So lately (as in over the last 3 months), I’ve been called crazy, weird, strange and a multitude of names – by people who were supposed to be friends and even some family members.
Why you ask? – because I have a great relationship with my boyfriends ex-wife, who also happens to be the mother of his son.
Well, my give a damn just busted and while its cracked and broken – I’d like to take a minute to set the record straight and maybe explain a little. This way, if you ever think you want to spout your ill informed opinion about someone in a similar situation – you’ll think twice. I’m sure the below is a jumble of nonsensical ramblings, but well – again – my give a damn is busted.
I don’t understand why people think that all relationships between the “new girl” and the “ex” have to be strained or terrible. I understand that I am not the best example, since my relationship with Matt’s girlfriend (Cassie) is strained at best. However, its one thing to be civil, but its another to have a great relationship and actually *gasp* talk on a regular basis. Guess what, the kids do notice, and so do their friends! I’ve been told “my friends think its cool that you & my mom get along and don’t hate each other”. Again, kids notice stuff even when you think they don’t!
I read an article awhile back where Jada Pinkett-Smith (as in Mrs. Will Smith) wrote about blended families that truly, truly struck a cord with me. The note mentions being married to, but the same thing applies to dating.
Patrick and I both bring kids to our relationship (my 3, his 1), we knew this from the first date. It was never a problem for either of us. We have worked hard to make the six of us into a wonderful family. Sometimes I think its easier being with a person who has kids, because he understands the challenges that arise from shuttling kids between two houses, having to work out holiday schedules and sharing birthdays.
I knew going into this relationship that in order to make “us” work, I not only had to love Bray (and I do), but I also needed to learn to like his mom. She isn’t going anywhere, she will ALWAYS be his mother. She will ALWAYS be a part of our lives, just as I will always be my childrens mother and be a part of their lives. If I have a problem with that, I needed to walk away MONTHS ago.
In honesty, I was terrified to meet her the first time I did meet her. I am very protective of my kids, and I know how it felt to have to “let go” a little and let dad’s girlfriend be a part of their life. However, I met a person who was funny, kind and accepted me. She and I sit next to each other at ball games now, we share stories and random text messages. My son has even spent the night over there with her and Bray. I think I’m pretty lucky in the fact that in my relationship with Patrick, I gained not only another amazing kid – but a great friend as well.
For those of you that think its weird that I sometimes say “my 4 kids” (referring to Katie, Jonathan, Natalee and Bray) – shame on you. How horrible is it that a child have another adult who truly cares about them and loves them? Guess what, its not – it is a wonderful thing! No, I didn’t give birth to him and I’m not even his stepmom, but I don’t love him any less because he isn’t “mine”. I always tell my kids they are lucky to have not only a mom and dad that love them, but Cassie & Patrick who also love and care about them.
As long as all the adults IN the situation are OK with the situation, the kids are ALL happy & thriving (which we all are) – then I don’t give a damn anymore what anyone thinks.
I’ve talked about him before, but its time to introduce a little more about “the boy behind the blog” – as in – Patrick! He willingly participates in silly Q&A sessions with me for blog posts. And doesn’t think I’m nuts when I say “I gotta blog about this”. His first adventure into doing a blog post with me was: He Said/She Said back in June.
What’s your favorite band or musician?
Who was your first concert?
What is your favorite Thanksgiving food?
*I should have guessed this, since once we get to Walhalla next week for Thanksgiving with his family, he will be cooking BBQ and chickens overnight*
Finish the sentence: I am thankful for…
So…its been awhile since I have tackled the ABC Dates topic…so thought it would be great to bring it up again! Don’t know what ABC Dates are? Check out this post (original ABC Dates post)…or this page (main page for ABC Dates).
Life gets crazy – since September 1, we haven’t had a weekend where we didn’t do something – I kid you not. We either had a travel ball tournament, or we had tickets to the Gamecocks football game. Don’t get me wrong, I love the family that Patrick and I have made together with our kids. I love the crazy and the chaos and everything that comes along with having 4 kids.
We also haven’t had a single non-kid weekend together in about 2 months. Again, don’t get us wrong – we love our kids. I will say, we have moments alone together….we went shopping the other day (in between dropping off 1 kid, and picking up 3 more), and the other day we did have some alone time in the car when I took him to the airport.
We have managed (with or without kids) to do a few more things on our ABC Dates list…. We have been to Charleston & Folly Beach back in September. We have done Williams-Brice on gameday multiple times (love this!). We tend to spend more time cooking at home than going out lately, so no new restaurants to report.
