Heart Compartments.

I was waiting and watching for two days, to see if I had anything to write about for Mother’s Day.

Of course I do. There was a lot of fullness and happiness, as always on these warm and fun family weekends, but even more so lately. Life has been celebratory and chaotic for the last few weeks. We had spring break while Cassidy was in Brazil. We had Cassidy’s arrival home from Brazil – so well-timed with airport pickup that we actually saw his plane land in front of us.

Mother's Day

Des clapped for the landing and then said, “How about another one?” How about another one indeed, Des? I get the achy breaky Sunday night feelings lately because our weekends are so good. We’re all operating as a team, and for once and for awhile, I’m not the shaky wheel here. No one is. Spring break was followed by our 7th wedding anniversary, and then the arrival of spring weather. We had Mother’s Day over the weekend and yesterday was the 11th anniversary of the day everything changed for Cassidy and me. We went from zero to 50 in one passionate work email. His famous line was, “Have you ever seen a picture of me?” Why, no. I hadn’t. And I had been waiting lightyears for you to ask me that, my darling.

He sent this:

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I sent this:

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And the rest, as they say, is history. Or the rest begins our history. It’s very much still unraveling.

School will be out for summer in six weeks or so. Photography jobs will be on the rise. Des will turn three and Scarlet will turn six. I’ll have a birthday in there too, and I’ll try not to wreck this one with anxiety. Or any of them, really. There will be moose and sundresses and rainbow sprinkles – and more of my favorite things. Maybe I’ll meet some of you, at a conference or on a road trip. It’s so easy to get psyched out, by heat and humidity, parenting exhaustion, or anxiety. Mostly, that.

All I can wish for is that my whims, and your whims, take us all to some great, great places.

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My Mother’s Day weekend was fabulous. It was a mixed bag. I could tell you it was all good, but I’d be leaving out the ache of having my first Mother’s Day without my grandmother, or really – the deep ache for my mom to be motherless on Mother’s Day. She’s not really motherless, of course, and I’m not grandmotherless, because the legacies are powerful and strong.

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I could tell you that my Mother’s Day weekend had some sadness, but it wouldn’t even be true, because it was filled with surprise breakfasts, presents, love and shoe shopping with Scarlet – who carried cash in her little red heart purse and near about broke my heart with her pride at handling real money with real cashiers. Under her mother’s watchful eye, of course. So I got that achy breaky squishy feeling in my heart for a little girl who keeps cash in a little red heart purse, and for a 100-year-old mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who kept her Bingo winnings in a little change purse – only to be found after her passing. These things are related. They are the achy, breaky, squishy, mushy tales of loving, living and losing.

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And I can’t even tell you that I was very sad, or that my weekend was darkened by those tales and other ones too. The longing was kept safe in my little heart compartments – quite like allowance money in a little red heart purse, and Bingo winnings in a weathered change purse. Everything in its right and safe place. Snug. Multidimensional. Maybe to be taken out for a rainy day or two. It wasn’t sadness or fear, or even the absence of both. I was just living my weekend with my heart on my sleeve, with a little girl who wears her red heart purse around her hips. It was freakin’ good and it had rainbow sprinkles on top too.

Isn’t that about all it takes sometimes?

About Tamara

Tamara is a professional photographer, a mama of two, a Lifestyle Blogger/Social Media Influencer/Brand Ambassador, and a nearly professional cookie taster. She has been known to be all four of those things at all hours of the day and night. She is a very proud contributor to the book, The Mother Of All Meltdowns, the Stigma Fighters Anthology (volume 1), and The HerStories Project: So Glad They Told Me. She is also a proud Community Lead and a regular contributor to the SoFab Food blog, and the Target Made Me Do It blog. After two cross country moves, due to her intense Bi-Coastal Disorder, she lives with her husband, daughter, son, dog, cat, and 11 chickens in glorious western Massachusetts.


Heart Compartments. — 114 Comments

  1. My mother’s day was just a regular weekend, but I’m actually okay with that. The kids got me cards and did silly stuff at school. I know they love me and they know I love them. That’s all I really need.

  2. My mothers day was actually pretty good. I spent it for the first time alone with my kids and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Your babies are growing up right before your eyes and it will only get better. Very soon you’ll have teenagers making you breakfast in bed (but don’t think about it yet). Wish I could have met you at the conference but we’ll be spending it in Florida this year so maybe next year. Here’s to a great day!

