To the Mom who feels she is doing it all wrong …

I see you.

I see your weary eyes & tear-stained cheeks.

I see your well-dressed littles & know deep inside you have neglected yourself for their sake.

I hear your trembling voice.

I watch your insecure mannerisms.

I feel your comparison.

Your gauge.

Your determination to “measure up”.

I get it.

I see you.

I hear you.

I feel you.

I AM you.

We are raising these humans and we are trying to keep our sanity.

We have walked away from careers & hobbies & spontaneity, all for the sake of 20+ years from now.

We aim for meaningful conversation, but we end up with small talk & awkward silence.

We plan purposeful events & memory-building moments, and we end up with blurry pictures & blurry eyes.

We try to capture it all & in the process we miss so much.

We are seeking to be all things to all our people & we keep losing track of ourselves.

We won’t give ourselves a break or let ourselves off the hook.

This thing…this motherhood thing…

It’s so hard.

It’s painful to our bodies & our hearts & our core.

And so we isolate ourselves in a cocoon of safety & routine.

We stick to the plan & we clean up the messes & we look around at the end of the day & wonder how we will do it all again tomorrow.

And some days, if we are just being brutally honest, we don’t want to.

We want to sail away into the sunset…drive away and not look back…pack a bag, grab a map & go searching for the person we lost along the way.

Our people, they need us.

They need us for dental appointments & haircuts & toilet paper & school pictures.

They need us for concert attendance & lunch money & white poster board at 10 pm.

They need us for forgotten papers & winter coats & food…all the time, food.

But, here’s the thing.

They need us for so much more than that.

They need us for validation & for inspiration & for recommendation.

They need hard truth.

And fierce hugs.

And honesty.

They need us to be okay with ourselves. With our bodies & our minds & our choices.

They need to know that we can love them because we love ourselves & we love each other.

We can’t go around clipping each other off at the knees because we have a better recipe or a better house or a better life.

We need to be a tribe.

We need to have each other’s backs when we fail. We need to reach out and help each other up and be for each other what we need most for ourselves.

We are a team, mommas.

If we raise our kids to think we have all the answers & we need no one, we raise them to believe a lie.

If we raise them comparing and complaining, we will reap entitled, selfish adults.

If we don’t let them see we are vulnerable & that we fail & that we need each other, we raise them to believe they can exist alone…and they will become bitter, lonely adults.

Look around, mommas.

Phone a friend.

Make eye contact.

Look across the parking lot or grocery store aisle or waiting room office.

We are there.

Each and every one of us.

We need each other.

Every. Single. Day.

Don’t give up.

Hang on. Be the help while you wait for the help. Meet the need while you are needy. Reach out a hand when you feel most like reaching into yourself.

Together, we can make this thing happen.

And even if we never have a Pioneer Woman meal or a Joanna Gaines home or a Jillian Michaels body, we will have each other.

There is strength in numbers.

Look for me because I will be looking for you, sweet momma friends.

We’ve got this.

and so there is that…


Field trips, forms & fanatical behavior…




field TripThere is a running dialogue that is held at our house a minimum of twice a month. It usually goes something like this:

Unnamed Middle Schooler: “Mom, did you remember I need a bag lunch for my field trip.”

Me: “When is the field trip?”

Unnamed Middle Schooler: “Ummm…I don’t know. Maybe tomorrow.”

Me: “What do you mean you don’t know? How am I supposed to remember when YOU have a field trip if YOU don’t even remember YOU have a field trip??”

Unnamed Middle Schooler: “Mom. Why are you yelling?”

Me: “I am not yelling. I CAN yell, though, if you’d like to know what yelling sounds like.”

Unnamed Middle Schooler: “Gosh, Mom. I just need to know if you remember I need a bag lunch. It’s not that big of a deal.”

Me: “How is it not a big deal? Do you want to be the only kid on the field trip, WHENEVER IT EVEN IS, without a lunch? Do you want to be THAT kid?? Do you want all your friends and your teachers to think we cannot afford food? or that you aren’t loved?”

Unnamed Middle Schooler: “I think you are acting crazy now. Maybe you even ARE crazy. I just need a lunch…for whenever the field trip is.”


Unnamed Middle Schooler: “Now you most definitely ARE yelling.”


Unnamed Middle Schooler: “Mom, seriously. It’s like you are losing your mind. You signed a form. It had all the information on it about the field trip. And I’m pretty sure it’s tomorrow.”


Unnamed Middle Schooler: “Ummmm…I have no idea what the right answer is. I think those are the forms I’m talking about.”

