My Noticer

My Noticer
There's always time to stop & smell the roses!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

This is Us..

The night you died I knew what crying an ocean of tears really felt like....waves and waves of sadness washed away my sand castles.

I wrote this little note on a piece of paper I still have today in the hours after my Grandpa passed away Super Bowl Sunday when I was 15. He and my Grandma were driving home and hit a patch of black ice and in a matter of minutes...maybe seconds it was over. His life was over. No goodbyes, no last words, nothing. And life is like that sometimes...a sucker punch to the gut that leaves you breathless and seeing stars...

I wonder what torture that must have been for my Grandma to hear the love of her life take his final breaths. And its hard to think about. I was supposed to be in the car with them that evening. I spent part of the day with my Grandpa because he was helping me practice parallel parking so that come May I could get my license. I am so thankful that I had that time with him. I wish I would have known because I wouldn't have ever stopped hugging him. I would have breathed in his scent and memorized the way it felt to be hugged by him. I would have recorded the sound of his laughter. You see, he had a great laugh. When I think of him I think of that. It was one of those laughs that is contagious and even if something isn't that funny you cant help but laugh along.

I said I was supposed to be with them...BUT it was Super Bowl Sunday and I wanted to hang out with my boyfriend and some other kids from school. I used to wonder if I could have saved him...
like maybe he would have let me drive for the extra practice and I might have missed the black ice and I wouldn't be talking about him dying. Then I think...what if I would have died...
It's too much to think about and I'll never know so I stopped torturing myself years ago. Denial is a funny thing, it makes the craziest of thoughts seem sane. Like, I used to think his death was some sort of conspiracy and I used to look for his face in cars that passed by... It was really hard to accept that he was gone forever.

I can't really explain who my Grandpa was to me except that he was my favorite person. He had this special way of making me feel important. I can remember when he would introduce me to anyone he always used adjectives..not just; "hey, this is my grand daughter" but more like; "This is MY grand daughter, we think she is something special, smart, wonderful, etc. I always felt like I was his favorite. But then I think everyone who knew him probably thought that because that's the kind of guy he was. He used to call my Grandma his girlfriend in a silly, flirty voice. I remember seeing him sometimes brush and braid her hair...it was long.. and I just remember thinking he was so gentle. Sometimes my Grandma's yells said otherwise. If we went to restaurants he made it a point to know the waitress' name... and that's what I mean about him making people feel special. There are people who are genuine and who notice and that's the kind of guy he was. He always had a pocket protector and an abundance of pens in his shirt pocket. He had this certain smell,  and that laugh...I can't say enough about it.

I can remember when he and my Grandma would come to visit one of the ways we
(my siblings and I ) showed our love was to make sure when we set the table he got the special blue flower plate...we had a matching set of plates but in my mind and my sibling's minds the blue flower plate was a badge of honor. So, Grandpa...I hope you eat every meal in heaven off a pretty blue flower plate. We would FIGHT over who got to sit next to him, and I always wanted to hold his hand. And when we left restaurants or other places if we were holding hands he would run with me and jump and it was just so fun and magical. The crazy thing is we only saw them a couple of times a year but that speaks volumes about the kind of Grandparent and person he was. He managed to cram lifetimes of memories into days and weeks.

I actually wanted to ask him if when I got married he would walk me down the aisle...I wanted to make him promise but I was afraid if I asked he would die before that day came...like I would jinx it...I was so dark geez! I wish I would have asked anyway...because then you he would know.

My favorite memory I have of him happens to be captured in a photograph but then maybe thats not a coincidence..maybe the photograph helped solidify that memory because I was young. I was five I think and he and Grandma came to visit us in California and we went hiking around. We were standing on what felt like and looked like a cliff to me and he wanted me to jump down. It felt impossible and scary but he held my hand and we leapt...at least it felt that way. It was exhilarating and I was so proud of myself after. Im so glad there is a picture. Ive had it framed and with me for the last 17 years.

Anyway, I am a HUGE "This is Us" fan and Im a little obsessed with Jack so like every other American woman my heart died a little when his character's death was finally revealed. "Crazy" that the episode aired on Super Bowl Sunday and his character died on Super Bowl Sunday all those years ago. I KNOW its fiction but the feelings and emotions hit me like a ton of bricks. Suddenly I was 15 again and my heart was breaking all over again.  Thank God I didn't actually watch it on Super Bowl Sunday. Not sure how cathartic that would have been. Super Bowls used to be tough for me but enough time has gone by that life has gone on...its not the same but lets just say Im not looking for my Grandpa's face in cars passing me on the highway.

