The answer

You were the answer to my wish upon a star.

Lovies, it has been a flipping year and a half.
That is for damn sure.
I am not sure how many more hits this mamma of yours can take but here is what I do know...
as much as I am impacted and floored, and processing the blows, I'm still
and lucky...
to have met you.

You were the answer to my wish upon a star.

I know you know this, but this mamma of yours wanted no babies.
Not a single one.
Dad knew it and get rolled the dice on me.
I knew he needed to be a dad and I rolled the dice too.
He won, and thank god he did.

You were the answer to my wish upon a star.

I had no idea how much I was missing you in my life.
I had no idea that you were a part of my purpose, my reason, my life.
I needed to be your mother. I needed to mother you both.
I needed to have babies and they needed to be you.
I needed to feel your heart beating, I needed to carry you.
I needed to rock you to sleep and bathe you.
I needed to read to you and get excited about your amazing milestones.
I needed to mother you both.

You were the answer to my wish upon a star.

Your smiles, your warmth, your excitement.
Your belief in magic, your desire to be good, do good.
Your mistakes, my mistakes, your lessons, my lessons.
Your love of love, my need for more and more love.

You were the answer to my wish upon a star.

Time is marching on, you're both getting so so big.
But in this house, not much really changes.
The foundation, the strength, the commitment to love, the traditions, the unit, the desire to be together,
it all stays exactly where it is.

Time is marching on, you are both getting so so big.
With more than "play dates"...now you have "plans".
With more than a little kid game...now you have a real team to show up for.
With more than what to wear today...now there are outfits and routines.
With more than friends...now you are creating squads.
Time is marching on, that's for damn sure. But you were and still are my answer.

You were the answer to my wish upon a star.

As you walk this planet, have desires, have some plans.
But be very open to change.
Be very aware of how giving in to something you always feared may make you forever grateful that you did.
Meet family, and surround yourself with family in every way.
Remember love, make memories, make something.
Be you, the wonderful incredible you that I had this incredible wonderful front seat at watching.
The answer to a question I never wanted to ask.

You were the answer to my wish upon a star.


What we see

You see a kitchen.
I see us writing happy hearts every week and I see pancakes and I see pizza and I see a family all in one spot.
I see where your highchair was and all the entertainment you gave me from it.
I see you falling asleep sitting up when we changed from 2 naps to one.
I see us going over sounds animals make while I fed you.
I see us singing.
I see all of our moments...I see all of us.

You see a bedroom.
I see where I read to you. Where I rocked you. Where I held you. Where I fed you.
I see where your crib was, I see the look on your face when I entered your room after a nap or a deep sleep.
I see a sleepy baby, ready for bedtime, after a bath, smelling perfect.
I see where we introduced you to Mia. I see her smelling you and not knowing what this life now meant for all of us.
I see all of our moments...I see all of us.

You see our front room.
I see the room we first brought you home to.
I see where you rolled over, where you walked, where you played.
I see where you hung out, I see our first family movie nights.
I see our red chair, the one we snuggled into. The one dad held you all night while you were sick in.
I see our fireplace and our love for warmth.
I see Mia's happy face when we were all there together and I see her trying to climb up on top of me when dad watched sports.
I see all of our moments...I see all of us.

You see a bathroom.
I see your first tubs. The ones that you were so small you needed a tub inside of a tub.
The ones where you were sitting up and would play.
I see us writing with the letters that stuck to the walls together.
I see you squealing.
I see you moving from a tub inside a tub, to a sitting child, to someone that bathed alone to someone that takes showers.
I see us fighting you to brush properly.
I see us fighting you to keep it cleaner.
I see all of our moments...I see all of us.

You see our backyard.
I see you making fun of me about how small the pool we put in is.
I see you and dad playing ball, any ball together.
I see you playing basketball by yourself.
I see your swing set - the one you loved and would smile so big on.
I see your baby pool, the one you loved until you were way too big for it.
I see summers outside.
I see our firepit that we all gathered around.
I see Pearl running from one side to the other. Her gallop is so beautiful as she chases the newest smell.
I see us playing fetch and ball with her.
I see her amazing smile when we're all together.
I see all of our moments...I see all of us.

You see a house.
I do not.
I see the home we created, with such unbelievable intentions.
I see our traditions.
I see our love.
I see our family.
I see the beauty in our lives.
I see and feel our memories.
I feel the warmth that was built here.
I see all of our moments...I see all of us.


Showing up.

I show up.

For my kiddos.
For my husband.
For my body.
For my health, for my life.
For my work and my career.
For my employees.
For my friends, for their hearts.

I show up.

As a mother, a really proud one.
As a bride, a really caring one.
As a dog mom, a really loving one.
As a boss - a badass boss.
As a friend, a damn good one.
As a runner and a woman that puts strength first.
As a writer.
As a giver.

I show up.

For you.
For him.
For them.
For me.
For love.
For strength.
For family.

I show up.
I don't know how not to and I don't want to figure it out.
I show up because I want to and because I have to.
I show up because I love the people in my life.

I show up.



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.


