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Two Years Later

I can’t believe it has been over two years since I last posted, publicly at least. The last post which I just released was written 2/28/2016 after my world was shattered by my ex-wife requesting a divorce. Things had been rough for a while, more so after Jaxson was born, but we both trudged through as long as we could. Trudging through, however, is not how a marriage should be lived, and therefore the choice to separate and ultimately divorce was for the best. We had both lost ourselves in our marriage and now at least we have the opportunity to reconnect with ourselves instead. We spent the better part of a year disentangling our lives and finally making our separation legal. The wounds have (mostly) healed, though I suspect we both still have some lingering scars that itch from time to time. For the most part our split was amicable and we are working it out as best we can in regards to Jaxson and his life, but there will always be some issues from time to time.

I will not speak ill of her whatsoever, however this blog will no longer be “Keeping Up With The Joneses”. Instead, it will be me writing about my life, about Jaxson still, and about what comes next. I can’t promise that I will be super active here and I even contemplated deleting the blog altogether (or at least setting it to private in the archives), however I wanted fellow TODDlings to still be able to find us for Jaxson’s sake. We are up to over 25 children we have found so far and we have a Facebook group where most of us collaborate and share pictures and we have even had some meet-ups. It is all very cool and different and a little scary, but in a good way. Jaxson has met two of his half-siblings so far and has even had the revelation that yes, this person shares a part of you, and look she has two moms just like you.

He has had a rough time with the transition from a two-mom home to having two moms separately. He has been in therapy for about 5 months now and things are slowly getting better. He is strong-willed, independent, but such a big love with a great big heart. He is the sweetest when he wants to be, and brilliant – absolutely, wildly intelligent. I know he is going to accomplish great things one day, and I also know all parents think this but we do especially think he is something special.

The first year after the divorce was hard, like possibly the hardest thing I’ve had to go through. We got together when I was 21, and I had never lived alone (roommates, but never by myself), and I not only had to live alone but move to a new city altogether! I ended up moving to Orlando to be close to my job and we sold our home and she moved to South Orlando so that we were closer but not too close so that I could see Jaxson more. She is ultimately moving again but that’s another post for another day.

After the first year of the separation went by, we finally had paid the court fees off and it was legal. We were officially 100% done and single. I had been lonely, I had looked online a couple times the year prior but I was quickly disgusted and turned off the dating apps. I just couldn’t yet. I wasn’t ready to even think about dating or being close to anyone again. I spent a year working on myself, losing weight, getting healthier, learning to be alone and getting to know me – the real me – and coming face to face with some truths that should have been apparent all along.

After the divorce was finalized I felt as if I were released. It was okay. I could go out and meet people and try to figure out how to date…since I’d never really done that but once before almost a decade ago. I signed up for two dating apps. I even met a nice girl and we talked for a little bit but then it fizzled and didn’t go anywhere. I had the option to search for girls and guys in this app…and one day I decided I’d check both boxes. It was something I’d known for a long time, but I am so black-and-white sometimes that I thought “Well I’m with a woman, so I must be a lesbian!” Meanwhile anyone prior to her had been men that I had been attracted to, aside from my best friend when I was 6. So I liked both genders? Well, yeah, I did. Because you know what, I fall for a person not their genitals. And so I embraced that I was bisexual and therefore embraced myself for who I am 100% and lo and behold, he walked in to my life.

