Monday, November 25, 2013


My husband is adorable these days, constantly in a state of wonder and bliss.

He wanders into the baby's room to wash all of the new clothes, towels, blankets, hats, and tiny socks in preparation of the big arrival. As he piles it all into his arms, huge smile on his face, he grins and says "This is actually real. These are my baby's clothes. These don't belong to someone else. I'm having a baby." I am giddy watching it all sink in for him.

He practices our natural labor techniques with patience and perfectionism. He is so reassuring and calming during our "practice" labor that I don't want to stop practicing and make my "contractions" last just a little bit longer than they should.

This pregnancy hasn't been easy. I spent the first trimester on crutches or in a boot. I've been pretty uncomfortable and frustrated with the whole process, a much more selfish 37 years old compared to my last pregnancies, all in my twenties. I miss vodka, a lot, and daydream often about my first cosmopolitan.

But here with less than 3 weeks to go until our due date, I'm more sure than ever that this was the best decision I've made in a long time. Besides the one to marry my husband.

Soon we will be locking eyes over the first cries of our newborn son, a human being that our incredible love made. It will be a first for me.

And then our children will join us, the family he chose, and they will have a new brother, one they already adore and that joins us all together by blood and love.

Soon, so soon.

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Knife

I sit at the head of the bed, as far away from him as I can possibly get and still hear his bullshit.

I stare straight down at my contracting belly, my chronic pre-term labor set into motion once again by the trauma that has just come crashing down on me like a boulder off a cliff.

As I watch my baby and beg my body to relax, I listen to his calm, emotion-less answers, that seem to float from his mouth and painfully slowly to my ears.

"I'm not a monster. I tried not to. You never want to have sex with me. I had to." His answers drip of deferred blame but he does not dare to actually say it was my fault.

One by one my questions are answered. Different women. Different places. Over a year now. Sexual addiction. Compulsive behavior. Internet hook-ups. Lunch breaks at work. Missing savings account funds explained.

I watch him then turn from a stone-cold bearer of my worst nightmare into a little, crying child. He begs me, what are you going to do? Who are you going to tell? Are you going to make me leave? Will you make me leave my children?

I am now the one who is cold and unemotional. It's as though my entire body and mind has shut down to protect myself and my unborn daughter from the unbearable pain. My world, my marriage, has fallen apart, just 3 weeks before I am to welcome this new life into our home. We have failed her. I have failed her. How could this actually be happening to me...

"Just....get out of here."

He leaves the bedroom to make a bed on the couch, and has no trouble falling asleep, as I can hear his disgusting snoring from the bedroom. I crawl into bed and stare at the ceiling, trying to suppress the scream that wants to make it's way from my chest, through my throat and out of my mouth. But there are two more children in the house who have no idea that their worlds just fell apart too. And I can't handle trying to figure out what to tell them, not now. I have to give birth in 3 weeks. A newborn to care for. I have a business to run. I have a cheating husband.

I am suddenly overtaken by a rage that I have never felt before. I hear him blaming me. I see visions of him performing the unspeakable acts with the complete strangers, women I don't know who have now touched the man who swore to touch only me. My body quivers with anger, and I can't lay there one more minute. As if overtaken my a force, I rise out of bed and float to the kitchen, where I am drawn to the knife block, as if it is calling me. I stare at it for a minute, gripping my hands into a fist so tight that there will be broken skin tomorrow. His peaceful snoring is mocking me, laughing at me, rubbing it in that I mean so little and his family means so little that he is capable of not only this disloyalty, but of sleeping right now.

I grab a butcher knife, and I walk methodically over to him on the sofa.

I stand there, holding the knife in my hand, staring at his face, deep in slumber. I feel the power and I relish in it, I take some sort of sick comfort in it, and I bask in it for just a few moments.

Of course, I do nothing. Somewhere inside my sanity seeps in, and I begin to softly cry, defeated again, powerless again, because I could never hurt anyone the way he has hurt me.

I return the knife to it's home, and I slink back into my bed, where I await sleep to take me away from this life, even just for a little while.

