An Acknowledgement to the other side of father's day and other holidays like it.
This Father’s Day absolutely broke my heart. While I was so happy to see my own dad and to spend time as a family, the fact that my husband is having a hard time even talking to his kids, let alone see them is absolutely gutting.
Keeping in mind I am not taking sides one way or the other, divorce rips families apart.
It can, and often does, dig massive holes that turn into trenches where one hides from the next blow. Wounded hearts and bitter tongues wreak havoc on the innocent ones left in the middle.
My heart breaks for my husband and for all those men and women out there who are going through the same thing. So many mothers and fathers do not have the joy of being with their kids, and kids without their parents.
Not all families are created the same. We are all made up of different parts, different pasts and different futures. One thing is for certain, we are all made of love, and love never fails.
Praying for strength, endurance, everlasting love and PEACE to everyone that is going through this time in their lives. Don’t give up, your time will come!
My husband and his children 2015
This weekend I had the privilege of shooting my cousin’s proposal in Toledo, Ohio. I love photographing everything I encounter with my iPhone but had never “officially” shot subjects with my good camera. I may not be the next Tribune photographer but I am so proud of how they turned out I thought that I would share them with you all!
I even included the practice run....hopefully you get as big of a kick out of it as I did!
The practice Proposal
She said yes!!!!!!!
When I was young I always pictured myself married, not necessarily at a particular age but married. Kids are a given aren't they? Not for everyone sure, but as a child I assumed this was the natural progression and left it at that, never dreaming or thinking deeper into the plans.
I did in fact get married, at the age of 21, and was unexpectedly divorced by the age of 23, no kids. While this event may have caused some of my family pain, it truly did not leave me any heartache, only lessons; I carried on.
I galavanted through the next several years of my twenties without purpose, care or concern for anything or anyone, besides myself. No deeper thought into 'family" and if I would ever have one again.
When I turned 30 I began to feel this uncanny urge to nest. What a strange feeling, I had not thought more than a few times about this my whole life and here I was in a panic; "who would I marry, I am single...will I ever meet anyone? Will we have kids? Can I even have kids?"
When I thought there was no hope for me and I was planning on becoming a Governess on the eastern coast of Massachusetts, not far from the Cape, life hit me. Literally my husband fell from the sky, into my lap. Ok obviously that is impossible but I did meet him at complete random, when I was not looking and least hoped for it.
My knight in shining armor, everything I had ever dreamed and more. It can happen, it DID happen. Maybe my nesting feelings will be relieved by actual nesting...maybe we could start a family.
Just as quickly as I fell head over heels, I was hit with a truck of truth; kids, he already had kids.
A whirlwind of emotions and a flood of never before thought of facts rushed over me. Sure, I was not the type to scrapbook by wedding over the course of my life or name my kids long before I had them, but I also did not ever even consider that the man of my dreams also had a past.
How could I love FOUR kids who have already lived many years as a "family"? How could someone else's dream satisfy my need to create "family"? It seemed impossible, inorganic, the polar opposite of the systematic plan I had.
Who's systematic plan was I following anyhow? My parents? My friends? Webster's Dictionary?
I realized that "family" is whatever we make it to be. My step kids need "family". I am not a replacement, I am a welcomed addition. They are not standing in the way of my dreams, they are standing WITH ME. They are part of me and they make me "family". I may not ever be their mom, they may not ever refer to me as a stepmom or love me like they love their biological mother, but we are "family".
We love, we laugh, we cry, we live, as a family. Inorganic, patch made, FAMILY.
I am a lover of life, food, places and all things people. I am newly married, equally as new of a stepmom (of 4!) and a recently transplanted Chicagonian. My day would not be complete if it did not involve a large quantity of coffee, lots of laughter and a few solid hours of social media.
Several years in the corporate world helped me to realize that white gloving intricate formalities to coworkers, or to people I never got to meet, left me deeply unsatisfied. I had spent many successful years in the hospitality industry which was a great way to connect with people but I did not feel that industry was the right fit for me, my new family and what I wanted for our future.
My husband and I moved to greater Chicago this summer, and I was looking for ways to meet other women in the community. This search led me to the founder of Housewives in the City, based in NOVA. I have been to several of her events and they were so impactful on me!
Housewives in the City was not available in the this area yet which opened a window for creating the Chicago chapter. I absolutely love Chicago, it is the cleanest, most friendly concrete jungle I have ever trekked in; what an awesome solution for my desire to connect with people! I am so thrilled to help unite women all over the Chicago area with our monthly GNO events!
Hi, I'm Ally!
I am a transplanted Chicagonlander who absolutely loves experiencing life! Many years of traveling, living all over the world, experiencing many hard and equally as wonderful things have led me to where I am today and I am so happy to share that with you through our GNO events, on our sites and by connecting with all of you!