baby grow up.  I kissed him goodbye; he bopped me on the nose and tried to take my glasses, then he gave me a hug.  A real hug.
I left before my morning at daycare turned into a Publix Thanksgiving commercial.

You cried when the pilgrims were separated at the table, right?
Working parents, if you get the chance to take some vacation and spend it at home with your young ones, I cannot encourage you enough to do it.  In the blink of an eye, kids are off at college, getting married, giving you grandchildren…these days are precious and brief.  Even when you’re tired, distracted, running a hundred miles an hour…stop, and make the most of these days.  You will appreciate these memories so much as your children grow.
Sappy McSapperston,
Kristin
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The Best Days, Ever.

Today is an exciting day in the Coke House…we are celebrating our eighth wedding anniversary!  Time flies when you’re having fun, right?  In honor of the special day, I thought I’d reflect back over the past 2,922 days.
Eight years ago, we were both in our 20s (some of us in our very early 20s!)  George W. was still in office.  None of our friends had children.  Facebook was an unknown.  Cadillac Williams still played for the Bucs, and we went 11-5 in our 2005 season.  Evan and I both had siblings still in high school.  Brad and Jennifer were still married.
Life has changed.  Let’s take a trip down Memory Lane…
Eight years and an undisclosed number of pounds ago…
We tied the knot at my home church in Pahokee, where I spent some of the best years of my life, and PFUMC will forever hold a special place in my heart.  Hurricane Wilma had ravaged both coasts just three weeks prior; we didn’t even know at the time if our wedding could happen, but God willing, it did.  We were forced to move our reception location due to damage at the Elk’s Lodge in Pahokee.  Our florist, Fran, went as far as Miami to find THE flowers we had picked out months earlier.  We patiently waited days and weeks for electricity to be restored.  It all came together in an imperfectly beautiful and wonderful celebration.

Mr. & Mrs. Coke

Happily Ever After

We honeymooned in Key West.  We literally crawled Duval.  I climbed on stage at Sloppy Joe’s and sang “I Wanna Be Sedated” with a punk band from Minneapolis.  We happy houred at Irish Kevin’s at 10am.  We pet six toed cats and sting rays.  Evan got food poisoning from a Cheeseburger in Paradise.
We traveled.  We fell in love with Western NC, and have returned half a dozen times.  We have hiked over 300 miles.  Evan grew a mountain man beard. We plan to continue visiting every year until I can convince Evan to buy a mountain and build a cabin.
 Downpour on the AT.

 Day hike to Siler’s Bald.

 Tubing on Deep Creek.

“…got to set down and take a rest on the porch.”
Nantahala
We took a 4,000 mile road trip from Cape Coral to Washington DC, then to New Jersey for Evan’s 10 year high school reunion, then north to Niagara Falls, and west to Fort Knox, KY.  We visited monuments, toured Radio City Music Hall, ate Thanksgiving dinner at a hoity toity restaurant in the Upper East Side.  Then we watched my brother graduate from Basic Training, and prayed for his new journey and career in life as a Combat Medic in the US Army.

 Rockefeller Plaza

 Top of the Rock.

 Cannoli time!

 Arlington

 Lincoln Memorial

 CPL Cameron M. Hatton

 Proud sister.

Deuces.
We survived several hurricanes, both of the meteorological and real-life variety (not to mention the number of hurricanes consumed on our honeymoon in Key West). 
Both my parents and Evan’s grandmother lost their homes in Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne.  We headed to the east coast to help salvage what was left.  We cried endless tears upon seeing the devastation.  We prayed for restoration.  And our families overcame the struggles.
We welcomed Maggie Mae in our lives.  Then Kiwi.  Then the “Wild Bunch”: Blueberry, Patches and Frankie, a litter of kittens abandoned in our neighborhood.  Mai Tai, my old tabby cat, remains my “first born” regardless of our ever growing family.

Mai Tai, my first born, adopted in 2003. 

Maggie Mae joined the fam in 2006. 

Kiwi 

The Wild Bunch, left to right: Blueberry, Patches and Frankie
We decorated eight Christmas trees.  The pets only knocked over one.
My baby brother got married in Germany, and I gained an amazing sister-in-law.
Jess and Cameron
We turned 30.  And then some.

