Julie DeNeen » Purveyor of Fine Opinions

I’m trying to be brave. Really I am. But all I want to do is cry. I took Alex to the airport on Saturday morning. He arrived safely in Bucharest and is now visiting with his family who hasn’t seen him in seven months. He will make the rounds in his hometown, see all his […]

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  • Chloe Jeffreys - Absence done right can be very good for a relationship. Jeff and I have grown together in so many ways now that I travel for my work. We’re much more intentional when we’re together than we ever were before. We really make time for one another when we’re together. But that doesn’t mean we don’t miss each other like crazy when we’re apart. For your sake, and Alex’s, I hope your man comes home soon.ReplyCancel

  • Ruchira Khanna - aww! absence sure makes the heart fonder since we ponder over those memories that make us smile…and smile we lot thinking of that person. My boys were away for the weekend via boy scouts…sure it gave me a lot of “I” time, but every few minutes mind would tither towards them…alas!

    Hang in there cause soon you will driving to the airport to pick him up!
    xoxoReplyCancel

  • Liv BySurprise - Ahhh pregnancy. I don’t miss the nonstop crying stage.ReplyCancel

  • Liv BySurprise - Ahhh pregnancy. I don’t miss the nonstop crying stage.ReplyCancel

  • Sandra Sallin - Well the good thing is that you’re so busy crying you’re not nausous. Obviously you’re very happy and very sad. Pregnancy hormones?ReplyCancel

I feel one of those epic rants coming on. I try not to blog when I’m in this mood, but sometimes some good ol’ fashioned online validation is just what the doctor ordered. I hear voices. Generally this results in medication, therapy, and being institutionalized, but so far I’ve kept my disease secret enough to […]

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  • Kerry - While I am not going through a divorce, I could totally relate to your feelings. As it pertains to women and work, the Mommy Wars have raged on for years. As the breadwinner, I am home less, but I am still carrying the weight on all of those invisible parenting tasks. I work so hard to make up for the time I’m not there, and I’ve worked hard to negotiate flex. My salary is carrying our household, and I bust my butt on all fronts. Still, I am judged. I get the comments about having them in daycare, about missing moments when I travel, about having someone else “raise them.” Deep down, I know it is all BS, but it is hard to cope when you feel judged. And just like you, when the tables are turned, dads are applauded for their efforts. It sucks, and I just try to quiet the voices and look at my kids. If they are good, I’m good. That’s the monitor I need to watch. Everyone else – well they just don’t know my reality. Hang in there!ReplyCancel

  • Lucy Ball - Wow. Julie. Thank you for sharing this. On behalf of mothers who are married and single. Those voices can be completely overwhelming. I appreciate that you shared your feelings and the fact that they don’t reflect feelings about men in general, but about the way our society elevates fathers on pedestals who do what so many mothers do every day across the world. That said, I don’t mean to degrade fathers whatsoever. Desi is an amazing father. And yet, if I take my children to the park and happen to check my phone, I am an in attentive mother. If their father takes them to the park, he’s a martyr. At any rate, I appreciate your honesty. And those voices have an will continue to linger as long as we are alive. Stupid voices. Loves, hun.ReplyCancel

    • Julie DeNeen - I guess it’s not just an issue during divorce, but one that is shouted about all the time. Of course, on the other end of the spectrum, Dads are also stereotyped as dumb idiots, which they most certainly are not that either!ReplyCancel

  • Claudia Schmidt - Yup. I’ve been married 20 years and still feel that way. Mothering is incredibly hard and I don’t think I’ll ever feel like I’ve “done it right” even when my kids are grown and moved out on their own. Try to give yourself a break, you sound like a fabulous mom to me.ReplyCancel

    • Julie DeNeen - Yes, this is the conclusion I’ve come to…that if I can be okay in myself, I will be okay no matter what anyone says. Because divorce or no divorce, this is an issue all mothers battle regularly. Thanks Claudia.ReplyCancel

  • Jenny Kanevsky - You get all the Amens in Amenland. It’s a shit stereotype. Vent, girl, vent.ReplyCancel

  • Jenny Kanevsky - And you are doing it well. Only you know what’s best for your family.ReplyCancel

  • Sandy Lévêque - You are so spot-on that it would be completely different if it were the other way around. People are so quick to judge and slower to be aware of what impact that has. I agree with your last sentence!ReplyCancel

  • Kim Lechleitner Miller - Julie, I know exactly how you feel. While I’m not in your shoes – I know what it feels like to be labeled a “bad mother” when people don’t know the facts or the circumstances regarding your situation. This is an arrangement that works for both you and Andrew. Screw what anyone else has to say – you do what is right for YOUR situation and the voices be damned.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa R. Petty - I went through the same thing. It will get better.ReplyCancel

  • Paul Tardiff - You don’t have to prove or explain yourself to anyone. Also, what a woman you are to equally share your children with their father… That is love and selfless. I only got to see my father one weekend every two weeks. You are giving your children a choice by not involving the courts.ReplyCancel

  • Liv BySurprise - I’m totally not one of them. I think you both should be proud of the fantastic and mature way you’ve handled this all. But that being said, the same voices are in my own head. And one of them is my own.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly Roberts - I am probably one of the rare children of divorce who felt my life was better when my parents were divorced. I was young, just three years old, but I remember acutely how much more important and worthy I felt in my dad’s eyes because he actually had days of the week when his only job was to pay attention to me. That didn’t happen before the divorce, and it didn’t happen after my parents remarried each other when I was seven…and I’ve got years of therapy and daddy issues under my belt because of it (well, you know…).

    If I *had* been asked, I would have begged them to stay divorced. But no body asked me. And when it comes right down to it, the only opinions about what children need when their parents divorce are the children’s.

    So I would encourage you to ask the question you seem to be struggling with the most: “Am I enough for you as a mom?” Ask them to give you one to three things they need from you that they’re not currently getting. Then:
    1- Take them at their word.
    2- Do everything you can to be that for them.
    3- Stop listening to, absorbing, inhaling, agonizing over everyone else’s opinion.

