Day 9: Dear Pate

*Thanks to Mary Agrusa, a fellow blogger, for writing the entry for Day 9 of the Dear Gratitude project!*

I’m honored to contribute to Bethany’s blog this month. I dedicate this post to my sister.

Dear Pate,

Photo courtesy of Phoopla Photography at

Photo courtesy of Phoopla Photography at

As one of the two remaining members of our immediate family, I’m happy to spend these final chapters of my life with you. You’re amazing.

Opposites can attract; however, as kids we often withdrew to our respective corners to avoid the weird one. You’re probably right on this point. Today, our differences add depth and dimension to our relationship. I love you exactly the way you are.

Despite personal experiences to the contrary, you remain unswervingly devoted to your family. You’ve never been afraid to enter the arena and take the bull by the horns. I’m more apt to stay safely behind the wall to venture out only if and when the dust settles. You are one brave woman.

A true champion of the underdog, you’re willing to spend yourself and your resources to help others despite your own needs. You have the heart of a giver.

Circumstances beyond our control kept us apart for too many years. Mom’s death brought us back together. Although we can no longer traverse the Metro D.C. area as before, any time we spend together is priceless. You are a treasure.

I thank God for giving me a person of excellence, courage, determination, generosity and love for a sister. I am truly blessed.

I Love You,




Day 2: Loving him day by day

*Special thanks to my friend Erin Jennings for sharing her thoughts on love and gratitude today!*

Erin and Josh, 2012

Erin and Josh, 2012

Since the first night we went to watch a movie together, I have been overwhelmed with a type of love I thought only existed in my imagination. I have been shocked with how receiving that type of love has changed me (in wonderful ways), and I have made a personal vow to never let a day go by without telling him how much all the little things he does for me mean.  Every morning at five thirty a.m. I wake to the smell of coffee brewing in the kitchen. Every afternoon at eleven fifteen he sends me a text asking about my day and telling me he loves me. Every evening he makes his rounds picking up our four kids and getting them home, and around nine every night (yes we realize that is early for some people) he positions himself at an awkward angle just so I can watch t.v. while falling asleep on his chest. While these things may seem small to some, to me they are straight up hugs to the soul!

My husband’s greatest legacy is his kind and giving heart. I cannot even put into words the kind of man that he is. I am blessed that God brought him into my life. While I am the organizer and structure person, Josh is the fly by the seat of your pants guy…..In most cases this is kind of like oil and water, and the two just don’t mix. But for Josh and I, it’s never been a problem; when mixed together we found a new groove….. Organization and structure in the house and with the children, but flexibility to pick up and fly by the seat of our pants when Josh gives us a cue. Our marriage is full of stability, love, mixed in with some adventure…. Seems we never have a dull moment. Life is too short to live any other way.
As with most working couples I LOVE weekends off with my husband. There have been comments made by some people who will remain nameless asking when he ever gets time to himself, time out with “the guys”, etc. What they may never grasp is that my husband has never been that kind of guy. His idea of time off IS time with his family.  He is my best friend and I am his. He doesn’t take off to be with the guys because his guys are here. He has three. One is twelve, another is ten, and the last guy is nine years old. He has a few gals, too, his very own little princess who is five, and then of course me.
I don’t know what we are planning on doing this weekend, but I know one thing. Josh will be home. My heart jumps for joy at the thought of spending time with him, and I know the kids are excited as well. But you know what else? I know that Josh wants to be here, and that means more to me than anything he could ever do.  I love my husband not only for who he is, but also because when I look into his eyes, I finally have peace.  All the bad things and the wrong roads led me to him.
Over the years I’ve learned everything that happens is exactly as it should be. This doesn’t mean that I was happy about what was taking place, but situations always seem to work themselves out, and I usually figure out the lessons learned — even if it takes years and a couple of mini mountains’ worth of  mistakes. I’ve felt loss, but it was also time to move on, move forward to bigger and better things. This is what I did, this is what I continue to do, and with each passing day I find more and more to be grateful for. God blessed me with an awesome family and an awesome husband. I am so thankful.