Mar 19, 2011

  • Last updated on April 2, 2011 at 4:55 pm
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Today we have been married two weeks. We never went on a honey moon, having 3 children and two "foster" children, tends to make the lines toward romantic getaways a squiggly, bumpy road. We had talked it through, being we both hold fulltime jobs it was easier for us to make time when a vacation could be taken from work. I work in an elementary school, he works in waste water treatment. My schedule runs from the time the children go to school to the time school ends. I am home on weekends. His job, works in shifts so every week he works a different schedule, I play it over in my mind like a chant, Afternoons (2:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.) Days ( 6:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.) Midnights :( the worst (10:30 p.m. - 6:30 a.m.) which he is on right now and it kills me, because it's seven nights in a row and he spends his days this week sleeping. I long for Monday to come, for his 3 days off and when his nights belong to me again. Due to our schedules, I am off of work all summer long and he can easily get a vacation in one of the summer months. So our honeymoon will hopefully take place then.

I wanted to reflect on married life. This is my second marriage, but in truth, it feels like the first, however- A work friend asked me how married life felt. If there are any other brides out there who have spent the majority of their engaged life living with their husband to be, there really is no difference. Your life continues as it was, except for one thing! You are now HIS wife! He is YOUR husband! Whether you realize it or not, it becomes something more, your not just his girlfriend or fiancee anymore, you smile when ever anyone calls you "Mrs." your giddy when your first text from him says, "Good morning Wife." But your life continues as it did before you were married. You still have to go to work, you still have to do laundry, wash dishes, cook dinner. It's that same old life. The only difference now is your name has changed and you can go on his insurance. It never seemed like a big deal to me, so all you girls out there who get engaged before children, who are on your first marriage and never lived with your htb before, don't push it, enjoy the novelty of getting to know each other better when you finally become husband and wife. Believe it or not, it can be fun! I think of Patrick and I in the beginning, our life was a rollar coaster of work, children and family, there was no just us! I think we just understood that it would be that way, so when we get a chance to be alone together we appreciate the moment! As a wife for the second time, I can say this, my first marriage was a juvenal unreality. It was two kids getting married for the wrong reason, having children before they were ready and two totally different of the exceptions of said life. I was so alright with being a mother, it felt right and good and I might have been young but I took it on like any job I have. My first husband, just wasn't ready to stop being selfish and when he realized he was only getting older and in his mind wasting his life, he needed out. I understand it now, but then I was bitter and sad. I put alot into being married the first time, and when I reflect on it I realize it is so much better that we did go our seperate ways. Think of the miserable future we both would have had if we just continued to be married though unhappy with the way our life was going. When I went through my seperation, I was just learning how to be an adult, I might have been a mother for 3 years but I was not an adult. I had to start working again, I had to provide for my boys. It was chaos and scary. I managed, I did it for two years, supporting not one but two families. Working all the time and never seeing my children. When I was home I was sleeping. I decided to go back to my home town when the first year was over. When 2008 came ringing it's bells, I was in my sisters house, laying with my sons, knowing I had made the right decision, but once again afraid of handling it. New Jersey was way more expensive when it came to cost of living. How the heck was I going to manage that? I was still figuring all that out when me and Patrick started talking. When we first started dating, I had just started a new job, waitressing, working 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, making $2.44 an hour and if I was lucky bringing home about 200 to 300 dollars in tips every other day! I was living on my stepfather's sofa, and paying my mom to baby sit. We got a few nights together, to go on dates or sleep at his house that was about an hour away near Trenton, when I started looking for an apartment that would fit my needs and my budget. I had the money for a deposit, I just needed to calculate how much I could spend a month. I figured I could afford about $1000 a month including utilities if I got help from the state to pay for food and the necessities. Our romance was a matter of me needing someone to spend time away from my fears and anxieties, his was waking up to new possiblities. It was right from the beginning but I was scared the whole first 3 months of our relationship. When the last of the apartment veiwings had me crying and dismayed he was there, holding my hand and comforting me. I remember that day so well, he planned on staying the night and when I looked into his eyes, my heart contracted and I realised what my mother had been talking about. When it is right, it's right. We talked in the dark all night, he spoke of looking for an apartment closer, if not still closer to his job which was 45 minutes from me. I told him I had to find a better paying job and suck it up that rent was way too high in Jersey for me not too. He asked me then, "Why don't we just move in together?" I think I was silent for a while. That old bitter enemy of mine, fear entered. What does this mean? Should we do this? I was just establishing myself as a strong, confident, single mother. I wanted to do it on my own, I wanted to prove it to myself and anyone else watching that I could manage a job, an apartment and caring for my children without help. But I was also afraid that it was too soon, he would tire of me, my penchance for laziness would chase him away, I always, ALWAYS, took on the responsibilty of my family, if they needed help I would give it without thinking about it, could he handle that part of me? When surrounded by my family and my children, would our relationship last, would he tell me that he didn't love me anymore? I thought long and hard and I sat very still, but the truth was, I loved him.  I truly found someone I could not just be with forever and as a lover, but he was fast becoming my best friend. He was great with my children. What did I have to loose? I had already been hurt before,  I was hardened, it might hurt if he left me, but I knew eventually I would heal and move on. Or at least heal. So I took the chance! I said okay, let's do this and well... Our life after that was a lot of chaos. We moved in together, my oldest sister went through a seperation, she had no place to go, so when we got our keys for our new place we also ended up with four more roomates, my sister and her 3 children. Two months later, my little sister, lost her apartment and her job, her and her 1 year old son moved in and then, I found out I was pregnant. Patrick stood rock still and happy with me through that, could he take anything more. A year later, we had our life settled, no sisters living with us, a brandnew baby, just my two sons and our one together. We did things as a couple from time to time but we did alot as a family, including a vacation. Then chaos hit us again, just before Spring 2009, my family was hit by tragic event, after tragic event, till an emergency happened and we had my neice, from January 2009 till March 2009, then we got both her back from April to mid-May, She went home in the end of May and then we got her and her brother back in June of 2009, they have been with us ever since. Almost two years this June. We have faced so much together in our short time together that I started to realize that maybe nothing would chase this guy away from me. When we finally got married, I think part of me was relieved, the other part ecstatic. He was my true love. My heart and I must say he is my soulmate, I am truly, happy to be his wife, even if nothing really feels different. I am totally comfortable. Totally happy and I will have it no other way.

