Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jar of Hearts

One thing that happens when you get divorced....a lot of people come out of the woodwork to confide in you and ask you questions. I know...cuz I wanted to do that too. I didn't have a ton of people who had been through it there to help me but I wanted it so desperately. So, I have always tried to be that person, if I could. I did have my family and few close friends and I appreciate their being there for me so much. I have tried to be a supportive friend for each of these people in my life. Encouraging them to make sure they do what they KNOW is best for their families. I have never encouraged divorce or being single because the reality of it SUCKS!!! But, in some cases (and only the person living in that case can really KNOW) it is the only choice!

But through all of this, I have SO many friends (mostly girls) who's ex husbands are "trying" to get them back by way of lies and manipulation. They are stringing them along and toying with their hearts and collecting their own "jar of hearts" but in the process, they are damaging these poor people! And, I have many friends who have attempted to reconcile with someone who used lies and manipulation only to find out that NOTHING has changed. And, they get to go through the breakup all over AGAIN! And, some of them even come out with another child to go along with their broken hearts in some cases tying them together FOREVER!

It's sad that being alone can be so painful that we would actually even CONSIDER going back to the ex that broke us in the first place! But, so many of us do....because like I said...being single and alone sucks! But, the lesson we all need to learn is that it is better to be alone for the right reasons than be together for the wrong! It breaks my heart to hear these girls crying because of their ex's antics. I have felt their pain...and I have cried along with them. So, I'm dedicating this song to those girls or guys in my life that need that extra ability to see through the lies and the strength to do what is BEST for YOU and your CHILDREN!!! Make sure you read through the amazing lyrics! And a big thank you to my cute friend Val for posting this on her blog! I encourage you all to pray to know what is true, pray for strength to do what you need to do, pray for help to get over them, work on yourself through therapy and self help books and promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb you! Love ya!

Jar of Hearts

No I can't take one more step towards you
Cause all that's waiting is regret
And don't you know I'm not your ghost anymore
You lost the love I loved the most

I learned to live half alive
And now you want me one more time

And who do you think you are
Running around leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart
You're gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
So don't come back for me
Who do you think you are

I hear you're asking all around
If I am anywhere to be found
But I have grown too strong
To ever fall back in your arms

I learned to live half alive
And now you want me one more time

And who do you think you are
Running around leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart
You're gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
So don't come back for me
Who do you think you are

And it took so long just to feel alright
Remember how to put back the light in my eyes
I wish I would have missed the first time that we kissed
Cause you broke all your promises
And now you're back
You don't get to get me back

And who do you think you are
Running around leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart
You're gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
Don't come back for me
Don't come back at all

And who do you think you are
Running around leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart
You're gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
Don't come back for me
Don't come back at all

Who do you think you are
Who do you think you are
Who do you think you are

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Single Moms Together Strong

"I hope you live a life you're proud of, and if you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again." - Benjamin Button

I am a part of a single moms group through Facebook. I feel like I've met wonderful single moms throughout my entire experience in being divorced. I truly feel the Lord has placed people into my life when I needed them most! It's strange how things have fallen into place. It's been a completely AMAZING experience for me! Our single mom group leader has a blog for struggling single moms. It has helped me on many occasions when it's 2 am and I can't sleep and I'm alone with my thoughts and I just feel like I CAN NOT take one more thing. I read her words and I feel inspired and less alone in this journey. I have recommended it to many of my struggling friends going through divorce and it has helped them as well.

The other day I was looking back at some of the posts on her blog and found one of my comments. I remember feeling so passionate about what I was writing that I decided to transfer it over to my own blog post. Maybe some of you can have a glimpse into the lives and struggles of a single mom. Keep in mind that this response was a comment to a post about living a life you are proud of (even if it includes leaving an unhealthy marriage) and another woman had commented on the blog bashing the author by accusing her of blaming her ex for everything. Basically, she was tearing the woman down for being so open in her blog. So, in defense of both my friend (the author) and my own strong feelings about being a struggling single mom, I responded with this:

"I think more than striking a nerve, we just want everyone to understand how terribly painful this really is and that it takes everything we have to heal, get up, move on and try to create a new normal for ourselves and our children.

