25
Jun

This has been

It's been eight years.
That's how long I have been a mom.
And, when my first was just 8 weeks old, a new part of our lives started.
A part in which I welcomed other women into my family, daycare and nannies and helpers.
And they helped me raise my kids.
They helped me raise my kids and me, into a mom.

It all started with one.
I met her when I was pregnant and we were looking for an at home daycare.
Someone that had other kids in her home but still had a personal and flexible touch.
I immediately felt comfortable and calm with her.
I felt that she would love my little one, I just didn't know how much.
Nor did I know how much she would care for me, me for her.
I remember that very first day.
I left Anna in her pac-n-play and I walked out the door.
Except I didn't just walk out.
I kept going back in, and I would touch her face one more time...
and I would cry.
And then I would walk back out and start the process all over again.
And it was her voice that simply said, I get it and you take all the time you need, that finally got me to go out the door.
I sent many messages, called frequently,
and she took every phone call, she let me talk to my 8 week old like a crazy person.
She would send me notes every day, letting me know how it all went.
What Anna did, how much she ate, how many diapers she changed.
And when preschool started, she was the one that dropped off and picked up.
She became a part of us, she became my friend.
This has been the most humbling eight years of my life,
she helped me raise them.

And soon after our second, I met my second.
She came to our house, helped with the morning, helped me with my stay at home days.
She would play, she would separate, she helped put them down for naps.
She was the one that reminded my crazy mind that I wanted Cole to go to preschool because it was more quiet now.
Quiet is what I needed
quiet is what I longed for.
And as the tears came harder and harder, she told me,
I get it, I understand. I miss him too and I can't believe it either.
She would miss him too.
She stayed through his preschool years.
Helping with drop off and pick ups.
Helping with the bus, always so flexible so kind.
She would tell me how the bus went
she would fill me in on Anna's day before Anna could.
She would tell me how tiring preschool was for my little monkey
she would send me pictures of him sound asleep.
He runs to her when he sees her
arms open ready for this hug.
They still talk about her all of the time and ask about when they get to see her again.
She became a part of us, she became my friend.
This has been the most humbling eight years of my life,
she helped me raise them.

And then, in our last year of need came our third.
She had one adorable little face too, looking to transition out of full time employment and she was
loving
and generous
and caring
and concerned
and upfront
and calm
and always smiling.
She loved watching my kids with her daughter.
I beamed when she told me she was expecting another.
She reminded me of the beginning of motherhood, the gushing love.
She was never stressed with all that was on her plate.
She just loved my kids.
And when I hugged her goodbye, I cried a little.
I cried because once again we are writing a new chapter.
One in which they go to school and no longer need my village.
He talked about her and her daughter throughout the day
he longed for his days with her.
He fell in love with her kid, he was so excited when he found out she had a baby in her belly.
Anna, she would take guesses on boy or girl and felt gratified to know it was a girl.
She became a part of us, she became my friend.
This has been the most humbling eight years of my life,
she helped me raise them.

Eight years of daycare and nannies and three amazing women that helped us raise this amazing family.
Eight years of drop offs and pick ups.
Eight years of bags packed and worrying.
Eight years of goodbye waves as you take over for the day
to the half day
to a few hours
to now.

This has been the most humbling experience.
Seeing them become who they are
watching you fall in love with them too.
Letting go and seeing you take over
watching them fall in love with you.

This has been the most challenging years
the juggling
the schedules
the figuring out the when and where and how.
The potential for one ball to drop and a whole day is ruined.
The, he's sick today, who is taking over.
The, the weather is bad, should we have them come over?
The, who's going to what?

This has been the most loving of years
the quiet time with just us.
First, you and me Anna.
The crazy quiet time you loved
the sleeping from 12:30-4
the alone time once naps were over
the to and from preschool.
You were always so good at this.
You were always so patient with me.
You always loved this time, you were always so content.
And then you Cole.
The time we finally got just us two, because with your second, those times are precious.
The rhythm we found.
The kid you became
the greatness you are.
Even during the difficult years,
the times I had to take meetings in my closet because you were crying
the times I had to schedule it all around your naps
the times I had to figure out how to do this job and all of you
this was always the best time with you.

