Pages

Friday, April 15, 2016

Dear Little Apartment


We did not change as we grew older. We just became more clearly ourselves.
~Lynn Hall


I'll never forget the day I met you.

It was Memorial Day weekend. 3 years ago.

I was a newly single mom.

Ambitious. Determined. Scared.

In that moment, it felt like the entire world was against me and I was out to prove them all wrong.

I could do this. I would do this.

And here we are three years later-living proof that the hard days awaken the fighter within us.

The warrior we didn't even know we were capable of becoming.

It wasn't always easy.

I think you know that better than anyone.

It's like the old adage says, "If these wall could talk...".

Well, if your walls could, they would talk about my wild and crazy summer. My first summer that was truly my own, because it took me 10 years to finally have my moment.

They would talk about the wine nights with my best friend, the girls nights spent getting ready in my little bathroom, and the evenings I discovered all my new favorite TV shows.

They would talk about all the nights spent studying for tests instead of sleeping, because one of these days I will be a college graduate even if it kills me.

They would talk about how I learned to cook here-like really cook, because I was finally free to be adventerous and try new things, and so I did.

They would talk about the worst night of my life.

And the best.

They would talk about a little girl and her sleepovers with her favorite cousin and about the princess tea parties that were held right there at our coffee table.

They would talk about every nightmare she had in her little bedroom; every bedtime story that was read three, four, and five times; and about every single bath time adventure-like the time she filled the tub up until it overflowed, because, "Mom. Mermaids need deeper water.".

They would talk about how we survived three years without "real" TV and lived to tell about it.

They would talk about the movie nights and the sick days, and the only winter it snowed enough to build a snowman in our little piece of front yard.

But, I think the number one thing they would say is that while it wasn't always perfect, it was truly ours.

Our little apartment.

You were the first place in my whole life that was ever truly mine.

That was ever truly just ours.

Hers and mine.

We were able to be us here.

Just us.

We laughed here. We cried here.We learned how to be brave here.

And you know? I couldn't of done it without you.

I couldn't have become the woman I was meant to become until I learned how to survive on my own.

And I did.

I truly did.

Don't get me wrong.

I am excited about the future.

But, closing a chapter-especially a good one, is always hard.

And so, we cried this week.

Her and I.

We are really going to miss you.

Especially her.

She is having the hardest time.

But, eventually we will get through this and our new house will begin to feel more and more like home.

It's just going to take some time.

You know.

So, thanks for the memories, little apartment.

Every. single. one.

We will cherish them always.

And tonight before we go to sleep, we promise to say a prayer for the next family that will get to call you "home".

May they be blessed and may their journey be bright; and may they feel all the hope and love we've left behind in your walls.

Good bye, old friend.

We're on to bigger and better things.

Because we know that our new chapter is going to be the most amazing one yet.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

An Open Letter To My Daughter On The Last Day Being 6

A daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart. 
 ~Author Unknown


My Darling Emma,

I'm not exactly sure when this more grown up version of you decided to appear, but I finally noticed her this week. 

All month there have been "big girl" conversations about how your "too big" for Frozen and "too big" for this and "too big" for that. We only read chapter books these days, and you've been asking for a boy Barbie (insert dramatic eye roll here). 

You've taken more of an interest in clothes, and shoes, and even jewelry. You sit at your little vanity just about every morning and apply lip gloss before school. 

It's almost as if overnight you developed a big girl personality, and you are now this extremely funny, sarcastic, sensitive, loving, and artistic little girl who has fully replaced my sweet and timid baby. 

You've grown into the girl who looks just like her Aunt Mandy when you crinkle your nose to laugh. 

The girl who hides plastic rats at her dad's house to scare her step mom. 

The girl who loves tickle fights, swimming, and who recently became a whole lot braver on the playground equipment.

The girl who discovered this year how much she loves roller coasters, and zip lining, and really just about anything that is dangerous. 

The girl who is finally able to read all of her favorite books and who does it with such a flair. I could listen to read for hours.

