9
Feb

Five Minute Friday - privilege

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 privilege.
Go.

It is my absolute privilege to be your mother.
It is my honor, my best thing.
It is something I protect, I cherish, I get to mother you.

It is what you have, privilege.
I will never let you forget that you were born with things and advances just because we parent you.
Not because you are smarter
not because you worked for them
just because you were born into this family
have this house
get to go to that school
live in this neighborhood
you are privileged and that is just fact.
And it comes with a responsibility to our larger community.

I try and use the ones I have for the greater good.
I remind myself that to be your mother should be treated like the honor it is.
I remind myself that I have a voice for those that do not.
I remind myself that I can make things better and make them just.
I try and teach you about the advances you were just given.
I try and keep us humble and grateful and I call out our advantages for what they are, privileges.
Because this is how I parent you little faces.

I know that I became a mom for a reason.
I know that it was to remind me of the importance of forgiveness and healing.
And that is why I view it as a privilege, because you gave me a second chance at childhood.
I know that I picked my career for a reason.
I always felt that people not having a voice is too damaging.
I know that I come from a long history of hard work and hard times.
I know that I have also come from advantages given to me and I am passing those on to you.
I know that privilege is something that may be uncomfortable to talk about, but if we don't, if we continue to pretend it does not exist, we are continuing to make things harder.

4
Feb

I say I love you

There are so many times that "I love you" does not seem to be enough.
Because when your love is bursting from you chest
and at makes you feel like you can't breathe
"I love you" seems so small.
So I find other ways.
I find deeper way to connect and make you feel a love that can only be described as washing over us all.

I say it with looks and hugs.
I say it when I stop and settle with you.
I say it when I am not distracted.

I say it when I say olive juice.
I say it I reach for your hand.
I say it with I eat you up I love you so
I say it I carry your heart.

You say it back with mommy's sweet and low
and I carry yours too.

I say it with my February notes of love.
You say it by reminding me how much they mean to you.

I say it when I squeeze your hand three times.
You say it by squeezing it back twice.

I say it with our family movie nights
you say it with talk all week about how excited you are for Friday.

I say it with sign-language for I love you.
You say it back by getting your fingers just so.

I say it with creating a framily
you say it by falling just as hard.

I say it with warm snuggle blankets
you say it by asking me to join you on the coach.

I say it with our reading dates
you say it with begging for them and asking for night time snuggles.

I say it by telling you all about you as a baby, as a toddler, as my little one
you say it by falling in love with our story.

I say it through this blog, this journey I created for you
you say it by wanting to read them with me.

I wish I could let you know what it feels like to be a mom
the love that is just there, always there growing and growing and growing.
But, all if this is my attempt to have you even come to the flood you created.
Because you started something special when you picked us
and you redefined love to be messy and heartbreaking and complicated and tiring and energizing and...
so I will continue to find special small ways to remind you that love is all around us.

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.

21
Jan

Pearls of wisdom

We were heartbroken when we said goodnight to our Mia.
We felt this empty void of love.
We felt lost and searching.
We lost our reason.
But, we also needed time.
Time to let her go, time to heal, time to feel like she was really gone and what that actually looks like.
We needed to give her memory time.

Mia was always wise.
She was all-knowing and felt energy.
She felt a room, was connected to our feelings and lead us towards each other, kept us close.
She was an old soul.
She was my reason.

But Pearl, she is so new.
She is so excited.
She is so all loving.
She too keeps us all close.
But even in the new and wide-eyed puppy love that she is...
she comes with her own pearls of wisdom.

Like to love the entire family.
To find comfort in warmth.
To exercise so you don't go crazy.
To give so many kisses you knock people over.
To hug, always hug.
To not accept no as an answer to an offering of comfort and love.
To be affectionate.
To be excited.
To greet with enthusiasm.
To be loving.
To want to be around those you love and sad when you can't be.
To demand walks in life.
To play so much you smile.
To run wild.
To run towards love so hard you can't stop and skid right into it.
To nuzzle those you love and even those you don't.
To be ready to learn.
To be eager to make those around you happy.
To love food.
To demand attention and affection.
To stand up for your family and warm them when danger comes close.
To sit and wait for something you want, it is always worth it.

