20 Long Years

Last week my sweet Mom and Wally celebrated their 20th anniversary. 20 years! I am so happy for them and I am so happy that they found each other. They truly are the perfect match. Trust me, I know. I lived with them for a long long time. They get a big kick out of each other. Seriously, they laugh and laugh together. They are set in their ways - together. They are so great and I have loved watching their marriage for 20 great years.

It's hard to remember a life without Wally in it. Come to think of it, I can't remember much about my life before my stepmother Terrie in it either. I have been thinking a lot the past week or so about my life with two step parents in it.

Divorce is a funny thing. I am so grateful that my parents got divorced, as weird as it may sound. I have found that my life has been so blessed because of their decision. Although it was difficult at the time, I now realize that I have not only 2 parents that love and care for me, I have 4. I have had 4 loving and amazing parents for over 20 years now. How lucky I am.

Lets take a trip back 20 years or so.

At the time divorce wasn't easy. I remember staying with my dad at my Grandma Avery's house on the weekends. I used to look into his eyes, get a serious look on my face and say "Dad you have been crying again." He could never fool me. I used to cry when I went back home on Sunday nights because I missed my dad. I remember going to a Barbra Streisand concert with Dad and how he cried through the entire thing. This made me sad, but I understood, even at 12 years old that just because you are no longer with someone, doesn't mean you no longer love someone.

I have memories of my mom sleeping on my trundle bed in her bedroom after the seperation. I used to get up to use the bathroom and would hear her singing Natalie Cole songs with her earphones on. "I miss you like crazy, miss you like crazy. Ever since you went away, every hour, every day." To this day I can't hear a Natalie Cole song without thinking of Mom at that time.

I remember wishing on a shooting star and praying nightly that my parents would someday get back together. How happy I am that wish never came true.

Not long after the divorce a couple of phenominal people entered my life. I'm actually crying as I write this.

Enter Terrie: My first impression of Terrie was a beautiful woman with jet black hair. Terrie was so much fun. She was a woman who never had kids of her own - and who desperately wanted some. I think that I benefitted from this. My first memories of Terrie include McDonalds hot fudge sundaes. I think of trips to the Hello Kitty Store. I think of making chocolate chip cookies and eating 1/2 the dough while watching "Troop Beverly Hills". Time spent with Terrie was SO MUCH FUN.
Enter Wally: Oh Wally. I loved you from the first day I met you. I remember Wally calling for mom and her whispering "Tell him I am not home!" As a kid you don't care about appearances. I didn't care about Wally's yellow Nova. I didn't care about his sweat pants or the gap in his teeth. My first memory of Wally was a Friday night. My cousin Adam was sleeping over and Wally came over. Adam & I were playing "army" or something of the sort. I pretended to throw a bomb at Wally who without hesitation, fell on the floor and started shaking. Oh man, this guy was awesome. I was hooked.

Through these two people I saw something change in my parents. I saw a weight lifted. I saw smiles more than tears. I knew I loved Wally & Terrie and partly this was because I saw joy again in the lives of my parents.

Dad and Terrie were married in October and Mom and Wally followed shorty after in May. Both weddings were wonderful, but both were also hard. You will see red eyes in nearly every wedding picture from those days. I think for me, being only 9-years-old I realized that Mom and Dad would never get back together. It just became very real at their weddings.

Following the weddings there were of course adjustments to be made. Toes were stepped on, arguements occured, feelings were hurt, etc. Soon I realized how great I had it. I now had not one but 2 houses to open Christmas at. I now had 4 people cheering for me in the stands at my softball games. I had 4 parents to go to when I had problems, and each had their own special touch.

One of my favorite memories of Wally was when I was in 5th or 6th grade. I was "going out" with Brandon Hansen. During lunch his friends came over and "dumped me" for Brandon. My 11 year old self was very upset. At dinner when asked why I was so somber I quickly replied "Brandon dumped me." The family started laughing (wouldn't you?) and I quickly stormed to the bathroom to cry. About 1 minute later I heard a gentle knock on the door - and there was Wally. Wally said to me, "I am so sorry about Brandon. That must be so hard for you. Is there anything I can do?"

That always stuck with me. This to me is Wally in a nutshell. That goofy guy with the sometimes terrible jokes who many times has the best advice.

Terrie was also someone I could confide in. She knew about "boys". I remember she took me over to - who was it? - Josh Egan's house to ring the doorbell and leave cookies for him. Terrie has been the one parent who really spoiled me. Terrie is the one who is first to offer money - if things are tough because "That's what parents are for." Terrie was also a spiritual example to me for many many years. I never felt judged by Terrie. She always understood me, no matter how bad I felt, she offered a great amount of comfort.

Today my relationship has grown with each of my parents. My parents all get along. We go to family parties and all 4 are present, cracking jokes, talking, working together on family problems. I am so lucky. People think my family is weird. I have never had to deal with divorced parents that won't talk to each other. I have never had to worry about that. I love Seth's family for being the same way. Patricia and David aren't together but they still love and care about each other.

Isn't this the way it should be?

Dad and Terrie have been together for 20+ years as well. Through their marriage our family has grown with the wonderful additions of my sisters Michelle and Aly. We have had great times as a family. I remember lots of great trips and cruises. I remember loads of practical jokes (mainly from Terrie).

So here I am. 20 years and 6 amazing parents later. 6 parents to go to for advice. 6 parents who will all serve as amazing future (this is not an announcement) grandparents. I realize I am pretty damn lucky.


Well I am facing a major problem right now. For days and days I have tried to come up with something witty and/or funny to blog about. I got nothing. I actually drove 9 hours by myself last weekend which usually breeds many fun ideas for my blog. Again, nothing. I feel like Carrie Bradshaw when she tries writting her "men as socks" column.

This really started to bother me. I have decided that I need a little more inspiration in my life. Right now my life consists of working (alot and alone), exercising, cooking dinner, watching TV and going to bed. In the mix throw in paying bills, trying to find a house to buy, trying to get an apartment rented, etc. There isn't a lot more than that on a regular basis. This is pretty much it.

I told Timms this week that I am lacking inspiration - so much so that I don't even want to do any of my animal drawings - and that is saying SOMETHING.

This however is a 15 second elephant that I drew just for illulstrative purposes.

I feel like anything that I try cooking turns out badly. I don't think it is "me" per-se but the recipe but I still feel very uninspired. Even making cute cupcakes have been off my radar - due to my last horrible attempt at cupcakes.

These were supposed to be "popcorn cupcakes" that I made the night I watched The Oscars. I haven't tried anything since. You understand.

Work is another place I am lacking inspiration. Right now I am just trying to stay above water. It's weird working alone. Really weird. It's weird sitting in silence so often. It's hard trying to do something as simple as "making a deposit" when you are still trying to figure out the ins and outs of your job.

It's also weird not working for Make-A-Wish, a place as we know that leaks inspiration at every turn.

There is definitely inspiration in the MS Society - it's just not as in your face as it was at Make-A-Wish. I think my walk next week will inspire me.

I have some ideas on how to breed inspiration. Maybe I should sign up for an art class and really hone my awesome animal drawing skills? Maybe I can take a ballroom dance class with Seth? I just don't know.

Here's where you come in:

1. Tell me what inspires you. And maybe I'll try it!

2. Give me an idea on what to blog about. That will get the creative juices flowing right?