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I pick up the keys today and start assembling furniture. I just realized I forgot a dresser for the girls’ room. I have a feeling that I’ll be having a lot of realizations.

Daily affirmation: goals are great, but it is in the journey we find the greatest joys. We also find a lot of hex wrenches in the flat pack furniture boxes.

* * *

I turned off comments on one of my past posts for a few reasons. Foremost is that civility must, by extension, be something exhibited here as well as in real life. I would ask that if you have things to share directly about the situation, please send an email. I also felt that while the majority of the comments have been positive, I didn’t want a dog pile effect to start. It doesn’t matter what I do, there will be those of you who will find something negative to say regardless. I’m finding my way through this as well. And yes, I’m trying to be considerate toward the mother of my children.

  • adoreadora

    this is so cool, what a great dreamy effect. It makes me want to get an iPhone just so I can mess around with the photo apps.

  • Amy

    The path is the goal.

  • Erin Darling

    It *is* going to be ok. Even though you don’t know how to get through, you will – we figure it out as time passes. Publicly, at least, you are exhibiting a tremendous amount of grace and honor, although I’m sure internally you feel like a trainwreck. Hang in there, man. Look how many people you’ve got supporting you. :)

  • M D

    Love the smudge – and I have to say I agree with Amy Jacobs. Nuff said on that. It will be OK. Putting the furniture together might actually turn out to be the most frustrating part ūüėČ please post some photos can’t wait to see your style!

  • Michelle D


  • michelle kristine

  • Mary VerKuilen

    What a bummer. I sure hope we don’t have to pick sides, I like both Jon and Heather. I have no idea what happened and who did what, but I can tell you one thing: In a society where 50% of marriages end in divorce, it does not boggle my mind that this happens…to anyone!

    Mary in MI

  • Tracy Sandberg

    In many ways I agree with this post.¬† But I also¬†think it’s incredibly unfair to Heather – and maybe even to Jon.¬† Certainly we have no idea what Jon’s “support”¬† or Heather’s “mind-boggling” choices looks like from the viewpoint of the PRIVATE relationship that Jon and Heather share.¬† Jon knows.¬† Heather knows.¬† It boggles my mind to think we can know what either of them feel about¬†the other.¬† In fact, I imagine both of them are examining that issue themselves, at this very moment.¬† We’re only¬†getting a glimpse of what they, themselves want to share publicly.¬†¬†I feel like both are being honorable about how they refer to each other in these public glimpses.¬† This is, after all, a separation – not yet – maybe never – a divorce.¬† And always, they will have children together, no matter what.¬† Whatever they say publicly and privately about the other, they are saying about someone their child loves.¬†¬†They are (publicly at least) being very fair to each other during a time when it would often be much easier to vent, loudly.¬† Would be nice if we could be as fair to each of them publicly as they are being to each other.¬†

    • Stephanie

      Hear, hear.

    • Amy Jacobs

      I don’t think I’m being unfair. I am just being honest about worrying, more so than judging, Heather’s possible reasons for choosing this. I care about them both, as much as a reader on a blog can of course. I guess I’m just worried there is something going on with her that is, perhaps, outside of her control, making her make very drastic decisions. I speak from experience in terms of knowing how someone with chronic manic depression acts. And, yes, many times their choices can be very detrimental to their overall happiness and future…small issues that would probably resolve over time or¬†could be easily dealt with in a proper circumstance…get really exaggerated in someone’s heart and mind who is in the midst of a mental crisis. They make drastic choices as a result.

      I guess what I’m feeling…worrying over…is that her judgement is not good right now and that beyond it being altered by something out of her control…it doesn’t make much sense that she would choose to end her marriage so suddenly??? The¬†way Heather is writing…her¬†sadness and anxiety…that she is sharing near daily…is not only about Jon. It goes much¬†deeper and has been evident for months.I’ve gotten where I feel¬†anxious when I go to read her posts…about what she is going to say. I’m simply worried there are signs here of danger Will Robinson!!¬†Does that make any sense??

      ¬†Honestly…I’m not choosing sides or being judgemental. It may come across that way I guess. I just feel feel bad for them both. And, yes, I’m very concerned about Heather’s emotional state.

