24
Sep

Blankets

...being a parent feels like you are a small blanket, you just can't cover it all.

Blankets are my security.
They are my go-to for snuggles and comfort and warmth and feeling secure.
Bad day? I wrap a blanket around myself and settle in.
Having a crisis? The warmth of a blanket can make it all feel ok.
Bad breakup? The comfort of a blanket feels like loving arms.
Feeling sick? Blankets make you feel instantly warmer, getting better.
I have blankets all over my house.
Extra ones hiding in all sorts of places.
At night, I need to feel the weight of a blanket on me, keeping me tucked in.
Blankets have always been important to me.
They are significant, they have meaning in my world.

...being a parent feels like you are a small blanket, you just can't cover it all.

When I went away to college, my experience wasn't "normal".
I left home and went to college.
I left behind a family
a house
a familiar surrounding
a situation
and a life.
A life I knew, even if I wasn't in love with it, even if it wasn't the one I wanted, it was all that I knew.
And I landed in a college that felt like a warm blanket around me.
It's how I always describe my college, my experience there.
I felt taken care of and comforted, it felt familiar, homey.
And for a girl that was stepping into fear, she needed this comfort.
And for a woman that would continue to walk through fear, I continue to use blankets for protection.

...being a parent feels like you are a small blanket, you just can't cover it all.

When I met my person, it was so easy between us.
I instantly felt safe, I felt his joy, and that too covered me in warmth and comfort.
He felt like the most amazing blanket, keeping me protected from the darkness.
He was my light, my warmth, my security.
And I knew, right away, he was it.
He always kept me warm, always kept safe, always kept me feeling perfectly covered.
He was my blanket.

Because wrapped up in a blanket, I feel loved, I feel calm, I feel good about my life.
I feel taken care of, I feel nurtured.
I feel like I can concentrate on the moment.
I am here, not rushing off to a million places, I am here.

And then last week a friend told me about a book he was reading and how a quote hit him hard...
...being a parent feels like you are a small blanket, you just can't cover it all.

Because now, I am that blanket for others.
I am the one who is covering you up in love, in security, in safe.
But, no parent can cover it all.
Even though I work so hard on intentionality with my kids.
Especially since they have hit school years and I feel like important memories and words are sticking, it's more and more important that I am not reacting to them.
That I am not white on rice with them.
That I am listening more than speaking.
That I am answering questions honestly.
That I am there, really present with them.

...being a parent feels like you are a small blanket, you just can't cover it all.

But, days get long.
Patience runs out.
It feels like nothing is getting done
and you just can't cover it all.

You can't be everywhere.
You can't be everything.
You can't do everything.
You can't always be kind.
You can't always speak with intention.
The blanket is too small and something, someone, is being left out in the cold.

But, not to them.
They don't think that I am stretched too thin.
Because even if I'm too small for me, I am still the biggest most comforting blanket for you.
I am who you want when you are cold
sad
lonely
bored
scarred
worried
sick.
I am your warmth and comfort and protection from the cold.

No matter how small I feel, you see me as able, enough.
You see me as heavy and sturdy and strong enough to continue to stretch from corner to corner.
You never feel I am not covering every corner.
I am the one now wrapping you in comfort.
I have become a blanket for your life.

And just like dad is for me, I always will be the warmth and comfort you need.

4
Sep

All you want...

...is us.

Play with me.
Color with me.
Read to me.
I want to go with you.
Snuggle me.
Stay with me.
Can you just be here?
Can we have a date?
Can I go running with you?

All you want...is us.

This summer, we took a once in a lifetime family vacation.
Your favorite parts: being in the pool as a family.
Sleeping in the hotel, because you each got to sleep with us.
Just time with us is all you need to fill your bucket.
You would whisper things to me like
"I love talking to you and I promise I always will"
"I love you mommy, I love being with you"
"this is the best vacation ever, we're all together!"

Since we have been home, all you want, is us.
Playing with us.
Snuggles with us.
Board games with us.
Reading dates.
All you want...is us.
Time with us
all of us with you all of you.
Us.
Just us.

