Perfect Moments (August-October 2022)

8-1-22: I typed “reassurance” in the search bar for todays GIF selection to accompany my perfect moment and the text was a little “too” spot on. Just change the “he” to a “she” and it has me pegged. I’m usually pretty resilient, but I’ve found something I cannot fathom losing already. Wild. Big. New. Whoo. Tonight’s reassurance I was so gently given was exactly the secret sauce I needed to get me to the place where I could feel a perfect moment feeling. I’m told “you are soft” when I am feeling it. It’s true. I like being soft. It felt perfect. I felt so thankful.

8-2-22: It was a happy day that ended with a family camp out in “moms room.” There is something extra sweet about their happiness before they fall asleep all together. I almost always just witness the process while I have a million thoughts about them. It’s a time I sit with the feelings of love for them while they peacefully sleep. Tonight felt extra precious for some reason as I heard them all saying their final “I love you, goodnight” to each other. What a kind group of humans. What a lucky mom I am. What a perfect moment that was.

8-3-22: Her.

8-4-22: The day you tell “your secret” is always a big day. Walking in truth is the scariest and most profound way to live. I say that strong statement because I have a lifetime of comparison with living truthfully or not to be pretty definitive about this claim. I’ve been more and more “exposed” in my truth. First with myself, then with a select few, then branch out to the easiest loved ones, then strangers (because if they reject you it feels easier somehow) and finally (everyone else) I’m right at the door of (everyone else) and I feel the freedom of the other side. Walking into that place changes everything. I think that’s why they call it a “closet.” It’s a storage place in the home, not the place for living. I’m letting ALL of my heart live in the rest of the home spaces of my life. Little by little. And each time I feel all of the fear, AND an expansion of love. Bigger than my body. Truth. Love. These are powerful elements to create perfect moments. I have been having SO many pure ones lately. I am at the door. Time to turn the handle. Wish me luck ❤️

8-5-22: My son was sick today and stayed home with me while his sisters went to dads for the weekend. After lots of sleep and “couch burrito-ing” he and I played a few games together. (He beat me every time at chess) This kid gives a lot of sweet moments regularly. They are often easy to appreciate, acknowledge and then move on with the next moment…but tonight when something sweet or kind would happen, he and I had the space and attention to sit with it, or go a little deeper into the thought. A few more sentences attached to a kind phrase creates some perfect moments I’m telling you. Presence is vital to really feel “level perfect.” I’m so thankful life was slower and more focused for him and I tonight. These elements made for perfect moments to happen, and perfect moments with kids? Those are some of the BEST kind.

8-6-22: I have a playlist titled: “Songs That Changed Me.” It’s those songs that (once you hear them) you know somehow you’ll never be the same. You cannot force these songs and their impact, but you cannot deny them either when they come. I had not one, but TWO songs change me today. That is so rare. I felt it. I sat with it. I knew I’d never be the same. And now my playlist has two more tracks to listen to in rotation when I want to remember the power of a perfect song and it’s impact on my soul. ❤️

8-7-22: I have mocked the phrase: “no you hang up” followed by the other responding: “no… YOU hang up!” For as long as I’ve known it existed. Sure, it sounded cute… but obnoxious. (Just hang up already) I would think. Ok. Well. Oops. Confession time. I get it now. I’ve NEVER gotten it until now. It’s not obnoxious, (unless it’s a landline and your sibling is waiting to use it) It’s an indicator of how thoroughly you enjoy the company of another. It is a sign that you are wild about a person. It is a longing, an ache in your chest that feels like your heart is being hugged and expanded simultaneously in the invisible embrace. I get it now. Hanging up is SO difficult. That is so new for me. What a great problem to have.

8-8-22: Tell me your stories and I’ll tell you mine. Learning about the people you love (in my opinion) ought to be a continual practice. I ask my kids questions like: “what was one of your favorite holidays?” They give a simple answer. Then I say: “What else about that holiday did you like?” That gets me more. Then I say: “Why?”… (that usually unlocks my kids) Sometimes this practice takes 1 question until the person asked unlocks something and shares with that flow that ONLY memory lane produces. Other times it takes 6 questions from multiple angles that creates a path which allows them to drive you down the location your questions prompted in their timeline. Tonight I only had to ask 2 questions and my love unlocked and was so open and expressive about multiple memories. The way she laughed when remembering a funny story, the high school fun, details of old friends… all pieces that made her- her. All just pieces. But I love knowing them. I love hearing them. It felt so perfect and almost sacred to be in that moment and witness those pieces she may not say often. I was captivated. I was steady in my demeanor but my heart was expanding more and more and I listened and watch her move through time outloud with me. “I would have loved you” I kept feeling. I do love her though. I get to love her. All of it. Just all of it. Perfect, perfect, perfect.

8-9-22: I don’t understand the physics of love. I don’t have to. I feel love bigger than my being sometimes. This element is intertwined in many of my perfect moments. I think love is a little like synergy. You think it is just 1+1 which would almost always equal 2. Unless, synergy is at play. It makes the sum bigger than the parts. I feel like my hearts capacity is being expanded by love. My heart hasn’t physically grown, but my love has. In the spirit of human formulas, I’ll end with this. “More love equals more perfect moments.” Period.

