‘sup? How’s everyone’s Friday? Have you seen this video before? We saw it for the first time about a year ago and have been laughing our assess off at it ever since. No, it’s not racist to laugh at because we’re white. It’s just funny…because that’s how ALL chicks act, no matter their race. CALM DOWN…and start it at about 1:50…that’s when it starts getting LLOL. #bitchesbetrippin
Anyway, as promised: Part 2 to the Ask Me Anything questions. It’s up later than I wanted but you know, real life. Read responses to Part 1.
How do you decide what to share here, and what not to? You mention some boundaries with Shannon for some specific topics, but how do you decide for the normal stuff / other people? –Laura
I will not write about anything having to do with Shannon’s job or family/personal life outside our relationship. Other than that, pretty much anything is fair game. As far as writing about other people, if it’s more than just a casual or general reference, I ask permission. I even send copies of draft posts to people to read through before they go live with the express purpose of receiving their go-ahead. Shannon proofs every single post that has to do with her or us in a more-than-just-general way. Every. Single. One.
Deciding what to write about isn’t a laborious decision-making process for me. It’s usually about whether or not I’m “in the mood” to write with a certain tone or about a certain topic, or whether or not I have time.
You had three kids when you met Shannon. She had none. Presumably she loves yours. But do you think that you and Shannon will have more children together? Have you and her ever discussed that issue? –Caroline
Maybe. We’ve talked about it since the very beginning of our relationship, the first time being in the back of a parking lot over ice cream one summer night in 2013. I started having kids young (at 18). While I did have a few “party years” a few years later, by and large my life has been about my kids. I haven’t had much opportunity or time (or money) to “do me”. I’ve always said that all my kids will be out of diapers by the time I’m 30, and right now, that looks to be true.
I turn 30 in just under a year and a half, and all of my kids have been out of diapers for some time. I love them, but I’m looking forward to having my life be a liiiiiiittle bit more about me now that they’re getting older. I’m just now feeling like I’m getting back on track with being a responsible grown-up (or, rather, that decisions to do so that I made six years ago are just now beginning to pay off) and I don’t want to go back to babies. Not right now. I’m not opposed to revisiting the issue later on down the road, but right now I’m really enjoying not having the stress of a newborn/infant. Plus, every time I’ve been pregnant and gone through childbirth, my romantic relationship suffered immensely. I don’t want that pressure put on my relationship with Shannon. Selfish? Yup. Do I care? Nope.
I asked Shannon to answer this question too – from her POV – and here’s what she sent me just this morning (bold emphasis is hers):
“One thing I’m learning (even with being a little over a year and a half into our relationship) is that kids are difficult…especially three kids, two of whom are still daycare age. When we first started dating/talking/whatever the kids call it these days, I really didn’t think much about it. I knew she had children (I talked to Briseis a couple of times before I actually talked to Kelsey), and I slowly started to get to know them, and, sure enough, I thought they were pretty cool (some of that coolness started because Madden wanted to do burpees, pull ups, and thrusters with a PVC pipe).
For me, my relationship with Briseis, Emma, and Madden will always be different than the relationship they share with Kelsey or RJ, and I know and accept that. I won’t ever be mommy…and most certainly will never be daddy (for obvious reasons), but that doesn’t change the fact that I love them and would do anything for them. Kels and I have had the “more children talk,” and I think we are on the same page…we are both fine with how things are now…two toddlers and a tween are enough…especially given all the other circumstances.
We have discussed and agreed to be open-minded about possibly adopting in the future if 1) we wanted more children 2) financially were more stable 3) it would be in the family’s best interest. However, we will revisit the subject when we know we are ready. At this point we are both content and happy with watching Briseis play around and be carefree, and Emma talking and singing and dancing around the room, and Madden running around like he is on a sugar high 24/7.”
So you know. One day, maybe. We’re both open to the idea of more biological children or adopted children. Or no more kids at all. We’ll take it as it comes.
How did it come to be that Briseis doesn’t live with you? –Ana
Long story short, the summer I gave up custody to her went like this:
Her dad was in the IRR, almost done with his contractual obligation to the military. I was totally lost, looking for direction. At the start of the year the company I’d been working for (Washington Mutual Home Loans) was seized by the federal government and immediately shut down amid the housing collapse. We all lost our jobs. Half a year later, I was still out of work. I decided I would reenlist in the Army, but active duty this time. The thing is, you can’t enlist into any branch of the military as an unmarried person with dependents. Either get married, or give up the rights to your dependents. At the same time, Bri’s dad, who had been done with reserve duty for a few years and had his civilian life completely established, was called back up to deploy. He didn’t want to go (bigger story there, but don’t anyone dare call him a coward for it because it wasn’t like that at all), but you don’t really get to pick and choose whether or not you accept deployment orders. Unless you’re unmarried with a dependent. The military won’t deploy an unmarried person that has dependents.
