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.

26
Jan

Five Minute Friday - surrender

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 surrender.

Go.

I surrender to who I am.
I surrender to my strengths my weaknesses.
I will no longer spend time trying to fix me, I am no longer broken.
I surrender to the fact that I am type A.
I surrender to the fact that I create rules that I feel cannot be broken.
I surrender to the fact that slowing down is hard for me.
I surrender to my schedule, I surrender to my to-do lists, I surrender to my mind that won't turn off, I surrender to my multi-tasking.
I surrender to who I am.

I surrender to the fact that these qualities make me work too much, make me stressed, make me tired.
I also surrender to the fact that they made me a hard worker, made me successful, made me succeed.
I surrender to the fact that they take me away from parenting and make me a better parent.
I surrender to who I am.

I surrender to the fact that chaos in my home hurts my mind.
I surrender to the fact that I like clean space.
I surrender to the fact that it is how I create space in my jammed life.
I surrender to the fact that getting up early works for me.
I surrender to the fact that I fall asleep early because I work so hard.
I surrender to the fact that I work on my health.

I surrender my wanting to change.
It is too difficult to change who you are at your core.
What you can do is get better.
I surrender to being a better me.
I will always have things to work on, and I know that I now will do that with more insight.
I will use what I now know about myself and be a better me.

That means I can be slower
I can be more intentional with my love
I can make things different.
I can use how I function to be the best version of me.
I surrender to who I am.

Because I am a good mom
I am a good leader
I am a good listener
I am a good friend
I am a good bride
I am a good person
I have a good heart
I work really hard to get what I want
I set goals and achieve them.
I surrender to this person.
She is doing the best she can so I surrender to you sweet soul.
I will no longer fight you, I no longer want to.
You can put your head down tonight and know you are trying and I recognize that.
So sleep well, I surrender to you.

Stop.

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.

12
Jan

Five Minute Friday - simplify

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 simplify.
Go.

Oh how I need to.
This upholder needs to work so much smarter and less hard.
And so, with the start of the new year and how different things are going to be, I am starting all over again.
Because yesterday is over and it's time to write another story.

This year, I start with automation of my home.
Figuring out the little areas that I am spending a little time here and there that are taking up too much of my time.
I can automate the lights going on/off with special bulbs that detect dawn and dusk.
I can automate when things I get every month show up at my house.
I can automate my budget spreadsheet with formulas so things populate on their own.

I am simplifying the things I bring into my home, like cleaners.
I no longer want a cleaner for each surface of my home.
It seems strange to even think of that as an area that consumes time, but thinking through how much cleaner I have to dust vs how much toilet cleaner vs how much floor cleaner vs how much bathroom sink cleaner vs how much kitchen surface cleaner vs how much sink cleaner and then adding them to different lists and getting them at the store...stop!
I have simplified down to 3 and 2 of them are easy homemade.

I am simplifying my routines.
I am using my knowledge of me to not take on challenges.
I am saying no to things that take up my time and fortunate enough to say, is there a way I can pay someone else to just do that for me.
I am starting this year with a new different thing each month and not making all of the changes all at once and feeling overwhelmed.
Slow, I am going slow and smart.

I am going to be proud of the simple ways I inject love into my family.
Like all of our traditions that make my kids feel grounded, close, connected, loved and build a strong foundation.
I am going to find simple ways to connect with friends that don't live near me, so we all feel together.
I am going to take a step back from complicated relationships that make me feel weighted down.
I am going to remove so much of the noise that this loud loud world brings.

I am going to sit in the white clean simple empty space and all of its beauty.
This year is different.
And as this mamma gets closer and closer to 40, she is ready to own this life she built.

7
Jan

Here's to us

Here is to almost 18 years of us.
From page to page, chapter to chapter, book to book to book.
I have loved writing our story even during the times when the chapters were glum.

So here's to the years we were happily dating.
Here's to the years we have been married.
Here's to the years of family, the one we wanted and created.
Here's to the ups the downs the highs and the lows.
Here's to the boring, the awful the scary and the thrilling.
Here's to us.

Here's to our vows, the ones we made to one another.
The ones we cling to.
The ones we swore to.
The ones that light our way in the dark.
Here's to our concerns, our wishes, our hopes.
Here's to our wants, our needs, our fulfillment.
Here's to us.

Here's to our wedding bands, the ones I still look at and feel as though it can't be real.
Here's to the day you got down on one knee and asked me to take on forever with you.
Here's to me feeling that was always our path, ring be damned.
Here's to us.

