Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Glue that Keeps Our Family Together

With a baby in each arm, a lunch box, a briefcase, two diaper bags and a set of car keys, Matt hustled out of the house earlier than usual this morning so he could log a few extra hours into his already long work day. Moments before the door closed behind him he did two awesome things. First, he wrestled the kiddos into our bedroom so we could all exchange kisses (our rule is daddy and mommy always get the first kiss) and then told me I looked beautiful. Folks, I can assure you that these days I do not look anything close to "beautiful." I'm rocking 3 day old pajamas that have collected several coffee stains from awkwardly sipping coffee in a horizontal position in a sea of pillows, I've been "showering" with dry shampoo and baby wipes all week, I've opened my makeup drawer once since October 27 and I hadn't brushed my teeth yet.

After daycare drop off he swings through the coffee shop and brings me an extra large, piping hot cup of hazelnut coffee with the perfect amount of sugar and creamer. And honestly, none of this is a surprise to me because my husband is awesome. Like, really awesome, and does things like this for me all the time, not just when I'm a patient. So today he deserves to be bragged on because I often fail to recognize that I truly won the husband lottery. 

And before I dive into my public profession of love for my husband, I want to add a disclaimer that we've been through a lot over the years and things aren't always perfect. Marriage is hard. Then throw in two little ones and everything becomes even harder. And exhausting. I wouldn't trade our babies for the world, but sometimes I do reminisce back to the days before we were a mommy and daddy. We had more money. More time to give one another. And things were a lot less complicated. But that's a post for another day. I digress.

Recovering from a double mastectomy is similar in a lot of ways to recovering from labor. There's a flood of gross body fluids, lots of pads and bandages to change often, you need assistance getting out of bed and to the bathroom, there are tons of medications required to keep your pain under control and more. But the biggest and most important recovery difference is that with a double mastectomy you 100% loose the ability to use your arms for the first week. You are forced to completely depend on another person (in my case, my husband) to do all of those lovely tasks previously mentioned (and many more) for you. Matt took dang good care of me during both of my recoveries after the birth of our children. But this recovery has not only humbled me in all sorts of new ways, it has also reminded me of all the reasons why I married this man of mine.

I am so grateful for our moms for taking care of our kiddos, keeping our home clean and making sure we were all fed. But while mom was running around vacuuming, folding laundry and whipping up freezer meals, Matt was laying in bed next to me, worried about my pain, fluffing my pillows, placing pills in my mouth every two hours and lifting my straw to my lips. He slept less than I did (and I barely slept that first week) in fear that I may need something. Each time I needed to use the bathroom he cleared a path in the bed for me and carefully lifted me out of our bed, holding on to me as I very slowly walked to the toilet. Then he had the lovely job of pulling down my underwear, waiting forever for me to pee (thank you, catheter), wiped me and redressed me. And every few days when I mustered up enough energy to shower Matt was there. He's wrapped and unwrapped my bandages dozens of times, applied ointments to my nipples, emptied, measured and cleaned cups of my blood and tissue from my drains several times a day and more.

As if taking care of me wasn't already a full time job, Matt has been running off of fumes as he cares for Caroline and Thomas on his own. He's up with Thomas at 4 am to feed him six ounces and a few hours later he's swooping Caroline out of her crib and setting her down to a plate of waffles and Mickey Mouse while he scrambles to shower and dress himself for work. Halfway dressed, he rescues Caroline from trying to jump out of her hi chair, smearing just a smidge of syrup onto his suit pants in the process. Both kids are now screaming for attention yet one parent is still down so he's forced to power through a hectic morning of diaper changes, wash and make all of Thomas' bottles, pack daycare bags, dress himself and both kids and get out the door. But of course, one or both poop minutes before departure so there's another round of diaper (and sometimes another outfit) changes. At some point during all of this he makes sure to carefully organize a combinations of six medications into pill containers for every two hours while he's gone. He knows I may sleep through a dose so he then sets five reminders on my phone to tell me which medications to take and when. Finally ready to tackle the double daycare drop off, he sweetly comes into our bedroom for the aforementioned kisses, i love you's and goodbyes...only to return 30 minutes later with a cup of coffee before putting in a 10 hour work day.

