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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Another Las Vegas Conference and What I Have Learned About Marriage

The week before Valentine's Day Chuck and I went to Las Vegas again for his annual conference. Chuck attends meetings during this conference, and his company also has a booth in the convention hall that is open at various times during the three day conference. Last year, I had three days to Las Vegas all by myself and I had a ball going to the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, exploring the Las Vegas strip and shopping. I took a lot of pictures and wrote all about my experiences online. I thought I was going to be able to do the same thing again, until a few days before we got on the airplane to head for Vegas.

Before we left Georgia, we were having a conversation about our schedules in Las Vegas. I mentioned something to Chuck about wanting to go check out some thrift shops to find items to resell on eBay as I have gotten much busier with my eBay business recently. He asked me how much time I was going to be spending at the booth in the hall, as he thought I would be doing that. I hadn't expected to be manning the booth at all this year. I had done that only one year when his company was down a man at the conference. This year that was not the case. I was disappointed and it took me a day or two to adjust as I could tell he really wanted me to be around.

Had I been in my previous marriage, or married to someone else, I probably would have put up a fuss and made a real case for myself about how I really needed to be able to get out and about for my eBay business. But because it's my second marriage, I have learned a few things. I have learned to pick my battles. I have learned that there are some things more important than what I want, and that I will have a happier and more fulfilling life if I remember the fine art of compromise. And I remember who I am married to, and how much he does for me, and how much we both love and respect each other, so I adjusted my plans. I did spend some time at the booth, and felt quite helpful on the first night when I stayed at the booth by myself as Chuck and the other person covering the booth were able to go around and network with other people because the booth was covered. I was there other times too, and I think Chuck appreciated that.

But I was also able to get out and explore some on my own for a few hours each day. We stayed at the Golden Nugget and just outside the back door of the Golden Nugget is The Fremont Street Experience. If you aren't familiar with it, it's five blocks of restaurants, stores, and wait for it...casinos (surprise, surprise). This is where the picture above was taken on our second night. I have been here other years, but I love exploring it and seeing all the strange people that dress up and want you to pose with them and expect a tip. This year I was thrilled to find something new while I explored. The toy expert on the show, "Pawn Stars" has recently moved his toy store to this area and I had a ball talking to an employee about all of the toys in there and wishing I had saved my toys from the 1960s because apparently they are now worth a lot of money! I even came home and got paid to write an article for an online website about the Fremont Street Exerience.

All in all, the trip went well and I think that my decision not to push to get time to go to thrift stores and do my own thing was the best decision to make. I have learned through past experiences that having a good marriage and showing my love and being loved by Chuck is worth more to me than all the money in the world, and certainly more than I could earn on eBay in a few trips to Las Vegas thrift stores!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Holidays With His Family

One of the challenges of marrying for a second time is that you both often bring with you a ready made family. Chuck's kids were all adults when we got married, and mine were teens who are now young adults living on their own. We lived in Connecticut the first few years of our marriage and my parents and children were all nearby. Holidays were spent with my family. Chuck's children and their families lived in California and Georgia. Now that we have moved to Georgia, we are closer to two of his kids and their families. Although it is hard for me to be away from my family during the holidays,(especially Christmas) I am happy for Chuck that we finally get to be with his family. It's been a very long time since he has been able to spend any holidays with his kids and their families. We spent Thanksgiving at his son's house, and Christmas at his daughter's house. Last night, we were able to go out to dinner with his son, daughter in law and his daughter at a wonderful restaurant with good food, good music, and good company on New Year's Eve. It felt good to me to see him surrounded by his family. And I know he enjoyed being able to spend this special time with them. The sacrifices a spouse may have to make in a second marriage are so often worth it to see their husband or wife happy. I was feeling very happy and blessed last night because I think this move was great for Chuck, and good for us as a couple. We didn't take any pictures last night, but here are a few from a previous visit with his son and daughter.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I Got it Right This Time

Chuck and I have been married for a few years now and I am still astonished at this man's feelings for me. Even in spite of the hum drum routine our life together takes on sometimes, he doesn't seem bored yet. Of course our life isn't boring. We travel together, go out to eat at new restaurants, and this past year we moved so that was anything but boring. But he actually still likes me. And he even loves me. At times when he stops and looks at me and tells me he loves me, or when he says he actually loves me more now than he did on the day we got married, it really stuns me. I am so stunned by this because this is not how things went in my first marriage. I won't go into that, but I am so happy that this time, I got it right. In thinking back over the past year, we went through a lot of changes but weathered them together. I look forward to 2015 being a wonderful year of togetherness and love. And I will always be grateful to him for loving me through all the ups and downs. May all of your relationships grow in love and joy and laughter in 2015. Here are a few pictures of our year together in 2014:

Friday, December 19, 2014

Our First Christmas Tree in Our New Home!

