8
Dec

Five Minute Friday - only

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 only.
Go.

I only have two children.
I only ran a sprint for my tri.
I ran a marathon, but only in my neighborhood so does it really count?
I only run a nonprofit.
I only have a really small number of clients for my business.
I only started my business a year ago.
I can only run a 9-10 minute mile.
I only
I only
I only myself a lot.

Maybe because I try and not take credit.
Maybe because I don't want to make it seem like I am anything special.
Maybe because I see the strength of others and sit watching them in awe so I have to think, I'm only doing this...not all of that.
Maybe because I am afraid to admit I too am strong
I too move mountains
I too labored and had 2 children
I too am surviving parenting
I too work an insane amount
I too need my new business to succeed
I too work really hard for my family
I too sacrifice a lot
I too can do so much
I too am a good mother
I too work on myself
I too cry and yell and fight
I too accomplish what I set my mind on
I too can.

Look at how different it all sounds when it is I too instead of I only.

I too can.

Stop.

3
Dec

Enjoy the process

Sometimes in life, we rush.
We get through, we survive.
We work really hard to get to the other side of a bad day, week, month, a string of months.
Some have a string of bad years that they want to hurry past, put behind them.

Most forget to enjoy the process.

I am one of those people.
So many days are spent wishing this difficult time away.
The crunch of deadlines
the weight of my work
the start of my company
the space I am not afforded
the space I don't allow myself to take.

I forget to enjoy the process.

Because the process feels like the minutia.
It feels like the part we slug our way through to get to happier moments, times, events.
We want to move past the process of life.

The process of slowly moving through a store so your little one can look at every single toy and wish.
The process of washing the dishes and having your puppy at your feet.
The process of doing homework and watching how much they have grown.
The process of bath time and how small they look all wet.
The process of laundry and watching how big their clothes are getting.
The process of grocery shopping and how excited the whole family gets around food.
The process of cleaning and cooking and being.
The process of living as one, as a unit, as a team.
The process that is life.

I forget to enjoy the process.

I rush to check it off my list
I hurry through the parts I feel are sluggish and slow me down.
I want the last six weeks behind me, I want to move on.
I want the next five weeks to be done so that I can start to feel settled.

I forget to enjoy the process.

I forget that I am wishing my life away.
The life I wanted, asked for.
The one I actually love.
The one I allow to get too loud, too busy, too chaotic.

And what I end up doing instead is forgetting to enjoy all of the processes of life.

I will work on me more so that I can work on this.
I will allow more space and balance so I can breathe.
I will allow myself to be a part of the process a part of this life.
I belong with all of you doing all of this.

1
Dec

Five Minute Friday - near

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 near.
Go.

In this life, I keep those I love close.
I take them in and keep them and our memories together protected, tucked inside.
Because it has always been my nature to keep my group with me and carry them as I go.
Near or far, they are with me.

And although my love is scattered all over and most of my circle is no longer near me,
it is the thought of you no longer being physically near,
the thought of your little faces gone from my everyday,
that I will need a lifetime to move past.
Because parenting is building you to go out there, not stay here.
Parenting is creating people that go and do and build their own life and world.
Parenting is letting go, every single day, letting go a little more and a little more and a little more...
until eventually, you are somewhere out there, no longer near.

And just like with everyone else I hold, I will hold you close to me too.
I will keep you, I will have our memories to go back to
I will have this journey to lean on
I will have the warm feeling of you near as you go farther and farther away.

I live too much in the yesterdays and tomorrows, this I realize.
I have little faces that still believe in the magic of childhood and I am prepping for the goodbyes that will come.
Only because I need time to prepare and time to get myself ready for the inevitable.
I need to get my whole being ready for you no longer being near.

But that does not mean I am not intentional about our time.
In fact, it makes me more intentional, more present.
As soon as I feel too overwhelmed to sit quietly with you, I always leap to it will be tomorrow when she is no longer near.
As soon as I feel too distracted to play, I quickly realize how I will blink he will be off, far away doing wonderful him.

