Home

It’s midnight and I could sit awake for hours in the quiet of this dark and contemplate this house.

front of house

The floors that shine under the light of the lamp illuminating where my son took his first steps and where busy plays and only night brings rest.

livingroom 2

I’ve memorized how the light shines in the living room window; the way it streams in through my son’s window at it’s rise and how it floods in through the downstairs bathroom window at it’s set.

Noah room

downstairs bath

I know this house.

dining room

I’ve loved it since the very first time we walked into it. And oh was there drama to get into it oh has there been drama to get out. But oh how I have loved BEING HERE.

kitchen 3

 

master bedroom 2

 

back yard

We’ve grown here and fallen apart here and loved and laughed and dreamed and danced and learned that our next house must have a walk in shower just like this one, but we need a bigger bath tub.

upstairs bath

 

And that we love the unique features and character of this older home but maybe our next house could have less creaky stairs.

 

nook

 

stairwell

There was always going to be a next time. Forever wasn’t here but that doesn’t mean here didn’t hold a piece of forever.

upstairs hallway

guest room

My son wants to take the seahorse light pull from the downstairs bathroom. “So I can always have a piece of our first house, Mommy.” Yes, of course you can, I told him, and together we cut the string.

He feels the pull here, too; his only home. The only house we’ve ever owned. The longest my husband or I have lived anywhere since we both left our parents homes when we were 18.

playroom office

We’ll take pieces with us too; pictures and memories and 4 years of our lives bound into the pieces of this house that I wonder if I’ll ever stop thinking of as “home.”

outside front

Be Still

The 4 and 1/4 inches of snow that covered Richmond. We lost power for 12 hours and I was given the much needed time to be still.

The 4 and 1/4 inches of snow that covered Richmond. We lost power for 12 hours and I was given the much needed time to be still.

Be still and know that I’m with you
Be still and know that I am here
Be still and know that I’m with you
Be still, be still, and know

Lists of not-finisheds  and to-dos float through my mind

Lots of too-muches and not-enoughs

When darkness comes upon you
And covers you with fear and shame
Be still and know that I’m with you
And I will say your name

I’m rushed and overwhelmed and under inspired all at once

If terror falls upon your bed
And sleep no longer comes
Remember all the words I said
Be still, be still, and know

Too busy to stop in the midst of the organized chaos that composes itself into my life

And when you go through the valley
And the shadow comes down from the hill
If morning never comes to be
Be still, be still, be still

Decisions plague me, for I’ve never been good at making them

“Follow your heart” comes as needed advice I do not know how to take

If you forget the way to go
And lose where you came from
If no one is standing beside you
Be still and know I am

And then the world stopped for just a time, when the snow coated our world with it’s white blanket

The power went out for 12 hours and my phone’s battery was gone. The toddler’s school was cancelled and for just a moment the must-dos turned into can’t-dos

And I was forced to be still

Be still to leave the lists for another day

Be still to make decisions when I am ready

Be still to leave the laundry and the dishes in their piles

Be still for toddler snuggles and long evaded sleep

Be still and know that I’m with you
Be still and know I am

“Be Still” lyrics by The Fray

Tick Tock

It’s late. I can feel the clock judging me with its tick tock, tick tock.

There’s too much on my mind to give in to the taunting rhythm.

I’m listening to an opera right now, trying to soak it all in, because I’ll be performing it in just a few weeks. Yes, I’m going to be in an opera with a professional opera company. Just in the chorus, but I am excited and nervous all at the same time. This will be my very first opera and very first professional performance. I am honored and scared and haven’t even told that many people yet, because, well, I guess I just can’t believe it myself yet.

Tick tock.

I’m making flyers for Parent Council at my son’s school. This has turned out to be a much bigger job than I imagined, and though I don’t want to be the annoying PTA mom, I think I am. But in a nice way. I’m planning a fundraiser night at one of those places where you drink wine and paint. I’ve always wanted to try it. I’ve also booked a local children’s musician for a family fun night at the end of March, but planning a family fun night is starting to feel a lot like planning a wedding, which is a lot of fun at the beginning but then you really just start to look forward to it being over and going on the honeymoon.

Tick tock.

