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[Editor's note: This story is a letter from a woman to her husband. While this is one example of one type of relationship, we understand, appreciate and celebrate that relationships come in all forms and configurations.]

My love,

If I haven't thanked you enough already for everything, I'd like to say it again—thank you.

As I sit here, sipping my tea on a quiet, peaceful morning, I can barely contain the waves of happiness I have for where we are right now. If I were to dip my toes in the art of being cheesy (I mean, why not?), I would say that I'm trying to tame a tsunami tide of gratitude and love for you.

When I see you put my favorite one-toothed smile on our daughter's face, I can't help but be reminded about how fortunate we are to have you in our lives.

Our daughter is so lucky to have you as her dad, a fact she will grow to understand one day. In moments like these, when just the three of us are laughing and loving like there is no tomorrow, I couldn't ask for anything more in this world.

Thank you for bringing so much positive energy into our little family, especially when I couldn't. As you might recall, I was not the easiest person to live with during the initial stages of my pregnancy, and then for quite a while afterward.

I was so scared to tell you because—one, we did not plan for our pregnancy to happen... and two, it's a baby! As exciting as it was to take the big step into uncharted territory with you, it scared the living daylights out of me. But your eyes lit up—bright, like the yellow tinted light above our kitchen counter. Your overjoyed response to my nervous confession was not what I expected, but oh so appreciated. Thank you for your earnest enthusiasm.

Thank you for never missing any of the appointments with the doctor. When you talked about how scared and excited you were too, I was so relieved because I thought that I was going to be a bad mother. I knew I was not ready, but you opened up and said that we were in the same boat. That made me feel secure knowing you were committed to this ride we were on.

Thank you for taking all the extra weight off of me. You carried my bag everywhere, you accompanied me while I went shopping and hauled all the bags after. Thank you for waiting patiently while I picked up the many, many baby outfits ("Honey, blue or turquoise? Mustard or yellow?" "Um, they're not the same?"). Thank you for sitting me down and massaging my feet afterward, even though you wanted to relax too. Thank you for pampering me and making me feel so special.

Thank you for being so patient and understanding with me. Yes, my pregnancy was a wondrous experience, but it wouldn't have been without your support. No one loves to be at the receiving end of mood swings—whether it is a side effect of pregnancy or not.

When I lost control over my emotions and got angry at you for the littlest things, you were always kind. When things got hard, and I resorted to crying, you held me close and made me feel loved. You wiped my tears and held my hand when I felt like I was hitting rock bottom, and you shared my happiness when I felt like I was at the top of the world.

Thank you for making me feel beautiful when I felt far from it. I was so excited to witness our baby growing inside me, but at the same time, I saw my body changing. I did not feel confident about how I looked, but you made me feel so adored and cherished. You helped me get through the tiniest struggles I had.

Thank you for being the best source of strength that our daughter and I could ever have. You have been an angel since our daughter's birth. You have been so dedicated to building this incredible family dynamic, and I am so proud of you. Thank you for taking over whenever I was exhausted, for letting me sleep a little longer, regardless of how much you needed to rest, too.

Thank you for being my best friend and confidant. You are our rock, and we don't know what we would do without you. Thank you for putting us—your girls—first.

I know that this journey has added some stress to our lives. I know that there have been times when you've felt like giving up. Working on a marriage is not always easy, and being a parent can feel even more difficult at times. But your commitment has not wavered one bit.

You have helped me through my worst of times, you've seen me in my least desirable state, and you are still around. Because of you, now I get to experience the best time of my life. You did (and still do) handle our problems very well, more than I could ever hope for. You deserve everything you want and more.

I can never say it enough—thank you.

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We've had some struggles, you and me. In my teens, we were just getting to know each other. It was a rocky road at times, like when people referred to you as "big boned." I was learning how to properly fuel you by giving you the right foods. How to be active, to keep you strong and in good shape. I wish I knew then what I do now about you and what a true blessing you are. But that's something that has come with the gift of motherhood.

In my 20's, we became more well-acquainted. I knew how to care for you. After I got engaged, we worked so hard together to get into "wedding shape." And, looking back now, I totally took that six pack—okay, four pack—for granted. (But I have the pictures to prove it.)

Now that I'm in my 30's (how did my 30's happen so fast, btw?) with two kids, I'm coming to terms with my new postpartum body.

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If there are two things a mama is guaranteed to love, it's Target plus adorable and functional baby products. Target's exclusive baby brand Cloud Island has been a favorite destination for cute and affordable baby clothing and décor for nearly two years and because of that success, they're now expanding into baby essentials. 🙌

The new collection features 30 affordable products starting at $0.99 and going up to $21.99 with most items priced under $10—that's about 30-40% less expensive than other products in the market. Mamas can now enjoy adding diapers, wipes, feeding products and toiletries to their cart alongside clothing and accessories from a brand they already know and love.


The best part? The Target team has ensured that the affordability factor doesn't cut down on durability by working with hundreds of parents to create and test the collection. The wipes are ultra-thick and made with 99% water and plant-based ingredients, while the toiletries are dermatologist-approved. With a Tri-Wrap fold, the diapers offer 12-hour leak protection and a snug fit so parents don't have to sacrifice safety or functionality.

