Just like that

And just like that, three months go by and there are so many changes since the last post.

The beautiful newborn boy face is here.13094290_10108167143410954_8807131545175068129_n

So far, Kelvin Alexander is pretty much as I pictured him: laid back, sweet and quite easy compared to his sister. He’s a very big eater just like she was, and that’s the hardest part. Nighttime feedings always take an hour and he eats at least twice a night. But he sleeps well and he’s easy to please, and that makes a huge difference. The transition to two has been a lot simpler than I expected. Almost everything about his labor, delivery and recovery was easy. There are hard nights and exhausting days but overall I have so much more emotional energy than I did the first time and I’m not nearly as anxious and stressed. Big sis has had a rough time getting used to the changes (and getting her molars at the same time, poor girl) but she feels better and better as the days accumulate. Having daddy home for two weeks really helped. She loved all the extra time they had to play together while I took care of little brother. That part was hard for me because I wanted to be with her and help her feel okay about everything, but she kept her distance and hardly made eye contact with me for quite a while. That was awful. Over the last two weeks we’ve been getting back to our normal schedule and it’s nice to get some spontaneous hugs again. On her birthday she actually gave me a kiss as we were watching Curious George, cuddled on the couch together while her brother slept. That was a lovely birthday present. I’m so proud of her.

Being away from work has been hard. I’m really looking forward to getting back into a regular schedule when baby boy gets old enough that he isn’t eating so often. I got away twice so far for a short work getaway and it was awesome. It’s kind of hard to believe that I get to have a job that’s fulfilling and refreshing, and yet still stay home most of the time with the kids. I’m really grateful.

Today I turned 35. I’m thinking of it in two ways.

  • A half-way point to 70. I remember thinking about 70-year-old-Jen a lot when I was in my early twenties and trying to decide on big things. It helped to ask myself what my 70-year-old self would want me to decide. I haven’t thought about it that way lately but looking back, I’m pretty happy with the choices so far. Hoping that the next 35 are as full of faith, friends, family and good work.
  • The beginning of 20 years of family-raising. By the time I’m 55 we’ll be actively planning the retirement from Good Cop’s career and I’m guessing we’ll be transitioning our kids into their independence. It’s crazy to think of that because I already know how fast 20 years goes by. It’s exciting though, to think of all the really different memories we’ll be making as the kids get older. So far, parenting is really amazing and I can’t wait to see how it changes and stretches us.

Feeling grateful and hopeful.

 

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New memories

October 9

The last three weeks have been so memorable, so out-of-the-ordinary. We traveled all over Vienna and Split with our little foursome on buses, trams, subways and car. Oh, and on our feet — logging so many steps every day it would have put us at the top for any FitBit challenge. We all walked and walked and walked! Even Ana, the intrepid world traveler, explored historic parks and toddled down ancient streets next to us when we had time to walk slowly. All in all she was a champ.

The air travel was plain hard, no way to sugarcoat that. She was not a fan of sitting still and she was overtired and didn’t sleep much. She did scream a lot. We bribed her with warm milk, cool water, tomato juice, pop, chocolate, cookies, apples, cheese, crackers, new toys, the air vents in the ceiling, peekaboo with the passengers behind us, our phones, my purse, my wallet, and my keys. We medicated her. And still there were many hours of misery for everyone. But we made it and all the planes landed eventually! I’m looking forward to never traveling in a plane with her again until she’s able to swear that she’ll behave nicely.

Really, though, she did as well as we expected. And once we got settled into our room in Vienna she was a pretty great kid for the whole trip. We all struggled with jet lag and middle-of-the-night crying for about a week but during the day she took naps, went on adventures with us, and ate mostly whatever we were eating. She made friends with strangers everywhere. She was fearless and curious about everything, and she loved walking on her own to discover new things. We followed her around Vienna and Split and watched her make people smile as she greeted everyone brightly. “Hi! Hi!”

