5
Feb

Joy begin

Oh joy begin
Weak little thing
More precious there'll be nothing, no
Oh joy begin

Sweet loves of mine...
I have shared how motherhood was not what I had imagined in my life.
I have shared how worried I always was to be a mom.
I have shared how I put motherhood out of my mind.
But I share my life with a man that would not have it any other way.
Fatherhood was always a part of his story.

More precious there'll be nothing, no
Oh joy begin

When you first came into our lives, the joy of parenting was overwhelming.
I cannot begin to tell you how at peace I was in our first three years of life.
Joy had entered my soul in a way that I did not realize would happen.
My connection to your father was so intense, we were living a significant part of our purpose...
not just to be parents, but to be your parents.
I had no fear, I had no concerns, I just mothered and loved.
Let's not forget these early days...oh joy begin

And then, without warning, without realizing it...a fog came over us.
Draped in a heavy cloud, gray, full of darkness, it fell hard and fast.
We then spent years of our lives blindly stumbling through, no longer co-parenting, no longer connected, no longer living our purpose, but continuously trying.
We landed in such a way that our love allowed us to clear a path...we always knew we were all still there, we just needed to find a way, our way.
We lose our way in fear and pain...oh joy begin

As we lived through this fog, I look back and think of how thick it was to fight our way through.
Not our coach, he doesn't even remember it.
As I look back, I think of the pain, the tears, the difficulties.
Not our coach, he remembers our children growing up in front of his eyes.
And the truth is, we are both right. Both of those things happened at the same time.

More precious there'll be nothing, no
Oh joy begin

Looking back at our time together, so many things developed.
You grew, you grew and you grew and you grew and you grew.
And so did we.
Together, we built on something and intentionally tried to find joy.

We made joyous decisions like...
we would travel and give you experiences.
we would show you parts of the country and world that we hadn't seen.
We made joyous decisions like...
we would give you opportunities to try new things, things you wanted to try
instruments and sports and clubs and friends
We made joyous decisions like...
we would fill our home with traditions and foundations that you relied on
we would fall back to the real us and snuggle in
we would show each other love in wonderful ways
we would rely on each other
We made joyous decisions like
we would adopt and take care of a dog
we would show them our love and attention
we would take care of them and hold them as close as we held each other
We made joyous decisions like
we would read together
we would play board games
we would watch movie series
we would connect, in any way possible, we would connect.

After so many years, the fog is definitely lifting.
We can see how much more clearly now.
We have repaired much of the hurt we have faced.
We allowed love to fix the broken and find our way back.
There are reasons we are here now...

First and foremost, we would not give up on us.
With you growing, I leaned so heavily on dad and his parenting style.
We talked and talked and talked.
We listened to each other and made changes based on the pain we were causing.
We lost a lot together, more than we knew we were going to. More than we had imagined at this point in our lives. And, when you really are family, well, you fall into each other during significant loss and pain. You push each other to look differently at life. You ask each other about different ways it could have gone. You support each other, but also make sure you are being honest. You remember that your person makes you the best version of you and you show up.
We remembered that we are partners in the best way. It's the most wonderful thing about us lovies and recently, it has become so evident and makes me well, joyful.

It is important to me that you hear and remember all of us sweet loves.
Life, relationships, marriage, and partners, it is work. Real-life work. Forever work. The most important work.
It is so easy to love in the hard, it is so so easy to love in the easy. It is so easy to love in the beginning.
It is so much work to love forever. The most important job you will have is being in a relationship...any relationship. Friendships, forever loves, family, framily...they are all important work...our most important work.
Because why else are we all here if not to connect, support, love, push, cherish, engage, challenge, and adore one another?

If you ever find yourself in the deep of the fog, keep talking, keep searching, keep remembering.
Do not forget your story, your connection, your reasons.
Do not believe the lies of everyday bliss and joy.
Do not believe that there will not be fog.
Do not believe that the work isn't worth it, it always is.
Do not forget our story, our love story.
The one that began with two innocent kids, falling so easily for each other.
Finding joy so remarkably easily.
And then with intention, finding our way back.

