20
Apr

Five Minute Friday - turn

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 turn.
Go.

It's our turn.
We have been focussing on you
your needs
your wants
your cries
your little grunts
your inability
your everything.

But, I don't have babies anymore.
I now have kids
and part of the appeal of aging and independence is we get to focus on us.
Our turn
our lives
our rhythm.

We get to find a new version of us.
One that has been through hell and back.
One that has turned towards and away from love and coming running back again.
One that leans hard on one another.
It's our turn now.

Things with kids get busier
schedules get crazier
schedules become really important
schedules were always important to me though.

Things with kids get blurry
because we think they put us out of focus when in actuality they have us focus on what is most important.
And that is always and forever togetherness.
It's all they want, it's all they need, it's all they ask for.

Things with kids get overwhelming
because we feel overwhelmed.
Because we think it should feel heavy
because raising humans is heavy.
But, what they really remind us of is how light things should be.
How dumb we are for making it overwhelming
because how is love anything but light?

It's our turn now
it's on us to refocus
reinterpret
rephrase our worry
regroup and reclaim us.

Our turn to look into what is meant for us to carry vs what we add that has no meaning.
Our turn to define our family.

Stop.

23
Mar

Five Minute Friday - routine

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 routine.
Go.

It is kind of absurd how much I love a routine.
How much I crave knowing what my day looks like
what I do when.
And I can say it is because my days are so long
so hectic
so out of my control, in the hands of others.
I am tied to meetings and agendas and to-dos.
But if I am being honest, I love a routine because that is who I am.
I am tied to meetings and agenda and to-dos because that is the profession I chose and would do it all over again.
It is who I am and it is time for me to be okay with me.

So let me begin...
there is order in a routine
there is a knowing
there is a feeling of freedom from not having to think
it's a dance
it's pretty to me
it's me.

There is balance in a routine
it brings the crazy back down
it lines things up
it creates space
it allows me to exhale
it's calm
and it is calming
it is me.

And inside something so cold and so sterile
I created warmth and tradition after tradition after tradition.
I created space and time and focus on us.
I created beauty and affection
I created your love of knowing
and I made time, fleeting time, special.

Yes, I love my routine.
I love my schedule of schedules
I love the lists
the actions
I love how I took something so crazy about myself, so list oriented
and I made something gorgeous in us.

Stop.

9
Mar

Five Minute Friday - tired

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 tired.
Go.

I have MS.
I was diagnosed when I was 23 and yesterday was my 16 year anniversary of getting the call that confirmed my fears.
It has been 16 years.
I can't even say they have been long years
because we have been "lucky".
We caught it early
we got on meds right away
I have setbacks here and there but all in all, we are so "lucky".
Fatigue is my biggest challenge, I am so damn tired.
Mom tired.
CEO tired.
Starting a business tired.
Having a disease that makes me tired tired.

Yesterday was also International Women's Day, is that a coincidence?
A day to celebrate our strength, our grit, our determination.
So let me start by saying I wasn't "lucky".
This is my year of different so let me say, I am good at this.
I fight this.
I battle this.
I look at it in the mirror every day and I tell it to go to hell.
I caught it early because I knew something was wrong.
I advocated for me when they told me nothing was wrong.
I fought for all the tests.
I called every day to find out if there was a cancellation for the MRI, I refused to wait the 5-month time frame.
I got on meds early because I didn't mess around.
People were good to me and opened doors for me because I connect with those that I care about, and people wanted to help me.
I cried in his face telling him I can't do needles anymore, he looked at me and reminded me that I'm strong.
I took the meds every day. I fought and battled all the side effects.
I had the flu every week for three solid years not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I had bruises all over my arms and legs for 2 years not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I had 2-hour treatments once a month not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I lost my hair for 9 months not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I did get tired of it, I did want to quit, but I kept going, not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I fight fatigue, a tired I cannot explain, not because I am lucky, but because I am strong.
It isn't a silent disease to me, I look at it, I worry about it, I connect symptoms and I battle on.

I did what so many women do, I told tired that it doesn't have a chance here today and I womaned up!

2
Mar

Five minute Friday - regret

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 regret.
Go.

We all have many, don't we?
I regret yelling at you
I regret my response
I regret my reaction
I regret how I let you get to me
I regret that decision
I regret.

But what if for today, because it is my year of different, I talk about all of the things I don't regret.

Like meeting you
like how much we loved Mia
like becoming your mom
like saying yes to this life
like how you pour yourself into our home
like how much I pour into all of us
like how much effort I put into being a good mom
like how much you see for their future
like running that marathon, all by myself
like learning how to swim so I can compete in tris
like becoming a CEO
like starting my own business
like how you took a chance on you for once
like how much I love working
like how hard I work on myself
like how good of a friend I am
like how kind and amazing you are and how everyone is attracted to you as a person
like how loyal I am
like how good I am at traditions
like how good you are with their activities
like how I won't allow us to ever stand still
like how you won't allow us to ever walk away

There are many decisions I regret
there are many things words actions I would take back
there are lots of do-overs I wish I had
but this is my year of different and I am using all I know to change to grow.
And there is so much I wouldn't take back.