Our trips to the Cape, you love the togetherness of it all.
You love how crammed and cramped we all are, because we are all together.
You love sharing the space.
You love how cozy it is.
You love how you all pile up on a coach.
You love being, with us.
All you want, is us.

And yes, there are moments when the attention and time are almost too much.
I get tired
days are long
but this needed time
this need for just me
take me as I am me
it's incredible.
It's what I will miss the most of this small window we all have.
That out of anyone out there, you have always accepted me.
As I am
crazy and all
tired
never put together
forever wanting pjs
forever wanting cozy
the woman that doesn't know how to dress
the woman that doesn't do her hair
the one that doesn't know how to apply makeup
the one that needs peace and calm
the one that finds that calm in routine and clean
stressed and crazed
hurried and impatient
me.

You love the real me
you see me as I see the real you.
You look beyond all of the flaws and you find the me you love.
And you don't really want anything from me,
you just want me.
Not distracted
not angry
not always tired
but happy to be with you too
me.

You slow me down.
You make me realize what is important.
Because how do I say no to being with you?
How do I look at a little face and say no, I can't help you.
No, I can't be with you.
No, what I am doing is more important, than you.
You are my reminder that time is fleeting.
You are my reminder that time is precious.
You are my reminder that all we will ever need, is us.

1
Sep

Five Minute Friday - neighbor

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 neighbor.
Go.

How are we taking care of one another?
How are we lending a hand, an ear, a shoulder?
How are we listening?
How are we coming together?
How are we taking care of each other?
What do we do for our neighbor?

We build homes with fences to protect privacy.
We move into neighborhoods and hardly know those around us.
We build walls instead of welcoming those we live with in.
We wave across yards instead of opening doors.
We put up barricades instead of welcome signs.
How are we taking care of each other?
What do we do for our neighbor?

We look inward, careful to take care of those close to us.
We are untrusting, looking for motives.
We are ending gatherings, always too busy.
How are we taking care of each other?
What do we do for our neighbor?

We are quick to look away if it doesn't concern us.
We are quick to turn around, not look in the direction of someone in need.
We justify with statements like, that's not my concern, not my problem, not my decisions.
We forget all the help we received along the way, the priveledges we were afforded.
We forget that most parents make it because of community, and circles of trust.
How are we taking care of each other?
What do we do for our neighbor?

But the ripple effect is real.
And just as much as it can turn us in, the ripple effect can also create closeness and kindness.
Like how one person pays for another in a drive through line and the chain continues.
Like how one person helps a stranger and that love is carried on.
Like how we create love is contagious and so is community.
How are we taking care of each other?
What do we do for our neighbor?

If we want to build kindness and love and generosity in our kids, lead by example.
Let them catch you helping a stranger.
Let them see you feed someone in need.
Let them watch you talk someone up, not down.
Let them be a part of their community.
Teach them the importance of framily.
Show them love, not just for them, but for people.

It is time, we are at a pivotal point in our history and when you look back at this time of need and crisis, what will your story be?
Did you retrieve inward or did you open your heart?
Did you write a book of love or of fear and hate?
Now is our time, we are raising a generation, we are setting their path.
Remind them that it is up to all of us to take care of one another.
Be a good neighbor.

Stop.

27
Aug

He's the one

He's the one you call for.
He's the one that signs you up for all of your stuff.
He's the one that gets you ready every. single. morning.
He's also the one that tackles night time routines.
He's the one you love two claps.
He's the one you look like.
He's the one that worries most about you.

He's the one that asked me out.
He's the one that got down on one knee to ask me to join him in forever.
He's the one that puts up with my crazy.
He's the one that has embraced my family's crazy.
He's the one that worries the least about us.

He's the one that sets schedules for you.
He's the one you spend your summer with.
He's the one that plans our vacations.
He's the one that plans our days.
He's the one that loves adventure.
He's the one that needs big breaks.

He's the one that celebrates your milestones.
He's the one that is never sad anything is over.
He's the one that loves your first and your last everything.
He's the one that asked for you, he's the one that realized we were now a complete family.
He's the one that wanted this life, always and forever, you were always a part of him.

