Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My Life in Transition

It's all changing.  My life is in transition.  Sometimes I'm ok with it and other times, well, notsomuch.  I'm both excited and terrified.  There are many changes on the horizon:

  1. We are divorcing.  It's official.  He says there is no love or hope.  Maggie was told last night.  I cannot ever describe the pain of telling my precious girl that her parents will no longer be married.  Watching her cry.  It was heartbreaking.  We framed it well.  All about our love for her and Katie and how she will have two homes.  That she will always have Mama and Daddy; we just won't be married anymore. I'm taking her to her first play therapy appointment at noon today.  Maggie is a very sensitive child and has been struggling with her emotions a lot since this all started.  I'm hoping the play therapist will be able to help her deal with these emotions without the big freakouts she has now. One thing I know without a doubt is that Andrew and I are good parents.  We both want the absolute best for our daughters and will both be very active parents.  He is leaving me, not our children.  He will continue to be the great father that he has been to those girls. 
  2. I accepted a job offer in Plano ISD teaching middle school French.  This position is terrific.  It's exactly what I did before.  I will be teaching 7th and 8th grade which I love.  My first day back is August 10th.  I'm excited to return to my original love and passion with teaching.  It's a great school and I really like the principal.  I was friends with one of the Spanish teacher so I won't be a complete stranger. 
  3. My last day at Heroes for Children is in two and a half weeks.  June 17th will be here before I know it.  I can't believe it's almost that time.  I love the organization so much and I'm incredibly proud of how I have built it along with so many other great people.  I'm proud that I am leaving the position in good standing.  I'm not leaving the organization entirely, of course.  As co-founder, I have a board position.  I will volunteer for various activities and still attend events.  I'll be at board meetings.  They have not yet hired an Executive Director, but the committee working on that is diligently looking.  Next Thursday night is a cocktail reception honoring me and my years at Heroes.  I'm very honored that they want to do this for me. 
  4. My new job plus the lack of a second income means that my bills are more than I can afford.  We just moved into this home and I don't know that I can financially afford to keep it.  And you know, still feed my children.  I need to figure it out.  I don't know what I'm going to do. 
  5. I'm learning to be on my own.  I mowed the grass myself and need to do it again tonight.  I am learning to be quiet in my own and enjoy the silence.  I'm reading books at night and watching movies if I have the time after laundry and cleaning.  I like having my own room without the snoring.  I don't miss the snoring!  I'm challenging myself to try new things when I can. 
  6. I'm giving up yoga.  It's a sacrifice I have to give up.  I have a treadmill, so I'm going to bust it out and start working out then.  My goal is to run the HFC 5K on September 24th since I've never been able to participate in it.  I'll try to hit a yoga class on occassion, but I can't afford the $100 a month for my membership after this month.  
  7. For the first time in my adult life, I'm going to be single.  On my own.  I married at 21.  We dated through college and started dating when I was 17.  I was a CHILD then.  I've never been an adult on my own.  I need to learn to do this.  
I'm taking each day one step at a time.  I don't always handle it well. I can become irrational and angry with Andrew when we're around each other.  I went a little crazy yesterday and I'm not proud of that.

I have my rough moments.  Unlike my grief with Allie, I'm allowing myself to feel the various emotions as they come.  I'm not shutting them out.  Means it hurts like hell at times.   But, unlike my grief with Allie, as I feel those emotions, I also forgive myself and move forward.  I pick myself up.

I will get through this.  It's just that right now, my life is in transition. 

60 comments:

Mandy said...

Jenny, congratulations on your new position. I miss teaching so much sometimes. It doesn't get better than teaching in Plano! Blessings to you and your girls. I pray for your peace and growth in this new season of your life.

Kirsten said...

Good luck to you on these major transitions in your life. You are the one who pulled me into this blogging world so many years ago when I found out about Allie. You don't know me, but you and your journey has changed my life. And I will continue to follow you on this stage of your journey. Good luck to you, Jenny. I know you have lots of support around you to help hold you up when you are feeling weak.

Lyndsay said...

