Sometimes it takes wine to make decisions

It seems my Husband and I were off this week.  I have been snappy, he has been tired, the normal ebb and flow to our days seemed to be derailed and we were both going to bed annoyed.  There has been no real reason for it, we can just blame it on the full moon.

Wednesday night I came home later than usual and started dinner.  We had to start our first task of picking things out for the house which is apparently the stone that will go on the front.  The Husband poured my glass of wine that I normally drink while I’m cooking and unfortunately he didn’t put the bottle away.

You see, my Husband doesn’t drink, but he sure likes to get me drunk and that night he thought I needed it.  We laid on the floor looking at picture after picture of stone on the laptop and he kept refilling my glass. Sometimes when I was looking, sometimes when I wasn’t.  I kept drinking and the edge of the week wore off for both of us as we laid there laughing.

We made the first decision for our house and it didn’t kill us.  I know some people have mentioned how horrible choosing things for their home was on their marriage but it has brought us together, with a little help from too much wine.

Last night I met the Husband at the house.  All of the outside walls are up and we could actually stand in the kitchen and look out the window at what will be our back yard.  I could lay on the floor and look up at the open sky where soon our bed will actually be.  It isn’t just concrete  and dirt, it is actually forming into something now. The reality that soon we will be done with the decisions and we can actually pull in our driveway is amazing.

This has been a long road for both of us.  Nine years ago I moved into my apartment thinking my Ex and I would only be there for one year.  I’m beyond ready for this, to land in a place where my husband and I will start our family, where memories for us will continue without the ghost of my ex-husband around.  This is our fresh start and it will take a few more wine nights of my husband pouring but we will make it full of laughter.

Lesson One-Driving

I grew up in the middle of a country song.  A place where life is planned around harvest and planting season, otherwise no one will show up at your party because they will be in the fields. 

I went back there this weekend because as much as I hated the place growing up it feels good to go back from time to time and relax.  I like taking my kid back there for the simple fact that she can experience what I did.  Sure, we live in a small town right now but where I grew up doesn’t have a Target 15 minutes down the road. 

Rebecca is 10 and she learned to drive a combine at the age of 8.  She would sit on her uncles lap and drive uneven  lines through the corn and scream every time she scared up some deer thinking Bambi was going to get sucked in.  This weekend I figured it was about time she learned to drive an actual truck.  My truck to be exact. 

Rebecca was ecstatic at this idea and begged me the second we pulled into town.  I pulled the truck out into the pasture, then she came around the driver’s side and hopped right in.  While the truck was still in park I had her tap the gas and brake a few times.  She heard the rev of the engine when she hit the gas and her eyes lit up.  That’s what Dad’s Mustang sounds like when we go real fast. Ah, power.  We are car people and it has certainly trickled down to her blood. 

I didn’t get nervous until I sat in the passenger side and looked at the driver’s side.  Woah.  The real thing was only 6 years away, weren’t we just watching Elmo?  I told her to put her foot on the brake and put it in drive.  This is where it all hit her and she announced that she could wait till this summer to learn.  Nope, foot on the brake, put it in drive and sloooooowly let up. 

We were facing down hill so we started creeping forward and I had to remind her to put her hands on the steering wheel as she peered over it amazed.  I told her to tap the brake and stop the truck as we weren’t going to even touch the gas today.  2 MPH can still throw you back in your seat when the brakes are hit hard enough. 

That is what we did, let off the brake, push it back to a stop, put it in park, giggle at the excitement, put it in drive, roll forward, honk at the cow, hit the brake.  Well, that is what she did, I spent most of my time wondering how the fuck I will teach her to drive on a road without a panic attack.  I guess that is what her Dad and his Mustang are for though.

My whole family watched this from the big bay window of the house and Rebecca suddenly had a whole new swagger when she walked back inside after we were done.  A swagger I wasn’t quite ready for when I’m used to her still sleeping in footy pj’s that are covered in monkey’s.  Thankfully, time slowed itself back down when she later begged to have an Easter Egg hunt and fell asleep with chocolate still on her face.

 

Trust: My Husband has friends that are….Women

There is an age-old debate about whether or not one should be friends with their ex.  You can take that a step further and discuss how you feel about your spouse being friends with their ex which seems to be an even touchier subject.

Some people just jumped on their side of the fence with an “oh, hell no!”  It’s okay, I heard you.  Hear me out though.

I have a very basic stance on trust vs jealousy in a relationship.  I believe you should have trust and there is no room for jealousy.  Your marriage or relationship will have enough real things to contend with, why worry about something that isn’t there?  For example, why worry about whether or not my husband’s friend has a vagina?  He likes my vagina just fine.

