I get it

Hi monkey. It's really true that you are getting bigger, and older.
Things that once were so easy and natural, you are now fighting against because someone might see.
It's new for us.
And, It's okay, I get it.

We once shared hand-holding, little guy smooches, huge hugs, and snuggles, in public or not.
None of it mattered and now, it does. Now, it matters and now, you notice.
You feel that people can't see it, especially at school.
It's okay, I get it.

Most kids would just move on and move past it.
But not you. You called attention to it and talked through your feelings and confusion.
It's really sad that I'm getting older mom. It's sad.
It's okay, I get that too.

As your dad talked through what makes you special...
the fact that you are such a leader...
the fact that you don't embarrass easily...
the fact that you are all emotion all the time and you don't care...
the fact that you are a friend, and you would never let anyone feel bad about still being little...
You still felt like some things are just time to move on from.
It's okay, I get it.

And then you walked me through what would still stay the same.
Our goodnights would stay the same.
How we can snuggle would stay the same...just at home.
How we hold hands and talk about the day, would stay the same.
How you still love your nicknames...just at home.
How little guy smooches are still fine...just at home.
But, for some things, they have to go.
It's okay, I get it.

Quietly, and in private, I told your dad that I do get it, I do...
but like all moms, I felt it too.
Because you're my last and the one that cared the least about this stuff.
But, you also held on for a really long time with me.
And it is time.
It's okay, I get it.

And because it's you, there are times you let your guard down.
When you lost a game, you cried in my arms.
When you get hurt, you still come running to me.
When something bothers you or hurts your feelings, you still let it all out, no matter where you are.
I get that too.

Ok, so it is time.
You are double digits.
You are in your last year of elementary school.
You are telling us we have to move on from some of the little.
You are ready.

And, it's okay, I get it.


Five Minute Friday - doubt

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 doubt.


Do you know what it feels like to live your life doubting yourself?
I do.
Do you know the feelings that comes with living in constant fear of every decision...big or small?
I do.
Do you doubt your thoughts, your ideas, your words, your actions, you as a person?
I do.

Although I have claimed this my year of self-respect, I do have to say, the doubt and fear that I hold on to, it does not stop me.
It makes me pause.
It makes me look at things from all angles before I act.
It makes me be a little more sure.
And then it makes me move.
So, I have to believe that it's okay to have this doubt and fear that I live with.

It is not for everyone, I'm quite sure most do not live their day-to-day lives like this.
It is not the way of life for most, I understand.
But for me, well maybe it actually helps me.

I need to find a place where the fear and doubt stop turning into self ridicule and negative self talk. Maybe that will come with age and experience. Maybe that will come in my year of self-respect and remembering that I matter. But it all has to start with me ane me alone.

To all who doubt themselves, know that we are okay.
Know that we move with clear intentions.
Know that we do it out of love for others, now it's time to turn that love inward.




We lived the whole of our early lives under the rule of postponement: life was not in the present, it was always ahead of us. Somewhere in the future we would be the people we intended to be. - Diana Trilling - The Beginning of the Journey

Isn't it strange...how we live our lives for another day?
I was the best of the best at this. I always thought to myself, I need to get through _____________.
This month, this quarter, this week, this year, these next three years. Three years of waiting on happiness.
I always thought, put it off...whatever it was...put it off until you're older.
Save the trips for retirement, save the money for a rainy day, see the world another time, save for later.
Save all you have, someday you can use it. What if something were to happen and you needed it?

Isn't it strange...how we live our lives for another day?
And then I saw how quickly life passes you by.
I saw so many important people around me waiting.
I saw how little our window of time with our littles really is - how little time we have to be just us four + puppy.
And then I saw, there was nothing to wait for, we have now, what are we waiting on?

Isn't it strange...how we live our lives for another day?
I saw people wait to enjoy life until after, and then I saw that time taken from them.
I saw them robbed of their tomorrow.
I saw how difficult things are when you get older, and how many things get more difficult with age.
I saw us planning, me planning, always waiting on the future us.
And then I saw, there was nothing to wait for, we have now, what are we waiting on?

