Family, Fun and Freedom

Our 4th of July celebration was so much fun this year. Super happy to be home with my family.  It’s going to get pic heavy. 


Pool time because it was 92 degrees yesterday! 

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Hanging out waiting on food. Josh grilled for us and Jennifer and Miss Becky put together all of the sides. 


After supper I stomped, I mean gracefully beat these people at a game of Phase 10. 


My brother and sister in law have a great house with some cool features that they’ve put together. 


We finished up the night back at my mom’s with really smokey sparklers! 😳


It was a great day. Oh! One more day and I’m off on our hiking trip! Check out our weather. 


Make memories folks!

Rise Strong!

Love ya!

Jo-

Hoosier Outdoor Experience

Just a quick post to share pictures from our time at the Hoosier Outdoor Experience. Thanks for texting to ask us to join you and your awesome crew Kelly!! ❤️

Mock archaeological dig!


Z got a little over heated.


The gangs all here waiting on the trolley!


She hit the bulls eye both times. First time using a bow!


Young bald eagle.


Checking out the painted turtle.



She looks grumpy but she was having fun.


Rise strong!

❤️ ya,

Jo-

I was running

Wednesday last week I said goodbye to my oldest child and her boyfriend as they were set to leave the next morning for their new home in Houston, TX. 

All day at work I fought back tears over this inevitable parental milestone. I was quiet and distant. Both unlike me if you know me well. I was definitely sad about saying goodbye but there was more to it than that. I couldn’t figure out why I was having such a hard time. There was something more but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Not until it hit me like a ton of bricks on the way home that night.

Our meal together was great and I was excited for both Alyssa and Jake. Jealous a little bit too because they are at the beginning of life. New job, new apartment, new adventures. It’s exciting! We ate, talked, laughed and eventually said goodbye. 

Tears flowed as soon as I shut the car door. My baby, my first born, was moving a thousand miles away. There won’t be as many visits home, no chances to meet half way for lunch, or to hike together. And while that all hurt what hurt the most was the realization that when I got home that night all I wanted was to be able to crawl into bed and be held while I dumped all of my feelings out, and that wasn’t going to happen.  I got ready for bed and went to sleep hoping my mood would be better the next day.

That’s a big fat NOPE. I tried. I kept telling myself “fake it till you make it.” Except I had reached the point of being pissed off. Just completely and totally mad about yet one more thing that I wasn’t supposed to have to experience alone. 

Realizing, a little too late, that I should have spared my co-workers and stayed home, I decided to go for a walk. I spent that walk processing a lot of what I was feeling. Anger at how distant my ex is from his kid, frustration that there is nothing that I can do about that. I felt that he deserved to be the one to have to navigate this milestone alone given all of his shitty choices. Hurt that I’m navigating this without a significant other.  Basically The flood gates holding back the grief of the loss of what “should have been” opened wide and I tried to run. FYI you typically can’t out run flood waters. This was my reckoning. 

Friday was better. The flood waters had subsided but I was still running from the realization of everything. I was avoiding the rumble. 

So this morning I stopped running and I picked up “Rising Strong”. I reread the chapter that I dislike the most and moved forward to write my shitty first draft about this experience. I’m not sure I’ll reach my revolution about this anytime soon. I just know that today I’m up off the arena floor because staying down is not an option. 


Love ya!

Jo-

I carry

I carry the weight of a single mom.

That heavy realization of the enormity of the path that lies before me. 

I carry the devastation they feel over all the changes that have been thrust upon them.

I carry their tears, their bad dreams, their pining for the way things used to be. 

I carry guilt that I can’t change that for them.

I carry fear of the future. The what ifs are heavy. 

I carry the desire for them to grow knowing loving someone does not have to equal losing who you are.

I carry the heartbreak of not learning that sooner. 

I carry the jealousy they feel when they spend time in two parent homes. 

I carry the sadness of the loss they feel about who he has become. 

I carry their confusion as well. 

I carry the responsibility of two while only being one.

I carry the realization that I am their example of strength. 

I carry the worry that I will fail.

I carry the tenacity to not let that happen. 

Time

Of all the things divorce robs you of time is the one that it seems to like the most. Time, and all that I got to do with my girls in that time, is the only thing I miss. 

I miss the unhurried, slow days. Even though things weren’t always sunshine and roses there seemed an endless amount of time. 

Now? Not so much. I find it hard to balance needing to maintain a home and have them be helpful with just wanting to BE with them. 

I miss them every 5 day stretch but this past one was harder than usual. So when Z wanted to snuggle, that’s just what we did. 

I won’t tell you to not take the time you have with your kids for granted. We all do that no matter if we are single, married or divorced. We’re human after all. 

 I will tell you that you can find joy in just being together. No bells, no whistles, no $$ spent. Just your physical presence soaking in the wonder of who they are. 

Epic Mother’s Day

Today was one of the best Mother’s Day I’ve ever had. The morning started of quiet with just me, the dog, coffee and the laundry I’m ignoring. 


The not so little, little girls woke up and presented me with cards and gifts. So super sweet. My new turtle charm will find a home on my desk at work. And a girl can never have too many kettle bells. 😉



After breakfast we packed up to head over to Terre Haute to have lunch with my oldest. She made grilled chicken salads that were so yummy and the perfect fuel for our hike! 

Yep, I wanted to hike with my girls today and I got my wish minus one. SiSi had to work so she missed out. I promise she wasn’t upset though. She hates nature. 😉

We chose Turkey Run state park. Today’s hike means I get to check off another state park on my 2017 hiking goal, plus add mileage toward my 150mile goal. 

I had planned to hike the easier trails but Alyssa felt that the girls could handle trail three which was labeled rugged. She had hiked it a few times before so I trusted she knew what she was talking about. 

I have never been more proud of my girls! They hiked that trail with no complaints and almost non stop. There were narrow cliff edges to navigate, creek beds to wade through and jump over, boulders to traverse. And let’s not forget the stairs. Holy hell! The stairs!


Turkey Run is such a beautiful state park. If you live in Indiana and haven’t been to check it out! 


Navigating the suspension bridge.



It was crowded heading into trail 3. As we got up to the area where the creek flowed more and the navigating became more slippery it thinned out. 

This was after we made it up the canyon. None of them batted an eyelash walking the edges of the sandstone. 


What has become a traditional shot on my hikes. 

There were a lot of places I would have loved to take pictures but there wasn’t always a safe spot to stop. When I go back and can take more time I’ll try to capture the ledges we walked along. 

We got a break from ledges and running water for a good part of the hike and then we came upon boulder canyon. 


The girls were champs getting through there and when we reached the bottom and turned the corner they were rewarded for their effort.


They were so excited! And this is such a cool waterfall. The area around it is beautiful as well. 

We had a pretty steep climb out of the canyon so Emily and I took a quick break while the other three completed the climb. 

And the rest of the trail……..


We had one wild life encounter. There was a ring-necked snake on the trail. Just a little guy. I’ve never seen one before. 

I can’t forget my random picture of moss…


And our family photo after a very rugged 3miles or so……

We loaded up and headed back to Terre Haute to grab supper before the drive back home. 

When I got home I came in to find these gifts from my 18yo.  Which were so thoughtful. She even let me give her a kiss and hug when I thanked her. Those that know SiSi know what a big deal that is. 


I’m told I have more gifts on the way so I’m looking forward to that surprise in a couple of weeks. 

It was an amazing day!  Checking stuff off of my epic shit list, moving closer to a couple of goals and the best part was I got to do it with my girls. 

Rise strong!

❤️ ya–

Jo-