The girl who no longer asks me to hold her and who really only needs me to wash her hair. 

The girl who does homework and who spends most of her time dressing up her American Girl dolls, watching Jessie, and drawing me the most beautiful pictures. 

The girl who loves her horse, and who dreams of being a championship barrel racer.

The girl who chooses boots and jeans at her dad's and the most frilly dresses when she's with me. 

That girl. 

My girl. 

Oh, how I love you so.

I know 6 was a big year for you. 

It was full of so many changes. 

You adjusted to life with a new mom and your moved into a new-ish house. 

You got a new teacher for first grade, and two new sweet little boy cousins. 

I'm sure 6 seems like a blur, and trust me, I feel the same way. 

I feel like it was just yesterday I was pushing you on the swing set right before your 6th birthday-wondering what the year would hold, and this week we wandered over to that same playground with that same swing set to play on it one last time and say our goodbyes before we move.

Yes. It's been a hard week for a birthday week.

We've cried alot-you and I.

Because change is hard. 

It's so hard, baby girl.

And I know that no matter how wonderful and great the change may be-there will always be parts of it that sting just a little. 

Always.

We're closing a chapter this week aren't we, baby girl?

A big chapter.

A chapter that required alot of growing up from me...and from you. 

A chapter that made us stronger and that brought us even closer.

And I know that 7 seems scary and full of so many unknowns. 

But, I know we'll get through it. 

We always get through it. 

Because, for as long as you can remember, it's always been just me and you-even during those early years. 

We have found a comfortable routine-our way of doing things. 

And I know that seems to all be changing...because it is. 

But, I promise it won't be long before we settle into this new way of life.

This shift from two to three with a man who loves us so very much.

 And I'm sure that eventually you will barely remember our little apartment days, and it will seem like this new way is how we've always done it. 

But, I promise to hold on to our little apartment memories.

I promise that we will talk about them, and laugh about them, and remember them for the days when you have your own little apartment. 

These memories will always be some of the best parts of us, baby girl.

But, I have a feeling that our new memories in our new house with our new person are going to be our best ones yet.

So, take my hand and hold on tight.

Because all of my best adventures have been with you.

Love, Mom

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Casting

"Cast all your cares upon Him for He cares for you."
(1 Peter 5:6-7)

I worry alot about this whole mom thing. 

I worry that I am not good enough or strong enough or brave enough. 

I worry that-despite my best efforts-I have caused/am causing some kind of irreparable mental and emotional damage to my child that will force her into years of therapy due to my divorce from her dad and all the shuffling from house to house. 

These are the newest additions to the monsters in my closet. 

The things that keep me up at night. 

But, not Sunday night. 

Nights like Sunday night are the nights that God chooses to remind me that I am not failing-I'm just not listening.

Because the truth is this: my child sees and hears and absorbs all the good things in her life-the things that far outweigh the bad, and this is how I know:

After helping her out of the shower on Sunday night, I began to towel dry her hair. While I was doing that, the towel caught one of her earrings that has been giving her alot of trouble. 

The ear instantly started bleeding...alot. 

And she started to cry...alot. 

I worried that I had pulled it out or torn her earlobe, and I needed to look at it and possibly remove the earring to see what exactly had happened. 

When I tried to explain this to her, she cried even harder! 

I knew she was scared and I can only imagine how much it hurt, but unfortunately my impatience got the best of me. 

I was tired from our weekend away, and my nerves were shot. 

Stick me in lots of places with multiple children and I am quickly reminded why I only have one! 

But, I digress. 

After trying to bargain with her for several minutes and eventually losing my patience with her all together, I had officially made the situation worse and through her sobs she asked me to let her call her dad. 

Ugh. 

The ultimate sign of mom failure.

She wanted her dad. 

So, I got her in her pajamas and braided her wet hair away from the bleeding ear. I then retrieved the teddy bear that seems to soothe all fears and propped her up on my bed to call her father. 

They talked. 

I pretended not to listen. 

