This is the final part in our Question and Answer series. It's a combination of some of the miscellaneous question and new questions that arose since we began. Thank you to everyone who was brave enough to ask us tough questions, and thank you for letting us use our story to make a difference. We pray that our answers have been helpful, and even though the truth isn't always easy, we pray it sheds light where light needs to shine and create understanding in an arena where there is little.
1. Are you going to continue using this blog now that you're remarried, or are you planning on starting a new blog with your new family?
I will continue to use this blog because it’s not just about parts of my life, but all of it. Eventually, when I find the time, I will likely incorporate all the other pieces as well but updating all that takes forever and I just haven’t been able to do it yet. But I won’t completely change it – the name will remain the same, Jeremy will remain a big part of it as well.
2. My husband and I are looking at life insurance right now because you never know what tomorrow brings. Were also working on our Will and other things of that nature. However with a tight budget already right now Life Insurance is something we always said we would get "later' because we were so focused on our day to day survival that life insurance really didn't come into the picture. With that said, Did Jeremy have life insurance and if he did, did it make grieving for his loss more doable since you didn't have the extra worry of finances? From someone who has walked that awful path of losing a spouse, I am wondering if there is any advice you can give me. Thank you.
Jeremy and I did not buy life insurance, but he was covered with the basic term insurance provided by his work, which wasn’t a ton. But anything helps when it comes to finances, because not only is it difficult to sort all that out while you’re blinded by grief, it’s also a huge stressor trying to figure out how you’re family will survive on one income. While the term insurance was helpful, I definitely regretted not taking the time to do it with Jer for sure. Even just a minimum amount is helpful, if you can manage it in your budget.
3. Would you mind sharing what phone editing software you use? Your pics have always been so beautiful!
Haha, I was not expecting this question! I usually take all my pictures on my phone, since it’s always with me. I use Instagram or Camera+ or Camera! to use all their different filters to edit the pictures. The photos you see that are not filtered from my phone are probably taken by my beautiful and talented friends Sarah and Vicki.
4. What's your favorite food ever? Something that makes you drool just thinking about it. It can be a dish or a type of food (ie. cheese, bread etc).
I can’t say I have one favorite food, but I would say I’m in love with Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares with Caramel – I put a bag in the fridge and I swear that’s what Heaven will taste like! I also am a sucker for slushies, pizza, or anything with avocados.
Steve: Donuts, cake, or BBQ – take your pick… I LOVE them all!! And if I could get a BBQ flavored cake-donut all bets are off!!
5. What's your favorite time of day?
Nap time, of course J
Steve: I have lots of favorite times of the day! But my two favorite times have to be our bedtime routine with the kids (reading stories, praying, and doing Bible trivia together as a family) and spending time with just Vee and I after the kids are asleep and the house is finally quiet J
6. If you could be an animal what would you be and why?
Um, I’ve never put much thought into this and I wouldn’t qualify myself as a huge animal lover, but I would have to say a Tiger. They’re so beautiful and have very few predators. Plus, they like nap time too!
Steve: I am not sure I have ever had to think about this question, but I guess if I have to choose one animal to be, I would say a bear. Bears can eat whatever they want and no one is going to tell them otherwise (after all, who is going to tell a bear he is overweight?!)… and, 9 times out of 10, if you go to the zoo the bear is off sleeping somewhere, which means I would get a lot more nap time!
7. I also read "Heart Cries" (and love love love love that blog!) I remember that she did a really amazing interview style bunch of videos on her blog when she was answering a bunch of questions with her first son's birth mother... Would you ever consider adding some "video blog entries" so we can hear from you and Steve verbally!? I think that would be kind of cool!!
That is a very cool idea that I had never really thought about before. I can tell you there is a reason I write – because I can organize my thoughts before they come out. I’m not nearly as impressive in person. But, I definitely have that on my list of ideas to do sometime. Thanks for the suggestion!
8. How is Faith doing with her birth order being changed since she is no longer the eldest? Also, how is Steve's youngest (sorry I don't know her name) dealing with no longer being the youngest?
