New Parents Love Letter

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Dear Ryan,

It’s 2 degrees outside (but feels like -7) and we are snuggled up at home with our sweet baby boy. Donned in our rattiest mismatched pajamas (they are the comfiest ones), we are sitting side by side on the couch where I am pumping breast milk and you are watching The Universe (even though you did say I could catch up on all my shows this weekend ahem). Wyatt is napping contentedly and we smile as he farts loudly in his sleep. 

There is no other way I’d want to spend my Saturday night. 

Earlier today we finally hung the gallery wall that we have been talking about for over two years, did laundry, and threw out some old junk. For once we actually used a Saturday to get something other than sleep and staring at the baby accomplished. I’m proud of us.

After I’m done pumping we are going to bake some cookies for Valentine’s Day. I’m sure I”ll dance around and sing Mickey’s “Hot Dog” song in my goofiest voice. You’ll laugh and say you love me. We’ll then settle down for a very grown up dinner of burgers and fries before getting Wyatt settled in for the night. Once he’s asleep there is a glorious bottle of wine waiting for us. Earlier in our relationship we would have drunk the whole bottle while we chatted about everything and watched some serious TV. Now we’ll be falling asleep at 9:30 after one glass. 

To most, that may seem like a boring way to celebrate Valentine’s Day weekend. But I repeat, there is no other way I’d want to spend my Saturday night. 

These days life is messy but oh so sweet. These small moments together are what I know I will treasure years from now. I take hundreds of photographs but none of them can capture what this life means to me. It’s hard to measure this type of happiness.

One thing is for sure, my definition of romance has changed.

Romance is the way you always take the baby and let me sleep in on the weekends. I never knew an empty and quiet bed could be so wonderfully lovely. 

Romance is the way you always clean up the dishes after every meal.

Romance is watching Wyatt’s face light up when you come home from work.

Romance is the way you are trying to change habits that drive me nuts, like moving your shoes out of the front hallway so I don’t trip and break my neck every morning.

Romance is how your last words at night are no longer “I love you” but “Wake me up if you need anything” even though I never wake you up when I’m up with Wyatt.

Romance is how there is no one else I can sit for hours and talk about every little thing Wyatt does.

Romance is hearing you read Brown Bear Brown Bear over and over again and never getting tired of it.

Romance is not rolling your eyes when I show you 15 photos of Wyatt that would look identical to most people and ask you which one is best. Daily.

Romance is how I find myself even more in love with you each and every day that we spend together as a family. 

My heart has been divided between two men yet it has never felt more whole.

Now let’s sneak up stairs and get some sleep!

Love, 

Katie

The Bar Exam

Well, it’s that time! What the past four years have been leading up to. 

Ryan headed up to Harrisburg last night and today and tomorrow he will be taking the two-day Pennsylvania Bar Exam.

He’s been studying tirelessly everyday since May. I know he will do great, but we appreciate any extra positive thoughts!

I’ve taken some time to study with him and have  briefly looked over his bar prep information and I can’t believe all of the information he needs to comprehend and remember. It’s all over my head and I’m so proud of him for all the work he has done. 

This is basically what our dining room/living has looked like for the past two months.

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I’m excited to celebrate with some much-needed drinks (for him) and our family trip to the beach. This will be our first time together as a couple where he won’t be studying!

I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s like to be married to someone who doesn’t carry flash cards with him everywhere he goes.

Go, Ryan, Go!
 

Celebrating 2 Years of Marriage

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Today marks two years since Ryan and I have been married. June 2, 2013 was a hot day with a 70% chance of showers. I was a nervous wreck, checking the weather on my phone about every 3 minutes. I was so afraid that the rain was going to ruin my perfect outdoor garden wedding and force us to move the ceremony into a sparse and dark tent. 

But the odds were in our favor. The sun shined as I walked down the grassy aisle with my dad, beaming from ear to ear. I’ll never forget the way Ryan looked at me that day. His eyes showed the hope we both shared for our future and I felt safe and very lucky. 

The rain did eventually come, in the most serendipitous of ways. After the ceremony we had a chance to take photographs in the sunshine and then literally 2 seconds after Ryan and I were introduced into the tent for the reception it started down pouring. It was the kind of rain storm that makes you want to hide under the covers. We shared our first dance under cover with a circle of our loved ones surrounding us while the storm brewed outside. An hour later the sun shown again and dried up all the rain. 

Although the weather worked out for us on our wedding day, that’s not always the case. Rain will come. Thunder will bellow and lightening will strike. There is no planning for the weather, no matter how prepared we feel and no matter how many devices we are equipped with.

Ryan and I have witnessed our love grow as we weathered a few storms and learned to enjoy the view of a couple of thunderstorms. No matter how bad the storm, the sun will always shine again. 

Ryan,

My love for you grows every day. Right now is a very sunny time in our lives and I think this third year or marriage will be one of our most brightest and memorable. Sure, there will be some dark moments as we tackle all of the changes coming our way such as starting your career and parenthood, but the joy and power of the sun will always outshine the darkness.

