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Monday, August 3, 2015

Forever Young Part 2

A few months ago, I wrote a post about how the song "Forever Young" by Bob Dylan is sort of my love letter to my children. The words perfectly sum up how I want them to live. I am drawn back to that song today. Today is my oldest son's first day of Kindergarten. Big kid school.



As we walked home from dropping him off on his first day that song popped into my head. The words filling my soul as they do each time. "May God bless you and keep you always...may your wishes all come true..." I know so many Mom's who will shed a tear or two today as they make that same walk home. For me, this day marks him becoming a big kid. That baby'ish ness is soon to fade and I know that. It hurts my heart. This day is hard for me because I know that some of his innocence will soon be lost. Soon he'll have to learn that not everyone is a 'friend'. He'll see a kid being cruel to another kid (hopefully not to him). He'll have to REALLY follow some rules. Have expectations placed upon him. Report cards. Eventually he may get his feelings hurt. His heart broken. Up until this point we have been able to protect him from these things. Give him a hug. Comfort him always.

This day also is exciting. I know the fun that awaits. The life long friendships to be made. The silly games. The happiness of playing at recess. His school career will be long and I look forward to seeing what he does with it.


I do hope he stays forever young. Keeps his spunk and spirit and individuality no matter what. "May you build a ladder to the stars and climb on every rung.." We'll be waiting at that bus stop at 2:20 every day still ready to give hugs, give comfort and hi-five!

XO

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Through the Woods We Ran.....

I know it's almost time. The sitter arrives. I know  I have a list a mile long to accomplish for work in a short time, but the days have felt long. I have felt needed every moment of every day. It's okay. This season of Motherhood is temporary. I know that. Filled with magical little moments but also tiring to those in charge of small mouths. Seeking peace only for a few moments I know will fill me up. The coffee shop and my computer can wait...even 30 minutes. I run to you. Entering your cavernous shelter of greenery I almost immediately relax. You provide a slight relief from this sweltering Southern heat.

I've never been able to run in my life. Not 'really' run. I don't do 5k's. I don't buy special shoes or clothes for running. I have no desire to have those marathon stickers on my car. I could rarely run a mile without numerous stops. Not around tracks. Not on pavement. I hate running on pavement. Yet when I enter your magical forest my legs move swiftly. As if they want to run. They need to.  My mind clears. I'm present. I run. I breathe in the pine and exhale all of that tension I was feeling just moments ago. Do your lush tree tops just fill my lungs with the extra oxygen I have needed? Is that how and why I do it?

Am I running from something? Towards something? Simply clearing the noise and mess in my head? It doesn't even matter. It's a brief but magical escape from the duties of the day. It's not about the running. Yes. The sweat feels good. I love feeling like I've accomplished something and am doing something good for my body. Knocking out a mile, two miles in a brief time feels like I'm making the best use of my day.

If I were told I had to move away from here tomorrow I'd mourn you like losing a childhood best friend. I'd be looking back at you out the car window with longing. Your many winding trails. The easy ones I walk along with my family. The challenging ones I find on my own. The really challenging one I did with my husband one Saturday morning on a 'date'.  You have shown me so much.  You have shown me peace, grace, beauty, and that I am but a small piece of a greater puzzle. You have given me new dreams and goals. Shifted my priorities. Given me a chance to think. Taught me what things are important to me.  When you cool in the Fall we see each other more often. That is the real season of our time together. That and the Spring. The humidity dissipates and I can run even further....taking on greater challenges.

Thank for your today. For allowing me to breathe in and breathe out and reset my soul.

