Thursday, April 29, 2010

March 25, 2006

So, picking up from my last blog, I need to continue the story. I want to continue the story. If you know me, you may also know that sometimes I start a blog series and never finish. I'm working on being consistent. Just for you.

So..where were we? Oh yes, the wedding. It was beautiful. It was the wedding I always wanted. I married very young the first time, a mere 18, and we were married in his parents living room. The second time, by a justice of the peace. But this time, I was older and with more financial stability and wanted to be married near the water, with white folding chairs, and a dress that I picked out, something different, and a rockin' band, and dancing and good food and good wine and all my friends and family! And that's exactly what it was.

With a lot of help from this best friend extraordinaire, Crystal, who played two roles...that of the wedding planner and my maid of honor.

The weather was absolutely perfect. The sky was indigo blue, the water, calm and sparkling. And me? I was a mess. When I was a child, I was painfully shy. So much so that I think it probably bordered on a disorder. I've overcome so much of that, but still in moments where I'm the center of attention, my stomach flips and flops and begins to scream, "GET US OUT HERE OR I SWEAR, I'M GOING TO START PROJECTILE VOMITING AND IT WON'T BE PRETTY!" To which I reply, "Is it ever pretty?"

But just when I thought my stomach was going to show me just how un-pretty it could be, as I got to the end of the aisle, my eyes rested on this handsome gentlemen and my nerves settled.

This is my Dad and preacher extraordinaire.

He wrote a wedding ceremony tailored just for us. He's a deep thinker, a wonderful writer and knows the power of words. Because he knows me, he printed out a copy of said ceremony on beautiful parchment paper as a keepsake. I still read it from time to time. Dad is my rock. He also married me and my first love, Brian. Tragically, six years later, he also had the difficult task of preaching Brian's funeral. He's stood with me at many crossroads in my life.

This is my son, Jesse. He gave me away. The look on his face is that of a young man who's trying to show the world that he's an adult. And the look on my face? Well, this is about the time my stomach started taunting me.

These two little women are my daughters, Stevey and Sara. Stevey was nervous, too. She inherited my introverted ways and Sara loved that she got to wear little heels. They were my bridesmaids. They were so sweet that day.

And this guy on the left His name is Nate. He was the best man and comic relief.

When my father got to the place in the ceremony where he states, "You may now kiss your bride", instead of turning to me, Robert turned to the right and looked at Nate. Nate turned to Jesse and held out his hand. Jesse reached into his suit pocket and pulled out a canister of Binaca and gave it to Nate. Nate then turned to Robert and administered two quick, blasts of Binaca. All of this was done in the most solemn, Tony Soprano sort of way.

This is my mother with my father. Isn't she beautiful?

She's a wonderful mother who has put up with a lot from me over the years, especially my young adult years. She cried one whole summer when Brian and I were drifting around Florida, living in a stolen U-Haul tent, partying, with no way to be reached. She didn't often understand me, but she has always been my biggest fan. I truly believe that her motherly prayers are the only reason that I'm still around, seriously. I've done some reckless things in my life.

And guess who else was there? Sister-in-law and artist extraordinaire, Diahn.

She drove all the way from Knoxville, Tennessee. She's amazing and has known me for so long. Almost 30 years to be exact. Geez, that makes us sound old! We had sort of drifted apart over the years and the wedding marked the awakening of our very special friendship. She gets me and encourages my creative side.

This is my step mother-in-law, Elaine. She's Robert's stepmom and baker extraordinaire.

She made our cake and drove it here all the way from Alabama. She pieced it together in a hotel room the morning of the wedding. It was exquisite and one year later, when we took the top of the cake out of the freezer to celebrate our anniversary, it was still as moist and to- die-for as it was on that day.

My only regret is that I didn't dance with my husband. I don't dance. I can't dance. Well, I could but its rather embarrassing, but still, I wish that I had. I wish that I had been able to overcome my inhibitions and wrap my arms around this handsome guy and dance like no one was watching.

These days though, we dance in the kitchen while dinner cooks. Sometimes he gets brave and dips me and he never drops me, which is nice, considering the tile floor would probably crack my skull wide open.

But there was dancing! A little anyway.

This is Crystal, on the left, cutting a rug. She has no inhibitions when it comes to dancing. I love that about her. Actually, she has no inhibitions about anything. She's brave and generous and has sat up with me so many nights, listening me to ramble on and on, when I was a single mother. And I've done the same for her, when she became a single mom again. She gets me, too. Now she's married which you can read about here. It's a really cool, romantic story.

