Eating My Words

I’ll just go ahead and say that I’m not always right. Let’s get that out of the way. It hurts to say, usually, but I am glad to say it this time because it means that things are getting to a better place in the Zoo.

The ex-wife is finally dating a really nice guy. Though he hasn’t been married and doesn’t  have kids of his own, he has dated women with children before and therefore understands the dynamic of exes and children. It took awhile for us to meet him, but now that we have, it almost feels like a Modern Family sort of thing ( have I mentioned that her family loves me?)…he might even be moving into my apartment complex!

She told me something over this past weekend that really made me feel good. Because of all the boundaries and craziness that plagued the first few months of mine and M’s relationship, hearing her say this was a big moment, and I can only hope things stay this good between us. She told me:

 I’m VERY grateful that M has such a wonderful woman in his and our boys’ lives 😉.

And, FYI, I, firmly, believe that God’s brought the best possible “bonus mom” into their lives, and I can’t thank you enough for showing them love and being so amazing to them when you’re around them 😊.

Maddie is, extremely, lucky!!

Needless to say, I was speechless. I am grateful for the cooperation and ease with which we now communicate and hope it continues! Yay for new boyfriends and yay for getting along!

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Griswold Family Vacation

Spring Break. Two words that strike fear in the hearts of parents around the world and which are almost as sweet as Christmas break to the teacher. I happen to be both parent and teacher, and Spring Break ’16 brought both excitement and apprehension. We had plans to attempt a blended family trip– first, to see my daughter’s volleyball tournament and then on to our friends’ house for a few days of kid-centered fun.

The tourney was in Nashville on the first weekend of break; we’d originally planned on heading up there that morning, but found out very last minute that she actually played first thing in the morning. Scramble, scramble to get everything together and find a hotel for the extra night.

I should note here that I haven’t been on a vacation with little people in QUITE some time. Although my parents, sisters and their families live down in Florida and I do visit, I haven’t even been on a trip with those small people — as in, ever. I’m a bit out of practice, which I learned last week.

The friends we stayed with also have three kids under age 8, two of whom are still technically in diapers (Pull-Ups count, right?)– so naturally, the volume level was always high and at least fifteen times a day we heard screaming, “he has my toy!” “I don’t want that to eat” and other such phrases. I love them all dearly, but I was ready to get back to the quiet of my own apartment.

The trip DID go well– aside from small people arguments, we had a great time and all the kids got along. It gave me a preview of what family trips will look like for the next 5-10 years, and I have to say… where are the adult vacations?

Welcome to the zoo!

If someone had asked me fifteen years ago where I’d be today, I probably never would have said, “twice divorced and dating another divorced parent” or “attempting to re-define myself and my career” or “living in the coolest neighborhood in town and training for a half-marathon.”

Yet here I am, and all those things are true of me, in my late 30s. Welcome to the zoo– or, my life, in short. In an attempt to share the Wisdom of My Age, as well as the Hilarious Things Children Say, Some Amazing Recipes, Other Hilarious Stories, and General Good Times (and to  generally write myself into sanity, some days), I have for you, dear reader, a new blog: Me, You, & the Zoo.

I should perhaps provide some context. In 2000, I was graduating from undergrad and fell in love with a boy. We got married in 2001, but in 2011, divorced. My daughter is now 11 and a sassy, brilliant combination of both her dad and me. In 2013, I remarried– a younger guy who I began dating after my separation from Hubs #1 but before our divorce was completely final (don’t judge me). This turned out to be a Phenomenally Horrible Idea, and we divorced just last year. I guess some statistics are right. He was Mr. Always Right and Determined that Everyone in the Free World Should Know That. That didn’t last too long.

Now, at closer to 40 than 30, and with more than a few life tips and mistakes to my name, I am starting over again. I am dating a wonderful man who is himself freshly divorced with two young sons. Between us, if you’re counting, we have:

  • three kids
  • three dogs
  • two cats
  • two households
  • three failed marriages and a called-off engagement
  • complete and utter chaos most of the time.

So that’s where I am– learning to embrace the chaos, the mess, the strategizing that goes into the simplest and most basic of tasks. I’m a pretty organized person. I’m a planner. The last few months have been a struggle for me, just learning to be okay with a different kind of life. But I love it, and here I am to share it with you, dear reader.