Thursday, January 20, 2011

How about being a Regular Contributor?


I have decided that I want this blog to start rockin it again with postings daily and hot conversations in comments.

But I know it's been my fault and laziness.

February is the month of redemption I say.


What I want to know is if ANYBODY out there is interested in being a REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR to this blog.

It's volunteer work... the only payment you get is the knowledge that you are helping me out along with whomever reads your posts and learns from them!

You also have to sign your name in blood and stuff... but nothing to big.

If you want to be a regular contributor here at Real World then I'll link you up on the side bar and throw a Meet The BLogger form at you and we will get you rollin on the TOPIC emails I will be sending out again.

I will still ask for Guest Contributors and want them always always.

But I need some consistency and reliability with people who volunteer for a topic and then post it when I schedule it to be posted.

Let me know in comments if you're interested and/or via email @

I still have these topics that need to be covered if anyone's willing to take them!

2. Money ruined my relationship because...

3. Our love isn't the same since we first met and it is a good thing because...

4. I love my kids but they have come between me, my significant other, and our sex life... (go anywhere from there)

5. My most embarrassing moment with my significant other...

6. My significant other wronged, lied, etc... yet I still love them... (go from there)

7. This one relationship in my life made me a better person because...

8. Common sense vs. book smarts-- HE said, SHE said? Or take it on yourself.

9. I found someone with not only good looks but smart, funny, and the rest of the package, but they don't belong to me...

10. I'm heavy and my spouse is not--it's a big deal/ or/ ISN'T a big deal because...

11. My co-worker sees me more than my significant other and it causes problems in my relationship because...

12. My significant other always makes us late or has to ALWAYS be 10 minutes early...

13. Make up your own topic... please, if you have a suggestion or have something you feel you NEED to talk about, write it in!!!

And, of course, any DEAR YOU letters!

Love all,


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dear You: It will help me remember...

Image taken from HERE
Dear You-

I think what I love most about you is the way you make me feel; special, unique, and wanted. The first night after we kissed and we had to go back into that party and you went in first, I remember entering and feeling like the most beautiful girl in the whole room. Your eyes devoured me and they were for ONLY me. I can't explain to you how important that is for a woman, but since that night, it has always been that way. I have yet to walk in a room where you are and not feel your eyes on me.

I keep waiting for the ball to drop, for some crack to appear in what seems to be a perfect fit for me, but nothing. You are, as cliche as it may sound, the ying to my yang.

I don't deserve to be so lucky, but I also cannot and would not refuse or take for granted what I have been given, and that is you. You take care of me emotionally and provide for my needs physically. It's as if you were created from bits and pieces of the best qualities I so loved in the men from my past relationships.

Are you perfect? No. There are flaws, but nothing big enough to outweigh the incredible man you are to me. Thanks for marrying me, for showing me how important and valuable I am as a person to you. Thank you for choosing to love me, because as I have learned through these years with you, love is a choice.

I feel no shame in admitting that I am proud you are mine, completely and utterly mine.

I wonder when the goose bumps will stop from your touch or when my heart will quit racing the first time I see you at the beginning of the day? Will I ever get a text or email from you and not instantly slap on a stupid grin? By simply hearing your voice on the phone I get butterflies in my stomach. I know in past relationships this first time new feeling goes away, but we are well past that and it is as if everything gets stronger, deeper, fuller, you know? Like the best kind of addiction.

I have a hard time telling you most of this, I try, I really try, but I get this huge ball in my throat and choke up. I know you would not make fun, but mushy words such as these I have written in this letter make you uncomfortable so I try and show you more how I feel rather than tell or write you how I feel.

But this feels good, writing all of this out feels so good.

I get that what we have is unique.

I realize the key to holding on to this kind of feeling is to try hard to never forget it.

So I wrote you this letter, and maybe the next time we get in an argument, because inevitably there will be one it just comes with the territory, I will jump on my laptop and read this letter I wrote and it will help me remember.


One very lucky woman

***If you guys have any questions on how to send a letter in because you'd like to try one yourself... click HERE.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Are you going to De-Lurk or be a jerk/jurk?

It's one of the best holidays or just days of blog land today!!! I'm surprised if you don't know about it!

It's De-lurker's Day.

