Category Archives: Relationship Evolution

4 months

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On Friday the wedding planning and my anxiety and stress over it all came to a head. Saturday I wrote a very bitchy blog post that I might delete. Sunday everything changed. Lets start with Friday.

Friday afternoon, my mom said her mommy chain was tugging at her so she came to see me at work and brought her dog. I didn’t know she was coming, she just showed up. About 30 seconds later she asked me what was wrong and after half a sentence of trying to fake it, I crumbled. I told her everything that was bothering me and how every time I try to make a wedding plan, I’m squashed like a bug. It’s too hard, it’s too frustrating, it’s not justifiable… it’s just not working. To top it off, my Xanax supply has taken a big hit over the last two weeks because of it. She calmed me down and said to call her after work. I did.

Yes, when we first got engaged I leaped into the whole thing and I was gung ho to make it work. I was excited after the first talk about everything with the committee… and then reality hit. Every single thing I looked at was squashed because of our budget and even after I cut everything to the bare minimum, it was still $6,600. And then I realized that I forgot the fucking wedding rings. Now we’re up to $8,000 to $10,000. Fuck me running. Impossible. If we REALLY busted ass, we could come up with the $6600, but 8? 10? And what about our other dreams? What about moving to a bigger home? What about paying down our debt? WHAT ABOUT THE BABY?

Suffice to say, mom kicked into high gear about budget weddings and all this really cheap talk and I told her “its not me you have to convince!” After I got the hard part out, she brought me down from the ledge, talked some sense into me, and started talking about reality budgets and her two tiny weddings and why am I taking this money away from my true dream of a baby?

Well the conversation left me with a LOT to think about and Dean knows when my head is spinning and if I keep ANYTHING from him (obvious hiding) he gets very angry with me. I should have listened to my mother. Dean and I spoke on the phone on his way home, had an argument (AGAIN!) about unrelated shit, and cut each other off in silence. He apparently called my mom and I went into psycho cleaning mode to get everything out of my system.

I am not good at conveying how I feel to him without it bursting out like an explosion so when I try to contain it and keep my head in line, it comes out stunted and disjointed. See why we argue? He came home to me scrubbing the sweet blue fuck out of the stove and silence. He started vacuuming and we cleaned together in silence. When I let go of my frustration, I walked to him, kissed him, and then we finished cleaning. We went to the store, got some dinner, and let it go. This is a HUGE evolutionary change in our arguing style.

Well after I vented to mom, cleaned, slept on it, took 3 Xanax in 24 hours (keep in mind that’s safe, but my norm is like 1-2 a week) vented through my blog, and had a day apart, things changed. Day apart because Dean works Saturdays and he also sometimes bartends as a side job here and there. He left at 6am and I saw himn again at 11:30pm. Thus, a day apart.

Anyway, through textign and brief phone calls, mom told us she wanted to talk to us in person on Sunday. Dean assumed it was because he told her I was frustrating him with my constant changes to the wedding nonsense and that he wanted to hurt me (not really, but he was angry and talking to her about me). I assumed it was going to be the final blow to the wedding coffin and she’d tell us she has no money and we’re on our own.

I was partly right, so was he.

Today, after helping my dad get the last of his stuff from his soon to be ex wife’s house, we went to mom’s house. She and my stepdad sat us down and started talking. No, they don’t have the money. No, they can’t do more than maybe $1000 at the most. They explained the joys of home ownership and how you can go from “yay we’re a few payments away from no debt!” to “fuck, we’re 20 grand in the hole” in a matter of a month. Their furnace died, AC unit died, had a few other house hold issues and kapow! She was also hating how much Dean and I were fighting over this and saw glimpses now of a future of stress and we needed to be happier now. So how can mom (and stepdad) help her baby and future son-in-law? Well…

My parents offered to help us pay for the wedding by asking us if we’d like to move in with them. “we can’t help you with money, but we can help you by giving you a place to stay so you can save your own money.” We’d pay a small rent, but it would be a third of our current rent and utilities monthly cost. We’d cut other costs, Dean wouldn’t have as long of a commute, and we’d have the cash to do a few things together. Of course the saving at least $1000 a month thing is also a huge factor in this. We discussed everything we could think of, asked a lot of questions, and then Dean and I said we’d think about it and make the decision together. If it were up to me, we’d move next month. DONE! But that’s not quite reality and the earliest we could leave is October. We’d still have to pay rent through November, but we could move out long before that and cut utilities off early.

