28
Feb

Five Minute Friday - CHOOSE

Every Friday we unite for five minutes to write on one word. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on choose.
Go.

I decided to be with you. All those years ago. I looked at you and I made a choice to be in this life with you. And then, together, we decided to have them.

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And each day, every day, every moment of the day, I choose all of you. I continue to make the choice to be with you, all of you, in this little home, in our little home, our little life, our little family.

I choose this life. This life I never thought I would have and would love this much. This life that has brought me peace, comfort, and so much happiness. This life that challenges me, brings me to my knees, this life that is so heavy, this life in which I feel the weight of family all day long.

And you chose us too. You thought this family would be your fit, your place, where you rest your head, and where for this brief moment in time, you are wrapped in us.

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You picked us too.

And together, we chose love and we chose joy.

And me, I choose to let go of the past, and I choose to define my family as we define it. I choose to heal from the pain of the past and I choose joy.

I choose you every day, every moment of every day. I choose you.

Stop.

23
Feb

You and me together

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We can find a way through it Cole. We can find a way through your frustration and anger. We can find a way to love.

We have already come so far and learned so much from each other.

You have learned words and are desperately trying to use your words instead of your tears of frustration. I have learned that sometimes love looks like frustration and angry two year old cries. Sometimes you are so upset that you don't even know why, you just want to cry. it. out.

You have learned joy in being outside and movement, I have learned that sometimes love makes you run towards and away from your family. Sometimes you make me run towards and away from us.

You have learned that you live to eat and that food can make your feet dance. I have learned that messy is a part of all of it. I have learned that messy comes with you. Sometimes messy means you love something so much you have to enjoy it with your whole face.

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You have learned that life is challenging with so many frustrations and obstacles. I have learned that you need to work it out, you need to figure out how to take these baby steps in order to survive a two year old world.

There are times, there are moments, that I want to run. There are times and longer moments that I hurt from being apart from you. There are relationships like ours that pull and take, there are relationships like ours that will always be there for one another. There are relationships like ours that take you on a journey, with yourself, with you, and with the family. Relationships that challenge you and recreate your definition of family. There are relationships like ours that make me ache, and think about my reactions, and my temper. Relationships like ours that make me look at you in wonder. We are old and familiar but just getting started and learning. And each day, we grow a little more, get a little deeper.

It's not all simple. It's not as simple as I love you just because you came from me, it's so much more than that. I love you because you have redefined the word, I love you because you challenge me. I love you because you bring me so far from where I started and then you bring me back. I love you because you ache too.

You ache for attention, you ache for warmth and us. You ache for family, you ache for joy that lights up your face, makes your feet dance and makes you want to love something, with all of you.

I love you because you pull at me, you make me melt and harden and melt again.

But you and me together, we can do this. We can get through to the other side and that side will come with its own challenges, that side has its own fears, that side comes with its own moments of joy. But you and me together, we will get to the other side. Just don't let go, not yet anyway.

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21
Feb

Five Minute Friday - small

Every Friday we unite for five minutes to write on one word. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on small.

Go.

Small, it's the only way to physically describe you.

Small, tiny faces and fingers and toes.

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This small person that I have put here. This small heart beat that I got to carry inside of me. Small baby kicks, and hiccups, small movements that made everything so big.

You entered into this world and you made our world all about small.

Small cloths.
Small bottles.
Small movements.
Small shoes.
Small cries.
A small world, all ours.

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But in this small, you also created our biggest accomplishment. You created the weight of family that feels so heavy. You created big moments, big days, all wrapped up in small.

What I love most watching you, is how small your face still is and I wonder, will you always look this small to me? When you are carrying your own weight, will I still look over and see my two tiny faces that were wrapped in small?

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Stop.

17
Feb

What if love fixes it all

Another week gone by, and another long one at that. Another week of tantrums and baby cries and screams and fights. Another week of work, and paperwork, and school, and birthday parties, and have tos, and bills, and more have tos, and work and more work.

And another week of touching toes when we go to bed and holding hands as we fit just right and talk about the good of the day.

Another week of putting them to bed and feeling a peace, even if the rest of the day was hell, this one hour, there is peace, there are snuggles, there are books, and bedtime routines, and there is love.

What if love fixes all that is broken? What if it fixes all that is angry and loud? What if love made it all better and what if we pass love on to them.

This was the week of love and the week of reminding us that love needs to grow from us.

Love is the one thing they were born with. You could see it in their eyes when we held them, love is what they knew, all they knew when they rested on us. When they fit just right with us. Love is still what they know, it's what they realize will fix it, the broken, the angry, the loud. Love, it fixes us, it fixes the broken and I am so happy to be on this journey of love with you, all of you.

