25
Mar

My hardest step

I set goals
and deadlines
I like to think about my future and where I am headed
where I want to be
what I want to focus on.

Since I was little, I had a goal.
I focused all my effort and attention on one thing.
And at 21, I made it.
Goal...game set match, I was done.
Somehow, I had forgotten to plan for the next thing.
I had forgotten to go past 21 and so I didn't know where to go or what to do next.
I was lost and confused and searching for me and a purpose.

So I did what I always do and I got to work.
Planning and planning
working harder and harder
keeping my future in my sights so I would never lose it again.

Until I met you and well you changed everything.
You happened at the exact time I was lost and getting myself back on track and you took me off the rails.
You made me take my hardest step,
the one in which I believe in me in a completely different way.
I no longer had to just believe in my determination
or in only my commitment
or in me being able to do everything alone.
It was now time to believe in myself as a part of a family.
It was time to believe I mattered as part of something.
It was time for me to believe in me, fear or no fear.
And so, I fell, for you, for us and as I took my hardest step, I believed.

And I started plugging away.
Happy, content, very comfortable.
Until I met you and well, you changed everything.
All over again.
You made me take my hardest step,
the one in which I believe in me in a completely different way.
Not only in my love but my ability to love in a way that no one dreams possible.
It was time to believe in me as a mother
and motherhood
and parenting
and it was now time to believe in me as part of a new family.
One that included a child
and sacrifice
and an outpouring of every emotion.
It was time to come to life as a mother.
It was time for me to believe in me, fear or no fear.
And so, I fell, for you, for us and as I took my hardest step, I believed.

And there I was, happy and content again.
Having this whole thing under control, because control matters to me and realizing that I kicked ass at motherhood mattered to me.
I was once again happy, content, very comfortable and filled with this overwhelming joy.
Until I met you and well, you changed everything.
All over again.
You made me take my hardest step,
the one in which our family is complete.
The one in which I have to say goodbye to little
goodbye to the last firsts
the one in which I become a velveteen mother.
It was time for me to believe in all that I had.
It was time for me to believe in myself, my ability to mother you, my experience and inexperience because you were determined to be different.
It was time to push through my wanting to run towards and away and back towards love.
It was time for me to believe in me, fear or no fear.
And so, I fell, for you, for us and as I took my hardest step, I believed.

I fell for each of you in a very real way.
I fell for your smile, the one that told me all would be ok.
I fell for your connection, the one that told me you were mine.
I fell for your love, the only love at first sight that I have ever felt.

You each made me take a step you didn't even realize I was taking,
my hardest step that had nothing to do with grit and determination.
This step had me believing in a different part of me.
A part that was all mush, all love, all warmth.

It was time for me to believe in me, fear or no fear.
And so, I fell, for you, for us and as I took my hardest step, I believed.

23
Mar

Five Minute Friday - routine

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 routine.
Go.

It is kind of absurd how much I love a routine.
How much I crave knowing what my day looks like
what I do when.
And I can say it is because my days are so long
so hectic
so out of my control, in the hands of others.
I am tied to meetings and agendas and to-dos.
But if I am being honest, I love a routine because that is who I am.
I am tied to meetings and agenda and to-dos because that is the profession I chose and would do it all over again.
It is who I am and it is time for me to be okay with me.

So let me begin...
there is order in a routine
there is a knowing
there is a feeling of freedom from not having to think
it's a dance
it's pretty to me
it's me.

There is balance in a routine
it brings the crazy back down
it lines things up
it creates space
it allows me to exhale
it's calm
and it is calming
it is me.

And inside something so cold and so sterile
I created warmth and tradition after tradition after tradition.
I created space and time and focus on us.
I created beauty and affection
I created your love of knowing
and I made time, fleeting time, special.

Yes, I love my routine.
I love my schedule of schedules
I love the lists
the actions
I love how I took something so crazy about myself, so list oriented
and I made something gorgeous in us.

Stop.

