18
Aug

Five Minute Friday - speak

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. 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 speak.
Go.

For years and years and years
when faced with someone I viewed as an authority, I struggled to find my voice.
I even struggled to find the right words
even though I know the right thing should be said, I struggled to find what that was.
I struggled to speak up for me, always advocating for others.
Finding it easier to speak up for those that did not have a voice
even though I found myself unable to find my own,
I struggled to speak.

It's the reason I won't allow their voice to be taken from them.
It's the reason I won't allow them to be seen but not heard.
It's the reason I want to hear their explanation, I ask them to find the words.
It's the reason I advocate for them to speak up.

Because we set their bar.
We set the standard of what is appropriate and when to say something and how to say it.
We are their only chance at saying something inappropriately and finding a better way to have said it.
We won't write them off, we won't fire them, we won't kick them out of a classroom,
we can give them as many second chances until they get it right.
Because to speak is not to be disrespectful.
To speak is not crossing a line.
It's finding your strength and courage to stand up.
For you and others.

My dear children, when you see people being mistreated
speak.
When you feel mistreated
speak.
When something in your bones feels wrong
speak.
When you are asked to do something you don't want to
speak.
When you are asked to stay quiet and it enrages you
speak.
When you make a mistake
speak.
When you feel wronged
speak.
When you need a do over
speak.
When you are sorry
speak.
When you are full of fear
speak.
When you need someone
speak.
When you see someone struggling to find their voice help them to
speak.
When you see something beautiful
speak.
When you find love
speak.

But also know this, part of the beauty in relationships is also listening.
When someone is facing a challenge
listen.
When they are verbalizing a fear
listen.
When they need to be heard
listen.

All too often, adults find a way to stay more and more quiet.
There is so much we just do not talk about.
Out of fear of being the only one experiencing it.
Out of concern of what others will think.
Out of not being liked.
Me, I am still finding my way
I am still finding my line
but age and maturity have allowed me to find a better balance.
A voice but the ability to hear a need on the other side.

Your voice, your words, they hold power.
They have a force.
They show the world who you are.
Use them carefully and with intention.
Take a breath, pause, remember that they carry strength.
Use your heart and your intellect
to speak.

Stop.

4
Aug

Five Minute Friday - try take 2

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. 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 try.
Go.

The last time I wrote about this word, I wrote all about our fire.
I wrote about how you need to keep going, keep trying, keep giving it your all.
This week, I want to tell you that what I love most about you Anna is that you are willing to try anything.
You always try.

Anything we throw your way, you give it your all.
You really put your best foot forward, you never say no to a new challenge or option.
Actually, it excites you.
And so when I hear you say "yes!" to something new, it warms me up because you always try.

As you get older, I don't know if this will stay with you.
I don't know when the world will grab hold of you and tell you that you aren't good enough for something.
I don't know when fear will stop you.
I don't know if those two things will ever happen
because right now, in front of me, is a girl that accepts challenges and new.
A girl that always tries.

I wasn't like that until I was much older.
When I was a kid, I always scared to try.
Until I got older and realized that I needed to try new things to open up new opportunities for me
and now? Now I try to prove to just me that I can.
Most times, I am trying too hard.
At proving myself
at my job
at my health
at my everything.
You? You try because you just always try.
There is no question, there is no fear, there is just you and your willingness
to try.

Stop.

28
Jul

Five Minute Friday - inspire

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 inspire.
Go.

I find it in the quiet.
The time alone in the shower just the sound of water.
The time alone on a run, just the sound of my feet and the road.
I find it in the morning, just the dimmest light on and my thoughts, my work.
I find it on the rainy days that curl me up
I find it in a lit candle a moment of peace.
I find it when the noise stops around me, the noise in me too.

I find it when I write, when the words finally come.
The words I struggle to put together and the ones I want you to carry with you always.
I find it in my desire to keep you in the know of what this journey meant to me
how much these years with you changed me and how I will never be who I once was.

I found my inspiration for a forever, one full of happy, when you first smiled at me.
I found my inspiration to exhale and be as you made your way over to me.
I found my smile in yours.

I find it in love.
The love I am trying to spread the one I am learning to receive.
I find it the warmth and comfort we have created, the family I never knew I always wanted.

I find it at night when I peek in and see the rise and fall of your chest as you breathe.
I find it in the knowledge of the good we put forth that day
the love we shared.
I find it when you whisper to me from your dreams
the love letters you write directly to my heart.
I find it in your whispers.

