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.

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.

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

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?


2
Jan

Comfort and joy

It's going to look like candles lit.
Baths on cold winter and fall nights.
Outdoor showers during the summer.
Using my dipping pool with a cool glass of wine.
And using our outdoor fire pits.

It's going to look like friends in my home.
It's going to look like so many family movie nights
and comedy standups that make me laugh so hard it hurts.
It's going to be a more intentional and organized home - cleaner, more balanced.

It's going to look like walks and yoga and finding a way to come back to my breath at night.
Sunday mornings in my robe and slippers.
Cozy clothes all of the time (because that's my new normal).

It's going to look like warm coffee and tea, all year round.
It's going to be less worrying, or a healthy amount of worry because who am I kidding.
It's going to be about opening myself back up, finding love in the world again.
It's going to be being there for those that I love.

It's going to be Sunday night dinners and grateful hearts.
It's going to be vacations with those that make me smile too hard.
It's going to be dancing more with my kids.

It's going to look like a lot of reading and reading dates and snuggles on the couch together.
It's going to be a lot of sports and running around to get them to their games.
It's going to be watching them be incredible teammates and friends.

It's going to be naps and second sleeps.
It's going to be smiling and feeling the joy in my bones.

It's going to look the same and different.
It's going to look sweet and sour.
It's going to look cozy and uncomfortable.
It's going to have joy and some heartache.
It's going to be another year that we take it day by day.
Another year that we walk slow.
Another year that we talk instead of scream.
Another year that we listen instead of talk.
Another year that we shut out the noise instead of welcoming it into our home.
Another year of quiet and loud.
Another year.

Lovies, all I ask is for some comfort and joy.


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