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.

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.

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.

10
Jun

Random

RainyDayInMay might be my favorite follow right now! (And just read that title again and tell me we are not lost soul sisters!)
Thank you for this amazing random idea...

1.Describe your 30’s in one sentence.
Her's (which I totally agree with): The decade filled with wall-to-wall unpredictability and change.
Mine: Your 30s are about building your life.

2. Is it harder for you to exercise or eat healthy?
Eat healthy, I have a love with food and I want to end every meal with something sweet. As I am getting older, I have conflicting thoughts and a complicated relationship with sugar.

3. June 7th is National VCR Day.
I am sad to say that we cannot even play a DVD in our house and I can barely watch a movie. My kids are better at it and my husband knows all the things, but I am not up to date with any form of tech.

Here is a list of items RainyDayInMay found of things we all had and needed that are becoming obsolete-

bookshelves (WHAT!!???), drip coffee makers, alarm clocks, file cabinets, desktop computers, printers, printed phone books, answering machines, fax machines, paper shredders, a Rolodex, CD racks, CD burners, china cabinets, home phones, entertainment consoles, DVD players, calculators, takeout menus, incandescent light bulbs, and cable TV

Your thoughts? How many on the list do you still have? Still use?
We still own bookshelves and are building more shelves this year, we have a filing cabinet and a printer. We have a shredder and a china cabinet and a small entertainment console (but mainly for books and decorations - very little is media related). I have a calculator (many actually and one that is my fav).

4. What’s something you see disappearing in the next ten years?
I agree with Cable TV and streaming being much more relevant.
There are so many things that will no longer be...but for some of us that brings about a bit of fear and loss.

5. How did you celebrate your birthday this past year? Is that typical?
It's a hard day and brings up a lot of sadness. We did nothing last year (which is typical but never expected and actually wanted but just easier) and this year is a big one. I am working on my different year so I am planning this one from head to toe. I have a running list going because it is time I am celebrated too. I wasn't a mistake, I wasn't an afterthought and I am here and doing a lot. I am taking the power of this day into my control and I am celebrating me.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
RainyDayInMay posted a gorgeous piece about Kate Spade. With the loss of Anthony Bourdain just days later this week was a huge reminder of how delicate life is, how hurt some people are by it and how joy seems to always be just out of our grasp.
I want my kids to know that although I am trying to be a good mom, I will keep growing into this role with you. I don't have all the answers, I don't have most of them, but I hope together we can figure it out.
I am struggling this week with energy and laughter and fun.
I am forgetting how important enjoying the process is.
I am forgetting how important childhood is and feel their good hearts slipping away from me.
I am forgetting how important our family unit is.
I just love you guys.

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.

20
May

The collector

One of the most magnificent and accurate things I have read was:

I am a collector
Not of things
But of
Nostalgia and stories

I wear memories and stories and the past like a warm blanket.
I drape it over me, I allow it to keep me cozy when I feel a chill.
I sink into my memories as if they were bubbles in a bath.
I allow them to cover the naked and the cold.
I am a collector of memories and stories.

I remember most things with such clarity and life.
The memory plays back in my mind as if I am sitting back and watching a movie of it.
I am able to see all of the past unfold over and over and over again.
All of my past, the good, the bad, the ugly.
The parts I healed but never let go.
The parts I don't want to look at anymore, the ones I wish would vanish.
But I see all of us, all of you.
I am a collector of memories and stories.

I see your dad's face the first time I met him.
I see his smile, how clear blue his eyes were, how young he looked.
I see his face when two little lines on a stick changed our world.
I hear his voice when I let him know you were coming.
I am surrounded by the visuals, the colors, the vibrant colors of our life.
I am a collector of memories and stories.

I see your little face when I first met you Anna.
I see the towel wrapped around you the day I feel forever in love with you.
I see Cole, brand new Cole, being presented to me and offered a kiss.
I remember the first time I fed you both and the last, and every single time in between.
I am a collector of memories and stories.

I see the day we threw away baby bottles, I see myself on the floor of our kitchen crying.
I see your first crawl Anna
and your first walk Cole
and your first words, all of them.
I see every single costume you ever wore
each and every pumpkin carving you did.
I see our summers at the track
our framily at the Cape
our Thursday night dinners
our Friday night family movies
our Sunday pancakes
god, I see our family and our story unfold.

I see my childhood, the one I am reclaiming.
I see my grit, my determination, but I also see my anger, my lack of balance.
I see each job and how I was lead to a career and a business.
I see my entire life which includes the most exceptional of people.

I am a collector
Not of things
But of
Nostalgia and stories.

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.

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