Monday, September 6, 2010

Part 3

It is September and classes are starting up include Masters courses. UWM started on the 2nd of this month and I was not part of that group.

At the beginning of the year, I made the decision to pursue my Masters degree (MLIS) and do an online program from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I can't remember the last time I was that excited and I couldn't wait, but that's exactly what I had to do. I was admitted to the fall semester and it was only April when I found out. So there was nothing but time to kill. First it was just waiting to enroll. I was really As soon as the time came, I was enrolled. That morning at 8:20 I had all my courses picked out and the deed was done.

Well, then there was that whole job thing. You know, the one where I didn't have a job. Yeah, that. Ouch. The program that I was admitted into was going to be about $4300 a semester. That was for two courses/semester and then of course the cost of books. Initially, this wasn't a problem. Rob and I were pretty confident that I would be able to get a job and with his G.I. Bill, there would be no need to worry or take out loans. But seeing as how time was passing and I was still unemployed, my masters dream was going with it. The job at Back Bay was my last hope and when that didn't happen, I had no choice but to move my start date until the Spring semester. Surprisingly, it was fairly easy to do and everyone was great about it.

Do you know what time gives you? A lot of time to see stats and process information and decisions. It also gives you time to make changes in decisions that you were going to go with. Well, that is exactly what happened to me. During the time from April to now, I have read blog after blog about the MLIS and the outcome for people with those degrees. It wasn't looking promising, especially with the news of all the cutbacks in the library field...hours and closures and so on. While Rob and I were going over the money, it became apparent that my masters was going to cost us about 30K!! OUCH! I hadn't even thought about that. Over two years, I was going to spend 30K on a degree that I wasn't even sure I would get to use. I mean, come on. Here I am with a college degree, 23K in student loans, and unemployed!!! Was I freakin' insane?! Clearly.

After much thought, I decided that as much as I liked the idea of getting my masters degree I couldn't justify spending that kind of money on something that I might not even use. With that I made the decision to pursue something that I had been throwing around for awhile now...well, something that started around the time that I was in college and has resurfaced a few times since. After speaking with my dad and Rob, of course, the decision was made for me to get a skill. That's right...I am joining the medical field!

I started Tidewater Community College in pursuit of an A.A.S in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Radiology was my long ago thought, but Sonography , Ultrasound to some, is where it eventually landed. It should be a third of the cost and a pretty solid career future. A good deal all around. I am currently enrolled in Medical Terminology and Basic Human Biology, since I only made a D in Biology during my college years...bahahah. What kills me about BHB is that it's being taught out of the Anatomy and Physiology textbook...but it's a prereq for A&P. Weird. Oh, well. Next semester I think I'm only going to take one course, A&P. Everyone has always said it is so hard and I don't want to mess up my stellar GPA that I am planning on starting this semester.

Now the only thing to do is see where the Lord takes us and enjoy the ride.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Part 2

Following the lead of Part 1...I have applied for over 43 jobs since February of this year. Here is the story of how I finally got a job.

Last November, I started praying about a new direction and a new job. I have been praying ever since. During the time that passed between November and the beginning of January I had made the decision that I was going to pursue my Masters, as well as, it was time for me to leave the police department. I prayed and prayed and prayed about that and all I seemed to get was God telling me to wait. I was so unhappy and just hated life and honestly, I really didn't know if it was Him telling me to stay or something else. By the middle of March, with Rob's blessing, I put in my resignation. Come the end of the month, I would be unemployed if I didn't have something else. Of course, I thought that was ridiculous. Of course I would have something else. I was college educated and a certified police officer. Surely I was be able to get some office job. Besides, I had applied for an office position with the SS and a few other things that definitely would pan out.

Skip ahead to month 2 (May) of being unemployed: Julie, a friend from church, told me about a position that was opening up and her husband was the president of the board. Certainly, this one would pan out. As the time passed the more and more sure I was that the job was mine and God's plan was for me to work there. Decent pay, able to make my own hours, and raising money/planning parties, etc...the same things that I did in the sorority. Wouldn't you know, it took until the middle of July to finally get the board rolling on that. I had my first interview, then it was time for the second. Come to find out, they had to post it in the paper and after 30 applicants, they were having the top 3 return. Well, that was the best interview that I have ever had. I have never felt more comfortable and at ease. It was simply a great interview. Leaving there, I knew that God had to be working with this. It was mine...we were good to go.

The next more, I received my rejection call. :o( I was bet out by a woman who was already employed, making over 6 figures at her job, to take this position making 30K. Blah, but apparently it was incredibly close and I was told that if this woman did as she said she was going to and bring in the money that she was promising that they wanted to hire me too. It was be a few months at best, I was told. It was a nice rejection call and I knew that they really had to do what they thought was best for the organization, but boy was I crushed. I had put everything on that one job. While I was still applying and such, I was so positive that I was going to get that job. All my hope and faith that God had a plan was crushed. Even though there was a part of me that knew He was still going to take care of us...I just wasn't sure what I was going to do. I was too devastated to really know what else to do.

As I'm sure you can imagine the disappointment of being unable to get an interview...let alone a job...while being a college graduate and certified police officer. I was definitely dipping my toe in the sea of depression and my self-esteem was pretty much non-existent. It finally came down to a big crying out session with God Himself. Let me first say that it is not something I am proud of and find myself to be a bit foolish even...but there is that part of me that sees it as something that needed to be done. I needed to be honest with Him...not that He didn't already know what I was feeling...and it's okay to cry out to Him. Sometimes that's what you really really let Him know that you are depending on Him.

So this past Tuesday, I had hit my limit. I told Him everything, from me praying for His direction to my frustration at where I was at. I told Him that I have been waiting for Him to tell me where to go and to point me in the direction of where He wanted me and all I was getting was silent. I told Him that if He was telling me, I couldn't hear Him and He needed to speak try something us. I want to do His will and follow His plan for me, but I couldn't do it if I couldn't hear Him. I told Him that I was angry and hurt and I needed to hear from Him (pretty much asap without actually saying that, but it was sure how I was feeling).

The next morning, I was determined to go check on my job application at Pier 1. One Monday, I had went around to the local stores in the area and started putting in applications at the places that were hiring. Pier 1 just happened to be. :o) So I was up early since I wanted to get it down before going to Bible study and wouldn't you know, they were closed when I got there. I went on to the church, but as soon as it was over, I headed back to the store. I spoke with the manager and found out that they were hiring for a position to cover 12-20 hours a week. Not exactly what I was hoping for, but at that point all I was thinking was that a job was a job and any money coming in was a benefit and there was always the option of getting more hours or another part time job. She had me come back at 3 for an interview and she offered me the job at the end of it! She said that she liked me and I think that there is definite potential to move up.

