Category:

Marriage and Relationships

marriage, divorce

There was one thing that scared me a bit in 2013; Divorce. There sure were a lot of people getting divorced. Even people who you thought were perfect for one another and had great marriages, suddenly they were done. I started to believe that maybe marriage had a shelf life even after you made it past the dreaded 7-year-itch and the expiration date was somewhere between the 11-18 year mark. We’re about to hit 15 years, so we are right smack dab in the middle of the likely to divorce session of marriage.I guess it makes sense, those are the years when people find themselves getting bored. Babies are born and life has become predictable and maybe you miss the excitement of when it was all new. You’ve both changed and maybe instead of growing together, you’ve grown apart. I get it. People grow up and perspectives and beliefs change and evolve. What’s important to you at 23, might not be important at all when you are 33.

It felt like everyone I knew was going through an early midlife crisis and their spouse had suddenly become as obsolete to them as condoms. No one gets married thinking this will be nice for 10 years or so but no one should stay in a bad marriage but I also think we should work hard to try to salvage a good one. Sometimes just talking, really talking and listening to one another can make all the difference because maybe your partner is having all the same questions and fears about the marriage. I have also seen first hand that hurts done without sincerely apology can kill love dead. Together maybe you can work towards fixing it but if one person is oblivious to the turmoil the marriage is in or content with the way things are and the other is miserable, things build up and people part ways. It made me think. It made me wonder what the fuck would I do if I found myself suddenly single at 41?

I mean 41 is not old but it’s also not prime husband shopping years. I’ve given birth, gained weight and have a lot more baggage than I did at 25. I have kids for God’s sake. It’s not just my life a relationship would effect, it’s my girls’ lives too and who could I ever trust to care for them and love them like their own father because they’d be marrying all 3 of us; we’re a package deal. Not to mention, and I hate to admit it, I don’t tan or pluck and shave and workout like I once did. My unibrow is just about got the band back together and my mustache, well, I swear that sonofabitch is trying to join forces with this sudden onset middle age chin fuzz. My boobs, they are further south than I knew was possible for women under 80 and every single bone in my body pops and cracks when I walk. I swear, I am 1 duct taping away from falling completely apart. Attractive, right? You’re probably wondering why the hell my husband’s still around with all that going on in the first place? I can only guess its because crazy turns him on.

The Big Guy and I got married agreeing that we don’t believe in divorce. There is only one way out of this marriage and that is death. Now, you can go by natural causes like old age two days after I die or you can break one of the deadly sins of marriage like abusing a wife or a child in any way or cheating, having extramarital relations. We’ve joked about it and I’ve warned him of how if we ever divorce he will keep me in the lifestyle I am accustomed to and he will have the children and pets every weekend (because you know I’ll have to be on the prowl for a wealthy man. Yep, I married for love once, next go around I need financial stability and botox and such. ) But really, we both know, there is only ONE way out of this marriage and it involves death and us parting.  It’s all just a matter of how, why and when you go.

I’d just assume skip the whole homicidal thing plus I really quite like being married to the Big Guy so I’ve decided maybe I’d like to spice up the marriage we have. What we have works but I know we are boring. At the end of the day, he is still my favorite person in the world, my best friend and when he grabs my hand to hold it, it still takes my breath away. We’re both older, heavier and we know all of each others old stories. We know what the other is thinking before they ever say it. It may sound boring if you are on the outside looking in but we still surprise one another with a flirty glance or a thoughtful gesture. Through it all; ups and downs, good and bad, rich and poor there is one constant; unconditional love and everyone knows that trumps that new relationship feeling.

The girls are getting a little older so maybe it’s time to focus a little more time on the marriage now that we can spend a little less time trying to keep the kids alive. At 6 and 8 they are pretty good about walking up stairs, keeping keys out of electrical outlets and averting danger and they’ve gotten really good at breathing through the night…I know, I still check. So maybe a little 15 year spice is just the preventative measure we need to insure marital bliss for years to come. Plus, really, nobody wants to die anytime soon.

What do you do to keep your marriage new and exciting? OR if you have gotten a divorce, what do you wish you would have done differently?

