Finding Light in the Darkness of DIVORCE

by Lauren on September 26, 2016

I was twenty-one, a recent college graduate, in the midst of figuring out my life and who I was, and standing at the altar committing my life to my high school sweetheart… or at least the next five years of my life. Those five years were good for the most part. We built a beautiful home, had great jobs, were saving for our future, and tried for kids over and over. But as the years went on, we started to grow apart. After all, we were both babies when we tied the knot and now, midway into my twenties, I realized I wasn’t the same person I was at that altar, and neither was he.

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My divorce is something I don’t openly talk about on the blog often, mainly because it was a part of my past that we both have completely moved on from. But my divorce is something that I never hide from. It’s a part of who I am and contributes to my story of how I got to the place I am at now. Never in my life did I think I would get married at 21, only to be sitting in a lawyer’s office five years later signing a paper that took back every commitment that was originally made. So exactly how did I get here? Well, as I’m sure most of you know, I made the most difficult decision of my entire life to leave a loveless marriage and walk away from such seemingly “perfect” life. I needed to get away, to start fresh, to find myself in a new city where no one would be able to judge me or tell me I was wrong. So I moved to Chicago with a few bags of clothes and a $1,000 in my bank account with the intent of starting over. I left a small town where things were comfortable and predictable for one of the best cities in the world where things were far from clear. It was during my time in this city that I met unforgettable souls, fell in love with my soulmate, and realized I could in fact be happy and not be ashamed.

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So fast-forward to now. I am married to the love of my life, expecting our second child. I am secure in myself as a wife and a mom. I’ve learned how to give and receive love in all relationships. And my heart and soul are fulfilled in so many ways that they once were not. If you are wondering what happened to my ex, well, he is also remarried to a beautiful and wonderful person and they are too expecting their first child. Life has a way of finding the light even when you think there isn’t a chance of ever finding yourself out of the darkness.

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I’m sharing all of this with you today because I was inspired when I heard about a new HBO show staring Sarah Jessica Parker called DIVORCE. The new series puts a comical and light-hearted spin on a subject that can oftentimes be utterly messy and disheartening. Here is an official description of the show: After more than a decade of marriage and two children, Frances (Sarah Jessica Parker) has suddenly begun to reassess her life and her strained relationship with her husband Robert (Thomas Haden Church). But she soon discovers that making a clean break and a fresh start is harder than she thought. The story of a very, very long divorce, the show follows Frances and Robert as they grapple with the fallout from their failing marriage, not just for themselves, but also for their children and friends, ranging from awkward public encounters to difficult private therapy sessions. Not that divorce is funny, but when you’ve come out of it a better person than you once were, you can finally forgive yourself for failing at something you promised you never would.

DIVORCE premieres Sunday, October 9th at 10pm.

Learn more about DIVORCE on HBO by visiting their FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

Speaking of light-hearted, how about a GIVEAWAY! I’m so honored to be able to giveaway a $100 Visa gift card to one lucky reader. To enter, leave a comment if a break-up in any way has changed you for the better.

 

Entry Instructions:

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You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 9/26/16– 10/23/16

Be sure to visit the DIVORCE brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

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So you are either going to love or hate me for this, but I feel like it’s been ages since we’ve caught up, so I have a big, long catch-up post for you now.  Don’t worry, I’ll try to be brief.

Before I get to our weekend recap, I did promise to share some of those family photos with you.  Turns out, our photographer is amazing and manage to capture some really good shots despite Grayson’s best efforts to sabotage the entire session.

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I know, I can hardly stand how mature and dapper he looks.  Don’t be fooled, there is one rambunctious and silly little boy under all that swagger.

Okay in other news….one of my biggest dreams finally came through last week. Let me explain.

For a loooooong time, I’ve dreamt of having a big, beautiful farm table in our home.  We priced some out and quickly realized that buying one brand new was never going to happen.  And then John had the idea of trying to just make it.  Well, turns out he knows nothing about carpentry, BUT our friend and old neighbor does and graciously volunteered to build me my dream table. He literally had it built in a day, and John spent a few days painting and staining it so it matched exactly my vision.

The finished product…..

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Isn’t is just gorgeous?  This piece is something I know our family will use to make so many memories and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

Okay, now onto the weekend….

Well, a certain little someone had many reasons to celebrate because today, he turned the big 2!!!

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Oh my heart.  Some days are a challenge with this one, but most of the time, he has me laughing so hard I’m in tears.  The joy that he has and his drive for life is incredible.  He is determined, passionate, energetic, strong-willed, funny, and just a loving little guy.

We started our weekend of fun on Friday with a toddler activity time at a local church with some friends.

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This was great! A church turns their gym into a huge play area for toddlers with so many cool activities to do.

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Grayson was very much into the playing….not so much into the sitting and listening to a story part (they stop halfway through and gather the kids for a song and story).  Oh well, I guess I don’t blame him when he has ALL of those toys surrounding him.

The rest of the afternoon, we spent playing at Nan Nan’s house (Grayson’s favorite) and then eventually met up with Daddy at home.  John and I had big plans for dinner so we fed Grayson his and then waited until he was asleep to indulge in our much awaited sushi burritos!

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I’ve heard these things exist, but I recently found out that a restaurant opened right near our house that was featuring them.  Naturally, we HAD to try them when we found out the news.  And they definitely didn’t disappoint!  I had the shrimp tempura (pretty much the only cooked fish option) with rice, veggies, a chipotle sauce and spinach.

