Sir Mix-A-Lot – Baby Got Back | Love

I like big butts and I cannot lie
You other brothers can’t deny
That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist
And a round thing in your face
You get sprung…

Full disclosure: I wrote this while watching the Parenthood series finale. Don’t ever do that two months after having a baby and five minutes after doing your makeup. Prepare for a little bit o’ sap.

Today is my fifth wedding anniversary. Fifth! I thought I’d celebrate by sharing a few wedding photos. It was so hard to choose! I love my wedding photos so much, it was such a perfect day. People always say that, but for us it’s actually true. We got the only sunny day in January for weeks in either direction – we had purchased umbrellas fully expecting it to pour on our outdoor ceremony. We all ended up rosy-cheeked with joy AND sunburns.

Year five.

It’s been a very busy one, in all the best ways. We got a new sister, nephew, puppy, and daughter. Our son is happy {most of the time}, healthy {most of the time}, and too smart for his {or my} own good. We have faced challenges as parents and as a couple and have ended up learning and growing. Okay, this is starting to sound like a Christmas letter… Though much has changed since our wedding day, the heart of our relationship remains the same – we laugh. A lot. We play, we argue, we love, and we laugh.

I chose this particular number from the list of “our songs” because it reminds me of when we were first dating . We were never very romantic, haha – but this man, this man that I love so much – I don’t have the words to describe how grateful I am to have met him. I don’t have the words to describe how kind and honorable and good he is. There is no grey area with my husband, if he loves you, you are loved absolutely. And oh how he loves us, me and this little family of ours.

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And oh how we love him.

This is the first milestone in my life that has made me feel just a little bit old. You’d think getting married, or having a baby, buying a home, having a second baby, or the prospect of turning 30 later this year might do it. But no, it’s having been married for five years. It feels like a real accomplishment, like I’m actually now grown up. {If you know me, you know that this is a ridiculous notion.} The count is now 5 years, 3 states, 2 kids, and one house.

I can’t wait to see what the next {fifty} five bring.

Song here.

Bright Eyes – One for You, One for Me | #notthemamawho

One for the bread lines, one for the billionaires
One for the missing, one for the barely there
One for the certain, one for the real confused
One for me, one for you…


Do you ever just get really good and sick of yourself? Like, if you hear you say one more word you know you’re going to vomit? That’s how I have been feeling, and it’s the reason I haven’t been writing. It’s not that I’m sad or angry, in fact it’s quite the opposite – I’ve been so happy I’m flat boring. I just haven’t felt like I have had anything good or intelligent or interesting to say. I think that’s because I usually write about myself.  So, to get the words flowing again, I will write this one for everyone else. There are so many people in my life that I find good and intelligent and interesting. This one is for you.


I don’t have any photos for this post, only words.

I don’t have any words for myself, only others.

Words for my baby, who is growing and moving and often neglected.

Words for my son, who illuminates my soul.

Words for my husband, who ignites my heart.

Words for my mother, who is healing from an injury left untreated too long.

Words for my father, who has made many sacrifices.

Words for my brothers, who are waiting.

Words for my sisters, who give me patient perspective.

Words for my friends, who have recently had to face the mortality of their children.

Words for my friends, who must parent their parents.

Words for my person, who constantly stretches for more, in every way.

Words for my grandmothers, who provide the example to guide me daily.

The words are all the same.

The words are: I love you.

The words are: Thank you.


You can download the song here.

First Day of My Life – Bright Eyes | LOVE

Yours is the first face that I saw
I think I was blind before I met you
Now I don’t know where I am
I don’t know where I’ve been
But I know where I want to go…





Year Four.

Pretty calm, overall. Man, that’s been a wonderful change of pace. This is probably the only year of our marriage that we have actually been able to make a plan and follow it- no matter how simple. Buy a house, settle in, decorate. Check, check, check. It has been so very nice. We’ve been able to get out of survival mode and start setting real goals for ourselves and for our family.


This year I have had a chance to observe and reflect.

Marriage has never been a remotely temporary ideal to me. I would never have married BJ if I didn’t think we’d be married for the rest of our lives. I knew it in my heart, but I also knew it in my head. Had I had doubts about the chances of us having a successful future as a couple, I wouldn’t have married him. And I wouldn’t have wanted to. We lift each other up, pick each other up, make each other {want to be} better.


This year, I have learned that marriage is like living in the houseboat I talked about in my very first post.

Sometimes you’ll rise and fall with the swells. There will be storms and your boat will get damaged. Sometimes the repairs will be one partner’s responsibility, sometimes they will belong to both. Hell, sometimes a crazy person will attack your boat and you’ll have to defend it with your lives. And sometimes, you’ll hold hands as the waves gently rock you to sleep.


This year, I have learned to hold my marriage to my own standards, not the world’s.

I have stopped expecting my life to be a romantic comedy. I don’t shave my legs every {many} day{s}, have dinner on the table when BJ gets home, or a perfect six-pack 5 minutes after having a child {ever}. Some days I don’t brush my hair. My husband doesn’t expect those things of me because those things aren’t what a real life is made of. {Except maybe the hair brushing…}

I don’t expect him to read my mind, {want to} cuddle {who are we kidding, I don’t even like it}, or discuss the intricacies of the plot of Vampire Diaries. But you know what, we like each other {most of the time}. Our real life is laughing at our crazy boy together, loving that our king-sized bed means we can stretch out our arms and not touch, making plans for our home, and taking care of those we love.


This year, I have really settled in to my marriage.

The traditional fourth anniversary gift is fruit or flowers. I got a kid-free weekend in Lawrence, some grocery store flowers, and a pineapple. The latter two things made me cry. I wasn’t expecting anything but the Chick-Fil-A I requested (more for Worth than for myself), but really, it’s the simple things that make me happy.

And happy is what we are. Obviously.

BENNEBELLEWEDDINGPHOTOS2All photos by Tara Miesner Photography.

You can download the song here.