Reflections and Big Life Changes

4 years ago today. November 11th 2015. I remember so vividly my world completely shattering all around me. My life suddenly like grains of sand through my hands when I saw those text messages. And that was nothing compared to what would follow. The sudden and completely unexpected reality of my partner’s sex addition, that would destroy my life and eventually lead to the loss of my marriage, my home, my hopes, my dreams, and the future I had so fully invested in, left me a complete shell of the person I was. The dearest, most important things in my life, just gone. Looking back, sometimes I marvel that I even survived what happened at all. But in those moments, and years of despair, I refused to give up. Because somehow, from the very deepest places within me, I discovered a strength that I never knew that I had. And that was my faith. It was my faith that persevered when I couldn’t, and it gave me the strength and hope to carry on. And while it’s still incredibly hard sometimes, and days like today still feel tender, looking at myself in the mirror this morning and reflecting on the girl I was 4 years ago, I am in complete awe at the goodness and grace of God. And am grateful beyond measure for how far I’ve come. Even though my life doesn’t look the way I thought it would, and rebuilding has been beyond hard at times, I am still so very thankful for this second chance at a beautiful life for myself. Because the truth is, that for most of us, life doesn’t turn out the way we hope and pray for. And while there is so much joy in this life, there are also copious amounts of heartbreak. And while it sometimes overwhelms me to think about the hurt in this world, I still see and believe in that light in the darkness. And want to BE a light in the darkness. And that’s why I have chosen to share pieces of my story  with you all over the last couple of years. Because I remember a time when I didn’t think I could go on, when I couldn’t even say out loud what had happened in my life, let alone believe that I would be ok. But here I am today, with true joy and gratitude in my heart. And while it’s been a long, hard road, and I am forever changed and forever scarred, I can say that I have found happiness again. So I just want to remind you today that you too can do hard things. You can survive whatever life brings your way. Because YOU are so worth the fight. Whether you realize it or not, and as hopeless as it might seem at times, we each hold the key to our own happiness and it is up to us to be the ones to write beauty from ashes on the pages of our stories.

As my story has unfolded these last few years, and I’ve navigated the many stages of grief and healing, trying to figure out what I wanted my life to look like, something pretty major started shifting in my heart. And so today, it felt fitting to share some big news with you guys that I have been keeping close these last couple of months…I’M MOVING! And wow. It feels pretty surreal to put that out there in writing like that. There is so much of me that is excited for this change, but there is also part of me that is scared to death. And my heart is already aching in anticipation of the goodbyes I am going to have to say. Truly, I have had the best friends and community in Salt Lake that I have ever had in my entire life. And leaving them is going to be one of the hardest things I will ever do. But at the end of the day, I’ve slowly but surely realized that my heart has been calling me home to Montana. My happy place. It’s time for me to have that completely fresh start I’ve been longing for, and most importantly, to be with my family. So Whitefish, here I come! I can’t wait to share more with you all about my move, my new place (it’s on the river!), my redecorating process (it’s a way different space than my current one), and all of the things that will come with this monumental life change. But for now, I am looking forward to every second that I have left in Utah with my people, my framily, who have never wavered in their love, support, and encouragement of me. I’ve been thinking a lot today about the fact that despite losing everything four years ago, that I’m not only still standing, but standing here today with more richness in relationships then I have ever experienced in my life. How LUCKY I am to have such beautiful people around me that will make saying goodbye so hard. So wherever you are right now, whatever your story, don’t give up. I promise you there is goodness and light on the other side. Beauty from ashes.

And thank you, as always, to all of you for your constant encouragement of me over the years.  Your love and support means more than I could ever say and I can’t wait to share this next chapter with all of you.

xoxo

Dress

Jacket

Hat

Booties

 

 

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Mad About Plaid

As if the Fall Cabi line couldn’t get any cuter, now they’ve gone and launched new arrivals.  And guys, they are SO good!  When I got to have a sneak peek at what was coming in the new launch a few weeks ago, this plaid jacket was the first thing I knew I needed to have in my wardrobe.  And it’s even cuter in person.  Plus it’s such an easy piece to style now AND take into cooler temps (and the holiday season!).  Today I paired it with my favorite band tee and OTK boots, but it would also look amazing with a dress, or over a cozy sweater with Sorels when the snow starts flying.

