27
Jan

Ever since

Ever since the in-between, things have been different with you. It's so clear and apparent that you are really struggling with the next milestone, the next bit of independence, and you are leaning on me a lot, you are leaning pretty hard.

Nights are becoming "scary" and you want to snuggle and sleep with me. You get home and cling to me. You ask for dates and one on one time all of the time. You have stopped asking for playdates. You have stopped being excited when you know you're about to see good friends. You are falling back a little, before you run forward.

I really wasn't thinking about it much and haven't mentioned anything about it but out of the blue, a friend with older kids was telling me about her kids and how right before they took a major step forward, they first spiraled inward and heavily toward her. Without even knowing I was in the middle of this she talked about how her daughter becomes really snuggly and wants more and more of her time, how she wants to play "little kid" things and how her son did all of the same things years before.

So, we are just in this place together. This place where you want me, where you all of a sudden don't want to sleep alone, at night you have belly aches and headaches, you don't want to go anywhere unless I'm there too. A place where you are coming in late at night more and more, you are sleeping with lights on and doors open and you are worried. A place where you don't want to know about the next stages in your life, you don't want to talk about the future and how some things are going to change. You don't want to talk about the changes that are coming, like it or not. You don't want to talk about the changes some of your friends are going through.

You just want to talk about things you find silly, you want to play, you want to read, you want me to be around. You want a lot of attention and you want all the things to stay just as they are. Don't I know that feeling well...don't I live there each and every day. So I'm going to let you, there's nothing else for me to do really but let you. Once you do take that giant leap, well, at least you know how strong your base and foundation are. We're right here.

Ever since you were a blimp on the screen, I knew you would be my daughter.

Ever since you were born, I started to share you with the world.

Ever since you were little, you loved to quietly play.

Ever since you became a kid, you loved your friends.

Ever since they were introduced to you, you understood and loved our traditions, you ache for them too.

Ever since we crossed over to the in-between, you haven't been the same and neither have I.

26
Jan

Five Minute Friday - relief

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 relief.

Go.

A lot of people are asking me if I feel relief now that things are "starting to calm down". But, after three years of so much stress and one full year of, "oh my God, what is happening", my mind and body still think we are living in buildings that are on fire. I do not feel relief. I feel really worried.

Speaking to a friend that went through this career transition herself, and leaving a role that left her feeling like her nerves were sizzling, she said that it and therefore I will feel like this for a really long time. It will not be a switch and even though you are ready and you want it, your body isn't sure what is going on, so it's still in fight/flight and will stay there.

It will feel like you are still living in your own world of hell. You will feel like it's all going to come crashing down around you a lot. You will not be able to problem-solve for a while. You will continue to feel like you can't keep up. Sleep will get better, then worse, then better again. Nightmares will eventually start to come less often. There will be times you will feel like you are doing it right and there will be times you will feel like you're in trouble again and that, that right there, will be overwhelming. You will feel like you will get in trouble, like you've done something wrong and you will go into a panic, like a child getting scolded. You will panic.

There will be times you will forget this is yours now, you answer to you only. There will be times you will look around to figure out who to turn to and you will realize there isn't anyone down the hall. You will have to reach out Sabrina, you will have to ask others what they will do because you will feel stuck and unable to process.

There will be times it will feel really good and those times will become more and more of the norm, but it will take a lot of undoing to get there.

Her advice, feel it all. Feel sad and blue and worried and happy and calm and radiate your light and hunker down and go inward and put yourself out there. Eventually, it will even out. But for now, relief won't come just because the calendar tells you it's time. That's not how the body and mind work. That's not how people who have high standards for themselves and their careers work.

She reminded me I'm worried because I care. I care about what I'm leaving and I care about what I'm building. And who doesn't want a little care in the world, a little care about the work you're putting out there. A little care. So ask others, ask those in it and ask those that are not. You will get there, you can do it, you have been doing it, and eventually, your body will settle down. You will feel it melt a little. You will be less on edge, you will laugh more, you feel a little lighter. The foot will lift off of your chest, but do not be delusional...it took a lot to get you to this spot and it will take even more to get it to go away.

The good news, you like quiet so you will seek it. You like how your body feels when it's not clenched so you will find ways to get there. The good news, I have always surrounded myself by those who are smarter than I am. Relief will come, just give it time.

