Bittersweet Birthday Cake

From the second they place your newly born baby into your arms your life has changed. Not only because of the sleepless nights and endless diapers, but also because there is a person that you instinctively love more than yourself. I have received so much joy experiencing life through their perspective. Getting another chance to feel excited over the first snow fall or the last the day of school. Raising my children has allowed me to reminisce on my own childhood, to feel the magic I once believed in.

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Today my youngest child turned five. As I write it, I still cannot believe it to be true. It feels like the closing of a chapter that is bittersweet. No more toddlers running through the house with bad pronunciations and a desire to stay in the nude. No more little fingers pinching away at scattered cheerios, or toothless grins. No more wobbly feet desperate to walk and no more teeny, tiny hands grasping onto my pinky finger.

There are many things I will not miss from that era of babyhood through toddler-hood, but somehow those details fade to the background, slightly out of focus.

My youngest child is now five.

Now, here I am, navigating through parenting with their childhood fully bloomed, inflated with feelings of their self esteem, curiosity, stress, fear, ego, anger, just to name a few. As a mother, I feel as though somebody turned the parenthood dial up a few notches. There is more to it than just maintaining their life and teaching them not to bite people. I feel an innate urge to ensure they are each emotionally okay, despite the world of influences they face everyday when they step out over the threshold of our home.

“A mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child.”

An accurate statement loaded with stress and heartache, which cannot be avoided. I know that in a few years, when they cross over to the next plateau of their life, I’ll probably look back and think how easy I had it. Tears and frustrations will fade and I will be in amazement of how fast time is passing and how bittersweet it is that they are minimally in my presence.

However, today I am working hard to make sure they have a childhood they can recall upon one day to fill them up with joy and reminisce the magic they were able to experience when they could rely on their mommy to fix their mishaps and make them feel loved unconditionally.

Happy 5th birthday to my last born child.

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The Art of Gratitude

Do you know that feeling you get when you desperately need a new toothbrush? The bristles are worn and rough. Every morning you pick it up and think, I must buy a new toothbrush today! And every night you want to kick yourself for forgetting to buy one, even though you were in the store. Then, that special day comes when you are both in the store and remember that you need a toothbrush. Hallelujah! You walk over to the dental aisle and view your options, careful to select the right strength, bristle style and color. That night, you crack open the plastic, place the perfect amount of toothpaste on it, and brush your teeth. The new bristles massage your gums that have been so badly mistreated by your old, crotchety toothbrush. When you are done, you run your tongue over your teeth with the wonderful sensation of cleanliness. You can finally take the perpetrator out of your spot on the holder and sentence it to death by trash. There is a sense of joy that fills you when your new brush is hanging there proudly.

Gratitude can be more than just taking a few minutes to ramble out thoughts of the obvious things that contribute to your life in some way.

For me, I began to practice gratitude when I was at a low point in my life. I treated myself to a beautiful leather bound journal and began writing down things I was grateful for each night. Just as most people, my first couple of months entries were repetitive for the obvious things, health, family, food, a placed to live, employment and a vehicle. Looking back and reading through, I began to notice an evolution of my entries. Gratitude slowly began oozing into the crevices of my life, showing up in minor details. I can tell you the dates I bought a new toothbrush, opened a brand new bar of soap or watched the mail man deliver my mail in the pouring rain. I can tell you when I noticed a bird bathing in a puddle and how it made me feel. Reading through my journal I can tell you when I felt good in an outfit and when my egg omelet was cooked to perfection. I know all the times I was grateful for a good laugh with a friend and each time I hugged my children extra tight, looked into their eyes and told them how much I loved them.

Practicing gratitude has allowed me to observe my life in the moment I am living it. I find myself stopping throughout the day to feel grateful and happy for little details that I might have overlooked in the past, and for that I will always be forever grateful.

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What Matters

When my son was in Kindergarten, the teacher would tell me during recess all he does is sit in the field and dig in the dirt using a branch. She wanted him to stop because of the potential danger of having little holes littering the field where other children run.