18
Mar

Thinking out loud

When your legs don't work like they used to before
And I can't sweep you off of your feet
Will your mouth still remember the taste of my love?
Will your eyes still smile from your cheeks?

It's a song that makes even our kids stop to smile
look at us and watch us melt right back into each other.
Because the day has come when we no longer look the part of the 2 kids that met
we have aches, pains, scars that have changed us.
But damn, we still smile from our cheeks.
Because when you meet family, you don't let go.

Because it started with a smile
a touch of a hand
that led to touching toes
and a lifetime of us.

So honey now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Place your head on my beating heart
I'm thinking out loud
Maybe we found love right where we are

Our home is filled with love and chaos and fights and screams and mistakes.
Our home is filled with forgiveness and lessons and kindness, we finally found kindness again.
My home is in your warm loving arms
my nook that I sleep in every night
your smile of excitement and continuous joy
the one you found again.

Because it started with a smile
a touch of a hand
that led to touching toes
and a lifetime of us.

So, baby, now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Oh, darling, place your head on my beating heart
I'm thinking out loud
But maybe we found love right where we are

We found and lost and refound and reclaimed the love we forever had.
Right where we are, not where we will be tomorrow and certainly not where we were yesterday.
Instead, right where we stand, right where we are.

We found and lost and refound and reclaimed the love we forever had and will forever have.
Because you are my love.
Because you are my balance
because I realized that I now need to be your balance
because I finally realized that I have to be the joy and the soft and the calm
because I finally realized that it was my turn to take on what you have always been for me but just can't be right now.
And we found and reclaimed the love that we forever had and will forever have.

Because it started with a smile
a touch of a hand
that led to touching toes
and a lifetime of us.
And that's where we found love, right where we are.

16
Mar

Five Minute Friday - provide

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 provide.
Go.

There isn't much I leave up to anyone else to provide.
There isn't much that I am not the one that is giving, taking care of.
But in a class yesterday, one I take for me, one I take to remind myself to breathe,
I was reminded of how loudly the universe speaks to me, when I take the time to listen.

Because when I am ready to hear it, when I am ready to listen,
the universe provides me answers
and calm
and space
and opportunities to grow.

The universe reminds me that it is not all up to me,
I have partners
I have trust in my life and I can lean on them too.

The universe provides me balance and stops me from doubling down.
And there are times when it has to take things away from me to provide me with the reminder of what is important.

To provide me answers
it takes away my ability to move without pain
it takes away my ability to hold things without shaking
it makes me dizzy, seeing black spots dizzy, whenever I try and push through it all

To provide me sleep and rest
it takes away my ability to think clearly and makes my brain full of fog
it takes me from doctor to doctor trying test after test to finally come to the conclusion that I have to stop

To provide me with the love of my lives
it has my daughter wiping away tears in front of me daily
it has my son unraveling because he no longer feels a connection
it has my marriage exhausted

When I stop to accept and listen, the universe provides me with the answers I am always asking myself
when is too much too much
when is it time for me to pull back
how long can I do this for
how much more can I give

And yesterday I was reminded that I can still be provided with the lessons even when I am in balance
even when I am ready to be different.
I should not only listen when everything is dark
there are answers it is providing even when it all feels ok.

Like be with your kids on their day off
like set up family time and little dates with them
like they all need the real you, not the tired version of you that they see all too often
like love provides so much for them and you so just let love be your guide.

Stop.

11
Mar

There's no wrong way to be you

Lovies,

Mom has always been really into learning the most she can about herself.
Personality tests, loves them.
Assessment tests, bring them on.
Anything that gives me that ah-ha moment about myself, or others
clears a fog of frustration
stops me from judging people
and helps me to understand those I love, including myself.
Anything.

And recently, I could not be more all in on this.
I have started listening to a podcast that on almost every episode asks a "know yourself better" question.
Are you more of an over or under buyer?
Are you more of a moderator or abstainer?
Are you more of an owl or early bird?
Because the message is, there is no wrong way to be you.
There is no wrong way to be you.

