Thursday, July 5, 2018

the bestest news ever

And here it is.....
This kid is coming home in three weeks!!! 
Oh happy day, I cannot wait to give him a hug. 
Because the Jackson Mississippi mission where Drew is serving is being consolidated with Louisiana, some of the missionaries are coming home a little early. 
Drewby is one of them. 

I cannot wait to have Drew's big laugh, big smile, big personality, and most especially his big heart fill up our home again. 
Twenty One Days!!!

llama love

They are seriously some of the strangest creatures ever. Cuter then a baby kitten, but super feisty. Last week after some great cousin time, I got to go on an adventure with one of them. Llama love I tell you! Ours was named "A-Aron". 
So, a little background about how I found myself on this backwoods excursion.
A few years ago Sadie and Andy launched Hikrlife (@hikrlife on insta), a non-exclusive hiking meet-up club. They've done really well, and, as a celebration, when they hit 20k followers, they did this fun give away with Backcountry Logistics Llamas (@backcountry_logistics). My friend Lori entered the contest, and was one of the winners. Then, she invited me. Hee.
So, "backwoods camping" is just what it sounds like. No camp ground. No running water. No other "facilities" if you will. But that's cool, because (I reminded myself)  I can do hard things (at least for one night). So we set off on a 93 degree Utah afternoon. And after 3 miles of straight up switch backs, I decided that maybe I've been a little too much in the yoga zone and not quite enough in cardio zone. But, hey, I made it and didn't even have to ride on A-Aron (which was good because he wouldn't have let me anyway). 

To spit or to kiss. That is the question.

 No really, he liked me a lot. 

My 5 star suite.

Thanks for the invite Lori.

King of the hill.

 Love these peeps.

 Our super nice guide from Backcountry Logistics. 

( Refuses to make eye contact).

A fun little outing, and thanks A-Aron for carrying all my stuff. You are a true pal.

Wishing everyone a belated Happy 4th! 
I hope it was filled with the things that make you smile
(for us that meant my grandmas's texas sheet cake).

And Tomorrow....
My bestest news ever.....

Sunday, July 1, 2018

these are my people

In my mind's eye I see myself, white knee high socks and adidas tennis shoes, shorts and a snoppy t-shirt, blonde uncombed hair, and a summer tan. I'm eleven years old running through my aunt and uncle's back yard. I'm surrounded by my cousins as we take on the adventure of the day.

Last weekend I had the chance to spend sometime with some of my very most favorite people in this world, who also happen to be my family. Thirty+ years later and I still feel happy and loved spending time in my aunt and uncle's back yard.

So incredibly grateful for these amazing people I get to call family. 

This was stop #1 on my Utah trip last weekend. More about stop #2 tomorrow.
Happy Sunday.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

okay so the dating thing...

It really is the most bizarre thing ever to suddenly find myself in this space again. It's like one of my single (guy) friends said last week, "You kind of feel like you're in high school again" (but not in a good way).  So, a couple of positive things about dating as an adult (cause I like to be positive). First, I know what I'm looking for and I'll recognize it when I find it. I'm confident and peaceful in this belief. Second, I have no problem saying exactly how I feel. I believe in being honest and respectful with the people I'm dating, and I expect that in return. Hmmm... high standards. Yep. Thankfully,  I'm my own party and have been for along time. I'm not in a rush, but I'm open to exploring this new space. Gratefully, I'm okay just being me and don't mind hanging by myself (most of the time).  Some of this has come out of necessity and some of it is just straight up emotional survival. I am used to being  independent when it comes to emotional support, but strangely, I would also describe myself as a hopeless romantic. It's a bit of an enigma really. But, that's okay. My life is good. I absolutely love my new job. I've made many new, amazing friends that I probably never would have met in my old life. I feel like my path continues to evolve, and the best part about it is that I'm actually enjoying facing the this new blank slate. So, here's to the unknown and that old adage, "not all that wander are lost". I am feeling more grounded and peaceful with each new adventure. And everyday, I choose to focus on the present, because there is so much to love about today.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

graduation and progress

 When Sierra was in the third grade, we started making paper chains to count down to the last day of school. On June 23rd, we did the final count down as Sierra Olivia graduated on a beautiful, happy Arizona night. 

 We were so glad Sadie and Andy could join us.

These are the moments that fill up my cup as we continue to navigate the new normal
and continue to find joy. 

