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For me….

Who am I, even? I mean, I was thinking about it last night (why, brain? I have no idea). I realized that not once in my life had I ever say myself down for a little chat. Something like, “Hi, self. Where do you see your life going? Who and what do you want to be?”

I’ve just kind of let the wind take me wherever….and here I am. Mom. Wife. Thirty-one years old (OMG).

I mean, “the wind” really took me to lofty places. I have nothing to complain about. I can go buy a burrito for lunch without a second thought (I actually did have a burrito for lunch, thank you very much. Bean and cheese, more like lots of bean, where’s the cheese?). I have the most incredible kid ever….husband’s not too shabby, either. Cleans up nice. Smells good. Makes breakfast on the weekends.

But yes, see. Here’s where we find the dilemma. What about me? Am I just supposed to be a mom and that’s it? I feel like, as much as I truly love and feel so blessed to be a mom – because I actually love my “job,” I feel like there should be more. For me. I want more. For me. Is that so wrong?

I feel like it’s not. At all. I just don’t know what I want. I don’t know what my role is supposed to be. Am I supposed to be the support system for Tim, so he can climb the ladder and reach his career goals…while at the same time, devote most of my productive time and energy to raising Kellan? Then once all that happens, I can switch gears? Do my stuff?

I know that there are many moms who do it all. Work and wife and parent. I am not sure how I could handle that…I’m barely keeping it together some days and I don’t have a (second) job that requires my attention. I have no idea how the working moms/wives do it all without going crazy. Mad respect for you women.

Still. I feel like I need something for me. To feel accomplished. Like I’m doing something for myself, my life. Something lasting. Meaningful.

But whaaaaaaaat……..?????

(Rhetorical question)

I am thankful – March edition

And the happiness continues…

Also – FYI – I post on Instagram (jessicabold) pretty much daily, if you’d rather not wait for the monthly wrap up…

My 365 days of thankfulness. I reflected on the one thing I was most thankful for at the end of every day as part of my journey to live a happy, positive life…and FYI it’s not exactly a cake walk to change into Miss. Super Happy. It’s a real struggle some days….a real struggle.

…but this is what happened….in March.

(Catch up on the past months…JanuaryFebruary)

March 1: reminiscing about old board games (Uno! Risk! (That’s all Tim) Candy Land! (this one is all me) Trivial Pursuit! Chess! Chutes and Ladders!) we used to play and how we can’t wait to have “game night” with Kellan. And also how when I ran out to get the mail before dinner, I go, “after these messages, I’ll be right back.” And then Tim sings the jingle I was referencing. I didn’t think he’d get it. But he did. And it cracked me up.

March 2: getting sh*t done.

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March 3: The weather being nice enough for a family walk after dinner. I really enjoy them and it has been actual MONTHS since we have been able to do this. Also: pretty sunset.

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March 4: a fun morning outside! Finally! Spring is coming! I won’t even mention how it’s supposed to snow tonight….and Friday….and next week…

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March 5: Finding my “homesteading” twin!

March 6: Friends. Friends who randomly make me treats. Friends who listen. Friends who let me borrow their washer/dryer.

March 7: Tax return!!

March 8: A gorgeous day. A lovely family walk. And an impromptu snowball fight in 50 degree weather (Kellan won).

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March 9: The Container Store. And pantry reorganization.

March 10: Horses! I had no idea Kellan would like seeing them IN REAL LIFE UPCLOSE so much.

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March 11: Kellan doing really well on our impromptu errand to the vet (cat annual check ups/bagel date while waiting for the vet to finish (when we got to the bagel place he said “I’m excited!”).

March 12: Realizing that Kellan wanted/needed to just talk about whatever (guessing it will start to be things he is unsure/confused/frightened about before going to bed. Tonight it started with him saying…kind of out of the blue… that he didn’t want to be afraid of the loud and booming Ratatouille (thank you crazy person in the beginning shooting a shotgun at the rat in your kitchen. Overreaction, much? Related: will be pre-screening all movies now). I am partly wondering if some of the nights where he is AWAKE. FOR. HOURS. (Think 1-4 am) is because he needs to talk about/work through these kinds of things before falling asleepand I wasn’t really giving him the proper outlet/platform before going to bed. Wow. I feel slightly enlightened, now.

