Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The holidays are pretty much over now and I made it through without incident. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, a very memorable Christmas and with only one day left until the new year, are looking forward to a fresh start. But what will 2009 bring? I can't help looking back on the events in my life in 2008.

First and foremost, we had a new addition in 2008. On January 23, we welcomed my nephew, Lucas, to the family. He is the most mellow kid I have ever known and I can't wait to see how he takes on the world. Of course, he spent the first year of his life fighting off big brother, Eddie. Don't worry, one day he'll fight back!!

I took a huge chance on myself this year. In March, I took my children and left my husband of nine years. It was so hard making that decision but I knew that it would all turn out for the better. Shortly thereafter, I was contacted by an old friend of mine and we began to get to know each other again. We soon began to talk more frequently and in June, we fell in love. By September, I was officially divorced and ready to start my life over with the man of my dreams.

In October, I packed up my children, the only life I had ever known and moved to Arizona. My man and I were married within the month and well on our way to Washington, which is where the story begins. I'm extremely happy in my life right now and know that as time goes on it can only get better.

I am thankful for the things that I have learned this year. I have found out who my true friends are, who loves me unconditionally, who I can call on now matter what the circumstances and that family is the most important thing. I also learned that I am stronger than I could have ever imagined. I have proved to myself that I can make it through anything with the right attitude and confidence.

Happy New Year to all of you and I wish for you nothing but the best for many years to come!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Holidays have begun...

This year is the first year that I will be away from my family on the holidays. Thanksgiving was this past Thursday and it was hard. We had all the fixins that I always had growing up, but it still didn't feel like Thanksgiving. There was something missing.

The night before Thanksgiving, my sister and I would usually be at Mom's house starting to get things ready for the next day's festivities. We would bake, cook, and clean. There was always laughter. We would always be laughing about something. That was my favorite part of the whole thing. Laughing with my family about the silliest things. This year, my sister called me a few times from her house as her and my mom were getting things ready for the next day. It made me miss them so much.

Christmas is on the way next and I already long for those shopping days with them. Some days we wouldn't even buy anything, but we would spend the entire day out having fun. Christmas day would roll around and we would all be together opening presents and laughing with each other.

This year is going to be so hard for me. Don't get me wrong, I love where I am right now. There have been a lot of changes this year and I am grateful for each one. I have a man by my side who loves me and three gorgeous children who are the light of my life. It's just difficult to be away from those people that you love so much for the first time in your entire life at this time of year.

I can do this. I have to be strong and put on a brave face. I know that my family misses me too and that they are thinking of me all the time. But what I wouldn't give for one day with my sister again...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

He Asked...I Accepted!!

It's a little late, I know but everyone is curious on how he asked. It was completely unexpected and very romantic and worth the fight we had earlier that day. Let me back up a little...

Before we left Arizona for Colorado, we talked about having date night in Grand Junction on Saturday night. We wanted to take full advantage of all the babysitters we had available while in town. Saturday came and I began to talk about wedding planning. Living in Washington and planning a wedding in Colorado takes work...some that can be done via email and Internet, but other work that needs to be done in person. Baines and I began to fight about what needed to be done at that point. The fact that he didn't properly propose came up and I began to get angry. I said to him "Maybe we should just call this off..."

After sitting down to dinner at our place and discussing the issue at hand, he convinced me to see a movie with him. On our way to the theater, he takes a detour towards the Monument telling me he has the perfect place for a picture. I didn't think anything of it. He pulled the truck over at our spot and helped me walk to the edge of the cliff in the dark. Once we reached the top, I could see the candles and small basket which held a bottle of wine and chocolate covered strawberries. He turned towards me and asked the question..."Will You Marry Me?" With tears in my eyes, I exclaimed "Yes!"

Baines reached into the basket, pulled out my ring and slid it onto my finger. Of course, I couldn't see it in the dark! But with the magic of technology, he opened his cell phone and I was able to see the ring that I always wanted sitting beautifully on my left hand. Of course there is a story all its own...

A week before arriving in Colorado, Baines came home from work later than usual. He said that he had taken the afternoon and driven to Tucson to purchase the engagement ring I wanted and the jeweler did not have it. I was bummed because that meant that I would have to wait until we settled in Washington to have my ring. Dang It!! Truthfully, that was all a part of his "Covert Operation". Really, he went to the jeweler, ordered my ring in my size and asked that they deliver it to his dad's house in Colorado to arrive on the 23rd. Every morning, he would call his father and ask if the package arrived. Nothing...until the morning of the 25th...the day of the proposal. He was sweating...no doubt.

