Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Introducing...

Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Alexander :)

I finally got to marry the man of my dreams!

(picture courtesy of our talented friend, Aly Ragan:)

On February 8, Stephen and I got married in the church. 
It was beautiful.
It wasn't about flowers.
 It wasn't about dresses or about music... 
It was about the LOVE that I have had for this man for 3 years 
and the love that he has shown me back.   
A love that I honestly feel makes me more giddy every day. 

We were married by Fr. Mark Beard at St. Helena Church in Amite, LA.  Then, we celebrated at my (very generous) Aunt and Uncle's house in Slidell. (who I cannot thank enough for such a beautiful reception) 
Everything was perfect and exactly what we have been wishing for. Then, we honeymooned in the beautiful Imperial Valentin resort in Rivieria Maya. 
It was perfect and beautiful and we never wanted to come home!

You know that cheesy saying? 
Every love story is beautiful, but ours is my favorite. 
Well, I'm here to say that as cheesy as that might be- 
our love story is by far my favorite.

This man came into my life when my world was crumbling down around me.  He came in, stepped up to the plate, no questions asked.  He treated my son like he was his son, too.  He loved him.  He wiped my tears and he treated me with the utmost respect.  There were many times when I would think to myself, "There is no way this guy is going to follow through with this... it's just too much drama for one person."  But he stayed...  and not only stayed, but went above and beyond my expectations.
  I knew I had struck gold. 

 He shows me every day the definition of unconditional love.  He's taught me how to be a better person and a better spouse.  He has given me another reason to live.  
And I think I have my sweet boy to thank for that... 

I know I haven't written much in these past 2 years... and I apologize.  It's been one heck of a roller coaster ride.  There are things I've shared with you guys and things that I have had to keep personal.  And trust me, it's not easy because I've shared SO much with all of you already.  But I can tell you that God has not only been present in mine and Stephen's life, but He has been adamant about gaining our love and trust.  He is not finished presenting us with suffering that brings forth perseverance.  It's been a bumpy road full of surprises... but never once have we questioned if God has been present.  He has strengthened our relationship with Him and our relationship with each other.  
It's been pretty incredible to witness...
(along with being a little unfair :)
BUT... I have many many things to be thankful for.  The most important being that I have a spouse who I am certain will be by my side through whatever it is we encounter.  
If we have survived this, we can survive anything.  
(God, please do not take that the wrong way,  I'm not saying I want to be the next Job).

So my path of grief has been an uphill battle.  Especially at my age, when all my friends around me have families or are just beginning their families.  It's like a little pinch of my heart when I'm around other babies or pregnant mommies... STILL, after 2 years.  I can't believe it's been 2 years.  But I think like any other grieving parent would say... It gets a little easier to "function" with time.  But is it "functioning" or is it being "fake" so that people don't think "Gosh, it's been 2 years, how long is she going to be such a miserable person?"  I feel like sometimes it's both.

  I don't think (well, actually I know) that I'll never be the same person that I was before Tripp was born.  That person is gone.  There's a new person... and I love her and I hate her.  I love her because she is more faithful.  She has opened up every crack and crevice of her faith and discovered things that she has never known... it's helped her and her husband to be better Christians.  I love her because she is more sensitive to others feelings.  I love her because of the magnitude of love and patience she had with her son.  I hate her now because she has no patience... and because she has a hard time having fun.  I hate her because she feels guilty about every single thing she does because she's doing it without her baby.  I hate her because she has a different mindset around people- because the loss of her child is ALWAYS on her mind, even when it's not on someone else's. 

It's difficult trying to live the life of two emotions.  One being so incredibly happy, with an amazing husband who supports me and loves me and two incredible families who love the both of us... and another being so sad that I don't have my baby to hold in my arms.... my baby who would be FIVE years old this year.  FIVE.  I would have a 5 year old.   He would be going to school... playing sports... talking back... telling jokes.  It's nauseating to think about.  What would he look like?  What would he act like?  All I can picture are those big brown eyes... 


To say I miss him, is such a huge understatement.  
But to say that God has blessed Stephen and I, is also a big understatement. 
We are just trucking along, learning new things every single day and trying to stay on the narrow path.  
I can't wait to continue sharing our journey with all of you, who have stood by us, loved us, and supported us unconditionally.  
Thank you all SO much! 


Love, 
Photobucket

97 comments:

  1. Wishing you many happy years together.

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  2. I'm so sincerely happy for you. May you both have all the happiness in the world.