And then the big offer came out…

3 weeks ago, Dean offered this same kind of thing, but I didn’t hear it. I heard a courthouse wedding now with certain people that MUST be there, and then another ceremony and shebang exactly one year later. I didn’t want to do this twice so I said no. Today that offer was re-issued and clarified. I said yes. The end result? We’re going to get me a cheap ring (to be replaced by 10-27-12), get him his ring that he really wants, get a dress (mom will pay) and suit, have a very small ceremony that my mom will write, we have an officiant who will do it for free, and do it where ever we want locally.

A year from that date, we will have a well planned, well budgeted, party to celebrate it and invite all of our friends and family to join us. If we have the ceremony where I want, I’ve said yes to having the reception in the Elks Lodge his mom helps run and decorate it to the nines with a penny budget. We will also have my final ring and if Dean decides he hates the Titanium, we’ll get him the right ring.

It’s a fuck ton of things to think about, a lot to process, a lot to plan for, and an extremely generous offer. And while I was writing this, Dean decided yes! Yes we’re moving in with my parents! In 4 months we’ll be married and moving into my parents house for 6-8 months.

For the first time in 3 weeks, I feel amazing!

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anti-wedding?

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I work fast. I always have. I HATE having things unresolved. I like, nay, NEED solutions and options.

I want to be married, but I don’t want a wedding. I never have. Grow up without a lot of money, realize one day you’ll be taking care of your parents AND your future spouse’s parents, have no money now, have no degree and no future plan, and you too will be overwhelmed with the prospect of spending a dime on anything that does not have a long term purpose.

I have had a hard enough time buying dresses I will only wear once for other people’s weddings and now I’m supposed to do this for myself? And spend a LOT more on it? Seriously? I’m supposed to invite people I don’t particularly like to an event that effects the rest of my life? I’m supposed to pay for these people to eat and drink and probably get nothing back from? Seriously, what the fuck?

It baffles me the amount of money people spend on ONE DAY of their lives and all the planning that goes into it, but they spend nothing on their retirement, planning the actual marriage, or planning their future. Suffice to say, I’m bitter about weddings in general and always have been. I’ve never made this a secret. I’ve always talked about a tiny Justice of the Peace wedding, a courthouse wedding, and eloping. ALWAYS.

You can imagine how shocking it became to everyone around me that within 24 hours of being engaged, I had an account set up on theknot.com. Within 48 hours a theme. Within 72 hours a date was set. The next day a guest list for each that Dean made on a spreadsheet for me. (He knows me so well!) And today? Well today I have an entire binder made up to keep me organized with check lists, print outs of dresses and decorations, photographers contacted, pages of notes with thoughts and ideas, and a few venues already virtually scouted with inquiries sent.

In less than a week, I went from anti-wedding to a binder full of ideas and a wedding envisioned in my head. My logic was simple: if we’re having a wedding, I’m not going into it unwillingly. If I can force myself to like the idea then I’ll embrace it. If I embrace it, maybe I’ll even enjoy this planning thing. And maybe then, after all that other stuff, I won’t even mind forking out hard earned money to let distant family enjoy it as well.

I am nothing if not a determined individual.

And then Dean and my mom talked, decided they’d created a monster, and Dean proposed a new idea. Suddenly I had the option of the courthouse/JOTP option. There were conditions on it and there would still be a ceremony next year, but I was willing to go with all of this. And I did almost go for it. I was inches away from saying yes until I realized that this was Dean giving up his dream and it was just to make me happy and I felt like a jerk. He’s always wanted a ceremony and I’ve only ever wanted to get married ONCE. Two marriage moments would defeat this.

I did what everyone told me to do: I made a list of what I really truly wanted in a wedding, my short term goals, and my long term goals. I thought long and hard and by the time I was done with the lists, my mind was made up. I decided that we’d have a wedding and I vetoed the option of getting married this year, but I had my own conditions.

The reason? Because this day isn’t about me. It’s about US. Dean wants a wedding and I want him to be happy just as much as he wants me to be happy. I also know that deep down if I don’t do SOMETHING as far as a wedding, I’ll regret it later. So I presented this all to mom, stepdad, and Dean last night with the binder in hand and the lists out for everyone to read. We came to a big enough agreement that everyone was happy.

