I’m sure

We were parked in his red honda down the block from my house; 16; naive; and trying to hold on to the last 15 minutes before my curfew when I blurted out “I love you” for the first time to @blackjdm2010 .

He got real quiet.

He just looked at me. Smiled. And drove me home.

We didn’t talk about it. I left thinking we were breaking up. That I had rushed it.

I’m a sucker for love. You’ve seen the post about my dad. I love to be swept off my feet. I love grand gestures of affection. I love fairytales.

Byron was pragmatic. Quiet. Steady.

Weeks later we sat on the couch at his house and he said “I love you too” without prompt. He looked at me and said “I wanted to make sure before I said it”.

This was followed by weeks of finding roses in my room after school, being picked up after band practice and dropped off at work, he would then wait for me to get off and take me home. At prom he somehow rigged a ring on a string in the visor to slide down meeting me just at my nose (my promise ring). 

There are many days I talk about B and I’s faults in marriage, but today wont be one of those days.

Today I honor you Byron. Thank you for sweeping me off my feet in my teens, being diligent in my 20s, and being compassionate in my 30s.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

I love you (I’m sure).

Always with love,

Modo

And that’s ok

Exhausted.

Just straight tired and unsure of a lot right now.

I’m sure I’m not alone. Today I have felt quite defeated. Frozen. It’s taken me half an hour to open a chart at work.

Fatigued.

I had to wake Journey up 4x today. I would literally move her from room to room in a sleep state. Getting her dressed. Doing her hair. I legit sat her on the toilet and held her while she peed. I understood. So I held her until she was able to release the clutches of weary.

She is exhausted. Her little body went through a lot last week. I envied that she had someone to hold her through the phases. Literally and figuratively.

My body has gone through quite a bit as well with this endometriosis diagnois chained to me.

Today I’m angry about it. Most days I ignore it. But today I’m mad.

I’m playing my deck. Often humbly, stoically, and with gratitude. But today, I’m asking why. Today I’m a bit scared. Today I’m kind of void.

Today I’m grateful for my ability to still write through the emotions of it all. I’m grateful for this blog community that even on their low days send me a word. Your words lift me. I’m grateful for a job that I can shut the door when needed. Today I’m grateful for my little miracle babies. They have brought me so much peace these past few days. Today I’m grateful for life.

But, I’m still mad.

And that’s ok.

To my SWTVU community that is mad today. I love you. To those that have lost loved ones recently I love you. To those that only have this space to feel connection I honor you, love you, and I see you.

Let the anger fuel you until it can exhaust to peace.

Always with love,

Modo

Small but mighty

Frozen is such a POWERFUL movie about sisterhood. This is after watching it maybe 18 times this week after Journey battled a really bad virus that led to steroids and a nebulizer. Somehow this movie was the only way she would take the treatment without crying in the beginning.

So now I can’t hear Do You Want to Build a Snowman without tearing up. Anna was so so lonely and just wanted her best friend/sister back. Elsa was willing to be in complete isolation to avoid hurting her sister. They both were aching for one another with a simple door separating them.

This led to Anna seeking attention in all the wrong places and led Elsa to completely shutting off every emotion except fear. Human connection to restore their love was the only thing that could break their chains.

What small but powerful thing is causing separation from you and a loved one? Can you find the key to your door? If so do it. Life is short.

Always with love,

Modo

The Before

Reminder: You don’t need a breakdown to be brought up!

I’ve been guilty of waiting to reach out to people until a tragedy strikes or they break or they ghost the world and I have to send my soul as a search crew to find them. And I’ve been neglected quite too often because…well…”I’m the strong one “. But that’s not what I want to talk about today. Today I want to talk about HOW to help BEFORE those moments happen.

I have lived in moments where I am screaming inside while dancing at a birthday party. I have had the darkest ideas all while being on vacation. I have felt unloved while holding hands.

I’ve had people ask if I was ok and respond “sure” knowing all too well I was depressed. I have ignored calls, I have pushed people away, and I have just flat out lied. So the question is how do you help someone who at times seem unreachable?

First I try to contact that person how they prefer to engage. I have a friend who no matter the magnitude of the situation will never leave a voicemail lol. She wants verbal communication. I know I HAVE to get her on the phone. My husband prefers a quiet house before engaging in serious convo so bedtalk usually works best for us. Then my friends that love social media I know sending then a few good GIFs and a quote will jumpstart a convo.

Then I ask, “are you happy today”. I find that question throws people a bit. It makes them pause. And usually be honest. It opens folks up. BUT if you are going to do this prepare to be THERE for the response. Prepare to hold their hand. Don’t ask just to know. Ask to heal.

Then….I just listen.

Wait.

And listen some more.

I try and listen for the “because” not the reactions. You are crying because? You are thinking of leaving because? You are quitting because?

