Living Happily Ever After


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Of Victory, Defeat…and Birthdays

“Time is everything; five minutes make the difference between victory and defeat.” (Horatio Nelson)

I celebrated my birthday yesterday. It was a WONDERFUL day, for many reasons and thanks to so many people. It was a happy day, all day, for me (and my husband, who shares my same birthday.) But then, unexpectedly, there came that moment.

That one moment when I couldn’t help but acknowledge the miracle of having such a wonderful 47th birthday…as I remembered how absolutely terrible turning 42 had been.

That lovely birthday that hit about a month after my extreme life losses and divorce in 2009, amid of a LOT of change, challenge, trauma and turmoil. I felt terrible, I looked awful, and I can’t describe the misery I experienced–feeling like a total failure in my 40s! (I don’t recommend it, haha.)

But I DO recommend hanging in there. Choosing to live anyway, despite your losses, burdens and adversities. Never give up. Get out of bed every day and accomplish something, even if it’s just getting out of bed!

Because time really is everything. And those ensuing minutes (or years, in my case) really do make the difference between defeat and victory. And victory feels so good and is literally, so SWEET.

“Victory is sweetest when you’ve known defeat.” (Malcolm S. Forbes)

Taste it.



Hard Work

Three years ago I lost my entire life and was, literally, forced to live a new one.

Some might think the crime associated with my old life was the most traumatic aspect of the change. (And it WAS traumatic.) Others might think the financial loss I experienced was the most traumatic aspect of the change. (And it WAS devastating.) Still others might view my divorce, or the loss of my home, or my move to another state as the most traumatic aspects of the hardship we experienced. (And they were ALL very difficult!) However for some reason, for me, one of the biggest and most traumatic changes of all of the changes from my old life to my new and unexpected one was…losing my opportunity to focus solely on my children as a stay-at-home mom when I had to return to the work force full-time so we could survive.

I’m sure it seems silly to most people—especially in today’s world of powerful, independent women who juggle work, family, children, home, continuing education, community service, church activity and service, exercise, shopping, fashion, and a loving marriage all the while achieving astounding success in the world of business—but I guess I’m still in awe of the women who do that. Women have worked outside the home for decades and there are certainly worse things in the world than working full-time (after all, it’s a blessing and a privilege to be able to provide food and shelter for my four children) but as a stay-at-home mom watching my full-time working mother friends do everything they did, I never felt I was “organized” enough to do it all and keep it all, especially myself, together; I counted my blessings I didn’t have to prove that! And now, as a full-time working mother I prove myself right, not to mention disorganized, every single day.

There is always something I fall short in.

That my housekeeping standards have slid is a total given. Not enough time to serve extensively in schools and the community like I once did is another sad fact. Forgetting important things, like a soccer game (when I’m the assistant coach AND in charge of the team snack) has become part of my history as well, as has a little impatience, on occasion, with my children or others, in addition to a lot of miracles—like the fact I drive thousands of miles every year for long commutes on highways at high speeds, during major highway construction in the state of Utah, and I haven’t been killed much less injured in any of the frequent collisions I pass. (One of my co-workers had his car totaled when he collided with a semi on the same commute, so I feel quite fortunate.)

Following are a few of the experiences, lessons and realizations that have come my way as result of my return to the work force full time. Indeed, “Life grants nothing to us mortals without hard work.” (Horace)

And by the way, “The phrase ‘working mother’ is redundant.” (Jane Sellman)

Don’t Block Your Dream

“You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith.” (Mary Manin Morrissey)

I’ve been living my unexpected life for 2 1/2 years now. It has caused some serious reflection on occasion. Looking back, I can’t believe all that was thrust upon me in one single, incomprehensible, dark moment. I’m astounded at all that I lost, not to mention the fact that I emotionally survived the terrible shock all of that loss and devastation. What stunning, terrible, dark days those were. I wouldn’t wish them on anyone.

But somehow, I kept going. And now that I’m through it, I think I dare ask myself again: “HOW did I do it? How did I keep going? How did I survive it all?”

My answer? Faith. And dreams.

