28
Jan

When love becomes family.

You will fall madly deeply in love.
Not just once, but several times.
You will meet people that leave actual marks on your heart.
They will be with you always.
You will dream about them well into adulthood, that is what love does.
But, if you decide to be with someone, always and forever be with someone, I want to share some things with you, and them.

First, I promise to find room in my heart for those you pick to love.
Your dad won't even have to work at this, it will come naturally for him.
Me, I will make it my mission to not be crazy
and love them
because you do.

I also realize that when you fall in love you bend and mold with them.
I promise I will not remind you that you are changing and making that seem bad because you should be.
We all grow with our person to become the best version of us.

I will also be the one to tell you if it feels off.
I will also call you out on your crazy
because forever is work.
Even when you are so in love you can't imagine it, forever is work.

Your mom and dad are deeply madly and forever in love with one another.
We are not perfect, because nothing is.
We are not without faults, blame or mistakes, we have made so many.
But, we always come back to us because there is something here that is worth it.
And that something is family.

People will tell you to be with your best friend
be with someone that makes you laugh
be with someone that challenges you
opposites attract
find your foundation
find someone to share things with
find common ground
find your soul mate.
All of it and none of it is true.

Find your family.
Find your person.
Find your connection that cannot be defined in any other way.
That is how you know.
They are family and you can't walk away from family.

There are many things that work for me and dad
like he is my balance, I am his.
We do have a strong foundation of common interests that were there from the beginning.
Your dad introduced me to things I didn't even realize I would love but I do, like being a sports fan
like home projects
like parenting.
He does make me laugh, even when I am mad, he makes me laugh.
I am a better person when I am with him, so is he.
He does challenge me, I do the same for him.
We show our love
we are affectionate
we tell each other how much we love each other
he won't allow either of us to walk away, I won't allow us to stand still.

There are many things we work at and on...
I need to be kinder, specifically to him and me.
I don't make him laugh, I'm just not that funny, he is just fine with that.
We do things very differently and drive each other crazy in the process.
I yell, he now does too.
I am a ball of stress, he now is too.
We fight, too much.

But, we are family and I never once felt differently.
From the moment we met, there was a familiarity with him, a connection that washed over me in a way that I hadn't experienced before.
He was my comfort, he made me feel at ease.
My body actual took a breath when I met him.
It melted and the anger, anxiety and hurt I had been carrying, it melted too.

And even through the dark times, that doesn't go away.
You can be angry with someone
you can not like them
you can need space from them
you can lose a feeling of warmth
but you never lose the feeling of family.

I don't know if we will be your compas
I don't know if you will look to us as what to look for
but if you do, this is the one thing that we did right.
We found family and never let go.

So, whoever you end up with, whoever you decide to share your life with
don't think about anything
don't search and search for a reason
don't weigh the pros and cons
don't think about their faults, their abilities
just go find your family and hold on for the ride.

We did.

26
Jan

Five Minute Friday - surrender

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. 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 surrender.

Go.

I surrender to who I am.
I surrender to my strengths my weaknesses.
I will no longer spend time trying to fix me, I am no longer broken.
I surrender to the fact that I am type A.
I surrender to the fact that I create rules that I feel cannot be broken.
I surrender to the fact that slowing down is hard for me.
I surrender to my schedule, I surrender to my to-do lists, I surrender to my mind that won't turn off, I surrender to my multi-tasking.
I surrender to who I am.

I surrender to the fact that these qualities make me work too much, make me stressed, make me tired.
I also surrender to the fact that they made me a hard worker, made me successful, made me succeed.
I surrender to the fact that they take me away from parenting and make me a better parent.
I surrender to who I am.

I surrender to the fact that chaos in my home hurts my mind.
I surrender to the fact that I like clean space.
I surrender to the fact that it is how I create space in my jammed life.
I surrender to the fact that getting up early works for me.
I surrender to the fact that I fall asleep early because I work so hard.
I surrender to the fact that I work on my health.

