Dear Wyatt // One Year Wedding Anniversary

Dear Wyatt,

Today we celebrate our  O N E  year wedding anniversary. Today we celebrate our strength within ourselves and our love for one another. We did it. This year happened to be the most challenging year of our lives. We weren’t prepared for the heartache we endured but we were never shaken by it either. We kept going. We took one day at a time and then did that 364 more times. This year was hard. We were brought down to our knees. There’s no other way to spin it. As we celebrate our joyous moments, reminiscing on the love that we poured into one another, it’s easy to acknowledge the pain too. As we stand here today, maybe not as tall as we once were, we recognize this pain that made us who we are. Let’s never forget that. There was a purpose for it. All those tears we cried, I know it in my heart will bring us closer to God and in the end will bring us closer to each other.

Let’s think back to the last 365 days.

In order of occurrence:

//We moved in together. This part wasn’t as challenging as people made it out to be. I love being your roommate. Waking up next to you is the best part of my day.

//We remained abstinent until our wedding night. We kept our relationship chaste from the beginning because at such a young age we knew the value and sacredness of intimacy. I absolutely love this part about our story. We waited 7 years for each other. I would wait 700 more. You’re THAT worth it to me.

//We got a puppy. Okay, okay. This challenge was actually quite fun. We both had no idea what we had gotten ourselves into the day we brought home Finley. I think he turned out just fine, don’t you? Who would have that thought that this small, 6 pound fur ball would have brought so much joy and laughter into our lives.  I won’t ever forget where our story began: You, Me and a dog named Finley.

//We moved across the country. New Mexico to Denver. Denver to New York City. Everyone guided us away from the Big Apple, saying that we couldn’t do it. We packed up a tiny U-Haul and after that nothing was going to stop us because we had each other. We had BIG dreams and BIG expectations that didn’t turn out as grand as we expected but we made it through. We grinded. Day in and day out, both working 12 hour days just to make enough money for rent. Looking back, we were kind of BAD ASS! Who gets married and then moves to New York as their first adventure? US. Me and you. We did it.

//We became pregnant. This short time, as husband and wife, about to become parents to our two little boys might just be my favorite season that I’ve experienced in the last eight years I’ve spent with you. Our love was glowing. The heavens could see us shining. We spoke of nothing but the future. What Asa and Armie would look like. Their favorite hobbies. Which schools they would attend. Everything under the sun we had imagined in our heads. Our love was bouncing off the walls. We were so excited.

Then the unimaginable happen to us.

As our story was just beginning, our world turned upside down. Our biggest fear was actually coming true. That moment in the ultrasound room quickly changed our plans. It crushed our dreams of meeting our twin baby boys, raising them to be the men we had pictured them to be. It’s a moment that haunts us, to put it lightly. Wyatt, losing our baby boys has without a doubt been the most heartbreaking thing to have ever happened to us. We both saw darkness like we never saw it before. I look at myself in the mirror and I don’t even recognize the girl standing there. Everything has shifted. We’ve had to, in a way, start from scratch. This tragedy that struck us will be the very thing that brings us EVEN CLOSER together. It hasn’t been easy. We both know this. We grieve so differently. What I love about you and I is that giving up has never been an option and never will be. This love can’t lose. No matter the pain we feel everyday, our love prevails.

You loved me through my teenage years, beginning at just 14 years old. You loved me through the loss of my brother. You loved me through my depression all those years. You loved me through our marriage, so fresh and fragile. And you loved me through the birth of our baby boys: holding my hand as my water broke and as Asa and Armie entered into the world and quickly left it. You’ve loved me through it all. You’ve loved me so fearlessly, yet so tender. I can’t ever repay you for the warmth and light you’ve given to me over the last eight years.

You are love. You are light.  You are my everything.

Happy One Year Wedding Anniversary Daddy. I love you.


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That Dumb Girl In Chemistry Class

IMG_7376IMG_7357 IMG_7391IMG_7367 IMG_7369 IMG_7378IMG_7374 IMG_7383  I gravitate towards splashes and blocks of color. I think most artists do. I may not be the painting kind of artist, even though I used to be in high school and HEY! I was pretty good at it. I have a few paintings in my parents storage to prove it. But I am in fact an artist in many other forms. For example: I’m a cookie artist. A guacamole artist. A doodle artist. A lipstick artist. A freelance writer-artist. A dry shampoo artist. An under qualified and un-paid apparel/editorial artist. And even a chocolate strawberry artist but look, I’m an artist none the less. Being an artist is simply creating something out of nothing. It’s seeing beauty in all shapes and sizes. I think we all have an artist somewhere inside of us. Others just pursue it more passionately than others. I see art everywhere I go. Not in a hippie way (no offense to the hippies) but I see beauty, color and chaos in everything. I think that makes me so high strung more than half of the time. My brain never stops.

I’ve never been good at math or science. I was always so ashamed that I never quite got that part of high school. One incident that has always stuck in my head was on my first day of Chemistry class. I sat down next to a girl that I THOUGHT was my friend and she gives me this look, like I was an alien or something. The next words that fell out of her mouth have still kind of haunted me to this day. She said, “Um, this is Chemistry class…Are you sure you belong here?” Ouch. I ran to bathroom and cried. Did I really have the word ‘Dummy’ written across my forehead? Let’s just say I switched classes immediately. From the day I started pre-school to my second year of college I was EXTREMELY hard on myself. I nearly punished myself every single time I didn’t get something 100% right. I was constantly insecure in my school work. I was constantly running to the girls bathroom to breathe and give myself a pep talk. I had nothing but A’s…but in my head that wasn’t good enough. My mom told me the other day that even before I started school I was ridiculously hard on myself. I’ve literally never stopped judging and punishing who I am. I have extremely high standards in all aspects of my life. Which I didn’t know that could be harmful until now. My mom said, “You don’t have to know it all Karissa. Just know the things that make you happy.” I was and am still always focusing on my weaknesses. When the whole time I could have learned to accept the fact that I am a right side brain user. Little did I realize that when we had projects in English, Science, Art Class and Social Studies that had anything to with color or creativity, everyone would want to be my parter. MY partner. My teachers knew I would shine when it came to these kind of projects but I had no idea. Writing poems, painting a canvas and creating slideshows were my thing. I even made one of my teachers CRY while presenting one of my “pieces of art.” I wish I could have given myself some credit. I wish I could have rewarded myself just a little more.

Here’s what I found a few weeks ago that I’m gonna put on my refridgerater to remind myself that it’s okay to not be a left brain thinker. It’s actually okay to be exactly who I am.

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World, I’m not a left brain user. Don’t try and corrupt us who are right brain users. We have a purpose too. We can make a living too. We are important too. So put your hands high in sky whether you’re a left brain or a right brain and give yourself a little more credit. Love what you were given because I swear, what you were given was a gift.

Self acceptance.

Hey, I may be that dumb girl in chemistry class but at least I see life in more ways than just one.

Sincerely Your A+ Art Student,

©Karissa Marie


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