Five Minute Friday - play

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 play.

This morning, we started our summer wish list.
All of the things we hope to accomplish
all of our fun, laid out right before us.
And it's one of your favorite lists to make
I think even more than your Christmas list.

It's your favorite because you see the kid in me too.
You see my playful side.
The side that isn't about to dos
isn't about have tos
isn't about organization and work.
This side is all fun
all play.

And it's filled with things like ice cream for dinner
and swimming in the ocean
and kayaking
and introducing Pearl to her town
and family games outside
and more swimming
and day trips
and camping
and all of the smores.
It's filled with summer
it's filled with play.

I don't bring play to this family
it's not my gig.
I barely play with our kids.
I am the reading dates
and puzzles and board games mom.
My person is the get on the floor and play
my person is the run outside and play
my person is the joy,
he brings the joy.

The last handful of years have come with so many challenges
so many turns we didn't see up ahead
basically parenting unfolding before our eyes.
And somewhere along the way, we forgot that all they need is us.
All they want is time, with us.
And last summer, we changed too.
We brought out our playful
we had the most amazing memories
the ones they still bring up
the ones that you can tell keep them warm.

It was amazing to write our list this morning
they could see and feel all the time we would spend together.
They saw playful mom all in,
ready for our summer of joyful play.


This has been

It's been eight years.
That's how long I have been a mom.
And, when my first was just 8 weeks old, a new part of our lives started.
A part in which I welcomed other women into my family, daycare and nannies and helpers.
And they helped me raise my kids.
They helped me raise my kids and me, into a mom.

It all started with one.
I met her when I was pregnant and we were looking for an at home daycare.
Someone that had other kids in her home but still had a personal and flexible touch.
I immediately felt comfortable and calm with her.
I felt that she would love my little one, I just didn't know how much.
Nor did I know how much she would care for me, me for her.
I remember that very first day.
I left Anna in her pac-n-play and I walked out the door.
Except I didn't just walk out.
I kept going back in, and I would touch her face one more time...
and I would cry.
And then I would walk back out and start the process all over again.
And it was her voice that simply said, I get it and you take all the time you need, that finally got me to go out the door.
I sent many messages, called frequently,
and she took every phone call, she let me talk to my 8 week old like a crazy person.
She would send me notes every day, letting me know how it all went.
What Anna did, how much she ate, how many diapers she changed.
And when preschool started, she was the one that dropped off and picked up.
She became a part of us, she became my friend.
This has been the most humbling eight years of my life,
she helped me raise them.

And soon after our second, I met my second.
She came to our house, helped with the morning, helped me with my stay at home days.
She would play, she would separate, she helped put them down for naps.
She was the one that reminded my crazy mind that I wanted Cole to go to preschool because it was more quiet now.
Quiet is what I needed
quiet is what I longed for.
And as the tears came harder and harder, she told me,
I get it, I understand. I miss him too and I can't believe it either.
She would miss him too.
She stayed through his preschool years.
Helping with drop off and pick ups.
Helping with the bus, always so flexible so kind.
She would tell me how the bus went
she would fill me in on Anna's day before Anna could.
She would tell me how tiring preschool was for my little monkey
she would send me pictures of him sound asleep.
He runs to her when he sees her
arms open ready for this hug.
They still talk about her all of the time and ask about when they get to see her again.
She became a part of us, she became my friend.
This has been the most humbling eight years of my life,
she helped me raise them.

And then, in our last year of need came our third.
She had one adorable little face too, looking to transition out of full time employment and she was
and generous
and caring
and concerned
and upfront
and calm
and always smiling.
She loved watching my kids with her daughter.
I beamed when she told me she was expecting another.
She reminded me of the beginning of motherhood, the gushing love.
She was never stressed with all that was on her plate.
She just loved my kids.
And when I hugged her goodbye, I cried a little.
I cried because once again we are writing a new chapter.
One in which they go to school and no longer need my village.
He talked about her and her daughter throughout the day
he longed for his days with her.
He fell in love with her kid, he was so excited when he found out she had a baby in her belly.
Anna, she would take guesses on boy or girl and felt gratified to know it was a girl.
She became a part of us, she became my friend.
This has been the most humbling eight years of my life,
she helped me raise them.