Basically, De-Lurkers to a blog are like Stalkers or Peeping Tom's to a real live person at their house. You peer in with your binoculars (read the post), watch what is going on, (imagine what I say in your mind), and instead of walking up to the house and knocking on the door to introduce yourself (leave a comment) you slink away to come back again the next day (move on to the next blog, turn off the computer because you have a life, too shy to let the other readers know who you are). But not today!!! Today is the DAY--the day you comment-- just today is all I ask (beg).

To be fair, I didn't really remember about it until a good blog friend of mine, SciFi Dad emailed me to remind me and sent this awesome graphic to commemorate the event...and I believe someone emailed him to remind him and sent HIM the graphic. Either way... I think it's worthy of a whole post all to itself.

Here's the thing though. I am kind of competitive... and I want all my lurkers to out comment the rest of those posting De-lurkers Post. I'm also getting this up late, which means we already are behind.

Can we do it guys? I believe in you... so believe in yourself. I want to know who you are, so stop being shy and/or lazy for just one day and leave a comment! Or not... or not, I'm not twisting your arm... I promise. (Really SciFi Dad is and the guy that emailed him (Rude Cactus Guy) ;) ... just sayin it wasn't me. (And that's how you throw someone under the bus--hope you took notes.)

Love ya!

(Now leave a comment--anything!!! make it funny, one word, drop your secretest secret-go big and then go home)

In the meantime--Here's how my family brought in the New Year!  We are so Freaking crazy it's redunkulous! (The worst New Year's Video ever! You will never get that time back if you watch it. But you should still watch it)

I also posted this on my personal blog... so you can feel free to De-Lurk yourself over there also! :)

A Dear You Letter Below! Make sure to read it and comment... a great one!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dear You: I'm willing to be something of a friend

Shelle Edit: Here is another "Dear You" letter I got over the weekend--to continue with our Dear You Series.  Thank you so much for sending them in.  I love how you tell me that it is therapeutic for you to write these things down and get these thoughts and feelings out. If you have advice or words of agreement or experience for this person please put it in comments.  Thanks again everyone!

Image taken from HERE
Dear You...

You said yourself that "we've never been married" or that our marriage failed "a long time ago." I understand that part of that was a justification for your infidelity. People in your position say a lot of things that are sometimes very far from reality, but I think you really believe it. Or at least don't know what else to say to explain yourself.

You've texted me asking whether or not I ever loved you. It's difficult to look through all the mistakes, missed opportunities, pain, and hurt and see even a general sense of love between us, even looking back all the way through 10 years of marriage. I think it was there sometimes, but it was obviously not what you expected or not enough of what you expected.

It's been 3 months since I moved out. 3 months since I've been frustrated and angry to the point of scaring myself. It's been almost 8 months since I told you I'm done trying to reconcile.

I've learned a lot from this experience, but I don't think I've changed much. The guy who quit and moved out is the same guy who instigated 3 different counseling attempts; with you not really wanting anything to do with it. Yeah, you attended the sessions, but you weren't really there and you quit early. It was tough. You criticise me for trying only for a year. For giving up after you spent 8 years "trying to make it work." During the last year I think I got a lot closer to realizing what I didn't understand during those 8 years. I didn't know what you needed. Besides the fact that you never told me what you needed, there's a difference between outright rejection of reconciliation and not understanding the problem. I was still there, willing to listen if you had a problem, but either I never understood or you never told me. A lot of it was because we didn't try to communicate on the other persons terms, but always thought we were saying it in a way the other should understand. Personally I thought I made huge strides towards correcting that, but in the end I thought it was too little, too late.

I think I know why you send me text messages now, asking "Did you ever love me?" or telling me "I will always love you." You're scared. Maybe you can't imagine a decent life without the security I provided. The security and stability you took for granted. I'm certainly not criticising you for that, you have every right to feel the way you do, but it doesn't endear me to you. It doesn't make me want to reconcile. It might be part of a larger effort to reconcile, but it can't be the only thing. 

I don't think you really understand what needs to happen. You need to change. For your own good. Not just learn new things and apply them. If you're ever going to have another serious relationship you need to change how you think about things. Not everything is success or failure. Not everything is wrong or right. I know I would have to change some things before I ever started another serious relationship again, but I'm not there. I don't really want to yet. At this point I don't see us coming back together any time in the future, but if you have any desire to see that happen, you can't do this weird stuff. You can't gloss over the problems with a random 'I love you.' 3 different professional marriage counselors told you what needs to happen. You're still not doing it. It was sad to see the resignation on those counselors faces. They saw the futility of trying to counsel someone who didn't want to be counseled. All three of them reacted the same way. I would imagine you didn't see it though.

