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Welcome to the hectic years

Hi, I'm Mindi.

And this is our Hectic Life.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I Did Not Marry My Best Friend

I’ve been hearing the same question quite a bit lately.

“How are you doing?  Really?”

My long answer is more complicated than a nod and “I’m doing fine.  We’re all doing fine.”

I am doing fine, and the kids are thriving in their new school system, which makes this momma very happy.  I’m learning my way around a town I left many, many years ago.

But the complete answer is, I don’t really know.

My thoughts are scrambling around in my brain like ping pong balls against a concrete wall, constantly being shot out of a cannon.  I can’t catch them, and if I can’t catch them, I can’t begin to understand them.  But there is one thing I know for sure.

I did not marry my best friend.

As time moves on, we’re learning more about each other.  And finding the differences that weren't so apparent when dating.  Or maybe they were, but they just didn't seem to matter at the time.

I’m not a big fan of hunting shows and football, other than WVU games.  Emmett could sit in front of the TV and watch either of those all day long.  Just try putting on a romantic comedy and the look on his face is priceless.  According to Emmett, that is why we have 3 televisions in the house.

He’s a meat and potatoes sort of guy, but will eat almost anything.  I’m more of a pasta and salad kind of girl, and extremely picky at that.  Although if you add bacon to just about anything it tends to make it better.

Through various discussions we’re finding that there is quite a bit we don’t agree on.  The fact that we’re both stubborn and highly independent people makes for some interesting conversations.  I’m crazy about animals, I have been since I was a little girl.  Emmett is crazy about animals too, if they’re on his dinner plate.

I’m used to doing what I want, when I want, and so is Emmett.  Now we have each other to think about.  It’s definitely not easy, considering someone else when making decisions.

Putting completely different families together, is a learning process that we're making our way through.

I don’t like to use the term ‘blended family’ because that implies that we were all thrown into a blender and come out similar size and consistency.  It’s not really like that at all. We’re more like a big bag of trail mix, all different shapes and sizes and personalities thrown into the same container.

But even with all of these changes and dissimilarities and stubborn opinions, I’m crazy in love with my husband.

I fall more in love with him every day.  I love him for the differences and the quirks and the things that make him the man he is.

Yes, we’re different in some ways, but in the ways that count we’re in complete agreement.  The more I get to know him, the more I admire him.  He is a strong Christian man who practices what he believes, in a world where that is no longer the norm.  He is one of the hardest working men I have ever known.  He’s generous and kind, and is constantly helping others.  He inspires me to want to be more like that - selfless and thoughtful.

He is a man who actually does what he says he’s going to do.  He won’t promise the moon and stars and show up with a flashlight as a consolation prize.  If he promises you something, he will do everything in his power to make it happen.

He’s talented, creative, and is an amazing Dad.  He puts on a gruff exterior, but he truly cares about his family and would do anything for them.  There is no doubt he puts too much on his plate, works a lot harder than he needs to and after a long day still comes home to build me a cabinet or install an appliance.  But I see the love he has for me when I look at the cabinet he built with his own hands.  Or the flowers he surprised me with at work.  He truly is an amazing individual, and I am thankful that God led me to him.

No, he isn't my best friend.  Not at all.  But he’s better than that.  He’s my husband, my counterpart in life, the one who holds my heart.

I made the right decision moving here, marrying Emmett, changing jobs and changing lives.  The right decision for me and for my kids.

It’s not an easy road, I didn't truly expect it to be, but there isn't another person I would rather walk it with.

I’m a lucky girl, not to have married her best friend, but the person God picked out for her.  As always, God knew what He was doing.

I just need to remember that the next time we’re watching How to Skin a Deer Six Different Ways or The Best Moments of Professional Football Marathon instead of Pride and Prejudice…

Monday, September 8, 2014

In the beginning

In the beginning there was chaos.
We were surrounded by boxes and children and pets, and none of them had any idea where they should reside.  We had to get used to twice daily dishes, endless laundry, lost socks and found clutter.  And the snacks, I will never catch up to the snacks that they require every day and the amount that is consumed.  In the beginning it was a balancing act to visit the grocery store and learn how to stack food in the refrigerator just right without it tumbling down as soon as the door was opened.
To make things more difficult, we left for a small Georgia island shortly after moving in.  With boxes piled three feet high in the kitchen we ran for the sun and the sand and the trees dripping with Spanish moss.  There we swam and fished and pulled living creatures out of the sea, ones that I have never seen outside of a beach shop.  Sand dollars and starfish, horseshoe and hermit crabs, mollusks in conch shells, nearly invisible worms covered in bits of wood and shells.  It was hot, it was humid…it was Georgia in August.  But the island was lovely, the beach at low tide was one of the widest that I have ever seen, and one day I hope to visit again.

