I meant to write him a super long heart-felt letter, as well as dedicate a post solely for him before I had the babe.
But the babe decided to come 10 days early.
And I never got the chance.
But it is incredibly important for me to *try* to fully express how grateful I am for my sweet husband.
The week leading up to Lyla's birth, I started to get nervous. But not nervous about what you may think. About how to take care of a baby, how to deal with lack of sleep, how to juggle mommy-hood with everyday life, how the heck to make it through labor, how to breastfeed, etc.
Although those things were a bit scary to me, there was really only one thing that really terrified me.
Life was no longer going to be just the two of us.
Gabe and I have been married for six years. And these six years have been so great. We've gotten to live in 4 different states, travel a ton, make amazing life-long friends, switch careers, learn how to communicate with one another, support each other through difficult times, create an an abundance of inside jokes, spend a ridiculous amount of Saturdays sleeping in, and the list goes on. And on.
But most noticeably, we've been able to whatever the heck we want at the drop of a hat.
That is what I was most scared of losing. The spontaneity and...freedom that was us.
Little did I know that life could get even BETTER with a third party. No kidding. My heart grew exponentially larger...and I love my husband even more than I did before. AND we have a little miniature "us" to hang out with...someone who brings us more joy than we ever even thought possible.
Luckily, my fears were completely stifled the moment Lyla entered the world. And with each passing day, I develop more and more joy. Who knew parenting could be this awesome...AND this much fun?!?!
I'm so incredibly smitten. With my two loves.
And even though it's no longer just the two of us, Gabe is still my number one.
There are so many things I love about you. Where do I even begin? Let's go ahead and start at the beginning.
1). You have always been my best friend. Seriously. That's how this all began. So great to have a marriage built on the foundation of friendship. **Oh, and thank you for loving me even when my hair was way too blonde...sorry I convinced you to make yours blonde too.
Senior Prom 2002
Iraq Deployment 2003
Iraq Deployment 2003
3). You are a big ol' sweetheart. Always doing sweet, thoughtful things for me. Like surprising me for my 21st birthday (when I thought you were in Iraq) and proposing on a dinner cruise in San Diego, or sending me flowers my first week back at school with a card that read, "Happy First Day of School. Here's to making it two more weeks!" - referring to my pregnancy and the fact that I really, really wanted to go two weeks into the school year. I went into labor 3 days later.
Engagement in San Diego 2005
Wedding Day - June 17, 2006
Honeymoonin' in Puerto Vallarta - 2006
4). You are a heck of a provider. Like when you moved us to 29 Palms, CA to finish out your time in the Marine Corps. Our first apartment didn't have air conditioning or a bed...but it did have roaches. And we used to watch movies on our broken futon using our makeshift "entertainment system" (a.k.a. the laptop). Haha. But seriously... I really do love how you are determined to do whatever it takes to provide for us. Hey, we all have to start somewhere!
Our first apartment: 29 Palms, CA 2006
Newlywed life in the desert - 2006
5). You have a HUGE heart. You always put others before yourself and give everyone the benefit of the doubt. You are very loyal and would do anything for your friends and family. And you really, really love animals.
Taking our firstborn home - Dallas 2006
Rescuing Sienna - Dallas 2007
6). You love adventure. I've never met anyone who loves the outdoors so much. Makes me really miss living in New England - so much to do! You've taught me to step out and love adventure too. Makes life a whole lot more fun. And makes me excited to make our daughter a little adventurer too.
Kayaking on the Blackstone - RI 2009
Hiking in New Hampshire - 2010
Four Wheeling in Maine - 2010
7). You completely balance me. I'm the crazy in this relationship. You are the calm. The steady. The fearless. Saying goodbye is never easy. Starting over is quite terrifying. Finding out surprising news can shake your world. But you are never shaken. You help open my eyes to potential opportunities. Without you, I'd probably be boring and never take risks.
Saying goodbye to Rhode Island - 2011
Closing on our first house - 2011
Surprising news that would change our lives forever - 2011
8). You gave me the most amazing gift I could ever ask for. And she is perfect. She is so lucky to have you as her daddy. And I'm so lucky to have you as my husband.
Swaddles - Week 1
Chunkin, Chunkin Time - Week 2
First smile captured on camera - Week 2
I love you.