When your love story looks “different” than Disney

cinderellaEvery one of us grows up thinking we will have a Disney-style, fairytale life. We’ll meet a handsome prince or princess, fall madly in love, get married, and live happily ever after.

The truth is, that doesn’t always happen.

Life is messy and complicated. People make mistakes and poor choices. They deceive one another, make promises they don’t intend to keep, and break one another’s hearts. It’s not very Disneyesque. It’s more Amityville Horror, actually. Let me paint you two scenarios.

Here’s what I’ve seen happen since I’ve graduated high school. Johnny and Susie, high school sweethearts, go off to college. They get engaged at the ripe, old age of 22 (Senior year…anything past is an old maid in these parts), and get married the following year. They invite 350 people to their wedding, and it’s lovely. Two years later, at the ripe old age of 25, they start a family. By 30, they have bought at least one home and have no less than two children. They’ve only ever dated each other (seriously), and most of them have never had a heart broken by the opposite sex. Well, at least not in a serious manner. Sorry folks, but 15 year-olds don’t know what love is quite yet. That broken heart is in the minor leagues compared to adult breakups. This is the Disney version, in my opinion. It’s also the path laid out for some VERY lucky folks, who I hope realize how blessed they have been. 聽I’d have loved to had that love story. It sounds delightful! However, I belong to the other camp.

Over at the Amityville love story headquarters, my 20s were heaped with heartbreak. Deceitful men, untrue hearts, and broken promises were all pitstops on my path to Disneyworld. It was rough. I picked some winners, I must say. I kept waiting for my Disney moment. And waiting. And waiting. And, then I had Ethan. And Ethan was a different kind of love than what I’d ever understood before then. It was an all-encompassing, life-changing love. His needs came first, and his best interest was always my top priority. He was just what I needed to learn about love and to start seriously pursuing my Disney dream life. I got a late start. I prefer to call myself a “late-bloomer.”

At this point, I started thinking about not only the kind of man I needed in my life but the kind of father I wanted in Ethan’s life. This made it easy. Weeding out deadbeats was simple. I waited, and I prayed for a man to come into my life to fulfill the needs of both me and Ethan. And sure enough, God delivered. It surely wasn’t fast or soon enough for me, but he delivered nonetheless. I met my Jeramey, and he changed my life in ways that only true love can do. He was my Prince Charming. And surely, we were no strangers to heartache and had both made mistakes in the past, but we vowed to move forward together.

I went home from our first date at my very favorite Mexican restaurant, and I knew. I felt it. He was the one. Cue the Disney music.

And so, I ask you to look at your own love story. Is it Disney? Is it messy? Was it a bumpy road along the way? As you think about your own “one,” be grateful for him or her. There are many, many people out there still dreaming of catching their own Disney moment.

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16 weeks, 5 days

God bless rainbow babies!

God bless rainbow babies!

Today marks 16 weeks, 5 days in my rainbow pregnancy. The past week has brought up a great deal of emotions. Eliza‘s due date was last Friday, as most of my readers know, and today marks the point in THIS pregnancy at which I lost Eliza. My Dr. D saw me on Monday and will see me this Monday as well. She could sense my fear as I talked with her, and suggested coming back next week would help to ease my fears. I appreciate her understanding. She gets it. She lost her second baby as well. She also went on to have more children, so she understands the struggles I’m facing now. I won’t drone on about this. I’m just praying for this little bundle to stay healthy as we jump this hurdle and head towards February! Anatomy scan and gender reveal in just two weeks! Can’t wait 馃檪

Paging Dr. Devotion

The moment I found out our Eliza was gone, I was faced with a choice. I was either going to embrace God and all the comforts of His word, or I was going to turn my back on him and let anger consume me. I knew that what we were about to experience was more than I was able to handle alone, and with that in mind, I very purposefully turned toward God.