Like how in one week is the anniversary of you asking me to take on forever with you
I will never regret saying yes
Like how much we just love them
I will never regret deciding to bring them into our lives and the love we have built.
Like who we spend our time with
I will never regret who we love, what we all mean to one another, what it has done for our soul.
Like how much we care about
I will never regret the fact that we are good to people, good to those we love, good to those we know need a gentle heart.

There is so much of this life I do not regret.

18
Feb

Humor me

You know that I and milestones are not exactly best friends.
You know that the kids hitting a new phase of them breaks me a little.
I try and be strong
I put on a brave smile
I, of course, am thrilled for them...
but for you dear husband, you have to humor me.
You have to be the one to watch me crumble a little.
You have to be the one to pull me up, you have to listen to it because I cannot put that burden on them.
I know it does not mean or feel the same for you, but you have to humor me.

Traditions are our foundation.
I love them
you love them
you ask for them
you are disappointed if we have to change them (you look for how to rearrange it).
Traditions have become exactly what I had hoped.
But, there will come a day when you will want to go out instead of pile on the couch and watch a movie.
There will come a day when seeing friends will rank higher.
There will come a day when a sleepover keeps you from pancake Sunday
or when studying for a test will mean you can't make family dinner on Sunday night.
And when the nights start adding up and up and up and our time is more and more limited
I will ask you to humor me dear little ones.
I will ask you to please put it aside, please stay tonight.
Our family needs this right now, so find your way back to our foundation and humor your mom.

You know that with my intense and overwhelming love comes what can only be defined as crazy.
You know with my loyalty comes my emotions.
You know with my protection comes my fears.
So humor this mother of yours because she humored you too.
Humor your bride because you promised her she could rely on you.
She knows she is too much, she knows she is all in, she knows she is all consuming.

But, that is what real love is don't you know.
It's all consuming and crazy and overwhelming.
It's beautiful and awing
it's wonderful
and this woman who never thought motherhood would be her story is in awe.
She is in love
she is trying just like all mothers and fathers do
and she needs to be humored.

So, when I am singing as loud as possible in the car, humor me.
When I am dancing in the morning and insisting on a family dance party, humor me.
When I tell you we are going out for ice cream dinner and you feel you're too old for that stuff, humor me.
When I am crying because he/she/both of them are doing something new, humor me.
When they are far away and I can't remember how hard some of the years were, humor me.
When I insist on that last kiss good-night, even if your body is tall and lanky, humor me.
When I ask for a little guy smooch from you at 16 Monkey, humor me.
When I tell you I carry your heart on your wedding day Bella, humor me.
Because this mother and bride and person in your life, she needs to be humored.

11
Feb

I notice you

I am quick to remind you of all the things you're not doing.
I am quick to get annoyed.
I am quick to excuse it all with my exhaustion, my lack of patience, how I was raised.
But I am slow at figuring this all out.
Slow at seeing all you bring
all that is important to you and how you show love.
I am slow at the thank yous and I am never coming with the "I am sorry".

So, today, on my track to being different
today on my month of gratitude
I want to thank you for all you do.
For me
for us
for them
for the family.

Because I want you to know, I notice.
I notice you and all you do, I notice your smile when you look over at them.
I notice your happy face when he pulls out his Starwars guys
I notice your pride when she is working hard and not giving up
I notice you.

And I know, words don't resonate as much with you as they do with me,
but I think it's important to document my gratitude for all you do.
Like how you don't make me feel crazy for my crazy
like how you don't let me get away with it either
like how you are a doer, you always get stuff done for us
like how you have poured all of you into this house
like how you are the one he turns to in the middle of the night because "dad stays to snuggle longer"
like how you are the one she gets homework help from
like how you are patient with their learning
like how you see them for what they will become
like how you always saw them, even when I didn't
like how you were the first person to believe in me
like how you made me believe in love
like how you made me a mom
like how you never give up on us
like how you will never let us be angry forever
like how you always say sorry first
like how you need hugs
like how you tell me I'm still pretty
like how you tell me I am strong
like how you never question my hours
like how you never worry

I notice.
I notice all you do
I notice how much you work at all of this
I am proud of you
and I heart you.
I notice you, sweet love, I do.

9
Feb

Five Minute Friday - privilege

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 privilege.
Go.

It is my absolute privilege to be your mother.
It is my honor, my best thing.
It is something I protect, I cherish, I get to mother you.

It is what you have, privilege.
I will never let you forget that you were born with things and advances just because we parent you.
Not because you are smarter
not because you worked for them
just because you were born into this family
have this house
get to go to that school
live in this neighborhood
you are privileged and that is just fact.
And it comes with a responsibility to our larger community.

I try and use the ones I have for the greater good.
I remind myself that to be your mother should be treated like the honor it is.
I remind myself that I have a voice for those that do not.
I remind myself that I can make things better and make them just.
I try and teach you about the advances you were just given.
I try and keep us humble and grateful and I call out our advantages for what they are, privileges.
Because this is how I parent you little faces.