The morning would bring the hospital and monitoring. The week would bring his exit. The month would bring the birth of my precious daughter. The years would bring separation, divorce, and therapy for me and the kids.

These memories are the knives that stab me awake in the middle of the night, now in the present. Memories I thought were processed, filed, and stored away in the past, seemingly triggered now by the growing belly I possess once again.

Eyes fly open, head spins to where my soulmate now sleeps next to me, his hand unconsciously and lovingly resting on my stomach, protecting his son, and I remember that this one will never. We mean everything to him, and he would never.

He hears my wincing, opens his eyes, pulls me to his chest, and reminds me of this in a whisper. "I love you."

And it's enough to keep the anxiety, the memories, the flashbacks away for tonight. I draw in a deep breath, blow it out, and close my eyes.

Better things are to come.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Another chance

When my husband and I first met, and all throughout our courtship, whenever the question of children came up, I made it clear to him that I. Was. Done.

I had the three most wonderful, amazing children. They were at great ages and I felt complete. However, I promised him then that I wouldn't make any permanent decisions, leading myself open to possibilities in the future if I (laughing inside) changed my mind.

Years go by and my husband supports me through the begging of my ex for not only child support but to make responsible decisions for the kids. He holds my hand as I fret over the care they are given at their father's, he misses them when they're gone right along with me, and he loves them as if they were his own.

I have marveled so many times at how I got to have a second chance at marriage. I got a real marriage proposal, a wedding that I loved, a husband who adores me and shares the sames dreams as me, everything I always dreamt of but had given up on.

So when circumstances in our lives began to change: our business took off, my husband began working with me at home, our free time increased, our youngest started kindergarten and the house became too quiet, it suddenly dawned on me, why not give myself the one experience I never got to have, a pregnancy and baby with a man who loves and supports me? What is that even like?

My ex husband was present for all of my children's births, and stood by my side as I labored, but we had no connection. I couldn't look into his eyes and ask for help, I put my head down and got through my emotions alone. Asking him for anything was met with immediate resistance and passive aggression. Instead of encouraging me, his words came across as yelling or teasing or taunting.

At the birth of my very youngest six years ago, I had just learned 3 weeks prior that he had been cheating on me with various women for at least the past year, and our marriage was likely over. I hated him. My entire pregnancy was wrought with suspicion, nightmares, and stress that I couldn't understand until I caught him, 35 weeks pregnant and unable to confide in anyone but a therapist, because my family and friends would all have to deal with him as the baby arrived. I hate that this is my last memory of childbirth.

My husband, on the other hand, came into this family a bachelor and became an instant father to three children that he is forced to share with another man, no matter how hard that is. No matter how much he loves them, sacrifices for them, or thinks of them as his, he must take second place as "just the stepfather" in so many situations. Were I to die, he would have zero rights to visit with them, even though he spends more time caring for them than their father because of our custody arrangement.

So back in September, we were sitting at the State Fair together just the two of us, sipping wine and cuddling under the lights of the Midway as families strolled by. A woman with a baby in her arms and her husband with his loving arms around them both went by, and I just knew. I knew I wanted this. I didn't know how we would do it, if we could do it, I didn't know anything except that I wanted to have a baby with this man by my side, my soul mate whom I love more and more every day.

I told him this, and he grinned, because he knew it too.

As has always happened when you make the decision to follow the signs of the universe, everything fell into place one by one. Doors opened where there were only walls before. The impossible became possible.

And then, this April 3rd, a positive test.

And then a few weeks ago, a tiny beating heart flickered on an ultrasound, as our 10 week old baby danced and waved at us, and my husband reached out and held onto me as I sobbed with joy. I looked into his eyes and was met with a knowing look, a connection that this incredible love we share created this life.

It feels like the first time in so many ways.

Our children are beyond thrilled and already fighting over who will hold the baby first. This baby will connect all of us in a way that is beyond words, a mutual love and blood that takes us all one step closer together.

