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.

18
Jun

Ode to

To the water, the one that wanted to swallow me whole.
The one that was so cold it felt like knives
the one that had me feeling like I could not move
the one that made me think I was standing still and not getting closer to the end
the one that thought it was going to win,
I beat you and I got to the end.

To the hill
the one that's right at the beginning of the bike route
the one that hurts
the one that I haven't been able to get up without walking
the one that is really long and doesn't seem to end
the one that on the way down frightens me because it is so steep
I got up.
I made it to the top
I kept going
and I beat you to the end.

To the man that ran most of the 5K with me
the one who was in Iron Man clothing
the one who was also at a loss for why that water course hit us hard
the one that said "I only did half an Iron Man, not the whole thing"...
I say "I only" too
"I ran a marathon but I only ran it in my neighborhood, not a real race"
"I do triathlons but I only seem to do worse and can't find my grove"
I only I only.
Why do we do that?
And so, with real intensity I turned to you and said, you should be amazed with yourself,
and I meant it sir.
We beat the course, all the way to the end.
We made it to the 2 mile marker and we said, we've got this
and we did.

To the woman I passed and told her great job, almost there
the one that quietly and sadly said, "I feel like I am in last"
you and your voice made me stop and turn around to say "you're not in last but even if you were, we're here to finish"
the one who smiled back and said "I've been in last before" and the one that made me laugh and say
"me too, someone has to be, why not us?"
We made it. I saw you finish too.
You made it to the end, you beat the course.

To my husband
the one who came up with this idea.
The one that asked me to do it
the one that helps me with my swimming
the one that is so concerned for me in the water
the one that shouts to me to make sure I am ok
the one that feels like he disappointed because the course got the best of us
we made it.
It didn't win, it's didn't get the best of us because it didn't beat us all because we made it.
We finished another triathlon.
We finished our third one in three years.
We swam and biked and ran.
We finished
even though we were tired
even though we were out of it
even though our bodies didn't want us to
even though we panicked in the water
even though the exhaustion asked us to stop
we made it to the end.

To my body
the one that tells me it can't but shows me it can
the one that thought it was going to drown
the one that was so exhausted after the swim it didn't know how it would bike
the one that got off the bike and legs hurt so much for the run
the one that wanted to give up, at every turn wanted to just stop.
You didn't.
You kept going
you beat the course
you made it to the end.

To my MS
the one that made me stop moving
the one that told me I needed a nap, now.
The one that made me curl up, shut down
the one that made me feel out of it for a few days
the one that made me scared
I am beating you too.
I am doing this all to prove to you that I still can and I always will.
I am fine, better than fine.
I am beating you all the way to the end.

To my mind
the only one that doubts me
you didn't disappoint.
You were always there second guessing me, us.
You were always reminding me, look someone else passed you
you were always aware of what leg was flying by you
I didn't let you win.
Because I am more stubborn than you.
And every time you tried to tell me I don't have enough grit for this,
I told you to f off and I kept going.
I beat your doubts
just like I beat the course.
And even though I did worse and my times were worse
I made it to the end.
I didn't give up
I kept going

and I owe it to all of you.

#StrongIsTheNewPretty
#TheCoupleThatRacesTogether

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.

28
May

#ThisIsFive!

You came into this world ready to make your mark.
Ready to show every single person, you are not your sister.
You are different in every way.
And I adore every last difference.
Every single one.
Because the second kid fights to make themselves stand out, and I get that.

Sweets, from the day you were born, you fought for you.
You will never need a rescue, even though you want to be, you never need to be.
But your want, your desire for help, I think that's just about spending time together.
And you love to be with people,
you love love love to be with us.

Because you my sweet boy, and this is my favorite part of all of you, you love love.
You love it.
You love hugs
and smooches
and more hugs
and I love yous
and I love you mores
and touching
and hand holding
and hand kissing
and little guy smooches
and closeness
and snuggles.
You love love.
You have made me fall in love with love, all over again.
And your love of love is getting stronger and stronger as you grow and I will cherish and protect it always.

You are joy
even in the raw emotional tantrums
even in the cries and screams
you are joy.
You are a reason to be lighter
happier
your smile is a reason to smile.
You are laughter
and fun
and more laughter
and adventures.
You define joy.

You are childhood.
You, you are childhood.
With its excitement
and its newness
and its raw
and all of the feelings every single day
and every emotion felt from the top of your head down to your toes...
you are the childhood I always imagined.
And I will protect this too.

You are big.
Big emotions
big appetite
big feelings
big tears
big tantrums
big cries
big screams
big talking
You can't be contained in little because you are always ready for more big.

