Single & Free

*I wrote this on September 2, 2023 as a journal entry to myself. I was so proud of the growth I had made in my life and wanted to document exactly how I was feeling in the moment. I’m sharing my thoughts with you today:

I have been single for 6 months now.  There is no one I’m dating or hoping to get into a relationship with.  And it’s amazing!!!

I love being single so much I don’t have any desire to be in a relationship at all!!  I know that’s a really bold statement to make.  And I mean it from the depths of my heart.  I do not see myself getting into a relationship for a very long time.  I’m enjoying being single way to much!

It has taken me a long time and has been a difficult journey to get to this place of happiness with being single.

Until recently, I have always been in relationships, it’s all I have ever known.  I got married when I was 20 years old.  Then when I got divorced 5 years ago all I wanted was to find my person and get married again.  Being in a relationship felt safe, it was comforting.  During these 5 years there has always been someone I’m dating or interested in/talking to.   

I was afraid to be single.  I didn’t want to feel the loneliness of being at home all by myself with no one to share the evening with.  I didn’t want to feel the discomfort of showing up to a party or event alone.  I didn’t want to have that feeling of having the best, most exciting news- and not having my person to call and share it with.

In March I went thru a break up.  It was really difficult.  I cried, I was depressed, I was hurting.  This is a man I have known for 4 years.  We have been friends, we have dated, we have been thru so much life together.  But it just wasn’t meant to be.  Turning 40 in April made the breakup even harder.  My milestone birthday felt like a magnifying glass on the fact that I was single and all alone.  No one to share my life with.  Then two weeks after my birthday I went to my sisters wedding.  Another opportunity for life to scream in my face I’m alone.

As summer approached I started to feel more like myself.  The fog of sadness from the break up was starting to lift.  I went on a really bad date the end of May, you can read about it here.  All that experience said to me is I don’t want to date at all.  So I committed to myself to stay single all summer.  I wouldn’t even think about men.  I would focus on myself, my kids and my career.

In the place of discomfort is where we grow the most.  During this time of discomfort I pressed into Jesus and looked at my own heart.  Why have I been so afraid of being alone?  What have I been seeking from other people?

Fast forward to today… I feel so free and I’m so happy to be single!!  I do not feel alone or lonely.  I feel strong, independent, confident!  I have learned how to love spending time all alone.  No one around, no distractions… just me.  I have found so much peace and joy in being alone.  I have learned how to fully love myself and not need anything or anyone to complete me.  The only acceptance I desire is from God and from within myself.  There is so much freedom in that!

I am finally enjoying the perks of being single!  I get to do whatever I want, whenever I want.  If I want to blast music till 2:00am, throw my clothes on the floor, eat in bed and sleep till noon- I can!!  If I want to watch trash tv while eating ice cream out of the container- I can!  I get to choose what I want for dinner, what I watch on tv without having a conversation with anyone about it.  It’s amazing!!  I had no idea being single is this freeing!

Obviously this is all within reason of my responsibilities of being a Mom.  But you get my point.

I’m starting to wonder if I will ever date again.  Part of me thinks it might be nice to share my life with someone.  But the bigger part of me is loving this freedom so much, I don’t think I will ever want to give it up. 

It’s taken me a long time to get to this place of feeling free & peaceful.  I’m loving every moment of it!  I am so excited for the journey and where life will take me.

*one month after writing this I met an amazing man. It was completely unexpected!! We have been dating ever since and it keeps getting better and better! It’s so interesting how life works :)

5 Outfits for the Busy Woman

I feel like I’m always busy, always pulled in so many different directions. On a normal day, I rarely stop to think about what I’m going to wear. When I’m driving my kids around, running errands, etc; I want to look cute and feel pulled together. But I rarely spend the time thinking about it. So I end up grabbing the same baggy sweatpants or leggings and not feeling great about how I look. I took the time to put together a couple of outfits that are both comfortable (bc comfort is sooo important to me!) and look good.

Top | Pants | Sneakers | Watchband | Bracelets | Crystal Tennis Bracelet | Cross Necklace

Denim Jacket | Graphic Tee | Leggings (Lululemon Align dupe leggings!) | Watchband | Bracelets | Crystal Tennis Bracelet | Cross Necklace

Blazer | Graphic Tee | Flare Leggings | Sneakers | Watchband | Bracelets | Crystal Tennis Bracelet | Cross Necklace

NFL Sweatshirt (comes in all the teams) | Slouch Socks | Sneakers | Leggings (Lululemon Align dupe leggings!) | Watchband | Bracelets | Crystal Tennis Bracelet | Cross Necklace

Cardigan Hoodie | T-Shirt | Leggings (Lululemon Align dupe leggings!) | Watchband | Bracelets | Crystal Tennis Bracelet | Cross Necklace

My Dating Diary :: The One Where Everything Was Wrong

It all started the weekend I was celebrating my 40th birthday.  I threw a party at my house on a Friday night.  I had a blast!  Then I went to bed alone and woke up alone.  I spent most of Saturday at home all by myself.  I didn’t like this feeling of alone.  So I decided I wanted to put myself out there and try to meet someone.  How would I do that?  My life circles around my kids & work.  I don’t ever meet anyone.  I don’t ever go anywhere to have an opportunity to meet anyone.  So I signed up for a dating app, Hinge to be exact.

