Summertime is coming to a close and the school year is about to begin. When school let out back in June I was so excited. I get to spend all my summer days with my oldest as well as my youngest! Then a week into summer vacation I realized peace was all lost. Quiet and calm was a distant memory. I was ready for vacation to be over. But as much as I yearned for peace and quiet and as much as I was so over and done with each day, the night ended with me and Ryan talking about how much we loved seeing Kole and Monroe together, the way they interacted, and the way they played. We watched them sleep and wished they were awake because we realized we missed the noise. Oh, but of course never spoke of it too out loud in case the universe actually listened. We didn’t miss the noise THAT much! Monroe seemed to be playing his own game of shadow and followed every single thing Kole did. Every word and movement was mimicked. Even right down to when Kole sneezed Monroe tried to sneeze. You know, what every younger sibling does with their older siblings. The last couple of months Monroe has learned so many things and for the most part it was Kole teaching him. I’m going to miss their all day interaction with each other. I’m especially going to miss watching their imagination on high speed and hearing it at the highest volume possible.And I know, most of all, Monroe is going to miss seeing his brother all day. His best bud. His ace. But it’s time to have Kole go and learn second grade things and I’m excited to listen to all his second grade stories. Next week we say goodbye to summer and hello to second grade. Bye, Summer 2017. Thanks for the memories.
Faith | There have been some things that happened this month that tested our faith. Ryan had his heart set on a career change. He was banking on this new position because it was something he felt will give him a better quality of life. A chance to spend more time with me and the boys and an opportunity to grow within the company and help us better financially in the future. Sadly, under circumstances not in his control, it fell through. With the disappointment with that and the loss of the matriarch in his family, he was under a mini dark cloud.
Feeling negative about things is human nature. That moment of weakness when you feel like you can’t catch a break because when it rains it POURS, you can’t help but feel like you’re drowning. One of the things that I think is very important in a relationship/partnership is that two people can’t be swimming in that pool of negativity. I felt everything he was feeling. I understood why he felt as such but I couldn’t let him believe there wasn’t a good reason. Although we are Catholic, we are not constant church goers or avidly practice Catholicism but our faith in God is big and strong. But we are human, and when our faith touches rocky ground we tend to get lost.
First thing’s first. Dealing with the passing of his grandmother was tough. But through all the heartache and tears came out more opportunities to see family he hasn’t seen in years. Times spent with his siblings were longer and much more frequent. After every weekend we see family, Ryan seems more uplifted and more thankful. Grandma Julie loves that. I promise you.
Second on the list: getting past not getting the opportunity that he so much had his heart set on. We had lots of conversations on keeping faith, letting us let go and accept that God has a bigger and better plan, and we’ve gotten through worse so we can get through this. After those many faith centered conversations and after Ryan finally accepted his fate, he gets a phone call. The recruiters called Ryan and extended an offer to continue on with their company. They even went ahead and told him they pulled it together because they didn’t want to lose such a good candidate.
Faith was tested but in the end, our higher power was on our side reminding us that even though we go through struggle down here, He’s up there working his heavenly magic.
This is a blog post I wrote in September 2012. It’s interesting to go back and read entries from the past. It’s difficult to remember those tough emotions but it makes me appreciate how much better I am today. How much more control I have over my happiness rather than being so out of control in my darkness. I was going through a lot at the time, finding my way out of postpartum depression (for the first time) and trying to sort out the world around me. It was a rough time for me. But even in that time, I still managed to see light at the end of that dark tunnel I was stranded in with the help of two of my very, very close friends.
• • •
Since I became a mother who was able to stay at home and watch my son grow, I was (am) able to reflect a lot on my friendships. Once my life changed into scattered milk bottles and first words, my friends continued on with their single and dirty diaper-less lives. I don’t regret one bit that I have gained a certain responsibility, but I do regret how some of my friendships turned out.
When people have different priorities their outlooks on things are obviously just as different. How did all of a sudden I felt that they absolutely couldn’t be there for me anymore? But also, how did all of a sudden they felt they couldn’t talk to me like they used to?
Well, let’s take a look. After I had my son, I unfortunately got that dreaded dark cloud over my head that, as I’ve learned, comes naturally after child birth. I wouldn’t say it was a black shade but more on the gray scale. But during that tough time, I took a break from EVERYONE. I had to grasp what was going on within me on my own. At that point, I knew my friends wouldn’t understand. Luckily, after I finally opened up to them, I was starting to feel a little more normal. After I reconnected with them, some relationships got tighter and others just continued to loosen.
