31
Jul

My first

You will always and forever be my first baby.
Every first of yours, was a first of mine.
Every milestone was one we crossed together.
Because on the day you were born, a mom was born.

And because of who I am, how moments wash over me, I remember the start of you and therefore the start of us.

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And when I held you, when I hold you, the words you're my favorite little girl come pouring out of me.
You're my favorite daughter.
You woke me up, and burst me open.
You taught me about love that makes your heart jump.
You taught me how amazing this ride is, and you taught me how important it is.
You are still this being that wakes me up.
Your smile, your eyes.
Your soul, your love.
Your mind, your stubborn determination.
You were my first.

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And all of the things we started together,
like breast feeding and changing and bathing and dressing and riding along side of and walking and talking and reading and homework and bus rides.
Like arguments and teaching you respect and consequences and gentle and kind and not being bossy but being a leader.
All of the firsts that we crossed off our lists,
all of the ones we got to, together.
You were my first.

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And here is the special part,
even though you do not remember this time...
you are the only child I will have that had all of me, all of us, just to you.
You got our time and our patience.
You got our attention and our love
all just for you.
You were my first.

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And your firsts are still my firsts.
You are leading the way in this.
You are taking me by the hand and showing me how to keep moving with you.
You lead our dance.
You were my first.

So the first time you have your heartbroken,
the first time someone calls for you,
the first time you have a fight with a friend,
the first time you are nervous about that school dance,
the first time you stop holding my hand, and reaching for me,
the first time you graduate and go to college and get married and start your family...
they will all be my firsts with you.
You lead our dance because you were my first.

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And letting go of you has always been hard.
The day I dropped you off at daycare and walked out of your day.
The day I put you on a bus and walked away from you.
The day I let you go to a friends house and just drove away, far away from you.
Letting go has always been hard.
Because you were my first.

And there came a day we were ready.
We were ready to grow and we wanted your heart to feel as full as ours and we were ready to fall in love with two.
And so, we gave you your first,
the first time you got to hold your little brother,
the first time you told him he was your best friend.

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But you, you were our first.
You lead our dance, because you were the first.

29
Jul

Five Minute Friday - hidden

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 hidden.
Go.

I rise.
I start my days in the dark.
Before the world is up, before there are lights and shouts and demands.
I start it in my little office,
getting the work done, getting myself settled, checking off my boxes.
And some ask how or why or do you need to?
And no, there is no need, just the desire to stay hidden just a little longer.
Just the calm and solitude that comes with this time.
How clear I can think, the writing that pours out of me, both professionally and creatively.
The emails I get to delete, the to dos I get to wash away.
Because the world is loud,
parenting, is loud.
Because the house wakes up as if on an alarm.
And once it starts, there is no off switch until night falls again.
And there are days, I want to stay hidden.
Head under the covers, shouts of childhood down the hall.
Days when the noise is too much, the workload too heavy.
Days when I want to be forgotten.

But that is not a possibility.
I signed up for all of this.
I signed up for motherhood and home ownership and responsibility and a career and heavy and being pulled in every direction.
I signed up for your childhood.
So I will not stay hidden in the shadows.
I will put my foot forward for you.
I will show you what it looks like to be full and how to keep going.
I will move for you, take the covers off for you.
I will open my eyes and lift myself out of bed, I will cover myself in warmth as I head down the stairs.
I will keep me going because you keep me going.
And there will come a day when you too need to decide, do I hide or do I rise?
And please remember how even on the hardest of days,
I didn't stay hidden.

Stop.

24
Jul

My wish for you

Is that you realize how hard we tried.
How easy it was to love you
how difficult it was to love all of the time.
Because on this journey of parenthood, we once took the wrong turn.
We spent a few year just trying to survive
and we lost so much good time.
Years lost in cries and screams and tantrums and control.
And when I look back, realizing we are on the other side,
I wish I would have enjoyed it so much more.
But, we tried and we learned and we regrouped and we got us back.
My wish is that you realize how hard we tried.

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My wish for you
is that you realize that we created a lot of ordinary
that became extraordinary.
Moments of nothingness.
Actual nothingness
that was plain
that was us just being us.
We were the definition of boring comfortable us.
Always family,
always together.

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My wish for you
is that you realize that I really see you.
I know every mark on your little body,
I really look at you,
hard, deep and for long moments.
I freeze your face in time.
Sitting there, hanging over all of us,
I see you.
I see your baby wisps of hair, your curls, your eyes, your beauty marks.
I see the baby I once held and the child that is between letting go and wanting to hold on.
I see you, you are right in front of me and I really see you.

