My Mom Comes to Visit

I called my mom to tell her about my divorce. She told me she would drive to come stay with me the very next day. I wasn’t up to seeing anyone, I was firmly in the isolating stage of grief but I couldn’t say no. It actually ended up being a really helpful distraction from my divorce. I’m sure I was the worst host ever but I couldn’t even muster up any emotion to care. I just gave up on everything besides feeding and clothing my kids that week.
I really love my mom. And my kids were over the moon excited to see her.

Ironically my brother was in the southern part of my state that day and my mom invited him to come visit us, too. So he and his wife came that day. I loved seeing them. I had only met his wife once before for a minute or two back in 2014 so it was nice actually getting to talk to her a bit.
I don’t have to tell you how my kids felt about that, do I?


I felt awkward with Allan being there and everyone knowing we were getting divorced. Not bad, mad, sad… just awkward. Like, do we just hang out and act like everything is normal? That’s what ended up happening. My mom invited Allan to dinner with us, too. One big happy family. haha! I am a comedian. But seriously… it was weird acting like everything was fine. My kids don’t know about the divorce yet, either. It’s all a weird secret right now.

The kids showed their grandma, uncle, and aunt their magna tile creations and Sierra made herself a beak. I love this picture.

We went to Chili’s for dinner. We were a huge group. There was so much confusion around getting a table because we showed up right when another large party showed up… or TWO other large parties. They kept asking if we were the party of 9 and we kept saying we had 11. It wasn’t a big deal, it was just funny.
My mom told everyone she was paying (against us all arguing, haha) and let each kid get their own meal with a fancy drink!

Lyla didn’t care about the meals or drinks… just mom’s boob. Allan offered to take these for me and I really like them. I don’t breastfeed in public like, ever, so it was a rare thing and I like having the pictures to remember it.


Lyla’s favorite part of dinner was the chips and salsa. Lyla LOVES dips and sauces and dressings… like, she will just dip the same chip or veggie over and over and suck the sauce off!

These two best friends β™₯

My brother sneakily paid the bill for everyone when my mom wasn’t watching him interact with our waitress. She was mad. They are both just too nice and wanted to do something nice for me and my family during this painful time.

Look at us getting a group picture after! I think I asked everyone if we could do this (outside my usual) and I’m glad we did it even though the lighting was terrible… half shade, half sun.

A man going into the restaurant with a group of people asked if we wanted him to take it instead (the camera had been propped up on my brother’s suitcase) and we happily said yes! Thank you.

And then me, my mom, Allan, and my kids headed back to my house and my brother and his wife headed back to Washington.

Did we skip our daily bike rides? Nope!

Lyla was ready for our big, family bike ride but she rode around on her little… um… ride-on toy? What’s this thing called? We just call it her bike so if I say that, that’s why. She likes it being called her bike… makes her feel included, probably πŸ™‚



Payson wanted to ride Sierra’s bike since it’s bigger than his. He’s been really into riding bikes that are too big for him and asks to all the time.


He and Lyla took turns pushing each other around on Lyla’s “bike.”

Sierra got her bike back!

Payson also asks all the time if I will give him a ride. He LOVES it. So I did.

Everett wanted to stay home with grandma since we were going on a fairly short ride just around the block so Payson got to be on my bike the whole time. We went and saw some nearby cows.

The next day we went to Barnes and Noble because that’s a favorite of ours. We get drinks and treats to share from the Starbucks inside and then we go and read books and play with the trains and my mom bought Payson his birthday presents while there since his birthday was coming up!



We went to Fred Meyer for a couple of grocery things and grandma bought a bunch of games and treats for the kids and Everett and Lyla got candy and stickers!

Hanging out back at home.

This was the next morning. My mom went home that day and everyone was so sad! We took some group pictures before she left!

And I snapped some pictures of these kids being adorable!



Going on a hike to breathe my feelings into nature.

