20
Apr

Five Minute Friday - turn

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 turn.
Go.

It's our turn.
We have been focussing on you
your needs
your wants
your cries
your little grunts
your inability
your everything.

But, I don't have babies anymore.
I now have kids
and part of the appeal of aging and independence is we get to focus on us.
Our turn
our lives
our rhythm.

We get to find a new version of us.
One that has been through hell and back.
One that has turned towards and away from love and coming running back again.
One that leans hard on one another.
It's our turn now.

Things with kids get busier
schedules get crazier
schedules become really important
schedules were always important to me though.

Things with kids get blurry
because we think they put us out of focus when in actuality they have us focus on what is most important.
And that is always and forever togetherness.
It's all they want, it's all they need, it's all they ask for.

Things with kids get overwhelming
because we feel overwhelmed.
Because we think it should feel heavy
because raising humans is heavy.
But, what they really remind us of is how light things should be.
How dumb we are for making it overwhelming
because how is love anything but light?

It's our turn now
it's on us to refocus
reinterpret
rephrase our worry
regroup and reclaim us.

Our turn to look into what is meant for us to carry vs what we add that has no meaning.
Our turn to define our family.

Stop.

15
Apr

Finally grateful

What I once took for granted, I have found gratitude.
What I once saw as a burden, I now see as a gift.
In my year of different, I have found a way to be thankful for my life.

Thankful for things like
each night, we get a couple of hours of "us" time before we head to bed
on Sunday mornings, she would crawl into bed and read while we still sleep off the exhaustion
the kids are so healthy that they get to be crazy and drive us crazy
we still hold hands, still touch toes, after all these years
we have really amazing three day weekends
I am good at my job
we have friends that have become framily
snow days
family movie nights
slow Sundays
I sometimes get to steal 30 minutes alone in a coffee shop while my daughter is at piano practice
I sometimes get to spend that time with my son
vacations and not making school lunches
we make little getaways special and fun filled
a tired Pearl after a good day of play
finally learning how to ask for help
a handy husband that pours all of him into our house turned home
great classes at our inexpensive gym
traditions and making time stand still for just a few moments
coffee dates with good friends
hosting holidays in our new home

What I once saw as the wash and repeat, I now stop to recognize as special.
What I once felt was boring, I now see as time slowing down.
What I once carried as a heavyweight, I now see as my life, unfolding and I am putting my baggage away.
I am finding the room, the time, space, to reflect and be grateful for all I asked for and received.
This is my life and I am all in.

13
Apr

Five Minute Friday - other

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 other.
Go.

I have options.
I stood at this place in my life
a place of blue and hardship and I took a step back.
I looked at things from afar, tried to give myself some space and distance and I quickly saw two lanes, two roads.
I had to pick...one or the other.

One path looked foggy and had lots of obstacles and trees down, things in my way.
But it also looked so familiar, almost comforting because I knew every twist and turn.
This path has been all of me, I have built a life on this road.
I can see the younger me fighting for a way out.
I see all the things I put in my own way.
I see my home, my family, it's calling me to come back.

The other looked clear, it had more sunshine but was also brand new to me.
Newly paved, new trees planted, new life.
But all the same, new, and not at all familiar.
There was no same old same old on this path,
nothing for me to fall back on because I always fall back on old faithful.

I had a choice to make and it was time I treated that choice like a gift and not a burrden.
I am lucky enough to have options and choices in my life.
I am lucky enough to be afforded that space but I had to pick, one or the other.

Was I going to go down the path that was full of fog, steeped in it, so difficult to see but also so familiar that I could navigate it in my sleep?
Fog or no fog, this path knew me and I knew it.
Or would I choose to move through the new, the shiny, the sun, the light, the fresh air, the full of life but still...the other?
After almost forty years on this earth, where would I go, how would I live?

I stood at the crossroads
longing for things to be different and realizing that means I have to be different.
I was ready, no longer wanting to dip just my toe
I was ready and in my year of different,
I was ready for the new, the unfamiliar, I was ready for the other path.
And so, I took my first step in.

Stop.

18
Mar

Thinking out loud

When your legs don't work like they used to before
And I can't sweep you off of your feet
Will your mouth still remember the taste of my love?
Will your eyes still smile from your cheeks?

It's a song that makes even our kids stop to smile
look at us and watch us melt right back into each other.
Because the day has come when we no longer look the part of the 2 kids that met
we have aches, pains, scars that have changed us.
But damn, we still smile from our cheeks.
Because when you meet family, you don't let go.

Because it started with a smile
a touch of a hand
that led to touching toes
and a lifetime of us.

So honey now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Place your head on my beating heart
I'm thinking out loud
Maybe we found love right where we are

Our home is filled with love and chaos and fights and screams and mistakes.
Our home is filled with forgiveness and lessons and kindness, we finally found kindness again.
My home is in your warm loving arms
my nook that I sleep in every night
your smile of excitement and continuous joy
the one you found again.

