Change

As I’m writing this, its late at night and my mind is racing a million miles per hour thinking about tomorrow morning. Tomorrow morning Harrison has his first day of preschool.

How? How is my first baby already starting school? He started speech preschool last year, but a perk of speech preschool is that I join Harrison. We go together. That same invitation isn’t open to parents when it comes to regular preschool and I’m all torn up about that. I know that at some point I’ve got to ‘let go,’ and let him do these things on his own, and I know that time, at least for school, is now. But I’m having a hard time with it. I’m going to miss him. He’s been one of my most reliable sidekicks and little painters since I found out I was pregnant with him. He’ll be gone about two and a half hours, and thats a long time apart for us. We are close. Its always been me, Harrison and Emmett – we are an unbreakable trio (with our great dad who joins us after work) but things are about to change big time as he goes off to school.

This is the beginning of the rest of his life. He will be in school for the next significant portion of his life. All through high school then on to college. Its a long journey, and its always felt like a journey that was distant in our path, but here we are. Tomorrow our first baby goes off to school. To real school.

I’m going to be brave for Harrison. I’m going to put a brave face on. I’m going to empower him and shower him with praise and squeal about how excited I am for him – because I am excited for him! But once he’s safe and secure in his classroom, I can only imagine I’ll lose it. But from what I see on Instagram, thats pretty normal. Thats ok. Its ok to feel the sting of your children getting older.

Harrison is going to thrive in school, I just know it. He is smart and very curious. He is brave and he tries hard. He likes to figure things out and learn new things. He is a good boy and takes pride in following rules and takes pride in a job well done. He’s a perfect candidate for school. He picks things up so quickly. He’s a sponge and yearns to learn to new things – he reminds me a lot of my dad in that way. I’m just thrilled to see where preschool takes him. I’m thrilled to hear what he’s learning about. I’m thrilled to hear his stories about school, new friends, letters and whatever else he learns about. I’m excited to hear stories about the playground at preschool, because I know that’ll be his favorite part. I’m excited to see hims big grin when I pick him up from school, because he wears that grin almost always. I’m excited to give him a giant hug and tell him how proud I am of him.

This is a big step and a big change. My mama heart is all over the place, but its not about me. Its about Harrison and the amazing, brave, smart, incredible, friendly boy that he is! Its about him growing and becoming more him. Its about him learning more about himself and what he wants to do in his life and I feel honored to get a front row seat to his journey.

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Today my darling, peach of a little sister turns 21! I feel validated in saying this since I’m eight years older than her: my little girl is growing up!! 

I feel like I tell this story every year on her birthday, but every year on her birthday I’m reminded of how special she is to me, so I’m going to share it again. I was an only child for eight years. Eight long years of watching my friends with their siblings and longing for one of those built in best friends. My parents were trying and trying, but it just wasn’t happening. If you know my sister, then it totally makes sense that she made us all wait for her haha. Finally, I was given the news I’d hoped and hoped and hoped to hear, when I was seven years old. Mom was pregnant. With a girl. My very own sister! My very own best friend. She was so worth the wait. I remember meeting her for the first time a couple hours after she was born. She had tons of dark hair (she’s always had amazing hair) and a cute little button nose that she’s never lost. I was instantly attached to her and that attachment has only grown in these past 21 years.

She is a wonderful person. She’s unique and doesn’t try to change to fit a norm. She is artistic and creative. She is a doting aunt who makes her nephews feel valued and important. She is a good listener. She is beautiful. She loves Kpop and has taught herself Korean. She’s also learned German. She is hilarious and has this sense of humor that I crave. She is tough. She is soft and sweet. She is all things amazing and I am beyond grateful that she was born!

Some Body Love

This post and these pictures are a little out of my comfort zone, but I’m posting them even though it makes me a little…eek. Why? I have two reasons for you.

1) Keliana Shop sells amazing active wear. It’s functional, comfortable and cute! I was sent this adorable set and loved the looks but I was nervous about the color – I thought for sure I’d lean over and they’d become transparent. But they didn’t! Covered, modest and still comfy. Love it. I love the ruffle detail on the bra, and the amazing support it has with its removable cups (I always opt for a little extra support!) and the bottoms are high waisted which this woman with a mom-bod absolutely appreciates!

