18
Nov

The first time

First starting out, there are so many the first time moments.
Some are just pure joy.
I saw your smile.
We smooched.
We held hands.
You asked me to be just yours.
We fell forever in love.
You fell forever in love with Mia.
You got down on one knee.

Some are a big deal.
We decided to move.
We agreed on our place.
We bought a house.
We decided this was ours, our forever home.

Some are life-changing.
A stick changed everything.
Our connection was born.
I felt you move.
I saw you.
I held you.
I fell so hard for you.
I fell in love at first sight.

Some are magic.
I realized you owned hearts.
You walked.
You talked.
You said mom.
You too fell for Mia.
You made me laugh.
You laughed.
You went to school.

Some are crippling.
The doctor called with bad news.
We felt heartache in a way that changed us.
We stumbled and continued to brush ourselves off.
I didn't save a baby item because "we are done".
We said goodnight to Mia.

Some continue to make me smile.
You said yes to Pearl and fell harder than I did.
We made plans for old age.
I started a list of "want to dos".
New traditions with old friends.

Some keep us guessing.
Starting my business.
You starting your side project.
Taking leaps and believing in ourselves, something neither one of us is good at.

The first time we met, it all fell into place for me.
My life was re-written and you started me on brand new chapters.
It's been 18 years and I keep thinking the firsts are behind us and we just get to live now.
But what kind of life is that?
Maybe that's one of the many secrets to marriage is that you have to keep finding your new.
You create your next first times.
And some will be pure joy, some life-changing, some heartbreaking, and some will continue to make us smile.
Remind us of how life keeps writing itself and we have to commit to the pages of our story.

11
Nov

So show me family

All the wounds that I can see.
So show me family and I will show you us.

So show me connection and I will show you two people that met on simple
fell in love on joy
and became family.
So show me family and I will show you us.

So show me complications and I will show you two people that leaped over hurdles
continued to create them
and made life more complicated than it ever needed to be.
So show me family and I will show you us.

So show me a home and I will show you kids and a puppy and stuff
I will show you walls painted and pictures hung
I will show you traditions made and family memories burned into our minds.
So show me family and I will show you us.

So show me smooches and touching toes and I will show you how we end.
The day, the week, the long, and the tired.
So show me bone tired and I will show you sacrifice and grit and determination.
So show me how you define home and I will show you your nook and a smell that reminds me of you.
So show me family and I will show you us.

So show me tears and I will show you the ones we create
the ones we shed
the ones we can't help.
So show me family and I will show you us.

So show me heartbreak and heartache and I will show you this little life.
The one I run towards and away from.
The one I won't allow us to take for granted
the one you won't allow us to turn our back on.
So show me family and I will show you us.

So show me yelling and temper tantrums and kids still learning and parents still learing
and I will show you us trying.
I will show you how hard it is because they change so much and things have to keep changing
but connections and feeling in each other's lives is what we have to hold on to.
So show me family and I will show you us.

So show me a type A mom, living alone in type opposite A family and I will show you me.
Show me struggles she has and I will how you how I keep trying.
Show me messes and I will show you temper tantrums I have.
Show me crazy and loud and I will show you an introvert that gets overwhelmed.
So show me family and I will show you us.

So show me love and I will show you all I hold for you.
All the wounds that I can see.
So show me family and I will show you us.

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.

29
Jul

Marriage

It's like I am staring at a puzzle and the pieces are all there.
I can see them right out in front of me, scattered all over the table.
I know that if I start to arrange them "properly" if I get them a little organized I can start to see the picture come to life.
And some days, I am able to put part of that huge puzzle together.
Some days I am able to work on it and there is almost an ease because once a few pieces fall into place, others are more clearly seen.
Some days I can quickly figure out that I need to have the border done first to get the foundation.
I understand that the foundation is key.
And then from there, the colors of the picture come to life.
From that strong foundation holding all the jagged pieces together, they just find their way to beauty.

But some days the puzzle looks like a heap, almost a mountain to climb.
Some days, the puzzle is insurmountable.
Some days ot looks so large and scary I don't know where to start.
Instead, I don't start.
Instead, I feel like just throwing the pieces all over the place.
I destroy the work I put in.
I get too confused and I cannot focus.
I get frustrated and hold this resentment as if I am the only one working on the damn thing.
Because in my angry world, I am the only one.

But my angry world doesn't get to be the way life always is.
Because I find my way back, I have to, I have to come home again.

Some days, it is friends or framily or family that is telling me, this fits here.
Place this one piece here, it fits.
And most days, it is you.
Eye to eye, nose to nose, and face to face,
you are telling me that it fits, we fit.
And because of you, I find my way back.
That's how I always know I am not the only one working away.
Because it is you that brings us back.
It is you that forces me to sit down, pick up one more piece and place it where it belongs.
It is you that reaches for me, reminds me of us.
It is you that actually does most of the picking up, even if I am the one that made the mess to begin with.

Here come the cliches...
Marriage is beautiful.
Marriage is work.
Marriage is togetherness and lonely and sometimes those two exist together.
Marriage is this ride, an actual up and down ride.
A hold on to each other, don't let go of me because we are going over a huge bump ride.
A hold on to me because we are about to crash ride.
A hold on to me because the way up is taking my breath away and I need you ride.
And it's a book with chapter after chapter.
Some that look the exact same for so long you are screaming in your head for a change.
Some that look so different that you are screaming in your head for how it once was.
Some that are so boring that you can't breathe.
Some that are so exciting that you can't breathe.
Some that are so loving tears pour out of you.
Some that are so scary, so harmful, so hurtful that tears pour out of you.
And ours is no different.

So, once again I sit down at the table.
I pick up another piece.
I remind myself of the foundation and I build the edges.
I remind myself that all the pieces are there.
Love.
Patience.
Respect.
Grace.
A loving heart.
A gracious heart.
Pride.
Aweness.
Comfort.
Touch.
Hand holding.
Toe touching.
Smooches.
Talking.
Listening.
Leaning.
They are all there.
And I get to work.

As I do, I remind myself
this puzzle isn't only worth it,
it's not only going to remind me that we can do it, or how gorgeous it is,
it's the only thing that matters.
Because we fit.

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.

17
Jun

Adventure day with dad

In case you missed his amazing adventure days, here is the post he wrote:

Adventure Day with Dad

He is a good father because he worries that he isn't.
He is a good father because he enjoys their milestones as much as they do.
He is a good father because he grows with them, he doesn't push away or pull towards.
He is a good father because he sees all their potential and wants and wants and wants for that.
He is a good father because he basks in where they are, right now, here today, he basks in it.
He is a good father because parenthood was always a part of his story.
He is a good father because he cares about them.
He is a good father because he thinks of them, he wants to see them smile.
He is a good father because he plans their adventure days.
He is a good father because he plans their vacations.
He is a good father because he plans their activities.
He is a good father because he plans their birthdays.
He is a good father because he isn't a planner but he is for them.
He is a good father because he loved them even before he met them.
He is a good father because he knew they would come to us.
He is a good father because he plays with them, really plays with them.
He is a good father because he reads to them.
He is a good father because he taught them to ride their bike.
He is a good father because his summer is all about them.
He is a good father because he is.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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