Me (trying to get it together so the neighbors don’t call the police): “Listen, I just need to know when the field trip is so that I can make sure you have a lunch. Is that too much to ask? Surely at least ONE teacher today would have mentioned if the field trip to which you are referring is tomorrow, right? Surely they don’t just expect that it was mentioned ONE, SINGULAR time and that you all would remember?? I feel pretty sure that if I were to march into the school RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE the date of the field trip would be written in dry erase marker in EVERY, SINGLE classroom you visit EVERY, SINGLE day of the school year. Is that what you want me to do?? March up into the school right now??”

Unnamed Middle Schooler: “Mom, it’s like 9 o’clock at night. The school is closed. And locked.”

Me (trying out some yoga/meditation breathing I accessed via a youtube video one time): “So, just to make sure I am understanding you. You need a lunch. A bag lunch. For a field trip. You are not sure when the field trip is, but I signed a form giving you permission to go, so somehow I must know when you need the bag lunch. Is that about right?”

Unnamed Middle Schooler: “I feel pretty sure this is a trick question. Is Dad around? Maybe I could ask him.”

Me: “Please. Feel free to ask your father. I am sure he will know. And please feel free to let him know all about this trip you are going on. Where are you even going?

Unnamed Middle Schooler: “I have no idea where we are going. If I knew that, I might remember when we are going.”

Me: “There is no logic in your statement. I do not think I even gave birth to you. Anyone I gave birth to would be sure to remember when they would be boarding a bus to leave the actual school campus to go to wherever you are all going. Anyone with my genes would know when the trip is and where the bus is going.”

Unnamed Middle Schooler: “Oooohhh yuck, Mom. I don’t need your jeans. Just a bag lunch. Maybe it’s on the website.”

Me: “Oh yes, PAAAHHLEASE let me access the website. That’s always fun. Let me search around hither and yon for the username and password that I can never remember. Let me see if I can navigate through all the notifications about the girls only meeting and the book fair, and the sports schedules for the week, and somewhere BURIED IN THERE LIKE A TREASURE JUST WAITING TO BE FOUND, will be the information which I seek. I’m sure that will be exactly how that goes.”

Unnamed Middle Schooler: “I think I’ll just pack a lunch tomorrow just in case. And would you happen to have some spending money? I think we may need some, for wherever we are going.”


Y’all think I’m kidding, I am sure. But, I assure you this happens.

Every. Single. Time.

Teachers, can you help a mother out here? Can you please just make sure those dang forms with all the pertinent information are printed so that I can keep all that info at home? I know that when I need to cut that bottom portion off I will grumble and complain that I can’t find the scissors, but that’s a problem for another day.

Please & thank you.

And so there is that…

Headed for the top…



Last week, I ate dinner at a fancy restaurant.

Now listen, here is the part where I leave out the name of the actual fancy-to-me restaurant, lest there be some nay-sayer out in cyberland who feels the need to say something as non-helpful to the universe as, “Actually, I wouldn’t consider (insert name of non-mentioned restaurant here) to be a fancy restaurant.”

For the love of baby Moses floating in the Sweetgrass basket, there were no paper napkins, no plastic ware, no one carried a tray except the wait staff, & I saw not one solitary child the entire time I was there.

That, all summed up, equals fancy to me.

After searching the actual parking lot fruitlessly for a spot, I found a gravel side lot about two continents away, left my car there covered in anointing oil & prayer that it would be there when I got back, & marched my way across the gravel/asphalt/concrete parking area in my wedges (because what is a possibly-fancy dinner without wedges???).

I stopped partially through my journey to take a picture of the building (because, after all, if I eat a meal at a yet-to-be-determined-fancy restaurant & don’t post a picture, did the meal actually even happen???? Ummmm, no Mark Zuckerburg, it did not) and I made my way to the front doors.

Upon entering the doors, I found myself face-to-face (literally because it was stainless steel) with an elevator.

Score: Fancy 1, Not Fancy 0

There was a sign next to the elevator that said something about the rooftop being closed due to a private party. Clearly, I was not headed up there.

Y’all, as Jesus of Nazareth is my witness, I stood there a full four minutes staring at the doors of that elevator. I didn’t push the button. I didn’t look left or right. I literally just stood there, paralyzed, staring at the doors to the elevator as if I was considering jumping off a high-rise building or something. One would think I had never ridden an elevator before in my entire 40-something years of life.