Eight years of daycare and nannies and three amazing women that helped us raise this amazing family.
Eight years of drop offs and pick ups.
Eight years of bags packed and worrying.
Eight years of goodbye waves as you take over for the day
to the half day
to a few hours
to now.

This has been the most humbling experience.
Seeing them become who they are
watching you fall in love with them too.
Letting go and seeing you take over
watching them fall in love with you.

This has been the most challenging years
the juggling
the schedules
the figuring out the when and where and how.
The potential for one ball to drop and a whole day is ruined.
The, he's sick today, who is taking over.
The, the weather is bad, should we have them come over?
The, who's going to what?

This has been the most loving of years
the quiet time with just us.
First, you and me Anna.
The crazy quiet time you loved
the sleeping from 12:30-4
the alone time once naps were over
the to and from preschool.
You were always so good at this.
You were always so patient with me.
You always loved this time, you were always so content.
And then you Cole.
The time we finally got just us two, because with your second, those times are precious.
The rhythm we found.
The kid you became
the greatness you are.
Even during the difficult years,
the times I had to take meetings in my closet because you were crying
the times I had to schedule it all around your naps
the times I had to figure out how to do this job and all of you
this was always the best time with you.

And the other night, as we were going to sleep, I turned to you and said,
I remember that first day with Wendy and now...
as the tears flowed down my face, you reminded me that we found three amazing women.
Three amazing people
each different
but all three incredible for taking this challenge on with us.
How did they do it? How did we?
And then you said, I know, this will be hard for you.
But, it's always hard to let them go a little more.
And on top of it, say goodbye to all three.
But, we somehow became lucky three times.
This is a parent's nightmare and we didn't find just one, but three amazing people.
We were always so comfortable with them.
We were always so at ease.
We never worried about our kids with them.
And as hard as it is to give your kids over, it was always so fine with us, because we found these three incredible people.
I don't know how we got this lucky, but we really had the greatest hearts helping me raise my kids
and raise me, into a mom.

I want you all to know that you have shaped me.
You have allowed me to love my family and my work.
You have allowed me this time.
You have allowed me to do any of this.
Because whenever anyone asks how we get any of it done, it has always been because of you.
And I thank you for loving them
for loving us
for being a part of us
for sharing your home
your time
your families
your love.
For seeing the good in them
for realizing I don't have any of the answers
you became my friend.

I also want you to know how much they adored you.
How much they looked forward to you coming.
How much they loved seeing you.
How much they loved babies, especially Cole.
How much they would wait for you.
How much they still talk about you.
You became a part of them too.

This has been eight years of us.
It has been crazy
and stressful
and fun
and slow
and quick
and worrisome
and loving.
I am about to walk into a whole new chapter now, again.
A time in which I sit alone and work
no kids
no listening to the imagination at play.
No more rhythm
no more hum
no more meetings in closets
no more shushing the cries.
I once again give you over to someone else.
I once again get to hear about your day from a far.

Because big kids go to school
and I am the mom to some big kids now.

Thank you village
thank you.



He always had this amazing smile on his face.
He was completely covered in joy.
And I fell hard, knowing he was my person, he was family.

He didn't have grand ideas.
He was very traditional.
He just wanted us, and a little family to call his own.
He wanted the career he knew he was made for,
he wanted a house to call home.

But his ideas were grand to me.
They were dreams I didn't have
so he took my hand, walked me through fear and he created my family.
My home, my safe.
He started all of this,
he was my beginning,
he is my middle,
he will be my happy ending.

Even when times are tough and we aren't happy,
he reminds me of all of us.
He takes my hand again and he reminds me that the real us, we are in here.
And he slows me down.