He's the one that had the hardest time letting Mia go.
He's the one that I got to watch fall in love with her.
He's the one that adores Pearl, and I got to watch them fall in love too.
He's the one that walks her, he's the one that is so patient.
He's the one that realized we needed to wait and heal.
He's the one that also realized I couldn't live without her.

He's the one that won't let any of us walk away angry.
He's always the first to apologize.
He's the fixer, he's always putting us back together.
He's the one that built our house.
He's the one I see in every corner of it.
He's the one that is always trying to make us happy.
He's the one that loves us, so much he can't see straight.
He's the one that laughs, his job is to be silly.
He's the one that has so much joy, naturally sitting in there, and we're the ones that need to remind him of that.

He's the one you get your eyes from
he's the one you get your childhood joy from
he's the one you want to make happy
he's the one you really adore.
He's the one we can count on.
He is the one I count on.
He's the one that knew we were it for him.

He's the one that is more simple.
He's the one that doesn't question much.
He's the one that hasn't met someone he doesn't like.
He's the one that sees the good in everyone.
He's the one that has a good heart.

He's the one that forgets a lot.
He's the one we love.
He's the one that needs constant reminders that all of this is crazy messy goofy love.
He's the one that needs constant reminders that this is childhood.
He's the one that needs constant reminders that this was his childhood.
He's the one that needs constant reminders that this was him, always him.
He's the one that needs to be reminded that he will never be loved and needed this much again.
He's the one that we love.
He's the one that we love.
He's the one that we love.
He's the one that won't ever let us give up.
He's the one that won't ever walk away.
He's the one that expects you to move mountains.
He's the one for us, he's the one for me, he's the one that put this family together.
He's the one that we love.
He's the one that we love.
He's the one guys.

25
Aug

Five Minute Friday - guide

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 guide.
Go.

Eyes wide open, that's how I explain to people that I went into parenting.
I did not have misconceptions about the diaper commercials and thinking it would calm and full of nothing but love.
I knew parenting would be hard.
I knew it would be messy.
I knew it would change me, I knew it would hurt me.
I knew that I wouldn't recognize myself.
I knew that it would make me lose sleep, and money and patience.
So, you would think someone that is that aware, would have a guide.
You would think she knew a thing or two about what to do, how to handle a situation, how to not buckle under pressure, how to measure up, how to stay calm during the chaos, how to not yell, how to only love, how to keep her marriage unrattled by the changes parenting brings, how to keep up with it all, how to balance it all, how to live the life I want, how to accept the challenges, how to handle the breakdowns, how to motivate, how to ask, how to raise you, how to not be upset, how to not shatter, how to build, how to guide.
You would think she would know how to guide, she would have the book in her back pocket and she would pull it out whenever needed.
Because my eyes were wide open and I didn't for one second think it would be easy, I knew better.

But someone who knows better knows there is no guide.
There is no book.
There is no one size fits all.
There is no way of knowing what is ahead, what challenges will come.
There is no way of knowing how to answer all of the questions.
There is no way of knowing what is the right way to handle every situation.
There is no way of replicating the situation.
There is no way of seeing what tomorrow brings.
Someone who knows better realizes how frustrating parenting is.
Realizes that is is all so much hard work.
Someone who knows better is not confident.
She is shaky because parenting rattles you.
She realizes there are no answers.
There is no right vs wrong.
There is no making up for time lost.
Someone who knows better knows that it's not just you that changes, everything changes.
And at times, that can feel so humbling, so out of control.
Everything is changing all of the time.
Someone who knows better knows it's not just money and sleep and patience you lose, you also lose control.
You lose yourself.
You lose who you were, your identity, how you define you
and so does your partner and so do your kids, everyone and everything is changing all of the time.
Someone who knows better knows that rough patches come and laughter and time heal.
Someone who knows better knows that all you can do is hold on
and come out the other side someone different and a bit weathered, but you are still there.
Someone who knows better knows you can't just become their mom and lose all of you.
Someone who knows better knows there is no guide.
And so she takes it day by day.