You are always and forever all in.
With food
with fun
with games
with sports
with laughter
with shouts
with tantrums
with happy
with hugs
with kisses
you never sit one out.
Your whole body is in, no matter what we do.
You do not hesitate, you are the definition of all in.

And now, you are five.
Five.
You are ready for kindergarten
you are ready for bikes without training wheels
you are ready for responsibilities
you are ready for teams
you are ready to be five.
Five.
You are five.

See, I didn't realize that love at first sight existed.
I didn't realize that childhood could be so carefree.
I didn't realize that our family needed another piece of its puzzle.
I didn't realize we were incomplete.
I didn't realize there could be this much joy in one little person.
I didn't realize such a little body could hold so much of everything.
I didn't realize you turning five would be this meaningful to me.

But here we are.
Because I didn't blink and you turned five.
I knew that my baby, the one I rocked, the one I got up with, the one I started an amazing journey with...
would be my last firsts.
And so, I took you in.

Like how I watch you sleep.
I know you know this but recently, I haven't been able to pull myself away from you.
I haven't been able to stop brushing your hair and touching your face.
I haven't been able to stop smooching the tip of your nose.
I take and continue to take you all in.
And lately, I haven't been able to get enough of you.
Because as ready as you are, I am always one step behind but that means I am also your back.
You although you never need a push, who couldn't use a backup?

Happy fifth birthday monkey man.
I eat you up I love you so...
mommy's sweet and low.

14
May

Simple letter of love

My Mother's Day letter of love...
take 3.

I love how independent you are becoming.
I love watching you pour your own cereal.
I love that we are still needed but just in time and love.
I love seeing you at school, so loving, so caring, so attentive.
I love hearing about your day and the crazy telephone game it becomes.
I love our summers and how many memories we make.
I love that you love our new doggy. I love that she is important to you.
I love that we healed enough to open up our homes to Pearl, I love that we still love and think of Mia.
I love that Cole still comes to plant himself in the middle of us during a hug.
I love that they both get nervous when we fight and want it to end, I love that we end it for them.
I love that small is still important in our house right now.
I love that I am really taking it all in, just how fleeting time is.
I love every single tradition, every single one.
I love that you love them too, every last one.
PJs and out of a bath are still my favorite, that smell, that clean, that cozy.
I love that you are beginning to look like me.
I love watching you be and play and childhood come alive outside.
I love that our goodnights are still magic.
I love love love to watch you both sleep.
I love to grab your hand, push away your hair.
I love the feel, the smell, how time stops as we inhale and exhale together.
I love our DEAR time. I love digging into a good book with you, warm by the fire and watching you love your book too. I love that we aren't distracted, my phone is away. This is our time, our end to the crazy of our day.
I love all of the cards, the letters the pictures.
I love getting ice cream for dinner, I love seeing you be a kid in the best way.
I love every picture we have hanging of you, of us. I love seeing and feeling that moment in time.

I love you both.

You have given me these gifts loves you have filled me so full.

Dear Anna,
This year, you started down a path of maturity.
And you are working hard on finding you.
Even in the middle of all of your friends, staying true to you.
I will continue to drive that message home because you are the best you I know and I cannot have you change.
Not for silly
not for them
not for any one person.
Grow, develop, have fun, laugh out loud, all of it, but always and forever be you, you are the best you I know.
This is your gift to the world sweets, your kind loving heart.
And I need it to shine so everyone can see it, to shine across your face to see the love and light you hold.

This year, you gave me the gift of one on one talks.
You are opening up to me more and we even started a journal together.
This year, your gift has been the gift of getting to know you as you are getting to know yourself.
And I love our time.

Dear Cole,
This year, you started down a path of amazing.
You hit four and it all fell into place.
Your crying, your screaming, your tantrums all gave way and in their place became my little man.
The one I knew was in there.
The happy little boy.
The gentle soul.
The calm, the storm, the loud, the crazy, the happy wonderful you.

This year, your gave me the gift of you.
Wonderful, amazing loving you.
This year, you reminded me how important it is to love love.
How important it is to be a good and wonderful friend.
How important it is to go on a goodbye tour when you leave friends and leave them feeling wonderful.
This year, you gifted me your heart.

Thank you both for all 365 days of the past year.
The wonderful, the awful, the beautiful and the ugly.
Thank you for your patience as I cried and cried over Mia.
Thank you for your hugs of understanding.
Thank you for do overs and starting again.
Thank you for words instead of tears.
Thank you for still holding my hand.
Thank you for still kissing noses.
Thank you for allowing me to carry your heart and eat you up.