And the other night, as we were going to sleep, I turned to you and said,
I remember that first day with Wendy and now...
as the tears flowed down my face, you reminded me that we found three amazing women.
Three amazing people
each different
but all three incredible for taking this challenge on with us.
How did they do it? How did we?
And then you said, I know, this will be hard for you.
But, it's always hard to let them go a little more.
And on top of it, say goodbye to all three.
But, we somehow became lucky three times.
This is a parent's nightmare and we didn't find just one, but three amazing people.
We were always so comfortable with them.
We were always so at ease.
We never worried about our kids with them.
And as hard as it is to give your kids over, it was always so fine with us, because we found these three incredible people.
I don't know how we got this lucky, but we really had the greatest hearts helping me raise my kids
and raise me, into a mom.

I want you all to know that you have shaped me.
You have allowed me to love my family and my work.
You have allowed me this time.
You have allowed me to do any of this.
Because whenever anyone asks how we get any of it done, it has always been because of you.
And I thank you for loving them
for loving us
for being a part of us
for sharing your home
your time
your families
your love.
For seeing the good in them
for realizing I don't have any of the answers
you became my friend.

I also want you to know how much they adored you.
How much they looked forward to you coming.
How much they loved seeing you.
How much they loved babies, especially Cole.
How much they would wait for you.
How much they still talk about you.
You became a part of them too.

This has been eight years of us.
It has been crazy
and stressful
and fun
and slow
and quick
and worrisome
and loving.
I am about to walk into a whole new chapter now, again.
A time in which I sit alone and work
no kids
no listening to the imagination at play.
No more rhythm
no more hum
no more meetings in closets
no more shushing the cries.
I once again give you over to someone else.
I once again get to hear about your day from a far.

Because big kids go to school
and I am the mom to some big kids now.

Thank you village
thank you.

23
Jun

Five Minute Friday - steady

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 steady.
Go.

I am not the steady one of the group.
I am not the rock.
That's your job.
You were my joy, my constant, my always and forever.
Still now, as the waves of life crash down on us and make us nauseous
you are steady.
You are the calm in our storm.
You are the one that keeps us steady.

The push and pull of life has me very unsteady these days.
The stress and worry has me shaking and unstable.
I am a tightly wound ball of nerves and balls are not steady, balls wobble, balls roll.
You are my steady.
You are my reminder that this too shall pass and more crazy will come.
You are my whisper of find us, we are here.
You are my fixer of all things, you are my steady.

And the attraction started because of your constant joy.
The natural joy that lived in you.
I didn't realize someone could feel that way, all of the time.
You were so thrilled to be.
Happy to be doing anything, as long as we were together.
Which is why dating me is still your favorite.
Which is why you look forward to just us two.

Kids knock you down.
Jobs, careers, business, they drag you through the mud.
Homes offer retreat and worry.
Life is full of the swinging back and forth
it is what makes life worth living.
And every person that gets lost in the whirl
every person that almost gets hurt from the spinning needs a steady rock.
A place to steady their thoughts.
A place to steady their mind.
A place to steady.
You, you are my steady.
You are my always and forever.

Stop.

18
Jun

Ode to

To the water, the one that wanted to swallow me whole.
The one that was so cold it felt like knives
the one that had me feeling like I could not move
the one that made me think I was standing still and not getting closer to the end
the one that thought it was going to win,
I beat you and I got to the end.

To the hill
the one that's right at the beginning of the bike route
the one that hurts
the one that I haven't been able to get up without walking
the one that is really long and doesn't seem to end
the one that on the way down frightens me because it is so steep
I got up.
I made it to the top
I kept going
and I beat you to the end.

To the man that ran most of the 5K with me
the one who was in Iron Man clothing
the one who was also at a loss for why that water course hit us hard
the one that said "I only did half an Iron Man, not the whole thing"...
I say "I only" too
"I ran a marathon but I only ran it in my neighborhood, not a real race"
"I do triathlons but I only seem to do worse and can't find my grove"
I only I only.
Why do we do that?
And so, with real intensity I turned to you and said, you should be amazed with yourself,
and I meant it sir.
We beat the course, all the way to the end.
We made it to the 2 mile marker and we said, we've got this
and we did.

