25
Feb

This crew

There was a time we were all wrapped in one another.
A time when our lives were intertwined and we knew every last detail.
Every last heartache and why.
Every last date, story, person.
A time when we knew our drink of choice, how we liked our ice cream, our pizza.
All of our favorite spots.
A time when going out clothes looked different than class clothes.
A time when going out was an event.
And now, we are spread all over the place.
Now, our talks have to be planned.
Now, the phone is too hard because there are children or time differences or crazy lives.
But, I won't give up, not on this crew, not on the ones that found me and loved me.

There was a time in which we were close enough to hold each other's hand through a rough patch.
A time in which we were all roommates, staying in essentially one room.
A time in which we would throw together a quick party
a time in which we would have most meals together
a time in which they brought me back from crazy.
And now, we all have framily really close to us, friends, we don't even know about.
We all get to watch our lives unfold, hear about big events, we have lost the day to day.
But, I won't give up, not on this crew, not on the ones that found me and loved me.

There was a time that we all celebrated each other's everything.
Honestly, everything.
We celebrated tests and jobs and kisses and hand-holding and calls (because boys would call us back then) and trips and good essays and dreams.
We would talk
we would talk and talk and talk about everything.
We would talk about our days, our futures our dreams.
We would talk about how many kids we wanted, names we were going to give them, where we would live.
We would talk and talk and talk and talk.
And now, "talking" is more like clicking "like" on a FaceBook post.
Talking is far and few between.
But, I won't give up, not on this crew, not on the ones that found me and loved me.

There was a time when we would wipe away tears
we would help each other through all that there was
we would help with parents struggling to let go
we would help with crushes
we would help with figuring out schedules
we would help, always help each other.
There was a time when we had each other's back, no one was alone.
Each of us knew where another was, no one was ever left.
We were good to each other,
we took care of each other
we were old that way, we just adored one another.
There was a time we were family, honest to god family.
A time when a random bunch of girls were brought together and forced to live together and became something so strong.
And now, today, we are still that strong.
We still have each other's back, we still protect and love each other.
We still won't leave anyone behind, no one is left to feel alone, we are all in this together.
Because, we won't give up, not on this crew, not on the ones that found me and loved me.

Yes, we are scattered, we are everywhere, life is crazy, kids are plenty, everything is much louder.
But, we spent to many years finding out who we were, together.
We found a life, together.
And I won't let us ever forget or let go.
Becuase you were the ones that loved me.
You were the ones that knew me.
You were the ones that made me laugh and laugh and laugh.
You were the ones I sang/screamed with
you were the ones I danced with
you were the ones I told everything to.

So, no, this crew doesn't give us.
We hold on just as strong, we still cry together, we still worry together.
Things are more serious now, we are all married,
most of us are raising people
we all have really big jobs,
we all love
time is so precious to all of us.
But this is the crew that is worth it, we were always worth it.

Because, we won't give up, not on this crew, not on the ones that found me and loved me.

23
Feb

Five Minute Friday - beauty

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 beauty.
Go.

There is a lot in this world that can only be described as ugly.
Hurtful words, messages, language, actions.
There are so many examples of things we can point to and say they are just plain ugly.

There were so many times in my life that I felt ugly.
I felt like I was never good enough, strong enough, reaching a level of beauty.
And then I had you and it stopped.

Not only because it had to stop, but also because you made it stop.
You, sweet, amazing and gorgeous daughter of mine, you changed me.
You were and are my connection to beauty.

And it started as soon as I could tell that my words were being heard.
I stopped comparing my waist,
I stopped looking at my belly
I stopped wishing I could look different
and I started on health.

I started working out because it feels good for my body
I started saying thank you when you told me you liked what I was wearing
I started telling you that my scars were a part of our story and I love them because they brought me my family
I started looking at myself differently
I started looking at you, really looking at you
and how could I look at something that gorgeous that came from me and not think there is so much beauty in the world?
You were and are my connection to beauty.

Because you changed everything.
You brought me motherhood
and the day you looked at me and our connection clicked is the day that I realized what the word beauty and gorgeous means.
It has to do with connection
it has to do with love
it has to do with the kind of deep and connected love that wakes you up, lifts fogs.
You were and are my connection to beauty.

There is still so much of this world that is ugly
there is still so much that is wrong, there will always be.
Because everything in life has balance.
You can't really enjoy how gorgeous things are if you don't have the ugly to compare them to.
That is how this life goes.
But even in the ugliest of times, the human connection can be seen and it is so gorgeous.
I will forever remind you to look there, to be comforted by the fact that beauty will live on and on.
You were and are my connection to beauty.

