3.11.2018

Divorce: Working Through Grief, Letting Go & Leaning In

This post has been in the works for over a year now. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read it, tweaked it and sobbed over it. I try to convince myself each time I sit in front of it, that it's too raw. Too vulnerable. TOO real (yes, that’s a thing). Will anyone honestly even care that I want and need to scream MY OWN feelings from one corner of the internet to the other? Or are they content hearing versions from others perspectives or people who think they know my life - or who have decide to google it, and believe everything they read?
Have I been quiet too long?

"Elevation Sometimes Requires Isolation."

Funny thing about the internet is - once you put something out there… it’s ALWAYS going to be there. For your future employers, family, friends, children and even grandchildren to read. And for the longest time I had an internal battle with myself trying to decide what was MOST important for me to feel COMPLETELY HEARD on.
What would REALLY matter later on in life?
What could I say to help someone never feel as alone as I have in my grief, and hopeful?
What is relevant enough, that people who take their time to read what I write will feel value out of reading it?
Most importantly... what will my sweet girls learn from me one day, as I try to lead by example?

In a nutshell...

- Be patient with yourself.
- Stand strong.
- Know it's okay to cry - don't bottle things up.
- Remember who you are - even (especially) when life feels impossible.
- Stay classy.
- Don't sweat the small stuff.
- Try your hardest to let the big stuff go - and don't give up.
- Tell the people you love how special they are to you, every opportunity you have.
- Life is too short.
- Things are just things.
- Time spent with someone = Love.
- Attention given = Respect earned.
- And no matter what... Always Strive to Be Kinder Than Necessary. 
MOVING THROUGH GREIF

It's 4am, another sleepless night and I can't stop thinking about something my bishop and friend Randy once told me while sitting on my couch.
"Eventually you'll start telling people little by little... and one day it won't hurt so bad. Try people you trust at first, then close friends, move to acquaintances, then someone you don't even know. See what happens and how you feel. It will get easier.”

I never thought those words would ring true for me. I never thought in the depths of my incredible sadness, that telling anyone anything about how I felt during the worst moments of my life, would be something that would heal me, make things easier, or by any means make me feel better.

I was wrong. He was right. He was right more than I’d like to admit. I miss Randy horribly. He passed away just a year ago, and I can’t write this post without mentioning the huge role he played in being supportive, understanding and nonjudgemental through the absolute hardest part of my life so far. He would pull me out of my head and back down to the ground over and over again at the beginning.

...And now I can only pray that he knows how many times that saved me.

*sigh*

The problem with telling people, is that it’s always hard, painful, awkward and heartbreaking for me to say it out loud. But then after it’s out… no matter what the response is from the opposite party… there is an instant feeling of relief. No more dodging. No more acting like things aren’t what they are.
Now we can talk. Really just talk.
And then… the best part… NOT having to talk about it anymore.
That’s the part I work towards. That’s the moment that is worth all the super awful, anxiety filled ones before it. The part where I just get to try and be ME again, and not the girl who’s defined by her husband's choices and life's now MANY uncontrollable circumstances.

That being said, after a massive amount of thought, prayer and many sleepless nights wondering what should and shouldn't make up this blog post - I have decided that the best thing to do is to only share my own experience, grief and truth.
Even though we all thrive on the nitty gritty details of what could possibly force marriages to end and people to be so incredibly sad... it is not all my story to tell. And no matter how painful things feel for me right now... I want to work hard at trying to be the kind of person who continues to give respect to others - whether or not I feel it's deserved.

--------

I’m sick of not fully being me. Even if that “me” has changed so much, that others don’t like or understand the "new me”.
It's a risk I’m willing to take.

So here we go...


It’s been 2 years and 25 days. I'm crying as I lay here alone in the dark, plunking this out on the notebook section of my iPhone, because typing it on my laptop while sitting up always feels too formal.
Too definite. Too tough.

I’m laying here feeling all of the frustrated, sad, impossible to describe heartache and hurt, disappointed and embarrassed feelings that I do EVERY time I tell anyone for the first time.

My husband Cason and I are no longer together. There was a brief time when he lived back at home with me and the girls, as I tried with every fiber of my being to overcome and work through things with him, but ultimately we have decided that permanent separation - and now divorce - would be best... and honestly, my only option.

Last week, I officially filed my divorce papers.

Why did it take so long?... Because of hope. Because I wanted to wake up from this nightmare. Because it hurt too badly. Because I didn't want divorce and single motherhood to be part of my story. Because it's not fair. Because I'm $2,500 deep into lawyer fees already. Because the thought of being legally an "I" and not an "Us" makes me crumble to my very core.

Seeing the final names, date and my lawyers letterhead on that paperwork in my inbox the other day, put me into a crying fit so hard that I unknowingly ruptured a blood vessel in my left eye.
Yes, it looked horrible and yes, I've probably scared all of the small children this past week that I've been in contact with.

Nobody prepares you for so much sadness in this life. It just hits you straight on, like a truck moving 100 miles per hour. And there's literally nothing you can do to stop it.

You just have to figure out how to stay alive.
..........

I was blind-sighted and crushed when my entire happy world came crumbling down around me.
If someone would of told me that I would be able to survive through the immense heartache, bone-crushing grief, loss of control and excruciating emotional pain that these past 2 years would put me through... I'd of laughed in their face and yelled…
"Impossible!!" No one could or SHOULD ever have to live through that!!!"

But it turns out, being human sucks sometimes.
Really hard.

Because it IS possible to keep moving...breathing... and even functioning to the point of mechanically doing the laundry 2 days after your whole world and future comes crashing down right in front of your eyes. #momtruths

I miss my past every day. I miss what I had. I miss naive happiness.
Hell... I just miss being truly happy as a whole.

Smiling. Laughing. Feeling truly confident. Downloading my really important or incredibly silly feelings, fears and thoughts to another adult at the end of a hard day - in order to decompress so I can sleep better.

You really aren't aware how much you take everyday happiness for granted, until you are forced to string shallow MOMENTS of contentment together in your head to create "a good week", so you can finally try to look an unknowing friend in the eye when they ask casually "how are you!?"... and all you GENUINELY want to respond back with, is a tearless... "I'm fine".

JUST a FINE! That's all you want to say without bursting into a bawling, snotty puddle of tears.

Even though I have gone through (and am still going through) the long, hard process of forgiveness with Cason, I've refused from the beginning to pretend like we're still "the happy family or couple we once were" on Instagram, this blog, or any other social media outlet.
I've always tried SO hard to be authentic and real with myself and with my followers, and I don't want to "pretend" things are what they aren't. I steer clear of gravitating towards people, bloggers and personalities who do just that... so why would I want to BE that person? The one who puts on a show, just to avoid the speculation? (and believe me, there's been a lot).

All of that being said, even though I have full support from my closest friends and family to say and do whatever I need to, in order to heal ...I just didn't... and still don't feel ready to admit to myself (especially in this large of a capacity, to ALL of my loyal and amazing followers) that what I was SO sure of, and that the thing I blogged and wrote SO proudly about... is now broken and gone. And changed and different forever.😒

I want to defend it. I want to hold it tight and keep it safe, because it WAS real. It was MY happiness. And I'm just not ready to hear or to read phrases like... "I knew it!" or "See! Everything wasn't so perfect." or “I wonder if she regrets spilling all of her personal business out to the world now!?"

Yes, these are real comments - from real people. Some hiding behind computers, and some who have said things directly to me. (insert uncontrollable sobs and possibly another busted eye vessel, here)

We've all done it. Admit it.

We've all passed judgment on people's situations we know little to nothing about. Or even better, can’t remotely relate to.

We obsess (usually in a healthy way), love or become invested-in people we are drawn to. It's human nature. So why are the people's lives and feelings on social media that we hear and see oftentimes more-of than our own immediate family's, ANY different!?

THEY'RE NOT.

As a “personality” on social media, if you choose to share your real life, and your real feelings, you also willingly must take the audience that comes along with it. Good and bad. With this amazing new audience comes connections, loves, likes, praise and relateability in the form of comments, emails and DM’s - ALL the good things! - The reasons I started a blog in the first place. To connect. To share.

But then what happens when things are bad? Like... really bad.
… well… this is where I’ve determined that you have to decide what kind of “social media personality” you really are. Do you choose to share JUST the good? JUST the “share-able struggles” that aren’t heart wrenching to talk about?
Or… are you ready to open up about the really freakin’ hard shit too? Trust, hope and expose yourself to this bigger chunk of amazing humans in this little social media bubble that you’ve created?

As you can guess, even though it's taken over two years… I’m all in. And here’s why:

Almost everyone’s response when I’ve hashed out my anxiety with sharing this post is -
“Shelley, you don’t owe anyone anything! They don’t need an explanation. It’s none of their business.”

Me - After LOTS and LOTS of thought:
“Uhhhhh…. WTF!? How can they say that!? LITERALLY, my (money making) business WAS to make MY (personal) business, THEIR business! I worked hard to gain the trust of my loyal readers. Pre-Pinterest, pre-Instagram, pre-stupid social media numbers that are now so damn important to everyone - that some have resorted to buying fake ones! (insert disappointed, slow head shake here).
I worked my butt off cultivating a space of happiness, truth-telling and project/opinion sharing that sustained my family financially for over 5 years! And now I’m just suppose to NOT talk about the worst part of my life… because it’s too hard!?

How is that fair? Won’t they want to connect with me through sadness too, when I’m ready? Won’t SOMEONE know how this next-level sadness feels?

I would be SO annoyed if one of my long-time favorite bloggers decided that I’m not worth sharing with anymore, ESPECIALLY if they wanted to - and knew it could help them heal in some way! I buy from their links! I click on their blog for page views that they receive income from! I take time to comment! I continue to follow along when they maybe get in a weird funk and veer away from the reason I started following them in the first place! If it wasn’t for ME, that blogger wouldn’t have this space to talk, to earn, to connect, to feel heard and justified. Why does this blogger feel like they can’t trust us with the hard stuff too!? That’s when humans weave themselves together, in a tight knit space of love and empathy for each other. That’s where the healing can begin - in knowing that you’re not alone!"

If you haven't ever heard or felt my passion for blogging/social media sharing and the amazing, positive community that exists within it, before today?… there it is.☝
Both sides. As a blogger, and as a reader.

It’s beyond enjoyable, super rewarding and scary as hell. It’s an excruciating exercise of vulnerability and that amazing feeling of a trust-fall gone right, all at the same time.

Side note: I have always been overweight, so the idea of a trust-fall terrifies the hell out of me. It’s only happened once at a work "party"πŸ˜’ #tricked (and will never happen again), but let me tell you… there’s no comparable feeling in the world to that of diving ass-backwards into a pile of scrawny, untrusting arms... and ACTUALLY being caught.
RELIEF to the highest degreeπŸ™ #biggirltruths

That all being said, I want you to know...
I blogged what was REAL.
I blogged what I knew.
I blogged what I felt.
I don't regret any of it.
I cherish "my journal" of memories and happiness now, more than ever... and I wouldn't take back a single thing.

Now? All I want, more than anything, is to keep writing in my "journal"... but I feel like there's an ugly part of my now tainted soul telling me I can't. And that I shouldn't.
(insert ugly sobs here) 
Mostly because everything just hurts too bad, but also, because it isn't AT ALL what it once was.

Then there are other days, when messages and emails start stacking up, asking where my husband is, what happened, or why I'm not spending more time with him... and I want to scream the truth from the rooftops, so I don't have to skirt and dodge questions or explain myself anymore. And also because I'm beating my brains out just trying to stay respectful, kind and to keep my main focus on finding those happy moments in my day - and I miss my blog being part of that.

I want to be honest in my grief and sadness.
I want to cry and complain about how being a single mom sucks and is so hard, stressful and yet also incredibly empowering all at once. It's brought a closeness between my girls and I, and a fulfillment to my life that I never, ever could of dreamed of, or even knew to wish for.

I want to gush and spill my heart out about the amazing healing powers of true forgiveness and hope……. and then other days I want to curl up into a ball, never confront my feelings or problems ever again, and also vent, swear, ugly cry and scream out awful things about that stupid forgiveness and hope!!!

