You are a keeper.

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We are busy.  We forget to breathe.  We forget to stop.  We forget to look in the mirror and say "well done mama".  Never a day goes by when we don't love so much it hurts but always a day goes by when we forget to say it to ourselves.

Instagram makes it hard to separate reality from a photo.  We see it and think, "Wow what am I doing wrong?  How do they do it all? Look how happy, skinny, pretty, busy, successful, kind, silly, romantic, young, super, popular, gifted they are.  What is wrong with me?"  This happens to us daily.   But we never open a magazine and say "Wow that model is so ______ what is wrong with my life" so why do we do it on social media.  It's the same thing but more accessible so it hits closer to our hearts I guess.  

Yesterday was one of those days.  The past few years have been really trying times for us in so many ways. We are trying to figure out who we are after we had kids. What our new passions are for they have morphed. Who our friends are as paths change.  What we are great at besides kissing booboos and making butter pasta.  But at the same time these hard times were gifts.  The hard times caused us to become stronger, love more, and appreciate how nothing is what it seems for even "Salt looks like sugar."  But even through all of that we still have the daily feeling that we aren't doing enough, we aren't successful enough or good enough moms, friends, wives, selves..."  And then we were sent this... the tears began and the healing started.  (from LuckyOrangePants.com)

I am the keeper.

I am the keeper of schedules. Of practices, games, and lessons. Of projects, parties, and dinners. Of appointments and homework assignments.

I am the keeper of information. Who needs food 5 minutes before a meltdown occurs and who needs space when he gets angry. Whether there are clean clothes, whether bills are paid, and whether we are out of milk.

I am the keeper of solutions. Of bandaids and sewing kits and snacks in my purse. But also of emotional balms and metaphorical security blankets.

I am the keeper of preferences. Of likes and dislikes. Of nightly rituals and food aversions.

I am the keeper of reminders. To be kind, to pick up their trash, to do their dishes, to do their homework, to hold open doors and write thank you notes.

I am the keeper of rituals and memories. Of pumpkin patches and Easter egg hunts. I am the taker of pictures, the collector of special ornaments, and the writer of letters.

I am the keeper of emotional security. The repository of comfort, the navigator of bad moods, the holder of secrets and the soother of fears.

I am the keeper of the peace. The mediator of fights, the arbiter of disputes, the facilitator of language, the handler of differing personalities.

I am the keeper of worry. Theirs and my own.

I am the keeper of the good and the bad, the big and the small, the beautiful and the hard.

Most of the time, the weight of these things I keep resembles the upper elements on the periodic table – lighter than air, buoying me with a sense of purpose. It’s what I signed up for. It’s the one thing I am really good at.

But sometimes the weight of these things I keep pulls me down below the surface until I am kicking and struggling to break the surface and gasp for breath.

Because these things I keep are constantly flickering in the back of my brain, waiting to be forgotten. They scatter my thoughts and keep me awake long past my bedtime.

Because all these things I keep are invisible, intangible. They go unnoticed and unacknowledged until they are missed. They are not graded or peer reviewed or ruled on by a court. And sometimes they are taken for granted.

To all of you who are keepers, I see you.

I know the weight of the things you keep.

I know the invisible work you do—which doesn’t come with a pay check or sick leave—is what makes the world go round.

I see you.

And I salute you.

#LoveHard

We see ourselves.  We see you.  You are amazing.  Your work is worth your weight in diamonds.  You are a keeper and we love you.  

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The Volunteers

While we are sad to see the lazy, sunny days of summer come to an end we can't hide that excited feeling we get every fall. Even as kids ourselves we loved Back-to-School season. 

The smell of new paper and pencils, the nervous anticipation of a new classroom with a new teacher... The possibility of new friends. 

The excitement of these new adventures helps ease the ache the end of summer brings.

 

Our kids go back to school this week and it's an exciting time in our house. I'm trying my best to show the kids this is a time to be excited about, not a time to dread.

While I was sitting with my husband last night he VERY sweetly asked me to "Be careful at "Back-To-School-Night".... Translation. "Don't sign yourself up for too much SH*T woman!!" 

And he's right. I always get so excited about helping in the kids classes and the garden and field trips and with the parent-led art program and with the Variety show and the school play and.... Basically, I love kids... My kids, your kids, pretty much all kids. Volunteering in my kids schools is something I am super happy to do... But I will admit that it can take away from other aspects of your life.

While it is important to be there for your kids as much as you can, I am thankful for the reminder to give myself some time for other things as well. 

We are lucky to live in a community where so many parents commit themselves to our local public school. My kids are surrounded by caring loving teachers and parents who give their all to our school. I know how lucky we are to be a part of that.

This year I am going to try and curb my enthusiasm and narrow down my volunteer time. I once got the best advice from a friend... "When it comes to volunteering in your kids schools, do the face-time jobs, the jobs where you actually are spending time with your kids."

It's easy to get so caught up in "busy" our society celebrates it.  As mom's sometimes we feel like every minute of our day needs to be filled with something. We should be working, cooking, cleaning, exercising.... Or these days, crafting.  Because somehow every holiday has become a reason for your kid to show up to school with a Pintrest perfect gift bag for the whole class. Lunches are packed in bento boxes and are just beautiful. Birthday parties are full on affairs and everyone looks great while they are doing it all.

Being a mom is hard core. Has is always been like this? I feel like our Moms were more chill. Another quote we love is. 

 

We always try and remember that.

This school year, take a little time for yourself. Learn to say this phrase... 

"I'm sorry, I can't."

I know how hard it is!

This year we are going to try our best to manage our time so that our whole family gets the best of us. We will try not to stress about lunches and after-school classes and spend more time snuggling, reading books together and laughing. 

Take a little time to breath

XOXO- TWH