Monday, November 2, 2015

Married and Loving It!

It has been months since my last post, and I can only say that life got really busy in the weeks leading up to the wedding. Before I get into wedding talk, I have news! Eric got a new job and finally escaped the boss he couldn’t stand to work for anymore. He started his job in mid-September and has been enjoying the new place. Around the time he started, I got a phone call from one of the positions I had interviewed for back in June. Apparently the person they hired decided to be a stay at home mom, and was leaving and since we scored only a point apart, they wanted to see if I was still interested. Then they spent about a month stringing me along, in which time, the OTHER position I interviewed for in June called and offered me a position. It seems they had been waiting all this time for their HR department to approve their choices and that is why I never heard from them.

So, I had a choice to make. The position that was stringing me along was the position in the city that offered a higher salary, and the position out of the city was a lateral move. In the end, I chose the position out of the city because it was better for my family. The daycare attached to the building was a huge selling point for our plans for a baby next fall, and while I wouldn’t have minded an increase in salary, it wasn’t enough to make me want to continue commuting to the city for the foreseeable future. My last day at my current job is November 10th and then I start at the new place on the 12th since we’re closed the 11th.

On to the wedding! It went so well! My sister’s fiancée was such a huge help with setting up and making sure everything ran smoothly. She really did an amazing job with my vision (and continuously told me to stop doing things and just relax for my big day). She had a lot of help from my brother and some of the rest of the bridal party as well. It was just such an amazing day! Everything came together in the end and while there were some bumps leading up to the day (such as not loving the officiant Eric chose for us, dealing with our former photographer, and then changing the location of the ceremony last minute due to weather concerns), but in the end it turned out beautifully. We ended up having the ceremony right outside the pavilion because it was rather chilly the day of and while it didn’t rain, having it at the waterfront just seemed like it wouldn’t go over well for our guests. I’m so glad we rented patio heaters and had space heaters in the pavilion because otherwise it might have been too cold.

I am also so happy we switched photographers! The one we chose was such a joy to work with and she even offered to do a special project for me. I had asked for a picture of me looking at a photo of my mom at the wedding (which now that I think about it, we never got to), but she said she could photoshop a photo of my mom into a picture with me in my dress. She’s sent me a sample of what she’s trying to do and I love it. It looks realistic and makes me feel like my mom was with us in spirit on that special day. Kiddo and I did a special dance to honor my mom and the photos I’ve seen so far from friends of that are so special to me.

Now that the weddings over, I’m trying to catch up on sleep! We were so exhausted by the time it was all over that we really just spent our days off afterwards just hanging out around the house. Our honeymoon is not until December and thanks to my father, it’s still on! Kiddo’s dad is getting a divorce and he told me he didn’t have the leave to take a significant amount of time off to take her for holidays. I negotiated with him to take off a day at Christmas time to take her the night before New Year’s Eve and my father offered to take her from the night before we leave for our honeymoon until her father can get her. So we can still go on our honeymoon! We’re so excited for it and desperately need the time off and away! We’re going to Isla Mujeres, Mexico for 5 days. They keep changing our flight plan to extend our stay. Our flight leaves at 6 in the morning, which we’re not thrilled about, but hopefully we can catch some sleep on the plane. Then on the way home, we were supposed to leave at 2:30, but they just changed it to 6 pm, so now we’re planning a half day excursion to Tulum before we go to the airport. We’re also planning on going to swim with the dolphins while we’re there, which should be loads of fun! The rest of the time, we plan to just relax, explore the island and hang out on the beach. We didn’t want to plan a bunch of things to do because we know that the main thing we need is just some R&R.

I’m happy to be married and so happy that the wedding is over! Hopefully I’ll have more time to post once I settle in to my new job!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


We’re getting closer. I think my wedding website and my registries are going by different cutoff dates because some say it’s 52 days away and some say 53. At any rate, we’re under 2 months at this point. And of course, the drama has decided to ramp itself up. I don’t think I mentioned this, but we actually fired a wedding vendor back in early May. We had hired a photographer who I knew from high school and after a few red flags; we started to wonder if she would actually show up for the wedding. So, we decided to find someone else and we were successful in finding someone around the same price as the old photographer, but who actually had things like reviews, a contract, and a back-up plan.

