Lake Tahoe

We’re in Lake Tahoe on our honeymoon.

The wedding was beautiful, the marriage is better. Everyone kept commenting about how happy we seem. The truth is we really are that happy.

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We’ve already weathered a lot of storms. It’s simply breathtaking to be here. Yes, Lake Tahoe is gorgeous and so peaceful, but I’m talking about being in that place in our relationship … partnership. It’s certainly something that I’ve never experienced before. We’re soaking it all in.

What else can I tell you?

Umm… let’s see. We love it here. We got a free upgrade to a convertible Mustang from a Ford Focus because we’re on our honeymoon. It’s been so amazing to drive around Lake Tahoe with the top down. We found an amazing little french bakery with the best chocolate croissants. We found a little lakeside seafood joint with actual garlic fries and strong rum-runners, which led to us making out in the car by the lake while Labor Day fireworks were going off. That was a magical moment. Our neighbors banged on their ceiling to tell us to quiet down. ITS OUR HONEYMOON, FOLKS. teehee. I cut my hair the first day here. I couldn’t take it anymore. We had IN&OUT Burger for the first time.

Oh, and somehow I got an anonymous text the first night we were here from our area code back home, 330-000-0000 that read: why didnt you wait for me? WTF is that? It send chills down my spine. I don’t even know how one sends or receives an anonymous text but I’m not wasting this precious time worrying about that


We’re going to take a sunset dinner cruise before we leave.

I miss my babies.



If I haven’t said so… I’m planning a wedding.

Jer and I are getting married Labor Day weekend. I’m thrilled. I know I got the right guy and after everything that’s happened, its high time to get together with those who love us and CELEBRATE!!!

Turns out that’s not so easy because everyone has their own life, with their own issues and their own ideas that somehow have to be taken into account…for our wedding?

Case in point, my cousin, Ni. We’ve been close our whole lives. I was her maid of honor in her wedding and I always planned to have her as mine. The day after Jer proposed to me, I asked her to be my maid of honor. At the time she was living out of state and so, I was delighted when she and her husband decided to relocate their family 5 minutes away. I’ve wrote about that before. Once they get here, Jer and Ni’s husband, Jo, start hanging out and since we’re trying to keep the wedding party all family, Jer asks him to be his best man. Cool. Except as soon as we do, Ni starts talking about how we need to be sure to have my Aunt Chey, who is doing my photography and did hers as well, get a picture of her and Jo all dressed up since she didn’t get one of the two of them together at her own wedding. (It was the first wedding Chey ever did, as a favor, free). Then Ni asks me to make her daughter a flower girl with my daughter in the wedding. I tell her that its a special thing for the kids as I am getting remarried and want them to feel important to the event.

Six months after asking Ni to be in the wedding and four months after her arriving to Ohio, it was time to go pick out her dress. We go and try on dresses and end up picking out our favorites, which were dresses she had posted pictures of on my MySpace as suggestions.

This is when the 1st SNAFOO happens:My cousin Li goes to try on dresses (she’s out of state) and the first dress is not “holding her in”. They don’t have the other dress Ni and I had listed so she says she will go back after we actually order Ni’s dress. We decide we’ll go with Dress #2

SNAFOO 2:Before we are supposed to go order the dress, Ni tells me, not by phone or face to face, but via MySpace, that her stimulus check didn’t show up and won’t be here for about a month so she can’t afford the dress right now. She asks me if I can buy it for her and she’ll pay me back out of her husband’s bonus check at the end of the month. This is problematic for obvious reasons (I have so many other wedding expenses and am far from financially able to front money like this) but was worsened by the knowledge that she had six months to get this money together, had the money to eat pratically every night, was ready to make a purchase amounting to the dress cost the weekend prior to receiving this message and that she had to add in … “I don’t have parents I can borrow it from like you“. Despite all this – I bit my tongue and tell her I will figure out a way to order the dress and we’ll go the following weekend. The next message doesn’t offer any appreciation to this effort but instead a “Geesh! it’s not like you’re giving me the money-you’re just fronting it. It’s not like I wanted this to happen.” Bite tongue again….move on.   My Mom says she will pay for it with her credit card so we can get it ordered and Ni can just pay her back. We go down to order the dress and decide to try on a couple more dresses before placing the order. I don’t like any other as much as the first dress we picked out and they all have the same problem presenting for my other cousin (bridesmaid) in that they were strapless. Dress #2 also covers Ni’s tattoo on her breast, as SHE wanted, and would look great on both she and Li so we order Dress #2.

