On Co-parenting

I am always in awe when I see two set of parents, no longer together, that can be friends.

You always want what you can’t have, and for me, this is most definitely something I strive for.

Even if it’s only a “you are doing a good job in my eyes”, or “Landyn is okay, feel free to call her whenever”, or “I noticed she is having a hard time, let’s talk about that”.

Basic communication and respect as her parents. Seems painless right?

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 When I sit down and think about my expectations for my co-parenting relationship, I realize it will always be a revolving door. You see, it would be so easy to keep things black and white. But divorce is so far from that. Divorce is a million shades of grey. There are good days and bad. Peace and anger. Influences you have no control of. I’ve hurt and been hurt. We are human. But the reality is, we both found happiness on the other side of it all at Landyn’s expense. That’s the part that gets me.

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All I know is every other weekend I send my girl off to her Dad’s, my entire world becomes void. Is she ok? Did she eat lunch and get to bed on time? Is she happy or sad? Does she miss me as much as I miss her? My heart skips beats and my breathing gets heavy. The entire situation consumes my existence. I feel like I’m being robbed of being a mom 100% of the time. It’s not what I signed up for.

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Chris and I have had a few good conversations over the years. The ones that I leave feeling full and good about our role as parents. But every time, the 50 million shades of grey get in the way. And I am left disappointed for my baby girl.

IMG_8275-.jpgLandyn’s dress c/o Elk Dresses // headband c/o Vintage Rose Wraps // sandals: Target

I struggle with these raw posts. Every time I write them, I feel like I have to hold back so much. This is a day by day situation and I am really doing my best without letting it completely consume my life. I hope one day the revolving doors will bring me more clarity. In the meantime I have so much to be grateful for, as this is only a slice of my reality. Landyn and I have a beautiful life that we would not have been given otherwise. My girl is strong, and confident, and funny, and loving. She’s creative and wise beyond her years. She has two families that love her very much and that is something that will never be compromised.

I challenge you to hug a single parent today. Hands down the hardest job out there. All YOU rocking it are my heros. xo

Lindsay

Red Balloons for Ryan

I woke up today with news that is every parents worst nightmare. My real life friend of Baby Boy Bakery lost her 3 1/2 year old son tragically on Friday after being struck by a truck. Friend or not, stories like this rock us to the core. I’ve been sifting through so many emotions today that the day has been a complete blur. Nothing I say or do will ever be enough to take away the pain Jacqui and Dan are feeling.

You can read the entire story over at Alissa’s blog here.

(her website has been down all day due to high amounts of traffic so keep checking back)

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And while there is nothing any of us can do to take their pain away, I will be donating 100% of the profits from Paper Doll Clothing Company this week to Jacqui and her family to help with funeral costs and loss of income while mourning this unspeakable tragedy.

Other’s way you can help:

Show your love to the family with hashtag #redballoonsforryan on Instagram. There is over 11,000 posts just TODAY! What an amazing community we have.

Purchase “Ryan’s necklace” designed by Lisa Leonard Designs. $5 of every purchase will go directly to Ryan’s family.

Donate directly here.

Purchase this adorable shirt from GeoFox in memory of Ryan.

And lastly, please keep this family in your prayers. There lives will never go according to how they planned. It’s times like this that put even the hardest days as a mom in perspective.

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On the eve of my 31st birthday, I’m counting my blessings as today was a reminder of how precious life really is. I pray for Jacqui and Dan and anyone else that will go to bed tonight with empty beds in their house. May they find the smallest amount of peace.

xo

Lindsay

On fear

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photo credit: Bows & Arrow Photography

I’ve come to realize that fear is something I struggle with. Fear of the unknown. Fear of death. Fear of what other people think. I was sitting outside yesterday afternoon watching Landyn play and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I am so blessed. I have my health. I have a beautiful home. I get to be home everyday to watch my daughter grow up. I don’t have a boss to answer too. I have the most supportive boyfriend that loves me unconditionally and makes me a better person with each passing day. I have parents that people only wish for. So if I have so many blessings in my life, why the hell do I let fear hold me down? Why do I let it rob me of joy? Why can’t I live in the present and trust goodness for my life?

