Author Archives: MoDo

Say It Quiet For The People In The Front

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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

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“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!

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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

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      “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

      Journey’s 4 & 5 month update: Peace in chaos

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      Fat Fat (Daddy’s nickname for you),

      We were making moves these past two months! Though not a fan of your carseat, you have enjoyed the destinations once we have arrived.  There was a sense of peace between the two of us this month. I feel like we got into a groove. I am learning you beyond your needs; I am learning your soul, your smiles, your laughs, your discomforts…and you are learning me. You mimick a ton these days and have tried to start waving. It is pure magic watching you learn us and this new world of yours.

      We had a blast at the LA Zoo! It was perfect weather and we even got to feed the giraffes. You loved the entire day and only cried when it was time to leave.

      We went on a field trip with sissy’s school to the strawberry field. Sissy had a great time.

      We went to Bubblefest at the Discovery Center. At the end there was a windstorm of bubbles. This was NOT your favorite thing…you are definitely a 3 to 4 at a time bubble girl.

      We went to Spring Celebration at sissy’s school. You loved this event and all the moms and dads were so excited to meet you.

      Lastly we celebrated your first Easter with family. Keeping up with you and sister’s schedule had me exhausted, but it was so awesome to get you out more.

      LIKES

      • Your new activity center

      • Watching sister dance
      • Sleeping in the bed with Mommy
      • Music
      • Plastic bags
      • Pooping….you do this alot and laugh after
      • Mommy blowing on your belly
      • Baths

      DISLIKES

      • Your crib
      • Being alone
      • Watching Mommy eat hot food

      All in all its been a busy two months full of adventure. I love that you enjoy being on the go because we plan to keep the two of you quite busy this upcoming summer.

      Month 4

      Month 5

      Always with love,

      Mom

      Genesis 4 month update

      Genesis 5 month update

      The Fourth Trimester: Journey Isabelle

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      The Fourth Trimester: Journey Isabelle

      Journey Bell,

      My little lovebug!  What a blessing of a child you have been these three months.  You were born just a few days before thanksgiving and you are indeed one of the best gifts.  Spending the holidays with a newborn baby reminded me just how important the little things are, like watching you smile for the first time, hearing you coo (especially when Papa talks to you), and capturing the mesmerizing love between you and your sister.   Our holidays are always special but these were something really memorable. 

      Holidays for us also mean spending amazing time with family.  You had quite a few visitors and sleepovers in your first three months including some of your aunties, Granny, and plenty of friends.  While I love the visitors, some of my favorite moments were just spending alone time with you. 

       You are such a sweet child.  Your spirit is so gentle, you rarely fuss, and love to be loved.  You have absolutely beautiful curls, the sweetest face, and your smile lights up a room.  I can not stop kissing your chunky little toes and those cheeks are to die for.

      During the first few months you had a bit of reflux that caused you some grief, but we worked through it with a lot of nursing, pacifiers, and burp cloths.  You also had your first cold and a case of baby acne.  But, through it all you rarely expressed a lot of discomfort and just wanted some extra hugs.

      You have taken a fondness of Mommy snuggling you in bed and can not stand your co-sleeper or crib.  Mommy and Daddy often wake up falling off the bed to make sure you have enough room.  Something else you absolutely love is your sister, Genesis.  You squirm and giggle so much when she is around.  She is very protective over you and makes sure that everyone knows to be “gentle” with you.  She brags about you at school daily.  I pray that you two remain close throughout life, take care of one another, and remember sisters are our built-in best friends.

      Mommy’s recovery has been a little difficult.  When I wasnt feeling too well and had to go to the doctor for a while, your family came down and took the best care of you and sissy.  You took your first bottle with Auntie Rae Rae like a champ (thank God I had pumped). 

      Breastfeeding is going well, you love nursing and have already nearly doubled your birth weight.  You are moving very quickly through your milestones (holding your head up, following objects with your eyes, and respond to your name).  You have done amazing getting through this fourth trimester and I can not wait to continue to watch you grow in the months to come.

       Month 1

      Month 2

      Month 3

      Always with love,

      Mommy

       Genesis 1&2 month update

      Genesis 3 month update

      Why I didn’t blog this pregnancy

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      Today I watched a video that instructed two people to stare at each other in silence for four minutes. There was a lot of giggling initially, then intense pondering, concluded with tears. Every single pairing ended in tears.  The footage reminded me just how much healing there is in silence.  Some have asked why I didn’t write during this pregnancy and at first I contributed it to a lack of time; which has some truth to it. However, the more I contemplated I realized it was because my life was so loud this year and I often become far less creative in noise.
      Just months before conceiving Genesis, my husband and I relocated approximately 1.5 to 2 hours from my immediate family and closest friends. This was the furthest I had ever been from my support network. It wasn’t painful when making this decision as I have always been one to enjoy a tad bit of privacy, but the move really made me appreciate my connections with them more.  I also changed jobs at this time. Though wonderfully compensated, I spent a majority of my day alone (or corresponding via phone with my work partner in crime). After conceiving I was then placed on bedrest for nearly five months. Needless to say, I spent quite a bit of time in silence during my first pregnancy.

      Don’t get me wrong, noise is not a negative thing. I find peace in the boisterous debates on holidays with family. My heart swells listening to my 3 year old’s laughter and I have had some of the best moments of growth over work lunches. Noise is life. But, sometimes, its distracting. Life this pregnancy was far different from before; working full-time, raising a toddler, and being in extreme pain throughout the pregnancy made life quite eventful. I was beyond distracted from being in a creative space.

      As I updated my calendar last night I noted that tomorrow Journey would be one month old. This immediately made me think of Genesis’ first month, which sent me straight here to read her updates. Reading her updates gave me instant nostalgia.  I found myself holding Journey tighter as I read. After bingeing on memories, I was overcome with a huge dose of guilt. I felt like I had cheated my second child out of documenting these moments in real-time. On my way to picking out my outfit for a pity party, I thought..just… start… now.

      Growth!

      I thought no better way to start documenting her journey (pun intended) then giving a little background on why I lost connection with my pen and showing her how I picked it up again. Though life won’t ever be as quiet as it once was (and I don’t I want it to be), I pray to create moments of reflection and stillness for myself; always remembering that masterpieces can be created in chaos too.

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      Journey, there will be times in life when life gets hectic. Times you will feel out of touch with yourself. But, know these are the moments that you were probably doing some immense growing. The most important thing is to reflect on them and find the lesson.

      As I reflect I become grateful. There was a time I would have never thought I would have a child to fall asleep exhausted next to.  Who would have thought 3 years ago, I would even be able to complain about the pain of a SECOND pregnancy.  Now, I have TWO beautiful girls….lets pause on that! I have TWO, beautiful, healthy daughters. Look at God!

      I can not promise I will always get it right, that I will always be centered, or even reflective. But, please know I am truly trying my best for you two. Please know you were prayed for, wanted, and humbly welcomed to our family. It is my heart wrenching desire and prayer that you seek God’s heart first in everything you do, love and value family beyond social distractions, and have an abundance of confidence in yourself because baby girl I believe you will change this world.

      Always with love

      Modo (Mommy)