Good Cop was an amazing travel partner, for real. He got Ana calm more than a few times on the planes and he took all the changes and new experiences in stride. I knew he would be great. He loved seeing all the history and the different ways of doing things. I think it was a pretty good first trip to Europe, especially since he got to see both a cool-blooded well organized city and a warm-blooded very relaxed city. I love traveling with him for all the memories we make and for all the extra time we have together. (However, the 24-7 with Anastasia for two whole weeks in close quarters was a bit draining and we were so happy to have a date when we got home! Thanks, Mom!)

For me it was fantastic to revisit Split and meet up with my old friends again. I had prepared myself to feel like an outsider since it’d been so long since I lived there, and since I’ve changed so much again in the last four years of being a wife and mom. But it just felt good. After being in Vienna for three days and not understanding the language or having a good idea of how the city was laid out, I felt so much freedom when we landed in Split. I knew how to get where we were going, I could communicate with people, and I knew where we were all the time. It was great! But then to be able to talk with friends every day and get caught up on the last five years — that was awesome. Everyone has changed, obviously, but there wasn’t one friendship that felt awkward or strained. Facebook helps with that, I’m sure. But it also helps that I got to know some of the most amazing people in Split when I lived there.

Being 7-9 weeks pregnant on the trip added an interesting layer. I was so exhausted by 8 pm, and usually asleep before 9. That helped with the jet lag. Thankfully the nausea backed off a little while we were there and I didn’t feel too yucky as long as I kept eating snacks and had big meals a couple times a day. (As soon as we got home it got a lot worse. I think God was answering prayers for a good trip!) There are some great foods to crave in Europe! One particular sandwich was amazing. I wish we could replicate it here. But aside from being wiped out and having to pace ourselves more than usual, it wasn’t bad. I’m glad we got to tell some friends in person. That was fun! And it really helped this first trimester fly by; in just a few days we’ll have our 11-week ultrasound and then finally we can tell everyone here! I’m really looking forward to that. It’s nice that we can tell this baby that they were on this trip with us.

It is so good to be home. That was something I took away from this trip: that we’re in the right place for this season of life. It was right to visit and encourage our friends, and it’s right for us to be here in our current jobs for now. I think the biggest benefit from being there is knowing how to pray for each of them now. There’s only so much you can gather from a prayer letter or Facebook posts. It’s so different to be in the same room, face to face. Since we got home a week ago I’ve been thinking of each of them more often and it’s nice to know what they have on the calendar, what their daily schedule is like, or what kind of needs they have right now. I don’t know when we’ll be able to be together again but it was a gift to have this experience!

Dear little bird

September 6

Sweet tiny baby, just barely more than a few cells put together, and still you’ve burrowed into my heart for always.

You are a new thing, a thing I wasn’t expecting but was starting to hope for (you’ll learn that hoping and expecting are two very different things) and you are a gift. For a few months now Daddy and I were thinking that you might show up eventually. In the beginning when we were talking about you and when we might be ready for you, I was hesitant and anxious. I didn’t feel ready for you at all. Life has been full of so many changes since your big sis got here and I’m just now starting to relax into our daily routines. Even with those routines, it still feels messy and overwhelming, like I’m never doing exactly what I should be doing. It didn’t seem like adding you to the mix would be a good idea for anyone. But I started talking to God about that and he said I should trust that he knows all of it, and he’ll take care of it. One day a little while later I realized that I wasn’t so worried any more. Then another day I realized that I was looking forward to you. And eventually I got to feeling like my heart would be ready for you whenever you came, even if my life and my routine wasn’t ready. So that’s where I was last Thursday morning, living life with your daddy and big sis and waiting patiently for you. I was happy to keep waiting for a while just to give all of us some more time to grow up and settle down, but I was also starting to think about all your newborn babyness, your soft smell, your first smiles, your amazing grow-so-fast first year.