We are also very committed to each other and making our relationship work, no matter what crazy comes our way. I once complained that I didn’t get to see Patrick but for 15 minutes one week (this was early on when we first started dating) and he said “I would rather have something than nothing at all”. He’s so right (don’t tell him I said that!).
With all that being said – what are some places you’d like to add to our ABC Dates lists? We have a list for Richmond, VA…Atlanta, GA and Columbia, SC. We are happy to start compliling lists for other cities as well – just ask!
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Ok, so after I wrote a bunch of the 31 days of “love” blog challenge posts, I was sort of disenchanted.
Meaning, I suck at blogging challenges.
It sucks the fun out of writing for me.
It makes me feel like I need to write just to make sure I get a post up, and well – it just doesn’t work for me.
So…it was fun while it lasted, but I’m done with the writing challenges. I know I’m a decent writer, if I wasn’t I wouldn’t have the hits, the sponsors or the opportunities that I have.
Writing for me is an outlet. It lets me get all these crazy ass thoughts in my head settled down, and its my way of being creative without having to buy stock in hobby lobby (although, I love me some hobby lobby).
So…the end of trying to write everyday, but I’ll still do a meme or two throughout each week.
As I have gotten older, my mama has become my best friend. I call her everyday on the way home from work (except last week, I got distracted in my own thoughts I forgot to call for 2 days!). I think she gets upset when I don’t call. My daddy always has my back, and has been a rock throughout the last few years.
People laugh when you say “I’m becoming my mother”. This was never more evident than the other weekend when I was freezing my butt off at 8am sitting at the local ball field for an all day baseball tournament for Patrick’s son. I thought back on all the times that mama sat there at the ball fields for me or for Matthew. However, she was probably not freezing her butt off because she often wore ski-bibs to practice or to games when it was super cold (I kid you not, she did this and I’m sure there are photographs somewhere). My mom worked the chains during our high school football games (once again, I’m sure the ski-bibs were involved). I remember stopping at Carlton’s Country Store with her, and getting rotisserie chicken for dinner on the days my dad was at the firehouse.
My dad could often be found as “room dad” when I was in elementary school, or working various events on the PTO. In the summers we would go places in his little F-150 with the vinyl seats that got super hot. We were members of Anirav, the local pool and we spent pretty much every summer day there when he had off work. I remember shopping at Ukrops with him, and when he made lasagna (one of my favorite things he makes). I also remember stopping at Carlton’s with my dad, and him letting Matthew & I get bubble gum from the stand next to the register. When I was in high school, and was on the sidelines as one of the teams managers & student athletic trainers – daddy would be there buying me hot chocolate on cold nights (and always buying some for my best friend Natalie who was on the cheering squad).
They volunteered on the PTO, the rec league board of directors and in the booster club at the high school. They worked many a night in the concession stand at the ball field. They did fundraisers for baseball, ROTC and school and sold more donuts than any one person probably every should. They pushed us to make good grades, and never let us give up. They took us to church, every single Sunday and bible study on Wednesday. They again sold donuts and did car washes so we could go to church summer camp, or go on mission trips. When we got older, they would go on mission trips with us. They showed Matthew and I how to have a giving heart.
When I got married, they came to see me in California (twice) and flew out to move me and Katie from San Diego back to VA. This is where my dad’s love affair with driving big yellow Penske trucks began (haha ha). Luckily, we still let him do that cross country move several times, as my brother is now a Marine and has moved several times. I promise daddy, the next time I move, will be local, but I’ll still let you drive the big yellow Penske truck.
Words cannot begin to describe how much I love these two people. For lifting me up when I was down, for telling me straight up I was messing up. For listening to my ramble for hours on end about nothing at all. For never letting Matthew and I fail at anything. For showing us a love of laughter, and for giving us an example of a loving marriage. For making me laugh until I nearly pee, and for all the times we can pick on each other and never have our feelings hurt.
For “Indian Attack!”, hiding in hampers and letting me plaster my room with posters. For letting us play hide and seek outside until it was dark, steal your tools to bust rocks on the driveway and for letting our yard become the local wiffle ball field. For hamburgers on the grill, chili & noodles and letting us write recipes for the school cookbook. For snorting during the vows of Matthew’s wedding, and jokes about how native american chiefs name their babies. I love you to the moon the back.