Friday, December 3, 2010

I Have To Leave Him Again.



I'm going to San Francisco on business. Instead of being only 6 time zones apart we will be 8. I will also be on the go from early morning until late at night. I hope to get some fun stuff squeezed in to the small windows of free time that I will have. I miss Vernon every day, but when I have to be "away" from him for more than 2 days it's very difficult for me. I will be sure to remember to send him updates via email, facebook, and this blog. He's always wanted to visit San Francisco, and I hate that I've been there without him. The first time I got the grand tour by my cousin which was super awesome. Vernon asked me to take lots of pictures, which is what we do when we go somewhere different. We take the other along, we look at things the way we think the other would see them, we share as much as we can. One day, he and I will go to San Francisco and see these sights together.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Butterflies


He gives me butterflies. I have told him that since the very beginning. Thoughts of him make me smile and blush and I get that feeling in my stomach that I never want to end. He jokes about it and tells me that he's probably making me nauseous, but that's not it. It's butterflies. He told me he kept hearing this song on the radio and it makes him think of me, but he hasn't really paid attention to the lyrics. Well, I looked this up on YouTube and it made me cry. I listened to it several times and it still makes me cry. What a pretty song, sung by such a pretty girl. I just love it! Thank you for making me feel so special Vernon. You give me butterflies!
          

Monday, November 8, 2010

Goolies Are What?!?!


I have a hot manly boyfriend! And he can change a tire in 5 minutes! WHEW!


We were chatting on Skype and like a man, his eyes wander above the computer and to the TV. I just watch him for a bit and finally ask,
"What are you watching?"
"Uh.... it's hard to explain."
(What???)
"What do you mean it's hard to explain?"
"OK, you know the show 'Top Gear'?"
"Yes"
"Well, it's kind of like that, but it's not. There is this overweight man who is trying to change a wheel, he has to change it in 15 minutes but he's already going on 35."
I'm thinking what a stupid show. Then Vernon tells me about the time he got a flat.
"One should be able to change a wheel in 10 minutes, I have changed one in 5."
"5 minutes? You changed a tire in 5 minutes? Why would you change it so fast?"
"I was on my way to work. It's all about being organized."
Wow, my man can change a tire in 5 minutes, and he says it's about being organized. I was laughing, carrying on over my sexy man being able to change a tire in 5 minutes. Then he adds...
"And I take my shirt off when I do it."
WOOOOO HOOOOOOO! I got all giggly and jumpy and my face was all red and it was getting really warm. He's so funny and so cute at the same time. We were having fun being silly, laughing and flirting, but I'm still amazed that my man can change a tire so fast.
During the call Vern likes to relax, sit back and enjoy the conversation. Sometimes he sits with his hands up behind his head. I love it when he sits that way, I miss his arms. Sounds odd but I really love his arms. He was wearing a white t-shirt, and I love him in white. It contrasts with his skin. I got all worked up as his sleeves pulled tight around his arms and all he was doing was relaxing. He looked at me like I was nuts. I told him I liked his arms, i wanted to see more biceps. I think I embarrassed him, then he grabs the Spongebob Squarepants pillow and extends Spongebob's arm, "There, that's my arm." It was funny!
We got to talking about hockey. I was explaining how Heidi has been going to hockey games at school. Of course, when Americans talk about hockey we are speaking of the great big toothless brutes who knock the shit out of each other on the ice. Vernon is thinking of girls in short skirts in a field... hey wait a minute, lol... then I said, "I think Heidi likes it when the players crash up against the plexiglass." there was a pause and he was like, "Ooooh, you are talking about ice hockey." I said, "Of course! Not that sissy hockey. We live in the mid-west. It's only ice hockey here." Then I went on to explain how the players don't really have anything protecting their faces, except for the goalies... Then Vernon interrupts me,
"What did you say?"
"What."
"Did you say goolies?"
"Huh?"
"Goolies?"
"Not ghoulies, GOALIES"
I thought this conversation was pretty silly, but then it got sillier... Vernon then said,
"Goolies are men's tackle"
"What?!?!? Hahahaha!"
"Goolies are men's tackle"
Ok, that's just hilarious. By then I was just laughing hysterically and giggling and crying all at the same time.

I love his sense of humor, I love how he makes me laugh. He's so intelligent and witty and being English doesn't hurt either.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Love Songs and Seriousness

I was thinking of songs today. A friend posted the song "When You Say Nothing At All" from the movie "Notting Hill". There were clips of the movie with the song as well. It just so happens that this movie is a favorite of mine and Vernon's. Also, this song is
wonderful. My baby girl is in college and she took the DVD player but I have "Notting Hill" on VHS so it's all good.


Vernon and I had a serious chat today. I'd rather we didn't have to have talks like this but it is necessary. We have been together for 11 years (this month!) and when I have a purchase to make, a problem, a decision coming up, or just happy wonderful news, I run it by Vernon. I get his input, advice and feedback. He does the same with me. He is going through a very difficult time right now and I was very honest and firm and it made me sad but it had to be done. I always risk having him get mad at me, (although I don't think he's ever been mad at me), when I am honest with him and we  
don't exactly see eye to eye. I don't think he would ask me for my opinion or input if he wanted me to just smile and agree with him, so I tell him how I feel and what I think. But, no matter what the problem, no matter what our views are and if he follows my advice or not, I support him completely and trust that he is making the right decision. It's times like this I wish I could be there to help him through this, sit up with him at night and let him talk things over, and use me as a sounding board. I would rub his shoulders, make him his late night hot chocolate or tea and tell him that everything will be OK.

Monday, September 6, 2010

You would think I'd be used to this already!