In those eerily quiet moments in our home I am reminded that Matt is the glue that keeps our family together these days. He is a dedicated daddy, devoted husband and I'm so lucky to be the one to snuggle into his arms when he collapses into bed at the end of the day (after he's cleaned the dishes, bathed the kids, read books and tucked both babies into bed). I love this man with my whole heart.
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52 comments:

  1. Oh this post just makes my heart swell! You two have been through so much. Just from reading it's clear. I'm sure there is so much more that we all don't know about. I just love when people find their one true love. Their best friend. It just seems like, in a world of chaos, with bombings, and sickness, terrible diseases and tragedies, there's at least still this. The love. The happily ever after. The for better or for worse. I'm so happy that you two have each other!

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  2. This post makes me so happy for you and so excited to meet my special man one day! Love isn't perfect but it sure is wonderful! Glad you found such a marvelous man!! :) XO

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  3. This single girl is praying there's a guy like that out there for me ;) Hope you are feeling good in your recovery! xo

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  4. You are one lucky woman and your children have an amazing father. Keep it up, Matt!!! :)

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  5. That post was so beautiful. It's a nice reminder to thank all the wonderful husbands boyfriends or other family members that keep the glue together in our families. Glad you have someone wonderful to help you through this process. God bless.

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  6. This is the sweetest post I may ever read on the internet. Three cheers for Matt! Wishing you a speedy recovery also

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  7. This was such a great post! Your husband is such a wonderful man. I think it's beautiful to celebrate our husbands. <3

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  8. You are a very lucky girl! Matt seems like he is such a treasure!

    Justine @ Charm City Ciemny's
    www.lifeasabaltimoregirl.blogspot.com

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  9. This post just gave me all the feelings!! What a wonderful man, husband and father - but you of course deserve it! xo, Biana

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  10. He is an amazing husband & father! There are not enough of his kind around (I'm lucky enough to have one myself though!) Thankful you have such a wonderful man to help you through all of this!

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  11. Awww this is an amazing post--Matt is just fantastic! And he's lucky to have a wife who appreciates him as much as you do!

    Lauren :)

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  12. This is the sweetest post. I bet he would do it again all over for you in a heartbeat. There is no better feeling in the world than knowing that you have a great husband and father to your children. I hope you continue to recover well!

    Chels @ Red Velvet Rooster

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  13. This made me cry! Thanks for sharing.

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  14. Cheers to an incredible husband <3!

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  15. Being a three day old newlywed, this post makes me tear up!!! You are so blessed and Matt sounds like the kind of husband I want my husband to be friends with! I'm praying for his strength and yours too! XO

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  16. Dads usually don't get enough credit for all they do. I've been reading your blog for 2 years and I love the little things you and your husband do to keep the marriage "fresh". Marriage is tough but to remember these little gestures of love and care is very important. So glad you are recovering well from your surgery. :)

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  17. His mother should print this post and frame it. It is a testament to her work as a mother. xo Amanda

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    1. I agree with Amanda! His Momma did great! What a blessing they each found each other with their own strengths, gifts and weaknesses. Many prayers for your continued healing and sending hugs for strength and support of your amazing Matt.

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    2. I have to agree! I can only hope we raise Thomas to be just like his daddy!

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  18. so sweet- loved reading this and so glad you have an awesome one!! prayers for continued healing and yes!!! to hazelnut coffee {one of my favorites}

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  19. Oh how I admire you and your marriage! More marriage post please! This is so heartwarming and wonderful!

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  20. Oh you got a good one! What a humbling experience this has been for you both. I can imagine it has only made your marriage stronger. People still waiting to get married need to read this so they can see what sort of qualities you really need in a spouse - someone who will help you go to the bathroom. Such a sweet post.

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  21. This made me cry too!!! What a godly man! I am so heart-burstingly happy for you two that you have one another. Thank you for sharing this.

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  22. In tears. You hit jackpot and deserve every ounce of it! xo

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  23. This was so beautifully written. His Mama taught him well. You two are so beautiful and perfect for each other <3

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  24. When the Bible talks about agape love, this hits the nail on the head. I can't help but think of Prov 31:28-29 as I read this: "Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” You are so very treasured!

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  25. He obviously is a real and selfless man, just the kind I pray my daughters will meet and marry.

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  26. Oh my goodness! You have definitely hit the husband jackpot!! Reading this, I don't know how he does it but eh definitely loves you fiercely!