8-10-22: Football in Texas is a religion. The media has not lied to you about this. I am reporting from Texas as a mother with a boy who has caught the virus of “football.” I am now a certified expert on Texas football. Tonight’s perfect moment happened after a collection of perfect moments. It was a very still and peaceful day. The girls and I waited for brother during practice and the clouds filled the sky. The weather was amazing, the wind? (Just right) The clouds were Columbus clouds (the only ones I bet you remember from elementary science class) the BIG PUFFY COTTON CANDY ones. They were all shades of grey and white and silver. They were majestic. I sat with my girls watching the clouds and talking about what they looked like. I watched the girls dance and run around under the big sky. I felt like I was living in a movie. Even for just a few moments. Then, a rainbow. The encore moment of the day full of peace. I felt so grateful, but not overwhelmed. Enveloped and thoughtful. It was just so perfect. (Too bad a Hollywood camera crew wasn’t on site.)

8-11-22: I have ALWAYS wanted to be read to. Always. Books are a deep love, information my insatiable appetite. Tonight my dream came true and I was read to until I fell asleep. Of course I heard a kid and woke up to go tend to them (but it still counts) it will always count. A night my dreams came true. You read to me. I loved every second I remember. Perfect

8-12-22: Tonight I heard a song with these lyrics. “You can hear it in the silence, you can feel it on the way home, you can see it with the lights out… you are in love. True love. You are in love.” I have never felt so truly, deeply, fully loved in all my life I thought. What?!? How can that be?!? I have had so much love in my life. I really have. I still do. But then THIS love came. When I wasn’t looking. I gave myself a rough estimate of finding it in about a decade or so. It found me. I can hear it in the silence. I can feel it on the way home. I can see her with the lights out. Since she’s been in my life I’ve had explosions of perfect moments. The perfect moments have been more calm while being more powerful. It’s like extraordinary magic. I swear. (I know I sound like a sap, but you’ve seen my year+ sweet reader) Neither of us saw this coming did we? How perfect.

8-13-22: Charlie (my youngest) now gives REAL hugs. The kind where she runs towards me, arms wide open, and attempts to wrap me with her little wingspan and big heart. Her arms barely reach my back, but I feel enveloped by her sweetness. She squeezes, and with each squeeze I feel love. I love that my littlest “HUGS” now. Real, intentional, miniature perfect hugs.

8-14-22: “This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” I opened a book I got in the mail today and the introduction was just this quote from Hamlet. It hit me profoundly. I had to say it out loud. I said it out loud multiple times. I changed some of the wording to make it more modern. It was still poignant and beautiful. It felt SO beautiful. I am the closest I’ve ever been to my most true self since I was a young young child. That realization, accompanied by a deep experiential knowledge of the tears, pain, and time that got me to this truer existence hit hard. It all felt worth it. It felt honest. It felt calm. It felt warm. It felt sacred. Perfect.

8-15-22: Every line. Every wrinkle. Every little freckle on her face. They all really do tell a story. Stories I wasn’t able to be there for. I saw the lines in her eyes tonight. The sparkle of the light reflecting and I couldn’t tell if it was coming out of her eyes or mirroring the light in the room. Her soul is “that” bright. Incredible. Unbelievable and yet somehow SO real. It is real. “It is REAL!” I kept feeling reverberate in my mind and then travel down into my heart. It is real. This is real. You found real. This is love. It is freckled, it is kind, it is perfectly soft, it is fun, it is free, it is forgiving, it listens, it watches, it wants, it is. It is. It is real. She is real. It is so much better now that something clicked in my being to see that truth. A cascade of perfect moment after perfect moment tonight. A waterfall of love after a hot summer day. Refreshing, wanted, and undeniably…perfect.

8-16-22: A few good hearty laughs a day? What a good life. One in particular was just so happy. I felt so connected. Laughing together with someone. Happiness sometimes does have a sound. I loved every second of that exchange.

8-17-22: The coldest milk. A favorite cereal from childhood. A quiet home late at night. A seriously PERFECT snack. Which sometimes can be a seriously perfect moment.

8-18-22: My former mother in law not only loves me still so well, she shows it. I am going on a weekend trip and she surprised me with a gift to show her support and love. Who does that?!? Her. I opened my phone to see it and was overcome. I spent 13 years loving her, I spent another 10 being family, and now in this new reality of her “former daughter in law” our love remains. I’m loyal to that woman. I love her deeply. She is “one of the good ones.” Maybe one of the “goodest.”

8-19-22: It wasn’t the hug. It wasn’t the kindness in her eyes. It wasn’t how gentle and reassuring her touch was. It wasn’t the way we laughed and played. It wasn’t the shared nerves. It wasn’t the honesty all of the time. It wasn’t how she smiles when she dances in the car. It wasn’t how we kissed on a trail for the first time. It wasn’t the way she took in the scenery of the woods when she didn’t know I was looking…it was ALL of it. Perfect perfect perfect.

8-20-22: I laughed SO hard tonight after an absolutely perfect day. It was the man “and his baby in the sprinklers” and the “sitting on a fence” photo series that had me in stitches. It was glorious. So easy. So effortless. Perfect

8-21-22: An absolutely impossible task to pick which perfect moment to share. An unbelievable problem. Picture this. Downtown Portland. Handcrafted ice cream in freshly made waffle cones. Sitting on steps to a building no one seems to use. The weather is perfect. The company is perfect. It is calm. It is warm. It feels like an adventure wrapped up in home. I am myself. I lean back and the one I love gently grabs my hand. We laugh. We talk. People walk by. Time passes. But it passes differently when you are having a perfect moment. Sometimes it’s TOO fast, like the “rushes.” But sometimes it is like years happen in minutes. This was one of the longer kinds. I loved every bit of it.

