Kiwi Hannah is 5!

My heart aches. It’s ached all day off and on. I took a nap in the middle of the day because I was tired. Kobi tucked me in and kissed my cheek and sang to me while I napped.

In between the nap, we had breakfast, we played with balloons, built a fort, went swimming, went to Chick-fil-a, and Dunkin and made the most of the day. We tried to say yes to Kobi all day and it was pretty fun well at least for me, because I feel like I’m always saying no.

Things felt different this year. Maybe because Kiwi Hannah is five and that seems like such a milestone birthday! It just hit me differently. Like it’s been 5 years! It took us 5 years to even get pregnant with her, so for her to be gone for 5 years after the fact, just seems like a lifetime has passed!

There are so many things I want to say, and feel the need to say but I don’t have the energy, not today. Just know that we celebrated Big Sister Day the best we could!

To my Knight in shining armor on our anniversary

Dear Knight-in-shining-armor,

It’s been ten years. Life has been hard. The armor is a bit banged up from all the elements of this adventure we have lived together. It’s clunky, rusted, and hard to move around in. Even so, you still polish it and keep donning that heavy suit for me, making sure I feel our happily-ever-after hasn’t completely died.

It’s been ten years. The weight of the armor has been an unnecessary burden on you just because I liked the way it looked. It’s not realistic and I’m sorry I’ve made you carry that weight around all these years. For a girl who hates Disney I sure did fall for their lie…

Nevertheless I have seen the error and the damage I have done and on the day that we celebrate our love of being married. I would like to release you, to tell you to TAKE OFF THE ARMOR and go and get top dollar at the junk yard for the scraps so no other man can fall into that lie.

See the problem with you being a knight was that you were never really allowed to rest. You were always in a fight, and you served me no matter the situation and probably worst of all, you were never allowed to make a mistake. The only person who was ever that perfect was Jesus and yet that same standard was tossed upon you and polished so brightly it blinded me.

It’s only by God’s goodness and glory that we’ve come this far because I’ve had it all wrong this whole time. I’ve been walking around so blinded by the pristine shine from your armor that I couldn’t see you, and it’s just now that I am starting to see and believe the “you” you have become. You need to be in a position where you rest, where your decisions are valued, where you don’t have to be in a fight all the time, where you can be seen and where you can make mistakes knowing full well they are allowed and we can work through them together. If I’m suppose to be your helpmate, why can’t I help solve the problems instead of making you feel like they are all your fault even when they are out of your control?

Today we are ten years in… it’s been a hard ten years it feels like we’ve lived several different lives in that time. And although I feel like I’m starting from the beginning, I’m excited because I know that there are no filters, no light blindness, just you in your rawest form and I get to see you, to hear you, to watch you stretch out and become the man you were always meant to be.

I’m sorry for the things I did, the things I didn’t do, the things I said or didn’t say when I was walking around blinded by the armor I made you wear. I have repented for the damages I have caused our family and I am asking your forgiveness today so that we can start this next decade on the same page of realistic expectations, hopes, and dreams together. Happy Anniversary, my love. Thank you for loving me so faithfully and so unconditionally all these years.

Golden Birthday Celebration

Kobi turned 3 today! Making her 3 on the third aka her golden birthday. I feel like once she realizes what a golden birthday is, she will feel bummed because she didn’t really remember her celebration, so I tried to make it as special as I could.

For months I asked her what she wanted for her birthday and all she said was I want cake with my family. She wanted an orange cake with ten candles to be exact, so I set out to make from scratch (sans the orange color) a two layer cake with buttercream frosting and ten candles. It took waaaay to long but I had fun and she loved it!

We kept the celebration light. Pancake breakfast, naps, playing with presents, bubbles, and balloons, pizza eating, some Super Bowl style foods, tons of FaceTime/video chats, the orange cake of course and then we ended the night with a special Rockstar sized prayer for her third year of life!!

There are so many feelings I’ve felt today, but the one that stands out the most is gratefulness! She is my rainbow baby, full of God’s promises, and His power and I stand in awe that he saw fit to allow us to steward her life while we are on this earth. Happy Birthday Katherine Obadiah Harding! We love you forever!

Happy 4th Birthday Kiwi!

Today Kiwi would have been 4 years old. I only cried once around the time she was born, 5:34 in the morning. I also sang happy birthday to her then as well.

We slept in a little, got up and got Kobi registered for a pre school type program 2 days a week, then Big Sister Day commenced. We played in our play room, ate pizza for lunch, went bowling for the first time as a family (it was a huge success) came home took naps got up went out for ice cream and had more pizza for dinner.

It was both low key and celebratory at the same time. I miss Kiwi so much, but I am so thankful for all the good things that I was able to recognize throughout the week. Like the girls volleyball team that I coach winning their game, finding out that several people share the same birthday as Kiwi, getting offered a job position that I really wanted, receiving praise reports of answered prayers, and being able to spend time with my family.

I am also so grateful for people checking up on me, and praying me through this week! Y’all definitely lifted the burden.

Kiwi Hannah, mommy, daddy and sissy love you so much and hope you had an extra special really awesome day with Jesus, Cylis, Tegan, Kyle, and all the others. I look forward to seeing you in my dreams and of course when we get to heaven!

Nine Years, Many Lives.

Today William and I celebrated nine years of being married. It was a real low key celebration. I guess that’s what happens when you move to a new city and are on a tight budget. There were no big gifts exchanged, but we did have breakfast as a family, a family nap, a kid free coffee/putt putt date and dinner as a family. It was a nice celebration.

Somewhere between cards being exchanged and coffee being drunken we were in agreement that although we’ve only been married nine years it seems like we’ve lived many lives in that time. There are pivotal moments that have happened in our lives that have marked us and changed us and now is no different.

We had newly wed lives, before and after Miami lives, before and after Kiwi lives, NICU lives, not to mention the mission trips, the trainings and conferences that have marked our lives or the lingering effects of our before marriage lives. We were told this life together would be an adventure but we had no idea what that meant let alone what it could look like.

As hard and long as these years and lives have been, it’s all been worth it to call William Michael Harding my husband. He truly is the man for me. He balances me so well, and loves me so deeply and I look forward to this life, and the future lives with such hope, wonder, and gratefulness to experience it with him.

William Michael Harding! I Love You! Happy Anniversary!