Mia Lily Houser

In 14 years, what I love most about you is:

How you check to make sure I'm in bed before you cuddle in
How you sit at my feet while I work
How you kiss my nose
How you were the reason I met my person
How you are the reason we made it through some difficult days/weeks/times
How strong you were after you were hit by a car and came home to us
How you found me
How you tilt your head to one side trying to understand me
How you know so many commands/words
How easy it was to house train you
How many walks you led me on
How many hikes you made us fall in love with
How much you love to snow shoe
Your colors
Your soft fur
How you smell after a bath
How patient you are with the kids
How much you have a bounce in your step, even though you're almost 15
How much you taught me about love and how even after I have had two kids, I still feel you were my first

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What I love most about you...
is everything.


Five Minute Friday - lost

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 lost.

In my thoughts
In myself
In my fears
In my insecurities
In my decisions
In my inability to act
In anger
In family
In my worries
In my anxiety
In my job
In our family
In your little
In your words
In our fights
In our struggles
In holding hands
In days that turn into years
In no more babies


In children we are raising
In races
In miles that don't end
In #RunMomRun
In commotion
In busy
In loud
In the desperate need for quiet
In time

In smooches
In cuddles
In warm mornings
In amazing nights


In you
In both of you
In me
In him
In love




Recently, I heard a mom describe parenthood as breaking up with yourself.

And it got me thinking about what I miss most about me, and my life, before you became a part of it.

Movie nights at the movies
A clean and tidy house
A body I loathed in my 20s
Quiet...I think I miss this the most
Leaving the house in 2 minutes
Not worrying about the scheduling of daycare and who is going to watch them?
Dinner, just us two
Snow shoeing
Mia's youth
Not having to constantly repeat myself...over and over
Not being the "example" all.day.long.

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But, it also got me thinking about what I will miss the most when this part of our life is done.
And of course, it's all the things that I miss about my life before I broke up with it.




I will miss you singing
I will miss you two playing
I will miss kissing you goodnight and drinking you in
I will miss you sitting so close to me
I will miss how much attention you want from me
I will miss how you smell after a bath
I will miss how excited you are about being outside
I will miss how sprinklers are your favorite part of everyday
I will miss how you play
I will miss you curious you are
I will miss bed time stories
I will miss family movie nights
I will miss messy faces
I will miss sibling love that I get to watch develop and grow
I will miss you two eating together
I will miss Cole wanting to do everything you do Anna

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I will miss getting you up and seeing you spring into your day
I will miss putting you down and watching you curl up into love of sleep
I will miss the childhood
I will miss the little
I will miss how small you both are
I will miss tiny voices
I will miss the hugs that happen with your whole body and
I will miss the smooches that happen with your whole face
I will miss this time, our time, just us five
I will miss Mia
I will miss childhood joy
I will miss you
I will miss this life

Because soon enough, I will have to break up with myself all over again. I will have to let motherhood go and allow you to be and create and accomplish.

I will have to watch you make mistakes and hold my tongue.
I will have to watch you to off to college.
I will have to watch you get that job.
I will have to watch you drive off.
I will have to watch you rent your first apartment,
buy your first home.
Get married (if you decide to),
have kids (if you decide to),
form your own family (no matter how you define it).
I will let go of your little hands.
I will say goodbye to another chapter and each and every year, I let a little more of you go.

But, you have given me so much to remember.
So much to keep me warm.

I will miss you my loves.
I will miss us.


Five minute Friday - release

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 release.

I have worked so hard at letting it all go.
I try and stay present in my world.
The one I created for me and for them.
I work at letting the past go and the hurt, the fear, the insecurities, the anger, the worry, the anxiety.
And most of the time,
I am fine.
I am able to.
I am able to accept who they are today, who they were back then.
I am able to say that they did not have coping skills.
I won't do the same with my family, but that doesn't mean that all of them was awful.
They tried,
they worked hard.
They did the best they could,
with what they had.

