Finally.

After 16 months of divorce proceedings, on October 23, the judge granted my divorce. HALLE-FRICKIN-LUJAH. I don’t mean that to sound so sacrilegious, but YALL that took forever.  I seriously feel like a 120lb pack has been taken off my back. I’m free.

After all the fighting and custody issues, guess what? He fought and fought, and he has cancelled 2 times since October 23. It’s only November 6.

I don’t have time to write much more, because I’ve got finals approaching this next week so I’m gonna leave this victory right here and continue having a party.

They made me do it….

I have been reflecting on my little twinkie butts this past week. They turn 2. My precious little babies turn 2 years old on Saturday. They aren’t babies anymore. In fact they are raging toddlers. RAGING. Two tiny little terrors who tag-team and destroy the world around them. I love them to pieces, and I can’t imagine life without them being the dynamic duo that they are.

Sometimes I find myself thinking about what life would be like, if they never entered it. I would have had my oldest (because honestly, I tried to go back pre-kids and I can’t do it) and it would have been me and her. Would I have had to the courage to leave the the abusive relationship? Would I have made her live in a home where dad was allowed to treat mom like shit? Where people yell and cry, and she gets to be the only witness to it all? Honestly, I have a hard time imagining life without the twins, because they have pushed me to be something greater than I was. Not that I’m saying I’m great now, but they put me in a situation where I had to choose to be brave and fight.

When I was pregnant with the twins most of the hard core stuff was happening with my ex. That is when the 2 overdoses occurred and mayhem came around like bees who had their hive disrupted. It was just me and her (well the other two were along for the ride, but easier to manage at that point). I could pick her up and take her wherever I was going. One kid wasn’t hard to take care of. I didn’t feel guilty leaving her with people because she was the cutest kid ever and there was only one of her. When my twins were born, shit kept hitting the fan (honestly, I never knew there could be so much shit, but there was). It came to the point, where taking my one child and running off to a safe place wasn’t an option. Now I had 3 people I had to run off with, 2 who were newborns. Life became more difficult, and I found myself at a crossroads. My ex was losing it one night and I told him to go spend the night at a hotel, because I needed him to leave because I was scared. He decided he was leaving for good that night and packed all his things and claimed I kicked him out. My parents were with me, and my mom helped me take care of the twins during the night.

The point I’m trying to make is the twins made me stand up for myself. When I just had one kid I ran. I was able to run off. With 3- I had to stand and defend myself because that was the only choice I had. It hasn’t been an easy choice, in fact its the hardest choice I’ve ever made.

If someone told my 21 yr old self that at the age of 31 I would be a divorced mom with 3 toddlers, I would have said that person doesn’t know me very well, because that is not who I am and I don’t believe in divorce. 21 year old me had never experienced any abuse like 30 year old me had, or had the mama bear instincts that 30 year old me had (am I right, mamas!?).  I often find myself wondering who is gonna want a woman who is in her early 30’s with 3 small kids. I don’t know any guy who would take on that, to an instant family of 5, but I trust that the decision I made is what’s best for all of us, and I have peace about it.

So while, I feel like the twins have pushed me to my limits in every area of my life, they stopped me from running away from my problems to facing them head on. Thanks for the push kids. I can’t imagine my life without the 3 of you.

 

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Newborn photo. Courtesy Mulberry Lane

Theme Music for Seasons of Life

Have you ever had a theme song? I feel like at different times in my life, I find a song a like and then I play it 1 million times. Around the time I was planning my wedding and getting married it was 2013. Hillsong had just come out with a new album and I became obsessed with their song Oceans. I couldn’t figure out how to incorporate the song into my wedding, because well its about God being there when you suffer, more or less. Forward to 2.5 years later when I was driving to go pick up formula thickener for my twins and this song came on the radio by Bethel Music You Make Me Brave. I listened to it and then for months after I listened to it over and over and over again. It even became part of the reason I named this blog “A Brave New Tomorrow”. So when I heard this mash up of the two songs- it touched me. All the tears, kind of touched me.  It’s literally a mashup of the journey I’ve been on the past 4 years. Here- take a listen Oceans//You Make me Brave. I feel like they recorded it for me, because obviously I’m that important!

