See, what had happened was…

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Um…So I know it was over two nine(?!) months ago  a really, really long time ago that I last wrote about the adventures that I call life. I had just filled you all in on my move to Baton Rouge and a very newly reawakened faith. I would love to share in detail the ups and downs that transpired over the last few years following, but so much has changed so quickly that I think I’ll hit fast forward and write about a few occurrences until we’re all up-to-date. This way I can write in the present tense and save myself lots of confusion. Okay? OKAY!

I completely fell in love with Baton Rouge and to this day miss it regularly. I have already bragged on Michelle, so you know my roomie was the greatest, but the people in my life were amazing and made the biggest difference. From my classmates and faculty in the grad program, to the friends through church and small group who really became more like family, I couldn’t have asked for greater relationships. My faith was continuing to grow and this shaped every daily experience. I felt myself slowly growing and becoming little by little who He was calling me to be.

Now that I knew there was a calling on my life-not that I knew what it was just yet- I was better able to be obedient when I felt the Holy Spirit leading me. It wasn’t always easy, in fact, there were (and still are) many times when it was hard, overwhelming, or just down right scary, but I rested in the Truth of who Jesus was, is, and will always be, and stepped out in faith. This confidence, not in myself or my abilities, but in Him, got me through some of the lowest valleys and brought me to some of the highest mountain tops. As I experienced this ever growing love for The Lord, my faith was put to the test as my family went through one of the most painful experiences we had ever faced. At the same time, to my surprise, I began to feel very strongly that Speech Pathology was not what I was supposed to do with my life. I decided to take a break to discern what my next step was supposed to be.

While on this break Michelle decided she was going to get healthier and invited me to join her. I was (VERY) hesitant and (REALLY) skeptical at first because I doubted that anything would work for me at this point (more to come on this later!), but I saw her have amazing results beyond the scale and decided to give in. I had no idea that this simple invitation to a lifestyle change would completely transform my life in every way. My weight and size were numbers I thought I had long laid to rest without absolutely starving, but there I was eating more than I had in years and looking and feeling my very best! I couldn’t believe that something as simple as fantastic nutrition and focusing on quality over quantity had allowed me to achieve this. My confidence and determination to become the best version of myself, in every area of my life, was greater than ever. I found myself surrounded by even more people of character and integrity and my vision for my future began to grow. I certainly had a long road ahead of me and was (and still am!) very far from perfect, but once again things were working to move me closer to who God was calling me to be. I also made some wonderful friendships that added so much value to my life.

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You said it, sister!

Danielle was one of these friends that I was grateful to have. She helped me every step of the way with patience and encouragement as I worked toward my goals. When you’re talking almost daily it’s just natural to grow close and I was thankful for the wisdom she shared with me on relationships, faith, health, etc. and a whole lot of laughs! She’s one wise woman with a great sense of humor! (Or at the very least, she’s kind enough to always laugh at my jokes and awkward situations 😛 ) Turns out, she is also a fabulous matchmaker! I had no idea that when she introduced me to her friend, James, that she was introducing me to the man I would marry. Our story deserves its very own post, so at the rate I write, be sure to look for that in the next few years haha!

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Seriously, doesn’t she just look like a professional matchmaker?! I owe you one, Danielle 😉

On a more serious note, James was truly an answered prayer. I had been regularly praying and journaling throughout my move to Baton Rouge regarding a variety of things and very early on prayed for my future husband. I prayed for who he might be, protection over him, for his heart, for us, traits and characteristics that I valued in a man, and more. I had no idea when or if this prayer would be answered, but I knew that I wouldn’t say ‘yes’ to someone who didn’t love Jesus more than he loved me. I was ready to wait and truly had peace with being single, so imagine my surprise when Danielle introduced James and me over Thanksgiving of 2013 and it was an instant connection. After dating for several months we were engaged on January 18th and married by May 9th, 2014! It was a whirlwind of a time highlighted by the most beautiful wedding we could have asked for and hearts overflowing with joy and love. Never in a million years did I think that would be my love story. I had always been a ‘long term dating’ kind of gal, but everything with James was so different and covered in peace, that I knew it was exactly how it was supposed to be. The few doubts that creeped in momentarily were rooted in what others might think and that’s a pretty silly reason to do or not do anything in life, don’t you agree?

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A little photobooth fun with the love of my life ❤

With two and a half months of marriage under our belts-we were practically pros- and completely open to the blessing of children whenever the day was meant to be, we found out we were expecting! A whole lot of life was packed into those 40 weeks and 8 days in more ways than one, but finally, in March of 2015 we welcomed our sweet Camille into the world. 🙂

 

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So much joy from such a tiny person.

Oh, the sweetness of being this little girl’s mommy and daddy!! I always relate to the Grinch because every. single. day. my heart grows more and more with love for her!

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My heart also grows more and more with gratitude for the opportunity that we said ‘yes’ to because since day one of Camille’s life I have been able to be home with her as the primary influence in her world. This simple fact is why I am passionate about paying forward the opportunity afforded to me and sharing what is truly possible here. I never saw myself working from home like this, but I also never saw myself at home with my kids aside from in my dreams, and those usually entailed a large inheritance or marrying a surprise millionaire. Anyone know the odds of those coming to fruition? 😛

Motherhood certainly has not been easy every step of the way, but knowing that I’m the one that gets to sooth Camille when she’s upset, kiss a boo boo and make it better, instill our family values in her (okay, at this point we’re working on the fundamentals, but one day we’ll get there 😉 ) or laugh at something completely nonsensical until we’re both about to burst, makes all the less glamorous moments pale in comparison. James and I are abundantly blessed with the happiest little girl and truly wouldn’t trade this vocation for anything. Over the last 14+ months, we learned to grow together even more during the late nights, teething, the scariest experience with RSV, and everything else in between. And I have to say, seeing James love our daughter so well, better than I even knew he’d be capable of doing, makes me fall even more in love with him daily. I’m undoubtedly chopped liver when Dada is around, but I don’t even care! In fact, I am grateful! Our little girl gets to experience what so many in this world do not; a father who ADORES her, cherishes her, guides her, and reveals just a portion of our Father’s love for her.

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An oldie, but goodie of my two loves.

Their bond is an even greater confirmation that we are doing exactly what we have been called to do and before too much time passes us by, James will be home full-time too. Oh what a day that will be! I will love it for a plethora of reasons, but come August or September, depending on if this little peanut takes after his or her perpetually late mama, there will be TWO little Rutters running around and Lord knows I’ll need the help! 😀  So that’s about it! Clearly there has been much more amidst the highlights I have shared, but I believe we are up to speed and maybe, just maybe, I can write regularly now? 🙂 We shall see!

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