When I found out he died I was SO mad at God....More mad then I've ever been about anything. At that point in my life I was pretty sure everyone sucked and I kind of hated people...And I thought why would you (God) take someone so good. I felt like the world was so full of terrible people and so God should leave the good ones alone...like we seriously need people like my Grandpa on this earth...did He not know that...was He selfish?? Did He want him all to himself. Did God not know how much we all needed him, how much I needed him...In my mind it was like God orchestrated the whole thing.

This is all terribly sad but I had to talk about him and how wonderful he was so I could talk about my husband and how wonderful he is. They are two men cut from the same cloth! Oh Austin, you would have loved my Grandpa. He was a pilot too so you would have lots to talk about!
And your laugh...yeah its a great one! It's loud and contagious. And even if something isn't that funny you cant help but laugh along with you.

Seriously, Austin...YOU are the best thing that has ever happened to me. You have seen me in pieces so broken I thought there was no hope and you didn't leave. You might have wanted to sometimes..I think you saw the real me and you thought I was worth it.

You are one of the good ones and I am one of the lucky ones. You are a man of integrity. You have principals and morals and values that quite honestly not a lot of men have these days. And let me just say this...You as a father have surpassed any and every expectation I could have ever had. You genuinely want to spend time with our family. Like...you sleep with Landon in his tiny twin bed just to make him feel special...You take him hunting and fishing when I know it would be so much easier to go alone. You "camp" out with him in the playroom because you said you would even though you have a trip the next day and you have to be up at 5AM. You ask him to help with projects even thought he probably adds on hours to the task because you know it will benefit him..And I know how you love your golf yet you take Landon with you any chance you get..again, its about him and not you..your selfless like that, and I notice.

You work hard for our family and you give me the freedom to choose whether I stay home with our babes or go to work. And there is no judgement...that's true freedom, you never have "agendas".  You support my interests and hobbies, you encourage me to have friendships and you make it easy to go out with girlfriends and to have time to myself. I LOVE you for this because I need this. You have changed just as many dirty diapers as I have and when I was spiraling with post-partum depression after Landon you were an anchor for our family. And thats what you are...You are my rock.

When I look back on our 12 years together I realize we've grown up together...
We jumped out of an airplane together and you asked me to marry you!
We survived Cancun together as a 20 and 22 year old WOW...
We've made babies together! WE are responsible for two little lives together.
I watched you lose your sister, I know it broke you and it broke me to see that.
We've been through so MANY moves together... ugh!
We finally bought a house together!
We said goodbye to Stewie together.
We lost a baby together.
We were together when your mom battled cancer.
You shaved my head for me when my best friend had cancer and lost her hair.
Through it all; the highest highs and the lowest lows...its been us.
Its like its always been us and it will always be us!
I can't imagine living this life with anyone else.

You are hundreds of miles away and you made me feel special today.
I hope you read this and you feel special.

You are the real deal, you are who they write about...
You are the stuff of fairly tales and happily ever afters.
You are the character people can only imagine and dream up.
I love you.

Us





















Multi-Tasker




















Im in love with you seeing you fall in love with Logan
You teaching Landon..

this one is delicious

my boys, my whole world..

secrets

this...this is why i love you!

You told me I could, so I believed you.


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Deuces Wild

Two years ago today you came into this world and into my heart and you've been leaving your mark ever since. Sometimes that mark looks like marker and pencil scribbles all over the computer. Often times its the trails of random toys you leave scattered throughout the house! Its the joy you give me when I get to see the world through your eyes, sometimes its your laugh I can hear in my head while Im falling asleep. Its the way you shamelessly flirt with all girls. Sometimes its the way your brother calls you HIS baby brother with so much pride in his voice. It's the way your dad looks at you like he cant believe how lucky we are that you are ours.
And sometimes its the way my heart skips a beat when I tuck you in at night and you tell me
"I love you too" in your super sweet baby voice...yeah, that one gets me every time.

