I know I have a good memory.
Things, people, places, stories...they all stay with me.
I can't wash them away.
But I want and need to remember it all.
I need to capture every moment of what you are giving me and I need to put it in a safe bottle.
One with a lid for protection.
And most importantly, a lid I can open.
Every time I need a reminder of what you have been able to do
for my second chance
for my surprises at motherhood
for my life
I can open this bottle and drink you in.
And so, I promise to keep a running list.
Times when life really mattered
and I will come back to this list each and every time I need a drink,
or need to add to it.
Because I promise to make this my priority,
our list of real moments,
ones that really matter,
I will make adding to this list what my life should be all about.
These are our moments that matter...
We tried for both of you
desperately wanting you to find us.
And the day we found out we were pregnant with you,
were glorious and terrifying days.
Your father could not hide his desperate love for you both.
His joy beamed out of every part of him.
He loved you before he even met you.
And with both of you, I will always remember the look on his face when the test read positive.
Anna, moments before you were born,
your dad came into the operating room shaking and his face mask was drenched in tears.
I have never ever seen him so scared
so desperate for you.
You did and do that to him Anna.
You rattle dad.
You make him believe in something bigger than all of us.
This was the moment that time stood still for me.
One night, we all had a huge dance party.
The kind in which we were laughing so hard it hurt to breathe.
We had friends over who made us laugh
who brought childhood into our home
And it mattered a lot.
Cole, you walked really late, later than your sister.
And you had us worried.
The day you walked monkey, we fell over with shrieks of laughter and love and relief.
Cole, you would tell us how much you loved us by the number of claps.
Mom was always a two clap love.
Dad was always three claps.
He was always your best friend buddy.
And although I tease about feeling sad, this warms my heart.
Anna and Cole,
both of your teachers have pulled me and dad aside to tell us what good friends and people you are.
How you aim to please and how kind you are.
I don't care about your grades,
you are smart people that will always do well.
We have nothing to worry about when it comes to what the tests and grades mean.
But this, this moment when both of them told me how much they look forward to seeing you
well, that's what matters.
Anna, your very first dance, was with dad.
In the hospital,
with U2 playing in the background.
Cole, everything you do, you're all in.
you're always all in.
I will always remember this.
Anna, when you were just born and still waking up to eat, your last feeding was around 4am.
I would then bring you into our room and place you on my chest to sleep.
I would listen to you breathe and watch you sleep.
It was heaven.
you were my one and only love at first sight.
I loved you from the moment they put you into my arms.
You won over the entire nursery with your face.
Anna, your first word was woof (because that's what you would call Mia) and it was too adorable.
Cole, your first word was mamma. Thank you for knowing how much I needed that.
Anna and Cole, your vocabulary always wowed everyone.
As babies, you both had so so many words.
And you still do.
You love to talk.
You love love love to talk.
Cole, you have always hummed when you eat, especially if you love it.
And your feet still dance when you take your first bites.
I hope you always love food this much.
Anna, the first time you held Cole you looked down at him and up at me and said,
"he's my best friend".
You spent the first year of his life playing and dressing and taking great care of him.
You need to know how important you each were and are to each other.
Summer of 2014 was so bad for us. The house project kind of destroyed our little family.
Summer of 2015 it all came to a head and it was this picture that brought me back to life.
Taken from a photographer that has watched you both grow.
Seen through the eyes of a camera lens, is a family that loves.
November of 2015 we had a heat wave for a glorious week.
Temps were close to or in the 70s, in November.
And your father needed a family hike and we got one in.
At first, everyone was cranky.
Cole was tired and didn't want to walk.
I was feeding into his mood.
Anna wanted to be on a playground and not a trail.
But we walked on.
Three minutes in, we were racing through the trail,
Cole was laughing and holding dad's hand.
We were playing I spy.
The kids were holding hands and Anna you were helping Cole climb and walk.
It was magic.
I vow to always come back to this list.
I will add our memories that matter here.
For you to always have, always.