Sunflowers

I was feeling a little bummed out the other night. Violet is on vacation with her dad, and I miss her.  I wanted to take her and L to the magical sunflower field in the next town over and take their picture.  By the time Violet is home from her vacay–the magic will be gone.   

So then I thought I’d just take L.  And then I thought–how can I take pictures of such a little dude next to such big flowers.  

Then I thought I’d just take myself.  (And my camera) I packed it in the car before work and had plans to stop on my way home.  And then I didn’t.  I don’t know why…I just felt sad about going alone.  

Last night I was changing L’s diaper butt and I looked out the window.  It was a gorgeous evening.  Without much thought I scooped him up, grabbed my camera and went to the field.  

It’s like a 3 mile dive at the most.  The first mile I was thinking “how’s this going to work?”.  The next mile I’m like, “maybe I’ll just selfie–it’ll be fine”.  In the homestretch I was just excited to see the sunflowers up close, (and the bees too!).  



When I started to take L out of his Shark Stroller, a girl asked if I would like her to take our picture.  So yeah, that’s pretty amazing.  She took some pictures of my Duke and me, and my soul felt happy.  


(Photo taken by a super sweet girl named Marlee Snyder.  Thanks, lady!)

So here is my point.  Sometimes life gets you down.  Adulting is hard.  I hate going 8 hours without my Violet–let alone a whole week.  Sometimes L would rather kick me in the throat than sleep.  Maybe you feel the dark cloud of depression telling you to skip the Sunflower field this year since nothing matters anyway and it didn’t all work how exactly how you pictured it.  

Don’t let that shit rule your life.  You matter, and your thoughts and opinions matter too.  If all you can feel is the weight of the world–go find something beautiful.  Drink it in.  Appreciate that one thing, even if it’s only for a hot second. 

 There is beauty all around us.  It’s in the smile you give to the old man walking down the street.  It’s in the summer sunset. It’s in the thunder rolling through the sky.  It’s in your children laughing.  It’s in the Sunflower field.  


PS:  little dudes and big flowers are perfectly acceptable to photograph.  

PSS:  If you’re in a dark place with no beauty or magic–call me.  I can’t promise that I’ll know what to say, or that I’ll be able to relate.  I can promise to listen.  And to help you curl up in a blanket and hide for a little bit, if that is what you need.  I’ve been through some shit, too.  I don’t want you to go through your shit alone.  

Love, Light and Peace to you all. ❤️

I’m exhausted…

It took a fantastically long time for my divorce to be final. I really thought that I would know how to feel about all of this, I did have a lot of time to process things. Truth is…..I don’t know how to feel.

I learned to never plan my life. When the plans that I made for myself didn’t work out it was devastating. It still is.

I don’t know how to feel about “romantical” love. By nature I want to trust, and share my life. The thought of that is now so terrifying, I’m not even sure that it is worth it. But sometimes I am so lonely.

I *really* want more kids…..or at least another. Violet bring me so much joy. I have so much love to give her, I know there is room for another little soul for me to mother.

It’s hard to feel two opposite feelings at once.
The complete sadness that I failed at being married. I never ever wanted my baby to have split holidays, I want to see her every single day. To have promised my life to someone for better or worse, and to not have a partner to celebrate my promotion with me, or to watch with wonder as our child grows up. The extreme pain and hard work it takes to heal and grow from the damage of emotional abuse.
To have those hard, sad and yucky feelings, and at the same time feel relief that I am free. I am happy, and I know that I deserve respect. Even though it scares me, it’s certainly possible for me to find a partner to be happy and healthy with. To appreciate and enjoy every second I have with my beautiful baby girl.

Sad and Happy at the same time. Disappointed and Excited all at once. Depressed and Hopeful simultaneously.

And then there is society. The same society that tells all young people that they NEED to be married isolates divorced women with stereotypes and prejudice. Other moms in my community are super sweet, until they find out I’m divorced. Then I’m public enemy #1. “Lock up your husbands ladies, this bitch is *for sure* going to wreck our homes.” Yeah, no thanks. I’m not interested. What I would LOVE, is for some of you to realize that my marrying the wrong person does not define me. The fact that I’m single doesn’t mean I’m after all of the unavailable men. I’d love to not be put into a category of the huge stigma that exists for single moms.

