15
Jul

I am the answer

When you were brand new to this world and I was forced to share you
I was the one you needed in the middle of the night.
I was the one you needed to smell.
I was the voice you remembered.
I was the comfort you looked for.
I was your food, your rocker, your changer, the one that knew all the sounds.
I was your answer, I always was, I still am, but I will not always be.

When you have a bad dream, you immediately go to his side of the bed.
When you are feeling sick, you call for me.
When you fall, you look for us immediately.
When you are trying something new, you seek our familiar faces.
We are your answer, we always were, we still are, but we will not always be.

So many twists and turns
so many changes
so many different milestones and from the beginning to today I am the answer.
I always was, I still am, but I will not always be.

Life will continue to bend.
It will make you feel upside down.
It will also make you feel confident, moments, long moments of feeling like you have this part of life down.
But, there will always be questions, there will always be changes.

For this little window in time, I get to be your answer.
For this minute in our lives, I get to hold it all for you.
I always was, I still am, but I will not always be.

Because you will grow and you will go and live the life you are meant to.
You are going to find your circle.
You are going to find and at times create your reason.
You are going to be.
You will become the answer for others.

But, for now, I will allow this window to be wide open.
I will welcome this time of you wanting to be with me.
I will welcome what in the end will feel like a brief moment in life.
I will be the answer.

When you are wondering who in the world you can turn to.
When you are searching so you don't feel terribly alone.
When you are seeking comfort and someone that knows your whole story,
I am the answer.

When you need a hug, one that feels so familiar.
When you need to hear words that make you feel like you belong, remind you that you are home.
I am the answer.

I always was, I still am, but I will not always be.

29
Jun

Five Minute Friday - if

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 if.
Go.

If I smiled more, I would be proud of my almost 40-year-old lines.
If I laughed more, you wouldn't see me as a serious mom.
If I let go more, the anxiety wouldn't build.
If I was more patient, my family would feel lighter.
If I was more in-tune, I would know how to de-escalate situations.
If I could turn back time, there are so many things I would change, so many conversations I would do over, so many words I would take back.

But, I am me.
I am me and I am okay.
I am me and I don't have to be different.
I am me and I am not anyone else.
I am me and I shouldn't be anyone else.
I am me and I have to find the good of what I do.
I am me and I too am allowed to make mistakes.

If I focus on my good.
If I remember my year of different.
If I remember that I am who I am.
If I remember that I am not the crazy that I feel others see me as.
If I remember how much I love, how much I care, how much I try, how much I do.
If I remember that the person standing in front of that mirror is okay, she is okay.

If I had to do it all over again, this life all over again, you know I would have it turn out just like this right?
I would marry you all over again.
I would have the two children we have.
I would have spent 17 years loving Mia and I would adopt Pearl.
I would be living here.
I would be loving you all.
If I had it to do all over again, I would have it turn out just like this
being exactly who we are.
Because we are okay.

Stop.

15
Jun

Five Minute Friday - restore

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 restore.
Go.

It's the end of another school year.
It's the end of another season.
It's the end of sports and lessons and so many schedules.
It's time for this family to sit back and restore.

It's the end of our tri.
It's the end of all of that training.
It's the beginning of the racing season but for now
it's time for my body to rest, it's time for me to restore.

It's the start of my kids acting up.
It's the exhaustion coming through.
It's the lack of patience from every single one of us.
It's time for our unit to regroup, come back together, find the simple and bask in it.
It's time for us to restore.

It's time for a summer bucket list, the only one we stick to.
It's time for some new traditions and in my year of different, it's time for me to find my restoration too.

It's time to get back in front of framily.
It's time to fill myself full with all the right people.
It's time for me to step back from those I do not feel good about or good about myself with.
It's time for me to find where my heart is full.
It's time for me to find those that are comfortable with my crazy and admit to their own.
It's time for me to find my restoration too.

It's time for my kids to feel a part of a happy family again.
It's time for us to find all the relaxing parts of life again.
It's time for us to feel connected and squished together again.
It's time for this family unit to be restored.

3
Jun

Everything changes

The heartbeat I once saw on the screen is a school-aged girl wonder.
The baby I nursed is a six-year-old lover of love boy.
The bottles I once washed are now family dinners arguing over what we like to eat this week.
The diapers are gone and replaced with sports equipment everywhere.
The daycare I once needed is replaced with after school everything.
The house with just a little pile of toys right here is now stuff, just more and more stuff on every surface in every corner.
Everything changes.

