Monday, December 19, 2011

The Cure

Instead of being up to my eyeballs in wrapping paper and Christmas ribbon like I should be this week, I am following Addisyn around with a box of tissues and a thermometer.  By the way, I much prefer the former, but this bad case of bronchitis comes with a perk for me: all she wants to do is cuddle. And although it breaks my heart to see her coughing uncontrollably and whimpering for her momma in the middle of the night, it sure as heck makes me feel important to know that laying on my chest is her idea of an immediate cure.

Isn’t it funny that when our kids are sick our gut reaction is to hold them close and comfort them, but when somebody else is sick we arm ourselves with Lysol and a ten foot pole? It is in our nature as parents to love our children without fear, without armor, and certainly without a ten foot pole. Yet, sometimes we unknowingly teach them that success in the world is more important than love in the home.  Then, other times, being the only person who can sooth the cries of a sick child reminds us just how important and fulfilling our responsibility as a parent is.

Last night I was up late editing pictures when I heard Addisyn over the baby monitor violently coughing and screaming out for me. I ran up two flights of stairs swiping some medicine from the kitchen without hesitation and scooped her up in my arms. She wouldn’t stop coughing this time and I brought her downstairs so as not to wake up Steve. When I finally convinced her to swallow her medicine she was wide awake and not wanting to go back to sleep so I turned on an episode of The Bernstein Bears and held her for the next thirty minutes. Waves of peace….

I wonder how many children out there cannot feel love from their parents. Worse, I wonder how many parents arm themselves so much with every other  worldly thing in life that they don’t get to feel the arms of their child reaching out to them in need.   Here I am praying for the sweet love of another child when God has blessed me with the gift of Addisyn. I get to give one-hundred percent of my time and attention to her so that she may know each day that she is loved.  I get to be her cure each day if she needs me. How is that for a job?

Addisyn (although still sick) has her silly spirit back. These are photos from this evening.

We built tall towers and then smashed them to pieces

We played "Hide and Go Seek"

She wanted to read the book about the monkey (Curious George)

She wanted to give me this silly face while taking a bath

and she wore this hat and these gloves around the living room

Friday, December 9, 2011

One More for Love the Story: Chapter 26 - The Title

I took a moment to gather my thoughts then proceeded with caution.

“It’s about the smoking thing…” I began calmly, before Stacy cut in.

“I know it’s a nasty habit,” she said, “I plan on quitting after the deployment.”

“YES!” I thought to myself as a flood of relief poured through my body. 

“That’s great Stacy!” I said excitedly, but a small step down from the bells and whistles that were going off inside my head.  “Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.”

“I will need all the help I can get!” She said with a slight chuckle. “I know it’s going to be tough, but I’ve been meaning to do it for a long time so when I get back it will be the good time to finally quit.”

“That sounds perfect.” I replied.

As the conversation continued, Stacy and I caught up on what each other had been doing and how much of a relief it was to finally be able to openly talk about how we had both been feeling for quite some time.  The thought of discussing the conflict of me not being a Christian briefly came and went throughout the conversation, but I told myself with the smoking issue resolved that should be enough for that discussion.  Besides, the Christianity issue was her issue and not mine.  I had no problem with her being a Christian; it was she who did not want to be with someone who was a non-Christian.  And, for all I knew, her position on the whole religion topic had completely changed.  However, as much as I tried to justify my reasoning for not bringing up this topic, somehow it still came out.

“Stacy, there is another issue I think we need to discuss before our relationship can move forward.”  I asked bringing the conversation back to a serious tone.

“I think I know what it is.” She replied sounding somewhat cautious herself, “my faith?”

“Yes.” I began. “I can remember when you and I would vent to each other about our respective relationships.  Of all the things you didn’t like about Chris, one of the reasons why you stayed with him was the fact that he was a Christian.”

“Steve, this is the way I see it.  You are one of the most spiritual men I have ever met in my entire life.  You might not think so, but there is something about your soul that is internally different than any other man I’ve ever met.  I don’t want the fact that you are not a ‘Christian’ to prevent us from moving forward in our relationship so long as we can remain open about each other’s beliefs.”

