Sarahvlp's Blog

One Year June 8, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah @ 11:04 pm

I remember wondering a year ago if this day would ever come. The intoxicating confusion of being suddenly abandoned by someone I’d promised to spend the rest of my life devoted to, was almost too much to bear.  And now, one year later I am happier, more resolute to keep that happiness, and determined to share it with as many people as possible.

In the last year I’ve faced things where I turned to the contact in my phone to ask for his opinion, only to internally berate myself for doing so.  I’ve seen a beautiful tropical paradise and silently hummed the country song, “You Should Be Here” while consoling my sweet girls that one day everything will be less painful and easier. I’ve visited beautiful foreign countries and seen some of the most genuine human beings that exist; amidst those places I found a peaceful gratitude for the knowledge that without the pain, I would not get to experience all the beauty that is around me.  Probably the most important thing I’ve realized in the last year is that the “one day” I kept telling my girlies about, is actually right now in this very moment.  My beautiful life has existed in spite of the pain- because of the pain.

Because of that pain I’ve pushed myself.  A few days after he left, I made a goal list.  Those goals included:

-5K with the girls

-Get my passport

-Make a budget

-Read one book for fun

-Hawaii with my girls

-4.0 for the summer semester

Each of these had a very specific purpose that I felt like I needed to accomplish to right myself from the chaos.  I wanted to get back into exercising regularly, and also show the girls how fun this could be together.  I wanted to get my passport so I could make my annual birthday trip an amazing one to some foreign land and remind myself that I was worth it and could do anything I wanted to on my own.  I wanted to make a budget so that I could stay in the beautiful home that I was living in and keep the stability for the girls.  I wanted to read one book for fun, as I’d forgotten what reading for pleasure was.  I needed to take my girls to Hawaii to show them that no matter what, you stick with life, even when its rough and you do it with a smile on your face.  That trip was the hardest trip I’ve ever taken in my life, but I faked it until it ended and then came home and collapsed.  Probably the most difficult was achieving a 4.0 for the summer semester.  2 days before the semester started, he left- taking with him the only working computer, and ripping the internet out of the wall on his way out.  I had no idea what I was going to do.  My wonderful employer stepped in and made sure that I had a computer to continue with school because they believed in me.  For them and for myself, I achieved that 4.0.   I is possible to walk straight through hell with a smile on your face- the last year has definitely taught me this.

I look back at the last year.  I think about all the amazing things that have happened.  I’ve had friends offer more support than I’ve ever known in my whole life.  I’ve had a therapist who has been consistent, understanding, and supportive beyond any normal professional relationship.  I’ve had coworkers who have literally become my family and taken my girls on as part of their own.  I’ve dated too- some really, really amazing people who have also helped me heal and grow and move forward.  I’m in awe of the gifts that have come into my life in the last year.  I’m so grateful for the people that I’ve surrounded myself with.

Tonight ended a very long year.  I had one last box of things I’d been gathering and trying to get to him.  He has been dishonest, and nasty, and downright rude over the last year on multiple occasions and while it would have been easier to just throw it all away like he did with the life we were building, there was a part of me that needed to extend the gesture of forgiveness.  To show myself that I’m still me- even after the excruciating pain of the last year.  That I’ll still take the high road.  And really, more than anything for my girls to see this is how you live.  Showing them that you can be kind, and compassionate and decent even when others are not- this is  a critical lesson in life and one that I want them to learn from example.

So, I drove to his work, attempted to find his car, and when I couldn’t find it I drove an additional 30 minutes to his parents house and left the box on the doorstep.  I sat in my car for a few minutes at the top of their street, admired the view of the Great Salt Lake, and thanked the universe for everything I’ve been given in the last year- including the end of this. I’m very grateful that someone or something was watching out for me and knew this was not right.  I know now that it was not right; life is so right now that I couldn’t even imagine limiting myself to a life of frustration and loneliness in another lifeless marriage.  I’m so relieved and grateful for the patient foresight of a universe that always has just the right plan for my life.  Knowing that I’m not in charge of this crazy ride is a wild comfort when the tides ebb and flow with uncertainty.

For now,

it’s just me myself and I.

