Monday, December 17, 2012

Settled

It's been just over a year since that metaphorical house dropped out of the sky and landed squarely on top of me.  It's already been over a year.  Surprising to me, how quickly a year goes by...even a stressful one. 

There were days when all I could do was survive. 

There were moments when I wished I would vanish.

There were nights when I prayed I wouldn't see daylight. 

There were little girls that needed their mother in a capacity that was overwhelming.

But then time happened and things changed.  I started across the bridge, one foot in front of the other, and decided not to look back.  And, the further across that bridge I walked, the happier I became. 

The past year hasn't been easy, but it also hasn't been regrettable.  As many hardships and trials were encompassed in 2012, there have also been moments of unparalleled happiness.

Happiness in making my life my own.  Happiness in my independence and freedom.  Happiness in raising my little girls the best way I know how.  Happiness in rediscovering me.  Happiness in new beginnings. 

So, it's settled.  The terms are settled and the dust is settling.  While there used to be dust storms so huge they would cloud my vision and choke me for air; now, the dust kicks up around the tops of feet and it goes no further than that. 

I am happier.

It is settled.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Where My Mind Is At...

Hi. 

Remember me? 

It's been far too long since I've used this space for the purpose it was created for.  My space, which has been protectively sheltered by my attorney and is now only viewable to a limited audience. 

As this divorce encroaches on almost every aspect of my life, it has not overcome it.  In my quest to remain positive and find the beauty in the changes life has brought me, I'm finding me. 

I had a conversation not long ago with a friend and she asked me a pointed question.  She looked me straight in the eye and said "But were you really happy?  Were you?"  The question, so bold and forthright, I could not answer.  What is happiness to me?  Is it stability, contentment, routine?  Do I know a happiness that out lies that?  This clearly was not his version of happiness.   My happiness was his boredom, or maybe I wasn't really happy.  Maybe. 

In the weeks that have followed since my last post, I've been doing my best to embrace this journey.  I'm doing my best to remember the reasons that I am HERE on this road.  I'm focusing on what I deserve.  I am creating a new normal.

I no longer miss my husband.  It's strange to write that; strange that after nearly 15 years together, and only 8 weeks apart, the heart begins to heal.   I am past the point of chasing him, past the point of reminding him how badly he screwed up our lives, I'm past the point of wanting him to feel a hurt that parallels my own.  I don't hurt like that for him any longer.   He no longer has that power.  My home is no longer empty without him.  I no longer have to keep his closet door shut, hoping the pain would stay locked inside of it. 

Life does move on.   

Instead, I feel safe; safeguarding my heart and my children and keeping my lifelines close to my chest.  I am realizing that when he left, he gave me back a piece of myself; the piece that was riddled with insecurities and doubt; the piece that couldn't trust and couldn't love and was paralyzed in fear of the future.  He shackled me with chains of self-loathing, and despair, and inadequacy, tearing me down at every turn. 

When the door closed behind him, those chains were broken. 

I am none of those things.

I used to worry that I would be too battered, too broken and wounded to ever move on.  I worried that there would be emotional scars, and trauma, and walls that would need to be torn down.  But, I don't think that will be the case.  I think what's here...what's left...what is being rebuilt, is far better already than what was there before.  My wounds are healing, with time my heart will be whole. 

And that's where the small glimpse of beauty lies in this process.    

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Aftermath

**Go ahead and press play below**


I get it now. 

I get the reason why women stay. 

The stay because it is easier.  They stay because it is less painful.  They stay because it's safe.  They stay because they value the memories, the history, the dream, the financial security, or their family values, more than they value themselves. 

That was me 3 weeks ago.  Staying.  Trying.  Sacrificing.  I thought that was hard.  Daily, I had to struggle with my morals and the example I was setting for my children.  I would constantly weigh what I had vs. what I deserve.  I exhausted myself trying to be everything to a man who didn't value me or respect me.  I endlessly tried to make him happy, when really, he will never be happy.  He won't be happy with me, or with HER.  He won't be happy until he gets happy with himself, and that's going to take a lot of work and time. 

I thought all of that was hard.

No. 