20
Jan

Five Minute Friday - sacrifice

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 sacrifice.

Go.

Wouldn't you know I have been thinking a lot about this word. All that we as people give up, sacrifice, all that we choose is important and all that we decide is no longer important. As mothers, women, workers, friends, parents, people, children, framily members, family members, we make sacrifices for those we love and what we love every day all day. We give up a lot for the other.

We sacrifice sleep for work, or a run, or quiet time with no one up, or the beauty of a sunrise, or sex, or a late-night talk, or worry. We sacrifice sex for sleep, or closeness, or comfort. We sacrifice our families for our jobs, our jobs for our families, our ambition for a different life. We sacrifice love for achievement and heartache for an easy route. We sacrifice our health for an easier way and we sacrifice the easy way for our health. We sacrifice our careers for family, and little, and protection and building something different.

We sacrifice our mentality for a year, we tell ourselves we can do anything for a year, and we sacrifice it all to get to some goal we created. Because we decided. We sacrifice walking away because we love and we just can't. And we know all along, we are putting something aside and making this other thing our priority.

Stop.

23
Dec

Calm and bright

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright

Hello 2020. I have waited a long time for you. In real-time, just 365 days, but in my head, it has felt like a lifetime. I have prayed for you to come and I swear, I thought I would never get to actually meet you. I found my saying for you 2020. It's a saying this year, not just a word, and I am so thrilled with it. See, I am shedding the difficult but still working on expecting more out of myself and setting goals within my limits and reach. 2020, I am ready for you.

All is calm, all is bright

I started my year of change knowing it was going to be tough, and I mean really tough. Not only was I taking on such a challenging word for me, but this was the year I would start to close out my career, my work, my value. After 20 years, I was going to put aside who I have been and start over. I started a new company three years ago and this was the year I said I can no longer do both. I would set myself up to say good-bye to BBBSCR just as I am saying good-bye to you 2019.

But, that meant I had a lot of work to do. I had to really bring it. I had to replace my income, I had to network, I had to meet and meet and meet and I had to sell a company. I had to hire. I had to create practices and processes and I had to believe I could. I had to believe this is what I do now. I had to bring it, bring all of me. My days were b.r.u.t.a.l. My family suffered. I lost my mind. My agency lost its mind. My memory was affected. My body was tired. My brain was a fog. I lost words. I lost my humor. I lost hope. I lost compassion. I lost all patience. I stopped believing. I got scared. I was worried. Everything everywhere went wrong. I went from putting out fires to throwing my body on grenades. Explosions became my norm. I cried, so much. I panicked. I got sick in really strange ways. Doctors were worried. But, it happened. I f'ing did it. The day before my birthday, I turned a corner.

All is calm, all is bright

And sweet sweet girl of mine, the one who kept saying, mom, I'm so excited. Mom, I can't wait for...or I can't wait to do... Mom, I can't wait for next year. Mom, you promised next year we would have more time. Mom, you promised next year...sweet girl, all is calm, all is bright.

Yes, it is going to be a different year. Yes, I did make promises to you. Yes, I am going to live up to them. Yes, sweet girl, I am excited too. Yes, I too cannot wait. Yes, I too am thrilled at all we will be able to do together. Yes, sweetie, it's finally happening. But mamma is also letting go of a lot right now and she is sad. She is also having to retrain her body and mind to no longer be in a constant panic, and that will take reconditioning, But yes, sweet girl, I am ready.

All is calm, all is bright

I did not do a single thing alone. You were always there lovey. You have always always always been my coach...always. You have always been such a support. You didn't flinch, even if you were worried. You never doubted, even if you didn't think it could happen. You didn't say, are you crazy, even if you knew I was. You didn't ever say, let it go, even when it wasn't working. You didn't ever say, this is too much, for you, for us, you have to stop doing this, even if it all was. You just hugged it out. You told me it was going to work and you told me that no one even knows what I am going through because I make it look easy. So, you also lied, but that's okay, you lied to make me feel like I had a handle on things I no longer did. You took on so much around the house and with the kiddos, and you dug deep, you were their everything, you were our everything. Their morning, their homework, their afternoons, their coach, their dinner, the cleanup...You did it all and asked nothing of me other than, you go ahead and finish up your work for the day. You listened to me cry. You listened to the panic. You worried about my health and would hug me and say, it's going to work out Brine, we all know it is. And you would allow me to melt right into you, head on your chest, crying like a fool, shaking, melt into you.

