Five summers ago, I had just moved back from college and didn't have many friends in my old hometown.
One night, at the Apple Festival, here in town, I met Monique Ruiz. She and her husband, Dan, just moved here from Florida. Within 5 minutes of meeting her, this spunky, beautiful beach beauty had invited us over for dinner. Not in an hour, not in a half hour, but right that minute. We went to their house and I watched in amazement as she chatted away and threw together some sort of amazing mango salsa dish.
She acted like we had been best buds forever. She was warm towards me instantly. And instantly I loved her.
Throughout the years this girl has been there for me. She brought me spaghetti the day I found out I was miscarrying the twins. She didn't ask she just did. She and I have taken impromtu goodwill trips to Greenville and made t-shirts just to go to herb festivals (as if it were Bonnaroo). We have watched as each other's familes have multiplied and celebrated each new life as if it were the first. She is such a light in my life.
I remember talking to her the month before I got pregnant about Barclay. We asked them if they were considering ever having children. They both were very hesitant and replied that they probably wouldn't. Why bring children into such a sad, dark world?
Monique watched me like a hawk throughout my pregnancy and birth. I could see her observing each new stage and I knew that she was considering it.
A few weeks after my miscarriage, I just flat out asked her if she was pregnant. She was and we hugged and cried on my couch. She didn't want to hurt me, but I was so happy for her. Happy/sad tears. The second she became pregnant, she embraced it like no one I've ever witnessed. With every free second she was reading, listening to pod casts, and asking questions. By the time she gave birth to her beautiful little Avery Belle, she was THE expert on all different types of childrearing. It's been amazing to watch her fall more and more in love and to embrace her new role of motherhood so beautifully.
Just 3 months after having Avery, we were greeted by the joyous news of a second baby on its way! 2 babies in 1 year!
Tonight we gathered to do a gender cake cutting. I just loved watching Monique jump up and down like a child on the best Christmas of her life as she saw a pink sliver of cake. She was smiling bigger than I thought she could and squealing. I know no matter what color that cake was, she'd have been just that excited.
Two weeks ago, while sitting in the ocean with her, she said, "I cannot imagine anything better than being a mother." :-)
So thankful that these guys decided to make the world a BETTER place by bring their children into the world.