March 13 (note – apparent “breakthrough” from yesterday was all for naught. Awake again from 3:30/4 – almost 6am) (second note: even though I *am* actually thankful for something every day, the whole morph into the happiest person ever isn’t exactly going swimmingly. I guess this is a rough patch. So much personal drama weighing me down): Anyway, I am thankful for me hitting the paste button – accidentally – while writing out my thankfulness – but the thing that was pasted went in the perfect spot. It’s amazing. And funny…Just…read to the end. The original thankfulness started with …”I struggle…” below:

…..I struggle coming up with something on days where the end of the day wasn’t very fun/full of irritation….and all I really do is lay here and think about all the things…but I am very thankful for ….Joey: Now-now, listen this is just a first draft so… (Starts to read the piece of paper he brought.) “We are gathered here today on this joyous occasion to celebrate the special love that Monica and Chandler share.” (Monica and Chandler like it so far.) Eh? (He continues reading.) “It is a love based on giving and receiving. As well as having and sharing. And the love that they give and have is shared and received. And through this having and giving and sharing and receiving.” (Phoebe nods her approval.) “We too can share and love and have and receive.” ….and now for the actual thankful thing I was typing….a friend who willingly helps me out in a moments notice. Literally one text saying I need help in less than 24 hours and in sum, the response is, “No problem.”

(I had copied/pasted that Friends excerpt from Joey for a text message to Tim earlier today and in the funny way life works, it made a second appearance and made me laugh exactly when I needed it most)

March 14: Maternal instinct. As in Kellan somehow got a metal lid from a glass jar of juice lodged in his throat and the second I realized what was happening/heard Tim yell “KELLAN!” I was at the kitchen table/had Kellan bent over my arm/got the thing out in probably five seconds. Not even exaggerating. Also: I’m still recovering from being scared out of my mind, post actions (because I legit only acted on instinct/had zero conscious thought during it all) as is Tim.

March 15: realized the nights in a row of Kellan being awake for HOURS was exactly what I thought – developmental. His pretend play just took a turn for amazing. He’s not pretending things – like a chip clip – are other things – like a phone. And he’s “calling” people (currently Mr. Bloomsbury from the Curious George movie). And his play voices are changing/becoming more defined/vast/creative. He’s also practicing various facial expressions. I’m really glad I was right….that sounds kind of pompous….but I mean, I was right. And as a mom, that feels good. Also, while out and about, we legit saw a bald eagle circle a parking lot. I watched it swoop down and was all, “THAT WAS A BALD EAGLE!” And Tim was all, “I KNOW!” And then we tried to find it again while circling the parking lot and not paying attention to the road/almost hitting a car. But it was gone. SO COOL though. And so random. Why was it there? Hopefully just passing through….

March 16: the water/sand table. Guessing this purchase will be a life saver come summer.

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March 17: I am pretty sure I wore zero green today. My bad. Anyhow, I am thankful for this…even though it meant I had to go clean up dog poo:

Kellan said he wanted to go outside. I took him out. He beelines to the grass. I said where are you going? He said, “To find dog poop!”

Oh. Also very thankful for an impromptu fun time making cookies (Kellan does it for the “batter.” Who needs cookies?)

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March 18: OUR WASHER IS FIXED!!!!!! You have no idea how happy I am to be able to wash. clothes. in. my. own. house.

I’m also thankful for how incredibly blessed we are as a family. After reading this (it is pretty lengthy), my heart broke. Even growing up, my mom always made sure my brothers and I had “enough,” that we didn’t go without, that we had proper health/dental care. Even if it meant she did without. We did not have loads of money, and she still gives up so much for my younger brothers. My mom made sure we never felt the financial burden. What an incredible sacrifice. And I am so thankful that Tim works his ass off to provide such a comfortable life.

March 19: how much fun it was on an impromptu Kellan and mommy lunch date. Instead of food going everywhere and just general chaos, we actually talked and ate and just enjoyed each other’s company. It was really nice. Just ignore the no-utensil policy he has adopted.

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March 20: so, today at the park, when one of Kellan's friends came over and asked him if he wanted to go swing, he says, VERBATIM: "no, thank you." I may not do everything right as a mom, and Tim may not do everything right as a dad, but we are most assuredly doing something right if our TWO YEAR OLD says “no, thank you.”