I'm feeling grateful for progress and growth,  and so looking forward to what comes next for this kiddo. 
Congrats Ra. We love you. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

the next good thing

The best part of Mother's day yesterday was our Skype call with Drew. And here's my next good thing. Drew will be returning from his mission in Mississippi on July 26th. Oh happy day!

I cannot wait to see this kid again.

Monday, May 7, 2018

the first good thing

Almost three years ago, I created a vision board. This was one of the cards I put on my closet wall.

Although I loved practicing yoga, it wasn't my main exercise focus at the time. I remember feeling very prompted to write this card, but not knowing why. I also remember looking at my board a few weeks after creating it and thinking, "Why did I write that  card? I think I'll take it down". I remember reaching to remove it and having a very clear thought come to my mind, "Do NOT take down that card!" So I didn't.  Fast forward to six months after d-day. While looking for something to help me navigate all of my trauma, I found a women's retreat that would be taking place in Utah. After doing some research, I decided to go. There I formed some incredible friendships with other women who had experienced trauma similar to mine. We had amazing mentors, and a huge part of our experience involved yoga. As I returned home and continued to practice yoga, I found that it was an irreplaceable tool to managing my anxiety. The more I linked breath and movement, the more peaceful I felt. I knew I wanted to share this gift with other people, especially women in trauma. The next month I started searching for a YTT program and within weeks found the perfect one only three miles from my house. My 200 hours of training were the very best escape. When I was in class, I was just me. Somehow, when I walked into the studio each day, the rest of my life, the divorce part of my life, just disappeared. I graduated in May of 2017. After working hard to develop my own little business last year, I am happy to share with you my dear readers, that two weeks ago I was offered a position to  teach yoga at Life Time fitness (amazing programs, gyms nationwide). So my vision board card will now go into a book of visions realized. My heart is full as I get to pursue this new opportunity. More then anything, I hope to be able to help others to experience the power and breath and love of yoga. 

The light in me honors and respects the light in each one of you dear readers. 
I hope it's been a beautiful Monday. 

Friday, May 4, 2018

a shift

I'm trying to keep it real here as my life evolves, and I evolve, and this little blog of mine evolves. 

I often think about writing, but struggle with what to share, and how to share it. It's my hope, that by being as real as possible when sharing my journey, I can help someone else navigate their hard, what ever that looks like.
We all have to do hard. The question is just what do we do with it.

June 1st will mark the two year anniversary of my d-day. I was talking to a friend last week and remarked to her, "I wouldn't change anything about my life to this point." I really wouldn't. But these last eight weeks have been very difficult, as I've once again had to do mortal combat against depression. A few days ago I came to the realization, that in my mind, I had subconsciously put a time line on my healing. I'm a list maker. I crave order and checking off the boxes.  The reality is, there is no, DONE WITH DIVORCE box. There just isn't. It's not something you can erase or rewrite. You don't wake up one morning to find it gone. And although I understand this cognitively, my spirit has been trying desperately to check that box with a big red sharpe and pretend it never happened.
It did happen. The course of my life and my kid's lives has been forever altered.
"Where do I go from here?" This is what I've  been asking myself this again and again. It's  a somewhat tiresome conversation.

But three days ago, I felt a shift.

Our new house has the most amazing back yard complete with several huge shade trees (an absolute anomaly in AZ) and 40 + roses bushes (I promise some pics one of these days).
A few days ago I was sitting outside reading my scriptures, and enjoying what will be the last of our perfect spring days. While reading I came across this verse.

"For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday , today and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith."

As I read these words I was reminded of the many miracles I have witnessed these past two years. Our new house is one of them. The first time I walked through it, I looked at my realtor and said, "I am suppose to buy this house. And it's going to take a miracle." At the the time my divorce was no where near being final. There were no funds available for a down payment, and nothing I could offer the current owner to secure the sale. But miracles defy logic. Shortly after this time, I had an opportunity to meet the owners of the home. For some reason, we connected powerfully as we shared unique, yet painful stories of why I had to move, and why they had to sell. Nine months later, and after the sellers extended my contract four times, Sierra, Gentry and I moved into our new home. I remember my realtor commenting, "Sellers never extend contracts that many times. It's unheard of".
Miracles carrying me.
Miracles helping my spirit evolve and trust and hope.
Because even though the box can never really be "checked", it can, through faith and trust,  be turned into something resembling a blessing.
I won't give up. I can't give up. That's just not who I am.
And there are so many new things and good things happening.
More about that soon...
My new job, Sierra graduating, Drew coming home, and dating (?!) (Yep).

