Thursday, October 31, 2013


I'm published!! 

The article and tour of our home, photographed by my friend, and blogger, Sarah Greenman, is live on today. I'm, like, all pro and stuff! 

Here's a few highlights and some of my favorite photos, but hop on over to Houzz and read the feature on our DIY style!! And Yes... I PAINTED that sofa!! More on "how to" coming soon! 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


I want to thank everyone who has read or commented on my posts lately.  Congrats, you've made it to the end of my rant. :)

Many people have contacted me with birth stories of their own and tons of well wishes. Several have had wonderful experiences with their OBs, and called me out on some of my own assumptions, generalizations and biases. Several were somewhere in the middle--things turned out good, but they felt the pressure of the hospital system and wish they could have changed some things.  Yay for starting a dialogue and having the courage to speak up! 

I'm aware I've alienated a few people, too and for that I'm sorry. I admit I am not a professional writer... I'm just a person who feels very passionately about this issue after experiencing incredible disappointment and loss the first time around. Writing about my experience is bringing me to some sort of closure before my next birth and I'm hopeful that it informed a few people along the way. 

I need to say it loud and clear: The goal is not to draw a big judge-y line between hospital moms and home birth moms or even midwives and doctors. The real issue is that we are hugely uninformed about one of the most important decisions in our life. We spend at least a week if not more planning what kind of phone we will purchase but most people don't really put a lot of effort into researching birth options. 

There is a habit in our culture to just assume that medical professionals are gods and that if we just get to the hospital they will take care of it all, regardless of what kind of effort we've put into our health ourselves.  I don't want ANY woman or man to feel the loss of power we felt after Ruby's birth, and there are a host of outside forces--none related to whats best for you and the baby--working against what you may want, in the current system. What should be the natural state of having your children may be a fight tooth and nail. This I know from first-hand experience.

Maybe I've convinced a few of you that the current birth situation is screwy, and hospitals aren't perfect, but 50 years of American modern medicine still makes you leery of home birth and midwives, and you're still afraid something will go wrong--rightfully so.  What can you/your wife/your girlfriend/sister/friend do? 

Educate yourself. Period.  

Natural birth takes more effort, research and responsibility for our own health. You have to shop for an OB that will honor and respect your wishes in a REAL way.  If it seems like your Doc is sort of nodding along about your wishes, or they are annoyed or surprised by your knowledgeable questions, you may want to switch--immediately. Is this a hassle? Yes.  

You have to take responsibility for your prenatal health from Day 1. Despite how it looks on TV, pregnancy is not an ice-cream free-for-all or a free pass to the buffet line. The 15 minutes you spend in an OB's office visit will most likely be spent talking about due dates and tests and not about how you need to be fortifying your body to support another human for the next year. Nutrition is uber-important to your birth outcome, especially if you are not in prime health when you get pregnant (like me). Hassle? Yes. 

Find out what types of birth facilities are in your community. Most major cities have maybe one free-standing birth center and it is probably booked to the max. Call them immediately when you find out you're pregnant. Talk to friends who loved their OBs, find out why and get their name. Talk to friends who used midwives and doulas and get their experiences. Read, read, read.  Make your husband or partner read it too. He's going to learn about all this from YOU. 

Super silly but it's my blog. Man up. Real men know about birth. 
When a health professional tells you something that goes against everything else you've researched about it (i.e. c-sections are safer than natural birth or episiotomies are safer than a tear), don't be afraid to question it!! Nothing ever changes until enough people call "bullshit." By the time my daughter has children I hope she doesn't have to research OBs and hospitals because they ALL respect the birth process and have her best interests in mind. 

Yes, all of this takes more effort than just showing up on the big day and expecting the hospital to teach you how to birth.  Which begs a very important question...

Why bother? 

