Extreme cuteness

Just had to share to uber-cuteness that occurred this evening.

The set up: We haven’t seen Ben all weekend. Violet is wearing a super cute dress. We get home. Violet runs to Ben and he takes a deep breath.

Ben: Violet! You look soooooo pretty!!

Violet: Thanks, Ben!

(Suzy and I just about cry…)

*10 minutes later*. Ben runs out to the kitchen…

Ben: Mom! Tori! Joe! We came to get help!!! (Please imagine as much excitement as you possibly can). I let go of Violets balloon, I was trying to put it in the basket and now we can’t reach it. (It seems that the helium aspect of the balloon escaped him).

*the two of them are back in my room for a few minutes and Violet calls for help*. I find Ben snuggling in to Violets crib. We had a little photo session. This is probably not as cute to the rest of the world as it is to Suzy and I…..but we just really love it when our little ones love each other as much as then do tonight. ❤




Happy Mother’s Day

For as long as I can remember, my main goal in life has been to be a mommy. I remember playing house as a little girl, and pretending to nurse my baby dolls. I remember homeschooling my make-believe children and teaching them about “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” because it was always one of my favorite Shakespeare plays.

About 8.5 years ago my mommy-hood dreams partially came true when I started dating Violet’s dad. I instantly fell in love with his then almost four year old. I love Ethan just as if he were my own son. Being a bonus parent is hard. Some times are harder than others, but every ounce of love I have for Ethan is worth all of the hard stuff. I didn’t get to see Ethan today. That was really hard. The hardest part of being a bonus parent to someone else’s children is when their real parent decides that your time is up…

Last year was my first official Mother’s Day. Like…the first one where I could tell a story of the day my baby was born. Mother’s Day was only days after I moved out of my home and in with Suzy and Ben. I was emotionally numb. I spent the day swimming in a sea of shame, guilt, sadness and failure. All I ever wanted to do was to be a mommy, and a kick ass wife. I tried really hard to be everything *he* wanted me to be, but the reality was that the harder I tried, the less he cared. I never in a million years thought I’d be a single mom. I was certain I’d fail at being Violet’s mom, just like I’d “failed” at being her dad’s wife.

So so so much changes in a year. There is a chapter of my life that is coming to an end. Last year I would have given anything to wake up from the nightmare that I was living and to have my life back. Today I recognize that I would never want that life back. Not ever. There are some things I now know to be true:

1. I am good enough. I am HONEST and TRUSTWORTHY. I am compassionate and caring. I’d do anything for the people I love.

2. The only person I “failed” was myself. And that is because I tried to live my life in order to please someone else. I didn’t write, I didn’t demand respect, I didn’t stand up for myself. I let *him* have my heart and trusted *him* with my everything….when deep down inside I knew I shouldn’t have. History has a funny way of repeating itself…

3. I was put on this earth to be Violet’s momma, and gosh-darn-it….I rock at it. (Don’t get me wrong, there is always room for improvement. Just like that meme I see floating around Facebook that says “Behind every awesome kid there is a mom who is pretty sure she’s doing it all wrong” or something like that…).

I heal a little bit each and every day. It seems like there is always an obstacle that is difficult to work through, but I always seem to find a way. Right now the big troll in my life is a mixture of anger and of worry about things I have no control over. I am so angry that precious mommy-moments were stolen from me. I didn’t have a loving husband to dote on my pregnant-goddess self. I didn’t feel supported, appreciated or cherished when all of my dreams were supposed to be coming true. I am angry about so much more, but I don’t want to turn this post into an angry rant. I’m worried about what Violet will learn when I’m not around. Relationships are always hard when they are founded on crumbling values. Somewhere deep inside of me, I have to find the strength to let go. What I can control is who I have Violet around. It certainly won’t be anyone I’ve ever considered a mistake. I won’t have her around anyone who brings negativity to my life. It won’t be anyone who has ever proven to not be trustworthy at any point of their life. Through all of this anger and worry I can still be thankful. I’m thankful for the lessons I’ve learned, because I’ve always had to learn the hard way. I’m thankful that my daughter has a dad who loves her. And I’m thankful that I now know exactly what I want, and I won’t settle for anything less than what I deserve.

Today was a great day. Suzy made bacon and strawberry pancakes for breakfast. We bummed around the house for a bit. Then, I took Violet to Valley Forge and we took a walk. She insisted on “pushing her stroller”. She loved the kites flying in the sky–she really wanted to touch them. It’s hard to explain to a two year old that she can’t fly with the kites… Violet loved the log cabins that civil war soldiers slept in. She walked on cobblestone and learned that she would get cold without her hoodie. She fell asleep in the car on the way home, much to my dismay…that totally throws bedtime out the window and I end up blogging at midnight… After our visit with MeeMaw, she chose a book to take home and “read” in the car. (I wish I would have snapped a picture). Suzy and I were treated to some homemade lasagna for Mother’s Day, and in a comedy of errors we didn’t eat until 9. The kids played nicely together in the tub and Violet got so brave, she poured water over her own head. (Big development here…..HUGE!). Ethan texted some pictures of himself playing baseball, and I found myself feeling a whole bunch of emotions all at once. I love watching him play, I’m proud of all that he does, I miss the shit out of that kid, I still haven’t dealt with the pain of losing my time with him. Lets add that to the list of healing and keep trucking forward.

To all of the moms out there of any kind…Happy Mother’s Day. We have the hardest and most rewarding job in the universe. We will always need each other, because anyone who is not in this club of ours just doesn’t understand. We are superheroes. (I know this to be true, show me a non-mom who can successfully change a baby’s diaper and outfit in a two square foot radius of an airplane seat surrounded by sleeping old people and not disturb a soul). I did that, and it was awesome.

A little shout out to my momma…..I love you forever, you showed me the path that led me to be the strong woman I am today. Your grand daughter loves you more than anyone in this world. Violet’s intelligence has a little something to do with genetics….but I’m sure her vocabulary also has a lot to do with who she is with every day. My 22 month old baby sings every word of every lullaby to me….and she nails her ABC’s. What would I do without my mommy???