All is calm, all is bright

And you sweet sweet sweet boy, you asked all the questions. Why are you quitting? What does this mean? What will happen to your old job? Will you still be a boss? Will you still work all these hours? Will you no longer work on the weekends? Will you be able to play with me more? Will you play with me every night? Will you read to me?

All is calm, all is bright

Sweetie, I didn't quit, I resigned. There is a difference and the main thing that is different is, I will never be able to fully walk away. I am still in love with everything about that place lovey, but it was time. Yes, they will be fine, better than fine...they will have fresh eyes and energy and time and balance. See, mamma just isn't that important. All she did was love them and who wouldn't step into that role and love them? Yes, I will still work, yes, I will still lean into work, but yes yes yes, you will see me and yes yes yes, I will play with you and read to you and have reading dates and yes lovey to time.

All is calm, all is bright

It's going to be really different, but I'm still me. I'm still running a company that our family is depending on. Things matter for a different reason now. Things are going to be calmer guys, yes, but I will also be providing light again. I will be lit up again. I will be alive again. I will be living again.

All is calm, all is bright

My hope is that I get some rest. I rest my brain and I rest my really tired body. I rest my nerves and hopefully, my mind, my memory, my words will all come back. I have my days set up the way I want them. I have some routine and schedule. I have meetings set. I have time set aside. I am starting to lift that damn foot off of my chest.

I have my workouts planned, I have my classes set up, I know when I'm hitting the mat and when I'm hitting the water and when I am hitting the road and when I am hitting the gym and lifting. I know when I am taking walks and I have time set aside to do that with you all too because you want connection and I do too. I have time set aside to write, and time set aside reading and I might even learn how to use a camera...like I wanted to when I was 14.

All is calm, all is bright

My hope is that I remember that I was once more joyful. I once carried more light so it's time for me to find that all over again. It will not be perfect, I will have to fight off some demons, I will still be me and like GR says, "accept yourself and expect more from yourself". I really am ready for you 2020, I have been for a while. I wasn't sure if I would get to meet you, there were so many times you seemed so far away I was sick at the thought, but you're here now. And welcome, it is so great to finally meet you.

All is calm, all is bright

20
Dec

Five Minute Friday - birth

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 birth.

And here we are again...when the word of the week directly speaks to me. I have been thinking so much about both of your births these past few weeks. I have a potential client that does home births, and I have been sharing your birth story, and I even was talking to dad about both of your stories. And then, this week, here's the word.

Anna, it all started with you and your incredible story. How you made your way to us, how scared I was in the room, how much scarier it got when we had to have surgery, your dad's face that I will never forget as he walked into the O.R. and we immediately switched personalities...he was emotional and worried, I was calm and confident. He was watching his whole world on a table, hanging in the balance of a doctor we barely knew, I was sure it would be great, and begged him to be with you..."there will be a team working on me, don't leave her side, be there for our daughter lovey, I'm going to be okay, it's all going to be okay." And it was. Sweetie, you came into this world at your own time, in your own way and even though there was what could have been chaos and mayhem, it, like you, was very calm. It, like you, had a silent presence, energy and actual force you could feel. And, again, you spoke to me...mom, it's all going to be okay, I'm supposed to come out this way, so just close your eyes and get some rest, I'll see you soon.

Cole, yours was exactly you. Even though it was supposed to be surrounded by the calm of knowing what was to come, well, it wasn't. Something went wrong every step of the way, just little things. You, my little monkey, needed to set your mark from the beginning. You were always telling me how different you would be and get ready mom, your life is about to get loud and crazy, and lots of energy coming your way. And then, all eyes were on you and people were immediately drawn. People fought over changing you, holding you, damn, you immediately won hearts. Your dad, this time, was ready. He knew what was to come. He was just waiting.

Lovies, your dad, he couldn't wait to meet you both. I so wish you could have seen him BEFORE he had you because it was so special and you would instantly know how loved you are. He is the reason you are here because watching him talk about you like you were already here, I just couldn't deny him this. I couldn't take this from him, he was made to be your dad, and he wrote this chapter for us.

