Saturday, December 22, 2012

It's a treat!

So, as promised, this post will include all things sinful that come along with celebrating Christmas!

Ofcourse, Sley and I got to a slow start this morning so mom had already started with the Sausage Balls...

These babies were just coming out of the oven as Sley and I walked in the door.

I wanted fudge with pecans because last batch that was made didn't have nuts. Mom agreed to the nuts if I provided them so luckily, my friend Gwen gave me some shelled pecans. Sley was put in charge of chopping them up.

(What a sexy nut chopper)
Mom taste testing the goods
My brother getting in on the action
The dogs kept coming in the kitchen and begging for food (well my dog, Dixie, doesn't beg...she just gets in the way...Axel barks until you give him food) so to kill 2 birds with one stone, I pulled out raw hides and sent them to the living room.


The sausage balls were done and Mom and I were about to start on the fudge...Sley had retired from his job as "nut chopper" to the living room to watch Amish Mafia while Mom and I trudged along.

We would have made Paula Deen proud with all this sugar and butter

Fudge is hard work! Now I know why we don't make it often. I remember going to Engelhard (where my dad's family lives) and always going straight for my grandma's fudge when I got there. No one else really liked it with the nuts so there was always a whole tin waiting for me that lasted the whole weekend.

After fudge, we cooked (well, not really cooked...more like made...) Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies. I wasn't really a fan of these at first but having to smell them as I made them, I learned to like them a little more...


oh well, I can't turn it right side up but you get the picture...

After the no-bake, Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal cookies were completed, of course, Sley had to participate in a little taste tesing!

Mom started in on the chocolate chip cookies

Us kids (Victor, Sley, & I) decided to exercise our right to bear arms and go for a little target practice

Sley shooting "gangsta style"
Victor and Sley about to pop a cap

Even I got in on the action and shot a few rounds!
We got back home and this is what we found! 

All the sausage balls have been eaten and the Chocolate Peanut Butter cookies are next to being gone! It has definitely been a fun food day for us! Hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!!! After all these goodies, I'm sure I know what my New Year's Resolution will be...

Thursday, December 20, 2012


O.M.G ya'll I am about to fall out from exhaustion. Shopping has been done and gifts are wrapped and I have 1 more day of work until 5 days of perfect (chaotic) peace!

Work has been insane and it's only going to be worse tomorrow since we are closed for Christmas.

Last night I got to face time with the bestie and Claire. With all the hustle and bustle this time of year, we havent had that much time to communicate. Ofcourse when I said I got to facetime with Paige, I really meant we heard each other's laughter as Sley and Claire talked, laughed, and cooed at each other. Claire's infatuation with Sley (or Say as she calls him) has minimized her love for Aunty AP. Sad day. But as sickening as it is to see her love for him (lol) it warms my heart because one day, I know he is going to make one fantastic daddy. I couldn't talk to her for a whole minute for her asking for "Say". Oh well, it makes me happy to see her happy and its nice to hear my bestie laugh since we can't talk during their play time.

Saturday, Sley and I are heading to my parents house to make goodies. all day. Here is what we have come up with :
-peanut butter oatmeal cookies
-fudge (WITH NUTS because I love it!)
-sausage balls
-rice krispy treats
I think thats it...I refuse to feel guilty about eating these because Christmas comes once a year so HA!

I really look forward to this Christmas. I have a few tricks up my sleeve that Sley doesn't know about and the main thing he got me was my very own recliner that I've been wanting! I can't wait to pop a squat in that sucker over Christmas break and enjoy the view of the Christmas tree before we have to take it down until next year!

I would be lying if I said it was easy to forget about Brandon's family this time of year. I enjoyed spending time with them and enjoying family traditions that were upheld for the 5 years we were together. I know new memories and traditions are in the mix but I miss "Santa" at his mom's house and just spending time with his sisters, laughing, eating, and watching "Christmas Vacation". I have thought about sending his mom a letter or a card, just letting her know that I still think about her and miss her, but I'm not sure her feelings toward me. I know Brandon turned her against me at one point (like I was the one that left him for a married person?) but I don't know. I guess we will see.

This weekend, I will be sure to take lots of pics and if it isn't too late when we finish, I may squeeze in another post!

5 more days until Christmas! EEEK!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


So there isn't a whole lot going on now...

I've shared about the hell I went through before my divorce when I was still married

I shared about my dark days after Brandon left me

I shared my heart and feelings while going through the divorce

I shared about going on unfamiliar dates

I shared when I settled down with Sley

I just recently shared of our engagement!

Now what? It's different telling about me and Brandon's ups and downs because he is no longer in the picture. I totally agree with the phrase "you shouldn't air your dirty laundry", especially out of respect and the love I have for Sley. Everyone has their disagreements, their misunderstandings, their tiffs (which luckily with Sley and I, are few and far between). So I sit here pondering, "what is too much to write? what constitutes airing my ugly, stinky, worn out, stained dirty laundry?" I've always been real on my blog but now that I'm in a relationship with a man whom I plan to marry one day, there has been an imaginary, automatic, fine line drawn.

I never want Sley to feel like our privacy is being encroached upon by me blogging about our lives so I guess the game plan for me is to ask permission before blogging about something personal between us. It's only fair. If he isn't comfortable with me putting an issue out there then I respect him. I am a pretty open person, if you want to know, I'll tell you. My poop isn't a colorful rainbow of skittles (lol although that would be pretty dang awesome!). My objective for this blog is for those who read it, who wonder like I have if their life is the only one in shambles, who wonder if there is hope beyond a failed marriage, who have trust issues and wonder if they are offer some comfort to them, to let them know they aren't alone, they aren't crazy, and life sometimes sucks but will get better! To those who read it that have a wonderful life all the time, grab yourself a cookie from me...on my blog I offer you laughter and a good read.

I still struggle daily; not as much about Brandon being gone but just trying to break myself from how he left me. I have a constant fear of Sley waking up one morning and not wanting to be with me anymore and/or telling me he doens't love me. I have turned into a control freak who doesn't like change, who thrives off of a calendar, and can't handle big crowds or feel out of place. Wow reading that I'm like, "what a nut case!"

I digress.

So folks, this is where I stand! I hope since I am not going through something life threatening, earth shaking, devastating, that you dont feel bored. I assure you this life of mine is FAR from boring...boring sounds so nice...So stay tuned to random posts about who knows what and thank you all so much for reading this thing and offering your encouragement to me! This blog has really turned into somewhat of a self help for me and I want to thank you for trodding though this muddy pit of mine called life! Mud can be so dirty but sometimes it can be so much fun!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


This in:

There will be a wedding in 2013!

Sley proposed to me in downtown Wilson, in front of a crowd right before getting on a romantic carriage ride around the block, last Friday night, Nov. 30. Sorry it has taken me until now to update but I wanted to update with pics but at home it takes forever and most of you are friends of mine on facebook so you've seen my pics!

I wish I could say that the night up until the proposal was magical but I would be telling a story. I mean, it was FAR from it and it was mainly my fault!

**Bare with me, this post is all over the place!

So you remember from a few posts back how I was having troubling keeping my emotions under control? Well I went to the Dr* and was prescribed 2mg Valium. The first night I took the entire pill and 30 minutes later started drooling, so Sley and I both agreed that I didn't need the whole pill.

