These two

There are relationships that stop you in your tracks.
They make you stop breathing for a moment.
They reawaken something in you.
But they also level you, they make you worry, they cause you heartbreak.
They define love.
Like these two...

There are relationships that make you realize this is how it should always be.
They make you cry by looking at them.
They make you swoon.
They make you focus on what is important because they make you focus on only what is important.
They are filled with heroes and feeling secure.
They make you strong by taking away all of your powers.
They bring light back into dark days.
Like these two...

There are relationships that start of easy, comfortable.
They are how you would define family.
They are filled with joy and ease and comfort.
They are cozy and joyous.
They grow, they change, they face challenges, they suffer, they struggle, they evolve, they find each other again.
Like these two...

There are relationships that start off new.
They are so new you don't know what to do.
They are so fresh, they have so many possibilities.
They are filled with "I wonders".
They are loaded with questions.
They start you on a journey, one you will never be ready for.
Like these two...

And they evolve and change too.
They become roller coasters.
They are scary at times, they are comfort most times, they are wonderful.
They become song and dances, there is a familiar rhythm to their flow.
They are real.
Like these two...

And then there are ones that explode.
They have so many emotions you cannot contain them.
They are tantrums and gushes.
They are sweet and gentle, they are chaos, they are crazed.
They are erupting with feelings.
They burst you open.
Like these two...

There are relationships you wait for.
Ones you never realized you needed.
They are the ones that know all of you, your whole story.
They are the ones you will fall back on
they are the relationships you count on.
Like these two

There are relationships that are filled with history.
They have traditions and important meaning.
They are what you call home, what you look forward to.
All relationships serve a purpose.
All come with meaning.
All walk on your heart, all leave their mark.
Some are deep and leave scars.
Like us...


He's the one

He's the one you call for.
He's the one that signs you up for all of your stuff.
He's the one that gets you ready every. single. morning.
He's also the one that tackles night time routines.
He's the one you love two claps.
He's the one you look like.
He's the one that worries most about you.

He's the one that asked me out.
He's the one that got down on one knee to ask me to join him in forever.
He's the one that puts up with my crazy.
He's the one that has embraced my family's crazy.
He's the one that worries the least about us.

He's the one that sets schedules for you.
He's the one you spend your summer with.
He's the one that plans our vacations.
He's the one that plans our days.
He's the one that loves adventure.
He's the one that needs big breaks.

He's the one that celebrates your milestones.
He's the one that is never sad anything is over.
He's the one that loves your first and your last everything.
He's the one that asked for you, he's the one that realized we were now a complete family.
He's the one that wanted this life, always and forever, you were always a part of him.

He's the one that had the hardest time letting Mia go.
He's the one that I got to watch fall in love with her.
He's the one that adores Pearl, and I got to watch them fall in love too.
He's the one that walks her, he's the one that is so patient.
He's the one that realized we needed to wait and heal.
He's the one that also realized I couldn't live without her.

He's the one that won't let any of us walk away angry.
He's always the first to apologize.
He's the fixer, he's always putting us back together.
He's the one that built our house.
He's the one I see in every corner of it.
He's the one that is always trying to make us happy.
He's the one that loves us, so much he can't see straight.
He's the one that laughs, his job is to be silly.
He's the one that has so much joy, naturally sitting in there, and we're the ones that need to remind him of that.

He's the one you get your eyes from
he's the one you get your childhood joy from
he's the one you want to make happy
he's the one you really adore.
He's the one we can count on.
He is the one I count on.
He's the one that knew we were it for him.

He's the one that is more simple.
He's the one that doesn't question much.
He's the one that hasn't met someone he doesn't like.
He's the one that sees the good in everyone.
He's the one that has a good heart.

He's the one that forgets a lot.
He's the one we love.
He's the one that needs constant reminders that all of this is crazy messy goofy love.
He's the one that needs constant reminders that this is childhood.
He's the one that needs constant reminders that this was his childhood.
He's the one that needs constant reminders that this was him, always him.
He's the one that needs to be reminded that he will never be loved and needed this much again.
He's the one that we love.
He's the one that we love.
He's the one that we love.
He's the one that won't ever let us give up.
He's the one that won't ever walk away.
He's the one that expects you to move mountains.
He's the one for us, he's the one for me, he's the one that put this family together.
He's the one that we love.
He's the one that we love.
He's the one guys.



When I first met you, there was a part of me that knew we were family.
When you asked me to walk beside you, hand in hand, for the rest of our lives, we made it official to everyone else.
But I always knew, way back then, we would forever be us.

