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Noah Says - Vol. Two

• Leading up to Christmas, Noah would ask if he could get, "...just ONE toy, pleeeeease?" a lot. So, Brandon and I told him he had to wait to see what Santa brought him. Once again, we're at the store and the same question about a toy is asked. I tell him he has to wait to see what Santa brings. He then proceeds to out smart me by saying: 

"Well, just call Santa and tell him not to come. Then you could get me a toy right now." 

 

• We were talking about age and he says: 

"When am I going to turn five? Because it's taking a very long time to turn me five." 

 

• As Noah is putting on a hodge-podge super hero costume: 

"Is it summer yet? Because I really need to go fight crime, but I can't in the winter. It's too cold and the bad guys just stay inside." 

 

• Noah just learned the story of the Three Little Pigs and asked: 

"Is our house made of bricks?" 

"Yep, it sure is." 

"Oh, good. Now I'm not so worried about the big, bad wolf huffing and puffing our house down." 

He now points out all the brick houses in Salt Lake, which is basically every house. 

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• We were playing in Noah's room and he looks over and offers me a snack. I assumed he meant a pretend snack from his play kitchen and tell him I'd love a snack. He says: 

"Ok. What do you want?" 

He then proceeds to pull out fruit leathers, trail mix and granola bars that he had stuffed in his pillow case.

 "So, you can only pick one. I'm saving the rest for when I need a snack, when I don't want my dinner."

 

• Noah was scrolling through some texts on my phone: 

"Wow, there's a lot of details in here." 

 

 

• I asked Noah to put his "Michael Jordan" shoes (they're just tennis shoes) on. He says: 

"Yeah, I'll do that for you. Cause then people will see me and say 'What a cool Michael Jordan kid'." 

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The Beginning

I have a piano, Ben. My dad gave it to me about six years ago. And out of those six years, it's spent about four of them in a storage unit (not because I wanted it to). And let me say that it's been a long four years without it. This isn't just any old piano, it's PURE magic. Not only does it have the most beautiful sound, but it stayed perfectly in tune while it was in storage. My dad has composed nearly all of his music on this piano. And I've done the same. Every other piano I play pales in comparison.

Ben and I - Christmas 1984

Ben and I - Christmas 1984

Ben has an interesting history. Years ago my dad actually sold him to pay for his college tuition. You can read more about Ben and his history HERE and HERE.

We moved into our new home in September and I sang a hallelujah when the movers rolled that piano into my parlor. We finally had room for it. Between unpacking, commuting up North for school three days a week and adjusting to my new career as a full time mom,  let's just say making music hasn't really happened...

In fact, I haven't written anything in over EIGHT YEARS. Almost a decade. As I'm writing these words, it's blowing my mind. How on Gods green earth have I gone this long without music flowing from my finger tips? When I do play, it's one of three songs I wrote EIGHT YEARS AGO.  

Brandon always jokes,

"Hey, I've never heard that one before!"

You're sooooooo funny, Bran.

 

Let's be real for a sec...

I feel like me not finding time to play since we've moved is an excuse... Honestly, I'm intimidated. It's been so long. I've been through so much in eight years. Taking all the emotions and experiences from nearly a decade and trying to figure out how to express that through music is daunting. I have this standard in my mind and if I don't meet it, I fail. It all might sound stupid, because I'm writing and playing all for myself, so it shouldn't matter... But, to me, it does. How in the hell do you express that moment when you say "I do" to the love of your life? Or that moment you find out you're becoming parents for the first or second time? Or that moment when you meet your children? Not to mention all the other moments in between? 

I can't read music. I used to be able to play by ear much better than I do now...

The only thing I'm able to do is play what I feel. And if I can't even do that, then what? 

 

Today I woke up, tired and on the tail end of a week full of congestion, interrupted sleep and Doctor visits. Nothing special, nothing magical. We came home from a quick trip out of the house (since we've been cooped up all week) and lazily waltz around the living room in our comfies. The boys were playing, Brandon was reading and I sat down at the piano.

 

And there was this moment.

 

Life was simple and beautiful and I realized this is everything I've ever hoped for. And I'm just really happy.  

 

 

And I played.  

 

 

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Noah Says - Vol. One

I've decided to make a collective post of things Noah says to me that are too funny or sweet that I want to always remember. 

I actually blog from my phone, so jumping on my phone to add to the list is a piece of cake and an easy way for me to keep the list going. And I know if I write it in a book somewhere, I'll lose it. Because I'm horrible at remembering where I put things... Ask my husband if you don't believe me.

