Happy 8th wedding anniversary to my husband Justin. I am so fortunate to have been blessed with you in my life. I can’t imagine my life without you. Life hasn’t been easy for us, but it has been worth every second just to have you by my side in this journey.

At a wedding during our engagement period-2009

I honestly never thought I would never have the fairy tale life of a husband who puts me first (after God of course), who loves God, and who wanted a family as badly as I did.  I was a divorcee who wanted so badly for that fairy tale but was willing to settle for less because I assumed my mistakes (like divorce) prevented me from ever having a wonderful husband who fit my fairy tale vision. I was wrong. I am so thankful for God’s hand in my life. God brought us together. He answered prayers for both of us, but especially for me. I have a man who would fight to the death for me. Who has my back 100% of the time. I am even more blessed that this man wanted a family and had never been married, engaged, nor had children of his own. Successful, handsome, and sweet no less! I truly feel that I struck the lottery when God brought us together. I wouldn’t trade you for all the riches in the world. You are more valuable than anything on this earth, including the children we have been blessed with. I have come to recognize that you, first and foremost are the best blessing and the children are the icing on the cake. I adore you with all my heart.

As I look back at our 8 years of marriage I am filled with so many emotions, but overall joy that overflows. Our December 13th wedding in Wisconsin was beautiful, intimate, and special. I have such sweet thoughts from that day. That day I married my best friend for life.

Dec. 13th, 2009

Getting pregnant the first month we were married was an amazing miracle. I cherish the time we shared together during that pregnancy. We were both so hopeful, filled with such joy and anticipation to meet our son. Unfortunately that first year of marriage was the saddest of all our years together because our precious Barron only lived 8 weeks.

We overcame the heartbreak of losing our firstborn child together because of your stregth and your devout faith that God would bring us through and we would be ok. Maybe not ok right away, but with time our hearts have healed. In our healing God melded our hearts together in a way that we could not have made happen on our own. God can use our sorrows and unfortunate losses for his goodness. If one good thing came out of the loss of our son it would be that God cemented our love, devotion, and connection with one another together for all of enternity.

Our loss will always be there, but we still have one another. God blessed us along our journey to start a family. Being foster parents helped heal our hearts and Elizabeth brought a light into our life and our family that we needed. Although we wanted to adopt Elizabeth God had different plans and I know his plans are always better and greater than ours. God has brought her family back together and knowing that we were possibly a part of helping in any way, even just by loving on that baby girl for 15 months, that is a blessing we will always have to cherish.

God blessed us with three more beautiful biological children. I am so thankful for these three blessings every day and I wouldn’t want to be raising these kids with anyone else. You are such an amazing Father. I don’t give you credit enough. You cook, you pick up the house, you do laundry, you take wonderful care of the kids, all while being a great provider. I have never felt like I am carrying all the household duties as a stay at home Mom. It has been a shared partnership from the start. I am so thankful for your hard work and willing spirit to help out all day long and into the night.

When the twins were born we officially had 3 kids under the age of 2. Needless to say life was not easy that first year. We made it through and I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with anyone else. You are such a supportive husband, I can’t thank you enough for all you did to make those difficult years so much easier and more joyful as well. You always know how to look on the bright side of any situation or circumstance.

I love the new adventures we are doing together in life, all with three kids in tow. I also like how we can tell the kids that it’s not about them, but instead they are lucky enough to be along for the ride with us. It is about us first, our marriage and our relationship. It is us that makes the family a family. I am thankful for you as my partner in these adventures and the adventure of life. 20 National Parks downs and only 39 to go! I look forward to many more adventures to come with you. I wouldn’t trade my life for anything in the world and it’s because my life is with you. You have made me happier than I have ever imagined possible. Thank you for marrying me and continuing to be such a wonderful husband, best friend, partner in life, and Father to our children. I love you more than words can express.