I can't even come close to describing how gratifying it has been watching my husband be able to have this experience, the one he missed with our three older children. His giant grin the first time he noticed my belly growing, his emotions at hearing the heartbeat for the first time, watching him tell his family, and just a general softening of his whole being.

He deserves this more than anyone, and you know what? I deserve it, too.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Thoughts on True Love

I've been married for about a year and a half now, and met my husband almost 4 years ago. My mind often compares and contrasts the differences in my two marriages. I reflect often on how close I came to never knowing what true love actually felt like.

The more distance I get from my ex husband, the more I am absolutely amazed that I ended up married to him. And this is not in a judgmental sort of way, but are we different, and in every single way you can imagine. But, this is what happens when you marry your boyfriend at 20 years old.

It took my twenties and half of my thirties, really, to get me here, to knowing exactly who I am, what I want from life, what I really BELIEVE in, and what makes me happy. At twenty, I loved junk food and watching tv and Jesus/God/church, and had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. Over the past 16 years, I've discovered that I love nutrition and exercise, that I'm artistic and creative, that I believe in the power of thoughts and that I don't believe in most religions, but a universal "God". I'm sort of a hippie, I adore the outdoors, and want to see the world, not watch it on tv. Being with him was confusing to say the least as I grew into these parts of myself. It was a constant battle as I grew and changed in one direction and he planted his feet firmly in the same spot. To this day, he is still the man he was at 21 when we married, from what I can tell. The kids come home from his house describing the exact former life I used to live with him. It just, wasn't right...and no amount of therapy and trying could make it right. I desperately tried to flex my budding self in his direction for the 11 years that we were married, to accommodate both of us and our needs, but I just. can't. imagine. how that could have gone on, forever. It's frustrating enough just trying to co-parent from a distance with someone who believes in absolutely the opposite of everything you believe.

It was liberating enough to become a single woman and begin to live exactly as I wanted, every day. To raise my children the way I wanted to, at least under my roof. It was as if my wings suddenly reached across the sky and I was free to fly as I pleased.

But the picture wasn't complete. Before I met my husband, I felt that knowing and loving yourself was the end of it, and finding love would be a happy bonus.

I don't believe that anymore.

Being with the right person has been a spiritual experience that I'm not sure I can even begin to do justice with mere words.

My now understanding of true love with your spouse is actually pretty close to my understanding of my love for my children. My desire is to bring out their best, to watch them flourish, and that the dynamic of our relationship brings out MY best.

“Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”- Robert Heinlein

I'm not saying that single folks can't be happy or complete, not at all. I'm just saying that there is another level beyond that I've been so incredibly lucky to be able to find.

True love with my husband has meant that we have engaged in a spiritual partnership, the sum of the two of us together being greater than the sum of us individually. He sparks inspiration and ideas in me, and I in him. Our relationship is powerful in that we can accomplish things together that we wouldn't have been able to alone.

I am certainly not saying that our relationship is perfect by any means. When two people have so much passion for life and each other, there are plenty of times that we lose our footing, and the passion can turn negative. We don't fight as much these days, but when we do, it's intense.

But for the most part and learning how to do this more and more each day, we have been able to lift each other up to new heights that we never even knew existed.

I loved my ex husband, I did. But love in itself is not enough, this is something I know now.

Relationships need to develop into something more than just love. It takes WORK. Dedication. Passion. Open-mindedness. Adventure. Humbleness.

I truly believe that without my husband, I wouldn't be the woman I am today--extremely happy, loving every minute of life no matter what it brings, exploring my spirituality and the world, trying new things, learning from those around me. But I also believe that I've helped him along his own journey and I absolutely adore watching this unfold every day. It's so exciting to partake in this kind of relationship, and I am so, so grateful that I didn't miss the chance.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Over the past six months I've been trying to live and grow in the philosophies of the great spiritual teachers to find enlightenment and peace.

This past week, we met my husband at a campsite in a state park that is quite literally in the middle of nowhere.

There is no 4G, barely any cel phone reception, and if you want wireless internet, you have to drive to it.