We usually only chat and send emails because of our work schedules and the time zone difference. I got a house phone with an international plan with the intent on calling Vernon every weekend, but that has been difficult with my busy schedule with Heidi. This Labor Day weekend we spoke twice, and got out the web cams to video chat. We both have lots going on and had a lot to talk about, then I just took a good look at Vernon. I could see him from the chest up, he was sitting on his sofa, and he was tired. I just started to cry. He looked so handsome and so comfortable and I could almost smell the laundry detergent in his t-shirt and I just wanted to hug him and I couldn't. That's all I wanted, just one quick hug. I'm not used to seeing him in between visits and it's difficult. I should be used to this, but just when I think I'm ok with the long distance relationship thing, it really really sucks and I cry and cry and cry. It's difficult hearing him tell me that I'm cute and beautiful and sexy, but I love it so much. I don't want it to stop, because when I'm with him I feel that I am all of those things. He looks at me like I'm the only woman in the world, and he get's this sweet smile on his face like I'm amusing him with a joke or a story and I'm not even doing or saying anything.  I don't want that to stop either. It's so difficult saying goodbye and I'm crying right now just thinking about it. Now that Heidi is off to college, I'll have more free Sundays and I can get used to seeing him and talking to him more often. I can't imagine my life without him, even if he is 3,500 miles away.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Six Billion to One

Wow, he really loves me.

I got an email from Vernon today letting me know that he's trying blogging again.  I was thinking maybe it was about technology or just life in general, but I come to find that his post was all about me.

Then I was thinking, Oh how nice. He's blogging about how we met, the whole time line, our story, just the facts. Boy was I wrong.

I know he loves he. I've known this for many years. I don't doubt his love and I trust him completely, I always have. But reading his blog entry today felt as if he was telling me he loved me for the first time. I had butterflies in my stomach, my face got red and felt hot, and I cried. I will never be as romantic or eloquent as Vernon, and I sometimes wonder if I make him feel as special and loved as he makes me feel.

There are days when I think that I may wake up from this wonderful dream, because it just can't be possible to feel this kind of love for and from someone. If everyone had this kind of love, there would be no more war, no more crimes, no more hate.

Wow. He really really loves me.


"So it comes down to Numbers.
Two People in a World of over Six Billion,
Two People 3710 Miles apart,
Ten years together and going strong....
...and one very lucky Guy!"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Proceed at Your Own Risk"

 I'm still on the lookout for a long distance relationship as long as ours. I want to hear their story. I guess I'm just curious. I tried searching Guinness World Records, but they don't have an ldr category. I even went as far as to put in a request for a world record with this new suggested category. They are not interested, and the public is not interested, nor did they send me any information on any other record breaking ldr's to satisfy my curiosity. Below is the final sentence in the rejection email they sent me. It made me chuckle.
"As your record application has not been accepted, Guinness World Records is in no way associated with the activity relating to your record proposal and we in no way endorse this activity. If you choose to proceed with this activity then this will be of your own volition and at your own risk."
 Ha ha! Did they even read my entry? Must be some sort of general disclaimer so they can't be sued by people doing dumb-ass stunts for the sake of doing a dumb-ass stunt. I guess the public is interested in the creepy and disgusting freak show stuff, heaven forbid if it's remotely heartfelt. Although during my Googling adventures I did see "Biggest Teddy Bear Collection", REALLY???? UGH.

I think I'll give up looking and just assume that Vernon and I are the holders of such a prestigious record. SO AS OF NOW, I OFFICIALLY DECLARE US THE KING AND QUEEN OF LDR'S! LOL

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Chatting with Vernon today.

Vern: i say good morning to you every morning
Vern: i have the photo of us that you gave to me on my wall next to my bed
Kimberly: you are so romantic
Kimberly:  (blushing smiley)
Vern: well i love you

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Long Distance Relationship Q&A

The site that I am a member of, www.lovingfromadistance.com, has a facebook page. Lately they have been posting a couple questions per day. I have had fun answering them so I thought I would post my answers here.

Q: What guilty pleasure do you have from being in a long distance relationship? (ldr)
A:  I don't have to shave my legs if I don't want to.

Q: Name one thing you like about where your bf lives.
A: The English. I don't know if it's a country wide trait or if it's just a trait the people in the southwest have but everyone makes me feel welcome and they are so very friendly. I'd also have to say that when I visit, it's usually in March/April so here I'm leaving behind blizzards and ice storms and arriving into beautiful weather where there are yellow daffodils EVERYWHERE. When I see yellow daffodils, I think of England.  

Q: What is the last negative thing someone said regarding your bf or your ldr?
A: Well, anyone that knows Vernon would never have anything negative to say about him. He's that kind of man. I do recall an incident where a male friend of mine insisted I was being too naive to assume that Vernon wouldn't be out having sex with other women, because that's what men do, they need sex and they cheat. When he said that to me, all I could feel was sorry for him because he'll never know what it's like to love and trust someone the way we do.

Q: What keeps you and your bf in an ldr?
A: Our kids. He has 2, I have one. We are both single parents and both decided to continue to put our children first. My daughter, and his oldest are only 2 weeks apart. As they go off to school or move out to become independent adults, Vernon and I will think more about our future together and close this long distance gap.

Q: If a novel is written about your ldr, what would the title be?
A: I'm having trouble thinking of one, but when I do I will edit this post and add it. I asked this of Vernon too to see what he would say and he wasn't very helpful either. (Thanks Honey!) :)

Q:How and when did you first tell your bf "I love you"?
A: Wow, I don't remember. Does that make me a bad girlfriend? I'm sure we had to be conversing for at least a year because long before the time that we met in person (2 years) we were in love with each other. I have also been signing letters and emails "Yours Forever" for as long as I can remember. Honey, if you remember the specific "event" please refresh my memory because I would like to know.

Valentine's day 2010. Those heart shaped boxes are full of candy, chocolate and cookies!
Q: Who is more romantic?
A: He is, just when I think I have him figured out and know what to expect, he surprises the crap outta me!



Q: If you could take a snapshot of the mood of your relationship right NOW, describe what it would be in one word.
A: At the time of this question, it was Tuesday, August 3 @ 3:40pm. SERIOUS; we were chatting about taxes, school, kids and work via IM, as noted in my last post.

Q: What was the last holiday or special occasion that you had to spend apart? How did you share that special day together?
A: It was Heidi's graduation. This was a big day not only for her but for me too. High School graduation is a major step in someones life and we both worked really hard to get here. She's been accepted to several Universities but will be attending Western Michigan University, and on a 4 year tuition scholarship. Without that scholarship, she would not be going to college. I wanted Vernon and the kids here. They needed to be here, but asking 3 people to cross 3,500 miles of ocean is not very practical. Instead, Vernon and I went in together and got Heidi a netbook computer. I took several pictures of graduation, her opening the gift and the graduation party so he wouldn't feel like he missed everything.