Thursday, March 29, 2018


sun roof open
windows down
oxygen (finally)
my playlist
my dog

The darkness that won't let go. The frustration. The fatigue.  The reality check (again). 
Treading water.
 And the incredible injustice of the whole thing.

for just a few hours
go away

And I consider driving until I reach the ocean. I consider running away. I consider giving up. And I think and cry and breath until I'm done with it.

And then, I put on my big girl pants, and go back to work. 
Because that's what you do when you're adult. 
And there's always another highway. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

the here and now

There are only two days of the year when nothing can be accomplished, yesterday and tomorrow.
-Author Unknown

Hello my beautiful readers,
As I type this, I am sitting in my new office. White walls, wood floors, vintage blue rug. Windows open, and a warm, early spring breeze is softly blowing through.  In the distance I can hear our neighbor's
dog barking and kids laughing and playing.

 I am here.
I am present.
I am happy.

 Today is a good day. Today is a day that I
have refused to let painful memories of the past soak up my oxygen and encompass the synapses of my brain. Today is a day that I have willed my thoughts back into the space of now and not the worries of the future.

As I've traveled through this journey of divorce, something has become painfully, yet beautifully clear to me. Divorce will always be with me on some level. The experience of it, and all of the trama associated with it are now simply part of my DNA.
And that is okay.
There will be more hard days.  There will be more happy days.
But I only get to do this day once.
So I am continuing to try and live each day in the here and now.

I am choosing to be

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

winter formal

So, we've moved into our new house and things have been so good, but also a little crazy.
 More about that to come, 
but here are Sierra and her fun date Caleb at the winter formal dance. 
It's so nice to have a little normal in the middle of the crazy now and then. 

Just five short months before she graduates. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


As in our stuff, which I'm pretty confident, seems to be  multiplying. Just when I've tackled one corner of the house, another pile seems to develop out of no where. That is the nature of the packing/moving beast. But, it's all good.  So very excited to be in this new space of "begin again". 
And my new kitchen is actually looking like a kitchen.

Moving day....Saturday!!! 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

give thanks

One of the harsh realities of divorce is having to split holiday.  Since the kids and I were in New York last year, this thanksgiving will be my off year. 
But, thankfully, Sadie and Andy came to Arizona a little early, and last Sunday, we still got to do the full thanksgiving feast together.  Today, I helped Sadie make our traditional pumpkin pies for the real deal tomorrow. It's something she wanted to do, and I'm glad she wants to keep up the tradition, even if we're looking through a much different lens this year. 

Tonight, despite all that's happened, my heart is full of gratitude. I try to never let myself hang out in the "poor me" zone for too long. It's just not healthy.  Plus it makes me super unhappy. Not to say I don't still continue to grieve my former life, because some days I do. But, I am finding, that for the most part, each day gets just a little better. Sometimes almost immeasurably, but yet, I think about how crazy hard it was a year ago at this time, and I know there has been so much healing. 
A few months ago a young mom was giving a talk in our church service.  She has lost a baby the previous year and was sharing a little bit about overcoming another kind of crazy hard.  She said something that impressed me so deeply, 
"Gratitude is paramount for healing." 
I have thought about this mindset again and again. I have a "gratitude journal" dedicated exclusively to writing down all that is good in my life. In the past five hundred plus days, I have literally only missed four days of recording what I have to be thankful for.  Even on my darkest days, I could always, with very little effort, find some kind of blessing. 
So here's to 
Giving Thanks 
all that is good in this wonderful, unpredictable, happy, sad, joyful, comical, hard, and yet amazing world that we live in. 
Because, at the end of the day,  life is always worth living. 

Happy Thanksgiving
my beautiful readers.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

mom tears

The good kind.
The ones that happened when Gentry worked like crazy in soccer tryouts and made the high school team.  

The happy/sad kind when Drew sent me this pic with the birthday cake I sent him and he frosted. And I miss him like crazy, but feel so glad for him to be doing good things and having so much growth... 

 and catching a lot of bass.  (Because that's what you do in Mississippi). 

And lately, I have a lot of tears of gratitude. Like when our new home starts to come together, and I feel so very ready for this new start.

Moving day...less then three weeks away.