Love woke me up and made me fall in love with family, and simple, and boring, and have tos. Love makes me go to work and love my job. Love makes me love you, when it's hard, when it's impossible, when you make me run from love, love makes me run back with arms open.

Love, it fixes the broken.

It makes us touch toes when we go to bed and hold hands as we fit just right and talk about the good of the day.

14
Feb

Five Minute Friday - Garden

Every Friday we unite for five minutes to write on one word. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on garden.

Go.

I remember the moment I fell in love with you. I remember you playing "Hey Girl" on my stero and thinking, I will marry you someday. I remember how excited my heart would feel when you called and the funny thing is, it still does. Fourteen years later, I love holding your hand.

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I remember falling in love with you too Anna. I remember the exact day, pulling you out of your infant tub and wrapping you in a duck towel. I remember spending that day, just you and me, and I remember feeling connected to you in a way I didn't think was possible. You gave me a my mom title and brought on the weight of family I realized, I once had your heart beating inside of me, and our heart will always be connected.

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And Cole, I remember when they placed you in my arms and with you, you instantly slipped into my heart. It was love at first sight little man. No one has done that to me, just you. And each day, as you look at me with beaming love, I fall a little harder.

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And my job, I remember falling in love with my job when I first met my Little Sister Erin. I remember realizing the good in this world and the difference one. single. person. can make. I remember falling in love with the idea of family when I met your family Erin.

And that's why, on this snowy Valentine's Day, I am proud to be linked with a brave group of women that are spreading love and spreading good and spreading concern. Lisa-Jo is starting a garden for South Africa. She is spreading her unconditional love to a country most have never stepped foot in and I am proud.

Love is as delicate as a garden and needs just as much nourishment. Don't think for a minute its stays within your home, your family, or in your universe. The more you spread, the more you do for your community, the more love others feel from you and your heart, well, what a world we would live in.

Stop.

9
Feb

The biggest secret

This weekend, I listened to an interview from Jennifer Senior, author of All Joy and No Fun.

She talks about how parenting has been sentimentalized and although the highs are incredibly high, the day to day struggles are exhausting and so difficult that it's possibly leading to greater unhappiness.

Parenting being sentimentalized, how true this is and I even do it here, in my words to both of you. I try and capture those incredible highs and since I am using this blog as a way to heal and find my second chance at a happy childhood, I don't talk enough about the secrets that come with creating you.

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The secrets that all parents don't talk about and maybe because we all feel too guilty, maybe it's because there are so many parents that would give anything for what we have but have lost it, or never had it, that we are constantly fighting a "feel lucky" syndrome. Maybe it's because, as Ms. Senior suggests, that as a society we have defined you all as a gift, a precious unbelievable gift and if you talk about the ugly, well what will you hear, what will you remember? What will you take away from your childhood?

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But, the secret is out. We all know it, we all feel it. And if you don't find a way to talk about it, you will lose it. You will feel like you are the only one and that kind of isolation is so lonely, so scary, so daunting. And the secret is, becoming a parent will rip you apart. Even in the most comforting and strong relationships, add another human being that you are responsible for, another human being that literally cries and screams for your attention, another human being you have to juggle between work, obligations, home, marriage and it will tear. you. apart.

When we were talking about putting you on this earth with us, even though we (mainly I) knew it would be difficult, there is nothing that prepares you for it. And, since I'm a planner, I really tried to be as prepared as I could. And I knew, I'm going to put as much in place now, but there's so much that's going to come at me, that I will have no idea how to handle.

We talked about how we would get you to sleep through the night, we talked about how we would get you to eat, how we would disciple, how important consistency is, how we would always back each other up, how we would check in with one another to see if they needed something we weren't providing. And in the beginning, for me, for us, it was easy. Our first year with just you Anna, it was the most incredible experience of my life. I have never felt closer to your dad, I have never felt more at peace with myself, more confident in my motherhood experience. The balance of you and work, it was remarkably easy, you were remarkably easy. It all fit like this incredible puzzle and I was so amazed at how wonderful it was, how right it all felt.

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And then, you started to talk, and talk back, and fight, and fight us, and test us. You started to become your own person and were no longer this blob that would do anything we wanted. And at the same time, we welcomed you Cole. Like most parents, we created a new little one when our first was becoming so challenging. And of course our marriage suffered. Of course we took our stress out on each other and on you. Of course I didn't heal well with Cole's birth at the same time that dad was wrapping up his school year and I flat out said to him, you left me feeling alone and abandoned.

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And we fought on.

And of course Cole is a more difficult baby. Of course his toddler years would send me into rage and heartache. Of course he would scream and cry for five months straight. Of course he would make me question love.

And we fought on.

