How I Lived Happily Ever After

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You never think it’s gonna happen to you
I never thought I would be divorced, remarried and a member of a blended family. The way I saw it happening was I would get married, have kids and live happily every after. And that I did. But I ran into a little snag somewhere between have kids and happily ever after. You see, I got married the first time at age 20. I was so in love. Or I thought I was. Actually, looking back I think I even had my doubts then. Something about the sight out of your hind end that lets you see things much more clearly. I wish you could somehow see clearly in real-time. It would save us all a lot of grief. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, so in love or so I thought. I was in love and had to get married right away. I was still in college and was given the option of a)waiting till I finished school to get married and my parents would pay for college or b)get married right then and I had to pay for college. Yeah I chose b. Almost 18 years later, I’m still paying that stupid student loan and I don’t even teach anymore! Jeez. At the time though that’s what I really wanted. By the time I was 29 I had three beautiful absolutely gorgeous children. Two girls and a boy. I loved, and still do, being a mommy. Best. Thing. Ever. Most days. My marriage wasn’t the best though. My then-husband loved to work and he did it a lot. He’s a police officer so it was easy to work. Off duty job here. Off duty job there. Not to mention his off duty hobbies. I was always alone. After 5 months of what felt like hell it all just completely fell apart and he left for good in the early fall of 2008. It was awesome!! After 5 months of fighting and crying it felt good to start picking up the pieces and start putting it all back together again. I had never felt so alive and liberated. I emerged out of it a new, stronger person. I was ready to do what I wanted to do without having to answer to anyone. I was looking forward to being alone. Which, if you know me, and I’m guessing you might not, you know that I loathe being alone[that’s why I had kids actually. So that I wouldn’t have to go to McDonald’s and eat by myself]. I was just ready to sow my wild oats. I don’t even know what that means but I wanted to do it.

Didn’t see that one coming
Two months later I went to a party at a friend’s house. There weren’t really any oats to sow there, wild or otherwise. But there was this guy. I had already been there for about an hour or so and was actually trying to figure out how to duck out gracefully when he showed up. He walked in with his beer in one hand and baseball cap on his head and I decided I needed to

The night it all began

stay for at least a little while longer. Six hours to be exact! I have to admit there was no light from heaven, nor were there any angels singing or anything like that when he walked in, but something definitely happened. We flirted the entire night! It was awesome. The next day there was a friend request waiting for me when I opened Facebook. Awwww! I know right? Then the next night we started chatting and by the end of the week we were making plans for the future. It was crazy! We were up until 3 and 4 in the morning talking on the phone every single night. I don’t know how we did it. All my ideas of conquering the world on my own flew right out the window. Because I had found the person I was meant to be with. No, no…the real person I was meant to be with. Our week of late night chats revealed a lot to me. Not just about him but about me and my past. I figured out all the reasons why my first marriage didn’t work. And why I wanted to try it again. I found out that he and I both put the tea pitcher back in the fridge when it’s empty so we don’t have to wash it again before the next pot is brewed. That we both have the same values in life. That we both cherish our children and being a part of a loving family. And that you always put the knives in the dishwasher blade down so if you trip and fall on the open dishwasher door with the bottom tray out you won’t stab your eyeball and blind yourself. We were finishing each others sentences and all that other stuff that happens when you find your soul mate. And we just knew.

Blending it all together
We also knew that things weren’t going to be easy. But it didn’t matter. First and foremost we needed to get our divorces. Yeah, we were both that fresh out of bad marriages. Then there were my parents. I know they were only concerned about me but they weren’t exactly accepting of any of this. Then there was the matter of the kids. We each had a set of three. How were we going to ease them into this? We took everything very slowly. With my parents, with our kids, with our friends. It was sooo hard!! Oh my gosh!! None the less we did what was best for the kids. Because honestly we didn’t really care what anybody else thought. We did, however, want the kids to adjust well. So he met my kids, I met his kids then a few weeks later his kids met my kids. The kids had no idea we were “together”. We were just hanging out with some friends *wink*. We would steal kisses when the kids weren’t looking and then just pal around when they were. After about a month or so we started holding hands occasionally. Then we would add some more affection in a few weeks later. Really trying to ease them in. We were very mindful of the kids in this whole situation and wanted to make sure we did everything right. And I feel like we did. After about 6 months my daughter asked Gary to marry me. Yep, she wrote him a little note that read “Gary, please marry my mom.” He keeps it in his wallet. He says so that when she’s a teenager and gets mad and screams “I wish you had never married my mom!” he can whip it out as proof. Gary officially proposed in February 2010 at the Winter Jam concert in front of everyone and live on the local Christian radio station. It was the most special moment. We married 4 months later in the most amazing ceremony! It was saturated in love and the Spirit of God. We had vows for the children and a sand ceremony for the whole family. Amazing. Then we all moved into our new home together. I am not gonna lie to you. It has been the most awesome, rewarding thing I have ever been a part of! Blending two families together can be quite the challenge though. I guess it’s different for everybody. I was told it was going to be horrible and that it wasn’t going to work. I believe the reason it does work for us is because we put God first. I also believe it works because it’s His plan for us. And…we’re all pretty flexible. Not the kind of flexible our 13-year-old daughter is, but flexible.

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