    If you do #1 and #2, you won’t feel compelled to do #3 because you’ll be confident that you’re doing exactly what your children need, or at least working toward that. And their opinion is the only one that matters.ReplyCancel

  • JD Bailey - The double standard is really astounding. Not surprising, but still astounding. You keep on, keeping on. Sounds like you are being a GREAT mom – as you have been all along.ReplyCancel

  • carol stanley - JUlie: I feel badly that you are beating yourself up. In my humble opinion your kids are just fine. Having a lot of Dad’s attention is just as good as moms. As long as you stay a team as parents the kids are fine. They probably like all the new activity–and Iam sure your time with them is undivided and fun.

    I had my kids in the divorce but when they reached a certain age they moved in with their dad. Moms should beat themselves up when they spend all day working away from the kids. You are there for them. Life is about choices and I think you are doing the best possible.ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa D. - I had to let this post settle a bit in my head before commenting. I think it’s exceptional that you and your former spouse have chosen to put your children first. And I agree there is a double standard there – a man who has his children live with him and a mother who doesn’t must somehow be unfit.

    I raised two boys mostly on my own, and if I’m being completely honest had their father not had issues of his own I would have probably embraced an arrangement that allowed for equal time with both parents.

    In some ways we are changing for the better – allowing that men are just as good at parenting as women are. In Canada, we even allow men to take parental leave and I think it’s wonderful. But the flip side is we have to stop judging women so harshly. Some women may even choose to not have their children all the time just because they know they aren’t suited for full-time parenting solo. Instead of vilifying those women – we should be lauding them for putting their children’s well-being first.ReplyCancel

  • Scott - I agree completely that this is unfair. I can also tell you, as a single father with 50/50 custody, that I have heard many of the compliments Andrew would get were he in your position.

    I’m not sure why we still hold only women responsible for raising children. It’s ludicrous to think only a woman can properly raise a child. Men are just as capable as women and should be held to the same standard.

    Coparenting is the ideal situation for children in the event of a divorce, in my opinion. If I could have my children 100% of the time I would take it in a heartbeat, but I could never deprive them of their relationships with their mothers.

    I’m so very sorry you’re being so harshly judged and I hope you eventually learn to tune out those negative voices. What matters most is your dear children and their well-being. All those voices are just noise.ReplyCancel

  • Practical Mama - As a working mom, I agree that the roles are distributed and shared unequally. In my opinion, the most important judgement will not come from others or even the voices in your head, but it’ll come from your children. Don’t dwell in the past or the future. Make sure they feel loved and secure by you now. Don’t dwell in the voices in your head either. You insecurities might reflect on them. They’ll sense it.
    I don’t know if you have time to read. If you get a chance, read “Power of now”. I’ve been reading it for the second time. It might help you quiet down those voices in your head and ignore the ones from outside.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy Lowell - Julie,
    As many people before me have said, the only opinions you should be listening to, and in fact soliciting are from your kids. It is very easy for others to point a finger and judge,and it is none of their business!
    My philosophy is that no one escapes childhood unscathed, and every challenge we face forms the adults we become. You strengthen rather than hobble kids when no matter how you live your life, and what decisions you make, if you allow them to develop the skills they need to weather the changes.
    You are a great mom, and the fact that you’re questioning yourself is absolute proof of that!
    Don’t wait for those horrid intruders to shut up, they never will, you need to shut them O U T!!!ReplyCancel

  • Bronwyn Joy - This is so very well said. It’s amazing how things sound sometimes when you turn the roles around so they’re gender-reversed.ReplyCancel

  • Enedina St Sebastian - My husband is a great dad, and has been helpful since we knew I was pregnant. Still damn if I didn’t want to punch people in the face for the praise they through his way. Not because he didn’t deserve it, but because I did too. Instead I felt judged for having to go back to work. Not to mention a host of other judgments my husband was not subject too. So unfair.ReplyCancel

  • Molley@A Mother Life - You just do what works for you guys. Let the judgements just roll of like water off a ducks back. I know that’s easy to say and more difficult to live but you are an amazing mother and both of you have obviously thought things through in great detail to make this transition for the children a little easier.
    Love and strength coming your way… haters gonna hate.ReplyCancel

  • Rena McDaniel - Listen to only your children’s voices nobody else’s should matter. You have nothing to feel guilty for, you’re doing the best you can do that is quite ALOT! Now shut up (just kidding talking to the voice not you)!ReplyCancel

  • A Nervous, Sick Wreck - Adventures of a Jayhawk Mommy - […] The Great Divide Between the Awesome Father and an Unfit Mother A thought-provoking article on how we look at the roles of divorced parents. […]ReplyCancel

If you are friends with me on Facebook, your newsfeed probably vomited my announcement that I’m now rich and famous because I failed at a one-minute brownie recipe and happened to tweet about it. The producer saw my tweet, decided I was the perfect TV personality, and immediately called me to be on the show. […]

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  • Molley@A Mother Life - So much fun to see you on tv today. I had a sick kid and we watched together…
    Remember the little people when you get super famous from this. And next time, call me! I’ll let you pee in my comfy loo :)ReplyCancel

  • Sarah @Thank You Honey - You did awesome & you are glowing! Great job! xo I love Rachel Ray!ReplyCancel

  • emily - I totally would have tried to eat the brownie off the fork – to me it looked as if he was about to feed it to you! Great job – you are truly a natural on camera!!ReplyCancel

  • Eileen - You were a natural. Fricking adorable!!! XXXOOOReplyCancel

  • Lynda@fitnessmomwinecountry - This is awesome Julie….so exciting. Oh and I am a Napa Valley {wine country} gal Olive Oil goes with anything LOLReplyCancel

  • dave - Awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Roshni - Wait!! That can’t be it! Where’s the video?!ReplyCancel

