22
Mar

Five Minute Friday - reward

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 reward.

Go.

Parenthood is hard, and lonely, and difficult, and trying. It ends a life you once had, a life you really enjoyed and it creates a whole new one. Parenthood puts your marriage through every test, every bump, every crash and bush. Parenthood makes you wonder what happened, and why did you, and where did you go, and what family are you living for, and how are you defining love. Parenthood makes you break, shatter, lose, find, gain.

So why do people sign up? What is the actual reward? Is there one? Here is the actual truth about it all. Parenthood is a struggle. Most of the time, you feel lost, unsure, scared, worried, not on top of your game, your patience goes away, you wish you hadn't said that, you wish you had showed up for that, you wish you could have taken that back, you are mad, you are tired, you don't know what to say, what to do, you are in a fog, you come out of a fog, you remember there is a you in there somewhere, you cry...a lot, you lose sleep, you stress. But, the good...

...the good it so good that it carries you through all of that. The good is so good that they are the moments you will think of during your last days. The good is so good that it skews the bad, it makes you remember it differently, it makes you laugh at the things that bothered you yesterday. It makes you wish for the times that while you were sitting in them thought to yourself, when and how will this ever end? The good is so damn good that you would do it all over again. The good is so good that it makes your heart burst open. The good is so good that when you close your eyes, you find yourself actually smiling. The good is so good that when you look back at pictures, you only remember the good. The good is so damn good, it is so so good.

Is it for everyone? No. Is it what every person on earth should do, needs to do, is wasting away if they don't do it? No. Is it what I thought I would be doing? No. Is it how I envisioned my life? No. Is it what I always thought I would be, a mother? No. Do I remember the bad? Yes. Do I remember why I was crying, or worried, or yelling, or stressed, or tired, or scared? Yes. Is there a reward, yes.

It is in their hugs. It is in their smooches. It is in their stories. It is in their playing. It is in the good-nights. It is in the reading dates. It is in the traditions. It is in the fresh out of a bath and pjs on look that melts my heart. It is in the I love yous. It is in the little hands that reach for you. It is in the little shoes that I trip over in my mudroom. It is in all the pictures, all over my house, the ones that make me feel like the rewards are so so great.

Stop.

3
Feb

The next thing you know

She will be driving.
He will be in high school.
There will be significant others.
Phones or another gadget(s) will be coveted.
Privacy will be demanded.
Doors will be slammed.
But, we will still be us. 
And I will be okay. 

Because we have a base, we have a really strong foundation and we have ways that at the end of a hard day, week, month, cycle, we come back in small and meaningful ways. And it starts with all of our traditions. Lovies, I started them to remind you all that this is where we come home to. This is who we are, at our core, this is where we will always belong.

The next thing you know
prom will be a thing.
Graduation will come.
Schools will be researched.
The house will be quieter.
And I will be okay. 

The next thing you know
this chaos will be our "remember when"... 
And tomorrow we will laugh at what made us cry hard and worry today. 
The next thing you know, all the things that make us worry will no longer matter. They will be fine, they will be good, they will be them. Not our version of them, not our hopes of them, but them. The them they were meant to be, the them they want to be. 
And I will be okay. 

The next thing you know, their mess will be gone. The legos will be put away, the instruments will be no more, the running around will stop, the sign-ups for sports and things will be a thing of the past.
And I will be okay. 

The next thing you know, it will go from just us five to four to three. And I, the one who struggles most with change, will be dragged into a new reality. One in which their decisions are out of our hands. One in which my time is again all mine. One in which I hope we remember how much we all loved and tried in this house.
And I will be okay. 

The next thing you know, our foundation will matter most. Our little reminders of love, our little reminders of us, our little ways of reconnecting. Because schedules will only get worse. Because time will only get more limited. Because we will have to divide and conquer. Because we will continue to be pulled in too many directions. Because we will be losing our minds at times. Because responsibilities will only get heavier. Because things will pile up and up. But, us, the real us, we're right here. The real us that will have warm pizza and a movie every Friday. The real us that will pile around the island and talk about our week over pancakes every Sunday. The real us that will connect over shows we are showing you from our childhood. The real us that always gives warm goodnights. The real us that piles on top of each other to read together. The real us that talks about our gracious heart. The real us that holds hands. The real us that sings in the car. The real us that eats ice cream for dinner to celebrate. The real us that vacations together every summer. The real us that hugs with all of our body. The real us that tries to laugh every day. The real us that makes dinner together important. The real us that snuggles. The real us that talks about love constantly. The real us that knows how to get home. The real us that realizes the power of puppy love. The real us that realizes we are a team. The real us.
And I will be okay. 

1
Feb

Five Minute Friday - where

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 where.

Go.

