Tag Archives: love

An Ordinary Life

Some days I wake up and I think that I have to save the world. Or that I need to write the great novel. Or at least have a blog good enough to receive 20+ comments. Or that I must do crafts with my kids. Or create magical experiences day in and day out. Or use the same safe cleaners that Jessica Alba uses. Or wear the same shoes as Gwen Stefani. The thought sometimes whispers, but most the time shouts, don’t be ordinary. Ordinary isn’t perfect. Ordinary isn’t good enough.

As I was reading Brene Brown’s book, The Gift of Imperfection, I read this line and had one of those moments where I couldn’t catch my breath and I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing: What if we’re normal and quiet and happy? Does that count?

What if I don’t save the world, but I save my family? I focus on my tiny, ordinary family of five and make sure that everyone feels love, feels joy and is happy. Why isn’t that enough? Is that even ordinary? When I stop and think about it, I actually think THAT is extraordinarily ordinary.

What if I just keep writing my blog because I want to? I started my blog to provide hope to those who have ths same diagnosis as Olivia. I didn’t start it to get 20+ comments or have people love it. I wrote it because I felt like my daughter’s story was worth sharing. Isn’t that enough?

What if, at the end of my life, all you can say about me is that I was a good wife who loved her husband and he loved me back? Or that I was a good mother who loved her kids and they knew it every day of their lives? Or that we had a family who felt worthy and loved and full of joy? Isn’t that enough?

To me, that doesn’t sound ordinary. It sounds like exactly what I’m trying to do with my life. It’s so easy to lose sight of what are true goals are in life. To just be. And to love. And to experience and share joy. And that’s enough. Even if it’s ordinary.



Cream and Sugar

When I was little, all the way through my teen years even, my favorite thing was going to Grandma’s. When I was a baby, and both my parents were working, my Dad dropped me off at my Grandma G’s house in the morning. It’s weird how much I can remember about those days given that I was so young. He’d carry me in like “a sack of potatoes” and put me in her arms and I felt so happy and safe. She’d put me in my highchair, even though I was probably a little big for it at the time, and feed me breakfast. There were three standard choices: eggs over easy with toast, graham crackers broken up in a bowl and covered with milk (like cereal), or powdered donuts dipped in coffee. I still remember it like it was yesterday…and those would be three of my favorite things to eat in this world to this day. But my absolute favorite? Donuts in coffee.

She’d break the donut up into bite-size pieces, put a piece on a spoon, dip it the perfectly warm coffee and feed it to me. It was heaven. We always started our days this way. After breakfast it was time to play either outside with the dog that looked like Lassie, inside jumping on the bed, watching Ryan’s Hope after lunch in the living room or singing songs. She was the Grandma that wouldn’t yell if I had an accident, but would laugh and smile and assure me it was ok. She was the Grandma that would let me eat chip dip right out of the container because it was yummy. She was the Grandma that made me feel so loved. I always wonder what it would have been like to have her in my life for longer than 4 short years, but I’ll never know. But she certainly did start my love affair with coffee.

My other Grandma was just as special but in a different way. She was the FUN Grandma, the always laughing Grandma, the ball of energy Grandma. I loved going to her house on the weekend. She had tons of magazines–The Enquirer, People, all of those crazy celebrity mags—my favorite cottage cheese, diet pepsi…and coffee. We would play cards—Hearts usually—and drink coffee. I, of course, loved mine sweet with lots of cream and sugar. My aunt and Grandma would always tease my Mom that she liked it so strong it would “put hair on their chest” and I always giggled even though I didn’t know what it meant. I only knew that I loved being in that room, with my Grandma, my aunt, my Mom and my sister, playing cards and drinking coffee. I felt safe and loved and cherished.

In high school, I was one of few in my circle of friends who loved the taste of coffee. In the 90’s, coffeehouses were just becoming a “thing” in our town and I often wanted to go there with my friends go there on a Friday night. Some of them thought it was a place for stoners and weirdos, but all I knew was I loved the way it made me feel. There was a special feeling that came with being at a coffeehouse, drinking coffee and sharing laughs with friends.

