7 Years Together

This weekend will be 7 years since Luke and I were married on a sunny, yet cool day in Chicago.

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To be honest, before we got married, I had a lot of anxiety. It was such a big decision and I didn’t want to screw it up! I knew in my heart Luke would be a great husband, but it was still scary.

You hear so many stories of couples who divorce, or worse live life together unhappy. I heard the saying “marriage is hard work!!” a lot and honestly, felt like I needed to steel myself for it to be difficult. I wasn’t exactly sure I wanted to step into a “hard” situation.

Of course I got over this fear and am SO glad I did!

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I know our marriage is still young, but after seven years (10 together total) I can honestly say being married to Luke has never once felt like “hard work.” It’s difficult for me to imagine a situation where it will in the future too.

We’ve been through cross-country moves, stressful jobs, raising three young children and the doozies – miscarriage and infertility. None of these things were easy, but they were made easier having Luke by my side. Situations that could have driven us a part only made us cling to each other more.

Throughout these seven years, we’ve evolved and grown. Both as individuals and as a couple. We’ve learned to communicate like pros, give support when the other needs it and serve up some tough love when it’s due.

One of the things I love and admire most about Luke is his desire to be a true partner to me. There really aren’t many fixed “roles” in our house. He carries his share of the childcare, housework, yard work, errands and more while working a stressful job. He is in tune with my needs and never makes me feel guilty when I need a break or time away to recharge.

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When we do have an argument, it’s typically over in 5-10 minutes. Neither of us like to be at odds, so both of us are eager to talk it through, come to an understanding and move on. I think it’s just that we both agree that nothing is worth damaging our relationship over.

I often tell Luke that I really feel like our souls are linked. When he has to travel for work, I feel restless and unable to relax. I sleep poorly and just feel like something is missing. My life is always, always better when Luke is near to me. Thank God he works from home and is with us most days!

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When I started this blog, Luke and I had just gotten engaged. The posts were filled with my love for him and my excitement for the future. Three kids later, my posts have shifted to stories about motherhood, but make no mistake, Luke is still the most important and cherished person in my life.

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These seven years have flown by too. Sometimes I still feel like a love-sick 20-something who just met a tall, strong man named “Batman.” I hope someday when we’re old and have lived a good life together, that feeling will still be there giving me butterflies.

Luke, I love you so much! Thank you for being my person. I can’t wait to see what adventures this life brings us! XOXO forever.





Three Stories from 2014

I sat down to write a post recapping 2014 today, but what came out was either negative in regard to all the stress our family went through this year with our move, botched house hunting, miscarriage, moving again etc, or overly “look on the bright side of things.”

If you’ve been reading my blog this year, you pretty much know what has gone down, so instead of recapping the year – highs and lows – I’m going to share some stories from the past few weeks. Just small moments that have made me pause and smile.

Luke and I were both raised with religion, and we are raising Lila Catholic. We pray before bed and at other random times, but admittedly we are not very good about praying before meals.

Well last night as we sat down to eat our sloppy joes over mashed sweet potatoes, I was about to dig in when Lila said “lets pray!” Then she put her hands together in what can best be described as two claws next to each other and sang “Jesus loves me this I knoooow. Amen!”

Our girl is quite perceptive and picked this song and habit up from spending the week with her Grammie & Gramps (Luke’s parents). It was a sweet moment and a reminder to slow down.

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Okay story number two. When I first met Luke’s family, it was over Thanksgiving at their house about six or seven years ago. I wanted to learn as much as I could about Luke, so I asked to see childhood photos or videos. Felicia put on a video from Christmas past when Luke was about 7 or so.

In the video Luke is shown opening a pack of baseball cards he apparently wanted desperately. After opening them he runs over to his mom and says “THANK YOU MOMMY!!!!” It was so sweet!

This Christmas, I thought of that video when Luke came over to me, his voice breathless “I’m really excited about all my presents! I just want to spend all day playing with them.” He was half joking, but I could tell he really was amped about his heart rate monitor, money clip and other presents. I love how Christmas can bring the giddy out of a 32 year old man.

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 9.36.07 AMLast story. Last year was Lila’s first Christmas not as a newborn, so I was thinking a lot about what traditions I wanted to start for her around the holidays. Growing up, Luke’s Grandpa would dress up as Santa on Christmas day. He still does this every year. Go Grandpa Batman!

Well, knowing my Dad and his proclivity to be a good sport, I proposed he start this tradition for Lila and the grand babies. He was all in. This year was our second annual visit from santa and Lila’s reaction was too funny not to share.