So the day this happened was the day after Allan asked for a divorce. I was surprised when he asked for divorce, even though maybe others would think I wouldn’t be after all that’s gone down the last 2 1/2 years? I don’t know, but I was.
I was upset for a million reasons.
Watching someone make choices you don’t agree with and walk away from a family they made… it’s a bad feeling. Watching the person who made vows to build a life together betray those vows over and over again. It hurts.
After going for a drive and crying my eyes out, silently so the kids had no idea, I decided to pull my shit TOGETHER and do the thing that most makes me feel like me and helps me focus on my own dang self and how to be the best person I can be, HIKING WITH MY KIDS.
Nature, motherhood.
They are the only two absolutes in my life so, off on a hike we went! It really was encouraging to be out in nature where everything has a place and does exactly as nature told it to. It made me feel more peaceful like… you know what, doesn’t matter what level of emotional hurt is going on inside me, I am being nature and I can still be nature. I can still be what a human is meant to be even if what happens around me doesn’t look like the blueprint I was given when I was younger. I’m taking care of these kids the best I can and I guess that’s ALL THAT REALLY MATTERS! Becoming better for them and not because I’ll get a happily ever after by those actions. Not because I’ll be a “good mom” if I do a good job. But because I can make their lives a little better if I do a good job. I need to work on me so that I’m a force of good in the world and impact others positively instead of becoming dark and depressed and selfish in my misery. I see easily why humans go down that road and so I want to take the other route… where it doesn’t actually matter what happens to me, I still stand up afterwards and try to find ways I can add good to the world instead of bad. SO WHAT something sad happened to me? I can still put out good in the world.

Thank you all for following my journey. I’m sorry when my sad feelings seep out and don’t inspire. I’m not a hallmark card, though. I’m a person with a jumble of emotions and when I’m in a dark place I hope that you can feel better about your own dark places instead of feeling saddened or even hateful toward me letting you down. I can’t inspire with my perfect life because my life is so far from perfect, but I am real. This is my messy life I’m trying to manage the best way I can with whatever human traits I have. Sometimes I fail and make huge messes. I hope you love me anyway.

I hope I can make myself leave my house and go out into nature more often. I hope that for you, too. I know it’s hard. It’s so much easier to hide in a house where it’s safe from scary people that might hurt me. Some people are freaking scary. They just hurt me for no reason. They say, “I love you” and then punch me in the face.
I’m sorry for being hurt, for hurting others, and for all the hurt you reading have had. Nothing changes it.
But there are other people who are there through the storms, and you can’t find them hiding in your house. They’re out there in the world. It’s worth the battle scars of hurtful human interaction to find the ones who help, uplift, and heal. Who connect and love with everything in them.

I don’t know what I’m saying.
I love you. I hope you love me. Thank you for being here.

Look at Payson, can you believe how big this kid is getting? Wasn’t he just a little toddler yesterday? Where does time go! It drifts quickly by when you’re not looking.

Am I really someone who has had hurtful things happen to her? You could never say that about this woman below, could you? How can anything matter when she has those kids? She is one lucky, lucky, lucky human.

Look at this cute little bug in this pretty flower! I loved watching it.

I only have 3 years left with Brooke at home. That’s so sad. I better get to treasuring it and watching and listening to her more!

This is so funny… Ember found this sign post that had the number 7 and asked for a picture since she is 7…

And we couldn’t find the 4 sign so Everett settled on posing with the #2. haha. That kid is the best kid.

Look at what I get to see when I drive around my neighborhood. How beautiful is that?

Sneakily snapped this while they were talking.

Waiting for KFC. Because while I was trying my very best to hold it together, cooking dinner seemed like it might break me and so KFC stepped in to help out. haha

Allan and My 14th Anniversary

Can you imagine how I felt with my 14 year anniversary coming around? After thinking I was going to be divorced this year, here we are living together again and celebrating 14 years. 14 years that feel unworthy of celebrating. 14 years I wish didn’t happen most days?
Allan did really amazing for the anniversary. I didn’t think we’d do anything. I wasn’t at the place where I was happy about our relationship or excited about the future or feeling really loving. Allan planned a treasure hunt with really good clues and left gifts along the way. I’m going to not share those intimate details but it was perfect. I don’t think that anniversary could’ve gone better.
Here I am with the flowers he got me that day. Those boots were the gift at the end of the treasure hunt, by the way! πŸ™‚
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Reality vs. Porn

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My 10 and 12 year old daughters walked into the kitchen as I was plucking the leaves and outer petals from the flower on the right and exclaimed in horror, “Mom, what are you doing?! You’re going to kill it! It’s going to die!”

Inside I was nodding… yes, yes it will. The insides will rot and fester, the flower will start to wilt and droop, and if I were a porn producer I’d either add more paint, get someone new to paint and alter or use surgery to perk things back up and put them back into whatever place I thought they should be. In the case of flowers rather than humans it would be wires and props to hold the aging/dying thing upright.