This new love is full of her own wisdom.
Maybe not one that comes from being old and all-knowing
but one that comes from new and exciting.
She has mended broken hearts.
She is demanding of our time and pulls us back home, where we belong.

She comes with her very own pearls of wisdom and I am learning from her.

19
Jan

Five Minute Friday - intentional

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 intentional.
Go.

With my thoughts
with my words
with my actions
with my delivery
with my time
with my love.

This is my year of different and that means me being more intentional.

I think what it all boils down to though, is love.
Love of me myself and I.
Love of them, the ones I asked and tried for.
Love of him, the one I chose, the one I am committed to.
Intentional love.

I cannot look back at this time and wish I was more present.
I will not.
I cannot continue to wish time away.
I will not.
I cannot live a hurried life, and allow being busy to replace being a person.
I will not.
We don't get many second chances and I am not going to blow mine.

It is when I am intentionally present that magic and love flourish.
It is then that you feel warm and safe and loved.
It is then that you open up, you let me in, you hold me close.
It is when I am intentional with my love that you are too.
We all are.
If I am loving and gracious and kind, you all meet my energy.

And I do have to work on being intentional, I do have to remind myself that I am slipping back into old ways
old routines
old habits.
Ones that lead to an angry and frustrated mom.
Ones that lead to a troubled and tired soul.
Ones that lead to exhaustion and illness and worry.
Ones that were certainly not intentional.

So, it's ok that I have to work on it, I am a worker, I figure things out and work on them.
That is just fine
that is who I am.
But that doesn't mean I can't use how I operate to build a better life a better me.

In this year of different, I am ready to be intentionally better.

5
Jan

Five Minute Friday - motivate

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 motivate.
Go.

It's time.
It's time to get myself going and moving in the right direction.
I know what it takes for me to move
I know what and how I am motivated.
I am ready.
This is my time.

And so I start down my path to happy.
I start to use my known weaknesses to my advantage.
Screw what others want to do to stay stuck.
Screw what others want to do to stay unhappy.
Screw my years and years and years of wallowing.
This time, it's about me.
That's right, this mom, and giver, and CEO of 2 businesses, and sacrificer, is all about her right now.
She is done taking in the energy of others.
She is done feeling their weight.
She is done trying to get them to the other side.
Stay where you are, I am moving forward.
And the one place I will no longer follow anyone is to misery.
My life is important, my happy translates to their happy
just like my sadness translates to theirs.

So, as I watch my daughter take on more and more of me.
As I watch her say "I'm fine" as she wipes away tears...
As I watch my son listen less and less because all of it is white noise...
well, that is enough to motivate this mamma.
That is enough for me to say it's all about us
it's all about us.

And so I will follow what sets my soul on fire.
I will follow the happy
I will fake happy in order to eventually become happy
I will act how I want to feel and eventually, I will feel that way.
I am motivated for all of this change, even though change frightens me at every turn.
Screw it all, none of it matters in the end.
In the end, none of it matters.
In the end, all anyone ever wishes for is more time with those they love.
And so, I will gift all those I love more time.
I will let the pain go.
I will let misery go, she can find different company, I am no longer your friend.

It is time.
I am ready.
I am motivated.
I am willing to tear it all down to rebuild me.

Stop.

17
Dec

I lost my hum

There is something that happens when you say yes to everything.
There is something that happens when you think, sure, I can do that too.
There is something that happens when you keep on going and forget to eat, or breathe or think.
You lose your hum.

There is something that happens when you don't delegate.
There is something that happens when you take control of it all.
There is something that happens when you keep plugging along.
There is something that happens when you keep adding to your plate.
You take other things away.
You make your priorities out of whack.
And in the end, you lose your hum.