Unfortunately, in an effort to not have a huge lump sum to pay in July, I had been paying this photographer by a payment plan, paying her around $50-60 a month towards the final balance. I had given her a deposit last August and when we went to ask for a refund of the additional funds I had paid her, we found that what we thought was a contract was really nothing more than an agreement to the payment plan. She agreed to refund only a small fraction of what we had paid, even though most vendors use the deposit against any loss of business. I didn’t ask for that back because I figured it was nonrefundable, but I still feel I am entitled to the additional money I’ve paid back since she’s no longer providing a service and she likely  has already booked my wedding date anyway. (She does these small family sessions in the fall and posted on her facebook page that she had booked a lot of dates in October, so odds are, she’s rebooked the date and if she does even 4 family sessions, she should more than cover what I paid her initially).

At this point, I’ll be lucky if I can get even the amount she agreed to pay back. She paid half of it in July and then kept promising a new check would be coming soon with the rest. I finally got that last week and deposited it. It bounced. She was rather rude and not very apologetic. I asked for a money order since you have to have the money up front to buy one of those, but I think she’s just having her bank reissue it. I’m not pleased. I got charged a fee from her negligence and after everything else I’ve been dealing with, I’m pretty fed up. Frankly, I half hope she doesn’t reissue the check so I have even more reason to take her to small claims court. She’s basically built my case for me. At the very least, I plan to post reviews for her everywhere, especially since she has blocked reviews on her facebook page and does not have any reviews on the regular sites.

We’ve heard back from Eric’s parents that some relatives would like to shop off registry for the wedding. Specifically, they asked if they could get us a grill. We have a grill because Eric’s parents gave us their old one when they moved to Florida. We rarely use it, since I’m the cook and I’m not a huge fan of an open flame, and he really wants a big green egg anyway. I have about 100 items on the three places we’re registered at combined, but the thing is, we really don’t need anything. We have a full kitchen, though I did add some upgrades, we have a fully furnished house, and we don’t have a lot of room for extra stuff because our house isn’t that big. I’d prefer money, especially towards the honeymoon, but I know many people prefer to give a physical gift and that’s fine. However, going off registry is just likely to bring us something we don’t need or want. I know that sounds ungrateful, but we truly just do not have the room for a lot of things and many of the things on the registry are replacements for things we have, but could upgrade.

In happier news, everything is officially booked, including the limo. I don’t think the lady I spoke with at the limo place fully understood what I wanted, but I think it’ll be easier to explain it to the driver when I am picked up from the hotel. Now it’s just a matter of paying for everything and buying décor.

On the one hand, I’m glad we had such a long engagement as it has given us time to really plan out what we want and save money, not to mention the added benefit of having extra time with each other before it’s legally binding to make sure this is what we both really want! On the other hand, I’m so tired of planning this wedding that I’m to the point of just wanting it to be over. I want to have some disposable income again, even if it’s just $20, but for the foreseeable future, all my funds are tied up in wedding expenses and regular bills. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Double Digits

Last week, we hit 100 days out til the wedding, which means we’re down to double digits in the countdown! Eric *finally* booked an appointment to get tuxes for himself and his groomsmen. I have an appointment tomorrow to have my dress altered, and the alterations are probably going to cost as much as the dress! But since the dress was something I bought on, I’m not really that worried about it. They might not be as high as I was initially quoted since I have a modesty panel, just need it to be put on the dress (hopefully with buttons) and I’m not sure if I’m going to have her do the embellishments on my veil or if I’ll do them myself.

