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.

4
Feb

I say I love you

There are so many times that "I love you" does not seem to be enough.
Because when your love is bursting from you chest
and at makes you feel like you can't breathe
"I love you" seems so small.
So I find other ways.
I find deeper way to connect and make you feel a love that can only be described as washing over us all.

I say it with looks and hugs.
I say it when I stop and settle with you.
I say it when I am not distracted.

I say it when I say olive juice.
I say it I reach for your hand.
I say it with I eat you up I love you so
I say it I carry your heart.

You say it back with mommy's sweet and low
and I carry yours too.

I say it with my February notes of love.
You say it by reminding me how much they mean to you.

I say it when I squeeze your hand three times.
You say it by squeezing it back twice.

I say it with our family movie nights
you say it with talk all week about how excited you are for Friday.

I say it with sign-language for I love you.
You say it back by getting your fingers just so.

I say it with creating a framily
you say it by falling just as hard.

I say it with warm snuggle blankets
you say it by asking me to join you on the coach.

I say it with our reading dates
you say it with begging for them and asking for night time snuggles.

I say it by telling you all about you as a baby, as a toddler, as my little one
you say it by falling in love with our story.

I say it through this blog, this journey I created for you
you say it by wanting to read them with me.

I wish I could let you know what it feels like to be a mom
the love that is just there, always there growing and growing and growing.
But, all if this is my attempt to have you even come to the flood you created.
Because you started something special when you picked us
and you redefined love to be messy and heartbreaking and complicated and tiring and energizing and...
so I will continue to find special small ways to remind you that love is all around us.

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.

21
Jan

Pearls of wisdom

We were heartbroken when we said goodnight to our Mia.
We felt this empty void of love.
We felt lost and searching.
We lost our reason.
But, we also needed time.
Time to let her go, time to heal, time to feel like she was really gone and what that actually looks like.
We needed to give her memory time.

Mia was always wise.
She was all-knowing and felt energy.
She felt a room, was connected to our feelings and lead us towards each other, kept us close.
She was an old soul.
She was my reason.

But Pearl, she is so new.
She is so excited.
She is so all loving.
She too keeps us all close.
But even in the new and wide-eyed puppy love that she is...
she comes with her own pearls of wisdom.

Like to love the entire family.
To find comfort in warmth.
To exercise so you don't go crazy.
To give so many kisses you knock people over.
To hug, always hug.
To not accept no as an answer to an offering of comfort and love.
To be affectionate.
To be excited.
To greet with enthusiasm.
To be loving.
To want to be around those you love and sad when you can't be.
To demand walks in life.
To play so much you smile.
To run wild.
To run towards love so hard you can't stop and skid right into it.
To nuzzle those you love and even those you don't.
To be ready to learn.
To be eager to make those around you happy.
To love food.
To demand attention and affection.
To stand up for your family and warm them when danger comes close.
To sit and wait for something you want, it is always worth it.

This new love is full of her own wisdom.
Maybe not one that comes from being old and all-knowing
but one that comes from new and exciting.
She has mended broken hearts.
She is demanding of our time and pulls us back home, where we belong.

She comes with her very own pearls of wisdom and I am learning from her.

31
Dec

Yesterday's over

"So let's start another story tonight..."

It has been a wild ride these past few weeks turned into months.
Things have been a blur.
Luckily, the organizer in me got all of our holiday obligations out of the way in November
so December has kept me grounded and present with our family.
I adore having December be a time of calm and love
traditions that make me feel full instead of the hustle and bustle.
But work has been, wow, just wow.

Which has led to tears
and tantrums
and exhaustion
and stress
and tired
and lack of patience
and so much anger
and resentment
and lack of time
and loss of love
and blackness
and blue
and empty.

"Let's start another story tonight..."

One in which I find a gracious loving heart
which is the way a family should be living together.
Words should not be biting
patience should not be gone before we all come together.
Love should be at the forefront of our hearts.

I have set on a path to be different in 2018 because I have lost my hum and I need to find joy again.

"And it still feels like, like the very first time, saw the world like a kid
Yesterday is over, let's write another story tonight."

I write a lot about how our lives are stories.
Books that we get to write a new page each and every day.
So many of my pages have been mixed up, so many times I have felt I don't have control of my pen
but the truth is, I am the only one holding it.
I am writing this story and I determine my ending.
So as I sat in on so many doctor appointments this week fighting back tears when asked simple questions like
"how are you?"
"any pain?"
"how is work?"
"any new symptoms we need to talk about?"
and then statements like
"I think it's clear to you that you have to stop"
"eventually you will be sick"
"I don't think this is anything other than you are ruining your life"
"so in summary, you are too stressed, need to change things immediately and get yourself back on track"

2017 didn't bring about the more I was looking for.
I didn't fulfill my word, I wasn't locked in.
In order to have things be different, I need to make actual changes, things cannot be the same.
I cannot continue down this path.
It's time Sabrina, it's been time for a while now, but honestly, you have to make a change.

