It's quiet

Another holiday, another year going by too quickly. Our company is gone, all holiday parties are complete, and it's just us now. Our little family, in our warm and cozy home, and the snow is falling so peacefully outside this little house of ours.

2013 and my little boy turned one. No more infants, no more cries in the middle of the night, no more bottles. But, no more cradling, no more "all I need is mom" feeling, no more littleness that is too much to take. No more infants. Now, we have a walker and a talker, and a frustrated little boy who in a blink can go from crying to a smile that melts ice. A "hi mom" from across the room that is overwhelming. A little boy that loves love, a little boy...

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2013 and my first is four. Four? She is in a big girl bed, in a big girl room, a room that is all Anna. A room filled with Anna princesses and horses and books. A room that is all hers. A four year old that goes to school, and has friends, and tells stories and wants to see pride in your eyes. Not a baby, but now a little girl...

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2013 and the two love on each other. Siblings who fight, and yell and love and snuggle. A four year old that constantly wants to hold him and hug him and an almost two year old that wants freedom. Two little faces, ones that I created and that define love.

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2013 and my little peanut Mia is 14. Her hearing is starting to go and you can see, she is a little sad. Although still a love in my life, she has to share attention now and she clearly remembers the "just us three" days. She cuddles and loves on me. She checks on me every night to make sure I am in bed before snuggling in herself. She is a bit slower, can't walk as far but still smiles and has a little puppy in her when she wants to play.

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2013 brought me this blog and for me, that means it brought me healing and peace. An ability to explain my second chance at childhood. 2013 brought me a confidence and joy in my work. After years of struggling to be comfortable in my own skin, I feel I have a grip on the work, my focus and my goals.

2013 has been a gentle and sweet year. It has given me the time to reflect on them, on us, on this choice of parenthood we made. We carry the weight of family and look forward to what the future now holds.


As I tuck them in

And tonight, I will tuck their little faces into bed. I will whisper things like, "he only comes after you've fallen asleep", in their ear and "I will always love you". I will tell her how I will carry her heart with me, I carry it in my heart, and she will tell me that she carries my heart too. I will tell him that I will eat him up I love him so and he will tell me "love you!" I will kiss their little noses and give hugs of care. I will let the magic take over their night, their dreams. Their dreams will take them to a magical place, filled with wonder and amazement. Today, they are small, they believe, they fill our home with laughter, and excitement, and noise, and toys, and messes. They fill our hearts and our souls. They fill us up so much there are times I feel it overflowing.


Tonight, we will tell them to believe, that he is coming. We will leave him our home baked cookies, the ones we made as a family. We will leave him your letter, the one we worked on together. We will put them in their pjs and travel all around town looking at how everyone decorates their homes. They will fall asleep in the car and we will carry their little bodies in. We will tell them to believe.


If I could keep you this small, this filled with wonder, I would. I would keep you small, and little. I would keep you with me, snuggled in with me. I would keep you believing in all of it.


But tonight, I am not going to think of the someday. Tonight, I am going to believe with you. And in the morning, while we creep down the stairs, I will look to your reaction. I will watch to see your smiles, hear your laughs. I will hear your excitement and we will have our time, our little family. We will open the gifts, we will let you play, we will have our traditional breakfast and watch a holiday movie. Because tonight, I believe with you.


26 points of light

One year ago, we lost 26 points of light. It was a day we all felt that evil won, good vs bad wasn't even a battle, and little faces and brave adults were taken from us. I have read and seen testimonies from those that "survived" and I have heard the outpouring of love and sadness. It was a day to remember a loss, a loss that empties our souls and leaves a hole, almost too big to fill.

The one year anniversary of Sandy Hook.

As I read and heard moms, parents and loved ones speak, they are not filled with rage. They are not filled with anger, they are filled with love and they have decided to choose good. They have decided to let love into their hearts because love is the only light that can lead you out of darkness. Their 26 points of light were taken in hatred, they were stolen from their loved ones because hate took them away. But, their memory lives on in the light of love. And all they ask, is that each day, we all choose good and we all take care of each other.

Evil did not win.

Love, it's much more quiet than hatred. Hatred gets broadcast and there is attention drawn to it. But acts of love, they happen in the quiet moments. They happen sometimes when no one is looking and they happen because we decide to love.

Hearing from them, their words, their outpouring of loss and how through this year they have somehow managed to find love again. They have managed to get up, each day and forge forward. They see the ones they have lost as points of light and love in their life and they try to carry on in their memory and live a life they would have wanted them to live.

As a mom, just like any mother, any parent, any person that has the weight of family and love, I always tend to forget how fleeting our time together is. I take advantage of the days, I yell when a gentle reminder would have been good enough, I scream when a quiet time out would have been more effective, I hurry, I plan and I juggle. Just like we all do, I try. But, what this week has reminded me is that I get to kiss them goodnight, every night, that I get to see their faces light up in the morning, simply from seeing us again. This week reminded me that there is magic in childhood.

