One frosty day in November, a group of girls and I sat around a table in Spot coffee after finishing a lovely dinner at Ruby Tuesdays. I was sipping a cup of hot chocolate (cause I didn't drink coffee then…boy was I missing out…) when in walked a tall, dark and handsome man. My heart skipped a beat. Because this wasn't just any man. It was my man. My boyfriend of almost a year. Denis. My excitement turned to confusion because I wasn't expecting him to be there. In fact, I MAY have been a tad annoyed since he was interrupting girls night! But no one at the table seemed to mind, so we made room for him to join us. To make a long story short, it was that very evening that Denis turned to me, held my hand, got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. Through tears and extreme excitement, I was able to let the word "yes" escape from my mouth. Best decision ever. Then, out came the ring. There in that ring box was the most beautiful piece of jewelry I had ever seen. In the center was a Marquise cut diamond. Along each side of the main diamond were both rubies and diamonds. My two favorite stones. This ring was not only perfect because of the stones chosen, but also because Denis designed it for me. It was a one of a kind. Now, if any of you have seen my left hand as of late, you will notice that you don't see this particular ring adorning my ring finger. The sad news is that 7 years later, the center stone went missing. But one day we are determined to replace the center stone and place that right on it's rightful finger once again. Be on the lookout!
Fast forward a year and a month from that date, and you would find me wearing a big white dress and Denis wearing a suit complete with tails (but no bow tie…). My bridesmaids all wore red. My shoes where red. My flowers were red. You sense a theme here?
Fast forward again 7 and a half years, and you would find me holding my first born snug in my arms. Norah was born April 26, 2010. April's Birthstone: Diamond.
Fast forward again 3 years, and you would find me holding my second born snug in one arm, and my first born snug in my other. Denis G. Johnson III (Tre) was born July 4, 2013. July's Birthstone: Ruby
The day Denis and I decided that we would say yes to this life together, a ring of diamonds and rubies was slipped onto my hand. And now I hold a "Diamond" and a "Ruby" in each arm.
My "Diamond" is strong willed, [slightly] dramatic, determined, shy, girlie, a lover of music and dance, a song writer, a food lover, a family girl, smart and one heck of a cuddler. She makes me laugh till I cry (and sometimes just cry). She tests my patience. She loves getting dirty but hates taking baths. She is a daddy's girl through and through. Norah, my beautiful diamond, has a beautiful destiny designed for her. And I am determined to step aside and watch it unfold instead of forcing her to be who I want her to be. God's dream for her is so much bigger than I could ever attempt to create on my own. I can't wait to see what it will look like…
My "Ruby" is my dream come true, my prince, and my answer to prayer. My son. I love those two words. He carries the name of his father and his father's father. Two men who have committed their lives to serving the Lord and His people. Denis Sr commands a room with his poise, wisdom, kindness and strong voice. Yet he melts at the sight of his kids and grandkids. His daughter is wrapped around his finger. He is the best Father-in-Law this world has to offer. On my hardest days, this man will send me a text encouraging me like none other without even knowing my state of mind at that moment. He is also a "Diamond" :] Denis Jr… well… what do I even say about this man? He is world famous, or so I'm convinced. He has more talent in his pinky than I do in my whole being. He is unwavering in his faith and in his temperament. When I am ready to throw in the towel, he calmly looks me in the eyes and tells me to try again. He is the rock of our home, he is incredibly funny (but I don't like to tell him that… so lets keep that a secret). His daughter has him wrapped around his little finger. He is the greatest husband this world had to offer me. On my hardest days, he will hold me as a cry. He stretches my capacity for life and it's challenges. I love that I took his last name. I love that my son, my handsome ruby, carries on the legacy of these two great men. He is going to make an incredible husband and father one day. (maybe…if I let him leave my house…).
Both times I was in labor, Denis created a song list that played while we were in the hospital room. We kept the lights dim and played the music quietly in the background. The worship music that filled the room was incredibly calming. I labored with Norah for 49 hours, so needless to say, I had that playlist memorized! The moment my baby girl made her entrance, the song Alpha and Omega was playing. The lyrics "We give You all the glory, we worship You our Lord, You are worthy to be praised…" rang through the room. After losing a child, and struggling to get pregnant with Norah, these words so perfectly provided the soundtrack for her life. He is so worthy to be praised. The Alpha and Omega. The author and the finisher…
Tre's labor was so so so quick. Too quick for my liking! No drugs. No time for drugs. I wanted the drugs. I needed those drugs! But baby boy was in a hurry to meet his little family I guess. A big hurry! I labored about only 4 hours this time around, and I was only in my hospital room for about 2.5 of that. So this time around, I wasn't able to remember all the songs on our playlist. I remember hearing the soothing voice of Jason Upton and Bishop Joseph Garlington. I remember hearing the words from "Just like Heaven" that said this: "Something's moving, somethings changing, feels like heaven, feels like heaven on earth." Something was moving and changing. And heaven was indeed coming to earth in the moment. Because after that, I was fully dilated and [ready] to push. I was incredibly exhausted from pushing for an hour, so this time I didn't hear the song that played when he was born. Thankfully my sister did. These were the lyrics to the song: "It Your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise…" Once again, a perfectly placed song in the soundtrack of my life. It's Your breath… so we pour out our praise. My son breathed his first breath, and we praised our God in heaven that he was ours...
Denis and I started this journey together 14 years ago this fall when I first met him at Roberts. I like to say he loved me the moment he saw me. But even though that isn't [exactly] true, it was our starting place. It was the moments our stories aligned. Now, we have been Mr and Mrs for almost 11 years. We have two beautiful children on earth and one waiting for us in heaven. I am rich. Rich in love and in grace. I am thankful for this beautiful life.