17
Aug

Five Minute Friday - loved

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 loved.

Go.

The way it feels to be around you.

I had this week with friends who know my whole story.
We talked and talked and talked.
We ate and laughed and watched.
We watched our children (no longer babies) love on each other.
We watched them become the sort of friends that will also know each other's whole story.
We watched the waves come in and out.
We watched the sunshine warm us all.
We watched the water make our little faces silly.
We watched love.

The way it feels to be around you.

I once wrote about when love becomes family.
How important that feeling is.
How you just know that it means this person will be in your life, you are connected.
And it can happen with partners.
It can happen with friends.
It can happen with the family you were given and the one you pick for yourself.
But along the way, all you have to keep in mind is the bond, the connection, the feeling of loving and being loved.
It is all that matters.
Not the squabbles.
Not the ups and downs.
All of those tell your beautiful story, give your life the color it needs.
But the family, the connection, the wanting to love them and being loved by them, that's family.
That's love.

The way it feels to be around you.

I didn't know if I would be a mom.
I didn't know if I would take this on.
And just the week, I was reminded by someone who only hears snippets of my life that I love it.
And I do.
I love being a mom, no, I love being your mom.
I love holding you.
I love hugging you.
I love the smooches.
I love the traditions.
I love making it special.
I love your childhood.
I relish in your little.
I am in love with your points of view.
I protect this time.
But, none of that comes naturally to me.
All of my mothering is a lot of work.
I work and work and work at being your mom.
But, want to know why that's okay, because it is the work that I love.
My whole life has led me to this moment, has led me to you, has led me to love my mothering.
My whole life, I didn't even realize how much I wanted this but now that it is here, I love being your mom.
Because when I am with you, I am loved.

It is my year of different.
And as the year is quickly rolling by, I need reminders of why I wanted it to be different.
I needed to find peace, calm, health, me.
I needed to find acceptance, gratitude, and reminders of all the love.
The love I give, the love I get, the love that surrounds us.

Because being loved is the way it feels to be around you.

Stop.

15
Jun

Five Minute Friday - restore

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 restore.
Go.

It's the end of another school year.
It's the end of another season.
It's the end of sports and lessons and so many schedules.
It's time for this family to sit back and restore.

It's the end of our tri.
It's the end of all of that training.
It's the beginning of the racing season but for now
it's time for my body to rest, it's time for me to restore.

It's the start of my kids acting up.
It's the exhaustion coming through.
It's the lack of patience from every single one of us.
It's time for our unit to regroup, come back together, find the simple and bask in it.
It's time for us to restore.

It's time for a summer bucket list, the only one we stick to.
It's time for some new traditions and in my year of different, it's time for me to find my restoration too.

It's time to get back in front of framily.
It's time to fill myself full with all the right people.
It's time for me to step back from those I do not feel good about or good about myself with.
It's time for me to find where my heart is full.
It's time for me to find those that are comfortable with my crazy and admit to their own.
It's time for me to find my restoration too.

It's time for my kids to feel a part of a happy family again.
It's time for us to find all the relaxing parts of life again.
It's time for us to feel connected and squished together again.
It's time for this family unit to be restored.

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.

20
Oct

Five Minute Friday - discover

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 discover.
Go.

Sweet daughter:
What has amazed me to the most about you is how old you were when you were born.
The world seemed so familiar to you, and you seemed so knowledgeable.
What I have loved watching is you discover your childish side.
The playful
the excitement
the kid you are and therefore should be allowed to be.
I don't know why I squash that person when she tips over to the other side and why I remind her of maturity.
You are a child for a short time, you will be an adult for the rest of forever.
Keep discovering that kid, never let her go.
Hold her close no matter what number your age says.
Keep discovering a new childish part of your old self
and thank you for allowing me to discover mine.
You are me and together, we have to remember that life is not that serious.
We have to discover the joy we want in our lives
take my hand let's lead each other to this discovery.

Sweet boy:
What I have loved watching is you discover this world.
That first year of life, when everything was amazing to you and you were taking it all in, it was a year of amazement to me too.
You came to me new, fresh, eyes ready to learn.
You were and are brand new.
You have reminded me that life should be full of discovery, you have reminded me of young.
Not because you work hard at it but because it comes so naturally to you.
Youth and childhood and new and discoveries are what you do best.
Being around you forces one to stop digging in their heals and remember how perfect young is.
You have taken the lead, you are in charge of childhood and you remind each of us that you don't have to look hard, it's right there, at our fingertips.
You don't have to discover the joys of life, you just clearly see them and for that, you are a wonder and wonderful.

You have each brought me on a journey in discovering who I am once you take away the lists, the to dos, the have tos the worry.

Stop.

16
Dec

Five Minute Friday - now

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 now.
Go.

The one place I do not live in.
Because I am forever looking back, or forward.
Forever wishing I had a redo, or worried of what is to come.
Unable to sit in the now.
With the time I am currently in,
because I am either holding on, not wanting to move ahead, or 20 steps ahead.
I do not sit in the present and move with you all.
The now.

