Monday, March 26, 2012

"2 Year Dating" Anniversary

It's that time again, when we look back on our relationship and smile because it is so good and we are so blessed! My fiance got me a beautiful gift and also gave me a very sweet card which I will share with you below:

"We've been together a long time now.
We've laughed and cried
and seen each other through
our best and worst
and everything in between.
And today, when I look at you, 
I feel even more love
than I've ever felt before.
We have a history together,
full of shared memories
that keep us close.
You are so much a part of me
and a part of my happiness
that it's impossible to imagine
what life would have been like without you.

You are my partner,
and my love,
and I ask nothing more
than to spend all the rest
of my life with you.
                     - Linda Lee Elrod"

Of course, he had written a personal message but in an effort to maintain (even just a little bit) of privacy, I will only share a line or two of what he has written. Every girl deserves a guy as sweet as mine!

"...I love you with all my heart and soul!... I can't wait to be your husband. I am so blessed that I get to become one with an angel! I am so happy!!! Happy anniversary, my love!"

He makes me feel like I'm floating on air! <3 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Proposal


Fiancé- a man who is engaged to be married

Fiancée- a woman who is engaged to be married

Betrothed- pledged to be married, enter into a formal agreement to marry

What does it mean to be engaged? What does it mean to be betrothed? To have a fiancé?
According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, it means that we have entered into a formal agreement to marry. How lame. It means so much more than just a formal agreement to me. I will never forget the words he said to me, I will never forget the nervous energy he had when he was trying to sneakily grab the ring without me seeing. I will never forget the place, the time, his face, my emotions, the beautiful ring. I will never forget.

Valentine's Day, the day of lovers, was never intended to be "our day". We do not care about Valentine's Day. That day we were going to have his son for the evening, I was going to make dinner, and we were going to enjoy each other's company... just like any other day. I don't want to eat out with the other hundreds of people. I don't want Ryan to spend hundreds of dollars for flowers and chocolates. I want Ryan. Luckily, I already have him, so Valentine's Day is a mute point for me.

Anyway, Valentine's Day went as planned, nothing outrageous and nothing inappropriate. (I swear this has a point.) So here's the basic dialogue we had post-Valentine's Day:

Ryan - "You and I still need to celebrate Valentine's Day!" 
Me - "But, baby, I told you we don't have to. I'm not really into that kind of stuff." 
Ryan - "Sweetheart, I WANT to take you out to dinner. I just want to spend the day with you."
Me - "Awwww! How can I say no to that?!?!"

So, we hop in the car and I ask him where we're going. He says "the beach", like it's totally normal. Well, if you know me, you know that I can't do anything when I'm not prepared so I start having a mini-mental breakdown because I didn't bring snacks, towels, my bathing suit, chairs, my hair was down (which will be a gigantic mess once we hit the humidity). He looks at me and says, "Babe, it's freezing outside... we won't even get in the water. Don't worry, I've got this." siiiigh. Judge me if you want to, but THAT'S HOT! 

So we're driving the California freeways (euw) perusing through the nice areas of Southern California, dreaming of the days we can afford to live there. That's one of my favorite things to do (drive around the nicer areas and day dream of what our lives could be together). We finally get down to the beach and we hit PCH! Instantly, my nerves calm and I feel so happy and blessed (the beach does that to me). We keep driving through Malibu and we come up on Gladstone's Restaurant right on the coast. I looked at Ryan and said, "Oh my gosh! Remember our first official date as boyfriend and girlfriend? We went here!" He says to me, "Oh really? No, I didn't know we ever went to this restaurant before...." Gotta love his sarcasm! I said, "Wait... are we going here? Are we going to Gladstone's?? It's my favorite!!!"

He doesn't answer me. Instead, he lets me figure it out when, 15 seconds later, we pull into the parking lot and valet takes the car off our hands. We go in and he checks in with the hostess. He made reservations for the window booth but it wasn't quite ready yet so we sit at the bar. Oh my goodness, I had THE MOST delicious martini ever! Once the booth was ready, we relocated to the booth right in the center of the large windows and RIGHT at sunset! We sit on the same side of the booth staring at the water as the sun goes down. California really seems so much more beautiful from this angle. He starts fussing with his sweater and I ask him if everything was okay. He says, "Yeah, I just don't want to lose the valet ticket." Me, being such a genius, go to grab my purse and tell him to just put the ticket in my bag. He stops and says, "Oh no, no. It's fine. Don't worry about it." Well, that was weird.