I know that I became a mom for a reason.
I know that it was to remind me of the importance of forgiveness and healing.
And that is why I view it as a privilege, because you gave me a second chance at childhood.
I know that I picked my career for a reason.
I always felt that people not having a voice is too damaging.
I know that I come from a long history of hard work and hard times.
I know that I have also come from advantages given to me and I am passing those on to you.
I know that privilege is something that may be uncomfortable to talk about, but if we don't, if we continue to pretend it does not exist, we are continuing to make things harder.

4
Feb

I say I love you

There are so many times that "I love you" does not seem to be enough.
Because when your love is bursting from you chest
and at makes you feel like you can't breathe
"I love you" seems so small.
So I find other ways.
I find deeper way to connect and make you feel a love that can only be described as washing over us all.

I say it with looks and hugs.
I say it when I stop and settle with you.
I say it when I am not distracted.

I say it when I say olive juice.
I say it I reach for your hand.
I say it with I eat you up I love you so
I say it I carry your heart.

You say it back with mommy's sweet and low
and I carry yours too.

I say it with my February notes of love.
You say it by reminding me how much they mean to you.

I say it when I squeeze your hand three times.
You say it by squeezing it back twice.

I say it with our family movie nights
you say it with talk all week about how excited you are for Friday.

I say it with sign-language for I love you.
You say it back by getting your fingers just so.

I say it with creating a framily
you say it by falling just as hard.

I say it with warm snuggle blankets
you say it by asking me to join you on the coach.

I say it with our reading dates
you say it with begging for them and asking for night time snuggles.

I say it by telling you all about you as a baby, as a toddler, as my little one
you say it by falling in love with our story.

I say it through this blog, this journey I created for you
you say it by wanting to read them with me.

I wish I could let you know what it feels like to be a mom
the love that is just there, always there growing and growing and growing.
But, all if this is my attempt to have you even come to the flood you created.
Because you started something special when you picked us
and you redefined love to be messy and heartbreaking and complicated and tiring and energizing and...
so I will continue to find special small ways to remind you that love is all around us.

28
Jan

When love becomes family.

You will fall madly deeply in love.
Not just once, but several times.
You will meet people that leave actual marks on your heart.
They will be with you always.
You will dream about them well into adulthood, that is what love does.
But, if you decide to be with someone, always and forever be with someone, I want to share some things with you, and them.

First, I promise to find room in my heart for those you pick to love.
Your dad won't even have to work at this, it will come naturally for him.
Me, I will make it my mission to not be crazy
and love them
because you do.

I also realize that when you fall in love you bend and mold with them.
I promise I will not remind you that you are changing and making that seem bad because you should be.
We all grow with our person to become the best version of us.

I will also be the one to tell you if it feels off.
I will also call you out on your crazy
because forever is work.
Even when you are so in love you can't imagine it, forever is work.

Your mom and dad are deeply madly and forever in love with one another.
We are not perfect, because nothing is.
We are not without faults, blame or mistakes, we have made so many.
But, we always come back to us because there is something here that is worth it.
And that something is family.

People will tell you to be with your best friend
be with someone that makes you laugh
be with someone that challenges you
opposites attract
find your foundation
find someone to share things with
find common ground
find your soul mate.
All of it and none of it is true.

Find your family.
Find your person.
Find your connection that cannot be defined in any other way.
That is how you know.
They are family and you can't walk away from family.

There are many things that work for me and dad
like he is my balance, I am his.
We do have a strong foundation of common interests that were there from the beginning.
Your dad introduced me to things I didn't even realize I would love but I do, like being a sports fan
like home projects
like parenting.
He does make me laugh, even when I am mad, he makes me laugh.
I am a better person when I am with him, so is he.
He does challenge me, I do the same for him.
We show our love
we are affectionate
we tell each other how much we love each other
he won't allow either of us to walk away, I won't allow us to stand still.

There are many things we work at and on...
I need to be kinder, specifically to him and me.
I don't make him laugh, I'm just not that funny, he is just fine with that.
We do things very differently and drive each other crazy in the process.
I yell, he now does too.
I am a ball of stress, he now is too.
We fight, too much.

But, we are family and I never once felt differently.
From the moment we met, there was a familiarity with him, a connection that washed over me in a way that I hadn't experienced before.
He was my comfort, he made me feel at ease.
My body actual took a breath when I met him.
It melted and the anger, anxiety and hurt I had been carrying, it melted too.

And even through the dark times, that doesn't go away.
You can be angry with someone
you can not like them
you can need space from them
you can lose a feeling of warmth
but you never lose the feeling of family.

I don't know if we will be your compas
I don't know if you will look to us as what to look for
but if you do, this is the one thing that we did right.
We found family and never let go.

So, whoever you end up with, whoever you decide to share your life with
don't think about anything
don't search and search for a reason
don't weigh the pros and cons
don't think about their faults, their abilities
just go find your family and hold on for the ride.

We did.

26
Jan

Five Minute Friday - surrender

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

Go.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stop.

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