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In The Midst of Chaos

My marriage is far from perfect. Together for twenty-three yearswe bicker, we love, we grumble, we create. An overbearing extrovert and her grumpy prince. Add two kids (clones of their parents) and you have a perfect storm.

It’s okay. We find our calm in the storm.

Recently, my husband forwarded me a Facebook memory. It was a photo of our daughter six years back, brushing a blonde horse named Dusty. She was young, her smile bright. Her brother was there too, engaged and enthused, long before hanging with his family became uncool.


“FB loves to remind you how innocent and easy life was,” my husband texted.

The snapshot did look innocent and precious. I could romanticize it, claim that our family left the riding lesson (to do something like apple picking) and then giggled our way home. But chances arethat’s not the case.

Chances arehe tripped her on his way out of the barn, exclaiming that if he’d been the rider, he’d be a professional racer by now.

Chances aremy attention was in forty-two different places during that lesson (thinking about work, wondering how I would get it all done).

Chances arewe could barely afford the lesson.

I think we’ve had calm times since we’ve been together. Three houses, two kids, two dogs, two birds, too many cars and too many businesses. I’m sure there’s been calm. I’d almost bet on it.

Life feels a bit heavy and chaotic these days. No matter how much we plan, a sense of control eludes us. Still, as a couple, we are at our best while facing challenges together. We thrive off the heat. We are our strongest as a team.

On any given night, we might be locked in a full-fledged stand-offwith no common ground.  We argue, quickly and with full commitment, about what to watch, to eat, to do.

Yet. Give us a home renovation, an emergency, a business to launch or close, a life-changing decision–  and we are the fine-tuned Fortune 500. Yin and Yang. A bowl of homemade gnocchi–extra sauce.

We are strong.
We are one.
We aredelicious.

On some level, life was simpler back when that photo was taken.

What will we make of today’s photos ten years from now?

Chances arewe’ll look back at the incredible life we built together, as a fiery duo, and be reminded of the strength we demonstrated when facing adversity.

Chances arewe’ll look back, laugh, and reminisce about raising teenagers. How we miss when they were even ‘this small’, and how grateful we are that they turned out to be happy, and healthy, and tall!

Chances are—(not good) that we agreed that I should choose all of the movies, everything that we’d eat, and all of what we’d do. This cycle will likely continue, to my chagrin.

For all the snapshots we take from now until then, I’ll try to remind myself that these are the simple moments, too. To forget the forty-two things in my head and hang on to this, in the midst of chaos.

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  • Angela McMahon

    November 15, 2017

    I absolutely love this!! Thanks for reminding me to stay grounded… needed this today!

    • The Sunny Side

      November 15, 2017

      Thanks Angela! We all need the reminder!

  • Dawn

    November 16, 2017 many levels can I relate to this blog? FN thank u for being vulnerable but FN real. I could feed u stories I’d I want to write a fun book together 😘

  • Kristin

    November 17, 2017

    I loved this! Thanks for the reminder.

  • Jordan

    February 11, 2019

    Beautifully written! I’m the type who stares at my camera roll for an hour into the night scrolling through old pictures of now three-year-old. It’s always a great reminder to enjoy the moment now, since soon these moments will be memories in our camera rolls, too. 🙂

  • Mamie L. Pack

    February 11, 2019

    Time does have a way of shifting our perspective and helping us keep the main thing the main thing.

  • Harassedmom (@laurakim123)

    February 11, 2019

    Love this post. We are in a tough time at the moment and some days I am exhausted from the struggle but I know it will all be worth it <3

  • Jasmine - LoveLifeLaughMotherhood

    February 11, 2019

    i love your perspective, i needed this read today

  • teachworkoutlove

    February 12, 2019

    A great reminder for us moms.

  • Tina

    December 6, 2019

    Eloquently delivered synopsis of how life really is for so many couples and families. Always real, always nice to know everyone is navigating some sort of storm but that there is strength and support there when it really counts. Nothing is ever as perfect as it may seem in this day and age of social sharing, so here’s to having a team to navigate rough waters with and also to enjoy the smooth sailing ♥️ 🥂 From an under bearing worrywart, her confident and outgoing prince and two minis.

    • Elease Colcord

      December 6, 2019

      OH, Tina, I love this. Thank you for being a part of my online AND real-life tribe!

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