**The day I got divorced, I took off the whole day and set my Dr. appt for that afternoon. I am very confident when I say I will NEVER. EVER. go to Wendell Urgent Care again. The Dr/owner wasn't there so I had to see a different Dr. I HATE TAKING MEDS but I knew I needed something! After getting my vitals taken by the nurse and explaining that I understood everyone has their own problems and such and I felt dumb for being there, I explained to her (while crying) everything I've been through this year (the main part most of you don't know about). She believed I was correct in coming. She was so sweet and said everyone needs a little help sometimes. After she walked out to get the Dr., I felt more confident that I did the right thing in coming. Next thing I know, the Dr. comes in, tells me no medicine is going to fix my problems and the reason my chest hurts and I have anxiety is because I won't talk about things. Now, while that may be true that no medicine is going to fix anything I have going on, it will keep me from crying all. the. time. and help me from chopping someones head off for blinking. Any way, I left there with a prescription of 15 Valium and told "if you use all of these in a month then we have problems." Then and there, I vowed never to step foot in there unless that Dr. isn't there anymore. Her bedside manner was awful! and she had an attitude that she was better than everyone.

Oh yea! The proposal night! So Thursday night, Sley and I went out to eat with his cousins for dinner. I didn't take my 1/4 of Valium that day because I don't want to be dependent upon that to be happy but apparently I'm not ready for that yet because before we went out to eat, I wouldn't even talk to Sley, much less look at him. He asked, "Did you take you medicine today shug?" and I burst out crying, then laughing...So I took the meds, we ate and on the way home he said timidly, "Will you please take your meds tomorrow? I don't want to see you like this tomorrow night."

We had already planned on going to downtown Wilson on Friday earlier that week because they were having a special Christmas "thing" going on and had a horse and carriage ride, free to the public. There were a bunch of us going and the weather was perfect, just like it ought to be in December, COLD!

So Friday morning, I got up and Sley already had my medicine out on the table with a glass of water, which I took before I left for work that morning. Friday was crazy busy at work and by the time 5:30 came around, my 12:00 lunch was GONE! I was starving!!! I knew we had a bag of Cheddar & Sour Cream Ruffles in the pantry and had my mind set that was what I would snack on while we headed to Wilson. I called Sley when I got off of work (like I always do) and asked him if he would fix me a little baggie of chips since I knew we wouldn't be eating dinner until afterwards and I was STARVING. He explains and apologizes that he ate all of the chips earlier that afternoon.

You know when you're hungry and you get something on your mind that you want and all you can do is think about it? Well I wanted chips...and not the 3 month old off brand lays that had been sitting in the pantry but the fresh bag of Cheddar & Sour Cream Ruffles I had just bought 2 nights before.

I got pissed. I know, lame over some stupid chips, but nonetheless, I was slightly irritated to the point that I didn't want to talk to Sley anymore. He tells me to stop at the store and pick up a snack on the way home (very sweetly I might add) but I had no desire to make an extra stop after a long, busy day. So I huffed, told him I loved him and hung up. Then....I called Paige. I may have cried about my precious chip ordeal and how my stomach was slowly, but SURELY, eating my flesh from the inside out because I was THAT hungry, and Paige, being my best friend, told me she understood my frustrations because no one gets between a girl and her snack. After crying and getting consoled, I sucked it up, chatted a little about what our weekend plans were, thanked her for listening to my nonsense, then hung up.

As I pulled in the driveway, Sley met me outside with another 1/4 of Valium and a cup of Coke (since he drank the last water, too). We just chuckled because we both knew the 1/4 I took earlier that morning had apparently worn off. Oh its the small things in life like Valium that bring us laughter.

We picked up Roger, Sley's cousin, and headed toward Wilson where we met Tabatha and her daughters, Roger's wife Hope, and Brad with his family, Sleys best friend. Brad and his family had already been downtown for a while so decided to do their own thing while the rest of us got in line for the carriage ride.

Downtown was decorated beautifully. There were holly trees covered in white lights and most of the small businesses had stayed open late that night for the Christmas affair! They had people selling popcorn, candy, and hot chocolate while we stood in line to ride and Sley redeemed himself from being the chip thief when he brought me a bag of extra buttery, salty popcorn and a hot chocolate. It was cold outside but just right for a carriage ride.

The carriage ride was really two horses pulling a cart with 5 rows of seats that held about 15 people. Ofcourse everyone knew what was going on but me and Hope had told the guy in charge. It was our turn to ride and I noticed Sley dragging and pushing me toward the cart. Usually, Sley always walks in front of me, which is fine because when I don't know my surroundings that well, I would rather him lead, but that night, he was pushing me to go first and I told him in my not-so-nice voice, "quit pushing! you're hurting me!" I noticed his hands were shaking as he touched my back and not the "it's kinda cold out here even though I am wearing a heavy jacket" kind of shaking.

I get in my seat and turn around, noticing he is getting ready to get on one knee in front of all these strangers! He had always joked that he was going to propose in front of a crowd but I didn't believe him. There was a camera in my face (local news channel) filming the entire thing! I couldn't believe it...I don't even remember what he said...something about wanting to spend the rest of his life with me and he loves me...all I could do was take that sweet face of his in my hands and hold him, kissing his cheak, while everyone applauded as I told him, "yes!"

I don't remember the ride much. My mind just couldn't comprehend what had just happened. We snapped a few photos on the ride right after he got up and I just sat there, my arm wrapped tightly around his, with a huge corny, cheesey grin on my face. "How did I get so lucky? Why do I deserve a second chance at this? Oh my gosh, I'm engaged!" All of this running through my head at one time. I was on cloud nine and everything around me was a fog. This man who deserves 1000x better than me feels the same way about me as I do him. We love each other so much. Neither one of us is perfect but we love each other, good and bad, imperfections and all.

The rest of the night consisted of texts, facebook notes, squeals of excitement, cuddling, DINNER (mexican), and just an overall amazingly good time.

The going question around here is, "have you set a date?!" and the answer is "no". We have a lot going on right now and while we don't have a specific date yet, we know it will be sometime in 2013. We haven't made our mind up yet if we just want to elope or have a wedding but we are just taking one day at a time, enjoying each others company, sharing Cheddar & Sour Cream Ruffles, and laughing through my Valium!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

This is what's up!

Wow it's been busy! With my vacation, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and the regular, everyday life, things get hectic, QUICK!

 Vacation was a blast! It was so nice waking up to the waves every morning. The weather was perfect and mom and I even got some Christmas shopping done!

Mom and I stayed at a nice resort with some pretty sweet low prices! They had a nice indoor pool and lazy river so we invited my cousins up the road to come partake in the pool fun! Mom and I sat out and just chatted while the kiddos swam it up!

After swimming and showers, Christi, Mom and I went up the road to Duffy's for some seafood and drinks. I was the driver (I had some stomach bug all day along with a sinus headache so I was completely ok with driving). The margarita was tasty and my crablegs were oh so good!

Round 2! It's ok though because "liquor before beer, never fear"! Boy have I messed up before on that one. After dinner and drinks we hung out at Christi's for a while to just relax and talk. The older I get, the less I like to "bar hop".

My god daughter, Bianca, had a birthday party a little ways away so Sley and I headed out to celebrate! I couldn't ever convince Sley to try rollerskating but then again, we don't need any hospital trips either.

My cousin Suzanne lives about 3 or so hours away so it's always so good to spend time with her. She didn't skate either so we kept the wall warm while the others skated away!

After the birthday party, Sley and I headed to Mariah's house! Mariah is one of my sorority sisters and other than Paige, is one of my best friends. She is a TRIP! It's so nice just hanging out with her and that night her friends Holly and Robbie were there. While Holly, Riah, and I were chatting it up, Sley and Robbie were chatting it up man style. GOOD TIMES!

I couldn't WAIT to get this baby up! Who cares if it was up before Thanksgiving. Christmas decor is an instant "pick me up"!

Sley wasn't used to all the decorating and "girly stuff". Once I put the tree up and got new ornaments, I got him to pick an ornament out that was separate from the others that would be considered "our ornament". We plan on continuing the tradition every year with a new special ornament for our tree!