I hear my son upstairs. He is still not sleeping through the night. I am leaving my husband to deal with this late cry and nearing the end of my patience because we’ve tried all of the tricks and tips and we still have a 3 and a half year old that doesn’t sleep.

I am trying to write. Posts here, posts other places. I need ideas and time, both of which seem to be coming slowly or not at all.

Tick tock.

I have a list of blogging to dos. The most important one is to read blogs, but lately I’m having trouble finding time to read or write. I mostly just make it through the long to do lists of days which include mundane things like taxes, the post office and an oil change and lovely things like making magnet alphabet soup with my son.

Tick tock. My cat is meowing at me, even she is ready to curl up and surrender to sleep.

And I am too, if only my thoughts will stop chaotically dancing.

Tick tock, tick tock. Tick tock.

 

I Like

I Like…

honesty

cat purrs

toddler hugs

showering alone

sleeping next to my son

dancing in the living room

chai tea lattes

cupcakes

FRIENDS re-runs

sleep

getting lost in a book

feeling confident in real life

remembering to sing

laughing

seeing beauty in myself

seeing beauty around me

reminders that I am blessed

the way my son lights up my life

the way rain sounds on the roof

pajama days

social days

girl’s nights

Broadway shows

wine and dessert

walks in my neighborhood

hearing other people’s stories

sharing pieces of my own

living in the present

looking forward to the future

not dwelling on the past

being with friends

being with myself

being a Mommy

introspection

a busy calendar

a flexible schedule

a clean house

an empty laundry basket

a full tummy

new clothes

a freshly made bed

anything pink

staying up until midnight

photo-journalistic style photography

fall weather

conversations with my almost three-year-old

day dreaming

writing

hoping

The Lullaby

“Will you sing me a song Mommy?”

A smile flirts across my lips as I begin to sing a song I knew from long ago:

Toss a penny in a well

Make a wish,  you never can tell

Trust your heart and believe come what may

That anything can happen, 

If you let it happen

Anything can happen today

His eyes begin to flutter. His blinks begin to get longer.

His breathing begins to deepen and he curls up closer to my side.

Don’t be afraid to take a chance

Don’t look down each time that you dance

True romance comes right out of the blue

So anything can happen 

If you let it happen

Anything can happen for you

Heavy eyelids and peaceful breathing begin to fall into a sleepy rhythm.

Who knows maybe right around the corner

Your future is waiting for you

Don’t be afraid to take a chance

Don’t look down each time that you dance

Letting go is the only thing to do;

Then anything can happen

If you let it happen

Anything can happen for you

oo oo ooo oooooooo

He sighs as he moves in a bit closer and I watch as his final blink turns into closed eyes.

He is sleeping.

And I hope he is dreaming of hope and possibility and his very own happily ever after.

Good night my sweet little one.

*This song is called “Anything Can Happen” by Linda Eder from her album entitled “It’s No Secret Anymore.” I sang this solo my junior year of high school. There are many of my old performance pieces I have long forgotten, but this one has stayed with me. I must have been meant to remember it all these years so that I could sing it to my son every night.*

I Am

I Am

I am strong and hopeful
I wonder if everything really happens for a reason
I hear laughter
I see tomorrow
I want to be happy
I am strong and hopeful

I pretend that I have it all together

I feel lost

I touch my toddler’s sticky fingers
I worry about how it will all work out
I cry when I allow myself to let go
I am strong and hopeful

I understand that life is never what we expect
I say that I can handle it anyway
I dream for all the pieces to fall into place
I try to focus on the moment
I hope that one day I will KNOW I made the right choices
I am strong and hopeful

*This poem was made with the I AM template through Mama Kat’s writer’s workshop. It’s funny the things you discover about yourself when you are given the right prompt. What would you discover if you tried?

Mama’s Losin’ It

Words

Words

We’ve been told that sticks and stones may break our bones but words can never hurt us.

But that’s not true is it?

For my bones remain untouched by stones but these words continue to haunt me.

I’ve been told it’s because I’m a woman and I’m too sensitive

But I think it’s just because I’m a person

Who has a memory and a heart

And whose past bleeds into my future.