At this point, I'm not going to react or even respond to these strange text messages. Beyond the fact that it's kind of pitiful; it's just not nearly enough. Although maybe it is doing something because it forces me to think about you, but they aren't the best thoughts. I can't tell you exactly what needs to happen, but this is not it. I'd be lying if I said I wanted to reconcile, but if it did happen, I can only imagine reconciling with a different person. A different you. Someone who can effectively tell me what they want me to hear. Someone who is not cryptic. You don't even need to know exactly what you want. Sometimes I don't know what I want. But you should be able to recognize that you don't know.

I'm not going to ask you to be different any more. Me, my family, and three professionals couldn't convince you of anything. It's going to take a miracle straight from God. I believe a lot of the work done during that year was from God. Now I just pray it doesn't take another crisis that does lasting damage to our children.

I'm willing to be something of a friend. Maybe hang out at the occasional family function together. You probably don't understand what it's taken to get to that point. But I still don't want to be married to you and not even a really good friend. I don't really want to hear about your day and I don't want to tell you how my day was. Not that you'd ever ask...


If you guys have any questions on how to send a letter in because you'd like to try one yourself... click HERE.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Follow Up Post: Debt Free and Going Strong!

Shelle Edit:  I love NOTHING better than for people who have written on here to do follow up posts about how things are going now.  What differences they made in their relationship.  What things have changed.  What can we learn.  Thank Alex for doing just that!

Money. I hate money. Money causes so many problems and yet we, as a society, desperately need money. We need it for food, transportation, gas for that transportation, clothes, shelter, everything within that shelter that makes it a Home, and don’t forget all the things we want but don’t necessarily need.

In July 2010, I wrote a guest posts for In the Real World; Venus vs. Mars about money, the issues they can cause and taking responsibility for our debt. I wrote about how it took all of three months to get thousands of dollars into debt and several more months before I knew what was going on (and we had fallen even more in debt), which meant we were now coming to a point of very little hope. It took us just over a year to pull ourselves out of that debt, but we did it and we can say that we are debt free.

Debt is a vicious cycle, especially when it comes to bills such as phone, cable, electricity, etc. When you’re already three months behind on all your bills, things start to get shut off. You start to catch up on one bill, only to have another fall even farther behind. It’s hard to pull yourself out of the loop. But it’s entirely possible. It takes time, effort, determination, honesty, openness, embarrassment, and a whole lot of planning.

It’s been 24 weeks since that post in July 2010 (I’m writing this on January 6th 2011). A lot has happened in those 24 weeks.

A few months prior to writing the post, we found out our best friends were getting married in the Dominican Republic. It was going to cost us $3,500 CAD for the two of us to go. We officially paid off our trip before December 28th 2010. We never left ourselves short each week, though there were a couple of weeks where we were tight.

One of the agreements that my husband had with his boss was that their company would pay for our car. They’ve done this since 2006. Things are still really hard at his work and they were unable to continue paying for our car. We’ve suffered a $500/month pay cut. But guess what? Because of our debt free situation, because of our budgeting and planning, we’re able to pay for our own car! We wouldn’t have been able to do this before and it’s a huge accomplishment. Do I hope my husband’s work picks up and they can go back to paying our car payments? Well yeah! I’d love to have that $160/biweekly (we now own a car and not a van – much cheaper) for our savings account!

We’ve also found that being honest with family and friends (you know, the real friends that you have) has helped a lot. They all know that we don’t have a ton of extra money kicking around and are all understanding. My best friend comes here instead of me going there (we live an hour apart). My family has chipped in for gas money when they’ve wanted us there or have covered dinner for us if we come during the evening. Or, better yet, they’ve come here to visit (again, we live an hour apart).

I’ve even found that we’ve been able to treat ourselves to some things. I was able to get another tattoo done and have almost completed my back artwork. And by signing up for, we’ve been able to have a family trip to see some amazing reptiles for a whole hell of a lot cheaper (normal cost would be $80 and we only spent $35!).

This road hasn’t always been easy though. There has been a few times where dinner consisted of sandwiches or cereal. Those are usually the weeks where it seems like everything is due the same time. But this is reality. We’re not living in a dream world anymore.