I haven't seen Benjamin Button yet, but I loved your post. I didn't find it bashing or negative for that matter. I'm pretty sure that most of us divorced women can see where we have gone wrong in our relationships and have worked hard not to repeat the past. Whether it's 50/50 or 7/93. The fact is that it takes TWO to make a marriage work, but it can only take ONE to make it fail. There are deal breakers in marriage and there are steps you go through to try and fix those deal breakers, but IF one party is not willing to do what needs to be done to make it work, it will not work. And oftentimes, it's not just one deal breaker. Sometimes you get to endure a few of them mixed together!!!

One thing I have learned so far about being a divorced single mom or single woman for that matter is this...people judge us and they judge us harshly. Not all, but some. I haven't figured out the "why" behind it, but they do. A lot of the time the judging is done by married women who seem to have a decent and fairly simple relationship. These women usually have no clue what a true toxic relationship is like. They don't see the excruciating pain that we go through in private or the flow of tears we constantly hold back while in public. We all should win academy awards because we hide it VERY well!

I loved the part in your comment where you state that "unless you were hiding under our bed the whole time you wouldn't have the first clue about the "truth" of what I really experienced". My dad always tells people when they ask about me that they would have to have lived it to truly understand. I wish more people could trust us and our decisions and realize that this is not a decision that most of us took lightly. Most of us endured much pain and agony to get to this point. Most of us hoped so much that it would work that we stayed too long. I think that many people assume we made this decision because we simply want out. We weren't in love anymore, we want another man or we are complaining about little annoying things like the toilet seat being left up. They have no clue what really happens behind closed doors and if they did I am almost certain that they would not judge!

A couple months ago, I went through something that was awful and terrible with regard to being judged by a woman who seems to have everything going well for her. (I realize that everyone has problems but, in this case, I would consider switching places with her. Basically, I would trade her for her problems, even her worst problems! I'm not kidding!) She was one of my good friends and I knew her better than most of her own family, but she turned on me. It's one thing when a stranger judges you or an annoying neighbor thinks she knows you better than you know yourself. You just expect that kinda thing. But, you don't expect it from a good friend. I think a lot of us women are victims of circumstance. Because we can be single, fit and pretty, we MUST have a motive. Women think we are after their husbands, they think we have no morals and they truly believe that because we are single, we don't respect marriage. What they don't realize is that we probably respect it more than they do. I have watched so many married women trash their husbands who are working hard, allowing them to stay home with the children, providing for them with a house and a running car and sometimes even spoiling them. They just go on and on about the little things. I sometimes wonder if they ever stopped to think what it would really be like if it all disappeared? What would it be like to live in a run down home with no AC, drive a car that oftentimes doesn't want to start, and sometimes struggle to provide food and clothing? What would it be like to do EVERYTHING yourself? But, you can never understand it until you are placed in that situation. You just can't!

I love having as much support as I can get during all of this. Women come to us because we have been through it. When I was first going through this, I had no one that had been there before. I longed for that and then my "angels" were put in my path when I needed them. There is a difference between bashing and relating our stories. Our stories are what makes us empathetic and we have to tell some of that story in order to help others. It's what helps us know we are not alone. There is nothing wrong with telling the truth. Most of the time we mask the ugliest parts anyway just to protect our children. Believe me, if I could, I would blog about all the crap we had to go through. But, I can't and because of that...people judge us.

I blogged about my experience with this and I posted a song that touched my heart. I dedicated it to my fellow friends who have had to endure any sort of painful situations. Here is my post:

You don't have to read the post, but if you like click on the song and read the words. It's appropriate for divorce, death, or any life hardship that you may be asked to endure.

Maybe none of you have experienced this, but this has been my experience so far. It's just my two cents! Well, it's a little more than two cents! Sorry for the long comment! Love you girl!"

Friday, June 4, 2010


So, the triathlon is less than two hours. I spent many hours training and worrying over this and it was over...just like that! I had hoped to come in under 2 hours and I made it in 1 hour and 38 minutes...1:38:46:4 to be exact!

The night before was SO stressful with the unpredictability of the weather and the fact that I was SO nervous, not to mention that I was having a hard time focusing because my love life was a mess! Hello...guys have the worst timing! The weather that night was terrible and the forecast for race day was also terrible. There was the remote chance that they could cancel the race altogether which both disappointed me and relieved me all at once!