Her tears subsided and then she handed the phone to me. 

I exchanged some short words with him and then told him I'd call him if I needed help, and then we hung up. 

She looked at me through sad eyes, and said, "I know you need to look at it, but I want to pray to God first."

"What?! You want to pray about me looking at your earring?!" 

I didn't even try to hide the annoyance in my voice.

"Yes, mom." she said so innocently, and then hopped off my bed, went into her room, shut the door, and she began to pray. 

I instantly felt bad. 

Again. 

In that moment my child's faith far surpassed my own. 

How often do I only turn to God for the "big" things, and forget that He is the Master and Creator of ALL things?

Too often. 

How often do I cry out to Him to heal illnesses, provide funding, and make a way where there is no way and forget to pray during the "small" moments: the computer that shuts down in the middle of a project, the stress-induced arrhythmias, the family drama, the co-parenting disagreements, etc? 

More than I should. 

Sometimes I think I still believe the lie that God is this unattainable being who is "too busy" for my problems. 

Why would I bother Him with a paper cut when my aunt is fighting cancer?

Why would I seek His face about my huge electric bill when some people don't even have a home with an electric bill to pay?

Why would I ask for help with my co-parenting issues when I am the one who got myself into this mess? Surely, God does not want to hear about how hard the consequences of my sin are!

These are my attempts at rationalizing my weak faith, and in turn, I shove the thorns, and the paper cuts, and the bitter words under the carpet of my heart and "save" my prayers for the "big" things. 

And as a result, He chooses to send in the calvary in the form of a little girl whose faith will literally move mountains. 

A little girl who wants to pray about bleeding earrings, and bulls going to the slaughter house, and colicky babies who cry too much at Walmart, because she just wants to tell everything to Jesus.

And I am broken

"Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, 
and do not hinder them, 
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." 
(Matt. 19:14)

My prayer this week is for a more child-like faith. 

A faith that is no longer jaded or lukewarm.

A faith that remembers that His lap is a good place for any conversation. 

Because bleeding earrings matter.

And huge electric bills matter.

And broken hearts matter.

There is nothing too big or too small for my God. 

Just ask my daughter. 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Co-parenting Diaries: Our "Normal"



The house is quiet except for the clicking of my keyboard, the sound of the coffee pot making my first few cups of coffee, and the hum of the washing machine doing a week's worth of dirty clothes.

She left with her dad about 15 minutes ago and I won't see her for the next five days.

And as my little apartment settles into a different kind of feel-the kind of feel that is absent of silliness, kitchen dance parties while we bake cookies, the sound of bedtime stories being read, and Jessie playing over and over again on my TV-I find myself reminiscent of the place we've come to the place we are now.

About 2 1/2 months ago, my ex-husband and I sat down and had a very hard, long conversation about our daughter and the time she's with each of us.

She was out growing the "set" schedule we had agreed to in our parenting agreement, and to be honest, so was I.

Our original "court ordered" agreement that we both signed about 2 1/2 years ago was this: our daughter would spend Wednesdays after school through Fridays with me and she would go to her dad's on Sundays through Wednesday mornings. We alternated Saturdays.

This worked.

For a little over 2 years it worked.

But, then our daughter started picking up on the fact that the days were not always "even"-as she would say.

She started to feel like she was missing out on time with one parent or the other from one week to the next.

She also didn't like that she hardly ever got to go to church with me on Sundays or see my family at our weekly Sunday lunches.

Planning weekend getaways was ALWAYS a headache.

And the hard truth was this: she was starting to feel left out, and it killed me.

I tried to start the dialogue with my ex-husband about changing our parenting plan several times last year.

He was open, but he was also cautious.

He is a man who has always balked a little to hard at change.

But, in his defense, so do I.

We made several attempts to find a happy medium, but all those first attempts failed.

It was juggling act, and I always felt like we were a large group of tight rope walkers trying to maintain a perfect balance without upsetting her "normal" more than we already had.

We fought.

I cried.

He pushed my buttons.