The other day I ran into the mother of a girl I graduated with. She was so excited to see me and happy to hear of my healthy little girl. “What does your husband do?” she asked…

“Oh, I recently went through a divorce.”

You would have thought I told her that I murdered him. She literally walked away from me without another word. Wow. This life is isolating…to say the least.

It’s still better than before.

I am loved. I am blessed. I am full.

I am loved by my parents, who have always loved me. They are proud of my accomplishments, they are my biggest fans. I thank God every day that I still have them and that I can be with them and that Violet knows them. I am loved by my friends, my friends are amazing. All of them. I am loved by my daughter. The most amazing love of all.

I am blessed to have a job that I really enjoy. To have been able to learn more each day, and to move upward and onward with a company that I like working for. I am blessed that I can make ends meet, and I can figure out how to do things for my daughter that cost money, and fix things in my home that improve the quality of life that my parents have. I am blessed to lead a healthy and overall happy life. I am blessed to have gained certain extended family that I will never loose no matter who I am or am not married to. (You all know who you are…..and I love you ❤️).

I am full of hope. I am full of the empowering feeling that came when I finally stood up for myself. I am full of peace and thankfulness that I can choose to not live in turmoil.

But my marriage is over…for real and I don’t know how to feel.

As we very quickly enter into “the holidays” I remember that these are the hardest days. The memories of family gatherings when I was still part of a family that gathered. The time I must spend away from Violet while everyone is supposed to be with the ones they love the most. The uncertainty that I’ll ever feel safe and loved and welcomed into new holiday traditions…. is it summer yet?

There isn’t a single person on earth who has gone through life without being criticized. That’s comforting. So much of the population has and will criticize me for being a divorced woman. *I didn’t reach my goal.*. *I must have not taken it seriously.* *Young people these days just don’t take anything seriously.*

I take my happiness seriously. I take respect seriously. I take the well being of my child very seriously.

I share my story because if I can help just one person get through a dark part of their life, then my struggle is worth it. I write my thoughts out because I need to, even if I didn’t have a single reader. I’m confident that I’ll figure out how to move on from here. I just wish I could speed the process up a tad. I don’t know when I’ll stop feeling the affect of my failed marriage, but I do know that I’m thankful to not be at the beginning of my struggle.

I’m trying *very hard* to just focus on the multitude of wonderful in my life. Still, I just can’t help but to feel sad each time I see one of Violet’s friends will be a big brother or sister. I planned that for my life too and for Violets life. It’s just not my reality. For that, I feel sad. (And at the same time I’m elated for the friends who are having babies! If you are reading this and you are one of them, I will snuggle your babies up. I love babies!).

Here we go again, deflated and soooooo excited in the same emotion. It’s exhausting.

When I show excitement for being a single woman, that sensation is real. What I’m not showing (except for like….right now), is that I’m also sad.

I’m working on it.

So in conclusion: here is something that makes me happy. Being happy is my favorite.

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Summertime with my girl ❤️

The Other Woman

I know your life. I’ve been there before. He’s SO handsome. He’s SO charismatic. Funny. He makes you laugh. He makes you feel safe. He makes you feel *exactly* what you need to feel.

And then you wonder about this, or that. You ignore your intuition, because you fail to recognize that your intuition is your best friend. Hmmm, he’s married. But he justifies it with this, or that. He tells you that he has “no reason to lie”. He’s an open book. His actions speak louder than his words, but you listen to his words instead because they are so convincing.

It’s intense. You can’t get him off your mind. He loves your hair, your eyes, your lips, your body. He’s intense. It’s so hard to be apart because you’re just so *perfect* for each other. The gifts. You’re spoiled. He’s so successful, he’s going to take care of you. You need it? He’ll make it happen, in spite of his bills, he always seems to have the money for the new car, the furniture, the toys, the bling, the bike, the trips.

You feel so bad for him. He was trapped in the wrong relationship. With the wrong person. He thought he loved her, but he was so wrong. He thought he was doing the right thing, but she did this, and she did that. She drove him nuts. She *made* him this way. She isn’t like you. You actually make him happy. He’s been through the wrong relationship now a couple of times, so there is no doubt in his mind that this is the right one.

