Building on Broken Ground: Phase 1

This past year has hands down absolutely been the hardest I have ever lived through..but at the end I am still alive and there is something to be said for that.

2019 broke me down to my lowest points. A place of brokenness and loneliness I didn’t even know was ever going to be possible.

And truth be told, there were days at a time that I just cried and cried uncontrollably. Only stopping long enough to paint on a smile and pop into IG stories as if nothing was wrong.

Just to crumble again the minute we stopped recording.


Because that’s what abuse does. It exiles you. It embarrasses you. It makes you spend days at a time wondering why?

Why would someone who loves me say such horrible things?

Why would someone who promised to be by my side forever make me doubt myself and abilities? Make me feel unsafe in my own home?

Why would someone who truly “loved and valued me” verbally tear me down to the point that even standing up out of bed in the morning was unbearibly too hard?

Why when I try my absolute hardest am I still not enough?

I spent years of my life changing who I was.

Thinking that if I could be better, do more, not-wear-this, not-say-that, not-talk-to-this-person, that things would be better.

But they never were.

Time after time it was me crying and begging to be loved – and time after time I was put down. Crushed. Deflated.

Told I was “useless” and “not enough” and eventually those became the things I thought of myself, too.

And now I am left here. Broken.


While this isn’t my first time to experience brokenness, it is hopefully the most brokeness I will experience for a very long time.

When I was 18 years old and a freshman in college I found out my own parents were divorcing. I thought that would break me.

But it didn’t.

When I was 19 years old someone who I love very dearly reached an ulitmate low place and tried to take their own life in front of me. I really thought that would break me.

But it didn’t.

When I was 23 years old I found out I was 20 weeks pregnant while also unmarried and only a few weeks away from finally graduating college. I definitely thought that would break me.

But it still didn’t.


Yes, each one of those experiences have changed me but I am still here. Still alive.

Each experience has taught me more about myself and helped me grow as a woman.

Retrospectively, I can see all the good that came from those experiences.

Out of a divorce, love and family has multiplied and I am blessed to have two bonus parents and four bonus brothers.

Out of someone else’s brokenness, I have learned compassion and a level of resilence I never imagined possible.

Out of an unplanned pregnancy, I have been given the most amazing gift and opportunity to raise such an incredbile little boy. Truly the biggest blessing of them all.


But it has taken many years, countless tears, and lots of prayer to move through all of it and see that goodness.

Now, at 26 years old, I’ve come to see that the marriage and relationship that I have tried so desperately to sustain isn’t going to last. And I am right back where I was before. Broken.


Typically the word “broken” can have such a negative connotation, but after everything I have ultimately come to think of it in a more “constructive” way.

One of the things I have had the opportunity to learn more about over the past few years is the construction business. My step dad owns and manages his construction company and I’ve picked up some new knowledge and terms over our many conversations about his job.

In the world of construction the phase “breaking ground” is an exciting term used at the start of any project. It signifies the beginning of the building process.

It is the time where the construction crew comes in to clean up the area – removing anything unnecessary and leveling out the ground for a flat, solid foundation.


Before they can build something strong and safe, they first have to break the ground.

Breaking the ground doesn’t mean that is its “ruined” or “destroyed” but instead it sets the entire project up for success. It’s just the beginning.

Right now I am at my absolute lowest and taking the steps to remove anything unnecessary so that I can “level out” for a solid foundation. Not just for myself but also for Jaxon because he deserves the best and I need to make sure he has that.

I wish more than anything for that “picture perfect family” life but the reality is that at 26 years old I am not going to have that, yet.


But the beautiful thing is that I also do not have to feel this brokenness forever.

I can take this as an opportunity to focus back on myself. On being myself. And the best damn version of myself I can possibly be.

At my core I want three things:

  1. To provide the best life possible for Jax
  2. To help other parents find their confidence while feeding their children (and enjoy it!)
  3. To be genuinely happy

So here is to focusing on those 3 things in 2020!

I can’t tell you exactly how but I can promise you now that I wil pour all my love and passion into making this year the best. It is going to be hard but something I know now is that I can do hard things. I can be strong on my own. I just have to be brave and handle this with as much strength and grace as I possibly can.


