The Mrs. in the Mirror

Moms, some days it’s hard to let ourselves be loved exactly how we are. We think he must be up to something when he shows affection. How could he possibly be attracted to this? Doesn’t he see these dark circles? Doesn’t he feel the extra pounds I’ve put on? When we reject ourselves, we can end up rejecting others without even realizing it.

You wonder why I wonder
Why you’re staring at me
When I look in the mirror
I don’t see what you see

I see a tired mother
You see a grown-up girl
I see an empty shell
You see your whole world

I rarely put on makeup
You hardly seem to mind
I stress and fret and fuss
You just want me to unwind

I worry that you’ll see
When the day is done
This mom is not the same
As the girl who was so fun

It’s not the looks of yesterday
Nor the body that you’re after
It’s the carefree, the sparkle
The smiles and the laughter

You worry that I’ve changed
That my love’s up on a shelf
But it’s hard to let you love me
When I don’t love myself

So tell me that I’m pretty
I’m more that just a mother
More than just the Mrs.
I’m more than any other

I promise she’s still here
The girl without a care
I’ll try to see your version
Of what I look like in the mirror

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Do you love your reflection? I know most days (if not all), I don’t.                   (from sheknows.com)

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To Rachel On Your Wedding Day

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May you always be this happy. May he always sweep you off your feet. Or at least sweep the kitchen floor. That’s pretty darn romantic, too.

 

To my dearest cousin Rachel, 

How I wish I could be with you today. To see your glorious smile in person as you walk down the aisle and start the next chapter in your life. Fondly, I remember the many days and nights we spent together at Grandma and Grandpa’s, spying on our relatives, giggling until tears fell, and performing three-act plays in the living room for innocent bystanders. 

I hope your future husband knows how lucky he is. You’re a catch, to say the least. You’re beautiful, intelligent, funny, and have a heart big enough to accommodate countless friends and our entire amazing family. I’ve always admired how you’ve lived life to the fullest, dancing with your head in the clouds while keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground. 

Having forged the path of marriage several years before you, I only have a few words of wisdom. Marriage, as wonderful and glorious as it looks in the movies, isn’t always a picnic (this message goes along with the gift I got you). Here in a couple of months, or a couple of years if you’re fortunate, his jokes will start to be less funny. You’ll know all of his “back in the day” stories by memory (and correct him when he starts telling them wrong). His underwear left in the middle of the bathroom floor will no longer be mildly annoying, but will send you into hysterics. “Doesn’t he love me? Why can’t he just do this one simple thing?!” Then, if you decide to have babies someday (gorgeous babies from the looks of both of you), you’ll see a whole new side of him, one that will make you fall in love all over again. He’ll tenderly hold your newborn, and look at you with awe and complete respect. And as much as your hearts are forged together even more than you thought possible, a whole new set of challenges will arise. 

You’ll both be exhausted. Babies will do that, you know. Between feeding, changing, bathing, cooking, cleaning, and all of other responsibilities, you may feel like you’re growing apart. But eventually, that baby will begin sleeping through (most of) the night. You’ll get a night away, and then a weekend away. You’ll reconnect, and be stronger than ever. Then you just might decide you’re crazy enough about each other to do it all over again. 

When the times are hard, and they will be, hang in there. Lord knows you’ve seen your parents go through hell and back after losing your sister, but they stayed together. That’s no small miracle. Marriage isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it, so worth it. I’ve seen my husband grow and change over the years, and our bond has been made stronger. 

It’s obvious that you and Kurtis are head over heels for each other. The way it should be. Enjoy this day. Savor this moment. Remember the rush. I love you, and I miss you. 

The Wind and the Windmill: A Love Analogy

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Our engagement photo. We’re just as mad about each other now as we were then, and just as goofy.

He is not the mac to my cheese, or the peanut butter to my jelly. He is no Prince Charming, and I am certainly no princess. Our romance busts the mold of canned love analogies. He is the wind…to my windmill.

He is powerful and steady, a constant force of change and movement. I am a vessel, carefully crafted to harness his strength and refine it for a greater purpose. We are never stale, never stagnant. Together, we are productive.

He is gentle like the morning breeze when caressing our infant daughters, steady like the Kansas wind when holding my hand through tragedy, and mighty like a wild twister when he needs to be.

He gives me power, and I give him purpose.

Happy anniversary my love. May we turn many more years together.

read to be read at yeahwrite.me

I Love You More Than I Hate Cutting Cardboard

Who could deny this face? And don’t judge our nutrition choices. You know you are.

There are few things that give me the “oogies” more than cutting cardboard. And by “oogies,” I mean that nails-on-chalkboard shiver that shoots up your spine and causes your head and shoulders to shudder with disgust. (The sound of someone hocking a loogie and/or vomiting are equally offensive to me. In fact, I nearly couldn’t type that without becoming ill. Excuse me…I’ll be right back.)

When my daughter approached me with an empty oversized cereal box the other day, and asked me to “cut a hole in it so she could pretend she was on television,” I immediately grabbed a knife and started hacking away. After all, it was an awesome idea, and the fact that she said “television” instead of “TV” melted my heart a little. I pierced the thin chipboard with the tip of the knife….and the sensation hit me. Oogies!!! My  body shook, I made a gagging sound, and my sweet daughter asked, “What’s wrong mommy?” I looked down at her expectant face, knowing that there was no way in H-E-double hockey sticks that I was going to let my cardboard-cutting phobia stand in the way of her cereal box television dreams.

“Suck it up!,” I told myself. I quickly made the first cut, and rounded the corner to make the second. “Nothing honey,” I assured her, as I completed the square. There. I’d done it. I’d cut a gosh-darn (insert stronger word) hole in cardboard! I glanced around the kitchen, searching for someone to share my accomplishment with. Nobody. (If there had been someone there, I’d have been really freaked out.)

“Here you go honey.” I handed her the box, and she shimmied it down onto her adorable head. “Look at me mommy! I’m on television!,” she squealed.

And isn’t that what parenting is all about? Sacrificing your own comfort and desires for a tiny, helpless creature who you’ll love and nurture into an awesome adult? I mean, who actually wants to forcefully squeeze a watermelon out of their nether-regions for fun? (That is my birth analogy, by the way.)

Someday, when she questions my love for her (which she will, as most children do), I’ll tell her:

– When you project vomited all over the truck (many, many times) at 2 a.m. driving through Waco, Texas, I still loved you.

– When you gave me (and the entire extended family) your super bug and I projectile vomited (many, many times), I still loved you.

– When you found that tiny piece of your bedroom wallpaper that was peeling, and continued ripping a giant swath off the wall, I still loved you.

– When you wanted to play “hair salon,” and accidentally ripped out a chunk of my follicles (ouch!), I still loved you.

– And when you asked me to do the one thing that I have an idiosyncratic aversion to, I still loved you.

There is nothing, NOTHING, that could make me stop loving you. Puke on me, destroy our home, and ask me to cut cardboard, and I’ll still love you.