I stomped ALL over his.

It was hard.

And then we got over ourselves, and sat down for a real, honest-to-goodness conversation about our daughter and what was best for her...not for us.

I'll never forget that afternoon in my office as he sat across my desk from me with at least 10 different versions of blank calendars scattered all across my desk that were filled out with all of our thoughts and different scenarios for her new parenting plan.

We talked.

We argued. Civilly. 

And in the end we met.

Right there in the middle. 

And as difficult as it has been for me to adjust to not having my daughter for 5 whole days at a time, it has been totally worth it.

She seems happier and more content.

She sees things as "fair" for the first time in a long time.

She actually has time to get semi-settled at one place and re-adjust to those rules and expectations before we bounce her back.

She LOVES going to church with me and I clear my Sunday afternoons the best I can so that she can just be with my family and enjoy our traditions.

Traditions that are fading, but that I want her-so desperately-to have memories of.

Yes. We are settling into this new "normal".

This "normal" that will continue to evolve and change as she grows older.

We have always said that the day is coming when she will want to decide, and we have always agreed  that when that day comes we will respect her wishes-to an extent-but that we will always encourage her relationship with one another.

Because at the end of the day, we are the parents.

Her relationship with each of us is the most important.

I will always nurture her relationship with her dad even on the hard days.

And I know that even though I drive him nuts, he will always do the same for me.

In addition to her relationship with us, we have each been blessed with wonderful partners and awesome bonus parents for our daughter.

Bonus parents who encourage us to be better parents.

Bonus parents who make each home a place that feels safe and whole.

We both accept and realize that these relationships are crucial.

I am a better mother, because I am loved by a wonderful man who loves me the way I hope someone loves my daughter.

Her dad is a better father, because he is loved by a great woman who loves him in a selfless way that meets all of his needs.

We know that we cannot be the parents we truly want to be without these people.

I no longer worry about her clothes getting washed, or what her hair looks like, and that all she's having for dinner is pizza or that there isn't a soft place to land there on really hard days.

And he no longer has to worry that there isn't a stern voice at my house when I need some back up, or someone to offset my seriousness with his love of silliness, or that I am only filling her head with my "girl power" mantras.

Yes. This is us.

This is what works for us.

Is it perfect?

Absolutely not.

Do we fail in some way?

Just about every single day. 

But, we have found that when we set aside ourselves, our hurts, and our past full of regrets-it is only then that we are truly able to be the parents God is still calling us to be.

Was this the original plan?

Nope. 

But just because we failed miserably at Plan A does not mean that we have to turn Plan B into a huge, whopping, painful mess of screaming, yelling, and "getting even".

Because that isn't going to help anyone, and it's only going to continue to hurt the person we have already put through so much: our daughter.

So, we make the choice every single day.

The choice to be parents who still value each other and the role we play in our daughter's life.

The choice to be grown-ups who respect each other and this season of life that we are walking through.

The choice to live out this type of relationship-this "it's not about me, it's about her" mentality.

We make this choice, even on the days we don't really want too.

And because of our choice to be better, I have watched us come a long way in the last three years.

We have grown so much.

As people. As parents. As ex's.

Has it been easy?

Gosh. No. Not at all.

Have you met me?

I'm about as stubborn as they come.

But, I truly believe with all that I am that we are headed in the right direction.

We just have to keep trying.

We have to keep putting one foot in front of the other as we take one day at a time, and as we continue to adjust to each new year, each new season, and each new "normal".

Friday, February 12, 2016

Life After Divorce: My Thoughts on Getting Re-Married

"Life is unpredictable. 
It changes with the seasons,
Even your coldest winter,
happens for the best of reasons.
And though it feels eternal,
like all you'll ever do is freeze. 
I promise spring is coming,
and with it brand new leaves."
~e.h.


If my current self could visit my past self and tell her everything I have come to learn over the last three years, I can guarantee you the stubborn girl I used to be wouldn't believe a word of it. 

The girl I used to be was proud. 

Too proud. 

