26
Jun

I trust you

As we are coming out of our fog...
our three years of cries and screams and not knowing how to keep it all together.
Years of the house being in turmoil and trying to forget about the construction and the walls and concentrate on the home.
Years of pushing our kids away by demanding certain behaviors that were unreasonable.
Years of turning away, not towards.
Years of believing we were both right, and not realizing none of that matters.
And trust, losing sight of our trust,
in each other, in our parenting, in ourselves.

Until the fog lifted
and we found the other side
and we brought everyone back.

And here is the thing,
I trust you.
With them
with me
with us.
I trust you with my heart,
the one I carry with me
and the two I wear on the outside of my body called Anna and Cole.

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And I trust them too.
I trust them to know right from wrong.
I trust them to make as many mistakes as we make, and I trust their apology as much as I trust ours.
I trust them to lead with kindness and love.
I trust their hearts.
I trust their voices and I trust they are listening.
I trust them when they say they are scared, or when they are happy.
I trust their questions and I trust they will always have a voice.
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Because I have to.
There is no other way.
I have to trust all of us to do right.
Not perfect, not without stumbling, not without many mistakes,
but right.
With apologies, and love and so much more love.

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I have to trust that we are raising them right, even though neither one of us has a clue what we are doing.
I cannot live without trusting their decisions in life.
Trusting them to come to us when they need help.
Trusting them to realize when something doesn't feel right.
Trusting them to realize when they need to walk away
from a situation
from a person
from a moment in time.

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I am not willing to experience the consequences of not trusting them, me or us.
Because that leads to a life of dependence
of shattered worlds
of no resiliency
of crumbled humans that feel broken at every turn and twist.

Instead, we will trust them.
And we will build strength and courage.
We will build tiny people who feel that life has many stumbling blocks, but never enough for them to quit.
We will build them up
we will raise them right.

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Because when you are raised in love and comfort
when you are raised to be trusted and safe
when you are raised to know you have a support system, but you also have this all on your own,
you become who you are meant to be.
Wonderful, glorious them.

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And watching them become people,
actual people,
guiding them through their big emotions
their let downs
their failures
their mistakes,
that has been the hardest, longest part of our journey.

But, I trust us.
I trust you and I trust us.
To do this.

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24
Jun

Five Minute Friday - rest

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 rest.
Go.

Rest your head on my lap.
Your body into mine.
Rest your eyes now, it is time to sleep and your day is done.
Rest your mind
and your soul.
You have done well today, you tried, you did the best you could.

You played and laughed and ran.
You tackled a problem, you figured out another way.

This place, the house, it is your comfort, it is where you come to rest.
It can always be your sanctuary, it can always be home base.

Rest with me, lay next to me, take a deep breath in and out and let the day go with me.
I will read you that story, I will snuggle you tight.
Head to head and nose to nose, we will talk and whisper about the day.
We will watch it unfold, and then we will put that to rest too.
Because it is behind us and tomorrow will be new.

Rest with me, fold into me, fit with me like you always do.
Let go of any anxiety or stress, let go of any parts of the day you wish you could redo.
We all make mistakes,
it is time to put ours to bed.

Find your spot on the bed, the one that takes you in and makes you feel so cozy.
Snuggle in to love and rest your heart.
Watch your chest rise and fall with ease, your day is done.

Rest with me now and fill yourself back up.
Fill yourself with natural joy.
Find peace.
Rest with me and tomorrow we will start new.

Stop.

19
Jun

Simply the best in 2016

Each year, we want and need you to realize how much you have meant to us.

Dear Cory,
From the moment I met you, you talked about them.
You knew they were going to be a part of your story,
and you were determined to make them a part of mine.
They were your idea, your want, your need.
And thank god you did, you got us here.

This past year,
I have felt as though we are coming out of our fog.
Our babies are becoming kids.
Our tempers are calming,
we have worked together to find another way,
and you have found your natural joy again.

This year,
we have heard you laugh, your real laugh.
We have seen you have so much fun with them,
we have seen the projects not be as overwhelming, and therefore you feel like you have time.

And so sweet love, here is a small glimpse of our year and your moments of being simply the best...