Right now I am standing in the thick of it but over time I plan to “level out the ground for a solid foundation”. Let’s just call this time “Phase 1” and I so look forward to working through this and being able to share the next “phase”.

And if you are still reading this, I just want to thank YOU for being here and hanging in for the ride. Not being alone and feeling secluded has so much power and I am very appreciative of the support I am blessed with through you and our community.

All my love,



Published by snackswithjax

Sarah is the creator and mom behind "Snacks with Jax", a social media community of over 85,000 parents/caregivers, where she shares her son's meals, nutrition information, and evidence-based tips for feeding children. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist with a Bachelor's degree in Nutrition emphasizing in Wellness from Texas Woman's University and years of experience as a culinary instructor working with ages 2+. She has coached hundreds of parents & caregivers through the journey introducing solids to babies and also navigating picky eating with toddlers and older children. Her focus is on establishing a life-long healthy relationship with food for children while also empowering, encouraging, and educating their adult caregivers.

27 thoughts on “Building on Broken Ground: Phase 1

  1. You are wonderful and my family is so grateful for you, your knowledge, and Jax! I know you will find your happiness – you have helped us find ours when it comes to feeding our son – and you are so deserving of it!


    1. You are beautiful and smart.You are strong and brave !!you will come out of this stronger then ever. Never ever let anyone steal your sparkle!!! And your son is adorable and perfect!!!! You are both sooo loved !!


  2. Thank you for sharing. This must have been difficult to post but your courage is incredibly admirable. You are an amazing Mom and I have enjoyed your account and valued your advice. Sending you lots of love and positivity! You have a big team rooting for you and I believe 2020 will bring you much happiness!


  3. 💜 Sarah you are already nailing goal 1 and 2 (thanks) and 3 isn’t far away! Remember you don’t have to wait for the crying to end for the happy to start, it’s a concurrent process and one day you will be more happy than sad. I pray your future has another person to share it who loves you like Jax does, you are his world 😀


  4. My sweet cousin;
    I love you beyond words and I’m so sorry that you had to go through this tough time. I am so sorry that you had to experience any type of brokenness. I know first hand that being broken and break ground will only make you stronger. I pray that in this time you will only feel the love of Jesus and peace. I pray that you never give up even when it hurts more than you ever thought it could; I pray the lies of the abuse never make you question your worth.
    I pray you look back and see all of the times that Jesus kept you and Jax. I am so proud of you and here if you need me. I love you; Summer Joy


  5. I don’t know what to say but if you were standing in front of me I would give you a big hug. I am so sorry you were in an abusive and toxic relationship and went through a lot of pain and insecurities. I wish you all the strength you need to feel less broken. Love, Larissa (from the Netherlands)


  6. Oh Sarah. I have been following you for a while. And although it saddens me to hear that you will be going through tough times, it makes me happy that you get the opportunity to stand alone so that you can be your bubbly, happy, best self. I started watching you because I looked up nutrition for kids but honestly what has kept me following you is because you seem like such a resilient, strong, and most importantly a person who I just want to have a conversation with. Even with simple interactions like you explaining things on Instagram stories I have always felt so happy watching you because you bring such a joy into yourself. It may not feel like it right now but I am sure that you will get that feeling back and this time without limitations on what you can or can’t do. Even though I’m just a simple follower I would like to say that I love you and I am rooting for you to find that happiness that you 3000 % deserve.


  7. Oh my! I haven’t been following you for long but watching your stories is like a breath of fresh air compared to all the other stuff on IG. It breaks my heart to see you hurt. Stay strong. 💕


  8. Sarah,

    I am so sorry you are in pain, but I’m also so proud of you for getting out of an unhealthy relationship. You and Jax deserve the absolute best. Thinking of you and wishing I could hug you!



  9. Sarah, I am so sorry to hear that someone you loved and trusted decided to try to tear you down!! You are an amazing young woman and you deserve soooo much better!! I have been endlessly proud of you for the professional and the mother that you have become!! Please know that I am praying for you and want you to know that you should accept nothing less than the best treatment!! Much love to you!! You have a bright future ahead!! Trust in God’s plan!!