This is hard.  Divorce is hard.  It brings out the worst in people.  It's hard to take the high road.  It's hard to "be the bigger person."  Nothing about this is easy.

He wants to argue over finances and money.  I want to argue over hurt and pain and shattered dreams.  I want an apology that covers more ground than "I fucked up" and "I made bad choices."  I want to know that SHE is worth sacrificing 15 years, 2 girls' futures, and everything we worked for.  And, he can't tell me that, because he knows it's not.  Nothing is worth this mess....not a million dollars, or a girl in spandex.  Nothing.

We spew hatred back and forth like wildfire.  What a thin line it is between love and hate...and then one of us extends the olive branch and all is fine, for a moment, until something else reignites the fury.  The gap used to be a crack...now it is a crater; the distance between our hearts is large and vast.  This. is. hard.  How did we get here?  This is really the road to happiness?  Whose?

There are days where I feel good.  I feel like a weight has been lifted.  I feel at peace with where I am, and who I am.  And more importantly, what I stand for matches up with how I live my life.  I no longer have to care about what is going on behind my back.  I no longer have to snoop and spy and look for evidence.  The only people I need to care about now are the people who truly love me.  I can now find joy in going to a 3 year old's birthday party and not worry that he is wishing he were somewhere else.  I can live in the moment with my girls and give them 100% of me.  I no longer have to divide my time between saving my marriage and paying attention to my kids.

And there are nights like last night...at 10 pm there were 3 girls crying atop my king size bed.  Crying because change is hard.  Crying for what is lost and different.  There were sniffles, and tissues, and then good night kisses.  There were 3 heads all lined up on the pillows....three bodies, all touching, all needing comfort and security.  3 people just trying to make it through the night.  3 people clinging to each other because we are all we have.

And then there are days like today...I woke up to Chloe's puffy cheeks on my pillow and I actually thought for a moment that I am the most blessed woman in the world, because I get to wake up to my kids; little girls who ran in and out of the bathroom, giggling, while I flicked water on them from my shower.  There is still joy in life. 

And then we piled in the car and headed out on our 1 hour commute.  And, I had to tell the camp counselor about our issues at home.  "Camdyn's daddy is no longer living with us.  We've been a little bit of an emotional wreck.  Camdyn still needs to follow the rules like everyone else, she just might need a hug or some emotional support after being reprimanded."  Her response, "I'm so sorry.  I was wondering what was going on with her.  Thanks for letting us know."   Somehow I choked out that entire explanation without crying.  Somehow.

This is the Aftermath of an affair.  Devastation that far exceeds the "jollies" of two selfish individuals. There are no winners. There are consequences.  There are tears...but there is also hope. 

There is hope and a new dream, in the light of the aftermath.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wordless Wed - Status

Sometimes there aren't words...but there are pins.





 
 
 
Yes.  That's who I am. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Irretrievably Broken

I lay awake in my bed on Thursday night, the clock says 3:38 am, this post tumbling around in my head like wet towels in a dryer.  I have words that must be said.  I have a story that must be told.  This is my therapy, it's cheap, it's cathartic.

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It's broken. 

Irretrievably broken. 

And that's what the papers will say. 

It's been six months since my world fell apart.  The rug of routine, stability, and contentment, swept right out from underneath me.  In those six months I've spent hours looking in the mirror, reflecting on what my role was in this marital apocalypse and then I spent months making changes. 

Changing me for the better.  Changing me for the happier, but all the while something was amiss.  I felt it in my heart, like a piece of apple skin stuck between your teeth, I just couldn't quite get at it. 

Source: imgfave.com via Carol on Pinterest


And then it became crystal clear.











I gave it my everything.  I forgave him the 7th commandment.  I opened my heart, swallowed my dignity, set aside my self-esteem, self-worth, and my own needs, all the while staying true to who I am and what I believe in.  My values never change.  And I tried.  I fought.  I loved him through it.  And I was mostly successful at finding my smile on a daily basis. 

The trick, friends, is not to put your key to happiness in someone Else's pocket. 

He no longer holds my key.

I do.

There is power and peace in that. 

And this is my comfort.