I am aware that on some level, I care more about having the experience of childbirth than other women. Some people just want kids..they don't care how they get here. Why go through all of the hassle of researching and planning, and giving birth? Why do anything? Why run a marathon when you can get dropped off at the Starbucks near the finish line? Why climb a mountain? Only because it is one of the most life-affirming things that you can do as a HUMAN, and in this case as a woman. If this is the most amazing and powerful thing you can do as a female, do you really want to miss it?

Knowing all the facts, many people will still choose an elective c-section or a common (in America) medically-assisted birth and if that satisfies their expectations for the birth of their children, then all is well and ideal--but my hope for all families out there, is that the decision will be made based on what they TRULY wanted from the experience and not what they settled for because of fear, outside pressures, or the belief that they couldn't do it. 

Do you want the most wonderful day of your life to look like this?

Or like this? 

Something to think about. 

The first place to start if you want to know more about this is by watching The Business of Being Born. (netflix, download, even message me and I will burn it for you) It is a very informative documentary about all of the things I've been talking about and they do it in a much more eloquent way than I ever could. Once you open the door to knowledge about this subject.. you'll find you want more. It's all out there.

Thanks for listening. 


Friday, October 25, 2013


Still with me? 
Thank you for reading my birth story, if you took the time to do so. I tried to keep it brief, but the details are the most important part and there was nothing brief and simple about the experience or any of the emotions we experienced along the way. 

You may be asking at this point, "Why, after having pre-eclampsia and a c-section last time, would you still choose to have a home birth? Aren't you afraid?"

Of course. I'd be a negligent jackass if I wasn't a little scared. The trick is to use that fear to act and not make you immobile. I included a lot of back-story in the last post because I think its important here to explain that I truly believe that the outcome of my last pregnancy could have been avoided. For a long time people tried to tell me (and you'll find most of the information on Pre-E supports this idea) that Pre-E just "happens." That there is no way of preventing it, curing it, or detecting it. I disagree--and I think most midwives would disagree. Honestly I'm not even sure I had Pre-eclampsia. 

There were so many stressful factors that affected my last pregnancy and I naively thought the whole time that just because I felt fine and I looked fine and I wasn't barfing every 5 seconds that I was very healthy. Looking back, I was under an enormous amount of stress with moving homes, finding a job, and coping with a new city.  I had no support other than my husband--who was also coping with moving, navigating a new job and city. I am an only child, my parents are divorced, and I have lived far away from my extended family for years.  My work environment was horribly unsupportive.

My midwife was/is wonderful, but it was too late by the time her recommendations were coming. I needed proper prenatal care from Day 1. Everyone does. I did not pay attention to my nutritional needs. I did not eat enough protein. I did not eat enough period. I only gained about 20 lbs, and being I was 25 lbs overweight when I got pregnant, this all seemed normal and healthy. Most days at work I would go all day without even getting a glass of water. I took my vitamins sporadically when I remembered, but I thought, "Hey I feel fine."

Many of those things I couldn't control but some I could have and I chalk it up to being painfully uniformed about prenatal care. This time around I have taken an active role in my nutrition, excercise and stress-management. It has been a completely different pregnancy and my life is completely different. Should I really let the fear of what happened last time keep me from even trying to give birth and just schedule a surgery? No. This is a completely different situation! Like every woman out there. 

Fear is driving the majority of birth decisions in hospitals and it sucks. Vbacs (Vaginal birth after c-section) are being discouraged and often banned, because of fear. Unwarranted fear.  Women are afraid of pain, afraid they can't do it, and afraid that something will go horribly wrong. Hospitals are feeding the fear. What are hospitals afraid of? Lawsuits. Dead babies. Dead mothers. If they can wheel you in, drug you, take your baby out and send you home with a healthy baby and a prescription and fill your bed again--the staff  have done their job. Not a totally evil agenda..healthy babies are good, right?

