Lori V.

Mar 212015

 Read Part 1 here….

The next morning after our 1st date, we emailed each other saying how we both had enjoyed the date and we both asked what our first impressions of each other were.  Obviously they were both positive, since 2 years later – we are still together.  We didn’t end up working it out to go on our 2nd date for almost a month.  Our 2nd date was on Wednesday March 20th, 2013.  We ended up going to San Jose (local mexican food), and then headed to Target & World Market.  We held hands and he kissed me randomly in Target, on one of the toy aisles.  I knew then laughing with him in Target that I was falling hard for him.   I hadn’t felt that secure and happy in a very long time.

The next day on March 21st, we texted off and on all day.  I sent him a text that said “so after 2 dates and countless hours on the phone & talking online, do you think we should make it official?”.   He immediately sent me a text back that said “hold on” and my heart dropped – OMG, he doesn’t want to, how humilating!.   My phone then rang and it was him.  I contemplated not answering…..but I did.  He said “hey” like he always does and I immediately apologized for the text and started to say that I understood and he cut me off and said “I just didn’t want to do it over text” and somehow in the next 5 minutes of conversation we decided to “make it official” and began this journey.  

And of course, we made it facebook official…LOL

facebook official

And our friends & family went crazy with happiness.  It was really sweet the number of messages, likes and texts I got following that post!

553024_10151624964171790_1521387046_nWe often joke that he is the quiet to my crazy, whereas I have a larger personality, and I tend to be a little louder – he is quiet and more reserved.  We balance each other.   He handles my insecurities, my anxiety and my “crazy” with grace and his sweet personality.  He often tells me everything will work out, and I often don’t believe him, but secretly, I know he is right (ssshhh…don’t tell him I said that!).  He was my rock when my job was eliminated in athletics, and I had to move onto a new one.  He has never once given up on me, even when I want to give up on myself.

We will never say that our relationship is perfect, or without flaws & troubles – because lets face it, nothing is ever perfect.  Have we had some rocky weeks – yes.  Have I questioned everything a time or two – I am willing to admit yes.   However, I will quickly tell you that I will fight for our relationship, and I hope that Patrick can say the same.  We have both been married before, and we know what we do and don’t want.  We agree that we are a team, and that our relationship is going to take work – and we are both willing to work for it. 


I look forward to millions more kisses, hundreds of road trips playing silly games, sideways glances and punch-a-bug.  I look forward to dozens more ball games, late dinners, and lunches on the run.  I look forward to quiet evenings on the couch, and screaming gamedays at Williams-Brice.   I look forward to dance recitals, baseball practice, school award days and watching you hold hands with our kids.   With kids ranging from 5 to 13, we have a lot of years of school left!   Thank you for converting me to a Gamecock, to introducing me to your family, and taking me to my first college football game.  Thank you for ALWAYS including my children, and for allowing me to be such a big part of Braydens life.

 I cannot thank you enough for the happy you have brought to my life.   I look forward to the day when we can finally formally blend our families, and be able to come home to each other everyday.   And  I look forward to waking up to you for the rest of my life.



Mar 202015

Prefacing this by saying, this is NOT the story most people know.  A good handful of people know, and I don’t even know why I kept it a secret for so long.  I guess I didn’t want to deal with the negative people, or the people saying “I can’t believe you met someone online” and then asking 10 more questions!  I am pretty candid and laugh about it now that I actually met someone online, and now 2 years later we have this amazing & strong relationship.


Back in November 2012, when I was planning on moving to South Carolina, a very sweet girlfriend of mine “forced” me to sign up for match.com.   I did it thinking she was completely nuts, but signed up, uploaded some photos, wrote a funny bio and waited….and waited.  Basically, I did it as a dare from her.   Everyday my assistant and I would take a look at my daily matches and typically laugh our butts off at what match.com thought my matches would be.   She got me a 3 month membership, which meant I could search and email back and forth with guys.  I got a few “winks” and got a few funny emails.  There are always some total creepers on there, but still fun. I talked to a few people here and there, had a few dates, actually made a few friends that I still talk to over 2 years later.   A few total duds that were fun for a dinner out, but never called again (or I turned down 2nd dates).     Then one day a week or so before my subscription ended in February 2013,  a guy popped up on my matches that I thought was cute. pawpaws phone pictures 262  I read over his profile and thought “what the hey, I got nothing to lose” and I sent him a “wink”.   A few hours later or maybe a day, can’t remember – I got a wink back.   Because I had the app, I immediately sent him an email introducing myself.  Got an email back, and this began a few more days of back and forth.  Finally one day, I got the notice that my subscription was ending (meaning, no more ability to email this guy through the match system).  So, I emailed him and basically said “look, my subscription is about to end, if you want to keep talking to me, find me on facebook.”   Not that long after that, a friend request from Patrick popped up.  

