Dear son,

Dear son please don’t ever stop…

Reaching for my hand.

Climbing in my lap.

Hugging me in public.

Smiling so big when I walk into the room.

Asking me to snuggle you a little more at bedtime.

Wanting to sit by me.

Holding my hand while you pray.

Kissing me before you leave me.

Greeting me with a hug.

Running to me excited to share your successes.

Confiding in me when you’ve made a mistake.

Asking for my help.

Apologizing when you’ve hurt someone.

Sharing your popcorn with me in a movie.

Dear son, please don’t ever stop loving me like you do today.

I’ll hold you

I’ll hold you.

Even before I knew of your existence, I’ll hold you.

I’ll hold you in my heart and in my womb. I’ll hold your weight as I watch my body grow. I’ll hold you through morning sickness and shifted organs. I’ll hold you through food aversions and while I prepare a nursery for you. I’ll hold you through doctor appointments and sonograms. I’ll hold your health and safety in the safest place of my heart.

I’ll hold on tight to bed rails as the pain shoots through my body. I’ll hold you until the doctor says push. I’ll hold your Daddy’s hand as I meet you. I’ll hold you during midnight feedings and as you fall asleep.

I’ll hold you while you kick and scream in all your sweaty mess. I’ll hold you while we both cry tears of frustration. I’ll hold you when you’re angry at me, and even when I am angry with you too. I’ll hold you when you’re sad, and I don’t know how to solve it. I’ll hold you when I have the answers, and even when I don’t.

And even after my tiny frame buckles under your weight and I can’t physically hold you any longer, I’ll still hold you.

I’ll hold you to the highest standards and I’ll always hold you accountable. I’ll hold your secrets and your fears. I’ll hold your worries and your insecurities. I’ll hold it all if it means you don’t have to. I’ll hold your feelings, your well-being above all else. And I’ll always hold your hand if you’ll let me.

I’ll hold off on my dreams, so that you can chase yours. I’ll hold off on meals and showers so that you can have yours. I’ll hold off on a clean house so that I can make memories with you. I’ll hold off on my timelines so that you can go at your own pace. I’ll hold off on the lesson so that you can learn on your own. I’ll hold off on speaking when you really need me to listen.

For you, my child, I’ll always hold you.

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“Mama, hold me.”

An afternoon of screams and fits from my sassy toddler.

“What can I help you with?” I ask him.

Fit continues.

“What is making you sad?” I ask him.

Still crying.

“What do you need?” I ask him.

Screams continue.

“What’s wrong?” I BEG of him (starting to lose what is left of my patience).

“Mama, hold me!” He yells (still crying).

And then….

There was this moment…

And complete silence.

The only movements, his labored breaths trying to catch up from the sobs.

I still don’t know what was wrong. I still don’t know what made him so upset. But what I do know is that he couldn’t put into words his anger or frustration.

But the thing that he needed the most…

The thing that calmed him completely…

the one thing, the ONLY thing he knew to say was “hold me.”

And then all was right in his world.

God knows it won’t always be this simple to solve the problems in his world.

But while the moment lasts, I’ll hold him.

Every chance I get.



Yesterday, I had the honor and privilege of sharing my heart with 515 students.

  1. 515 kids were told they were accepted. Not in spite of their uniquenesses but because of them.

515 kids were asked to be courageous enough to chase big dreams.

515 kids were inspired to always look for ways to be helpful to others.

515 kids were told they could be artsy or athletic or both, and it didn’t matter their gender, race or diverse abilities to do so.

515 kids were encouraged to be the best versions of themselves.

515 kids were given permission to stand up for themselves and others.

515 kids were told that laughter is so good for the soul.

515 kids were inspired to love fiercely and forgive that way too.

515 kids were encouraged to write thank you notes with a happy heart.

515 kids were told they could be anything they wanted when they grow up, but that being helpful, accepting, and grateful were more important than any job title they could choose.

515 kids were told that they can be strong and brave and gentle all at once.

515 kids were encouraged to be thoughtful, kind, and humble humans.

  1. Inspiring change….one young reader at a time!

Raising Humble Humans

Sometimes you just need ice cream

For months we’ve dealt with the fits that come with raising a 4 year old. Having raised a 4 year old before, I feel experienced enough to say I’m raising a strong-willed 4 year old. Yes, I know ALL 4 year olds can be strong-willed at times, but mine has some stamina. We’re in for the long haul when these moods strike him, and they strike him just about every day lately.