I don’t need a hand to hold

even when the night is cold

I’ve got that fire in my soul


That fire in my soul is what drives me to keep going.  To keep giving when I want to lay down and scream in frustration.  That fire is what propels me to make sure the girls have the best life possible. And to teach them that they can do anything they put their minds to- and that their mama will ALWAYS be there cheering and screaming them on. They are my life.  They are my motivation and reason for everything and the fuel that burns the fire in my soul to an unthinkable, unrelenting heat.

I’m so grateful for this one year.  The one year where I’ve learned more about myself and my own capacity.  The one year when my faith in people has been rejuvenated.  The one year where I’ve packed more life and happiness in than the previous 5.  I’m so grateful to be alive and thriving and exactly where I am.  I am the luckiest.

All my love,

Sarah Stronger










Bullying and Body Love September 10, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah @ 8:05 pm

It must be a pre-requisite for posting lately that I’m emotional when I write.  The last week has been a very difficult one.  V has struggled for the past 3 years with one girl at her school who seems to have an affinity to pick out everything that would upset V and tease her relentlessly, or say terribly hurtful things.  One year it was her glasses, and her eye.  Another year it was ostracizing V and excluding her and then reminder her that she has no friends.  And this year, it is her weight.  The unending bullying from this little girl has put me over the edge.  I’ve gone to the new principal, written numerous emails to the principal, her director, that director’s director, and the assistant superintendent- with EVERYTHING falling on deaf ears it seems.  This week has been a private hell; as a (plus-sized) mother I have had the hardest time trying to teach my daughter that she is wonderful just the way she is, while simultaneously struggling with my own self-image and the triggers that have come up while having to watch V go through this.  The mean comments telling her she needs to “work out every day” or else she’s “going to be heavy and fat your whole life” have struck an extra loud chord with me.  Never before have I felt so fiercely protective of my girl and her precious and precarious little self esteem.

Tonight a great friend of mine posted this video on my facebook wall:

All Bodies are Valuable

I sobbed as I watched it.  I thought about this mother- fearlessly stripping in public to prove a point.  An incredible point: that the shape of someone does not define the depth, width, or size of their soul and the immense value each person holds.  I thought about this poor little girl that is teasing V, and how much a void of love she must be experiencing in her own home.  I remember that.  My dad was very harsh on my mom, and his 3 daughters’ body images.  And when I got divorced, I mustered the courage to tell him how detrimental this was to me.  His explanation was that most “decent men” prefer “slender women”.  And that as my father, he was only watching out for me, because if there were 100 men, only about 20 would look at a larger woman, and of those 20 there were probably only 5 that were worth having a relationship with.  What sad logic used to devalue humans.  That evening just a few years ago has shaped the way I parent my girls and the way I speak about myself in front of them.  I never want my girls to ever feel that same rejection of their own body- whatever that body may become.

And so, here we are- much sooner than I’d hoped- dealing with body image in the 4th grade.  Struggling with the school, in an all out war to get them to listen to me- not just to advocate for my daughter, but for this other little girl as well, who at 9 years old thinks that the worth of herself is how she looks.  It’s been a huge challenge for me to not be irate at this kid.  Who do you think you are attacking my girls- who are the sweetest kids, the most accepting souls, who’ve learned things the hard way in life already.  Who are you to attack them?! And then I take a deep breath, and the advocate in me weeps for this little girl’s state of mind at age 9.  The mother in me worries for her future and the struggles she will face if this is what she is taught about self-worth.

But just when I want to be angry again, life always shows up in the best of ways. SO many people have come to mine and the girls’ defense.  I have two good friends in the media industry who have both listened and agreed to look into the possibility of covering this story.  I have coworkers who ask every day how V is doing.  I have a manager who lets me vent  about whatever I need to- who has her own daughters and understands the struggle of self-love.  I have friends who are my family and who brainstorm about how to deal with a negligent principal, an unresponsive district and one distraught little girl.  I have an ex-husband who has supported me, found a voice, and stood for our daughter like he has never done before.  And I have so many supportive friends that offer their love and encouragement from every corner of the continent.

Tonight as I picked the girls up from daycare, another mom stopped me.  She said how much she just needed to tell me how much she loves my girls- and especially V, for how loving she is to her daughters, and how sweet and respectful she always is.  I could have hugged this lady (who I see probably once a month in passing only).  On a day where we are at our wit’s end with this entire ordeal, she takes the time out of her day to stop and tell me this and right in front of V.  I looked directly at V and said, “SEE?!?!  People love you honey!  THEY DO!”  And this sweet, kind and sensitive mom took the time to share her own struggles of being bullied with V and let her know it gets better.  It was everything I had in me to not start sobbing-something I’ve done in private or the wee hours of the night all too often this week.