My daughters asked, startled, why I would do that to the flowers I’d just bought, why was I ruining them? I told them it was for an art project. I asked them what they thought of magazines and images they see in the world. Without hesitation they started talking about the women they see on magazine covers and in commercials. I hadn’t even specified what magazine I was asking about. The magazines we purchase and have in our home are Highlights, Animal Tales, and Country Living, sometimes Real Simple. And yet they immediately thought of the ones they’ve seen in the few minutes we spend at the checkout aisle in stores with women altered with hair and makeup and wardrobe and poses to look completely unlike the women they see in real life.

I asked them as I plucked, why do women shave the hair from their armpits (plucking a leaf out and holding it up to show them as I said the word armpits), shave their legs (hold up another leaf I’ve just plucked), pull out parts of their eyebrows (another leaf) and that’s considered the best for us? I dropped the now bare flower next to one unharmed and asked them, “Honestly, which flower do you like better?” They each picked up an unaltered flower from the bouquet to admire and said, these ones! As they held the flowers to their nose to smell I started to paint the bare flower and we talked about makeup. I told them how I wished I was brave enough to just be me without feeling like I should pull out hair from my body or smear products on my face but that I wasn’t there yet and that I hoped that they would forever love how beautiful they are the way God purposefully created them to be.

I left the analogy with body hair and makeup as they don’t know about porn and how in that industry the pressure and expectation for women is to also alter themselves surgically and with tanning and bleaching and maybe many others things I have no idea about.

And for what? Why are we altering ourselves? For who? Do we really need to? Is that flower on the right pretty to you? Is it ideal or better than?

I am in love with the flower on the left. I wish I had the nerve to be that natural flower and not even do the few things I do to conform to someone else’s beauty standards. I’m working hard to look in the mirror after a shower, just me and my skin and my face and my body and see a beautiful flower instead of all the ways I’m am so unlike the altered version everyone seems to desire.

This is Me Venting

Sometimes life decides to poop in your cheerios. And then take out the soggy mess of cheerio poop from the bowl and throw it in your face.

That’s what lately has been. A daily throwing of poop into my face. I’m worn out.

I am raising 5 kids alone and am 6 months pregnant. The horrible leg cramps and nerve pain has started, like it does in each of my pregnancies around this time. I wake up from nightmares about my husband every single stinking night still. How can I stop those!? I hate nightmares. I wake up in a full panic attack at least once every night. I always had bad nightmares in my other pregnancies but usually they were of a serial killer trying toΒ  kill my entire family and I’d wake up startled but easily able to use logic to chase away my fears and go back to sleep. This time how do you chase away fears from nightmares that are true?! My life did fall apart. Everything I dream did happen, is happening.

It is more difficult to fall back to sleep because I have to fully sit up and use the tools I have learned in therapy to calm myself down.

I’m already tired, too, because I’ve been sick nonstop since November! My kids are bringing home every virus that exists and I get it from them and it lasts forever since I’m pregnant and my immune system isn’t at full capacity.

Then the stupid freaking daylight savings time comes and steals a full hour of my sleep!! I couldn’t deal with that time change and last night turned off my alarm for today. I was just like, most of us are sick, I’m going to wake up only when Everett wakes up… to hell with getting the kids to school. I’m going to actually die I’m so sick and tired and physically depleted.

So today Everett woke up at 11am! That’s really like 10am but that’s pretty great! And especially because I woke up three freaking times last night from nightmares and anxiety! AND this morning starting at 7am Payson and Ember started coming into my room and tapping me on the face to ask for a million things. Food of course, video games, candy, TV, games, etc. My kids are truly the worst at using whenever I’m sick to badger me about things. They don’t just come and ask for attention either, it’s always for treats. Like, oh it looks like mom might actually die so this is a perfect time to ask for candy!!

Also since I slept late I didn’t put my garbage and recycling out early and missed the garbage truck so I don’t know what I’m going to do with all the garbage that will accumulate this week. Darn.

And the very worst part of everything is because I decided to sleep, which was a good decision for my physical survival, I now have all 5 kids to take with me to the grocery store because we are beyond out of food. We literally have some potatoes, a few cans of beans and vegetables, and baking stuff and that’s it! I’m out of butter, cheese, milk, eggs, bread… everything else. I was supposed to go to the grocery store this weekend but I’m about to blog why I didn’t… we ended up making a trip to the urgent care with Payson instead!

So, if you’re still around after reading all that, cool! I try not to just plain old vent much but I absolutely hate blogs that only share the highlight reels of their lives. I think it’s unauthentic and damaging to not share actual life with all the ups and downs.