And on this last Five Minute Friday of 2016
when my world is a bit of a blur
I have no one but me to fix.
Because it is difficult to love when holding on to the past and worried of the future.
It is difficult to find joy too.
It is difficult to breathe when you live in those two opposing worlds and cannot sit with where you are.

Each year, I make a promise to myself for the following year.
Some call it a resolution, I call it more of a healing of me.
In 2017, my promise is to take what is coming in the now, yes I am a planner and need that plan ahead of me
yes, I am sentimental and love the memories behind me
but this year, I will sit with all that is in front of me, and stop.
To be with each of you
and each of us
right where we are
in the now.

Because now is when I have started my new business.
Because now is when I have a 7 and 4 year old, that even if they are not babies, are children that need me.
Because now is when my husband and I are turning towards each other and trying to hold on to who we are today,
building on who we were yesterday so we can be us tomorrow.
Because now is when our lives are dangerous and risky, but we are taking chances on us.
Because now is when we are a family of four.
Because now is when I am needed and loved and I need and love you all too.

This year, my healing is more love, inward and outward.
Allowing more love in and giving more love out.
And I will only be able to do that if I sit in the now.

I will be with you all, here, today.
I will tell you stories about yesterday in a hope that you realize how important and warm those memories are for all of us.
I will plan for the future because that is who I am.
But I will be here, today,
sitting surrounded by all of you,
in the now.

5
Feb

Five Minute Friday - focus

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 quiet.
Go.

On you
and your words
and your development
and your milestones
and your stories
and our time together.
Our short and very limited time together.
On what is important.

Instead I get distracted.
And I am focused on lists
and have tos
and to dos
and work
and careers
and cleaning
and organizing
and putting it all away
and finding time.

Until I'm not.
Until I turn it off
and I find you
I find us
we sit
we snuggle
we hold hands
we whisper our feelings
I see you smile and burst with love.
Until your hair is flapping in your face
and curls are stuck to your head
and happy is all around us.
Simple happy
simple sort of life happy.

And that is the ultimate balance of life.
Especially in a type A introverted mother.
What to focus on because
it is the balance in finding peace in the organized and the quiet
it is the balance of focusing on your childhood and my love of work
it is the balance of go and do, and sit and be
it is the balance of teaching you how to do and teaching you the importance of how to be
it is the balance of focusing on the have tos and all of us.

Stop.

10
Jan

Simple life

Busy.
Distracted.
Annoyed.
Striving.
Determined.
Frustrated.
Intense.
On the verge.
Angry.
Harsh face.
Harsh words.
No smile.
I fear that's how you will remember me.
I fear that's all I will leave with you,
all you will take away from our time together.
Instead of remembering our hugs,
our warmth
our snuggles
our time together in which we really really get it right.

Houser70

And so, I will start slowly.
To develop, create and lead a more simple life.

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One in which I let the rain come pouring down and in.
One in which I realize there are and will continue to be bad times, bad days,
but that's okay.
I will allow them to come pouring in too.
Because there is another side.
An end.
And sometimes you have to truly and completely feel the bad to realize how good this little life is.

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I will not live my life for another day.
I will slowly become present.
I will slowly stop regretting the past.
I will slowly stop worrying about the future.
I will slowly lead a simple life.

Houser081

This will be enough, this simple life will be enough.
The best is not yet to come.
The best is now.
No more waiting for the chaos to stop.
No more waiting for things to be different.
No more wishing time, this time, this day/week/month away.
No more wishing my life away.
I will slowly lead a simple life.
Houser68

It's when I slow down when I really start living.
It's when I remember to smile, remember the important moments.
It's when moments happen.
It's when this happens...

Because what point is there in wondering what will become
of me
of life
of careers
of family.
Why hang my head in fear, confusion, worry, always worry.
There are and will continue to be bad times, and that's okay.
Time is short, but that's okay.
My time is now.
Houser38color

And so, I will start.
I will start slow and accept my personal challenges.
I will realize I cannot change all at once.
I will hush the confusion and the loud.
I will hush the worry and want.
I will calm the storm and quiet the concern.
And I will slowly lead a simple life.