But, I am human.
I get triggered.
Do you hear that world?
I don't have it together all of the time.
There are moments I become that angry and hateful 8 year old.
There are moments that I crumble.
That I feel defeated.
And considering all I work towards, you have to give me this time world.
You have to allow me to feel small.
I promise to find a way to pick myself back up.
I promise to continue to move forward and I promise not to blame them for every thing in me, around me and about me.
I promise to make it all different for them and for the kids I haven't even met.
I promise to work on me.
I promise to build me.
I promise to find my release.
Because release of all of that anger, all of that fear, all of that hold, it was the most liberating thing I ever did.



Simply the best

Dear Anna and Cole,

Many years ago, a girl met a boy.
That boy married that girl.
And because he got down on one knee and took her hand in his,
she was able to give the two of you the greatest gift...your dad.


He is simply, the best.
At all things dad.
And I know it, you know it, you feel it, but he is always questioning himself.
Questioning his reactions.
He questions if you realize how much he loves you.
He questions if you feel his love and his devotion.

So, on this day, let's tell him why he is a superhero.

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It's because...
If given a choice Cole, you would climb on top of dad and snuggle right in.
He gets on his hands and knees and plays horsey with you.
He registers for all sports, all classes, and attends every single one.
He always holds my hand.
He gets you up and out of the house and does it with such ease.
He makes up your lunches.
You both run to the door when you hear the garage door open.
You both want to hug and squeeze him.
Playing outside with dad is your favorite activity and Anna, you even write about it.
When you're hurt Cole, he is your comfort.
He is the only one that gives you baths.
He is so patient when teaching you to tie your shoes, or do worksheets, or a new skill or...
You love hearing bed time stories from him.
After all these years, he still takes me to see Dave Matthews in the summer and it's one of his favorite things.
He introduced me to "Calvin and Hobbes".
He introduced me to basketball, and baseball and the love of team and rooting your team on.
When you're scared, you call for dad.
Before he met you, he loved you. He wanted you, just the two of you, and you found him.
You bring out the adult in him.
He lets me spend hours working, never once mad, resentful, questioning.
He lets me spend hours training for a race, never once mad, resentful, questioning.
He always gets me dessert at night.
He quickly pours me wine to let the day melt away.
He held my hand through my MS, never even thought of leaving.
He gave me shots for years and years and years, through the cries, through the pain, through the screams of stop.
You learned how to hug from him.
He's competitive and athletic.
Everyday, I am reminded how gorgeous he is, because you both look like him.
You were both his idea, and it was a great one.
If you ever want to know what real love is, find the picture of dad holding you for the first time.

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He downloads all of your favorite songs so you can listen to them in the car.
He has introduced you both to great movies.
When I fall asleep on the couch, he carries me upstairs.
When either of you fall asleep in the car, he carries you too.
He wants you both to achieve so much, and you will.
He expects you to work hard, and you will.
He realizes how smart you both are, and tells you.
He does your hair better.
He has always cuts your nails...always.
He is the reason we love sports.
He is the reason I believe in joy.
He made me believe in family.
He wanted a girl.
He wanted a boy.
He fell in love with being your dad.

He is your dad.
He will always love you.
He will always be proud of you.
He will always work hard for you and expects you to work hard too.
He will always hold you up.
He will always back you up.
He will always dream with you.
He will always remind you we are a team.
He will always tell you to push harder.
He will always amaze me.
He will always love us.

He is your dad.
Simply, the best gift I could have ever given you.


Five Minute Friday - messenger

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 messenger.

Do you ever feel like that's all you are?
The messenger?
The one that has to keep the consistent message.
The message of respect, of appreciation, of hard work.
The message of love, of kindness, of gratitude.
The message of hope, of believing in love, in believing in this family.
The message of family, and team work, and unity.
The message of independence, and confidence, in belief in yourself.
The message of childhood, of laughter, of all things small.
The message of strength, and courage, and grace.
The message of pain, and how it will come, and how you will find the other side.
The message of life.

I hear you talk to him.
I hear you pretend to be me.
And I hear you lose patience, raise your voice, I hear you yell.
And then, I get the message you are sending.

