Showing posts with label love. Show all posts
Showing posts with label love. Show all posts

Friday, August 29, 2014

Marriage is Hard

Instead of apologizing for my absence, I will just say life has been busy and grand all at the same time. July 31 I started my new job in a new school district. It has been a great change for me and I am loving it! August 13, school started and then my professor (yes, professor! I love saying that!) job started August 19. So I am still trying to navigate and juggle everything. Some days I am not quite sure how I have managed to keep all of the plates spinning on those teeny, tiny poles.

One of the reasons I have been able to do everything and come out fairly unscathed is because of the topic of this husband, Jeremy.

Tomorrow marks SIX years of wedded bliss marriage. August 30, 2008, I resigned myself to be forever known as Mrs. Sickel and committed my life to loving Jeremy.

Notice that I didn't say wedded bliss above. I would be lying if I said that the last six years have been blissful and perfect. In fact, I am convinced that the last six years have been by far the most difficult, scary and sometimes ugly moments of my life thus far. And I am sure Jeremy would agree.

My parents are getting ready to celebrate 50 years of marriage in October and Jeremy's parents are getting closer to 40 years of marriage. What awesome examples of unending love, huh?

Marriage today seems to be an act or commitment that is taken for granted. It is so easy to change your mind mid-marriage or in some cases, minutes into the relationship. I am not saying that Jeremy and I deserve some kind of fancy award for making it six whole years. A small feat, really. Six years is just starting this journey really. (Although a gold star on the sticker chart or a blue ribbon with 1st clearly displayed is always appreciated.)

The events that occurred between August 30, 2008 and August 30, 2014 weren't abnormal to so many, but they were hard. Life didn't deal us the best hand to play with, but we did our best. I was willing to give up on everything at least a dozen (ok...more than that) times. I wasn't always rational in how I viewed our sucktastic journey through infertility. But I didn't need to be. Jeremy found a way to ensure that when I was losing my freaking mind, he was keeping it together for the both of us. I, of course, did the same for him ALL (maybe twice) of the time.

Any marriage that makes it through the throngs of infertility deserves some kind of reward. (Like, paying off fertility debt is just a start! No really. I am not kidding. That should be a thing!)

I never thought anything in life would be harder than surviving those years of fertility treatments, denial, blame, doubt, hatred, hurt, depression and disappointment. That was until the last 14 months presented itself.

The last 14 months proved to be pretty dang hard and even more challenging to our marriage. Now these months were MUCH different from our infertility times. We experienced amazing, undying, unconditional love...for two little humans that we created. So yeah...Max and Harper are great! We love them in a way neither of us expected. A way that makes our hearts literally want to burst out of our chests.

But our marriage has been anything than ideal the last year or so. We both would agree. But the best part is that we realize this and haven't given up. Nor do we (or at least I) have plans to. (Jeremy, you better not either!)

Parenting is SO hard. This goes for any parent no matter how many kids you have. Although my experience is twins, it doesn't change the fact that being a parent is a hard job. Two different people have two different ideas of what is right for the kids. Different ideas on how to feed them. How to dress them. How to play with them. How to discipline them. How to teach them. How to put them to sleep. How to hold them. How to change them.

Pretty soon those two people who were so in love and so involved in each other's lives are now devoting every waking moment to raising the kids. We may have a good 5 minutes at the end of the day to discuss personal feelings and thoughts but by then, don't you just want to sleep? We start to schedule conversations. Remember the time when we could talk whenever we wanted? Sleep deprivation sets in and then the 'whose turn is it to get up?' turns into a whisper-shouting match at 3am. (yep, that happened!)

So if we are honest, our marriage has suffered since becoming parents. But the good thing is that we have realized this. We need to make more time for us. This nights. We don't do them. Mainly because we feel like our two are a handful for anyone who watches them. They are so busy and into everything. And...I want to spend as much time with them as possible. But I am seriously doing a disservice to Jeremy and my relationship.

I am certain that we love each other more than we did 6 years ago. We have seen the worst of each other. We have experienced some really awful things that are unfathomable to some. But we have also experienced overwhelming joy and blessings. We have seen God work in our lives in miraculous ways.

It really is crazy to see us as those young, anxious newlyweds. We had no idea where life would take us but we were going to do it together so it didn't matter. It still doesn't. We are in this together. I couldn't ask for a better partner and father to Max and Harper. I am so fortunate! Happy Anniversary, Jer! I love you!


Friday, May 9, 2014

To Max and Harper Love, Daddy

A LONG time ago...I wrote Max and Harper a letter from Mommy in their baby books. Here is my letter. I fill out their baby books every month. And every month, I ask Jeremy for his "From Daddy" letter. He keeps giving me the same response, "I am working on it." Well, today, I pulled out the baby books to work on tonight. I asked him the same question. But this time...HE DID IT!