Then give them what is needed for THEM not what YOU think they SHOULD have. Most people know what they should do. They just need an ear. And the fact is YOU CANT CONTROL their next step anyway so just remind them of WHO they are and let them decide.

Then……love them.

Fully.

Like you would your child.

Unconditionally.

Repeat.

Always with love,

Modo

Party of 1

The concept of being alone terrifies me if I am 100% completely honest. I’ve never enjoyed solitude without exhaustion attached. Growing up I was constantly surrounded by love and affection, but now that I look back I think I was more in love with the attention than the love part of it.

My dad was the kind of father that would take us on dates as kids. He would hold the door open for us. He made grand gestures and speeches about minor accolades. He really knew how to make you feel special.

Throughout my teens I chased that feeling desperately. I obtained highs from excelling academically, mastering my instrument and climbing to become a drum major and section leader in one of the most respected high school bands in southern california at that time(no matter how geeky you think it is), and of course I craved male attention.

But, all the noise only distanced me further from who I really was without an accessory. I still struggle with this today. When personal relationships change I judge. When I fail at work I question my passion. When my kids cry I over compensate. When love fades I retreat.

This year I have been trying the hardest I ever have to stand alone in who I am. I have distanced myself quite a bit from people and things that feel just too hard during this transformation. My vulnerability is at an all time high. I’m leaving myself open for some serious hurt and I can only allow pure love in.

Its lonely. I won’t lie. There are a lot of days I don’t like myself. Those days are welcomed now because it makes me dig deeper. Forgive myself. And try again tomorrow. I worry that exposing this journey will tarnish my image and reputation because I will make a lot of mistakes, but I pray that the good it will do will supercede the losses.

I’m being gentle with myself. I pray you all are too. Share a time when you felt this way, saw someone transforming and how you helped, or just drop a line to say hello.

Special thank you to THAT friend that was so courageous to take that leap even when I didnt understand. Thank you for allowing me in during that time and distancing when needed. I’m so grateful for you. You know exactly who you are.

Always with love,

Modo

Hello, It’s Me

Sometimes saying goodbye to your old self is the hardest part of stepping into your purpose. For me allowing others to grieve my old space in their lives is equally challenging. I fall back into smiling through conversations that really hurt me. Saying yes to things I no longer enjoy. Making jokes I find hurtful to appease others. And then I feel sick after.

Saying goodbye to your old self also may mean saying goodbye to old relationships that use to serve a huge role in your life and saying hello to things, people, moments that now restore the new you. You may be surprised that the old relationships develop into better ones once challenged. And sometimes they dont. And that’s ok. Seasons are there for a reason.

Grieve that loss but dont go backwards. Distance yourself if you cant remove that person from your life, but dont look backwards. Pray those relationships can be mended in time. But DONT GO BACKWARDS. Remember your calling from God must be bigger than your desire to feel accepted.

Always with love,

Modo

Say It Quiet For The People In The Front

I was blessed to grow up in an extremely supportive community. I had a large family and though we had our internal family dynamics we practiced the habit of showing up for each other. We still do to this day. I could have a screaming match with my sister, which isn’t something unrealistic (lol) and we both show up the next day for a recital for my niece, sitting hand in hand, cheering, pretending the day before never existed. B and I practice the art of ignoring one another. After a recent arguement we went nearly 4 days of silently passing each other in the hallway. Then he woke up one morning saying he needed to go to the hospital and the silent treatment was expunged immediately. I’ve been hurt by people and have hurt them back but in true times of need I always knew we would be walking through the door for each other.

Hey, I never said the showing up was always healthy but the fact is I never questioned their presence. And sometimes in life the showing up is what we need most. We need the comfort of another person just sitting in the room with us as a reminder that we are not alone. As I battled post partum depression after my second child one of my sisters would often stop by after work, hold the baby, maybe cook something then leave. She is not a talker. So we didnt talk much in those days. I’m not sure she even really knew what to say to me. Most didn’t. Most didn’t know how to rationalize that I wasn’t being strong. This was a foreign concept for many; myself included. Most thought that I was just being distant. Again I’m not sure she knew either, but she would just show up. Quietly. And then go. Those moments saved me from dark holes I had crawled in while caring for two babies, alone most of the day. Her presecene was my lighthouse to signal a return to baseline.

So not only are my family and friends pretty great but I also was blessed to be raised in a close knit church family. When I say close knit I mean I saw these people far more than my extended family. We spent nearly 3 to 4 nights a week together and ALLLLLLL day Sunday. We slept over each other’s houses. We dated each other. We jumped into our parents cars without hesitancy. We spent birthdays together. We cried together. We clowned each other. We learned how to set a table formally together. We had fashion shows for one another. And I mean real fashion shows where companies would sponsor us with clothing just to parade around the church and show off the local Macy’s fashions. We were family. And many of us are til this day. We serve as godparents, confidants, and time capsules.

