Monday, March 16, 2015

Happenings!

Much has been going on and time is just FLYING!

Can you believe that we get to meet our newest little fella in less than 5 weeks? Isn't that just CRAZY?!  I am nervous and terrified and ecstatic and everything in between.  And I have a bunch of things I'm going to be blogging about once life settles a little bit. But tonight, Seth and I are heading to a 3 hour crash course in how to care for a newborn… HA! It's called Baby Your Baby and we are both really looking forward to it. I have NO IDEA what I'm doing. No clue. I'm hoping tonight refreshes my memory a bit :)

So here is a glimpse of me at 35 weeks. I didn't take many pictures with Little Dude, nor have I with this one… so I am trying to snap a few before it's all over :) Everywhere I go, people say

"WOW! You must be due any day!"

 "Ummmmm, no… I'm just really large and in charge right now. Thank you though :)"

I've totally surpassed my delivery weight with Little Dude and seriously have no idea how much more I can grow… but the doctors keep telling me there is definitely room and I am right on track.

Yikes!

But I DO LOVE feeling this little human inside of me. It's unlike anything in the world. Miraculous and tender and surreal all at the same time. I feel blessed.





























Another fun thing was that in the latter part of January I was able to fly to Utah and see some of my favorite family and friends ever! And I was super spoiled to have 3 BABY SHOWERS in just one weekend! To say I felt totally loved and supported is an understatement.

I don't know, after going through what I have, it's sometimes easy to feel like a failure or to be a little embarrassed because my life fell apart and many of these people have seen me in my darkest of moments, trying to pick the pieces back up. It's like I wonder if they're tired of me yet? Or tired of all the change in my life? But incredibly enough… all of the same people are still in my life and for that, I feel so so so fortunate.

In fact, I think I cried at each gathering because I absolutely LOVE all of the people in my life.

And I must say that Baby Boy was SUPER spoiled :)

This first photo was a super quaint and special Friday evening with some of the strongest ladies I know. I met them when my life turned upside down and they helped me get back up. It's amazing what our hardest of trials bring us.

Then on Saturday I got to see my family and many of my oldest friends. It was SOOOO wonderful… I feel so honored to have so many loyal and beautiful women in my life. 3 hours went by in a hurry and my only regret was not being able to talk to everyone A LOT longer!





And then later that evening I was surprised with the most delicate and delicious shower I've ever seen! My dear friend Rachel (a therapist from Addo Recovery) spent hours and hours and hours and HOURS baking and creating this GORGEOUS SET UP! Everything was handmade, from scratch, and was to DIE FOR!

She had:

Fresh Peaches and Cream Cake

Citrus Cake

Lemon Cheesecake

White Chocolate Raspberry Cake

and Salted Chocolate Fudge Cake

After 5 HOURS of visiting and giggling with some of the most brave and loving women on the planet, my heart was so full it almost BURST… annnnnd my belly almost burst too :) It was definitely a night to remember!



Other than that goodness, I have spent the rest of my time planning and preparing for TOGETHERNESS which is THIS WEEKEND! I cannot believe the time is already here! It's going to be a smaller group-- just like last year-- but there is something really special about it.

I'm also teaching a class which for some reason or another, I am TERRIFIED to do so. You'd think it would be a breeze compared to hosting the conferences… but no, not this one. I hope I can give someone something they needed to hear. Eeeek! My class is "The D-WORD: Finding Happiness through and After Divorce". Wish me luck!

I do have exciting news that I haven't shared here, or anywhere, yet! Last June I embarked on a really life-changing and AMAZING journey… something that totally transformed my life… and I can't wait to share it with all of you! But it'll take more than just a blip in a post, so it'll have to wait… but NEAT things are on the horizon and I'm excited to share them with you!

All my love, my friends.

I'll be back soon!




Wednesday, February 4, 2015

My Little Dude is SEVEN!






























Seven.

7!

SEVEN YEARS OLD!

How can this be? 

Where does the time go?























Yesterday I was walking him to school and I asked him to hold my hand-- something we do every morning :) He sheepishly said,

"Ummmmmm, not today."

Whaaaaaaaaaaat!?

I took a big and brave mama breath and realized that my Little Dude is getting older… and that's okay… he doesn't have to hold my hand while we walk to school anymore. I understand he is growing and changing :) But I did tell him that it's perfect timing to have another little bambino in April because then I can smother the baby all the time, instead of asking Little Dude to humor me. At which point Little Dude said,

"Okay, mom, I'll hold your hand for just a minute… it keeps my hand warmer anyway."