We found CCFUMC.  We became members.  Our lives forever changed, for the better.
We made many, many friends.  Many friendships grew; few failed.  We have been immensely blessed by the people in our lives, who we consider an extension of family.  Some have moved on, and there is greater time and distance between us, but an unconditional love remains. 
We grew deeper in our faith.  I picked the bass guitar back up.  I discovered worship through music.  Evan discovered worship through the tech ministry and running the sound board.  Our lives were again forever changed, for the better.
We bought our first home.  We renovated one room at a time, and finished the interior remodeling earlier this year.  I am now ready to paint the dining room again.

My favorite renovation, by far.

 A space for Baby C.

Our surprise to be…

We started a small business.  We grew.  We bought another small business.  And we continue growing and persevering.  Evan is overly humble about his accomplishments.
We said goodbye to some of our greatest loves and supporters.

My Moosie.

With Grandpa Lee and Grandma Lil.


!!!!!THIS HAPPENED!!!!!


August 16, 2012

Eight weeks!

Announcing to the world…

39 weeks!  Only two (long) weeks to go…


We experienced the most awesome, incredible, amazing, sunshine and rainbows day of our lives when we welcomed Miles Clark to the world.  We did not know then the overwhelming love, joy and happiness that would now fill our home.  We became parents.  It still sounds funny when I say it out loud.  Miles does let us know we’re doing an awesome job, though.

That face still gets me, every time.

Love at first sight.

My boys.

One day old.

I did not think I could love Evan more; then, I saw him as a father, and I found a new love that I didn’t know existed.  And we both found that it was possible to have an enormous mountain of love for a teeny, tiny person.
The Cokes – October 2013

The past 2,922 days have been an unbelievable journey, and there is no single person on this planet I would have spent it with besides Evan.  We have journeyed, side by side and hand in hand, through peaks and valleys, good times and bad, tears of joy and tears of sadness, together.  

I am tremendously blessed with his love and friendship.  He is my rock, my best friend, my happy place, and the most amazing father in the entire world.  My heart still skips a beat when he enters a room, just like it did over 10 years ago when we first met.  

And I cannot wait to see what life has in store for us next.

I love you to the moon and back, and then some.

XOX,
K

The Point.

I read a lot of mommy blogs.  Some are sarcastic and funny, some are inspirational, some are full of helpful advice.  But most are just real…full of the tales that photos posted to Facebook or Instagram will never tell.  Reading their experiences is a tremendous help for someone who is a new mom, because I now I know that I am not alone in my fears (allergies), worries (current ear infection/cold) or things I find funny (Miles peed on Evan – again).  It’s like being a part of the most awesome club ever in the history of time and space.
Today, I stumbled on a new (to me) blog.  I had linked there from something else; I can’t recall what, but it wasn’t to read what I ended up immersing myself in for the better part of an hour.  This mom wrote like so many of us, about life.  But her life was different.  They have a daughter who is four, but they have also experienced the loss of not one, not two, but three sons.  They lost their twin boys when they were just 18 weeks in utero.  They lost their third son just a few weeks after he was born, after finding a rare disease that prevented him from having a much needed heart transplant.  This is my unfairly brief summation of the cards they were dealt.
Reading her posts made me do The Ugly Cry.  For those who don’t know, The Ugly Cry is exactly what it sounds like.  That overwhelming, consuming, emotional cry that causes your face to twist and writhe, your breathing to become short and gasping, and your eyes to get so puffy and full of tears you couldn’t even read the address on your mailbox.  You.  Look.  Ugly.
And those of you who know me are also aware of my complete avoidance of all things that bring on The Ugly Cry.  I don’t do Lifetime or Hallmark (lame); I don’t read Nicholas Sparks (lamer) and I change the TV channel every time that ASPCA commercial with Sara McLaughlin singing in the background comes on (lamest, ever).  I can’t do it.  I’m not coldhearted; I just don’t want to cry.  The Ugly Cry is the reason we can’t watch things like Extreme Home Makeover (TWO HOURS OF UGLY CRY – NOTHANKYOU!)
So for me to sit there and read, at length, this family’s story, was difficult.  But I couldn’t stop.  Because, while difficult, I found her healing and faith inspirational.  I felt drawn to continue reading.  And I felt called to pray.  A lot. 
When I picked up Miles from daycare today, I hugged him tight. 
This morning, he had a congested cough, which led to me taking another trip to the pediatrician with him today.  And I’m not going to lie; I felt exhausted and exasperated, and not understanding why after ten days of antibiotics for an ear infection that had no cough, we woke up to a cough.  I felt sad for my baby, even though he smiled and played and ignored the cough completely, because I want him to be well and feel his best.  And I felt frustrated that we were dealt something else to handle, in less than a week.
Now?  Well, now I feel blessed that it’s just a cold.  That’s not to say it isn’t still something to struggle with; in life, you will find that while your situation may be better than others, it is still worse than some.  We all have things to deal with, and there is no diminishing what anyone is experiencing, because it cannot be compared to anyone else.  But, in that moment, I felt blessed.
There are times in life that call us to question, “why?”  Times where we struggle to find a reason, an explanation, a purpose…the point.
What’s the point of illness and struggle?  What’s the point of dealing with hardships?  What’s the point of being here, now, in this?
Here’s what I know about the whole point: there are actually two points.  Two reasons, two purposes, two explanations for what we’re here for:
1.      To love God.
2.      To love each other.
That’s it.  Of all the things we do on a daily basis, our entire purpose, being and existence (in my mind) comes down to those two very important points.
So when someone you know, or even that you don’t know, is going through some stuff…our calling is to be there for them.  To love them, comfort them, help them, pray for them.  We go through this stuff together.  God put us here, now, together, for a purpose. 
You will find love and peace in the arms of friends and family, through conversations with people who understand where you’re coming from, in prayer and meditation, and sometimes, just by reading words on a screen written by a stranger but connected to you in heart and spirit.  And while these things won’t always offer the explanation that human nature may cause you to search for, it will always lead you to the point: LOVE.

