Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Great New York State Fair

It's that time of year folks! One of my favorites! Fair time!!! The Great New York State Fair is one of my favorite things to much in fact, that this year it's where I'm choosing to spend my birthday! I can't wait! My parents are coming up and we'll spend the day eating fair food and getting sick on rides! Is there anything better?? I think not! And what makes this a real birthday treat is that I got free tickets, courtesy of The Great New York State Fair, just for sharing one of my favorite activites with you!! It's like a giant birthday party from the State of New York!! WOOOOOO!!!!!!! 

I can't wait to see the butter sculpture, the giant sand castle, and one of my absolute favorites, the New York State Police Canine exhibition!! The kids are already planning out the rides they want to go on and we have a complicated system of choosing partners for each ride, especially the giant slide (another of my favorites)!!  So be ready next week for a huge photo dump from our experience!

Babe's first fair - 4 years ago!

Me and Bud on the big slide!!


Friday, August 8, 2014

Friday Flashback

It's been a while since I did a Friday Flashback. Mainly because I ran out of entertaining pictures of me being an idiot. Thankfully, I've done things in the last few years to make my kids look like idiots too! Yay for idiots!

Today's Flashback takes us back 5 years when Babe was just a wee thing and Bud was almost the same size he is now. (Sadly, I'm not exaggerating all that much.)

They may be helpless pawns in my game of life, but they sure are cute!

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Happy Friday!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


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See this? This is me and LC. This is what happiness looks like. 

Divorce is a feisty bitch, emotions flying, self-esteem plummeting, despair nipping at your heels. There were times that I knew I was destined to spend my days as a lonely cat lady, my children refusing to come see me because of the pain they had to endure due to my life-altering decision and not wanting to smell like cat pee when they left. Other days I thought maybe things wouldn't be so bad, lonely for sure, but I'd plod along and be fine. 

I often thought about how nice it would be if someone came to sweep me off my feet and restore my faith in love and life. And then I realized that a lot of people I knew didn't even know my marriage was over so no one was going to come knocking. It was up to me. So I did the knocking. 

I've known LC for years and I'm good friends with his relatives. I knew they wanted to set him up with a nice girl, but I figured maybe he'd settle for me anyway. So after constant much thought, I sent an email. I made it light and casual and asked him if he wanted to hang out . Then I sat and waited...and waited...and waited...and waited................and waited! Ten hours that bastard he made me sit and wait for a response! It was touch and go for a while, I wasn't sure I was going to make it, but he did finally respond and we made plans. 

My super awesome idea of bowling was thwarted by league night, but of course we didn't know that until we got there and every head in the place turned to look at the outsiders daring to walk in the place. We slowly retreated with our hands facing out showing we meant no harm. So now what? We did what any hip, 30-something couple would do...we headed to McDonald's to share our first meal together! We are the definition of hip. We reclaimed the night by following it up with a movie. I have no recollection of what we saw, I just remembered sitting next to him, willing him to reach out and hold my hand or somehow affirm that we were in fact on a date and it wasn't only me feeling the attraction. 

That night we parted with the situation just as unclear as when I first emailed him. Not really sure what each others intentions were, not ready to set expectations. I went home and micro-analyzed every aspect of the night, replaying all the things I said, all the things he said, feeling like an idiot for the things I said, thinking he was smart and funny and just plain fun to be around. I didn't really have any expectations, but I knew I didn't want that night to be our only experience. 

 As with any new relationship, things were exciting and emotional and happy. While I still wasn't sure that our relationship would develop into something deeper, for the first time in YEARS I was happy. I. Was. Happy. Who knew! 

As the weeks turned into months, I kept expecting for things to sour or at least ebb. I kept waiting for him to lose interest or start treating me differently. But he didn't. In fact, things kept getting better. I mean sure, when you start with zero expectations it's easy to impress, but he didn't just not let me down, he continuously surprised me with his awesomeness, he always took another step at just the right time. We finally got to the point where we could define our relationship. I wanted to be his "girlfriend." I wanted to play a bigger role in his life, more than just a way to pass the time a few nights a week. Once again, he didn't disappoint. The first time he referred to me as his girlfriend time stood still for a moment and I just smiled. I really liked those words coming from his lips. I was happy.

Throughout this time I only spent time with him when it wasn't my night with the kids. I was hesitant to get my kids attached to someone who may walk out at any moment. Now I can see  that this perceived risk was unfounded, but at the time it was the right thing to do. But slowly, as our relationship developed (and kept getting better) I began to entertain the notion of moving in together. We'd been together for over a year at that point and it felt like the right thing to do. One night, I cautiously asked if he'd ever consider moving in with us. He didn't hesitate. He said he'd already given it a lot of thought and wanted to do it. One of the things I love about him is his ability to analyze a situation and make a good decision. For all my fears and concerns surrounding the decision, I was instantly put at ease when he so quickly and unwaveringly declared he felt the same way. I was happy.

We didn't want to rush things, and as I said, he didn't come around much when I had the kids. We had a good discussion about expectations and all the stuff mature adults should discuss when making such a big decision. I told him the first order of business was to become a bigger presence in the kids lives. He started coming over for dinner, every so often at first, and then more and more frequently until he was over every night. 

To say my kids adore him is an understatement. The look in Bud's eye when he talks to him and the excitement he can't contain when he comes in, it's more than I could have ever hoped for. Of course, Bud plays it cool, he tries hard to seem nonchalant, but he can't hide it from his mother. LC makes him happy too. 

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And just when I think things can't get better, I catch him having a tea party with Babe. There are no words for that one. Happy doesn't even describe it (and I'm sorry I don't have a picture). 

And while LC doesn't want to overstep his bounds with them (he's good at taking things slow), I know the feelings are mutual. I nearly melted into a pile of goo when I saw that he changed the wallpaper on his phone to a picture of my kids. Love.

When we finally decided we wanted to live together, it coincided with a particularly rough time for Bud as he struggled with some new people in his life. It got me worried that he wouldn't be ready for the step we were so obviously ready for. I knew I needed to ask how both kids felt about him moving in, and not just tell them this is how it's going to be. I wanted them to feel like this was a family decision. And honestly, it was. As much as I wanted him to move in, if they even hinted they didn't want it to happen, then it wouldn't have happened. I was working up the nerve to talk to them about it and trying to figure out just the right way to word it, when Bud did the work for me. He said something about LC not living with us so I grabbed onto it and asked if he would want him to move in. In his ever-so-genius-seven-year-old way, he responded, "I would love it but it's a big decision and the two of you have to be ready for it." Then after just a moment's pause he added, "Are you ready for that?" I couldn't hide my smile. Yes, I told him, I was ready for it. But I told him that it was very important that he and Babe were comfortable with it and I knew he had been struggling with other people lately and didn't want to push it. He didn't hesitate and responded, "LC is different, LC is smart and strong and loyal and I really want him to move in with us!" I was happy.

So a couple of months ago LC moved in. It was right. And Bud was right. LC is smart and strong and loyal and most of all, he makes us all happy. Perhaps things will still come crashing down, as my past relationships have programmed me to expect. But perhaps it won't. Perhaps it will keep getting better as we grow together and live together and love together. We are happy. It's so simple, yet so complex. I am happy. 

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(Notice how Babe is clinging to him. She adores him, just like we all do.)