16
Sep

It's personal

I get asked why a lot.
Why do I run, why do I race, why the triathlon?
Why if you're so scared of swimming do you throw yourself into a body of water and swim across a canal?
Why if it causes this much anxiety do you keep doing it?
Why?
What is the rush for you?
Is it the training?
Is it the exercise?
Is it the body issues you still carry?
Why do you do this?
When it hurts, why do you keep going?
When do you think enough is enough?
When will you finally stop?
Why is it so important right before you turn 40, why in your 40s, why?

These aren't the only times people sit me down and ask why?
Because when you live like "this", people look at you and wonder why a lot.
Why do you do it that way?
Why do you add so much?
Why would that bring you, hell anyone, pleasure?
Why did you start doing that?
Why are you participating in that?
Why are you so type A?
Yeah, I get asked why a lot.

And all I have to offer is, it's personal.
There's only one person I am trying to prove it to.
And that's me.
I am sure it stems from them and wanting some sort of acknowledgment.
I am sure it is because they told me all I couldn't do it.
I am sure it is because they wanted to be needed and so they wanted to raise weak.
But I will be 40 and soon.
The only person this falls on now is me.

What I am about to write,
what I am about to share, is going to sound self-loathing.
It's going to sound as though there is too much self-hate.
But, I promise, it is the opposite.
This is the most loving part of me because it is all about self-care.
It's personal.

Races and running and triathlons and half marathons and marathons and hearing my feet on the road and freezing in water and swimming even though I just learned and biking 20 miles on a Wednesday and being bone tired and killing myself isn't just gratifying, it's healing.
It's healing because I live in doubt.
All year, all month, all hour, minute by minute, I live in doubt.
Of me.
And I have strong roots in fear.
Of all that I do and try to do.
Everything that I say yes to, I walk through fear to get there.
My jobs, my careers, my business.
My family, marriage, parenthood.
Owning a home living a life or just plain living.
I doubt myself and am scared of everything.
So, if that was my litmus test, if being too scared or thinking - I can't - was the reason I didn't do something,
I wouldn't do anything.
And f that.
That's not a life, certainly not one I want to live.
So instead, I do.
I run.
I try.
I swim.
I do yoga and get stronger.
I weight train and step out of my comfort zone.
I push.
I make sure I'm tired.
I keep going.
I work long hours.
I train for long periods of time.
I work on being a mom.
I work hard at my marriage.
I take the promotion, I plan for my future and next steps.
I write a blog to protect their childhood.
I work hard period and end of story.
I do.

And I tell myself enough.
Enough of the BS talk and whining and the scared nonsense.
Do.
Your body hurts? Too bad.
You're too tired? Everyone is tired, get out there.
It's cold and the water scares you to the point of shaking? Stop it, they won't let you drown, get in now.
You trained for four months and he is beating you barely hitting the road? Yeah, that happens, he's stronger and more athletic but who cares.
Oh you think you'll be a shitty mom and fail them? Well everyone thinks that so you're not special.
You're worried your marriage will ruin what you guys have? Stop being so negative.
You think you can't run a company, specifically this company? Too bad because you are so keep going.
You're worried everything will fail? Yeah, it might, it could all crumble, but you still have them.
You're busy? Show me someone who isn't.
You want your MS to be the reason you can't? Someday it might be, but not today.
Today you will shut up and show your body you can run 13 miles.
Show it that a triathlon is in reach, who cares how long it takes.
Shut the hell up and lace those shoes.
Get up early and get started.
Hand out your business cards and talk to people about what you do, sell your brand.
Work your mission and remind people why it's important.
Work for what you ultimately want.
Do.

Show yourself that you can handle this.
Remind yourself of what you are trying to get to, what is waiting for you within reach now.
Do.
That might mean more grit than most.
That might mean more exhaustion.
That might mean more from you more expected out of you.
Because in order to quiet the doubt and the fear,
I have to do.

And from the outside it looks crazy because it is crazy.
From the outside I know people judge.
From the outside I hear the whispers of that is one tightly wound ball because I am and I won't let myself down.
And those that don't have to be this way, I envy you. I wish I could live just like you but I can't.
I know I make my life harder and I am working on that but I won't give up on me either.
So instead, I do.