Maxwell and Harper,

I know this is late, and your mother has been on me about getting this done for awhile now; but I had a plan, and it is finally time to sit down and write each of you a personal message-a message that hopefully resonates with you for a very long time.

You may not remember how things were when you were born, or anything about your initial journey through life. But there are plenty of pictures-and stories accompanying those pictures-that will help you understand exactly how you became, well, you. And more importantly, how much everyone loves you.

Your mother can attest that it was, indeed, love at first sight.

We knew we wanted to be parents, and to raise children of our own. We just hit a few hiccups along the way-hiccups that led us to you.

As you are naive to how your life is playing out right now, we, too, had no idea how our path to finally meeting you would unravel. But, as your mother would agree, we would do it over and over again knowing what we know now.

You may never understand what had to happen for your mother and I to welcome you into this world, but all the pain, agony, frustration, momentary loss of faith, financial struggles, etc., etc., are now just stepping stones-necessary moments and feelings that prepared us for the best thing that has ever happened in our lives.

The reason I waited to write this letter is because I wanted to get to know you first. I knew of you, I just didn't know you personally. Now that I do, I wanted to open my heart up a little.

Your smile is infectious. While I never know the motives behind it-whether you are just showing your pleasure for something, or trying to distract someone while doing something that you shouldn't be doing-your smile will always, in turn, make me smile back.

You are adventurous. While they may scare me at times, I want you to know that I have your back. I will let you learn the things that you think you need to learn on your own, but I will always be there to catch you if you fall.

I want to ask something of you, though. I want you to always be there for your sister, Harper, just like I promise to be there for you. She will frustrate you, bug you, and you will want nothing to do with her at times; but remember that she is your sister, and that she needs you more than either of you will ever admit.

The way you look at me melts my heart. And that little smirk you give me will always tell me that you know how much I truly love you.

I will never get tired of holding you, even if it is bedtime or the middle of the night when everyone else in the house is sleeping. My arms will always be wide open for your cuddles.

I promise to always make you laugh. Right now you seem to get a kick out of everything that I do, but that will change. My goofy antics will not be as funny as you become older, but I will adapt and try my best to continue being the funniest person that you know-just ask your mother!!!

While this is from me, I just want you both to know how much your mother and I love you. We waited what seems like an eternity for the moment you entered this world, but please know that you were worth every second of it!



Love him!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Love, Mommy

**In Max and Harper's baby books, there are special sections to write letters to your babies. I finished mine over the weekend. There isn't a large space to write in so they are shorter than I would have liked. I also realize that I repeated some of the some things in Max's and Harper's. Jeremy is working on his letters still. I didn't make a first draft and just thought of things as I went. He is a perfectionist and has several drafts in the works. I will post his letters when he finishes them.**

My dear Max,
I fell in love with you instantly and you have brought so much joy and happiness into my life. I only hope that you will continue to be a Mama's boy! You will continue to grow even though I'm never ready for that. I wish for you a lifetime of happiness. Life will not be easy. I learned this in my search for you. When life gets too difficult or you feel no one understands, God does and He is always there for you. He made you and has great plans for you. Trust in Him always. I want you to be a good boy who respects others, especially women. Have good manners when you are in school and always respect your elders. You are attractive and beautiful on the outside but it is what is inside you that really matters. Be smart! Don't be too gullible and easy to trust those that may get you to stray from your beliefs. Education is very important so never stop learning. And never think you are too smart or too good for anything. Nothing comes easy so always work hard. I love you always and forever no matter what.

My gorgeous Harper,
I love you more than words could ever express. You are a beautiful gift from God and I thank Him everyday for you. You are going to grow even if I want you to slow down. I only want the very best life for you. However, life isn't easy. You will have experiences that make you doubt yourself and God. When life gets difficult, turn to God for strength. He always understands. He made you and has a plan. I know this through the journey to get you. Trust in Him always. Never doubt your beauty. You are gorgeous and let no one convince you otherwise. Make sure your inner beauty shows as wel because that's what counts. Always give respect even when you feel disrespected. Never let anyone convince you to sway from your values and morals. Respect yourself. Be smart and don't always trust others as they aren't always worthy of your trust. Education is important so never stop learning. But don't think you are too smart or good for anything. Nothing comes easy so work hard. I love you always and forever.

I also created my first photo book with Shutterfly. It was free! I have about 4-5 codes for free books so plan on getting those all completed before the codes expire. This first book was about their arrival into the world. I am happy with the way it turned out. Here is a glimpse at it and if you haven't made a photo book should!!

Click link below to see our photo book and then click the front cover on the Shutterfly website to view the rest:


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Best Month of My Life!

I knew love.

I love my family. I love my friends. I love my husband. I love chocolate. I love French fries. I love God above all else.