That's a lot.
I'm sorry that your marriage has come to and end. And I'm sorry for all the crapshitgarbage that comes along with that.
But I'm thankful that you have the perfect job to look forward to!
I am sending all the good karma I can muster to you and Katie, and today especially to sweet, sweet Maggie!

heather said...

I am so sad to read about your divorce but so excited for you in this new chapter of your life which sounds very positive. Like a new shoe, it will take some time to get comfortable but once you work it in, you will probably be very happy in your new shoe :) Sending your strength and love from one of your loyal readers :)

laura said...

Congratulations on your new job. As I said, a thousand squeezes and lots of warmth being sent your way.

Kristina said...

I'm happy for you with your new position. I know it will all work out how it is meant too, I'm sure it is hard now.

I don't know you personally but I love reading your updates, you are a beautiful writer.

Jonalee said...

My heart hurts for you. Even though you have no idea who I am, I have been there since the very beginning. I remember reading your post on BBC when Allie was diagnosed and I wept. I have continued to follow you and your family all of these years because, well, I guess becuase I felt like I got to know you through Allie's journey. I know things seem overwhelming right now and I'm so sorry this has happened. Take one day at a time -- heck, one minute at a time if you have to. I know without a doubt that you will make it through this and come out with your head held high. Sending much love and many prayers to you and the girls.

need cash said...
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Minivan Mom said...

Love you. You got this.

Minivan Mom said...

And I can't wait to hear all your first year of teaching (again) stories. My first year back in the classroom after 7 years out was crazy! :)

TPPmommyof3 said...

My heart broke for you reading this. Im so sorry you are having to go through even more pain.

That being said, there is not a person in the world that I can see doing better in this then you! You are strong and smart and such a survivor. You will be on the otherside before you know it, happier then you thought possible.
Im certain you are going to end up posting in a year or so on how exciting and amazing your life is. No doubt at all!! Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Make plans... try new things! You are going to blow everyone away with your new life!! Congratulations on your new job!! How wonderful!!

Susanne Bray said...

I too am sorry to read about your divorce. I love how you are focusing on the positives and recognizing the different grieving process that you are going through. you have a great support system and I know they will be there for you.

hugs to you and your girls!

Brittany and Charlie-Social Butterfly said...

I'm so sorry to hear. I'm not your immediate family I realize, but if you need anything, Charlie and I are here. We can babysit:) I'm glad you were able to find a teaching job and I'm sure you will do great! Praying for you and the girls!

tylersmama said...

Hey Jenny, you don't know me IRL but I just wanted to say that anyone who has read your blog for any length of time knows what a strong person you are, and you are going to be great at this! Life is about transition, some of it good, some not-so-good.....but you have been brave and resilient in all the past hard times and you will continue to be that way now. Your girls are very lucky to have such a great mom, and I can't wait to hear about all your new adventures :)

Stacy said...

Jenny,
Sending you cyber hugs and love from CA! I've been following you since Allie was a few months. You are a strong, beautiful woman. I know you will not only survive this, but will thrive! You and Andrew are excellent parents and I'm sure you will help Maggie and Katie through this. Sending all good wishes your way.

Jenn @ Munchkin Land said...

I've been reading from the beginning with Allie and my heart hurts over the news of your divorce. But as someone else said, anyone who has read for any length of time knows what a strong person you are and that you will get through this. Hang in there! You have a lot to look forward to in the coming year!

Marcy said...

Jenny, don't give up Yoga!! You are the one that got me back doing it. There are plenty of DVD's you can buy or rent that you can do at home!! This brought you happiness. You deserve that!

Sue said...

Jenny I understand how you feel. You will make it and you will find happiness with somebody else. Maybe Andrew should have told you he didn't want to be married anymore before you got the new house. I'm really sorry for what you and the girls are going through. I know it will be extra hard on Maggie. You have always talked about how close she is to Andrew.

Dusty said...

Oh Jenny, my heart aches for you and your girls. I never thought that the two of you would divorce. I am so sorry.

