To the girl in my honeymoon photos,

Yeah, you, with your fresh face and bright eyes. Dang girl, you look so happy.

You’re on your honeymoon with the love of your life and no care in the world except which one of you is going to make the dash across the hot sand to grab the next round of umbrella-garnished drinks.

You’ve got it made.

I bet you slept in this morning; you do that a lot. I bet you ate all you wanted at the buffet without a second thought about how it would affect your waistline. I bet you and your brand new hubby haven’t been able to keep your hands off of each other; I see the way he’s looking at you.

But let me tell you something. All of this—it’s going to change. And it’s going to happen so much faster than you could ever see coming.

You see, a few months from now, you’re going to get the positive pregnancy test that will change absolutely everything. The one that is going to bring the 10 most perfect fingers and 10 most perfect toes you’ve ever seen into your life.

And all at once, everything that you know in this moment is going to be shaken up and turned upside down.

That sleep you so enjoy? Yep, go ahead and kiss it goodbye. Soon you’ll be on someone else’s clock (and in case you’re wondering, that someone doesn’t tell time very well). You’ll become acquainted with a whole new brand of exhaustion; the kind everyone warns you about before you become a parent but you don’t really believe exists. Trust me, it exists, and you’re going to struggle with it nearly every day.

Those thighs you think are too big right now and that stomach that’s never flat enough for your liking? You’re going to mourn those as you struggle to come to terms with the new body you’ve been gifted; the one that is squishy in all the wrong places and doesn’t fit quite right into anything hanging in your closet. There will be days when you’ll avoid looking in the mirror at all costs because you just can’t handle the shame your reflection stirs up within you.

That husband who you currently admire with stars in your eyes and passion in your heart? You two are going to fight. A lot. You’re going to struggle and nit-pick and misunderstand, and your relationship is going to be tried in ways that you never imagined. There will be nights you’ll lay in bed wondering how the two of you ever seemed compatible in the first place.

I realize the things I’m telling you sound a little Doomsday, and you’re probably shaking your head and thinking, “Nuh-uh, not me. I’m not doing it. I’m not having kids if all of this is the price.”

But, girl? Yes, you will. And you’re going to love it.

The second those sweet fingers and toes come wiggling into your life, they’re going to steal your heart and run away with it. And you are never, ever going to get it back.

I won’t lie and say the sleep deprivation is a dream, but I will tell you the moments you spend holding your baby in the quietest hours of the night are downright spiritual. You’ll find yourself fighting the heaviness of your eyelids just to breathe that newborn smell in for two more minutes or to sing him one more song. You’ll marvel over the way his lips pucker and pout as he dreams, and you’ll wish you could read his mind as he sighs contentedly. You’ll find yourself crying silent tears over him as you’re overcome with an all-consuming joy and love you can’t even begin to put into words.

That body? It’s going to take a lot of time, patience, and a huge overhaul in mindset, but you’ll come to appreciate its transformation (mostly). You’ll grow to be proud of those stretch marks, and you’ll admire with gratitude all this vessel has brought into your life. You’ll discover new ways to eat and exercise that will fuel your body, and you’ll learn how to dress your new figure to bring back some of that confidence. And when your little one looks at you, the love and wonder reflected in those piercing eyes will make you feel like the most beautiful woman on earth. And to him—you will be.

That man who you love so much, the one who traveled this path right alongside you? Well, the two of you will figure it out. You’ll grow, and transform, and learn how to communicate better than ever before. You’ll realize the importance of telling one another exactly which of your needs aren’t being met and you’ll work together to fulfill each other in every way possible. You’ll still argue and roll your eyes at times, sure, but your marriage will be infinite times stronger than the day you said your vows. And you think you love him now . . .

This life; there’s nothing simple about it. But trust me when I say that once you’re here—standing in my shoes with the knowledge, wisdom, and experience you’ve acquired since that day on the beach—you’ll dive head first into the life that’s waiting for you.

Because girl, it is good. It is just so, so good.


You may also like:

Dear Husband, Do You Remember When All This Was Just a Dream?

Parenting is Exhausting but Beautiful

The Truth Is, You Will Miss This

Want more stories of love, family, and faith from the heart of every home, delivered straight to you? Sign up here!

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Casey Huff

Casey is Creative Director for Her View From Home. She's mom to three amazing kiddos and wife to a great guy. It's her mission as a writer to shed light on the beauty and chaos of life through the lenses of motherhood, marriage, and mental health. To read more, go hang out with Casey at: Facebook: Casey Huff Instagram: @casey.e.huff

I Thought Our Friendship Would Be Unbreakable

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Two friends selfie

The message notification pinged on my phone. A woman, once one of my best friends, was reaching out to me via Facebook. Her message simply read, “Wanted to catch up and see how life was treating you!”  I had very conflicting feelings. It seemed with that one single message, a flood of memories surfaced. Some held some great moments and laughter. Other memories held disappointment and hurt of a friendship that simply had run its course. Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked on her profile page to see how the years had been treating her. She was divorced and still...