XO



Monday, May 11, 2015

Motherhood '15

                         
I didn't expect to love you guys so much. Honest. I knew I'd love you...of course I knew that. Mothers love their children. It's a given. Forever. No matter what. However, the love I feel as a Mom some days takes even me by surprise at times. The depth. The level of love that wants to explode from my chest just by looking at you in certain moments. You do or say something so cute or intelligent. You simply smile. The way you chat with us. It blows my mind. Yesterday was Mother's Day. Aiden is 5. Piper is 8 months old. I've been a Mom for almost 6 years!!! SIX YEARS!!!  (child's play for those with older children). However, if I just sit and think about it..it is still hard to comprehend. That I'm a Mother. That time is flying by so quickly. I've said it before, but being a Mom wasn't something that I necessarily daydreamed about when I was young (if you read back to the start of this blog you'll see what I was daydreaming about) like many young girls do. Dreaming of names, nurseries and so on. I wish I would have in many ways because what delicious day dreams they'd be. If I knew then what I knew now right? If I knew how incredible you'd be or how much fun we have as a family together. I would have sat around with a giddy smiling daydreaming about you both.
                 

              
                   
             

Some days it's hard. I can't lie. My patience gets tested. I'm tired. I'm dealing with my own "stuff" and so it's hard to just focus on you guys solely.We're all human and have daily things we deal with or struggle to get done.  And I kind of hate myself a little for writing this but motherhood does indeed change you. I can say that it has changed me in ways I never knew possible. Ways that are hard to write or describe in this moment. I detest the endless blog posts or articles telling women (those who aren't mothers yet or maybe don't want to be frankly) that they haven't lived until they have children. It's not fair. It's not for everyone. Like coffee or seared tuna. Sometimes you get what you didn't know you wanted and POOF...it's awesome. That's me. I didn't know I wanted it but am oh so glad that it happened. I'm a proud member of the Mom's Club. Now I get to indulge in those daydreams but I picture you older (20's) and us sitting around laughing with a bottle of wine. I see you both with 'someone' and us loving that person like family (like our in-laws love us). I cant wait. I don't want to rush either though. I've learned to savor those sweet moments. When you call me "Mommy" and hug me for no reason I realize that may not last forever. When I walk in and see that little baby face looking up at me with a smile. Always happy to see me.  I hope we do a good job. I hope you learn what it means to be authentic and yourself. That you are reading this and are happy and doing your thing. If you're not. If you don't know what your 'thing' is yet..then just know it's NEVER too late to find what it is that makes you soar. No matter what though...thank you. Thank you for making me a Mom.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Spring Pictures


Let's all give a hand for that wonderous season called Spring!  We were up in Illinois last week for Easter and I forgot how glorious those first signs of spring are up in the Midwest. The grass is a bright and fresh shade of green, everything smells new and is coming to life again. It was so great to spend some real time back home with family and friends.

I feel like I didn't get told about a special secret. The Mini Session! Whoever came up with that concept is a genius.  Holy Heck. I wish I had known about them when Aiden was little because he'd have many more portraits from his baby days.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Forever Young


There are songs that you've heard a million times. You always turn the music up when you hear it, give it a thumbs up on Pandora, buy it on Itunes right away. But despite hearing the song hundreds of times you never really took pause to the lyrics. I miss buying cassette tapes and being able to memorize the words to each song. That was my favorite part. Such is "Forever Young" by Bob Dylan. I've been listening to his music a lot lately while I'm working or as background noise when I read at night. His voice is so calming. The music is soothing. I think back to his 'day' and understand what the fuss was about you know? 


These lyrics are everything I want for my children. For myself. My partner. Simple and honest. I heard a cover of it by Joan Baez earlier and was just wowed by the melody. Truth be told my favorite tunes are typically those that were written many moons ago. Bob Marley (obsessed is not going to cover that one. I got the Vinyl of his greatest hits and listen to it daily..many times). Dolly Parton (that woman and her writing will always enrapture me. the "Trio" album will always be one of my absolute favorites). The Beach Boys (a childhood favorite that always puts me in a great mood and makes me long for Manhattan Beach again). The Mama's & The Papa's (Monday, Monday, California Dreamin, and Dream a Little Dream are everything). My parents listened to this music when I was growing up which I'm sure has everything to do with why I love it so much. Will Aiden and Piper love it one day? Aiden jams with me to Bob Marley so I have high hopes. 