The staff at your hospital may even truly care how you feel and agree with you, however they are bound by polices, hospital regulations, insurance companies and they don't have the luxury or autonomy to act on your particular circumstances, your hope for a magical birth or the specifics of your birth plan. Behind the scenes it all comes down to money. When we had Ruby, it cost us $20,000 to be undermined for four days. Pressuring women into a c-section because a tiny percentage of women could have an emergency when allowed to birth naturally is like saying "Hey I knew someone who had breast cancer, so every woman in American should start chemo." This is not rational thinking and its driven by the fear of litigation, not the inability of modern women to give birth. 

Fear influences our families, partners and support systems, too. Our men (or partners) are even more clueless than we are! And why shouldn't they be? All they have are the images they see on tv of women screaming and flailing in pain, "I hate you I hate you"  They feel completely powerless because the woman they love is going through the toughest thing of her life and they think they can't do a damn thing to stop it or help and they just want you and the baby to be safe and live. And its all a matter of being uninformed about birth and options. 

Midwives are trained professionals equipped with all of the necessary emergency equipment that a birth requires-minus a c-section. They come with an arsenal and are trained to administer most of the same things that your labor nurses would in a hospital-even induction drugs. There is a common misconception that midwives are a bunch of hippies who show up with a butter knife and some sheets and chant your baby out, and if something goes wrong, you're screwed. 

That couldn't be more wrong! An experienced Midwife has witnessed hundreds, maybe even thousands of vaginal births and their sole purpose is to be an absolute expert on every nuance of delivering your baby, whether it be normal, breech, or have a cord around its neck. They are women, they know you and they have been monitoring your body all along. More and more OB's don't even witness a natural, vaginal birth. Ever. 

I can tell you from personal experience, hospitals don't really like midwives. Why? Because they work for you--not the hospital (obv hospital midwives still work for the hospital**take note!). They are there to care for your needs and the needs of your baby and not the needs of the hospital system. They are tolerated to save face. They get in the way of getting you in and out without "all that fuss" of labor and dilating and waiting around, and hospital staff are all too quick to offer you what you want when it gets really hard and you're at your most vulnerable: an epidural.

Fear of pain. It's the first thing we think of when we think of labor. An epidural makes it all go away..ahh bliss and a new baby. Know this: there is a 75% chance that when you have an epidural, it is going to be followed by a c-section. You are basically numbing yourself from the waist down. You can't feel the baby move, you can't feel the urge to push, and you can't feel if you are pushing yourself to the point of tearing.  You miss all of your body's natural signals on how to deliver. You get out of a few hours of pain only to spend 6 weeks recovering from abdominal surgery..with a newborn. Basically you're doing a whole lotta work at the wrong time. You get tired,  you don't make any progress and your fetus begins to stress. Now is when you hear, "the baby is under some stress" At that point you're exhausted, you're vulnerable, scared for your baby and you're reaching for the knife yourself. 

Fear. it's a powerful tool. Thank you for reading. 


Join the discussion. Share your experiences. Please keep it informed and respectful.

for more info on midwifery, types of midwives, and training:

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


I'm sure I sound like everyone else all over the inter-world, but GOD I LOVE FALL!  I love it even more now that I live in a climate that feels like the surface of the sun most of the year.  Opening up our windows after months and months of air-conditioning feels SO GOOD.

There is something so mysterious, romantic, and mystical about fall. That crisp, sunny air just seems to give me so much more energy and believe me I need it heading into trimester three!
Some beautiful fall moments from our weekend.

Ruby finally getting the hang of pedals.

An incredible bounty of veg from our CSA which I made into this Tuscan bean soup.

Some good-timing country fun at Johnson's Backyard Garden's annual Fall Hoedown.

Local musicians

Potluck of abnormal size

No store-bought cupcakes here. Seasonal salads and JBG's best home-cooked dishes for all to share!

Ruby getting her quinoa on.

Reluctantly admitting that hummus and veg pizza is really good. 

Wearing socks and boots on our toots without melting. (I dont' have these but I want 'em real bad).

Looking forward to spooooky nights.