Stop.

18
Feb

Humor me

You know that I and milestones are not exactly best friends.
You know that the kids hitting a new phase of them breaks me a little.
I try and be strong
I put on a brave smile
I, of course, am thrilled for them...
but for you dear husband, you have to humor me.
You have to be the one to watch me crumble a little.
You have to be the one to pull me up, you have to listen to it because I cannot put that burden on them.
I know it does not mean or feel the same for you, but you have to humor me.

Traditions are our foundation.
I love them
you love them
you ask for them
you are disappointed if we have to change them (you look for how to rearrange it).
Traditions have become exactly what I had hoped.
But, there will come a day when you will want to go out instead of pile on the couch and watch a movie.
There will come a day when seeing friends will rank higher.
There will come a day when a sleepover keeps you from pancake Sunday
or when studying for a test will mean you can't make family dinner on Sunday night.
And when the nights start adding up and up and up and our time is more and more limited
I will ask you to humor me dear little ones.
I will ask you to please put it aside, please stay tonight.
Our family needs this right now, so find your way back to our foundation and humor your mom.

You know that with my intense and overwhelming love comes what can only be defined as crazy.
You know with my loyalty comes my emotions.
You know with my protection comes my fears.
So humor this mother of yours because she humored you too.
Humor your bride because you promised her she could rely on you.
She knows she is too much, she knows she is all in, she knows she is all consuming.

But, that is what real love is don't you know.
It's all consuming and crazy and overwhelming.
It's beautiful and awing
it's wonderful
and this woman who never thought motherhood would be her story is in awe.
She is in love
she is trying just like all mothers and fathers do
and she needs to be humored.

So, when I am singing as loud as possible in the car, humor me.
When I am dancing in the morning and insisting on a family dance party, humor me.
When I tell you we are going out for ice cream dinner and you feel you're too old for that stuff, humor me.
When I am crying because he/she/both of them are doing something new, humor me.
When they are far away and I can't remember how hard some of the years were, humor me.
When I insist on that last kiss good-night, even if your body is tall and lanky, humor me.
When I ask for a little guy smooch from you at 16 Monkey, humor me.
When I tell you I carry your heart on your wedding day Bella, humor me.
Because this mother and bride and person in your life, she needs to be humored.

16
Feb

Five Minute Friday - why?

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 why.
Go.

Another heartless tragedy.
Another day of children reliving the worst day of their lives.
The why to me seems so obvious but feels pointless.
Because that is how it feels right now, pointless.

We are in the middle of a crisis and epidemic and I feel hurt and angry and sad.
I spend time hearing stories that no one should hear.
I think about things that no one should be thinking.
I feel for families who wake up every day in shock and dismay, I carry them.
I hold on to those I love and I think, I know why, but still, nothing will be done.

I put two small faces on this earth.
I don't know how to explain this world to them.
I don't know how to not worry about them but I also can't shield them.
I can't keep them from ever going outside, I can't have them living in constant fear.
But, I also can't help but walk into any place on earth and have an escape route.
I can't help but think "what would I do, what would the final moments look like"
see, things that no one should be thinking about.
And, I know why, but it feels pointless.

We can have all of the debates
we can post all of the videos and all of the articles
We can be disgusted
we can be inundated with information
we can hear from survivors and we can hear from the lost
but we can't ever bring anyone back and we know why but it seems pointless.

When it happens again, the cycle will start again.
All of it, all of the tears
all of the news
all of the stories.
The faces will be different
the ages will vary
the number gone will go up or down
and we all know why.

11
Feb

I notice you

I am quick to remind you of all the things you're not doing.
I am quick to get annoyed.
I am quick to excuse it all with my exhaustion, my lack of patience, how I was raised.
But I am slow at figuring this all out.
Slow at seeing all you bring
all that is important to you and how you show love.
I am slow at the thank yous and I am never coming with the "I am sorry".

So, today, on my track to being different
today on my month of gratitude
I want to thank you for all you do.
For me
for us
for them
for the family.

Because I want you to know, I notice.
I notice you and all you do, I notice your smile when you look over at them.
I notice your happy face when he pulls out his Starwars guys
I notice your pride when she is working hard and not giving up
I notice you.

