We are a team! 

In the past couple days I have had several inquiries regarding my discussing my personal and marital struggles openly, with those around me and the public.  Before American Grit airs on Sunday, let me take a moment to clarify, educate, shed some light, and most importantly THANK!!

You see, I haven’t-don’t and will never say things behind people’s backs.  This post will be specifically relating to my former spouse who for purposes of this article we will refer to as SPOUSE and some comments that are getting back to me. 🙂 

First let me say that in my opinion my choices are mine. I don’t need approval from you or anyone else. I am a grown adult and I get to make the choices I want- whether they are good or bad. WITH THAT SAID THOUGH—

I absolutely 100% from the very moment I applied for American Grit, spoke with my spouse.  I didn’t do anything behind his back.  I was completely honest, forthcoming, and transparent about wanting to apply to the show, why I wanted to, the things I would discuss etc. 

While my spouse wasn’t thrilled–and right fully so- I had his full support.  He was present for several of my interviews and even participated in his own interviews as well as joint interviews done by the TV show. 

Back up a second, rewind, let me further explain a few things. You see, over a year ago in the midst of the most painful and earth shattering experience of my adulthood-as my children’s worlds were being ripped apart and I was falling apart at earth shattering speeds- one of the mistresses and her family began to attack me in heinous vile ways.  My looks were attacked stating things such as: my face was ugly as hell, my boobs were saggy, I was fat, etc.  My profession was attacked: accusing me of making threats I never ever would make, making comments about how I was a therapist and I couldn’t even keep my husband from straying etc. If I had kept him satisfied etc. 

Then my name was plastered on multiple websites, along with pictures comparing the two of us. 

One of the mistresses would send me pictures of her saying how she knew my husband was saying she was “fat” but she wasn’t and how she was loosing weight and wanted me to see her progress WTF. Not that it matters but mind you, of course she was using old pictures or pictures of her after the affair was over and she had lost weight.  Refer to an older post to hear my thoughts on this….but it is what she was doing and so I am stating it as a fact here. Again not that it matters. 

Okay, so that’s the back story. So fast forward- I am in an affair support group (an amazing group at that!) and the tv show posts a flyer in the group for the casting call.  I did not do anything behind my spouses back.  At any point he could have voiced that I wasn’t to do this, or he wasn’t supportive etc. Instead, he explained how he was not thrilled with it BUT SUPPORTED me and my decision if I really felt like it was something I wanted to do…. AND IT WAS!!!

The interview process continued and as I made it through each round he continued to SUPPORT me.  He and I have discussed in private many times my feelings, hurt, pain etc….and the words that may or may not be aired will be no surprise to him. 

I didn’t go on to punish him, I didn’t discuss our marriage to punish him.  QUITE THE OPPOSITE. I went on FOR ME!!! For once I was doing something for me…!!!

I am eternally grateful for his support. He could easily have put a stop or pulled the plug on it at anytime and I would have respected his decision and request.  

In one of the posts plastered online it is said, “Then the wife/husband team will threathen you and your children. Then she will lead you to think they are getting divorced and yaddi. However they are married and happily ever after. Anyways till the next. They are moving so dodge this team duo!”

When that was first written and I learned of it—my heart absolutely sank and I was devastated with anger and thoughts of how f**king dare you.  First, you have no idea of the state of my marriage.  She clearly had no idea–as we weren’t even living together when that post was written. 

Then calling us a duo and a team… I WAS ENRAGED!!!!  BUT BUT BUT after I allowed myself to heal and process my world and trauma and pain….. I am honored to say she is right. We are a team! Regardless of the state of our marriage, we are a team! We have beautiful children together and for the rest of their lives we are a team CO-PARENTING these children together. We are a team–just not the team she deliriously had her in head or heart of hate. 

Side note: I later would learn that this particular mistress and her husband split up and made the newspaper for a domestic violence argument and that she later lashed out using the courts. 

That isn’t the team I want to be!!! No need for that irresponsible, immature, nonsense. I am sad about this for their kids. 

I am a firm believer that just because your marriage didn’t work doesn’t mean that a co-parenting relationship can’t work.  So, we are a team-respecting one another and co-parenting our kiddos together.  No body is perfect, I have my issues and my “spouse” has his issues.  It doesn’t make anyone better then the other.  While it isn’t easy we are both committed to remaining friends and kicking ass at co-parenting our kids together. 

When I recently booked one of our usual photo shoots, it was instinctive and I didn’t hesitate…. our kids would have both their parent’s in these pictures. When the photographer, who had no idea we weren’t together, said okay let’s get pictures of mom and dad- we didn’t make it awkward or say anything. We had some fun and took pictures of mom and dad while our kids watched.  When I look around my home and see many pictures of both parents throughout the kids lives around on the walls- it fills me with peace and gratitude that my kids are experiencing the effects of a positive co-parenting relationship. 

Either of us could easily be bitter and nasty and make this much much worse then it is but we are putting in the hard work to keep it about the kids and it shows.  I value and appreciate my spouse for standing behind me as I went on American Grit! THAT’S A TEAM AND DUO and I am proud to be part of it! 