So, I sit close
I draw you near
I hold on to each moment, each second
because that warmth will keep you with me
even when you are far away from the life we built.

Stop.

17
Nov

Five Minute Friday - excuse

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 excuse.
Go.

The ones we make about why we are mad.
The ones we make about why we are yelling.
The ones we make about why we are clinging to our phones and not to our people.
The ones we make about how busy we are.
The ones we make about why we can't do self-care.
The one we make about why we are stressed.
The ones we make about why everything else is more important than living a happy peaceful life.
The ones we make about why it was ok to let them down.
The ones we make about how tomorrow will be different.

Each day I feel this ticking time clock about how quickly it will continue to go.
Each day I make more and more excuses, each day I am losing and days are too important now.
Time is too important now, time is the most valuable now.
Nothing will change if we keep on keeping on.
Nothing will change if we just keep doing the same thing, it won't lead to a different result.

So, what I am trying to do is stop the excuses.
Stop explaining my way out of my mistakes.
They don't matter.
The reason behind doesn't make the pain hurt less.
The reason doesn't bring the moment, the hours, the day I took.
It doesn't bring it back.
The excuses don't matter, they never did.
I am the grownup, I am the one that leads.

I love you, I love being a part of us, I love our family.
Love is my only goal and the only thing I need to keep in mind.
Love is my only guide and the only way things will change.
If I speak, think, act with love the excuses will melt away.

Stop.

12
Nov

Parenting

I think by now you know I don't have most of the answers.
I, like every single person that is a parent, am trying my best.
The curve balls you bring, the constant questions are all almost impossible to answer.
Most frightening, a situation I never saw coming.
How am I going to react to that? I think most days.
What should I say?
For real though, how I respond to this matters because they are going to remember my response.
When they are grown, they are going to tell someone this story and I am either going to nail it or suck...for kids, there is no in between for parents.
Because it is not until you are one, that you realize, we are all just trying.

But, in the quiet light of day, I can think of all of the things I want to teach you.
All of the lessons I want you to walk away from us having.
So this right here is my little list for you...without any feedback or questions as to why or how...here is what I hope you hold on to as you do you.

You are not going to be liked by everyone. That is more than ok. You are not going to like everyone and that too, is more than ok. Part of this journey is finding out who gives you energy and who takes it. Most of your life will be figuring people out, their intentions, yours. Being kind to all does not mean all end up in your circle. Walking away from unhealthy anything, including people, is always the right thing to do.

Work hard like me and smart like dad. Not for any other reason other than to make yourself proud. I can't promise you it will lead to success or money or good anything. I can't so I won't. But, I promise you that the best feeling I ever have is feeling good about myself. Proud of my work, my accomplishments, what I overcame, who I am, and most importantly, I am proud of those I allow in to my circle (this is clearly important to me). I am proud of the fact that I became a mom, I am so amazed I get to mother you, you make me proud of me.

Chaos and mess lead to clutter in your mind. I know, I am type A. I know I have a way the house needs to look, I know it is my calm. But here's something dad won't share with you because it means he has to keep up with it without reminders...order makes us all calm. I swear it, I promise. A made bed makes us all feel better, a clean floor and clean counters give us space to breathe and allow us to think. Clutter and too much stuff takes away space, it adds clutter to your mind and makes it hard for all of us to think. It's easier to toss and walk away, it's easier to not put a thing away, it's easier to get up and go, but in the end, it is always harder. It is harder to clean up big messes than small. It is harder to think in that mess, it is harder to even know where to begin so start and end each day with a once over. Keep up with the little messes.

Play sports and learn to be a good teammate. It will teach you about showing up and having others count on you. It will teach you how to rely on others. It will teach you to move your body and feel good about that. It will teach you to feel a part of something bigger than you. And speaking of your body, be so good to you. Don't push it too hard too young, be gentle be kind, be loving. There will come a day you might want to change every single thing about yourself and know that none of that is true. Your body needs you and your spirit.