"And it still feels like, like the very first time, saw the world like a kid
Yesterday is over, let's write another story tonight."

I also write about my second chance at childhood
and getting to see the world like a kid
for the very first time.
I, and I alone am allowing that time to vanish.
I am letting it slip through my fingers.
I, and I alone am allowing myself to be tied to things that don't matter.

Because in the end, the only thing that matters is time.
How I decide to spend it
who I decide to spend it with
what I no longer allow to take up my time
obligations I still will have
ones I will let go.

"I saw the world from the hill,
let's write another story tonight
I saw the world like a kid,
let's write another story, write another story tonight"

17
Dec

I lost my hum

There is something that happens when you say yes to everything.
There is something that happens when you think, sure, I can do that too.
There is something that happens when you keep on going and forget to eat, or breathe or think.
You lose your hum.

There is something that happens when you don't delegate.
There is something that happens when you take control of it all.
There is something that happens when you keep plugging along.
There is something that happens when you keep adding to your plate.
You take other things away.
You make your priorities out of whack.
And in the end, you lose your hum.

I first heard someone describe the hum on a Ted Talk and as soon as she opened, I immediately cried.
Tears of anguish
tears of guilt
tear of understanding
tears of being understood
tears of heartbreak
tears of wanting a different life
tears of realizing how beautiful my life is if only I stopped to look.

But, there is something that happens when you don't stop to look
you lose your hum.

I have acknowledged the hum before but in five minutes, I couldn't exactly dig deep...
So, here is how the hum goes...
I introduce myself by the number of hours I work in a week.
I wear it like a badge of honor.
I define my life by it.
Because a mom that loves her work and loves to work has to justify it, to someone and everyone.
And I do love to work.
I love working
I love the joy, the accomplishment, the tasks, the wave, the ride, the emotions, the winning.
I love to work.
It makes sense to me, I love that there is a right and wrong answer.
I love that I can get better at it.
I love that math makes the world seem real and I understand it.
I love that I get to be good at something.
I love to work.
And so, I do it all of the time.
I do it in my sleep
I do it instead of other things
I do it instead of things that I am worried I am not good at
I do it instead of sitting in quiet
I do it all of the time.

And the harder I worked, the better I got, the higher up I was promoted, the more work I was responsible for
and the hum got louder
and the harder I worked
and the more I was promoted
and the more I was responsible for
and the hum got louder
and so on and so on and so on.
Until, there was nowhere else to go.
And I was doing so much of the work
and I am a hard worker so she can do that too
and I won't let it fail so I work harder
and I won't give up so I keep going
and the hum got louder.

And then one day, it was gone.
The hum, the drive, the determination.
I lost my hum.
Suddenly, none of it made sense.
None of it seemed right.
Suddenly I was filled with regrets and what ifs and I should haves and what did I do and resentment and anger.
Because the hum made me think and feel
the hum was my guide.

So, I doubled down and searched everywhere for the hum.
I hear it when I am working, so I will work harder.
I hear it when the work makes sense so let me stay right here until it all makes sense.
I hear it when everything comes into focus so let me stare at the problem, I can find a solution again.
I just need to work harder.
But the hum was gone.
And I went into mourning.
I mourned a loss.
Of my work
my time
what I sacrificed
what I allowed to be sacrificed
I mourned me.

And then, I rooted to rise.
I ground down to rise up
and I found a new definition.
I found a new badge to wear.
I found other things to be proud of
and I learned to find a hum in different places.

It is still my go to
and when things get stressful and work becomes overwhelming
I still put my head down and forget to come up for air.
It is only when my depleted and exhausted and angry body climbs out of bed in the dark that I realize
I am here again.
I am in the bad place and I have to set a different plan in motion.
I have to determine a time, a limit.
I have to set a schedule of I will allow this for this amount of time and then,
I find my hum someplace else.

I cannot do it all
I cannot say yes to all
I cannot be it all
but I can still love the work
and the life.
I can say yes to my kids
I can read to them
I can train with them
I can journal with them
I can play board games
I can comb their hair
I can have quiet snuggles
I can be present when I am with them
I can make this life I asked for lovely
I can find my hum.

This Ted Talk changed me...http://www.ted.com/talks/shonda_rhimes_my_year_of_saying_yes_to_everything

3
Dec

Enjoy the process

Sometimes in life, we rush.
We get through, we survive.
We work really hard to get to the other side of a bad day, week, month, a string of months.
Some have a string of bad years that they want to hurry past, put behind them.

Most forget to enjoy the process.

I am one of those people.
So many days are spent wishing this difficult time away.
The crunch of deadlines
the weight of my work
the start of my company
the space I am not afforded
the space I don't allow myself to take.

