At the core of this tender life is family. Mine started out with my mom Mary Mike, dad Craig and I. Then came along my fantastic younger brother Steve. For a long time it was just the four of us and I had an idyllic upbringing. Of course we had our issues, as any family, but for the most part we got along and appreciated the best in each other.
My parents have been together for 35+ years and have been married for at least 30 of those years. They are still together today, for better or worse. As a child they provided us with dance lessons, music lessons, sports, a commitment to academics, family dinners, gardening, cooking, art, summer camps and all sorts of travel around the world. It was pretty wonderful. Their commitment to our family has inspired my husband and I to continue my own family here in Idaho.
My brother and I got along better than most. The extent of our sibling arguments have come to be known as "gatorade fights", they were few and far between. More often than not we played school, hide and seek with neighbors, danced, or wrestled on a futon in the living room. We were best of friends.
When I was nearly 20, I met the man that became my husband Luke. We were in college and had no idea that eight years later we would be married and in a decade we would be expecting a child together. Before we started dating, it was my criteria that the next person I had a relationship with would have a good relationship with their own family. Lucky for Luke, he comes from a wonderful family, lead by a strong, funny and beautiful woman that is now my mother in law. He also has two amazing sisters who are busy following dreams and being awesome people, in general. I couldn't ask for a better extended family then the one Luke has brought into my life.
In the last decade I have seen Luke go from goofy college kid to dedicated partner and most recently expectant father. Just the other day he pledged his commitment to providing for our family so that I can stay home and be a mom and that we may continue to be successful in all we do. What pregnant woman wouldn't want to hear that? I'm pretty convinced that together he and I can accomplish anything we set out to do. We have watched each other grow and change and have continued to show love and respect for each other the whole time. I'm pretty confidant that with our history, we are going to continue having a great, prosperous and fantastic life together. And that's pretty tender!