The compromise between the two of us (big wedding versus non-existent) is to have a wedding, but not necessarily all the traditional procedures. Working out the details will be part of the fun. The wedding is 15 months away. I am spending the next 3 months organizing my binder and thoughts and will present my research to the committee (mom, Dean, and the paternal units) and we’ll make some decisions. This also helps me from losing my mind. If I have the vision on paper, I can come up with a budget figure. If I have both of those things then I can plan a savings schedule and we can plan out when we have to make decisions. Thanks to websites and friends, I will do this at a steady pace, not get overwhelmed, and I will enjoy this process.

I went from anti-wedding to planning my dream wedding in less than a week… and Dean is thrilled.

ENGAGED!

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So yeah, I’m engaged.

Friday Dean whisked me (and our dog) off to central Virginia to The Natural Bridge and an unknown weekend event. After Natural Bridge we had a wet dog sacked out in the car and I had no idea where we were going. Soon enough we pulled up on a gorgeous cabin in the mountains and my parents there! And they decorated! HUZZAH! Happy 30th to me!

And then it got better. When I was making dinner, all of a sudden my brother and his girlfriend showed up!!!! Holy fuck! This is my gift, right? A weekend with my family! Nope. We all enjoyed dinner and then it was cake and presents time. Oh, there are gifts too! Mom and stepdad got me tickets to “Play” which is where the National Symphony Orchestra plays video game music to scenes of the games. We’re seeing that at Wolftrap (outdoor venue where you can have a picnic and booze). They also got me tickets to see Wicked at the Kennedy Center in DC. HOLY SHIT!!!!! And then I open yet another bag and wow, there’s a really pretty berry colored purse! (Total brand x cheap purse but thats my style and I love it.)

Oh and then there was this other little gift from Dean. Dear God, really? I’ve already gotten a day trip, a cabin rental, and my family for the weekend. You mean there’s more?? Yup. In that bag were diamond earrings. Oh my God! Suffice to say I was speechless and elated and couldn’t believe what a wonderful birthday I was having.

And then Saturday showed up and everyone had breakfast together. No real plans to do anything but socialize and enjoy each other’s company, play some games, and eat good food. There I was making lunch for everyone (turkey burgers) when Dean came up behind me, said “let me ask you a question”, wrapped his arms around me, and put a ring in front of me. I barely heard the “will you marry me?” before I whirled around saying “YES! YES! A million times yes!!!!” tears pouring out of my eyes, mascara running, hands shaking, kissing the love of my life. Yes yes yes!

The ring didn’t fit my finger so I made sure it went on a chain around my neck. We’ll be getting it re-sized after my birthday party on the 12th (yup, there’s more!) so I don’t want it going anywhere.

WE’RE ENGAGED! WE’RE GETTING MARRIED!!!!!!!

a month and a half later…

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We’ve lived together for 2 months now. In those two months a lot of shit has happened. It’s possible that I might be over my desire to “get it all over with now”. Wait, that’s a desire? No, that’s how my life is.

After the longest morning of my life, Dean’s biopsy came back just fine. The minute the surgeon left me in the waiting room, I burst into tears. I think it was out of sheer relief that something good finally happened and that we wouldn’t have to fight yet another battle. Or that I wasn’t facing the possibility of losing the greatest thing to ever happen to me. I admit it, when the word “lymphoma” was uttered, my first thought was “you can’t do this to me. I finally found this amazing man and you’re taking him away from me? Please don’t do this!” and then I got over it and realized that no matter what I’d deal with it. It was the realization that I didn’t have to face anything like that right this minute, that I could finally be happy with someone and share a life with. That’s why I cried in the waiting room. Then I called our moms, reported the good news, and breathed.

Not long after that my dad was out of rehab and moved into a group men’s home. We’ve had a few sharp conversations and there was one that shredded me to the bone. I was ready to write him off forever, but then he and my mom talked a lot and after some more time in AA and another group he likes, my dad started to come around. I haven’t entirely given up on the idea of having a father some time in my life.

We got the sperm test results in the middle of all of that too and after waiting two more weeks for my doctor to review them I discovered that I am COMPLETELY fucking fed up with gynecologists in general. Also realized that insurance sucks. Oh and his results were not optimal. My doc wouldn’t even give us clomid without another test for Dean and I didn’t feel like waiting any more for an answer. She gave us the green light to go to a fertility clinic and that was it. The end of all further conversation with yet another doctor that I felt completely disconnected from.