You make big decisions based on his wishes. You loose touch with your friends. But it’s okay, because he’s your best friend. He’s all you’ll ever need. And you notice that he doesn’t talk as much about your eyes, but he grabs at your ass every chance he gets. He tells you that your boobs better not sag, because that wouldn’t be acceptable. Somewhere along the line he’s come to expect a level of perfection from you that is unfounded. So it’s your goal to achieve that perfection.

It started with a joke here about how you can’t do this right, or you said that stupid thing. You were silly and he says “don’t be so retarded” and you wonder why you aren’t so funny anymore. But then he tells you to lighten up. It’s just a joke. The joke isn’t so funny though, and you don’t get it yet. It’s a “lets all laugh at your expense” carnival and you play along because you’re a good sport and he really takes care of you. He’s SO funny. He’s SO handsome. He’s really perfect for you, and you’re so glad that you make him happy, because he deserves it.

You find yourself thinking about how happy you are, about how it makes you proud to be with this man who seems to be liked by everyone. He loves his kids and its so unfortunate that his kids aren’t yours and that your kid isn’t his because wouldn’t it be so great if you could be one big happy family instead of a couple of broken ones playing house. At the same time, it’s so nice to not have to worry about being here and there for the middle schooler and have time away from the little ones to just be a couple in love. You have everything in common and you have so many fun things to do together.

Because you are a woman you have nights where you are more emotional than others. You lay awake and you wonder. You’ll wonder when he’ll find someone he likes better than you. You shake the thought out of your head because he told you his cheating days are over. He doesn’t like how it makes him feel and it’s not worth it. He can’t imagine loosing you, because remember, you’re different. He made big changes to be with you. He did that for you. You must be special. But that little voice still tells you it will happen. You think of all of the things you do wrong. It’s all little stuff, but it adds up. He asks you what’s wrong and you feel so comfortable talking to him about anything. He hugs you, and holds you and you *know* everything is going to be okay.

Life happens. Situations change, you talk about how you’ve made it through so many challenges. It’s something to be proud of. You have a great relationship and you communicate so well. He tells you everything. Open book, remember? And then you pick up on a couple of things that he didn’t tell you, and he has a great explanation. He doesn’t answer all of your calls. A good buddy of his seems to have a lot to talk about. He spends an awful lot of time playing Yahtzee on his phone. Nobody plays that much Yahtzee. Except for him. “Don’t be so retarded”. He had a long day. You ask him to do something romantic and he agrees, but when the time comes he’s made plans to help that talkative buddy with a project. Your mind wonders. The communication seems different. Eventually he talks to you and you feel so *stupid*. How could you have thought that he would hurt you. He has so much going on. So much stress. Work. You spent a lot at the grocery store. Money. You *know* that he loves you. He’s going to try harder. He’s so sorry.

You’re so relieved. Your mind wondered into such a dark dark place. He’s been cuddling again. He started showing interest in your body again. You feel wanted and pretty. No mention of your eyes, lips, hair…..but he touches you and you feel so connected. Every couple goes through some tough times. Yet another mountain that the two of you climbed together. Life is good.

And then he lets his guard down. You connect some dots. You compare some notes. The rose-colored glasses come flying off. You’re entire world stops and then crashes down all around you. The past 7 years of your life was a lie. You don’t know which parts were real, or fake. You question everything. You have no one to call. You don’t know who you can trust. It’s your worst nightmare and you realize that he has been right all along, you ARE retarded. You are so stupid. He showed you exactly who he was when he came on to you while he was married to his pregnant wife. You believed him. Here you are, broken. You don’t believe in yourself. You can’t do anything right. You tried so hard to be everything that he said you were. And he’s angry. Angry at the thought of you telling everyone. Angry at the thought of you confronting her. Angry because you made him do this. You didn’t throw the junk mail away. You left clothing in the dryer. You didn’t wash the dishes last night.