Not to mention, Sundays watching football, orange spice tea, apple cider and popcorn, and that feeling of excitement that Christmas is juuuuuust around the corner.

Happy Fall!

Friday, October 18, 2013


I've wanted to share this story for a long time as a sort of catharsis for this next birth. Thank you for following along and listening if you've read part I and part II.  I think my experience will help explain why I am so passionate about this issue. 

Shortly after solidifying our plans to move to Austin in 2010, we found out we were pregnant. While the timing wasn't ideal, we were thrilled. We arrived in Austin, when I was about 16 weeks and by all discernible means, healthy. I had chosen a midwife in Austin and she took over my prenatal care immediately. 

Moving to a new city/home/life where you know absolutely no one is tough--even if you aren't pregnant. It is also financially stressful to relocate and I had to find work immediately. I had to keep my pregnancy under wraps to get hired--thats the reality people--and I wasn't always able to say "hey I can't lift that." When I finally did come clean about my pregnancy, I was treated more or less like a burden despite being utterly qualified and dependable. My requests to sit for a few minutes were met with begrudging eye-rolls. I won't say where I worked but let's just say that they don't have pottery and its not a barn. As I said I was on my feet constantly and expected to carry, lift, and move things incessantly. I was a manager and in an often stressful position with erratic hours.

At my visits to my midwife, she urged me to slow down and even quit. Quit my job? But I work. I've always worked. You can't just not work because you're pregnant right? (I laugh now, because I haven't worked outside the home for 3 years now and yes, you can just not work. But, I digress). 

As I neared my third trimester, each prenatal visit my blood pressure continued to climb and based on my midwife's recommendation, I was admitted for observation and tests and assigned to the on-call OB. A nice enough, experienced, old fellow (and excellent surgeon) with no uterus. I guess that's pretty normal for men.  He ordered bed-rest for the rest of my pregnancy and was put on medication and forced to say goodbye to my home birth. My midwife stayed on in a supporting role, which was a relief as we had no other support or family.  

Each week after this was a series of medications, tests, interventions that brought me further and further from my birth plan. My doc played along with my idea that I was still going to give birth naturally, and as the first 30 weeks of my pregnancy had been such a breeze it was all very hard for me to accept that I was now suddenly "high risk." Even up until the day I delivered there were no other signs of pre-eclampsia other than high bp. I honestly don't know if the situation itself was the cause of my blood pressure. I still shudder when I drive down the street where his office is. Such a scary time for me. More on that later. 

About 2 weeks before I delivered I started having really bad heartburn. This is obviously very common but it was so bad that I would be up all night with severe cramping and pain in my back. Everything we researched seem to bring us to the conclusion that it was normal in late pregnancy. I noticed immediately it would worsen right after I would take the second dose of my bp medication (by this point I was taking 2 kinds, for a total of 6 pills a day plus a prescription for heartburn!) In short, it became difficult for me to eat or sleep--which are really the last 2 things you can do when you are on bedrest. 

The day before Thanksgiving I had a really high bp reading, and discovered that I had a bladder infection, probably because I literally could not stomach a glass of water at this point. I started yet another medication for the bladder and a stronger medication for the blood pressure. That night I had my worst "heartburn" yet which I am convinced was the baby's reaction to the medication, which no one still believes me but I KNOW.  My doc was out for a few days for the holiday and I quit taking EVERYTHING and felt better immediately .bp readings were reasonable without medication.  

When I saw him the next time we switched medications AGAIN.  I didn't have the nasty reaction but it didn't help my bp either.  When I came in for my next appt. My it was off the charts, seizure level, and my liver enzymes/protein etc.. had tripled. I also had a cold. He told me that we needed to deliver the baby that day. I was allowed about 15 minutes of weeping in the office and told I had to go straight to the hospital without getting anything (I often wonder if this was so he could be home by dinnertime?My c-section was about 6pm) and have Scott meet me there. I was 36 and a half weeks. 

