Category Archives: Family Traditions

Dear Harvey//2nd Birthday Edition


December 17, 2016

Dear Harvey,

Today at 4:01am you turned two years old. This year on your birthday at that time I was up in my room nursing your baby brother Holden back to sleep while you slept peacefully in your room. What a difference a year (or two) makes!

This past year has been without a doubt the most difficult as well as the most enjoyable of my 35 years of life. You will never truly be able to comprehend just how much you have done for me, simply by existing. Being your mom has saved me in so many ways and for that I am and will forever be incredibly grateful.

Watching you grow and learn this past year has been a magical experience and one that will always hold a special place in my heart because even though my heart was broken, it kept beating and my love for you kept increasing but mostly because this year was the last that you would be my only child.  The last year that I would only have to worry or wonder about you and only you. Although I will now worry and wonder about you and your baby brother, I can make you this promise my sweet boy, I will ALWAYS love you with the same intensity as I did when you were my only one, ALWAYS.

This past year you have grown into such an incredible human being.  You have a sense of humor that is developed well beyond what your 2 year old mind should be able to comprehend.  You have mastered walking, running and galloping and you do it in THE MOST entertaining way! You are a sturdy toddler weighing in at 36 pounds and measuring 36 inches tall at your 2 year check up!

You have mastered the balance bike and it is incredible to watch.  You LOVE LIGHTS! ALL OF THE LIGHTS, ALL OF THE TIME!  Seriously kid, Times Square has your name written all over it, HARVEY + LIGHTS = ALL OF THE LOVE! You also love: all things with wheels, ICE!, cheese balls, stroller rides, slides, The Allen Family, your grandparents, your Auntie Anita and Uncle Chris, your Auntie BESTFRIEND Valerie, CARS!, yogurt melts, pacifiers, morning and evening bottles (STILL!), your sock monkey blanket, the movies “UP” and “The Polar Express”, you have about 40-50 words which you love to say but you’re a fan of using them once and then tucking them away, helping with cooking, cleaning, LAUNDRY, diaper tossing, locks, doors, handles, door slamming, “Beep-Beeps”, key fobs, pacifier plugging for your baby brother, the carousel at the mall as well as all of the toy rides, your Grandaddy’s sautéed mushrooms (you are DEFINITELY your mommy’s baby!), cheese (all kinds except Swiss…), and most heartwarmingly, you have shown love for your baby brother already, giving him sweet kisses and gentle pats, holding him on the daybed and sharing your people with him with little to no fuss. Seeing the two of you together makes me feel complete, no small feat considering the state of my life at the moment, well done boys, WELL DONE!

Everything about you amazes me, EVERY day.  In the last month or so you have started babbling your vocabulary constantly which is absolutely adorable and awesome.  You also smacked me upside my momma head with the trifecta of “Mommy/Mom”, “NO!” and “WHY?!?” all at once! Whoa buddy, WHOA!  In all honesty, I love it, its funny most of the time and it’s such an honor to be the one to answer your “Whys?”.  I promise to do my best to answer them all and to answer them in the best way I can, while I’m at it, I promise to continue to learn for the rest of my days about any and all of the things that you might happen to wonder why about! I can’t wait to explore, adventure and discover ALL of the things with you and your brother!

Thank you Harvey, it has been an honor and a privilege to grow another year older along side you and witness you transforming into an exceptional tiny human. My momma heart is swelling with pride and my life is filled with happiness because of you.

Happy 2nd Birthday Harvey!





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It’s Been Four Years… Things Change


When I first started this family tradition, taking a photo of us holding a photo from the year before, starting with our wedding day, I was full of big dreams and massive amounts of hope for my marriage and my family. Things haven’t turned out quite how I had imagined, to say the very least. Nevertheless, this day, November 10th, will forever be the day that my family began. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this process of love and loss its that it’s up to me to choose what I am going to carry with me as well as what I am going to let go of.  It would have been easy to just not continue the tradition this year, to let this one go and accept it as a loss. But I decided not to.  I decided to celebrate what once was and to embrace all of those big dreams and massive amounts of hope I once had for my marriage and shift them towards being the best mother I can possibly be.

There is no erasing the past and there is no desire in me to do so, no matter how painful a process this has all been and continues to be at times. Times like today, a day that I once believed would bring me pride and joy at my accomplishment of maintaining a marriage.  I do not get to celebrate that feat but I do get to celebrate my family and that is something I am proud of every single day.

Next year I will take this photo with two little boys, Harvey and Holden, and we will celebrate our love for each other and for this tradition and that will be enough. Things don’t always work out the way you hoped they would but in the end, the beginning photo will be so small you won’t be able to see it and what will matter is that the photos existed at all.  I mourn the loss of my partner and my marriage on this day but I am choosing to celebrate the beauty that is my opportunity to be a mother to my favorite person and very soon to his little brother.

Life will go on and I will continue to choose happiness, even on the most heartbreaking days. It’s the best option although it is also the most difficult at times.

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