Turns out divorces are kind of stressful.

To say that it felt like a 4,000 lb weight was lifted off of my chest once my divorce was finalized would be an understatement.  

I won’t ever talk about the reason why I got divorced on the blog (because I don’t want Brooke to ever be able to read about it on the internet… I would rather talk to her about it when she is old enough) but what happened shook my world, I felt like I was hit by a train (or 30 of them) and I made the decision without any hesitation in about 12 seconds to leave.  I filed for divorce and at the time I thought that it would just take a few months and that the process would be fairly simple so that I could really just focus on healing.  Nope.  

It was exhausting, it took a lot of time (11.8 months), a lot of money and I’m just so grateful it is done.

I think one of the weirdest things about going through a divorce was going from one day he was my husband/partner/bf to the next day absolutely NOTHING and only communicating with him via lawyers.  Weird.  

The most important thing about the whole situation is that we both will never say anything hurtful about the other person in front of Brooke.  There is no need for revenge or hurting the other person.  I am happy to say that I regret nothing about how I handled the divorce even though there were many times that I wanted to freak out a little bit.  I am going to go ahead and give myself a gold star now.  I just knew that it wouldn’t be worth it and that I had to keep it together for Brooke’s sake.  

My biggest wish is that brooke will know that even though mom and dad had problems, Brooke and dad DID NOT/DO NOT have problems.  I want her to know that I think her relationship with her dad is extremely important and I will always support their relationship and them spending time together.

Time for a fresh new start. 

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And some more beach time because it is my happy place.

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And then the wave ate me.

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Breakfast of champions.  Greek yogurt, pb, fruit and my new favorite flavor of Naked juice.  

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Yes, I did choose to go to Panera for dinner last night.  We don’t have them in Utah so it is pretty fancy to me when I get to go.

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And one of the best shows to end the night.

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Winner of the Brooks outfit for their running inspiration is:

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Anyone been through a divorce (or affected directly by a divorce)… if you feel comfortable—>  how did it go for you?

Favorite beach that you have ever been through!?

What do you order at Panera?


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234 comments

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My parents got divorced my freshman year of high school. So many people would say they were sorry for me or felt bad for me, but honestly it was such a relief for me. I knew they were not happy together and had many deep issues. When they got divorced it made everyone’s life easier and all of our relationships are stronger now. Brooke is so blessed to have you and the have you know what is best/healthiest for everyone. With your amazing view of the situation I am sure her relationship with you and her dad will be strong. Praying for you and Brooke!

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I have been divorced for almost 4 years, and the process took 3 years. It was hideous and ugly and it involved my ex walking away from his 3 children as well. I still, to this day, have very little idea what actually happened, other than the fact that when we got to his overseas location (my ex took a job overseas, the kids and I went a year later), my marriage was over. Devastating. But I swore to myself that I would not be bitter and that I would never say anything negative about my children’s father. Unfortunately, he remains out of their lives, but they are doing well anyway. And so am I. Time and a good attitude does heal all things. Congrats, Janae. You did a heck of a job making it through this tough time.

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Panera is amazing. I ALWAYS get their broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl.

Congrats on the fresh start…you seem to have handled it with complete grace and can definitely be an inspiration to others!

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My divorce sucked and still sucks. Events leading up to it made the decision to file easy, the execution process was horrible though. I didn’t have any financial help so I did it without a lawyer and I’m still suffering for that. Despite our parenting plan, things are still not stable or consistent for my kids and it makes me absolutely insane that I can’t do anything about that for them. When I think of how much control he still has over my life, I feel so hopeless. I’m hoping to move out of state soon and regain that peace in mine and my kids’ lives.

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My heart breaks for you! I hope things get better soon! Always here if you need an email pen pal!

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I really respect you for not saying negative things and not airing your private business online, it would have been so easy to do with this blog. Congrats on your freedom and hopefully this next chapter of your life is your best yet

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Janae!!! SO proud of you.

