Tuesday, March 1, 2011

holding on.

time to get real up in here.

this pregnancy has made me pretty sensitive. this can be good or bad considering certain situations, i guess. but mostly bad. ha. i didn't even really laugh there, that was a sarcastic laugh...like, ha...man, this kinda sucks.
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anyway, what i've discovered going through this infidelity journey, (that sounds like a bad cover band or something, no?) is that progress come in waves. you'd think that since you love your spouse, you love Jesus, and you've worked through a lot of nastiness, intensely might i add, that you're passed it all.
through with it.
over it.
beyond it.
i guess it's because i want it so much. i want to pretend like IT never happened, that i don't think about affairs. a lot. that i don't struggle with trusting my husband or wanting to punch people(i don't even know) that choose foolishness over their families.
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i'll stop being vague. when i found out my husband was cheating, it was around thanksgiving/christmas/new years 2+ years ago. i was taken by surprise, for some reason, when walking through those same holidays the next year. it was incredibly painful for me and difficult for my husband to watch. everything reminded me of the pain from year before...the difference was that nato(my husband) was repentant and was the awesome guy i fell in love with when we got married. hooray! he's back! but so were the reminders of our struggle. and they were EVERYWHERE: christmas music, the cold weather, the christmas tree, new year's eve parties, the jacket i wore that year, the pictures we took. it became difficult because i couldn't escape anything. i was suffocating in the past.
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we did work through that season one day at a time. and it did get better. i just had to walk through it trusting that God was helping me heal. and you should know, this last christmas was awesome...i didn't even really think about the affair. booya.

see, i thought, i'm over it. good job, self. thanks Lord....moving on! whew, we made it.


well now i'm pregnant again. we miscarried the last time around...that was hard, but we had each other and we were reminded gently that God was in control, not us. so being pregnant again was really another big moment in life for a lot of reasons. one reason i hadn't thought about until last week. i was becoming emotionally overwhelmed for some reason with pregnancy. i think i was becoming insecure little by little. mostly in my marriage...but i wasn't saying anything. i was telling myself to be grateful and get over it, instead.
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and then the explosion happened. you know, those fights. where you jus-t get to talking and unload. about something completely different than what started the fight. at first it was like, i feel disconnected from you. what is wrong with us?! you aren't trying anymore... (imagine a completely irrational pregnant woman just spewing words between snot bubbles and puffy eyes from crying. or wait, my face is just puffy right now. whatever).
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(this is almost an awkward senior picture...all we need is a tree to pop out from behind)

but then i said something that caught me off guard. i'm scared you're going to disconnect from me like when i was pregnant the last time. my body feels the same... everything feels the same to me even though it's not....and i know you're not that person. but i'm stuck back there. 


excuse me... what? where did that come from?

when i was at the end of my pregnancy with Lila, my husband started to really drift away. at the time, i thought it was kind of a normal ebb and flow of marriage. of course hindsight is 20/20 and looking in the rear view mirror, part of me wishes i could shake us both. look! disaster! straight ahead!

anyway, all that to say, we have hit just another part of the journey in infidelity. these speed bumps sneak up on you in weird and awkward moments.

we've had a good couple days of connecting emotionally. i need a lot of extra love and attention right now. nato has been loving me well since i let it all out and told him what i needed...and since we've realized that we're walking through fresh territory together again. we aren't done with this. we're not "over" all of this. each time we go through difficult moments, it makes us stronger. our commitment becomes more intense. we value what God values a little bit more.

and this is why i have come to love the hard moments. i have come to love grief and a broken heart, because i know what comes after those things. it is incredible what God has in store when we press into the pain instead of running away from it. when we bring our broken selves to Him and say, help me.

that was the only prayer i remember praying within minutes after my life got flipped upside down by infidelity. and that is my prayer still. the simplest words because nothing else can be said. help me.

and he is so faithful.i can look at what he has done in our marriage and say that with full confidence that he will be faithful to walk through the rest of this pregnancy with us. we'll come out on the other side, hand and hand. riding on a unicorn...wait....you know what i mean. we're going to make it.
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(you are freaking so cute, babe. thanks for loving me when it's hard. and for standing there patiently when i'm like, let me get my camera settings right. plus i think you're just trying to show off your pager.)

like david gray says in the song that's playing...
And here we are holding on
Baby, we're holding on
Honey, we're holding on


heavy post. not the best one to post after belly shots i suppose, but welcome to the the roller coaster of emotions my husband deals with daily...it's called pregnancy. beautiful ain't it?
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(also an awkward photo...but you all need to see how HUGE my bust region is getting. wowza.)
(and you should know, nato didn't really want to take part in this photo shoot. sometimes i make him play, "blog with me". he is a good man to do what is asked of him... when i'm pregnant and always on the verge of a blowout.)