A true trail blazer if I ever saw one
You have a legitimate love AFFAIR with horses, and its actually kind of perfect because a horse is totally your spirit animal. But not just your average horse, NO..you my love are like a wild horse and its my favorite thing about you! You are wild and free and so, so spirited. Your energy is manic and loud, and crazy, but most of all, its beautiful. You are unstoppable and this will serve you well in this world. You are unbreakable and fearless. You don't know yet what impossible means, the world is yours. I am hoping you come to realize that when it comes to the playground some things are impossible for you at this age...honestly, taking you to the park is terrifying. You want to do what all the older kids do which typically entails jumping from slides and whatever the tallest point on the playground equipment is. You aren't content to play on the "age appropriate" side. But thats you with everything, you take everything you do to the next level. You are like your dad that way. Its hard for this mama heart sometimes but I try not to hold you back if I can help myself. I find myself holding my breath a lot and just sort of cringing while I watch you taste freedom and test your limits.
I'm hoping this obsession with horses doesn't lead to bronco riding one day! Help me God if it does.

I know one thing for sure, the things that you and your brother are passionate about I want to be passionate about too. I see an interesting future for myself because helping you chase your dreams and seeing you try and sometimes fail, and hopefully mostly succeed is my dream now.
The life I imagined for myself before kids is so different and exciting. The crazy thing is if I got everything I ever THOUGHT I wanted none of it could even come close to bringing me the happiness and joy being a mother has brought me. Im thankful for this all the time. There is a song that is so special to me and one of the lyrics is; have you come to the end of yourself.. You and your brother have done that to me and its the best thing thats ever happened.
In my wildest dreams I couldn't fathom anything as good as you and Landon.
Don't get me wrong..I still have dreams and ambitions of my own and I will see them through because I think thats important for you to see and know, but my personal desires pale in comparison to what I want for you. I want to be interested in what interests you because I have this need to know you and your brother and how you guys think, and what makes you laugh, what makes you sad, mad...all of it. Thank you for giving my life a purpose that surpasses anything I could have dreamed up.

Here is just a glimpse into who you are at the ripe old age of 2...

You go to sleep talking about watching horsies, playing horsies, reading horsies and when you wake up its the first thing you talk about..."want to watch horsies" Spirit is currently your favorite, although sometimes you dabble in Heartland and Reign..The best part, Heartland and Reign are like actual dramas, almost like soap operas! Like I said, you aren't happy with "age appropriate" shows like Octonauts and Sesame Street, its always the next level with you!

You are obsessed with girls...again, not girls your age..you seem to especially love teenagers. The other day at the park you had your heart set on a sweet 10 year old girl with a pretty pink bow you couldn't stop talking about! You followed her around and tried to do everything she did. I think you were actually showing off..gotta love your tenacity! Your dad told me he took you to see the horses at Carousel Farms and when two teenaged girls walked by you gasped and said "dad look, girls"...
Mamas of girls all I can say is beware..my boy has dimples, good looks, and charm for days.
I imagine one day all of Landon's little girlfriends are just going to love his little brother...Both my boys are fiercely competitive so it should be interesting to say the least!

You are obsessed with Rocky the rocking horse that daddy used to ride when he was little. Do you calmly ride it while safely holding onto the reigns...NO!! You do "tricks" your own word.. You wear your black cowboy hat and most often you are barefoot. You like to do "jumps" and rock back and forth so hard I am just waiting for your to fly off. To date I have to say Im impressed..as far as I know you haven't been bucked off yet...unless your dad "forgot" to tell me about such an experience :)

You have an interesting knack for hoarding things you love. Sometimes the word stealing comes to mind..I have found a lego fence piece in your pants before..we were invited to a friends house and from what I gather the white lego fence piece you set your eyes on looked like a "horse fence" so you stuck it inside pants leg and when we got home and I changed you into jammies I found it...imagine my surprise! I have found pacifiers in your pant legs as well. Pacifiers are about the only thing that can compare with horses. One day it was nap time and that is typically when you get your "binky". The only problem...I couldn't find one anywhere...not to fear, you had them all stashed inside a doll house. You nonchalantly opened the front door to the doll house and reached in and grabbed like three of them. Sometimes you want the blue one, sometimes the green one in your mouth but then you prefer to sleep with the others next you you in the crib as well as one in each hand! When we go to the library you promptly gather up ALL of the toy horses AND the horse puzzle pieces. You have this one little container that you like to put them all in. It has a lid and snaps shut so you can safely transport the horses around without any other children stealing the COMMUNITY toys.