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  3. Congratulations! I wish you all the best! Tripp has forever impacted my life. Happy for you.

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  4. Congrats! What beautiful pictures! Thank you for bring so open and transparent- you have a heart of gold...

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  5. So happy for you and Stephen. I think about you and Tripp everyday. It's amazing how your life has taken you to polar opposites of the emotional roller coaster. I'm so glad you posted again. Hope to hear from you again soon!

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  6. Congratulations! I'm really happy for you :)

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  7. Thank you for letting us be apart of your life. Tripp is an inspiration and his legacy will forever remain. You are a gift from God. Congratulations!!!!!!

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  8. I am SOOOO happy for you sweet Courtney. This is such great news! Thank you for sharing it with us! xoxo

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  9. You are an amazing person! I have followed your story for years, and in fact I share it with my biology students (I am a science teacher). They are required to do genetic disorders and Tripp is always in our conversation. Praying for you, and so happy you have found love!!!

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  10. I'm crying tears of happiness for the two of you. I'm sure Tripp is very happy for you too. Congratulations and God bless you! And your new husband :)

    P.S. You and Tripp are one of the reasons we converted to Catholicism. Thank you.

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  11. Congratulations!!!!!! It makes my heart happy to see you happy!
    PS...after watching you go through all that you have and seeing your testament of faith, I was so inspired and touched by it that I started exploring RCIA classes last Fall and I will actually be joining the Catholic church on Easter this year. You are one of several people who had a hand in that journey for me and I just wanted you to know that you and Tripp are still making a difference. Thank you!

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  12. There is not a day that goes by that I dont think about ur little man. Ive never met him but I love and miss him so much. I always mention him in my nightly prayers. God bless u and stephen im so glad u have happiness with him until u r reunited with Tripp <3

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  13. Congratulations ! You so deserve all the happiness in the world.

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  14. I am so happy for the both of you, and I know Tripp is too!

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  15. Dear Courtney,
    I am always glad to receive your messages as they are so well written and full of inspiration. This one being no exception, and I am so happy for you that you have met an incredible man and have been married! Tears welled up in my eyes when you said you would now have a 5 year old, how time flies. You can never be expected to "get over" the loss of your baby and to stop feeling guilty over being happy. You can only live life one day at a time and count the blessings that you do have, which are many despite everything. Best wishes to you both! (Sarai)

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  16. You have blessed me so much with your love for Tripp. You have a wonderful family and I am so happy that it is growing. May God bring special blessings into your life.

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  17. Dear Courtney, congratulations on your marriage! It was wonderful to meet you And your family at the Butterfly Ball. I think you got my number then, and please call or text if you ever want to talk, text, cry, or anything. I will always understand. My heart rejoices and aches for you at the same time. I wish you all the best happiness and comfort.

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  18. Courtney, like so many that read your blog, I do not know you. However, I have fallen in love with you and your unwavering love and commitment to caring for your beautiful son. Through that long journey it is evident to me that you have so much to offer to so many. I know you are a lucky girl, but Stephen is one lucky fella. My mother in law is now 90 years old and in failing health and does not live close to us (and won't move), oh how I wish she had someone with your cheerful, gentle spirit to care for her in her final years as you cared for your son. You my friend are a gift from God! You deserve all the happiness the world has to offer!!! Blessings to both of you!

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  19. Big congratulations - what a blessing he has been. Thank you for posting - you popped in to my head just the other day, and I was wondering if you'd had the wedding yet....best wishes for a long, happy life together.

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  20. Congratulations Courtney and Stephen ! Your little man lives in my heart, and I often think of him when I see my son. I remind myself how lucky we are to be healthy and how the bumps on our road are so far very little compared to what they could be. Tripp helps me to be more patient and comprehensive, a better person I hope. I wish you two the best and sending you hugs from France.

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  21. Congratulations and may God continue to bless you and yours....

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  22. Courtney, I don't think I ever really commented before, but I've tearfully read every post you've made through your journey. I'm so VERY happy for you and this wonderful man who loves your beautiful, kind soul! You keep on trucking, loving and being kind. ((hug))

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  23. I am so happy to hear your good news! May God grant you many years together, and I pray that you continue to find peace and healing as we approach the joy of Christ's glorious resurrection. Christ is risen!

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  24. Congratulations! I pray you and Stephen continue to seek God in all aspects of your marriage. Thank you for sharing your heart.

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  25. So, so, so good to hear from you!!! Blessing, my friend.