POP UP Camper Conclusion..finally

Wowsers… summer flew by. I didn’t intend to take so long to post a pop up camper rv living update conclusion–but such is life and well here it is now.

Let’s start with the good things about our pop up experience. As a reminder, we closed on our old house and had about 2 months of time before we would close on our new house. So we had this small window of time and well I decided let’s do it!! Let’s do this full time rving thing —on a small scale. I am totally the person that would love to sell everything, pack the kids into an RV and hit the road.  To me that is living life. Literally living it.  Going where we want, how we want, when we want. I have a teen that isn’t on board with living in a RV during the school year otherwise I am fairly confident I’d be blogging via RV right now 🙂

So the positive:

  1. Talk about connection and quality time with your kids! Words can’t even describe it. Our pop up didn’t have a tv, well we put a small one in but you could only watch movies on it and it was sort of a pain so we didn’t use it much.  This equated to loads of quality time and true interaction.
  2. Life experience.  I still to this day (granted only about 2 months out) but each day I hear a story about the pop up living from my kids. Whether it is the rain, frogs, food, etc. I hear a story about us living in the pop up everyday and I love it!!
  3. Met some incredible people!! Not only the “locals”/temporary residents but the long term full time rving families that were there. All there for different reasons too. One family was a doctor family who moved from their 400K house and wanted to just downgrade and take time to decide what their next move was. Another came as a temporary thing while they were in between housing and a job loss and some 7 years later are still there with their 3 kids.
  4. Having the kids realize that they don’t need “stuff” to live or be happy or do things. Literally all summer no tv, no internet, no stuff to occupy their times. It was them, their few toys we had (ie bikes and roller blades), swimming pool, frogs, bug catching tools, etc. It was neat to see them sort of band together and make new friends and just be kids. Wet, muddy, dirty, no shoes on, holding different bugs and critters each day and smiling all day about it.
  5. Besides the cliche obvious things like it put a roof over our head etc. I truly enjoyed my time in the pop up and am now more confident then ever that the rv life is totally “me”.
  6. I have now learned and proven first hand you don’t need a giant pantry full of shit that is going to sit in there for months, you don’t need a huge freezer full of food that again will sit there for who knows how long, and you don’t need a fridge full of an entire weeks++ worth of food! Seriously! Yet, what is the one thing I did when I closed on my new house and moved in…packed the fridge, pantry, and freezer…oye vey! LOL

The not so positive:

  1.  It isn’t as cheap as one would think.  Especially since our fridge was smallll and that meant regular trips to the grocery store. The meal portion of this RV living added up quick especially because I don’t eat meat and well see #2 :), so these made it a little tricky and since I wasn’t overly prepared for this aspect my food bill was more then I would have liked.
  2. STOVE, we had a small stove in the camper but since space was already an issue and I have little hands in the camper I didn’t want to turn the stove that is propane fueled on.  So the only cooking ability was outside on the grill. It made it a little tricky and the constant rain didn’t help either.
  3. THE RAIN!! There was a lot of rain…. a lot… so being in a campground that didn’t handle rain very well and in a pop up with no tv, no cooking, etc it was a patience testing process at times. Or maybe a sanity testing process is a better way to describe it 🙂
  4. OMG let me not forget the laundry!!! Hands down my single biggest failure to be prepared for was laundry!! Having to cart my stuff to a laundry mat. It was not a huge thing but I wasn’t prepared for it at all so it totally caught me off guard and made me really forget how FANTASTIC having a washer and dryer in your own home is. 🙂
  5. The pop up was fine for a short 60 day stint-not ideal for that length but doable and we made it work BUT truly a smaller travel trailer would have been even more ideal.  We could have used just a few more sq ft of space and storage compartment for some of our stuff underneath the rv woudl have been great.
  6. ISOLATION… if you aren’t careful and don’t make it a point to get out, get around people, socialize … it is super easy to find yourself lonely and isolated. I did pretty good at this, it helped having 3 kids to cart around but being new to the town and knowing no one and being in the pop up. It was a bit of a fine balance of socializing versus isolation.

These are a few of my biggest takeaways. Overall I can say I am so glad I did this! It was a blast. Great memories. Great adventure. I wish we could have moved campgrounds more but given the circumstances that wasn’t how our trip was this summer.

Here’s what I can tell you!!! I am already planning on another summertime excursion for the next summer.  YEP you read it here!! I just announced over the weekend to friends and family that this summer I will be planning a 4-6 week excursion across country. I have a few goals this time

  1. Trade in my pop up and get a small light weight travel trailer!
  2. More campgrounds!! I am hoping to start in Florida and travel all the way to the Seattle/Portland areas! Stopping at many many locations in between!!! CRAZY EXCITED.
  3. Putting more of our adventures on the blog this time!

I receive many behind the scenes comments on my blog! Thank you! I love your feedback and comments whether it is on the blog or off the blog. I am going to start researching the best travel trailer for my needs and routes/places to stop. If you have any favorites feel free to shoot them over to me!!