There have been many dark hours for me over the last six months and there may be more to come.
But, HE is with me.  He will hold my hand through the ups and downs and challenges that await me.  I am ready for that.  HE wraps his arms around me and covers me with grace and mercy.  This is my story and my journey and I'm not going to spend one more minute digging my heels in the sand against it.  I have accepted it.




Source: tumblr.com via Carol on Pinterest

This morning my left ring finger is empty.  It feels odd.  Naked. 

But, on my right ring finger, there sits a ring.  Sterling & turquoise and passed down to me by my Momma.  It was a ring my father bought her back in their glory days.  It has a history and is part of their story...but to me, it represents the strength of a single mom.  Those years were hard on her I'm sure, but those years were happy.  I had a great childhood and my children will too. 

This is my road.  And I will walk it. 

I am NOT irretrievably Broken. 


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

We Are Glass

Sometimes a song just speaks...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - This Homie Says...

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I am fortunate. 
Fortunate to have girlfriends that criss cross the country and time.
Girlfriends that laugh with me, cry with me, and eat ice cream late at night with me.
They get me.  They know me through and through. 
And most importantly they stand with me, shoulder to shoulder through it all.
And to that one special friend....
I am here. 
And I never left.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pomp and Circumstance - Kindergarten Style

It seems like just yesterday that I snapped these photos of Camdyn on her first day of Kindergarten.  She was so happy she was glowing and not a tear was shed as her Daddy and I kissed her goodbye that morning in her classroom. 

And now, here we sit at the end of May, the end of the school year approaching like a freight train. 

Kindergarten is nearly over. 

She grew up immensely this past year...and she had a ton of fun doing it. 
Come to think of it...we all grew up immensely this year. 

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Where she began to lay the groundwork for good work habits, study skills, and focus.  I began to lay the groundwork for personal happiness, goals, and a functional family.

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Where she declared victory for earning 20 reading counts points and getting her picture on the tree in the media center, I declared my own personal victory.  I am happier than I was before...maybe not every day, but in general I am happier and healthier. 

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I told you.  :)

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Where she did gem mining and learned about rocks.  I moved rocks too.  Actually, more like big chunks of concrete.  I took a long hard look in the mirror and I made changes.  Changes that make my life better and more active.  Changes that put priorities in order. 

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She learned about rocks with the help of a guide.  I moved mine with the help of dozens; friends, pastors, therapists, my family and God.  It takes a lot of people, and a lot of power to move big rocks, but I am doing it....steadily and with help.

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And throughout the year, she continued with her riding lessons.  She's posting like a pro, she's jumping rails and still looking forward to every lesson.  She's found her passion.  We've rediscovered ours.

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It's up and it's down.  It's life. 

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And friendships make it easier.

Maybe it really is true, that everything you need to know, you learn in Kindergarten. 
It's been a year of learning for all of us.


Last night Camdyn graduated from Kindergarten.  We are so proud of all her accomplishments this year.  She's grown, she's changed, but she's still our energetic, exuberant little girl.   

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A little girl who has learned the trick of an "open mouth smile" from her Momma.
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 Open Mouth Smile = Super Happy and Copious Amounts of FUN!

In celebration, we had yogurt at OrangeLeaf after the ceremony....nothing says celebration like ice cream with any topping your heart desires!


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Please hang with this wiggly and over-zoomed video until the 3:10 mark.  It'll be worth the giggle.  Promise. (Taylor Swift Cam is in the back row)



I am so proud of you, Cam!  I'm hoping that first grade brings a whole lot of sunshine with it. 

Love you!
Forever n Always,
Momma

Friday, May 4, 2012

-Working On- One

It's been awhile, months actually.  Months since I charged up the battery, loaded my backpack and set out to shoot for someone else.    It felt good...normal and natural.  And normal is something that I cling to almost as fervently as hope and faith. 

45 minutes we spent on the hill, a family of 3 and me.  He's turning one.

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Twelve months of sleepless nights, soothing, and worrying, are going to be celebrated.  But more importantly, twelve months of undeniable joy.  Joy in looking in to eyes that you recognize as your own, joy at first smiles, first steps, and milestone moments that happen nearly every day.  Joy in realizing that this little tiny human is fulfilling your purpose in life.