And so, we walked to school hand in hand… and I cherished every moment of it… I even got a little choked up…. because I know this is when the snuggly, huggy, kissy, 'it's cool to be with mom' will start to fizzle out. I'm sad, but I'm glad… because it also means that he's growing into such a wonderful, courteous, happy big boy :)

We've been through a lot of ups and downs together, he and I. A lot of happiness, as well as moments of sadness. But he is one of the bravest little fella's I've ever known and I love him more than anything could ever describe.



















And with that, I just want to say this:

Hold your little ones close today and if they won't let you cuddle them, tell your big ones how much you love them.

Our children are so, so, so special… and life is so precious… make every moment count!

For me, I am going to eat Subway sandwiches with Little Dude in the cafeteria for lunch today (it's his favorite!), I'm taking donuts into his adorable class (another favorite!), then we're off to celebrate with Grandma and Grandpa at Panda Express after school (again, his favorite!), and theeeeeeen the kiddo has basketball practice.

It's a great day to be SEVEN!

Love this boy of mine!






**If you want to read my birth story, click here. It was such a beautiful day and is always fun to reminisce :) And I CANNOT believe it was 7 YEARS AGO! Aaaaack!




Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Third Trimester and Believing in Myself

It has been a WILD 6 months to say the very least.

And the month of January!? CRAZY!

I was sent to the ER a few weeks ago because my OB thought I had pneumonia. Freaked me right out! Nearly 4 weeks later, and a diagnosis of Bronchitis, I am FINALLY kicking it. So, that's good :)

This pregnancy has also been rather tough on me. I don't know if it's because I'm older? Or if every pregnancy is really that different? But wow! It's been hard. I don't remember ANY of this in my pregnancy with Little Dude. I suppose 7 years is a long time.

But the craziest part is that we will be meeting our LITTLE BOY in just 12 short weeks! We can't wait! Poor Little Dude wanted a sister SOOOOOO bad… but I told him we are grateful for whatever we are blessed with. He was a champ when the ultrasound tech pointed out the penis between the legs :) and I honestly think he'll LOVE having another brother to care for. (His other bro is in Utah.)




























So! Time is FLYING. And I'm not ready in the slightest.

You see, when I got a divorce, I got rid of everything babyish. And I mean everything! I just didn't see myself getting remarried, let alone having children, anytime soon… so instead of finding a place to store everything during that CRAZY time in my life, I just gave it to those who needed it. Which means that, now, we are starting over from scratch! It's fun and it's scary and it's everything in between because...

I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO WITH A NEWBORN! 

Aaaaaahhhhh!

I keep being told that my motherly instincts will kick in again-- that it will all come back to me….

I'm not so sure… haha… So much so that I not only signed Seth and I up for Prenatal Class, but a Baby Your Baby class… you know, everything you need to know about how to care for a newborn. I am really looking forward to this class because I am going to need all the help I can get :)

But all the nervousness and anxieties aside, it really is so incredible. Feeling this life inside of me… knowing that this baby was created from love… knowing that he will be born into so much love… we are all very, very, excited and we feel so blessed because this baby represents so much to us. I'm sure we all have different ideas/thoughts about what he means… but to me… this little fella represents trust and courage… love and commitment… and the unbelievable opportunity we all have to pick back up, to dust off, to keep on trekking, and to find happiness again, no matter what comes our way.

And he also represents BELIEVING. Believing in love again. Believing in goodness again. Believing in happiness again. And most importantly, believing in myself again. Believing that I can do it.

It's pretty amazing.

Honestly, it feels like this baby is our little miracle and I am SO excited for him to get here!

But for now, I am trying to relish every kick and jab from him... Even in the middle of the night when he's keeping me awake-- wide eyed and bushy tailed-- I love the little parties we have together :)

*I hope you're all doing well and I know I say it all the time… but I love this community of people… you're the greatest! Oh, and I tend to be a little more active on my Instagram so if you're on there, I'd love to get to know you better and you'll see more active posts from me there :) (mynameisjacy is my profile name)

xoxo

Friday, January 23, 2015

What am I Doing with My Discovery?

photo credit































There's a term that's been in my vocabulary for the last (almost) 5 years. It's a term I had never heard of before that time. Two words that, when you put them together, can be completely and utterly catastrophic.

"Discovery Day" (or "D-Day").

The day when everything in your life changes.

It gives me shivers thinking about my "Discovery Day".