Because you are my coach and their hero.
Because you are coaching their soccer teams and it's adorable.
Because you taught me how to ride my bike dad, and made me realize how easy it is if I keep trying.
Because you taught me that being with you is the best time.
Because if you are ever wondering how much your children love you, always and forever think of both of their need to be close to you.
Because Cole is your forever best buddy.
Because you are all he wants.
And although he can be so in the way, so loud, that child needs so much of you, because you are honestly his everything.
Because you still want to date me.
Because you are their morning routine, their bedtime partner and you do it with such ease.
Because you run them anywhere they need to be.
Because they only want to play outside when you are out there with them.
Because you taught her how to ride her bike.
Because you teach them everything, and you have the patience of a saint, and so much common sense knowledge about how to get them from point A to point B.
Because you work hard.
Because you work so so smart.
Because you are an amazing DIY guy.
Because you keep my crazy a little under control.
Because you do so much to keep peace and calm in our home, in my mind.
Because you love us.
Because he loves it when you read to him at night.
Because you taught us all to fall in love with a game and how important being a part of a team is.
Because before you met them, you loved them. You wanted them, just the two of them, and they found us.
Because you always and forever support anything I want to do.
Because you were the first person to believe in me, more than I believed in myself.
Because you softened me.
Because you allow me to stop everything at 8pm and you just take care of me.
Because you hold my hand through everything.
Because everyday, I am reminded how gorgeous you are, because they both look like you.
Because if you ever want to know what real love is, find the picture of you holding them for the first time.
Because we love all of you.

-Us

17
Jun

Five Minute Friday - lose

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 lose.
Go.

Over the years, I have lost my youth.
My skin, hair, eyes, body, nothing looks, feels or acts the same.

As they grow, I have at times lost me.
Through the fog and mess of parenting, I have lost a piece of who I was.

As they continue to grow, I have lost that feeling that I know what I am doing.
Much easier to feel confident in your parenting decisions about scheduling feedings and nap times.
So much easier to know what to do when you are just loving, not actually parenting yet.
So much easier to know how to dress them, and much harder to know what to say when they are sad.
I have lost the ability to have confidence in this job.

Over the years,
I have lost my ability to feel rested.
Genuinely rested.
The ability to wake up and feel like I just got the proper amount of sleep and I am ready to start today fully alert.

Over the years, I have lost my temper, my patience and at times my mind.
I have lost control over the mess, which at times means I have lost the battle with an image I have in my head.

But what I have found
is you.
It's that simple.
I have found you,
the ones I didn't even realize I was searching for.
The ones that gave me my second chance, that believe in me, that believe in family.

I have found comfort.
I have found home.
I have found family in all of you.

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Stop.

12
Jun

It's time

It's time to start living.
Actually living and letting go of so many things that drown me in heavy.
Letting go of the things that make me feel weighed down
and anxious
and bad about myself and my family.
It's time to start finding joy, spreading joy, giving you the life I want you to look back on and smile!
It's time to start...

Saying yes more.
Will you play with me? Yes
Can I have a play date? Yes
Can we do this project together? Yes
Can I start this? Yes
Can I paint? Yes
Can I do this art project? Yes
Can we...?? Yes.

Breathing.
Finding the time to take very long, deep breaths and sitting in quiet.
Not long, minutes even.
Just shut out the noise, the distractions, find my balance.
Find my breath, my calm, my sanity.
Find a way to have my chest and movement in unison with how I breathe.
It is time for me to start breathing for patience and calm so that I can find my joy.

Smiling.
And wearing that smile all over my face.
Having people hear my smile over the phone, feel my jest, my happy.
I want you to wake up to me smiling,
I want you to wake up smiling
and when we both close our eyes, I want to snuggle with you and feel us smiling.
I want to feel close to you, I want you to feel safe with me,
I want that smile to be all over our face.

Speaking to you with a kind heart.
It's what I am always telling you but I am not a good role model.
Are you yelling because you are strong willed or are you yelling because we yell?
Are you stomping because you are stubborn or are you stubborn because you are me.
Are you mad because everyone gets mad or are you mad more frequently because you get that from dad.
Kindness, I want that to be who we are all about.
I want love and soft and gentle to guide us.
I don't want everything to be a struggle and a fight, I want love to be our guide.

Own my fear.
I can't make it go away, so I won't.
But fear makes sure that I won't fail.
Fear makes sure I feel safe.
Fear makes sure I work for what I want.
Fear is my drive.
I need to own it, not the other way around.

And it is also time to stop:

Trying to control everything.
I just can't.
You are people, living your own lives.
I have to let go of the idea that I am the only one that can do it all and realize how strong of a family unit I have and how much you are capable of.
Which means I also have to be okay with the crumbs on the floor and dog hair in the corner
and the beds that never look right
and the food that is forever and permanently on your face
and the dishes that are never done
and the laundry that I could drown in
and the idea that perfect means happy.
I know that I find calm in the clean and organized
and I know that the mess and gross leave me feeling anxious
but I have to find someway to meet us all in the middle.