*if you're a new reader: surprise! we're jacked up! but God has been so good to us. if you want to catch up on our progress in marriage, just look in the marriage tab on the side bar.

97 comments:

  1. I love your open-ness and honesty. And your pregg-o belly.

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  2. Love the honestly and how you keep it real. We all have those fights. I'm especially good at spewing words between snot bubbles. Sometimes words I don't mean, or understand. We work throught. It's just the way we roll. Keep at it!

    ps.You're beautiful pregnant!

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  3. Wow! This brought tears to my eyes and I'm not even pregnant. I love your honesty, and I love that you didn't give up on your marriage and that you have the courage to post about your struggles and healing.

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  4. Thanks for keeping it real. as always.

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  5. I LOVE your honesty & your openness. Thank you for sharing your life & story with us....our God is a BIG God and is obviously using you (and your husband) in big ways! Your vulnerability is touching so many lives.....thank you for keeping it real. You 2 are adorable by the way!

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  6. So...I de-activated my silly fb account last week, & BOY am I grateful I did.
    I decided I'd start blogging more, or try, since I've only done one :/
    I love my family & I love crafting...what a better way to share it with the world!
    Anyhoo, your blog was the first one I stopped by & let's just say, I'm addicted. (on encouragement. & stuff.) got me hooked right of the bat.
    I love how open & honest you are as not only a mother, but a wife!
    Super inspirational. Super awesome.
    Much thanks new blogger hero :)
    p.s. LOVE your style

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  7. I sooooooooo appreciate your honesty, it's hard to share stuff like that. It's encouraging for to see others going through struggles and making it through them with God. Ps you look great pregnant!

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  8. I soo appreciate your honesty it's really encouraging to me personally and I know it must be hard at times for you to be so honest about your struggles. Ps. you look beautiful pregnant!

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  9. I soo appreciate your honesty it's really encouraging to me personally and I know it must be hard at times for you to be so honest about your struggles. Ps. you look beautiful pregnant!

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  10. I soo appreciate your honesty it's really encouraging to me personally and I know it must be hard at times for you to be so honest about your struggles. Ps. you look beautiful pregnant!

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  11. thank you for writing this. its such a testament to God's faithfulness. i love you guys.

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  12. ...my favorite part of that whole post...'surprise. we're jacked up!'

    Who isn't?! Love your honesty and vulnerability and I'll say it again, your husband's humility in sharing so openly.

    My girlfriend had a bomb dropped on her when she was pregnant. Her husband was addicted to pornography. They thought she was over it, because he was, and then bam...got pregnant again and had to revisit all those emotions again. Those darn hormones.

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  13. I just started reading your blog! And how come I've never read it before! I have been missing out.

    You are funny. You tell it like it is. I so respect you for your honesty! Thank you!

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  14. i love your willingness to be open and show God's faithfulness in your life. i have missed your blog the past few days! hope the prego hormones give you a rest.

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  15. you have such courage to share this.. continually praying for your healing and your family (including that sweet baby in your belly!)

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  16. Good stuff. We're wading through junk of the past right now too and I completely understand that feeling of WHY CAN"T THIS JUST BE DONE AND PASSED!!!! It does bring your closer to each other and closer to God in the end, but it's just a sucky way to get there.

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  17. I'm starting to think we're really mirror images of each other, and our relationships.

    it's official. I've fallen in love with you.

    xo

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  18. i love that I will always find honesty on your blog. love love love it.
    p.s. you are stinking cute.

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  19. i could not love this post more. or your sense of humor. and honesty. oh-and hi, my name is amy and i'm a little jacked up, too.

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  20. i completely get what you're saying. through and through. everything from snot bubbles to certain articles of clothing. i get it. thank you for sharing and your honesty, again. you inspire me!