An hour later we were home, and daycare called.  This woman’s husband wanted my phone number to have a chat about V and daycare wanted to make sure it was OK to give him my number.  Within 5 minutes, he was calling to tell me that from the moment he met V, he was impressed with what a neat kid she is.  And then he asked me if he could come over and talk to her.  I was stunned, but open to it because at this point, anything I say to V is not enough to explain her worth.  An hour later he was at my house, eager and excited to talk to V.

This man, this near stranger, stopped what he was doing- much like how his wife had earlier this evening- to drive to my house and read Max Lucado’s “You are Special” book to V- at times struggling to keep his own composure.  And then he gave her the book to keep and told her about his own struggles- with being molested by a family member, with having a lazy eye, and being picked on when he was a kid too.  All things she struggles with.  He was sensitive to our non-religious household, funny, sweet with both girls, and no doubt missing at least part of his own little girls’ bedtimes to be with mine at that moment.  He told V he was going to go in and talk to her principal himself.  When he went to leave, he got choked up and told me what an amazing and precious little girl I have. Then he gave me his phone number and told me that if she forgets how much she is worth, to call him and he’ll come over and have another chat.  He left her with some marbles and let her know that if she forgets to not let this bully bug her, that he’s coming back for those marbles.  I sat in the background weeping at one point- much like I am now.

Again, I’m overwhelmed by the watchful, caring eye of something larger than myself.  Something that provides when I’ve come to the end of my road of sanity.  Something that injects just enough energy to kick start my hope and will to keep fighting.  I loathe the definition and label of single mother- but there is a great deal of truth to the exhaustion that coincides with the title.  And just when I think I’m ready to lose my marbles at someone because of all the stress, I’m swooped up in a storm of love and support and encouragement.  I never cease to be amazed by the perfect chaos I am privileged to call my life.

Tonight I’ll lay my head down ever grateful for my able and incredible body, my ferocious and spectacular girls, and the life we are blessed to live.


The war July 28, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah @ 9:51 pm
Tags: , , , ,

This week has been particularly hard.  It’s Tuesday for Christ’s sake.  TUESDAY.  I can hardly wait for the next couple days to fly by so I can breathe, snuggling my babies this weekend, and spending time with amazing friends that have carried me through the last few months.

I saw this group recently, and they were awesome.  Better live than their record, which is rare.  I have such a deep respect and connection to their music and the lyrics.  There are so many parts of me that identify with the folksy, upbeat rhythms of their soulful music.

That song is what really turned me onto them.

“You never change your mind once it’s made up
Unless it’s to crawl back on your knees”

Only recently have I felt in my own skin.  The last few years after my divorce from Dave have forced me on a journey to figure out who the hell I am. Being alone for a while I finally felt “me” again…and now again after this failed engagement to Paul, I feel the need to retreat again, to preserve the “me” again, and make sure I’ve not lost any part of me completely- never again. Ever.  This seems to be a theme in my life.  My entire childhood, my mind was made up, until I succumbed to the manipulation, the abuse and the outright mental warfare.  I’d go crawling back and buy right back into all of it and subsequently feel terrible about myself.  And then, when I married, the same thing.  Dating, I often get asked when I got divorced.  It’s an ambiguous answer because of how many times I crawled back. From the first separation to the final decree was nearly 4 years.   And this most recent relationship, again. Crawling back and buying into the emotional abuse.

“Is that the way you want it?
You get back to the wall
And put your hands up
It’s a holdup
You give up like every time before
That is how you survived the war”

In these lyrics I found compassion for myself.  For the longest time this WAS the way I survived.  And it’s the way that so many other people survive.  Their own wars, fought outright or in the deepest places of their souls, they succumb every time to that demon; be it real or imagined, the value and intensity is no less.  A holdup of their real self, against a world that can be incredibly cruel and a mental battle of voices that make them self-doubt and sometimes, self-destruct.  I get that.  Completely.