At some point in my nearly catatonic state, the doors of the elevator opened for me to be confronted with some restaurant patrons & a young girl dressed all in black holding menus. I used my deductive reasoning & concluded she was an employee, so I asked her which way I needed to go to the main dining floor (nevermind the fact that none of them exited the elevator, which left me wondering where in the world they just came from).

After a cute little snicker, she assured me the main dining floor was up, and we began our ascent, at which time she said, “We are headed to the fourth floor.”

Now y’all, it made total sense to me that by “we” she meant she & her patron friends, so I just figured we were riding to the top first before finding the floor I was supposed to exit on (and by this time, I am pretty sure my friends are well past appetizers, so what’s a little joyride at this point anyway????) so I just stood there as the doors to the elevator opened on the fourth floor as promised.

And no one moved.

Not the patrons.

Not the cute young employee in black holding menus.

& not me either.

I just stood there waiting for the doors to close so I could go back down to the floor I was supposed to get off on.

Finally, after a long, awkward pause, I said, “Oh, is this the main dining room floor?” and the cute, young waitress said, “Well, yes,” as if I was supposed to be a clairvoyant or something.


A little direction goes a long way, Flo.

The rest of the evening was amazing & uneventful, in a good way.

The food was all unpronounceable to me & fancier than our finest meals at a family gathering. The Sangria was fruity & fresh, the conversation was light & the food was rich & hearty.

I decided I like fancy restaurants. I guess I’m gonna need the hubby to get another part-time job.

Or, maybe I could just get a job riding up and down that elevator directing people to the correct floor. I feel certain I could be a little more helpful.

And so there is that…




I’m not blind…

Tuesday morning after the eclipse, my Rileigh came bounding downstairs proclaiming, “I’m not blind!”.

If y’all know my girl, you are not surprised by the fact that she spent the days & hours before the big event Googling things like “How long does it take a retina to burn?” & “Quality of Life After a Retina Burn”.

I wish I were joking. 

This is just who she is. 

She feels it all & she sees the details when most can’t even begin to see the entire picture. 
She loves unconditionally & she worries about everyone…especially animals and special needs children.
A few weeks ago, she said, “Mom…I hope when I have a baby I have a baby with special needs.”
Y’all…this is the part of the story where I wish I could tell y’all how I quoted some appropriate scriptures to her & I told her what an honorable gift that would be & how amazing she would be under those circumstances. 
But, my mouth moved faster than my brain (imagine that!) and I tried in very loving terms to say something about being careful what you wish for.  
Go ahead & gasp. 

Be disappointed in my response. 

Look down & shake your head at my selfishness. 

Just be sure your answer would have been different first
She wasn’t having it. 

This is her dream

Her biggest heart’s desire.
And if anyone can handle & deserves a blessing like that, it’s that blonde-haired, 11-year-old angel. 
She has the purest of hearts. Anyone who has ever had more than minimal contact with her will wholeheartedly agree. She loves the unworthy  & comforts the needy & is drawn to the unloveable people.
So, when she came bounding down the stairs proclaiming how happy she was to not be blind, I wasn’t surprised at all…but in a split second I was overwhelmed by this thought: 

What would life be like if we got up each and every day proclaiming what we were thankful for rather than thinking of all the things that aren’t quite right. 
What if we just stopped focusing on the weather & the schedule & the bills & the “stuff” and we just looked for the blessings…really LOOKED for them.

They are there. 

And sometimes it’s as simple as just realizing you woke up not blind. 

And so there is that

Before you leave…

I held you when you took your first breaths. 
I fed you & clothed you & showed your beauty off to anyone who would look. 
I saw your first smile

I heard your first words

I memorized your laugh
I watched you learn to crawl, then walk, & eventually run. 
I witnessed you learning to read & write. 
I watched you grow strong & happy & healthy. 
I watched you suffer illness & pain & heartache. 
I have had a VIP pass and a front row seat to your whole life thus far. 
I have been your manager, your boss, your coach & your cheerleader. 
I have raised you to be strong & independent, and yet you have always allowed me the blessing of holding you up when you have been weak. 
I have loved you with my whole heart & you have loved me back. 
I have felt it
You have been my best friend & my strongest supporter. 
You have been my confidant & my biggest fan. 
I would know your laugh, your voice & the sound your feet make coming down the stairs apart from anyone else’s. 
I have prepared you to embrace adulthood & live a big, full life. 
And now, we are literally days from packing you up to start that life. 
I have loved you from your conception. I have always told you I would be here for you no matter what. I have always been, & always will be, right by your side in a moment’s notice. 
But now, before you leave, there are a few other things I want you to know. 
Do you know that I have needed you as much as you have needed me? That when you took your first breath, I inhaled differently…almost as if for the first time?? 

