Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The light at the end of the tunnel...

You know those moments when you are coming up on the end of something and you can see it but it is still so far away?  Like you are in a tunnel and you can finally see the light but it's still a mile or so down the road.  That is how my life feels right now.  My life is the long winding tunnel that's been enclosed for the last 2 and a half years.  I can finally see the light at the end of it, but it's still so far away.  I just need to be honest for a minute and say that I am exhausted.  Like mentally, physically and emotionally.  Ya'll my hair is tired, ok?  That is how tired I am!  I feel like I've hit this burn out wall and I KNOW that I will make it.  I KNOW that I need to keep going.  I am just super struggling to do so at the moment.  I feel like between the end of this semester and the craziness of the divorce mixed with the rest of my life that there are moments I just want to call it a day.  I gave it all a good try right? 

My divorce will be finalized in January.  (Lord, please no more curve balls ok?) I know that is next month but STILL.  It just seems so far away still.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel but my emotional capacity to handle anymore crap that is coming out of it, is so far beyond the line that it isn't even funny. 

Graduation is in May!  May 6th to be exact!  I just have to get through ONE MORE semester that includes my student teaching.  I can do this right?!  I can rock my student teaching and graduate, proud of what I accomplished.  I seriously went to school the entire time my marriage has been in transition.  I started wondering how I managed to make it through the last 2 years and I can honestly tell you that it wasn't by myself. 

Even though I let someone convince me for so long that God couldn't love me because I was getting a divorce, I know without a doubt.  He never left me.  He was right there the whole time, waiting for me to realize that He was my Father and His arms were waiting.  Pastor Perry at New Spring spoke to my heart and I felt like he was talking to me face to face, one on one looking directly into my soul saying "God may hate divorce, but HE DOESN'T HATE YOU!"  Something broke in me that day!  Not in a bad way.  I needed those words like I need water to survive.

Second, my boys. 
Oh goodness you guys!  These boys are my reason for waking up every day and dragging my exhausted butt out of bed.  They are my world and I will always keep going because of them.  They are worth it!  They are worth my hard work, my exhaustion, the tears, the worry, the love.  They are worth everything I have to give.  I am a lucky mama don't you think?

Third, the amount of love and support that has been poured out on me and the boys.  Some days I feel all alone because this divorce and single mom stuff is hard.  But then there are days that I can FEEL the prayers and love like you wouldn't believe.  Whether it's a silly snap chat with my girlfriend Andi or a Facebook message with any of my amazing friends out of state like Anna, Allison, Celest, Brenda just to name a few.  There are many more.  And those here at home that make checking on me regularly a priority.  Amanda for going to the gym with me, texting me every day and hunting me down in Walmart just to hug me.  Erica for our pedicure and Mexican nights and everyday laughs at work.  Susan for being an awesome sister and even though she is busy with her own life, still makes time to check on her little sister pretty often.  Olga for being a soft place to land for so many years!  Miranda for understanding exactly what my life is like and never making me feel like I'm not trying my best and for her honesty.  Erin for being my partner in crime in scouting and things that shall not be named.  Kara for being the other mom to my son and always being willing to Netflix and wine with me.  :) Sheri for being a HUGE help with Jaxon and being such a sweet friend.  Chelsey for your silliness and encouragement.  Chrissy for being an INSPIRATION and huge supporter of my weightloss and workout goals.  The Bazzle Bodies fit fam... I never expected you ladies but I am so thankful for you! My cub scout family... you make my life so much more enjoyable!

There are so many more but I am writing a novel at this point!  My point in this post is I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I'm tired and burn out but I'll keep going.  Sometimes you just need to stop and take stock of what you are working toward and for and who is rallied behind you.  I will keep going!  I'm almost there after all!

Friday, November 20, 2015

It's been a while...

Wow I can't believe I haven't written anything on here in almost 2 years!  I used to write so often.  I used to keep such good track of what was going on in life.  I guess for the most part some days feel like they never end!  Life for the last two years have been INSANE!  Major life changing events!  Like so big that I still can't wrap my head around everything.  How does life get so hard and so crazy and you not be able to keep up?  Well, that's how it has felt.  So a little update on what has been going on with me since I last wrote.

  • Ian and I separated.  After 13 years of marriage, we called it quits.  It was the hardest decision I have ever made.  It got to the point that I either stayed where I was and gave up on everything or choose to give up my marriage and save my life.  My thought was that my kids needed me more than he ever had or would.  That was a hard realization to come to.  I just couldn't do it anymore.  I loved him more than anything, but I knew that he never looked at me or felt that way about me.  I always tried to convince myself that he did in his own way, but it was denial.  We are still not divorced yet but we are so close to it being done.  Just waiting on his attorney to let us know if they agreed to the changes in the final agreement.  This whole thing has taught me so much, especially about myself.  The good thing that has come out of all of this, is that I know 100 percent that I can survive.  I am surviving!

