Wednesday, July 24, 2013

To The Moon And Back

"...witnessing the growth and evolution of a child is exquisite. To love and be loved unconditionally is both like being encased in protective armor, and also like having it shatter daily, because it’s the most tender, vulnerable skin you’ll ever wear." - Rachel Turiel 

Tangled was the first movie my girls ever saw in a theater. They sat mesmerized, legs sticking straight out, like miniature movie reviewers glued to the screen, with enormous 3D glasses perched atop their button notes. When Rapunzel responds to Mother Gotham's "I love you" with "I love you more", Mother Gotham, although a witch and a kidnapper, completes the quaint back and forth with, "I love you most". Now the girls say the same to me. 

In the book "Guess How Much I Love You", Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare outdo one another trying to describe how much they love each other ending with "I love you right up to the moon - and back". The girls play a game to compete with me to come up with the biggest distance with which to measure our love. To the moon and back isn't even close.   

Lastnight I read them a story called "My Most Precious Thing" about a mom whose daughter tries to guess what her mom's best memory is via a scrapbook documenting her mom's life. They love the end, when the mom tells her daughter that her most precious thing was holding her for the first time. 

After the book was over, Jaeda said to me, "you and daddy and sister are my most precious thing". Tristyn agreed. As I closed the door to their bedroom, repeating "go to sleep" like a broken record, both of their faces turned towards me, they both stated, in their unique ways, that I was their most precious thing. And even when they had babies, I would still be their most precious thing.   

Rachel's quote about being loved unconditionally by our children made my realize how lucky I am to be the recipient of this love that bursts from their souls in such a pure way. 
My little movie goers

Saturday, April 27, 2013


I began this post in January. Almost half-way through the year, and I'm finally getting around to posting my Welcome to 2013 thoughts. Here's why.

As I look back on 2012, I feel as though it was the year of downsizing. I had the distinct goal of making my life smaller, in the sense that I wanted to focus on my family and my home. I alluded to this in this post last February.

You know that feeling of being stretched too thin? Pulled in too many directions? Yeah, that's how I was feeling at the end of 2011.

I'm striving for simplicity. What's important in my life? My kids, my husband, my family and friends. That's it. The rest are just possessions, and those don't love us back.

I scaled back on social media - I relinquished my volunteer position as Twitter coordinator for Postpartum Support International of Washington. I rarely post on Facebook and I quit my fashion blog. Because, what started as a light-hearted outlet to express one of my hobbies became something different - I started to feel the need to Keep Up With The Jones', or in the fashion blog world, Kendi. On this blog, I posted exactly 6 times in 2012, compared to a few times a month in 2011. My dad always says (in jest), "I post, therefore I am" regarding the frenzy of social media postings. I don't need to tell the world that I'm doing laundry in order to feel validated. All I need is the love of my family and friends. And oh, the hugs from those two little girls.

Lately, I'm big on perspective. When our completely decorated, HUGE Christmas tree crashed onto the coffee table, obliterating glass ornaments and creating a mess of pine needles and tiny spiders all over my living room, my girls were practically overwrought with anxiety. I hugged them and told them the only thing that is important is that we are OK. And I believed it. Yes, it was a mess to clean up, but I want them to focus on the big picture...

In 2012, I drove 16 hours with two spirited 4 year olds to see my "baby" cousin and his new wife celebrate their wedding. I traveled with my dad to visit family in Ohio, and I cherished every moment with my aunts, uncles, cousins, and my 94 year old grandmother. I celebrated my step-mom's birthday lounging at a Russian Spa with her and my step-sister. I celebrated 12 years of camping with our closest friends, who have become like family. I reminisced with old friends at my 20 year high school reunion. I took my daughters to visit my mom for a week in August. I attempted quality time with my mom friends during Friday play dates. And I hugged and kissed my daughters every single day.

The horrific shootings at Sandy Hook brought it all home for me. I wept looking at those earnest faces of the children, the same ages as my daughters. As with many mothers, I'm sure, those 2 words still make my heart quiver with pain... The pain I felt validated that I am on the right path, so long as my children and my family are my biggest priority, and my possessions are just that; possessions.

The company I work for is moving our office and as I was packing up my desk, I came across a book called The Little Book of Calm. I noticed that a page was marked. When I turned to the page, it read: "S I M P L I F Y: The fewer things you must do in life, the fewer things you own, manage or are responsible for, the fewer are the stresses that accompany them".

I don't remember marking that page, but it would seem that my subconscious does.

This was our Christmas card photo. Family + Mini-golf + ice-cream = the perfect day. 
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