3
Feb

The next thing you know

She will be driving.
He will be in high school.
There will be significant others.
Phones or another gadget(s) will be coveted.
Privacy will be demanded.
Doors will be slammed.
But, we will still be us. 
And I will be okay. 

Because we have a base, we have a really strong foundation and we have ways that at the end of a hard day, week, month, cycle, we come back in small and meaningful ways. And it starts with all of our traditions. Lovies, I started them to remind you all that this is where we come home to. This is who we are, at our core, this is where we will always belong.

The next thing you know
prom will be a thing.
Graduation will come.
Schools will be researched.
The house will be quieter.
And I will be okay. 

The next thing you know
this chaos will be our "remember when"... 
And tomorrow we will laugh at what made us cry hard and worry today. 
The next thing you know, all the things that make us worry will no longer matter. They will be fine, they will be good, they will be them. Not our version of them, not our hopes of them, but them. The them they were meant to be, the them they want to be. 
And I will be okay. 

The next thing you know, their mess will be gone. The legos will be put away, the instruments will be no more, the running around will stop, the sign-ups for sports and things will be a thing of the past.
And I will be okay. 

The next thing you know, it will go from just us five to four to three. And I, the one who struggles most with change, will be dragged into a new reality. One in which their decisions are out of our hands. One in which my time is again all mine. One in which I hope we remember how much we all loved and tried in this house.
And I will be okay. 

The next thing you know, our foundation will matter most. Our little reminders of love, our little reminders of us, our little ways of reconnecting. Because schedules will only get worse. Because time will only get more limited. Because we will have to divide and conquer. Because we will continue to be pulled in too many directions. Because we will be losing our minds at times. Because responsibilities will only get heavier. Because things will pile up and up. But, us, the real us, we're right here. The real us that will have warm pizza and a movie every Friday. The real us that will pile around the island and talk about our week over pancakes every Sunday. The real us that will connect over shows we are showing you from our childhood. The real us that always gives warm goodnights. The real us that piles on top of each other to read together. The real us that talks about our gracious heart. The real us that holds hands. The real us that sings in the car. The real us that eats ice cream for dinner to celebrate. The real us that vacations together every summer. The real us that hugs with all of our body. The real us that tries to laugh every day. The real us that makes dinner together important. The real us that snuggles. The real us that talks about love constantly. The real us that knows how to get home. The real us that realizes the power of puppy love. The real us that realizes we are a team. The real us.
And I will be okay. 

1
Feb

Five Minute Friday - where

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 where.

Go.

It's my year of change and that means a different direction and embracing all the change that has to come my way. That means being comfortable with them getting older. That means, for the first time in 40 years, being comfortable in my own skin. That means leaving something I spent 19 years building to someone else. That means stepping into something that is terrifying and changing how I see my future. That means changing how I am viewing my year of change and changing what I say about it. That means changing, period and end of story changing.

So where am I going? Where am I headed and what direction is this life about to take me? Where do I want to be at the end of this year? Where do I want to say I have been? Where do I want to spend my time and my focus? Where do I want to say I belong? Where do I go when things feel overwhelming? Where do I go when I feel lost and too scared to make it one foot in front of the other? Where do I soak my tired bones? Where do I feel safe? Where do I focus my attention, where do I want to be?

When change feels not only frightening but actually devastating, these are questions you shy away from. They are questions you don't want to answer because you just want things to stay the same. You want the comfort, you want the protection. But, kids get older too. Life moves on regardless of if you are on board. Change is our constant, like it or not. When you force yourself to look in the mirror, these are questions I had to answer. And so I did. I sat myself down and said I can't hold on to motherhood in the first year of parenting when you have a 6 and 9-year-old. They have grown and changed and you have to too. You can't hold on to a 19-year-old plan because it is time for fresh eyes. Where I am headed has to be different and I have to be not only ready, I have to want this. I have to tell the universe that I want it and I have to listen to it telling me not to force it.

Where I want to be at the end of this year is not where I am, change is coming my way.

Stop.

13
Jan

I'm getting older too

"I built my life around you".

