I can’t believe it’s here… my first solo trip without the kids since Mark died.  I must admit, I am a little nervous.  Not for the actual trip, that part I’m very excited about!  But just the idea of leaving the kids for 5 days, getting on a plane and flying across the country without them.  Of course thinking what happens if…. but reminding myself that it is unlikely and that this is something that is important for my own mental health.  I am definitely looking forward to a break (if it will even be that!) but I have to say, the kids have been so helpful and sweet lately that I will definitely miss them!  So in keeping with what I normally would do in my paper journal, I am writing a little note to the kids in the unlikely event that something happens on my trip.

I love you more than you will ever know.  Thank you for being such amazing little people.  I am the luckiest mom ever to have you.  Hugs and Kisses ❤

Say a little prayer for safe flights and that the kids are well behaved for whoever will be watching them 😉  And also that I will get what I am hoping to get out of this retreat.

Peace out!


Remembering what I lost

Rough week around here.  On Sunday while trying out the 75 foot slip and slide (before I realized I am much too old for this!) I hit the back of my head on my way down.  Since then I have gotten a migraine every night into morning, culminating in a massive doozy of a migraine this morning.  Thanks mom for coming over and giving me an injection and taking me to the doctor.  I told her this, but I really meant it.  It was so nice for somebody to be taking care of me.  It has been a LONG time since that has happened.  While I know the knock to my noggin contributed to my headaches, I can’t help but feel like my emotions/stress have also played a part (and probably this crazy weather too!)  It has been a rough transition back from vacation and I am missing the structure of the school year schedule.  Too many late nights, too many “giving in” by me leading to a straying from our usual strict schedule.  And it is stressing me out!!  Too many forgotten appointments and kids needing to be at different places at the same time.

Then today, on top of my literally mind-blowing migraine, the kids went back to counseling after a month off.  And even though they can never tell me what they talked about, feelings are always more exposed afterwards.  So both E and B were sad at bedtime tonight.  And tonight was NOT the ideal time for this drained momma to deal with the emotions of the kids.  So, after a long talk with B will E was still at class, when it was time for her to go to bed, I was done with the “I miss daddy” talks.  So, I just laid in her bed with her and let her talk and closed my eyes.  Eventually, she quieted down, took some deep breaths and I suddenly had this thought of Mark falling asleep in her room with her.  The night before he died, I went in to find him asleep in her room (this was not an uncommon thing). I did what I had always done, woke him up to come to sleep in our room. But for a split second in E’s room tonight I was transported back to that night. If you ask me what I was like before Mark died it’s really hard for me to say because I don’t remember. I feel like so much about me changed in that one instant when I realized it was a suicide note. But for the moment tonight, I could remember what I felt that night. I could picture Mark asleep next to our precious daughter.

And I think the thing that makes me forget what my life was before is protecting me. Because it hurts SO bad to remember how happy I was. And how amazing my life was. How much easier it felt day to day. And the feeling of safety and comfort I had. It’s gone. And so now I’m weeping. Knowing how much I lost that day. Does it make it better or worse? I always tell B the reason we miss daddy so much is because he was so great. I miss that life because it was just about perfect (with just the right amount of arguing and annoyance mixed in to keep it interesting). As much as I try to embrace this new life, these moments make it hard.

Next week I head off to Camp Widow. I am really looking forward to growing and learning and hopefully connecting with some other ladies who can truly understand where I’m coming from. And yes, I am looking forward to 5 whole days with no childcare responsibilities! My doctor told me today I need to take 2 weeks of a “brain break” (as if that’s a possibility with 3 kids!) but my goal is to work on that while I’m gone. Taking full advantage of this time away to grow and hopefully give myself the mental break that I need. Once again, so lucky to have the support I do to allow me to have this time to work on myself. Yes, I always appreciate all that I have, and I honestly try every day to focus on that. But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss everything I’ve lost. And sometimes it really hits me. Tonight was one of those nights. Hoping for a better tomorrow.

Why I love the Barre

Many of you many know that I love dance.  Not only doing it, but watching it.  I can’t explain it, but I just find the movement of ballet mesmerizing and could watch it all day long.  So when I learned there was a workout class based in the ideals of ballet, I knew I wanted to try it out.  I convinced a friend to attend with me (it’s always a little scary to try something new all by yourself!)  And I must admit, it was quite intimidating.  I felt totally out of place among these adorable women who all looked as perfect as ballerinas and honestly looked like they belonged on pages of an athletic clothing line magazine.  Their outfits were perfect, their hair was just the right amount of messy but in that cute way that looks like you put in no effort but you know they did.  And these totally weird looking socks/half shoes on their feet.  My friend and I somehow managed to make it through that first class.  It was HARD.  I mean, seriously.  I was sore for a week.  But I found that I really liked it!

So, after some debate, I decided to give it a whirl.  Deciding that if I could commit to 3 days a week, that steep $99 one month new client membership would be worth it (that works out to $8.25 per class).  And I did.  I went 3 times a week for the entire month, only one time ever really feeling like I didn’t want to go.  This is huge for me.  I am not a big fan of working out or going to the gym.  And even though I don’t necessarily feel like I “fit in” there, I don’t ever feel left out.  The workouts are intense, and for someone whose entire day is chaotic, that one hour of focus is an escape.  The hour seriously flies by.  I am so focused on my position and well, the pain, that before I know it, I am lying gloriously on my back ready for my cool down.

Okay, so this is not an advertisement for Pure Barre (although I do love it and recommend the investment in yourself!).  This is my coping skill.  I could have chosen to turn to alcohol, or food (okay, sometimes I still do this!).  But I am so thankful I have finally found something that works for ME.  Yes, it is expensive.  But I think of how much I spend on my kids activities and it pales in comparison.  I am happy.  I enjoy my time there.  Which leads me to the whole reason I even thought about writing this blog post in the first place……

Last week we were out of town on family vacation.  Getting back into the swing of things this week since we got back has been tougher than I thought.  S missed his first day of camp (oops, totally forgot!) and when I went back to my barre class I forgot to grab my water bottle on my frantic run out the door.  Let me be clear, water is a necessity for this workout.  I sweat like I have never sweat before and my entire 20 oz. bottle is empty when I leave.  So, when I arrived just a few minutes before class started, I prayed they would have water bottles for sale.  I asked the woman working the desk and she said “yes, you can grab one out of the fridge, it’s a $1 donation” and points to a little box sitting on the desk.  I grab the water, reach into my purse for my dollar bill, and look at the box.  On it is written “American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: Illinois Chapter.”  I took a pause.  I felt so many emotions in that moment.  And it made me love my place even more.  Clearly nobody there knows me or my story (probably another reason I like it so much).  But it felt like I was supported.  Like other people care too.  It was quite an overwhelming feeling.  And I knew I had to share it here on my blog.  Because they supported me, I want people to know what an amazing company Pure Barre Orland Park is.  If you are looking for something new, please consider this location.  Not only will your body thank you, your soul will too.