So there you have it folks...I am employed. I work for Pier 1 and I am so grateful to God for having mercy on me and answering my pleas. This position has potential and I felt like He has me here to start over. To rebuild my work ethic and work history. To really improve on myself and teach me lessons that I need to be taught. With all the changes that have been made by the Potter's hand over the last year, I am in need of a place to use them and really continue to grow.

What else is new??? Check back for Part 3.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Part 1

So as we all know the recession has took a major hit on the job market. Well, not so much here...mostly the employers are just far more selective, I supposed.

Since February I have applied for over 43 jobs...those are just the ones that I have written down. 28 of those where since April 1st. 13 since the the 23rd of August. must be thinking. Well, so was I. How is it possible that someone with a college degree and a license to kill people couldn't even get a job answering the phone at Geico? Oh how I wish I knew.
Now if I had been smart, I would have been documenting this whole process; however, I was feeling pretty low and the mere thought just didn't seem that appealing.

One of the best things that has come out of this last 5 months is the opportunity to really grow in the Word and my faith. I was able to get settled into my church, attend the Women's Conference with no scheduling conflicts and join two Bible Study groups one on Wednesday mornings and one Thursday nights. I have also met wonderful people through church and have actually finally started establishing friendships. Rob and I have lived here 3 years now and at 2 and a half years I was still without those Go To know the ones...the girls (or guys) that you can call at the last minute to go to the movies or grab lunch or just hang out with. It's been since Seattle that I had one of those and we only lived there a short time, so it's really been since Oklahoma since I had my Go To friends. Boy, it has been very detrimental to my psyche. It has been such a blessing to have these women in my life and knowing that they are fellow believers is oh so much better! I am so grateful for each of them. 

I have recently, within the last month and a half, started meeting with a mentor. Her name is Martha and God has blessed her with the gift of teaching. She loves the Word and is amazing at sharing it with others. She runs the Wednesday morning Bible study that I go to and I was really looking to go deeper and really get into it, so I asked one of the Pastors and he suggested Martha. She was so excited about it and it just really touched my heart. Since then we met every Thursday morning and I have never learned so much. God is doing amazing things for the both of us during that time. It is so awesome to see how far I've come in just the year that I have been working on rediscovering me and the fact that 85% of it has been within the last 5 months is crazy...and so much in the last two!!

God really does have a plan and maybe using these last 6 months of unemployment to strengthen and solidify my trust and love of Him were just that...His plan.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

One a Month

So one entry a month...not too terrible. LOL...which you would think would be a lot more since I don't have a job and spend the day working around the house. Priorities, priorities, priorities.

I am currently waiting to hear back about a position that a friend suggested for me. I met Julie at the Women's Bible Study group on Wednesdays and it just so happened that she was the head of the Thursday night bible study that I joined as well! A foundation that she is involved with is looking for a new executive director and she thought I would be perfect for the position. Who am I to argue? There are 3 individuals up for the position and the President and Vice President of the board had an informational meeting with each of us (individually) on Thursday of last week. They spent the time telling me what they were expecting from the new ED and what the job entails. I gave them a quick run down of my qualifications and a resume for each. We are supposed to be hearing back about an "official" interview sometime this week and I was really hoping for the beginning since the current ED's last day is Friday. There is really nothing that I can do besides wait, so no need to bother with worrying. God knows my heart and knows my strengths and if this is where He wants me, then it's going to happen. When it does, I'm taking it and running!!

Last night I was looking through Rob's class schedule booklet and I came across a few classes that I would love to take. One is Greek Mythology (perfect for a future Archivist) and the other...well, all...of the classes on religion. I am so hungry to learn more about the Word that I am eager to enroll in all of the classes offered (!!), however, I am feeling more lead to the Survey of the Old Testament followed closely by New Testament and Early Christianity. They both would provide me with so much understand, so I don't believe I could possible go wrong with either. Being able to take any of these courses on top of my courses for my masters is another problem. Getting Rob to agree to it is probably the biggest hurdle, because he is eager for me to get started and finish as soon as possible. I would have to just take one masters course to accommodate the two "just for the fun of learning and personal growth" classes. Of course, there would be no way we could afford both masters class and two other courses. So we will have to see....

Thursday, June 10, 2010

God is doing good work in my life today.

I am happy and amazed at all the Lord has done in my life (in general), but especially over these last few weeks. For the longest time now, I have been missing the comfort and companionship of a church home. I could feel the void inside me and would often think to myself...I really need to get back to church...I need to find a church and I really would like to get involved. These thoughts would surface ever so often and pass without much action on my part...even though I knew that it would leave an empty void.

Since I decided to rediscovery myself and make changes and so has been a constant thought, but I would make excuse after excuse. Finally, I had enough. I knew that it was something I was longing for and that I really needed God in my life if I was going to make all the changes that I wanted and needed. The church that I had originally thought about attending was literally a block away, but you would not believe the number of excuses one could make for not going. My biggest and most frequently used excuse was one of being tired and having to get up early...I'm sure many have used this one. :) Yet, as I would justify to myself why I couldn't make it to service, I knew the true reason...I was afraid. I know, I know...who's afraid to go to church?! The absurdity of it is not lost on me, but nonetheless, it is it. I was afraid. I have always had the fear of being judged...low self-esteem/self-confidence...always worried that I would not be good enough. Being surrounded by a large group of people that I did not know and still feeling so new to the faith (even though it's been 6 years since I was saved...but 3 that I've been away from the church...eek!) freaked me out. The devil knows my insecurities and had no problem running them through my mind and I was quickly defeated time and again. Not completely though, I have still been studying the Word, reading my daily devotional, and listening to Joyce's [Meyer] podcasts. I love her! 

A few weeks ago, I decided that I was tired of being afraid. I remembered my life verse 2 Timothy 1:7: "For the Lord did not give [me] a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind" and I made the decision to go to the 11:00 service the following Sunday. Every time the devil tried to sidetrack me with my fears, I just became more determined and would run my verse through my mind. I made it to church and no, no one attacked In the bulletin, they were advertising the Women's Conference a couple of weeks later. It occurred to me that it was around this same time last year, that I had tried the church for the first time and attended very sporadically (maybe 4 times in the whole year) ever since. I had wanted to go to the Women's Conference then too, but with my work schedule and other reasons I didn't pursue it. Well, this year I was going to do it. I wanted more God in my life and more fellowship with others and to grow in my faith. I even took the time to call two Ladies' Bible Study groups to see if they had room for one more. I joined the Wednesday morning group and the Thursday evening group. Since then I have met several great women and have so many wonderful examples of women after God's own heart. I attended the Women's Conference last week and learned so much. It was such an awakening! I encourage everyone to try to attend one in their area. To be surrounded by so many fellow Christian is just amazing!