In the meantime, Ni’s rent gets behind and they need the bonus money for the rent and now she’ll pay my Mom back out of her stimulus, when she got it. Whatever. When we go to pick up Dress #2, I decide to get a new wedding dress. To make a long story short… I bought my dream dress years ago and never wore it, so I was going to wear it now, BUT my dreams have changed I guess. No big deal. Ni is actually excited about the whole thing, and I find a dress, get to see her dress against it, love it, order it. We go on our way.

SNAFOO 3 – Out of nowhere Jo decides he is unhappy here in Ohio and not making enough money so they are moving back to Virginia in less than two weeks. This is CRAZY! All the reasons they moved to Ohio, being closer to family, our kids growing up together, better schools, etc, etc, still remain. This also means that they will need their stimulus check for their relocation – again. I begin asking if they are sure they will be back for the wedding because the move is going to cost a lot of money on top of still needing to get Jo’s tux, Ni’s shoes, accessories and alterations for the wedding and now renting a car or airfare and a hotel. She’s taken back when I mention the hotel, because she assumed that they would be staying with us.

Ok…stop here, have you ever gone to any wedding and thought you would just bunk up at the bride and groom’s place???

Anyways, I side-step that pile of poo and explain it’s going to be crazy and I’ll have to talk to Jer about it because that would be a lot more stressful and that we don’t know how the kids are going to be feeling then and blah, blah, blah. She actually tells me at this point that if they can’t stay with us, then they can’t be in the wedding. Now I’m out a best man and maid of honor if I don’t let them stay with us. (At this point, I start thinking how I’m gonna pay my Mom back for this maid of honor dress now that no one else can wear and my GOD what if I had made her daughter a flower girl – AHHH!) Of course, when I tell Jer, he thinks the whole thing is nuts, he says that ever since I asked Ni to be in the wedding it’s been nothing but problems and I’ve been stressed out. That I should have a maid of honor who can deal with her own stuff because I have enough to take care of.

The next day, I get a MySpace message, Ni decides, for MY SAKE, that they aren’t going to be in the wedding, but they will definitely be here for the wedding. She wouldn’t miss it.  I’m disappointed, but at this point its almost a relief because its been nothing but stress and I really didn’t think it was going to work out and didn’t want all this to ruin our relationship.  I call David’s Bridal and tell them the situation, ask if there’s anything we can do with the dress, they tell me I can bring it in for store credit, more or less. I still need shoes and all that jazz so, that works for me and my Mom. Sigh of relief. I tell her I’m disappointed, but I understand that she’s just not in a place in her life right now where this could work out and it really only mattered that she was there. I tell her that I’ll get the dress from her and can get store credit, yada, yada yada …

The next day was the day my cousin Li was going to order her dress. She goes and tries on several dresses, I told her so long as it was the same color, fabric, length, she could get what she felt comfortable in because at this point there is no bridal party. She calls me and tells me that they have a dress that matches my wedding gown and comes in the color and she really likes it. She says if I still want the other dress she’ll order it because it’s my wedding. (What a revelation!) I look it up online while shes on the phone and I like it and since she’s the only one in the wedding at this point it doesn’t really matter, and if thats what she feels comfortable in – all the better, her Mom says it looks great, I’m fine with it….so she orders that dress.