It's personal.

9
Sep

Exhale

It has been a summer.
Like a for real summer.
I don't have off like the rest of my family but even I felt like we were living our best life.
There were sunrises and sunsets
warm weather
paddle boarding
camping
our Cape trip
track days
so many old friends
framily time
so many visits and my heart being full
framily that knows my whole story
framily that accepts and do not judge
framily that only loves and knows we are all doing our best
ice cream for dinner
the kids read their hearts out
they played and played and played
Cole became the best bike rider
Anna went to her first sleep away camp
both kids went to basketball camp with dad
Pearl had an amazing Cape week with her bestie followed by fun with camping
a week with their grandparents and so much adult time
just amazing wrapped into one incredible summer.

Except I could not exhale.
Me, I was the problem.
I was so anxious and so nerved and worried and scared and had this feeling of concern
and there were days where it would pass and then days upon days of it being right there.
But, it's my year of different and so I kept trying.
Trying to figure out why
trying to let whatever it was go
trying to find my breath
trying to let it out, exhale and let go of whatever was on my mind
trying to not let whatever this was ruin this time, destroy the good memories
trying to not let them in on what was happening
trying to get back to okay so I could find my way into joy.

But, as always, the harder I tried, the worse it got until it all piled on and found its own way out.
And then built back up and piled on and found its way out
and such was the cycle I was caught in.

It's going to be okay, just call it out.
Give it a name, recognize that it's there and then it will go away once you have given it fair attention.
But it didn't.
And it hasn't.
And here I am.
With little faces in school and me wondering where I went wrong.

So, I start again.
Because fall is crazy and summer is how I restore.
Because I am mad at myself for not restoring.
Because I stayed too long at a party and I am trying to get back home.
Because I started something so new and so scary that I feel like I might mess it up all of the time.
Because when I do mess it up, it does crazy things to my nerves (upholders struggle with doing it wrong).
Because I have too many balls and I am starting to feel alone.
Because I am celebrating my birthday for the first time ever and I want it to feel special.
Because the weight is hurting my shoulders and placing a foot on my chest.
Because I should be crying more than I am, releasing.
Because I don't want to let them down, I don't want to hurt their memories.
Because I want to make sure they know I am here, even when I am withdrawn.
Because I need to not be withdrawn, I don't want to fake it.
Because there is nothing to fake, things are all okay.

Summer of 2018 was not an okay summer, it was wonderful.
My little boy told me yesterday he was so sad our summer and our time together was over.
He was actually heartbroen that our break had come to an end.
That's how different our summers have been.
Because our summers were not always like this.
Years ago, our picture looked shattered and our pieces were all over the floor.
And at the end of that summer, I started to put parts back together and made some big changes.
Since then, things have been getting better, stronger.
They were concerning and I couldn't have them be concerning.
And the tide turned because we shifted and we made important decisions to change.
I found framily to hold on to.
I reconnected with the past.
I started to take ownership.
I found their little.
I found joy and so did they.

So, I am back to my journey of starting with okay.
Just be okay and then find a little joy.
And with a little joy find a little more joy and a little more.
Find your calm mamma, remember after you take that big breath in, let is out again.
Exhale.

15
Jul

I am the answer

When you were brand new to this world and I was forced to share you
I was the one you needed in the middle of the night.
I was the one you needed to smell.
I was the voice you remembered.
I was the comfort you looked for.
I was your food, your rocker, your changer, the one that knew all the sounds.
I was your answer, I always was, I still am, but I will not always be.

When you have a bad dream, you immediately go to his side of the bed.
When you are feeling sick, you call for me.
When you fall, you look for us immediately.
When you are trying something new, you seek our familiar faces.
We are your answer, we always were, we still are, but we will not always be.

So many twists and turns
so many changes
so many different milestones and from the beginning to today I am the answer.
I always was, I still am, but I will not always be.

Life will continue to bend.
It will make you feel upside down.
It will also make you feel confident, moments, long moments of feeling like you have this part of life down.
But, there will always be questions, there will always be changes.