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  26. Happy, happy, happy!!!! My heart is happy for you, though it still aches when I think of sweet Tripp & know how much you must still be missing him. His precious life still reminds me to be grateful for my two boys. Thank you for sharing your life, and thank you even more for sharing Tripp with us.

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  27. I'm so happy for you that you have found true love. What an amazing story. Looking forward to seeing the amazing things the future has in store for you both. Congratulations!

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  28. Coongratulations to you both! Sometimes we can't ever imagine having joy again (I lost my baby daughter to leukemia many, many years ago) but God does want us to celebrate life. I always like to think my angel was sent to teach me the true meaning of life. She and Tripp must be smiling. Blessings from my heart. Debby

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  29. Thank you for continuing to share your journey with us. I loved the wedding picture. Have a blessed day!

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  30. So incredibly happy for you and Stephen!! Thank you for continuing to share your journey with all of us; what an honor it is to read!

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  31. Congratulations, Courtney. Thanks for sharing this with us all.

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  32. Congrats on the marriage! And thank you for sharing so much of your life and experiences.

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  33. So happy for you! One of my besties is from Slidell. I have always wanted to visit there!

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  34. Congratulations! I was just thinking of you recently, too. Isn't that crazy. Please keep on writing! I hope you are doing okay!

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  35. Congrats, Courtney!! So happy for you! Still praying for you... every day. xoxo

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  36. Congratulations on your marriage to Stephen! I pray God's blessings on your marriage and your life together. You are a brave young woman. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

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  37. Congratulations! I randomly check your blog - maybe once every couple of months. You and Tripp have been such an inspiration to our family. I am so happy for you.

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  38. Congratulations Courtney! Wishing you and Stephen much love, blessings, and happiness together!!

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  39. Congratulations! I wish you all the best.

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  40. I'm so proud of you that you took that leap of faith again! (Does that make sence!) I can personally tell you the second marriage is always better!! It's more then the first somehow. You also appreciate the real person that man is! Congrats! I hope you keep your heart open to more

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  41. Congratulations!! I am so very happy for you. There are some days that it seems like it was just yesterday I was reading your blog on Tripp's life and I cannot believe that it was long ago as it was. I have prayed so much for all of you. You deserve to have a happy life! You were the most awesome mom to Tripp. He was so lucky to have you and Stephen in his life.

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  42. Congratulations. You look beautiful

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  43. I'm so happy that you have found some happiness. I do think about Tripp often .. I remember reading his blog every week and praying for him.. as much as I know that you wish he was here with you..try to take some comfort in the fact that he is soaring above us all with the angels and you now have your own personal guardian angel...Much love from our home to yours! <3

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  44. So happy for you both. My Laynee would be seven years old now and I think that the single most important thing that I have learned about this beast called grief, is that we must learn to allow great joy and great sorrow to live together within us. The sorrow is always present but there is room for joy along side of it. I have also found that joy is even more beautiful when it sits beside sorrow. You are a very blessed young woman .

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  45. Your young son completed him mission here on earth, and beautifully I might add. He touched hearts and changed lives and he was called home. You guided and supported him through his mission and Heavenly Father is well proud of you. Now it's your turn to fly in your new life as a wife, with a whole new mission. Don't let guilt slow you down. It's completely understandable, but counter productive. FLY!!!

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  46. Congrats to you both!! I guarantee that Heavenly Father brought him into your life knowing how he would help your heart heal a small bit. I Am sure that Tripp is hanging out with you two watching you have fun together and love each other. He's never far away.... and I am in awe of your continued strength and faith! I m always so happy for updates they are so raw and real. Xo

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  47. Congratulations! I am so happy for you and your husband. I wish you both all the best of everything wonderful.

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  48. We don't know each other, I just want to congratulate you and Stephen, you both found your soul-mate in each other. That is a gift from God. I wish you many happy years togeather. Your son, Tripp has touched so many lives from all over, that is what angels do.As for as your emotions you have a right to feel the way you do, just let them out. Cry, laugh, whatever it is let them out, never keep them bottled up..Let Them Out!! Love hearing from you, May God Bless You and Stephen.

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  49. Oh, thank you for sharing this. Congratulations to the two of you. And no, we don't want you to be the next Job either! It's strange..I often looked at my friend's parents and wondered if they spent any day without hinking of their deceased daughter. She had died a few years before I became friends with the daughter. I now know they do. But have learnt to 'function' despite the grief. May the happiness Tripp would exude when he laughed, infuse you with joy too. All the best with this new phase of your life. We are humbled that you continue to keep us updated. We love you!