      • Tracy Sandberg

        My point would be that we only know what they have chosen to share publicly.¬† I read a lot into what words are shared but I don’t have enough information, nor do I think I ever will, to draw any real conclusions.¬† I can’t¬†say, for example,¬†that Heather may be unstable or that Jon is a wonderful, supportive husband.¬†¬†I just don’t know.¬†

        Even though Heather shares deeply personal things that make us feel very connected to her and her family, I simply can’t believe that I know her at all.¬† Unless I’ve been there, not just read her blog, I can’t actually know how long any decision they make has been contemplated.¬† (Also, what they have shared is that they are “separated” – not that they have “ended” their marriage.)¬†

        What I do know is that, like you, I am concerned, as I’m sure are most of their readers. I’m certain we agree that we hope that the Armstrong family finds peace; and joy, in their future and that they receive all the love and support they need during this¬†journey.

      • Amy Butler

        Oh, for fuck sake.  You have literally just started a thread on the very thing Jon has asked that people not do, on the post where he asked people not to do it.

        This makes you a troll. ¬†Knock it the fuck off already. ¬†If you have top secret information that only you know, and if you think Jon is such a child that he can’t make informed decisions without your help, then for godsake send him a private e-mail as he JUST requested.

        Otherwise, the irony vortex is going to suck the entire fricking internet into it, and the entire internet accessing population of planet earth will end up floating around in a black hole somewhere.  I, for one, will not appreciate it.

  • beaunejewels

    “Every story has an end, but in life every ending is a new beginning.”

    “It’s only a moment not the rest of your life.”

    I had a divorced friend once, who got along brilliantly with her ex. Holidays together, celebrated all things related to their children. Milestones, weddings, birth of grandchildren. There was much respect, and mutual support.

    I asked her why it all worked out as it did, beginning to end.
    She said she believed that children pick their parents, before they’re born. I thought she was kinda looney! There is so much we may never know though. The universe might have the last laugh on me yet, but it speaks to my hopes for you both going forward.

    Maybe Leta and Marlow did choose you two to be their parents. After all, they are absolutely fabulous kids, and couldn’t have been the same without the parents they share. Your marriage and love created something so precious that regret should be impossible. They are the reason for everything now. The way you are treating each other with respect, the reason you will forge a new way to co-exist, and the reasons you will always support and want the best for each other. Because of them. They who love you both more than imaginable.

    ¬†I have no business hoping for anything for you personally in the future. It doesn’t stop me though. I hope you find love again. (and I’m not saying it has to be with someone different) I hope the love you find, is easy, comfortable, steady and accepting. Like the softest, oldest, comfiest sweatshirt you own. When you slip it on and go ahhhhhhhhh.

    Plus really hot sex. That’s always fun.

  • Eponymous4real

    In any event, there may be one Hot Geek on the market in the foreseeable future.

    • Krista

      Amen to that! And who isn’t in the market for a hot geek?! Nothing like a man who can write code AND look good while doing it AND take excellent photos AND is as much an apple geek as myself. I’m even willing to overlook the questionable taste in music! Lol. ūüėČ

    • Stephanie

      Am I the only one who sees this as superficial and insensitive to bring up to a man who is in a separation he did not want and is working to give the woman he loves space and time?

      • Amy Butler


      • Krista

        Yes.¬† Considering it’s all in fun and just meant to give Jon some smiles…much deserved smiles I might add.¬† Everything doesn’t need to be so stoic and serious.¬† Loosen up.

  • Caren Jew

    Love the Smudge.¬† And ditto what everyone else says. “. . .one Hot Geek on the market . . .” LOL!

    Keep on, truckin’ on.

  • Alison Groth

    You’re a good egg, Jon.¬†

  • b c

    I wish IKEA recycled those allen keys (i.e. get one free with your entire purchase). I’m thinking of hanging my collection from the trees – similar to when the trees were wrapped in scarves.

    • Jennifer

       When I was there last, they had a huge wall of extra hardware for free.  I bet if you take them back to them, they will at least get re-distributed.

  • Beth Rich George

    Sanding prayers/good karma/thoughts of best results all around, for the entire Armstrong family.  Looking forward to seeing how it works out for the best.  