I couldnt pull myself to not using every. single. ornament. so I put them to good use as a center piece for the kitchen table! Love it!

November 20, 2012 at 9:30am, I was considered OFFICIALLY DIVORCED! It was very humbling because I had obviously never done this before and had to get on the stand in front of everyone! Thank GOD for the bailiff who guided me through. Shew! Sure hope I never have to do that again! To celebrate, I got me this big ole chocolate bar (and ate it over the next few days lol). That night, Sley and I went to Buffalo Wild Wings with his sister where she and I celebrated with a mixed drink and idle chit chat!

Ahhh Good food. Thanksgiving was full of food and family. May I add, Sley and I got up early, took our time getting ready, I cooked while watching the Macy's Parade because every year, for the past 27 years of my life, Thanksgiving lunch started at 1. Well we left the house at 12 to get there and help Grantis and got there at 12:30 with all the family already eating. Apparently my mother forgot to tell me it started at 12 this year. OH WELL! There was still plenty to eat and everyone was waiting for me to get there with my infamous green bean casserole!

Every year, after lunch, all of us gals get ready for BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING! Lucky for Sley, it was his first experience and Black Friday happened to be his birthday this year! He is such a good sport!

That night, Sley, Mom, Victor and I headed to Walmart, got what we needed then came home to rest before we got in line at Belk. At 8pm there were already about 10 in line and it didn't open until 12am so about 9:30pm, Sley, Victor, and I got our chairs and headed for Belk to wait for our gift card!

Only the first 250 people got a ticket so we were good to go! I ended up getting $5, Sley got $5, and Victor got $10.

After a rescue mission for one of Victors friends, we headed to the local mall (around 1:30am). Victor got me my gift and we needed to refuel because I was crashing and getting ILL!

I really wanted breakfast but oh well. We walked around a little more and decided to call it a night (or day).

After getting some rest, Sley and I decided to head out on the town for his birthday. I recommended a very old BBQ joint downtown and thats where we went! It was so good and a nice laid back place to celebrate his birthday!

After dinner, we decided to walk around downtown and I got some really good pics (considering all I had was my iPhone!)

Raleigh is so different at night. It's so beautiful, especially with the Christmas decorations and lights! Oh and the smells coming from all of the different restaurants, AMAZING!

Sley and I decided to take a Rickshaw ride! It was so neat and the guy told us a lot about the history of downtown Raleigh! I would do it again in a heartbeat! It was free, you just tip! So sweet and so romantic. I told Sley his birthday was the best day that I have had in a long time!

Well, I think that's all for now! I promise to post more soon. I leave you with a few more pics of what I'm up to tonight for now!

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I started writing a blog yesterday but it ended up being more like a vomit of words on the page so I decided to delete it.

I was going to write a post, portraying myself as peppy, happy, carefree, and all that jazz but I promised myself and you all that I wouldn't make my life out to be butterflies and buttercups so here goes...

I am in a funk. I dont know if it's horomones, lack of sleep, stress, holding in so much crap for so long, the time change, or WHAT, but goodness gracious ya'll, something has got to give and it better be PDQ (pretty dang quick)!!!

I have so much to be thankful for so I don't know why I am so blah! Everything will be official Tuesday, Praise the LORD! I have a man who loves me as much as I love him and treats me like a queen! Even though he is currently unemployeed, we are making it.

Sley has been a trooper through my funk. One minute I will be laughing and cutting up with him, the next I'm PISSED and frustrated, then I'm crying so hard my face turns beet red and it takes me forever to get myself together. Nothing particular sets it off, it just happens and it's driving me nuts. Sley never gets angry at me through all of this. He is the most patient man alive. I told him the other day, I have no idea how he puts up with me sometimes and all he says is, "if this is as bad as it gets, I'm a lucky man...I love you, it's going to be ok!"

So there is a little update for you. I know, it's dark and I hope you won't want to slit your wrists after reading it but it is what it is and everyone has stuff they are going through, some just choose to cover it with icing and sprinkles! :)

Hang in there with me, I'll have a better post for you next time...promise! :)

Sunday, November 4, 2012


With all the pain I felt from Brandon's lies and manipulations, I cried and pleaded with God, asking, "Why? Why, God, would you allow your child to be crushed like this? Why won't you show him who is boss? Why, Daddy, won't you stand up for me?" I've had to swallow my pride, as a child of God, and realize my Maker made us both. Everyone sins and Brandon hurting me like he did isn't any worse than me hurting someone else, even if it wasn't him.

After Brandon left, I had people tell me, "He will get what is coming to him," and I believed them. To be honest, I wanted him to get it. I said I forgave him but honestly, if I forgave him completely, wouldn't that erase all hopes of him "getting what he deserves"?

I thought that since Brandon hurt me the way he did, my life would be great and his would suck. Good things were coming my way and bad was following him. I had pictured God holding this umbrella over my head, catching all of the bad stuff from happening to me while Brandon was getting rained on. This is such bad theology and my CU professors are probably regurgitating a past meal just reading what 3 years of school I did have blow up on this page.

I remember sitting in front of the TV watching Joel Osteen. He was talking about Moses and Pharoah and how God hardened Pharoah's heart. I believe God is still on His thrown and He is still in control of it all. There is a reason Brandon is continually allowed to lie and manipulate but I have got to let go.

Tomorrow has been creeping up on me all week. Friday I started freaking out and texted my best friend, Paige. If you remember from a past post, Paige and I have a special relationship where we tell each other the UGLY truth. I had found out some unsettling news (to me), add that to the fact Sley got laid off from his job this past week and I was about to lose it!

Here is how it went:

     Me: I feel a breakdown coming on

     Paige: Oh no! Why?

     Me: Sley without a job and I found something out...

     Paige: You have got to stop thinking about Brandon and Traci! That is adding to stress. You have to leave that at the trailer.  Keeping that in your head is why you are worried about Sley. B is your past. Let the past stay in the past! After Nov 6 hopefully you never have to see or speak to him again. Sley will find a new job, it may take a few days or weeks but something will come up. Sorry for the novel. Lol! I love you! I dont want to see you continue to stress over Brandon. You can't change him, Traci can't, his 15 other gfs can't. He's a cheating bastard and he wills always be a cheating bastard. And continuing to think about all of this is going to give you an anxiety attack.

Tomorrow morning, I'm supposed to meet Brandon at my work to get papers notarized then we head to the courthouse to file, him to get served, and he turns in a notarized paper stating he waves his 30 days. If he doesn't show, I go in the morning to file for divorce and have to serve him papers and wait 30 days. Either way, it is going to be ok.

I talked to a friend on my FB who has her own landscaping company, telling her about Sley getting laid off. He goes in the morning to see if he can get a job with her. Either way, it's going to be ok and God is still in control.

So I'm letting it go of all this anxiety and stress, God. I know You are in control and You can handle this a heck of a lot better than I can. I have no control. If Brandon shows up or not tomorrow morning, I will still file for divorce. I know if he doesn't show, then the timing was all Your plan. Sley goes in the morning to interview and You are in control of that too. Thank You, Lord, for being big enough to handle this for me. Thank you for allowing me to depend on You. I love You.

Monday, October 29, 2012


I always look forward to weekends, especially since I'm a "grown up". Those two glorious days, I get to do what I want, when I want to do it. Those are "MY days". I love sleeping in late, lounging in my pj's, relaxing, and taking my time getting ready.

Last week, I struggled. When I say struggled, I mean, cried most everyday, questioned Sley's love for me, freaked out over the smallest things, and needed reassurance that Sley would never leave me. It's a wonder the man is still with me after last week, especially Saturday!