I think I’ve never seen you throw a stone or wave a stick maliciously,

But I’ve heard your voice behind the words that left me standing vulnerably;

Exposed into the darkness of the daylight and the brightness of the night.

And I see those words encircle me and invade my very self.

I have to remind myself to say “excuse me” and find my way out,

For these days are long and these years are short and your voice still finds ways to follow me.

Even after the sticks have been picked and the stones have been gathered

I find myself here, choosing to break the words back down into letters and cast them away into the alphabet

That I sing to my son every day

So that he may learn words.

But not yours.

My Elated Exhaustion

I am tired now, and sleepy and feeling like all I want to do is crawl under the covers and lose myself in a dream.

But I am awake, and happy, and alert to the best of my ability, and I am here.

Here in this place where laundry and dishes threaten to take over and life’s administration edges its way into my serenity. Here where children’s TV shows permeate my thoughts and a little voice of “Mommy I need….” invades my introspection. Here where sun shines in my face and spring quivers on the verge of emerging.

Here where toddler hugs warm my soul and husband smiles are reassuring. Here where cats snuggle at my feet and laughter fills my hallways. Here where love is shown in everyday actions even if I sometimes forget to notice them.

I take a deep breath and inhale my life. I cherish it. I dismiss it. I dread its monotony. I cherish its predictability. I live it.

I bask in this collage of people and animals and objects that form into the puzzle that is my life.

Here in this chaotic quiet I reside and thrive and fail and dream and experience.

My life, my here, my elated exhaustion.

Here

My “what-ifs” are plenty, if I let them seep through

to my current memory and what I’ve been through.

My days are long and trying if I analyze

all the choices I made that brought me this life.

My heart can feel heavy and sad and full

if I try to remember that life is not easy

and that times have been hard and that times have been grand

and that all along I haven’t really followed a plan.

Or maybe I have, but the plan wasn’t mine, and so I’m on an adventure not knowing what else I will find.

And the hours are fast and the minutes are slow

if I question the choices I made long ago.

But if I stay here

here in THIS moment

Then I must trust that this is ok.

It’s ok to be here and to feel this way.

Whatever way I’m feeling, whatever my life looks like

that ok. It’s OK to be who I am today.

Just because I didn’t know

the woman that I would become

or the twists and the turns I would find

doesn’t mean this isn’t a good place to reside.

The days are joyous and exciting and lovely

if I can stay here in the present and bubbly

with fulfillment that comes from knowing, that I,

here in this place,

am right where I should be.

I’m right where I am because of choices, that’s true, but regret is no fun and often no use

And today my choice is to be happy

HERE.

Wherever that here is

it’s good to be there.

Wherever your “here” is,

I hope you are aware

that beauty surrounds you

even in your darkest place. Beauty surrounds YOU

if you just embrace

that choices have past and time has flown

and you have lived and you have grown

all to bring you here to this moment.

I hope that you treasure it, I hope that you own it

as yours, yours alone, your very own story.

Your very own beautifully voyaged place of glory.

*This poem was written in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, and inspired by a prompt from Blogher about making decisions and having regrets. 

Turning Yellow

I see you as the leaves on my tree. New, fresh, tender. You are a blossom, so young and fragile. I tend to you, I cherish you, I immerse myself in your nourishment so that you may thrive.

I see you turn green and strong and learn life with an unstoppable momentum towards greatness. I hold onto you and savor in the moments when I am still an important part of your world.

I see you turning yellow. You are growing up and changing right before my eyes. You are turning into a person of your own. You are getting ready to find a path without me.

I see you turn red. You are ready to fly on your own and to flourish out in the world I have long ago stopped navigating and instead have watched you change into these beautiful colors.

One day, you will gently drop from my branch, and float away into a gentle breeze. I hope that it takes you to amazing places and allows to you see breathtaking sights. I hope you have moments you treasure and meet people who treasure you. I hope your journey on this gentle breeze brings you adventure, and love, and happiness. And I hope one day this gentle breeze might again blow you my way.

But right now, I will stand here, sturdy on my trunk, and cherish these small beautiful moments that allow me to soak in your presence and bask in your glow. Because I know, that all too soon, you will be turning yellow.