  • Vicki L. Hodges - Good job, Julie! How exciting! And you look wonderful!ReplyCancel

  • Ruchira Khanna - yoohoo! inspite of all that you were going thru…you were confident and dazzling :)

    xoxoReplyCancel

  • Paul Tardiff - You’re pregnant! Congrats.ReplyCancel

  • Pete Vanlaw - You looked terrific. While you were aware of the fake eyelashes, they looked totally real on camera, and very natural. Who’d have even thunk it if you hadn’t mentioned it. BTW, it you want to see Tom Bergeron at his absolute best, watch any episode of America’s Funniest Videos.He’s one of my all time favorite MCs. Now, when are they going to have you back?ReplyCancel

  • Not Enough Wine in the World - Too funny!ReplyCancel

  • Kate Hall - Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh! That is so freaking cooooool! I loved watching the clip! You did a great job! I would have been visibly shaking. Love it! And love you eyelashes!ReplyCancel

  • Susan Zutautas - You looked so natural up there and I couldn’t tell you felt nauseous. Looking beautiful as always!ReplyCancel

  • Nancy Lowell - OK, so you looked gorgeous, you were very poised and didn’t seem nauseous at all, and I am super jealous! And so happy you got to do this!!ReplyCancel

  • Practical Mama - You look amazing and so cool. I mean just relaxed and natural on screen. No sign of nausea and urge to pee at all. :) I would have reached for the brownie on that fork. He seemed to be feeding it to you.ReplyCancel

  • Parri Shahmanesh Sontag - What a fun experience. Can I touch you? You’re the closest I’ve ever come to a celebrity! And BTW, you look breathtakingly GORGEOUS! What an exciting experience!ReplyCancel

  • One Funny Motha - That’s too funny, but you look great. Let me know when you get her job.ReplyCancel

  • One Funny Motha - That’s too funny, but you look great. Let me know when you get her job.ReplyCancel

  • Darcy Perdu (So Then Stories) - HA! Love the that list at the end of the post. You did awesome and looked fabulous! What a cool experience!ReplyCancel

  • Dana Montenegro Hemelt - How fun! You looked totally relaxed. I tried to apply fake eyelashes on myself once and nearly glued my eye shut.ReplyCancel

  • Jhanis - What an awesome experience for you Julie! Can we start asking for your autograph now? :)ReplyCancel

  • Abby - I totally saw the show before I knew that was you on there. Congrats! That is SO cool!ReplyCancel

  • Carin Kilby Clark - You are glowing! Looks like you had FUN :)ReplyCancel

  • Carin Kilby Clark - You are glowing! Looks like you had FUN :)ReplyCancel

  • Lucy Ball - I could totally tell you had fake ones. Just kidding. There is another lesson to be learned here. All the best stuff happens on Twitter. I am going to make that brownie in a mug right now. Yum.ReplyCancel

  • Rena McDaniel - This is too funny but I love Rachel EVERY DAY WITH RACHAEL RAY at RachaelRaymag.com just wish I could cook like she does!ReplyCancel

The most pressing issue in my life right now? What to put in my mouth. I wish I could explain morning sickness in a way that would help non-pregnant humans understand just how random and fickle first trimester nausea can be. I sound like a total whack job when Alex asks me the simple question, […]

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  • Kelly Roberts - “Will it be born with an accent?” My favorite question of all! So so sorry you’re feeling like dog shit. Fingers crossed it goes fast. Oh, and your baby says, “Thanks for the extra weight…just what I need to keep me toasty warm with winter around the corner.”ReplyCancel

  • Chloe Jeffreys - Other than the part where the baby comes out, the first trimester is my least favorite. It was YEARS before I could be in the same room with the smell of cooking hamburger meat or eggs. Grocery shopping was a nightmare, too. I know they try to make sure the store looks clean, but to a newly pregnant woman they smell like a garbage pail.ReplyCancel

  • Nicole Davis - Just had the same conversation about babies coming out of vaginas with Fiona. “Which hole doors it come out of?”

    Bless your hearts….ReplyCancel

  • Sandra Sallin - Aw saltines. Always my drug of choice,ReplyCancel

  • Glenda Clemens - When I was pregnant with my second child our 5 year old daughter watched us practicing childbirth exercises and she joined in. We explained about how the baby was coming out and we even demonstrated with David putting his hands under my dress and pulling a doll out from under the dress. Next day when I go to pick up daughter from preschool one of the nuns came running out to pull me into mother superior’s office. Our daughter was nearly expelled when when of the nun’s caught her pulling a doll from under another child’s dress while shouting, “Push! Push!” We should have said, “Next Question!” but your idea on how to handle the situation comes about 36 years too late! :) Great post. I laughed and giggled through every minute.ReplyCancel

Yesterday I told you Alex and I went to the doctors. The OBGYN is the same practice that delivered (and in my opinion) mishandled Eden’s heart defect. They aren’t my favorite practice. But in the interest of laziness and not wanting to fill out a million forms, I just decided to go with them again […]

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  • Denise - Oh for goodness sake woman, go find another practice. The paper work is not that bad. You’re going to have to see the doc/middle mother at least what…a dozen more times? 15 more times? Find someone who’s happy to deal with babies. Surely someone in the blogosphere is in your hometown and knows a GREAT middle mother. (I love that term.)ReplyCancel

  • Sandra Sallin - You have enough to deal with. Get thee to a new practice! How dare she judge you.ReplyCancel

  • dave - A Dr patient relationship is very important. Especially this type of Dr. I would change practices as soon as possible, and this is from someone that hates changing doctors! You are paying them for a specific service. If they do not meet your satisfaction you take your business elsewhere.ReplyCancel

  • James Timothy Peters - I do believe it’s time to move on.ReplyCancel

  • Chloe Jeffreys - Find a new doctor toot sweet. And congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • Emily - PLEEEEEASE find a new practice!! And, based on the other comments, it’s no surprise everyone else agrees!ReplyCancel