Now, I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t have questions and anger. I did. I was consumed with questions. Why? How? What? Is this real? Am I dreaming? Where’s God now? I remember laying in bed and letting these questions race through my mind. And then I started praying. As my husband woke me on the morning I had to go to the hospital to begin the longest three days of my life, I lingered in bed. I buried my face in my pillow after my husband walked out the bedroom doorway, and I uttered this simple prayer: “God, carry me through this. I can not do this. Please carry me.”

As the next three days unfolded, I clung to this prayer. I surrendered myself to the idea that God would carry me and deliver me through this painful ordeal. I was weak, both mentally and physically. I was exhausted. 聽It was okay. I didn’t have to be strong. God was right there with us, in the room with us. Offering us moments of laughter through the tears and comfort in our sadness. We were never alone.

When Eliza finally made her appearance in this world, I felt the overwhelming peace wash over me that only God’s love can offer. When the sweet women from Sufficient Grace Ministries prayed with us, I felt God’s warmth and peace with us. He was there. We were never alone.

And in the days after, more sweet reminders of God’s grace and love made their way to us. Through our friends and loved ones, kind cards and mementos that arrived in the mail, and acts of kindness and sympathy from total strangers, I felt the power of God’s work being done through us.

So when I found a new doctor to care for me and our sweet rainbow baby, I was again blessed by God and his infinite wisdom to provide us with just what we need. A sweet and dear friend recommended a particular practice, and so I called to arrange an appointment. When I met with my new doctor, my heart felt at ease. Her office was decorated with powerful scripture, a cross, and framed family photographs. My heart filled with hope once more. This sweet doctor’s Christian faith is so strong, that as I cried in her office out of fear, she stood above me, held my hand, and prayed for peace and health for me and our rainbow baby. I have never experienced such a sweet and caring gesture from a doctor. In fact, I don’t know of a single doctor who openly believes in the power of faith. I am in awe of this woman and her powerful conviction.

And as I reflect upon this whole experience, I am reminded that God’s timing is perfect, as is his wisdom, and I thank him for placing me in the care of my wonderful and kind Dr. Devotion.

 

Please consider donating your talents to聽http://sufficientgraceministries.org/

Today could have been your birthday, Eliza

It could have been today. Or yesterday. Or last week. But your birthday isn’t coming. That possibility came and went that day in the doctor’s office when our doctor hunted for your heartbeat. It went that day when I walked across the hall to the ultrasound room, clutching my husband’s hand as my stomach knotted up into knots of knots. It went when the nurse put the wand to my swollen belly, and I saw that cute little profile. Still. Frozen in time. Unchanging for eternity. Gone. Your day of joining this world as a living, breathing child with parents who would celebrate your birthday was gone. Stolen from you. And us.聽

My heart broke that day. I swallowed hard and felt the shards of it swelling up from somewhere deep within my chest. As the tears rolled down my cheeks, I felt the hot numbness wash over me. This can’t be real. This isn’t my life. This isn’t how this day is supposed to happen.

As my husband pulled me into our car, I clutched him and felt even worse. I was overcome by the feeling that I let him down. I let our baby down. I let myself down. My body failed us. I am broken. This is my fault. How could this happen to us? And I knew that it went. Your birthday wasn’t coming.

As I lay in the hospital for three days, my body refusing to deliver my precious baby girl, I knew that your birthday wasn’t coming. I knew. I wept. I begged. I pleaded. I cried out to God, asking him why he was breaking my heart in such a way. I begged God to carry me through the physical act of delivery. My husband begged me to let the nurse give me medicine so I could sleep. To numb my pain that he couldn’t bear to watch. 聽I refused. I wanted to be coherent and present of mind when my body did decide to do what it must.

