An update on “Time Shared”

I have edited this post quite a few times in hopes that I say all the right things and protect everyone involved. I walk a fine line with this subject and while I love sharing my story with you all, I always try my best to write with that in mind. 

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It’s been awhile since I did an update on the “time shared” aspect of our lives. I know there are some of you that are living, or have lived, a situation similar. I also know that my transparency in my experience with divorce, custody, and single parenting offers hope and support to some of you. Truly, this is therapy for all of us.

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A lot has changed since I wrote last. At the beginning of 2012, a 50/50 custody split became my reality. Half the time with her dad. Half with me. It was heartbreaking as a mom to give up half of her. Up until that point I was present for every milestone, every minute to her day, and suddenly some outsider was going to tell me what was in her best interest. I think the hardest part for me has always been putting my trust into someone that I never fully trusted to begin with. A year and a half later, and I still struggle with the same things. Just less of the time.

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The custody schedule quickly worked it’s way into my favor. And while I’ll never publicly express my opinions on him as a father, I’ll be transparent on the current state of things. I’ve learned over the past two years that what goes on during his watch is completely out of my control. All I can do is my part and fill in the gaps the best I can. The past two years have been spent fine tuning Landyn and I’s life. I’m more cautious. I ask questions. I stand up for myself. I speak up. I deal with things as they happen. I think ahead. I validate. I’m honest with myself.

I’m not saying any of this comes without drawbacks. Do I worry about the health of that father/daughter relationship? Absolutely. Does the time she does spend away from me still prove to be a struggle? 3 days of complete pit in my stomach anxiety. Does being a one parent show day in and day out become exhausting. Without a doubt but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Do I second guess myself and wonder if I am covering all the bases with her because no one else will? Definitely. I am working through all of these things as they are constantly swirling around in my head. I am not sure if I will ever be completely okay with any of it.

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It’s so easy to paint a perfect picture of our life through all the social media channels. I’ve been told I do that well. But the reality is no situation is perfect. Josh and I both give and take. There’s nights that this is the topic of our conversation and he listens to me vent. But I think the openness we share as a couple is what strengthens our bond and makes us work. He’s exactly what I need. His patience. His support. His dedication. Life currently has me feeling so incredibly blessed. I’m an advocate for anyone struggling in a bad situation to FIND YOUR HAPPINESS. It’s there I promise you. There may be times of struggle, but always stand up for yourself and do what is best for you.

I have myself one happy little girl. And for me, that is all that matters. She’s head over heels in love with her new home. She is thriving at school and has already found her little circle of girlfriends. Everyday when I pick her up, I watch her class enter into the classroom from outside play in a double file line. Seeing her hand in hand with her special friend for that day, puts a huge smile on my face every.single.time. The innocence. The cheer. The personality. I love seeing Landyn develop socially and spread her wings. I know as parents we want that much for our children. We mold them the best we can inside the home, so we get to see them thrive outside. She’s all mine and I couldn’t be more proud. Life is good. We are good.
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Lastly, my friends over at Groopdealz are celebrating their 3rd birthday! They are one of my daily stops for awesome deals and this week they are giving away some incredible prizes to celebrate. So head on over and enter. I know I am.
GroopDealz Birthday

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Lindsay

What does it mean to be a single mom?

{I wrote this as a guest post over here, but decided to share it on my space as well…} 

What does it mean to be a single mom?

Being a single mom means being a one women show every.single.day.

It means setting the dinner table for two…just the two of us.

It means holidays are split. Time is shared.

It means creating new memories and traditions.

It means being open to change, new people, new experiences.

It means doing your best even when you feel like throwing in the towel.

It means cutting yourself some slack and only choosing greatness going forward.

It means disciplining even though it’s your weak spot.

It means paying special attention to the needs of your child and not let anything slip through the cracks.

It means forgiveness.

It means having a solid support system… your family becomes your rock.

It means making life decisions on your own that support the best interest of your child.

It means standing on your own two feet and owning it.

I believe parenting was meant for two parents. A team of sorts that equally nurtures the needs of their child to the best of their ability. Single parenting? Definitely not what I had planned for my life.

A common theme here, is painting my role as a single mom in the most positive light possible. It’s me showing the world that this stereotype doesn’t have to be negative. It’s me being able to create a life for myself so I can be a stay at home single mom to my daughter while balancing two home based businesses. It’s allowing myself to have a life outside of being a mom and rediscovering what makes me tick. It’s pushing myself out of my comfort zone and realizing that Landyn and I have beautiful things that await us. It’s embracing being alone and working on myself from the inside out only to have a special someone step into your life when you least expect it.

While I’m certain this season of my life is only temporary, it’s been growth and I wouldn’t change a minute of it. I would be lying if I told you it’s been easy, but it’s being able to turn it around for good that has made it work for me. I understand that everyones situation is different and to that I am sensitive. I am simply sharing my views and how things have played out for me.

Photos c/o Love Letter Photography

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Lindsay

Weekends are for Family

I was always taught that weekends are for family.

To me, it was two days of guaranteed down time that was reserved for relaxing together or getting out and making memories.

It was about time spent.

Now that I am a mom, I am very aware of the family dynamic that holds strong around me.

It’s everywhere.

You can’t help but notice the families eating breakfast together on Saturday morning sharing stories of their week.

Or the family of 5 next to Landyn and I at Christmas time in their matching outfits ready to sit on Santa’s lap.

Or the photos you see on facebook of a night in by the fire with movies and popcorn…

Creating tradition. Making memories.

dress: Dashing Bee, bow: Aidies Hideaway

As girls we grow up playing barbies and dolls. We plan our weddings and name our babies. We are programed at an early age to crave family.

