5
Oct

Five Minute Friday - share

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 share.

Go.

I want to share something,
this blog is for me.
It is healing for me.
It is a journal of my parenting.
And despite the criticism I receive regarding how pollyanna I make parenting seem, not only do I disagree,
I just don't care.
I know that I share and am honest about my struggles, regrets, worries, concerns.
And I just don't care if you think it's too positive, I will always protect and defend their childhood.
I do not do this because anyone follows me, because they don't.
I do not do this for others to offer advice, because I have none to give, I am winging it.
I do this for me and for them.
I do this so you have a way of knowing how this all went down.
I do this so I have a way of looking back and remembering how this all felt.
I share to heal.
I share to let go, acknowledge and define the feelings I have, and then tell them to piss off.

I share because there are times when I am lost and distracted and empty and it's all too much.
I share because I know so many go through this and we are not alone.
I share because I have to call it out in order to move past.

I share about our amazing.
I share about our awful.
I share about my past.
I share my concerns for our future.
I share what we do well.
I share where I failed.
I share my solutions for us, the positive ones I found, the ones that no longer work, and the regrouping we always have to do.
I share where we stumble.
I share where we lost our way.
I share our book, chapter by chapter.
I share for me and for them, to heal and to know we always find our way back to us.
Because we actually do, we always find our way back to us.
And it ends positively because that's our family rule, we always end the day on our good.
We always end touching toes and talking about the parts we loved and apologize for the mistakes we made.
And as I climb back down the stairs, after yet another long day, I am thrilled to have the quiet and the time without being a mom because I am me too.
The book we started over 18 years ago is torn and faded and beat up and the pages are weathered and the cover is old and a bit ratty.
The story is changing year by year and some chapters are really scary and tearful.
Some chapters are amazing
all the chapters matter.

I share because I will always believe in our happy ending and because I know I have to share to heal me.

Stop.

28
Sep

Five Minute Friday - potential

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 potential.

Go.

My son asked me last night how I became the leader of an agency, "how did you become the boss"?
He's been asking a lot of questions about my work recently.
Running the agency, starting my own business...why, and how, and what do you do, and how did you get there?
He's six and has always known this part of me, it's not something new to him but wrapping his head around it and putting the pieces together is something he is now starting to question.
So I answered, monkey, I worked really hard for a long time in my agency and then they saw my potential and asked me to take on the role.
Same with my company, I have been working really hard to make it work and I have to believe in my own potential.
And his immediate next question was "what's potential?"
It's about the future, what you can become and what you are capable of if given the chance.
I was given a chance.
Incredible mentors and your dad believed in me and I was given the chance.
But you have to believe in yourself too and that's where mom struggles the most.
But, I am getting better, finding my way to me.
At six, I let it stop there.
Because I need them to know it's not always easy to believe in what you're capable of.
Or that some people aren't born fearless and with all the confidence in the world.
But that doesn't mean those people stop and settle.
People that are scared and worry about choices, they make it too.
I feel it's a little harder for them, but only because it's the experience I know
and seeing the other side seems way easier, but it might not be.
Either way, they make it too.
They fight through doubts and fears and worries and concerns and they make it too.
Because in the end, their potential doesn't let them down.
What is sitting in them, it comes out, one way or the other.
Either through hard work
or pushing through fear
or focusing on what they do well
or challenging themselves
eventually ambition and potential find their way to the surface.
And if you're really fortunate, if you're privileged,
someone else sees it,
recognizes it,
and allows it to flourish.
They don't stomp it down.
They don't shut it down nor do they shut it up.
They amplify it and they shine a huge light right on it.
Potential will not go quietly into the night monkey.
Surround yourself with those that see it in you too and shine.

14
Sep

Five Minute Friday - crowd

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 crowd.

Go.

It's not my favorite, being surrounded by a crowd.
I instantly think of strangers and small talk and the awful feeling of awkward.
I think of how awkward I am, how quiet I get.
I get lost.
But then I think of him.
How much he loves a crowd.
How much he comes to life.
How much he seeks it.
How much energy he gets from it.
And I realize he is my balance.
He has taught me to find the energy from it, to take their excitement and turn it into my own.
He has taught me to love races, not just solo races, but official races with crowds of people.
He has taught me to sit back and watch, take in the crowd, watch how excited they get.
He has taught me to look at my resort town with enthusiasm when the crowds pour in.
He has taught me that it means life and joy and people are out and happy.
He has taught me to get caught up in it, use it to my advantage.
And so I have.