For this little window in time, I get to be your answer.
For this minute in our lives, I get to hold it all for you.
I always was, I still am, but I will not always be.

Because you will grow and you will go and live the life you are meant to.
You are going to find your circle.
You are going to find and at times create your reason.
You are going to be.
You will become the answer for others.

But, for now, I will allow this window to be wide open.
I will welcome this time of you wanting to be with me.
I will welcome what in the end will feel like a brief moment in life.
I will be the answer.

When you are wondering who in the world you can turn to.
When you are searching so you don't feel terribly alone.
When you are seeking comfort and someone that knows your whole story,
I am the answer.

When you need a hug, one that feels so familiar.
When you need to hear words that make you feel like you belong, remind you that you are home.
I am the answer.

I always was, I still am, but I will not always be.

8
Jul

I am better, with you.

Find your circle
find your family
find your framily
find those that make you better and hold on, never let them go.
Surround yourself with those that make you the best you.

Because mom did and it has been why I am able to do
be
breathe
become
create
do more
ask more of myself
because everywhere I turn I can say...

You make me better,
a better person,
a better mom,
a better bride.
I am better with you.

You make my eyes wake up,
you allow my feet to touch the ground,
even on cold and early days.

You make me a better person.

You make me forgive quickly, you help me come back to reality.
You laugh at my crazy with me
you make me feel not so crazy.
I am better with you

You made me believe in something big.
You made me believe in family.
You made me believe in love at first sight.
You made me believe in happily ever after.
You made me believe people care.

You make me joyful.
You make me seek joy.
You make me smile bigger,
laugh a little harder.
I am better with you.

There are people that will come and go.
There are people that leave on purpose.
There are people you will push out.
There will be people that you love but life gets too busy.
There will be people you wish lived closer.
There will be times you feel lonely.
There will be times you feel whole.
There will always be people that make you feel worse.
There will always be people that try and step on you.
There will always be people that make themselves feel better by making you feel bad.
But, not your circle.
Not the real family you need in your life.
Not the real framily you create.
Not the ones that you decide, this is who I belong with.

So, go and find those you can honestly say...
I am better, with you.

1
Jul

Side by side

It's how the two of us started, side by side, hand in hand.
At times, each one taking the lead.
At times, each one saying let's try this path now.
But, we have always been side by side, hand in hand, a touching toes family.

As planned, we grew.
All I could do was continue to hold hands, they were just smaller now.
All I could do was hold on to them, to us, to family.
The one I finally got to create for me, the one I got to pick for me.

And, as planned, we grew more.
We decided to let our hearts grow even more.
We decided there was so much more love we had to give and we grew more.
And I had another hand to hold, another nose to smooch, another heart to hold.
And there we all were, side by side, hand in hand, a touching toes family.

In this time, we have fought.
We have not seen eye to eye.
We have been stripped, we have been brought to our knees.
But, we have also tried, we have made up, we have all said sorry.

We have taken walks because there were and still are so many walks
Each one hand in hand
side by side.
But now and the entire time, someone new is leading the way.

We have piled on the couch and gather, all smushed in.
Everyone touching someone else, everyone holding hands, everyone with legs draped over everyone else.
We have piled in beds to read, head to head and laughing and filling ourselves full.

They are now the guide of how hard we hold on
how much we have to let go
when we have to let go
when we need to pull back in.
They are our guide letting us know when we have to regroup, when we have to go back to basics.
They are the ones deciding when we need to go back to side by side, hand in hand, a touching toes family.

It's not always easy to follow, it's not always easy to listen, it's not always easy to be lead.

24
Jun

Rose colored glasses

Standing on the last day of school, I watched your little legs once again struggle to get on the bus.
I saw the driver smile wide as you both climbed on, high-fives given.
I saw your smile, your fingers form the sign for I love you, and I chocked back tears.
This beautiful moment is lost when I am not feeling love.
This moment of childhood and genuine togetherness and no ties love is lost on a mom that is dying on a vine.

