16
Sep

Lovey

When you were both born, I gave you each a little present, a lovey. They look a little different, but their size, their use, and their shape are the same. It was my first present to you, it was my first decision as a mom as to what to hand you, and it was the first time I made such a good decision that when I see them today, I am overcome by memories. And joy. And love. And remembering how little you were. And what they meant to you. And what they mean to you. And finally, what they mean to me.

When you are first starting out as a parent, there are so many "cute" things about shopping. There are so many aws and ohs at little clothes and socks, and blankets and stuffed animals, and ways to decorate your room. But, I remember really wanting to get you a lovey. I remember how important it was in my mind, I became a little me about it. I didn't research them or look over every single one. I walked into a store with something in mind and I walked out with it in my hand. And, when I met you, I remember placing it in your little tiny arms, I remember wrapping your arms around it, and I remember telling you how important this will be to you. And then, I let you fall in love, all on your own.

Every time you cried, I placed lovey in your arms as I too held you. Every time you slept, I put it right by you, reachable and close to you. Every time you were sick, I made sure you had it on you. Whenever you were anywhere snuggled, I made sure it was by your side. And now, all these years later, for one of you over a decade later, I really strongly feel, it's not only one of my first decisions as a parent, but it was also one of my best. Because as time went by, lovey became a part of you and what you turned to. As time went by, lovey was what you needed to fall asleep and even though Cole, you have outgrown it for needing sleep, you still need it in your life. You still need to know we have it. You still need to know it's yours. Anna, you need it...plain and simple end of story need it. And for both of you, no matter how important it is to you, it means so so much to me.

When I first heard what they were called, lovies, well, how could they NOT be made for this mamma? Lovey is what I call dad, and those I adore, and those in my circle. Lovey is my little nickname for those that matter, and this, this was going to matter a lot in your life. I remember watching you sleep and search for it in the middle of the night, I remember hearing you stir as an infant and realizing it was close to you and that's all you needed, I remember it being so positive for you and for your growing little mind. So no, it's not just a little something I gave you. It's the first something I gave you. It's the first thing I bought for you and said "happy birthday little one" with. It's what reminds me of babies and little, and snuggles, and love, and parenting, and warmth, and family, and motherhood.

So, no, it's not something that I can ever replace. No, I don't have a "spare". No, I don't want you to lose sight of it and yes, I do worry I may lose it which is why I keep a mamma eye on it. Because it was the start of us lovies, it was the start of you and the very first thing I ever gave you.

13
Sep

Five Minute Friday - start

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 start.

Go.

This Sunday, I start what might be my last race for a while (see how committed I am there??). I have been feeling like it is time to hang my training shoes up, maybe not forever, but for a while. I have been feeling like I have spent an entire life proving that I can do hard things, and now, I need life to be a little more kind, to me. I have been feeling like I just want to take things a little easier on myself, and like I just need some peace. Hanging up training shoes means I am also putting down my fighting gloves and it's time to start this new chapter.

And so, on Sunday, I will stand at the start of my half marathon, I will wave to my family and I will run. I hope it will clear my mind and I hope it will be healing for my soul. I hope that it will feel like I might need a few years off to regroup, recalibrate, and figure out how to make this new world I am creating just a little bit easier. It is time for me to take a little break, a little breather, and to start a brand new day.

The words that keep flooding my mind are "easier" "lighter" "calmer" "kind" "gentle" "grateful". Because after a heavy storm, the clouds part, the earth is washed, the groud is full, the plants have been fed, sometimes, leaves fall off and branches break, but there is a necessary calm. Sometimes, you have to clean up a little from the debris left behind but that's okay. It's the start of a new day and for me, it's the start of a whole new life.

Stop.

9
Sep

Unfamiliar Road

For the first time since you could talk, you said you didn't need a story read to you, you were fine reading all on your own. I pretended to cry and say, "I guess that's okay, it's your first day of 5th grade and you just want to read your book". I was hugging you and said, "it's fine, you can grow up". As I pulled away, I saw your eyes glisten. You were actually starting to cry.

We are headed down some unfamiliar roads you and me. But isn't that the way we kind of have always been? Being our first, you are the first everything. The first experience of everything and so even though time goes on and we fall into grooves, there are always surprising firsts. Like how it dawned on me you don't need help in the shower anymore and I couldn't remember the last time you did. Or how soon, our reading dates will look a little different. You reading your book in your room, and maybe I will be beside you...maybe I will be in a different room, maybe it will all change.