When I confronted him on his digging, he brought me to his room and pulled an old lunchbox out from under his bed. He explained that he was searching for special rocks to add to his collection, despite the millions of rocks that blanketing the playground area he could have easily chosen. The rocks in his collection didn’t look special at all. As a matter of fact, some weren’t even rocks, but chunks of pavement or concrete. I left it alone and encouraged his digging to take place at home.

From time to time, on a special occasion, I would receive a small gift, wrapped in a paper towel. When I opened it up, I would find a rock that was carefully selected and washed.  I then understood how special those rocks in his collection really were.

As I have recently moved, and have spent a lot of time deciding what to pack and what to get rid of. It made me think about what really matters. I realize that what matters is different for each person but there is a common denominator, how it makes you feel. What mattered to me was the paintings from our travels, some of my favorite photographs of family, my favorite mug that has magical powers to make coffee taste better somehow, and my books. Each of those things make me feel something, sentimental, love or simply joy. They have the ability to affect my mood and remind me of who I am, at my best. I believe that what we have may be very different, but why they matter is because of the same reason. They make us feel something and remind us of who we strive to be at our best. Some of my most valuable things are not valuable at all. For my son those rocks were special and to me, that is what matters.

 

I would just like to note that a follower had emailed me to see if I am still writing.  She said, that I wrote about things that mattered.  Thank you for your concern, as it has inspired me to continue to do what I love.

 

A GROWTH SPURT

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Experiencing change is a tornado of feelings all swooshed and swirled together to form something that is unrecognizable. I feel flickers of fear, specks of uncertainty, swirls of excitement, dotted with anxiety, all circulating in happiness. The force of change has left me unable to secure my footing. Its fast pace has left me dizzy.

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Although, this is a much welcomed change, in which I am in no means complaining, it has distracted me from writing, blogging and reading.

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My all time favorite quote.

To my WordPress family, I am slowly returning, I am just in a growth spurt right now. 🙂

Learning How To Balance

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We are all performing our own balancing act, cautious not to lean too much in either direction, contemplating each step and considering the elements that surround us. Although at times we may wobble, we can quickly gain balance and move forward. We have mastered the delicate balancing act of life.

This weekend, my husband rummaged through his tool bag until he pulled out his pliers and removed the training wheels off of my daughters bicycle. Each wheel fell to the floor with a clang as he loosened the lug nuts. My daughter eagerly straddled her bike ready to give it a try. I hope she approaches everything in life with enthusiasm and determination.

We told her to be safe and wear a helmet. I hope she always considers safety before pursuing any future endeavor.

We told her to think about where she would be going. Aim for the fence. I hope she always has a goal she is in pursuit of achieving.

We told her not to lean too much in either direction. I hope she always remembers to hold her ground.

We told her to steer clear of any obstacles. I hope she can always be aware and avoid anything that may get in her way.

We told her to put her feet down when she is ready to get off. I hope she is always able to land on her feet.

When she fell, we told her to dust herself off and get back up. I hope she never lets anything or anyone hold her down.

My husband held onto the seat and ran with her until he couldn’t hold on any longer. We were forced to watch, filled with anxiety, hoping she would be okay. I know one day she will be ready to face the world, soaring forward and, ready to conquer. On that day, we won’t have a choice but to let go.

❤ My baby learned how to ride her bike this past weekend. ❤

LOVE in ten sentences (A Challenge)

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I have been challenged by Nicole from The Whispering Pen for the “Love in Ten Sentences.” I was excited, touched and intimidated by this challenge, as I haven’t written poetry in a LONG time. EEK! Especially to be challenge from such a talented poet and writer such as Nicole. Her Haiku poems depict an interesting perspective. In just a few words she has the ability to create something beautiful, touching and thought provoking. Her blog is all about sending out positive messages and is a breath of fresh air that I look forward to reading.

The challenge is to write a poem about love and title it “Love in Ten Sentences.” It must have 10 lines, each 4 words long. Every line must contain the word “love.” At the end of the poem, you must include a favorite quote about love. Then challenge fifteen other bloggers.

Love erupting like volcanoes,

Love bursting and exploding,

My love spilling within,

Love dripping and leaking,

Crevices coated with love.