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  50. Congratulations to the both of you! I am so happy you posted. I check your blog every day for an update. I've been wondering how you were doing. My guess is that you've been extremely busy with planning a wedding and settling in to married life. I'm so happy for you!

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  51. Thank you for sharing, this was such a blessing this morning! Praying for your new marriage, may you be as happy and content as I am..... Love you!

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  52. So very happy for you, Courtney! Wishing you the lifetime of healing and happiness that you so richly deserve. Can't wait to hear what's next for you!

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  53. I continue to check this site every week hoping to see a post from you. Tripp touched so many lives, and so have you. We've all grown to care so much about you and your life. Congratulations on your marriage! The happiness in this post about that is so very clear, and you deserve that so very much. I know you miss your baby boy, but he will always be a part of you. I know I've learned so much from reading your posts. I appreciate my son so much every day and I know others feel the same.

    I can't wait to hear more.

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  54. Congrats and many blessings for a long and happy life together! Cheers!

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  55. Congratulations! I am so glad that you had a wonderful wedding and honeymoon!! You and Tripp often remain in my thoughts, and I'm glad Stephen is officially part of your family. He seems like such a wonderful man! <3 Please do keep us posted on your lives, as you still have many followers! :)

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  56. Congratulations, sweet Courtney. I am praying that as you continue on this journey called life, that you will always trust HIS heart, for it is the only One worth trusting. Know that one day, you and Tripp will be reunited - for eternity - and that is so much longer than the temporary time you had on earth with him. Eternity.

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  57. Oh I am so thrilled to read this, Courtney!! You deserve every happiness in the world. I am so happy you have found your life partner.

    Congratulations!!
    KK @ www.preppypinkcrocodile.com

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  58. Congratulations, so happy to see you having some happiness. I wish you many years ahead together full of love

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  59. Congratulations! May you and Stephen be blessed with a very long and happy marriage.
    It's absolutely normal to think about Tripp and how he would be at different ages. I still think of my son who would be 39 this year. All the love and joy you have shared with him and he with you will always be there in your heart and his. May you and Stephen make many joyful memories through the years to come. God bless and keep you both!

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  60. Congratulations! My heart was so happy to read this update. Sending you love and prayers…and wishing you every happiness together. <3

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  61. Oh dear Courtney, I am so very happy for you and your hubby. Never doubt that your beautiful son is looking down on you and smiling that his wonderful Mom has found some happiness, because no Mom could have loved him more. Your post brought tears to my eyes because I have thought of you so very often. God bless you as you begin this new chapter of your life. Nancy

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  62. I've been following yalls story for quite some time. Just wanted to send my congratulations, well wishes, hugs and prayers.

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  63. Congratulations, you both have earned every happiness in the world. I am so happy for both of you

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  64. Congratulations, Courtney and Stephen!! May the Lord continue to bless both of you as you move forward in your life together.
    I'm so happy I saw this message today. I pray your happiness will some day be greater than your sadness.
    Sending love and hugs. Lorna

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  65. Thank you for updating! Congtatulations.

    I am so happy that Stephen has been there for you and Tripp. An angel that entered your life when you were saying goodbye to another. He sounds like a great man and I am glad that Tripp knew he was there for him and for you. That is precious.

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  66. Oh what GREAT news! Congratulations! I am so VERY happy for you and I pray that the Lord will continue to bless your beautiful lives! Thank you for sharing such wonderful news! Much love to you and your new and adorably handsome hubby!

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  67. Congratulations! Sending much love & good wishes to you. Thank you for the update, our family thinks about Tripp often and says a prayer for him.

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  68. So good to hear from you and so happy that you have found love again! Tripp is happy to know you are happy and he knows how your heart grieves for him. He is your guardian angel!

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  69. God blessed the broken roads.....

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  70. Congratulations to you and your beau! Many wishes for happiness and love as you begin your new life together.

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  71. I am so happy to see this update! i check often! Congratulation to you and your new husband and i wish you all of the greatest things in the world. I often find myself thinking of you and Tripp. Following your story left a huge impact on my life. I feel stronger, from seeing your strength. I have learned to savor each day, from seeing your suffering. None of us are promised tomorrows, yet so many of us treat today like tomorrow is guaranteed. But you didnt, because your couldent, because Tripps wasnt. You and your son left a massive impact on alot of lives. Maybe that was his purpose in this life. To teach his followers things that arent that easy to learn.

