On Our Anniversary

October 18. 4 years.Mia-349

Every year I’ve had the words to say on this day planned out weeks in advance. What words, which throwback picture, and I look forward to this day with baited excitement for those few weeks. A day for just us. A day to celebrate our union, the day we said I do, the day we pledged our lives together. A day to celebrate the enormous love we have for each other.

This year is really not very different. I’ve had the words planned in my head for a couple weeks. The image picked out, everything sort of set in place in my mind. But on reflection, this past year has taught me a lesson. One that my husband has been saying every year, but I just love celebrating this day so much so we celebrate it anyway.

Celebrating anniversaries are important. It is important to acknowledge the milestones in life, to take a moment to reflect on what happened. It’s why we celebrate the birthdays of children, and our own up to a point. It’s why we have memorial days and personal dates that are important to us. We acknowledge these days every year, reflect on whatever made that day special, and then move on with our lives. We may take it a step further and throw a party, go on a extra special date night, light a candle in remembrance (or on national/federal holidays throw a parade). Ultimately though, the day passes and we trudge on with life.

Here is the lesson I’ve paid more attention to and learned over this past year of marriage: We don’t just celebrate and show our love on this one day every year. We celebrate it every day. In the kiss my husband gives me early in the morning as he heads off to work. In the “Goodnights and I love you’s” of every evening. In the small acts of help, kindness, and love that are peppered throughout our days/weeks/years over the span of our lifetime. When we bump into each other in the kitchen, or slip a smart ass comment to each other on a slow Sunday morning. In the quiet moments of an evening, snuggled up on the couch, grateful for each other and for the quiet moment together. We constantly celebrate and show our love.

It’s not a one day event.

So, while I want to celebrate our anniversary and enjoy today, it’s not just today. I love this man with all my soul. I loved him 7 years ago when I met him. I loved him 4 years ago when we said I do. I loved him 2.75 years ago when we welcomed our first child. I loved him 16 (ish) months ago when we welcomed our second child. I love him more today than I ever could have imagined. And finally, I’ll love him more tomorrow (and the next day, and the day after that and the day after that) than I thought was possible today.

Life is not easy, we have our ups and downs, we go through trials and roadblocks, and massive, incredible, sometimes insane adventures. But through everything one thing has remained constant. Our love.

So, this year, on our Anniversary, just know we celebrate our love. Our union. The passing of time together. And after today has ended, we will still celebrate our love.

Cheers to 4 years. I love you.

 

Round the Kettle Ep 1: An Introduction

IMG_2491Ah something new. I’ve been thinking long hard about this. Do I want to do it. Can I do it. How do I do it. All thoughts that have been swirling around in my head for the last couple months. I’ve come to a decision that rather than just continue to wonder about it, that I would just take a chance. Give it a shot. If it works out and goes the way I am planning, then perfection! If not, then maybe timing just wasn’t right. Either way, I’d rather at least try then continue to sit and ponder and wonder what if. That’s not something I’m good at (although sometimes I am, and in those case I almost mull it over for too long and then the spark passes).

So, where to begin?

I’ve always said that my blog is intended to feel like a chat with a friend over coffee (or tea, tea for me please). My goal is to uplift, inspire, maybe impart a little wisdom (as to what I know-most times I know nothing) and just share things I’ve learned and experienced. I want it to feel like a warm inviting space that you stay and chat for a while in. I feel like I’ve been succeeding in my goal over the past 9-10 months (already been blogging regularly that long?!) and I’ve generally enjoyed the direction and shape my blog has taken on. Right now I’ve been posting twice a week (Monday/Wednesday) with an optional third post from my Social Media that I want to highlight (Friday). I feel like this is really working. I’ve really hit a good groove. I LOVE the posts I’m writing and I feel like I’ve got a good handle.

So why change a good thing?

Because I’m nuts. I’ll just start with that. I’m nuts. Why not add a third (or really fifth when you count in my business writing) thing to my list? As much as I LOVE how things are going (and I cant stress enough about how I really do), I feel like something has been missing lately.

I feel like I’m missing sharing the little tidbits of everyday. I missing the relaxed fun that comes when you’re just {almost} rambling on with friends. Everything goes off in a million different directions, but circles back around in the end.

I used to share a “recap” type post way back in the day. It started on my business blog, then transferred to this blog. It was like catching up with a friend over coffee. You sit and chat about what you’re loving, how things have been, how the kids are, etc. maybe you broach into world news (eek…maybe not?!), but it’s just a chance to free roll and chat. No bigger message, no lesson, no nothing. Just a bunch of chatter. I realized that in my posting of late, that’s kind of been missing.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all over Social Media. Sharing thoughts as they come, sharing bits of my kids, of day to day, and you can always catch the latest and greatest there. I just haven’t seen it up on my blog in a while. I kind of miss that personal side banter of little mundane things. Not to say that you don’t still get that every once in a while, but all the same. (I’m really probably mucking this all up, sorry if you’re totally lost with my thoughts!)