This time of year

There's a certain amount of peace that comes with this time of year.

Lovies, even as your dad and you are screaming your heads off in the other room cheering on the Bills, I am overcome by such sappy peace that you are just going to need to ride it out with me.

It's almost poetic.
Last week, I was begging, pleading, for time to heal me.
But, just because I'm ready to let the loss go, does not mean the healing will begin.
As dad said, it's like watching a pot. You keep calling for it instead of just allowing it to happen organically.
I'm grasping for something, but it's not there for me to grab...not yet.

It's almost poetic.
And during my favorite Sunday calls, my sister-in-law reminded me that all I can do is forgive.
Not the pain, not the people, but forgive yourself for what you put up with and why.
And so I started to do just that. On my hands and knees, in child's pose, I asked for forgiveness.
Not healing, but forgiveness.
Because for years, I put up with too much - we all did.
There is peace in forgiving yourself.

It's almost poetic.
Scrolling through social media, I can see all of the posts about how fall is the universe reminding us of the beauty that comes with letting go.
The beauty in losing it all and creating something...new.
See, sappy...but there is peace at this time of year.

It's almost poetic.
I sat in the tub tonight, with so much hot water, not warm, hot.
The suds were all around me. The salts smelled so good.
My heart rate slowed down.
My thoughts got a little quiet.
I was so warm, so incredibly warm.
And I asked for forgiveness, not healing, but forgiveness.
I closed my eyes and thought, there is peace in this.

It's almost poetic.
I finished one more part of Nonno's stuff. My dad's stuff. One uncomfortable and awful part that was left for us.
Left, for us.
And sometimes it made me so mad that it was left.
How he just wouldn't believe this was happening so wasn't going to tie up loose ends.
So he left us with it.
But more than anger, I was so sad.
For him, his trust, his love for his family, his character, his damn strong character.
Instead I cried, again.
Being sad about him brings me such strange wonderful comfort.
My relationship with your Nonno was so complicated and the fact that I'm sad feels so normal to me.
There is such peace in his loss and the deep sadness it brings.

It's almost poetic.
The leaves are changing, falling to the ground now.
The colors are strong, but barely hanging on.
The trees are losing a lot and bracing themselves.
I wonder if that's what peace actually looks like?
Getting down to nothing, a stub of who you were, getting ready for the cold, and then starting over again and getting something new to reach out.
There is such peace here.

It's almost poetic.
I don't know if I will ever shed you, the feel of you, the warmth you once brought.
I don't know if I will ever forgive myself all of the way.
I don't know if I will ever be able to hear your names and be okay.
But I do know I will feel warmth again and again and again.
I do know that I will find something new, once I stopped grasping for nothing.
And I of course know, there's a certain amount of peace that comes with this time of year.



Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall. –F. Scott Fitzgerald

The kids started school. Cory went back to work. The house got quiet again. I went back to working alone and Pearl and I found our routine...have I mentioned that this mamma loves a routine.

I celebrated a birthday. I started a new year, a new age, new but a lot of the same.

The air in NY is more chilling. I started running with mittens in the morning. There's a definite change in the temps now and we started to pull out sweatshirts and warmer blankets.

It's been raining a lot. I love everything about it. The chill, the gray, the sound, the smell. There's a cozy sentiment this time of year that cannot be beaten.

The drinks are different. The meals. The feel of life, it all feels a little different.

The walks are different too. There are different smells and different sounds now. The warmth and greenness are starting to go away and they are being replaced by the fall colors, the smell of fires, and some gray gray skies.

They say that all people, adults included, feel a "new year" with the start of fall. Just as much as a NYE start. There is such a shift in the air and surroundings, there is such a link to our school days, that it feels like a new start.

It's a good time of year to start a new habit or break a bad one. It's a good time of year to take stock. You can figure out what is and is not working. What do you want the end of your year to look like, and what changes do you want to include? What is working, what do you want to stay with you?

I'm going to lean harder into gratitude this season.
I'm going to read way more.
I'm going to increase my steps.
I'm going to keep my love of love.
I'm going to keep my movement with Pearl.
I'm going to try and find a yoga/pilates community.
I'm going to start taking a nightly bath, I'm really going to enjoy the warmth of the season.

It's a new season in NY.


A gift.

When I was 30, I was presented with a gift. And not one I had always imagined. Not one I ever thought I would want. Not one that I knew my whole life I would one day get and cherish. But just the same, I was presented with a gift.
It came in a little package, all bundled up. It was shiny and brand new but somehow familiar.

I never thought I would describe mothering, motherhood, or parenthood as a gift, but that is exactly what it is. My littles, you have been a gift. Not always wrapped in pretty ribbon and bows, and sometimes we are all frayed, but a gift nonetheless.
When I unwrapped the package, I saw his eyes, my soul, his face, my love.

The last thirteen years have not been a blur for me. Although they have gone fast and fierce, they have been so intentional and deliberate. I have watched and held on to so many moments, so many days. The memories that flood my mind are what bring such an intense smile to my face. When I look back at our pictures, our moments of us, I cannot help but feel this rush of joy. Your life, these memories, they have been such a gift.
When I first laid my eyes on what I was gifted, I knew in my soul this is exactly what I was always meant to do, love on you.