With laughter sing, oh life begin
First just one step

17
Jan

Tomorrow

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.



19
Dec

Superpowers

I have one superpower...one.
My ability to love.

I love to love on my people.
I am good at loving my people.
I am loyal.
I am a good listener.
I think about them.
I hear what people are saying, I really listen to them.

I love learning from my people.
Hearing how and why they do things.
I love learning tricks and different routines.
I love hearing their why and finding out what is important.

I love telling my people something I have been struggling with and learning how to improve myself.
They make me a better person
A better mom
A better bride
A better leader
I love learning from my people.

I love hearing back stories.
I love knowing what makes my people happy.
I love complimenting my people, reminding them of their superpower, their ability to be them.

I love my people.
I know right away if you are.
I love knowing your struggles and listening to you.
I love letting you know that you are not alone.
I love making you feel necessary, seen, heard, and believed.

I love laughing with them.
I love making them feel good.
I love being around them, I take comfort in their presence.

I love being real with them.
I love crying with them and talking about my marriage and parenting problems.
I want the world to know that we all struggle...that is the secret that no one talks about.
Struggles are real, and there is nothing wrong with you or me that we are in the middle of one.

I am good at loving my people.
It is a superpower and I take the responsibility very seriously.
Because to see a person's heart and hold it that close to you is serious and I don't play around with it.

With a superpower, comes kryptonite.

Like all superpowers, I too have a weakness and my very own kryptonite.
My kryptonite is my superpower.
It too is my ability to love.

I love hard and to a fault.
My expectations are always too high because my self-expectations are high.
And I get hurt, as all people get hurt, but I hold on longer than most.
The pain, let's just say I am taken by surprise...every single damn time.
I am bewildered and that's when I lose my voice and my power.
I can feel beat up. I am often surprised by how harsh humans can be.
I often take way too long with people...way too long...years too long...before I find my voice and my self-respect.
I have kryptonite.

Lovies, your mamma has been through it recently.
Just know I am quiet because I am thinking.
Just know that I am sad because I am regrouping.
Just know that I am lost in thought because I am working through the blame.
Because I always start with blame; blaming myself.
I'm the common denominator after all. There must be something I am doing.

Or...
Could it be that when you love like this, it is easy to pile on?
Could it be that I may be easy to dump on AND I take love too seriously?
Could it be that I am one that forgets herself and her self-worth and just goes quiet?
Could it be that I need to look at my life, how I am leading it, and who I am allowing to have access to me?
Could it be that it is time for me to look at the life I am leading?
Should I take a look at what I am doing?
Should I make some changes?
Should I learn to love a little differently?
And then start again...start loving again.

I find myself at a crossroads and at the end of another year. I have some figuring out to do, that is for damn sure.

But the way I love on you...
Littles, if my superpower is my ability to love, I do it best with you.
I am super at loving you.
I set a strong foundation for us.
I am real with you.
I am empathetic.
I am on your team but I set standards for you because I believe in you.
I see your heart.
I have nicknames for you...many many many nicknames.
I have cute ways of telling you how much I love you...many many many ways.
I set family traditions that you look forward to and love love love.
I create memories for you and for me...good ones.
You gave me my second chance at childhood.
I gave you your first.
You give me warmth.
I give you a safe home.
You give me snuggles.
I give you my heart.
You give me smooches.
I give you all of me.
I shine brightest at loving on you my loves.
It is my superpower.

30
Oct

Soulmates...nope.

This lover of love.
This sap.
This cryer at commercials.
This woman with one superpower, loving others, does not believe in soulmates.
Does not does not does not.

Lovies, dad is the love of my whole life.
I think about my love for him all of the time.
I think about how I could be loving him better.
I think about him and his heart and if I am taking care of both.
But, I do not think we are soulmates.

Lovies, dad is the love of my whole life.
When I met your dad, everything hard melted.
I met my family.
I met happy.
I met easy.
I met the start of forever.
I met my forever and always.
But, I did not meet a soulmate.

