8:35 AM

A Decade of Love

Posted by Courtney |

A Decade....

10 Years....

When I was younger I dreamed of making it to this point of marriage. I don't know why. Maybe the fact that the statistics say that most marriages end with in the first 5 years. Not that I thought mine was ever going to end but I just wanted to prove to people that we WOULD make it. I can't believe we are here. I love Nathan more today than the day I married him.

So in honor of my Anniversary, I thought I would tell some special memories from our wedding day (sorry if it's a little long...)

The Rehearsal Dinner~
It was Friday, August 4th, 2000, (3 months out of high school) the day I was to become Mrs. Nathan Watkins. WOW! I still like the sound of that. I was 18 years old (crazy young I know) but I was definitely ready to be a wife. I was not as interested in the wedding ceremony but more interested and excited about my everyday life with Nathan. That Friday morning....wait let me back up to Thursday night. The rehearsal dinner was fantastic and so memorable. We had a Mexican theme night with catered Mexican food for the meal. Nathan's family did such a wonderful job making it special & exciting. After the evening, Nathan and I said good bye for the last time as 2 single people. He went home to pack for the honeymoon and so did I. I remember packing up the last few boxes in my room realizing that I was never going to have a room in that house with my parents again. It was about 2am when I was finished packing and with tears streaming down my face, I walked downstairs to my parents room in hopes that they would still be awake. I listened at the door for a moment and heard talking. "YES",I thought. I went and and climbed in bed with them. I was laying in between my parents just crying and saying how grateful I was to them for being such amazing parents. By the end of the night, there was a HUGE pile of tissues on the end of the bed because we had been balling our eyes out. Not sure what time we ended up going to sleep. Such an incredible memory I will always have.

The Wedding Day~
From the Wedding day, I remember my dad walking in the Children's church room at the old SGC building where we got ready for the wedding and when he looked at me, there were tears in his eyes. His little girl was getting married. I'm sure his details of that moment are a little more vivid though. :) When everyone was in place for the ceremony, I heard the music start, and I remember reaching for my dad's arm and told him, "Ok this is it. Are you ready daddy?". The next thing I remember, we were walking down the aisle with my parents beside me and I was staring at this incredible man that God had picked out JUST for me. I was overcome with emotion and cried the WHOLE ceremony. We didn't wanted to do the traditional communion that's usually done at weddings because what was more special to us than that was washing each others feet. So that's exactly what we did....in front of everyone...on stage! HAHA!!! Most people think that it's strange that we did that (yea, I guess it was) but the meaning behind it was what was important for us. It signified that we were going to make serving one another and putting each other first, a foundation for our marriage. It's the very building blocks for our lives. I will never forget what we said to each other as we did that. "I commit to serve you and put you first no matter what." And I can say 10 years later, there's no doubt that we took that commitment seriously.

There was kissing, hugging, pronouncing of husband and wife, pictures, pictures, pictures and then more pictures and then some more pictures. I swear pictures took the longest part of the night. It was ridiculous. Then came the going away part of the evening where the guests throw everything but the kitchen sick at you. Well they did in our case. For some reason, and I honestly don't remember deciding this detail of the wedding, but we had every known version of throwing material known to man. There were Bubbles, flower petals and rice. HUH???
*Note to future brides: Note a good idea*

Reason's why it's not a good idea:

Reason #1. That's just stupid
Reason #2. It makes people think you can't make a freaking decision.
Reason #3. Because kids will think it's funny to chunk bottles of bubbles in your eyes. That stuff burns.
Reason #4. Bird seed sticks to bubbles.

I looked like a matted wet birds nest by the time we made it to our limo. I think Nathan yelled out, "What the?? Who did that?"You can clearly hear that on our wedding video. Oops :) LOL!!

The Reception~
So much FUN!!!! By the time we arrived, the party was definitely started. Everyone was dancing, eating, laughing and having a blast. We had our reception at a hotel in Grand Prairie TX. I'm so glad we did because it topped off the night with a bang. Nathan and I had our first dance to song that he had written and pre-recorded for me. I hadn't heard it before until that moment. YES, I cried. It was amazing and sweet.
Lots of dancing after that. cake cutting, more dancing, smiling and greeting every single person imaginable. I think we totaled up the number of people that attended the wedding and reception. Wedding- almost 1000 Reception- 600. We had a BIG wedding to say the least. So since we had our rice/bubble/flower throwing fiasco when we left the church to the reception, it allowed us to be able to sneak out of the reception without anyone knowing. This is how we wanted it. That way the party could keep on going and no one felt obligated to leave just because we left. Such a great memory of Nathan and I looking at each other and smiling which translated to, "Let's get the heck out of here!" I went to my parents and whispered in their ear, "Hey, I think we're going to leave now." I believe this is a pretty special memory for my dad. He always talks about it. Nathan and I made our secret get away through the hotel kitchen. We literally RAN through the kitchen to our waiting limo outside.
So fun :) Then it's honeymoon time baby!!!!