For now ladies, I have little advice for the wedding planning process.. Happy planning! Have fun! See you all real soon!

  • Last updated on March 26, 2011 at 4:42 pm
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I know, I know! I wrote two posts already today! Here is my 3rd and final-

If anyone was reading my first post ever- our short story- I wrote we were going to get married in October- obviously that changed.

We realized while we were looking forward to planning that October wedding that we are hippies at heart! Very bohemian, beach Goddess and her man! We couldn't ever go for that whole formal wedding even if we draped ourselves in gold and stuffy clothes.. it just wasn't us. I am vintage- I am laidback and earthy, he is very chill, more comfortable in jeans and a tee shirt, then being forced into a tux. I had glitter and glitz, no frothy finds, with frills and sparkles. No tiaras or long flowing veils. When I started looking at actual wedding gowns my eyes were drawn to the bohemian beach wedding styles. Flowy numbers, made of chiffon or lace, antique looking pieces that could look beautiful worn with sandles. When we changed our mind last second, our first and last thought was our wedding clothes. I knew what I wanted, I originally wanted a maxi dress or a mexican wedding gown, but I couldn't find on anywhere, so while my sisters were pulling out ball gowns, since my orginal budget was $500 dollars for my dress and accesories, I was walking toward the peasant blouses and simple crocheted tops and skirts.. I couldn't get away from wanting pieces I could wear again with jeans and on the beach. When I finally found my outfit I was so happy, I know I made the right choice. I felt beautiful and comfortable. I felt like myself and not like some doll.. When Patrick finally found his clothes, he wouldn't show them to me, but I knew, he would look relaxed and handsome and we could right then, run down the shore and walk along the waters edge hand in hand, build a sandcastle!