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My parents divorced when I was in middle school. Specifically my mom filed for divorce from my dad. I’ve never once thought less of her, blamed her, or been mad at her for that decision. I’ve also never wished that she didn’t make that decision or that I had a “real” family. My family is small but loving and I don’t wish for it to be any different. From the looks of it, Brooke will grow up in a happy household and feel the same way.

I’ve always thought that marriage was forever and that I would never get divorced under any circumstances (as only someone who has never been married can think), but growing up I’ve realized that in certain situations the only brave, decent, safe, and right thing to do is to split up. Brooke will be stronger by having such a strong woman as her mother and role model.

I never comment, but this is important. I hope you always remember how brave it was to do what you did, and how you seem to have handled the whole situation with a grace and poise that is truly admirable.

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Have you ever tried something off Panera’s secret menu?! Their chicken hummus power bowl is awesome!

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Janae, you are an absolutely incredible and amazing woman and we are all learning a great deal from your grace under the most trying of circumstances. When I am having a bad day, I often think of how positive you are and it inspires me greatly! XOXO

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as I said from day 1, you have handled all this with much grace. My favorite thing from Panera is the Asian Chicken Salad

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I have so much deep respect for you that you have handled this with so much class & grace. I was telling my husband the other day we have a family member who has been acting out that part of the problem is the whole family says disrespectful things about the other. I know it isn’t easy for you but you really have served as a great example. Brooke is so lucky to have you as her Mommy!

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Utah requires that people with children take a parenting class before the divorce can be filed. The thing I remember best from that class was this little analogy: you and your ex are sitting in an auditorium at a dance recital – or in a stadium for a soccer game. The event ends and your child has to walk out to you. Where does he/she go? Do you understand the position you are putting them in by forcing them to choose a parent to go to first? I heard that and made the instant decision to NEVER put my children in that situation. Their dad and I created a new relationship as co-parents. We established a friendly relationship – which isn’t exactly the same as friends – and always sat together. At games, recitals, graduations and weddings. I’m very proud of us that we were able to step away from our own hurt and anger and be the best parents we could be for our children. It took time and work – but it was worth it.

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Wow, that is so fantastic that you do that. You should be proud of yourselves. Your child is very lucky!

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I really admire how you are able to handle yourself and your relationship with Brooke’s father following your divorce. My
Parents split up when I was a teenager and were pretty horrible to each other. My brother and I were (and sometimes still are!) in the middle of their arguments. It’s great that you can see beyond your pain and put your child first. You are an awesome mom-and person! :)

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My parents separated when I was in middle school. It was weird because to me (and my brother) it seemed like it came out of nowhere. My parents did not always handle things with as much grace as you seem to have managed.

I have only been to a Panera once, and I was sick, so I just got a smoothie.

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It sounds like you DiD the right thing. Good for you! It’s finally done and time to look to the better future.

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What a great post! It has been really good for me personally to see someone handle such a major trial in such a graceful, positive way. It’s helped me gain strength and perspective as well to read about your experience. Have a nice vacation!

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Turns out you’re really strong! You are such an inspiration for so many that are going through similar junk. You are awesome and I love you! I have a feeling life is bound to get even better! (T-7) :) Let’s go fro yo sometime.

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“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you; plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 Praying that God continues to show that to you in a real way. God bless you, Janae.

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Strange you should ask. I was divorced when quite young and my only son was about the same age your daughter was at the time. So, in the end my ex wife grew up to be quite mature and my son has grown up a well adjusted and financially and socially secure man- he has had a stable ,marriage with three beautiful daughters.

As for me, aquiring a healthy running lifestyle helped get over the pain. So there is every hope for a bright future for you.

I, too, eventually met and married a wonderful woman and so it could not have happened without first having split from the original wife. Best wishes.

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I lovelovelove the strawberry salad they have in the summer. So much that I recognized it in your photo, ha! I might have a problem…

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Haha I recognized it too…never a good sign..

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Janae, you are so strong. You’ve handled this in the most respectful, graceful way possible, and that is not easy to do when pain and anger are so intense. Brooke is so lucky to have you as her momma!

On a lighter note, I love Panera! I usually get the ‘You Pick Two’ – Thai Chicken salad + Garden Vegetable with Pesto soup! Their baked goods are amazing too! So is their sourdough bread. YUM.