I find it in beauty, in clean and in our home.
I no longer want a house but a warm and loving home.
I find it in the walls that have your eyes and smiles and laughter staring back.
I find it in the toys you love, the little that has exploded.
I find it in your childhood, my second chance.

It is in the quiet that I come alive
I find it in the stillness I need
the silence I desire.

Stop.

14
Jul

Five Minute Friday - comfort

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 comfort.
Go.

I find comfort in the closeness.
In the love and projection of family.
I find it in the small and in the simple.
I find it in the whispers of love.
And I find it in you, the ones that gave me my second chance.
I find it in our traditions, big and small.
I find it when I can clearly see family time is important to you too.
And so, I created a life that celebrates our family and underlines the importance of us.
I created comfort.

I created second chances
I created little arms around my neck
I created little hands cradled in mine
I created time
I created comfort in us.

I created traditions
and I have so many of them.
Traditions are my parenting strength.
They are so important to me, but even better, they are so important to you.
You have no idea how much you fill my soul when you say "it's Friday...it's our family movie night!"
or as I am kissing you goodnight on a Saturday and you say, "tomorrow is pancake Sunday and we have a reading date!"
The smile and excitement that comes across your face.
The actual joy and comfort it brings you.
How much you look forward to all the small ways that we make you feel that this is important to us.
I created comfort in us.

And that's why I did this.
I wanted something that tied us together, even as you grow and want more and more independence.
I wanted something that made you feel that this time together is important to all of us, because we are important to all of us.
I wanted you to feel that this loved, in the smallest of ways, because you are loved from top to bottom.
I wanted something that reminded all of us how simple parenting is, how all they need is us, the rest is extra.
How little stress there is in this time, how loving it is to just be together.
How my worries melt.
How our childhood comes out.
How close we all get.
I wanted to define family for you,
in its purest form.
I created comfort in us.

I find comfort in the simple
in the love
in the gathering
in the close
in the second chances
in the quiet
in the cozy
I find comfort in us.

Stop.

23
Jun

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.
Go.

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.

Stop.

16
Jun

Five Minute Friday - worth

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 worth.
Go.

I find myself asking, is it worth it a lot these days.
The arguments to keep her healthy
the arguments to make them good people
the arguments to remind those I live with of love
the struggles at work
the struggles I am enduring for my business
the races I work hard for, even though my time doesn't change
the time I put into all that I do
is any of it worth my time
energy
effort
worry.

What stands out as worth it?
What do I not question?
It always comes back to the quiet with you guys.
The Friday nights on the couch
when I should be finishing up work
it is always worth it to be with you.
The endless book dates when I should be doing anything else
is always worth it.
The bikes rides, the runs we take,
they are all worth it.

Because side by side
and moments of quiet love remind all of us what is important.
They remind us of the why we put in the work and they remind us how of effortless the work is.

They remind me, that it is always worth my time
because everything else is a distraction.
You, this, now, it is worth it.
Your smiles, your arms around me, slowing down, it is all worth it.

I won't be distracted by life
I won't be consumed by have tos
I won't be made to feel guilty for putting on my mask first.
Because I am building.
A life, a family, love.
It's easiest to love you and always and forever worth it.

2
Jun

Five Minute Friday - future

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 future.
Go.

No one knows, right?
What tomorrow will bring,
what the future holds?
No one knows if there is a tomorrow, if they have a future.
But for some reason, we all keep making plans
even though nothing is promised
and I see that as hope unfolding each and every day.

I hope that this third date leads to a future with you.
I hope that one day you will be my forever.
I hope that we will build a future together.
I hope that this anniversary isn't our last.
I hope we spend our 40s owning our lives.
I hope we give them the best future possible.
I hope that we are setting them up for a future.
I hope that they see their future as exciting.

Hope is what keeps us making plans.
Hope is why we go to bed angry, hoping we have tomorrow to make up.
Hope is why we think it's a better time another day.
Hope is even why we put things off, I hope to get to that one day.
So hope can be beautiful and calming and peacful
because we are not saying never, we are saying in the future.

The reality is much darker
much more fearful and full of sadness
the never promised tomorrow
the not knowing what the future holds.

So, we make plans.
We make future plans.
And we build today around tomorrow.
We hope to see another day that gets us one day closer to our future.

Stop.

19
May

Five Minute Friday - truth

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 truth.
Go.

