Backtrack to September 2013
This has been the beginning of a second chance. For the both of us.

Our first year together was one that I’ll never forget. And as hard as it was, it will always be one of my favorites.

We lived in separate homes, with separate lives, raising children who attended schools in different districts and we all had individual schedules. I was transitioning into a ‘new start’ in my life and he had already had a year and a half to mold his back into a fresh one.

We got mutually introduced through some friends. We had multiple long talks, walks, and drives. Meals and weekends were spent together where we talked about life, what we wanted, for both our children and ourselves. We talked about what we needed, and what we had never had in the past. After a short while, we realized that we were wanting all the same things. We shared the same dreams and had the same amount of passion to get there. Our hearts meshed together a lot quicker than we had expected or definitely planned but we wouldn’t change a thing. They say that ‘all things in life happen for a reason,’ right? And there was definitely a reason that I needed this man in my life and what he had to offer. I surely didn’t realize it back then, but I see it all now. He was by my side since day one. And in the beginning when I wasn’t even sure what I wanted for my future, his words, as I remember were, “I’m not going anywhere…I’ll be waiting right here whenever you need me. But you are that something I’ve been waiting for.”

We celebrated that entire first year together through the happiest of times and those happy (and exhausting) milestones of being a parent, which I will always cherish while having him there every step of the way. Birthdays, Holidays, potty training, time outs and finding ways to discipline, sitting together on the bathroom floor helping the littles who were getting sick in the middle of the night, more potty training. We would bring out every mattress in his house to the living room and have a giant movie night with everyone’s favorite snacks before heading back home for the night. We went back and forth sharing dinners in our homes with the kids and meeting at parks and doing activities just so we could all be with one another.

I introduced them to our family traditions, created ‘game nights’ and other things we could do that would allow us to all just be together, to laugh so much and so hard at times. We found (our own) ways to show love for each other and everyone eventually started to feel comfortable accepting that this may be the ‘new normal.’ We all are still learning things from each other, consistently growing closer and teaching one another how to really appreciate. Everything. Laughter was the best thing, which was the cure for getting me get through most of my down days. They were always the ones that I would want around. And at that time, when I needed it the most, they gave Owen and I so much happiness and really helped us envision life and our future in a different way. The kind of happy that you knew existed but didn’t know where to find it…

Growing up, I’ve always wanted a big family. I always pictured myself having four or maybe five children. Somehow, God had a way of allowing me to visualize and live my dream in a different way.

And here we are.

We never have to say ‘Bye, see you in a couple days.’ Ever. Again.