Have You…

“Have you blogged lately?” my darling husband asked, after a seemingly restless evening.  He doesn’t read my blog much (not that anyone does,) so it meant a lot to me that he noticed that I hadn’t put many thoughts down as of late.  I felt oddly heard?  Noticed?  Acknowledged?  It felt good that he’d asked about something that I’d been doing… or haven’t for that matter.

I’ve been pretty stressed out lately.

I’m not as happy as I once was with my work situation.  I mean it’s a far cry from the job I had before that made me come home in tears every day.  But the back and forth back and forth just isn’t okay.  Re-negotiations on my pay scales, approved overtime to work on special projects no longer available because a part timer person will just be brought in to take on some of my regular tasks so that I can focus on something else that has nothing to do with our company.  Not enough staffing to be able to take a sick day when I can barely breathe.  Worrying about if there’s going to be enough money in the bank in a few months to be able to pay all of the expenses.  That should be a personal problem, not a professional problem.  Overtime that was supposed to be paid out weekly in the new year turned into time-in-lieu instead…..trying to figure out how to take 6 weeks off from work between said time in lieu + vacation time.  It just sucks ’cause the bossman is an excellent person and has helped our family out a great deal.  But when it comes to workflow, everything is in shambles.  If I were single without stepchildren, maybe I wouldn’t care as much, but my marriage and my relationships with my husband’s children are more important to me than that.

Which brings me to my next point of stress.  Being a step parent sucks sometimes.  It’s wonderful because it’s filled a little bit of a void I’ve had on the kid front.  After having 5 miscarriages and not being able to have children of my own, I sometimes struggle with knowing I’m an amazing parent and that I have a lot to contribute to a tiny life…..it’s just that I can’t bring that life into this world.  It sucks because something that happened before me dictates part of my current life.  It sucks more because I don’t directly have a voice in the matter; thankfully my husband stands his ground now and voices what’s best for all involved, even in the face of objection.
Over the last 2 years, my step kids’ bio mom hasn’t given me the time of day.  I’ve tried to put many different olive branches out there and have tried to bridge the gap.  I’ve gone out of my way to try to not cross boundaries and to put a hard divide between mom and step mom.  I know that I’m not her favorite person.  I know that she has certain insecurities.  And that’s okay.  But what’s not okay is not giving another human being a certain degree of common courtesy, then just inviting yourself over to interact with them.  I’m sorry, if you can’t so much as say hello to me in a public place, you have no business trying to integrate yourself into my life.  I’m thankful that he told her no.  I’m thankful that he stood up for me.  I wish I could stand up for myself, though.

Anywho, these things have been weighing on me.  Plus being sick hasn’t helped.  The kids were sick, then I had a fit of allergy madness, then my husband got sick and is getting over the crud, but now the kids are back and one of them is sick…again…. I swear they’re always sick. Sometimes it just feels like there’s always something, and no amount of self care really helps alleviate the stress.  So that’s sorta where I’m at right now and the reason for the lack of blogging.  Hopefully soon I’ll snap out of it and will have the mental capacity to write on a regular basis again.

 

Happy Anniversary

I am the woman that rocked a leather jacket with her backless lace wedding dress. He is the man who cracks off the most insane puns and dad jokes without missing a beat. We are unique. Together we are the perfect pair.

They say that the first year of marriage is always the most difficult. Although my husband and I have faced many obstacles together, I didn’t find our first year of marriage to be that tough. Maybe it was the leather. Maybe it was the constant stream of laughs.

We faced a lot. My immigration and permanent residency. His ongoing co-parenting (or lack thereof) BS. My necessary job change. Vehicle breakdowns. The death of my grandfather and of my piece of crap mother. Unexpectedly reworking an already tight budget and moving. Loss of friends. A crazy work season. It. Was. A. Lot.

We never fought though. We’ve had ample discussions, learning experiences, and struggles, but we’ve never had an actual fight. Some may think that’s a bad thing, but I think it’s amazing. I’m moved by the amount that we communicate. Neither of us are perfect by any means, but we are certainly perfect for each other.

I adore our marriage. We still go on dates. He opens doors for me. I tickle him every night. We spend quality time with one another. We help each other with household chores. We grocery shop together. He’s my best friend and my biggest cheerleader in life. The support that we have for one another is breathtaking.

