My Last First Date…

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Seven years ago today I went on my last first date. Around that time, I had been going on a good amount of first dates. I had been in a series of serious relationships prior to and fed up with they way they dragged on for years only to end in heart break. I really just wanted to find the person I was to spend the rest of my life with and decided if the first date wasn’t a hit, I wasn’t going to try and make something happen.

My now husband and I spoke on the phone for a few weeks before our first date (which I fearfully canceled a few times). The conversations were so great I worried it would end up like all my other recent first dates….in disappointment. However, I had a small amount of hope that maybe this time would be different. I was caught in the middle of hopeless romantic and negative Nancy. After my second cancelation I’ll never forget him saying over the phone, ‘Renee, we are going on this date.’ We rescheduled for the final time and I went on my last first date.

It still feels like yesterday. I remember impatiently waiting for him. He hit traffic and texted me he was running a little late. I was nervous, excited, scared and filled with so many emotions and then he walked in. We were already Facebook friends so I knew what he looked like. He smiled and walked towards me and I melted. I knew this was it. I’m marrying this man. Sounds silly, cheesy and totally cliche but it’s true. He smiled and I fell in love.

We didn’t even order dinner yet and he was already asking to see me the next day. We spent the next two weeks together and by my birthday (August 20th) he told me he was falling in love with me. He was it. He was the one. He’s still the one.

Now, we are married (celebrating five years at the end of the month) with a toddler and a little baby boy (!) on the way. Our journey isn’t always a fairytale and we definitely have our moments but oh do I love this man. Even when he drives me crazy I still just love him so much. I love him not only because I chose him but HE CHOSE ME. He didn’t have to marry me. He could have married anyone, but he picked me. He fell in love with me. I am far from perfect but he never tells me that. He only builds me up. He reminds me what a great job I’m doing and how proud he is of me. He tells me he loves me and he shows me. He makes me better.

Isn’t that the hopes for one another as spouses? To make each other better? To want to be better? To give the love we want to receive. To do things because we care without the expectation of something in return? Marriage isn’t easy…then throw kids in the mix….WHOA….marriage just became a whole new ball game…but sometimes it’s nice to go back and remember the reasons you fell in love. Remember why you both say YES!

I would never want to experience this life with anyone other than him. The good times, the bad times and everything in between…he is ALWAYS there for me. Seven years ago today he stole my heart, and I’m so lucky he’s never let it go. I love you MPD. Here’s to us….

Why I Needed to be Cheated On…

As my husband and I are about to celebrate six years of being together and four years of marriage in August, it got me to thinking about how we became this twosome. His persistence and my resistance;)…and that one dinner which forever changed me…but before our love story, there was my own heart break and why I needed to be cheated on…

First, let me start out by saying cheating is the worst…THE ABSOLUTE WORST. To me, it is the ultimate betrayal. It’s not only a betrayal of your monogamous relationship, but also of your trust. It’s a train wreck to your heart and the reason you wonder if you can ever be so vulnerable with someone again. Cheating can make any person come undone. It’s utterly damaging to every part of you…

After the initial shock (because let’s be honest, even if you slightly suspect it, you never hope it to be true), the questions start rolling in your mind. Why did this happen? Doesn’t he/she love me? And the end-all-be-all…What’s wrong with me? The last question is the saddest because if you’ve been there you’ve asked yourself this. What’s wrong with me that this happened? You start to doubt yourself. You begin to pick apart all the flaws you see and tell yourself those are the reasons. You feel alone, unworthy and unloved. You feel betrayed, deceived and insanely angry. You feel like someone stabbed you and knocked the wind out of you at the same time. You feel lost…

I was cheated on in a past relationship. It sucked. It was one of the worst times in my life. I was beyond devastated. I thought I would never recover let alone find someone I could love and trust again. I was in a bad place for a long time. We were together for three years and I thought he was the one. “Thought.”

But just like the saying, time heals all wounds, time really did. What I thought was love really wasn’t. We were completely wrong for each other. We didn’t have a single thing in common besides a mutual physical attraction towards one another. We were both in completely different places in our lives…professionally, financially and emotionally. We clearly wanted different things but I was too blinded by love to see that. That’s probably the hardest part about really loving someone…you don’t see things the way they really are but how you think they are or how you think you can change them to be. There’s a lot of denial when it comes to love. So…he broke my heart and we broke up. And looking back now, if that never happened I would have stayed in that relationship. I would waited for things to change…for him to change. I look back to the beginning and realize he never really wanted to be with me in the first place! All the games, the waiting, are we or aren’t we…I was so stupid!!!!

