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a letter to my baby daddy.

a letter to my baby daddy,

for 21 months we have been parents to our little bean.  for 21 months we have loved, worried, prayed, hoped and treasured this life we created.

before i was pregnant i had all these elaborate plans to “tell you” about our positive pregnancy test.  all pinterest finds, of course.  on that morning, with no power and very little cell service, i couldn’t wait.  i told via text.  we went about our day as if everything hadn’t changed.  this was the start of the most incredible roller coaster ride.

from tater tots to banana pudding, to all the ultrasounds and self imposed fetal heart rate monitoring, oh and don’t forget the counting of kicks each night before bed, we grew a baby boy.  an incredible, beautiful, healthy baby boy.  with lots of heartburn earned hair.  we did it.

<insert high fives>

do you remember during my first non-stress test the lady asked how that contraction felt and i didn’t realize i was and had been having contractions.  and then counting contractions during the world series on your ipad.  and then that time i went to serve chicken and dumplings while you got blue bloods started.  we had no idea what was in store for us despite the birth plans, reading of countless books, classes and tons of advice from every single person that did or didn’t know us.

throughout our pregnancy and now this first year, you have been there for me.  every single step of the way.  adjusting my body pillow just right, helping to put my socks on just the way i like it, holding my hand and giving me more love than i have ever felt as i was more afraid that i have ever been just moments before meeting our son.

for every big moment and most of the little ones, you have been there.

there’s something about turning one that really reinforces the feeling of transition from babyhood to toddlerhood.  maybe it’s the determined attempts at walking or talking. maybe it’s the fact that he will now be joining the ranks of people who don’t count their age in months.  or maybe it’s the fact that he survived our first year of parenting.

yes, we have never appreciated sleep the way we do now. those precious extra couple of hours you give me on the weekends are magical. when you let me take a shower in the morning while you change the first very full diaper of the day and get breakfast started. my heart fills with gratitude.

yes, we have been pooped on, peed on, sneezed on, snotted on, spit up on, and thrown up on. even poop in the tub. i appreciate that almost all of these moments have happened when we have been together and we simple laugh.  together.

yes, sometimes my time, my body, and my brain does not feel like my own.  i have moments where i break down.  you are there.  you offer kind words.  a hug that lasts a bit longer than normal.  you remind me that i am beautiful.  you remind me that i am a woman, before i became a mother.

this past year i have learned …

how to love more completely.

and how to start seeing the world with more wonder.

to live more purposefully.

how to have patience.

how to have confidence.

and to find complete joy in the simple acknowledgement with a glance from our son.


becoming a mom has pushed me to the limits of what i’ve experienced so far in my thirty-three years.

i’ve felt crushing insecurity at times and steady confidence at others.

i’ve been exhausted and exhilarated.

i’ve been confused and i’ve questioned, a lot.

sometimes i’ve trusted my gut. and other times i’ve floundered.

i’ve spent hundreds of hours reading books and the internet looking for answers, help, tips and ideas.

i’ve patted that tiny baby bum a thousand times to help him fall asleep.

i’ve rocked him in the night and held him through teething and illness and growth spurts and needles.

i’ve swelled with pride and joy, and i’ve stood in awe.

i’ve sang lullabies and read thousands of stories.

i’ve nursed and i’ve nurtured.

i’ve danced and i’ve paced.

i’ve prayed.

i’ve laughed.

i’ve watched and listened and savored and recorded.

i’ve taken more photos than i can count.

i’ve felt like an amateur and felt like a pro.

i’ve sought advice and sometimes given it.

i’ve sought validation and i’ve sought empathy.

i’ve sought encouragement and i’ve sought affirmation.

i’ve been amazed and overwhelmed, grateful and relieved.

i’ve learned sacrifice. i’ve earned wrinkles and gray hairs.

i’ve found a depth of strength that was yet unlocked.

i’ve. given. birth.

i’ve been humbled. i’ve grown up.

i’ve become more of who i am meant to be.

i’ve. had. fun.

and you sir, you have been there for it all.  every. single. everything.  you have been there.  i am not the mother i am without you.  i am not the person i am without you.

now about you.

you are going to be garrett’s hero.  he watches everything that you do, learns from everything that you do, and wants to do everything that you do.  i see him watching you.  i love watching him watch you when you don’t even know it.  you’re teaching him to be confident, self-assured, and proud.

you are teaching our son to be strong and have sensitivity.  you are ignoring gender roles and raising him as a person.  you’re teaching him equality.

he is watching how you treat me.  he is watching how you never leave or enter our house without saying “i love you” and giving a hug and a kiss.  you’re teaching him how to be a great partner.  a phenomenal partner.  you’re teaching him about the important treasure that is family.

the kindness you show to other people will rub off on him.  he will see you help others and give generously.  you’re teaching him compassion and respect, manners and appreciation.

your humor is a staple in our lives; how quiet our house would be without laughter!  he expects tickles with your hugs and whiskers with your kisses.  you’re teaching him to smile, to find joy, and to feel happiness.

most importantly, you are teaching him to love and to be loved.

i wrote this in a letter to garrett:

“whenever i doubt my own capabilities or find some part of myself ugly or flawed… i think of the tremendous thing i have been a part of. i dreamed of you and grew you and birthed you.  in your bones lives my strength. in your heart, my courage. and in your small arms, all the love i have ever known. no matter how i fail or fall in the days ahead, you have allowed me the chance to be a part of something pure and good in my life. thank you for existing. thank you for being mine.”

i would like to add a thank you to you.  thank you for existing.  thank you for being mine.  thank you for being ours.  you are his daddy.  you are my husband.  you are our everything.

on his first birthday, we are celebrating the fact that garrett has not only survived our first year of parenthood, but he has thrived.

and so have we.


seven years later.

seven years later i would still say yes.  i would still pick him to be mine.

a friend of mine {whom also took these amazing photos of the husband and myself} made a list on her anniversary.  i loved it so i am doing the same.