Know who you are.
Know your strengths, know your weak spots and use your strengths to set you up for success.
Not success in a career
not success in a relationship
not success at school
not success as a friend
but in life.

If there's something you don't like about yourself, let's figure it out.
Let's find out how to make you be you because life is all about what is working and not working for you.
But, and this is most important, know when to accept yourself and when to ask more of yourself.
There is no wrong way to be you.

Know when this is something that just is with you
and when it is something you need to improve.
And how can you do all of that if you are not finding out what makes you tick?
What makes you react?
What triggers you, good or bad?
How you feel appreciated and loved?
How you feel motivated?
How you communicate?
How you show love?
There is no wrong way to be you.

I have spent years
all of my life kind of years
feeling bad about the things that made me tick
badly about how my mind processed.
So judgemental, of me
so secretive about who I was and how I did things
so lost with why others think so differently
have so much more room
work so smart and not hard
can let things go so easily
all of my life kind of years...
There is no wrong way to be you.

Mom is all about order.
Everything has to have a home, a place.
Clutter hurts my brain, my stomach, my ability to move.
Clutter in all forms.
Clutter wastes my time
it depletes my energy
it makes me have to stop when I probably don't have the time to stop
it makes me have to think too hard and I already have too many decisions on my plate
clutter takes away my space to think clearly and process.
There is no wrong way to be you.

Mom is all about responsibility.
I am responsible.
I am loyal.
You can count on me.
I have a hard time saying no and if I say yes, that is it, I am all in.
I have a lot of responsibilities and I make myself responsible for a lot.
There is no wrong way to be you.

Mom is all about words.
Because I have always searched for approval
because I have longed to hear I am proud of you
because I work so hard and do so much
because I show love by doing
because I sacrifice so much
because words matter to me
because I write to you
because I tell you
because words can hurt and uplift
because words matter to me.
There is no wrong way to be you.

Mom is all about quiet and alone.
I crave it
I find it
I start my day before most of the world wakes up because it is just me
I spend a lot of time in the car
I run alone
I bike alone
I close myself in my office
because all day I am asked to give of myself
because people come for me all of the time
because I have to be social and chit chat a lot
because I have to ask so many times for one thing
because I am in meetings all day long
because I am an introvert and I find my energy in the quiet sitting.
There is no wrong way to be you.

Mom needs very little friends but very deep connections.
Because I believe that friends are the family you get to pick.
Because I believe that connection is important.
Because I believe you have to laugh to get through this life.
Because I believe you have to have someone to count on and someone that counts on you.
Because friendships make your heart strong.
There is no wrong way to be you.

Mom has a lot to work on
like finding smart ways to work
like recognizing when she is in over her head
like when she is repeating bad habits and making costly mistakes
like when she is over the edge
like when to pull back
like seeing it all sooner than she ever has
like not doubling down.
There is no wrong way to be you.

Now it's your turn.
Because I will remind you there are things that just are with you
but accepting yourself does not mean we don't' ask more it means we realize
There is no wrong way to be you.

9
Mar

Five Minute Friday - tired

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 tired.
Go.

I have MS.
I was diagnosed when I was 23 and yesterday was my 16 year anniversary of getting the call that confirmed my fears.
It has been 16 years.
I can't even say they have been long years
because we have been "lucky".
We caught it early
we got on meds right away
I have setbacks here and there but all in all, we are so "lucky".
Fatigue is my biggest challenge, I am so damn tired.
Mom tired.
CEO tired.
Starting a business tired.
Having a disease that makes me tired tired.