Dejected I went from hyper “let’s make the appointment NOW” to a break down (shocking!) to “fuck this. We don’t need the stress. Let’s just wait.” The plan now? Well I have this super important wedding of my best friend in Toronto in August that is costing a small fortune for us. Actually it’s not so bad now because Steph is amazing and is letting me bypass the hotel costs and letting me stay at her place the entire week I’m there. It was like an elephant AND a boulder came flying off my chest. We also have a vacation in September thats almost 100% paid for. And my truck is paid off in August as well. We decided that due to the financial stress of it all and fertility clinics not being known for low costs, we’d wait to even make an appointment at the clinic until September. Another boulder removed. Stress is not good for baby making anyway.

However, since I have always been a multiple blog person, I decided to start a blog a few months ago about the whole trying to get knocked up thing, but I’m taking it a bit more lighthearted there than here. If you’re interested, leave a comment with your email address so I can send you the link.

Somewhere in this mix Dean also had a sleep study and the results of that were terrifying. It’s amazing he’s alive. Suffice to say insurance covered a CPAP machine and now my beloved sleeps with a bizarre mask on his face at night. I made fun of him incessantly until he finally started laughing about it too. At least now he’s sleeping through the night and getting his energy back. Slowly.

After all of that, we had to figure out this living together thing. It required making food budgets and sharing all money then distributing said shared money and then figuring out schedules and paying each others bills and saving for things we didn’t want to save for and FUCK! We went from zero to married in 2 months flat! The kinks have been worked out, the fights have been had, the sex life has taken a hit, but all in all everything is working out. We don’t resent each other for any of it. It’s all OUR money even though I make the lion’s share and pay all the household items. When big decisions need to be made we actually TALK to each other. We make plans together about the future, where money is going, and how things are spent. See? It’s like we’re married.

As if all that were not enough, i finally went to see a doctor for a physical and holy shit, she listened to me. It turns out this lack of energy can be attributed to a lack of vitamin D so she ran blood work on that and low and behold, my levels were dangerously low. Then a few other results came back that were NOT good. My blood sugar spiked so now I’m pre-diabetic, my triglycerides went up (but my overall cholesterol score was the exact same number as it was the last 2 years), and then there was the vitamin D thing. Basically I’m falling apart. So I joined a gym. My coworker and her husband are “training” me and so far so good. I had already been changing the way Dean and I eat so that part was easy, but the working out no less than 3 times a week? Holy shit that’s hard. If I didn’t have my workout buddies, this would be near impossible. Saturday I go in for my free training session where they make up a workout based on me and my needs. So that will be interesting.

And then there’s work… well thats just a ball of stress right now. I still love my coworkers and still love my job, it’s just really stressful right now. That’s all there is to say about that.

So between work, working out, doctor visits, results, and figuring out how to live together it’s been a hell of a journey. Now let’s see how long it takes me to post again.

cohabitating

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Well that’s pretty much it… we’re a few days away from living together. One more round of packing and schlepping and he’ll be fully moved in and then thats it. The official end to my single life as I know it… and I can’t wait. I’m nervous as hell and I can’t wait.

So far it’s been an easy transition. He doesn’t have much in the way of furniture and because I want all of it to match, we had to buy a dresser. We’re not taking on his bed and we’re not turning the second bedroom into a nursery. I converted that room (after a LOT of work) into an office area and after Dean moved his desk and computer in, I realized my layout wouldn’t work anymore so there will be more work to do, but it’s worth it to have a space for him to game and me to be crafty. Some how despite getting rid of things, I have more storage.

Then came the budget and debt talk. I was dreading this talk and was terrified he’d be furious about my debt. I was scared we wouldn’t agree. I was scared he’d say that I needed to take care of my own shit. I have (what feels like) a lot of credit card debt from living alone for 5 years. Dean doesn’t have shit for that kind of debt but has a foreclosed mortgage so I thought maybe we’d come into this pretty even.

After a long talk, spreadsheets done and re-done, and figuring everything out, I breathed a sigh of relief. We really are in this together and really are becoming one unit (but not in a gross way) and thinking together on everything. A united front against everything, not two separate lives fighting the same war. Ultimately we decided that we would combine our income and pay off my debt because with his credit history, I’ll have to be the one to apply for a home loan alone so my credit better be immaculate. But we are also thinking of a future and despite the surplus of cash we’ll have by combining incomes and lives, we’ve decided to put half of that surplus towards paying down half the debt rather than all of it and decided to put the other half of the surplus towards savings. That savings will either go to fertility treatments (I hope not), a house, or a wedding. Or if the cost of living remains the same here, it may go towards keeping us afloat when Dean becomes a stay at home dad because Jesus H, daycare is ridiculous here! Either way, we’re figuring this out and making this work and there’s no fighting over it. It’s all grown up talking.

