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

2
May

Heavy days

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

27
Mar

It's so quiet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.


12
Dec

Where our story begins

There is something so beautiful about the beginning of a love story. Something so sweet, so pure. You can't stop smiling, your heart rushes, something happens in your toes. You can't get enough and you can't picture anything different. And no matter what happens to your story, holding on to that feeling is just so important. In fact, I once read that you can tell if couples in therapy have a fighting chance by the way they talk about the start of them. If they fumble through the story and giggle and remember the joy or if it's all about how it all went wrong and feel as though it started with contempt.

I am so lucky to have so many gorgeous love stories and more for me than you, I want to share them. I wanted to honor them and I wanted to remind you that happy endings look so different. There is no need to mention names, those who know already know. Some are people, or pets, or places/cities. But the who is something I will keep just for me.

When I first met you, I was 14 years old and still desperately trying to figure out how to get through this part of my life. I had my goals and my life planned out, but I was too young to be this angry. You kind of got it, you understood, and you validated how awful this was. You made me a teen with crushes and late-night talks. With an obsession with the phone, notes being passed, talks about boys, first kisses. You made me young and happy.

When I first met you, I was dating someone else and you came on strong. You wrote me letters, poems, you wrote about me. You read my writing and you were amazed that we shared this secret language that we shared with no one. You made me feel so special, so seen. You were my first young love. You made me feel like me and okay with that.

When I first met you, it was way later than I should have. Everyone else had done visits and tours of their choices and made an informed decision. I saw you through brochures because I wasn't allowed to see you in person. But when I did, when I did, it was everything I wanted. From the moment I laid eyes on you, you felt like a warm blanket, ready to take care of me. You were gorgeous, absolutely stunning.

When I first met you all, we were crazy young, a little nervous, but so so happy. We were all trying to figure out what this important part of our lives was going to look like but one thing was for sure, we were going to take care of each other, be there for each other, we created a home, a framily. Years and years and years later, we have been through heartache, heart breaks, first adult loves, weddings, babies, raising kids, taking care of aging parents. We have held on to what we created.

When I first met you, I met my heart, my forever person. Your background was so similar to mine and you understood me in a way most couldn't. Your family was so loving, so caring, so there and supportive and that's exactly what you became. What you have given me is my forever and ever family. Watching our kids become who we were, what we still are, is the highlight of life. Loving your husband in the way that I love you, knowing you love mine as deeply and meaningfully. You fill me full, you are my one week a year and you so beautifully know and accept me. You so lovingly appreciate how crazy the four of us are, and you teach me...you fill me full.

When I first met you, it was my very first night of college and we stayed up all night talking. We sat on a wall and talked the night away about where we came from, what brought us here, our families. Our stories were so different. Within months, you became my first college boyfriend. You made me laugh, you made me have fun, you made me dance, you loved music as much as I did. You let me be with my girls, and you made me happy.

When I first met you, I was taking a class that I needed to check off my list. What I found was an amazing love of the subject, a deep sense that I needed to learn more and more and that I could not get enough of you. What I found was the beginning of my love of education, no longer my have to, but my actual love and desire.

When I first met you, you were seven and you changed everything about me. You and your family had me believe in a loving home filled with laughter and healthy fights and warmth. You gave me a future to believe in and a career that would change my entire life.

When I first met you, you were the funny guy downstairs. We bonded over our love of Pearl Jam and our friendship drove us both mad and crazy. It still does to this day. You make me laugh and think differently. You opened my eyes to the world, you were protective, you were inspiring, you were a real and amazing friend.

When I first met you, we were playing a game at one of your house parties. You leaned over and kissed me and took me by such surprise, but that kiss sparked something, years of something. You had a way of taking care of me, even though I was trying to scream that I didn't need to be taken care of. You had a way of making me feel special, even though I felt like I didn't deserve it. Ultimately, you were what helped me realize what I did deserve and what I needed to be looking for.