I truly believe that the only way to have complete peace in your life it to have a relationship with God. Me and religion comes in waves. I believe, but I am disconnected. I want to find my place in a church, but I am not sure where I fit in. Some of the people I admire most in this life are Godly women. They radiate joy and peace. Their inner beauty shines through. I envy them truly. I wish I could be half the women they are.

I tend to convince myself that I am the only person on this earth that suffers from panic attacks. That I am the only single mother entrepreneur trying to provide for her and her daughter. Should I go back to the corporate world so I “appear” more stable? That I am screwing up as a mother. That because I am a single mom I need to compensate elsewhere by being super model skinny or financially successful.

Where do you draw the line? When is enough enough? I waste so much time talking myself down from fear and worry. I know exactly how to calm myself and the power of breathing and exercise. So why does this stuff continue to paralyze? Why can’t I let up on myself?

I wish I could end this post with all the answers. But the reality is, I have none. I think this is why I have been so distant from this space. If I am going to share, I believe I must have some sort of resolution. I know people out there struggle with similar feelings and want answers. I know that the 30,000 page views a month aren’t just strangers. They are family, friends, acquaintances at my daughters preschool and dance class, my boyfriends family and friends. I fear appearing weak in their eyes. Blogging can be a very vulnerable place. And because of that I wonder at what point will I close the book all together. Do I want to embark on this next chapter of life and let the world in on it too?

For now, I am going to come here and just let my raw emotions unfold. Sometimes my thoughts might be jumbled or sentences won’t be complete. I apologize in advance. Maybe I’ll throw a cuss word in here and there. But I’m working on being more open about my fears because they are real and we all struggle with them.

Why isn’t it the things worth saying that we are most afraid of?

xo

Lindsay

On Bullying…

With motherhood comes peoples opinions, advice, and what they know to be true.

Some things you take to heart and watch out for, and others you sweep under the rug.

One thing I’ve heard on repeat since Landyn started preschool is that bullying starts young.

And for the past year and a half it hasn’t become an issue, until recently.

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I’ve read up on what it takes to raise a daughter. I know about fostering self esteem and giving them the proper armor to deal with life. I know about mean girls. But when your four year old tells you at bedtime that kids are calling her ugly and that they don’t want to be her friend, your momma bear defenses kick in.

I was painfully shy in elementary school. I clung to the same friends and didn’t have the self esteem to go out and meet new friends. I’ve been there. I know the anxiety of sitting alone at lunch or friends backstabbing you. I know how to fake sick so I don’t have to give an oral presentation or go without lunch because I was too shy to tell my teacher that I forgot my lunch. I remember these feelings like it was yesterday. They are still very real for me.

Nothing can prepare you for the day you hear this from your 4 1/2 year old though. Every bit of wisdom you’ve ever been given immediately goes down the drain. All I knew to do was kiss her head and tell her she’s the most beautiful girl in the world. Because to me she is.

We went on to talk about how that made her feel and how she should respond to that girl with her feelings. We have to empower our children. Landyn knows she should walk away and pick other kids to play with. We’ve talked about teachers being her safe zone when she’s at school at mommy isn’t there.

Now don’t get me wrong, Landyn thrives in school. She participates in class and has a group of friends that she just adores. There just always will be those mean kids. They are everywhere.

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Growing up, I always despised those “tattle tale moms”. You know, the ones that ran to the teacher every time something went wrong for their child. But the thing is when you become a mom and are wearing your heart outside your body, instinct kicks in and you will do whatever it takes to protect your kid. I was that mom last week. My intent wasn’t to tattle, but rather inform. There is a difference.

As much as I want to teach Landyn about conflict resolution and prepare her for bullying, I want her to know that there is so much good in the world. I’ve raised my daughter to be gentle and loving and I want to empower her to encounter gentle souls just like her. I want her to know community and friendship. Women should build each other up, encourage, and relate to one another. I’ve been blessed with a couple beautiful friendships in my life that I cling to tight. Two girls in particular play an important part of who I am.

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photo credit: Bows and Arrow Photography

I always love your feedback. Has anyone else experienced bullying with their kids? How did you handle it?

Lindsay