The biggest part of all of this is making two opposites work it out. I’m compulsive and cannot rest if things are unfinished. He could leave something undone for a year and not care. I cannot go to Ikea and come home with things in boxes. I HAVE to put things together and organize and I wear myself out. He thinks the shopping trip alone is exhausting and doesn’t want to do shit at the end of the day. Same with this budget thing… I would sit there and tweak, re-tweak, and tweak some more at the spread sheet even though decisions were made because I need to have that plan quite literally laid out in front of me. After an impromptu “couples therapy” session with my parents, we made some changes and now he says things like “okay you have ten more minutes to finish that spreadsheet and then you have to put it down. Promise me you’ll do that.” and the shocking thing isn’t that he demands this of me, but that I actually obey.

The other shocking thing is that all I have to do with him is ask him to take care of something and he does AND he responds well to lists. Like super well. He told me outright he just doesn’t see clutter or dust or a sink of dirty dishes and if I want them done, I have to ask. I don’t want to be a nag, but he said thats fine. Sure as shit, if I just say “I need you to do the dishes before I get home so I can cook” POOF! They’re done! If I ask him what he’s doing on his day off, he accomplishes nothing, but if I give him a list and put it in order of convenience, damn does he knock it out! And not only that, but he stays motivated and keeps doing stuff. Its kind of awesome and while I’m still afraid it could backfire into resentment one day, I think we might have found our groove to make things work.

Now he just needs to finish moving in! Only 13 more days and he will though. Hard to believe I’ve come to this point after all the bullshit I lived through prior. There was really a point where I thought I’d never get here and now I can’t even remember how it was before this.

de-railed

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The last month of my life did not go the way I wanted or planned for it to go. That’s the thing about life… it does that some times.

My dad is getting a divorce from his wife. This would be wife/divorce number four. Yes, it happened as suddenly as I posted it.

I love my dad. He will always be my dad, will always be half of my genetic make up, and will always be a part of my heart. My soon-to-be-yet-another-ex stepmother was not perfect, but I had a relationship with her too. Apparently I was the only one, but that is neither here nor there. Point being, I don’t want either of them hurting anymore. The divorce needs to be fast and painless, but there’s a court date for charges filed that has to happen first. Because of the legal issues, the possibility of this blog being found (doubtful) and me being in the middle right now trying to help both sides, I’ll just say this: it was fast, there are charges filed, and there are two alcoholics who have zero grasp of their own problem.

Actually, make that HAD no grasp. When the shit hit the fan, dad started going back to AA meetings. After some discussion with his employers, his family, and some self realization, he’s checked himself into a 28 day program. An hour ago. I hope this works.

Outside of that, all I can say is that it’s hard to deal with. I have two brothers and neither of them are helping. It’s not their fault. One is barely wet behind the ears and in college way the fuck out in the mid-west. The other has just barely pulled his own life together enough to finally have a girlfriend thats actually pretty awesome, but he also lives far away. Both of them are about as emotionally distant as they could possibly be too so maybe it’s for the better. Dad’s family also lives far away in the nearer Mid-west. I’m local, I’m responsible, and I’ve always been the strong one so I’m left as the sole support in more ways than one.

And I’m just dealing with it. There’s nothing else to do. i can’t turn my back on him and I won’t leave him homeless. My brothers can’t do shit, the extended family did what they could… and I’m doing the rest. That’s the way it goes and that’s the responsibility of the eldest child. Moving on.

During the time, my faith has increased exponentially and I’m happy about that. My dad and my mom are on speaking terms for the first time in God knows how long and she’s being as supportive as she can (even though it’s incredibly difficult right now) so there’s another plus point. Dean has been the most amazing, supportive, incredible man you could possibly imagine too. I mean it’s to the point that this anti-bride who hates weddings is thinking “you know what? If he wants a wedding, I better start thinking this out and budgetting for it.” The same woman who has wanted to go to Hawaii since infancy and wanted it as the honeymoon now says “oh, he wants Ireland? Done.” I mean thats how incredible he has been. I thought something like this would push us to our breaking point because I’ve been flooded with hormones, working too hard, and now this? Turns out its made us a little bit stronger.

In the middle of all this, we bought a couch and right now I’m only sitting on two thirds of it. The other third? I get to pick it up this weekend. I’m not happy about that, but it was either two thirds or no thirds so I took the two because I had two men to pick it up and deliver it and I think I can handle the chaise portion alone. Maybe. So we got most of our couch and it’s awesome. It made for a relaxing place to crash into exhaustion the last two weekends as the shit with my dad hit it’s peak. No, we haven’t christened it. Not gonna happen until we have the whole thing AND some energy.