Seventeen years later, everything looks different,
our bodies
our minds
our patience
our cares
our priorities
our home
our jobs
our health
our wrinkles
our skin
everything has changed.
Even our pledge to each other,
to our forever.

It doesn't look like puppy dog love anymore
it doesn't look young and fresh and sweet
it doesn't look like kids pretending to be grown
it's hardly even cute.
Our forever has changed
into real
and boring
and forgiving
and kindness
and turning towards
and heavy.

Because love changes and grows and molds
as people do
and you can either grow apart
or grow together.

One thing that has not changed is when things get hard, I am the first to question.
I question us
I question our decisions
I question our arguments
I question our commitment.
When things don't look and feel like us, I want to walk away.
But you have always realized that it is a result of me never wanting to live the life I had,
the one that I knew
that one that I walked out of
before I met forever.

And so, each and every time, you call me out.
You remind me that we don't ever give up
not on them
not on me
not on you
not on each other
not on us.
We do not get to give up,
because you remind me of forever.

So, we keep marching on.
We find our own adventure
we tackle the challenges
the trying and difficult times
and hand in hand, we find us again,
we find forever.

Because along the way, you remind me of love.
Actual, real, consistent and caring love.
Our love is more ordinary but you and I find the magic in boring.

Your I love yous come just the same...
you love through action.
You fix
you build
you have to make it all better.
And I finally understand your language.
Words, writing, presentations, none of that is how you speak.
Instead you research everything, for me, or us
you plan every vacation, so I can not plan a thing
you bring me a glass of wine
you fix me coffee
you get the kids up and ready
you tackle bed time
you hold my hand through the bad news
like the medical hell we went through
like aging parents
like losing our Mia.
You tell me you love me by saying yes to Pearl
and how fell in love, just by placing her in your arms
like the love you have for them
the amount you care about them
the expectations you have for them, because you see all they are going to become
your I love yous come just the same.

everything has changed.
everything looks different
even our forever.
But what will always stay is you are my forever.
Thanks for finding me.


Five Minute Friday - steady

Every Friday we unite for five minutes to write on one word. 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 steady.

I am not the steady one of the group.
I am not the rock.
That's your job.
You were my joy, my constant, my always and forever.
Still now, as the waves of life crash down on us and make us nauseous
you are steady.
You are the calm in our storm.
You are the one that keeps us steady.

The push and pull of life has me very unsteady these days.
The stress and worry has me shaking and unstable.
I am a tightly wound ball of nerves and balls are not steady, balls wobble, balls roll.
You are my steady.
You are my reminder that this too shall pass and more crazy will come.
You are my whisper of find us, we are here.
You are my fixer of all things, you are my steady.

And the attraction started because of your constant joy.
The natural joy that lived in you.
I didn't realize someone could feel that way, all of the time.
You were so thrilled to be.
Happy to be doing anything, as long as we were together.
Which is why dating me is still your favorite.
Which is why you look forward to just us two.

Kids knock you down.
Jobs, careers, business, they drag you through the mud.
Homes offer retreat and worry.
Life is full of the swinging back and forth
it is what makes life worth living.
And every person that gets lost in the whirl
every person that almost gets hurt from the spinning needs a steady rock.
A place to steady their thoughts.
A place to steady their mind.
A place to steady.
You, you are my steady.
You are my always and forever.



What was our rush?

I remember starting out with you.
Each moment of our lives, I remember every, single last detail.
I remember the moment we met, how fitting we were.
I remember feeling close to you, a stranger.
I remember having a dream about you that night, I remember how comfortable and safe my dream was.
And, when I saw you again, I remember your smile when I walked into the bar.
I remember how happy and light it felt, but still comforting, safe.
We were kids, barely legal to drink, and we were family.

But somehow, we got caught up.
And looking back at our book of love, we rushed through so many chapters.
Always hoping for our next step.
And as I jokingly said to you, what do we wait for next...death?

And maybe it's because I was born 40
and maybe it's because you were always a kid at heart
and maybe it's because I had so much to prove
but somehow, we got caught up in the rush of it all
and we grew up too quickly.

This weekend, as we were watching our Friday night date movie
(because movies were always where and how we started).
We watched this young couple start their own book.
And for some reason, this movie hit us both so hard.
It brought up back to the beginning.
About how young we were
about how much fun it was then
and it left us wondering what was our hurry?
What was the rush, what deadline did we have?
There was a time when all we argued over was the laundry
and maybe you're right...
maybe we would have found more to fight about,
but maybe, just maybe...laundry would be our only tense moments.
Why did we have to grow up?
What was our rush?

