28
Apr

Dear joy

It's been a while for you and I. I think I finally figured out that in my chase to secure happiness, I forgot about our relationship and how important we are to each other. I forgot that you creep in, that you live in a moment, not in an idea, or a lifetime, or in the future. You are right here, you spring up now and again and it is just as much up to me to keep our relationship going, to keep it strong, to keep it fed. I forgot to keep our relationship flourishing and to keep us connected. I forgot how much I need you.

Happiness is what we desire, it's what we tell our kids to be, but I am starting to realize that happiness brings with it a lot of anxiety and a hunt. I am also realizing if you make happiness the ultimate goal that means you are looking for a life void of other feelings. Like feeling blue, down, sad, pained, mournful. All of those emotions are just as important, they allow you to grow, they allow you to move on, the allow you to feel, they allow all of life in. But if all you care about is being happy, you then feel like a failure when life inevitably happens and the other emotions have to come through. I think I always knew that of course, you would feel other things, but overall, you want to lead a happy life. That's what I always believed, you want to lead an overall happy life.

Unfortunately, you will go through days, weeks, months, years of just not being happy. You will go through stretches of things being hard. You will go through stretches of not loving your job, or not being on the same page as your person, or not seeing eye to eye with your kids, or trying to figure things out. If you continue to search and hunt for happiness, you are likely to think you have to just walk away. And sometimes, you do, but sometimes, you have to realize you might be in a season in your life where happiness is more difficult than you though.

But joy, joy can enter at any time. Joy can be found at a funeral when telling a funny story, joy can be found in your darkest hour, joy can be found while folded into yourself. Joy comes and goes, it dances with you. Joy is something you can actually bring into your world. You can surround yourself with reminders of joy. You can do it in the littlest ways. You can find joy in a song, or a quick dance party, you can find it in cleaning up and getting your house decluttered, you can find it by painting something fun, you can find it by going for a walk, petting your dog, you can find it in a smile, you can find it, I promise you that. You can always find it and you can be the joy for others too.

But, here's the funny thing about joy. Even if you're not looking for her, even if you're not ready to let her light shine, she finds you, she can't help it. She won't let you sit and wallow for too long, she finds her way in and she makes your heart lighter, she makes you feel better, even if it's for a moment. Here's the other thing about joy, you do need her so when she pokes her way back in, you have to remember that feeling and you have to remember that you need more reminders of her. You have to remember to welcome her in more, it's too heavy otherwise. You can't carry all the weight forever and ever, you need to lighten the load, and that is her job. She lightens the load and makes you feel like you can take on this minute, this hour, this day.

Dear joy, I am sorry I forgot about you. I'm sorry I neglected you. Thank you for reminding me that you are never far away. Thank you for calling my name and asking me if you can come over to play. I'm so sorry my door was closed for so long. I'm sorry I allowed my darkest hour to take completely over and I'm sorry that I forgot that I have the ability to make room for you. I can give you a call and ask you for a quick cup of coffee because I need you today, I need you and I will allow you in.

10
Mar

I'm having a moment

It's no surprise that the first year with both of you are some of my favorite memories. There is a peace with newborns that can't be explained, there is a comfort in the "dream phase" of parenting in which there is no actual parenting, only love.

It's easier now, sure, less reliant, absolutely. And watching you play Legos for hours while I do work is incredible. Having reading dates where we can all read our own thing is wonderful. Having you get yourself snacks, play with the dog, use equipment, go up/down stairs without a worry makes life so much easier on the constant need that comes with little ones. But the ease doesn't equate to calm.

There is a calm that comes with that first year. There is this outpouring of love for the little one on your chest, your person swaddling them, and the sibling that loves on them. The newborn bath smell that makes you feel like you are doing parenting right. The little noises that only you know what they mean, the facial expressions that tell you something else, the rhythm you establish together, a really special song only your little family knows the words to. A dance that you do that only your special group know the steps to.

When we had our last, and went through all the last firsts, I spent so much time loving reclaiming my home. Getting rid of highchairs and bumbos and newborn clothes and toys and reclaiming our bank accounts with no more diapers and no more preschool tuition and less and less daycare needed. But, the house gets refilled with other things, and the money goes to other places and I am having a moment of ache.

I am dreaming of babies, I can physically feel myself being so careful, so gentle. I can feel the weight as I hold them, as I walk them, as I smell them. I am meeting moms with twins and having thoughts like, what if we just adopted a set of twins, that would instantly give me the four I actually desire. I find myself in newborn baby aisles and picturing how and what I would do differently.

