One hello. One goodbye. One ordinary moment is all it takes for the life you once knew to be replaced.

One year ago today, two simple words changed my name, my life, and my heart. Many call your wedding day a happily ever after, but my love and I saw it as the beginning of our adventure together.

March 5, 2011, was unequivocally the happiest day of my life. When I look through the photos, I can still feel my heart swell as it did on that day. I see the pure, untainted love in my eyes and cherish the memory of the girl I see. She loved freely, without judgment or regret. She saw only good in the world and knew that on that day, none could be more blessed than she.

It might be crazy, but when I see that girl in photographs, she seems more like my baby sister than a younger version of myself. A sweet, young girl who knows so very little of the pain I have known. A precious heart who I want to protect.

As my mind flashes four months down the road, that same heart feels the very same break. I want nothing more than to hold her close and show her that no matter what happens, the world will still be a beautiful place again.

In that one ordinary moment where she rummages through the junk drawer, I want to stand beside her. To hold her hand as the receipt from his hotel room catches her eye, and stroke her hair as she quietly starts to cry.

If only I could go back to her, I know I could help her through and tell her that no matter how hopeless life seems, she can rest assured that the universe if unfolding exactly as it should.

Looking at the girl in my wedding photos, I know the pain that she must endure. She will go through the tearful counseling sessions, and live the pain of each moment where she uncovers a new piece of the puzzle. The emails. The photographs. The dating profiles.

I remember how it feels to spend your days staring at the ceiling, sitting in an empty bathtub. To suddenly forget how you came to be lying in the grass on the median, but remember only that you’ve lost everything you were once living for.

While I would love nothing more than to protect her sweet and overflowing heart from the damage that will be incurred, I understand she must brave her own path. Because if she didn’t, I would never be here with you today.

For one fleeting moment, that girl knew all of the joys that life can hold. A precious moment, indeed.

But she must also know that all endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.

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37 thoughts on “One.

  1. Jared says:

    Here’s to better love, here’s to the next journey… cheers, love.

  2. allie says:

    Amazing post. Hope the next year brings you joy and lots of cake! X

  3. Laura says:

    I just started reading your blog last week and I love it. Such a lovely and sad post… you are inspiring as you share your journey of moving on! I love the desserts. ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. princess christie says:

    okay wtf is going on with the post above mine? regardless, HUGS!!!! also you look super hot in your dress ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Claire Lopez says:

    tsn’t hindsight grand? I’m sure it’s been a difficult yar bu you seem to be handling it with grace and humor. Kudos to you! There is always good stuff on the other side. I belive you have found it.

  7. That moment when you have something to say and can’t find the words… You survived one of the most gut wrenching things I’ve ever endured, and as a result became a champion. Phase I complete! (Phase I -I was told is when you get married young and dumb, things fall apart and you learn more than you ever thought possible…) On to Phase II, the part where you no longer tolerate those Phase I candidates choosing yourself above them for all the right reasons. (Oh and the food is so much better!)

    • Can I skip to Phase: getting taken to lots of fancy dinners by super hot men? ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Absolutely! Well just as soon as you get through the “Holy hell who are these losers that think I’m so damaged they have a chance?! Period” A very brief period in which the new divorcee exudes a bizarre pheromone and sense of vulnerability that is uber sexy to anyone you should ABSOLUTELY AVOID! (Tequila is often nearby.) A series of trading cards should be designed as a public service announcement for these guys as in “You are better off eating the entire batch of cupcakes than out with…” Here’s the recipe, stay home with a bottle of wine (or 3).

  8. ratiomale says:

    Hey RFTL,

    1. I agree with Katcher (you are a champion!)
    2. I agree with the princess, but will take it a step further- you look hotter now!!
    3. If hewhoshallnotbenamed were a kite- I’d cut his string and let my dog pee on his bag
    4. A and I had a great time this weekend! Hope to see you again soon!
    5. This is my first blog to follow, I think I chose wisely ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Kite-cutting is fun for everyone. But you can use the same knife for castration if you see fit ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I had an amazing weekend with you guys. Come back and see me soon so that you can be the creepiest kind of follower… the one actually following me down the hallway.

  9. emdashwood says:

    I can relate to this so much…
    It’s an amazing thing, to finally be at a place where you realize divorce isn’t *the end*… It was, quite frankly, the worst possible thing I could have imagined for myself (I’m not being melodramatic… this is truly how I felt)…
    And yet, to have gone through what I imagined to be “the worst”… and still be standing, and breathing, and succeeding… what an amazing, exhilarating, and freeing feeling!
    I’m so much stronger than I ever imagined.

    • I’m so glad to be able to relate to women with similar plights. For me, too, it was my worst nightmare and I am amazed that I am still standing.

      I know one day that everything we have learned from the pain will play a wonderful purpose in our lives.

  10. themoonandme says:

    I caught some real rhythm in your post – it takes a lot to get to a point where you can actually be so mentally connected to your emotions to be able to do that. Superbly written. Aside, I feel the same sometimes still and have started to accept that he will never be totally out of my life. he was the only man I trusted enough to marry so he must have had something good about him. Lucky for both you and I, we were stronger than to ‘stick it out’ and cope with the shame of a sham marriage. On wards and upwards….indeed I’ve just received a text from a very nice male friend inviting me to lunch this week!

