Sunday, June 30, 2013

This is MY blog

I was told the other day by someone that they were shocked that I would choose to make my husband's sins public knowledge.  Apparently, by speaking the truth in this blog about problems that my husband and OUR marriage have faced, that I am hurting my husband (and his family). I am choosing not to protect him from other people judging him.

I am not 100% sure what this person was referring to exactly.  I have written a blog about his past porn addiction and my most recent blog stated a couple of other things like drugs/alcohol. 

I would like to state VERY CLEARLY that anything I write in this blog my wonderful husband
is perfectly fine with me posting.  He is not ashamed of his past and neither am I. It is called a TESTIMONY! Michael has come so far in his life. He has overcome things that people in his life before me wanted nothing to do with him because of it. 

I am not embarrassed by his actions. I only have control over myself and my actions.  Why should I or anyone else in his life be embarrassed over his past actions?  I nor they had any control over what he chose to do with his time and his life. 

When I blogged about his porn addiction I was shocked at how many people messaged me and thanked me for not being afraid to speak out about it. Again, statistics show that out of every 10 of my friends 6-7 of them have a husband who has dealt with porn issues. That is why I chose to write about it, because I want other women to know that they are not alone and that there are other women suffering through the same pain.  It is ok to talk about.  It is ok to support each other and offer help! Our husbands are not bad people, they just need strength to get though an addiction. Pretending like it isn't going on, isn't going to make it go away!

In my last blog I chose to state things about all of the hell that Michael put me through in the first couple of years of our marriage. Why? Not to hurt him and not to make him out be a horrible husband. I put it in there to give other marriages hope. To help people out there know that even though they may feel like their marriage is over, that they are going through things that they think they can never get past, it is possible. 

If you look at some of my past posts or if you have been around Michael and I in person for more than 10 min then you know how much I love and adore him! He is an extraordinary man and I thank God everyday for bringing him into my life! I think that God allowed us to go through some things because He has a purpose for our lives. Michael and I have something huge in the works that I will share with all of you in my next blog. 

I write this blog to share about my life and the things that go on in it. The good, the bad and the ugly. I am a real person who lives a real life with other imperfect people.  If you don't like it, then don't read it. I am not going to stop helping others know that they are not alone. I am not going to pretend like I live a perfect life that nothing bad happens in. The fact is that I don't.

 I don't think that I am hurting my husband or family by stating the truth. I ALWAYS put my family first and I ALWAYS protect them. I may briefly touch on struggles that we have, but I do not go into all out detail, nor do I bash my family and belittle them on here. 
No one on this planet loves and protects my husband and children more than I do!  No one!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

How we met

Five years ago today, Michael and I were married! 
Some of you know the whole story of how we met and ended up where we are today, and some of you don't. Today I will share with all of you our whole story :)

On May 18th, 2008 I signed up for a free weekend on eHarmony. I knew a couple of people from church who had met through them and seemed very happy together so I figured I would see what it was. Now, online dating was not something I ever thought that I would do! Yet, there I was creating a profile for strangers to look at....... I lived in a very small town and being a single mom of 3, I didn't get out much.

One of the guys that I was paired up with after I filled out a long questionnaire was Michael.  On the 19th he and I started chatting and emailing each other. Michael and I were both talking to one another as well as other people.  After talking and chatting for a while we both decided that we were not interested in the other. 

You see, Michael had a past that involved drugs and alcohol. I grew up with a brother who had a substance abuse problem and I had ZERO interest in being with someone with that kind of past! As for me, Michael told me that he didn't find me attractive.  We decided that we would still keep talking,  but strictly as friends.  I had 3 other people that I was also talking to quite often through chat and email (I have no idea about Michael). 

As time went on we grew pretty close. We started talking on the phone for hours at a time. But honestly, I never thought of him as more than a friend. Then one Sunday as I was getting ready for church I clearly felt the Lord tell me that I needed to start looking at him differently. No way! I was not going to get involved with someone who once had a drug and alcohol problem!  Then, the Lord convicted me (hate it when that happens) and clearly asked me "How is his sin any worse than yours?" That day at church during worship I was in tears and I knew that He was right.

From that day on, I looked at Michael differently and our relationship started to change. We talked all of the time, day and night.  Getting to know someone over the phone is so much better than in person!  There was no uncomfortable weirdness because we were afraid of embarrassing ourselves. We didn't have to worry about how we looked, if we had food in our teeth....blah, blah. We just talked and talked and talked, about anything and everything. 

Then it happened.  One night as we were talking and about to get off of the phone he told me that he loved me! Yup, that's right, he said it first! I didn't say it back, but I thought it :)

In the middle of June we started talking about me moving from NC up to him in IL. We decided that I would move up some time in July, but God had different plans! On June 17th I heard the Lord speak to me louder than He ever had. He told me that He wanted me to leave the next day for IL! What?!? I couldn't leave tomorrow,  I didn't have a truck..... I wasn't packed...... I didn't have anywhere to move to..... 

