& he became a daddy…

we were wrapping up a date night together, sitting on the stairway beside what we affectionately refer to as the skinny door at my home . just talking.

it was “my” home at the time. the girls & i moved in the year after gregg had passed away. the side stairway led up to the bonus room which was overflowing with barbies & polly pockets. dress up clothes, princess gowns & crowns were on display. a large doll house was filled with madeline and all her french friends. storybooks filled the pink & white pottery barn bookshelf. goldfish crackers & sippy cups were on the kitchen counter. the rooms in our home were all various pastel shades and very girly. my two dogs, a great dane mix & a yellow lab were both girls. my life was a beautiful busy world of all things “little girl”.  i drove a mini van. need i say more?

i had known dan for years. that’s a long story for another day. he had been one of gregg’s very best friends, often times sitting with him during the daily rounds of chemo. dan was single. he had never married. he tells me i’m the first girl he ever said ” i love you” to. he was just shy of turning 40.

on this particular evening , the one wrapping up on the stairway, we talked about our future….together. as five.  me+3 little girls. we were a package deal.

the conversation went something like this:

” i’m worried i won’t be a good daddy to the girls. are you worried?”

“not at all.”

really?”

“there’s not a doubt in my mind. not one. you’ll be perfect.”

“you don’t have any reservations? none?”

“none”

i shook my head with as much confidence backing my answer as there were polly pocket pieces strewn all over the bonus room floor. and that my friends, is a lot of polly’s and a lot of confidence.

we married a few months later, easter weekend 1999 in a garden. dan married the girls & i. he took a knee and placed pearl bracelets on each of them, promising them he’d be their daddy & their provider, their protector. forever.

you may think i’m glazing this over or trying to make it all sound story book…but i can honestly say, that single boy, who’d never told another girl he loved them, packed up his “all white” minimal home and moved in to our little world. a world that had pull-ups and toddler beds. he learned all the disney princesses and played barbie’s with the best of ’em. he learned how to fill sippy cups just close enough to the rim so the lid will still fit & not overflow. he learned to tell goodnight stories and kiss away the  pain of a “boo-boo”. he never missed a beat. it was the most seamless transition. ever.

14 years later, we’ve survived two miscarriages and a few cancer scares. we had little caroline  two springs after our garden wedding. he became the girls ( savannah, madi & emi’s)  legal daddy adopting them in june of 2002.  we’ve traveled to seaside & sent the first one to college. he’s changed jobs, learned how to buy tampons & pads with confidence. he’s buried both his parents and planned for our retirement.

he’s the kindred spirit i never dared to dream would come. he’s the knight in shining armor i pray each of my four girls is swept away by one day. he loves us and all that came with taking on 4 females. he’s kind, warm,tenderhearted and loyal. he fills up 4 cars with gas every week and never leaves his boxers on the floor. he loves jesus and honestly has loved us like Jesus loved. he’s an earthly representation of our heavenly father. he’s human, yes. but he’s pretty darn close to walking on water.

i can’t imagine doing this life without him.

i didn’t doubt him that night on the side stairway…but 14 years later, he continues to blow me away.

i love you more than yesterday handsome, but not as much as tomorrow….

June 17, 2013 - 3:05 pm

Melissa - This story blows me away! How sweet and amazing that you were so lucky to find a man like Dan. If only i could find someone even half that good!

June 17, 2013 - 3:10 pm

Robin at Recess - Yours is a beautiful story, Paige. I’m hoping to raise my boys to be just such men. Pray that I have God’s grace and wisdom to do just that, won’t you? And thank you for helping me to believe it is possible.

June 17, 2013 - 3:13 pm

Kaara - What a lovely story you have shared with us! You all are blessed to have each other!
xoxo

June 17, 2013 - 3:15 pm

courtney defeo - i can honestly say this is one of the reasons i was so drawn to your blog many years ago. this love story. your equal love for each other. keep sharing. keep inspiring so many. hooray for dan! what a man!

June 17, 2013 - 3:37 pm

Velva - I know you know…I know a bit of your story. I have always been blown away at how GOD provided for you…and the girls….and Dan. He has known the girls since they were born. I remember talking to Nancy during Greg’s cancer fight, I know Dan was there through it all. God truly turned a very sad situation – into beauty! It is WAAAYYYYY better than a fairy tale! It’s a God tale…. :0)

June 17, 2013 - 3:52 pm

susie - Paige,

Such a beautiful, touching story. It’s one most people dream of having. You are truly blessed to have each other and four wonderful girls.

xoxo,
Susie

June 17, 2013 - 4:11 pm

D'Nese - Melts my heart more each time I read about Dan. Every woman deserves a “Dan.” He is truly amazing! I’m glad God blessed you and your girls with someone such as himself. A true love story. Happily Ever After….