Somehow I had the faith to dream and to believe that if I did my part, if I did all I could to work hard and to make those dreams come true, they would. Somehow I had the faith to cling to the dream of a happily ever after and to trust God—to never doubt that He knows me and has a plan for me (I just wasn’t always sure what His plan was!)—and to know that with Him, my children and I could be healed of our losses and devastation, we could dream new dreams and  look forward with faith, and endure, until the time that our dreams came to fruition. Until we got our happily ever after.

I think Fox Mulder said it best: “Dreams are answers to questions we haven’t yet figured out how to ask.” (The X Files)

My unexpected life provided me with the opportunity to dream new dreams I didn’t know I’d ever have; to ask questions I never thought I’d ask or have to ask; and there was a LOT to figure out! But it also provided an incredible opportunity for learning and personal growth. (That continues, by the way, as I stumble and bumble my way through my new adventures!)

But I’m so glad that I’ve learned them. I’m glad I didn’t quit (even though a few times I wanted to!) And all I can say is, to everyone and anyone in the midst of their unexpected life and its attendant trauma: don’t quit. Don’t give up. Keep the faith. And keep working toward that happily ever after you’ve always dreamed of and know is out there somewhere, some place…because it is.

I know it. And I have proof of it; I AM proof of it.

I lost my old life at 41 years old. In fact, I lost pretty much everything. I divorced, I returned to the workforce, I moved to Utah, and began again—entirely from scratch and in an entirely different way and life—yet here I sit. In my cute, comfortable little house in Utah. Happy and fulfilled in ways I didn’t even know were possible; my husband outside hanging Christmas lights with my boys; and I’m spending time with my wonderful new mother-in-law and anticipating the arrival of new, extended family to share Thanksgiving with, yes, I’m proof.

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” (C.S. Lewis)

And make sure you do just that. Because it leads to some indescribable joys, moments of blissful happiness, and some other new but very unexpected adventures. I’ve had a few more. And as usual, I can’t believe some of them myself!

Game Report

“Failure is simply the non-presence of success. But a fiasco is a disaster of mythic proportions.” (Orlando Bloom)

The second soccer game was…a bit of a fiasco.

I dashed from work directly to the playing field, got caught in horrendous traffic, and made it there just in time for the start of the game. Not a moment to spare—or to change out of my work clothes. So once again, I coached in a skirt. But this time, in high heels as well!

I’m not sure why, maybe I didn’t look serious enough about soccer or sporty enough in my skirt and heels, but I experienced some coaching difficulties. I had dads on the sidelines sending boys into the game on their own; I had little boys arguing with me when I tried to rotate them out to give every boy a chance to play; and then one of my players got ejected from the game for getting a little too rough, hitting and wrestling the other players!

At the end of the quarter when the ejected boy was allowed to play in the game again, my son ran and welcomed him back with a quick wrestle—so the boy told the referee on MY SON! (Thankfully, the referee continued the game and I gave my son a quick reminder about not wrestling during soccer games, explaining AGAIN that we don’t wrestle during soccer games or we don’t get to play, as the playing continued on around us.)

The other coach/referee interacted with me so much during the game one woman on the sidelines approached and asked, “It that man your husband?”

As I walked to the sideline after that one, all I could do was shake my head and ask myself with a laugh, “HOW did THIS become MY life?”

I remembered, again, how far I’ve come in an unexpected life: divorced, traumatized financial disaster to remarried, at peace, first-time soccer coach in just two years! I recall shaking my head but not laughing, asking myself that very question in 2009 and having a very different answer. Proof again, and I can’t say it enough, that it IS possible to rise from the ashes of whatever misery you’re handed, to create a new life of happiness, to laugh and to eventually “win” again.

Yes it’s possible.

My son even scored four goals.

“We all have possibilities we don’t know about. We can do things we don’t even dream we can do.” (Dale Carnegie)

Life Is Like A Soap Opera (Sometimes)

“You’ve got to realize that any lady on a soap is devoting her life to it, 24/7.” (Joan Van Ark)

I spent the majority of my years living a life of quiet obscurity: not a lot of trauma, drama or upheaval. In fact, truth be told, I probably prided myself on my normalcy and the lack of drama in my existence. However in 2009, when my world ended suddenly and publicly, that changed. I had trauma, drama, AND upheaval, coupled with grief, loss and a host of other hard things. But I got through it. And I looked forward to the day things would settle down and I wouldn’t feel like I was living a soap opera.