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Realizing they aren't just our future, they are also part of our past; soaking up and absorbing all of our traditions and experiences.  They are living pieces of us, a record of our life experiences and the roads we traveled.   They are everything we will them to be. 

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Yes.  I remember first birthdays.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wordy Wednesday - Truth

"I am not afraid of tomorrow for I have seen yesterday
and I love today."
~author unknown

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A kind woman at our church offered to take this photo of us on Saturday.  I can't remember the last time all four of us made it in one frame.  Sure, Chloe is doing her own thing, and yes the sun was in our eyes...but we are all here...all 4 of us.  This photo is a treasure to me.

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And then there was anticipation, and eggs strewn about, and little girls who had trouble resisting the urge to jump the gun.  I love it when she smiles so big her eyes disappear....just like her momma.
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There is grass and eggs, and the smells of spring...a time of year for new beginnings, new life, refreshed spirits, and new promises.  A resurection. 
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She's 6.  She couldn't wait to hunt those eggs and even scoped and staked out a coveted golden egg for her baby sister.  I wonder how many hunts she has left in her...you know, before this becomes child's play for her instead of awe and wonderment. 

Last year Easter made me homesick.  This year it didn't, not in the slightest.  This year I didn't spend the day wishing I was somewhere else....I spent it appreciating exactly where I am.  A day spent just the four of us, running, playing, flying kites, napping, lounging, hiding eggs and baskets; grilling, laughing, swimming...and just being - a family; it was and is everything a holiday should be. 

This my friends, is appreciation in its purest form.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Video - Mi Chloe

From her 3rd birthday shoot...

Monday, March 19, 2012

She's 3

My Sweet Chloe Belle,
Yesterday, you didn't take a nap and by 7:00 pm you were on your last leg.  You cried and cried over a horse picture that Camdyn colored and you wanted.  I told myself to be patient with you because you are only 2...and then I realized that tomorrow you would be 3.  So, I took you upstairs and we sat in the rocking chair and I replayed your birthday in my mind as we rocked for what will probably be one of the last times.  After 5 minutes or so, you asked me to stand up because you wanted to rest your head on my shoulder, so I did.  I stood there with you in the fading evening light of your bedroom and we slowly turned circles until you were fast asleep.  I laid you down and kissed your puffy cheeks good night.  And as I shut the door to your room I thought "this will be the last time I ever lay my 2 year old to bed, we will never have another 2 year old." 

This morning I went to wake you and you were not in your bed.  I was alarmed for a minute and then figured you had to be upstairs somewhere.  I found you fast asleep nestled against your sister.  How sweet that in the night when you are looking for a body to curl up against,  you now choose her bed over mine. 

And today you are 3!  Full of spunk and spitfire and solid sweetness just like the day you were born.
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At exactly 7:14 this morning, Daddy & I took turns giving you kisses during your birth minute.  You swatted us away and we laughed about how you have always been the same.  You've always been a screamer and a "say it like it is" kind of girl.  You don't get pushed around, you speak your mind, and you care not what other's say.  I think you get this from Grandma D.  You remind me a lot of her, in spirit and temperament. 
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But, you are also sweet as the setting sun.  You are a hand holder and a rule follower, and quick to share and please others.  At just 3 you already care about feelings and whether or not Momma is happy or sad.  Sometimes, if I turn my sad face on, your eyes will well with tears.  We are connected that way, just like me and my mom. 
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Since we've done 3 before, I know what to expect.  This will be the year that the baby will disappear and a preschooler will be left in her place.  This will be a year of "why's?" and questions and limit testing.  But it will also be a year of independence and cohesive play with your friends and sister.  It'll be a year where tantrums fade and emotions are communicated with words.  It's an age that I'll miss when you are 4. 

What I wish for you this upcoming year is that you continue finding words for your emotions and gentleness in your hands.  I hope you feel loved and safe and secure, always.  I hope that you and your sissy develop a steadfast friendship, which I can tell is already forming.  My wish for you is that you keep that fire in your belly that makes you stand up for yourself and others.  I hope you always speak your mind and that you demand only the best for yourself.  I hope my weaknesses are your strengths.

