5.4.21 Beyond Bearing It

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Sometimes, when I can’t fall asleep, I sift through pictures in my mind of before. I lie in bed, heart pounding, throat throbbing, repressed tears threatening to absolutely overwhelm me if I let them – because of this gift, and how quickly it’s passing me by.

Of him.

Of her.

Of becoming a mother and remembering every detail that my too-fast life with them will let me recall. Memories come back to me in fragmented bits … little pieces of stained glass that join together in an endless collage of colors and lenses I miss looking through.

I am so blessed.

But love – love this big … quite simply, it hurts.

It hurts because even when you try to savor every second, they still pass. It hurts because the world isn’t perfect and they are … so you need it to be, but can’t change it. It hurts because even when they’re too big to crawl up onto your lap, a part of them wants to, so you hold on instead for a too long hug – and it never feels like enough.

When she was nine months old, I was about to put her in bed, and she placed her tiny hands on either side of my face. She held me there, and stared at me so intently … her bright eyes telling me all the things she couldn’t say, but found a way to share nonetheless.

When he was off to his first day of Kindergarten – unafraid and excited for whatever came next, I asked him for one more hug. “For me buddy, not for you,” I’d said. He smiled big and hugged me tight. “It’s okay mommy,” he whispered in my ear, “I’ll miss you too.” Taking care of my heart at five, and checking in with me ever since.

She is my starlight. He is my keeper.

And though I am the farthest thing from what they deserve, I am on-my-knees grateful that God gave them to me … even for a time as fleeting as this. Because although I know I love imperfectly, I also know I love them fully – to the very edge of myself, almost beyond bearing it.

4.21.21 Joy of the Unexpected

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In truth, I almost didn’t write tonight. Again. It seems that every night, I am too much or not enough of whatever it is I feel that I need to be to contribute to the world in the way I want. And yet, I have a simple story – so short it is more an occurrence, but a sweet one nonetheless.

I was walking during my daughter’s dance practice, looking up as I normally do on walks (as the sky entertains in a way feet cannot). As I rounded a corner, I saw an older man walking his dog. I looked down long enough to smile at him and wave, and he said, “What an unexpected pleasure.”

That’s it. That is my sweet snippet, and yet when I reflect on this day … it was my blossom. To think that seeing a smile from the other side of the road, from a total stranger could bring this man such joy, brought me joy just to think it possible. We both continued on smiling. I went back to looking up, he went back to walking forward, but he was right, it was an unexpected pleasure. Being given the gift of a smile, one intended specifically for you, is a tiny treasure – a golden moment I tucked into the pocket of my heart.

I hope you found something that warmed you today … something small enough to keep your travels light, and bright.

4.12.21 It Has to Be Alright

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I think it’s there

just barely visible

on the edge of a cloud line

on the faintest curve of a smile

that hint

that glint

of light, and hope, and

something

better

is

coming

for no other reason than

it

has

to

Judge as you may,

I’m not prone to naivety,

but rather the need to rely on my faith –

which I admit

can sometimes look the same …

But it feels entirely different

Trust me –

or don’t

but know that I know myself

and the only way I can carry on

is to believe

in the edge

in the curve

in the light

in it has to be alright

soon

4.3.21 “Yes” Day

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It has been a year of “No.” No you can’t go there. No we can’t see them. No school. No sleepovers. No trips. No. No. No. So … inspired by the cute film on Netflix, “Yes Day,” with a few parameters, my husband and I decided that this spring break, though we wouldn’t be going on any trips or seeing friends, we would say YES to a “Yes Day” of our own.

We gave the kids a budget and told them, “No destruction to people or property … AND NO MORE PETS!” (We have 8 in case you didn’t know that fun fact about us – 1 hamster, 3 fish, 2 cats, and 2 dogs … you’re never lonely that’s for sure.) My takeaway is this – I am SO GRATEFUL FOR MY KIDS! They were so fantastic, stayed completely within budget, and even had mini-meetings throughout the day to discuss what might be the best options for time and money. So responsible.