And then WHAM! Dean tells me he’s made up his mind and is moving in with me. He even gives me a date! Meanwhile, I gently coaxed him to talk to his mom about his sister and her brood moving in with Mom Person when Dean moves out. There are 2 rooms open when he leaves and the sibling needs a better place to live so looks like my suggestion (through Dean) paid off because it went from Dean saying he would move eventually to picking an actual date so sis could give her notice! POOF! Everything works out for everyone. Kinda really fucking awesome, yes?

Apparently that’s what I needed to motivate me to clean out the second bedroom and turn it in to an office. It’s not going to be a nursery in 2011 (it’s not biologically possible) so why allot the space for one? So far, so good. It’s been a challenge to throw my stuff out, but its been worth it. The room looks better and better by the day and now Dean will have an area for mostly him while I have a spot to actually spread out the craftyness when needed.

He’s slowly moved pieces over anyway. About half his wardrobe is here, we have the new TV, all of his DVDs (which were in the hundreds and now a good chunk of them are ready for the pawn shop), his laptop stays here all the time now, and he’s spending more and more mornings commuting to and back from Maryland. It’s been gradually happening and once he moves in for good, we’ll have one more dresser to add to our small bedroom.

We’re making it all work, slowly merging our lives into this one solid movement forward, and we’re getting stronger as a couple every day. Despite the shit and the hard times, we seem to fall more and more in love. I am happy and I am extremely blessed. He’s amazing. He makes me want to be a better person and keep up this positivity even when I want to curl into a little ball and sleep forever. I still get to crawl into a ball some times, but its only to nestle into his big strong arm.

I’ve always had to be the strong one and do everything by myself. ALWAYS. I always had to be my own rock and patch my own cracks. I’ve never been able to lean on someone else… until now. Now I have someone to lean on when it’s hard and patch up the cracks when I can’t reach. I’m still the strong one, but now I’m not crumbling underneath. I’m even stronger now and he’s the reason why.

moving

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Moving in together is a slow process for us because other people are involved.

He lives with his mom. He has since I met him. Basically life took a turn for the unplanned and he was laid off and lost his house. His mother is also a widow as of last March. Meaning: he met me about a month after his stepdad died and I stole her baby boy from her. You can imagine the initial tension between us wasn’t just because of him.

I’ve had some issues with how he is about his mom, but I always have to remember that widow part and re-adjust my sympathy view. I am a very understanding person as well. It’s not been an overbearing, creepy, or inappropriate relationship with them either, he’s just protective and looks out for her. Over time, his mom (whom I call Mom Person) and I have formed a relationship of sorts and when Dean landed in the hospital for his kidney stones and Mom Person and I had some alone time, we really bonded. We even got each other Christmas gifts this year and have progressed to hugs whenever we say good bye.

This is a new thing for me. I’ve never really liked my boyfriends moms. There’s always some sort of issue there and/or they’re horrible people (thus their sons are assholes and why my relationships never lasted). But this one I like. She’s a lot like me (shocking!) and we get along well now that we’ve busted through the haze.

The point to all this is that yes Dean is moving in, but his mom needs to be settled first and I agreed to this and support it. I have even offered to help her pack and move (though Dean because I’m not sure how she’d receive it directly through me) because I care about her. I mean I plan on marrying Dean so this woman will be my secondary mother. I want a good relationship built from the beginning. Hell, i even have visions of her, my mom, and me all having lunches together once in a while. I mean it, I REALLY do like her.

Anyway, Mom Person has been looking for a new place for quite some time. She also knows he’s not planning on moving with her. She knows this is not anything personal, he is just ready for a new life. It’s all been good, but until she finds a place, he’s staying put and contributing to the rent she relies on. I’m fine with this and he continues to establish security with me by slowly moving pieces here and setting up new things. For instance, he bought a new TV for us and it now live sin my living room. He brought his PS3 over here so I can watch DVDs on this new TV. About a 1/4 of his wardrobe now lives here as well.

Last night he took over my cellphone and number because I left AT&T and joined him in a “family plan” that will save us $120 a month since I’ve left behind a smartphone as well as a network. Believe it or not, this was probably the hardest thing I’ve done in years. I realize how odd it sounds to be cautious about switching to a phone plan, but not even remotely cautious about trying to have a baby together, but some things feel far more natural than others. Life also goes the way it wants to, not always the way you plan. It’s just that he owns MY number now. I went from solo and independent to relying on a man. I know, I know. It’s not really that. It’s a smart move and saves us money and it makes sense. It’s just, you know… I’m no longer solo… I’m part of an “us” and its awesome and weird at the same time.

