6
Apr

I never knew

This week is your birthday.
And before you
before us
before this connection
there was so much, too much
I never knew.

First, I had no idea how I would be as a mother.
And you sweet angel, you made it so easy.
You never ever made me feel like a first-time mom.
You didn't give me new mom fog.
You were just always here, we always fit and we were always connected in this weird and wonderful way.
I never knew how brave I could be until I said yes to you.

I never knew how much I would adore having a daughter.
I never knew how great believing in happily ever after would feel.
I never knew how great feeling like a queen would feel.
I never knew how gorgeous I would feel standing next to you.
I never knew there was power in pink.
I never knew what grace looked like.

I never knew that beauty does not come from a mirror, it came from the eyes of someone who saw you as everything.
I never knew you could quiet years of not liking yourself by holding a gorgeous girl in your arms.
I never knew how important it would be to let you be any form of girl you wanted to be, including loving all things girl.
From dolls to princesses to pink and purple to twirling and dancing to singing and dresses.
You were this girl and I was all in with you.
I never knew that your love for girl would finally make me love being the woman I am.

I never knew I would have a shadow and I never realized how much I would adore that too.
I never knew I wouldn't want my space from you.
I never knew that I would have no problem answering your questions, holding you close.
I never knew how important all the little steps were to make you feel like I will always be here.
I never knew how big all the little things would be to you.
I never knew how important bedtime snuggles would be, how much you would bask in love.

I never knew how much you would look like your dad.
How much it would make me fall in love with him all over again.
I never knew just how handsome I had married, until I met you.

I never knew how strong I could make all the princess you loved.
Belle for being brave, her love of reading.
Moana who wasn't a princess at all.
Rapunzel for finally leaving her tower.
Anna for being so loving and proving once and for all, love is all you need.
I never knew how easy it was to make strong the new pretty.

I never knew how much you would love Cole.
How important that relationship would be to me,
how much you two will always need each other.
I never knew how great it would feel to introduce you to the concept of framily and how important it is you pick the right people to spend your time with.

I never knew how simple love was.
How just being with you, spending time with you, made everything for you so much more special.
I never knew how much you would recognize my stress
how much like me you would be.
How much you would cry and laugh and how hard and loud each of those emotions would sound, how easily and quickly they would come.

But what I know now, all you have taught me is that I wasn't really me until I met you.
You allowed me to slide into a place of rest and love and acceptance.
And what I also know now is I cannot imagine a life without you in it.

I never knew,
how much I would love you.

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.

31
Jul

My first

You will always and forever be my first baby.
Every first of yours, was a first of mine.
Every milestone was one we crossed together.
Because on the day you were born, a mom was born.

And because of who I am, how moments wash over me, I remember the start of you and therefore the start of us.

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And when I held you, when I hold you, the words you're my favorite little girl come pouring out of me.
You're my favorite daughter.
You woke me up, and burst me open.
You taught me about love that makes your heart jump.
You taught me how amazing this ride is, and you taught me how important it is.
You are still this being that wakes me up.
Your smile, your eyes.
Your soul, your love.
Your mind, your stubborn determination.
You were my first.

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And all of the things we started together,
like breast feeding and changing and bathing and dressing and riding along side of and walking and talking and reading and homework and bus rides.
Like arguments and teaching you respect and consequences and gentle and kind and not being bossy but being a leader.
All of the firsts that we crossed off our lists,
all of the ones we got to, together.
You were my first.

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And here is the special part,
even though you do not remember this time...
you are the only child I will have that had all of me, all of us, just to you.
You got our time and our patience.
You got our attention and our love
all just for you.
You were my first.

Houser23

And your firsts are still my firsts.
You are leading the way in this.
You are taking me by the hand and showing me how to keep moving with you.
You lead our dance.
You were my first.

So the first time you have your heartbroken,
the first time someone calls for you,
the first time you have a fight with a friend,
the first time you are nervous about that school dance,
the first time you stop holding my hand, and reaching for me,
the first time you graduate and go to college and get married and start your family...
they will all be my firsts with you.
You lead our dance because you were my first.