I have been working over the last several months to pull the weeds and remove the overgrowth in my heart...making room to plant new seeds of humility, grace, peace,patience, love, and faith. Using a metaphor of Joyce's, there are several stones...mine are more the size of my river of life. It's had to get the river flowing if it's stopped up with fleshy business. Through prayer, faith, and hope...I am working to make those boulders smaller, to stones, then rocks, then pebbles smoothed over by my river and at the bottom. Trust me, God has a lot of work to do within me...but I'm happy to say, I'm being made ready.

The reason I'm sharing this is because I have felt a change in my of peace and forgiveness take hold. Rob has even noticed that I seem happier, that I have been happier. My anger passes much quicker than it used to and when my frustration comes up, I look to the Word to replace it with love. The Lord is doing a good work in me and I wanted to let everyone know. I am growing roots...deep roots...and surrounding myself with like-minded ladies to help me continue to grow. 

Right now, I am still without a job. We have no more money set aside to cover our budget and Rob is being to worried. Yet, surprisingly or maybe it isn't, I'm content. I know that I will find a job and we will be okay. I have faith in God and believe that this a trial set to strengthen and grow my faith. I have hope that a job I applied for will come through. Every time my worries start, I use my words in confirmation that He hears my prayers and will answer them. He will provide. For instance, a woman in my Thursday group has an unsaved husband...just like mine. She also had the book Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis and she offered to loan it to me for Rob to read. God was working, because he is actually reading it and interested in it. I believe that God is going to use this book to open his eyes and plant that seed in his heart. By the way, for anyone who has not read this book...I would greatly encourage it. Even as a believer, I have learned so much from it and I'm only on page 60. He makes the argument so logical. 

In summary, while my life is nowhere near perfect I am content and happy. I have peace in my heart and plan on continuing to sow and reap the good life. :o)

I know that this is already incredibly long, but I wanted to include this message from Joyce. It has been something that I have been focusing on for the last month or so, because it is the biggest boulder in my river and I believe that this will be helpful for everyone. 

The Mouth Has a Mind of Its Own!
by Joyce Meyer

What if I told you that the source of most of your problems could be found within you—from the neck up? You’ll find it in the thoughts that come from your mind and the words that come out of your mouth.

We must realize and understand the power carried by our thoughts and words. They’re so powerful that they can bring either blessings or curses into our lives, depending on their nature. Our thoughts and words are like the rudder of a ship—they may seem small, but they affect the very direction of our lives.

Many years ago my life was in a state of chaos because of years of wrong thinking and speaking. I had encountered so many disappointments because of all the devastating things that had happened to me. I was afraid to believe that anything good might happen. In fact, my philosophy of life was, “If you keep your expectations low, you’ll never be disappointed.”

Over the years I became very cynical and negative. I often said that if I had two positive thoughts in a row, my mind would’ve gotten a cramp. My thoughts were negative, which caused my words to be negative…which all reflected poorly on my life. Finally, I decided to change my ways and stop talking so negatively. After a while I realized that I needed to do more than just not talk negatively. Cutting out the negative wasn’t enough; I had to begin to think and talk positively!

For example, a person sneezes and says, “Oh, I’m probably getting the flu.” Or someone hears a rumor that the company he works for is going to lay off some employees, so he thinks,
That’s the story of my life. Every time things start to go well, something always happens. Then he says, “I’ll probably lose my job.” These types of negative statements seem to come so naturally to all of us. We need to discipline ourselves to be more positive—it’s not so easy!

When we react negatively, we allow fear to take over our thinking. We begin to dwell on things that haven’t even happened and may not happen. Our negative thoughts cause us to speak the words that’ll shape our future.

We’re constantly tempted to think wrong thoughts, but we don’t have to accept them! We have a choice! We need to purposely choose right thinking and speaking. In the Bible, Proverbs 18:21 says,
Death and life are in the power of the tongue…. We must choose life generating thoughts. When we do, positive, powerful, life-giving words will naturally follow. I think some people try to control their mouths but do nothing about their thoughts. That’s like pulling off the top of a weed—unless the root is dug up, the weed always comes back. You’ll never control your mouth unless you first learn to control your mind.

Believing is the first important step to switching our thinking from being negative to positive. Remember, what’s in our hearts and minds will come out of our mouths. If our soul (mind, will and emotions) is full of negative things, we’ll find those things coming our way. On the other hand, when we hear, read, think and talk about God, the Truth and more positive things, we’ll find that those good things will come our way. The choice is ours!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Brewer and Palin-Secure The Border

Racial profiling my the officers and protect our boarders.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Last night I spent a ridiculous amount of time taking the ASVAB. I was there at 5:30, waited with the others to move through the process of checking in, started the test at 6:30ish, finished around 9:20, and then stuck around until 9:40 to get my AFQT. 

While being surrounded by a lot of younger individuals, I was thinking about how much they really didn't know. You would not believe the questions that were asked when filling out the bubble sheet. LOL. I was amazed. I'm not sure if they were just slow or if it's a common thing for recent high school graduates. I don't remember being that way, but I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they were joining the Army.

Okay, so I have never been good with math...especially going into the test was going to be interesting. Most of the sub-tests were over things that I haven't studied since high school and for those of you counting...that was 10 years ago! I did try to brush up on everything before taking the test, but wasn't really sure what to expect. Here I am, 28, college graduate, starting my Masters and taking a test made for high schoolers. With all that, I expect myself to do well. Hello, college However, I am also 10 years out of high school and most of that information has been pushed out of my head by the information that I use daily. When was the last time that you had to factor an equation or figure out how long it took Jim to get to his house if he drove 50mph for 150 miles then 40 mph for 210? And don't get me started on King Phillip's Class Ordered the Family-sized Gino Special!

Well, I managed to score at 90 (AFQT). Now here's the thing, I was excited that I did so well. I did some studying before hand, but most of the stuff I haven't seen in 10+ years. Then I started thinking...uh, you should have done are in Graduate School! LOL! So my 90 means that I scored better than 90% of 18-23 year olds...hmmm....LOL! I'm glad that I did well, because I haven't seen that information in quite some time and it allows me the opportunity to pursue whatever AFSC I want and it also makes me feel smart again.

