The Awareness of Being Alive

I sat down at my computer today to nothing but a desperate desire to complete something that was mine.

But I was only met with the silence of my keyboard. The slow and steady blinking of the cursor left me simply listening to my own heart beat.

It’s called Rubatosis, you know. Apparently Rubatosis is…

“The unsettling awareness of your own heartbeat.”

I know because I googled it. Because I experience it often.

And today, I am keenly aware of my own heart beat. My blood pressure has been off again. I’ve been battling that dark place of facing my mortality. Of fighting back when the numbers are so high they scare the shit out of me. And I sat there in the quiet. The boys were both at school. Roman was napping and taking those deep crackling asthmatic breaths that are so…her. Those crackles and wheezes remind me on the daily how much I love this little girl.

And I sat down to write.

I don’t even know what I was going to write. I had this ache in my heart. Anxiety, maybe? A lost feeling? And so I did what I haven’t done in a long time. I started my “therapy.” I wanted to write something.

But nothing.

Sure I have endless topics to write about. Or endless “fashion-y” things on the horizon. But today, I wanted more. I wanted this feeling to go away. And I wanted to replace this rubatosis with something. A heart that was beating for something. Something that was mine. Anything.

So I clicked off pages. And opened chrome. To be met with that same little cursor matching my pulse beat for beat. And then I started typing.


Google filled in the rest. And here I sat, in this very space, for hours. Is it weird I read my own blog? Oh well. Here I sat reading post after post. Finding myself through… uh… myself. My own words. They were all there. Reminding me what I do. What I own. What my heart beats for.

It’s My life.

It’s what I’m creating. What I’m owning. It’s meaningful and dark and bright – all at the same time. And It is everything.

I use to write a lot about Lucas. My boy who climbed that mountain called life. And sometimes I revisit those posts. I go to my blog. I click on the “therapy” button. I scroll to the the beginning, and I read. Every word.

So much has changed, yet so much is still just the same.

Sometimes I am inspired, or sad, or beyond grateful for how freaking far we have come together. This boy and me.  But most times when I read it. I find something new all together in it. In the writing. The wording. The lessons of his therapy become my own therapy now. And really it makes sense, because hardship is always the battleground for growth. And lessons learned in his battle are usually universally applied to all our struggles. And struggles are real for all of us. Different, yes, but real nonetheless.

Once I wrote about Lucas and how I sometimes I rob his success from him. It was a puzzle piece that Lucas had turned upside-down. I just wanted to flip it over in his little hand. I wanted to reach over and place that piece in the missing spot for him. But I didn’t. I coached him. I taught him. And I let him figure it out. And even when he asked for help. I was mindful of what kind of help he needed. And though, initially, I’d wanted to grab that last piece of the puzzle and put it in the spot for him. I didn’t. I guided him in flipping that piece over. I used my words to help him understand lining up the picture. And I set the piece right next to the spot. I let him nudge it in. Let his little fingers feel that piece click into place. Let him own that puzzle. He needed it way more than I did.

That puzzle meant very little to me. It meant a lot to my little boy.

And that post got me thinking about… well…me. And ownership. And who I am letting “nudge that last piece into place.” And where my work and time is going. And ultimately, it got me thinking about what I am completing.

And when the work is all said and done, who is getting the ownership? And does it mean as much to the person taking it as it would have to me? 

So I’m kind of re-evaluating myself. And my efforts. And where I put my stresses and time. Because when I sit in the quiet and live with that unsettling awareness of my own heartbeat. I no longer want it to be so unsettling. I want to know that I took my meds. And I monitored my BP. And my stresses and work are building a life not chipping off the days I have left.

Gah! sorry. Got a little morbid at the end there. 

But really, I just want my heart beat to be a little less scary and a lot more inspiring. So I think I need to build this puzzle called life piece by piece and I need to seek out the people who are going to help me flip the upside down piece over. And I need to feel those pieces click into place.

It will be a rush of rubatosis that is so much more than unsettling and isolating. It will be an awareness of being alive. And it will be everything.

Ciao! Girl


Hey Ghost Town!

I’ve dusted the cobwebs off my site.

It’s kind of funny being back here. On this space. Looking at pictures from – oh, I don’t know – a whole year ago. A whole year!

I think my last really great update on the ol’ Soderberg crew was talking about our summer. That epic summer that filled my spirit and prepared my boy for the big new world of Kindergarten. KINDERGARTEN! Five full days a week. I couldn’t even imagine! There was an ache in my heart just thinking about the time away from that boy. A fear that I would not be there to pick him up when he falls. Go all “crazy momma bear” when someone hurts his feelings. Those feelings of his that I have fiercely protected over the last 5 years. The unknown was just so vast. And overwhelming.

