May 13

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!! Today is a big day in our house! It’s Mother’s Day and our twelfth wedding anniversary!! The boys couldn’t be more excited to give me their home made gifts and I (honestly, truly) could not be more excited to open them!! Those big envelopes that came home from school with them last week have been sitting out driving me crazy with anticipation. The hard work and effort that they put into them is unreal and it makes me cry just seeing them brim with eagerness to watch me open them. It’s like the tables are turned for a second- they look at me the way I look at them all day every day (flashback to me yelling at them for not having their shoes on by the tenth time I told them).

This leads me to my next thought- my mom. I know for a fact that I could have made my moms life easier. And in thanking back on some of the moments, all I heard was yelling and fighting. I didn’t take the time to really appreciate her as a woman and a person first. She did her best while she worked full time and raised all four of us, making personal sacrifices along the way. She didn’t have to, she chose to. Thank you. It took me having my own kids to see just how hard it is for them to see me as a human, not just as their mom. The older I get, the more important it becomes to say it.

To my mother-in-law in Ireland, I haven’t exactly made your life easier. I know how hard it is for you to live so far away from your first born. All those hours of Skyping that you made a priority- they always leave Noel with a smile on his face and a spring in his step. You went out of your way to help me feel at home in a new country and even though we don’t back down from each other (ever), we’ve bonded through shopping and the love of all the boys. Thank you for being patient with me through the years.

And finally, to my dearest husband and best friend, these 12 years have made me 30 pounds heavier and a red wine lover. Each and every single day you found a way to tell me you love me and appreciate me, even when I am at my worst. There is no such thing as a perfect marriage, and that holds true for ours. So many times we pushed through things that would have probably been easier to just forget. But you don’t let an issue go unresolved. You make me talk (even waiting days later for when I’m ready), so somehow we’re able to keep those issues from turning into tiny cracks in our relationship, small cracks that could turn into big ones. Our pre-marriage counseling at church made us take a 100 question scantron test. The questions asked things like, “I feel comfortable talking about the number of children I want with my fiancée.” And you could choose strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, etc.. I was mortified to see that we had answered about 20 differently. But we reviewed each of those questions with Margaret (our counsellor). I had zero desire to talk about these issues, I needed time to think. Through this activity, she helped us realize that Noel is an extrovert and I am an introvert. This little piece of (what seems like) mindless information really has helped us understand each other more through the years, especially when I don’t want to talk about anything after an argument. I need to think about it first. Noel wants it off his chest immediately. It was very hard in the beginning, but we were able to manage the disagreements with the knowledge that we had about each other. Half of the battle is agreeing to talk, right?

Noel, I love you madly and I always have. You are everything I want and need in a husband. Our boys are so blessed to have you as their father. I am so very grateful for our life and love together. Thank you for making this life so fun and for being so supportive.