I'll find out my line scores sometime next week. That is when I'll know how well I did on each sub-section. I'm pretty confident that I will be quickly disqualified for any job related to mechanics (to include auto-shop) and electronics. Yeah, they were that bad. 

So I'm going to pack my study books back up and enjoy my Friday.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Here's What Happened Last Month on "Road to Rediscovery"

What I've learned about myself in the last month:

I am getting better at cooking: So with all the free time I have on my hands currently, that no job thing, I have been the one cooking dinner pretty much every night. I have my little list on the fridge with a menu for each day, which makes for easy referencing. With that, I have become much more aware of cooking times for different foods and much more experimental. I get so tired of eating the same meals weekly! While I am not a master of it yet, I have become quite good at having each dish cooked and ready at the same time. Nothing getting cold for the most part. Like I said, I'm still working at it, but it's so nice when everything comes together.

I love Glee: Okay, now I have known this since the series began...but...with the second season started, I am an even bigger fan! I look forward to Wednesdays when it's posted on Hulu for me to watch. Since we don't have TV, all the watching is done on the internet.

I need to loosen up a smidgen: Here I am at 28, with no kids and I feel like I'm chained to so much responsibility. Of course, as an adult you will have responsibilities, but nothing like how I feel. I married into a mountain of debt and because I HATE debt, I have been obsessed with it. It has been my goal for ever to get rid of it, but it has come at an even bigger happiness. I've been blaming Rob for us not getting to do all the things that we wanted was his debt and his irresponsibility that has us tied to it...and it's my responsibility to make sure we pay things off. Well, we have. We have done nothing, but pay off debt for the past year and I am exhausted. There is still so much further to go, so while my friends are going on amazing vacations and holidays are passing without seeing family...we are pushing to pay off this debt and I'm over it! Blah! It has and is causing resentment between Rob and own doing...and I need to remove that from our marriage. Don't get me wrong, I am not going to throw up my hands and walk away! I just need to bring more balance into it. I'm thinking we should make a point to schedule a vacation once a year...something big like a cruise or a 5 day stay somewhere either with friends and family or just the two of us. Also include a small trip to see family over a holiday weekend. I miss my family so much and would love to see friends more often. All part of getting back to me! A big part of me is travel....I love to travel and see knew places and I haven't done too much of that since we've been together and I am ready to change that!

I need a job: Yup, it's that time again and I need to find another job. Nothing has really opened up around here and while I hated my job as a police officer, I was making 40k a year. Granted, that really isn't a lot for what it involved; nevertheless, it was 40k a year. I am back looking for something else and it is not looking promising. I did just applied for a position with South University as a Library Asst. I am most excited about that even though I'm sure I'll be lucky to get 30k a year. I believe mostly it's about 26k. Eek! I also half heartedly applied for a position as a Forensic Tech position with VBPD. Also, starting out at 30,800k a year...still involves shift changes and so on...but a girl has to work. I am also in the process of checking out the Air Force Reserve. They have Historian positions available, which is right up my alley and would really benefit my career goals in the long run. It's not a definite thing yet; but it is something that I'm working on. I like the idea.

So many thoughts and ideas to work through and more keep coming, but it has been great getting to know myself better and really figuring out what I want. The way I see it...I need to start praying about everything and fearing nothing....Jesus will be back before I know it and I'm not missing the boat! 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

THE BOOK OF AWESOME by Neil Pasricha

1000 Awesome Things Check out this blog if you don't already. It is a great way to start the day. It will fill you with laughter, while looking at the person next to you and sharing your own awesome thing.

What are some of your favorite awesome things?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Heart Libraries!

So over the weekend, I was in Milwaukee for the MLIS orientation. While my program is online, I wanted to meet my advisors and some professors face to face. I felt like this would be the best way to start out a new path and quite frankly...I am so excited about this opportunity that I want to do it all!

Rob and I flew out at 5:55am on Thursday morning. We almost missed our flight actually. They had to hold the door for us! Luckily, we managed to get settled without really bothering anyone. Since Rob bought our tickets at different times, we weren't seated together on any of the flights. We made it to Detroit with no problems and were able to grab some breakfast before the quick hop to Milwaukee. That flight was short!

As I was exiting the plane there, I could already feel the difference in the weather. When we flew out of Norfolk the days had been in the 80s. In Milwaukee on Thursday it was a brisk 30 something! It even snowed a bit. We got our rental and went straight to the extended-stay hotel. We were so tired from the lack of sleep that we ended up grabbing lunch at Chilis and not leaving the hotel the rest of the night. Bedtime came pretty early for us. (Milwaukee is Central Time Zone.)

On Friday we were up at 7:00 and out the door at 7:50. The drive to the campus was wonderful. We took Lake Dr. so we could cruise past the lake and it was so pleasant. We started the day off with some great t-shirt, water bottle, tote, and magazines. Plus we had a continental breakfast. I love muffins. :o) The orientation lasted until 4:30, but it went pretty quickly. I was able to speak with my advisor and meet some fellow students, some who will also be DE students. Turns out the student organization was planning a little get together afterward, so Rob and I joined up with them. They took us to a place called The Safe House. The idea behind the restaurant it awesome. It's this whole spy theme. You have to know the password to get in or you have to do some silly trick. The door is hidden and so on. It really was a lot of fun, but the food was sub-par at best. Afterward, a few of us went for drinks at Champions?? I think that's the name of the place. Nice out of the way place. It was great hanging out with them. We played a fantastic game of Apples to Apples and called it a night around midnight.

Saturday was pretty uneventful. We stayed close to the hotel, went grocery shopping, and just watched some TV. Rob and I don't have cable or anything like it, so it was fun to actually watch HGTV. On Sunday, we went to the Milwaukee Art Museum. It was so beautiful inside and Art in Bloom was taking place. Art in Bloom is where florist interpret pieces in the museum in floral arrangements. It was a wonderful exhibit to be able to see. Also the Woman with the Veil by Raphael was on display. Stunning! The museum had so many wonderful galleries, but there was no way that we were going to be able to see everything that morning. Rob was scheduled to flight out on Sunday. (Did I mention that our tickets weren't bought at the same So after the museum, we grabbed lunch and headed back to the hotel. Basically, we hung around there until it was time to take him to the airport. That night I sat in front of the TV and watched Brothers & Sisters! I was so excited that I was able to do that...not to mention it was a 2 hour show!!! Awesome.