So, yes...we are engaged and planning a summer wedding in Colorado. I have already picked a dress, flowers and a cake. Now...where to hold the damn thing...

Made It!!

So we made it to Washington...finally!! Took us long enough but here we are!! From what we have seen it is absolutely gorgeous here and from what we hear, it's only going to get better as the seasons change.

Currently we are in temporary housing on post and it's not that great. It's a hotel room with a kitchenette. My man and I sleeping in the same room with three kids...yowza! All of us are pretty sick of each other and ready to scream at the end of the day but then realize that we are very lucky to have each other. We'll make it through!

We think we may have found a house on our first day out. It's 4 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths right in our price range. Funny story how we found it. First Baines found where the Cabela's store was...then we branched out our house hunting from there. Surprise...the perfect house...down the street! We called the number and the owners let us in right then. The only thing is that we would have to stay in temp housing for another week or so. Ugh!!

I'm looking forward to starting our lives here together and once we have all the kids with us, it should be even more fun.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Here we are...the first week out! The drive to home took three days and a lot of bathroom breaks. We finally made it in on Tuesday evening around 9pm, which is about midnight midwest time. Needless to say, we were all exhausted and ready to call it a night. Home at last!!

Wednesday morning, after shoving Baines out the door for his first day back at work, the kids and I unloaded the moving trailer. The process to "girlie up" the bachelor pad had begun. After a few hours of scrubbing the place down, it started to feel like a place I could live...a little anyways. Don't misunderstand me. Baines isn't a slob or anything, he's just a guy. And we all know that guys do not throughly clean. Unless their gay...which I can assure you, Baines is not. (Now that's a completely different blog.)

Baines and I are still feeling our way around each other regarding the household. Each of us have our own way of doing things and it's a process of deciding what to let him have and things that I will fight for. For instance, the toilet seat. Why can't men just put it back down? It's a battle of the sexes that has been raging since indoor plumbing was introduced. The important thing is that we love each other and are willing to work through our differences for our family. Compromise and communication are key.

The next chapter leads us to Washington. In a matter of weeks, we will be moving once again to start all over again. This brings about a clean slate to start our life in our home. I am so excited to see what adventures we encounter this time!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

And...I'm Out...

Tomorrow evening will be the beginning of my new life. A life with a man who loves me, adores me and above all, respects me as a person. Tomorrow will be the first day of my new life and I could not be more excited!

My family is not too happy to say the least and I can't understand why. I have lived in this place for over 10 years and have been so unhappy for the majority. This has never felt like home to me and I always knew in the back of my mind that I would leave. It was only a matter of time. That time has come. Be happy that I am moving on with what I want to do. Be happy that I am doing what I have said for years that I was going to do. Most of all, just be happy that I am finally happy.

I have children that have barely left the state. Growing up in a military family, I was fortunate to have seen a lot of places and meet many diverse people. I feel that having those experiences has enriched my life greatly and has made me see the world in a way that not many people get to participate in. Now, I have the opportunity to pass those experiences and lessons learned onto my own children. Granted, not everyone agrees with me pulling them from school and moving them to the other side of the country. But I know my children better than anyone else ever could and I am confident that they will flourish.

There will be hard times, I know. I have never been this far from my immediate family and I will definitely miss them. My kids will not always be so excited about living so far from the only home they have ever known. I know this and understand every one's concerns. But in the long run, my kids will have more opportunities than they could have where we currently are.

This place is full of closed minded people who have barely left their front porch. I refuse to let my kids to grow up in that environment. I refuse to live in that environment myself. Don't get me wrong, I have made friends here but it has been few and far between. Once people hear my ideals on worldly things, I'm completely written off. I never want my children to have to experience that in their life and the only way to do that is to teach them that there is an entire world out there for them to conquer. What better way than to let them see and experience it for themselves?

I will miss my family greatly. My sister is my best friend and she seems to be the only one in this world who completely understands me. My parents are nutty just like anyone else's parents, but they are mine and they have helped me through so much. But it's time to live my life for me and my kids.

Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life. Hope you all stop in for a visit once in awhile.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Found My Niche!

I think I found my calling: Photography. It's always been an interest of mine but I never thought of actually making a career out of it. But this past week, I have had three paying photography jobs. It's so exciting to do something that I have such a passion for and make money doing it!