When I picked my wedding colors, they were colors that I kept going back to over and over again, bright yellow and navy and light blue. Very french, which I think somewhere in a past life I lived and loved before. My favorite flowers are daffodils and hydrangea, always have been and it just felt wrong to me to get roses or any other flower that didn't feel me! I am a simple country girl in a way- I would be happy with a spring wedding, barefoot and free- a string country band in the background and rustic looking settings.. I chose my colors and my flowers for the love I have always had for them. Patrick agreed to the yellow- hence his yellow shirt and the yellow dress he bought my neice-

On the very last Thursday before the wedding I found my shoes and my jewelary. My shoes were wedge slingbacks I found at payless, they had a little cloth rosette on the peep toe.. so cute and I can't wait to wear them with jeans. My jewelary, were butterflies, layers of them, in metal, with a touch of pink for my girly side.. almost like a charm necklace. They look awesome with all the shirts in my closet! I chose to do my hair down and curly, I wanted it to just be natural, with no fuss, pulled back from my face. I felt that we had made quite a pair and it made so much more sense to us then anything else that was an option!

One more word of advice! Stay true to yourselves as a couple! If you aren't a fussy kind of couple, don't have a fussy wedding, and don't let anyone talk you into it. When searching for gowns, make sure you are in there somewhere, if you want a princess gown with a full ball gown skirt- buy it, don't let anyone tell you to buy a mermaid or a simple a-line. It's your day, it's your dress! If your future husband wants to wear his converse with that tux, comprimise and let him- that's him! You wanted him! Take it all and remember, that's who you are marrying.. not the shoes that come with the rental!

Think about your flower girls, don't dress them in tiny replicated wedding dresses- look for something unique to your wedding style and affordable to the parents of the child(ren) If they can wear it again, and it's cheap they will be more then happy to pay for it. Your bridesmaids deserve the same care- Use your style for inspiration but think about your girls, a skinny girl might look good in anything, but a big girl won't, so take her with you when you pick out dresses and make her try them all on, if it looks great on her, chances are yoyur skinny friend will look good in it too.. make sure it is definately something that can be worn again or donated easily..

Your style defines you, but most people only remember the food and the music of your wedding, so try to keep that in mind when you are planning a big event- don't just settle... try to find a venue that allows outside caterers and go to your favorite place and find out if they cater, alot of places do now, including the big chain places like chillis- So don't be afraid to ask. If it's food you love, it will probably be a hit. We found out before we changed our wedding, that our favorite chinese place catered and we were planning on going with them and a local bar for food and at half the cost of an actual banquet caterer.. It is sometimes way more desirable to go for a place that supplies the food, but always check their menus and ask for a tasting, this way you know what you are going to get.. They should offer you all that is available at the time. Always check what bars your dj plays at prior to hiring them, if they can play in a noisy atmospher and make you feel like getting up to dance, they can do it anywhere- if your dj is good and people are dancing and having fun, you won't have the feeling of a high school dance about your day! Who wants that? I didn't have music and dancing at my wedding, but I have been to MANY weddings, and I can tell you some the most impressive thing about the wedding was the open bar- because you were BORED most of the time because of the dj. The food might have been good, but you might not remember if it.... atmosphere! it's important.

REALLY, REALLY, think about where you sit people. Try not to sit people together who don't know each other- believe it or not a wedding is not always the best place to meet new people. Your guests are not going to decide to start conversations with strangers, so check and double check your seating arrangement- I am not saying that you shouldn't put your really fun uncle Frank with a group of your like minded friends, they might have a blast, but if you have a bunch of shy laidback friends, don't sit them with Your fun Uncle Frank, sit them with the other people they might be related too.. they will probably have more fun that way. I have yet to be sat at a table with people I didn't know or didn't have fun with yet at a wedding, but I have seen it happen, and it should never be done.. ever..

At the end of the day, make sure the guy you pick for your best man, is easy in front of a bunch of people, or have one of your other groomsmen stand behind him so if he gets stuck on his speech, the other guy can save him, or the speech portion f your wedding is going to take FOREVER and your best man is going to have a nervous break down!

once again.. have fun peoples!

  • Last updated on March 26, 2011 at 4:09 pm
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Whether planning a simple at home wedding or a big grand affair, I have a bit of advice for all those just starting out.