Monday was my day to fly out. I packed up and went to meet Morgan for lunch at 1230. It was good food and good conversation. We were there until 4:00. I think that was more my doing than hers. My flight wasn't leaving until 6:30pm, so I had nothing else to do but sit in the airport. It's been forever since I had lunch with a girl...I've missed it so much. There are so many things to talk about. She was so gracious to listen to me chatting away. LOL...I believe she was having fun too. :o)

From there I went to the airport, returned the car, and settled in for my two hour wait. Surprisingly, the time past quickly. The flight was ahead of schedule and we landed in Detroit in no time. We left there on schedule and landed in Norfolk ahead also. I had to actually wait for my ride instead of the other way around. Any frequent flier know how that goes. Jack was so excited to see me. Purrs nonstop. Because I felt sorry for him, I left him sleep in the room with me and he loved every minute of it. Today he has hardly left my lap. So spoiled.

This trip was the icing on the cake. I was already excited about the program and now I can't wait for it to start! September seems like forever away. Ugh! I get to enroll on the 20th, so I'm counting down. It's going to be awesome!! WOOO! Overall, it was the a fantastic opportunity and I was able to meet some really great people who I hope to keep in touch with.

 Erin and Andrew at Champions

Allison and Morgan at Champions 

 18K Gold Tea Set by Tiffany & awesome it that!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Whew...another week. Thank you! Yesterday was awesome. I spent the day shopping, which I don't do often. It takes me way too long to decide on something, especially when working within a budget. We have a clothing "envelope", so we can only spend what is in set aside. Luckily, I received an Express gift card for $100 for my birthday; plus, I had a coupon. Yes! I love coups. Rob agreed to meet me at the mall, since he really does have a good eye.

I have to admit, the beginning of the shopping experience was stressful. After about an hour and a half, I had an armful of items to pick from and I didn't "love" them. Now if I had the money to just buy what I want, then I would definitely have been excited about all of them. They looked good on me and I liked them; however, since I shop within a budget I really need to love whatever I buy. Besides, everyone knows if you don't love it in the store you're not going to love it when you get home!

So while standing in the side aisle trying to talk with Rob about what to get, take his thoughts into consideration, stay within my budget, and still get the stuff that I wanted and that was in my head when I walked into the store...I almost had a breakdown! I've never been so stressed out while shopping. I was at the point of just leaving and coming back later. I couldn't figure out what went wrong. I was excited to go buy a few spring/summer dresses and get some cute shoes to go with. I knew that I wanted a pair of plain black slacks and two cardigans (a black and a white). These were all things that I knew that I wanted. Yet, looking in my hand I only had one thing on that list. I realized that it all broke down when we first walked in and I found this great cream/off white long cardigan that I was drawn to. I loved it, yet I let Rob talk me into grabbing a short one. I love his input and while I had an idea in my own head, I was basing what I was picking up mostly on his opinion.

At this point, Rob had to be heading back to work. Turns out that this was for the best. Once he left, I started all over. I put back all but two skirts that I had been carrying around and focused on what I really wanting. Rob had mentioned before he left that I should buy what was on my list, since he knew that would make me the happiest and cut down on my buyer's remorse. Therefore, I went back to some of the things that I had in my head when I first walked into the store. I wanted some cute, summery dresses. In my head, they were short not long. I picked up a few to try on...I went back to the first creamy long cardigan...checked the sales rack...and grabbed a pair of crop wide waistband Editor pants in black. When I came out of the dressing room, I knew without a doubt what I wanted and better yet, I was happy about it!

I ended up with a purple dress, the Editor pants, a gray t-shirt from the clearance rack, my creamy cardigan, and a little black skirt that was 40% off. I then went to Payless and picked up three pairs of shoes. A light yellow colored slip on, a gold gladiator sandal, and a navy blue/grey wedge. The only remorse that I felt when I made it home was that I had spent my gift card and all of the money in the envelope. While that is what it's there for and Rob did say I could spend it, I felt bad that I spent it all and Rob ended up with none of it. I guess the next time it gets a nice chuck in there it will be his turn. Regardless, I look fabulous in all my new stuff. Below are a few pictures of my loot! I know the pants are khaki and the cardigan black in the picture, but pretend. :o)

DREAMWEIGHT FLUTTER SLEEVE DRESS   CROP WIDE WAISTBAND EDITOR PANT   RUFFLED FOLDOVER MINI SKIRT   FLYAWAY RIBBED-SLEEVE CARDIGAN  Brands Montego Bay ClubSamantha Cork Slingback Sandal  Brands Lela Rose for PaylessAshland Mary Jane Wedge   Womens Lower East SideKaroline Mid Heel Bow Slide

Friday, April 2, 2010


Am I ever going to be okay with it? Am I ever going to just move past the past?

This morning I woke up to find some forward emails in my inbox. One from the ex-wife, with hubby's reply, and one that he wrote to his children. Not the way that I want to start my day, but the fact that he remembered to send it was encouraging. 

We have struggled with this aspect of our relationship. Having another female emailing your husband is unnerving, regardless of the "connection" and seeing how in the beginning...the frequency and emotional content...well, let's just say it can be very trying. There were so many times that I would read one and get angry, which led to a fight. I was furious that at his reaction to them, his replies, and the fact that he had an incredible hard time seeing anything she did as over the line. He was upset that I was so upset. That I was being understanding. That I couldn't just understand that she was the mother of his children. So on and so forth. There would be times when he wouldn't tell me about the emails. He would agree to things and bring it up later. More fighting. Anyway, we have worked hard to get to the point where he includes me in their exchanges. He still worries about my reaction, but pushes the emails through anyway. Surprisingly, I handle them better because I don't feel as left out. I don't feel like there is something going on behind my back. 

So this morning, I read the email from the ex. It was about her newest boyfriend and how he has been hanging out with her and the kids a lot and it's getting serious....then it included hubby's reply. Same as all the others...asking basic details about the new guy and making sure that he knows his place in the kids' lives. In his reply, he chose to include a comparison or two with our relationship and it made me angry. They way he handles this sort of thing has always bothered me, but the comparisons really pushed me over the edge. Not once has he handled her new boyfriends anywhere close to how she handled our relationship and not once has she handled hers the way that she treated ours! How dare he compare her new fling with where we are in our relationship! We are married and have been together going on 4 years! How dare he invalidate our relationship in that manner. We were living together for over a year before I met his children. I had to have a meeting with her first. Then I had to go over to their house and spend a few hours there, so they could get to know me, before we took them with us. I spent the day at their house for his son's birthday party...while she and her friends talked about me in the kitchen. How dare he....

