17
May

Five Minute Friday - promise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15
Mar

Five Minute Friday - place

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 place.

Go.

I have a place that I call home. The home in which my little faces are making memories, the one in which I am setting strong traditions, the one in which I found with you when we still dreaming of tomorrow but so excited for where we stood.

I have a place that I call home. The home in which I can be cozy and comfy. The home in which I live in pjs. The home in which I can peal off the day and sink in. The home in which I do the majority of my work, the home in which I am raising them in, the home in which they are teaching me in.

I have a place that I call home. The home that reminds me of who I am when I am feeling too much like me. The home that reminds me of where I am when I am feeling lost. The home that supports me when I am feeling very much alone and extra lonely. The home I feel loved when I am feeling attacked.

I have a place that I call home. The one we built, created and warmed up together. The one that is a constant work in progress. The one that is always changing, adding, and taking away. The one that has evolved and grew in every direction. The home that you knew you wanted and I could not say no to your face when you saw it. The one you pour yourself into and your hands have touched every surface.

I have a place that I call home. And right now, I am feeling like I don't belong anywhere and I have lost my place, and I have lost and lost and lost. But not here, not home. Not where we live, not in our place.

3
Mar

What happened?

Do you ever look around and think, how did we get here? What decisions did we make along the way that got us to this spot? I think about it a lot because I remember it being exactly what we always wanted.

Remember when you knew exactly what you wanted to do, exactly what you wanted to be when you grew up? And then, all be damned, you went and did it. You knew when you were nine and then you became the thing you always wanted. Every day, you're doing it, you're getting to go in and be all you ever wanted to be...remember?

Remember when my work and the mission and the agency and the mission and the work and the agency and the work were all that I could ever dream about? Remember when I left the first time, how sad I was to walk away from something that I believed in so much, with all my heart so much. Remember how when I got back I felt like I was home, exactly where I belonged. And then as I got more and more involved and more and more into it, remember how much more I loved it...remember?

Remember when you told me we were going to be parents? You knew, you always and forever knew they were a part of our story? Remember how you said it...we're having kids, it will be fine, you will love them, we are going to be parents. Remember when before they got here how we would talk about them? Their names, what they would look like, how we would handle this scenario or that, who would do what, when we would do this all? I remember, I would stare at you and wonder if they would get your eyes, or your smile? I would hope for my hair and green eyes are pretty too. Remember the few months it didn't work how heartbroken we were? Remember how much it physically hurt? Like they were somehow taken from us. That, by the way, that was how I knew you were right, I did want this. I wanted them before they came. You always wanted them...remember?

Remember how we could not imagine life without Mia? Remember how we would talk about it, we knew it would happen and we would wonder how and who and reactions and life after and timing? Remember how we thought you would be the strong one, I didn't even know if I could be there? Remember how she was our one and only for so so so so long? She was our reason, what we came home to, what we worried about, what we poured love into. Remember how I would joke that she would hate our kids, how mad she would be? Remember how everyone told me I would love her less once they got here, except I knew it would only make me love her more...remember?

Remember the promises we made...better or worse, sickness and health, together, strong...touching toes and holding hands kind of strong? Remember how eyes wide open I thought we went into parenting? Remember how easy it was to love each other, how silly the fights were, how walking away didn't seem ever possible? Remember how we always felt like family...remember?

So, we did it. You know, we really did it. All the big and little dreams. The ones like homes and careers and kids and moves. The ones like easy mornings with coffee and traditions that bind and movies that still define who we are. The ones like everyday living and big life planning. The ones like saying goodbye to our one and only and welcoming in a puppy that is a lover of love. The ones like adding kids and even more love and hearts growing. The ones like heartache and fights that shake us and how it takes actual effort and holding on to not walk away now. The ones like how your nook is still my spot, the ones like how we expanded our arms to fit them all in. The ones like hearts exploding and breaking and how love and time continue to put all the pieces back together again.

