30
May

Five Minute Friday - nothing

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 nothing.
Go.

What do I want from you?
Nothing.
What do I need from you?
Nothing.
What do I expect from you?
Everything.

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You are not here to fill my hopes, my wishes.
You are not here for me to live through you.
You are here to be you.
You are here to complete you.
Everything else, that's all a bonus.

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It is bonus that you fill me full.
It is bonus that you gave me a second childhood.
It is bonus that you are filled with my hopes, my wishes.
It is bonus that you made me realize how amazing love is.
It is bonus that I get to be your mom, that I am lucky enough to carry your weight.

But, this is you.
This is your life.
These are your dreams and I wish and hope and love and fight and worry and stress and love and love some more for you.
But, I want, I need, nothing.

You be you.
You be amazing you.
You have already given me all that I need.

Houser21

Stop.

25
May

You gotta get up!

"Where there is desire
There is gonna be a flame
Where there is a flame
Someone's bound to get burned
But just because it burns
Doesn't mean you're gonna die
You've gotta get up and try, and try, and try...
"

If there is one thing I have to remember
one thing I have to keep telling myself
and keep telling you
it's that I am going to keep getting knocked down.
You are going to get knocked down too.
But, somehow, somewhere, at some point in time,
we all have to get back up.

You have to find your flame.
You have to keep trying.
And you have to get back up.

Days will feel heavy.
The weight will drag you down.
And, if you're like me, if your skin is as thin as mine, you'll be crushed.
But you have to get back up.

And, again, if you're like me,
it may take you a while.
It may take you a while to find your flame, your spirit.
But you have to get back up.

And I hope that you won't struggle with this as much as I do.
I hope you don't spend days lost in a fog of tears and doubt.
Because, too often, I lose myself.
I forget who I am.
I lose my happy.
I lose who I am.
I play the worthless victim.
I hear what others mean to be words but feel them like stabs.
I hear weakness in my voice.
I feel inadequate to the group.
I don't feel proud of me, or my ways.
I feel my losses, my inadequacy, I feel it all around me.
But you have to get back up.

I feel like I see it in everyone's eyes.
In their doubts in me too.
But you have to get back up.

Because the truth is,
you are accountable to you.
And maybe you will realize that you will never be able to please everyone.
But that's not what being strong means.
It means being sure of your choices.
Being sure of your mind, your body, your force, your fierce.
It means on the days, weeks, times that you feel too small,
too incompetent,
you get up.
You stop knocking yourself down because too many others are doing that for you.
You get up.
You do you.
You remind people what you are capable of.
You continue to build others around you too.
Because not knocking others down builds who you are.

You get up.
You find your desire.
You find your flame.
Keep moving.
Get up.

23
May

Five Minute Friday - Close

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 close.

Go.

Putting you both to sleep, they are the quietest moments of the day.
They are filled with love.
They are filled with family.
They are filled with smiles.
They are filled with all of us being so close.
They are filled with all of us.

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It's incredible how these five minutes of night time love, of being this close, can melt the rest of the hours of yelling and tantrums and sibling arguments.
These are the moments I will always remember.
These are the times I will carry with me, in my heart.

And when we wake, the crazy starts all over again.
The negotiations.
The warnings.
The time outs.
The, say sorry to your sister for hitting!
The, stop! You're going to hurt him!
The, both of you stop!

But, as the day unwinds.
As all of our patience is gone.
As pjs are on and bath time is done.
We get close.
Because we are a family.
We are snuggled in.
We are close.

Stop.

18
May

Dream girl

Cory,

This week, I heard one of my favorite songs on the radio, Dream Girl. It reminded me of simpler times, summer concerts and you and me, dancing like fools, tipsy as hell, young, happy...us.

It reminded me of my best friend.
And why we fell in love.
It reminded me of us.

It reminded me of simple
It reminded me of happy.
It reminded me of mortgage free, just working, no kids, no chaos, no complaints, no yelling, no tantrums.
It reminded me of you.