You love to do anything that gets a reaction...there for awhile you would suck on your big toe just to see me grossed out! You love to fart in the bathtub because your brother laughs uncontrollably! You love to make a big deal out of the smallest boo-boo so I have to kiss it...even especially if its your butt. By the way, yours is the only butt I will kiss! You love it when I sing "Jesus Loves Me", "Twinkle Twinkle", and my very own original "Farty McGarts"....what can I say, its a classic!

As funny and tough as you are you are incredibly perceptive and sweet. You pick up on emotion and I can already see your compassionate heart. It comes naturally to you and that is such a gift. You give the best bear hugs and kisses. Your little spirit for competition has already started shining though in the love department. You love to play the "I love you more game" with me. For the record; I'll play with you always and forever. One day you me and Landon can play the Infinities  game...that should be interesting.

Oh Logan, I could go on for days and you're only 2. You and your brother will be the greatest story I ever get to tell. You are the best parts of my life. I cant wait to see what this year brings, what lessons you will teach me, and what beautiful things you will show me.


Two roads diverged in a wood,
and I...I took the one less traveled by, 
and that has made all the difference. 
-Robert Frost-


NO, better yet...

Do not go where the path may lead, 
go instead where there is no path and leave a trail
-Ralph Waldo Emerson-

Logan, this is what you were born to do...be a trail blazer..its who you are!

The sky is the limit

Eating your big toe for attention













Probably watching "horsies"
One of the boys

you boys get me every time
seeing the world through your eyes

this was a good day

Eating chalk for a reaction


cheese

one of your famous bear hugs

always remind me to stop and smell the roses
you have my whole heart



How long will I love you
As long as the stars are above you
And longer if I may
-Ellie Goulding-


Sunday, October 8, 2017

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

Yep...thats proof that Landy was kissed by a real live princess



















In two days you'll be six my sweet boy! This year more than ever I am acutely aware of how quickly you are growing up. I think Kindergarten has a lot to do with that. I always knew you were bright and creative but seeing you come home with pictures you've drawn from your imagination with no influence from me and stories about how your very own day went make my heart flutter a little. Its strange having you gone for so long during the day. One day you'll understand what it is for something to be "bittersweet" and my love; thats what growing up is...at least from a mom's perspective.

Its the strangest thing because I think I know you better than anyone yet I'm learning so many new and interesting things about you everyday...like maybe I don't have you all figured out HAHA! Raising you boys is definitely proving to be my life's greatest mystery and probably the best journey I could ever hope for. That's not to say I don't get caught up in the mundane everyday tasks and sometimes  often times forget how lucky I am. That's why I'm grateful for life's little reminders (like birthdays) to slow down and take note, because I know one day I'll look back and know without a doubt that; THESE were the days.

And so, I want to try and live with that knowledge everyday...even when I'm picking up all of the hundreds of legos off the floor for the thousandth time, and every time I step on a plastic army man and then sweep up his head and legs days later when I finally manage to sweep under the couch, and especially when you still want me to kiss your "boo-boo's", and when it's bed time and you still ask me to sing Twinkle-Twinkle...and you're trying to stay up late so then you ask me to sing "Raindrops on Roses" like you're being sneaky or something!

Tonight after I tucked you in you said "don't worry mom, I won't sneak into your bed tonight".
I have plenty of reasons to doubt this statement, like basically every night before tonight :) so I just said; "Okay, love you". Then you told me to "make sure I dreamed about you tonight" so of course I said "I would dream about us driving race cars together" and you quickly said "No, just dream about ALL the things we can do together".... That pulled at my heart strings so bad I almost climbed into bed with you! Haha, but seriously...you always give me so much to ponder, and so I'm just sitting here thinking about you and all the things we can do together... So in no particular order here are just some of the highlights.

So, I know you aren't actually going to marry me 😉 but you did promise to come over every Friday night and hang out with me....So, I dream you marry the girl of your dreams and that we love her and she loves us and we actually like to hang out together and so every Friday night we get together and laugh until our sides hurt.

