I am so so so behind but that's nothing new. I have so much to talk about and don't really know where to begin. I'm just going to skip it all for now. A big date is approaching.
Tomorrow Neil and I will have been married 10 years, together 16 years. It's funny because here we are celebrating our 10th and we should be going on a trip to somewhere tropical (we didn't go on a honeymoon and still haven't been anywhere romantic alone, but one day we will and it will be fantastic) but instead we are painting rooms and moving around furniture to make room for our 3rd sweet baby. So things don't always go as planned. Something I know very very well, so it's not a surprise. I honestly don't think I would want it any other way right now. What a wonderful way to celebrate 10 years, preparing for another little miracle into our family.
Let's see... We were married 10 years ago in Champaign, IL at a beautiful Presbyterian church. 350 guests packed the church on the hottest day of the year. I remember so clearly watching the 10:00 news at mom and dad's the night before seeing the forecast for July 3rd calling for 97 degree temperatures. Unfortunately, they were right on, too. No breeze, just hot and humid. Oh, and I don't think I mentioned that our church didn't have air conditioning. Not something we thought about when booking the church in December. Oops. Lesson learned with that one, and one that we can hopefully pass down to all our kids.
But it was a beautiful ceremony, I must say. All 6 of my girls looked amazing in their ivory dresses and carrying blue flowers. My flower girls, Ashley and Taylor, the cutest little flower girls ever. My dear friend, Kristin, sang John Denver's Follow Me (one that was sang at my parents' wedding making it extra special) and Bette Midler's Rose. My grandma Libby was at the wedding as she fought off breast cancer, totally exhausted but would never miss my wedding for the world (she passed away 8 months later and I loved her dearly like a best friend). It was the hottest day of the year, and the shortest ceremony ever, but it was still very special, as it should be. I married my first love..my high school sweetheart, and here we are 10 years later reminiscing that day. Wow.
We've had some very challenging times, but I can say they all have only made us stronger. I'd never wish hard times on other couples but I have to say that it's really the only thing in a relationship that will force you to either come closer together or pull you apart. I'm thankful we made the choice for these challenges to bring us closer together. Our infertility, losing babies, and thinking we'd never have a family was a huge obstacle for us to make it through. But we did. I would have picked no one other than Neil to sit with me in the bathroom for hours as I lost a baby, and I wouldn't want anyone other than Neil to say "it's going to be okay". (I told him I didn't believe him, but in my heart, I did.) He's been my lifesaver...my strong tower...holding me up while I know he was dealing with the same intense pain as I.
I lost my two grandmothers and my grandpa during our time together. I held my grandpas hand as he took his last breath, and Neil was there with me during that moment...the hardest moment in my life, I think. Neil lost two of his grandfathers. Those weren't easy times. Parts of both of us suddenly gone, in really, a very short time. And then there was Noah's birth, where I was intibated and put completed under; Neil unable to even be in the room as his son was cut out of my body. And then Maia's labor of 31 hours ending with a c-section, in which of course he was next to my side through every minute of it. God's challenged us with a lot, still is...but He's also proven to us that we can get through just about anything with faith, compassion, patience, and love.
I'm so lucky to have someone who loves me as he does. He does so much for me. So much for our family. So often I think to myself "no one else would do this for me, I'm so lucky to have him" and then I say a prayer thanking God for my wonderful husband. He's the most amazing father taking so much time out to play with them, color with them, teaching Noah how to ride his bike, doing Maia's hair (when I know it isn't something on his "most exciting father moment" list), taking them grocery shopping so mommy can have some time to herself, taking them to the farmer's market to pick out flowers for mommy to plant, taking the kids somewhere while letting mommy sleep in bed all day when she is experiencing aches and pains, and the list goes on and on and on. I am truly truly blessed.
I could go on and on with this blog post, but I won't bore you more since I probably already have. I just wanted to give Neil the recognition he deserves. I love him so much and these 10 years, well, they've truly been the best years of my life.
I love you, Neilly. Happy 10th Anniversary.