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My wish for you
is that you realize that I really hear you too.
You have a voice, you have a chance, you are a part of this family and you have a voice.
I want you to use it
I want you to speak out when you are upset,
when you feel you are not getting a fair deal
when you feel like you are not being heard.
Because I will always listen.
I really hear you.
Your sweet voice that is a mixture of crazy good vocabulary and baby.
Little baby, little man, little woman baby.
I really hear you.
Your laugh, the one from your gut, really laughing because it's funny laugh.
The one that takes your breath away and no sound comes out.
The one that makes you cry and you have no idea why.
Yeah, that one, I really hear that laugh.
Your cries,
I know the real from the fake.
I know the hurt from the feelings are hurt.
I know when a hug can fix the broken,
because I really hear you.

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My wish for you is that you understand.
Us, family, creation.
How yes, we put you here, but you created us too.
You started something that cannot be stopped.
I will forever and ever be a mom.
Forever, no matter your age.
I want you to understand the significance of that.
And I want you to understand love and kindness.
How they are always the answer.
Especially when you have nothing left to give.
I want you to understand hand holding and feet touching and couch snuggles and why pancakes are important and traditions and us.
I want you to understand this family of ours and accept our good, our mistakes, our apologies, our ability to always keep going.
My wish for you is this.

Houser22

22
Jul

Five Minute Friday - help

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 help.
Go.

The hardest thing to ask for
the easiest thing to give.
The hardest to admit you need
the easiest to see if needed.
The way it has somehow come to mean weak and needing to be rescued
but instead means you have so much strength to ask for a hand across the other side.

And we will always help each other,
because the world is complicated and we all need so much help to navigate it.
Because loss is painful and we all need help to realize we are never alone.
Because raising tiny humans is hard, and we all need help to find our humor.
Because it can be scary in the real world, and we all need help to realize we are not being abandoned but trusted.
Because life can be so scary for some and they need help to turn on the light, and step out of the darkness.
Because hurt runs deep and can ruin souls, so we all need help to remind ourselves to stay kind.
Because fear can be debilitating and paralyzing and we all need help to realize our own strength.
Because time can allow you to get lost in fog and we all need help to remind ourselves that it is the only way to heal.

Because love helps us to put our pieces back together again.
Because laughter helps us to find ourselves again.
Because friends help you to create your framily.
Because children help to give you your second chance at childhood.
Because no one needs to be rescued, but everyone could use some help.

Stop.

17
Jul

Framily

I just finished a podcast on friendship, and adults.
How, as adults, making friends is so awkward, almost unnatural.
Because as an adult, where do you go?
How do you navigate a new friendship?
Where do we meet?
Will we have anything in common?
And here and there I would meet people and my heart would immediately jump!
Is this her?!
Is this them?!
Can we connect?!
Will she think I am too crazy?!
Is she crazy enough for me?!
And what about her person...will he like my person?!
Will I like her person, will they like me?!
Will that matter to how close we can be?!

And the more adults I talk to about this, the more I realize they too feel unconnected, they too are searching, for the family we pick for ourselves.
Unfortunately, at many different stages of our lives, we have to start over and find a group.
Because the alternative is so much loneliness that you don't feel whole, you don't feel right.

I was in that exact spot just one year ago.
I was hungry for conversation.
For connecting.
For the people who know my story and accept me.
Those that laugh at and with me,
with all of my quirks and crazy.
The ones that make me laugh, so hard that my insides hurt.
The ones that I can cry to about parenting, ask opinions of, tell my secrets to, my thoughts.
The ones that shared their stories too, their lives, their amazing and awful.
Family that you pick for yourself.

And I was starting over because my friends were moving away or I had moved away from them.
Scattered, everywhere.
And whenever these friends and I spoke or saw each other, we picked right back up, of course.
They were there, just not here, and it was crushing.
They were so spread out all over the country and seeing a friend here or there for a weekend here and there, it wasn't enough.
It hit me hardest last summer.
We had vacationed with friends that we have known forever.
Their kids and our kids are so very close.
We are so very close.
They know our story, they were the family we picked so many years ago.
That week, I laughed so hard I cried.
I talked, I opened up.
I felt free, younger, lighter.
I felt closer to him, closer to them, because I was just so happy.
And on our last night, the pain hit me hard.
I remember crying, saying it all ends tomorrow and I go back to lonely.
I go back to longing for this, for people.
The feeling was crushing.
I knew he couldn't be my everything.
We needed more, we needed people, we needed dinner and drinks and time.
We needed connection and laughter to fill our home.
They needed to see us define friendships and what friends do for each other, how they interact, how they act.
How you bring them into your fold.
They needed to see how friends are the family you pick for yourself.