I dream about going to your games one day (please don't be football or hockey) and cheering you on ridiculously loud....also I'll probably buy all the parent spirit wear I can get my hands on.
HINT: If you play soccer we can talk strategy!

Since its almost Halloween and you are OBSESSED with all things spooky I dream of the day when you can go see scary movies with me and eat lots of buttery popcorn! I promise to buy you all the gummy worms you want AND I'll still share my chocolate!

I dream of the day you are reading chapter books because we can totally talk books! I promise to read what you like too! Oh, and the thought of you reading stories to Logan in the next year or two makes my heart so happy.

I dream of the day I get to watch your dad take you up for your first airplane ride...my heart will be going crazy because I know your dad is going to let you take the "wheel" so to speak HAHA
My feet will be firmly planted while you taste freedom and I love the thought of the two of you sharing a moment like that!

I dream about the days when you're old enough to have your buddies over to the house...all that energy excites me...I'll try not to embarrass you, AND I promise to have plenty of junk food around...Yes, I will bribe you with video games and cheetos if that means I get to hear your teenaged laughter in the next room.

I dream about helping you get ready for your first big dance and taking a ridiculous  cool/minimal amount of pictures with you and your date...I've only seen you enamored by a girl once and that was Cinderella at Disney Land when you were 3 so.....I think you can handle homecoming!

I dream about you becoming who you are meant to be and I can't wait to meet him...you...

Totally cheesy but I literally dream about you getting married because I can't wait for you to find the one who your soul loves...gotta throw in some Song of Solomon! Also, I dream about you and I sharing the mother/groom dance and we blow everyones minds when dance to "Rocking Around the Christmas Tree" by Brenda Lee because that is our JAM! All of that of course is assuming your bride to be REALLY loves me and gets me! HAHA

I dream about the few short magical years we have left where I get the chance to prove that magic exists at Christmas time...I mean, you actually think your toys come to life at night and have epic battles!! I dream about the day when maybe you don't believe but you get to help me and your dad create that magic for Logan! I am sure your ideas will put me and your Dad's basic scenes to shame!

You are totally "ELF" Landy


I dream about having coffee with you one day and talking about life and MAYBE there won't be talk of poop, farts, or balls!! Aww, who am I kidding!

Coffee/Serious Landy
I dream about what hugging you when you are taller and stronger than me might feel like...And now I'm crying....

I dream about watching you become a father...Oh, I can't wait for that one! Also...then I can say I told you so about so many things! I especially can't wait to say; "See, I told you there is no way a kid can love their parents more than a parent loves them..." You are convinced that you win at the "infinities" argument every time. for more on the infinities

I dream about meeting your kids and just knowing them...and knowing the little family you'll create.








Gosh, I am realizing I have a lot of dreams that involve you and I. I'm pretty sure you just meant for me to dream about crazy and fun things that can maybe ONLY happen in dreams... Like slaying dragons and flying...and maybe breathing under water like mermaids and finding buried treasure...oh, and jumping from cloud to cloud in the sky like they are nothing more than giant trampolines, and then eating a ridiculous amount of Oreos and NEVER even getting sick!

Here's to dreaming big Landon. Happy Birthday my Peter Pan and I think Cinderella said it best....

A dream is a wish your heart makes
When you're fast asleep
In dreams you will lose your heartaches
Whatever you wish for, you keep 


This is what enamored Landy looks like... his hands give him away!





































Saturday, August 5, 2017

Adventuring...








And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul-John Muir










Today was delicious...It was like an ice cold lemonade on a hot Summer's day, it was the cherry on the sundae, the last piece of cake, the cookie dough your mom let you lick off the beaters when you were a kid..and maybe now as an adult you indulge too...today was just one of those good days you file away as a keeper. 

This Summer has been SO hot and humid and I've just been feeling so stifled...in every way. Mentally, emotionally, creatively and even physically. When I walked outside this afternoon I was met with my favorite kind of sunshine. You know, the kind that just barely kisses your shoulders. And instead of swamp like humidity there was the best kind of breeze, the kind that blows just enough to make your hairs tickle your nose or maybe your shoulders if its long enough! 