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I will slow down, I will breathe you in, because you are always enough.
I will show you simple, and the joys all around us, and end each day with love, because that is enough.
I will look at the starry night and it will be enough.
I will breathe in the air on a family walk, and listen to what you find, what you have to say,
because you are always enough.
I will not abandon you, I will be there, present with you, and I will be enough.
We will sing as we head out the door in the morning, it won't have to be a rush, and it will be enough.
I will put my phone away for dinner, it will be just us, and the quiet will bring about conversation.
I will look at you when we are talking.
Because your stories are important. And I will treat them as such because you are enough.
And one day, I hope you realize, I am always here to listen.
We will read together as many times a week as possible, it will be our time, our thing, and it will be enough.
I will list three favorite parts of my day, every day to you both.
I will explain in detail why they were my favorite, why they were enough for me today.
Together, we will create a gratitude journal, we will add to it daily, we will read it together when we need a reminder of love and how fortunate we are, and it will be enough for our hearts.
I will leave you a love note in your lunch or for when you wake up and I am not there.
A note to tell you that today, this morning, now, I am with you now and I really love you, you are enough.
I will find ways to say yes instead of no.
I will stop saying stop.
I will let you climb and move and move and move.
Because you need movement, because you need to find out what your own boundaries are.
Because you need to figure out what is enough for you.
We will continue our do overs and we will start the moment over when we need to. Everyone deserves a second chance.
I will have you set the agenda, what do you want to do right now? Your choice, you decide, I am all yours
and I will be enough.
I will play with you, I will have time for you, I am enough for you.
When I put you to sleep, I will thank you for finding me. You are always more than enough.
I will go on runs with you, we will build your endurance, help you to listen to your body to slow down and find your pace. You will come to realize how important it is to take care of your body, how good it feels to be good to you, because we are enough.
Dates, talking dates, dates about our future, dates with our kids, we will all start dating each other.
Because when life is simple,
when it is calm,
peaceful
joyous
clean
happy and content for what I have, not what I am striving for,
I am enough for you
you are enough for me.

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This will be enough, this simple life will be enough.

27
Dec

Sweet spot.

Whenever I am asked how old my kids are and I say 6 and 3, the very next words out of my mouth are...
we are in the thick of it.
We are raising tiny humans
doing homework
balancing extra curricular
balancing really difficult careers
balancing a home
fighting through the storming
the tantrums
the rage
the meltdowns
the need for naps
and rest
the fighting to take them.
Until one day, a close friend changed how I view 3 and 6.
Until she explained, how with her own 3 and 6 year old,
we are in the sweet spot.
And, as with most of our conversations, it forced me to look at them, us, all of it, differently.
And how I can express my love for them always,
even in the difficult.
And then one day, instead of complaining about how in the thick of it we are, which we are,
about how much storming there is, because there is,
I started to view it from the sweet spot I was in.
Not just the crazy whirlwind that our life is, because it is.
Not because my son is owning three like he purchased it with his life savings, because he is.
Or how our daughter can be so mature and so immature all in the same moment, because she can.
But, the sweet spot.
The spot in which my kids aren't as needy,
but still in need.
The spot in which they are starting to create their family away from the family we created,
but we are still important in their lives.
They are potty trained,
but still need to announce going.
They all feed themselves,
but we all eat together.
We are not washing bottles,
but we are still filling cups.
Anna does chores that contribute to the home,
but is still waiting for me to help out, still calls for team work, so we can all be together.
She is reading, full books, all on her own!
But still loves bed time stories being read to her.
This, is our sweet spot.

Houser68

They are becoming so independent.
Getting dressed on their own
setting up their imaginary play
doing homework
setting the table
taking care of our puppy
earning rewards
buying their own things from allowances
treating for her brother
riding her bike in the neighborhood
playing by themselves
getting so familiar with electronics.

But,
they are still mostly ours.
Our time isn't over.
They are still so little,
and the little can be crushing, heavy, wonderfully heavy.
They adore us
want to be around us
love to be cuddled
and kissed
and snuggled
and read to
and tucked in
and traditions
and rituals
and team work
and team Houser
and puppy time
and Friday night family movie
and pancake Sundays
and love.
This is our sweet spot.

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This is our sweet spot.
This is our time of being able to come out of the fog
but still feel the heavy of family on our back, on our chests, in our hearts.
This, is our sweet spot of family.
This is our time.
Our most loved and wanted and just wanted, not necessarily needed but just wanted time.
This!
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And this!
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So, when I go to bed at night, and I am snuggled into my person,
touching toes and holding hands,
I am in my sweet spot.

When the kids announce when I have arrived home with shouts of
MOMMY!
I am in my sweet spot.

When my daughter grabs for my hand and gives it a gentle kiss,
I am in my sweet spot.

When my son comes up to me just to tell me that he loves me,
I am in my sweet spot.

When we talk about our future and are excited for our graying years,
I am in my sweet spot.

When I recognize their happy childhood,
when I can see in their faces that I brought them joy,
I am in my sweet spot.

When I go in to give them one final kiss goodnight,
and all throughout the room you can hear their gentle breathing,
you can see the perfect on their face,
their curls mushed up against their forehead.
And I think to myself that my heart may explode out of my chest
and the joy that they place in my heart is so loud right now, it's going to wake them up.
And I kiss them over and over and they whisper to me from their dreams,
that is my sweet spot.

When we're storming,
brutal, battling storms,
and I am looking at you and wondering how I could have done this all differently
and instead of continuing the storm,
I take your hand and say
"you are the greatest thing I have ever done. You are one of my reasons, one of my purposes,
and you, you are the best kind of love and I simply cannot not love you. I always will, always, love you".
That, is my sweet spot.

When she cuddles up into me,
when she puts her arms around me to tell me that she loves me,
I am in my sweet spot.

This, is my sweet spot.
Houser22

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