I still get nervous when outside people look at my work. Putting a piece of your own art out there for everyone to see is a little nerve-wracking. And it doesn't matter what your art may be (i.e. painting, poetry, sculpting), it is your personal portrayal of the world. Sharing it with someone is like letting them have a look directly into your soul. Not everyone is going to agree with your portrayal either. There will always be critics, the biggest being yourself.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I have a little over a week left and I keep waiting for something to go wrong. Everything about my relationship with this man has gone so smoothly. Almost too smoothly.

In my past, everytime I tried to do something, there were roadblocks. Seeing these as mere challenges to my dreams, I fought hard and overcame those barriers. I would come out the other side and things didn't turn out as I believed that they should have. There was heartache, sorrow and my life was worse than before. If I were smart, I would have seen those roadblocks for what they truly were; clear signs that I was on the wrong path.

But there are no roadblocks here. No hurdles to jump, no walls to break down. My sister, who is wise beyond her years, tells me that I need to calm down and focus on what is important. This relationship is meant to be. I am happier than I have ever been and am so excited to be this man's wife. What's my problem then? I don't know what to do with myself! Without heartache, something to complain about and constant worry, what to do next?

It boils down to the fact that I feel guilty about being happy for myself. Maybe I don't feel that I deserve it. But why? I have always put everyone and their happiness first in my life. Here is an opportunity for me to take care of me so that, in turn, I may take care of my family. Why am I having such a hard time with this?

Friday, September 19, 2008


I had the worst nightmare last night.

In my dream, I had quit my job, took my kids out of school and packed up all our belongings. I loaded everything into a moving truck and just as we were getting ready to leave, I received a phone call from my man.

"I've changed my mind," he said, "I can't do this."

"What do you mean changed your mind?" I stammer.

"I don't love you and don't want you to move in with me."

I woke up screaming and in tears.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Almost gone!

Two weeks and I will be gone!! I am so excited to leave Ohio and get back to what I know. I have never felt that this place is where I belong at all. In my bones, I feel it. Time to leave is getting closer and people keep asking if I am nervous. Honestly, I'm not. And that makes me nervous.

I am moving about 2,000 miles away from my family to be with a man in a place where I don't know a single soul. I have never been away from my family and have always been too scared to go too far. Anytime I needed something, they were just a hop, skip and a jump away to make it all better. I could always rely on them to cheer me up, make me laugh and listen to my stupid stories. Need a movie date? Call them up and they were there. Backyard bbqs during the summertime, cheering on the Buckeyes while they kicked Michigan's ass, nights of playing trivial pursuit. They are who makes me, well, me.

I am stepping out of my comfort zone and I am not afraid. I am ready for a change in my life and can't wait to see what is waiting around the next corner. People think that what I am doing is nuts but I have never felt more confident in any decision that I have ever made in my life. I am so excited to start over and begin a new life completely and work to get it right. My companion in this ain't that bad to look at either...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bad Mom!

I'm sure this is something that all mothers deal with at one time or another: children who refuse to listen. Lately I have felt like my kids and I do not speak the same language. Maybe somewhere in the nine years that I have been a mother, my kids learned to speak Portuguese and I missed it. Whatever the case may be, I am completely frustrated.

There have been times when I will look my kids directly in the eye, explain what needs to be done and they will literally look at me and say, "Huh?" Or after explaining, they will turn around and do the exact opposite. Please tell me I am not the only mother who is dealing with this right now!! What am I supposed to do? I'm pretty sure it's illegal to eat your young.

Still I continue to love my kids. They are pains in the booty sometimes, but all in all, they are extremely well behaved. I pity the mother at the grocery store that has to fight with her kids through the entire store or the mother that can't even leave the house for fear of what her kids may do to embarrass her in public. I've always received high praise for how polite and courteous the are. Pat myself on the back for that one!

Tomorrow is a new day...but, oh dear lord, one day closer to the teenage years!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

It's so close now...

It really hit me today that I will soon be leaving for Arizona. In about four weeks from now, I will be leaving my family behind and traveling 1,800 miles to start a new life. Today was the first day that I actually got truly excited about going.

My three kids are so excited about getting to live in a new place. Somewhere completely different from anywhere they have ever been before. But they are mostly excited about the two new kids they get to live with. Yes, I will become a stepmom. Well, not until we're married, but close enough. My son will finally have another boy around to do things with. I can see it now, all the trouble and mayhem these two boys will create. All the pranks they pull on their sisters, all the bugs collected to scare mom and all the video games played with dad.