Happy 3rd birthday sweet girl.
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Love you Forever & Always,
Momma

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Sunshine

"Keep your face to the Sunshine and you can not see the Shadow."
~author unknown
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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wordy Wednesday - My Valentine

My Valentine Wrote This:

As we grow, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let us down, probably will. 
You'll have your heart broken and you'll break others' hearts. 
You'll fight with your best friend or maybe even fall in love with them, and you'll cry because time is flying by. 
So take too many pictures, laugh too much, forgive freely, and love like you've never been hurt.  Life comes with no guarantees, no time outs, no second chances, you just have to live life to the fullest, tell someone what they mean to you, and tell someone off, speak out, dance in the pouring rain, hold someone's hand, comfort a friend, fall asleep watching the sun come up, be a flirt, & smile until your face hurts. 
Don't be afraid to take chances or fall in love again, & most of all, live in the moment because every second you spend angry or upset is a second you can never get back.

Carol - You do matter, you are a brave, beautiful, out going, wild spirited woman! 
You are a wonderful mother and a dedicated friend.
I'm glad to have you as one of my dearest friends!
Hope my jar of happiness lifts your spirits!
Love,
The one and only Miss V


**and my eyes welled with tears.  I am loved.  I know this.**
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The jar contains daily affirmations and they smell good too!  Sayings like:
"Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines"
"Optimists are nostalgic about the future"
"Put all your excuses aside and remember this:  YOU are capable of anything"
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Then I spent a part of my day with 18 kindergartners.  Their energy and enthusiasm is contagious.  I smiled from ear to ear...how can you not be happy when you are around kids? (that horse head is part of Cam's homemade Valentines day box - it is a horse of course)

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Then, I picked up my little Lovie from school and we sang all the way home.

Life is Good.  I feel blessed.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Strength

"All things in life are temporary.  If things are going well enjoy it, they will not last forever. If things are going wrong don’t worry, they can't last long either."
~Author Unknown

My strength lies here...

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In their smiles...

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In their passion for horses and all things horse related....

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In their hugs and snuggles and endless imaginations...

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My strength lies in motherhood....in my ability to protect, forgive, and love unconditionally.

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Everything absolutely changes with motherhood...priorities, responsibility, schedules, finances...

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But the thing that changes the most - is the perception of LOVE.  They are walking, breathing, laughing, climbing, bickering, whiny, joyous, bodies of LOVE.

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And I am stronger for it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

She jumps horses at Laurel Valley Ranch

Camdyn's affinity for horses spans back at least a year and half, and when you are freshly 6 years old, a year and a half is a big chunk of your life.  She's been taking private riding lessons since October.  It's something that I thought would eventually wear on her, like swimming lessons and dance classes, and those crowded gymnastics classes at the Y.  I thought it would run its course.  Well, it still is, and it's the one and only thing in life that Cam has ever been fiercely dedicated to.

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Hi.  Let me introduce you to Market.  (Initially I wrote Meet Market...but that sounds odd...like meat market, and y'all we are at the ranch not at the gym).

Market is a registered American Quarter Horse, and Cam has only ridden her twice.  It turns out that her trot is smooth and her temperament trusting. 

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It turns out that Market is Cam's new favorite horse (so sorry Molly...baby girl is outgrowing you).

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Cam's perfecting her 2 point position, she has her crop in hand.  She's focused on the goals ahead.  She's about to turn the corner...

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Focus and determination painted across her face, much the same as Market bears her blaze.  She will do this...

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And she does; without fear, or doubts, or hesitation.  She jumps.  She's locked in 2 point, hands grasping mane and her crop, momentum forward, looking through Market's ears and focused on the end of the course.  2 jumps completed, one right after the other. 

This is her success. 

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Actually, no, this is our success.  Our success in raising one extremely independent, bold, and fearless little girl. 

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A little girl who is able to start recognizing her dreams.  A little girl who has parents who support her and her passions even though there are moments where it absolutely scares the bejezus out of me (and yes, she's already fallen off a few times).

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And this part of parenthood...you know the part where your children start becoming little people, with long term goals, feelings that they adequately communicate, and real accomplishments...makes me so excited about what the future holds. 

We are going to tackle these rails together, Camdyn.  One hoof in front of the other, eyes focused on the goal....we are going to do it.