    Carol Barnes


  10. ❤️❤️❤️ sending you love, strength, patience, and a big hug! i’m sorry you’re going through this, but i love your perspective and trying to emphasize the positive. your 3 goals are wonderful, and i appreciate all of the content, and your life, that you share. i’m a SAHM, and introverted, so the internet is my “world”, for the majority of my day. so i truly appreciate, and am thankful for you.


  11. Hi Sarah- I just read your post and my heart breaks for you . Recognizing a toxic relationship and having the strength to move away from that relationship is so very hard especially when you have been broken down big by bit over the years and feel you don’t deserve better. I’m so proud that you had the strength to move forward because you are worth it and both you and Jaxon deserve to be happy, feel safe and be free to be you. I know you are at the bottom but you will build yourself up and be an even better version of you. Wishing you the strength to take those steps – remember you deserve to be treated with love and respect and don’t settle for anything less .
    Sending hugs ❤️


  12. I love this blog post so much. It breaks my heart that you have had to face such heartache, but I like to tell myself that after the rain comes the rainbow. There is calm after the storm. And after the heartache there will be happiness. I hope and pray that for you 2020 with bring you all of those beautiful afters and bring restoration to your heart, mind, and spirit.


  13. I follow you on IG and love seeing your posts and figuring out what I can do to help my picky eater.
    I think it was very brave of you to share this part of your life with us as well. Wishing you all the best in 2020! ❤️❤️


  14. I am sorry to read this. I can only imagine how hard that would be. I have an almost 3 year old and an almost 1 year old. The times I doubted my relationship with my husband were the hardest ever. We have come through it but it sounds like a very different situation. Good for you for standing up for yourself. Your life is yours to live free of meanness. Dont wast your light under someone else’s shadow. You have helped me and my sons. Thank you. I wish you so much strength.


  15. Honey, I’m sorry you went through all that but think of it this way, the hardest part is over. It’s his loss. You have one of the most beautiful and contagious smiles I’ve ever seen. Please keep smiling and stay strong. You will get through this. This too shall pass.


  16. Reading this brought tears to my eyes through the whole thing… what a courageous thing to do, to write down your deepest struggles. I would have never known you were living thru such a battle when I watch your IG stories everyday. You are so smart, so great at what you do, beautiful, and a great mom. I hope with each day that passes you feel peace and happiness 💗


  17. You are so strong & a damn good momma! God has so many plans for y’all. Remember after every storm there is a rainbow! God bless Y’all!


  18. Sarah, I’m sorry your hurting. Finding your Instagram account has helped me feel less stress and anxiety over feeding my toddler son. I really appreciate how you share practical nutritional information in a playful, and thoughtful manner. May you’re breaking ground be the beginning of a strong beautiful foundation for your dream house 😉💕


  19. Sarah,

    I am a professor at MC and I was given your info by Carol Barnes. I have two grandchildren and I keep them often. I am a super picky eater so I asked her help and she gave me your Instagram info and I have been following you since then. You are wonderful at what you do and I hope you know that. Jax is blessed to have a wise mother and one that understands how important it is to have healthy attitudes towards food and nutrition.

    I am praying for you right now and I hope things are going better for you each minute.

    God bless you and keep you in His hands.



  20. Oh Sarah, my heart aches for what you went through and is also so joyful for your new beginning. It is so brave of you to break away and to share this publicly. Know that you have done what’s right for you and Jax and that it will get easier. Having grown up in an abusive household, I can tell you that this experience fostered a strength within you that is unparalleled. You are amazing, mama. You are enough. Keep going.


  21. Sending you lots of positive energy during this “breaking ground” phase in your life. Your Instagram and Stories were so helpful during the first first year of feeding my son. I loved your tips, ideas, and demonstrations. Thanks for creating such great content. I know you rise above these issues to a stronger, better life for you and your son. I applaud you for your bravery.


  22. Ufff you are one strong woman and don’t let anyone make you think differently….I pray that you find the happiness you so deserve 🙂

    I love your page and adore the relationship you have with your son 🙂

    Everything is in God’s hands and they are good hands. So don’t ever worry 🙂


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