I surrender my wanting to change.
It is too difficult to change who you are at your core.
What you can do is get better.
I surrender to being a better me.
I will always have things to work on, and I know that I now will do that with more insight.
I will use what I now know about myself and be a better me.

That means I can be slower
I can be more intentional with my love
I can make things different.
I can use how I function to be the best version of me.
I surrender to who I am.

Because I am a good mom
I am a good leader
I am a good listener
I am a good friend
I am a good bride
I am a good person
I have a good heart
I work really hard to get what I want
I set goals and achieve them.
I surrender to this person.
She is doing the best she can so I surrender to you sweet soul.
I will no longer fight you, I no longer want to.
You can put your head down tonight and know you are trying and I recognize that.
So sleep well, I surrender to you.

Stop.

21
Jan

Pearls of wisdom

We were heartbroken when we said goodnight to our Mia.
We felt this empty void of love.
We felt lost and searching.
We lost our reason.
But, we also needed time.
Time to let her go, time to heal, time to feel like she was really gone and what that actually looks like.
We needed to give her memory time.

Mia was always wise.
She was all-knowing and felt energy.
She felt a room, was connected to our feelings and lead us towards each other, kept us close.
She was an old soul.
She was my reason.

But Pearl, she is so new.
She is so excited.
She is so all loving.
She too keeps us all close.
But even in the new and wide-eyed puppy love that she is...
she comes with her own pearls of wisdom.

Like to love the entire family.
To find comfort in warmth.
To exercise so you don't go crazy.
To give so many kisses you knock people over.
To hug, always hug.
To not accept no as an answer to an offering of comfort and love.
To be affectionate.
To be excited.
To greet with enthusiasm.
To be loving.
To want to be around those you love and sad when you can't be.
To demand walks in life.
To play so much you smile.
To run wild.
To run towards love so hard you can't stop and skid right into it.
To nuzzle those you love and even those you don't.
To be ready to learn.
To be eager to make those around you happy.
To love food.
To demand attention and affection.
To stand up for your family and warm them when danger comes close.
To sit and wait for something you want, it is always worth it.

This new love is full of her own wisdom.
Maybe not one that comes from being old and all-knowing
but one that comes from new and exciting.
She has mended broken hearts.
She is demanding of our time and pulls us back home, where we belong.

She comes with her very own pearls of wisdom and I am learning from her.

19
Jan

Five Minute Friday - intentional

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. 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 intentional.
Go.

With my thoughts
with my words
with my actions
with my delivery
with my time
with my love.

This is my year of different and that means me being more intentional.

I think what it all boils down to though, is love.
Love of me myself and I.
Love of them, the ones I asked and tried for.
Love of him, the one I chose, the one I am committed to.
Intentional love.

I cannot look back at this time and wish I was more present.
I will not.
I cannot continue to wish time away.
I will not.
I cannot live a hurried life, and allow being busy to replace being a person.
I will not.
We don't get many second chances and I am not going to blow mine.

It is when I am intentionally present that magic and love flourish.
It is then that you feel warm and safe and loved.
It is then that you open up, you let me in, you hold me close.
It is when I am intentional with my love that you are too.
We all are.
If I am loving and gracious and kind, you all meet my energy.

And I do have to work on being intentional, I do have to remind myself that I am slipping back into old ways
old routines
old habits.
Ones that lead to an angry and frustrated mom.
Ones that lead to a troubled and tired soul.
Ones that lead to exhaustion and illness and worry.
Ones that were certainly not intentional.

So, it's ok that I have to work on it, I am a worker, I figure things out and work on them.
That is just fine
that is who I am.
But that doesn't mean I can't use how I operate to build a better life a better me.

In this year of different, I am ready to be intentionally better.

14
Jan

One clap

Sweet Cole,

There was a time when you would tell people how much you loved them through claps.
We would ask how much you loved anything and you would tell us by clapping and the amount of joy this brought you was incredible.
It started with one clap and then you quickly caught on that you can add to the claps depending on how much love you were feeling.
One clap meant love.
Four claps meant SO much love!
How much do you love me?...one clap
How much do you love Mia?...one to two claps.
How much do you love that breakfast...again and again.
And again and again and again.
It was adorable.
Sometimes you would say it...
"I love you 3 claps"
Most times you would show us.