Authentic love is messy,

Love you cannot explain,

Boundless love, no restrictions.

Devout love for you,

Identical love you reciprocate.

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I now challenge :

Vickiewhat  (you better do this one!! 😉  )

I came for the soup . . .

Best Poetry Blog in the Cosmos 

The Wild Rumpus

Renee “Soul Writer” Brooks 

Mama Writes Words 

A Writers Life

The Empathy Queen

The Happy Haikuer’s Blog 

Sarah Doughty

Creative Talents Unleashed

But I Smile Anyway

The Return of the Modern Philosopher

My Sweet Nothings

Have fun!! If you weren’t challenged and want to give it a try – Go For It!!! I dare you!! 🙂

Dear Blue Pajama Pants

My Dearest Blue Pajama Pants,

It saddens to me have to write this to you, but I fear that it is time we part ways. Lately you seem to be unwinding at the seems, frazzled and weak. It seems as though I have worn you thin and despite your best efforts, you can no longer provide for me the way you once did.

Indeed, we have been through it all together. I remember when we first met, that glorious night in the hospital. I had just given birth to my daughter and desperate to get out of that dreadful hospital gown. That is when you were presented to me, neatly folded and wrapped in soft white tissue paper, nestled inside a colorful bag. From that day forward I knew we would be close, I just felt it.

We shared countless nights walking the floor with babies, innumerable mornings spent coffee clutching. You always stuck around for the clean up too. Remember that one time we painted the house? You remember, it was late, we waited until after the kids went to bed with my husband. He rolled a stripe of sage green paint on you, right on the back. You thought you were done then, but not me, I still wore you proud. Countless mornings we spent together on the bus stop, it never not once bothered me to be seen with you.

Oh, but now my old friend, you have gone grey and lost color in places, you’ve lost your elasticity, and the holes are spreading. I’m afraid there is not much more you will be able to endure. They say, maybe one more washing. So, before it comes down to you completely unraveling, I will leave you now, as you still have your shape and your dignity. When I look back at photographs of us together I will always be filled with fond memories and adoration I have for you.

Blue pajama pants, its time for me to say goodbye. There will never be another quite like you. You will be missed dearly.

Your devoted friend,

Lisa ❤

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Do you have a garment that devastated you to part with? How bad did you let it get?

This doesn’t look so bad, the back is filled with holes. Its not good.

This MOM’s Life

I am so happy to be featured on My Sweet Nothings! She features Mommy bloggers in her posts titled, This Mom’s Life. I love that she has compiled interviews of mothers from different parts of the world.

As different as we may be, we all have in common the love we feel for our children. ❤

I just want to say thank you again, for including me!

What the Library Means To Me – Book Nerds Where Are You?

I wrote this some time ago for a library writing contest and won! I really couldn’t believe it. I ❤ the library! Here’s to my inner nerd!!

Why I Love my Library

Throughout my life, I have always been drawn to the library.  The large brick structure stands strong, protecting the authors and valued pages of literature that it houses.  As a child, during summer, I would walk through the automatic sliding doors, letting the icy cool air engulf me, leaving the hazy sun behind. I would browse the endless spines of eye-catching titles, printed in fancy calligraphy or block font. The choices were limitless, leaving me dizzy and indecisive.  The library was a good friend to me then, as I thumbed through the pages of my R.L. Stine, “Goosebumps” series, quietly sitting in the adult section, feeling mature at age 10.  The library provided me with one autobiography after another, as I obsessively read through volumes, on every person I recognized.  The library was calm, sensible, and willing to keep me company, until my curfew beckoned me home.

​Eventually, the library would become a tutor for me, as I researched information in the reference section, for countless hours, to prepare for a school report.  It was where I would seek help for my next Regents exam, or SAT test.  Sifting through books on biology and mathematics, the library supported me through my education, aided me, in reaching for a higher test score.

​The library is a second hand thrift store, where I could sit and browse through a respectable selection of books, and have the joy of walking out with ownership of a piece of literature, for only a dime. A small present for myself, purchased with the change rolling around on the bottom of my purse.