Do you know that when I fed you & clothed you, my soul was fed & my heart was wrapped in a blanket of love & contentment???
Do you know that now, all these years later, your smile fills my heart just as much as it did the first time I saw it??? 

Do you know that the sound of your voice, even when it’s frustrated or harsh or angry still makes me well up with all kinds of feelings??
Do you know how happy I am that I have memorized the sound of your laugh?? Do you know how often I do & will replay that sound in my mind when I am apart from you because it is one of the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard???  
Do you know that when I watched you crawl & then walk, all I wanted was to see you run???? Do you know that now, before you leave, all I can think about is how much I wish I could slow you down?
I need you to know that my love has always been, & always will be, unconditional
I will be here when you are strong & happy & healthy. 

I will hold you when you suffer illness & pain & heartache. 


I will always buy the VIP pass for the front row seat to your life & although I may no longer totally be your manager or your boss, I will always be your coach & your cheerleader. 
You will never be even one mile too far away from my love. 
You will never call at the wrong time or need me when it is inconvenient. You will never be alone. I will always be here. Maybe a little more in the background, but still always here. 
Be brave. 

Be confident. 

Have fun. 

Be smart. 

Do not ever settle for mediocrity

Do not ever allow someone’s disrespect or dislike for you to change the person you are. 

Not everyone will love you & that’s okay. 
Be you

Don’t imitate or copy others. 

You were born unique. 

Be that. 
I love you far beyond any of these words
Our worlds are about to change, but my love for you is constant. 



You have my blessing for it all. 
I love you forever and beyond.
And so there is that. 


It’s August. 

It’s the last couple weeks of summer & this momma is feeling it. 
We have bought enough glue for slime recipes to keep Pandora’s Box locked up tight forever. My kids may never even know the actual real purpose for glue. Ever

We have replaced a certain leaky bicycle tire tube not once, but twice. 

We have hidden painted rocks…and found painted rocks…re-hidden painted rocks and found even MORE painted rocks. Yes, rocks. Those things filling the driveway that we have been walking around kicking out of the way for years. They are cool now, it seems. 

 We have all watched more Netflix than can possibly be safe for the psyche. Like seriously…who can watch tv all. day. long? My people can, that’s who

The littles have made a YouTube channel where they make stuff and open stuff and do stuff. Mostly make slime, I think. Go figure. Yes, I am aware it’s not safe for kids to be on the internet. No, I really don’t even care anymore because it’s August. 
The three middles schoolers have spent 97.4% of the summer arguing with each other. Pick a topic. They are not particular. 




The list is endless
I am fairly certain that just last night I uttered the words, “I am so tired of hearing their voices. I need my own house.” Yes…I said those words out loud (but out of earshot, so that’s better, right???)

We attempted to be THAT family. We made a trip to the library and got the summer reading chart and checked out books.

We then returned them late, one with severe water damage from a dip in the pool. I seriously could’ve bought all the books we checked out for cheaper than all the fines I owe. The charts never got completed. I know you are shocked. 

Last week, the girls started looking for their Summer Work packets. You know, the ones they send home crammed in the kids’ book bags at the end of the year along with every art project they ever did, 12 tons of loose paperwork, and all the stuff you’ve been missing from home all school year. (“So that’s where all the scissors went”). The packets they worked diligently on the first week school was out, and then misplaced for the rest of the summer. The packets that are supposed to be turned in when school starts back IN JUST A FEW WEEKS. Yeah, those packets. 

School is just around the proverbial corner. The stores have had school supplies out for weeks & every time I walk past them I feel like a terrible mother for not buying my kids Post-It notes in every color & erasers shaped like hot dogs. 

This summer has been extremely hot. I have said “Close the front door!” 3,455,765 times...I stopped saying please in mid-June
My people have consumed a gallon of tea a day, 2 gallons of milk a week, used every dish in the house twice a day, left crumbs & food particles on the counters after every trip through the kitchen, & still can’t remember to see if the dishwasher is accepting dirty dishes before just leaving them wherever. Just feel free to leave them anywhere in the house you like, small people that I birthed. I don’t mind walking around the house like a busboy all day every day stopping science experiments from growing in your cups & bowls. 

I have lowered the bar of expectation so far it’s now a step stool. 

And with school starting in literally DAYS, my most predominant thought is this:
I miss them already
In just a few short weeks we will all get back to a schedule. There will be no more sleeping until noon or eating cereal at 2 in the afternoon just because. 

