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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Hate can't drive out hate....

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If you are anything like Erin & I you are finding it really hard to not be pissed these days. 

Not only are outrageous and heartbreaking events going down all around the world, as American's we also have to live with the fact that we have a mad man for president. 

Yes, it is no secret that we have been long standers in the Anti-Trump camp. At the risk of sounding crass, the guy is a total racist, misogynistic, bigoted douche bag who has no idea how to be a leader. 

We spend endless hours on twitter and watching the news... We call our state representatives, we call other state's representatives and sign every petition we can get our hands on. It's been 6 months, 6 long upsetting months. It is hard not to be filled with darkness. Darkness is not a healthy place to live.... We have been searching for moments of light in our own lives. 

So, in the effort to not let darkness consume our minds, we have some ideas on how to give your brain and heart a break. Don't worry, we are still working every day to get Donald Trump out of office and he will be, it's just a waiting game.

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Get out in nature, nothing will remind you that we are all just a blip in time like being out in nature. That may not sound like a thought that will fill you with happiness, but it sort of is. The Earth is so beautiful and full. Mother Nature is so awe-inspiring it can feel kind good to know it's all so much bigger than us. There is a power in that vastness that we sometimes forget the Earth possesses: much more powerful than we give the Earth credit for. 

 

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Call an old friend. Sometimes reconnecting with someone from your past can bring up all the warm fuzzy feels just like Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas morning. People who share memories with you can be a touch stone, even if they are not in your day-to-day life. Hearing about how they are doing and whats happening in their lives can take you out of your own head. You know the friend that keeps popping into your head? I am sure we all have one. CALL THEM, you won't regret it! 

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Indulge yourself! Get a facial, or a full-body massage, take a little time for you. You won't believe how good it feels to zone out and let your mind wander. Relax and let your thoughts float away... Or use the time to formulate the perfect plan to organize a march to demand the Impeachment of Donald Trump.... Oh! wait, that didn't work. 

 

Watch horribly mindless television! I have to say that over the years my biggest weapon against strife has been Lifetime Television.... Whenever the shit hits the fan it's great to know you can find a movie where someone is going through WAY, WAY crazier shit than you could even dream up! I love an over-dramatic, over acted, questionably plotted movie more than pretty much anything! Pop some popcorn pour your self a glass of wine and forget the real world for a second. 

Now the number one thing NOT TO DO while you think about Donald Trump. Don't you dare pick up the tweezers! You will regret it forever no matter how good it feels at the time. Walk away friends! 

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We are all in this boat together and we WILL get this done, we are not saying give up, we are saying remember that there are still good things in the world! Don't let the darkness and the hate drag you down! We are bigger and better than that! Walk around, refresh your brain, recharge your soul and then come back and fight! 

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XOXO- M&E

Family Game Night!

As the nights get cooler and the dream of being cozy by the fire become a reality, we have some ideas for fun family game nights. Today we will share our top three family games with you. 

Because: even though we love a good movie night by the fire, sometimes as the kids get older, it is harder to get them talking about their day and we find a little board game distraction can end up giving them the time they need to open up about what is going on in their world. 

 

Who loved Jenga when they were little? The way you would feel so nervous that you would pull the wrong block and knock down the tower? Well, it is still a hold your breath fun game today and your kids are sure to love watching you topple it over! 

If you don't talk smack when you're playing Uno, you are missing half the fun! Last winter we had so many knock-down-drag-out-Uno games even my 5-year-old was pulling skip-a-turn cards on me! This game is easy enough the little ones can learn it and fun enough that you are all having a blast! 

Exquisit Corpse Game On  The Rumpus

Exquisit Corpse Game On The Rumpus

I grew up in a family of artists, and when I say artists, I mean ARTISTS.... Like our Easter Egg decorating contest was legendary and pretty much every family activity revolved around drawing, painting or doodling. We had a huge basket of colored pencils on the kitchen table at all times. 

