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.



12
Dec

The power of gray

Rich colours actually look more luminous on a grey day, because they are seen against a somber background and seem to be burning with a lustre of their own. Against a dark sky all flowers look like fireworks. - G. K. Chesterton - "The Glory of Grey"

It snowed today. And although not our first snowfall of the season, our first all-day snowfall.
Although it was messy and very sloppy, I took a slow and deliberate run in the quiet gray.

If you love to run and it's a part of your routine and identity, you have to find a way to continue to do it in this kind of weather. Living in upstate New York gives you very few "perfect weather for running" days so you have to make do with what comes your way.
So, on this very wet and sloppy kind of a mess, I took a very slow and deliberate run.
In the quiet gray that surrounded me.

There's something so special about running in this weather. The streets are empty. You can see people inside their homes. You can see fires coming out of their roofs and you can see the glow of TVs and lights already on because the gray is taking over. Everything is a little slower.

Every once in a while, you'll run into someone shoveling their driveway or out for a walk. You'll catch a dog trying to figure out what is happening to its grassy patch of earth, but most of the run, it's just me and the sound of my feet. It's me shaking off the snow so I don't feel too wet. It's just me and the gray, all around me gray.

And it's gorgeous. The quiet is gorgeous, the sound of nothing. The white trees are gorgeous, the way they get heavy. The cold is gorgeous, you notice your each and every breath.

When I get home, the fireplace is on. The puppy is snuggled and cozy. The warmth takes over and the colors of my home come to life.
"...because they are seen against a somber background and seem to be burning with a lustre of their own..."

There is power in gray. There is a deepness and richness to it. There is a quiet that is needed and a slowness that is desired. Things take longer when it's gray. Time slows down to a more appropraite speed. I feel calmer in gray, more able to rest my body and my thoughts.
There is a power in that.
There is power in gray.
21
Nov

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.

18
Sep

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.

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
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.

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

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