So on that Thursday morning when Daddy got home from work and I was still a bit “late” (you don’t need to understand that part until you’re older) I took a test and didn’t read it. I left it for Daddy to read before he came to bed. I don’t know why I did that; I really didn’t think it would say anything except “try again next month.” I had been taking tests every month for a while without waiting for him. I don’t know why this time was different. I went back to our bed and was playing with your big sis while Daddy brushed his teeth or something. He asked me, “What is it supposed to be?” I said, “Two lines if it’s positive, one line for negative.” He was quiet, and I figured there was just one line. “There are two lines.”

I was still in the bedroom and he was still in the bathroom across the hall.
“What?”
“There’s a faint line and a dark line. What does that mean?”
“Wow. It means it’s positive.”
I was so shocked! I got up to look at it. Sure enough there was a little faint line, just a hint that you were here. For real. We all got back in bed together and I kept thinking, ‘I can’t believe it. I’m pregnant. I wonder if it will stick.’ Babies are fragile things especially in the very beginning, and we knew the odds. Daddy said he hoped you would stick too. Your big sis was probably bouncing around as usual, climbing everywhere and almost falling off the bed every 15 seconds, throwing herself on top of us for kisses and wrestling. I don’t really remember what we said but I do remember saying, “Now I feel sick.” It was pretty surprising.

For the next couple of days I kept waiting for something bad to happen, for you to start leaving us. I took more tests every day and every day your little line got darker. It got to be as dark as could be and gradually I started thinking that you were going to stay with us. You made me so happy by sticking around!

And here we are, still together a week and a half later, thinking about how to tell our family and friends. We’re more and more excited to meet you every day! I’m still anxious and hesitant about adding you to the mix, but not like before. I’m hoping that you’re a much more content, happy and rested baby. It would be tough if you were as difficult as your sister was, and I try not to think about that. But we’ll manage either way. I’m so curious to find out who you are, what you look like, and what kind of personality you’ll have. Now that I know how addicting it is to learn about your baby, I’m even more excited to meet you than I was to meet your sister.

She’s going to be such a fun sister! She’ll be wild and crazy, full of ideas and energy, and probably pretty protective. I imagine she’ll also beat you up, pull your hair and pinch you. Sorry about that. She’s a firecracker and she’s amazing. You’ll probably adore her and get annoyed with her just as much as we do.

So little bird, you need a nickname. Daddy and I have been looking through a bunch of birds and haven’t settled on just the right one yet. I suppose you don’t need to have a bird nickname but I like themes and things that match. We’ll see!

I love you, tiny babe. We’re praying that you grow healthy and strong and that I’m a safe place for you until you grow big enough to live out here with all of us. Welcome to our crazy, happy house!

Halloween adventures

We just got back from a trip to see my Canadian cousins and their kids this weekend. It was our first really big road trip and we managed to fit a lot into five days! When we arrived at the first cousin’s house it was just in time to see all the trick-or-treaters come through the neighborhood. Fun to see how Halloween is celebrated in the country next door; pretty much the same, but we discovered a few new candy bars that we’d never seen. The rest of the weekend was full of the nice stuff – late breakfasts, reconnecting, tagging along for the typical daily routine, and seeing some special places like a big aquarium and Niagara Falls. Ana-bear did so much better on the ride than I expected. She slept most of the drive and even handled the new surroundings each night pretty well. We’re looking forward to going back again when she’s a little older!
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Picture books

I really love children’s books and I came across a blog all about picture book design the other day! The internets make me so happy sometimes! Here’s a recent post with a charming video about an illustrator.

Ana has a lot of books in her room and about a fifth of them are just hers, not ones that I transferred from my bookshelf to hers. That is so cool. I hope she likes to read or at least likes to be read to. I read to her while she’s nursing sometimes; mostly it’s a good excuse for me to read her cute books myself but she doesn’t seem to mind. (We read this gem the other day – I found it at the used book store before she was born. A worldview-widening story plus recipes for mommy-daughter cooking adventures? Win!) Lately she’s been more alert while she eats, so maybe she’ll be able to listen more too.