March 21: Tim hulled my 4 pints of strawberries. He said he was only doing half and I was in the kitchen trying to get other stuff done when Kellan asked to leave/do other stuff (he was in his learning tower, helping). So Kellan and I are in the family room and Tim goes, “I’m almost halfway done.” And then a few minutes later he comes in, says he’s finished, and we switch, I go into the kitchen, first make a comment about him leaving the chocolate basket out (doesn’t everyone have a chocolate basket in their pantry?) and then go to the kitchen island to start my half, look in the bowl of hulled berries, see a green leaf, and was all, “Green leaf! Quality control!”…..(the berries are for jam and who wants leaves in their jam?)…..and AS I SAY THAT, I look into the bowl of strawberries to hull….and it’s empty. Tim had done them all already. I just started cracking up, called myself a piece of work, and went back in the family room to thank him. Such a sweet surprise, even if it took me five minutes to see it.

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(Don’t you love Kellan’s “help?” So adorable)

March 22: learning how to make jam with friends (my first time)! Even if it didn’t set properly, it was still fun!

March 23: mini-organization. As in I RE-folded all of the clothes/got rid of old socks/etc in my dresser and removed all of the t-shirts I’ve accumulated from races from the closet. They live in a drawer, now. I won’t mention the box of t-shirts the basement….. #runnerprobs

March 24: So, this nice older lady sat right next to me at Whole Foods in the dining area (got Kellan some lunch). She was probably 70s or so? Anyway at first I was like WHY are you sitting next to me and then Kellan tried to start talking to her, so I softened and just went with it. It was really sweet. He kept telling/showing her what he was eating/drinking, and then kept saying “what’s he called?” And finally I realized he was asking what her name was, so I asked him if he was asking what her name was. He said yes, so she told him. Then she asked his name. He told her. And he hept on talking, talking to her. She finally asked how old he was and I said two and she was like WOW. It was all really sweet and for all I know, it might have made her day just a little brighter, so it was worth me being more willing to open up and be kind instead of wrapped up in my world. When she left, kellan kept asking where “Patricia” went.

March 25: after saying I love you and goodnight to Kellan, he goes, “I love you too!” And he never really answers me when I say that, more like a silent, “Duh.” So hearing that response? Heart melt.

March 26: when walking to the reservoir with Kellan today (in stroller), we were just talking about whatever….and all of a sudden i was like, wow. He is so much fun right now. We can actually have a real conversation where he has an opinion. And in general, he’s just a lot of fun to do stuff with. I told him this, how much fun I had/was having with him and how enjoyable his company was every day.

March 27: Tim is home safely!

March 28: Starting over. Basically, marriage is hard.

March 29: Kellan seeing horses up close for the first time during a random trip to a local trail we FINALLY decided to visit. He loved it/wasn’t scared at all. He loves horses…no idea why. We will be talking about Jasper and Dandy for awhile, I am sure.

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March 30: success with the Thomas and Lightning McQueen bubble blowers/impulse buy at the grocery store!

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March 31: Tim paying it forward at Chick-fil-a.

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roots and wings

Ugh.

We are really kind of (because that’s not at all ambiguous phrasing…) struggling with trying to decide/find THE PLACE we will call “home.” We have kind of been in a holding pattern, knowing that Tim’s job will move us eventually at some point who knows when (this is the kind of verbiage you get when it’s almost 11pm. You’re welcome). Because of this – the probable moving – we haven’t really made huge leaps to set down firm roots.

Granted, Kellan WILL be affected by a move. The child who remembers exactly where you have things in your house the first time he visits expects those things to be in the SAME SPOT the next time he returns. If not, he asks where they went because order. must. be. restored. He has friends here. There are places he knows and recognizes and enjoys to visit. I know how to get to the grocery store (now).

So, moving him to an entirely new town/neighborhood/house is going to be really, really hard. I know this because I am mom. And the starting over finding friends….and the grocery store….it’s hard (unless you have a navigation system, and then it’s really just an extra step that sometimes I don’t like to take because I feel like a grocery store really shouldn’t be that difficult to locate….I digress)

Anyhow, back to the where….and I should just keep going with the …………………………

I’m pretty sure I have told you that Tim and I are Type A to the extreme. I’m also beginning to realize we are perfectionists, albeit regarding completely different things (but, hey, at least the dishes are emptied from the drying rack and the stainless is always streak free), to a fault. We’re also raising another perfectionist, so it’s all just a barrel of laughs over here when things get chaotic……..

