Mother // Daughter

I am not responsible for every bad mood
Every freckle that appears
(Should have put on more sunscreen)
Every failure and every success.
I am responsible for me
For who I am and the choices I make. 
We are separate 
Me and her 
Different people with different childhoods. 
Though sometimes it’s hard to see the lines between us when
She came from me, through me.
She never walks, only skips.
While other children pop about like dandelions, she’s an orchid –
miraculously beautiful yet meticulous to care for.
I cry because of how hard it is to parent a highly sensitive child,
especially when you’re a highly sensitive parent. 
If only I can remember again why I am here;
to be the earth below the river of her life, 
guiding her to the ocean of herself.
To be the earth below the river of my life,
guiding me to the ocean of myself. 

The Bookshelf

It was 9:30 at night. My insane need to nest, coupled with my husband leaving for eight days on a work trip (three days after our big move), had me a little furniture assembly happy.

I’d been staring at that white kids bookshelf online for two weeks before I purchased it, so when it finally arrived, I was beyond ready to bring my kids corner vision to life.

The directions read: one hour assembly time. We both laughed thinking we were smarter than everyone else who sets up furniture. There was no way it would take that long. Half way up and an hour in, my husband muttered under his breath, “I think a divorce attorney designed this damn bookshelf”.

We’ve had a few days like that in the new house, where nothing can go right. Hanging a bookshelf feels like attempting to summit Everest and drywall is public enemy no. 1 (second to my husband). 

We’ve also had a few days where everything goes right. The new rug matches perfectly, our front porch swing serves as a happy waiting place for Nonni to arrive, and we share a special quiet moment with all three of us laying in bed, looking up at the new walls that will hold our memories over the next years and welcome us into a family of four (five including Sammie pup).

Every time we pull into the driveway Maisley exclaims, “new house!”, in her high pitched voice that almost has a hint of a dutch accent.  She has embraced her new space without an ounce of reservation. She runs around outside in the backyard any chance she gets, two continual stubbed toes to prove it.

While I had laid awake the first night in our new house clinging to my emotional baggage about change and the move, she slept soundly and innocently. I want to be more like her in this new phase of life.

Worrying less about the bookshelf (which will probably become a pile of broken wood after two kids use it as a jungle gym), and more about running freely, living for the things in life that make us feel good; swinging, playing, drawing, reading and giggling.

Pic cred: Jordan “Gigi”, Nanny & BFF

A quick look back, before leaping forward

As Ryan and I sit here on the first day of 2018, my first thought is to recap and remember the past 365 days, before I jump into another whirlwind around the sun.

Our new tradition is to write down highlights of the year, so that in 10 years, 2017 doesn’t become a lost year of early parenthood fog. 2017 was a year to remember. Aren’t they all?

Maisley was the biggest single memory of our year. Watching this tiny human grow into a toddler who says, “bleshu”, “hi thilly” and her name, “Mayshey”, has been equal parts magical, challenging and unpredictable.

Two years of marriage to a man who defines the word selfless and loves unconditionally. Maisley was baptized surrounded by all of her family. We received the phone call you never want to receive, Michelle (sister) was in a bad car accident, but she was okay (thank you God). A bachelorette party in Austin. My best friend Lauren married her true perfect match.  Michelle lived with us for five months, during which I rarely unloaded the dishwasher and cherished having another “mom” and best friend in the house.

Ryan got the shingles. Maisley got the chicken pox (thanks Dad!). Rode the wave of postpartum with downs that would catch me surprise and take me down to crazy town.  A trip to San Francisco with Ryan, Maiz, Lindsey, Michelle & Brandino to explore and visit Lucy. Maisley turned one with the perfect Luau Beach Bash celebration. A camping adventure in San Clemente with little sleep, but lots of connection. Our first true family vacation to Napili Bay in Maui; seven days of bliss. The last day of breastfeeding Maisley and feeling life and energy rush back into my body. Freelance writing with the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

Concerts in the park, farmers markets, swim lessons, music class, gymboree, library days. Playdates with Maisley’s favorite “Cousin T”. New friendships grew, connections with old friends ebbed and flowed. Jordan became our nanny and subsequently a soul sister and part of our family. Lindsey said “yes” to Brandino’s proposal of forever and made us all the happiest sisters in the world.

Countless conversations about anxiety and mental health.

Maisley’s first In-N-Out burger.

The 2nd annual Christmas kick-back.

Chicago with Ryan.

Santa brought a ball pit.

Another baby girl, a sister, ready to make her debut in a six short months.

What a year. 

My intention for the new year is to live with more intention and purpose every day. Less zoning out on social media and more waking up early to meditate, pray and write. Days full of clarity and presence.

And to keep my car clean.