Monday, October 17


These last few hours before the midnight seem to always be when I get my writing in, whenever I actually get some in that is. The sink is full of dishes, and there are several piles of unfolded laundry around me. There are open backpacks, books, legos, ripped papers, lonely socks, an empty cup, barbies, a fuzzy hat, and other odds and ends on the floor, with a Mrs. potato head ear sitting on the coffee table, and yet here I go. My heart is pounding as it does so easily these days, and my hands are shaking slightly. I feel chilled and hot all at once, and my head is aching right behind my eyes. My fear is kicking in, and yet here I go.
I don't really have any messages of motivation or inspiration to share with you today, I just know that I have to type. I don't really have any dreams or goals for the week either beyond making my children laugh as much as possible, and letting the last of the warm sun shine on my face.

I tell myself that I want/need to keep working as much as I can, but I'm still dealing with so many mental blocks that it's been kinda tough to put my thoughts together, so thank you for your patience with the whiplash of ups and downs that have become so consistent in my posts. That's my life now after all:) There have been many days when I smile so big my cheeks hurt, and my heart feels light like it hasn't felt in so long, and then there are other days I feel the crushing grasp of heartache that pulls its big dark cape around me and shuts out the light.

This last weekend was nice in many ways, but also an especially hard one to get through with another anniversary of my dear Martin's passing bringing up many more memories and emotions, both sweet and incredibly painful. I'm so grateful for every photo and video that we have of that beautiful life, which feels like it's a world away now. Every birthday smile captured, every cartoon snuggle pile, each moment preserved and helping to create memories for the little ones as they grow up. I'm also grateful that I finally broke down and took some photos of last six months where he really changed mentally and physically. Ellie seems the most aware of the whole situation as she is the oldest, and seemingly more mature than what most expect of her little 6 year old self. She usually wants to see those last photos, and the pictures from the funeral. She says it helps her to remember how much he was hurting, and to be happier that now he's not hurting anymore. All of these photos will be especially important for the rest of the kiddies to see our life together before his passing, when they're old enough to listen and understand. To know how much he loved them, and how we know we'll see him again someday.

I so wish you were sitting right here on the couch beside me. I wish I could see your face and hear your voice, and that we could really properly talk about things. You'd see the juice spills on my shirt and the wrinkles by my eyes, and we'd talk about sleep schedules or oreo thins, or how your kids are liking school. I'd probably pull a couple half eaten pints of ice cream out of the freezer and offer you a spoon. I'd ask you about your hobbies and your family, what you want to do in the future, and I'd ask you if there was anything you wanted to know about me.

I have many more deep and heavy thoughts to share here, just as I already have so many sweet moments of new beginnings and hope that I can't wait to pass along. Yes, I'll be posting hair tutorials and outfit posts and silly Friday Finds again someday, perhaps shortly, but I won't be taking a poll to see when everyone else feels it's ok for me to do that. I also have plans to have Richard share some thoughts here pretty soon, so be on the lookout for some of his words and insight popping up in the future:)

Wrapping up this train of thoughts as best I can, I guess I just want to convey that there's really no right balance of what to share or not to share here. There's no protocol for situations like mine. With so many many of you reading and with everyone wanting different things, and with so many different opinions and beliefs, I really have to just share what I feel is important to me in the moment, for this online space of mine. It's always been the goal of this blog to uplift and inspire by sharing little snippets of my life through things I'm learning or loving, but that's all they are - snippets. If you like what you see, let me know:) If there's more you want to be shared, feel free to ask for it. If there's something you're seeing or reading here that you'd rather not, the internet is a beautifully vast canvas with many different views able to cater to your own personal fulfillment and happiness.

For me, all I can do now is to try and share both sides of the spectrum moving forward. Mostly that will mean passing on all the happiness and positivity that I can muster, with every now and then letting myself dig deeper to write about the darkest moments of heartache, when I feel the need to. Because while I know this is my space to share what I feel, I also think of all you friends and family following along, and I'm always hoping that the messages and stories shared will be things that will benefit others in at least some small way. That's all I can really hope for.

Well that's it for tonight I think. Thank you thank you for always trusting and supporting me, and for staying with me, whiplash and all. ♡

Monday, October 10

Weekend Wrap-up

Here's to a great new week my friends. Many of you have suggested that sharing more of my 'old' types of posts might help life feel a little more normal, and actually it did feel pretty good just typing up the words 'weekend wrap-up' in the title, so here goes:

THIS LAST WEEK: mostly involved lots of extra one-on-one kiddo time, many many laundry loads, lots of great new music playing around the house, and tons of dreaming and planning. I found myself curled up on the couch many times with my little ones reading and coloring or playing/arguing around me, while I scribbled up lists of Fall activities to do together, places we wanted to go, treats to make, things I want to write about here, etc. And did I already talk about the treats I want to make? :) Anyways, you guys know how much I love making lists. I've gotten used to feeling consumed by all that I have to do and am behind on, as I know many of us do, but through the daily pressures and stress about meeting every need, I can smile thinking about that growing list of happy goals sitting on the kitchen counter. Something about the new season always inspires changes though, don't you think? Especially with how much our life is evolving lately, I'm seeing such positive changes everywhere, for the kids especially. The future feels so bright, but every day holds so much enthusiasm for them. 

