Seriously, is 2010 thisclose to being over?

As I look back at 2010, it’s really hard for me to capture my favorite moments of the year, but I plan to do that, as this year as turned into one of the best years of my life…something I never dreamed possible so soon after my divorce.

As part of that, I wanted to look back at some of my favorite posts of 2010 (here’s my list from last year – some of these continue to be my all-time favorites!):

  1. My blog series on my divorce: Probably one of the hardest things I have ever written, but with the most reward. The comments and feedback (emails and on my blog directly) were simply amazing.
  2. There’s Gotta Be Someone for Me Out There: My dealbreakers (and this list also ties in). And man, Doctor Boy fits all of these. Realizing that now as I re-read that post. Wow.
  3. Happy Birthday To Be Determined!: My blogoversary post was fun to write, and also tied back to some of my favorite posts and reasons why I blog.
  4. “When the world whispers ‘give up, Hope whispers, try it one more time:” One of several posts on Nala’s illness this year that I cried through writing (this was the other one) and knowing now that she is SO much better, my heart sings. I remember writing this and just praying so hard for improvement. Wow.
  5. “If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden:” One year anniversary of my Nonna’s passing. I still miss her every single day, but can feel her all around me. Always.
  6. My Man Audits (I and II) – these are just funny. Give ’em a read (perhaps gives new appreciation for finally finding love with Doctor Boy, no?
  7. Maine, if you were a man, I’d marry you. Wow, I already can’t wait to get back to Maine this summer. Absolutely my favorite memories and posts this year were about Maine. Brings me back to that happiness instantly.
  8. Sometimes all you need is family and a lot of faith: I wrote a lot about my sister Jen’s illness after she had my niece Isabel and this post makes me cry every time I read it. I was scared, I was worried and my heart was breaking for my sister. Looking back now, I am eternally grateful for her health now and my dear niece Isabel, well, I just love her to pieces…cue, next favorite blog:
  9. An Open Letter to my Niece Isabel Ann: This post is probably one of my top 3 favorite posts this year. I love her so much and the instantaneously love I felt for her will never, ever wane.
  10. Defining the Feeling and “Can I ask you a Question?”Two defining moments for me this year, beyond all else. I found love. Finally. Yes, this is it.
  11. And my bonus favorite post this year? My “I want” post – is still my all-time favorite post for the sheer fact that I got some of the best feedback I have ever gotten from you all. Thank you. Always.

It was so hard to pick some of my favorites because each and every post I write, I write with purpose and with meaning. I love to write, I love to share my story and I love, love, love all of the feedback and this blog family that gets bigger by the day.

2010…well, she had a fair share of ups and downs by as this year slowly comes to a close, the ups far outweigh the downs, like whoa.

After so many comments on my blog posts the last two days (here and here), and my own frustration over feeling misunderstood, and in a sense, judged, I thought I needed clarity.

But I don’t.

After sleeping on it, and realizing that a) everyone has an opinion and it may not be the same as mine and b) I am choosing happiness whenever I can, because it works for me (doesn’t mean it’ll work for you), and c) I’m blessed to have so many people actually reading and engaging in my blog.

It means much more than I ever thought possible.

So, thank you, for all of your comments, whether I agreed with them or not. They gave me food for thought, and even though I did feel the need to justify myself, in a sense, with parts of yesterday’s post, I stand by my view – happiness is a choice – for me.

~~

On the note of blogs, a few that made me beam today?

First, my sister Jen’s latest installment of her blog posts recapping her ordeal after my niece Isabel’s birth. It’s a touching read, and I feel so blessed and grateful that things are getting back to (a new) normal, and that I have been able to play a part in helping my sister recover and spend some invaluable time with my niece, who I love dearly.

Second, T’s post on ‘everyone deserves to feel beautiful AND worth it.” Amen to that, and it’s a beautiful poem.

Third, Use Your Words Mommy’s post that mentions my story as part of her inspiration that love IS out there again. Wow, I really never thought I’d be “that” person that others would look towards as an example that it can happen. Finding love. I was that person, looking for it, and seeing beautiful love stories (like Sunshine and CGB – congrats you two, two years strong!) helped me when I doubted it would happen for me.

And finally, Soccer Mom’s “award” which included me and Magnolia’s beautiful words, wow, just wow – thank you – you made my day!

It’s the first morning in awhile that I’ve had a chance to “do” my Saturday routine, which goes something like this: workout, make breakfast, clean my place, do laundry and grocery shop, and then catch up on blogs and DVR, as time permits 😉

It’s been a string of busy – but fun – weekends with Doctor Boy as well as with friends and family, so I am by far not complaining in the least, but it brings me back to a point I’ve blogged about before.

The balance between the “me” and the “us.”

I like to think of where I am right now is the “in-between.”

