my husband’s best response

I think it is a moment most dads look forward to. It is when they literally hear that they are the most important guy in their daughter’s life. It shows them they are admired by their daughter and loved deeply by them.

We were putting the kids to bed, and Olive started talking about weddings. She LOVES weddings, she will tell us everything she needs for her wedding… the flowers, cake, dress, and dancing of course.

She was telling us who her friend Willow was going to marry. So I asked her, “Olive, who are you going to marry?”

I honestly expected her to say Phillip… a little boy that was her class that she loves.

But instead, she answered….”I am going to marry Papa.”

I could see his heart burst through his clothes and spread joy all over his face. He was turning a little red from his excitement.

He took her in his lap and responded softly, “Baby, I married your momma. I’m sorry, I can’t marry you. BUT I will show you the type of man you are suppose to marry.”

And that was it. I fell in love with my husband all over again. THIS is why I married him. THIS is why I chose him.

Those are not just words. That was not a trendy thing to say, he didn’t do it because their was an audience to hear him be sweet. That is truly his heart, and honestly, this is an area that his actions speak even louder than his words.

She sees him do the dishes, and not because I asked him to. She sees him jump up to change a diaper when it needs to be done. She watches him wrap his arms around me and dance and kiss me. She hears him tell me that I am beautiful and how he loves me. She witnesses an argument, in which he stays calm and collected never raising his voice to me. She views us as a team.

He is not a perfect man. No, no man is. But Wes Wages is showing our daughter a man who serves his family. He is literally a helpmate and lover to his wife. The exact type of man I hope she marries.

This. This is why I knew that no other man would ever compare to Wes Wages for me.

He is the ideal father, even in his flaws and even in mine, he loves his daughter so well simply by loving me in front of her.

And that is the best thing in the world you can ask of a Father.

Wes Wages- I hit the lottery with you. And our babies will be forever changed by your love. Thank you for being the example you are. I know you are the funny one, and the “fun” parent. And I don’t mind that at all because it is one of the greatest joys of my life to see you with them. Thank you for loving me so well so they have a standard. You are the top of the top.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads living their life by example, teaching their kids how to love with intention and without reservation. You are the MVP.

Be Happy and Love each other,

T

a lesson from year 30

Leading up to my 30th birthday, there were butterflies in my belly. I don’t think I had ever been so excited for a birthday. To me, 30 represented confidence, boldness, and awesome sex . This was going to be my year to stop caring about what other people thought and live a life of freedom.

It didn’t hurt that Wes threw me a killer birthday party surrounded by my closest friends. One of the best gifts Wes can give me is to let me plan a party. I LOVE planning parties. For months we talked about it. What did I want the theme to be? What were words or ideas that represented me that could be fun? I thought about the 90s because I am a true 90s child. I debated a theme of magic or adventure. But it kept coming back to the one word that I live for most.

Love.

I wanted a night to love on my friends. I wanted to have an intimate dinner for my closest people with love notes and toasts and treat others to a fun evening out of music, dancing, and no kids!

I wanted to love on those who pour into me and are there for me through thick and thin. And the night was perfect.   Less than 2 weeks after that is when I experienced my first heartbreak of the year. I didn’t know at that time it would be the first. I didn’t know what was going to follow. But it was the first of many, many heartbreaks. But gosh, this pain still stings.

The year I turned 30 didn’t hold confidence, boldness, or better sex. It held heartbreak, pain, fear, and rejection. Just when I would think things were getting better, they didn’t. Another piece of shit would hit the fan. Here is an overview of the year.

Keep in mind, during the majority of this I was also battling extreme nausea from pregnancy, general illnesses… Olive and Walt went to school one day the entire month of February due to sickness, a husband who cannot walk meaning I am unloading all of the groceries, taking out the trash, doing every piece of housework while 26-38 weeks pregnant and juggling two kids. And our marriage definitely didn’t fix overnight, two sometimes four hours a week in counselling.

I do not say this for you to feel sorry for me. I just want you to get a general picture of what the year looked like.

It was dark. There were days it was really dark. Days of not being able to get out of bed, crying uncontrollably, becoming angry with God, questioning every ounce of who I was. I dreaded going out in public for fear of someone casually asking me, “How are you?”.

But friends, when life is at it’s darkest, it doesn’t take much light to shine in for you to see it. I would catch rays here and there. Small things that normally I wouldn’t notice would suddenly pierce my heart with joy and carry me through to the next moment.