8-22-22: I looked at some of the most beautiful things nature has to offer today. I saw the most incredible panorama of scenery full of valleys, hills, mountains, trees, rivers, streams, roads, train tracks, fields… I went to waterfalls and felt like I was in another world. Here is the wild part though. I’m sitting on my bed, of a studio hotel room now and I’m watching my beautiful partner write in a chair facing out the window view…and I feel MORE beauty looking at her than anything I saw today. Overcome by her kindness. Overwhelmed by her thoughtfulness. Home in her eyes. Stopped by her smile. Moved at her existence. Those moments in nature today were perfect. I’m just stunned and thankful this one where I am looking at her is my most beautiful one of the day. Lucky, lucky me. I don’t take it for granted.

8-23-22: In Portland, Oregon there are spots in the airport where live music plays. I made myself comfy, took my headphones out, and listened to an elderly man play from memory the most beautiful songs on a grand piano. I thought of how many years he must’ve practiced to be “this” good. I thought of what makes him come to an airport to play for people who just walk by. I was fortunate enough to have the time to sit and listen. I felt so connected. I felt inspired. I felt beauty with every stroke of a key from his experienced weathered hands. A personal concert. A connection without words.

8-24-22: All three of my babies slept in the room with me last night. We had missed each other while I was away and they were with their dad and his sweet girlfriend. The play had been had, the conversations ended and the quiet togetherness had begun. Charlie (the toddler) started to hum which prompted the older two to join in. They were all singing the same lullaby I sing to them regularly. I listened to each of their voices. Their different tones and inflections. How they sound like siblings and also so individual. How sweet their voices were. How much I loved them singing. How much I loved them. When the lullaby was over I said: “again?” And they obliged. It felt sweeter. I loved every moment of this exchange. Truly perfect.

8-25-22: My partner sent a “goodnight kids” Marco Polo that was short, simple and sweet. I watched Peter, Lily and Charlies eyes as they watched it and felt OVERWHELMING love. The way they “lit up” knowing she was thinking of them. Her calm, steady confidence. Her parental countenance. Her specificity in each sentence to each child. How did my former husband and I function in our old family before our partners? He has added the kindest girlfriend to his home. Someone who gives extra love and attention to the kids. Now I have found my home in the kindest eyes of a woman who is EVERYTHING I want/need in a life partner. It is profoundly hard to imagine giving my kids anything less than her love to them. They deserve to be loved by SO many adults who will care for them and care about them. She is already doing it. They are already lighting up knowing someone else loves them. Sometimes 4 is better than 2, and 2 is better than 1.
I sit here. The one parent that has them the majority of the time and feel completely inadequate. Why out of us four am “I” the one? Then I feel insanely grateful to be able to share the load of love with some incredible people. I wish you could see the kids little faces as she spoke to them. I watched them feel a perfect moment. I watched them long for her specific kind of pure love. I long for it also. (They really are my kids) We all love her. Perfect.

8-26-22: “Saying goodbye to you is like choosing to close your eyes in the middle of a sunset.” Actual words said to me. Ok. Ok. Ok. I think I’m in love. *and by think… I most definitely am.

8-27-22: In high school I spent time with a group of girls that called each other “The Cheetah Girls.” (I didn’t come up with the name) I have never even seen the movie. But I LOVE these girls. I finally was able to get in touch with one of them over FaceTime today and catch up. She remembers EVERYTHING. She reminded me of things from our time together decades ago that had me in stitches. I so love Peggy. I’m SO glad she answered my call. Her laugh is a perfect laugh and I felt like I time traveled when I heard it. Perfect.

8-28-22: I had a generally pretty happy day today. I cannot always control when I have these days when the lows just don’t seem as low and the highs seem steady. How do perfect moments happen on days like today? MORE EASILY (if I’m to be honest.) I welcome that. Living alone with 3 kids and having a happy day should be a perfect moment by itself! *I digress* It’s 6:30pm. I was in the living room with the kids. We had all eaten dinner, cleaned up, vacuumed, talked a bit, and had music playing in the background. I know they felt the happy energy of a clean home and content momma. I also think they felt bedtime approaching which always seems to give children a surge of energy. I pulled my book out and sat on the chair facing the best open view of the home. They played and laughed. Peter put Charlie on his back and Lily chased them around. Charlie laughed so hard we thought she would fall off of Peters back. It was the happiest sound in the most safe and peaceful setting. Everyone was enjoying each other. Love flowed freely. So did play. So did laughter. Together. I missed my partner in that moment. I think if she was here, it would have been heaven for me. Still. It felt perfect.

8-29-22: To feel seen, safe and loved is a combination that is not lost on me. It happened perfectly when I needed it today. It meant everything.

8-30-22: Every single perfect moment is a little different. Kind of like every breath we take is different. It will never be that time of day again, in that atmosphere, with those same particles, with our bodies in that state of function. And yet. It is always carbon dioxide exiting and oxygen entering. Perfect moments are like oxygen for the soul, and releasing them finishes the process. You cannot forever keep a firefly in a jar. I cannot keep my perfect moments truly. But I try here. Todays was her voice. How I loved every inflection. How I stopped to listen to the smooth buttery tone, rich with experience and love, peppered with light and humor, laced with feminine and strength. Something about that voice. It’s perfect.

9-1-22: Clouds filled the sky like fleets of ships in a traffic jam. The sun was setting in slow motion. A country twang rang from the stadium nearby where a high school Texas football game commenced. My girls played in the sandpit of a track and field triple jump area. I walked the track observing everything. I felt so connected. Inspired. In love. Grateful. In awe of the most picturesque country evening I was an extra for. It was a beautifully simple and profound perfect moment.