“The most important command is this…
Love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your mind, and with all your strength.
The second is this: love your neighbor as yourself.”
Mark 12:29-31
Be the hands and feet.
L-O-V-E,

Kristin 

The Pizza That (FINALLY) Broke My Water

For me, being pregnant was all kinds of awesome.  From the moment we found out we were expecting we were completely in love with the tiny little miracle that had just checked into a womb at the Coke Four Seasons.   In addition to that, I had also fallen in love with choosing names, creating our dream nursery, visiting Dairy Queen once a week, never having to suck in my stomach, and living in yoga pants and flip-flops the final three months (along with the first six).  I never had morning sickness, never had to stop wearing my rings, never grew a moustache and didn’t turn into a complete hormonal mess (well, no more of a mess than my usual state).  Yes, for me, pregnancy was *super* awesome.

The days, weeks and months ticked by; April 16th was fast approaching.  We were beyond excited.  The only thing more awesome and exciting than being pregnant is being unpregnant.
At our March 25th appointment, we found out we were one centimeter dilated – hooray!  Right on schedule.  We were past our “weekly appointment” stage, and our midwife decided we should come back in a few days.  We were eager to see what progress had been made.  Our next few appointments went something like this:

         April 1st: one centimeter.
         April 5th: one centimeter.
         April 8th: one centimeter.
         April 10th: one centimeter.
         April 15th: one centimeter.

Yes, the day before D-Day, and we were still at one centimeter.  I was having serious, lengthy discussions with then-named Baby C about the importance of arriving on time (this, from a woman who was perpetually 10 minutes late for everything before having children).  I explained to Baby C that mama is notoriously challenged in the punctuality department.  I started thinking that this was God’s way of impressing the importance of timeliness upon me.  Nice one, Big Guy.
At our appointment on April 18th, our midwife let us know she was perfectly fine with us going one week past our due date, but then they would induce.  I was completely and adamantly against induction; not because I’m some hippy who just wanted things to happen on their own (although that was part of it), but because I absolutely terrified of being induced.  I had learned enough from friends, birthing class and horrifying mommy blogs to know that the last thing I wanted was someone cramming a knitting needle up my hoo-ha to break my water, then “kick-starting” labor with an IV bag full of the worst contractions ever, thankyouverymuch.
So we left the appointment, scheduled to come back the next day to see if we were any further dilated.  I had another very serious conversation with Baby C.  Something along the lines of, “You have seven days to get here or you’re grounded until you’re 30.”
Friday’s appointment rolled around.  We were now three days past our due date.  I remember my midwife asking me if it would make me feel better if she just lied and said we were dilated 2 centimeters, wink-wink nod-nod.  I said yes.  And with that, the induction was “tentatively” scheduled for the 24th.

