27
Jun

Purpose

I have been thinking through my purpose.
This last year had me really reflecting on my life, what I was intended to do, and if there was a reason for me.
I have been thinking about how people should live up to or try to complete their purpose in order to feel real peace.
True comfort.
Actual completion of a job well done.

My purpose.
For ever and always, I defined myself by my work.
And it wasn't until I lost my hum that I realized that I'm not allowed to do that anymore.
I can love what I do, love working, and still turn it off.
I can shut it down.
So, I found two amzing careers, one I was not able to shut down, the other, I learned from my lessons.
I found love in my work again, a hum, laughing, a team.
I found my purpose.

My purpose.
Soon, I was consumed with proving I can do hard things.
I still am tuned into it.
Not letting myself slide.
But I also realized I don't have anything to prove anymore.
I can do hard things, I have been doing hard things my whole life and ease and comfort are okay too.
So I run to light up my lungs.
I lift to keep my body strong.
I walk to be outside and be with my puppy.
I do yoga to stretch and really work out the tightness. I do it to breathe.
I found my purpose.

My purpose.
I met the love of my life.
I met a really nice guy.
I met a man that was so easy to love.
It was a time in my life when I was begging for easy and in he strolled.
All smiles and young.
An adorable rose smile, grinning ear to ear.
And we were family.
I was home.
I found my forever home when I saw him.
I found my purpose.

My purpose.
The family I never knew I always wanted.
It's not a surprise that the man I love wanted babies and introduced me to parenthood.
And then it's no surprise that you were both a gentle start to mothering.
And so it's no surprise how easily we found our groove.
It's no surprise that our dance was so natural.
It's also no surprise that when it took a turn, it knocked the wind out of me and I struggled to find our ease again.
Because a significant part of my purpose is childhood.
Protecting childhood and little.
So, I fight for your childhood kiddos.
I need for you to have warm memories.
I lean into our traditions, big and small, so that we have comfort to rely on.
I rely on our family and the warmth it brings us.
The family I never knew I always wanted.
I found my purpose.

My purpose.
Family.
Good friends and framily ties.
Lots of laughter.
A home filled with warmth and comfort.
A career I love and can put down.
A snuggled puppy sleeping next to me.
A partner I love and trust.
Kids that squeel with joy.
A body that keeps showing up for me and I promise to show up for her.
A home I adore, one I know will soon be way too quiet and empty, but right now, I adore it.
Little, childhood, memories, traditions, puppy snuggles and kisses, kiddos piled on top of us, holding hands all of the time, talking, being together, love on top of love.
Yeah, I found my purpose.

5
Jun

Ten

Ten fingers, ten toes.
Let's make sure we count them right.
Oh, my sweet little boy, my love at first sight.

Ten million reasons to love you.
Ten million more ways you shine like a light.
Oh, my sweet little boy, my love at first sight.

Ten little nicknames.
Ten cute little reminders of a love that burns so bright.
Oh, my sweet little boy, my love at first sight.

Ten snuggles, ten smooches, ten times longer than nighttime should take.
Ten more "just one more thing" before we say goodnight.
Oh, my sweet little boy, my love at first sight.

You were born in the morning, a big and snuggled little guy with eyes so blue and bright.
You were placed next to me and looked deep into my eyes with all of your might.
Oh, my sweet little boy, my love at first sight.

You were born to change something in this world.
You were born to show us how to do it right.
Oh, my sweet little boy, my love at first sight.

You were born to a family that needed you.
You were born to be held on to tight.
Oh, my sweet little boy, my love at first sight.

You were born to run and play.
You were born to remind us that life is full of joy and delight.
Oh, my sweet little boy, my love at first sight.

Ten million reasons to love you.
Ten million more to add to that and it still doesn't feel quite right.
To our now ten your old boy, you are my one and only, my love at first sight.

29
May

Storming through memories

Memorial Day.
For some, it's the unofficial start of summer.
And our little town is bursting at the seams with excitement and people everywhere.
It's warm, it's inviting, it's lovely to see.

Memorial Day also bears weight in its lightness because it is a day to remember those that have fallen.

