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 ❤️

Holiday Hysteria

I’m tired.


Huge shout-out to my darling husband.  He is by far the most patient man alive. Thanks for your support babe. No clue what I’d do without you.

Why do I give him incredible praise right now for his patience?  Well. Lately I’ve been working a solid 50 hours per week, usually 7 days per week, not including all the texts and emails I’ve tended to while at home. When he gets off work, he comes to my office, and we have microwaved leftovers for supper on styrofoam plates with plastic forks. It’s tense, but at least we get to have a meal together.

When I took this job, we knew that the Christmas season would be hell. Just another week of chaos left.  We’re in the home stretch, but I’ve got a huge push to do so that I can get all of the financials in order for the company. Preemptive payroll, finalize schedules, figuring out what to do with a shithead employee who has caused a pretty big ruckus.  Blah.

This weekend, we finally had some work-free and kid-free time to spend together. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and I love my stepchildren, but nothing tops being able to spend some one-on-one time with my better half. 

Despite my longing to have more time to tend to our marriage, I look forward to our family get-together.  This year we had family photos done and had them turned into gorgeous Christmas cards. Annnnnnd we have something huge planned for the kids.

I’ve found a new love for the holidays, but man they’re exhausting and I can hardly wait for it to be over!

Bubbles

Never underestimate the power of a good bubble bath.

It’s been a rough few months. One thing after another after another. I’ve honestly been surprised that I’ve been in as good spirits as I have been. I credit that to my amazing husband who knows exactly how to make me laugh (or at the very least shake my head.)

After a rough October, November didn’t pan out to be much better. Once we got our vehicles back on the road, my landlady called me upstairs for a chat. She said that her ex hadn’t paid child support in 11 months and that she was looking at going back to trial, so it was going to cost her another $10,000. Because of that, she wanted to raise our rent by over 4% and also wanted us to pay 1/3 of it in cash. Why? Because “her tax guy” told her to so that it would reduce her income and property tax. The woman, in not so few words, asked me to help her commit fraud. No thanks. But she’s telling people that she’s increasing it due to us having “higher utilities than expected,” which is a load of garbage.

I asked for help from someone I trust to figure out what we should do. He immediately starts making calls, finds us a new place to live that’s at least twice as large, tells me how the budget would work, helps us negotiate a lower price, and helps navigate us through breaking our lease. Things got ugly. After we turned our 30 day notice in, the landlady came downstairs screaming and yelling at us. Just what I needed on top of everything else.

It started as the fight, then protests and threats in emails. Then things got petty like scheduling viewings every day of the week. Finally, we got some help from the Office of Rental Tenancies here, and should be in the clear. She’s still being ugly over the move out process, but I know where she can go and can tell her how to get there… In a handbasket.

Everything hurts. We moved a solid 95% of our belongings in about 3 hours. Unfortunately most of our connections were out of town, with the exception of one of my employees that graciously came to help. Everything still hurts.

We moved from a small ~700 sq ft 2 bedroom mother-in-law apartment (or “suites” as they’re called in Canada) to a townhouse. There’s still only 2 actual bedrooms, but they’re larger and it has a full basement as well. We’re converting the basement into a 3rd bedroom and playroom for the kids. Hell, our walk in closet is so big, it could have been used as sleeping quarters for the youngest kiddo. Oh yeah, and it has an extra half bathroom, which is fantastic. We have a teeny tiny little yard, a teeny tiny little white picket fence, and a teeny tiny little porch. They’re all far cries from the stoop and sidewalk we had before. We have parking!

The best part of all? The bathtub. One of the only things I was iffy about when deciding to move was having a nice tub. (Not that I was able to use it frequently at the old place because my landlady griped about the water bill all the time, even though it was only $20-30 higher every month from before we moved in.) But, as a tall girl, once you have a tub that can fit your legs and boobs under the water at the same time ….it’s just hard to give that up. The new place has an equally great tub. A little more narrow, but a little deeper. It’s amazing.

So here I lie, second night in a row, having a nice Epsom salt and vanilla scented bubble bath. Soaking the aches and stresses of the past month away is really nice. Behold the power of bubbles!

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.

Move On and Let Go

If you ever want to know how much you do or don’t mean to someone, move.

