Wrangler Dani

Writer, editor, marketer and communication strategist. I'm also a wife, mama, hiker, cowgirl and experimental cook living in beautiful Central Oregon.

Archive for the ‘gratitude’ Category

May 25th, 2017 by Dani

What Love Looks Like

For weeks, we’ve been collecting clothes, toys, furniture and other sundries from friends. They’ve come over with moving vans and pickup trucks, minivans and sensible Hondas, delivering the treasures of last year or last decade to our door. We drove around our county to pick up items, always with a grateful heart.

Once I started to feel overwhelmed by the stuff of other people’s lives, we started taking trips to our garage sale site, Josh and Kate’s new home. We filled the garage, the carport, and the living room. I apologized a lot for taking over their lives, but they are nice and didn’t seem to mind. Kate knows a professional sign maker and got printed signs donated, that said “Adoption Fundraiser Sale” in big black and red letters.

Two nights before the sale, Adam was up almost all night for work. Adelay was fussy, I was tired. We hadn’t had dinner together for a few nights and I was feeling hungry for more than food. We needed a break but one wasn’t coming – we had a sale to run. The night before, Adam made several trips with sale items in the pickup, we ate dinner at 10 pm, Josh and Kate went out late at night to hang signs. I felt overwhelmed and maybe a little defeated. I wondered if we were crazy to go through this again, if we were being unfair to our kind friends, if maybe we’d overstepped this whole “live out loud” thing once and for all.

But do you know what love looks like? I can tell you.

Love looks like undeserved favor. Love looks like friends who laugh at your apologies and cheerfully work for your cause, because they have taken it on as their own. Love looks like a beautiful summer morning sunrise that you are ready for, despite four hours of sleep. Love looks like friends who dropped off more sale items, even as the sale was in progress, who came by with baked goods for the bake sale and hugs and cheerfulness for us.

One woman made a small pile of flower pots and a sundial, and asked, “What do you want for this?”

We’d sold so many things and there was something about her that seemed hungry for kindness, so I said, “Whatever you want to pay.”

She sighed and shook her head, “You’re very generous, but I can’t do that today. Just tell me what you want.”

I quickly smiled and offered a small amount, $5 or something. She followed up by asking me what we were adopting. I laughed and told her a baby. “We’re already adoptive parents and we’re adopting again,” I explained.

Her entire face changed. She looked at the ground, and seemed to be trying to collect herself. Then she handed me a crumpled $20 bill. “Good luck,” she said, and she started to cry. I reflexively gave her a hug and she quickly turned away with her items, I could see tears coming out from behind her sunglasses.

Love looks like letting your story out into the world. Love looks like the hugs I got from strangers who are also adopting, who gave us more than we asked, who are adopted themselves. Love looks like giving people a chance to share in a beautiful life-changing story, one that is just beginning to unfold, and could not be told without them. Love looks like friends who donate, bake, and give of their company and courage. Love looks like a toddler happily playing with safe adults, secure in the knowledge that her tribe is there for her and baby brother or sister. Love looks like the countless texts and calls we got from out of town friends and family to ask us how it was going and how they can help.

Love looks like $2497.84 being raised in a single weekend, selling $1 flowerpots and baby onesies for 50 cents. This is what love looks like.

May 1st, 2017 by Dani

Don’t Call Me a Saint

Do you remember the scene in Julie and Julia when Julie keeps referring to her “sainted husband”, as she goes further and further down her Julia Child-inspired rabbit hole? One night they get into a big fight and he says “And stop calling me a saint on your blog! I’m not a saint!”

I’ve thought about that scene lately because I sometimes feel that way.

You’d be surprised how often I get stopped and asked about adoption by perfect strangers. Inevitably, the conversation turns to some complimentary thought along the lines of (and yes these are real quotes),

“Wow, you are so selfless.”

“You guys are saints.”

“What a lucky little girl.”