Everything will matter to you and being mature means only the important things matter. The quicker you learn that the little things like who invited who to a party, or who was wearing what, or who said what, the better for you and you alone. Do what is good for you and you alone when it comes to the little things. Get so comfortable in who you are and know that of course you will change and grow, but at your core, you stay the same. What should matter to you is taking care of yourself, being kind to others, falling in love with learning, none of that should ever change. Come to realize that you are loved and that real relationships does not mean a ton of relationships. Always find genuine in your life and normally that means intimate, which means small. Be comfortable with you and know that your foundation, your home base, we are right here. You are honestly never ever alone. We could not love you more or less.

Taking care of others is just what we do. Notice how I give those who don't have a home food whenever I pass them. Remember our random acts of kindness. Remember that we are a family that is dedicated to taking care. People matter guys, making people feel accepted matters.

I don't know what social media will be when you are older, I don't know if it was an explosion for me in my 20s and by the time you are a teenager it will be over but I really don't think so. Be better than that. Be better than being addicted to someone else's dinner and plans and fake life. Use it for connections but make sure it is not replacing actual people.

You are going to make a lot of mistakes. I did make a lot of mistakes and I continue to make a lot of mistakes. That's fine, that's life, that's human. Always take responsibility. Always say sorry, always learn from them and try as hard as you can to not repeat them. Do not shift blame to anyone, own it, stare it in the eye, use your courage to apologize and mean it.

Be brave sweet children. I swear to God, if I ever see you back away or back down from something because you are scared I will find you, I will grab you by the shoulders and I will shake you. Please remember that your mom was scared every damn day of her life. She could hardly breathe from the amount of panic. I always feel like I will fail, I will lose, I will not be enough. I am not kidding about this, every day, in all decisions. But, I try and if I ever see you not trying, I will find you. If I am no longer walking this earth, I will haunt you. Do you understand how important this is to me? I showed you every second of my life that even though I'm scared, I try and you will too.

One day, you are going to define your family. Be loyal to whomever that is, put them as your only priority. Don't take them for granted. Don't walk away from them, don't make anything else more important.

In case I don't make all of these things obvious in my day to day, I promise I will continue to try. Because that is the best we all can do, try.

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.

6
Nov

Extend, strength and open your heart

When I am in a yoga class, I take it seriously.
But what you are supposed to do is walk out of class and take the lesson of the work with you.
Me, I always forget, I kind of leave it all on the mat and I walk out feeling good about the work, good about my strength but I forget the lesson.
The one about healing and self-care.
The one about patience and calm.
The one about breathing because I forget to breathe.
The one about taking the time, to find space, to remember that this time is all about just this time.
Stop with yesterday, don't worry about tomorrow, here, we are here.
The one about rooting to rise.
The one about loving yourself first, the one about forgetting about what any of it looks like.
But this morning, the instructor's words brought me to tears.

I am having a month and I am looking down the barrel of another month that is not going to let up.
Everything is stressing me out.
Everything.
Everything right now is stress.
Everything is tight, everything is taking longer, everything is making my jaw clench.
Everything is reminding me that I am not allowed to be human almost anywhere in my life.
I have to keep things together all of the time.
My kids can't see me unravel
my work certainly can't
and so, I cry a lot...quietly and alone and I think about how it's all going to get done, because it always does,
but what is "it" going to do to me in the meantime.
Running through my list is giving this type A a constant headache and I can't let it go.
I am forgetting to breathe.

The one that gets the absolute worst of me is always my person.
The grownup I can't take care of during this time.
The one I have to turn to and dump all of the "others" on and the one that gets the wrath of my destruction.
But this morning, she said that the important parts in relationships are so similar to what is important in yoga and I listened because I needed a reminder of the good in relationships and my inability to function right now.

You extend
you use your back for strength
and you lead with your heart open.

