In Between

In Between

One year ago, my little one and I came home alone for the first time. Daddy had left for his first 2 week shift in Michigan the day before. It was the first time I was solely responsible for every part of the day. Christmas was looming, but it didn’t feel like it. 

The house, like my heart, felt empty.

I remember asking myself HOW I was going to do this. Carry the responsibility. “Celebrate.”

We didn’t know how long we’d be doing this 2 weeks gone, 6 days at home thing. And I was terrified. What would happen to our marriage? What would happen to our little one as she grew? And for starters, how would we celebrate Chrismas without Daddy?

This was the first time in either of our lives that we lived through shift work. The kind that doesn’t care about holidays and traditions and families. A job that has to get done. No.matter.what.

I had heard from my Dad that in times like these we should just remember that it’s “just another day” and we could celebrate whenever. And though we all went through the motions, my heart still felt empty last Christmas. 


Here we are, 1 year later.

In the past year, we have spent all but one holiday and 2 birthdays and an anniversary apart. It’s never been easy, but we figured it out. The same went for everyday life- we figured it all out a day at a time.

A month ago I left my job and we left our house and hometown. I’ve been staying with our little one  waiting for a job to come while bunking at the inlaws’ house.

This is a new challenge. A few hopeful jobs haven’t panned out, but I keep trying. We’ve been working hard to get a place of our own, and if all goes according to plan we will soon. I’m admittedly not cut out for the stay at home life (bless those who are), and neither is my little social butterfly, but we are both taking it day by day before life takes off again.

2016 was hard. I learned just how strong and resilient and independent I have the ability to be. And our little family learned how to squeeze the hell out of 6 days. And now I, mastering(surviving) this place of In Between. I’ve never been “good” at limbo. (I mean, who doesn’t want total and complete control of life?!) But for now, it just Is. 

Even though life feels really uncomfortable and messy, my Heart is full in the fact that we are together this Christmas… and beyond.

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She’s 2

She’s 2

Tomorrow we wake up with a 2 year old.


As I said when she turned 1, there were many nights when I wasn’t sure if we’d all make it that far. I wasn’t sure if I was cut out for this business.

And yet, here we are. CELEBRATING 2 amazing years.

She’s smart. HILARIOUS. Fashionable(?). Caring. Determined. Fun. Independent. Busy. She loves to talk and sing. She watches you do something one time and she’s got it all figured out. Her favorite thing to do is “cook,” (which is hilarious because I really don’t cook- maybe I should take notes) and her favorite place to be is outside. She eats almost anything but particularly digs her snacks (again, wonder where she got that?!). Reading books remains high on her list of priorities. She loves her family- including Abby dog with every ounce. Her pat-pat hugs are pretty much the greatest. She can fake a cry like you wouldn’t believe.

In the moments that I’m completely convinced that I’m screwing up everything as her mom, I have step back and really take a look at this amazing human that we created and shaped. When I say “we,” I mean it. It takes a village, and we’ve had a damn good one the past 2 years.

As we look ahead, so many changes are before us: new town, new house, new job, new daycare, and most importantly, living life as a family again. We look toward potty training, ending the paci, moving to a bed, riding a bike, and surviving the big emotions that accompany it all.

Sweet baby girl, tonight we put you down our baby and tomorrow you will wake up a toddler.

Keep on talking and singingyour words brighten the world.

Keep on wearing what you wanteveryone loves a “pfancy” coat and 2 purses.

Keep on showing everyone that you are always watching, taking notes, and ready to conquer the world.

Keep crying those tears when you need loveyou keep us soft and tender.

Keep asking for snacksI’ll almost always be happy to join you.

Keep loving so mightily the good Lord knows we all need it!

We love you more than you’ll ever know. Please be kind with us this year as we make so many changes. Together Kid, we’ve got this!

