I see

We play I spy in the car a lot. It always starts out kind of cute and time makes it drag on too much. Now, I'm playing my own kind of I spy and you guys aren't really all that aware.

I see a lot of families going for walks together.

A lot of siblings playing together.

A whole bunch of family games being played in backyards.

I see families gathered outside by a fire.

I see them cooking together.

I see friends finding each other and supporting each other and sending smiles any way they can.

I see communities coming together.

I see the world getting smaller.

I see real leaders stepping up.

I see love, a lot of it.

I see worry lines and tired faces.

I see loved ones leaning on each other.

I see priorities getting clearer.

I see A LOT of family time.

I see introverts living their best lives.

I see introverts hiding under covers.

I see people trying to do anything they can to help.

I see love, a lot of it.

I see books being devoured.

I see binge-watching at its finest.

I see liquor stores doing quite well.

I see house projects being completed.

I see workouts getting a new routine.

I see happy pets.

I see love, a lot of it.

I see kiddos reading to each other.

I see siblings going from a loving moment to screaming matches in seconds.

I see forts being built.

I see a ton of Legos...everywhere I turn.

I see family puzzles.

I see family dinners.

I see BBQs in March.

I see couples working together.

I see love, a lot of it.


I love you because...

Each year, I hang little notes of why. Why I love you to bits. Reminders that we all need of what we possess that others notice, what and why others love us. I can't even begin to explain what having you has meant, has done, has changed. Your dad always knew you would be a part of our story, I needed way more convincing and we are just so lucky to get to do this with you, for you.

Bella, I love you because...

You always try.
You are a book worm.
You run with me.
You really love Pearl.
You miss Mia.
You care about your friends.
You love our traditions and demand them as much as I do.  
When you laugh, you do it with your whole body.
You love family movie nights.
We share books together.
You kiss noses.
You love to learn.
You work at the piano and you sound so lovely.
You love your family.
You are my Valentine.
Love, mom.

Anna, I love you because...
Because of your love of books.
You are an amazing artist.
You are open to trying new things.
Love, dad.

Anna, I love you because...
You are a rock star!
You love Pearl.
You have the best singing voice.
Love, Cole.

Monkey, I love you because...
Your heart is always full.
You are a very good friend.
You care about school.
You are an amazing little brother.
You are dad's best buddy.
You love with all of your heart and know no other way.
You love food and dance when you eat.
You give me little guys.
You are a great student.
Everyone who meets you knows you have an amazing heart.
You have dad's gorgeous eyes and smile.
You make us laugh.
You love love.
You are my Valentine.
Love, mom.

Buddy, I love you because...
Because of your kind heart.
Because you are my best buddy.
Because you are a great little brother.
Love, dad.

Coley, I love you because...
You are silly!
You are there for me.
You work to reach your goals.
Love, Anna.

Coach, I love you because...
You work so hard on our house and I love to show you off for it.
You have always believed in our kids and you won't settle for anything but their best.
You believe in me.
Our kids look like you and you are so handsome.
You took a chance on yourself.
You are my Valentine.
Love, your bride.

Dad, I love you because...
You share Harry Potter with me.
You share stories with me.
You work hard and never stop till you get there.
Love, Anna.

Daddy, I love you because...
You read Strange Scouts to me.
You are my best buddy.
Love, Coley.

Pearl girl, we all love you!
Because you are the best lover of love.
You love to play outside.
You're snuggly and give great hugs.
Because you run to the door when I walk in.
Because you love our family.
Because you love the snow.
Because you're cute.
Because you ring the bell to go out.
Because you love the fireplace.

Mom, we love you too...
You give me back scratches. Love, Cory
You are beautiful. Love, Cory
You never give up on me. Love, Cory
I love your love of naps. Love, Cory
You buy us stuff that makes us a matching family like PJs! Love, Anna
You are smart. Love, Anna
You love Cape Cod. Love, Anna
You love me. Love, Cole
You are great. Love, Cole
You're the best mom. Love, Cole
You are a fiercely loyal friend. Love, Cory
You work hard all day long. Love, Anna.
Your heart is so full mom. Love, Cole
You work very hard mom. Love, Cole
You are relentless in the pursuit of your goals. Love, Cory
You snuggle with me. Love, Anna
I just love you. Love, Cory

I just love you all too. Love, me


This is my vow

It's the end of the day, and the exhaustion has hit us both.
For me, that turns into rage and zero patience.
For both of you, that turns into unraveling and becoming a nightmare version of yourself.
Everything that is asked is "too hard"
you need "help" with every little task
everything is a "no!"
or being ignored.
And I spin out and out and out of control as the anger washes over me.

And most times, your tears make your whole face so wet that your hair gets stuck to you,
your body is drained
and your anger is what is pushing you through.
You scream, you rant, sometimes you run,
and all of it continues to build and hurt me.

I can see no out, until I am reminded that you are small and on the nights that it does hit me,
I finally take a step back, breathe and go to you.
I start by holding you,
lifting you close to me,
saying I am so sorry for my part,
explaining how the frustration was just too much for both of us.
I wipe away the tears, but allow you to keep crying.
I rock with you, and say nothing at all until you are done.
I hold you close and push back your hair, untangle it from your wet face,
and I tell you that we both need a do over, we both need to start again.

And my to do list grows in this time
I can't be anywhere else that I need to be
because I am needed here.
The list that now has to wait is probably what started all of this to begin with so to hell with it.
I am needed here, I am needed with you.

Because I will always pick you.
Over work
over the house
over my to dos
over my type A personality
over cleaning and dinner and backpacks and your homework.
I will always pick you
and I will always be there, for you.

Even when that boy breaks up with you
or that girl said something mean
or that friend doesn't want to play with you this week
or someone made fun of something you are wearing
something you are into
I will always pick you,
and I will always be there, for you.

Even when you no longer need us, but just want us there.
Even if and when you decide to go through this parenting journey and you need someone to cry to,
to hold you and tell you that you are doing it right,
I will always pick you,
and I will always be there, for you.

Because the crazy part about this journey is, we are never done.
We are forever and always connected.
And my vow is that I will just be the one you can turn to
I will always pick you,
and I will always be there, for you.


Five Minute Friday - help

Every Friday we unite for five minutes to write on one word. 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 help.

The hardest thing to ask for
the easiest thing to give.
The hardest to admit you need
the easiest to see if needed.
The way it has somehow come to mean weak and needing to be rescued
but instead means you have so much strength to ask for a hand across the other side.

And we will always help each other,
because the world is complicated and we all need so much help to navigate it.
Because loss is painful and we all need help to realize we are never alone.
Because raising tiny humans is hard, and we all need help to find our humor.
Because it can be scary in the real world, and we all need help to realize we are not being abandoned but trusted.
Because life can be so scary for some and they need help to turn on the light, and step out of the darkness.
Because hurt runs deep and can ruin souls, so we all need help to remind ourselves to stay kind.
Because fear can be debilitating and paralyzing and we all need help to realize our own strength.
Because time can allow you to get lost in fog and we all need help to remind ourselves that it is the only way to heal.

Because love helps us to put our pieces back together again.
Because laughter helps us to find ourselves again.
Because friends help you to create your framily.
Because children help to give you your second chance at childhood.
Because no one needs to be rescued, but everyone could use some help.


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