This move is going to be so hard, but I know that the benefits of bringing our families together will far outweigh the stress.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Health Benefits of Sex

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am an open book when it comes to sex. Sex is important in every relationship and I try my best to open everyone's eye to that. Ask me anything and I will do my best to answer. That's why I absolutely loved this article I found on WebMd.com:
When you're in the mood, it's a sure bet that the last thing on your mind is boosting your immune system or maintaining a healthy weight. Yet good sex offers those health benefits and more. That's a surprise to many people, says Joy Davidson, PhD, a New York psychologist and sex therapist. "Of course, sex is everywhere in the media," she says. "But the idea that we are vital, sexual creatures is still looked at in some cases with disgust or in other cases a bit of embarrassment. So to really take a look at how our sexuality adds to our life and enhances our life and our health, both physical and psychological, is eye-opening for many people."
Sex does a body good in a number of ways, according to Davidson and other experts. The benefits aren't just anecdotal or hearsay -- each of these 10 health benefits of sex is backed by scientific scrutiny. Among the benefits of healthy loving in a relationship:

1. Sex Relieves Stress
A big health benefit of sex is lower blood pressure and overall stress reduction, according to researchers from Scotland who reported their findings in the journal Biological Psychology. They studied 24 women and 22 men who kept records of their sexual activity. Then the researchers subjected them to stressful situations -- such as speaking in public and doing verbal arithmetic -- and noted their blood pressure response to stress.
Those who had intercourse had better responses to stress than those who engaged in other sexual behaviors or abstained.
Another study published in the same journal found that frequent intercourse was associated with lower diastolic blood pressure in cohabiting participants. Yet other research found a link between partner hugs and lower blood pressure in women.

2. Sex Boosts Immunity
Good sexual health may mean better physical health. Having sex once or twice a week has been linked with higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A or IgA, which can protect you from getting colds and other infections. Scientists at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., took samples of saliva, which contain IgA, from 112 college students who reported the frequency of sex they had.
Those in the "frequent" group -- once or twice a week -- had higher levels of IgA than those in the other three groups -- who reported being abstinent, having sex less than once a week, or having it very often, three or more times weekly.

3. Sex Burns Calories
Thirty minutes of sex burns 85 calories or more. It may not sound like much, but it adds up: 42 half-hour sessions will burn 3,570 calories, more than enough to lose a pound. Doubling up, you could drop that pound in 21 hour-long sessions.
"Sex is a great mode of exercise," says Patti Britton, PhD, a Los Angeles sexologist and president of the American Association of Sexuality Educators and Therapists. It takes work, from both a physical and psychological perspective, to do it well, she says.

4. Sex Improves Cardiovascular Health
While some older folks may worry that the efforts expended during sex could cause a stroke, that's not so, according to researchers from England. In a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, scientists found frequency of sex was not associated with stroke in the 914 men they followed for 20 years.
And the heart health benefits of sex don't end there. The researchers also found that having sex twice or more a week reduced the risk of fatal heart attack by half for the men, compared with those who had sex less than once a month.

5. Sex Boosts Self-Esteem
Boosting self-esteem was one of 237 reasons people have sex, collected by University of Texas researchers and published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.
That finding makes sense to Gina Ogden, PhD, a sex therapist and marriage and family therapist in Cambridge, Mass., although she finds that those who already have self-esteem say they sometimes have sex to feel even better. "One of the reasons people say they have sex is to feel good about themselves," she tells WebMD. "Great sex begins with self-esteem, and it raises it. If the sex is loving, connected, and what you want, it raises it."

6. Sex Improves Intimacy
Having sex and orgasms increases levels of the hormone oxytocin, the so-called love hormone, which helps us bond and build trust. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and the University of North Carolina evaluated 59 premenopausal women before and after warm contact with their husbands and partners ending with hugs. They found that the more contact, the higher the oxytocin levels.
"Oxytocin allows us to feel the urge to nurture and to bond," Britton says.
Higher oxytocin has also been linked with a feeling of generosity. So if you're feeling suddenly more generous toward your partner than usual, credit the love hormone.

7. Sex Reduces Pain
As the hormone oxytocin surges, endorphins increase, and pain declines. So if your headache, arthritis pain, or PMS symptoms seem to improve after sex, you can thank those higher oxytocin levels.
In a study published in the Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine, 48 volunteers who inhaled oxytocin vapor and then had their fingers pricked lowered their pain threshold by more than half.