We did it, all we ever wanted, all we ever wished and dreamed for so we can look around and just be so thankful. Thankful that they are healthy. Thankful that we have space to fight over a parental decision or reaction. Thankful that it's messy. Thankful that it's loud. Thankful that they are good kids. Thankful that we do somethings with them right. Thankful that saying goodbye to Mia was so painful and we knew that pain only because we did love her as hard as we could. Thankful that we allowed Pearl in. Thankful that you convinced me this was our story to tell, thankful that you convinced me to have not just one but two little faces. Thankful that I convinced you to add another puppy and thankful that you said yes. Thankful for the work we wanted being our lives. Thankful for growing into bigger dreams for us. Thankful for the house turned home, the one we built together. Thankful for your ability to do anything, thankful for mine to want to tackle everything. Thankful for laughter, thankful for the tears, thankful for the fits of anger that crumble, and the hugs that heal. Thankful for all the smooches to end our day, thankful because we did it.

What happened was that we made it. We got our wish, so although that doesn't mean we stop, we can at least take a beat and say, we landed in the place we always wanted to be.

20
May

The collector

One of the most magnificent and accurate things I have read was:

I am a collector
Not of things
But of
Nostalgia and stories

I wear memories and stories and the past like a warm blanket.
I drape it over me, I allow it to keep me cozy when I feel a chill.
I sink into my memories as if they were bubbles in a bath.
I allow them to cover the naked and the cold.
I am a collector of memories and stories.

I remember most things with such clarity and life.
The memory plays back in my mind as if I am sitting back and watching a movie of it.
I am able to see all of the past unfold over and over and over again.
All of my past, the good, the bad, the ugly.
The parts I healed but never let go.
The parts I don't want to look at anymore, the ones I wish would vanish.
But I see all of us, all of you.
I am a collector of memories and stories.

I see your dad's face the first time I met him.
I see his smile, how clear blue his eyes were, how young he looked.
I see his face when two little lines on a stick changed our world.
I hear his voice when I let him know you were coming.
I am surrounded by the visuals, the colors, the vibrant colors of our life.
I am a collector of memories and stories.

I see your little face when I first met you Anna.
I see the towel wrapped around you the day I feel forever in love with you.
I see Cole, brand new Cole, being presented to me and offered a kiss.
I remember the first time I fed you both and the last, and every single time in between.
I am a collector of memories and stories.

I see the day we threw away baby bottles, I see myself on the floor of our kitchen crying.
I see your first crawl Anna
and your first walk Cole
and your first words, all of them.
I see every single costume you ever wore
each and every pumpkin carving you did.
I see our summers at the track
our framily at the Cape
our Thursday night dinners
our Friday night family movies
our Sunday pancakes
god, I see our family and our story unfold.

I see my childhood, the one I am reclaiming.
I see my grit, my determination, but I also see my anger, my lack of balance.
I see each job and how I was lead to a career and a business.
I see my entire life which includes the most exceptional of people.

I am a collector
Not of things
But of
Nostalgia and stories.

11
May

Five Minute Friday - include

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 include.
Go.

I made the decision to include you in my life pretty early on in us.
I just knew, our love would become family.
And so I decided to walk with you, side by side, hand in hand.
And there are times you allow me to take the lead, bring us down a certain path
but when it comes to the really big things, you lead me.
Out of fear, anger, mistrust, concern.
And you lead me straight to them.

It took me longer to include you in my life kiddos.
It took me longer to think about all of the pros and cons.
It took me longer to look at this parenting thing and for some reason, I felt I needed to go in
eyes wide open.
So I did, I did all of the research
I made us have all of the conversations
I came up with all of the different scenarios, situations.
And as always, you guys taught me.
That parenting and family doesn't work that way.
That all of life is day by day, moment by moment so let's live in it.
And when I finally decided to let you in, you made me something else.
You made me into this woman filled with beauty and love and warmth and you handed me my second chance at childhood.

We all make decisions on what to include all day every day.
What to include in our lives, in our days, in our moments.
We decide what to include in our homes, who we include in our circle, what to include in our heart.
We decide what to include in suitcases, baggage, closets, hearts.
We decide on what we let in, what we let take over, what stays and what has to go.
We decide and so I have chosen wisely.
I have included joy to balance my lack of.
I have included love to balance my cynicism.
I have included young to balance my old soul.
I have included you to balance me.

Stop.