Here’s the thing: I get that you haven’t lived this entire cycle yet. You will. Some of the details will vary, but in the end it’s all the same. I’m so torn because I wouldn’t wish this on anyone in the world. If I had to pick one person it would be *you*, the weird thing is that I don’t even really wish this on you. I feel bad for you. It’s weird that I feel bad for you because I cannot wrap my mind around the kind of person you are. That is what in cannot relate to. I cannot figure out why people vindictively hurt people. Why women poach other women’s husbands and families. You may be a nice girl. You may be funny. There is even a slight chance that you may be *the one* that he changes for. In spite of all of that, what you chose to be a part of completely destroyed my life. And you knew it would.

I was forced to wake up. I was forced to learn about where I went wrong. My destroyed life is in the past and my current life fills my days will smiles and sunshine. But forgive me, when I can’t control the cold looks that I send your way. Forgive me for loathing that smirk you wear as you parade by with your prize. You think you wear the smirk because you won. You set a goal to make him yours when he was more off limits than any other man in the world. I loath the smirk because I know how wrong you are and it’s just not my place to help you figure that out.

This is how I cope. This is how I cleanse and heal. These are the words that I want to scream out loud when it’s least appropriate. I’m sure *you* will never read them. Maybe they won’t be read by a single soul. But the negative is off of my chest, and that’s the goal. The negative feelings are not a part of who I am at my core. The anxiety has worn out its welcome. This is me refusing to give you power over me. You’ve done enough already.

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It’s advice time!

Here’s that blog post where I give you all advice. Which is funny, because obviously I’m perfect at life (please read sarcasm). I’ve just noticed so many of the beautiful ladies in my life struggling. It makes me sad.

Goals are great things to have. Goals stop being great when you settle for an awful life in order to achieve those goals. Now don’t get all crazy on me (those of you who knew my life before the past year and a half). I’m not saying my entire existence was awful. I’m saying that I cheated myself out of what I truly deserve and I let the closest person to me treat me like the crud on the ground he walked on…and that sucks.

So what do you do when you realize that your dreams really haven’t come true? Here’s my short list.

1. Cry a lot. It’s therapeutic. All of that pent up negative energy has to go somewhere. For a very long time I “wasn’t supposed” to cry. It would harbor anger in those around me and I was conditioned to feel like the most annoying piece of shit on the planet for having emotions. I have news for you world. When a person cries….it doesn’t mean that they are crazy. It could mean a whole lot of things, but crazy isn’t one of them. So as soon as I had the chance I cried. A lot. I cried on my jogs. I cried in the car. I cried at night. I cried in the bathroom at work. I cried on the phone with my mom, with my boss, with my BFF in Florida.

2. Stop being a victim. Each story has two sides. Even though I’d assume that my husband told his girlfriend some very terrible and very untrue things about me in order to manipulate an extramarital affair out of her, I married the guy knowing full well that he did all of the yuck to his first wife that he did to me. People show you exactly who they are, almost immediately. I ignored red flag after red flag, and kept pushing forward because my goals were more important to me than logic. I expected a guy to run with four legs, when he only had two. That is nobody’s fault but my own.

3. Remember the dreams that really did come true. I’m more proud of my accomplishments than I’ve ever been before. I’m a college grad–and the bill is almost paid in full. Not too shabby. I have a pretty kick-ass job. My BFF says it’s kind of a big deal, so I’ll go with what she says. I’m a mommy, and my perfect little peanut is full of mommy-loving sass. She is my whole world and I am so blessed with every breath she takes. She’s over two and I’d still like to stay up all night just to watch her sleep. I know pure love, the love of a mother.

4. Face your fears. It’s as simple as that. Big girls and boys have to deal with a little bit of crap here, and some uncomfortable situations there. Trust me when I say that you can deal with much more than you give yourself credit for. It’s okay to have a little help from your friends. By now you should know who they really are.

5. Let go of what you can’t control. It makes no sense to be all worked up about something or someone who will never change. It may be that you can’t stand the thought of doesn’t -deserve-my-respect-baby-daddy’s-girlfriend being around your sweet innocent child. It may be self destructing friends. You only control one person in this life…You. A very smart and intuitive man once told me that drama fills our lives when we welcome it. I choose to no longer welcome drama.