In college, I was lucky enough to have friends who liked to party, for sure, but who also liked to go to a hockey game and then out for coffee. We’d smoke (sorry, Mom!), drink coffee, talk about life and laugh. These were my favorite times. I felt so lucky to have friends who understood me, who loved me and who loved coffee. During these years my morning cup of joe also became a necessity. I was working full-time and taking a full class-load so there was little to no sleep for me. Coffee was not only a continued source of comfort and familiarity, but a necessity to start my day.

During my first pregnancy, I denied myself coffee because I had read that caffeine wasn’t good for the baby. During the first few weeks, when I had nausea, it didn’t sound good anyway. But after that subsided, I craved it like crazy but didn’t want to do anything to put my baby in jeopardy. It was, and still is, a tradition that my Mom and sister and I always have coffee when we’re together. We just do. And so it was weird to not partake. After my miscarriage, when my Mom and I went to visit my sister at college, we went out to lunch and I was able to order coffee. I started bawling over my dessert and coffee and looked at the two women who know me best and said “I would give up coffee forever if I could have my baby back.” It was the first time that coffee didn’t bring me feelings of nostalgia and comfort, but pain.

After the kids were born, I needed coffee like I needed air. Having three kids under four is no easy or energy-filled task. There were days when I honestly didn’t think I’d make it. It became a life-line most days and still is today. If I’m having a rough day, or just need a little cheering up, nothing makes me feel better like a steaming hot cup of the good stuff with cream and sugar. Every morning, when Matt brings me my first steaming hot cup of coffee fixed just the way I like it, I feel loved and special. I can’t imagine giving it up. Not just because I need it, but because in a weird and beautiful way, it’s part of me.

Source: squidoo.com via Paula on Pinterest

**From MamaKat’s writing workshop prompt: How did your love affair with Coffee begin?**

I Feel

I feel deeply and strongly and overwhelmingly and constantly. There are days when my feelings threaten to overwhelm me…because of joy or despair. My friends and loved ones know, if you look at my face, you know how I feel. I don’t have a mask.

At times I fall into the why-me-life-is-too-hard-I-can’t-take-this-anymore despair and I feel like I won’t be able to come up for air. Why is everything so hard? Why can’t one thing in my life be easy? Why? Why? Why?

I take a deep breath. I let the pain and the anguish wash over me. I feel. I don’t fight it. Fighting it does nothing for me except delay the inevitable breakdown. So I feel it. I let the anger, the fear, the unknown, the pain, the anxiety, the bitterness wash over me like a pounding summer rain. Then I take another deep breath and let it out. The pain is behind me and, although it’s not gone, it’s diminished.

Then I let a little light in. Then more. Then more. And before I know it, I have forgotten the knives of pain and all I feel is overwhelming joy. I have everything I need. I am blessed beyond measure. I look around at my amazing husband, my marvelous children, my wonderful mother and I smile. We are healthy, we are fed, we have a roof over our heads and, most important of all, we are deeply, deeply loved. In this moment, the only one that matters, there is love. Nothing else matters.

I feel…and I’m ok with that.

We’re In This Together—Tuesday Tunes

I am in love with this song by Alicia Keys. I know, it’s not new. But I’ve been listening to it all the time lately and I love it. I love the lyrics, I love her voice, I love the beat.

Take a look…

I’m feeling a little protective of my family these days. We just had major tornadoes rip through this area and they just missed us. My sister’s friend’s sister (got that?) and her son were killed by the tornadoes…and they live about 20 minutes away from here. It hit the town where I grew up pretty badly. Somehow, it went right around our town. But it could have just as easily been us. From all the reports I’ve been reading, it sounds as though many people were asleep and weren’t able to hear the sirens so they could take shelter. It’s just so heartbreaking…and another reminder of how precious life is.

I feel as though my little family of five fits so well together. We were out to dinner last night to celebrate my MIL’s retirment and I was sitting with the kids and just marveling at how well my kids get along and behave. Now don’t get me wrong, they argue and fight. But not very often. The boys are best buddies; they include their sister; they love each other. Olivia gets the boys laughing, she gives them kisses, she reminds them that it’s ok to be loving and sweet even though they’re boys. They’re all respectful to Matt and I…they’re just sweet and all-around good kids. When I listen to this song, I think of my family; I think of how perfectly we were all put together and how wrong it would be if we were ever separated.

