For My Son…

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It’s crazy how much I love you. Every ounce of me just bursts for you. I cried so hard the day we found out you were you. I had a feeling…that mama feeling…and I just knew you were going to be a boy. That, and well God told me, but that’s a whole other conversation:).

You came into this world just perfect and my heart will never be the same. There is something about having a son that no one can really explain to you. It’s so much different from having a daughter. Both are equally joyous, exciting and sometimes terrifying, but the raising of two different genders will definitely be…different.

Yes, I will raise you with faith. I will raise you to honor and praise God above all things. I will raise you to not just know Him, but truly love Him. ‘It’s much easier for a woman to express these feelings than a man’ some would argue, but I don’t believe that, and I’m not going to teach you that either. I’m going to teach you that it’s okay to have feelings and to share them. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to be vulnerable. And it’s okay to carry these feelings with you throughout your life.

I will teach you how to respect a woman. I hope you will see that from how your father respects me. We will both teach you about love. Although we cannot teach you how to love, we will show you. And one day, when you find a woman you want to marry, you will love and respect her just the same, if not more.

I will tell you about how the world has changed since I was little. I will tell you that morals haven’t. I will tell you how hard that will be to understand in such a casual and ‘socially acceptable’ society.

I pray for a better world for you and your sister. I pray that bullying comes to a halt and parents take responsibility for their kids and their actions. I pray that teachers get the respect they deserve and used to once have when I was young. I pray that morals make their way back into society and onto television versus what we have now. I pray that prayer continues to keep us together. I pray that you and your sister stay strong in your faith and never get mad at God for things that will happen in your lives because it’s not God’s fault. God does not cause pain and hurt, evil does. So many people will never understand that.

Your smile and laugh light up a room. You are truly such an incredible joy and blessing in my life. Seven months has flown by faster than I could have ever imagined. You have already taught me so much about myself. I hope our bond only continues to grow as you get older. I know God has great plans for you my son. I love you more than words could ever say. IMG_2818

One More Hug

My sister was talking with me the other day about when I go into labor and the plan for her to stay with my daughter Emma. I couldn’t even think about it without almost bursting into tears. I know it sounds silly but I’m not ready to leave her because I know in doing so everything changes. Of course this change is wonderful and a gift from God but I’m still having a difficult time.

It sounds so selfish to say that, it really does. But it’s as honest as I can get. I have so many emotions about another baby coming along and so much love for my baby girl that it’s all becoming a little too much for me (and too real with today being September 1st!).

So, I wrote this poem sobbing imagining that day not to far away when I will hug her one last time. I love you my sweet baby girl!

One more hug

I want to give you one more hug,
Before I say good bye.
Because this is the last hug,
Where it will be just you and I.

I’m going now but will be back soon,
And with me I’ll have someone new.
A baby that will live with us,
A brother just for you!

But as I look at you so grown,
With tears in my eyes.
I know this will be harder for me than you,
Having to say this kind of good bye.

So my darling sweet first daughter,
I give you one last hug good bye.
Our family is growing and that means some changes,
But I still promise moments of just you and I.

I will always cherish,
These first two years we shared together.
From you saying mama to I love you,
My heart is full forever.

And now we’ll make new memories,
With our growing family of four.
And it will be just as special,
If not, even more!

So here I go with one last hug,
I squeeze you tighter than you know.
A part of me doesn’t want to leave,
Or ever let you go.

God has blessed us abundantly,
And I’ll be back to hug you again.
I hope you know how much I love you,
And my love for you will never end.

Why Stores Open on Thanksgiving Have Ruined Tradition

Verse-Picture-1-Thessalonians-5_18It all started back when my sister and I were teenagers. We decided we wanted to ‘check out’ what kind of deals the stores had the day after Thanksgiving. We split our parents gifts so why not save a few extra bucks and maybe also buy something extra for ourselves (that was of course, always my thinking!)?

For you young kids, there was a store called Mervyn’s that ran this hilarious commercial with a woman waiting for the store to open. She was up against the door window saying ‘Open, open, open’. It still makes me laugh to think about. It’s amazing the things people will (and will not) wait for.

And so the tradition began! Bright and early after each Thanksgiving, my sister and I would get up and go shopping. The tradition never changed. I made breakfast that consisted of toast with butter and jelly as well as packing along waters, apples and the my aunt’s famous pumpkin bread for the long day ahead. We both wore sweatpants and I would have to wake my sister up (a few times!) to keep with our schedule. Schedule? Oh yes, we had a schedule. We mapped out our stores along with times we had at each store and coupons/deals. We each had a copy we guarded with our life (I can’t tell you how many times we were pushed in stores!).