When I met my husband and I was very forward with him about the fact that I am friends with many men, I’ve even dated a few of them and I was not going to give up my friends for a man who didn’t like my choice in friends.  He had to like the man friends just as he had to like the woman friends. I know some people aren’t comfortable with this arrangement, which is why I was upfront.  This actually, in turn, made him upfront.  His best friend is a girl and he is friends with a few of his exes.

So to answer the question, we do believe you can be friends with an ex or a member of the opposite sex.

The first time I met one of the Husband’s ex-girlfriends was at HER wedding and she was lovely.  So lovely that I can’t say a bad thing about her and both her and her husband attended our wedding.  We consider them friends and my Husband speaks with her via text or email here and there.  I have never questioned their friendship or them speaking to one another.  I have never felt the need to check the text messages between the two nor have I ever felt jealous.  I understand why their relationship ended, it was a path of what was meant to be and there is no hurt feelings between the two.  Plus, she has never given me a reason to dislike her.

Then there is the Husband’s best friend, a woman that he has never dated but was deployed with for a year in Iraq.  From our first date I heard stories about her just as I did the about the men he was deployed with.  When we were dating the Husband took a trip to visit family and this particular friend lives in the same area.  The two of them went out for dinner and drinks and no, he did not need to call and ask permission to do so.  I finally met this girl the day before our wedding reception.  She came to town very late at night to stay at our place and the two of them stayed up late talking while I retired to bed.  The next morning her and I got to know one another and she is great.  I can see why my Husband is friends with her.  They talk weekly and she feels like his sister more than anything else.  They have that deployment bond that can’t be broken and once again, never have I felt the need to question any of it.

Is this a two-way street?  Yes, I was a farm girl, I have guy friends too.  One’s that join me for drinks at happy hour with the girls, some that join my husband and I at the comedy club, and some that call me for dating advice.

This is where some of you say I’m blind or too trustworthy.  The thing is, I trust my husband, I’m secure in my marriage and  I have also taken the time to meet these women and have gotten to know them just as he has my friends.  Even if there was any doubt, it was removed when we shared a bottle of wine and they told me stories of a guy I knew nothing about because both of these women have known him many, many years longer than I have.  I also trust my husband to associate with friends, men or women, who won’t do damage to our marriage.  Sure, we would all like to think anyone who talks to our husband clearly wants him for the stud muffin he is but alas that is not the case.

How do you feel about your spouse’s friends, with a penis or vagina?

How Much Baggage Should One Carry?

When I go on a trip I check bags, there is no way around it.  Those people who bring a carry-on, well, I envy them a bit but then I remind myself that if I suddenly need snow boots on an island then I will probably find them somewhere in my huge bag that may or may not get lost on the way there.  I mainly like to be prepared is all it comes down to.

This happens when you start a new relationship.  Some of your baggage or your old relationship comes into the new relationship. Some of it can actually be seen as good but there is plenty that shouldn’t make the trip at all.  Like my snow boots, totally not necessary, they just take up space.   The question is, how much of your old relationship should you really bring to the new one?

I can say there are some issues I brought to my relationship when I was dating my husband.  While I had dated a lot after my divorce and before  I met the Husband, there were still some things I had to deal with and the only way to deal with them was by being with someone who could help.  Unfortunately my Husband has had to pay for some of the issues I had with my ex-husband. If the Husband really wants to see me in melt down mode he can show up late while I’m standing dressed and ready to go somewhere, a big issue with my ex-husband.  I can’t help it, I recognize why I’m freaking the fuck out but it doesn’t matter. 

Then there are the little pieces of baggage you don’t think about.  Women can relate to over packing to many toiletries which can start taking up space when really you only need a ponytail holder and sunscreen on the beach.  I didn’t care for my new boyfriend to be leaving his toothbrush at my place and don’t even get me started on pajama pants left at the end of MY bed.  Who did he think I was?  It may have been his small pieces but they felt like the took up too much space where my ex-husband’s stuff used to lay. 

There was also the ex-husbands stuff just lying around that felt like literal baggage holding back my new relationship.  Stuff that took time to part with or stuff he just hadn’t come to pick up.  Baggage that needed to be cleared out. 

Thankfully I was dating a patient man who started to lead me down a path that didn’t require me to pack so damn much.  I could leave behind pieces and could start dealing with some of the baggage that I did bring to the relationship, such as trust.  I also knew that with this man I was ready to ditch all of that and move on to a new destination.  While I don’t think it is impossible to move into a new relationship without lugging a few items I think the new person can at least help us unpack a bit.