Getting married didn’t change our relationship, it just removed some of the barriers of our circumstance. I know of a lot of couples that once they tied the knot, everything changed. I’m thankful that my husband is my rock and a constant in my life. He lets me dance to the beat of my own drum, but makes sure to help me be grounded when I need it. I’ve never experienced such an amazing soul.

Thanks for the amazing year babe! I look forward to growing old with you. Happy Anniversary ❤️

Lazy Day

Because of the most absurd custody arrangement that my husband is subjected to, every Christmas day is fairly uneventful. We dropped the kids off on Christmas Eve and proceeded to have some much needed time together.

We had a full on lazy day.

We stayed in bed longer than normal. We had a huge brunch and played video games. We watched some Netflix. We cooked supper then played some more video games. Aside from a couple of hectic phonecalls, today was pleasantly uneventful.

We needed it.

I don’t think people truly appreciate the impact that the occasional lazy day can have on people. How well it can help rejuvenate and refresh you from being so run down.

The Comfort of Snow

Growing up, snow made me uneasy. The great snow of 1989 in North Carolina was particularly unsettling. I was incredibly young. My dad made me a slushy from the snow and a Coca-Cola. In the evening, he and my mother got into a nasty fight. My life changed for the worse during that snow storm. The next time I saw snow was Autumn of my 16th time around the sun. I’d just moved to Kentucky because my father and I had an explosive fight where we nearly killed each other. Literally. When I arrived, the first couple of days were bright and sunny. But then, overnight, there was a few inches of snow on the ground. I woke up thinking my mother was playing a sick prank on me. While walking home from my first day at my new school in that snow, my older step sister was waiting outside for me letting me know that the house was mostly empty, that her dad decided to leave my mother, and that she wanted to make sure it had nothing to do with me or coming to KY. She made sure to remind me that I was loved and that she was sorry. I got blamed for it anyway. The only enjoyable memory I really have involving snow (prior to moving to Canada) was the time I had the opportunity to be with my godson during his first snow experience. It was amazing. But he’s a boy I’ll likely never see again, so that in itself makes it sad. Most of my car problems throughout my driving history have been in the snow. Snow was always just kinda messy for me.

But it seems that since I’ve moved, my views on snow has changed. Canadian Snow is different. I got engaged while snow still covered the ground. It snowed on my wedding day. I’ve had snowball fights with my step children. I’ve kissed in the snow, laughed in the snow, danced in the snow. So many good memories are being made to replace the bad ones.

The past couple of weeks have been stressful. My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer then died a few days later. It temporarily put me on an emotional roller coaster that I promptly found a way off of. I “broke up” with someone that was once my best friend. I grew tired of only being important when it was convenient for people, and she was one of them. Friends have seen her make snide remarks about it in various tagged posts on Facebook. It’s stupid and petty. For a couple of days, work was abnormally rough, but thankfully rebounded. I feel like garbage from my flu shot. My back is killing me from contortionist positions I had to get into for our family photo shoots, reminding me that I’m not as young or as flexible as I used to be. Then both of our vehicles decided to crap out at the same time, thankfully one of them being an easy fix, but the other will be costly. My stepchildren have been jerks all weekend. And to put the icing on the cake I got a snarky “That’s right, come to your mama” along with a smug glare when passing off my youngest stepson to his mother. It was really just shit I didn’t need added to my plate.

Just when I thought I couldn’t deal with any more crap, I looked out of the window and saw it snowing outside. Not much – a light dusting – but it’s cold enough for the snow to stay for a few days. I found it oddly comforting. As I watched the snow create a thin blanket over the ground, I felt my frustrations fall away with it. None of the above things matter. I deserve better than how people have and do treat me in life. (And I’m thankful to those who put as much back into me as I put into them.) The snow falling made the things that I can’t control just fall away. Had you asked me years ago if I’d ever like snow, I’d have laughed. But now? I find it rather relaxing. Here’s to snow, the blanket of comfort and solitude.

Happy Canadaversary

Exactly one year ago, my dog and I came to Canada. Mold in my home displaced me, so I ended up moving to be with my husband before we anticipated. How have I been the past year?

Well let’s see. I married my best friend, became a stepmother, and now have an awesome family. I got my permanent residency. Per my last post, I’ve found that I don’t mean as much to some people as I thought. It’s a lot colder here. I’ve been treated like absolute shit by my stepchildren’s mother. I’ve been treated incredibly by everyone else. I had a horrible job, then got a really great one. I’m a lot less stressed. I’m healthy and happy. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve grown as a person.

