I'm sorry I'm so behind. I've had such a busy week with us being out of town. I'll try to catch up soon and post an ultrasound pic. This entry was from last Saturday... Enjoy! =)
Today Rick and I had a pretty good day. He was off because it was Good Friday, and we enjoyed sleeping in and spending the morning with our boys.
Around noon, my parents came and took Noah and Elijah along with their cousin Kaelan, to the Cincinnati Children's museum for the day. They were so excited and they love going down there and playing on all the different exhibits.
Since the boys were gone, Rick decided he was going to take me to lunch and out shopping.
We decided to go eat at Bob Evans here in town.
This certain Bob Evans is very special to me, because it is the one where Rick and I met.
I haven't shared too many details about us "before" babies, so I thought this would be a good time to tell you a little about "us".
Rick and I had just turned 16 when we met. I had gotten a job with one of my best friends at the "new" restaurant in town. You can tell I'm a small town girl, we get excited over a Bob Evans.
So, when I went in for my first day of training, I met a boy named..... Rick.
He had just started working there himself, but somehow, he talked our manager into letting him train me.... and yep, the rest was history.
I thought he was so cute and funny, and we fell in love pretty quickly.
I think we both just knew.
I loved going to work everyday and seeing Rick. He made me smile and laugh, and I loved all the attention he gave me. By the end of the summer, I was head over heals for him. We had a chemistry that was undeniable. It was like what you see on all those sappy love story movies, except our's was real.
As we grew to know each other more and more, I noticed how important Church and God was to him. I didn't go to Church at the time and didn't really understand a lot about religion.
Rick had invited me and another co-worker to Church one Sunday, and I decided maybe I would go. I was always searching for something in my life, but I didn't know exactly what it was.
As I sat under the preaching of his Dad, I was getting very convicted. I didn't know what it meant to be saved. I wasn't sure if I was going to Heaven. All the things his Dad was preaching on... I just didn't have the answer to.
So, after the service Rick pulled me aside and asked me if I would like to know more about getting saved.
I'll never forget sitting on that old swing set behind our Church and listening to him as he shared with me that...
God loved me...(John 3:16) But...
I was a sinner...(Romans 3:23) and because of this...
My sins must be paid for...(Romans 6:23) But...
Christ paid for my sins...(Romans 5:8)and all I had to do was...
Accept Christ as my personal savior...(Romans 10:9-11)
I remember clear as day asking Rick, so if I believe all these things(which I did and do) all I had to do was believe and ask and Christ would save me?) After he answered me yes, I knew what I had to do.
I bowed my head right there as a 16 year old girl who was searching for answers. I confessed to Christ that I was a sinner and asked Him to save me and guess what??? HE DID!!!
I stood up from that swing set a different person. I was changed.
I felt like a million weights had been lifted from my shoulders. I knew that I was going to Heaven 100% without a doubt. WHAT A RELIEF!
It was the best decision I have ever made in my life, because it affects where I spend my eternity.
From that day forward until now, I have such peace in my life.
I'll never stop telling people about the day I got saved. I'm so very thankful that my boyfriend (now Husband :) took the time to tell me how.
So.... Back to us.
After our perfect summer of falling in love, I went on to finish high school while Rick started college early. We are the same age but he graduated high school early. We had a long distance relationship for about a year while he was attending Bible College. He knew God had called him to be a Preacher.
We were so in love and we hated every moment of being apart. During the next semester of College, Rick had broken his back and was in ICU in critical condition for a long time. We didn't know if he would even make it. (see I told you we've been through it all so to speak) It was such a hard time for him and his family. I hated that he was hurting and in pain. He pulled through and is doing great still today. The Doctors told him he would never walk or stand again to preach. I'm sure glad those Dr's were wrong. =)
Once he got better and moved back home, I was so glad. While he was here, I was finishing up my senior year of high school.
That next fall, Rick and I went off to Bible College together in Knoxville, TN. I was so happy to be going to school with my best friend. We made it through our first year together, and that summer on July 4th, Rick proposed.
It was one of the happiest days of my life. I'll never forget sitting on that boat at dusk as the boy I was so in love with, asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. The rest of the evening fireworks were going off all around us. It was like everyone one else was celebrating our love with us. I'll never forget that day.
We married one year later, after four years of dating on July 5th 2003. We absolutely loved married life. We were only 20 at the time and we took the next two years to grow in love with each other, and with Lord. We graduated from Crown of May of 2005. We bought our first house and moved back home. I was 6 months along with Noah at the time.
Rick took the Assistant Pastor and Youth Pastor position at our home Church under his Dad. It felt so good to be back home where we knew God wanted us to be.
It felt so good to know we made it. We made it through high school, a near death experience, college, a wedding, and a graduation.
I always knew God had something great in store for us, I just had no idea what. He's still working and I'm thankful for that.
God has really blessed our life together, yes we've been through health struggles, and much loss. But, God has blessed us too.
He has given us a love that not many people find. We are soul mates and best friends. We always will be.
So, that day as we headed to eat lunch together I was smiling. I was happy and in love with my husband.
I was looking forward to enjoying lunch and actually be able to have an (adult :) conversation with my best friend.
In the moment after we got to the restaurant, something very unexpected happened. One of the servers who worked there years ago with us, just happened to be our server that day. It was good to see her but we weren't prepared for what was about to say.
Guess what she asked us?
"Where's the baby?" As she looked down and scanned the booth beside us.
She had remembered the last time we were in that I was very close to being due with Madeline. Part of me thought it was sweet that she remembered, the other part of me wanted to run out sobbing as I could not answer that question.
I've never had this happen until today.
I watched as my precious husband gently explained to her what happened. I couldn't order my drink or even speak. I wish I could've told her, Oh, Maddie Grace is right here, as I held her up to show her off.
It was in that moment that I realized just how much more Rick meant to me. As he looked at me with the saddest eyes and tried to cheer me up. As he talked about our boys and future baby on the way. He then reminded me of all the fun memories we had experienced while working there together. He helped make me feel so much better. I just love him.
I'm blessed beyond measure to have such a wonderful adoring Husband who loves me like there is no tomorrow. We have grown up together. Literally.
And as we have walked through this valley of tears in missing our daughter, we have learned to love each other even more.
I'm so thankful that 12 years ago, I walked into that Bob Evans and met my Rick. I can't imagine where I would be without him. He is my best friend and soul mate.
I love you Rick, with everything that I am. Thank you for giving me this wonderful life that we live. Thank you for giving me my precious babies. Thank you for leading me to the Lord and showing me how to have a relationship with Him. I love you.
A look back...