Cheers to 2014!

2014, I am so, so glad to see you.  Some days, I never thought you’d arrive.  I had no idea how to even picture you in my mind.  Where I’m at this New Year’s Day is, literally and figuratively, so far from where I was on this day last year.

I’ve struggled with how much to say–or not say– about my journey in 2013.  For some time, I was ashamed, uncomfortable, and unsure of how to even put it in to any words at all, let alone the right words.  So much changed in my life and it took me some time to come to terms with my new normal.  In many ways, I’m still searching for it.  The difference now is that I, once again, have true, optimistic, coming from the inside of me hope.

Knowing where to begin is tough, so I suppose I’ll just say it.  I am no longer married.

The man I once loved with every fiber of my being, the man I thought I’d create and raise a family with, the man who pledged before family, friends, and God to stand with me for better or for worse wanted a divorce.  After just 21 months of marriage, he didn’t think we were worth it.  He told me two weeks before Christmas 2012.  I was shattered.  I never knew the pits of despair could be that deep.  I was, for all intents and purposes, numb for the better part of the next three months.  

I’m still not sure how many, if any, details I want to share publicly.  I think what I went through bears discussion.  My situation was one many women find themselves in, but it isn’t talked about terribly often and, because of that, it isn’t understand all that well.  But, I’m not naive to the fact that what I post on this blog becomes public information that will always be out there in some form or another.  I know that once something’s said, it can’t be unsaid.  I know that sharing such personal details of my life can invite criticism and, to be completely candid, I’m not sure I’m strong enough yet to handle being condemned for something in which I had no voice and that left me so torn.

With that in mind, you may notice some text and certain pictures have been pulled from my blog.  Plain and simple, they are just too painful to see.  I made a conscious decision not to erase any recipes, no matter how closely tied they are to a memory.  This blog is about food I’ve created, shared, and loved, and nobody can change that or take that away from me.

2013 wasn’t all bad, though.  Through the copious amounts of confusion, sadness, anger, and tears, I experienced some wonderful moments.  It sounds odd to say, but the first of those moments happened the very night my ex-husband told me he wanted a divorce.  He told me in one of our favorite restaurants in a busy mall on a pre-Christmas evening.  I said my piece and got up and practically ran to the parking garage, just hoping to make it out of the mall and into my car before I lost all composure.  I drove straight to my mom’s house.  On the way, I talked to one of his family members and two of my best friends who cried with me and prayed for me, knowing I didn’t have my own words at that moment.  By the time I got to my mom’s house, she had already talked to and texted with my very best friends who I’d met 15 years earlier just before our freshman year of college.  The calls, texts, and e-mails began flowing to me.  They showered me with words of love, sympathy, and empowerment along with invitations to come visit during my Christmas break and invitations to move to their respective cities.  Within a week, I’d talked with my blogging girls–ladies I’d known for five plus years and with whom I’d formed a beautiful and unique bond.  A year removed from that night, I am now able to see what a true and irreplaceable blessing of unconditional love I have in my precious family and friends.  I couldn’t have made it through without them.  They carried me when I couldn’t stand on my own.

At the suggestion, urging, prodding, pushing, and (mostly) behind the scenes efforts of those same family members and friends, I made a major decision for myself in the spring of 2013 and decided to move to a new city in a new state for a new start.  In August of last year, my mom and I drove to Dallas, my new home.  I couldn’t be happier to officially be a Texan.  After so many years of feeling out of place in Phoenix, I now live somewhere that makes sense.  Of course there are many, many people I miss in Phoenix, but I am so relieved to be living in a part of the country where the culture, the values, and the way of life make sense.  I feel at peace.

So with that, I want to thank each and every one of y’all for sticking with me, reading my blog, and leaving such positive comments.  Most of you had no idea just how much you were helping me.  From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

Now that I’m a Dallas lady, I’ve got a whole new slew of markets, shops, restaurants, and events to explore.  I hope you’ll come along on this adventure I call my new life.  Cheers to 2014!