Memorial Day also reminds me of the incredible milestones that seem to always fall around this time of year for me.
So, because I am me, this weekend carries a lot of memories for your mamma.

She says nothing of what she thinks
She just goes stumbling through her memories
...

Memorial Day weekend, 2000.
When I was just out of college, my first memorial day was spent with friends in NJ.
I was starting work that week and although excited about the start of my career, I also felt this unbelievable realization that these 4 incredible college years were really over.
No more all of us living on top of each other.
No more incredible walks in Geneseo.
No more parties that were too fun to explain.
No more of our bar scene.
No more Geneseo.
I was walking away from a relationship and that carried some heartache.
I was walking away from a family that I built around me and that carried some heartache.
I remember driving away from that very little town, thanking it for my time there, thanking it for the comfort and love it created and leaving a piece and part of me right there.

She says nothing of what she thinks
She just goes stumbling through her memories
...
And it breaks her heart

Memorial Day weekend 2005.
We left Rochester and we started our life in Saratoga.
It was me going back to the career I started with and although I did not know it at the time, the start of an agency building me up and raising me.
I again was driving away from an area that meant so much to me, but in some way was holding me down.
I met my husband in this town.
I adopted Mia in this town.
I had framily right there, reconnected in a glorious and loving way.
I once again thanked a city for all that it gave me, all that it afforded me, all that it meant to me.
And down the road I drove.

"Take what you can from your dreams
Make them as real as anything
Oh, it'll take the work out of the courage"

Memorial Day weekend 2012.
Our last weekend before Coley was born.
It was my last weekend being pregnant.
It was a weekend to really cherish.
We bought 3-year-old Anna a little pool to wade in and she was in heaven.
We bought our first fancy camera because we wanted to capture amazing pictures of our new baby and we tried it out.
Each picture we took is stamped into my mind...
pictures of her smile
pictures of Mia loving the warm and attention
pictures of time with our extended family
pictures of me and my little guy, our last pictures of just us two

Memorial Day weekend 2016.
I was sitting at a party and turned to dad with the realization that I needed to build a new business.
I had this ah-ha moment of how to do it and do it a little faster than my original thought.
I stopped overthinking and I started making calls to put the wheels in motion.
Capital CFO was born and left my head and was down on paper.
I knew it meant the end of my time with the agency, I knew where I was headed, and for the first time, I wasn't sad but just ready.

For me, I do not often think of the start of something new as an actual start. I lean more heavily into the loss and what I am leaving behind to get to this place of new.
But for some reason, this weekend has forced about big changes in my life, big losses, big decisions.
And that means I am living a big life.
No longer wishing it different.

23
May

Words words words!

Years ago, we sat around our dining room table with some friends and each of us took three minutes to take the Love Language quiz. It's so cliche now, everywhere, I know. But the reason these things explode is because when something is so correct and hits just the spot, it makes you really stop to think.

Is it hard to guess mine? Words. I love words. I love love love words.
It's so obvious, but I guess that's the point of these quizzes, our personalities are screaming out, but we can't explain why and these little insights into ourselves help us to feel validated, seen and understood. They help us to understand and accept.

So, tell me.
Tell me.
Tell me it's better when I'm here.
Tell me you missed me.
Tell me I'm a good mom.
Tell me you love me and tell me why.
Tell me how lucky we are.
Tell me you're happy.
Tell me I make you happy.
Tell me "thank you".
Tell me you appreciated a gesture, a loving moment.
Tell me this life matters.
Tell me I make you think and laugh and be.
Tell me we're partners.
Tell me you understand me.
Tell me you hear me.
Tell me I'm a hard worker.
Tell me you appreciate that.
Tell me we need each other and it only works when we're in it together.
Tell me you love our snuggles.
Tell me you feel safe around me.
Tell me you love our walks.
Tell me you love talking things out with me.
Tell me you love our time together.
Tell me you're happy with this life, our life.
Tell me you're happy with me.
Tell me you are excited about how much I work on...my health, my work, my healing, and our family.
Hell, tell me how amazed you are by it all!
Tell me how you can see I'm trying and working on softening the hard edges.
Tell me you can't believe how hard I love and how lucky we all are that I do.
Tell me you love to make me laugh because I love it when you do.
Tell me you love the silly side of me, because you made me silly.
Tell me how much you are enjoying your childhood, because it became my second chance at one.
Tell me how happy you are I brought us Pearl because our family desperately needed her.
Tell me.