Even though I know (sort of) that this family is complete, I never had "the moment" of done and so I am having a different moment now. One in which the sadness hits me hard. Because I would be lying if I said I knew and I felt it and it was done and the stillness and calm of that decision makes me feel good. Instead, I know intellectually that we are done, I know that more would be more, I know that we are good, they are good, but damn, a girl can dream and so this one is.

For the mom who wanted none, but decided to give it a go, I'm having a moment for her. For the mom that had to be talked into it, and put all of her fears aside, I am having a moment for her. For the mom who held her daughter, claimed her motherhood and thought one and done, I am having a moment for her. And for the mom that held her son and three minutes into his life exclaimed I want 2 more...I am having a moment for her too.

I am having a moment in which I want it all back, I want my time with them back. I want the little back. I of course love where they are. I know how much my husband grows so easily with them. But this mamma struggles a little more with each and every passing that. I miss my babies and I miss newborn clothes and newborn detergent, and my husband looking like a gentle giant holding them. I miss the stillness that comes with that first year and I miss the quiet. It's a blip, I will feel better again soon, but for now I can admit, I'm having a moment.

26
Oct

Five Minute Friday - moment

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 moment.

Go.

They hit like lightning bolts, real ones do.
They can strike you, knock you over and remind you of the truth.
Mine struck me where it counted when it mattered most.

The moment I finally saw clearly.
After months of fog and exhaustion and drowning, I saw clearly.
The moment I heard laughter and it made my heart warm.
Made me fill back up a place that has been too empty.
The moment I got clarity.
Reminded myself who I am, what I stand for, what I believe in, my worth, my truth, me, right there, right here.
The moment I figured it out.
My plan, my promise to myself, my way, me taking back my life, my thoughts, my joy.
The moment I started building.
No longer putting out fires, no longer reacting but building.
The moment I started to believe in myself again.
Walking through fear as I always do, not conquering it, not getting rid of the doubts, but walking straight through.
The moment I laughed and cried and released.
What I needed, release and mourning and moving on.
The moment real friends showed up
took a hold, reminded me why I love, who I love, how I love.
The moment real at all showed up
not what I was creating, imaging, projecting.

One moment in time, one.
One significant thing that changed it all.
I'm not all the way there, I am not naive enough to think, say, or feel otherwise.
But I am on the right path finally, the one I belong on.

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.

10
Nov

Five Minute Friday - silence

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 silence.
Go.

It's my favorite sound, the quiet.
It's what most parents, most mothers seek.
It's the sound we long for.
The quiet, the still, the silence.

Because we all know that most of parenting is loud.
Noise is common, noise from them, noise from us, noise from toys, the noise we allow in, the noise we bring in.
But even while all together, we can find moments of special silence.

Like when we snuggle on the coach for our weekly family movie night.
Like when we tuck you in at night and finally allow the day to stand still, to sit in our silent love.
Like when we have reading dates and everything comes to a slow stop and we regroup.
Like when we hug, when we steal moments of affection throughout the day, hold on to each other and allow whispers and silence to wash over us.

And I fully realize that one day, my house full of loud
full of shouts
full of laughter
full of temper tantrum tears
full of crazy
full of stomping feet
full of slamming doors
it will all fall silent.
I will read this journey back and I will think, why did I complain about a little bit of noise?
What's wrong with noise anyway?

But in the thick of it, it's hard to see past the fog.
Which is why the moments of quiet that we steal, they fill me to keep pushing through the noise of it all.

See guys, you fill our home, with love and noise and stuff and lessons and chaos and humor
but you cannot complete me and you cannot be all of us.
Because you don't belong here forever.
You belong out there, doing loud amazing you and your father and I, we belong right here
serving as your rock, your home base
sitting in the quiet of our love and remembering all of the noise we once had.

Stop.

23
Jun

Five Minute Friday - steady

Every Friday we unite for five minutes to write on one word. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on steady.
Go.

I am not the steady one of the group.
I am not the rock.
That's your job.
You were my joy, my constant, my always and forever.
Still now, as the waves of life crash down on us and make us nauseous
you are steady.
You are the calm in our storm.
You are the one that keeps us steady.