That was all I needed to hear.  As the conversation concluded, I left never having felt more confident or assured in anything as I was that Stacy and I had come together at exactly the right time.  With both of our issues being discussed and overcome, what followed over the next couple of days was a thing of beauty.  We would write each other long emails two to three times a day and would talk on the phone whenever Stacy could call out for her fifteen minute conversations.  Even though we hadn’t put a title on it, I began to feel less like waiting until Stacy got home to ask her to be my girlfriend and more like asking her right then…

From: Hart Stephen E SRA

Sent: Tuesday, March 14, 2006 3:40 AM

To: Morey Stacy L SSgt

Subject: You're incredible


Hey honey! If you do one more perfect thing I am going to fly out THERE to be with you.  I had to wait until my class left before I could read your last email.  My smile was so big I couldn’t hide it in front of my students.  Did I tell you I have a SSgt in my class.  She is such an idiot!  She doesn’t pull her rank on me, but she gets pissed when I call SSgt Beechum, Andy and such.  It’s stupid.  I knew Andy before I got down to QTP and we have hung out a couple of times… etc.  But, even her bad attitude can’t bring me down when I get my emails from you.  Which reminds me of my favorite subject…

Here is my little Stacy story.  I remember when I had my first P.T. test here on base.  You were there and you looked breath taking.  I remember being in total awe and amazement. You were either wearing a tank top, or something tight on your upper body, and shorts.  You have these beautiful long legs. Your entire body looked like God himself had sculpted it and placed you right where you stood.  I think I talked about seeing you there for a month straight.  Then, like a year later, we both end up on night shift.  I finally got to look in your eyes.  And you are right, eyes are so important.  When I was in tech school one of my buddies told me that a body is just a body, but eyes are the windows to our souls.  You have so much sincerity in your eyes.  I would purposely make a lot of eye contact with you just to see if I could get something from you.  I thought maybe if I looked deep enough I could see if somehow those eyes had a place for me.  Your lips…When I think about your day dream of cuddling on the couch and reading books (which we will definitely do) I envision randomly leaning toward you to give you the gentlest kisses on your soft lips.  

I do have a confession to make.  I caught myself calling you my girlfriend twice today.  Well it wasn’t like I was out yelling “STACY’S MY GIRLFRIEND!” in the middle of the QTP parking lot, but when I went to see the first shirt he asked me if I was married.  Then it just slipped out I said, “No, but I have a girlfriend” then that SSgt I have in my class was asking me if I own the house I am living in and I told her “No, but my girlfriend owns her house.” You really are always on my mind. I don’t know…it felt natural.  I really hope this isn’t scaring you, after reading it over it does sound a little crazy considering we haven’t made any official decision on what this is.  So, to fix that, I am going to go out on a limb and ask you if you want to be my girlfriend.

I don’t think of you any other way.  We plan on being together when you get back, and I am DEFINITELY not talking to ANYONE else until you get back.  Things are going so smooth; I don’t know what else to call this but a relationship…and the beginning of something fantastic.

Honestly let me know how you feel, I don’t want to mess up what we already have.  We will probably talk about this on the phone before you get this email.

I wrote the first half of this email at work then sent it to myself at home to finish.  But, before I got home.  Stacy called…

“Hey Sweetheart! I said, excited at the sound of her voice. 

“Hey babe! How are you?” She said upbeat as usual, but sounding a little rushed.

“I’m great now that I’m talking to you.  I miss you so much!”

“I miss you too. And I’d love to know how your day has been and what you’ve been up to, but there is something I really have to get off my chest.”

“Ok, go for it.” I responded, a little nervous.

“Can I just be real with you?”

“Sure babe…what’s on your mind?”

“I feel crazy for doing this,” she began, sounding somewhat nervous herself, “because I insisted I didn’t want to be in a relationship, but I don’t think we are meant to be JUST friends.  Would I be completely ridiculous to want to be exclusive with you?” 

Perhaps it was the short silence of me catching my breath, but she immediately started explaining herself.

“It’s just that I have this feeling and I can’t imagine myself with…”

“Stacy,” I quickly interrupted. “I want you and only you!  You aren’t crazy and you just made me that happiest man on this planet.  I’ve wanted to be your boyfriend since the first time I saw you some time ago.  I want to wait for you.” I was beyond myself with joy.  This was really happening. She felt the same way I did. “Wow, so is this it? Are you my…girlfriend?”

“YES! And you’ve just made me happier than I’ve been in a very long time.  This has to be right because I feel so at peace ya know?”

“I know exactly how you feel…the guys at the squadron are going to be sooo jealous!” I said with a laugh.  So this is the day we got together?  March thirteenth two-thousand six?”

“It’s March fourteenth over here.”

“So which one do we go with?”

“The fourteenth, that way if our anniversary is ever on a Friday it won’t fall on a Friday the thirteenth…and fourteen is my lucky number”

“Good point!” I said laughing again, “I think we both know that what we have is stronger than any superstition, but let’s make it the fourteenth just to be safe.”

