September 2013 Jordan,
You are about to begin your 24th year, and you have never been so excited. You couldn't care less about your birthday because just over a month later you'll be getting married. You aren't really worried about it at this point--you know things happen and you plan to stay relaxed if anything goes wrong. Just so you know, nothing really does--that day is perfect and beautiful and you take lots of mental pictures you'll carry with you and dream about when things get tough in the coming months. I won't paint them all, but I will tell you that Daniel cries when he sees you come down the aisle, and he looks so, so handsome in a blazer and bow tie, and you've never felt so sure of a decision in your life.
That feeling of certainty is one you'll reflect back on several times throughout the next year. You will argue on your honeymoon, but you'll come home silly drunk with love for the man you just married and the idea of living together. You'll get excited to wake up each morning and brush your teeth shoulder to shoulder. You'll make his lunch for a while until he tells you his co-workers make fun of him for his brown paper bags. He'll tell you later he wishes he never told you that, because he misses those lunches and has been living off of makeshift microwave nachos at the office. By that point, though, you're pregnant and tired and don't get out of bed before he leaves in the morning.
Yes, you read me right--you're pregnant. You give up gluten completely and maintain your pre-wedding workout routine and your new doctor says he thinks it might be possible for you down the road. Not even two weeks later you pee on a stick while Daniel plays with the dogs in the living room, forget about it for ten minutes while you drink hot chocolate (it's an unusually cold, snowy winter), and then stand in the bathroom trying to talk yourself out of the faint pink line you think you see. You try to come up with a cutesy, spur of the moment way to tell your husband but your hands are shaking and you can't decide whether you need to laugh or cry. You end up doing both simultaneously while sitting on Daniel's lap with his arms around you for the next couple of hours. You've been married for two and a half months. Also, you just found out the offer you two made on your first house was accepted...
Last night. You don't plan that part, either--buying a house so quickly. You think maybe June but end up standing there with tears rolling down your face after walking in the doors of the second home on the first night of shopping. In January. Daniel takes one look at you and says, "Well I guess this is it," and it is. The owners okay the idea of a 60-day close and in March you quit that job you hate and start feeling a little less disgusting with the end of the first trimester as Daniel spends every spare hour painting the pea-green walls a happy cream color and installing new floors. He makes this house your home, and you eat your first meal here on Easter Sunday with nothing but a table and chairs under the high ceilings. You move in in May.
You take photos, lots of them, and these photos take you into the lives and hearts of so many beautiful new people and you drive home from each shoot feeling giddy and overwhelmed with thankfulness. After each wedding you kiss your husband and remind him how perfect your day was and how thankful you are for him, and after meeting each baby you hold your hand to your belly and tell your daughter you can't wait to meet her.
Your daughter--you find out she's a she after the most helpless week of your being thus far. After her first anatomy scan you're told your baby has a major birth defect and that you'll have to wait three weeks for further testing to see how severe things are and the course you should take. You stay in bed for three days, crying and praying, and Christ shows up through His people. Together they hold you up when you're convinced you'll crumble completely. The sweetest ultrasound specialist will call you at 6:30 on Friday morning and tell you to come in within the next couple of hours instead of weeks later and your fears will be stomped out as you lie on a cold table squeezing Daniel's hand and staring at your perfect baby girl, your Eden, on the screen.
You'll spend your first married summer scrambling between house projects, weddings, and baby prep. You'll love it every time Daniel stops what he's doing, gently touches your growing belly and asks, "That's crazy! When did this happen?" or leans down and says, "Hi Edie!" You dream a lot of what it will be like to watch him hold her.
And, again, you'll return to that feeling of certainty. You had no idea your 24th year would be what it's been, but as you near 25, you've never been so sure that being unsure of what's to come is right and wonderful. You anticipate spending your 25th birthday waiting on your little girl-- you'll be full term--holding hands with your husband. But other than that, you have no idea what's coming, and you're so excited.
This next year will be so full and go so quickly--savor it for me. And happy early birthday.
September 2014 Jordan