First of all, I am not a saint, and I know this because it feels nice to have people flatter me in public. Secondly, adoption is hard and sometimes gnarly and often expensive (in more ways than one) but let me be clear: we are NOT SAINTS. We have been blessed beyond our wildest dreams by our darling girl. I fall more in love with her, with adoption, and with motherhood every day, but our family is as messy, complicated, impatient, tardy, unorganized or silly as any other family. It’s not as though because we are an adoptive family I suddenly got good at folding hoodies or making our bed or remembering how I made a given recipe. I am still a mediocre baker, a terrible runner and bad at details. I still tend to be late, tend to be emotional, tend to be quite dramatic when I feel sick. I still like clothes quite a lot, and have not lost my taste for a good glass of wine or a swanky dinner out, although with a toddler those things are more precious than they used to be.

My point is that I am not selfless. I am not a saint. If anything, I am a work in progress. I am following my heart and the call that God has put on our family the best way I can, which translates to an imperfect, outside-the-lines kind of life, because that’s the best I’ve got.

So, here’s my PSA – next time you want to tell a stranger that she is lovely or admirable, just say so. Tell her that you like her skirt or that she seems like a good mom. Tell her that her daughter is beautiful or her son is spunky. Tell her that you admire her courage, or her laughter, or her verve. But do me a favor – don’t call us selfless, or saints, or act like we’ve taken on charity cases because we love kids who may not look like us. I am ever so blessed, and I am trying to be the best mom and wife and creative I can be, but I’m not a saint and my baby isn’t lucky to have me. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s the other way around.

Addy and I at our recent LuLaRoe fundraiser sale for Adoption #2. As Addy says, “Yay Family!”

April 11th, 2017 by Dani

Adoption Expedition #2

The other night I held my friends’ beautiful baby boy, adopted in a whirlwind just as my baby was, supported and surrounded by love before we even knew his name.

I remember when I didn’t really want to be a mom, at least not enough to work for it. I remember when that changed, when the ache to be a mom hurt so badly that I thought my heart was shriveling up inside of me – little did I know it was actually growing in size and courage. I remember when holding my friends’ babies felt like working out – good but hard.

We are adopting again, and I’m often asked why. (I know it’s a funny question, but we get it a lot.) Here is my “why” – I remember the heartache of the first time through, and I remember how much faith we needed, how much support and love we got, how many miracles happened, and I know that the God who brought us here is not done with us yet.

Now my days are filled with a silly singing toddler. I buy fruit snacks and milk, goldfish crackers and red grapes. I have to find babysitters, yes, and sometimes I look back my good old days of “free time” with something like lust.

But I know what unabashed joy looks like. I have lived through mercy and I’ve seen redemption first-hand. I know that the valleys are not as endless as they seem and that the future will hold dark times, yes, but it also holds oh-so-much laughter and grace. Scary things will come, but so will beauty and chunky baby thighs and silly toddler faces and open highways and daffodils and grilled cheese sandwiches.

We are risking again, adopting again because adoption is beautiful and we believe in beautiful. We are grateful people who have walked heart-broken long enough to know that that the dark nights never last longer than dawn. We know that the dawn is always worth waiting for, that every sunrise is a gift, that our life is but a breath. So we are drawing in and breathing out with courage and hope, knowing that God loves our family too, that he is planning this second expedition with as much care and kindness as he did the first.

This week I had three people tell me that Adelay and I have the same crinkly-nosed laugh. I hope that’s true, and I hope that our family continues to leave a legacy of laughter and hope and beauty. Thank you for supporting us as we embark on Adoption Expedition #2!

December 14th, 2016 by Dani

Snow Day

family hike in the snowIf you know me, you know I love Christmas. I love the whole season – I play carols and bake cookies and pull out the candles that smell like fir trees. I love to savor Christmas – I like to pick a particularly cozy Christmassy book to read every year, and no Christmas is complete without a reading of A Christmas Carol, like a predictable conversation with an elderly friend, one that somehow manages to surprise and delight even when you know exactly what will be said.

This year, Christmas has felt less like a quiet, sanctified season of traditions and more like a flurry of activity. I haven’t even met up with Marley’s Ghost yet and Christmas is a week away! I am running, keeping up with my toddler, my growing business, my personal projects, my list of responsibilities. I am on the edge – I might burst into laughter or tears, I might make a lovely braised beef shank for dinner or I might leave it on the heat too long and make a charred doggie treat for Guinness. Adam took us out for a lovely weekend getaway for my birthday, and I let myself fall into relaxation like a giant snowbank, only to find myself back in the frenzy within moments of returning home.

