You’ll never know, dear.

As a live in nanny for my beautiful girls, it is not unknown for me to put them to bed at night.

When I am there for bedtime, I make sure they take baths, comb hair, get jammies on, and read a bedtime story.

Most of the time they are playing a game called “stall bedtime for as long as possible”–by asking for drinks of water, or saying they need to potty again.

Sometimes, I just don’t have the patience for it at all.

I’m ready for them to be asleep.

I have other things to do and finish before I go to bed as well.

But lately, they’ve been asking me another question. They want to know if I will sing them a lullaby.

(I like to think that it’s because they have a genuine love for the sound of my voice, but sometimes it’s hard to tell.)

When they ask me to sing for them, my heart melts. I calm down and look into their big, round eyes, glowing from the light that peeks in from under the door.

I can’t say no.

I’m not versed in many lullabies–but I do know one:

You are my sunshine

My only sunshine

You make me happy 

When skies are gray

You’ll never know, dear

How much I love you

Please don’t take my sunshine away

They will never know how much I love them.

That my love for them is more than just a habitual phrase, or a cliche, that I say to them every day.

It is a physical and overwhelming ache in my heart that I feel, now, as I write this.

It’s a tear rolling down my cheek at the thought of not seeing them every single day.

It’s a smile on my face knowing that they will grow up to be intelligent, creative, and talented young women–each in their own way.

Four years ago, I showed up at this house expecting not much more than a job and a paycheck.

What I received was so much more than that.

It was a profound and amazing privilege, that has made me a better person.

I can’t stress this enough:

I AM A BETTER PERSON for having had them in my life.

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Today, I leave, blessed by the lives of 3 beautiful young ladies, each holding my heart in their own unique way:

Ruthie,

Your empathy for others inspires me to humble myself and to always be kind to everyone who comes into my life–to show them true charity.

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Vivian,

Your stubborn fearlessness reminds me to have the courage to stand my ground and fight for what I believe in, despite what the world tells me.

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Frances,

Your smile lights up the world, it’s contagious.

It reminds ME to keep smiling no matter how difficult life can get.

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I love each of you,

more than you will ever know.

And I will keep you in my heart.

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xoxo,

Monica

Dusting off the blog:

Soooooooo,

…time passes really quickly when you’re planning a wedding, get married, and then go to Hawaii for nearly a month!

It’s been 4 whole months since my last post! I can’t believe that–almost half a year!

That was definitely not intentional. Mostly, it was STRESS of wedding planning, and then travel + editing client photos.

So, obviously a lot has been going on–the biggest of which was that I got MARRIED!

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Photo credit: Karen Obrist Photography

Words can’t describe how it feels to FINALLY be married to the man of my dreams!

I really meant to blog the whole excitement and prep for the wedding, i.e. showers, bachelorette party, etc…buuuuut that didn’t happen.

So here is a quick overview of everything that went down before I walked down the aisle:

Bridal Showers

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Stock The Bar Party

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Bachelorette Party!

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Bachelor Party

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Rehearsal Dinner

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The “Honeymoon”

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So there you have it — the whole shebang.

Minus the wedding, of course, but that’s another blog for another day.

I am now in my last few weeks of nannying for my beautiful girls and I’m trying to soak in as much of their sweetness as I can.

The last 4 years of my life has been spent watching them take their first steps and speak their first words, having dance parties with them in the kitchen, and  pushing them on the swing. It’s difficult for me to imagine a life where I wake up in my bed and hear silence, rather than the sound of their little feet running around in circles upstairs.

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On the other hand, the last 7 years of my life have been spent away from the man that I Love more than anyone in the entire world. Since the very beginning we’ve been away from each other, always ending each phone conversation with “I miss you.” Twice, we were separated by oceans through military deployments–forcing me to spend my days, and especially my nights, with an inconsolable ache in my heart. A feeling of being incomplete until I was in his arms again.

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Despite the tears running down my face, I know it’s time.

It’s time for us.

Time for us to have dance parties in the kitchen. Time for us to snuggle up on the couch and watch movies. Time for us to wake up every morning and not only hear each other’s voices, but actually getting to see each other as well.

I know it will be different, and it will be difficult, to say goodbye.

But, little by little, I will learn to let go.

I will watch the girls grow up, from far away.

And I will  keep them in my heart,

as I grow up too.

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Photo credit: Karen Obrist Photography

xoxo,

Monica

Sugar, Spice & Everything Nice

Every once in awhile, at our house…

…we have an impromptu photo shoot.

(Probably more often, here, than at most other households)

As the girls get older, they have learned to grasp the concept of getting their photo taken.

They have also learned that their dear Nanny Monica will pay a hefty price for good photograph.

So this little photo shoot cost me my stash of M&Ms that the girls somehow knew I was hiding in my room.

Anything for some “choc-oh-let!”

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IMG_1721 copy1 IMG_1679 copyAs I looked through the spoils of my bribery, I couldn’t help but feel an ache in my heart–an overwhelming feeling of love for these sweet girls.

Their gorgeous smiles and contagious laughter bring such light to my life.

I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to be a part of their lives.

They don’t know it, but they have given so much more to me than I have, or would ever be able to give to them.

xoxo,

Monica