  • Denise Scott Geelhart - New practice! Go where you feel confident and comfortable! You don’t need the extra stress.ReplyCancel

  • Jenny Kanevsky - Shit, I’ll deliver your baby and do a better job. NEW PRACTICE! Once you go through the initial pain in the ass of changing it’ll be so much better for both of you. It’s Alex’s experience too. Yuck.ReplyCancel

  • Alexis Gambardella - New practice! I could never have gone through my pregnancy or delivery without my supportive practice. Women’s Health Associates…amazing midwife group! Happy to back up recommendation if you need or want! (I was in a similar situation to you with knowing my hubby for a very short time and they were amazing!) ReplyCancel

  • Pete Vanlaw - She’s the “Mid-wife from Hell”. Time to move on. If you weren’t happy with her seven years ago, it ain’t gonna’ get any better now. I just went through a similar issue with a urologist, who I’d been gong to for TEN years…and truly hated the guy for reasons too lengthy to enumerate here. I finally asked myself, “Why do I continue to put up with his Bullsh*t?” So, get to the new practice 20 min. early, bite the bullet and do the paper work. You only have to do it once.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica Smock - I guess I’ll chime in here, as I’m currently 38.5 weeks pregnant and not terribly happy with my ob/gyn practice. I’m also the queen of laziness in terms of being pro-active about this stuff. When I got pregnant, I just picked the practice where I knew that a family friend practiced. Right away I wasn’t sure that they were a good fit, philosophically. But I was lazy and I figured it would be fine. Now it’s too late and I desperately wish that I’d spent the time and energy researching my choices better. (In my case, practices — like a midwife practice — that are more comfortable with VBACs and “older mom” deliveries.) Really, ask around, visit places. Or maybe wait until you’re out of the yucky morning sickness phase.ReplyCancel

  • Jacki Fitzpatrick - Find a new place stat. You need to be comfortable.ReplyCancel

  • Brandi Kelly - Get rid of her!!! This a beautiful experience for you two..make it exceptional on all ends!ReplyCancel

  • Sonya Prince - New practice! Or ask for a different middle mother. I switched practices years ago and had all my records tranfered, filled out one form, and gave them my insurance card. Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Angela Haworth - Find a new practice!! Paperwork takes 15 minutes and have your old office transfer your entire medical file to the new. So. No excuse for not going new. Besides, 9 months of Nurse Ratchet is NOT going to help with a happy and smooth pregnancy. ReplyCancel

  • Angela Haworth - BTW, congratulations!! ReplyCancel

  • Tana Bevan - For me, I went through almost an entire OB/GYN department before I found one who suited me. While he wasn’t there for the delivery, he did see me through a very difficult pregnancy and for that I am grateful. One’s pregnancy is NOT the time to be making due. That’s my opinion.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly Roberts - I know the last thing you probably want it another shake-up in your life, but it’s time to fire her ass and go somewhere new.ReplyCancel

  • Liv BySurprise - Run Julie! Make this a new, welcome experience for all of you. It’s worth the time on the paperwork.ReplyCancel

  • Welcome to the Bundle - Take your precious kidney bean run! It doesn’t sound like she’s the kind of person to whom you can turn if you have questions or fears, and no pregnant woman should feel intimidated or nervous about talking to her midwife. The extra paperwork will be worth your peace of mind.ReplyCancel

  • Rena McDaniel - Damn it mom’s been playing with the speculum again!ReplyCancel

  • Nana Kwamena Abaka Blankson - We highly recommend the kind and caring Certified Nurse Midwives at Women’s Health Associates in North Branford. When things got a little scary during Mary’s last delivery, the midwives stood up to the docs and made sure no unnecessary or over-the-top invasive procedures were forced on her. Don’t settle for less when it comes to your family/body!
    And (for what it’s worth) they made me feel welcome and integral to everything that went on during the examinations and the delivery.ReplyCancel

  • Brittany Flores - Runnnnnn, Dont walk, to a new office! This should be an amazing thing and a midwife or dr like that can ruin the whole thing! P.s. do you want to deal with her when you are in labor? I wouldn’t that for sure.ReplyCancel

  • Stacey Gill - New practice STAT. That is my biggest regret w/ my first. I was young & stupid & overwhelmed & my practice wasn’t quite as bad as that, but still. This is one of the most important events of your life, it should be as good as it possibly can.ReplyCancel

There comes a point in everyone’s life when you realize just how little control you have over… anything. That’s not to absolve us of responsibility, our choices, and our decisions — but when I look over my life, I see so many examples of things happening when I least expect them to. Mom says I […]

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  • Scott - Congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • Janie Emaus - I have to comment on this because I agree completely with you. I don’t get why it’s seems okay for the father to move out and move on with his life, seeing his children on weekend, etc and not the mom. To me, it boils down to what is best for the kids. So, congratulations. I, for one, am very happy for you.ReplyCancel

    • Julie DeNeen - Thank you. I don’t understand this either – but I feel it quite strongly as I try to walk out my life right now.ReplyCancel

  • Lance - Congratulations and best wishes

    Keep taking care of yourself, that will make you a good momReplyCancel

  • Natalie - Congrats Julie and Alex!! Best wishes!!ReplyCancel

  • Disgusted - Wow. What an incredible story. Congratulations!

    I’m amazed at your authenticity and willingness to share your story – the good and the bad – with the world. You are honest and forthright, not just with your strengths, but your weaknesses as well.

