13
Mar

My mind's eye

I take a lot of pictures.
Not for me to remember, but for you.
I realize most of our time together, so many of our years as this small little family, will be a blur.
But you want to see and feel and recall what you did when.
You are interested and in love with your past.
You ask for stories and allow the memories to wash over you.
I see the glow, the joy, the love it brings to you.
And having the pictures makes it so real for you.
Mom, was that me?
Look how small I was!
Did I love that outfit mom?
What was I doing there?
Look, that's my lovey!
Look at my hair!
Why was I smiling there mom?
What were you saying to me in this one?

But me, I have a solid memory.
I internally capture the pictures that won't fade over time.
I carry your memories with me, I carry all of you, with me.
Your past is here with me and I love to share it with you.
Your childhood, all wrapped up, like a special present.
This blog, your forever way of remembering our journey.

And although the pictures might be of the special occasion, or the precious moment to capture...
I hold all of the good, all of the bad.
I remember the details
I remember the words
I remember the feeling,
I hold all of you, inside of me.

So when you are losing sight of who you are
or where you belong
never be afraid to come back to where it all started.
Never be afraid to find out who you once were to create who you will become.
Because I hold all of you, inside of me.

You are right here.
I have my mind's eye on you, remembering every last detail.

15
Jul

Five Minute Friday - create

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 create.
Go.

We create...
A house turned home.
We create childhood, even when tempers and exhaustion silence the joy, we create their childhood.
We create a house full of noise and sounds and feet that run.
We create talkers that stand up for themselves, that tell you how they expect to be treated, even in their infancy.
We create family and all that comes with it...the good, the bad, the love, the anger, the feeling so lonely and so full.
We create heartache, and heartfelt moments.
We create moments period. The ones that are so beautiful that I promise you will want to bottle them up.
We create memories that I store like a picture album in my mind, click.
We create plans, that don't turn out at all like we anticipated.
We create family we get to pick for ourselves.
We create love and more love on top of love.
We create hand holding and kissing noses and little faces feeling safe and connected.
We create family connection and traditions and routines.
We create family, wonderful, scary, exhausting, joyous family.

And they create us, this tiny little part and piece of us.
They create little that is crushing and filling.
They create laughter and tears.
They create beauty, even when we are at our ugliest.
They create a poetic love, the kind you read about in romantic novels.
They create mothers and fathers.
They create titles that come with so much responsibility and so much silliness.
They create patience, because when you feel you are out, you have to find more.
They create and define family, wonderful, scary, exhausting, joyous family.
They create us, as much as we create them.

Stop.

11
Jul

Click

I carry your little with me.
Each day, every milestone, every new you discover is a memory I hold.
And each and every memory is just like a little picture,
I can almost hear the click, and that's when I know, this one will stay with me.
And so, as the days pass, it is as though I am building your photo alum of childhood.

The first time I held you
click.
The first time you held my finger
click.
The first time you made eye contact,
click.
The first time you smiled,
click.
Your first word and where it was spoken,
click.
Your first steps and how old you were,
click.
The first time you went to preschool, the first time you got on and off a bus,
click.
The first time you came rushing in with excitement to share something with me,
click.
Your first soccer goal and the sound of your voice when you called to tell me,
click.
When you first saw him, how excited you were to be his big sister, his best friend.
click.

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In my heart, I keep all of this safe for you.
Ready to flip through our album whenever you need a piece of home, a part of you.
Whenever you want to know what you were like when.
Whenever you need to go back, so you know how to go forward.

Together, we can turn the pages, we can go through the past.

Our vacations and how excited you are for summer with dad,
click.
How one time we had to be taken to a hospital because you were so sick,
click.
And how smiley and happy you were when you started feeling better,
click.
Our Saturdays at the track,
click.
When you learned how to ride a bike,
click.
Our family swims,
click.
When you first learned to read, and then, when you fell madly in love with books.
click.
Dad, how much you fall back in love with dad every. single. day
click.

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I know that soon, you will start your very own album,
one I will be memories in and so many others will fill your pages.
But this time, this precious bit of time, these are the memories I hold for you, close and safe with me.
And I know how much you need to go back and review, as much as I do.
I know that you need to relive your little, your small.
And I don't know if it's the actual stories, or my reaction to the stories.
How you can visibly feel our hearts growing and feel how warm we are.
Because through all of our mistakes and I am sorrys, through all of the times that we have messed up as parents,
God, there was and is so much good.
Our joy, our connection, our love,
click.

4
Apr

The other side

The last three years have been difficult.
Trying, long, tiring years.
Cole turned one, started to cry and hasn't stopped.
We renovated our house, while living through the hell.
We have had to 100% stop how we are parenting and find another way.
Jobs have become exhausting in the most brutal of ways.
Life, became daunting.
And I know,
I know this isn't the worst.
Because our little faces are also in their sweet spots.
I know it will become even more exhausting.
I know teenage years will be even more difficult.
I know that figuring out life plans will be even harder.
I know my anxiety cannot always keep up.
I know how much I will miss all of this.