8. Sex Reduces Prostate Cancer Risk
Frequent ejaculations, especially in 20-something men, may reduce the risk of prostate cancer later in life, Australian researchers reported in the British Journal of Urology International. When they followed men diagnosed with prostate cancer and those without, they found no association of prostate cancer with the number of sexual partners as the men reached their 30s, 40s, and 50s.
But they found men who had five or more ejaculations weekly while in their 20s reduced their risk of getting prostate cancer later by a third.
Another study, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that frequent ejaculations, 21 or more a month, were linked to lower prostate cancer risk in older men, as well, compared with less frequent ejaculations of four to seven monthly.

9. Sex Strengthens Pelvic Floor Muscles
For women, doing a few pelvic floor muscle exercises known as Kegels during sex offers a couple of benefits. You will enjoy more pleasure, and you'll also strengthen the area and help to minimize the risk of incontinence later in life.
To do a basic Kegel exercise, tighten the muscles of your pelvic floor, as if you're trying to stop the flow of urine. Count to three, then release.

10. Sex Helps You Sleep Better
The oxytocin released during orgasm also promotes sleep, according to research.
And getting enough sleep has been linked with a host of other good things, such as maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure. Something to think about, especially if you've been wondering why your guy can be active one minute and snoring the next.

So get to it people!! Stay happy and healthy!! :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


It's finally here! My day of freedom!! Today I officially lost 250 pounds by making my divorce final! Man it feels amazing...

I woke up this morning with feelings of dread. Dreading the day that was about to unfold. I took a shower, got dressed and sent the kids off to school like it was any other day. I arrived at work and tried to focus on what was in front of me. It didn't happen. The only thing I could think about was closing the chapter of my life entitled "My First Marriage".

A little over nine years ago, I entered into a marriage with the intentions of spending the rest of my life with this person. We talked about having kids, having a home and growing old together. Nowhere in that conversation was divorce even a sub-topic. That's not something you want to think about when you're young and in love. But as time moved on, we grew apart and things passed the point of no return. Our relationship was beyond repair and no matter what was done or said, we couldn't make it work.

So here I am and I can't help but hold this bittersweet feeling. I am glad that the marriage is over and that I can move on with my life. I have now found my soulmate and will be starting a new life with him and our kids. But at the same time, I can't help but feel like I failed. I was unable to keep my marriage from falling apart. Nine years of my life are gone and I can't get them back.

There is something good that came out of my broken marriage. I have three of the most beautiful kids in the world. They are healthy, so smart and just plain amazing! I can look at them and know that the last nine years were worth something.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Whatta jerk...

I have had about all I can take from my ex. I despise the man and can't wait to be thousands of miles away from him. But even then, sadly, I will be tied to him for the rest of my life because of our three children.

My ex has a very negative effect on me. For years, I allowed him to push me down and treat me horribly. I changed who I was because I thought that would make him happy. I gave things up that I loved to do because he didn't like them. Everyday, I saw my wants and my dreams fall even further behind because I was not strong enough to tell him no.

Since leaving him, I've slowly climbed out of that hole. I have felt better emotionally, mentally and even physically. I have a better relationship with my parents, my sister and especially my children. But then, there are days like today where I lose myself again and fall back into that dark place.

I am so tired of dealing with this. Our court date to end our 9 year marriage is Tuesday, August 26th. I could not be any more excited. I know that he will always be a part of my life but this will close that chapter and allow me to start anew. I have made a vow to myself to not allow him to affect me like this any longer. He's not worth the energy it takes to be upset anymore.

I have to be a strong, positive role model for my kids. I have such a wonderful, bright, adventurous life ahead of me and I can't wait to start living it! I have the most amazing people around me and I am so blessed to be able to call on anyone of them in a time of need. My children are going to be alright and I know that I will be too.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Life...as it is...

Throughout these blogs, I have written extensively about the love of my life. Baines, if you will. Baines is currently serving in the US Army as an instructor in Military Intelligence. As with anything military, his "job" takes him around the world quite frequently. (I don't like to call what he does a job. It's more of a way of life really.)

Now that things are getting more and more serious between the two of us, he has asked me to join him on this journey. Of course, in reading my blogs you already know that I have accepted. I knew going into a relationship with him meant taking on the Army lifestyle. The discipline, the order, the uncertainty of what the next day could bring. I know that it is something that I can handle, support my man everyday and do my best to raise our family, such that it is. That was until this past Tuesday.