And with all that love and support your girl still found a way to sneak a lack of confidence into her spirit (another post). The way it materialized was making sure people that didnt want to hear me HEARD ME LOUD AND CLEAR. I would make it a point to “say it loud for the people in the back”. The people in the back being the ex-boyfriend that broke my heart (honestly we kind of broke each other’s), the people who you show up for time and time again and they flake the one time you need them, Janice my coworker who forever clocking people, you know, the haters!

(Let’s be honest I dont think I am at any place in life to have a bonafide hater but it sounded good right there.)

I became obsessed with proving myself to the people that had walked so far way from me that I needed to yell for their attention. And it didnt always look like anger. Often it looked like desperation. Back in middle school I wrote a FOUR PAGE LETTER to my ex practically begging him back. Let’s just say that ended HORRIBLY. And I know a special someone that reads my blogs that knows exactly who I am talking about and I beg you to please spare my readers the details FRIEND! Hahaha

I’ve learned the entire words to Hey in the Middle of the Barn to impress a boy. I’ve lost tons of weight to fit into an outfit to merely walk in a room, then gain it all back. I’ve excelled in parts of my practice to simply say I did. I’ve paid for COUNTLESS gifts to just prove a point. And yall have seen my blog posts ranting, today you dont have to search too far just see my last Facebook post. Ha! So let’s just say I’ve gone out of my way to make sure people KNOW who I am and how horrible they should feel losing my time.

But the fact is most often those people didnt even care to respond. Most often they didntlt hear my cry. Most often they are so far in the back that a megaphone wouldn’t even catch their attention. And the whole time while I was getting those work accolades, losing that weight, and writing those blogs the community I was ignoring were the ones cheering the loudest. But, I was too busy shouting to hear them.

I liken it to using a water hose. You know when you need to get that patch in the far right but dont want to walk across the grass so you press the handle as hard as you can, lift your arm, and focus keenly on that small patch of grass. If you pay attention, there is water still dripping in the “in between”. A light mist really. I was giving mist of love to the people that really loved and supported me all while the few got most of my attention.

My mother reads every post. Comments. Truly believes that one day my writing will change lives. Her support was always appreciated but I remember a time almost forgetting her relentless love in search of the people that I thought SHOULD be supporting me. I remember saying one day that a particular person in my life never commented, liked, or supported me online. Her response was, “well I like everything you write”. I thanked her. But, it wasn’t until months later that I understood what that really meant.

The person that unapologetically shows up time and time again without question. The person that takes the time to respond when you need them. The people that cheers with you even through tears. That’s the person that deserves your waterfall. Those are your people. That’s your tribe. And often you dont need to shout because they are standing so close you could whisper a thank you and they would hear it.

So today, on my 36th birthday, I dedicate this to my people. The people who have inspired me to write again despite my grammatical errors. The people that comment on almost every post to encourage me. The people that message me privately saying they felt heard today. The people that sit with me in diners and let me cry my darkest secrets out. The people that keep asking “when are you going to just write a book already”. The people that send cards in the mail to my children when you are just thinking of them. The people that have helped me pay for private school for my kids until I could afford it. The people that have sat with me in a studio apartment with just a blow up. The people that believed I could when I didnt. The people that watch my kids every single trip I take. The people that want nothing from me but my smile. My mom. My dad. My family. My tribe. Hear my whisper.

“Thank you”

Always with love

Modo

Journey’s 9th & 10th month update: Be free my child

“I constantly go between wanting you to stay my little baby forever, and being excited about all of the amazing things you’ll do in this life.”

Journey Belle,

Oh I wish I could tell you to slow down, but it would only be out of pure selfishness.  I just want to hold you a little longer like this, but you have plans that I can not stand in the way of.  Within a matter of weeks, you mastered standing, couch surfing, and took your first steps (Sept 12th).  I have never heard your sister cheer so loudly!  Your smile was brighter than the sun as you clumsily walked into your new-found independence.  This just may be Daddy’s favorite phase!  He lights up like a Christmas tree every time he sees you stumble around the room.  This is a harsh reminder that toddlerhood is just around the corner.  Gosh it is so bittersweet, because the dreams of running and playing in the park with you are ones I can not wait for; but this first year with you is one that I cherish so dearly and have an incredible time letting go of.  I thank God I got the chance to stay home full time with you and your sister for the first year and watch every moment.  The sacrifice was great, but the memories and time together are priceless.  Be free my child, Mommy will be ready to catch you if you ever fall and I will also be here to nudge you along the way.

Sissy time

Hanging with Mommy

Your sister loves taking pics of you. This is one of many that she has taken

Beauty

Auntie love

Sissy celebrated her 4th bday!

And you’re off!