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good girls, unicorns, raising daughters, women, sex

Dear Preston Waters,

I read your piece about good girls today being as illusive as the unicorn; non-existent. I hope you are wrong. I am a unicorn who is currently raising two unicorns (as you call them). I am teaching them to have respect for themselves and do what makes them happy in life. Life is too short to live by other people’s rules; especially when the rules are not clear and ever changing. Good girls are not extinct, maybe you are just too pompous and stupid to see them because you are so busy going for the easy piece of ass and then disregarding the girl who showed you charity.

I agree that we live in a world where more women are sexually asserting themselves. We live in a world of selfies and social media gone wild. People taking nude photos of themselves and uploading them to the internet or sexting them and having them end up in the wrong hands has become common place. The world has become so small that sometimes we forget that we are not alone with our computer, camera or phone. We forget that the Internet is vast and permanent. Forever. Talk about never being able to outgrow the sins of your youth.

good girls, unicorns, raising daughters, women, sex

Women have not lost all morals and respect for themselves, you are just more aware of their indiscretions thanks to social media. Men and women have been making mistakes since the beginning of time. We still have dignity, only now we also have the Internet and our every mistake can live on in infamy. What’s so wrong with a woman enjoying sex, anyways?

Mr. Waters you are complaining because men have finally gotten everything they ever wanted, women who are willing and able to have consensual sex with you on her terms. No more begging, no more bullying her into it; nope, now women realize that they can choose to embrace their own sexual appetites without being a whore. Still, your misogyny won’t let you accept your gift. We’ve finally broken free of the shackles of patriarchal approval. We finally care more about what we think about ourselves than what you think of us.

good girls, unicorns, raising daughters, women, sex

The story has not changed. Men have always liked the chase more than the actual prize. Women figured this out a long time ago. This is why I was a virgin until I was in college. You’ve always wanted the good girl who plays hard to get but is a complete freak in private. But you don’t want to believe that she has ever been with anyone else, ever. So, we’ve let you believe what you wanted.

“Then you have drugs, uppers being predominant, and many women are addicted to prescription pills to help their “anxiety.” In short, women have become easy, but they have also become broken — and eventually become undesirable because no one stays hot forever. Sure, we men are to blame for this as well, but that is because we are idiots.” Well, you got one thing right.

Mr. Waters, I don’t think that you would know a unicorn if it bit you in the ass. All women are born unicorns. If they are broken, it is life, full of it’s double standards,painful situations and callous men who treat women like whores that have broken them.

good girls, unicorns, raising daughters, women, sex

The problem Mr. Waters is not with the unicorns, it is with assholes like you who put women into categories; whores and virgins. We are more than what resides between our legs. Maybe you need to become a unicorn yourself if you want to attract a unicorn because unicorns don’t want to marry assholes; we prefer unicorns too.

Sincerely,

A Unicorn

good girls, unicorns, raising daughters, women, sex

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pregnancy, loss, miscarriage, how to know when you're done

We are on baby watch 2014. My brother-in-law and his wife are in the hospital, as I type, being induced with their first child. I am so thrilled for them to welcome their little girl into the world. It brings back all those nostalgic excited feelings of expecting our first and then our second and then abruptly ends with a little pain in my heart that fills the hole left by loss. The hole is getting smaller but some days it’s a little rawer than others; a little less compact and clean. Some days it’s messy like the days when my 6-year-old begs me for a little brother or sister and I find myself not completely opposed to the idea.

Gabi is back on her “I want another baby” kick.  She wants to be a big sister in a big way. I tried. I really did and then we lost the baby and it scared me off the entire thing. Only now, when I should be planning a first birthday, I am trying to explain to my Gabi that I just don’t think a third baby is in the cards. She’s begging me. She spent the entire 30 minutes that we were cuddling before she fell off to sleep last night bargaining with me to just try just one more time. “Just try one more time mommy and if it doesn’t work. I won’t ask again!” Only I get pregnant if you breathe on me too hard, the scary part is the staying pregnant part.

Part of me wants to say yes. We are supposed to be five and we are only four but part of me is overcome with logic and memory and says hell no, remember that pain? To win big you have to be willing to lose big and I am not sure that the risk is worth it; for my heart. But still, my Gabi, my sweet dear child, has been asking for a baby to love for 3 years.

