Hello, Ten.

Hello, Ten.

On September 20th, 2008,  a couple of 20 somethings walked down the aisle and vowed promises of forever and always to one another.  That was us.

Ryan and I have always been honest about what our marriage is.  We are very clear that marriage is difficult.  We are no strangers to vocal public fights.  Our close friends and families are always pulled in to hear our testimonies but we never asked them to take sides.  But we try to always ask, “What could I do to make this better?”  Our friends and family know us well individually and as a couple and we have been extremely blessed to have people in our lives that believe in our love and union and support the success of it.

When Ryan and I had the conversation of marriage as an unmarried couple, we both happened to be on the same page.  When we spoke of marriage we talked about the hard work we had to put in.  Marriage is not always easy like Sunday morning.  My main focus was not about my wedding dress.  It was not about my guest list.  It was about making sure that we can make this work for as long as we vowed to make it work for.  Forever.  Forever is a long damn time.  As the times and seasons change, people change.  What we can hope for and what we can fight through is to try to not necessarily change but to grow and hopefully in our journey to grow as individuals we can grow together as husband and wife.  Always.

Last anniversary was the first one in a while where we felt good in our marriage.  Like I say about our marriage when asked, we have good years and we have our unbearable ones.  Years 7 & 8 were rough ones.  We went through a lot as a couple and those two rough ass years had divorce on the tongue.  Our kind side vs. our stubborn side were at a constant battle.  As much as we told ourselves to be kind to our partner the opposite would win and Petty Betty was the name of the game.  We just couldn’t find it in ourselves to come up with solutions and for some reason ONLY knew how to point fingers.  Then last year, around our 9th anniversary, Ryan was out of town for training.  We were getting a little bit better with communicating prior to him leaving and got so much better at it while he was away.  Our outlook on situations and on each other somehow became more positive.  Our kind side wanted a rematch and was on its way to the top.  We wanted this marriage to work, not just for our kids, but for us.

We are doing it.  Every day we are grateful we make it together to the next because not many couples do for one reason or another.  Our story is still open for new chapters.  We made it to ten!  We are still loving and supporting each other and constantly encouraging each other to be and do better.  We still can make each other laugh until we are about to pee our pants.  But most importantly after 10 years of marriage, he still knows exactly how I like my coffee and that is pure love.

Happy, Ten.

My Favorite Moments – September

September was a crazy, crazy month. Between Ryan being gone, parenting alone, and being sick, I survived.  Huge shouts to my parents for helping me every single moment I needed and need them.  Through all the chaotic moments that happened this month I still had my favorites.

Ryan & Kat | If you read my last blog you know that Ryan and I reached our nine year wedding anniversary.  We celebrated with a simple greeting over FaceTime and it was just fine with us.  He was (and still is) off training for a new job and we wouldn’t want our nine year anniversary to be any different.  We realized so much about ourselves individually during this time apart.  We reintroduced ourselves to ourselves and have discovered we are stronger than we thought, more persistent to survive, and just more capable.  We’ve been so used to being Ryan and Kat we forgot how it was to be Ryan and to be Kat.  It was pretty nice to get to know me a little bit again.

Ryan is on the last leg of his training.  He has a couple of more weeks  left (hopefully) but at least he’s back in the same time zone.  I am extremely proud of him for working so hard.  He graduated last week after vigorous studying and testing.  He has never studied so much in his life!  There were days he loved his score and other days he wished he did better but he never let that consume him.  Although we didn’t talk for long periods of time we were still able to talk here and there, nothing more than 8-10 minutes but when we did talk, it was all words of encouragement from me and all words of faith from him.  We had to remind each other to take it day by day and test by test.  We knew if we kept God in mind, everything will be all right.  I mean, who are we?  Better people I hope that stick around.

Kole & Monroe | As I watch how things are unfolding in the world today, I watch closely on how Kole and Monroe are socially.  Yes, at home these kids can drive me up the wall, refuse to listen, and test my patience to the max but when I see them interact with other people I have a glimmer of hope for a better future.  I have always taught Kole how to be a little gentleman.  For example: Reminders of opening doors for people, why you open doors and how they make other people feel.  As Kole is getting older he started opening doors for me and letting me and his little brother go first.  And now it is grown to opening doors for strangers, especially women.  And because Monroe looks up to his brother more than anyone else in the entire world, I witnessed Monroe try to open the door for someone for the first time at the post office.  It brought a huge smile to this women to see a seven year old and a two year old try and open the door for her.  Moments like that remind me that even though I have mommy breakdowns (quite often) I’m not doing too bad as a parent.  Not at all.

What brought out your happy last month?

SILs.

When your sister in law luh you so much she gives you flowers.

I am a person who didn’t necessarily get on with people, especially females, off the bat.  The smiles and hellos and how are yous were me being cordial and not me wanting to be life long friends or even acquaintances for that matter.  I could be very guarded and stone faced if I don’t know you or am not comfortable upon the first greeting.  I have gotten much better throughout the years and have been more open and definitely more kind.  You know, trying to lead by example so my kids don’t go around muggin’ everybody.

I went to an all girls high school where many alpha females were in attendance and honesty, loyalty, and respect were lacking.  We didn’t like each other for the most meaningless reasons, then got along well after a retreat or something, right back to hating each other all over just because of much hearsay.  Hella hearsay.  Oh, high school! But we were kids.  We didn’t know better.  At the time, people giving us advice were our peers who were going through the same things and you just learn to Trust.  No.  One.

