Every Little Piece

Emilia,

It’s been a while since I’ve written a letter like this. This one is important to me and it’s something I need to write down to remember to enforce every day in myself.

The first time I looked in the mirror and saw beauty there, I was in my 20’s. I have heard the word my entire life, but it was the first time I saw it myself. With naked lashes and spotty skin, I admired the shape of my jaw, the strength of my chin, the size of my eyes… I saw someone who I could love.

Now that I have you (and you are what it took to see myself clearly) I realize how important it is to feel that way. How important it is to bury that self-love deep into your soul.

From this point on I will make up for all of those years I missed. I will love myself now, because now is where we exist; you and I in this moment that we’re so lucky to have.

I am not perfect, but I am beautiful. I am strong. I am confident.  I am secure.

You are all of these things, too. Right now. In all of your two-year old glory. You are SO fierce. So beautiful and strong. You will do it “all by yourself.” And you do, you almost always do. At the same time, you don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it. I admire you so much for that. You’ve taught me that strength comes not only from independence, but recognizing limits and seeking support.

When I told you your hair was crazy, you corrected me right away, “No, my hair is BEAUTIFUL, Mom.”

And it was. You are always beautiful.

Your anger is beautiful and a force of its own. You lash out, you scream, you don’t want to be touched or spoken to. I stay back, but still as near as I can. I sit there with my arms open and my lap waiting and you come to me, you crawl into it and your hug is just as powerful. I love you so much then. I love every tear that spills over, every scream that rocks my core. You’re so beautiful in that moment it breaks my heart.

Your love is beautiful and more gentle than I ever would have expected. You caress my face and pat my hair and look deep into my eyes. “You love me mommy?” Yes, baby, I love you so so so much! “I love you so much, too. I’ll keep you safe.” Emi, my fierce little girl, that will never be your job. I will always be your  mother, you will never have to take my responsibility onto your shoulders. Broad like mine, yet so delicate, you will always be free to be a kid.

That little sigh you make right before you fall asleep, the way your breath hitches twice; your hand gripping mine from the backseat as my arm goes numb; the way you sing E I, E I, O; the way your whole face frowns; the way you smile all the way to your toes; the color of your skin and your hair and your eyes and your lips and your nail beds; your very faint scar; your endless bruises; your baby teeth gap; your voice; your cry; it is all so very, very beautiful.

By the time you are old enough to read this, Taylor Swift probably won’t be music you listen to, but you’ll know every word to this song anyway.

I love you, little big girl.

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Every Little Piece

Coming This Fall

announcement

She ate two biscuits before I could get these shots.

Once I cried, “No! Stop eating the baby!”

Welcome to real life.

Coming This Fall

Where Was I?

The stuff and things version of my thought’s today…

So my 6OL challenge is wrapped up and I literally bagged up over HALF of my closet to take to Goodwill. I didn’t post daily about it because I often neglect my blog when I feel overwhelmed, but I did try very hard to stick to it. There were a couple of days where I threw on something not on my basic items list, or where I lived in pj’s, but over all it really made me aware of the clutter. I also realized that less clothes also equals less struggle in the morning. In closing, there is NO way I could have a closet consisting of 6 items of clothing, but I don’t need a hundred either.

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The next few months are going to be hectic for me. In March alone I’ve got a baby shower to help throw and three camping trips planned. The first one is coming up and my trailer is still COMPLETELY gutted. Yay for me. Then, it’s time to plan and prepare for Emilia’s first birthday party in June, followed by the Tough Mudder, an 11 mile obstacle course, and The Hub’s and my fifth wedding anniversary in July. That’s right, FIVE years of marriage and we’re both still alive.

***

I’ve been working with my friend Brian, a local photographer, and I’ve been having a lot of fun tagging along with him on shoots and learning as much as I can. I’ve still got a long way to go before I’m any “good”, but it’s the first time I’ve really pursued a hobby and I am enjoying the process. I hope to have some pictures to share soon. I’m going to a little ghost town soon and I think it will make a fun location to shoot at.

***

One of the camping trips we’re going on involves two women who’s parenting styles and philosophies I really admire but I can’t help but feel a little intimidated. How am I going to compare, am I a bad mom for using Aveeno sunblock instead of Badgers? Can I successfully treat my daughter with the respect and skill I’ve seen them use? Is it wrong that I’m giving Emi coconut milk or string cheese or super market meat? I know it’s silly, and it’s not that I feel judged or inadequate in any way, but I am human and I do want to “get it right” even when “right” has many different faces. I writing this not to illicit sympathy or encouragement, but because I have a lot of new-mom or soon-to-be-mom friend’s who I think need to see they aren’t alone. Everyone worries and wants to do better, but instead of letting my insecurities make me feel judged or defensive, I try to acknowledge them for what they are and be honest with myself.

***

Last year my brother got me a 16X20 wrapped canvas for my birthday and I have been waiting to choose a picture until I found one I loved. Although I wish I could wait until her first birthday pictures, it expires this month so I chose a recent picture I took of Emilia and I am now anxiously awaiting its arrival. I have a feeling I am going to be hooked on canvas prints when I get it.

The picture I chose

And this is just a small glimpse of all of the thoughts floating around in my brain right now. Hello, Monday.

Where Was I?