Instead, I found that life as a single mother, the “singles scene,” an engagement, blending children from two different families, remarriage and other experiences (and people) seemed to continue the…drama. One day, while chatting with my sister about the latest development (aka. learning experience), she laughed. I asked her what was so funny.

She replied, “Just that your life is SUCH a soap opera–and how horrified by it you are! Don’t worry about it!”

That’s life, isn’t it? Occasionally, life can feel like a soap opera. The important thing is doing the best with what you’ve got, doing what you believe is best for you and doing what you know to be right. Don’t get hung up on anything else–the drama, the antagonists or the latest challenging scene.

The soap opera called life.

But…”If you have to be in a soap opera try not to get the worst role.” (Judy Garland)


“The divorced person is like a man with a black patch over one eye. He looks rather dashing but the fact is that he has been through a maiming experience.”  (Jo Coudert)

And then, ”Suddenly you’re like a pirate–you’re 65 years old and you’ve got an earring.” (Fred Willard)

Or in my case, not quite 42.

But here’s what I’ve learned courtesy of my unexpected life and the divorce that came along with it; after living through one myself and meeting many, many people who have been similarly maimed. I’d say it’s an apt description. It’s much more traumatic and scarring than I’d ever imagined; in many ways, it IS like death–only harder in some ways because the other person isn’t gone for good, they continue to resurface and impact you and your family, including times that it’s not always convenient, special occasions and holidays. Divorce definitely leaves a hole.

When I got divorced, I had only known a handful of people to endure the tragic demise of their marriages. I felt very alone, but now realize I wasn’t as alone as I felt. There were MANY other people, right there with me, enduring their own divorces. Maybe it’s because of the circles I’m forced to socialize in as a single woman, but divorce is a lot more common than I’d realized before it happened to me. (Sort of how you don’t notice a car until you drive one yourself, and then you see your car everywhere!)

Let’s just say the singles scene is a Star Trek Convention of maimed (aka. divorced) pirates, black patches and peg legs!

But I’ve seen for myself that you can heal from even from the worst things, the ultimate betrayals and the hardest experiences, including crime, if you choose to. The hole left by your unexpected horror begins to fill in and scar over. (And you have to let it heal, don’t keep picking at it.) Then, eventually, life is pretty good again.

Life can be good, even post-divorce.

Life WILL be good again.

There’s something to be said for pirates!

“Life’s pretty good, and why wouldn’t it be? I’m a pirate, after all.” (Johnny Depp)

Just pick yourself up after each sword fight and every cannon ball shot your direction and get back in the hunt for the booty. Trust that eventually you’ll find your treasure. And when you do, you’ll know the hunt and everything that led you to the “X,” was worth it. That’s how I feel. Every aspect of my experience, every detour my treasure map took, every battle, and every scar is absolutely worth it because it got me to where I am today.

“I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king; I’ve been up and down and over and out, and I know one thing: Each time I find myself flat on my face, I pick myself up and get back in the race.”

Because that’s what pirates do. Especially those unexpected ones. Like me. Like all of us.

Ahoy, Matie!

Oh. And just in case #5 ever decides to read this blog (he abandoned it when it headed into the Bachelors), this one’s for him:

Q: What is a pirate’s favorite fast food restaurant?

A: Arrrrby’s!

The Hardest Thing

I went to my first kick boxing class recently. I left feeling pretty inept at boxing. Sort of the way I felt the last time I came even close to boxing. In the 1980s. In high school. It was SO “not me.”

I blame it on basketball–one game in particular, and it didn’t even count, it was P.E.! A friend and I played a game of 2 on 5, against a group of five, short Hispanic girls…and it wasn’t pretty…because my friend and I actually played basketball outside of P.E. and we were beating them soundly. The other girls were frustrated, but it didn’t dawn on me (like it would now) to let them win or at least score a few points. It was my experience that “you win some, you lose some,” that’s part of playing the game, and I preferred to win as much as I could.

The next thing I knew, I was on my back, just outside the key. My friend was leaning over me, worried, questioning, “Are you ok?” The other team was standing around with satisfied smirks on their faces as my friend filled me in: while I’d been airborne for a rebound, one of the short girls had gone for my pony tail, grabbed it, forcefully yanked me down from behind, flat on my back onto the court, which knocked me out when I landed!

