This week, I wrote about giving.
And as parents, how much of ourselves we give.
But, the truth is, you give back.
You fill us full with what you give and for that, we are thankful.

We are thankful for
your smiles
your love
your small voices
your second chances
your laughter
your childhood
your hands
your night-time hugs and love
your smooches
your little mouths
your gorgeous eyes
your curls that remind me you came from me too
your happy
your love of family movie nights
your love of Sunday mornings
your forgiveness
your ability to make me a mom
your kind hearts
your lessons
your excitement
your energy
your love of magic and wonder
your love of snow
your love of reading
this, we are thankful for this...


We give a lot of ourselves to you
we sacrifice a lot
we nurture
we try and grow you
move you forward.

But, what you give back,
it's always more.
It's not just enough,
because what you give back is what matters in this world.
It's what drives us.
We love to love you.
We love to give to you.
We are lucky to have you
We are thankful.



Five Minute Friday - give

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 give.

Give thanks.
Give love.
Give you time.
Give you my time.
Give of me.

Give attention.
Give so many hugs.
Give smooches that fill us full.
Give of me.

Give you my hand.
Give you my heart.
Give you my undying love.
Give you faith and something to believe in.
Give you childhood.
Give of me.

Give you family.
Give you a foundation to build off of.
Give you kindness.
Give you space.
Give you security.
Give of me.

Give you life.
Give you this life.
Give you memories.
Give you grace.
Give me grace.
Give of me.

Give you away.
Give you trust.
Give of me.



Lost but found

This summer, I wrote about how parenting is like breaking up with yourself. and just the other day, a mom shared her funny story of lost and found. Here is mine...

Lost - the ability to complete a thought without several pauses.
Found - the ability to smile because you are.

Lost - the ability to have time alone.
Found - constant family love.

Lost - the ability to run out of the house, just to grab something.
Found - a team that we call family.

Lost - the ability to sleep in, take our sweet time getting up and watching TV and movies all day long.
Found - Sunday morning family breakfast.

Lost - the ability to date you and quickly plan something special.
Found - Friday night family movies.

Lost - my fear of starting this life.
Found - my fear of having this life.

Lost - Mia being the center of my attention.
Found - a love for Mia and her ability to let them know she was here first.

Lost - smooth skin, silky hair, stomach muscles, breasts.
Found - a new definition of beauty and seeing myself through your eyes.

Lost - carefree days.
Found - carrying you.

Lost - youth.
Found - childhood.

Lost - money, time, city living.
Found - moments that matter.

Lost - long walks on Saturday to find coffee.
Found - making coffee for each other, realizing our survival is at the bottom of that cup.

Lost - searching for where I belong.
Found - you.



Five Minute Friday - notice

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 notice.

I notice you.
I notice your eyes,
your smile,
the way you both stick your tongue out when you're really concentrating on something...really focusing.
I notice your curls,
your silk hair.
I notice how you smell when you get out of the tub,
how soft you make the world at nighttime.
I notice your love,
your compassion,
your heart.
I notice how you fight
constantly fight
but miss each other the moment you step away.
I notice your hands,
your smallness,
your hug.
I notice your soul,
and what we are trying to create.
I notice your strength,
I notice your ability to stand up for yourself.
I notice your stubborn.
I notice your warmth,
your gentle,
your ability to dictate if a day or a night is good or terrible.
I notice your want, your desire to learn,
and talk,
and perform.
I notice your laugh,
how much it sounds like childhood.
I notice it all.
I have always and will always notice you.
You will never need to seek the notice of others,
you will never want for attention.
So all you have to concentrate on,
all you need to worry about,
is being you.
You do you.
You work and concentrate and be you.
Do not worry about putting the spotlight on yourself.
Concentrate on the good you can bring into this world.
Concentrate on the amazing you can do.
I notice your ability to have given me this second chance at childhood and I will always notice you my loves.