And Lucas. I think I was celebrating a job well done. A job finished. Completed. Check off that little bump in the road called Sensory Processing Disorder.

Moving on… High five Me!

HA! I am just sitting here shaking my head. What an idiot I was as momma of an SPD kid back then. (shakes head) Yeah… um… back in therapy. (still shaking head) BUT, I learned that this boy has more fight in him than I even knew and more dreams and love than a heart can hold. I love him so.

And Roman. My baby that I held on to every breath. Every wheeze. Every rise and fall. I wish I had known that in just a year, she would be scaring the shit out of me in a totally different way. A way of defiance and fight and rebellion. A bravery that is inspiring. This crazy girl has a strong will. A will that last year kept her alive and this year, it keeps me alive.

So now, here I am on the other side of that big valley of unknown. Of insecurities. The school year is finally coming to an end. Arguably the best year of our lives.

Brooks went into this year my baby with a peek over his shoulder to make sure I was there. A look in his eye asking me,

“Are you sure about this momma?”

But now, somehow, he is walking out of those doors with an independence and swagger that is all his own. A confidence that simultaneously breaks my heart and lifts my spirit. This kid was built up through successes and failures. He’s learning that kids can be brutal but he doesn’t have to be. And He’s dreaming big – pushing through. Kindergarten, I think we will miss you. I kind of wish I could hold on to you just a little bit longer. But here we are, with end-of-the-year activities, recitals, field days, packets of summer reading lists and first grade -wtf! FIRST GRADE- school supply lists. It’s all coming to an end.

And just like that, I’m on the other side. Looking back all nostalgic for the past. And starting to feel all hopeful and inspired for the summer ahead! I can taste it. Even through weeks of rain and clouds. (And weather cold enough to bust out winter Uggs.)

I can still taste you summer! I’m coming for you!

I’m coming with three kids and a man so different than we were the last time we met. We are thinner. (MyFitnessPal FTW!) And older. Stronger and less tired. No longer just surviving but living. Living the life we kind of always wanted. This year we have grown up – all of us. We’ve learned to pull together as a family. And to support each other in new ways.

And I have learned to dream. And dream big. Which, to be honest, is really new to me. As a momma who pours everything I have– every last drop into being a mom. Not just a mom. But the very best mom. It’s been really weird to kind of start waking up to girl.

A girl before she met baby.

A girl that might just have a dream that is all her own. It’s something that gives me butterflies in my stomach. The world of possibilities.

I’ve started to dip my toes into that new world. Into those dreams. And I’m all sorts of inspired. Style. Fashion. The Mom Edit. Magazine clippings. Pinterest and blogs. And writing – Oh writing! I love you so. My heart has a place for you. And that’s been so good for me to remember. This place – Girl Meets Baby. It’s what started it all.

So on to the next chapter. Our chapter. My chapter. Where I will tell myself what I whisper in my kids ears at night,

“You’ve got this. Just work for it baby.”

Ciao! Girl


Loud and Clear

For some reason my husband likes to post Instagram photos with overly cryptic messages about my health. If you follow him you’ll remember the,

“prayers for my wife, she is having routine surgery”

Or most recently, the whole thing about his “wife’s health” where she had

“horrible potential scenarios but was dealt the least frightening diagnosis”

Good God man. It was high blood pressure. High blood pressure! Ok, I did have my gallbladder removed and enough ER trips to fund a small new wing of the hospital, but at the end of the day how can I complain when other people are suffering so much worse?

And since then my inbox, texts, and Facebook messages were flooded with

“Are you ok?” “Do you have cancer?”

So, perhaps I should just put it all out there.

And to be honest, I’ve kinda needed to do this. Nothing turns that FML feeling into a “God is good” conclusion like blogging about it. My therapy of sorts. 

So here it is…

There is a song. By the Weepies, I think.

 “Woke up and wished that I was dead with an aching in my head. I lay motionless in bed. I thought of you and where you’d gone and let the world spin madly on.”

This song is on repeat in my mind lately. Those lyrics. And while ‘wishing I was dead may be a little dramatic’ it’s sadly had moments of being kind of true. I know. Terrible.

I’ve been suffering from migraines. Something relatively new to me.

And these headaches. These pounding, debilitating aches. They stop me in my tracks. In my bed. And I lay there motionless. And while the ‘you’ on the mind of whoever wrote that Weepies song may have been a lost love or something different altogether, I find myself thinking of my sister.

