5
Jul

Five Minute Friday - take

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 take.

Go.

As a parent, sometimes it feels that all we do is give give give to little takers. Little faces that say, can I have, can you give me, can you get me, can you do this, can you carry that, can you drive me, can I go to, can I do this, can you bring me, can you make this happen, will be you there, can you read to me, what's for dinner, can I have dessert, can you get carry me?

Can you and will you to little takers. And we give and give and give and teach and teach and teach and at the end of each day, we wonder why our bones are tired. We wonder why we feel so empty. We wonder why our minds can't shut off and we wonder why we are so foggy.

It all starts at birth, however you birthed a person. Whether that was in a hospital, clinic, home, court room, it all starts with giving up of yourself to make room for a new one to enter your soul. You take over our hearts, our bodies, our being. You start on the inside and it pours out into the outer limits of our fingers and toes. You hold on to our hands and take our love, our devotion, or attention, and at times, our actual mind.

You, you're not to blame. You didn't ask to be here, we asked for you to find us. And part of the exhausting task of this exhausting part of parenting is teaching you to do for yourself. It is teaching you to get your own thing, to contribute to the family, to do it on your own little by little, part by part.

But in the meantime, yes, I can help you reach that snack. Yes, I can pour you something to drink. Yes, I can help you make your bed. Yes, I can take you to see your friend. Yes lovies, I can help. You can take and I will give because in the end, although I am empty, there is a fullness to my world, my heart that you give that replenishes my love, my ability and me. You give too.

Stop.


31
May

Five Minute Friday - name

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 name.

Mine fits me, is important to me, it's one of the things given to me that I am so proud of, in love with even. Dad's too, not only does his fit perfectly, even the spelling is him. Simple, not complex, nothing added as a buffer, just there, the real him. And together, our names now fit like they are supposed to. Not in a blended way, but just balance each other, compliment one another.

So, when it came time, we thought and thought and thought about the perfect names for you both. One, after so many women in our family, the other deeply attached to the family too. One, important to me, the other important to dad, both, fitting you. One meaning grace, the other a short name that embodies a lot of richness and depth. Names that needed to sound right together, apart, with our last name, without it. Names that felt like the right extension, addition to us. Both timeless.

And once settled, we felt so good, so right about our decisions. You didn't grow into them, you were them. You were born feeling like them and you continue to live right up to them. You embody them. I love calling you by your names, I love that this is what we picked for you. I love knowing that you too love your name. I love that you too realize it makes you special, to us, to you. I love knowing you are in love with all the nicknames that come with them, I just love you.

Until this reminder, I had almost forgotten how important naming you was to me. I had almost forgotten how much thought and emphasis I put on it. I had forgotten how much I loved mine, how much I wanted you to feel that way about yours. I almost forgot that I really wanted to get this right and I love that we did.


17
May

Five Minute Friday - promise

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 promise.

Dear Cory, when I met you, I made a promise to my heart. You would be a part of my family. You would be in my life, no matter what, we became connected, instant and immediate. I found home.

Dear Mia, when I met your furry little face, I was at the end of a life goal I had set. I was so young, so old, so ready for love and snuggles. And I met a little old soul puppy that had so much life and love to give. We made a promise to each other, we would raise one another, and we did.

Dear Anna, when I met you, I became a mom. I held this intense responsibility and for the first time in my life, believed in happily ever after. I met a little face that was so serious, so trusting, reaching for us, and so observant. I realized that little is so big and you were my dream. I realized that I now carry a heart in a very real way and I promised to love and hold and let go. I promised to forever carry your heart with me, I carry it in my heart.

Dear Cole, when I met you, I knew what love at first sight meant. I learned that people are so attracted to you, I learned that they are drawn to you. I learned that love is attractive and that kindness is something that doesn't always need to be taught. I learned that people are loving and I made a promise, to be more like you. To learn from your natural love and light. To fall in love with love.