Because through you, I grow.
Through you, I am learning.
Through you, I see me.

I hear your message.
I hear you both.



Graduation for her


"I was thinking this morning about what I struggle with most, beginnings, endings... and then I realized they're the same thing." - Girl's Gone Child

Today, you close the door on pre-k.
That part of your life ends.
And a new one begins.

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Today, you are going to walk into that school,
you are going to stand on a stage.
Today, you are going to sing some songs.
You will give your friends hugs.

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Today, parents will be taking pictures.
Today, video cameras will be rolling.
Some, most, I, will be smiling.
So wide, it will hurt.
Some, most, I, will have tears.
And the pain of pushing them away will be a physical one.
Some, most, I, will have lumps in our throats.
Pain in our hearts.
Our bellies will ache.

That's what it is.
Change has always been and will always be difficult for me.
Milestones will always come with rejoice and pride.
Milestones will always come with sadness and loss.
Each day that goes by, I lose you.
I have to let go a little more.
I have to let you grow a little bigger.
I have to let you experience a little more.
I have to let you be independent.
I have to let you be you.


Five Minute Friday - hands

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 hands.

They are so small.
They fit so perfectly in mine.
You Anna, love to hold hands,
you Cole, still fight for your freedom.


The first thing you both did when I got to hold and see you for the first time, if hold my finger with your entire hand.

And as the years push forward, as the infants are starting school in September.
As the one year old turns two...it is one of the things I will miss most.

"Mom, dad, let's hold hands and you can swing me".
"Mom, don't let go of my hand".
"Mommy, let's go...over here."

It's how your dad and I got started too.
Just two kids holding hands while we walked, while we drove, while we ate.
It's what we still do when we reach for each other.
Trying to tell each other that those two young people are still somewhere inside each of us.

They are so small.
They are calling for us.
They are how you reach for us.
Please, don't let go.



In 2 years

In two years you have taught us
that people can run away and towards love all at the same time.
Patience, and how much of it we lack.
Patience, and how much of it you are building in us.
That a frustrated one year old can spend almost an entire year crying.
To trust your heart.
That you are strong.
That you are determined.
That you will fight.
That we will fight for you and with you.
That anything that is worth this much is worth fighting for,
and that you are always worth it.
That we will always carry you.
That you are love.
That you are family.
That you completed our family.
That everything is so exciting for you.
That you love food.
That you love sports.
That you love love love your dad.
That you are the only man I have ever loved at first sight.
That you are the only man I will ever love at first sight.
That strangers fall madly in love with you.
And it's because you are the definition of "love at first sight".
That where you start from doesn't define where you end up.
That we are going to miss these times and when we look back on them, we will only remember the squishy moments of love.

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In two years you have learned
that you love your sister and want to do everything she does at the exact moment she is doing it.
To roll over.
To crawl.
To walk.
To run.
To gather yourself and find your words.
To speak,
in sentences.
To express love through hugs
and through "I love yous"
and through smooches.
That we will forever love you.
That you can melt hearts.
That a hug can help so much.
That you love Mia.
That you are strong enough to handle yourself.
That you can take care of you.

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Cole, you have found a way to be our sunshine when clouds are gray. You have made us real and given us a glimpse at all that is gorgeous. You remind us that nothing in life is perfect, nothing is what you expect. All of it is glorious work, but the kind of work you wish you could do forever. You remind us of our priorities. You remind us to find laughter, to always find laughter and love.

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What I love most about you...
your curls!
your incredible smile
your laugh, god, I love it when you laugh
your hugs and kisses
when you say "I love you mom" or "I love you dad" or "I love you Anna"
when you say "sorry"
when you say "excuse me"
when you run
when you count
when you sing along to a song that's playing in the car
watching you and Anna eat breakfast together
when you speak Italian
saying goodnight to you, moments that I will carry with me forever
what I love most about you sweet and low...
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is everything.

You'll never know dear, how much we love you. Please don't take my sunshine away.

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