I have spent years of my childhood and young adult life building a life around proving someone wrong. Standing up for myself, standing up for what I can do, walking through fear, and saying "I can" to myself (even when I knew I was in over my head). It was lonely, it was scary, it was overwhelming, and it consumed my every thought. 

But, it also served me very well. It got me through, it told me I really can do hard things. It allowed me to walk and keep walking through fear and it defined real bravery for me. It showed me what strength really means and it taught me that I can. It reminded me I will never be confident, I will always and forever be afraid of everything, but I still can and will do things. 

I always had you in the back of my mind, I was always trying to prove to you how wrong you were about me, and although I will never shake this feeling, I also know I have to stop trying. The one thing I never wanted was for you to have control over me, my decisions, my life and instead, what I willfully gave you is full control. Because every move was to either hurt you or prove you wrong. And even though it has been almost 20 years of no longer wanting to hurt you, I still set out to prove all I had accomplished without you. I still clung to wanting you to finally see how strong I am, what I can do, what I have built, not because of you, but in spite of. You will never feel that way, I know you won't. You too are trying to protect yourself and your bubble and you need to feel as though I have always needed you and every decision I made on my own led me down the wrong path, not to the life I built.

You have gotten older, you are who you are, who you have always been, and you are trying. Not to change, but trying to be in this world. Not to accept it, not to embrace it, not to let things roll off your back but to be in it. That all by itself is a major accomplishment for you right now. Me, I'm getting older too and I am headed in a different direction this year. One that reminds me that it is time to put this part of me to rest.  And although I can tell myself that I have already done that a long time ago, what I really did was say goodbye to the anger and blame, what I still carried was proving myself. 

Because like I said, proving myself to you has served me well. I have felt a determination and grit and truth be told, if I put that down to rest, what else will I let go of and who will I become? I have been afraid to let this last part of us go. As I have watched you age, I realized this is not a game we play together, I am in it alone. You do not realize I am even playing, you are just living. And maybe, just maybe, you too are playing a solo game of she needs me. I do not need to know this, I do not need information on how the game has worked or hindered you. I just need to stop showing up for my part.

I am me because of so much that I have gotten from you. My hard work, determination, grit, sleepless nights, working fingers to the bone, and loving loudly, loving deeply, showing up for those you love, all come from what you taught me. I am also me from what I learned for me. Like to love kindly, to not have those around me be afraid of me, to be open and let them know we are a team and I always have your back, those are things I do better. There are so many things I thank you for, many others I have reminded myself that like all of us, you did the best you could with what you had.

So, not out of spite, anger or resentment, but with love...I am trying to build a different life now. One that is not built around you. One that starts with the foundation which has a mixture of all you have done well mixed in with all I want to do better. This will not be a snap of the fingers, there is always still stuff, I will of course linger too long in the past. I will of course think of a situation that will bring me all back, I will of course be reminded of the anger I held, of the burden I felt I carried, of the times it was just me. But it is time for me to embrace all change, and this is a big part of it. It is time for me to end this hold. I do not need to prove myself to you, I know who I am, what I have, what I still need, and I won't lose sight of that. I am willing to let the resentment go and allow you to think there was a need there, because, in some reality, there was. And more importantly I love you and want what is best for you. That is the meaning of love. I wish nothing but the best of what this world can give you and what you deserve after all you too have sacrificed. 

I am thankful for my life that could have gone in so many different directions. I am thankful for who I found and who I hold close. I am thankful for my foundation that told me I should expect better out of people. I am thankful for our relationship and my understanding of what has transpired. I am thankful that I get to wake up and be with the people I love most. I am thankful for how hard I work and the plans I make. I am thankful that I have goals and I am even thankful that I am still scared because I can relate so well to those that feel too frightened to move. I am thankful for all I have accomplished and even of my years of trying to prove you wrong, even my years full of anger, they have all brought me to a different place. They have all contributed to the final product. I walked through a lot and I found love and joy. I found what I was always looking for, family as I define it. 

"Well, I've been 'fraid of changin'
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I'm gettin' older, too
I'm gettin' older, too"

30
Dec

Change

Close your eyes, fall asleep and stay there. Something that has always been so simple, is so simple. But for me, I am always up, my heart racing, and I have been missing sleep. I am struggling to stay there, and I know why. All of my worries, concerns, and stress are waking me up and telling me I can't. Nothing can change, it all has to stay the same.