Dear Pearl, when I met you, I was ready. I had mourned the loss of my first puppy and I was ready for my home to be filled with puppy kisses and snuggles. What I quickly learned is that if you ask for things, they come and what I got was a lover of love. I got hugs, actual hugs and smooches and a puppy that needs to be held, needs to be noticed. I got love and I made a promise to always and forever embrace. I made a promise to stop and hug and pay attention and slow down and remember that if you live life without these connections, it's just not worth it.

I made a promise to take advantage of this second chance. I made a promise to love you as hard as I can and not regret out time together. I made a promise to not look back and wish I did it differently. Even though I mess up, I promise that I am always trying. I made a promise to you, to me, to all of us.

10
May

Five Minute Friday - practice

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 practice.

Go.

It doesn't make perfect, it just makes you better. Little faces, this is one of the adult secrets that I have learned time and time and time again. No matter how hard I work at something, it will not make me the best, just the best that I can do. And sometimes, even that isn't true. Something I could do so well yesterday, I my body won't feel the same and I can't today. Something that felt so right and I felt so strong in, will all of a sudden give out. Either exhaustion, or a tweak, or it all not aligning will impact it all.

So, there is no such thing as perfect, that is obvious, but the fact that practice doesn't necessarily always yield the exact results you are looking for is the hardest pill to swallow. A run that felt so strong could in the next week feel tiresome. A piece you have practiced over and over on the piano could be easily messed up just by one note. A line you were rehearsing for a play could leave you feeling too nervous to get it out when you are on that stage.

But, that doesn't mean we don't practice because, over time, it does make us our better selves. And it teaches us discipline and commitment. It teaches us to get stronger, more confident and it teaches us that even if the stars don't align and on the day it counts we aren't our best selves, we tried our hardest dammit and that effort is what really matters. It tells us that we gave it our all, we tried our hardest and if it was in the cards or not, that's all we can give, our best try.

So, I will never win a race. Sometimes, I don't even come close to what I wanted to do. There were two times I came in last place. There are times the work I pour myself into doesn't make sense to me anymore for weeks at a time. And no matter how hard I try, I will never look good running or doing yoga, my body will always look wrong. But I am showing up everyday, I am giving it my all and even though there are times I feel so defeated and deflated, I can always look in the mirror and say, I tried. I practiced and I left myself out there.

You will too. You'll see. It doesn't always feel amazing but when you sit back, when you can rest your head at night knowing you did the best you could, well, that's the feeling you want in life.

Stop.

3
May

Five Minute Friday - opportunity

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 opportunity.

Go.

Your dad worries about this one more than I do, at least in different ways than I do. He worries more about offering enough choices, activities, chances at doing better. He sees what you will become, he already sees all of the potential and he strongly feels it is up to us to nourish that, push you, have you be your best you. I worry about it in the sense of different choices. Do you have the opportunity to voice your concerns, do you have the opportunity to feel really heard, the opportunity to have us available to you, when you need and want us around?

Do you have the opportunity to feel what it means to be a part of a team, not just out there, but a team at home. Are we giving you an opportunity to see what that means, how much we rely on each other, how much we need each other? How we don't work without each other? Do you have the opportunity to see us fight and make up? Do you have the opportunity to see us hug and smooch and the opportunity to see what healthy relationships are, not perfect, there is no such thing, but loving. Do you have enough responsibilities, and the opportunity to grow beyond what you have done?

Do you have the opportunity to see how privileged you are? How privileged we all are? Do you have the opportunity to see that when you want something, you go get it, but that of course means sacrifice. That of course means something taking priority and something else not. Do we give you the opportunity to experience joy enough? Childhood enough? Are you living the childhood you want to be living? The opportunity to have enough down time, enough play time, enough time to just be and be you.

Those are the opportunities I want to present. One isn't more important or more precious. I get and understand where you dad is coming from. But, I do know that you will be your best you, I know you will turn out just great. I worry more that if you don't look back and see this time, this little window of just us, this very small stretch of cozy and family and little as simple childhood, I will feel as though an opportunity was lost.