But you know? I learned a lot from that relationship. I learned a lot about myself. I learned what I really wanted in a partner and when the time was right, I found him. I was more confident and emotionally stronger than I had ever been. Don’t get me wrong, it took over a year to get myself to that point, but I got there.

In my failed relationship, I found my true self. I found the woman I wanted to be and the man I needed by my side. I didn’t settle. I looked beyond physical appearances to what ultimately matters. Can I spend the rest of my life with this person? When all is said and done, the looks have faded and years have gone by, can we do this? Can we make it? Yes, I’m incredibly attracted to my husband but it’s not the basis of our relationship. Marriage is more than physical, it’s a foundation of friendship. My husband became my best friend and he still is. I finally found someone I could be completely me around. Someone who loved me flaws and all. Someone who wasn’t afraid to show me how much he loved me. I found him. I found the one (some people don’t believe in “the one” but I wholeheartedly do!).

Anyone who has experienced being cheated on knows there is so much more than the act of cheating. And it happens on all levels…dating, engaged, married. It can get nasty and messy and when kids are involved it breaks my heart because sometimes they are thrown in the very middle of it (keep the bad mouthing and arguing to each other or friends if you need to vent, don’t bring your children into it!).

I honestly think cheating is the worst. But you know what? I needed to be cheated on. I needed to get out of a relationship I wouldn’t have left. I needed to be so hurt that I could hate him, move on and then forgive him. I forgave him so I could be free…and happy! He wasn’t going to ever apologize. I forgave him in my heart for me, not for him. I needed it. I needed to let go. And you know what? The minute I did it and truly meant it…I’m talking honestly wishing him well in life, I felt so much peace. I wasn’t bitter anymore. I could see him places and be happy for his new life and my own. I wasn’t secretly wishing he was miserable. And to this day, I still honestly wish him the best.

God had a plan for me and I just needed to trust Him. He blessed me with the most amazing man and I couldn’t be happier. Marriage isn’t easy but I’m with my one my soul loves and that to me was worth it. I would go through all the pain again if it meant I got to be with my husband in the end. So maybe you’re stuck in your relationship or you have been cheated on and can’t let go of the pain or maybe you’ve been the cheater….here is my advice to you…

Don’t settle…he/she is out there. Have faith and patience. Let go of the past and the pain, all it’s doing is causing you harm in the end and finally forgive and ask for forgiveness. Even if you don’t get the apology you want, forgive in your heart and mean it. And if you hurt someone, if you cheated, say you’re sorry. Own up to your mistake. Life is too short. Make your peace. And never stop believing in true love!

I love you MPD. Forever and always.

Wow, I’m Old.

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On April 15th, I walked into the bathroom at work which was turned into a girls changing room. As I maneuvered my way around shoes and bags, I listened to four twenty-somethings discuss their ‘outfits’. “I just didn’t think these leggings were going to be so short,” said one. “Omigosh! I love your dress,” gushed another. The conversation then turned into which bar they were starting at followed by a discussion about dating. I chuckled to myself as I thought, ‘wow, I’m old.’ Here are four young, single girls getting ready to go out for the day/night while all I could think about was my sick baby, her fever and getting her to the peds office (I work at a CPA firm and being the end of tax season almost all the CPA’s leave in the afternoon to go drink…no, I’m not a CPA).

And that’s when it hit me, I’m old. I mean wow, I’m old. I can’t even remember the last time I went ‘out, out’ let alone mulled over an outfit which wasn’t followed by ‘Ugh, nothing fits me!’ or ‘Why can’t I just lose this baby weight?!’. The bar seems like a place of my past and drinking isn’t an all-night affair but a glass of wine (because frankly, hangovers now seem to last as long as a cold!). Dating would consist of the few and far between date nights my husband and I get (but luckily I have him and no longer have to worry about what I considered to be ‘the awful dating scene’).

My girlfriends discussion is our kids, why our husband drive us nuts and going out consists of the park or out to lunch for an afternoon play date. Sure, we go out without the kids, but those nights are usually couple dinners at someone’s house and because of hectic schedules probably only occur once a month.

