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.

10
Jun

Random

RainyDayInMay might be my favorite follow right now! (And just read that title again and tell me we are not lost soul sisters!)
Thank you for this amazing random idea...

1.Describe your 30’s in one sentence.
Her's (which I totally agree with): The decade filled with wall-to-wall unpredictability and change.
Mine: Your 30s are about building your life.

2. Is it harder for you to exercise or eat healthy?
Eat healthy, I have a love with food and I want to end every meal with something sweet. As I am getting older, I have conflicting thoughts and a complicated relationship with sugar.

3. June 7th is National VCR Day.
I am sad to say that we cannot even play a DVD in our house and I can barely watch a movie. My kids are better at it and my husband knows all the things, but I am not up to date with any form of tech.

Here is a list of items RainyDayInMay found of things we all had and needed that are becoming obsolete-

bookshelves (WHAT!!???), drip coffee makers, alarm clocks, file cabinets, desktop computers, printers, printed phone books, answering machines, fax machines, paper shredders, a Rolodex, CD racks, CD burners, china cabinets, home phones, entertainment consoles, DVD players, calculators, takeout menus, incandescent light bulbs, and cable TV

Your thoughts? How many on the list do you still have? Still use?
We still own bookshelves and are building more shelves this year, we have a filing cabinet and a printer. We have a shredder and a china cabinet and a small entertainment console (but mainly for books and decorations - very little is media related). I have a calculator (many actually and one that is my fav).

4. What’s something you see disappearing in the next ten years?
I agree with Cable TV and streaming being much more relevant.
There are so many things that will no longer be...but for some of us that brings about a bit of fear and loss.

5. How did you celebrate your birthday this past year? Is that typical?
It's a hard day and brings up a lot of sadness. We did nothing last year (which is typical but never expected and actually wanted but just easier) and this year is a big one. I am working on my different year so I am planning this one from head to toe. I have a running list going because it is time I am celebrated too. I wasn't a mistake, I wasn't an afterthought and I am here and doing a lot. I am taking the power of this day into my control and I am celebrating me.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
RainyDayInMay posted a gorgeous piece about Kate Spade. With the loss of Anthony Bourdain just days later this week was a huge reminder of how delicate life is, how hurt some people are by it and how joy seems to always be just out of our grasp.
I want my kids to know that although I am trying to be a good mom, I will keep growing into this role with you. I don't have all the answers, I don't have most of them, but I hope together we can figure it out.
I am struggling this week with energy and laughter and fun.
I am forgetting how important enjoying the process is.
I am forgetting how important childhood is and feel their good hearts slipping away from me.
I am forgetting how important our family unit is.
I just love you guys.

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.

4
May

Five Minute Friday - adapt

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 adapt.
Go.

Do I adapt well?
Do I adapt to situations, or am I too stiff, unable to bend?
For a person who collects memories
for a person who holds on too hard to yesterday
for a person that worries too much about tomorrow
do I adapt?

I know there are times I feel as though I have allowed a new normal.
But that is not always a good thing.
A new normal of long hours
a new normal of forgetting to eat
a new normal of this is just how things are right now.
But when I really need to adapt to life changes, how do I do?

For all the moms that have a hard time letting go
I hear you, I feel you, I get you.
For all the moms that want to hit pause, take all the years of wishing time away, back
I hear you, I feel you, I get you.
For all the moms that have a hard time accepting, adapting to the new milestone, the new family dynamic,
I hear you, I feel you, I get you.
For all the moms that struggle with letting small go, saying goodbye to babies,
I hear you, I feel you, I get you.
It's ok.
It just means that your memories are warm,
they are rich
they are filled with life and love and happy
and who would want to move on from that?

In the end, we all adapt, because we have to.
We all move on, because they make us.
They take or hand, they lead this dance
and we slowly shuffle our feet along to their beat.

Stop.

29
Apr

You taught me

To believe in second chances.
To trust me.
To find my soft side.
To redefine family.

You taught me to laugh
and giggle
and believe in happily ever after
and love at first sight.

You taught me to take long walks
and listen, really listen.
You taught me to hug away cries.

You taught me to pay attention but to the important stuff.
You taught me how big little is.
You taught me to always pay attention to what seems to be little, because it is always big to you.

You taught me to believe that I am pretty
you taught me to look at myself so differently
you taught me to say things about myself differently
you taught me to say, good job mom.

You taught me that I have an important role
but you also taught me that you have one too.

You taught me to dance around the kitchen
you taught me to be silly
you taught me how important silly is.

You taught me that unconditional love is hard
you taught me that sometimes you run away and back towards love
you taught me that parenting is hard
but you taught me that it's all somehow worth it.

You taught me how important reading dates are
you taught me to fall madly deeply back in love with reading
you taught me that night time snuggles and ending a long day on a note of love is always and forever how we say goodnight.

You taught me not to care if it matches
you taught me how adorable words can be
you taught me how to love in such a different way.

So, I am here, eyes heart and ears wide open, ready and willing for all the teaching.

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.

16
Mar

Five Minute Friday - provide

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 provide.
Go.

There isn't much I leave up to anyone else to provide.
There isn't much that I am not the one that is giving, taking care of.
But in a class yesterday, one I take for me, one I take to remind myself to breathe,
I was reminded of how loudly the universe speaks to me, when I take the time to listen.

Because when I am ready to hear it, when I am ready to listen,
the universe provides me answers
and calm
and space
and opportunities to grow.

The universe reminds me that it is not all up to me,
I have partners
I have trust in my life and I can lean on them too.

The universe provides me balance and stops me from doubling down.
And there are times when it has to take things away from me to provide me with the reminder of what is important.

To provide me answers
it takes away my ability to move without pain
it takes away my ability to hold things without shaking
it makes me dizzy, seeing black spots dizzy, whenever I try and push through it all

To provide me sleep and rest
it takes away my ability to think clearly and makes my brain full of fog
it takes me from doctor to doctor trying test after test to finally come to the conclusion that I have to stop

To provide me with the love of my lives
it has my daughter wiping away tears in front of me daily
it has my son unraveling because he no longer feels a connection
it has my marriage exhausted

When I stop to accept and listen, the universe provides me with the answers I am always asking myself
when is too much too much
when is it time for me to pull back
how long can I do this for
how much more can I give

And yesterday I was reminded that I can still be provided with the lessons even when I am in balance
even when I am ready to be different.
I should not only listen when everything is dark
there are answers it is providing even when it all feels ok.

Like be with your kids on their day off
like set up family time and little dates with them
like they all need the real you, not the tired version of you that they see all too often
like love provides so much for them and you so just let love be your guide.

Stop.

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