Again though, I realize so many times this unidentifiable force propelling me.  Telling at me, and sometimes screaming at me over the self doubt that creeps in, that I CAN do this.  That I already am.  And that more than myself, I have two girls that need to know they can do anything.  And the only example that is consistent is the one I provide.  What a huge weight that is, but if I had to identify something, it is that that drives me.  To make sure my girls know how much they are loved, and how much everything I do is for them.  How the three of us are an unbreakable team.

“You’re not gonna lose this one
You don’t have to cut and run
I think you can choose to love and what is more
That is how you survived the war “

And finally, I’ve arrived, alone again. Grateful and full of love- for the tenacity of my soul that never gives up, despite my mind’s begging. And also for the place where I’m at this very moment- strong enough to stay in a place of extreme discomfort and not give up. Strong enough to say no.  Strong enough to still choose love despite the way others choose to live their lives. And, what is better?  This is how I will survive the war.  With love, with peace, with strength and with my girls.

All my love,



This Love July 13, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah @ 12:39 am

It’s nearly 1am as I start this post.  I’ve just finished 4 hours of homework, a midterm, dishes, and packing the girls’ lunches for tomorrow morning.  I’ve been going and going and going for the last 5 weeks at breakneck.  And every night, as I crawl into bed alone, I consider what I thought was supposed to be. Every night I’m either swimming in independence and relief, or drowning in sorrow and anguish over another shattered dream, that was surely for the better, not to be.

And so it is with tonight.  I’m awake, contemplating again.  Contemplating the end of the relationship I thought was ending my search.  The end of the relationship that I thought was supposed to also end my cynicism and doubt.  The end of the relationship with another mirage of hope.  And on a lighter note, also contemplating why it seems like my life’s narration could seriously be, album after album, of Taylor Swift.

I had a conversation a couple nights ago about this phenomenon that happens in my life.  This crazy intuitive presence of complete power, that sometimes inserts itself into my life in the most beautiful, and sometimes temporarily fucked up ways.  The conversation about these phenomena occurred between a prospective male, who recounted his own instances of intuition and bizarre happenings, that could not be explained.  He went on to ask me if I ever noted a greater frequency, or conversely, a lack of these occurrences in my own life.  What a thought provoking question.  As I checked in with myself and my own presence at that moment, I realized that again, at this very moment it was happening!  A call to recognize the hand of something bigger, something much more knowledgeable than my own intelligence, in the form of a simple question from a near stranger. A blaring reminder that I am not in charge, and that that is actually a beautiful thing.  With every moment of grief I have stored, from all of the past mistakes, the past trauma, the past betrayals, there is an equal moment or memory of joy and ecstasy and pure love.  Another moment of relief and another moment of the Universe offering me exactly what I need-and they continuously happen.

Tonight, as the massive conglomerate of the Internets taunted me again with the bitter reminders that this relationship is over, the Universe had another plan: a text conversation with some very close friends reaching the depths of my soul, where there is still a flicker of hope.  A reflection on the reassurance and unconditional love they offer, still hours later, cause my eyes to spill tears over the mounds of my smiling cheeks.  I’m so lucky.  My friends, my family, who will not leave or waiver or falter in their commitment to see me through all of the times in life- they are the reason I am still whole, after an attempt to fraction my soul.

And in perpetuation with all the other times of great need, I lay on my couch sobbing earlier tonight, while one after another reassurances came through unseen channels; highways of intuition and power both wider and deeper than I ever imagined.  Another text, another successive conversation about my own capacity- and the stupidity of others that I cannot let affect me, or stifle my own potential.  Another confirmation that I’m doing this life thing O.K.  That I’ve got a hold of it, and that I just have to keep holding on.  It’s amazing to me how these affirmations come through- without request, but from an innate knowledge that I need something at that very moment.

And so tonight, I will lay my head down peaceful- a peace I know is not likely to stay as I continue to ride the waves of uncertainty- but a peace that is sensational and has touched every nerve as an electric shock. An electric shock of restoration that if I keep going and keep loving- it will come back.  It always does.

This love is good, this love is bad
This love is alive back from the dead
These hands had to let it go free
And this love came back to me

This love left a permanent mark
This love is glowing in the dark
These hands had to let it go free
And this love came back to me

My gratitude for life and the wild journey I’m on, is awakened yet again and to a deeper level than before.  Understanding and being cognizant of the experiences that are gifted to me, leads me to believe in perfection, hope, revival, and all the capacity in the world for everything I dream of.  It’s out there- and its mine to chase and achieve.  I know, because every time I doubt, there is this powerful force propelling me forward.  And for that, I will keep going forever.  I am a blessed and lucky soul.

