21
May

Pearl Rose

Hi sweet love, it's mom.
It's hard to believe but it's been over 6 months since we said goodnight to you.
And it's been sad, and it's been blue and it's been lonely.

And so, we decided it was time to heal, it was time to open our home to love.
And when I saw Pearl I fell in love.
So similar to when I met you, just seeing a picture of her, I knew she was ours.
Dad needed more time, he just wasn't sure.
Because another puppy that wasn't you, was too hard for him still.
Then he got his hands on her and it was moon and stars love.
But it brought you back up and made us think of you all of the time.

She would really like you, she misses other dogs.
She would really really have loved to play with you.
You, you would have put her in her place.
You would have taught her the way.
You would have shown her.

But, she is just wonderful.
And has brought so much love and light.
Because that is what we needed most.
We find ourselves saying Mia never, or Mia always, or when I was training Mia...
But Mia did her incredible job of raising us and it was her time.

Here is the biggest difference
she came to us with an 8 and almost 5 year old and she knows no different.
So, she loves them.
She sits by Anna and waits.
She sits outside her door
she sleeps on her lap
she has to be touching her.
She lets Cole lay on her, struggle to cuddle and smooch her.
She embraces his love of love.
She too loves loves.
She folds into people
she curls right up to their love and attention.

You were much more confident in you, you were not needy
and love from the kids, you were not interested because it was only our love that you were loyal to.

She knows her name now,
she is starting to finally understand potty training.
She is ringing her outside bell and knows that's the cue to go out.

She too hates the rain and the cold
she refuses to even put up with it.
She is playful, she too loves tug of war.
She loves to be snuggled, loves the comfort and safe.
She adores that fireplace that was your home for all of those years.
That is her forever spot.

She looks to us for what is right, she knows when she is being naughty and hides.
She is getting more brave, more confident, but she still is needy for love and attention.

It's been over six months and hearing the sound of paws has been the light our hearts needed.
Being attached physically to her has been good for my soul.
I have missed you, I will continue to miss you and I hope you like watching us with her,
knowing she hasn't replaced our love, but instead, brought it back out.

Welcome home Pearl Rose.
You are love.

14
May

Simple letter of love

My Mother's Day letter of love...
take 3.

I love how independent you are becoming.
I love watching you pour your own cereal.
I love that we are still needed but just in time and love.
I love seeing you at school, so loving, so caring, so attentive.
I love hearing about your day and the crazy telephone game it becomes.
I love our summers and how many memories we make.
I love that you love our new doggy. I love that she is important to you.
I love that we healed enough to open up our homes to Pearl, I love that we still love and think of Mia.
I love that Cole still comes to plant himself in the middle of us during a hug.
I love that they both get nervous when we fight and want it to end, I love that we end it for them.
I love that small is still important in our house right now.
I love that I am really taking it all in, just how fleeting time is.
I love every single tradition, every single one.
I love that you love them too, every last one.
PJs and out of a bath are still my favorite, that smell, that clean, that cozy.
I love that you are beginning to look like me.
I love watching you be and play and childhood come alive outside.
I love that our goodnights are still magic.
I love love love to watch you both sleep.
I love to grab your hand, push away your hair.
I love the feel, the smell, how time stops as we inhale and exhale together.
I love our DEAR time. I love digging into a good book with you, warm by the fire and watching you love your book too. I love that we aren't distracted, my phone is away. This is our time, our end to the crazy of our day.
I love all of the cards, the letters the pictures.
I love getting ice cream for dinner, I love seeing you be a kid in the best way.
I love every picture we have hanging of you, of us. I love seeing and feeling that moment in time.

I love you both.

You have given me these gifts loves you have filled me so full.

Dear Anna,
This year, you started down a path of maturity.
And you are working hard on finding you.
Even in the middle of all of your friends, staying true to you.
I will continue to drive that message home because you are the best you I know and I cannot have you change.
Not for silly
not for them
not for any one person.
Grow, develop, have fun, laugh out loud, all of it, but always and forever be you, you are the best you I know.
This is your gift to the world sweets, your kind loving heart.
And I need it to shine so everyone can see it, to shine across your face to see the love and light you hold.

This year, you gave me the gift of one on one talks.
You are opening up to me more and we even started a journal together.
This year, your gift has been the gift of getting to know you as you are getting to know yourself.
And I love our time.