Oh, sweet girl, I have already explained how things are different for women.
And how most of it is wonderful.
There are so many women that will come in and out of your life.
The wonder and amazement of girlfriends.

Late nights together.
Talking over coffee, wine, food...always food.
There will come a time when relationships with these girls becoming women will mean everything.
And I will be okay with that.
I will understand that because I was one of those girls becoming a woman that needed other girls becoming women in my life.
And I got so lucky.
I didn't connect with the mean ones.
I didn't let the mean suffocate me.
And, not because it wasn't all around me.
It was.
I went to a huge high school.
Sports were a huge part of the culture (and I wasn't athletic).
Cliques were all around me (and I didn't fit into any).
I went to a college that was mainly women.
Easy to fall into cliches, and drama, and envy.
And somehow, I found them.
I was able to find love, comfort and so much support.
These are relationships that are still with me today.

IMG_5022 rh010706_211
The ones that instead of crying over that boy together, we now talk about how tough parenting can be on our marriage.
The ones that instead of worrying about that test, we now talk about our careers and our goals.
The ones that instead of worrying about what to wear out, we now talk about how much our bodies have changed.
The ones that instead of laughing about last nights bad choices, we now laugh about our kids,
theses lives we all created.
I am so lucky.
I found women who even if they don't live right down the hall anymore, or just a drive away, they are family.
They want good for me, I want good for them.
I want happy for them, they want happy for me.
They have always loved, I have always loved them right back.
And no matter where we live, our love, our support, it's there.
And most of us are married, or with someone that is family.
Most have their own kids that we are raising together,
through distance, and bumps, and career changes, and addresses changes.
And there are a handful of us raising girls becoming women.
And here's the truth.
The potential for mean is out there.
The potential for it to suffocate you is out there.
Please cautious, deliberate, loving Anna, do not fall for it.
Please do not fall for the appearance of "popular" and do not fall for relationships that are anything but genuine.
Genuine in their happy, genuine in their love, genuine in their support.
You will need these women.
They will need you.
You will need to talk, and complain and lean, and hear from, and be a part of these women.
These relationships will save you from me, and how complicated our relationship will be one day.
They will help you to stay grounded and sane.
They will save you from broken hearts
and bosses or teachers that are difficult.
Make sure they are the right girls becoming women in your life.
Make sure that you are building each other up and never tearing each other down.
Make sure that you beam with and for them, never worry about what they have that you don't.
And I have every part in making sure that you are not a mean girl.
I am responsible for raising kind, and loving.
And so I ask you sweet girl of mine...
Am I stressing it enough?
Am I reminding you that we are all connected and our words, our actions, they stick with people.
Am I showing you kindness in how I live my life?
Do you hear me gossiping?
Or do you overhear me speaking well of others, holding them up and supporting their journey?
Do I tell you why I love instead of why I am annoyed?
Do I remind you that the way to fight mean is through love?

Am I teaching you to be kind?

And, I am showing you, telling you, begging you to always choose love.


Five Minute Friday - still

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 still.

My mind,
my thoughts,
my anxiety...be still.

My anger,
my control,
my temper...be still.

My wanting to please,
my wanting to make it all better,
my wanting, period...be still.

Let me allow in the calm.
Let me follow the joy.
Let me see the beauty.
Let me recognize the peace.
Let me be still.

Let me cherish the time,
let me take in the memories,
let me always remember the little voices,
let me be still.

Let go of the tense,
find a way to relax the muscles,
find a way to sleep in peace.
Let me be still.

Let me remember how little time we all have,
let me remember the little,
let me remember our family love.
Let me be still.

Let me change what makes me fall apart,
let me find a way to happy,
let me teach them happy.
Let me be still.

Let them remember love,
let them remember affection,
let them remember what really matters.
Let me be still.

Let me hold on to us,
let me let go of stuff,
let me build childhood.
Let me be still.

Let me always love,
let me turn to kind,
let me shape good memories that build their success.
Let me be still.