 

• Noah walks up to me with a fruit snack in hand: 

"Can you open this please? Then I need you to close your eyes." 

"Why do I need to close my eyes?" 

"Because you said I couldn't have any treats, so I'm sneaking one." 

 

 • Noah came walking around the corner with my tea in his hands:

"Hey mom, I got your tea for you. Did you know that I LOVE tea? Did you want me to drink it for you? I'm a good helper with tea drinking." 

 

• I was looking at my phone and Noah walks to up to me and lifts my chin with his hand: 

"I love you. I love you to infinity and beyond!" 

 

• He asks if he can watch: 

"Sleeping Booty." 

 

• He dressed up as Superman and said: 

"Watch out, I got laser beans I can shoot you wif." 

 

• As we were playing on the floor with Cohen: 

"Mom? Where is Cohen from?"

"Hmmm. I don't know, where do you think?" 

"Probably Target. They have some really great things there." 

 

• This one actually happened right after we moved back to Salt Lake. We were at the SLC library and I was asking the librarian a question, Noah chimes in: 

"Hi, I'm Noah." 

"Hi Noah. You just moved here? Where did you move from?" 

"New York City." 

"Oh, wow! That's far away!" 

"Yep. And there's lots of apples and taxi's. And I always yell 'TAXI, TAXI!' " 

(as he pretends to hail a cab) 

I then clarified we had just moved from Centerville.

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Ok, these next ones are a bit risqué. Please don't judge my parenting. Thanks! 

 

• Noah was watching Teenage Mutan Ninja Turtles with Brandon: 

"Dad, do the ninja turtles pee? Cause I didn't see their wieners, so I wasn't sure." 

 

• I was combing Noah's hair one morning and he wouldn't sit still, so I asked him to focus on the words on my shirt... Which were across my chest:

"So, you want me to look at your boobs?! Well, I don't like your boobs. They make me mad." 

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The Little Things - Vol. Three

- The mid-day light that comes pouring through our windows, filling the rooms. It's beautiful and still takes my breath away

- Friends that are always happy to hangout at odd hours/not always the most exciting settings due to naps or any other circumstances from having small children

- The way Noah's face lights up over anything Christmas related. I'm constantly on the verge of tears watching the joy in his sweet face

- How Brandon gets the boys laughing uncontrollably. There's no sound sweeter

- Being able to stay home and spend time with my boys. It's been an interesting transition going from full time work/daycare to home all day with each other, but I couldn't be happier

- The way Cohen sucks his thumb and rests his head on my shoulder

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- When we get the kids in bed and (I) sneak a giant bowl of ice cream and watch Netflix in our pj's  

- I secretly love Brandon's REALLY bad and majorly inappropriate jokes

- When Noah sings songs to Cohen

- The way Cohen twirls the strings of my hoodie up in his fingers and sucks his thumb while they're still in his fingers

 

This past year has had more ups and downs for our little family than we've had in a really long time. It's been a year of learning and growing and figuring out how to let go and moving on.  

 

And I'm grateful for all of it. 

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What I Learned From My Three Year Old

Parents do a lot of teaching, reiterating, clarifying and reinforcing. About manners, about how things work, about life in general...

I would say most days are filled with approximately 323 "Why mom?" 's or "How?" 's.

One day I asked Noah if we could take a break from asking questions, he said:

"Yeah, we could do that. But I just ask lots of questions cause my brain doesn't know a lot. And I want to know a lot so I know every-fing." 

I melted.

He's so sweet and innocent and curious and has the entire world at his fingertips with so much to learn.

Recently, we spent some time with some people that are near and dear to our hearts. Those people also happen to be gay.  We spent a few consecutive days with these people and I watched Noah give hugs and kisses unknowing of what our nation has been fighting the last handful of years in regards to unions between gay couples. Unknowing of some of the extremely hateful things people say about gay couples. Unknowing of how some choose to blatantly/publicly hurt/belittle/ostracize gay people.

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I watched my son, who once told me, 

"...my brain doesn't know a lot..."

teach me one of the most important lessons in life:

U N C O N D I T I O N A L   L O V E

This all might sound cliché to some, but it really opened my eyes. I'm not perfect and there have been times that I have judged others for their choices and lifestyles, gay or not. But to see Noah show and vocalize love and appreciation to these people without a second thought made me think about a few things. 

We are all flawed human beings. You can sit and argue the rest of your life about whether or not being gay is a choice. You can sit and argue about which is the true church. You can sit and argue about political parties, parenting, social issues... etc. Some people may hear and consider your perspective/opinion/statistics and others may tell you to go pound sand. 