I had just started a job at USC, and my mom was visiting.   At night after the kids went to bed she and I would sit and watch TV and play on our laptops.  I would log onto facebook and talk to him.  This went on a few days, and I gave him my phone number.  The next morning, he called me about 7:30 when I was on the way to work.  I immediately sent him to voicemail (yes, he knows i did this).  I was thinking “oh my gawd, what did I do giving this guy my number, why is he calling me at 7:30am???”.   That night, I didn’t mention the call and we talk for a few minutes.  We played 20 questions for the most part, getting to know each other slowly.    The next day, he called again at 7:30 and I thought “surely he is nuts, nope” and sent him to voicemail.  On the 3rd day of him calling, I answered quietly, still very nervous.  He was upbeat and immediately said “hey!” and asked me how I was.  He said “I thought I’d call you on the way into work, since we have no interruptions.’   I immediately melted and thought that had to be the sweetest thing.  He has called me nearly every single morning since then on the way into work (2 years later).

We finally worked it out that our first date was Sunday evening, February 24.  We decided to meet at Ruby Tuesday in West Columbia.  I remember getting there a few minutes early, and parking so I was facing the entrance so I could see him pull in.  A couple minute wait and I see him pull up, and I am pretty sure I wanted to throw up – why was this so nerve-wracking???   I took a deep breaths, put on a smile and walked towards him.  He was as cute in person as he was in the photos, and to this day I can tell you exactly what he was wearing (and vaguely remember what I was wearing).  He gave me a quick hug and we went on into the restaurant.   We took our time ordering, chit-chatting about this and that.  We both acknowledge now that we were nervous, and we laugh about it.  We talked about our jobs, our kids, places we liked to visit and just talked.   At one point he got up to go to the salad bar and I quickly texted Lynsay (my sister in law) under the table and said “this is never going to work, he is so quiet compared to me”.  She encouraged me to enjoy the date and see where it led.   We finished our dinner and shared dessert.  I honestly didn’t want to leave, but knew I needed to go to Walmart and get ready for work in the morning.  I told him I needed to head to Walmart, and he decided to come with me.   

I think we spent an hour walking around Walmart – smelling suntan lotion in one department, looking at movies in another, and throwing balls in the toy section.  Finally, I got what I needed and we checked out.  We walked out together and he helped me put my items in the car.  Finally I turned to him, and the nervous was back!  We gave each other another hug, and a small kiss and went on home.  I think we texted later to say we had both made it home, and to tell each other good night.

Part 2 – coming tomorrow…


Mar 192015


    Its been one of those weeks.  I had a headache from Sunday through today.  I’m not sure if its a change in the weather, or what’s going on.  I have cut a significant amount of caffiene from my diet and am drinking tons more water!   Also, drinking water helps when you have a cute cup like this! (Michael’s Craft Store for $5)  

I actually bought a monogram to go on the opposite side of it from an Etsy shop called Carolina Peach Impressions.  The shop is actually owned by a Marine wife friend of mine, and she does some adorable stuff.  I cannot wait to get the monogram in the mail to add to my cup!   

Speaking of baseball, the boys both had games on Sunday.  Jonathan had his 1st real game of the season, and Brayden had a one day tournament.  Unfortunately, both lost their games.  Jonathan sort of had an off day hitting, where Brayden had an amazing day hitting.   Brayden also pitched that day, and Jonathan did a great job fielding.  It was such a beautiful day, so warm and great to be outside!

Patrick is in India this week, and thankfully Allison has allowed me to use her iPad to facetime with him.  We were able to talk for about 15 minutes.  It was nice to be able to look at him while we were talking, versus just talking on the telephone.  Thank goodness for technology!  Today we had a harder time because he has moved to a more remote office location, and the wireless is not as good.  We did get to see each other for a few minutes, and then it timed out.  After 3 tries, he gave up.  

I got my Ipsy GlamBag this week and I am completely in love.  $10 a month for makeup delivered to my door.  Yes please!    I got an amazing shade of NYX Butter Lipstick and a few other things = win.  Totally worth the $10, and the cute bag it came in now is in my purse holding all my pens & planner tags.  Double-win!