You, dear Janie. I think of you.

She has seemingly forever been the poster child for migraines. She spent years in a dark room. With my parents by her side.

And in my youth, I remember being frustrated with her. With where our family was. With how everything revolved around these migraines. With the sheer number of hospitals and doctors and specialist that couldn’t “fix” her. The medicines. The ice. The anxiety for when that next headache would arrive. The depression for a life not lived like everyone else.

And then — slowly but surely — medicines, therapies, prayers (and God knows what), started working. She will most likely always be a migraine sufferer. But a life being well lived. A life completely worth living. Her world most definitely spins ‘madly on’.

So it had been years since I had thought of her as any sort of victim. As anyone who has been anything other than a wild and crazy girl living her dreams to the fullest.

But then, migraines introduced themselves into my life this last year. They must have known I was settling into 3 kids and needed a new challenge (insert the thickest tone of sarcasm possible). These were the kind that blind you. That leave you either completely still or writhing in pain. The kind that take your life and reduce it to a dark room with your mom or husband by your side. And I think of little Janie and regret every frustration or resentment I’d ever felt for her. I’m just sad. And I’m scared.

And those two words have driven my last year. Sad and scared. And what I could have never anticipated is that these migraines — these attacks on the brain — start to change you. The fear of the next one. The guilt for what you are missing. For the slack that everyone is picking up for you. The depression for a life so different than you want it.

And sometimes, that depression can disguise itself in other forms. In anxieties. In control. In a feeling of needing change. In a lack of patience. In a heartbreak so deep that it stops wanting to beat.

And living is quickly replaced with surviving.

And as I tried the many different medicines and physical therapies, I discovered that I have high blood pressure that may or may not be related to the migraines (still figuring this out). And not just high. Like, stoke-level high. The kind of numbers that look like the results of an overtime basketball game. And as my doctor would warn me, it’s the kind of high blood pressure that will kill you if left alone. The kind of high blood pressure that a simple

“oops I forget my new heart medication”

will most definitely result in a,

“oops I am no longer alive”.

And let me tell you: there is no anxiety like mortality anxiety.

Nothing compares. The gamut of emotions that take you from prayers on bended knees to wondering if you are just talking to yourself in a world that ends with you being dirt in the ground instead of welcomed into heaven by a Lord and Savior.

Now listen, don’t stop reading just because you don’t believe. I totally get it. I really do. “Oh boy, here comes the Christian stuff!”. We’re the crazy ones. The believers. So bare with me while I talk crazy.

It was then — just then. When I had been reduced to nothing, to believing nothing, that I ended up right back there on bended knees.

I was carrying my cross. And I remembered the one who carried that cross first.

And feeling “Him” there more than ever.

I found myself with my head on the steering wheel. I had just left my little family at the swimming pool to go home and get my migraine meds because, as much as I wanted to push through, these migraines break through and derail your life.

And as I was paralyzed by disappointment, failure, and sheer depression. With my head lowered. My eyes closed. I found myself praying. To a God I had almost given up on. And maybe this time I was just broken enough. Just desperate enough. That I no longer felt like I was talking to myself.

“Lord, You win. I am broken. I’m beat. And I’m ready to give up. I have nothing left to fight with. Nothing left to fight for. Take this away. Please oh please, Lord. Take my cross.”

And I sat there in silence.

My broken prayer lingering in my head. Lingering in the universe. And just then, my heart started to change. And so did my prayer. My prayer became a whisper. Instead of praying a statement of despair I began to pray a plea for guidance.

“Or Lord, I guess what I need is, more fight. Help me to be constantly reminded of what I am fighting for”

And just as the words left my lips. I looked up. And there. Right in front of me. Was my husband. And three soaking wet kids. With smiles and giggles and screams of laughter. And I made eye contact with this man of mine. And he winked at me and waved as he approached the car. And it’s them. It’s the blessings I already have that I’d rather spin ‘madly on’ then not at all.

Deep sigh. 

Okay Lord, I hear you. Loud and Clear.

Ciao! Girl


A year. 365 days. 365 changes.

One year ago.

We had just bought our new house. In our new neighborhood. And while this new house still sat empty, we spent Halloween night trick or treating up and down these little blocks.

Back then, I had a four year old who was super scared of the houses. The decorations. A four year old that needed his daddy to knock first. Brooks hid behind Dave’s leg most of the night. Only to peek around to whisper

“trick or treat”

And Lucas. My little one. Oh this boy has changed so much. Last year, on the last house after blocks of forcing trick or treating. He whispered,

“treat treat”

He had basically no language. Those quiet words felt like such a victory then. At this point, we still struggled greatly with eye contact and hand holding. And this boy walked silently from house to house. Held out his bucket. Staring at the ground. Never a smile. A boy that lasted in his dusty crop hopper plane costume all of 10 minutes.