You may remember me, maybe not. My husband had a similar neck surgery like your Dad's. You also gave me the information for the Butterflies to release at my husband's funeral. It's been 5 1/2 years since he died, and you are right when you say that you are learning how to be quiet. Not having someone to talk to every evening was very difficult at first, but it becomes a new normal. Being single for the first time in so many years is strange too, but it gave me the time to find myself.

I know divorcing and losing a husband to cancer is different, but yet we both suffer a loss. I found a new normal and life is going well. I know you will too.

BTW, I'm going to run my first 5K in November.

Hugs to you.

erin. said...

I'm with Tracey- you definitely got this Jenny!! I can't wait to hear about your re-entry into Education. Good wishes during these transitions.

<3 Erin

Lea said...

Jenny, sorry to hear about the divorce. As everyone else has said of anyone you and Andrew were not on the list for future divorced couples. With that said, life throws us curve balls that we don't ever expect. I know that you have the ability to get through this too. But more important than that, I believe in YOU.

Keep moving forward and take each day one at a time. You and Allie are still my inspiration for my career change to nursing and for that I will be forever grateful to you both. Hope to see you around town sometime. Good luck with the new position.

Lea

Jo said...

Jenny,

Don't know if you remember me...we had spoken back in 2005 about the Britney Spears Foundation. I have followed your blog since two days before Allie passed. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time. I just can't believe it!

Peace said...

Many HUGS to you. I hope that there will be healing that comes quickly and easily. The new job sounds fantastic! I hope that you all slip into your new routine with minimal bumps.

Theresa said...

I'm so sorry Jenny, i went through divorce 11 years ago and it was hard, at least in that case it was my choice because of his behavior. I will keep you in my thoughts as you navigate yourself through the weeks and months ahead. Allow yourself some of those moments where you just need to be angry, scream and cry, it's good therapy.

I promise Maggie will be okay, Jordan was young when we divorced and her father has never been involved, with the love she gets from both of you she will get through this too. Kids are a lot tougher than we realize and also adapt to change better than we as adults are able to. Having her in play therapy will help a lot too.

My heart just hurts for you, i don't think any of us ever imagined this for you so i know for you it must be even more blindsiding.

I'm glad you got the new job, i remember how much your students adored you before, you're going to have such a wonderful effect on yet more lives.

Stay strong hon, you're very loved.

Tonya said...

Jenny, you and Andrew have been through the very worst of life together...I can't begin to imagine the strain your marriage has been under. I'm so sorry for you and your precious girls.

You all will be in my prayers as you transistion through this stage of life.

Kylee said...

Praying for you.

Kat said...

Jenny, I'm so sorry to hear your news. I like many other have been following yout blogs since 2004. My heart hurts for you. I know you will get thru this and be stronger for it. I know you don't know me but if you ever need to talk please let me know. I also married at 21 and after 12 years of marriage I was told "I don't love you anymore". It's now been 4 years and you do get thru it. Hang in there and know we are all here for you to lean on.

tricia said...

Congrats on your new job. You will soar,I'm sure.
On the homefront.....I'm so sad to hear of the divorce;so sad for you and the girls.
A lot of changes are headed your way but you will reach the light at the end of the tunnel. Too bad Andrew didn't speak up before you both bought the new house.Not nice of him, but it is what it is and you'll do what is best for you.
One step at a time.

Emily said...

Praying for you tonight.

Brittany..Following my Bliss said...

First of all, I wish you nothing but the best and lots of success in your upcoming journey. I have to say, you are being way more mature than I would be if I was in your shoes. I don't even KNOW you or Andrew but want to smack him upside the head. I think he's being incredibly selfish and doing a total dis-service to his family by walking away from his marriage.
Keep your head high and know that you are an incredible woman. You enabled us to follow you in your journey through the years and you are a true inspiration to so many people. Many prayers for you and your girls

Alice said...