It's my year of change and that means a different direction and embracing all the change that has to come my way. That means being comfortable with them getting older. That means, for the first time in 40 years, being comfortable in my own skin. That means leaving something I spent 19 years building to someone else. That means stepping into something that is terrifying and changing how I see my future. That means changing how I am viewing my year of change and changing what I say about it. That means changing, period and end of story changing.

So where am I going? Where am I headed and what direction is this life about to take me? Where do I want to be at the end of this year? Where do I want to say I have been? Where do I want to spend my time and my focus? Where do I want to say I belong? Where do I go when things feel overwhelming? Where do I go when I feel lost and too scared to make it one foot in front of the other? Where do I soak my tired bones? Where do I feel safe? Where do I focus my attention, where do I want to be?

When change feels not only frightening but actually devastating, these are questions you shy away from. They are questions you don't want to answer because you just want things to stay the same. You want the comfort, you want the protection. But, kids get older too. Life moves on regardless of if you are on board. Change is our constant, like it or not. When you force yourself to look in the mirror, these are questions I had to answer. And so I did. I sat myself down and said I can't hold on to motherhood in the first year of parenting when you have a 6 and 9-year-old. They have grown and changed and you have to too. You can't hold on to a 19-year-old plan because it is time for fresh eyes. Where I am headed has to be different and I have to be not only ready, I have to want this. I have to tell the universe that I want it and I have to listen to it telling me not to force it.

Where I want to be at the end of this year is not where I am, change is coming my way.

Stop.

11
Nov

So show me family

All the wounds that I can see.
So show me family and I will show you us.

So show me connection and I will show you two people that met on simple
fell in love on joy
and became family.
So show me family and I will show you us.

So show me complications and I will show you two people that leaped over hurdles
continued to create them
and made life more complicated than it ever needed to be.
So show me family and I will show you us.

So show me a home and I will show you kids and a puppy and stuff
I will show you walls painted and pictures hung
I will show you traditions made and family memories burned into our minds.
So show me family and I will show you us.

So show me smooches and touching toes and I will show you how we end.
The day, the week, the long, and the tired.
So show me bone tired and I will show you sacrifice and grit and determination.
So show me how you define home and I will show you your nook and a smell that reminds me of you.
So show me family and I will show you us.

So show me tears and I will show you the ones we create
the ones we shed
the ones we can't help.
So show me family and I will show you us.

So show me heartbreak and heartache and I will show you this little life.
The one I run towards and away from.
The one I won't allow us to take for granted
the one you won't allow us to turn our back on.
So show me family and I will show you us.

So show me yelling and temper tantrums and kids still learning and parents still learing
and I will show you us trying.
I will show you how hard it is because they change so much and things have to keep changing
but connections and feeling in each other's lives is what we have to hold on to.
So show me family and I will show you us.

So show me a type A mom, living alone in type opposite A family and I will show you me.
Show me struggles she has and I will how you how I keep trying.
Show me messes and I will show you temper tantrums I have.
Show me crazy and loud and I will show you an introvert that gets overwhelmed.
So show me family and I will show you us.

So show me love and I will show you all I hold for you.
All the wounds that I can see.
So show me family and I will show you us.

28
Oct

Waking up

Good morning sweet girl.
You have been asleep for quite some time and nightmares have filled your mind, impacted your body.
On the day you woke up, it was like seeing people again.
You rubbed the garbage out of your eyes and you saw the morning light.
You heard laughter and people connecting, instead of the whispers that have filled your space.
You smiled at the sun, you didn't squint or shy away.
You woke up, got out of bed, stood in the mirror and smiled at the person you have always been.
You stretched your arms and you noticed how strong you are.
Your back, shoulders, arms, legs, and body.
The one that carried two babies, the one that carries a family, the one that supports, and at times feels like the world is sitting on top.
It's okay now, the world is starting to melt away, you carried yourself through.
That's why you're strong, not because you conquer, but because you push through.
Not only because you can carry, but because you lift.
Good morning sweet girl.

While you were sleeping, the world continued on, people continued on.
While you were sleeping, you missed some precious moments, some important time.
You missed your kids, your husband, yourself.
You missed color and smells and warm showers and good food.
You missed reading and shows and hugs and hand holding and snuggles.
You missed smooches and little guy kisses from your son and kissing noses with your daughter.
You missed some time.

But that's okay, you obviously needed the rest.
You needed some time, reflection, processing, and like the flu, you needed it (whatever it was) to flush out of your system.
Like the flu, you needed to purge, burst through your fever, and open your damn eyes.
And now, they are open, and you are well rested and recovered.
You are over the sickness that took hold and you are better, not healed but better.