All my love,


Geeta Saar


You are brilliant beyond your own knowledge! April 17, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah @ 11:38 pm

Tonight I hung out with one of the most amazing people I know.  She’s been my friend for a few years and I’ve been blessed many times by her kind, caring heart, and wisdom.  She has a never-ending well of empathy and an ability to connect and make people feel important, loved, and at ease like no one I’ve ever seen.  It is safe to say that this woman is one of the few I hold closest to my heart.  And recently, life has unleashed its shit storm on her.

As I was driving home tonight, this song came on.  I remember being moved to tears the first time I heard it.  Tonight was no different as I thought about all the struggles and pain my sweet friend has experienced lately.  Thinking about all she does for others, the countless times she has been there for me in my struggles with my ex-husband, the times she has listened and loved me and never judged me as a mother, all the times she’s offered her empathy and kindness in the face of some of my really difficult trials over the few years- even when she was struggling herself.  And now, life is piling it on her and her sweet family.  No amount of support or love or help I could give would ease the incredible amount of pain she is going through, and as her friend, that makes my heart ache.


Recently, I’ve had a couple people message me about things I’ve posted on Facebook.  I never set out to be anything other than excited for the goals I’ve accomplished lately, but these women took the time out of their day to thank me.  These two individuals called out specific things in their lives that they were privately struggling with.  I am so honored that they would share and trust their struggles with me.  When I think about these individuals my heart aches for them too.  One has affected thousands of lives, and the other is on her journey into greatness.  Both are incredible people that I’m grateful to know.


Also this week, a coworker had a close friend commit suicide.  Only, the attempt went wrong, and she is now on life support. I think about my sweet co-worker friend, losing her friend, and the sweet little girl left behind with no mommy.  I think about this poor woman too, and my own struggles with depression and anxiety, and trauma, and all of the things that makes life seem impossible sometimes.  I think about how much pain this woman must have been in and how hopeless things must have seemed.  I personally know the demons that she struggles with.  The depth of the despair you feel when you add all of the factors together, and their sum total feels like more than you can handle.  I think about how much I want to shake and then hug women in her exact same situation and tell them, “It will not always be like this!  It gets better!!!  Don’t give up!!!  Just keep going!”   My heart is full of ache tonight for all the suffering that happens in the world, and the lack of empathy we sometimes display for others that cross our paths.


I thought about this on my drive home and how much this concept has come up lately in my life; that of loving while having to watch someone in an incredible amount of suffering and pain.  How hard it is to sit back and know that nothing you can do can speed that process up, or make it better, or make it go away.  I thought about the times I was most struggling and the people who were my greatest supports.  I thought about the things we’ve been through as a family in the last year, and watching one of my children in an immense amount and depth of suffering I could not fix or ease or chase away. I think about the humongous amount of tough love that I had to dole out, with the assistance of Paul, and her reluctant father.  How hard it was to stand back for once and let life run its course- surely the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my life- but how beautiful the picture is today.  How bright the hues of my own life portrait are because of all those struggles.  And about how fortunate I am to have so much love, so many wonderful examples of humanity surrounding me, and and being able to find my own inner strength to press on, even when I wanted to lay down and surrender.


And then I’m reminded of this song again, and the lyrics that beg for understanding and acceptance of each other. Of inclusion and unconditional love from our fellow human beings.

“You don’t have to try so hard, you don’t have to bend until you break.  You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up, you don’t have to change a single thing.”

I think about the kind of person and friend I am.  And if I’m doing enough to keep my judgments in check, and keeping the love I have for people overflowing?  I hope the people in my life know how much I love them; how each one of them I choose to spend time and energy on because they ARE worth it-because they each have something amazing about them that I see and appreciate so much.  We are all worth it.  And more, we are worth each other’s best efforts to love and be kind to each other and accept people for exactly where they are at.  You don’t have to change a single thing- I can love you exactly where you’re at.


It’s been a long, emotional week for me, but still my heart is so full of love.  Love for the friends of mine that are suffering, love for my sweet girlies and all that they are accomplishing, love for my sweet Paul who never stops trying to better himself and loves me in spite of my flaws.  And a lot of love for all those friends that haven’t shared their struggle with anyone- no vague-facebooking posts, no cry for help or sympathy, just silent, strong suffering.  Those are the ones I’m thinking the most about tonight and sending out big giant air hugs and lots of love to.