15
May

Why else are we here?

"If not to invest in people?"

Sometimes, when you connect with an old friend and get over all of the major details, you really get into the grime of life. You finally get to the ins and outs, the ups and downs, and you really get to the grit of how you are doing, what has actually been happening, and how you really are dealing with it.

You talk about the moments that took your breath away.
You talk about the moments that crushed your soul.
You make jokes that make you laugh.
You remember who you were, who they are.
You remember why you fell in love in the first place.

It's no secret that we have been months of deep loss.
And again, for the woman that feels too deeply for her own good, it hits differently.
I feel their losses too.
I feel lost.

And how I am feeling seems irrational most of the time.
The bursts of tears and fits.
The moments of anger and deep deep sadness.
The times of thinking back, the memories that flood.

"So what's wrong with that? Why wouldn't you want to feel that way?
Why else are we here if not to invest in people?"

It was beautiful. The words I didn't even realize I was waiting to hear. Once again I needed a reminder that it is okay to be me. That the best and worst parts of me make me fully me.
That the best thing about me and my biggest flaw is that I am someone who is all in when it comes to love.
And so, I do not let go easily.
I replay all of our memories over and over.
I hold on.

And even if it is time to let go, time to move on. Even if I cannot do anything about the losses we are all facing, why wouldn't I want to feel them? Love has a big impact and you should feel it. If not, it never mattered but love does matter.

"Why else are we here if not to invest in people?"

I am deeply attracted to and am in need of being around my balance. Someone that does it all very differently.
However, talking to someone that feels as much as I do, is exactly what I needed. Someone that understands how painful loss is. How you need to pine over your loss. How you need to revisit every memory and see if there could have been a different ending. And throughout the conversation, I got to hear words that mattered...

...no matter the outcome and the healing, he didn't do right by you.
...none of the differences matter as long as you were loving to each other.
...none of that matters either as long as it wasn't threatening and it sounds like it was.
...I wish he knew how lucky he was to have you all and I hope he realizes it soon.
...of course this is going to be hard, you were invested and you should have been because you were in love.

As I tried to rush through my stories to get to the important questions I had to ask an old friend, he instead, brought me back to parts of the beginning and hit on important points. Instead, he wanted to hear the full story and even then, I didn't want to bore him I tried to wrap it all up quickly.
But he wasn't bored. He wanted to know because real friends want the full story. The ones that know your core, know what you are made of, aren't afraid to point out mistakes but also aren't ever going to turn their back.

As I faced a month of being blue, not myself, feeling heavy and hard to find joy...sweet dear friend, thank you for reminding me of what matters most in this world.

"Why else are we here if not to invest in people?"

9
May

Mothering 2022

Dear Coach...
Dear Bella...
Dear Monkey...
Dear Pearl Girl...
Thank you.

Thank you for realizing I did want to mother.
Thank you for realizing I needed to mother you.
Thank you for talking me into this.
Thank you for my gentle start to mothering.

Thank you for being such great eaters.
Thank you for being such great sleepers.
Thank you for being the best kids I know.
Thank you for loving our puppies.
Thank you for understanding the family dynamics and how complicated they can get.

Thank you for filling in the quiet.
Thank you for filling in the missing pieces.
Thank you for being the perfect little puppy who fixed our broken.
Thank you for how excited you are to see us, each and every time, like it's the first time.

Thank you for your smiles.
Thank you for your warm hugs.
Thank you for late-night snuggles.
Thank you for feeling so hard.
Thank you for loving with all you have.

Thank you all for being lovers of love.
Thank you all for loving me.
Thank you for my second chance at childhood.

Thank you for still believing in good.
Thank you for still believing in little.
Thank you for still believing in love and our little family.

Thank you for this amazing front-row seat at your life.
Thank you for allowing me to mother.