If you aren’t aware, grief is a messy process.

At the end of the day the reality is…
(here’s that excruciating exercise of vulnerability I was talking about).

I AM CHANGED FOREVER.

I curse way more frequently than I should to get my point across.
I'm very defensive and much quicker to tears and anger.
I often listen to music as loud as I can, to distract and drown out the constant revolving thoughts of worry and "what if's" in my head.
I lack motivation, patience and almost all trust in others.
I’ve questioned my religion, my friendships and myself… more than I’d like to admit - yet I pray with more purpose than I ever have before, and lean longer and harder on my inner circle support group than I ever thought I could.
I sleep less and worry a hell of a lot more than I’d like to - and because of that, I suffer from some pretty awesome insomnia and extreme anxiety… especially when I start to feel REALLY out of control regarding my children or future.

Therapy is great. But only time can even remotely start to help heal it all.

Why am I telling you this? Because I know I’m not alone. And because through all of those thick new, prickly, uncomfortable layers...I KNOW I'M STILL ME... and all I want, more than anything, is to find the old parts of ME again that I miss.

The confidence. The spontaneity. The motivation. The creative. The fun and funny. The patience. The positivity. The worth. The carefree. The EVERYDAY happy, that turns into weeks and then months.
I’ve decided that SO much of the good in us gets buried in these new layers of life's complexities when we go through something that we shouldn't be able to survive emotionally, that sometimes it feels like the best parts of us just fade and disappear.
When really... all along, they're only just under those thick, matted layers of life's shitty circumstantial side effects.

And guess what? I do NOT want to only be defined by my life's crappy side effects... because it's not REALLY who I am!

I refuse to stop trying to get back up again, after being knocked down by blows of sadness and grief.
But what really sucks you guys?... is that I don't feel stronger yet... I just feel smarter somehow, more aware, more passionate about things that happen from day to day, and more alert.

I feel more in-tune with others who have gone through some sort of hell on earth like this too.

I have new lenses on now. I truly see things differently.

I’ve experience a great loss.
My husband is gone, my marriage is gone, and still at times my future feels pointless, lonely and so damn scary without a spouse to share and plan it with.
I'm not good alone. I miss being an "Us" and "We" instead of an "I" and "Me". 😒

I feel for others like I never thought I could before.
I've reached a new level of sadness that has "upgraded" me from a kiddie pool of depth, to a gaping, unfamiliar ocean.
I know there's still a "bottom" somewhere to plant my feet, and a side/shoreline to swim to... but it just seems a whole lot scarier and harder, less safe and a hell of a lot more intimidating than the kiddie pool I was in before.

I don't know if or when I'll ever be able to feel comfortable in this ocean, because I didn't choose to come here voluntarily.

I don't know who swims here.

No matter what anyone says or promises, I feel very alone and very scared of my future most days. So much so, that it can become emotionally crippling.
I cling on like a life vest to the few people that keep me floating above the overwhelming waters of loss, grief and self doubt that I’m experiencing. And YOU + this blog, are a huge part of that.
Why?
Because instead of turning around while flailing, knowing I'll splash into someone similar to me like before who can help... Now?, I feel like I have to swim harder and force myself to calmly float around a lot longer alone, in order to find people who are swimming in this big blue ocean of depth - terrified, and trying to reassure themselves that "everything is going to be fine”, just like me.

Turns out, not a lot of us who go through all of these horrible new feelings and experiences want to admit at the core of it all... we're just really scared of the uncertainty.

Want to know the truly ironic part of it all though?
I LOVE THE OCEAN.
It’s super intimidating, but amazingly calming all at once. And even in my “ocean of depth” I can see the big beautiful waves, warm sand, sunshine, security and happiness all around me. I just… have to figure out how to start moving towards it.

It's in my nature to want to get there.

I hate being a deep sea dweller, even if it HAS made me learn so many things I never thought I could. It’s cold and lonely, and I’ve been here too long. And I'm not okay. (shrug)

I'm still not okay after 2 years and 25 days... and I think THAT'S okay to finally admit out loud.

It’s the thing (especially after a long period of time) that people who go through really tough shit don’t want to admit to the people who support them… because it ends up making the supporting party feel bad, helpless, worn out or sad.

But the truth is... I (we) don’t need you to fix it, make it better or talk me (us) in circles about how things will be fine, and how I (we) am (are) strong, resilient and amazing.

I just… want to be NOT OKAY - for now.
And know that THAT’S okay with you - for however long I need it to be that way.

For me, I really just need to feel all of these bad things without burying them, so that I can confront them, process them and then put them on a shelf so I don’t have to keep carrying them around all the time.
It's completely exhausting... but I need to do this so I can heal quicker. Because when the good things come (which they DO and WILL), I can appreciate them that much more.

I don't really have a plan for myself yet.
I don't know what's ahead - and it scares the hell out of this organized, anxious, responsible, OCD control freak.

I'm barely treading water trying not to drown most days, and sometimes all I really want is a standing ovation for just showing up to life and "surviving my oceans obstacles" - for being a kick-ass single Mom and taking on the homework, laundry, cooking, cleaning, shopping, fighting, emotional outbursts, birthdays, holidays and then actual PAID work, when I can fit it in.

Being vulnerable at this capacity is one of the most nerve wracking things I've ever done.
Sharing all of this and pushing publish makes me feel sick to my stomach, but I know that bottling it away from everyone for much longer is only making it more impossible for me to inch closer to finding and sharing the best parts of myself again.

True, unexpected heartbreak and absolute betrayal is THE WORST thing I have ever experienced in my life, to date. But I'm slowly seeing that it only means that the love that once was, was just THAT real, and THAT deep.
And I truly wouldn't take any of it back, no matter what the circumstance was, for all of the money in the world.

Grief I’ve learned, is really just love.
It’s all the love you want to give to someone, but now know you cannot.
All of that unspent love gathers up inside you, and shows itself through the tears in your eyes, the lump in your throat and that painful, awful ache in your chest.

I know that grief is an essential part of this life.
Everyone will experience it.
Some more than others.
You can let it take you down, or you can allow it to build you into a more content-rich version of yourself… all while trying to keep intact the best parts of who you’ve always known you already are.

Personally... I choose the second option.

"May you lean into the change and cycle you are currently going though or being called towards. May you find the courage to trust yourself and shout YES to the burn of transformation.
May you let go of all the no longer essential parts of yourself, and ignore the fading, fear-filled voices.
Because this is where you cross the river. This is where you stop being the scared person you once were. This is where you shoot out of the cracks you've fallen into. This is where the waiting ends and a new voice is birthed.
A voice you recognize as your own, the NEW YOU. And there's no going back, because no one's gonna save you, except you. May you lean in. May you lean in."

PS: Thank you for being here. Thank you for listening (reading). Thank you for the positive, nonjudgemental support and love that you've always shown me and my family. I am beyond grateful for each and every one of you - and I definitely don't say it enough. Whether you've been reading along since day one, or are here for the first time. I want you to know I appreciate you taking the time to read along.
I've got a million things to improve on in this social media world, and a million more to still learn - but I hope you know that I only decide to share my heart with all of you like this, because you make me so happy, and you truly mean THAT much to me.πŸ’—
So again - thank you.

PLEASE NOTE: Comments on this post will be monitored by me personally first, before going live, so you may not see yours immediately if you choose to leave oneπŸ’•

214 comments:

  1. Just want to send LOVE! I have no words of wisdom. Bravery, and love come to mind! <3

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am truly so sorry that this is happening to you and the girls. And you all will be in my prayers. You are not alone!xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm truly sorry to hear this, for your sake and the sake of your girls. You've got this, though!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. My heart aches for you just as it rejoiced with you since I began following you so many years ago. You are not alone. You are loved and you will continue to move forward. There is a fire in you that can never be put out no matter the trauma it has been subjected to. I will continue to pray for you and your girls. I believe with all my heart that you have a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

    ReplyDelete
  5. My children were three and one when I made the incredibly heart-wrenching (no matter how incredibly necessary ) choice to leave my situation. I became a 33 year old woman living with my two kids in my parents’ basement. ���� No one’s journey is the same, but I’m here to tell you that you CAN do this. One day you will wake up and just “know” this. It might take a while of “not being okay”, and that is PERFECTLY OKAY!! Never lose faith that you can do this...You’re a bad ass ����

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm so sorry. I cried along side of you reading this. Your grief was my grief for the time I was reading your post. Please know that you will come out the other end a wonderful newer version of yourself, your life might not be what you envisioned but you know what? That's ok,. There will come a time when you wake up and say I feel better and from that moment on you will know in your heart that everything will be ok. Stay strong. You are loved.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You are amazing. Followed you for years, never commented, but this calls for a comment for sure! Thank you for sharing your life with the world, thank you for being so genuine and real. You crack me up every day and I love your IG stories the best! You are one awesome chick to pour your heart out like this. Keep doing what you're doing, time will eventually heal all things in the end. This quote I have on my desk, "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." -Neale Donald Walsch

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank u for being so real. That is one of the many things that makes you so dang awesome. Sending u lots of positive energy as you navigate his new part of your life.

    ReplyDelete
  9. So much love and hugs to you sweet friend. So brave to share all your feelings with the world. I can’t inagine how your feeling or what your dealing with but just know I’m praying for comfort and strength.

    ReplyDelete
  10. My heart breaks for the things you and your sweet girls are going through. I used to think the phrase “God only gives you what you can handle” was true. It’s not. It’s bullshit. What IS true is that He is with you as you swim, flail around or float through you new ocean. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (‭Isaiah‬ ‭41‬:‭10‬ ESV)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Been there. Possibly the worst possible thing you can go through, especially with children. One of the hardest parts is ruining the story in your head of how your life was supposed to turn out. Divorce is awful...and it gets worse before it gets better...but it does get better! Thanks for "keeping it real", I hate the stigma of divorce...your story is just re-written, not over :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sending love and positive feelings your way! πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ You are doing great!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh Shelley, - my heart is breaking for you and I know exactly...... funny how you can remember the exact time, place, words that your life changed forever. For me that was almost 20 years ago. There is a saying "you have to go through to get to the other side" Yep - each step, each tear, each memory you have to keep moving forward. My sons were in college and high school, I wanted to show them how to deal with life's unfairness and adversity with courage and class, since we all had the rug pulled from underneath us. Hold your girls closer, hold your head up it is so brave to share and cathartic - Sending you good thoughts and a hug.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love that you opened up. I Opened up my ❤️ about loss and gratitude in the last year as well. Our son estranged from us when he met his now wife. His childhood was unconditional love, built on the foundation of the Lord, encouraging his passion, and just loving family time, and good friends. He met the girl he married, and her family drew him in like a cult. We've really grieved the loss of a kid that still lives. It's hard to know you have a child who chooses daily to not contact you.

    I'm totally in tune with your ocean feeling. The last part of 2016 & parts of 2017 we sank to the bottom of the ocean as our son chose to become estranged. I’m talking crash landing on the bottom of the ocean with thousands of pounds of water pinning us down. It was hard to breathe, hard to move, and hard to just do life. Our life became REALLY messy!

    Because of our friends, our faith, our counselor, and those family members….we were able to experience life again. We began to float to the top of the ocean to feel life. Then things happened in 2017 that were hard, emotional, and caused us to sink back to the bottom of the ocean. Pinning us under the weight of the water, but yet we would see a glimmer ray of light shining. Once again we owe it to those that were there for us. They listened to us cry, vent, and were there to talk us through the pain. They helped to pull us to the top again to experience life. We are forever grateful to each of you who were deeply involved in our messy life.

    We’ve experienced a loss of someone who is deeply knitted into our hearts. We’ve gone through the emotional grief cycle as we mourned the estrangement of our son, but we’ve grown. Our story became our testimony. As we have shared our testimony with those we meet, our network of friends grew. Estrangement emotions are similar to the grief of death, however there isn’t the public information saying “Today my child estranged from us”. It’s too hard to talk about and the guilt you feel is massive. As we healed we have been able to talk about the experience. We have been able to share with other estranged parents. We also started a support group to help other estranged parents float to the top of the ocean and experience life again. We want to be there for other hurting parents, because we have felt their pain. We want to share the love and support that was given to us. That is what you are doing in sharing your pain. You never know who you will reach and whose hearts you will touch.