​The library is a knowledgeable mother, guiding me through parenthood.  Providing suggestions on ways to soothe a sleepless baby, tips on discipline, and holding my hand, when it came time for the ever-so-dreaded, potty training.    The library saw me through my challenges as a new mother.

​The library is a teacher, allowing me to learn about any topic, from filing taxes, to writing novels, along with the best ways one can explore Disney World.  I can sit and learn for countless hours, from the wisdom that the library embodies.

​The library is my office, where I went to inquire about civil service employment opportunities. It is where I go when my computer is down, or I need to make copies.  The reference desk awaits me, if my documents need to be notarized, or they simply require a staple.

​The library is both a coach and cheerleader, encouraging reading for all age groups, with rewards and prizes.  Ringing my phone and delivering good news, I can collect my winnings!  Generously providing my children with a weekly prize, and allowing them to be exciting about reading.  Graduating them through reading clubs, as they excel and develop their reading-skills.

​The library is a Mommy-and-Me, where I went to sing songs, and listen to fairy tales in the community room. My tiny tots would sit in my lap, clapping their chubby, little hands to the cheerful melodies.  As toddlers, my children engaged in the singing and dancing, playing with puppets, and a simple musical instrument or two.

​The library is an art class, where my children and I can walk in and decorate a treasure box, or color a wooden snake.  They can create a picture frame, or a present for Dad, for Fathers’ Day. The library is inventive and creative, allowing us to leave with a parting gift of some sort.

The library is an app on my tablet. Access to a new and interesting read is just a few clicks away, anytime, anywhere.

​The library is a media super-center, generously providing the latest DVD releases, as well as the classics.  It’s where my family goes to plan an epic movie night.  The library provides music for an upcoming party, or just for my daughters, to sing and dance along to, in the living room.

​The library is a hideaway, for my four children, and I. It is where we go when the snow is piled high to our knees, and when the rain leaves the playground soggy. It is a place to escape to, as I did so long ago, when the summer sun beat down relentlessly.  My affection for the library is a trait, which I have proudly passed down to my children.  The library has provided countless bedtime stories, for their heavy eyes, and early-reader books, as they struggled to sound out each letter.

The library is a place that is expansive in wisdom, and an infinite source of creativity. The library is not just a building, but it’s a thriving part of our community.  The staff is warm and inviting, helpful and educated. The library is a haven for my family, where we are known by name. The knowledge, memories, and friends that we have gained, at the library, has made an indelible impression on the life of my family.

My Focus

I woke up one day and I was hand in hand with a handsome man, tall with jet black hair, masculine features, broad shoulders, well dressed, confident and exciting to be with.  As we walked hand in hand on the cobblestone road, weaving between magnificent architecture puzzled together like a maze leading us on our adventure, the sun shined down brightly upon us as we pondered where we should eat our next meal.  Which cafe or bistro shall we choose?  Would I like to sit here, outside in the cool breeze, beneath a red umbrella, resting my feet as the waiter sets exquisitely plated, savory, foreign foods from this land which we are discovering bite by bite.

Today, this memory is captured in my mind, floating around as I sit in my comfy living room, wearing my favorite pajama pants beside the tree which is peering down at me.  The holiday is over and you simply cannot walk through the house. I need to begin the cleanup, however I have decided to indulge in the memories of days gone by.  I don’t want to face the countless number of boxes, as one would imagine with four “nice” children and a generous grandmother, and after that task, my bed is covered with clean laundry, knotted together, just aching to be folded and sorted into the appropriate drawers.  I am aware that my overwhelming feelings don’t just stem from the monstrous mess scattered throughout the house or the heaping mountain of laundry, but from the lack of distraction my focus will have as of tomorrow.  No more joyous gift giving and secret planning for loved ones. The morning was filled with so much genuine magic and Christmas spirit that it had brought a tear to three adults eyes. However, now I am back to reality.  Back to the bills in which I have no idea how I will pay and more problematic situations in which I have no clue how to improve or change.

Sigh. . . but for tonight and for right now, I’m hand in hand, with that man, in a land far away eating wonderful food on the street, with a new dress resting in a bag beside me. The mess and the problems will just have to wait . . .

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