She’s still so close

I don’t know what to do now. I’ve been holding back tears all day because I knew what was coming.

She’s gone.

The first few days are the hardest. It still feels like she’s here. Her dirty clothes are fresh and her toothbrush is still out. Her dunkin donuts bag is on the counter and I’m still wearing the shirt she hugged when we said goodbye. She’s still so close.

But somehow it happens, every single time. Life begins to feel normal again without her. Our trip becomes a memory and I’ll go back to counting the days until I see her again. The process is unforgiving and I wish there was another way.

This part of my heart will always be vulnerable. But even the hardest moments without her will always be worth it because I choose her no matter what.

just to see her smile

Every decision that I have ever made all comes back to one question: what will make her the happiest?

It isn’t always easy to set aside my personal feelings during our custody situation, but I have to remember that this is all about her.

In a co-parenting relationship, the priority has to be what’s best for your children. Even when it’s not fair, especially when it’s not exactly what you want.

I have to be ok with that. And seeing that big smile on her face makes everything all right.

This Season

And just like that, all of our beautiful golden leaves have fallen to the ground.

The view of this tree from our window was one of my favorite things and I wanted to hang on to this fall weather just a little longer.

I was so disappointed to look out and see the empty branches, until I walked outside and shifted my perspective to see how beautiful the leaves now are on the ground! And I’m looking forward to the first snowfall which will cover the branches in beauty all over again.

And it reminded me so much of this season in motherhood…

I’ve loved every minute of being in this young mom stage with babies in strollers and snuggles to fall asleep at night, but our children are gaining more independence and shedding the need for constant care.

And I’m clinging on to the last signs of babyhood for just a little bit longer because it’s been a wonderful experience.

But watching Clare walk into her classroom this week made me realize that I’m ready to embrace the next stage of life- raising independent little children and watching them enter the real world.

And I’m grateful for the reminder from Mother Nature that every time and season is beautiful and amazing in its own unique way. We have so much to look forward to 💛

thoughts on our family vacation (without our whole family)

Just trying to keep it all together right now. This trip has been about throwing that smile on and making magic happen for my little babes. Creating beautiful moments for them no matter what. Knowing that my attitude will directly impact how they perceive these memories and intentionally choosing JOY. 

Even when it’s hard. (when I have to hide behind my sunglasses because all I can think about is how much Elle Kade would have loved this trip). (and calling to hear her voice because I can’t be there to hug her after her first day of school). So hard. 

It’s overwhelming to balance those emotions. I feel as much love, gratitude and happiness for this experience as I do guilt, stress, and sadness.  

But this trip isn’t about me. It’s about spending time with family and having an amazing vacation with Carter and Clare. 

We always have a choice. Perspective is so powerful. The negative thoughts will always be there but how long will you allow yourself to focus on them? Acknowledge their presence and remember that they do not serve you. Find a way that works for you to shift your mindset to gratitude and joy. Become so determined to radiate positivity and love no matter what. 


And just like that… she’s gone.

 I know it’s coming. Every time. But how can I prepare myself for the heartbreak? It doesn’t get easier. I’m a whole mess of emotions right now and I can’t think about it. 

When I’m faced with conflict, my instinctive reaction is to avoid and ignore it. I distract myself and turn away from whatever is causing the anxiety.

I fall back into addictive patterns that mask my limiting beliefs. My emotional response is to go eat and shop. But I’m learning that those habits do not serve me nor do they make anything better, they just numb the feeling or make things worse. 

I’m learning to take gradual steps through the healing process to release old wounds that resurface during stressful situations. I’m taking time to meditate and focus on gratitude. I’m giving myself the opportunity to witness my subconscious blockers and recondition my habits into positive behaviors. 

There is nothing more powerful than a mindset shift. Experiencing peace during a time of trial is completely possible. 

I’m embracing my feelings of sadness, guilt, and stress and experiencing a change of heart through meditation and emotional freedom techniques. There is such a powerful connection between our physical and emotional wellbeing. 

I’ve felt so inspired to share my journey with you and hope to post more details soon! ❤️ Until then, I want to leave with you this quote that spoke to my heart today… 


I was sitting next to Matt yesterday in the church where we met and had an amazing full circle moment. 

I remember being in that exact room by myself as a struggling single mom watching other families, knowing I would never have that. I felt so hopeless and alone. 

My reality right now is something I never dreamed I would have… but here I am sitting with my beautiful family. ❤️

It’s been a long, difficult journey through trials and challenges, but we have each other and that is everything.

Let’s make it better

Elle was texting a friend today so I asked to see what they were talking about (overprotective mama) and a text came up from her stepmom. I couldn’t help but read it with her and it really took me by surprise. Their entire conversation was about how Elle is so bored and isn’t enjoying her time here. 

I honestly couldn’t believe what I was reading… it broke my heart. We have tried so hard to create a happy home for Elle and make sure that she is having the best time with us. I didn’t realize she was feeling otherwise until today. 

What am I doing wrong? How can I make this better for her? Why is she asking to leave early? I was surprised, hurt and upset. The last thing a mother wants to hear is that you’re doing your best and it’s still not enough.