To me, these songs are reminders that God has purpose in all the suffering. I know He is working all for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purposes. In case you need to know, that verse is about suffering, and we aren’t promised a life without suffering. I’m just glad I have a God that loves me and works through the pain to show me greater and deeper love than I’ve ever known.

take a listen to the songs. I hope they encourage you, like they do me.

“For happiness is anyone and anything at all, That’s loved by you”-You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown

What’s life if you don’t take chances. See, I am back to school to be a counselor. I had been a counselor (of sorts) before, and I remember telling someone “I’m a counselor because I believe people can change”. While I can say I’ve now seen some things, I can still say that, but someone has to want to change. I also believe if you aren’ happy in life, you should do something to change that. While I’m not a prosperity gospel type gal- I do believe we get choose some things, and those choices directly effect our happiness. Do something different. Work on yourself. Do something that makes you happy. It will be worth it. If you need counseling- DO IT (I promise, counseling is not for the weak, I actually believe it’s for the strong). I have a counselor. It’s awesome. I recommend it for people who don’t even have major issues. It’s just nice to have an unbiased ear to talk to. I’m often reminded of the lyrics to the song “Happiness” from Your a Good Man Charlie Brown.

 
Happiness is finding a pencil
Pizza with sausage
Telling the time
Happiness is learning to whistle
Tying your shoe for the very first time
Happiness is playing the drum in your own school band
And happiness is walking hand in hand
Happiness is two kinds of ice cream
Knowing a secret
Climbing a tree
Happiness is five different crayons
Catching a firefly
Setting him free
Happiness is being alone every now and then.
And happiness is coming home again
Happiness is morning and evening
Daytime and nighttime too
For happiness is anyone and anything at all
That’s loved by you
Happiness is having a sister
Sharing a sandwich
Getting along
Happiness is singing together when day is through
And happiness is those who sing with you
Happiness is morning and evening
Daytime and nighttime too
For happiness is anyone and anything at all
That’s loved by you
-You’re a good man, Charlie Brown.

 

These are all little things, but tell me you didn’t smile while you read this-thinking about your own life or childhood.So, do something that makes you happy. What makes you happy?

me? well I enjoy going to Costco by myself. I know- but there is something therapeutic about wandering around that store aimlessly. It’s much less fun when you have kids with you, eating all the samples you got for yourself. I also really enjoy working out. I hate it while I’m doing it, and I either go with a friend (one who doesn’t judge- really is there any other kind of actual friend?) or I bring Harry Potter audiobooks. I’m know. Go ahead and judge me, or copy me.

These things make me happy.

Find something that makes you happy. And for goodness sake. DO IT.