We still stick to our budget, which I write up three months in advance consisting of every single bill, expenses (ie: Hair cuts, presents for birthdays/showers, etc) and money to put aside into the savings account. We’ve made Life work without a ton of money. Christmas was great despite not being rich! Racer and Diva received two presents each under the tree, two joint presents (games/puzzles) and stocking stuffers. They loved it and weren’t overwhelmed. They also didn’t receive a ton of things they didn’t need and things that would just take up space. Diva’s birthday was just a week after Christmas, and again, she received three presents from us, one of which I won on a Blog Giveaway and she couldn’t have been happier!

I contacted Shelle with the idea of a follow up post to my first one not to brag about getting out of debt and doing well right now. I wanted to write a follow up because I wanted other families who are in debt to know that (a) you CAN get out of debt, (b) you’re not alone, and (c) when you are out of debt, you still need to plan, budget and be realistic.

Remember: Microsoft Excel is your friend when it comes to budgeting. It has saved me and helped me in so many ways. Be honest, open and keep the lines of communication open. Sometimes my husband gets annoyed by my weekly reminders about our budget but he tells me quite often that he appreciates it and he knows that without me stepping in, we’d have been beyond repair financially and emotionally. It’s without a doubt, our marriage would have ended.

And for those of you who remember and are curious; yes I do still believe that because I do not bring any money into our home, it’s none of my business what my husband makes or the state of our finances. However, I know my husband and without my help, we’d end up right back where we were before I stepped in and took control of our money.


This Thing Called Our Life
This Thing Called Adoption

Monday, January 10, 2011

They Don't Smell Funny or: Why I Love My Daughters More Than My Sons

Howdy, neighbor! It's me. Brian. Tysdaddy to you Twittering types. Around these parts, I am sometimes known by my blog name, The Cheek of God. Or you may recognize my avatar. Affectionately known as Balding Old Man With Mustache.

Whatever. I'm the guy that used to write here quite a bit and then up and vanished like a fart in the wind. (And ten bucks to the one who gets that movie reference, without using Google . . . ) But it's a new year, and like Frankenstein's monster, "It's ALIVE!!!!!"

Or something like that.

To my Mars homeys . . . Word! And I must say that the Venus ladies are looking as lovely as ever.

Speaking of lovelies, have you ever noticed how much this lady . . .

. . . and our gracious and wonderful host . . .

. . . look so much alike?! I triple dog dare ya to watch one of those commercials and NOT think of Shelle. Just sayin's all!

But seriously . . .

I have four kids. Two boys and two girls. Their birth order is boy-girl-boy-girl. There are almost four years between the first and the second, and then only about eighteen months between the rest, so they are currently 17, 13, 11, and 10. Let's call my oldest son Ty, and my oldest daughter Aryn.

Because those are their names.

I gave up on Ty once he got a serious girlfriend. I couldn't compete, and knew this to be true the day he chose to go see Valentine's Day instead of Avatar in 3D. Her finger is covered with him, so to speak, and he's tuned me out.

Aryn still digs me. Just last night, we suffered through The Cape while snuggled up on the couch drinking iced tea together. Before she went to bed, we had a chat about her current favorite book. We are bookworms, and we get along swimmingly.

I oversimplify, of course. I could take things one step further and go all Freudian on you . . . he's afraid I'm gonna steal his girl and she wants to marry me. Or something like that. But I won't.

Instead, I'm gonna chalk it all up to the age thing. With Ty, we struck our relational apex right about age . . . 13. We were gaming together every weekend, I could still beat him at most video games, and he still needed me for a chauffeur. I knew a little something about anime, we still rocked out to music I liked, and he didn't need as much money for things like . . . presents for his girlfriend. As that lilliputian viridian guru would surely say, much more needed and cool I was. Back then. Now, I'm the guy who makes the ice cream and is mostly just annoying.

Aryn is 13. I mentioned that, right? We click on many levels. She's pensive. Has a very low key yet sharply honed sense of humor. And she's content to just hang with me. Doesn't much matter what we are doing, or where we end up, we enjoy one another's company. Her friends come over and she doesn't shoo me away.

It's starting to sound like I dig my kids most when they willingly and unabashedly . . . dig me.

Nothing Freudian there at all, eh?

So, what's your situation? Do you find yourself favoring the company of one child over another? If so, why? If not, then you're perfect. Go away . . .

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Grapefruit Syndrome

Image taken from HERE
I found this story in my reader, found on THIS blog... one of my favorites, once you click over you will know why if you know me at all... but anyway, I thought this was a great story and had a good point in what we "see" in our relationships.