I mean, there is real trauma there. So much so that I've had a few triggers in the last few weeks thinking about it. Something pops up, or I see an old email, or I have a terrible, vivid dream that relives the whole thing (like last night actually). It's the kind of trauma when, even after all this time, I just can't seem to grasp any sort of control over my emotions, my reactions, my scared heart.

I panic.

PTSD.

The term "Discovery Day" is pretty common among the women fighting on the front lines of the sexual addiction battle. The words and its effects are nothing out of the ordinary for us anymore. It's just our new reality. Hard, albeit.

But as I've been thinking about the upcoming anniversary of my first "D-Day" (February 18, 2010), I think that maybe, just maybe, I'm giving it way more control than I should. Maybe, just maybe, there's something deeper about it… something more than just heartache and trauma. Maybe, just maybe, it's not as bad as I think (or once thought) it was.

But how could this really be possible? 

How could there be any goodness from such a life changing day?

I mean, it was horrific.

Mind-blowingly, ridiculously, unimaginably sickening… that's what it was.

Where's the silver lining in that?

So I started thinking about what the word DISCOVERY actually means.

dis·cov·ery
noun \dis-ˈkə-v(ə-)rē\
: the act of finding or learning something for the first time : the act of discovering something

And then I started thinking that it's not just women like me who have discovery days. We ALL have (or will have) discovery days because life is FULL of new discoveries. Every second of every single day we discover new things: some lovely and wonderful, some beyond comprehension and totally painful.

Maybe you discover your marriage isn't what you thought it was… and maybe you discover addiction... But maybe you don't discover those types of things… maybe you discover something else… like… 

that you have cancer. 

Or that you're going blind. 

Or that your child has a disease that is incredibly difficult to manage.

Or that you lost your baby at your 20 week ultrasound.

Or that your husband lost his job and suddenly finances become a true threat and scare.

Or that your parents are getting a divorce after 30 plus years together.

Or that you'll never be able to have children that you dreamed you always would. 

Or that there is a very serious difference of faith between you and your spouse that is just surfacing.

Or that your husband, child, mom, father, sister was killed in some sort of a tragic accident. 

Or that…. or that… or that… the list goes on and on.

I hear about these very difficult discoveries all the time. I see them on the news happening to perfect strangers, I see them on my Facebook feed happening to those I love and care about, and I see them happening in my neighborhood to the people in my community. It's heart breaking and it almost throws me back to my own personal "D-Day" because I know what it's like to have life throw a big, huge, FAST curve ball that seems to screw up everything I had planned for my life.

But as I watch and read about all of this tragic stuff, and after experiencing my own, I've realized a trend. I'm sure there is a lot of gray in this thinking… it's not just black and white…it can't be…. but, the way I see it is that there are two ways we can "use" our discoveries. 

We can either 

a) let them guide us 

or 

b) we can guide them

Listen, I have been dragged along by my discovery many a times… like I was being forced to go down a trail I did not want to go. I let my discovery take over me and it (not me) determined my temporary destination many different times. I ended up places I never wanted to be, and wasn't proud of. And somehow, in the heat of it, I felt like my discovery had become me. There was no difference anymore. I was what happened to me-- what happened to me was me.

After almost 5 years, I think I'm finally seeing that I am actually in control of my destiny. I am holding the reigns to my life. Yeah, life's hard and it really does SUCK sometimes (for lack of a better term). My life is so far from what I ever thought it would be and I struggle with things on a daily basis that relate back to my discovery day. 

But no matter how I look at it, IT HAPPENED.

It's done. 

It's over.

Life changed. 

And that change came with a lot of really TOUGH stuff.

And there is nothing I can do to go back and change any of it.

So!

Instead of wasting my time stewing and thinking, "I should have done this…. I wish this instead… life is so unfair… why did this happen to me..." or whatever I think when I'm spiraling out of control…. I've decided to ask myself these questions instead:

What am I DOING with my discovery?

Where am I TAKING my discovery?

Not "What is my discovery doing to me?" 

And not "Where is my discovery going to take me?"

See the difference?

And then I need to grab the bull by the horns, look it head on, and take control of me, my life, and determine MY OUTCOME.

It's not what my discovery says anymore, it's what I say!

Because no matter what happened or happens, I can still control me and no person, no discovery, no situation can EVER take that away.

I can control what I DO with my discovery.

And you can too.

Sure, it's complex. I know.  Sure, it's crappy at times (or a lot of the time for some), I know. Sure, it's not what we ever thought our life would be, I know. 

And it's haaaaaaard!