I forget to enjoy the process.

Because the process feels like the minutia.
It feels like the part we slug our way through to get to happier moments, times, events.
We want to move past the process of life.

The process of slowly moving through a store so your little one can look at every single toy and wish.
The process of washing the dishes and having your puppy at your feet.
The process of doing homework and watching how much they have grown.
The process of bath time and how small they look all wet.
The process of laundry and watching how big their clothes are getting.
The process of grocery shopping and how excited the whole family gets around food.
The process of cleaning and cooking and being.
The process of living as one, as a unit, as a team.
The process that is life.

I forget to enjoy the process.

I rush to check it off my list
I hurry through the parts I feel are sluggish and slow me down.
I want the last six weeks behind me, I want to move on.
I want the next five weeks to be done so that I can start to feel settled.

I forget to enjoy the process.

I forget that I am wishing my life away.
The life I wanted, asked for.
The one I actually love.
The one I allow to get too loud, too busy, too chaotic.

And what I end up doing instead is forgetting to enjoy all of the processes of life.

I will work on me more so that I can work on this.
I will allow more space and balance so I can breathe.
I will allow myself to be a part of the process a part of this life.
I belong with all of you doing all of this.

12
Nov

Parenting

I think by now you know I don't have most of the answers.
I, like every single person that is a parent, am trying my best.
The curve balls you bring, the constant questions are all almost impossible to answer.
Most frightening, a situation I never saw coming.
How am I going to react to that? I think most days.
What should I say?
For real though, how I respond to this matters because they are going to remember my response.
When they are grown, they are going to tell someone this story and I am either going to nail it or suck...for kids, there is no in between for parents.
Because it is not until you are one, that you realize, we are all just trying.

But, in the quiet light of day, I can think of all of the things I want to teach you.
All of the lessons I want you to walk away from us having.
So this right here is my little list for you...without any feedback or questions as to why or how...here is what I hope you hold on to as you do you.

You are not going to be liked by everyone. That is more than ok. You are not going to like everyone and that too, is more than ok. Part of this journey is finding out who gives you energy and who takes it. Most of your life will be figuring people out, their intentions, yours. Being kind to all does not mean all end up in your circle. Walking away from unhealthy anything, including people, is always the right thing to do.

Work hard like me and smart like dad. Not for any other reason other than to make yourself proud. I can't promise you it will lead to success or money or good anything. I can't so I won't. But, I promise you that the best feeling I ever have is feeling good about myself. Proud of my work, my accomplishments, what I overcame, who I am, and most importantly, I am proud of those I allow in to my circle (this is clearly important to me). I am proud of the fact that I became a mom, I am so amazed I get to mother you, you make me proud of me.

Chaos and mess lead to clutter in your mind. I know, I am type A. I know I have a way the house needs to look, I know it is my calm. But here's something dad won't share with you because it means he has to keep up with it without reminders...order makes us all calm. I swear it, I promise. A made bed makes us all feel better, a clean floor and clean counters give us space to breathe and allow us to think. Clutter and too much stuff takes away space, it adds clutter to your mind and makes it hard for all of us to think. It's easier to toss and walk away, it's easier to not put a thing away, it's easier to get up and go, but in the end, it is always harder. It is harder to clean up big messes than small. It is harder to think in that mess, it is harder to even know where to begin so start and end each day with a once over. Keep up with the little messes.

Play sports and learn to be a good teammate. It will teach you about showing up and having others count on you. It will teach you how to rely on others. It will teach you to move your body and feel good about that. It will teach you to feel a part of something bigger than you. And speaking of your body, be so good to you. Don't push it too hard too young, be gentle be kind, be loving. There will come a day you might want to change every single thing about yourself and know that none of that is true. Your body needs you and your spirit.

Everything will matter to you and being mature means only the important things matter. The quicker you learn that the little things like who invited who to a party, or who was wearing what, or who said what, the better for you and you alone. Do what is good for you and you alone when it comes to the little things. Get so comfortable in who you are and know that of course you will change and grow, but at your core, you stay the same. What should matter to you is taking care of yourself, being kind to others, falling in love with learning, none of that should ever change. Come to realize that you are loved and that real relationships does not mean a ton of relationships. Always find genuine in your life and normally that means intimate, which means small. Be comfortable with you and know that your foundation, your home base, we are right here. You are honestly never ever alone. We could not love you more or less.

Taking care of others is just what we do. Notice how I give those who don't have a home food whenever I pass them. Remember our random acts of kindness. Remember that we are a family that is dedicated to taking care. People matter guys, making people feel accepted matters.

I don't know what social media will be when you are older, I don't know if it was an explosion for me in my 20s and by the time you are a teenager it will be over but I really don't think so. Be better than that. Be better than being addicted to someone else's dinner and plans and fake life. Use it for connections but make sure it is not replacing actual people.