(Which I assume people may do with this journal entry - the beauty of the First Amendment) 

The point I'm trying to make is, my sweet little boy taught me more about love, in a matter of three days, than I've learned over 31.8 years of my life.

What if we all saw each other, only the best parts of each other, all the time? What if we STOPPED LOOKING for reasons to dislike people and looked for reasons to like instead?  

Obviously the world would be different. Obviously this will never happen. Obviously there is opposition in all things.   

I don't want this to turn into an entry about why you should or shouldn't support gay couples. What I want to say is: look closely at the people in your life - your friends, your family. Do you love them? I'm sure your answer was yes. But think about that question again: 

DO YOU LOVE THEM? 

Do you love them the same amount regardless of whether or not they went to church on Sunday? 

Do you love them whether or not they are gay?

Do you love them even if your political views don't align? 

Do you love them even though they disagree with your stance on any given social issue(s)? 

Do you love them even though they fill their mug with coffee instead of cocoa? 

Now, go beyond that.  

Do you still treat that friend/family member the same as you treat other friends/family members that you may not have these issues with?  

Do you say to yourself-

"Our relationship could/would be better if so-and-so would just (fill in the blank with underlining issue here)." 

Because that, my friends, is EXACTLY what I'm talking about.  

That is what Noah DIDN'T do. Noah loved, played, conversed and showed affection without that thought even entering his mind.

Noah TRULY showed unconditional love. 

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So, let's come back down to planet earth for a second. Life happens. People say/do hurtful things, people disagree, people do things you find offensive...

THAT IS REAL LIFE.  

But, that doesn't mean we can't try. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try. That doesn't mean true unconditional love isn't possible.

All I am sure of is that I walked away from watching my son and decided I need to make some changes.  

I want to know and show that I am capable of expressing unconditional love in its truest form to people in my life. 

I've already lightly touched on this subject in THIS post, but I want to be the person who's able to:

"...keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away." 

 

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A Thank You

On being a parent:

"...It is hard. Very, very hard. And in reflection, it was the very best part of my younger life. I learned so much and how to really love. How to keep commitments. How to help us survive and flourish. And I'm ALWAYS here for you. Always. I love you so much."

 

That was a message I got from my dad one day. Through all that life has thrown at us, we've always had a way of connecting. Sometimes with words. Sometimes with music. Sometimes without a sound. 

circa 1990

circa 1990

And to my dad, I just want to say thanks for always answering the phone and never giving up on me.

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The Little Things - Vol. Two

Today seems like an appropriate day to post things I'm grateful for.

 

- Hitting all the green lights on our commute to preschool... Which is from downtown SLC to the suburbs up North (that's a lot of lights!)

- The way Cohen looks at Noah with a sweet little smirk

- The way Brandon reassures me, calms me and makes me feel loved

- When a stranger held the door open for me while my arms were full of bags and children in the pouring rain

- Brandon doing the dishes 

- When I rock Cohen to sleep at night, the way I hear Brandon and Noah talking about superheroes and their alter egos as he gives him a bath

- When Noah grabs my cheeks with his little hands, pulls my face to his and gives me an Eskimo kiss with the sweetest smile from ear to ear

- That I have a daycare that I trust with my boys when I need an afternoon of peace and quiet and a husband that supports me dropping the boys off for a couple of hours

- The way our house and street is covered with leaves, it's been a good autumn this year

- Noah's dance moves & dance parties with my boys

- This conversation with Noah:

   "Mom? What does 'you crack me up' mean?"

   "It means you think someone is funny and they make you laugh." 

   "Yep. You definitely crack me up mom!" 

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- When Brandon let me sleep in until NOON and my sweet Cohen snuggled and slept with me

- When Brandon talks about things he's passionate about

- Our home and how it's slowly becoming our space  

- Good friends and how Salt Lake has welcomed us back with open arms

- The way Brandon puts the tree together every year and asks me every 5 minutes if it looks okay. And it always looks perfect, even if it leans to the right every time

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A Reminder - Life is Short

Sometimes you need a fender-bender to remind yourself that life is too short and you need to hug the ones you love most way more often than not. 

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Cohen and I got rear ended and it scared me and it scared him and we're both ok. Life is fragile and short and I just want to sit at home the rest of my life with my boys in my arms so they will always know that I love them. So I can always protect them.  

P.S. If I ever see anyone behind the wheel on their phone, you can count on me writing your plate down and turning you in.  

Even if we're best friends. 

My baby was on the receiving end of that today and those first few moments of his scream and crys were terrifying and I never want to experience that again.