Told you they were frustrated.

I got back up and continued to play. But every time one of the other team got near me they talked trash and threatened to beat me up outside of class. I ignored them; I thought they had to be kidding. I mean, fight? In my world, that behavior never dawned on me. No one I knew fought or even thought about beating anyone up. I thought they were kidding–until they followed me around everywhere and warned me I’d better pray they never caught me alone or better yet, alone in a bathroom.

I didn’t respond to their threats, I ignored their taunts, I pretended I didn’t see them trailing me (but I confess I was always relieved when I walked into a bathroom and saw other girls in there, just in case) and after what seems like a few weeks (but was probably more like a few days) P.E. ended and I don’t remember ever seeing those angry girls again.

That’s my near-boxing experience.

“I’ll bet the hardest thing about prize fightin’ is pickin’ up yer teeth with a boxin’ glove on.” (Kin Hubbard)

Add pickin’ up yer teeth with boxin’ gloves on to the list of hard things in, and about, life.


Things like sickness, death, disease, poverty, crime, betrayal, divorce, unemployment, emotional trauma, abuse, too much, too little, and every other unexpected challenge that comes your way. Life is full of hard stuff. In fact, life, itself, is hard. As Katherine Hepburn said, “Life is hard. After all, it kills you.”

But before it does, at least TRY to pick up yer teeth. Don’t quit until you succeed in clearing the floor of your molars and cuspids, or whatever your adversity may be. I’ve found, sometimes, that what I’m going through isn’t quite as hard as picking up teeth with boxing gloves on would be (while other times, one year in particular, I admit to wondering if dying wouldn’t have been easier than the challenges I was facing. Thank goodness I never, personally, discovered the answer to that myself.)

Because when you’ve collected your teeth and pulled yourself together, when the bell has rung and you’re back in the match giving it all you’ve got, there’s nothing quite as exhilarating as a knock out. The knock out that comes at the end when you win because you endured. Victory.

The more I think about it, boxing is a lot like the unexpected life. Here’s why:

“As much as I love boxing, I hate it. And as much as I hate it, I love it.” (Budd Schulberg) At some point, we probably all have a love-hate relationship with our new and unexpected life. As much as we love it, we wouldn’t have chosen it. And as much as we may dislike certain aspects of it or the way certain things are, we wouldn’t trade it for the alternative. Life is glorious, regardless of your circumstances.

“Boxing gave me the opportunities to grow into the person that I am today.” (Alexis Arguello) Where would we be, who would we have become, what would we have learned, how would we have grown…without our unexpected life?

“Boxing is the ultimate challenge. There’s nothing that can compare to testing yourself the way you do every time you step in the ring.” (Sugar Ray Leonard) Life, especially the unexpected one, is a test every single day. So it’s vital we get through it. With a passing grade, or better yet, an A+. Our score lies in how we choose to solve the problems and answer the questions put before us.

“Boxing was not something I truly enjoyed. Like a lot of things in life, when you put the gloves on, it’s better to give than to receive.” (Sugar Ray Leonard) Don’t underestimate the importance of giving, giving back, and making the way easier for others as you travel through life. I can’t imagine where my children and I would be today if we hadn’t had a little help from our friends, if others hadn’t reached out to us and helped make our way easier. Truly, it IS better to give than to receive.

So don’t quit. Hang in there until the bell rings and you get a breather. Don’t expect to understand everything all at once, or even in this lifetime. Just trust, as I do, that someday we will be able to see the grand design of a beautiful plan put in place just for us and our necessary growth. Someday, every mystery will be solved.

“When archaeologists discover the missing arms of Venus de Milo, they will find she was wearing boxing gloves.” (John Barrymore)

The unexpected life.


The Cure for Insomnia

“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?” (Ernest Hemingway)

Not too long ago, a blog reader said she noticed I do my posts in the wee hours; she wondered if I had trouble sleeping.

I thought it was interesting that she had noticed that. But I’ve noticed it too. It seems like such a little thing, yet it is one of a few big changes brought on by the unexpected life.


I remember the good old days, pre the unexpected life, when I could sleep at night, as well as the last night I slept: March 17, 2009. It was the morning after that night, when I woke up and my life fell apart.

