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11 years of david & brittain

11 years. i went through all of our photos of the last year to find the ones of just me and david. and i realized. we need to get more photos of just us. ha.

11 years! this time last year we were giving it a go for another baby by birth. ;) we had been on the waiting families list for domestic infant adoption for six months. growing our family was proving to be much more challenging than we expected. i think year 11 has been our wildest yet. it was a hard one. david's work demands have been a challenge for both of us this year and adding a second tiny human to our family really stretched us to our max. but we leaned into the tension and are stronger because of it. i cannot imagine my life without this man. and i'm so thankful that year 11 included the opportunity to endure labor and a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) together as a team.

so let's take a trip down memory lane with a handful of photos of me and david from year 11.

may 24, 2018. thursday. our 10th anniversary. we took bina with us to dairy king for ice cream.

may 26, 2018. saturday. we went out to dinner and saw the movie black panther for our anniversary date.

june 2, 2018. saturday. we traveled to grand rapids for my step-sister's wedding. i was cautiously hoping to be pregnant. nine days later a pregnancy test would confirm my hope!

june 16, 2018. saturday. took david with me to the gym as my free guest of the month. turns out i'm in better shape than him. i was pretty smug about that.

september 3, 2018. monday. took david to the gym as my free guest of the month again. still in better shape than him even early second trimester preggo. ha. 

november 14, 2018. wednesday. holiday event. showing off my pregnant belly and excited to have a night out together.

january 26, 2019. saturday. maternity photos taken at matthaei botanical gardens in ann arbor. so very pregnant and cautiously hoping for a VBAC.

february 5, 2019. tuesday. my water broke at home and we headed to the hospital just before 9pm. david supported me through 21 hours of labor. it was the physical marathon of my life and the aftermath was so sweet and so hard. a successful VBAC! recovery from third degree tearing. i was so so so grateful to have experienced this with david. i wasn't sure if we were going to be able to share this together and i'm so glad we did. even with that third degree tearing!

march 24, 2019. sunday. juniper is six weeks and four days old. we have made it through the hardest part of newborn life. i think this was after our first sunday back at church. we had been enjoying the online broadcast from home since juniper's birth.

11 years. in a lot of ways, i think this was our best year yet. there were so many challenges and frustrations along the way. lets be real. this is true for all relationships -- especially marriage! and this was our best year of communication and managing and adjusting expectations. it feels so good to be able to have productive conversations where we can speak vulnerably and honestly and get somewhere. not that we couldn't do this before, we just weren't as good at it. trial and error and leaning into the tension. it can be so uncomfortable, but it's so worth it. i feel closer to david than ever. and i wouldn't want to do this life with anyone but him as my partner.

11 years ago we were just babies. 22 and 23 years old. we had dated for about a year and then were engaged for nine months. we were married two weeks after i graduated from college. 

compared to now we barely knew each other then. if you had told me on that day what the next 11 years would hold in store for us, i probably would have hid under a table. we have done HARD things! three cross country moves. two masters degrees. two apartments. two houses. two dogs. two pregnancies. two kids. we like twos, i guess. one phd abd. post partum depression. resurgences of depression, anxiety, and insomnia. one go at the domestic infant adoption process. many, many different jobs -- for both of us. leaving old friends in states we formerly lived in. old friends leaving us. establishing new friendships. learning to do this life together managing ourselves as individuals, each other, and two tiny humans. lots of expectation adjustment. lots of tears, lots of joy. lots of laughter. hearts crushed by the weight of responsibility and circumstances we have no control over. hearts exploding with love and gratitude. oh this life, this marriage. i wouldn't have it any other way.

juniper is our 10th anniversary baby. our little miracle girl. she is joy. adored by mama, daddy, and (i think most of all) big sister. conceived as we were celebrating a decade of brittain and david and birthed in our 11th year of wedded bliss. ;) such a sweet expression of the kindness of god, his mercy and grace. a beautiful conclusion to three years of waiting and wondering if we would be able to grow our family beyond one child.

i don't know what year 12 may hold, but i know we will face it together leaning into the tension and continuing to grow in love for each other. i am so grateful that i went to that little bible college in springfield, missouri where i met this blond haired blue eyed man who asked too many questions in class and bothered me in the library as i was studying greek. who knew then that we would share 11 years and two little girls together. neither of us. but god knew. he knew all that he would walk us through. all the moves. all the degrees. the jobs. the dogs. the kids. the joys and hardships. tears and laughter. he knows where he is taking us this next year, and for however long we have together on this earth. we place our trust in him alone because oh my goodness we cannot do this without our gracious and merciful father god. and with him, nothing is impossible.

happy 11th anniversary, my love. here's to many, many, many more.

hello there.

brittain here. just sharing my journey day to day with lots of laughs along the way.

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