But, we have been through a lot.
In these three little years.
And I think we are starting to see
the other side.

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Cole, this little man has taken to school so well.
He is starting to cry less.
He is starting to laugh more.
He is starting to hug, all of the time.
He is becoming who he is.
He is starting to love his life.
He is playing and creative and smart and full of energy that you want to keep up with.
He is love.

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Anna, she is back.
Because of us, we came close to losing her this summer.
And we regrouped.
We figured out that it wasn't working.
We found another way.
We waited,
we loved
we put our arms around her and wouldn't let go.
We knew she was in there, and within weeks, she came back.
She is doing well at school.
She is kind, she is gentle.
She is learning about friendships and how to be a good friend.
She is learning to open up.
She is full of hope.
She is full of love.
She is creative and wondrous and smart and loving and full of "I want you to be proud of me and love me".
She loves traditions.
She loves our family time.
She craves it.
But she also loves time with her friends.
She is love.

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We are not all of the way there.
We still have very difficult moments.
Not a single one of us is perfect.
We all fall back to old routines of yelling, or frustration.
We all have bad days.
We are human after all.

But, we are learning.
We have found our humor again.
I have found my laugh.
I have found what it feels like to feel joy again.
Joy, pleasant, happy, loving my life joy.
We are growing as a family and we are not giving up.
On us, or each other, or this time.
And, it's true,
time does heal.
Time cures.
Time makes you realize how much you have done
how much you have worked
how much you have sacrificed
how much you have changed
how much you have loved
how much you have fought
how many times you have had to put your fighting gloves down
how many times you have had to take your fighting gloves off
how many times you have chosen love
how much you have given up
how much you have had to find another way
how much you have to let go
how much you still have to go
and how far you have come
to get to the other side.

6
Mar

I can't miss it

The other day, as I was saying good night to you, I made mention that you don't come in to snuggle as much on the weekends and how much I miss it.
How much I miss holding you and feeling you fall back to sleep, or lay quiet next to me.
You told me how you missed it too, and you weren't sure why you didn't anymore.
And it must have stayed with you,
because the very next day,
you woke up early and came to my room and just as I was about to say, "it's not time yet"
you asked if you could snuggle.
Like we did before.
I can't miss this.
I can't not be here for these moments of tender and gentle love.

The other night, you appeared again.
It was 3am and you woke me up with a whisper "mom, I need a hug".
And all of a sudden, after four straight days,
I was so worried this was our new norm.
Would I be woken up from now on to "mom I need a hug" at 2 or 3 or 4.
But, there is no "from now on" with kids is there?
It's all fleeting
and what one day was something that we did all of the time,
the next becomes something we once did.
I can't miss this.
I can't not be here for these moments of tender and gentle love.

I was watching a mother daughter shop for a dress, for a big school dance.
I was watching her ask for help with putting it on, her face anxiously awaiting what her mom thought.
And all I could think was, what will we be like when we get here?
Will we still be close?
Will you want me there?
Will you look/want to see what I think?
Will I be a part of this with you, more than just handing over payment, will you still let me be a part of you?
I can't miss this.
I can't not be here for these moments of tender and gentle love.

I have been thinking so much about who you will be.
How much of this energy will you have?
Will you always love all sports this much?
Will it forever be your whole world?
Will you always and forever love and count on and need and want and adore your dad?
Will you always be this loud?
Will BOY shout out of every single pore of you always?
Will you always want to hug?
Will you always be loving?
I can't miss this.
I can't not be here for these moments of tender and gentle love.

Before we know it,
it will all be memories.
Memories of good, bad, glorious, rough, tiring, energy, love, frustration, and more love.
We will look back and we will laugh,
we will shake our heads and wonder how we got through it.
You won't remember any of the details,
I will remember every.single.one.
You will ask, how do you remember that?
I will say, because it's me, and it's what I do.
And because I can't miss this.
I can't not be here for these moments of tender and gentle love.

19
Feb

Five Minute Friday - forget

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 forget.
Go.

There isn't much I forget.
Most days, moments, memories, they all stay with me.
And I can play them back in my mind,
like watching my life on a screen.
I remember what people were wearing, where we were exactly, I can quote conversations.
The years don't wash them away,
time doesn't make anything fade for me.

And so, I remember all of you.
From positive pregnancy test in my hand, to dot on the screen, to birth, to today,
I remember all of you.
I am your past,
your scrapbook,
your keepsake of all things precious to you in this time.
I remember your first words
when you first walked
what you wore the first day of school.
I remember our nights that blend into weeks.
I remember homework assignments, and watching you play ball.
I remember your funny side
your anger and frustrations
I remember what made you tick
what set you off
what made you smile
what made love spill out of you.

I remember every moment that started you
I remember each contraction
each emotion.