But, as you remind me...
we wouldn't have met them
and we would have regretted that.
We wouldn't have grown into who we are
and we are still pretty great.
We would have held other babies and felt an ache
because you always wanted dad to be a title you held.
We would have missed out on building our house
because we all turned it into our home.

So why did we have to grow up?
Because everyone does I guess.
Because time continues to move forward.
Because Mia wouldn't have lived forever, even though she was the start of our family.
Because all that I am, is because of you.
There isn't an ounce of me that doesn't belong to you and what you believed I could be
who you believed I should be.
You believed in me, in us, always.
You made me reach, you challenged me, you made me believe in us too.

But, you have to admit...
if you could go back
if you could start it over again
if you knew the outcome would all be the same
you would jump at that chance.
And maybe, just maybe, we would linger more.
Maybe, just maybe, we would step back and really savor that time.
Maybe, just maybe, we would realize
there's no need to rush.
Time would get us here anyway.


I cry

In my best and worst moments, I break down.
When I feel so loved,
when I am overwhelmed,
when I am stressed,
when you reach another milestone,
when I am sad, when my world is covered in blue,
when I am frustrated,
the list is endless.

Because I cry.

For you
for me
for my work
for the people I haven't even met
for what I see on TV
for what we are becoming
for who we were
for who I want to be
for who I want you to be
for what I love
for what I hate
for what I am fearful of
the list is endless.

Because I cry.

I cry because you are so small it is crushing.
And I cry because I worry that the world will crush you.
I cry because I feel as though I fail you.
I cry because I look at you late at night and I cannot believe you are here.
I cry because every part of you is so tiny and so so big.

I cry because your big makes me small.
I cry because you crush me.
I cry because you wow me.
I cry because you sleep with your hands folded in prayer right by your face.
I cry because your hair reminds me so much of mine.
I cry because your eyes remind me of dad.
I cry because I feel as though I have lost important years and moments with you.
I cry because I know I will never get them back.

I cry because your small and your big are all too much for my heart.
I cray because holding this much love for all of you at times feels as though my heart if broken.
I cry because when I met you, I gave up a part of myself, a version of my life, that I still miss.
I cry because when I hold you, I wouldn't have it any other way.
I cry because I will look back and realize how much I will miss all of this, and not be able to ever tell you that.
I cry because you picked me to be your mom and I am too lucky and I don't deserve it, I don't deserve you.

I cry because you are so new
I cry because you are so old
I cry because this is your first time living this life
and I cry because I can tell one of you has already done this and has come back to make something right.

I cry because I know your innocence is not something I can protect.
I cry because I know I have to let you live this life.
I cry because I know I need to hold my tongue while you make mistakes,
ones that I could stop you from making, ones that I have already made.
I cry because I know I have to let you go, each day a little more.

I cry because you still ask to hold my hand.
I cry because you still need so much of me.
I cry because most of my words, my reactions are now remembered by you.
I cry because that is what will have you decide what to tell me when.

I cry because as a mother, I never have a day off.
I cry because I am always on, I am always yours.
I cry because I gave you my body, to live in, to live off of, to use as comfort, and I always will.
I cry because you made me see me for who I really am.I cry because you made me realize that beauty doesn't include a mirror.
I cry because you make me feel...more.

I cry from exhaustion, this is a big one for me.
I cry from the tired bones I carry, from the weight of you and family and life.
I cry from the heavy and I cry because I will never feel light again.

I cry because it is cleansing and allows me to keep going and the one thing I always have to do, is keep going.

I cry for you little one,
because your little is fleeting.

And I cry for me.
The list is endless
because I cry.



You hit me hard.
You wanted me to crumble, and I did.
You wanted me to break and walk away from all that I knew,
and I almost did that too.

You started with so much sickness
so much scary and unknown
so much stress and worry
so much testing and anger
so much sadness and confusion.

See, 2016 was the year that I swore up and down I would stop wishing time away.
That was my resolution, I would stop wishing my life away.
Because for as long as I can remember me, I was always the person that would say, I just need to get through...fill in the blank.
And then one day I woke up and said enough, I have wished it all away and no more.
This is my life, I can either change it or live it and I am choosing both.
But 2016 was a tough one, all around.
And so, I say a very welcomed good-bye to you and I am dusting myself off and trying...
all over again.

