The past few weeks have presented several challenges to us.  Some have been emotional and some physical.  With each new roadblock, we try to learn and grow as a family.  

Spending quality time with my son can be a challenge with basic activities, interests, etc.  Throw in a few other changes and balance can be hard to find.  It is something I make a conscious effort to do, but it is also a personal goal of mine to do better in this area.   Life can stretch us all too thin at times.

By request, my son and I recently went on a date.  He beamed from ear to ear for the duration.  He calculated our scores carefully during Dinosaur mini golf, hugged me between each of the 18 holes, and picked the coziest corner available for our ice cream treat.  He put his arm around me and talked far more than usual.  He made me feel special, and I hope to always do the same for him.  

While we were enjoying our sweet, he said that it was the day of zen.  I marveled at his vocabulary until I realized he combined our names and it was literally the day of “Zen” to him.  He was so proud to make up that clever little nickname for us.

My sweetheart.

Today, my heart was full of this new “Zen” as I watched my baby boy, the one who is too cool to dance with me and prefers play over talking, need me.

My mind went in many directions as something routine forced me to celebrate my family and our blessings.

I had more snuggles than ever and was even unable to leave his room without him stopping me to say, “Mom, I need you.”

Maybe it is just me, but those three words were all I needed to hear.

Zen, I need you, too.

Cleaning House

It’s funny how we hold onto things.  (Or maybe it’s just me?!)  I love clothes.  Sweaters, jackets, dresses, and shoes.  I love one more than the other.  I have a mix of memories from joy to tremendous pain when I look through my closet.  It is tough for me to get rid of the memories.

I recently cleaned out five bags of donated good that included the shirt I wore in 2004 when I met my husband (sad that I still own it, I know), the outfit I wore when I learned that I was first pregnant, and other various nostalgic gems.  I realized how much I hold on to happy moments and memories through material.

I also found the sweatpants I wore for the better part of a month while I was in the hospital with Kelsey in 2011.  I have not worn them again, and they were the easiest item to purge.  Yet, I wondered why I held on to them this long.  Clothes clearly connect me to moments.  I have never realized that before.

I closed my eyes and sent myself back to the memories and times as I placed the sentiments in the donation bag.

Some were easier than others.

It was not because I want to rid myself of those moments.  However, the past few years have opened my eyes to the ability we all have to do things we never dreamed possible.  I am trying to only keep clothes that focus on my strengths and represent the woman and mother that I strive to be.

Sometimes, I am asked how I do it “all.”  How I give that dreaded needle and then start my day with a smile?

Some days, I honestly do not know.  Some days, I fake it because it is easier.  Other days, I truly feel grateful for the injection because of the energy and strength it gives my girl.

I do my best to find strength within every morning, even though I often do so through shrieks and sobs.  I have learned to endure, take a breathe of fresh air while I walk my puppy, and attempt to find blessings every single day.  Those silver linings make the impossible much more manageable.

What I know is that we do what we need to do when we need to do it.  Sometimes there is no choice.  There is no how.  There just is.  I believe those moments define us.  Looking through a decade of clothing and accessories to see the woman I am in 2017, by choice and circumstance.

While my husband and I both wonder why I held on to the items, and he wishes that I donated them before we moved… the answer is unknown.  It was enjoyable to stop and look back through so many life-changing moments and materials.

The Good-Will happily accepted, and I felt cleansed.

Today, I choose to look forward with hope and much more space in my closet.  I hope to fill the shelves with more positive moments and happy memories instead of dwelling on those that I cannot control.