Canada looks good on me. I’m thankful that I had the ability to pack it all up to be able to be with my husband so that we could have a new life together. Happy Camadaversary. It’ll be nice growing old here.

Til Ikea Do Us Part

“In sickness and in health, til death do us part.”

Maybe there should be something about insanity and Ikea added in there.

My husband and I live in a small, but comfortable, two bedroom home. Here they’re called suites, back home it’d be considered a duplex or a mother-in-law apartment. The house was finished being built about a year and a half ago, the price can’t be beat, and our landlady is amazing. The downfall is that my husband has 3 children, so things can be a little cramped when they’re home here.

When we decided to lease this place, I started the hunt for some furniture for the kids. I opted for the Tuffing bunkbed from Ikea. It holds twin sized mattresses, but is also short and low to the ground – tall bunks make me nervous from a safety standpoint. Plus, of the two bedrooms, one is quite a bit smaller than the other. We’ve had the two older kids in the smaller room and the youngest in our room, which was fine, but limited their play spaces. This weekend we opted to change the arrangements around and put all three kiddos into the larger room, giving my husband and I the smaller of the two so that the kids have more room to play, even with their little brother’s bed in there too. The final result is fantastic, but it was certainly an adventure getting there.

As I mentioned above, the Tuffing bed is great because it holds twin mattresses instead of kid sized ones and it’s fairly low to the ground. (I can make up the top bed without having to climb up there.) The downfall? It’s a major pain in the ass to put together. Even bigger downfall? It’s an even bigger pain in the ass to take apart and reassemble. But we did it. There was blood. But we did it. There was cussing. But we did it.

We did it.

And you know what? It gave me this odd sense of added security in our marriage. My husband and I have always worked well together, communicated efficiently, and BOTH put a lot of effort into our marriage. Tearing down a large piece of Ikea furniture ad reconstructing it together with minimal issue feels like an odd token of our ability to work together. Take that Ikea!

I hope the kids enjoy their new space as we try to save up for the ability to move into a larger home in the future ❤️

At Peace

As I lay here next to my husband, listening to him breathe as he sleeps, I’m finally at peace. The last couple of months have been exhausting.

Back in April, I started a new job that I ended up hating. Well, it wasn’t the job itself, but was the culture in the office. I was surrounded by constant negativity and it was draining. The only good thing that came out of that place was meeting a woman who quickly became a very close friend. I ended up quitting with no notice, per the suggestions of a confidant. That made way for dialogues to open up about the culture and to hopefully make some lasting changes there. Thankfully, I start training at a new job tomorrow that I could see myself retiring from. I can’t wait!! The pay won’t be as good, but at least I’ll enjoy the position and the company.

Two weeks ago, my husband and I travelled a couple hours north. Why? Because I landed as a permanent resident of Canada! Everything went by fairly quick and was relatively painless. This past week I received my PR card in the mail, which will make travels easier. Though I had no concerns about our applications, I feel relieved. After almost 2 years of a long distance relationship, it’s comforting that I don’t have to ever be apart from my husband unless we are traveling by choice. Everything feels finalized and in order, like the puzzle pieces have fit together.

And finally, we had my stepchildren for almost two weeks straight for part of their summer break. It, for the most part, was amazing. But any time they saw or talked to their mother, the chaos reset and the kids spent that day (and sometimes part of the next) fighting with each other. I have no idea why it causes it, but I wish it wouldn’t happen or cause so much disruption. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to travel like we originally planned, but I feel like it was a blessing in disguise. The kids have otherwise been shuffled around from camp to camp, traveled, and have been extremely busy. They hadn’t really had time to just wind down and relax. So that’s exactly what we did outside of local family trips to the park and lake. We planned lots of fun things at home like board games, painting sessions, and did things as a family. We even did a theater night at home that they absolutely loved! My oldest stepson did not want to leave, which broke my heart. Every time he has to go, he grows more and more bitter about it. So many things with him remind me of myself when I was his age, navigating my own parent’s divorce. I don’t want that for him. It’ll lead to resentment when he’s older, and I truly don’t want that for his mother either. He’s a smart kid and even though he’s a few months shy of 8, he’s already figured so many things out about the dynamics of what’s going on. And I have no idea how to protect him from being bitter. I just try to do what my step mom did and just be loving and supportive. I listen. I think that’s the biggest thing… I listen.

I look forward to having the time to blog again. And I’m thankful for being able to feel like I can breathe again.