We’ve battled and butted heads. I’ve held him in all his screaming, crying, sweaty mess. I’ve tried all the tools in my tool belt with no success. So I lay in bed at night and cry as my mind races as to what tools I can possibly invent next.

Sometimes their fits are a direct reflection of my frustration.

My exhaustion.

My distracted inability to do it all.

I realize that as much as he screams and fights me. At the end of the day, he just wants me. He wants me near him. Holding him, singing to him, reading to him. Just being close to me is all he really wants. And so I made a silent promise to him as I watched him sleep. A promise to focus more on him. Give him more of my undivided attention that he so craves yet rarely gets as a middle child.

I made a plan for a day of just him. A day of just his mommy. No siblings. No screens. And lots of ice cream.

And guess what? We didn’t battle. We didn’t bicker. And we didn’t cry. We were both all smiles.

No this won’t solve everything. No this isn’t a quick fix. And no this can’t possibly be our daily reality. But it’s a start to a better attitude and a stronger bond between me and my little mighty. It was meant to be a reboot for both of our hearts and mind.

There are days when we both need space. Distance to make the heart grow fonder. And then there are days like this. Where we just needed each other.

Sometimes they push us away with their battling but all they really want is to be close. Sometimes you need to run and dance in the rain. Sometimes you need to put off the responsibilities of the day and just…play.

And sometimes, you just need a LOT of ice cream.

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The way he looks at me

Someone happened to snap a photo to document us all fancied up. This photo made me smile for so many reasons. One because fancy is a rarity for us these days. Adult nights are a rarity too. And sometimes it’s fun to get all fancied up and have a date night with your husband.

But even though we were all fancy the night this photo was snapped, when I look at this picture of us. I just see US. The real us. The unfancy version of us.

The funny thing about social media is that we get to hide behind whatever version of perfection we choose to share with the world. I’ve never been good at keeping secrets. I have always had my thoughts and feelings written all over my face. I have a big personality and I don’t hide that well, even if I wanted to. I’ve never been one to sugar coat much of anything except my desserts. My life is usually bare and raw for all the world to see. Not much embarrasses me. Not much is off the table to discuss.

I’ve never really preferred fancy over comfort. Although fancy is fun sometimes, I’d gladly pick sweatpants and flip flops over fancy shoes.

But no matter how fancy I felt that day, this man looks at me with this same look even on my unfancy days. No matter my old, comfy clothes or my three day old post shower bun, he does THIS just about every day.

So when I look at this photo, I see the real us.

The real, the raw and the unfancy.

Just the way I like it.

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My kids share a room

My kids share a room, not because they have to but because they want to. And because it was a choice, not a have to, there are times that I question if they’re still happy sharing.

There are times when I wonder if we made the right decision cramming them in one room. Creating little to no personal space or alone time for either of them.

But then I check on my sleeping babies at night, and I find them in one bed. Together.

Sure, there are two beds in their shared room, but only one ever gets used. Because beds side by side isn’t close enough for them. They prefer to be sandwiched in tight in one bed. Snuggling. Talking. Giggling.

So would they sleep better in separate rooms?


Would they go to sleep earlier and sleep in later?


Would there be less sibling battles?

Most likely.

But oh, all the memories they would miss.

They’d miss all the giggles about smelly sounds. All the books read together under the covers with flashlights. All the plans and adventures they dream up together. All the problems they solve together.

Apart, they may go to bed angry, but they never do when they’re together.

This is where the memories are made.

Right there in their room.

This is where the inside jokes are created. This is where their love for each other grows. This is where they answer each other’s questions. This is where they help each other without me instructing them to.

A mother can only wish for such a bond between her babies.

So when I ask myself if it’s time to separate them, I go up to check on them while they sleep, and there they are. Holding hands.

So yeah, my life might be a tad bit easier having them sleeping apart.

Bedtime routines might go a little faster.

They might drift off to sleep a little sooner.
They might sleep in a bit later. But my heart wouldn’t be nearly as full. And neither would their’s.

They are each other’s comfort and security. A built in safety net sleeping right alongside them. They have each other, and I rest easier knowing they watch out for each other.

They love each other so much, they aren’t even bothered with a foot in their face while they sleep.

Now if that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.

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