So good morning sweet girl.
I hope the smell of coffee lures you downstairs.
I hope the promised of whispered love keeps you warm enough to let go of the covers.
I hope you step into your morning shower, feel the water wash away the smell of fear and wash you clean.
I hope you remember what hope feels like and as you take slow small steps back into your life, I hope the light is what guides you this time.
Because even though you always start in the dark, feel most comfortable there, enjoy the cozy it brings, you need the light for balance.
You always need balance because you, just you, is too much.
So make sure you are kind to yourself, take it easy as you find your strength and your legs.
Take it slow, be steady, stretch your arms out.

Good morning sweet girl, we missed you while you slept.

26
Oct

Five Minute Friday - moment

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 moment.

Go.

They hit like lightning bolts, real ones do.
They can strike you, knock you over and remind you of the truth.
Mine struck me where it counted when it mattered most.

The moment I finally saw clearly.
After months of fog and exhaustion and drowning, I saw clearly.
The moment I heard laughter and it made my heart warm.
Made me fill back up a place that has been too empty.
The moment I got clarity.
Reminded myself who I am, what I stand for, what I believe in, my worth, my truth, me, right there, right here.
The moment I figured it out.
My plan, my promise to myself, my way, me taking back my life, my thoughts, my joy.
The moment I started building.
No longer putting out fires, no longer reacting but building.
The moment I started to believe in myself again.
Walking through fear as I always do, not conquering it, not getting rid of the doubts, but walking straight through.
The moment I laughed and cried and released.
What I needed, release and mourning and moving on.
The moment real friends showed up
took a hold, reminded me why I love, who I love, how I love.
The moment real at all showed up
not what I was creating, imaging, projecting.

One moment in time, one.
One significant thing that changed it all.
I'm not all the way there, I am not naive enough to think, say, or feel otherwise.
But I am on the right path finally, the one I belong on.

5
Oct

Five Minute Friday - share

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 share.

Go.

I want to share something,
this blog is for me.
It is healing for me.
It is a journal of my parenting.
And despite the criticism I receive regarding how pollyanna I make parenting seem, not only do I disagree,
I just don't care.
I know that I share and am honest about my struggles, regrets, worries, concerns.
And I just don't care if you think it's too positive, I will always protect and defend their childhood.
I do not do this because anyone follows me, because they don't.
I do not do this for others to offer advice, because I have none to give, I am winging it.
I do this for me and for them.
I do this so you have a way of knowing how this all went down.
I do this so I have a way of looking back and remembering how this all felt.
I share to heal.
I share to let go, acknowledge and define the feelings I have, and then tell them to piss off.

I share because there are times when I am lost and distracted and empty and it's all too much.
I share because I know so many go through this and we are not alone.
I share because I have to call it out in order to move past.

I share about our amazing.
I share about our awful.
I share about my past.
I share my concerns for our future.
I share what we do well.
I share where I failed.
I share my solutions for us, the positive ones I found, the ones that no longer work, and the regrouping we always have to do.
I share where we stumble.
I share where we lost our way.
I share our book, chapter by chapter.
I share for me and for them, to heal and to know we always find our way back to us.
Because we actually do, we always find our way back to us.
And it ends positively because that's our family rule, we always end the day on our good.
We always end touching toes and talking about the parts we loved and apologize for the mistakes we made.
And as I climb back down the stairs, after yet another long day, I am thrilled to have the quiet and the time without being a mom because I am me too.
The book we started over 18 years ago is torn and faded and beat up and the pages are weathered and the cover is old and a bit ratty.
The story is changing year by year and some chapters are really scary and tearful.
Some chapters are amazing
all the chapters matter.

I share because I will always believe in our happy ending and because I know I have to share to heal me.

Stop.

9
Sep

Exhale

It has been a summer.
Like a for real summer.
I don't have off like the rest of my family but even I felt like we were living our best life.
There were sunrises and sunsets
warm weather
paddle boarding
camping
our Cape trip
track days
so many old friends
framily time
so many visits and my heart being full
framily that knows my whole story
framily that accepts and do not judge
framily that only loves and knows we are all doing our best
ice cream for dinner
the kids read their hearts out
they played and played and played
Cole became the best bike rider
Anna went to her first sleep away camp
both kids went to basketball camp with dad
Pearl had an amazing Cape week with her bestie followed by fun with camping
a week with their grandparents and so much adult time
just amazing wrapped into one incredible summer.

Except I could not exhale.
Me, I was the problem.
I was so anxious and so nerved and worried and scared and had this feeling of concern
and there were days where it would pass and then days upon days of it being right there.
But, it's my year of different and so I kept trying.
Trying to figure out why
trying to let whatever it was go
trying to find my breath
trying to let it out, exhale and let go of whatever was on my mind
trying to not let whatever this was ruin this time, destroy the good memories
trying to not let them in on what was happening
trying to get back to okay so I could find my way into joy.

But, as always, the harder I tried, the worse it got until it all piled on and found its own way out.
And then built back up and piled on and found its way out
and such was the cycle I was caught in.

