From Facebook to Fiancés: Our Blended Family Wedding

Rachel Sarah was one of the first online contacts I made when I decided to become a single dad blogger over five years ago. We’ve been following each other’s blogs ever since. I’ve seen her find love again and watched her family grow by one more…all the while reading her blog Single Mom Seeking (if you’re not following it, you should!).

She’s been following my blog, too, along with Sunshine’s. She’s been a huge supporter of ours and recently wrote a wonderful post about us and our story.

Please click-thru and take a few moments to read it.

From Facebook friends to fiancés: a blended family wedding

And thank you, Rachel. You’re awesome!

Wedding Stuff Is Getting Done!

Wow…talk about a whirlwind crazy weekend!

It was a weekend where Sunshine and I didn’t have the kids, so we kicked things off as we normally did…hitting the local farmer’s market early Saturday morning. I mean, we love this place so much that we’re getting married on the ROOFTOP! The views are spectacular, though…

That kick started our weekend, for sure. I mean, I was still recovering from a two-week flu and Sunshine was recovering from drugs that she had to take for her back…but all-in-all we were ready for the rest of the weekend!

We FINALLY found wedding dresses for Sunshine’s girls. You wouldn’t think it’d be that difficult, but where Sunshine is wearing a uniquely orange dress (it’s awesome!), we wanted to find something that worked for the girls that wasn’t going to be too “stuffy” (we’re having a pretty fun and casual wedding, if you couldn’t already tell). So after hitting two or three places, we found a couple of great dresses at Sears (the second time we went there…so glad we did!) and then crossed that item off our list.

We then met a locally-owned florist to discuss our flower arrangements. Again, because we’re having a small and casual wedding, we weren’t looking for massive bouquets. It was a very good meeting and after thirty minutes, we were moving on to our next task: a tie for me!

I’m not wearing a tux, rather I’m wearing a navy blue suit. You’d think it would be easy to find a blue tie with a bit of orange in it, wouldn’t you? Think again. Apparently, every colour under the sun is all the rage right now (especially pink, turquoise, and purple), but we couldn’t find flecks of orange in ANYTHING! After hitting four mens clothiers in the city, we went to the last one we knew of. Wouldn’t you know it? They not only had one, but they had FOUR to choose from!! And better yet, the one that we both agreed on ended up being on sale!

We then made our way out to a place called Susie’s Shortbreads, which is our favourite cupcake maker in the entire city. Trust me…these folks do INCREDIBLE work (yes, that’s an example of their cupcakes on the left)! And both Sunshine and I decided against getting a formal wedding cake, instead getting about three dozen gourmet cupcakes! After picking out the flavours we wanted, we left very happy customers!

It then dawned upon us that almost everything for the wedding was done! With the exception of my finalized divorce papers (the judge signed off on them…we just need to wait a standard 30-day period in case, after six years of being separated, we’d want to change our minds), we are pretty much done with the fine details!

The reality of the wedding is rapidly approaching. I, for one, couldn’t be happier! I was talking with Sunshine on Saturday and spoke about how, in preparing for my first marriage, I was kinda going through the motions. I wasn’t nearly as happy about the fine details as I am now. I wasn’t UNhappy, but I wasn’t enjoying the moment like I am with this wedding.

It could be because of who I’m getting married to, it could be because I’m finally maturing as a man. Either way, this wedding is less than 90 days away and everything is (seemingly) falling into place!

Bags of Love

I was contacted a couple of months ago by a website called Bags of Love. They make personalized goods that people can customize with photos and text, and had recently introduced a few new product lines and wondered if I was interested in reviewing one.

I get offers like this a lot, but I only feel compelled to accept the offers from products and/or services that I’ll actually use (sorry…I probably won’t read your book or use your baby products). With Sunshine’s birthday approaching, I thought this could potentially be a nice gift to give to her but there was one problem: the company was based out of the UK.

Luckily, they were preparing to launch their North American-based site: BagsOfLove.com, so the offer was still on the table.  I was given three options to choose from: a photo cushion, a personalized apron, or a personalized towel.  I decided to go with the photo cushion as I thought it was the most practical option as a gift for Sunshine.

The website was very easy to follow. I simply found the product I wanted to purchase, uploaded the photo I wanted to use, and entered some text that I wanted to display. There weren’t any confusing links to get me frustrated with the whole process, which is something I sometimes find with other websites when ordering products.

I placed the order and received my product less than two weeks later. I was impressed with the quality, as I wasn’t sure what kind of cushion I was going to receive. I thought the picture turned out great and it was pretty much exactly how I thought it was going to be. All I needed to do was wrap it and give it to Sunshine on her birthday.

Well…her birthday was last week and she really likes the cushion. The photo I used is the proposal photo, which is one of her favourites. She is already looking forward to giving the cushion a permanent placement on our bed.

Bags of Love
“Forever Yours”

So all in all, I’m quite happy with the product and how it turned out. I think this is a unique item that you don’t find every day and because it can be easily personalized, it’s something that has meaning.

Thanks, Bags of Love, for the opportunity to try and promote your product.

Dad’s New Girlfriend

I’ve been concerned about my dad ever since my mom passed away just over two years ago. His inability to be alone is understandable considering that he was in a relationship for over 40 years. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like for him.

Rather quickly, dad jumped into another relationship. For me, it was way too soon. For him, it was a replacement and he couldn’t wait to not be alone anymore.

While she was a nice enough woman, I never saw the connection. I never saw the love. I never felt the two of them really belonged together.

After having an on-and-off relationship (including calling off an engagement) and after spending three months together in Florida this past winter, they split for good a couple of months ago when he returned. He seemed different this time…not completely afraid to be alone and not willing to just be with anybody. I felt as though he was actually READY to be in a relationship, so maybe it was all for the best.

Last month, he joined an online dating website. He went on a couple of dates but found one woman, in particular, who really seemed to connect with him. He told me about them getting along really well and my initial reaction was to roll my eyes with a “here we go again” attitude. I just wanted him to be happy, but didn’t want to see him rush into another relationship just because they “got along”.

This past weekend, I was introduced to the new girlfriend. Upon the initial meeting I was immediately hit with the thought that she was a nicer lady than his previous girlfriend. In fact, my younger brother walked up to me and said, “She seems nice” after the first five minutes. I told him that I agreed but that I’d like to meet her a bit more before allowing myself to be too comfortable.

On Sunday, I had a nice 20+ minute conversation with her as dad got ready to go to church. I was really happy with how the conversation went, with laughter and similar views helping to prevent any awkward silences from taking place.

For the first time since mom passed away, I feel “okay” with dad dating someone. I’m comfortable with the notion of him with somebody else. And honestly, that wasn’t something I was good with over the past two years. Maybe it’s part of me finally letting go or maybe it’s just that my dad has found someone that I approve of…I dunno. Either way, I feel as though things are finally moving forward in a positive way.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUNSHINE!!!

Hey gang!

Whether you know her or not…whether you read her blog or not…whether you follow her on Twitter or not…whether you “like” her on Facebook or not…PLEASE do me a favor and drop a quick comment or tweet to Sunshine on her birthday today.

Sunshine On My Shoulder

Twitter

Facebook

Sunshine, you are the love of my life and I can’t wait to marry you later this summer. I will do whatever I can to make you the happiest woman in the world. I love you.

The proposalI am the luckiest man alive.

Happy birthday, baby.

LOVE YOUR SHOW~!!

xox

Spring, sunshine, & middle age toys

There’s something in the air. Spring is here and you can see the change everywhere you look around. The trees are beginning to bloom, people aren’t wearing jackets every day, and the winter tires have all been stored away for a few months.

But there’s something else going on.

Everywhere I look, I see middle-aged men driving sports cars. And not just middle-aged men, either.  Would-be retirees are also jumping into the sport car trend. These middle-aged men have taken their middle-aged toys out for the summer a few weeks early.

Here’s the weird part…I’ve always wanted to sit back and make fun of older guys for driving around in their Corvettes and Mustangs and Maseratis because they’d looked ridiculously out of place. But now? Now I’M the middle-aged guy…I’m 40, kids…and the “older guys” that are driving those vehicles aren’t that much older than I am.

I don’t get the appeal, to be honest.

Oh believe me…I’d love to have a “dream car”, but my style is more of a Mini Cooper (I love those little things). I’ve never found comfort in powerful engines (nor have I ever found the need to over-compensate for something by having an engine roar as I drive around town). I don’t know why, but I’d rather have handling over power…so maybe that makes me an overly cautious middle-aged guy, I dunno.

I always wondered why guys would purchase a Ford Mustang when they’re in their 50’s or 60’s, but I guess I understand that now that I’m entering my 40’s. It’s very simple: money.

Most guys can’t afford the car of their dreams when they’re in their 20’s and 30’s. So I suppose it only seems natural that they would jump online  to read the latest review of the hottest vehicles and decide which one they should take their line of credit out for. Me? I’d use a link like that just to read-up on what’s available (I’d like to think that the safety feature reviews are just as important as the hemi-engine output reviews), but it’s all about personal preference, I guess.

If I won the lottery tomorrow, would I upgrade my vehicle? Sure I would. If I somehow manage to eek out enough of a living in another ten years or so, will I want to pick up the latest hot rod just so I can reclaim a piece of my youth back?  Nah…that’s just not me.

I’d pick up something, for sure…but it’d be a vehicle that’s practical AND fun to drive/look at. As nice as a Corvette may look, it just doesn’t make any sense for me to own one at ANY age.

What about you? Do you have a vehicle of your dreams that you think you’d buy in your 50’s & 60’s if you could afford it? Why?