So tonight I wanted to spend some one on one time with Elle and talk to her about what we can do better. I took her to my H⚡️GH Fitness class (she helped me pick the playlist!), then to get ice cream and shopping for things for her bedroom. We talked about how she’s feeling- bored because we don’t allow a lot of screen time, frustrated with sharing my attention with her siblings, and still adjusting to living in a new home with different rules. I completely understand her perspective! I just wish that she would have felt comfortable discussing the issues with me so that I could try to fix them. 

So we set some expectations and responsibilities for our whole family and hopefully that will help! I just want her to have the best summer ever full of wonderful memories!!

Emotions + Eating

The sweetest surprise showed up at my door today… my grandpa with a box from @janjoupatisserie ❤ (you guys he lives 300 miles away!)

He is the most selfless, giving man with the biggest heart for helping others and I am so grateful for him!

I have so many tender memories of our family laughing together at different restaurants, my grandpa bringing home delicious desserts from his business trips, and going on special dates to restaurants that were way too fancy for my little self. These experiences made me feel so loved! 

But at some point, I began associating feelings of comfort and acceptance with eating. 

like that time we went to Europe and ate ALL THE FOOD.

There are two types of thinking: logical and subconscious. Our logical mind states the facts like “I am only going to eat chicken and broccoli”. Our subconscious mind feels and reacts to emotions like “I am feeling stressed so I need to eat my favorite foods” without understanding reason. 
I have an addictive personality and I’m beginning to understand why I struggle with emotional eating so much. My first round of Whole30 gave me perspective on how intense my cravings were when I was confronted with a stressful situation and felt so dependent on food… it was uncontrollable. 

I feel like I’ve tried every diet and nothing works. I can stick to it until I feel overwhelmed and then I HAVE to go out to eat and then I feel so guilty! I get right back on track for as long as possible until I feel stressed out again…. It’s an awful cycle of dependency. Food is the only thing that feels good in that moment. Wow! It was really hard to finally admit that. 

I’m only sharing because a few weeks ago I stumbled upon some information that led to a really powerful realization. And ever since then, I’ve been working with different emotional responses to dig deeper into something I’ve been struggling with my entire life! 

It’s been an amazing process..

I’m still learning so much but my entire perspective has changed. For me this isn’t about Whole30, or paleo, or macros…

It’s about overcoming emotional boundaries and creating a healthy relationship with food as a source of energy. 

This is just the beginning of my journey and I am so excited to share more with you as it unfolds. And I would love to share what I’ve learned with you if you feel prompted to know more! 

Mom Fail

It was one of those days where everything might have looked perfect on the outside and no one would have known about my mom fail moment.

But here’s what really happened…

I was feeling really awesome this morning for helping the kids create our summer bucket list… but that didn’t last long! 

I completely forgot that Clare had a dance performance tonight at the Cherry Festival and didn’t realize it until the very last minute. (2 hours before!) I thought we could make it but it was a total fail. We got there 5 minutes late and Clare was so upset. 

It wouldn’t have even been an issue if I hadn’t mentioned it, but she got all dressed up and ready to go and we barely missed it. I felt awful! 

Luckily the fair was awesome and they quickly forgot about the dance performance fiasco. It was such a fun night and the kids loved riding all the rides!

Going to the fair was something we had on our summer bucket list so we checked it off! 

I guess it’s a lesson learned because expectations and appearances can be so unrealistic and unattainable sometimes. No one would have known that I screwed up if I wasn’t willing to share my failure. Because nothing is exactly as it seems when filtered through the lens of social media. I have a hard time comparing myself to other moms that look like they have it all together. Because I know that my life will never be perfect! I’m just so grateful for the opportunity that I have to redeem myself whenever I get the chance… like bribing my kids with roller coasters and pizza. And here’s to hoping that they remember all the good times instead of the fails ❤

To The Stepmom,

To Michelle- the “stepmom”

It really is incredible that we were complete strangers a few years ago but now that our paths have crossed, we will always play a huge role in each other’s lives. We didn’t choose each other but here we are… raising a family together. 
So I have to be honest with you.

I hate that you share her last name and everyone probably assumes you are her only mom. She even resembles you sometimes.

The first time I heard her call you “mom” my heart shattered into pieces. I was so jealous. I couldn’t bear the thought of my daughter going to you for advice. I wanted to find a million reasons to hate you. 

But I can’t and I don’t. Not even a little. Because I see the way she looks at you. And I see the way you love her. I watch you put her first in your life as if she were your own. I know you fight for her, that we fight for her, for the same reasons. Because we both absolutely adore her. 

I’m thankful for everything you are, for your strength and dignity. I’m so grateful that you are an amazing role model for our daughter to look up to. You are selfless and patient and possess so many qualities that I admire. Sometimes I think you have more in common with Elle Kade than I do. And sometimes I still feel threatened by you. Because I know that there are things you can give her that I can’t. 

It’s taken me a long time to understand that it’s okay for me to feel insecure when I’m around you. Not because I don’t like you but because I look up to you and I see my flaws when I try to compare myself to you. 

I’m not perfect but neither are you. And that’s why she needs both of us. I’m so grateful that he chose you and that we are all in this together. 

I know I don’t tell enough how much I appreciate everything that you do. You are an amazing mother and an incredible person. And I want you to know that I truly couldn’t do this without you.

 Happy StepMother’s Day 💗