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I Do. Part Five.

I enjoyed my pregnancy. I ate everything that wasn't bolted down to the kitchen table! My favorite was the cream cheese icing cupcakes at Publix. I easily ate three to four at one sitting. As my belly began to expand, I felt beautiful until my father started his snard remarks about my weight gain. I continued to work for him, so he loved to joke on me! I often wondered why anyone would be so concerned about my weight while growing a healthy baby. It peaked no concern from my doctor nor me. Then again, I was twenty-three years old and in relatively good shape. Although, I am aware of his concern, but I had judged my outward beauty so strictly all of my life; I was relieved for one season I was not trying to escape myself, numb out anxiety, or beat myself up about beauty standards. I was sober. I was mostly happy. I was Hope(ful).

In another ear, all I heard was, "You do not need to bring a bastard child into this world!" I laughed it off, until it became increasingly annoying as my pregnancy progressed. Eric and I were fine with the engagement and marrying at a later date. Our families...not so much. My daddy was very adamant on doing "the right thing" which was to marry then we would have a wedding later if I wanted. Eric was fine with whatever I wanted. He never cared. For me, marriage was an oath before God. I was not ready to make that vow. I was not one-hundred percent sure, and I know Eric was not either. We both wanted our fairytale but lacked the emotional and mental maturity to take the next step. We did anyway.

In a similar fashion how I announcement my pregnancy to my family; I announcement we were getting married. I was nine months pregnant. Hormonal. Nesting. We had worked hard on making Bentley's baby room a pink princess ambiance. Everything was perfect besides one last last name. The weekend before February 11, I decided we would go ahead and bite the bullet. I sent out a message to my daddy asking if I could leave work early on Monday morning because Eric and I decided to get married. We were going to the courthouse. Welp, as you can imagine, my daddy was furious that I would relate such personal and life changing news through a text message. You would have thought I had learned my lesson from the pregnancy announcement! In all honesty, I did not think it was a big deal. By this time, I was more than ready to start my next chapter with Eric by my side. He was wonderful during my pregnancy. I gained seventy pounds and I think he gained forty! He nested with me. On February 11, 2013, Eric and I said, "I DO" at the Montgomery, Alabama courthouse in front of mama, granny, daddy, Cindy, and Leah. It was not romantic; it was special. Tears rolled down my face as I read my vows aloud. I was relieved, happy and scared all at the same time. It was a rainy day as my mama had taken a million photos of us outside holding an umbrella as I looked like 'Humpty Dumpty who sat on a wall!' Reminiscing back to this specific day keeps me grateful for all my blessings. I may have not been "ready" for marriage or known how to be a good wife; God knew. God knew the challenges ahead would be mighty. God knew I would come to my knees for his redeeming power and seek out affection to save our corrupted marriage from addictions, affairs, and malice. God knew that my pure heart and love for him would be challenged and put to the test.

Eric and I have gone through many trials in ten years of marriage. A majority of people would not have made it to the other side of our obstacles. It is only by God's grace and mercy and matters of the heart that we stand today united, and I give God all the glory.

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