9-2-22: Although unable to be fabricated, perfect moments can be fostered and set up. Like placing a bird feeder out on a spring day and hoping to see visitors. It’s in the choices we make and the watchful/wanting eye that makes a space for them to organically happen. I try everyday to put out multiple traps to catch perfect moments. (I’m switching analogies so just forget the animal part) today I made a big choice. Something I knew would be movie moment worthy. It was. Epically perfect in fact. I’m so thankful.

9-3-22: Why is this the first time I’m watching this movie!?! It’s ok. I kind of love how little I’ve seen still because it means I have a whole library of movies to consume over time. Lucky me. Tonight I watched Little Women with my sweet girlfriend. There was a moment in the movie that was heart wrenching and (as they do) silent tears fell down my face. My partner said: “I love the way you watch movies…” I felt so seen. What a beautiful movie, what a beautiful love and what a series of perfect moment after perfect moment.

9-4-22: Starting my day with a perfect moment is just EXCELLENT! I was with my girl, we were at a park and as I leaned back into her arms I felt SO held. We were quiet, and then one would say something that would make the other laugh. We laugh everyday together. (What a gift) and then we would sit content in public. Two women. In love. And no one cared.

9-5-22: My kid had a meltdown. A level (“I hope no one ever sees this”) kind of meltdown. Over what you may wonder? Not being able to sleep in my room with me. (I know. I’m the worst) They were tired, they were spiraling and after the long process of regulating “I” was EXHAUSTED. Then, as I do every night; I called my partner. I almost didn’t because I was at like a 2 emotionally. That meltdown REALLY took my reserves and I felt like I wouldn’t be contributing to the conversation. She responded with this *Paraphrased* “Do whatever you need, but someday I will be there ,and will be a part of these moments and I “want” to be. I want to be there for you.” I sat with that. I remembered to believe her. I thought to myself. Do I need to just sleep and start over tomorrow or would having a buddy help? I called her. She was exactly consistent in her understanding and support. I started emotionally at a 2 and I ended at a 10. I felt so loved. How freaking importantly perfect that series of moments were.

9-6-22: I had a busy busy busy day! So much grunt work and not much time to think or feel. These days the perfect moments seem to be fleeting and short lived. My daily perfect moments were just feelings flooding over me of relieving recent memories. Nothing that was actually happening in my present circumstances. Then I realized: “That still counts. I still feel the sensations of what I deem a perfect moment.” Something so powerful that it could linger and sustain me through a busy day? Incredible. Worth mentioning. Valid.

9-7-22: I was validated about something so important to me today. I wasn’t asking for it. It wasn’t over the top. It was done in less than 1 minute. My best friend said a few things. My love said a few things. I felt after hearing them that I could be known by these two and that would be such a beautiful life. Lucky me.

9-8-22: I walk the track sometimes when my son practices football and my girls play in the field beside me. Every time I rounded the corner The girls would wave and run towards me. It slowed me down SO much on getting my heart rate up. But I leaned into the love (which helps foster perfect moments) and by the 5th lap I was looking forward to them hugging and saying: “mom!!!!” As they ran to me. Perfect moment once we all fully embraced the embrace rounding the curve. I love them so.

9-9-22: The “Christina to my Meredith” lives 7 min away (with red lights) and we haven’t hung out in weeks. I was missing her. Then we finally caught a rhythm of conversation where neither of us were interrupted by a small human we are in charge of. We were able to flow and riff and laugh and share. I just LOVE the connection we have and what she brings to my life. She knows so many versions of me and has grown with me as life goes one. I love her for that. When we were about to hang up I said: “Girl! I’ve missed you!” She responded in kind and I thought. Lucky me to miss my bestie who I talk to and see all the time.

9-10-22: I was listening to a podcast that was SO good I was laughing out loud multiple times a day. That is rare and SO welcomed. One in particular was so funny I tried explaining it to like 3 people and realized: “you just had to hear it….” And I got to. Perfect.

9-11-22: I got to spend time with my sisters. 3 of them have birthdays within 4 days of each other this week. (Gross mom and dad. Gross ;)) During brunch together I took a moment to look at each one of them. Really look at them. I realized this a few years ago but felt it again as I looked at them. The best part of my life living at the home I grew up in will ALWAYS be my sisters. I love them so much it aches sometimes. Happy birthday all three of you. I’m SO glad you were born.

9-12-22: Sharing the kids with the person you love is an endeavor. We have been paced and measured, thoughtful and deliberate about any and all interactions with the little ones and her. Today I was able to just send a series of videos of the kids being Norman Rockwell wholesome with her. Then we talked about the videos later. We talked about how the soon to be 3 year old screamed and screamed a few hours later, how the middle one leaves trash in all the wrong places and how the oldest one sometimes doesn’t know when to stop teasing. There is no hiding with her. There is only “d all of the above” kind of love with her. And EVERY-TIME I remember that… My God. It’s a reoccurring perfect moment and “I am HERE for it.”

9-13-22: I’ve always loved lighthouses. The idea of them, the stories behind them, how they look, what they represent… Tonight I heard my partner describe a portion of her views about lighthouses. Only someone who knows and has loved them for years would deliver those words the way she did. I listened completely enraptured by her ability to express the most beautiful prose on the spot. She is wildly gifted in a variety of ways and “I” was so thankful to witness so many sides of her. She is… an incredible person. (Understatement of the century.) perfect moment.

9-14-22: Poems fell out of me today. It felt so nice. Only one was “good enough” for publication I think, but the rest were like pressure relieve valves. Each one brought be back to my favorite gauge of operation. Each one was needed to offload pieces of my heart and mind. Sometimes if I let it live inside of me, the insides get too loud. The relief I feel from writing is a gift. and the feeling of getting it all out tonight was just what I needed. It felt perfect.