We aren’t at the point where it’s more “we” than “me” and “him” but we are completely comfortable spending time with each other where we aren’t go-go-go all the time, and there is still a healthy balance of family, friend and “me” time with a healthy dose of “us” time. I am glad we have come to this point together, and I haven’t compromised what I think I would be in danger of doing if I was with someone that I didn’t click so well with, or someone that I didn’t know exactly where I stand in his heart. If I were worried about him “losing interest” or something, I think I would be more tempted to just become the “yes woman” – someone I never want to be.

What else is different now than a few months ago when Doctor Boy and I first started dating?

I’m at the point that I enjoy every last minute with him even more than the last. And I’m at the point where it’s no longer necessary to “entertain” each other every minute we are together. We can co-exist and do our thing but together at the same time. I really dig that. The other night I needed to get some work done, but had planned to go to his place for dinner, and he happily set about making dinner (delicious chickpea soup and a shrimp stir-fry. Yum!) while I got things done. I really dig that too.

We’re entering a phase in our emerging relationship that I am really loving. We’re getting deeper and deeper into figuring out what makes each other tick (such as our inability to make a decision!), how we feel about each other (the love I see in his eyes, and mine in return is quite powerful. Even my dad – who’s not the most touchy-feely emotional guy in the world – said I had a glow about me when he met him last weekend), and goals we both have in our careers, lives, and things we see sharing together in the future (hello, vacation…Playa del Carmen, anyone?).

So, while I am thoroughly enjoying my “me” day today, and feel gloriously caught up on everything I hadn’t been before, it’s not something that throws me off balance as much as I feared, when we first started dating. It’s something I know I can have when I need it, and it’s something I can have with him around, too, which I think is very important, as we continue our relationship.

It’s just so interesting to me to see how things are unfolding so naturally with him. Every day I have a smile on my face. Every day I feel loved and cared for. And every day I feel those emotions growing more and more in me. Where the in-between grows smaller, naturally, and normally.

Because even though the “we”continues to grow and develop, it still means I can have the “me” and that’s the happy medium I strive for.

Balance. Happiness. Love. It can all co-exist.

So, on this lazy Sunday evening, I’ve decided to post the responses from Doctor Boy to all of your questions…here goes!

From Susan:

Do you think it was love at first sight for both of you? Did you have a funny feeling you’d met doctor boy before you met him if that makes sense?

I think that there was something special there when I met you. I feel like I knew you more than I did when we first met, there was definitely a connection that was beyond just a first date. I couldn’t wait for our next date!

From Lisa:

I’ve worked in the medical field for 20 years in a teaching hospital. What stage of his residency is he in? Or has he completed medical school and in private practice? Specializing in anything in particular?

I specialize in family medicine. Originally, I was going to do pediatrics but decided to go into family because I wanted to be more versatile. In family, I can still care of children, but I wanted to take care of children throughout their whole life span. Elders present a growing group of at-risk people that need primary care providers to take care of them. (note: he is a nurse practitioner, not a physician).

From NYSoonerGirl:

What specifically interested him in becoming a doctor?

I naturally like taking care of people. I enjoy helping others. I felt that this field was a natural choice for me. Plus there is always job security! 😉

How does he feel about cats?

I love cats. I am definitely a cat lover. I like dogs, but I like cats better. Sometimes I wish I could lounge around the house all day like a cat (note: Nala and Kayla absolutely LOVE him…and that takes a lot of trust, at least for Kayla. A good sign, no?!)

What’s his favorite thing to do when he has down time?

In a perfect world, I’d spend most of my time with you (me!). Other than that, in my little downtime, I enjoy cooking, working out, reading a good book, and obviously just lounging around and relaxing (I concur!).

From Nuttycow:

Does he know about the blog? What does he think (if yes) and would you ever tell him (if no?)

(note: he doesn’t read my blog but is aware of it).

I know about it, I don’t know exactly what goes into it, and I respect your privacy for it, so I don’t press the issue to read it. Maybe one day when you are ready, you will show it to me. I support it 100% if it’s a method for you to share and discuss your feelings.

From Jess:

What do you see in my sister that made you fall for her (I mean, I KNOW what makes her awesome, she’s hot stuff, super smart, wicked funny, has a nice ass, a great catch all in all). But I want to know what did it for you.

Well Jess, I think you’ve done all the work for me on that one! I think that the outward things, like beauty and intelligence, not just physically and inward beauty, patience, hot body too, sure, but ultimately it’s what is on the inside. It’s the feeling I get when I look into your eyes, the emotion I feel when I am with you and in my arms. The feeling of excitement I get when I think about the future together. (aww…)

PS – my career choice has made it difficult for me to be calm in life. Stuff is always in the back of my mind that makes it difficult. But when I am with you, it all goes away.

From T (adapted a few from her post she suggested):

Do you believe in God? What is your relationship with God? (important/not important to share similar beliefs?