So…all that rambling to introduce “Round the Kettle”. I think I’ll get into the name next time, as this is already scary long, but the gist of it is to be a catch up. A catch up “round the kettle” about whatever is happening. Whether that be family, me, conversations with my almost 3 yr old, new things my almost 1.5 yr old has discovered, news (eek…maybe not?!), whatever is floating my boat at that time. It may feature someone else sometimes, it may feature a funny story, it’s just going to be…well whatever it is. It will hopefully be fun, maybe a bit ramble-y, and just a feeling of catching up with a friend.

If this isn’t really your thing, or something you like reading, have no fear! Regular blog posts will still be around and the style, consistency and message of those will remain the same. This is a special just post that I’ve been kind of missing.

Side banter-my long term goal is to have this be a podcast one day…a girl can have some dreams, right?

This will be a twice a month posting, formatted much like this one…where I’ve managed to ramble on for 777 saying something I could have just as easily said I’m probably a quarter of that. I hope you enjoy ☺️

 

 

Sunday Evening Chat (aka supposed to be Friday Morning, but I missed it)

As moms (and parents in general), we’ve got some pressure.

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The pressure of raising a being who is entirely reliant on you. The first few years are like nothing else. A baby needing you 24/7, then a toddler demanding your sole attention at all waking hours. It seems like the days are never ending (even though they say the years are short-which they are).

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The pressure of putting on the “facade” of a “happy, beautiful mom with her happy beautiful children”. The pressure of constantly feeling “on” all the time.

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The pressure of a clean home, ready to greet visitors, friends and family alike, and then the pressure of feeding and hosting those visitors.

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The pressure of needing to do all the things for all the people all the time. Of constantly needing to feel like you are handling everything, taking care of everything and everyone. Making sure everyone is happy, healthy, and fed.

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Finally, the pressure not to complain. Not to talk about how hard it can be. To only share the good, the positive. To put a smile on and brush any problems or struggles under the rug. To talk about the problems is to be ungrateful, to be airing stuff that just shouldn’t be talked about. This is just what t is to have children and deal with it.

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Some of this pressure is just being a mom (the children are reliant on you after all and there are things that we have to do as mothers), some of this pressure just comes from who we are as a person. Some of this pressure comes from outside voices. Voices who judge us for who we are, what we do, how we handle ourselves and our family.

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All this pressure is bullshit and insane. But it’s there.

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How do we handle this pressure? How do we make sure we don’t bottle it up and let it take over bit by bit? How do we manage? How do we make sure that with all the pressure we don’t break?

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Sometimes it feels like we are balancing on a tightrope with plates and cups stacked up high on our head. One wrong step and everything comes tumbling, no crashing, down. How do you do it? How do I do it? How do any of us do it? I wonder because we all do it.

Summer Vacation 2018 : Canada

We started a tradition last year that every year we would take one week in the summer to go somewhere we’ve never been, rent a cabin on a lake (preferably, but just a cabin works too), and disconnect. Somewhere without phone service, somewhat secluded, where we can focus solely on each other and ourselves. Last year we went to Maine and it was a whopping success. This year we decided to take it one step further and head out of the country and up to Canada. It did not disappoint. 

We decided at the outset of this trip that we were going to travel “easy”. We weren’t going to rush getting to places, we weren’t going to wake up super early just to drive somewhere, but rather just truly take our time with everything. This is key because what is the point of vacation if you are just rushing to get to places. How are you supposed to truly enjoy yourself?

We got off to a little rough start with some car trouble, but sorted it out early enough into the trip (and without any trips to any car places) that it did not impact our traveling or trip in any major way. We decided to split the 9-10 hour drive up into two days and our first stop was Syracuse NY. After a full night of sleep, in which Colton got to sleep in a “big” bed for the first time, we headed for the border. 

I have to say that part of America is absolutely beautiful. A lot of farm country, water, and a large area with not a lot of people. Crossing into the border was easy enough and after a few short hours, we were pulling into the driveway of the cabin we rented (found on AirBnB). 

I cannot even begin to describe how beautiful this location was. I’ve always heard of places being described as “picturesque”, and here we were, staying in the most picturesque location! I cannot talk about it enough, just perfection. The cabin itself was really well set up as well for what we were needing, and every wall facing the lake had a window in it. You literally never did not have a view of the water (except the boys room, which had a driveway window). I fell in love with the spot almost instantly.

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Our first full day in Canada we spent exploring the Capital area of Ottowa. We strolled along Parliament Hill, I got to go to a Chapters (yes I was excited over a bookstore, what can I say?), and we soaked up the beautiful weather and scenery. This was on our list of places and the only place that we actually wanted to go to. I love seeing different countries architecture and government, and while we missed our chance to actually go in to Parliament (which turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Parliament wasn’t sitting on that holiday), the pamphlet had a pretty good rundown. 

The second two days we spent at the cabin, just soaking up the lake, relaxing in the sunshine and just spending some uninterrupted time together. The boys got to “stretch their legs” and run wild and do things they hadn’t done before. They went fishing with Daddy, went on a short little canoe trip, got to see a snapping turtle, frogs, geese, and fish up close and personal. They loved their time there, which made the whole trip even better. 