Here are a few more pictures of the day. This is Robert and some of his family. From left to right, Gabe, his stepbrother, Mary, his youngest sister, Bill, his cousin, Laura, his older sister, and Kristie, his cousin.

And this is my sweet husband shoving cake in my face. Oh, how he couldn't wait for this moment. He comes from a family of food fighters. Sometimes when we get together for holidays, he and his sisters still go at it.

But I forgave him. How could I not?

On the left, in the white jacket, my dear sweet Grandmother. She passed away two years ago. You can read about her here and here. I still miss her.

And here we are, the wedding party, with my son playing his usual goofy role. Look at those smiles.

As the sun was going down on the lake, we got together for our first family portrait.

This little family has grown since then but when I look back at that day, at this picture, and think about what has transpired in these last four years, I want to go back and find that nervous woman, the one with the screaming stomach, and tell her to relax. I want to tell her that she finally has something that is coming together, that enfolds her, that she can trust.

A wonderful circle of family and friends, all who played such an intricate part in this day.

And a love extraordinaire.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I haven't forgotten my last blog which promised more of our story, however, I've been a little tied up...

with these little monkey people...

Monkey #1

Monkey #2

If you've been following my blog, you know that in the last two months, we've acquired a new addition to our meshed family by the name of Lyanna, otherwise known as Monkey #1. This week, she came to stay with us for a few days. We are all having a great time and she's such a cool little girl...full of imagination and questions.

So, although I have lots to say, taking care of a two year old and a four year old, while trying to work from home, has me a little, like I said, tied up.

I knew I shouldn't have let them play with that rope.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Shadow and Driftwood

Haven't played this in a while but it's Shadow Shot Sunday and here's my contribution. I took this photo at DeSoto Falls near Mentone, Alabama on a glorious Saturday. This particular Saturday marked the beginning of a new chapter in my life, which you can read about here, if you're so inclined.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

It's In His Kiss

If you're following along, a month ago, my husband and I found out he has a four and a half year old daughter that he never knew about. It's been a whirlwind month of emotions and life lessons for us both. So I decided to share this journey with my friends, starting with mine and Robert's beginning. I'm not sure how this will all flesh out here on my blog but for now, here is the continuation of how, or should I say, when, we fell in love. You should read this post so you can follow the trail.

So where did I leave off? Oh, heart beating a little faster when Robert came around. It was true. Although at first, I tried to deny it. I was sort of involved in a long distance relationship that wasn't right for me. I wanted that one to be right. I was tired of being alone and long distance guy was really nothing more than a dear friend who I tried to make fit the bill. He wasn't here though and gave no indication of moving here. And Robert was here. All the time. Our friendship grew. We spent a lot of time together. He was always at my house, helping with the day to day chores, taking me and the kids out to dinner or the movies, cleaning out my garage. Gradually, his heart was being healed and so was mine. It's strange, but our friends and co-workers seemed to know we were dating before we did. When they would ask, and they often did, we told them we were just friends. "You spend every spare minute together!" they'd say, "You're dating."

"No we're not! He's just a friend. He sees me as just a friend, too."

"Whatever. Let me know when you two figure it out."

The thing is, I had been praying for awhile about finding Mr. Right. This was my prayer:

Dear God, I'm so tired of being alone. I'm ready to find someone, the right guy. You also know that my track record sucks. I'm not even sure that I know what real love looks like. So when you send this guy, please don't let me miss him. You know what I need better than I do so send me the guy of my heart.

Long distance guy was not the guy of my heart and that was becoming very apparent to me. One day, I was on yet another difficult job and called Robert to ask for help. Once again, he was there in a flash, with a smile and a wink. I told him the problem was at the control panel, located in the laundry room, and as he squeezed past me in the tiny hallway, he lightly placed his hand on the small of my back, and immediately my stomach was full of butterflies.

I stopped what I was doing and turned and look at him as he breezed into the laundry room.

"What the heck?" I thought, "what was that?"

He brushed by me again, on his way out to his truck to grab a tool, and there they were again. Unmistakable. Big, flapping, butterflies!

Later, he walked me to my truck when the job was finished.

"Thanks for coming to my rescue again," I said.

"No problem," he answered with a smile. "Dinner later?"

"Sure, " I answered, "see you at the house."

He smiled his sweet smile and gave me a wink before shutting the door for me. And all the way home, I had this goofy grin on my face. And every time I thought of his hand on my back, the butterflies were back in full force.