17
Sep

You're the best thing I did

From the outside looking in, or even from the inside looking right at us, it seems as though there are times I question my decision.
I know I get stressed too easily.
I know I am distracted and my lists take over.
I know that I'm not the parent that plays, I don't have an imagination to tap into.
But you, both of you, you were wanted.
You were planned for and desired and needed.
You are the best decision we made, I made.
And you're the best thing I did.

I question most of what I do.
Most of my decisions I play back and forth in my mind.
Most of my final decisions I worry about.
And I worry about you both too, of course I do.
I worry I am making the right decisions for you.
I worry that I am crushing happy.
I worry about your happiness.
But, I don't question for even one second that this is what I am supposed to be doing.
I question my parenting, yes.
I don't question my decision to have you both.
Because you're the best thing I did.

I realize there are days when you question my loyalty.
You question if I am on your side.
There are so many moments of exhaustion and deflated emotions from both of us, ones I am so not proud of.
but you, you are what I am most proud of.
You are my pride you are the best people that I know.
And even when you think I am not being fair, when you don't quite understand the why,
I promise my only intention is to keep you being you.
My only thought is building you, supporting you.
But to support something, someone else, it's a heavy load to carry.
But none of that matters, because you're here.
And not only did we decide to burst open our heart to have you here but, you're the best thing I did.

It won't always be this way.
We won't always be together like this.
Success is measured by you being on your own.
I promise I know that and I know that one day all too soon, you do just you.
And then I go back to me, us, without you.
It's hard to imagine for all of us right now.
It's hard to picture this time, but it's coming.
I don't know how I will be, I don't know how to explain how it will feel.
I can remember life without you, I peak inside that different world from time to time.
I miss that world too so the thought of going back to it has perks.
Because there was a time when a boy and a girl met and life was too easy.
And I don't know if we can ever get back there or if creating this experience means nothing will ever be the same.
But, how to stop being around you like this, I don't know how yet.
They say we will grow into it together and I have to trust that.
I have to trust that I will feel good about no longer seeing the day in and out of the best thing I did.

So on the days that the lists don't get completed.
On the days the laundry piles up for both of us.
On the days that the house projects have to take a back seat.
On the days that a deadline has to be rearranged.
On the days that we bail on life and spend it together
know that this overworked, overstressed and tired mother is spending time doing what she loves the most.
Being embraced by love from the very best thing she did.

8
Jul

Forever

When I first met you, there was a part of me that knew we were family.
When you asked me to walk beside you, hand in hand, for the rest of our lives, we made it official to everyone else.
But I always knew, way back then, we would forever be us.

Seventeen years later, everything looks different,
our bodies
our minds
our patience
our cares
our priorities
our home
our jobs
our health
our wrinkles
our skin
everything has changed.
Even our pledge to each other,
to our forever.

It doesn't look like puppy dog love anymore
it doesn't look young and fresh and sweet
it doesn't look like kids pretending to be grown
it's hardly even cute.
Our forever has changed
into real
and boring
and forgiving
and kindness
and turning towards
and heavy.

Because love changes and grows and molds
as people do
and you can either grow apart
or grow together.

One thing that has not changed is when things get hard, I am the first to question.
I question us
I question our decisions
I question our arguments
I question our commitment.
When things don't look and feel like us, I want to walk away.
But you have always realized that it is a result of me never wanting to live the life I had,
the one that I knew
that one that I walked out of
before I met forever.

And so, each and every time, you call me out.
You remind me that we don't ever give up
not on them
not on me
not on you
not on each other
not on us.
We do not get to give up,
because you remind me of forever.

So, we keep marching on.
We find our own adventure
we tackle the challenges
the trying and difficult times
and hand in hand, we find us again,
we find forever.

Because along the way, you remind me of love.
Actual, real, consistent and caring love.
Our love is more ordinary but you and I find the magic in boring.