My wedding ring came in, though it needs some alterations of its own as it doesn’t quite fit around my engagement ring like it’s supposed to. Eric’s ring should be here today and then we’ll take them to a local jeweler for adjustments. I’m also hoping to book the limo by the end of the month, and that will pretty much be the last thing to book. Then it’s just a matter of finalizing details and paying for everything. We had a meeting with a wedding planner, but she forgot and didn’t show up. So, now we’ve asked my sister’s girlfriend to take care of that. I’m expecting that the caterer and DJ will coordinate most of the reception, so really we’ll only need my sister’s girlfriend to help with the ceremony.

I thought I had successfully avoided the bridal shower question as we had moved within 6 months of the wedding and my sister hadn’t brought it up. Eric’s sister has brought it up before, but I’ve managed to wave her off for the most part. But then, my sister asked about it last month. I told her I didn’t really want/need one since I’m struggling to pad the registry with items as is (as I know some of my relatives prefer to give stuff as opposed to money). I’d prefer money, especially to help pay for some of the excursions we’ve been looking at for the honeymoon, but I also didn’t want to not have anything on the registry and have people try to buy something we already have. My sister suggested I could upgrade things, but I’ve already done that and my registry is still not up to par with what the wedding websites suggest (which is basically a gift per guest so everyone has choices). If I have a shower before the wedding, I’m afraid that will further deplete it to where people won’t have enough choices to buy gifts for the wedding (if they want to, I’m not expecting people to buy us things, but I know that it’s customary and people like to have options). I suggested if she really wanted to have a shower that she could have a honeymoon themed one, which would possibly encourage people to contribute to the honeymoon (either through just giving money or buying things we’d use on our honeymoon…like luggage, travel sized items, beach stuff, etc). She had suggested that I could have a joint shower with my cousin’s fiancé (they are getting married the weekend before we are), but I barely know her and after spending some time at a birthday party with her this past weekend, I’m not sure either of us would be comfortable with that arrangement. So, I’m hoping that if she insists I have to have a shower, she takes my honeymoon idea into consideration. Our honeymoon is paid for as far as the hotel and flight, but we still have to book airport transportation and we’re looking at a couple of excursions while in Mexico.

I’m so excited for the honeymoon, I’ve found many days where I’m just mentally over the wedding and ready to move on to the next best thing. The island is beautiful and so many places there have facebook pages filled with breathtakingly beautiful images that I seem to change my cover photo once a week instead of once a month! We’re definitely planning on swimming with the dolphins and we had talked about a day trip to the Chichen Itza Mayan ruins, but since it would literally take an entire day to do that, we’ve been leaning towards not. Last week, I found a tour to a ruin site in Tulum which can be done in a half day and is still on the water, so I’m thinking if we do any Mayan ruins (aside from the few on the island itself), that would be the best option. We’re only there for 3 full days and two half days, so I think it would be wise to not devote an entire day to an excursion. I’m fine with doing an excursion a day though and I could see going to swim with the dolphins one day, go to Contoy Island (a wildlife preserve) another day and then Tulum as well. Each of these excursions only takes a few hours, so we’d be able to just relax and explore the island the rest of the time. We’re hoping to book all our excursions after the wedding since we’ll still have a couple of months before we go. I just need to get off my butt and put aside some funds to renew my passport since it just expired in March. Hopefully I can get that done this month so I’ll have plenty of time to get it back before we head out!

I didn’t get either position I interviewed for, but in some ways I think that’s a good thing. I’ve been working on a huge project at work for most of the year and it looks like it may last at least until the end of the year, so it’s good I’m not leaving in the middle of it. I will continue to look and see if I can’t find something closer to home and hopefully I’ll find something by next summer.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Lonely vs. Alone

Somebody recently posted a meme on facebook that had questions you were supposed to ask your husband/boyfriend without any prior notice. I asked Eric the questions last night so I could post my own version of it. Most of his answers were fairly expected, but one answer struck me as really odd. The question was something like “What is your girlfriend/wife not good at?” And Eric said being alone. He didn’t say being alone as in being single, which I could have understood based on my serial monogamy. Instead he focused on being alone as in being home alone. This surprised me for a lot of reasons, one of which is that I actually relish the times I’m in the house by myself. I get so much done! And every year I go to the beach in the middle of winter just to escape the crowds and have some solitary time to think and recuperate.