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Saying Goodbye to Good Things

Saying Goodbye to Good Things

On the Eve of my final night at a job I loved…
I wasn’t looking for a job when this one found me. I remember the initial meeting to discuss the idea of me making a change; I was nervous as heck, completely convinced that I was not- NOT going to be making any changes. I didn’t know what to expect.
The thought that someone asked me to come work for them? Humbling. Awesome. Exciting. Wow. The thought that it would be doing something that I’m not scholarly trained to do? Geesh.
I came in with a lot of heart, an open mind, and a lot of drive. I didn’t know what I was going to do, and since it was so new to our store, they weren’t positive either. We learned a lot together. 


On the Eve of our little one’s final night at a daycare we loved…
Daycare for little ones is tough. Finding a good one? Even worse. You have to find someone you trust, agree upon a set of rules, and place all of your trust in that person to love the heck out of your kid.
We were looking for a daycare when our awesome lady found us. God is funny sometimes. We went from a great situation, to a somewhat disastrous situation that left my trust in shambles, to a wonderful situation any parent would ask for. 
She just got out of the same crappy situation as us and reached out to me, offering to take our little one as she had decided to stay home with her little one. The girls were only a few months apart- destined to be BFF’s. 
My little girl was so, so, SO loved. She was cared for so, so, SO well. She developed a hilarious personality and a kind heart… and I devote so much of it to her daycare provider (and of course her BFF).


The day has come. 

It sort of felt like the first day of school but also the last day of college. I was indifferent to move on, dreading the goodbyes, scared for the future…

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Chocolate from my nephews and niece… because we all know chocolate makes it better.

Dropping off my little one for the last time started the water works. I just cannot get over the fact that we’re closing this chapter. She hadn’t even walked into her daycare and I was already crying because I’m so sad it’s over.

At work, the time goes quickly. I spend the last few hours saying my goodbyes and helping organize hangers. With each hug and exchange of kind words, my faucet leaks. A few times there’s a downpour… but not too bad.

Then it’s time to go.

Go.

Leave this place I have loved to enter for almost 3 years.

Leave this place I helped introduce to the community.

Leave this place, this family that has completely embraced me and my family, especially in the last year while my husband traveled so much for work.

Leave. And I’m a mess.

After a little breather, it’s on to the next hard goodbye.

Picking up the little one from daycare one.more.time.

I think I cried the whole time we sat there and talked. My child, who got to skip nap time to have extra one-on-one with her babysitter, was showing off by bouncing and jumping and cooking and throwing and playing. No freaking clue at what was happening. A few times she caught my tears and looked at me with worry but went right back to playing.

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Then it’s time to go.

Go.

Leave this place where my baby has become an incredibly fun and intelligent toddler.

Leave this place where my child always felt love.

Leave this place where I never felt bad about dropping our little one off day after day.

Leave this place where I experienced love and joy from all of the kiddos. It brightened my day every time.

Leave yet another friend whom I consider a part of our family.

Leave. And I’m a mess.
(I’m talking the kind of mess where your mom offers to drive because you can’t really breath or see through the tears.)

I walk away after today with a heart that doesn’t feel whole anymore. I walk away from today thankful for so many friends/family but also realizing that I won’t get to see them everyday anymore.

What an experience. How much I’ve grown. How much I’ve LEARNED.

How lucky am I to have cried so many tears today?
It makes me realize how much I loved my job. It makes me realize how lucky we were with daycare. It makes me realize how many great relationships I was able to form in this chapter.

The page is turning. Our family will finally be together after a year apart. Time for a new job, a new daycare, a new house, and all of the other new things that go along with that.

Scary? Yes.

But if life has taught me anything so far, it’s that I can handle this. Not only that, but great things are coming.

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So many kleenexes today.
Toddler Tired

Toddler Tired

Can we talk about Toddlers?
Mine is a couple sleeps away from 2.

And I’m tired.

No one is lying to you when they tell you that you’ll never rest again once you have kids.

But..this is a new kind of tired.

When she was a baby, I was so exhausted because she never.freaking.slept.

Ever.

Just when we thought we may only have to get up 5 times a night instead of 10- BAM. Teeth. Or a leap. Or a time change. Or because she sensed that we were feeling confident.