Because it started with a smile
a touch of a hand
that led to touching toes
and a lifetime of us.

So, baby, now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Oh, darling, place your head on my beating heart
I'm thinking out loud
But maybe we found love right where we are

We found and lost and refound and reclaimed the love we forever had.
Right where we are, not where we will be tomorrow and certainly not where we were yesterday.
Instead, right where we stand, right where we are.

We found and lost and refound and reclaimed the love we forever had and will forever have.
Because you are my love.
Because you are my balance
because I realized that I now need to be your balance
because I finally realized that I have to be the joy and the soft and the calm
because I finally realized that it was my turn to take on what you have always been for me but just can't be right now.
And we found and reclaimed the love that we forever had and will forever have.

Because it started with a smile
a touch of a hand
that led to touching toes
and a lifetime of us.
And that's where we found love, right where we are.

9
Mar

Five Minute Friday - tired

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 tired.
Go.

I have MS.
I was diagnosed when I was 23 and yesterday was my 16 year anniversary of getting the call that confirmed my fears.
It has been 16 years.
I can't even say they have been long years
because we have been "lucky".
We caught it early
we got on meds right away
I have setbacks here and there but all in all, we are so "lucky".
Fatigue is my biggest challenge, I am so damn tired.
Mom tired.
CEO tired.
Starting a business tired.
Having a disease that makes me tired tired.

Yesterday was also International Women's Day, is that a coincidence?
A day to celebrate our strength, our grit, our determination.
So let me start by saying I wasn't "lucky".
This is my year of different so let me say, I am good at this.
I fight this.
I battle this.
I look at it in the mirror every day and I tell it to go to hell.
I caught it early because I knew something was wrong.
I advocated for me when they told me nothing was wrong.
I fought for all the tests.
I called every day to find out if there was a cancellation for the MRI, I refused to wait the 5-month time frame.
I got on meds early because I didn't mess around.
People were good to me and opened doors for me because I connect with those that I care about, and people wanted to help me.
I cried in his face telling him I can't do needles anymore, he looked at me and reminded me that I'm strong.
I took the meds every day. I fought and battled all the side effects.
I had the flu every week for three solid years not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I had bruises all over my arms and legs for 2 years not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I had 2-hour treatments once a month not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I lost my hair for 9 months not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I did get tired of it, I did want to quit, but I kept going, not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I fight fatigue, a tired I cannot explain, not because I am lucky, but because I am strong.
It isn't a silent disease to me, I look at it, I worry about it, I connect symptoms and I battle on.

I did what so many women do, I told tired that it doesn't have a chance here today and I womaned up!

2
Mar

Five minute Friday - regret

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 regret.
Go.

We all have many, don't we?
I regret yelling at you
I regret my response
I regret my reaction
I regret how I let you get to me
I regret that decision
I regret.

But what if for today, because it is my year of different, I talk about all of the things I don't regret.

Like meeting you
like how much we loved Mia
like becoming your mom
like saying yes to this life
like how you pour yourself into our home
like how much I pour into all of us
like how much effort I put into being a good mom
like how much you see for their future
like running that marathon, all by myself
like learning how to swim so I can compete in tris
like becoming a CEO
like starting my own business
like how you took a chance on you for once
like how much I love working
like how hard I work on myself
like how good of a friend I am
like how kind and amazing you are and how everyone is attracted to you as a person
like how loyal I am
like how good I am at traditions
like how good you are with their activities
like how I won't allow us to ever stand still
like how you won't allow us to ever walk away

There are many decisions I regret
there are many things words actions I would take back
there are lots of do-overs I wish I had
but this is my year of different and I am using all I know to change to grow.
And there is so much I wouldn't take back.

Like how in one week is the anniversary of you asking me to take on forever with you
I will never regret saying yes
Like how much we just love them
I will never regret deciding to bring them into our lives and the love we have built.
Like who we spend our time with
I will never regret who we love, what we all mean to one another, what it has done for our soul.
Like how much we care about
I will never regret the fact that we are good to people, good to those we love, good to those we know need a gentle heart.

There is so much of this life I do not regret.

11
Feb

I notice you

I am quick to remind you of all the things you're not doing.
I am quick to get annoyed.
I am quick to excuse it all with my exhaustion, my lack of patience, how I was raised.
But I am slow at figuring this all out.
Slow at seeing all you bring
all that is important to you and how you show love.
I am slow at the thank yous and I am never coming with the "I am sorry".

So, today, on my track to being different
today on my month of gratitude
I want to thank you for all you do.
For me
for us
for them
for the family.

Because I want you to know, I notice.
I notice you and all you do, I notice your smile when you look over at them.
I notice your happy face when he pulls out his Starwars guys
I notice your pride when she is working hard and not giving up
I notice you.

