So, after I wrote that initial “coming back” post I once again got overwhelmed with the idea of trying to catch up on the past two and a half years and put off writing a follow-up. I have a lot I want to write about in terms of what is happening in my life right now, but I also think it’s important to write about everything that has happened leading up to this point. So I decided to write a quick bulleted version now, because some of what I will be sharing won’t make any sense without some background information- if you’re someone who doesn’t know me in real life. Or if you do, it may fill in some holes. Either way, here we go!
January 2016: My (ex) husband tells me he is unhappy. Things start to go downhill. Kevin is a little over 3 years old and Kyler is 8 months old.
February – March 2016: We formally separate and ex-husband moves out. I wrote this “Life Update” post that was my best attempt to explain what was going on at the time.
April – December 2016: Rode the struggle bus of single parenting, dealt with anxiety/depression/panic attacks/anger, therapy, medication, and a whole lot more. Worked hard to get my house ready to sell because I couldn’t keep up with it or afford it anymore. Finally agreed toward the end of the year to give my boys’ dad more custody mostly because my boys needed it, but also for my own mental health. We now follow a 2-2-3 schedule and have 50/50 custody (more on that later). Started a new school year and begin to get to know a “teacher friend” better, a man I had been working with for the past two years.
January 2017: I decided 2017 was going to be the year that I followed my heart and took chances and opened myself up to new beginnings. I realized the future I had thought I had figured out for myself was no longer possible, which meant anything could happen and I could decide the direction of my life from there. I finally sold my house and moved into a 2 bedroom apartment with my boys. I started dating the “teacher friend” (Jason). Since we had already known each other for a while things moved quickly. It was both very exciting and very scary.
February – July 2017: I found my happiness again. I still had my fair share of ups and downs, but I was able to handle them much more productively. I fell suddenly and deeply in love ❤ and got to know my new boyfriend’s two children (ages 12 and 16). We had an amazing summer together blending our families and going on adventures. We traveled across the country to Utah and Oregon to visit both of our families who lived out there. It was perfect.
August 2017: We got engaged!
September 2017: Jason moved in with me. He had sold his house the previous year as well and was living in his own apartment 30 miles away. We lived in close quarters for a few months, especially when he had his kids every other weekend. But thankfully our kids are super flexible and awesome so it worked out just fine- and we were able to save money and house hunt in the meantime.
December 2017: Jason and I got married outside in the snow in a small ceremony with just our 4 kids in attendance. We also closed on our home just a few days before the new year.
January 2018: We moved into our new house!
February 2018: We were very excited and surprised to find out we were expecting a baby in early October (more on this story later)!
May 2018: Currently 18 weeks along, still running, wrapping up my 10th year of teaching, and counting down the days until summer break with my family.
I didn’t mention running much in this recap but throughout this time frame I also trained for and ran 4 marathons, burning myself out and ignoring a nagging injury in the process. But it was truly the only thing that helped me manage my life at the time. Running is still a very important and necessary part of my life and I am doing much better now both physically and emotionally. I just have some different goals these days, which I will get into later.
I think part of the reason that I feel more ready to write about the past is that I am in a much better place now and I have better relationships with everyone involved in my extended family circle. I want to be very careful to be respectful toward all of us when I talk about certain things and I wouldn’t have been able to do that a year ago. It’s further complicated by the fact that the person my ex-husband ended up with who is now my kids stepmom is someone we all knew very well. It has taken a tremendous amount of work, sacrifice, humility, tears, forgiveness, communication, and ability to see the big picture, and overall, love for our children in order to move forward. Nothing is perfect, but it’s so much better than it was two and a half years ago and I’m thankful for that. We are now able to participate in shared events, trust each other, communicate regularly in a positive way about the good and the bad. It has given me a tremendous amount of peace in my heart and has had a very positive impact on the boys as well.
I have so much I want to share beyond just the story of my marriage ending and rebuilding from there. That’s just one small, yet significant, chapter of the story. I want to talk about my running journey and how it’s evolved. I want to talk about how I manage my depression and anxiety now without medication. I want to talk about my amazing boys and all that they are doing now. I want to talk about the crazy story of my relationship with Jason over the past four years and the challenges of remarriage after both of us have been divorced. How I am adjusting to being a stepmom to two teenagers and blending our families. And I’m really excited to share about my third pregnancy!
Whew… that was a lot to get off my chest! Hopefully it won’t be long before my next update. I post regularly on my Instagram page (@katieallen1001)- mostly about running- if anyone would like more frequent updates. But I promise I’ll be back soon!