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I’m so glad your divorce is over-you’ve done everything so well and you deserve it! I really admire your attitude with Brooke and still being loving while at the same time recognizing the truth of the situation.

Now time to celebrate by running! :)

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I’ve actually just separated from my husband and while it’s pretty freaking sucky right now I know it will be okay in the end. It’s nice to hear from someone on the other side of it! Also the blue machine juice is my favorite flavor too!

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This just shows what a beautiful person you are. You are probably going to help so many women because of your experience and how you came out stronger.
No panera? Love that place. Just had some moms and kids over other morning and they were excited to see I hit up their bakery.

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Your maturity, self control and wisdom through this whole process have been amazing, you can be really proud of yourself! And Brook will be so thankful for this as well as she grows up..

I work at Panera and I actually think you went to the one I’m at (in the foum). I close every sunday night and of course, the one sunday in the past 9 months I haven’t, you are there haha. No luck for me :( (although you probably would have found it creepy if I had been like “Hey Janae!!!” and you would have been like ‘how does she know my name??!?’ lol)

My favorite thing there is the BBQ chicken flatbread (add avo and tomato) and the BBQ chicken salad (add strawberries and avo) Everything there is amazing though!!

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It may seem strange ~ but I’ve been thinking about you all day… hope the weight that has been lifted for you brings healing with it, too. Hugs from someone who started her blog and was encouraged to keep up with the beginning stages of running in part because of you!

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My parents got a divorce when I was two, so I grew up in a house without two parents. If I could give any advice I would say keep doing what you’re doing with regular visits. Having her dad around as much as possible will be SO key for her future relationships with men! I had my rough patches, but I like to think I turned out OK! ;) You’re doing amazing, and I am in awe of your positive outlooks.

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I got divorced about 5 years ago, and it wasn’t fun. I’m really proud of how you have handled it– beautifully!

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I’m a person who had parents go through a divorce – 17 almost 18 years ago. I like what you said about never saying anything negative about Brooke’s dad in front of her. My mom did great with not saying anything bad about my dad. But my dad said a lot of hurtful things about my mom in front of us. I told my mom and she said that I needed to stand up for myself and say something to my dad about it. I did and it was hard. It’s a lot better now (obviously, it’s been 17 years). My parents are better friends now then they were when they were married. Which is nice now.

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I’m glad for you that all the legal hassle is behind you. You seem to have a really great attitude when it comes to Brooke and her relationship with her dad. I went through a divorce when I was young….my/our son was ten months old. Like you, I never looked back once the decision was made. My son is now 22, a wonderful, hard working young man. He has solid relationships with both me and his dad, as well as with both step,parents. As long as you and your ex always agree to,put Brooke’s needs first, she will be fine. Best wishes to you, Janae. I love reading your blog!

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Janae, I just want to say I have mad respect for you and how you are handling your divorce. As a child of divorced parents, I wish my own parents would have tried a little harder just to let me have my own relationship with the other parent. Well done.

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My favorite beach is in St.Thomas. My parents took our family on a cruise to the Caribbean about 5 years ago. The sand was so beautiful and soft. I wish I could back. I LOVE Panera. I think I could go there everyday. My favorite thing there is probably the grilled cheese and Tomato soup. Although I do like their salads and pasta too. I think that the beach is my happy place too. Whenever I feel down I go there and I feel a lot better. I’m glad you got to go to your happy place and I’m super excited you get a fresh start finally!

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I have read your blog for a few months and you have inspired my running and I am very proud of you. I left my son’s father when he was 2 because it was obvious he didn’t want to be a father or parent – long story. I picked up running again (ran “for fun” previously. Running have me physical and spiritual strength and hope for good things to come. Running through the break up changed my life. I never talk poorly about my son’s father and hope that one day he rejoins his life. I don’t want my son to know I spoke poorly about his dad – he doesn’t need that memory. Instead of pounding my hurt in words, I pound my feet against the pavement and leave my frustrations in the dust behind me. You did a good job Janae! Keep telling your story of your love for running and life!