I’m taking a moment for a deep breath… signing up for a dating app was my first mistake.  I have tried them before in the past and it always turns out bad.  I’m not sure why I thought this time would be different.

I chatted with quite a few people.  But every time it got to the point of meeting up, I would flake out and say no.  Finally after 6 weeks of doing this I committed to a date.  Ready or not, I forced myself to get out there and try.  

I agreed to meet this man at a the restaurant.  He was new in town and asked that I choose the restaurant.  I arrived on time, he was 10 minutes early.  When I got there he was not waiting for me by the door or the hostess stand.  No, he was at the bar with a drink in his hand talking to 2 women.

I should have walked out right then.  But my curiosity got the best of me.  Someone once said to me: “a mans confidence is both impressive & horrifying all at the same time”.  It’s so true!  Where do they get the nerve to act certain ways as if it’s okay.  I kinda wanted to see what else he would do.  Plus, I was dressed, out of the house and hungry.

We sat down at the table.  I ordered a glass of wine and we ordered some appetizers, then entrees.  The conversation was interesting to say the least.  He went on and on about his meal prep and how he is not used to eating this kind of food.  Keep in mind- he requested I pick an Italian restaurant.  He ordered pasta, then complained about the pasta and how he never eats pasta! 

He complained about the vacation he recently took with his son.  About the weight of the bags, the charge for bags, the charge for seats on the plane, etc.  Complained about his move to Tampa, complained about his neighborhood, the amenities, how the community pool has rules he doesn’t like.  He is unable to hang his tv or art and couldn’t get anyone out to his house for another week.  This is a huge turn off for me.  I need a man who is handy and can do simple things around this house.  I can hang a tv and art and drapes all by myself.  I need a man who is able to do more around the house than I can.

He complained that his ex wife is crazy.  Oh, he has 2 ex wives.  Didn’t know that!  He can’t make it past 6 years of marriage for either one.  He bragged about how much money he makes and that he gets Botox to stay looking young.  He expects any woman he is interested in to have the same mindset about looking good.

He talked so much I barely said anything.  But the worse thing he said is that he choose to relocate to Tampa, leaving his son in Indiana.  He has lived in the same city as his son his whole life.  But now that his son is 13 he choose to move across the country.  He tried to sell me on this idea like it was a great thing for his son.  I want no part of a man that can up and leave his child.  He made it clear he had a great job in Indiana and choose to get a different job and move.  For no other reason than him wanting to be in warm weather.

He kept saying how he was having a great time and he can’t wait to see me again.  Towards the end of the meal he seemed to be in a hurry but kept asking me what restaurant we were going to next time.  It didn’t make sense.  If he wanted to see me again, why do I feel like he is rushing to leave.  I can’t count how many times he asked me what night next week I am free and what restaurant will we go to.  The whole thing was off.

He ate his entree so fast.  Then got up and went to the bathroom, while I was still eating my entree.  I think that is such bad manners.  Do not leave me sitting at the table alone while I’m eating my entree.  Wait until I’m finished then get up. 

Then the thing that pissed me off the most!!!  When the server brought over the dessert menu, he immediately said no and did not give me a chance to answer.  Do not deny me dessert!!!  What if I wanted dessert?!  What if I wanted to order every dessert on the menu and take one bite of each and just look at them.  Never decide for me whether I will eat dessert or not!

As we were leaving the restaurant I asked him where he was parked.  He never asked me. Then he leaned in for a side hug and tried to kiss me.  My body jerked back in shock.  Like WTF!!??  I said good bye and walked off.  He basically ran off in the opposite direction.  He never offered to walk me to my car or asked me where I parked to make sure I was safe. 

When I got into my car and thought it was all over… 20 minutes later he messages me “just got here, where are you?”  He was meeting another woman after me.  That’s why he was in a hurry to get going but kept asking to see me again.  When I wrote back and confronted him about it, he lied.  He said that message was meant for me and he sent it earlier but the app messed up and sent it late.  LOL!!  How dumb does he think I am?!  I understand how online dating works.  Most people are talking to several people at a time, going on several dates a week.  I don’t care.  But don’t schedule someone immediately after me.