Baines called me at work telling me he had bad news. My heart stopped as images of me kissing him goodbye as he boards a plane to Iraq flash through my head. Okay, so it's not Iraq, just Washington state. I'm speechless. I knew that he would get orders sometime but I wasn't expecting it to be this soon into our relationship. After a few minutes of stunned silence, he asks "Will you follow me to Washington?" How can I say no to the man I love? This is the life he leads and if I want to be with him, I will follow him anywhere.

As the day went on and the reality of what was happening started to sink in, I began to talk myself out of it. Anyone who knows me knows that I am damn good at doing that! I began listing all the reasons not to go.
1) It rains in Washington...alot!!
2) It's about 2,500 miles away from my family.
3) The extra stress on Baines.
4) Getting me, my kids and all our stuff to the other side of the country $$$$$$
Baines wants to continue his Army career and that means more schooling and time away. I would be left with the kids while he furthered himself and I knew that was an issue he was dealing with. He doesn't deserve that stress and I don't want to be the one to put that on him.

The one and only reason for me to follow him is simple: I love him and want to spend the rest of my life with him no matter where that may be. So, it looks like I am about to become a citizen of the great state of Washington. What do they call themselves anyway? It's a new adventure and a new life for us and our five (yes!! FIVE!!) children. Let's see where this takes us...

Saturday, August 2, 2008


I was always the maternal one growing up. I was certified in adult and infant CPR as a 11-year-old and started my own babysitting services to earn spending money. I loved being around kids and taking care of babies. Then I had my own and let me tell ya. There is no amount of babysitting that can prepare you for your own children.

First of all, when babysitting, there is always a time limit. The child's parents are eventually coming home to relieve you of your duties. Sure, you've spent the last three hours changing dirty diapers, cleaning up the Kool-Aid mess in the white carpet and being the referee as the siblings fight. But you get to go home! Not so when they're your own! As a parent, you're lucky to get to pee alone!

Secondly, as a babysitter, you can make mad money. As a teenage girl, I was raking in the dough watching the neighborhood kids and using my earnings on the latest lip gloss. Now, I have three kids 24/7 and I'm losing money! Someone needs to explain that one...

But for all these issues, I have to say there are more good moments than bad ones when you finally have your own children. Everyday, there is someone waiting for me to come home, sweep them up in my arms and kiss on them. No matter what kind of day I have had or how badly I screwed up that meeting with a client, there are three little people who still adore me. I can do no wrong in my kids eyes.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Standards too High?? Nah!!

I miss him. I miss him so much that it hurts. There is an ache in my chest that won't go away and seems to grow worse as the days pass. I feel like a part of my soul is missing. In 18 days we will see each other again. 18 days that seems like a lifetime to me now.

I can't even begin to explain my feelings for this man. He is the most incredible man I have ever known and I can't wait to start our life together. This is the man I want to make memories with, the man I want to raise my children with, the man I want to grow old with. And I finally found him...

Just like any other young girl, I used to fantasize about what I wanted in a man. He had to, of course, be attractive, smart and funny. But I always had specifics in mind as well. He needed to have a zest for life, a constant passion for the woman in his life, and just had to get me through and through. I wanted a soulmate. Some would say that I had set my standards too high and that finding someone that could meet all those specifications would prove impossible. And the more men I met, the more I began to believe that my soulmate did not exist.

I settled more than once and more than once, my heart was broken. It was devastating and the search was exhausting. I finally came to the conclusion that what I wanted from a man was unattainable. Giving up was my only option. But the universe has a funny way of working out because once I quit looking, he was so neatly placed on my doorstep. He is exactly everything that I always wanted in a man and so much more. He loves me with such passion, his attention to detail is impeccable and he lets it be known everyday that I am the woman for the rest of his life.

Moral of the story? Don't ever give up on what you want out of a relationship, no matter the nature. Your life and your needs are far too important to compromise. The sooner that you realize that giving up on what you truly want is not an option, the less heartbreaks that you will have to deal with. Don't let anyone in your life tell you that your standards are impossible for anyone to reach because there will always be someone out there for everyone.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ahh...the Memories...

Today I took a small stroll down memory lane. I'm not a pack rat by any means, but I do keep the sentimental things close by. I tend to keep old letters, greeting cards, small ribbons, movie and concert ticket stubs. Some people may call it junk, but it's a symbol of my life before. These small pieces of nostalgia remind me of where I have been, the wonderful people I met along the way and the good times in my life. The also allow me to see how far I have come and where I may be headed.