Anyhow.

It’s hard to stay on task when it is late……

So, as I was saying, being Type A Perfectionists pretty much means we want to get it right the first time, even though, to be honest, it will probably be two moves before it is all said and done. And we only have so much control as to where we move next. And then there are places we would really love to live….but are those places the right fit? Who knows.

But. Kellan.

We need to get it right for him. And we have no idea where “right” is….or how to know if whatever place will be “right.” I have never really had actual thoughts about how this would be important…vital…to live in a place we love, that Kellan loves, that has good schools/low crime/four seasons/snow/nice people/big yards/fill in the blank of all the things you’d want in a “perfect” home and surrounding area.

When it’s just two, no kids, you can make do and figure it out. But when you’re trying to raise a child, you do everything that you can to get it right, even through mistakes, you have this burning desire to give them the absolute best that you are able, and sometimes, like now, like with big, life altering decisions, you wish you had a crystal ball.

I realize you make a house a home and a town your community/friend base, but it just isn’t that easy….it is more complicated than that…at least for me.

These….these are the thoughts that sometimes keep me up at night when I should be sleeping. Because two year olds don’t sleep in.

reality check

This isn’t really…okay. Question. Have you ever realized you made the wrong call about a good person? I mean, sure, we all know when we know someone isn’t right for us. That’s actually easier to deal with and accept. They weren’t right/didn’t click/mesh. Your brain can justify that. Pretty cut and dry for the most part.

But what about those people you kind of kept on the bench…on the sidelines…for no reason?

Then, one day, it’s like reality comes around and cold clocks you right across the jaw all, “What is wrong with you? This person should be part of your starting five. Get their ass onto the hardwood.”

(You’re welcome for the analogy, basketball fans. Lest I not get too far from my roots)

This happened to me recently. Like as in this week. And once I realized it, in my brain, I was just like, wow. What was I (not) thinking?! Why wasn’t I cultivating this friendship for the past YEAR (plus?)?!

My bad. My fault. My loss.

This person? Amazing. Truly one of those “good people” who are pretty impossible to find. I don’t even *know* her as well as I would like to, but I don’t even question that she falls into that category. There aren’t many people who do….and what she did for me today, completely unsolicited/unexpected, as in I got a text while Kellan and I were out, saying there was something for us on my porch, was one of the nicest things anyone has done for me (that I didn’t know was happening/ask for/expect/etc) in a really long time (long story short: macaroons, Pooh book for Kellan, and a long forgotten about/unexpected payback from Halloween).

I’m partially kicking myself for wasting so much time not getting to know her, but at the same time, I am glad I received a reality check from life. Because now I can try to remedy the situation. To get to know her. Spend more time. Cultivate and grow.

I’m hoping it’s not too late.

it will all make sense…in reverse

I know…my actual blogging is basically non-existent. I’ve been trying to let go of some social media….like Facebook and having/checking my phone in general. Less internet. More life.

Also? We have had a lot going on the past few months.

A LOT.

Some was getting ready for and having Kellan’s party…some just every day stuff…some still ongoing “drama things” that I’m not at liberty to discuss at the moment, even though I REALLY WANT TO.

Tim and I have been trying to embrace taking life one day at a time….to accept that everything happens for a reason, even if it doesn’t make any sense. We have had a few really big swings of both highs and lows in quick succession, and they seem to keep happening, even today, so adjusting to it all has been a big challenge, because the highs we have had haven’t really lasted long enough to fully enjoy (or feel like we got to soak it in, even) before something else comes along and takes the wind out of our sails.

I say all of this….and it kind of makes it sound like life altering/shattering things are happening….and maybe in the long term, they are? Obviously we have no idea what anything means at the moment – the why or how or whatever – which is why we are trying to just take each day as it comes.

It is much harder to practice this than it is to preach it, by the way. Follow your own advice, they say. Be the bigger person. Let it all go. It happens for a reason, they say….

