Photo Credit: Kristel Poole
This fourth year of marriage has been hard. Billy and I have been handed a difficult series of situations, and we’ve come out of it with a few bumps and bruises, that’s for sure. One thing that we’ve learned is this: the rest of the world can go to shit, but as long as we’ve got each other, we’re going to be OK. And we are. We’ve pulled together and weathered quite a few storms as a team. When I think of all the crap that’s been thrown at us in the past year, I’m so grateful for him. It makes me love him even more, because when things get heavy and I feel like I can’t take one more thing, he’s by my side to make me laugh, help me remember the positives and encourage me to keep moving forward.
This year we:
- Moved two (and a half) times: On December 14, 2012, we rented out our house and moved in with friends for two weeks. On December 30, we moved into a rental home in Richmond, something we’d been looking forward to for a very long time. Then, on June 29, 2013, we moved back to Ladysmith. It was a hard (and expensive!) decision, but it was the right one for us.
- Evicted our rental tenants: In April, they stopped paying their rent and our property management team discovered several thousand dollars worth of damage. It took a couple of months, between state laws and court time, but by Memorial Day weekend, they were gone and we were back in possession of our house.
- Found out I needed an early mammogram and biopsy: In April, my doctor discovered some suspicious tissue during a routine breast exam. Due to my family history, she recommended I have an early mammogram. That was hard enough, but the world sort of fell out from under me when she suggested I have a biopsy to rule out cancer. On May 1, I had the biopsy and spent a few days waiting for the results. When they came back normal, I was relieved like I never knew possible.
- With the help of the world’s best friends, we spent a month repairing our house: cleaning, fixing a broken porch, painting, installing all new floors and two new toilets, which cost us a lot of money and time.
- Covered three months of mortgage payments and rent payments while we assessed the situation, which led to us not being able to take the summer vacation we’d been hoping for.
- Found out we are having a baby: On July 27, our world changed forever, in the best way possible.
- Put together a debt payoff plan: Due to the financial strain of the past year, we brainstormed a way to put ourselves on a debt free path. The obstacles of the early part of this year drained our savings significantly, but we have already paid off several items and are on our way to being debt free in a couple of years.
- Found out we are having a girl, and there is a slight complication: We were overjoyed to discover we’re having a daughter, but just 10 minutes after the news was shared with us, our doctor told us about a slight complication, or in my doctor’s words, “a normal variance in 1-1.5% of all pregnancies.” I don’t want to get into the details, because the end result is most important: she’s healthy, developing on schedule and we expect a normal pregnancy and birth. But because of the complication, I will not be allowed to go past my due date. If I don’t deliver her by March 27, 2014, I will have to be induced.
- Had our faith reaffirmed: The past 8 days have been hard on us as we waited to confirm that she’s fine. But today, on our 4th anniversary, the maternal-fetal medicine specialist told us our baby looks great and there’s no cause for concern. We got to see her again today on an ultrasound, and we came home with even more photos of our little girl. We already love her so much, and we’re so grateful for the friends in our lives who have comforted us and reminded us of all the great things to come. This little girl is already so loved!
It hasn’t been an easy year, but we’re emerging stronger than ever. Our little family is growing, and so are our hearts. It’s easy to feel like the world is unfair sometimes, but we just try to stay focused on all we’ve accomplished and survived. This time next year, we’ll be celebrating with our little girl, and I can’t imagine all the fun we will have had.
I love you, Billy. Thank you for being my best friend and the father to our daughter.