Oh, and have I mentioned that pedestal where she built a shrine to herself and her pious life? 

Puh-lease. 

Don't even get me started.

The girl I used to be could of sworn she knew everything.

EVER.Y.THING. 

Especially when it came to marriage. 

I had my parents mistakes and failed marriage in my rearview mirror and a childhood of dialogue that was my constant reminder of what NOT to do.

Yep. I thought I had the whole lifetime commitment/marriage thing in the bag the first time around. 

According to "the church", we had so many positives going for us.

At least a full year of dating under our belt before we got engaged? Check!

Actually, we had been together almost 5 years the day my pretty little twenty-one year old self said "I do".

Same core values and belief systems? Check!

We had attended the same Christian school for most of our lives AND we belonged to similar Baptist churches.

Same goals and future plans? Check!

Sure. Of course. Don't all early twenty-somethings know exactly what they want from life?

<insert eye roll here>

Listen. Here's the hard truth on this: I was twenty-one, I was naive, and I wanted OUT of my parents broken home, so I pretty much just agreed to everything he said at that point in my life.

Those are the facts.

And, in the moment, it did seem like we wanted exactly the same things for our forever. 

Yes, according to "the church", the cards were clearly in our favor.

(Except people in Baptist churches don't play cards...but, I digress.)

They even tested our love and commitment to one another through extensive marriage counseling. 

(Another Baptist thing.)

Yep. 

We. were. ready. 

I mean, what could possible go wrong?

Oh, you know! 

Just...everything. 

Because here is the other hard truth: We were young. We were crazy. We were just plain stupid. 


We expected too much and we gave too little. 

We were selfish. 

We were children.

We were not prepared to live out our vow of, "for better or for worse", and too be honest, I don't even think we fully understood what that meant. 

And to top it all off, we were completely unprepared for the one consistent truth that comes with growing up: people change. 

The crazy, quirky girl who fell head over heels with a boy who was supposed to be the boy when she was eighteen years old was completely different from the girl who became a mother at twenty-four and a full fledged adult at twenty-five and the girl I am now at the very old age of thirty. 

I was evolving and leaving him behind, and visa versa. 

Sure there were other factors that played into our demise, and I've talked about those before here, here, here, and here, but these things were definitely at the core of it. 

And as the girl I used to be sat there on the stand in that courtroom bawling her eyes out while the judge granted her the divorce she so desperately wanted, I realized one thing: there is no such thing as ready. 

You see, "the church" has made up all these rules about marriage and what it takes to make a marriage successful. 

Marriage counseling. 

Couples retreats. 

Book studies. 

Weekly date nights. 

Going to church every. single. time. the. doors. are. open.  

And on, and on, and on. 

This is where they've set the bar.

And while these things are not necessarily a bad thing, because most of them come from a great place-a place where our churches only want our marriages to succeed-the truth of the matter is that the Bible has outlined THE ultimate key to a successful marriage in Ephesians 5: 

"22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 
23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, 
his body, of which he is the Savior. 
24 Now as the church submits to Christ, 
so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, 
just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 
26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 
27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, 
without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 
28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. 
He who loves his wife loves himself."
(Ephesians 5:22-28)
In my opinion, this passage of Scripture is misinterpreted a lot, and before all you die hard feminist start to spontaneously combust, please note: I do not interpret these Scriptures as women are worthless pieces of garbage that are meant to be controlled by their husbands, because they cannot think for themselves or be successful or blah, blah, blah. And if you interpret them that way, then sweetie, you need to read it again. 

Because when I read these Scriptures, I see one resounding theme: selflessness

My ultimate calling is to put God's will first and foremost in my life. His plan for me far exceeds any plan I could ever concoct by myself. And in order for me to do that, I have to die to self and submit my life to the Lord-which means that I have to give Him everything I have to give-even the things I don't think I am capable of giving-in order to receive the full blessing of God's ultimate design for my life.

And just like it says in the first verse, marriage requires the same thing of us.

