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Some Big Changes on the Horizon for Hope’s Family


My grandmother made the comment that I have been keeping secrets this week. And while I don’t consider myself a secret keeper, I do value my privacy especially after the last couple of years of turmoil.

But there are a couple of big changes in the works around here that I thought I would take this time to share. Both could potentially have some serious implications, financial and otherwise.

So I’ll just dive right in…

Gymnastics Replaced by Football – Maybe?

Gymnast (yikes, does this mean I might have to change his blog name?) has been making noises about playing football since school started. I think it’s mostly the result of:

  1. Seeing the team spirit around the school (he just started public school in January so this is the first time he’s been around this.)
  2. The cut back in gym time from gymnastics and he has tons of extra energy.

I finally broke down and called the coach this week, and he agreed to evaluated Gymnast. That happened this past week.

Gymnast is working out with the football team all this week. He will have to make a decision about gymnastics and football at the end of the week.

football field

Thusfar, it has only cost me a pair of cleats ($67.) And from my conversation with the coach there is one more piece of equipment I will have to buy if he remains (a girdle.)

This is what I hoped for when I pulled him out of gymnastics. I wanted him to play a team sport, something through the school…but to be honest, football would not have been my choice. I’m excited and scared.

There will be financial implications, logistics implications and big life changes if he chooses football. I guess I may start seeing those next week depending on his choice. Yikes!

A Boyfriend or More?

I dove in the world of online dating last fall. I mostly thought I would have some fun, meet some people and maybe have some funny stories to write about for my personal blog. This has been a really lonely move for me, a hard move. Online dating was my remedy.

I quickly realized that I did not really like the whole online thing and within a month left the online sites. But there were several men that I stayed in touch with.

Fast forward nine months since our online meeting, and one of those men and I are now in a committed relationship. My first real committed relationship since my marriage ended 11+ years ago. He is moving to our town in two weeks. He wants to marry me.

My family has been informed about him and will meet him next month. (My ex has also been informed about him.) I do not know what the future holds, but again, a big change for us.

I’m not really ready to answer more questions, but if things get more serious, well, you know there is now another aspect to my life. But because like BAD readers, I know we are naturally curious here’s what I will tell you.

He has two grown children. He’s worked in construction and had planned this move, or at least a move to Georgia prior to meeting me. He’s moving here from Florida where he’s lived his whole life. He knows everything about me, the good, the bad, the highs and the lows. And I’ve never felt more understood and supported.

We’ve spent the bulk of the last 9 months writing several letters a week. Spent hours on the phone and video calls. I will meet him mom and some of his family when he moves up in a couple of weeks. And we are going to take it slow.

The kids know all about him and are comfortable with the thought of him and know our desires for a possible forever relationship. Gymnast is especially excited about a possible step-dad.  But other than a special letter he wrote to them, talks on the phone and video chats, they have not met him in person.

Yikes, this was a bit hard to write. There’s no manual for single mom dating, or person in debt dating. I’m just kind of feeling my way. Any BAD readers been through this? Have any advice?







  • Reply Megan |

    Football is a big change but team sports can really uplift and change the school experience for kids. It sounds like a good step towards something for Gymnast.

    It sounds like you are doing the right thing with the relationship – planning to take it slow. Shifts like suddenly being in the same location come with their own honeymoon phases and adjustments. You are giving yourself time to adjust and see how things are for you then. I hope you find the relationship is everything you are looking for.

    • Reply Hope |

      Thanks, Magan, as much as I am not a fan of football. I am a fan of my son trying a team sport, and he is obviously enjoying it after 4 days on the field.

  • Reply Shanna |

    Sounds like fun changes! Keep in mind football will have the associated fees like volleyball does for the team so you don’t have a bad surprise when all the fundraising etc comes up for the sport.

    • Reply Hope |

      Yes, I thought of that, and asked very specifically during my initial call with the coach what I could expect for costs. Other than the cleats and eventual girdle, they supply all equipment. My only other cost will entry to the games.

  • Reply Kili |

    Hi Hope,
    Im rooting for you and your family.
    Sounds good that you’re in a Happy relationship. And it’s also a good idea taking it slow. This way you can discuss further plans one step at a time in the future.

    Best of luck

  • Reply Lynly |

    I hope it all works out for you. Please take it very, very slowly and listen to the advice of any friends and family who you know have your back. You have a long history of not making the best decisions for yourself; this is a big one so use your head.

    • Reply dh |

      I agree with this so much. Very happy for you Hope, but you need to take things slowly, and listen to the opinions of your friends and family who love you.

  • Reply Katie |

    I’m happy for your family. Truly. It’s nice to hear levity in your post. Congrats!

  • Reply Pam E-P |

    Just for clarity, have you met him in person? I only ask because you said the kids haven’t and it’s not clear (to me, it might be to other people!) whether or not you have. You certainly don’t have to answer if you didn’t specify on purpose!

    • Reply Hope |

      Yes, we have met up on several weekends, mostly meeting halfway for a few hours together. It will be nice to get more face time when he is closer. Unfortunately, his move has been delayed due to an issue with the sale of his business. So we are back to the waiting game as far as that goes.

  • Reply Been There Done That |

    No, do not enter that relationship. Your number one priority is securing your family’s future through a more stable lifestyle. Do not bring another person into your lives until that is complete.