Likes:

  • You have finally found your love of food (mostly carbs and fruit)
  • Waving and clapping
  • Playing with your sister
  • Peek-a-boo
  • Music (you even try and snap it is the cutest thing in the world)

Dislikes:

  • Being away from Mommy (stranger danger has settled in month 9…which made it very difficult to get much done this month)
  • Sleeping alone

Month 9

Month 10

Always with love,

Mommy

Journey’s 7th & 8th month update: Oh the places you have gone!

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that (she) he is someone today.

Stacia Tauscher

My precious Pea,

This has been a busy time for our entire family. I feel like we have been in the car more than home these past few months. You have not seem to mind it one bit, which makes Mommy very happy that you enjoy meeting new people and learning your surroundings. When we go to new places you tend to become very quiet and observant. You definitely are a child that likes to take everything in before making a decision. You are cautious, but still brave. It’s so interesting to watch because your sister is probably the pure opposite of that. She tends to jump in, with both feet, into new adventures without giving things a second thought. Both of you have such strong personalities, and I truly believe that you two will care for one another, in very different ways, as you grow up. One of my greatest wishes is that the two of you remain friends throughout your years on this earth, always take care of one another, and respect and value each other’s differences.

Speaking of being on the go, you have started to crawl really well this month! First it was an army crawl, then you would drag one leg, now you are crawling so fast I can not keep up with you.  This has only made your sister happier! Your increased mobility allows for you to play more freely with Sissy and you two love a game of chase.

You two make my heart beat.

Hanging out with your dad is one of your favorite things to do.

You got to meet one of Mommy’s first friends, Sarah and her daughters. We went to a jump house and the park. It was such a beautiful day together.

This was taken at cousin Alex’s birthday party. He had a reptile man and a water slide. Tons of fun!

On father’s day we took a family photo with grandpa and then took him to one of his favorite restaurants.

Father’s Day!

Your first trip to Disneyland to celebrate cousin Zoe’s kindergarten graduation amd Granny’s birthday.  You were so quiet the entire visit and just watched everyone and everything in amazement.

Making friends!

Celebrating with Auntie Alisha at her bridal shower.

Likes

  • Water. You squeal when I let you drink from a cup.
  • Bathtime. You have started to grow very fond of splashing water in the tub.
  • Your sister’s ipad. You love pushing buttons on it while she is watching videos…this obviously is NOT your sister’s favorite thing.
  • The vacuum. Your sister runs and you crawl towards it.

Dislikes:

  • You still are not a big fan of solids just yet. You spit out almost everything I give you except blueberries.
  • Sleeping alone.
  • Fire trucks. You are terrified of them and cry your heart out when one passes by. 

Month 8

Month 7

      Always with love,

      Mommy

      Journey’s 6th Month Update: Happy Half Birthday

      “Children are not things to be molded, but people to be unfolded”

      -Jess Lair

      Happy half birthday Gummy Bear,

      I know I say this a lot, but I love you so much!  You are such a sweet, sweet baby. Anytime I watch someone with you, they are beaming from ear to ear.  There is something about your spirit that is so gentle, but also dynamic at the same time.   One of the gifts that I believe God bestowed upon me at an early age was the gift of hearing his word.  When I have quiet time with God and you, it is so clear to me that he has placed you on this earth for a very specific reason.  This reason is currently unknown to me, but I can feel it in my gut that you are going to do something very instrumental in your life time; knowing this makes me so honored to have been chosen to be your guide during your childhood, but it also makes me want to protect you like no other!  I write this in your half birthday message because birthdays are often a time of reflection and celebration.  Never question your purpose on this earth, in people’s lives, or in what you decide as your career.  You will ALWAYS be enough.

      You are sitting up like a big girl (with assistance) this month.  Your chair gives you a ton more independence with play.

      One of THE most amazing things that happened this month was how much you and your sister fell in love with each other.  I know sissy has loved you from the day you were born, but to see how much you two love interacting makes my heart smile.  I have the best video of your sister trying to change your diaper.  When you two get older please have me show you this….it is THE best.

      A quick trip to Target with mom

      We had an awesome visit with Auntie Sne Sne.  She brought you the sweetest blue bunny and loved meeting you for the first time.


      Visiting with Miles…you two got along so well.

      Another big moment was trying your first food this month!  It was a family affair (like most things in our family) with Grandma, Auntie Rae Rae, Zoe, Daddy, and Mommy all in attendance.  You tried avocado and really liked it….and then NEVER ate it again ahahhhaha.  You literally HATE food.  I have tried so many things this month and you refuse everything.  In your own time….

      Likes:

      Watching your sister play

      Bath time

      The moment when you see Daddy come in from work

      Dislikes:

      Food

      Sleeping alone

      Always with love,

      Mom

      Genesis’ 6 month update