P.P.S The first thing I did when we finally got home was googled SUV's with the highest safety ratings. 

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On Love & Other Things

 


"Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away."

 

-Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

 

If you've seen me within the last 9 years, you've probably noticed I have a tattoo on the lower inner part of my right arm.  You've also probably noticed its large and a bunch of words. If you've never read it or asked what is it, it is the words written above.

Years ago, my dad gave me a book of poems. Among the hundreds in the book, this was by far my favorite and resonated with me most. Even to this day, I get chills every time I read and contemplate those words. 

To me, those words mean finding a person/people in your life with whom you can be yourself. You can be sad, you can be upset, you can seem irrational in a situation, but that person/people know you and your intent and can walk away from any situation with you and still love you unconditionally. Without judgement. Without resentment.

Marriage is hard. And somewhat like I imagined it to be. We've had ups & downs & limbos, but through it all I'm grateful for my husband. For the man he is. For his strength, his willingness to learn and try again and again. I'm grateful that for me, he is the person those words describe. At the end of the day he loves me more than he did the day before, despite my imperfections.

Becoming parents, in my opinion, has brought us closer together the last few years. And in a way that I don't think we would have otherwise grown together as a couple or individuals. We've learned to work together differently, how to communicate clearer and to love each other in a way that's hard to describe. 

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The last few weeks I've thought about how lucky I am to have Brandon. How lucky I am to know he loves me the way he does. How lucky I am that he's able to

 

 "...keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away." 

 

I hope that if you haven't found that person/people that fill those shoes in your life, that you do someday.

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We Couldn't Get it Right

Today was a hard day. 

Noah and I just couldn't get it right. When this happens, I'm torn up with guilt.  

I find myself raising my voice and sending him to his room, only to repeat the cycle in 30 minutes.  Its so frustrating, for me AND him.

At the end of the day, another offense. I asked him if he understood what he had done this time to frustrate me. 

"No mom. I didn't know that what I was doing was wrong. I was just playing." 

 

IT STOPPED ME IN MY TRACKS. 

 

This was the first time he has ever vocalized to me that he didn't understand why I was frustrated. That he was genuinely playing without intent to hurt, bother or break rules.

How many times has this happened before? How many times has this happened and I sent him to time out when he didn't have a clue that he was doing anything wrong?  

I wanted to cry. 

I just assumed he always knew why.  We always talk about being kind and what hurts people's feelings. We always talk about why he is in time out and what we can do the next time a similar situation arises. So, I assumed he just knew that what he was doing wasn't good/kind. But, he didn't. He thought he was just playing and saw no harm in what he was choosing to do.

One thing I'm learning about being a parent is if it doesn't work one way, try it every other way until you've exhausted all possibilities - THEN START OVER AND TRY THEM ALL AGAIN. Eventually something will click. And just because it didn't the first 3 times you tried it, doesn't mean it won't work the 4th time. 

Today I learned that my three year old is unaware of his actions/what he is fully capable of. I mean, we all know that a three year old doesn't comprehend actions and consequences. But, for me in a real life setting, I came to the realization of it. And maybe I need to ask the question of "Do you know why mommy is frustrated?" more often, instead of jumping right into disiplining.

 

Being a parent is hard.  

 

No book on how to do it.  

Nobody can honestly tell you if you're doing it right or wrong. 

One day you think you're really great at it and then next day, not so much. 

In the back of your mind you're always wondering what memories will stick with them and which they'll forget - hoping they only remember all the good parts. 

 . . . . . . . . 

So at the end of the day you call a truce with your little ones.  

Tomorrows a new day. 

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The Little Things - Vol. One

I've seen/read posts like this before and think it's one I'd like to adopt. Through out the month (or so) I'm going to make a list of the little things I'm grateful for/love. Once the list is complete, I'll post it here on my journal. I think this will be good for me to reflect back on as a reminder of how great life is, especially on days that aren't so great.  

 

Here goes. 

 

- I love when Brandon calls me unexpectedly in the middle of the day for nothing more than to say hello and see how I'm doing

- The way Noah sings If You're Happy and You Know It:  "If you're happy and your nose clap your hands!"

- Cohen's booty shake. It's really an attempt at crawling, but turns into a booty shake and it's adorable and funny and always makes us laugh

- The way Noah tells a story for a solid 10 minutes with minimal breaths of air

- When Brandon lies next to Noah's bed at night and approximately 15 minutes later I catch them in a synchronized snore

- The way Cohen lays his head on my shoulder as I'm holding him - his snuggles 

- When I'm driving somewhere and I suddenly hear a sweet little voice singing a song and the way he only really ever knows half the lyrics and makes the rest up

 - How Noah calls a mummy a mumma (I don't ever want to correct him because I think it's adorable)

- Brandon's laugh

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Sometimes Clothes Are Hard

Remember when you were in high school math class and you were like, "When in the world am I ever going to use this equation in real life?"  