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Snow Valley Jacket

Cabi New Arrivals

Full Cabi Fall Collection

Be sure to come say “hi” on my Instagram today (@alldolledupblog)!  I’ll be sharing a few more of my favorites from the new fall collection!

Thank you guys so much for stopping by!  Happy Wednesday!

xoxo,

Abs

Stars and Stripes

Wow.  It’s been a hot minute since I’ve put up a new blog post.  To be honest, life has been crazy busy the last couple of weeks, and I just needed a bit of a break.  But it feels great to be back today and I am so excited to be bringing you a little outfit inspiration for the 4th of July!!!  Can you believe that the 4th is less than one week away?  I know I can’t.  For me, the 4th of July will always be the official kick off to summer, and I can’t wait to celebrate all weekend long!!

Top (DownEast Outfitters, check in store), also love this, this, this, this, and this | Shorts | Necklace | Hat | Sunnies | Platforms, also love these

Thank you guys so much for stopping by!  Hope you’re having a great week!

xoxo,

Abby

 

Spring Trends

I am wearing four of my favorite trends for Spring and Summer in today’s outfit post: destroyed denim, an off-the-shoulder top, platform sandals, and round sunglasses.  And while I’ve been playing around with the first three trends for quite some time now, I just recently purchased my first pair of round sunglasses.  And I have so say, I am LOVING them.  In fact, I just ordered a second pair with a gradient lens, as opposed to mirrored and I can’t for them to get here.  I’d also love to know, what are some of your favorite trends for this season?

Top (shein c/o) | Denim (less than $100!) | Hat | Sunnies | Bag | Platforms

Hope you guys are having a great week!  Thank you SO much for stopping by!

xoxo,

Abby

 

Walking Through Adversity

I can’t believe a year has come and gone since I shared this post with you all.  And here I am, celebrating another trip around the sun.  If I’m being fully honest, this has not been a birthday I have been looking forward to celebrating.  In fact, I had planned on skipping it all together.  And while I’m not quite ready to share my full story with you all here on the blog, I did want to dedicate today’s post to sharing what I’ve learned as I’ve walked through adversity.

This past year was the hardest year of my life.  It was filled with grief and loss, hurt and betrayal, a lot of difficult changes, and a violent car accident, that 4 months later, has left me with lingering health issues.  BUT as hard as this past year was, it was also one of the most amazing and fruitful years of my life.  I developed some of the richest friendships I’ve ever had, I was able to spend an exponential amount of time with my family and my niece, I accepted a new job that was created specifically for me,  and I bought a new home that I love.  I also learned a lot of about myself, what it looks like to persevere, and most importantly, deepened my relationship with Jesus.  So with that, here are the lessons I’ve learned that helped to carry me through the difficult days.  And my hope in sharing this, is that it will help some of you:

  1.  Be gentle with yourself.  When you are walking through something difficult, it’s ok that it feels hard, or even impossible.  It’s ok to take the time you need to grieve.  It’s ok if you can’t get out of bed.  And it’s ok to really feel what you need to feel so that you can process it and move on.
  2. Take care of you.  I learned that I was really good at taking care of others, but not nearly as good at taking care of myself.  And it’s been a fun process to discover what it means to put myself first.
  3. Make appointments with your grief.  This was hugely instrumental for me.  Particularly as I was navigating everyday day life and a demanding career. I found that if I could set aside time to grieve, it helped me to hold things together when I needed to, and kept me moving forward in a healthy way.
  4. Let others help you.  This was one of the hardest lessons for me to learn.  I love to do things for other people, but struggled to let other people do things for me.  But once I was in my car accident and couldn’t take care of myself for a little while, I really had no choice.  It felt vulnerable and scary at first, but it was also an incredible experience to let people in and let them love on me (Matthew 5:4).
  5. Vulnerability is beautiful.  It is so important to be vulnerable and share with the right people.  Being totally transparent with my family and closest friends was not only freeing, but was also incredibly healing.
  6. Make sure you are FULLY known by at least one other person in your life.  One of my best friends says this a lot, and it is so true.  Whether it is a spouse, a friend, a parent, make sure there is one person in your life who knows your FULLY.  Darkness breeds darkness, and the enemy preys on isolation, so it’s important that we live fully in the light and are known.
  7. Joy and sorrow can exist in the same space.  While I had a lot of sorrow in my life this last year, it was also mixed with an abundance of joy.  That felt confusing to me at first.  But once I learned it was ok to feel both at the same time, it made it a lot easier to extend myself some grace and banish the guilt (John 16:20).
  8. We are fully equipped to deal with what happens in our lives.  I had heard a sermon about this once, and it really resonated with me.  And as I look back on the last couple of years, and really on my entire life, I can see the plans that God was laying that would allow for me to be prepared, protected, and able to weather this storm. And even more importantly, come out stronger on the other side (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).
  9. Lean in.  We are stronger than we think we are if we lean into Jesus.  If someone had told me ahead of time what would happen in my life, I don’t think I would have believed that I’d get through it.  But I did.  And I am a stronger and more compassionate person because of it.  But that is not of my own doing.  It is because I leaned in hard, dug deep into my faith, and trusted fully in His plan for me (Mark 10:27).
  10. You won’t be in the valley forever.  One day last summer, my brother and I were sitting in his kitchen, and he encouraged me not to miss out on any more of my life and what my future could be because I was too afraid to let go of the past and my own plans for my future. And in that moment, I realized that God was giving me the choice to leave the valley and start climbing my way back to the top of the mountain.  That is the path I chose. And while some days it’s still incredibly hard and that loss still feels unbearable, as I embark on this 36th year of my life, I am finding myself in a wonderful, happy new season.  I have been  afforded a fresh start. I have a heart filled with gratitude. I have a life full of people who love and support me. And most importantly, I am enjoying the sweet moments of the present, and eagerly anticipating what is to come.  Ever hopeful and believing in the plan that God has in store for my life (Jeremiah 29:11).  So cheers to another year, and the adventure, love, and happy times to come…

Top | Skirt, similar, similar(obsessed!) | Heels | Sofa | Black and White Pillow | Rug

And I also want to say THANK YOU for all of your love and support along the way.  Love you guys and am SO very grateful for this community.

xoxo,

Abby

Throwback

You know what’s kind of a weird feeling?  When you’re old enough to see certain fashion trends cycle back through your life a second time around.  And right now, with so many great ’90’s trends prevalent for the summer months, that’s exactly what’s happening.  And it’s leaving me feeling both a little nostalgic, and a little old. lol But when I was in high school, denim short overalls and denim overall dresses were my favorite.  So I knew it was a trend I would definitely be revisiting this summer.  And I’d love to know, how are you guys feeling about the ’90’s trends in the market right now?

Off -the-shoulder top | Overall Dress | Choker | Clutch | Sunnies | Platforms

Hope you guys are having a fantastic week!

xoxo,

Abby

Floral Dress

If you guys have been following this blog for a while, then you definitely know I am a huge fan of long-sleeved dresses.  And this Spring is no different.  While I also always love wearing light jackets over dresses this time of year, sometimes it’s kind of nice to leave the extra layer at home.  Plus, I’m always game for any kind of dress with a little twirl factor.  And this one definitely fits the bill!

Dress | Bracelets | Sunglasses | Bag | Booties (old), similar, similar

Hope you guys had a wonderful weekend.  And here’s to making Monday count!

xoxo,

Abby

 

Skirted

I tend to gravitate towards dresses.  But the Grandstand skirt from the Cabi Spring line just might be my favorite thing in my closet right now.  I seriously love everything about it.  The fabric, the stripes, the pockets, the tie waist.  It’s really an all-around perfect piece in my book.  Plus it goes with so many different things, I know it’s going to be a go-to in my wardrobe this season.

Sweater | Skirt c/o cabi | Necklaces (here and here) | Hat | Sunnies | Booties

Is it just me, or does this feel like the longest week EVER?  Hopefully your week is going by a lot faster than mine.  I am so ready for the weekend already.

Thanks for stopping by!

xoxo,

Abby

 

Balloon Sleeves

I stalked this top online forever.  But I just didn’t think I could pull off the balloon sleeves.  Bell sleeves are one thing, but this exaggerated version is a whole different story.  But I have to say, I am so glad I finally took the plunge.  It’s such a fun piece to have in my wardrobe, and surprisingly goes with so many different things.  Is this a trend you guys would ever try?  I’d love to know!

Top (also love this)| Joggers | Clutch | Sunnies | Pumps (sold out), also love these and these

Thanks for much for stopping by!  Happy Hump Day, friends!

xoxo,

Abby