Today is the true end of one chapter in my life and the beginning of another. While we have been living apart for over a year now and have both moved on with our lives, today marks the official end of our 17.5 year marriage. So much has changed and settled into a new routine over the past year. We've both had our good and bad moments and growing pains, but in the end we both agree - we are better people without this marriage. We bring out the worst in each other. We are best off friends and co-parents, and that's what we'll be from now on.

To be honest, I am an overall happier person these days. I've found someone who brings out the best in me instead of the worst. I am confident I can do this single parenting thing (even if it kills me), and am more grateful than ever for the amazing friends and family I have supporting me. I have the two most feisty, beautiful daughters and a co-parent that wants to continue to be a great father to them. My business is thriving and I'm booked up all through the fall again. K is growing in her dancing and as a gorgeous young lady. She's been cast in a few nice roles for Nutcracker this year (mostly on pointe!) and is prepping right now for her Ballet Company concert coming up next week. C had a rough beginning to the school year but has started taking on a lot more responsibility and seems to have fallen into a routine now. She continues to fall behind her peers, but progresses in her own time. I know she'll find her feet eventually. We all will.

I am so proud of how far K has come in the 3.5 years she's been dancing. She just wrapped up her 3rd Nutcracker and I couldn't love watching her on stage any more than I do. She amazes me! It's been a big year for her - being accepted to the Ballet Company at her studio, getting her first pair of pointe shoes and making Senior Corps for the Nutcracker. She's now working on choreographing a dance piece to hopefully have one of her friends showcase at a student choreographed show this year.

A quick session at home with my own personal gorgeous ballet model...

Obviously, Christmas was bound to be a little different this year with Ex-Hubs not living with us anymore. It wasn't all that bad though. I'm so thankful that we are at a place where we can spend a day together with our kids and have a decent time. He came over for the morning gift-a-rama and even made us an old family favorite of tater-tot-casserole to enjoy this afternoon. He stayed for a movie and popcorn this evening and the girls appreciated the time as a family, I'm sure. It was a Merry Christmas, as far as it could go in our situation.

K and C were pleasantly surprised by what they found under the tree and I loved snapping a few of their expressions as they were unwrapped. Nothing tugs at my heart like true grins on those girls' faces...

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope yours was filled with true grins and warm hearts as well.

A lot of the time when things pipe down around here, it’s because there is something consuming going on that I’m not ready to share with the internet yet. In this space, I share my thoughts and observations about the world. So, when my world is permeated by a thing I can’t share, there is radio silence. You see, I am wrapping up a year that will change my life forever. 

In late spring/early summer hubby and I came to a realization that neither of us were happy. Something had to change. His depression due to his disabilities had taken over our entire relationship and seeped into my soul. Sticking it out became less and less of a possibility in my heart and I began to see the world in a way that I never thought possible - without him. I think a huge part of why I have been absent from this space is due to not having the "right" words to make you understand. I do love him. He has been my partner for more than 20 years. We've made beautiful children and so much more together. Those things will never change. He is simply not the person I married anymore. No one could have convinced us at the time, but sure, maybe 19 was a bit young to make that kind of commitment. We are not us yet at that time in life, at least not the full versions of ourselves and who we are to become. I will always cherish those years and all of the time we've spent building this family together, but it's time to move on to the next chapter. I need to do this for me.

The girls are okay. It's been a few months of living separately now and we've worked out a schedule that has both of us spending time with them just about every day. It's taking adjustment of course, and none of us are near comfortable yet, but we'll get there. We're learning this new way together, and of course there have been some bumps along the way. 

I want to come back to this space and share more of my new path. It's been a crazy autumn for my business as usual, but as things are slowing down now I felt it was the right time to return. As always, I write this for my babies. I write this so that someday they will understand. That someday, when we're all comfortable again, we can look back on these days as just a stepping stone to where we were meant to be.
Without really trying, our family has started a new tradition of spending Easter Sunday afternoon at my little brother's house with our mom & her boyfriend, my brother's family and his girlfriend's parents. Two years in a row now we've wound up with really gorgeous days spent eating tons of great food and lounging on their back patio watching the kids run around looking for eggs. It's perfect laid-back gatherings like this that I love so much about my family.

Before heading over there, we spent our first non-bunny Easter morning at home with donuts and baskets of goodies. It's kind of nice to be able to buy things for the girls that I know I can return if they don't like or don't fit :)

The morning was the typical roller coaster that is life in our home these days, topped off with C's breakfast of Skittles and Starburst. I swear sugar is that girl's worst enemy. What are you going to do on Easter though? Ugh. Just another one of those tough pick-your-battle moments as a parent... I probably picked wrong.

All in all it was a pretty good day, in spite of the sugar monster attacks. Happy Easter!