I saw the profile picture of Brandon with his cat and thought, aww that’s cute. You can always like a guy that likes cats. 🙂 I couldn’t think of anything to say and so I just favorited him. It was getting late and I couldn’t think of anything witty to say. A few minutes later I got a message saying hello and he had seen that I had favorited him and it was nice to meet me. We chatted for a few minutes since it was almost bedtime, but the ball had already started rolling. The whole next day we messaged each other, learning each others ins and outs and likes and dislikes. We spent the better part of the weekend chatting and I told him that I wanted to meet him. He was perfect on paper, I had to see it to believe he was real (he won me over saying for PB&J he holds the J and adds honey instead – a match made in heaven!). I had been upfront with him about having a child and that I was recently divorced, but I had one more thing to tell him and this would his test. I told him I had a secret, something I hadn’t told him yet and he asked me what it was. I told him that before I met him and wasted his time, I had to tell him that the reason Jaxson didn’t live with me was because he lived with his biological mom…my ex-wife. Brandon didn’t miss a beat and accepted it and told me he had a secret too. His secret was not a deal-breaker whatsoever, and so we met and went on our first date the following Tuesday.

It went perfectly. We went to the Cheesecake Factory and then walked around the area for almost 5 hours. I was worried we would have nothing to talk about and yet neither of us could get enough conversation with the other. And when the night was over, he walked me to my car and I half expected him to try to kiss me, but instead he just asked if a hug was okay. And when I felt his arms around me I knew that I had found home. Fast forward to today and we have been together for over a year now, and we are getting married next year on our 2nd anniversary. When you know, you know. Just like I knew I was supposed to marry Jenn, I knew I was going to marry Brandon too.

Brandon’s accepted me, my past, my child and resulting family structure, and everything else with grace and kindness. He is genuinely one of the nicest people I have ever met. He is never jealous or worried about me or what I’m doing. He lets me be independent and free. He will join me on adventures by ourselves and outings with my friends, all of whom he has accepted as his own. He loves Jaxson and seeing them play together or read stories warms my heart.

As for Jaxson, he is adamant that he “does not want a dad because he does not like dads”. They will have their own relationship at one point I’m sure. They get along for the most part, aside from Jaxson’s strong-willed personality of wanting to do what he wants, when he wants to and not listening – but he does this with me as well, testing boundaries. He says it is my house so he only listens to me, however he doesn’t do that very well sometimes either. Part of this is typical strong-willed 5 year old, part of this is trying to withstand the changes happening in his life and family. I have asked him if he is okay with me getting married to Brandon and Brandon being around forever, and he says yes, but he doesn’t want to call him dad. I told him I would never expect him to unless he wanted to, and I know this is far from over but we are s l o w l y making progress with him transitioning to having two moms that are now separate plus a Brandon. He said he is worried Brandon will replace Mama (Jenn), but I assured him that was not the case and that he would always have Mama and Mommy, just not together. He’ll get there eventually. I was resistant to my step-dad coming into my life, and now I wouldn’t trade him for anything.

Now this post ended up much longer than I was hoping, but I wanted you all to know that yes I am still here, we are still alive, and I’ll be back with more soon. I have many updates for Jaxson over the past two years!

Where Do We Go From Here?

Yesterday, Jax went to our friend’s house for the morning so that J and I could have an adult conversation. I had been “forewarned” about the conversation the day before at work, and I was all nerves about what it could be. I knew it had been a rough two weeks since I had started my new job 2 hours away, and I knew it was a strain on her being the sole caregiver all day every day. I also knew she’d been unhappy for quite some time and despite trying to go out with friends more to “find the fun”, she was still miserable. I tried to be accommodating and let her go out as much as she wanted, but I was starting to feel lonely. I got one day a week to stay and hang out with a friend after work, and it made me so happy. We both got to play at being single and we both liked it. It was easy, easier than it should have been.

And so at our talk yesterday, there were so many tears. And she broke my heart. She is my first love and now, my first loss. We have decided to separate, with the intent to divorce in mind. I never wanted this to happen. I was raised that you grow up, find ” the one”, get married, have kids, and live happily ever after. And yesterday that ended.

Now my future is terrifying, unclear, and completely different than what it was supposed to be. We still love each other, which makes it harder I think than if we hated each other, although that would be worse for Jaxson. We are on the same page as to how to handle him and co-parenting. We are on the same page when it comes to taking care of him the rest of his life and how to handle expenses in the future like braces, activities, and college. We are both still his parents, and always will be.