You have taught me that that's okay. Because as unfamiliar as these roads are, I trust you. I know you will ask for what you need and for what you want. I know you are loving to walk slow so you won't push it. And, as unfamiliar as it continues to get, we're still us and you still have a lot of me in there. Like when you cry at the thought of mom not needing to read to you, or like how you cry because sometimes, you and I just need a good cry. As I held you, I told you it's okay to cry. People like us, we need to let it out sometimes. It's also okay to want to get so into a book you don't want to stop. It's also okay to be held like the little girl you will always be in my heart, even when you're 25 or 45...because sometimes, you just need your mom. All of that is okay sweet girl.

As you held on to me, you said, you can read to me mom. I know sweetie, but I also know you're really into what you're reading. No, please read to me, our book...just stay. That's the other reason these unfamiliar roads will be just fine. Because we can count on each other to stay and hold each other. Because you still want me to. Because when you are living a childhood you don't have to recover from, a #happychildhood, it's all going to be okay, even unfamiliar roads can lead us to home.

So, I stayed, we read our book together, we snuggled. You stopped crying, you put your head on my shoulder and I stayed. When I was done with the chapter, you went back your book, we did our goodnight ritual, and I left.

Lovey, all we are trying to do here is to remind you that you are home, you are where you need to be. You are where you belong. And we can walk these unfamiliar roads together sweet girl. We will figure it all out together.

2
Sep

One hell of a summer in 2019

It was one hell of a ride this summer. We got so much in, we lingered, we were lazy, we did, we accomplished, we traveled, we stayed, we built, we did nothing. We swam, we read, we beached, we (I) napped and napped and napped. We loved, we spent time around love, with love, with loved ones. We ate great food, we got alone time, we got family time, we got framily time, we got us time.

I surrendered, I changed, I laughed, I cried, I got worried, I slept and slept and slept and slept. I trained, I went for really long runs, I am getting ready to hang up my training shoes, I made some really hard decisions, I shared those decisions. I drank so much coffee, and so many bloody marys, I danced, I planned, I did and I did nothing.

We had ice cream and long talks. We had snuggles and movie time. We had so many people here, we opened our arms. We watched the sun come up and go down. We spent time with those we love and some time alone. We read, the kids read, they built, they played, the did camps, they saw friends, they saw us, they got time, they were busy, it was all-consuming.

We got every last drop of summer out of this summer. We really put our arms around it and squeezed and we hugged and hugged it tighter and tighter. We love summer, all of us. But, after all this time, we are also all ready for structure and routine and a little more clarity on the days. We are ready for time tables and the flow we all fall into. As this year progresses, I need to remind myself that your foundation continues to build, the stakes are so low right now and you can make millions of mistakes because that is how you learn, become independent and how you stand on your own two feet. There are some major shifts coming our way this fall. You will have more responsibility, I will do much less reminding, natural consequences will take place. I have to embrace the crazy that is about to hit me and prepare for it being just me in a few short months.

But in the meantime, I want us all to remember, we had a summer. One hell of a summer. We are lucky, we are privileged, we are beyond. We won't always spend summer like this, it won't always embody childhood like this one did, but that's going to be okay too. I promise I will walk with you because you are choosing to walk slow. I can't promise I will be ready and happy about how we change and mold and grow, but I promise to walk with you.

One hell of a summer is the only way to describe this one guys. We really loved the hell out of it!

30
Aug

Five Minute Friday - back

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 back.
Go.

At the end of a summer, it feels like we have to now get back into the swing of things. Back into routines and schedules. Back into packing lunches and emptying backpacks. Back into papers filling our home...back to structure.

There is a love/hate relationship with this time of year. I push/pull that I so often feel in parenting. A feeling of I can't wait to have you go back and yet another feeling of one more summer of childhood behind us and another transition to say goodbye to. This summer was filled with childhood, love, warmth, travel, busy, camps, weeks of time at home, projects, our house becoming a home, messes, sticky counters, crunchy floors, toys everywhere, messy rooms, laundry piling high, our house filled with people, our house filled with laughter, TV and movies, rainy days, lots of painting, reading dates, framily time, just us five, walks, runs, swims, sand, family on top of family, and childhood.

And now, we are back. Back to the grind, back to school for hubby, kids and back to me feeling like I'm not the only one back at it.