I decided today was a day for seizing. Its been awhile since I intentionally created an adventure day. I don't know how I forgot about the art of adventuring...Adventuring is like my jam. I used to live for finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. I realized Landy's adventure bag was hanging sad and forgotten in his closet missing the good ol' days when mysterious rocks and interesting sticks and acorns weighed him down. I wondered if the sad little bag would still smell of damp earth and sunshine.  See, I know how to adventure with Landon, he and I go way back. Logan though...he's straight up crazy and I just imagine adventuring with him will involve rolling in poison ivy and him falling (or jumping) off of a bridge into swift moving water and there are sure to be water moccasins in said water..its just so logistical now. Logan LOVES being outside BUT it has to be on his terms... I recently bought him one of those child leashes because I can't even take him for a walk in our neighborhood. I love his need for independence and wonder but it is also very dangerous! 


We dubbed this tree "Sir Nasty" due to the large fungal growth
NOTE: I tried walking him with the leash but it felt SO wrong and I imagined the thoughts of every passerby and promptly did the walk of shame home... I just don't think I have it in me to leash my kid...Its just so first world it makes me want to vomit the way that selfies and hashtags do! 

Anyway...I decided it isn't fair to take adventuring away from Landon. Besides, adventuring isn't going to look exactly the same as it did before and thats okay. Isn't that the point of adventuring..
So me and my boys set off and let me tell you it was an adventure! And it was new and different and better all at the same time. I carried Logan on my back for the first part and then once we got down the trail a ways I let him down....And guess what...He didn't get anywhere near poison ivy, and he didn't fall into a creek to his untimely death...we did however see a snake. But that was at the end of our adventure and it was a baby so... yeah, I'd say today was a success. 

Logan watched Landon carefully choose "beautiful" and "interesting" things to put in the adventure bag so by the time we let him down he was all about adding his two cents! Basically EVERY stick he saw and he had no interest in the colorful leaves...NOPE it was dead and brown leaves he was after and if they were soggy that seemed to be an added bonus! We stopped at a park where Logan met a new canine friend named Ted; who even let us rub his belly much to Logi's delight! 

The three of us walked out of the woods sweaty and hungry for more adventure. So, we just kept on adventuring and it was the best day ever and exactly what my soul needed. 




Logan is ready

I'd say Landy is ready too!



Apparently this stick looks like a claw so he is a monster...makes sense to me!

"Carpe Diem"
And we did...


Friday, May 12, 2017

Makers of Memories



























Over the last 6 months I have given more thought to my relationship with my mother than ever before. I recently found out about the loss of someone very special to me; a woman I deeply admired and respected and even loved. She was also a mother to two young women and I wonder what mother's days are like for them...and not just mother's day, but everyday. And what about the big days in their futures? What about graduations, weddings, the birth of their own children, you know; the day they themselves become mothers? And what about the days when life gives them more than they can handle and all they want is their mom? My heart absolutely breaks for them.

In the last year I have also developed relationships with other women MY age who have lost their mothers too soon to scary words like cancer and other illnesses. Maybe most devastating of all was finding out my best friend in the whole world was diagnosed with cancer last year. By the way, she is a mother. She has two beautiful children and a husband who need her around for the next 50 or so years. If I think about it too much I feel like I can't breathe so I can only imagine the dark places my friend has gone in her mind. So, because none of us are promised tomorrow I just have a few thoughts about my mom. I want to love her like I'm going to lose her. The lyrics from the song below perfectly capture the way I want to love not just my mother but all the important people in my life.

"Like I'm Gonna Lose You"
Meghan Trainor

In the blink of an eye
Just a whisper of smoke
You could lose everything
The truth is you never know

Mom, this post is for you and inspired by you.

A beautiful soul
Moms are the makers of memories. Its what they do in a million different ways. Mostly its all behind the scenes and seemingly invisible. Much of what goes into making those memories may go unnoticed and maybe even unappreciated. Of course none of this is intentional its just part of the calling of motherhood. Its the choices moms make everyday to love and care for their littles. Its the snotty noses they wipe day in and day out, its the hundreds and maybe even thousands of diapers they change. Its kisses for scrapes and bumps and bruises. Its cooking meals day in and day out and worrying about the nutritional value of EVERYTHING. Its baths, and bedtime stories, and prayers. Its songs sung by moonlight when they are tucking in their babes. Its snuggles and tickle fights. Its ENDLESS amounts of laundry and cleaning only to have everything undone in a matter of minutes. Its answering ten thousand questions sometimes more than once! Its endless "are we there yets". Its creating a magical and beautiful childhood on a shoestring budget. Its many sleepless nights that don't end with the infant stage.

