There is so much small and little in all of you.
There is so much good and kind and sweet.
There is so much love and love of love.
There is so much boy.

Six sweet love of mine,
you are six and I have been holding on to each and every single day with you.

My five-year-old started school and continued with the kind and friendly and loving little boy.
Children are drawn to you
adults adore you
you make others feel good about themselves
you help
you care
you show empathy
you are just one good soul.

There is something about you that still looks all toddler to me.
Maybe it is because you are so short.
Maybe it is because you have such strong emotions.
Maybe it is because you are so brand new.
Maybe it is because you are my last and I am unwilling to let you grow.
Except that, of course, I am because you are making it so.

And so sweet boy, you took my hand once again and you led me to six.
You still love story time with me.
You still beg for little guy kisses.
You still tell me I am beautiful.
You still hold my hand.
You still love all things Star Wars.
You still love all things dad.
You are still an all eating goat.
You are still a climbing monkey.
You are still the one that believed in childhood the most
and reminds me that I have every right to hold on to that too.
You still cling to little while leading me to big boy.

You are just sweet loving Cole.
The one that completed a family even though I didn't realize we were missing a piece,
until I met you.

So welcome to six.
Welcome to more active sports
welcome to your first summer after school
welcome to the start of 1st grade
welcome to the next round of teachers that will also love you.
And a mom and dad that always have.

I eat you up I love you so...
mom's sweet and low.


Five Minute Friday - pause

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 pause.

And today, I will hit pause and sit in calm and comfort.

It has been a whirlwind of a week.
Two huge events for my agency
big meetings for my business
triathlon training is really taking up so much of my time
the kids are getting close to the end of the school year
my husband has reached his school year limit
I have been running around trying to keep it all together
which means at night my brain falls apart and forgets how to fall asleep
which means this morning as I sit in the success of the last few days
I will hit pause.

Today, I will breathe
I will nap
I will have a cup of coffee by a window while I read
I will take my dog to the park and have her burn off energy
I will pause.

I will shut down
forget my list
I will linger
I will sit with myself
I will be happy with the accomplishments but also happy that it is over
and I can hit pause.

Today I will hug my kids
I will snuggle them
we will have dinner together
we will kiss noses
they will tell me about their week
they will ask how my week went
and I will remind them that work is important
that mom loves to work
she leans into it
but I am happy to be home
hitting pause.

I will reconnect
become a better bride
a better mom
a better friend
I will find the other parts that were pushed away.

Today I will linger
I will smile
I will feel whole and full.
Job well done sort of full and whole.

And today, I will hit pause and sit in calm and comfort.



The collector

One of the most magnificent and accurate things I have read was:

I am a collector
Not of things
But of
Nostalgia and stories

I wear memories and stories and the past like a warm blanket.
I drape it over me, I allow it to keep me cozy when I feel a chill.
I sink into my memories as if they were bubbles in a bath.
I allow them to cover the naked and the cold.
I am a collector of memories and stories.

I remember most things with such clarity and life.
The memory plays back in my mind as if I am sitting back and watching a movie of it.
I am able to see all of the past unfold over and over and over again.
All of my past, the good, the bad, the ugly.
The parts I healed but never let go.
The parts I don't want to look at anymore, the ones I wish would vanish.
But I see all of us, all of you.
I am a collector of memories and stories.

I see your dad's face the first time I met him.
I see his smile, how clear blue his eyes were, how young he looked.
I see his face when two little lines on a stick changed our world.
I hear his voice when I let him know you were coming.
I am surrounded by the visuals, the colors, the vibrant colors of our life.
I am a collector of memories and stories.

I see your little face when I first met you Anna.
I see the towel wrapped around you the day I feel forever in love with you.
I see Cole, brand new Cole, being presented to me and offered a kiss.
I remember the first time I fed you both and the last, and every single time in between.
I am a collector of memories and stories.

I see the day we threw away baby bottles, I see myself on the floor of our kitchen crying.
I see your first crawl Anna
and your first walk Cole
and your first words, all of them.
I see every single costume you ever wore
each and every pumpkin carving you did.
I see our summers at the track
our framily at the Cape
our Thursday night dinners
our Friday night family movies
our Sunday pancakes
god, I see our family and our story unfold.

I see my childhood, the one I am reclaiming.
I see my grit, my determination, but I also see my anger, my lack of balance.
I see each job and how I was lead to a career and a business.
I see my entire life which includes the most exceptional of people.

I am a collector
Not of things
But of
Nostalgia and stories.


Five Minute Friday - secret

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 secret.

It's my number one family rule, in our house, we don't keep secrets, we keep only surprises.
Secrets are too heavy loves.
Secrets feel sneaky and carry a hint of lies and possibly shame.
Secrets can get us into trouble and sometimes can get us hurt.
I don't like secrets, only surprises.

But lately, you have been having trouble with this one.
You have been keeping things from us in the worry of "getting in trouble" and that is making me worry.
Are our voices to sharp?
Are our consequences too severe?
Are you living in fear of reactions?
How else and what else can I add to the list of ways that I fail you?

But as we all know, parenting is all about learning and all I can do
is keep listening to you,
keep molding to you,
keep changing with you.

I want to remind you that I am not here to make you feel worse.
I am here to help you learn.
I am not here to rub anything in.
I am here to brainstorm on ways to handle it differently next time.
I am not here to be the example of perfection
because no one is.
I am here to remind you that everyone makes mistakes, even grownups, even parents.
And all we have to do is take responsibility for them, learn the lesson and move on.