So I turn my attention back to the sunset and then back to Ryan. I said to him, "Ryan, this is so perfect. I love you so much!" He looks at me, tells me he loves me, and starts scooting out of the booth.

Wait, where are you going? He was so tense and so fidgety, I thought... oh man, something's wrong. Not really sure what I should do but I've never seen him so strange (I conclude later it was not strange, it was nerves).

He kneels on one knee.... "YOU are perfect. You are my best friend, my soulmate. You let me be who I am and I love who you are. I love you more than anything! You're amazing with Kaleb and he loves you, too. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?"

Tears pouring down my face, I shout "Absolutely!!!!" He lets out a sigh of relief and with his charming smile he puts the ring on my finger.

BOOM! Ring on my finger and I can't stop kissing him! No wait, I should be more honest.... I didn't want to stop kissing him but I was too excited and kept staring at the ring and texting all my family and friends! We continue smiling, and talking, and crying, and calling, and staring at how perfect the ring looks on my finger (my man did VERY good!). He then tells me that we are going to Las Vegas to celebrate the engagement! He made reservations for The Blue Man Group, too! Wow. Lucky girl I am!

And now the fun part begins.... the wedding planning!

Sorry, ladies! HE'S OFF THE MARKET!

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Waiting Game

It's funny when you already know where you're headed and what you want but all you find yourself doing is waiting... Waiting for the right time, waiting for the right amount of money, waiting for the little man to be ready. When is it time to stop waiting and time to start doing? Well, any time really....

I don't need the typical symbol of engagement to feel like I'm already devoted to forever. I have everything I want and need right in front of me (or next to me, if you will). I love this man more than I've ever loved another person and I love his son as if he were my own. How could I be so lucky to have fallen in love with the perfect man? How could such a great man love me back? What have I done to deserve all of this? He claims - nothing and everything at the same time (which makes him all the more perfect).

Do I need a ring to feel like we'll be together forever? No. Do we need a ceremony to show everyone how much we love each other? No, that's what social networking is for.. Hehe! Now, don't get me wrong... I definitely want all those things, I'm just willing to wait as long as my boys need me to wait! :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Life, as it turns out, is much easier when you have someone you can look to for comfort or help. Of course, you always have your family that will be there for you but the difference between family helping you and a significant other helping you is that your significant other (ideally) would be there whilst experiencing the difficulties in life. Your family keeps their distance, probably something they learned to do when you went off to college, but they will always be there waiting for you post-tragedy to be your shoulder to cry on. 

Being with Ryan, I realize more and more that he is the perfect one for me. He is the yin to my yang, the sugar to my cookie, the "yes" to my "no", the hand that fits mine perfectly. We are, unbelievably so, a great team. We are both known for our heated tempers but to be quite honest with you.... we have changed dramatically. Ryan learned to be calm and rational on his own (pre-relationship) but I needed him to help me through my own anger management issues. He's so patient and so composed when we need to "talk", it's very helpful. At first, I was irritated by his cool disposition especially when I thought I was going to shoot out of the ground like the coyote with an ACME rocket strapped to his back. I would blow up and start raising my voice (let's be honest.... yelling) because I was angry about something and he would just let me yell and he would just listen. Then he would calmly respond and magically cure everything! He's been able to help me through my outbursts to the point where I am now the calm, cool and collected type that rationally thinks through things before I say them (who would've thought??). He's made me a better person just by being willing and able to talk to me and to make sure we solve each issue before we brush it off and move forward. 