"Okay, God. Help me here. I'm losing it! He can't be the one! You gotta help me! He's ten years younger than me, he loves video games, he doesn't like to read, he's a complete and total slob! We have nothing in common! HE'S ONLY 12 YEARS OLDER THAN MY SON!"

I argued with myself for a couple of months. Our friends continued to ask questions and smile knowingly while we denied. We were so tentative. We said little things sometimes, testing the waters, I guess. Once we were talking about a job I had managed to finish alone and Robert asked me how I managed to figure it out.

"I'm just special, I guess" I bragged.

"You're pretty special all right," he said.

He said little things like that all the time. Things that kind of made me wonder. But neither of us would make a move. It was such a sweet time of friendship and getting to know each other. And wondering.

And then on the day before Mother's Day, 2005, I couldn't deny my feelings any longer. It was a Saturday, another long work day for me, and Robert had finished up his job early. He would usually come help me finish mine, but on this day, he said he had some things to do. I was a little hurt but couldn't deny him a life. After all, he was there for me all the time. Maybe he had met someone. Maybe he wanted to spend some time with his friends. Maybe he was getting tired of me. I was wrong. He called me and told me not to bother picking up the girls, he had already done so, and they would meet me at the house. When I arrived, he and the girls lead me out back to the deck, where he was building me a privacy fence! I had mentioned only once that I wanted one. He still does things like that to this day. He's amazing at surprises. And there on the patio table, was a big box, wrapped in yellow paper and a card. I was overwhelmed. The girls were jumping up and down, begging me to open it. I sat down to open the box and as I tore the paper away, I saw the word Roomba. I looked up at Robert and started to cry. I had been a mother for 17 years and never had I had such a special mother's day. Or mother's day eve, actually.

"A Roomba? That's a pretty expensive shouldn't have, " I said.

"Well, I did it anyway. It's from the girls," he said. The girls nodded emphatically.

"The girls?"

"Yep, it was their idea," he said, "and I agreed. Seems like every time I turn around, you're sweeping the floors. This way, maybe you'll have more time to spend with the kids. And me," he said. His blue eyes met mine. Something was different there.

We all went out to dinner and spent hours watching Roomba do her job. He's a gadget freak and secretly, I think he enjoyed the robot more than I did. We named the robot Priscilla, after one of our favorite movies, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert. It had been such a very long time since anyone had made me feel so special. As the evening came to an end, I walked him to the front door. I was so thankful for his friendship and told him so. I thanked him for a wonderful day and for my new robot friend, Priscilla. He smiled as he stood in front me. We looked at each other for a minute or so...I really wanted him to kiss me but I was afraid to make a move. Finally, he said, " can give me a hug if you want to." Not quite what I was hoping for but, I hugged him. I fit perfectly into his arms. I felt safe. He held me for a good two or three minutes and when we parted, he reached over and tucked my hair behind my ear and told me goodnight. After he left, I turned off the porch light, locked the door and rested my head against the wall. Sigh. Why didn't he kiss me? Maybe he really does only want to be friends. I felt like such an idiot.

Later, as I climbed into bed, my phone rang. I jumped out of bed and raced through the house to the was him!


"Hey, were you asleep?" he asked.

"No, not yet. Everything okay?"

"I think so. I'm not sure though," he said. There was a short pause, he took a deep breath and asked, "Did I just miss something?"

"Maybe," I answered, "what are you referring to?"

"Um...did you want me to kiss you at the front door? I left?" he asked.


"I'm such an idiot. I wasn't sure! Oh my God, you wanted me to kiss you and I told you you could hug me? I'm such a dork. I sat in the car for five minutes pounding my head against the steering wheel! I wanted to come back inside but I...I...I... wasn't sure...I'm not very good at picking up signals..." his voice trailed away. He stutters a little when he's nervous. That was the first time I heard it in his voice. I've come to love that stutter.

"Really? Well, the next time a woman gazes into your eyes for more than 10 seconds, looks down and then looks back up with her head slightly tilted to the side and a slight smile, and moves in mere inches from your face, you should kiss her. If you want to, that is."

"I want to."

And the next night, he did.


Two months later, he proposed. I freaked. I told him I had to think about it and ruined the perfect proposal. As a matter of fact, the only real proposal that I had ever had. One month later, I asked him to ask me again and I accepted. We were married on March 25, 2006.

Up next, the first few years, a lost and found son, a grandson moves in, teenage daughters and learning to love.