The New Crew- Life Update

It’s about time I share something. My tendency to try and control everything has come to an end and I now realize that I can no longer plan every outcome, nor do I want to carry that burden anymore. I went back and forth on whether or not I even needed to address this or if I should just let it be, but you are all a big part of my life and keeping something from you is just hard. My life has become very public and you all invest your time and energy into my business and I would not be here without your faithful souls. Honestly, throughout the past year while dealing with this, you guys have been nothing but a healing spot for me. Every time I would open up my Instagram, someone had something kind or encouraging to say even when you had no idea what I was going through. It kept me going. It was actually quite easy to ignore the haters because their information is hear say, and so I will pray for them and thank everyone else.

As you know I have a daughter and she is the biggest reason I do what I do, and she is the reason this post is so hard to write. Some day she will be able to read this and I want her to know where my heart was. I want her to understand that she will always be the best part of my life no matter what season I am in. I have done everything throughout this process to shield and protect her because I am her mom and that’s what we try to do. People may not understand my thinking on this, but you are not in my shoes and many times I feel I don’t know what to do. I question choices and decisions, beating myself up as I prayerfully try to figure out what is best for our daughter in the long run.

After this post I will no longer talk about it and I will not answer questions or talk in any negative way about anyone or anything. Though I am being vulnerable and real with you as I struggle through some of the most difficult days to date, please respect my and my family’s privacy. I do not wish to speak of this in detail with anyone, and won’t address questions. I don’t want to speak negatively about anyone. And please stop believing everything you hear. It’s exhausting trying to live up to all the rumors. I have already beaten myself up enough about my situation and I have had several months to grieve and process all of the change occurring in my life. I am human, I am not perfect, but I am thankful for the grace of God and His word to continually motivate and push me forward. It’s hard not looking back and wish things could've been different. The worrying, the self blaming, the doubt, the insecurity, loss of control, all of it is a lot to bear alone. It isn’t healthy. I also have a LOT of incredible friends who have my back regardless of my situations. These people have no idea how much they mean to me because words alone can not express my love and gratitude for them. You know who you are.

And if you were one to reach out to me via text, I appreciate the straightforward approach. But it appears a lot of people don’t know what to do or say with these types of situations so I am going to give you a little advice. Just reach out and say “ Hey, I just want you to know that I am here for you if you need anything.” That’s it. I don’t need to share my story, I don’t need to confirm or deny information so everyone can chat about it, I just needed to know that people were in my corner. I started writing this post 6 months ago and I have had to delete and add a lot as I have gone through the stages of grieving. At one point it was so dark I didn’t even recognize myself. The anger I felt was something I had to deal with. I will never understand what it is people find “fun” in gossiping about people’s misfortunes.

My life changed in September, 2018 when my husband and I decided to begin the divorce process. I hate even putting this in writing because it hurts, a lot. Like I said, I will not spill details for everyone to grab the popcorn and judge our life. Know that I will never say a bad word about him, as he is my daughter’s father and always will be. We spent 8+ years together and have a lot of history and memories that will remain. We will co-parent to make our daughter’s life the best it can be moving forward. We will remain friends and I would ask that you give him the respect he deserves as well in all of this.

Yes, we still traveled together and I hope we still can sometime in the future. Yes, we still lived together throughout the process and are currently still living together until I move into my new home. I continued to cook meals because that is what was normal for our daughter. Everything I shared in my stories was real but I purposely left out the details because honestly it wasn't anyone's business. As much as I love this job, my first and foremost job in this world is to be Rowan’s mom and I was doing what was best for her. Ugh. How do you tell a 5 year old and have her comprehend what is going on? I don’t know if there is a right way to do this but it seemed like the only way for us. My idea was to finalize everything, get my daughter settled, then tell her the most devastating news ever, but it’s hard to do that when people are coming to you with rumors and questions before you are “ready” to tell the only person it will affect most, your child. We ended up telling her to allow her to process it and ask questions while we were still living together to let her know that we are both there for her no matter what our living situation may be. To say my heart is broken is an understatement.

Moving forward as I share new stages of my life with you on the blog or through my Instagram stories and posts, please don’t look at it as I am bragging or glamorizing divorce or my situation. Again, I am sharing my real life with you and new things will be happening for me and I look forward to sharing those things with you all. It doesn't mean that everything will be peaches and cream, but I will tell you that I have gained an unshakable joy that comes from the Lord and it is not affected by worldly circumstances (most days). I started reading the Bible every day and a daily devotional, Jesus Calling, this past January as a way to cope. Without my faith or support system, I would not be ok right now. I also hope by sharing this and being vulnerable and open, it allows you to realize that I am human and it’s ok not to be ok. My life never was perfect, far from it actually. So if this helps someone else facing this difficult decision then my job is done. Ladies and gents….life is hard. But it is better to do life together than against each other all of the time.

This blog started January, 2014 and I named it Lady and Red. I am the lady and my daughter is the red. It is her initials, RED. So the crew really isn’t going to change around here but our lives will be different moving forward.