It is in these moments that I drink you in.
I slowly make my way towards your bed and I hold your hand.
I look at your closed eyes and I check your breathing.
I whisper in your ear that I love you, I carry your heart, and that I eat you up.
I tell you that you are sunshine.
I drink you in.

I wonder what you are dreaming about and I ask every morning if you remember.
I watch you, I watch this perfect moment of you.
I listen to the quiet surrounding you.
I am overwhelmed by you.
I drink you in.

I don't stay long,
I hug you, I kiss your whole face.
I stroke your hair, I move it out of the way.
I put blankets back on.
I watch you turn and snuggle into a cozy position.
I see you reach for your lovey.
Your arm wrapping around her.
I drink you in.

This is the moment.
I know you're asleep and you will never know the way I look at you in this moment.
You will never hear my whispers and my wishes for you.
You will never know how much love you can see on my face, in my touch.
You will never know that I am drinking you in.
You will read this some day.
I may be here, I may be gone,
know that these moments of quiet nighttime love,
these moments of perfection,
they fill me full.
They are enough for me to start my next day.
They are enough for me to go to sleep warm and calm.
They make me ache for more of you,
more time with you,
more childhood,
more babies.
They make me realize that we were meant to do this.
They fill me full,
I drink you in.

They are yet more moments that I will remember always.
Moments I will turn to for warmth and memories I will go to when I am leaving this world.

So goodnight my little faces.
Dream big, dream happy, dream childhood.
Love your life.
Remember how much we love,
how much we are a team.
Through all of it,
the bad days, the fights, the push/pull of control.
We always love.
Goodnight my sweet little faces.


Five Minute Friday - turn

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 turn.

I often think of life, as a book.
We are all writing our own stories, and they are unfolding all around us.
Sometimes, we are in charge of the writing, we are deciding what the next chapter will be about.
And sometimes, we take a back seat and another author steps in to write for a bit.
I think of our story as the book of love.
I think of their story as a favorite children's book, being told by so many authors and narrators.
I think of how we write and rewrite, trying to get the context just so.
Rearranging the pages, trying to find the right ending, the next adventure around the corner.
I think of how we all have a say in our book, the book of others, the book of those we might not even see as important in our everyday lives, but we are all connected.
I think of how short lived it all is, how fleeting time is and how if you're not careful your ending will not be as you would like.
I think of how much time we put into writing perfection, but how messy it all is.
How much ink we all get on our hands, how tired our eyes are, how there are days, you want the words to stop and the quiet to wrap you up like a warm blanket.
I think of how each chapter comes with it's own title, it's own end.
And how we always have to turn the page.



I built a house.

We built walls.
We made it bigger.
We created more room.
We added paint,
and a bedroom
and a larger kitchen.
We have a guest bedroom,
and a nice dining area.
We built a house.

Cole and framing

And you,
you made a home.
With Sunday breakfast,
and racing around the entire place.
With screams and yells and laughter.
With sitting and watching TV,
with family movie nights and pizza Friday.
With our fights, our makeups,
our hugs.
You made a home.


You made it warm,
and livable,
and inviting
and happy.
You made a mom out of me,
you created motherhood and fatherhood,
you created parents.


I added space, you created love.
I added rooms, you made my heart grow.
I added color, you added warmth.
I added decorations, you added smiles.


I built a house.
Walls, interior stuff, furniture, places to sit.
But it's all stuff.
The reason this place matters is the memories we built inside.
The reason this place matters is because I was standing within these walls when I found out you were coming.
The reason this place matters is because I remember taking you home from the hospital, and showing you your house.
The reason this place matters is because I remember where your first steps were taken.
The reason this place matters is because we celebrated both of your first birthdays here.
The reason this place matters is because of all the Sunday breakfasts we have shared.
The reason this place matters is because of our night time routines and snuggles on your bed.
The reason this place matters is because you built a home.
You made a house a home.


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