I first heard someone describe the hum on a Ted Talk and as soon as she opened, I immediately cried.
Tears of anguish
tears of guilt
tear of understanding
tears of being understood
tears of heartbreak
tears of wanting a different life
tears of realizing how beautiful my life is if only I stopped to look.

But, there is something that happens when you don't stop to look
you lose your hum.

I have acknowledged the hum before but in five minutes, I couldn't exactly dig deep...
So, here is how the hum goes...
I introduce myself by the number of hours I work in a week.
I wear it like a badge of honor.
I define my life by it.
Because a mom that loves her work and loves to work has to justify it, to someone and everyone.
And I do love to work.
I love working
I love the joy, the accomplishment, the tasks, the wave, the ride, the emotions, the winning.
I love to work.
It makes sense to me, I love that there is a right and wrong answer.
I love that I can get better at it.
I love that math makes the world seem real and I understand it.
I love that I get to be good at something.
I love to work.
And so, I do it all of the time.
I do it in my sleep
I do it instead of other things
I do it instead of things that I am worried I am not good at
I do it instead of sitting in quiet
I do it all of the time.

And the harder I worked, the better I got, the higher up I was promoted, the more work I was responsible for
and the hum got louder
and the harder I worked
and the more I was promoted
and the more I was responsible for
and the hum got louder
and so on and so on and so on.
Until, there was nowhere else to go.
And I was doing so much of the work
and I am a hard worker so she can do that too
and I won't let it fail so I work harder
and I won't give up so I keep going
and the hum got louder.

And then one day, it was gone.
The hum, the drive, the determination.
I lost my hum.
Suddenly, none of it made sense.
None of it seemed right.
Suddenly I was filled with regrets and what ifs and I should haves and what did I do and resentment and anger.
Because the hum made me think and feel
the hum was my guide.

So, I doubled down and searched everywhere for the hum.
I hear it when I am working, so I will work harder.
I hear it when the work makes sense so let me stay right here until it all makes sense.
I hear it when everything comes into focus so let me stare at the problem, I can find a solution again.
I just need to work harder.
But the hum was gone.
And I went into mourning.
I mourned a loss.
Of my work
my time
what I sacrificed
what I allowed to be sacrificed
I mourned me.

And then, I rooted to rise.
I ground down to rise up
and I found a new definition.
I found a new badge to wear.
I found other things to be proud of
and I learned to find a hum in different places.

It is still my go to
and when things get stressful and work becomes overwhelming
I still put my head down and forget to come up for air.
It is only when my depleted and exhausted and angry body climbs out of bed in the dark that I realize
I am here again.
I am in the bad place and I have to set a different plan in motion.
I have to determine a time, a limit.
I have to set a schedule of I will allow this for this amount of time and then,
I find my hum someplace else.

I cannot do it all
I cannot say yes to all
I cannot be it all
but I can still love the work
and the life.
I can say yes to my kids
I can read to them
I can train with them
I can journal with them
I can play board games
I can comb their hair
I can have quiet snuggles
I can be present when I am with them
I can make this life I asked for lovely
I can find my hum.

This Ted Talk changed me...http://www.ted.com/talks/shonda_rhimes_my_year_of_saying_yes_to_everything

15
Dec

Five Minute Friday - different

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 different.
Go.

I am looking forward to the new year
I think I always do
I see it as an opportunity
a chance to change
a chance to be different and act differently
a chance to make a difference.

And so, I started thinking and planning and really outlining how I want my life to look.
The changes I absolutely have to make
how I am on constant repeat
how I am responsible for most of the noise.
I started reading about how healthier, happier calmer people live.
What they hold on to, what they hold close, what they don't allow near them.

And so, I have started my list, my plans (which is very like me) and one of the things I am going to do differently is to use how I do things to my advantage, and no longer feel badly about them.
No longer feel less than but proud of my style and use it to work for me, not against me.

The first change, how I eat.
When I get stressed, tired, overwhelmed, one of the first things to go is eating.
I forget to eat, I run out of time, I get home and am starved because I have been depleted.
I am going to eat differently, create a healthy routine and eat more often.
I am going to work to find out what foods bring me energy, what foods bring me pleasure, what foods keep me going.