With all I have and all I am, thank you for this life.

Love, your mom

2
May

Heavy days

It's been a tough few weeks in our home.
Lots of emotions arising, lots of tantrums...in all directions.
Lots of me wanting to climb into bed and sleep it all away.
Lots of yelling and short tempers.
Lots of taking things too seriously.
Lots of everyone not understanding dynamics and lots of not feeling the energy in the room and acting appropriately.
Lots of us just taking things too personally.
Lots of breakdowns.
Lots of examples of being unkind.

It's our crazy season.
You guys are all over.
Dad is in full swing of coaching.
I have a lot on my plate, and my nerves are very thin.
And, as much as there is to do, I'm just so damn tired all of the time.

Of course, it will all be okay.
Of course, we will all be okay.
Because somehow, through even all of this, we try and find moments of being okay.
And we try to laugh through some of the pain.
And we try to find moments of being us.

Because when heavy weeks set in, it is most important to turn to your go-tos.
Dinner out.
Runs alone.
Baths.
Warm coffee.
Naps.
Puppy snuggles.
Walks.
A little sunshine.

And then there are other joys.
Like when Cole smiles.
Or when Anna laughs a real belly laugh.
Or when Pearl gets zoomies and runs around all crazy and sneezing.
Or when dad is little boy excited at winning his first varsity game.
Or when mom remembers life isn't that serious, and things are never ever that bad, and she too remembers to hug and smile.

This year is going to have some pretty serious and heavy parts to it.
This year is going to have some amazing adventures too.
It's going to be filled with what life is always filled with...moments of warmth, moments of fear, moments of heartache, moments of love.

We're going to celebrate a wedding this year. We're going to watch two wonderful people become family in the most amazing way.
We're going to see our framily at the Cape and hug and squeeze them because it has been too long.
We're going to make time for each other outside...play ball, sit by the fire, read more.
We're also going to go through some tough times, because life brings with it tough, heavy times.

I'm going to make it as comforting as I can and then, I'm going to go and find my comfort and joy.

27
Mar

It's so quiet

Have you ever stepped into a moment that is so quiet, so wonderfully quiet, it is precious?

March threw us one last storm, a pretty big one.
My girls and I decided to take a walk right in the middle of it.
No cars, no plow trucks yet, no people, just our feet again the crunching of the snow.
Just a puppy trying to stay warm and dry.
And out of nowhere, my biggest little said, it's so quiet mom.
I know sweetie, and it's wonderful. I'm so happy you're here with me.

Last week, later at night, I took the puppy out by myself.
The wind that had been rushing through the air had died down, the rain stopped, and it was pleasant.
I had intended to just to a loop in the neighborhood but I just couldn't stop moving my feet, it was so quiet.
Just me and her.
No lights, no neighbors, no other dogs to get her to pull in one direction or another.
Just us and the quiet night.

After all the questions were asked, after the results were in, after the doctor left, it was just us.
And my tears, in the quiet.
Just a quiet moment between two people that have never shared a quiet moment.
Just a quiet moment between two of the most unlikely pair.
A moment so beautiful it was almost poetic and you don't do poetry.
It was in the quiet that I found love.

In the morning, rushing them out the door, getting in all we have to do before busses come, it's a bit loud.
And then, once our final smooches are smooched, and everything is ready, I close all the doors and take one moment of quiet.
I start a yoga class.
And take a shower.
I light a candle, I sit in my clean kitchen with a fresh cup of coffee and I get to work, in the absolute quiet that I have the privilege to appreciate.

Lying down next to you at night, you start with all the questions and all the talking and all the things to keep the night going.
Eventually, you settle into the quiet. You snuggle in and rub your eyes a little. You move around and find the right spot and then the quiet of the night settles in and your breathing gets a little heavier, a little deeper.
We continue to whisper I love you here and there, but the quiet has finally won and you are ready for sleep.