In this day of technology, there doesn't seem to be much room for nostalgia. No one takes time to stop and remember anymore. Life is moving at such a rapid pace and everyday there is a new invention created to help you keep up. I am addicted to my cell phone. I can not leave the house without it! There have been times that I have been late to work because I forgot my phone at home, turned the car around and gone back to fetch it. And I know that I am not the only one! What did we do before this fabulous invention? How did I survive my teenage years without a cell phone?

Writing letters to keep up with the people in your life was as common as breathing when I was a kid. In elementary school, we learned what a pen-pal was and everyone had one. I recently asked my eight year old daughter if she knew what a pen-pal was. She had no clue! With the introduction of the world wide web, there is no need to contact someone else on the other side of the world to learn about their culture and way of life. You just Google it. Gotta love Google. The answer to everything.

I often wonder what this world will hold for my grandchildren. It saddens me that the need for human contact may be eliminated by that time. No need to hug someone. There is sure to be some kind of gadget for that.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The only person responsible for your happiness is yourself. There could not be a truer statement. This world is full of people who blame their insecurities, lack of self-esteem and plain unhappiness on someone else. But when you point fingers, there are always four pointing back at you.I am responsible for my own happiness. I have to do what I need to do in order for me to live a fulfilled, nourished and productive life. Then why am I feeling such guilt about going after what makes me happy?

I have been given the opportunity to begin a new chapter in my life with the man I love who lives at least six states away. When the question was intially posed to me, I jumped immediately to yes. But the more I thought about what that would involve, I began to try and talk myself out of it. Usually, I can talk myself out of anything. And I mean anything. "It couldn't possible work; I have three children to think about; what would I do without my family so close?" I ran every scenario in my head and everytime, my fears and questions were washed away by the simple fact that because we love each other, it will work.

Now the guilt has set in. My children's well-being is my top priority. I would be moving my children from the only home they have ever known and away from the family that they have grown so close to. I worry that I am being selfish and putting myself and my needs before theirs. Will they grow to resent me and my decision to move them across the country away from all they're familiar with?

It comes down to the simple fact that if I do not take care of myself, I can't possibly take care of my children. Yes, my children are still young, but I need to take the leap and live my life so that I can be in a better state of mind to raise them to be the best people they can possibly be. Hopefully, they will look back and see that whatever choices I made in my life, I ultimately had them in mind.

I still run the scenarios of "what ifs" and each time I do, the guilt begins to lessen as my fears dissipate. No matter what a person does in their life that makes them happy, there will always be someone who is dissapointed. But I am learning that life is short and there are no second chances. Live life to the fullest and make your own happiness, whatever that may be.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Feeling of Love

A lot of people claim to have been in love before. But how do you know for sure that what is going on is in fact love? I've asked friends that fateful question and the only response I have ever heard is "You just know." That doesn't help a person who is looking for a more logical answer.

I've been on a mission lately to find a way to explaining what love is to someone who has never felt this tricky emotion. So far, the only thing that has happened is that I have fallen in love myself. I know what you're thinking, "How do you know it's love?" I just know.

We'll call him Baines and he's absolutely the most amazing man that I have ever known. The real catch is that I have know him for the past 15 years. Both of us attended the same middle school and may have even shared a class or two together. High school evidently followed and again, maybe a class or two. We even had mutual friends and attended some of the same functions. But never once did he make a move on me and truthfully, he was not even on the radar for me.

After graduation, both of us went our seperate ways. Baines' life led him to join the military and explore the world. He soon married and became the father of two children. I, like him, married and had children of my own, only on the other side of our beloved country. During this time, never an email was sent, a phone call made to the other person. We were merely living our own lives.

As our 10-year high school reunion rapidly approached, I could see my marriage crumbling before my very eyes. I saw the reunion as a much needed vacation from all the problems I had been dealing with. A month before leaving, I received an email from my old high school friend saying how he was so excited to see me and talk with me once again. I, too, was excited and could not wait to get out of this town.

I approached the bar and immediately felt nervous. Would everyone around me be able to see through my smiling mask to what lied beneath? A torn, lonely woman in a horrendous marriage? A stiff drink was much needed. As I stood waiting for the bartender, I noticed him. Baines was an exquisite site and he had me immediately. I approached him, said hello and wrapped my arms around his strong physique. My, how he had grown up! This was not the same boy I knew from 10 years ago. He was more masculine, stronger, more confident.