    Take the time to share your struggles, saying something about your loss/struggles is better than not saying anything at all. You connect with other. Acknowledge that you are now living without a part of your heart. When emotions are this deep, it's hard to do “small talk”. If you are like me, you don’t care what the weather is like, or what your weekend plans are. You have a deep wound in your heart and are just trying to figure out how to breathe through the day. Time doesn’t heal and fix the situation. Time allows you to grow, to release the pain, to heal. I type all this to remind you to show up in your life. Own your life, your circumstances, and your experiences. As you own them, they become your story. As they become your story, you start to share your story. As you share your story, you are put in contact with people you never imagined. You are able to show up in other people’s life with confidence and love. You are able to help someone else off the ocean floor, and to help them learn to breathe again. Thank you for sharing your heart! For being real! For being STRONG!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am so very sorry for you and your girls. Thoughts and prayers coming your way.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you for sharing and being so open. I can only imagine how hard and scary that was. And I hope that is has helped you feel maybe a little bit of relief to do so.
    I lost my husband to cancer 3.5 years ago. I’ve been a single mom since my kids were 3 and 8 months. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. So I know how soul crushing hard taking care of small people all by yourself can be. But I can also say that you are doing an amazing job. I can tell your girls are happy and healthy. So keep on doing what you are doing because you inspire me and all of the other single mamas out there watching you. Much love to your family.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you! I am also navigating this new life of single motherhood with three boys (one with special needs-CP) returning to work full time and repairing myself. You don’t know how much this post means to me especially today of all days which would have been my 13th anniversary. We can and will do this! We deserve a new and faboulous life! Hey girl hey we got this!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. This is me, this is my life RIGHT NOW! I’m not a blogger but I am a mother and right now going through the steps for my divorce. I needed this so much. Thank you for your realness, for being open and showing me healing is a process but it is real. Thank you so much .. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love this. Thank you for being authentic, even when it’s hard. I went through a divorce 5 years ago when my little girl was only 1. It is SO SO hard, but I put everything I had into being her mom and she got me through it like I know your girls will for you. You are a fantastic mom and woman and you deserve all the happiness and I know that things will only get better and easier for you. You can do this. You are good enough all on your own, but also I hope someday you find someone who loves you like you deserve to be loved, because it is nice to feel like you have a partner in life. In the meantime, you have great friends and family and your girls to keep you afloat. THANK YOU for sharing ❤️

    ReplyDelete
  20. So I usually don't comment on posts and just keep my opinions to myself. But not today... My wish for you is to stop beating yourself up so much while you're on your journey to your new happy place! Praying for you girlie! ❤️

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This!! So much this!! It took me a long time to accept the fact that I wasn't a failure just because my marriage didn't work. You may be a different person but you WILL find your new happy! <3

      Delete
  21. Hugs to you Shelley. I feel you.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Simply no better words than this.....thank you for always sharing and I will be praying for your family as you go through these next moments in time.
    Love Love Love your blog!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I've Dm'd you before...but as a newly divorced mom...I cheering you on girlfriend. WE can do this. You are not alone.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I’ve been around since the beginning (or close to). I adored you then, and I adore you now. You make my day better and happier. You are a bright spot in social media. ☀️
    One thing I have learned in my life is that it’s okay to not be okay! Life is hard and sometimes it plain sucks.
    I love your cute family. You give me hope!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thank you for sharing! I think you are awesome :) Keep plowing girl! God bless

    ReplyDelete
  26. Ive been following for years and only recently realized something was "up" You are the epitome of classy and its so hard to not jump on social media and bash the spouse who hurt us. It is okay to not be okay! I have no doubt good things will come your way!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I love this post. I've felt this way before. I've gone through divorce twice before (with the same man) You have a strength in you that I wish I had. You are an inspiration to other women. I love watching you everyday on instagram. I feel as though I've gotten stronger by watching you. It will get better. I often wished I lived in Utah so we could be "friends in real life" Oh my gosh I sound like a creeper. Continue to be you.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Your words beautifully express the pain of grief. Thank you for bravely sharing your story, your pain and your hope. Sending lots of love to you and your girls.

    ReplyDelete
  29. My prayers and love coming your way. It's okay, to not be okay. Take your time and you do you! We see you and hear/feel your pain. You may not feel it but you've come far in 2 years and 25 days...keep going! For you, for your girls! Thank you for sharing more on this subject, I can't imagine the pain it took with each press of a letter on your keyboard. You did it. You've passed another step on this journey. Thank you. Hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I’ve read your blog for years but never commented...I just want you to know that I swim in the same ocean. I’ve been here moving from wave to shore to wave for going on 6 years and I want you to know that IT GETS SO MUCH BETTER. The days full of tears will eventually become fewer, the days full of sunshine will eventually become more frequent and you will absolutely find the sand...you just have to swim for a while first. My heart goes out to you....you can do this! ❤️❤️❤️

    ReplyDelete
  31. Dear girl(I'm 68 so I can call you that I think), your Heavenly Father is holding you and rocking you as His beloved child. You already know this, just a loving reminder. Love you, Nana Pam

    ReplyDelete
  32. So beautiful and SO heartbreaking. I am so sorry and sending so much love your way. I have been the support for my very best friend this past year and a half as she is going through what you are going through. This is what I needed to read to help her as her friend and I have forwarded it to her. Your bravery will heal and help others more than you know. I adore you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I find your bravery so inspiring! Your authenticity is something that has always drawn me to you. May you continue to find the strength needed to move through each day, each emotion, each trial, each fear! You have a lot of followers/friends rooting and cheering you on! I’ve noticed a strength beaming from you, even if you don’t feel it, I’ve seen it. My heart, thoughts and prayers are with you and your girls!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Well bless your heart. I was in the same boat w/a 4 year old son many years ago. I couldn't control ANYTHING - only how I REACTED to what was happening was in my control. A life lesson for everything really. This was a lovely/bittersweet post. I will remember you in prayer.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Love the "REAL" you.
    You are f*cking brave.
    Pretty and perfect are boring.
    Your girls are lucky to have such a strong mom.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I’m so sorry for your grieve of the life you had, but just by reading this post you are on brave and strong momma! I lost on of my twin girls last Valentine’s Day and it has been one heck of a rollercoaster trying to ‘survive’ this last year without her. I like you am trying not to drown in the deep water of the ocean but i am trying to make it to shore and enjoy the sunshine and the intense waves that helped me get there that will make me grateful for where i am and who i am because of it!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I’ve been a long time reader, but never commented before. I just wanted to say you are amazing and beautiful! Your thoughts about grief are spot on! Thank you for sharing! And your “Hey girl, hey!” is the best! Love watching your instastories πŸ˜€

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hugs Shelley. I’m so sorry but I also see that you’re so strong and you will get through this. I experienced deep shocking grief almost 4 years ago when my mom was inexplicably diagnosed with stage4 cancer and died 6 months later at age 55. I know the cause of the grief is different but the outcome is similar to your situation ... I am a different person now and I made it through that (while attempting to be a mother to four and a wife) and you will get through this too. I don’t understand why this was the plan for me, for us, and certainly for my mom but I’ve come to accept it and I do believe I’m somehow better for it. Even with that hole in my heart. Again - hugs to you. You’re a lovely funny strong woman. I discovered your IG account about 6 months ago and it’s been a pleasure to follow along with you. You’re charming and hilarious even in the midst of your darkest times. ��

    ReplyDelete
  39. I was around your girls age when my parents divorced. I feel for you all. YOu all are amazing. I’m so sorry this is happening. but I can tell You are strong,brave and full of love and light. Keep working through the grief- I’ve found it comes in waves-
    take your time being not okay- we’re here for you. Sending so much love

    ReplyDelete
  40. When reading this I thought of a quote I once heard "He tried to bury me, but he didn't realize I was a seed." You're lovely in every way - miss seeing you everyday and hearing your contagious laugh. You have a whole sea of women who love you and invisible arms that will catch you and will not let you fall ass-backwards :)

    endless X's and O's

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "He tried to bury me, but he didn't realize I was a seed"

      Wow! Just Wow! That is an awesome quote. I hadn't heard it before but I love it.

      Delete
  41. Big hug and so much love, Shelley. Thank you for this honest and vulnerable post from your heart. How real you are is my favorite thing about you.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Sending you and your girls love. Thank you for all the entertainment and DIY ideas you've given me over the many years of reading your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  43. El tiempo lo cura todo. Animo!!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Love you friend ❤️ Thank you for being BRAVE and an amazing person! You’re helping others by being transparent even though in the thick of being NOT OKAY is brutal. I’ve always said it’s okay to NOT be okay! Hope we can have a dc and hug irl some day!! 😘😘

    ReplyDelete
  45. Thank you for being so vulnerable. I hope you start feeling love and support as you navigate a new normal. Adding my love to everyone else's.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Don't forget how to dream. I think sometimes the real stuff is so overwhelming that you are not left with any time to look ahead, reach for something you want, grab the golden ring. Any breakup/loss is numbing. You explained it well, that you are finding it hard to "define" yourself because we lived and dreamed in the old self, so much so that this new self is foreign to us. Give yourself all the time you need. Each day is a step towards that new self, new dream, new life.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Thanks for being real and sharing your thoughts, emotions, and struggle. We need more of this on social media. Not just the everything Is beautiful and happy stuff because life isn’t that way. It is ok to not be okay and we need more messages like yours out there. ❤️❤️❤️ You are an inspiration and I wish you all the happiness in the world as you heal over time.

    ReplyDelete
  48. You’re so strong and your smile and laughter is contagious. Keep your chin up gorgeous! Just keep swimming. Big hugs! XXO

    ReplyDelete
  49. So much heartache. Thank you for sharing, even though I'm sure it was hard and scary. I've never been through a divorce as a spouse, but I grew up with a single mom and I can honestly say that if I hadn't lived through her struggle and seen her get through difficult life changes and work her butt off to make money to support all of us....I wouldn't be half the person I am today. Watching her be strong and work hard and overcome obstacles and think for herself and make her own money and be SO independent has completely shaped me for the better! I see so many women struggle with independence, self worth and with finding their strength and identity (even while they're in fairly healthy marriages)...And although I'm sorry my mom and us as siblings had to go through a divorce, I'm at the same time grateful for the growth and learning it brought to ALL of us.

    I know you have to go through a process to figure out who you are as a woman without Cason......but I hope you NEVER doubt who you are as a mother or your value as their parent. Divorce does not define parenthood and you make it so evident in your posts and instagram (I love watching your "hey girl hey" stories!) that your girls are SO loved and treasured. My mom always worried that we wouldn't know what a healthy marriage was like since she wasn't able to give us an example of one, but I always reassure her and want to reassure you that seeing a marriage fail was not the end of my world and may have taught me MORE than seeing a thriving marriage. It taught me what traits I DIDN'T want in a husband. It taught me to create a life for myself before finding a husband to share it with. It taught me to be my own person and put my faith and trust in God, not people (because no matter how wonderful, they will ALWAYS let you down in one way or another). She taught me to stand strong in the face of adversity, to accept help when you really need it, to lighten the load for others when you can and to try not to judge others because you just never REALLY know what's happening in their hearts and their lives.

    Nothing we say can make it better, but I hope and pray that one day at a time....one step at a time....you find your strength and create a new 'normal'.....whatever that is ;)

    ReplyDelete
  50. I've been a quiet follower for many, many years- back when we just had a daily blog roll to follow! How did we live without Pinterest?!? But I just felt so compelled to comment today. I've walked in similar shoes. It's been about four years now, and most days I can say I am actually OK! I am actually grateful for the new fresh slate life has laid before me and the bond I have built with my son as a single mom. But sometimes all it takes is a certain song, or a certain smell, or a certain phrase being said to make the happy memories flood back and the tears to start rolling; missing the "what might have beens." Take your time, live your truth and don't ever apologize. You are amazing girl!! You were an inspiration to me when you were a young mom of three littles- helped me to feel confident I could tackle my new job of motherhood too. And you are an inspiration to me now to know that I am not alone. Divorcee was never a title I EVER expected but I know we can both keep kicking ass at this Mom job! Much love! Melanie in KS

    ReplyDelete
  51. Sending love in your direction. Thank you for sharing and being so raw, I know it's not easy.