Marriage is truly an adventure and you are the best side kick. I can’t wait to see where this next year takes us and to watch our family grow once Baby Mac arrives this September. As I said to you on our wedding day, let’s do this! 

Love always,

Katie


 
 
  

 

 

The End of Law School

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He did it!

As of 10:30 p.m. last night Ryan finished his last final (in Income Tax, gross),

Ryan is officially done with law school!

He is now enjoying a peaceful sleep. One that he has been looking forward to since 2011.

After 4 years of blood, sweat, and tears (well no blood) he is done. After hearing “I can’t do this anymore!” or “Why did I sign up for this” countless times, he made it! And our marriage made it.

When we first started dating and Ryan casually mentioned he was in his first year of law school and hinted to how much stress he would be under and how he wouldn’t be able to commit as much time to a relationship as most women would like.

I sat there and smiled and naively thought, “No problem! I really value my alone time! This will work out great!”

Since we started living together in 2012, I’ve mostly only seen my husband on the weekends. 

Not seeing your husband during the week pays a toll. Going home to an empty house and cooking lunch and dinner for a husband you won’t actually see enjoy said meals gets old. Consoling a tired, stressed, and grumpy husband from afar is difficult. Not having a husband have time to console you in return is hard. I wanted so much to make things easier for him and I tried my best, but there was only so much I could do. Some days felt never-ending and I didn’t know if we’d make it.

But we made it. 

No more 19 hour days! He’ll soon get to lose sleep due to something else, a baby.

It’s been a long journey. Three years ago it felt like this day would never come. I started counting down the days to graduation about 740 days ago. It seemed like an eternity away. Yes, this was the only life we knew together, but I couldn’t stop dreaming of doing normal couple things like talking about our days over dinner, going to happy hour, being able to kiss each other goodnight and having weekends where school work was not on the agenda.

We tried to laugh during the hard times and tell ourselves that someday we would look back fondly at this time of our lives. (doubtful)

We sacrificed our time and our money. Pinching pennies whenever we could. Cooking up cheap casseroles and budget shopping while also trying to schedule and save up for date nights and getaways to make sure our relationship was a priority. We also could not have done this without the emotional support of our families. (and thank you for always having me for dinner and always wiping away my stress tears, Mom and Dad!)

I’m so incredibly proud of him. He’s been tested time and time again but has never given up. He’s pulled off amazing grades and extracurricular activities while also excelling at his job. 

But before we get too excited, there’s still much to do.

May 21: The official graduation! And time to start worrying about the couple hundred thousand dollars taken out in student loans. 

May 29: Ryan’s last day at his job. He’s quitting to study for the bar exam full time, making us a one income family for the summer.

July 29: Ryan takes the Bar Exam!

August 1: We celebrate the end of the bar exam by heading off to NC for a family beach vacation.

September 1: Ryan starts his new job in Delaware.

Oh and because we love a challenge, let’s not forget:

Mid-September: We welcome Baby Mac into the world!

Late October: Move with a newborn to be closer to Ryan’s new job. 

The wild ride continues, but I’m so glad this milestone has been reached. This is the start of a brand new chapter for us. Congrats, Ryan! I’m so proud of you!

On to bigger and better things!

 

Happy 30th Birthday, Ryan!

Tomorrow is Ryan’s 30th Birthday! We’ll be busy celebrating with family, so I wanted to share his annual Birthday letter today:

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Dear Ryan,

Happy Birthday my sweet husband! Aren’t you lucky, a Saturday for your big 3 0!

This year I’ve watched you grow so much.

As you closed out your twenties, I witnessed you getting more patience and confidence and take the fast track to accomplishing your dream of graduating law school and working hard at your job. I never thought I’d be able to take on another person’s dreams and goals like I do with you. I’m honored to stand by your side and fight with you. And in return you stood by me through lots of tears this year as we worked together to become parents.

Your 30th year is going to be so eventful! Graduating law school! Quitting your job! Moving! Taking the bar exam! Starting a new job in a new state! And finally, becoming a father!

One of your most favorite things to say is, “I’m just taking it all in”. 

This year there is going to be so much to take in!

You’ll be saying goodbye to law student Ryan and hello to lawyer Ryan and daddy Ryan. I can’t wait to see you growing into those new roles. 

It’s funny how for years finishing school and parenthood seemed so far in our future but now that it’s upon us it simply feels like our life is overflowing. Like this is how it was always meant to be. We are surrounded by so much change, energy, and life. And I’m just going to sit here with you and take every last ounce of it in. 

This is going to be a year to remember and a great kick off to you joining my in the thirties club. Life is good and I hope to keep celebrating all the moments, big and small, with you. 

Happy Birthday, Ryan! Cheers to another year of you!

xoxo Katie

 

Ryan’s New Career Plan

It’s been a long week so I thought I’d share a little fun on this Friday:

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So the other day, over drinks, Ryan started enthusiastically talking about taking a new path in life. Here was the enlightening conversation:

Ryan: Maybe I should quit law school and open up a brewery.

Katie: uh huh…

Ryan: I can make beer for a living and name them after my favorite TV characters.