June sucks

The month of June is a hard month for me. Well- actually it all starts at the end of May. It was never a bad month- until 2015. Then it became a bad month. I had a 13month old and I was 7 months pregnant with twins. See, around the time my life began *obviously* falling apart (it was long before, but shhhh that’s a secret) things happened on significant dates. My husband overdosed for the first time on one of my closest friend’s birthday. She spent her whole birthday with my 13 month old, and her husband spent the day with me and my husband. I stayed with her that night because well…it wasn’t safe for me to go home. High husband…threatening to leave the hospital…police were there…I had been attacked by my husband in the waiting room of the ER. I didn’t get hurt-kudos to my friend’s hubs for helping in that stressful situation.  A week after that day it was my husband’s birthday. He got high on PCP or a designer drug similar and with my limited knowledge of drugs and what high people look like; ignorance was bliss- I hid my husbands car keys and gun, and went and slept on the floor in front of our daughter’s room. Just in case whatever craziness he had going on was going to effect my kid. Don’t mess with Mama Bear. The next day I told him and showed him the videos. He thought it was funny. I made him go clear out his office. He told me he was making “supplements”. No sir, you are making drugs (this revelation came months later when I start researching the ingredients of his supplements). Fast forward a week or so- he is planning on going on a trip with a bunch of guys from high school/college for a bachelor party. I ask him not to go. I need help. I’m seriously pregnant with twins. He says he deserves a vacation. whoopdie freakin do. I don’t need a vacation? I digress.  So he is gone over my birthday. Mind you- the previous year he forgot my birthday, June 20. He really needed to not miss this one, considering we had only been married a little less than 2 years. Anyway guess what happened. He forgot. I couldn’t get a hold of him, I couldn’t even get a hold of him the next day. I ended up calling the hotel and tracking him down. His phone had gone mysteriously missing at some venue (found out it was a place called lipstixxx several months later- it sucks when a hooker steals your phone) I go to the airport to pick him up. He’s not there. I wait for 3 hrs. I take my baby home, and leave her with my brother and sister-in-law (who luckily lived with us and got to witness this phase of life in all it’s glory). I go back to the airport, and while I am searching for answers, a big pregnant-PANICKING-woman in the airport I get a call from the police that my husband had a seizure on the airplane at was taken to a hospital. I go to the hospital. My brother comes too (he got to ride in a police car going 100MPH. jealous.) So I go to the hospital and they won’t tell me what’s wrong. He seized for 4 days in the ICU. No one will tell me what’s going on. I finally find out he has told them they can’t. I found out at discharge, when I told him I wasn’t taking him home otherwise that he had high amounts of METH and PCP in his system. We go home and I tell him that if he ever does drugs again he can’t live with us. His seizure happened on June 21, my mother’s birthday- the day I realized the previous overdose wasn’t just an accident, and that he probably was high on his birthday when I didn’t know what was going on and slept outside my daughter’s room. Yall.  HE DIDN’T STOP. HE DIDN’T ASK FOR HELP. EVERYONE TOLD HIM TO GET HELP, OFFERED HELP. I didn’t know he was still doing drugs, I thought all the things that continued to happen (I.e. picking his skin off) were residual effects from the seizure. My uncle called it. He told my parents that he thought my husband was on drugs. See I hadn’t told anyone besides my friends who stepped in and rescued me earlier in the month. Our wedding anniversary is June 29. June 29, 2015 I tried to celebrate, but really I realized I was in over my head. I needed to tell people we needed help. We started counseling. I’ll leave it there. Maybe next post I’ll rehash July of 2015.

This is why the month of June is hard for me. June of 2015 sucked. Now when it’s June, we start the month off remembering his first overdose, then it’s his birthday, Father’s day (which come on- I have a great dad, but my kids don’t so I feel conflicted about this day), my birthday, mom’s birthday (2nd overdose anniversary), and then our wedding anniversary.  Last year on June 29th I was sitting in a lawyers office asking to file for divorce (still not divorced- being married to a lawyer sucks). This year would have been 4 years. June sucks. I’m not feeling sorry for myself. I’m just overwhelmed by emotion at this point in my life, and in June they all come flooding back like a force to be reckoned with. Divorce is the last thing I ever wanted. It really hurts. Hurts SO much. It was a hard decision, and I’ve had to mourn the life I’m not gonna have, but I have these three magical little people who need me to move on and dream of the life the 4 of us are gonna have. That’s what they deserve. but June still sucks.

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This is my baby June of 2015. Her smile and fluffy toddler hair make me smile.

lost.

I’ve spent a lot of my life being who I thought someone would want me to. That someone could be my parents, brothers, friends, boyfriend, husband, teacher, you name the person, I had an idea of who they wanted me to be, and I would try my best to be that person. Do you know what that does to a person? In the midst of utter chaos, it will leave you lost.