You are going to make a lot of mistakes. I did make a lot of mistakes and I continue to make a lot of mistakes. That's fine, that's life, that's human. Always take responsibility. Always say sorry, always learn from them and try as hard as you can to not repeat them. Do not shift blame to anyone, own it, stare it in the eye, use your courage to apologize and mean it.

Be brave sweet children. I swear to God, if I ever see you back away or back down from something because you are scared I will find you, I will grab you by the shoulders and I will shake you. Please remember that your mom was scared every damn day of her life. She could hardly breathe from the amount of panic. I always feel like I will fail, I will lose, I will not be enough. I am not kidding about this, every day, in all decisions. But, I try and if I ever see you not trying, I will find you. If I am no longer walking this earth, I will haunt you. Do you understand how important this is to me? I showed you every second of my life that even though I'm scared, I try and you will too.

One day, you are going to define your family. Be loyal to whomever that is, put them as your only priority. Don't take them for granted. Don't walk away from them, don't make anything else more important.

In case I don't make all of these things obvious in my day to day, I promise I will continue to try. Because that is the best we all can do, try.

6
Nov

Extend, strength and open your heart

When I am in a yoga class, I take it seriously.
But what you are supposed to do is walk out of class and take the lesson of the work with you.
Me, I always forget, I kind of leave it all on the mat and I walk out feeling good about the work, good about my strength but I forget the lesson.
The one about healing and self-care.
The one about patience and calm.
The one about breathing because I forget to breathe.
The one about taking the time, to find space, to remember that this time is all about just this time.
Stop with yesterday, don't worry about tomorrow, here, we are here.
The one about rooting to rise.
The one about loving yourself first, the one about forgetting about what any of it looks like.
But this morning, the instructor's words brought me to tears.

I am having a month and I am looking down the barrel of another month that is not going to let up.
Everything is stressing me out.
Everything.
Everything right now is stress.
Everything is tight, everything is taking longer, everything is making my jaw clench.
Everything is reminding me that I am not allowed to be human almost anywhere in my life.
I have to keep things together all of the time.
My kids can't see me unravel
my work certainly can't
and so, I cry a lot...quietly and alone and I think about how it's all going to get done, because it always does,
but what is "it" going to do to me in the meantime.
Running through my list is giving this type A a constant headache and I can't let it go.
I am forgetting to breathe.

The one that gets the absolute worst of me is always my person.
The grownup I can't take care of during this time.
The one I have to turn to and dump all of the "others" on and the one that gets the wrath of my destruction.
But this morning, she said that the important parts in relationships are so similar to what is important in yoga and I listened because I needed a reminder of the good in relationships and my inability to function right now.

You extend
you use your back for strength
and you lead with your heart open.

You extend, you don't go inward, you extend out.
You lengthen because you give of yourself to them.
It is when I am most selfish that we hurt.
It is when I am looking only inward that we crumble, because I crumble.

You use your back for strength.
Because we are strong
and we carry others.
In a family, you carry each other.
You hold them up, you use your legs, your arms, your back,
dammit, you use your strength and you carry them to the other side.
It is when I need to be carried that I forget that I too am strong.
It is when I am asking to be picked up that I forget that I still have a back, I still have my power to hold me too.

You show your heart.
It is outward, you cannot protect it because it won't get hurt.
This is your trust, you give your heart out, there is no need to hold it in.
It serves no purpose inward, the heart is meant to shine out to everyone,
but especially your family.

As I walk into this week and the next and the one after that,
I will hold on to this lesson.
I listened today and in that moment, I felt she was talking directly to me.
I listened today because the universe was telling me to listen.
I listened today because I was clearly in a state of panic and those I love were suffering.
I listened and I held the message close walked out of the class and kept repeating it to myself.

Sabrina, extend and stop looking only at you.
Sabrina, remember how strong your back was built.
Sabrina, show your heart and show the world the light you hold and they will, in turn, shine light your way.
Show your heart sweet girl, you have nothing to fear.

29
Oct

My new name

It started with you, my new name of mamma to mommy to mom.
It started with new and amazing and familiar at the same time.
Mother comes with all sorts of things.
And just like us, some of it is new and some familiar...
It comes with
a new body
and a new way of thinking
and new priorities
and new challenges
and new tempers
and old tempers
and new schedules
and new perspectives
and a new understanding
and old ways of doing things
and new ways of doing things
and a new sense of self and selflessness and selfishness.

Mom comes with a new love
a new meaning to the word love
a love so unique and incredibly genuine.
A love you can measure like rings around her heart.

Mother comes with new and old edges.
It comes with sharp replies
it comes with your history, your past, your wounds.

Mother comes with a new and an old soft.
Soft edges
soft words
soft reminders.

I have a new name, and it is mom.

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