First of all, you can do this. And obviously with more dignity than those you hold dear that took joy and satisfaction out of villifying her ex. You and Andrew don't have to make excuses, or rationalize, or understand the how's and why's to anyone but each other. You certainly won't feel better about your decision by posting private details in a public forum (as it hasnt helped your "friend" heal)

Take care of yourself, your girls, and know that things happen for a reason. Trust your intuition (and not the advice of strangers only hearing one side, even as carefully as you are wording it here).

You can make it. You've been through worse. Much worse.

Take it one day, one night, one quiet night alone at a time. And soon it won't be a chore, and you'll find yourself in the process. You were so young. You are going to see just how capable you are very soon (if you haven't started to already).

Sending you love, strength, and light.

La Reine said...

Jenny - I'm sorry to hear that you're having to find a new normal without someone that you have loved for so long. The best thing you can do for yourself is exactly what you are doing. You'll find a very different reflection in the mirror soon. And I think you'll like it! Hugs!

Megan said...

Jenny - Just wanted to offer my hugs and support from Atlanta. I'm a mom who was first introduced to your story through Babycenter and, as a fellow blogger, have loved reading your stories through this online portal. My first daughter, Claire, was born just weeks before Allie. My husband's name is Andrew and we went on to have two more daughters after Claire Brooke and Sarah. There were several common themes in our stories.

You are so strong, and things will be all be ok. Lean on your readers here for support. We are here for you!

Also, I am sad to hear that you are leaving the charity, but am happy to hear that the mission will continue. I am a part-time fundraising consultant who does a lot of volunteer work for children's charities - if there's anything I can do to help on that front, please holler.

Hugs and prayers to you and your beautiful family.

Megan

Tracy said...

Jenny, Thanks for opening up yet another part of your life. Just like every thing you went through with your grief for Allie helped many people so will this. I am in a position right now where I can see seperation on the horizen and it terrifies me. Hearing that you are coping gives me assurance that i will be able to do it too. You are a strong woman and I look forward to your posts of all the great things you will do on your own for the 1st time! I've been reading since the babycenter days and will continue to read as long as your continue to write.

GirlyMomma said...

Jenny,
I'm sad for your loss and happy for your huge accomplishment. It's probably wrong of me to say, but I can't help but be a little miffed at Andrew for not fighting harder. I'm aware that I don't know you or him, and I have no business feeling this way, but that's what I think about it!
You are a fighter...and a really fantastic writer.
I wish you luck and nothing but the best as you enter this new and I'm certain terrifying part of your life. I have not been on my own as an adult, either. Sometimes that thought takes my breath away and I wonder if I will ever have to learn this skill as well.
Take care,
Kelley

Laura Seymour said...

there's a comment here that bothered me so much i actually had a dream about it.

jenny opened up to her readers about something very poignant and personal going on in her life. i, for one, don't think it's the time or place to take a personal jab at one of her dearest friends and supporters. let's agree that none of us that read blogs without knowing the writer in real life can know "the full story". jenny and her real life friends all seem like wonderful people, and like they're all in a transitional time in their lives. and sometimes when people do shitty things? a former spouse reserves the right to call a spade a spade.

jenny, i hope the best for you all. i have faith that with the strong support system you have all around you, you will come out on the other side better than you ever imagined. :)

One crazed mommy said...

Jenny - I am so sorry. I was hoping that things would work out. I am thinking of you and the girls during this transition in your life. I am sad for the divorce, but absolutely thrilled to hear of your new job! I hope the absolute best for you in moving forward during your new journey. Sounds like you are well prepared for the ups and downs and prepared to do what it takes to make it through. Just know you have a lot of support, in real life and online, and we are rooting for you! Big hugs sent your way from SC!

JennG

Morroje said...

Jenny,
You don't know me but I have followed your blog for several years. I just wanted to add my voice to the others here and say that I am SO sorry about your divorce but am also cheering for you in your new job and new normal. I am now almost 40 and my parents divorced when I was Maggie's age. My mother was strong like you and she was my rock and anchor. She put my brother and I in therapy and we made it, as individuals and as family (a broken family but a family nonetheless). Maggie will be ok .. I promise you.

