1
Jun

Five Minute Friday - return

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 return.
Go.

Return to the me I am.

In and out of anger.
In and out of fog.
In and out of joy and love and grace.
It's time to return to the me I am.

In and out of deadlines that make me lose my focus.
In and out of lists that pull me away from what is important.
In and out of seasons of sacrifice.
It's time to return to the me I am.

But in order to return to her, I need to define who she really is.
Because she is complicated.
She is tightly wound.
She is a lover of work and family.
She is confused and always questioning.
She is constantly reevaluating and taking steps to grow.
She recognizes her core, she is self-aware, but growth is important.
It's time to return to the me I am.

In and out of love and distraction.
In and out of weight and freedom.
In and out of responsibility and childhood.
It's time to return to the me I am.

I am going to keep redefining her.
She will be reinvented.
She isn't one to stand still.
Time changes her.
Circumstances make her see things differently.
But her core has always been there.
It's time to return to the me I am.

The woman who loves love.
The woman who loves her circle.
The woman that believes in the power of childhood.
The woman that welcomes joy and smiles and laughter.
The woman that allows it to take over her soul, her body.
The woman that listens more, speaks what is important.
It's time to return to the me I am.

Stop.

25
May

Five Minute Friday - pause

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 pause.
Go.

And today, I will hit pause and sit in calm and comfort.

It has been a whirlwind of a week.
Two huge events for my agency
big meetings for my business
triathlon training is really taking up so much of my time
the kids are getting close to the end of the school year
my husband has reached his school year limit
I have been running around trying to keep it all together
which means at night my brain falls apart and forgets how to fall asleep
which means this morning as I sit in the success of the last few days
I will hit pause.

Today, I will breathe
I will nap
I will have a cup of coffee by a window while I read
I will take my dog to the park and have her burn off energy
I will pause.

I will shut down
forget my list
I will linger
I will sit with myself
I will be happy with the accomplishments but also happy that it is over
and I can hit pause.

Today I will hug my kids
I will snuggle them
we will have dinner together
we will kiss noses
they will tell me about their week
they will ask how my week went
and I will remind them that work is important
that mom loves to work
she leans into it
but I am happy to be home
hitting pause.

I will reconnect
become a better bride
a better mom
a better friend
I will find the other parts that were pushed away.

Today I will linger
I will smile
I will feel whole and full.
Job well done sort of full and whole.

And today, I will hit pause and sit in calm and comfort.

Stop.

20
May

The collector

One of the most magnificent and accurate things I have read was:

I am a collector
Not of things
But of
Nostalgia and stories

I wear memories and stories and the past like a warm blanket.
I drape it over me, I allow it to keep me cozy when I feel a chill.
I sink into my memories as if they were bubbles in a bath.
I allow them to cover the naked and the cold.
I am a collector of memories and stories.

I remember most things with such clarity and life.
The memory plays back in my mind as if I am sitting back and watching a movie of it.
I am able to see all of the past unfold over and over and over again.
All of my past, the good, the bad, the ugly.
The parts I healed but never let go.
The parts I don't want to look at anymore, the ones I wish would vanish.
But I see all of us, all of you.
I am a collector of memories and stories.

I see your dad's face the first time I met him.
I see his smile, how clear blue his eyes were, how young he looked.
I see his face when two little lines on a stick changed our world.
I hear his voice when I let him know you were coming.
I am surrounded by the visuals, the colors, the vibrant colors of our life.
I am a collector of memories and stories.

I see your little face when I first met you Anna.
I see the towel wrapped around you the day I feel forever in love with you.
I see Cole, brand new Cole, being presented to me and offered a kiss.
I remember the first time I fed you both and the last, and every single time in between.
I am a collector of memories and stories.

I see the day we threw away baby bottles, I see myself on the floor of our kitchen crying.
I see your first crawl Anna
and your first walk Cole
and your first words, all of them.
I see every single costume you ever wore
each and every pumpkin carving you did.
I see our summers at the track
our framily at the Cape
our Thursday night dinners
our Friday night family movies
our Sunday pancakes
god, I see our family and our story unfold.

I see my childhood, the one I am reclaiming.
I see my grit, my determination, but I also see my anger, my lack of balance.
I see each job and how I was lead to a career and a business.
I see my entire life which includes the most exceptional of people.

I am a collector
Not of things
But of
Nostalgia and stories.

18
May

Five Minute Friday - secret

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 secret.
Go.

It's my number one family rule, in our house, we don't keep secrets, we keep only surprises.
Secrets are too heavy loves.
Secrets feel sneaky and carry a hint of lies and possibly shame.
Secrets can get us into trouble and sometimes can get us hurt.
I don't like secrets, only surprises.

But lately, you have been having trouble with this one.
You have been keeping things from us in the worry of "getting in trouble" and that is making me worry.
Are our voices to sharp?
Are our consequences too severe?
Are you living in fear of reactions?
How else and what else can I add to the list of ways that I fail you?

But as we all know, parenting is all about learning and all I can do
is keep listening to you,
keep molding to you,
keep changing with you.

I want to remind you that I am not here to make you feel worse.
I am here to help you learn.
I am not here to rub anything in.
I am here to brainstorm on ways to handle it differently next time.
I am not here to be the example of perfection
because no one is.
I am here to remind you that everyone makes mistakes, even grownups, even parents.
And all we have to do is take responsibility for them, learn the lesson and move on.

I do not want a home of secrets, I want a home full of trust.
I want you to know that we are your base, we are the foundation and we do not judge
we shape and grow and nurture.
We love you and that will never change.
There is nothing you can and can't do to make me love you more or less, that is just fact.

So let's get back to our house rule.
Let's understand why it is in place.
Let's remember how much we will always love.
Let's stop keeping secrets and open back up to each other.
Let's remember that this is the one weight you do not have to carry because we are here to take the load away.

Stop.

29
Apr

You taught me

To believe in second chances.
To trust me.
To find my soft side.
To redefine family.

You taught me to laugh
and giggle
and believe in happily ever after
and love at first sight.

You taught me to take long walks
and listen, really listen.
You taught me to hug away cries.

You taught me to pay attention but to the important stuff.
You taught me how big little is.
You taught me to always pay attention to what seems to be little, because it is always big to you.

You taught me to believe that I am pretty
you taught me to look at myself so differently
you taught me to say things about myself differently
you taught me to say, good job mom.

You taught me that I have an important role
but you also taught me that you have one too.

You taught me to dance around the kitchen
you taught me to be silly
you taught me how important silly is.

You taught me that unconditional love is hard
you taught me that sometimes you run away and back towards love
you taught me that parenting is hard
but you taught me that it's all somehow worth it.

You taught me how important reading dates are
you taught me to fall madly deeply back in love with reading
you taught me that night time snuggles and ending a long day on a note of love is always and forever how we say goodnight.

You taught me not to care if it matches
you taught me how adorable words can be
you taught me how to love in such a different way.

So, I am here, eyes heart and ears wide open, ready and willing for all the teaching.

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!

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