His answer was even more ironic to me since I just spent the last 6 weeks basically alone every evening and most of the weekends, particularly after my daughter went to bed. He was in the midst of budget, and that kept him out of the house until rather late in the evenings. On the weekends, he was also gone for at least a few hours both days. During that time, while I missed him, I was never without some project or something to entertain me until he came back. I created the wedding bouquets for myself and my bridesmaids (silk flowers), I created a leaf wreath for one window of our venue and I intend to make two more before the end of the summer, I worked on the invitations, and I planned my daughter’s birthday party.

It just struck me as so odd because I am much more typically the one alone than he is. He has fencing, game night and MtG tournaments that he does regularly or semi-regularly (although I made him promise to not sign up for anymore tournaments until after the wedding). As depressing as this is going to sound, I spend most of my time home when I’m not working. I don’t have hobbies outside of the home, mainly because I’ve been a single mom for so long it’s hard to break old habits now that I *could* conceivably join a class or meet up with girlfriends on a weeknight. I also don’t really have the money to pursue anything class related right now and one of the things I’d love to do (community theatre) is such a huge time commitment, particularly once you get closer to opening night, that I just can’t imagine participating in it right now.

But I assume what he’s referring to is the depression I can get when I’m home alone and have no set schedule. This happened when he went to GenCon last year and my daughter spent a long weekend with her father. I was alone and still suffering some serious ill effects from the Mirena. I had a major depressive episode and I had to force myself to follow through on plans I had made for myself, like going to the beach for the day. In the end, I managed to get out of the house and get to the beach, and I was glad I went because I had such a good day in the sun. But it took effort, and it was hard to be alone at that time. However, that’s not so much a problem of me struggling to be alone; it’s more an ongoing battle with depression I will probably fight for the rest of my life. Spoiler alert: it helps significantly to have something to look forward to; it’s why I’m such a huge planner.

If I had answered the question, I would have pointed out that I have issues putting myself out there socially. I’ve become more and more introverted over the years to the point where I sometimes wonder if I’m going to end up like Emily Dickinson. I’m not good at making new friends. I avoid most social outings except with my nearest and dearest. We threw my daughter a birthday party this weekend and I was happy to have so much to do with the kids that I didn’t have to try to make small talk with the adults. The only adults I really spoke to were family members. I relish the furthering of technology to the point where I don’t have to talk to people in many social situations now: I can do a self checkout at the grocery store, order delivery online, and even prepare mail all with technology. Technology has definitely made the world so much easier for introverts. So, to me, I’ve got being alone down to a science. It’s the socializing and interacting with my fellow humans that needs work.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Four Months

We are T-minus 4 months to the wedding, give or take a few days. I feel like we’re pretty much set. Eric needs to get his groomsmen and himself tuxes, we still need to book a limo and we fired our photographer. We have a new one, but the old one had me really paranoid that she wouldn’t show. She postponed our engagement pictures the week of for a family emergency and then posted photos of her and her kids playing at a park. There were a few other red flags, and after going to a bridal event in April, Eric and I made the decision to cut her.

I think Eric’s mom is feeling a little left out of the wedding planning. I didn’t really think to include her since my own mother is deceased and my father is not very involved in my life. He’ll show up and walk me down the aisle (I’ve confirmed this), but we aren’t at all close. The problem is that Eric’s parents moved to Florida, so involving them in the planning just never occurred to me since, like my own father, they weren’t really local anymore. My father still technically has a house in the state, but he spends the majority of his time either working or down at his beach house with his fiancé. So, it just made sense that Eric and I were on our own with the planning. However, the few times we’ve talked to his mom about the wedding, she asks what she can do to help and sadly, there really isn’t anything left.