As the night wore on and the more drinks I consumed, I found myself looking for him through the crowd of alumni. Baines moved from one person to the next and soon I found him next to me as I sat with friends. His hand touched my knee and I could feel myself melting. What a warm feeling! He removed his hand almost immediately but it was long enough for his touch to be burned into my memory forever.

At the end of the evening, I made it a point to find Baines and say good night. He noticed me walking towards him, opened his arms and pulled me close to him. Then he said something that stuck with me, "If you weren't married, I'd kiss you." Unbeknownest to him, those words were the catalyst to end my miserable existence as someone's wife.

I left my hometown a few days later and began the journey to a new life almost immediately. After many lonely nights of crying myself to sleep, I left my husband. It was one of the hardest things for me to do with my children but I knew that we would all be happy in the long run. A short time later, I received an email from Baines just saying hello. None of my friends from my past knew about the end of my marriage, this was a welcomed coincidence.

Baines and I began to talk over the phone, through email and text. We began to learn more and more about each other. He told me of his divorce from his wife and how he had grown from the shattered pieces of his marriage. He listened as I cried about the way I was wronged and how, at a time, I felt that the ruin was my fault. Our conversations grew longer and more frequent. We were able to discuss topics I never discussed with another man before.

I began to plan a trip to my hometown and he gradually became a big part of that planning. We grew excited to get to spend time with each other and learn more about what makes each other tick. Shortly afterwards, he stated that he was in deed falling for me. How could this be possible? This statement scared the both of us and I wasn't sure how to take it. From across the country, this man was falling for me?

The time had come for my trip and both of us were scared and excited at the same time. This would be the ultimate test. Would it be so awkward that the time together would be a nightmare or would we just click face to face? Thank God for the latter! We fell into each other's arms and never let go. We confessed our love for each other and began making future plans. We even spent a night at that fateful bar where this story starts.

Now comes the hard part. We are currently apart and missing each other everyday. The phone conversations have taken on new meaning and my love for Baines continue to grow day by day. He has asked me and my children to move in with him and I have never wanted something so much in my life. To get to spend everyday with the man I love is true bliss.

This feeling in my gut tells me that this is love. Believe me, it's not all roses and sunshine. I have days that I am so torn up by these feelings that I can barely breathe. But I know that tomorrow will be a new day; a new day to learn something about him, a new day to love him even more and a new day to feel that someone out there loves me just the same.

You ask how I know? There just is not a logical explanation. There isn't a word in the English language that can explain the emotions, the fear and the rollercoaster ride that love holds. I just know.

Who I am...

I'm almost 30 years old. I've always been ready for 30. Even as a teenager, I thought to myself "30 is going to be great!" My life would be set, complete and I would be on the right course. My career would be in full swing, my family life would be on track and I would have found my soulmate. Well, things don't always turn out quite as you planned.

Now I won't officially be 30 for about seven more months. Let's get that straight right now. Still in my twenties. Ah, the Twenties. A decade of screwing things up and, hopefully, learning from them. I started off right. At the age of 19, I met a man who was great. He promised to love me eternally and take care of me for the rest of my life. We were engaged in a few shorts months and at the tender age of 20, I was a married woman. Not nine months later, we welcomed our first daughter into our lives.

My 21st birthday was spent breastfeeding a 3-month old. While all other people spent that long awaited age drinking it up, I was tending to my newborn. I didn't mind because the man I loved was by my side. Two years later, a daughter followed and a little more than a year later, a son. I felt so lucky and loved my children more than life itself.

Things started to take a noisedive around 24. I left a job that I dearly loved to take care of our three children and was promised that everything would be alright. For two years, with only one income, our finances were dwindling. What was happening, I couldn't understand. Money was missing and my beloved had all the right answers. I was told again, "I will take care of you and things will be okay." I went back to work.

At the age of 28, I was a homeowner for the first time. I was so excited!! It was by no means my dream house, but I realized that you have to start somewhere. I began to busy myself by working on making our house a home. I wanted my family to be comfortable and safe in our home and feel love everytime they passed through the front door. I wanted my friends to feel warmth and caring with every visit. Then, the letter came. We were losing our home. Again, I was told, "I will take care of you and things will be okay." Our house was sold at auction and we had to leave.

Then, shortly after reaching the age of 29, I wised up. I picked myself up off the floor, took my children and left that man who lied to me for 10 long years. It was the best decision I ever made in my Twenties. It wasn't easy but after being alone in every way that you could possibly imagine, I knew that I needed and deserved a life far better than the one I was living. Now, I am working on getting my life in order. Living my life in the Thirties will be better. It's got to be!