Wedding Vows: Now That We are Parents

I woke up this morning and wasn’t concerned about what I would wear to our fancy dinner tonight. I wasn’t worried about finding shoes or jewelry, or making sure that I had plenty of time to get my hair and makeup done. I didn’t look for roses or perfume or expect to see a card taped to the bathroom mirror.

It was just a Tuesday – stuck right in the middle of a regular Monday and Wednesday.

It just so happens that on this day 8 years ago, we promised our lives to each other and said, “I do.”

Anniversaries don’t quite look like they used to. With two pre-schoolers and a newborn, remembering the time that we have been married doesn’t seem nearly as important as measuring the growth of our family. Instead our lives are traced out on the back wall of our bathroom in little pen marks that show the growth of our babies.

But on this day – on this regular Tuesday that pops up right in the middle of everyday life – I want to take a minute to remember us – because without us there would be no them.  I want to remember the two that made the family. And maybe the best way to do that is to look at our vows again now that we are mommy and daddy. So here they are. A more appropriate set of wedding vows from the eyes of young parents.

I promise to love and to cherish you –

Through positive pregnancy tests and life lost too soon,

As we grieve and pray and try again,

As we remember hope and cling to faith for the next nine months,

And as we finally hold that first precious life in our arms and become Mommy and Daddy.

I promise to love you as the nights drag on and our time together grows thin.

In the moments that we seem close or distant.

When it seems like we have gone days without saying “hello.”

I promise to love you as we decide to expand our family again –

As our family of three quickly grew to a family of four and then to a family of five.

As our time together is spent while feeding a baby, or changing a diaper or avoiding a tantrum.

As prepared dinner looks like mac-n-cheese and dinosaur shaped nuggets.

As our favorite shows come with animated characters.

As we learn what blankets are special, what toys are favorites, and the “right” way to sing Twinkle Twinkle.

I promise to love all versions of you – but to fall in love more and more with the moments that you are called Daddy.

Because I thought that I loved you as much as my heart could express on this day 8 years ago, but I didn’t know that until I saw you as a Father how deeply my love for you could grow.

Thank you for making all my dreams come true – and even more importantly for continuing to say “I do” every single day.


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Raising Hope: How We Are Changing the World

“I don’t want to play with her anymore!”

“Bubba,” I calmly corrected, “It’s not nice to tell your sister that she can’t play with you. Can you please scoot over and let her play on the other side with her toys too?”

Tears streamed down my daughter’s face as her brother’s words sunk into her heart.

“Bubby!” she shouted in protest. “I want to play too, Bubby!”

“No! I want to play alone!”

My daughter continued to cry. My son refused to change his position. And I sat overwhelmed at what felt like an impossible situation to fix.

Impossible situation.

There seem to be so many of them.

The health crisis surrounding the Ebola outbreak.

The wars in the Middle East.

The unspeakable truths surrounding the terror that is ISIS.

And our own domestic turmoil here at home.

And I wonder to myself, “How am I supposed to stop wars overseas when I cannot stop the battles in my living room?”

There are moments when it feels like the most I can do is try to keep the peace in the four walls of my home. When the ordinary tasks of filling colorful cups and Disney character plates with apple juice and cheese sandwiches feel like trying work. When changing diapers, washing sticky faces, and cleaning up Legos all seem like more than I can handle.

How am I ever supposed to change the world on top of that?

How am I supposed to do more when it feels like taking care of my family requires all of me?

I called my son over to me and got down on his level. “Sweetheart, look at your sister. Do you see her tears? What do you think is the right thing to do?”

He stopped for a moment, and then, I watched as my son walked back over to his sister and agreed to let her play.

And in that simple moment of kindness, I realized that I am changing the world. I am raising hope.

I am teaching compassion. I am teaching love. I am teaching my children to look for those who are hurting, lost and broken. I am teaching them to be those who will go and reach out when the world needs hands and feet.

Friend, I know that there are moments when you need to be reminded that the work that you do is important. So, let me be the one to say, in a world of impossible situations, what you are doing matters. The work that is done in your four walls is important. Together, we are raising hope for the next generation as we show our children how to stand for what is good.

Tomorrow’s future is being shaped at our kitchen tables and in our living rooms. And while we may not be able to change today’s impossible situations…

We can find hope in knowing that we are equipping those who will face tomorrow’s.


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To the Momma Hanging On By A Thread


To the momma hanging on by a thread:

I have no idea what last night was like for you. Maybe you got a great night of sleep and you woke up this morning ready to conquer the day. Or maybe you spent hour after hour holding and rocking and feeding a fussy baby, or a sick baby, or a baby who just refused to close their eyes.

Maybe there were small hands that shook you to tell you that they had a bad dream.

Or maybe the transition into a big boy/girl bed isn’t as easy as you hoped, and last night was another night of being kicked in the face by a tiny toddler who slept much more soundly than you did.

Maybe a restless night has made today feel like an extension of yesterday… And yesterday an extension of the day before.

Maybe all of your days seem to run together and you are standing in a place where tomorrow looks like more of the same.

I get it. Momma, I totally get it.

Maybe you woke up and were ready for today to be different. Happy attitudes, extra patience, and no yelling

And maybe by 8:15 you realized that it was going to be another day full of fussy babies, demanding toddlers, and guilt from losing your temper when you could have just taken a deep breath and calmly said it again (for the 100th time.)

Maybe breakfast is still out on the counter, or lunch or dinner, and you can’t stop to clean it up because you have to find another pair of Buzz Lightyear undies because all of those articles on how to potty train your kid in 36 hours were a bunch of bunk.

Maybe you’re out of diapers, and the milk went bad, and the bill you paid a week ago got lost in the mail.

Maybe you’re on your 3rd ear infection this month or it feels like you have visited the doctor’s office so often that you should have your own parking spot.

Maybe everything that could go wrong has gone wrong and nothing seems fixable – you don’t know how you’ll make it, but you keep going because there are no other options and if you sink – the whole ship goes down with you.

Momma – I get it.

Sometimes I want to scream when I read posts that tell me to cherish these moments. These moments of pure exhaustion when you’re hanging on by a thread.

When you don’t remember the last time you had a proper meal or felt like you weren’t in charge of EVERYTHING.

Because we already know it’s true. We know that one day we will look around and miss all of this madness… but today… today in the middle of it… we don’t need to add guilt to our exhaustion.

We just need hope.

I have been right where you’re standing, and while I cannot promise an easier today or better tomorrow. I can tell you that you’re going to make it.

It won’t always be this hard. It won’t always be this demanding.

There will come a day when you look around and realize that everything doesn’t seem quite so overwhelming. You won’t be able to pinpoint the exact moment it happened, but it’s just not as hard as it used to be.

That day is coming, friend.

But until then borrow my hope, friend.

Has anyone told you today that you’re doing a great job? That you’re an awesome Momma? Because you are! Those little ones love you more than anything, and most importantly, they know that you love them too.

Take a second with me. Listen to my words. You’re going to make it. You really are. And I’m so glad I get to be the one to remind you.

So, before you do anything else, hug those precious babies. Hold them tight and remind yourself that there is no greater joy than the little lives wrapped up in your arms. And every day is completely worth it to get to be called their momma.

From another momma in the trenches,


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