Since moving to Canada and marrying my husband, my life has been infinitely better. My stress levels have been immensely reduced. I’m healthy. Hell, I’m actually happy. I can’t recall a period of time in my life prior to this where I was genuinely happy. It’s nice to finally feel comfortable in life. Sure finances could be better and it’d be nice for it to be less of a struggle for my husband to get time with his children. But in the grand scheme of things, my life is pretty stress free by comparison. It’s given me a lot of focus and ability to evaluate things that are important to me.

Of all of the people I thought I was close to in the US, only three people put forth as much effort into our relationship as I do: my dad, my old boss, and the friend I gave a surprise visit to last month. That’s it. I have one other friend that moved to Georgia a couple years prior to my moving here. We touch base on occasion in the same frequency that we always have since she moved first, so I suppose she counts too. Beyond that? I’ve found that I mean a lot less to others than they did to me. It was a harsh reality to face. I realized there were people that I tried to nurture and continue friendships with that it was only me trying. The last few weeks I stopped being the first one to reach out to those I cared about. Did many notice? Nope.

What’s frustrating is all of these people are on social media. I see them active in Messengers, posting statuses or whatever, but can’t take 5 minutes to simply say hi. It hurt figuring out that I wasn’t worth 5 minutes to many people. Especially since most of them knew about my father’s recent grim medical diagnosis. No one bothered to check up on it. And I guess when your self absorbed, narcissistic, asshole of a dad cares more about you than some of the people you’ve poured your heart and soul into, it makes you realize that maybe it’s time to stop clinging to what once was and embrace the present and bravely move forward.

Its tough. I’m a creature of habit. I always thought that I hated change, but moving to another country was a huge one. Getting married was a big change. Changing jobs – twice – were major. Maybe letting go of people who don’t show the same kind of care to me that I have to them is a change I need to embrace too. I still have the aforementioned couple of people back home that care for me. I have a great family here (albeit by marriage.) And I’ve started making new friends too.

Maybe moving forward isn’t so scary after all.

Exposure

I love my job.

I get to come in contacted with people from ALL over the world. I’ve met people from Greece, India, Egypt, Russia, and everywhere in between.

Recently I met a couple from, where I assume was, Saudi Arabia. They came into our storefront, the husband wearing jeans and a nice t-shirt, the wife donning a black Niqab, fully covering all but her eyes. Before really speaking, I tried to feel out the situation and vibe. My only experience with anyone from Saudi Arabia was in the US and in passing. They were very standoffish and reserved there, but I feel it was with good reason. There, anyone who looks like they’re from the Middle East are heavily discriminated against. Canada is a different story. Here, this couple was pleasant and friendly. Maybe they hadn’t been subjected to the same hatred, or maybe they didn’t carry that burden with them if they had been.

For the services they needed, they asked if it would be okay to lock the door. This is not uncommon for some clients, so I naturally obliged. The husband blocked the glass from any potential pass-byers as his wife slowly began to remove her headdress. I felt oddly honored to be a part of this moment. I don’t know much about the culture, but I do know that modesty is extremely important to them. There’s a weird sort of platonic intimacy in a moment like that.

We exchanged some small talk, laughing and enjoying the exchange. I asked if it would be okay if I asked a few questions, hopeful to not sound rude, but explaining that I was genuinely curious. They said of course. It was a perfect learning opportunity for me, and they seemed happy to answer my curiosities. I did wonder if the woman felt perhaps vulnerable or exposed removing her headdress in public, albeit that I closed the office for them, but I didn’t dare to ask because I felt it was a little too personal in a way. I was, however, able to get an answer to a question I’ve always been curious about…

“In the summer, is it overly warm to wear such garments?!” The woman kindly smiled and let out a small chuckle. I know I probably sounded like a typical dumb American, but I’ve always wondered. She explained that even though she also wears a full outfit underneath, the fabric is very breathable and not uncomfortable at all. She also noted that it provides religious and spiritual comfort as well. My curiosities were finally satisfied.

Canada is amazing. The US likes to try to have this reputation of being a melting pot of different cultures, but it’s still a truly racist country. I know there is racism everywhere, but at least here it’s not so blatant and wide spread. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be exposed to so many walks of life and to learn so much about others.

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 ❤️