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  1. Anonymous
    January 1, 2014 / 1:43 pm

    Dear Kelsey,As I was reading this post my heart was breaking for you. By the end I was giving you a standing ovation! The old adage "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" is so true, I've found that in my own life. I also received a card from a friend that said "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain". You, my friend, are an inspiration. I wish you the happiest New Year. You are absolutely beautiful and the best is yet to come!Theresa

  2. Jessica
    January 1, 2014 / 6:02 pm

    I'm so proud of you! I know things have been tough but the way you have handled everything is just amazing! You're a beautiful person inside and out and I hope that 2014 is fabulous for you!!

  3. Virginia
    January 1, 2014 / 7:33 pm

    I'm so sorry that you had to go through this experience, but thank you for continuing to blog through all the changes in your life. I know God has some amazing things in store for you, and I am looking forward to seeing you thrive in this new chapter. You are so generous, smart and all-around amazing! Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and spectacular new year.

  4. Tiffany {A Touch of Grace}
    January 1, 2014 / 10:44 pm

    Kelsey I'm so sorry you had to experience that sadness and heartbreak. But it sounds like you made some big changes in your life for the better. Good luck in your new journey! I'm so excited to follow along.

  5. Kim
    January 2, 2014 / 12:01 am

    I'm sorry you had to go through all of this. But you are such a strong, wonderful person. I'm also glad you shared because you are right, it isn't talked about and it isn't understood. Either way, here's hoping 2014 is your best year yet! I know it will be!

  6. Lisa Cullen
    January 2, 2014 / 12:05 am

    Kelsey, I've been visiting your blog since 2009. I am deeply sorry for what you have had to go through. As an outside observer, I have only felt that you are a sweet, beautiful inside and out, strong lady and just how you worded your post for all to see and how you've been handling your personal difficulties perfectly reflects all of that in concise summary. As cliche as it is, the saying is true that when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade. And it seems you have certainly been making plenty of that through your strong support system and positive outlook. Please know that you have thoughts and prayers of blessings coming your way from a perfect stranger.

  7. Angie
    January 2, 2014 / 5:08 am

    Oh honey. I'm so, so, so sorry you have had to go through this, but I'm so, so, so glad you shared. You have all my prayers and love behind you.

  8. Paige
    January 2, 2014 / 3:22 pm

    So sorry of your tough year, but I think the fact that none of this ever came through in your writing is a testament to your attitude and strength. Hoping 2014 is a great continuation of your new chapter in Dallas!

  9. Cams
    January 2, 2014 / 5:18 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story, and showing not only courage but most of all class. Your recipes are awesome but getting to see the person behind the recipes is even better. Cheers to a new year.

  10. elly
    January 2, 2014 / 5:34 pm

    Kelsey, I've said it before and I will say it again – you are an amazingly strong woman (and also smart and gorgeous, damn girl). I hope 2014 is your best year yet.

  11. Amy
    January 3, 2014 / 1:59 am

    You are so amazing. I'm so sorry that you had to go through this, but there's definitely something WAY better in store for you. :-DCongratulations on the move, and CHEERS TO A FANTASTIC 2014!

  12. nicole
    January 3, 2014 / 2:33 am

    You are a rock star ! Stay strong and thank you for sharing.

  13. Krystal Regueiro
    January 3, 2014 / 8:57 pm

    Oh my sweet Kelsey. I'm so sorry that you experienced such heartache and despair. You are such a beautiful woman inside and out. I admire you even more for being so honest. I'm hopeful that 2014 will be a blissful year for you! Big hugs to you!

  14. bbscabral
    January 4, 2014 / 3:23 am

    While I am so sorry to hear you had to face such an awful event in your life, I am also so proud of you for being so strong and moving forward with your life. Good for you and the new life changes. You're an amazing women. I wish you nothing but the absolute best in 2014.

  15. Natalie
    January 5, 2014 / 3:34 am

    oh kelsey, i'm so sorry for what you've been through but you've written about it with grace and poise! best wishes for this new chapter!

  16. ErinsFoodFiles
    January 21, 2014 / 5:26 pm

    First of all let me apologize for my delay. I don't open my blog reader very often, and therefore I am WAY behind. When I first read this post my heart fell into my stomach. Kelsey, I had NO idea. I am so very sorry to hear this. I had noticed you moved, but that's all. I am sorry to hear of this heartache you've experienced, and I hope you have found peace. Wishing you the best.

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