love.

We cannot see light. We can only see the things the light illuminates. When we walk along the beach at sunset, we don’t say to ourselves, “What a pretty light.” We say, “What beautiful colors in the sky. What amazing sparkles dancing on top of the waves. What a beautiful sunset.

Similarly, we cannot see love. We can only see the people in our lives illuminated by our love. When I see my son or my husband, I don’t say to myself, “How amazing is love?” But instead, “How incredible are these people I’m blessed to call my family? The way my husband laughs makes me smile. The way my son holds my hand brings me such joy. I love them so much.”

Love does not “exist” but rather brings things and people into existence.

And for that I am grateful.

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little victories.

I just got done reading this article about who Supermom is (it’s click bait, certainly, so I’m sure you can figure it out). And, as a mom, of course it resonated with me.

I think the reason there is so much pressure put on moms (on dads, too, but to a lesser degree) is that there really is a lot at stake. I mean, you’re shaping a human being. The decisions you make each day have a direct effect on the person entrusted in your care and will inevitably contribute to conversations had in a comfy chair in a therapist’s office years later.

In the day-to-day of motherhood, each day brings with it the little failures — the tantrums, the times you lose your patience and raise your voice, the times your kid wakes up in his crib before you and, when you finally hear him, it’s after a poopsplosion, etc. And because the stakes are so high, it’s easy to focus in on those little failures and deduce that you’re doing a really horrible job.

Yayyyyy… :\

But just like in everything, the fact is that sometimes you nail it, and sometimes you don’t. So why not focus on the times you nail it?

As our weekend is winding down, I gotta say *brushes shoulders off* this weekend, we nailed it.

That is, we are currently celebrating a few small victories in our house. Notably:

  • Dax’s lunch was comprised COMPLETELY of vegetables yesterday. And he asked for more! (So what if it was just cucumbers? Baby steps.)
  • He now understands reasoning, so instead of completely freaking out and throwing the dinner I make him, he allows me to bribe him to eat his dinner with things like animal crackers and marshmallows. It’s not perfect, but I’d rather him have a belly full of real food and marshmallows than going hungry like he had been.
  • He has learned how to actually kiss. And I would venture to say that there are few things better than the feeling of little tiny toddler lips on your cheek. Ugh. So perfect!

So yeah. It’s been a good one. :)

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reality.

Like I was saying the other day, no one can prepare you for the things you believe you are capable of and the things you actually are capable of. This goes both ways; just like you are far more capable of doing certain things that you might think you can’t, there are some other things that you feel capable of that you just aren’t.

This is what we like to call a reality check.

For me, September and October have been the months of reality checks. For some reason, these two months I’ve gotten some wild hairs up my butt or SOMETHING that have “inspired” (???) me to try a bunch of new things.

But not just try them — dive head first into them.

  • Blog everyday for 31 days
  • Work out everyday for 30 days
  • Reread the entire Harry Potter series (I’m on book 6 since starting 5 weeks ago)
  • Meal plan every week
  • Come up with and maintain weekly chores schedule
  • Continue doing other life things as usual

Let me just be honest and say that this blog post is not like the one in which I find out I’m capable of way more than I think I am. Oh, on the contrary. REALITY CHECK: I am stretched T H I N.

But it’s all good, though! Because sleep is great. And sometimes I do that sleep thing.

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my own strength.

The thing about being a parent that no one can prepare you for is the huge gap between what you believe you are capable of, and what you actually are capable of. And that gap is sizable, I might add.

I never thought I would be able to handle the exhaustion of the colicky newborn days. I thought for sure that I would crack. Alas, I am still standing.

I never thought I would be able to breastfeed very long. I thought that maybe I would be able to nurse for six months or so, but here I am, miles away from weaning, well past Dax’s second birthday.

The terrible twos began sometime around his first birthday. And we’re knee deep in them and still getting through each day.

And tonight, he pooped in the bath and I didn’t throw up.

I didn’t know my own strength. It’s a miracle, people.

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prayer.

A long time ago, someone told me that the most powerful thing you can do is say to a person is, I’m praying for you, and mean it.

Because it’s so easy to flippantly say that you will pray for someone and then just don’t. As a matter of fact, I’d bet that that happens way more often than not.

So today when I got a text from a friend who lives, like, a million miles away, telling me that she prayed for me this morning, despite me not even asking for it or knowingly exhibiting red flags for needing prayer, it really brought me joy. Because I knew she meant it.

It really does have power.

And so I texted back a heartfelt THANK YOU and pleaded for more. Because why not?

If anyone else wants to pray for me, please do; I’m currently in the process of weaning myself off of caffeine and man –

it is a HELL of a drug.

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caffeine withdrawal.

Is the worst.

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music therapy.

I have a lot of friends who went to graduate school to obtain degrees in art therapy. I’m not up to speed on what they actually learned or what they actually do in their profession, but I do know that therapy that utilizes art is valuable.

Back in March, I decided to learn a new instrument. Rather than capitalize on my already-honed piano skills and try something similar (like an accordion, for example) I opted for something else.

The ukulele.

So I’ve been strumming on those little nylon strings for about seven months now, and while I’m not anyhing special, I can at least jam out on a few of my favorite songs (like “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”, an instant ukulele classic).

I was gifted a handmade ukulele by a coworker of mine, and so I keep one at home and one at my desk, and whenever I’m feeling upset or stressed I pick it up and pluck at it.

Almost magically, the stress disappears. I don’t know why, but playing this instrument is extremely therapeutic for me. Maybe because it’s just such a silly little thing, making the sweetest little sounds, but regardless it melts away the blues.

I’m curious — what helps you unwind? What takes away your stress? Do you use art to channel your emotions? Painting? Writing? Cartwheels?

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