She’s still napping pretty well! Certainly not two three-hour naps a day like I said in the last post – I don’t know what I was thinking. She does take a three-hour nap once in a while, but mostly she sleeps for an hour or so. Sometimes it’s a couple times a day, sometimes just once. But she made the switch to the big crib this weekend and she’s been sleeping a lot better at night! Her reflux improved lately and she just finished a growth spurt, so I think everything is coming together to make sleep easier. She slept seven hours Thursday night and eight hours Saturday night! Monday night she slept almost seven, and then relapsed last night to getting up twice. But I’m happy with this direction!

We’re also in cloth diapers 95% of the time now and I love it. The laundry hasn’t been bad at all and she only had a blowout once, which is about the same as it was with disposables. She’s still in Pampers for the long stretch at night but I don’t know if I’ll try to change that. Seven to ten diapers a week is okay with me – sure cuts down on the diaper budget!

She’s fourteen weeks now and so much more fun. We knew that the three-month birthday would make a big difference in her personality and interaction, and it’s so true. She’s entertaining herself for almost an hour at a time by watching the aquarium and then playing on the floor with her little baby gym, or just watching me in the kitchen in her bouncy seat. She’s getting a sense of humor and she loves being silly together. She holds on to her burp rag and chews on it a lot. She still doesn’t love being in new places with lots of people, and she relaxes the moment we get home and she sees her fish. She tends to fuss more with women than men. One of her uncles just left for boot camp and he was really great at getting her settled. She’ll be happy when he comes back home. We went to Jo-Ann Fabric the other day for some wet bag supplies and she loved it! All those colors and textures were right up her alley. She was kicking, grabbing, and cooing a lot. When she goes to bed for the night she whimpers and talks sadly to herself for a few minutes but then she goes to sleep. It’s adorable.

Watching the fish

Watching the fish

There’s a lot going on in the news lately, huh? I’m not sure that things are getting worse than ever but we certainly have a lot more access to everything that’s going on in the world, so it seems unrelenting. I don’t worry about Ana growing up in this world any more than I would worry about her growing up in the ’80s like I did, but it makes me think. I want her to be brave, honest, and loving as she faces things like war, Islamic militants, racism, and epidemics tearing apart vulnerable people.

The death of Michael Brown in Ferguson has been on my mind a lot. As the wife of a law enforcement officer I know a few things that the public generally doesn’t know about the daily situations that look one way but are actually another way. I know how hard it is when the news gets the details wrong and they can’t defend themselves or set it straight. And I know that there are very few people who would chose such a thankless, difficult, and discouraging job just so they could have a power trip. I really want the officer who shot Mr. Brown to be justified in using his gun. But I also know that there are cities that aren’t like ours, where the police and minorities do not respect each other and it’s not a healthy or fair relationship. I understand why there’s so much discussion and anger right now about systemic racism. In the end, a young man is dead and a police officer is injured. If we adopt transracially, that situation could easily be my son and husband. There’s just a lot to think about. I’m so grateful that Good Cop is truly a good cop who tries to give everyone equal measures of justice and mercy no matter what color they are. So, go and thank a law enforcement officer while you’re on your way to doing something to undo systemic racism (here’s an easy baby step: read ethnically-diverse books with your kids). That would make me happy.

Dreaming of our future

I just read this piece about a domestic open adoption and it came at just the right time. This morning I was talking with a friend about my current internal monologue about the timing of our future biological and adopted kids. When we decided to adopt we weren’t even sure we could have biological kids ever, and it certainly didn’t appear that we were going to have a baby before we adopted. But then we did, and although I didn’t love being pregnant I’m looking forward to doing the whole thing over again eventually because I do love the result. Physically, since I’m an older mom, it seems to make the most sense to try for another bio kid first when we want to be a family of four, and then start the adoption process after that when we’re ready. But I really, really hate the thought of delaying the adoption for at least three or four years. Feels like such a long time and I’m worried that it won’t happen. I’ve met a lot of families who intended on adopting and then life happens and the adoption doesn’t.

