The One

Posted on January 23, 2010. Filed under: Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , |

My poor boyfriend.  I’m always writing about all things important to me, here on My Life, Incomplete — yet I rarely talk about him.  Sure, he makes a cameo now and then, but usually as an extra – never as the star.  “Why is that?” you ask.  Well, because Doug is a very private person.

Can you imagine!?  Us?  A couple?  I’m an open book – to the entire World Wide Web! He’s having a sharing moment if he tells you what he had for breakfast.

So while it may seem like I’m self involved and care more about my ex-husband than my boyfriend, nothing could be further from the truth.  The fact that I don’t write much about Doug or our relationship isn’t because our relationship isn’t worth writing about.  And it’s definitely not because there’s nothing to tell.  Our life as a couple is full.  Some days it’s all I can do not to write about what’s going on with us.  But it’s out of respect for the most wonderful man in the world that I keep us to myself.

Tonight, I guess I feel more like sharing him than respecting him (sorry, babe), so I hope you enjoy it, because it’s not likely to happen again soon.

Here it is:  He makes me laugh.  He goes to Dunkin’ Donuts to get me coffee on Saturday mornings.  He always reaches for my hand.  He thinks I’m funny (and for anyone who knows me – this is HUGE).  He’s Braden’s best friend.  He loves country music.  He thinks spending 10 days with our parents is vacation.  He loves when I sing in the car.  Really!  Ask him!  He’s my best friend.  We can sit outside and play songs for each other on our iPhones all day long.  He goes for walks with me.  He always asks me what I’m wearing when we’re not together.  He’s a great sport at the mall.  He has soft skin.  He loves his kids with all his heart.  He looks amazing in black.  He is good to his parents.  He’s always in charge.  He can talk to anyone.  He believes in me.  He’s got a great ass.  He loves sports — sports all day, every day and it doesn’t even bother me one bit.  He’s my biggest fan.  He’d rather spend quality time with me than go to a Cubs game.  Okay, that one was just to see if you were still paying attention.  We can talk for hours.  I miss him before I even get on the “on” ramp.

He is my favorite person. (Calm down, I’m talking about adults here.)

They say you’ll know when you’ve found “The One.”  I knew I hadn’t when I married my ex, but since I didn’t really know what to expect, I accepted what I had.  I thought that was just something “they” say.  I thought we all just figure our one is “The One” a la “love the one you’re with…” But I know better now.  The connection that Doug and I have is like nothing I could have imagined before experiencing it.  File it under the category of “you don’t know what you don’t know.”

When I was married, I questioned my relationship and whether I belonged in it every time I stood in the greeting card aisle — desperately seeking one that said what I felt.  Problem was, there wasn’t a card that said, “I’m pretty disappointed in this whole marriage thing, but I hope you have a happy birthday anyway.”  Now, when I visit the greeting card aisle, I end up with ten cards in my hand and have to pick which one says it best. I can get the others another time…

Cliche but true: no one is perfect, but Doug is absolutely perfect for me.  I’m such a lucky girl!

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Thankful This Thursday: Security

Posted on January 21, 2010. Filed under: Thankful This Thursday | Tags: , , |

How is it Thursday again already!?

This Thursday I am thankful for shelter, water, food, freedom from injury and disease and knowing that my loved ones are safe and sound. 

Short and sweet this week, but in the wake of Haiti, anything else would seem petty.

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Posted on January 13, 2010. Filed under: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

I’m running out of the physical kind of energy.  Y’know, the kind that your body needs to stay awake and be productive.  But I just have to write this post tonight – the title for which has been sitting in my drafts folder for weeks.  How to pull this all together in a meaningful way will be a test of my writing skills…

As any of you who have been hanging around MLI for a while know, I have a real passion for life in general, but writing, making a meaningful contribution, parenting and connecting with others, more specifically. I’m learning that I thrive in life when any combination of those elements is present.  It is when I shine the most, personally and professionally.  I also feel strongly that positive energy welcomes positive things.  It’s a “when it rains, it pours” philosophy — without the negative connotation.

So here is the series of events that led me to this post: First, I’ve decided that MLI needs a custom design. In discussing that with a friend at work, I was put in touch with a woman he thought could help.  In one short phone conversation, she and I agreed that she isn’t the person to meet the original need, but that we should meet anyway just to see if she can add value in another way. I had no idea what to expect, but thought eh, what the heck?

Fast forward two weeks to this past Saturday.  I’m in the shower, thinking about the blog and decide I need to develop my personal brand.  I start to envision the platform, the design, the content, the brand.  And suddenly it hits me.  A brilliant book idea.  By the time I finish blow drying my hair, I’ve written an entire book in my head. (Now, I’ve never intended for my blogging adventure to lead to writing a book, but who am I to tell my brain no?)

Sunday, the creator of the Ning group I belong to and write for tells me she’s going to start advertising in the newsletter and share any profits with me.

Monday, I meet with the above-mentioned woman.  We hit it off instantly and spend the evening bouncing ideas around.  The meeting turned out to be mutually beneficial, and rather than me hiring her, we agreed to barter services.  Additionally, she’s interested in hiring me to write a weekly blog post on her website and possibly write her web content as well.  We also discussed other possibilities and opportunities.

She leaves, I check my email and find that my application has been reviewed and I have been offered a gig as Chicago Co-Parenting Examiner at

What is going on here?

Tuesday I have a conference call with a friend of a friend who is just starting as a freelance writer as well.  We share ideas and discuss possibilities and networking opportunities.  My excitement is rising.

This morning, I check the status of my Suite 101 application and find out I have been accepted there as well.