From the moment I said “Oh, look! I think someone is at the front door.” Lila immediately bolted to my mom, climbed into her lap and buried her face in her neck. Santa came in the front door and Lila peeked a look at him before covering her eyes with her hand. The horror of this man in red!!

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She didn’t cry or anything, and of course she gladly accepted his presents (before whipping back and burying her face in my mom), but I think it’s safe to say Lila was happy to see Santa GO! Maybe next year St. Nick.

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 9.41.44 AMSometimes the big events – happy or sad – take up the most space in our mind when we look back on the previous year, but sometimes its nice to remember all those small moments that make a day, a year or a life. 2014 was filled to the brim with these small, sweet but gone-in-a-flash memories. They are what I’m holding onto most from this year.

Thank you all for supporting me and lifting me up this past year. I am thankful for you all!

Things You Do Well

Dear Luke,

This morning you seemed worn down. I asked you what was wrong and you told me (in so many words) that you “feel like you’re doing a lot of things, but none of them well.” I wanted you to know that I couldn’t disagree more.

You are the rock of our family and are what keeps our little train chugging happily along. I know sometimes it’s hard to realize what you’re bringing to the table when you’re the one living it, so I wanted to help by telling you a few things I think you do remarkably well.

1. You pretty much are the best husband I think a girl could ask for. You make me feel cherished and valued. When I need support, you are always there to listen, give me a hug or talk things out. And when I need space, you arrange your schedule so I can get away to spend time with a friend, play volleyball or just read in bed.

2. You are a wonderful father to Lila. She adores you – as is evident by her whines every time you walk away or have to leave for work. The best part is that you adore her right back. While some dads might grumble about working full time and doing part of the childcare, you approach it as if it’s a privilege to get to spend time with Lila.

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3. You are a kind, caring and thoughtful person. I am always amazed at how well you listen to other people and remember what’s important to them. Like the other night when I said we should get a friend a bottle of wine and you remembered exactly the type she liked from a certain winery based on a conversation you had over a year ago with her.

4. You make everyone around you healthier. Your dedication to nutrition and fitness rubs off on me, our families, friends and even co-workers. Because of you, I have lost 12 lbs since we first met, had a healthy pregnancy and am focused on my long-term health in a way I never was before.

5. You take pride in everything you do. Whether it’s your job, your interests, your family, pretty much anything you care about you take pride in. You never want to give less than your best, and your “best” is a really high bar to reach.

Sometimes this pride makes you frustrated that you can’t give 100% to being the perfect employee, or the perfect brother, or the perfect father, or the perfect husband, but what you don’t see is just the fact that you care and try so hard, means you’re already doing much better than you give yourself credit for.

I hope you know how proud I am to call you my husband. I appreciate all you do for us and even though you may feel like you can’t do everything you want to … just know that having your presence in our lives is everything we need in itself.



Dear Luke : Happy Three Year Anniversary!

Dear Luke,

Three years ago today, I made the best decision of my life. I married you.

Before we said “I Do,” I had heard that the first years of marriage were some of the toughest, that marriage was “hard work,” and to expect the butterflies in my stomach to fade with time. But obviously, the people who told me that didn’t know you very well. If they had, they’d understand that life by your side would be anything BUT “hard work.”

You are the kindest person I have ever met. You listen … like really listen. You always give people the benefit of the doubt. You understand how to live with gratitude and to be happy with what you have.

All the time I have girlfriends comment that they can tell you adore me. I always smile and say that I adore you just as much. And it’s true. I feel so lucky to have you in my life.

While many 31-year-old men hold making money, partying with friends, achieving power or driving their personal goals first, you have made it your #1 priority to bring harmony and happiness to our family. And you’re killing it. Our house is peaceful and our lives are filled with joy.

I know we said no presents this year, but I have to say thank you for your role in giving me the greatest present ever … becoming a mom to Lila. Sometimes I look at her and I can’t believe we created something so perfect.

Watching you become a father has been incredible to witness. Beyond changing diapers, washing bottles and giving baths, you shower Lila with devotion and a gentle, accepting kind of love. I don’t tell you this enough, but you are an amazing father already.

When I think about the future I want for Lila, one of the main things I hope she finds is a life partner who loves her the way you love me. She’s going to have a head start after having you for a daddy, because growing up surrounded by your love will teach her that she’s worthy and deserving.

If the first years of marriage are indeed some of the hardest, then I think we’re set up to have one of those epic love stories you hear about. And even when (if?) we run into roadblocks in our relationship, I promise to trust in our love and ride through the storm, because I know what waits on the other side is something I never want to lose.

Happy three year anniversary. I love you!