Dear Cole,
This year, you started down a path of amazing.
You hit four and it all fell into place.
Your crying, your screaming, your tantrums all gave way and in their place became my little man.
The one I knew was in there.
The happy little boy.
The gentle soul.
The calm, the storm, the loud, the crazy, the happy wonderful you.

This year, your gave me the gift of you.
Wonderful, amazing loving you.
This year, you reminded me how important it is to love love.
How important it is to be a good and wonderful friend.
How important it is to go on a goodbye tour when you leave friends and leave them feeling wonderful.
This year, you gifted me your heart.

Thank you both for all 365 days of the past year.
The wonderful, the awful, the beautiful and the ugly.
Thank you for your patience as I cried and cried over Mia.
Thank you for your hugs of understanding.
Thank you for do overs and starting again.
Thank you for words instead of tears.
Thank you for still holding my hand.
Thank you for still kissing noses.
Thank you for allowing me to carry your heart and eat you up.

Thank you for the best parts of you, thank you for finding me to mother you.
You have given me a life I never knew I always needed and wanted.
You have given me a title I will hold close and protect.
You have given me my smile.
You have given me family.

And as always...
to the little girl that made me believe in happily ever after
and the little boy that was my one and only love at first sight
I love and adore you
.

30
Apr

Parenthood - defined by just one mom

I have gained and lost two people.
I have woken up every two hours to pump for you.
I have been in an ambulance worried about what this means.
I have been in the hospital, too many times, holding hands and trying to make you feel brave.
I have stayed up all night worried about a fever.
I have labored, I have screamed and cried and pushed and ended up in surgery.
I have healed.
I have fed you from me and from a bottle.
I have wept for your pain.
I have been impressed by you, I am so so proud.

I have rocked you and played with you.
I have tickled your ear to try and keep you up for a feeding.
I have watched you sleep almost every night of your life.
I have started traditions that I hope you always and forever hold on to.
I have let you go, day by day, little by little...I have let you go.

I have cut up, dished out, poured and served thousands of snacks...thousands.
I have wiped faces and noses and mouths and bums and tears.
I have brushed your hair away from your face to look at dad's eyes staring back at me.
I have carried you
I have put you down
I have held on and
I have let you go.

I have seen childhood defined by snow days
and family movie night and pancake Sunday.
I have seen it defined in Cape vacations with framily
and Thursday night dinner with more framily.
I have seen it defined in sibling love
and Christmas Eve and morning.
I have seen it defined in happy safe secure love.

I have lost control of me
I have yelled and lost control of patience
I have surrendered to my fatigue and to my anger and I have let you down.
I have come back hundreds of times to say that I am sorry.

I have been woken up, slept on, held you through the night, held as tight as I could.
I have kissed away the pain, I have held you through the hurt.
I have been loved on, I have been made velveteen real.

I have given you a sibling
I have given you each other
I have watched you grow into the amazing you are.

I have done laundry, thousands and millions of loads of laundry.
I have washed and put away newborn onsies that are now childhood clothes.
I have boxed up clothes that no longer fit.
I have kept ones that have too much meaning to let go, I have cried over your laundry because of the big kids I have.

I have danced and sung and listened to the same song and watched the same movies and read the same books.
Over and over and over.
I have given up my food for you.
I have given up my body for you.
I have given up on caring about so many things because of you.
I have started caring about the right things because of you.

I am overwhelmed and stressed.
I am overjoyed and in love.
I am unhinged and falling every day a little harder.
I am learning to forgive all of the mistakes.

I am finally comfortable in my skin, scars and all.
I see beauty in the woman you look at, the one you turn to.

I have had good days
I have had great days
I have had terrible days
I have days that level me terrible
I have days that have built me and will be what keeps me warm in my final moments on earth.
I have been burst open by love.

I have lived through difficult trying and long years
I have lived through short ones, the ones that happen in a blink
I have taken you all in
I have cherished all of the warmth.

I have given my home to you,
I have lost control of the organization
I have lost the battle over filth
I have built you a home.

I have woken up to a bed full of family
and slept with love.

Grace was never a friend but we have kissed and made up.
Exhaustion is my new normal
but so is love.
And all of that is this mom's definition of parenthood.