Heading out to our traditional ice cream for dinner, I held your hand.
The one I couldn't stop looking at as a baby.
The one that once had to wrap only around a single finger but now is large enough to go hand in hand.
And I hear you whisper how much you love this, how much you look forward to these moments that I make special.
But this beautiful moment is lost on me.
Because I am slugging along feeling lost and quite alone right now.
This moment of childhood and genuine togetherness and no ties love is lost on a mom that is dying on a vine.

What if I owned rose-colored glasses?
Would I see it all as a beautiful mess?
What if I change how I see this world I get to live in?
What if I remember that I get to live in it, not have to?

I forgot that I too own rose colored glasses and I forgot that this is my year of different.
I forgot that there isn't anything pressing right now.
I forgot about joy when all I feel is empty and alone.
The moments full of vibrant color but all I see is blue.
Because I forgot that I need to always have my rose-colored glasses with me.

I have been here before.
I have stood in this place of worry.
I have stood in this place of concern and glum and glume.
I have stood alone before, forgetting how surrounded I am.

I have to find a way to remove the foot standing on my chest.
I have to find my laugh, the one I love.
I have to find their childhood, the one I protect.
I have to find me and whisper in her ear...

I have your rose-colored glasses right here. I am holding them in my hand. You misplaced them but all you need to do is take them and put them on. Don't worry about the schedules and all there is to do. Don't worry if the fun stuff doesn't happen because all of summer is fun. Don't worry if we don't get to everything because the worrying is making you forget all we can do. Don't worry about who you are, because you are good and kind and decent. Don't worry about the kids because they are good and kind and decent. Don't worry about mistakes because we all make them, even grownups so give the kids a break. Please forgive yourself for being too much of everything, please forgive them for being little and having to teach them, please forgive him because he is trying too.

Here, I have them right here, just take them and put them on.

3
Jun

Everything changes

The heartbeat I once saw on the screen is a school-aged girl wonder.
The baby I nursed is a six-year-old lover of love boy.
The bottles I once washed are now family dinners arguing over what we like to eat this week.
The diapers are gone and replaced with sports equipment everywhere.
The daycare I once needed is replaced with after school everything.
The house with just a little pile of toys right here is now stuff, just more and more stuff on every surface in every corner.
Everything changes.

As a seasoned mother reminded me this week
the things that make me anxious and tired and wanting an out
are all of the things I will look back and realize how much I miss.
Everything changes.

The toddler holding my hand, learning to talk still needs to talk things out with me, for now anyway.
The chubby fingers and face are now growing into who you were always meant to be.
The little is being replaced with personality.
The laughter and patience I once had are becoming more tired and faded.
The baby love that made me whole is scared of the children I need to raise
the adults they will be tomorrow.
Everything changes.

So, as I go around the house and wipe down counters,
as I pick up and put away
as I clean on top of clean on top of clean
as I tidy and the frustration builds in my chest
I have to remember
everything changes.

The day will come when they are either no longer in need of all this stuff
no longer in want.
The day will come when the house will be so quiet that "noise" will split me in two.
The day will come when I will long with my whole body for signs of life in my home.
Everything changes.

Velveteen mothers know all too well that the years feel like days.
They find themselves staring at the people they once held on to so tightly and thinking over and over
once upon a time not so long ago
you were an extension of me.
I was your world and you were my stars.
Everything changes.

Which is why I love that I am the collector of stories
I love how much I can play back each and every memory.
But it is also at times quite painful to feel as though I can still reach out and touch that little that I got the privilege to mother.
Everything changes.

Here is what I know to be true and need you both to understand.
I have zero regrets about how I spent my time...
carefully examining you and breathing you in.
Watching each day with love.
Hearing myself in old videos
seeing old pictures
I am reminded how much I enjoyed mothering you.
How much fun I had and how much I relished in the days.
I was slow with you.
I enjoyed you.
Everything changes.

And as the parenting gets more delicate and heavy.
As I feel this need to guide more and this worry hanging over me
I hope to return to the me I was and still am.
Everything changes, even this velveteen mother.

27
May

Six!

There is so much small and little in all of you.
There is so much good and kind and sweet.
There is so much love and love of love.
There is so much boy.

Six sweet love of mine,
you are six and I have been holding on to each and every single day with you.