Diane and I headed to the race that morning with our bikes in tow. It was cold and wet and yucky out and I feared freezing the entire race. I wore my flip flops to keep my running shoes from getting wet, but that was a huge mistake because my toes were frozen for half the race! When we got there and started setting up our station, they announced that they were canceling the swim and we would run a mile before the bike and then run again. I felt relief and a little let down, but realized that because of this new change, we ALL were starting the race at 8 am rather than taking turns with swimming. With the swim we had planned on starting around 9 am. So, I quickly sent a text to my sisters about the time change and got ready! During most of the race I felt pretty good. There are two hills that you have to bike twice and run once. The second time around on the bike, I was pretty beat and then when I had to get off the bike and start running, I thought I would die. I was not fully prepared for the wobbly legs that would follow. But, I realized that ALL the ladies with me at that time felt the same way. We had to walk so much of the two hills. And, when we would run, it felt like we weren't even we were turtles in slow motion. It was a strange and completely annoying feeling.

I like to brag that my biggest accomplishment was that I only spent 60 seconds on my second transition. Most people in my age bracket spent 2-3 minutes in transition. Only a handful of others were 60 seconds or less including the girls that placed 1st and 2nd! Ya...made me a little proud! Now, if only I could shave off about 10 minutes off my 5k and 15 minutes off my bike!

But...I finished and Diane finished and we both felt awesome for finishing as that had been our main goal! I think we both feel a little ripped off having only done a duathlon now, but we tried. And, now we just have to TRI again for next year's Women of Steel! So who's in?!?

I had a huge support system during the race and at the finish line! It was so exciting to see them cheering for me as I made my second bike loop and then again as I started my 5k. I really appreciated everyone for showing up and supporting me! I've never had anyone show up to a race of mine and I have to admit...I was feelin' the love! :)

Here are the pictures from the race. These are all on Facebook so if you're my friend, you've probably already seen them. But, if ya go!

My fellow Rec Center peeps! - These girls are the reason I attempted this Tri!

I bought this tri suit especially for this race. Everyone knows that they mark you up for a tri, but it was so cold you didn't see my suit nor my numbers! Bummer!

My lucky race number!

Me, Alicia and Diane

Me and Melanie

Heather and Jason


Almost finished!


Me and my kiddos!

My support


Posters made by my nieces!

I did it!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I'm up...

and I think I'm ready to take on blogging again...and life!

After the 5 months anticipation and release of all the physical and emotional exhaustion built up with the triathlon, my first post-divorce break up, a girls' trip to LA, a new calling, soccer team changes, end of school year stuff, room mom duties as well as the many other changes happening in our lives...I think I'm officially back! (It just hit all at once and those who know me, know I don't deal well with too many changes at one time. But I had an awesome therapy session yesterday and I am ready!)

I haven't felt like posting for a while now. And sometimes, I didn't even feel like getting out of bed. But I really want to...I promise...I do!

So watch for the pics to come soon from the girls' trip and triathlon...

cuz they're gonna knock your socks off!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hudson's Birthday!!!

This kid turned 11 this month

(Suzanne's wedding February, 2010)

Make a wish

Blow it out!

Hudson and Kaden

Clint and Dalton

Pizza time!

Dalton and Clint and all their tickets!

Happy Birthday Hudson!

He was off track on his actual we headed to breakfast at Denny's so he could get cash in on his free grand slam! I tried to encourage something else, but this kid knew what he wanted and let's face it, it was HIS day! After Denny's we had planned on bowling, but we were too full, so we ran a couple errands and then headed to pick out some presents. He picked a few and we surprised him with a few. Then, we headed home and had planned on going bowling with Mikaela once she got out of school. But, by that time, Hudson was playing with his friend and wanted to skip bowling altogether. Then, he had a scout party and soccer practice and the evening/dinner with his dad! It was a great day! At least that's what he told me!

On the Friday after his birthday, he decided he wanted to take his friend Kaden and Dalton and Dalton's friend Clint to Nicklemania. Where we spent all the nickels we could until it was way past time to go! What a great way to end being off track!!!

Happy Birthday to one of the most AMAZING sons a mom could ask for...