I often think it would be best if I take my irritability and anger elsewhere (to my room) and marinate in my thoughts by myself so no one else would be bothered by them. As most psychologists will tell you, it's not healthy to become a recluse when you have issues. Is Ryan a psychologist? I ask this because this is exactly what he told me. Then he said something that made me think... this could be forever. He said, "I want you to talk to me. I want you to be able to tell me whatever's on your mind. I want to know what you're thinking and I want to help you through whatever is bothering you. I should be the one you turn to when you feel like this so you can let me help you get out of it." Right at that instant, I fell in love with him all over again. He WANTS me to talk about my feelings? He wants me to complain to him when I am having conflicting thoughts? How rare is that! You always hear about these guys that don't want to hear the "drama" and don't want you to complain all the time. Not Ryan, Ryan wants to know what it is that makes me feel that way so he can take the steps (if he can) to correct it. Amazing.

Now, we all know that people who have "anger management" problems and "learn to control it" often have to let it out somewhere else. Anger doesn't just disappear. This is where I come to the rescue! Ryan is so composed all the time and he goes to the gym just about every day but I know that there will be times when he just can't handle it anymore (by no fault of my own, mind you) and in one swift strike of the arm he slams his hand on the window control panel of his truck because the back window wasn't rolling down. Boom! The control panel falls out of its respective holes and drops into the door. I can feel the anger bubbling inside of him as he tries to pull it back up again. I tell him that he won't be able to fix it when he's angry and that we should go up to the apartment and relax for a minute and try again later. He waits all of 2 seconds from the time we entered the apartment to grab a screwdriver and head back down to the truck. He comes back up 10 minutes later completely irritated and says, "I think I should wait 'til I'm not angry to try again." Smart man (wink). I offered to go to the 7-11 down the street to grab a handful of goodies (I have a major sweet tooth) and his sweet-self let me take his truck. As a gift to him, I sat in the parking lot for an additional 5 minutes pulling the control panel back up. FIXED! I'm the handiest girlfriend to have! haha!

Another example was his toilet paper wall fixture in the bathroom. (I guessed on the name of that thing. From now on I will call it the "holder". He must have leaned on it or something because one half of the holder fell out of the wall leaving behind a giant, gaping hole where the fixture was screwed into the wall. Without actually having the time to stop and focus on it, we resorted to having the toilet paper roll sit on the back of the toilet or on the ground next to it (both are HUGE pet-peeves of mine). I need my toilet paper to be readily and easily accessible! Anyway, every time he went to the bathroom I would hear a scratching noise and a little banging. To no one's surprise, every time Ryan would go to the bathroom he would try to put it back in place, unsuccessfully. I promised him I would fix it for him but he seemed doubtful. I still don't think he knows how handy I could be. Boom! FIXED!

It's the little things here and there that we do that balance the other. When he's angry, I'm calm. When I'm angry, he's calm. When he breaks something, I fix it (and hopefully vice versa in the years to come. haha!). We make a good team. We are very similar but yet so different. It just works!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dealing with the "Off-Time"

Some people call it "off-time" or "off-weekends", but we don't call it that. For us, it's not "time-off from your child". We may refer to the weekends we don't have his son as "off-weekend" solely for the purpose of being understood and concise, but to us... This is not vacation time. On the contrary, actually. We consider the time we have with his son our "fun time", our "family time".

We love having him with us and I love getting to see these two in action.
Sidebar: I want to clarify why I say "We" love having him "with us".... Ryan and I are a pair. Just like Ryan and Kaleb are a pair. But the difference here is, Ryan and I are each other's support, we are each other's other halves, if you will. Kaleb is not Ryan's other half. He is not Ryan's support. Quite the opposite, actually. Kaleb depends on Ryan and Ryan is Kaleb's support. Although, neither relationship is more important, since they are both terribly important, Kaleb is a small child. He needs Ryan. Although I feel like I need Ryan and hope he needs me too, it's a different type of "need". Anyway, long story short, I group Ryan and myself together because we are a unit. According to me, we are one. Once we get married... it should be according to everyone... but until that time, this is only my opinion. :)

But, of course, it's not all sunflowers and daisies. 100% of the time we miss him terribly and wish he would be with us all the time. I can't imagine how much Ryan misses his son. He (daily) tells me how much he misses him, but words can only express so much. It's not fair that he can't see his son everyday and it's not fair that he doesn't get to take him to, and pick him up from, school. It's not fair that he doesn't get to tuck him into bed every night and give him hugs and kisses whenever he wants.