9-15-22: The day I know I’m going to see my significant other is such a fun day! I wake up before my alarm clock, I get ready with ease and I am flooded with thoughts like: “no matter what is hard, or might go wrong, I get to be with her tonight!” It makes the entire trip an adventure. I keep my eyes open for all the good and spectacular things. I marvel at the factory like acceptance humans assimilate to in a place like an airport. I smell the smells of different shops, I walk the aisles near my gate. I have all the things I need. I count down the hours and minutes until I get to hold her. Time moves weirdly on these days. And then I see her. And then we hug. And I feel home. And there isn’t another way to put it except that it is all my favorite perfect moments crashed into one human. I love her so.

9-16-22: A day with just her. A perfect day. Park City, UT is a beautiful place. We watched the Wizard of OZ in sign language. She is so thoughtful of the things that matter to me. I get dressed up for our date. The play takes too long but I am next to her and I’m fine when she’s there. No matter where we have been. I feel “fine” when she is there. I feel safe and loved. The play is over. It is cold. We are walking the street back to our parked car. It looks like that scene from the notebook when Noah and Ali first walk home together at night. Only I am full of energy and she is practically running to the car she is so cold. I love our love story. It is real, 1000% less toxic than the notebook… but I love her as much as they seem to love eachother. My notebook has been being filled by stories of us already. How perfect.

9-17-22: Pickleball with her family. I had SO much fun. It had been SO long since I had played and I missed it so. Her mom kicked my butt twice, and I loved every second of it.

9-18-22: I met the family! And I was a ball of nerves! Why!?! I hadn’t been the first time I met her brother, or her mom… but now, knowing it was a “family gathering” I was coming to? Oh boy. I was greeted by her brother hugging me and saying: “welcome home honey.” And then her mom smiling saying: “you made it!” I thought: “Ok, I can do this!” Shay sat beside me cool as a cucumber while I fragmented with nerves small talk amongst her extended family members. Everyone was friendly. Everyone was pleasant. Right as I was warming up socially, it was time for me to go to the airport. Then a dream of mine came true. I got to rehash an experience real time with my partner. She gave feedback, listened, and let me recap what had just happened. Something I very much feel compelled to do after social events. I felt so connected to her. So close. I wanted the rest of my days with her again in that moment. The cruel part of a perfect moment is that is can be directly followed by hard moments. It feels wrong to be away from her. She dropped me off at the airport when I was feeling a peak in connection. I keep leaning on the principle of the invisible strings that tie us together. Otherwise I’d be inconsolable. What a big love that is though. Truly more perfect moments than not because of her.

9-19-22: Hard day. As to be expected. The withdrawals are natural on a chemical level when you have been with your significant other in person and now are long distance again. The perfect moment was easy to pic today because I didn’t have a ton of them. It was Charlie (my youngest) saying: “Thank you so much! I missed you!” And it felt like she knew what she was saying and that she meant it.

9-20-22: I have REALLY good friends. It only took 3 decades to figure friends out. I’m really thankful for the ones I have. ALL of them must’ve felt it in the water that I was feeling down because I had a notification from every single person in my inner circle. All saying different things. I sat with the realization that I have some seriously great people in my life. I didn’t’ even respond to them, but I sat with how they reached out to me and it felt like a fairytale set up of plutonic love. For a moment. it was perfect.

9-21-22: I came back to myself enough today to identify I was feeling depressed. It wasn’t anyones fault. Depression is a companion and friend of mine. It has been since I can remember. Sometimes the shadows swarm like I’ve opened a door and thousands of bats burst through. Feeling “perfect moments” is SO difficult when you are distracted by the darkness that invades your insides. I sat with it though. I did the things to stay healthy/smart/kind, and I told a few people (which is the hardest step for me) and I celebrated a “good bad day.” I consider these days prep for some exceptional moments in the future to come. A natural ebb and flow to life.

9-22-22: It turns out my perfect moments don’t upload from my phone anymore. (A minor inconvenience I’m adjusting to) I see your comments and messages and think to myself: “What a wonderful world.” To be invested in a stranger and their perfect moment of the day? The humanity in that curiosity displayed. The parasocial connection I get to share with you. How perfect. (Time up upload the rest and catch up again.)

9-23-22: “The Book Thief” Has got to be one of the most creatively written books of our generation. The prose is so illustrative and simple. I am reading this book alongside my girlfriend over FaceTime (when we remember) and tonight we remembered. 4 chapters. Popcorn style reading. Me falling in love harder as she read to me, her paying attention as I read something shes already heard before. I love a good book. I love connecting with my girl, and tonight we got both. It was a cascade of perfect feelings I was “SO” ready for. *10 out of 10 recommend reading together at night if you’re in a long distance relationship.*

9-24-22: My boys football game was SO enjoyable today! I got to pawn my girls off with their “tita” (aunt) and cousins while I got to watch uninterrupted. Today he was team captain and he wore the patch with confidence. Peter shows his insides when he is playing a competitive sport. He has such determination and hard work ethic it moves me. He stands out with his hustle and desire to do his job. His touchdown, QB sacks, fumble recovery, runs and defense were just moments of reward for all the hours he puts into his favorite thing. I get to see the hours. So cheering for him felt even sweeter. I love my boy.