Thinking that I am right all of the time.
I know, it drives you to the brink
I know, it is what you and our children will hate the most about me.
So, I will let it go.
Because the absolute truth is
I don't care who is right and who is wrong, I just want peace.

Being serious.
A happy childhood is all about the silly.
All about the loss of control and finding the silly and humor in all of life.
There is no other way to do this without humor and silly and seeing you laugh and smile!

Making life harder than it already is.
See, life can be very hard or very simple, I think it's up to you on which life you get to live.
And me, I always picked hard.
I always picked the hard way out.
But, I am picking it.
Yes, I have had it a little harder than most.
Yes, my life wasn't easy growing up
and yes, I walked away from hurt and walked right into hard.
I made things hard to move on
but now I have arrived and I have all that I never knew I wanted.
Never imagined I wanted and needed.
It's all here.
Just find the rhythm and joy
find the ease and put away the hard life.

Not finding joy.
I cannot live this life with you in hate
and constant fog
and yells and cries
and anger.
I cannot live a joyless life.
So we will find the joy,
together, hand in hand.
We will find the amazing wonderful happy joy.

It's time sweet family of mine.
It's time that we regroup,
hit the reset button.
Realize that it will of course not always be wonderful and glorious and happy.
But it's time we start living the life we really want.

10
Jun

Five Minute Friday - want

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 want.
Go.

There are the basic wants of parenting like
I want you to listen
I want you to count to 10 and try again
I want you to clean up after yourself
I want you to make good choices at school, as siblings, as people.

And then there are the big ones
the ones that make me stay up all night wondering if I am doing it right,
any of it.
The wants like
I want you to just be happy, in your life, with your life.
I want you to be able to sit in silence and reflect on your day, your words, how to do it differently.
I want you to have your heart broken so you know you can come out the other side stronger.
I want you to realize that I am your home, your comfort, I am safety for you.
I want you to realize that I have your back, but you will not need me soon, but I still want you to want me in your life anyway.
I want you to love your partner, your person, so much that it bursts out of your face.
I want you to love you.
I want you to show the world how strong you are, how amazing.
I want you to be a good person, and a good friend, and have a really good heart.
I want you to always try your best, always give it your all.
I want you to always show love and kindness, I want it to drive your decisions in life.
I want you to crumble when you need to, for as long as you need to, and when you have healed, I want you to show the world your power.
I want you to know love and loss and realize that it only lasts for good one time. Everything else is lessons learned.
I want you to know that we didn't just love you, we loved this time with you, even the fog.
I want you to know that we continue to try our very best with you
I want you to know that we have made so many mistakes and we are so sorry, but we know that love is our guide and I want you to know that too. Love needs to be your guide.
I want you to know that your childhood is one of the most important things in my life.

I want you to know that you changed it all, in one moment, you changed it all.

Stop.

5
Jun

Seasoned mother

That is what being a seasoned mother teaches you,
always put on your mask first, there is no other way.
And yes, she now realizes all that there is that is still her.
Even though she was born, on the day you were born.

It is hard to know when it happens.
When you hit the switch from new mom to seasoned.

And although it can be argued that you are never really seasoned...
because each and everyday, it's new.
They change, a new day, a new age, new.
But somewhere along the journey, there is a shift, a change.
And it doesn't feel as new, as strange.
Instead, it can even start to feel like same old, and boring old parenting.
But there is a lot a seasoned mother has to say
not as advice
not as judgement
just her thoughts.
Her collection of experiences
spread out before her.

A seasoned mother realizes that you cannot always put yourself last.
A seasoned mother realizes that she has to put on her own mask first, or else she has nothing to give.
A seasoned mother realizes how important it is to find yourself in the fog.
Find what you love and what brings you joy so you can spread joy to them.

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A seasoned mother realizes how important words are for both them and herself.
You have to find a way to express your frustration
feelings of overwhelming crushing demand
feelings of blue
and loss.
Words are so important.

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A seasoned mother realizes that time is too fleeting.
And the infancy stage is so cruel because it is so short.
The new, the pink, the smell of baby, they all fade too quickly.

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A seasoned mother realizes her most useful tool is saying "I am sorry".
I am sorry that I lost my patience
I am sorry that I expected too much from you
I am sorry that I yelled
I am sorry that I am teaching you to yell
I am sorry that I wasted time being angry and upset about that
I am sorry that I am not feeling like a great mom, or acting like one
I am sorry that you yell too, because you learned it from me.