Hopefully the rest of this week will go quickly, so I can get Patrick home with me again!  I miss him when he is gone, but know that the time apart is good for us!

Today’s post is brought to you by the Carolina leprechaun (spotted near the School of Business on St. Patricks Day)





Mar 132015

So, I have talked a lot in the past about how much Patrick and I love Charleston.  We have been there once at a couple (took my kids to the beach), and been separately dozens of times.  We plan to go back next month for our anniversary.  Here are 5 things from our list of  ”things we want to do”!



1.  Bowens Island Seafood (Patrick’s choice)

You won’t find anything fancy here, as this is a paper plates, plastic solo cups, order at the counter kind of place.  It gets pretty decent reviews on both Yelp & Urban Spoon.   Seems pretty famous for all you can eat oysters and other fried seafood.  The prices seem reasonable as well.  Will report back how it is if we end up there.

2.  Hominy Grill or Lowcountry Bistro (a tie: Lori’s choice)

I really just want shrimp and grits, lets be real.  I am not picky about where I get them from either.

The menu for Hominy Grill makes my mouth water reading it!  Lots of low-country items, fresh ingredients and daily specials. In reading the menu and the reviews, this maybe a great spot for lunch one day.

Both get great reviews on both Yelp & Urban Spoon – which is always a plus.  You have the naysayers, but that’s with anything out there.  Some people are never happy.

Lowcountry Bistro however, has gotten some amazing reviews for their shrimp and grits, which in the photos I saw posted online by various diners, they look – AH-MAZ-ING!   Other folks raved about their salads and their desserts – strawberry creme brulee anyone?



3.  The Ravenel Bridge and the Mount Pleasant Pier (bridge: all Patrick!  pier: both of us).

Patrick mentioned the pier to me and I went to find it online and think its a beautiful spot.  It even has swings!    The bridge, I am not a fan of it.  He mentioned pulling over on the side, and I think I told him I would beat him.  He said, he would pull over and get out taking the keys with him.  My response “if I have to get out of the car to come after you, there better be a proposal waiting for me.”  Not a fan of the bridge, as it is so incredibly high.    From what I have read, the views of sunset from the pier are pretty incredible!   Patrick will also take great delight into making me go across this bridge, multiple times….for no reason whatsoever.  Last trip down there, we went across it – to get gas….when there were perfectly good stations on the “mainland” side!


4.   City Market, the Battery and Waterfront Park (both of us)

These are our “go to” places to walk when we go to Charleston.  We love city market, even if we aren’t buying anything, I love looking at the prints in the various stalls.  I also love watching the women design and make their sweetgrass baskets for selling. Parts of it are air conditioned, which makes for a nice walk on a hot day.  The battery is a beautiful walk, and the park with gazebo is beautiful.  Its a refreshing walk along the water.  The Waterfront park just down from the battery also has a wonderful pier with swings, great spot for picture taking!   There is also a fountain & water feature close by that kids can play in.

5.  Firefly Distillery & the Charleston Tea Plantation (both of us)

This is something we have looked at doing for awhile.  I keep coming back to both places because tours of both locations are free (which is a great thing when you are budgeting a trip like this!).   Even better is that Firefly is part of Irvin House Vineyards.  For $5 you can get a tasting of all of the varieties of wine they create there (5) and  a wine glass too!   You are also welcome to stroll through the vineyard on a self-guided tour.   At Firefly you can get tasting of several varieties for $6, and tours of the Distillery are also free.   The Charleston Tea Plantation is not that far away, and also offers free tours of their factory.  They also offer a trolley tour of the plantation for $10 per person.



Mar 092015

The word control freak has such a negative connotation, and it in general is a negative sounding word. I mean really, it sounds terrible.

This is the moment that I admit that sometimes I am a control freak.  I spent the last 5 years of my marriage in an ever spiraling out of control state.  Not knowing when things would come screeching to a halt, when would the house sell, when could I move on?  It was terrifying and I didn’t like it at all.   

I like order, and I thrive on routine.  I love chaos in small doses.  I am a fixer and a people pleaser.  I fix problems, and appreciate immediate resolutions to problems or situations.  I also genuinely appreciate having a plan (especially if the plan is how to fix a problem or situation).