The truth is, you can’t start a new relationship with your old one not even put into a box.  You have to board the plane, be ready for missing bags when you arrive at your destination and be okay with only the bikini you packed for an emergency in your purse.  The sun will shine no matter what but you have to give it a chance to break through the clouds.

Dear Me, Two Years from Now

Dear Me, two years from now,

You wrote a similar letter, two years ago, to yourself and you certainly didn’t regret it so here we go again.  It doesn’t seem like two years goes that quickly but it truly does.

This letter proves to be more difficult than the last because you are rather content right now, yet on the cusp of so many life changing events coming your way.  Not like the last two years hasn’t been crazy enough. 

You always thought the years would get easier with Rebecca yet they have become more trying.  The most important thing is to continue to keep the faith and push that fear away, behind every child is a mother thinking she is screwing it up.  You have not screwed it up, just continue to show her how much you love her and that she always has a home to come home to.  At this time she is quickly growing out of being a young lady and becoming a tween before your eyes.  One day it is dolls and the next it is makeup.  I’m sure by the time you read this again she will be taller than you and dolls will be an embarrassment to carry. Embrace the new part of her life and keep the communication going.

Your husband still gives you butterflies 6 months after marriage and you can’t imagine a world without him.  I hope you are more in love with him now than the day I write this.  Remember to give him a break every now and then, stay behind to cuddle in the morning and kiss him goodnight every night.  Make sure you still have those random late night talks, even if it is about exes.  The dishes can wait till after sex, the laundry he tends to leave around are signs that he is there, and the late nights are signs he is working hard. 

I hope you aren’t still working in the same place.  I hope you have pushed yourself to somewhere new and are chasing your dreams.  I hope baby toys litter your living room and you watch that baby sleep at night, before you know it that baby will be Rebecca’s age. 

I hope you still support your ex-husband, no matter the choices he decides to make, he is on his own path.

I hope you don’t question spending the money but you take the trip with friends because life is too short to not go on vacation.

When you read this your brother and your best friend will be married, your Father may be gone, your Mother will hopefully have her chance to breathe on her own again.  Friends may divorce and more will marry, make sure you don’t get “too busy” with life that you don’t have time for them all. 

You will be out of the dreaded apartment and in the home you built together.  Just when you want to complain about anything in that house, remember how cold this damn apartment gets in the winter. Remember how much of a pain in the ass carrying the groceries up is and how loud the heater gets. 

This is the part where life gets to going faster.  Your family becomes closer and your friends become more like family and are more permanent.  Life is not measured by break ups  and late night parties but by divorces and back yard get togethers.  At this point you are totally fine with it but don’t become boring.  Have sex with your husband on the back deck and have an unplanned drunk night with friends.  Be spontaneous.  It is okay to do that now. 

I’ll see you in two years.  Cheers.

Learning Parenting Skills

There are some important conversations every couple should have before they get married.  Future goals, where they want to live in 5 years, finances, careers and family.  Family, as in, if we create mini-me’s how are we going to raise them?

The one thing the ex-husband and I are really good at is being parents.  I believe that is one of the sole reasons why we were together.  Through the divorce and to this day we have not wavered in our stance on parenting and how we go about it. 

When the Husband came on the scene Rebecca was 8 and I made it very clear how the Ex and I go about parenting and how that would not change, take it or leave it.  I think it gave him a good idea of what his future could hold with me.  Let’s be honest, if he didn’t like it then how the hell were him and I going to have kids?

Can you really be with someone and not like their parenting style?  I’m not saying some things aren’t going to change when the Husband and I have a kid but the foundation will be the same.  If you look at the person you are dating and think it is all going to change when it is YOUR kid then you are likely mistaken.

This past weekend we had an issue with Rebecca that needed to be addressed when I dropped her off at the Ex-husbands house.  There the three of us stood in front of Rebecca.  My Husband dropped back for most of the conversation but piped up when need be.  We parent as a unit now.  My Ex-Husband and my Husband get along wonderfully and I think that continues to help in raising her.  She sees a united front and not people she can pit against one another. 

The Husband respects how we have done things and trusts my parenting skills with Rebecca.  I have learned through the mistakes of raising the first child, as most do, so of course, the second child will be different.  Or the second child will eat more dirt than the first did, either way I know that we are both on the same page. 

In a way we have already been able to test drive this road together.  While most people are only able to have this conversation, or don’t have the conversation at all,  the Husband has had a front row seat to what our future would hold.  The conversations about bedtime prayers, first concerts, candy, groundings and what shows are okay to watch have already been discussed.  We might just have a fighting chance against our future kids.