September 3rd is a date that holds a lot of extreme emotions for me.

September 3, 2011 is the day that I gained a husband. I gathered with my closest family and friends, put on a fancy white dress, and walked down the aisle to dedicate the rest of my life to my high school sweetheart. We spent the day happily in love, danced the night away, and crashed in our honeymoon suite at Salvatore’s as husband and wife. It was a beautiful, magical day and one that I will never forget.

September 3, 2012 is the day that I gained a daughter. I experienced pain and strength like never before. I leaned on the support of my husband as Marleigh Jo entered the world at 4:23 AM, all 7 lbs 11 oz of her. Our new little family of three spent the day together in a sleepy, love-struck haze in our hospital room. It was an incredible, awe-inspiring day and one that I will never forget.

September 3, 2014 is the day that I gained a hero. I got the phone call that every person dreads, that my mother was in the hospital. I drove like hell to the same hospital that brought me so much joy just two years prior. My family gathered together and everyone we knew prayed for a miracle. Thankfully, 27 days later, God answered those prayers and my mommy walked out of the hospital doors completely healed. It was an emotional, terrifying day and one that I will never forget. 

This year, September 3rd has even deeper meaning. It is a day to celebrate life. Life together as husband and wife that Luke and I started four years ago today. Life as a “big girl” as Marleigh Jo turns three years old. And a new chance at life for my mom, who we weren’t sure would still be here one year ago today. So…

Happy anniversary, Lukas. You are my best friend and I am grateful every day that I get to do life with you by my side. What we have isn’t always perfect, but you are beyond perfect for me. God sure knew what he was doing when he brought us together at the ripe age of 9 years old. I pray for a lifetime of more anniversaries to come with you by my side. You’re my everything, and I love you! 

Happy birthday, Marleigh Jo. I am so proud of you and so thankful that God chose me to be your mommy. You bring more sunshine and laughter to my life than anyone ever has. You are sweet, stubborn, silly, and sassy and I love every little thing about you. I hope you never ever doubt how deeply you are loved!

Happy “new birthday,” Mommy. I thank God every single day for keeping you here on this side of Heaven. You mean more to me than you will ever know and I am so beyond proud of you and all you have accomplished these past 365 days. You are a walking miracle, the biggest inspiration, and the best mother and friend I could ever ask for. I love you!

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