Your I love yous come just the same...
you love through action.
You fix
you build
you have to make it all better.
And I finally understand your language.
Words, writing, presentations, none of that is how you speak.
Instead you research everything, for me, or us
you plan every vacation, so I can not plan a thing
you bring me a glass of wine
you fix me coffee
you get the kids up and ready
you tackle bed time
you hold my hand through the bad news
like the medical hell we went through
like aging parents
like losing our Mia.
You tell me you love me by saying yes to Pearl
and how fell in love, just by placing her in your arms
like the love you have for them
the amount you care about them
the expectations you have for them, because you see all they are going to become
your I love yous come just the same.

everything has changed.
everything looks different
even our forever.
But what will always stay is you are my forever.
Thanks for finding me.

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.

26
Feb

What was our rush?

I remember starting out with you.
Each moment of our lives, I remember every, single last detail.
I remember the moment we met, how fitting we were.
I remember feeling close to you, a stranger.
I remember having a dream about you that night, I remember how comfortable and safe my dream was.
And, when I saw you again, I remember your smile when I walked into the bar.
I remember how happy and light it felt, but still comforting, safe.
We were kids, barely legal to drink, and we were family.

But somehow, we got caught up.
And looking back at our book of love, we rushed through so many chapters.
Always hoping for our next step.
And as I jokingly said to you, what do we wait for next...death?

And maybe it's because I was born 40
and maybe it's because you were always a kid at heart
and maybe it's because I had so much to prove
but somehow, we got caught up in the rush of it all
and we grew up too quickly.

This weekend, as we were watching our Friday night date movie
(because movies were always where and how we started).
We watched this young couple start their own book.
And for some reason, this movie hit us both so hard.
It brought up back to the beginning.
About how young we were
about how much fun it was then
and it left us wondering what was our hurry?
What was the rush, what deadline did we have?
There was a time when all we argued over was the laundry
and maybe you're right...
maybe we would have found more to fight about,
but maybe, just maybe...laundry would be our only tense moments.
Why did we have to grow up?
What was our rush?

But, as you remind me...
we wouldn't have met them
and we would have regretted that.
We wouldn't have grown into who we are
and we are still pretty great.
We would have held other babies and felt an ache
because you always wanted dad to be a title you held.
We would have missed out on building our house
because we all turned it into our home.

So why did we have to grow up?
Because everyone does I guess.
Because time continues to move forward.
Because Mia wouldn't have lived forever, even though she was the start of our family.
Because all that I am, is because of you.
There isn't an ounce of me that doesn't belong to you and what you believed I could be
who you believed I should be.
You believed in me, in us, always.
You made me reach, you challenged me, you made me believe in us too.

But, you have to admit...
if you could go back
if you could start it over again
if you knew the outcome would all be the same
you would jump at that chance.
And maybe, just maybe, we would linger more.
Maybe, just maybe, we would step back and really savor that time.
Maybe, just maybe, we would realize
there's no need to rush.
Time would get us here anyway.

21
Oct

Five Minute Friday - park

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 park.
Go.

It's happening less and less, our time in parks.
At one point in our lives, it was our weekend get away.
We could grab our puppy, head out the door and no matter the weather, you could find us outside, together, in nature.
Winter was our favorite with snow shoeing, probably because it was Mia's favorite too.
And there is something about a puppy smiling and clearly happy and then sleeping from exhaustion that makes you feel too warm.

But, seasons change
and time becomes more limited.
And with two little ones, our time in parks, it's happening less and less.
But the times we do get there, I always think, why are we not doing this more?
And a couple of weeks ago, when we said goodnight to Mia, we headed out.
And the kids ran, and played and found a play ground.
They ran too far ahead of us and they were shouting with joy and laughter.
And as I dragged my body through that very sad weekend, it was all of their smiles and laughter that reminded me how much life there is left to live.
How much happiness there is.
How many seasons we are spending inside and how much more we need of this.
Time outside again, breathing a different air.
Walking around, finding a mountain to climb,
finding more to do in winter when our part of the world is covered in a glorious white.

Our season is changing once again,
we have reached a time in our lives when the kids are a little older,
a little easier since they don't need to be carried
and a little harder because they need to be guided
but we always said we've got this as long as we're together.
And more and more, I am feeling this pull to the old us.
I understand there are parts we will never get back,
the days of feeling free and careless are forever gone.
But the days of silly and goofy and fun,
they are what should fill our time.
Because we will get back to those parks, hand in hand
and find our joy.

Stop.

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