There is this woman I follow whose best friend is going through her second divorce at the age of 35. All of her current feelings are around failure. How she failed herself, her family, her husbands. She is ending another relationship that should have lasted forever.

Littles, when something ends, we are taught that we have failed. I have always felt that way. I've let myself down, I've let those around me down, I'm giving up, and I don't give up.

But there is another way to look at it. And not just the typical "it takes two" but more about how the relationship could be celebrated for what it was. Cherished and loved, because it was what you needed and wanted. It came to you at the exact right moment and it started and lasted as long as it did for a reason. But it also ended for a reason and maybe it means something a little more than just failure.

Her friend reminded her that just because it is over does not mean the entire time together was not worth it, nor does it mean it did not matter. That just because it was meant to last "happily ever after" does not mean there were not moments of pure joy and love. She brought it all back to the chapters we write in our lives.

What if you two just got to the end of your chapter together and it's time to write a new chapter?
What if some people have more chapters to write than others?
What if you have more chapters to write but instead you decide to shut the book?

Her friend went on to talk about how we should look at all relationships like this, not just marriage. The end of a career, the end of a friendship, the end of a relationship, marriage, children growing up. Because endings are hard, they are sad, they create this feeling of regret. But instead, they could also mean something very different.

When I was thinking about leaving my 20-year career, the one that meant so much to me and defined me. The one that I was so good at, the one I worked hard for and made so many sacrifices for, it took me years to finally end it. And the reasons are endless, starting over is hard. Starting a new business is scary. I didn't believe that I could or should do this. I didn't believe in just myself or my ability. But I also felt like I was breaking up with my agency and that took me another five years to get there. Three of those five were so hard because I was already there in my heart. And each time I doubled down and tried to work harder at it, the angrier I was. The more I wanted to go, the heavier it all felt, every single thing that popped up felt like another burden, no longer a challenge, but a burden. I wanted to go and I was just too scared to admit that it was over. I was worried I was admitting that I had failed.

You will feel this way a hundred times in your life. The wonder of "what if I had stayed" will stay with you always and forever because when you love something or when you love someone, you never really let them go entirely. And instead of spending a lifetime wondering how you could have made it better, remember that this feeling means you loved with all you had, and that's more than okay. That's exactly how one should love, with all that they have.

But here is something you also need to remember. You know exactly what would happen if you had stayed, you were there, you know how it felt, you know why it was time. So celebrate the love, the closeness, the feeling. And when you are ready to walk away, it's not because you or they failed, your chapter came to an end.

If I continued to think that I was not ready to write my next chapter, I know exactly where I would be. If I continued to think that I wasn't ready to move on, I would still have that feeling of dread. I wouldn't have ever started this, I wouldn't have ever had taken a chance on myself. I wouldn't have found my balance, my way, I wouldn't be exactly where I need to be.

Endings are hard. They are painful. They are filled with regrets and what-ifs. They are lonely. They require you to be brave. They require you to be compassionate. They require you to not place blame. They require you to be gentle, with yourself as well as others. They require time. Time to mourn. Time to heal. Time to read through every single word written in your time together. Time to analyze. Time to learn. Time to put pen to paper and start a new chapter, whenever you are ready. Because some people have more chapters to write than others.


Five Minute Friday - nourish

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 nourish.


This was our 4th Thanksgiving hosting.
My husband could not be more into it. Getting the turkey perfect. Getting all the food just right. Getting everyone to compliment his work...he loves to host this one.
It's our 4th time bringing people together like this in our home.
Sometimes my side of the family, sometimes his, once just us four (thank you COVID).
And for this meal, the one that feels really grownup to host and cook, it is nourishing.

Necessary for growth.
Necessary for health.
Holding on to a feeling.
Holding on to a belief.

We've reached a stage in our lives where we realize how different every single year will look. We realize how big the littles are getting and how little time we have. We realize how much older our parents are getting and how little time we have left. We realize how much we are coming out of the fog of the harder years, and how much we hopefully still have to look forward to.

Our home is all I have ever wanted.
Welcoming, cozy, comfortable, able to hold many, a place to gather, a place to laugh, connect.

There is no better nourishment in this world.



Five minute Friday - hide

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 hide.


As adults, especially as parents, sometimes all you want to do is run and hide.
Sometimes, you have to remind yourself that you are the adult in the room and that you aren't allowed to go anywhere.
Sometimes, you remember how confident and sure your parents were in their decisions, even when their decisions were so wrong, and you think, did they ever feel this way? Do other parents, do other parents?

There are some decisions that are so clear, so obvious.
There are others, that make your heart stop beating for a second and the world stop spinning because you do not know what to do.
There are some reactions that are so natural.
There are others that make you stop breathing because you realize you are being watched so you need to think about the look on your face, the emotion bubbling up.

I'm 42 years old.
I'm a mom to two wonderful kids.
I have a husband I have spent 21 years with.
I am a business owner after 20 very difficult years running an agency with all my heart and love.
I own a dog that I care too much about.
I have a lot to be grateful for.
I have a lot that bursts my heart open.

But, I am human. And those 20 difficult years, I wanted to put the blankets over my head and hide.
Those 21 years with my husband, many of them were spent in a fog of raising humans.
Those wonderful kids, they push buttons, they made you tired, want to run away and hide kind of tired.

But because of all we have done, all we continue to do, all that we are responsible for, I wake up every day.
I try.
I parent.
I love and I love hard.
I work.
I listen, I learn.

Because as much as we want to hide, eventually, we have to come back around and remember all we can do, is try and try again.