The scale is finally being my friend again. I had a few ups and downs earlier this year, but I’ve finally figured out a game plan that seems to be working. I walk every day after work. Now that the kidlet is old enough to spend a bit of time in the house by herself by law, I can go for walks. We got her a cell phone for her birthday, nothing major, just a month to month plan with no contract and a simple phone that she can use in emergencies. So, every day after work I walk our neighborhood. I feel safer there than at my job. My goal is to lose at least 15 more pounds by the wedding and be back at my pre-Mirena weight. It would be awesome if I could lose 20 pounds, but I’m hoping to get beyond that by the honeymoon. We’re planning on trying for a baby within the first year of marriage, so I’d like to be at a healthy starting weight this time and not gain as much as I did last time.

I also am playing around with the idea of getting a new job. I had an interview down near where my fiancé works last week and I have another one in the city this Friday. The one out of the city is a lateral move and the one in the city is two grades higher than I currently am. The goal is to get out of the city, but if I get offered the higher grade, I may put up with it for a while longer just so I can increase my earnings. It’d be nice to close the gap between Eric’s salary and mine a little. With all the issues we’ve had in the city lately between rioting, stabbings, and the general crime rate we always seem to have, I’m more than ready to get out of here. The place I interviewed out of the city is in a beautiful building with a daycare center attached, so I could take the baby there and nurse on breaks plus I might be able to sign Denise up for a summer program. I love my job and there are things I would miss about it, but I really would love to just get out of the city and be able to drive my own car to work every day instead of relying on public transportation. The hours would be the same as I have now, so that was a huge relief to hear. I’m not sure what they would be at the in city job, but that will certainly factor into my decision as well. I just don’t want to be pregnant here.

Monday, April 20, 2015


So, I finally had narrowed down our honeymoon to two locations: Freeport, Bahamas or Isla Mujeres, Mexico. The place I found in the Bahamas that had everything we wanted would not allow us to book less than 5 nights. The sticking point was when my ex husband would take kidlet. We typically split her winter break 50/50, but this year, the break is 11 days. Since I get her for Christmas this year, I figured it would make more sense for him to have the 6 days and for me to have the 5. That puts us not leaving until Tuesday, and since I don’t want to travel on the Sunday after New Years, we’d only have 4 nights. As a result, Mexico won out and it has proven to be the better option overall. It was less expensive, we get a direct flight home (connecting flight there) and neither of us have ever been to Mexico. I’ve been to Freeport and while I love it and would love to go back, it would have been even more expensive in the long run as we’d either have to rent a car or take taxis to do anything besides go to the beach while we’re there. Our money is also worth more in Mexico, so there’s that as well. Currently it’s about 15 pesos for every U.S. dollar.

We’re staying at a little hotel towards the southern end of the island. It has Jacuzzi tubs (a big bonus for me) and while it’s not directly on the beach, they provide free transportation to a local beach club. The beach club is in walking distance and I imagine Eric will want to take advantage of that to hit his step count. The majority of the “action” on the island is a fair distance away, well, as “fair” a distance as you can have on an island that is only about 5 miles long. Many of the reviews I read suggested renting a golf cart to explore the island and I think that sounds like a great idea. There’s a swimming with the dolphins program on the island, and they have a deal where you can stay at their ecological park after your dolphin adventure. The offer includes kayaking, bicycles and beach access as well as lunch. You can pay a bit more and go ziplining, which I might do, but Eric will probably decline. He’s afraid of heights. :)

I’m glad we booked the honeymoon when we did as prices would only go up the closer we got to the timeframe. Now I just need to renew my passport. I’m going to wait to make the name change until we get back from the honeymoon so I don’t have to worry about getting my passport back in time. It sort of sucks to do that since I have to renew my license this year, but at least with my passport, I can get my name changed for free if I request it within the first year of renewal. Wish the driver’s license worked the same, but oh well. Hopefully I will never have to go through this process again!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Spring Break, or When Not to do Disney

So, for spring break this year, Eric and I took kidlet to Florida for the main purpose of visiting his parents who moved down there last summer. It wasn’t exactly a planned trip as we had originally discussed going to visit after the wedding as leave from work and finances are currently tied up with that. However, there was a little family drama over the Christmas holiday that I won’t get into that made Eric feel obligated to visit his parents to reassure them that their relationship was on good terms. So, suddenly, we were scrambling to go to Florida in March.

