If you had told me twelve years ago (almost to the day) that I would be happy, a survivor, and built a new life for myself with a bigger and better family – I would have called you a liar to your face.

But God has a plan for us all. I never used to believe that, but when I was left homeless, jobless, and penniless with a 4-year old on my hip in August of 2006 because my first husband had other plans for himself, I wondered what God had planned for me at that point.

But looking back now, He had a lifetime full of smiles, memories, laughter, and trust planned for me. I met the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with about eleven and a half years ago, well to be precise, I really met him about 42 years ago. You see his parents and my parents used to be in a supper club together back in the ‘70s, and he was that cute little blonde boy running around in his footy pajamas, and I was that noisy baby screaming at the top of my lungs in the baby carrier wanting to go home – but our parents were having too much fun playing cards, drinking beer and smoking cigarettes. So, I guess I just had to deal with it, after all, it was the ‘70s.

Through the years, through the ages, and through the decades this man and I remained friends through our families, through other friends, and through summer jobs. But eventually life took us down our own separate paths, but God and fate had different plans for us and thank goodness they did.

Later this September we will be celebrating ten wonderful years of marriage. Our resume’ has been loaded with lots of laughter, lots of valleys, lots of mountains we have had to climb, but we have most certainly done it side by side. And for someone who has had to overcome trust issues this man has certainly put me at ease and allowed me to know the true meaning of love, devotion and faithfulness.

We have created a wonderful life together. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to paint this picture that our lives are some chapter out of a picture book or from an episode of “Leave it to Beaver”. Oh no, there are [definitely] days that we both want to throat punch one another. But at the end of the day, there’s no one I would rather fall asleep next to in bed with my toes inner twined giggling at the days’ antics with our three boys and the exhaustion that we must overcome constantly.

He is most definitely the Yin to my Yang. I am the loud outspoken gregarious half to our partnership, while he is the quiet laid-back chill one of the pairing – yet somehow, we are still the perfect fit. We have our own language, we totally understand each other (most of the time), and we respect each other’s differences of opinions.

I couldn’t have picked a better father to my oldest son, and luckily to our two sons, we were able to have together that added to the organized chaos of this thing we love to call our lives. But he and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

It was this side of twelve years ago that I was standing in my parent’s driveway wondering what I was going to do, but all I kept hearing in my head was my Grandfather Stroube’s adage “You gotta pick yourself up by your bootstraps and keep going”. And that is exactly what I did, and luckily, I found the best partner in life to continue my journey with.

I am not saying I wake up all spunky and happy every single day of my life. Quite the contrary, it typically takes a front-end loader to get me out of bed and a few shots of Espresso. But deep down I know I am blessed beyond measure to have been given this life, this man that is true to me, and three wonderful little boys.

To have someone that loves you for you, that doesn’t try to change you, and supports your dreams, your quirks, your antics, and all of your weirdness is rare. But to have a man that will stand by your side and be faithful and not hurt your heart or your soul is invaluable.

To my KD, thanks for choosing me!

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