When I got there I was hooked up to ALL KINDS OF SHIT and told I could no longer have food or water. Considering I hadn't eaten more than soda crackers for a week and had almost no liquid that day either this was bad news. I had to have a catheter (inserted with a bladder infection=awesome) and a blood pressure cuff squeezing the crap out of my arm every 2 minutes. Needless to say I was in a pretty foul mood when Scott arrived. Luckily he put on his game face and cheered me up about how happy he was we were about to meet our baby. (He told me later he had a heart attack in private before he got there). I stopped whimpering momentarily and started to get excited that our little one was really coming THAT DAY. 
Scott looking like a serial killer and doing a great job of faking happiness for me
Surgery happened pretty quickly after that.. I was conscious. Conscious of lying naked, cut open, spread eagle on a table in a freezing cold room full of surgeons, talking about what they were going to have for dinner, while I had tears running down my face, mourning the loss of everything I had been preparing for. Once my spinal kicked in..things got better. All the gadgets I was hooked up to stopped hurting and Scott was allowed into the room and I got a heating blanket. 

After that things went fast. She came out easily and I heard the doc say, in between chicken or steak, that the cord was around her neck twice although when he said it, he said "the cord's around his neck" to the other surgeon so I assumed it was a boy. After they took her out and dangled her over me for a second they said, "Don't you want to know if its a boy or girl?  Its a girl!" 
You are not my mom! 

At this point we cried because we secretly wanted a girl the whole time but I didn't want to admit it, in case a sweet little boy came out.  She was normal color and looked HUGE to me. I was shocked when I found out later she was only 4 lbs.  I got to see her for 2 seconds before she was taken away. Scott got to go with her but I didn't know where. I was alone while they finished closing me up. 

Once I was in the recovery room..a place I will always remember as the most "god-awful-cave-of-unhappiness EVER.". I was told even though she was healthy, breathing and got a score of 9 out of 10 Apgar rating, that because of her size, policy stated that she needed to be in the NICU to make sure she could maintain her body heat on her own. They told me she would be with me within an hour or two. Scott was able to go up and be with her and report back. My spirits were still high at this point and I was psyched that I had a girl. My midwife had helped deliver three other babies that day, but came by for support anyway, and we started spreading the word. 

I, on the other hand was still at risk with my bp so I was placed on a magnesium drip and leg and arm cuff for 24 HOURS!!  This is kind of like a full body cast that squeezes you. I could not get out bed, eat, drink ,anything--most importantly, see my daughter. 
Trying to be brave in the godawful cave of unhappiness
Several hours went by at which point it was getting late and the NICU nurse came down and told me that they didn't think she could stay warm enough for me to see her and I was going to have to wait until tomorrow. 

Obviously I became completely unhinged, and cried. Anyone who knows anything about birth knows that a little skin to skin contact with her mama probably would have solved the problem. I threw an absolute fit (not good for bp) and my nurse--the kindest one I had out of EIGHT--went upstairs and convinced them to bring her down to me for TEN MINUTES. I manipulated the nurse into twenty and had to be satisfied with that for the night. I'd like to note here that my blood pressure stabilized as soon as they brought her to me--as did her temp.
Together and happy
Mommy feels good
A little later the ICU doc called me and said that she really needed to eat something and that we should give her some formula. I believe my words were something like "over my dead body, you will give my 4 lb newborn hospital formula"  Maybe not the smartest thing to say when you're strapped to a hospital bed.  They gave me three options..formula in a bottle (!), an IV, or daddy could come up and do tube feeding with donor breast milk every three hours for the night as the doc (male) didn't think I was "up to pumping."  My nurse was already down the hall getting me a pump and 30 minutes later I had almost 2 inches of colostrum for her to add to her supplement. They were amazed I could get so much to her and I was amazed what I can accomplish when I'm REALLY PISSED OFF.  Dad continued feedings all night (God I love my husband) and I remained strapped in bed.  I woke up several times in the night balling because I still didn't have my baby.  