It's not public knowledge (well, I guess it is now...), I live with Sley. Something happened (which for now, I will choose not to explain), and now I live with him. We have lived together since the end of April. Everyone has their own opinions on this matter. I had my own opinion before I moved in with him. There are certain circumstances that arose that caused me to make my move. Gossip if you wish, delete me from facebook, move your mouse to the X at the top right of the screen. It simply is what it is.

Now that it's out, back to my story.

I was really looking forward to Saturday. I had not slept good all week due to my insecurities, and honestly, I thought not having to get up early for work this weekend would make all the difference. Boy, was I wrong.

After Sley took me out to eat Thursday for my "free anniversary", I thought I was all good! I had not cried at all Thursday and it was actually a very good day for me! I ended the day talking to my soon-to-be ex sister in law and snuggling up with my man.

Friday, Sley's alarm clock went off. Any normal day, I feel him get up and I quickly go back to sleep. Friday, I felt him get up and I got up right behind him. Back when I was with Brandon, he would get up early and go get on his phone with "whoever" while I was still sleeping. Sley had gotten up earlier than normal (due to my snoring) and decided to go ahead to Hardees (where he goes every morning). See, I cling to normalcy. The instant something changes, I freak! I got up behind Sley and questioned him, shedding a few tears, explaining my fears.

Sley tells me everyday how much he loves me. There is NO REASON, whatsoever, for my insecurities with him except for the fact that I was burnt last time, with Brandon, and had been made out to be a FOOL! Sley is so so so understanding and is willing to do whatever it takes to help me.

That Friday morning, he held me, reassuring me that I'm the best thing that has ever happened to him, and then heads to work. I try to go back to sleep but end up laying in bed, awake, cussing at myself for being so dumb!

Friday goes by, I hang out at my friend/co-workers house (Sley's cousin) and Sley worked on his cousins farm after work. I came home, chatted with my man for a few minutes, then went to sleep. The weekend was finally here and I couldn't wait to just wake up whenever I wanted to on Saturday. The only plans we really had were that Saturday night. Sley needed to get his tires changed Saturday but didn't plan on getting up too early.

Saturday morning arrives and Sley gets up at 6am. I wake up when he gets up and freak out, again. Actually I wake up PISSED! I tell him my insecurities. I tell him I'm scared he is going to cheat on me. I tell him I'm scared he is going to wake up one morning and not love me anymore. He reassures me that it's never, ever going to happen. He tells me that he loves me more than I will ever know and that he has never been with someone who cared and loved for him as much as I do. He heads out to run errands and I get up to watch tv. Friday night, we didn't go to bed until after 1am so I was TIRED.

That morning set the tone for the whole day. To say I woke up on the wrong side of the bed would hit the nail on the head. He got back home around 9am. By that time, I was in the living room, reading a sad blog, crying my eyes out. I go get back in the bed and just cry. He comes into the room and holds me and we end up falling asleep. I thought when I woke up again after a nap that everything would be better but again, I was wrong. I was a pouty, whiney 2 year old. Bless his heart, Sley deserves so much better yet he still loves me at my worst, and when I say my worst, folks, its down right UGLY.

By this time, it's lunch time and I havent had anything but coffee all day. We get up and he asks me what I want to eat. I reply, "where are we going, Wilson or Zebulon?" in which he replies, "whatever you want." I never choose. I always tell him I don't care. Well that day I cared and said, "Chickfila or Cookout." We get ready and he says, "you want to go to Bojangles?" UM NO! "We can go to bojangles, that is fine, but don't ever ask me again what I want...I told you what I wanted, which never happens, and none of those choices included going to Bojangles but whatever..."

lol Yes he still loves me, no he didnt kick me out, and yes, we went to cook out...I said all of that and he never got mad...he actually joked and said, "nuh uh! we don't be catching a attitude up in the Whitley household..." Gah I love that man.

Anyway, we get lunch, go to a local church's Halloween get together, then head out to PF Changs for dinner. All went well and dinner was ah-maze-ing! After dinner, we are all given a fortune cookie. I expected the normal, "Set your goals high" kinda fortune but that night I was delighted when mine read, "You will get what your heart desires." I thanked God right then for such a sweet note and reassurance. We went to Cheesecake Factory after dinner and got a slice of heaven each to take home.

We headed home and I turned into the 2 year old monster, again. Ugh. I would start something, go to the bedroom, stew, then come back in the living room for more. I don't know what my problem was! I don't know why I was so out of it on Saturday. I'm normally not like that, at all, but goodness I was such a biatch I couldn't even stand MYSELF! The whole time, Sley doesnt raise his voice or anything. He tells me he loves me no matter how ugly I am and holds me in the end, promising me he will never leave me and that it's going to take more than this to push him away.

Ya'll, I have a good man. Sunday morning, I got up being myself. Thank God! Sley went and got breakfast and woke me up when he got back and had my breakfast waiting for me in the kitchen once I got up. While I was eating, I asked Sley if I needed to go get professional help. I knew Saturday I was BAD and I didn't want that to happen again. He said, "No Andrea! You have been through a lot. I would be the same way if I had gone through all you have been through." and that's where we left it.

Sunday was normal, thank GOD, and we both got some much needed rest.

I wanted to write this to show that although I am so blessed with an amazing man now, I still have days where I struggle. While they are few and far between, it still happens but I have a grounded man who loves me at my worst and is quick to reassure me when I need it, wrapping his arms around me, holding me tight, promising never to let me go.

I thank God for Sley. I thank God for my troubles with Brandon and my heartache because had I not gone through what I did with Brandon, I would never appreciate the man Sley is to me.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Not so bad!

Thank you all so much for the prayers yesterday! They were definitely felt! I had so much peace in my heart all day yesterday. I can't explain it. I went to work and had a great day, came home and had dinner with Sley and his cousins at a local mexican restaurant, then came home and talked to my (soon to be) ex-sister in law.

It's so nice to be able to continue to have a relationship with Ashley and her husband Justin. They were my strongest advocates the whole time Brandon was cheating on me. So many times, Ashley tried to convince me to leave Brandon, telling me I deserved better, and we still joke about it, how she tried to tell me! I didn't want to end my relationship with Brandon because I was scared to be alone and I didn't want to lose such good friends, even though they both tried to reassure me, countless times.

It's also so nice being with a man as understanding as Sley is. It doesnt bother him that Ashley and I talk and when we meet for dinner, he is happy to be in good company. I wish I could put into words how much I love that man. I am at a point in my life where I don't need a man but I sure am glad I have him. He holds my hand and kisses me right when I need it. He is so sweet and I know if I had not been in such a bad relationship with Brandon, I wouldn't appreciate Sley as much as I do now.

If things go as planned, November 5th, Brandon is meeting me and I am driving us to the courthouse where I will file for divorce and he will get served. He is also coming with a notarized form stating he is waving his 30 days. If they accept it, I could possibly be officially divorced...the next day. I asked Brandon if he could pay $100 of the $230 it's going to cost to file and ofcourse he says, "I can't" so I'm stuck with the bill but it's ok, that will be the best $230 I will have ever spent.

God's timing is best and I know God is still on His thrown through all of this. Thank you all again, so so much, for praying for me and giving me such encouraging feedback.

Stay tuned! Things are about to get very exciting, extremely fast!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

then and now

October 25, 2008

Once I got out of Lauren's car and shook the water off my feet from stepping into the puddle at the church, we headed in. I walked into a classroom where I would be transformed into the princess I had imagined myself on my perfect wedding day. Paige had brought me a sausage biscuit to force down while Anna, my sorority sister, was doing my hair, and Tracy, my long time confidant, was doing my make up. Excitement was in the air as all 10 of my bridesmaids were furiously getting dolled up for my big day. I sat, getting pushed and pulled which way, wondering what my soon to be hubby was doing. I had written in a card for him and told him I hoped he would do the same for me, as I told him stories of other brides getting jewelry and such from their soon-to-be husband. I send the card with my ringbearer and my heart dropped when my little messenger came back empty handed. Not even a note on a napkin. I should've known then how selffish he was but surely I couldn't back out now! I was an hour away from walking down the aisle in front of my 20+ wedding party and 250+ attendees! My family had put too much money into making my dreams come true to just throw it away. If I was going to call it off, I should have done it by now. It was too late.