BUT...I never knew the kind of love that I have experienced in the last month.

Max and Harper have shown me a kind of love I never imagined I could experience. My heart swells each and every time I see them. I absolutely love kissing their sweet cheeks, listening to their little grunts and coos, and I love our snuggle time where they curl up on in my arms.

They have made my life complete and I love them more than I could ever express.

On another note, we had to deal with our first doctor appointment on the "sick side" last Monday. They both had colds with congestion but that was normal and just viruses. The reason we had to go to the doctor is because Harper had a rash with pustules (I know gross!) on her belly.

I am a carrier of Strep B. We found this out when I went into pre-term labor at 31 weeks. However, that hospital must have not sent over the results to the hospital I delivered at. When we showed up to deliver the twins, I told the nurse that I needed antibiotics for strep B. It took her an hour to get them to me because they didn't have that in my records. That on top of labor going extremely fast...I only had one dose of the antibiotics.

The rash on Harper's belly is caused from my strep B. They called it a strep/staph infection. It is contagious and within a few hours of leaving the doctor...Max had it on his belly too! They gave us an antibiotic ointment and it cleared up within a few days. Both are doing just fine now.

However, as a new mother, it was scary. I felt so awful and worried about them. I am glad the first illness and infection is out of the way. Maybe I will be more calm now! (I doubt it.)


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hubby + Growing Babies = 3 Special Valentine's!!

Happy Valentine's Day!!

I am not a huge fan of this day.  I love my husband, friends and family everyday and so always thought the day to be meaningless. If I am not loving everyday, then what the heck am I doing in this world?! So sorry that I am a little cynical.

It doesn't help that I am a teacher for tweens. I HATE Valentine's Day when it falls on a school day. The kids are C-R-A-Z-Y! Flowers, balloons, candy, stuffed animals, etc. all throughout the classroom and the school. So, the day has most definitely lost its luster in the last eight years since I saw it through a teacher's eyes.

Granted, Jeremy and I still will go to dinner. Maybe tomorrow night since I am exhausted from parent-teacher conferences all week. But we most likely would have gone anyway. I love my husband SO much. I really, really do.

He was an amazing husband all through infertility. He was a champ at being our cheerleader even when I was in a negative place. He prays fervently for our growing babies. He is just wonderful! I even love him after he said, "I loved you more than I thought I could. But now that you are carrying my babies, I love you so much more!"

I am feeling the babes!!! When I  lay still and especially on my back, I can feel what feels like hamsters spinning on a wheel. It is the most amazing feeling ever and I only wish and hope that all of you will get to experience that same elation.

We find out the genders in less than two weeks! I am so excited. I feel like when we know the genders, we can finally make a baby purchase. We have yet to buy anything for babies except for a new closet system for the nursery.

My belly is a-growin' up a storm! I feel enormous most days. I swear it just pops out overnight. I have found a good sleeping position that suffices comfort-wise. However, the 5-6 bathroom visits in a night are not creating a great sleeping environment.

I am so in love with them and can't wait to hold them in my arms.


Friday, January 6, 2012

The Joy of Success

As a middle school teacher, we have days where we leave just utterly ticked off. Something happened, or didn't happen; you feel like nothing was accomplished; the kids were just off; I was just off, etc.

BUT today wasn't one of those days! I left feeling great.

It isn't often in normal day to day life where you get the feeling of overwhelming success, like you have made a difference. Luckily, in a teacher's every day to day life, we do! I love the "a-ha" moment. I love to see my "kids" learning and loving it. I love seeing them change and grow. I see it all the time.

Those moments keep me going. I may have a bad day but it could be the next day when a kid tells me that they know I really love them and I am not just pretending. It could be the next day when a kid tells me that he never knew he could write like he did.

I am so used to these great kid moments that make my life as a teacher worthwhile. BUT I don't usually feel successful outside of work. I go home and I have a great husband who I love unconditionally but I don't feel successful there. It is no great fete to love him. I just do. Our marriage just works, we don't have to work it.

Today, I felt successful outside of work. I received an email from a friend who had been reading my blog. (I hope she doesn't mind me posting this!) I know that God knew I needed that email from her right then. I was feeling down and a little off around lunch time, like nothing was going right. After reading her spontaneous email, I was in tears. But not depressing tears, happy ones. I was so touched that she would take the time to write those encouraging words. She said all of the right things that I needed at that time. She was building me up and making me feel better about myself. I don't think she will ever know how much that email touched me today.

Another example of why I am so blessed. I have amazing friendships and amazing people around me. That includes my "kids". God has put all of these supports in my life. Each experience that I live through pushes me closer and closer to Him.

HE allows me to feel successful. HE allows me to be strong. HE guides and directs my path. HE nurtures and loves me in even my darkest times. HE is my rock.

I hope you get to feel success today. It is such a great feeling!