SNAPSHOTS OF THE WEEK: (I've not been super great at taking pictures, but I'm working at it:)


- teach the girls how to french braid
- stack up the wood pile
- keep a consistent workout schedule
- try filming some family videos 
- try wearing more than shades of black and gray
- figure out what everyone wants to be for Halloween
- find the missing Harry Potter DVD so we can start our marathon
- finally hang up the photos and things stacked around the house
- sort more boxes out of the garage 
- practice more boldness and bravery
- use the big camera every day
finish digging the firepit in the backyard


The weather has been changing a lot around here in the last week, and suddenly our trees out back are dumping the rest of their orange leaves onto the still-bright-green grass. So it's officially that awkward phase between fake Fall and real Fall, but we're loving it anyways.
- Believe it or not, I'm still figuring out how snapchat works? but the kids and I love playing with the filters, and I only send clips to like three friends and my sister:)
- Moving forward I do wonder what type of posts I haven't shared in awhile that you'd personally like to see come back? 


"Always go with the choice that scares you the most, 
because that's the one that is going to help you grow the most." -Caroline Myss

How has October been treating you so far? Hope to see you guys back here tomorrow. 
So much love and appreciation,

Tuesday, October 4

The cracks that make us beautiful

Before I start I'd like you to consider playing this song as you read (I played it as I wrote), and I'd also like to say that I chose these pictures on purpose, because my friend Morgan took them in January of 2015, right before Marty found the lump that changed everything. 
Wow, my friends, I'm so blown away. I've been resting my fingers on the keys for what feels like hours, trying to find the words to pass on the many overwhelming emotions I've felt since my last post. Mostly I just can't believe how much genuine excitement was shared, all the sweet congratulations and well wishes, and the amazing amount of understanding that was conveyed, even after only getting the first tiny sliver of explanation. I feel incredibly blessed that so many of you have such kind and beautiful hearts, and that you choose to share some of that with me and so many others here.

Publishing my last post felt a lot like I was jumping out of an airplane into the dark, not sure if my parachute was going to open, and not knowing how far I was from the ground. There was a lot of relief, but also a lot of nervous apprehension. I know how amazingly unique my situation is, and I knew many of you would have strong feelings about my choice, but I had to jump anyways and hope that those of you who have followed along with me long enough to know my heart (as much as one could across the internet) would continue to trust me and my choices for myself and my children. And you have! What a tribe of beautiful souls that have come together. I truly feel so lucky.
My heart has been so changed in the last year and a half. In every sense it's been broken, battered and crushed, and these days I really feel so much more deeply than I would've ever thought possible. Things like excitement, fear, wonder, sadness, anxiety, love, and gratitude all seem to rush through my body and completely overtake me. I tried to explain it to a friend that it's as if we each have a bubble for our emotions. The capacity of our joy matches the capacity of our sorrow, until something happens that expands that bubble in any direction. When our sadness is so great that our bubble expands (bear with me here), then also increased is our capacity for happiness. Like someone who has been so deep in the darkness, that the sunshine is all the brighter to them. I hope that makes sense:)

One thing that I can't get out of my head through this whole process is a powerful metaphor for life's journey. I first read about it a couple years ago, and lately hearing so many stories from you guys about moments in your life that have forever changed you has made me think about it constantly. It's about the Japanese art Kintsukuroi. I'm sure many of you have heard of it, but essentially when a piece of pottery is broken, it's repaired with a resin that's been laced with gold or sometimes silver. Great care and precision must be used in fitting the pieces back together, but the craftsmen sees the potential and the value of the object even in its damaged state. As well as obviously repairing the pottery and making it useful again, the procedure makes the piece completely unique as well as more beautiful than it was before, having gone through the process of being broken and then mended. The mended cracks become part of the objects design, part of it's character. The golden resin snakes along the sides of the item, symbols of the tragic event that happened in the life of the object, instead of how it was destroyed.