I love you Hudson

Monday, May 17, 2010

Finish Strong!!!

I heard this quote the other day by one of my cycling class buddies, Lacey, who did a
little Tri transition clinic for those of us doing tri's this year.

It's the Danskin Tri motto:

"The woman who starts the race is not the same woman who finishes the race!"

I loved it! I also hope, with all my heart, that it ends up being true for me. I am new to any sort of intense racing. I've done a bunch of 5k races, but that is it! I haven't dared attempt anything more, for fear of failure! So that was part of my decision in attempting a sprint triathlon.
I need this...I need help me make some changes.

I discovered a few years ago in therapy that I am my own worst enemy. (I know we all are, but she said I do it more than the normal person.) All my life I have belittled myself and allowed negative self talk to defeat me. I tore myself down before others had a chance to do it. And, when others did do it, I agreed with them. I kept a journal from ages 12-21 and throughout the journal are the rantings of a self-deprecating scared little girl.

We've never been able to figure out why I did/do it and while the therapist was optimistic, she also said that realistically this would be a very difficult thing for me to overcome having done it my entire life! I try not to do it now and just being aware of it is helpful, but it is a daily work in progress for me. So, by attempting this triathlon, I am fighting with the urge to give up. I am fighting my own negative thoughts that I can't do it. That I haven't trained hard enough or the correct way. I am fighting my own thoughts that I don't deserve to accomplish this!

It's a hard challenge to overcome because I am so easily discouraged. I recognized that I've been so fortunate to avoid a serious injury so far. I've only had to deal with foot and leg cramps while swimming, foot pain and colitis symptoms while cycling, the usual shin splints and knee pain while running, dizziness and my screwed up body temperature. At this point in time, I am fighting a pulled groin muscle. Oh and let's not forget...the constant need to urinate! Most days, I can't make it through an hour run or spin class without having to stop and go to the bathroom. Even if I go right before class...and I hate having to hop off a bike just to pee! So...annoying! I know everyone has injuries and other things to deal with, but I tend to let them completely discourage me.

I get that it's dumb and I hate that I do it.

The last few weeks have been difficult mentally and I haven't been able to snap out of it, but the other day was also hard for me physically. My colitis symptoms were back and they like to hit me during spin class. I'm not sure why or what triggers it, but it does and it hurts and it's hard. Randi, my cycling instructor asked me if I was gonna throw up. I can't explain the feeling but it's not nausea, it's just pain. But, I was determined with everything I have to NOT get off the bike before class was over. So, this time I literally had to talk myself through each and every second of the last 25 minutes of class. It doesn't sound long, but when you are in pain, it is! And, I did it! I was so happy to have done it, but so discouraged to have to deal with colitis again. So, I came home feeling discouraged. But, I got onto facebook and found this video posted on my friend's facebook wall. I watched it and sobbed and sobbed and then found the inspiration I needed to continue training. So, here I am a week before my first sprint triathlon. I'm scared...I'm in pain...I'm mentally a mess...but I am also excited...and full of anticipation...and amazed that I have hung in there...and I plan to finish....I plan to FINISH STRONG!!!

Barcelona Sprinter & His Father from Adam Wills on Vimeo.

So to pump me up and get me excited...I've decided to put an "inspirational quote a day" on my facebook status everyday leading up to the race. Here is my fav that I plan to post the day before my race:

"It is a comforting moment when we suddenly realize that our commitment to race, to participate in something so important to us-our dream-will be actualized. We have made it to the starting line. In this moment, the probability that we will do the event reaches 100 percent. The hundreds of things that can go wrong leading up to a [triathlon], have been cleverly averted, and the thousands of things required to get to the start are all now officially history." - Mitch Thrower

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Suzanne and Nick's Big Fat Greek Wedding

My super cute sister Suzanne got married to her handsomely husband Nick (there...threw the bone) on February 27th!
It was a great day and we had a ton of fun!
Congrats to Suzanne and Nick
So...Nick and Macie...welcome to the family!
Are you ready for us? We're totally awesome actually...a little crazy....but awesome!
It was easier to post this video of the wedding pics that my friend made for me than it was to try and upload them all onto blogger! And, since I've been the slackiest blogger in pretty much the whole're just lucky to have this! Enjoy...because it's awesome!