 
Q: How many relationships have you been in? Is your ldr longer than any of those relationships?
A: I married my first relationship. We met and were divorced within 3 years. Vernon and I met 5 years later and have been together for nearly 11 years.

Q: What was your first impression when you first met your bf?
A: After about a year  we finally exchanged pictures. I had already fallen in love and I didn't know what he looked like.When I saw his picture for the first time I began to cry. His photo was amazing, so handsome and adorable. I thought there is no way he will ever love me, I'm not pretty, especially not enough for him.

A: "CLASH" That's funny because we are opposite in so many areas, which is why I think we compliment each other so well.








Q: What do you disagree on?
A: I insist that "pants" are in fact pants, not underwear. I can't bring myself to say "trousers". That is a creepy old man word.

Q: On your first night out to eat together, do you remember what you ordered?
A: He had steak. I may have had chicken, I don't remember. I was so nervous. We were at a bar and grill in downtown Chicago.

Q: If you could travel back in time before you met your bf, what advice would you give yourself?
A: Enroll in a frequent flier plan NOW!

Q: How would you handle it if your bf cheated on you? If it happened long distance, would the distance make it more difficult to regain trust?
A: I don't know what I would do. I've never thought about it because it's something I've never worried about. We both have been hurt in the past.

Q: What is the preferred mode of transportation to visit your bf? How long does it take for you to get there?
A: 4 hours by car to bus station, 2 hours to airport by bus then about 12 hours of flying not including layovers. I go over 24 hours without sleep, but it's well worth it.

Q: Have you ever hid or avoided talking about your ldr to avoid embarrassment or criticism?
A: Yes. People react like it's odd that I'm in a long distance relationship, that we met online and that it's been so long and that it's stupid that I haven't moved there already. I actually had one male friend tell me that I was stupid and naive to think that he wasn't going out and having sex with other women and cheating on me. "Men need sex and that is what they do." I felt sorry for him that he will never know what it's actually like to love and trust someone the way that Vernon and I do.

Q: Do you have nicknames for each other?
A: I call him Honey or Sweetheart. He calls me Sexy Chicken! I love the way he says "Darling" too.

Q: What one thing do you cherish most from your bf?
A: Years ago he sent me a cross necklace. I loved it. Was stolen when we had our break in a year ago, but I'll never forget it.

Q: How many days have you been with your bf?
A: As of 7/27/2010 3pm - 3,964 days.

Q: If you were offered a free life sized cut out of your bf would you accept it?
A: YES! I love looking at him.

Q: What was the last thing you or your bf sent each other in the mail?
A: Postcards. I got them to cheer him up and sent them quite often.

Q: Where is your dream vacation spot?
A: We've always wanted to go somewhere hot and sandy.


Q: How many people do you know who are in an ldr?
A: None

Q: If you could have only 24 hours with your bf, how would you spend your time together?
A: Tee Hee.... next question...

Q: How many visits have you had with your bf? Which one is the most memorable?
A: Six visits totaling 11 weeks in the last 10 years, 10months. Our very first visit in Chicago is the most memorable for me.

Q: Name one thing that makes your bf more special than anyone.
A: He accepts everything about me, doesn't try to change me, and brings the best out of me. I never feel like I have to prove myself or try to make him happy.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Practical Conversations

Vernon and I are in a long distance relationship.  Not only are we in a long distance relationship, we have been in this ldr for nearly 11 years.  Our looks have changed, our personalities have changed, our kids have grown and our conversations have evolved.  We usually chat around my lunch hour or while I'm working so there are a lot of pauses due to me multi-tasking. I often have important things to discuss with Vernon because I talk to him before making any major decisions regarding anything and when I need advice on a challenge I am facing. He is my logical thinker, he knows me better than anyone else, and I trust him completely. His input is important to me as he is very intelligent and straight forward. He is honest and I love that about him. Today we were discussing taxes, credit cards, our next 2 visits and work.

Vernon was talking about his council taxes. I had no clue what that meant so I asked.  He explained something to me that resembled city property taxes. I pay rent, always have, so I've never directly had to pay property taxes, although my rent pays the taxes for the house I live in. I found that to be interesting, it's set up a little differently over there. I'd like to know more about it but today was not the day.

We also talked about credit cards. He and I share different opinions about them, his more conservative than mine, and I didn't like what he said to me, but he was being honest. We don't have to agree on everything. I hate money, I don't have enough to pay my basic bills, I have a truck to fix and I need to see the Dr. but I have more than a lot of people so I shouldn't complain.

I really want Vern to come out with his daughter, she wants to see America and I want to show her a wonderful time here, but we just don't have the money. I suggested he send her alone, but she's still a bit young and has never traveled before. He suggested I visit early 2011. I'd love to do the Christmas trip again, but not without my girl, and we can't afford 2 adults so that would mean she would have to save her money and she wont be working that many hours. So.... I'm not sure yet.  We are also planning a trip in 2012, our friends are getting married in Bristol, UK. I'm planning this trip alone, if my daughter sticks to her plan, she'll be in Australia by then. Vernon said he doesn't want to wait until 2012 to see me, and I don't want to wait either. Right now flights are super cheap, I want to nail something down soon.

We always ask each other about work. We both have challenges that we are faced with every day, him more than me. I love my job, but it can be overwhelming at times. There are days when I can't wait until I talk to him so I can tell him how I've been kickin' butt and days when I need to talk to him because I don't think I can do this anymore... he always tells me how talented and smart I am and gets me out of those ruts. I hope I'm able to do the same for him when he's frustrated with his job.