Now it’s more of a mental and physical exhaustion. As I was trying to pack a bag and get ready, she took the opportunity to show me everything she could possibly get into/destroy in record time.

Turn my back to grab a suitcase- BAM (no, literally)! CRASH! Mess after freaking mess. And I’m just trying to get out lives together so we can leave on time.

She recently discovered a bag of 500 straws is her quest to show me just how high she can now reach in the cupboards. Those same straws cover our living room floor at least once a day. Me picking up is like a challenge to her. And she likes to win.

Sitting still is so         far            gone.
It used to be that we could remain in one spot for a few minutes and she’d still be fine. Now? HA. She knows when she’s no longer being monitored. She senses the supervision is gone and chooses that precise moment to bolt and hide. My blood pressure will never be the same.

Lately her new truck is showing me just how little I can actually keep her out of by opening and ________ (whatever she’s not supposed to be doing with a guaranteed mess).

Moms of toddlers, I feel you.

I understand your copious amounts of coffee.

I understand you disheveled attire.

I understand the pleading/exhausted look on your face.

I understand your inability to hold a proper conversation lasting longer than HI! (Because you have to chase and redirect.)

And you know what? It’s ok.

Do what you need to survive.

Learn to live in a livable mess.

Continue to suggest that play dates take place at your house instead of places with “nice things” (aka breakable nightmares).

Stop making apologies and carry on chasing and picking up and correcting.

Cry when it feels like too much. Bubble baths and wine after bedtime work too.

They say it’s a phase and it all passes quickly…well some days the hours feel like centuries,and I’m telling you that you have a right to look forward to bedtime and nap time so you can find your sanity back.

Parenting is not easy. 

And even when it feels like you don’t, I’m telling you that you’ve got this.

One day, one hour, one minute at a time…

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Trying.

Trying.

This was a trying day.

In more ways than one.

It was a day for “trying” on clothes.
It was a day for “trying” to hold back tears.
It was a day for “trying” not to hate what I kept seeing in the mirror.
Or “trying” not to hate anyone who’s ever made clothes in the history of clothes making.
“Trying” to stop thinking that I needed to quit eating altogether. To stop thinking that life was easier when I just never ate. Or never ate the RIGHT way.

It was. It was fun to shop. Everything fit. I had a closet and dressers and boxes and shelves filled with clothes that fit. I was known for losing a ton of weight- and keeping it off.

My life was predictable. AS LONG as I lived the same way. Every day:
Lots of lettuce (like a head for each meal). Lots of popcorn (1-2 bowls- BIG bowls a night). Lots of cardio (at least 1 hour hardcore or 2 hours of walking).
A change in a meal meant that I had to starve myself or put in extra time on the elliptical. It didn’t matter if my knees hurt so bad I thought they were going to collapse. It didn’t matter if I was getting lightheaded. It was my only choice.

BUT- now I have more Freedom:
My workouts take 20-30 minutes, and a bonus walk/yoga sesh as time allows. I go out randomly to eat with friends more. I eat at people’s houses now. I don’t need special meals. Way less food/exercise anxiety, dread, and trepidation. I no longer believe that one meal, or even one bite of food… or one workout is going to ruin my life as I truly once did.

And with any “freedom,” there is a “price:” days like today. As I tried on failure after failure in the dressing room, I began to hate myself. The mean voices started telling me that I suck. It doesn’t matter how much I can lift if I’m still unable to get a shirt over my hips. It doesn’t matter how balanced my eating is if I’m still buying clothes way bigger than I’ve had to in almost 14 years.

 

Total mindf***, and a deep seeded, gulity feeling that I should wear a shirt that says, “Yes. I’ve gotten fat.”

By the time I left the dressing room, I resolved that I would just have to go back to not eating. Back to killing my joints. Back to socially isolating myself. Back to food and exercise anxiety. So. Damn. Much. Fun.

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NOT.