Isn't it strange...how we live our lives for another day?
And then, I stopped. I stopped waiting and I stopped looking forward to tomorrow only.
I am not saying that I am in the present all of the time.
I am not saying that I am never in a season of hard.
I am not saying that I do not get weighed down with heavy or worried.
But I have stopped waiting.

Isn't it strange...how we live our lives for another day?
It's a strange thing to have gone through the pain of walking your parent to their final days.
It's a strange thing to have lived your life buried in work and everything feeling too heavy.
It's a strange thing to define yourself by your work and feel unsatisfied with it.
It's a strange thing to start over, to redefine your terms.
It's strange to have terms, your own terms.

Isn't it strange...how we live our lives for another day?
I created something that makes me happy, whole, and balanced.
I created something that gave me back my time, my power.
I created something that I no longer allow to define me, but I do still love.

Isn't it strange...how we live our lives for another day?
I started adding more and more balance to my life.
Walks to walk.
Snuggles and naps.
Working out to feel good.
I fall asleep listening to the rainfall.
I take really long baths.
I spend time with my kids.
Time with my person.
Time, I gave myself time again.

Isn't it strange...how we live our lives for another day?
We travel, we see things now.
We slow down and at the same time, we do things that make us smile.
We talk a lot more now, we examine if we are falling back into old habits.

Isn't it strange...how we live our lives for another day?
I am no longer interested in tomorrow.
I am no longer going to get through a time/season in my life.
I am no longer waiting.


Five Minute Friday - receive

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 receive.


A synonym for receive is accept.
Another, is earn.

Last week I took some time to write about my year of self-respect. I have many more thoughts on the topic but this prompt is making me realize that it comes with me accepting self-respect, praise, forgiveness, and limits because I have earned them.

It is damn near impossible for me to speak to myself kindly, to accept that I have earned certain things in my 44 years of life. It also feels mean to set limits to my heart, my time, and my energy. But here I am. And here I go.

The thing about me is I feel way too much. My super-power of love is also my kryptonite. I receive the energy of the room. I take it in, I cannot shake it off, I cannot just hug it out and get over it. So, I feel surrounded and suffocated by bad feelings, I accept and receive them too easily.

However, it is the same with good, strong, loving, positive energy. I'm more excited than others are about their triumph. I'm elated for you. It is that energy that keeps me alive. I receive and willingly accept that energy too. And who doesn't want to be loved that hard?

So, in my year of self-respect. I will receive the love, guidance, soft spoken words I have needed to say to me for all of my life. I will accept that I am flawed. I will accept that I need space and boundaries and I will remind myself this year that I matter too.




Hi 2023.
I have lots and lots to write to you.
I have lots and lots of feelings for you, about you.
But, I also want to be realistic.
I do not want to put too much pressure on you, me, or us.

As usual, I have a word for us 2023.
I have something that I want to guide us along the way.

I want to live a year of respecting myself.
I want to live a whole year in which I have self-respect.
A year where I remember my worth.
A year where I remember my strength.

A year where I speak gently, to myself.
A year where I go easy on myself.
A year where I will forgive myself.
A year where I limit access to my heart.
A year where I set limits.

A year where I will expect more - but I no longer push for more.
I will expect more out of myself, but I will not die for my expectations.
I will expect more out of those that I allow close to my heart, but I will not beg for love.
I will expect to lean on my partner, but I will not expect minds to be read.

A year that I will not feel empty, but I will embrace space.
I will breathe in that space. I will breathe that space in. I will remember that I am privileged to have space.
A year that I will not feel alone, but I will embrace solitude.
I will remind myself that being cocooned is necessary at times.
A year of not always feeling. Not always connected and connecting.
And a year of connection.
Intentional connection. Welcoming in the new and making some quick decisions.

