Things Aren’t Always the Way They Seem

Be careful how much you read into other people’s photos or stories or headlines. Things aren’t always the way they seem and I think we need to remember this as we journey together through social media and the news.

I am a true idealist. I have big dreams, always. I create playlists in my head about how I think things should be.

Today I took the kids to Raging Waters because this was the wish of the little one. He wanted his siblings to spend the day with him and play and this was his dream, since he had a season pass. We made it happen and here is proof:

As I was taking this picture after we ate lunch, I was thinking of the morning and how the big ones protested. They didn’t want to go to a water park today. I know, crazy thought, but true. Who has to beg to bring kids to a water park to hang out and enjoy outdoor adventures together?  This is ridiculous, I know. But this was my truth and you’d never know from this picture of my happily ever after moment.  We are perfectly imperfect, remember?

I think this picture symbolizes probably a lot of other moments we see on our screens.  Everything looks happy yet there were arguments and frustrations before the snapshot. LB and I used to call these our Norman Rockwell moments where we had to take 50 shots to capture the one moment where we all looked happy at the same time so that we could remember what we envisioned in our heads.  This makes me laugh and I hope you can share this connection and say, “Yeah!! That’s so true and real and funny!”

We actually were enjoying THIS moment.  It was just the journey getting here that was frustrating, but of course that wouldn’t make for a happy story.

I did actually learn some things today about raising teenagers. I learned I need to make quicker decisions. I learned that even when they aren’t interested, they sometimes are. And I learned to practice patience. They all came around and we had a great day together, living in the sunshine.


Life is good. 


So we took our baby girl to the airport today and did the whole group photos, lots of kisses and hugs and sharing thoughts and don’t forgets and call me or text and all that good stuff.  


We wished her well and stood anxiously waiting behind the black wall, watching her go through security until we couldn’t see her anymore. And then we left.  No tears, actually! I was proud of myself. Maybe I worked through the anxiety yesterday and was ready and prepared today. Maybe. 

 I am happy for her. 

 I am proud of her. 

 I am okay. 

 What made me sad and anxious was realizing that I’ve done my job and that she’s flying away. Not literally, as in flying to Japan, but she’s flying the nest. She’s got the hang of this life thing and she’s confident, strong, independent, courageous and curious and kind. She’s everything I’ve always wanted her to be. And she’s still young. I wasn’t expecting this to all come together like this, right here, right now. And so it is.

I came home from the airport and just sat still. I didn’t know what to do with myself. There was nothing I wanted to do and everything I could do and yet I did nothing. I ate some leftovers, not because I was really hungry, but because food is my anti-anxiety drug of choice. I looked at Facebook and created a FrameMagic collage and posted an update from the moments just passed. I practiced using SnapChat and chatted with Juliana while she waited another 2 hours before her plane departed. 

I sat and waited with her yet in my living room. She asked me what I was doing and I told her I was waiting with her. She asked if I was going to sit still for 11 hours too, the same time she would be sitting for the duration of her flight. I told her no way, that wasn’t possible and she laughed. She also told me she was only going to be gone for 240 hours and asked if I was going to sit and wait for her too, and I said absolutely not. 240 hours sounds a lot shorter than 10 days.  She made me laugh.  

Kristin invited me over for a visit and I was thankful that she got me out of the house. I needed to do something and I enjoyed her company and conversation. I continued texting Juliana until her flight took off. It was fun to stay connected and I’m anxiously awaiting her next text around midnight tonight, letting me know she landed.  All is well. 

I called my mom this afternoon, and the first thing she said to me was, “So, do you feel lost?”  And I said, “Yes!! That’s exactly how I feel. How did you know? I didn’t even know that was what I was feeling, but yes. I feel lost.”  She said that’s how she felt when I left to go to Australia when I was 12 years old!!  I so get her. She is one brilliant woman. I am so glad she was brave enough to let me go. She shaped my spirit for adventure and wanderlust and I have now shared this with my kids.

I’m okay feeling a little lost. 

This is real and it’s normal and she’s fine and I’m fine. I am vulnerable and just a little lost – like I don’t know what to do with her not here and not having to pick her up or make her lunch or make her gluten-free dinners or take her here nor there.  She’s okay and I’m okay – it’s just different and we’re growing up. Both of us.  

Laurie called today to check on me and several friends and family texted to see how I was feeling and to wish Juliana well. I am grateful, especially to Laurie who could see me and my anxiety and reached out, despite her own feelings of loss. How did she do that? I am in awe of her, always. She’s one strong woman who I admire so much. 

The sisterhood of motherhood is strong in my village.  

I don’t feel so lost anymore. I can’t wait to hear all the stories about adventures in Japan! Have fun, baby girl and live it up!!

Carry on, BeLoveRs!!

nAMaste sisters!

Day 101: Growing Up

My kids are growing up and I’m aware of it, right in front of my eyes. Usually you don’t pay attention to the change happening, because you’re in it. But every once in awhile you get a glimpse and it takes your breath away.

I was watching a little boy with his mama on the train yesterday and noticed his little shoes with velcro straps. I thought about how much I loved picking shoes out for my oldest one and how my kids don’t need velcro anymore. I probably won’t have to buy those again until I have grandkids. I sure enjoyed these days, being totally involved with my kids.

My middle child spent the night in another country without me. I let her go on the bus with her team and passport for two nights away and didn’t call her or text or email or facebook with her!!  I let go. I let the leash out a little more and trusted her independence. I was happy to see her when she came home today, and enjoyed all her stories. I mentioned that I missed her and that I felt the separation a little bit, letting her go and knowing she was ok. And she said to me, “I loved it!  And mom, you went to a different continent with your soccer team at my age, so it shouldn’t be a big deal!”  She was just being brutally honest and loving in her own way. She was proud of herself and enjoyed the experience. I’m proud of her too and realize she just got a little older and wiser. 

And the little one was sitting and listening intently to Opa tell him stories about Santa Claus. He listened intently and I saw the innocence in his eyes. I love that we have magical holidays and traditions that invoke excitement and surprise. I love that he’s excited for Christmas to come and wants to buy a stocking already. I’m excited to celebrate St. Martin’s day – a new celebration for me that they celebrate here in Holland and to celebrate when Sinter Klaus comes to town on his horse. I still have time, even if they are growing up.