But when I get to the top of that mountain, the one I have worked SO hard to climb… the one I had to literally prove to myself that I could, infact, summit it…. it's such a eye-opening, stunning, unexplainable view. It's more beautiful than I could have ever imagined… because it took EVERYTHING I had to get there. It nearly killed me! It took every ounce of everything I ever had, emotionally and physically, to get there. But I MADE IT.

And then, when I look out at the stunning panoramic view and see what I've survived and accomplished and how far I've come, I realize that it doesn't end there. There are more mountainous treks to climb. It's not over. Far from it. More discoveries will come (and I'll likely still be patching up old ones because they can affect you for life)… but I keep going….  and while I'm keepin' on keeping', I am making my life what I want it to be. Even amidst the hard and crappy and unexpected. 

I discover a new way to find happiness and love and purpose and meaning (whatever that means for you, individually).

And this whole thing… this whole idea… actually this whole new beautifully hard life of mine (the one I would never trade in a billion years) started with one simple thing:

A horrible, hard, PTSD-ridden, SUCKY, Discovery Day.

Something I thought was going to kill me, something I let define me at times, something I hated and hated and hated has actually turned out to be one of the very best and biggest blessings in my life. The love and compassion and hope and strength and confidence and purpose I feel now, compared to pre "D-Day", is insanely different. It's more powerful, it's stronger and it's just…. better.

What an ironic twist.

I never would have thought I could pair my Discovery Day with any good-- but when I really think about it, it has brought me so much more than I bargained for (with amazing people, the coolest and most humbling experiences, a new love full of empathy and understanding and some of the most critical life lessons). 

My discovery has been soooooo good to me… and I think it's because I have experienced both letting it control me and and learning that I can, in fact, control where I take it.  

I so much prefer the latter option :)

Friday, December 19, 2014

A Non-Traditional Christmas





























It's that beautiful time of year… the one when you just cannot deny the feelings of love and joy and excitement in the air. It's magical. It's whimsical. It's supposedly "the most wonderful time of the year".

But what about for those who DON'T feel this way? What about those who are sad, and alone, and just doing everything they can to survive the holidays?

For some of you, it may seem foreign-- how can anyone NOT love the holidays? SNAP OUT OF IT!-- you may think. I know I used to think that.

And then it happened to me. 

I became the very person I never understood.

The person who cried and complained and who had a broken heart during the holidays. 

Why? 

Because my baby boy was gone. He was to spend time with his dad for Christmas (and holidays in general) and I was left alone-- feeling empty. Feeling robbed. Feeling like life is incredibly UNFAIR,  this is SO not what I signed up for! My life was shattered. My family was broken. I was a big loser. Failure.

Everyone else around me had everything I should have had.

But of the many things I have grown to love about my specific journey and everything I have come to know, I think the ability to evolve and adapt is near the very top. Almost 5 years later, even though it has been a shift like no other, and it has taken SERIOUS determination and mental work, we are living proof that you can find happiness in the unexpected, the non-traditional, and the sometimes very difficult situations. You can create new cherished memories, lots of laughter, and even joy among them.

Tomorrow Little Dude leaves for 3 weeks to spend Christmas in Utah with his dad. We've already opened presents, eaten a ham, and enjoyed our celebrations together…. and now, I am so very excited for him to enjoy the holiday with his dad! I honestly cannot believe I feel so free… so refreshed… so… HAPPY on the day my son is leaving. And I think it's because no matter how I look at it, no matter what I do or say, no matter what I *wish* it was, no matter how terribly I will miss seeing the magic of his eyes on Christmas morning, no matter ANY OF IT, I cannot change what it is. This is my new life. Actually, this is our new normal… for all of us… And you know... It's beautiful! 

Hard things can be beautiful… if only you'll figure out how to make them so! I truly believe this!

It's taken a long time to get to this point, but I'm finding happiness and goodness and cheer, even though it's not what I had ever planned. And I am genuinely looking forward to this special time that Seth and I will get to share together, as it will be the last holiday we will ever have without kiddo's (since our baby is on the way). I know it sounds crazy to many of you, but it really is such a neat experience-- one that I can finally accept and ENJOY now.

This holiday, from my heart to yours, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas today-- no matter what is happening in your life right now. If you're single, or if life isn't what you thought it'd be, or if you're hurting, or if your kiddos are away, or if you're dealing with other things in your life (as we all do), I hope you'll take time to find some JOY in there somewhere... Because it IS possible and if you look hard enough, it can be found in any situation!

All my love to you.





























Gorgeous print at the top can be found and purchased HERE.






Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Free Healing Program for Betrayal Trauma




























You guys!

I know I have already told you about Addo Recovery….. But I need to tell you about them again.

They are wonderful! 

Just wonderful.

Their genuine love and concern for women enduring betrayal trauma is so real. I know first hand because together, we have had a beautiful working relationship with The Togetherness Project. From the very beginning they have been supportive in providing beautiful presentations at our events, as well as contributing financially to sponsor our most recent event. And I know they do it because they care.

They care for me, they care for you.

That being said, as a result of this blog, I hear from women all the time looking for resources who live either in other states, or different parts of the world. Many feel isolated and without ANY resources.

Today, I am so happy to tell the readers of my blog that Addo Recovery is coming to the rescue! They are offering a FREE healing program that can be accessed no matter where you live!

Check out the details below and please, if you are hurting and are searching for recovery and peace in your life, get in touch with Addo asap! 

They can help you. They want to help you!

Healing from Betrayal Tauma

Their new learning center includes:
  • 8 different courses all geared towards helping individuals heal from the effects of their partners pornography or sexual addiction.  
  • New programs posted monthly that address a variety of issues.  
  • Exclusive access to participate in webinars conducted by Addo Recovery's certified therapists who specialize in treating betrayal trauma. 
  • Access to Yoga for Trauma videos that will be posted each week (coming late November, 2014) 
  • Online class forums and discussion boards (coming December, 2014)

To browse the online learning center for free you can follow this link: http://members.addorecovery.com/course/C1. For those interested in taking advantage of the entire library for a limited time we're offering it for $10/month. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Be A Light

It was a beautiful weekend.

So much love.

So much emotion.

So much compassion.

SO MUCH LIGHT!

Our theme for Togetherness Midway was "Be A Light" and I was honored to give a few remarks at the end of the day. In a world with so much darkness, especially when it comes to sex addiction, infidelity, divorce, abandonment, abuse, betrayal, etc., I wanted to focus on the light. And how important it is in our lives.



First, we've got to FOLLOW THE LIGHT.



























Surround yourself with the people, places, and things that bring you happiness. That encourage you. That give you peace. That make you feel better.

Find those things.

Follow them.

It was hard for me to believe in the light during my darkest times. I mean, I could see the sun, I could feel its warmth on my skin, but I still didn't believe in it. Everything felt dead to me. I'd push myself into a cave where I wouldn't be living, I'd just be NOT dying.

But it wasn't all dead. That light that I felt, that I saw, that surrounded me, it was real… I just needed to recognize it.



Second, we've got to EMBRACE THE LIGHT.




























Once I found and remembered the light, I felt guilty for wanting, or feeling the urge, to smile or laugh or feel good again.

I didn't want to almost.

Like, it would mean that I was "just over it" or it "wasn't that bad" or I must not have been hurting anymore.

I'd push myself back into the dark and lonely cave I had created and I would just NOT die.

Well, just like exploring our difficult emotions are important, so is exploring and feeling and expressing the light. In my opinion, this is KEY to healing. This is KEY to LIVING and not dying. 



And lastly, we've got to BECOME THE LIGHT.



























No matter where you are in the process, what your situation is… it is so important that you know that you are not a failure. You may feel, at times, that your light is dimming, but I promise you, it's not dead! 

It never will be.

Follow it.

Embrace it.

And then… you will automatically Become it.

And what does becoming a light look like, you ask?

This is what it looks like to me:



“Let your light shine. 

Be a source of strength and courage. 

Share your wisdom. 

Radiate love” 

– Wilferd Peterson























The light is what life is all about.

At least that's what I think.

I am honored to be among all of you amazing and courageous and strong and beautiful women. Hardships will always be there, but it's how respond to them, how we overcome them, and how we shine through them, that matters the very most.









I LOVE YOU!


p.s. We are taking one last bulk order for current Togetherness Merchandise You can buy what is listed below in either GOLD or SILVER and final orders will be accepted through 10/20/14:
a) Togetherness Logo Circle Pendant
b) Be A Light Rectangle Charm
c) Rise Above Circle Pendant
They are each $10 without the chain. If you'd like a chain, please let us know and an extra $2 will be added to your bill.
To order please email us at info@togethernessproject.org and let us know:
a) Which style (listed above)
b) Which color (GOLD or SILVER)
c) If you need a chain and how many

d) Your name and email address so we can send you a bill via Paypal

XOXO












**If you ordered a Be A Light Charm at the conference, it will be included in this order. No need to email us again Thank you for your patience!


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