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  27. what an incredible post and an incredible partner you have! i'm exhausted just reading about his days but there's no doubt in my mind he would do it for every day to come to support and provide for his family, who he clearly loves so deeply. blessings to you all! :)

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  28. So, so sweet. I'm not sure if it's pregnancy hormones or not, but I completely bawled my way through your post. You are both so blessed to have each other...what a wonderful man you have! You're right: marriage definitely isn't easy, but it's most definitely worth it. Continued prayers for your speedy recovery.

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  29. This post brought me to tears multiple times. So glad you two have found one another. Such a sweet post to your amazing husband!

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  30. Totally crying this is true love for another.. If he doesn't read this I'd print it an frame it for him for Christmas..

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  31. Beautifully said! Finding your best friend is a rare gift. It fills your life with a special goodness that not many people get...the highs are higher and the lows are lower, but you've got a partner through it all. Your true love definitely shines through! I count my blessings every day for finding mine. Thanks for sharing and reminding everyone to be so thankful!

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  32. Brag away! Your Hubby deserves all the bragging he can get. He sounds like an amazing man and his love for your and your children is evident in his actions. You married a good one ;)

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  33. I have a theory that God intended for us to meet our spouses when we're young and beautiful so we fall in love with our external beauty when our souls are less mature... and then as we age and we care for each other through trials and tribulations, you know, the "hard stuff"... we fall in love with each other's internal beauty. I bet you're ready to see him through a life time of hard stuff, aren't you? *gentlehugs*

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  34. what a wonderful post. all too often, people simply post about negativity and come to their blog to vent, ect. so great to see such a loving & wonderful post. so glad you found your "lobster." hope you're hanging in there and healing nicely!

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  35. Hi Christina!

    First time commenter and this post brought tears to my eyes!!! Your husband is wonderful, and he is very lucky to have a wife who appreciates all of his hard work!! I am praying for your family - for your recovery, for Matt and for your babies. You are such a strong woman and I admire you so much!!

    We live in Charlotte, too! We just moved here last year (we're technically in Matthews) and love it! My husband and I have two little girls - ages 3 and 2. I know we've never met, but if you ever need anything please don't hesitate to reach out!!

    - Sarah www.thefrugalmillionaireblog.com

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  36. I love this post! He sounds like an amazing husband and father. We need to shower our men with praises more often!

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  37. This post gave me all the feels. I love it so much. You are so deserving of him..and as a single girl I pray I find a man like him one day too. Hope you are feeling better each day! Hugs xx

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  38. You are both so incredibly blessed to have each other - you have endured many ups and downs but you have remained close and together and you stand proud as a united couple. This results in one spouse being willing to do anything and everything for the other. x

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  39. Oh, I just love his love for you & your babies. And your love for him is just as powerful & unwavering I'm sure. So happy rhatvyou have each other.

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  40. I love this, and I love how Matt is caring for you and the family! How lovely to know you've made such an awesome selection in a life partner! xo

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  41. I'm filled with so much love for you family. Matt is so awesome and you are amazing for allowing yourself to be so vulnerable. Sending you all prayers and love! xo

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  42. I've been reading your blog since just before your wedding and hands down, this is the best post. Not that your other posts weren't heartfelt or wonderful in their own way, but this is hands down a perfect post. I love the suggestion of printing it our for his mom-yes, she did a wonderful job raising him.

    When my mom was diagnosed with a brain tumor and I watched my parents relationship evolve, I vividly remember saying to myself, "marry a man like this." Meaning, I wanted someone who would obviously be with me in good times, but even moreso in bad. I am glad you found your perfect partner.

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  43. You most certainly have scored big in the husband lotto! What an amazing man! I don't even know him and I adore him for being the glue for your family right now! I also adore you for being so positive and so strong!!!

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  44. Love this! What a sweet and selfless way he is showing Christ's love to you!! Hang in there, thank you for sharing your journey!!

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  45. So. I pretty much LOVE this post. I love love love love love people who love their marriage and their spouse. I'm SO glad that you get to do life with a sweet man like Matt. (I have my own amazingly sweet husband who constantly humbles me with his goodness... so I'm glad you do too!) You're pretty amazing yourself thought - don't forget that either. ;)

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  46. Beautiful post! Love your blog! - fellow Charlotte, NC resident !

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