Mom came in with my wedding dress and the photographer was there taking pictures of all of us putting our finishing touches together. I told myself, "I am not going to be that bride that once she gets in her wedding dress, has to instantly go pee..." Well, it happened, but worse. I got in my dress and had to pee. I had started my period that Tuesday and thought I was done but apparently I wasnt so not only did my best friend Paige, my big sister in my sorority Heather, and my future sister-in-law have to help me hold my dress as I peed, but also had to witness the insertion of a glorious tampon! bahah!

Once the fiasco of the potty incident was taken care of, we were all wisked away to the sanctuary where we took pictures before the wedding. We rented a church down the road from my parents house. It was huge and absolutely beautiful! The aisle didnt split down the middle; there were 2 aisles, so I went down one with my daddy and came up the other with my husband. All the pictures were done except with bride and groom together so it wouldn't waste time getting to the reception.

Pictures were taken and people started arriving. I always wanted a picture of me and Brandon, back to back at a wall or door, so the photographer brought him to me. As soon as I touched his hand, I started crying. I was nervous and still disappointed from that morning. I knew in my heart it wasn't right but I don't give up. I could make this work. One picture was taken and I had to get my make up touched up by someone else because Tracy was singing in my wedding and had already sat down. One of my bridesmaids had a nerve pill so I took that. Michelle, my sorority sister, had been alerted on her way to the wedding, of my meltdown and brought a 40 of Bud Light in the room we were in. I'm not proud but looking back I chuckle. We nonchalantly shut the door and passed it around. Everyone partakened, even my mom! haha

We line up, and each bridesmaid is escorted down with a groomsman, one by one. Dad walks beside me and chuckles, "you still have time to run..." If only I would have taken him up on that....

He knew I was nervous so to make me laugh, he opened his coat to his tux and showed me his stash of airplane bottles, neatly lined in his pocket. I cracked up!

It was my turn. We slowly walked down the aisle. I remember everyone looking at me but I just needed to see Brandon's face. I needed to see his face for reassurance. I needed some kind of sign. I finally caught a glimpe and just focussed on making my way to be with him.

My bridesmaids and I all wore our rainbow flip flops so I had to make sure I didnt trip! Dad gives me away, forgets to kiss my cheek, comes back for a peck, and wah lah! Next thing I know, we are hitched!

Brandon and I meet the preacher in another room, sign the wedding license really quick, then run back to finish taking pictures.

Once we take pictures, we go to the reception, where EVERYONE is waiting for us. We had to park right at the door in the grass and there was hardly any room to even get in the door! The keg was empty when we got there but someone did end up saving us a half of a cup each.

We danced, we talked, we took pictures, we cut the cake. It was all a blur. I never saw the ice sculptures and never got to eat a morsel of food. Next thing I know, we are getting told it was time for us to leave!!! Everyone blew bubbles as we got into my car that had been graffitied and had beer cans tied to the back.

We headed to my grandparents house where I got out of my princess gown and got into a tshirt and stretch pants. We went to my parents house where we had a "after reception party." BEST IDEA EVER. The DJ came, we had another keg and lots of liquor, and a bartender! It was so much fun just being laid back and listening to the music.

Midnight came and my brother took Brandon and I to a nearby hotel to spend our first night as husband and wife.

My wedding was beautiful. The bridesmaids dresses were gorgeous, my dress was out of this world, and the sunflowers that the girls walked down the aisle holding, were breathtaking. The day I had dreamed of had come to an end and I couldn't wait to see what the future held for Brandon and I as husband and wife...

October 25, 2012

Today I sit reflecting on 4 years that have gone by. There were happy times and for that I am sad that there had to be such bad ones. Today snuck up on me. It wasn't until yesterday afternoon that I realized Brandon and I would've celebrated 4 years of marriage today. I cried last night; not because I would ever want to be back in such an awful relationship, but because of what a terrible waste of what the good times were.

I am so unbelievably happy with Sley. I couldn't ask for a better man in my life. He is so understanding of this whole process for me and is so supportive of my feelings. I can't wait for what the future holds with he and I and I can't wait to share with ya'll!

If you think about it, say a quick prayer for me today. Sley is going to take me to dinner tonight because he knows today is a hard day for me, not because I don't love him and not because he doesn't make me happy because he knows that isnt true, but because I have 4 years of memories, 4 years of damage, 4 years of baggage, that is pouring down on me today.

Monday, October 22, 2012

New Beginnings

So after Brandon left, I entered a very dark place. I remember everything but I don't remember much about the month of November. The day I left work early and told Brandon to meet me at home, I got Dixie, took her to my parents and headed back to wait. I waited and waited. Brandon wouldn't answer my phone calls so me being desperate, I called Traci. She went off on me when I asked her if Brandon was with her. At that point, I didn't care if he had gone to see her, I just wanted to get this over with.

Later that afternoon, Brandon pulled up. I was sitting outside around the firepit we had just recently bought. By that time, I was second guessing my sudden bravery of telling him I couldn't do it anymore. When I got home, I had it planned out what I was going to say and such but by the time he got home, I was a huge puddle of nerves begging for my unfaithful husband to stay! How was I going to make it by myself? We had acquired so much debt (mostly me buying things to try to make him happy/stay/not cheat) that I could not pay for everything by myself! I was so scared. I don't like things that are out of schedule. I like knowing exactly what I am doing and getting myself into. I like preparation. I had NO IDEA what was going to happen to me!

Brandon got out of the car and came to sit with me. He showed no emotion. No matter how much I pleaded to work things out, he wanted out. All he said was, "Andrea, it just didn't work out!" He told me he didn't love me anymore. My world was closing in on me. I went inside and took my wedding portrait off the wall, the picture where I was so happy, so innocent. I helped him bag up some essentials. He called his family and told them he was coming home. He asked me if he could take Dixie, that I had Ranger and he had nothing. I told him this was his choice, he was leaving us behind! He shed a few tears trying to change my mind about who got Dixie and once that didnt work, he left.

I got in the car and headed to my parents. I walked in the door to my parents house, numb. I went straight to my parents bedroom and fell into my daddy's arms as I wailed. I had kept it together for so long and I couldnt do it anymore.

Two weeks before, I told my parents everything. I knew my marriage was coming to an end and I needed my parents. My mom was livid. My dad was angry but knew his little girl was hurting and was more worried about me. Victor couldn't talk about it. So many times before I told my parents, I went crying to Victor, all the while he just listened. He couldnt look at me and the more I told him, the more I saw his fist clenching. The day Brandon left, we all knew it was coming but didn't know exactly when.

After sobbing in my daddy's arms and listening to my mom tell me how much better off I was going to be, Victor rode with me back to my house to spend the night with me. I opened the door and went straight to bed.

The next day, I went to work, and surprisingly, I held it together all day. It was weird not calling Brandon or texting him throughout the day. My coworkers were there for support but the less I talked about it, the less I got upset. I came home that day and we headed to my dad's side of the family for my cousins wedding. As soon I walked in the door to my parents house after holding my anguish in all day, I lost it. I walked in the door and just fell apart in the kitchen. My bags were already packed, courtesy of my mom, and all we had to do was get in the car. I was given a nerve pill and finally calmed down 10 minutes in the trip.