Thank you for the best parts of you, thank you for finding me to mother you.
You have given me a life I never knew I always needed and wanted.
You have given me a title I will hold close and protect.
You have given me my smile.
You have given me family.

And as always...
to the little girl that made me believe in happily ever after
and the little boy that was my one and only love at first sight
I love and adore you
.

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.

8
May

Too much like me

It's late and the exhaustion is strong.
We are both at the end, of our day, of our patience, of our tempers.
And the quick transition from happy day to stubborn tears starts.
And just like me, you're not giving up, you're digging in.
But also like me, you're not willing to give up on who we actually are.
And just like me, you want a do over.

The older you get, the more and more I see me.
The more and more I see the person that won't be walked on.
The more and more I see the person that won't let someone else tell her story.
The more and more I see the person that stands up for herself, but only to her parents.
The more and more I see the person that is timid around others, unsure if this is something she has to take a stand on.
The more and more I see the person that is afraid to speak up, but has it in her.
The more ad more I see the person that will do almost anything for friendship.
The more and more I see me.

I see me when you are wrapped in a cozy sweatshirt, because I am always wrapped in warmth.
I see me when you are mad and all you can do in that anger is cry.
I see me when you are so happy that it shines from your face.
I see me when you look to me for approval, because I always wanted it too.
I see me when you are filled with pride, because I always wanted it too.

I see me when all you want is a hug, because you want to melt into someone.
I see me in your smile, because you always had my mouth.
I see me when you are thinking, processing.
I see me when you are old, because we were both born old.
I see me when you are trying, because we always try.
And I see me when you are tired and everything is therefore wrong.
I see me when you put on your fighting gloves, because I own a pair too.
I see me when you are making things too hard, because that is what I do best.
I see me when you ask to go for that run, because I always push too.
I see me when you want to work hard, because that is my go to.
I see me when you laugh, because I at one time found it so easy to laugh.

But, I see you too.
The parts of you that are always and forever yours.
I see you when you are social, because I never was.
I see you when you are brave, because I never was.
I see you when you are walking into an event all by yourself, ready to see what friends you are going to make.
I see you when you find it so easy to make a friend.
I see you when you see only the good in people, and don't even recognize anything else.
I see you when you so easily find joy, because I am still on the hunt.
And I see your dad in all of that too.
Each reason listed being what made me fall head over heels in love with a person filled with that much joy.
And the reason I fall harder and harder for you, because I see so much of us wrapped in this little body of you.

For a little while, I would think to myself, you are too much like me, and that will mean butting heads.
And running into who is more right.
And stubborn everything.
And anxious hearts.
And worry.
Yeah, I see all of that in you...and it makes me a better me.
It makes me want to develop into a better me,
because that's what good people in your life do, they make you a better version of you.
And you are one of the best people I know so of course this would be what you did, for me.

Take it all in sweet face.
Take in what I do well, what I need work on, what I am trying hard to change.
Take in what works for you
what you wish you didn't pick up
what you know you can't live without
and develop into the best version of you
even if it means looking somewhat like me.

30
Apr

Parenthood - defined by just one mom

I have gained and lost two people.
I have woken up every two hours to pump for you.
I have been in an ambulance worried about what this means.
I have been in the hospital, too many times, holding hands and trying to make you feel brave.
I have stayed up all night worried about a fever.
I have labored, I have screamed and cried and pushed and ended up in surgery.
I have healed.
I have fed you from me and from a bottle.
I have wept for your pain.
I have been impressed by you, I am so so proud.

I have rocked you and played with you.
I have tickled your ear to try and keep you up for a feeding.
I have watched you sleep almost every night of your life.
I have started traditions that I hope you always and forever hold on to.
I have let you go, day by day, little by little...I have let you go.

I have cut up, dished out, poured and served thousands of snacks...thousands.
I have wiped faces and noses and mouths and bums and tears.
I have brushed your hair away from your face to look at dad's eyes staring back at me.
I have carried you
I have put you down
I have held on and
I have let you go.

I have seen childhood defined by snow days
and family movie night and pancake Sunday.
I have seen it defined in Cape vacations with framily
and Thursday night dinner with more framily.
I have seen it defined in sibling love
and Christmas Eve and morning.
I have seen it defined in happy safe secure love.

I have lost control of me
I have yelled and lost control of patience
I have surrendered to my fatigue and to my anger and I have let you down.
I have come back hundreds of times to say that I am sorry.

