I often write about the tough aspects of parenting. In fact, I’ve been pretty open about how difficult the last year and a half has been for me.

But, it’s not all hard. It’s not all frustration and crying and sleep deprivation in our house. There is love. It’s always there, around every corner, filling our space and so familiar that we almost don’t notice it.

And sometimes I’m hit with it — this love — so forcefully it makes my breath catch in my throat and my heart ache from being so full.

The other night I was doing the evening shuffle: getting kids in the door from daycare, unloading backpacks, dispersing snacks and scooting them down into the playroom so I could start dinner, when Olivia asked if we could listen to music instead.

So, I put on Pandora (Jason Mraz station, I love you, BEE TEE DUBS) and we laughed and danced around for a bit until they grew embarrassed by me and retreated to the playroom and their toys.

I left the station on and hummed around while I cleaned off the table, got their plates ready and poured their milk. I glanced down to check on them just as Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years” started playing and was nearly knocked down by the force of the emotion. Out of nowhere.

I have died every day waiting for you. Darling, don’t be afraid. I have loved you for a thousand years. I’ll love you for a thousand more.

All along I believed I would find you. Time has brought your heart to me. I have loved you for a thousand years. I’ll love you for a thousand more…”

Oh my. I watched my two little girls, my daughters, my LIFE, as these words washed over me and in that moment, nothing else existed but that overwhelming love for them. I was grateful and humble. I was the luckiest person in this world.

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I still am. It’s just that life gets busy and sleep is scarce and these babies of ours? They’re always growing up and learning new things (like how to manipulate me for a puppy) and forcing new schedules and… well, we take this gift I’ve been given a little bit for granted. I forgive myself for that because I’m only human. But know this: these girls, my husband, this family, my life? Jeez. My cup runneth over.

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