The older I get, the more I realize the bar scene just isn’t for me. Yes, going out and having a good time is great, but the idea of being at a bar until 2AM no longer appeals to me. I’ll take going out to dinner and the movies any day of the week!

But some days I miss my freedom. I miss being able to go somewhere without it taking twenty plus minutes or planning a vacation that’s actually a vacation. I miss the ‘pre-baby skinny me’ that could wear anything and drink without a three-day hangover. But now I’m a mom and those days are over which is okay by me. I think about how blessed I am to have a child because some people will never get that chance. I look at my daughter and my heart fills up with so much love. So yes, I am getting old but I view it as older and wiser…even if at times I still act like a kid. 🙂

Why Wine and Chick Flicks Cure Everything.

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Yesterday was an abysmal day. My poor little sweet pea was unfortunately dragged to two different dentists, the second only being an actual pediatric dentist office (note to dentist receptionists: when asked if you’re a pediatric dentist and you say yes we see kids I am assume you’re answering my question, not saying ‘yes we see kids but we’re not an actual pediatric dentist office’).

The outcome wasn’t good but it wasn’t bad either. Her freak accident did result in a bent tooth, which might grow in properly and might not…it also might need to be eventually pulled and might not or it might just fall out…or might not! I’d probably be better off just pulling pedals off a flower (tooth will fall out, tooth will not) to determine the outcome at this point!

The rest of the day went as sloppy as the beginning. My daughter was miserable and there wasn’t a thing I could do to fix it which broke my heart. She fought naps, taking medicine, letting me leave her side, getting dressed, being in her car seat and wanting to be comforted while I fought for my sanity.

It was one of those days where it all went wrong and by the time she was in bed for the evening I was ready to cry and scream at the same time (I had done both throughout the day but not simultaneously). I poured myself a glass of wine and found that ’27 Dresses’ was on. I love that movie. In fact, I love all chick flicks, even the bad ones. There’s something about sappy, unrealistic love stories that just make me smile and sometimes I even find myself getting a little teary eyed at the end. I mean, who doesn’t love watching the cutest proposal by my crush Ben Affleck in ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ or at the end of the movie when Jake Ryan sitting outside waiting for Molly Ringwald in ‘Sixteen Candles’ and then they celebrate her birthday or the ultimate chick flick movie, ‘The Notebook’. And let’s not forget the hilarious comedy chick flicks like ‘Bridesmaids’ that aren’t filled with all the lovey-dovey stuff and can instantly put you in a good mood! And this is why I believe wine and chick flicks cure everything.

So here’s my five reasons to drink wine and watch one or a marathon of (if you have the time!) chick flick movies:

1. Relationship drama. Whether your single, dating or married, relationship drama happens at all stages. Maybe ‘The Notebook’ isn’t the best choice here, but for me, it is. As ridiculous as it sounds, watching that movie makes me love my husband more, even when I’m incredibly angry with him. Whatever your situation may be, curling up with wine, ice cream and/or popcorn and a good chick flick (along with a possible good cry) can soothe any hurt, broken or angry heart. My top choice here: The Notebook (or if you want to go in the other direction: The Break Up).

2. You Had the Day from Hell. Whether it was your boss at work, the kids at home or one of those ‘you got out of bed this morning and even that went wrong’ days, there’s nothing more mind escaping than a chick flick…and definitely a few glasses of wine! My top choice here: Wedding Crashers.

3. You’re Having a Girls Night. Sure, a night out at the bar is a great way to get together, but sometimes a night in with chick flicks, good friends, lots of laughs and lots of wine can help you unwind from the stresses of everyday life. There are moments when you just need your girlfriends and nights like these are great for them. My top choice here: Pretty Woman.

4. You Really Need to Laugh. Life can get really serious and sometimes we forget how to let go and have fun. We can’t laugh situations off because we’re too stressed out. This is the time to grab that movie and enjoy a good laugh. My top choice here: Bridesmaids.

5. Just Because. Sometimes you don’t need a reason to drink and watch a chick flick, you just want to! Whether it’s to relax, decompress, chill out, all of the above or just because, enjoy what’s currently on TV or a personal favorite and your favorite glass of wine! My top choices here: How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, Knocked Up, My Best Friend’s Wedding.

I know a day like yesterday is only one of many to come, I just wish it didn’t have to. I wish I could prevent my daughter from any pain or injury. But since I cannot, I need to have faith that all will work itself out. And every once in a while I also need to have some wine and a good chick flick!