The second change, I am going to upgrade my tools and my life.
I always put me last and end up sacrificing so much time because I can just deal with it.
Everyone needs something when you are a parent and so things like your computer, your bags, your shoes, your suits, your stuff take a back seat.
I am going to go through my home and office and find the time crunches and I am going to upgrade my life.

Third, gratitude.
I am going to physically write down what I am thankful for.
I am going to focus on the good and joy of my day, the happy.
I am going to spend days/weeks/months not complaining.
I am going to help my family through this process and remind each of us, how lucky we are.

Fourth, the positive argument.
I am going to stop being resentful of "all I do" and I am going to make lists of things that others do for me too.
I am going to remember that my priorities, my desires do not match anyone around me, that does not mean they do less, they focus on different things.
Things that are not important to me, but are still needed.
Whenever I feel resentful, I am going to sit down and make the positive argument for those that I love.

Fifth, self-care.
I am going to focus on my quiet time.
Meditate
do yoga
find space
journal
write and pay attention to my blog.
Grab a cup of coffee alone
buy a shirt I want
buy a candle
make small changes to my own self-care.

Sixth, forgiveness.
Of myself.
Forgive my mistakes
do not stop breathing because I made them.
Do not feel them in my toes and make me shake.
Make an effort on focusing on the change I need to make next time and putting it to bed.
That means I have to face the mistake head to head
I have to really concentrate on my part, take responsibility and move on.

Seventh, connections.
I have close friends all over the place and I will make a concentrated effort to connect more.
With them
and my family
and my person.

Eighth learning more about me.
What is working
what needs changes
what about me can work to my advantage
what motivates me
what are my strengths/weaknesses
what can I use to move me forward?
How can I use that with all the people I encounter during my day
can I read them quickly too and figure out what makes them work and accept them for who they are?

Ninth pride.
I will write down and feel full of my accomplishments.
They are not random
they are not by chance.
I work hard, I will continue to find ways to work smart
but I sacrifice a lot to get to my goals and I will acknowledge them.
I am running two businesses
I am a mom of two
I own a house that we renovated and are turning into a home
I run long difficult races
I do triathlons
I run half marathons
I train alone
I volunteer
I take care of my community
I write a blog for my second chance at childhood
I document their childhood
I protect childhood, fiercely
I love my kids and connect with them
I set traditions that are their foundation
I show love
I should be proud of myself and stop the self-ridicule.

Tenth, a gracious and loving heart.
This one I stole from a friend that reminded me that all marriages should start and end on this note.
Your person puts up with your crazy and your lazy as much as you put up with theirs.
There is so much they are forgiving without an apology
so much they are letting go
so much they are trying to let roll off their back,
you have to have a graious heart sometimes and do the same.
You took them as is
you will grow together
the trick is growing in the same direction
growing with love
growing with a gracious loving heart.

Different, I am working on me this upcoming year and I am working to make things different for my life, my heart, and my soul.

8
Dec

Five Minute Friday - only

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 only.
Go.

I only have two children.
I only ran a sprint for my tri.
I ran a marathon, but only in my neighborhood so does it really count?
I only run a nonprofit.
I only have a really small number of clients for my business.
I only started my business a year ago.
I can only run a 9-10 minute mile.
I only
I only
I only myself a lot.

Maybe because I try and not take credit.
Maybe because I don't want to make it seem like I am anything special.
Maybe because I see the strength of others and sit watching them in awe so I have to think, I'm only doing this...not all of that.
Maybe because I am afraid to admit I too am strong
I too move mountains
I too labored and had 2 children
I too am surviving parenting
I too work an insane amount
I too need my new business to succeed
I too work really hard for my family
I too sacrifice a lot
I too can do so much
I too am a good mother
I too work on myself
I too cry and yell and fight
I too accomplish what I set my mind on
I too can.

Look at how different it all sounds when it is I too instead of I only.

I too can.

Stop.

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