We’re in this together, all 5 of us work to make it better and no one can ever get in the way of what I’m feeling.

I’m so very thankful for my precious little family.

Gimme That Girl

**Tuesday Tunes…feel free to steal my button and play along…just link back please!**

If you’re new to my blog, you might not know how much I adore my husband. If you’ve been reading for a while, then you know. And I’m going to add more to it today. He’s the best. I think everyone should have a crush on him if they don’t already.

I am really proud of my marriage. We work hard at it. Our marriage and our family is always priority number one. Things weren’t always wonderful…and we still have bad days. But at the end of every day, we know we love each other, we like each other and there’s no one else on the planet that we’d rather be with.

On top of just being an all-around great guy and husband, he’s hot. He buys me perfect gifts for no reason or for special occasions. We were lucky enough to appreciate how far our marriage has come last summer when we took a 2nd honeymoon. I’ve really enjoyed writing our love story in my Flashback Series which has its own page at the top. He continues to amaze me every day in some way.

One of my favorite things that Matt does is he buys me songs. He’ll hear a song on the radio that reminds him of me and he’ll buy it for me on itunes and plays it for me. I love it. Then every time I hear that song, it reminds me of him and our marriage and how much he loves me.

Matt is always trying to convince me that I’m hot. I looked like a boy for the first 13 years of my life…and not just a boy, but a boy with terrible acne, a huge gap in my front teeth and chubby. Oh and did I mention that I’ve been 5′ 8″ since 5th grade? Doesn’t exactly instill a feeling of “hotness” from the beginning of life. Obviously, I don’t look like that now…but it’s still hard to picture myself as beautiful…and especially “hot”. The other day we were drinking coffee and eating breakfast; I hadn’t showered, no make-up, hair a mess, still in my pjs. He looks at me and says “You’re so hot”. I thought he was crazy. On the way to soccer that day, this song came on the radio. Matt says “See?! Listen…” and turned up the radio on “Gimme That Girl” by Joe Nichols. “That’s you to me. Beautiful and hot no matter what.”

Did I mention how much I love this man?

He gets so embarassed when I blog about him; he’s very humble you see. for example he didn’t want me to tell you that for mother’s day he donned an apron and made Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls and Breakfast Burritos for me and my Mom and sister. Or that he cut some azaleas from our yard for the table. Or that he brought me coffee in bed while I got to sleep in and watch TV in peace. Or that he bought me flowers and herbs for my garden. Or that he wouldn’t let me lift a finger yesterday. Because he does these things out of love and appreciation, not because he should or because he wants everyone to know.

And that is just one more reason why I’m so glad he’s my husband.

Gimme That Girl by Joe Nichols
Hang up that red dress
Let down your hair
Cancel those reservations
There’s no need to go nowhere

As good as you’re lookin’ right now
Girl, I bet you’re thinkin’ I’m crazy
There’s a side of you that I wanna see
That never ceases to amaze me

Gimme that girl with the hair in a mess
Sleepy little smile with her head on my chest
That’s the you that I like best
Gimme that girl

Gimme that girl lovin’ up on me
Old t-shirt and a pair of jeans
That’s the you I wanna see
Gimme that girl

Gimme the girl that’s beautiful
Without a trace of makeup on
Barefoot in the kitchen
Singin’ her favorite song

Dancin’ around like a fool
Starrin’ in her own little show
Gimme that girl that the rest of the world
Ain’t lucky enough to know

Gimme that girl with the hair in a mess
Sleepy little smile with her head on my chest
That’s the you that I like best
Gimme that girl

Gimme that girl lovin’ up on my
Old t-shirt and a pair of jeans
That’s the you I wanna see
Gimme that girl, gimme that girl

Gimme that girl with the hair in a mess
Sleepy little smile with her head on my chest
That’s the you that I like best
Gimme that girl

Gimme that girl lovin’ up on me
Old t-shirt and a pair of jeans
That’s the you I wanna see
Gimme that girl, gimme that girl