2) I’m embracing my body! I can get so picky and hard on myself when it comes to things I’d like to change about my body. It actually makes me nervous to think that I may never fully be happy with what I look like, but if I really think about it, my body is awesome! This body has kept me healthy, active and given me very few problems for almost 29 years now. It has grown and birthed two babies that were born very differently from another, and it managed to recover from delivery as well – even from one that was a bit traumatic. Then my body fed both of those babies for well over a year. My body is amazing and capable of so much and deserves so much more respect than I give it! EVERY body is amazing, no matter its shape, size, what it’s accomplished and what other people think about it!

I hope this week you can love yourself and give your incredible body the respect it deserves!!

Yoohoo? Fall?

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And just like that, I’m over summer. It was a great summer. We had a lot of fun, but I was suddenly bit by the fall bug and now I am ready. Bring it on. I’m ready for crunchy leaves, pumpkin everything, adorable decor, sweaters, pants and socks, lots of soup and pie and crisp, cool mornings and evenings. I think I’m drooling just thinking about it.

Lately we’ve been getting little tastes of fall and I’m very grateful. The cooler mornings and cooler evenings are incredible. A few days ago we had a cold day that was overcast and a little gloomy all day and honestly it was heaven on earth. The boys and I wore sweat pants and hoodies all day and were living our best lives.

This week I’m hoping to break out the fall decor and probably the Halloween stuff, too, because why not? You better believe the fall scented candles are burning strong (lets be honest, I never stopped burning them since last fall! Its almost the most wonderful time of the year, people. I hope your fall is magical, pumpkin scented and crispy.

Diving in Deep

We are getting deep today, are you ready?

I’ve been the driver of the struggle bus lately. I don’t know what it is, but just when I feel like I’m good and things in my life and aligned and happy, a rug is pulled from under my feet by either someone else or my own dang self, and I find myself struggling all over again. I’m all over the place and it’s incredibly exhausting mentally and emotionally.

I’ve always been a sensitive person, but lately I feel even more fragile and frail. I’ve always been emotional, but lately I feel like all I do is struggle under all these emotions I have. I’ve always been a worrier and full of anxiety, but my worry and anxiety have been through the roof and up into space lately. It wears on me after a while.

Lately I get really hung up on how people feel about me. I work my booty off to be kind to others, be non-judgemental and accepting of everyone, so sometimes when I feel like I’m being judged, etc I get really caught up in how icky that feels. For example, we recently got a new puppy (surprise! I’ll do a post on her soon) and I’m really excited about it. I have a special reason I really felt like I needed her and yeah she’s a puppy and is already a lot of hard work, but I feel really good about having added her into our family. But you guys, I have got sooo close to selling her because I’ve been so stinkin’ caught up in what other people will think of me for getting another dog. The logical part of me is like, WHY THE HECK DOES THEIR OPINION MATTER?? They don’t live in my home! They don’t know the dynamic of our families, our story, our thoughts, feelings, struggles, etc, so why should I care a single bit about what they think? But the emotional, stressed out, anxious, worried part of me thinks, THEY THINK I’M AN IDIOT and maybe I am. Maybe they think a dog isn’t right for our family. They think I’m burdening my husband and kids with this new responsibility.

I get really hung up on the kind of mom people think I am. Do they know how hard I try? Do they know how hard I am on myself? Do they even understand how badly I wish I could be a perfect mom for my boys, no matter how many times I read that “you’re children don’t need a perfect mom…” quote? Do they know that my kids are happy and healthy and that they really love me and we are the best of friends? Or do they just see a really frazzled person who is doing it all wrong?

It’s dumb. I know. Deep down I know other people’s thoughts don’t matter. Deep down I know what matters is the decision Craig and I make. But it’s just hard sometimes.

The kind of mom I am and our new puppy are only a couple examples of that. I’ve been feeling all these chaotic feelings about SO many things lately. I wish my thoughts had an on and off switch.

But here’s the thing. It’s ok.