The stars aligned and Bri’s dad taking custody of her worked out for everyone: she remained with a parent; her dad was able to fulfill his civilian mission stateside; I was able to reenlist into active duty service and establish a real military career. It was a no-brainer. I handed over custody to him with the understanding that I’d get her back when I was done with whatever training I was sent to. But then the active duty reenlistment never happened, I fell in with the wrong crowd, and partying took priority over everything (coincidentally, this was the summer I turned 21). Things just kind of fell apart and we all fell into our new routines. Almost eight years later, here we are.
At one point, did you mention that you were attempting to change the status of Briseis – longer stays or full time? What happened? And how did it come to be that she’s with her dad? –Laura
True story. A while back I filed a petition requesting a change in our custody/visitation order. At the time, Bri’s dad was living like, six miles straight down the road and I was working from home. I wanted her time to be split evenly among her dad and me. By the time our court date arrived (months later), Bri’s dad and that part of her family moved across town to the other side of a different county. I went back to work in the office. There was no way I’d be able to drive her to school each day and make it to work. It just wasn’t going to happen. Come our court date, I told the judge “never mind” and headed home.
I love Briseis just as much as I love Emma and Madden, who live with me full-time. It sucks that she doesn’t live with me or spend more time over here, BUT…I believe it would be more harmful to remove her from the day-to-day family life that she has known for the past 7+ years than to keep our current arrangement. She only spends every other weekend at my place, but I see her more than that (soccer games, birthday parties, movie dates, dinner outing, school functions, etc.). She doesn’t live with me full-time, but I’m not absent from her life. Plus, she has her own cell phone (not my decision, don’t even get me started) so really, I can literally talk to her whenever I want and she can talk to me whenever she wants. Her dad and I aren’t BFFs but we don’t hate each other, either. We work together to make sure Bri is taken care of. Yes, he works a lot more and a lot harder, but I do what I can. Always.
As Bri gets older, if she decides on her own that she wants to spend more time over here or live here full-time then we’ll revisit the issue. But in no universe is it fair for me to take her out of her dad’s home – a totally acceptable, safe, and loving environment – just because. I was bitter for a long time that she lived with him. I felt cheated, even though I was complicit in the custody swap. I’ve long been over it, though. Our setup works for us. No one else has to live it or understand or accept it. Pushing the issue (which is really a non-issue) would just be harmful to Bri and selfish of me.
I want to know what printer you are using to do your pics. I’m so sick of picking up prints at Target or Walgreens and having them look like crap. And although I think Persnickety does a marvelous job, mama ain’t got that kinda patience to wait around. –Stephanie
I use an HP Photosmart 7515. It’s one of those all-in-one set-ups. Got it at Costco five years ago. It’s SUPER clunky, but it has wireless capability so it just sits in the basement (my office is a billion feet away) and I don’t have to stare at its clunkiness all day, errryday. It works awesome for me. The only issue I’ve ever had with it is it running out of ink, so really, no issues. Ever.
I refill my ink cartridges at Costco. I spend the same amount of money refilling all 5 cartridges the printer takes that I would on 1.5 new cartridges. Totally worth it.
I used to print on Canon Pixma matte photo paper but then I discovered that the Office Depot brand of matte photo paper is a truer white…and way fucking cheaper (when Canon isn’t on sale on Amazon, anyway). So now I use that.
I am curious about what you think of the PL community and creative teams in general? –Giada
Hmm. Well. I don’t know. The community as a whole? Eh. The very specific niche of Project Lifers that I know and love and follow and pull a lot of inspiration from? Two thumbs up.
I have a really specific style/aesthetic and I’m not really interested in or inspired by anything that doesn’t adhere to said style/aesthetic. I really love how Project Life enables everyone to become memory keepers in a super non-intimidating way, but I’m not crazy about the super prevalent religious/straight/white/mommy undertone in the community. Nothing against any of those demographics, but I do think that there is a huge segment of the regular American population that is totally neglected by the traditional Project Life community, and that really sucks. Personally, I don’t at all feel represented in the community, which is a huge reason that I wasn’t excited about doing Project Life this year.
As far as creative teams go? I don’t really have any feelings on them. Is that the wrong answer? I feel like that’s the wrong answer. I mean, I think they’re great marketing tools for both the creator who has the team and the people who are chosen for the team. But they’re not my thing. I wrote more about my feelings about it here.
Well, that’s it for this week. Have a rad weekend!