    • I do want breakfast in bed! I’m not sure of the last time that happened. Maybe at a hotel with room service.
      Florida sounds awesome! Are there any great conferences in Colorado? I’m due for a trip there!

  3. How is this for synchronicity? I just went into the cellar and pulled out that change purse. Tomorrow, I am going to the store and buying an Alex and Ani bracelet that says “daughter” on it from my mom for my first birthday without her. I so know this is right! (and then I read your blog!!!!!!!!!!!!)

    • I want to see a photo of the bracelet! I know they have “daughter” ones. Lindsay gave me a “sister” one and I wear it for good luck and I swear it works.

  4. Oh it sounds like you had a wonderful Mother’s Day! I used to love those breakfasts in bed! I hope I meet you IRL at a conference this year. This Mother’s day was different as we were on a vacation but still received good wishes from the kids .

    • It would be really fun to meet you. I know it will align at some point. Somewhere really awesome with great food, I hope!
      I love that you were on vacation. Sounds wonderful.

  5. Oh, that story about Scarlet is so sweet! How proud she must have been.
    I’m so glad you had a great Mother’s Day. I think I let expectations get in the way of just taking it in. I mean, I can’t complain, I was just in a grumpy mood. I think the heat didn’t help. Maybe next year we’ll have a Mother’s Day that’s more typical spring-like weather instead of really hot. (Although I’ll still take that over snow!)
    And I hope you have a summer also filled with bloggy friend hangouts 😉

    • The heat has been weird. I actually turned on the a/c this week and I usually don’t like to do that this early! The cold front is coming in now, though. You can actually feel it! Breezes and rain and a chill. I kinda love it.
      There will definitely be bloggy friend hangouts this summer! Speaking of which, did you ever get your jacket back?

  6. Aw, Mother’s Day here was pretty good, too. Had breakfast made and all sorts of crafts by my girls, as well as was gifted Jimmy Buffets tickets to Jones Beach this summer. So now, I am going to three concerts before the summer is over. But still glad to hear yours was great, too 😉

  7. My kids all had the stomach flu and there was loads of laundry and carpets to be washed! I guess that was down in the trenches mothering for sure! Next weekend hoping there is some surprise breakfasts and show shopping in my future. My little person has a purple glitter purse, that holds her stash.

    • I just can’t believe it. Again??? Weren’t they hit enough this winter? That is so cruel. I’m glad you didn’t get it, though! You need a do-over Mother’s Day!

      • Thank you auto correct, show!? That would be shoe… Hey I’m just glad other mother’s had a special day, we have all had to deal with snotty noses and throw up more times than we would like this year 🙂

        • I totally didn’t even see it! Probably because shoe shopping is so on my radar so I saw what I wanted to see.
          Yes, you are so right. Several more times than I would have liked..

    • Next week!! Wow. Well I think you went before us. We didn’t start school until after Labor Day in September. Ah, the Northeast and its strange ways.

  8. Life certainly is about ALL the emotions! So glad it was filled with sprinkles even if there was lamenting on the bottom. Yay for surprise breakfast! Hope cookies were involved :). Happy Mother’s Day!

    • Sprinkles on top and lamenting on the bottom. Hey, that’s poetic. Thanks!
      There weren’t cookies for breakfast but they were soon after breakfast. Actually I had a photo shoot and I came home from it to fresh cookies. So good!

  9. Aww the image of Scarlet and her money in her little red purse! Arielle has no concept of money. I tried teaching her so she could save and buy herself things. She just can’t grasp the concept yet. Everything is “one hundred dollars.” Glad you had a nice Mother’s Day, but those special days do remind us of loved ones lost.

    • One hundred dollars! Adorable! Scarlet doesn’t really get it much but she learns because I’ll give her ten dollars before we go to the farmers market on Tuesdays and she is starting to learn that that it will give her a shaved ice, a maple candy, some honey sticks, and money left over to buy her brother all of the same!

  10. Sounds like you had a great Mother’s Day. My kids only have three weeks left of school. Then we have graduation, summer vacation and our move into a home that we can finally call ours. Have a great week.

    • Three weeks? Wow. We start late (in September) and get out late here. I think late June, which seems so late.
      I’m so excited for you about the new home.