Your natural joy.
Your smile.
Your smooches.
Stolen moments.
It reminded me of different times.

Closet bedrooms in weird apartments.
Small spaces.
Walks, walking everywhere.
City living.
Coffee Saturdays, and Sundays.
Friday nights.
Movies, so many movie theater movies.
It reminded me of love.

Falling in love with you.
Realizing you were family.
Realizing that you were home.
Realizing that no matter where this life takes us, it's always us.
It reminded me of all you gave me, all you taught me.

You are the reason I dream and dream happy.
You are the reason I love.
You are the reason I gave this life a chance.
You are the reason they are here.
You are the reason I gave myself a chance.

I wouldn't go back.
I realize that we were meant to be doing all of this.
But I wanted you to know how much that time, those incredible nine years of just us three, meant to me.
How it made us.
How it made us...us.
How, and why, and where, we began.
I don't know where we will end, but I know we will always land on us.

11
May

My gift

Dear Anna,
You gave me my title of mom and on this Mother's Day, I want to share with you all that you have already gifted me, just by picking us to carry your heart:

Your smile when you wake up
Your sweetness when we say goodnight
How much you want to be around me
Your eyes (you get them from dad)
Your knowledge
Your determination (you get this from me)
Your love of reading
How much family movie nights mean to you
The fight you have in you (you get that from me)
Your ability to navigate (you get that from dad)
Your stubbornness (you get that from me)
Your memory (you get that from me)
Your hugs (you get that from dad)
When we kiss noses
When you tell me you carry my heart
When you tell me you love me
When we're holding hands and you give mine a little kiss
When you tell me I'm your favorite mom
When you read to me
When you snuggle in so I can read to you
When you look for me in a crowd

Saying goodnight to you is one of the most precious memories that I will hold on to forever, the moments I will remember when I am dying. It's my favorite part of the day, every day.

I carry your heart with me sweet Anna James. I carry it in my heart and where ever you are my darling, I will be. We will never be apart.

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Dear Cole,
Your unbelievable gift is that you completed our family, before you even arrived. You were the only man I ever fell head over heals in love with, as soon as I met you. Love at first sight that fills me full and I feel so gifted when:
You scream, "mom look!" at something so exciting it visibly bursts your heart open
People tell me how amazing your curls are (you got those from me!)
People tell me how gorgeous your eyes are (you got those from dad)
People tell me how much you look like a life-size doll (you look just like your dad)
You use your words (and now sentences!)
You are so excited about eating that your feet dance
You smile (you melt hearts)
You love any sport with a ball (all dad)
You tell me about each basketball hoop in all the neighborhoods
You fought to walk
You now run and run and run and...
You are impossibly determined and persistent at getting exactly what you want!
You give hugs
You give smooches
You laugh
You are grumpy
You say sorry or excuse me
You do everything Anna does
You whisper "I love you"
You hold my hand
You ask me to read to you

Little Cole Blake, I eat you up I love you so, mom's sweet and low. Thank you for finding your way into this crazy family. Thank you for claiming your sense of self and holding your ground. Thank you for loving us and allowing us to love you. "You will never know dear, how much I love you...please don't take my sunshine away"...

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9
May

Five Minute Friday - Grateful

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 grateful.

Go.

It's hard to always be grateful.
It's hard to remember you are only this small for this short period of time.

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It's hard to remember that our Mia is 14 and each and every day with her is another memory, another gift.

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It's hard to remember how and why and where we started.
I do remember those two kids who were so busy with being in love with each other.
And now, as all of this pulls us apart, it is work to hold on to us.
To hold on to all of our memories and to create new ones.
It's so hard to walk in after hours upon hours of work and talking and negotiating and yesing and open our arms and hearts up to them, to each other.
It's hard to remember that we are grateful and lucky for all that we have.