Really, we are each sitting at the precipice of our brilliance.  Sometimes, a storm has rolled in for the seemingly endless night, but in the not-so-distant future, we will each arrive at greatness and the exact moment we are supposed to.  Never before in my life did I understand this more than I do now.  We are right there, and the only thing we need to do is keep going, and love each other.  Life is amazing!  Even in the darkest hour, we have the opportunity to be something to someone else by offering kindness.  I’m so thankful for the sweet friends in my life that teach me this by offering their own love in the face of darkness.


To the individual tonight-  you cannot know the worlds that I think of you.  You cannot understand the respect and reverence I have for your soul.  You are such a strong, amazing human being and my life is better because of beautiful you.  You are the fine china my friend.  Sparkle on lady- you are on the top shelf of my china cabinet!

Much love,



2013 in a wrap… January 1, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah @ 1:54 pm

Today is New Years Day.  And I can’t help but feel rejuvenated, excited, hopeful, and energized to start a new chapter of my life’s story.

Yesterday I sporadically recalled moments of 2013.  A lot of them came with exhaustive, grief-stricken tears.  Of relationships and friendships lost or changed, of challenges that felt insurmountable.  So much of 2013 was a struggle that I felt would never end.  To relive motherhood’s worst nightmare, a second time in my lifetime.  To sever the ties of relationships that I poured so much into, with people whom I love so much, but who I cannot live among their toxicity.  To feel so much void, not just from my own struggles, but also in the struggles of my sweet girls who are innocent in all the chaos, but so desperately trying to accept their redefined life.  To have a mother’s guilt, of watching your children suffer and not being able to do a damn thing to fix it.  To watch someone very close to me, a mother in my life, face her worst fear and close out her year bald from chemo, but still so beautiful.  To remember the trip to home to my Oklahoma for the sweet memorial service of a great man, who shaped the amazing girl I get to call my best friend.  Yesterday was filled with so much emotion-wracked reflection.  But it was also full of smiles.  Smiles from all the other times… like picking live lice out of the girls’ heads for hours on end.  And remembering the crazy months that led up to one night full of love and hope for cancer patients– a night that I orchestrated and directed with the help of some awesome people.  And later this year to attend a very special little girl’s “cancer-free” party, while simultaneously remembering her sweet angel friend, who had passed on.  Both girls were part of that neat night where the love in my heart for them and their courageous families first sparked.  And also to remember the hope for my Mama V in her own journey, and to smile at her ferocious spirit.    Remembering the ridiculous weeks of crawling up and down the stairs in my new house, accompanied by the girls with my giant boot and gimp foot and a pair of crutches.  The crazy times of dance parties in our new tiny kitchen with that damn boot on and two girls’ giggles; those still mean so much to me.  Of crazy times watching in awe, as my girls and little nephew communicate in their own way to each other once a week on GChat.  Of the girls’ first camping adventure, and all the road trips of 2013.  The weddings I shared joy in by catering and making the cakes for… something I swore I’d never do, but that started with Mama V telling me I could do it.  All of the crazy, fun, ridiculous, and exciting memories led me to smile at the best parts of this year.  The joy, the happiness, but most of all the love, that was poured into my life in 2013 is overwhelming and inspiring.  To consider the possibility of experiencing another entire year, even an entire lifetime of that love, is breathtaking. As I closed my 2013 with the one I love and our friends, I looked around inside my soul.  At everything beautiful that has come together. At everything that has made up the sum of my amazing life.  To look at the pictures on the walls spanning years of my girls’ lives, is to remember that even through the midst of hell, my soul has still been warmed.  Warmed with the love of my greatest accomplishments, and their smiles, and giggles, and hugs, and “I love you’s”.  And those are the best parts of my entire existence.  Tears that track down over the rounds of my cheeks and fall to the corners of my smile remind me that everything wonderful still co-exists with struggle.  And that knowledge is the greatest lesson I learned from 2013.

Life is such an incredible trek.  Storms that sometimes feel constantly taxing on the soul, are always followed by peaks that hold the greatest glimpses of hope, and what is just beyond the torment filled valleys of life.  I am so happy to say that while 2013 was a great struggle, it was also an even greater joy.  And it ended with so much promise.  A promise that no matter what 2014 brings, there is always love, and hope, and room to grow, to accomplish, and to succeed.  May your New Year be filled with the same sentiments is my wish.