Have you ever stepped into a moment that is so quiet, so wonderfully quiet, it is precious?
Like listening and watching the rain.
Like sitting outside during a snowstorm.
Like taking a warm bath and just sinking in.
Like sitting in a dark room to write to your babies.
Like reading a book.
Like snuggling with a puppy.
Like a run with no music, no talking, just the sound of your feet on the pavement.
Like late-night walks.
Like a cup of coffee with yourself.
This introverted mother works hard for her quiet. Sometimes she has to work to find it.
Sometimes it just creeps up on her and she allows it to wash right over her body.

20
Feb

I love how much you love your life

Every day and in every way, be more like Cole.

At night, you ask for both mom and dad to take turns snuggling. That's when you talk, and you gush.
You talk to dad about how excited you are for whatever the day after brings. You talk to him about how awesome specific parts of your day were. You talk about sports, you ask questions.
You talk to me about the best parts of your day, right down to the food you ate.
You ask me what the best parts of my day were. You ask me what made me laugh today, what did I do for someone, what made me smile.
We do our nightly traditions of I love yous. You won't let me leave until we exchange little guy kisses.
We talk about how much we love these moments, I realize how short-lived they will be, but for now, right now, we're here.
I love how much you love your life.

Every day and in every way, be more like Cole.

In the morning, you pack extra snacks for school, forever I thought they were for you because you love your food. Finally, I asked, are you really this hungry? No, I have friends that forget and we help each other out. One friend loves our fruit snacks so I always make sure I have extra for him.
You tell me stories of who brought in what and how you all shared. You tell me about how amazing this piece of fruit was, or this new thing you tried. You tell me about how thankful your friends are for each other, how it's become a cool little thing you all do. You beam, for the food, for the connection, for the chance to make friends and help each other out.
I love how much you love your life.

Every day and in every way, be more like Cole.

On the weekends, you are the first to rise. You get yourself ready, all to have time to play mine craft. You know if you get it all done and if you catch us when we're our most tired, we let it happen till we're up too.
By the time we come downstairs, your smile is ear to ear. You've let Pearl out, she's snuggled by you. In the winter, the fireplace is on and you're ready for your basketball game. In the spring, you have baseball equipment ready to go and your uniform is all set. And you can't help that smile. You're just so happy. You extend your arms, you ask how we slept, you start talking a mile a minute about a cool new thing you built in your house. Your heart is so full it comes rushing out.
I love how much you love your life.

Every day and in every way, be more like Cole.

On the court, in the field, you look so small to me. But damn kid, that heart of yours.
You are not the first one off the bench. But you are the most incredible team member.
You naturally know how to help, how to get excited, how to root people on.
I started noticing that in basketball when the other team, the team you are playing against, is shooting foul shots...miss or not, you high-five the player and I hear you say, you've got this.
When it's your team-mate, well, you're all in. Jumping up and down for every shot, giving them praise regardless.
And that one day when an entire team and gym was shouting your name, rooting for you to make a shot, mama lost her cool. The coach said I made him cry, but I think the truth is, you did. At the end of that game, we walked out together and I said to you that your heart had an entire gym cheering you on, wanting you to hit a shot. That I've never seen anything so amazing, and you just hugged me and wiped away your tears and mine and said, I'm proud of you too mom, and I'm proud to be yours.
I love how much you love your life.

Every day and in every way, be more like Cole.

When you are playing, the creativity is insane. The worlds you make up. The Legos you build, the crazy amount of noises you make. The battles you create. The games you make up. How you always prefer to play with someone but how you are also just fine on your own. The amount of pride that comes with showing off your creations. The smile and how you have a thousand words per minute because you can't get your story out fast enough.
I love how much you love your life.

Every day and in every way, be more like Cole.

From the little infant whose feet would dance when I fed him, to the little munchkin that hummed while he ate solids, to the little boy whose eyes lit up when he ate his first hotdog.
From the little blue-eyed boy that held a ball in his hands and would squeal with excitement, to the littlest man that loves sports.
From the teeny tiny human that looked at you like you were everything, the moon, the stars, the world, to the little guy that tells you that's exactly what you are.
From the little boy that needs his dad to the son that will always.
From the toddler that cried and broke when we said goodbye to Mia, to the little person that runs to take care of Pearl.
From the little boy that struggles to fall asleep because the world is just too cool to close your eyes, to the person that will always need one more thing before bed.
To the child that has his heart on the outside of his body which means it gets hurt more often.
To the one that thinks with his heart and your desire so he doesn't always learn a lesson, or know how to navigate a room.
To the boy that takes every single thing so literally and does not have an inside voice.
To the completion of our family puzzle, the one that is a lover of love.