I thought maybe my new niece could help fill that space in my Gabi’s heart but she wants what she wants and she won’t let it go. She doesn’t know that with every ask she reminds me of my failure. How could she? She only knows that she loves me and a baby brother or baby sister would be a piece of me that she could hold in her arms and care for the way that I care for her. She really is an amazing child. Her heart is bigger than I could have imagined and her brain, she is wiser than most adults I know. If I could only give her this one thing. If things were different. If I were younger. I’d do anything for her.

For a long time after we miscarried, I thought anyone who tried again must be mad. How the hell can your heart take it? Mine couldn’t. I swore to myself that my heart couldn’t take it but I think I was wrong. We said the only way we would try again is if Gabi asked, if she meant it. I think her little heart broke as much as mine on that day I miscarried. She was able to verbalize her pain, even better than I was. I tell you, that kid is amazing. I wish I could do this for her but I don’t think I can. Not because I am afraid of losing but because there are so many things that could go wrong; so many ways to fail. The stakes are too high.

I’ve only miscarried once and it was after already having given birth twice so for me, losing my pregnancy was not losing a fetus, it was losing my child. As soon as I knew I was pregnant, the pregnancy was a Bella or a Gabi, not some far off could be someday, he/she was here and he/she was loved and when I lost him/her, it left a howling, primal pain in my heart that scared me. It scared me because I preferred to die than to live with that pain.

I am more cautious now because I know what it feels like to lose a child. I am overprotective and I worry a lot. Every potential threat is treated like the enemy because I don’t know who I am without these children. They complete me. I am broken. I will never be completely whole for the rest of my entire life. I will know that part of me is missing. Still, my head tells me that another child is not a possibility but my heart, my heart wishes it could grant my daughter her one wish.

After the miscarriage, I had convinced myself that I was done but there has always still been that little part of me that holds tightly to what if. I know many women just know they are done. I think it is something quite different to feel that you have no choice. It’s the difference between choosing to walk away and being turned away. One is a choice the other is a rejection; a failure; an unanswered question. How do you reconcile a decision under these circumstances? Is it wrong that I am looking forward to the day when I actually don’t have to think about the answer to the question of whether I am done having babies or not and just know that I am?

Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? How did you deal with it?

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Harry's Chocolate shop, college bar, man cave. signazon

The Big Guy is the sole male in our house, unless you count the Guinea Pig, Ted Koppel, but we don’t. My husband has learned to love pink and embrace all things fluffy and sweet; well, mostly. He is still a man after all and he is trying really hard to carve out a little space in our home that is just his; untouched by the hue of pink or the sweet smell of femininity. He’s insisted in turning our back office into a man cave; his very own den of masculine iniquity.

Though I don’t know how much actual impropriety is taking place in the back room of our house, I think it’s mostly smoking cigars, playing video games and drinking good scotch on the rocks. He enjoys it, when he has a few free moments, which are few and far between. I think it takes him back to his carefree days of college; before kids, mortgages, car payments and obligations. Sort of the way driving alone with the radio turned all the way up singing explicit lyrics does for me these days.  So, I want his man cave/ bar room to be everything he wants it to be; his own little personal utopia.

Harry's chocolate shop

He wants it to be a replica of Harry’s Chocolate Shop, the college bar where we met.  I am going under the assumption that it’s because he holds a special place in his heart for the place that started it all but it’s probably truer that he fondly associates it with carefree nights of drinking with his housemates and all those warm fuzzy feelings that come from remembering your youth.

His bar room is nearly completely done. It looks like a micro-version of his favorite pub barring one small detail, etched into the mirror above the bar are not the words Harry’s Chocolate Shop. I really want him to have the full effect. It’s the little things that mean so much when creating a space like this so we need the Harry’s Chocolate Shop etched on the mirror. Or do we?

I was recently approached by a company, Signazon, that specializes in professional printing like lettering, decals and stickers; as marketing for businesses and a light bulb went off, order the Big Guy a decal for the mirror that looks like etched glass. Brilliant; problem solved! Never in a million years would I have thought that a random email would allow me to completely finish off the Big Guy’s little piece of man heaven.

Harry's chocolate shop

I plan on ordering that decal for the mirror and I have a feeling that operation man cave will be complete . I’ll keep you posted when it’s all done.