Alas, in the words of Elemeno P:
Life's not fair
But I'll take it
For those that aren't here
We'll make it
Life is not fair but things are
Getting better
So, for you, I'll leave the light on.

We do our best to treat Kaleb like we would if he were constantly with us: strict rules, punishments when he's bad, do the same old routines and errands, etc. But let's get serious.... When we finally have him, we want to enjoy the moments and have a blast! You never really understand what goes on with a parent who doesn't have their child every single day; you (myself included) could never understand how this feels for them. Some believe that Ryan and I make ourselves (our relationship) priority over his son, but let me clear the air right now: NOTHING is more important than his son. Not me, not him, not our house, not our cars.... It offends me a great deal that people tell Ryan he needs not be with me so much because he needs to focus on his son. First of all, he gets his time with his son. Whether I'm there or not... it's about them, not me. This is what it means to be a family; spending time altogether and making each person feel important. We are capable of doing that so I would appreciate the assumptions to cease! Secondly, even if Kaleb is playing a game on the phone/iPod, he's sitting next to or on his father's lap. EVERY minute counts with us, but we also understand you can't smother a child to death by forcing him to stare at you for hours on end, an entire weekend long. Nobody wants that and Kaleb definitely doesn't want that. What's important to us is the quality time. Obviously, we want his attention so if we ask him something and he ignores us, we take the game away. Everyone learns at one point or another that no matter what you're doing, human interaction is vital and it is VERY rude to ignore people. Thirdly, you don't know how often I am there, not that it's any of your business. If Kaleb didn't love me and if we didn't work well together, I would not be around. That is a fact. Again, we circle our way back around to ~Kaleb is most important~.

Anyway, my point is, it's heartbreaking [even for me] not to have Kaleb on a daily basis but life goes on and hopefully it's in the best interest of the child. This is what I don't understand about some people (no one in particular, just the public in general). When a child is involved, everything must be done in their best interest. Why? Because they are not capable of making those decisions themselves yet. You are the adult so you are expected and required to do what is necessary to develop this child into the same responsible adult. Set the example. BE the example. I've learned this (quite quickly, if I may pat myself on the back) and Ryan knows this. I can't even explain how amazing Ryan is.....

He has the amazing ability to be stern and "parent-like" but then he can instantly turn it off when the moment has passed. I love that. Kaleb gets the stability and structure he needs from Ryan (which includes the "punishment when your bad" deal) but once Kaleb understands he did something wrong and is obviously regretful... Ryan cleans the slate and starts brand new. No grudges. No prolonged hostility due to aggrevation. He has the same ability with me. What more could you ask from someone?

If we have an issue or an argument, I tend to hold onto it longer than he does; just out of sheer habit or need to fully immerse myself in what I thought was a huge deal. I'm fairly dramatic (I like to blame that on my female hormones) so when I have an issue, I make it seem like it's the end of the world. "How dare you not save me a piece of pie!!! I will now be mad at you for at least three days!" (Example only... not usually true. Ha!) But Ryan.... Ryan gets upset, still maintains his composure, and once everything is said and done and we've come to a solution... he drops it. It's like it never happened. I'm so lucky. That is not easy and that's an incredible quality to find in a man.

Ryan is the definition of unconditional love. No one is better at dismissing your faults than he is. I know this from experience. Again, I'm so lucky!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I Am Not The Only One

You know, it's interesting when you realize how much you are willing to "give up" for someone you love, even when you know you wouldn't want that in the first place. Realizing the fact that I care so much about another person that I would allow my feelings for them affect my decision-making process in life is mind-boggling to me. I was never the type to be "held down" by relationships (let it be friends, family, or otherwise) and all of a sudden I am here, looking at my future, and I can't imagine anything different from my life with them. Strange, isn't it? I don't even feel like I'm being "held back" by these relationships. Instead, I see so much opportunity and so much potential that I am not willing to put that in jeopardy by increasing the physical distance between us. I wouldn't be happy being away from them. I know that because I find my thoughts wandering off to see if that would even be possible. I don't question our relationship for the sake of backing out, I question it to ensure that what I'm feeling is true. I tend to rationalize everything - to a fault.