I’m adjusting and no longer have long term issues with it. Once I accept it, I am happy and feel great. It only takes a day or two to accept all the changes too. Crazy. After the phone thing, we went couch shopping together. We found a couch that I am not madly in love with, but he is very comfortable on and the dog will be too, so when I get my tax return, we’ll go back and buy it. I could have let it be this big purchase we made together last night, but I decided to sleep on it. I’m glad I did because I’m positive I want the set and I’m positive I want us to buy it together. Oy.

So yeah… the moving in is happening at it’s own pace and I’m good with it. I’m ready for it and everything is working out wonderfully thanks to patience and understanding. Now we just need to get Mom Person settled into a good place and make sure we visit her frequently once she does. Maybe she’ll even come out here once in a while. Eventually. One can dream.

december part one

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December went from being a slow laid back month to a festival of traveling, family, holidays, and babymaking. It’s amazing just how much time and effort you have to set aside for all of that.

US
Somewhere around the time of Dean’s kidney stone incident, everything went from insane to calm. Something about being vulnerable and stuck in a hospital gown made Dean appreciate me a little more. Something about racing to and from hospitals just to hold his hand made me realize exactly how much I love that man too. Everything kind of calmed down from then on out. I think the conversation before the ER visit about being okay with things going at a different pace also helped. I took the pressure off of him and then was there for him and the arguments just kind of stopped entirely. It was the reassurance we both needed.

And I stand by my decisions. I told him to move in when I got pregnant or when his mom moves, whichever comes first, and not rush it. I decided the less stress that was on him the better it was for him and his testicles. This was on the condition that when it was time to actually MAKE the baby, he’d be around the entire week timeframe I needed and not leave. In other words, now that the pressure was off, we could both relax. From relaxation came a deeper love and understanding and things have been utterly amazing. I feel like we’ve survived something and come out stronger even though nothing truly bad happened.

FAMILY
After my early December trip to Ohio came and went, I was left with a renewed sense of family togetherness and the importance of being together. It’s no secret that I have not gotten along with my dad’s side of the family in recent years. It never made sense to me either because my few trips to Ohio a year were vacations to me. I know going out to a farm to do nothing for a week is not thrilling to most, but it was to me. My vile former Stepmonster really fucked all that up and it’s taken years to wash away her harmful manipulations. Then grandpa died and things changed. His funeral and our subsequent family gathering was the first time I’d seen most of them in eons and I missed it.

After that weekend with my dad when we took grandma back, I felt that spark of love and warmth that I’d been missing. I felt that piece of my heart fill back up and the shadowy memories of old faded into the darkness for good. Whatever Stepmonster had done seemed to have vanished for good and I felt WELCOME again. I felt like I belonged there again. I felt GOOD being there with my family! I couldn’t explain this to Dean, but I knew that was the reason I had to go back for the holidays.

Then a miracle happened. Both of my brothers had managed to get time off and change plans and were both headed to Ohio to see the family. I knew right at that moment that I had to be there for Christmas. Then another miracle: Members of my family chipped in and paid for a plane ticket for one sibling to travel and sent a large sum of cash my way that covered all my gas expenses. Even my mom volunteered to take all three of my pets (2 cats and a dog) if I brought them over to her. Destiny? Clearly!

HOLIDAYS
Initially I’d told Dean I’d spend Christmas with his family and we’d go to his dad’s one night and be with his mom another night. Then my sibling miracle occurred and I changed it. I didn’t want Dean to have to choose… I knew it was selfish that I was making him choose, but I was determined to get to Ohio and now had the funds. So I told him outright that this was the first time in over 3 years that The Siblings Three (me and my brothers) would be able to have Christmas together and that I leaving. I told him I knew it was selfish and I didn’t want him to choose, but he had to. It was either Christmas with me or without me. He chose me.

It was not an ideal situation… I mean here I am upheaving plans, cramming 16 hours worth of driving into a 3 day period, and squishing this mini trip into our lives just so I could get one night with both of my brothers. I did everything in my power to show him how grateful I was and told him over and over how wonderful it was that he was doing this for me. I even thanked his mom for understanding and told her how much I appreciate her when we were all 3 at dinner the weekend before.

