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What do I even title this? (a hard life update)

Deep breath.


A path in the woods.

More than one of you has noticed that any marital mentions have been conspicuously absent from my posts for the last two months.

And more than one of you has emailed me to ask about this.

I have waffled and wavered and hemmed and hawed about what to say, and I probably still am going to get it “wrong”.

So, here’s what’s going on:

On the advice of, and with the support of a counselor and pastor, I left my house in mid-January, and the girls and I moved in with my parents.

(I left my house and then came down with Covid three days later. God really was like, “Here, how about a few more troubles this week!” Ha.)

Kristen wearing a Snoopy shirt, looking sick.

Me with Covid. Fun times.

If I thought this situation was going to be a short state of affairs, I would stay quiet about it.

In fact, in 2018, I was in this same position for four months, and I said nothing about it on the blog. At the time, we had gotten into marriage counseling and I thought things were going to be ok, so I figured nothing needed to be said.

But, I am sorry to say that things are currently very not-ok. I do not know what the future holds for my marriage, but I do know that if it gets put back together, it is not going to be any time soon.

And that is why I am sharing this with all of you; I think this is going to go on long enough that it would be extremely difficult for me to keep blogging while also keeping this quiet. 

(Like, some of you have wondered why I am not going on date nights, or why my grocery spending has been so low.)

A small tree fallen over a creek.

There is obviously so, so much more that I could share about this situation, but I want to be respectful to everyone involved.

How I’m doing

My heart is very heavy; I have thrown myself into my marriage for almost 25 years now, and this is certainly not where I had hoped to be. It is also most certainly not the family situation I wanted for my children.

Some days I am sad, some days I am angry, some days I am confused, some days I am hurt, some days I feel full of grief.

Almost daily, I go for long walks on the trails in the woods near my parents’ house; sometimes those walks are happy times, and other times, I sit down on a log and just sob. 

A log in the woods, at sunrise.

This log has seen some feelings

I have cried so much since I left, and I have spent so many days in the last few years crying as well.

(I can confirm that a human body is capable of producing a nearly-inexhaustible supply of tears.)

And yet, in the midst of these terrible times, I also see blessings, particularly in the form of people rallying around to help and support me.

Morning light shining through trees in the woods.

There are always, always mercies, and that is why I have been able to keep doing Thankful Thursdays these last few years.

Trials and blessings can coexist, and in times of trials, it is ever more essential for me to be a blessing-sleuth, hunting for the bright spots in the midst of the dark. 

You will usually just see my smiles, on social media, or on my blog. The smiles are genuine, because I can have moments of joy even when life is hard.

But please know that there has also been plenty of gut-wrenching sobbing happening too.

Some days I look like this.

A happy Kristen

And some days I look like this.

A sad Kristen.

I do actually own other shirts, in case you were wondering.

I can see where some of you might think I am being fake when I count my blessings or when I smile. But I look at this as me practicing what I preach; the rubber has met the road, and I am persevering in my gratefulness habits. 

I understand that this news might come as a bit of a shock to you, particularly to those who have followed me for a long time. In a way, I feel almost like I am letting you down.

Blue skies in the woods.

This blog is real life, though, not fiction, and sometimes real life takes twists and turns that are disappointing and unexpected.

So I think the kindest and fairest thing for me to do is to be open and honest about those disappointing turns; you deserve realness from me because fake-ness serves no one.

Do we all wish my life was not currently like this? Sure.

Does it do any good to pretend that things are different than they are? Nope. 

So, what now? (for me AND for the blog)

I am currently looking for a place to rent for a year. Given the current state of things, I am going to need at least that long to get clarity. 

I would imagine that some things about my new living situation will show up in blog posts…like, I might be rehabbing some old furniture in order to cheaply furnish whatever place I end up renting.

I will probably do a lot of second-hand shopping to outfit my kitchen (which is probably going to be pretty minimalist by necessity!)

And I will need to be careful about all of my expenses in order to afford the rent in this very inflated rental market. 

So, some of my content might be a little different than it has been before, but I think the themes will be the same.

And that is because no matter what life situation I am in, I am still my same frugal, waste-averse self; I’m gonna bring that energy into this chapter of my life just like I did in all the previous chapters. 

I will continue to seek wise counsel and help as I try to figure out what my path forward from here looks like. I will continue to love my girls, work on my nursing degree, and write posts here. 

Kristen with her three girls.

And I know that whatever my future looks like, I will be ok. God will take care of me, and there will always be people around to support me. 

There is so much hard in my life, but there is also so much good, and if you want to come along as I make the best of this (bumpy) ride, I’d be honored to have you stick around. 


P.S. I realize that this post probably leaves you with more questions than answers. I don’t want to get into the specifics of the particular issues in my marriage, but other questions are fair game.

P.P.S. Please know that leaving my home and my marriage was extremely difficult for me. It was not, by any stretch of the imagination, my first course of action.

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Wednesday 20th of September 2023

Thanks for being real. I am sure this decision was difficult. Do know you have support for what ever decisions you make for you and your children. Even after 52 years, I remember how hard nursing school was for me at 18. You have the added stress of your other role of Mom. Prayers are with you for strength as your journey continues


Monday 12th of June 2023

So sorry you find yourself in this position!!! I too finally left a marriage after 35 1/2 years and we too seperated one time few years before our final. I too went back to thing I ever did. Actually started school during the first separation and somehow knew not to give it up when we reunited....Thank our Lord!!!!! I found it takes much longer to move past the abundant grief and terror than most say. May God keep his and on you all the way!!!! One thing I am going to share.,....PLEASE educate yourself fully on the sepration and divorce laws in your state. In particular those of Equitable Distribution!!! I learned that VERY few attorneys really take an interest and just want you to "horse trade" as one said to me. Do not settle for attorney who is not really in this to help you and for your own safety sake........learn Everything possible as I said. Hope there is a law library near you,. I had a wonderful friend who had done just this and took me under her wing and walked through all learning process with me. I let three attorney's go before finally finding one....who took me on pay later basis........I know a miracle. And about broke....but determined to not just give up. But the decisions you make will impact you and your children for the rest of your and their lives. You can not see what the future holds for you or for them. And not to sound hard...but it is typically the mother who really stands by children after divorce. Thoughts and prayers. Gaye You can contct me if so desire at below e-mail. God Bless and Keep You!!!!!


Thursday 30th of March 2023

I was thinking about you today and came back to check on your blog; I didn't realize it's been a whole year since this announcement. I hope you're well. You are a strong woman and I appreciate you sharing your life with us.


Thursday 30th of March 2023

I can hardly believe it's been a year either! And thank you for the encouragement.


Saturday 31st of December 2022

I've been down the separation and divorce path. Not fun. I may have some experience to help you. It does seem you are "together" and making the right moves.


Saturday 31st of December 2022

Thank you! And I'm sorry to hear you've been down this road too.


Sunday 18th of December 2022

You will get thru this no matter what the out come and you will be better because of this. I went thru a divorce and there are ups and downs.. hang in there you will get thru and be happy again.Hugs to you and your girls… I can’t believe how big they have gotten. I am a long time follower but have been away for awhile.

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