We all remember the day, we all remember the loss, and we all remember the fear. But, what I was reminded of on this anniversary is to hold them, and kiss them, and dance with them, and sing silly, and let them play together. I was reminded of how important this time together is, how overwhelming love can be. I was reminded that the weight of family is heavy because it has to fill you up and make you feel whole. Love is the weight of family.

And so, today, our piece of the world is covered in white. There is snow to be plowed, and played with, and snowmen to build. There are little snow suits and little gloves to put on and little hats that warm little ears. There is an excitement that only snow can bring and an innocence only children can remind you of. So yes, I will play with you. Yes, let's bake those holiday cookies together. Yes, let's go and see the snow, let's make Sunday breakfast and let's remember that we love. We always choose love.

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A few weeks back, on a Five Minute Friday, the group was asked to write on the word truth.

I needed more than five minutes.

I started this site so that I could show the world that it's never too late to have a happy childhood, but in order to understand where I stand today, I need to bring light to where I came from. Not to dredge up the past, not to cast blame on them or make them feel bad for what has happened and been gone over and over and over again. Simply to state that there are reasons this is so important to me, there are reasons for my insecurities, reasons for my setbacks and reasons for the fight I have inside of myself and the struggles that go with it all. So, here are my truths.

The truth is, I didn't have a childhood and I didn't love and respect my parents when I was growing up. I didn't grow up feeling safe and nurtured and supported. The truth is, I was robbed of this important time of development and comfort and trust. Because of this, I am always on guard, I am always willing to walk away, and I am afraid of my world. The truth is, I will fight forever for my kids to have happiness in their lives and that they feel warmth and comfort. I will make sure they have a childhood because I know it will lead to independence and the type of adults this world needs.

The truth is, I don't just believe in my job and my agency because I am paid to be there. I believe in us because I didn't just have mentors, mentors saved me. When you are raised to believe you are not strong enough, you are not good enough, you will never be what you want and be able to do what you feel you have in you, it is mentors that pull you out. They were the ones that pushed me to go away to college, they were the ones that told me to get out of my situation, they were the ones that told me to go, and be, and achieve. Most importantly, it was mentors that saw something in me I never saw in myself. To this day, in this role as CEO of an agency, it is mentors that I credit for me being here. I didn't apply for this job, because I never thought I could do it. When I was asked to step in, I immediately said no. It was my mentor and friend that told me to believe in me, because he did.

The truth is, I won't just do this for my own kids but as many kids as I can in my community. The truth is, we are all responsible for igniting a fire in kids that is already there, we just need them to know that we believe in the flame.

The truth is, I spent most of my childhood afraid and observing a definition of family that I wanted no part in. So, the honest truth is, I never wanted to get married and I didn't want kids. The truth is, it wasn't until my person showed me a different definition was the idea even a possibility. And the truth is, I am so so thankful that he did. This is what we were suppose to do and again, he saw it in me before I saw it in myself.

The truth is, when I found out we were having a baby I was scared I wouldn't love her, I was scared that it would ruin our marriage, I was scared that I didn't know how to be a mom, a loving mom, a supportive mom, a mom that could raise independence and warmth and genuine happy. The truth is, I still battle with mother because the responsibility is so heavy and I have one chance at getting it right for them.

The truth is, from the time I was eight years old, I didn't work out because it was the healthy thing to do. I did it to lose weight. And today, all these years later, it takes actual work to not look at my body with hatred and speak that hate everyday. I have a daughter now and that means I can't have her measuring beauty by the size of her cloths or what she looks like. She has to measure her beauty by who she is. She has to want to be healthy and she has to show her beauty through her thoughts and words only. She listens to me, she looks to me after I am dressed to find out what I think about how I look. The truth is, I will not allow her to hear what I think in my mind and MAYBE for the first time since I was 8, I will stop even thinking it because I won't allow myself to say it. Maybe my daughter will allow me to feel beautiful because she looks at me like I am the most gorgeous person she has ever laid eyes on.

The truth is, there are moments, long days even, when I don't think my love for all of them is enough. Why, because there are so many moments when I don't like them and I don't like who I am around them. Including my person. The truth is, I fight to not walk away because the moments are so heavy and so exhausting and I fear me in them. The truth is, all parents, all partners, feel this way and most are too afraid and guilty to say the words. We don't have to like them 100% of the time, we just have to love them always.

The truth is, if I ever see fear in their eyes because of me, I will walk away. Because I would rather not be in their lives at all than have them ever look in my direction with fear. That is my promise to them. I lived so many years in fear, and there are times that fear creeps up again. But, I will never allow them to go there. They will not be afraid of this home, this person, this mother. They will know that I am here for them, I will not ever harm or shame them. The truth is, fear of their childhood is my nightmare and I will fight all I have to not allow that to ever happen.

The truth is, I still feel like my body failed both of them during labor. And I still feel it's them whispering "see, I told you you're not strong enough".