Your birth, it was exactly how both of you were to come. One, slow, quiet, methodical. The other, crazy, loud, eyes wide open. Your lives, they are being played out exactly as they should be. Exactly as you, we, the universe is writing them out.

Thank you for finding us loves. Thank you for making this happen. Thank you for being the reason I believe in happily ever after and love at first sight. Thank you for making me a believer in magic and making me kinder and slower and more thoughtful. Thank you for giving dad this chapter that he so desperately wanted. Thank you for making me want it too and thank you for making our lives a page-turner.

Thanks for being born.

Stop.


15
Dec

Full circle

Lovies, things are starting to come full circle. It's the end of a very long year, the end of three very long years, the end of 20 incredible but forever long years. And, I tried really hard to embrace change this year. But, what ended up happening instead, is I got stuck a lot.

I have no idea how you guys will deal with change. Part of me thinks you will struggle because I raised you to love a tradition and love the consistency of knowing what is ahead. Part of me thinks you will be fine because it never hits you as hard...you rebound pretty well. But for me, change is so brutal I had to actually make it my word for an entire year to remind myself that it is also inevitable. I can never ever think it just won't happen and hide. It always finds all of us.

And just this week, there were three reminders of why I have to embrace the change that will always come our way.

First, I made a decision to stop long races for a while and enjoy running for the love of running. I started a new route, one by the lake right by our house. I never went this way before because it was a little scary, the road can be a little desolate and I was always worried. But, I started to go this way with our Pearl girl with me...and she loves it. And turns out, I love it too. I changed my mind and now really look forward to this little route. And this fall, this stretch really brought me back, made me stop and stare. It made me really ground my feet and take a deep breath and take it all in. I don't know if we had an incredible fall or if I was finally embracing the change that comes with the season but running this road full of falling gorgeous color with a puppy who was actually smiling because she was so happy made me appreciate the change.

Then, last week, the lake was just gorgeous water, as it has been all fall. I run around it and really try to see it for what it is, this incredible view I get right by my house. One I always shied away from, until I made a change. And then, one week later, the temps dropped and the lake turned to solid ice and it was a gorgeous mirror. It looked exactly like glass. It actually made me stop in my tracks because I was blown away by how in only one week, it could change that much.

Well, the very next day, the temps went way up, and the lake became marble. The cracks in the ice made it look like someone's beautifully hand-picked marble, but for as far as your eye can see. And since it was so warm, there was this layer of water sitting on top of it...all in one days time.

Change can be beautiful guys. I'm sure most normal people know this, realize it, move forward with it. I'm sure most normal people, especially grownups, don't throw actual tantrums over it, don't try and desperately hold on to things. I'm sure most people realize growing up that everything changes and you have to be really flexible. That's all part of maturing. All part of what your mom never really dipped her toe into.

As small as this was, or may seem, for me, this was a moment. This was me going with it, appreciating it, and loving the changes. Maybe I always would have, maybe I would have gotten there without dedicating a solid year to the word, maybe I would have seen it for the beauty it really is...maybe not. Maybe I needed a year of hardship, at times torture, loss of control, loss of myself, finding myself again, losing things I really cared about, finding my way back to them too...to finally get to this place. Change can be really beautiful. And your mamma has come full circle.

24
Nov

Save the girl

Hi lovies, there is something I have not shared with you. I keep telling myself it's because of your age but that's not true. The real reason is that I haven't found my voice yet. So, I'm going to write it all down, think it over, find an afternoon to read this to you and then have a very long conversation about it all.

Several months ago, I had an incident. I sat in a room with someone that made me feel so little, so gross, so belittled, so wrong. But they were so evil, so ugly, so awful...and I did nothing. I sat on my hands and I did nothing. I listened, I got teary-eyed, I whispered when I did speak, I had the weakest of voices when I did answer questions, and then, someone else had to swoop in and save the girl. He had to save me from the situation. He, of course, did not feel this way. His profession is such that he defends all day long. He doesn't allow people to be taken advantage of and the second he saw the direction the conversation was going in, he stopped it. He is a very kind man, he is caring. He understands that life can be hard on people sometimes and he could feel how wrong this was and he made it stop. For me, he spoke up for me. Because that is what he was there to do, protect the situation and I was part of the situation.

