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I remember my teenage self dreaming, hoping, and praying for a life like I have now. Praying for a man to love me, to be loyal to me, to want a family with me, to provide for me, to show me what stability felt like and what it felt like to not ever have to worry . . . and here he is right in front of me.

I remember my teenage self dreaming, hoping, praying for a house I could make a home and raise my family in. Here it is right in front of me.

But most of all, I remember my teenage self dreaming, hoping, praying for the day I was able to be a mama. Oh, I just couldn’t waitI knew I was put on this earth to be a mama . . . and here it is right in front of me. 

I just can’t find the words to properly describe the feeling.

They gave me a new perspectivea better way to see life.

They gave me a new bodyone that is strong, flawed, and still very much so worthy.

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They gave me a new faithone that has helped me realize I can’t do this on my own.

They gave me a new look at timeit is so precious and goes by so fast, and I want to hang on to every second.

Most of my days are spent trying to find the words to describe the love I have for these babies and my husband, but there’s never one strong enough that comes to my mind. Motherhood and marriage is hard. Lots of learning, crying, sleepless nights, joy, pain, laughing, growing, and mostly love.

But I don’t even know now who I was before God gifted me this title of “mama” and “wife.” 

There is always work to be done, a house to be cleaned, supper to be cooked, baths to be given, chores to be done, and bills to paid . . . the list is always a mile long. Every day is something new. Every day, we are learning something new about parenthood and marriage.

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As husband and wife we choose to wake up every day and keep trying even when the learning gets tough, when parenting gets really hard, and even when life hands us more than we can take. We choose to wake up everyday and be thankful for where we’ve came together and where we’re headed. The most important thing we wake up and do is be thankful for being able to be mama and daddy to our two precious babies. God truly has given us more than we ever could have imagined in this life, and we will forever thank him for his blessings and love.

It’s never easy, but it is so worth it. 

Cherishing every single day I get to wake up to the laughter of my 2-year-old and coos of my 5-month-old. Cherishing every moment I get to wake up and change a diaper. Cherishing every moment I get to wake up and fold a basket full of laundry. Cherishing every moment I get to wake up and hear my husband and little boy laughing in the other room. Cherishing every moment I get to wake up and watch my baby girl do something new. Cherishing every moment I get to wake up and cook my family breakfast.

Most of all, cherishing every moment I get to wake up and be a wife and a mother to these beautiful babies.

Thank you, God, for your many blessings. Even though I fall short every day, you have blessed me with the life I always wanted, and I owe it all to you. 

The good days and the bad days, my little family is the best thing that has ever happened to me. 

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So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Kelley Shrader

My name is Kelley Shrader. First and foremost, I am happily married to my husband of five years and a mother to two beautiful kids. Aikman who is two and Ellisyn who is five months. I work full-time as an office manager for a rapidly growing company. Growing up, I always loved writing, and as I got older I got better and found it so good for my soul. I hope I can be that for other people, especially other mothers. My favorite things to write about are motherhood, postpartum, and marriage. It can be so hard, and I find it rewarding to be able to put my thoughts on paper about the good and the ugly side of it all.

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