Each summer, our amazing little town comes to life in this amazing way and crowds and crowds of people come.
Everything is busy and loud and warm and summer nights walking around have become my favorite.
We are teaching our kids how special it is, how lucky we are.
We remind them that having to find parking means people are here.
We tell them that we are privileged, we get to live here, where others want to be.

Each year, I do two races and both are now in official race settings, not just on my own.
I have learned that my time does improve.
I have learned that it does warm my heart to hear people cheer their family members on.
I have learned that there is something about that "great job" from a stranger who is smiling that makes me feel okay.
I have learned that reading the signs always makes me laugh when I need it most.
I have learned to relish in their screams and cheers and go get its.

You taught me this and now I know it too.
I get it.
I don't need it like you do, I never will but I understand now.
Crowds do mean life and joy and spirit and energy.

Stop.

9
Sep

Exhale

It has been a summer.
Like a for real summer.
I don't have off like the rest of my family but even I felt like we were living our best life.
There were sunrises and sunsets
warm weather
paddle boarding
camping
our Cape trip
track days
so many old friends
framily time
so many visits and my heart being full
framily that knows my whole story
framily that accepts and do not judge
framily that only loves and knows we are all doing our best
ice cream for dinner
the kids read their hearts out
they played and played and played
Cole became the best bike rider
Anna went to her first sleep away camp
both kids went to basketball camp with dad
Pearl had an amazing Cape week with her bestie followed by fun with camping
a week with their grandparents and so much adult time
just amazing wrapped into one incredible summer.

Except I could not exhale.
Me, I was the problem.
I was so anxious and so nerved and worried and scared and had this feeling of concern
and there were days where it would pass and then days upon days of it being right there.
But, it's my year of different and so I kept trying.
Trying to figure out why
trying to let whatever it was go
trying to find my breath
trying to let it out, exhale and let go of whatever was on my mind
trying to not let whatever this was ruin this time, destroy the good memories
trying to not let them in on what was happening
trying to get back to okay so I could find my way into joy.

But, as always, the harder I tried, the worse it got until it all piled on and found its own way out.
And then built back up and piled on and found its way out
and such was the cycle I was caught in.

It's going to be okay, just call it out.
Give it a name, recognize that it's there and then it will go away once you have given it fair attention.
But it didn't.
And it hasn't.
And here I am.
With little faces in school and me wondering where I went wrong.

So, I start again.
Because fall is crazy and summer is how I restore.
Because I am mad at myself for not restoring.
Because I stayed too long at a party and I am trying to get back home.
Because I started something so new and so scary that I feel like I might mess it up all of the time.
Because when I do mess it up, it does crazy things to my nerves (upholders struggle with doing it wrong).
Because I have too many balls and I am starting to feel alone.
Because I am celebrating my birthday for the first time ever and I want it to feel special.
Because the weight is hurting my shoulders and placing a foot on my chest.
Because I should be crying more than I am, releasing.
Because I don't want to let them down, I don't want to hurt their memories.
Because I want to make sure they know I am here, even when I am withdrawn.
Because I need to not be withdrawn, I don't want to fake it.
Because there is nothing to fake, things are all okay.

Summer of 2018 was not an okay summer, it was wonderful.
My little boy told me yesterday he was so sad our summer and our time together was over.
He was actually heartbroen that our break had come to an end.
That's how different our summers have been.
Because our summers were not always like this.
Years ago, our picture looked shattered and our pieces were all over the floor.
And at the end of that summer, I started to put parts back together and made some big changes.
Since then, things have been getting better, stronger.
They were concerning and I couldn't have them be concerning.
And the tide turned because we shifted and we made important decisions to change.
I found framily to hold on to.
I reconnected with the past.
I started to take ownership.
I found their little.
I found joy and so did they.

So, I am back to my journey of starting with okay.
Just be okay and then find a little joy.
And with a little joy find a little more joy and a little more.
Find your calm mamma, remember after you take that big breath in, let is out again.
Exhale.

7
Sep

Five Minute Friday - rain

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 rain.

Go.

We're called Pluviophile, lovers of rain.
Those that find peace, joy, a calming of the mind the second the first drop falls.
It's restorative.
It is beautiful.
It is comforting.
And I wish I could explain why it's so important to me to have rainy days.
I wish I could eloquently put into words that when the skies gray, when the water falls, when the sound on my roof is that rhythmic beat of the earth crying, I feel comforted, I feel safe.
I am restored.
I feel relaxed and deeply exhale.
Because there is a sense of stopping, pausing, watching.