Lovies, dad is the love of my whole life.
But love and marriage and parenting and forever and always IS hard and I do not take that for granted.
I do not take our marriage for granted.
I do not believe that something else out there is keeping us together so we can neglect our relationship.
I know we have to work on it, us, all of us all of the time.
We can take a day off here or there, but every time we take too much time off from us, nothing but us brings us back.

Lovies, dad is the love of my whole life.
But, I do not think we are perfectly suited for each other in every way.
I believe that he is my balance.
I believe he is my counterpart and I do believe that I need his energy.
But, I do not believe that he understands all of me.
I do not believe that we were born to meet.
I do not believe our souls were connected and that he would be lost without me.

Lovies, dad is the love of my whole life.
When we started, I was drawn to him.
For the first time in my life, I wanted something easy and to find someone happy.
Full of actual joy.
We happily fell into love and joy.
Years later, we have continued to add hard here and there and have to continuously check in.
We have to keep each other in mind.
We have both changed and we need to make sure that our entire foundation hasn't crumbled.
We have to make sure as we grow and change we are doing it in the same direction, or else it won't work.
No matter how it felt in the beginning, it won't work.
Our history won't keep us together.
That first smile won't.
That first kiss won't.
They will keep you warm when things get cold but they will not keep you.

Lovies, dad is the love of my whole life.
Not my soulmate but the love of my life and I will do all that I can to keep that love strong.
I will work on keeping us because I know that nothing else will.

Do not read this to think that I will huff and puff at you believing in them.
Do not read this thinking I will poke fun.
But, do not wait thinking someone perfect is out there either, and do not walk away when it gets hard.
Even soulmates have to work at it.
But I do hope you find the love of your whole life.

11
Sep

Summer of 2022

The summer of 2022 started with a significant loss. All of us lost my dad. After 13 really hard months, he was no longer with us. It's an adjustment we are all making and dealing with.
The loss was immediately met with the love and support of family and friends. It was a beautiful reminder of how much life goes on. How hard people love. How much they want to be there and want to love and support you.

The summer of 2022's middle was a celebration of a wonderful wedding. A wedding that was filled with warmth. Simple love. A couple that just wanted to share this moment of commitment with their family. A couple that is so amazing, so caring, so ready for a lifetime of love. I got to watch these two share moments so tender and loving, that you couldn't help but feel filled with joy. They are joy.

The summer of 2022 ended with a continuation of years and years of tradition with a trip to the Cape. The best week of the entire year. A week of summer. Beaches, eating, coffee, drinking, laughing, watching TV, runs by the ocean, puppies so tired they are falling asleep anywhere, just a week of us. One more amazing week of joy and the definition of childhood.

If I am being honest, the summer of 2022 had this quiet linger of sadness that grew louder as we rolled into fall. I don't know why. I can't explain it. The sadness I felt for my dad brought me such comfort and love that I don't think that's the only reason why. I'm not sure if the bustling of the house was too much at the end. I'm not sure if it's because we didn't do a lot of the things I had hoped for. I'm not sure if it's because my littles are getting bigger and therefore growing up right in front of me. But, there is something lingering in the shadows that I cannot ignore.

If I'm being honest, the summer of 2022 also had these incredible bursts of love and joy to it. Just like I needed. And the moments of amazing were just that, amazing. Every time I felt a heaviness on my chest, I would be bombarded with love. Every time I felt this feeling of loneliness and a pull, I would be brought back to the reality of care and comfort.

So, we were able to see family and friends. We were able to connect with parts of my life and people in my life that I have missed so much. We were able to swim and enjoy our backyard. We were able to host. We were able to go. We traveled. We swam. We ate. We did fancy track days. We brought people back into our home and hearts.

Summer of 2022, from beginning to end, you were a reminder of love, family, friendships, care, and comfort.

4
Sep

Isn't that the way that love's supposed to be?

There is something so intimate about knowing someone you love.
A deep knowing, really understanding, and an unmistakable dance.
There is something so knowing about love.

I know by how you are breathing if you've had a good or bad day.
I know by a look what your reaction will be.
I know how you take your coffee, what makes you snore, and how you like to sleep.

I know how you like to arrive somewhere early.
I know why you have that scar on your head.
I know how much you love the taste of beer.