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All that we wanted.
It's all right here with us.
Our little family.
In our little house.
Building our little moments.
All together.
With small faces and words and voices and laughs.
With small paws and puppy kisses.
With memories and smiles.
I know it comes with work and loud and cries and tantrums.
I know it's not quiet and peaceful.
But, it's ours.
In this moment in time, it's all ours and for that,
I am grateful.

Stop.

4
May

#RunMomRun

I'm training for a race.
A half marathon that I am running on my own.
All by myself, in my neighborhood.
No actual race.
No bib number.
No gorgeous trail.
No spectators cheering me on.
No one to catch up to.
No one chasing after me that I'm trying to keep in front of.
No music.
No company.
Just me.

And that's why I do it.
It's just me against myself.
Me against my own demons.
Me against my own negative voice.
Me against my MS.
Me against my tired.
Me against my negative self talk.
Me against my body image.
Me against my weight.
Me against my career.
Me against my mothering.
Me against my marriage.
Me against my tired.

It starts with the just the sound of my feet.
Hitting hard against the pavement.
My clumsy body looking ridiculous as I move forward.
My mind telling me how much it doesn't want to be doing this.

The miles count down.
And I fight forward.

I get to think about all the things that trouble me.
I get to clear a bit of my crazy and take this moment to breathe and work it out.
I think about my career, my choices, my agency and what I can be doing differently.
I think about my marriage and my person and what I could be doing to make him feel more supported.
Am I loving you enough?
Do you realize how much you have done for me, how much you have given me, how much I want to start and end my days with you, and just you?
Do I let you in enough?
I think about my kids and if I am doing right by them?
Am I showing you what mother looks like?
Am I showing you what you can accomplish?
Am I showing you that nothing will be handed to you?
Am I showing you love?
Am I showing you compassion and honest?
Am I showing you my heart?
Am I showing you strong?
Am I showing you that bad days will come, but we will fight on?
I think about me.
I think about how much I dislike meek in me.
I think about how much I want changed in me.
I think about all the decisions I have made that led me here.
I think about how in the end, it meant I got to have all of you.

And the miles count down.

I think about me.
I think about my insecurities.
I think about the voice that keeps reminding me that I'm weak, I'm too much of a yes person, I never take the lead.
I think about the competition against myself.
How much I do compete with just me.
And I guess that means I get to win, but I get to lose too.
I think about how it's just me vs. me out here and how if I wanted to, I could stop.
I could give up.
But I won't give up on me and all the work I still need to do on myself.

I keep hearing the pounding of my awkward feet.
And the miles count down.

I hear my daughter ask if I'm going for a run today.
I hear her ask me "why" and me tell her that it's so healthy to keep your body moving.
If I say it enough, that means that I'm not worried about the scale.
I'm not worried about how kids have made me look so different.
I'm not worried about the pouch that won't go away.
I'm not worried about you touching me and it feeling different.

I hear her ask if she can come with me.
I can't wait to run along side you sweet girl.
I imagine we will talk about our days.
I imagine you telling me all that is bothering you, all that you are excited about, all that is happening.
I imagine it being our time.
But for now, I watch your faces pressed up against the window as I head down the driveway.

And the miles count down.

And next Saturday, I will head out.
I will tackle every single mile in the 13.1 I will run.
It is me against myself.
And that is why I run.

2
May

Five Minute Friday - Mess

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 mess.

Go.

Have you ever felt unraveled?
Like you're coming undone?
Have you ever felt like it's all coming apart at the seam?
Have you ever felt like you were a mess?
A puddle of who you use to be?

Sometimes...
when the kids are loud,
the puppy is barking,
the work is piled up,
the house is unbearable to even walk in
the shoes and toys and food and messy carpet have taken over
the laundry and bed making and have tos
the life we created, wanted, hoped for, is all of a sudden crushing and loud and tears and sad faces.

What I want is to take a step back.
To take a look at who I am.
What I am saying to little faces and little voices.
To find my second chance at childhood in their laughter and excitement and messy childhood.

But have you ever felt like your mess spills from what you see on the floor to what you feel in your gut?
And it's just time for you to clean yourself up?

Stop.

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