Before school mornings

Why do some mornings have to be so hard? 

I don’t like waking up in the mornings. Heck, I get up before my alarm to check my clock only to see how much more time I have left to sleep. That drives me nuts. I wish I had cute little birds fly in and grab my clothing and help me dress as I make my way out the bedroom door. Feeling the soft breeze of their feathers flying happily all around me bringing me hope for a new day to begin.I smile as I make my way to the kids room and thank God for allowing me another day.

I wake the kids with little morning kisses and make my way downstairs to begin breakfast. I’m already preparing myself for the day that lies ahead. Kids come down and everything is going smoothly until that one sarcastic remark or the bickering over foolish reasons at the breakfast table begins. I’m thankful that the birds are not really circling around me singing their songs because I probably would have wacked them out of my way while trying to stay calm.  

See my problem is I never learned a technique to calm myself and if I am in that moment and you are trying to calm me, that just aggravates the situation further and has the opposite effect of calming me. So, let’s just say I’m still learning to find “my zen.” 

Now back to the morning, the explanations about who said what, and who started or who is really at fault begins. It goes on and on and my mood gets worse and worse. It’s no longer fun, happy and calm. It’s the discussions, possibly raised voices, and explanations of how we got here. When all I want to do is calm myself and tell them how much I love them and just solve it all but I can’t. As I am reaching in the opposite way that I would like, I see it all going down and although in the back of my mind, like way way back, I see the other scenario and how well it plays out, that’s not what is currently happening. Instead it’s like adding fuel to the fire. My raised voice and warnings, taking away electronics or anything I could think of at that moment. 

Then after it all blows up and I step back in the kitchen to begin preparing their school lunch, my mind is still rolling. I need to step out of myself for a moment and just think about other ways to quiet the emotions that are surrounding us. I can feel another lesson coming out  but at the same time hope the responses are good because I don’t want to start these feelings all over again. 

I begin to talk about better ways we could say things. How we need to think about what we are going to say, how we say it and how it will affect the person we are saying it to. Did we need to say that even though we knew it would be hurtful? If we are just saying things because we know it will hurt someone then it shouldn’t be said at all. 

We need to look around at all we have and all we are able to share. We are sitting at a table with food to nourish our body and we are doing it all in a home with family. A place of love and warmth no matter our moods.

Food is finished, dishes are put away and kids are getting dressed to head out the door. As we are walking my mind keeps going back to the morning events getting us here. How I should’ve responded? How can I let things get me so upset when all I want to do is hold them? 

I look at the kids walking in front of me and my mind plays tricks on me. I see them as they are toddlers looking back at me smiling to make sure I’m still here. I hear their giggles and see their missing teeth smile and all I can do is smile. 

How can these two kids in front of me be this tall? How are they 11 already? This is all happening too quickly and I don’t want to waste a single moment being mad. I feel like Giovanni felt what I was feeling because at that moment he turned around and said, “mommy, I’m sorry about this morning.” I just melted. Funny, he didn’t have anything to apologize for and yet he was the one that did. 

He rushed ahead because he never wants to be late. While Isannah and I walked together in silence. That’s how it goes sometimes and that’s ok. 

I wished them a wonderful day at school and went on my way home. This moment will affect everything I do up until I pick them up from school hoping for a redo.

Neighbors who are family

Traditions bring calm, joy and feel like a big hug of love surrounding you. We were lucky to begin a new tradition once Giovanni and Isannah were well enough and at home to be a part of it. Every Christmas Eve, thanks to our beautiful friends/neighbors/family really, they began coming over to our house with their youngest son to exchange presents for the little ones. We got to share hugs and conversation. It was the best having them in our home which allowed me to begin another tradition of taking pictures with the kids together and with the Falcone’s together. That made me so happy to be able to capture those moments. Each year this happened even when they welcomed their daughter who joined the tradition with us. The tradition continued for all the kids up until their son who started it all with us got older. He was 10 years or so and stopped coming but the tradition continued even through COVID. Although not inside our home or by our Christmas tree we still meet outside. The feeling is still the same because we get to share the joy of giving and the love of friends. 

Now my kids are turning 11 years old, about the age that their son was when he stopped joining. I’m hoping that no matter the age or the years that pass this tradition carries on. Maybe not with exchanging gifts but with the love of friendship that has grown stronger as each year passes. The fondness of friends that are now our family. 

Right now they play outside when it’s warm and even when it’s cold. They laugh, they scream, they get out of control but they still play together and I love hearing and knowing they are there. 

Giovanni and Isannah will start middle school next year but I hope the friendship they each developed through the years will be remembered always no matter the years that pass by. Maybe they won’t be playing on the streets all together like they do now but the respect and love will always be there. 

Until the ages start to show, I will enjoy every moment that we have now.  

My heart is so happy that the friend I met in elementary school is still a constant in my life. She gifted all of this to me and my family and I am forever grateful.

Christmas is here

The anticipation and excitement leading up to Christmas was all worth it to see their faces come Christmas morning.

It all started when the Elves Clementine and Michael returned for their daily surprises and mischiefs. From hanging on the chandelier to hiding in the rolls of wrapping paper. Then hanging on Santa’s chair in the window display and so much more. They brought some ugly sweater cookies to design on Ugly Sweater Day at school and chocolate lollipops to enjoy. It was all fun and games until the night Giovanni and Isannah had to say their good-byes to Clementine and Michael until the next year.

Then all of the sudden this happened: When the kids woke up on Christmas Day the elves were still here. Hiding in our Christmas tree with a note they wrote. The kids were older now and could take care of their elves so instead of flying back to the North Pole they let their magic go with Santa and stayed behind to enjoy with Giovanni and Isannah. It was time to share their magic with younger kids starting the excitement of the Elf on the Shelf. Although the kids were sad that the elves lost their magic they already created beds and rooms for Clementine and Michael in our home.

It was a magical Christmas but what made it more special is that we got to share it with family. We hope that the magic of Christmas lives on in your home and that the love of this holiday season is able to carry you along into the new year.

Dedicated to you. To love. To us.

And here we are, year 13. Celebrating all the moments that brought us here.

Through good and bad, happy and sad, we’ve had them all and will continue to grow strong. You are the first person I think of when anything happens to me, good or bad. You are the one that I want by my side and need to keep my head above water. You’re the one that makes me smile and sometimes makes me cry but you are the one that I want and always will. I can’t imagine a day without you with me and I never want to. I can’t do any of this without you.

When you gently place your hand on my knee while we are driving or hold my hand just because you may not see it or know but my body melts and my heart is whole. When I look over and see you there no matter where we are or what craziness is going on in our lives I know I’m safe because you are right there. I wish you could see through my eyes and know just how happy, secure and loved you make me feel. Until then all I can do is remind you every day just how much you are loved. You are needed and you are all of me but most importantly the best part of me.

Thank you for loving me with all my many faults. Thank you for giving of you to me and thank you for not giving up on me, on us.

Happy 13 and to many more of this. All of it, you and me, where we started and where we will end. Our love story. 08.10.2008

Thank you, my love. Happy Anniversary ❤