Of course, for years I thought my father made this game up because we have p;ayed it as long as I can remember. We called it Creature Creator, but as my siblings and I got older, we discovered that other people play this game as well and it is actually called- "The Exquisite Corpse" A name I just can't get behind. 

Nevertheless, the rules are simple, and it is a great game for large groups! Just fold a bunch of pieces of paper like shown in the diagram above. (We fold before we draw)  if it helps, you can number the sections with a small 1,2,3 in erasable pencil. 

Then you pass a paper to every player.....

1. Each player draws a head and neck in the top section of the folded paper, any sort of head you want. The more detail the better! Make sure you make little notch marks where the neck ends at the very tip of the next section, this way the next person knows where to start their drawing. Fold your head back and hand it to the person at your left. 

2. Make sure you are not looking at the artwork you were just handed! Now you draw a torso from the neck to the waist or belt buckle! Don't forget the arms and hands! Add a lot of detail to your drawing and then make little notch marks where the waist ends onto the next section, fold your artwork back and hand it to the person across the table from you. You want to get a mix of artists on each paper.

3. Draw the final section which should be the bottom half of a body... Legs, knees, feet! Sky's the limit! Mermaid tails! Octopus tentacles!  Ballerina's feet! 

4. When everyone is finished you go around the table taking turns unfolding your paper and showing the amazing creature you have created! Another fun aspect is to try and guess who made what section! 

Whatever games you all play, remember to disconnect from all the screens in your life sometimes for some good old fashioned family fun! 

XOXO- TWH

What about your friends?

It may be that we are having our return of Saturn, or it may be because we have had what you could call an eye-opening year, these days more than ever, we are aware how precious a gift friendship can be. 

Friendship is a funny thing, when you are young every stranger is someone who can be a new friend. Freedom and youth leave you open to new experiences and new people and it just feels like the world is your oyster. So many people, so many friends! 

Thank heaven for those moments because some of those people you meet when you're young and fresh stick with you for a lifetime. Through bad hairdos and embarrassing teenage boyfriends, they are by your side through drunken nights and heartbreaks...

As you get older and start to have kids, your circle starts to get a little tighter and you become a little wiser.

I always remember this quote that struck me as so important. It's from one of my oldest friend's mom. We were at lunch and since my friend was about to have his first baby and I am an old pro, we were talking about how you meet so many new friends and people once you become a parent, how your life gets so busy and filled up with all this endless wave new people and she said.

"At my age, a new friend has to go through a pretty intensive vetting process. I only have so much time in my day I want to spend it with people I can connect with, that I truly love and care about." 

Think about that for a minute, really think about how true it is for all of us.  

By the time you are a mom, you have usually been burned a time or two by someone you thought was a friend and even though that can really hurt, or really piss you off depending on the person and the circumstances.... When you have children you don't have any time or energy for people who don't make your life healthy and full and fun. There is something really nice about knowing yourself enough to know what you're not interested in. 

We will never be the "No new friends" type of people. Because we are always so elated and excited when we find a soul that we connect with. It feels pretty good to be able to know a true friend when you meet one.

So, today we say thank you to our friends... The old, the new and the ones we lost touch with along the way. Thank you to the people who we know would be there at the drop of a hat for us if we needed them. We love you. 

Excuse us for using our platform to get all mushy... But call your BFF and tell them you love them today. 

 

Use your Voice...

While we will admit to watching most of this election year with a sort of amazed fascination, we feel it is time to speak up. We feel the need to speak up if only so that one day we can look back on this and remember how close our country came to electing a narcissistic, xenophobic, misogynistic man to one of the highest public offices in our country. 

To be completely transparent we were personally really feeling the Bern! We were excited and motivated and moved by the changes and the restructuring that Bernie Sanders saw as possible for our country. Bernie Sanders was a once in a lifetime politician... Our hearts broke when he graciously left the race for president. There was a reason he did that.... To ensure that Donald Trump did not get enough votes to put him in office. 