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  21. I love you. you say the words I can't. there are definitely ups and downs and you don't even have to be pregnant when they happen! love your honesty as always.

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  22. God does amazing things in our lives when we offer others GRACE, like you've offered your husband. Happy pregnancy wishes to you!

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  23. For of this I am confident, that He who has begun a good work within you will go on to perfect it in preparation for the day of Jesus Christ.

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  24. GREAT POST ladyfriend, you are somethin special.

    tell him nice pager.

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  25. "spewing words between snot bubbles"... been there done that. sometimes thats what it takes to spit out what you are really thinking wether its good or not. personally, i am curious about nato's side of the story.

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  26. God is so good. Thank you for your honesty. I'm sure you are ministering to so many out there who are struggling, maybe with infidelity or maybe just with disconnect from their spouse. You are a light!

    AND...I love that you are in Yoga Pants and he's in dress clothes! that's the look around my house too!

    Lookin good preggo! :)

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  27. again, thanks for your honesty.

    and good taste in music! joseph arthur and eisley?! awesome!!

    : )

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  28. your buns are having a snack in one of those pictures. it's good that you're documenting your pregnant black lady buns. great post...it still makes me 'ugly cry' when i think about that season in our lives. it's a good reminder of how our god is a god of miracles.

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  29. love love love you both...continue to face the reality. push through the junk and grasp for the Grace.

    also...the happy valentines day on your chalk board reminds me that my new years resolutions are still up on my own board. hmm.

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  30. dude ;) you have been all sorts of heavy on my heart the last few days. now that's weird. prayers have been prayed. i always try to remember God loves me enough to want MORE than my happiness. if all he wanted was my happiness.. he would stand in front of the train and life would be roses. but He loves me enough to refine me. to show me more, hold my hand through the deep until we are on the other side anad lo and behold i'm not only happy but a better person too. oh snap. He's good like that. :)

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  31. you write real real well. and we're all jacked up, you know?! it's what I'm in the midst of learning....and God is so patient with me cuz I kinda want to believe everyone else is jacked up and I'm all good and everything.:) HA! yeah right....

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  32. You're uhh-mazing! Thanks for sharing your heart...again!
    The paragraph that talks about loving the hard moments is absolutely beautiful.

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  33. "and this is why i have come to love the hard moments. i have come to love grief and a broken heart, because i know what comes after those things. it is incredible what God has in store when we press into the pain instead of running away from it. when we bring our broken selves to Him and say, help me. "

    wow sister. that line spoke volumes to me. HUGE VOLUMES. beauty from ashes.

    thanks friend for sharing your feelings...prego and all=) sometimes it takes a pregnancy for us to really get in touch with our emotions. You guys are seriously amazing. God uses both of you to reach out to so many people. Thank you for sharing your journey.

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  34. "We pour out our miseries
    God just hears a melody
    Beautiful, the mess we are
    The honest cries of breaking hearts
    Are better than a Hallelujah"

    This post made me think of that song by Amy Grant.

    We've also been praying for marriages in my bible study. A woman shared some advice her husband gave to another man who didn't know how long he could fight: "Pray that God gives you the strength to fight for today. Don't worry about the next 20 years. Just fight for today."

    Love that.

    Oh, and that picture with Nato behind you looks like a jr. high dance portrait. ;)

    Thinking of you...

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  35. hey! My name is Kate and I have been stalking for a while:) Thought i should say hi. Me and my hubby are in full time ministry with two little girls. Faith and Ruby. We have traveled a bumpy road of dealing with my husbands pornography addiction. And my own issues as well:) It has been four years of freedom..but I so relate with your post. I will feel the old untrusting and insecure old flesh of poop that is in me creep up. Satan knows just how to try to wiggle into my mind and r marriage. Jesus is so powerful and graceful tho. Cling to Him friend. He is our everything. Kate Shaw

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  36. I love your openness and willingness to show your heart!

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  37. I love your honesty and desire to be so transparent. Thank you for sharing what's really on your heart.
    Beautiful bump, by the way!!

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  38. 3 things.
    1.love this post. it speaks to me, even though we are experiencing different pains.
    2.at first i thought you were standing next to my asian, but then realized that our asians have that same sweater. phew.
    3.the pager reminds me of when we used to have pagers. 911!