I bought my very first house and will be moving out in July. I honestly missed sharing that process with you all but rest assure I will be sharing all things and updates moving forward and I look forward to seeing what God has in store for my life. Stuff is about to get crazy! I have new responsibilities and a child starting Kindergarten all at the same time…I do accept wine as a housewarming gift 😂 So friends, I appreciate you taking the time to read my story and if there is something that you can do for me, it is to PRAY. Please pray as I need it, my family needs it. I appreciate you all and stay tuned for what this new crew has in store for you! XOXO

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Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Calling all mamas or mamas to be! I have put together a fun gift guide that you can either use as a gift guide for your mamas OR conveniently send it to your significant others inbox 😬 Let’s be honest…we all know how to drop a hint or two! Haha

The only thing I love more than anything on Mother’s Day is not cooking 🤷🏼‍♀️ Because I cook most meals at home and it is a treat to go out and not have to clean up anything! Although we were at Target the other day and I asked Rowan what she wanted to get me for Mother’s day and her reply was priceless….Louis Vuitton luggage. She is totally my kid. And then she proceeded to tell me to go look at in Target and she would let me pick it out. Ummm honey Target is great but not THAT great 😂

So to shop the images below, just click on the picture and it will take you to the product where you can add it to your cart!

Happy shopping….or hinting 😂

XOXO

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If You Give a Kid a Pickle...

By now you should all know my unhealthily love for McDonalds. Only because I document it far too often on Instagram....but all it took was one trip that taught me a lesson that I will forever be grateful for. Seriously, who goes to a fast food restaurant and thinks that they will leave with anything more than high cholesterol or extra pounds? 😂  I know I didn't, but sometimes things happen in the most unusual ways.

My daughter orders the same thing every time we go to McDonalds. A plain cheeseburger (only pickles) Happy Meal with extra fries and a small strawberry smoothie. It is always a guessing game between us on how many pickles she will get on her sandwich because it always varies. My husband was with us for our weekly Mickey D's run and he was quickly corrected when he tried to change up her order! Haha he lives in a house with very verbal women....poor guy.

So, Rowan gets her Happy Meal, opens up her cheeseburger, and quickly looks to see how many pickles she got. She shouts out "ONE!" I said "What? You were cheated!" She replied and asked me what that meant, the word cheated. And there I was stuck trying to explain the meaning of the word cheated to my 4 year old. Rude awakening. My husband tried to chime in a help pick me up while I stumbled over finding words she would understand. Unfair, deprived, and then I finally resorted to telling her that she should have gotten more than what she got. Her innocence quickly fired back with a "Why Mom? They didn't cheated me, I got one pickle. And it's a really big one too." 

I know I know you all are thinking what the heck does this have to do with anything or who cares, but it was a stop me in my tracks moment and instantly made me change my thinking. Why? Because in that moment I was reminded that my actions and words are shaping this young girl into what she will become. Do I really want her going through life thinking she was cheated because someone didn't give her more pickles on her cheeseburger? I hope you understand my point and where my heart is on this issue. It's not about the pickles at all, it's about everything in life. Why do we feel like we are so mistreated when we don't get exactly what we want when we want it? Why aren't we just thankful that we got one pickle? I scrambled to reply to my daughter that she was so right and how silly that was of me to say! I told her she was so lucky because she got a pickle! Yes, I know we ordered it and so naturally it should be there but when it's not, how do you want your child to react? I want my daughter to eat her cheeseburger no matter what and not think anything of it, like oh well at least I have food. It is not life altering in any way. Or go home and put on your own pickle.

Maybe you are thinking to yourself that this is so dumb and why would you teach your child not to stand up for what she wants or orders? Because life is hard & unfair already, I don't want her to constantly find the bad in everything she does. She will be let down so many times I won't be able to save her every time, but I can teach her how to think differently about things and situations, just like she taught me in that McDonalds drive thru. 

I remember before I was a mother, there was this great debate about all participating children receiving trophies instead of just the winners. I am not here to debate what is right and wrong, but I grew up not getting anything if we didn't win, but that just pushed me to practice more, try harder and to be a better teammate so we could win something. Too many times these days we expect handouts from life and when they don't come, we fall into a mood where we feel like a failure. Trust me, I have felt like this a lot and especially now as a mother and a wife. It doesn't have to be something great and grand to teach your children important lessons in life, or I guess it applies to adults to in this case. I am constantly learning from her. The spirit of a child is so innocent and pure. The joy they have where they just can't walk into the store, they have to skip, jump or twirl the entire way there. The way they love is so raw. They really love with everything they have because they know no different. So the next time you are walking into Target and your child is holding your hand, yanking it in every direction because they are skipping, look down and smile and maybe start to skip with them. Or the next time the waiter forgets something, teach them to look for the positive or ask politely. Find good in every situation and use the failures to teach valuable lessons. I now smile and wait for her to tell me how many pickles she got on her sandwich, because I know she is going to be thrilled either way. Today she got one again....and one big one. 

Start to treat people with the type of love you want people to treat you or your child with. Trust me, love can and will change the world. XO

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. Love your neighbors as yourself. There is no other commandment greater that these." Matthew 22 37-39

Easy Crockpot Ribs

Easy Crockpot Ribs

I can't believe I haven't posted these yet because they are a staple in my household and they are so easy! Clearly, now is horrible timing to post recipes involving a crockpot after some guy name Jack died from it on a show called This is Us. But I don't watch the show so.....I know I know I swear I may be the only one! It's not that I don't like it, I just never got into it.

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