Even if I were offered $75,000 a year to work my current job in another state, I wouldn't do it. Granted, I think I'm worth more than $75,000 a year, but in this world of business you are no longer worth what you think you're worth... Instead, the economy and your employers make you believe that you are only worth what someone will pay for you. I don't necessarily think that's true. I think you are worth what you settle for.

I settled for much less than I'm worth over the past 2-3 years because I believed I was only worth what an employer would pay me. I was very wrong. By following this mindset, I found myself in a low-paying job with an owner who did not believe I would ever be worth more than $20 per hour. My job responsibilities were slowly diminishing which led me to three conclusions: 1) they were making me worth what they thought I was worth, 2) I started to believe them, and 3) I was terribly unhappy and unsatisfied. Why would I leave the one thing that makes me feel happy and complete (my pair of men) for a job-location transfer to a place where I would be completely alone, only a little bit more "wealthy", and undoubtedly unhappy?

I wouldn't! All of a sudden, I realized I'm not just making decisions for myself, I'm making decisions that I think (and secretly hope) will affect my pair of men, too. I hope that if I would move away, that I would be missed.... Like, a lot!!! Haha!

I like to think (and have thoroughly convinced myself) that I am needed in this relationship. I wholeheartedly believe that these two need me just as much as I need them. I never imagined being at this stage in a relationship at the ripe age of 24, but alas, here I am..... Stuck to them like cat hair stuck to tape.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hello! and Welcome!

Here I am, joining the masses in blogging about relationships. I could continue to pretend I want to resist, but being as vocal as I am in life, I really can't keep it to myself much longer. I've already spilled over on my previous blog that was just supposed to be "About Me" and I ventured off into the world of reminiscing about my life dating a young man with a son from a previous marriage. He really is fantastic, so who could blame me for constantly thinking of him when I sit down in front of the computer to type? Anyway, I'd like this blog to take you through my journey of being a young, single woman living in the United States and being one-third of an unconventional (although more common these days) relationship with a young man and his son.

I'd like to introduce to you, Ryan and Kaleb.

Ryan, my boyfriend, has been my brother's best friend since they were in 4th grade. If you do the math, you'll realize I've known him since I was just a youngin' in 2nd grade. Approximately, 15 years later we find ourselves in a completely different place than we ever thought we could be. I, the only sibling to my older brother, started dating his friend. I crossed the line into the dangerous and forbidden world of dating my brother's best friend. For some reason, it always seems worse for the sister to be dating her brother's best friend than it does the man dating his best friend's younger sister. You may claim otherwise but let me tell you from first-hand experience.... It's true. I get the "Shame on you, that's your brother's friend!" and the "Well, how does your brother feel about that?" But nobody blinked an eye when he started dating my friends.....

Kaleb is Ryan's son from his first marriage. This boy is the sweetest thing I've ever seen. I'm not naturally a "kid-person" but Kaleb won me over from the very beginning. He was just as apprehensive of me as I was of him. Countless times I'd catch him staring at me from the corner of his eye, probably thinking "What is this crazy woman doing here and why is she always talking to me?" I can't help but feel like I know what he's thinking. He and I are very similar and I know this because I am constantly talking to him asking him if that's what he's thinking and yes, he confirms it with me. LOL. Sometimes, maybe he just tells me "yes" because he wants me to go away.... but I can't help it. I want to know him.

Anyway, on to my other little love that will always be by my side (as long as cats are welcome):
Meet - Kittles aka "Nena"

I bought her from the Apple Valley Animal Shelter in December, 2008. She was an early Christmas present to myself and a reward for moving into my first apartment for the last semester of my senior year in college. She was 4 months old at the time and let me tell you.... she and I have a bond that is incomparable! We talk to each other (even though we hardly, REALLY understand each other), we play, we cuddle and we annoy each other. I probably annoy her more than she annoys me, but nevertheless, we're perfect together.

So this is my little unofficial family! Nena is the only one (truly) stuck with me, but I have a feeling Ryan and Kaleb won't be going anywhere either. We make each other very happy and we enjoy every minute we spend together.

Stay tuned to get a feel for being the Third Wheel in an already perfect relationship.