All my love,



Thanksgiving December 1, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah @ 10:12 pm

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  Besides the awesome food, time with those close to you, it’s also about slowing life down for a day and taking time to think about what you’re grateful for.   I have SO many things this year.  More than ever I think.  More than ever when logically, you could say that this year has been one of the hardest of my life.

Here’s my list, condensed into the things at the very forefront of my mind…even though there are so many that I could, and should name specifically, here are only a few.

There is my P.  P, well, he is AMAZING!  He listens, he communicates, he smiles, he laughs obnoxiously loud(which fits right in with us 3 girls), he is honest, he is wonderful to T and C, and he is spectacular to me.  Never before have I experienced a depth between two people, as I do with P.  He is supportive of me beyond belief.  He encourages me to be me.  He encourages free thinking and individuality with the girls.  He loves them freely, and openly, and sets a phenomenal example for them on how they should be treated, and how they should treat others.  And already, the resolution to provide everything that the world should contain for the girls.  He mirrors the greatest wishes of my heart, as a parent to my sweet girls.  P also fills our home with music.  He plays guitar, lets T and C play guitar with him and serenades me with the piano, whenever I want… and even at times when I don’t… like 6am, to wake two girlies up for the day.  P, with all of his talents, his desire to work together and achieve more, his good looks, and his example is definitely something I am BEYOND grateful for.

I’m also grateful for my close network of friends.  I spent Thanksgiving day with my B.  He is such an incredible human being.  He is accepting, HYSTERICAL, open, honest, loving, and full of joy.  He has shared so much with me over the course of our friendship, and on Thanksgiving, extended this to sharing his family.  AND THEY ARE AWESOME!!!  My friendship with B has been such an amazing thing for me this year that I couldn’t possibly go without mentioning him at the top of my list.  He has taught me about individuality, personal integrity, standing up for those you love even if its hard, and being true to your own soul.  Also included in the package of B, is his mom.  His mom is an incredible amount of amazing support to all her kids.  And when I see the love that the 6 kids show their mama in their own way, it makes ME want to be THAT kind of mama.  I feel incredibly lucky to have so many neat examples, both near and far of women I want to model my life after.

Also on the list is my pseudo sister A.  She is everything I’ve wanted my sister relationships to be.  Lots of teasing, girl time, tears, laughs till our sides hurt, showing the girls the cathartic effect of singing at the top of your lungs, and someone to confide in and turn to for support.  She was away for Thanksgiving, but not far from my thoughts.  A is an awesome auntie to T and C and they love her.  She’s young, and has her stuff together.  I’m proud to call her one of my best friends.  She is someone who has risen to the occasion of awesome, forged past some REALLY hard shit that life has flung at her, and conquered her own demons to be unconditionally loving, accepting, and joyful.  Our friendship, nay, sisterhood, brings me a happiness and joy I could not describe.

Included in the super-close-to-my-heart-list, is my best-est friend forever C.  We have known each other for the larger part of our lives now, and I think the world of her.  Throughout this year, she has surmounted unbelievable grief, with a grace and poise that I only wish I could know.  In the midst of it all, she has been consistent in her contact, supportive in her words, and loving in her actions.  She checks in on me, celebrates with me, keeps me grounded and realistic, reminds me to slow down when I need to, and provides a tenured stability in my collective family that comforts me on my darkest days.  And one day we’ll live close enough to go get pedi’s, and celebrate our amazing lives together over a glass of wine.

This year has also brought new relationships with my family of origin.  For the past decade, I’ve really had little to do with my siblings.  Mostly because I was at a completely different place than all of them, but also because of distance and the culture that we grew up in.  A culture of combative independence, limited thinking, and a lack of understanding of each other.  It’s so neat to see each of my three siblings excelling in their own ways, owning their lives, and opening their minds to more love and less judgment. Along with the changes in those relationships, has been more time with my older sister J. Someone who I love very much, but who I misunderstood for so many years, J and I now have the shared joy of both being mamas.  Forging a relationship out of the commonality of motherhood has been so rewarding- not just for me, but for my girls as well.  They get to hang with their cousin, and video chat weekly to the only blood family we have a routine with.  And that routine, is REALLY cool.  Like REALLY, REALLY cool.