    • You know, there so many women who I have met through this experience who stayed for years, only to suffer the same fate after twenty years. I truly believe some people can change and not all marriages end up that way if the hurt spouse stays, but I do think it takes a very special type of person to change. I needed to know that my ex was absolutely not that kind of person before I left, and I have never looked back.

      I’m glad you feel the same and are happier with how things turned out. Strong women stick together! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Wonderful photographs, hat’s off to the photographer.

    It is a real shame things did not work out well for you. But without darkness there is no light.

    To be honest, I only read your blog for the food receipes. Liking your crazy ideas, such as chocolate and ready salted crisps. Genius way of making the chocolate sweeter. Keep up the good work.

    • Our photographers were so wonderful. It still breaks my heart that these are not displayed in my home, simply because of how wonderful they are.

      Glad you enjoy the recipes – I will be sure to keep up the crazy ideas ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. brains says:

    1. How long did you date before engagement?

    2. How long from engagement to wedding?

    3. How old were you when you met?

    4. Would you mind describing your first actual moment when you became aware of each other?

    Sorry if that’s too personal.

    • We were together for six years in total, and engaged for a year and a half. I thought I knew him through and through. Funny how the people can hide their true selves from the ones closest to them.

      • brains says:

        i’m sure you’re sick of hearing it, but i’m very sorry that the situation exists for me to ask the questions.

  13. singlenocats says:

    Oh wow, girl. Hugs hugs hugs! I am sure that if you run out of tears today, the rest of us will cry plenty for you! My heart breaks for you, I don’t even “know” you and yet your slideshow makes me cry. You are such an awesome woman and from what I’ve read over the past few months, an amazing survivor. Stay strong. I have a feeling that God’s got incredible things planned for you! I’ll keep praying for you- hang in there!

    • Thank you for the hugs ๐Ÿ™‚ I love that slideshow and am glad I have the opportunity to share it here, because it was such a beautiful day and one I will never forget.

      I will be sure to keep you all up to date on the wonderful things that happen to me very soon! (I am hoping that saying this out loud will help it come true)

  14. Gorgeous wedding photos, I’m so happy that you can at least have good memories of such a lovely day.

    I wonder if other people wanted to search the groom’s face for a sign, ANY sign, that maybe he was regretting his choices or a sign that I think every woman searches for that says “cheating asshole” in big black letters on their forehead…

    Growing up is hard to do, but it sounds as if you are weathering the storm and you are going to be just fine! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Oh how I’m sure your father wants to kill him. I want to wring his neck and I don’t even know him.

    Stay strong sweetie, hugs to you. ~April

    • It’s so strange, he looks like any other happy groom on his wedding day. Not sure if you could tell in the photos, but there were plenty of tears on his side that day.

      Despite the person I “found” four months later, I have no doubt that he really did love me. He just doesn’t know how to love fully and completely, and I hope that someday he learns. Otherwise, I hope he ends up alone because no woman deserves to have a man who acts the way he did!

  15. ReginaMae says:

    Thank you for being brave enough to share your heart. And congratulations for coming out on the other side – not everyone survives crushing heartbreak. Those of us who are lucky enough to survive it can be a beacon of light and hope to those who are still stuck in the mud, wondering how they got there.

    • Thank you so much for the kind words. I am doing my best to hold it together, but I think the happy pills do most of the work ๐Ÿ™‚

      It is nice to have such wonderful perspective on life. I am so much more grateful now for the blessings I have than I ever was before.

      • ReginaMae says:

        As a former member of Team Lexapro, I say, “Thank God for happy pills!” ๐Ÿ™‚ These days I’m leaning more toward yoga, acupuncture and running (well, moving in a quickish manner for a specified distance). But, whatever gets you through the day and helps you sleep at night is a boon. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Meg says:

    Thinking of you — as others have said, you’re clearly a very strong woman (and a great writer!) and I believe that, no matter how awful it feels, everything works out as it should.

    As my man John Mayer says, “Good love is on the way.” That lyric — and song — have gotten me through some hard times. “I’ll be lonely but I know I’ll be okay . . . good love is on the way.”

    • Thank you! I do believe that everything happens as it should, even when we can’t understand the purpose.

      All I keep telling myself is how lucky I am to have found out about all of this before any children were involved. I can’t imagine the heartbreak that would be caused from him hurting not only me, but my kids.

  17. You are incredible! You are so strong .. it takes so much to write about this and to even post videos/photos from your wedding (you looked stunning BTW!!) As many others have said, better things will come your way!! Stay strong and amazing things are going to come your way!!!!

    In the words of the radio station I listen to in the AM (z100!), I wish explosive diaherra on your ex ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. Baker Bettie says:

    I know I am late here, but you really do have a gift. This is such a heart breaking story and you are so good with words to make us all feel an ounce of what you must feel. What a beautiful and talented woman you are!

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