5
Feb

With or without me

I don't know what this life holds.
I have no idea what the future is.
But recently, I have been thinking a lot about what I want you to take away from our time together.
This crazy fleeting time that we have.
We are not going to be so intimately in one another's lives forever.
No matter what and where life leads, this I know.
I know that this time of just us four, it isn't forever.

And so, please remember
to always be kind
to always love, no matter what, put love first
to always work for what you want
that to be great does not mean to always be happy
but to be great does mean to finally find joy
that with your privilege comes the responsibility to speak for those that were not born with the same privilege
that a long rainy day washes a lot away
and a snuggled snow day covers the earth in a new clean white
that you need to find a friend and partner in your person
that you need to laugh hard with your person
that you should always want to hold hands with your person
that family is anything you define
that traditions are important and loving
that school is important and learning is forever
that your eyes, the ones you got from him, should never lie
to keep going, even when you don't want to
to make time and room and space for you
especially when the years of insane sacrifice of you are needed, especially then.

Remember that we had love here
remember what we taught you
remember that you taught us too
remember how much and how hard we loved you
remember that we rarely got it right and never got it perfect but we died trying
and remember how much we wanted and loved for you.

Remember that we lost a part of ourselves when we met you
we had to let so much go to gain something very different.
Remember that you are special, but not better or worse than anyone else.
Remember that you are smart, but you have to keep learning.
Remember that you were born lucky, and you aren't allowed to use that as a better than.
Remember that not any one of us is allowed to give up, ever.
Remember that you redefined beauty for me.
Remember patience and humor
God, please remember to always and forever laugh.

Remember us, remember our times and our love.
Remember that each day, we reshaped and redefined our family because you made it so.
But always and forever remember, with or without me,
the gorgeous and crazy beauty in our love.

11
Sep

My mom

One day, in the very near future
you will both be grown.
You will both be looking back on this time
they will all be memories and a guide for how to live your life.

And I am now trying to live a life with you in which you will look back and say...

"My mom would stroke my hair while I would tell her about the glorious and ugly parts of my day. She wouldn't fix anything, she wouldn't judge anyone, she would listen. She would ask me questions so I knew she was there, listening and always interested, because my mom...she listened to me."

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"My mom, she taught me about friendship and framily. She taught me about this precious circle that you get to build around you and how we always build people up, never tear them down. My mom taught me that with all things in life, it does take a village and my mom really turned to her village, really got the support she needed and my mom, she taught me all about how important the family you pick for yourself is."

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"My mom, she would always work so hard, too hard. She taught me to never give up, but to always walk away when it didn't feel right. My mom told me to work smart and even though she struggled with balance, she always found her way back, to us."

"My mom was clearly afraid of the entire world around her, but dammit, she used her fear to move her, not paralyze her. My mom taught me to not be ashamed if things scared me, that was normal, that means you really mean it, but what you do with the fear and how you walk through or away from it, that's what will define you."

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"My mom, she always made people feel good about themselves. I wouldn't overhear her talk about other people, she liked to talk about ideas and things and only talked about ways to help others. She dedicated her life to childhood, and building people up."

"My mom, she loved to laugh, it was her favorite and she became a brand new person after a really good hard right from her gut laugh. She always talked about the importance of joy and laughter and finding humor, especially when things were really serious. My mom, she could be too serious a lot and as soon as she saw it take over, she would go out and find humor."

"My mom, she gave hugs, not just with her arms, but with her words and her smile. You could tell on her face how much she loved us. You could feel it in her touch, you could see how proud she was of us. My mom didn't know if she would ever be a mom, but she always reminded us that it was her best decision and what she loved and cherished most, my mom, she loved being my mom."

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"My mom, she always believed me. She reminded me that we were a team and part of something bigger than just ourselves. She would tell us how important trust was so she could always be on our side and advocate for us, when we didn't feel like we had a voice. She didn't rush to save me, because she knew I was strong enough, it's just that my mom, she was on my side."

"My mom, she taught me how to say things like 'that's not okay' or 'I am walking away now' or 'you are not allowed to talk to me like that' or 'I deserve better'. My mom, she taught me to believe in myself too."

"My mom, she taught me how to apologize, how to fix a wrong. She taught me that mistakes happen and people make them and even though we are good people, we sometimes make really bad or angry choices. My mom, she taught me to take the time I need to realize my part in it and take responsibility for that part."

"My mom, she taught me to fall in love with learning. Because there is always more to learn. She taught me to never stop gathering information, never stop searching for the truth."

"My mom, she taught me really key words like compassion, kindness, generosity, team work, listening, friendship, and honesty. She made us practice those key words, she made me live by them."

"My mom, she really believed in love. She believed in working for it, she believed in protecting it, she believed in its healing powers. My mom and dad were in love and taught us that love never looks like it does in the movies, but there is so much extraordinary in the ordinary."

"My mom, god, she just loved us. With everything she had, she used it to love us."