    I wish you all the best.ReplyCancel

    • A - How kind of you to share such heartfelt sentiment.ReplyCancel

  • Aussa Lorens - Congrats! If it’s a girl, you can name it Aussa. If it’s a boy you can name it Lawrence. Perfect.ReplyCancel

  • Sandra Sallin - You’ve got a lot of love and joy to give Julie. Congratulations. You can do it!ReplyCancel

  • Kim Bongiorno - Congratulation, Julie!ReplyCancel

  • Alyson Shitastrophy Herzig - Congrats!! Exciting stuff:) ReplyCancel

  • Erin Dwyer Dymowski - Congratulations, Julie!
    ReplyCancel

  • Kate Hall - I’m really excited for your little bambino, Julie. I’m thrilled that Alex is 1000% behind being a parent. Life isn’t easy and I know you’re feeling that right now, but there’s also beauty amidst the difficulties. Praying you’ll find comfort through the anticipated judgment and other crap you’re sure to endure. Love you, lady! ReplyCancel

  • Kelly Roberts - That’s absolutely amazing! I completely understand and relate to the feelings of inadequacy as a mother, some of it justified, most of it not. Think of it this way: This baby is another opportunity for you to start your mothering gig all over from the beginning, to see it fresh from a new pairs of eyes that have never witnessed the crazy, beautiful thing that is parenting. ReplyCancel

  • Mary Anne Payne - How exciting!!!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica Watson - Congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Honey - Congrats Julie! So excited for you both!
    ReplyCancel

  • Pattie Thomas - So about BlogU15…
    Congratulations JulieReplyCancel

  • Denise Benner Bertacchi - Congratulations! There’s a 8.5 year gap between my boys, so I understand. But it’s like ridin’ a bike. You’ll handle this. ReplyCancel

  • Ellen Gale Williams - What wonderful news!ReplyCancel

  • Laurel Rogers - This is John Lennon’s quote from many years ago. Not to take anything away from your content, Julie, just thought you should know! :)ReplyCancel

  • Dana Montenegro Hemelt - What exciting news, Julie! So you’re a little bit scared, but you’re happy. You got this.ReplyCancel

  • Jill Cowen Cahr - Your post is moving, inspirational and beautiful. Congratulations to you and Alex!!ReplyCancel

  • Snarkfest - Wow, talk about crazy!!! Congratulations to you and to Alex. You’re going to be fantastic parents to this little one.ReplyCancel

  • Glenda Clemens - Be true to yourself and live from that truth. . . everything will be as it should be. Congratualtions and blessings and love to you all.ReplyCancel

  • Michele Webb - You’re no stranger to criticism. Keep your head up, and quit beating yourself up. You and Andrew are really the only ones that know what’s best for your family, and if it’s working out, then it’s exactly what you need to be doing! Congrats on the baby!ReplyCancel

  • Richard Rumple - You’ve gone with your instincts so far, so don’t stop now. Your life is whizzing by at mach 6 speed. Catch your breath, get your bearings, and I wish you the best!ReplyCancel

  • Sally N Reggie Jardon - Julie it is obvious that this child is meant to be born. Take a deep breath, life is short, enjoyReplyCancel

  • Paul - Congratulations Julie! You are the best Mom and will continue to be.ReplyCancel

  • Natalie - I am happy for you. There is so much going on–changes can be overwhelming–but you seem to be taking it in stride. So glad you have someone on your side to be there for you and the baby. Congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • Jenny Kanevsky - I love this. “Middle mother” is adorable. Congratulations. And, on the other issue, the mommy guilt regarding your older children, it’s societal. You’re right, if you were the dad, no one would bat an eyelash, even you. So, know that (which you already do, obviously) you are the best mother for YOUR children and you mother them the way you need to. And that is what mothering is all about. No one can tell you otherwise because you are the mom. And you know best. And, now, you get to be one again! Wahoo. I hope you stop feeling pukey soon, but it sounds like you are in good hands. Many many happy things to you!ReplyCancel

  • Rena McDaniel - Congratulations and for God’s sake quit overthinking it! You ARE a terrific mother, whether your in the house with them or a 1,000 miles away. Nobody can take that away from you. You were meant to get pregnant for a reason so sit back and enjoy it for all it’s worth. Take every second slowly, take it all in (even the throwing up). Last week I told you about moving in with hubby the night after we met. Well we also got pregnant a month after we moved in together and that child is the love of my life (I love my son, don’t get me wrong) but my daughter who looks like me and acts like him has made my whole world complete. I cried when I found out and I wanted to punch him in the throat for smiling ear to ear, but I guess he knew quicker than I did that she would change our lives in the best way. Now that little baby girl is laying in a hospital bed trying to keep her little kidney beans in for a few more weeks even though they are quite eager to get here. Everytime I look at her I see the love of her father and I. She is the product of that love, physical proof that it existed and still does and for that I love her with everything I have. I hope the ball busters have been giving you a break if not tell them to fuck off and enjoy yourself with your new love and your new life and more than anything I am so happy for you!ReplyCancel

  • Tammy - Congratulations Julie! Like you said, the one thing we really can do is expect things to not turn out as planned.ReplyCancel

  • Kirsten - Congratulations to you both!ReplyCancel

  • jhanis - Congrats Julie!ReplyCancel

  • Carin Kilby Clark - Congratulations! So exciting…<3ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Rudell Beach - So thrilled for you Julie! Congrats! (And you’re a great mom… You can hear it in your words) <3ReplyCancel

  • Carpool Goddess - Congratulations, Julie! Wishing you and your family love, health, and happiness.ReplyCancel

  • Anita Davis Sullivan - The best things are rarely easy or perfect. Congratulations on more to come of the best stuff ever- love.ReplyCancel

  • Stacey Warner Hatton - What a beautiful chance to share your love with a new child and your new love. Much peace and love. (I first typed “Much peach”) I wonder if that is a sign? lol
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  • Darcy Perdu (So Then Stories) - Julie’s updates:
    I got a new boyfriend!
    We’re living together!
    I’m pregnant!

    Darcy’s updates:
    I got a big bag of Halloween candy!
    We’re in a committed relationship, this candy and me.
    I’m pregnant with a “food” baby!