  • I went back to school!  Crazy I know!  35 years old and back in college!  It's been so challenging but so rewarding at the same time.  I am going back to school for Early Childhood Development.  I actually want to teach kindergarten!  Who knew! I am so close to the finish line for my Associates!  Only 6 more months of school!  ONE semester left! 

  • In January of this year, I moved into a place of my own.  I haven't had my own place since I got out of high school and I had an apartment in Downtown Charleston.  It was so scary!  At first I would lay awake at night and wonder how I was going to make it work.  I would get up often to check on the kids. On nights they were at Ian's, I wouldn't sleep at all.  It took some getting used to but I did.

  • I weighed myself in January at 230 lbs.  I knew I was depressed and needed to get it together!  I started to eat better and tried to move more but I wasn't working out.  In April, after seeing one of my dear childhood friends lose an amazing amount of weight and transform herself, I knew I needed that.  I had a consultation with her trainer (Kim from Bazzle Bodies).  At my consultation, I weighed in at 215.  So I lost 15 lbs on my own.  I hadn't seen under 200 lbs since I had Brennan.   Then began seeing Laurie from Bazzle Bodies twice a week.  I was soooo out of shape.  It hurt so bad and I cried a lot.  I lost 10 lbs in the first month.  I only went to the gym when I had training sessions.  I had no motivation except when she was with me.  But I did start seeing results and I realized I was pushing myself past a new limit each time.  Every time I thought I was going to die, I survived.  In May, Laurie took "before" pictures.  I never saw them.  I cried the day that she took them.  I knew I wasn't happy with the way I looked.  Every time I cried, I wiped my tears and kept going.  It's November now and at my last weigh in I was at 188.  Yesterday, Kim wanted all the Bazzle Bodies clients to post throw back Thursday pictures of our before and afters.  I asked Laurie for mine.  I had no intention of posting them.  I put the before picture in a side by side collage next to a picture I had taken at the end of October after I had gotten home from the gym.  I cried.  The progress was there!  Right there in front of my eyes, I could see my hard work paying off! 

Anyway, there has been a ton more but those are the ones that are the most impactful since the last time I wrote.  It's been a crazy ride but I'm proud to say I am making it out on the other side of another year! 

Blessings, Denise

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 Scripture Focus


With being two days into the 2014, everywhere you look on the blogosphere, Facebook, etc... is New Years resolutions.  Some people have given up resolutions and decided to focus on a single word for the year to improve whatever that word means to them.  I started thinking about this and resolutions never get kept.  A single word focus may simplify things but you still have the issue of it going by the way side after a few days, weeks.  I started asking myself what can I do to keep myself on track this year?  How can I better some aspect of my life and not feel like a total failure.  I began praying for God to show me what He wants me to work on.  2013 was rough!  It severely effected my life, my attitude, my relationships including the most important one.  My relationship with Jesus.  I struggled in 2013 with a huge space/wall/silence between me and God.  I refuse to let that continue in 2014.  God has a purpose for everything and it's time I start actively seeking what that is.

So for 2014 I am focusing on my relationship with God.  Yesterday, someone posted this picture on Facebook and I sat staring at it for a while.  I scrolled and played on FB for a while but kept coming back to this scripture.  This verse is so much in simple words.  "Be joyful in Hope!" Our hope is God.  Be joyful that He is everything we need.  Keep focused on Him.  "Be patient in affliction." God doesn't tell us that we wont suffer.  In fact, Jesus says we will have trouble in this world.  But He came to overcome the World.  So we can trust that no matter our suffering, God is working it out.  "Be faithful in prayer."  Ok seriously, does anyone know a better weapon against the enemy? Prayer is powerful!  This is also our DIRECT connection to God.  That and His word.  So these simple instructions tell us to be joyful, patient, and prayerful.  My job is to be obedient to these words and that is what I'm going to do for 2014.  I'll be checking back in throughout the year and let you know how it's going.  I'm pretty excited about this.  God has big things in store.  Praising Him for whatever He has planned because I know it's going to be amazing!

How about you?  What are you doing for the New Year?

XOXO, Denise

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

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Happiness is... New Beginnings in a New Year


Happiness is…. New Beginnings in a New Year

Let me just say that I am sooooo happy to say goodbye to 2013.  It has been one of the craziest, hardest, not great years EVER!  There were definitely highlights (and I will go over those in a bit) but man am I glad that it is finally over.

2013 Regrets or Lowlights (in Chronological Order)

~Leaving my childcare job at my church after 4 years.