And of course our patience with you, it wore down to something so thin it was see through. And then, of course, because why not, you turning three triggered something terrifying in me. I can remember three Anna. I can remember how awful my memories are and it rushed them all back. It brought me back to a dark and difficult world, a world I thought I had let go, a world I thought I had worked through and found the other side. And it all went black for me. Panic attacks started, dad couldn't understand. I would cry all the time, dad couldn't understand. Watching you be disciplined sent me into a panic and fear that I couldn't control, and dad, he couldn't understand.

And we fought on.

And dad, he works with kids all. day. long. By the time he comes home to us, he has had enough. Enough bargaining, enough negotiating, enough tantrums, enough disciple, enough keeping it together because they are not his kids. And as he walked in the door, hoping to have the love and comfort of his home, it all starts up again. And me, well I can't understand. I felt they got the good side of him, and we would get the angry and tired version.

And we fought on.

And of course I was really struggling with this feeling of surviving the time and trying to hold on to the good and not wishing it all away.

And we fought on.

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We fought on and will continue to fight on because love, love in this family is so deep. And Jennifer Senior is so right, the highs are moments you will remember the moment of your death.

I will never forget how you both fit perfectly on my chest. I will never forget what "I love you mom" sounds like from little voices. I will never forget the moment you realized as an infant that I'm your mom. I will never forget your smile. I will never forget the look on dad's face when he saw you for the first time. I will never forget what we sound like going to bed at night and talking about the highs of the day. I will never forget how gentle bedtime routines are. I will never forget how love fixes so much that is broken and tired and angry and over it. Love fixes so much.

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But the secret, the exhausting truth is, these little faces we put on this earth, they drain. They rip and tear apart lives and sanity and natural joy. They bring you to your knees, they bring back horrible memories and they cause anxiety and they cause you to worry and stress. They make you look at every person on this earth as a threat. They make you question who you are, who you have become, they make you cry, sobbing cry. They destroy all that you have worked to create.

So why? Why do we all do it? Why is it important? Why are you defined as a gift?

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Because you create something different in what you destroy. You create a couple that redefines what love means. You recreate a couple, entirely out of something new. Because when you smile, when you laugh, my heart fills. Because when you were born, my heart grew and I could feel it happening.

Because you create a world in which we live in direct contrast. Time is fleeting with you, time flying by, but you make incredibly long days. You are so heavy, but you weightless. You are exhausting but you wake me up and bring me to life. You are draining, but you give me strength. You are loud, but you have brought a calm in me I didn't realize was out there. You are so little, but you represent the biggest accomplishment of my life.

Because these days together, they will define you both. I live each day realizing how important childhood is. And the one thing I believe with all of my body is that if we do this right, you will become remarkable adults. I know this is true, I see it in my world everyday. We all continue because you are worth it. The highs, they are moments that I will remember when I am dying. They are the moments I will remember when I am dying and that is the ultimate secret.

7
Feb

Five Minute Friday - Write

Every Friday we unite for five minutes to write on one word. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on write.

Go.

It started when I was young. Something in me just wanted to write things down, get things out. It was my way of connecting with the world without being visible and not being visible was always important to me.

And it was always about me, and a part of me healing from past scars. And then, I had them.

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And something amazing happened...

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I found a peace, a calm, and a second chance at my own childhood.

I found messy homes and fingers and faces. I found laughter, and the sound of little feet. I found tantrums, and screams, and frustrations, and kids that need to be held, and kids that won't stop crying and kids that talk back. But, I also found little faces that sleep and say things like "love you mom". I found a spot on my chest that they rest their head on. I found how amazing the world is when you see it through them and I found calm.

I had to tell them, I had to let them know how much they have changed me and so I created a new baby...Childhoodtake2.

I created an outlet for these experiences and my thoughts. I created a way to talk about the good, the bad and the very very ugly. One day, I don't know if they will read my words, but they are here for them to read. One day, I don't know if they will care what this experience has done for me, but it's here for them and in case there is ever a chance that I am not saying it enough, I have to thank them.

Stop.

2
Feb

Where am I

I am there when you have a bad dream and need to be tucked back in.
I am there when you want to tell me what happened at school.
I am there when you are sick.
I am there when you need to be held.
I am there when you want me to be the one to bring you up or down the stairs.
I am there when we have dinner together.
I am there when we snuggle for family movie night.
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I know, I work a lot.
I know, there are times I leave you in the morning and don't see you again until the next day.
I know, this month has been tough, no it's been hell.

But, always know and realize you are with me, you are in my heart.
You are in my heart when we whisper goodnight on the phone.
You are in my heart when you're asking if tonight is another "late one".
You are in my heart when you want to play and I have too much to do.

I won't lose sight of the fact that you're only this small for so long.
I won't lose sight of the fact that you are the most important thing.
I will never lose sight of you two, and what you have done, all that you mean.

I am here my loves, I am with you, I am holding your hand.
I am in your heart, just like you are in mine.
I am here...I am with you.

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