Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Let's take it back...

Never in my 31 years have I experienced anything close to the things that 2013 threw at me. Undoubtedly it was the hardest and most painful year to date. I can not say that without saying that I have experienced some of my greatest joy, peace and freedom as well. Looking at these photos and recounting the feeling that were held when they were taken just makes me say wow, and holy crap! Although there are many things in this year that I never ever want to feel, do, say, or experience ever again, I don't want to count this year as a bad one, because to me if I look at it like that then it was a waste...and there were far too many happy days and smiles to count it as that. Admittedly though, I am already really pumped to see the post that I will be writing one year from now because much of  2013 is  not following me into 2014. 

Things got off to a pretty typical start in Jan. Jay and I continued to spend our days together as we did our 3rd grade home school adventures! I also decided that intentional was the word that was going to lead my year. 
February I took my first personal visit to the ER for stitches, and also proceeded to pass out on the floor while I was there! I received three awesome stitches and am currently still paying the bill for them. I also went on what turned out to be the last family trip I would ever go on with my husband. Despite the awkwardness of this transition while on vacation Jay and I still had fun times together! I also turned 31, but with the state of awkwardness in my home life it was not really the time to celebrate.
March 2, I walked out of the home my husband and I shared for the very last time....and so the adventure began..... Because our separation was so sudden I didn't quite have a thought out plan of where exactly the pieces of my life were about to fall. Housing, transportation and money were all up in the air...and lacking in the beginning of March. Thankfully I have an amazing family who stood in the gaps and provided these things for me when I was without. I also had the chance to meet one of the best families I've ever had the pleasure of knowing...and had them open up their home to Jay and I. Spending time...like lots of time with God is what I did every day. The only thing that would bring me comfort was trusting in his promises and that somehow he was going to work out all this crap I was now standing in. 
This was the beginning of taking time for me...to find and do the things that brought a smile to my face. With the way things were going this was totally crucial! In April I found my smiles in sparkly nails, shooting guns, warm beverages and of course my cute kid. Jay and I also had our first pro photo shoot, something that I have always wanted to have done. Another item checked off the list! 
This was the month that I walked my divorce papers in to the courthouse and handed them to the clerk. So May involved a lot of crying, and to make up for that I made sure that I did as many things to help me smile. This included a girls weekend getaway complete with a black dress, high heeled fancy dinner and scratching running in the Color Run off my to do list! At the end of May Jay and I took the longest bus ride ever (13 hours) to take a week long vacation to our old home of Redding, CA
This trip was so needed, like soooo needed. Redding is a small slice of Heaven and the friendships and people I have there are some of my favorite on the planet! This vacation was the first time I took a week out to rest my heart, and take my first big step toward healing and moving forward in life. Jay and I were also both baptized that week!! Life coming home from that vacation felt as if it slammed reality right back in my face....as it was time to move out of the home we had been staying in since April. This would be the 3rd time I have moved my life belongings in a time period of three months...and once again, it was a solo mission.  
 I had one of the most stressful days to date as I walked into a court room to face a judge and my husband to discuss financial and divorce issues. I was so scared the thought of not going was a real option for a while. Completing that day was so hard on many levels. I shared here in July why I didn't technically fight for my marriage....a post that felt necessary to share. Now that the stress of court was over and a few big details settled, it was time to enjoy a bit...mainly that meant spending time with Jay! We dominated a few Sundays together, I enjoyed warm weather, being silly and shooting a few guns. I also reflected back on my word of the year, intention.
This was a big month! The best news was when Jay and I picked up the key to our new home! Finally after 5 months of transition we had a place to call our own! Jay and I also took a trip out of town to see some of my favorite people on the planet and Jayden started 4th grade in public school. It was also a big processing month as I learned some news that busted my healing heart right back open. This led to much more internal examination and led me to these thoughts.

The beginning of this month was peaceful and wonderful. We celebrated Jayden turning 9 mid month....and then the second part of the month happened. The second part of this month was off the charts traumatic for me and my life. {we'll probably be chatting about the details of this in the coming year} The good news of that is that it slammed me {and yes it was a slam) right back in the direction that I had been walking away from. and for that I'm a million times grateful. By the end of the month I found my biggest joy in spending time in my bible, praying and in sunny mornings with Jay. 
Overall this was a month of just trying to get through the days. It was a mix of emotions ranging from thankful, struggle and sadness, and finding joy in the simple things. I also kinda had a major revelation when I realized that I was believing this big lie for wayyy to long! I did have some fun though including trips out to the pumpkin patches and trick or treat adventures with special friends! 
November was a time for quiet primarily. It once again was a range of emotion such as saying F you to the sad pants I had been wearing around for what felt like far too long. That led me to feeling pretty content....for a while. The emotions of separation and divorce are still very much with me and seem to change with the the wind, and I continue to do my best, because what else can I really do? The best part of November was probably the 2nd photshoot Jay and I had done. Raising Jayden is my greatest joy and biggest thing on my plate, it means the world to me. Having beautiful memories of the relationship he and I share could not be more important and special to me. More photos here. 
This month I did my best to celebrate not celebrating my 7th wedding anniversary and instead tried to get in the Christmas swing! Did you read my Christmas tree adventure? That it was, let me tell you! Jay and I also welcomed in a new member of our family...we're officially cat people now (next year I'm considering taking up knitting to just fully embrace the single girl stereotype... cat, knitting on my free time..possibly) I also took my second trip to the emergency room this time because I couldn't breathe. Just fyi, asthma attacks are sooo not cool. One of the coolest things that did happen was checking another thing off of my to do list....its's been soo cool to have been so blessed to have so many of my wants come true this year. I talked about the white envelope here, and this year Jay and I actually went out and did it! 
So, sayonara 2013, thanks for the good times, and peace out to the not so good. 
Let's go 2014

Your favorite reads this year

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Johanna said...

Shannon, I haven't been around here long enough to know your entire story, but I do know this: you are an AMAZING mother to your son, and you are an incredibly strong woman - I just know 2014 will hold many wonderful adventures for you!
Happy NYE!
xx Johanna

Sybil@PeaceitallTogether said...

What a beautiful and thoughtful review of your 2013. God has brought you and Jay through an incredible year. You are truly an inspiration! Happy 2014!!

Cece said...

What a hard year!!! You are such a fighter and I wish for better things in store for you in the coming year. I've been through a divorce (not with a child) and I know how hard it can be. The heart does heal and it just means that there are better things in store. Take whatever lessons you learned from it and it will serve you well.

Leah said...

shannon it's definitely been a testing year for you friend. but i'm glad to know you as the strong and wonderful mother that you are. you kicked 2013 in the shins girl. 2014 will be your year!

Emily Snider said...

My heart goes out to you and your son for enduring such a trying time. This is the first time I've stumbled upon your blog, but I absolutely love how real and honest you are! Best wishes for an amazing 2014!

Tiffany @ PinkFaithToday said...

Wow, what a year you had! Congratulations on getting baptized this summer!! And praise the Lord for giving you so much strenght through such a challenging year. I happy to have found your blog. :-) #fundaymonday