I had had enough of lonely.
When we got home, I was blue.
Blue, every day seemed blue.
I would tell him, I was feeling so so alone and I don't know where to start, how to do this over.

I just kept searching for my circle.
Because I didn't need a ton of people, just one or two.
Just a small village that we can turn to.
Because we are in a really hard stage of our lives.
They are bigger kids now with bigger feelings.
They are busy, we are busy.
And things will continue to get harder before they ever get easier.
Because even more feelings are coming, even more emotions, even more navigating.
And I kept telling myself, don't give up on this, it's important.
Keep searching, they are out there some where, just keep searching.

Until finally one day, it happened.
We immediately found our circle.
And their kids clicked with my kids.
And her person clicked with my person.
It just kind of happened.
I put it out there, and it happened.
And the craziest thing happened,
in finding them, I found me.

I found my laughter, my silly, my humor.
My love for all of them, my worry sort of melted.
I found so much joy, but at the same time, so much comfort and safety.
And this fog we had been living in, cleared.

Because even as adults, we are that scared, quiet kid, looking for someone to ask us to play.
Even as parents, raising tiny humans, we are searching for someone to support and laugh with us.
Even as people who love their person, love being with them, we still need others, time with others.
Because friendships are an intense and strong force.
They are blankets draped over us.
They are comfort.
Friendships bring out the real you.
The one that may have been lost in the fog of work and parenting and home and bills and lawn care and crazy.
The person you were, the one you still are, she is in there, wanting to find a close friend to bring her back out.
Friendships are the family you pick for yourself.

15
Jul

Five Minute Friday - create

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 create.
Go.

We create...
A house turned home.
We create childhood, even when tempers and exhaustion silence the joy, we create their childhood.
We create a house full of noise and sounds and feet that run.
We create talkers that stand up for themselves, that tell you how they expect to be treated, even in their infancy.
We create family and all that comes with it...the good, the bad, the love, the anger, the feeling so lonely and so full.
We create heartache, and heartfelt moments.
We create moments period. The ones that are so beautiful that I promise you will want to bottle them up.
We create memories that I store like a picture album in my mind, click.
We create plans, that don't turn out at all like we anticipated.
We create family we get to pick for ourselves.
We create love and more love on top of love.
We create hand holding and kissing noses and little faces feeling safe and connected.
We create family connection and traditions and routines.
We create family, wonderful, scary, exhausting, joyous family.

And they create us, this tiny little part and piece of us.
They create little that is crushing and filling.
They create laughter and tears.
They create beauty, even when we are at our ugliest.
They create a poetic love, the kind you read about in romantic novels.
They create mothers and fathers.
They create titles that come with so much responsibility and so much silliness.
They create patience, because when you feel you are out, you have to find more.
They create and define family, wonderful, scary, exhausting, joyous family.
They create us, as much as we create them.

Stop.

11
Jul

Click

I carry your little with me.
Each day, every milestone, every new you discover is a memory I hold.
And each and every memory is just like a little picture,
I can almost hear the click, and that's when I know, this one will stay with me.
And so, as the days pass, it is as though I am building your photo alum of childhood.

The first time I held you
click.
The first time you held my finger
click.
The first time you made eye contact,
click.
The first time you smiled,
click.
Your first word and where it was spoken,
click.
Your first steps and how old you were,
click.
The first time you went to preschool, the first time you got on and off a bus,
click.
The first time you came rushing in with excitement to share something with me,
click.
Your first soccer goal and the sound of your voice when you called to tell me,
click.
When you first saw him, how excited you were to be his big sister, his best friend.
click.

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In my heart, I keep all of this safe for you.
Ready to flip through our album whenever you need a piece of home, a part of you.
Whenever you want to know what you were like when.
Whenever you need to go back, so you know how to go forward.

Together, we can turn the pages, we can go through the past.

Our vacations and how excited you are for summer with dad,
click.
How one time we had to be taken to a hospital because you were so sick,
click.
And how smiley and happy you were when you started feeling better,
click.
Our Saturdays at the track,
click.
When you learned how to ride a bike,
click.
Our family swims,
click.
When you first learned to read, and then, when you fell madly in love with books.
click.
Dad, how much you fall back in love with dad every. single. day
click.