He is the reason I don't give up,
not on them
not on me
not on you
not on each other
not on us.
Because he tells me that giving up isn't an option
not when you found this version of love.
He reminds me that love means picking each other,
through the good, through the trying, through the boring ordinary life.
He reminds me to keep taking his hand.

Yeah, you were his idea.
You were always a part of his dreams, he knew you would be here.
He knew being a dad was part of his story and he made sure we wrote this chapter, together.

He makes this world a better place
people are better for knowing him
he brings them smiles
he brings them his stories, the ones he laughs at himeself for
he thinks he is so funny, even though he has dad humor, way before he became a dad.

Happy birthday coach.
You are so lucky to be loved this much
and we are so lucky to have you to love.


I love you because...2017

Each February, you wake up to one new note reminding you of why I love you.
And you hold me to it, if there was ever a morning I forgot, you would tell me,
you wanted the reminder too.

Anna, I love you because...
you stand up for you - please always do this with all people and in all places in your life
you love Cole
you tell me about your day
math if your favorite subject
you always try, with all you have, you try
you kiss noses
you are smart
you love to read
you love family movie night and pancake Sunday
you look like mom and dad
you love our reading dates
you run and bike with me, you keep me going
you love your family
you are a good helper

Cole, I love you because...
you love family movie night and pancake Sunday
you work hard at school
you are a great little brother, amazing actually
you snuggle and talk at night time
you adore dad and run to the door to meet him!
you LOVE food!
you are smart
you care about those you love
you give "little guy" smooches
you are a great friend
you work hard on using your words
you give the best hugs
you love to move
you are so kind and gentle

The reasons are endless my loves, but here is another good one...I just love you.


Happily ever after

Once upon a time, a very long time ago...
a boy and girl met.
They were young, they smiled at each other a lot, they loved spending time together.
You would catch them holding hands all of the time, smooching in the corner.
They were happy.

She wanted to leave where they were living,
he was unsure, of leaving behind all he knew, all he had already accomplished,
but he did.

He wanted kids, and marriage, and a suburban life, and happily ever after.
She was so unsure, of herself, of her abilities, and didn't believe in happily ever after,
but she did.

And somehow, they continued to be happy.

Life went on, as life does.
This happy couple went through some bumps,
she had MS,
he didn't find a job after the move,
she works a lot,
he (now working in his chosen and desired field) is around kids all day, and then comes home to be a full time dad.
He balances,
she balances.

They found a house,
they built a home.
They have two wonderful kids and a dog.
There are times, they are the definition of happy.

And once she had her daughter, she realized that happily ever after does exist.
It just looks so different than what anyone thinks.

The two, they fight, they argue, they are unsure, they are growing,
but not in different directions and that's what is important.
She is stubborn, he has a temper.
She HAS to be right, in control, he is more forgiving.
He flies off the handle, and she has to bring him back.

And here is the secret to all relationships, including theirs...it is so easy to love someone through the good and even through the bad.
It's all the in between that you have to worry about and work on.
There is so much more time spent in the in between.
The lull, more moments are there than in the good or the bad.
The paying of bills, and mowing of the lawn, the laundry, the house upkeep, the raising of children.
That is where all of your efforts and work has to go into.
The good is easy and the bad is natural and easy,
it's the in between.
That's where you have to find humor.
That's where you will be tested.
That's where you have to work and decide to love one another.
That's where marriages, families, make it or break it.
Because in this time, you can get bored.
You can get distracted.
You can find it hard to remember that at the end of parenthood, it is just you two.
You can get lost in the details and crazy of life.
You can get lost in the kids, in the schedules.
Parenting, it can make you walk in separate directions if you're not careful.
You can forget why you started.
You can forget that hope you had when you looked at each other.
You can forget that you are better together than you are apart.
You can forget that they are watching, hoping to see what love looks like.
You can forget that you can do this alone, but don't want to.
You can forget that you decide, each day, decide to be together.
You can forget that happily ever after, it's there, it's here, it just looks different than we are taught.

