Happy 5th Birthday Landyn Noella

5 years ago today, I became a momma to the most perfect baby girl.

5 years ago today my life was forever changed as I began wearing my heart outside my body.

5 years ago today, my purpose in life finally became clear and never again would I know life without her in it.

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 It’s been 5 years of pure joy because she is all mine. For better or worse we have made it through.

Happy 5th birthday Landyn Noella.

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You are strong willed like your Dad, yet sensitive like your Mommy.

You are a natural creator, imaginative, gentle, and bright.

You rule the roost around here, and love those puppies of yours big.

You are inquisitive beyond your years… Your brain is always moving.

You’d prefer a new outfit to toys, and laundry day and shopping are your favorite.

You LOVE our Joshy way more than I ever expected, and it warms my heart to see that relationship grow.

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Your Mimi, Pop Pops, and Aunt G are your whole world as is all your family. You have so many to love.

You love play dates, bagels for breakfast, dancing, and country music.

You want so badly to be a big sister, and I just know you will own that role.

You stretch me in ways I never thought possible and I am thankful for that.

I love you big girl. Kindergarden here we come.

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xoxo

Mommy

Lindsay

We are ENGAGED!!

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My week took a VERY unexpected turn.

Thursday afternoon, Josh took me to lunch in Malibu where our story first began. The spot of our first date, where we shared our first kiss. He got down on one knee, got as sappy as I’ve ever seen him, and with four words, gave me my happily ever after. I knew from the first time we met, he was different from the rest, and with time proved that our gut doesn’t lie.

Josh is my forever and I am so excited to announce that we are ENGAGED!!

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The past 4 days have been a complete whirlwind. Life has come to a hault as I let it all sink in. I’m soaking up every feeling, every touch, every word of love and encouragement. I am on a high and I never want it to end.

 I’m engaged to a man that makes me a better version of myself. A man that stretches me to be better, challenges me, loves me unconditionally, and most importantly loves my daughter like his own.

I came across this post today, when I first introduced you to Josh, and my words couldn’t be more spot on from the start:

“I’ll never forget our first date…The minute our eyes met as I walked towards him standing up against his truck to greet me. The smile he flashed me. Our first hug and me realizing how attractive 6’3″ is. The smell of his cologne. The black peacoat he wore to impress me with his sense of style that I haven’t seen since. Him opening the car door for me, and every door there after. Effortless conversation. The way he made me laugh. The way he looked at me. The way his hand fit perfectly in mine. Our first kiss”.

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I’m on cloud nine.

……

Landyn came home from a week away at her Dad’s and Josh and I knew exactly how we wanted to share the news with her. Josh gifted her with a special pearl necklace and asked her permission to marry “Mommy”. She of course answered with “YES, I want a sister”. She followed it up with a “Joshy is the best, we love him” and the biggest hug and kiss her little body could give him. My heart became mush and just like that, the past 5 years became clear as day.

It feels so good to be in it for the right reasons. To do things the way I always envisioned for my life. I get the opportunity to have my Dad walk me down the aisle for the first time and ball my eyes out as we have our father/daughter dance. To have my best friends and my sister as my bridesmaids and dress shop with my Mom. To be surrounded by 100 of our closest friends and family as we promise each other ‘till death do us part. And to have my baby girl by my side through it all. It feels good.

I’ve waited a long time for this and I am thanking GOD for the detour life gave me. I finally got it right.

Thank you all for your love and encouragement across the social media board this past weekend. We have read every single comment and from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

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Let the wedding planning begin!!!

I love you Josh Baltimore. I can’t wait to become your wife.

Lindsay

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

Disneyland

As a kid, my Dad was never a fan of Disneyland. I remember seeing photos of our family trips to the “happiest place on earth” and my Dad looking everything but happy. He hates crowds, lines, and waiting, so Disneyland has never stood a chance.

Fast forward 25 years, and you get your Dad taking his two daughters and GRANDDAUGHTER to Disneyland.

You know your dad loves you when…

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IMG_6008There was a 3 hour wait to meet Elsa and Anna of Frozen. We ain’t got time for THAT. 

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IMG_6058Crusin with Pop Pops.

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IMG_6072My first Dole whip. As good as they are cracked up to be. 

IMG_6079I love my family.

IMG_6090Front row parade seats.

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IMG_6096Mesmerized by the Disney princesses.

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IMG_6097Seeing Elsa made Landyn’s whole year.

IMG_6118Sugar high.

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IMG_6134Chocolate face. Sign of a day well spent.

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It was the perfect day for all of us. Landyn consumed way too many sweets, I got to try my very first Dole Whip (heaven on earth), and we all got to spend quality time together, just the four of us. I may be bias, but Landyn has the best grandparents around. Love you Dad and Mom.

This was Landyn’s third time at Disneyland and by far the best yet. She is a month shy of 5, and I think this is the age they really grasp the Disney magic. Landyn is already asking to go back, naturally, and I’ve toyed with the idea of a season pass, since we don’t live all that far. When I contimplate something I always go back to how I was raised and for me Disneyland was always a “special” place. A place we’d go for birthday’s, finishing my grueling final exams, graduations. I never want Landyn to take for grantid.

 

Lindsay