Checking out a “cool tree”. Sully asked me if this is where the monkeys live. 😂
Growing up with your friends is awesome.
There’s a new girl that started at Sully’s daycare. She has Down Syndrome and has been having a difficult time playing on some of the toys on the playground. Today, when I picked Sully up from school his teacher pulled me off to the side and said that when they went outside to play, Sully noticed that she was having a hard time, so he ran over, held her hand, and helped her climb on some of the toys. Later, during story time, he sat next to her and told all of the other kids to “be gentle” when they ran over to join the circle. I know he’s just a little boy and that he doesn’t fully understand everything that he did today to make someone else feel special, but it brings my heart so much joy to hear about his kindness in action.
A Season of Change.
This summer has been difficult. There has been so much to write about, but so little that I actually wanted to share. Things are different over here in a “life has changed” kind of way.
I experienced loss recently: a grandmother & a brother. In the same day. Fourteen minutes apart. Exact opposite sides of the country. Chills still fall over me as I think of my mom talking about her mother leading her son into the light. I remember a time when I didn’t know or understand the pain of loss. I also remember a point in time when the mourning of loss occurred just a moment after a last breath fell short of reaching into existence. This summer, I felt the sting of loss months - perhaps even years, if I’m honest, before it took place. Addiction is heartless.
And then, there’s the flip side of the coin. I watched a friend, a best friend, look into her daughter’s eyes for the first time and experience the joy of staring into the face of perfection - of innocence. In that moment, it’s impossible not to see the beauty in your maker. Even in the heaviest of situations that occur in parenting, there’s a sweeping thankfulness that consumes you.
They say new life makes losing life easier to understand.
I think I get that now.
Sully says: “Mommy is a Super Pooper?” Let the potty training games begin! 💩
Today is my best friend’s day. She celebrates turning 28.
This morning, as I was drinking my coffee, I started going through photos of our adventures together over the past decade. With each click, my eyes began welling up with tears. Call me a sap, but this girl - she has been there. Our experiences together are … monumental (to say the least).
It all started in college. We shared a college dorm and then spent a summer waiting tables and being far too wild together in Ocean City.
That following fall, we jumped out of a plane together - twice!
After college, we both moved away from the small central PA town where we became friends and then, less than two years later, we both moved back. Neighbors, again!
We spent the next year training and training and then training some more. Over the course of one unbelievable year, I followed Kim through over 1200 miles of trails and city scapes as we geared up to compete together in 80 miles worth or marathons, trail races, and a triathlon. Short story: At one event, I started off the morning with a pre-race flat fixing session that forced me to miss breakfast and barely make my start. Before the second session of my race, Kim tracked down my set up location (sacrificing her own finish time) and dropped me off some fuel up food. Always looking out!
She was my wing man at our wedding celebration and my husband and I were the officiant at hers. Two days that go down in history.
When my husband was deployed - Kim was more than a friend. She was my family. She put regular lunch dates on my calendar and included me in her family dinners. She picked up Sully from daycare on my travel days, fed him, and taught him about farm life. She cheered me on endlessly as I was balancing a heavy load and did her best to lift the weight from my shoulders.
And when our son was born, she was the first friend to hold Sullivan and the person who stayed and documented our family and friends doing the same - even though she had a surprise party planned that afternoon to celebrate her now husband’s 30th. In a few weeks, I cannot wait to return the favor as she celebrates her baby girl’s welcome into the world.
I could go on for days about this gal. She’s a good friend. Strike that - she’s a great friend and I’m so incredibly lucky to call her my best.
Cheers to the next decade of adventures together, Kim!
The Road Ahead.
For awhile, I had to put this little piece of me on the back burner for a variety of reasons. Namely, I started to feel like I was writing for an audience or, rather, being selective about what I wrote about, because of an audience.
The desire to write has slowly started to trump my insecurities. My triumphs, my struggles, my dreams and discoveries - I need them in print, because there’s something about organizing and rationalizing my thoughts, in a way that can only happen on this screen, that’s therapeutic.
Recently, I’ve been facing a turning point in life. One in which I’m not sure where the road ahead is going to lead. And I mean that quite literally. For a brief minute, I felt like I really had life pinned down. But over the last few weeks, as I lay in bed at night, the mantra:This world is too big to be thinking so small plays on repeat.
And then anxiety sets in.
There’s a beautiful home in the mountains that bears our address, my name is perfectly printed on a business card that makes me proud, the mister finally has a career that puts his family first, our neighbors and friends are the things that dreams are made of, and the list goes on.
But I can’t shut off my intuition that this place we’re at in life is just a stepping stone. And so the wheels have started to turn again. Where the road will lead us and when we’ll start traveling on it, I’m not really sure. All I know is that it’s time to take to writing about the journey again.
Redneck swimming hole. This kid is a Hick(s). #dirtgrub101
“What I have been trying so hard to tell you all along is simply that my father, without the slightest doubt, was the most marvellous and exciting father any boy ever had.”
— Roald Dahl, from Danny, The Champion of the World
I get nostalgic every year when I snap pictures of Jeff’s deck. The memories that have taken place on those wood planks over the last 5+ years serve as a deep reminder of how lucky I am to be in this place and with these people.