We’d start at Kohl’s (it always opened the earliest) then head off to Sears for my dad, then JC Penney for the free ornament (yep, you get a free ornament for being an ‘early bird’ which we were every year!) and then Panera for food around 8:30AM to which we’re quite delirious and then from there it was the usual, Victoria’s Secret, Express, Limited, Macy’s, etc. Our store choices have changed over the years and our needs (bye bye clothes for ourselves hello housewares) but still…it was tradition, it was our tradition.

But now, that is gone. That is gone because Kohl’s, Target, Macy’s and all you other A-HOLE stores decided you weren’t making enough money that you needed to be open on Thanksgiving Day. Really? No, really?

My sister and I refuse to go out on Thanksgiving. This is a day to give thanks and spend with family and friends. The fact that these stores are now open is a mockery to the holiday. To make your employees work is truly a shame and it has ruined the tradition of Thanksgiving.

It has ruined a day devoted to giving thanks with family and friends all for some added revenue in the books. I’d like to see the CEO of Kohl’s or Macy’s in one of their stores on Thanksgiving Day. You want your stores to be open? Then you should be working! Sure, people may argue with me and say that I went out in the madness and I did. It was fun as hell and my sister and I have some memories and moments we will never forget, but it wasn’t on Thanksgiving Day. Was it at 5AM the following day? You bet! But it wasn’t on Thanksgiving.

What is wrong with our society? Since when did we think it was okay to put materialistic things before values? Since when did the latest ‘toy’ that every child wants or the biggest flat screen you can get become priority over spending time with family and friends? Is that what we’re teaching our children? Money triumphs all? I sure hope not.

We don’t exchange Christmas presents in my family of origin anymore (we stopped a while back). Each year, one of the couples (my parents, my sister and her husband or me and my husband) plan an outing or event we all pay our own way and go to. Instead of buying gifts, we value the time spent together as a family so that is what we do. Many of you might be thinking, so what did my sister and I go out to get? Well, we both got engaged, got married and moved so let’s just say there were a lot of things each year we found we needed (or didn’t need and bought anyways!).

I’m not here to judge by any means, this is just the tradition we’ve developed and continue. Here is what I would like to say though: If you choose to go out on Thanksgiving day to buy presents for yourself and others, then that’s up to you, I just know that I cannot support it. I cannot support making people work on a day they deserve to be home with their families. Maybe this year we can all focus on the simple things. The blessings we’ve been given, the priceless gifts we have and the family members surrounding us…because you never truly know when that can all be taken away from you…and it can be, in an instance! Wishing all of you a happy, healthy and blessed Thanksgiving!

It’s Just Not the Same…

cartoon-wedding-couple-doodle-card_23-2147493884I vividly remember the day I got married. I can close my eyes and relive all the moments that I cherished from that incredible day. I see myself walking towards my husband-to-be with tears in his eyes, jumping up and down in church when I reached him because I was so excited, being introduced into our reception as we danced to Coldplay and all the little intimate moments that we shared which makes it STILL the best day in my life (followed closely by the birth of our daughter and the day he proposed).

Now…it’s just not the same. And I don’t mean that in a bad way, it’s just different. Our marriage, our lives…everything. I’ll be honest in saying I have moments of sadness. I don’t feel like we still look at each other the way we once did. The love isn’t gone, but maybe some of the passion is. We’re busy, we’re older, we’re tired, we’re stressed and we have a baby that consumes every ounce of us!

We lost the right to be selfish because we decided to have a family and maybe we lost a little bit of ourselves. We disagree at times about our daughter, not the way we want to raise her but how each of us does it. We shouldn’t, but we do. I’m quite controlling and particular so I know that isn’t easy for him. However, he’s more laid back and that isn’t always easy for me. We’ve adjusted to being a family, but I think sometimes we forget how to be a ‘couple’.

I wouldn’t say we’ve changed because we haven’t. Things just aren’t the same and there isn’t any other way I can put it. The other night as we went up to bed we kissed goodnight then turned to opposing sides and both went to our phones. And it’s not that we don’t communicate anymore, it just made me sad to think about it. And there’s nothing wrong with what we were doing, it’s just that some days we’re so busy we don’t always take time for ‘us’. Technology has changed our world and a lot of times I don’t think for the better. Sure, we have our nights of cuddling on the couch and watching our shows or a movie but it’s not with the ease and energy we once had.

