Better Together

Oh, hey you. 

You now working upstairs in our house with four children. 

You who I fell madly in love with 13 years ago. 

You who is walking right. with. me. Along our journey. 

It ain’t always pretty.  

And lately, with our youngest, it’s been downright ugly. 

But there you are. 

And here I am. 

And we love just the same. 

I knew that day we took our vows. 

Baby, we are better together. 

I spent a childhood, dreaming of a fairytale. 

And I never settled. 

And you know, what?  

Neither did you. 

Alone, we are great. 

But baby, we are always better together. 

Lucky Us

In my dreams, I saw him all along.

He was kind and funny.

Simple and interesting.

He wasn’t intimidated by me; he could hold his own.

He was cultured but open.

Athletically competitive, but not to a fault.

He would make the best daddy ever and I knew it immediately.

His name was Emmett Carawan and he’s who I had been looking for all along.

Someone who would love me wholly.

Someone whom I could adore.

Someone I could live forever with and for.

His name is Emmett Carawan and today, we celebrate just 10 years of a lifetime of marriage together.

Lucky us.

Lucky them.

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Camille Vaughan Photography

Release

“There is no fix.”

That is what I told him after our last argument.

This is not a fixable issue.

This is just the way it is.

Him, working home full time surrounded by me and our four young daughters.

Me, overwhelmed with the rearing and education of our daughters on top of the insurmountable housework.

Our fuses are short. Lit quickly by the tiniest flame.

And right now?  During a pandemic with stay-at-home orders?  There’s no out.

No, there’s no way to fix that.

But we can talk.

We can argue and let. it. out.

“Keep talking.” I told him.  “And I will, too.”

No, we can’t fix it.  But we can talk.

And that’s our release.

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Camille Vaughan Photography

Just Keep Going

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Believe it or not, I was the captain of my Varsity Cross Country Team in high school.  I attended a tiny, all-girls boarding school just outside of Baltimore, Maryland, filled with rolling hills and scenic trails through deciduous forests.  I like to tease that I led from the back because truth-to-be-told I struggled and wasn’t all that good.

Our coach was a Vietnam Vet and also our American History teacher who completely filled the giant wall-sized chalkboard with keywords he would use to tell the story of the battle, using a broken golf club to whack the board and grab our attention when necessary.  He walked with a limp, a war injury, and during our running practices would scream, “UP THE HILL, DOWN THE HILL, CAN’T GO THROUGH IT, MUST GO OVER, JUST KEEP GOING.”

I found myself chanting this long after our meets were over.  After high school, after an abusive relationship in college, as I worked 60+ hour weeks into the weekend as a teacher, during labor, and now, as a mother of four children with a marriage, house, and part-time sales job to tend to.

Do I want to quit?  YES.  So many times!  So many days!  I’m too tired to get over this damn hill and I just want to sit the hell down.  But in the midst of consideration, I can so clearly see and hear Mr. Bailey barking orders at me.  I can only imagine what he endured to conquer his hills and in my weakest moments, I scrape the barren remnants of my energy reserves and find the strength and will to carry on.

To Just. Keep. Going.

Because the view from the top, I know, is amazing.

 

Camille Vaughan Photography

 

The Calling

It’s that little voice.

You know the one I’m talking about.

The one that won’t leave you alone.

That red flag.

That green light.

That nagging feeling.

That encourager.

The relentless pusher.

Lord, you are so annoyed by it sometimes.

JUST GO AWAY.

I don’t want to try something new and different!

I don’t want to leave what I’ve known!

I’m afraid.

But there it is and here you are.

That new job.  That new relationship.  That child.  That move.

And, so long as it is in the direction of progress, it’s our job to listen.

If only we could trust . . . and listen.

 

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Camille Vaughan Photography

Better Together

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You wanted to fish.

I wanted to paddle board.

We respected each other’s desires and handled dinner and bedtime solo with the knowledge that we were doing it for each other.

I returned earlier than expected one evening and you breathed a sigh of relief.

Because, as much as we need our alone time, you and I both know

We’re Better Together.

Happy ninth wedding anniversary, my darling.

 

Camille Vaughan Photography