Keep Reading

The First 10 Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking

In: Journal, Marriage, Relationships
The First Ten Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking

We met online in October of 2005, by way of a spam email ad I was THIS CLOSE to marking as trash. Meet Single Christians! My cheese alert siren sounded loudly, but for some reason, I unchecked the delete box and clicked through to the site. We met face-to-face that Thanksgiving. As I awaited your arrival in my mother’s kitchen, my dad whispered to my little brother, “Hide your valuables. Stacy has some guy she met online coming for Thanksgiving dinner.” We embraced for the first time in my parents’ driveway. I was wearing my black cashmere sweater with the...

Keep Reading

To The Mother Who Is Overwhelmed

In: Inspiration, Motherhood
Tired woman with coffee sitting at table

I have this one head. It is a normal sized head. It didn’t get bigger because I had children. Just like I didn’t grow an extra arm with the birth of each child. I mean, while that would be nice, it’s just not the case. We keep our one self. And the children we add on each add on to our weight in this life. And the head didn’t grow more heads because we become a wife to someone. Or a boss to someone. We carry the weight of motherhood. The decisions we must make each day—fight the shorts battle...

Keep Reading

You’re a Little Less Baby Today Than Yesterday

In: Journal, Motherhood
Toddler sleeping in mother's arms

Tiny sparkles are nestled in the wispy hair falling across her brow, shaken free of the princess costume she pulled over her head this morning. She’s swathed in pink: a satiny pink dress-up bodice, a fluffy, pink, slightly-less-glittery-than-it-was-two-hours-ago tulle skirt, a worn, soft pink baby blanket. She’s slowed long enough to crawl into my lap, blinking heavy eyelids. She’s a little less baby today than she was only yesterday.  Soon, she’ll be too big, too busy for my arms.  But today, I’m rocking a princess. The early years will be filled with exploration and adventure. She’ll climb atop counters and...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I Loved You First

In: Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
Man and woman kissing in love

Dear husband, I loved you first. But often, you get the last of me. I remember you picking me up for our first date. I spent a whole hour getting ready for you. Making sure every hair was in place and my make-up was perfect. When you see me now at the end of the day, the make-up that is left on my face is smeared. My hair is more than likely in a ponytail or some rat’s nest on the top of my head. And my outfit, 100% has someone’s bodily fluids smeared somewhere. But there were days when...

Keep Reading

Stop Being a Butthole Wife

In: Grief, Journal, Marriage, Relationships
Man and woman sit on the end of a dock with arms around each other

Stop being a butthole wife. No, I’m serious. End it.  Let’s start with the laundry angst. I get it, the guy can’t find the hamper. It’s maddening. It’s insanity. Why, why, must he leave piles of clothes scattered, the same way that the toddler does, right? I mean, grow up and help out around here, man. There is no laundry fairy. What if that pile of laundry is a gift in disguise from a God you can’t (yet) see? Don’t roll your eyes, hear me out on this one. I was a butthole wife. Until my husband died. The day...

Keep Reading

I Can’t Be Everyone’s Chick-fil-A Sauce

In: Friendship, Journal, Living, Relationships
woman smiling in the sun

A couple of friends and I went and grabbed lunch at Chick-fil-A a couple of weeks ago. It was delightful. We spent roughly $20 apiece, and our kids ran in and out of the play area barefoot and stinky and begged us for ice cream, to which we responded, “Not until you finish your nuggets,” to which they responded with a whine, and then ran off again like a bolt of crazy energy. One friend had to climb into the play tubes a few times to save her 22-month-old, but it was still worth every penny. Every. Single. One. Even...

Keep Reading

Love Notes From My Mother in Heaven

In: Faith, Grief, Journal, Living
Woman smelling bunch of flowers

Twelve years have passed since my mother exclaimed, “I’ve died and gone to Heaven!” as she leaned back in her big donut-shaped tube and splashed her toes, enjoying the serenity of the river.  Twelve years since I stood on the shore of that same river, 45 minutes later, watching to see if the hopeful EMT would be able to revive my mother as she floated toward his outstretched hands. Twelve years ago, I stood alone in my bedroom, weak and trembling, as I opened my mother’s Bible and all the little keepsakes she’d stowed inside tumbled to the floor.  It...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Friendships End, No Matter How Hard You Try

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Sad woman alone without a friend

I tried. We say these words for two reasons. One: for our own justification that we made an effort to complete a task; and two: to admit that we fell short of that task. I wrote those words in an e-mail tonight to a friend I had for nearly 25 years after not speaking to her for eight months. It was the third e-mail I’ve sent over the past few weeks to try to reconcile with a woman who was more of a sister to me at some points than my own biological sister was. It’s sad when we drift...

Keep Reading

Goodbye to the House That Built Me

In: Grown Children, Journal, Living, Relationships
Ranch style home as seen from the curb

In the winter of 1985, while I was halfway done growing in my mom’s belly, my parents moved into a little brown 3 bedroom/1.5 bath that was halfway between the school and the prison in which my dad worked as a corrections officer. I would be the first baby they brought home to their new house, joining my older sister. I’d take my first steps across the brown shag carpet that the previous owner had installed. The back bedroom was mine, and mom plastered Smurf-themed wallpaper on the accent wall to try to get me to sleep in there every...

Keep Reading