    Thank you for sharing your sweet little boys life with us. Thank you for sharing your emotions so raw and honest. Thank you for coming back and updating. I look forward to seeing where your life goes from here as Mrs. Stephen Alexander.

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  72. It is such a joy to know of your happiness.

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  73. Congratulations! I've kept your blog in my newsfeed hoping to see an update from you. I'm glad that it is a positive one.

    Please know that you are loved.

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  74. Congratulations on your wedding!

    I think everything you do, you do with Tripp in mind. He is so ingrained in your life, how could you not? He'll always be with you and be a part of your life, no matter what. I'm so glad you've found someone strong enough to share that with you.

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  75. Congratulations! Enjoy this new chapter in your life. I like the comment someone made earlier about having both great sorrow and great joy in life. It is great to hear that you are adding more joy right now!

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  76. I am so happy for you Courtney! So blessed to have true love in your life. Prayers for your healing heart.

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  77. Congratulations and many good wishes!

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  78. Congratulations to your and your husband. I think about Tripp and the love and care you showed to him (even though I don't know you, never met you, never even set foot in your state) frequently. Take good care! It was wonderful to see your update!

    - Joanna, Joseph, Jude and Joelle
    Madison, WI

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  79. So happy for you both. I have read your blog for many years and feel like I know you so well. You have been through more than most people will deal with in a lifetime. I hope you continue to find happiness in all that you do and I hope to be blessed to share this journey through your writing.

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  80. Oh well, I don't even know where to start. I have spent the last week or so reading through your blog from the very beginning. I've been smiling, crying and everything in between when I read about your unconditional love for this lovely boy Tripp. I just can't imagine what you have been through together, this huge amount of pain and suffering. You and Tripp have taught me how fragile a life can be, and to enjoy every day like if it's the last one. I'm definitely enjoying the days with my almost one year old daughter much more. I can't even imagine how it would be if I lost my precious little baby.
    You are amazing, Courtney. You don't know me at all, but I really would want to give you a big hug if we ever met. Which probably won't happen since I live in Sweden. But I hug both you and Tripp in my mind and keep you in my prayers.
    Thank you for sharing Tripp's story. Heaven's little drummer boy has really touched my heart.
    And not to forget, congratulations to you and Stephen! Never let go of that fantastic man! :)

    Love, Monika
    Stockholm, Sweden

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    1. Could not have said it any better! She is such an amazing person, someone I would find great honor in meeting!

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  81. Congratulations on your wedding. Nobody deserves this more than you. I love how God is showering you with many blessings that will help heal the hurt. You will never be the same after losing Tripp but you will be able to live differently and be happy. It is ok to be happy.

    I have followed your story for a long time and you have become a very special part of my life through your blog. I am honored to read your journey and lift you up before our Lord Jesus Christ.

    I pray you will continue to share your ups and downs and that we can continue to celebrate and cry with you along this new journey in your life.

    Sincerely,
    Carol

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  82. Congratulations on your marriage. You deserve this wonderful man and all the happiness.
    He gained a strong beautiful women. Tripp is smiling down on your JOY.

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  83. Wow! What awesome news! Congratulations to you both! I have thought about you so many times and prayed that you were okay! I know in my own mind that blogging probably had become to much for you. I prayed so many times that it would pop up in my email that you had just said I am here and okay, everytime I see you had wrote I sighed a sigh of relief. I thought Yay! She is just taking time that she so well deserved for herself. Thanks so much for giving us so much from your life

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  84. Congratulations on your marriage. You two look so beautiful and happy!!! You deserve nothing but the best.

    I have to tell you, what you wrote about loving and hating yourself at the same time....that really hit me. I lost my first born son almost 8 years ago now, and I completely relate to those feelings. My husband and I were just talking about this a few weeks ago...how much things have changed since after losing our son. How much we have changed, and how we will never be the same.

    You are such a strong, beautiful, and inspiring woman. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Tripp's story has touched my heart so deeply!

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  85. Congratulations to you both, such a adorable couple.

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  86. so, so very happy for you two!! lots of kisses from Portugal.

    Be Happy you deserv it!

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  87. Checked in today to see what you were up to. I am so happy for you!

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  88. My prayers and my love goes out to you and your family . I envy you . You are a very strong and loving woman with a huge heart and so much love to give . God bless you . I will keep you in his hands . I will pray for you and keep you in my thoughts and my heart . Good luck . I and mm very very happy for you . Congratulations to you and your husband and best or luck always . Love you and thinking about you .

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