I don't need to submit to a husband by allowing him to walk all over me and control every aspect of my life, but I do need to give a marriage everything that I have to give-even the things I don't feel like I'm capable of giving-in order to make my marriage successful and reap its blessings.

And in the same hand, a husband should love me as Christ loves the church.

How does Christ love the church?

Unconditionally.

Christ's love for His church is not circumstantial, because if it was, He would always be disappointed in us.

Christ sees our bad attitudes, our sickness, our humongous messes, our financial troubles, our really stupid life choices and says, "I love you anyway".

A marriage should be the same way.

A husband's love for his wife should never be circumstantial-as long as your saying and doing the right things I promise to love you-and in the same hand neither should a wife's.

When I read these Scriptures I feel like God is asking the same thing from both husband and wife just in completely different ways.

Now, you may think I'm crazy and it's okay, because most people do, but as impossible as these truths may seem, they are completely possible if you make God the center of it.

Why?

Because we are human.

And our human nature is going to cause us to fail at this every single day, unless we give it over to Him and allow Him to make our marriages exactly what is they were designed to be: a reflection of Him.

When I was twenty-one, I didn't get that.

I interpreted these Scriptures in a completely different way, because the conservative church I was raised in taught me to interpret them that way.

But, now that I have lived through it and failed miserably at it, I can truly see what it's going to take to be successful at this whole marriage thing the second time around.

Am I an expert?

NO WAY!

Like most things, I am floundering at this just as much as the rest of you. 

But, there is a wisdom that comes with learning a hard lesson that settles into your soul and plays a part in changing you from the person you were to the person you are becoming. 

And over time you learn that a successful marriage is not based on how long you were together before you got married, or how many sessions of marriage counseling you had prior to your wedding, or how many awesome marriage books you try to read, or whether or not you took anything away from that marriage conference last fall.

Nope.

It is based on one thing: your commitment to stick with it no matter how hard or ugly or painful it gets, so that we can be living, breathing examples of Christ and His love for us.

Because we are all just a bunch of imperfect humans trying to do impossible things that are only possible with His help.

And trust me, it's gonna get really hard some days, and really ugly other days, and sometimes, yeah, it's even gonna hurt...a lot.

But, if you can power through those moments.

If you can tether your life raft to the One who ordained marriage to be a reflection of Him.

If you can remind yourself that His grace is sufficient right in the middle of every single weakness.

Then you're going to be okay, and you are not only going survive-you are going to thrive at what will be one of the most beautiful parts of your whole story.

I know this now.

I know this with every fiber of my completely imperfect being.

And while getting married for a second time was never apart of MY original plan, I believe it has always been apart of His plan for my life.

This part of the story doesn't surprise Him at all.

I believe that He has allowed me to walk through every single trial and tribulation that I have faced for a very specific reason, and one of those reasons was to become the woman I am today.

A woman who is so much more sure of herself and what she wants from life.

A woman who is ready to make a real commitment instead of girl who is just trying to run away.

A woman who finally knows what it's going to take to be the kind of wife God always wanted me to be.

A woman who can allow herself to grow and change through every single season in her life without losing sight of her ultimate calling.

This is me.

This is who my soon to be husband is getting.

And to be honest, I think he's getting the much better end of the deal.

Because the girl I was nine years ago wasn't ready for this, but the woman I am today has never been more sure.

So, for every single person who doubts me or us or second marriages or the fact that we've only been together for almost two years, I would like to invite all of you to take a step back and watch us as we-with God's help-prove you wrong. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

This is Motherhood


This is motherhood.

It is endless worrying and following your gut instincts despite your toughest critics.

It's knowing that you and you alone know your child better than anyone else.

It's allowing your child to be weak, so her body can tell you what it needs to be strong again.

It's accepting that Tylenol and home treatments don't always fix everything, and that it's ok to ask for help when you don't know what to do next.

It's never going down without a fight.

Motherhood is sleepless nights and mornings that are fueled on the adrenaline of parenting and three sips of coffee.