To the woman I passed and told her great job, almost there
the one that quietly and sadly said, "I feel like I am in last"
you and your voice made me stop and turn around to say "you're not in last but even if you were, we're here to finish"
the one who smiled back and said "I've been in last before" and the one that made me laugh and say
"me too, someone has to be, why not us?"
We made it. I saw you finish too.
You made it to the end, you beat the course.

To my husband
the one who came up with this idea.
The one that asked me to do it
the one that helps me with my swimming
the one that is so concerned for me in the water
the one that shouts to me to make sure I am ok
the one that feels like he disappointed because the course got the best of us
we made it.
It didn't win, it's didn't get the best of us because it didn't beat us all because we made it.
We finished another triathlon.
We finished our third one in three years.
We swam and biked and ran.
We finished
even though we were tired
even though we were out of it
even though our bodies didn't want us to
even though we panicked in the water
even though the exhaustion asked us to stop
we made it to the end.

To my body
the one that tells me it can't but shows me it can
the one that thought it was going to drown
the one that was so exhausted after the swim it didn't know how it would bike
the one that got off the bike and legs hurt so much for the run
the one that wanted to give up, at every turn wanted to just stop.
You didn't.
You kept going
you beat the course
you made it to the end.

To my MS
the one that made me stop moving
the one that told me I needed a nap, now.
The one that made me curl up, shut down
the one that made me feel out of it for a few days
the one that made me scared
I am beating you too.
I am doing this all to prove to you that I still can and I always will.
I am fine, better than fine.
I am beating you all the way to the end.

To my mind
the only one that doubts me
you didn't disappoint.
You were always there second guessing me, us.
You were always reminding me, look someone else passed you
you were always aware of what leg was flying by you
I didn't let you win.
Because I am more stubborn than you.
And every time you tried to tell me I don't have enough grit for this,
I told you to f off and I kept going.
I beat your doubts
just like I beat the course.
And even though I did worse and my times were worse
I made it to the end.
I didn't give up
I kept going

and I owe it to all of you.

#StrongIsTheNewPretty
#TheCoupleThatRacesTogether

16
Jun

Five Minute Friday - worth

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 worth.
Go.

I find myself asking, is it worth it a lot these days.
The arguments to keep her healthy
the arguments to make them good people
the arguments to remind those I live with of love
the struggles at work
the struggles I am enduring for my business
the races I work hard for, even though my time doesn't change
the time I put into all that I do
is any of it worth my time
energy
effort
worry.

What stands out as worth it?
What do I not question?
It always comes back to the quiet with you guys.
The Friday nights on the couch
when I should be finishing up work
it is always worth it to be with you.
The endless book dates when I should be doing anything else
is always worth it.
The bikes rides, the runs we take,
they are all worth it.

Because side by side
and moments of quiet love remind all of us what is important.
They remind us of the why we put in the work and they remind us how of effortless the work is.

They remind me, that it is always worth my time
because everything else is a distraction.
You, this, now, it is worth it.
Your smiles, your arms around me, slowing down, it is all worth it.

I won't be distracted by life
I won't be consumed by have tos
I won't be made to feel guilty for putting on my mask first.
Because I am building.
A life, a family, love.
It's easiest to love you and always and forever worth it.

2
Jun

Five Minute Friday - future

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 future.
Go.

No one knows, right?
What tomorrow will bring,
what the future holds?
No one knows if there is a tomorrow, if they have a future.
But for some reason, we all keep making plans
even though nothing is promised
and I see that as hope unfolding each and every day.

I hope that this third date leads to a future with you.
I hope that one day you will be my forever.
I hope that we will build a future together.
I hope that this anniversary isn't our last.
I hope we spend our 40s owning our lives.
I hope we give them the best future possible.
I hope that we are setting them up for a future.
I hope that they see their future as exciting.