He stayed for a week on his own to gather his own thoughts about an upcoming project and to find his own clarity. He found it, and was so inspired by the time we met him there that I think his whole demeanor actually changed.

How could camping do this to a person? We'd been camping a number of times before, it's not like this was new.

But we've both been on this spiritual journey together, and this time maybe it was just the right time for us.

We disconnected from the internet and our phones, and therefore, the world. Nothing was reality and nothing mattered except what was right in front of us, and that was gorgeous scenery, the elements, and our children.

There were no problems except how cold it was, if our business was holding up ok back home on its own with just a few quick 15 minute check-ins each morning, how the kids were doing, did we have enough food, and what could we explore next?

My teen son didn't check Facebook or his cel-phone once. We sat across a campfire together and laughed. We challenged each other to push-up contests. I carried my 6 year old daughter down a mountain after she so bravely climbed to the top herself.

During the course of the trip, I answered one phone call, and one text - from my 83 year old grandmother and from my mom.

I evaluated my relationship with my husband and determined that we have created so much more than a marriage, but a spiritual partnership that is a force of nature.

This trip was perfection in so many ways, but the most important way was that it accelerated a journey that I was already on and brought clarity to thoughts I was already having.

Life isn't about running around and being busy, or struggling, or being the best, or having it all.

Life is about living.

And the "problems" of every day? Self-created dramas that disappear when you disconnect.

I'm so thankful to be learning these lessons at only 36 years old. I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to teach them to my children.

I'm so happy to be exactly where I am at this moment.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Living a Dream

I am living a dream.

If you had asked me years ago to design my perfect life, what I am living now is EXACTLY what I would have planned.

This is not by accident.

I think, in my years of struggle, darkness, triumph, and rebirth, that I have stumbled upon many "secrets of life" that I have been able to apply with great success.

Obviously, this has not been easy. Anyone who has been reading this diary for the past 4 years knows that.

But "there's beauty in the breakdown". And sometimes I think that the deeper into darkness we fall, the deeper engrained the lessons are that come from it.

I'm currently "working" my dream job, for the second time in my life.  I'm so passionate about my new career that not one minute of it feels like work. I am excited to wake up each morning and create something new, excited to help others and help myself in the process. I am working alongside my life partner, and together we are unstoppable. We watch our business grow by leaps and bounds each day, and opportunities consistently fall into our laps that leave us humbled and grateful.

I have my kids 90% of the time now. My ex husband has decided that he could not afford to take care of them (eye roll) and now they are sleeping in their own rooms, in comfortable beds, eating healthy food, being nurtured and cared for, and living with a healthy relationship role model 90% of the time. I never could have imagined this would happen but I wanted it for them, and when the opportunity arose, I took it.

I have learned the practice of daily meditation. I even attended a meditation class and had to laugh because it felt like church. I'm in touch now with the big picture of spirituality, even though I have abandoned all religion and my former ideas of what spirituality was.

I'm watching every dream I've ever wished for come true, one by one. I've mastered the process of asking, working, thinking, and receiving. It works.

Through meditation I have conquered anxiety, fear, and depression. I'm currently weaning off my anti-depressants.

I've come to truly understand the power of thoughts as well as the power of NOT thinking, and I'm learning to use that.

I'm learning how the adventurous, successful, happy people out there bridge the gap between wanting something and getting it.

I've learned that happiness and peace is attainable every single day when you learn to see the good that is already in front of you and feel grateful for it.

I've learned that if I tune out all the excess "crap"-clutter, most of social media, drama, news, gossip, shopping just to shop, doing things just because everyone else is, and focus on just the important things--that I am freeing up my time for all that is important to me, working only hours a week with a big return, freeing up income for priorities like travel, and just living a stress-free life.

So that's the latest with me. More amazing things to come.

Monday, December 31, 2012

2013-My Vision

It's amazing to me, the power of just saying what you want outloud to the universe.

Of course, nothing just happens. You have to take every opportunity that arises, you have to stare fear down in the face, you must be willing to embrace change and failure as signs, not as dead ends.