We will be back to early mornings & homework & sports practices & PTO nights & so much other stuff. 

The eldest boy will be starting his senior year of college & I will be forced to resort to face-timing my eldest princess who somehow will have convinced someone she IS OLD ENOUGH FOR COLLEGE!

The littles & I will pass each other in the kitchen like zombies & mumble something about signed forms & lunch money & have you seen my fill-in-the-blank.
And another year will pass & they will grow older & be home less & begin to stare at phone screens rather than look into my eyes.
These days don’t come back, mommas
Celebrate the last of summer. 

Take the too-late trip to McDonald’s for ice cream. 

Watch too much tv & eat too many sweets & peek around the corner & watch your kids play. 

Too soon it’ll be routines again. 

Let’s fill these last days with enough memories to get us all through until at least Christmas break. 

Then, we can start planning ways to hide from them again. 

And so there is that

Dear dryer sheet,

Dear dryer sheet,

I am sorry.

So very sorry.

All these years, in an effort to save money, I have ignored you. 

I have walked past you in the store aisle without hesitation.

I never once slowed down to give you even a second glance.

I would see you out of the corner of my eye & I would pretend you didn’t exist. I knew I could live without you, so that’s exactly what I did. 

For all of that, I am sorry

I am sorry that it took a box of you coming home from my college son’s apartment to bring us together. 

I had no idea the joy you would add to my life.  

I had no way of knowing that I would instantly feel like a better wife, mother, and   homemaker just by the fresh  smell you gave off. 

I didn’t understand the softness you would bring to my towels & my sheets & my clothes & my heart. 

Yes, my heart

I am more pleasant doing laundry with you around. 

I am more at peace & more joyful doing even a mundane task that I literally do every single day of the year. 

You make laundry bearable

I’m sorry I resisted your cute commercials & I’m sorry I ignored your coupons. I knew they were there...I just chose to look the other way. 

I am thankful for the relationship we have today. I am thankful for second chances. I promise to value your place in my laundry process  & I vow to never let a day go by without appreciating your effectiveness & worth. 

Thank you for not giving me any static over how long it took me to come to you. 

I am forever grateful. 

And so there is that…

An open letter to every man in America,

It has happened two weeks in a row now. 

Two separate times now, one of you has pulled your car over to my side of the road, while I have been out running in a public place, not some backroads park, to ask for directions. 

Each time, you have rolled down your window to very politely asked me if I knew how to get to <fill in the blank>.

The first time, your seatbelt was dangling precariously over your shoulder, not buckled as it should have been had you actually been headed somewhere. I want to assume that was just an oversight on your part. 

The second time, you had an iPhone in your hand, which I am assuming has a built in GPS. 

Each time, you got a little too close with your car and a little too comfortable with your conversation. 

Each time, you were within half a mile either direction of a gas station, a public library, two elementary schools, a grocery store, and an entire downtown. 

Surely it had to occur to you that one of those places would be a better option to ask for help if you were lost. 

So here’s my message to you ALL:



If you are reading this, you are smart enough to know that it is bad idea this day and age. 

If someone else gave you this article to read, he/she is either assuming you just might not have stumbled across it on your own or that you are so dumb you might actually think stopping to ask a woman running alone for directions is a sane idea. 

Either way, enough is enough

Women have enough to worry about these days. 

We have kids to feed & care for, houses to tend to, jobs to go to, appointments to schedule & keep for the whole family, and on and on and on. We have meals to plan and schedules to organize and offices to run and corporations to manage. 

What we do NOT need is to have our quiet time out running/walking/jogging/hiding from the kids interrupted by some man we do not know. 

We watch the news

We know what kind of things could happen. 

We are aware that there are some of you out there that mean well, but you don’t make the news. 

Who makes the news?

The ones of you who lurk sound in parks & alleys waiting on us to come by unaware. 

The ones of you that for some sick, sociopathic reason, feel you can do whatever, to whomever, whenever you would like with no repercussions. 

The ones of you that have bad intentions ruin it for everyone

Just know this, men of America: 

We are aware. 

We are paying attention. 

We are strong & fierce & unafraid. 

We will stare you down, talk you down, & if neccesary, take you down. 

Be advised: You have been warned

If you are dumb enough after this to stop and ask a woman out running alone for directions, just know that we will assume the worst about you and act accordingly. 