Of course when we returned, the boxes and confusion were waiting for us.  I feel that the boxes will always be waiting for us.
But as the days passed by and school began, we melted in a routine.  One that involves the craziness of an Insanity workout early in the morning, cleaning and errands in the afternoon.  I have loved being off work for an entire month.  As a mom who has worked forever, it was a welcome respite from the craziness of motherhood and homework and after school activities.  I finally had time to make cookies for an after school snack, I could pick up the kids from the school bus and hear about their day.  To be home long before dinner had to be made, to start cooking at a reasonable hour without having to rely on a crockpot.  To actually go grocery shopping without kids in tow.  Sad, but that has always been a dream of mine, a dream that finally came true.  I could do laundry during the day, instead of late at night after dinner and dishes and baths.  Something else I had always wanted to do.  I’m easily satisfied, I think.
I can hardly believe that it’s been a month since we moved to the hills of West Virginia.  In the beginning we were out of our element, all of us.  We were living without internet and without neighborhood kids.  Town felt like a hundred miles away (still does).  But the time has passed quickly, so quickly that I have already started working again.  It is as I remembered, pure craziness trying to get everything done, and collapsing into bed exhausted every night. 
We have had our struggles, our battles.  The road has not been entirely smooth. But even when there are disagreements and scuffles, even when the kids can’t seem to get on the same page, I am happy with this choice.  This place.  This life
No, our life is definitely not easy, life with kids is never truly easy.  But as I once told Emmett, it’s our life.  It might be crazy and chaotic and loud, but I love it.  I wouldn't change it.  And I know without a doubt that God knew what he was doing when He brought us together.
I left behind Indiana, my friends and my career and my home.  I miss it all…but I have gained more than I have lost.  I have gained a new family and a husband that I am madly in love with.  And a stronger Faith in a God that knew where my happiness would reside.
Although this might sound cliche, because there are so many people that say this now days, it is obvious that God’s hand has been in our lives.  He is there for us, He is guiding us.  I once wondered, but He has relieved me of all doubt.  He brought me the husband that was perfect for our needs, and for our hearts.
If one were to ask me if God truly cares, I can say with a resounding YES that He most certainly does.  He cares, and He loves, and He answers prayers.
The kids are doing great in school and in our new town.  I’m so proud of them, and thrilled that when God is involved, everything is simply smoother. 
Learning to merge families together is a process that will take time, but we have plenty of love and laughter and forgiveness to make it work.
And the other day, while driving the kids to the library, Hunter and I found the end of the rainbow.  It shimmered right before us, in front of the trees.   Even before that moment I knew I had found the end of my own personal rainbow.

I’m exactly where God wants me to be.  

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Move

“You’re leaving Rolls-Royce?  Are you crazy?”
My co-worker stared at me in shock after hearing the news, and I wondered if maybe I was a little crazy for making this life altering decision.  But it was definitely too late to turn back now.

I distinctly remember my first moments in Indiana.
We had left West Virginia well before dawn and somewhere along the way, shrouded by the darkness of early morning, I fell asleep in the car.  I woke up to see the land rushing past us in a blur.  We were surrounded by fields and flatness, there were no hills to block the view.  The giant orange sun was rising slowly rising in the sky, the pink and purple hues reflecting off of enormous puffy clouds.  It was beautiful, and I was filled with the hope and the anticipation of a new college graduate.  The world was mine for the taking.  I was naive and innocent, believing in goodness and love and dreams that actually came true.  And so excited to start life in a brand new state, which might as well have been a brand new world.
We had arrived in Indiana, our new home.

That was almost 15 years ago.  In that time I've gotten used to the vast expanses of sky, the large buildings of the city.  The traffic, the wide straight roads.  Some parts of me have merged into those of a Hoosier.  How could it not, after living here so long?  In the summer we visit the Indianapolis zoo, with the city skyline in the background.  The state fair with its little hands on the farm display, year after year I watched my kids grow up in that exhibit, donning their bright green ball caps and toting their baskets along the path to gather eggs and grain.  Each time they would drive the John Deer tractors until finally the year came that Hunter was simply too old.  That year, my heart broke just a little bit.