But those people? Those people who I wanted to spend my birthday loving on just a few months ago? They were right there with me.

The biggest lesson I learned the year I turned 30 is two fold.

First- Life can be really hard, especially when circumstances are out of your control. Life can be a snowball of events that make you question anything you have ever done and if you will ever come out if it.

Second- When you love well, you will be loved well.

When I look past the darkness of the year, all I see is love.

I see the texts from Megan Stein at just the perfect moments telling me she is thinking of me, encouraging me and helping me gain fresh perspective.

I hear conversations with Lauren about medical advice of what we needed to do next. She was my personal nurse this year and honestly probablt saved Wes’ life because we wouldn’t have caught those blood clots without her.

I see Katie, Jennifer, Will & Melodie, and Patrick… along with SO many other friends dropping off hot food to our house so I wouldn’t have to worry about cooking. I see the groceries that Shelly brought by. I can taste the hot chicken Brandon grilled to perfection. The fact that Crissy and Brandon brought us food on their date night from Cullman is something I won’t easily forget. And I can hear the knock at the door with Shoals Take-Out on the other side… even our friends Jordyn & Bradley who live in Huntsville made sure we were fed.

I can almost taste the Salt and Straw Ice Cream Missy and Dean sent us. (best surprise ever)

I can feel the hugs Mikki, our counsellor, gave me after I sat in her office weeping.

I know Tori was working hard chasing our kids while also cleaning our house just so we wouldn’t have to worry about anything else once we got off of work.

I see Megan on her hands and knees cleaning our floors the day we came home from the hospital, right before she went to the grocery store to completely stock my fridge and cabinets.

I cried when Josh from Rivertown showed up at my door with hot biscuits just because they know we love them. And the numerous meals, even from strangers, that were purchased from us at restaurants made me feel like there were angels everywhere.

I see our team, Justin and Lee, working extra hard to not just stay on top of our business but truly living life with us in a way no one else does. They coached us and comforted us on our hardest days when no one else saw us.

I can hold onto the encouragement from Lyndsie, Jordyn, Laura, and Bethany as they listened to me talk about life, over and over again.

I cannot repay Chelsea and Luc for taking the kids trick-or-treating when Wes and I had the stomach bug on Halloween. Not to mention the multiple meals they made and the ice cream bar baby shower she hosted.

I see my sister-in-law Shannon dancing in our living room with Walter and putting a gingerbread house together with Olive girl.

As silly as it is, I feel the solidarity from my friends on instagram who don’t hesitate to send me a message and say, “Me, too.” We are in this together ladies!

I hear the conversations with my sisters as they share their life experiences with me to shed light on what I am going through.

I hear my daughter laughing with me, telling me I am beautiful, and at times wiping my tears while telling me it will be ok. I see my son with his goofy little smile where he grits his teeth together and hear him say “I love you” for the first time. I can feel both of them in my arms snuggling me and pouring out their love on me.

I see my dad helping carry Wes into our upstairs apartment as they settle us back into our life. I see my mom sleeping on my couch so she could be there if one of the kids needs her. I hear them calling and saying, “we are coming to get the kids so y’all can rest.” I don’t know what we would have done without them.

I literally am looking at the love from my baby Abbott boy as he smiles up at me as I write this.

And I mostly feel the arms of my husband wrapped around me. I can see him looking at me… and really seeing me. I can hear his encouraging words when I was at my lowest. I witnessed him fighting for me, fighting for us, reminding me that we are worth it.

Love. Love surrounded us this year in a way that it never has.  

I also gained focus this year. I have blogged for 9 years. I have shared our marriage, our travels, our life. But this year I gained more focus, I have clarity about what my purpose is in a way that I never have before. And that has helped me shift perspectives and given me excitement moving forward.

I have preached “love” often on this blog, in fact I am sure most of my posts revolve around the topic one way or another. But this year, I saw first hand the importance of loving those around us well. I learned what it felt like to receive it and how love alone can carry you through the darkest of times. So, I will continue to say “love each other” and, now, when I type it I will think of the people who may receive the love you are sharing. I will be grateful for this community, knowing it is making an impact.

Because when you love well, you will be loved well.

Friends, thank you will never be enough. And I was terrible at sending out my cards… I am not sure who I sent them to and who I forgot, but I want to say thank you to each person who texted, called, emailed, messaged, dropped by, and especially those who brought food. Food is good for the soul.

