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This is my story...

How do I even begin? If we are going to get to know each other, lets get down to the nitty gritty, from the very beginning. I was born in a small town in Western Pennsylvania to my mother and father, my older brother was in the mix as well. Of course I don't remember a whole lot from this time, but a few short years later my parents came to the realization that it wasn't meant to be and decided to split. My brother and I stayed with our mom, who years later met our step dad and started to add on to our family...with 5 more kids. Something I will never forget, and always appreciate, was the way that my step dad treated my older brother and I. He never called us his step kids; and even after having 5 kids of his own with my mom, he always told everyone that he had 7 kids. This state of mind really shaped the way that I live with my husband and his two daughters that he had with a previous partner, I think of those two girls as my own and I love them as such. But we are getting way ahead of ourselves, lets run it back.

I was in kindergarten when I moved in with my dad. Without getting into the dirty details, my step dad is Canadian and had to go back. Money was tight back then and my parents had to make due with what they had, which wasn't much at all. To make a long story not as long, no heat, no gas, running out of food. My dad got word and stepped up to take my brother and I to live with him, so that my mom and step dad could do what they needed to do. At that time, my brother and I were angry. At 8 and 6, we didn't understand that we weren't being "taken away" from our mom, but that's how it felt. Again, my memory doesn't serve me moments from these times as much as before, or maybe it is because I realize in my adulthood that it wasn't as it seemed to my 6 year old brain; especially since we stayed in PA and my mom, step dad, and our younger siblings all moved to Canada for what we thought to be temporary, but was a permanent change. We went from being an hour from them, to only seeing them in the summers and Christmas time. So with my dad, I spent my whole childhood life in a more than decent house that my dad built for us, going to a very small but great elementary, jr. high school, and sr. high school with the same friends, doing the same sports and extra cirriculars. As a single dad, my dad did his best. He worked his ass off to make sure that my brother and I had what we needed, and we sure did. But he also made sure to instill his work ethic and independence into us. We fended for ourselves while our dad worked, which wasn't as bad as we thought it was looking back. We had help with my grandparents, family, and friends. I learned how to be an adult at a very young age, but I think it is one of the best outcomes of our situation, because I have continued to use that maturity and work ethic into my adult life and in my career.

Although that did not stop me from my rebellious phase, that is for sure. I got myself into some good times and some bad times between high school and college. After graduating, I wasn't entirely sure on what to do with my life. I felt like I was the only one of my friend group who had no direction, so I took some time off before going to college. During that time, I worked. And I played. I grew up in a college town, so I saved some money by living at home and with an 8 minute commute to work and the university I figured it was time. So, after about a year, I gave college a try. And try I really did not lol. 2 full time jobs, a full time student, and a full time party schedule, something had to fall by the wayside; and that just happened to be school. After dropping out of taking in personal classes, I tried online classes and had an easier time managing that...kinda. Let's say I got myself into a liiiittle bit of trouble, and after spending a night in jail and 6 months on probation, my dad and his long time girlfriend thought that we all needed a change. My uncle had just recently moved to Florida, and my dad went to visit and I think lost his mind because 2 weeks after that we packed our whole lives out of my childhood house and moved to Orlando.

Some could say after my arrest and a moved across the country, things really changed for me. Now, "some" may have had a different opinion than I did at the time if it was a change for the better or for the worst, but it was a change none the less. Something that I am very open about is my struggle with mental health, and how important I believe it is to have awareness. As someone who has struggled with anxiety/depression and disordered eating from a young age, I can say that the realization that I am not invincibile and rules/laws are real and apply to everyone, and moving 1,000 miles away from everything and everyone I had ever known, affected me in ways I never thought was possible. I became a shell of myself entirely. For 3 months even just the thought of leaving my bedroom to do anything, shower, eat, socialize, would set me back and cause me to lay there even longer. I lived with my dad and his soon to be wife at the time, but I lived as a stranger, a dirty hermit. With a deteriorating relationship with my dad and his now wife, and an absolute hatred of my own life, I decided it was time for me to make money. I got a job doing what was familiar, working as a beverage cart attendant on a golf course. My dad helped to get me a car, I was back in the gym, and starting to eat again, and things seemed to start looking up. well ok, I wouldn't go that far; I was a functioning member of society. The little time I had in college, I was majoring in Hospitality, so I figured *I am in ORLANDO, why am I not pursuing that? * And while working on the golf course, an opportunity fell in my lap to work for one of the biggest hospitality chains in the world, so I took it. Starting from the bottom and thinking this is the foot in the door that I may need, and like I said earlier, continuously deteriorating relationship with my parents, I got my own apartment and I worked my ass off. I quickly made a name for myself and grew from location to location and am now a manager of a large team at a renowned location.

Throughout my years of hard work, there were some love interests that did not stand the test of time, so to be honest they aren't really worth getting into. Besides, somewhere in there I found the man who would be my husband, unknowingly. I say "unknowingly" because at one point he was my boss and I thought he was an asshole lol. I worked with him as my boss for around 2 years, and changed my mind on the asshole thing, but never thought of him as anything other than my boss. It wasn't until he was no longer my boss, and we had seen each other outside of work with some friends that I even got to know him on a more personal level, and even longer after that finding out that he and I were both going through rough relationships leading to even tougher break ups. In my relationship at the time, I was 23, with no interest in marriage to the person I was with and definitely not children. Honestly I never thought I even wanted them in general, or could mentally and emotionally handle having and raising little humans into big humans. So, when it came to my ex boss, turned friend, turned more than friend, I was genuinely confused and a little hesitant about starting a serious relationship knowing he had a 4 year old and a 2 year old. I honestly cannot tell you in what moment my mind changed, but it did. The connection and relationship I had with him, and falling in love with him, made me fall in love with everything that comes with him, and the idea of a family of my own was a dream that I didn't know I wanted was becoming my reality. And starting my own family helped me to heal the relationships in my own family.

Now, after a covid wedding, buying our first house together and then selling our first house together, and the 3 of the best years of my life, we are currently expecting a little boy of our own! This isn't to say that we are out here living our best lives in fairytale land. We both work in the same industry, which means long, busy, and exhausting days at work and not a lot of free time. We have the girls half of the week and spend a lot of our time in the car, driving to work, driving the kids to school, picking them up from school (an hour away), and did I mention we are living with my in-laws? That is where I got the name Overworked & Overjoyed. We are both truely overworked and exhausted, getting paid for 8 hours a day but working up to 10 or more, commuting back and forth to and from work and where the girls live, and for me, being pregnant for the first time on top of all of that. With all of that said, we couldn't be more overjoyed about the future that is in front of us.

I really have no idea what to expecting from this blog, but I would like to use this platform as way for me to express myself and vent, and maybe some of my experiences and how I navigate things in life will help others too. With a new baby on the way, I am learning as I go. Hell, being a bonus mom for 3 years with 2 growing girls I am still learning as I go, and I make mistakes, I get frustrated and scared and tired too; but I know I am not alone, and neither are you.

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