I love these talks that we have, even though we weren't very lovey dovey, we never forget to tell the other "I love you". Couples need to have these discussions in addition to the mushy ones, I think that's what makes us a serious couple. We aren't in fantasy land and have our feet on the ground, however when we are together those 2 weeks every couple of years our feet don't really touch the ground until it's time to go home. I have to say this about him, he is very disciplined when it comes to money, and if he managed mine I'd probably be in a better situation. When we were wrapping up our conversation he said to me, "I'll let you know when I win the lottery" and I replied, "Me too". That would be sweet wouldn't it?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The end of a fabulous shopping trip

The stupid alarm clock is buzzing and buzzing so loudly! I can't find the snooze button no matter what I hit. It took me forever to set the alarm the night before so that I would wake up with the soft gentle sounds of music in the morning and not wake up Kim, well, that didn't happen.  I felt terrible. Last night I asked her what time she wanted to wake up and she told me 6:30, so I set the alarm for 6. Stupid ass alarm clock. Well, we got an early start, had breakfast although from the way we stuffed our faces the night before, I wasn't hungry for much. Now is when I start thinking about how much fun I had, and it wasn't where I was or what I was doing, it was who I was with. I really wasn't looking forward to taking her back to Grand Rapids but I really couldn't kidnap her could I? The drive back was fun, again we didn't run out of anything to talk about. We also got to pass through the Village of Vernon. Kim and I stopped to take a pic and couldn't stop laughing.
The entire time I was with Kim I could be myself and we talked about all sorts of topics, topics we agreed on and topics we didn't agree on and it was all good.  I missed her before actually meeting her in person, and now that I've met her I miss her so unbelievably much. I hope that she had as much fun as I did and that she felt comfortable around me. I owe a lot to my sister for helping me make this a super shopping trip for Kim, and it was awesome seeing her and my beautiful niece.

My blog is mainly dedicated to my long distance relationship with my best friend and partner Vernon, but these last three posts are dedicated to Kim, my wonderful dear friend with whom I have had a long distance friendship for a little over a year.  She's been on the second half of her vacation here in the states so I haven't heard from her since I dropped her off last week, but I'm so excited to see her online again and to see photos and hear about the rest of her trip.

I had the pleasure of meeting her boyfriend, and he is simply charming. Very nice looking, great smile, and obviously so good to Kim. It was fun sitting in our hotel room with our bottles of Mike's Hard Lemonade talking about "boys". We are both very lucky girls.  I look forward to the day when she can meet Vernon. I know he will just adore Kim and vice versa. Kim, I'm really going to miss you, I've got tears in my eyes writing this but I know we'll be friends forever and that makes me really happy!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Frankenmuth, Fairies and Fudge

Day two of my visit with Kim was even better.  We went down and tried out the complimentary breakfast. It was awesome! Biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, grapes, doughnuts and juice.  I tried to convince Kim that biscuits and sausage gravy was super yummy, but she couldn't understand the concept of gravy for breakfast. I guess when she puts it that way it makes sense.  We went to the gas station to fill up the truck and my genius friend suggested that we pick up some liquid refreshment for tonight, and yes, we picked up a 6pk of Mikes Hard Lemonade.  Now we are ready for our day of shopping and fun.

My sister Liz and her daughter showed up. My sweet niece made a card for Kim reading "Welcome to America" so cute! Then Kim taught her how to count to 10 in Dutch. She did a great job!

Frankenmuth is amazing! What a neat little tourist trap of a town.  I wanted to take plenty of pics to remember this very special day with Kim, and I wanted Vern to see how much fun we had. Kim said she wanted to take pictures in all those character cut outs so we did. We had so much fun sticking our faces in those things.  Total silliness, something I don't do very often.
There were shops for everything, socks, frogs, crepes, purses, toys, creepy looking dolls and souvenirs. Last but not least... there were shops for FUDGE AND ICE CREAM! Wonderful stuff.  I fell behind while in a shopping center because I was buying cookies for later. I made my way around a corner and was startled by the most hideous thing I've ever seen. I looked at it, gave it a second look and really couldn't believe someone made something so ugly and freaky looking.  I looked at Kim and said, "Did you see that?" She laughed and said, "I got a picture of it!" Well, she read my mind because I had to take one too. I can't describe it so I'll just post it here.  What disturbed me the most was that the beard was drawn on, like with charcoal or something. Looks a bit like Prince but with wings.
We all had lunch at the Brewery. It was awesome. Got free hors d'oeuvres because I was a smart cookie and found coupons on the Frankenmuth web site.  The very first stop we made was at Bronners, the Christmas store. Wow, it was absolutely amazing. I really want to go back. They had ornaments for everything, and all sorts of Christmas stuff. I had another coupon for a free item so I let Kim have it and she got an ornament with a picture of fruitcake on it.  It was that or an ornament shaped like a clove of garlic. What's that all about? The fruitcake ornament made us laugh for a while, and now when she hangs it on her tree every year, when she sees the fruitcake ornament she'll think of us. Ha ha ha.

We were totally worn out after all of that walking and shopping. Liz and the munchkin went home and Kim and I went back to the hotel. We immediately changed to go swimming. The cool water felt so good on my overworked feet and legs. Then, in walk a bunch of kids, ranging in the ages from 13 to 17 and a girl that looked like she wasn't a day over 13 was carrying a glass bottle of what looked like champagne. They sat around the hot tub drinking whatever was in the bottle, thinking they were hot shit. I was annoyed because the bottle was glass, dumb asses, don't these kids have parents that teach them anything? It wasn't much longer when an older gentleman in blue coveralls wanted to take the suspected alcohol from the kids and they forcefully stated, "This isn't alcohol". Thinking they were off the hook, like I said, they were dumb asses. He told the kids they couldn't have glass in the pool area. They didn't understand that concept and reluctantly left.  They came back later on and the two girls who were 12 and 13 had the tiniest bikinis on and lots of makeup. They looked so trashy. I'm glad I'm the kind of mother I am and that I taught my daughter class and respect.  These two girls are teenage moms waiting to happen. Where the hell are their parents????? Oh well, not my problem. More kids were showing up and Kim and I really weren't in the mood to deal with other peoples rotten offspring so we left the pool and ordered pizza, cheese bread and mozzarella sticks. It was so very good! Hardly touched the pizza though, our eyes were bigger than our stomachs. We ended the night with Mikes Hard Lemonade, a fabulous pizza dinner and cookies from our day out shopping.  

