I had a baby five weeks ago, so this past weekend I finally decided it was time to clear the maternity clothes out of my closet. And although I can’t quite fit into my regular size, I wanted to at least make the closet ready for the time when things fit again.
But as I packed all the maternity clothes away and started to unpack my normal clothes once again, I began to see my things in a new light, noticing things I had overlooked before: items that had small holes or were worn out, jeans with frayed bottoms, shirts from five years ago with the tags still on that just “never quite fit.” And as I noticed all of these flaws, I wondered, Why have I held on to these things for so long?

In my moment of feeling motivated and empowered, I decided to get rid of everything in my closet that was mediocre, worn out, or never really fit well.

And as I worked to remove the things that were always just okay -- but never great -- I thought, why did I settle for these things?
I know that this is not ideal. I know that in a perfect world all parents would be able to care for their children. That things like addiction, poverty, and death would never hinder one’s ability to care for their family members.

And in some ways I am sorry that this has not been your story. In some ways I am sorry you had to go through the process of being placed in a new family, new environment, new life. I am sorry for the transition. And the change. And the insecurities it brings. I am sorry you question things about who you are. Your value and worth. I am sorry you wonder if you really fit, are truly loved. I’m sorry there aren’t always easy answers and you question whether you are wanted. 

In many ways I am Just. Plain. Sorry.

And I can see the pain in your eyes when these things come up. Like when you ask me if I can see some blond in your brown hair like your other mommy has, trying to find commonalities with her, a connection. I see the struggle. And I wish I could take it away. Even if it meant that your other parents would have been able to care for you forever. I am sorry that they couldn’t. Even if it means you would not be here with me. I would want what would have been easiest for you.

I love you so much.

But there are also some things that I am not sorry about. I am not sorry that you are here now. I am not sorry that you are my child. I am not, ever, sorry that you came.

Photo by Garrett Gill on Flickr.
Happy Weekend Friends!

Today we are once again sharing with you some wonderful links to inspire and encourage you this weekend, as well as some amazing sites we've been honored to share at this past week.

Check them out, leave a comment, share and enjoy!

-The Girls of TRE

Expectations and Emotions: Behind the Anger. by Marisa Beth O'Connor

Nancy's White Chicken Chili by Nancy Holte

I'm a Recovering Perfectionist by Kristin Demery

Why I Stopped Dieting by Kristin Gordley

Chronicles of Change by Tabby Finton

A Light in Our Loss by Esther Aspling

I can list on one hand the Christmas and birthday presents I remember receiving as a child. Polly Pockets rated pretty high, along with the orange-and-white striped cat that I begged for relentlessly after spying it at Reed Drug. But equally important in my birthday memories are the way my Mom would make beef stroganoff and strawberry cake, even though strawberries weren’t in season at the end of October.

It's a reminder to me that it's just as important to recognize and celebrate life in the little things, too. As we start a new year, and dream big dreams, may we not forget that our everyday acts of loving, speaking, nurturing, encouraging – matter just as much as the "big" things.

Photo by Peter Dutton on Flickr
Earlier today, a friend posted a link on Facebook with a stance that I totally disagree with, and the rest of the morning I found myself arguing in my mind against their stance. Over and over it continues to roll around in my brain while I try to rebuttal what has been said.

And then I ask myself, Why am I so angry about this? And why do I feel I need to defend my position so vehemently? Why am I allowing this to take up space in my mind?

Do I really need them to see my point of view? Agree with me?

I don't know about you, but I've found myself, in quiet moments, pondering the year that was and anticipating the year to come.  

Here are my two very favorite blog posts, the ones that inspired me, encouraged me, and caused me to stop and reflect this past week.