June 16, 2013
First, a pregnancy update! I’m currently 10 weeks and 5 days. Baby J is the size of a kumquat! Thankfully, I haven’t had very much morning sickness at all…except while I was in Mexico, but that’s a story for another day. I’m not having any cravings really, but I've noticed I can’t eat as much as I used to because I get full really fast. Also, a lot of things upset my stomach these days. I have been eating a lot of pickles and drinking a lot of spicy V8, though! I can’t believe how fast the weeks are flying by…I’m almost finished with my first trimester! Hopefully the 2nd trimester will be just as easy as the first!
I knew I wanted to write this blog for Father’s Day but I knew that it would be a tough one to start. This post is dedicated to all the fathers in my life: my daddy, Clay’s daddy, my uncle Kent, and of course, our sweet baby’s father-to-be.
I want to start with my daddy. My daddy, Stuart John Ross grew up in Miami in the 50s. From the stories I've heard, he led a very hard life, beginning with his childhood. These hard beginnings helped shape him into the man he became. He was one SO smart. He had more common sense than I will ever have. He was an amazing welder. He was so talented. I remember him yelling up from the basement, asking me to come downstairs and help him on one of his latest art projects. He made belt buckles, bracelets, and stained glass. He never did anything halfway. He put everything he had into everything he did.
Unfortunately, life never got any easier for him. He worked hard for every dime he made. He tried his best to give us girls what we needed and wanted. I’ll never forget how happy I was when he’d come home with candy from Jerry’s Neighborhood Store after work. He was always thinking about us, whether we knew it or not. My sisters are 8 and 11 years older than me, so I got to experience my daddy pretty much as an only child for many years. There were times I wanted nothing to do with him. It’s amazing how your perspective on things change as you get older. All the bad times seem to fade away and all you are left with are the good memories you choose to hold on to.
When my mom and dad split up, I honestly didn’t know if I would ever want to see him again. When he got sick a few years later, when I was in college, my mom invited him to move back in so she could take care of him. It makes me tear up just thinking about how selfless my mom is. She loved him when he didn't love himself. I’ll never forget those years that allowed us to reconnect. He even got to see my cheer at one of my college football games! I will always be grateful for that short time. Those were the last times I got to spend with him. The summer after I graduated, he got really sick and was admitted into the hospital. He died a few days later on June 27, 2008. One regret I will always have is not calling him back that summer when I got back from Italy at the end of May and had a voice mail from him. That was the last time I heard his voice. I like to think he knew I was there at the hospital with him though. I have to believe he did.
It was hard when I got married and he wasn't there, but it was even harder when I found out I was pregnant and realized he wouldn't be here for that either. I just pray every day that he knows how much I love him and miss him. I think about him in everything I do, hoping I am making him proud.
Whenever I get sad, these lyrics give me comfort…
Sometimes, I feel my heart is breaking
But I stay strong, and I hold on because I know
I will see you again,
This is not where it ends.
I will carry you with me…
Love you, daddy!
Even though my daddy is gone, I have no lack of amazing men in my life. My uncle Kent is one of the most amazing, generous, and kind men I've ever met. I spent the first 10 or more years of my life afraid to even go near him because I was so shy. When I would have to walk by his chair, I would stay as far away as I could. After a few years, that all passed and I got to know what an unbelievable man he is. I will never be able to thank him enough for stepping in and being a father figure to me and helping our family out when we needed it the most. He has always been there for us, no questions asked.
Kent, you have helped to shape me into the person I am today, and I am so honored to be your niece and I love you to the moon and back!
Clay’s daddy, Karlie is the sweetest man you will ever meet. I could not have hand-picked a better father-in-law. He would do absolutely anything for us and I can see so many of his qualities in Clay. He is so gentle, caring, funny, and generous. I am so lucky that our baby will have such an incredible role model to grow up with. If Clay is half the daddy you are, this baby will be the most loved little thing in the world. Love you, Karlie!
Lastly, to the father of our sweet little baby… First of all, thanks for choosing me. I know things haven’t been easy the last few years with me totally uprooting us and changing careers. Thank you for letting me follow my dreams. You will never know how much I appreciate your support and selflessness. When I picture our little baby, I see a perfect mix of you and me…my tender heart, your sensibility. My book smarts, your common sense. My need for attention, your independence. You are going to be the most amazing father. Watching you with Bailey and Zoey made me long for the day you would be able to play with our own little baby. I am so thankful that our baby is going to grow up with a daddy who will love him or her more than life itself. I am so excited to start the next chapter of our lives with you! I love you more than you will EVER know. xoxo