Saturday morning, we were up nice and early.  John made us a big breakfast of toast, eggs, and bacon to get our day started.

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John makes THE BEST eggs.  Grayson has been on a big egg kick lately too.

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After breakfast, John had to go to work and Grayson and I met up with my mom for her work’s annual charity walk along the river.  We also ran into an old friend of mine and her three kiddos so it was great to walk a few miles and catch up.

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Even though I was clearly unprepared for the chilly and damp morning, it turned out to be a great way to spend our morning.

After the walk, Grayson and I did our grocery shopping for the week and then came back home to nap (well one of us did) and eat lunch.  We spent the rest of the afternoon playing outside and going for walks in the beautiful weather.

Once he was down for the night and John was home from work, we sat down for a mellow date night that included some homemade butternut squash and apple soup I put together that afternoon.

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And then I’m pretty sure we both passed out on the couch shortly after this.

And that leads us to today..Grayson’s actual birthday.

Well, funny thing is this kid must have known it was his birthday and what a fun day we had planned because he woke at the ungodly hour of 4am.  He hasn’t gotten up this early in almost a year, so I have no idea where it came from, but he was WIDE awake and ready to go.

After John and I managed to suck down a cup of coffee, we finally got moving a little later on.

I made the birthday boy pumpkin pancakes to start off his day.

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After breakfast, clean-up and showers, we eventually made it out of the house early so that we could make sure Grayson got a good long nap in before church.  A car nap it was!

Since we had over an hour to kill in the car, John and I obviously hadn’t filled our tanks with enough coffee so we stopped to get more.

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Grayson woke up after about an hour and we still had a little time to kill before church, so we took him to the park to run around for a few minutes before church.

After the service, we went to Grayson’s favorite lunch spot…Chiptole.

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Luckily, it happens to be one of our favorites too, so everyone was happy.

Once lunch commended, we ventured on to our next stop, Monkey Joe’s.  Oh boy, this place is a madhouse for kids.  It’s basically just big inflatable indoor bounce houses that kids go nuts over.  We knew Grayson would love climbing, sliding, and just bouncing around for about an hour.

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It was here that I also confirmed that my child has no fear.  Oh no, none.  He just climbed right to the top of the highest slide with the big kids and went right down without any hesitation.  He is a nut.

After Monkey Joe’s, we went to our final stop, ice cream!

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Because what is a birthday without a little ice cream right?

Grayson is not a fan of sweets but he does LOVE ice cream.  He also doesn’t get a chance to have it a lot so it was such a nice treat.

We got back to our house and spent the rest of the afternoon playing and going for more walks.  Finally, the birthday boy’s favorite dinner….

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Turkey burgers, sweet potato and kale chips.

Today was a blast and we truly did everything we could to make Grayson feel special and loved.  Next weekend we are having his party, but today was all about the three of us spending as much time together as we could since this will be the last year it will be just the three of us for his birthday.

He really is such a special little one and I’m truly blessed to be his mom. He continues to make me a better person day in and day out and I simply can’t wait to see what God has in store for him.

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Happy Birthday my sweet boy!

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The Weekender: Date Night, Apple Picking, and Good Eats

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Hi Friends! I’m starting to really like the idea of fall weekends.  The weather was starting to cool down here this week, but unfortunately, the humidity crept up once again.  Dare I say I’m actually looking forward to the point when we can just nix the air and leave the windows open 24/7?  This is […]

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Second Baby: Weeks 18-20

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They always say there is a big difference between your first pregnancy compared to your second pregnancy in terms of how involved you feel and I’m definitely finding that to be extremely true.  With Grayson, I was obsessed with every single change, every development, every symptom, and every movement.  I was taking bump pictures every […]

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Beach Beautiful In Time For Your Sunshine Winter Vacation

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*This is a contributed post.  Image credit: Pixaby We often talk about how to get our body beach ready in time for the summer holidays. But suppose you’re having your sunshine holiday in the winter instead? Lots of people jet off to places such as the Bahamas or Hawaii for a blissful blast of winter […]

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Weekly Catchup

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Hi friends, I hope your week is going well!  We are chugging along here in a very busy week, but I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to an extended low-key weekend.  John has been working and traveling so much lately and he will have off for a few days over Labor Day […]

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Second Baby: Weeks 14-17

August 25, 2016

I feel like the only thing I post about these days is baby or toddler related, which I guess that is what my life consists of these days. Okay, I’m going to say something that I’m sure some of you will gasp at, but I really don’t like being pregnant!  Now please don’t mistake that.  I […]

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It’s a……

August 22, 2016

BOY!!!! My intuition was right on!  We found out yesterday that we will be welcoming another beautiful little boy into this family and we are all thrilled.  Part of me is excited for the thought of two boys and the other part is well….just terrified! (I type that as my first born currently attempts to […]

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A Day of Mommy and Me Eats

August 15, 2016

Feeding a toddler can sometimes be a challenge.  Fortunately, God blessed us with a good eater and so far, we haven’t had many issues getting Grayson to eat or eat healthy. In fact, the boy eats so much that I often feel like I can’t keep up.  People keep telling me it will slow down […]

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The Weekender

August 14, 2016

Hi friends! Well after quite a long and stressful week, I was more than ready to welcome this weekend. We didn’t have many plans, which worked out to our advantage because Grayson ended up coming down with a little cold. Thankfully, it only lasted a few days and he is well onto his way of […]

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