And so, the little dance began...
how much do you love me...one clap
how much do you love dad...four claps
and the funniest part is then you would always finish with
mom, I love dad four and you one
as if I wasn't there to watch it all.

I would feign jealousy
COLE! Only one clap for me and 4 for dad??
But the truth is, I just loved it.

Who do you want to go with today?
Dad.
Dad has to run to the store.
Can I come?
Dad, can we have an epic battle today?
Dad, can I help?
Dad, want to play with me?

Dad.
Dad.
Dad.

And I adore every single moment of it.
See, you are a small version of dad.
You are him, inside and out.
You have his smile, his eyes, his heart, his soul, his messy everything, his love for food, his joy.

And being around the crazy whirlwind you are might be taking your dad down to his knees
but for me, I adore it.
I adore your crazy mess, because it is my balance and reminds me that none of it matters.
And, it's making me fall in love with dad all over again.
You remind me of the joy that I fell in love with.
You make me laugh, your soul is so new, you love this life.

Dad.
Dad.
Dad.

You follow him around.
When he is working on a project, you grab your toolbox.
When he is making food you have to "help".
You play like him, loud and toys crashing into each other.
You get so messy like him, food all over you, always dirty.
You eat like him, always hungry, always needing more.
You sleep like him, tossing and turning.
You can't sit still, like him.
You need to get out of the house like him.
You can't hear like him.
You break things like him.
You lose things like him.
You make people melt with a smile like him.
You ruin your eyeglasses like him.
You have a big heart, like him.
Small things make you laugh so hard, like him.
You love with everything you have, like him.
You are emotional like him.
You love to play like him.
You love a new anything, like him.
You are sweet and kind, like him.

Dad.
Dad.
Dad.

He is your best buddy.
He is your everything.
You have to physically be touching him most of the time.

So, I pretend to be jealous.
I pretend to be sad.
I pretend but the truth is, I could watch you two all day.
I could live on the outside of your little world together and I fall in love with you both, over and over.

So, I understand why he is four claps and I am one.

12
Jan

Five Minute Friday - simplify

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. 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 simplify.
Go.

Oh how I need to.
This upholder needs to work so much smarter and less hard.
And so, with the start of the new year and how different things are going to be, I am starting all over again.
Because yesterday is over and it's time to write another story.

This year, I start with automation of my home.
Figuring out the little areas that I am spending a little time here and there that are taking up too much of my time.
I can automate the lights going on/off with special bulbs that detect dawn and dusk.
I can automate when things I get every month show up at my house.
I can automate my budget spreadsheet with formulas so things populate on their own.

I am simplifying the things I bring into my home, like cleaners.
I no longer want a cleaner for each surface of my home.
It seems strange to even think of that as an area that consumes time, but thinking through how much cleaner I have to dust vs how much toilet cleaner vs how much floor cleaner vs how much bathroom sink cleaner vs how much kitchen surface cleaner vs how much sink cleaner and then adding them to different lists and getting them at the store...stop!
I have simplified down to 3 and 2 of them are easy homemade.

I am simplifying my routines.
I am using my knowledge of me to not take on challenges.
I am saying no to things that take up my time and fortunate enough to say, is there a way I can pay someone else to just do that for me.
I am starting this year with a new different thing each month and not making all of the changes all at once and feeling overwhelmed.
Slow, I am going slow and smart.

I am going to be proud of the simple ways I inject love into my family.
Like all of our traditions that make my kids feel grounded, close, connected, loved and build a strong foundation.
I am going to find simple ways to connect with friends that don't live near me, so we all feel together.
I am going to take a step back from complicated relationships that make me feel weighted down.
I am going to remove so much of the noise that this loud loud world brings.

I am going to sit in the white clean simple empty space and all of its beauty.
This year is different.
And as this mamma gets closer and closer to 40, she is ready to own this life she built.