I started maternity leave.  I waddled miles and miles around the block.  I bounced on an exercise ball.  I ate spicy food.  I tried dancing in my living room.  I attempted some maternity yoga that ended with me ass-over-tea kettle and laughed at by three of our four cats.  I’m pretty sure I even heard my husband’s stupid parrot laughing at me.  Yes, we did everything (and I mean everything) we could think of to encourage labor.  Baby C’s response was always a series of kicks to my ribcage, followed by an elbow to the bladder and some wicked heartburn.    
Saturday, April 20th.  Still plenty of time.  We went to Publix to pick up the ingredients for our pizza, which we make every Saturday night.  When we were checking out, our regular cashier (with her endearing Bostonian accent) asked us the same question she asked every week, “When ah yah due?!”  Tonight, my response was, “LAST TUESDAY.”  She smiled and said, “Take the bumpy road home tonight and pack yah hospital bag, that baby’s comin’.”
So we took the bumpy road.  We made pizza, extra red pepper flakes.  I poured a glass of red wine (at four days late, the kid was done baking).  We stuffed our faces, and watched an old horror movie.
At 2:30am, I got up for the 47th time that night to pee.  I sat down, and started thinking, “Good grief, how much water did I drink?”  Then I realized what had happened…
I quietly and calmly awoke Evan, and told him my water broke.  Then I did what I’m sure most women going into labor do: I took a shower, shaved my legs, mopped the house and emptied the dishwasher.  I also called the maternity ward (I never wanted to be one of those women who goes to the hospital umpteen times thinking she’s in labor) and just like a Verona Beach retiree, I could hear Rod Roddy’s voice telling us to COME ON DOOOOOOWN!  We were the next contestants on, “Guess How Dilated You Are!”

We arrived around 4:30am, and were taken to maternity triage.  Another girl, probably 30ish weeks along with the most horrific morning sickness ever, came in right behind us.  There, in the 30×30 room, separated only by little curtains, we got to listen to her chorus of vomiting for half an hour before the triage nurse came in to see if I needed to stay.  Yes, even though I was sitting in a puddle of amniotic fluid (on a pee pad; yes, all dignity is out the window when you embark on the adventure of having children) we still needed to decide if Baby C was really on the way.
The nurse decided we’d start the first round of “Guess How Dilated You Are!”  By now, Baby C had dropped so low that it was nearly impossible to get to my cervix (don’t worry; this is about as TMI as it gets today).  When the nurse finally found it, the pain was so intense that I had one of those Linda Blair in The Exorcist moments.  I apologized, knowing the nurse had probably heard and seen much worse.  She just smiled and said, “Don’t worry honey, you’re three centimeters dilated!”  Now, that might not seem like much, but after holding steady at one centimeter for what felt like six weeks, we were excited.
Unfortunately, the poor girl across the curtain got to hear my momentary possession.  I could almost see her second thoughts about childbirth.  Here I was, not even really in labor, practically climbing the walls and wailing in pain.
6:30am – Contractions start.  Not too bad, but not something I’d want to experience on the reg.  All back labor, thanks to Baby C’s headfirst plunge into the birth canal.
8:00am – Still three centimeters.  Contractions getting stronger.

9:00am – Still three centimeters.  Pitocin started.  Extreme terror sets in.

9:15am – Triage nurse comes in, increases pitocin to 3mL.

9:30am – STILL. THREE. CENTIMETERS.  Pitocin increased to 5mL.

10:00am – Sigh.  Still three.  Pitocin increased to 7mL.

10:15am – Contractions getting super strong.  The last four hours have been spent bouncing on an exercise ball between bouts of what I’m certain sounds like a pelican squawk.  Women with children, you know what I’m talking about.  The nurse comes in – again – and increases the pitocin to 9mL.

10:30am – Nurse comes in.  I give her the death stare.  Evan laughs at me.  Pitocin goes to 11mL.