    We’re practically twins! Ha! Congrats on all your exciting news!ReplyCancel

  • Kristi Rieger Campbell - Nothing in life is planned. I didn’t expect to have my first and only baby at 40. I didn’t expect it to be with my second husband, who I met online. I didn’t expect delays, or any of this life. But it’s all good. I’m so happy for you Julie!
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  • Kathy Radigan - Congratulations!!!! Babies have their own timing and I think that is what makes it all the more fun!!! Best wishes to you and Alex!! How exciting for you both!!ReplyCancel

  • Stacey Gill - Holy Moly and congrats!ReplyCancel

  • Leigh-Mary Hoffmann - Amazing news. Congratulations. God Bless and feel good.ReplyCancel

I’m not ready to spill my big news yet. I know I left a teaser at the end of last post, but bear with me…there’s enough going on in my life for 1000 blog posts. I will get it out of my fingers sooner or later, but it’s too big to just throw out there […]

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  • Sandra Sallin - OK, the absolute worst thing about this whole relationship is drinking coke from a measuring cup.ReplyCancel

  • Emily - I love your current life list and I’m happy mainly about two things: 1) That everyone (you, Andrew, the kids, Alex, your parents) seems to be managing this “weird” transition in a healthy, mature way. Awesome. And 2). Rachel Ray?!!!?? That’s soooo cool – I can’t wait to see that clip!!ReplyCancel

  • Ruchira Khanna - happy to read that things are settling down…xoxoReplyCancel

  • Alexis Gambardella - I love this! Met my hubby on Match…moved in 2 months later…married 9 months after that! It’s amazing how these things work out! ReplyCancel

  • Glenda Clemens - Awesome! I love that your heart is alive and loving life in spite of no 401K.ReplyCancel

  • Chloe Jeffreys - You’ve been a very busy girl! As always, your honesty is refreshing. I prefer my people served up with a healthy slice of realism, and you always deliver in spades. <3ReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - I moved in with my husband after knowing him for three months. And truly, Julie (a rhyme!), I believe with all of me that you all are handling this with the biggest grace, courage, thoughtfulness and love. And that’s really all that matters, ever. xoReplyCancel

  • Chris Carter - WOW!!!! Oh Julie! Change change change… and you seem to still be swimming in these waves quite beautifully my friend. I love that you are happy. Albeit tired, but happy. And your kids? I see joy. And that is HUGE!!

    Sometimes… I really love how life goes. :)ReplyCancel

  • Kelly Roberts - “Too soon” is a relative term. I met my current husband about 6 weeks after my divorce from my first husband was finalized. We got engaged 6 weeks later, married 6 months after that and were pregnant 5 months after that. Fourteen years later and we’re going strong. ReplyCancel

  • Liv BySurprise - Jeez Julie- your kids look extremly traumatized and I can’t believe you moved him in so soon.

    Just kidding. Well done – sounds like they are adjusting well and thanks (in no part) to the fact that both you and Andrew are mature, sensible people. (Apparently that only works if you’re both sensible…)

    Oh…and thanks for making the rest of us divorced people look bad… ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Rena McDaniel - I love that you are so obviously happy, I figured it out when I saw the picture of the dinner. Let me tell you about soon. By now you know I have been very VERY happily married for 23 years. Hubby and I went to the same high school but we didn’t run in the same circles so we had only seen each other in hallways. nbd. On a Friday night I went out with my girlfriends for a birthday. My divorce wasn’t even final yet. I met hubby. We fell hard. We moved in with each other the next day and have never spent a night apart in all of these years. As in never not once! (we got married as soon as the divorce was final). It’s all relative when it happens when you meet that person and I believe we may love other people but there is only one true love but when it’s true love you know immediately. People that take forever are talking themselves into it. Who wants that! Have fun!ReplyCancel

When life throws you lemons… Cut ‘em up and use them with Tequila. That’s my motto anyway. I’ve spent the last three weeks in WordPress insanity. Back in September I started a trial to see if I had what it takes to work for them. And… It appears I don’t. Despite the great user feedback […]

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  • Rena McDaniel - While I am extremely happy that you are back I cannot believe the morons at Worpress! Wow! They have no idea what kind of computer genius they have lost! I went back and read the other post which I had missed so now I know how you finally met Alex but I’m probably the only person in the world who doesn’t know what Tinder even is. I’m glad that things are sort of working out least in the personal department and maybe one door closes another will open. If you get desperate I will hack my own site and have to hire to you fix it again! Speaking about that I did one of those anonymous computer checkups (a friend got a free one and gave it to me) so they went to my site and checked it out and I got a very good, very calming experience and they loved the purple. I swear the girl sounded like you haha! I was super excited about that though. My exhusband and now husband (damn that sounded weird didn’t it) were friends all of our married life it wasn’t a big deal to come home from work and they be at the kitchen table talking. I think that is what makes or breaks it with the kids, once they see how Andrew handled it they took their lead from him. Kudos to all of you for doing such a great job with them, sounds like it is going to work out great. I am sure the haters will be crying about that! Screw em” and save me some tequila!ReplyCancel

  • Alexa - I am so out of the loop! I knew you were MIA, but I didn’t know why. Glad you are back. Sorry the job didn’t work out. :-(ReplyCancel

  • Nancy Lowell - Here’s to new starts and though I’m sorry WP didn’t work out the way you expected, it worked out the way it was supposed to (at least that’s what I always tell myself).
    Best of luck in the new place, it looks great!ReplyCancel

  • Emily - That’s sucky about WordPress, but you are like a cat Julie and you always land on your feet (sorry to be so cliche – wordpress would probably not like that either). But seriously, I’m a big believer in fate and for whatever reason, it wasn’t meant to be. I’m glad you’re back in blogging land for now and I may even have another website design referral for you…ReplyCancel

  • Sandra Sallin - We’ve got you back. Yippee! WordPress must be some kind of idiots. You’re new home looks so bright and fresh and upbeat. Perfect place to start over. Welcome back!ReplyCancel