Hope is what keeps us making plans.
Hope is why we go to bed angry, hoping we have tomorrow to make up.
Hope is why we think it's a better time another day.
Hope is even why we put things off, I hope to get to that one day.
So hope can be beautiful and calming and peacful
because we are not saying never, we are saying in the future.

The reality is much darker
much more fearful and full of sadness
the never promised tomorrow
the not knowing what the future holds.

So, we make plans.
We make future plans.
And we build today around tomorrow.
We hope to see another day that gets us one day closer to our future.

Stop.

21
May

Pearl Rose

Hi sweet love, it's mom.
It's hard to believe but it's been over 6 months since we said goodnight to you.
And it's been sad, and it's been blue and it's been lonely.

And so, we decided it was time to heal, it was time to open our home to love.
And when I saw Pearl I fell in love.
So similar to when I met you, just seeing a picture of her, I knew she was ours.
Dad needed more time, he just wasn't sure.
Because another puppy that wasn't you, was too hard for him still.
Then he got his hands on her and it was moon and stars love.
But it brought you back up and made us think of you all of the time.

She would really like you, she misses other dogs.
She would really really have loved to play with you.
You, you would have put her in her place.
You would have taught her the way.
You would have shown her.

But, she is just wonderful.
And has brought so much love and light.
Because that is what we needed most.
We find ourselves saying Mia never, or Mia always, or when I was training Mia...
But Mia did her incredible job of raising us and it was her time.

Here is the biggest difference
she came to us with an 8 and almost 5 year old and she knows no different.
So, she loves them.
She sits by Anna and waits.
She sits outside her door
she sleeps on her lap
she has to be touching her.
She lets Cole lay on her, struggle to cuddle and smooch her.
She embraces his love of love.
She too loves loves.
She folds into people
she curls right up to their love and attention.

You were much more confident in you, you were not needy
and love from the kids, you were not interested because it was only our love that you were loyal to.

She knows her name now,
she is starting to finally understand potty training.
She is ringing her outside bell and knows that's the cue to go out.

She too hates the rain and the cold
she refuses to even put up with it.
She is playful, she too loves tug of war.
She loves to be snuggled, loves the comfort and safe.
She adores that fireplace that was your home for all of those years.
That is her forever spot.

She looks to us for what is right, she knows when she is being naughty and hides.
She is getting more brave, more confident, but she still is needy for love and attention.

It's been over six months and hearing the sound of paws has been the light our hearts needed.
Being attached physically to her has been good for my soul.
I have missed you, I will continue to miss you and I hope you like watching us with her,
knowing she hasn't replaced our love, but instead, brought it back out.

Welcome home Pearl Rose.
You are love.

19
May

Five Minute Friday - truth

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 truth.
Go.

It's hard to speak your truth.
It's hard to show your crazy.
And that's when true friends come in to show you that your crazy is normal.
We all carry crazy, but be true and honest to yourself.
Laugh at your crazy and always speak your truth.

So here is mine...
I am type A
I am a cleaner, an organizer
I feel calm in the non chaotic
I make lists
I feel good crossing them off
I overachieve
I overreact
I yell
I cry
I am introverted
I spent two very lonely years looking for my circle
I now know why, because I love time with a circle of friends, the comfort the laughter
I went through a really hard time when my daughter turned three
I went through an even worse time when my son turned one and that didn't end until he was four
I doubt myself all day long
I doubt my strength
I doubt my ability
I doubt my love
I doubt my grit
I doubt my mind
I doubt my achievements
I doubt my gentle
I am not confident
I am so good with not being confident
I can laugh hard
I was terrified of becoming a mom
I used every excuse in the book to not start this journey
I have never been more wrong and more right all at the same time
I love motherhood
I am and will forever be petrified of motherhood
I worry
I cannot stress this enough, I worry about all things most of the time
I was diagnosed with MS at 23 and I walked through hell and back with my person
I will continue to walk through hell and back with my person because he is my forever
I walk away too quickly from relationships that make me think I am reliving my past
I am fiercely loyal to those I love
I go above and beyond
I sleep hard
I want more sleep (but see above)
I find miserable really easily so
I am on the hunt for my joy
I found a second chance in my kids
I protect their childhood
I am determined
I am a good friend
I am a good mother
I do not have balance, but I find the space to breathe
I allow love in

My raw, my honest, my spoken truth.