I, continued to sit. And although I am so grateful for him being there with me, I had to have him there no matter what, I am just very disappointed in myself. Anna, all I could do was picture you. Your desire to also appease, your ability to sit quietly and listen when you are being spoken to, your want to make things right. I was picturing me watching you do this. I pictured your little shoulders bearing this weight, I pictured your head down, cowering. I pictured your big blue eyes filling with tears, I pictured your voice, shakey, upset and sitting in your rightness, but not knowing what else to say.

See, sometimes, it's good to sit silently. Sometimes, it's important to have people feel heard. Sometimes, the words you do use, they will not land, not when someone is in that place. All of that was true in this case. But, the one thing I could have done and should have done is refused to join in the disgusting way he wanted to act. He asked me to join in and I did. And then I felt like I had to be saved, and I was. And that was wrong of me.

Yes, I needed to be more silent than loud. Yes, me speaking the truth would not have mattered, it would not have been heard. Yes, they needed to feel heard and go through a tantrum. But I needed to speak up for what was wrong with the way I was being asked to join in. When I picture you there sweetie, I am mad. I am screaming from across the room "make that stop right now and don't you dare Anna". I feel like I let you down, I wasn't proud of how I handled that and I let you down. That was not a moment I could have you watch and feel good about. I was embarrassed by who I became in that moment. I was embarrassed and mad at myself more than anyone else.

So, I'm sorry sweet girl. I know you weren't there and I know I can decide not to ever share this with you but here's the most important lesson of all...it wasn't my fault. When you are in that situation, your reaction is your reaction. Someone else is trying to get you to react, force rage out of you, make you feel small. And, we react the way our bodies react. I go in, and I shut down. I can work on this, yes. But when in this situation, this is more likely than not how I will respond. I can fight to get a little stronger, a little more set and find a way to say this stops now. But, more likely than not, I won't.

Luckily, I had a clear thinker in the room. And there was no way he felt like he was saving the girl. He was just doing his job, what he was there to do. And as angry as I am that he needed to swoop in and be my voice, well, sometimes we need an advocate and I was smart enough to have that represented. My strength comes in different forms I guess and yours will too.

17
Nov

Last night

We have been really lucky in the sleep department. Our kiddos are really good, really strong sleepers. There are cons to this, like they can't miss sleep. Ever. They can't stay up really late and bounce back...no, I mean ever. Because then they have to be treated like an actual bomb that you place in your hand and watch and hold and don't put down and when it explodes, you lose everything that is precious to you. So no, they can't stay up later in the summer and sleepovers make them monsters forever! And staying up for any reason is always not worth it.

But, overall, it's a good thing. They slept as infants and babies. I never went through the exhaustion that comes with early parenting. They napped like crazy. My daughter finally gave up her four-hour nap when she went to kindergarten. Although worried about her transition, I wasn't willing to work on this with her because who would?

Recently, they have been waking up more often. And that means they have been coming in more often. To him, it's starting to feel like a lot more, but for me...truth be told, I am really loving it. It goes against everything we did as parents of babies, but I don't care. I am letting them climb in, I am letting them take over the bed, and I am loving the snuggles and the fact that they feel safest with us.

Last night, it became the perfect storm. She read a book that scared her so much she had to put it down and then her imagination got the best of her and she was so scared she asked to stay with me. He woke up at 3:30am and got really worried about how dark it was and asked to come in. And there I was, sandwiched between my two babies...no longer babies...but my two babies.

One held my hand and whispered, I love you, from his sleep. The other fell hard and fast asleep pressed up against me, snuggled inside my arm. Her breath became rhythmic, I watched her eyes actually get heavy, like they would when she was first here. I watched her struggle to keep them open so she could watch me watch her, but she gave up sooner than she would have liked and she was at peace. He came in like a storm. Rushing, loud, worried, breathing really hard. His breath slowed as he realized he was okay. He twisted and turned for a second and then looked up, grabbed my hand, and was out like a light.

Last night, I watched both my babies be at peace. I watched their chest rise and fall at different rhythms. Last night, I saw his eyelashes were so long that I wondered if he could feel them on his cheeks. I saw how gorgeous her lips are and how perfect they form while she's sleeping. Last night, I saw how much they looked like you and how lucky I am that I married someone so handsome. Last night, I saw pieces of me on their face, and I felt so lucky to be there. Last night, I felt so lucky that my little faces couldn't sleep...needed me, needed my arms and my attention. Last night, I opened up our bed to them, and yes, you got kicked out. Last night we did things like we never do them. We let them in, I got to be there all night with them. Last night we didn't worry about routines or what this would do for their forever sleeping, or if we were setting them up for bad habits. Last night, we just let them snuggle where they needed to be for that one moment in time. We let them be and we accepted what they needed and maybe what I needed too.