I really needed this day out with the girls. I was relaxed, stress free, and enjoying the company of my friend, my sister and my niece. It was tough saying goodbye to Kim. Now that we've spent time together, I'm really going to miss her. Maybe next time I see her it will be in Europe. That would be fun.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Smirnoff Green Apple Bite and New Slippers From Holland

I have recently spent two days in lower Michigan. Frankenmuth to be exact. I drove all the way down to the Grand Rapids area to pick up my friend Kim who is visiting the States from Europe.  If you read my last post, my truck is ok. I think it was misdiagnosed by the first mechanic who only looked at it a little because of paying jobs that were coming in that day. I took it to another one who didn't really have time for me either but they squeezed me in and said I had nothing wrong.  I do need a new muffler though. It completely went during my drive down. Anyway, before leaving for our destination, Kim and I had dinner with her boyfriend and his grandparents.  What sweet people, and what a nice dinner consisting of the best hot dogs I've ever had.  The break was nice considering I had been in the truck for the last 8 hours.  I did make a couple of stops to take pictures. The reason for this is that when I go on a trip, I take Vernon with me. I think of him while I'm driving, I see places that I would normally stop at if he were with me, and try to keep my eyes open for places to go with him and the kids in the future. I appreciate more of what Upper Michigan has to offer and its beauty because I try to see it the way Vernon would. It would have been nice if he were with me, but that would take the entire purpose out of our girls getaway. 

Meeting Kim was weird at first. I've only seen photos, chatted, sent/received letters and gifts and talked on the phone.  She was in 3D! Once we began talking, it was like meeting up with an old friend. We had an hour drive ahead of us. We never ran out of things to talk about. We got to the hotel and were greeted by a tall young guy standing in front of the counter. He was smiling at us. We thought it a bit odd and started giggling. He went around behind the counter and proceeded to check us in, gave us the low down on schedules, amenities and stuff and we went to our room.  I freshened up, and the second I came out Kim was pulling gifts out of her bag. She's so cute when it comes to presents. She can't wait! I got the most awesome slippers! They are shaped like wooden shoes.  They are soft and comfy too.  She also brought over a ton of Dutch chocolate. I can't wait for Heidi and I to give it a try.

Everything was wrapped in that cute white and blue Dutch paper with the little windmills that she likes to use.  We were both dying for a drink so we went down to the bar and had trouble deciding on what to have.  The bartender suggested Smirnoff Green Apple Bite.  Holy crap is that stuff awesome! We both had two and that was enough.






We were tired from a long day, me especially, so we went through a stack of coupons I brought for shopping tomorrow and we talked till about 1am and then finally went to sleep.  Tomorrow is going to be a blast!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Loving From A Distance - You Guys Rock!



I am dedicating this blog post to the folks at www.lovingfromadistance.com .  I have been following them on Facebook and Twitter for a while but I finally signed up and have been looking around in the forums, blogs, groups and shop.  I love it!  I have been in this relationship for so long, and I have had no support other than Vernon.  No one understands, sometimes I even feel like people think I'm making him up.  No one sees him as my equal partner. I don't talk about him really except with those very special friends who have actually met him, and complete strangers. Anyone that has met him thinks he's wonderful.

I have really enjoyed this site, reading about people with a variety of concerns, questions, celebrations and I feel myself celebrating with them.  I think a long distance relationship (LDR) is a wonderful thing. If you can survive through an LDR you can survive anything. It teaches you patience, understanding, appreciation and loyalty. You have so many opportunities to lie, cheat, accuse the other of the same, take a line in an email to mean something negative when in fact it was said in humor... it is a challenge. I hope to connect with people in a new LDR and people that have been in an LDR for several years. I have yet to find someone who has been in one as long as ours, and  if you are that person reading my blog please come forward as I am so interested in hearing your story!

I have managed this LDR with Vernon for nearly 11 years. It has become second nature, a part of my life, who I am. He is my other half and he just happens to not be here with me. We both have adjusted while still having our bad days apart, but overall I think we handle it better than we did 5 years ago.  I will be going through a major life change very soon and I have been dreading it for so long.  My baby girl, the girl I have raised by myself since she was almost 2, the baby girl who I feel I "grew up with" is now going to leave for college in one month.
She has been my strength, my reason for living, my reason for making the decisions I have made on anything, my reason for being in an LDR for over 10 years.  She is my #1 and always will be.  We are so close and do everything together.

We even have our own language which drives other family members and friends crazy. We have obsessions like Jackie Chan movies, Charmed, Gilmore Girls (it's so much like us it's freaky! lol), and most recently Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We are still working on season 7 and it's getting pretty dark and scary and intense.  Anyway, she's my best friend and she's going to be leaving me.  Don't get me wrong, I want her to go off to college, see the world, reach her goals... if that meant never seeing me again then so be it, as long as she is happy.  But... I will miss her. I will be sad without her and that will put my LDR at a different level that will make me feel like I'm starting over again. I'll have one of those sad days missing Vernon and instead of coming home to my wonderful daughter who will take my mind off of my misery, I will be coming home to an empty house to torture myself with my thoughts of misery and loneliness. I will now be maintaining TWO LDR's and it's gonna suck.  Vernon understands this and will be the most wonderful partner that he always ends up being and will put up with my adjustment as I will be very emotional for a while.

I want to thank Michelle and Frank for starting www.lovingfromadistance.com for people like Vernon and I.  I now have a place to go to express my feelings without being judged when Vernon and my daughter are not available. If you haven't checked this site out, click on the badge at the top of this post, or the link on the right. There is something for everyone in there.   You guys rock!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

There is missing you and then there is MISSING YOU.