I do believe in God. I believe that God is my creator. I used to have a much better relationship with God in the past, but I find I am more distant from God now, for several reasons, nothing specific, no good reason why, just busy. I do want to get that relationship back, first was working on weekends, which made it hard. I do have a connection, I believe I should treat others how they want to be treated.

Do you accept her for who she is and her past?

I think one of the things that attracts me to you is sharing similar pasts, in many ways. Our trials and tribulations, good and bad, has led us to where we are today. Made us appreciate who we are, as a couple, not just as people. I appreciate her for all she is. (man, he should be writing this blog! ;-))

(and one from me, cuz I’m slightly curious, though I think I know the answer):

What do you think about her relationship with her ex? Does it make you jealous at all?

Not jealous at all. Ten years ago, I would have been somewhat jealous. At this point, I trust her and understand their relationship is a friendship and I don’t question it. And I trust her enough to know that if she had feelings for her ex, she would tell me (I don’t.).

(and I just told him I added that question in…he called me a sneak!) 😉

So, there you have it, whatcha think!?

~~

It’s been another amazing weekend. Good mix of friend, family, and time with Doctor Boy. I’ll leave you with a picture of us before we headed out to Boston for dinner and then drinks with two of his closest friends (hopefully I made  a good impression!) Happy Sunday!

I’ve had an epiphany.

This is the first time I have not overthought once about things with Doctor Boy.

Not once.

And that’s huge for me, I mean, I *am* the self-appointed president and founder of Overthinkers Anonymous, and in every past dating or quasi-relationship, I overthought everything. Like whoa. From going on second dates after “eh” first dates, to pondering wtf was going on with CBE and his weirdness (see some posts on that here, here, here, here and here!). I look back through a lot of my dating forays and I think I have an overthinking moment with almost – if not all – of them.

But with Doctor Boy, I haven’t given any decision or choice a second thought.

It’s all felt natural.

It’s all felt like the right thing to do.

It’s all felt at the right pace (not too fast, not too slow).

It’s all felt right.

And that, folks, is my epiphany, and I think it’s something to consider for anyone that tends to second guess themselves (um, all of us, I would imagine, at some point or another!) when they’re dating someone. I feel like I can be honest and upfront with him about everything, and I feel like I can go at my own pace, we both can. I give him the space and time he needs, and he gives me mine. We see each other at least once during the week, and then a night or sometimes two on the weekend, but we still have a healthy balance of “me,” friend, family and “us” time and I think that’s so important.

Being comfortable enough to do that is huge. Simply put, it’s right where I’m meant to be.

~~

Writing this post has sparked a few ideas for me, such as going back to some of my older posts, particularly my mini-series on re-learning. I actually think a lot of that re-learning has happened so naturally, I wonder if it’s something I thought would be something I’d be more aware of than just happening naturally.

Hmm. Something to ponder (but not to overthink…!)

So, for those of you who aren’t my Facebook friend…I thought I’d introduce you officially to Doctor Boy.

Swoon.

He’s pretty handsome, I must say, and we make a dashing couple, right? (Perhaps I’m a bit biased) We’re in the midst of a wonderful weekend, double date with my sis and bro in law last night and today, a good run and plans for an afternoon of chili making and relaxation.

And since you’ve all been asking questions about him and from the suggestion of a few of you, now’s your chance. What do you want to know about Doctor Boy? Or about us? Sky’s the limit, ask away!

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend and I look forward to your questions for Doctor Boy as I’ll gather his responses and share them in a future post (and remember, keep ’em PG-13, mmk?) 🙂

…when you know he would do anything to make you happy. when you would do anything to make them happy, and want to do anything to make them happy.

defining the feeling.

…when you take your first run together and “get” what your sister means about running connecting you together in a different way. Sharing something important to you, and being able to talk about things like where you would live if the sky was the limit, or where you want to travel, if money was no object.

defining the feeling.

…when you watch him tenderly care for your sister’s IV needs, and then she requests he do it again on Friday, even though Jess was shown how to do it.

defining the feeling.

…when you see qualities you have always wanted in someone – devotion, dedication, perspective, genuineness.

defining the feeling.

…when you find yourself thinking ahead to holidays and vacations and the future.

defining the feeling.

…when there is no place better than being in their arms, or looking into their eyes and seeing the feeling mimicked in your eyes.

defining the feeling.

…when it’s on the tip of your tongue, you reiterate it in your brain, and it’s in everything that you do.

defining the feeling.

…when you look into their eyes and see home.

what is the feeling? It’s love.

That’s right…when Doctor Boy whispered into my ear as he tends to at least once a night when I see him “I love you” I finally said it back.

And the smile back and hug and kiss was like no other…sheer happiness and joy. From him, and from me. I can’t believe I am actually in love, after the many months and months of wanting to find it, it found me first.

Swoon.