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I came home to my empty apartment on the evening of August 17th.  I was hit hard with a heartbreaking realization.  In the 10 year of being a Mom, this was the first time ever that I wasn’t with one of my babies to put them to bed the night before their birthday.  And this was also the first time ever that I wouldn’t be there in the morning to wake up one of my babies on their birthday.  I wouldn’t be there to sneak in her bedroom to fill her room with balloons and set her birthday card out on the counter and give her all of her presents after a special breakfast in the morning.  I cried.  And then I cried some more.  This is the first of many firsts and the first of many hard truths.  I talked to a couple of friends who listened, provided words of wisdom and one who even cried with me.  This was definitely one of those moments I was not prepared for.  I’m trying to stay positive about my new custody arrangement, which is 2-2-5.  It’s less time with my kids ( by 50% ), but I keep telling myself, QUALITY OVER QUANTITY.  Meaning, that when I AM with my kiddos, I will make that time count.  I will put down my phone, I will pour into them, I will have more meaningful conversations and make the most of our time.  I’m really hoping that the distance will make the heart grow fonder, not sadder.