The push and pull of life has me very unsteady these days.
The stress and worry has me shaking and unstable.
I am a tightly wound ball of nerves and balls are not steady, balls wobble, balls roll.
You are my steady.
You are my reminder that this too shall pass and more crazy will come.
You are my whisper of find us, we are here.
You are my fixer of all things, you are my steady.

And the attraction started because of your constant joy.
The natural joy that lived in you.
I didn't realize someone could feel that way, all of the time.
You were so thrilled to be.
Happy to be doing anything, as long as we were together.
Which is why dating me is still your favorite.
Which is why you look forward to just us two.

Kids knock you down.
Jobs, careers, business, they drag you through the mud.
Homes offer retreat and worry.
Life is full of the swinging back and forth
it is what makes life worth living.
And every person that gets lost in the whirl
every person that almost gets hurt from the spinning needs a steady rock.
A place to steady their thoughts.
A place to steady their mind.
A place to steady.
You, you are my steady.
You are my always and forever.

Stop.

20
Jan

Five Minute Friday - refine

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 refine.
Go.

Small changes.
Remove the impurities and make a change for the better.
Baby steps to who you actually want to be
not what the stresses of life have made you.
Always start small because everything else is too overwhelming.
Start at the beginning.
With the two kids that didn't know any better but thought they knew it all.
And start at joy
and remembering joy
and what brought you joy
and why.

Purify your life and take out all of the vulgar
all of the coarse
all of the hard edges
and come back to the real you.

Because when you refine something
you make it better
you remove flaws
and you start living the life you want.
One with intention
one with purpose
one with love.

This year, my promise to my family was more.
More of me
more love
more joy
more reminders of joy
I promised them I would refine who I am
as their mother
as a partner
as a leader and role model
as their rock.
I would start with small changes in me so that our family can come back to soft.

Throughout your life, you grow, you change.
And those you chose to spend your time with, they should make you want to be a better person.
They should bring out the best in you.
They should push you to grow more, step out of comfort and at times leave happy behind to find greatness.
They should make you refine your life
in the smallest of ways.

Stop.

9
Jan

More!

You hit me hard.
You wanted me to crumble, and I did.
You wanted me to break and walk away from all that I knew,
and I almost did that too.

You started with so much sickness
so much scary and unknown
so much stress and worry
so much testing and anger
so much sadness and confusion.

See, 2016 was the year that I swore up and down I would stop wishing time away.
That was my resolution, I would stop wishing my life away.
Because for as long as I can remember me, I was always the person that would say, I just need to get through...fill in the blank.
And then one day I woke up and said enough, I have wished it all away and no more.
This is my life, I can either change it or live it and I am choosing both.
But 2016 was a tough one, all around.
And so, I say a very welcomed good-bye to you and I am dusting myself off and trying...
all over again.

Each year, I feel like my theme with resolutions circles around the word less...
less worry, less stress, less stuff.
So this year, I am going the opposite direction.
New year, new me. And this year, the word is more.
MORE!
More laughter
more fun
more me
more us
more them
more who I really am, not this angry person I have become
more time
more opportunities
more adventures
more trying
more new
more for my business
more of what I love
more love.

So, first things first.
I am going to start finding things funny again.
Really funny.
Us, I will find the humor in us and our situation and our kids.
God, I am going to laugh hard with my kids.
More laugh lines, not worry lines.
More silly.
So, I am going to lighten the hell up...way more!

I am going to kick my own ass, way more!
Yep, I am always afraid.
Yep, my first response is always "I can't do that".
Yep, I have to walk through my fear and I always do.
So, more me.
More time spent working to get out of my head.
More time spent on putting my own mask on first.
More time spent doing yoga
and running
and racing
and watching movies
and reading
and building my business
and building me.
More me.

More talking.
More spending time listening to your day.
More walking away from my work to show you that you matter.
More turning everything else off to be with you.
More hands free mom.
More curling up with you and just letting you go.
More time in the car together where you really open up.
More listening.
More of me with you.

More calm presence.
More loving words
more open arms
more smiles
more warmth
more letting you know I have your back
more being on your side
more snuggles
more laying with you at night
more caressing your face
more running my fingers through your hair.
More love towards those I love.

More smiling.
More finding other people as good.
More smiles with strangers.
More complimenting people just because it's true.
More giving of myself to those I don't even know in the most simple and humane way.