I was reading some of my tweets from last New Year's. I tweeted on the eve of 2012 that this time next year, I wanted to change careers and begin working with my husband full time. I didn't know how we would do it. And I still really don't understand how, but just this past month, we made it happen. We are running the business of my dreams together as a team. We work from home, we have our business meetings together in our living room or on walks. Work doesn't feel at all like work. I am living my passion alongside my life partner who is also living his passion, and our work is changing lives. Our marriage is rock solid.

Last year I resolved to make this year more balanced, avoid drama, and to live with gratitude. After a rough year, I'm there. Last minute, but I'm there :) I began writing my daily gratitude down every day, and even do my own separate version for my husband. It keeps everything in perspective, and makes me realize that I have absolutely nothing to complain about. There are no longer any "shoulds" in my vocabulary. Just what is.

This year I created a vision board for myself full of quotes, pictures of people and places I love, places I want to visit. It makes me happy every single time I look at it. I'm reminded of all the things that already bring me so much joy, and that the world is full of possibility and opportunity. I believe in the power of visualization and thoughts becoming things, so here are my thoughts for 2013:

1. Declutter. From our bedroom to the kids', I want minimalism, and simplicity. Easy to clean up, less distraction and drama.

2. Spending diet. We are cutting expenses everywhere we can at this moment to make room for our dreams. We aren't eating out, at all. We're making everything from scratch. I'm cutting the girls' hair. We are cleaning our own house for the first time in 9 years.  Instead of material gifts this Christmas, we tried to give our kids experiences or really thoughtful gifts. Concert tickets, pet fish, scooters that get them outdoors more. Less stuff, more use. (In case you're skeptical, it was declared best Christmas ever) Even if our budget opens up and money became no object, this is something I want to stick with.

3. Laughter. 2012 was tough, but I made it through with laughter. My husband makes me laugh all day long, my kids crack me up regularly.  Laughter is a huge priority for me in 2013.

4. Passion. I am so incredibly passionate about the work I'm doing, and I want it to spread to others. A big goal of mine is getting the people around me to catch the fire in my heart and start a grass roots movement of change.

5. Meditate. This is a new skill I've been working on that I believe has helped me with anxiety. I've learned to be completely in the moment, to just listen to sounds, see colors and sights, feel textures without judgement or thought. I practice while driving and waiting in lines and it has been an unbelievably calming activity. I'd like to expand on this.

6. Happiness through intrinsic gratification. Happiness from helping others, self-growth, finding joy in every day. I'm going to live every day exactly the way I want to and trust that the universe will align to support it. If I want to write, I'll write. If I want to rest, I'll rest. No stress, no busy for the sake of being busy, no apologies, no guilt. If I want to weight train, I'll do that. If I'd rather run, I'll do that. No more "sacrificing for the greater good" or chasing something that never comes. Goals are great but daily happiness is most important.

7. Move. Another thing I started this year that I want to expand on is moving as much as possible. I've been working out for a few years now, but it's really starting to sink in that this is not enough when you work behind a desk all day. I'm trying to get up and move around, to walk every day in addition to my workouts.

8. Do it now. Procrastination and lack of focus are two major issues I work against every day.  I started a journal where I've been writing down the 3 big things I need to accomplish that day. Until those are accomplished, no email gets checked, no social media, no texts or phone calls. This has helped but I still have some work to do in other areas besides work, like keeping the kitchen clean and not having things pile up in "I'll deal with it later" piles.

9. Helping others and positivity. The past year I have watched one truly miserable person cause so much wreckless damage to so many people, and it's been eye-opening. If one angry, sad soul, left unchecked can do so much external damage, what would happen if that energy was put to positivity and selfless acts instead? One person can touch so many lives around them, and I want to not only be responsible with that knowledge but to put it to good use. Every act, every word that comes from me I want to be positive and good-intentioned.

10. Unwritten. I have a very big thing that I want for 2013. I don't even want to say it out loud, but here I am asking the universe to open up a way for it to happen, because right now I don't know how.