23
Apr

Dear kids

I make a lot of mistakes from day to day.
Each time I am presented with a situation, I feel as though I have a major decision to make.
This little decision determines so much, too much.
It determines how you come to me in the future.
It determines if you come to me in the future.
It determines how safe and comforted you feel.
And this my loves, this is the hardest part of parenting.
This is the part that keeps me up.
The thought of losing our trust, our connection, our bond.
The thought of you feeling alone out there, not having a home base, not wanting to "get in trouble" so keeping it to yourself.

And so, I want you to know...

I will always believe in you.
Always believe in who you are.
Always believe in your goodness.
We all make mistakes, I will be disappointed, but I will never be disappointed in who you are, only what you did.
Because I will always and forever believe in you.
I will believe in your heart, your soul, the core of who you are.
Whenever you feel that you don't even believe in yourself, know that I believe in you the most.
I will always believe in you.

You do not need to have any part of your life figured out.
And you don't have to have it figured out for a really long time.
And even when you are all grown up and have it figured out, you still can change your mind.
Adults put a lot of emphasis on what you're going to be when you grow up.
What are you going to do?
What is it that you will major in?
What career will you follow?
But, you don't need to have a single part of it figured out always and forever.
That is what life is, figuring it out, owning that part and then keep developing.
Keep changing, keep growing.
Never feel like a failure because your life isn't figured out yet.
Direction and passion and what excites you, all of that will come.
And sometimes, it will go.
And then another thing will pop up and then you will follow that
and that too may go.
You will figure things out on your own terms.

I see the good in you, the unique, the really really good.
I spend a lot of time focusing on what you need to improve.
I spend a lot of time trying to guide you
and redirect
and teach.
But the truth is, at your base, there is so much good.
Like how adventurous you are.
Like how you always try, always.
Like how much you love life, really love all the things about it.
Like how you play well together.
Like how you read to him.
Like how you comfort each other when you're upset or in trouble.
Like how you want him to be included.
Like how you are her shadow.
Like how hard you both work at school.
Like how respectful you both are of your teachers.
Like how you love love.
Like how well you both sleep.
Like how much you love your food.
Like how your face lights up when you see us.
Like how you always ask for dad to play with you.
Like how you find our traditions as important as I do.
Like how loving you both are.
Like how gentle you can be.
I see the good guys and I need to call you out on it more.

You can always trust me.
With your words
with your actions
with your mistakes
with your worries
with your thoughts
with your insecurities
with your choices.
I will protect all of it.
I will always be on your side, even if I am disappointed.
Even if I feel you know/knew better.
Even if I feel you had a choice and you knew the right one and you still choose the wrong one.
Because mistakes and bad choices, all of that is learning.
I am your trust, right here.
I will never turn my back on you,
I make you face your consequences and take responsibility,
but I will never turn my back on you.

Because this is home, and you can always come back to home base.
Even as adults, you can come back to comfort and warmth and us.
We all need that every once in a while, just a few minutes of safe to get back out there.
We are home.

16
Apr

Heaven

Like so many of us, I often wonder, what will happen when we all leave?
What happens to us?
Some think nothing, we just go, there is nothing on the other side.
Some think in specifics, their belief so strong in faith that they cannot imagine there being nothing.

I live somewhere in the middle.
Because I do not think there is nothing
and I do not think this is all for no reason
or there is no purpose.

But, this post isn't about what to believe
or what I want anyone to believe.
It's not an absolute, because there are none of those.
This, is just what I think and hope to be true.

I think and hope that heaven is your creation of bliss and joy.
That you get this little part that you create.
And everyone's will look different.
For some it might be their talents blown up.
For others it is all about the people they are around.
For still others it can be about the foods they finally get to eat.
And what I hope and think is that those who lead a good life, get to create this heaven,
filled with their most precious moments.
Moments that bring about the fullest most warm feelings.

Of course mine would have all of you.
I would see your dad's smile,
I would see how it lights up his whole face and an entire room.
I would feel his hug, his love of us.
I would see him carrying a glass of wine for me, so happy to hand it to me.
I would see him carry you in his arms, because he is your back and legs.
I would have your little hands in mine.
I would feel the warmth that creates.
I would see how small it is, resting in mine.
I would see us all snuggled on a coach, junk food and popcorn everywhere.
I would inhale deeply and I would smell the soap from your bath, or the outside in your hair.
I would brush away your sticky curls, I would see your dad's eyes on your face.
I would see my smile,
and I would hear laughter and whispers of love.
I would see Mia.
She would be running and smiling and her tail would be non-stop.
She would be playing with each dog we have ever loved, she would still be teaching them.
And at the end of the day, I would see her and all the rest sleeping, right by my feet.
And feel so soft, and so warm.
I would see all of us in the car, snuggled and calm.
I would see you guys reading or watching something and dad and I tuned in to a podcast that we can't get enough of.
I would see time, so much more time.
Time that I took advantage of
time that I want back.