Yesterday was also International Women's Day, is that a coincidence?
A day to celebrate our strength, our grit, our determination.
So let me start by saying I wasn't "lucky".
This is my year of different so let me say, I am good at this.
I fight this.
I battle this.
I look at it in the mirror every day and I tell it to go to hell.
I caught it early because I knew something was wrong.
I advocated for me when they told me nothing was wrong.
I fought for all the tests.
I called every day to find out if there was a cancellation for the MRI, I refused to wait the 5-month time frame.
I got on meds early because I didn't mess around.
People were good to me and opened doors for me because I connect with those that I care about, and people wanted to help me.
I cried in his face telling him I can't do needles anymore, he looked at me and reminded me that I'm strong.
I took the meds every day. I fought and battled all the side effects.
I had the flu every week for three solid years not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I had bruises all over my arms and legs for 2 years not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I had 2-hour treatments once a month not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I lost my hair for 9 months not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I did get tired of it, I did want to quit, but I kept going, not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I fight fatigue, a tired I cannot explain, not because I am lucky, but because I am strong.
It isn't a silent disease to me, I look at it, I worry about it, I connect symptoms and I battle on.

I did what so many women do, I told tired that it doesn't have a chance here today and I womaned up!

4
Mar

Love notes

Each February, I fill your doors with a note a day.
One specific reason why I love you
because, don't we all need reminders, clear reasons why our love is so strong.
This year, Cole, you can't read but you can count and so I would hear
"mom, you forgot this mornings note, today is the 9th and there are only eight notes"
Anna, you can read so the look on your face watching the love unfold around you was enough to make me burst.
Guys, I so deeply madly love you!

Dear Anna, I love you because...
you are my Bella
you made me a mom and started our family
you're the best you I know so never stop being you
you are helpful
you are pretty and you are pretty smart too
you are my Valentine!
you love to snuggle
you always try your very best
you love family movie night so much
you love spending time with us
you love having friends, just like mom
you love to write and draw and create
you love to read
you make me proud
you love all of our traditions and you fill me full with how much you look forward to them
all of your teachers really love you
being your mom is my favorite
you read to Pearl and Cole
you think like mom
you work hard at school and learning new things
you love Pearl
you miss Mia and talk about her often
you love downtime and just being snuggly
you have dad's eyes
you love to play chess with us
you love to color and love coloring dates
you respond to love
you love Cole
you tell us all how much you love us and you really mean it.

Dear Cole, I love you because...
you love Starwars
you take school very seriously
you love dad
you remind me of love
you're a good little brother
you love life
being your mom is my favorite
you love Anna
you are my Valentine!
being around you is fun
you love to play
you need to give little guy kisses before bed
you love your family
you are learning to read!
you have the best heart
your teacher really loves you
you give great hugs
you are my monkey and because you asked me to put up a love note that said so
you're the best you I know so never ever stop being you
you love love love love love food!
you completed our puzzle
you have a great imagination
you look so happy learning new things
you are so kind
you fill my bucket when you show love.

Happy Valentine's Day little faces.
Love, mom

2
Mar

Five minute Friday - regret

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 regret.
Go.

We all have many, don't we?
I regret yelling at you
I regret my response
I regret my reaction
I regret how I let you get to me
I regret that decision
I regret.

But what if for today, because it is my year of different, I talk about all of the things I don't regret.

Like meeting you
like how much we loved Mia
like becoming your mom
like saying yes to this life
like how you pour yourself into our home
like how much I pour into all of us
like how much effort I put into being a good mom
like how much you see for their future
like running that marathon, all by myself
like learning how to swim so I can compete in tris
like becoming a CEO
like starting my own business
like how you took a chance on you for once
like how much I love working
like how hard I work on myself
like how good of a friend I am
like how kind and amazing you are and how everyone is attracted to you as a person
like how loyal I am
like how good I am at traditions
like how good you are with their activities
like how I won't allow us to ever stand still
like how you won't allow us to ever walk away

There are many decisions I regret
there are many things words actions I would take back
there are lots of do-overs I wish I had
but this is my year of different and I am using all I know to change to grow.
And there is so much I wouldn't take back.

Like how in one week is the anniversary of you asking me to take on forever with you
I will never regret saying yes
Like how much we just love them
I will never regret deciding to bring them into our lives and the love we have built.
Like who we spend our time with
I will never regret who we love, what we all mean to one another, what it has done for our soul.
Like how much we care about
I will never regret the fact that we are good to people, good to those we love, good to those we know need a gentle heart.

There is so much of this life I do not regret.

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