I’m a planner, a HUGE planner, and while we made the decision in early January, there were many bumps in the road to the point that we were still debating whether we’d make it down there in February. I didn’t even book anything until late February/mid March. In February, Eric had some health issues that really made the trip questionable, but by mid March, that was resolved and the trip was a definite. Still, the constant back and forth was aggravating to me because I couldn’t plan anything until we were 100% sure we were going, which meant I was booking a lot of stuff last minute (at least, to me).

We decided to make the most of our trip and drive down to Orlando for a couple of days before going to his parents’ house. We planned to spend a day each in Disney World and at Universal as Eric and I had both never been to Universal. After spending the day there, I kind of see why my parents never made a point to go there... We split the drive down to Florida in two days since I was sure kidlet wouldn’t make the drive in one fell swoop. We stopped in Florence, SC both on the way down and on the way back since it was a fairly nice halfway point.

While the trip was mostly a success, there are many things I would have done differently. I probably still would have done Disney, though, I will NEVER do Disney again during spring break. It is WAY too crowded. I took kidlet to Disney when she was 5 for her birthday and since she wasn’t in school yet, we could go ON her birthday. It wasn’t terribly crowded while we were there and wait times were reasonable. During spring break, Disney is ridiculously crowded and I was miserable. We got fast passes for 3 rides (only one of which really seemed worth it, but because we booked everything so late, there was slim pickings for rides). We went on Splash Mountain…at like 10 A.M. when it was only like 60 degrees outside. It warmed up to the mid 70’s later on, but kidlet and I were already cold, so adding freezing water to the mix was not my brightest moment. We also had a fast pass to the Haunted Mansion which…I like the ride, but the wait time was never that bad for that one. The only ride I had a fast pass for that was worth it was Space Mountain since that line was always about 1.5-2 hours long. We had fun at Disney, but I am serious about not doing it on spring break again.

Lessons from Disney:
1.       Not during spring break.
2.       Stay on one of the hotels on Disney property that is not owned by Disney. It’s slightly cheaper than Disney, not as cheap as an off site hotel, but you have easier access to Disney transportation, which is free.
3.       If you stay off site at a hotel, take Disney transportation ALL the way to Epcot before getting a taxi back to your hotel. Our taxi was over $40 and about half of that was just getting off Disney property. If we had taken the monorail back to Epcot from Magic Kingdom, we would have saved ourselves at least $12.
4.       Determine the dates you want to be at Disney and book reservations as soon as you know them. I would have loved to do some kind of character dining experience, but they were all booked by the time I tried.
5.       Don’t book Splash Mountain at 10 AM in March. Yes, Florida is typically warm all year, but it does get chilly in the early mornings and evenings…
Our second day in Florida was spent at Universal. I really wish I had done some research on the rides at Universal before we went. Apparently, Universal proper (we didn’t do Islands of Adventure) has a thing for 3D virtual rides. The first ride we went on was the Minion one and that made both Eric and I sick to our stomachs. From there we did Shrek (not as bad, but similar idea) and then Transformers (not as bad for me, but Eric hated it). By that point, we were really unhappy because this is not how we wanted to spend our day (or money). Thankfully, we were able to break out of the 3D world for the Mummy ride and for the Disaster ride, both which were awesome. We did do Harry Potter/Diagon alley and enjoyed the roller coaster there (because the 3D effects weren’t as vomit-inducing on that one as on the others) and Eric bought us all wands at Ollivander’s wand shop. We also tasted butter beer, which we all enjoyed. Our last ride was one Denise chose, which was the Woody the Woodpecker coaster. I wanted to do ET, but she was adamant and we were all pretty exhausted by that point anyway.