It's hard to speak your truth.
It's hard to show your crazy.
And that's when true friends come in to show you that your crazy is normal.
We all carry crazy, but be true and honest to yourself.
Laugh at your crazy and always speak your truth.

So here is mine...
I am type A
I am a cleaner, an organizer
I feel calm in the non chaotic
I make lists
I feel good crossing them off
I overachieve
I overreact
I yell
I cry
I am introverted
I spent two very lonely years looking for my circle
I now know why, because I love time with a circle of friends, the comfort the laughter
I went through a really hard time when my daughter turned three
I went through an even worse time when my son turned one and that didn't end until he was four
I doubt myself all day long
I doubt my strength
I doubt my ability
I doubt my love
I doubt my grit
I doubt my mind
I doubt my achievements
I doubt my gentle
I am not confident
I am so good with not being confident
I can laugh hard
I was terrified of becoming a mom
I used every excuse in the book to not start this journey
I have never been more wrong and more right all at the same time
I love motherhood
I am and will forever be petrified of motherhood
I worry
I cannot stress this enough, I worry about all things most of the time
I was diagnosed with MS at 23 and I walked through hell and back with my person
I will continue to walk through hell and back with my person because he is my forever
I walk away too quickly from relationships that make me think I am reliving my past
I am fiercely loyal to those I love
I go above and beyond
I sleep hard
I want more sleep (but see above)
I find miserable really easily so
I am on the hunt for my joy
I found a second chance in my kids
I protect their childhood
I am determined
I am a good friend
I am a good mother
I do not have balance, but I find the space to breathe
I allow love in

My raw, my honest, my spoken truth.

Stop.

12
May

Five Minute Friday - mom

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 mom.
Go.

Each year, I write a letter.
A thank you.
A mother's day love.
Because I don't need ribbons and bows.
I don't need breakfast in bed and cards.
I need you to know that I already got a gift, the day I met you.

But last year, it occurred to me how all in you are.
How much this day means to you
and how hurtful it was that I was shutting it down.
And so, this year, I too am all in.
I will wait in bed for you to come get me.
I will hear you and dad making something special for me downstairs.
I will be all in with you.

And just the other day you were beaming with excitement...
I just can't wait until Mother's Day this year!
And when I asked why the answer was so simple, so kind...
because I want to celebrate you mom.

I am all in with you.
Because how do you ever say no to that?

This seasoned mother who is velveteen real still feels brand new to it all.
And it is because each day, something changes.
You change, you are always and forever changing and nothing is ever the same.
And so I have to change with you.

Moms are full of love
grace
humor
patience.

Moms are full of strength and power.
They are strong and determined.
They are tired and full of energy to keep going
for you.

You are here because I asked you to be.
I hoped you would be, I tried for you.
And each day, I continue to try because now I am here for you.
Moms are here for you.

Stop.

5
May

Five Minute Friday - should

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 should.
Go.

I, like too many of us, am filled with "should".
I should be in a different place in my career by now.
I should have a little more of me figured out.
Parenting, this seasoned and yet all too new mother should know what she is doing.
I should have a grasp on joy, my joy...I should be providing more joy.
I should be more organized, I should be less stressed.
I should have found a much better balance.
I should eat this, I shouldn't eat that.
I should look, feel, react a certain way.
I should be doing more yoga, I should do this race and this one.
Our puppy should be potty trained.
Our kids should be better mannered.
I should yell less.
I should listen more.
I should be sleeping way more hours.
I should be putting on my oxygen mask first.
I should start that class.
I should go get that massage.
I should be making more time for everything.
I should be managing this all better.

Our lives, full of shoulds.

What happens when you put the shoulds and have tos away?
Glorious, gorgeous life...

I have come to some sort of peace that who I am, at my core, is someone that does find comfort and actual peace in the organized and the checked off list.
At my core, I am the list maker and the one that remembers all of the have tos.
And all of that is ok, it's who I am, it's what makes me tick, it's what makes our lives hum.

But, when I sit in only shoulds and have tos, I lose my hum.
I become overworked
over committed
overwhelmed
because it all spills over.

And this type A, crazed woman needs a reminder that pausing, breathing, and slowing way down is magic.
It's joy and chaos and laughter and happy lovable kids.
It's smiles and safety and childhood.
It's love.

This mother needs a reminder that when you throw the shoulds away, even for a brief moment,
the world still goes on.
Nothing shatters
everything is still ok
and almost always, better than ok...

Stop.

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