That boy and girl,
they have grow up.
They are adults, no longer playing house.
And the best part, you can still find them holding hands.



Recently, I heard a mom describe parenthood as breaking up with yourself.

And it got me thinking about what I miss most about me, and my life, before you became a part of it.

Movie nights at the movies
A clean and tidy house
A body I loathed in my 20s
Quiet...I think I miss this the most
Leaving the house in 2 minutes
Not worrying about the scheduling of daycare and who is going to watch them?
Dinner, just us two
Snow shoeing
Mia's youth
Not having to constantly repeat myself...over and over
Not being the "example" all.day.long.

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But, it also got me thinking about what I will miss the most when this part of our life is done.
And of course, it's all the things that I miss about my life before I broke up with it.




I will miss you singing
I will miss you two playing
I will miss kissing you goodnight and drinking you in
I will miss you sitting so close to me
I will miss how much attention you want from me
I will miss how you smell after a bath
I will miss how excited you are about being outside
I will miss how sprinklers are your favorite part of everyday
I will miss how you play
I will miss you curious you are
I will miss bed time stories
I will miss family movie nights
I will miss messy faces
I will miss sibling love that I get to watch develop and grow
I will miss you two eating together
I will miss Cole wanting to do everything you do Anna

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I will miss getting you up and seeing you spring into your day
I will miss putting you down and watching you curl up into love of sleep
I will miss the childhood
I will miss the little
I will miss how small you both are
I will miss tiny voices
I will miss the hugs that happen with your whole body and
I will miss the smooches that happen with your whole face
I will miss this time, our time, just us five
I will miss Mia
I will miss childhood joy
I will miss you
I will miss this life

Because soon enough, I will have to break up with myself all over again. I will have to let motherhood go and allow you to be and create and accomplish.

I will have to watch you make mistakes and hold my tongue.
I will have to watch you to off to college.
I will have to watch you get that job.
I will have to watch you drive off.
I will have to watch you rent your first apartment,
buy your first home.
Get married (if you decide to),
have kids (if you decide to),
form your own family (no matter how you define it).
I will let go of your little hands.
I will say goodbye to another chapter and each and every year, I let a little more of you go.

But, you have given me so much to remember.
So much to keep me warm.

I will miss you my loves.
I will miss us.


Five Minute Friday - Grateful

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 grateful.


It's hard to always be grateful.
It's hard to remember you are only this small for this short period of time.

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It's hard to remember that our Mia is 14 and each and every day with her is another memory, another gift.

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It's hard to remember how and why and where we started.
I do remember those two kids who were so busy with being in love with each other.
And now, as all of this pulls us apart, it is work to hold on to us.
To hold on to all of our memories and to create new ones.
It's so hard to walk in after hours upon hours of work and talking and negotiating and yesing and open our arms and hearts up to them, to each other.
It's hard to remember that we are grateful and lucky for all that we have.

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All that we wanted.
It's all right here with us.
Our little family.
In our little house.
Building our little moments.
All together.
With small faces and words and voices and laughs.
With small paws and puppy kisses.
With memories and smiles.
I know it comes with work and loud and cries and tantrums.
I know it's not quiet and peaceful.
But, it's ours.
In this moment in time, it's all ours and for that,
I am grateful.



Wrapped up in 5

You came to us.
You were and are slow and deliberate.
You found your way.
You waited for the right time.

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You were and are strong.
You were and are cautious.
You were and are unsure.
You were and are beauty and strength and small and the biggest accomplishment all wrapped in little clothes.

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You were and are magnificent.
You were quiet.
You loved and love to sleep.
You were and are warm and soft and big eyed and small toes and little fingers and big yawns all wrapped in me.

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You were and are precious.
You were and are love.
You were and are everything happy and scary and loving and good.
You were and are my warmth, my smile, my frustration, my joy, my tears, my sanity, my insanity, my screams, my softness, my love, all wrapped up in you.