It’s not any of those people’s fault. I am the person who wanted to please. I am the one who wanted to be perfect and be everything to everyone. The truth is, I am replaceable in many areas of life. When I left my job after having Clara, REPLACED, when I quit playing piano at church, REPLACED, ect… do you see where I’m going? In most areas of your life, there is going to be someone to pick up the slack, whether they are worse at it than you, or better than you. My experience is they are usually better than me and then I have to come up with some reason why that person is more successful than me.  I never realized this about myself before. I knew I wanted people to like me. I thought everyone felt that way, so obviously I was normal and just like everyone else.

Fast forward to me sitting in counseling and telling my therapist about all the problems with my peoples.

He says “Who is taking care of Kim?”

This may come as a surprise, but he asked me this pretty much every time I came to see him. I didn’t know that he could see it, but he knew. I was lost. I was physically ok, but otherwise I was lost. There was chaos swirling around me, I couldn’t see the ground, and I had spent my entire marriage trying to be the person my husband wanted me to be, that when it all came crashing down, I was lost. I had 3 kids under 3. I got that, change diapers, feed people, don’t cry in front of them, be a good mom. So I was mom. I wasn’t wife anymore. I had spent the past 3-4 years trying to be exactly what this man wanted me to be, and now I didn’t know what to do. I was lost. Barely treading water. Who was I? Who was Kim? When he asked me “Who is taking care of Kim?” I think he might have also been asking “Who is Kim?”

Honestly. I am still figuring parts of it out. There are constants. Things that are intrinsic that have gotten stronger, and taken more root. That is my faith in Christ. There is no way I would be able to even stand up or be alive through all this without Him. He has been my Rock. The Lord has blessed me immeasurably through friendships, he’s humbled me, he has shown me how much he loves me through all the mess. He has answered so many prayers. He has asked me to reach out and ask people for prayer (I felt so uncomfortable doing it, and then He answered my prayer!). I can’t say enough that I know God is real, and that He loves me, and that He has big plans for my kids, cause He got them here in a big hurry.   My family. They have stood by me, and been there for me. We have only gotten stronger. My besties. They have seen me in my worst. The worst. I’ve said mean things shown them just plain ugly sides of myself, and they have shown me nothing but grace, love, and support. I can say that my foundations are really strong. If you don’t have a strong foundation, you need to get one.

The things I want and need to figure out about myself are things that I always did for other people that I should have been doing for myself. I am gonna do the things I wanted to do before I decided to be who my husband wanted me to be. I love being a mom. I love those crazy little monsters. But, what kind of example am I setting for them, if I don’t show them that you get to have a life and be your own person? I don’t have to be nothing else and just be mom. That isn’t my identity. I need to be me. I can dye my hair purple and have sleeve tats, and at the same time be a good mom too. I’m pretty sure purple hair and sleeve tats is not this gal right here, but you get my point. I have however already dyed my hair rose gold, and the next round I think it will be a little more pink than this round! What is my style? What do I want to be when I grow up (I know, I’m 30, but give me a break people!)? What’s on my bucket list? What do I want? NOT What does the other person want. WHAT DO I WANT? I’m not trying to be selfish. I’m trying to decide. That’s not wrong. I’m just gonna do me.  I know. Most people did this when they went to college at 18. I’m a little late to the game. I want to go to dinner with my friends, and I want a life that is not just about kids, or spouses. I want to have interests and things that don’t just revolve around other people. Is that too much to ask? I need to find myself. I need to get unlost.

Out of Control

Control. It’s not something I ever thought I struggled with. BUT- the circumstances of life, have shown me just how much I’m not in control. There is someone in control, and it’s definitely not me!