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24
Jan

Tomorrow isn't promised

"If I am here for the she picked on me...
then you will come to me with the he broke up with me"

It's what I always say,
I will try better with them tomorrow.
I made a mistake today,
I yelled,
I continuously lost my patience.
Tomorrow, it will all be better.
I will try again
they will try again,
there is always tomorrow.

And this year I made a promise to myself that I am no longer wishing my life away.
I am no longer saying, I just need to get through this day, week, month.
I am going to take my life for what it is,
my life.
This is just my life.
So I am going to live it and be a part of it, everyday.

And then I get tested.
Then, a month like the one I just had hits.
And my first reaction is to get really quiet
until I'm not.
Until I am yelling
so loud
at the little faces I made
at my person
at myself
at my family
at doctors
and nurses
and everyone.

So many mistakes I have made
so many times I want to take it back
so many times I need a do over.
So every time I put them to bed, I try and think to myself,
I will make up for this day...
tomorrow.
I will be better...
tomorrow.
I will yell less
be more kind
lead by example...
tomorrow.
I will listen more
look them in the eyes more
I will hug them more
I will have more patience...
tomorrow.
Tomorrow will be better.

"If I am here for the my teacher said the funniest thing today
then you will come to me with the I feel like I have no friends.

And then, like a flood pouring into my heart,
I realized how short my time with them is.
Not only because we are honestly not promised a tomorrow and anything could happen to anyone at anytime,
but because what I do with you today, effects how you let me in tomorrow.

"And I know, deep in my soul, that if I am here for the little things turned big in your mind,you will feel like I am here for the big things we can turn little later."

Because my little girl has a few more years left with me as a kid.
Before she, by instinct, wants to keep things from me.
Before she starts to pull away.
Before so many more things come before our family time.
Before Friday family movie nights become a memory.
Before pancake Sunday is something we used to do, remember?
Before our family swims are weird and she just doesn't want to go.
I am building our relationship
our trust
our bond
our love
our safety net
now.
And if I don't, tomorrow isn't available to me.

"If I am here for the my test was harder than I thought
then you will come to me with the it hurts to go to school."

I blinked and he was three and she was six.
It's true, it is a blink of an eye.
And so, I will blink again and she will be 12
and he will be 15
she will have friends she wants to talk to
she will have pain
he will be faced with so much peer pressure
and so many difficult decisions
and she will be leaving for school
and worried about that party
and he will be going to prom
and worried about getting home
and she will be getting an apartment
and worried about making it all work
and he will be getting married
and worried that she really is going to be there, forever
and she will be starting her life, her world, her family,
and he will be living really far away,
and neither will be in this house turned home.

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Because that is the way it is supposed to go.
That is the way life cycles.
Because tomorrow happens so quickly and if I don't put in my time with you now
you won't trust me then.
If you feel like you are always in trouble
you will keep things from me, because it is not worth it.
If you feel like you aren't safe to share your heart
you won't.
If you feel like your voice isn't heard
you will stop talking.
If you feel like I am not paying attention
you will learn that it doesn't matter to me.

Tomorrow isn't promised,
this is my life.
You are my life,
and it's messy
and stressful
and there is always something wrong
a fire that needs to be put out
and I have to figure out how to fit it all in
and I have to put you, us, this, first.

Because I am not living for tomorrow, this is my life.

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26
Jul

This is it

We will never in our lives be this tired again.
We will never be this loved.
We will never again be this busy.
The house will never ever be this loud.
I will never again come down the stairs, wiping the night from my eyes, turning the corner for my coffee life line and see all the legos, all the toys, all the mess and confusion.
I will never have to step over toys, stuffed animals, ever again.
I will never again have to break siblings apart.
I will never again hear siblings play pretend and figure out games together.
Never again will the house be this messy.
Never again will I be playing referee.
Never again will their faces be this dirty.
Never will I hear cries, tantrums, full out war.
Dinner will never be this chaotic.
Never again will I battle with a six year that wants to be in charge.
Never again will I watch a three year old melt down.
Never again will I be invited into their beds to snuggle, to read.
Never again will we sing and be silly.
Never will I hear that childhood laughter.
Never again will he have this voice, this little little boy voice (god, how I love to hear you talk).
Never again will she be bursting to tell me all about her day, her time, her adventures.
Never will they be this open with me.
Never will they be this honest.
Never again will they be this into family time.
Never again will we pile on the couch, as close as we can, watching a movie and whispering love songs to each other.
Never again will you whisper to me from your sleep.
Never again will our family bike rides be this cozy.
Never again will your curls be all I can think about and play with.
Never again will I be able to kiss your nose, bite at it.
Never again will I be able to eat you up.
Never again will I push you on that swing, never again will we play soccer in the front yard, like a family.
Never again will I smell your head and instantly smell your bath from the night before.
Never again can I drink you in this much.
Never again will I be standing in line in a store and there is a need, an absolute need for you to come over and hug me.
Never again will your love for me take control of your emotions.
Never again will this define my family.
Never again will it be the five of us, all in one house.
Never again will you love it as much as I do.
Never again will I hear you say that you never want to leave our family.
Never again will I be this involved.
Never again.
Because, this is it.
This is it.

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