 

 

For us, we got some much much needed time alone together. It is so important to carve out that time to be with your partner and it is not something that we do enough of. It is so easy to let life interrupt anytime that you have and this vacation gave us a chance to connect and talk and spend that uninterrupted time together that we have been needing. We also got a chance to have a little time to ourselves individually. My husband got to get up early and get some good fishing done (seriously the fishing there was incredible!) and I got to sit by the water and do some yoga and reading. 

After 4 blissful days it was time to pack up and head out, this time to Cooperstown NY. My husband is a huge baseball fan, and while he has been to Cooperstown before, he went during Hall of Fame week and wanted to have a chance to enjoy it without the hoards of people. It was “on our way” back, so we figured we would stop for a day or two. 

Let me tell you, Cooperstown is not for the casual baseball fan. It is for the die hard, to the core, true baseball fan. Casual fans will enjoy it, but it may get a little monotonous at times. They are baseball 100% and you better be there for it. I like baseball well enough to watch it, support my husbands love of the sport, and watch my children fall in love with it. I wouldn’t say I know everything about it, or even necessarily care to know every little thing about it (as this was proved throughout the day and a half we were there). I enjoyed walking through the Hall of Fame and seeing all of the history of the sport and teams. I enjoyed seeing the Astros in their rightful place at the top. I loved the feel of the town, the look of all the houses, the little bakeries and shops on Main St, and I suppose all of the baseball wasn’t too bad. 

Our boys both seem to be following daddy’s footsteps with a love of baseball (although it is still early days yet lol) and they really enjoyed just being able to walk around and watch the other kids play baseball around them. 

Overall this trip was an overwhelming success! We came back feeling refreshed, re charged, connected, and relaxed. We loved seeing the new places and sharing some new experiences together. I’ll treasure the memories and moments that we make on these trips forever. 

Friday Morning Cups

Screen Shot 2018-05-08 at 12.04.43 PM.jpg“I want adventure in the great wide somewhere, I want it more than I can tell” It’ll be quite silent around here as I am going to take a little break away from everything and really focus on family and our special little alone time together. We take about a week or so every year to just re connect, be away from everything, and just get back in tune with each other, with ourselves, and with the outdoors. I also don’t know if we will have wireless or not, which I’m very excited about. To be completely disconnected from the phone and technology is quite a thrilling concept for me. Don’t worry, I’ll be back soon and better than ever!

Disconnecting Myself

I’ve never been one that is constantly on Social Media and as I’ve grown in myself and older, I’ve realized that I’m not really one that likes to constantly be on the phone at all. It’s been something I’ve been noticing as I go through the different phases of enjoying the phone and Social Media and then the times when I seemingly just shut everything off/down. And actually, I really just long for the time before everyone had smart phones and Social Media was THE thing to be doing ALL THE TIME.

Lately I’ve been noticing that I have starting to be on my phone a little TOO much. Spending a little too much time paying attention to everything, being connected to everything and in this day and age, it can get to be…well a bit much. It all really came to a head a couple weeks ago when, at the end of a day, I sat back and realized I didn’t really do much. Most of my day had been spent scrolling through my phone. That may not be what my everyday is like, I had noticed that it was starting to become more and more prominent in my day.

So, I’m going to start disconnecting. Making a purposeful decision to not mindlessly scroll through Social Media or just mess around on the internet. Making a decision to put my phone down and not to just pick it back up a little bit later. To take a step back from the constant-ness of being connected all the time. To not ALWAYS be available right at the moment. 

There are things happening right now, happening in the present moment that I will never get back. I love being present with my family in every moment that I can and I’ve been realizing lately that even those times when I am multi tasking on my phone, I am missing out on these little moments. 

So, what does this mean, really? Nothing much of a change outwardly. I’ll be posting my regular amount on Social Media, but what I won’t be doing is just sitting around, mindlessly scrolling. It means that my phone will not be going everywhere with me and that I’m looking forward to that! 

I want to challenge myself to get back to where I was just a few short months ago, where I didn’t really feel the need to pull out my phone. I was not only more present, but I also had a clarity about my day. 

Between work and the bits that I do on the computer for my business and blog, I am on technology as much as it is. It’s time to disconnect. To get away from Social Media and Technology and get back into the real moments that make up life. 

Friday Morning Cups

IMG_6872 3.JPGI’ve been trying to think of a good caption for this photo. One that would accurately represent all the things I want to say. Truth is…I don’t have that caption. I don’t have all of the words (and if I did it would make for a really long caption). What I do have is this: This was a shot from a few weeks ago. When I was overwhelmed. When everything just kept triggering. It was a rough night- Probably the roughest I’ve experienced yet as a mother. This is just one image of what being a survivor is. There are numerous smiling happy pictures to match our numerous smiling days. I’ve never shown this side (just like I’ve never spoken publicly about my past), the tough moments. The times when I’m curled up in a ball, just trying to breathe. Just acknowledging what is and what was. Being a survivor, healing, forgiving, moving forward doesn’t mean that all those memories, all those reactions and fears go away. Those are still (and always will be) very much there in your body and memory. And some days will look like this. Some days will bring you to your knees, but not all of the days. And as you continue to heal, continue to move forward those days will become fewer and fewer.