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Janae and Brooke

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{hugz} Janae and Brooke

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Janae i admire your strength and your morals. What an amazing young woman you are, and what an amazing mother, your daughter will thank you one day, she will grow to look up to your strength and she will grow in your love for her. My parents divorced when i was little and although it was hard, it was the best thing. I lived with my mum and went to see my dad on weekends, geez i missed my mumma when i was gone, even though i love my dad and enjoyed my time with him, i just couldnt wait to go home to mum. Mum always encouraged the relationship i had with dad and never said anything nasty about him, dad however did, and this is what broke me alittle :( but many years later, my parents now are the best of friends, more then ever. I love them and i will always admire my mothers strength through the break up, she is the woman i wish to become.

Godbless you Janae and Brooke. With love xxxxxxxxxxxxx

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I think you have been so brave and strong through out and think not airing the reasons on here makes me respect you even more. I have not gone through a divorce and hope i don’t even have to. I have read your blog for many years now and think you have handled things wonderfully. it is so clear how happy and loved Brook is.

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What a brave and honest post. I am so grateful that you posted this. I am going to forward this to my sister who is going through a separation herself. She is at the beginning of those 11.8 terrible months before your divorce was finalized. She has two children and despite the reasons for why marriages end, she, like you wants her children to never wonder about the love that they share with their father. Thank you again and you know that you have the love and support of your readers.

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You continue to inspire me with your positive thoughts and outlook.

I went through an unexpected divorce 3 years after I married the person I thought was my BF. Like you it took me nanoseconds to decide to leave and I thought that was the moment I needed to be strong. Little did I know how tough the next two years was going to be. As they say what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I still to this day struggle that we communicated through lawyers when we had shared so much together.

Fast forward a few years and I met the man of my dreams, not just saying but truly did. He is EVERYTHING to me and more. I can’t even imagine life without him and we have been together nearly 6 years and our love grows deeper everyday.

I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, even thought at the time it’s hard to even think why. Especially when the pain is so difficult.
Stay strong and you are an incredible person and mom xx

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I won’t go into the details, but in my experience, the best gift you can give Brooke is to not bad mouth her dad, but also to not talk about him to your friends when she is in the room playing, whatever (little rabbits have big ears). I do commend you for not letting it play out on your blog, you have kept the integrity of your site and inspired your readers to keep on running, even when the world is heavy on your shoulders. You have certainly inspired me. I think: If that girl can get up at the break of dawn to run, so can I. I have seven grandkids, all boys, with the exception of one 3 year old girl we inherited from a second marriage…believe me, someone out there can’t wait to have Brooke as a new granddaughter.

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It is the millionth time it has been said, but yes, you have handled yourself with such grace during this ordeal. And now you’re free! Look up, look out, you’re on your way! :)

Panera for me is a huge indulgence, so I order all the really decedent stuff… Their mac-n-cheese is insane! I usually get the mozzarella panini and a side of mac-n-cheese or soup. Plus, I almost always add a brownie… they are incredible!

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It’s good to see that you are staying positive and making sure Brooke comes first. What an awesome mother you are! Yum I love Panera! I always get the pick two combo… a salad and the avocado BLT sandwich

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That gold star is definitely deserved!

I usually get the chopped chicken Cobb salad with avocado. Looks like someone in the pic did too?

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My parent’s divorce occurred in 2009, and at the time it was too stressful for me. I decided to move away with my BF (now my husband) to literally break free from the situation my parents were causing. I couldn’t stand the bashing or hurtful words they’d say in front of one another and behind their backs. It was probably the healthiest thing for me in the whole process of their divorce. I was 20 and the whole thing really messed up my emotional health, to this day I still have panic attacks that what happened to my parents will happen to me. The good thing is my husband understand why I am hurt 5 years later and that he nurtures me in the best way he can to prove it won’t happen. Divorce can cause a lot of damage, but sometimes you just have to do what is best for you and that other person and I definitely agree that is what my parents did. Now they are great friends and our family balance is a lot of better. Everything takes time to heal, and there is no clock to tell you when that will happen. You’re your own clock, you decide when it is time.