It's going to be okay, just call it out.
Give it a name, recognize that it's there and then it will go away once you have given it fair attention.
But it didn't.
And it hasn't.
And here I am.
With little faces in school and me wondering where I went wrong.

So, I start again.
Because fall is crazy and summer is how I restore.
Because I am mad at myself for not restoring.
Because I stayed too long at a party and I am trying to get back home.
Because I started something so new and so scary that I feel like I might mess it up all of the time.
Because when I do mess it up, it does crazy things to my nerves (upholders struggle with doing it wrong).
Because I have too many balls and I am starting to feel alone.
Because I am celebrating my birthday for the first time ever and I want it to feel special.
Because the weight is hurting my shoulders and placing a foot on my chest.
Because I should be crying more than I am, releasing.
Because I don't want to let them down, I don't want to hurt their memories.
Because I want to make sure they know I am here, even when I am withdrawn.
Because I need to not be withdrawn, I don't want to fake it.
Because there is nothing to fake, things are all okay.

Summer of 2018 was not an okay summer, it was wonderful.
My little boy told me yesterday he was so sad our summer and our time together was over.
He was actually heartbroen that our break had come to an end.
That's how different our summers have been.
Because our summers were not always like this.
Years ago, our picture looked shattered and our pieces were all over the floor.
And at the end of that summer, I started to put parts back together and made some big changes.
Since then, things have been getting better, stronger.
They were concerning and I couldn't have them be concerning.
And the tide turned because we shifted and we made important decisions to change.
I found framily to hold on to.
I reconnected with the past.
I started to take ownership.
I found their little.
I found joy and so did they.

So, I am back to my journey of starting with okay.
Just be okay and then find a little joy.
And with a little joy find a little more joy and a little more.
Find your calm mamma, remember after you take that big breath in, let is out again.
Exhale.

7
Sep

Five Minute Friday - rain

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 rain.

Go.

We're called Pluviophile, lovers of rain.
Those that find peace, joy, a calming of the mind the second the first drop falls.
It's restorative.
It is beautiful.
It is comforting.
And I wish I could explain why it's so important to me to have rainy days.
I wish I could eloquently put into words that when the skies gray, when the water falls, when the sound on my roof is that rhythmic beat of the earth crying, I feel comforted, I feel safe.
I am restored.
I feel relaxed and deeply exhale.
Because there is a sense of stopping, pausing, watching.

It starts with a darkening of the sky.
A sign of what is to come and flickering lights become a must.
You can finally look at the sky without squinting, you can see nature take over.
And we need the gray to enjoy the sun.
We need the dark to finally appreciate and never take for granted the light.
Water is needed because our earth needs to drink.
And sometimes, we all need a good cry, even the skies.

The sound, the rhythmic sound.
The sound against my roof, up against the windows, the sound that reminds me that all is being renewed.

So send me your long, cold, rainy days.
The ones I can watch out my window, light candles, cozy myself up.
Send me the wind and the storms, it's okay to tantrum out of control, even the weather needs to have a bad day.
Send me water and the sound and the rhythm that brings about a calm and reminds me to breathe.
Send me your storms while I take a long car ride so that I can see its full story in all of its glory.

I am not just okay with rainy days, I crave them. I wish them, I look for and am drawn to them.
They allow me to finally pause, take a moment and admire the power of weather.
Just stop, listen, watch it as it falls down all around.
And then, watch how green everything looks, how renewed it all is.
We need the rain, we all need water.
Some of us more than others.

Stop.

8
Jul

I am better, with you.

Find your circle
find your family
find your framily
find those that make you better and hold on, never let them go.
Surround yourself with those that make you the best you.

Because mom did and it has been why I am able to do
be
breathe
become
create
do more
ask more of myself
because everywhere I turn I can say...

You make me better,
a better person,
a better mom,
a better bride.
I am better with you.

You make my eyes wake up,
you allow my feet to touch the ground,
even on cold and early days.

You make me a better person.

You make me forgive quickly, you help me come back to reality.
You laugh at my crazy with me
you make me feel not so crazy.
I am better with you

You made me believe in something big.
You made me believe in family.
You made me believe in love at first sight.
You made me believe in happily ever after.
You made me believe people care.

You make me joyful.
You make me seek joy.
You make me smile bigger,
laugh a little harder.
I am better with you.

There are people that will come and go.
There are people that leave on purpose.
There are people you will push out.
There will be people that you love but life gets too busy.
There will be people you wish lived closer.
There will be times you feel lonely.
There will be times you feel whole.
There will always be people that make you feel worse.
There will always be people that try and step on you.
There will always be people that make themselves feel better by making you feel bad.
But, not your circle.
Not the real family you need in your life.
Not the real framily you create.
Not the ones that you decide, this is who I belong with.

So, go and find those you can honestly say...
I am better, with you.

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