March 12, 2023

On My Mind

I haven't exactly kept it a secret that I've had a very tough year or so. I've mentioned it several times, but always kind of cryptically because it wasn't something I felt was my choice to share. I really can't stand it when people write cryptic things on social media, basically just asking for people to ask them what is going on, so I tried not to make it a big deal when I mentioned it here.

There were actually about five different things that were stressful, sad, and/or overwhelming, and I probably won't be able to write about most of them. The major one, though, that has been on my mind almost non-stop, is finally at the point where I can write about it. I write this so that I can stop being so vague when I am feeling down, and it may be understandable why I've been so emotional (basically since last summer).

My brother, Brian, and Becky got divorced last month. Brian and Becky are Luke and Riley's parents, so this is understandably devastating. The divorce was amicable, though, which definitely made it easier than it could have been.

The hardest part for me is that Becky and the kids are moving to Minnesota next weekend. I know I don't "owe" an explanation, but I feel it's important to explain the reason for the move. Brian lived in Minnesota for years--probably about 15-20 years?--and that's where he met Becky. Becky's entire family lives there (including Luke and Riley's cousins, who are about the same ages as them) so it seemed natural that she'd want to move back there after the divorce.

When we got in the car yesterday, Riley told me that she looked like "a hot mess"--hahaha!

With Brian being a pilot, his schedule is kind of all over the place; however, it also gives him flight privileges (he can basically fly anywhere whenever he wants). The kids also have flying privileges, but Becky will not now that the divorce is final. So, it made sense for Becky to bring the kids to Minnesota with her. (Luke and Riley are used to going back and forth to Minnesota several times a year.)

Becky is an AMAZING mom and I know she would only do what is best for the kids. I'm not at all questioning her decision to move and I know the kids will be happy there. It's just so HARD for my family. I don't know how often the kids will come out here, since Brian can go to Minnesota for his time with them, but I like to think it will be often. I do know that they will be spending a lot of time here in the summer, so I'll definitely take advantage of that.

This whole thing has been super hard on everyone (especially Brian and Becky), but they are doing what they believe is best for the kids--and that's what is most important to everyone involved.

Yesterday when we took Luke and Riley out for Luke's birthday, it was really tough--I knew it was going to be the last time I'll see them while they still live in Michigan. Brian is taking them to Hilton Head for a long weekend starting on Wednesday, while Becky packs and gets ready for the move (I'm going to help her). Then Brian will take them to Minnesota. Luke and Riley seemed very positive about the move when we talked about it yesterday, which was reassuring.

Needless to say, though, this whole thing has been heartbreaking and whenever I think too much about it, I get really emotional. I would like to continue to do the birthday tradition of Barnes & Noble for each of them (in March and August) so we may go out to Minnesota or make plans for when they are here. Thankfully, I love Minnesota! I wish it was drivable (it technically is, but it's about 15 hours--not worth two full days of travel for a trip).

This picture was for Aunt Jeanie, because we saw a basset hound puppet

I loved seeing Luke and Noah talking in the backseat. Luke was very interested in a video game on Noah's phone.

I also adore Becky and I'm going to miss her SO much. I don't even have to say how much I will miss being able to see the kiddos whenever I want. I know Brian will be okay, but I feel awful for him, too--he's not open about his emotions, but I know this has been unquestionably hard on him.

This picture was from when Becky and I had no idea we were going to be flying at the same time, let alone the same flight to Portland! I saw her on the plane and the flight attendant basically played musical chairs so we could sit together.

Anyway, I've been wanting to write about this for a while, but like I said--it's not my story to tell. I asked if it was okay to share the basic info, which I've done here, so that I don't have to be so vague about "things on my mind". I'm sad! I know everything is going to be fine, but I just feel heartbroken that everything turned out this way.

I still want to be "the fun aunt" so I'm going to make the most of every moment I can with Luke and Riley!

(Usually I publish all non-spam comments, but because of the nature of this post, I'm not going to publish any negative comments or questions about Brian and Becky's parenting or choices or anything like that. They are fantastic parents and they both want what is best for their kids.)


  1. Oh Katie, I am so sorry to hear this. For you and for Brian and Becky and your entire family. I cannot imagine how hard it is to have a family divided by states. I wish the best for everyone and I hope the kiddos have an easy move! The good news is with technology, it's a lot easier to stay in touch! You could set up Zoom meetings with the kids or just impromptu Facetime sessions would be fun! Maybe even send each other good ol fashion letters. I bet the kids would love writing to you! I remember getting an actual letter in the mail as a kid, it was always a highlight! Sending lots of love and positive thoughts towards your family <3

  2. Oh sweetheart. No wonder you've been so upset. Sending lots of love.

  3. Oh, Katie! That's so tough. It's obvious how much you will miss the kids, let alone Becky. I'm glad that the divorce has been amicable enough that you seem to be on good terms with her. As for you being the fun aunt - now your visits with the kids will be extra special since they aren't as often! They are old enough that you can do some video calls with them - I'm sure you can think of some fun games to get them engaged over video. My best wishes to you and your whole family!

  4. I'm so sorry. I'm glad the kids are taking it well and it's all amicable. My niece recently got divorced (my little great nieces are now 2 1/2 and 5) and it has been so hard to see my niece go through it. I'm glad that they will have the flight perks and that we now have great technology to video chat and things. You are so creative I'm sure you will come up with some fun things to cross the miles between you all.

  5. That's very sad that you'll be far from the kids. You can still be a fun aunt from afar! It reminds me of my aunt who moved away a few years ago to be close to her grandkids, and is still very doting on her grand nieces and nephews with cards and little gifts. She also comes to town to go to things like recitals and school performances. It's very sweet. You'll find a good rhythm I'm sure, and Becky knows how important they are to you too.

  6. You're so special in their lives. Those kids are the cutest! Funny too, Riley says she looks like a hot mess. Sad news, no doubt.

  7. I'm so sorry to hear about this! But, I know how hard it is for kids to be separated from family by states. One thing that we've done in my house which my kids love is virtual reading. Maybe when they're all settled, you can have a Zoom/Facetime with Becky and pick a children's book to read to the kids. You're probably not looking for solutions/ideas now, but this regular reading time has become fun. We also do some virtual meals where we all eat lunch together, etc.


I used to publish ALL comments (even the mean ones) but I recently chose not to publish those. I always welcome constructive comments/criticism, but there is no need for unnecessary rudeness/hate. But please--I love reading what you have to say! (This comment form is super finicky, so I apologize if you're unable to comment)

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