Lessons from Universal:
1.       Don’t do it. Seriously, it’s got nothing on Disney and the ONLY reason I can see going back is to do Hogsmeade for Harry Potter. We might do a return trip at some point to try that, but I don’t think it’ll be the next time we go to Florida.
2.       Research the rides before you go on them. If you don’t do well at virtual 3D moving rides, Universal is really not for you. After Transformers, I told Eric which rides had the 3D and what I thought we should skip and we were all much happier.
3.       Don’t do Escape from Gringotts first thing. When we got there, the wait was over 2 hours, but after lunch, the wait was just over an hour. Diagon Alley was still filled with people (and watch out for all the idiots who stop in the middle of the walkway to snap pics of the huge dragon), but the wait time was more reasonable.

After Universal, we drove to Eric’s parents, which was about 1.5-2 hours away from Orlando. We got to the area after dark and proceeded to get very lost. If you’ve never been to Ocala, or have no reason to go there (i.e. family obligations), I highly suggest you skip it. I had a roommate who was from Ocala during my short stint at a small liberal arts college in Florida and one weekend, we went to visit her parents. It’s basically like they took Southern Maryland (St. Mary’s County, specifically) and transported it to Florida, removing all traces of any hills and replacing them with palm trees and Spanish moss. There are tons of horse farms everywhere, miles of countryside, and not much else. Whomever designed their street system must have been smoking something because they have multiple streets with the same names, just slight variations. For instance, we were told to take 80th Street. Well, there’s an 80th Street and an 80th Avenue that actually cross each other. The road his parents live on has a similar road on the other side of town. We got so lost and we were both pretty aggravated and pissed off by the time we finally managed to find it. Lesson from that experience: don’t trust Google Maps for everything. It’s a new development, so I’m not even sure if it was ever put ON google maps.

All in all, I’m glad we went as I was able to keep a promise to kidlet to return to Disney in three years, but if I could have done this differently, I would have planned to go at a different time and preferably after the wedding. I’ve calculated my leave for the rest of the year and I’m going to have to scrimp and save it if I have any hope of going on a honeymoon with Eric in January. We’re still trying to figure out where we’re going, but I’m leaning towards going back to Freeport in the Bahamas. I went on a cruise there a couple of years ago and the area is really nice. I’m just trying to figure out where we should stay while we’re there. Hopefully we can decide on that and start booking it soon!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

On This Day in History...

I have a livejournal account. I’ve had it for over a decade now, though I don’t write in it nearly as often as I used to. But it’s there, and every now and then, when I’m having an especially boring day at work, I’ll look through all the entries I wrote over the year on a particular day, normally whatever day it happens to be or a surrounding day. Today, I looked at all the entries from January 7th, starting from 2004 and working forward. When I got to last year, I wish I had just skipped it. The entry on the 7th and the preceding day were about Derrick and his sudden decision to go back on his word and leave the townhouse we rented together when the lease ended.

For a bit of back story, when Derrick and I broke up, we still had almost an entire year left on the lease. We had a huge fight in February of that year, right around when we were supposed to renew the lease, and for some stupid reason, we decided to try to stay together and renewed it…even though it was clear that neither of us were happy. A few months later, we called it quits, but were still stuck in a lease. At that time, we were at least still friendly with each other and agreed that we would maintain the townhouse until the kidlet’s school year ended and then we would go our separate ways. Last January, Derrick decided that he wanted to go back to school on the GI Bill and, under the guise of “asking” me, told me he didn’t intend to do as we had agreed and stay in the lease until June. This left me in quite the dire circumstances, as I couldn’t very well afford to pay for the entire rent by myself and it seemed silly to rent a place for a couple of months until kidlet and I would move in with Eric. I also didn’t want to switch her school in the final marking period, but the idea of commuting from Eric’s house to the old school just seemed stupid. My sister suggested I move at the semester break, but at first this seemed impossible since our lease wasn’t up until March. Then I realized, while I had to pay the rent until March, there was no requirement that *I* had to live there. So, after Eric got the house situated, kidlet and I moved to his house and I was able to enroll her in her new school and the same daycare program she had been attending.

