We are ENGAGED!!

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My week took a VERY unexpected turn.

Thursday afternoon, Josh took me to lunch in Malibu where our story first began. The spot of our first date, where we shared our first kiss. He got down on one knee, got as sappy as I’ve ever seen him, and with four words, gave me my happily ever after. I knew from the first time we met, he was different from the rest, and with time proved that our gut doesn’t lie.

Josh is my forever and I am so excited to announce that we are ENGAGED!!

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The past 4 days have been a complete whirlwind. Life has come to a hault as I let it all sink in. I’m soaking up every feeling, every touch, every word of love and encouragement. I am on a high and I never want it to end.

 I’m engaged to a man that makes me a better version of myself. A man that stretches me to be better, challenges me, loves me unconditionally, and most importantly loves my daughter like his own.

I came across this post today, when I first introduced you to Josh, and my words couldn’t be more spot on from the start:

“I’ll never forget our first date…The minute our eyes met as I walked towards him standing up against his truck to greet me. The smile he flashed me. Our first hug and me realizing how attractive 6’3″ is. The smell of his cologne. The black peacoat he wore to impress me with his sense of style that I haven’t seen since. Him opening the car door for me, and every door there after. Effortless conversation. The way he made me laugh. The way he looked at me. The way his hand fit perfectly in mine. Our first kiss”.

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I’m on cloud nine.

……

Landyn came home from a week away at her Dad’s and Josh and I knew exactly how we wanted to share the news with her. Josh gifted her with a special pearl necklace and asked her permission to marry “Mommy”. She of course answered with “YES, I want a sister”. She followed it up with a “Joshy is the best, we love him” and the biggest hug and kiss her little body could give him. My heart became mush and just like that, the past 5 years became clear as day.

It feels so good to be in it for the right reasons. To do things the way I always envisioned for my life. I get the opportunity to have my Dad walk me down the aisle for the first time and ball my eyes out as we have our father/daughter dance. To have my best friends and my sister as my bridesmaids and dress shop with my Mom. To be surrounded by 100 of our closest friends and family as we promise each other ‘till death do us part. And to have my baby girl by my side through it all. It feels good.

I’ve waited a long time for this and I am thanking GOD for the detour life gave me. I finally got it right.

Thank you all for your love and encouragement across the social media board this past weekend. We have read every single comment and from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

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Let the wedding planning begin!!!

I love you Josh Baltimore. I can’t wait to become your wife.

On Co-parenting

I am always in awe when I see two set of parents, no longer together, that can be friends.

You always want what you can’t have, and for me, this is most definitely something I strive for.

Even if it’s only a “you are doing a good job in my eyes”, or “Landyn is okay, feel free to call her whenever”, or “I noticed she is having a hard time, let’s talk about that”.

Basic communication and respect as her parents. Seems painless right?

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 When I sit down and think about my expectations for my co-parenting relationship, I realize it will always be a revolving door. You see, it would be so easy to keep things black and white. But divorce is so far from that. Divorce is a million shades of grey. There are good days and bad. Peace and anger. Influences you have no control of. I’ve hurt and been hurt. We are human. But the reality is, we both found happiness on the other side of it all at Landyn’s expense. That’s the part that gets me.

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All I know is every other weekend I send my girl off to her Dad’s, my entire world becomes void. Is she ok? Did she eat lunch and get to bed on time? Is she happy or sad? Does she miss me as much as I miss her? My heart skips beats and my breathing gets heavy. The entire situation consumes my existence. I feel like I’m being robbed of being a mom 100% of the time. It’s not what I signed up for.

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Chris and I have had a few good conversations over the years. The ones that I leave feeling full and good about our role as parents. But every time, the 50 million shades of grey get in the way. And I am left disappointed for my baby girl.

IMG_8275-.jpgLandyn’s dress c/o Elk Dresses // headband c/o Vintage Rose Wraps // sandals: Target

I struggle with these raw posts. Every time I write them, I feel like I have to hold back so much. This is a day by day situation and I am really doing my best without letting it completely consume my life. I hope one day the revolving doors will bring me more clarity. In the meantime I have so much to be grateful for, as this is only a slice of my reality. Landyn and I have a beautiful life that we would not have been given otherwise. My girl is strong, and confident, and funny, and loving. She’s creative and wise beyond her years. She has two families that love her very much and that is something that will never be compromised.

I challenge you to hug a single parent today. Hands down the hardest job out there. All YOU rocking it are my heros. xo

Disneyland

As a kid, my Dad was never a fan of Disneyland. I remember seeing photos of our family trips to the “happiest place on earth” and my Dad looking everything but happy. He hates crowds, lines, and waiting, so Disneyland has never stood a chance.

Fast forward 25 years, and you get your Dad taking his two daughters and GRANDDAUGHTER to Disneyland.

You know your dad loves you when…

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IMG_6008There was a 3 hour wait to meet Elsa and Anna of Frozen. We ain’t got time for THAT. 

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IMG_6058Crusin with Pop Pops.

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IMG_6072My first Dole whip. As good as they are cracked up to be. 

IMG_6079I love my family.

IMG_6090Front row parade seats.

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IMG_6096Mesmerized by the Disney princesses.

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IMG_6097Seeing Elsa made Landyn’s whole year.

IMG_6118Sugar high.

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IMG_6134Chocolate face. Sign of a day well spent.

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It was the perfect day for all of us. Landyn consumed way too many sweets, I got to try my very first Dole Whip (heaven on earth), and we all got to spend quality time together, just the four of us. I may be bias, but Landyn has the best grandparents around. Love you Dad and Mom.

This was Landyn’s third time at Disneyland and by far the best yet. She is a month shy of 5, and I think this is the age they really grasp the Disney magic. Landyn is already asking to go back, naturally, and I’ve toyed with the idea of a season pass, since we don’t live all that far. When I contimplate something I always go back to how I was raised and for me Disneyland was always a “special” place. A place we’d go for birthday’s, finishing my grueling final exams, graduations. I never want Landyn to take for grantid.

 

Landyn’s first dance recital

There’s something about watching your kid on stage for the first time that leaves you beaming. It’s their expression of self in front of admiring strangers that gets me. Not a care in the world except performing a routine they’ve had drilled into their little brains every week for the past 6 months. They know they get to dress up like princesses and that is all the motivation they need to get up there and strut their stuff.

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Landyn had her very first dance recital on Sunday, and it was a magical day for all. She was surrounded by a whole fan club of family and proved to me that she was exactly where she’s supposed to be. Her dad was there with his family, and me with mine. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t awkward to have all of us huddled in a circle in the coredoor of the auditorium. But we all sucked it up and co existed for one little girl. Praise God.

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It’s funny how fast kids go in and out of stages. I remember writing a post last year about Landyn’s tom boy tendencies, and it seemed as soon as I clicked publish, she was playing dolls and dress up in the next room. Or the post a few months back where we was dealing with bullying and shyness, only to soar right past that and perform in front of 100 strangers on the big stage last weekend without thinking twice. So is life. It happens in stages. Some things linger and others we outgrow faster than others. All I know is growth is a beautiful thing.

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