It starts with a darkening of the sky.
A sign of what is to come and flickering lights become a must.
You can finally look at the sky without squinting, you can see nature take over.
And we need the gray to enjoy the sun.
We need the dark to finally appreciate and never take for granted the light.
Water is needed because our earth needs to drink.
And sometimes, we all need a good cry, even the skies.

The sound, the rhythmic sound.
The sound against my roof, up against the windows, the sound that reminds me that all is being renewed.

So send me your long, cold, rainy days.
The ones I can watch out my window, light candles, cozy myself up.
Send me the wind and the storms, it's okay to tantrum out of control, even the weather needs to have a bad day.
Send me water and the sound and the rhythm that brings about a calm and reminds me to breathe.
Send me your storms while I take a long car ride so that I can see its full story in all of its glory.

I am not just okay with rainy days, I crave them. I wish them, I look for and am drawn to them.
They allow me to finally pause, take a moment and admire the power of weather.
Just stop, listen, watch it as it falls down all around.
And then, watch how green everything looks, how renewed it all is.
We need the rain, we all need water.
Some of us more than others.

Stop.

2
Sep

Five Minute Friday - loyal

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 loyal.

Go

I was away when this one was posted.
And I am too loyal to just let it go.

Loyal is a word I often use to describe myself.
I am loyal to my family
to my framily
to my work
to my life choices
to my little faces
to my person
to my life.
I am committed to myself and my life.

I am your go to if you need someone in your corner.
I am the one always on your side.
I am the constant, I am the protector of relationships and bonds, I am loyal.

I am the one that can be counted on.
I am the one that rushes to defend, myself, my choices, my people.
I am always working for you, I am the one that will have your back.

And recently, a coworker mentioned how they too were described as loyal and how that is such a generic term
and a different coworker was quick to point out that it's really not.
Because it is not generic and it's not a given and it's not in everyone.
It is only the loyal that understand that we will stand by your side.
We will stand proud and strong and we will be your everything.
It is the loyal that understand that we love fiercely and with all we have.
We give you our all so we do not take love lightly, we know who is deserving, who we allow in.
Because once you have us, really have us, we don't let go.
We are yours and you are now a part of us in a very special and unique way.
We are the loyal.

31
Aug

Five Minute Friday - rush

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 rush.

Go.

We are having a summer.
An actual summer with late nights and camping and vacation and the dad adventure days and camps and sleep aways and smores and ice cream for dinner and a Saratoga Racetrack kind of summer.
We are having an amazing summer.
With sunsets and sunrises and paddling and water and swimming and tired puppies and fall asleep the second your head hits a pillow and friends and framily.
God, we are having a summer.
But with everything so jammed pack and every week and weekend planned and crammed, I feel so rushed.
It all went by so fast.
And I know it always does and I know it only gets worse the older and older they get, but this was a different kidn of rushed.
This is a: our window is closing kind of rushed.
This is a: our time with them, this part of them is quickly fading kind of rushed.
This is a: they are getting bigger and more independent but still just want us and that won't always be the case kind of rushed.
This is a: are we appreciating this time enough kind of rushed.
This is a: are we pausing enough kind of rushed.
This is a: are we telling them how much they mean to us enough kind of rushed.
This is a: are we letting them know how much we love to be around them too kind of rushed.

I spent a summer watching you.
Both of you.
The nine-year-old that still loves stuffed animals and playgrounds and mom and dad time and reading.
the six-year-old that still loves all Star Wars stuff and running around, and all sports and mom and dad playing with him and reading dates.
I watched you and I saw our gorgeous wide open window.
The one in which you don't need, you just want us around.
The one that lets you do more for you, but still love all little girl and boy things.
And I watched me too.
I watched me inhale all of you in.
The deepest breath I could hold, and I forgot to exhale.
And so I watched me live in a world we aren't in right now and I held and held my breath.
I lived in the world where this incredible window was already closed.
I lived in a world where there was no going back in time.
I lived in a world where there was no reliving it and I felt rushed.
Because I want zero regrets when it comes to living your best childhood.
I want to wake up old and have these memories make me smile.
I want to wake up much more wrinkled and have my eyes glisten at the thought of all we did together.
I want to wake up more gray and run my hands through my hair and remember all the times you did.

I lived in tomorrow and forgot to exhale and remember I am here with you today.
I lived in a time where I want time to constantly hit pause, even for a little while longer
so I can hold you more.
so I can tell you more things about you.
so we can discover more about you.
so I can give little guys and kiss noses and breathe in all the little and olive juice love.