Things have been crazy busy for me this summer getting the kid ready for college.  First it's a full weekend of graduation and then the party 4 hours from home.  Then we had to make a trip down to fabulous Kalamazoo for a 2 day orientation, with 2 days of travel and an extra day for just hanging out.  It gets expensive and I'm using up my vacation time pretty quick.  I don't remember to check my email or even log on to the computer because I'm out of my normal routine.  The norm is chatting nearly every day with Vernon, sending occasional emails and Facebook or Picassa updates. When I'm away from the computer, It's as if I've left him behind.  I miss him in a different way.  I don't know how to explain it.  We joke about the day when we are finally united and we wont know how to function together.  He'll get home from work and sit down at the computer and I'll be in the next room on another computer and we'll chat to each other.  Crazy, I know. My recent adventures have been so jam packed with information, excitement, stress, and interesting stuff.  This thing with me being a parent of a high school graduate is new to me, I need Vernon to help me cope and celebrate, but I'm not even logged into the computer.  I always tell him before I go anywhere.  We made a promise to each other that we would not avoid logging into the computer for more than 3 days no matter if we are upset with each other (which has never happened, I don't think) or if we are busy.  When I didn't hear from Vernon for 3 days, I worried.  I've worried things like he's mad at me, he's sick, he's had an accident, all the worst... I'm a worrier.  It's always the work schedule, he has a demanding job.  When his job is extra demanding, I'll get a quick short email just saying that he loves me, and I'm happy with that.  I want him to take care of himself, I want him to give his kids the attention that they need, I want him to be happy and not worry about me, but I do need to hear that he is still alive if it's going to be 3 days.  Today is Friday, he's usually there on Fridays.  But... work has been tough, he's had a recent minor injury and I know his son is coming home for a visit sometime soon, so I'm not worried. Well, I worry about his injury, but I know overall he's fine.  I'll try calling him Sunday afternoon (evening his time) and if he's not in, we'll catch up on Monday as he usually does after a long weekend of no contact.  I constantly miss him, but I miss him in a different way when we don't communicate for several days.

It's amazing how he can read my mood just from chatting.  With all the stress of getting the kid ready for school, I've been very emotional and moody. Sometimes we are both moody and tired which makes for a very brief and uneventful conversation.  We don't fight, we just don't say very much.  The last time we chatted, he was extra attentive.  It was wonderful.  He was unusually talkative, flirty, spunky.  I liked it.  I needed that. He picked up my crappy mood and made me smile.  He's very intuitive to my needs and feelings and this is over the computer.  Whew, I'm babbling and falling asleep. I'll try to post more often, things are so crazy for me right now.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Good Days and Bad Days

I don't recognize the person in this photo.  I know it's me, but I don't recognize her as me.  Normally I try to be as invisible as I can in front of the camera.  But... when Vern is the one taking the photos, I enjoy having my photo taken.  I smile, I feel beautiful and I have fun.  Also, when I am having photos taken of me just for Vern, I enjoy those too.  Like when he sends me a gift or he's been begging me for some more photos.  I also make a point to wear red, he likes me in red, and he loves my eyes.  My world completely disappears when he's looking directly into my eyes.  Whew!  Anyway, back to the photo... it was taken in England.  To be honest, I don't remember where, Portland Bill is my educated guess... and I'd have to do some math to remember the year.  I do remember being very insistent on finding a small replica of the Portland Bill lighthouse for my mom, and I wasn't going to leave until I found one.  Thank goodness I found one.

Well, the title of this post is good days and bad days.  That is because I have had both lately.  My lovely daughter just graduated from high school.  She's an amazing kid, very creative, beautiful, loving, funny, mature, but really has to work at her grades.  Her graduating was a major milestone that made me cry and shake to the point of not being able to take a decent photo of her during the graduation ceremony.  I really wanted Vern and the kids there.  They are part of our family and this is a celebratory occasion when they should be here.  It's not a practical request in this situation, but I'm human and I want my way and I really wanted them here.  There have been many times when I felt this way about being there... like when Vernon gets very sick or when he injured himself this past winter, and when his kids have those usual teen moments where they or dad need that extra support.  It just isn't practical.  I took lots of photos for Vern and the kids to see, so he doesn't feel like he missed anything.  He moans at me when there aren't any of me, so I made sure others used my camera and took a few pics.  Work has been going well too, I come home with so much to talk about but he's not here.

Today was a bad day.  I became frustrated early in the day and it got worse from there.  I came home and had lunch with my daughter which was nice, and then my afternoon really dragged after that.  On my way home I started to cry.  I don't think I actually had a good reason, it was just one of those days, maybe I have PMS... I don't really keep track but it's possible.  Regardless, I was sad and needed Vernon.  As I was in tears I was thinking that Vern is nuts to love someone as emotional as me.  He knows how I get and he's seen and heard me cry.  I even tell him if I'm crying while we are chatting.  I have to be myself around him.  I like to be myself around him.  He doesn't mind the emotions.  He accepts everything about me.  I did come home to a cheerful girl who was happy to see me and my mood changed quickly.  But then my thoughts moved to the days when she will be off to college and I'll really be alone on days like this.  I wanted to cry again but didn't. Over the winter months Vernon went through a bit of a sad slump that he just couldn't shake.  To help him out of that I found a pack of these awesome postcards on Amazon.com and sent him a couple a week.  He seemed to enjoy them.  I was determined to cheer him up.  He also comes home to a cheerful daughter, and he wont be shipping her off to school for some time so he's good for a while.

I look forward to the days when I can come home and celebrate a successful day with him, or give him the heads up when I'm having a bad day and he greets me with hugs and ice cream when I get home.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Unconditional


Unconditional Love is when he knows your faults and loves you anyway.
Thank you Vernon, I don't know what I would do without you.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

It's Mother's Day today!  I woke up my daughter at 8:30 this morning and told her I wanted to go out for breakfast.  I like the buffet at Country Kitchen and they always do something special for Mother's Day.  Of course, the teenager was very cranky with me for waking her up... but I reminded her that it was Mother's Day and that helped a little.  Well, by 10:30 my lovely girl and I were enjoying our brunch, she had a very nice hand made card for me and we had an awesome morning!  I'm lucky to have a girl like her.  She had prom last night and looked absolutely gorgeous, and yesterday morning we went on an early road trip to go shopping and we "car seat danced" and sang the entire way. After brunch we window shopped at the shopping center that passes for a mall in our area, then came home to relax and enjoy the rest of our day. I logged on to Facebook and I had a note there from Vernon's daughter wishing me a Happy Mother's Day.  She is a 13yr old beautiful girl who is very close to her dad.  I miss her very much. I want to teach and guide her as an adult female role model should, but it's so difficult with me being so far away.  Her laughter is contagious and her smile is amazing.  I love her very much and I fall in love with Vernon more and more when I see him with her and listen/read when he's gushing about her accomplishments.  Sometimes I have to help him with some of the female stuff, but overall, for a dad, he does ok.  He also has a son the same age as my daughter and for a while he's been going through a rough patch.  Vernon has been stressed and I have been as supportive as possible.  I've cried and worried because I should be with Vernon helping him out and supporting him, but, all of a sudden, his son is becoming the responsible young man that we knew he had the capabilities of being.  Vernon and I just have to keep loving him and supporting him while he finds himself as most teenagers need to do as they become adults.  I'll be sending mine off to college in the fall.  I'm scared and nervous about the entire transition. Sometimes I wonder if I will be able to handle the separation. To be honest, I wish Vern was here to help me with this overwhelming task but it's something I have to do on my own.