I do not want a home of secrets, I want a home full of trust.
I want you to know that we are your base, we are the foundation and we do not judge
we shape and grow and nurture.
We love you and that will never change.
There is nothing you can and can't do to make me love you more or less, that is just fact.

So let's get back to our house rule.
Let's understand why it is in place.
Let's remember how much we will always love.
Let's stop keeping secrets and open back up to each other.
Let's remember that this is the one weight you do not have to carry because we are here to take the load away.



Everything I need

It's not about the gift, the handmaid one you were so excited to give me.
The picture you couldn't wait to show me, the one you painted.
The card you made, all the things you kept from me all week long.
It's about the look on your face, this joyful, smiling from ear to ear, this bursting with love you have, just to see me .

But for now, I listen to your excitement, your glee for making the day special, for me.
I love how you make me breakfast
I love how you sit in anticipation of the gift
I love how you talk about it
I love how you tell me, you can't wait for Sunday
I love how much bringing me joy means to you.

As you grow, the day will mean less and less.
Because the years will pass and you will grow up and away from me.
But all I have ever needed, you already gave.
And we didn't even know it because I fought it for so long.
Because you are all that I need.

When you grow, I don't need you to call me this day, I don't need you to send flowers,
I am not a collector of things, but of memories.
And the ones you have given, they are all I need.

Did you know that you were my second chance?
Did you know you placed it so carefully in my hand and you asked me to take care of childhood this time around?
Did you know that you made me believe in happily ever after?
Did you know you were my one and only love at first sight?
Did you know that I believe in family because I met your dad?
Did you know that I believe in the power and energy of joy because of him?
Did you know that is where you get it from?
Did you know that you give me a warm heart?
Did you know that when you gave me my title of mother, you gave me a world a life I didn't know was waiting for me?
Did you know that all of these gifts, they will keep me warm and fill me full?
They always have, they make me remember so much of our good.
All I ever needed was this amazing time with you.

Time moves on and you too will have a family, however you define it.
But, if you decide to be parents, I will remind you to love this day for them.
They will make it special and active parenting is tough so allow them to.
All of the handmaid everything will mean so much to you too, but not as much as this time you get together.
Because you gave me all I ever needed, when I was given the gift of being yours.


Five Minute Friday - include

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 include.

I made the decision to include you in my life pretty early on in us.
I just knew, our love would become family.
And so I decided to walk with you, side by side, hand in hand.
And there are times you allow me to take the lead, bring us down a certain path
but when it comes to the really big things, you lead me.
Out of fear, anger, mistrust, concern.
And you lead me straight to them.

It took me longer to include you in my life kiddos.
It took me longer to think about all of the pros and cons.
It took me longer to look at this parenting thing and for some reason, I felt I needed to go in
eyes wide open.
So I did, I did all of the research
I made us have all of the conversations
I came up with all of the different scenarios, situations.
And as always, you guys taught me.
That parenting and family doesn't work that way.
That all of life is day by day, moment by moment so let's live in it.
And when I finally decided to let you in, you made me something else.
You made me into this woman filled with beauty and love and warmth and you handed me my second chance at childhood.

We all make decisions on what to include all day every day.
What to include in our lives, in our days, in our moments.
We decide what to include in our homes, who we include in our circle, what to include in our heart.
We decide what to include in suitcases, baggage, closets, hearts.
We decide on what we let in, what we let take over, what stays and what has to go.
We decide and so I have chosen wisely.
I have included joy to balance my lack of.
I have included love to balance my cynicism.
I have included young to balance my old soul.
I have included you to balance me.




The truth is,
I'm afraid.
I'm afraid to live this life without blissful, loving, only filled with love and love to give babies.

The truth is,
I miss you.
I miss little you, I miss your tiny noises, I miss holding you, I miss your smell.

The truth is,
I miss us.
I miss the ease we fell into as parents, I miss knowing it all and having all the answers, because we were always the answer to you.

The truth is,
I am sad.
I look at you and I feel this loss, even though you are standing right here.
I am so sad of the babies that are no more.

The truth is,
I don't do well with letting go
and change
and big changes
and time falling right out of my grip.

The truth is,
I was so good at being your mom then.
I was so calm, it was so natural to me.

The truth is,
I am still good at it, it's just that most of it isn't natural anymore.
But, good, I'm still good at this.

The truth is, I didn't wish our time away and I don't regret most of that time together.
I did a really good job of living in the moment because I did realize I was going to look away for one second
and it would all be taken away
and it was.

The truth is, I still hear a baby cry and start to sway, the way I swayed with you.
The same rhythm, the one that made you feel safe, the one that made you feel loved.
The truth is, I look at old pictures of you and I am in awe of all of your perfectness.
The perfect you still are.

The truth is, you're still little.
I still have all the cuddles
all the warmth
all the love
all the memories
all the times you still need me.

The truth is, I will be ok.
This is just life
the one I signed up for
the one I wanted
the one I knew would come and go
our time together, I knew it was all going to be so short.

The truth is, we have so much to look forward to.
So much of our relationship that hasn't even had a chance to start yet.
So many milestones we get to hit together.
So much down the road.

Because the truth is, this is what everyone does.
They come into this world,
they make such an impact,
they impress on our hearts and then they continue to live their life.
The one they want, the one they ask and wish for.


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.

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.


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