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And then...


it started to happen...

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It was a slow process.
A milestone here.
A big step there.
Walking and talking and preschool and worksheets and learning numbers and letters and books and conversation.
But, all of a sudden, you were and are big.
Big sister, big words, big opinions, big ideas, big stories, big girl.
"Mom, I'm not your baby girl anymore..."

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And on this day, I will remember our story.
I will remember rocking you to sleep through movement.
I will remember baby hiccups in my belly.
I will remember baby pictures that made you out...sort of.
I will remember that long day.
The full 24 hours of labor with you.
I will remember how deliberate you were and how I wasn't ready to let you go and share you.
I will always remember our days together.
I will remember your face when I held you for the first time and I will remember the day I fell deeply in love.
I will remember our feedings.
I will remember the comfort you brought and how at peace you allowed me to feel.
I will remember how right this felt.
I will remember my baby girl, even if she isn't a baby anymore.
I remember how and why you began.
I remember our journey and
I remember our story.

Oh, sweet baby girl, happy day to you. Happiest of days always.
May love always enter and exit your heart.
May you always be surrounded and wrapped in love.


Five minute Friday - encouragement

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 encouragement.


Please, it's what I need most this day, this week this month. My job has taken me to my knees, my kids have unraveled me and allowed me to come undone. I am failing in every way and I am sinking, finding it hard to breathe even.

My 12 hour work days have become 15, my kids feel my exhaustion and decide to come apart at every possible minute. There is no quiet, there is no climbing out, the month just has to end.

And then, this morning, he looked at me. He smiled at me and said "hi mom". He looked at me and without prompting he said "love you". This morning, she helped him brush his teeth, she asked me if I was happy because she wanted me to be proud of her. She put her blocks up for her chart and said, you didn't have to yell mom, I just did it.

This morning, they gave me the encouragement and courage to go on. They made the past two weeks melt away and they gave me some more strength for the next two weeks. Love, it moves me forward and reminds me of my choices and how and why I chose them and why I continue to feel overwhelmed that they chose me too.

Love will always take care of tomorrow.




It's quiet

Another holiday, another year going by too quickly. Our company is gone, all holiday parties are complete, and it's just us now. Our little family, in our warm and cozy home, and the snow is falling so peacefully outside this little house of ours.

2013 and my little boy turned one. No more infants, no more cries in the middle of the night, no more bottles. But, no more cradling, no more "all I need is mom" feeling, no more littleness that is too much to take. No more infants. Now, we have a walker and a talker, and a frustrated little boy who in a blink can go from crying to a smile that melts ice. A "hi mom" from across the room that is overwhelming. A little boy that loves love, a little boy...

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2013 and my first is four. Four? She is in a big girl bed, in a big girl room, a room that is all Anna. A room filled with Anna princesses and horses and books. A room that is all hers. A four year old that goes to school, and has friends, and tells stories and wants to see pride in your eyes. Not a baby, but now a little girl...

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2013 and the two love on each other. Siblings who fight, and yell and love and snuggle. A four year old that constantly wants to hold him and hug him and an almost two year old that wants freedom. Two little faces, ones that I created and that define love.

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2013 and my little peanut Mia is 14. Her hearing is starting to go and you can see, she is a little sad. Although still a love in my life, she has to share attention now and she clearly remembers the "just us three" days. She cuddles and loves on me. She checks on me every night to make sure I am in bed before snuggling in herself. She is a bit slower, can't walk as far but still smiles and has a little puppy in her when she wants to play.

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2013 brought me this blog and for me, that means it brought me healing and peace. An ability to explain my second chance at childhood. 2013 brought me a confidence and joy in my work. After years of struggling to be comfortable in my own skin, I feel I have a grip on the work, my focus and my goals.

2013 has been a gentle and sweet year. It has given me the time to reflect on them, on us, on this choice of parenthood we made. We carry the weight of family and look forward to what the future now holds.

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