You extend, you don't go inward, you extend out.
You lengthen because you give of yourself to them.
It is when I am most selfish that we hurt.
It is when I am looking only inward that we crumble, because I crumble.

You use your back for strength.
Because we are strong
and we carry others.
In a family, you carry each other.
You hold them up, you use your legs, your arms, your back,
dammit, you use your strength and you carry them to the other side.
It is when I need to be carried that I forget that I too am strong.
It is when I am asking to be picked up that I forget that I still have a back, I still have my power to hold me too.

You show your heart.
It is outward, you cannot protect it because it won't get hurt.
This is your trust, you give your heart out, there is no need to hold it in.
It serves no purpose inward, the heart is meant to shine out to everyone,
but especially your family.

As I walk into this week and the next and the one after that,
I will hold on to this lesson.
I listened today and in that moment, I felt she was talking directly to me.
I listened today because the universe was telling me to listen.
I listened today because I was clearly in a state of panic and those I love were suffering.
I listened and I held the message close walked out of the class and kept repeating it to myself.

Sabrina, extend and stop looking only at you.
Sabrina, remember how strong your back was built.
Sabrina, show your heart and show the world the light you hold and they will, in turn, shine light your way.
Show your heart sweet girl, you have nothing to fear.

29
Oct

My new name

It started with you, my new name of mamma to mommy to mom.
It started with new and amazing and familiar at the same time.
Mother comes with all sorts of things.
And just like us, some of it is new and some familiar...
It comes with
a new body
and a new way of thinking
and new priorities
and new challenges
and new tempers
and old tempers
and new schedules
and new perspectives
and a new understanding
and old ways of doing things
and new ways of doing things
and a new sense of self and selflessness and selfishness.

Mom comes with a new love
a new meaning to the word love
a love so unique and incredibly genuine.
A love you can measure like rings around her heart.

Mother comes with new and old edges.
It comes with sharp replies
it comes with your history, your past, your wounds.

Mother comes with a new and an old soft.
Soft edges
soft words
soft reminders.

I have a new name, and it is mom.

22
Oct

After all these years

After all these years
I still love you.
I still want you to be the last person I see at night,
the first I see in the morning.
I still love holding your hand, it makes me feel so close to you.
You still hug me so hard you put all the broken pieces back together.

After all these years
I still see the joy in you,
the one that I fell in love with
the one that made us so easy
the one that was always so natural to you
the one I am afraid I turned off.
It's still there, it's still who you are.

After all these years
I still remember every moment of us.
I still remember how gleeful I was when I met you.
I still hold on to that warmth between us, how we always just fit.
I still remember every moment of us.

After all these years
I still won't let you or us take us for granted.
I won't let us slip away
I won't let us just pretend we don't have to work at it
I won't just roll over and go to sleep without a smooch.
I won't put my head down and not fight for love.
And neither will you.

After all these years
you still fight
for us, for what we mean, for who we really are.
You remind me that we are worth it, we have each other and we are not letting go.
I bring the love, you bring the commitment so we cannot go wrong.

After all these years
it's different.
It sometimes works and sometimes it is work.
Because everything is different and most different is that it isn't easy anymore is it?
Because we added so much and sometimes that means we had to take so much away.
Like long walks and coffee dates and grocery dates and marathon movie days and Mia time and so many snuggles and time on the couch and time just us.
Easy had to go away for us to build what we wanted.
But, that doesn't mean it's impossible.
And as they get older and things get more complicated, some things just get easier.
They need less physical and more attention just like we do.

After all these years,
I still love seeing you happy.
I know it's harder to find happy but I love seeing that easy smile come to your face.
I love your gorgeous eyes and I think I fell harder for them now that I see them on our kids.
They remind me how gorgeous you are.
They remind me of your young, happy, joyful, easy side.
They will soon remind you too.