It’s been pretty interesting and fun to watch the girls adjust to their new roles. I think overall, they’re adjusting quite well. I’m grateful that Faith doesn’t feel so much pressure to take care of things like she did after Jeremy died, I think it made her age way faster than I wanted her to. But she still likes to tell me “Zada, Reagan and I are the oldest. Caleb and Carter are the youngest” – so she still functions that way sometimes. I think she likes going back and forth, to be honest – she has sisters she gets to go to for help with make-up/dress-up, girls to play with while still using her nurturing side to take care of her brothers. Reagan has seemed to really enjoy having someone younger than her to boss around! Haha, I think she loves being the big sister and I love the little voice she uses when she’s playing that role. “Now remember Faith, we need to this….” “Caleb, remember Mom and Dad want us to do that…” It’s very sweet and I think she likes having the little bit of responsibility that comes with the role – it makes her feel important. She’s a wonderful big sister.
9. As a bereavement counselor, what advice would you give me to find someone as wonderful as you? I feel as if I'm going to have to settle for the first shmoe to come along since I am not beautiful. (One guy told me he would be with me if I supported him and let him move into my house...he doesn't have a job and got kicked out of his apt., and he said I should take his offer since I'm not pretty and won't ever find anyone else anyway...I didn't take the "offer"). Please give me some advice. I'm so lonely for the kind of love Vee has found with you. I used to be so happy when my husband was alive because he thought I was beautiful but no one else ever will. What should I do? (I realize this may not be the forum for this exactly, but I really need advice and Vee said we can ask anything. I don't know where to turn. My friends are sick of hearing it.)
First of all, let me tell you that I am not perfect. I have my own set of flaws and imperfections that Vee has to deal with – no one is perfect! However, please, PLEASE don’t settle for someone who does not treat you with the love and respect that you deserve. I have told Vee numerous times that if, for whatever reason, we had never wound up dating or marrying, I hoped she would have found someone who treated her like a princess, who would walk beside her, support her, carry her when she was down, love her for who she is, and allow her to embrace her past while living in the present. I consider myself BLESSED to be the man who gets to walk beside her in this journey, much like I know Jeremy felt blessed to walk beside her in their marriage.
While widowhood can leave you with a longing for intimacy, love, and companionship, it is important to not opt for someone who can “tolerate” your past, but who can support and love the person you are! I don’t know you, and will probably never get to meet you, but what I can tell you is that God designed you specially – you are His handiwork, and therefore you deserve to be treated that way! Don’t settle for some jerk that wants to take advantage of you, or who treats you less than a princess. Its not always easy to wait, and sometime its tempting to rush into things because we see ourselves as “broken” or with “baggage”, but trust me, there is someone out there who God has designed to help you feel beautiful in the area of your life where you feel so messed up.
10. Now we know that Steve is divorced and that there is a mom in the picture, albeit the wack-job she seems to be. How do her visits with her daughters affect your relationship with the girls? I know you said that you love them and they love you, but they are not teens yet and someday wacky mom might offer them things like freedom to do as they please when they are teens, just to make trouble in your household. How will you handle this practically? Are you prepared for it? Are you ever worried she will bad-mouth you to the girls? The family you created seems so near to perfect that I wonder if you or Steve are ever afraid that the mom will try to destroy it?
I have a ton of fears, most of which I am sure the normal divorcee has when they have to balance the relationship with their ex-spouse for the benefit of their children. While you list a couple of fears here, there are many I worry about even more for Zada and Reagan, for instance: Since their mom has severe health issues and has inconsistently taken her medications, I fear walking the girls through her early death because she failed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Because she has had unstable mental health for so many years I fear that this may be something that causes the girls problems in their personal lives and relationships. I fear that somehow they may pick up on her unhealthy relationship and emotional patterns and it will become something that plagues them personally. I fear for them when they get old enough and learn the truth about their mom and the ways in which she has hurt them, me, or others in our family including her own mother. So, yes there are a lot of fears I have, but the way that I look at it, I cannot allow myself be consumed by these fears. I have to do what I know is right, work as hard as I can with Vee to show the girls God’s love through our parenting, and pray that no matter what God will protect them in ways I only wish I could. I daily pray for them – and for all our children, that God will help me be the right man and father for them today, tomorrow, and for the rest of their lives. I pray for wisdom well beyond my years to know how to deal with those situations as they arise as well as to be thankful for the fears that never come to fruition.