  • Kate Hall - Ok, wait a minute. What happened to the home you’re in? Is Andrew living there? And I’m sorry to hear about WP, but you’re a Fab Blogging rockstar. I hope you find even more success there.ReplyCancel

  • Anita Davis Sullivan - Well, junk. House does look amazing though!ReplyCancel

  • Kate Hall - Can I live in that house? It’s gorgeous! Our new house was gorgeous when the previous owners lived in it. Then we moved in.ReplyCancel

  • When Crazy Meets Exhaustion - WP doens’t know what they’re missing. They suck anyway.ReplyCancel

  • Kerry Rivera - I say a loss for WordPress. Love your optimism. Can you channel that my way? :) Can’t wait to read your next post.ReplyCancel

  • Jim Sharp - Glad you are back. Enjoy your posts.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Honey - I’m sorry about WP! At least you know now and not 6 months from now. I’m excited for your new home and all the exciting memories you will create in your new space! (((Big Hugs)))ReplyCancel

  • Parri Shahmanesh Sontag - GREAT floors. GREAT countertops. BIG closet. That’s a win, girl! I’m happy for you and your wonderful new beginning. And it’s too bad WordPress doesn’t appreciate your talents … and wasn’t willing to mentor you in what the heck it was that they wanted. It seems like they didn’t give you enough of a chance to deliver! If that kind of stability is what you’re looking for, though, remember that a lot of the theme companies hire support people, as do hosting companies that work with WP, like Go Daddy. You are what is known as a “best kept secret!” And whoever lands you will be lucky to do so!ReplyCancel

  • Kim Lechleitner Miller - Sweet Julie! Glad to “have you back” so to speak! The new space looks totally awesome too! I can’t wait for the next post!ReplyCancel

  • Pete Vanlaw - Sounds like your WP mentor was afraid that you knew more than he did and was in fear of losing his job. Or that you would jump ahead of him.So, he put you between a brick and a hard place with no chance of ever being right. Not an uncommon situation in corporateland. But your new space looks “Simply Mahvelous!” Selfishly speaking, glad to have you back.ReplyCancel

  • Cristina - So can we guess?! That house looks beautiful! Right out if HGTV. We rent too. Have to. We ain’t got no time to fix, unclog or keep up with landscaping. I was so expecting a different surprise. I’m cut from a different cloth I guess you’d say, where the unexpected is just what’s needed. :) glad to have you back.ReplyCancel

  • Liv BySurprise - Too bad for WordPress – they are missing out. Glad you’re back though. ReplyCancel

  • James Peters - I think you’re one of the most interesting people when it comes to writing.
    I love how personal, raw & fresh your material is.
    I don’t comment as much as I should (sorry for that) but I do want to say that I try to catch as much of your postings as I can.
    Your talent inspires me to continue on “in my own world” and try new things.
    I thank you for that.
    Thank you, for being you.ReplyCancel

  • Chloe Jeffreys - Trying to please people who will never be pleased is both an act of futility and soul-crushing. I’m sorry on the financial end, but I do believe everything does work out in the end for the best. Most of the time, anyway. And this time, for certain.ReplyCancel

Julie here? You miss me? Well I’m alive — albeit a little harried. I try not to write garbage, so unless I have something really compelling to say, I just keep my mouth shut. I’ve learned something in my 33 years at least. There is so much going on — even on a daily basis […]

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  • AlwaysARedhead - My husband always goes shopping with me, for the simply reason he is far better at it then I am, plus it doesn’t help that I don’t enjoy shopping. As for the opening doors, pulling out chairs, always, mine is a sweetie too. I’m glad you found your bliss.ReplyCancel

  • Denise - I’ve got to guess that your guy has neat sounding accent too. So, it’s not surprising–American’s are fascinated with romantic sounding European accents. And most grown couples people see are past the lovey-dovey stage–I’m guess you two are just so super cute that people can’t help but admire you.

    Glad you’ve found joy. :)ReplyCancel

  • Emily - Awww…Jon once convinced me to buy a pair of Prada shoes. I had no interest, but he insisted. And, he probably has way more shoes than I do. Another man with a shoe fetish! :)ReplyCancel

  • Chris Carter - Oh Julie…. this entire post makes me so very happy… for you! I love that your man treats you like gold and embraces EVERYTHING in life and everything in YOU.

    I love this so much.

    Keep allowing the love to pour onto you. I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more than you, my friend.

    Alex- thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for being exactly YOU and discovering the incredible gift that Julie is. Keep treasuring her gold. :)ReplyCancel

  • Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine with My Morning Quiet Time? - Oh man, I know that heavy sigh. We’ve had arguments over the heavy sigh. It must be that Alex grew up in a different culture. My husband still holds doors for me. Although I still struggle with feeling like I owe him something when he does it. But that’s just my low self-esteem talking ReplyCancel

  • Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine with My Morning Quiet Time? - Oh man, I know that heavy sigh. We’ve had arguments over the heavy sigh. It must be that Alex grew up in a different culture. My husband still holds doors for me. Although I still struggle with feeling like I owe him something when he does it. But that’s just my low self-esteem talking.ReplyCancel

  • Chloe Jeffreys - You being happy makes me very happy. Being in love is the best thing in the world.ReplyCancel