SNAFOO #4 – Two hours after Li orders her dress, Ni calls me and tells me that she and Jo have talked about it and since they are definitely coming no matter what…it wouldn’t cost much more to be in the wedding so long as my Mom can wait for her to pay her back…again, they’ll be there. I tell her I don’t think it will be a problem and that I will talk to my Mom. I start telling her about Li going to the store and ordering her dress and that she got a different dress but its the same color and that she was going to upload a pic to MySpace soon. We get off the phone and shortly after she sees the pictures of Li in her dress she calls me back and starts asking if since David’s Bridal was going to give me a store credit if she could take her dress back because she tried this dress on and it was more flattering and if she keeps the dress she had now she would have to pay extra to get a good girdle to hold her and she would feel really fat standing next to Li. Now, I’m just annoyed. Now she’s bitching about a dress that not only did she pick out with me and try on, but she hasn’t even paid for? I tell her that the store was only willing to do that to help me out and it would make me look stupid if she tried to exchange it because they knew who she was. I tell her if she wants to call them she can. We get off the phone. I’m stressed out all night. I decide to go back through the pictures we took in the different dresses and realize she had never even tried the dress Li ended up with on. There was one similar, but it was strapless which was why we stuck with Dress #2.

Final straw SNAFOO- I get a phone call the next morning from Li who sounds really hurt, because Ni called her and left her a voicemail, after not calling her for any reason for months, telling her that the dress Li got was the one she originally wanted and that she would feel fat standing next to her in her other dress. I don’t even know what the purpose of that call was. Was she supposed to change her order? Was it just to make her feel bad? I just didn’t get it and after thinking about it, I just decided Jer was right and after all, it’s his wedding too. This was the whole reason I just wanted to have family in the wedding party, to avoid this kinda shit.  I couldn’t deal with all this and that was it. This whole thing was turning into a nightmare fast and was taking away from the only thing that mattered to me to begin with … Me & Jer.

I had to go home on my lunch break to submit a project to my professor by a deadline. Since messaging seems to be her preferred mode of communication I signed onto Yahoo Messenger and started talking to her. Basically, I tell her that it’s not working out and it’s more stress that I don’t need, that ever since I asked her to be in the wedding it’s been all about her and I need someone to help me and I have to draw the line. She says the only way its about her is because of her money situation. I point out that this isn’t just happening TO her, that she had plenty of time to buy this dress and the way she went about bringing up how she didn’t have parents to ask to borrow the money from was not cool. She starts acting like a victim of me, the horrible, bitch bridezilla, says she was willing to do whatever she had to to be in my wedding (except of course wear a dress that she didn’t pay for but got to pick but didn’t like) She immediately goes into getting nasty and character attacking me, saying that I didn’t do anything for her wedding (let me mention at this point that I lived out of state, that I didn’t even get to see the dress for her wedding, much less pick one out and try it on before ordering it and I paid for it myself and drove from Ohio to Virginia TWICE for wedding stuff and that I asked if she wanted a bachelorette party and she said no, that wasn’t her thing and she didn’t want Jo to have a bachelor’s party) that she understood now why my sister didn’t want to be in the wedding ( my sister isn’t into the whole wedding gig and having a lot of attention on her – no big deal) and that I would regret doing this to her and that she and her mother, my Aunt Terry, wouldn’t be attending (nannynannybooboo). I told her she didn’t need to act that way. That it wasn’t a dramatic situation, it just wasn’t working out. She told me I was the one being dramatic. She told me she would let Jerm pick up the dress because she didn’t want to see me. I tell her she doesn’t need to be immature and that I would come get the dress because I was going back down to Davids to pick up my dress that night.

I drive over, she opens the door, thrusts the dress at me and then slams the door in my face.

When I send her a message in the next couple days asking when they need Jer there to move stuff, she says No Thanks, your Dad is helping. He has Parkinson’s. Obviously, he can’t so I explain that Jer will be there to help my Dad and my Dad was counting on that, if she can’t be civil, I’ll just have my Dad call when he’s on his way. Then I ask if I can bring the kids over to say good-bye to the kids before they leave town and she tells me I won’t be able to see the kids before they leave because she doesn’t wish to see me.

ARE YOU F***IN KIDDING ME? now our kids, our daughters being best friends, aren’t allowed to see each other because YOU’RE mad at ME? I can’t see who I consider to be my niece and nephew and tell them good-bye? Who the fuck does this shit? That really upset me. I thought it was extremely selfish and unfair. Then for extra measure, she removed not only me, but Li , from her TOP 8 on MySpace and her Mom did the same (EWWWW! Burn! insert eyeroll. WTF?) I swear to God its the most immature, crazy bullshit ever. Then her Mom, who never contacts me, sends me a message on MySpace saying that I should take the picture down of Ni and I in our dresses at the store off my page. I just deleted them both, not out of spite, but just to spare myself the bullshit and avoid anymore unnecessary drama. I had to have my Mom take the kids over to say “good-bye” and Ni hasn’t said a word to me since.