Many friends of mine questioned whether Derrick would actually follow through with his plans for school or if, like so many of his other half-assed schemes, he would just end up moving back in with his father and just play games, working minimally. I don’t know if Derrick ever made it into college, though I do think he at least made it to where he planned to attend college as his father passed on in May or June last year. Shortly after he dropped the bomb on me, I unfriended him on Facebook and I haven’t heard anything from him since he finally moved out of the townhouse in March.

Looking back on the situation now, I can still feel the anger, the slap in the face of what I thought was a fairly sound friendship despite what had happened between us romantically, but at the same time, I feel freer. I don’t think staying friends with Derrick was wise. The more distance I got from the relationship, the more I realized how fucked up and one-sided it truly was. There was a time I would have done anything for that man, and I feel ashamed at the foolish and clearly lovesick girl I was. The second time around (we dated twice, in case I haven’t mentioned it before), I wasn’t as foolish, but I was still willing to do anything to maintain the relationship.

It’s funny, I can’t help comparing my relationship with Eric to the one I had with Derrick. When Derrick and I moved in together, I made sure he had a space away from my child. It’s like I intuitively knew that he wasn’t really interested in being a stepfather. So, I made a rule that kidlet couldn’t go up to his room (he was a REALLY loud snorer, so I had a separate room on the same level as kidlet). I thought it would simply be an escape for him when she got to be too much to handle. Instead, it seemed to become an escape for him from everything: me, work, life, etc. With Eric, I didn’t set aside a specific place for him. We hardly have the room for it, but there isn’t anywhere in the house that kidlet is banned from. Their relationship is not always perfect, they’re still adjusting to each other and kidlet is often a very stubborn and loud child, but I feel like he at least puts forth the effort. No longer do we have a nightly dinner battle where kidlet and Derrick would test to see who could be more stubborn, and I was stuck in the middle, trying to work out a compromise. Eric, for the most part, let’s me take charge of the parenting in the moment and just backs me up, but we spend a lot of time talking after kidlet is asleep to make sure we stay on the same page when it comes to her. I remember Derrick complained in the midst of our break up that I, how did he put it? “undermined his authority” with kidlet. In reality, he never had any authority over her because he never earned her respect. And his method of earning her respect (picking fights with her over trivial things, like dinner), left a lot to be desired.

That’s not to say things with Eric are always a bed of roses, though I suppose, that is actually an apt description if you keep in mind that along with their silky and fragrant petals, roses have thorns. We have our rough patches, it’s been an adjustment, moving in together, especially under the circumstances that we did. Yes, we had planned to move in together last year anyway, but it happened a good 4 months before we initially planned. But the difference, at least to me, is that Eric has always viewed us as a family, a team. He sees me as his partner, not his roommate. We have a joint account that both of us contribute to with each paycheck, not just at the end of the month when the rent/mortgage is due.  Derrick once told me that we were either going to make it or fail together, but I see now that, like his promise to stay in the lease until June, it was just empty words with no meaning.

I read once that it takes 2 years to fully forgive someone. I’m not sure if that factors in the ways they wronged you or not. I feel like I’ve moved past my marriage to kidlet’s father, and that for the most part, I’ve forgiven him and myself for all that went down there, but it’s been almost 7 years since that ended. I’ll say this of Derrick, I no longer feel an uprising of vile hatred whenever I think of him and I am genuinely curious if he actually managed to enroll in school and excel. But not curious enough to reopen that can of worms. As far as actually forgiving him? I’m pretty sure I’m not there yet.