So, it was good to read this success story about the kind of adoption we’re hoping for (even though it came across a little too neat & perfect – surely even a smooth and sweet open adoption has challenges and heartache). It felt like an echo of my friend’s comment this morning as I told her I didn’t want to put it off until it was too late. “You both have a strong drive for it, so I don’t think you’ll let it go.” I don’t think so either. And if we do, I have to trust that there’ll be grace for that decision when we need it.

Meanwhile, this little birdie has become a champion napper! Suddenly she takes three-hour naps twice a day! It is a little bit of heaven and I don’t know how long it will last, but for now it’s amazing!

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Life with a Bluebird

It’s been quite the adventure over here. Ana is a month old! Her personality is more defined, and she’s been smiling a lot. That smile is magic.

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Good Cop and I are still figuring out all of this parenting stuff, wondering how it all fits together with who we used to be, and watching while she slowly makes her way deep into our hearts. It takes a while, at least for us, to “feel” like her parents, to feel the mushy Johnson & Johnson commercials feelings. No doubt we would have jumped off a cliff for her from the first minute, but for me this season feels like the first few weeks of dating Good Cop. I knew somehow that he was going to be a big part of my life but I didn’t know anything about him, and every time we were together I was trying to learn who he was and why I wanted to be with him all the time. Living with Ana feels that way except that she can’t talk, which slightly impairs the process. I’m in love but I know that it’s going to get better and better.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Blackbird and what it will be like when we bring him or her home. Ana already knew us so well right from the beginning, and it was obvious that she was comfortable with us. And even with all that history, it still takes time to bond. I can’t imagine how it will be when we bring home a baby that doesn’t know us. It makes more sense now when they say that the bonding time for adopted newborns is substantial for everyone.  Babies and their parents really do come pre-loaded with a lot. A lot of people ask what the most surprising thing about this experience is, and I think it’s just that I felt like I knew what to do right from the beginning. I had a pretty good idea of what she needed, and even a good idea of what she wanted. I think that’s the part that will feel different with the Blackbird. Or maybe not. I know for sure that parenting is all about going with the flow and holding expectations loosely!

Time does go by so fast. I’m not keeping much in the way of journals or notes, although we do have tons of pictures. I feel bad that I’m not writing things down, but it just doesn’t make it to the top of the priority list. Also, when I start to think about what I want to remember forever, it’s overwhelming and I don’t know where to start. Everything she does and everything we do and feel seems equally important. And my brain is always foggy cause there’s not much sleep. So I just live in the moment and take lots of pictures. We did register for a baby book and if we don’t get it at the shower we’ll pick it up ourselves. If I had it here today I’d write these things down:

  • All of the flowering trees and bushes were at their peak the week she came home from the hospital. As we drove around to the doctor visits and hospital lab visits on her first days with us (and I was anxious and sad and overwhelmed), everything smelled amazing and the flowers were beautiful.
  • When she sneezes, there are usually two or three “practice” sneezes that don’t involve the nose. Just an adorable little grunt. Good Cop can’t get enough of those. We’re still trying to get them on video.
  • She watches and studies things a lot. She likes being in her crib for diaper changes and she’ll look around for quite a few minutes. It’s a good time for me to leave her and brush my teeth or get dressed.
  • The first couple of weeks she wouldn’t sleep for any reasonable length of time unless we held her. We took turns spending the night on the couch, and I think she was two weeks old when we finally had our first night back in our bed together. It felt like eternity. She’s gotten a lot better at sleeping on her own. On good nights she sleeps for four hours after the mid-night feeding. On normal nights she goes about three hours. On bad nights it’s less than two hours. Lately she’s been cluster feeding from about 5pm until midnight. Last night she did a lot better, so I’m hoping this is temporary.
  • I worked on this post for two days. Then I went to publish it and half of the additions were lost.
  • She’s outgrowing her newborn clothes already. Sad!
  • We had professional pictures taken the day she turned three weeks old and they turned out great even though the park was overrun with mosquitoes and we were preoccupied with killing them.
  • I was back in normal jeans for the photos, and it was great! I was so surprised. I planned on being in maternity clothes for a couple months, but my recovery has been really easy and I’m grateful. Everything is snug but I’m not gonna stress about that until I’m done nursing.
  • Nursing is a lot of work! I’m glad we’re doing it but it’s not simple.
  • I’m easing back into work and I love feeling connected to my other life. It’s just a half an hour here and there but it feels great.
  • I’m way behind on thank you notes.
  • I love the weight of her on my chest when she falls asleep. They should bottle that up as therapy.
  • Good Cop and I have gotten out for some dates already. We went for a couple of quick motorcycle rides, got a few groceries, and even went out for lunch on the longest date. We’re looking forward to when I have a good supply of frozen milk so we can leave her for more than an hour.
  • Her eyelashes and hair are really growing. When she was born her lashes were barely there. Now they’re long enough to catch dog hairs and fuzzies, and they’ve got a nice little curl. Super cute. Her hair is still dark and getting longer, although some is rubbing off in the back.
  • The dishes and laundry multiply exponentially with a baby. It’s hard to believe how fast they get out of control. As in, it can be all caught up and then 45 minutes later the kitchen is trashed and there’s another full load of laundry to be done.
  • Baby life is awful and fantastic all at the same time. I’m soaking it all up.

Hurry up, already, kid.

I don’t love being pregnant.

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I do love having a baby that’s ours, and I love feeling the baby move. But all the other stuff – being sore and tired, having to move differently, sleeping differently, not having pants that fit comfortably, watching my body change without my control – that’s what I don’t love. It’s probably not surprising that I don’t love it, cause I typically don’t like new things the first time around unless I’m 99% sure that I can do them well. Maybe, if we try to have a second baby, it’ll be easier that time because it won’t be so unknown.

Plus, I feel like I’m way behind on what I should know about being a mom because I’m older. On top of my usual dislike of new situations, I’m feeling like everyone in the world knows more than me. I really don’t like that feeling either. For instance, I’ve been saying “they” or “they’re” when talking about the Bluebird because I don’t think of the baby as an “it.” He or she is a boy or girl. We’re just not sure which one yet. So, it made sense in my head to say “they” because that’s what I do when I’m talking about a person of unknown gender. Like, “what were they thinking??” But there’s so much confusion when I talk like that about the baby and people keep thinking I’m referring to twins, even after it’s been clear from other conversations that we’re just having a single baby. I realized a couple weeks ago that the reason this confusion bothers me is because I didn’t think twice about what to call the baby, but my decision was questioned a lot, and that made me feel like I was a clueless new mom who didn’t know the right protocol for referring to her baby. Oy. Mind games.

Also, I’m not very keen on being the center of attention, in general, and pregnancy has a way of making me, my body, and the growing baby a regular topic with everyone. There are some parts of that that I enjoy but sometimes it’s overwhelming.

This experience just makes me more grateful that we’re adopting least one of our kids! I am so excited to meet the Bluebird and have them here in the outside world with us, but there are some benefits to adoption that are looking great right now.

It’s not all bad all the time, though. As always, feeling the Bluebird move is pretty fun no matter where or when it happens. They’re still really active every day and they’re definitely getting stronger. It’s great to have that connection to my son or daughter, like a secret language of kicks and punches. Good Cop has been getting some good kicks too, and we can see my belly move now when the baby is moving. So cool and so weird. From their earliest moments they’re an autonomous little human, moving around without warning and making their own decisions about when to sleep and when to explore. Such a mystery.