More happy.
More finding fun new things to do.
More snowshoeing.
More ice skating.
More playing hoops together.
More board games
more card games
more puzzles
more legos
more family adventure
more hikes
more trips.
More joy in our lives.

I am ready for the challenges that will come.
I am ready for a new puppy to show us that life always moves and goes on.
I am ready for this family, the one we created, the one we wanted, the one we have, the one we need to feel lucky to have.
I am ready for us, all of us.
I am ready to fall back in love.
I am ready to be comfortable.
I am ready to be full on me, us.
Just more of it.

16
Dec

Five Minute Friday - now

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 now.
Go.

The one place I do not live in.
Because I am forever looking back, or forward.
Forever wishing I had a redo, or worried of what is to come.
Unable to sit in the now.
With the time I am currently in,
because I am either holding on, not wanting to move ahead, or 20 steps ahead.
I do not sit in the present and move with you all.
The now.

And on this last Five Minute Friday of 2016
when my world is a bit of a blur
I have no one but me to fix.
Because it is difficult to love when holding on to the past and worried of the future.
It is difficult to find joy too.
It is difficult to breathe when you live in those two opposing worlds and cannot sit with where you are.

Each year, I make a promise to myself for the following year.
Some call it a resolution, I call it more of a healing of me.
In 2017, my promise is to take what is coming in the now, yes I am a planner and need that plan ahead of me
yes, I am sentimental and love the memories behind me
but this year, I will sit with all that is in front of me, and stop.
To be with each of you
and each of us
right where we are
in the now.

Because now is when I have started my new business.
Because now is when I have a 7 and 4 year old, that even if they are not babies, are children that need me.
Because now is when my husband and I are turning towards each other and trying to hold on to who we are today,
building on who we were yesterday so we can be us tomorrow.
Because now is when our lives are dangerous and risky, but we are taking chances on us.
Because now is when we are a family of four.
Because now is when I am needed and loved and I need and love you all too.

This year, my healing is more love, inward and outward.
Allowing more love in and giving more love out.
And I will only be able to do that if I sit in the now.

I will be with you all, here, today.
I will tell you stories about yesterday in a hope that you realize how important and warm those memories are for all of us.
I will plan for the future because that is who I am.
But I will be here, today,
sitting surrounded by all of you,
in the now.

2
Dec

Five Minute Friday - crave

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 crave.
Go.

When I was pregnant with you Anna, the biggest craving that I had was for egg...scrambled to be specific.
Seven years later, I not only hold on to that memory and laugh at how much I ate, but I still could fall face first into a plate of scrambled eggs and eat my way out.
With you Cole, nothing specific, just food and as much of it as I could get.
I remember second breakfast, second lunch.
I remember not being able to make it from home to office without stopping for food, feeling if I didn't the starvation would end me.
And you came out just the same.
Hungry, all of the time.
Wanting anything, everything, food is your pleasure and without it, you crumble.

As the years went by, and motherhood set it, so did loneliness.
Because raising tiny humans is hard, and loud and isolating.
In a world where we all feel connected through a screen, we are forgetting that genuine connection keeps you sane.
And so, there was a different craving.
One for community, connection, friendship, and framily.
Because my connections were all over but not a single one was close by and not a single one could I hug when I needed to.
I needed to find my circle, I needed to find someone I could tell my all, and I needed to open my family up to others.

The craving, it wouldn't go away, because as the loneliness started to take over, the days were deafening.
Everywhere I turned, I felt that others had someone.
Everywhere I turned, I felt like I didn't belong here or there.
My circle wasn't complete, I needed more than the four walls we built,
my craving was getting stronger.

Until one day, it all clicked again.
And this tired mom of two
the one pushing 40
the one who is so hurtful to herself and too harsh
found a friend.
And like a child, my heart actually sang.
Just yesterday, we were talking about how many of us have this craving but are so isolated.
She decided to do something about it and open up her home and introduce people to one another.
Because family needs framily
to be reminded of the silly and the crazy.
To be genuine and authentic.
To show the real you, the one that is still in pjs at 3pm.
The one that doesn't ever do her hair unless she has to.
The one that would live in workout clothes.
The one that feels that yoga pants are "one step below black tie".
The one that gets angry with her kids.
The one that shows the good, bad and ugly of parenting because nothing is perfect.
The one without makeup covering anything up.
Cravings are intense, they make you get up out of bed at 3am to find that thing you desperately want.
They make you keep going until you find exactly what you desire.

Stop.

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