I know there is excitement and pride in planning trips.
I know you have to leave the house often, and you cannot hang out all day.
I know how much you love to take care of the yard and lawn.
I know you could spend all summer out there.
I know that you adore a free t-shirt and hate how I fold your laundry.
I know you despise it when I wear your socks.

I know how you don't want Pearl to sleep in our room, but are happy to find her napping with me.
I know how much you hate to work out and what a big deal it is that you found something that works.
I know how much you've had to drink by how talkative you get.
I know how much you love a project, but also need breaks.

I know how much you loved my dad, truly respected the man.
I know how sad you were when he left us.
I know that Sundays mean football in the fall - I know how excited you get by it.
I know how much you love your teams.

I know that there are things you count on me for, and I know you know I do the same.
I know there is a spot on your chest that always smells like soap.
I know you will always play with the kids.
I know you don't love a board game but you put up with it for me.
I know you don't love my traditions, but you allow them to be a priority in our house.
I know how important family is to you.
I know how traditional you are and I now know how much comfort that brings me.

I know some of your favorite meals.
I know how much you love my mom's cooking.
I know how much you love your back being scratched at night.
I know how much you love your babies.
I know how much you love our life.

There is something so intimate about knowing someone you love.
A deep knowing, really understanding, and an unmistakable dance.
There is something so knowing about love.

15
Jul

Five Minute Friday - propose

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 propose.

Go.

It wasn't late yet but I was having a really bad day.
You came home and found me crying on the couch, I had another awful work day.
And I was tired.
I didn't love my career or where I was going.
I didn't love where we were living and it had been close to three years that I'd felt that strongly.
We decided to order out...Chinese...and just stay in.
You told me to stay put, and you would be back.
I went to the bedroom and put on cozy clothes. I just wanted to feel comfortable.

You had another thought.
On your way to grab the food, you stopped by your place and grabbed the ring.
As you tell it, it was burning a hole in your pocket and you just wanted to finally ask.
It had been almost five years.
Five years of actual us.
Happy, simple, years of us.
Nothing was complicated, nothing was heavy. It all felt like home, just like our very first day together, it felt like home.

As you came into the kitchen, ring in the bag of our take-out, you were shaking, crying a little, and had a goofy smile.
I thought you were inappropriately playing a prank...you told me to stop yelling because you were trying to propose.

You brought me into the family room.
Our puppy was by our side.
You told me that you loved me, your head buried in my chest.
You pulled out the ring and asked me, it was perfectly us Coach.

Perfectly imperfect us.

Stop.

4
Jul

Sweet

"So much we take for granted"...

Like the sound of our puppy's feet.
Or the sound of her sleeping.
Like the smell of the season changing.
Or the smell of our children's hair.
Like how family comes together.
Or like how it is defined and created.

Like a good book.
Or a great TV show.
Like a warm fire.
Or a deep calming bath.
Like candles burning on a gray day.
Or how the sun makes rainbows dance in our house.

So let us sleep outside tonight
Lay down in our mother's arms
For here we can rest safely

Like how deep down the littles really care about each other.
Or how they both love on Pearl.
Like how much I adore you.
Or how much you try to make me happy.

Like how I start every day with a walk and end it that way too.
Or how I made a mental shift with exercise.
Like how my body is changing and how much I am learning.
Or how much I am letting go of.

Like how our house is really a true home.
Or how many memories it holds.
Like a tradition I just created.
Or how I harp on the ones I've already set in place.

One sweet world
Around this star is spinning
One sweet world
And in her breath I'm swimming
And here I will rest in peace

Like how the summer night sky is filled so many stars it takes your breath away.
Or how a winter night walk feels so calming and quiet.
Like how swimming feels so tiring.
Or how the sound of the ocean makes me fall asleep.

Like how a good storm makes me giddy.
Or how a snow storm makes me feel oddly secure.
Like how morning coffee brings me to life.
Or an evening glass of wine makes me melt away.

Like how yoga is so grounding.
Or like how a good run is so good for all of you.
Like how much love there is all around.
Or how there is peace in rest.

One sweet world
And in her breath I'm swimming
And here I will rest in peace

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.

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.

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