Each year, I feel like my theme with resolutions circles around the word less...
less worry, less stress, less stuff.
So this year, I am going the opposite direction.
New year, new me. And this year, the word is more.
More laughter
more fun
more me
more us
more them
more who I really am, not this angry person I have become
more time
more opportunities
more adventures
more trying
more new
more for my business
more of what I love
more love.

So, first things first.
I am going to start finding things funny again.
Really funny.
Us, I will find the humor in us and our situation and our kids.
God, I am going to laugh hard with my kids.
More laugh lines, not worry lines.
More silly.
So, I am going to lighten the hell up...way more!

I am going to kick my own ass, way more!
Yep, I am always afraid.
Yep, my first response is always "I can't do that".
Yep, I have to walk through my fear and I always do.
So, more me.
More time spent working to get out of my head.
More time spent on putting my own mask on first.
More time spent doing yoga
and running
and racing
and watching movies
and reading
and building my business
and building me.
More me.

More talking.
More spending time listening to your day.
More walking away from my work to show you that you matter.
More turning everything else off to be with you.
More hands free mom.
More curling up with you and just letting you go.
More time in the car together where you really open up.
More listening.
More of me with you.

More calm presence.
More loving words
more open arms
more smiles
more warmth
more letting you know I have your back
more being on your side
more snuggles
more laying with you at night
more caressing your face
more running my fingers through your hair.
More love towards those I love.

More smiling.
More finding other people as good.
More smiles with strangers.
More complimenting people just because it's true.
More giving of myself to those I don't even know in the most simple and humane way.

More happy.
More finding fun new things to do.
More snowshoeing.
More ice skating.
More playing hoops together.
More board games
more card games
more puzzles
more legos
more family adventure
more hikes
more trips.
More joy in our lives.

I am ready for the challenges that will come.
I am ready for a new puppy to show us that life always moves and goes on.
I am ready for this family, the one we created, the one we wanted, the one we have, the one we need to feel lucky to have.
I am ready for us, all of us.
I am ready to fall back in love.
I am ready to be comfortable.
I am ready to be full on me, us.
Just more of it.



Although there are many weeks left,
to us,
to this little family,
Labor Day weekend is always our goodbye.
I think it's because our hero,
the person who is responsible for the joy and laughter and silly in our house, is a teacher.
And his summer being over means they say goodbye to their summer and goodbye to their adventures, and it all goes back.
To schedules and work being crazy for both of us and structure and so much getting ready the night before.
We kind of say goodbye to carefree and light and a little part of me always aches.
Not because I don't love fall, and I also love winter, but after you have kids, each season change makes you ache a bit.
Because everything always goes by too fast.
And this summer, well, we outdid ourselves.
This summer was all about childhood and finding the joy and slow and adventure that has always defined us.
We have been through some tough tough years, with tough tough situations, and kids that are testing and everything seemed so hard.
And as things are falling into place,
as we are finding all of the us,
I made him promise that this summer would all be different.

unnamed (6)

This summer would be the real us.
This summer would be about laughter and memories.
This summer we would find joy.
This summer, we would slow down but still do things.
This summer, we would fix what was broken, we would use our heads to figure out how to make it better.
This summer, it would be all about them.
And we did all of it.

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We started with a bucket list.
We started with ice cream for dinner.
Things we wanted to do, didn't stress, but wanted to do together and we started to chip away.
We vacationed, we never had so much fun.
We camped, we forgot what that felt like, how amazing that is, how far away you are from hectic.
We ate, all of the ice cream, all of the smores, all of the goodness.
We ran through sprinklers
we swam and swam.
We played,
we ran
we biked.
We watched movies,
we watched thunderstorms,
we raced in a triathlon,
we stayed in pjs,
we got out and did things,
we stayed in and huddled
we spent so much time with friends,
old, new, framily,
we saw family,
we celebrated,
they spent days with their grandparents,
we had time just us four,
we were at the track a lot,
we read,
we were in the car a lot, which always makes me feel closer to them,
we saw new things,
we had a summer.

unnamed (2) Squeeze

family unnamed (5)

And because I am never ready,
and because emotions are so hard for me to move through,
and because I have a little girl going into grade 2 but I keep saying grade 1,
and because I have a little boy that will being going to pre-k and not at home as much,
and because I hate how quickly they are growing, but love the freedom of not having babies,
summer, I am sorry to see you go.
Which is why I had to end it with ice cream for dinner.
We had a summer, a great one, and all of the memories will keep us all warm, until next time.


