Céad Míle Fáilte

A Hundred Thousand Welcomes!
As they would say on the Emerald Isle...
(My favorite place on Earth.)

Thank you for taking the time to read and to share in my journey toward a merry heart. It seems that many bloggers take the time to explain who they are and what they're about. Most of you that read this blog have known me personally at one time or another in my life, but like any good story, the plot line has changed here and there, so let me fill you in.

I actually have a hard time writing these things. I'm not sure what's relevant, what's interesting. Mostly my life is ordinary. I graduated from Cuyahoga Falls High School in 2003 after four great years of singing, dancing, reading, and writing (and some math and other junk thrown in there, too). I trotted off to Bowling Green State University for college because that's where my big brother was at the time (he has since moved to Florida with his wife...total bummer). I spent four more glorious years reading and writing (I kept the singing and dancing to the privacy of my own room...although, I have a feeling the whole dorm could hear me sing at times). I graduated right on time in May of 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in English (minor in history) and a membership to Phi Beta Kappa, of which many former presidents and other impressive people have belonged. I mention this because it seems to make my mama proud. And I do think it's cool. Although, no secret handshake and that's disappointing.

I met my husband--Curtis James Berry--in the autumn of 2005, we started dating on January 27, 2006. Coincidentally and memorably, my Grandpa (my dad's dad) passed away on this same date. It probably seems strange to some people but I like that I met my husband on the day he passed...I feel like it was his blessing. Anyway, I digress...We got our first dog, Shiloh, in June of 2006, and we were engaged on December 23 of the same year. When you know, you know--you know? We were married on May 17, 2008--Shiloh was not the ring bearer, sadly. I can honestly say that I married my best friend and I got exactly what I asked God for. I wanted a man like my PapPap (my mom's dad) as he is the best man I've ever known...and the more I get to know Curtis the more I really see that he is like him. God can really be a show-off sometimes, but I praise Him for it!

The first year of our marriage we lived in a rental house in the country that I sort of loved and sort of hated. I suppose I began to truly love it after re-reading Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne's House of Dreams. But we didn't stay there long. In September of 2009 we bought our first house and have been working on turning it into a home ever since. This blog often features my struggle with home-making, and my battle with perfection. It's an old farmhouse (built around the turn of the 19th century, no one knows the exact date) in the middle of several fields. Raised a city girl, I struggled with the transition at first but have come to love the privacy and peace out here in the country.

We added a lovable but (slightly) dopey border collie mix into our family on December 30th 2010. He came with the name 'Fritz' but we quickly changed it to 'Bode Caspian the Tenth Berry'. He likes it much, much better than 'Fritz'! Our wonderful, irreplacable, unforgettable Shiloh passed away on September 11, 2011...just nine days after we found out we were pregnant with our first child. We promised to tell the baby all about him and never forget him, and we have kept that promise. A photo album full of Shiloh pictures is one of our son's favorite books to look through.

Dayton Curtis Milford Berry came into our hearts that September but finally into our arms May 6, 2012. He's all-boy and a complete charmer--he's going to break a lot of hearts someday but I hope to teach him to be kind, compassionate, and respectful (and respectable!). He is my miracle, my tangible answer to prayer, the proof that a gracious, generous God exists and is still acting. And he stretches me everyday, reminding me to laugh at nothing (or perhaps everything), to be in awe over the simple (light-switches and the shape of a dog's paw), giving my patience new limits, and my love new depths. The most amazing thing about motherhood, or one of, is the sudden reverent desire to be worthy of this new life...and I pray every day and every night for God to mold me, use me, and be revealed in me to grow this precious life into a bold man for Christ.

So I suppose that sums me up. Those are the facts of my life. To delve into the essence of me, of who I truly am...that would take much more than a single page. And I suppose that's revealed in the posts of this blog anyway. That's what I'm wrestling with, figuring out, seeking to define, hoping to improve, striving to create. I know the end goal is a legacy of a merry heart...but I really have no idea what the journey will be to get me there. A wild one, I'm pretty sure of that, as God likes adventure. But I'll be sure to share that with you as the journey unfolds.

Thanks again for reading. It truly blesses me to have others come alongside me just by reading.

Maireann croí éadrom i bhfad.
A light heart lives long.
(An Irish-Gaelic Saying)

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