Two Years

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Two years ago, I decided to have a 4th baby.

She has been exactly what I needed – a place to write, share, and meet new people.

Without this blog, I would not have been able to jump up and down with excitement when I found out that a sweet friend is having twins.

I would not have connected with another mom who has a child with apraxia of speech.

I would not have discovered amazing recipes by sweet, sweet ladies.

I would not have continued to have an easy way to bond with wonderful friends who have taught me lessons on cooking and parenting.

I would not have found that “we can do hard things” is a great motto to live by sometimes.

I would not have been able to share my family, our story, which brings me great joy.

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As Ethan says, “Cheers!”  And, here is to many, many more blogging birthdays.  Happy Birthday, Cooking for My Kids!

Sixteen Years

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Sixteen years ago today I had my first date with the man of my dreams.

Today, all I had to say at 6 am this morning, as we he was headed out the door, was, “Are you forgetting to tell me something?”  He immediately smiled, walked over to me, and gave me a big kiss.  When he was calculating the years in his head, and I told him, “16”, he looked at me and said, “I like that.”

Me, too.  I like that I have been with this man for 16 years.  I like that we still get excited thinking about our first date. I like that we celebrate it each and every year.

This year there will not be a fancy dinner because, well, a stomach virus, speech therapy, and soccer practice have taken over for tonight.  However, celebrations in our family come in different shapes and sizes.

We celebrated with a simple smile and kiss, exchanged between two soul mates who know that there will be many more fancy dinners.

We celebrated when I told the littles on the way to school this morning, “I had my first date with your papa 16 years ago today.  I still remember looking up and seeing the Natalie Street sign above us.”  Their response was, “Did you kiss?”  I smiled and said, “No, not at that moment, but I did know that I was sitting across from the man who would be your papa.”  I did not even have to look in the mirror to know that they were all smiling their own sweet, innocent smiles.

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Maybe I did not know it, maybe I just hoped it.  But, regardless, I do believe in love at first sight.  I loved him the moment I met him.  Yes, it was a pure and deep friendship that made me love him at first.  He saved me in so many ways, and I loved him for that.  Friendship quickly turned into romance, and the love changed in beautiful ways, as well. The one thing that has always remained the same, though, from that very first moment that I saw him, is that he was then and still is my very best friend.

And, waking up every single morning to celebrate life with my very best friend…and the littles that we created…is more than I could have ever hoped and dreamed for in my life.

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Happy dating anniversary, Sean.  Thank you for saving me.  Thank you for loving me.  Thank you for being my very best friend.

More Than a Barber

There are a few special men in my life.

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My daddy is one of them.  Of course, Sean and the boys are the other ones.

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My daddy is the one who taught me what I wanted to look for in a future husband. He is also the one who taught me how to love children with all my heart and soul.

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One of the qualities that makes him amazing is his work ethic.  He started his career as a Barber, farmed, worked for a government peanut program, and then went back to being a Barber, bringing everything full cycle.

I love that my daddy is a Barber.  I love that he gave both of the boys their first hair cuts (and that he cuts Summer’s hair now, too).  I love how much they adore going to his shop.  I love that he has led, by example, always showing that it is important to work hard for your family.

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My daddy opened his post-retirement barber shop 7 years ago today.  Happy anniversary, Daddy.  We love you very much!

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