She told me she was worried that I would just leave once she told me. I told her she was ridiculous, that I would never jeopardize Jaxson being okay, nor would I hurt her like that. But I will be moving closer to work during the week, coming home once during the week and then on weekends so I can see and spend time with Jax and so she can have a mid-week break.

For now…we don’t even know where to start. She moved into our spare room on Jaxson’s side of the house and let me keep the master at least while I still have to get up and travel to work daily so I don’t wake him up. That’s about all we know right now. I just feel so lost and alone and so so scared.

My entire future started 8 years ago, and now it’s going to be completely different. We were going to have another baby…now I’ll have to do it alone. Everyone keeps saying, don’t think that way, you could find someone else, but right now it just feels like I won’t. And I don’t want to. I found the person I wanted to spend my life with and now I’ve lost her. I feel like I failed in some way at our marriage, and being a straight A student I’m very upset about this F.

I just feel so lost and confused and just broken hearted. She was my first relationship and now my first heart break. I feel like a 13 year old girl who just lost her first love and I’m just so tired of crying.

Happy Holidays!

We won a free photo shoot at Target, so we took Jaxson to get professional pictures done. Our photographer wasn’t so great, so it took forever to get any decent pictures. Jaxson, overall, did a great job for his first time having pictures done, but of course was a typical two year old and just wanted to play with all the props instead. 🙂 I’m glad we didn’t have to pay for the pictures, but we got a few really great ones so it was worth it in the end.

We are celebrating Christmas Eve at my parents’ house tonight, then we will do our Christmas at home in the morning and go to J’s parents’ house for Christmas in the afternoon. It will be a busy time, as always, but I’m looking forward to watching Jax enjoying it all! It is exciting this year because he “gets it” now that he’s a little older, and he’s been honing his gift-unwrapping skills.

We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year!

holiday card 2015




So, today is Thanksgiving…

My wife hates Thanksgiving, always has, always will. I know some people balk when we say that, but hear me out. We’re not huge fans of the food and my wife’s birthday is Nov. 26 and so nearly always falls right near Thanksgiving (or like this year, it’s actually ON Thanksgiving). This meant a childhood of no birthday parties with friends since everyone’s usually travelling or spending time with family during the holidays, having a meal for your birthday that you don’t really care about (steak please?!), not to mention desserts that give you no joy (she’s not a pumpkin fan either). And talk about stress getting everything presentable and spending the day in the kitchen! Plus, its an awful holiday. Shouldn’t we be thankful every day? It’s not even about giving thanks anymore, its about stuffing your face as quickly as possible so you can get out and go shopping that evening (because Black Friday has now become Black Thursday). Anyway…

I wish I could say this year is different for her…but her birthday actually falls on Thanksgiving. We somehow ended up putting on dinner again this year. At least we control the food so we can keep the sugar and carbs in check, but it sucks because she’s upset with the whole Thanksgiving thing. I wanted to buy her a steak for her birthday and grill it without her knowing, but there was just no way I could pull that off! I wanted to give her something good this year, so I asked her what dessert she wanted me to make for her “cake” and she decided on a Keto Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting! So she’s excited about that. She’s not excited about the stress of cooking that huge of a meal (24 lb turkey!) and having 4 kids and 10 adults crammed into our smallish house (where do we seat everyone?! at least we have a large porch!) on a day that should be all about her.

So to me, today is not Thanksgiving, it is her birthday. The day to celebrate that she came into this world so she could grow up and I could fall in love with her! Without her, there would be no Jaxson. Without her, there would be no Bubba (our cat). Without her, there would not be the home we share or the large family to share this Thanksgiving with. And so for her Thanksgiving, just like everyday, I am just so thankful for my beautiful wife. She is truly amazing and I am so lucky to have her. She busts her ass every day to take care of our son and keep our house running smoothly. She shops, prepares, and cooks all of our meals. She cleans our home and keeps it pristine! All this while making sure our son is a well-adjusted human and gets the proper social interaction and physical activity every single day. She has the most thankless full-time-with-mandatory-overtime-24/7 job in the world – not to say being a stay at home mom is not rewarding in its own way – but so many times the importance of her job and the contributions she makes to our family is vastly unappreciated and overlooked by virtually everyone.