Every woman in America  

And so there is that…

An open letter to my mother-in-law

mother in law

Dear Mother-In-Law,

There are a few things I have wanted to say to you for a long time. Some of them are long overdue, but I have heard there is no better time than the present, so I am just gonna lay this all out there.

I knew from the moment we met that we were totally different types of people. I knew that I would NEVER be like you in many ways. I knew from the moment I saw you come upstairs from the basement where you were hard at work doing laundry to refill your husband’s tea glass that I was NEVER going to be like that.  Seriously…You walked across the length of the house and up two sets of stairs to refill a man’s tea glass. A man that, I might add, was sitting at the table literally in the kitchen. No ma’am…that is not how I am wired.

I had no idea when we first met that one day I would be your daughter-in-law. I didn’t know that our lives would forever be intertwined by a web of relatives & events & phone calls & family gatherings.

I had no idea that bringing my kids to see you would always involve such chaos. It’s clear that my desire for organization & your desire to just be “in the moment” didn’t mesh at times. I cannot count the number of times I had to remind my kids to get dressed & clean themselves up before bounding out to see you for breakfast. I didn’t think it was illogical to expect them to do that. Clearly, our brains function differently.

I cannot even count the number of times you called me to ask the kids birth dates…& their ages…& their sizes…how to spell their names & their favorite music/toys/games/shows. I began to feel like I should carry a master list around with me so that I could just spout the information off to you, knowing full well that I was only going to have to do it again very soon when you couldn’t find the random piece of paper you recorded it all on.  I am sure you shoved it in a purse somewhere. I am sure it will turn up when no one needs the information anymore.

I need you to know that I am not you.

I don’t think like you.

I don’t act like you.

I don’t dress like you or cook like you or even like the same type of music as you. 

I don’t raise my kids the same way you did. I haven’t learned to just leave the dishes until a better time or ever felt the need to pack 5 or 6 overnight bags for a LITERAL overnight stay. Every time you came to our house it looked like a Samsonite display at Kohls.

And don’t get me started on what a shopping trip with you was like. I seriously cannot even grasp why every trip to any store turned into a day long journey. It had nothing to do with your health or your ability to get around. It did have everything, however, to do with your desire to look at literally each & every item a store had for sale. It didn’t matter if it was WalMart or Belk or the gift section of a gas station. It all had to be seen. And we all had to loiter around and wait for you to be done looking.

We are so different.

But here’s the thing.

Last November, I lost you.

I say lost because that is how it has felt since you were taken away so suddenly on a normal Thursday a week before Thanksgiving.

I have a head full of stories to share & a phone full of pictures & a car load of kids & you are gone. Just gone.

And all of the sudden I realize all that you taught me.

It never mattered to you if I ever refilled your son’s glass of tea or not. You loved me anyway.

If I wanted the kids to get dressed & clean up before breakfast, you were right there encouraging them to obey & smiling all the while.

Yes, you called me often for the kids’ sizes. Often. But, that’s also because you bought all their Easter clothes & school clothes…you filled massive Easter baskets & put Santa to shame when it came to Christmas. Birthdays were enormous events & you never hesitated to make the 2+ hour trip to celebrate a birthday or graduation or holiday or just to have lunch. And I am at a total loss as to how I will ever fill those shoes. We fumbled through Thanksgiving & Christmas in a fog…Easter came and it felt so physically painful to ponder what to dress the kids in. And now it’s almost time for back-to-school shopping and I have no idea how to do it. You made it special & fun & memorable & those moments are etched indelibly on my heart & I CANNOT BE YOU.

I have been blessed with a mother…a wonderful mother. And she is here & she is present & she loves my kids.

But, she is not you. She fills a spot that is hers to fill…and your spot feels like a gaping wound that I will never be able to fill the void of.

Thank you for not ever requiring that I be you.

Thank you for holding me when I failed.  Thank you for always telling me you loved me & that I was needed & wanted & appreciated.

Thank you for lifting my heart when it was broken & for staring me in the face & reminding me that I have worth & value & that my contributions to the world are only mine to make.

Thank you for helping me live with no regrets.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being the physical embodiment of unconditional love.

Your presence is so missed. My heart feels the loss with such great magnitude. We all struggle with looking forward to big events knowing you won’t be there to laugh & cry & celebrate with us.

I am so grateful that we loved big & we shared our hearts with each other. Thank you for being vulnerable with me & for never hiding behind your story. Thank you for being you.

There will never be another you. I recognize that. 

This void will, in some way, always be here as a reminder.

Things that leave big holes are things that filled big spaces.

You filled my space with love & I am forever grateful.

and so there is that…