But, I can't pause and I think I am being to realize I don't have to.
I have a little while longer to go and so this is the pause.
This is the time, this is when they don't need us but want us.
It is happening right now and as long as I don't rush through it
as long as I don't look at this gorgeous open window of time and spend it worrying about the door on the other side,
I won't rush us through it.
I have exhaled.
I have hit pause.
Every day until you guys tell me, mom, it's time to take one more deep breath and hit play again because we are ready
and taking you with us.

Stop.

3
Jun

Everything changes

The heartbeat I once saw on the screen is a school-aged girl wonder.
The baby I nursed is a six-year-old lover of love boy.
The bottles I once washed are now family dinners arguing over what we like to eat this week.
The diapers are gone and replaced with sports equipment everywhere.
The daycare I once needed is replaced with after school everything.
The house with just a little pile of toys right here is now stuff, just more and more stuff on every surface in every corner.
Everything changes.

As a seasoned mother reminded me this week
the things that make me anxious and tired and wanting an out
are all of the things I will look back and realize how much I miss.
Everything changes.

The toddler holding my hand, learning to talk still needs to talk things out with me, for now anyway.
The chubby fingers and face are now growing into who you were always meant to be.
The little is being replaced with personality.
The laughter and patience I once had are becoming more tired and faded.
The baby love that made me whole is scared of the children I need to raise
the adults they will be tomorrow.
Everything changes.

So, as I go around the house and wipe down counters,
as I pick up and put away
as I clean on top of clean on top of clean
as I tidy and the frustration builds in my chest
I have to remember
everything changes.

The day will come when they are either no longer in need of all this stuff
no longer in want.
The day will come when the house will be so quiet that "noise" will split me in two.
The day will come when I will long with my whole body for signs of life in my home.
Everything changes.

Velveteen mothers know all too well that the years feel like days.
They find themselves staring at the people they once held on to so tightly and thinking over and over
once upon a time not so long ago
you were an extension of me.
I was your world and you were my stars.
Everything changes.

Which is why I love that I am the collector of stories
I love how much I can play back each and every memory.
But it is also at times quite painful to feel as though I can still reach out and touch that little that I got the privilege to mother.
Everything changes.

Here is what I know to be true and need you both to understand.
I have zero regrets about how I spent my time...
carefully examining you and breathing you in.
Watching each day with love.
Hearing myself in old videos
seeing old pictures
I am reminded how much I enjoyed mothering you.
How much fun I had and how much I relished in the days.
I was slow with you.
I enjoyed you.
Everything changes.

And as the parenting gets more delicate and heavy.
As I feel this need to guide more and this worry hanging over me
I hope to return to the me I was and still am.
Everything changes, even this velveteen mother.

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.

12
Jan

Five Minute Friday - simplify

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 simplify.
Go.

Oh how I need to.
This upholder needs to work so much smarter and less hard.
And so, with the start of the new year and how different things are going to be, I am starting all over again.
Because yesterday is over and it's time to write another story.

This year, I start with automation of my home.
Figuring out the little areas that I am spending a little time here and there that are taking up too much of my time.
I can automate the lights going on/off with special bulbs that detect dawn and dusk.
I can automate when things I get every month show up at my house.
I can automate my budget spreadsheet with formulas so things populate on their own.

I am simplifying the things I bring into my home, like cleaners.
I no longer want a cleaner for each surface of my home.
It seems strange to even think of that as an area that consumes time, but thinking through how much cleaner I have to dust vs how much toilet cleaner vs how much floor cleaner vs how much bathroom sink cleaner vs how much kitchen surface cleaner vs how much sink cleaner and then adding them to different lists and getting them at the store...stop!
I have simplified down to 3 and 2 of them are easy homemade.

I am simplifying my routines.
I am using my knowledge of me to not take on challenges.
I am saying no to things that take up my time and fortunate enough to say, is there a way I can pay someone else to just do that for me.
I am starting this year with a new different thing each month and not making all of the changes all at once and feeling overwhelmed.
Slow, I am going slow and smart.

I am going to be proud of the simple ways I inject love into my family.
Like all of our traditions that make my kids feel grounded, close, connected, loved and build a strong foundation.
I am going to find simple ways to connect with friends that don't live near me, so we all feel together.
I am going to take a step back from complicated relationships that make me feel weighted down.
I am going to remove so much of the noise that this loud loud world brings.

I am going to sit in the white clean simple empty space and all of its beauty.
This year is different.
And as this mamma gets closer and closer to 40, she is ready to own this life she built.

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