And I know, words don't resonate as much with you as they do with me,
but I think it's important to document my gratitude for all you do.
Like how you don't make me feel crazy for my crazy
like how you don't let me get away with it either
like how you are a doer, you always get stuff done for us
like how you have poured all of you into this house
like how you are the one he turns to in the middle of the night because "dad stays to snuggle longer"
like how you are the one she gets homework help from
like how you are patient with their learning
like how you see them for what they will become
like how you always saw them, even when I didn't
like how you were the first person to believe in me
like how you made me believe in love
like how you made me a mom
like how you never give up on us
like how you will never let us be angry forever
like how you always say sorry first
like how you need hugs
like how you tell me I'm still pretty
like how you tell me I am strong
like how you never question my hours
like how you never worry

I notice.
I notice all you do
I notice how much you work at all of this
I am proud of you
and I heart you.
I notice you, sweet love, I do.

2
Feb

Five Minute Friday - agree

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 agree.

Go.

You need me to be more present,
I agree with you.
You need me to reverse roles for a while and be the joy,
I agree with you.
You need me to be a happier mom,
I agree.

When you spend every day of your growing-up years fighting and proving someone wrong, I agree does not come naturally as an adult.
You still have that instinct to fight.
You still have that need to be right.
You hear I agree and think lose vs win.
Even though I thought I had put down my fighting gloves a long time ago, turns out I came out of retirement for a few more rounds and I want to be done.

Because creating a family and a life with someone is the most courageous and gorgeous thing I have done.
And I surrender.
To a life a peace and calm.
To a happy family.
To one that has a mom and brides that listens, is in-tune with needs
and agrees.

So you need me to spend time with you and I agree.
You need me to put things away and exist with you, I agree.
We need to spend more time as a couple and I agree.
You need more and less from me and I agree.
You need me to come up with all of the traditions and I agree.
You need more hugs and I agree.

Stop.

28
Jan

When love becomes family.

You will fall madly deeply in love.
Not just once, but several times.
You will meet people that leave actual marks on your heart.
They will be with you always.
You will dream about them well into adulthood, that is what love does.
But, if you decide to be with someone, always and forever be with someone, I want to share some things with you, and them.

First, I promise to find room in my heart for those you pick to love.
Your dad won't even have to work at this, it will come naturally for him.
Me, I will make it my mission to not be crazy
and love them
because you do.

I also realize that when you fall in love you bend and mold with them.
I promise I will not remind you that you are changing and making that seem bad because you should be.
We all grow with our person to become the best version of us.

I will also be the one to tell you if it feels off.
I will also call you out on your crazy
because forever is work.
Even when you are so in love you can't imagine it, forever is work.

Your mom and dad are deeply madly and forever in love with one another.
We are not perfect, because nothing is.
We are not without faults, blame or mistakes, we have made so many.
But, we always come back to us because there is something here that is worth it.
And that something is family.

People will tell you to be with your best friend
be with someone that makes you laugh
be with someone that challenges you
opposites attract
find your foundation
find someone to share things with
find common ground
find your soul mate.
All of it and none of it is true.

Find your family.
Find your person.
Find your connection that cannot be defined in any other way.
That is how you know.
They are family and you can't walk away from family.

There are many things that work for me and dad
like he is my balance, I am his.
We do have a strong foundation of common interests that were there from the beginning.
Your dad introduced me to things I didn't even realize I would love but I do, like being a sports fan
like home projects
like parenting.
He does make me laugh, even when I am mad, he makes me laugh.
I am a better person when I am with him, so is he.
He does challenge me, I do the same for him.
We show our love
we are affectionate
we tell each other how much we love each other
he won't allow either of us to walk away, I won't allow us to stand still.

There are many things we work at and on...
I need to be kinder, specifically to him and me.
I don't make him laugh, I'm just not that funny, he is just fine with that.
We do things very differently and drive each other crazy in the process.
I yell, he now does too.
I am a ball of stress, he now is too.
We fight, too much.

But, we are family and I never once felt differently.
From the moment we met, there was a familiarity with him, a connection that washed over me in a way that I hadn't experienced before.
He was my comfort, he made me feel at ease.
My body actual took a breath when I met him.
It melted and the anger, anxiety and hurt I had been carrying, it melted too.

And even through the dark times, that doesn't go away.
You can be angry with someone
you can not like them
you can need space from them
you can lose a feeling of warmth
but you never lose the feeling of family.

I don't know if we will be your compas
I don't know if you will look to us as what to look for
but if you do, this is the one thing that we did right.
We found family and never let go.

So, whoever you end up with, whoever you decide to share your life with
don't think about anything
don't search and search for a reason
don't weigh the pros and cons
don't think about their faults, their abilities
just go find your family and hold on for the ride.

We did.

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.

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