I think coming from a broken home as a child led me to crave this even more. I knew what a family was supposed to look like, and I wanted that.

Dad and Mom together. A couple kids. A house with a white picket fence.

And then you grow up and realize that life doesn’t always go according to planned. No family is perfect. No situation is ideal. Curve balls are thrown your way and you have no choice

but to sink or swim. I choose the latter.

While this past year has had many ups and downs, I have become 100% confident in being a one parent show within our household.

I am ok that our situation isn’t what I had visioned for my life because it allows me to look back on a year, and marvel at growth. It has taught me how delicate family can be and how

important it is to foster those relationships with everything you have. It has me seeing that yes, your happiness does matter and true love exists.

Absolutely, it’s hard to take Landyn out on the weekends and see cute families out enjoying life, and not want that. But I trust that in time, we will have that and it will be beautiful. We

are slowly piecing that puzzle back together and it feels good.

its not LA without the food trucks 

You want to know what makes this single parenting thing OK?

Time spent with MY family.

When push comes to shove, your roots will never fail you.

Landyn and I have a tradition where we spend a day every other weekend with my dad and sister.

Something about time spent in their neck of the woods fills me up. Weather it’s a shopping day down Ventura Blvd, lunch and a stroll thru the farmers market, or laughing at my dad’s

jokes… it’s good for the soul.

family,

 The love I have for my family has rubbed off onto Landyn and in turn she loves them fierce.

Creating tradition. Making memories.

This is my family and this is what it’s all about.

Lucky Puppy Rescue & Retail  a upscale rescue and boutique that provides an inviting atmosphere for families to meet the newest member of their family. 

This is Elmo…she was in love.

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Lindsay

A year in review: Where I am at

I’m back!

The holiday’s proved to be harder on me than I had imagined, so I took a little breather…

divorce, moving on, soul searching, hard stuff, relatioships

With the closing of 2012, I have been compiling a year in review of sorts in my head. A mental awareness of life that has happened this year, both good and bad. I am digging deep into the archives of my mind and revisiting some of the heavier times thrown my way this year. I am revisiting emotions I felt this time last year as the holidays approached or when my marriage came to an end. I am combing through the days of uncertainity when my life was in the hands of the California legal system. The days I felt completely defeated as a parent and had to become a half time mom just like every other parent that becomes the victim of divorce. Or the point when I developed a love affair for a small town in Kentucky, because it allowed me to run from my pain at home, my reality.

 And then I revisit my blog posts of this past year, and while they parallel my emotions felt at that moment in time to some extent, there came a point when my words masked what was really going on in my life. My usual transparent self, completely shut down. I no longer wanted to document my life because there was nothing about it I felt proud of. I didn’t want you to know that the things that built me up, the things I had spent years pouring my heart and soul into, like this space, my handmade business, or being a leader in my MOPS group at church, I completely withdrew from. These very things that hold me accountable on a day to day basis, I pushed away, for that would mean I would have to face my reality, and I wasn’t ready for that. I kept my life long friends close, but shut everyone else out.

 I felt guilty when the emails poured in from people in similar situations or girl friends asking how I made being a single mom look so easy. I am so far from having this life perfected you guys. So I shut down.

I was having this internal battle on what direction to take this blog. I wanted to stay true to my real, honest, heartfelt brand that everyone knew me for, but didn’t want to reveal my current reality. I considered going a different route all together where I didn’t have to expose so much of ME, but I knew I wanted to stay true to myself and my offering to you all, writing and sharing my story. I was torn. I didn’t want to walk away completely from this space, but I knew I needed to take a step back.  I decided to take the focus off my personal life and narrowed in more on my love for personal style and my mission to help others create health in their lives. Both things I could share with passion without having to be vulnerable in my personal life.

Where am I currently you ask?

I feel as though I’ve been living under a rock for a year (it has been a year this month since Chris and I filed for divorce), and am just now coming up to face my reality. I closed a heavy chapter with Kentucky in mid November because the cards were not aligning and the distance was unbearable. And while I don’t have much to say on that entire relationship, I can tell you I learned a lot. I went into something before I had healed from my divorce, which at the time seemed doable because we lived 3,000 miles apart and minimal time was being exerted from my day to day life. It was simply a distraction and someone to talk to at the end of the day. It was one fun, carefree weekend a month where my reality back home could be escaped. Don’t get me wrong, I have left a piece of my heart in that small town. I will forever cherish the friendships I made, the lessons I learned, and most importantly what being there taught me. And who’s to say one day God won’t lead me back there?…. but for the time being I need some time to heal from that chapter too. For now, I have some work to do on myself. The pain still cuts deep you guys. What I am grateful for is the friendship that Chris and I have recently committed to. It’s been a roller coaster with us, but we have come to a common ground of forgiveness and there’s nothing more I could ask for at this point. I respect him as a father. I respect him as a friend. I’m not sure there was any other person I could do this co parenting thing with. So for that I am grateful. I am standing on my own two feet and thank God everyday for my two supportive parents, my sister, and that little girl that brings me more joy then anything on this earth. I know I couldn’t do it without them. In the meantime, I am taking it one day at a time, and really focusing on getting back to me. I am learning what it means to be single and how to truly embrace that. I am working thru my weaknesses so I go into my next relationship willing and able to give all of me.

And in getting back to me, comes getting back to the blog. Back to what I build this space on. Thank you all for your love and support over this past year and continuing to follow me on this crazy journey. I love each and every one of you.

Here’s to new beginnings.

Happy New Year.

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Lindsay