Marriage First

After my post about being the second wife, I feel the need to go a step further, step on more toes, and say even more. Apparently my thoughts are taboo and controversial to many folks. Good.

Here’s another controversy for you… Brace yourselves: You kids shouldn’t always come first. DUN DUN DUN!!! Now before you go on a witch hunt and throw me to the wolves, hear me out.

First and foremost, I’d like to let it be known that if you were to ever attempt to harm my step children, I will spend the rest of my life in prison, no questions asked. My husband and I would make it work. They mean that much to me. However, they are not always #1 in our lives – we are. Does that mean we neglect them in any way, shape, or form? Absolutely not. What does that mean then?

It means we have no problem asking them to color or have some quiet time so that we can unwind a little and have a moment to ourselves. It means that we don’t hide our affections. We hold hands in front of them. We dance in the living room together in front of them. We occasionally kiss in front of them. We make date plans with each other that don’t include them in front of them. We work together as a team in front of them. Why? Because they need a strong example of a good relationship, an example of a good marriage. They need to see that it takes work, love, appreciation, and communication to make relationships work. Furthermore, they’re collateral damage of divorce….they need to see something other than the negativity and strain that they’ve experienced and seen between their biological parents. They need to have hope.

So date your spouses. Put your marriages first. Because in order to be a great parent, you need to have a great foundation. (And if you’re a single parent…. Take care of yourself. Put yourself first time to time. Burnout is a thing and kids need to be introduced to self care too!)

Happiness

It’s half past midnight. I’m restless.

I’m laying in bed next to my husband, who is fast asleep. He’s not quite snoring, but I can hear by how he’s breathing that he’s deep in La La Land.

I hear the bubbling of our humidifier across the room. The scent of the sweet orange extract that I added to the water fills the air. It’s soothing and nice. Aside from my husband and humidifier, there’s silence. Oh wait. I think the dog is snoring too. I find myself quite relaxed.

My mind can’t help but to wander a little bit. The last 1/4 of a year, life has been a roller coaster. I was nearly hospitalized from mold in the walls of my home. I drove 1500 miles to stay with my now husband in Canada until it was sorted out, and ended up staying. I left a job of 10 years as a biproduct. Holidays were welcomed, but crazy, as I started navigating a special part of my step childrens’ lives. My grandfather passed away, which started a family fues. Then there was the wedding planning and the actual wedding. And throughout the whole process, turning around and going a completely different direction with becoming a legal permanent resident of Canada.

It was a lot.

Despite everything that’s gone on, I can’t help but to stop and be in complete awe. For the first time in a very long time (or if ever?) I am genuinely happy. Oddly, that’s a hard pill to swallow sometimes. It’s nice.

Which gets me thinking further. I have lived a hard life in my 30something years of being on this Earth. Happiness has never been on the front burner for me. Most of my life was spent in survival mode. I didn’t truly learn or feel that I was genuinely worthy of being loved or deserving of happiness until the relationship with my husband. It was something that I felt was very passive in my life. Now, I embrace and welcome it. I wake each morning with a smile. I love myself and allow myself to be happy. It sounds so simple, but it was a struggle for so many years.

So my readers, if you’re struggling, hang in there. Look within yourself. Find peace in the little things around you. And try to allow yourself to be happy. And then do it again. And again.

Mr. & Mrs.

We made it! I finally got to marry my best friend last week. (Hence the small hiatus.)

Ever want an adventure? Let your young step kids help plan your wedding. No, that’s not sarcasm. We let the kids have a huge say.

Why on Earth would I be do that? Well, back in October, my oldest stepson says to me, “Did you know you’ll be my stepmom soon?” It was something that he (and his younger sister) have put thought into, along with thoughts about their relationship with me. We wanted them to feel included and to let them feel like they have a voice. Like they had some control over something in their blended lives. This was a perfect opportunity to let them know that they are heard.