Also, I know that yoga videos aren't anything like going to the studio. But, if you want to keep up with a bit, the Yoga X DVD that comes with P90X is EXCELLENT. My husband does P90X as a whole (not me!) but a friend/yoga instructor recommended the Yoga X video to me and I love it. It is interesting and challenging and they offer plenty of direction so you can practice at home, especially since you have done so many classes already. Most people who do P90X skip Yoga X so you might know someone who you could hijack it from. If not, there are some cheap ones on Ebay!

Good luck with the new job and the new normal. We're cheering for you.

Jen in IN

Melissa said...

((((hugs))))

Robin said...

Good luck to you. Sounds like you are off to a good start on your own. The classes should be great for Maggie. I bought some books to read with my daughter that were helpful, one was "Two Homes" by Claire Masurel. All the best.

Mary Anne Whiteley said...

I am so sorry Jenny. I haven't been through divorce, but very nearly, and have been through many ups and downs in my marriage. In a way, I kind of envy that you are able to do this. I think the one thing that keeps me 'in' is knowing that while my husband loves his kids, it wouldn't be a good thing for them to have to split time between us, because they would be ignored a lot when in his care. :( The no snoring thing sounds awfully nice ;)

Donna said...

Congratulations on the teaching job, it will bring you good things in so many ways. Like MVM says, you got this.

Claire said...

Jenny...
I have followed your story since sweet Allie became an angel. You are so amazingly strong. I am also currently separated from my husband due to his infidelity. I follow Tracy over at Minivan Mom. She has also been such a source of strength for me. Hang in there...you are in my prayers!

-Claire

D Griffin said...

I was shocked to read that you had separated, and now I am saddened to hear that you are divorcing. I have been there, though, and I know that you have the strength to get through it. Best wishes in everything - please know that you have a support group out there who are pulling for you everyday!

snekcip said...

Truly know that there are no words. Just know that I'm praying for all of you as each one of you adjust to yet another "new normal".

Tammy said...

Just when I thought I was having a bad day. Congratulations on your new job, I know you will be a great asset to Plano ISD. I'm just another 'fan' you don't know, live just down the street (in FW) found your blog thru Sam's! I have admired you from day one, you are such a strong and beautiful woman! You have taught me so much about life and lifes changes. I'm pulling for you, I don't ever see anything coming your way and you not being able to tackle! You are a survivor! And you have an Angel on your shoulder! Hugs from FW!

Kelly Hermann said...

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers as you go through all of these transitions. It is wonderful that you are getting back into the classroom. I can only imagine the heartbreak that you must feel over the end of your marriage - especially because it was so unexpected. I hope that you are taking the time you need to help yourself heal and move on.

Sending many good thoughts from far away.

SusieQ said...

Wow. I do not know you IRL and am only privy to the information you choose to share on your blog but I am shocked by the news of your divorce. Wow. Been reading since the Allie days and always sensed that you and Andrew had a great bond. But I guess you are right...it's got to be mutual to make it work well. I am saddened by this turn of events but I know you will rise from this unexpected hurdle in your life just as you have done before. My prayers and positive thoughts are with you and your girls as you soldier through this tough time.

Karen said...

Jenny, I'm sending you a hug from far, far away tonight. I'm wishing you all the best!

M.Yeager said...

you will do it, you have proven how strong you are! When my son's father and I separated I started my son in therapy and he has handled the transition well. Good luck to you and I am glad you are getting back to teaching!

Cheryl said...

Jenny, I, too, have been following you since Allie's diagnosis. I am so, so sorry about the latest turn of events. My husband feels a similar way, but won't leave until my youngest graduates. His choice, not mine... I am a teacher, also, and my job is my escape. I go every day to a place where I am valued and appreciated. Your job will help you get through this...along with those beautiful girls. Good luck to you!!!!!

Katherine said...

I am so sorry to hear this.

I have followed your blog for years and have always been amazed by the quality of your heart-felt writing as you have shared your life with us. You are, and have been my hero Jenny. I hope the best for you and your family on this new path that you are all on.

