**Warning – this post is very sappy. It’s what happens when I am low on sleep, and watch too many television dramas while also taking allergy medication. You’ve been warned.**

There are so many days when it feels like I wake up, blink my eyes and then all of a sudden it’s time to put the girls down to bed again.

So many days when I get irritated at the drop of a hat. Become focused on marking things off my ‘to-do’ list. Yell ‘Speak loudly’ a little more often than I’d like. Get frustrated with things that wouldn’t normally bother me.

And then there are the days where I feel like the Grinch. Not in the bad, stealing-Christmas kind of way (although, if I were going to steal a holiday to keep for myself, it would for SURE be that one). But in the my ‘heart grew three times’ kind of way.

And it’s the little things that make time stand still. An unsolicited hug or a kiss. A little girl that stops mid-field during her soccer game to turn, wave and yell “Hi, Mommy! I love you!” A baby girl that wakes up in the middle of the night crying, and stops immediately the second her daddy puts her in your arms.

And I’ve had an epiphany recently (okay, after watching ‘Parenthood’ – seriously, that show. I wish I lived next door to the Bravermans).

I realized that my little family of four is a little microcosm of my larger, extended family. And I’m continuously being reminded of just how important family is.

Paige and Blair do things that drive me crazy. They do things that make me laugh. And they oftentimes seem schizophrenic in the way they can annoy me one second and make me feel over-loved the next. Honestly, there are times that I look at them and I literally can feel my heart ache with how very much I loved them.

Just like family. We laugh. We argue. Okay, we fight. We do things that disappoint. We do things that uplift. But we know in our heart of hearts that there are always people who will love us not matter what. There are always people who will love our children, even when it seems like they’re trying to make themselves impossible to love. There are ALWAYS people who root for us when it seems like no one else is around or even cares. There will always be a group of people who genuinely want to see us succeed. And who know just how great our best-selves are.

And, that at any given time during the day, there are always people who are thinking about you. Telling a story about you. Smiling at something you did, whether it was today or two decades ago. Missing you. Wishing they saw you more often.

And it hit me. THAT’S why I became a mother. Those are the feelings I can only hope I instill in my girls, and the feelings I know my family and my husband’s family will help me pass along. What it feels like to be unconditionally loved, and to love unconditionally.

Our little household is a microcosm of the larger Whitacre and Feldmann families. It includes the good (laughter, love, overall silliness) and the bad (impatience, and occasionally a little swearing).

And I can’t wait to see (okay, I can wait a while…like 30 years) what the next little microcosm looks like.

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