9-25-22: Co-regulation is one of the best perks to having a good partner. It is not to be confused with codependency which is when essentially your emotions, sense of worth, purpose and ability to regulate is so enmeshed with your significant other that you cannot differentiate between their feelings and yours. No. That is the shadow side of connection, This is the bright side of partnership. It is the opportunity to bring your sadness, worry, struggle or hard thing to your partner and it be made lighter somehow just because they see it also. Last night I saw something so sad and felt myself at a fork in the road emotionally. Do I carry this pain into the night alone and let it pass through me and run its course? (like it wants to do) OR do I call my partner and just let her in? I picked calling her. She answered. She just sat there with me in it. I felt vulnerable. She made it normal. She didn’t solve my problems. She just sat with me and I regulated faster. I still had to feel it. She loved me in that state. She loved me sad. It made us closer. It helped me not spiral alone. It was perfect.

9-26-22: “You know what I like about you….” The beginning of a sentence that came out of my sons mouth, that I was able to witness. It didn’t even matter what came next, the impact of his goodness was made. How would our world be if we did this with those we loved more? A perfect moment. From a 9 year old boy.

9-27-22: I am SO glad for today. It’s my partners birthday and I was the “happy” in her birthday all day today because I kept thinking: “I’m SO glad she was born!” Such a simple sentence, but it sent those perfect feelings through me each time. I love her.

9-28-22: Cleaning in preparation for my girl to come visit Texas has been a slow, non stop pace. I like it this way. I put on a book or podcast and just start moving. I found myself dancing while picking up and realized: “I am SO happy shes coming!” The kids could feel it. They joined in with cleaning. We cranked the music up and everyone was working towards the same goal. I love doing laborious work with the kids. It’s so rewarding. The way we all danced around and cleaned together was about 10 perfect moments every other song.

9-29-22: When you find your friends that you can be “all the sides of you” with (and regularly laugh with…) hold tight. I was able to have the most cathartic conversations about pains I still am working through. We said the hard truths and then we laughed and laughed and laughed. It was validation and joy wrapped in a connected conversation. I so love my girlfriends.

9-30-22: My worlds collided today. My best friend met my partner. It was so calm. So warm. So peaceful. So sweet. So perfect that I felt like I was observing someone else’s life, not living mine. How grand.

10-1-22: Peters football game. Unforgettable. Why? Because my girl met the kids, and the former husband, and his girlfriend. In the sun, with a crowd of people around us. In small town Texas. And still… perfect moment after perfect moment. I pinch myself to wake up sometimes because reality feels unreal. (This day deserves a blog post)

10-2-22: Sunset. A walk to the park. Simple play. A walk home as a family unit. Shaylynn, Me, Peter, Lily and Charlie. All together. Nighttime routine. Brush teeth, Pjs, Bathroom, Floss… Then highs and lows and “5 min talk.” Shay joined us. There were magical and powerful and simply perfect moments littered throughout these few hours. This one takes the cake though. During Peters 5 min talk session (where I just ask questions to the kid who has the spotlight) Shay asked him this: “If you could be any age, past or future. Which one would you be and why?” His reply? “Probably 9 like I am right now because I like…(he trailed off and corrected himself) no 10. Because because by the time I’m 10 you will have moved in.”

I will never forget today.

10-3-22: We all got notes from Shay to read this morning since she was now headed back to Utah. We all miss her. What a good problem to have. Each letter she wrote was so appropriate for each person. She drew a picture of a cat for Charlie, wrote a simple sweet string of compliments for Lily And a few more words for Peter and I. We are so loved. We all got to share in our notes today before school. We miss her. We are so lucky to miss someone so wonderful.

10-4-22: Overnight Oats. Ginger Shots. A best friend. Dropping off those things for me to help my tummy feel better. She has 5 freaking kids and a newborn. Anything she does for me makes me feel SO grateful. The timing of todays help was PERFECT for what “I” was needing. She saw me. She showed up. I felt so loved.

10-5-22: Rough day. I’m fine and I know I’m fine. But I’ve been exposed to a new level of perfection and it requires her company. I still had a perfect moment. It was how loved I felt even while feeling low and less interesting. These moments are perfect in their own way. To be seen while feeling low, and be loved. What selfless love.

10-6-22: My 9 year old son got to stay up tonight and finish the football game on the TV. It was the easiest reward to give a brave boy who stood up for his “gay mom” today at school. The topic came up and his classmates said agreeing with eachother: “that is weird!” “Being gay is weird!” “I don’t think it’s ok.” To which he responded outloud and outnumbered with: “I don’t think it’s weird, and I really like my moms girlfriend.” He said they all got quiet and he stood strong in his conviction. He said: “they just don’t know mom.” What a good boy. What an ally. I hate that this is still reality, but I get it. I knew it would be. I’ve tried to prepare the kids for years regarding all types of marginalized people. He was the only one who said something, but he just empowered others to be safe in his presence and I was SO proud of my little hero.

10-7-22: I shared a good hard laugh with someone I loved. The kind where you both keep adding to the joke and laughing harder and harder. What a good kind of laugh. A perfect kind.

10-8-22: Partner. I looked up about 5 definitions of this word today. Mostly because it describes how I feel in a big way with my significant other. I have a “partner” now. Someone that wants to be in the minutia of life while also respecting and loving my autonomy. I feel like I have all the words that you’d find next to partner in the thesaurus. I know because I looked already.