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A seasoned mother realizes that the end of the day is most important.
And that even in the worst of the fog, you find love and find a way to find the good and say thank you.
You find a way to be close, to make sure they go to bed full...
of love
and hope
and kindness.
She makes sure that when they finally close their eyes for the day, they are full of family.

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A seasoned mother realizes that as they start to sleep more, you become more exhausted.
Because they are nonstop.
Nonstop movement
nonstop questions
nonstop talking
nonstop fighting
nonstop meltdowns.
And the worry only grows as they grow.
What was once worry and concern of charts and milestones becomes are they good people?
Are they choosing good people to bring into their circle?
Are they going to be able to cope with life?
Am I teaching them how to handle stress and life and loss and love?
Am I loving them enough?
Do they feel safe?
Are they hurt, is someone hurting them?
Are they going to make it through this time?
Am I?
The worry grows as they grow and a seasoned mother realizes how tiring this growth is.

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And because of that exhaustion, a seasoned mother realizes that patience is her ugliest trait.
Because she has none,
even after sleeping for a full night, she wakes up with no patience for it all.
And as her day goes on and on, she loses her temper,
she loses her smile,
she loses all of the promises she has made about how today will be different.
But she also realizes if she sticks it out, they give her a reason to smile.
They give her the joy she needs to keep going.
She realizes that with all that they take, they give back.

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A seasoned mother realizes how important humor is.
How it is the only way to get through this all.
She understands how important a partner is
how important it is to make them feel appreciated
how much she wants to be appreciated.
How much she needs to hear that she is working as hard as she can and she is making the best life for them.
Together, we are giving them the best we can.
A seasoned mother realizes how important partnership is
how much she needs it in her life.

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A seasoned mother realizes that her person is her rock.
They are who she needs to cry to, scream at, because she can't to them.
She needs to tell them of her loss, her pain for them moving on
and how they only need to listen.
Not fix, there is nothing to fix, there is nothing broken, this is life and she is saddened by the loss.
A seasoned mother needs to turn to you
for comfort
for love
for closeness.
She needs to reach for you
she needs to know that you are there
that you are on her side
that you care about her
that you think she is doing ok
that you appreciate her.
A seasoned mother needs needs her person to say
I don't know how you are doing this all
I don't know how I am doing this all

but somehow, we are.
Together, we are doing it all and together we are trying our best and together, we are giving them all we can.
A seasoned mother needs her person.

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A seasoned mother needs friends.
This is not something to be taken lightly.
She needs her circle.
She needs her daughter to see her tight, healthy, there for each other and there to bring them up not bring them down circle.
A seasoned mother needs to tell her secrets
she needs to hear theirs.
A seasoned mother needs to laugh with her circle
to hug them tight.
A seasoned mother needs them to know how important this is
because they are her survival through the mud and fog.

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A seasoned mother realizes that she is just a part of their life,
she is not all of them.
And therefore, they cannot be all of her.
A seasoned mother realizes that they cannot be your world and you are not theirs.
She searches for herself and her relationship each day.
She wants to insert herself, but realizes you need to find your way.
A seasoned mother never gets used to letting go, but she does anyway.
A seasoned mother isn't old, isn't beat up, isn't a mess.
She is comfort.
She is your safety.
She is your cozy.
She is your home.
A seasoned mother's words are not to pass judgement
they are not meant as a guide
they are not advice to you.
This is her life, spread out before her
her time-capsule
her memories that unfold each and every day.

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3
Jun

Five Minute Friday - haven

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 haven.
Go.

Tell me what is on your mind.
Tell me what is bothering you.
I will keep your secrets safe,
I am here just to listen.
I am your haven.

Tell me what makes you laugh.
Tell me what didn't.
Tell me why you are upset.
Tell me what they said, why it hurt.
Tell me all the things you wish you said but didn't.
I am your haven.

Tell me why it hurts.
Tell me why you are so excited.
Tell me that funny joke.
Tell me all that is on your mind.
I am your haven.

Tell me and I will sit with you and connect.
Tell me and I will your hold your hand,
I will comfort you.
Tell me and I will remind you how safe you are, how we are your safe place.
This home, the people inside, we are your haven.

I can take the blame for why you have to leave,
I can be the uncool mom that won't let you stay.
I can be the reason you have to say no,
because I am your haven.

Call on me when you need an ear,
call on me when you need someone to bring you back to love,
call on me when you need someone
because I am your haven.

From the moment you were both born, I wanted to protect you and keep you safe.
But with each passing moment of each and every single day, you remind me that parenting has nothing to do with holding on, and everything to do with letting go.
All you need, is the comfort of your home, and loving arms, to remind you how safe you are.
That this is forever your haven.

Stop.

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