I’ve realized that most women don’t challenge themselves to self discovery unless they are forced to. I’m guilty. All of my awakened girlfriends are so, because they have some shitty story to tell. It’s gotten to the point where I want to run around from church to church on the weekends yelling “Wait! Are you sure? You don’t have to marry him!” like a crazy person. (Disclaimer to all engaged friends….that’s most likely me being jaded….please don’t be offended). I guess all I’m trying to say is this: If I would have taken the time to become ME when it was really time for me to become ME…things would have been very different. Much less painful. I wouldn’t change my past, I don’t think anyone should want that. Each of my experiences helped me to become who I am today and I really love that woman. It’s just frustrating to think of what I had to go through to fall in love with me.

If you are anything like me, you have these big dreams and goals. If you don’t seem to be reaching them in the ridiculously unrealistic timeframe that you’ve set for yourself–or if that whole life of cards comes crashing down around you–I know how you feel. You’re feeling sad, feeling impatient, feeling like a failure–do yourself a favor and re-evaluate. Cry it out. Own it. Be thankful. Be brave. Just breath.

This universe gives each and every one of us the chance to be happy. I don’t have a lot, but I’m so very blessed. It’s because I know exactly what I want, exactly what I need and exactly what I deserve. And I *try* to give everyone around me that same love and respect.

And since its nearly impossible for me to post an entry without mentioning my gorgeous ray of sunshine…

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Just a little selfie she took in between episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She took a couple hundred in a matter of three minutes, so it was challenging to choose which one to publish.

P.S. I’ve been MIA with my blog for almost two months because crazy single momma life doesn’t usually leave one with much free time. Every day I planned on blogging what’s been funny and what’s been cute…..just as soon as I could take a nap….and then it was the next day. Funny how that happens. I have those stories saved up….stay tuned!!

This time I will fly…

I’ve written these words a few times before
They look different, but the weight is the same
The feeling of sad, the feeling of small, the feeling of insignificant

Here I am, in a place so new and all I want to do is fly
Into the sunrise. Some days I can, and some days I do
But then I remember that you told me not to.

It’s a circle, a cycle, it’s a wheel, and you’ll keep turning your hand
Once….twice…..and now on to three, but what would stop you now?
You have a collection of conquered hearts, just to keep them on a silver spike.

And at the end of the day, the end of the year, the end of a lifetime
You’re proud? Your accomplishments fill your heart with joy, and happy thoughts?
“That time I made her world crash down! You should have seen her cry!”

“I did that. I built fake dreams. I told lies. I justified. I did it all over again.
I mean, when you’re good, you’re good. So why stop there? This one: She’s oblivious.
I’ll tell her what I told the ones who came before”

The numb is wearing off, but that means I can feel the sting.
The intentions, the mean. The mean. You are mean.
Why would the tension come from you? The master of the show is always proud of his work.

Sometimes you just have to walk away, admit defeat, lay down and cry.
I walked, I am walking….as far as I can get. You win. Keep on collecting.
When I lay down to cry….I always have help to get back up.

Good luck with that.

So here I am in a place that’s new. And just as I’m about to fly…
I remember that time when I stood on the ledge holding on to these words
For dear life. And you laughed. Or ignored. Or told a story about yourself.

This time I will fly. It’s not for you, it’s for me.
It’s for the tiny mirror that my life revolves around.
And it’s for the ones who came before. But definitely not for you.

Happy Mother’s Day

For as long as I can remember, my main goal in life has been to be a mommy. I remember playing house as a little girl, and pretending to nurse my baby dolls. I remember homeschooling my make-believe children and teaching them about “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” because it was always one of my favorite Shakespeare plays.

About 8.5 years ago my mommy-hood dreams partially came true when I started dating Violet’s dad. I instantly fell in love with his then almost four year old. I love Ethan just as if he were my own son. Being a bonus parent is hard. Some times are harder than others, but every ounce of love I have for Ethan is worth all of the hard stuff. I didn’t get to see Ethan today. That was really hard. The hardest part of being a bonus parent to someone else’s children is when their real parent decides that your time is up…

Last year was my first official Mother’s Day. Like…the first one where I could tell a story of the day my baby was born. Mother’s Day was only days after I moved out of my home and in with Suzy and Ben. I was emotionally numb. I spent the day swimming in a sea of shame, guilt, sadness and failure. All I ever wanted to do was to be a mommy, and a kick ass wife. I tried really hard to be everything *he* wanted me to be, but the reality was that the harder I tried, the less he cared. I never in a million years thought I’d be a single mom. I was certain I’d fail at being Violet’s mom, just like I’d “failed” at being her dad’s wife.

