Thursday, Jake and I will celebrate our 7th anniversary.
But, our little family didn't start out the way we had imagined.
As some of you may know, I don't really like talking about our family's beginning. I am still ashamed. Still embarrassed. Still hate seeing that look of disappointment.
But, nevertheless, it is OUR story. It's how our sweet little family came to be. How my life changed forever. And here it is:
Jake and I started dating on September 1, 2005, after spending an amazing summer together and with friends that we still see at least once a week. We fell in love that summer, even before we started dating, but I didn't really know it right away, because the last thing I was looking for was a boyfriend. But I was really head over heels for him. I distinctly remember riding on the T with Jake and a bunch of friends. We were sitting across from each other and when I looked at him, literally, the rest of the world went away. It's like a song, but I still remember that moment.
We dated the fall semester of my sophomore year at Gordon. I was 20, he was 23. We were both completely in love. I remember coming back to my room after a class one day and Jake had left lilies in my room for me. I sprinted back to campus just to see him and ran right into his arms. We do silly things when we are so in love.
We were already talking about getting married, even though we hasn't been dating very long. We knew that this was right and and we had found "the one".
Christmas break came and I went home to Illinois. It was awful being apart for so long. Well, it felt long to us! Christmas night Jake flew to Chicago to surprise me! It was the best surprise ever, and the timing could not have been better. And that is an understatement.
That night I told him that I was 5 days late.
Thankfully Jake is not the type of person to freak out, so he was calm and said okay, we would go get a test the next day.
Of course neither of us slept well that night. The next day, we went and got a test. For some reason, we drove to Einstein Brothers Bagels. Jake waited in my car while I went into their bathroom with the test.
Shaking almost uncontrollably, I made it back to the car and we waited. Jake reassured me that no matter what the results, he was going to marry me.
We flipped the test over and looked. Pregnant.
I started crying. Loud crying. Uncontrollable crying. Ugly crying.
I honestly couldn't believe it. I started telling Jake that the test must be wrong.
He just held me.
After a while we took a walk. We talked. Talked about what this meant. What was going to happen. What we had to do next.
We went to Target to browse the baby aisles. We went to lunch at Noodles and Co, but couldn't really eat anything.
After wasting as much time as we could, we had to go back to my parents house. They told us that they wanted to talk to us.
They sat us down and had a big talk with us about how I wasn't ready to become a wife. How I wasn't ready to become a mother. How Jake would make a great son-in-law.... someday.
During the whole conversation, I sat with Jake, trying to hide the fact that I was shaking, trying not to cry, and squeezing his hand as hard as I could.
The timing of that conversation could not have been worse. Even though I had never felt worse in my entire life, that conversation made me feel the absolute worst. Ever.
Once that ended, Jake and I went upstairs to talk. He told me that we had to tell them. I couldn't do it. I couldn't even make myself walk down the stairs. I couldn't.
Having to tell our family and friends was one of the hardest parts for me. It was awful.
The next day, Jake and I packed up our things and I moved out. We drove back to New England, with me crying much of the way. We went to New Hampshire to tell Jake's family. Then we went back to his apartment to figure out what was next.
We thought that a quick wedding was the best thing to do. We got married on January 10th, 2006, just 16 days after we found out.
Honestly, I think I was kind of in a state of shock during this whole time.
I wrote a bit about our wedding Here, if you want to read more about that.
Our first year of marriage was by far our hardest. For me, everything in my life changed when we found out a baby was on the way. I moved out of my parents house, I left school, I moved in with Jake, we got married, my relationships were strained and I was pregnant, with little experience with infants. It was a difficult time for us.
On September 1, 2006, Lily Grace was born.
Over time, things got better. And easier. And we settled into married life and life with a new baby.
We knew that we wanted our kids to be close in age, so on June 4, 2008, Jonah Christian was born. Then on November 16, 2009, Kate Roxanne was born. You can read about my pregnancy with Kate here.
Our marriage has never had a dull moment. In the past 7 years, there has always been something BIG going on, whether it be buying new cars, a new house, fire academy, losing loved ones, fixing up our new house, working crazy hours, sicknesses, a high risk pregnancy, and so on.
Things did not start out the way we had imagined. I still have regrets about certain things. It has been harder than I had imagined, and harder in ways I had not thought of. We chose a really hard path and I wouldn't wish that path on anyone.
But it's how we began. We did it. We survived. And now, we are thriving.
Now, 7 years later, I could not love our little family any more than I already do. We have a strong marriage. We have three awesome kids. We have a house filled with love.
I wrote this post because December 26th marked 7 years since that day. It has been on my mind, and I thought it would be good to get it out and share our story. Maybe somehow our story can help someone.
But I guess it's mostly for me. To get it out. To "talk" about it. To accept it and be okay talking with it.