  11. My Mother’s Day was very much like any other weekend although my mom is here in town and I can’t remember the last time that I actually spent mother’s day with her. It was nice to have her around with my kids and watch them play Uno. I love the story about Scarlet and the shoes and how it connects with your Grandmother.

    • Aw, that’s nice! That reminds me of how I spent my birthday with my mom last year. She gave birth to me, but we hadn’t spent one together in ages. Uno is awesome!

  12. sounds like a nice weekend

    that is good she is not afraid to hand over some cash at the store lol

    my kids are shy and they barely still like doing that.

    • It might change! I think right now it’s the novelty of holding her own money. I let her have ten dollars the farmers market and she’s really smart about spending it.

  13. I’m very happy that you enjoyed your Mother’s Day Weekend, Tamara! You certainly touched all the compartments of our hearts with words and photos and feelings straight from Your Heart. I was able to call or e-mail or Facebook all of the loving and caring Mothers in my family, and of course pray to and remember my Mother Mary, and Sister Kathie who was mother to three children and my Grandmothers and Aunts who were so near and dear to me for all the years that I was blessed to have them here. Family celebration days like Mother’s Day are so wonderful in their own very special ways. I hope Scarlet’s little red heart shaped purse will be a very special forever keepsake.

    • Aw, Eddie! I’m sure you made everyone’s day. We really love to be remembered on Mother’s Day. It only takes one phone call or email or blog comment.

  14. Can I just say, “Awwww” and I love your explanation of your heart compartment. Sweet. Side note, I want to know what the background was for Cassidy and the green screen. Does he have a picture of that?

  15. Aw! I’m so glad you had a lovely weekend – and have been having lovely weekends lately! I am kind of bummed that I’m not going to any blog conferences this summer because I would really love to see all of you (at least some of you) again. I love the image of Scarlet and her little red purse – money is such a big deal to them and they are so proud when they get to spend some of their own. My mother cared for one of her aunts when she was agin and had nobody else. I was very young, but I remember visiting her. She carried her purse everywhere – even to the bathroom at home. Only after she passed did my mom open her purse and found a lot of cash inside.

    • It freaks me out that BlogU was almost a year ago. I miss that excitement leading up to it. I don’t know anyone going this times around. I may do BlogHer or something even smaller. I’m looking to travel in the fall too. So many options!
      That’s so sweet/sad about your aunt and her purse.

    • Thanks! I wrote the whole post in two minutes but took better care with the last part.
      I’m excited for summer! It’s starting to come together.

  16. RAINBOW SPRINKLES ARE THE BEST THING EVER! I am trying to figure out a recipe for rainbow sprinkles, because I want to shower EVERYONES LIVES with them! Because um, EVERYONE comes to my blog??? HA HA HA HA AH!

  17. Oh this got me teary eyed Tamara! I too remembered my grandma and wished she was still here. I just spent the day thrift shopping then went to McDonalds with my husband and the kids. Pretty much a normal day for us, 🙂

  18. This made my heart happy, with a bit of that achy breaky squishy feeling. For memories of my own grandmother, for spending the day shopping with my own daughter (with no meltdowns or fights!), and for knowing that many of my blog friends will see one another this summer, but I will not. But I won’t because of other good things…eat a cookie for me!

    • I’m getting sad that BlogU was almost a year ago. It feels like yesterday. I do hope we can get a girls weekend one of these days, though. I’m willing to travel!

  19. So glad to hear to hear you had a really great weekend. My son gets pretty excited to spend his own money too. He keeps his money in his grandmother’s old Dooney & Burke wallet. We tried to buy him a little kid wallet, but he loves his big green wallet.

  20. Oh T!!! Everything about this post just made me sigh and whimper and smile… oh how your words just melted my heart and lifted my spirit. You so beautifully and brilliantly revealed love in all the right places, with all the right purpose. LOVED this so so much. One of my favorites from you… <3

    • Thank you for that, and thank you for sharing it on FB!
      It’s funny how these resonate. I wrote this post in five minutes! Some of mine take hours. I guess it was from the heart.

  21. There are days even one sprinkle – just one – would help turn it around. I guess it’s not rainbow if it’s just one, isn’t it? If I’m lucky, it’ll be a green one.

  22. So sweet, Tamara, and weirdly eerie too about the purse. Our family lines keep flowing, doesn’t it? And that photo Cassidy sent was awesome haha! He should have made you wonder which one he was lol. So happy to hear your Mother’s Day went well.