June 17, 2013 - 4:54 pm

Sara - I love this story. Thank you for sharing.

June 17, 2013 - 5:50 pm

Hannah - i have a sweet husband who did the same. he married my daughter and i…and adopted her a few months after we were married. i could NOT ask for a better man. he gives and gives every.single.day and never wants for anything. he even gave me my dream of being a stay at home mom. i am forever blessed…and i have a feeling i know exactly how you feel…
beautiful post.

June 17, 2013 - 7:11 pm

chrissi - just ♥

June 17, 2013 - 8:53 pm

Beverly - Yours is a glorious story! I married for the first time at age 53. I know for sure that the man I married is the ONE I waited on, not settling for someone “half as good” as Melissa says in the first comment. I want to encourage the men and women you touch to know that God has a purpose for us. It is not to “settle” but to instead to know there is absolutely someone out there that has been hand selected for you. I would not have the wonderful relationship and family that I do now if I had not waited for my husband. I am grateful everyday for him and wouldn’t have it any other way. God knows us and our hearts desires.

June 17, 2013 - 9:35 pm

Kerri - Know matter how many times I have heard your love story, I never tire of it! Tonight as I sit here reading your post after a long (and difficult) day at school, an afternoon spent with my two little girls and then a beautiful going away dinner organized by my mother-in-law for her neighbors, and a thunderstorm and rainbow, I can honestly tell you I have seen God working in so many ways! I am so glad God has blessed such a beautiful family as yours as well as mine! XO

June 17, 2013 - 11:05 pm

heather heaton - i just LOVE that i knew all of you before … and now i know you AFTER. it’s truly an amazing love story. a cute bachelor … turned fab daddy — it’s just the perfect plan that only a God like ours could orchestrate.
<3

June 18, 2013 - 3:42 am

Destiny - Lovely…

June 18, 2013 - 7:37 am

Christy - touching story paige, thanks for sharing

June 18, 2013 - 8:27 am

Jayne Huber - Paige- I know this is all true- Dan is the kindest soul ever. I PRAISE JESUS for bringing you guys together, and have seen him mellow more over the 14 years! God is SOOOO good! Love you all!

June 18, 2013 - 2:02 pm

LLH Designs - I don’t think I could EVER tire of your story. Each time I read pieces of it, I marvel at what the Lord has done. Ashes to beauty.

June 18, 2013 - 3:18 pm

Jane - Paige, I LOVE your story!! You and your family have been in my thoughts this month. First of all my friend here in Gig Harbor, Summer,said she knows you from NoonDay when I mentioned how much I love your blog…and you live on the opposite coast!~A beautiful young wife and mama of four from our church just lost her husband in a tragic accident and my prayer is that someday she will get a chance at another wonderful man to share her life with, just as you did. (I thought you & your readers might lift up Inga in prayer too…)~ I am blessed with an amazing husband for our four kids too. God is good!

June 18, 2013 - 3:22 pm

Peggy - Ah Paige, now my mascara is all smeary! Honey, thank you so very much for sharing!! I have a good friend who just recently remarried… I can remember her telling me her then boyfriend got down on one knee and proposed to her daughter as well. In fact the adoption was finalized on their wedding day… A good solid Christian man who loves dearly is hard to come by these day! I am so glad that you treasure the priceless gift you have been given!

June 18, 2013 - 4:55 pm

Kitti Murray - Paige! I love this “rest of the story” after cheering on the sidelines when it first started. This doesn’t leave me saying “What a man!” (although I sure do love that Dan Knudsen) – it leaves me saying “What a God!”

June 18, 2013 - 5:14 pm

Sandy - What a beautiful love story . . it’s funny how God knows just what we need and puts it all together just right. Blessings :O)

June 18, 2013 - 9:11 pm

Lori - I have been reading you for awhile via bloglovin but I needed to come over and leave a comment tonight. This story touched my heart and I am so glad you shared it.

June 19, 2013 - 1:59 am

Sophie - This is beautiful Paige, what an amazing man you married! God is good.

June 19, 2013 - 8:30 am

angela - Beautiful. God sent. Precious. Blessed.

June 24, 2013 - 9:48 am

Amy R. - This is such a sweet, sweet story! We share an anniversary with ya’ll. I just wish I could write my feelings down as beautifully as you do. Dan sounds like a great guy and you are perfect together. Congrats!