Katie: 

Ryan: There would be a Ryan Hardy Ale from The Following. and the Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead. But, I’d just call it The Rick. It would taste like regular beer when you first drink it, but then it will change after a while into a different flavor.

Katie:

Ryan: Like a zombie changing. You know?

Katie: Sounds like a great plan…

Anybody ready to invest in this business venture?!

I hope you all had a good week and thank you for all your support and feedback on my blogging post. I loved reading all of your comments. 

We’re headed off for a weekend away in the Shenandoah Valley in VA. The trip was my Christmas gift to Ryan. We’re looking forward to a weekend of relaxation, reading in front of the fireplace, winery and brewery touring, cavern exploring, and overall coziness.

I’ll be taking off from my Think Positive Monday post. But follow along on Instagram for fun trip pics!

Sentiments on Marriage and Christmas Trees

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Ah, The Christmas Tree.

I can’t express how much I love our family’s Christmas tree. The tradition. The memories. The emotions the memories bring.  The ornaments that each hold a little story. Ornaments from my childhood and ornaments from way before I was born from my Pop-Pop’s family. The adventure of going to the farm to pick it out. The way it lights up the living room. Filling us with those warm and fuzzy feelings. 

But damn, it can be a bitch to pick out and set up. Raise your hand if any work regarding your annual Christmas tree has started a minor argument or eye rolls or looks of resentment between you and your partner? 

We trekked out to a farm to pick out our Christmas tree on Black Friday. Or I should say, farms. We went to three different farms before we found “the one”. We lamented over size and price. That one was too bushy at the bottom, that one has a huge bare spot at the top, this one is outrageously overpriced, and that one isn’t full enough. 

Once we get home we struggle to get it perfectly in the stand. I hold the tree by the trunk while Ryan lies on his stomach trying to screw the base into place. It’s always crooked on the first try. Teach me your skills if you can perfectly set you tree in the stand on the first try. So then we try again and one of the washers gets dropped into the bottom of the base. Out comes the whole tree and we start over from scratch Then we get it “pretty good” but then argue over an inch or two to the left or to the back. Then we have to twist it so the prettiest angle is facing out front. By that point it’s crooked all over again. 

Then comes the lights. We work swiftly as a team only to realize that we started with the light cord “plug in” at the top rather than the bottom and have to start over again. I try to drape the lights perfectly over the branches rather than rush it. We’re eye rolling at each other’s “methods” and are both ready to scream, “Just let me do it!”

But then it is done. The tree is perfectly straight. The lights are draped evenly. We plug it in and step back to look at our masterpiece. Standing arm and arm we take a sigh as we let the beauty of the tree wrap us in farm and fuzzy feelings. That night we enjoy our usual TV consumption while under the glow and scent of the Christmas tree. It’s heavenly. 

We snuggle up in bed, happy with ourselves and our holiday spirit. Then comes 6:30 a.m. and I’m woken by a loud crash. Thinking Ryan broke a breakfast plate I yell downstairs asking if he’s okay. When I get no reply, I realize he has already left the house. Panicked, I rush down the stairs and find our perfect Christmas tree lying on the ground. Countless irreplaceable and antique ornaments shattered and water everywhere.

I cry. And then start picking up the mess. I call Ryan and he turns around and comes back home and helps me. We’re both agitated, frustrated, and sad. In total it takes two hours to clean up the mess, to un-decorate the rest of the tree, and find a way to make it stand upright again. 

I’m heartbroken over the ornaments lost. They are memories of my childhood, of traditions, and family members. They are only things. But they still hurt. My Christmas spirit was low for a bit. I went out and purchased a new stand. We spent another night assembling the tree in the new stand but left it undecorated for a few days. I simply didn’t have the heart. The tree was a monster, glaring at me from the corner. Taunting me and I just didn’t want to deal with it. 

Then on Sunday, we turned up the Christmas tunes and redecorated the tree. And all is well, Christmas spirit is restored. And it got me thinking and reflecting  (like this season is meant to do): the Christmas Tree is a lot like a marriage. 

These holiday traditions, the ups and downs, are what brings us together. We put up with each other’s quirks and work as a team to make something that will never be “perfect” as good as we can for us. Our marriage, like a live tree, will never be perfect. It is wild, untamed, in need of trimming, and pruning. In need of love and care and affection. Through the yeas we accumulate memories and traditions and adorn our marriage with them. Sometimes we fall and sometimes we break and sometimes we have a little trouble standing upright. Our hearts become shattered. But we overcome and we move forward. Through tears we pick ourselves up and keep pushing. Together.

Although the tree felt like an annoyance this year, we knew that it was in our best interest to set aside our hurt and make it into something special again. In that way, the Christmas tree is like our marriage, a symbol of something for the two of us to gather around and appreciate and respect. A ceremonious element of our lives to look forward to. To gaze at together and to bring us the warm feelings only the two of us comprehend.. It represents our imperfect love, that Christmas tree. And most importantly it brings us hope, much like marriage vows. 

And also, as this sentimental metaphor proves, full of a lot of SAP! 

But when else at Christmas time is it appropriate to be overly sentimental?