    ReplyDelete
  52. You are so brave and strong. I admire you for everything that you are. I see the way you greet your daughters with all that “Love” everyday and that is going to make a big impact on their life forever. You are a great Mom doing a fabulous job. I have been a follower for many years and will continue to support you for as long as you do what you do. (((Tight Hugs))) and lots of πŸ’•! You will get through this. I just know it.

    ReplyDelete
  53. There is no expiration date on grief. It's over when your heart decides it is. You're so brave and such an awesome mom. Sending love!

    ReplyDelete
  54. There is no expiration date on grief. It's over when your heart decides it is. You are so brave and such an awesome mom. Sending love!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Thank you so much for sharing! Your words will help so many going through the same journey in life..everything you said is exactly what I've been feeling but could not express. I still deal with the heartache after 5 years. Despite it all I think you are just an amazing mother to those girls of yours! You can see how much they love you and look up to you. Keep doing what you do...I look forward to your Insta stories everyday!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Thank you for sharing and being real and being you! Just wanting to send a little love and support to you on your journey.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I just want to give you a hug. I think we can all feel your pain through your writing. I wish I could fix it for you. I'll share with you one thing that helped me and that is that there isn't one perfect plan for your life like we think there is. The perfect plan for you is the one that grows and changes with you. It allows for you to emerge bigger and better out of even the most devastating circumstances. I'll be praying for you and cheering you on!


    Kristen

    ReplyDelete
  58. I have no words of wisdom either because I don't know exactly how you are feeling but I hope you know that you're my favorite social media person, you're funny and happy and real, even though I know you don't feel like you are, you really are! My aunt is recently divorced too for some bad choices that were not hers and my heart aches and is so admirable to you and her and all single moms just trying to kill it! ♥️ I don't know how you do it!!

    ReplyDelete
  59. You are the most real person I've never met. :) Thanks for sharing your story. HEART ep

    ReplyDelete
  60. My thoughts and prayers are with you. You are a very strong and brave women and I only wish the best for you. Sending love and hugs from Michigan ❤️

    ReplyDelete
  61. I can’t even gather the words to accurately express ALL that I’m feeling right now. Seriously. My heart is just so thankful for you and I am praying. Sending so much love, Shelley! ❤️

    ReplyDelete
  62. Thank you for being so beautifully earnest. I am sorry for your experience and your grieving. You're right when you said the best part is being able to not talk about it anymore. It makes you feel that much stronger when everyone you work with already knows. Your online presence will let other people going through the same thing feel less isolated. I can't wait to see what other beautiful things you bring to the social media world. Keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Girl, I am so sorry this is happening in your life, and your girls' lives. My heart breaks for y'all. My brother recently betrayed his wife and she has begun the process you are on with her 2 girls. It breaks my heart that these things happen, but admire the strength a woman can have to keep powering through grief. You are beyond a fighter and I pray for your strength. I truly appreciate your strong will for life and enjoy your sense of humor and honesty in all of your posts here and Instagram. I know we don't know each other in real life, but thank you for continuing on this path. You light up my day when I see you have a new InstaStory. I love how you love on your girls and are teaching them to be strong. I love that you let me into your afterschool times (I have all boys and ain't no one that happy here!) thank you!!!!!! Keep doing you Girl. You got this!!! Someday your Ruby will shine greatly in the heavens. And it will all be worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  64. I love this quote. It has gotten me through a lot of shit.

    Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow." - mary anne radmacher.

    Sending you strength and love during this period in your life. Long time reader, and current lover of your instastories... you are brave and awesome and totally a girl I'd want to hang with. I'm here for the good, hard, awesome, ugly, gut wrenching, and beautiful times in your "blog, instagram" life. You being open and honest is most likely helping someone else going through a similar situation. Hugs and high fives to you and your girls. YOU GOT THIS.

    ReplyDelete
  65. I hope you know your words apply to so many different trials because of your focus on the journey,not the details that caused it. I am enduring long term destruction from a disease and found great comfort in your words. You absolutely are pointed in the right direction and it takes great courage and wisdom to keep "going west". Your own post will serve now to remind you of what you value most in times of confusion and pain. You just created a resource for yourself- a place to return to stop the painful spin cycle...a new anchor. And thats pretty amazing! While I know we use the term nonjudgement to mean non-negative or cruel reactions..dont shortchange yourself. I totally judged your words and found them to rang true and important and applicable and needed. I needed them. All my love from the next float over in the Ocean

    ReplyDelete
  66. Thank you for trusting all of us enough to share. You and your sweet girls will be in my prayers. You deserve so much happiness....from what I see on your Instagram stories you are just the BEST Mom...and that is so so important. Hugs to you sweet Shelly!!!

    ReplyDelete
  67. My heart is hurting for you. Sending you love!

    ReplyDelete
  68. It’s ok to not be ok—a lesson that I think we ALL could use. Sending love and prayers for peace for you.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Thank you for sharing & being do vulnerable. It takes a lot of guts to do so. Sending you hugs and prayers. Yes it’s ok to feel the way you feel. I enjoy your blog and IG and just breaks my heart. Thank-youvsgain for sharing. ❤️

    ReplyDelete
  70. Girl, you are amazing and so incredibly inspiring. What you shared is the truth, I am experiencing some of the same feelings while going through a divorce I did not want. You are not alone. Keep swimming! I pray for peace, comfort and strength for you. Much love!

    ReplyDelete
  71. I have so many thoughts, and I am just so incredibly sorry that you’ve had to go through this. I’ve learned life is hard, doesn’t go as planned, doesn’t fit into a perfect little box all wrapped up like I want it to... obviously you know this. What I do want you to know is this... you are an amazing person. I don’t know you personally. I started following your blog years ago because I loved your home and your DIY projects. I remember following your tutorial for a planked wall, well before I had ever heard the term shiplap. I still follow you today and watch your insta stories... I have no interest in make up and little interest in after school snacks, but I follow you because you are an inspiration to me. You are a mom who loves her children, who teaches them to love everyone. You are so real that it makes me feel like I know you because you don’t hide things away. You spread love, kindness, joy, and happiness, and you do that while sharing things that are hard and sad. Your ability to connect with women who you’ve never met is a gift. I want you to know that I aspire to be a little more like you. To greet my children with excitement and love and to laugh with them. Thank you for staying on social media and for being who you are. Prayers and love for you!

    ReplyDelete
  72. Dear Shelly, I’ve followed your blog since I first got married and bought a house back in 2010! I bought some of your jar labels, loved them! My world exploded before my unbelieving eyes a few year later. I lost my husband and my home and everything we (I) had built. I know what you’re feeling and I’m here to give you a little hope and encouragement, I’ve been divorced for 3 years...it does get better, promise!

    ReplyDelete
  73. I have been a follower since the beginning! So long ago! I loved seeing someone that was so cute and happy and not a size 2, because I struggled with feeling like I fit in to the Molly Mormon (physical) mold. There was a time when I stopped following you-when we were going through a foreclosure and your house was always so beautiful and fancy and I felt like I couldn’t compare. And then, I very randomly had a dream and you were in it! (I realize this sounds so weird ��) but I wanted to check in on your life. Everything was happy and beautiful and I thought to myself-it doesn’t matter if I can’t have what she has, she is positive and friendly and has a cute family and these are the people I should be following. Right now you may feel like things are messy and not perfect -but you still are to me. You are kind and positive and I appreciate your realness. I hope much sooner than later your sadness lessens and you can get back to a happy place-even happier. I know you will. Sending lots of love from Texas ��

    ReplyDelete
  74. I'm humbled by your realness. I have been following your blog for years now. I LOVE watching your Instagram videos:) I look for them daily (as a way to bring some laughter in my life). My husband has heard me watching them--that he will randomly say "Hey Girl Hey". So thank you for being real. Thank you for bringing a smile to my face. Sending hugs:)

    ReplyDelete
  75. I'm sitting here stunned... not realizing that I have been bobbing (more like barely treading water) in the middle my own ocean for the past several years and that it's time for me to swim to my shore. After my divorce I was so lost, so shattered for the future, the hopes, the dreams, the past, the actual heart stopping love. Thank you for writing this, it has opened my eyes to what I have been trying to ignore and act like everything is ok.... it's just not. I can't wait to go back and read this again and take the first kick toward the shore.

    ReplyDelete
  76. I am a long time follower/lurker and mostly now follow you on instagram. Although I can't necessarily relate to as what you are going through I want to thank you for keeping yourself real. In the last 6 months as I am finding the new me and my path in all new things with my anal/ocd, introvert, home body, give to me straight persona I started decluttering all things perfection. You are one of the few people I still follow. Even during what may be one of your darker days you are bringing smiles to many of us. I find you true and funny and love the relationship I see with your girls. You keep doing what you need to do. You do what you have to do and we will keep helping you along. I hope that you are feeling like you a little more every day.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Live your truth. Because at the end of the day, when you look back, the only thing no one can take from you is your integrity. And your girls will see it too. Lots of love!

    ReplyDelete
  78. Hey girl, hey!! Your insta stories are one of my favorites, I still see a confident woman who is doing her darn best to raise some confident young ladies. I have no great words of wisdom, nothing to say that will make any of this better, but from what I’ve seen, you are a fighter! I have no doubt you will fight and do whatever it takes to work through this grief and walk through this with your girls, and all of you will come out so much stronger! Hugs and love to you all!

    ReplyDelete
  79. Oh my goodness I love your words so much. Bless you from the bottom of my heart. How can we blogger friends support you? Put some links out and I will buy, buy, buy. Hugs to you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  80. Hey girl hey!! I've followed you for YEARS and you are easily one of my favorites because you are so real and down to earth and FUN!! My heart breaks for you and your fam. Having gone thru divorce myself, I know that next level sadness you're in. It truly gets worse before it gets better but it DOES get better!!! I've also been supporting my BFFF the last 2 years as she's gone thru a very painful and messy divorce so I totally relate and my heart goes out to you, your fam AND your bestie (she rocks!) You do you girl, you feel those emotions and you rock what you got. I always hated that saying about when one door shuts another opens but have found it to be SO true for me over and over again and am positive the same will happen for you! I am over 4 years out from my last breakup and 3 years into the most unexpected, magical relationship I could ever dream of. I wasn't searching for a new relationship but it just sort of happened and now I pinch myself sometimes to make sure I'm not dreaming. If it can happen to me, it can happen for you so never give up!! You are worth it, you are amazing and you deserve ALLLLL the good things!! I love you like you are one of my besties and am excited to see where you end up later on down the road - my guess it will be somewhere magical and more amazing than you could have ever dreamed up!!
    Thanks for all you do for your followers, you are loved and adored by so many! Sending big hugs, yummy drinks and allll the cookies <3

    ReplyDelete
  81. I’ve been with you since the very beginning - following along, loving your authenticity and joy, home projects and family stories. I watch you daily on Insta Stories for tips and laughs and real life mom moments. My marriage and world fell apart January 14th of this year. I could see myself in so much of your writing. It was hard to actually feel and identity with your words. But Hope rings true. It was my word of the year - before I even had my world come crashing down. Seeing it resonate in your post gives me even more hope. You will be in my prayers and I truly mean that. It’s not just a trite phrase to me but real truth. Thank you for this vulnerability. You have no idea the women it will touch and the hearts it will encourage to know that they aren’t alone. I know, because I am one of them. ♥️ Love you girl. And thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  82. This is what people love about you, this is why people follow you, why they CHOOSE to have you as a voice in their life. You are real, vulnerable and raw. And that is what people want and need, especially in a world where people are striving for a perfection they will never achieve.

