Summer Stages of Life

I love summer. Some of my fondest childhood memories are summer days filled with early morning swim practice, tennis camp then more swim practice. When I became a high schooler, summers were spent at the barn and horse shows until I moved away to college and summers became a blur of moving back in with my parents and catching up with old friends. I was a nanny to twins in the morning while their mom ran errands, then I’d meet up with my best friends at the pool for the afternoon which became nights out at local dive bars.

The biggest shocker of all summers was my first after college graduation. The first one in the “real world.” The world where I didn’t have summers off and I would be selling cars all summer long, even on Saturdays and Sundays. I knew I wouldn’t be selling cars forever, but man, I remember lamenting I never fully appreciated those summers off as a kid. I would have given anything to be back on my childhood bed, without a care in the world. Kids, consider this is a warning: the real world will come to you as a shock, but hang in there, it gets better.

Fortunately, my life has come full circle and I have summers back, in a totally different and amazing way. Although I’ve hung up my corporate suit for the time-being, I’m still working. I’m not driving in my car all day Monday through Friday, asking for physician’s time, but I’m doing something that was always a goal of mine: staying at home with my kids.

For a stay at home mom, I’m never home. We leave the house at 8 am to make it to tennis camp. Once tennis is done, we run to the pool for swim lessons. The rest of the day is playing at the pool, lunch, quiet time, errands, making dinner, giving everyone baths and bedtime. There’s not much time for anything else, my CrossFit workouts have been set on the back burner and my blog is sadly neglected.

I feel as though I’ve blinked and summer is nearly over.

Summer is like parenting, it goes by way too fast. It feels like just yesterday we brought home our son from the hospital on a cold December day; I can’t wrap my head around the fact it’s been nearly 5 years and both of my kids will be in preschool this fall.

I’m sure I’ll be writing more regularly when the kids are back in preschool and I have a bit more time, but for now I’m going to enjoy this summer stage of my life: the one when I’m shuttling my kids around and at their beck and call because before I know it they will be out of the nest, on their own (probably wishing they could have their childhood summers back).

Enjoy this summer, no matter what stage you’re in. See you soon!

Life Hurts {My Gaga’s Sunset} – My Messy Beautiful

Life hurts. No matter how many inspirational and uplifting stories you read and surround yourself with, there will always be unavoidable pain.

I have always tried to look at the bright side. When God closed one door, He always opened a window to a better place. I’ve always trusted that there is a reason for everything. Right now though, I’m struggling.

I’m struggling to deal with normal “life things.” My grandmother has recently taken a turn for the worse and I don’t know how to deal. My “Gaga” who was mowing her own lawn in Vermont 5 years ago, is now bedridden in a Florida nursing home. I hate that my strong-willed, amazing Gaga is a shell of her former self thanks to Alzheimer’s Disease.

I know this is part of life. I’m 33- years-old and have 2 small children. It’s the circle of life. I also know I’m extremely fortunate to have had so many years with all of my grandparents for this long. All 4 of my grandparents have lived to see their great-grandchildren, but selfishly I want more. I don’t want to have to say goodbye to any of them. I don’t know life without them and I don’t want to know it.

One of my favorite bloggers, Glennon of Momastery, calls life brutiful. Such a perfect word. Life right now is painfully brutiful. I’m blessed with a happy, healthy family and a life that I thank God for every day but I’m still hurting.  I hate having to see my mom so sad about her mother and not be able to help.

There’s only so much I can say or do from a distance but I wish I was able to go sit for hours every day with my Gaga during the sunset of her life. I want to hold her hand and tell her all of my memories of our time together. How I loved spending summers with her in Vermont and treasured our hours spent shopping garage sales. How I’m grateful that I’ve inherited her green thumb (for the most part) and I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to spend 33 years as her first grandchild and so glad she was able to meet her first 2 great-grandchildren (even though she said that made her sound old).

Life is brutiful, no doubt about it.

This essay and I are part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, CLICK HERE!