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Thank you for sharing, I can’t even imagine how this whole situation must feel like for you but please know you have a lot of support here from your blog readers!!

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My parents separated when I was two. My dad has never been a constant in my life and that is perfectly fine with me. My mom is my hero and best friend. She is the strongest person I know and I have no doubt that Brooke looks at you the same way!

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I have never connected before but I will now to commend you on how you are going about your divorce. I appeciate the fact (for your sake and your daughters) that you keep the reason for your divorce off the internet. Dirty laundry has a place and you know that your’s doesn’t belong on a blog. Kudos!

I am the child of divorce (now 32) and remember that my father never said anything negative about my mother. My mother on the other hand did not take that path and it was hard whenever she spoke about “your father” in a bad light. My mother actually missed MY high school graduation because my father would be there. Please for Brooke’s sake keep riding that high ground you have found and remember that sometimes no matter what happened between you and your ex it will be her day to shine. Go and support her no matter who else is there and hold your head high!

Best of luck with new adventures!

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I respect you so much for the way you’ve handled this divorce and the way you talk about it. Brooke is lucky to have you as her mama :) Lots of love, Janae!

xo

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Janae, You should give yourself 1,000 gold stars! My parents divorced when I was 12, and my mom did not handle it the same way you are. She made many mistakes with me and my sister, and I still have issues to this day. (I am 43!). I know she did the best she could, and I forgive her, but Brooke will be so much better off for having you as a mom and handling it the way you are. You should be very proud :)
xoxo

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Awesome job acknowledging that you handled it well! Sometimes we don’t give ourselves enough credit. You’re doing great!!

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yes I too am divorced, never said a bad thing about him (although there was plenty to say mind you), never did it, my boys admire me for it to this day. I encouraged visits, but as time went on they did not want to go, flash forward to semi-grown humans, they never talk to him and I think it is very sad, as he is missing out on two incredible people – if I do say so myself.

Janae you certainly are a rock star in my book! So glad you are out there enjoying life!!!

Can’t wait to see pic’s of your new PAD!

Beaches – any one in Hawaii

As always thanks for sharing your journey

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If I’m ever in your situation, I hope I’m half as classy as you! What a great example you are to Brooke. Stay strong, lady! :)

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You really do deserve that gold star and more. You are such a strong, inspiring woman.

I did not go through a divorce, but I did ask my son’s dad to leave. We were not married. It was not an easy decision for me. I grew up with two parents who are still married and love each other very much and always knew that’s what I wanted. Getting pregnant was unexpected but I really wanted to make it work. It didn’t and I was to the point where I was beginning to think I was suffering from depression. I finally told him to move out and he respected that. We co-parent great, there’s lots of communication and we are still friendly when we see each other. I’m thankful for that because I have seen a lot of bad situations between parents. I will always regret not being with my son’s family though. I didn’t want to live the life of a single mom. I didn’t want to struggle to work full time and parent. I didn’t want to struggle in the dating world with a child to find Mr. Right. Every day I struggle with it, but every day I succeed and know that everything will turn out ok.

Thank you for posting about your situation. You are definitely someone I look up to as a young single mom. If only we lived closed and we could hang out with our adorable little ones!

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You deserve that gold star!! You have composed, respectful and dignified while dealing with this horrific scenario that I am sad you ever found yourself in.

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Just wanted to say I’m glad you can start moving forward and I hope you can find peace and happiness.

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Hi,

Congrats for your “freedom”

I had my divorce 3 years back. Yes, the proceed is painfully long…more than a year even when we have nothing to fight for and we have no kids to handle. I guess I am lucky that we ended off peacefully. But to go thru this whole damn thing is hurting emotionally and lost my social life as well.
I have not fully recover emotionally from it and trying to get my social life back. I am still in hope of finding another life partner in future.

