year six

New babies can be hard on a marriage. Yes, you see your spouse in a whole new way--as parent--and that's breathtaking. But sometimes the balance between parent and spouse swings off kilter, and more often than you'd like, you find yourself navigating that foggy realm of disconnectedness.

This disconnection happened to us when we had Asher, and so I knew to expect some variation of this growing pain when Evie came around. Some time in the spring Josh and I started having more off days than on; we bickered more, pulled out irritation more, and went to bed frustrated more. Our marriage wasn't in dire need of rescue, but it did need some TLC. One night when the incongruities in our relationship came to a head I sat down on the steps, hunched over my lap, and cried, "Josh, I miss you." And he said, "I miss you too."

Then things started to change. That small sliver of vulnerability helped me see what was really the matter with me and with us. It helped us identify our weak spots and gave us courage to tackle them. Instead of focusing on the motes in each other's eyes, we finally saw the beams in our own. And rather than feeling discouraged by what I saw, I felt peace. And over the course of the second half of this year, we've repaired our broken parts and bridged our differences.

Year six has been fraught with growing pains. Not only has our relationship faced obstacles inherent to expanding our family, but our extended families have shifted and changed as well. In so many ways we're traversing new ground, and if we don't do it together, we won't get very far. Year six has taught me that vulnerability is essential and that, at the root of it all, our spouse deserves the greatest expressions of our love, not necessarily because he or she deserves it, but because we promised to give it.

Year 5
Year 4
Year 3
Year 2
Year 1



Evelyn has a birthday in ten days. Ten days. These past twelve months have been grueling, sleepless, and backbreaking. They've also been gracious and forgiving and stunning. Welcoming this new person into our family was a leap of faith, and it's paid off a million times over. The thing, though, about first birthdays, is that they're a celebration as much for the parents as they are for the babe. 

I'm a completely different person from who I was twelve months ago. I've spent these last weeks remembering how I felt this time last year, pregnant, uncertain, excited, and scared out of my wits. And now here I am, almost 365 days later, remade. I'd like to think that this version of Charlotte is a better, slightly improved version. I've learned how to let go and how to hold on, how to ask for help, how to ask for forgiveness, when to adjust my expectations and when to raise them.

I had moments over the past year when I felt that I'd lost myself, and I didn't know how to find me again. But I did find myself, through a thousand small ways I held fast to the irreplaceable parts and found new ones. Bit by bit, side by side with my Savior, I remade myself. This Charlotte is a wife to her best friend and mother of two beautiful children. She's a sewer and a reader. She loves chocolate and slacks on laundry. She loves to learn and create. This Charlotte is maybe a little softer, maybe a little sensitive, maybe a little self-doubting, maybe stronger than she thinks. And I like her.

Motherhood, more than anything in my life, has compelled me to come to terms with self-acceptance, what it is and what it isn't. Something that's so terrifying to me during pregnancy is the knowledge that I'll never be the same, that this person I've spent years--a lifetime even--crafting will be altered permanently. And that can be overwhelming. But then when I come out on the other end, rebuilt into someone slightly different but still me, I'm humbled by the grandeur and simplicity of God's plan for me. 
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