It's finding time to make your child look "cute" for the trip to the doctor's office while you opt for a pony tail, jeans, your favorite hoodie, and not a ounce of make up.

It's nodding in the doctor's office to terms you don't understand and pretending to grasp how to administer meds you've never given.

It's multiple trips to the doctor for the same thing, and understanding that sometimes a trip to the hospital is necessary.

Motherhood is going hungry even when you don't realize it.

It's trying to drink the same glass of tea for the last 8 hours.

It's putting your needs on hold for the needs of the child in front of you.

Motherhood is knowing that the "hard days" don't just end after they get out of diapers.

It's understanding that God will stretch you and your strength beyond the first two years.

That sometimes 6 is hard; and so is 12; and probably 18.

It's the realization that your baby will always be your "baby".

And that's ok.

Even if other's disagree.

Motherhood is snuggles on the couch and knowing the dishes can wait.

It's the fact that sometimes days with too much TV are necessary for survival.

It's letting them have popcorn for dinner when they haven't been able to eat in 2 days, because you are just excited that they finally asked for something.

It's realizing that pajama days are vital, even when no one is sick.

Motherhood is Friday night bubble baths and more than one glass of wine after an extremely long day.

It's giving yourself permission to feel human after nurturing and caring for a little human all day.

It's remembering that the woman you are is just as important as the mother you are.

And that's ok too.

Yeah. Motherhood is so many things.

It is hard, and raw, and oh so merciless at times.

Motherhood is honesty and selflessness in its purest form.

It is never easy, and there will be days when it will require more from you than what you think you are capable of.

But, trust me, it's in those moments when you will truly surprise yourself.

Because at the end of the day when tired little eyes look at you and whisper, "I love you", it's in those moments that you are reminded of one thing...

That motherhood is always beautiful.

Always. 

Even on it's messiest days.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Co-parenting Diaries: The Hard Days


My daughter is 1,172 miles away at the most magical place on earth with her dad and stepmom. 

She has been gone 8 days, 1 hour, and 9 minutes.

And this momma still has to wait 4 more days before I get to see her. 

Vacations are rough for me. 

Like really rough. 

They aren't rough, because I worry. 

I know our daughter is in the best of hands. 

They aren't rough, because I'm lonely without her. 

Even though I really am. 

They are rough, because I wander around my little apartment and wonder what she's doing, what she's seeing, and what she had for lunch. 

They are rough, because I look at the pictures her stepmom is so wonderful to send to me, and my heart just aches because I'm not the one taking the pictures. 

They are rough, because this-like SO many things-is the price we pay for this journey. 

The journey of co-parenting. 

Don't get me wrong, I know how blessed we are.

For those of you who read my blogs on a regular basis you know that I say it all. of. the. time. 

I know that we are blessed with relationships that aren't perfect, but that are committed to making co-parenting work. 

I know that we are blessed to to be able to communicate, and share, and walk this path together, because we all know how important it is for her. 

I know that we are blessed that so much beauty has been able to grow from all the devastation and ash. 

But, I also know that I am human.

And as a real, living and breathing single mom, I know it is my job to always be real with you.

To show you the places where my journey is anything, but ideal and perfect. 

To verbalize that sometimes the choices I've made are hard and they hurt.

Like when she's on vacation and I'm here missing out. 

Because it's important that us, single mommas, stick together.

To let each other know that we are not alone as we walk through our fire.

Because as easy and wonderful as I try to make co-parenting, the truth of the matter is this: sometimes it just plain sucks.

#truth

And you know what? That's okay too.

Yes, the pictures ARE wonderful and such a kind jester from her stepmother.

I am blessed. 

And yes, we HAVE got to FaceTime just about every morning since she's been gone.

We are blessed. 

And yes, the joy on her face is so evident and I love, love, LOVE that she is getting to experience all of this.

She is blessed.

But, at the end of the day, it's just not the same.

Because I'm here and she's there.

And today, that hurts.

And today, that's okay.
Pin It button on image hover