Today is my 3 year anniversary writing this blog. So I found it fitting that I make sure to write a post on my blog today. We are settling into life here in Big Canoe, GA and having a ball here. It's been 4 months of firsts for us. The most exciting "first" for me was putting up the Christmas tree together. Chuck has always had a real Christmas tree, and I did too, until about 3 years after my divorce. Then dragging in the tree and trying to set it up with the help of my 3 kids got to be a pain. I waited till after Christmas one year and bought an artificial tree. Each year I suggested the same to Chuck, but he repeated that we needed to have a real tree. This year I was finally successful in convincing him to get an artificial tree. This was the easiest artificial tree to set up that I have ever seen. We didn't have to insert any branches into any holes on the stem of the tree. They are already attached. We just had to pull them up and out and spread the branches out. When you get married again, you as a couple have to figure out and compromise on holiday traditions. This could mean anything from what to serve for Christmas dinner to what color lights to put on the Christmas tree. Chuck likes colored lights but from my college days on, I have always had clear lights on my tree. So when it came time to decorate our first Christmas tree, I didn't want colored lights, but just went along with it. In the long run, it wasn't worth a fight. But each year I was secretly disappointed that we didn't have clear lights. Our tree this year came with pre-lit branches. And guess what: it has clear lights! After the tree was up and decorated, I asked Chuck if he minded that the lights are clear. He said that he did not and in fact thought the tree looked nice! I was shocked but very happy. So, until the lights burn out on our new Christmas tree, we will be having clear lights at Christmas. I am including a picture of our tree this year, the first Christmas tree for us in the mountains. It sits in front of the big glass doors that lead to our deck.
Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Finally We Have "Our" Home

One of the problems couples often encounter with a second marriage is that someone will probably have to move into a house that was previously occupied by the new spouse and their ex. That can make for a lot of tension in a new marriage, especially if the person who originally lived in the home is reluctant to change anything. The new spouse may feel as though he or she is living in a shadow of an old marriage. They may wonder about the history of certain pieces of furniture, or decorating styles, etc.

If possible, I highly recommend a new home for the newly married couple so they can start their lives together fresh with no bad memories, or aggravation about not being able to change anything to their decorating style.

Chuck and I recently moved out of a home that he shared with his previous wife. I hadn't realized how much better I would feel once we got here and made this house OUR home. Although we brought most of the furniture with us, this home is 994 miles away and is much more my style. Plus it's in the mountains which is where I have always wanted to live. Even though we brought most of the furniture with us, it feels different because this is a home we chose together and decided together where all the furniture will go. There is a lot to be said for a fresh start in a second marriage. If that's not possible, I highly recommend that the spouse who previously lived in the house allow some changes to be made that both can live with. Fresh paint and a few new pieces of furniture may not be a whole fresh start, but it can make a difference and allow the new spouse to have a say about the home they now live in too.

Here are some pictures of our before and after home, in Connecticut and Georgia. The home on the top is the original house in Connecticut and on the bottom is the new house in Georgia.

I don't actually have any pictures of the furniture in the new house but when I do I will add them.

Monday, September 22, 2014

It's Been A Month Since We Left Connecticut

It has been a month and a few days since we left Connecticut. We have actually been in our new home for three weeks now. And except for missing my kids and parents, and a few friends, I have never been happier to leave someplace. I have a lot of bad memories associated with that state and am glad to put them behind me. Chuck is having a harder time because he had more friends that he saw on a regular basis. But as time goes by, we are adjusting and having fun exploring our new community, town and state. We found a vet for the dog, and are getting used to the grocery stores. But we are in the process of finding a new church, doctor and dentist. The one thing about moving far away is that a couple relies on each other more. That can be good or bad. For us, for the most part it's been very good. We have gone through this experience together and feel good about our new home and how we have it arranged. It took a lot of work and compromise on both parts, but when we get up in the mornings and see the mountain view from our bedroom window, it has all been worth it.

Of course there has been some stress too. But for the most part, things have gone well. Now if we can only sell our house in Connecticut...If you know of anyone who wants to buy a beautiful house in a nice neighborhood in Connecticut, send them our way please!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Day 6 of Our Move To Big Canoe: We Saw The House!

Today we got up early and headed right over to Big Canoe to meet our real estate agent who had the keys to our new home. We went to the house and I was beside myself with excitement. Here's a better picture of the house and the garage than I was able to get before:

Apparently Reeses was excited too because she poked her nose in the door first and was the very first one in. We had so much fun looking around and discovering things that we hadn't noticed before, some good, some bad, but mostly good. These pictures are of the main living room of the house, and is the first room you see when you walk in the front door.

We spent a couple of hours here at the house. I used the broom on the beautiful hardwood floors and Chuck found a hose and watered the drooping Black Eyed Susan's which were growing in the front and back of the house. Although it was hot today, about 84 degrees, it felt cool on the back deck because it is all shaded. I was also excited because we have two rain barrels that collect water from the roof when it rains and have spiggots for us to get the water out and water the plants. It's very environmentally friendly and I like that.

We picked up our mail today and it was exciting to see that the post office is already forwarding our mail from Connecticut. We got a wonderful new home card from my niece (thanks Halley!), and Chuck got one from his wife...yes that does mean me! His HAPPY wife I might add! After going to the post office, we became members of the workout center that includes the indoor pool and we will start using it tomorrow.

I had forgotten what a beautiful view we have. In the far distance off of the deck, you can see about 4 or 5 high mountains. I can't wait to sit out there with Chuck and have a glass of wine to celebrate our new home.I think we will have a very peaceful life here in the mountains. Tomorrow we will be at the house because the Cable guy and the telephone guy are coming to set things up between 10 and 5. The following day the furniture will be arriving and we will spend who knows how many days setting everything up and unpacking.But we made it here safely and are embarking on a new chapter in our lives with excitement and enthusiasm!