    • As they say, it’s the circle of life and it moves us all!
      That’s funny about Cassidy! He did tell me which one was him but it showed nothing. I mean, he doesn’t look like that at all! Luckily he sent me a second photo a little later.

    • Thank you! This post was one of my signature ones – photos, words, emotions, but not too much of any of it. I generally don’t strike that balance as well as I want to do so!

    • Ouch! I’ve only had two of those in my life but I was so sure! I’d tell you how I knew, but it’s probably not good blog material. Feel better!

  23. Awww, so cute about the little red heart purse. And so amazing that you reminisce the day when both you and Cassidy first sent your photos to each other. I had a great time last weekend too! Happy Mom’s Day!

  24. I tend to ruin my birthday sometimes because of anxiety. But this year, my birthday was on Mother’s Day. My mom surprised me with a visit from Arizona, so it turned out to be a wonderful day, and the birthday anxiety kind of faded away. I’m so glad you had a great weekend!

    • Oh! Happy Birthday and Happy Mother’s Day! It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one to get birthday anxiety, and even more comforting that it faded away this year.

  25. Hi my pretty friend. I don’t know why but that e-mail exchange is just the romanticist thing. (I know that’s not a word).

    And I always love coming here. Even when I get anxious because I feel like a crippled blogger who can’t manage to read all the blogs she loves. But I love it here when I arrive. 🙂

    • It was really romantic!! I thought so at the time, and I still do 11 years later. It was totally the romanticist thing..
      I’m glad you made it here. I’m quite good at commenting and even I’ve been struggling lately. I blame the weather. Or something.

  26. Scarlet and the little red heart purse, I love it, and that would be a great title of a children’s book! She’s a sweetheart, just like her mama! ::Big Hugs::

  27. Scarlet and her little red heart purse sound adorable! Squishy is such a wonderful way to describe some feelings. This past weekend was full of squishy feelings, and while there were no rainbow sprinkles, there was a lot of frosting 🙂

    • It’s so cute! I just see the purse in the car after she’s in school and I smile. My mom and I call that feeling the “squishy feeling.” There’s no better way to say it!
      I hope you enjoyed that frosting!

  28. This post made me so very happy! I’m glad your days are filled with so much joy! You deserve it and so much more. I can’t wait for summer, the kids only have 15 more days of school and then its time to break free!.

  29. What a wonderful treat to actually be able to see Cassidy’s plane land! And the story about Scarlet with the little heart purse is just adorable. Totally understand

  30. …ack! my comment got cut short and posted early! Anyway, I was just going to say how I understand the ache of loss for your grandmother. I still remember when you announced her passing. I was never able to erase my grandmother’s number from my phone. It wasn’t until I got a brand new phone that her number left my list. It still makes me sad.

  31. Oh I love that Scarlet had a great time using real money. I often split the task of giving money to the cab drivers between the boys because they love it so much. So happy you had a great Mother’s day!

  32. Aww I love hearing about Scarlet with her little purse paying the cashier. I agree holidays always can have mixed feelings, but I’m glad you did have some fun 🙂

    • It’s strange about holidays and birthdays. Especially as I’m getting older. I suppose birthdays were pretty awesome when I was younger.

  33. It sounds pretty darn’ perfect to me. All of us have sadness and fears, they are part of our lives. If we didn’t have them, we’d not be the persons we are. We need them to be able to love and hope and live.
    You do live, Tamara.
    Thanks for the view into your heart and for sharing your beautiful Mother’s Day.

    • AW, thank you. I do feel that I live. Sometimes it’s less than I want and I feel that very strongly. I shouldn’t let it erase all that I do, though.
      I have to make NJ plans for the spring/summer. Perhaps coffee with Lindsay and you is in order.

  34. LOVED every word!!
    (honestly, I’ve been reading…. my commenting has just been a bit lacking of late. busy with some home renos here – yikes!)

    • Home renos are important! I really don’t keep track. I know I mentioned being petty in one of my posts about not commenting on people who won’t visit back but that is literally people who won’t visit back. Ever.

  35. AWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!! It must have been so cute to see little Scarlet hand over cash money from her OMG CUTE RED HEART PURSE! So sweet. And I’m glad you had a great mother’s day in spite of it being the first without your grandma…who is one helluva woman! AND YAY! CASSIDY IS BACK! Surprise breakfasts are THE BEST! <3!

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