The truth is, I do feel judged by how many hours I pour into work. Not by those closest to me, but by those that hear of my schedule and don't understand how I can spend that much time away from them. The truth is, I feel the guilt that my separation has but I love my job. And a mom that loves her job and her kids has to be okay with her choices. She has to be okay with her separation and maybe just to justify herself and her time, she has to think that it makes her a better person, a better mother. Because yes, the truth is that I am exhausted, and my bones are tired, and I am on a very strict schedule ALL of the time, and most of my days are planned and decided. And with so many balls in the air, all I can do is continue to plan and not drop one. But the truth is, this is okay. I am not escaping them, I am doing this for their world too and I am fighting for change. This means there are days I am resentful of the exhaustion and the weight, but most of the days, weeks, months, I am full.

The truth is, I didn't realize that when I had them, I would have this second chance at childhood. I thought I would try to love, and balance, and love more. But I never realized what I would take away from it. I didn't realize that family would bring such intense feelings and that it would be what I needed to let go of my pain, my past, my hatred, my anger. Because the truth is, when you feel this full, this happy with your life, you can't be that person and still hold on to hate. You can't continue to blame for what you didn't have and how you weren't raised because none of that matters anymore. The truth is, I made a decision to stop blaming them for who I am today. They no longer can control who I am, or how I live, or what I feel. The truth is, it is up to me now, and I have decided to let go.

The truth is, I love them. All of them. At times, the love is so heavy that the weight makes me feel like I am being crushed. I love them because they are so smart, they are so determined, they are so funny and silly and happy. They want me to be proud, they want to see the pride in my eyes as they achieve and accomplish. I love them because they reach for me and call for me. I love them because of who they turned me into, what they have allowed me to see and become and what they have made me. The truth is, I live a glorious life and I am in love.


Five minute Fridays - reflect

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 reflect.


Each year, I try to spend a quiet moment reflecting on the last 12 months, what I have been able to accomplish as a mom, bride, friend, CEO of an agency. I try and see where I could have given more of me, where I could have been more quiet in my forceful nature, where I could have shown more love or patience. But for some reason, this year, I feel like I am looking back on all of the pieces of my life and what brought me here, to the person I am today. Maybe it's the blog that is forcing me to think back to the 21 year old I was. The college student that hadn't met Cory yet, hadn't even dreamed of kids, or this career or this life. If all of those things didn't happen, where would I be? What would I be doing? Would I feel this full, would I feel this tired, would I feel this much emotion, would I have found a way to relive a childhood? Looking back that far for some reason brings tears to my eyes because I was in a very dark place. A place I wanted to make about loneliness and dark independence.

Instead, I am here, I am with all of them and I feel the weight of family everyday.



Truly thankful


I am thankful for love.
I am thankful for little feet running across our floors.
I am thankful for sibling shrieks of excitement and play.
I am thankful for their love.

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I am thankful for being nudged to make sure I am in bed.
I am thankful for sweet nose kisses.
I am thankful for 13 years of you.
I am thankful that I adopted you but you saved me.
I am thankful that you still adore me, and sit by me, and run to me, and look for me.
I am thankful for your warmth, and your comfort.
I am thankful for your love.

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I am thankful for you entering our lives.
I am thankful that you trust me to be your mom.
I am thankful that you talk to me about things that are on your mind.
I am thankful that you still want to be tucked in.
I am thankful that you still love to snuggle with me.
I am thankful that you still want love and affection from me.
I am thankful that you love him and always want to be with him.
I am thankful for our Friday family nights.
I am thankful that you are careful.
I am thankful that you are an old soul.
I am thankful for your heart.
I am thankful for your love.

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I am thankful for your determination.
I am thankful that you have my grumpy face.
I am thankful that you love your family.
I am thankful for your smile.
I am thankful for your words.
I am thankful that you call for me.
I am thankful for your hugs that warm the soul.
I am thankful for your curls!
I am thankful that you are gentle with Mia.
I am thankful that you are warm.
I am thankful that this world is brand new to you.
I am thankful that you are loving.
I am thankful that you are love.
I am thankful for your love.

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I am thankful that I get to relive an entire childhood because of you.
I am thankful that you have taught me more about family than I could have ever imagined.
I am thankful that I took this chance.
I am thankful that you both found us.
I am thankful that you are gentle souls.
I am thankful for this precious time we get to have together.
I am thankful that I will never forget our memories, I will never forget our days.
I am thankful that I got to be with each of you by myself for nine months.
I am thankful that I get to be your mom.
Thank you for letting me be your mom.

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I am thankful that I met you.
I am thankful that you asked me to be yours.
I am thankful that you are my person.
I am thankful that you took my hand.
I am thankful that you love me.
I am thankful for your patience and understanding, of my craziness, of my fears, of the future.
I am thankful that you realize how important creating a family is for me.
I am thankful that you still want to be with me, be us, be happy.
I am thankful for your love.

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I am thankful for my messy life.
I am thankful for my work that challenges my mind but fills my soul.
I am thankful for long days that make my bones tired.
I am thankful for a world, a life, a family that I created, that I get to nurture and build.
I am thankful for this fleeting time and I am thankful that I have a future to look forward to.
I am thankful for little ones, and little faces, and little giggles, and little voices.
I am thankful for this second chance at childhood.
I am so thankful for this second chance at childhood.

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