Trash the Dress Bridal Shower!

My bff (referred to as “Penny” in my  book, “Trash the Dress: Stories of Celebrating Divorce in your 20s”) is getting remarried next month! Here we are at her bridal shower this past weekend. It was an intimate lunch with close friends. No big party needed this time around!

Here’s more proof of love and marriage post-divorce in your 20s. Happily ever after in your 30s!

CNMUshlVEAE6LOR

Penny and me. If you’re a Hanson fan like we are, then you’ll appreciate that caption.

 

This is hope

11081116_10100111137157562_8307102108829952394_n

 

Trash the Dress member Diana is a mom!  She gave birth to this beauty, Scarlett Rose on March 3rd and happily reports,”She’s absolutely perfect!”  Diana continued, “I love her more than I imagined was possible. She has the best daddy ever, and he will become my husband in June. Without my divorce I would have never met the greatest man I never knew existed, and would have never had the opportunity to meet my daughter. There is SOO much life after divorce, just one step/day at a time.”

Congrats, Diana!

Ladies, let this photo inspire you during your divorce process. Your new life is just beginning.

Kelsie Eloped! And It Was Adorable.

Trash the Dress private online support group member Kelsie recently eloped. The ceremony at Joshua Tree was officiated by her mom and Kelsie’s son walked her down the aisle. Get your Pinterest button ready because this wedding is one to inspire you the next time you say “I do.”

Besides the obvious reasons to love these photos, I think this is a great example of how to have a beautiful, affordable second wedding. A lot of second-time brides feel that by eloping you are sacrificing the whole wedding day experience. But that clearly didn’t happen here.  Destination eloping with immediate family members is a perfect options for those who still want to wear a gown and get glam, except you don’t have to worry about venues, seating, favors and that whole mess. Eloping is truly about the couple and what they want, as opposed to big budget weddings that typically cater to the guests.

Congrats to Kelsie and her happily ever after!

Photography by Samantha Smith Arroyo.

10888364_1002240143123547_8777316809818661014_n

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 12.21.12 PM

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 12.21.15 PM

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 12.21.47 PM

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 12.28.27 PM

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 12.28.12 PM

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 12.27.51 PM

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 12.27.43 PM

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 12.22.19 PM

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 12.27.35 PM

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 12.21.35 PM

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 12.27.55 PM

If I am MIA next week….

40weeks

It’s because I am over 40 weeks pregnant and FINALLY having my baby girl! Fingers crossed. I’m ready to start this new chapter in my life. When I was in high school, I used to say I wanted to be married and a mom by the time I was 26 years old. I wanted to be a younger mom. Well, I’m 33 and realized my best years are ahead! I wouldn’t change the way my life played out at all. It took five years post-divorce, but it’s finally happening! Patience, ladies.

My other baby, aka my book, Trash the Dress: Stories of Celebrating Divorce in your 20s, is in layout at the printer. I’ll be getting a hard copy proof next week. Wouldn’t it be funny if both arrive on the same day?

Stepping Outside the Virtual World

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 3.20.37 PM

I’m always told how grateful everyone is that I formed this project. I’m just as grateful– if not more– for all of you! Our private Facebook support group has become a sisterhood of young divorcees. We’re really an international family, helping each other along our journeys. And if we’re lucky, those of us who live near each other get to become real life friends.

Lyndsay and I stepped outside the virtual world this past weekend for dinner with our new husbands. It’s funny how our lives have paralleled. When I first began writing the book, Trash the Dress: Stories of Celebrating Divorce in your 20s (pending publication), Lyndsay was going through her divorce. Years later, she remarried a few weeks after my wedding and we are now both pregnant, one week apart, with our first babies, and live about 20 minutes from each other.  It turns out we have a lot in common, including a penchant for gray V-neck maternity shirts, which we both wore the night we met!

Here’s to happy endings, new beginnings and friendships that wouldn’t have been formed without our divorces! More proof that everything happens for a reason- in due time!

I’m Pregnant: My Post-Divorce Baby Dreams Are Coming True!

IMG_2739Cheese: My number one craving (next to fruit). But not just any cheese. It must be Cracker Barrel Aged Cheddar.

I’m expecting the future I’ve dreamed about my whole life. Sleepless nights, cartoons on the television and weekends spent cooking at home (or let’s face it, ordering takeout) instead of indulging at a restaurant with friends.  This September, my dreams of motherhood will finally become reality. I’m pregnant!

When I was in high school, I dreamed of being a wife and mother by age 26. I didn’t get engaged to my ex-husband until I was 27 years old, so I already felt like I was off to a late start by then. Little did I know, I should have been taking that time to enjoy my twenties instead of pressuring myself to move onto the next phase of life. After we were married (by then I was 28), I told my future ex that he had one year to figure out what he wanted to do with his life because we had a timeline. I needed to be pregnant by age 30. And we needed to sell our condo and buy a house with a white picket-fenced in yard for the dogs.

He agreed to have one child with me. Agreed. I married a man who was “allowing” me the privilege of having one child. I never liked it, but I was sure he would change his mind once our finances became more stable. I mean, once you have one, how can you not want another?! I figured the stress of providing for a family was just deterring him. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Lesson learned the hard way. If someone is not sure they want children, then they don’t want children. They may convince themselves temporarily, but in the end, their feelings can’t be changed by your influence.