~Leaving my pediatric dental assistant job that I LOVED!

~Leaving my friends that I loved and would not have survived living in Utah without.

~Working for an awful human being in the form of a dentist when I moved back to SC.  I’m still healing from the scars that man left after all this time.

~Realizing my marriage was over and asking for a divorce. (Number 1 suckiest thing this year!)

~ My husband realizing (months after we agreed to divorce) that I was really serious and it dawning on him how hurt I was from the things that happened in our marriage.

~My pappy dying. (Definitely ties for Number 1 suckiest thing!)

~Finding out the day after burying my pappy that Ian had already filed for divorce and I was being served the following week. (Due to court errors, I have yet to be served.)

2013 Highlights

~Moving back to South Carolina!

~Seeing and living near my family for the first time in 8 years.

~Spending quality time with my best friend in the world!  Getting to know her babies!

~Living less than 500 feet from my sister and watching our boys pick up right where they left off!

~Finding a new church home.

~Getting the job at the school.  Oh how I love this job and these kids.

~Becoming real friends with Ian after all we’ve been through.

~Receiving the TEACH grant and making plans to go back to school.

~Really standing up for myself and not settling for less.

~Watching both of my boys blossom and grow up.

Things I am Looking Forward to in 2014

~Starting over!

~Going back to school!

~My son becoming a teenager (maybe I am not really looking forward to this but I am so proud of him!)

~This blog!  I already love it.  I used to blog all the time and got away from it.  I am really happy to be back at it.

~Reading the Bible in a year.  I know I NEED God's word like I need breath.  It's one in the same!

~Expanding my baking.  Trying new recipes.  I have a HUGE passion for baking and it fills me with joy to share it.

~Spending quality time with my family.

~Seeing where God leads.  I'm making the resolution to seek God and be ready to say YES to whatever or wherever He leads.


So no I'm not sad to see 2013 go.  I am taking 2013 as learning life experience and I'm moving forward.  2014 Here I come!

What are your Lowlights and Highlights?

Are you making Resolutions?  Working toward a goal?  Focusing on a single word?



Friday, December 27, 2013

High Five for Friday (Christmas Edition)

I seriously had a great week!  We had a light week with many of the kids being on vacation from school.  There were no major scouting events.  I did miss my Tigers though.  I finished shopping and everything was ready for Christmas morning!  Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for H54F.

1. I did some baking this week.  I tried my hand at making homemade cinnamon rolls using The Pioneer Woman's recipe.  I will be posting a little more on that adventure this week.  It was a huge hit.

2.  This year was the first Christmas I'd been back in SC to spend with my family in 8 years!  It was so much fun getting to spend time with them.  On Christmas Eve we went to my Aunts and ate and visited.  The kids played minute to win it and it was pretty hysterical.  Even  my cousin (around my age) got in on the action.  Fun was had by all!  017

3. We started a new tradition of Christmas jammies this year.  The boys all got Duck Dynasty and I got the cutest pink owl jammie set ever!



4. Seeing the genuine excitement on my boys faces on Christmas morning made me feel all warm and gooey inside.  I mean honestly who wouldn't with these two cuties??



5. I received the Urban Decay Naked palette I'd been wanting for a while.  I absolutely love it! I've tried a couple combinations of the colors and can't wait to try more out!


Christmas was amazing!  It was the first one in a long time I was at peace with.

So how was your week?

XOXO, Denise

Friday, December 20, 2013

High Five for Friday

This week has been a little crazy with trying to finish Christmas shopping, my boss being on a cruise all week so I was in charge of the school and working long hours.  However there were several highlights that made it so much better!

1. My secret santa at work dropped this little guy off for me at the beginning of the week.  I named him Owen and he makes me happy! :)

[caption id="attachment_278" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Owen the Owl Owen the Owl[/caption]

2. One of my parents brought me a gift for Christmas yesterday.  It is a bottle of perfume.  I thought it was so sweet for her to think of me.  :)



3. One of my favorite Christmas traditions in Charleston is the Festival of Lights.  I haven't been in 8 years since we lived in Utah but now I'm home and of course I wanted to go!  So we loaded up yesterday and headed to the island to see the lights.  We rode the carousel too.  :) I bribed Brennan to ride it with pie.  That boy loves some pie.



4. We drove through the lights, walked Santa's village and rode the carousel.  We ended the night by roasting marshmallows and drinking hot chocolate.  It was Jaxon's first time to go and Brennan hasn't been since he was 4.  I loved spending the time with my boys.


5. Tonight is my office Christmas party.  I'm so excited for tonight.  It should be a blast.  Definitely going to round out my week nicely.

What traditions do you look forward to every year?

Hugs, Denise