Sorry. Back to "Forever Young". If you watched "Parenthood" then you heard a snippet at the start of every show (By the way I am so sad that show is gone...I loved it) but I urge you to download this song, dust off that CD you have somewhere and take a listen. If someone asked me to say all the things I want for my littles in life...here it is...

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.
May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.
May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young

Monday, March 30, 2015

Daydreamer'

The daydream is the same one lately. I'm standing in my Grandmother's kitchen washing dishes. I'm using the same thin dishcloths  that she has had for years. They smell of Dawn and fresh air. Only it isn't my Grandmother's house..not really. I'm living there. The window looking out into the front yard is much larger. I can see far to the left and right...all the way down to where my Granny's house used to sit. The décor is my style. I have a large farmhouse sink. The once wooden walls are now white washed.  I have open shelves where cabinets used to dawn the walls. They are perfectly curated with white dishes and a few aqua ones for pops of color. It's all different and yet it smells the same as it had for years. The scent of Alabama, peas and dumplings cooking.

There is no background noise other than my Crosley playing my Etta James record. The laughter of the children from the front yard echos. They are running around the large pecan tree near the driveway, the same spot I used to dig. Making mud pies. The same place that once a large snake fell and my father killed it with a hoe. It's peaceful. There is no traffic. No sirens. Just peaceful. Chad is out back tending to the cattle and checking on our flourishing garden that will produce tons of delicious tomatoes and watermelon in the summer (clearly a daydream as we have yet to grow a fruitful garden...always hope though).

This daydream comes to me more and more as we live in such a busy world. Have a busy life. Self inflicted often yes...but busy. There is always some place to be, and to get there we must battle through traffic. Not city traffic, because we don't technically live in the city. That is even worst. I'd rather be in the thick of Chicago traffic than this suburban hellish traffic. In my daydream I don't have to worry about my kids playing outside and getting hit by cars, or approached by strangers. In this dream I have no worries. I guess part of me is longing for this simplistic scenario. Growing up I remember spending hours outside riding bikes and digging in dirt and yet these days I rarely see this sight. It makes me sad. Makes me wonder if my kids are going to have those delicious childhood memories like I do of just using my imagination.  I fear that they'll get caught up in the technology/game playing world. I know it's my job to not let that happen of course. I wish for them a life of contenement, of not 'wanting', of being happy with what they have and yet this world we live in now it doesn't seem likely. I hope they don't get caught up in the "keeping up with the Jones" mentality like I have so many times. Precious time has been wasted wishing I had more than I have now or something that someone else has. I realize now that what I have is magnificent. That you take with you your relationships, your love for those around you. If all of that were to disappear (the things); the legos, the fancy bar carts, the clothes, I'd be left with insurmountable love and that would be enough. Simply enough.

I want enough to be what we seek. My daydream teaches me what I long for in my life and the life of my family.  I hope they read this one day. Maybe come back and read this when they find themselves getting caught up in the "want" game. It's a struggle for me still. I want life to revolve around us spending time together. To not give a second thought to what someone else has I wish my house looked like that. I need that, etc..)To instead go outside and just enjoy the beauty around us. The smell of spring. The trees in the Fall. The majestic snow. I do want. I crave something that is out there. Space. Fields of green grass. Mountain tops. Beaches. Nature. And my family. Everything else that seemed so important will just wash away.....

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Growth



I must have written three versions of my "New Years Post" before settling on this one. Short. Sweet. Simple. I was getting too in depth. Too complicated.

Because sometimes it's not all that complicated. Sometimes you resolve to keep doing what you're doing. Naturally, I have a small post-baby bucket list of things to accomplish such as shed the baby weight, get in shape, yada yada...but for 2015 I want to focus on "Growth".