So, year 30,

You were hell. Absolutely hell. But thank you for the love. Thank you for showing me how to be a friend. Thank you for being a teacher. Thank you for giving my people an opportunity to step up and show out so I can see who is here in the long run. I cannot wait to give it back.

And 31, I am ready for you. I am excited for you. This is my year. I want to laugh more and spread joy. That is my wish. Cheers to you, 31!

Thank you all for being apart of this crazy journey. Thank you for sticking with me.

Be Happy and please, please, love each other, You never know how bad that person needs it,

T

Abbott Rhodes Wages

Soon to be mommas! I’m hosting a free webinar on June 22 and would love to see you there!
For more info and to sign up, click here!

Below is a letter and birth story for my third child Abbott Rhodes Wages.

Abbott,

I need to admit something to you. Honestly, it is hard to admit… but I feel like it is a piece of your story. A part that I am not proud of, but I want you to know all about your journey. One day we will watch the movie “Inside, Out” together… it is Disney & you will love it. BUT, the lesson from that movie is that if you don’t experience sadness, you can’t fully experience happiness.

And that is where your story begins.

I carried you in my belly during the saddest season of my life thus far, and to be completely transparent with you (you will learn that is the only way I know how to be), there were moments I wished you weren’t even there. I had dark moments thinking I didn’t want you. Even though you were no surprise to me, I regretted ever becoming pregnant to begin with.

First, I want to say that I am sorry for those thoughts… I know you felt them. They were very real in the moment and I wish that I could take them back.

BUT I want you to know about them. I want you to know that I realize now that in my hardest moments, you were with me. It was just me and you. And as silly as that seems, that is something that is so special to me and I will cherish that thought. We were a team together and you kept me grounded and brought me hope.

I was about 4 or 5 months pregnant and decided to glance at my calendar… at your due date. It was the first time I really looked at it and discovered you were due on Easter Sunday. Out of every single day you could have been due… it was Easter. Not the day before or after but that specific date.

It was in that moment that I realized you were a true gift. A gift to me (and your Papa) from God. He brought you to me in a dark season to remind me of redemption, love, and hope. It was in that moment that I realized that you were meant specifically for me during a specific season of life.

And little man. You are the greatest gift in the world. Truly.

I finally met you on April 14th, it was Good Friday. At about noon that day, your Papa went to physical therapy. After 14 weeks of being on crutches, he was released. He could finally walk without crutches!! This was the day we had waited so long for.

He came back to work and I literally said, ok, we can have this baby.

I had already been having a few contractions here or there… but this was normal. I had them for days leading up to Olive and Walter, so I thought nothing of it.

Around 5, your Granny called and said she wanted to come spend the night and grab your brother and sister so we could rest for the weekend. It was a fairly normal night, we went to dinner, then went to the park to play. Contractions continued but I really didn’t pay much attention. I truly thought you would be coming on Sunday.

We got home and put everyone to bed. Since contractions were still around, I figured we might as well pack a hospital bag. haha. I figured it was time since you were due in two days anyways.

Around 9:15, contractions were getting stronger. Suddenly, they reached a point where I was having to pause packing while I was having them. Your dad was getting stressed. He was perfect. He started asking to go to the hospital, but being my stubborn self, I didn’t want to. Plus, it was kind of cute seeing him get all worked up begging me to go.

Around 9:45, I figured these weren’t going anywhere so might as well go. It was a good thing your Granny was just downstairs. She came up and we were on our way.

Dr. Hurd (the greatest OB and your doctor) wasn’t on call this particular weekend, but he gave me the go ahead to let him know when I was in labor. So, I texted him and let him know we were on our way to the hospital… I apologized for messing up his Friday night. I knew the nurses would then call him and tell him when to come to the hospital.

I made it onto the hospital bed around 10:15 and the nurses check to see how I was progressing. I was only 3cm dilated. When the nurse told me that, I wanted to cry. I was always at least 6cm with the other two babies when I got to the hospital. In my mind, being a 3 meant I still had about 8 hours left before you were here. I knew that your Papa didn’t need to stand for 8 hours and I didn’t know if I wanted to have hard labor all night.

I told them to tell Dr.Hurd to wait but they said he had already called and said he was on his way. I didn’t want him waiting there all night. I felt frustrated that I was only a 3.