I trust you

As we are coming out of our fog...
our three years of cries and screams and not knowing how to keep it all together.
Years of the house being in turmoil and trying to forget about the construction and the walls and concentrate on the home.
Years of pushing our kids away by demanding certain behaviors that were unreasonable.
Years of turning away, not towards.
Years of believing we were both right, and not realizing none of that matters.
And trust, losing sight of our trust,
in each other, in our parenting, in ourselves.

Until the fog lifted
and we found the other side
and we brought everyone back.

And here is the thing,
I trust you.
With them
with me
with us.
I trust you with my heart,
the one I carry with me
and the two I wear on the outside of my body called Anna and Cole.

Houser77 - 33

And I trust them too.
I trust them to know right from wrong.
I trust them to make as many mistakes as we make, and I trust their apology as much as I trust ours.
I trust them to lead with kindness and love.
I trust their hearts.
I trust their voices and I trust they are listening.
I trust them when they say they are scared, or when they are happy.
I trust their questions and I trust they will always have a voice.

Because I have to.
There is no other way.
I have to trust all of us to do right.
Not perfect, not without stumbling, not without many mistakes,
but right.
With apologies, and love and so much more love.


I have to trust that we are raising them right, even though neither one of us has a clue what we are doing.
I cannot live without trusting their decisions in life.
Trusting them to come to us when they need help.
Trusting them to realize when something doesn't feel right.
Trusting them to realize when they need to walk away
from a situation
from a person
from a moment in time.


I am not willing to experience the consequences of not trusting them, me or us.
Because that leads to a life of dependence
of shattered worlds
of no resiliency
of crumbled humans that feel broken at every turn and twist.

Instead, we will trust them.
And we will build strength and courage.
We will build tiny people who feel that life has many stumbling blocks, but never enough for them to quit.
We will build them up
we will raise them right.


Because when you are raised in love and comfort
when you are raised to be trusted and safe
when you are raised to know you have a support system, but you also have this all on your own,
you become who you are meant to be.
Wonderful, glorious them.


And watching them become people,
actual people,
guiding them through their big emotions
their let downs
their failures
their mistakes,
that has been the hardest, longest part of our journey.

But, I trust us.
I trust you and I trust us.
To do this.



Simply the best in 2016

Each year, we want and need you to realize how much you have meant to us.

Dear Cory,
From the moment I met you, you talked about them.
You knew they were going to be a part of your story,
and you were determined to make them a part of mine.
They were your idea, your want, your need.
And thank god you did, you got us here.

This past year,
I have felt as though we are coming out of our fog.
Our babies are becoming kids.
Our tempers are calming,
we have worked together to find another way,
and you have found your natural joy again.

This year,
we have heard you laugh, your real laugh.
We have seen you have so much fun with them,
we have seen the projects not be as overwhelming, and therefore you feel like you have time.

And so sweet love, here is a small glimpse of our year and your moments of being simply the best...

Because you are my coach and their hero.
Because you are coaching their soccer teams and it's adorable.
Because you taught me how to ride my bike dad, and made me realize how easy it is if I keep trying.
Because you taught me that being with you is the best time.
Because if you are ever wondering how much your children love you, always and forever think of both of their need to be close to you.
Because Cole is your forever best buddy.
Because you are all he wants.
And although he can be so in the way, so loud, that child needs so much of you, because you are honestly his everything.
Because you still want to date me.
Because you are their morning routine, their bedtime partner and you do it with such ease.
Because you run them anywhere they need to be.
Because they only want to play outside when you are out there with them.
Because you taught her how to ride her bike.
Because you teach them everything, and you have the patience of a saint, and so much common sense knowledge about how to get them from point A to point B.
Because you work hard.
Because you work so so smart.
Because you are an amazing DIY guy.
Because you keep my crazy a little under control.
Because you do so much to keep peace and calm in our home, in my mind.
Because you love us.
Because he loves it when you read to him at night.
Because you taught us all to fall in love with a game and how important being a part of a team is.
Because before you met them, you loved them. You wanted them, just the two of them, and they found us.
Because you always and forever support anything I want to do.
Because you were the first person to believe in me, more than I believed in myself.
Because you softened me.
Because you allow me to stop everything at 8pm and you just take care of me.
Because you hold my hand through everything.
Because everyday, I am reminded how gorgeous you are, because they both look like you.
Because if you ever want to know what real love is, find the picture of you holding them for the first time.
Because we love all of you.


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