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  39. Again I say,
    "I. Heart. You."
    Truly.
    It's so comforting to have other willing-to-admit-it jacked up friends. I'm going to come see you next week, all I ask is that you shower.
    Love,
    Jenn

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  40. i don't even know of anything good to say...but, thanks for being honest and thanks for walking through life with us :)

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  41. You are teaching other marrieds how to love with a jesus kinda love. thanks..and your belly is just presh..

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  42. jaminato (its all one word whenever i see it so i kinda want to call you that), i'm so into your program right now. same deal in my marriage wrapped around totally different circumstances. we're healing too, but it comes in waves. it does. waves of freedom and waves of fear. for what it's worth to you, last week God spoke this to my heart (but i dont really understand how to live it yet): Don't be afraid of someone else's sin against you. i want to ask him why not?? cause it hurts. but instead i'm trying to allow love (HIS love) to cast out all fear. all. thanks for writing this.

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  43. Thanks for being so real! I'm a newer reader (found you from your love story post--if I'm remembering right) and I'm refreshed by your perspective and your honesty. Sorry for this hard journey you are on--and incredibly encouraged by the grace on your marriage. What a testimony of God's power to redeem and renew. Thanks for sharing.
    I identify with the simple prayer "help me." Sometimes that's all I can pray, too. But God hears.

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  44. New here and I enjoyed this post. I mean not in a HAHA joy but in a I have been standing in your shoes. My husband cheated on me twice during and after our first child was born. I have never felt more lonely, like he ripped out my soul. that was nearly 3.5 years ago and I still feel some of the pain. I still feel some of those insecurities.

    We are going through some things now where I feel distant from him. I have that feeling I want to shake us and wake us up to. Like we just go through the motions of life. I really just want to pull him close and give him a big ole nasty kiss and hug and tell him to never let go of me. We are starting counseling because I am lost and I think he is too. We don't know where to go now....

    Good luck on your journey! Enjoy your pregnancy and new baby! Don't ever forget your husband!

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  45. i love that first photo of you and nato. and your heart and honesty.

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  46. thanks for your post, and finding a way to make me laugh even with a heavy post such as this. you are a genius with comic relief.

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  47. you are NOT jacked up! you are HONEST. we're all jacked up. ok, so maybe you ARE jacked up ;)

    praying for you, girl. you are awesome.

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  48. Like our marriage therapist said to us once "Everyone is messed up, some of just know it." You know it. I know it. Now don't you just wish everyone else knew they were too? :) Love reading your honesty & seeing your transperancy. It's relatable & refreshing. Thank you.

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  49. i think all the best love, hope, and joy comes from being jacked up. i'm jacked up, too so i can say stuff like that. ;)

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  50. love how cute you are, love how honest you are, love how funny you are!

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  51. Beautiful. Honest. Love it. Inspired.

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  52. I have said this before, but I need to say it again. YOU INSPIRE ME to be a better person, to be a better wife(especifically), reading this post made me want to run and ring your door bell to just hug you.
    TOO BAD I'm on the other side of the continent.
    I heart you, and I pray for you, your marriage and your family.
    God is the right choice! and a verse of sunday's gospel (that personally...was a voice from heaven to me)
    "Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil."
    Prayers sent in your way! Mt 6, 32-34.

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  53. mrs. nato,
    you are something else sister. you are the real deal and your words affect me in uncomputerlike ways. thank you.
    sarah
    ps: your mr. is a total babe

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  54. You are so inspirational Jami. I just cant get enough!

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  55. I love it that your jacked-up. God's grace is amazing when trust him!
    P.S. Your not the only jacked-up family.
    But, God Is Good

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  56. I know we're not supposed to compare, but I want your transparency and truth. Jesus has you lit up like a Christmas tree, honey! And it's hella beautiful.

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  57. you are quite a funny brave honest sassy inspiring little cookie. i am into your whole deal. tummy and all. thanks for being you.

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  58. thank you so much for being real. I read your love story on take heart and then read all about your family. You are so awesome! definitely a good example.

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  59. I truly love your blog photo shoots! Your honesty is an encouragement to me every.single.time. Thank you for living out your story this way!