Needless to say, I have very strong feelings about the way that they each have decided to handle her relationships. He's "whatever" and she's introducing a new guy after only a few months when they aren't serious. I just don't get it.

So I am angry. I am hurt. I wanted to email him back and tell him how angry I was, but I didn't. I did not want to take another step back caused by something that cannot be changed. I just took a deep breath and reminded myself that he shared the email. He's trying. As for my feelings, I'll just share them here because he will never understand and it will never change. It's all about being accepting of the situation and not letting it bring you down. Not letting his past effect my future. Thankfully, bring my thoughts and feelings here has made me feeling better. Now when he comes home from work, we can have a good day with no fights. 

Part II:

As I already mentioned, I also had an email waiting that he send to his children. Now this is the first time that I have ever had one of these, so I'm not really sure of his motivation. Never have I asked to be included in this correspondence and never has he shown any interest in doing so. These email was entitled Re: I love you. Surprisingly, it was quite a long one (about the length of Part I) and it turns out that the entire thing was him expressing his love to them. Anyone how has read my previous post Does He or Doesn't He, or any recent one for that matter, knows my thoughts, anxiety, and doubts when it comes to that area of our lives, so you can imagine how I felt reading an endless email about his love and devotion to them. After the first email, this one pretty much shattered what was left of my calm. I even cried a bit.

"I know the situation as it is now is not the best when it comes to us being together (you, Gabey and me) but you can trust in the fact that I am working on both ends (here and with your mom) to make it better."


"My heart is full of joy because I know you two live and breath.  I work to ensure that mommy gets the money she needs to keep you two well taken care of because right now that is what I can do consistently do without fail, but you two [are] more than the money I send out, you are my children, my love, my life." 

What am I supposed to say to that? How am I supposed to feel? I don't know what the correct way is, but I do know that it makes me feel separate, a third wheel, loved less...not like a beloved wife. That email torn at my most tender spot and I am left hurt and feeling alone. I know that he was not trying to hurt me with his words and chances are he was not considering my feelings at all when he emailed them. I know he doesn't read this blog, so I am sure that he is not anymore aware of my feelings than he was when we discussed them last. He was just trying to share with me, but ended up breaking my heart in pieces. 

Will I ever feel loved like I need? Will I ever feel like my husband wants children with me and can love us like he does the children he already has? Will I ever feel most important to anyone?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Through Faith I Walk

So it appears that I've been complaining a lot about my marriage...well, more so about my decision to get married to my husband. When I think back to the moment that I saw Rob, I was immediately attracted to him. He had the bluest eyes I had ever seen...strong jawline with great cheeks. I thought he was funny and confident. Those first few days spent getting to know each other was fun. I enjoyed that time; however, my intuition was telling me that something was wrong. 

I am a big believer in intuition and for the most part have followed it; however, I was enjoying myself so throughly and wanted to believe that everything was alright, that I chose to ignore it. It did keep nagging at me right up until he told me all about himself. In that moment, after I had allowed myself to fall in love with him, my worse fears were realized. Nevertheless, I did not start listening. I continued to follow my heart and pushed forward with the relationship. Throughout our entire relationship, I held onto my hope, desire, and need for a loving relationship. I continued to have doubt, which I would pass off as my insecurities trying to overtake me.

Now I look at where I am and wonder why I never decided to listen to my intuition? I married a man who is really the complete opposite of me. We are not friends really, don't have much in common to talk about, don't have the same faith, and have yet to master the ability to communicate in a helpful manner or at all. LOL...what were we thinking?! Well, we were thinking that we loved each other and we both want this relationship. Now don't get me wrong here. We are not at each other's throats and anything close to that. We love each other and do enjoy each other's company; we just spend a lot of time sitting together without much to say.

Many of people believe that intuition is one of God's ways to speak to us and guide us. I, honestly, am of this belief too. So why, knowing that God wants only the best for me, did I continue to ignore His direction? Because I was afraid that He was going to tell me to wait! Afraid that I was still going to be alone! Afraid that I would never find that special someone, so I went with what was right in front of me and boy, have I paid for it. So many trials...fights...crying...yet, we always manage to come back together.

These thoughts have really been consuming my mind lately. Why am I with a man that has two children and an ex wife? Why am I with someone that I don't enjoy talking to? Why am I with someone who believes that science is god? How is it possible that I got so far from all that I wanted? Then I realize that I blame myself. I am angry at myself more than I very was at Rob. I felt that I did myself an injustice. With that I have guilt, something that I inherited from my Catholic father. Then I ask myself, why are all these thoughts coming to the forefront now? Well, for one...I am on this journey to find myself and two...I'm doing almost daily Bible study. I have my devotionals and am truly sinking deeper and deeper into the Word. As I do, I learn more and more about God, myself, and my relationship with others...especially my husband.

Now after weeks spend on these concerns, doubts, and would be mistakes, I am finding some peace this morning...more so as I started putting this post together. Something that has made its way from the back of my mind is the simple truth that God has a plan for me and it is in His control.

"I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for." Jeremiah 29:11 (MSG)

"You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely." Psalm 139:1-4 (TNIV)

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:13-16 (TNIV)

Perhaps if I quit thinking about the past and all that I don't have, I will see all the He has before me. The Lord does not give us anything that we can't handle and everything that come our way is to shape us into the person that He intended us to be. God knew that I would marry Rob. He knew the trials and tribulations that both Rob and I would be faced with in this marriage. He has a purpose for us to be together. 

Even throughout all the fears and doubts that I've had over the last few weeks, I never thought of ending it. Just walking away. Instead, I have been consumed with the what ifs...what if I can't handle not having my husband be my best friend....what if we can't learn to communicate...what if we can't learn to appreciate each other and handle one another with patience and kindness. I want our marriage to succeed and us to triumph.

And as obvious as it is now, it wasn't last night...we have to seek God and pray for each of these things to have them in our marriage. Putting my trust in Him and He will provide. He will give me the strength to continue and find those things that are missing in our Him. God has provided me the opportunity to learn patience, kindness, and His unconditional love. Plus the opportunity to share His love with a nonbeliever. I can't think of more precious blessings that He could give. In this marriage, He will force me to deny my "fleshy" life and walk in faith. That's cool...not easy...but I'm thankful for this opportunity.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Does He or Doesn't He


Tomorrow is my 28th birthday! Not really a milestone, but 28 is almost 30. LOL..but I'm not worried. The big 30 isn't scary to me. I'm hoping the closer that I get to it the more grown up I'll feel.