And Roman. My girl. A baby with basically no concept of Trick or Treating. A girl who clung to her momma. I carried her most the night. She ate about four suckers while we followed her brothers from house to house. She fell asleep to the rhythm of my feet on the concrete.

Looking back, I realize I wanted “it” so bad. That night. I wanted that moment I remember from my childhood. Really, I wanted it to be so different than it was. And I sort of left that night feeling a little lost and a little lonely.

Over and over, we had passed groups of families talking. Kids running through the darkness. Laughing. Screaming. And I felt like such an outsider. I felt lost and confused. I questioned things about my kids that took months to let go of again. Brooks’ bravery and maturity for his ripe old age of 4. Lucas. My heart just broke for where this boy was in life. And his future or lack thereof because honestly at that point I didn’t really see one. For Lucas, it was his disconnect from childhood that was so much greater than trick or treating. And it truly ripped my heart from its chest. And Roman. My girl who most time just felt like a backpack I carried around. That night she was just the  extra weight as I so desperately was trying to create something we just weren’t ready for.

But a year. 365 days. And while somethings felt the same. Everything was different. And not one bit of me takes that for granted.

What a difference a year can make.

This year. This Halloween. I spent the day at Brooks’ school watching my Wolverine march in a parade with his class. I mingled with moms during his classroom party. I walked home to another little boy just as excited for trick or treating. The loudness and excitement in my house waiting for daddy to get home was contagious. The minutes passed as the kids chased each other around the back yard waiting for darkness. Wolverine. A police officer. And a little witch. All filled with magic for this day.

This year my expectations started out way lower. Lucas started working on costumes back in June with his therapist Renee but still he spent the majority of the day deciding if he was even going to wear a costume at all. And Roman’s asthma is well… less than controlled right now. We weren’t even sure how far we would make it outside in the cold before that cough started to end our night early. But we were ready to try and that’s all that mattered. 

So we set off. Buckets in hand. Barely dark. And hit the first street. My three. Running up the stairs. All banging on the door.

Lucas rang the door bell probably 10 times.

“That’s enough dude.”

Dave yelled up to him. 

We stood on the side walk. Watching our three BIG kids. The door finally opened. And three of the wildest voices yelled,


A kind man filled my kids buckets with a handful of candy each.

“Who are you?”

He asked each of my kids. 

“I’m Wolverine.”

Brooks screamed followed by some sweet moves that I’m sure looked even more amazing in his head. 

“I’m a Police!”

Lucas interrupted. 

“I a witch.”

Roman stuttered through. 

They came running down the stairs filled with smiles.

“Mom, Dad. Look how much candy we got.”

“Awesome. Did you say thank you?”

And in an instant, all three turned around at the same time.


Oh be still my heart. 

So off we went to the next house. And the next and the next. And as we ran into friends on the streets. We talked with parents. We yelled at Brooks to wait for us as he ran from house to house.  Lucas stuck to his side. Screaming at the top of his lungs. And Roman insistent to walk. To keep up with her brothers.

And by the time we made it home. It was late. We had walked blocks and blocks.

The kids laid out on the floor and counted their candy.

Lucas sat dressed head to toe in a costume. And he kept stuffing more and more chocolate in his mouth.

“Momma! This is the best day of the year! The very best day!” 

And I don’t know if it was comparing this day of Halloween to last year or just taking a moment to soak it all in. But that smile from Luke. Those words. They melted my heart so much that I just sat there watching him eat more and more candy. I could have listened to him recap the night forever.

Then he basically ate himself into a food coma while I got all emotional that he threw up in his sleep that night. Chocolate everywhere! I sooooo brought that on myself. But man, I would let him eat it all over again, just to re-live that night. Those emotions of growth. I had such pride for my kids. For that brave 5 year old. For the 3 year old so full of life. And that 2 year old determined to be part of it all. 

I realize now it was Time. My little family needed time. More time to grow up. More time to heal. Mommas out there. I wish I had known all along what I learned this year. These holidays happen organically. These kids grow at their own pace. Give yourself time.

Halloween. It’s a holiday rooted in evil. In darkness. But my God showed his light to me this day. His goodness. His blessings. And most of all, His faithfulness.

And once again, I am learning to trust in HIS timing. Not mine.

Ciao! Girl


I Heart This Family of Mine

Ciao! Girl