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I know that soon, you will start your very own album,
one I will be memories in and so many others will fill your pages.
But this time, this precious bit of time, these are the memories I hold for you, close and safe with me.
And I know how much you need to go back and review, as much as I do.
I know that you need to relive your little, your small.
And I don't know if it's the actual stories, or my reaction to the stories.
How you can visibly feel our hearts growing and feel how warm we are.
Because through all of our mistakes and I am sorrys, through all of the times that we have messed up as parents,
God, there was and is so much good.
Our joy, our connection, our love,
click.

8
Jul

Five Minute Friday - build

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 build.
Go.

This week has been Nationally devastating.
Every morning, I woke up to a new tragedy.
Another life lost, another family ruined, another child's world, broken.

And as a country, we are so divided.
We have forgotten how to stand together,
we have forgotten how to build each other.

Because only by coming together, can we build.
Divided, we crumble.

And so today my sweet little faces, I will remind you that we have a responsibility.
Not just to each other in these four walls, but to our greater community.
We have a responsibility to all humans to stand up and help.
To use our voices to speak for those that cannot find their voice, for those that are never heard.
We have a responsibility to build people up, never tear them down.
We have a responsibility to love.
Unfortunately, so many have forgotten that.
We have forgotten that we are all people, we have forgotten that we are all tied and connected.
And I hear stories of those that are so numb to it, that cannot take any more of it in.
But, we can't allow that to happen either.
We have to rebuild, as a neighborhood, as a community, as a country.
We have to rebuild.

Stop.

3
Jul

This is important

"I will no longer put what is urgent in front of what is important."

I will no longer say no to playing with you.
I will no longer not snuggle for as long as you need me to stay.
I will no longer not hold you a little longer, squeeze a little tighter.
I will no longer put my demands, my everyday lists, in front of you.
I will no longer miss the important.

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I will take pictures of you, of us.
I will look back fondly, on memories and remember my presence.
I will remember that day, because I was a part of it.
I will put down my phone and my fake connections, for the real of family.
I will no longer miss the important.

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I will watch you climb on that bus, each time I can.
Because I want to remember your face, your voice, for the start of your day.
I will walk you into your building, hand in hand,
because I want to remember what it feels like to have little in my life.
I will hear all about your day, your ups and downs,
so you will continue to talk, knowing I will listen.
I will no longer miss the important.

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I will watch silently as you all unfold.
I will be your base.
You will remember my love, my being here.
You will remember me, your mom.
You will remember bike rides
and family swims
and runs, just us.
You will remember that time I took you to get your nails painted.
You will remember grocery shopping and being my helper.
You will remember the special we create in ordinary.
I will no longer miss the important.

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I will be outside with you.
I will read, all of the books.
I will tickle more.
I will chase more.
I will join in all of your fun.
I will no longer miss the important.

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Because in case I do not show you enough,
you are the important and the urgent can wait.

1
Jul

Five Minute Friday - protect

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 protect.
Go.

I do not want you fearful of this world, of your life.
I do not want you thinking you need protection
because you are strong and confident.

Instead, my sweet faces...
I will protect your childhood.
I will protect your happy.
I will protect your smile.
I will protect your love for life and adventure.
I will protect your fearless nature.
I will protect your laugh.
I will protect your natural joy.
I will protect your creative side.
I will protect your curious side.
I will protect your nerdy side.

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I will protect your love.
I will keep it well within my grasp.
And I will protect the love that we have for you.
I will make sure you know where to find it.
I will make sure you know where to find even more of it when you feel empty.
Because I will protect your happy,
I will protect your childhood.
I will protect your memories.
The ones you need to look back on to get you out of bed,
the ones you need when you are raising your own families.
I will protect who you were, so you can learn to become who you are meant to be.

Unfortunately,
I cannot protect your heart.
It will get broken.
It will be shattered,
because any life worth living will do that to you.

I cannot protect your soul,
because at times, it will be run through the mud.

I cannot protect your forever.
Because nothing lasts.

I cannot protect your cries,
they will come.
Tears will come.

But, I can remind you that even when you have come undone,
there is beauty,
there are reasons to smile
there are reasons to get up
there are reasons to go back to a happy childhood and remember where you came from.

I cannot protect you from this world
I wouldn't really want to
even if I want to
but I will protect your childhood.

Houser22

Stop.

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