Apr 6, 2016


In the wee hours of this morning, at exactly 1:54am, she is exactly six years old.

The birth stories might all be blending together, memories turning a little fuzzy around the edges, but the love I have for each one of them, there is nothing blended or fuzzy about it. It continually amazes me how the more children you have, the more your time may have to be shared and split, but the love isn't shared or split at all. The love for each individual child is there, distinct and unique, just like the child. My heart just grows bigger and bigger and sometimes I wonder if it will burst wide open, yet it doesn't. Not in that way, anyway. It just grows and expands and feels like a big fuzzy blanket surrounding us together.

Today is her birthday.

Six years on the sixth.

My sweet Little P, who sits in the middle. Her older sister on one side, her younger sister and angel brother on the other. This dainty little girl, with her love of accessories and fashion and high heels, who hates getting her hair brushed but likes having it styled nicely. She is the most tender-hearted six-year-old I know. Almost always the first to share, she sometimes bases her decisions on what she knows her sister would want. She is kind and thoughtful and has a delicate heart.

Paige, who was only three when we lost her brother, she is the first to bring up his name, to talk to him, to draw for him, to remember her baby brother in every family thing we do. She cries for him and misses him and is the most vocal about his absence.

My darling middle daughter, who wears her feelings on her sleeve. Whose entire body radiates joy when she's happy, dancing and skipping and singing with smiles. And alternately it is clear when she is not happy, her emotions unable to stay contained, she can yell and stomp her feet and slam doors with the best of them.

She needs her sleep like her mommy, and will actually sleep in unlike her sisters. She is not a morning person and needs time to wake up before rushing into the day.

She is creative, and loves to draw or paint or do any type of art activity. She frequently asks if she can use my phone, not for a game or video, but because she wants to plug her headphones into it and listen to music.

I still sometimes think of her as my baby, partially because each of my kids will always be my baby, but also because she was the littlest for so long. She can be quiet and hesitant, especially in new situations, but she has also gotten more confident and sure of herself this past year. But she can also be loud and silly, especially trying to make her family laugh.

Oh, Pega Ninnie. My dearest Little P. My Paige. You are such a beautiful little girl. Your beauty radiates from the inside out, and I am so proud to be your mother. Happy, happy, HAPPiest of birthdays to you, my big-little six-year-old. May you dream of joyful things always.

Love forever and ever,

Mar 1, 2016

I Don't Lean In

Why is it that when life gets busy or crazy or overwhelming or just changes that one of the first things to go is anything I enjoy doing for myself? You'd think that when things are overwhelming or changing that I'd need those interests and hobbies and passions even more. That I would lean into them instead of turning away.

But the thing is, I'm not a leaner-iner. I'm a shutter-downer. When time management changes and there are shifts in our normal, well, the things that get dropped are things that are not necessities. Yes, one could argue that my interests are most definitely necessities for me and my well-being, but unfortunately when it comes down to it, there are other necessities that take much more precedence.

When I'm submerged in trying to juggle and balance change, well, I sort of shut down. Doing something for myself takes time and energy and more energy. And even though I know that I could totally find the time if I really tried, it just requires way too much energy to try. It's too hard. I can't do it. I don't want to do it. There just isn't the internal motivation pushing me toward anything. Well, except for my bed. I always have motivation pushing me in the direction of my bed.

I'm pretty sure I've always been a low energy person. Or at least, ever since I've had kids. But I don't think I can really blame it on them. My body needs more than the average amount of sleep to function well, and any task requires a high volume of energy. If even activities I enjoy are "work" for me, think of how much extra energy I have to muster up if it's something I don't enjoy.

All of this to say, adjusting to part-time work is still in process.

I do realize I am only working twelve hours per week. Trust me, the pitifulness of it does not escape me. But, the truth of the matter is that it still is something that requires a lot out of me, and because of that other areas of my life have been put on the back burner. (Namely, my own personal interests. Sigh.)

As with everything in life, I will adjust. I am adjusting. And even though it feels scary and hard and overwhelming a lot of the time, there is so much that makes me excited and happy and love-filled.

These three joys, most definitely.

I'll get there. I will. I just need to give myself forgiveness and time.


Jan 8, 2016


We are eight days into the new year and she is eight days into being an eight-year-old. I'm not sure where the time has gone, and I can remember her birth day as if it were yesterday, and all the old clich├ęs of time going to fast and children growing up.

About a month before her birthday I already started thinking of her as an eight-year-old and even had to correct myself a few times. Strange for me to rush her age considering I am usually holding back tears at the thought of them getting older, yet in this case when the day actually came, it felt right. Probably because I was already referring to her as eight in my mind.

Since having a New Year's Day baby eight years ago, the first day of the New Year does not feel as renewing and fresh and calling me to make resolutions and goals and to start my year with pep and zest. Although maybe I was never that way and now I'm just more aware of it. The New Year is fun, of course, but mostly I am thinking about my oldest and how it is HER day because that's what birthdays are.

This was the first year we let our girls (the older two anyway) stay up until midnight, and they did. And when the countdown to midnight came to an end instead of, "Happy New Year!" my husband lifted his glass and said, "Happy Birthday, Hope!" And my heart skipped a beat and I was mostly just happy that he thought to do something so special (and I didn't let myself focus on feeling sad that I hadn't thought of it too).

I am continually amazed at what a beautiful young soul this child of mine is. And I am continually scared that I am going to completely mess up raising her in some significant way. I will never have all the answers and I will never do everything single thing right, but I will promise to do the best that I can and to be there for her, however she needs.

On January 1st eight years ago, she came into this world with big, blue eyes that stayed open for hours. She came into this new place and immediately wanted to see it all. She has been that way ever since. At one day, at five weeks, at eight years. Her eyes are open and they are taking it in. She does not want to miss a moment of anything. And she won't.

Happy Birthday to my beautiful, intelligent, caring, sweet daughter! May this year be as silly and joy-filled and magical as you. I love you, Hopey!

xoxo, mommy