A year after we married, he confessed he actually didn’t want children after all. Or to be married. Maybe not to anyone ever, but definitely not to me. I agreed that things should end. Immediately. I didn’t have time to waste! There went my dreams of ringing in dirty 30 with a bunch of diapers.

Ever since my divorce, I freaked out about when I was going to have children. My clock was ticking away. I needed to meet the right man. Then I met him, and I still stressed. I had a new timeline. By then, I was 29 years old and prime babymaking time was inching away. We were in no financial state to buy a house or pay for a wedding. How on earth were we going to start a family while we were still “young?”

Somehow we made it happen. At the same time actually. We got engaged, bought a house and planned our wedding over the same summer. I’m now 32, years away from my divorce and even farther from my goal of birthing by age 26, but it’s happening. This is the way it’s meant to be and I’m so glad it didn’t happen any other way.

Now that I’m pregnant, I know that I never could have handled it without a supportive husband to be by my side as I battle nausea 24/7 for four months straight. A partner to bring me food when I’m so sick I can’t get up. Or to stop at the store on his way home from work for cheese because I ran out and it’s my number one craving. And most of all, he wants a family with me! And we agree on two children!

I thought I was ready for all this when I was in my twenties and I am sure many women can handle it like aces, but I really had no idea what was in store. Of course that would not have comforted me at the time and it might not comfort those of you now who are where I was four years ago. But I’m here to say that it may have taken a few extra years, but my life finally reached the place I’ve been yearning to be. Of course I am already worried about how we will afford baby number two and make that happen before I reach the “deadline” pregnancy age of 35, but I have learned to just chill out and enjoy the moment.  I have to take it one step at a time, I know.

I’m grateful for divorce in my twenties because it allowed me to have the family I always wanted in my 30s. And I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m finally at a place where I feel at peace. I know that not everything will be easy, but I’ve always remained faithful and it’s always gotten me to where I can thrive. The hard times were so worth going through because these good times ahead are going to be the best times.

In Stupid News…

Colorado Mulls Proposal to Require ‘Pre-Wedding’ Classes

safe_image-1.php

Nice way to punish divorcees! What asshole proposed this? So if a woman was abused or her ex-husband became a drug addict, then she should have to sit through a 20-hour marriage class before she is allowed to embark on a much-deserved new, wonderful life with the RIGHT man? Ha.

Issues like this infuriate me. I can’t wait until my book is published so you can read my thoughts on religious marriage classes!

 

Ronja Remarried!

trashthedressecondwedding

Mega congrats to Trash the Dress private online divorce support group member, Ronja, who just tied the knot in the stunning dress pictured above.

Ronja told us, “I know how hard happiness for others can be in time of despair, but for those of you who want to see that it all gets better, I got married on Friday! It was the most relaxing wonderful day…the total opposite of my first. At my rehearsal dinner I made a speech that included how my now-husband took me out of a very dark place that I wasn’t ever sure I was going to get out of and how thankful I was he found me. He cried, I cried… everyone cried. Life really does get better and each and every one of us is going to find our happiness.”

Awww!

How to Have Your Dream Second Wedding on a Budget: Money-Saving Tips Every Bride Must Know

trashthedressweddingcake

Since we’ve been on the topic of second weddings thanks to the remarriages of Trash the Dress members Lindsay, Danielle, Robyn and yours truly, I decided to post my money saving tips for brides on a budget. Let’s face it, most second-time brides (and even the majority of first-timers) are on a tight budget.  It’s one of the most annoying things about getting remarried. Well, that and the fact that many of us feel like we already had our dream wedding- to the wrong man- so we have to be extra creative in planning. Don’t let daunting thoughts get you down! It is possible to have the wedding of our dreams to the right man!  Here are 14 tips on how to make it happen. And if you’re still waiting to meet your real Mr. Right, hang tight! He’ll come when you least expect it.

Trash the Dress |”Marriage After Divorce in your 20s” series presents “How to Have Your Dream Second Wedding on a Budget: Money-Saving Tips Every Bride Must Know

 

 

 

 

 

Whoo! Lyndsay Found her Happily Ever After Divorce! She Just Got Remarried!

1385167_10153423572615285_1050687109_n

I love wedding pictures in general, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing Trash the Dress private online divorce support group members as brides again. I’m especially excited to see Lyndsay (above, with her new hubby, Peter) remarry because I feel like I’ve been on her journey from the start. Lyndsay was one of the first girls to reach out to me when I first started this project and was seeking women to interview for my book, Trash the Dress: Stories of Celebrating Divorce in your 20s, a few years ago. She had just started going through the divorce process and agreed to keep a diary for publication, which I can’t wait for you all to read. I was so excited when Lyndsay found a new man and of course over the moon for her when Peter popped the question. This weekend they made things official and I think their smiles say it all. Lyndsay is a beaming bride and a great inspiration for all young women currently going through divorce in their 20s. She’s proof that you can have a happily ever after divorce and live your fairy tale life!