A year of realizing I am strong. God-dammit I am strong.
I live through a disease. A disease that I fight and I win every battle and every war.
I have mothered. And I mother you with my heart, my mind, my body, my soul. I try, I show up and I love. That all takes strength because not all days are easy.
I am a strong spouse. I love with all that I have. I think of you all of the time. I live to see you smile. I always want to feel connected and I put us first. I am your biggest fan and your sharpest critic. I am your friend, your home, your family. I live to love you, I am my best version with you.
I have driven an agency through thick and thin and gave it all of me. All of me.
Then I started something from nothing. I built an idea in my head and I grew it. I embraced the fear and the changes being thrown at me. I don't deal with fear and change well and I took it and ran with it.
I learn every single day.
I work hard, I play hard, and I love even harder.
I prioritize my health, and my body, no, I prioritize everything.
I run, I lift, I learned how to swim to do a triathlon for fuck sake.
I carry you, your feelings, your days, your memories, and our scars.
I look at my body with such disdain but look what we have done. Look what we do! Look at all we do together and we're not done.
I speak of it so poorly but time and time again, my body reminds me that we are not done. Not even close.
I have forgiven - with intention. I have forgiven those that haven't even said they were sorry.
I have loved, even those that did not gain my love, I gave it anyway.
I work on myself, and I learn from my mistakes. I take the time to learn about other people too, so I judge less.
I walked my father, lovingly, gracefully, and with dignity and respect, to his death.
I carried our scars too. I put our past behind us. I focused on what I learned from you and in the end, missing you was my greatest comfort.
That's strength.

I call myself meek. I am comfortable with my lack of self-confidence, but my lack of self-respect, that stops this year. It ends. It starts and ends with me.

Hi 2023.
I know it sounds like a lot.
I know it sounds like I've already put too much pressure on us.
But all I want is a little respect and I want it from me.


Merry Holly

Good morning Babbo. I hope you did something with your family up there. I hope you and Zia were giddy and drove Nonno nuts and made Nonna laugh. I hope you peeked down at us and saw that there was a hole missing this year.
As complicated of a man as you were, the holidays were your most complicated of days. You wanted it to be perfection, and if we stepped out of line with any childlike excitement, you were distraught. You had a picture in your mind and kids mess up everything, including picture-perfect holiday dreams.
What do you mean the kids want to open gifts?? We haven't cleared the table and we haven't had fruit yet?
What do you mean you want me to open this, I haven't finished and the table is a mess.

You brewed a lot on the holidays. You and she fought a bunch on them. She couldn't live up to your standards, we all couldn't.

I want you to know that we did try this year.
We tried, and we did all of the traditions.
She tried, and she made all of the right foods.
We sat down and looked over at your seat, empty and loud.
We asked her to sit there, in your spot...it was only right.
She cried then, I cried too. Cory got quiet, and the kids just ate.

We opened gifts in the quiet too.
And at one point, she started to cry so hard and apologize for it...I'm so sorry, I just miss Nonno.
I stopped breathing, I guess I missed your crazy too.
I took a walk around your house and looked at pictures of you. The ones of you holding your littles and the smile they brought you. Cheek-to-cheek kind of smiles Babbo.

The next morning, we all tried again. Zia and Zio came from Connecticut, and we all gathered for food. When Zio cried we all cried. It was weird, it was so very very weird.

That night, Cory and I had a sleepover with the kids in the living room...god you would have hated the mess!
We turned on movies and Cor and I sat and talked with some wine and drinks. We were both tired and sad. So, we cried again. Talking about you and your crazy ways. Talking about the empty space you have left us with. Talking about how we knew it was happening but we're somehow still in this state of, is he really gone? How can a man with so much force and power be gone? How did that happen? How did I spend that year walking you to your death and what do we do with the hole you have left?

It will be like this for a while. I keep reminding her that the pain will always be there, but time will make it a little better. The first one was tough, that's for sure. The first of many without you.

So, not so merry and bright this year. That's okay. It was almost fitting that since you made them complicated every year, this year would be no different. But, we did try and that does matter.

We'll shine a little brighter next year, we'll do a little more festive celebrating. We'll laugh a bit more. We'll remind ourselves of those still living and the importance of our time here. We'll just keep trying.

Merry, happy, holly, holy Babbo.
I hope you and yours shined bright.

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