This is the quote that has been getting me through life these days, basically.

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I am thankful – February edition

And the happiness continues…

Also – FYI – I post on Instagram (jessicabold) pretty much daily, if you’d rather not wait for this month wrap up…

My 365 days of thankfulness. I reflected on the one thing I was most thankful for at the end of every day as part of my journey to live a happy, positive life…

…and this is what happened….in February.

February 1: Our test batch of cinnamon roll cupcakes for Kellan’s birthday brunch party came out! SO yummy! And cute! Related: I do realize that we need a new pair of oven mitts…

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February 2: a wonderful birthday! I felt so loved! My (amazing) life – fancy dinner and Thomas the train.

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February 3: Having a friend who offered to, and did, make me lunch and dessert (cupcakes!!!!) for my birthday.

February 4: how Kellan loves to just lay in bed and talk or snuggle – or both – when he wakes up from nighttime sleep or his nap. Sometimes we lay in bed talking about whatever (today it was him wanting to lay on the fan on the ceiling….?) for close to an hour.

February 5: a husband who knows how to cook and bake. Yum.

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February 6: watching Kellan’s imagination begin to blossom. He is telling me the his “Pooh Guys”
(“No mommy. Not pooh friends. They’re pooh guys.) want different things to eat (owl wanted pasta, Eeyore wanted apples and carrots, etc)…and today he said he had a “muddy diaper” as I was changing his poopy diaper – and it was muddy in texture, go figure (TMI, you’re welcome).

February 7: (This happened the other day, but it is worth my thankful for today because I meant to do it the other day and forgot)…Tim and his ability to say something that is completely not what I’m expecting and will 100% diffuse the tension. Me, irritated: Don’t say that (no idea what he said at this point). That’s like a fifth grade thing to say. Tim: Wow. I’m really stepping up in this world. I’m usually in third grade. Begin hysterical laughter by all.

February 8: My juicer. When husbands aren’t feeling well and when I need to super saturate my system with toms of good vitamins and minerals? This thing works wonders.

February 9: Tim offering to watch – and watching – Kellan while I ran a million errands for a few hours, even though he didn’t feel well.

February 10: Super sweet and adorable moments that, if not written down, would be lost in the hustle and bustle of life. Tonight, while we were all playing in the loft, I said, “Kellan, what do you want to be when you grow up?” Without hesitation he says, “Daddy.”

February 11: Even after a second straight day of running errands ALL MORNING, when I told Tim I would run to Walgreens for cold meds and cough drops, Kellan ran to the door and said he wanted to go, too. The kid who has always said he would prefer to stay home over ANY outing – willingly got dressed and happily went with me. He even picked out some cough drops with a pomegranate on the front of the package for Tim and gave them to him when we got home. It was really sweet and totally unexpected (him wanting to go).

February 12: Kellan cooperating for a Valentine’s Day picture. I asked if we could please take a cute picture and he said, “No cute picture” for awhile bit then finally said “Yes cute picture!” Yay!

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February 13: Tim telling me to squirt saline up my nose because I was starting to feel like I was getting his weeklong cold. Word to the uninformed: saline is the answer!!!! I feel ridiculously better. Who knew? The sad part? We put saline in Kellan’s nose every night to help avoid colds. *face palm.*

February 14: The roses Tim has gotten me every single year on this day since we started dating. The start of a new tradition…(f I/we can remember next year – homemade pizza and wine). Love. Just love.

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February 15: Sudafed. Eucalyptus oil. Steam. I’ve caught the cold that Tim had for a week….and I guess I’m thankful it is happening this weekend versus next, which is Kellan’s birthday party.

February 16: Tim going on the monster birthday/mom visit grocery shopping trip with me this morning and then cleaning out and organizing both the refrigerator and freezer. I’m still fighting this lovely cold thing and there was no way I would have been able to do that alone.

February 17: That I am feeling much better. My world has revolved around this cold sickness thing the last few days, obviously.

February 18: My mom made it here safely from GA to celebrate Kellan’s birthday!

February 19: Celebrating another amazing year with Kellan…and Tim finding out that he has finally gotten recognition/rewarded for all of his blood, sweat, and tears at work. We are so, so blessed.