And you came. After 41 hours of emotional hell, you came. And you were perfect and beautiful. You were tiny, but I held you in my arms and took in all of your beauty. I memorized your little nose, and studied your slender fingers. And I wept. I clutched my mom’s hand as I watched your daddy hold you. And I wept. I hurt. My heart broke again. Today was not your birthday. April 6th is the day we said hello and goodbye, not your birthday.聽

And so in the days, weeks, and months that came after this, 聽I waited. I waited for this day to come. I knew it was coming. September always follows August. What I didn’t know was how it would feel. And so September is here now, and so are the feelings. They’re awful; stabbing and sharp. Fresh and new. Vivid memories of sadness that haven’t yet began to fade. And so as I look in the mirror at my tear-stained cheeks and red-rimmed eyes, I tell myself that I know that you’re whole now. I know that you’re with me, a corridor of my heart dedicated just to you. But what hurts the most is waking up today knowing that today could have been your birthday, sweet girl.聽

I’ve got blah-blah insurance…

Hey, you! Now that we’re married there are lots of things to get accomplished besides all that lovey-dovey聽canoodling and that fat stack of thank-you notes. One of those is combining our auto insurance. Sounds pretty boring, right? It is. Don’t聽kid yourself. This is boring, adult-level torturous shit. At any rate,聽what’s not boring is that we have been getting ripped off for ages! I’m pricing our new rates as a married couple, and it’s far less expensive than I’ve ever paid in the past. In fact, I’m downright annoyed at the mere thought of all the spoiling I could have done for myself if I had all the overcharged insurance premiums back! Just thinking of my unnamed handbags and shoes brings a tear to my eye and a swear word to my lips.

Single? Higher rate. Auto loan? Higher rate. Not-so-great credit? Higher rate. Just one car? Higher rate. Big boobs? Higher rate. I kid, but seriously, I’m starting to wonder if that’s a possibility…

All these years I’ve been driving at a responsible speed, following all traffic laws, always buckling my seatbelt (You’re welcome, MADD), and keeping my assured clear distance when following the true driving menace, old people in Lincolns and Cadillacs. Despite my strong desire to let many, many a driver know that he is the number one driver in the world, I’ve refrained. I’ve not flashed my high beams or rolled down the window to scream profanities; I’ve even withheld from honking the horn at dimwits when dropping off my kid brother at his middle school with the driveway from hell. I’ve done (and not done)聽all these things all along, and I’ve still been paying more because I was single, driving a car with a loan and less-than-stellar credit? Shenanigans! Aren’t married people more likely to want to crash their cars into trees? I kid, but that’s what I’ve heard on the streets.

God bless the interweb and Al Gore for inventing it. Now I’m only 13 quotes away from paying as little as possible for our auto insurance. Suck it, premium carriers!

It was a WEDDING!

bride and groomWe did it! We tied the knot! Whatta day. Talk about an exciting 24 hours. It was like a blitz of emotions and excitement followed by what felt like a hangover…but was certainly not!

January 19th came and went very quickly. As most people warned us beforehand,聽 the old adage to聽“enjoy it because it goes by quickly” was true.聽They weren’t lying. I was sort of hoping that “they” were exaggerating. Nope. It all went by super-duper fast. It kinda reminded me of prom. All that build-up for one day that is over before you know it 馃槈

At any rate, my wedding聽vision came to fruition in every possible way we could [afford] make happen. I won’t talk about the exploitation of聽brides when it comes to purchasing, renting, and sacrificing for their dream wedding. I’ll save that for another time! The decor was beautiful, and despite the fifty degree weather, it was a winter wonderland inside! Our cake was gorgeous and the subtle up-lighting聽that I spent an extra hundo on was well worth the effect.

My dress and the groom’s tux were amazing. We’re pretty good-looking, so we made quite a dapper duo in our wedding day attire 馃槈 The bridesmaid dresses were quite lovely, but not as beautiful as my sisters who wore them! Three beautiful women! 聽And my brothers in tuxes? Have you met them? That should probably be illegal. Oh, and my mom is gorgeous and damn near showed me up in all her beauty. With the second best-looking guy at the wedding by her side (my dad, for all you slow-to-catch-on types), I聽 was worried for a second! Oh, and let’s not forget the other handsome guy who walked me down the aisle, E-bear! He was so stinking cute in his little tux and patent leather shoes! Adorable!!

The DJ was awesome and played all our special requests! Shout out to Professional Sounds of Temperance, MI. Worth the money!