Life is funny. I was just texting with one of my greatest friends about that. We were talking about how far we've come since college. She is pregnant with her first baby! She is having a girl and due in July. I couldn't be happier for her. I know that she will be a great mom and I am excited to meet the little one...whenever that is.

My birthday approaching and talking with her made me think about my future plans. I can honestly say that I expected to have at least one kiddo by now. In my life plan I was going to be married by 25 (didn't happen until 27) and start with the family by 27 (turning 28 with no projected outcome). It seems like everyday another friend is posting a picture of a pregnancy test and announcing the good news. I can't help but feel left out. I finally understand that damn clock and I find it frustrating. LOL. What is more frustrating than that is my desire to have one. There is a part of me that is ready...wanting to take that step and begin; however, there is also that part that is worried that I am not ready yet. Still too selfish with too much to do. Finish my masters, travel, etc.

That wasn't always the case and I believe that my uncertainty comes from my situation with my husband. I remember this conversation that we had when we were first getting to know each other. We were in Alabama, walking from the car to the restaurant and talking about kids. This is how the conversation went:

Me: How many kids do you want?
Him: 2, a boy and a girl
Me: oh, weird. You're probably the only guy I know who actually has that figured out.
(My thoughts: "perfect...this is definitely my future husband.")

At that time, I was excited about all the possibilities that our relationship held and children were a big part of that. I can say that I was truly happy at that moment.

Then fast forward to the fact that he already had two children...boy and a conversation in Tacoma at the Melting Pot about 3 months after we started living I don't remember the whole conversation, but we were once again talking about having children and he made a statement that has stuck with me. Probably because it was devastating to me...LOL. We were talking about having children and I'm sure that I was saying something about him waiting more children...bring up the conversation in Alabama. He said to me [paraphrasing] "well, I'm okay without having more children. I have fulfilled my need, but if you wanted to have children then I'd be will to." I think what made that statement so devastating was that while he wasn't saying that he didn't want anymore children, he was saying that his desire was filled. 

Step ahead to the last year and when we discuss it, he has it in his head that we won't be starting a family for 3-5 years. He wants us to be ready. 3-5 years!! Can you believe that...he wants me to wait another 3-5 years. When "they" decided to have "their" children, "they" planned it out. Each child...yet "they" talked about divorce about a year or so after the first one was born and were having problems up until about 6 months to a year before "they" DECIDED to have the second. "They" talked about divorce again before that child turned 1! That was the final talk because after that we met and so on. "They" waited until "they" were ready, but apparently not really. It's frustrating. 

I know bring children into this world is a big responsibility and can be a blessing to a marriage, but can also put a lot of strain on one. I understand that and I know we are not ready right now to have a baby. I would just like the opportunity to plan our family and life around us and not have to build off of his former one. He talks about how great it was that they planned it out and how he wouldn't change a thing and I am so glad it worked out for them that way. On the other hand, I feel like he might be trying to compensate for their issues by putting such a ridiculous timeline on us. But it also brings up fears that he really isn't sure about wanting anymore children, so he's putting it off. (**Note: during some of our recent talks this past year, he has assured me that he does, in fact, want children with me.) Not to mention, that while his need is met...mine isn't. So my clock is busy ticking away and he's perfectly fine because he no longer has that desire; therefore, waiting 3-5 years is nothing for him. You know...*sigh*

This is way we are not ready to have children yet and I believe that his statements and actions have caused me to be uncertain about what I want. I am worried that he really doesn't want more children and that it would be him just doing it to make me happy. Nice thought, but when I have children I want my husband to want them and not just go with it because I want them. He's always talking about what amazing children he already has and how great, special, etc they are...and I believe that if I told him that I didn't want to have children, he would be perfectly okay with that. He wouldn't push for us to display our love for each other through children. He really would be okay with it, which is bothersome for me. Again with the want thing.

So here I sit, going back and forth, about my future family. I know I have my insecurities about myself and my relationship and this could be less of a deal than I am making it. With each new pregnancy post though, I can't help but feel that I am missing out on something and that way our relationship started took something else away from me...something that I didn't realize until now...something very special.

ETA: While in the shower this thought hit me...Rob always tells people that we want children but not for a few years (told his boss just yesterday actually) and I find myself saying that we plan on having children when we're ready...then I actually look for things that I can do and we can do to be ready whether it takes us 6 months, 1 year, or 3 years...that's the difference in our thinking. I'm always looking for ways to make it happen because it is something that I want. A goal. A desire.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Is that you God?

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."
James 1:2-4

So as most of you know, I hate being a patrol officer. Spending 8 hours a day in a car is not fun...nothing like a road trip with friends. I drive in squares, use a 1/4 of a tank of gas, and get nowhere. If you include the crazy work hours, I would say that this job is sucking the happiness right out of me. I'm pretty sure Rob would tell you the same thing. Poor guy, he puts up with some much of my anxiety and depression brought on by this place that I'm at.

Back in February, I took a week off to figure out what I really needed. I spent that week putting in two resumes a day...10 that week. Rob and I agreed that it was time that I move on and regardless of the pay, if I was happy it would be worth it and the budget will be reworked. I committed it to prayer and left it at that; but, I had this unsettling feeling that God wasn't going to let me leave the police department. Whatever "work" I was suppose to do here was not finished. It was an awful feeling, bringing me to tears several times. How could He not see that I was so unhappy doing this job? Why would He not provide me with something else?

During that time I kept coming across different scriptures during my daily readings in Proverbs, Psalms, and James. The story about trials and tribulations being a river you have to cross in your boat. It's not easy to make it to the other side, but you have to stay in the boat! On the other side is a person with stronger faith. You can't leave the boat and with each trial you become more and more like the person God had in mind. So many of the scriptures and devotionals were talking about doing a great job at work for God and how God will reward those who do a good work. These all sound wonderful, but what if you truly are miserable at your job? Does that give you a pass? Will He provide you with something else?

With each of these scriptures running through my mind, I became more and more unsettled. I was fearful that I was going to have to stay in patrol. My flesh was fighting it even though I knew that if it was God's plan for me to stay there and complete His work that it was a good thing. God's plans are always for the best. I would tell myself that over and over. During one of my runs, I was listening to a Podcast from Joyce Meyer and I ended up crying full of frustration and hurt that God wanted me to stay was I was. I told Him that I was going to do His will even if it killed me, but I reminded Him (in case God could forget) that I had asked for a new job and deep in my heart I needed it. I said out loud that He had promised if I asked in His name, He would do it (paraphrased of course).

