It’s 4:30 AM. 4:34 to be exact. Luke pops his head in our room to say “I’m gonna lay down with Judah in the other room”. We’ve been up since 2:57 with our babies, who are each fighting a little cough. Each time we try to put the older one down, he starts crying. Our younger son makes a couple sweet little noises as he finally nods off to sleep.
“And I think to myself… what a wonderful world”
That’s a weird song to be playing in my head, at this moment, at 4 AM, with two little guys who aren’t feeling good, in a separate room from my husband.
But the truth is, this is what I prayed for. I prayed for a family, I prayed for two boys. Little did I know that being a parent isn’t as picture perfect as you see on Instagram. It also includes staying up, sometimes into the early hours of the morning, comforting and loving your kiddos, even when you’d rather be asleep. Regardless, it has been the greatest gift to Luke and I. Even being up at 4 AM, we wouldn’t trade this life for anything else. All the money in the world could never make up for the life-changing experience of not only parenting, but parenting together with my best friend.
As sweet Zion is falling deeper into sleep, I’m left here thinking and pondering on how blessed we are. How very thankful I am to have met my husband and to be a mom to my two boys. In this moment, overwhelmed by emotion, gratitude, and joy, I thought it would be a good time to write a blog on how it all began.
Let’s rewind a little bit… September 2, 2012 I walked into the doors of The Rock in Anaheim (I had no idea that my life would never look the same from that day forward). I had driven past the church countless times before, but finally felt like it was time to try it out. That’s an understatement! I felt completely lost, completely broken, and completely empty. My life had been out of control for long enough. I was tired of living without direction or purpose. I walked through the doors and into the beginning of the service. Immediately I felt peace and the presence of God, and tears flowed down my cheeks. I left that day, feeling hope for the first time in a long time.
Over the course of time, I began attending regularly. One person always stood out from the crowd (literally, because he was tall, but also because there was just something about the way he carried himself. The way his smile never seemed to leave his face. The way he made everyone feel welcomed and valued). I realized pretty quickly that it was Luke Esslinger, who went to my high school!
Eventually we happened to be at the same house for a small group. I stood there in the kitchen enjoying my pumpkin pie and making small talk with someone I barely knew. To the left stood Luke and a group of guys, grabbing the whipped cream cans and throwing it into each other’s mouths – making a mess and having so much fun. One by one each person headed for the living room until Luke and I were the only people left. “You have whipped cream on your face…” I said as I looked up at him and began our first conversation. Little did I know that that was the beginning of my favorite love story of all time. (Cheesy? Yeah maybe. True? Definitely 😍)
To be continued… 😉