Stop.

4
Aug

Five Minute Friday - try take 2

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 try.
Go.

The last time I wrote about this word, I wrote all about our fire.
I wrote about how you need to keep going, keep trying, keep giving it your all.
This week, I want to tell you that what I love most about you Anna is that you are willing to try anything.
You always try.

Anything we throw your way, you give it your all.
You really put your best foot forward, you never say no to a new challenge or option.
Actually, it excites you.
And so when I hear you say "yes!" to something new, it warms me up because you always try.

As you get older, I don't know if this will stay with you.
I don't know when the world will grab hold of you and tell you that you aren't good enough for something.
I don't know when fear will stop you.
I don't know if those two things will ever happen
because right now, in front of me, is a girl that accepts challenges and new.
A girl that always tries.

I wasn't like that until I was much older.
When I was a kid, I always scared to try.
Until I got older and realized that I needed to try new things to open up new opportunities for me
and now? Now I try to prove to just me that I can.
Most times, I am trying too hard.
At proving myself
at my job
at my health
at my everything.
You? You try because you just always try.
There is no question, there is no fear, there is just you and your willingness
to try.

Stop.

28
Jul

Five Minute Friday - inspire

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 inspire.
Go.

I find it in the quiet.
The time alone in the shower just the sound of water.
The time alone on a run, just the sound of my feet and the road.
I find it in the morning, just the dimmest light on and my thoughts, my work.
I find it on the rainy days that curl me up
I find it in a lit candle a moment of peace.
I find it when the noise stops around me, the noise in me too.

I find it when I write, when the words finally come.
The words I struggle to put together and the ones I want you to carry with you always.
I find it in my desire to keep you in the know of what this journey meant to me
how much these years with you changed me and how I will never be who I once was.

I found my inspiration for a forever, one full of happy, when you first smiled at me.
I found my inspiration to exhale and be as you made your way over to me.
I found my smile in yours.

I find it in love.
The love I am trying to spread the one I am learning to receive.
I find it the warmth and comfort we have created, the family I never knew I always wanted.

I find it at night when I peek in and see the rise and fall of your chest as you breathe.
I find it in the knowledge of the good we put forth that day
the love we shared.
I find it when you whisper to me from your dreams
the love letters you write directly to my heart.
I find it in your whispers.

I find it in beauty, in clean and in our home.
I no longer want a house but a warm and loving home.
I find it in the walls that have your eyes and smiles and laughter staring back.
I find it in the toys you love, the little that has exploded.
I find it in your childhood, my second chance.

It is in the quiet that I come alive
I find it in the stillness I need
the silence I desire.

Stop.

8
Jul

Forever

When I first met you, there was a part of me that knew we were family.
When you asked me to walk beside you, hand in hand, for the rest of our lives, we made it official to everyone else.
But I always knew, way back then, we would forever be us.

Seventeen years later, everything looks different,
our bodies
our minds
our patience
our cares
our priorities
our home
our jobs
our health
our wrinkles
our skin
everything has changed.
Even our pledge to each other,
to our forever.

It doesn't look like puppy dog love anymore
it doesn't look young and fresh and sweet
it doesn't look like kids pretending to be grown
it's hardly even cute.
Our forever has changed
into real
and boring
and forgiving
and kindness
and turning towards
and heavy.

Because love changes and grows and molds
as people do
and you can either grow apart
or grow together.

One thing that has not changed is when things get hard, I am the first to question.
I question us
I question our decisions
I question our arguments
I question our commitment.
When things don't look and feel like us, I want to walk away.
But you have always realized that it is a result of me never wanting to live the life I had,
the one that I knew
that one that I walked out of
before I met forever.

And so, each and every time, you call me out.
You remind me that we don't ever give up
not on them
not on me
not on you
not on each other
not on us.
We do not get to give up,
because you remind me of forever.

So, we keep marching on.
We find our own adventure
we tackle the challenges
the trying and difficult times
and hand in hand, we find us again,
we find forever.