1 house in the suburbs, 1 house in the country

1 job + 1 new business started

1 dog added to the pack

saying goodbye to sadie and sam

7 chickens and several hives of bees

1 bachelor’s degree + 1 master’s degree

3 heartbreaking losses

1 baby boy on the way

7 happy years of marriage

i love being his “mrs.”  saturday night we went out to celebrate our last anniversary as a family of two.  we legitimately are happier and healthier than we were seven years ago.  we don’t feel like the same two people that said “i do” and i am so incredibly proud of the work we have put into this marriage.  to grow together is the most difficult thing and we are finding our way, together.

i simply just love being his.

a snapshot.

just a quick snapshot to share our exciting news.

the husband and i are expecting a baby BOY!

we had an amazing gender reveal shower this past weekend with our family and friends.  you can literally see the excitement and adrenaline on our faces as we are moments away from cutting into the cake to reveal the blue inside.  we couldn’t be more thrilled.  once i receive the photos, i will post lots of the details.  so many amazing details i can’t wait to share.

our little boy’s name {still getting used to that!} will be garrett alexander.  we wanted to find a balance between having family names but allowing him to be his own person.  i am really happy with our choice.  garrett is the husband’s middle name.  it isn’t common but not unusual.  alexander is my dad and grandfather’s middle name.  our son will have ties to both of our families while having his own unique name.

we can’t thank everyone enough for the love and support we have felt throughout this pregnancy.  we are beyond blessed and words can’t describe our happiness.  we are just so incredibly thankful every single day.

{diy office desk} the husband has a new office!

nowadays i am pretty darn sure the husband looks forward to going back to work, especially after a four day weekend spent working every muscle and bone on home projects.  we made the mistake of working on two rooms {nursery and the husband’s office}, simultaneously, and getting frustrated that we were not finishing either.  as saturday came to an end, we decided to focus all our energy on completing the office.  after all, the office furniture has been filling my dining room, foyer, and living room for about two weeks and my patience was running thin.  i needed some clean space again.

if you remember, last christmas we moved my “kelsi creates” business from the green and black chalkboard office into the much larger red room office.  this move was great for my business but left the husband with glitter filled furniture that didn’t fit his 6″3′ frame.  nor his number of computers.  and his most favorite blue chair clashed HORRIBLY with the green/black walls.  it was quite the eye sore.

here before shot of my old craft room. soon after we first moved in, we removed the french doors and put up a wall.  this made both rooms tremendously larger but three years later, still hadn’t painted.

next up, flooring.  thanks to a full saturday a couple weeks ago with my mother and father in law, they were able to finish the flooring in one day.

i wanted to pitch in some help and hired painters to paint our neutral color of choice, valspar wicker.

now the fun part, building a desk.  i found a couple of “how-to” diy desks online matched with the cabinets and tools we could find, we came up with a great diy desk for us.  we started with unfinished kitchen cabinets from lowes.  sanded and painted white to match the other existing furniture in the room.

we then bought 2, 2x6x12 and 1, 2x4x12.  the husband sanded and stained and then did several coats of polyurethane.  then one by one brought them inside to top the cabinets.  we wanted two “work stations” for our desktop and our mac.  this will make it wonderful for the days when the husband can work from home.  once the desktop was in place, there was lots of clamps used to get the wood to cooperate.

slowly coming together.  martha stewart was a great helper.  well, about as great as i was.  she and i had fun keeping cheerful company. {she had her teeth cleaned last week so she had to be sedated, which is why her front leg is shaved.}

finish office space! i have to say, this was a lot more work than we had originally thought.  it cost a bit more than our budget due to a couple mistakes and having to buy replacements.  but the husband and i are so thrilled with the way it came together.  we bought a rug to coordinate with his favorite blue chair and two “kitchen” chairs at ikea.  the desk is approximately 36″ tall, so basically a standing desk for my short self.

we kept two pieces of furniture from my old craft room days.  both were craigslist items and they worked out perfectly.

the pride of the room, the desk.  it really is beautiful.  and since it was a diy, i know i am tremendously proud of it.

and a preview of the before painted nursery.  i went to take a nap {a normal occurrence on weekends} and the husband woke me up telling me bean {our nickname for baby until we have a name to call him or her} had left me a message.  adorable.  cue tears.  {also a normal occurrence on all days.}

{12 years}

12 years ago i first met my husband.  12 years seems like such a long time.  and when i look back at those early photos, it really is.

we have had many bumps.  many really, really hard moments.  i will be the first to say that marriage is work.  but it is the best work.  having that person, your person, and getting to spend everyday with them.  it is a blessing.  i am grateful for every single day.  even the hard ones.

i am proud that we can still laugh together.  i am proud of the partner he is to me.  he is my equal.

12 years ago my life changed for the better.  i am so thankful we took a chance on each other.

i am so proud to be his.

{and secretly, i am much more fond of him today than ever before.}

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