I have been woken up, slept on, held you through the night, held as tight as I could.
I have kissed away the pain, I have held you through the hurt.
I have been loved on, I have been made velveteen real.

I have given you a sibling
I have given you each other
I have watched you grow into the amazing you are.

I have done laundry, thousands and millions of loads of laundry.
I have washed and put away newborn onsies that are now childhood clothes.
I have boxed up clothes that no longer fit.
I have kept ones that have too much meaning to let go, I have cried over your laundry because of the big kids I have.

I have danced and sung and listened to the same song and watched the same movies and read the same books.
Over and over and over.
I have given up my food for you.
I have given up my body for you.
I have given up on caring about so many things because of you.
I have started caring about the right things because of you.

I am overwhelmed and stressed.
I am overjoyed and in love.
I am unhinged and falling every day a little harder.
I am learning to forgive all of the mistakes.

I am finally comfortable in my skin, scars and all.
I see beauty in the woman you look at, the one you turn to.

I have had good days
I have had great days
I have had terrible days
I have days that level me terrible
I have days that have built me and will be what keeps me warm in my final moments on earth.
I have been burst open by love.

I have lived through difficult trying and long years
I have lived through short ones, the ones that happen in a blink
I have taken you all in
I have cherished all of the warmth.

I have given my home to you,
I have lost control of the organization
I have lost the battle over filth
I have built you a home.

I have woken up to a bed full of family
and slept with love.

Grace was never a friend but we have kissed and made up.
Exhaustion is my new normal
but so is love.
And all of that is this mom's definition of parenthood.

23
Apr

Dear kids

I make a lot of mistakes from day to day.
Each time I am presented with a situation, I feel as though I have a major decision to make.
This little decision determines so much, too much.
It determines how you come to me in the future.
It determines if you come to me in the future.
It determines how safe and comforted you feel.
And this my loves, this is the hardest part of parenting.
This is the part that keeps me up.
The thought of losing our trust, our connection, our bond.
The thought of you feeling alone out there, not having a home base, not wanting to "get in trouble" so keeping it to yourself.

And so, I want you to know...

I will always believe in you.
Always believe in who you are.
Always believe in your goodness.
We all make mistakes, I will be disappointed, but I will never be disappointed in who you are, only what you did.
Because I will always and forever believe in you.
I will believe in your heart, your soul, the core of who you are.
Whenever you feel that you don't even believe in yourself, know that I believe in you the most.
I will always believe in you.

You do not need to have any part of your life figured out.
And you don't have to have it figured out for a really long time.
And even when you are all grown up and have it figured out, you still can change your mind.
Adults put a lot of emphasis on what you're going to be when you grow up.
What are you going to do?
What is it that you will major in?
What career will you follow?
But, you don't need to have a single part of it figured out always and forever.
That is what life is, figuring it out, owning that part and then keep developing.
Keep changing, keep growing.
Never feel like a failure because your life isn't figured out yet.
Direction and passion and what excites you, all of that will come.
And sometimes, it will go.
And then another thing will pop up and then you will follow that
and that too may go.
You will figure things out on your own terms.

I see the good in you, the unique, the really really good.
I spend a lot of time focusing on what you need to improve.
I spend a lot of time trying to guide you
and redirect
and teach.
But the truth is, at your base, there is so much good.
Like how adventurous you are.
Like how you always try, always.
Like how much you love life, really love all the things about it.
Like how you play well together.
Like how you read to him.
Like how you comfort each other when you're upset or in trouble.
Like how you want him to be included.
Like how you are her shadow.
Like how hard you both work at school.
Like how respectful you both are of your teachers.
Like how you love love.
Like how well you both sleep.
Like how much you love your food.
Like how your face lights up when you see us.
Like how you always ask for dad to play with you.
Like how you find our traditions as important as I do.
Like how loving you both are.
Like how gentle you can be.
I see the good guys and I need to call you out on it more.

You can always trust me.
With your words
with your actions
with your mistakes
with your worries
with your thoughts
with your insecurities
with your choices.
I will protect all of it.
I will always be on your side, even if I am disappointed.
Even if I feel you know/knew better.
Even if I feel you had a choice and you knew the right one and you still choose the wrong one.
Because mistakes and bad choices, all of that is learning.
I am your trust, right here.
I will never turn my back on you,
I make you face your consequences and take responsibility,
but I will never turn my back on you.

Because this is home, and you can always come back to home base.
Even as adults, you can come back to comfort and warmth and us.
We all need that every once in a while, just a few minutes of safe to get back out there.
We are home.

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