Since that time, I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights. I don’t know the sole cause for my insomnia, but it probably had something to do with shock, trauma, grief, stress, strain, worry, fear, financial devastation, life loss, divorce, sleeping alone for the first time in 20 years, and feeling so alone. At first, I couldn’t help but count my troubles like I had once counted sheep. However, that type of score keeping is not sleep inducing. In fact, it is not conducive to anything.

Life’s too short to engage in unproductive activities or behaviors. Time is too precious. So I had to let that go.

Now, instead of counting my worries before I attempt to rest, I count my blessings. I keep a little notebook by the side of my bed and try to take a few minutes at the end of each day to write something I’m grateful for. Every day there is something. You just have to look, and let your eyes see what is right in front of them.

For example, “When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time.  Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?” (G.K. Chesterton)

Most days, I have to stop myself because my hand gets tired from writing so much, or because my eyes begin to blur or because I’ve fallen asleep for a few minutes with the pen in my hand.

And now you have it.

My cure for insomnia, developed under the tutelage of the unexpected life.


“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” (Brian Tracy)

Bachelor #13: Mr. Hostile

I have attended singles functions the past several months because…I’m single. If I stopped to analyze it, I guess I’m going to meet people and make friends. However, in the wake of the trauma I lived through discovering my spouse had betrayed me and neighbors and friends and relatives and strangers, in the aftermath of our divorce and our move to Utah and my return to the workforce full-time, I never let myself think about my purpose or motivation in going, or anything else related to being single. I just went.

So I can’t imagine what some people think of me.

There I am, at a singles function, with 99% of the people probably in attendance to meet members of the opposite sex, and I freeze (like a deer caught in headlights) every time a man asks for my phone number!

I stammer. I am not quite sure what to say. I’m shocked. I’m surprised. And I’m embarrassed. I don’t want to be seen giving out my phone number. Yet…don’t I go there to meet people and have social experiences? Clearly, I haven’t thought the whole thing through very well.

That’s how I met the man who would become Bachelor #13.

He wasn’t bad looking; he was tall; he had hair; he was educated; he had six children. And he was really pressing me for my phone number! In fact, he got out his phone to enter my contact info as we stood on the dance floor. I could have died! I asked him to put his phone away.

He obliged, but asked me for my business card. (Just my luck, my company hadn’t ordered mine yet so I had nothing like that to give him.) He began reaching for his phone again so I had to think quickly before he pulled his phone out in front of everyone again.

Instead, I asked if he had a business card and told him if he gave me one, I’d contact him and give him my information. (I’m a loser at some of this stuff, I admit it!)

He gave me his card. A few days later, I followed through on my commitment to contact him. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. I didn’t know what to expect. All I know is I didn’t expect the full court press he gave me.

Bachelor #13 began calling all of the time, emailing every day, texting me constantly, and asking me out. I tried to keep an open mind about the whole thing, but something wasn’t quite right and I couldn’t put my finger on it. It was just an impression I had. As a result, my inclination was to take it slow. So that’s what I attempted to do. Much to Bachelor #13′s chagrin.

His constant presence in my life was too much too soon. After working all day, I needed to be free to spend time with my children and chat with them during the rest of their waking hours. I asked Bachelor #13 to please call me after 9:30 p.m. at night so I’d have time to spend time with my children, check their homework, and get them all taken care of and in bed before I became inaccessible because I was on the phone.

It seemed like he couldn’t wait that long. The phone calls came anyway.

So I told him my evenings were a bit more complicated than I’d anticipated; email was probably the best way to reach me.

Within a few days, I got a very hostile but anonymous text to my cell phone. The text message ranted and raved about how inaccessible I made myself, about how uninterested in men I must be to limit contact (outside of dates) to email and phone calls and only after a certain time of day. Then the text told me I was missing out, that he was the best thing that had ever happened to me, the best thing that would ever happen to me, and that I was an idiot. The message ended by saying, “And the best part about this? You don’t even know WHO this is!”

Yes, I had a pretty good idea who it was. I may be an idiot, but I’m not stupid! It was Bachelor #13. He was the only man that I knew of, at the time, who had my contact info and was upset that I couldn’t or wouldn’t use it all hours of the day and night, and at the expense of my job and family!

That was the end of Bachelor #13.