So when can you start shopping? Starting on January 20, customers can shop the collection across all stores and online. We can't wait to see how this beloved brand expands in the future.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Many people experience the "winter blues," which are often worst in northern climates from November to March, when people have less access to sunlight, the outdoors and their communities. Another 4% develops Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is a form of clinical depression that often requires formal treatment.

If you have the winter blues, you may feel “blah," sad, tired, anxious or be in a worse mood than usual. You may struggle with overeating, loss of libido, work or sleep issues. But fear not—it is possible to find your joy in the winter, mama.

Here are eight ways to feel better:

1. Take a walk

Research has shown that walking on your lunch break just three times per week can reduce tension, relax you and improve your enthusiasm. If you are working from 9 to 5, the only window you have to access natural sunlight may be your lunch hour, so head outside for a 20 minute brisk but energizing walk!

If you are home, bundle up with your kids midday—when the weather is often warmest—and play in the snow, go for a short walk, play soccer, race each other, or do something else to burn energy and keep you all warm. If you dress for the weather, you'll all feel refreshed after some fresh air.

2. Embrace light

Research suggests that a full-spectrum light box or lamp, which mimics sunlight, can significantly improve the symptoms of the winter blues and has a similar effect to an antidepressant. Bright light at a certain time every day activates a part of the brain that can help restore normal circadian rhythms. While light treatment may not be beneficial for everyone (such as people who have bipolar disorder), it may be a beneficial tool for some.

3. Plan a winter trip

It may be helpful to plan a getaway for January or February. Plan to take it very easy, as one research study found that passive vacation activities, including relaxing, "savoring," and sleeping had greater effects on health and well-being than other activities. Engaging in passive activities on vacation also makes it more likely that your health and well-being will remain improved for a longer duration after you go back to work.

Don't overschedule your trip. Relax at a beach, a pool, or a cabin instead of waiting in long roller coaster lines or visiting packed museums. Consider visiting or traveling with family to help with child care, build quiet time into your vacation routine, and build in a day of rest, recovery, and laundry catch-up when you return.

4. Give in to being cozy

Sometimes people mistake the natural slowness of winter as a problem within themselves. By making a concerted effort to savor the slowness, rest and retreat that complement winter, you can see your reduction in activity as a natural and needed phase.

Research suggests that naps help you release stress. Other research suggests that when your brain has time to rest, be idle, and daydream, you are better able to engage in "active, internally focused psychosocial mental processing," which is important for socioemotional health.

Make a "cozy basket" filled with your favorite DVDs, bubble bath or Epsom salts, lemon balm tea (which is great for “blues,") or chamomile tea (which is calming and comforting), citrus oils (which are good for boosting mood), a blanket or a favorite book or two. If you start to feel the blues, treat yourself.

If your child is napping or having quiet time in the early afternoon, rest for a full 30 minutes instead of racing around doing chores. If you're at work, keep a few mood-boosting items (like lavender spray, tea, lotion, or upbeat music) nearby and work them into your day. If you can't use them at work, claim the first 30 minutes after your kids are asleep to nurture yourself and re-energize before you tackle dishes, laundry, or other chores.

5. See your friends

Because of the complex demands of modern life, it can be hard to see or keep up with friends or family. The winter can make it even harder. While you interact with your kids throughout the day, human interaction with other adults (not just through social media!) can act as a protective layer to keep the winter blues at bay.

Plan a monthly dinner with friends, go on a monthly date night if you have a partner, go to a book club, get a drink after work with a coworker, visit a friend on Sunday nights, or plan get-togethers with extended family. Research suggests that social interactions are significantly related to well-being.

Realize that given most families' packed schedules, you may need to consistently take the lead in bringing people together. Your friends will probably thank you, too.

6. Get (at least) 10 minutes of fresh air

A number of research studies have shown positive effects of nature on well-being, including mental restoration, immune health, and memory. It works wonders for your mood to get outside in winter, even if it's just for 10 minutes 2 to 3 times per week. You might walk, snowshoe, shovel, go sledding or go ice-skating. If you can't get outside, you might try these specific yoga poses for the winter blues.

7. Add a ritual

Adding a ritual to your winter, such as movie night, game night, hot chocolate after playing outside, homemade soup on Sundays, or visiting with a different friend every Saturday morning for breakfast, can add beauty and flow to the seemingly long months of winter. Research has suggested that family rituals and traditions, such as Sunday dinner, provide times for togetherness and strengthening relationships.

8. Talk to a professional

Counseling, which helps you identify the connections between your thoughts, feelings and behaviors, can be extremely helpful for the winter blues (especially when you are also experiencing anxiety or stress). A counselor can assist you with identifying and honoring feelings, replacing negative messages with positive ones, or shifting behaviors. A counselor may also help you indulge into winter as a time of retreat, slowness, planning, and reflecting. You may choose to use the winter to get clear on what you'd like to manifest in spring.

The opposite of the winter blues is not the absence of the winter blues—it's taking great pleasure in the unique contribution of a time of cold, darkness, retreat, planning, reflecting, being cozy and hibernating. Nurturing yourself and your relationships can help you move toward winter joy.

Weary mama,

You are incredibly strong. You are so very capable.

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