I imagine sleep eludes mothers intermittently throughout their lives. If it isn't nighttime feedings, upset tummies, or bad dreams its teenagers learning to spread their wings and waiting for them to come home safely to the nest. It might be mamas knowing its finals week in college and they are plagued by the anxiety that keeps their not so little one up at night. It might be a mama worried about her youngest going through the brutal-ness that is ARMY basic training. And just like that her little boy becomes a soldier in the blink of an eye. It might be a mama who is awaiting the birth of her babie's baby. Whatever life throws our way whether its our highest highs or our lowest lows if you're lucky your mom is celebrating every victory at every peak but she's right there in the valley too.
Wherever you go she is willing to walk with you.

The thing is when you love someone more than you love yourself the things that make or break them make or break you too.

One of the things I love about moms is their ability to keep on giving of themselves in every way imaginable; physically, mentally, emotionally, and when they are sure they have nothing left to give they go on and give some more...and its funny but even the moments you think you hate you actually love because isn't that what unconditional love is..

When you become a mother you lose a piece of yourself but what you gain is bigger than you could ever have imagined. Being a mom means you won't always be noticed but you will become the noticer. You will notice everything, and you will sweat the details because the details are where its at...thats where the memories are made. You will wonder if you got it right, were you, NO; ARE you enough, did you get it right, could you have done better.... And inevitably you can't get it all right....but moms, they keep on trying anyway...
Thats the thing about moms, they never stop giving and trying. They are fierce that way.

I think often mothers are too hard on themselves. I think they tend to focus on their own perceived shortcomings and mistakes. And it really isn't fair because hindsight is always 20/20 and sometimes when you look back on different situations you have a different kind of clarity because you aren't in the middle of whatever mess or disaster life was giving you. The fact is, when you feel like you are sinking you do the best that you can to stay afloat. Sometimes treading water while you wait for a rescue boat is all you can do. Maybe you can't always be the one doing the saving. That's an enormous amount of pressure to put on one's self. I guess thats just what moms do. We want to be everything for everyone ALL the time.

My childhood wasn't all sunshine and roses BUT when I reflect back on my childhood its the sunshine and roses that come to mind. If I could go back and be a kid again I totally would. I think I have my mom to thank for that!

Mom, you might not have got it all perfect and none of us can but man, the parts you got right were SPOT ON. You were a fun mom, and you were and are the perfect mom for me. When I think of the kind of mom you were I am overcome with love and gratitude for you.

You made us..US. Its like if our family was a universe you were at the center of it all keeping us aligned.

You read us stories, and prayed with us, I remember you singing me songs and tickling my back. I know that at the end of a long day with THREE kids that was you giving us an invaluable piece of yourself.
You are the kind of mom that cooked dinner every night and made eating together as a family a priority. Dinner time was sacred and so much fun, and its a tradition that matters to me to this day! When I think of our family I remember a whole lot of dancing and belly laughing. You and dad showed us it was okay to be real and even silly. ESPECIALLY silly might be a more accurate description.

Mom, if I think about it you were the icing on the cake, the cherry on top, the zest, the flair, the caramel drizzle, the whip cream on the pie...You were the pizazz and by the way I can't play the game of Yahtzee with anyone else and NOT be disappointed! No one yells Yahtzee like you.
You always were the one thing that made everything better. You are the ultimate enhancer and binder of our family. I don't know how you did it but my childhood was truly magical. And I know that isn't an accident or coincidence. Its the million little things you did and said everyday. Its those tiny details and thoughts you put into things that maybe at the time seemed small or insignificant but I assure you; all those little deposits of love, time, attention, and acts of service made a priceless impact on my life.

I love you more than you know and hope that one day my kids can say some of the same things about me as their mother. Thank you for setting the bar so high!

Mom when I think about you being just a kid yourself I admire you even more!























How could you not love me

4 Generations of strong women





I love this picture!






It may not be me and you mom but this perfectly captures the kind of mom you are and the kind of mom I hope to be