Every and in every way, be more like Cole. Because I love how much you love your life.

23
Jan

Did you know...

That I used to rock you?
Not to sleep, but when I held you, I would sway and rock.
I catch myself standing in line at the grocery store still making the motion with my body, as if you are still there, permanetly in place, heart to heart.
Did you know that about us?

Did you know...
That breastfeeding was so so lonely for me.
But late at night, when you would wake me up to feed you, it didn't feel that way.
It felt calmer, snuggled.
It felt private and special.
I would rub your ears to keep you awake enough to finish so you wouldn't wake back up.
I would talk to you.
I would read and when I would have to burp you to switch sides, I would steal time and hold you close for a little while longer.
Did you know that about us?

Did you know...
That dad was your go to when you were sick?
He would be the one to stay up in an upright position so you could sleep upright on his chest.
He cleaned up vomit and washed you off.
Did you also know he was the one to give you a bath every night when you were babies?
I would clean up the kitchen and he would put you in the bath.
I hope he remembers that time with you.
Did you know that about us?

Did you know...
Anna when you were first born, we would sneak you into bed at 4am for a snuggle.
Dad would be so nervous, but it was the snuggles I needed and moments I will always and forever remember about us.
Did you know that the first night I put you in the crib I cried, and you, like always, were ready?
Did you know that you took to your Lovey immediately? I would see you searching for her in the middle of the night and as soon as you found her, you would fall right to sleep.
Did you know that Lovey was my very first gift to you? And that I picked her out for you?
Did you know that from the first day you were born, I would say good-night by saying "I carry your heart with me"...the same way we say good-night to this day.
Did you know that about us?

Did you know...
That when you were first born Cole, the very first thing the nurses did was put you nose to nose with me, and we gave each other our very first little guy?
The same one we give each other to this day?
Did you know that you were born with highlights and this squishy face that was so perfectly round?
Did you know that dad looked so huge holding little you in his arms?
Did you know that I would sing our sunshine song to you and when you learned it too, it was the cutest thing ever heard.
Did you know that about us?

Did you know...
That you were both born with these huge blue eyes. They made you look like actual baby dolls. And your smiles, you made us fight for those smiles, you were both so serious.
But once you both found silly, you found it forever and always.
Did you know that I would sing to you while I changed your diaper.
Songs that I would make up?
And if you had belly aches, I would walk with you and sing "who let the gas out...toot toot toot toot" to the beat of "Who Let the Dogs Out" and I would crack myself up!
Did you know that about us?

Did you know that...
As amazing as parenting is and was and will be always...
it's also very lonely. And sad.
It feels like breaking up with yourself and falling in love and breaking up with the person you love and then falling back in love. All day every day.
It sometimes feels so tiring and no matter how many things you think you're doing right, you're questioning everything?
Did you know that I'm worried about you and having the time of my life with you all at the same time?
Did you know that you changed my marriage? And I liked my marriage and change is hard.
Did you know that just because you were born, I fell in love with your dad in a very different amazing way. That I was in awe of our love and what we did.
Did you know that about us?

Did you know that parenting ages you in a very different way?
The worry is different. The highs are different.
The years are slow and obnoxiously fast all at the same time.
Did you know that as you guys get older, dad and I remember who we were, who we still are, even through the fog.
Did you know that dad is my forever, and at this end of parenting, he's what I have.
He's our memories, he's my sip a drink and take it all in, he's my remember when they would guy.
He's my past, my here, he's my tomorrow.
Did you know that about us?

Did you know...
That even though you are exactly what I never knew I always wanted, and even though I remember the simple and happy of life before, I would do this all over again?
Did you know that holding you, raising you, swaying you, bathing you, feeding you, loving you, mothering you, did you know it's a life that fulfilled my purpose.
You fulfilled my purpose.
Did you know that about us?


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