And then, today, like a miracle, like a kiss – we get a snow day. Just like that, all is calm. School is canceled, the barn is closed. Meetings begin to drop off the calendar and I hear the fire calling me, asking me to slow down and sit a while. I heat up a cup of coffee and watch the snow fall. Unlike rain, which either patters drearily or beats down with fury, snow just falls. Whether heavy or light, the first or the last snow of the year, it’s all the same in its perfection. It covers up ugliness, it silences the rattle and bang of a storm. Old cars and new alike look quaint when covered in snow, wipers propped up by wise owners. Christmas lights glow cheerily, tree branches hang down, heavy with beautiful white blankets. You can’t drive fast in the snow. Stores close early, hand-written signs grace small restaurant windows: “Snow Day”. You text your friends with cheery words of wisdom: “Drive safe! Stay warm.” I’m reminded of how blessed we are to have a warm fireplace and a full pantry on a day like today.”Though our sins were as scarlet, we are washed white as snow.” Snow hearkens of Christmas, because we need grace at Christmas. I need to be reminded that as much as I love the parties and presents and traditions, grace is what matters. Grace for today – snow on my roof, on my old car, over the places in my life that I’m not proud of and the things that I’ve tried so hard to make beautiful. Snow covers it all with the same grace and peace. Thank you, God, for snow days.

August 19th, 2016 by Dani

Being Needed

Yesterday morning, Adelay and I went to Costco. This is a regular occurrence for us, and Addy knows the drill: eat graham crackers, smile at passers-by, kick feet out of cart-holes and chillax. She has the best life. Anyway, we were checking out and this elderly lady decided to make friends with Addy. She finally coaxed her into a rousing game of peek-a-boo and Addy really turned on the charm, laughing and covering her nose with her short little fingers (she doesn’t quite realize that the point of the game is to cover one’s eyes). It was super cute and it made everyone in the check-out a little happier, to see this little friendship blooming between a lady in her 70’s and a one-year-old.

After we checked out, Addy and I waved good-bye to our new friend and she said to me, “this made my day! Thanks for letting me play with her and feel needed.”

I thought that was a strange thing to say. But my cart was filled with the stuff of a young family: milk and cereal and a fleece pajama set for my girl, while hers had a few single-serving dinners and not much else. I don’t know anything about her life (she just played with my daughter for a minute in the Costco check-out, after all). But as I drove home I found myself thinking about feeling needed, and feeling sadness for this lady I don’t know, that she doesn’t feel that way.

I like to be needed. (Doesn’t everyone?) I like it when my friends call because they want to hear what I’ll say to news or a dilemma, I like it when my husband asks my opinion, I like it when Addy stretches out her arms to me with a little “hmmmmm?”

But the dilemma of motherhood is this: it’s so lovely to be needed, and yet there’s just SO much need! Can you need me for hugs and snuggles and then happily play alone while I do dishes? Can you need me a little less before I’ve had coffee, or a little more when I’m feeling insecure and lonely?

Need is needy. It pulls and pushes at me when I feel cranky and overworked, then it drifts away and I suddenly miss it, just when I thought I really needed a break.

It’s easy to feel small and silly, to wonder if my life matters or feel bluesy about the state of the world. But then need rumbles me out of my funk and gives me hope. Because if I’m needed by this little pigtail-wearing blueberry-munching girl, or if I’m needed by friends or family or church or home or work, then that’s all that matters, isn’t it? God didn’t give us these little lives to make us crazy, he gave them to us because the daily work of life really matters – the picking up of fussy kids and the smiling in the Costco line and even the answering of emails – it matters.

I’m so grateful to be needed. When I feel tired and grouchy, I will remind myself about the lady in the checkout line, who’s day was made by a five-minute encounter with the little person who I get to share life with, who I get to be needed by. May I never forget, this endless need is an enormous gift.

July 11th, 2016 by Dani

A year later

Addy and I on our plane ride homeOne year ago, we were thrown from desperate hope of one kind into desperate hope of another. It’s hard to remember, now that Addy is a crawling, babbling, Cheerio-gobbling little lady, but she was tiny, helpless, with skinny little arms and legs poking out of baggy newborn clothes. I remember praying that she would eat her tiny bottles, that she would keep breathing through the night (surely I’m not the only parent ever to worriedly check on her newborn throughout the night? If I am, don’t tell me) that she would feel safe and loved in our arms.

We flew across the country with this tiny person. I have never felt so close to Heaven – not because it was blissful but because God walked with us, guided us and held us close, just as I held my baby to my chest.

A man stopped me in the airport when we landed at home and told me he could tell I was an adoptive mom. “Nothing and nobody is going to hurt that baby while you’re here,” he said kindly. I felt a little silly, thinking, “is it that obvious, am I really clinging to her?” But I folded my arms around her anyway.

A year later, I don’t have a pile of wisdom amassed. I still regularly feel out of my league and understaffed. Being a parent is equal parts whimsically ethereal, gruntingly dirty and hopelessly wonderful; being an adoptive family is equal parts redemption, power, faith and effort. I’ve struggled to know how to share this, and even as I consider what I’ve written so far I wonder if it means anything to anyone but me.

Even if I am writing for myself, I want to remember: in the days of saving for retirement and making grocery lists; as I clean my bathroom and work for my copywriting clients and try to keep Addy from pulling breakable things out of the kitchen cabinets; in the everydayness of the every day life we are so blessed to live: this is a holy calling. Parenthood and family and community is a high purpose. These are the glory days, the days that fly by, the days of summer time walks by the river and baby giggles and dirty feet and the same book 12 times. One year later – look around, look around – how lucky we are to be alive right now.

March 31st, 2016 by Dani

Don’t Let Me Forget

I’ve been writing about our adoption expedition and what I believe about adoption. I’ve been filling pages and pages with memories and dreams and beliefs – letting my passion and my stories spill out onto documents that may or may not ever have a life beyond the hard drive of my computer.

But as I write all of this, I’m reminded that the most important thing I can do is remember. Remember how it felt to be lonely, heart-broken, raw. Remember how it felt to be overwhelmed with generosity, humbled, joyful. This life is such a gift and I am grumpy and selfish when I don’t remember how we got here, what great courage and faithfulness brought us to this point.

As I’m remembering all of these big things, I also never want to forget:

  • how Addy makes a happy “hmmmmmmmmmm” when she sees food coming to the high chair, her little feet kicking with delight
  • how she crosses her feet in the car seat and looks out the window like a teenager
  • how every morning she greets us with an open-mouthed smile and chortle, as though she can’t believe her good fortune that we’re here
  • how it feels when she sighs and snuggles into my chest when she’s tired
  • how the top of her head smells
  • how she wraps her little fingers around mine, or fiddles with my necklace
  • how she leans over to see my face around the camera, or doorway and how delighted she is to find that I’m still there
  • how she talks to her toys and to herself, a quiet little “hmmmm, bah, bah, hmmmm, gah”

She won’t be little forever, and her story won’t always feel so fresh and near. But I never want to forget these little moments, how much our life has changed because of her, and how many promises God kept in order to make this incredible life possible. Big and little, he is in every detail of our lives, and I’m endlessly grateful.

December 28th, 2015 by Dani

A little list about 2015

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?

Became a momma. It’s the most wonderful, difficult, beautiful, fulfilling, terrifying thing I have ever done and I can’t wait to keep doing it for the rest of my life.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I actually did! Adam is big on goals, and so we make new goals for each new year. This year, we both did really well on our goals (things like taking Sabbath, writing, house projects, parenthood, farm stuff) and I can’t wait to see what 2016 has to offer.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

2015 was the year of the Babies. SO MANY BABIES, including my own, made this year really special. More are coming, too!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Donna’s sweet mom passed away at Christmastime last year, and we still miss her.

5. What countries did you visit?

We stayed here in the good ol’ USA.

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you didn’t have in 2015?

I have some significant career-related goals that I’d like to reach in 2016. For the last couple of years my free time has been consumed with moving, house-shopping and adoption, and so in 2016 I’d like to focus that energy back to my business and creativity.

7. What dates from 2015 will be etched upon your memory, and why?

July 6. November 10. Adelay Joy.

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?

We adopted our sweet girl, and we did it without any debt (a miracle). Through hard work, lots of money saved, tons of generosity from friends and family and countless miraculous blessings, God made it very clear that this was the right path for us, that our faithfulness would be rewarded in an unbelievable way.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Eeesh. I am not patient. I am not selfless. I am unsure of myself at all the wrong times. Luckily my sweet husband is still in love with me, and God is not through with me yet.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

My baby is heavy. My wrist hurts. Send bourbon.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

A new pair of jeans. Honestly!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Oh man. I feel like I was given a front-seat to the kindness and sincerity of the human race this year. From our friends who prayed with us and helped us prepare for Addy, to the friends who filled our living room with diapers, to our family who supported us, loved us, paid for things for us, to the strangers who helped me lift heavy things in Costco because of the baby on my chest, to the husband who has gotten up at every hour of the night to comfort our baby, to the countless prayers, donations, presents and visits that kept us afloat during a tumultuous year. You are the hero of our story. Thank you for showing us the love of God, in tangible ways.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton. We’re doomed.

14. Where did most your money go?

Remember that little story about adoption? Yep. That.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Adelay laughed at me! She laughed! Adam and I both saw it, it was real. And then she did it ALL THE TIME, and it was no less exciting.

16. What song will always remind you of 2015?

“Ooh Child”. Adam sang this to Addy every night during her first couple of weeks of life. She still lights up when he sings it.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?

Happier. Fatter. Poorer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?


19. What do you wish you’d done less of?


20. How did you spend Christmas?

At my folks’ house, playing in the snow, and letting Adelay chew on wrapping paper with impunity.

21. Did you fall in love?

Her birthfather placed Adelay in my arms and I knew with complete clarity that my life would never be the same. Yes. Also, seeing Adam as Daddy to Adelay and Hero to me has been remarkable. When you’re picking a fella, girls, pick one who will change poopy diapers without complaint and dance with you and your babies in the kitchen and tell you you’re beautiful when you haven’t showered in three days and have been crying uncontrollably because you’re SO TIRED.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

We started watching “Parenthood” and are totally in love. We plan to keep adding children until we have a massive family ala Braverman and then keep them around forever.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Nope. My hate levels are all very static.

24. What was the best book you read?

Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert. Seeing her speak was a spiritual and emotional awakening, and her book has been a refresher course.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

We’ve been listening to country radio, the old-fashioned way. It’s refreshing and simplistic and I like the small-town ads and the drawl and the prank phone calls and the DJs walking around local events like celebrities.

26. What did you want and get?

Adelay Joy. New jeans. A white Christmas. A lovely summer.

27. What did you want and not get?

A vacation? A book deal? Everything I might want is silly and way too big for my little self. God knows this, which is why 2015 has been perfect.

28. What was your favorite film of 2015?

Creed. (Close behind was Cinderella.)

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Denver and Chelsea made breakfast for the family, then my folks and Adam and Addy and I braved snow and sleet to wander the Old Mill and shop and drop hints about Christmas gifts. Then Adam took me to Pine Tavern for a very special meal and to a live rendition of The Messiah while Grandma and Grandpa watched Adelay. It was magical. Oh, and I’m 32 now, and my joints and fat stores like to remind me of this sad fact.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Nothing – 2015 was plenty satisfying – any more and I would burst!

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2015?

I’ve been back at the therapeutic riding barn this year, which has lead me to start wearing more western/cowgirlish styles again. I love an excuse to wear a little bling, boots and a big hat!

32. What kept you sane?

Writing. Friends. Family. Good food.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

Abortion. There is no such thing as an unwanted child.

34. Who did you miss?

I wish my grandma could’ve met Adelay. She would’ve loved her, and I hope she’s proud of the way her legacy of motherhood is being passed on.

35. Who was the best new person you met?

We got more involved in our church this year, which has been fun. We know everything about marriage (sarcasm alert) so we’re now on the pre-marriage mentoring team. Come to us with all of your problems and we will look at you with compassion and likely confusion.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.

Trust. I worried that we wouldn’t have enough money for the adoption fees. I worried that we wouldn’t be able to work and parent. I worried that we would be alone. I worried that our house wouldn’t be safe for a baby. I worried that our baby wouldn’t like us. I worried that I would be mean, or impatient, or selfish. God provided everything we needed, and then some. All we had to do was ask.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government
Shall be upon His shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful,
Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”

-Handel’s Messiah

November 17th, 2015 by Dani

Gratitude Project: Homemade Stock

In the fall and winter months, I have homemade broth or stock simmering in the Crock-Pot at least once a week. We smoke a chicken or roast beef shanks and afterwards I plop the bones in water and let them simmer away for a day or two. The whole house smells comforting, like chicken-noodle soup, and I have stock on hand for making rice or stew or deglazing a pan.

Homemade stock takes longer than buying a can or carton of stock from the grocery store. My Crock-Pot gets dirty and I have to strain out the bones when the broth is done. Sometimes I don’t want my house to smell like chicken noodle soup, and sometimes I’m tempted to throw away the remnants of a smoked chicken rather than mess with it.

But I don’t. I tell myself that it’s worth it to make something right – that tonight’s dinner will be that much healthier and more fulfilling because I took the time on this component. I try to see the simmering and straining and cleaning up afterwards as my act of gratitude – that I don’t take the roasted chicken for granted, but instead use every piece of it, making something simple into something special.

Because making stock is living with intention – it’s time-consuming and sometimes annoying. Sometimes I’d rather just run out and buy a can of stock – no muss, no fuss. But I’m always glad when I choose intention over convenience. I’m so grateful when love trumps necessity, when I take the time to care about small things and they become big and meaningful in return. Today, I’m grateful for homemade stock, and a homemade stock kind of life – one that simmers and flavors everything with intention, time and grace. It’s not easy or clean, but the smell and taste of homemade chicken noodle soup is worth the effort.

November 12th, 2015 by Dani

Gratitude Project: Promises Kept

We met Adelay at 24 hours old. We didn’t get custody until 48 hours, and during that exhausting 24-hour period we were strong for each other and for her. The NICU nurses referred to us as “mom” and “dad” but we knew it could always be different, that maybe this little perfect person wouldn’t actually be ours, even though she’d captured our hearts.

When we checked out of the hospital and had official custody, we relaxed a little. We started making promises to her – in the wee hours of the morning when she was lonely or hungry or scared – we would sit in the dark and rock her back to sleep, whispering, “I’m here, baby girl. I’ve got you, you’re OK.”

We’ve continued to promise our love and protection and hope to her over the last few months. We’ve told her how beautiful she is, how loved she is, how we aren’t going anywhere.

We finalized the adoption two days ago, and suddenly those promises feel different – everything feels different. Because now we can make promises that are within our power to keep – no judge or lawyer or social worker can alter our relationship to her. Now, when we whisper, “I’m here, baby girl,” we know that we are here, and so is she, for the rest of our lives, that we get to be a family with no lingering worries and no qualifiers.

Because that’s what family is – isn’t it? We all have friends that we say we “love like family”, and all we mean by that is that we won’t give up on them. We can’t be hurt enough to make us turn our backs, we can’t be annoyed enough to not call, we can’t be repulsed enough to ever stop praying for them. Family is love, no matter what. Through any circumstance or difficulty, through any discomfort or disagreement or hurt feelings, we still love them, because they’re family. This why God uses the illustration of adoption and family (children of God) to describe us – he loves us even when we are huge disappointments, when we make epic mistakes, when we have tantrums in the middle of Target or run continuously late or forget to wipe our feet at the door. This is the promise we made to Addy – to be here, to be family, to love no matter what life does next. Now we get to keep that promise and it is such an honor.

Today I’m grateful for promises kept – for how God loves us and how we get to love each other. I’m grateful that we get to make these promises to our baby girl; what a privilege it is to promise our love, to whisper her name and sooth her cries as only mommy and daddy can.