Even I, sometimes, forget to say thank you. Of course I am always grateful for her and the amazing things she accomplishes every day, and I am thankful for the sacrifices we have made so she can stay home with Jaxson. I know its not easy for her, just like its not easy for me to get up and go to work every day, but she doesn’t get a choice of going to work or having a sick day – her job is 24/7. Her job is nights, weekends, overnight…endless dishes and cooking and playdates…with no time for herself.

I wish we weren’t struggling financially, so that for her birthday I could have given her the massage and the haircut and the day that is only about her. The day she deserves! I hate that I wasn’t able to do these things for her, because she gives so much of herself to do so much for us. I hate that I could only get her a card from me, a card from Jaxson, and a chocolate bar. I hate that our gift is so minuscule in scale to the gift she gives our family every day. She deserves the world on a platter, not just a candy bar.

So, Wife (since I know you’re reading this ;)), I want you to know that not for Thanksgiving, not just for your birthday, but every single day, I am so thankful for you. I am so thankful that you came into my life when you did, that you love me like you do, that you gave us our beautiful son, that you have literally sacrificed everything to stay home with him, and that you have so selflessly taken on this role in our family. I just want you to know that I truly appreciate everything you do for us and I love you so much! From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU! You are my everything and I’m so glad you were born!



P.S. Just to update, our Thanksgiving was awesome. Everyone got along great, had a nice time, and all the food came out at the same time. I busted my ass today and cooked everything (except the dressing!) and kept kicking J out of the kitchen so she didn’t have to do anything. Inadvertently, I gave her the gift of a day where she didn’t have to lift a finger, and she said that was the best gift I could have given her. Success! It was a wonderful day, and J also got lots of Starbucks cards so she was excited about that! And she liked the chocolate bar Jax and I got her very much. Yay! 🙂

Halloween 2015

Jaxson got to go Trick or Treating like a big boy for the first time last night! We went to Nana and Papa’s neighborhood and got lots of treats. He was scared of their neighbors’ house – it was all decked out in ghosts and ghouls and spooky lights!

J and I made his costume. He had told us he wanted to be a ghost so we went to Goodwill and bought a sheet. He then decided he didn’t want to be a ghost after all, so we tried to think of something else we could do with a white sheet…and ended up making him Marshal from Paw Patrol! It worked out and he looked so adorable and he got tons of compliments! We especially loved his little tail wagging as he walked around.

He got a good haul and even got some extra candy for being so darn cute. At every house he would compliment the owner on something, whether it was “Oh I love your spooky Jack o Lantern!” or even “These are pretty bushes”, he was putting out some serious charm. Once we got back to Nana’s house, he helped give out candy and one girl ended up giving him a candy bar!




I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween! Jaxson sure did (and so did we!) 🙂

Truck or Treat

Today was Truck or Treat Day at our library and they had so many cool things for Jax to see! They had a power truck, a tractor, a bulldozer, two fire trucks (one with a ladder!), an ambulance, a semi, a dump truck, a stretch Escalade limo, a bomb squad truck, a big truck with a crane, and a police car!

Jaxson didn’t like the loud horns  honking but he did love seeing the fire trucks. He kept waving and saying hi to the firemen and wanted to go in the fire truck twice. We asked him if he wanted to be a fireman when he got bigger and he said yes. 🙂

He came away with some yummy candy too, which of course he was excited for. It was great to get outside and enjoy this “cool” weather (it was only 84* out today) with a nice breeze. I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend, we sure are!








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