Stop.

19
Apr

Five Minute Friday - next

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 next.

Go.

What is next for me? Where do I go from here and how do I keep going and moving towards what I want? I am scared, I am tired, I am so worried and my fear comes from having to only believe in me. I have to grab my whole family by the hand and throw them off a cliff and tell them that I am going to have us land successfully, without scrapes and bruises. Trust me guys, I can do this, I can have us fly off the cliff, not come crashing to the ground. And although they have all the faith in the world in me, I don't know if I trust myself enough to do that. And so I am worried, I am retreating, I am walking myself back and I am allowing fear in.

My next chapter in this journey will most likely be my last so I wanted to be intentional and really smart about it. I wanted it to be a combination of me and a challenge and growth. But, what if it now feels unauthentic, what if it now feels like I am an impostor? Is that the fear talking, is it me, should I listen to the nagging voice, should I push through? What is next? There are moments in this, glimpses in which it feels so natural. I feel right, I feel in control, my connections are aligning, my hours mean something. There are most times when I feel defeated, like it is all for nothing. Like I will never move, like my next will not come.

So, it is time to use my "me-ness" for the good. Set a plan, get it in order, get all my to-dos laid out and move. Don't stand still, don't bury your head, don't just cry and complain. Exhale, know what is next, remember your why and your reason, remember the hours and what you really want your life to look and feel like, move with your breath, be intentional, connect, be there for people, remember it all started with a purpose. Hold on to that purpose, know that others will find you because they too want this in their life. Hold on to who you are, hold on to them, jump, leap, cradle them in your arms and believe. You will land, you will do this. This is your next chapter, do your thing, do you, make it count.

Stop.

12
Apr

Five Minute Friday - lack

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 lack.

Go.

When we feel as though we are lacking, we feel less than. We feel as though there is a hole that needs to be filled, but we don't know what needs to go in there. Nor do we know how to fill it. Nor do we know if we are the ones to fill it. Because we are lacking. We could be lacking in love, or light, or confidence, or balance, or strength, or power, or joy. But what that means is that we are without it and if we are without it, we are not complete. We are missing something vital. We are missing an important part of who we are.

When we feel as though we are lacking, we feel without. We feel stripped and find ourselves seeking "it", no matter what "it" is. We have to get it back, we have to find a way. Recently, I have found myself lacking. In most of the above. I have therefore found myself on the hunt and that is never a good place to be. So, I have to recognize this is where I am. I have to start counting all of the things I do have, I have to start accepting that time and the universe will answer and I have to give "it" up, no matter what "it" is. Here is my ultimate, I have what I need. I am not without, I am not lacking the strength or rhythm or desire. I am not lacking the work ethic, I am not lacking the drive. I am not lacking in the balance needed and wanted. I am not lacking in the calm that I seek. I have it all, I just have to tap into me.

Stop.

5
Apr

Five Minute Friday - offer

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 offer.

Go.

It's been a crazy crazy ride. I am only three months into my year of change, and everything has changed...ask and you will receive I guess. I have been through drama and heartbreak and actually breaking and worry and stress and my body has revolted and my head has pounded and I have been concerned and scared and cried.

So, I surrender, I am waving my flag and telling this grand universe, I am yours, I am up for the taking and I hand it all over to you. I offer you control and all of me. I offer you my life, my future, my path, my journey. I offer you my mind and my concerns and my heart full of fear. I offer you my tears and my pain and my aching jaw. I offer you my stress and my place in all of this and me, I offer myself up to you. I offer it all up to you. I offer you my wonder of where I belong and my craze of how it will all work and my heart up and down. I offer you my days and my nights and my weeks and my months. I surrender to you because I do not know how or what to even ask of you so instead, I just plain surrender and say it is yours for the taking.

I offer up to you full control of all I have rattling in my head.

Stop.

29
Mar

Five Minute Friday - measure

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 measure.

Go.