My realization of how bad I am sometimes came the other day, in the midst of a Friday afternoon at work.  See, Patrick and I have been planning a trip to Charleston for our anniversary for about a year.  We were supposed to for our first anniversary (in 2014). Of course, “life” got in the way in the form of 2 kids playing baseball, 3 kids in school,  Patrick’s travel schedule for work and of course, money.   We rescheduled for June 2014, then it was August and finally September.  When September fell through due to hotel complications, I all but gave up on the trip.  Clearly we were not meant to go on this trip.  Fast forward to 2015 – again, we decide to go on our anniversary weekend, March 19-21.  I was so excited and spent more time than I should looking up events that weekend, places to visit and eat and things that we wanted to see.  Hotel rooms were booked at a great discount.  I waited and prayed that maybe this time would work out.  We need the time away from everything to focus on each other.  I also secretly worried so much that I convinced myself that it was not going to happen.  Patrick kept saying it would work out and probably got seriously annoyed with my constant worry.

On Friday, March 6th, I was sitting at work when I got a text from Patrick:

“I got some sorta bad news”

My first thought was not our trip to Charleston.  I thought something was wrong when it came to this weekends baseball schedule, or another work trip for him interfering with an awards banquet he was to attend with me.  I immediately called him and he said what I had for weeks feared.  ”We have to postpone out trip, I have to go to India”.   I was crushed, another reschedule and the 2nd missed anniversary (1st he was playing golf out of town).   We talked a few more minutes and the conversation went back and forth “what’s 2 weeks later”, “no we can’t go then, that’s Easter and we have to go to Walhalla”, “ok, book it for 2 weeks after that”.   Hotel rooms were rebooked for April 17-19.  I am calmer at this point, its not like he has a choice about this trip and he seems as disappointed as I am over these changes.

I sit back in my chair, still sad and a little disappointed when I remember that his ex-wife is taking a work trip in April.  I text her and she sends me a text back that confirms my fear again.  She has to leave on a day we had planned to be gone.  I call Patrick back, upset that we will have to make even more changes.  Patrick, in his normal way calmly says “give me time, and I will work something out”.  I instinctively go to that place where I want to be the fixer, and I want immediately resolutions.  I want a fix, why can’t he tell me how we are going to fix this, what are we going to do, we are going to have to reschedule again – all these thoughts are in my head and I send myself towards a completely anxiety induced meltdown.   Instead of verbalizing all those thoughts, I say fine and we hang up, I stew about it for the next hour or so.   

The need to control the situation, to “fix” it, to make sure it all goes to plan – its all chaos and I don’t do chaos well.

I brought it up again last night, and again he calming told me that I needed to relax, and that it will all work out.  He said that I needed to give him some time and he will find a way.

Giving up control is hard, especially when it is something you want so badly to happen.  I have to learn to trust that he will make the decision that is right for us (and for the kids), and that he will find a way for us to have our trip and this time together as a couple.

Mar 052015

I am blessed with a huge and amazing group of women that I call my friends, my sisters and my girls.  I have put out the call for guest posters on my blog, and I am so excited with the number of friends who want to! 

You will see friends from across the US from Hawaii to Ohio and all points in between.   Be kind to them, please comment on their posts and give them all some love! 

If you would like to guest post, please let me know!


Mar 042015

1.  I joined a group on facebook for people who are obsessed with their planners (as in my 8×12 calendar planner).  I am hoping it will help me to see that I am NOT as OCD as people think I can when it comes to planning things.  And I have discovered there are about a million etsy shops with little planner stickers & inserts for sale.   I have discovered my people, and it is amazing.



2.  I went to sleep at 8:30 last night, apparently my body needed sleep desperately.  Patrick called at 10:05, and will not tell me what I said in the 4 minute long conversation that I do not remember.  He did tell me that I told him several times he needed to go to bed.  I think he finds me hilarious and likes these late night talks that I don’t remember. 

3.  Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate squares with white mint filling and girl scout thin mint cookies = addictive.  Basically, give me all the chocolate and no one gets hurt.  

4.  I am having a hard time lately blogging, or finding topics to blog about.  I think every blogger goes through this sometimes.  You have all these ideas and then boom – nothing.  I guess it is writers block, or some form of it.  I write these amazing blog posts when I take showers in the morning, except – by the time I can sit down to type them out or “talk them out” (yes, I blog by voice on my drive to work sometimes), I don’t remember a damn thing I had said earlier in the shower.


