February 13

Friday was a special day in the Whitlock home. For a couple of reasons.

February 13 has always been special. That is, since Eric Whitlock came into the picture.

Let’s go back a couple of years. Two, to be exact.

Eric and I were in school at BYU-Idaho. It was my last semester, his first. And we had been dating for several months. To say I was head over heels for this boy was an understatement. He was rapidly becoming my world. And I loved it. But I was fearful for what the future could bring. Graduation was looming over my head. I had applied for a couple jobs in New York, but knew that was not where I wanted to be.

Though I’m sure Eric would have followed me if I had asked.

On that February 13, Eric and I made our weekly temple trip. Nothing out of the ordinary really. We sat through a session and thoughts of life after graduation filled my mind.

We had mentioned that stress-filled “M” word, but never discussed a life together too seriously.

But as we sat in the celestial room of the Rexburg temple, the final walls I had built up started to come down.

I told him my strong impressions that were leading me toward the Deseret News. That’s where I need to be, I told him.

In true Eric Whitlock fashion, he never questioned but supported me fully.

Girls, find an Eric Whitlock.

Our conversation progressed and it seemed like my future was as well. One thing I knew for certain. The only place I wanted Eric Whitlock was by my side. Forever.

Happily enough, he felt the same.

That February 13 changed my life. I walked out of the celestial room hand in hand with the man I knew would one day be my husband.

And I’ve loved him more and more every day since.

Especially this February 13.

Eric and I sat in a sterile exam room in a doctor’s office down the road from the Rexburg temple. I looked into my sweetheart’s eyes, ready for how our life was to change once again.

As the ultrasound tech glided her probe across my growing belly, my heart skipped a beat as the littlest Whitlock appeared on the screen in front of us.

“There’s your baby,” she said.

She showed us our baby’s perfect face.

“I love you already,” I thought to myself. I glanced at Eric. I knew similar thoughts were going through his mind as well.

Finally, I looked at the nurse.

“You’re having a girl,” she said.

I smiled through my watery eyes, and looked over again at my elated husband.

I couldn’t have imagined two years ago that I would love Eric Whitlock like I loved him in that moment. I couldn’t have imagined that I would love our daughter like I love her today.

I’m grateful for the February 13ths in my life. They are the brightness when the sun doesn’t shine, when the winds won’t cease.

Later that night we were able to celebrate with close friends at our gender reveal party. Eric and I can’t imagine our life in Rexburg without them. We can feel very far away from our family at times, but I’m grateful for our adopted Rexburg family who we can laugh, cry and celebrate our greatest joys with. To the Puidas, Potters, Lukes and Andersons — oh, how we love you.

To our sweet baby girl, you are loved more than you can know. Thanks for another life-changing February 13.
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