Stop.

14
May

Simple letter of love

My Mother's Day letter of love...
take 3.

I love how independent you are becoming.
I love watching you pour your own cereal.
I love that we are still needed but just in time and love.
I love seeing you at school, so loving, so caring, so attentive.
I love hearing about your day and the crazy telephone game it becomes.
I love our summers and how many memories we make.
I love that you love our new doggy. I love that she is important to you.
I love that we healed enough to open up our homes to Pearl, I love that we still love and think of Mia.
I love that Cole still comes to plant himself in the middle of us during a hug.
I love that they both get nervous when we fight and want it to end, I love that we end it for them.
I love that small is still important in our house right now.
I love that I am really taking it all in, just how fleeting time is.
I love every single tradition, every single one.
I love that you love them too, every last one.
PJs and out of a bath are still my favorite, that smell, that clean, that cozy.
I love that you are beginning to look like me.
I love watching you be and play and childhood come alive outside.
I love that our goodnights are still magic.
I love love love to watch you both sleep.
I love to grab your hand, push away your hair.
I love the feel, the smell, how time stops as we inhale and exhale together.
I love our DEAR time. I love digging into a good book with you, warm by the fire and watching you love your book too. I love that we aren't distracted, my phone is away. This is our time, our end to the crazy of our day.
I love all of the cards, the letters the pictures.
I love getting ice cream for dinner, I love seeing you be a kid in the best way.
I love every picture we have hanging of you, of us. I love seeing and feeling that moment in time.

I love you both.

You have given me these gifts loves you have filled me so full.

Dear Anna,
This year, you started down a path of maturity.
And you are working hard on finding you.
Even in the middle of all of your friends, staying true to you.
I will continue to drive that message home because you are the best you I know and I cannot have you change.
Not for silly
not for them
not for any one person.
Grow, develop, have fun, laugh out loud, all of it, but always and forever be you, you are the best you I know.
This is your gift to the world sweets, your kind loving heart.
And I need it to shine so everyone can see it, to shine across your face to see the love and light you hold.

This year, you gave me the gift of one on one talks.
You are opening up to me more and we even started a journal together.
This year, your gift has been the gift of getting to know you as you are getting to know yourself.
And I love our time.

Dear Cole,
This year, you started down a path of amazing.
You hit four and it all fell into place.
Your crying, your screaming, your tantrums all gave way and in their place became my little man.
The one I knew was in there.
The happy little boy.
The gentle soul.
The calm, the storm, the loud, the crazy, the happy wonderful you.

This year, your gave me the gift of you.
Wonderful, amazing loving you.
This year, you reminded me how important it is to love love.
How important it is to be a good and wonderful friend.
How important it is to go on a goodbye tour when you leave friends and leave them feeling wonderful.
This year, you gifted me your heart.

Thank you both for all 365 days of the past year.
The wonderful, the awful, the beautiful and the ugly.
Thank you for your patience as I cried and cried over Mia.
Thank you for your hugs of understanding.
Thank you for do overs and starting again.
Thank you for words instead of tears.
Thank you for still holding my hand.
Thank you for still kissing noses.
Thank you for allowing me to carry your heart and eat you up.

Thank you for the best parts of you, thank you for finding me to mother you.
You have given me a life I never knew I always needed and wanted.
You have given me a title I will hold close and protect.
You have given me my smile.
You have given me family.

And as always...
to the little girl that made me believe in happily ever after
and the little boy that was my one and only love at first sight
I love and adore you
.

8
May

Too much like me

It's late and the exhaustion is strong.
We are both at the end, of our day, of our patience, of our tempers.
And the quick transition from happy day to stubborn tears starts.
And just like me, you're not giving up, you're digging in.
But also like me, you're not willing to give up on who we actually are.
And just like me, you want a do over.