When Li goes over to my Nana’s house in Kentucky, where my Ni’s Mom lives, she confronts Li saying that she’s not mad at her but that what I did wasn’t right. What the hell does she have to be mad about? Then to top it off my Aunt Terry has told people that she isn’t coming to the wedding and never even bothered to know the whole story. My Mom was THERE and she knows what happened and she still didn’t treat Ni with such disdain.  But I regress because there isn’t anything I can do about it. People believe what they want, or need, to believe.

I have done a lot in my life to rid it of petty drama. This is supposed to be the happiest time in my life. After everything me and my children have been through, you’d think my impending marriage would matter more than some ridiculous dress, but if these people can’t get that and be happy for me and my children, family or not, I’m just not going to deal with it. It’s their loss and I’m not going to let the happiest time of my life be dragged through the mud over bullshit.

That my friends is why brides lose their shit.

Wedding Invitation

Yesterday, I got an invitation to a wedding in the mail. It’s not just any wedding invitation, its my first love, Jason (a.k.a. J.J.), is getting married.

This is the boy I lost my virginity to. (((sigh)))

Jason and I had an on again, off again relationship (like all high school relationships) which ended badly when I found out he was trying to act like a tough guy and was starting to get heavily into drugs. If you knew Jason you’d know why I say ACT. He’s not a gangsta, he’s a goober! He acted like I was a nagging prude anytime I talked about the drugs, but the final straw was catching him stoned out of his mind, nearly passed out with this whore trying to make out with him. Then I just shook my head and left. His Mom had not liked me dating her baby, until she saw how much I genuinely loved and cared for him while we were breaking up.

She actually came to my work one day and apologized to me, telling me she had been too protective and had probably helped Jason turn away from me. Jason’s Dad had always loved me. He treated me like his daughter. I called him Poppa. We would go to dinner by ourselves at this awesome Chinese restaurant when nobody else wanted Chinese. He told me stories about when he used to bull ride and how he met Jason’s Momma. He would still come to my softball games after we broke up. It was just nice as a teenage girl to have another father figure around, who had to need to parent me because I had a father, but could just be interested in what I was saying. At that age you don’t always get along with your parents. Looking back, I know how much Poppa cared for me to provide this supplemental guidance. His parents actually still e-mail about with new pictures of everyone and I get a Christams card from them every year too.

The summer before my senior year, Jason’s Dad got stationed in Indiana. Jason had another girlfriend at the time and I had just started to get deeply involved with my best guy friend, Darryl. But about a week before he was to leave, he drove over to my house and talked to me for over 3 hours on my front porch about how much I had meant to him, how I had been so brave to go to his Dad confidentially to get him help for his drug abuse, that me doing that had saved his life, that he would always respect me and love me. And still even though we weren’t together  he spent his last night with me. We stayed up all night the night before he moved and went through pictures, watched movies and talking. It was probably the best closure anybody had ever given me in a relstionship. You couldn’t write better closure.

About a month after I graduated from high school, I went to see my Nana in KY and visited him and his family in Indiana. And even though I had a boyfriend, J.J.’s Mom actually begged me to wait for him. She wanted me to marry him. I told her that I knew Jason would eventually find the girl he was intended to be with but that I would always be his friend.

And I’ve been his friend many times. Jason has had his share of bad experiences with bad women.  It hurt me so much to hear him like that, I would cry with him and then we’d end up laughing at each other. I remember him telling me that he should have listened to his mother and married me a long time ago. I always assured him that he would find the love of his life … and now he has.

Nicole, is a very sweet girl and I know that she will treat Jason well and that they will live happily ever after.

I am truly, very happy for him. 

And just like that, it was over.

I am in the car on my way to Virginia for my cousins wedding. The boyfriend and his son should be here, but they are not.

I am two months pregnant and its a week before my 21st birthday. Yesterday, my “fiance” and I finally told his mom and dad that we were going to be getting married on Labor Day weekend.

