life with this man – harder and much more beautiful than I ever could’ve dreamed

Words etched out a year ago, but still so, so true today…

The blanket spread out over the tall grass and there we sat searching for words to express what we were feeling.

And I could’ve sworn that my beating heart was about to come thundering right out of my chest – for somehow we both seemed to know where God was leading.

And now it’s been sixteen years since that fairytale of a day with all our love and life and possibilities just beginning.

And for all the dreams swirling, not one could rival the beauty coming.

For the glory has been found not only on the mountaintops – but in the trudging through the valleys and in the quiet monotonous moments that have become our ordinary.

love this man

Yeah, I’ll take the bed-head hair and lazy Monday mornings –

Rumpled sheets and steamy kisses as kids pile in the next room to watch one more rerun of Tom and Jerry.

And I’ll take the breakfast across the table and loudness and kids and laundry and late night talks and us melting more and more into each other.

For we’ve shared pecks on cheeks over mashed potatoes and passionate looks straight across the dinner table.

And whoever would’ve thought that your heart could beat so fast at him having a tea party with your daughter, at him furrowing brows over Legos, at him putting clothes away on a Thursday!?

And, truly, whoever said that carrying groceries in isn’t sexy?

Yeah, we’ve had dirty socks on the floor and lots of down-right ghastly.

We’ve had silent nights and lashing tongues and days that could slice your heart right open.

And we’ve had moments on knees in repentance and prayer that rival any star-covered evening of proposing.

ore family

We have had seasons of grief unbearable, and countless times when he’s held me up through the sorrow, the ugly, and the lonely.

And we’ve had this myriad of snort-laughing, crazy beautiful, and awe-filled glory.

But mostly we’ve had these jillions of moments of just plain ordinary –

It’s this love that ties up half a dozen pairs of shoes and works like crazy. This love that puts a gentle hand on my shoulder when kids are being frustrating. This love that sneaks moments alone and mows the lawn and takes out the garbage without complaining. This love that preaches truth on Sundays and strives to live truth every weekday. This love that brings me my favorite treats, plunges toilets, twirls with our littlest lady, plays football with the boy, and helps find the missing Elsa jammies. This love that keeps holding on when I’m not even lovable. This love that lays down one’s life and keeps on forgiving.

This love that never stops, but keeps on battling.

And when lights are out and kids are sleeping, it’s this love that whispers about new hopes and dreams and worries – until we notice that it’s only 9:30 and we’re both already dozing.

Yes, I’ll take this love – with all it’s dreams and sorrows and birthdays and ordinary.

One moment, one day, one load of laundry, one tuck into bed, one act of forgiveness at a time – over and over again – doing life together through the wretched, wrinkled, and lovely.

the man I love

(I love you, Gabe! I’m so glad we get to do life together! And this birthday day of yours? It always leads to such breath-taking memories. ~Jessica)


  1. Love you guys so much.

  2. You have such a beautiful family. Thanks for sharing your life with us here! You are always an encouragement to me :)
    I would love to hear about your upcoming school year :) I am super excited this year for my curriculum picks and would love to hear what you are using!

    • Thank you, Leslie! I’m excited to share about our school plans. :) I’d love to hear what you’re using.

      • Good morning!
        I am excited for this upcoming school year. My oldest, Kaleb, is now going into 4th. I have struggled with finding the right curriculum for him for the past few years. In Kinder we used HOD and I loved it. For 1st grade, we did’t have the money to buy the whole curriculum and I pieced things together….it did not go well. Then for 2nd and 3rd I used MFW and didn’t really care for it. So, I spent a lot of hours researching different curriculums and different ways to learn. I found different things that I think will work really well for him and others that will work well for our 1st grader and Kindergartener.
        Kaleb – 4th
        Bible – Long Story Short and Notgrass Proverb’s study, History – Notgrass – America the Beautiful, Science – Science in the Beginning (Dr. Jay Wiles), Math – Teaching Textbooks, Lang. Arts – Christian Light Education, Reading – Christian Light Education, Health – Abeka, Spanish – Duolingo, Art and Music – Easy Peasy, Cooking – with mom :)
        Micah – 1st
        Bible – Long Story Short and HOD LHFHG, History – HOD, Science – Science in the Beginning, Math, Reading, Lang. Arts – Christian Light Education
        Annalise – K
        Bible – Long Story Short and HOD LHFHG, History – HOD, Science – Science in the Beginning, Reading – The Reading Lesson and Christian Light, Math – Abeka/Christian Light

        I wanted to use HOD for Kaleb this year, but he gets overwhelmed with all the different books he needs to get through in one day. So, finding more textbooks that are hands on with a literature book to go with it hopefully will appeal to him more this year. My other two love to read – so I think HOD will be a good fit!
        Can’t wait to hear what you use!

        • Oh…I did HOD LHFHG last year as well for Preschool and K. So, I am only repeating the bible and history part with them this year. I think it will be a good review as I focus more on teaching them to read this year.