I got married and a month and half later felt weird. Yep, pregnant. I felt pregnant. So June wedding and April baby. She was (and is) a doll. The following November, I found out I was pregnant again. Unfortunately I lost that baby. I felt out of control when I thought I’d have kids 14 months apart, and I felt out of control when I couldn’t keep that baby alive inside me. Completely helpless. A few months later in January, I feel weird again. Ok- so I go to the doctor to get some hormones balanced and they told me “Hey, your hormones are off, but it’s because you are pregnant.” WHAT???? I go in for the ultrasound and BAM- There it is twins. TWINS. Did I mention my 9 month old daughter was crying in a stroller next to me while I was getting the ultrasound? I didn’t struggle to get pregnant. I know many do, so I am not trying to make light of that. All of this is to say that all of this was out of my control. I was happy, but scared. I was a newlywed-with an infant–pregnant with twins. I felt as if I was sitting in the passenger seat of a car going 100mph and there is no driver.  Totally in shock, and wondering “Who in the heck is driving this car?”  The thing is I know who is driving the car. It’s the One who created the universe. The Savior of my Soul.

FAST FORWARD and I end up being a single mom to 3 kids under the age of 2.

My world began to crumble around the time I was 6 months pregnant with the twins. It completely shattered when my precious babes were 3 weeks old. My twins arrived at 37 weeks 3 days. They were big and healthy, despite all the stress I had been under the last three months of my pregnancy. I even came home 2 days after they were born. (I figured you got to stay longer depending on the number babies you have- but no) My grandmother died when the twins were a week old. My grandmother who I acted as a caretaker for the previous 2 years. Out of Control. She was my last living grandparent. She was sick and it wasn’t a surprise, but that doesn’t mean you miss them any less. That doesn’t mean you don’t wish they had more time with their great grandchildren. That the kids could know her and cherish her the same way that I did. The two weeks later my husband moved out of the house. I was there, alone with twin newborns who don’t sleep, who have intense reflux, and I have a 16 month old who is completely confused about the world. She has two new people who cry and take her mom away, and dad is gone. Out of Control. There has to be someone in control. My head spun for days. Partially because I was so sleep deprived, and partially because my whole world literally crumbled, but I was needed by 3 little people.

I knew everything was out of my control. Because, seriously? I have thought several times over the past year “Can this be real life?” “Whose life is this?”  Well, remember when I referenced the One who created the universe, the Savior of my Soul. I have hope in Jesus Christ, the one who loves me and saved me. He is in control.

Let me show you how.

The baby I lost, it would have come around the time when things began to crumble. The amount of stress that came the time around the due date that would have been too much. God knew that baby was safer with Him. He wanted to keep that baby safe. The twins being born healthy and big? It minimized our bills, and I didn’t have to deal with NICU or preemies. I even had them naturally, so my recovery was so much faster than if I had to have a C-Section. Did I mention that we lived in my parents house because they lived in Switzerland? Did I mention my mom was back from their home in Switzerland to help me. My grandmother, she got to meet my twins. She talked about them constantly for the last few months of her life. I’m so glad she got to meet them, and them her before she went to see Jesus. My dad had also come back in town to be with his mom before she passed. He was here when my husband moved out. So while I did have 3 kids under two years old, I had my mom and my dad here. My mom who is excellent at child rearing. She woke up with me every night to feed the babies. She rocked them for hours on end in the middle of the night. She never ended up going back to Switzerland.  My dad was able to get transferred back permanently and moved home for good in December.

As soon as I finally opened up to my bestie about how bad things actually were, she stepped right in. When my husband moved out, she started coming over 1 morning each week to watch my kids, or help me watch the kids. That way my mom or I could go get groceries, or in my case go to therapy. Did I mention she also set up help two other mornings of the week. She, her husband, and my other bestie, came over the day after my husband moved out to clean up the mess he had left. They moved all of my things to a new bedroom, and took wonderful care of my babies. They sent me to get a massage.

I didn’t write all this to tell you a sob story.  I wrote it to show you how I thought I had it all in control, and in reality- I have no control.  All I can say is- I know God is in control. He may allow such CRAP to happen. But He also takes care of you. Take heart, friends. The Creater of the Universe will take care of you. One way or another. He will also teach you a multitude of lessons along the way.

It’s coming up on a year since my husband left. I still have issues with control, and I probably always will. But I also have 3 kids, so whatever control I think I have, it’s probably just an illusion.