Contractions were getting stronger and I had decided that if I was less than a 5 the next time they checked me, I would get an epidural. They wanted to wait until Dr.Hurd got there to check again. So your Papa just coached me through it. I couldn’t believe it hurt so bad considering I wasn’t so far along. Typically it hurt like this when I was close to giving birth. I figured third babies must just hurt worse. But you were kind to me and gave me breaks between. I had moments to breath as I waited for the next wave to come. And your Papa never left my side. He rubbed my back with his swollen leg propped up on the bed. I couldn’t have done it without him.

When Dr. Hurd arrived, he checked me for an update and discovered I was now at 7cm! A 7! I couldn’t believe I had made it that far. It had only been about 40 minutes. I told myself that I could do this for 10 more contractions… if I could do 10 more then maybe I would be fully dilated. I could do it.

The next contraction came and I felt it….. like, I really felt it…. my whole body changed. I looked at Dr. Hurd and I asked if he was ready to catch you. I think he thought I was joking. He kind of laughed and said yes. I let him know that I meant… now.

So, he checked me again and let me know that if I wanted to push, I could. In one contraction, I went from 7 to fully dilated.

Son, love of mine, I thank you for that.

Our photographer, Megan, actually arrived as I was pushing. She got there about 5 minutes before you were born! I am so thankful for this.

View More: http://photos.pass.us/birth-of-abbott-wages-41417

Then, moments later, at 11:11… one hour and 7cm after I laid down on that hospital bed, you were here.

Your Papa reached down and pulled you out to lay you on my chest. I heard him laugh and say, “It is a boy.”

I could hear the joy in his voice. He didn’t really want to confess it, but he had hoped you were a boy. He wanted another son. I knew in that moment you were exactly what he had wished for, and he was more excited than he could admit.

View More: http://photos.pass.us/birth-of-abbott-wages-41417 View More: http://photos.pass.us/birth-of-abbott-wages-41417 View More: http://photos.pass.us/birth-of-abbott-wages-41417

You came out with a head full of strawberry blond hair, unlike your brother and sister. And you were purple… PURPLE! You came out so fast your entire face was bruised. Eight pounds, eight ounces. You were my biggest baby so far, and I could see it on your chubby little face.

View More: http://photos.pass.us/birth-of-abbott-wages-41417

Over the next few days, I breathed you in. I have never felt such intense love for anyone so fast (except your Papa… but I am sure you are tired of that story already).

Yes, you are my third baby. You may not have as many photos. You may not have a baby book until you are 4. There is a chance you will end up bruised and battered from the extra love your brother and sister throw your way, and you may have to cry while I take a shower. You won’t get a homemade Halloween costume and 95% of your clothes will already have holes in them given by your brother.

But baby boy, I want you to know you are special to me. You are special in a way that I didn’t see coming. I didn’t expect to love you so hard so fast. There isn’t a moment with you that I have not soaked in. I miss you when I am not holding you and when I look at you, you make my heart swell two sizes too big.

View More: http://photos.pass.us/birth-of-abbott-wages-41417View More: http://photos.pass.us/birth-of-abbott-wages-41417View More: http://photos.pass.us/birth-of-abbott-wages-41417

Abbott, you came at the very perfect time. You were here when I needed you most and I cannot imagine ever being more grateful for you than I am today. You have brought a freshness to my soul and made our family more complete. Thank you for staying with me, thank you for not giving up on me. I felt you in my sadness and now I feel you even greater in my joy. You are everything I could have ever asked for and I am so glad you are here.

Little fella, I love you so much,

Momma

Ps. I am currently planning for an upcoming free webinar talking all about the leap into motherhood. If you are expecting, please join in. You can sign up by clicking here! I will be talking about fears, embarrassing stories, and tips on how to make your transition easier. If you have any questions, fears, or thoughts, send me an email terawages@gmail.com. I will literally answer any question.

Pss. I have the greatest doctor in all of the land. All of the land. He came immediately when I texted. He called he hospital ahead of time and let them know I was on my way. They knew who I was when I walked in the door. He is who told my photographer Megan (his amazing nurse) to head that way as well. If he hadn’t done that… neither of them would have made it. I cannot tell you how amazing it is as a woman to have a doctor you can trust wholeheartedly to deliver your baby. He is the best of the best. Three babies down with him and one to go! View More: http://photos.pass.us/birth-of-abbott-wages-41417