Our first year together was a year like no other. Only filled with love and intention. Only filled with a heart so full and warm. It quickly became our little world, you quickly became a significant part of mine. I watched you turn into a person in 12 months. You went from a bundle to someone I could make smile. You went from a gentle warm snuggle to someone I could make laugh, someone who made me laugh. You went from not being able to lift your head to crawling, standing, and talking. Your first words were so precious. You loved the people in your world and were cautious with the rest.
When I spoke to you, I would get close, as if to whisper. I would soak you all in, your smell, your warmth, your smile, my smile staring back at me.

Watching you grow into who you are, who you will one day be, but who you always were, has been the greatest privilege of my life. The most precious gift. I get this incredible front-row seat. And I thank you for it littles. I thank you for allowing me to still be involved for as long as you need. I thank you for realizing that we are always here, even when you do not need us. I realize that we will not always have this front-row seat. I realize how limited our time is, but for this very moment in time, I am gifted with you.
When you are gifted something so precious, you want to make sure you take very good care of it, and I tried very hard to take good care. However, you do not want it to feel fragile and breakable. You want to make sure the gift is fully realized, and I tried very hard to make sure you knew your potential.

You have filled my home with joy.
You have given me a second childhood, you gifted me childhood and I got to work on protecting your little.
I do not shelter you, but I do protect my gift.
I do not keep you from growing up, but I do ask you to walk slowly.
No is not my favorite word, but you know our boundaries.
I know my gift is so delicate and fragile, but also built with such incredible force and strength.
The gift has such warmth. It created warmth in my home.
It was exactly what my home needed. Warmth and joy and mess and craze. My home was missing you and I didn't even know it. My home was too quiet and I didn't even realize it. My home, my life, my heart, it needed the gift of you.

The little in my life is a gift. Christmas mornings, traditions, ice cream for dinner, Cape summers, beaches, toys, Legos, and puzzles. Balls and games. Music and dance parties. Friday night pizza and movies. Binge-watching shows. Reading dates and snuggles on top of snuggles. Hand holding everywhere and all of the time. Puppy kisses and walks. Walks on top of walks on top of walks. Pictures, all of the pictures. Waffles and pancakes. The weekend mornings that are slow. The nights that are filled with whispers of love in your dreams. My gift, you have been my gift.
And so I thank you for this time, this little window of time. I want to thank you for my gift. The one I unwrapped so many years ago. The one that had his eyes, my smile. His joy, my serious. His newness, my old soul. His love, my love, together, we unwrapped a gift.


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.


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.


Happy birthday old man

Happy birthday old man.
Remember how much you hated it when I called you that?
The glare you would give me? You would tell me how much stronger you were than me. How you could run circles around me...old man...I'll show you old man.
You would have been 78 and it's the first one without you.
She struggled and wished you were here.

We went out to dinner, to your spot, just like you would have liked.
All of us. Around one table.
Talking so inappropriately loud that others thought we were yelling.
But, that's just us.
She was quiet, she was wishing you were there.

We took her to the cemetery. We brought you flowers.
Just like you would have wanted.
You were so worried no one would visit, but we came, we sat and talked to you.
She cried, she wanted you home.

I cried on my way home from dinner.
I remembered how you said goodbye when you were clear on what was happening.
I kept remembering what you looked like in your final days.
How much you slept, how tired you were, how much pain you were in but refusing to take anything.
Dammit you were a tough SOB.
She hasn't stopped crying, she told me that it was so much easier having you around. Even if all you did was yell at each other, it's so much easier than this.

Cole said he thinks about you every night while he's going to sleep.
He doesn't know why it's at night, but it is.
He said that sometimes it makes him cry, and whenever he talks about you he breaks down.
He makes me cry when he gets like that and he tells me how much he misses your hugs.
She hugged him and kissed him at the cemetery, just like she did the day we left you.

Cory struggles whenever he thinks of you.
He gets quiet.
He wishes you were here to tell him how he's doing a project the wrong way.
I think you would be yelling at him about how he didn't clean your tracker correctly.
But in all honesty, he wants to hear you say how proud and impressed you are with his projects.
He just wanted to impress you with his work and you delivered that pride that you only saved for him.

So, a few months after we all put you to rest, we celebrated your birth.
She really didn't want to. She feels it's inappropriate to celebrate and she's struggling with what she thinks she should do vs what you would have wanted us to do.
She was struggling between wanting to just sit and cry and knowing how much you would have hated that.
We did you proud, as proud as you could get of us.
I'm sure there would have been lots you would have complained about...the outside was too warm, the wedding downstairs was too loud, the waiter was too slow, the 3.5-hour meal went too fast and we tried to rush you out.
But, we went to your favorite spot.
We ordered a ton of food.
We brought in an apple crisp because it was your favorite - Paola remembered.
I had a glass of wine.

Happy birthday old man.
I hope you celebrated it in style like only you know how.

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