Even though I had all of these things saying I couldn't leave, I still listened to what He was telling me He wanted me to do. I went down to the uhaul place to see if there was anyway that I could get a truck. Sure enough,  I was able to.... plus it was cheaper than the days that I had originally planned on getting it in July! I was able to get my house all packed up over the next 24 hrs (we didn't have a ton of stuff like we do now!) I picked up my truck around noon on the 18th and my next door neighbor who hated me, loaded up my whole uhaul for

The girls and I were all loaded up and on the road around 5:30 that evening.  I drove for 17 hrs straight,  only stopping for gas and arrived at Michael's parents house around 10 the next morning. 
I was there for about 30 min and he told me that he needed to leave, but he would be right back. When he returned, he walked in the house and got down on his knee and asked me to marry him. (He left to go pick up the ring) 

After a couple hours of being at his house I received a phone call from my ex-boyfriend. I answered and he asked where I was? He said that he was standing on my porch and my neighbor told him that I moved yesterday.  (He had flown from FL to NC to ask me to marry him.) Right then it was 100% clear why God told me to leave! 

You see, my ex and I had been together for awhile before I moved from FL and we still talked every now and then after I moved to NC. I was deeply in love with him, but he said he didn't want to get married.  Well, I did, so we broke up. If he didn't want to marry me then our relationship was pointless in my mind. 

A couple of weeks before all of this he called me and I told him that I was talking to someone and that he needed to leave me alone.  I guess jealousy set in and he realized that I wasn't joking when I said I didn't want to be with him if he didn't want to get married.  So he bought a plane ticket, rented a car, bought a ring and was standing at my door waiting to ask me to marry him, and I wasn't there. 

If I had not listened to God, my whole life would be different. If I would have been there and he purposed to me, I would have said yes. (Yes, Michael knows this) Even though I loved Michael, my ex was everything I knew.  We had a past, I knew what to expect from him, I  knew what my life would be like with him. Michael was an uncertainty,  I had never even seen him in person! 

The last 5 years have been far from perfect.  I have been lied to, dealt with some alcohol and drug problems. I have had to deal with porn issues and cheating,  and I have had my heart broken by the man who holds my whole heart in his hands. Even with all of that, I wouldn't trade marrying him for anything in the world. We are stronger now than we have ever been. Because of him, I have grown closer to God in these moments. I have learned what true forgiveness and grace really means. 

No, it hasn't always been easy and truth be told, it is nothing but the grace of God that we are still together. There are so many times that I wanted to leave, so many times I wanted to tell him to leave. Now, 5 years later I am so glad that I stayed. Every marriage has its problems and our is no exception, but we have had more good times than bad! He has brought me more joy and laughter than he has pain and hurt, and that is what matters. I know that through and through we can get through anything that life throws at us and we will come out stronger. I know that there will be days that he will break my heart, but I also know that there will be days that he will make me feel like the luckiest woman alive! I know that he loves me more than anything in this world and he shows me often!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Our Pocono Palace Vacation

After a couple of long months of hectic chaos I am finally back!!! Lets see if I can continue strong or slack off :)

On with the blog......

This year Michael and I will celebrate our 5 year anniversary! (June 27th)  Back in February we started looking for places that we would like to go for vacation.  We had never been on vacation just the two of us and we were beyond ecstatic that Michael's parents were willing to watch our kids  for a couple of days while we went away!

Now, if you know anything about me, then you know that I hate paying full price for anything!  Vacations included! I started looking on Groupon at the different vacation packages they had (If you don't know what Groupon is, google it!) Anyways, I came across a package deal for an all-inclusive deal at Pocono Palace Resort.  After extensive research, we decided that is where we wanted to go!! The Groupon that we had was about 50% cheaper than the normal price!

Let me tell you what........ best money ever spent!! Michael and I had the best time :) 

We stayed in the Champagne Towers, 

        a three level, very romantic room.

Bedroom area

In room heart shaped pool

 massage table and sauna

 Fireplace and a Jacuzzi tub shaped like a champagne 

There were so many fun amenities on the property (for those of us who wanted things to do outside of our

 We went fishing

Michael caught 5......
I only caught one, but I was proud of my one :)
Went out on the paddle boats

Went for a walk on the beach/trail areas
Played darts
Went on a bike ride

I shot a bow and arrow for the first time ever!
I didn't do bad either :)
They also had different couples events from 1-5pm everyday. We competed against other couples in lots of different games.

We played Bocce Ball

Mini golf

They also had nightly entertainment. 

Michael won a game like "Singing Bee"
The couple to come in first in any of the games won a medal. 
Michael and I ended up winning 7 different medals.  

I loved the evening events! One night we played the Newlywed not so Newlywed game  against 3 other couples.  Some of it was very embarrassing,  but hilarious!  We tied for first place with another couple and won one of our medals. 

One night there was a magician and he was AWESOME.  
The last night we stayed to see the comedians.  They had 3 comedians,  two of them were very good, the other..... not so much.

We also ended up meeting a wonderful couple that we spent the last 2 evenings with. It was funny because the first night that we were there we saw a few tables at dinner with 4 or 6 people at them. We were saying how strange it was to go to a couples resort with another couple........ then we had dinner with them our last night

I don't know what it was about them, but we all really clicked! There has only been one other couple that Michael and I have ever clicked with like we did with them. 

I really hope in time our paths cross again!

We had such a wonderful and relaxing time!!!! I am blessed to have in-laws that are willing to watch 6 kids so that we could get away :) Without them this vacation would not have been possible, so a huge thank you to them!!!

If you ever have a chance to go there.... DO IT :)

We have a forever souvenir from our wonderful vacation!!!

 Baby #7 is on its way :)
I told Michael that I am going to get him/her a onsie that says,
 "Made in the Poconos"