So so so much changes in a year. There is a chapter of my life that is coming to an end. Last year I would have given anything to wake up from the nightmare that I was living and to have my life back. Today I recognize that I would never want that life back. Not ever. There are some things I now know to be true:

1. I am good enough. I am HONEST and TRUSTWORTHY. I am compassionate and caring. I’d do anything for the people I love.

2. The only person I “failed” was myself. And that is because I tried to live my life in order to please someone else. I didn’t write, I didn’t demand respect, I didn’t stand up for myself. I let *him* have my heart and trusted *him* with my everything….when deep down inside I knew I shouldn’t have. History has a funny way of repeating itself…

3. I was put on this earth to be Violet’s momma, and gosh-darn-it….I rock at it. (Don’t get me wrong, there is always room for improvement. Just like that meme I see floating around Facebook that says “Behind every awesome kid there is a mom who is pretty sure she’s doing it all wrong” or something like that…).

I heal a little bit each and every day. It seems like there is always an obstacle that is difficult to work through, but I always seem to find a way. Right now the big troll in my life is a mixture of anger and of worry about things I have no control over. I am so angry that precious mommy-moments were stolen from me. I didn’t have a loving husband to dote on my pregnant-goddess self. I didn’t feel supported, appreciated or cherished when all of my dreams were supposed to be coming true. I am angry about so much more, but I don’t want to turn this post into an angry rant. I’m worried about what Violet will learn when I’m not around. Relationships are always hard when they are founded on crumbling values. Somewhere deep inside of me, I have to find the strength to let go. What I can control is who I have Violet around. It certainly won’t be anyone I’ve ever considered a mistake. I won’t have her around anyone who brings negativity to my life. It won’t be anyone who has ever proven to not be trustworthy at any point of their life. Through all of this anger and worry I can still be thankful. I’m thankful for the lessons I’ve learned, because I’ve always had to learn the hard way. I’m thankful that my daughter has a dad who loves her. And I’m thankful that I now know exactly what I want, and I won’t settle for anything less than what I deserve.

Today was a great day. Suzy made bacon and strawberry pancakes for breakfast. We bummed around the house for a bit. Then, I took Violet to Valley Forge and we took a walk. She insisted on “pushing her stroller”. She loved the kites flying in the sky–she really wanted to touch them. It’s hard to explain to a two year old that she can’t fly with the kites… Violet loved the log cabins that civil war soldiers slept in. She walked on cobblestone and learned that she would get cold without her hoodie. She fell asleep in the car on the way home, much to my dismay…that totally throws bedtime out the window and I end up blogging at midnight… After our visit with MeeMaw, she chose a book to take home and “read” in the car. (I wish I would have snapped a picture). Suzy and I were treated to some homemade lasagna for Mother’s Day, and in a comedy of errors we didn’t eat until 9. The kids played nicely together in the tub and Violet got so brave, she poured water over her own head. (Big development here…..HUGE!). Ethan texted some pictures of himself playing baseball, and I found myself feeling a whole bunch of emotions all at once. I love watching him play, I’m proud of all that he does, I miss the shit out of that kid, I still haven’t dealt with the pain of losing my time with him. Lets add that to the list of healing and keep trucking forward.

To all of the moms out there of any kind…Happy Mother’s Day. We have the hardest and most rewarding job in the universe. We will always need each other, because anyone who is not in this club of ours just doesn’t understand. We are superheroes. (I know this to be true, show me a non-mom who can successfully change a baby’s diaper and outfit in a two square foot radius of an airplane seat surrounded by sleeping old people and not disturb a soul). I did that, and it was awesome.

A little shout out to my momma…..I love you forever, you showed me the path that led me to be the strong woman I am today. Your grand daughter loves you more than anyone in this world. Violet’s intelligence has a little something to do with genetics….but I’m sure her vocabulary also has a lot to do with who she is with every day. My 22 month old baby sings every word of every lullaby to me….and she nails her ABC’s. What would I do without my mommy???

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