Fast forward to adulthood and marriage.  When you marry a person with siblings you gain sister in laws.  Women you must learn to love and/or at least to understand and respect.  Thank God, I got good ones.  We try to spend as much time together as we can.    We laugh.  We gab.  We cling together at family parties.  Most importantly, we are there for one another.  I grew up with a brother so having sisters in laws that I actually like is treat for me! Ha!

Of course, as in every tight group, there are misunderstandings, miscommunication, and disagreements but we are sisters by marriage but very much friends by choice.  We are all alpha females in our own right and still get along quite well.  We enjoy each other’s company.  We respect each other, support each other and we sincerely love each other. They came with the marriage and our friendship is also very much til’ death do us part.

 “She stands firmly on her own two feet and I just behind her; should she ever need me.”


The Light. :#tbt

This is a blog post I wrote in September 2012.  It’s interesting to go back and read entries from the past.  It’s difficult to remember those tough emotions but it makes me appreciate how much better I am today.  How much more control I have over my happiness rather than being so out of control in my darkness.  I was going through a lot at the time, finding my way out of postpartum depression (for the first time) and trying to sort out the world around me.  It was a rough time for me.  But even in that time, I still managed to see light at the end of that dark tunnel I was stranded in with the help of two of my very, very close friends.

• • •

The Light.


Time ticks away.  Life moves on.  When you get a chance to just sit and let all that be and you get to reflect on everything, do just that.  Reflect.

Since I became a mother who was able to stay at home and watch my son grow, I was (am) able to reflect a lot on my friendships.  Once my life changed into scattered milk bottles and first words, my friends continued on with their single and dirty diaper-less lives.  I don’t regret one bit that I have gained a certain responsibility, but I do regret how some of my friendships turned out.

When people have different priorities their outlooks on things are obviously just as different.  How did all of a sudden I felt that they absolutely couldn’t be there for me anymore?  But also, how did all of a sudden they felt they couldn’t talk to me like they used to?
Well, let’s take a look.  After I had my son, I unfortunately got that dreaded dark cloud over my head that, as I’ve learned, comes naturally after child birth.  I wouldn’t say it was a black shade but more on the gray scale.  But during that tough time, I took a break from EVERYONE.  I had to grasp what was going on within me on my own.  At that point, I knew my friends wouldn’t understand. Luckily, after I finally opened up to them, I was starting to feel a little more normal.  After I reconnected with them, some relationships got tighter and others just continued to loosen.

It cuts very deep to know that the person you always called first for anything will barely answer the phone.  I guess she’s just too damn busy.  Too busy to say hello.  Too busy to grab a bite or a cup of joe.  Just too busy for….Me. But because of the ever growing world of technology and social networking, I know for a fact this person is not too busy for the people she sees everyday, or the friend who lives thousands of miles away, or anyone else but me (it seems). While all this is happening, I have accepted it and told myself that it’s ok.  If my life isn’t as interesting as it once was to this person, I have found that it is still interesting to others.  I was able to nurture the friendships that didn’t change and because of the roller coaster of emotions I have felt for the past couple of years, I am forever grateful for them.  They never gave up on me.  They had faith that the fog would lift.  That I would see brighter days and they made sure that it was with them that I would share the sunshine.

To A: Thank you for just listening.  I appreciate you more than you can ever imagine. Thank you for trusting me with your feelings on love and appreciating the advice and knowledge I can share with you on the subject.  You have been and will ALWAYS be someone I can rely on.

To D: You are my sanity and my strength.  You definitely play a huge part in helping me rebuild myself when I have completely fallen apart.  For being miles away from each other, you are always there when I need you.  You’re there when I want to cry, to yell, and to just laugh. I love you with all my heart and soul.

A&D: Thank you for bringing me light.

MY Intent. : SORELLA

In this materialistic land we roam today, amazing gifts are measured by how expensive it is, how high it is on a top 100 list, or how envious you can make someone when you put it up on the ‘gram.  Let’s face it, being a stay at home mom doesn’t pay the bills so it won’t buy extravagance for any other outside of the home.  So I try hard to really think up gifts that suit the receiver so I know every penny I spent was worth it to them.  Thought is a huge part in my gift giving.  That is, of course, if I’m not extremely backed up with kid things and if I know with absolute certainty that cash and a gift card is what they yearn for the most.
It was one of my very bestest friends’ birthday a couple of months ago and we don’t always exchange gifts on birthdays because we prefer time and talk over objects anyway. But this year when I thought about her birthday, I thought about the perfect gift for her. A video I came across on Facebook (watch here!) got me sucked in and intrigued. It was the video of a man who created MyIntent Project.  It’s simple unique jewelry that shares meaningful intentions.  The website states:

“MyIntent Project is a catalyst for meaningful conversations and positive action.
We believe there is purpose inside each of us and we want our efforts to encourage people to share more truth and inspiration with each other.

We are not a jewelry company – we are a service project.”

Refreshing, am I right?  You simply go on the website, choose the type of accessory, and choose your WORD.

For my dear friend I chose “SORELLA” which means sister in Italian.  She moved to Italy for a bit to rejuvenate and refocus. It was an important chapter in her life so all things Italian holds a very special place in her heart.  And her being my one of my dearest friends, she holds a very special place in mine.  So I gave her this gift so she will forever know MY intent.  To continue to be there for her as I’ve always been no matter where life leads us.  That I will never judge her for her most truest feelings.  That I always will be happy for her success and always be by her side during her milestones.  That I will infinitely appreciate the friendship and loyalty she has given me since day one on that crazy Colma night.

What’s special to you?  What’s your hope or dream for the future?

What’s your WORD?