We got to my aunt and uncle's house. They were forewarned of what was going on. The next morning, my mom, aunt, cousin, and I headed to a nearby sunflower field to get decorations for the reception. It was beautiful! We headed to the barn where the reception was going to be held and we decorated and ran home to change clothes. The reception was a big pig picking with a DJ and a dance floor. While in the buffet line getting my dinner, my cousin asked where Brandon was and all I could do was shake my head as a tear drop fell. I wasn't eating much, I just didn't have an appetite. I actually quit eating before Brandon left when he told me the reason he didn't want to have sex with me was because I was too fat. As I sat down with samples of food, mom slipped me another nerve pill and I tried to swallow down everything that was on my plate.

Later in the evening, I had moved tables to sit with my mom and another cousin. The bride and groom had cut the cake and I was trying to force down what I had on my plate. My cousin looked at me and said, "where is Brandon? He not do weddings?" and I just looked at her as tears began to flow and simply stated, "no, he doesn't do me." I kept eating with hot tears streaming down my face. Mom starts crying as she explains to my cousin, who is utterly embarrassed, what happened the night before. Mom doesn't cry but she couldn't take me being upset anymore. One minute I was fine, the next I would fall apart. That night I tried to get drunk. I tried drinking my sorrows away but no matter how much alcohol I consumed, the pain was still there.

That is really all I remember about November. Paige, my best friend, tried to talk to me but I didn't want to talk to anyone. She texted me and said that she wasn't good at this stuff, that she wanted me to know she was there for me but she didn't want to push too hard. I woke up, went to work, came home, and went to bed, everyday, and if my mom was lucky, she got a spoonful of food down my throat. Since I wasn't eating, mom made me take vitamins. I moved back home because honestly, the last thing I needed was to be alone.

Days passed, Brandon came to retrieve more of his belongings, and somehow I made it. Finances were handled through my lawyer. I met with Brandon to figure things out. He kept acting like he wanted to get back together and then when he got my hopes up of having my husband back, he crushed me again.

I went to get my hair done by my sorority sister who had gone through something similar not too long before me. She mentioned one of her friends that was a guy who she was going to set me up with. He was a teacher and nerd. I was excited! It had only been a month since Brandon had left but I needed to get out of the house. Numbers were exchanged and we decided to meet for dinner. Going on a date was hard, and awkward, but it helped me a lot with my self esteem. Things didn't work out with this particular guy but it was nice to get back out there and keep my mind off of things.

A few months later, my friend at work's cousin would come into where I work all the time and flirt with most of the girls. He never really talked to me and I didn't have time for his nonsense, plus he was very cute and I never thought he would ever give me the time of day! All that changed when a few weeks later, my friend came in and told me that Sley, her cousin, had asked about me. I gave her my number to give to him.

The next day was Valentine's Day. Ugh. My first time being single since 2006. I was currently dating a guy I had gone to college with but I knew it wasn't going anywhere, especially when I found out he was moving that next month. Sley came into the bank that day and I was flustered! I never get embarrassed! Before he left the bank, he said, "youre going to be my valentine!" and walked out. I joked with my friend and said, "ha! then where are my flowers?!"

If I only knew where that day would take me months down the road...

Friday, October 19, 2012

What I do know, What I don't know, and What I think I know

After vacation and meeting Traci and Jeff, things went downhill, FAST. I tried. I tried so so hard. I told her my insecurities. I told her me and Brandon's past. I tried being friends with her. I tried "keeping the enemy close." The thing was, she and Brandon are exactly alike: lying manipulators. It's hard to see it when you're in the middle of it but now, it is so crystal clear to me...I got super played.

I wish I could write everything that went down and maybe one day I will! but it is still too fresh for me and I still haven't soaked it all in yet like before. Maybe because I still don't have all the facts, maybe because he still denies it, or maybe my subconscious won't let me process it all because I can't handle it. I try to gather it all to write and it is just one big blur of screams, tears, lies, and me just being a broken, needy, manipulated dumb ass fool.

Here is what I do know:

  • as much as Brandon wants to deny it, I have proof he is with Traci...well not physically because he thinks he has everyone fooled...but he tells her "I am so in love with you" and they are about to live in the same house together. He bought a house for her.

  • Brandon has played a lot of folks since all this went down. He has been with countless girls (probably behind Traci's back) but once a cheater always a cheater! I don't know what makes her think if he left me for her, what is going to make him stay with her?

  • I am so much better off and had Brandon not left me, I would still be in that mess.

Here is what I don't know:

  • How long Brandon and Traci had been together before we separated and if they had sex.

  • How many other girls Brandon screwed around on me with.

  • How Brandon can continually lie to everyone's face and it not catch up with him.

Here is what I think I know:

  • Brandon will continue to play everyone. Nothing will ever be enough to make him happy.

  • Karma is a bitch and he will soon find that out.

So this is the end of my dark saga for now. I may come back to it but I'm ready to bring yall to my present, happy times! :)

Until then!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


After the texting incident with Lauren and the "whatever" with Elizabeth (to this day, I still don't know the whole truth of what happened...I know they kissed and he swore that was all except he said that he accidentally touched her chest while rolling up the window on her side in his truck for her...1-he has automatic windows...2-he has a control for the passenger side window on his door...but I refused to argue it because my heart couldn't take the truth), I had changed.

The same night I took my rings off and put on the coffee table in front of Brandon after finding out he had cheated on me again with a teenager, he got on his knees in front of me and begged me to put the rings back on, swearing his fidelity to me, again. I was empty. I felt like I had no choice. I didn't want to be alone. I vowed for better or for worse. My chest was pressing so hard on my heart it was hard to take one single breath. I prayed for death.

The next day, I told my brother everything. He never said a word, he just walked out. I told Brandon he was going to apologize to Victor, face to face, like a man, since he couldn't be a man to begin with, much less a husband to me. I came home from work that day and found Victor and Brandon sitting on the front porch step talking, the same front porch step I sat on the night before, wondering how I was going to wake up the next day.

Days passed. I continually needed reassurance that there wasn't going to be a third time. For the first month, Brandon was more than sympathetic to my insecurities and my frequent outbursts and questions. I became depressed. On weekends, I would sleep half the day away. I stopped doing laundry. I stopped washing dishes. I would not help him with the dogs. In my mind, he wasn't a husband to me, so why should I be a wife to him? I continued to watch him and check his phone. It was so stressful having to babysit a grown man 24/7 and it was hard to trust him over the smallest things. I felt like I could not leave his side.

I continued to gain weight. I had no self confidence and found myself looking to Brandon for whatever self worth I did have.

I am a touchy/feely person. Just a simple touch, hug, a holding of hands, makes my heart full. Brandon used to do all of these things before we were married but it soon ended. I would tell him what I needed, even bought the 5 love languages book, but he wasn't willing to put forth the effort. He simply stated, "that's not me".

After Lauren and Elizabeth, I started depending on sex to make me feel better about myself and our marriage. I never understood why he did not want to have sex with me but wanted relationships with everyone else. It made me feel worthless. Every time he would tell me, "not tonight" or "I am too tired", it hurt my feelings and made me wonder where else he was getting it from.

Every year, we would go to the beach with my family for a week in May. Brandon, loving to fish, would go to the pier everyday. Last year, before dinner, he and my brother came home talking about their trip to the pier that day. They had met this man and woman. The man was deaf and the woman knew sign language. They weren't a couple. The woman, Traci, was married and the deaf man, Jeff, lived with Traci, her husband Carl (who was also deaf), and their daughter Shana. They lived in a town 30 minutes away from the pier and came every night just to fish. That eased my mind a little.