February 20: my mom sat and made paper plate bowls all day for Kellan’s party. She looked up different patterns (mostly Greek) to paint the bottoms and sides – each of the 15 are different! – she worked so hard to make them look nice. She has always done that and it is so sweet and so generous of her to put in so much TLC on things like this, even if we are only putting cereal inside. They will be the cutest and best decorated cereal bowls ever.

February 21: Tim and my m putting up with me/being nice to me and helping me A TON, even when I am crazy stressed not very nice/fun to be around Jessica. Hello, Kellan’s birthday celebration with friends tomorrow + so much to do, so little time (WHY DOES THIS ALWAYS HAPPEN?!).

February 22: Kellan’s birthday party went fabulously. And our new little niece was born!

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February 23: Even though I actually almost started crying, the sweetest, albeit saddest, thing happened at dinner. I told Kellan that Mimi had to go home tomorrow and that we were going to take her to the airport and his IMMEDIATE response was, “No. Mimi doesn’t go on the airplane. Mimi not go home to Georgia.” And he repeated that multiple times while the three of us sat there, no clue how to even respond.

February 24: Kellan’s apparent first stages of beginning the potty training process, as recognized by my mom. Basically, he told me he had a wet diaper right after doing his business and then said he wanted to put on a dry diaper.

February 25: Wine and deep belly laughing – especially the kind that comes from the most amazing kid ever (Kellan, of course).

February 26: tiny thomas was on the train table at Toys R Us. We all went this morning and Tim and Kellan went to the Thomas section that has a wooden train table while I looked for different utensils, since the ones we have are hard for Kellan to use. Flash forward to post-nap/dinner time and Kellan starts asking for “tiny Thomas,” which is just the top piece of a Pez dispenser, broken off. Tim asks Kellan where he left it and after a series if questions, Kellan says he left it on the train table at the store. This kid knows every single toy he owns, and the desperation in his voice was heartbreaking. So, like a mom does, I drove back up to Toys R Us, and thank you, Lord, prayers were answered.

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February 27: After a rough start to the day (hello, alarm going off at 4am thanks to a giant Thomas balloon floating its way in front of the motion sensors downstairs/visit from the police and then a ridiculous time trying to get Kellan to nap), it ended with the three of us watching old videos on my phone. And wow has Kellan changed. It was really nice just taking that time to stop and remember what is actually important and have reminder after reminder of how sweet, loving, amazing Kellan is and has been since day one.

February 28: The man I passed on my way to the post office driving a convertible with the top down and – AND – his only other passenger? A giant white poodle sitting in the passenger seat. Because obviously.

season of children

Do you know how hard it is to be wrapped up in all of this?…the unkempt house, daily wearing of yoga pants, endless loads of laundry and dishes (why can we not just shove it all into one big machine and call it a day?), Thomas the Train on TV, being nap trapped every afternoon instead of being “productive,” the singing of made up songs like “pop goes the toast in the toaster….pop goes the toast” because your child? He likes all of these things very much. He likes that you are there every morning to sing the toast song. To make his breakfast just right – no big strawberry pieces on my toast, thank you very much. To help him peel clementines and play with trains and read stories, to go for walks and count frozen peas and explore the dust particles in the air (because vacuuming? What?) and to comfort him down for his nap. He needs you there for all of those very important things.

And then somewhere in the middle of it all, you realize that will be doing these things for years, while society is basically telling you that you’re doing it wrong. All of those things? Not important. Silly. What are you even doing to provide to the greater whole?

Everything. And nothing.

That is motherhood. It is all of the craziness, laughter, sticky fingers, and curiosity, combined with those quiet, still moments of complete and total peace.

We are teaching. We are giving. We are selfless. I never get the last piece of anything anymore, and that makes me ridiculously happy because, instead, this small child with chubby fingers got it, and his satisfaction completes my whole world for this tiny moment in time.

We can’t keep up with anything – the house, our minds, society. But, really, who cares! I’ve decided it’s because we aren’t supposed to be keeping up right now. We are supposed to be right here, right now, for this little child who needs you right now all the time this very second.

We aren’t supposed to ignore that call for help. For “what’s that?” For all of the little things we don’t think are interesting or important. Because all of those little things are exactly what is important when you’re in the season of children.

**this is unedited, off the cuff. 100% honest words, straight from my brain**


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