    Let your emotions come and never apologize for them. You are allowed to feel/share it ALL. And you will encourage and help so many women who are going through it or have yet to go through it. You may not feel strong yet but you ARE!!

    ReplyDelete
  83. I’m a blog/instagram follower. Let me just say that you are brave and strong. I was where you are 11 years ago (as a mid-twenty something with a five year old). I have heard so many times “time heals all wounds”. It doesn’t heal it, but it makes the scar fade. This time in your life doesn’t define who you are as a person or as a mother. Allow yourself however long it takes to process and conquer this period of life you are in. Your girls will see you at your lows and highs but more important is they will see you being real and proof that you are strong as He//.

    ReplyDelete
  84. I went though divorce in 2000. I know your pain and heartache at the injustice that happens in divorce. I turned to my Savior and I look back now on those hard days and years as the worst and yet the best in some ways. I was enveloped in love from above and others around me. I was given strength to carry on. And I was able to do things on my own that I never imagined. The Lord provides and He will for you too! I am now married to a wonderful man! We share 8 children and 17 grandchildren. Life is good and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Give Him all your struggles and all your faith and let Him carry you! Love to you sweet sister! 😘 Heard this quote yesterday at church: “ You never know how strong you are until your faith is all you have.”
    Brought me back to those days and the gratitude I now have. And the ugly cry of course! 😜

    ReplyDelete
  85. In the past month, two of my friends lost their husbands unexpectedly... one in a car accident & the other shot himself. I have been at a loss on how to express my feelings of sympathy to them as I have not experienced what I can only imagine they are feeling. I will share your post with them today as my hope is that your testimony & journal might one day help them during their own grief journey. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  86. I always think about you and about this, know that I love you, pray for you and support you. I miss you and wish I saw more of you. My heart has been aching for you and I'm sure I'm not the only one that wishes they could help you heal through this process. Love you Shelley! You are incredible. x

    ReplyDelete
  87. God I love you and I don’t even know you�� You are so articulate in your writing~~I thought you were writing about my life. I am a 60 yr old woman~~suddenly single 14 yrs ago raising two daughters. Horribly tough and still hurts..but the strength you are gaining slowly and steadily will make you someday say I DID it! I still have a broken piece of my heart that’s never totally healed~but I survived and I set THE best example to my girls who, now at 26 and 29 tell everyone that I am the strongest woman they know. I wish I believed that. I applaud you for sharing your feelings ~you will heal quicker. For some strange reason I could not for many years be open to people why my husband and I were no longer together. I felt humiliated and felt like I didn’t want anyone to view me as weak. BIG mistake! Speak your truth~you did not ask for that! And now..14 years later as I share holidays and birthdays with my ex to keep our girls connected to our “family” I can’t help but be angry when he seems to have forgotten all the pain he caused us and he’ll jokingly say “Every story has two sides”... I never made him accountable-not 14 yrs ago-not ever. So share your story..work thru your pain..your new normal is just different now. And giving that much energy to someone that could walk away just isn’t worth grieving anymore. You are strong and so beautiful and vibrant~~we can see what you feel you’ve lost~~don’t rush yourself but know the strong woman you don’t seem to recognize right now is waiting for you on the other side!

    ReplyDelete
  88. Shelley, I first want to say that you are an amazing woman! My heart aches for the pain you and your girls are going through. I am not a mom and I've never been a wife so I don't know what it is like. But I know pain and grief.

    As a 38 year old, single Mormon I have felt immense grief - the grief of losing the life I thought I would live. I have felt shamed (not by my religion, nor any of its leaders) out of sharing my pain publicly. I know the pressure of feeling you have to have a smile 24/7. I know the pressure of feeling you have to answer "fine" through gritted teeth when people ask how you're doing. When I've actually let that dam break and have told someone the honest truth behind the question "how are you doing" I've seen the looks in their eyes as they totally regret asking the question. I know what it feels like to feel "not ok" in the Mormon culture (again, not the religion.) As you have not chosen your current situation, I have not chosen mine. But the beauty is that we can reach out and share our experiences. We can build our support network and we can prove to ourselves that we are ok.

    I felt compelled to reach out to you a while back on Instagram and just share with you what the Lord was saying to me. That was that you are an awesome mother. That you are exactly the mother your children need. I can tell that they think the world of you! You have a heart of gold - I can see that in the way you love your bestie.

    Life can totally suck sometimes. People will say with good intentions that "the Lord never gives us trials we can't handle." I say phooey to that! We are handed trials that we can NEVER handle...alone. We MUST rely on the Lord. And he has given us families, friends, and trusted leaders to support us through these trials. It is only WITH the Savior and through these earthly angels that we are EVER going to make it through the suckiest of earthly trials. That is how we go from coal to a diamond.

    I wish we could be friends in "real life." I would hug you, dance with you, and help you through this suckiness!

    ReplyDelete
  89. I read your blog post and didn’t comment. I went and watched your insta stories and felt I just had to say something. I truly enjoy watching you everyday and the love that you have for your family. I’ve been in your shoes, I don’t know the details of what you are going through but I’ve been through something similar. Your heart just doesn’t know how to process the amount of betrayl that someone that you love more than anything can inflict on it. It’s devastating, and for someone to say that you aren’t grieving or handling it better is full of sh*t. You are doing the best you can, in a situation that you didn’t sign up for. Your strength and your constant smile tell me what kind of person you are. You’re a fighter and I know that you and your sweet girls will be better off for the struggles you are going through. It gets better, there will for sure be dark days but little by little they get brighter. Keep being you and don’t let anyone make you doubt yourself!!!! Thanks for putting it all out there and being real ❤️❤️❤️

    ReplyDelete
  90. Girl, you get my standing ovation for showing up to life AND for just being beautiful you! Xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  91. Girl, you get my standing ovation for showing up to life AND for being beautiful you? Xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  92. It’s okay with me that you’re not okay. That’s totally normal, I think. I wouldn’t be okay either. But I want you to know that I think you are pretty awesome. As well as pretty and awesome. Just keep on keeping on, you have tons of support here. Thanks for sharing your story. Xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  93. No words. Just Tight hugs. ❤️❤️❤️ Much love, thoughts, prayers and admiration!

    ReplyDelete
  94. I am so proud of you for writing something so hard but so beautiful. Greif is hard and it does change you. I often wonder how different of a person, mother and friend I'd be if the greif and experiences I went through 18 years ago we're different or didn't happen. I don't know but I have learned to love the new me and am grateful for it. It took many years but I am who I am because of the experiences that really most shouldn't have to deal with. I am so impressed with how well you have handled everything so far. You inspire me. Thank you for being you and for showing that even though trials suck and sometimes life in general sucks, there is still amazing things to smile about. Thank you for making me smile each day with my new struggles I have been dealing with this year. Oh and the swearing yah I do it way too much too now. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Thank you for sharing your raw emotions about what has happened in your life. I have followed your blog for years and always enjoyed reading your posts and all of the creative and amazing things that you have accomplished and created. I pray for you and your family in this time of change and know that you will only come out better that you were before. Much love to you all!

    ReplyDelete
  96. I know from personal experience that you can feel all alone. Just keep doing your thing and being you. You are doing a great job with your girls. The fight is not over dealing with your grief. But many people will support you, love you and pray for you. Much love!!��

    ReplyDelete
  97. Lots of hugs and love, Shelley. You are f*cking strong as hell and you just keep on being not okay, and sharing about it, for as long as you want/need to.

    ReplyDelete
  98. I wish I knew some wonderful words of wisdom to help you through this.... But I don't have them. I do want to thank you for being brave enough to share this.
    I love how genuine you are. Your ability to be so open with your readers has always pulled me in. My heart breaks for you and your girls.
    Your statement about grief really struck a nerve with me. Please know that I am sending support, prayers, and love from TN.
    All you can do is take it one step at time, one foot in front of the other. And you hold your head up high!! You are a handling all of this with an amazing amount of class!!

    ReplyDelete
  99. You are amazing and I so appreciate your vulnerability and courage in sharing. I also appreciate you keeping it classy and not dragging your ex through the mud (he probably did that already himself), but for your girls sake that is super important to not see that happening. Lots of encouragement, cheers and prayers for you and your beautiful daughters from me.

    ReplyDelete
  100. Shelley, I have been where you are, blindsided, alone, grief beyond measure! It was the hardest time of my life. I was alone with a one year old son wondering what to do next with my life. We were abandoned and discarded like trash. When I think about that time I can still feel the scar on my heart twinge. I have learned that my scar is a badge of bravery and strength. It took a long time to form, but it made me a more complete person believe it or not. It gave me empathy for the pain of others, it taught me that cookie cutters only belong in the kitchen and not as a mold/measure for our lives. I love what you said about grief! It is so true! This experience will change you and shape you. You will, when you are ready, be able to bless the lives of so many others because you will be able to truly walk with them because you have been down the same path. I cried for you today because I know the pain is so intense and hard to handle at times. You give yourself all the time you need, you share what you want and keep back what you want private. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Know that there are so many praying for you even little ol' me in Norther Virginia. Take time to feel the love and prayers that are being sent on your behalf and let them fill you up on those days where moving forward is hard. You are loved!

    ReplyDelete
  101. You are so strong. Sending you love. ❤️

    ReplyDelete
  102. I've followed you for years. Way before social media when I had to log onto the internet to see what you were posting about. I used to think you were just the cutest, coolest, funniest chick. I never commented on anything back then cause I used to think, "why would she wanna hear what I have to say, little ol me, shes got many followers, she doesn't need me and my 2 cents" Fast forward to now, I follow you and DM you on insta and I'm not even gonna lie when I log on and don't see a story from you I think "wtf, where is she and why isn't' she on insta" hahaha. I'm so glad that I started commenting on your stories and posts, even if it IS about makeup sometimes, or just a heat, or to tell you that you made me cry too, or to say I'm sorry you are going through this. I'm so glad that somehow, someway I feel like we are friends. You have me laughing CONSTANTLY. Besides you being SO funny, SO pretty, So organized, such a cute decorator, such a cute fashionista, such a wonderful mom, etc,etc,etc. I can't even begin to describe how much respect I have for you for letting us in on this part of your story. For being "real". Being "real" is my favorite part. I only follow 2/3 blogs (you being my fav of course) but I stopped following a lot of blogs because, I'm sorry, but NO your house and life aren't always perfect. And I don't like that perception at all. It's not real. It's not raw. Your strength, your bravery, your inner beauty...I really envy those things about you. It is ABSOLUTLY ok not to be OKAY. and thank you for making that okay. Your girls....sheesh... you can hear it in their laughter, you can see it in their smiles, their mom ROCKS !!!! And she ROCKS SO F&*&*&* HARD !!!!! Sorry for the F word. Thank you, thank you for letting us in, thank you for putting yourself out there, thank you for being so real, thank you for being you. Hugs to you and your girls....#YouGotThis

    ReplyDelete
  103. Your statement about missing the naive truth is so true. My ex-husband shattered everything I thought I knew to be true. It has been so hard feeling like even the good memories were lies. It is many years later and lots of therapy but I am really happy now. I wanted to teach my three daughters' about a strong marriage and how to be a good wife but that wasn't my lesson to teach. (((Hugs to you)))

    Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  104. I adore you and the strength it took for you to write this. I cry right along with you, because I know and feel your pain. Everyday is a battle, and some days are most certainly better then others, other days not so much. As a Mom we always feel weight on our shoulders and to not have someone there to share that burden, I think that’s what hurts me the most.
    I know you have the strength to overcome this because you are amazing. You brighten my day as well as many others. Just hearing your phrase “Hey girl Hey” puts a smile on my face and brightens my day. Stay strong and keep smiling. Hugs

    ReplyDelete
  105. The people that I admire the most are those that are raw and vulnerable. Thank you for sharing your story and your struggles. It is OK to not be OK. My heart is broken for you but I am amazed how strong you are and I know you're going to be an amazing single mom. Thank you for being REAL.