Eventually the next evening rolled around and I was finally moved to the postpartum wing, where amazingly no one has a concept of "quiet voices," and all my machinery taken off. They finally brought her to me, and again my blood pressure stabilized as soon as I had her and her temperature stabilized as soon as she was with me....duh. 

At this point I had not eaten or drank anything for 48 hours which was really about 2 weeks because of my "heartburn" and was getting really pissy that no one would allow me to get some food. I yelled at my first nurse because she would not allow us to order food from the cafeteria before it closed, because she had not gotten the "okay" from my doc (who was gone for the weekend). We proceeded to have a big conflict with this nurse who refused to allow me food until I "farted." 

I was delirious at this point and just needed to eat something. Scott finally ran down to the cafeteria and brought us up some dinner anyway (I hadn't farted by the way but was ready to fall over from fatigue), and I immediately felt better. My midwife came to help me get Ruby latched on and I was able to breast feed her with a supplement tube of donor milk as mine had not come in yet. She took to it like a champ and we were finally in business. 

For 2 days she was still under the care of an NICU nurse which came into our room every 2 hours and checked her. They threatened that if she did not maintain her temp they would take her away so Scott and I became psychotic thermometer parents. The idea of them taking her again was unacceptable. 

I also had a rotating line of nurses every few hours, dosing me on painkillers (straight into my breastmilk..great), checking my wound and bleeding, not to mention the endless string of lab people, birth certificate people, doctors, lactation, etc.. We literally had someone knocking on the door every 5 minutes. It was exhausting and not very conducive to nursing a brand new baby or recovering from abdominal surgery. For the next few days we continued to be the biggest pains in the asses the hospital had probably ever seen. Everyone wanted to tell us that this or that was "policy" but the rules changed with each new person. We were basically against them taking her out of the room. 

Because of her size, it seemed everyone wanted to find something that was going wrong with her when in reality Scott and I were working our butts off to give her the best possible care and she was doing great. Her weight went down to 3lb 9oz which is normal, but she was eating and cleared all meconium out of her system.  She was a little spunk-meister even then. 

She was finally transferred out of NICU to regular newborn care but it was not their "policy to give donor milk" in newborn care and told us she could not have anymore milk. Um...REALLY?? won't give my 3lb baby anymore milk??? Aren't we in a fucking hospital? My milk had not come in yet--probably because my body didn't even know it had had a baby and they were STARVING me and keeping her from me for nearly two days.  We immediately called our lactation person and Ruby's doc and they agreed to keep her in NICU "on paper" so she could still get the donor milk. It was RIDICULOUS. 

Unfortunately, this also meant the NICU temperature Nazis were still coming by (as policy) every 2 hours even though she had technically been released into newborn care--Each one with their own story of the horrors of what might happen if we unwrap her... Good Lord. (I don't get into the financials of hospital birth too much, but for the record NICU "even on paper" is not cheap)

One person would come in and want to draw her blood, unwrap her and coo over her tiny cuteness, and then 5 minutes later someone else would take her vitals and unwrap her and then complain because she had gone down a degree, when in reality if they would have just left us alone where she was all warm and snuggled with us, her temp wouldn't drop!  Every nurse had their own agenda or weird thing they were hung up on and we were just desperate to go home, get some peace and take care of her.  

On day 3 my milk came in and we were able to shake some of the staff and we eased into a good pattern of 3 hour feedings and sleep. Day 4 finally rolled around and despite lots of attempts to find otherwise the pediatrician on call gave her a clean bill of health and told us that she was going to do something she had never done--release a four pound preemie to go home with its parents. Scott and I had our suitcases packed and the baby dressed. We closed the door and cried.  My wheelchair could not come soon enough... 
Get me the hell out of this hospital! 
The experience was about as "un-homebirthey" as I could have imagined but Scott and I--with the help of our midwife--did our best to demand the things we could and we feel that BECAUSE of all those demands we were able to take her home with us and  somewhat reestablish the connection with her that we missed the day of her birth. He and I became united in a way we had never before and I will always think of that time in the hospital as the ultimate bonding for us as a couple. We had to fight tooth and nail for EVERY thing we needed. 