With them growing up so big, these moments of little are so far and few between. Even though we are so lucky that they are walking slow, they are still walking towards new phases and away from little. But last night, we let them be scared little kids that wanted their mom or dad. And I can't wait to do it all over again.

10
Nov

On his 70th birthday

This morning I was introduced to a poem Charlie Chaplin wrote on his 70th birthday. It's remarkable. It's simple. It's profound. It's moving. It's loving. Sweet loves of mine, there is nothing I could write to you this week that would mean more than this message. It is from a genius who sat back and reflected on his life and all the things he finally learned...when he finally learned how to love himself.

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is AUTHENTICITY.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody as I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it RESPECT.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it MATURITY.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment, so I could be calm. Today I call it SELF-CONFIDENCE.

As I began to love myself I quit steeling my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it SIMPLICITY.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything the drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism.Today I know it is LOVE OF ONESELF.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is MODESTY.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where EVERYTHING is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it FULFILLMENT.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But As I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection WISDOM OF THE HEART.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know THAT IS LIFE!

May you always love yourselves and may you find your life and your truth. You mom loves you and sees all you are meant to be.

3
Nov

It's simple to find little things

This week, I read a beautiful post from a wonderful woman who spoke on how it can be so simple to find little things in this world to make you smile. Make you happy. Make you slow down a little, appreciate a little more. She set out a challenge...find what makes you keep going. Write that shit down. Make yourself remember the things that make you feel like you are living, actually living. Things that breathe life back into you, make you so content, comfortable, and at home. So, I made a list. And not my regular "get this done" list but instead, a make yourself remember there are so many things to be happy and appreciative of list. This is my list of love.

  • Rain…the sound, the smell, the clouds, the gray, the dark.
  • Waking up before anyone especially if it’s still dark out.
  • But also, sleeping and napping at all hours, any time of day.
  • The heaviest of blankets.
  • The smell on my hubby’s chest, it smells like home.
  • My kids’ actual belly laugh.
  • My puppers kisses and hugs…because I have a dog that gives actual hugs.
  • Seeing my husband love on our dog.
  • Seeing my husband belly laugh at our kids.
  • Pop-tarts…for real though.
  • Looking through old pics of the kids.
  • My fireplace and how much my puppy loves the fireplace.
  • How much my puppy loves her crate.
  • How much my puppy loves her family and you can physically see it!
  • The glow of soft lights.
  • Coffee, I have such a deep-rooted love for coffee.
  • A lit candle.
  • My bathtub.
  • A good robe.
  • The sound of a bat as it hits a ball, that crack gets me.
  • The look of a grown man’s face when he is so happy you can actually see the little boy in him.
  • Watching basketball, especially college, most especially with my family.
  • Long runs when I have 0 training scheduled, because I'm just running for the love of running.
  • The very end of yoga because laying down is my favorite.
  • Waking up and realizing I have so many more hours of sleep ahead of me but I’m not struggling to fall back to sleep. Because again, I love to sleep!
  • A really good kiss, because you are a really good kisser, even decades after our first. 
  • This fall, I don't know if I was just ready to really watch it all happen this year or if this fall has been especially exceptional but we really do live in an amazing area. I feel like we are living in a movie about a place that has a beautiful fall. There are leaves everywhere, the air is crisp but still warm, the colors are gorgeous…it has been magic.
  • Family bike rides and family walks with the puppy.
  • Playing a game together as a fam, I just love spending time with you guys. 
  • A gray day.
  • A new snowfall.
  • Snowshoeing!
  • Watching the kids sleep.
  • Holding hands.
  • Quiet.

I have so much to love on every single day. I need to remember how lucky I am and how much good I can find in my days. It is not always easy, I focus a lot on what I can be doing, should be doing, could do differently, need to work on and lists that look so different. But this list, this is a list we can all make and all take in. And slow the hell down and remember that life gives you reasons to smile. Life gives you reasons to slow down, you just have to take a breath and remember that your own list is there for you.

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