I would see this little life,
this ordinary little life and family we created.
The one I didn't realize I couldn't live without.
And I would take it all in.
That is my heaven, filled with the crushing hard blow of love.
You are my heaven on earth.

9
Apr

At the end of the day...

You start your nighttime routine.
You pack up their bags.
You get started on tomorrow while trying to wrap up today.
You make lunches.
You help to brush teeth,
you read stories.
You shout love.
You hold them, you try and capture the good of the day and put to bed the bad.
You try and you promise to try harder tomorrow.

IMG_3157

You get to tuck them in.
You get to kiss noses goodnight and you get to hug.
You get this little moment in time when all is still.
When all is quiet.
When the snuggles and the stories and the night falls into place.
It is in this time, that you forget.
All the broken,
all the tantrums,
all the tears,
all the worry.
You forget the hard,
you forget the yelling,
you forget the tired.

100_7579

You remember the little.
You remember the reason you started.
You remember why you picked this life, this person, this family.
You remember the soft,
you remember the kind.
You remember to hold hands and touch toes.
You remember to hold.
And to hold on.

It is at the end of the day that you ask, how did we do today?
What can we do better tomorrow?
We brush away the worry, the doubt.
You wash the hard down the drain with their bath water.
All that matters is the smell of clean, the sight of pjs, the feel of comfort.

At the end of the day, I am reminded of so much love.
I see how much of us is poured into you.
I see that you have both of us, sitting in you.
At the end of the day, we start our routines,
we read
we snuggle
we feel lighter
we are ready for our bodies to rest
to put it all behind and focus on the so much good.

Because it is at the end of the day that we share our goodnight words.
The ones that remind us of who we are
what we mean to one another.
At the end of the day, all I want is this little family.

3
Apr

Together

What can we do together Anna?
What can we change...together?

Can we change how we define woman.
Can we change the idea that we should be defined by a scale, or a number, or a size, or by wrinkles and marks on our body?

Can we change the idea that we should be defined by time passing, or our past?

Can we change how we define woman?

Can we try and define her by her real beauty?
By what she accomplishes in 24 hours, or a week, or a month, what about a year?

Can we define her by her loves and her joys?
Can we tell the world that she is perfect, even though perfect doesn't exist.
Can we tell them that perfect doesn't have to exist, just leave her, just as she is.
With joy in her heart because if you take that away, you take away her flame.
And you are not allowed to take away her flame.

You have changed how I define me.
You have changed how I look at me, how I talk about myself, you have already changed so much.

You have put scars on my body and wrinkles on my face and worry in my heart.
You have made me soft in the middle, and I no longer care.
Because you have changed how I define me.

With all of the scars, and wrinkles, and added numbers and worry, I have never felt so beautiful and that is because you have given me the title of mother.
You have taught me that it all comes from within us.
You have brought me back to that little girl that I was and you are finding a way to whisper in her ear that she is good enough, she is strong enough, she can trust her strength, she can trust herself.

And, so are you. You are strength and you are gorgeous.

My amazing daughter...
You are most beautiful when you are happy, or not.
You are most beautiful when you are working, or learning.
You are most beautiful when you are running, or sitting, or reading, or active.
You are most beautiful when you are trying, because you always try.
You are most beautiful when you first wake up, and just before bed, and all throughout the day.
You are most beautiful when you are confident and when you are scared.
You are most beautiful when you are with your brother and when you were our one and only.
You are most beautiful when I see you being a good friend and when you are all alone.
You are most beautiful when you can see love on your face and when you don't have any left to give.
You are most beautiful when you are around your father, or me, or anyone.
You are most beautiful.

Thank you my love, for changing everything.
You make me feel like we can continue to change it all, together.

Happy birthday to my first.