I can't express how utterly devastating it was for me to carry her in my body for eight months and have her so unexpectedly taken labor, no looking down at my newborn as she came into the world, no rush of super-mama, rock star, conquer-the-world, love-cocktail streaming through my veins. I felt utterly robbed, and cheated out of the most empowering and life-affirming thing I can do as a woman. 

I have cried. I have grieved. I cry while I write this remembering how it all felt.  I still look at my precious daughter's big blue eyes and feel heartbreak when I think of the way she was separated from me for the first day and a half of her life. I remember the feelings of complete pain waking up in the recovery room with my tiny baby somewhere else in that big scary hospital without me. I will never get that precious moment back. 
Ruby, nearly 3, photo courtesy of Sarah Greenman
So many people have said to me, "just be glad you have a healthy baby." Of course I am. And of course it could be so much worse, but that doesn't make it any less painful than it was. My expectations for having my children are a little higher than just being grateful that we didn't die.  I am a woman and I missed the birth of my own child. It's reasonable to feel loss over that without being called "ungrateful." 

I'm hoping I have another chance. I hope that like so many other women choosing Vbac after they were churned through a severely flawed  hospital system the first time around and said, "Wait a sec--this is NOT RIGHT" that I can have the profound experience of becoming a mother the way it was meant to be. There is a always a chance that I could end up there again and it does scare me--a lot. I hope this time I can own it a little more and conquer my fear. I know what I can and cannot say "NO to and what was most important for us to demand. That is all I want for any pregnant woman. 

Stay tuned. Thank you for reading.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Today is my fourth wedding anniversary and I can honestly say I am just as in love, or more so, with my hubby than on the day we said our I Do's.  Life isn't as carefree as it used to be. 

(Beers may have been involved in the making of this photo)
We rarely get to go on dates or have an uninterrupted conversation, yet somehow I feel like we are closer, communicate better, and accept each other more than we did when we were just a two-some.

I've mentioned before what an awesome partner and father my husband is. But more than that, he is my best friend and understands me for exactly who I am and still seems to like me anyway. And it's mutual.

I will never understand why his ear wax is so orange.?? eww.  And he will never, never understand why it is physically impossible for me to put a pickle jar lid on straight or shut my closet light off.  But we accept these things about each other and still manage to enjoy each others' company.

Everyone says marriage is hard. Sure its hard in that annoying, cohabiting, arguing-about-where-to-put-stuff way, but honestly it hasn't been hard for us yet. I'm sure there are challenges to come, especially since we are adding another energy-sucking little ball of cuteness to the mix in a few months, but, overall we are really truly on the same page and I'm so grateful.

Our marriage doesn't usually look like this

But a movie. 
Some little nuances about my marriage that I love in no particular order. . .

When we get a frozen pizza, I put all of my pepperonis on his side and he loads me up with the mushrooms. Ahh, happiness. 

It's okay to say to each other, "I want to hang by myself tonight" without the other one feeling rejected, insecure or thinking something is wrong. Sometimes we just need space. But then we end up Facebook chatting from upstairs to downstairs anyway. We are lazy like that. 

When we have leftovers, he gives me the clean, carcass-free pieces of meat for my container and takes all the icky bits (ewww) for himself. He doesn't think they are icky so it works out. 

Sometimes when one of us is stressed out or worrying about an errand/task/paperwork, the other one just takes care of it--without being asked. Isn't that the best?

I don't feel like I ever have to pretend to be someone or something I am not. And I think he feels that way too. We are both perfectly imperfect but his imperfections don't really bug me too much. The things that really matter to me are always there.

Happy Anniversary sweetie. I love you more than Frito scoops and salsa.