 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written by me for Signazon. All opinions expressed are my own.

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prayer, religion, atheists, IQ

I’ve been doing a lot of praying over the past week and I have asked for your prayers and positive thoughts. Those prayers meant everything to me because I have a faith in God and I believe in the power of prayer. It gives me hope when otherwise, I would have none. It sustains me when otherwise I would give up. That means everything to me. So this morning while I was perusing Facebook and I came across an article shared by one of my friends titled Atheists ‘have higher IQs’: Their intelligence ‘makes them more likely to dismiss religion as irrational and unscientific’ it bothered meI read the article and it argues …

“Atheists tend to be more intelligent than religious people, according to a US study. Researchers found that those with high IQs had greater self-control and were able to do more for themselves – so did not need the benefits that religion provides.

They also have better self-esteem and built more supportive relationships, the study authors said.

The conclusions were the result of a review of 63 scientific studies about religion and intelligence dating between 1928 and last year. In 53 of these there was a ‘reliable negative relation between intelligence and religiosity’. In just 10 was that relationship positive.

They defined intelligence as the ‘ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly, and learn from experience’.

In their conclusions, they said: ‘Most extant explanations (of a negative relation) share one central theme – the premise that religious beliefs are irrational, not anchored in science, not testable and, therefore, unappealing to intelligent people who ‘know better’.

‘Intelligent people typically spend more time in school – a form of self-regulation that may yield long-term benefits.

‘More intelligent people getting higher level jobs and better employment and higher salary may lead to higher self-esteem, and encourage personal control beliefs.’

Okay, so all of that being said, I am calling bullshit. I am religious and I am also intelligent. I don’t think that the two are mutually exclusive. And yes, I have proof that I am intelligent. I have graduate degrees and credible IQ scores. I have even taken theology courses on various religions but still, I believe in a God and my faith remains. This is why there is no conflict for me. At the core of my belief is that God created the universe and from there evolution happened. Time passed; people, the world and the universe have changed.

My faith was instilled when I was a small child. Yes, blind faith. I absorbed it all in and took it to my heart and gave myself over to it. I needed to believe there was something more. I’ve experienced hardships and I needed to believe in a savior if not, what was the point? Above all else, I believe that there is a God and through God, all things are possible. I see miracles every single day of my life and maybe they are all explainable by science but they are miracles to me nonetheless. Science and medicine are miracles to me. A baby being born is a miracle. Honest, raw, enduring, authentic, unconditional love is a damn miracle. The kindness of strangers is a miracle. All that being said, I know that man is only a man and I am cautiously skeptical of just about everyone.

Do I dismiss scientific facts? Not, at all. Do I dislike or judge atheists or people who are not of my own religion? No, because I also believe in choice and tolerance and everyone has their own choice to make. We live with our own choices so why should anyone else judge us? I judge people on how they behave and move through the world not by their labels. Many of my dearest friends and favorite people are Jewish, Hindi, Buddhists and every other religion and some of my friend’s don’t believe in God at all. Are they more or less intelligent than me? The answer is yes and yes because I don’t think your religious preference makes you intelligent or ignorant, your brain and nurturing do. How you act and behave with those beliefs is what determines that. Do I try to push my beliefs on anyone else? Never, because it’s a very personal. decision. Do I believe they will be damned or cast out of some afterlife utopia? No. I believe that God is tolerant and loving and I’m not dead so I have no proof about what happens after we die. Maybe we do just all go to the ground. Maybe we recycle and keep coming back until we get it right. Either way, I want to be kind to people. I want to live like every day is my last and I want them all to count, here on earth.

My faith in God is what gives me my faith in me. Through God all things are possible and through hard work and determination all things are possible for me. My faith is anchored in the belief that good people deserve good things. I know that life is not fair. I have experienced it first hand and I have questioned my faith. Believe me! But in the end, my faith is nourishment for my starving soul. My faith grants me serenity in this chaotic world of unpredictability.