As a seasoned mother reminded me this week
the things that make me anxious and tired and wanting an out
are all of the things I will look back and realize how much I miss.
Everything changes.

The toddler holding my hand, learning to talk still needs to talk things out with me, for now anyway.
The chubby fingers and face are now growing into who you were always meant to be.
The little is being replaced with personality.
The laughter and patience I once had are becoming more tired and faded.
The baby love that made me whole is scared of the children I need to raise
the adults they will be tomorrow.
Everything changes.

So, as I go around the house and wipe down counters,
as I pick up and put away
as I clean on top of clean on top of clean
as I tidy and the frustration builds in my chest
I have to remember
everything changes.

The day will come when they are either no longer in need of all this stuff
no longer in want.
The day will come when the house will be so quiet that "noise" will split me in two.
The day will come when I will long with my whole body for signs of life in my home.
Everything changes.

Velveteen mothers know all too well that the years feel like days.
They find themselves staring at the people they once held on to so tightly and thinking over and over
once upon a time not so long ago
you were an extension of me.
I was your world and you were my stars.
Everything changes.

Which is why I love that I am the collector of stories
I love how much I can play back each and every memory.
But it is also at times quite painful to feel as though I can still reach out and touch that little that I got the privilege to mother.
Everything changes.

Here is what I know to be true and need you both to understand.
I have zero regrets about how I spent my time...
carefully examining you and breathing you in.
Watching each day with love.
Hearing myself in old videos
seeing old pictures
I am reminded how much I enjoyed mothering you.
How much fun I had and how much I relished in the days.
I was slow with you.
I enjoyed you.
Everything changes.

And as the parenting gets more delicate and heavy.
As I feel this need to guide more and this worry hanging over me
I hope to return to the me I was and still am.
Everything changes, even this velveteen mother.

27
May

Six!

There is so much small and little in all of you.
There is so much good and kind and sweet.
There is so much love and love of love.
There is so much boy.

Six sweet love of mine,
you are six and I have been holding on to each and every single day with you.

My five-year-old started school and continued with the kind and friendly and loving little boy.
Children are drawn to you
adults adore you
you make others feel good about themselves
you help
you care
you show empathy
you are just one good soul.

There is something about you that still looks all toddler to me.
Maybe it is because you are so short.
Maybe it is because you have such strong emotions.
Maybe it is because you are so brand new.
Maybe it is because you are my last and I am unwilling to let you grow.
Except that, of course, I am because you are making it so.

And so sweet boy, you took my hand once again and you led me to six.
You still love story time with me.
You still beg for little guy kisses.
You still tell me I am beautiful.
You still hold my hand.
You still love all things Star Wars.
You still love all things dad.
You are still an all eating goat.
You are still a climbing monkey.
You are still the one that believed in childhood the most
and reminds me that I have every right to hold on to that too.
You still cling to little while leading me to big boy.

You are just sweet loving Cole.
The one that completed a family even though I didn't realize we were missing a piece,
until I met you.

So welcome to six.
Welcome to more active sports
welcome to your first summer after school
welcome to the start of 1st grade
welcome to the next round of teachers that will also love you.
And a mom and dad that always have.

I eat you up I love you so...
mom's sweet and low.

27
Apr

Five Minute Friday - stuck

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 stuck.
Go.

All throughout my life, there are years and years of feeling like I couldn't move.
Years of feeling captured in mud of my own doing.
Years of feeling cemented
until the universe tells me that something has to give and I make a change.

Where once I was angry, stuck in the feeling of why me, it's all on me, bitter resentment of a childhood lost.
The universe gave me you, the person I needed to remind me of joy and ease.
Where once I could not trust or believe in soft, I met someone who melted all worries and got rid of many sharp edges.

And it continued to give and give with family and little faces and second chances.

And I found myself stuck again, missing family and framily.
Missing connection and adults.
And the universe once again reminded me it was time to make a change and open my heart and the universe gave me close wonderful friends.
And traditions
and love
and taking care of each other.

And I found myself stuck again, things being too hard because I made them so.
Things being out of sync
out of balance.
Our lives totally out of balance.
And all the emotions and night upon nights of crying and feeling like I had nowhere to go
stuck inside my own head
stuck inside my old ways
stuck.
And the universe reminded me of a different way.

In my year of different, I made the change.
I no longer wanted to keep doing the same things and expecting different results.
I no longer want to run to stand still.
I needed to make changes.
I looked at the direction my life was heading
the pain I was causing
the destruction I was doing
and I pulled my feet out of the cement
I pulled my head out of the fog
and I made the change.
To no longer be stuck in me.

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.

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.

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