Why moms cry

Because we're tired.
Because we want to sleep.
Because we know we have to get up and start the day.

Because you're so small.
Because you're getting so big.

Because your heart is so big.
Because you are the best people I know.

Because I tell myself stories.
Because you tell me actual stories.

Because we're lost.
Because it's you who brings me back.
Because we're over and underwhelmed.
Because we have too much going on or not enough so all we do is think.

Because we are thinking about the day we met you, the day we brought you home, and all the days in between.
Because when you were an infant, I could not believe how magical you were.
Because when my daughter was three weeks old, she became a person so connected to me that my heart beat with hers.
Because when my son was born I understood love at first sight. This little man looked up at me like I was his world and he quickly became our heart.
Because I felt you move inside of me and hiccup and kick and fall asleep.
Because we're thinking about your firsts, your lasts.
Because I look at our puppy with such love and cannot believe how lucky we are to have been saved by two doggies.

Because fights hurt our feelings too.
Because we get bad news.
Because we learn of how different our lives will be.
Because we have to always be making really hard decisions.

Because life is simple and hard.
Because there is so much to be happy for, but also some really hard spots in life.
Because the TV show was really heartbreaking...I know, it's weird but true.
Because we can't believe or get over how beautiful you are.
Because we can trace your face to exactly who you always were.

We cry when we're alone.
But also in front of you.
Or as we go to sleep, or watching TV.
We cry in the shower or the car.
We cry on runs, especially those in the rain.
We cry as we say goodnight to you, or when we kiss you in your sleep.
When we least expect it, when we shouldn't be.

So yeah, moms cry...at least this one does. And I don't see that ending anytime soon.


Five minute Friday - wander

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 wander.


There is a saying..."those who wander are not lost".
But what happens when you are lost?
Lost and searching?
Lost and wandering?
Wandering and kind of hopeless.
What does one do with that?
You wander and you wonder.

It's another season of moving about with no purpose.
No direction.
No map or compass.
No way of seeing which way to go.
So you wander.
And you wonder.

You have no path.
You take twists and turns.
You just keep searching.
So you wander.
And you wonder.

And I am still surprised by those that know better.
The completely innocent.
The ones that see the best in all.
The ones that think of each direction and the ways to get there.
They do it with reason and heart.
They too wander, but they are not lost.
They don't wonder as much, they just know.



Five Minute Friday - prayer

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 prayer.


It looks so different for so many.
For some, it is the traditional on your knees by your bedside.
For some, it is the even more traditional needing to be in a church.
For some, it is stepping outside, feeling nature wash over you.
For some, it is a yoga class and hearing the in and out of your breath.
For some, it is a bath, washing away the long day and getting back to who you are under it all.

For some, it brings peace.
For some, it brings a surrenduring.
For some, it brings an enlightening.
For some, it brings calm.
For some, it brings tears.

Some feel closer to their God.
Some feel closer to themselves.
Some feel connected to their family.
Some feel a purpose, a reason, their way.
Some feel connected to their past.
Some feel hope for their future.




Oh, this holiday. A holiday, like all holidays that makes you grin from cheek to cheek. A holiday that made you two bond. A holiday that you asked to be a team. A holiday, like all holidays, that you love.

You love the fun, the enjoyment, the traditions, the excitement. You love the candy (of course) and the laughing and the time with friends. You love a holiday and this one is no different. It is a holiday that brings out the kid in you. A holiday that makes childhood really shine.

From your very first where we were too sick and it was too rainy to go out. You were so small and still so excited and laughed and laughed as a six month old in a costume. To your second as a cute little flower, squeeling with excitement. To a ladybug, asking me if "Anna could go home now" because she was all pooped out. To all of the matching ones with you and Coley to all of the matching ones as a family. Your little cheeks so happy, you love a holiday.

Last year COVID threw us a curve ball but we found a way to laugh anyway. This year life, and I, threw you a curve ball and asked if you wanted to break all traditions and go out with just your friends. No family costume. No family trick or treating. Just you. You were torn, but you also were excited about the possiblity of the night. You came home gushing and hysterical. It was your night, just yours.

When we hinted at doing something with just Cole, you were so upset, you weren't fully ready to cut it all off. So, we found a way to pivot and compromise. We know this is the beginning of the end of it all, we know this was the start of a new way. As I craweled into your room, I looked at you, with the same cheecks as the six-month old on my couch, and I of course cried.

I cried for our losses, I cried for an end, I cried to your new, I cried because you're ready, I cried because I'm not. I cried because I felt a shift, I cried for Cole, I cried for me, I cried.

But then when you got home from a night out, I took it all in. The way you were, the way you could not stop talking, the way you wanted to talk, the way the night went, how happy you were. I'm not going to lie and say I'm perfectly ready and fine and elated. But I am happy for you. And I am proud of you.

One more example of you being ready and me having to pretend. You dipping a toe into a new place while still wanting to hold on to the old and me trying to hard to let you. You know how moms talk about there are nights they cry themselves to sleep because of their kids. Not because of something bad, but because they feel the growing up? You know how most moms don't talk about it? Well, I write about it. So, if you ever read this one day, know that leading up to your 12th Halloween, I spent the week crying myself to sleep. I dreamed of my babies and I remember that little 6 month old sitting on a green couch wearing a very yellow banana costume, giggling her head off. I remember the 2 and a half year old asking me to go home. I remember seven year old wearing a Rey costume to be "just like mom". I remember all the princess costumes and I remember Cole as a side kick.

I will also remember that for a few years it was just us three and for the first time, it was again, but for very different reasons.


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