    ReplyDelete
  106. I just want to send you some love. I’m a relatively new follower, and I love your openness and honesty. You are a strong brace woman, and I admire you ❤️

    ReplyDelete
  107. I never comment by just have to say thank you so much for sharing your heart. I pray for you and your girls. In the end good always wins, and I pray that you win big. I love watching your Insta stories and your hey girl heys❤️❤️

    ReplyDelete
  108. I'm sure you have so many comments to go through and I hesitated to add to the pile, but I had to let you know how I feel about you. You've opened my eyes to my own "kick-ass" single mother. I won't pretend that I know what you're going through, because I don't. I do know that because of you I'm going to give my mom the biggest hug and let her know how much I appreciate everything she's gone through for the 4 of us kids today. I do know (and you have no idea about this) that I smile bigger because of you ... I have been insecure about my smile since I was a little girl...anyway, we were hanging out at an event years ago and we got a picture together and I used to smile with my lips closed and it really was a horrible smile and you said to me, "smile like you want to be here". I was like "of course I want to be here!", but I had no idea my insecurity about my smile was so obvious. Soooo, since that day I always smile bigger and it might sound silly but it's made a huge difference in my life. I admire the influence you have on so many around you (just look at all of these freakin' comments!) This post grabbed my heart to tears....and then I was fine and then they started up again after reading the comment above by that dude Brady Wilhelm. The wonderful thing about this post is while you are the one who needs cheering up and hope, you are cheering up, giving hope, and inspiring thousands around you. THANK YOU.

    ReplyDelete
  109. I have followed you for soooo long and I really do not comment on post. I love following you on Instagram, my kids think your awesome!!! I look forward to your post, good the bad and the ugly. I am really glad you shared with us today and that you are being true to yourself! I wish you all love and prayers that your followers can provide. I have not been in your shoes, but I have been a single mom and am now married with a blended family. Some days are just plan hard no matter what your circumstances are. We all just have to keep going and do the best we can with what we have and where we are in life at this point.

    ReplyDelete
  110. Thank you for your honest sharing of how hard divorce is. Too many of us have been through it, and it takes as long as it takes to move forward. Don’t apologize for not being okay. It is Ok to not be Ok - it would be more weird if you were Ok! Anyway, thank you and I am praying for you and your sweet girls.

    ReplyDelete
  111. I have wondered about you for sometime now. I am a long time follower...pre-pinteresthen ....when you and Jen H. were the people that provided all the content out here. My heart breaks for you, but I see the strength in you. Your words are beautiful and I am certain your blog will help others. I have a friend that is dealing with the grief of losing her dad, and I sent her that beautiful graphic you made on Instagram. Long time follower and I am here for the old or new Shelley that blogs!

    ReplyDelete
  112. You are amazing! ❤️ This post. Your honesty and openness are great to hear. Thank you for posting.

    ReplyDelete
  113. From a long time reader/follower I am so proud of you for being real and sharing. You are so much stronger than you know. I pray for you and your girls everyday and I know you will come out stronger in the other side of this.

    ReplyDelete
  114. Shelley, thank you for your raw vulnerability in this post. I just want to send you lots of love and a big hug. Understandably this is the toughest thing you have every been through and I just want you to know that I see confidence in the Instagram stories you post. I see spontaneous dance parties with your girls. I see motivation to bring your viewers great content and great products. I see creativity in your after school snacks and so much fun and patience in your home on a daily basis. Thank you for sharing your REAL life with us always.

    ReplyDelete
  115. Sending love and peace. Your shameless vulnerability amazes and astounds me. Someone who feels all alone is reading this and feeling less alone. You are a freakin' warrior. Sending love and light all the way from Canada.

    ReplyDelete
  116. Thank you for sharing your story. ❤ Love you. ❤

    ReplyDelete
  117. Great insight. I have shared this with my daughter, who is going through much the same thing.

    ReplyDelete
  118. 0h Shelley, thank you for your honesty. I have followed you forever and love you for who you are. I just went through some terrible things myself and the line “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” became so real for me. So much growth happens through tribulation - an awareness of others and what they are going through and being empathetic and appreciating what you do have. But like an open wound, a scab eventually forms - it’s not going to be so painful forever. Hang in there and keep being a good friend and an awesome Mom!

    ReplyDelete
  119. Thank you for sharing. πŸ˜₯ πŸ’—

    ReplyDelete
  120. I have also been a quiet follower for a while, but NEEDED to let you know that you are a kick-ass mom and a kick-ass woman! Thanks for being vulnerable and real all the time, and for being so dang funny when when you are actually hurting. Sending good vibes and prayers for strength and perserverance your way, mama.

    ReplyDelete
  121. Thank you for sharing your truth with us, your loyal followers/readers!!! We appreciate that you trust us enough to be open and honest with us. You and your girls will be in my prayers. I hope it helps knowing that you have a lot of friends pulling for you!!!! :)

    Vickie
    Tallahassee, Fl

    ReplyDelete
  122. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your girls. I've been a single Mum for 10 years now (kids are now 14 and 12) as a result of betrayal and lies and bad behaviour that was never going to change. I like you wanted to make it work and gave chances however he did not change and I was forced to end it. The thing that is the hardest part is you love this person one day and the next day your hands are forced and you have to stop loving them because of what they have done to the marriage and trust however you don't fall out of love you have to stop the very minute which is really hard because it wasn't your choice. He has moved on to two other relationships all the while still with the same behaviour so I don't believe he will ever change. Me on the other hand my motto was "get out of bed, put your make up on and get through today" you can't think of the next week, the future you just have to do the best you can today. The grief from having to end your marriage is heartbreaking and not having another adult in the house at night to talk to, plan your weekends, your life still makes makes me sad but it is what it is. I long for that one day again. Nothing that anyone says will make you get rid of the pain even though people can empathize with you having been through it themselves or put themselves in your shoes if it ever happened to them. You deserve respect, trust and happiness as do I. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    ReplyDelete
  123. Sweet girl, I know this post was so hard for you and I am so sorry for the pain you've been going through but know that your words came when I needed to hear them. Today, March 12th, is the 4th anniversary of my daughter passing. She would be 23. Grief is grief, pain is pain and the fact that you hit publish shows that you are healing. Some days will be better than others, but one day you'll wake up and realize there's far more good days than bad. You will get there, you are doing great. God bless you and your precious girls πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“

    ReplyDelete
  124. I have loved watching you through your blog and Instagram; you are so inspiring and such an amazing woman and mom. I have cried through so much of this post and could have written this almost word for word for myself. I have been divorced 5 years and some days the loneliness is still hard. I still get emabarrassed to tell people I am divorced and often want to follow it up with “this was not my choice I didnt want this life.” Know that days do get better(even if it never actually goes away) and I am praying for you and your girls!! I may not know you but you are loved and for real wish we could be best friends!!!

    ReplyDelete
  125. Thank you. Thank you for trusting us with the hard stuff. Thank you for being real. Thank you for being the awesome person you are. I have followed you for years. I followed you. I followed your spunk, your OCD, your hair expertise, and your design eye. That’s what brightens my feed every day. So thank you for letting us lift you up when you need it as you have done for us throughout the years. Sending love, hugs, and lots of prayers as you make your way through this next chapter.

    ReplyDelete
  126. Grief and I have been very close friends many, many days, weeks, months and years. It can either destroy you or make you stronger. I believe you will have days that are hard as hell and you will have days that you rock. Just when you think it's all smooth sailing, you will be dealt a hurricane. That is just the way it works. Time does not heal. What you do with your time heals. You will continue to find your way on this path you didn't know you were going to take. You will show your precious girls what strength really is. You will be the most influential woman in their lives and they will be so proud of you. It takes courage to open up and be so real and honest. Grief is hard but sharing it not only helps you but also others that are suffering. I know this because after losing one of my precious children, I started and ran a support group for 15 years for bereaved parents. Shared grief is shared love and it does help so much. You and your girls are going to be just fine. I know it.

    ReplyDelete
  127. Let it out girl. I will be here to read and cry along with you. Your light shines in the darkness that is sometimes life. Hugs to you.

    ReplyDelete
  128. You’ve got this!! You can do this new life! it will get easier.

    ReplyDelete
  129. So raw and real. Beautiful yet excruciating. Poignant. And with dignity and respect. You’ve always been classy and it’s clear you still are as you move through this next chapter. I’m here to support you from afar in whatever way I am able.

    ReplyDelete
  130. As a mom I think that you are doing an amazing job for your girls. This is one of my biggest fears.. As a daughter of divorced parents I think this post was perfect and amazing. I love your part about being kind. My mom has been divorced 3 times and they were not pretty. I was young and then a teenager. It’s hard on everyone. I watch you and your girls and I think you are doing amazing. Don’t hide your sadness but still live and be you! You are doing it and teaching us all valuable lessons. Thank you.. you are strong! You are loved!

    ReplyDelete
  131. Grief is love's souvenir. It's our proof that we once loved. Grief is the receipt we wave in the air that says to the world: Look! Love was once mine. I love well. Here is my proof that I paid the price.
    Glennon Doyle Melton, Love Warrior

    When you referenced grief and love being so connected, I immediately thought of this quote. If you haven't already, pick up this book. Her story is a little different from yours but, then again, none of us were made the same.

    Sending you love, strength, and sisterhood. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  132. Thank you so much for sharing every word of this! This right here is my exact story. Blindsided, betrayed, grieving, lost. I am trying to figure out what the heck to do with my life still and how in the world to make a living before the child support and alimony are gone:( Ironically I’m thinking of starting a blog and hoping it can grow into something beautiful like your’s that might one day allow me to be home with my youngest and provide for myself in the future. I’ve followed your blog since nearly the beginning and have been inspired by you along the way and am still inspired by you now:) Much Love!❤️

    ReplyDelete
  133. It will get better. You will be happy again. It's hard to believe now, but it is true. You will find a beauty and a strength in you that you never knew existed. That you couldn't comprehend. Heavenly Father will take your weakness and together you will find that strength. And He's okay with you being angry on the way. I had many blessings in my darkest hours. I had many hopeful phrases, but I remember being told that I was becoming the woman He needed me to be to do work that only I could do. I also, did not have control over my husband's choices. Only mine.


    I am grateful you shared because we need your voice. Life is so freaking hard, and so many of us are experiencing desperate times that we didn't ask for. We need to lift each other and strengthen each other and I needed your words today. It makes me feel less alone. Three years ago I might have been one of the readers judging you. I'm so sorry to write that. But never, never could that be me again. There may be some ugly things written or spoken, but there are so many of us who are weeping with you, and needed your words. Thank you. God bless you. Don't give up.

    ReplyDelete
  134. First of all, you're not alone in dealing with this. Just because not everyone talks about it doesn't mean it hasn't happened to (so) many of us. Second, at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is your kids. Just from the small glimpses we see of your life, you have gone above and beyond to maintain a happy and normal life for your girls, all the while keeping it classy AND kind. Believe me...that will matter to them more than anything, and you can always hold your head high and know that you've done the absolute best job you could. Life will always throw sh*t at us; it's how we process it that matters. And you have done an amazing job...please don't ever forget that. Sending you lots of hugs and love....

    ReplyDelete
  135. My friend sent me this link. She has been following your blog for awhile and when she read this one, she thought of me and what I'm going through- unexpected betrayal, being blind-sided, worst thing ever in my life, all of that is my story also. Reading your blog today was the most helpful thing for me. It was exactly what I needed to read. Here I am, feeling bad at 7 months that I don't feel better already- beating myself up for that. It was a GREAT RELIEF to read that grief takes MUCH LONGER and it's TOTALLY NORMAL that I'm still grieving and TOTALLY NORMAL that you are still grieving. Grief is a journey, not a destination...and all that. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this and sharing it. I'm so grateful for my friend who shared it with me and for all my incredible friends and family who are such strong supports for me right now. Stay strong. Keep on keeping on. Onwards. And all of that....