I’ve seen him a few times since then but he won’t speak to me; he pretends not to know who I am when I say hello. So since he won’t speak to me, I’ll speak for him. This is what I imagine he’d say:

“I’m hostile to men, I’m hostile to women, I’m hostile to cats, to poor cockroaches, I’m afraid of horses.” (Norman Mailer)

With Bachelor #13, I’m not sure who dumped who. I’m just grateful it happened.

Life’s too short to lash out like that. And only cowards won’t sign their name.


An Unexpected Realization

So life carried on in Utah.

I worked all day, commuted home, spent time with my children in the evenings, tried to keep up with laundry and cleaning to some degree, but mostly worried about the emotional state of my children and tried to do anything I could think of to help them through the trauma.

My children were incredible troopers through the whole thing. My daughter took it upon herself (without being asked) to take over the menu planning, grocery shopping, and cooking. She also became the second mother to her younger siblings AND did much of the laundry.

My oldest son took it upon himself (without being asked) to do yard work, car maintenance, and train his younger brothers in those things. He brainstormed yard projects he wanted to do someday if we ever had money. He even helped discipline. I remember one night my middle son was struggling with grief and the fallout from his new life, and he spoke to me rudely. My oldest son went to him, brought him to face me, and said, “You don’t talk to your mother that way. Apologize.”

I felt bad that he had to take on such an adult role, but was also grateful for the help and support. What I felt most, however, was amazement that I had such incredible children who so excellently rose to the demands of their new life and carried on without complaint! They kept their grades up, they added many responsibilities to their lives, and they didn’t ask for things they wanted–they knew there was no money. They cared for each other, worked together, and grew closer. They will be amazing, prepared adults–I’ve already seen glimpses of that.

My youngest turned 4 years old. We didn’t have much money to celebrate, but we did what we do best. We gathered around the birthday boy and shared all of the things we love about him. (Compliments don’t cost anything!) Sharing our love was free. After which we had birthday cake and a family dance party. In the middle of the song “Kung Fu Fighting,” my middle son was standing on a bench dancing karate moves when we heard a thunderous crash, looked over, and saw him laying on his back amid the shattered remains of what had once been a bench in the entry way of our home!

We all froze, not sure if he was hurt or possibly even paralyzed! Then we saw him start shaking with laughter. Soon we all joined in. What a memory! (And of course, we told him not to move while my oldest grabbed a camera and captured the memory in a picture!) It not only was the first time I’d ever lost a piece of furniture to destruction by a child, but it was one of the first of many “crazy” fun times in the our new HOME. It was worth the sacrifice of wood and upholstery; the bench hadn’t really fit in the new home anyway.

I think that was the night our house became our home for good.

I also got some of the best advice I’ve ever received as a single mom right about that time. From a friend who had been a single mother of four herself. She told me she felt the most important thing she did was to not worry about the house and long “to do” lists when she was home with her children in the evenings, but rather, she let the house go and simply enjoyed her children. Not only was that good advice for me, it was liberating. I felt like I had permission to not worry about the dust, and I was free to spend time with my kids!

And that I did. Some nights we went up the canyon. Sometimes we just sat in the backyard and talked. We played games. Sometimes we went for a drive or an ice cream cone. But after the dinner dishes were done, we didn’t worry about work. We just enjoyed each other, and I’m grateful we did. I have no regrets about working less, but I’d sure have regrets if I’d enjoyed my children less!

Sleep was in short supply last summer, but fun and love was plentiful. Looking back, we were our own version of “Musketeers.” All for one and one for all! As scary as it was to be alone in the world with my four children, that was also such a special time. We grew even closer together and learned to love and appreciate each other even more. We worked to see that we were still a family–not broken, not minus anything, a whole unit. A different unit than we had once been, but a solid family unit. (We just had to rely on others more for help with some things.)

Those were GREAT times. To be the sole parent and support of four children, to be a single mother, and everything that came with our new life was unexpected. But at the same time, it turned out to be such an opportunity and a blessing for my children and I. And most unexpectedly, I NEVER thought I’d say this, but should our situation ever change…there is a part of me that will miss those days when it was just my children and I: scared and bonded together like glue in our fear, experiencing new things, growing in unexpected ways, learning to laugh again, and rising above challenges together day after day, time after time, until one day we all realized we felt “normal.”



In our unexpected life.

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