Houser70

And letting go of you has always been hard.
The day I dropped you off at daycare and walked out of your day.
The day I put you on a bus and walked away from you.
The day I let you go to a friends house and just drove away, far away from you.
Letting go has always been hard.
Because you were my first.

And there came a day we were ready.
We were ready to grow and we wanted your heart to feel as full as ours and we were ready to fall in love with two.
And so, we gave you your first,
the first time you got to hold your little brother,
the first time you told him he was your best friend.

Houser2016home181

But you, you were our first.
You lead our dance, because you were the first.

30
Aug

Yellow

I knew, when you were just a peanut and I was holding you from the inside.
I knew the day I sat holding my positive pregnancy test in hand.
Standing in the bathroom, tears running down both of our faces.
I knew before the ultrasound confirmed.
I knew before she turned to us and said, "you're having a girl".
I knew you were a baby girl.
I knew you were my daughter.
I didn't know what was ahead of me, I still don't.
All I knew is that this mom would have a daughter.
A girl turning woman.

On my quiet drive home, I placed my hand over you and I said your name, out loud, to myself.
"Anna, I'm your mom, can you hear me?"
And then, the song started to play.
I turned it up and sang you my first lullaby.
I heard how this song was being sung for you.

"Look at the stars, look how they shine for you.
And everything you do.
I came along
I wrote a song for you
And all the things you do
And it was called yellow
You know you know I love you so
You know I love you so
"

The tears wouldn't stop.
I tried to hug you as tight as I could.
We were half way there and soon, I would hold you on the outside.
Soon I would share you, with the entire world.
But, for the next 20 weeks, I was the one that got to rock you to sleep.
I would be the one to feed you, I would be the only person allowed to hold you.
We were together, two hearts in one body.
I carried your heart, and you heard mine from the inside.

That night, I asked your dad to put the song on your welcome to the world playlist.
I wanted it to be one of the first things you heard in the world.
I wanted my voice and that song to be your first memories.

I wanted you to know that the world sings for you
and all the things you do.
I wanted you to know that I came along and I jumped for you
oh what a thing to do.
I drew a line, I drew a line for you
and all the things you do.

"It's true
Look how they shine for you
Look how they shine for you
Look how they shine for
And they were all yellow
."

24
Aug

I will wait for you

In happens all at once.
You become a different child, a different person and I lose you.
I feel you slipping farther and farther away.
The real you, she disappears.
And what is left is a tired, angry, and former version of you.
I don't recognize who you are.
Your words are full of anger, rage, red hot rage.
Your eyes are not yours.
Your voice, your personality, it all slips away.
Your laugh comes with such authority.
You dig in, as hard as you can.
And I kneel down and wait for you.
I will wait for you.

I slip into your room, we lay down, face to face.
I start my confession.
I feel as though I am losing you, as though I have lost you and I just want you to know, that I miss you.
The tears, they start trickling down your face and mine.
The honestly just pours out of me and I always wonder if this is too much information for you to hear.
My disappointment is hurtful.
My anger is trying to cool.
And I kneel down and wait for you.
I will wait for you.

Kissing noses, you say that you love me, that you are sorry.
I tell you that I know this isn't the real you, that you are full of good and love.
You are kind and caring, you are loving.
I know that you can lead.
I know that you are the definition of love.
And I kneel down and wait for you.
I will wait for you.

I know that tough times are ahead.
Times where I will lose you all together.
Times where you will be trying to figure out who you are so your definition of self will change every day,
almost moment to moment.
I know that this is just our beginning.
That the little person I put on this earth and loved and thought I knew so well is fighting for her own identity.
And I kneel down and wait for you.
I will wait for you.

At the end of your journey,
your self discovery,
I will be here.
I will be waiting for you.

No matter who she is.
No matter your choice,
I will kneel down and wait for you.
I will wait for you.

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