    ReplyDelete
  136. Dear Shelley-I haven’t read through all of the comments, so I don’t know that I’ll be saying anything that hasn’t been said you dozens of times before already. But I did read your entire post and I think it was amazing. I’ve only been following you on Instagram for a couple of months now, so I only “know” the “after” you. I didn’t “know” the “before” you, so I have nothing to compare you against. Maybe that’s a good thing, because I think that you that you are right now is straight up amazing! The Instagram algorithms don’t lie, and you are always at the top of my feed. I have commented on some trivial posts and I have commented on some heavy posts, because I can relate to what you’re going through. I found myself divorced after 18 years of marriage when my two kids were probably a little older than yours. And I was pretty sure that I had failed at life. From that point on I found myself questioning every decision I made in my life. Like, Every. Single. One. Including (especially) the decision to get divorced at all. Even though really there was no other decision to be made. And I remember calling my grandmother while sitting in some random parking lot I had pulled into because I was having an anxiety attack about how my kids were going to be and about my generally screwed-up life. And she said something to me that I’ve never forgotten. Well, first of all she just listened, which was amazing. And then she said this- “Boo, (her nickname for me) I know you can’t imagine it now, but there will come a time in the future, I don’t know how far in the future, but you will be able to look back and realize that where you are at that moment, in that good and happy place, you could have only gotten there by going through everything you’re going through right now.” And she was right. At the time I couldn’t even think about that because I could barely get through the next five minutes, let alone think that at some point in the future I would actually be happy, and look back on that s*#tstorm as a stepping stone to get me to where I am now. I don’t want you to think this is overlooking your request to just be right now. I know you don’t want anyone to fix this for you or to try and fast forward into the future. My sweet Gram is gone now and I know you lost your grandmother recently so I know you know what that’s like. I wish she were still here to be wise and counsel me. Because even at the age of 52, finally happy, I still miss that and her. But I want you to have my grandmother’s wisdom as a little jewel you can tuck away in your pocket and maybe pull out at a future date, like I did, and realize that she was right. I pray for that for you. I pray that the light will refract through that jewel and blind you with rainbows. And I hope you’ll let me know when it happens.

    Until then, as someone who is still on friendly terms with her ex-husband 12+ years after our divorce, I can tell you you’ll never regret taking the high road when it comes to any discussion with your kids about their dad whenever that is possible. I know there are times when that is a challenge that seems in surmountable, but that’s one thing that my mom did for me and my brothers when she and my dad got divorced and one thing that I tried hard to do for my kids when I got divorced. Your girls will acknowledge and recognize that, especially if it isn’t reciprocated. Other than that I say be wholly yourself on your blog and on IG. I’m sure I speak for others when I say that we love every little bit of you! Don’t any of us need any sugar coating Sister-friend! I’m listening... Much love from Boise ������

    ReplyDelete
  137. I am so sorry you and your beautiful girls are going through this. I have been through it as well but without children, however I understand that it hurts and hurts hard. Please know we are all thinking of you and praying for you. I know you got this. I am looking forward to when you realize the same. Virtual hugs!

    ReplyDelete
  138. When I was trying to create and complete my family over the course of a 10 yr immersion in infertility treatments, I blogged in that space and the true, real connections I made there buoyed me through my darkest days. Blogging brought me one of my closest in real life friends. All this to say that I am mostly only drawn to authentic story tellers. Which is why I'm drawn to you. Just recently as you storied your daughters' return home from school with your characteristic, hey, girl, hey!, I thought to myself, 'gosh, is she really like that all the time?', 'does she really always muster all that?', 'that cannot be how it is every.single.day!' So, I appreciate you being real and vulnerable and raw, because, I was beginning to wonder.
    I've only known you as a single mom. I've never really wondered all that much about when, why, or how your marriage ended. For one, it's none of my business, and for two, being married or separated or divorced didn't define who you are to me or why I connected with you in the first place.
    I sense you are going through an unimaginable loss of not only your marriage and partnership, but also your identity as a wife and co-parent partner. I am sorry and you are allowed to be completely grief-stricken as much and as long as you need to be. There is no timeline or timetable for grief or processing. It is what it is for as long as it is. Be kind and compassionate and patient with yourself. You don't owe anyone anything. My brother died 40 yrs ago and still sometimes the grief comes out of left field and cripples me.
    I hope you'll continue to share your process and that doing so is cathartic and lessens your load.
    Wrapping you up in a warm hug across the interwebs.

    ReplyDelete
  139. Sending you love from south Georgia!!! Girl every night when I get in the bed the first thing I do is get on instagram to view your videos. So know that YOU are a big part of MY DAY! I've followed you for YEARS and I have always loved you! "I CAN DO HARD THINGS!!!..." please don't ever stop sharing yourself with us... you are an amazing person and put a smile on my face!!!

    ReplyDelete
  140. ♡♡♡♡ Sending positive thoughts and love your way Shelley ♡♡♡♡

    ReplyDelete
  141. It's been a looooooong time since I have commented on a blog (probs yours was the last one I commented on years ago :-)) . You know I think you are amazing .... and I'm so sorry this has happened to you. I wanted to tell you that you should never be worried about telling your truth just because what you had was so great. The love in your marriage to Cason created your girls ... and for many years that love was who you were. I enjoyed being part of your world when you were in love with life back then and I love being part of your world now that you are navigating new waters. Please ignore the people and opinions that say you cant change or you are somehow less than because your circumstance have changed ... life is very short (trust me I know that ) way too short for you to pollute your mind with others peoples BS. Try and stay strong - and take comfort in the outpouring of love you have from your friends online. Big Big Love Elizabeth (from Oz) xxxxx

    ReplyDelete
  142. When I went through my divorce I remember a friend telling me that one year from now I would be floored at how different my life would be and looking back, she was absolutely right. Maybe you aren't ok, and that's totally ok because this kind of grief doesn't have a flow chart but I bet you are a little bit more ok than you were a year ago and that right there my friend gives you hope. Hope that everything will eventually be ok. You'll be ok, your girls WILL be ok because you will make sure if it and I think I feel confident saying you WILL love again. Maybe not this year, maybe not next year but when you're ready. This isn't a road any of us ever wanted to walk but damn if it didn't make us realize we are stronger than we ever thought we were and honestly, that's a nice realization. Take your time to grieve but keep yourself open to love. Day by day and then after a year, take a look back and I'll bet you are doing better than you thought you'd be. ❤️

    ReplyDelete
  143. I am blessed to know you through your beautiful Instagram and blog. Your blog was the very first blog I followed many many years ago. I was smitten the second I fell upon it. You have amazing talent! Thank you for sharing your life. The ups and downs. My heart aches for you and your sweet daughters on all that you are going through. My prayers are with you. Please know that you are so beautiful and inspirational. You are strong! You are an amazing mother!

    ReplyDelete
  144. Shelley, I’ve been following your blog since pretty much forever. You always bring a smile to my face and I just adore you. I feel like I want to defend & protect you as if you are my little sister and I’m so mad that someone hurt you. You are amazing and I’m so glad you made the decision to share your story and grief with all of us. You have so many cheerleaders that you may not even know exist. Sending strength, love and prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  145. like so many others, I've been a follower for years! Life has gotten in the way of my blogging and reading others. Every now and then something catches my eye and I pop into blogs I haven't read in a while. I agree with you about being real! It's hard to compete with what people show online some times! But we all know that no one is perfect. We all go through hard times. and as tough as it is to say it sometimes, it's our truth and it telling our truths connects us over this world wide web thing even more! It was very refreshing to hear honesty! And hopefully telling us all your pain was able to bring you some relief! Take care! You are beautiful and you'll make it through!

    ReplyDelete
  146. I love seeing the happy that you still share in your stories, despite the heartache. It's okay to be pissed and angry and sad; treat yo'self when you need that pick-me-up... then, as Pres. Hinckley's dad said, "...go to work."
    Can't wait to see what you (continue) to do, with or without your hubby. You got this, momma. ❤️πŸ‘Š

    ReplyDelete
  147. raisinglittledisciples on Instagram: But it’s only when we are vulnerable, offering up our weakness, that we become powerful. 😱 This was a light bulb moment for me on Sunday when I realized afresh that Jesus ran toward all our weakness, ran toward our pain and brokenness so that he could make us whole and give us his power, his perfection. The light bulb was that I don’t have to be perfect, I don’t have to strive or compare and compete. I don’t have to avoid weakness, in fact it’s in my weakness that he makes me strong... But the gritty bit, when I took a deep breath in: is that I’m avoiding vulnerability, revealing my weakness, to avoid pain. Duh! Right?!... I don’t want rejection, criticism, to be patronized, belittled. And it’s possible when I offer myself out wholeheartedly that I invite that. BUT as BrenΓ© Brown says, “Vulnerability is also the birth place for joy, belonging, love and connection.” So I’m gonna keep trying. Not to be perfect and powerful, but to be vulnerable. Because I value connection more than avoiding pain. I value people, so I will choose vulnerability...
    It’s in our vulnerability, in our courage, that we are truly powerful. And we can really empower others...

    ReplyDelete
  148. You are literally my favorite :). My daughter and I love watching you each and every day. So sad your heart's been broken; your faith shook. Hold on . . . Better days are on the horizon. You are valued and have worth beyond rubies, lovely lady. None of us are perfect - we have to laugh & love through our brokenness.

    ReplyDelete
  149. Thank you for sharing. I read a quote recently that said "Life isn't fair and no one gets the journey they wanted. They get the journey that fosters their growth best." I am sorry for the heartache you are going through. It will change you forever. May God bless you as you travel your path in life and forge your new life. You are stronger than you think.

    ReplyDelete
  150. I don’t think I’ve ever read a more raw and real blog post. I can’t imagine how hard that was to write and what courage it took to post.

    I wish you peace, strength, courage and most of all love. You will make it through this storm. Just keep swimming!

    ♥️

    ReplyDelete
  151. You put everything in my head and heart into beautiful words in your blog. Thank you! 2 years and 12 days for me ... taking things one day at a time!

    ReplyDelete
  152. You put what is in my head and heart into words on your blog and I thank you for your bravery and authenticity!!!! 2 years and 12 days for me ...

    ReplyDelete
  153. I have followed you for a really long time and I don’t think I’ve ever commented on a blog ever! Ha! If I’m reading between the lines correctly, my parents went through the same thing when I was in high school. When my dad left, he left all of us and never looked back. It was the darkest time in my life but I can say without a doubt that it also made me stronger than any other event in my life. I’m afraid you can never go back to the kiddy pool and it’s sometimes frustrating to see all the people in the kiddy pool, but also it’s amazing to feel the weightlessness of yourself in the ocean. Something you just can’t experience in the kiddy pool. Our pastor always told my mom as long as one parent stays on the straight and narrow your kids will make it. Your kiddos will make it and they will thrive! I love how real you are and how you told your story in such a classy way. Mostly, I just wanted to offer you encouragement, prayers and kind thoughts. You will make it through this and you will be even better on the other side. There are so many of us on this side of your blog and Instagram that think you are pretty fantastic. I’ve found myself thinking on more than a few occasions, if we ever met I think we’d be really great friends.

    ReplyDelete
  154. I've never looked at grief the way you explained it here. It struck my heart and made me cry because IT'S TRUE. I had no idea about any of this when I started watching your Insta Stories. So when you mentioned this a while back, my heart sank for you. You always seem so upbeat and to be such a fun and loving Mom. And I totally believe those things are TRUE. They do not seem fake or forced. But thank you for sharing another real side of you. Another real side to relate to. You are an amazing woman.

    ReplyDelete
  155. All the love to you and thank you for opening up.

    ReplyDelete
  156. Even though divorce is not something I can personally relate to, this post is still so relevant to anyone reading it. Thank you. Thank you for sharing that vulnerability and giving me a greater perspective on life, love and loss.

    ReplyDelete
  157. So sorry to hear you are having to go through this! I can tell though that you are an amazingly strong and beautiful woman. May you have the strength to triumph from this trial and write a happy ending to the book of your life.