 The writing on the wall is as clear as day... We, as a nation,  CAN NOT afford to loose this election to someone like Donald Trump. 

Things We Heart is a site for women, mothers, different races and different sexual orientations. We are so lucky to have readers from all over the world! We have readers in Brazil and Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico and more beautiful countries. 

We want you all to know, we embrace and celebrate you. We will never cast our vote for a man who segregates humans by color, religion or nationality. We will never vote for a man who disrespects women and judges them by their weight or HIS perception of their looks. 

A man so rude, crude and small minded he is self-imploding on a national stage as soon as he is questioned or asked to account for himself. 

Right now, we say loud and clear, for what it's worth we want to share with you that we are WITH HER! 

A woman who has spent the majority of her life in politics, we feel that HRC is the smartest and most well-informed candidate for the job. We are inspired by her drive and her dedication to public service. Hillary Clinton knows what this job takes and she has the temperament to handle long intense conversations with diplomats and leaders of other countries in a mature and thoughtful way. You know, like a president should. 

Hillary Clinton will show our daughters and sons that a woman can do anything that she puts her mind to and works hard for. 

As a side note, if you believe that Donald Trump in any way represents you.... And you're not a millionaire or a super model.... If you are a housewife, mother or someone that does manual labor... If you're a business woman that weighs over 119 pounds or a war vet that was a POW .... Let us remind you, this man has shown time and time again that he does not support you, respect you or represent you. 

This is a man who can not relate to anyone who doesn't have 24 karat soild gold doors and even then, most rich people aren't that ostentatious so they can't relate to him. 

We made it clear where we stand on this election, but even if you disagree with us, we respect your right to make that choice. Please, whoever you are voting for, get out and vote! This is not the election to sit out. 

XOXO- M & E

The Age of Aquarius

If you are anything like us your teenage years were filled up absorbing every single drop of information about Astrology and what it all meant. We constantly considered Astrological birth signs in every single relationship we had. 

Every boy we ever had a crush on was weighed and measured by his sign. If the books said it wasn't a good match, well, it probably wasn't. 

I mean, I am a Cancer, I don't have time to be messing around with no Leo boys! 

All those years, all that in-depth study have only gotten us to the point where we now quickly assign character traits to people when we find out their birthday. In some cases, this is super unfair... In some cases... If the shoe fits.

More often than not we find ourselves drawn to people with a handful of the same zodiac signs.

When my first son was born an Aries I honestly could not think of another Aries I had known well in my whole life. I tend to have been surrounded all my life with Capricorns, Libras, Taurus, Geminis & oddly enough, people on the cusp of Virgo. I am curious if other people have signs that always seem to pop up into their lives. 

As you can tell whether Astrology is complete mumbo jumbo or not we already have these ideas deeply ingrained in our brains. 

As a Cancer and a Taurus Erin & I make a great match. 

The most remarkable things about a relationship between a Taurus and a Cancer are its strength, stability, and reliability. Both star signs are dependable; they care for each other; and they cooperate with each other very well. A common preference for safety and security adds to their friendship.

The most remarkable things about a relationship between a Taurus and a Cancer are its strength, stability, and reliability. Both star signs are dependable; they care for each other; and they cooperate with each other very well. A common preference for safety and security adds to their friendship.

Needless to say, we are PROUD proclaimers of our Zodiac signs. So you can imagine how we scoffed it off when we heard that they changed the Astrological Calendar. I mean, we didn't waste our youth studying this crap to have our signs changed on us when we grew up! 

Bunch of bologna

Bunch of bologna

If, as scientists like to remind us, this is all a lot of silly unproven science fiction then we prefer to keep our signs as they were, thank you very much. 

How do you feel about the change of the Zodiac? 

Let us know in the comments.

Taurus and Cancer hippies at heart

Taurus and Cancer hippies at heart

 

XOXO- M&E