I went the next night to meet the new found friends. They seemed really nice! Surely a married woman with a child wouldn't want to break up another marriage! Traci was about my height, with dyed reddish hair. That night, she was wearing cute sandals with capris and a dark brown carhardt jacket. Jeff was skinny, with shaved blond hair, and a distinct gap between his 2 front teeth that would show as he was signing to Traci.

I was easily mesmerized as I watched them communicate through sign language. That night on the pier was the last night of our trip. Brandon exchanged numbers with Traci and Jeff, then we headed back to our cottage. I thought it was harmless. I didn't really enjoy pier fishing and it was something Brandon liked so I thought it was good for him to have friends that like to do the same thing. When we got married, he blamed me when he lost contact with his friends from his hometown because he had to move. If he would've been a man, he would've prepared our home, but again, it was left up to me to do. Luckily, my family owned a single wide trailer and renovated it for us to live in.

That night, on our last day of vacation, marked the beginning of the end of what was left of our marriage.

I said yes

Brandon and I dated a year before he proposed to me. We dated exactly ONE year.

August 25, 2007

Brandon picked me up from my grandparent's house for our 1 year anniversary date. I knew he had a ring, I just didn't know when he was going to give it to me. I had my speculations it would be that day but I had been wrong before and I didn't want to get my hopes up again.

I had no idea where we were going that night. He always made me do all the work for our dates, choosing when and where, but I wanted tonight to be special. I wanted tonight to be a surprise. I wanted HIM to put forth a little effort.

-----Valentine's Day that year, I went above and beyond. I typed up 100 reasons why I loved him, cut them into mini confetti, and put them in his card, where I wrote him a letter telling him how lucky I was to have him in my life. I also set up a scavenger hunt for him to find his gift. Once he found it, I cried. I put forth all this effort and he acted like it was nothing. He gave me a card, "love Brandon", and a teddy bear. We got in his truck to head to dinner and he had nothing planned. I cried again. Every nice restaurant around had at least an hour long wait and he had an hour drive home where he couldn't be out too long. We settled on Wendy's. I was disappointed, to say the least.

On the way to my unknown destination, I get a phone call from my parents. Mom proceeds to tell me that Brandon had come up to their house, before he picked me up at my grandparent's house, to ask permission for my hand in marriage. Buzz kill. I couldn't believe it, the one time I had no idea what was going on, someone had to ruin it. I quickly hung up the phone while Brandon tried to play the incident off, saying it might not be tonight.

We pull up in the same movie theater parking lot that we first met, just one year ago. Same place, same date, same time. Brandon tells me to sit tight and gets out of the truck. He hands me a scrapbook. I open it and tears begin to flow. In this scrap book I find movie ticket stubs, pictures, notes, and cards from the past year. All little memories he had kept. I couldn't believe he did this for me. I was impressed. On the last page, he had written me a letter. By this time, he was crying and when I looked over at him standing beside me with my passenger side door open, he drops to one knee on the asphalt and asks me to marry him.

-----This was the day I had been waiting for my entire life. Half of my "needs" were met. So what if his proposal was in a parking lot and not some fancy restaurant. So what if I knew it was coming. So what if I had seen red flag after red flag, like the time he got me a build a bear but said they "mispelled my name" on the certificate so he just gave me the bear (in my mind, I firgured it was for another girl but I looked the other way)... no one is perfect right? Once I graduated highschool, my mom had been on my back about getting a job after college and getting married. She always threw it in my face that she was married by the time she was 21. I know she didn't mean to pressure me but there was always that constant reminder in the back of my head telling me, "I need to get married, asap." I didn't want to spend the rest of my life alone. I was scared of being by myself. Apparently, Brandon was as good as it was going to get and I didn't need to miss this chance of having someone.

Ofcourse I said yes. I was so wrapped up in everything. It was so easy to ignore the red flags from the past, like the lies he had told me about the "other girl" on our first date, the way he had already started to manipulate me when he would get caught in lies when the "other girl" would call, when there was a diamond ring, that happened to be my size, dangling in my face.

Brandon had planned nothing else for the evening, SHOCKER, but I was in such a daze and dreaming about my wedding so much, I didn't care. I made calls to friends and family to let them in on the news. We ate at a cute little italian place near by and headed to Brandon's family's house to tell them the news, then made our way back to my grandparent's house.

I couldn't wait to plan my dream wedding. I came straight home and made an engagement page on theknot dot com. I immediately started looking at dresses and themes and colors and cakes and magazines. I was bound and determined I was going to have the perfect wedding, besides, the perfect marriage comes from the perfect wedding, right?

Monday, October 8, 2012

A first time for everything

I messaged back this "BKC1122" on cupid dot com and told him that if he wanted to talk to me, he was to call me and proceeded to give him my number. The next day I got a call.

We continued to talk/text for the next couple of weeks, sharing stories of our past, hopes of our future, and decided we could wait no longer, we needed to meet. I knew my family would FLIP if they knew I was going to go meet a stranger man I met online, so I told no one. Smart.

It was a Thursday afternoon and I headed toward a local movie theater. We met in the parking lot. I pulled up toward the back and didn't see the truck he described to me. I think to myself, "Great. He stood me up. Maybe it's for the best." Just as I am about to leave, I see his red truck turn into the parking lot.
----I dated a really sweet guy one summer. Well really, I met him one time, we kissed, and then I never answered his calls again. I was shallow and judged him by his car. It was old. And "granny looking." Huge Mistake but I was immature.

Brandon drove a loud, red, 2003 Dodge Ram with big tires. I loved it. "Ok maybe this isn't so bad." I was so nervous. He had seen my picture from the website but I didn't know what he looked like. What if he was ugly? He sounded so sweet on the phone, could I see past his looks? All I knew was what he had told me on the phone: blue eyes, tall, broad shoulders, shaved blondish hair.

He parked his truck beside my car, with his passenger side facing me. I couldn't catch a peek of him through the windows because they were tinted so dark. I hear the truck engine silence and I open my door. "Here goes nothing..." I thought. Earlier, I had thought about leaving a note in my car if I should not return just in case my date should turn into the rapist/murderer I made him out to be at first.

I see his driver side door open as I get out of my car. His door shuts and he meets me toward the back of his truck. Before we even say "hello" we hug. He had strong, muscular arms that I fit right into and felt so safe. While he was hugging me, me still being nervous, lose my favorite pearl earring. I hear it drop to the asphalt and my heart sinks. I was embarrassed. He tried to help me find it but I told him it wasn't a big deal.

I jumped in his truck and we headed to a different nearby theater to see a movie before dinner since both of us were so nervous and food was the last thing we wanted. I remember there was a movie about 9/11 playing and he asked if I wanted to see that but I told him I didn't feel like crying in front of him the first date so we settled on the Nickelodeon film: Barnyard.

We got our tickets and went straight to sit down. Once seated, Brandon asked if I wanted popcorn and a drink. I said no but he went to get some anyway. He came back and begged me to eat some. As soon as I popped a piece of popcorn in my mouth, he kissed me. It was a sweet, short peck. My cheeks got so hot and I began to shake. I was so nervous! As soon as he pulled away he said, "You have popcorn breath!" We both laughed and enjoyed the rest of the movie.

After the movie, we headed across the street to Chili's. I got some sort of red sauced pasta. Midway through the date, OF COURSE, I get some on my shirt. It never fails. If I wasn't mortified enough losing my earring, I had to drop food on my chest! Brandon immediately says, "I'll tell you like I tell my mom, You feed those things more than you feed yourself!" I thought I would DIE!

Somehow the conversation turns to his family and talking about whether or not they would like me. He says, "They will love you just as much as I do." Wow. Flustered. This was going fast. I didn't even know if I liked him! This was our first date! He certainly didn't look like I thought he would, judging by his voice. He was handsome but I expected more.

