Chapter 33


Life isn't a dress rehearsal.

The first time I heard that phrase, I laughed at the truth in it. We only get one shot at life. I had thought my life was pretty good and fulfilling; at least until I met Edward. He took me at face value, taught me how to love me for me, how it's ok to laugh at myself. He reminded me to take a moment and appreciate the small things in life including the three year old little red head that was chasing the barn cat.

Alexander Joseph or AJ as he is called, came into this world on his own terms. I wasn't due for another four weeks, but he had made up his mind that he was ready to come out. Edward tried to call for help, but the closest ambulance was over half an hour away. They did arrive as the rain stopped and the sun came back out. AJ fussing just to hear himself. Edward had been amazing, never showing me he was afraid, encouraging me that everything was going to be fine. When he handed me our son for the first time, I knew AJ was going to take the world by storm.

We were able to visit the closing horse therapy center about a month later. The state had come in and found too many violations and revoked its license. We bought everything they had including their horses. It took nearly a year for the remodel to be complete and we accepted our first patient three months later. Edward spends more time in the barn with the horses than he does in his shop. Jasper and Emmett have pretty much taken over running it.

"AJ leave the kitty alone."

He had the poor tabby in a hug that was a little too tight. AJ was a polar opposite of his sister. Where she was gentle and easy. He was balls to the wall. He was either off or on. From the moment his feet hit the floor in the morning, he was go, go, go. I wouldn't have him any other way.

"Ok, momma." He mumbled as he let the poor cat go. It took off behind the barn the second its paws hit the dirt.

The sun was hot today, being six months pregnant, wasn't helping in the heat situation. Edward and I discussed having more children once AJ was born and we agreed that we would take as many as god blessed us with.

Edward was just leaving the barn while I held my hand to my brow to block the sun. He still took my breath away every time I looked at him and I prayed that would never change.

"Hey gorgeous." He smiled walking toward me.

About a year after we were married, I was having one of those overly hormonal days when nothing fit and you don't feel great about yourself. I was in tears when Edward came into the bedroom. He wrapped his arms around me and rocked me back and forth.

"You remember that first day we saw each other in the pet store?"

I nodded my head, still feeling like the world was crashing around me. His arms were holding me together, like he always did.

"I remember seeing this incredibly beautiful girl and I thought to myself that a girl as beautiful as she could never give a guy like me a second look."

I met his eyes in the mirror, my brown to his emerald green. I watched as he moved his hand to my left breast, wrapping his long fingers around it.

"But you did. You gave me that smile that still makes me question what I did to deserve the love you give me every day. How you gave me a chance to show you how amazing you are and how we would be great together."

Edward always had a special way of knowing exactly what to say at the exact moment I needed it. I have often questioned why he didn't fall for a skinnier, prettier girl in town, but he always told me that he fell for the prettiest girl to him.

"Bella, not everyone likes the taste of strawberry cream, which is why they have 31 different flavors of ice-cream. Not every man wants a blue-eyed blonde."

I've ran those words over and over in my mind time and time again. There are many phrases that say the same thing, but at the end of the day, you have to let your heart decide who you will spend your happy ever after with.