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  60. jami. this is beautiful. thanks for sharing. i freaked out yesterday and couldn't figure out why. i was fighting with a friend, and i doubt he even knew we were fighting. i was trying to figure out the root, and wouldn't ya know... damn insecurity. gets us every time.

    its beautiful to see you push through that. beautiful & encouraging!

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  61. thanks for making me cry first thing in the morning. =) this hit the nail on the head for me:

    and this is why i have come to love the hard moments. i have come to love grief and a broken heart, because i know what comes after those things. it is incredible what God has in store when we press into the pain instead of running away from it. when we bring our broken selves to Him and say, help me.

    seriously. i mean, most of the time i TELL myself to love the pain, because i don't really have another choice but to let the sorrow overwhelm us completely. and what kind of choice is that?? ....loved your insight.

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  62. Sometimes the hardest part of marriage is the trust. I think you're both brave to stick it through, keep figuring it out, hunker down and wait out the FEELINGS (which I'm never very sure of anyway) and stay in the solid spot of faith and trust.

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  63. Jami, I don't know you personally, but you are an incredible woman!! Thank you for sharing yourself with all of us - I know that can't be easy sometimes. But I also know that sharing can be so cathartic! Keep trusting in God to see you through. You know He will. MANY blessings to you and your family!

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  64. i cannot tell yo how much i adore your blog!
    you are so real.
    its awesome.
    my parents went through an affair when i was a kid and until i started reading your blog i couldnt forgive my dad for cheating and i couldnt forgive my mom for taking him back.
    but i never thought to "take a walk in their shoes"
    thank you

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  65. Thank you for this post! It's been 6 years since my marriage almost fell apart and those moments still sneak up on my sometimes. It's nice to know I'm not just crazy. A couple verses that get me through...
    Romans 8:28
    John 16:33

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  66. great post jami. you look great. it's a little refreshing seeing a couple that struggles yet can have faith in God and still work things out. let's me know that it'll all be ok. o and tell nato thanks for blogging too.

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  67. Praise the Lord for your honesty, and for Nato's honesty and willingness to let it all hang out there. WE ALL go through crud with our spouses at one time or another, and its good to remember that the stuff we do has LASTING effects. But our God is a BIG God, and He can deal with all our crud, and heal all our hurts. Praying for your family.. cute baby bumps :)

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  68. You just described my emotions last year. I was pregnant with our 3rd, too. Early 2010 was tough. Felt disconnected...insecurities came out...super sensitive...just needing that extra love and attention...so afraid to bring baby #3 into this world with the 2 of us in that state. WIth God and only through God are things turned around this year. Thank you for sharing, and once again, for being a person I am able to relate to.

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  69. I am so glad I ran across your blog. I love how honest you are. You seem like an amazing, beautiful, strong woman.

    I can not wait to follow your belly :)

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  70. awesome pics! great post, love the honesty. also love "playing blog" hahah! i soo make my hubby do this!

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  71. I really appreciate this post. I wish I could email or call you... or something. Just to talk. My Mom walked away from my Dad in June because of an affair. Sadly, she isn't coming back, but God does teach us incredible things through pain if we let him. Thanks for being so open and honest.

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  72. dude, I'm gone for a week and theres a million commenters on your blog. Ha ha

    love the belly shots especially the last one its kind of creepy but cute ;)

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  73. You're doing great Jami. Life....comes with so much doesn't it. You look beautiful as well LOVE YOU!

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  74. Jacked up! I love that phrase!

    Annnnyways, we are all jacked up. That's the awesome thing about grace. We all need it, for different sins and seasons.

    You looks beautiful and I soo understand the WOWZA huge bust region. My husband likes to refer to them as the National Geographics. 12 more weeks of pregnancy and then...my milk comes in and they are even bigger. WOOT.

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  75. Jacked up? Nah. Human? You bet. My husband and I have our struggles too. We're up, we're down, we ride the marriage coaster, but we try. Just like you, we continue to try, and that......is ALL that matters.

    P.S. You're about the cutest, lil' prego girl around. uh-huh!

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  76. When life got really hard, I adopted a word, just one word that made me feel powerful ( when I was powerless) my word was/is BRAVE. I think that might be your word too, because sharing this, makes you SO BRAVE. Thank you for sharing, honestly.

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  77. Many air hugs your way.