Here's to our friendship.
The one we have to remind ourselves of when we don't like each other that much.
Here's to our foundation and our love for movies and concerts and sports and board games and playing cards.
Here's to our love of close friends and times of laughter.
Here's to us.

Here's to my worry.
Here's to all that scares me.
Here's to the one I need to feel safe.
Here's to my crazy, the crazy you balance.
Here's to us.

Here's to you never giving up on me or us.
Here's to me never giving up on you or them.
Here's to you reminding me how important we are.
Here's to me reminding you that sometimes we need to be more.
Here's to me pushing the status quo.
Here's to you being content in the boring.
Here's to us.

Here's to half a decade of wrong and trouble.
Here's to the reminder of lessons learned and mistakes made.
Here's to the apologies and tears.
Here's to us.

Here's to your hugs, the ones that you want to melt everything away.
Here's to feeling safe together.
Here's to touching toes and snuggles on the coach.
Here's to your nook, the one that belongs to me.
Here's to holding hands with my boyfriend and husband.
Here's to us.

Here's to your socks that I love to wear even though it drives you nuts.
Here's to the sweaters I have shrunk and claimed as my own.
Here's to my boyfriend sweatshirts
and to all of the sports shirts I know own because I met you.
Here's to us.

Here's to all of my planning.
Here's to all of your doing.
Here's to my determination and grit and drive.
Here's to your calming me down, but being my handyman in all of this.
Here's to your amazing work, love, and attention poured into our home.
Here's to my eye, and yours.
Here's to our vision of forever home
forever us.

Here's to us.

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

1
Dec

Five Minute Friday - near

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 near.
Go.

In this life, I keep those I love close.
I take them in and keep them and our memories together protected, tucked inside.
Because it has always been my nature to keep my group with me and carry them as I go.
Near or far, they are with me.

And although my love is scattered all over and most of my circle is no longer near me,
it is the thought of you no longer being physically near,
the thought of your little faces gone from my everyday,
that I will need a lifetime to move past.
Because parenting is building you to go out there, not stay here.
Parenting is creating people that go and do and build their own life and world.
Parenting is letting go, every single day, letting go a little more and a little more and a little more...
until eventually, you are somewhere out there, no longer near.

And just like with everyone else I hold, I will hold you close to me too.
I will keep you, I will have our memories to go back to
I will have this journey to lean on
I will have the warm feeling of you near as you go farther and farther away.

I live too much in the yesterdays and tomorrows, this I realize.
I have little faces that still believe in the magic of childhood and I am prepping for the goodbyes that will come.
Only because I need time to prepare and time to get myself ready for the inevitable.
I need to get my whole being ready for you no longer being near.

But that does not mean I am not intentional about our time.
In fact, it makes me more intentional, more present.
As soon as I feel too overwhelmed to sit quietly with you, I always leap to it will be tomorrow when she is no longer near.
As soon as I feel too distracted to play, I quickly realize how I will blink he will be off, far away doing wonderful him.

So, I sit close
I draw you near
I hold on to each moment, each second
because that warmth will keep you with me
even when you are far away from the life we built.

Stop.

17
Nov

Five Minute Friday - excuse

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 excuse.
Go.

The ones we make about why we are mad.
The ones we make about why we are yelling.
The ones we make about why we are clinging to our phones and not to our people.
The ones we make about how busy we are.
The ones we make about why we can't do self-care.
The one we make about why we are stressed.
The ones we make about why everything else is more important than living a happy peaceful life.
The ones we make about why it was ok to let them down.
The ones we make about how tomorrow will be different.

Each day I feel this ticking time clock about how quickly it will continue to go.
Each day I make more and more excuses, each day I am losing and days are too important now.
Time is too important now, time is the most valuable now.
Nothing will change if we keep on keeping on.
Nothing will change if we just keep doing the same thing, it won't lead to a different result.

So, what I am trying to do is stop the excuses.
Stop explaining my way out of my mistakes.
They don't matter.
The reason behind doesn't make the pain hurt less.
The reason doesn't bring the moment, the hours, the day I took.
It doesn't bring it back.
The excuses don't matter, they never did.
I am the grownup, I am the one that leads.

I love you, I love being a part of us, I love our family.
Love is my only goal and the only thing I need to keep in mind.
Love is my only guide and the only way things will change.
If I speak, think, act with love the excuses will melt away.

Stop.

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.

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