- 15 years ago, when I was 25, Hubster and I had been married about a year. We lived in a really crappy, really tiny apartment in the 'hood. We lived directly over a crackhead named Tim who was a mean drunk and had mis-spelled tattoos... (hi Tim, if you're reading this, but I think you're probably back in prison by now). We had 2 cats - Jasmine and Mortimer. We made $30,000 per year COMBINED annual income, however we were blissfully happy. Money does NOT equal happiness.
- When I was 26 and Hubster was 29, we bought our first house. It was wonderful moving out of the 'hood and into a real home. The house felt positively cavernous after living in an apartment. Shortly after we bought the house, we added a beautiful Black Lab (Chloe) to our menagerie of pets.
- When I was 28, we welcomed our first child, a son, into the world. J was born very very very very very premature (something I have never blogged about, but I guess I will now, briefly). J was born at 24 weeks gestation and weighed 1 lb 7 oz at birth, and teetered between life and death - it was a very tough time in our lives. He spent the first 5 months of his life in the NICU, and had to have a total of 6 surgeries. (Today J is a strapping 12 year old, and a Perfectly Normal Kid. Miracles still do happen. I know.... one calls me "Mom". ) :-)
- When J was only 9 months old, we had a SURPRISE pregnancy. I almost fainted when my doctor told me I was expecting again (I had no clue). But our daughter S was born, at term, and was the picture of health (thanks to a little medical procedure called a cerclage, I was able to carry to term).
- Our little house, which had seemed HUGE when we moved in, now seemed very tiny with two babies. So, in 2000 we moved to a much larger house, in a much nicer neighborhood, and a much better school district. We've been here ever since, and I doubt we'll ever move again.
- Oh yes - almost forgot. During this time, my parents (Ward & June Cleaver) got a divorce. Shocked absolutely EVERYONE. They are both much happier now, and they're actually good friends. They have the most cordial, friendly divorce I think a couple has ever had. However, that first year was really weird. They had been married 28 years.
- I turned 30 on the same day Princess Diana died. August 31, 1997. Very odd.
- I worked in the Commercial Insurance industry from age 25 to age 39 and then finally said "Enough". I decided to control my own destiny (I know that sounds very Tony Robbinsesque - sorry...) so I started my own business when I was 39 and have never looked back. Sometimes it's really hard, when money is tight, but the independence is so worth it. Luckily Hubster has been with Big Brown since 1989, so our benefits are all taken care of. Whew. (And let me tell you..... you don't really appreciate your benefits until you've had a premature baby..... those tiny ones can REALLY rack up some medical bills....)
- Chloe, our Black Lab, passed away in 2005 - she was almost 12. We had made the difficult decision, with our vet, that it was time to put her to sleep (her health had been failing rapidly and the quality of her life had become very poor). When Hubster came from work early that day to get her and bring her to the vet that final time, Chloe died right there, in his arms. To this day, I still believe she was waiting for him to come home, so she could "let go". She really adored and loved Hubster. The 4 of us grieved together as a family - it was the first time our kids had lost a "loved one". Three months later I got a call from a good friend who said "I found a stray dog last night.... do you know anyone who would want a sweet, mixed breed female? She's obviously been mistreated and is really skittish, but I think she has a lot of potential." Well, needless to say, we drove right out and fell in love with the "skittish dog with potential". Ruby has been with us for almost 3 years now and she has really come out of her shell. She still won't bark (she must have been beaten for that) but is honestly THE sweetest dog I've ever known. And, we're getting ready to add another dog - a puppy named Diva - a little later this month.
- Last, but probably most important, I've become really involved in my personal spiritual journey. I belong to an awesome church that supports the "individual journey", and is a really cool, accepting place. I love my church and I love telling people about God, and his amazing love. I hope I'm not too pushy, I certainly don't mean to be, but I just know how his love has really changed my life and turned me from a negative worrisome person into someone who loves life and loves people.
I guess that's it. Hope this wasn't too boring, but most of what I've done (as far as changing) over the past 15 years has been internal, and tough to quantify and/or categorize.
Ok, now I'm going to tag the following: