Our Five Ring Circus: I Am Loved - Our Love Story

Thursday, August 29, 2019

I Am Loved - Our Love Story

I Am Loved


This post is sponsored by Helzberg Diamonds but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

I AM LOVED. 


We met in the Garden of Eden. He was Adam, and I was Eve. We were just teenagers, but that was the beginning of our love story, which has already spanned 20 years!

Grant and I were still kids when we were cast as the leads in The Apple Tree. We started dating while we were rehearsing the musical, and we fell in love. We married young, and many people thought it was just a fling. I'm absolutely certain that some of the people who loved us had their doubts, and thought we would fail.

A year of marriage turned into two...then three...then four. Shortly after our 4th wedding anniversary, we bought our first house and had our first child. While all of our friends were going to college and starting their careers, we were new parents, who were creating a home for our little family.

Love Story

OUR LOVE GREW.


As the years of marriage passed by, our love for each other grew. It grew enough envelop our newborn son. Two years later, our love expanded, as we welcomed our daughter into the world. We were the perfect family of four, and we had so much love for each other, and for our children.

We loved our two children fiercely, and we were amazed that we could love them both so wholly and equally. Parenthood forced us to grow up quickly, but we were still young. We embraced our new life, but had a lot of living and learning to do.

SOMETIMES LOVE FALTERS.


Every married couple knows the harsh reality - Marriage is HARD. Marriage takes a lot of work. You have to compromise, you have to work together, and you have to fight to keep your love strong.

Raising tiny human beings is so rewarding, but it's also time-consuming. It's so easy to become caught up in parenthood, and lose each other along the way. That's exactly what happened to us. His life was going in one way, my life was going another way, and it was nearly impossible to meet in the middle.

SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO FIGHT FOR LOVE.


There were some very trying times. There were times I didn't think our marriage would survive. And there were times I didn't WANT our marriage to continue.

But somewhere along the way, we chose US, and we reconnected. We fought for our marriage, and fought to keep our love strong. In marriage, there will always be bumps in the path. It was up to both of us to fight for love, and our love survived.

LOVE CAN GROW STRONGER. 


My husband and I chose each other, and we reevaluated what we wanted in life.  Eventually we decided we wanted to try for one more child, and complete our family. Our second daughter was born, and renewed the love we had for each other, and for our family. We were older this time around, and we did things differently. We worked together, and made time for each other. We were stronger than ever before.

Then life threw of us a few curve balls. There were career changes. There were devastating losses, which threw Grant into a bout of depression. There was a surprise 4th pregnancy to adjust to, and then the shocking post-birth Down syndrome diagnosis. As I fell into despair over the loss of the child I was expecting, Grant grabbed my hand, and said three little words that meant so much - "We've got this!"

We did, indeed, transition easily to this new journey, and grew stronger along the way because we HAD to work together to advocate for our son. (Interesting fact - research shows that divorce rates are lower for couples who have a child who has Down syndrome.)

We adjusted to our new normal with four children, and because of Down syndrome, we learned so much along the way. Somehow, five years passed by in the blink of an eye, and then...SURPRISE! We started all over with baby #5!


I am loved

THEY ARE LOVED.


Parenthood is an incredible thing. It's simply amazing how your love grows with the birth of each child, and enables you to love each of your children equally. And nothing compares to the feeling of unconditional love.

I love my husband. We have quite a story to tell. And without him, there's no them. Our kids know they are loved fiercely by both of us. We tell them just how much every single day.

Big Family Blog


I KNOW I AM LOVED BECAUSE...


...I have a best friend for life. We have been a couple for more than half of our lives, we grew up together, and we remained a team through the incredible highs and the lowest lows. 

Love Story


...I have a son who would defend me from anyone. We might not get along as often these days, but I know he would protect me in a heartbeat, and I would do the same for him. 

Parenting Blog


...I have a daughter who is so much like me that it takes my breath away. She is a beautiful human being, inside and out, and to be loved by her is a gift.

Pittsburgh Blog


...I have the sweetest, funniest, most loving 8 year old who tells me every single day that I'm the best mom ever. But really, I'm the luckiest mom ever!

Mother and Daughter


...I have a child who radiates love and joy. He loves fiercely, he loves unconditionally, and he loves like no other. A simple smile from him can improve my worst days, and the way he hugs is simply breathtaking. I say it all the time - nothing compares to a hug from a person who has Down syndrome!

Down syndrome blog


...I have a beautiful "bonus" baby who looks at me like I'm the center of his universe. Really, at this point, I am, but I now know to savor every moment I have with him, because childhood is fleeting. It's here, then it slips through your fingers as you blink, and your kids are so grown.

Pittsburgh Family Blog


When Barnett Helzberg Jr. proposed to Shirley Bush in 1967, the love he felt sparked a thought - that everyone should feel like this, and everyone should feel loved. This romantic thought inspired the "I Am Loved" lapel button and ads featuring his own words, “Buy her a diamond or give her a button, but in any case, tell her she's loved.” 

People around the world started sharing their love with these free buttons. They’re actually still available today! Visit a Helzberg retailer near you to pick up a free "I Am Loved" button!


And right now, you can share a photo with #IAmLovedContest and finish the sentence "I know I am loved because..." for a chance to win a $250 gift card to Helzberg Diamonds. Find out more about the I Am Loved Contest, and enter to win!

Helzberg Diamonds

IF ALL ELSE FAILS, I AM LOVED.


Twenty years. Five kids. Down syndrome. A big family crammed into a not-so-big 4 bedroom home. My life is chaotic, busy, and loud, but our home is full of so much love. And that's just the start of our love story! I am loved, and because of that, I love fiercely.

The Lucky Few


Leave a comment to share how you know you are loved!


I Am Loved - Our Love Story

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