On top of everything, if my mix of family was not enough, I’ve also been able to add four super awesome parents to my life.  I NEVER thought it would be possible again to WANT to spend time with anyone who could be called in-laws.  But, my heart has changed it’s tune.  P’s parents have been accepting, inviting, loving and exactly what I needed to heal so many parts of the small tattered corner of my soul that came from my previous in-laws.  After my experience with them, I thought the in-law part was the ONLY thing that would be what kept me from actually taking the last step and marrying someone.  I was not interested in any contact at first.  More out of my own terrified grief, than anything.  But P’s dad is cool as hell, and his sweet wife S shares my love of cooking, books, and service to others.  The two of them together are fun, loving, accepting, and refreshingly unique.  They come over and hang out, P and his dad play duets on the piano, and Sandy and I snuggle with the girls.  P’s mom is also awesome, and her husband is such a kind man.  At Halloween, he had a little photo shoot with the girls in their costumes, just like a proud grandpa.  It was so neat, it brought tears to my eyes.   Together P’s mom and her husband are the concerned, loving, predictable, and involved(while still respecting our family’s boundaries) influences I wanted when I dreamed of the in-laws I would want.  For years, the biggest sadness in everything tragic has been that the girls have not had dependable, responsible, loving, honest, kind people as grandparents.   I regularly have to take a deep breath, take it all in and say a silent “thank you” to whoever orchestrated this beautiful disaster that is my life; it is perfection.

A very large part of my sadness over the last years came from not being able to magically appear with the family part of the girls’ life.  That as their mother, I could work my ass off trying to fix EVERYTHING else, but I could not make anyone, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or otherwise, be what I wanted them to be.  I could not will them to be selfless enough to realize the great need for my two precious girls to see good influences and good models of relationships and examples of how to be a phenomenal human being.  Out of so much darkness, even what seemed like an eternity of it, my greatest wish came true.  To find someone who would understand me, love me, love my girls with abandon, be responsible, driven, kind, a good man, and above all honest.  And that he would come with people who I could love, who could also love my greatest joys, and who would love me; all without condition or judgement.  In P, and his family, I have found my wish.  And it is like the icy chill of a Slurpee, on a hot summer’s day, to my heart.

I could go on and on.  In my life, I enjoy relatively good health, abundance in my immediate needs being met, great friends that have not been mentioned(like the whole of OKLAHOMA!), access to healthcare for myself and my family, a job that gives me satisfaction with the people I get to serve, a car that is paid off and runs well, and so many other things.  But most of all, there are my girlies.  T and C. C and T.  My dynamic little duo.  At the very tippy-top of my list, there are these little twerps.  They suck my credit union account dry, and fill my life account with so much more than anything I could ever buy.  These two sweet girls that make my entire existence validated, even on the hardest days.  Because they are all I need.  They are my hope, my dreams, and my life.  My soul, beating and thriving, in two unique little beings that each have their own hopes and dreams for what life holds.  It’s the most amazing thing.  I never imagined motherhood would bring so much pain, so much sweat, tears, and bodily fluids in general.  But all of those joined still do not equal the love, happiness, joy, and immeasurable glee that comes from seeing T climb her first tree on our trip to Oregon this year, or see C read her first pages of a book this fall.  Or see them work together to solve a problem.  Or to hear them say “I love you” to each other.  Or to watch the two of them peacefully sleeping, curled up in the blankets that have soothed and warmed them each since birth.  I am so grateful for every part of them.  Even, the challenging days where I want to rip my hair out in frustration, or scream because watching them in any kind of pain, and not being able to fix it, is the most maddening thing.

The parts though, where everything is right again in the world, where everything is back to “normal”, when there is peace, and love, and a calm that is palpable; those parts blow every other difficult part away to somewhere else, and what is left, is this nucleus of family.  A nucleus made up of courageous fierceness in the two of them, manifested in the most separate, but patented ways.  And also of concentrated concern, from two loving parents, living together out of desire for each other and a unified cause to make each day better, and where honesty, love and joy prevail.  It is the most soul-warming thing I’ve ever experienced.  And to add to that family, the surrounding, endless love of close friends, who are actually in reality, our family.  Every single part adding something essential for our perfect, beautiful little disaster: this is my life.

And this year, my little nucleus is what I am thankful for the most.

All my love,