If you have a small budget, get someone you know, not family to act as your wedding planner, if you don't go the extra mile and hire a professional. Believe it or not, no matter the circumstance, you get too overwhelmed to do all the planning, organizing and ordering around yourself. You need someone to take you to task and do all the little work you will no doubt forget. A wedding planner is a necessity and should be on the list of must haves for your budget. You need an outside party who just wants to get everything to flow perfectly.

I know I was kicking myself for not having one, but ALWAYS, have a rehearsel. With a rehearsel, you can get a clear idea of how you are going to enter your ceremony, where you are going to stand, how to open up into the ceremony and the best way to end the ceremony. We didn't have any of these things and at the end though we laughed and had fun, I realized I never even thought about the ceremony which is the most important part of the day. We wrote the vows, we had it printed and ready, we just never thought past that. Rehearse, discuss and then go out and have some drinks with your wedding party, so that you can relax before the big day!

Even though you don't want anyone to feel bad, the best man, the maid of honor and the ring bearer are really important parts of your wedding, no matter how big or small the day. We decided not to ask anyone for our little quickie wedding and at the end of the day I realized how important they are, because we had to start our ceremony over because we left our rings still in the box on the altar table! You need those for the exchanging of the rings!

Give someone who knows what they are doing your camera- someone who's not afraid to tell you we are going outside now to take more intimate pictures.. Believe it or not, even if you still have your outfit, you can not recreate that day and take posed shots- it might seem like the easier way, but it's more work then you have time for. So make sure you have someone invited to your small wedding to direct you in posing and you might get more shots of you and your new husband alone- which after the ceremony there were none of me and Patrick. If you are having a big wedding, do not be afraid of your photographer- write out what you want and what kind of pictures you want! They probably won't direct you, they want to know what you want! It's always a good thing to get a photographer before anything else. Test them out with engagement photos, Have them come with you during your bachelor and bachelorette and bridal shower.. This will help the photographer get to know you as seperate parties and as a couple and give them a clear veiw of what you might want on your wedding day. Search around, you might be surprised the photographers that are out there that are small companies with one job to do a day- they are your best bet because they do it for the love of photography, I know I am one! They might even charge less then some of these other people and have apprentices who will gladly follow you around, documenting your engagement and marriage.

Don't be afraid to take a moment to eat. Yes everyone wants to talk to you! Yes all your guests want you to stop for a photo or a comment! But hide if you must, grab a plate and eat it, or you are going to gorge yourself when everyone leaves.

At the end of it all, make sure you enjoy your day! It only happens that once, there are no redos... You want to remember it... no matter the size.. Party, dance, talk, and just have fun!

I give you no more advice for a while ladies, but good luck and have fun!

  • Last updated on March 26, 2011 at 3:25 pm
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It's funny how things come to pass. Patrick and I, thought long and hard about getting married. Part of us wanted that big wedding reception, with music and good food and every friend and family member we could afford to invite. However, the more we thought about it, the more we realized that that just couldn't happen! We have 3 boys, ranging from 2 to 8, we also take care of my neice and nephew, that's a total of five children. He works strange hours and I work all day. We just couldn't come up with a budget that was well, realistic. In fact, we couldn't come up with a budget for anything that could be planned a year in advance. When we got our income tax back, we both looked at each other and decided, "Let's just do it!" We knew we wanted to get married, when didn't really matter. Our goal was to go down to city hall for a quickie wedding and then take our immediate family out for dinner and drinks. Well, unfortunately for us we ended up down there, filling out the license only to find out our local municiplity doesn't marry people anymore. One month to our chosen wedding date and our small intimate wedding had to be something a little more. At first I was unsure. I hate being the center of attention, I don't have alot of time to my day to go running around planning a wedding in a few weeks and managing 5 children. Finally I was talked into it and this is the journey of how our wedding turned from a Quickie ceremony to a small, home wedding for under 1,000 dollars.

We wrote a list of the people we wanted there- our parents, my sisters, his brother and his wife. Our children and my sisters children. Then I had the foresight to invite my aunts. I really wanted my brothers to be there, but unfortunately they couldn't be, so I was excited to ask my cousin Mike to walk me to the love of my life, standing in as my father, as one of my brothers and the love was there! Then Patrick's brother had an life issue that couldn't be controled and couldn't come so we went to the next best thing, two of Patrick's friends who are like brothers to him, were invited. At the end, we had a total of 35 guests and that was done...