    Hope, you have an ex-husband, another adult male, who does not support his children. You have an adopted son who bailed out of your lifestyle. If you feel a bit lonely, then you must put those feelings aside for now and soldier on to remove yourself from this chaotic life once and for all. I sound harsh, but that is where your focus should be right now–stability for your children and no disruptions for them. They have been through enough.

    I can almost guarantee that this would not end well.

    • Reply Kate |

      That is really harsh, especially to bring her son into this. We don’t know the whole story of the twins (and rightly so). Hope opened her home to two kids who are now adults, and one chose to live with his bio mom. That doesn’t have anything to do with whether she should date again. That being said, Hope, I agree with advice to go verrry slowly. Enjoy the time with him, be yourself, and don’t get too focused on any outcome like marriage just yet.

      • Reply Been There Done That |

        I stand by what I said, even if it sounds harsh. Hope’s kids need stability at this time, not a boyfriend or a stepfather in their lives. Dating can come later.

      • Reply Hope |


        And speaking of History Buff…it looks like he is moving home in the next month or so and is going to return to school! More on that when plans are finalized. Unfortunately, he needed to learn some lessons the hard way. But there is a silver lining!

    • Reply debtor |

      wow, way to project your own experience on another person.

      I see absolutely nowhere she said they are going to be living together. The youngest of Hope’s kids is at least 12. So for you to say “put her lonely feelings aside?”. She is a full and complete person outside of being a mom and needs to make sure that she is emotionally fulfilled and balanced in order to continue to be a good mom.

      Sometimes, it would do us well to remember that we only know like 2 percent of Hope’s life, so advice is great but to say things like “i can almost guarantee this will not end well” is a bit reductive.

      Anyway, Hope, like others have said – move slowly, keep your expectations low and pay attention to what people that actually know you think of this person. I feel like you are a bit of a romantic at heart so try not to get too carried away with how good this feels now and also be practical.

      • Reply Been There Done That |

        Time will tell. Does this man have money to begin a new life in Georgia? Is he ready to rent when he arrives? How well does one really know a pen pal? Proceed with caution.

        • Reply Been There Done That |

          PS Not my experience ever. However, I have seen others go down this road.

          • debtor |

            I guess I understand cautioning her but maybe read your original post again. It almost sounded like you were WISHING a negative outcome on her.

            It’s kind of like when someone has a crazy idea and one person is all like “think of all the bad things that could happen. it will never work etc etc) and the other person is like “have you thought about x or y or z”

        • Reply Hope |

          I’m not really comfortable answering questions for him/about him. I don’t know where “pen pal” came into the mix…because we have enjoyed writing letters. Just because we don’t see each other very often doesn’t negate our time.

          But just to be clear, he had planned this move prior to meeting me. This isn’t some romantic gesture. It’s been planned for at least 9 months (when we met.)

      • Reply Hope |

        Thank you, debtor. I appreciate your acknowledging that I am not allowed to have a life outside my kids.

        And just for the record, my youngest (Gymnast) is 13. And my boyfriend and I are taking it very slow. Even more slowly now since there’s a delay in the sale of his business and his move date has been pushed until it is complete.

        Funny that you see me as a romantic, most people consider me pretty cold when it comes to adult relationship. I consider myself matter of fact. My kids on the other hand, yes, I’m a big softie!

    • Reply Hope |

      Neither my ex-husband’s choices or my son’s choices have anything to do with my decision to date after 11 years of being single.

      And I wasn’t asking if I should date, I have been dating since last fall. This was more to inform you.

      But thank you for your concern.

    • Reply Hope |

      Believe me, that’s something I have thought ALOT about. And why we have taken it very slow. Thankfully, over the 9 months since we’ve known each other I’ve gotten to know and speak to his mom, ex-wife, etc.

      And while he hasn’t met my kids in person yet, when I do introduce them it will be with caution as well.

  • Reply Anon |

    I’m happy for you, but please tread carefully. Have serious talks about finances and debt, and make sure you’re both getting the same out of the relationship.

    • Reply Hope |

      This is a conversation we had very early on and then more in-depth before we entered into a committed relationship.

  • Reply K |

    Hi Hope,
    Maybe you’ve already done this, but I was going to strongly suggest doing a background check on your boyfriend. Sadly, I think it’s a necessity these days.

    • Reply Hope |

      Agreed! And already done. Definitely recommend for anyone to do this, even if you aren’t introducing them to your children. Just for safety these days.

  • Reply Megan |

    I’m so happy for you, Hope! As always, I appreciate you sharing despite the guaranteed harsh feedback and advice you are sure to receive.

    • Reply Hope |

      Thank you, Megan, I appreciate the support. Even long distance, having another adult in my life to share things with has been really life changing for me. As great as my girlfriends are (they are all long distance now too,) it’s really nice to have a “man” or significant other to run things by and get feedback from.
      And what’s funny is that he has the same heart for kids that I do. We have great fun planning what we can do in the future…way down the road of course.

      • Reply Megan Kirsten |

        How wonderful! The first thing I thought was that it will be so nice for you to have someone to share things with, and help ease the burden. Not necessarily financially, but in the sense that you’re supported emotionally, and like you said, in the way of receiving feedback.
        It’s great to hear that about the kids as well! It sounds like you will all have a great time once everyone has a chance to meet and get to know each other. I wish you the best!

So, what do you think ?