I continued working and that's when I took my week off in February. I thought that surely if I applied to all of those jobs, God would find one that suited me and His purpose. Rob and I made the decision that regardless of me having another job, I was going to resign either the 31st or the 4th of April. I'm even supposed to be following up with a HR manager at this company to work on setting up an interview. Everything is good right?

I still have this nagging "check" telling me that God isn't giving me the go ahead. Then on Friday of last week, I checked my work email and there was a vacancy in the Crime Prevention Unit! Monday through Friday, 8-4:30...perfect hours for my schooling and body clock. Paperwork, working with citizens in Neighborhood watch, civic leagues, etc. This would be perfect for me!! I would get to stay in the police department, still doing law enforcement (which still interests me), keeping my pay, and normal work hours. And it hit me...was this God's way of answering my prayers? Was this His go ahead?

I am excited about this opportunity; however, there is one small problem. To transfer, you have to have 2 years on the force as a sworn officer. I'm 9 months short of that. I will be with the department 2 years in July, but I wasn't sworn in until December. I now have to convince my LT to let me put in for it. He will have to agree to sign off on it for me to be eligible. I'll be meeting with him today and I have caught myself doubting it will work and questioning what will happen then, but then a thought pushes it back. If this is God's plan then who will be able to stop it? No one. If God wants me in this position, then surely the LT will say yes and sign off on it. If not, then maybe it's not God's plan after all or maybe He has a different way of going about arranging it. Who knows...and if it turns out to not workout, I always have my job interview with "Company A" to work toward.

So here I sit...sick with a head cold...and praying for courage and the right words to convince my LT about this new job opportunity. Sometimes I really wish that there was a definitely was to know if the path that I'm looking to go down is God's or my a big sign that reads, "This way". That would be nice.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Path Taken

These past few weeks have had me thinking a lot about the bonds between people. Everyone in your life you have some sort of bond with or they wouldn't be in your life, right? Makes sense to me. Well, what got me thinking about this is the bond between Rob and I. Husband and wife bonds are more unique than any other. The bond is love, but not friendship love or family love. It's the not love that you have for your best friends or your parents, sisters, babies, etc.; even though it is a very similar love. It's a special love that joins two people together including friendship love and family love all in one. Now the bond between husband and wife is strong. Built on trials, adventures, and lazy Saturdays. This bond starts from the very first date and strengthens with each passing day, fact learned, and fight forgiven. This bond is stronger and more important than all others. It's the first bond in a family. Husband and wife. 

Now what happens when that bond isn't foster as it should? What happens when during the bonding moments something dramatic interrupts the connection? What happens to a couple when their bond is not woven together as it should be, but rather has loops throughout their rope?

Rob and I never had the opportunity to create a bond forged by dates and normal fights. When our coupledom started, we were already fighting the biggest battle a relationship could ever have. It was an awful situation and one that I should have walked away from. Any bond that had formed was ravaged and destroyed by his lies, yet, I fought for it. Why? Because of love? Because of fear of being alone? Because of fear of being wrong? All three I would say. 

So our bond in the beginning...the most important part...was destroyed by selfishness. Yet we started again...however, it was never the same. That selfishness had destroyed everything. But we both fought for our love. Fought for what we both wanted building and destroying and starting over. Finally, building had started and was moving forward...making memories and taking small steps. Slowly building that bond. Then the moment of truth came...make the commitment or separate. We all know what happened.

Now here is the funny part. I've seen people come into my husband's life, friends he's had for years, and I see the bond between them. I see the strength that was forged through war and courage. Through a love of something that they believe in. Then I look at the bond between him and his ex-wife forged by their children. Finally, I look at ours and wonder to myself if it's as strong as these others. I ask this because deep down I have doubts. Doubts that I made the right decision. Doubts that he is who I am truly supposed to be with. 

Now I don't doubt that I love him, because I do. I don't love the fact that he has been married before. I don't love that he has children. Mostly, I don't love that I will never be the most important person in his my husband. Not at the beginning, not right after marriage, not right now, not ever. I found myself thinking about this every now and again. Why would I put myself in a situation that I didn't want? What was I thinking? How would my life be different if I had made a different choice? Would I still be alone? Would I ever find someone to love me? 

Then I find myself plotting. Plotting to find that love and connection that we should have. I tell myself, "once we get to the point where we are ready for children, then we will have that connection. I will be the mother of his children. We will have that bond. That sacred bond that he shares with his ex, except ours will be better and stronger because we are married." Crazy, right?

I know that most of these thoughts and feelings are brought on by my own insecurities and exasperated by my search for who I am. When you don't have a full grip on who you are, it's hard to know where you fit in everyone's life. But should that feeling cross a bond as special and unique as a husband and wife? I don't know, but I do know that the more I discover about myself, the more I see areas in Rob that I don't appreciate. He'll tell me about my feelings and thoughts and actions and how they are wrong. He makes me feel uncomfortable with being myself at times. I know that I don't like that. It all comes back to me questioning if I made my choices for the right reasons. I hate feeling like the third wheel in my own marriage. I hate that I will never be the most important person to my husband ever. I hate that I feel like I'm competing for love and attention when my stepchildren are around. I hate that they are not mine and his. I hate that he has a sacred bond with another woman that we don't have. I hate that this whole other world existed before us.

One thing that I do know...I will not be making the same mistake twice. I will follow my instinct regardless. I will not quiet my voice because of fear. I am here. Married to my husband whom I do love and whom I do want to have my own children with. I am here. Pushing to find myself and to know myself. I am here. Determined to create a bond between husband and wife that is stronger than any title, based on the love shown to me by God. Loving my husband to the best of my ability and making our life the best that it can be. 

Did I make a mistake by staying with Rob? Did I make a mistake by marrying a man who has two children from another woman? Did I make a mistake by putting myself in a situation where I would not be most important? I will never know, because those are the choices that I made and I am here now. Regardless of what could have been, this is what is and I am going to make the most of it. I will never doubt my "checks" again and that's how I am going to live my life. I am going to love myself, my husband, and our relationship for what it is, knowing that the Lord will bless it with happiness and love...regardless of anything else. I am right where I am supposed to be. A wrong turn or not. I just wish it wasn't so hard sometimes.