I’m “trying” to get my body right. Now I need to keep “trying” to make my mind to catch up. I haven’t loved the person in the mirror for a long, LONG time. Even at my skinniest I was still mad at the loose skin- the saggy, pouchy, stretch-mark-stained loose skin. I was mad at my gigantic legs dotted with varicose veins. I was mad that the scale would sometimes I gained a pound in a matter of an hour (yes, I weighed myself A LOT).

Now I am “trying” to take my life back.
First it was drowning myself in food.
Then it was drowning myself in scales and numbers.
And now? Now I think I’m finally trying to live my life.

Am I perfect? Hell no. NOT trying.
I mean if I was, I imagine I’d be like all the other moms in leggings on the playground. Because they definitely have it all figured out, right?

All the Feels

All the Feels

Anxiety & Depression.

They are…

Heavy.12208772_961954943876310_7776074254282479534_n

Dark.

Deafening.

Exhausting.

Isolating.

Crippling.

Confusing.

Frustrating.

Defeating.

Loud.

Sneaky.

Relentless.

and Dumb. So Dumb.

Almost every sentence I’ve spoken replays in my head. Loud. And my conscience tells me it was wrong. It was stupid. It was mean. It was a mistake.

Almost everything I’ve done hasn’t been good enough. I’m not good enough.It was too slow. Too weak. Too much. I’m too much.

Sometimes the skies are so cloudy. And sometimes it takes what feels like many eternities for the sun to come out again.

This week has been hard. I don’t know why. I’m not sleeping because my brain races and that accelerates the depression. Or maybe My depression is making me more anxious so I’m not sleeping. Whatever the order of happenings is, it’s making the spiral move downward in a p-a-i-n-f-u-l-l-y slow motion.

The truth is, there is so much unknown in my life and it’s hard for me to be in this place. Where I’ll live. What I’ll do. When everything will happen. No one knows. It could be tomorrow, it could be next week. And in the meantime I hang out with my thoughts.

What I need in these moments are: (Answers would be super awesome, but… not happening.) Hugs.  Positive words. Simplicity. Encouragement. To feel like I’m a part of something. Needed. Important. Loved. 

But my A&D tells me that’s needy. I’m being selfish. Weak. I need to suck it up and stop feeling sorry for myself.12745495_1981414128664514_227081947533979803_n

 

Do you ever feel like that?

If you do… Can I tell you something?

Not once have I ever given a hug to someone and considered them selfish for needing it. And the times that I have lifted someone up with my words or actions have never made me think that the recipient was weak or needy.

I guess what I’m trying to say is: Get out of your head. Ask for what you need.

I’m going out on a limb here, but I’d be there’s at least ONE phone call you can make. ONE person with open arms, ready to squeeze. ONE who’s ready to listen, or even to just sit in your pajamas and binge watch Netflix with. Trust me. Just as you’d do for others, they’re ready to do for you.

Speak Up. And Keep Going. ❤ The sun WILL come out.12800260_1029559717109221_1745043832136396146_n

 

Thirty One

Thirty One

31.I’m thirty one today.

I think I’m supposed to be more established. I feel behind.
I still don’t know what I want to do with my life. I haven’t accomplished anything besides massive weight loss at the cost of happiness many years ago and now I can’t even say that still holds true.
Some days I’ve overcome the depths of my mental disparities but I’m often humbled by reality.
I’ve had a beautiful, smart, fun, loving little girl who will move mountains some day.
I’ve tried a handful of job categories out, never quite feeling adequate enough.
And now here I am.

31.
About to start all over again.
How many times does someone have to do this? Is there a quota? Am I getting close?
I hate starting over. It’s scary. Unpredictable.

There’s so much that needs to be known and I have no answers to any of it.

The pressure is too much.
I don’t remember when I got my adult card but there are so many times when I’d love to toss it back and run fast the other way.
And then there’s the reality that also humbles me.

I’m here.

I’m given opportunities to try something new. Start again.

I’m not stuck.
How many people cannot say the same?
Life didn’t come with a guidebook as I had hoped. I’m supposed to navigate the dark, make decisions, be courageous, do things…on my own accord.
Scary.

Oh, but what a gift.