My faith is based in my belief that doing the right thing is always right even if the other person chooses to reciprocate by doing the wrong thing to me, that is on them. I am only responsible for my actions and only accountable to my own conscience which maybe, that is what God really is, my moral compass. But when my fears and burdens are too great, faith allows me to hand them off to a higher place; to leave them on a shelf because worrying helps nothing. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t work to fix my issues first myself. I believe in modern medicine, working hard and doing good in the world. I believe in people. I trust in humanity. God helps those who help themselves.

I don’t expect to sit on my ass and hope for something/ someone to magically take care of me. For me, faith is hope. It is being able to have faith that good can come of even the worst of humanity. Having hope that when life looks dim and worthless, it can turn around. It helps me to see the good in people. How can that be bad or make me unintelligent? Naïve, maybe but I can’t believe that putting my faith in the good in people or the world is wrong.

Isn’t an atheist judging me to be ignorant because of my faith equally as offensive as a Christian judging an atheist to be the same for his lack there of?

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Forgot My Phone & Remembered How to Live

Forgot my phone and realized that I am too dependent on it. I felt naked and awkward. I felt lost and unsure; insecure. I hide behind my phone. My phone has become a crutch, especially in my line of work. It has replaced my eyes, my ears, my brain, my voice, my memory and my attention. I have become so dependent on capturing everything that happens in my life for posterity that I am missing it in real-time. I have become so accustomed to instant gratification that there are no more great surprises and the real, genuine moments are few and far between. If they do happen, they are often missed only to be seen in retrospective playback.

Our phones have become a barrier between us and living in the moment. We’ve all developed such intense cases of FOMO that we are, in fact, missing out on the really important things like honest conversations, human connections, true love, trust and firsts.

I don’t want to miss another minute of my life or view it through a screen. I want to look directly into the eyes of my child as she says something, anything, to me. I want to hear her when she speaks not when I play it back. I don’t want to miss the moments for one more moment. This video by Charlene deGuzman reminded me of that.

I am committing to walking away and turning off the social media, computers and phones when I am with my family. When I am with them, those few hours every day after school until their bedtime, I will be 100% present. I owe them that. I owe me that.

I want to experience my life not document it for someone else to relive in some far off future.

I want my children to say my mother was present, she listened and she cared about it all. She loved me and I know it because she was there for all of it; paying attention and giving advice.

I want my husband to know that he is the most important person in the room with me and that when we are alone together talking, imagining our future, planning our life, it is just the two of us and not the entire Internet and there is nowhere else in the world that I would rather be.

I want my friends to know that I care about what they are saying and when I say that I am “here for them” I am really there for them, wherever that might be 100%. No more 1/2 listening with one eye on the Internet because nothing happening “out there” is more important than what is happening right here, next to me; a joke, a story, a laugh, a cry, a human experience.

forgot my phone, Charlene deGuzman

Technology is a wonderful thing but it is no replacement for the human condition.I want my humanity in tact because without it, what are we?

 

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wedding, anniversary, wedding anniversary, love, Big Guy

wedding, anniversary, 14th wedding anniversary, love, Big Guy14 years ago today, I married my best friend. But 1 year and 8 months earlier, I met the man I would marry; the man who would ruin me for all other men. It was my senior year at Purdue. I should have graduated 2 years prior, but due to taking time off and various life circumstances, I was in the right place at the right time to meet the Big Guy. I shouldn’t have been there but I was and I am convinced it was meant to be.

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gratitude, thank you, sponsored post, king's hawaiian, mahalo

thank you, gratitude, mahalo, sponsored post, king's hawaiianYesterday, I was very sick and feeling kind of sorry for myself. You know how when you are so sick that you feel like you might cry and you begin fancy yourself a martyr. Yes, I do. I normally just try to carry on but there is a point where I am so sick and worn out that every breath I take, every moment that I am still folding clothes and cooking dinner, becomes a debt the world owes to me.

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marraige equality, same-sex marraige, homosexuality, love, marraige, parenting

Marriage Equality, Same sex marriage, love, marriage, human rights

Marriage equality is not an honor it is a right, like the right to breathe. They say that love is blind. The heart wants what the heart wants. God makes no mistakes. We teach our children all of these lessons on love and equality. We pound these ideas into their heads before they can even walk. We brainwash them to equate happiness with marriage and children and a house in the suburbs with a white picket fence.

Where does marriage equality fall in all of this?

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