    And you ended this post the best way possible "Surprise we are jacked up." aren't we all. You sharing it makes us all feel like we are not alone. Thanks friend.

    mad love {insert chest pound}
    amy

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  78. I so love how open and honest you are...love that you keep it real! :) I took your advice and got a little real on my blog today too.
    P.S. Love your home too...gorgeous :)

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  79. Thank you so much for your honesty - for being willing to be real with a bunch of online strangers! It sounds weird to say this about something like this, but reading your post this morning totally blessed my day. May God richly bless yours!!

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  80. Thank you for, as always, being so real with us!

    And I love the awkward prom pose, and the unicorn comment. :)

    Happy almost weekend to you!

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  81. girly....what an amazing post~ ah life!...we are all a little jacked up, right??, and we have to work through things, and do our best..you are such an amazing example of this! thanks for your real posts--with humor intermixed! i seriously love your blog:)

    ps--you two make one hottie couple:)

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  82. Thank you for your honesty. You are stronger than you think, my dear. Sending positive vibes to you, your husband and your belly :)

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  83. Thanks for your willingness to let us see a "real" marriage. I wish husbands could read our minds and know what we need, but then what fun would that be! Keep holding on. It looks like you guys make beautiful music(and pictures) together:)

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  84. girl you always make me laugh and cry in the same post.
    I am so inspired by your trust in the Lord. Our God is good. You are going to have a crown full of jewels someday. The lord is so proud of the way you glorify him in all you say and do! keep it up!
    ps... at least you CAN get your man to play blog with you! not me!

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  85. I love how real and honest you are with all of us. You are a real inspiration Jami. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  86. i can't express how much i love and appreciate your honesty. i am always blessed when i read your blog posts. thank you.

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  87. so good...your post. So many emotions and things I think a lot us married couples journey through.

    I love pics #1 & #4, I take those type of shots with my kids all the time, but never Chris...I will be doing that this week :)

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  88. Oh, how refreshing you are! I am tickled by your cuteness, blessed by your transparency, encouraged by your love for your precious man and your steadfastness that is speaking volumes to a watching world. Preach it, girl! THIS is authentic faith...the kind that woos people to Jesus! {{hugs}}

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  89. Been reading your blog for a while but could never comment and never knew why. Turns out Mozilla has issues!

    Anyways, Im on the Internet Explorer and I can comment! Yay!

    These words made me laugh SOOOO hard "if you're a new reader, surprise, we're jacked up."

    You are refreshing! Your story is so inspirational!

    And you're belly is beautiful!

    Sending you hugs!

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  90. Well, I am that "first time reader" you mentioned at the very end... and let me just say...

    We're jacked up too! I stumbled upon your blog, read this post and I cannot BELIEVE how much your story reminds me of ours. And God saved our marriage (and is still saving it!) as well.

    Just wanted you to know I got you on that. ;)

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  91. These pictures are flipping fantastic! Love it!

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  92. I am new here. I admire the courage both of you have to share your story. Thank you!
    This that you said -
    "i have come to love grief and a broken heart, because i know what comes after those things."
    -yes. I totally agree with that!
    God heals the broken hearted. And that is beautiful. The ugly thing is to be broken & not admit. But, in the hands of Jesus, it is wonderful.

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  93. 6 six years ago my husband had an affair and admire your courage to let God turn the "mess into a message" Powerful stuff. I like to focus on... "where intimacy lies, sin dies!"

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  94. To have the courage to tell my story would be freeing. Thank you for sharing.

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  95. Thanks for your honesty in this post. Super random how I found you - I love to use natural cleaners and a friend sent me your post on borax and dish detergent... anyway, thank you and yes I want to catch up on your family story. It's beautiful what God is doing to restore you through this trial!

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  96. I so appreciate your realness and vulnerability on here. It's so refreshing and affirming to hear stories of couples who are REAL. Reading your blog makes me feel like, "I'm not alone! I'm not the only one!" And it is so exciting to see how God has transformed your husband and you through this journey as you grow closer to Christ and to each other.

    I loved reading your story and love reading your blog! :)

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  97. So I popped over from Pinterest just to see your cool entry way ... well hello! Now I am sucked in and loving your humor, even on the heavy stuff. You sound like a fun girly :)I'm glad life came back around for you and your hubby.

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