With all our love summer, you filled us full.

Stop.

23
Aug

Five Minute Friday - pace

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 pace.

Go.

Since I can remember, I have set my pace to "full speed ahead". Everything that I do, I do with all of me. I give it all that I have, and then I find some more to give, and I give that too. And when I can't find anymore, I double down and search and search and search and then I just pour more and more out of me.

I do it with how I work, I do it with my workouts, I do it with my work ethic, I do it with our home, I do it with my writing, I do it with our plans, I do it with how I love. Full speed ahead is the only pace I have.

So, when this born 40-year-old finally turned the age she was always meant to be, I'm starting to play with a different pace, a slower one, a quieter one. A pace that allows me to function a bit more, sleep a little harder, and be. Not always do and be doing, but be.

Be with you, be around you, be present, be loving, be me, be happy, be proud, be kind, be kind to me...be.

I don't know what pace it is yet, I don't know what any of it looks or feels like, not yet. I haven't found the right rhythm. I just know I'm tired of always feeling like I'm about to have a heart attack and like "it" can't stop or else all of "it" will come crashing down...whatever "it" is for this week anyway. I'm tired of feeling like I can't stop or else all that I hold will collapse, I'm just not that important.

So, little faces, I'll figure this out with you. I have a few more months of holding on and then we will play with a differently paced mamma. One that has time to look at you the whole time you're telling me a story, the one that knows the names of the kids in your class and takes walks with you and holds on to the pace you have always tried to set for us.

Stop.

18
Aug

Surrender

Morning lovies, this morning, I took another yoga class, and this one really focused on the word surrender, something your mamma does not do well. When you are always trying to fight and resist, surrendering is almost impossible. And so, I set it as my intention for the morning and really focused what it would mean to surrender to the rest of my year.

It would mean that I just lean into the hard. I start to get excited about the new. I get sad about the loss of a part of me, I get upset that I am saying goodbye to 20 years of something I worked so hard to build, something I believe in so very much. It means that I surrender my body to the stress and I surrender my bones to the tired. It means I go to bed when I am exhausted. It means I surrender to when I can't sleep. It means I surrender to when you two fighting brings me an annoyance that is so irritating that I can't function. It means I surrender to the chaos the next 4+ months will be, because they just will. Resist all I want, they just will.

It means I also surrender to the plans of my future. It means I surrender to the building of what is to come. It means I get to dream and hope and map out how different things will be for me. It means I get to surrender to you planning too...how different our summer will be, how different our time will be.

It means I surrender to a lot of what I thought I was, what I thought I needed to define me and I just am. I come out as something new, something completely new. It means I surrender to the times I make big mistakes, like being obedient when I should be strong-minded. It means I surrender to the times that my interactions haunt me, they should, it's how I learn. It means that I surrender to the feelings of blue, because the next four months will be filled with so much change, so much going on, so much I have to do, so much of what I need to keep doing, and I surrender to the madness of it all.

It means when I am in class, I surrender to that time...just me and my breath and I remember to exhale. I remember to melt into the floor, not just on it, but into it. It means I am grounded in my feet and from my root, I will rise.

It means when my feet hit the pavement I surrender to the different breath I have to find in order to find my rhythm in that day's run. It means as I start what might be my last half marathon training, I realize I can do hard things. And hanging up my training shoes is not giving up, it's finding a new me, putting aside the hard and finding what else I can do.

It means when I am taking a bath, I have to surrender to the warm water on me, I have to settle into the bath, close my eyes for just five minutes and be. And then it means I leave the full day right there in the tub and wash it down. It means I have to physically watch as it throws itself down the drain, today is behind me, honestly washed away.

It means during our reading dates, I surrender myself to our family time, to our connection, to what is important. It means when you ask for me to read to you, I put whatever I am working on down to be with you, you won't call for me much longer. It means when you want little guys I joyfully say, of course. It means when you fold into me, I allow you to and I rub your back and tell you how much you still look like the baby girl I brought home.

It means I surrender to what is coming. I have called for it and we are all ready.

Mom doesn't surrender all that well lovies. But today I took my first step and I know you will feel the struggle that is coming. But, we will hold hands and I will be reminded of your faces, your smiles, and your softness. I surrender to you.

11
Aug

Walk slow

I have been spending some time looking at older pictures of you both. Ones from years past, ones in which your smiles are ear to ear. You are the embodiment of childhood. You are happy, you are small, you are loving a little life that we have all created.

