Regrets from a Divorce




1. I wish I had more videos of our family of five.

Christmas mornings, vacations at the shore, singing silly songs and dance parties before bed.

A year has come and gone and the youngest no longer remembers what it was to have a father in the house. The older two serve as her memory keepers.

If we had those videos I would play them back and remind her of the joy we shared under this roof and the one before it.

2. I wish in those early fall days of 2013 that I would have dropped everything, scooped those girls into my arms and whisked them away.

Our world had fallen apart but I felt the need to continue making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches;

to watch toddlers tumble at gymnastics and keep big girls on task with homework.

I was focused on keeping things as “normal” as possible when really all my babies needed was the acknowledgement that everything wasn’t normal, that life would not be the same.

They needed to move into this next phase in the loving embrace of my arms far removed from the rest of what life was throwing at them.

3. I wish I would have believed the woman and men who walked before me and told me it would be ok.

How many times did I brush them off with angry disregard? How dare they tell me that life would get better when the pain was so deep and the void between here and there so wide, so vast.

But experience is the ultimate teacher.

They were right.

We are here now and life is full.

4. I wish I had apologized less in my marriage and in my divorce.

Years spent saying I was sorry when I wasn’t.

Pushing out the words so no feathers were ruffled.

The middle child, always the pleaser, and even in the pain of separation and divorce still apologizing for wrongs she did not commit.

Apologizing for things said and not said;

for stains on shirts;

for bags under eyes;

for little girls emotional outbursts.

No apologies were needed.

We were just living.

5. I wish I had forgiven myself sooner.

I look back now and realize the pain I brought upon myself.

How angry I was at my own imperfection.

How could I let this fail?

I wish I had looked myself in the mirror and acknowledged the reflection of this beautiful child of God.

I wish I would have forgiven her with the same immediate love and forcefulness I do my own children.

And so here we are now.

A year from there.

As hard as the words are to type,

I am grateful for the darkness,

for the regrets,

for the learning’s of it all.

I can now see the stars.




And then she was 4


Dear Ellery Jane,

You are a promise fulfilled.

A wish hoped for.

A dream granted.

I prayed and prayed for you.

Just when I thought my prayers would go unanswered you became a part of me.

ellie pictures

 And now I have been granted this privilege to watch your life unfold.

My beautiful, bright-eyed, spirited child.

You are explosive.

You are a force.

I could not be more proud of the little girl you have become.


Your presence knits us together as a family.


You are the exclamation point at the end of our sentence.


Please don’t ever stop jumping in puddles


or letting the tears come when they must.


One of your greatest gifts is that you feel.

You feel with such intensity

and with such passion,

and you let the world know it.

Too many girls shy away from it; don’t let their feelings be heard.

I know you won’t be that way.

I know you will always speak with your own voice, in your own rhythm.

Happy birthday my Ellie girl.


I love you with every piece of my heart.

Your one and only Momma

P.S.-This will always be our song.

The Weight

A compliment – “You look great Heather”.

The sentence resonates.

“Must be your running. Have you lost weight?”.

The clothes in my closet tell the story.

Trips to Goodwill to drop off bags that contain old suits, jeans, dresses. The ones that no longer fit and now need a new home.

How many years would I have killed to hear those compliments; marched cheerfully to rid myself of clothes two sizes too big.

I was never “overweight”. I maintained an added layer. A layer that put me squarely in the healthy category on the BMI chart, but one that also represented to me years of failing to be the perfect women.

And then, one year ago this month, life changed.

I turned to running as a means of survival; my daily meditation.

Food was no longer the focal point of my day. No more counting calories or debating what foods would enter my body. I ate when I was hungry. I stopped eating when I was full.

For the first time in my adult life I began cooking at home.

Now food was a nourishment not a punishment.

Dance parties around the kitchen island and conversations with my girls turned the focus to what was truly important – the gift of being together, our family around our table not the food placed on it.

So the layer is gone.

A leanness has emerged.

I share this not to make anyone feel less than perfect, but because when I took away the shame of perfection and lived in the moment, life revealed itself in the most amazing ways.

I hope now that when my girls hear someone bestow a compliment on their momma they hear a woman who accepts that compliment with a “thank you” and a gracious smile.

I hope they see a momma who runs because she radiates joy after miles logged.

I hope they remember countless nights around the kitchen table laughing over the day’s adventures not a momma agonizing in the supermarket aisles over the calories she is or is not placing in her shopping cart.

I hope that day, months, years lost thinking about weight that was or was not there will be the education their momma needed to teach three beautiful souls that the weight they carry is not a burden but a blessing of a life lived.





Fall Changes

It’s moving fast.

I’m always amazed by the incredible swiftness of life this time of year.

Overnight we’ve changed from the lazy days of summer where adventures sit around every corner and the sun never sets to this new season of deadlines, homework and preplanned activities.

Even the girls bodies are effected. They fall asleep nestled under covers and awaken as if emerging from a cocoon now too tall for yesterday’s pants; feet too large for their glass slippers.

Don’t get me wrong I love the rhythm of this time of year. The chance to get back into a routine. But I am always moved by visual reminders of the rapidness of life changes that present in this season.

We start preschool. Where we long for old teachers and familiar (23)

We ride new horses when treasured friends have found new homes.

photo (24)

We take up new activities. Trying to carve a place for ourselves at the table too.

photo (25)

And we pause and reflect in the midst of it all. A sunday morning paper, big girls consumed by books and a little sister insisting that while the pool may be closed she will still wear her water wings and pretend it’s summer. Because “You know Momma, next year I won’t need these”.

photo (26)

Yep Ellery Jane you are right, next summer you won’t….