It cuts very deep to know that the person you always called first for anything will barely answer the phone. I guess she’s just too damn busy. Too busy to say hello. Too busy to grab a bite or a cup of joe. Just too busy for….Me. But because of the ever growing world of technology and social networking, I know for a fact this person is not too busy for the people she sees everyday, or the friend who lives thousands of miles away, or anyone else but me (it seems). While all this is happening, I have accepted it and told myself that it’s ok. If my life isn’t as interesting as it once was to this person, I have found that it is still interesting to others. I was able to nurture the friendships that didn’t change and because of the roller coaster of emotions I have felt for the past couple of years, I am forever grateful for them. They never gave up on me. They had faith that the fog would lift. That I would see brighter days and they made sure that it was with them that I would share the sunshine.
To A: Thank you for just listening. I appreciate you more than you can ever imagine. Thank you for trusting me with your feelings on love and appreciating the advice and knowledge I can share with you on the subject. You have been and will ALWAYS be someone I can rely on.
To D: You are my sanity and my strength. You definitely play a huge part in helping me rebuild myself when I have completely fallen apart. For being miles away from each other, you are always there when I need you. You’re there when I want to cry, to yell, and to just laugh. I love you with all my heart and soul.
A&D: Thank you for bringing me light.
This month was all about the celebration of life. Many things happened this month that just reminded all of us to live life boldly, passionately, happily and with as much love as possible. Here are a couple of my June favorite moments.
Monroe | This month Monroe turned two. Terrifically terrible and two. Lord help me. Ha!
Let me take you back two years ago on the day before his was born. As you may know, Kole is quite the loving little boy. The day before Monroe was born he happened to randomly say to me “Happy Kisses Day, Mommy” (a holiday he clearly made up on his own and on the spot) and gave me a kiss. He then turned to my belly and said, “Happy Kisses Day, Monroe” then gave my belly a kiss.
Fast forward to this year, the day before Monroe’s birthday. Monroe became a little kissing machine. He was handing out free kisses all day! He’s way too young to understand one of my favorite memories but it absolutely made me shed a tear that he may have remembered that little itty bitty voice that reminded him to celebrate a Kole holiday. But don’t be fooled by all those kisses, Monroe can still “make mischief, of one kind or another” because he is a wild thing. King of all the wild things, as a matter of fact. 😉
Las Vegas | Last week we had to make a last minute trip to Vegas. We gathered together with Ryan’s family to celebrate his grandmother’s life and lay her to rest. Although the intent of the trip started out as a sad one, it quickly became a joyous one. I t was a time where family members who don’t often get to see each other (because life) spend some good quality time. They got to talk of stories that brought on nostalgia of their childhood and time spent with their grandmother. I t was a time to bring the youngest generation together to create memories they will happily reminisce about in the future. And because life leads them in different directions, it was a quick reminder that family is still and always will be Thick. As. Hell.
The month of May was a bit of a rocky one for me, emotionally and mentally, but that didn’t stop me from cherishing those special moments with my tribe. Here are my May favorite moments.
Kole’s First Grade Field Trip | This month Kole’s class had a field trip to the Oakland Zoo. Ryan and I were able to chaperone which was pretty cool Kole was able to have both his parents there. Thank God he’s still at that age where he’s still hella down with that idea! Ryan and I were assigned 4 kids in total which was perfect because the other 3 kids happened to be Kole’s most favorite friends. We were so grateful to be able to see the interactions of these four friends. Not a care in the world except to have the best day ever at the zoo with their best buds. With all the craziness happening in the world today it was refreshing to witness these kids anxiously wanting to share their snacks with each other, excitedly wanting to sit next to each other, and caring for each other enough to make sure no one was feeling left out. I hope as they grow older and the vibrancy of the world starts to fade they’ll look back at a sweet memory at that one time in First Grade at the Oakland Zoo where they had a hell of a time with their classmates, where the kids that were their bestest buddies at the time were dope AF because they shared their Oreos, and where they got to hang with the coolest chaperones in town. 😉
Monroe | It’s amazing what a difference a month makes. He is picking things up so quickly! It also helps he has a big brother to look up to, aka completely mimic. When it’s prayer time before bed, he’s all about the sign of the cross and his “amen hands”. He is also becoming much sweeter. As I’ve said before, he is completely the opposite of Kole. He is a major handful and it just seemed he was born in the “terrible twos”. *I see you future CEO, I see you.* The other day I was a bit down and he obviously picked up on it. He was throwing me kisses left and right and the hugs just kept coming. I knew there was more sweet in this sour patch kid than he let on!