I remember who bought you certain outfits
for what occasion
and why that's special.

You are all wrapped up in me,
your keepsake of all things wonderful, or not.
Your keepsake of all things joyful, or not.
Your keepsake of all things, your entire childhood is here.

You will never vanish.
You will never be forgotten.
You will never be unimportant.

So turn to me,
for your history.
Turn to me,
for your significance.
Turn to me,
when you're feeling that no one cares, and you don't matter.

You are all wrapped up in me, because I never forget.

Stop.

6
Dec

#Happychildhood

My vivid memories started when I was three.
That was the start of my little life.
And most of those memories are not great.
But, because of who I am, how I process, what I choose to focus on,
that means I really emphasize and linger on all the not so great parts and I tend to let the good go.
And, there was good.
Like how many late nights my family spent with my cousins who were my best friends.
The smile on my mom's face when she was around her family, her sisters, her parents.
The shouting and laughter that came from those late nights when all the men played cards.
How when we were older, we were allowed to play too and how happy that felt.
How many times my cousin and I talked our parents into sleep overs.
How gentle my parents were on the rides home, with two exhausted kids in the car.
The first time we moved into our new house and how they were both beaming with pride of what they accomplished.
Vacations to Canada and how much he loved going, how much he felt connected.
How much we loved it, those trips, our summers.
How he always felt most connected with extended family.
How he still feels most connected, most loved, when he is surrounded.
The night before Christmas,
midnight mass and everyone opening gifts in a storm of wrapping paper flurries into all hours of the night.
How bedtimes did not matter.
How when we were really really little and he worked tough hours, we would catch a glimpse of him in the morning
and he really missed us.
Every once in a while, he would surprise us with a dollar coin and we had to take turns as to who got to put it in their piggy bank.
How we only had one car and so we walked everywhere with our mom.
Her on one side, me on the other.
And on the really cold days, she would hold our hand and place it in her pocket to keep warm.
There was good too.
There was something there that looked and felt a lot like family.

When you both think back, what will I leave with you?
Will you be flooded by the good?
Will you have to search, or will it be right there?
Will the good be right there to keep you warm, and have you follow some guide?

Here is some of our amazing...
Traditions.
Traditions could not be more important to me.
And I have many for us so please remember and please make your family all about them too.
Friday family pizza and movie night.
Sunday pancake breakfast.
Christmas Eve dinner at Nonna and Nonno's house followed by opening gifts with your cousins (a little bit of Ruzza) and getting new pjs and going to see all the decorated homes (a little bit of Houser).
NYC every holiday season.
Picking out your ornament from Macy's.
Baking our holiday cookies.
Summers at the Cape.
Saturday summers at the track.
Sunday bike rides.
Decorating our tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving
spending that entire day watching holiday movies and in PJs!
Sunday family swims.

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Hard work.
We tried, really hard.
At everything we did.
Parenting, work, our home, love.
We work really hard for all of us.
Remember that our hours were long.
Our days, long.
But our hard work was all for us
for you
for us.
At times, we lost sight of what was important.
Like time with us
and happiness was put on the back burner.
But it was your faces and little voices that always brought me back.

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Remember love.
We had a lot of that.
In our hugs,
our phrases
our moments.
We had it all wrapped up in each other.
Nights in front of the fire.
Story times snuggled in bed.
Praying for what we are thankful for.
On our knees, asking for forgiveness when we are unkind.
Love and patience when needed,
and always love.

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Remember each other.
How much you lean on each other.
How much you help each other.
How important it is that the other is happy,
feeling supported.
Remember your first words to him were, you're my best friend.
Remember that he compliments you.
Remember that he looks up to you and that's why he is always there.
Remember that he needs you and you need him too.
Remember that only you two share your childhood.
Only you two can complain about us in a way that will be 100% understood.
Remember that you are love when you are gentle to each other.

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Remember summer.
With your dad.
Full of warmth.
And adventure.
Times at the track.
Times at the library.
Times outside.
Swimming.
Bike rides.
Remember late nights.
Ice cream dessert.
Ice cream for dinner.
Remember downtown blown up.
Remember the Cape.
Remember the beach.
Remember sun screen, sun kissed.
Remember the explosion of childhood.

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Remember the holidays.
And all we made important for you.
How hard we focused on what really mattered during the holidays.
Remember gathered family.
And baking
and time together.
Remember how warm it was
how cozy our home felt.
How calm it all of a sudden became.
Remember the importance of love
and giving
and time
and how we tried to make it stand still
for you
for us.

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Remember that there was good.
Even in our mistakes.
The ones we learned from
apologized for
asked for forgiveness and patience.
Asked for love to put us back together.
Remember that we were all that mattered.
Remember childhood, a #happychildhood.
One that I always dreamed of,
one that I always wanted for you.
One that warms my heart and makes me smile.
Remember there was good because there was love in this home.

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