11:00am – More death stares, more pitocin.  Evan may also have a few fractured fingers.

11:30am – Sadistic nurse sent by the Anti-Christ comes in.  Sees my face.  Wisely decides against more pitocin.

Noon – Time for round two…FOUR CENTIMETERS DILATED!  Now I’m allowed to lay down, hallelujah.  We’re officially in “active” labor (I don’t know what they called the last three hours of pitocin hell…) and we can “expect” to dilate one centimeter every hour until we hit the big 1-0.
Here’s the thing about contractions…they are completely unexplainable.  There’s no way I could put into words what the feeling is like; it’s painful, but not like any pain you’ve experienced.  I think because it’s pain with a purpose.  Oh yes, it hurts, but once the contraction is over you enter a brief (very, very brief) state of euphoria.  You’re hooked up to the monitor, and you can watch your contraction lines going…you can see how long they are, and how strong they are.  The monitor picks up the strength just seconds before you really feel it.  I remember lying on my side, watching that stupid green line as it would dramatically jump into Mount Everest territory.  I would prepare myself for what was coming next.  And then it was over, and you could recover, even if it was only a few seconds.

We had decided against the epidural long ago, after watching a terrifying video during birthing class and reading some horrific posts on a few mommy blogs (stay away from the too-serious mommy blogs, ladies…)  Those few seconds of recovery helped to reaffirm that I could do this; it wasn’t that bad.

Around the time of The Green Line of Torture, my midwife came in for the third round of “Guess How Dilated You Are!”  It was 1:00p.  She sat down at the table to do some of our paperwork, and listen to me during the contractions.  One contraction later, and she decided it was time to play.  It had been an hour since active labor began; I was expecting to be at five, if we were lucky, six.  In my mind, I kept thinking that I had six more hours of this before sweet Baby C would arrive.  I was feeling t-i-r-e-d.
My widwife checked, and her face lit up like we’d hit the $10,000 slot on Plinko…
TEN CENTIMETERS!

Holy cow.  All I could think was, “That was fast, that was fast, that was fast!”  I also wanted to throw confetti and spray champagne on people.  It was time.  Like really, REALLY, time, to start The Big Show.

The next hour was a blur, except for the end.  We were in the homestretch.  Baby C’s gigantic noggin was out; shoulders were out, just one more push and…STOP.  My midwife asked me to stop.  You want me to what?!  You spent the last 45 minutes asking me to push, push, push, push some more, breathe and push again, and now…just stop?

She asked me to stop so that Evan could be the person to deliver Baby C; so that he would be the first to hold our sweet baby, the first to know what our baby was.  Here we go…
One.  Last.  Push. 

I will never, ever forget Evan’s face when he erupted with, “It’s a BOY!”  I will never forget that instant feeling of love, of accomplishment, of pride, of joy, of peace, of family.  My goodness, your heart will literally explode.
Miles Clark Coke, 7lbs. 11oz., born April 21st, 2013

Love at first sight!
April 23, 2013 — The two men who melt my heart.
People will tell you throughout the journey of starting a family that you will never feel another love like this; that you never knew you could love like this.  I used to chuckle at the whole sap-fest of it all…the Lifetime movie stories my mom friends would tell me.  And then, we became parents.  Everything you’ve ever heard is absolutely, positively, 110% true.  There is no love like this.  It will overwhelmingly consume you.  You will know God in a new and amazing and incredible way, because you have experienced a miracle unlike any other.  There aren’t enough words in the world to express how becoming a parent changes you, for the better.  No, it isn’t always easy, but it is completely worth it.  Because for every long night of rocking in a chair with your sick baby, every hour of crying when teething begins, every ounce of spit-up dripping down the back of your shirt (again!), there are ten thousand moments of giggles, smiles, new discoveries, snuggles and love.  Your child will look at you in a way that will fill you with fear, with the realization that you are responsible for this tiny person – for their well being, their safety, their life.  But, you will also fill with complete joy, unconditional love, overwhelming thankfulness, and gratitude at the blessing you were given.
To say, “a love like no other” is really just the beginning of the adventure.
PS – Here’s the link to our pizza recipe: Makin’ a Pizza!
Thanks for hanging in there!