That's what time added up over years and years that have led to a decade over a decade does, it makes you too comfortable. It allows you to fall into a routine, your routine, and it hates change. And I hate change, I hate things changing, I always have. But that's okay, I have come to realize, it all has to change.

2018 was my year of different. It was my year of trying and retrying and making things happen. I stumbled, I thought I fell, I thought I was lost, but I regained consciousness and I kept going. I built each month on a different theme and I followed through, I built a year around words and actions. I built who I need to be and I remembered who I always was. I got myself ready for this moment and now, everything has to change.

Everything has to change because everything always changes and it is time this stuck in the routine girl, the one that keeps going in the same direction using the same tools, has to take a very different route. It's time for this woman who hates change to embrace it. And what better way than to make it my word for the whole year?

I will start with you my little faces. It starts with changing our busy routine and grounding into us.

January will be all about family time, even if it's moments each day, ending our day all together, all calm and allowing light to be our only guide. January will be a change to how we end our day.

February will be a change of heart with our letters of love. But this year, the whole family will get involved. A gentle reminder of why you are important, why I am important, why we need each other.

March will be a change in attitude. I will learn how to meditate and ground myself. I need this, my year might be an uphill battle but change is coming and change is good and my responsibilities are shared. I am not in this, any of this, alone. I need to stay grounded, follow my breath, allow the air to move in and out. I need to find a way to put my head on the ground and remember that I am only one and the world does not fall all on me. I will find peace within myself, not outward, but from within. March will be a change in attitude.

April will be a change with my relationship with joy. I will find a way to reconnect with joy and find it in my path every single damn day. I will remind myself that all of this sacrifice is for the ultimate which is joy. Not happiness which is planning for the future, but joy which is present in the here and now.

May will be a change to put aside the big and bold and more and a reminder to focus on the little. The little things in life, the little all around me, the little that is changing and becoming more and more big.

Junewill be to change my relationship with sleep. Once a week I will go to bed with my kiddos. I will close my eyes as my children are and I will be swept away into dream land. I will be okay with the amount of sleep my tired body needs.

July, I will be halfway there, I have made it halfway and I've got this. So June will be to change my relationship with stress. I will find ways to cope that are out of the box, I will find a way out of my own head.

August will be to find my style and dress with how I am most comfortable and feel like my best self.

September will be to connect with me, what I do well, how my year is going, what changes I need to make right away.

October will be to learn a new skill! I have been dying to learn how to use my camera for six years, this is finally the time!

November will be to change my view on resentment and let go of the black and dark I hold. Say goodbye to grudges and move on. Be okay with letting go and move on to all that matters.

December will be to decompress and a chance to reflect and see what other changes I need to make as I walk into a new life, a new purpose a new chapter.

Change I am ready for you, I am embracing you, I am an all in girl and I am all in with the changes I need to make. Each and every step will bring me closer to me, hold me closer to who I am, bring me closer to you. With tender love I say goodbye to you 2018. You were glorious and scary, you were full and lonely, you were my preparation and I am now ready.

21
Dec

Five Minute Friday - with

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 with.

Go.

With grace and poise and love and light in my heart.

Here we are, heading into 2019, a year that promises to be filled with change, work, determination, and plans.

A year that will allow me to plan for me and a year I will need to remember that I can only do this determination and hard work yes, but also with grace, poise, and love and light in my heart.

A year that will test me, ask me what I really want, ask me how much I really want it. A year that will come with stuff and work and even more hard work.

But my year nonetheless. My year to make my mark, make my change, turn the tide in my direction and a year to be me. And all that comes with me. All that embodies me, and a year to remember there are still those that love me, even with all the extra I bring. A year to remember that only I can get to the end of my tunnel, only I can do this, so thank goodness I am me.

I will no longer say it will be a hard year, I know the universe listens and will deliver. Instead, I will say that it will be a year of transition. A year to share my responsibilities because my responsibilities are shared, a year that the transition will be smooth and seamless, a year that transition will lead to transformation.