We spent the rest of our time on the phone talking about how much we missed each other and how perfect it felt to finally be an official couple.  When I got home that night, I sat down at my computer and, with the new title of “Stacy Morey’s Boyfriend”, I continued my email.

I wrote the previous half of this email at work before our phone conversation.  Obviously we already discussed some of the stuff on it. The rest is in response to your last LONG email to me....which is the sweetest thing I have EVER read...literally.  The reason why it means so much is because it is coming from a person as incredible as you.

I can't wait to talk to you in the morning. I just got off the phone with you ten minutes ago and already I miss hearing your voice.  Let me ask you something, perfect does this relationship feel?  I have no problem whatsoever calling you my girlfriend, like I said before, it actually feels quite natural and I am proud to say I am with you.  I'm glad we both feel the same way.  I don't care if anyone and everyone knows.  I still think this whole situation is unbelievable.  It really seems like a fairy tale.  All of the times in the past I would think about you I never imagined I would ever actually get the chance to be with you.  And, even though I still haven't physically been with you, spiritually I feel closer to you than I ever have. 

Side note - The fact that you can't wait to cook for me is awesome.  You must be perfect. Just so you know if you need any help cooking I can be your assistant and I am more than willing to do dishes :)

In the future: I see you coming home after a long day at work.  You're not tired, you're flat out exhausted.  When you get to your house you find my car in your drive way.  As you step into your house you see the kitchen table lit by two candles.  I am sitting at one side of the table and there is a place set across from me. "Go change babe, dinner is almost done", I say to you and give you a hug and a kiss. As you go to your room to change your realize there is no special occasion, no birthday, and no anniversary. With no complaints you come to the table and sit down. I made chicken and rice, and you smile at the fact that you could have made something so much better, but know that I tried.  As we enjoy our dinner I ask you about your day and you explain how exhausting it was and we enjoy each other's company. We finish eating, you thank me for the dinner and we clean up together. 

Baby I miss you so much, I could type here all day and I still wouldn't be able to convey how badly I want to see you and how much I think of you every day.

Dreaming of you, thinking of you,

Stephen Hart

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pursuit 31 | The "Notebook" shoot

Most of my awesome readers know that this blog is really all about love.  You know that I write about how much I love my role as Addisyn’s mommy and adore the fact that Steve is the one that God picked to be my husband. When I blog I combine my words and pictures in an attempt to share my love and inspiration with you. If even an ounce of my passion for my daily pursuit of love affects you or inspires you to go home and snuggle up to your loved ones, then the purpose of my blog has been fulfilled. This blog is my personal online journal and I look forward to the day when I can look back on these years and see how much I’ve grown and where life has taken me. 

That being said, I realize almost the whole month of November is not well documented on my blog because life has been just plain hectic.  But, the truth of the matter is, the chaos was necessary so that my transition into full time mommy hood and photographer would go smoothly. There was a time when I would have never considered giving up a consistent paycheck, but the decision to quit my corporate job to become a mommy/photographer full time has been weighing on my heart for some time now. It was somewhere in this transition that I stumbled upon Pursuit 31.

Pursuit 31 is a group that was created by Karen Stott and it has been a resting place for me with my business and my life. It’s my go-to when I have any struggles with the balance of loving my God, my husband, my daughter, and running my business.  If you can imagine a network of over a thousand women who support you in all aspects of your life, that’s Pursuit 31. This group has been a huge blessing to me so I couldn’t contain my utter excitement when Steve agreed to let me travel to Connecticut for three days to meet some of these lovely ladies. 

We learned so much about the photography industry, but the most important thing to me was the fellowship of these twelve ladies that were living somewhat parallel lives to me. They could relate to my dreams of being a successful photographer and a great mom and wife. Love was ever-present during the retreat and I am dying to show you the pictures of this “Notebook” themed shoot.
To learn more about Karen Stott and her vision with Pursuit 31, click here and to visit her facebook page click here

A big shout-out to my roomies: Rachelle, Angie, Katie, Sharna, and Beth ~ You all have a special place in my heart after our two nights of bonding! You seriously rock and I would be roomies with you any day of the week :-)

  Connecticut vendors you must check out from this shoot:

 Heidi and Deedee from Always and Forever, LLC
Styling by The White Dress by the Shore
Makeup by Erin at Simply Gorgeous by Erin and Andrea at Makeup by Dileto

A  huge thanks to these gorgeous models, Mackenzie, Anthony, Justin, Stephanie, Dan and Andrea. You guys were amazing to work with ;-)

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