And I know, words don't resonate as much with you as they do with me,
but I think it's important to document my gratitude for all you do.
Like how you don't make me feel crazy for my crazy
like how you don't let me get away with it either
like how you are a doer, you always get stuff done for us
like how you have poured all of you into this house
like how you are the one he turns to in the middle of the night because "dad stays to snuggle longer"
like how you are the one she gets homework help from
like how you are patient with their learning
like how you see them for what they will become
like how you always saw them, even when I didn't
like how you were the first person to believe in me
like how you made me believe in love
like how you made me a mom
like how you never give up on us
like how you will never let us be angry forever
like how you always say sorry first
like how you need hugs
like how you tell me I'm still pretty
like how you tell me I am strong
like how you never question my hours
like how you never worry

I notice.
I notice all you do
I notice how much you work at all of this
I am proud of you
and I heart you.
I notice you, sweet love, I do.

9
Feb

Five Minute Friday - privilege

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 privilege.
Go.

It is my absolute privilege to be your mother.
It is my honor, my best thing.
It is something I protect, I cherish, I get to mother you.

It is what you have, privilege.
I will never let you forget that you were born with things and advances just because we parent you.
Not because you are smarter
not because you worked for them
just because you were born into this family
have this house
get to go to that school
live in this neighborhood
you are privileged and that is just fact.
And it comes with a responsibility to our larger community.

I try and use the ones I have for the greater good.
I remind myself that to be your mother should be treated like the honor it is.
I remind myself that I have a voice for those that do not.
I remind myself that I can make things better and make them just.
I try and teach you about the advances you were just given.
I try and keep us humble and grateful and I call out our advantages for what they are, privileges.
Because this is how I parent you little faces.

I know that I became a mom for a reason.
I know that it was to remind me of the importance of forgiveness and healing.
And that is why I view it as a privilege, because you gave me a second chance at childhood.
I know that I picked my career for a reason.
I always felt that people not having a voice is too damaging.
I know that I come from a long history of hard work and hard times.
I know that I have also come from advantages given to me and I am passing those on to you.
I know that privilege is something that may be uncomfortable to talk about, but if we don't, if we continue to pretend it does not exist, we are continuing to make things harder.

4
Feb

I say I love you

There are so many times that "I love you" does not seem to be enough.
Because when your love is bursting from you chest
and at makes you feel like you can't breathe
"I love you" seems so small.
So I find other ways.
I find deeper way to connect and make you feel a love that can only be described as washing over us all.

I say it with looks and hugs.
I say it when I stop and settle with you.
I say it when I am not distracted.

I say it when I say olive juice.
I say it I reach for your hand.
I say it with I eat you up I love you so
I say it I carry your heart.

You say it back with mommy's sweet and low
and I carry yours too.

I say it with my February notes of love.
You say it by reminding me how much they mean to you.

I say it when I squeeze your hand three times.
You say it by squeezing it back twice.

I say it with our family movie nights
you say it with talk all week about how excited you are for Friday.

I say it with sign-language for I love you.
You say it back by getting your fingers just so.

I say it with creating a framily
you say it by falling just as hard.

I say it with warm snuggle blankets
you say it by asking me to join you on the coach.

I say it with our reading dates
you say it with begging for them and asking for night time snuggles.

I say it by telling you all about you as a baby, as a toddler, as my little one
you say it by falling in love with our story.

I say it through this blog, this journey I created for you
you say it by wanting to read them with me.

I wish I could let you know what it feels like to be a mom
the love that is just there, always there growing and growing and growing.
But, all if this is my attempt to have you even come to the flood you created.
Because you started something special when you picked us
and you redefined love to be messy and heartbreaking and complicated and tiring and energizing and...
so I will continue to find special small ways to remind you that love is all around us.

2
Feb

Five Minute Friday - agree

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 agree.

Go.

You need me to be more present,
I agree with you.
You need me to reverse roles for a while and be the joy,
I agree with you.
You need me to be a happier mom,
I agree.

When you spend every day of your growing-up years fighting and proving someone wrong, I agree does not come naturally as an adult.
You still have that instinct to fight.
You still have that need to be right.
You hear I agree and think lose vs win.
Even though I thought I had put down my fighting gloves a long time ago, turns out I came out of retirement for a few more rounds and I want to be done.

Because creating a family and a life with someone is the most courageous and gorgeous thing I have done.
And I surrender.
To a life a peace and calm.
To a happy family.
To one that has a mom and brides that listens, is in-tune with needs
and agrees.

So you need me to spend time with you and I agree.
You need me to put things away and exist with you, I agree.
We need to spend more time as a couple and I agree.
You need more and less from me and I agree.
You need me to come up with all of the traditions and I agree.
You need more hugs and I agree.

Stop.

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