When I first met you, you were in a little ball in a cage waiting for your family to find you. As soon as we laid eyes on each other, we were locked in. The day I brought you home, you sat next to me like my little co-captain in this life. And you held that role, most times taking the lead but just a nudge, but always always being there. You became my reason, my heart, my family. You brought dad to us, you made him fall in love with us. You were soft and gentle and cute and smelled so good. We took such good care of each other. And for all of the years of love and moves and changes and life events, I have no regrets. I know I loved you as hard as I possibly could and I know you knew how much that was. You were my reason.

When I first met you, I was renting a movie, your smile immediately drew me in. I met my family, and I was home. All that we have created together is remarkable. Our decades together have meant something. Our future is still so unknown, but solid. Even through our darkest and hardest of times, you keep us...you keep us. I want to thank you for never ever giving up, for listening, for moving in the directions we needed to move. I want to thank you for your undying support, a real true partner. I want to thank you for picking up what I have needed to drop. I want to thank you for knowing how important my work is to me, but also bringing life back to us and them. I want to thank you for falling in love with puppy kisses and being patient with my mothering. I want to thank you for insisitng I become a mother, something I love so much. I want to thank you for loving me and growing with me.

When I first met you, it was different. Two little lines told me you were coming and in that instant, our connection began. I can't explain it, but when I placed my hand on my belly, you whispered that you were a girl. Months later you told me your birthday and months and months later, you were here. A person. Half me, half dad. You made us walk into parenthood so gently and lovingly. You were so easy, so easy to care for, so easy to love, nothing was ever hard those first three years. You slept, you ate, you got sick, you got better. You cried, you were serious, you laughed, you danced, you fell in love with puppy kisses. You were the daughter I was always afraid of, but exactly what I never knew I always needed.

When I first met you, well, it was love at first sight. They put your little head up to me and we gave each other our first "little guy" kiss, something we do to this very day. You looked at me differently, like I was your world...your moon...your stars. I just could not believe the way my heart felt. But today I realize that my heart was feeling what your heart feels. Because your heart is something that dreams are made of. You have such a loving and caring and affectionate soul. Your heart is always on he outside of your body...always. You feel very deeply, you love so naturally. You are a good friend, sibling, son, student. All there is to know is that you will be loved in this world and the world needs to change to accept your love. You do not need to change to meet the world, your love will be the change this world needs.

When I first met you, I was a mom in the thick of it and so lonely. I was in the middle of my marriage fog and desperate for family. I asked for you, and you showed up. My heart was insatntly connected to yours and your family. My soul was full. You were exatly what I needed at exactly the time I needed you. We raised our babies together. We struggled together. You walked me through years of heartache and change. You helped me to see my husband's side of the story. We watched our boys go from parellel play to actual best buds. We saw how complete opposites they were, we laughed at all of the ways they need each other, but drive each other nutty. I fell for you, you taught me so much. You made me a better mom and person and you helped me see balance so differently.

When I first met you, all I saw was a picture and turned to dad and said, this is her, this is our girl. We have to go and get her. There was a lot of back and forth but the day came that we finally got to take you home. You were a bundle of floopy skin and so shaken. Strangers opened up a car door and I turned to our littles and said, she's here, this is our new girl. You instantly warmed to us and we started on our lover of love adventures. A puppy that wants love, and smooches, and caring for more than food or potty breaks. A puppy that is my running and walking buddy, but also my snuggles and fireplace lover. A puppy that loves a nap and a tasty snack but hates the rain or being wet and dirty. A puppy that loves to run looks so natural doing so, a puppy that lives for us, shakes her cooley at us with excitment for just being home. The ray of light we all needed at exactly the right time we needed it. Our perfect, precious ray of light and love. A reminder that time heals and love moves on.

The beginning of a love story is so precious, so wonderful, so caring. It feels so right, exactly what you needed when you needed it. No matter how the story ends, what new chapter you write, just hold on to the feeling of love that you were a part of. Thank the universe for bringing it to you, making you feel that way, that special, that needed right back. Thank them for their part in it. Because love stories come and go. But knowing all of our hearts, we never let the love die.

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