The GrapeFruit Syndrome:

As a young wife, I learned that marriage could be sweeter if I didn’t focus on my husband’s faults.

My husband and I had been married about two years when I read an article recommending that married couples discuss truthfully and candidly the habits or mannerisms they find annoying in each other. The theory was that if partners knew of such annoyances, they could correct them before resentful feelings developed.

It made sense to me. I talked with my husband about the idea. After some hesitation, he agreed to give it a try.

As I recall, we were to name five things we found annoying. I started off. After more than 50 years, I remember only my first complaint: grapefruit. I told him I didn’t like the way he ate grapefruit. Instead of cutting it open and eating it with a spoon, he peeled it and ate it a section at a time. Nobody else I knew ate grapefruit like that. Could I be expected to spend a lifetime, and even eternity, watching my husband eat grapefruit like that? Although I have forgotten them, I’m sure my other complaints were of similar importance.

Then it was his turn. It has been more than half a century, but I still carry a mental image of my husband’s thoughtful, puzzled expression. He looked at me and said, “I can’t think of anything I don’t like about you.”  Gasp. I quickly turned my back, not knowing how to explain my tears. I had found fault with him over such trivial things, while he hadn’t even noticed any of my peculiar and no doubt annoying habits.

I wish I could say this experience completely cured me of faultfinding. It didn’t. But it did teach me early in my marriage that we need to keep in perspective, and usually ignore, the small differences in our spouse’s habits and personalities. Whenever I hear of married couples being incompatible, I always wonder if they are suffering from what I now call the grapefruit syndrome.

~ Lola B. Walters, “The Grapefruit Syndrome,”Liahona, Sep 1999, 24

I love that story... I loved it when I read it the first time and I still love it again after reading it for the 5th time in two days.

If we choose so, we can put a lot of focus on the little things, or imperfections (as THIS blog wrote about) and let them bug us about our significant other.  We can let it wear on us until we feel we are about to burst with frustration and pent up anger and even sometimes hate.  Or we can choose not to let them bug us.  See past those small things that annoy or bug us.  Let the imperfections in those we choose to keep around us everyday and love and make a commitment to be accepted.  It's selfish actually to focus on that stuff because that's you saying you are perfect and they are not... I mean you ARE casting the first stone right?

It's selfish, and yet, so human.

So as much a I'm saying NOT to focus on those things... and choosing to not make it something that rules your relationship and how you feel about the other person; I'm also saying it's okay once in awhile if something DOES bug you, and you mention it for the hope that your significant other WILL listen and try to make it less annoying--but then focus on something you need to work on for them.  Give and take--that's the key--at least I THINK so? :)

Do YOU have Grapefruit Syndrome?  Or did you?  Any helpful hints?


p.s. please scroll down to look at the TOPICS post if you are interested in Guest Contributing or being a regular contributor!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Topics, Topics, and well... TOPICS!

Let's get right into this... you see a topic you like, either email me at, SUBJECT: TOPICS or comment here and tell me which number you are interested in.

1.  The relationship I have with my daughter differs from the one I have with my son because...

2.  Money ruined my relationship because...

3.  Our love isn't the same since we first met and it is a good thing because...

4. I love my kids but they have come between me, my significant other, and our sex life... (go anywhere from there)

5.  My most embarrassing moment with my significant other...

6.  My significant other wronged, lied, etc... yet I still love them... (go from there)

7.  This one relationship in my life made me a better person because...

8.  Common sense vs. book smarts-- HE said, SHE said? Or take it on yourself.

9.  I found someone with not only good looks but smart, funny, and the rest of the package, but they don't belong to me...

10.  I have a co-worker that drives me crazy because...

11.  My co-worker sees me more than my significant other and it causes problems in my relationship because...

12.  My significant other always makes us late or has to ALWAYS be 10 minutes early...

13.  Make up your own topic... please, if you have a suggestion or have something you feel you NEED to talk about, write it in!!!

So let me know if you want to Guest Contribute!!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year VLOG! One word to sum it all up...

What better way to bring in the New Year than with a VLOG!!! I chose one word from the last year, on this blog, that stood out to me through all the posts, and that is important to any relationship...

Here is the link to the "Letters" and what you need to do in order to participate and send one in!

So send some posts in and let's get this Year rollin Real World style!!! In a week I will put up a Topics post for those of you that like to volunteer for those! So excited to hear more of what you guys have to say in 2011!!!

So what would YOUR one word be to sum up YOUR 2010?