NOW.

I'm using those equations NOW. Well, I will be soon enough when I'm trying to help Noah with his homework. 

The other day, Noah asked me a question as we were driving. I didn't know the answer. 

"Mom, just tell me." 

"Buddy, I just don't know." 

"But Mom, please just tell me." 

"Bud, I don't know the answer to everything all the time." 

**Don't tell Brandon I just admitted to that. Thanks.** 

He wasn't convinced. He thought I was withholding the answer, because up to that point I've been able to give him reasonable (to a toddler) answers to his questions.... Or at least sound convincing. 

In that moment I realized it's beginning. This is the part of parenting that I've been most terrified for.

TEACHING. 

You may be saying - but, you've been teaching him things the last three years. And you're right. But this is the part when it gets real. He's old enough to begin to really comprehend certain things and just a quick answer out of my magical mommy hat isn't going to cut it anymore. He wants to know REAL answers and he's smart enough to call my BS when I give him fake ones. Now I have to decide (and sometimes I don't get to decide because he learns it elsewhere) when he's old enough to understand/be taught/experience things and when he's not. Not only that, but am I doing this the right way? Will he remember this in 20 years and need a lifetime of therapy to get over it?!

THESE ARE MY GREATEST FEARS.

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There's also the sense of innocence that will slowly fade as he begins to experience things first hand. When I'm not there to protect him or hold his hand through things. I'm not ready for this... but in the same breath I'm excited to see the person be chooses to become.

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When I was pregnant with Noah a girlfriend, who has never had children, gave me parenting advice. It was probably some of the best advice I've ever received. She said,

 "Teach them to be confident in themselves and their choices. Then teach it to them again and again and again. "

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BUT...

HOW DO I TEACH CONFIDENCE WHEN I'M NOT EVEN CONFIDENT THAT I'M TEACHING HIM CONFIDENCE CORRECTLY? - IS THERE EVEN A RIGHT/WRONG WAY?

 (I know, I just blew your mind.)

How do I teach when I don't know the answer? Or how do I explain when things don't pan out the way he/I/we thought it would. What happens when he learns something/does something serious, that Brandon and I do not approve of? I can't just ground him the rest of his life and lock him in his room.

Although, it sounds like a totally logical way to handle things in my worried mom head right now. 

I know at this point all I can do is roll with the punches, confide in my husband and work together in raising our boys... Maybe hire a tutor along the way to help with the calculus I definitely don't remember. 

And for now, I'll learn to embrace the days where doing our homework (which I'm currently capable of helping with!) in our undies is our biggest problem.

 

Because sometimes clothes are hard. 

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Sleepless Nights

Noah was sleeping though the night at 5 weeks old. Cohen hasn't been as kind.  In fact, I feel like he and I are still trying to figure a lot of things out. Things that I feel like Noah and I had down at this age (four months). 

Maybe it's because I'm trying to juggle two? To anyone with more than two little ones - I TIP MY HAT TO YOU. 

Maybe it's because I've only been a SAHM for a few months now? Finding a rhythm/building a routine (AND STICKING TO IT) is hard... Especially when you've got a toddler that you're fighting to build a routine for as well.

Maybe it's because we suddenly decided to move and packing and moving and unpacking and contractors and paint colors are our life right now?

Who knows.  

One thing I am sure of - as difficult as the last few months have been, in the back of my mind I'm wishing time wouldn't move so quickly. Sure there are days that I'm counting down the minutes until bedtime, but overall, I'm soaking up what I can. I know that soon enough I'll be at a high school, or worse, a college graduation and my boys will be out in the world in their own. 

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I want to always remember how Cohen preferred to sleep on his side and the way his finger rested on his button nose as he sucked his little thumb. 

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I want to soak up his hums and coos as he drifts off to sleep. 

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I want to never forget his toothless grin as I reach for him after a nap or a 3am feeding.

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Or the way his tiny fingers dance over my shirt as I feed him. 

These days are numbered. 

And as exhausting and sleepless as they are, this is my happy place. These are the moments and feelings of motherhood that no ones tells you about and that you never understand until you're here. 

My heart is full, the dark circles under my eyes are real and my coffee mug is refreshed through out the day. 

 

Also, daylight savings can fall off a cliff. 

 

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