Week one: I got the guest list settled: Check. Set up a date with my sisters to go looking for  a dress of some sort.. then the flu hit my house- I got it the worse and missed a whole week of work! I thought it would never go away and between puking and running to the bathroom, sleeping and tryying to not think about food, I tried to get an idea of what kind of in home wedding I wanted! It was difficult, because the last thing I wanted was to think about planning a wedding, I just wanted to focus on getting better. The kids got sick, then Patrick got sick, and we were on to week two.

Week Two: My best friend Rachel said yes to marrying us. My cousin Mike, was all too proud to "give me away" I went on a hilarious trip to the mall with my two sisters, where they tried to shove me in prom dresses and we laughed and had a grand time but left the mall with nothing! On our way home we stopped at a discount clothing store and I found a really beautiful white skirt plus some other clothes and needless to sayy my wardrobe grew in the number of white and cream clothing, but I only had half a wedding outfit. Wedding Skirt: $12.00 . That same week, Patrick and I ran back up to the mall, I found two shirts that were contenders to go with the beautiful skirt I found and bought them ( as I got up to the register I realized my mother never put my credit card back in my wallet, Patrick bought me the shirts) The final choice, a butterfly like white top, with lace inlay- Beautiful: $20.00 - I also bought shoes that week : $24.00 Wedding Jewlary : $37.00 for a bracelet, necklace and earrings (never wore the earrings, but the earrings I wore, were a pair I bought a year ago at the dollar store, for a dollar) Patrick went out one night after school and bought a pair of beachy khaki pants, a breezy white shirt and a yellow tee shirt, since we decided our colors were Blue and Yellow. He said he didn't send more then $30.00 on his whole outfit, wearing his docs and a necklace he wears whenever we go to the beach.Oh and we also were able to get our rings for about $85.00 and they are awesome! (mine came with my engagement ring!)

My wedding outfit: $93.00 ( And I was comfortable, felt beautiful, and I can take the whole outfit with us on vacation or wear it when we go out to dinner!)

Patrick's: $30.00

Officiant: Free

Venue: Free :)

Rings: $85.00

Week 3: We both had to work- but we managed to get alot done- We went shopping for flowers. A.C. Moore was having a wonderful flower sale and everything was 40 % off. We got blue hydrangeas, small and large daffodils, gypsiphilla in white, small blue and yellow roses and I also found a beautiful scrapbook to use as a sort of guest book. I believe it cost us for all the ribbons and scarpbook paper, stickers and flowers, $75.00. We also had a plan to cook all our own food, we made up a menu of grilled chicken, lasagna, and salad. It cost us about $200.00 which is about $6.00 a head. Give or take the fact we also bought some grocery items for the house for the week leading up to the wedding. That week, my sister went into the hospital, in mock labor- I held my breath! She was going to make my cake, but a neice is fine too! :)

Guest Book/ Scrapbook(all the accesories): $30.00

Flowers, ribbons: $45.00 (Made two centerpieces and my bouquet, all made by my mother)

Food: $6.00 a person ( and we had leftovers for the week afterwards: $200.00)

Week 4: We took a second trip to A.C. Moore and Target- I bought those cute little paper wedding bells, and some tulle for added decor. We also found our cake topper, after realizing all the stupid little ones here and there, where too big or too gawdy fr us, we settled on our monogram- that was a little much because they came seperately and were about 13 a piece- $40.00 for the set. I also bought myself a wedding present, my canon rebel- which came to $419.00- but that took care of the pictures for the day- which ended up being free at the end of it all. My sister went to the hospital in REAL labor on March 18th, no cake- so we went and bought 3 different size cakes at shoprite, in our wedding colors an a cake stand that was three seperate cake stands- all came to about $100.00, cakes and stands.