We head to the truck so he could take me back to my car. His phone rings and it was one of his sisters (I don't remember which one, they are twins and sound EXACTLY alike). His volume was up and I heard her say, "What about the other girl?" in which he replies, "I'll tell you later."

Why, hello there first RED FLAG!!!! that I chose to ignore...all because I needed a man in my life and Brandon was the only interested at the time. I thought, "He must be the one! Thank you God!" all the while, forgetting I opened this door all by myself.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fool me twice, shame on me!

After our first bump, to say that my whole world had been turned upside down would be an understatement. I clung to Brandon's promises that he would never hurt me again. I had started looking for comfort anywhere I could find it and found it mostly in food. I started eating like a grown 300lb man and soon I would find myself knocking on the door to 300lbs myself.

I was unhappy. No matter how many times Brandon promised me he would never cheat on me again, no matter how many times he apologized to me, and no matter how much food I packed into my poor, broken, depressed body, nothing "filled me up." I felt just as empty if I had not eaten one morsel of food and not heard the pleas and apologies coming out of Brandon's mouth.

About 5 months later, my brother started dating Elizabeth. At the time, he was around 20 and she was 16. They had told my parents she was 18 and attending a local community college, all the while she was still in highschool. Something had happened between Elizabeth and Victor. Victor, needing a man to talk to other than Dad, came to Brandon. Somehow in the midst of Brandon helping Victor with his relationship woes, Brandon retrieves Elizabeth's phone number. At first, I wasn't the least bit worried. Yes, I had just found out my husband, not 5 months earlier, had come up with this extravagant lie that devastated me to my core, but surely he wouldn't be dumb enough to start a relationship AGAIN outside of our marriage with Miss. Jailbait!

I was already on guard from the last incident. I couldn't allow myself to hurt like that again. The wounds were still very much fresh. I don't remember exactly when I started noticing things just "weren't right." The relationship with Victor and Elizabeth didn't work out but my 30 year old husband was still talking to this highschooler. I remember confronting Brandon with my insecurities about the situation and he ended up getting mad and blowing me off.

I decided to sit back and observe. My nerves were tore up. What would happen if Brandon did this to me again? What would I do? My brain was in overload and my heart was torn out of my chest. I noticed him getting on the phone while I was "asleep," and his truck being in a different spot when I got home from work, when it wasn't his turn to drive. The harder I pushed for answers, the angrier Brandon got at me.

Victor and Elizabeth got back together for a few days around Valentine's Day. Brandon and I had started going with Victor and Elizabeth to her church. Brandon didn't like church but LOVED Elizabeth's church. I ignored the coincidence. On Valentine's Day, we all went to a japanese restaurant where Brandon knew the owner and we had been to a couple times before. The owner knew me and Brandon well, and as soon as we walked in, the owner gave me a rose. While we were walking to our seats, Brandon went over and got a rose to give to Elizabeth. That hurt me to my core as she sent a victorious smirk my way.

Brandon got off of work everyday around 3 and everyday around that time I had the worst anxiety. I knew in my heart what he was doing. I was friends with Elizabeth on facebook and the more I read her statuses, the more my fears were confirmed. She had done a "survey" or questionaire, where it asks you randoms about your favorite things and your dreams to post for friends to read.

  • Do you have a boyfriend? Yes but she doesn't know

  • What does your boyfriend call you? Baby

  • If you have kids, what do you want to name them? Timothy

  • Dogs or Cats? He has 2 dogs

  • If you change anything what would you change? I wish he would tell her about us. She can't make him happy like I can and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with him.

and on, and on...The more I read, the more I wanted to scream. Timothy was Brandon's uncles name that had passed away a few years before. Brandon idolized his uncle and I knew if we had kids, that would be the boys name. Brandon and I had 2 dogs at the time. That's what is so funny about immature teens, they can't keep a secret, and the more I sat back and watched, the more she told on them both.

One day I had had enough. I told Brandon, me or her. For me, it was quite simple. He flipped on me and couldn't believe I was making him choose. It was a Friday afternoon and we were on the way to Brandon's family's house. He called Elizabeth and told her, "We can't talk anymore." Her reply, "OK." Brandon looked at me and said, "Happy now?"

I knew better. I used to be a crazy, hormonal teenage girl and had someone told me I couldn't talk to the man I was supposedly in love with, I would have had a FIT! I would've cried and screamed and demanded to know why. I knew they had talked before he called and had this all planned out, yet I played along.

I had contracted the swine flu from a coworker. I came home from my doctors appointment and Brandon put me in bed. That made me so happy and loved. He asked me what I wanted, anything, and he would go get it. I asked for loaded potato soup from O'Charleys 45 minutes away. He left to get it about 4:30. I woke up at 7:30, he still wasn't home. He claimed he was "lost". He came home with no soup and I knew he had been with her the whole time while his wife was confined to the bed. I slipped back into my NyQuil induced coma where I prayed I would stay.

Days passed and I saw a picture on Brandon's work phone of a house in Clayton from Elizabeth and suddenly her fb statuses referred to "waiting on Clayton." When confronted, Brandon said the house was one Elizabeth found for him and I and he didn't know what her statuses were referring to.

Words can't express the pain and agony, the stress this put me through. Before with Lauren, it was just texts, and I don't mean to make it any less of cheating than the others, but I didnt have to worry about him meeting up with her. This time, it was a physical person he was having a relationship with and there was nothing I could physically do to stop it.

I don't know how Brandon could lie to me as much as he had and actually sleep at night and honestly, I sometimes wondered why God had allowed him to lie so much. Not only was he lying to me, he was lying to his family. I had told Brandon's family about what all was happening. I had no one to turn to and I needed help understanding it all. I couldn't tell my family because I know they would hold a grudge and I really wanted my marriage to work. I loved this man even though he continually hurt me. Brandon's sister Ashley confronted Brandon numerous times about Elizabeth, all the while he told her nothing was going on.

One night, Brandon had gone to bed. I had yet to see a phone call or text from Elizabeth show up on our phone bill and I knew something was fishy. I decided to check his work phone. He had cheated on me by phone before so I had every RIGHT to check whatever phone I wanted to of his. I grabbed his work phone and headed to the bathroom. Sure enough, as soon as I turned it on, a text message from E (as it was listed) appeared. She had apparently read my blog about me going to get my hair done that weekend and told him about it. She ended by saying, "I love you so much my wonderful husband."

The night 5 months before flashed before my eyes, only this wasn't a dream. He had done it again. My heart was right when I had begged for it to be wrong. I crumbled. Again, I shook him. I screamed. I cried. I shaked. He pleaded. He apologized.

I headed for the door with my phone but before I got outside, with snot rolling, I choked out, "DID YOU KISS HER?!" He looked down and whispered "yes." As I ran out the door I screamed, "YOU BASTARD!!!"

I got on my phone and immediately called his sister Ashley to confirm our fears. At the same time, Brandon called his mom and walked into the night. Ashley's words to me exactly, "GO SLAP THE SHIT OUT OF HIM!"

I cried and cried sitting outside on the front porch step. I had never dreamed things could get any worse. I felt worthless.Why was he doing this to me? Why wasn't I enough for him. Brandon came back and handed me his phone. His mom was crying on the other end. I was on another planet. What just happened?

Andrea, wake up! Who is this man that calls himself my husband? Who is this broken woman staring back at me? With tear streaken faces, my unfaithful husband and I headed back inside. Physically shaking, about to get sick, somehow I muster the strength to take my wedding rings off of my finger. Brandon's face went white. He asked me what I was doing. Hell, I didn't even know what I was doing but I did know one thing, this man I married was a complete stranger to me.

I opened my mouth and said the only words that could come out as I placed my rings on the coffee table in front of him, "You can give these back to me when you decide you want to be a husband."