This is who I am. I’m an over thinker, a worrier and a ball of anxiety. I value the opinions of those close to me and I want to be liked by those close to me. Sometimes that comes back to bite me, but I’ve chosen not to try and change the person I’ve always been and likely always will be.

I’m incredibly lucky to have Craig who supports me, even on wild things like getting another dog, painting the walls, starting a new big dream, and so much more. He is far more than I deserve. He doesn’t judge me when I tell him all the weird, illogical, anxious thoughts that run through my brain, he values me as a person and allows me to feel how I feel and say what I think. He’s better than gold.

I’m also lucky to have this outlet. Since I can remember, writing has been my outlet. So if this post seems a little venty, out of place, frustrating and pointless.. that’s alright. More than anything I just needed to get some feelings off my chest so I can breathe a little lighter.

If you’re struggling, I hope you’re ok. I hope your burden can lighten a bit somehow. Things can be hard, emotions can be tricky and hearts can get heavy, but I like to believe there is always a reason for the struggles and there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.

Be kind. Love more and judge less. You’re all awesome and deserve a great day.

What I Hope We Remember from Summer 2019

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Dear Boys,

2019 has held my very favorite summer that I can remember, and I have you to thank for that. The season started off really rough for me. I was in a sad, frustrating, emotional spot and originally I believed my summer and maybe even the rest of the year would be stained with sadness. I wasn’t feeling motivated to be all that fun and push us to have an exciting summer. But as you two always do, you encouraged me with your adorable little voices, consistent begging and precious faces to at least try. So at the beginning of the summer I decided to go forward with the attitude of ‘fake it til you make it’ to have a fun summer with you guys. In no time, after several fun outdoor playdates, pool visits, splash pad adventures, evening walks, porch sits and so much more, we were having the best summer ever and I’d completely forgotten about the crumby beginnings of the season. Again, I have you two to thank for that.

Once the ball got rolling, I decided to dedicate the summer to you two. We didn’t have vacations planned or anything big and exciting in the warmest months of the year. So I let you guys call the shots and that was the best thing I could have done. We had a blast spending time together, the three of us, and times got even better when dad could join after work.

You two are so young still, so I don’t know what, if anything, you’ll remember, but I hope I can at least remind you often of what a great time it was. I hope we remember all the swimming in Grammy and Pops pool that happened – how Emmett gained so much confidence in the water, floating in his puddle jumper by himself and figuring out its not the worst thing ever to get water in your face, or how Harrison really started to get a grasp on swimming by yourself, pushing yourself and feeling brave in the water.

I hope you remember the trips to the farm, the zoo, the Museum of Curiosity and the Dinosaur Museum. You two were filled with wonder, excitement and lots and lots of enthusiastic pointing and squealing. You learned so much, you explored it all and you never wanted to leave. “I want to stay here forever!” – Harrison after leaving most places.

Then there were all the visits to the Splash Pad. I know we have access to our own private pool, but sometimes the Splash Pad was what you guys desired. Emmett hated it the first time. The cold water touching him upset him and he was happiest to sit on the blanket with mom, but by two or three times in, he was just as happy as Harrison to get in the water, to get splashed and soaked. Harrison made friends at the Splash Pad, he shared, he returned lost toys, he helped kids who fell down, he covered every inch of that place.

I hope as you two grow up, you always think back fondly to our family walks. We’ve done this since before either of you were born, but they just keep getting better now that we are adding kids to our evening walks. Our walks involve playful conversation, big decisions, lots of “I Spy,” animal watching and people watching, and so, so many questions from you two. Our walks are something I look forward to the very most with you little boys.

Lastly, I hope we remember the times in our very own yard. There were countless hours spent on the porch on the rocking bench, talking, watching birds fly by and chatting. There were hours in the front yard playing fetch with Penny, racing, playing Avengers and dinosaurs and riding our bikes and scooters. In the backyard, we had our tiny kiddie pool, sprinklers to run through and the large cement pad where thousands of chalk drawings were made.

There were so many wonderful, simple, perfect memories made this summer. I’m so happy for that time. I’m so happy that you two turned my whole attitude around. You two are wonderful and magical.

I love you to infinity and beyond,

Mom