7
Jan

Here's to us

Here is to almost 18 years of us.
From page to page, chapter to chapter, book to book to book.
I have loved writing our story even during the times when the chapters were glum.

So here's to the years we were happily dating.
Here's to the years we have been married.
Here's to the years of family, the one we wanted and created.
Here's to the ups the downs the highs and the lows.
Here's to the boring, the awful the scary and the thrilling.
Here's to us.

Here's to our vows, the ones we made to one another.
The ones we cling to.
The ones we swore to.
The ones that light our way in the dark.
Here's to our concerns, our wishes, our hopes.
Here's to our wants, our needs, our fulfillment.
Here's to us.

Here's to our wedding bands, the ones I still look at and feel as though it can't be real.
Here's to the day you got down on one knee and asked me to take on forever with you.
Here's to me feeling that was always our path, ring be damned.
Here's to us.

Here's to our friendship.
The one we have to remind ourselves of when we don't like each other that much.
Here's to our foundation and our love for movies and concerts and sports and board games and playing cards.
Here's to our love of close friends and times of laughter.
Here's to us.

Here's to my worry.
Here's to all that scares me.
Here's to the one I need to feel safe.
Here's to my crazy, the crazy you balance.
Here's to us.

Here's to you never giving up on me or us.
Here's to me never giving up on you or them.
Here's to you reminding me how important we are.
Here's to me reminding you that sometimes we need to be more.
Here's to me pushing the status quo.
Here's to you being content in the boring.
Here's to us.

Here's to half a decade of wrong and trouble.
Here's to the reminder of lessons learned and mistakes made.
Here's to the apologies and tears.
Here's to us.

Here's to your hugs, the ones that you want to melt everything away.
Here's to feeling safe together.
Here's to touching toes and snuggles on the coach.
Here's to your nook, the one that belongs to me.
Here's to holding hands with my boyfriend and husband.
Here's to us.

Here's to your socks that I love to wear even though it drives you nuts.
Here's to the sweaters I have shrunk and claimed as my own.
Here's to my boyfriend sweatshirts
and to all of the sports shirts I know own because I met you.
Here's to us.

Here's to all of my planning.
Here's to all of your doing.
Here's to my determination and grit and drive.
Here's to your calming me down, but being my handyman in all of this.
Here's to your amazing work, love, and attention poured into our home.
Here's to my eye, and yours.
Here's to our vision of forever home
forever us.

Here's to us.

5
Jan

Five Minute Friday - motivate

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. 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 motivate.
Go.

It's time.
It's time to get myself going and moving in the right direction.
I know what it takes for me to move
I know what and how I am motivated.
I am ready.
This is my time.

And so I start down my path to happy.
I start to use my known weaknesses to my advantage.
Screw what others want to do to stay stuck.
Screw what others want to do to stay unhappy.
Screw my years and years and years of wallowing.
This time, it's about me.
That's right, this mom, and giver, and CEO of 2 businesses, and sacrificer, is all about her right now.
She is done taking in the energy of others.
She is done feeling their weight.
She is done trying to get them to the other side.
Stay where you are, I am moving forward.
And the one place I will no longer follow anyone is to misery.
My life is important, my happy translates to their happy
just like my sadness translates to theirs.

So, as I watch my daughter take on more and more of me.
As I watch her say "I'm fine" as she wipes away tears...
As I watch my son listen less and less because all of it is white noise...
well, that is enough to motivate this mamma.
That is enough for me to say it's all about us
it's all about us.

And so I will follow what sets my soul on fire.
I will follow the happy
I will fake happy in order to eventually become happy
I will act how I want to feel and eventually, I will feel that way.
I am motivated for all of this change, even though change frightens me at every turn.
Screw it all, none of it matters in the end.
In the end, none of it matters.
In the end, all anyone ever wishes for is more time with those they love.
And so, I will gift all those I love more time.
I will let the pain go.
I will let misery go, she can find different company, I am no longer your friend.

It is time.
I am ready.
I am motivated.
I am willing to tear it all down to rebuild me.

Stop.

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