Happiness In The Chaos

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The entire family at our wedding! Amazing that we got everyone in this photo!

Talk about a whirlwind!  In the past three months I have gotten engaged, planned a beautiful farm wedding, gotten married, rented out my house, moved and merged our new family into Teddy’s house, rented out his house, moved into our new house, and now ending my job at the end of the month because it’s going out of business.

Man.. just typing all that makes me feel better about how crazy I’ve been.  I’d love to say that I’ve been the perfect example Continue reading

My New Story

My story is one of a growing girl that finds her way through some winding paths, falls into a valley, comes to a cliff that she must take courage, strength, and endurance to climb above, and in the midst of that climbing has her world changed through family, friends, and love.

Let me start with where my life is now.. I’m a mom to my oh so sweet and strong willed 3 1/2 year old Liza, a newly wed to my amazing, knight and shining armor Teddy, and step mom to my super awesome 8 year old Lillie. We are in the middle of it all with moving in together, buying a new home just to move it all again, and figuring out how to blend our two families into one. And even with the overload of all of this, we are loving every minute of this blessed life we get to share together now as a family.

Taking a step back .. let me give you a short view into my past. From a very young age I have been a believer in God, and a woman of faith. But during my first marriage I let that passion and faith be pulled away from me, and after 13 years of what I thought was a happily secure marriage my life was shaken. I was 4 months pregnant when I realized the vows he had made to me so long ago were being broken. After fighting with dignity and everything I could to save my marriage, my sweet Liza Francine was born and 1 month later divorce was underway. My only hope was to turn to God and to my family.

I mean, talk about amazing family.. my parents parked their RV in my driveway for almost a year and a half when Liza was born to care for her (and me) while I went back to work with all my crazy retail hours. You know that saying that ‘God can turn a mess into something beautiful’.. well he did that with me. About a year after all the mess, I was able to quit my job, and rely on God’s provisions, thankfully provided to me through some amazing people and family that loved me and wanted to bless Liza and me, with some precious time while she was a baby. Part of this involved one of my sisters moving to Nashville with her family to start a farm and take me in under their roof while I processed and tried to recoup from it all.

As time passed on the farm, I grew a lot in knowing myself better in spirit, mind, and body. I know that sounds kind of cliche.. but it’s true. And when God knew I was ready, and only God knew, cause I had no idea it was coming.. God placed a man in my life. We met and began our, what seemed like, teenage romance.. seriously.. every time his name showed up on my phone I would get the most quirky little smile on my face. Navigating through a new dating relationship with us both having daughters of our own was not the easiest, I started a new job as well, started Liza in daycare, and moved out of the farm. But luckily he and I both knew what each was going through, and it wasn’t long before I fell in love with him and his amazing daughter.

I’m so thankful for that cliff God put in my way.. and really all the paths i’ve had to wind through. I know there are so many others out there facing these cliffs as well. My writing has always been my therapy.. but my hope through this blog is to somehow form a community to allow women to know that there are others going through the same challenges. Whether single, married, mom, step mom, single mom.. I hope to provide encouragement along with fun and laughs along the way.wedding-11

Thankful

November of course is a time of changing weather, cozy decor, good food, and gathering with the ones closest to us.  With thanksgiving coming up — so quickly the time sneaks up on us, doesn’t it?– I and I’m sure so many others begin to reflect on what to be thankful for.  I was looking back through my journal and came across this quote that I had written down, and it once again spoke to me and reminded me to be proud of who I am today and to not look back in regret of what life has thrown my way, but to embrace it and be thankful in every aspect of who it has made me today.

To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives – the good as well as the bad, the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections – that requires hard spiritual work.

Still, we are only grateful people when we say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment.  As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fulness of our being as a gift of God to be grateful for. 

Let’s not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God.

–Henri Nouwen

In the commotion of my daily living as a single mom, living on the farm, and pursuing my dreams, I tend to get caught up in the whirlwind that I’m in right now.  And as much as it would be easy to go back to the life I had, and in the moment thought was good, I reflect now and see how even more amazing God new it could be for me.  I am so thankful for what I have now, even though people may think I’m crazy for living with my sister and brother n law and four kids, starting a farm and having dreams and visions of what my life will be.  My past has brought me to where I am today and I will not regret!  Wow.. that kinda feels amazing to say out loud:)

I encourage you in where you are now in life to reflect.. where would you be without the challenges and  turmoil in your life.. would you be the same person you are today??  I know I would not have the most amazing gift of my daughter Liza..  I would not have this precious time to spend as an Aunt and sister in this full house.. I would not have the strength in my faith, and identity, and becoming a woman I am proud of my daughter looking up to. . I would not know the depths of my friendships or my family and how important they are to me.

I am thankful.. I am so thankful for it all.. period!

Why Am I So Exhausted?!

I worked my butt off when I was working full time in retail.  Got up super early to get myself ready and Liza ready, ran around like crazy at work, listened and solved problems all day, changed the whole store around, and then came home smiled, got down on the floor, played with Liza, put her to bed (if she wasn’t already asleep if I was working late), wake up in the middle of the night to her needing a feeding or just crying, and then wake up early to start it all over again.  I was exhausted during that time.. but now, I feel like I’m even more exhausted now that I’m a stay at home mom.  Shouldn’t I be more rested now? Have more energy?   Nope!    EXHAUSTED!

Who knew just being a mom was so hard?!  Well, the problem is, like so many of us know, is the just in that statement is hardly just!  No matter if you are a working mom, stay at home mom, single mom, married mom.. it is so hard being a mom.  And of course, it is worth it but sometimes Continue reading

Alone on the Beach

It’s a whole new experience being a mom on the beach, and I’m just gonna put it out there.. a whole new experience as a single mom on the beach.
I’m sure it gets easier as they get older but with an 18 month old.. Fun.. but not so easy. Liza did not respond to the pool so much but when we went down to the beach her eyes lit up and she started squeeling and squirming to get out of my arms. She got her feet on that sand and wiggled her little toes in it and took off towards the waves! Oh she was so cute running into those waves for her first time and she just giggled her little chuckling laugh.
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That in itself makes this whole trip so amazing. Continue reading