Here is a list of what went down:

  1. Breakfast pick up from Chick-Fil-A (Matthew and I had to drive to three to find one open)
  2. Go to Walmart to buy Water Wars Ammunition!
  3. Have an all-out Water War in the yard (mom and dad had to pick up the 200 balloon pieces)
  4. Lunch at Noodles (Matthew and I had to drive to two to find one open … we don’t have good luck with food places or Google Maps)
  5. Go mini golfing (The sky rather opened and we got 100% drenched and proceeded to run the course instead of golf it … don’t worry … we hit every single number. We are not quitters.)
  6. Went to the mall (in our sopping wet clothes)
  7. Got hot, buttered pretzels (mom got a smoothie instead)
  8. Went to the toy store
  9. Got macaron cookies (white chocolate raspberry was the best)
  10. Kids played games while we picked up pizza
  11. Took a 9:30 drive to get ice cream before it closed at 10:00
  12. Watched two movies (Matthew and I fell asleep for both of them)

All in all, it was an amazing yes day. I think the most memorable part of it, for me, was just the freedom of not having any decisions to make. It was yes. Matthew and I started off with the stipulation that IF we said no, even accidentally, we’d owe them more money. It happened three times and I think they were almost rooting for our mistakes so the budget kept increasing! Ha ha! Delight.

So here’s to yes when you can, no when you have to, and lots and lots of smiles and memories in between.

3.24.21 Springing Forward by Looking Back

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“In a year that has felt both impossibly long and frozen – an immobile collection of repeating days – it can seem difficult to look forward. A new season is upon us and yet it is the same season when, for many of us, this entire shift of ‘the world as we knew it’ began. So what are we to do with spring? How can we advance bravely into the possibility of what we hope for when things appear no different? It’s simple – we look back. Take a bit of time to dwell in your ever-present treasure of memories. Spring is a time of reflections, new directions, and growth. Let the garden of your mind harvest sweet blossoms, and make yourself an enchanting bouquet of thoughts.”

– Excerpt from Springing Forward by Looking Back, Bella Grace Issue 27

I hope that you will take some time to explore Bella Grace’s Spring Issue! It is filled with all things lovely and has so many refreshing suggestions to reset your spirit! As always, it is an honor to write for my absolute favorite magazine in the entire world!

Happy Spring my darlings! Here’s to new beginnings!

Elle

3.13.21 Beyond

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Sometimes I wish that we lived in a world where there weren’t quite so many conventions … so many “unwritten” rules of decorum and what is or is not: expected, accepted, or normalized. This is where children have it right. They rush into conversation with reckless abandon, all tangled hair and thoughts … all colorful, vibrant questions. I want to meet someone and push beyond the “getting to know you” phase immediately. I want to grab their hand, look directly into their eyes, and ask them if the ocean calls their spirit like it does mine. I want to know if they too feel magic in the wind and believe in the possibility that Fate and Destiny like to play.

But those are not ordinary questions, and so instead, I fear many of us remain on the surface … knowing, but also not knowing each other fully. I want to live in a world where those kinds of questions don’t end in a quandary of someone looking at me as though I am not “fully sane.” Why can’t we know? Why can’t we ask? Why can’t we feel fully and cannonball into grand discussions edged in gold, instead of politely tiptoeing around generalities that keep us shallowly acceptable?

Can I just say … I’d love to fight normal? I’d love to wrestle the glass barriers of the mundane in preference of the glorious, curious questions I wish I could ask. What invokes passion in you? What draws you to the edge of yourself? Do you believe our mortal bodies contain immortal relevance and what in this glorious, terrible life has led you to your conclusions?

Albeit to say, I would irrevocably love to push beyond to the good stuff … but the world might have to spin a little faster (or maybe it’s slower) before that happens. And yet, if you find yourself in need of a little bit more … of a little bit deeper … just know there’s someone out there who feels the same and is happy to follow your wondering, wandering thoughts. Beyond seems like an awfully enchanting place to go.

Come with me?

Elle

3.8.21 Grateful Gifting

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I was supremely blessed this past week when two orders came in for quote stacks from my mini shop, This Quotable Life Boutique. Every time someone reaches out to me for a personalized gift, I feel so remarkably grateful … grateful that I was thought of in the place between giver and gift. From personalized poetry to wedding vows – I have been able to walk in some of the most fragile, remarkable moments with individuals who deemed me worthy of entering into their journey. What could be more satisfying than that?

And so, I thank you … all of you who read my words … who ask me to keep writing. Whether in response to a piece in Bella Grace Magazine that touched your heart, or a blog post of mine that found you at just the right time, you, my sweet readers, keep me writing – keep me inspired – keep me dreaming of what is to come.

My circle of influence may not be large, but every time I’m asked to write, or told that my words found their way to someone at just the right time – I am in awe. I am humbled and endlessly grateful for the chance to matter in the moment.

So here’s to you – my lovers of words, of dreams, and the places that draw us between them.

Sending you sparkles,

Elle

2.28.21 Somedays

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I have several friends who suffer from chronic illnesses, and honestly, I hurt for them in a place I can’t feel, but feel nonetheless. So this is for you my brave warriors. This is for the days your body becomes a cage to the spirit within you that knows peace is waiting for you someday. I love you. I hear you. Carry on precious … one more day … one more hour … one more breath if that’s all you can commit to. This is not all – you are more, and nothing, not even this pain can make you less. For you, dear ones, are made of beyond. Until then, I bless you for enduring now. I would be lost without you, and I thank you for not letting me get lost. 

Somedays

Somedays are dangerous things

they tease and taunt

and ease and haunt

the imperfections of our current state

of being

of wanting

of waiting

And on days like that …

the Somedays 

when the magic of stardust and wishes call

when the perfection of heaven echoes in the loves we lost

when the sea and the sky brim at a capacity greater than any earthly ambition

my heart aches with a craving I can’t satisfy

at the freedom I see

but don’t have

at the wonders of when

but not yet

at the whims I imagine

but can’t

make

real

Some days,

when Someday comes

my skin feels too tight

and my tears fall just right

and living 

is heavier

than it seems it should have the right to ever be

because beauty is in the eye of the beheld

and I wish to be held

by something lighter

than gravity

Someday

Reflections to Consider

1. Who do I know that might be depending on “Someday?” 

2. How can I make today worth their struggle to stay? 

3. What words, quotes, poems, or songs might I cover them in?

4. If I were to pray for them, what would I say? 

5. What wildflowers, free and blooming might inspire their view of today? 

6. What memories could I share to remind them of better moments in time? 

7. What does hope sound like? Smell like? Feel like? Look like? Can I catch some to share? 

8. If I visited, what activities could we do together where we were equal and free? 

9. What movies and books define our relationship? What else could I add to a care package that would enable and empower? 

10. What are ways to love them purely, as they are, and were, and will be … without filter or flaw? How can I show them that they are still them? And I am still me? And we are still us? 

2.16.21 Love You, For Me

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Love You, For Me

Beautiful

I need you to do something for me

and I know it isn’t easy, but I’m asking just the same.

If I could do it myself,

I would.

If I could ask someone else … it would never be enough.

And so I come to you – 

for you.

I need you to love you, for me.

I need you to recognize the impossibly, impractically, imperfectly-perfect person you are …

not just to me,

but to anyone who knows you truly – to anyone who has seen the magic you alone possess. 

I need you to imagine with me, that you are already there … 

that you have nothing to prove, and no one left to impress, 

except yourself. 

There is no one on earth who has, or ever could:

do what you do

think what you think

feel what you feel

imprint hope or impart wisdom the way that you can.

I need you to believe me.

I need you to hold on, for me.

I need you to recognize that reflection in the mirror for the exquisite treasure she is.

Do not dispel her value, 

diminish her worth

or doubt her purpose. 

Because I love her, 

but I need you to love her,

for me. 

2.7.21 One of Those

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Oh my, but it was a week … one of those that go from bad, to worse. The kind that make you question yourself, and then the world, and then yourself again. An eternal optimist, I must say I was really challenged this week to remain so. Still – I choose.

I choose happy even when it doesn’t make sense. Even when I can’t sleep because my heart is pounding in time to the ticking-ticks of the never slowing down clock of the race I didn’t ask to be in. I choose joy even when I don’t feel it, or see it, or hear it … even when I can’t tell where it has gone, or when, or if it will return. I choose hope because without it – friends: how would we dare to carry on?

So I am asking you to do me two favors.

  1. Pray for someone else. Because my guess is … they need it. Give some space for grace and calling out to the heavens on behalf of someone who may have lost their voice, their faith that tomorrow (for better or for worse) is on its way.
  2. Tell them.

If each person who read this post did that … could you imagine? It might just have the power to turn “one of those” weeks, into a holy revolution!

I’m praying for you,

Elle