Stepping out of the shower, I feel like a new woman. Putting my hair up into a towel, I get dried off and dress in my favorite leggings and one of Jace’s shirts. The girls have their one month doctor’s appointment today, and I’m already wishing time would slow down. Jace goes back to work tomorrow too, and I’m not ready.
Having him home every day has been incredible. He’s helped me with every single feeding, changed diapers, and cooked dinner—or should I say ordered dinner. Like I knew he would be, he’s the best daddy in the entire world. I love him more than I did before Grace and Emily were born, and I know the bond he shares with them is a large part of it.
I love watching him with them.
He sings to them during bedtime. Tells them stories when they’re getting their bath.
More than once I’ve caught Jace just watching them, his eyes filled with so much love. I know it’s the exact look I have on my face when I’m with them.
So caught up in my thoughts, I realize I need to get moving or I won’t have enough time to make myself look somewhat presentable. Rummaging through the bathroom drawers, I pull out my hair dryer and a few clips, taking the time to blow out my hair. I can’t even remember the last time I did my hair, but Jace told me to take my time.
When my hair is dry, I run some product through it and stare back at my reflection. My body has changed, and while I’m still carrying a small amount of my baby weight, I don’t really care. My curves have filled out, my breasts larger than normal thanks to breastfeeding. My face has a natural glow to it, and I look happy and healthy.
Motherhood is its own brand of happy.
Walking out of the bathroom, I head to the kitchen to make lunch for Jace and me, deciding on something easy—grilled cheese and tomato soup. I’m flipping a second sandwich over when he comes walking into the room, Emily in one arm, Grace in his other.
“Wow, Stell. You look beautiful.”
“Thanks. I decided to go for human today.”
Laughing, he comes to give me a kiss, and when I set the last grilled cheese on a plate, I take Grace from him, kissing her forehead.
“We need to eat and then get these cutie pies ready for their doctor’s appointment today.”
“Yeah, it’s at what, two thirty?” he asks.
Nodding, I hand him a plate with a sandwich and motion to the stove where the soup is still warming. I’m reaching into the fridge for some waters when Grace starts fussing. I check the time on the stove clock.
“Hungry, baby?” I say, sitting down on a stool so I can feed her, Grace latching on immediately. Both our girls have done well with it, and I never feel closer to them than when I’m breastfeeding them. It’s such an incredible bond.
“When she’s full, I’m gonna go take a shower okay? Mom called me while you were in the shower and invited us over for dinner, if you want?”
I nod at Jace, lifting my eyes from Grace. “Yeah. Make sure you ask if there’s anything we can bring.”
“Just her grandbabies, I’m sure.”
A few minutes later, Grace’s eyes flutter shut and she releases my nipple, so I pull my tank top back up, watching Jace rock Emily back and forth.
“If you bring her to our room, I can get them changed while you shower,” I offer, and he stands, leading the way into our bedroom.
After he lays Emily down on our bed, I hand him Grace so I can pick out their outfits. Deciding on their matching yellow-and-white polka-dot onesies with attached skirts, I stroll back into the bedroom, finding Jace kneeling in front of them.
“Thanks. You can go shower if you want.”
Jace gives me a fierce kiss, his hand gripping the back of my head, and when he pulls always, I run my tongue over my bottom lip.
“Give me ten minutes.”
I hear him open the dresser, no doubt to get clothes, so I go about changing the girls, a huge smile on my face when I see how freaking cute they are in their matching outfits. They both stretch their tiny legs out, and Emily lets out the sweetest-sounding cry.
“You look perfect,” I tell them, knowing they have no idea what I said.
Jace comes walking into the bedroom about five minutes later, a towel around his waist, his hair damp and brushed back off his face.
“Jesus, who would have thought a hot shower would feel that good?” he groans, and I laugh, knowing exactly what he means.
“Tell me about it,” I say, winding my arm around his neck to kiss him.
An hour later, we’re leaving the house, diaper bag over his shoulder. It’s a warm day, and I’m looking forward to spending time with his parents after the girls’ appointment.
Hours later, we’re pulling in our driveway, both of us completely beat. We stayed for dinner at Anna and Clint’s, and it was wonderful. Emily and Grace spent the whole time cuddling their grandparents, and it was a good day, although the reality of Jace going back to work is settling in. I’m gonna miss him like crazy, but I have to be strong about it, because I know it won’t be easy on him either.
He carries both of the car seats into the house, and I lock the door behind us.
“I’m gonna get them changed for bed,” he says.
I nod in return, tossing the diaper bag on the couch. Kicking my shoes off, I pad into our bedroom, going for the laundry basket that has my clean clothes in it. Changing into a pair of pajamas, I stop in the bathroom to wash my face, then make my way to the kitchen for a cup of tea. I’m just setting the teakettle on the stove when Jace yells for me.
“Gracie just puked on our bed, baby. Can you bring me a towel?”
Pursing my lips, I mumble under my breath while making my way to the hall closet, grabbing a clean towel. “Why did you change them on our bed? Now we’ll need new sheets.”
Coming into the bedroom, I don’t find Jace, just the babies lying on the bed. Tossing the towel on the other side, I lean over to find them in clean onesies, no puke to be found.
“Jace, if this is some kind of joke, it’s not—” I break off when I notice their clothes, the onesies not ones I’ve ever seen, black text across each of them. My eyes immediately fill with tears and I gasp.
Will you marry Daddy?
Spinning around, I find Jace kneeling behind me, a small black box in his hands.
“Stella Jane Cole, you are without a doubt the greatest thing to ever happen to me. You’re the love of my life, the mother of my children, and my best friend.” He has tears shining in his eyes as he pops open the box, revealing a stunning pear-shaped diamond.
My tears overflow, running down my cheeks.
“Will you marry me, baby?”
Dropping to my knees in front of him, I nod wildly, laughing through my tears.
“Yes. Yes, Jace Miller, I’ll marry you.”
That gorgeous smile breaks out over his face, and he slips the ring on my finger, immediately grabbing me in his arms to kiss me, his lips rough and warm against mine. His tongue sweeps inside my mouth and I groan against him, tightening my arms around his neck.
“I love you so much,” I whisper, pulling away to look into his beautiful eyes.
“I love you too, Stell. So fucking much.”
Emily’s and Grace’s shrieks of happiness a moment later is all the celebration we need.
Yes, girls, I will marry your daddy.
And it’s the easiest decision I’ve ever made.