  • Paul Tardiff - Ahh yes, European men are usually amazing. ReplyCancel

  • Rena McDaniel - I can answer that question very easily, I noticed it and commented when you first put your picture up of the two of you together. It’s LOVE. Your eyes look so alive instead of staring into a computer screen you’re finally living life on the outside and it’s like you are just waking up. Go with it, enjoy it and love the hell out of it and him!!!! Some haters will say it’s because it new or because you’re still married so it feels exciting. I say BULL FUCKING SHIT!!!!! When it is right, when it is supposed to be, it just IS. My hubby and I are the same way…still 23 years later. He’s my best friend and even though this last year we have been through such huge changes (becoming mom’s caregiver, being Social media active (okay addict)). He is still the other half of me, I feel it every single day. You are just feeling this. I know you loved Andrew and I, in no way want to discount that love, but you lived along time being unhappy. It’s like waking up out of a coma. Try this: find a picture of you taken a year or so ago, the one I thinking of, maybe a friends wedding you went to I think but any will do except with your kids, because you light up then too. You are smiling in the picture and so pretty but compare those eyes to the eyes of you in this picture. There is the difference and people can spot it a mile away. Some because the recognize it, like me. Others because they recognize they don’t have it, thus the curious and the haters. I wish you all the best, my friend and may your days be spent in the real world and not watching it through a screen. I have to remind myself of this sometimes too! I really am happy for you, I always have to root for love when I see it!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly Roberts - Your man sounds a lot like mine. And you can have complete confidence it will continue…my guy and I have been together 14 years and he still treats me like that. We are truly lucky woman, and we know it. Congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • Susan Zutautas - I say hang onto each other! A love story in the making :) I am so happy that you found each other.ReplyCancel

  • Ruchira Khanna - You both sure are in love :) Wishing you many blissful years together, Julie
    xoxoReplyCancel

  • Sandra Sallin - Your eyes say it all. Pure bliss.ReplyCancel

  • Liv BySurprise - Fan-frickin-tactic. A keeper for sure. ReplyCancel

  • Claudia Schmidt - Awesome. Some of it might be because he’s European. When I was in my 30’s I met and lived w/a wonderful Irishman for a few years and he was very similar. Good for you, ENJOY!ReplyCancel

The other night I went out to dinner with longtime blogging buddy Emily Cappo and her friend Jill. It was so nice to finally meet one another in person after so many online interactions, and I can say that most people I talk to online, are just the same in person. It’s refreshing! We had […]

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  • Emily - I can definitely see how spending time with foreigners can change your perspective. You really made some interesting points (and I just love that Dunkin Donuts example – so true!). And Americans being loud – yes you are right – now I’m wondering if I was too loud in the restaurant the other night…I’m blaming the wine.:) P.S. I just love that photo of us too, don’t you?!ReplyCancel

  • Kate - I am currently living in The Netherlands, and after being here for half a year already and having done quite a bit of traveling I would agree with a good bit of what you said! I used to always get dressed in my workout clothes, run my errands, come home and workout then shower for the day and know when I ran my errands I would still be better dressed than half the people out there…not true here. No one goes out unless they are dressed in proper clothes, and not as many women wear jeans here as in the US either I noticed. …and when we go to France or Italy I don’t wear jeans at all lol

    Living in a different country has definitely opened our eyes to other ideals and points of view…and telling people you are American doesn’t always garner you the respect you are grown up thinking it will, which I think was the biggest shock for all of us (me, the husband, and the teenager).ReplyCancel

  • Jill - Very well said! Beings able to talk about and experience the differences certainly makes for interesting conversation and learning. I wish more American travelled outside the US–might instill some much needed humility. There’s nothing like travel to drive home how lucky we are to be American (for good or for evil).ReplyCancel

  • Nancy Lowell - Embarrassed? All the time. Without getting into a political rant here, I will just say one thing; Michele Bachmann is a US senator. Yes, I am embarrassed, and not because she is loud, or has bad shoes…ReplyCancel

  • Jill Cowen Cahr - Very well said!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa R. Petty - Every conversation I have had when ordering from McDonald’s
    Me: I want a small unsweetened tea.
    MCD: A large is the same price.
    Me: I’m aware of that. I don’t need a bucket of tea.
    MCD: You don’t want a large for the same price?
    Me: No. I will only drink a small.
    MCD: OK. A small sweet tea.
    Me: No. UNSWEETENED.

    This is why we are getting chubby. ReplyCancel

  • Kate Hall - So true, Julie. Sometimes, it takes going to a foreign country or really getting to know someone from another country in order to see America from a different perspective. The pastor from my old church came to America from Scotland and as they were bidding him farewell, a man got up and was pretending to be a typical American. He was wearing an all-white suit with white shoes, carrying a diet coke and talking loudly. HAHAHAHA! Reminds me of a televangelist.ReplyCancel

  • Paul Tardiff - Yeah the lips will definitely do it to you. Asuming they are cute and a good kisser.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ The Golden Spoons - I have only been outside of the US once when we went to Paris. It was amazing how small everything seemed – because we are so used to BIG. I think sometimes we forget how blessed/privileged we are because we are just so used to it. It’s good to be reminded sometimes.ReplyCancel

  • Rena McDaniel - First off I am so glad tnat it’s not only me who talks to loud and I’m Irish and female so we will go with that theory! I like it I have been saying this for years we want to teach our children anti-bullying. Someone should have taught the country that too. If you’re not like us we think should become like us. Don’t get me wrong I’m as patriotic as the next person I lived through my son being deployed for a year in Afghanistan and then he took an “easy” post in Japan and landed 2 hours before the Tsunami hit and spent his time cleaning up if you can only imagine. We think if we cant get the iphone 6 our lives suck. We have no idea.ReplyCancel

  • Brittany Bullen - Julie, Every time I go out of the country with my family (especially my grandparents!) I have to admit feeling a little sheepish about certain “American-isms” we commit unabashedly in front of the locals. That said, I love America and I always find myself homesick, even in some of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. For all its faults, I can’t get enough of the red white and blue! ReplyCancel

  • Sandra Sallin - OK, we’re loud, eat too much, dress poorly but…. I know how greatful my mther and father were to be Americans. I know that I would not be alive today if they hadn’t come to America. Who saved Europe during WWI and WWII?ReplyCancel

  • Amy Flory - Funny Is Family - My husband’s field is full of foreigners, so our group of friends are from all over (including Romania!). I love the way topics are seen through the eyes of people from different parts the globe, and how our reactions are based on the lenses of our home cultures. I’ve changed my mind on a few things based on conversations with my non-American friends, but no way am I burning my flip flops!;)ReplyCancel