And we’re having fun dreaming about getting a baby settled in the house in about 3 1/2 months. It’s cool to talk about all the events that’ll include the Bluebird the next time they come around. When I start thinking about that, it’s even harder to wait, so I’m trying to just put my head down and not wish the time away. We are so ready, though. Hurry up, kid. We can’t wait to have you here!

Bluebird’s big week

Baby Bluebird celebrated Hump Week and got their picture taken again at the doctor’s office on Thursday. That baby can move! They never stopped wiggling and bouncing the whole time we were watching, and it was amazing. Everything looked good. It made me wish that June wasn’t so far away! It feels like forever right now. Still hard to believe that this is our baby.

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Almost every day I watch the videos of the ultrasound and try to remember the details of everything we saw. That kid put on a show. He or she was flipping around every which way, punching and kicking, pointing, stretching, and generally exploring every inch of that little space. I don’t know how they move so quickly in such tight quarters.

We’re keeping the Bluebird’s gender a secret even from ourselves. The ultrasound tech put a picture of the “proof” in an envelope for us in case we change our minds eventually, but so far we’re happy to wait. Some days I think it’s a girl, other days I think it’s a boy. We’re coming up with some solid names for both and I’m feeling like we could put a great name together right now if we had to. I’m really looking forward to getting the nursery set up over the next few months. Most of the furniture will be re-purposed pieces we already have, so we just need a crib and a table-top changing pad and I think we’ll be all set. And a car seat, of course. We crossed off one big item on the before-Bluebird-arrives list recently: a kid-hauler. I’ve always wanted a truck and Good Cop needed a more reliable car, so he found a great deal on an older super-crew F150. It’s awesome. Plus it gets better mileage than his old car, and it’s been a lifesaver on my new commute during these ice- and snow-storms. The only thing that will improve its looks is a car seat or two in the back seat!

I’ve been thinking about the Blackbird a lot too. Wondering how far apart they’ll be from the Bluebird and whether we’ll get to see ultrasound pics of them before they join our family. Wondering what their parents are doing right now and what circumstances will bring them into our lives. Wondering how the transition from one child to two children will go. Wondering if they’re a boy or girl. I am so excited to meet that little Blackbird! It feels like they’ll add the missing piece to our family. I can’t wait to be a family of four.

Two years as a Mrs.

It’s our anniversary today!

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Two years ago, after a blind date and four months of dating, we got engaged and planned a wedding in four and a half months. It was the craziest thing I ever did! Those first few months of marriage were surreal, especially whenever I thought, “this time a year ago I didn’t even know him.” It was also the best thing I ever did. I was 30 (well, I turned 30 the day we officially started dating) and I was ready. We both knew who we were and what we wanted, and it was pretty obvious that we were gonna be married sooner rather than later. Being Good Cop’s wife is the most fun I’ve ever had. He’s the perfect guy for me.

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In our first year together we bought a house, got two puppies, got Good Cop’s dream job, and traveled a lot. In our second year we were pregnant three times, started the process of adoption, got a truck to haul babies around, and I had a big job change. It’s still crazy to think how quickly life shifted once everything came together.

Our third year looks like it’ll be a year of parenting. That might be the hardest change to wrap my head around. After wanting to be a mom forever, I think it’s going to happen in the next five months. A mom! Me! It’s been someone else for so many years – friends, family, co-workers all working their way down the baby aisle – sometimes I still feel like I’m not worthy to be a mom. It was so unattainable for so long. When people are excited about the baby bump and registries and colors for the nursery it’s hard to accept that I’m the one they’re talking about. I’m finally the one with the news. I’m going down the baby aisle. That’s my baby kicking and squirming while I sit here typing. Strange and wonderful.

I’m so grateful for you, Good Cop. You’ve been the best husband and I can’t imagine a better partner for our crummy seasons. I am so excited for you to be a dad to the Bluebird and the Blackbird and any other birds we can round up. :) You’re my one and only.

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