Last weekend we went to the Sheraton and set up the date and place. We checked out tuxes and dresses and wedding bands all week long. He was really excited too. He had been doing really good. We were going to make this work … or so I thought.

I was out buying him clothes for our vacation around 2:30 yesterday. He started drinking around 4. I was running around trying to get packed. At 9:30 last night he came home and told me that his buddy from work had called and said something about me and that he wanted to go over and defend me.

At 11 PM, as I was getting in the shower, he said he’d be back in a couple minutes. I told him I didn’t care what they said and he’d already had a six pack and shouldn’t be driving. He said it was important to him to set the record straight. I started crying and told him I was exhausted and we should just go to bed. But he insisted. He said he wouldn’t drink anything else. He said “Stephanie, I swear you’re too important to me.” I took my shower, got ready for bed, finished packing and waited until 1245 am to call over to his buddy’s. No answer. I fell asleep at 1:30.

At 4:23 AM I hear someone trying to get into the door. I opened the door to find his friend and his wife carrying my “fiance”. His friend thrust a bottle of liquor at me, the same one that was 3/4 full in the fridge earlier, was now barely there.

He had looked me straight in the eye and lied, no, manipulated me. I went to bed and cried myself to sleep.

He and his son were both still sleeping when I got up at 8:30. We had to leave by 10 AM. I tried to wake him up to no avail. Finally, I shook him and told him we needed to talk about what happened before we left. He said he wasn’t going to talk about “shit “. I told him that this was a great start to our vacation, not to mention an upcoming marriage. He told me to “fuck off”.
I asked what I had done to deserve this. I told him that I couldn’t believe he was going to treat me like this after he had manipulated me. I asked him about the liquor and if he had just made up the story about his friend and wanting to defend me. I told him how much he had hurt me.

He called me a “lying bitch” and said that there was no bottle of liquor. So, I dug it out of the trash. He said it was his buddy’s. I said we could call his brother and ask him if he wanted the rest of his bottle back because he was the one who had brought it over with his girlfriend and his sister last weekend when we had played cards.
I went to get the phone and started to dial. He came down the hall and pulled the cord out of the wall. Then he grabs my purse and runs down the hallway, laughing. He locked me me out of the bedroom. I heard him digging through my purse. I was just standing at the door, trying to figure out what he was doing when he opened the door and pushed me up against it, hitting my head. He showed me that he had taken the insurance money that I had gotten from the fire at my parents house that I had set aside for vacation out of my purse and he smiled.
Then he spit in my face. Yes, spit. Rage boiled over and without thinking I slapped him. He swung at me but I was able to block that one. He swung again and landed one on my right side. It knocked the wind out of me. I ran down the hall to the front door screaming for help. I was only in a nightshirt and underwear. I was shaking uncontrollably, trying to get a signal on the phone. I curled myself up into the corner and screamed for help. Then I saw his son. His son had seen him hit me. I asked him to get help but his Dad took him by the hand and took him into his room. This gave me enough to grab shorts and pull them on as I ran out the door and to the neighbors.

The neighbors called the cops. When they arrived, I told them I wanted supervision just long enough so that I could get my belongings. As the police watch I gathered my belongings and then I noticed that my camcorder was now missing. He told the cops he didn’t know where it was. (I found it hidden under the blanket in his son’s bed when I went in to let him know I was ok and would call Nana).

I asked the cops if I could press charges and the one officer got my face and started yelling at me. He told me that he could put me in jail because I had slapped him first. It made me sick to see him standing in his son’s doorway, smirking. He and the officer exchanged stories about their ex-wives as I finished gathering my belongings, minus the spending money he stole, $250, and left.

It seems as though time after time the only thing that consistently matters to him is him.

I guess the wedding is off. I’m going to show up in Virginia without him and his son and I’ll have to explain the entire situation to my family before my cousin’s wedding.

The thing I’m most upset about is his son. He saw his daddy hitting me and hiding the camera under his blanket and lying to a police officer. I guess he wasn’t thinking about anything but himself. He stole money from me? What the hell? Why? I just helped and supported him to get custody of his son from his “evil” ex-wife because of her lifestyle so that he wouldnt be subjected to things like this.

This is a lose-lose situation for me and the kids but from his smirk … he must’ve won.

I hope it’s worth it.