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Sheesh…. My parents had a very messy, very public, extremely hurtful (for my mom, siblings and myself) divorce that I would wish on no one. I can say however that I learned a few huge things from it. I knew nothing about relationships, because my parents was fake 99% of the time, so I will teach my children about what it is like to really be honest about feelings. I knew very little about who/what my mom really was. We saw glimpses of her true self from time to time growing up, but after she got angry (he had a very public affair) and then healed, my mom was THE most fun and relaxed person to be around. She was fun, and goofy and she was engaged and concerned for all of her five children. And lastly I learned that divorce takes (excuse my language) balls, and this I didn’t learn until most recently when I have seen my relationship take on terribly difficult things (sometimes I think I live in a made for TV movie).

Be honest and open with your Brooke and love her and any other children that come into your life fiercely. (Did I mention I also have a real life step monster??) I would also wish an awful step parent on nobody, because nothing can make you feel more unwanted. Be her friend, but most of all be her parent and she will always know she is safe with you, no matter the situations she is surrounded by. And you’ve already nailed the biggest point, don’t talk bad (no matter how minor it seems) about the other parent, this is excruciatingly difficult to hear as a young adult/adult even and does nothing for a child’s respect for the parent making the comments.

Best of luck as you navigate this healing time!!
Erin

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Thank you for sharing with me. This comment was amazing and I will be rereading it often. I am so sorry about what you have been through with your relationship recently. Thinking about you!!!

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I just squealed for joy for you. I love you so much my sweet Janae, and I am SO glad you get to be relieved of this. You are one of the best people I know, and such a rockstar. You deserve the world. You are an incredible mama, and little Brookie is one lucky thing. Thanks for being an incredible friend, and showing me what it means to be rock solid. I love you to pieces. We shall celebrate when you get back my dear! xoxoxo

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My parents went through a divorce while I was in college. Unfortunately neither of them had a positive attitude toward our relationship with the other. I am very moved by your concern for your daughter and her father’s relationship. That will be so important for her as she gets older. You set her up for a wonderful future.

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My parents divorced when I was Brooke’s age and my mom always told me that she wanted me to have a good relationship with my dad. Because just like you said, dad/daughter doesn’t have to suffer just because the parents did! It’s a little weird, but my parents get along really well (my dad is remarried, mom is not). It’s just me and my mom just like you and Brooke. We have a great extended family, just like you guys too. Love you guys!!

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Janae,
Though you have not put all the details out there, your strength through these trying times is inspirational. I’m going through some extremely tough times in my marriage and find parallels with your situation, which helps me think through my own issues. My husband is in a very demanding profession and works many, many hours a week. I take care of our child and household and also work for a living. He was away for several months, living in a different city from our baby and me for work. When he returned I found out that he had an affair while he was away. I’m devastated. 3 months have gone by and I still feel frozen and not quite sure what action to take. I wish I could make a decision in 12 seconds of what course my life needs to take, but I just can’t seem to make that choice right now. You have such strength to be able to do the right thing for you and your family. Best wishes, and stay strong. I hope I can find strength and meaning in what has happened in my life soon.

Mary in Virginia

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This absolutely breaks my heart! I wish I could give you a big hug right now! Please email me!

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Thank you

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You are making such a wonderful decision in keeping the divorce details (and the bad thoughts that you may sometimes have) away from Brooke. My husband’s first marriage ended poorly, but when we started dating, we agreed that no matter what we might privately think or say to each other, we would keep those thoughts away from his son/my stepson. That was over 4 years ago, and we now have a lovely, kind and really easygoing relationship with his first wife. I know that it’s a place not everybody gets to, and it wasn’t without a lot of work from everybody (and I’m sure we all still have moments where we question the parenting or even lifestyle choices of my kiddo’s other house), but for the most part, it’s turned out to be a blessing. I’m so happy for you that you’re okay, and moving on, and taking the (not always as satisfactory but definitely worth it in the long run) high road.

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Thank you for honestly sharing that it sucks, but that it does improve. I’m looking at divorce squarely in the face, and I was happy to find your words, at least to validate the crappy feelings that can come along with the experience, even when you know it’s the right thing.

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Congratulations, Janae! That had to have been such a hard decision to make but I know you did the right thing, and I’m so glad now that you can move forward. Many virtual hugs!

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