It’s not the same for a lot of reasons and selfishly, sometimes I want it to be. Sometimes I want to have it all. I want the way we were and I want Emma but I realize that’s not possible…it’s just not. For so long I wanted to get married, I wanted to find that perfect person for me. It was in God’s hands to meet my husband when I did and I couldn’t be happier, I really couldn’t. I knew I wanted a family but I was okay on waiting for that. I wanted time with my husband. I wanted to be selfish because I knew once that baby was there, it would no longer ever be about me. But there is a part of me, a small part, that will yearn for the days when it was easier. And I’m not trying to say that life before Emma was easy and now it’s not. There are always challenges and struggles when it comes to marriage, but choosing to start a family is a true commitment and adjustment to everything you do. Your life will never be the same and for so many reasons that’s a good thing. However, there are those moments back in the beginning when we first started our relationship that I miss…

I read something great the other day that I want to share here: “The easiest part of marriage is falling in love and walking down the aisle. The most difficult part of marriage is 10 years later when the problems have ensued and issues have come about and you still find love. Marriage is not about the beginning, marriage is about the process and still being able to love through all things.”

So while it’s just not the same, I don’t think it was ever meant to be. We will love and grow old and do our best to keep at this thing called marriage. Our lives will only continue to become more busy and our ability to keep up might be overwhelming at times (that’s pretty much how I feel daily!), but at the end of the day, it’s us. It’s him and me. We haven’t changed. And while we may have taken each other for granted, frustrated one another and argued until we were blue in the face, we still have love. We have our love…and that’s the one thing that will always stay the same :).

The Minute My Heart Stopped…

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It was a beautiful August day in Michigan. There was a slight breeze as the sun warmed the air. It wasn’t humid or too hot…the weather was just right. We have family in town so it was decided to go to the Troy Aquatic Center for the kiddos. Emma loves the water and I was excited to take her.

We got there and she was pretty fussy and unwilling to leave my arms. After a while she got more comfortable and soon she was splashing by the fountain pads and laughing. I took her into the water with me and we played. She takes swim classes and loves being in the water so there wasn’t much concern for me there. However, there were a lot of kids swimming and splashing around so I decided to take her out, maybe grab a snack and just sit for a bit.

I placed her on one of the lounge chairs as her uncle and cousin were saying hello and engaging with her. Here’s where the mistakes start…

I didn’t ask them to watch her for a second. I didn’t even see if they were completely interacting with her. I didn’t take her down so she wouldn’t fall. I turned away. I TURNED AWAY! I hear a scream and see her face down on the cement. My heart stopped. I literally felt like I couldn’t breathe. I wanted to cry, scream, throw up and pass out all at once. I grabbed her. She was hysterical. I was hysterical. The blood wouldn’t stop coming from her mouth. I was a wreck, I still am.

Per our pediatrician, we took her to the ER. She was admitted, examined and released within one hour (great job Royal Oak, Beaumont!). No stitches, no CT scan. She is okay. That’s what my husband had to keep reminding me, “She is okay.” Her lips is pretty cut up and swollen and her chin is scratched up but other than that, she is okay. Thank you God, she is okay. I know it could have been worse. I know. But I can’t help myself. I can’t help but blame my stupid self for turning away. Why did I think that would be okay? What is wrong with me?!

I know she’s going to get injured. I know this won’t be the last time, but I could have prevented it and I can’t help but feel like the worst mom in the world. I close my eyes and see that image of her laying there. I cringe. My heart breaks. It makes me sick to my stomach. I want to permanently erase it from my mind.

While I realize it was an accident, I can’t help but feel angry at myself. It seems like she is continuously having these issues too. Her tooth incident at my mom’s house when she was only 8 months old, her chipping her front tooth with me in the bathtub (a week ago) and now this (by the way, her front teeth are a complete, chippy mess)! I wish I could just fix it all. I could just take a magic wand and eliminate the pain and the scars (these poor teeth!). But I can’t. This is a part of life. And as her mother, it’s important for me to stay strong which so far I have not been able to do…

The love of a parent is so amazing. It’s like my heart just jumps out of my chest for her. She has truly completed my life and if I never have another I will be okay because I have her. And that’s why I think it’s so hard for us as parents. We have this love that cannot be described until you actually experience it. And with that love comes this innate responsibility to protect. This responsibility is so strong that we would become superhuman if needed, we would do anything to protect them from all harm…but we can’t. It’s just not possible. Even if I bubble wrapped my child (I definitely considered it after yesterday), she would still get hurt. There comes a point when you need to have faith it will all be okay…whatever your faith may be. This is where I must learn to ‘let go and let God’.

Emma is okay. She’s alive and healthy with a few cuts and some chippy teeth (luckily these ones fall out!). I am very lucky it wasn’t any worse. It can always be worse…

So while I work on trying not to lose my mind when she gets injured, I think about how blessed I am that she’s okay. My advice for anyone going through something similar is this: Keep calm and ‘mom’ on 🙂 You’re a great parent. Be thankful for the blessings you have and continue to pray for all those suffering, it could always be worse!