5.  I am petrified that something is going to happen and ruin our anniversary trip to Charleston in 2 weeks.  Our last trip there was messed up and we didn’t get to to go, and this is sort of the make up for that plus our anniversary weekend (2 years).  I am just so scared something is going to go wrong, and we will have to cancel the whole thing.  I think it is because stuff keeps getting messed up, cancelled/postponed with him and I.  Patrick keeps telling me that it is all going to work out, but right now I just can’t believe him.  I want to, but I just right now cannot.  


Got confessions?   Blog it and link up at Making Melissa.


Feb 272015

We have talked so many times before about how much I love music.  We always have music playing in the car, in the house and I usually listen to pandora or iHeartRadio at work on my computer.   We have also talked about how I have an extremely eclectic taste in music, where one minute I will be singing along with Miranda Lambert, and the next minute be busting a rhyme with Eminem (no really, I love Eminem, and my kids are sometimes impressed with my rhyming skills…or is it skillz?)

In no particular order, here are a few of the songs I am totally digging lately!


1.    Four-Five Seconds – Rihanna, Kayne West & Paul McCartney.
~~this song probably has die-hard Beatles fans turning over in the graves, but – what evs.   Its catchy, and even if I am NOT a Kanye fan, I do love Rihanna.     I will say that Sir Paul looked a lil’ rough when he was trying to sing with them on the Grammy’s, like he didn’t quite know all the words or was unsure of the words.  Either way, its catchy!

2.    Love Me Like You Do – Ellie Goulding
~~this song is from the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, and I think it completely appropriate for that movie (haven’t seen it yet, but plan to).  This plays on repeat in the mornings when I am getting ready, I love, love, love it.   I have it in the back of my head that I can get Patrick to dance with me to this in our living room.  Right babe?

3.  Make Me Wanna – Thomas Rhett
~~ another song I think I want Patrick to dance with me to in our living room.  When I hear this song, I imagine climbing in the truck and sliding over to the middle and laying my head down on his shoulder.  I can imagine taht because  every once in awhile, I ride in the middle seat of the truck right next time him.   Its not something I do often, lets be real the middle seat isn’t that comfortable – BUT, I will do it because I love being close to him.

4.   Mean to Me – Brett Eldridge
~~ I guess we will just continue the slow dance theme here.  This is such a sweet song, with a good melody and beat.   Again, such a sweet, sweet song and I would probably completely melt into the floor if Patrick ever said this song reminds him of me.

5. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson, featuring Bruno Mars
~~ first off, who the heck is Mark Ronson and why doesn’t Bruno get top billing on this?  I mean, after googling his name and looking at his photo, it appears all he does in the video is ride on the front of the car the entire video.  Anyone, I digress…The kids and I LOVE this song.  Katie can do most of the dancing from it now too.   I also tend to car-dance to it too – I’ll admit it!



5 on Friday Logo - Final(2)

Feb 252015

5 years ago, I was a stay at home mom searching for a job with 1 kid in elementary school and 2 kids at home.

4 years ago, I was in a job that I loved working for a local company owned by 2 brothers.  I loved it, loved my coworkers and was generally happy.  4 years ago, my husband left me and our children.   4 years ago, I sat in a cold lawyers office signing separation papers I didn’t want.

3 years ago, I wondered if our house would ever sell so I could move to SC so the kids could see their dad, and so maybe, just maybe we could repair our marriage.   3 years ago, I came to the conclusion that our marriage was beyond repair and I moved on (as did he).  3 years ago, I forgave him for what he had done, not for him, no I didn’t forgive him for his sake.  I forgave him so that I could move on happy and in peace.

2 years ago, I was waking up on a Monday morning, eager to go to work at my new job.  I woke up with a wonderful sense of peace and calming.  2 years ago, I had just gone out on a date (the first of many) with Patrick.   2 years ago, I moved on.

1 year ago,  I wondered if it was really all going to work out, if we were meant to be together, and stay together.  I wondered if he was ever going to love me, really love me.  1 year ago,  I was still fighting my anxiety and still struggling with acceptance.

Today,  I am finally divorced.  I have a job I love, with people that I absolutely adore.  My kids are busy with friends, school and sports.  I stay busy with them, with my friends and work.   I have a man that I absolutely am head over heels in love with.  Today, I still struggle with the same thoughts I had last year.  Is this all really going to work out, if he will love me despite the anxiety and struggles I have.

Today – I have moved on, I deserve love and unconditional love.  I deserve happy.  I absolutely deserve to be cared about, to be treated amazingly.  I have so much love to give, and I want to give all that love I can.   I choose to be happy.  I choose to try my best to not let fear overtake me.