19
Mar

Our journey continues

It's true, I do remember everything. I am the crazy one that remembers not only my entire childhood, but my sister's. I remember our entire relationship Cory. I remember every smile, every fight, every emotion, I remember where we were standing, what we were wearing, how we looked, if we were angry or sad or happy or excited. I remember it all.

And although this drives your father crazy mad because I remember every conversation, every argument, every moment and that leads to a lot of "no, I'm right and you're wrong" kind of conversations, with this crazy comes something beautiful. I also remember everything about your stories. I remember everything, about both of you. Every moment, every milestone, every memory. I remember how you looked, how it felt, how your dad looked. Our stories are linked, you came from us so you are a part of us.

I remember every single day of our nine months together, with both of you.
Most importantly, I remember how much I loved being pregnant with you both and how I didn't want to let you go and share either of you with the world.

Anna, it took you 24 very long and painful hours to enter this world, and I remember every minute of it.
Your first babble was Dada.
It would take you a year and a half before you said mama, you liked to torture me.
Your first word was woof woof (for Mia).
You hold a special place in my heart because you are my first.
Your fine motor skills were really advanced and so you took your sweet time with gross motor.
Your first crawl came at 11 months, it was March 2010 and just you and I were home. I remember it so clearly.
You first walked at 15 months and it was THE day I was calling early intervention.
You first smiled on my first mother's day, that was special.
You slept through the night (7-8 hours) 3-4 weeks in. You loved to sleep and by the time you were six weeks old, you were sleeping 12 hours a night.
Lovey was the first present we gave you in the hospital, you still love her to this day.
Your first day of preschool was 9.11.12 and you looked so big. I let go of your hand that day and realized I was now in for a lifetime of letting you go, over and over again.

Cole, your birth-day was scheduled for Wednesday May 30th.
Your birth took 15 minutes and I remember seeing your amazing face and I couldn't keep my eyes off of you. All of our pictures, I am staring at you only, you were glorious.
I was having contractions for months with you and our last week together was painful. You wanted out and I fought to keep you in.
You hold a special place in my heart because you completed us, even though we didn't know we weren't whole.
Lovey was your first present we gave you in the hospital and you reach for her at night.
Your first babble was Mama (and I have loved you so much for this!)
Your first words were "hi there".
You learned language very quickly.
You slept through the night at 8 weeks...12 hours straight. Before then, you were starving and we had no idea.
Your first day of school, you were magic...

You first smiled at my office and I couldn't wait to get it on film.
You struggled with gross motor skills and you worried us a lot.
You had to be rushed to Albany Med in an ambulance and it is a night I will never forget.
You didn't walk until you were 17 months old, but you were actually giddy when you got it.
You love your big sister.
You love getting hugs.
You, my sweet boy, you love love.

I remember it all sweets, all of us, here.
I remember the walk into the house from the hospital.
I remember introducing you both to Mia.
I remember you chasing after her.
I remember the look on both of your faces when we had to say goodbye.
I remember us, I remember our journey.
And as our journey continues, I am forever your home base.


3
Mar

Five Minute Friday - Purpose

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 purpose.
Go.

Ah, the ultimate word.
The word that constantly swarms in my mind.
The word that won't give up, won't let me sleep,
the word that keeps pushing its way to the forefront.
what is your purpose?
what is your reason?
what should you be doing?
is this what your life is about?
what are your priorities?
what, is your purpose????

And, I just don't know.
Because somewhere along the way, I lost my hum.
I lost my muse,
I lost my reason,
and I lost my purpose.

Because, I am an all in girl.
And I have spent so many years all in.
So many years dedicated and focused on one single part of my life.
So many years sacrificing and committed and giving all of me,
and I worked so hard at it that I lost my hum.
I lost myself,
I lost my focus,
I lost my desire,
I lost my purpose.

Because I am a girl that wears her work like a badge of honor.
I introduce myself by the number of hours I committed
I define myself by my work
my mission
my life
all wrapped up.
And when I lost my hum
my joy
my grit
I lost my purpose.

And what's most interesting is I am the one that always steps on a soap box
talking about how you cannot be defined by any one anything
because when that one anything is no longer there, then what?
Who are you
what are you left with?
No, you have to be many things
you have to let all of life in
you have to be a part of it all
so that you are always here, you always have a purpose.

This word, it won't give up.
It keeps looming over me
find you Sabrina
find you
find joy
find complete
find your purpose.

Stop.

26
Feb

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.

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