Because along the way, you remind me of love.
Actual, real, consistent and caring love.
Our love is more ordinary but you and I find the magic in boring.

Your I love yous come just the same...
you love through action.
You fix
you build
you have to make it all better.
And I finally understand your language.
Words, writing, presentations, none of that is how you speak.
Instead you research everything, for me, or us
you plan every vacation, so I can not plan a thing
you bring me a glass of wine
you fix me coffee
you get the kids up and ready
you tackle bed time
you hold my hand through the bad news
like the medical hell we went through
like aging parents
like losing our Mia.
You tell me you love me by saying yes to Pearl
and how fell in love, just by placing her in your arms
like the love you have for them
the amount you care about them
the expectations you have for them, because you see all they are going to become
your I love yous come just the same.

everything has changed.
everything looks different
even our forever.
But what will always stay is you are my forever.
Thanks for finding me.

25
Jun

This has been

It's been eight years.
That's how long I have been a mom.
And, when my first was just 8 weeks old, a new part of our lives started.
A part in which I welcomed other women into my family, daycare and nannies and helpers.
And they helped me raise my kids.
They helped me raise my kids and me, into a mom.

It all started with one.
I met her when I was pregnant and we were looking for an at home daycare.
Someone that had other kids in her home but still had a personal and flexible touch.
I immediately felt comfortable and calm with her.
I felt that she would love my little one, I just didn't know how much.
Nor did I know how much she would care for me, me for her.
I remember that very first day.
I left Anna in her pac-n-play and I walked out the door.
Except I didn't just walk out.
I kept going back in, and I would touch her face one more time...
and I would cry.
And then I would walk back out and start the process all over again.
And it was her voice that simply said, I get it and you take all the time you need, that finally got me to go out the door.
I sent many messages, called frequently,
and she took every phone call, she let me talk to my 8 week old like a crazy person.
She would send me notes every day, letting me know how it all went.
What Anna did, how much she ate, how many diapers she changed.
And when preschool started, she was the one that dropped off and picked up.
She became a part of us, she became my friend.
This has been the most humbling eight years of my life,
she helped me raise them.

And soon after our second, I met my second.
She came to our house, helped with the morning, helped me with my stay at home days.
She would play, she would separate, she helped put them down for naps.
She was the one that reminded my crazy mind that I wanted Cole to go to preschool because it was more quiet now.
Quiet is what I needed
quiet is what I longed for.
And as the tears came harder and harder, she told me,
I get it, I understand. I miss him too and I can't believe it either.
She would miss him too.
She stayed through his preschool years.
Helping with drop off and pick ups.
Helping with the bus, always so flexible so kind.
She would tell me how the bus went
she would fill me in on Anna's day before Anna could.
She would tell me how tiring preschool was for my little monkey
she would send me pictures of him sound asleep.
He runs to her when he sees her
arms open ready for this hug.
They still talk about her all of the time and ask about when they get to see her again.
She became a part of us, she became my friend.
This has been the most humbling eight years of my life,
she helped me raise them.

And then, in our last year of need came our third.
She had one adorable little face too, looking to transition out of full time employment and she was
loving
and generous
and caring
and concerned
and upfront
and calm
and always smiling.
She loved watching my kids with her daughter.
I beamed when she told me she was expecting another.
She reminded me of the beginning of motherhood, the gushing love.
She was never stressed with all that was on her plate.
She just loved my kids.
And when I hugged her goodbye, I cried a little.
I cried because once again we are writing a new chapter.
One in which they go to school and no longer need my village.
He talked about her and her daughter throughout the day
he longed for his days with her.
He fell in love with her kid, he was so excited when he found out she had a baby in her belly.
Anna, she would take guesses on boy or girl and felt gratified to know it was a girl.
She became a part of us, she became my friend.
This has been the most humbling eight years of my life,
she helped me raise them.

Eight years of daycare and nannies and three amazing women that helped us raise this amazing family.
Eight years of drop offs and pick ups.
Eight years of bags packed and worrying.
Eight years of goodbye waves as you take over for the day
to the half day
to a few hours
to now.