My five-year-old started school and continued with the kind and friendly and loving little boy.
Children are drawn to you
adults adore you
you make others feel good about themselves
you help
you care
you show empathy
you are just one good soul.

There is something about you that still looks all toddler to me.
Maybe it is because you are so short.
Maybe it is because you have such strong emotions.
Maybe it is because you are so brand new.
Maybe it is because you are my last and I am unwilling to let you grow.
Except that, of course, I am because you are making it so.

And so sweet boy, you took my hand once again and you led me to six.
You still love story time with me.
You still beg for little guy kisses.
You still tell me I am beautiful.
You still hold my hand.
You still love all things Star Wars.
You still love all things dad.
You are still an all eating goat.
You are still a climbing monkey.
You are still the one that believed in childhood the most
and reminds me that I have every right to hold on to that too.
You still cling to little while leading me to big boy.

You are just sweet loving Cole.
The one that completed a family even though I didn't realize we were missing a piece,
until I met you.

So welcome to six.
Welcome to more active sports
welcome to your first summer after school
welcome to the start of 1st grade
welcome to the next round of teachers that will also love you.
And a mom and dad that always have.

I eat you up I love you so...
mom's sweet and low.

13
May

Everything I need

It's not about the gift, the handmaid one you were so excited to give me.
The picture you couldn't wait to show me, the one you painted.
The card you made, all the things you kept from me all week long.
It's about the look on your face, this joyful, smiling from ear to ear, this bursting with love you have, just to see me .

But for now, I listen to your excitement, your glee for making the day special, for me.
I love how you make me breakfast
I love how you sit in anticipation of the gift
I love how you talk about it
I love how you tell me, you can't wait for Sunday
I love how much bringing me joy means to you.

As you grow, the day will mean less and less.
Because the years will pass and you will grow up and away from me.
But all I have ever needed, you already gave.
And we didn't even know it because I fought it for so long.
Because you are all that I need.

When you grow, I don't need you to call me this day, I don't need you to send flowers,
I am not a collector of things, but of memories.
And the ones you have given, they are all I need.

Did you know that you were my second chance?
Did you know you placed it so carefully in my hand and you asked me to take care of childhood this time around?
Did you know that you made me believe in happily ever after?
Did you know you were my one and only love at first sight?
Did you know that I believe in family because I met your dad?
Did you know that I believe in the power and energy of joy because of him?
Did you know that is where you get it from?
Did you know that you give me a warm heart?
Did you know that when you gave me my title of mother, you gave me a world a life I didn't know was waiting for me?
Did you know that all of these gifts, they will keep me warm and fill me full?
They always have, they make me remember so much of our good.
All I ever needed was this amazing time with you.

Time moves on and you too will have a family, however you define it.
But, if you decide to be parents, I will remind you to love this day for them.
They will make it special and active parenting is tough so allow them to.
All of the handmaid everything will mean so much to you too, but not as much as this time you get together.
Because you gave me all I ever needed, when I was given the gift of being yours.

29
Apr

You taught me

To believe in second chances.
To trust me.
To find my soft side.
To redefine family.

You taught me to laugh
and giggle
and believe in happily ever after
and love at first sight.

You taught me to take long walks
and listen, really listen.
You taught me to hug away cries.

You taught me to pay attention but to the important stuff.
You taught me how big little is.
You taught me to always pay attention to what seems to be little, because it is always big to you.

You taught me to believe that I am pretty
you taught me to look at myself so differently
you taught me to say things about myself differently
you taught me to say, good job mom.

You taught me that I have an important role
but you also taught me that you have one too.

You taught me to dance around the kitchen
you taught me to be silly
you taught me how important silly is.

You taught me that unconditional love is hard
you taught me that sometimes you run away and back towards love
you taught me that parenting is hard
but you taught me that it's all somehow worth it.

You taught me how important reading dates are
you taught me to fall madly deeply back in love with reading
you taught me that night time snuggles and ending a long day on a note of love is always and forever how we say goodnight.

You taught me not to care if it matches
you taught me how adorable words can be
you taught me how to love in such a different way.

So, I am here, eyes heart and ears wide open, ready and willing for all the teaching.

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