Each year, each day, I know we let go just a little more. And each year, I worry that this might be the last year that they are young enough to want to do this or that. But the one thing I have really noticed is that you are both walking slow. You too are holding on, not clinging but walking slowly. You have always been in charge of this dance, you have always led and I have followed. But, this is the most gorgeous thing I have ever seen, you somehow understand there is time for all of this that awaits and you have decided to walk slow.

Dearest Anna, my old little soul. You have always taken your time. You arrived on your terms, you did things at your speed. I choose to believe it is because you realize you will get to responsibilities, you will get to all that is on the other side of little. But, these days, this time, this little sliver of a window, it's fleeting and instead of rushing towards being older and wishing you could do more of this or that, well, you are walking slow.

Sweet Cole, my little monkey with a brand new heart. I choose to believe you honestly live your best life and every single day is your greatest. So, you want to stay right where you are, with love and playing and toys and make-believe and friends and chaos and surrounded by legos and books and childhood. You want to be covered in childhood. So although you don't know the meaning of the words walk slow...for this, you are taking your sweet time.

Selfishly, I choose to believe that you are giving me my greatest gift. The gift of lingering longer in little with you. The gift of dolls and playing and bike rides and legos all over my house and hugs and snuggles and smooches and hand-holding and "I love you" out of nowhere and reading dates and wanting to be read to and piggyback rides and being held and a want to talk about nothing that is your everything.

Although it is not for me, I still want to thank you. I want to thank you for taking your sweet time. I want to thank you for still loving childhood and all that comes with it. I want to thank you for believing in Santa and the tooth fairy and magic and wishes. I want to thank you for believing in happily ever after so much you made me a believer too. I want to thank you for proving to us all that love at first sight does exist. I want to thank you for filling this home and this jaded mamma with a second chance at childhood.

Thank you for walking slow.

9
Aug

Five Minute Friday - again

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 again.

Go.

I spent a week with love, and the sound of water, and the feeling of sand on my feet, and warmth from the inside out. And then I came home and it started all over...again. I felt the tension, I wasn't sleeping as well, I started to feel tighter, more concerned. I was at it...again.

I kept trying to find the feelings that were there just days ago. The ones that were light and happy. The feeling of comfort, the feeling of being surrounded by family and framily, the feeling of joy, the feeling of childhood. But the more I tried, the further away it all seemed. My littles faces felt it, my body felt it, my joy was fading and slipping away and it was being replaced with worry and being shut down...all over again.

So in my last few months of this year, I have a lot I still need to do. I am finishing my year of change and I still have a lot to complete. A lot to work on, a lot to change. And it will be tough, at times, it will be brutal. And that is why I really need to remember that I have to put down the things that are too heavy. The things I cannot carry. The things that are too much for me and I need to be an example to you. We are not responsible for everything and everyone. We are not responsible for every reaction and every decision. It is time I take a hold of my life...again.

Stop.

19
Jul

Five Minute Friday - distant

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 distant.

Go.

Hello my dear old friend, my go-to, my pull that I work on pushing away. Hello to one of my many coping mechanisms, the ones that serve me well and poorly, all at the same time.

Hello to the thing that hurts me most about myself, the thing I learned to take away most from them. The thing that confuses me most about adulthood. Am I being healthy by creating distance, am I being same old me that just walks away? Is it a good idea, when is it a good idea? What would make my kids cringe when they are older, what will they understand and be proud of my boundaries? Do I have boundaries or do I have old unhealthy patterns?

Hello to yet one more pattern I worry about. Hello to what I know too much about. Hello silent treatment, hello distance, hello confusion, hello my dear old friend.

Hello to the constant nagging of "here we go again" and the "no, you need to walk away because you just feel so bad around them". Hello to the constant nagging of "why do you always go this route" and "when are you going to stop letting them in?" Hello to the constant nagging of "you take after them" and "you can't allow this negativity in anymore". Hello to being split and not knowing what is right, what is ethical, what to do.

And I watch others weave and go through life. Not having this weird part of them. Knowing when to walk away with health and courage, knowing what is worth fighting for. Knowing when to not look desperate and knowing when to not be too proud.

But me, I carry an old dear friend on my shoulders. I carry distance and being distant and anger and resentment and old ways and old ties and writing people off and just walking away. Hello dear sweet old friend...hello my dear.

Stop.


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