I think I may speak for others when I say I did not expect this so it's been hard to accept - (and I get how that must sound since - most of us don't personally know you) but I hope for the best for you and your wonderful family as you go through this hard time.

timi68 said...

Yup, same here. Been here since nearly day one of Allie's diagnosis and CANNOT believe that your marriage is ending. It's so sad and totally unexpected. Just like the previous poster said, we don't even KNOW you (personally, that is) but it's just so difficult to accept this news. If it's tough for us, I can only imagine what you're going through. But, just like before, you know you will come out a stronger person through all this. You and Andrew are wonderful parents and your girls will be loved no matter what. I wish you the best of luck on your return to the french classroom. Your students will be SOOO lucky to have you as their teacher. Do you keep in touch with your former students? I always loved your pictures of Paris!! Remember, you WILL get through this!

Carol and Co. said...

Dear Jenny,
Sending you love, hugs, and many heartfelt prayers as you continue on in your journey. I am sad for the many trials you have and continue to face. Thank you for your friendship, though we have never met that kindred spirit toward life has somehow brought me your way since Allie was diagnosed. Thank you for your openness and willingness to share your heart. It's amazing how much love is in there as it keeps growing to be able to give more, and you always have much more love to share! You also give it away so freely to encourage the hearts of others. What an encourager you are, and a blessing to so many. You will overcome these latest obstacles, and more. I pray for your peace of heart and mind as you journey over this next mountaintop. Soon you will reach the summit and be able to look down and see where you've been.... again! With love. Carol Smith

Shelley Buffaloe said...

Jenny, you and I have never met, but I started following you before Allie was diagnosed, my daughter was born six days after Allie and I cried with you many many times. I am so very sorry for all the heartache that you have been through, the likes of which I pray to God I never know. You are a strong person and your girls are beautiful. Your girls and your 'posse' will be beside you every step of the way, I'm sure, you are so lucky to have strong friendships. Just wanted you to know that us out here in cyberworld are sending positive thoughts your way, I know you will come out on the other side of this stronger than you ever imagined! Cyber hugs and shoulders to cry on,

Shelley

Mom of Two said...

Jenny,

I too am an long time follower of your family from the scotthousehold web pages days and your journey with your precious Allie. I met you briefly at the Princess Alexa Foundation costume sorting party and was in awe of all tht you do and still am.

You are strong wonderful person who will come out of this situation stronger and better.

But DON't give up on your YOGA - Check out Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown - it is an awesome workout - and your girls could get their mats and do it with you. Link for it here:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/13430884

I know this isn't the same as going to the studio. The DVD will allow you to do what you've been doing because it is working!!!

Sending hugs to you my friend. Surround yourself with your girls and your girlfriends. Enjoy your summer and have fun setting up your classroom in the fall. I can't wait to hear stories teaching.

Stephanie

Jodi @ blog-o-licious said...

Jenny - you are strong strong woman and you WILL get through this.

KatyO said...

Oh Jenny, I'm heartbroken for you about your marriage. I only wish that good things come of this new, huge change in your life. I'm so sorry! I will be praying for peace for you in all of this.

Congratulations on the teaching position though - how very exciting!! I know you loved teaching and that Plano will be a great place for you to be.

You can do this! You are one of the strongest women I "know" (inside my computer, of course).

The Hoodies said...

Just letting you know from yet another person, that you, Andrew, Allie, Maggie, and Katie are loved and prayed for during this time of transition.

Jen said...

Jenny, you don't know me, of course- I've been reading your words since Allie was dx'd. Lots of comments are running through my mind, but divorce is private for each individual and I won't comment on that.

With the working out, I made a very huge lifestyle change in the past three years and exercising is something I can't do without- only I'm Zumba first, yoga second. Maybe you've already thought of this but 24 hour fitness generally has a variety of activities depending on the facility, and costco sells prepaid passes for two years. I know it's expensive up front but it may be an option for you. I'm sorry if you've already thought of it.

Also, congratulations on your teaching position, and, as always your girls are just beautiful.

(Another Jenny)