After all these years,
I still worry about most things.
Money and jobs and careers and raising good people and boredom and losing who we are and the house and all we have going on.
You still remind me that somehow it all works out.
You still remind me that we can take it on, no matter what it is.

After all these years,
we still find it incredibly easy to love love love each other during the good and bad times
and remember that the work is in the boring.
Remember that while we are shuffling kids around and mowing lawns and paying bills and making lunches and cleaning up and step and repeating our day, there is a couple here that needs small reminders of love.
So, after all these years, I am finally seeing my role in that and not expecting you to do it all.

After all these years, I have finally figured out what partnership means.
Because it's not 50/50.
It's showing up, always.
And we show up, and when we don't, I remind us that we need to.
There is lots to do for both of us and you never complain about your part and so I am learning that with the heavy load comes humble doing.
It's all about showing up.

After all these years,
I still think about what and who I would be if I didn't meet you, if you didn't take that chance.
I still think of what it would look like without you and I do not like that picture.
Because I am always better with you.
I am a better friend, mom, person with you.
You are my balance, my heart, my joy.

After all these years
I think saying yes to you was the best decision I made.

8
Oct

Beauty

Dear Anna:

Growing up, I never thought I had an ounce of beauty.
I always judged myself,
my decisions
my looks
my walk
my words
my mind
hard.
I starting running at the age of 8, not because I loved to run,
but because I wanted to lose weight.
I never accepted a compliment.
I always put myself down.
And then, I met you.

There was a day when you and I finally connected and we became mother and daughter.
I remember it so clearly, you were fresh out of a bath, it was just you and I home.
I decided to snap a few pictures of you and put you down on a couch and pulled out an actual camera.
I started saying your name, trying to grab your attention and you recognized my voice.
You melted when you heard it and you looked at me, with such warmth, such love, such beauty.
You looked at me like a daughter should look at her mother, telling me, we've got this mom, you and me, we're in this together.
I felt beautiful because I was loved by you.
I felt beautiful because I was in love with you.

Dear Cole:
I was never a lover of love.
I didn't trust enough.
I didn't think people really cared because there was a lot of letting me down.
I didn't think that love could be so raw, so emotional so naked.
Until I met you.

The moment I held you, you were mine.
There is no way to explain it other than using the cliche of they slipped you into my arms and heart.
You are my one and only love at first sight.
You were full of so much new and wonder and wonderful.
You would look around the room and take it all in because every part was amazing to you.
Including me.
The moment our eyes met, they locked.
You looked at me with instant recognition and you looked at me like you knew we will have each other to count on.
You looked at me like you needed me because you did, but I needed you too.
You looked at me the way a son should look at his mother, telling me, we've got this mom, you and me, we're in this together.
I felt beautiful because I was loved by you.
I felt beautiful because I was in love with you.

My body looks, feels, and acts differently.
I am a shell of who I once was.
Because once upon a time, I was younger and young.
I was new too even though I always felt old.
I was smooth and I didn't have wrinkles and stuff didn't droop.
I was in charge and I was empty.
But I didn't like that girl that much.
I didn't appreciate her, I didn't know she was strong.
And instead, I focused on her anger.
I focused on all that was wrong, all I would change, all I wanted to change.
Until I met you coach.
And you told me she was good, she was worth it, she was able to be happy, it was ok if she was happy.

Now, this woman, I can appreciate.
I appreciate her for carrying two hearts, twice.
I appreciate her for pacing with sick babies.
I appreciate her for giving all of her and then coming back around to self-care.
I appreciate her for finding the room to breathe.
I appreciate her for taking time for her, finding her again in the fog of mothering.
I appreciate her legs for being able to run.
I appreciate her heart for being able to love.
I appreciate her soul for shining light outward.
I appreciate her stomach for stretching and molding.
I appreciate her arms for holding everyone up.
I appreciate her words for she picks them carefully.
I appreciate her beauty because she finally found it.
In the mix of all this confusion and chaos and fog and tired, she was able to find glory and grace.

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