This has been the most humbling experience.
Seeing them become who they are
watching you fall in love with them too.
Letting go and seeing you take over
watching them fall in love with you.

This has been the most challenging years
the juggling
the schedules
the figuring out the when and where and how.
The potential for one ball to drop and a whole day is ruined.
The, he's sick today, who is taking over.
The, the weather is bad, should we have them come over?
The, who's going to what?

This has been the most loving of years
the quiet time with just us.
First, you and me Anna.
The crazy quiet time you loved
the sleeping from 12:30-4
the alone time once naps were over
the to and from preschool.
You were always so good at this.
You were always so patient with me.
You always loved this time, you were always so content.
And then you Cole.
The time we finally got just us two, because with your second, those times are precious.
The rhythm we found.
The kid you became
the greatness you are.
Even during the difficult years,
the times I had to take meetings in my closet because you were crying
the times I had to schedule it all around your naps
the times I had to figure out how to do this job and all of you
this was always the best time with you.

And the other night, as we were going to sleep, I turned to you and said,
I remember that first day with Wendy and now...
as the tears flowed down my face, you reminded me that we found three amazing women.
Three amazing people
each different
but all three incredible for taking this challenge on with us.
How did they do it? How did we?
And then you said, I know, this will be hard for you.
But, it's always hard to let them go a little more.
And on top of it, say goodbye to all three.
But, we somehow became lucky three times.
This is a parent's nightmare and we didn't find just one, but three amazing people.
We were always so comfortable with them.
We were always so at ease.
We never worried about our kids with them.
And as hard as it is to give your kids over, it was always so fine with us, because we found these three incredible people.
I don't know how we got this lucky, but we really had the greatest hearts helping me raise my kids
and raise me, into a mom.

I want you all to know that you have shaped me.
You have allowed me to love my family and my work.
You have allowed me this time.
You have allowed me to do any of this.
Because whenever anyone asks how we get any of it done, it has always been because of you.
And I thank you for loving them
for loving us
for being a part of us
for sharing your home
your time
your families
your love.
For seeing the good in them
for realizing I don't have any of the answers
you became my friend.

I also want you to know how much they adored you.
How much they looked forward to you coming.
How much they loved seeing you.
How much they loved babies, especially Cole.
How much they would wait for you.
How much they still talk about you.
You became a part of them too.

This has been eight years of us.
It has been crazy
and stressful
and fun
and slow
and quick
and worrisome
and loving.
I am about to walk into a whole new chapter now, again.
A time in which I sit alone and work
no kids
no listening to the imagination at play.
No more rhythm
no more hum
no more meetings in closets
no more shushing the cries.
I once again give you over to someone else.
I once again get to hear about your day from a far.

Because big kids go to school
and I am the mom to some big kids now.

Thank you village
thank you.

23
Jun

Five Minute Friday - steady

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 steady.
Go.

I am not the steady one of the group.
I am not the rock.
That's your job.
You were my joy, my constant, my always and forever.
Still now, as the waves of life crash down on us and make us nauseous
you are steady.
You are the calm in our storm.
You are the one that keeps us steady.

The push and pull of life has me very unsteady these days.
The stress and worry has me shaking and unstable.
I am a tightly wound ball of nerves and balls are not steady, balls wobble, balls roll.
You are my steady.
You are my reminder that this too shall pass and more crazy will come.
You are my whisper of find us, we are here.
You are my fixer of all things, you are my steady.

And the attraction started because of your constant joy.
The natural joy that lived in you.
I didn't realize someone could feel that way, all of the time.
You were so thrilled to be.
Happy to be doing anything, as long as we were together.
Which is why dating me is still your favorite.
Which is why you look forward to just us two.

Kids knock you down.
Jobs, careers, business, they drag you through the mud.
Homes offer retreat and worry.
Life is full of the swinging back and forth
it is what makes life worth living.
And every person that gets lost in the whirl
every person that almost gets hurt from the spinning needs a steady rock.
A place to steady their thoughts.
A place to steady their mind.
A place to steady.
You, you are my steady.
You are my always and forever.

Stop.

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