Back on the topic of Mother's Day, I love my mom. She is helping me get through so much lately with planning the graduation party and visiting me when I'm feeling overwhelmed.  She's always been loving and supportive and I have been so very lucky.  Another mom who means alot to me is my English mum.  She is simply the English version of my mom.  When I am around her I couldn't feel more loved or accepted as a guest, and as her son's partner.  I miss my family when I am visiting in England, but Vernon's family makes it so easy for me to not be as homesick.  Also, when I am here, I miss her very much.  I miss her hugs and the way she says my name.  I'm crying right now just thinking of her.  She loves her son so very much.  She does things for him just as my mom does things for me.  And... Our moms never ask for anything in return.  We are both so lucky to be blessed with the moms that we have.  And my mom loves Vernon. She's tearfull when he visits and it is time for him to leave.  I hope he feels as special here as I do there.

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful moms in my life.  You deserve to be celebrated.     

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Tories, Labors and Liberal Dems; OH MY!

With all the hubub over the UK elections, I've been trying to pay attention with much interest. On our last phone call Vernon was explaining to me the similarities between 2 of their parties to our Republicans and Democrats.  He answered my questions no matter how stupid they were.  Politics confuse me a bit, mostly because it's all placing blame and empty promises.... so I avoid it at all costs.  I could listen to him all day.  It's probably a combination of his willingness and enjoyment of teaching me something from his world and his hot hot accent which I have mentioned before.  I love it when he explains things to me.  Today we were chatting and he was telling me all about the elections and the different parties and what everyone is promising and what changes need to be made and what people want, you know, pretty much the same thing here.  He never really types very much, (unless he's talking Linux to me) but today he was typing paragraphs and paragraphs to help me understand what's going on in the UK regarding the elections.  I appreciate that very much.  I love that about our chats and conversations, we can discuss politics or how our day went or what's for dinner and feel like we've had a great conversation.  He could easily blow me off, tell me he doesn't feel like talking about it, just say he doesn't know, or put me down for being annoying.  Never.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Missing You Like Crazy

I had a long day at work yesterday. It started with a list of tasks and projects and everything got put on hold to troubleshoot an issue that came up. I manage the company's CRM and it is very user friendly. Glitches are something that just don't happen with this product. I had users telling me the site had a glitch, but I'm 98% sure that it was user error. I had to fix the problem and it took me the rest of the afternoon. As I made my corrections, evidence consisting of what I would call an electronic 'paper trail' proves that this was all user error. HA! When it comes to this CRM I know my stuff!

Around lunch hour, up pops my honey. Ha ha, you could take that a number of ways... but I'm talking IM. ;) We chat a few times a week. His job keeps him very busy so he's unable to chat every day. Some days are much busier than others for me, as while I'm chatting I'm doing other things. I'm the multi-tasking queen. Some days I end up neglecting him but he's very understanding because he knows I'm at work. Sometimes I forget he's on, which is TERRIBLE of me, but I'll get pulled away from my desk or get caught up in a phone call. It's not like he's ever distracted by 'Dr. Who', 'Top Gear' or that evening's movie. {insert sarcasm here} . As always, he asked me how my day was going. He's always interested in what's going on at work. Here is how that part of our conversation went.
V: how is my sexy girl?
K: lets just say, that if i were coming home to you tonight, i would insist that we order take out and then watch a funny movie with you curled up on the sofa of course. My brain is fried today.

It would have been a perfect night to go home to him with carry out for dinner and we would put on our comfy clothes, eat in front of the TV then curl up on the sofa with a funny movie. That would be perfect therapy for me. Instead, I did go home after work, sat in the truck and had a good cry before making it into the house to make a wonderful taco dinner for my daughter and the evening turned out to be very nice. My girl has a way of doing that for me.

Today was Vernon's day off, what he calls his "Fifth Day". I set my alarm for 6am to give him a call. I always try to call him on his day off since it is only noon over there. Well, I called again and again and he was not home. I knew he had lots to do, like look for blinds for the kitchen door and he likes to visit his parents, and he also spends quality time with his daughter so I wasn't surprised when he didn't answer the phone. I was feeling uneasy and full of anxiety this morning and really needed to talk to him, but I knew he'd be online later because yesterday he said he would be.

I'm feeling panicked and full of anxiety today. I had trouble focusing at work and feeling the physical effects of my stress. My daughter's graduation is in less than a month. I have yet to get out the invitations, order her gift, and finances are very tight. I have good months and bad months, why does this month have to be a bad month? Next month is orientation. We still have so much to do and plan for. I want it to be perfect. She deserves a perfect graduation party. I'm telling Vernon about my feelings, my worries, and how this stress today is affecting me. I could tell he was very worried, sad, and really wanted to help me. I need him on days like this. I cried again today but had to pull myself together because I was at work and I didn't want anyone to see me crying. It's days like this that make me angry that we are so far apart, I miss him so much and I get so tired of struggling with everything by myself day in and day out. I feel alone but then he tells me he loves me and I feel so much better. I remember what I am feeling is temporary and mostly because of the frustration of planning this graduation party and fearing the empty nest, not to mention my daughter, who is my best friend, will be moving 10 hours away from me in the fall. I'm still having trouble focusing so I'm sorry if this seems a bit scattered.

I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful understanding man make me feel so loved and cared for.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Long Distance Hug


I got a "hug" today.

He loves me.
He supports me.
He is honest with me.
He doesn't sugar coat things just to make me feel better.
He treats me with respect and as an equal.
He is a good listener.
He offers advice, solutions and empathy.
He doesn't get short with me when I am crying.
He doesn't interrupt me when I'm rambling.
He accepts my feelings.