We’re used to this life, it is all my children have ever known.  And for so many years, all that I have ever known.
But my life has not turned out as I had once planned.  When arriving in Indiana that frigid January morning, I had no idea what would happen to my family.  I could not have predicted the struggles, the triumphs, and the loneliness of single motherhood.  I could not have predicted the pain, or how it would affect me.
The pain of divorce changed everything for me.  Everything.
I didn't expect to meet Emmett.  I expected even less to marry a man from a town I grew up in.  Where I was born and raised and left after high school.  A town I never expected to live in again.
But with time came wisdom, and a subtle shift in my outlook.  Home is where your heart is, where your children are.  Where your husband is.
A career is important, it helps pay the bills and raise your kids.  But it’s not everything.  Money isn't everything.
I've been at Rolls-Royce for going on 14 years, and I’m leaving for the unknown in the hills of West Virginia.
And those hills are beautiful.  That is where family is, and family is worth far more than gold.
I don’t know what the details are, I don’t know how everything will work out.  I’m losing my security blanket, but we all have to get rid of it sometime.
I know it’s going to be okay, because God is with us.  He’s always been with us.  One day Callie saw God in the trees behind our old house.  She was two years old, staring through the window during the winter months, and I looked but saw nothing but scraggly branches and dried out brush.  She told me God was standing right next to those trees.  And to this day, I believe that she really did see something that I could not.
I see God now too.  I see him in my life.  In meeting and marrying the man that I love.  In selling my house, the way the puzzle pieces have clicked together.  No longer do I fear an empty picture being formed.  It is full, it is complete, and one day I’ll get to see what it is.
I’m not crazy for following my heart, for following God’s plan for my life.
I’m happy, I’m hopeful, and I’m at Peace.
God will always provide.
“And my God shall supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
Our future is ahead of us, and it is going to be a great one.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

From the beginning

I have written anything in ages.
And I have been asked many, many, times how I met my new husband.
So here is the story...

I knew I would love him before I ever met him.
That thought scared me, those feelings scared me.  I didn't want to get hurt again.  I had a heart that had been shattered and pieced back together with fragile thread.  So although I knew that I would love Emmett from the very beginning of our real life relationship, it wasn't something I embraced willingly.  

And I had a very hard time with belief in commitment, because there was a possibility that one day he might just disappear.

We met online, I had commented on furniture he made.  I needed a dining room buffet and I liked his style.  We started to talk, and months later, the talk turned to something besides friendship.
Our talks were centered on two strangers who would never meet in person.  We were immediately close in ways that take months for others in real life.  There was the anonymity of the internet, of a keyboard and a chat window.  He didn't ever have to look in my eyes and see who I was in person.  He was safe, someone to encourage me and be there for me.
We shared experiences, I was selling a house and he was selling furniture.  We were both navigating the painful world of dating after divorce.  Not something either of us relished.
It was obvious there was something there, and finally, after months of chatting our conversations turned to meeting each other.  We set a date, he was going to drive out to Indy and meet me in person.
I was scared witless.
What if, after all this time, he didn't like me?  What if he thought I was uglier in person, than I was in pictures?  Most of my fears centered on him not liking me, not the other way around.  But I had hopes and aspirations and I prayed that maybe, just maybe, he would be the one.
Although I came close to cancelling altogether, to just staying friends, the day finally came that we would meet face to face.
I was literally shaking.  I paced, I wondered, I worried.
If we had kept a virtual relationship then I could still him as a friend.  As it was, I didn't know what was going to happen.
And when he came walking up the sidewalk carrying a handful of yellow carnations, I knew that it, at least for me, it was over.  His eyes were blue, a beautiful shade of blue.  His smile made my heart turn somersaults.  He was finally standing in front of me, and I felt like I already knew him.  
When I hugged him it felt like coming home.
I felt safe and right where I was supposed to be.
Needless to say we got along just as well in person as we did online.
And as I got to know him, I found that he was even better in person than he was online.  He was someone with faults and idiosyncrasies, but then again, so was I.  I found that the perfect online image was replaced with someone much, much better.  Better because he was real.
And I could easily love the flesh and blood version of the man who walked up my sidewalk clutching those flowers, with his crooked smile I now love so much.

But although ours was a typical boy-meets girl love story, there was an element that wasn't typical. Something that made things work even though they probably shouldn't have.
I had my issues, he had his.  There was the distance, the travel, the time.  My fear of what was around the next corner. My ever present fear of getting hurt.
But through it all we had that special something going for us.  We had God on our side, He brought us together.  He had a big hand in everything, from the very beginning.
Even before we met I told Emmett that God brought us together for a reason.  Two people sharing similar life stories, there to understand each other.
But as usual God had bigger plans for us.  Bigger than anything I could have fathomed from the beginning.
We went from friends to newlyweds.
And I am very, very happy with that plan.
As usual, I have no idea what our future will look like.  But I know that it will be wonderful.

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