After I let him know he was lying, he never messaged me again.  I went home and deleted the dating app.

I did see him 2 months later while I was out to dinner with friends.  It was obvious he was there to meet someone.  I saw him from across the restaurant, I don’t think he saw me.  A man like that should not be going on dates.

Although the date was sooo bad!  I did get in my car and laugh all the way home.  I truly am amazed at how ridiculous some people can act.

OUTFIT DETAILS

Top (huge sale!) | Earrings | Lipstick shade ‘Comin in Hot | Shoes | Tulle Ballgown | Lashes

The Greatest Parenting Success is the Most Heartbreaking

I have been a Mother since the age of 25.  Well, I had Sofia when I was 25.  I have always felt like I was born to be a Mom.  I have dreamed my whole life of having children.  It’s all I ever wanted.  I was married at 20, started trying to have a baby at 23.  I had some complications keeping a pregnancy before I had my children.  Read my journey here.  Then I was blessed with two beautiful healthy children.

I have always been very intentional about being a Mom.  I have taken this role, this responsibility, this privilege very seriously. I have always felt like God has gifted me with these two beautiful children.  It is my honor to raise them into the best people I know how to.

I have always been focused on enjoying the present and not missing a moment.  And at the exact same time, focusing on how I can help raise my children into the best adults.  Towing this line is a dance.  

Every phase they are going thru is wonderful; even if that stage is challenging.  I always find the beauty in it.  Because I know once they have outgrown that phase, it’s gone forever.  I take it all in, I enjoy every moment.  At the same time I’m also focused on the future. How is my parenting and their behavior going to look when they are adults?  

If there is a behavior that I find unacceptable, I do not focus on how to change it for the immediate future.  I do not focus on changed behavior for 5 minutes or for a day.  I focus on instilling values that will shape who they are as people.  I want them to choose the right path because they want to, not because I’m telling them to.  Much of this comes from me having conversations with them and explaining the Why behind everything.

There are only a few short years I had with my kids at home where I got to see everything.  Once they are off to school all day long, 5 days a week; there is so much I do not see and I’m not in control of.  And the older they get the more true this is.  I don’t know the conversations Sofia is having with her friends at school.  I don’t know a lot of things my kids are doing because I’m not actually there to see it.  I have to trust them.  I have to trust I have raised them to make the best choices.

My goal as a Mom has been to raise confident, independent adults.  I want them to always know I love them.  I want them to chase after their dreams and never settle.  I want them to reach for the stars and run after it so aggressively, knowing that I am their safety net.  I want them to know how to take care of themselves and not be completely clueless to simple life tasks.

Recently I can see I am being successful.  It is the most proud and most heartbreaking thing.  I am watching my children be so independent, so confident, doing so many things on their own.  They don’t need me to make them breakfast or pack a lunch or do their laundry or help them with homework.  They know how to do it all!! And that’s so amazing!!

I know they will always need me.  But not in the same way.  It all shifts as they get older and start doing things on their own.  They may not need me to make them breakfast, but I know they love it when I do.  It’s just different.

I am so very aware of this change happening.  It’s like I can tangibly see it right in front of my eyes.  And time keeps going quicker.  I am soaking up every single moment I get with them.  I know I’m going to blink and I will be driving Sofia to college.  Then Caleb is just 2 years behind her.

This last Saturday morning I woke up before them.  I got my coffee and got back into bed.  As I was sipping my coffee and reading, Caleb woke up and came into my room.  He crawled into bed, under the sheets and got cozy.  He still had that sleepy, just woke up look.  It was so precious.  Then Sofia woke up and came over.  The three of us, and Phoebe, sat in bed for at least 30 minutes talking and laughing.  During that time I took a pause.  I looked at each of them and the moment, I took a mental picture.  I told myself to always remember this moment.  It’s moments like these that make life so beautiful.

Then that night I found myself sitting alone watching a movie while they were hanging out with their friends.  This is the part of parenting I was not prepared for.  I spend a good amount of time alone, sitting around in case they need me.  The older they get the more independent lives they have.  Their friends, their activities, their social life, their plans.  This is exactly how it should be, but I was not ready for it to happen.

I can feel this pulling away.  This desire to have more independence separate from me.  I feel is especially from Sofia when she started high school. I can’t hold on too tight just because I’m feeling emotional.  I have to let go a little.  Let her practice flying while she is still living at home and I can catch her if she falls.

My greatest joy and proudest moment is when she will be able to fly high and soar all on her own.  But it will also break my heart to not have her in my nest any more.  And that is why the greatest parenting success is also the most heartbreaking.