Shout outs to all my awesome friends and family who made it to our special day. Especially our friends. What a group!! We had so much fun reminiscing while dancing to sweet jams of the late nineties and early 2000s. Those are memories I’ll always cherish 馃檪

What made the day perfect was the walk down the aisle to my super-sexy husband in his Vera Wang tux. He was all smiles and I was all teary-eyed, and it was just what I expected. I am so very happy to have married my best friend, and I hope and pray that God blesses our marriage with health, wealth, and happiness for many years to come!

I’ll get back to some regular blogging stuff now. Oh, and I want you all to read this flashback. It’s even funnier now聽because he still decided to marry me?!

The Right and Privilege of Voting

Se帽alizaci贸n de lugar de votaci贸n en Californi...

Se帽alizaci贸n de lugar de votaci贸n en California. 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

November 6-聽Today I am thankful for the right and privilege of voting. It is something that many people in this country take for granted. Voting is something that stole many lives over the years, and took many struggles to gain for every citizen. It took strength, courage, and conviction to fight for this fundamental concept of American life. The importance of聽voting is expressed very early in our lives. As children, we vote at school for rewards, student government, and student royalty. When we can’t decide what to do in family or work situation, we often聽put it to a vote. I remember doing this as a family in the car as we tried to pick a restaurant or plan for the day. It is ingrained聽in our culture and a cornerstone of the beliefs by which this country was founded. I am extremely grateful that, while my picks may not always win, at least I had a chance to share my choice.

Give Thanks EVERY Day Series

As today marks the start of November, it also marks the start of my effort to spend a little time each day expressing my own thankfulness. So, without further ado, here is day one.

November 1-聽I am thankful to be聽able to stay home with my son each day.聽聽I am so fortunate to be able to spend time helping my son learn, grow, and laugh each day. It is a tiring and challenging job, but being a mom is by far the greatest blessing I’ve ever received!

Staying at home to raise children is not a job for every mother, but it feels like the best place for me to work right now. I love being able to nurture my child and also聽be present for him when he needs a hug, a snuggle, or a timeout.

This incredible blessing wouldn’t be possible without the love and support of my darling fiance. We’ll talk more about him tomorrow! 馃檪

For what are you grateful? How has being a mother blessed you?

Politics…too painful for words

I hate election time. It’s about as pleasant as聽a six month menstrual period. Not only do I have to make difficult choices of my own after poring over websites, news articles, debates, and the like…but I also have to listen to other people talk about the candidates. You know, those two doofuses聽with a jillion bucks between ’em who know everything about everything in this great country.

Sure, I feel certain that both presidential candidates can relate to me. They’ve both had the pleasure of waking up one day as聽an unemployed, overeducated, single-mom living with her parents while struggling to keep Sallie Mae‘s evil henchman from stalking her. They can relate. They know my struggles. They feel my pain.

They don’t know shit about me.

That’s not my situation anymore, but it was my situation not too long ago. What I feel was once a job of high honor and prestige has been degraded by men who do not know what life is like in Middle America. While being escorted from聽one聽itty-bitty town to the next, they’re briefed on the current plight of the area. They hear anecdotal tales of random Americans, living in battleground states like Ohio,who the candidates will not remember in the morning as they gather themselves to head to the next small town full of problems and undecided votes.

Tell me this: how can these candidates look at themselves in the mirror? Head on over to CNN.com to feast your eyes on the magnitude of CASH that they have collected and spent funding the mass-peddling of their questionable morals and spending plans. Millions upon millions. How is that a good use of discretionary spending聽by those who are financially able to contribute to campaign sloths? Why aren’t Americans pooling their $40K per plate campaign funds to help REAL AMERICANS who are unemployed, uninsured, etc? Each one of those $40K contributions could pay an average woman’s salary for a year! Food for thought.

At any rate as I聽rant on about the injustice of the political machine that is this election, my fellow americans struggle with the decision they soon face. Well, some of them struggle. Most of them just blindly follow the masses in order to feel a part of the crowd. While hanging on every word of the candidate’s enraptured speech, the sheep line up for slaughter at the closest IRS office.

God save the Queen!

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