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Top 10 Connecticut Family Day Trips Not to Miss!

1. Falls Village
We have to start with FV because that was our town! There is a beautiful outlet of the Appalachian Trail you can access right near the region's High School and you can catch a view of the Great Falls with a short walk from the village itself. There are a few little shops and an annual car show but the view is what makes FV a little home in my heart. The best part about exploring this area is that the great outdoors are always free to explore. :)


2. Dinosaur State Park, Rocky Hill
This place was AWESOME and I am not entirely sure why so many people I come across who live in CT have never been here. Obviously, I was coming from a different point of view, I moved to the northwest corner after living in a huge state (NY) so I wanted to see ALL of CT basically immediately. This is an interactive museum built over top of real authentic dinosaur tracks that were found in 1966. The inside also has a fun little kids center and outdoors there are activities on weekends and…
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The Broken Road

It is incredibly normal for a new wife to fixate on the ex-wife in relationships where there are kids. It is super healthy and most fixate for much longer than I did. We talk about our pasts, and we talk about our present, and I would be lying to say that his ex doesn't continue to come up. Unfortunately this is because of her rampant immaturity, teenage parenting style, and flagrant disrespect of us and the children. However, I find myself as time goes by over-analyzing responses, remembering the way things are said, and taking it far more personal when the kids buy into her manipulations. I can't tell if that is because of the old step mom/birth mom rivalry that some psychologists say are inevitable, if it is because I know that I do more for the kids than anyone else in their lives and seem to get no credit, if it because there is this total disconnect in our worlds, or if at the heart of the matter it is simply that I am jealous of my fiance's past.

Whatsm…

Sometimes I forget how to rise up

Sometimes I forget how to rise up
Is it the way I hold my head?
Is it the way I walk?
The swivel in my hips?
The way the words leave my lips?

Sometimes I forget how to rise up
I have never asked for much
I have never asked too much
I look down as I walk
I mumble as I talk

Sometimes I forget to rise up
I am lonely and I am broken
I am lost and I am afraid
I realize I am so bruised
I realize I've been so used

Sometimes I forget to rise up
I cry myself to sleep
I feel weak as I weep

Sometimes I forget to rise up
Is it the way I love?
Is it the way you don't?

Sometimes I forget to rise up
I have nothing left to give.
I have used up all my fight.

Sometimes I forget to rise up
But he sees through my flaws
He lifts me from lifes claws

Sometimes I forget to rise up.
But love lifts me.

What I Wanted to Say vs What I Said

What I wanted to say to my fiance's ex this morning:

Good Morning,

You don't like to be put on the spot, and I understand it could be intimidating that when arguments pop out it is in a text thread that has your ex-husband and his fiance. There are things that need to be said and things that I want you to know.

In the book I am reading there is this line “For reasons I will never understand, Judith will always be at war for the soul of our son.” And I think in many ways, it might apply to how Jason & I feel you act/react to us and the kids. I tried so hard to be your friend. After a year of your unwarranted comments to Jason and the kids about me, I text you to say I forgave you for the past and move forward. How did you react? You felt it necessary to proclaim to the kids that you were not sorry for things you had said. About a half year later I convinced Jay that we should reach out to your mother and sister because you were clearly depressed and acting on…

Once I made a vanity from a gun rack...

Some people make mountains out of molehills. I am not really sure I have ever been like this although I can be dramatic, I hate drama. My conversations with my fiance's ex-wife are filled with her projecting on me and me ignoring that. I can be very straightforward and, particularly in writing, I am very articulate.

I used to hide all of this from the kids. I used to swallow all the feelings I had of her nastiness. I used to think shielding them was important. Then I realized that part of why our relationship was so trying was because (1) they were hearing negativity from their mother and then (2) no one was explaining that she was trying to manipulate them and that they do have permission to love us. So my fiance and I started to be more honest with them.

It helps them a lot. They "confess" things to us that she has said and it makes them feel better, our oldest is confident enough to argue with her and shut it down, and I think in some ways it makes them feel validate…

Actual Text Messages

Here is an actual conversation that took place in a group chat between me, my fiance, and his ex-wife.

Background
I was really depressed one Friday evening. I had been suffering from a bout of depression for almost a week and had gotten really bad news at work that day. When I picked the littles up from school the littlest told me that "...mom says that she loves me more than anyone else so that I have to love her more than anyone else. She said there is no way that you love me as much as she does so I can't love you as much as I love her." I was taken aback by this.  I love these children as my own. I went right into mom-mode so to speak. I asked her what love is. She said "taking care of someone, wanting to be with them, putting them first" and I said "Well that sounds like the way I care about you! Doesn't it?" She shook her head up and down. "Does mom do those things?" She said "no" so I told her "Mom said s…

Summer Memories Jar

Bonding with kids can be hard. As you may have read, it was the hardest thing to do in my life. For me, it made finding my soulmate seem like it had been a cakewalk. Think about that. Here I was, a survivor of domestic abuse, a 30 something who had to find herself again after that 13 year relationship/marriage had ended, somehow waded the waters of the dating pool and found not just a boyfriend but someone who felt like home to me, and amidst all of that I was trying to deal with bonding with kids who had a birth mother whispering in their ear about me and my intentions and lying about their father. I didn't stand a chance. 
Eventually, I stood up, brushed the dirt off of my face, and declared to myself: this is my life and my love. I don't know what exactly that moment happened, but I remember the overwhelming feeling. I was not The Bear That Wasn't, I knew exactly who I was and I was not going to let someone who was feeling insecure or jealous steal my sunshine. 
I reso…