Thane and I met as students at Philadelphia Biblical University in 2004. Over a year later, our friendship was still completely platonic, but our relationship turned a corner with a single conversation. Somehow, during lunch at Panera Bread, we realized our view of marriage and commitment was exactly the same. I remember saying, “We could get married tomorrow and be fine as long as we were both committed!” It was a simple enough concept, and it made sense.
Six months later, we were dating with the intent to marry in the near future. As crazy as it sounds, we got engaged after only seven weeks of dating! I dropped out of college and we started planning our wedding. Our friends and family basically thought we were insane. But, as a good friend of mine pointed out, I was a hardcore people pleaser, and I would never do anything that would cause such a stir if I was not fully convinced that it was the right thing to do.
Thane and I got married in March 2007, three days before I turned 21.
We spent the first year-and-a-half of our marriage working full-time and being very intentional about building a solid foundation, creating habits (sometimes painfully) that would continue for the rest of our lives. I never realized how incredibly selfish I was until I was living with another person that didn’t always see things my way. I’m sure a lot of newlyweds can relate. Those first few months and years, every fight, every disagreement (because, as I learned, they are not the same thing), felt like a really big deal. If we couldn’t figure out how to get somewhere on time (I was always late), or how to come to a mutual understanding of cleanliness priorities (I may be a little OCD in my cleaning standards), how could we possibly have a good marriage?
Neither of us had finished our Bachelor’s Degrees before getting married. We had decided that whoever made more money come Fall 2008 would continue working and put the other person through school. A few weeks before the application deadline, I got a raise and the role of breadwinner for the next two years.
When Thane graduated and, six long months later, got a job, we decided to start our family. God blessed us with Brooke in May 2012.
The transition to parenthood was difficult. Five years of enjoying the couple life had given us a certain comfort level. We had overcome some basic levels of selfishness, but that was nothing compared to the drastic self-denial that parenthood requires. The baby didn’t really sleep for longer than 45 minutes during the day, and we were lucky to get 3 consecutive hours of sleep during the night. My inital experience of life as a stay-at-home-mom was less than glamorous. How could one little baby require so much time and energy?
When Brooke turned one year old, she was finally sleeping (mostly) through the night and becoming a little more independent. We thought we were ready to start trying for a second baby.
Basically, every huge life event was… well, a huge life event. A shift in our way of living. I’ve come to realize that there is no way to prepare for the next season of life.
When Evelyn was born in January 2014, we knew we’d have yet another big change in ourselves and in our family. We had no idea that the next year would be spent in and out of hospitals, agonizing through four open-heart surgeries in the first year of her little life.
A surprise came in October 2014 when we found out that we were expecting our third baby, and we soon found out it was another girl. As I write this (February 2014), we fully expect a healthy baby, but life has taught me that my expectations are often overridden by God’s plans. And that’s ok.
UPDATE (January 2016): Hope Felicia was born on June 7, 2015 and she is just a beautiful, happy reminder of God’s love and faithfulness and His promise of heaven.