A year that I will start with grace, poise, determination, and love and light in my heart. A year I will hold on to it, hold it close to my chest. And when the tightness might make it hard to breathe, I will remember that I carry it all with me. I will remember that the transition will lead to transformation and I will continue to move with light.

Stop

14
Dec

Five Minute Friday - still

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 still.

Go.

10
Dec

One last time

I heard a baby cry the other day, not an annoying cry, but an ache for their mamma that had put her down.
I was in a locker room changing with my nine-year-old and I felt it stir in me, that feeling, the longing I have for babies.
I couldn't help myself, I turned to her and said, I miss that sound.
It fell out before I even knew what I was saying, and I immediately felt bad. Did I just make this tired mom trying to do it all feel like the "one day you'll miss this" bull that I hate so much?
But that wasn't the look on her face. She instantly softened, I could tell she was on the verge of apologizing for her crying baby and having a stranger fall into such deep longing for little, she just said, "you do?" and just like that, I found myself talking to a stranger.
I didn't get her name, but she knows the names of both my kids and I know hers. I know their ages and I know how she is doing. The struggle of two and all that comes with it. I saw in her what I feel, that motherhood can be so lonely and intimidating, but when someone extends the faintest of branches, you cling.
So, I made a joke about how babies trick you into thinking you've got this all under control and before you know it, you just don't.
She told me about her older son, I told her about my youngest son.
I didn't ask her if she was done, like we are done.

I remember holding you and thinking, one last time.
I remember crying on the edge of my bed with my nine-day-old baby feeling loss, loss of babies, loss of little, loss of sounds, loss.
There was no connection to the present.
There was so much loss of the future me not having babies.
You were my last first.
So future me made me long for the baby I was actually holding.

One last time, as I held you.
One last time, as I fed you at 4am.
One last time, as I rocked with you.
One last time, as I sang to you.
One last time, as I bathe you and think about how this window will close hard one day.
One last time, as we say our goodnight routines.
One last time, as I read to you.
One last time, as I hold you too tight.

I know I still live there, in future me.
Future me with a kid in college.
Future me with kids living anywhere in the world.
Future me with grow-ups who were my little faces, holding their own little ones.
Future me with a quiet home.
Future me that has to be more than just your mom because I can't get lost in our future.
I need to be excited about future me.

I said goodbye to babies, I did.
I closed the chapter after we finished the last sentence.
I promise that the book is set, it's been written. We put the final touches on babies and it's been printed.
But when I do go back and re-read what we created, it's so beautiful that I find myself aching for them.
It's me standing in a locker room, talking to a stranger about how I miss the sound of baby beautiful.
It's me reaching out and wiping one little tear away from a little one that isn't mine and telling her, you're okay, your mom is right here.
And as I watched you scoop her up, hold her and find something to keep her occupied, I said goodbye.
I took hold of my daughter's hand and as we walked to the car, I whispered to her how happy I am that she started this for me.
I told her that I loved her and was proud to be her mom.
I wanted to just thank you for finding me.
You both found me out there and although you will start to walk your own way very soon, future me sees it more than you do, I looked down at how little your hand is right now and squeezed.

7
Dec

Five Minute Friday - balance

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 balance.

Go.

I should not be in charge of this word.
I should not go near it, even touch it.
I get asked advice on it and I always say, I am the last person you should be talking to about this.
But maybe not.
Maybe the woman who learned the hard way how important balance is should be the one standing up for the word.
Maybe the woman who got so sick she needed to have a year of different should be the one talking about the importance of the word.
Maybe the woman who spent three months in despair should be the one carrying the torch for the word.
Maybe for all women, people, that lean into work, maybe we need to have a different conversation about this word.
Maybe it starts with me.