    ReplyDelete
  158. My heart goes out to you Shelley! I sincerely hope you know that you are loved. You sharing your feelings and raw emotions was no easy task. (I have a hard time opening up, so God bless you for your bravery). I don’t have eloquent words but I send a ~virtual hug~ and I’ll be praying for you. Take care ❤️

    ReplyDelete
  159. I haven’t suffered grief for the same reason as you, but reading your words made me realize that grief is grief. Because I have felt all of the things you have felt. And it sucks. But, I’m at the other end. And I feel GOOD. Great, even! Sometimes it will all hit me like a blow to the head and for a short time, I will feel it all again. But it’s rare now. And it passes faster. So, I’m sure you’ve heard this 1 million times, but it will get better. I know, because I’ve been there. It does get better. And, now I wish I could go back and tell my old self these words. Because during the hardest part - the beginning of it all - it would have been nice to know that I would totally survive and come out even better! But also, I’m different in bad ways now too. Untrusting, anxious, worrying - all things that weren’t part of my personality before are now part of who I am now. That part is frustrating. I miss the old me so much! But I’ve learned to love the new me. It’s taken some time. And like you, I didn’t want my grief to define who I am. So keep doing what you’re doing because I think you are amazing. You’ve unknowningly (and knowingly - one of the good things about social media!) touched so many lives by sharing this. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  160. I have been following your blog and IG since our daughters were at Pleasant Green Elementary together. My heart goes out to you because I, too have felt the pain of betrayal. Three years later and I still have my days. I'm not sure if you have seen the movie or read the book "Eat, Pray, Love." If you haven't, you definitely should. Elizabeth Gilbert says, "A friend took me to the most amazing place the other day. It’s called the Augusteum. Octavian Augustus built it to house his remains. When the barbarians came they trashed it a long with everything else. The great Augustus, Rome’s first true great emperor. How could he have imagined that Rome, the whole world as far as he was concerned, would be in ruins. It’s one of the quietest, loneliest places in Rome. The city has grown up around it over the centuries. It feels like a precious wound, a heartbreak you won’t let go of because it hurts too good. We all want things to stay the same. Settle for living in misery because we’re afraid of change, of things crumbling to ruins. Then I looked at around to this place, at the chaos it has endured – the way it has been adapted, burned, pillaged and found a way to build itself back up again. And I was reassured, maybe my life hasn’t been so chaotic, it’s just the world that is, and the real trap is getting attached to any of it. Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.” I wish your heart so much healing and the strength to get to the greatness that is on the other side of this mountain of grief and healing. XOXO from one single Mama to another. You got this girl!

    ReplyDelete
  161. As women I’m convinced that the greatest gift we can give to each is “being real”. EVERYONE has crap in their life’s. Some women are so insecure that they spend a lot of time and money so no one sees the cracks in their armor. I feel sad for them. They don’t allow themselves to connect with real women. Thank you for being real! By doing so you are helping countless others. You are giving others HOPE. I love what you said about grief. So insightful! Hang in there and keep doing what you do.

    ReplyDelete
  162. You don't know me - I see you at Costco periodically. The next time I see you I will be hugging you. Consider yourself warned.

    ReplyDelete
  163. I've been following for a long time, and never commented (like many of the commenters on this post.) It saddens me that there are those that would rejoice your pain, but I am grateful for all of those who chose to comment here today for being voices of understanding and empathy.

    ReplyDelete
  164. Thank you for your eloquent painful truth...your faith, love and joy you share with your girlies will be your lasting legacy...as my mother has always said "it is a great life if you don't weaken" and you are stronger than you know...xx

    ReplyDelete
  165. Oh honey. I don't even know where to begin I just wish I could sit on your sofa and hug you forever. So many real hardcore truths in this post. My heart aches for you and your sorrow but I believe in your strength. You have so much support, in your community, among your friends, and in the blog community too. You have so much courage and you will rise and be your girls' #1 role model for life. Sending so much love.
    xoxo
    Kate

    ReplyDelete
  166. I have followed you off and on for years. Thank you for sharing your pain. You are human. You deserve to be happy. Keeping you in my heart. Big sighs and deep breaths. <3

    ReplyDelete
  167. We are usually strongest when we feel the weakest. The way you are momming those girls is nothing short of inspiring, thank you for sharing your realness. And it's okay to be not okay. ❤️

    ReplyDelete
  168. Thanks for your openness and honesty. This is not easy (clearly), but I hope it gets easier everyday. <3

    ReplyDelete
  169. I can't even imagine how you must feel and the amount of stress you are under. Thank you for being transparent and real. No judgement here! Prayers as you struggle through this horribly rough time in life!

    ReplyDelete
  170. From a longtime early reader: Love. Hugs. Prayers for you to a God who loves you & DOES work all things together for your good. No judgement & huge praise for your honesty & raw vulnerability. Push on!!! Keep allowing yourself time & space to process & grieve. Healing WILL come. Joy will slowly return. You will rise & be better for itπŸ’—

    ReplyDelete
  171. Thank you for giving your voice to my own experience. I've been divorced almost 9 years and my kids are all grown and on their own, but I have yet to find "me" again. The majority of my life was spent as a devoted wife and mother, and it's been very difficult to remember who I was before all that. Working through the anger and grief is hard work, especially when I have to live so close to him and his second family. We get along much better now, but he clearly had an easier time moving on that I have. It's hard finding someone when you're 56 years old and have only had one love in your life - dating at my age is a joke.

    Anyway, it doesn't seem like it now because you have tunnel vision and probably can't think or plan more than a few days at a time, but just know that things will eventually get better. They won't ever be the same, but the new normal will come and you'll find happiness in new places. Hugs from someone who knows...

    ReplyDelete
  172. Thank you for your honesty and sharing so much of your heart with all of us! I have been a huge fan of yours for many years! As a matter of fact we are friends! Just as my kids, I tell them that you are my good friend who lives in Utah!;) So as your friend I am sending you HUGE HUGS and prayers through this time and let you know that I am PROUD to be a friend to such an amazing strong brave mother! Know that you are loved by so many of us and that you are truly helping many women through this struggle!! You are a gift to all of us! XO Friend!!

    ReplyDelete
  173. Hi! I am so, so sorry for the pain you are going through. It's hard enough to deal with it yourself (or trying to) but to have to see hurt in your children's eyes, no matter what their age. One of the things that friends said to me, which I absolutely, 150% hated hearing, "It will get better with time". I didn't not what to hear that. I hurt now! Don't tell me I have to wait to feel better. But you know what, even though there will always be some hurt and pain, no matter how much time passes, it does get better. Without even realizing it, time passed, and I stood on my own two feet, I was/am happy with my life (overall). After 21 years of even an unhappy marriage, with happy times, it's hard to see the light, but it IS THERE. Hang in there. Keep your babies close. You seem to have a good network of close friends who are there for you. You can do this. Sorry, I don't know you and this ended up being much more wordy than I meant. It just kind of spilled out - Hence the whole 'sharing' thing ;) It is cathartic. :D You've got this. Remember your words above, You will never regret being kind, even to the other half of you that hurt you.!

    ReplyDelete
  174. You are: STRONG. CAPABLE. BRAVE. SENSITIVE. NURTURING. SUPPORTIVE. FEARLESS (yes, fearless).

    It's been almost 2 years for me. Separated that is. To be honest, things crumbled years ago, and I tried, I tried so damn hard! to make things work and be ok...I mean, the kids needed married parents right? Turns out, they are SO MUCH BETTER OFF NOW! And you know what? So am I.

    I knew within a year of marrying that it was a mistake. But I pushed on. I stayed for 12 years (plus the last 2 separated, so, 14 year anniversary was the 13th. Yeah. Fun times.). I allowed myself to LOSE myself. I lost myself to his expectations, demands and abuse. But now? NOW I've FOUND myself. A much more confident, authentic version of myself. I'm 40, single, with 3 boys to raise. I don't have time for bullshit - worrying about what others (family included) thinks of my decisions, playing games, drama of any kind, etc. I'm just. I'm just OVER it all. I'm done pleasing everyone else at the expense of myself. And since I figured that out? Guess what? Even my BOYS are shaping up! Turns out, when mama is healthy and (mostly) happy, the kids stop acting out and being jerks too! Oh sure, they push boundaries and whale on each other regularly, but I no longer sweat the small stuff. I live life for ME first, my kids second. Nothing and nobody else matters. Even the fact that my cell phone just got shut off because, well, I'm broke again, even that doesn't matter. I'll deal with it. Because that's what I do. I can't stress about everything and expect to have enough ME left over to go to work, raise 3 boys, keep a house and pay all the bills.

    It's finding the joy in your life again. One small thing - that's all it takes to start. For me, putting away (ok, throwing away) all visual reminders of my husband started the process. Replacing those visuals with new ones that made me smile pushed the process along. Finally being able to SEE those new things that made me smile instead of those things I trashed? THAT was healing. THAT was closure.

    Now, full disclosure, we aren't divorced yet. It's been 15 months and the paperwork is still in court. Thankfully, we both wanted out and were able to come to an agreement without involving lawyers. He wanted a new life, and he got it. I'm building on the ashes of the old one, kind of like a phoenix...the old bursting into spectacular flame and crumbling away, only to speed along a beautiful rebirth, growth and maturity.

    Your grief is NORMAL. It's HEALTHY. It's YOURS. Don't let anyone tell you it's wrong, how long you should keep it, or that you are dwelling. You'll start taking those baby steps forward, rising from those ashes, when the time is right. You may not even know you're doing it at first, but it WILL happen. In God's time. Believe me, I spent plenty of time doubting my faith just as you have. But I've realized that faith isn't perfect. I don't have to be perfect or behave a certain way to have faith. And my faith is MINE - it doesn't look the same as anyone else's. And that's ok. My MOTHER actually told me I shouldn't be dating because I'm still married, and I'd have to get right with God over that. I told her where she could go with that opinion and that God and I talked it over and agreed my marriage was over long before my youngest could walk. We're good. I'm good. I'm learning to be OK alone. Do I enjoy it? Not really. I miss being part of a couple. Having someone to commiserate with and snuggle and be stupid with on the regular. But you know what? I CAN, AND I WILL, STAND ALONE AND DO THIS SHIT. And you will too.

    Much love, prayers and hugs to you! Thank you so much for sharing your story, and reading my HUGE ramble!

    ReplyDelete
  175. You are so brave and such an amazing example for your daughters. Thank you for being so genuine. <3

    ReplyDelete
  176. Wow. Somehow this post went to my spam folder and I just found it. I'm so sorry for you, but I'm so proud that you can put into words what so many can relate to - and what many others are afraid they may one day face. Prayers for you and your girls.

    ReplyDelete
  177. I don't know you, but we started our blog journeys around the same time. I wish I could give a you a big, huge HUG! I stopped blogging because my life went into a free-fall... different scenario, but a massive, impossible-to-put-into-words free fall. Don't worry about judgement, my friend. Tell your truth exactly like you see it. No shame, no regret. Sending you and your girls huge shining rainbows of positive thoughts and love! You will get through this.. maybe not today, but you will and you will be amazed at what you will have become. I would not trade my betrayals and unspeakable heartbreak for ANYTHING! I love the life I fought to build. You will, too!! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  178. I am never one to comment on anyone’s social media or blog, but just wanted to share with you that you are not alone! If I could have expressed my feelings just like you, but you already did it for me. Everything you have said/felt here is exactly what I am living through for close to a year now. You have me beat with 2 years and 25 days, but I’m trailing behind you hoping that counting the days will come to an end. Thank you for being honest.

    ReplyDelete
  179. Your love for your girlies, family and life shines through your anguish. Please know grief comes in waves and you are grieving the loss of your spouse and life as you know it. As my mum says "It is a great life if you don't weaken". You are strong...and your peeps are here behind you. xx

    ReplyDelete
  180. You have brought me to tears. This is so honest, so soul baring. I felt like you expressed in words how my heart has felt at the worst moments in my life. I know this was so difficult to share so thank you. For your bravery in sharing, your honesty. Just thank you so much.

    ReplyDelete
  181. Shelley, I am so very sorry. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family that things will get better. Thank you for trusting us enough to tell us. I hope that each day makes you stronger and happier. God Bless.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to leave your thoughts and comments. We truly love and appreciate each one!

ShareThis