  • Krista

    The darkest night is often the bridge to the brightest tomorrow.
    – Jonathan Lockwood Huie


  • Cat S

    Yeah, I never know what to do with all the hex wrenches that come with just about every piece of furniture. ¬†I filled an entire coffee can with them before I started tossing them in the recycling bin…although I am 100% positive they do not actually get melted down into anything. ¬†Maybe I should find an artist that makes sculptures with them. ¬†Maybe I should just make my own sculpture with them and sell it on etsy. ¬†

  • Shannon McKarney


  • Shannon McKarney

    Thinking of all of you as you assemble your Meatballenoken bunkbeds. And, you know. Other stuff.

  • Gloatessa

    Re shutting off the comment tap. People can’t seem to help being judgmental of others. I’m no exception in my own life.¬† But often the advice or words I have for others I should be applying to myself.¬† Living a life is hard. Observing a life, especially in hindsight, is so much easier.

    I must say I’m enjoying your photographs more since your breakup.¬† Is that an evil thing to admit?¬† I think many of them are richer, deeper, more artistic. And possess a vulnerability that wasn’t there before.

  • Antigone

    I was young when I divorced so I know that the circumstances are not at all the same, but I did have a 3 year old daughter when it happened.  I can say, without a doubt, that the mutual respect you two have shown each other through all of this so far is admirable and one day your kids will realize that and be so very thankful.  I wish my daughter could look back and say the same thing but unfortunately her dad chose to have very little to do with her after that.

    I will also say that the hurt will get better, your heart will find a way.  Maybe you and Heather will work things out, maybe you will find somebody else to love, but there will come a time when the hurt is not the first thing you think about every morning and the last thing before you go to bed.

    Sending good, healing thoughts to both you and Heather.

  • Janice Miller

    I think I’m guilty of having made one of the dog-pile-ish comments, sorry. ¬†You are handling all of this in an honorable way. ¬†Hang in there. And congrats on the new furniture!

  • Sarah R. Bloom

    This stuff is painful for everyone involved. People make the mistake of thinking they ‘get’ a person because they post on the Internet personal stuff, but we all need to remember that we are not you and we are not Heather and we are not in your lives and will never have the full story.

    I just keep sending each of you love and strength to get through this hard time in whatever way works best for you. Nobody knows what the other side of this pain will look like, but I know you each will be OK and your kids will be OK because of who each of you are.

  • Christine C

    You’ll get there, Jon.¬† Keep your chin up.

  • Angeerah

    Dog piling is not good for anyone.¬† You are both cool people (from what it appears on the internets) and I think it’s great that you BOTH are being so respecttful of each other during a rather difficult time.¬† Unfortunately, people tend to pick sides.¬† It’s human nature.¬† Or¬†sometimes a reader¬†feels more connect to one side due to personal experiences.¬† However, it is always good to keep it civil and respectful.¬†

    Like I said on the other post, I really am enjoying your writing due to the simplicity and honesty.  And I am loving the photos.  In fact, I saw some trees out my window and the silhouette reminded me of some of your photos.  I thought about taking a picture but then I got distracted and lost the light.  Thanks and take care!

    • Michael M

      I agree with you that people tend to pick sides. I can feel myself subconsciously picking a side here, even though a) I only know a tiny bit of the facts; b) I have tried not to pick sides; c) I have no real reason to pick sides. But I feel a certain empathy pushing me in one direction.

  • Alison Coffey

    IKEA shopping always seems like it is going to be fun–all the stuff, the cool room ideas (hey, I could live in 500 square feet, sure!), the colors. But then half way through it you just get tired and depressed. Too much stuff, too much sensory input. Little yellow pencils and bright blue bags and too many choices and not enough money even though it seems reasonable to buy that very cheap and cute teapot and before you know it you spent 1000 more than you intended. Those sneaky Swedes!

  • Crystal Tabony

    My husband and I finished assembling several pieces of IKEA furniture yesterday.
    We had bought some new stuff over the course of several weeks, then let it sit around in the boxes for a couple of more weeks, and then assembled things here and there over the past month.¬† LOL¬† That’s sad considering IKEA stuff is easy and we’re young. ¬† And yet I’m sore all over today!¬† But that includes moving out old stuff, redecorating, and cleaning.