Why am I telling you about all of this?  Because when I wrote my About page on Day One of My Life, Incomplete, I meant what I said: “I have a dream to write professionally. I am starting here, but hope to one day get published in a magazine and ultimately (don’t laugh) run my own…”  But I added in the “don’t laugh” because I thought I sounded ridiculous.  Today, I can see my magazine out there, in the future, waiting for me to come and get it.  I’m on my way!

The energy created just by getting started launched me into motion.  It seems the more I focus on the elements in my life that I am passionate about, the more those elements multiply.  And to tie it all together – a quote (by unknown) that a friend posted on Facebook today: “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you will fall into someone else’s.  And guess what they have planned for you?  Not much.”

What’s in your life plan?  What are you waiting for?

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The Icing on My Divorce Cake

Posted on January 10, 2010. Filed under: divorce | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I have a pretty sweet divorce.

After five years of a fairly decent, yet disappointing marriage, Ex-Husband and I  split up.  Once I got past the brief period of post-divorce insanity and worked through the awaiting rotten emotional garbage, I was exactly where I wanted to be:  On my own, starting over, with endless possibilities! Ahh… delicious divorce.

Now, a few years later, Ex-Husband and I have a respectful relationship, that even somewhat resembles a friendship.  Braden, Ex-Husband and I all benefit from the rewards of our cooperative, drama-free co-parenting arrangement. Braden’s dad and I have both moved on and found more fulfilling relationships with new significant others, and we’re genuinely happy for each other.  It’s not uncommon to see any combination of the five of us at an event or one of our homes.  (Well, one combination is uncommon: My boyfriend and Ex-Husband’s Girlfriend alone together might raise an eyebrow…)

It wasn’t until recently that I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Ex-Husband’s Girlfriend.  They have been together for a little over two years now, but she and I only just started to interact beyond a brief “hello” within the last couple of months.  I never imagined our relationship would blossom into what it has.

It began on email.  Then we exchanged digits.  Next, a dinner “date” (as Ex-Husband calls it, to poke fun at her).  We had such a great time at dinner that we sat at that table for three hours!  Did I call it dinner?  I meant to say “at bottle of wine with some food on the side.” We shared stories, laughter and even a few tears.  Going into the dinner, I was a little worried that it might be awkward — but it turned out to be anything but.

We found out that we have a lot in common, which I think was a surprise to both of us.  We also learned about our extreme differences in upbringing and adult lives.  I talked about coming to the decision to divorce and the struggles and rewards associated with that decision, and she discussed the decision to enter into a serious relationship with a single dad and the struggles and rewards associated with that.

Our dynamic is so interesting, so rewarding and so amazing that even I can’t find words to explain it or express my appreciation for it.  Because this wonderful woman has entered my son’s life with an open mind and an open heart, we have been able to spend time together on each of the last three holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.  Today, she, Braden and I went out to lunch and then to see The Princess and the Frog.  We had a blast!  Braden beamed with excitement the entire time.  We agreed to have these girls’ days with Braden on a regular basis.  Family takes on a whole new meaning when it’s one you choose.

Ex-Husband’s Girlfriend isn’t a mother, nor an ex-wife — so coming into our situation was a huge life adjustment.   One that I am so grateful that she committed to making.  Through my relationship with her, I’ve learned that we can find some of our most amazing blessings in the most unexpected places.   Hers are not easy shoes to be in, but she wears them so very well.

For these reasons, Ex-Husband’s Girlfriend is, without a doubt, the icing on my divorce cake!

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Overheard: Timewarp at Lauren’s

Posted on January 8, 2010. Filed under: Overheard | Tags: , , , , , , |

The “brady bits” page is where I post the funniest, cutest, smartest and most surprising things my son says (when I remember to post them before they ended up in the bottom of the brain pile).

But I hear/read/say other funny, cute, smart and surprising stuff all the time. (Yes, I said “say.”) And I’m always so tempted to share them. So I’m going to. In this series of posts called, Overheard.

It’s official.  I am the last living being without a huge flat screen TV.  I thought maybe, but decided definitely after learning that my friend’s 13-year-old son got a 36″ flat screen in his bedroom for Christmas.  I have three tube TVs in my house — one of which is a 32″ in my living room.  Shouldn’t that be good enough?  Another even has a DVD player and a VHS player in it.  C’mon!

Remember when there was some understanding that the size of your TV should be in direct proportion to the size of the room it’s in?  (Think late 80s, early 90s.)  I thought that had something to do with viewing pleasure.  Turns out — not so much.  I find much more pleasure in watching a movie or a game in 52″ High Definition while couching it four feet from the television, than I do watching it on my little tube.  Really, I compared the two.  Whomever put that idea in my head 20 years ago was either wrong, or couldn’t afford a big screen TV.  I’m just sayin…

But the oversized (or perfectly-sized, if we’re being honest) television is not on my “Must Have” list. It’s on my boyfriend’s “Lauren Must Have” list, but not mine. I don’t watch much television at all.  In fact, if it weren’t for Braden (and Doug), I’d cancel the cable.  And I can think of a million ways a thousand dollars could be put to better use (savings, vacation, The Limited, charity, the list goes on…).

I really didn’t even realize the rest of the world has one until the day I had Doug’s family over for Braden’s birthday in November.  After a brief time spent teasing me about my small, 200-pound tube TV with a grainy picture and a glare, Doug’s brother got over it.  Or so I thought.

Hours passed, and then Braden announced: “I want to play a biveo game!”  To which Doug’s brother responded: “Why don’t you ask your mommy to set up the Atari for you?”

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