The Princess Saves Herself, THEN Meets her Prince…

The last twelve months of my life have been a fairytale. Not the fairytale where a prince comes sweeping in on a white horse to save the girl from a troll. No, not that dramatic, but better. For my fairytale involves a princess saving herself,  the meeting of a handsome prince, a blue horse of sorts, a modern castle and some haunting trolls.

Let me explain. In the last twelve months, a lot has happened in my life. For the first part of the those twelve months, I was on a serious journey of rediscovery. Though this post-deployment and post-divorce process really took years, there was a monumental shift in my thinking at the beginning of this year. It was then that I found my true self and balance in my life. I no longer held back on what I wanted to do and try. I was finally happy with just me. I realized, I was ok. I was important. I was worthy of love, even love from myself.

Once I started to love myself, and forgive myself and others for the pains of the past, I was no longer captive to the haunting trolls of anger, guilt and resentment. I was free from the things that held me back. Free to live. Free to love. And free to be happy. Finally.

After that, I went into action. And this is where the story gets good. I started house hunting and researching cars. My landlord wanted her rental home back and my car of 236,000+ miles was warning me of its impending death. As I was nearing the closing of my new house, and deciding on cars, I went on a blind date. I wasn’t expecting much from this date other than a nice break from the stresses of my home and car searching quests. However, it was the highlight of my life-changing actions in this six months. But, before I tell you about this day, the day that I would relive if I could, I will at least tell you that I did find my own castle (my first ‘all mine’ home) and my own horse (a Ford Mustang). So, in the end, this princess saved herself, bought her own castle, picked out her own horse and in the middle of that, she met a true prince.

Now, if you are still interested, here is the story of how I met my prince…

After being divorced and dating a few jerks, I really wasn’t all that excited about a blind date, especially with a “nice” guy. Yeah, those guys never like me anyway. I seem to attract the crazy, abusive or unstable men. Nice would be a refreshing change, but highly unlikely. I’d probably have more luck with the lottery, but I decided to go anyway. I figured, at the very least, I could enjoy a meal and bowling with friends, and possibly make a new one. I had no expectations of this blind date man even liking me. I have to admit, I was completely right, but utterly wrong at the same time. He didn’t like me. That was clear. Nope, he was more than a potential new friend. He was my perfect prince who started my real-life fairytale…..(Click in the text to continue the story.)




Spiral of Love

You color my cheeks

As you bring me back to life

I find my true self


Our friendship blossoms

Building trust each encounter

Our lives intertwine


Kisses cover me

Melting my heart with your touch

We entangle souls


Every day passes

With our inseparable hearts

We fall into love



Value of Traditions

Traditions are a critical part of life. They can be part of our family, religion or career field and cover anything from the clothes we wear to the food we cook to the things we say.

My family didn’t really have a lot of traditions when I was growing up. However, the great thing is, I have been able to find and create my own over the years.

When my kids were young, we moved a lot due to the military. That was hard for the kids. (Heck, that was hard for me too.) Changing schools (or jobs for me) and friends every few years takes a toll. Adjusting to new places was always a challenge. Therefore, I tried to make our home consistent. Of course, I didn’t really have a strategic plan to do it. I just felt the need to. Doing certain things during the year, became regular, like little customs. Those things grew over the years and seemed to offer us a sense of comfort, which is exactly why traditions are important, according to Susan Lieberman. “Family traditions counter alienation and confusion. They help us define who we are; they provide something steady, reliable and safe in a confusing world.” In hindsight, that makes sense. I just can’t say I had a thought-out plan back then, I just did it. Funny how we just naturally do things that it can so easily be explained by complete strangers.

It all makes sense though. Out of confusion and change, I sought comfort by creating regularity. Of course, our traditions grew and changed over the years and varied depending on the ages of the kids and the time of the year, but overall, there were regular events.

Spring would always bring my home flowers.

Summer demanded some kind of trip, even if just for a weekend.


Fall required pumpkin carving and pie making.

Christmas would not be Christmas without hard-rock candy and no bake cookies.

My mom used to make cinnamon rock candy and no-bake cookies every Christmas. Now, if I don't, my kids are upset.

My mom used to make cinnamon rock candy and no-bake cookies every Christmas. Now, if I don’t, my kids are upset.

All of these little things brought us stability in our hectic crazy world, and gave us wonderful memories. Well, I know they did for me, I suppose only time will tell with my kids though. Since they are both still in high school and college, it may take time for me to find out just what their fondest memories are. However, I do know a bunch of them now, and as time passes, we will make more.

And, with them expanding their wings, it means my personal traditions will have to be tweaked too. I may not have any little ones to cook for each day anymore, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t cook and bake. I just may need to do it in smaller quantities (or need to share with coworkers). And, as I rediscover myself in this stage of my life, I find that I am making new traditions just for me. For example, for the last few years, my fall traditions have included Octoberfest festivities, a half marathon and some kayaking.

Not all my new traditions are big either. One of my simplest and favorite traditions is getting sushi when I go to the commissary (military grocery store). Nearly every time, every visit, I get that snack and it just give me a sense of calm. (And it is just frankly good sushi!)


Overall, I think these traditions gave me a sense of peace. They brought me joy, something to look forward to regardless of any stress happening then. They were, and remain, little reminders that my life is in order. I am ok. And all is right in the world, at least my little part of it anyway.

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For Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Black and White (with a few color bonuses).

View other entries for this week’s challenge:


Who Needs a Secret Admirer-Not Me

When I receive flowers, the sender is not a secret. However, where he finds them could be in question. You see, my boyfriend doesn’t always buy flowers. He picks them.

He loves to pick wildflowers for me. He sees them, stops and gathers them up for me. His natural instinct to do this started on our first fairytale trip together. Since then, he will pick them while we are hiking or running. I will then put the single flower in my hair and we continue on our hike/run. If we are driving, he will pull over and gather them up for me. I smile at his thoughtfulness and hold them or put them in a water bottle. If we are not together, he brings them to me in a vase of some sort. Sometimes, it is a whole bouquet of flowers. Other times, just a single beauty of nature.

He knows me well too. He picks a variety of flowers (when nature allows it) as he knows I will photograph them nearly every time. He will mention, something like, ‘these were so pretty and I thought you might like them for your blog.’ He is so right. I do like them for my blog, and the fact that he knows that touches my heart. The fact that he supports that, makes him even more special. The fact that he will stop what he is doing to get them for me, tells me he cares.

So I say, who wants a secret admirer when you can have a wonderful boyfriend who showers you with flowers he picks just for you…and all your wonderful followers? Not me.


For the Daily Post Challenge ~ Secret Admirers.

To see pictures of some of the flowers he has picked, click on over to my photography blog here. The one I featured for this article was an abstract I made from one of the many flowers he has given me.