10-9-22: You may not be able to tell just from looking at me if I am having a “perfect” moment or not. Sometimes I will have a very serious face while feeling the most love and connection that week. Sometimes I will look like I am completely lost to a belly laugh, and a part of me is presently observing the me laughing and is thinking of how happy I look (while being happy). *the Id, Ego and Superego are fascinating concepts.* I digress. Todays was a “you might not know it” moment. I was at a trampoline place (not my element) and surrounded by noise, movement and uncomfortable seating. Sometimes though. In those environments the most memorable perfect moments happen. Because they are unusual maybe? Because they are such contrast? I’m still not sure.
I watched my middle child defend her toddler sister from a boy who was potentially playing too rough and aggressive. The way she placed herself in front of the boy and in between the little one. How firm she stayed in her conviction to protect. How definitive she was about her boundaries. How steady her arm extended outwards towards the boy to have him keep his space. She didn’t flinch. She didn’t hesitate. Her love emboldened her. She was powered by love. It was a beautiful thing to witness. Truly perfect.

10-10-22: AN ALMOST ALWAYS TRUTH OF MINE: I feel really important when I can make someone laugh. (I’ve worked through this in therapy) so I’m pretty much ok now. 😉
Today it happened early while on the phone with my girlfriend. I’ll admit, I sat a little taller for the rest of the afternoon. Some people love to make others laugh because you’d be weird to say you didn’t…. Others. LIVE for it. I’m in the “others” category. I’ve accepted it. (1st step) and I reveled in the joy on her face and sound of her laugh today on repeat.

10-11-22: Parenting breakthroughs are like those parts on a hot wheels track where two rubber wheels powered by four AA batteries spin to speed up the toy car. The propulsion helps the gas-less vehicle power through the loops ahead on the track. I had one of these today while parenting my middle child. Simple little ingredients from learning (in general daily) came together for a new idea to help my daughter clean more effectively and without so much fuss.
IT WORKED! (Ring out the bells to all the churches) That is how thankful I feel when something works in an area where we have been at a stalemate. It was perfect. She felt better, I felt better… things got cleaned. Now onto the loops ahead.

10-12-22: Today was a hard and sad day for the kids. A stressful and complex day for me emotionally. I broke the news to them that their dad and his girlfriend (who we all loved) were no longer together. Again. Great opposition can give space for great opportunity. I witnessed the intelligence and emotional articulation of my two older kids as they processed this information aloud. I witnessed their character and capacity to love in their sorrow and loyalty. I felt deeply humbled and honored to be the “adult” of this moment of firsts for them. We talked about the invisible strings of love we share with those no longer with us (in any capacity) and how they reach anywhere and everywhere. Forever so long as love remains. It felt like we all bonded in shared deep universal truths during a time where grief could have sent us in many directions. We stayed together. United as a little family.

10-13-22: Simple but profound. My partner is brilliantly funny. Fantastically witty. Exceptionally expressive. Captivatingly beautiful, and devastatingly clever. She uploaded a story of her riffing a funny concept for no more than 30 seconds and I must’ve have watched it 5 times in a row. I was struck by her beauty in one take, the next I was watching her thoughts connect and form concept. The next take I used my nerd side to break down the comedic genius of her bit and it’s varying complex humor structure. The final two were combinations of the first three while just thoroughly enjoying the authentic show that is her. I felt proud. I felt so thankful. I love her. For so many reasons. How perfect.

10-14-22: Dinner made with love, by my love for the kids and I. The energy in the home was calm, happy, warm, safe. We were all together and wildly independent. It was a version of life I have so longed for. Like love moving through the air. I felt it every time I breathed in and out. It was real and it was absolute, unquestionably….perfect.

10-15-22: Those 5-30 minutes right before sleep will ALWAYS be my favorite time of day. It’s the eyes closed moments of laughter, the last recap of our observations and favorite moments of the day, hearing one more idea before sleep that is so beyond perfect I’ve almost not included it on this forum because I fear I will never adequately be able to articulate what it feels like. I keep these moments precious like treasure at the end of every days quest. I make them with the kids by doing highs and lows before bed, I do it with myself by journaling, and tonight I was able to “pillow talk” with my partner in real life. Imagine your favorite part of every love song you’ve ever heard. Add laughter. Add cuddles. Take away fear. Take away loneliness. It was like that. But better. The definition of my kind of heaven.

10-16-22: I was with the girls in their room rubbing backs, and sitting next to them as they fell asleep. I hear down the hallway the familiar sniffling of my 9 year old son. Then I hear the calm reassuring, warm voice of my partner. I have a choice. Go and see what its going on, or trust her with this moment. I felt it was time to trust. I’m so glad I did. 30 minutes later, the girls are asleep and I still hear quiet chatter from his room. He is snuggled up beside her. She is rubbing his hair. He looks up at me with sweet eyes and says: “I’m going to miss Shay so much. Can I have her number in my phone to call her? I love her mom.” I am blown away by this moment. I look into my partners kind eyes and see a mother. She is a perfect fit for us. Of course the girls took to her quickly… but Peter? The boy who has seen it all? The oldest of the bunch? To have the reaction to her? Was the purest kind of perfect moment you could imagine. Not able to be fabricated or manufactured.

10-17-22: My best friend stood across from me in the kitchen as I tried to explain how it is so hard to be apart from my partner. It came out like this: “It’s like I am a whole kitchen full of ingredients, and I can make food up and survive and live a good life… but She has all these other ingredients that make up her and together we can make things I’ve only ever dreamed of. My favorite dishes, the most nutritional content and the load of cooking is reduced by half!” No wonder I miss her painfully. And it that moment I felt the perfect realization that this is the cost of a great love… which means I really do have it now. A perfect love.