Nikko | Nikko is one of my closest and very best girlfriends. We like to think we are more like sisters than friends. She sent me a card in the mail this month and it absolutely made my day. First, sending personal snail mail is a lost art and that in itself lifted my spirits. Her words of appreciation for our friendship meant the freaking world to me. She also commended me on how I am as a mother. When you struggle with yourself trying to figure out if you’re doing the right things for and by your children you can get stuck under a dark cloud that you’ve created for yourself and feel like you’re drowning. Her words gave me some sunshine and a breath of fresh air. We don’t see each other very often but we always know when we need each other and how to be there for each other. Mia sorella per sempre.
What and who saved you from yourself last month? Keep them close and cherish them always. I’m almost positive you’ll need them again.
When Kole started school I became a straight hoarder with every single thing he brought home. I saved all his school work, homework, and art work. It was almost surprising I didn’t bronze his first pencil! Ha! He was my firstborn and I was proud and excited about all the new things he was learning. So yes, I kept 20 practice pages that had the upper case “A” and 20 practice pages with the lower case “a” and so forth. Total that up and we were basically buried under a preschool. Then he started First Grade this year and it was just getting out of hand. I tried putting them together in regular file boxes and it was ok but I wasn’t in love with the storage technique. It just wasn’t as organized, durable, or as clean as I wanted it to be. Remember in the show Friends when Monica’s dad stopped the water from getting to his Porsche using Monica’s boxes and it ruined everything in it? I’d hate myself if the hard work of those little fingers were forever wrecked. So I had to have a sit down with my little one and get his permission to let some things go. Although, he can be somewhat of a hoarder about that stuff too, he was on board! Hallelujah!
I kept the first tries, the most improved and the artwork that wasn’t falling apart. The pieces that were spewing glitter all over the place had to go too. Those were my worse nightmare. Thank goodness he was on the same OCD level about glitter as me! Also, I kept any special certificates and report cards of course. Now that I significantly downsized the lot, I had to figure out how I wanted to store it. While I was at Office Depot buying file folders for this project I took a look around and realized plastic storage bins were actually what I needed and were the best way to store Kole’s things for every grade. This would better protect his academic paper memories for years to come.
Let’s get organized.
After you’ve sorted through all your little one’s paper work, grab your keep pile and file them however you like in the filing folders.
Since we always end up with extra of beginning of the school year and mid school year pictures I used them to put in front of the file folder as part of labelling. Instead of taping or gluing the pictures on, I used photo corners to hold the photos in place for added flare. I love to hand write everything for a personal touch, as I did for the grade and year, but I know many fancy the label makers or printable tags for a more clean, uniform look. Do you, boo. Do you.
After those folders are everything you’ve dreamed of, place those puppies in your plastic storage bin and bid them adieu until next summer. But if you’re anything like me, you’ll keep them close by and accessible so you can just purge and fill it up throughout the school year!
Have a great summer!
My mom is one of the most hardworking people I know. She literally is the first one in the office and the last one to leave. She puts everything she has into her work, whether she is the most energetic or the most exhausted. She’s accomplished so many things in her life and it came with a lot of struggles and that’s what’s so admirable to me. No matter what was thrown her way, she got shit done!
When it comes to family, she is all in. She’s the first one to help in any way she can. She leaves no man down. She’s always been there for me and my brother no matter how difficult we are. Always. How does she deal with us? She’s a damn good mother.
The fight and the heart of a mother is the strongest of any kind. The moment a women feels that maternal instinct there is no stopping her. There is no breaking her. I, myself, know that when it comes to my boys I was always fight to the death. I will always fight for them to know the value of hard work. I will always fight for them to know what true love is. How to show it and how to receive it. I will always fight for them to know how strong they can be, not just physically, but intellectually. I will work tirelessly to make sure they embrace equality and to be strong enough to stand up for what is right. I will fight to make sure they know chivalry is not dead and should never die.
I will always fight for them (in any capacity) because, they too, are a product of a strong female.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you strong females!