The Honeymoon~
No don't worry.....I'm not going to give you an details here :) All I'll say is.... we had the BEST honeymoon EVER! We went on a Eastern Caribbean Cruise and then followed it up with Disney World. Words can not describe the amount of fun we had. Oh those are the days....

There you have it. The whole wedding day in a nut shell.

I have loved every single day being married to Nathan. I can not say enough about how amazing he is. I promise he puts most guys to shame by the way he takes care of me and loves me. And even though I got married young, I have never, not even for a second thought that, uh oh maybe I shouldn't have done this. Marrying him was the best decision I have ever made besides deciding to follow Jesus. These 10 years have been full of lifes up's and downs but through it all, we have had each other to lean on. Every day I grow in new love for him. I REALLY thought I loved him on our wedding day, but boy was I wrong. I love him more today than I did then. He is the truest example of how our heavenly Father loves us. I get to see Jesus just by looking at Nathan. WOW! I'm a blessed women.

So here's to you Honey. Happy 10 year Anniversary! You are incredible in every way. Thank you for showing what REAL love looks like. You totally rock my world!

I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!

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6:19 AM

A little disappointed

Posted by Courtney |

Moving oversea is definitely not easy. But I was thinking it would be a little less complicated than it has been. You know with having family living over here already and having a Belgian brother in law it just seems like it would be pretty smooth sailing. And it really has except for dealing with stupid visas.

We were told that all we had to do was get Nathan a visa and everything would be great. Me and the kids would go over on his visa and be able to get our ID cards, insurance, & kid credits from the government. Yes we can BUT it's a MUCH longer process. We went today to register at the commune of Waterloo in order to get our ID cards etc... The sweet woman behind the desk, informed us that while yes it's legal for us to do that, she now has to send off my paper work to the ministry of Interior to ask permission to give me and the kids ID cards. This process could take several months. Therefore we aren't going to be "officially" living here until we get our ID cards.


This means that I can't register the kids for school, which means it will be that much longer for them to learn the language. I am pretty bummed. This isn't the end of the world news but we've already been dealing with Nathan's visa stuff for over 4 months now and the thought of dealing with even more visa issues for another God knows how long, just completely discourages me.

I know God is in control so I will trust that He knows exactly what he's doing. I guess this means that we can come back to Texas anytime in Oct and come back as late as we want :) This could be a really good thing for us, but I just have to get over my plans I had made for the rest of the year. I have to focus on the positive. I have to focus on the positive. Nathan at least has HIS ID card. We can at least get a bank account now!! Woohoo!!

So here we are again....waiting...waiting....waiting. Hopefully we'll hear an answer before we have to leave in Oct. If we don't, not sure what we'll do then. Oh God, please cause this process to go fast!!!

I'm told, this is all part of the process of moving over seas, but I wish it wasn't so. I just want to have ALL THIS BEHIND US!!!!

9:38 AM

After 7 1/2 years, it's finally over!

Posted by Courtney |

I no longer have wet, smelly, poopy, disgusting diapers to change!!!!

My last and final child is potty trained!! Let's all stop and do the happy dance for me!

This is a big moment in a mother's life (DUH!!!). A moment that I am thanking God for every second of the day!!

After having 4 children in diapers for approx. 2 years each, with an average of 6 diaper changes a day, that's 17, 520 DIAPERS that I've changed in my 7 1/2 years of being a parent. Not to mention all of Judah's issues he had about 9 months ago. That's A LOT OF DIAPERS!!!!

Early on as a mother, I thought that this moment was NEVER going to happen. I mean, you can't see beyond what's right in front of you face most days as a mother. Older mom's would say to me, "Appreciate every second cause it goes by so fast". I would think, "yeah yeah. The kids running all around you, snot on your clothes from noses that constantly run, poop on your jeans, laundry up to your ears, the "mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mom, MOM" that you've tuned out because you've heard it 600,000 times that MORNING, you mean THAT I'm going to miss???!!! I could only wish.

But times like these it makes you appreciate it all. You take a step back and think..."Hmm....wow....it really does go by way to fast".

So Judah is officially potty trained. He is doing so well and was so easy to potty train, despite my fears. Everyone told me boys are way harder to potty train than girls. Well I had 3 girls and they were relatively easy. I was terrified to potty train Judah. Maybe Judah is unusual or something because I think he was easier than the girls. By the end of the first day, he had mastered the technique. End of 2nd day he was deciding when he needed to go. Then by the 3rd day, he was a full fledged potty trained machine. I am so proud of him. I mean he still has an accidents, but not very often. He honestly acted like it was no big deal. Like, "Duh mom, I was just tricking you my entire existence to see how long I could ride this whole changing service thing out."

So life is grand! I am diaper FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Only thing I'm going to miss.....the diaper bags. I have this obsession with them. Maybe I can switch my obsession to hand bags..... WAHAHAHAAAA (evil villain laugh)