So the day before Christmas Eve, I was off work and spent the day getting everything together. This included wrangling up my 3 furballs, hauling Nola’s giant cage down the stairs and into my truck, packing up the truck, spending an hour with mom and the “kids” so everyone would adjust nicely, and then spending 2 hours in traffic to get to Dean’s shop for my oil change and wiper blade fix.

Dean’s mom (I call her Mom Person because I think her first name is too informal but her last name is too formal) had dinner with us and we laughed and discussed the trip. Then out of the blue it was presents time. I had a gift for her that I wrapped up with some effort that was more meaningful than pricey. It was used (two gigantic picture frames that hold about 40 photos each) but I know she loves photos and has them everywhere, so I hoped she would look past the slightly torn inner template. Anyway, next thing I know she hands me a gift bag with two coffee mugs (cat lover and dog lover) and a chef’s knife set! I’d told Dean I wanted a chef’s knife, not her! I was visibly touched and happy and then made her open her gift. Then she went to get Dean his and he went with her. Next thing I know, I have a huge heavy box on my lap.

The man bought me pots and pans. A 13 piece brand spanking new set of pots and pans!!!!!!!!! I’ve never had new cookware. I’ve had hand-me-downs and Salvation Army store finds and random pieces from garage sales. This is a full set, all matching, and it’s NEW. I was so beyond happy, I can’t even explain it.

And THEN we still had Ohio ahead of us.

to be continued…

the gift of love

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I was panicked and worried that my complete and utter lack of money this year would lead to judgement and arguments from family members. Then I realized that we’re trying to get pregnant, pull our separate lives together into one life, and figure out what order baby/marriage/living together will go in. Money I would have spent on chintzy gifts will instead go to ovulation kits, pregnancy tests, medication copays, and saving for baby furniture.

I decided mom and Dean are going to get gifts and the family is getting baked goods. That’s what I can afford and that’s something everyone loves. It also takes time and effort because you can’t bake without love.

Then I found out the majority of my family is in the same boat I’m in and no one is expecting anything. We’re just going to have dinner, share a few things, and celebrate the holiday.

Isn’t that what it’s supposed to be about anyway? Aren’t you supposed to embrace the love, be happy about your good health and roof over your head, and be a family on the holidays? It’s not about material items, it’s about being together.

This year I have an amazing man who loves me more than words can explain and I love him just as much. That’s all I need.

32 hours

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See previous entry. This pretty much begins where that one left off and I’m too tired to function
  • Woke up alone on a Monday which has become foreign to me in the last 8 months
  • Work work work
  • Phone call form the beloved updating me on the events to come in regards to kidneys
  • Work some more
  • Another phone call. What should have been a quick procedure, changed course throughout the day
  • I heard the words “blockage, infection, hospital” and left work 2 hours early
  • I spent 102 minutes in traffic
  • When I got to the hospital, I spent another 32 minutes trying to find Dean because almost everyone who works there is missing a crucial amount of brain cells
  • Incompetent people should have their mouths sewn shut
  • An angel named Mimi saved the day by finding him and then taking me to him
  • I hate at least 3 Maryland hospitals now
  • I cried the minute I saw him
  • The color in his face returned about 5 minutes after I showed up
  • His mom and I got to know each other, but bonded one-on-one in the OR waiting area
  • He came out of anesthesia like nothing had happened
  • He was the butt of many jokes for the nurse, his mom, and me
  • Discharged
  • He rode back with me while his mom got dinner for all of us
  • We all met up at their house, had dinner, and watched recorded TV together very very late at night
  • She gave me a really warm, nice hug when I said goodnight and I got choked up
  • I crawled into bed with my Boo, kissed his forehead, and rubbed his back till he fell asleep
  • I woke up at 5:30am, said goodbye, and hit the road
  • Showered, got dressed, headed to GYN office
  • Assaulted by 5 foot tall, buck ten soaking wet doctor wielding a speculum
  • Veins assaulted by rough and tumble lab tech who managed to bruise my ridiculously vibrant and easy to find veins
  • Cried in the car for no reason
  • Ate bacon for the first time in 4 years figuring that medication already tears me up, so lets try pork!
  • Threw up again. Failure of previous thought.
  • Work work work
  • Work some more
  • Came home to dog acting a fool
  • Contemplated the demise of the dog
  • Period arrived which explained the uncontrollable weeping in the car earlier
  • Chicken pot pie followed by caramel ice cream for dinner comfort
  • Contemplated dog’s demise again
  • Decided it was time for bed

Nighty night.