I really needed that "hug" today.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Language Barrier, Blogging and a List



Today we spoke on the phone. I was on the computer and Vern showed up on the IM so I told him I'd just call. We always have a good time on the phone. I love hearing his voice, that sexy southwestern British accent. Whew! Vern read my blog and liked it. I wasn't worried, he is supportive in anything that I do but since this involves him, I did ask if it was OK... and he approves.

I asked Vernon if he noticed that I used the word "dodgy" in my blog. He said "yes" and that he's very impressed. Funny. Why is it that his language is rubbing off on me? Yes, I do watch a lot of BBC and he sends me lots of DVD's but sometimes I don't get all the jokes. There was one joke that I heard over and over again, never understood it until lately, and I can't seem to remember it... Oh yes! In one episode of "Vicar of Dibley" the group is discussing the vandals of the town, and how they vandalized the sign at the "Tuck Shop". Well, it sounded like they said "tuck" but what the heck is a tuck? So I figured they said "Tack" as in horse stuff, but then I thought, "How do you turn 'tack' into a bad word?" So I just gave up on understanding the joke. Then one day Vern used the word "tuck" in a sentence. I asked him to repeat it, and then I was like, "There is that word! What does it mean?" And when Vern explained to me what a tuck shop was it all came together. I felt as if he answered the question of the universe... to which the answer is 42 but we can discuss that on another day. For you Americans who don't speak "English" a tuck shop is like a convenience store, a 7 Eleven, Kwik Trip, something of that sort. I just felt that "dodgy" was the only word I could think of. There are other words I use... I call my linen closet a cupboard. I keep linens, towels, and bathroom items in there, not cups... yet I call it a cupboard. Don't worry, my bedroom closets are still closets for now. Half the time I say "shop" instead of "store" and "film" instead of "movie". I asked him today why it's happening to me and not him... but he confessed... "I say 'sure' instead of 'of course'". I laughed!

As we were talking about our kids and the challenges we are facing right now with our 18 yr olds, he was checking out this Blogger site. He was quite intrigued (oh yeah, I say "quite" a lot more too) with this whole blog thing. He asked me how it works and I really didn't have many good answers for him because I'm new at this. I do want my blog noticed, but not by everyone that I know, just people that can relate to our situation and a few of my closest friends who I know wont think I'm being stupid by keeping a blog. I've always been a writer. I kept journals all my life, until the day I found pages missing from one of my books. It was my "now" ex-husband who went through my sock/underwear drawer for whatever reason and found it. Not sure what the hell he was looking for, but he couldn't read English so ripped out some pages and took it to someone to translate. What a dick. Well, that was the last entry I made. I tried keeping journals since, but it wasn't the same. Things are different now, technology has changed, and I need some sort of outlet since I don't get to talk to Vernon every day. I think he will feel closer to me with this blog, he will read things that we talked about, read about my memories of our times together and also read about things I wanted to tell him that day or that week and couldn't because one of us couldn't make it to the computer. He's all pumped about this blog of mine, and I am too even more now. He wants to start one, he's not sure on what topic, but he will have that to think about as he goes about his day at work tomorrow. I suggested he browse other blogs to get ideas if he needs to. I can't wait to see what he comes up with. Then we got to the topic of Google. I said to him "I Googled myself this morning" and his response was "That's a bit vain isn't it?" I couldn't stop laughing. Because of my job, I pop up. Then I guess he Googled himself while we were talking and he said, "I found my name, but it isn't me. That's OK though, I don't want to be all over the place." He's so cute.

He's got the day off on Tuesday and is all excited about it. Sounded like a kid who woke up to a snow day. He was naming things he wanted to do and then I suggested he write me a letter. "You mean on paper?" UGH! MEN! He's a computer guy but can't type worth crap. I love when he writes me letters. Then he said he was going to make a list of things he wanted to do on his day off. He names several things, then "take cardboard and bottles to recycling guys, write Kim a letter". I enjoy messing with him and got all upset, "I'm below 'take cardboard and bottles to recycling guys?!?!?!'" Of course, he said he wanted to clear everything off his list so he could dedicate all of his attention to me. Good answer. I rarely get one over on him... he's too smart for me. One of the reasons why I love that guy.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My first blog post


I'm not sure where to start. I wish I started this 10 years ago, but my access to the internet and computers has been a bit dodgy so what I think this will be are random thoughts and happenings pertaining to my relationship now, and random flashbacks and memories.

I feel very lucky to have Vernon in my life. He is my best friend. I am amazed that we found each other. One day in September of 1999 I decided to look for a support group for young single parents. I was a 28 yr old mother of a 7yr old. I didn't know what I was doing, felt lonely, had no friends and I had nothing in common with the other mothers who were relatively older than me. Being naive as well as very new to the internet I learned quickly that it was full of perverts, especially the chat rooms. I found single parent postings and discussion boards and read a few by some single moms, but they were all looking for men. I looked at the very few postings for single dads and yes... they were all looking for women. I don't want a date, I just want to talk to someone who knows and understands what I'm going through. I expanded my search to a single parenting site based in the UK. Same thing... the single moms were all hot to trot. I came across this interesting post by a single dad. He has a son my daughter's age and an even younger little girl. He was my age, professional, and didn't mention wanting to find a woman. I thought about emailing him, then figured if he turned into a perv I would just stop emailing. Well, he responded and we've been emailing ever since.

Our communication is mostly chat and email. We do write letters, send cards and gifts and several years ago we had monthly phone calls. The calls stopped because of money and because of his hearing condition which has gotten worse over the years. We have just recently resumed the phone calls because he's got hearing aids and a speaker phone now, and I finally have internet at home and subscribe to Vonage World which is GREAT! I try to call him every week, and when he has days off from work I can call him when I get up in the morning. The time difference is usually 6 hours, except for 2 weeks in the spring when it is only 5. I like that. Visits started in Spring of 2002. We tried for every year but as the kids got older and flights got more expensive, it just got too difficult. Vern has made it out here 3 times and I have made it there 3 times. So, over the last 10 years, we have actually been together, on the same continent, a total of 11 weeks. That's a little over 1 week per year. Wow! And I feel we communicate better than most married couples.

I plan on calling him tomorrow. I'll have to tell him about this blog.