10-18-22: Accountability saves me when it comes to sobriety. All I have to do is tell someone I want to partake and instantly I am not in the mind games on my own. No one could stop me if I really wanted to drink, but when I voice it aloud to someone I love and trust I am able to see it as just the voice of the girl wanting to escape the painful part of living. It becomes separate from me and I am able to have perspective over the craving and emotional attachments as a separate beast. I was sober today when i didn’t want to be. *yay*

10-19-22: I believe in women supporting and building up each other. Which is why I have a rule with any and every woman I see. “If I think something nice, I say it.” * I don’t apply this to all men because I’ve found they can take something nice as an invitation to far less plutonic places. Today I got the gift returned to me. She was intentional. She was specific. She was kind. and she said the thing. That statement replayed like a happy track in my mind all day today. I was reminded how brave, genuine kindness can make a difference. It was perfect.

10-20-22: Some perfect moments come in the middle of selfless acts. Some come when you realize you no longer have to take your son to football 3 times a week, wash gear every other day, drive wherever the game is, and set up canopy’s for your younger girls to complain under during his games. Some perfect moments are a sigh of relief…. 😉

10-21-22: I’m happy to say it has been months since I’ve had a weekend truly to myself. There are pros and cons to everything in life and I’ve decided and a pro to alone time is….UNINTERRUPTED SLEEP. I had the BEST nap, and only “I” was to blame for how much or how little I slept. If you’re a parent or have a partner you realize the rarity of this. It was simply perfect.

10-22-22: I went on a walk through my neighborhood and listened to one of my dearest friends talk to me on a video messaging app named “Marco Polo.” I wasn’t alone. The weather was perfectly warm, with a cool fall breeze. Smiles were exchanged at each passerby because I truly felt so happy. What a life I have. What a rich, complex, full, contrast of a life. Then my partner called happy and smiling. It was a perfect walk.

10-23-22: Some books deserve to be re-read. One of those books is “The Untethered Soul” by Michale A. Singer. I was reading it to a small Marco Polo group. I went into the experience feeling like my soul just lacked in luster. Dim and uninspired. Just a few pages in, I felt warmth coming back to my being. I love that book. Knowing people I love will be able to talk about it now was a perfect moment.

10-24-22: I am NOT a mom you come to for help with math. Turns out my best friend isn’t either. We found this out while swapping stories about our 2nd graders and laughing until our sides hurt. Perfect moment found in the shared imperfection of us.

10-25-22: Going into the homestretch of this perfect moment challenge I gave myself and I’m hitting a block. Is this my mile on the marathon that makes me feel defeated? Do I have what it takes to see this thing through? Depression has been running inside of me like thick fog that got let out of its cage. I’m ok. In fact something’s in my life have NEVER been better. And still. no perfect moment today. I felt loved. I felt love for others. But the fog can make it very hard to see and feel. Onto tomorrow.

10-26-22: Another day of mostly surviving and making simple choices under my “is it healthy? Is it smart? Is it kind?” rubric. I did have a breakthrough perfect moment that surprised me. My middle child Lily (who is consistently VERY upset about cleaning anything) did her chores and then parts of the house I didn’t ask her to clean. When I said: “did you do this?” She smiled and said: “It’s no problem mom and I don’t even need a treat or gift for it.” (Oh that kid lol) That act, her positive attitude and the funny little thing she said combined made for a quick perfect moment.

10-27-22: A rule I follow to help get myself out of my head is to help others. I took my nephew and my youngest to a trampoline place. I was going through the motions of doing good things and hoping for some light in the fuzzy fog of my week. Then my almost 3 year old does something I had never seen her do. She kept posing every time she fell. She falls a lot and without fail, she would take a second to pause and pose (as if it was all on purpose) It was so cute and random and funny that she had me laughing aloud at her goofy little antics. The crack into my humor outlet that let in the light of a perfect simple happy moment happen.

10-28-22: “beep, beep, beep, beep” *front door unlocks* I hear faint footsteps. It’s 1am roughly and my partner has just arrived from Utah to be with us for the weekend. I’m laying in bed half awake when she walks in. Tall, soft, feminine in her demeanor. She brings such a warm and calm energy wherever she goes. I begin to open my eyes fully and she is real again. Standing in the doorway. “Hi! Aww I missed you!” I say as she leans in for the most gentle middle of the night hug. She’s here. I feel so peaceful. How perfect.

10-29-22: Every time we said “Happy Birthday Charlie” to the new 3 year old she would respond with an equally enthusiastic: “THANK YOU!!!!” And each time it felt so sweet. I wanted to cement the sound of her little raspy voice in my mind and play it anytime I felt sad. What a magical little kid she is.

10-30-22: The event was my partner meeting my mom and sisters over brunch. The perfect moment happened during the event. In the midst of swapping stories I heard a sound that pulled me out of the moment, and into the directors chair of a perfect scene. My mom and my love were laughing together. Two of my favorite sounds colliding. It was my kind of music and I sat quietly to watch and soak it in. It wasn’t the meeting, it was the genuine connection.

10-31-22: Holidays have been historically hard for me. Expectations are heightened, and strong emotions usually follow. Despite some understandable anxiety, I had a lovely holiday. The “perfect moment” happened towards the very end of trick or treating while in my best friends neighborhood. I stood present for a moment and witnessed the sound of the cousins running from door to door. I heard their excitement and team mentality at the task of “gathering the most candy.” The street lit glow mixed with the Halloween decor set a tone for the scene I witnessed while the air smelled like cool fall. My partner and best friend sat and talked on the curb at the bottom of the hill. I stood in the middle of the cul-de-sac just witnessing. All these people I love so deeply. This perfect weather. The last hoorah of little feet running and laughing. My very best friend. My girlfriend. All coexisting like we’ve always just been together. Like we should have always just been together. I felt “happy” on Halloween. How perfect.

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