I am in a constant battle. A fierce competition and I am always losing. My competitive nature falls squarely on me. I am in constant competition with myself and most times, I don't measure up.

Of course, like all things me, there are times it serves me well. It is why I can do solo races, it is why I can do races at all. It is why I work so hard, I do so much, I expect so much out of me. It is why I am given more responsibilities, it is why people can count on me. It is why I know I won't let people down, it is why I do hard and scary things.

But, again, like all things in my life, there is the hurtful con of being me. Like I never measure up to whatever vision I have in my head. Like I am more disappointed in myself than amazed. Like I am always racing against me. I am racing against all of the things I created, all of the things I made up. Like timetables, and things, and goals and accomplishments, and have tos...all made up in my head. And once they are put there, they feel so real. As real as someone else telling me I have to do this or that. As real as my life depending on getting there. A measure I have to live up to in order to be considered what exactly? What title will I give myself when I never reach the finish line I keep pushing away from myself?

That's what it feels like to be an "upholder", someone who responds to inner and outer accountability. That's what the balance is all about. It serves me and others well, of course it does. It also is harmful to my soul and will if I don't get control over it. Because I will never live up to the me I feel I want to someday be. All I can do is embrace who I am today, and work towards the me of tomorrow. All I can do is set goals and celebrate reaching them sure, but just as important, I have to celebrate making them. I am someone that does not need to be told what to do, I will do it all on my own. That, all by itself, should be celebrated as an achievement. That should be measured too so tell yourself that. Tell yourself that when you feel you are failing at whatever pressure you have hoisted onto your shoulders. Tell yourself that when you don't hit that time in that race, tell yourself that when you're crying, tell yourself that when you feel like nothing you are doing is working. You are working, you are building, you are putting things into play, you are doing, you are walking the path, you measure up.

22
Mar

Five Minute Friday - reward

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 reward.

Go.

Parenthood is hard, and lonely, and difficult, and trying. It ends a life you once had, a life you really enjoyed and it creates a whole new one. Parenthood puts your marriage through every test, every bump, every crash and bush. Parenthood makes you wonder what happened, and why did you, and where did you go, and what family are you living for, and how are you defining love. Parenthood makes you break, shatter, lose, find, gain.

So why do people sign up? What is the actual reward? Is there one? Here is the actual truth about it all. Parenthood is a struggle. Most of the time, you feel lost, unsure, scared, worried, not on top of your game, your patience goes away, you wish you hadn't said that, you wish you had showed up for that, you wish you could have taken that back, you are mad, you are tired, you don't know what to say, what to do, you are in a fog, you come out of a fog, you remember there is a you in there somewhere, you cry...a lot, you lose sleep, you stress. But, the good...

...the good it so good that it carries you through all of that. The good is so good that they are the moments you will think of during your last days. The good is so good that it skews the bad, it makes you remember it differently, it makes you laugh at the things that bothered you yesterday. It makes you wish for the times that while you were sitting in them thought to yourself, when and how will this ever end? The good is so damn good that you would do it all over again. The good is so good that it makes your heart burst open. The good is so good that when you close your eyes, you find yourself actually smiling. The good is so good that when you look back at pictures, you only remember the good. The good is so damn good, it is so so good.

Is it for everyone? No. Is it what every person on earth should do, needs to do, is wasting away if they don't do it? No. Is it what I thought I would be doing? No. Is it how I envisioned my life? No. Is it what I always thought I would be, a mother? No. Do I remember the bad? Yes. Do I remember why I was crying, or worried, or yelling, or stressed, or tired, or scared? Yes. Is there a reward, yes.

It is in their hugs. It is in their smooches. It is in their stories. It is in their playing. It is in the good-nights. It is in the reading dates. It is in the traditions. It is in the fresh out of a bath and pjs on look that melts my heart. It is in the I love yous. It is in the little hands that reach for you. It is in the little shoes that I trip over in my mudroom. It is in all the pictures, all over my house, the ones that make me feel like the rewards are so so great.

Stop.

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