We knew we wanted a small private ceremony. I found a suitable wedding commissioner, private venue, and photographer. From there, we let the kids toss around their ideas. In lieu of a big reception, we wanted to take our guests out for supper. The kids’ first choice was Red Lobster. The thought of shrimp and cheddar biscuits was enticing to them. Dad and I wanted to keep things within a lower budget than Red Lobster, so we opted to give them a choice from a few different restaurants that would be more budget friendly for a party, but also had gluten free options for our family with sensitivities and Celiac’s. After great debate, the kids excitedly chose for everyone to get pizza after! The restaurant was kind enough to allow us to bring in our own cake and cupcakes as well.
The attire was easy. My husband opted for green as our accent color; the kids happily obliged. We showed them what Dad and I would be wearing, and let them take their pick of clothing options. The oldest step son wanted to look like Dad, choosing black pants, a white button up shirt, black sweater vest, and green bowtie. It went well with Dad’s black suit, white shirt, and green tie + pocket square. My step daughter didn’t have too much choice in dress, but did have a say in her hair and tights. When she saw my dress then saw hers, she was the most excited I’ve ever seen her. “WE’RE THE SAME!!!” she’d exclaim over and over. For the youngest, we chose a green shirt and matching black pants.

On the day of, you could see their joy. Small details, such as the ring box they helped paint, made them feel appreciated and acknowledged. During the ceremony, the commissioner included them as well, allowing me to make vows to them, not just to my husband.

I’m so thankful to have been accepted by them and can’t wait to be a part of their future ❤️

It’s the Little Things

Recently, a mutual friend told me that my fiance and I give her hope in the department of love.  Over the past week I’ve been asking myself how did we get to the point where we inspire others?   What lead us here?  What makes our love unique and wholesome?

My fiance and I met on World of Warcraft.  I know, I know.  Go ahead, get your laughs out of the way.  We met, he helped me along as a new player and taught me how to play, and in short, we became friends.  As months passed, our conversations got more personal.  We learned about each others’ lives and pasts, our situations at the time, and what we’d like our futures to be like.  He was a role model to me, that there was life beyond what I grew up with.  I was his pillar of strength to finally stand up for himself.  We learned that we were polar opposite carbon copies of one another.  We had similar outlooks on life.  We had the same feelings regarding traumas in our lives.  We became each others’ rock in order to try to figure out how to get through the situations that were on our plates at the time.  Things weren’t working out with our previous partners no matter what we tried, and thus we decided to develop a partnership with each other.  We both traveled for a mini vacation and finally met in person.  Ever since, we decided to keep each other, despite all the hurdles that we’d have to jump in order to actually be together.  Eventually he proposed and I started seriously planning the means to migrate to another country.

Relationships can be tough.  What made us think that we could make this work?   Well, we started as friends and I think that made all the difference in the world.  When we got to know each other, we didn’t have an agenda.  It was simply being supportive of one another.  Not just hearing the other when they spoke, but actually listening.  Acknowledgement and appreciation played a big part as well.  It was also the little things.  We’ve tackled a long distance situation.  We’ve spent our relationship 1500 miles apart, making a point to visit each other as often as possible, but visits are never enough.  The little things have kept everything going.  Good morning texts, constant communication, Netflix & Google Hangouts & Chill dates, unique gaming adventures.   Random letters/cards in the mail or memes messaged.  His 6am phone calls on my way to work, or my calls on lunch in the middle of the day.  Random little things that meant “hey, I’m thinking of you.”  We’ve shown more appreciation and spent more time with each other 1500 miles apart than most couples do under the same roof.  That’s not to say that everything has been all peaches & cream.  We do fight.  But we fight fair.  Our ability to communicate has a lot to do with how we work out problems and come up with solutions.  Especially the coming up with solutions part.  Neither of us allow for anything to just be swept under the rug.   I call him out on his shenanigans, he puts me in my place if I’m out of line, and we figure it out.

Maybe we’re inspiring because of our capability to work through literally anything.  Or maybe it’s because we speak of and to each other with so much love and conviction.  Maybe it’s because we actually show how much we care about one another.  Whatever the reason, I’m glad that we have the ability to give others hope.  ♥