Cake and stuff: $140.00

Decorations: $40.00 ( i bought candles too) My mom decorated the fireplace- filling the hearth with some of my birdhouse collections, flowers, river stones and candles, decorating the mantle with tulle, flowers, candles and paper bells- pretty!)

table clothes: $6.00

The Day!: We got out of the woods and the morning of I learned I had a brand new neice, born at 2:14 in the morning on March 19th, Savannah will never have to worry about me forgetting her birthday! I did my own make up, my sister Amy, did my hair. Everyone laughed and had a good time, since we never once planned how the ceremony was going to happened and we kept forgeting things, we kept laughing that most of my wedding photos I am laughing hysterically- I forgot my bouquet and then remembered an hour later that I didn't carry it. We had a traditional exchanging of the rings that we wrote together, and then a Wiccan handfasting for my benefit. It was beautiful, yet chaotic which is us! Everyone enjoyed the food and at the end of the day it was beautiful and perfect!

Simple at home wedding: $669.00

Having a blast with friends and family: priceless

Marrying the man of my dreams: unlimited price!


I would change nothing except maybe more pictures and having a first dance- but otherwise, it was perfect and I am happy with the outcome!




  • Last updated on April 6, 2010 at 9:16 pm
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I had once upon a time thought I had found the love of my life. In that long ago time I was just a teenager and love was a frivolous, expendable thing, but I clung to it, got pregnant, had a baby, got married. Stayed married for close to three years, had another baby in those years and then as simply as it had started(haha) my first husband and I seperated. I was a young single mother, scared out of my mind to start over on my own, but my two young son's, then only 1 and 3 needed me, so I worked, I scraped, I barely made it through. It's not a terribly exciting start, but I had no room for love except for my children and I actually was terrified of even thinking of love. When my kids were in bed, I went out had fun, learned what it was like to be single and old enough to sit at a bar, then went back to the life of the single working mother of two. On New Year's Eve 2007, I decided I had, had enough of PA and moved back to my home town in New Jersey. There is something almost true in that statement, that ALWAYS A JERSEY GIRL... for I didn't know I missed my hometown till I came home. Me and my boys found ourselves couch gypsies and in that time I had heard that a family friend was going through a divorce as well. He was my very first crush, you know the ones. The one you never admit to because the guy in question is very much older then you. He was my best friends older cousin, my sisters ex-husband's best friend and best man at their wedding, where I was only 11 and a junior bridesmaid. I only thought innocently of friend requesting him on myspace. I figured, he needed someone to talk to that wasn't family or married and he knew me already. So from there we started talking, just emails at first. We had alot in common, which is hard for me since I don't normally mesh well with people. He asked me out on a date, which went more like this, "I heard a rumor you have a date Saturday night...." I didn't so I sort of ignored that in a way... and then he just wrote back... "Will you go out on a date with me?" Our date was dinner followed by a drive around the town we both grew up in, sharing all our stories, then we sat by the falls where most of us that grew up here either played hookie, had our first kiss, or took our prom photos, and got asked to leave by the police... Did I mention he stole a kiss before we even made it to the restaurant. It made me blush and giggle, I hadn't expected it. We sat for hours just talking, getting to know each other as the adults we were. We had never really known each other, just people we were both close to. It was nice. I however was still afraid to seriously date anyone, I was so sure that my fragile broken heart was going to reach out to anyone for love, and I wanted the real thing, the sure thing. We were only seeing each other for about a month when we realized we needed each other. We had healed each other practically overnight. Our hearts were fragile, but when we were together they were light and carefree. We could be ourselves together and that worked. He was great with my children even though previously I had been worned that he would never date me because I was a mother and he just had never wanted children. I proved everyone wrong, because only two months after we started being really serious we decided to move in together. We both wanted to be back home, he was living in PA and was traveling an hour almost everyday to see me and going home every night because I was sleeping on a couch at my Step-father's house. I had saved enough to get an apartment and he was looking at apartments too.. it just made sense that if he was going to be at my apartment more then his, why pay to rents. A month later I found out I was pregnant. It was a surprise, but we were both happy with the outcome and now we have three beautiful sons. We had always known we were going to get married, and we both wanted out dream...


Of course my dream is a quiet ceremony and a small affair with close family and friends, possibly in a local place.

So here is my planning stages- We have finally really set a firm date- October 15th, 2011- our colors are yellow and Navy with touches of lightblue and cream. My mother might be making my dress and I have time to plan and save and plan and save... so much to do- I am going to try to keep it simply, with a vintage flair and romantic elegance.