You can see where this is going:) Each of us have our own cracks that have been repaired already. Every time we are faced with a trial and have made it through (which so far has been 100% of the time if you think about it), we're left with another streak of golden resin. Whether it's a single thin crack or a shattering break, we all have them. Experiences with rejection, fear, betrayal, loss, abandonment, pain, abuse, failure, etc. They all leave their mark, and we're never the same. We can accept the damage and move forward towards repair, or we can wallow in our flaws and choose to hide away so no one will see how 'broken' or 'not good enough' we are. We can try to hide from the world by putting up a wall and not letting anyone in, or we can embrace our golden seams and walk out into the sunlight with our heads high. It's completely our choice.

I have chosen to move forward as best as I can. Broken seams and all.
I will never 'move on' from Martin, from what he and our family went through since he was diagnosed. There is no moving on from something like that. From loving and caring for and watching the father of my children slip away after so many many months of pain and suffering, but there is always, always forward. Our lives don't have to be defined by our chips and cracks and our broken moments, but instead they can empower us if we let them. There is still so much life ahead for me and my five little children, and Richard is very much a part of the golden resin (along with all of you, friends, and kindnesses along the way) that is helping repair me as we all move forward.

I opened up with my dear friend Kirsten a couple weeks ago on the Marvelous Moms Podcast about some experiences from the last 18 months with Marty that I've not really talked about much, and I'd love to have you check it out here. I feel very honored to be another episode in the long list of moms that have shared their stories through the podcast, and I hope that by hearing some of those details that you are able to get to know me and our situation a little bit better.

I hope that you can think about your own golden seams, and how they play a part in holding you back or empowering you to move forward.

Thank you again, I can't thank you enough.
More coming soon,

Tuesday, September 27

A New Chapter: Here's to the Future

Today was the perfect day for the first fire of the season. I pulled on my boots and went out for a load of firewood, treading over orange and yellow leaves as I went, and catching a few in my hair as they blew across the pasture. Sitting here now, taking deep breaths and trying to build up the courage I need to share today's post, I can hear the cracking of the wood as it burns. The smell of it brings so many sweet and distant memories to my mind, but I'm ready for new memories now, new sweet moments, new smiles for myself and my little children. I'm ready for the next chapter, the next part in the story of the 25-year-old mom of five, who lost her sweet husband after a long hard battle with terminal cancer. The last 18 months have changed us profoundly, but after so many prayers on our behalf, and so much hope for us to find happiness and joy, I'm ready to move forward with more faith, to let go of fear, and I'm ready to share some news that I've been keeping to myself for the last little while. I'm ready to introduce you to Richard.
The cliff-notes version: We met over 10 years ago while we were both in high school. We started writing letters to eachother, and kept it up for several years. We became incredibly close and helped one another through some tough years. When I became engaged to Martin, Richard and I parted ways as friends. We didn't reconnect until very recently, and things started moving fast between us. We had grown so close all those years ago, and were very much able pick up where we'd left off.
Having Richard around felt so easy and natural, and there was a turning point early on when we both saw clearly where we were headed. We felt like our lives were pieces of the same puzzle, and saw so many signs from different places that we were moving in the right direction. After much prayer and peaceful confirmation, we made the choice to be married. We did so in a small private ceremony on top of a mountain, and it was simple and perfect. (wedding photos coming soon:))
There is so much hope in our lives now, so much love and peace. Seeing the kids dog-pile him on the floor while I cook dinner, or lining up for piggy-back rides has been so heart-warming. He holds them when they cry and reads to them when they're sick. There is so much more laughter from them, so much excitement for each day, and having a partner to share in everything I've carried on my back for so long is such a blessing. Martin and I talked many times about my future after he was gone, about our five little ones, and I can't help but feel like he has played a large part in how things have worked out. I know he is as grateful as I am for this wonderful man who has come to love and take care of his family.

I know to my core that everything happens for a reason and that Richard was sent to mend our hearts and heal our home when we needed him the most. His life experiences have prepared him in many ways for our families' unique situation, and he recognizes what he's taking on.  Incredibly, he understands how much we love and miss Martin, and his desire to help keep Martins' memory alive is obvious.  We all feel so incredibly blessed to have him.

I look forward to sharing more about my history with Richard and how our unique and beautiful story has unfolded. I also feel strong desires to open up more about parts of Martin's story between his diagnosis and passing.  There are many lessons that I've learned and would like to convey for those who may benefit, myself included. I feel that I want to express more of that part of my life here in the coming months, as well as sharing the beginning of this new chapter.

As I'm wrapping this up and the coals in the fire glow gently, I'm more grateful for your kindness and love than ever before, as it is still so needed. Though this is a wonderful time for us with many happy changes, our hearts are still tender and healing.  I have truly felt the effects of so many many prayers on our behalf, and the outreach of love through comments and emails, etc. I wish I could express how much they mean to me, and I hope you all realize how much they have helped carry me through the storm.

More coming soon,