I love work.
Not just my job, my career, my business, but I love all of the work I do.
I love working.
I love being tired and productive.
I love that I am ambitious, I love that I have grit, I love that I am determined and I love that I keep going.
I love that I set goals, I love that I get after it, I love work.
I feel confident there, I feel like it makes sense to me.
There's a hum, there's a rythum and a dance and all of it feels so so good.
But I am a mom
and a bride
and a friend
and I run
and do yoga
and I work out a lot
and I run my house
and I love to cook dinner
and I love my kids
and I love my person
and I love to see my family.
So a mom that loves her family and loves her job has some explaining to do.
A mom that leans into work more than she does downtime needs to be a little more careful.
Because our balance starts out leaning, we are balanced when we are leaning into work.
We just are, and that is okay. Our balance starts out a little crooked.
It is when that balance starts getting interrupted that we get into a lot of trouble.
That is when it gets really hard and we can't fight our way out.
As much as we want to go back to our neutral, as much as we fight back into the natural lean we enjoy so much.
It is when the work becomes too much even for us and we just continue to do and do and do. Even if we feel we have taken on too much and we no longer can see a way out or what to give up.
We don't know how to drop any of the balls.
All of them become a priority so we just do more, we push harder, we double down, and we get hurt.
We end up sick and resentful or just plain crazy.
We end up feeling like we can't breathe, we hurt and we can't see a way out.

So yes, I do know about balance and its importance and its power and its meaning and its need.
I do know how much I need it in my life, how attracted I am to my opposites, to my balance.
I married my balance, I dedicated my life to the one person that is my compass, who makes sure I lean the right way.
And at every turn, I find myself continuously attracted to those that are not me, to those that seem to have it more figured out.
To those that I feel have a better grasp of priorities and can take life as it comes and are so naturally good at life.
Me, I make life harder than it has to be, I cannot be my own balance and again, I don't need to be.
I am the example of the importance of this word, I hold it very close now and know when I am in trouble.
I am the expert, just not the way most would think.

16
Nov

Five Minute Friday - one

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 one.

Go.

I am one person.
One person that does not have all the answers.
One person and is trying her best.
One person that can feel lost, alone, loved, scared, worried, anxious, joyful, angry, cozy, happy.
One person raising a family.
One person building herself, her little faces, her business, her work, her mission.
One person wrapped up.
One person needing other people.
One person who knows she needs balance.
One person who wants.
One person that lives life differently.
One person that is working hard on accepting herself.
One person working hard on not tearing herself down.
One person who loves.
One person who loves with all she has.
One person that creates time, makes it so special.
One person that knows that time is always stolen.
One person that needs.
One person that works to change and grow.
One person that works and loves to work.
One person that mothers and loves to mother.
One person that is still standing.
One person that believes in things like childhood and direction and life and love and marriage and family.
One person.
One.

11
Nov

So show me family

All the wounds that I can see.
So show me family and I will show you us.

So show me connection and I will show you two people that met on simple
fell in love on joy
and became family.
So show me family and I will show you us.

So show me complications and I will show you two people that leaped over hurdles
continued to create them
and made life more complicated than it ever needed to be.
So show me family and I will show you us.

So show me a home and I will show you kids and a puppy and stuff
I will show you walls painted and pictures hung
I will show you traditions made and family memories burned into our minds.
So show me family and I will show you us.

So show me smooches and touching toes and I will show you how we end.
The day, the week, the long, and the tired.
So show me bone tired and I will show you sacrifice and grit and determination.
So show me how you define home and I will show you your nook and a smell that reminds me of you.
So show me family and I will show you us.

So show me tears and I will show you the ones we create
the ones we shed
the ones we can't help.
So show me family and I will show you us.

So show me heartbreak and heartache and I will show you this little life.
The one I run towards and away from.
The one I won't allow us to take for granted
the one you won't allow us to turn our back on.
So show me family and I will show you us.

So show me yelling and temper tantrums and kids still learning and parents still learing
and I will show you us trying.
I will show you how hard it is because they change so much and things have to keep changing
but connections and feeling in each other's lives is what we have to hold on to.
So show me family and I will show you us.

So show me a type A mom, living alone in type opposite A family and I will show you me.
Show me struggles she has and I will how you how I keep trying.
Show me messes and I will show you temper tantrums I have.
Show me crazy and loud and I will show you an introvert that gets overwhelmed.
So show me family and I will show you us.

So show me love and I will show you all I hold for you.
All the wounds that I can see.
So show me family and I will show you us.

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