The older you get, the more and more I see me.
The more and more I see the person that won't be walked on.
The more and more I see the person that won't let someone else tell her story.
The more and more I see the person that stands up for herself, but only to her parents.
The more and more I see the person that is timid around others, unsure if this is something she has to take a stand on.
The more and more I see the person that is afraid to speak up, but has it in her.
The more ad more I see the person that will do almost anything for friendship.
The more and more I see me.

I see me when you are wrapped in a cozy sweatshirt, because I am always wrapped in warmth.
I see me when you are mad and all you can do in that anger is cry.
I see me when you are so happy that it shines from your face.
I see me when you look to me for approval, because I always wanted it too.
I see me when you are filled with pride, because I always wanted it too.

I see me when all you want is a hug, because you want to melt into someone.
I see me in your smile, because you always had my mouth.
I see me when you are thinking, processing.
I see me when you are old, because we were both born old.
I see me when you are trying, because we always try.
And I see me when you are tired and everything is therefore wrong.
I see me when you put on your fighting gloves, because I own a pair too.
I see me when you are making things too hard, because that is what I do best.
I see me when you ask to go for that run, because I always push too.
I see me when you want to work hard, because that is my go to.
I see me when you laugh, because I at one time found it so easy to laugh.

But, I see you too.
The parts of you that are always and forever yours.
I see you when you are social, because I never was.
I see you when you are brave, because I never was.
I see you when you are walking into an event all by yourself, ready to see what friends you are going to make.
I see you when you find it so easy to make a friend.
I see you when you see only the good in people, and don't even recognize anything else.
I see you when you so easily find joy, because I am still on the hunt.
And I see your dad in all of that too.
Each reason listed being what made me fall head over heels in love with a person filled with that much joy.
And the reason I fall harder and harder for you, because I see so much of us wrapped in this little body of you.

For a little while, I would think to myself, you are too much like me, and that will mean butting heads.
And running into who is more right.
And stubborn everything.
And anxious hearts.
And worry.
Yeah, I see all of that in you...and it makes me a better me.
It makes me want to develop into a better me,
because that's what good people in your life do, they make you a better version of you.
And you are one of the best people I know so of course this would be what you did, for me.

Take it all in sweet face.
Take in what I do well, what I need work on, what I am trying hard to change.
Take in what works for you
what you wish you didn't pick up
what you know you can't live without
and develop into the best version of you
even if it means looking somewhat like me.

5
May

Five Minute Friday - should

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 should.
Go.

I, like too many of us, am filled with "should".
I should be in a different place in my career by now.
I should have a little more of me figured out.
Parenting, this seasoned and yet all too new mother should know what she is doing.
I should have a grasp on joy, my joy...I should be providing more joy.
I should be more organized, I should be less stressed.
I should have found a much better balance.
I should eat this, I shouldn't eat that.
I should look, feel, react a certain way.
I should be doing more yoga, I should do this race and this one.
Our puppy should be potty trained.
Our kids should be better mannered.
I should yell less.
I should listen more.
I should be sleeping way more hours.
I should be putting on my oxygen mask first.
I should start that class.
I should go get that massage.
I should be making more time for everything.
I should be managing this all better.

Our lives, full of shoulds.

What happens when you put the shoulds and have tos away?
Glorious, gorgeous life...

I have come to some sort of peace that who I am, at my core, is someone that does find comfort and actual peace in the organized and the checked off list.
At my core, I am the list maker and the one that remembers all of the have tos.
And all of that is ok, it's who I am, it's what makes me tick, it's what makes our lives hum.

But, when I sit in only shoulds and have tos, I lose my hum.
I become overworked
over committed
overwhelmed
because it all spills over.

And this type A, crazed woman needs a reminder that pausing, breathing, and slowing way down is magic.
It's joy and chaos and laughter and happy lovable kids.
It's smiles and safety and childhood.
It's love.

This mother needs a reminder that when you throw the shoulds away, even for a brief moment,
the world still goes on.
Nothing shatters
everything is still ok
and almost always, better than ok...

Stop.

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