About Me

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I'm a child of God, wife to Charlie, mom to three beautiful girls, daughter to Dennis and Susan, and friend to as many as I can meet. (In that order.) Welcome to my bloggaroni. :) Follow me on Twitter: thatsmykimjay / Go to my site: www.kimjay.com

Saturday, September 12, 2009

In the category of Best Ex-Wife of the Year, the award goes to...

So, I get an email the other day:
Hey Kimberley -
Was wondering if you'd be available to shoot us (the girls, Andrea and me) the weekend we come into Memphis? I know you're schedule is nuts, so if you can't I completely understand.



Of course I had to say it, "With a gun or a camera?"

"Randy," for those of you who do not know, is my EX-husband (married 14 years.) We have been divorced since January of 2006. One month and twelve days before I met the amazing Dancin' Jimmy. (Still smile and get all happy when I think about meeting Charlie.)

Hmmmmm......what to do? My first thought is, "Ugh. THAT won't be awkward AT ALL!" Then, I'm all, "So, I have to hang out with my ex-husband and his wife while they are here?" Then, I talk to Charlie and ask him if I should beg-out or not. He encouraged me to do it...for the girls. Now, don't get me wrong. It's not like we hate each other, or that I don't like the new Mrs. Randy, it's just something that you don't exactly get pumped about.

The thing is, and I know I'm like a freak of nature, but I actually enjoy and am heartened by the fact that my children have a good family with both parents. It was weird the first time Bradyn told someone that she had "two moms." You can imagine, that is not something you really ever get used to - having pushed that sweet girl out of my body. Is it fair that the new Mrs. Randy would get the same title? She barely ever gets to spend time with them. She doesn't have to get her to doctor's appointments, or take care of her when she is sick, or pick her up from an endless string of sleep-overs with her girlfriends.

But, I get a feeling by watching them all together, that Mrs. Randy II does indeed love our Sweet Little Brady Lady. And, you know what? I'm okay with that. Even, I'm really happy about that. I guess that is what true love is. When you want what's best for someone despite your own feelings. The fact that Morgan and Bradyn have a whole boat-load of Italians in Philadelphia that love my children, is okay by me. More people in this world to help me love those wonderful girls - who deserve every bit of it!

So, off I went, with my little camera bag. It was a little strange at first being the outsider, the odd one out in a family picture that included my girls, but not me. But, we made it work. At one point, I asked Randy and Mrs. Randy II if they wanted a pic of just them two. I'm all, "Put your arm around her...act like you love each other." You know, what I tell all my clients. Then, I realized how weird that was. I stopped, put my camera down, and said, "So, do I like win best ex-wife of the year, or WHAT?!?!?!" They both laughed and she said that definitely I do. I jumped up ready to head to the next spot and said, "You can totally have him!" Lots of laughing and everything was fine.

When I was about 11 (I think), my best friend's parents divorced. It was devastating. They seemed like the absolute perfect family in every way. All I could think about at the time was, If THEY could get a divorce, MY parents certainly were vulnerable. I cried and cried and cried. Several years later, as adults, we attended a party for the mother's birthday. I was so shocked and weirded-out by my friend's father being there with his new wife. The mother's new husband also there. They were all carrying on like they were one big happy family. Although weird to ME, later - as I was dealing with MY divorce - I realized what was going on.

See, even though this couple couldn't make it work together, they had one crucial thing in common...they loved their children enormously. I was keenly aware when Randy and I were splitting - that my actions didn't hurt Randy as much as they would hurt my kids. And, it would definitely make them come down on HIS side if I showed my tail. I just love them too much to disparage their DNA-donor in any way. They are a part of him.

There you go. I took my ex-husband's family pics today. And, I hope they turn out okay. I hope my kids know how much I love them. How I want so badly for them to be happy in every way and will do EVERYTHING to make sure they are.


  1. Gorgeous photos! You should be very proud of yourself.
    You are an awesome mom :)

  2. Okay I'm crying that was funny and honest and just the best ever, sob sigh sob! My parents divorced when I was two. Thanks for writing this! You rawk!

  3. I remember well that friends parents divorce and the strange happy relationship that all of them had (and continue to have) after the new marriages on both sides. What an incredible example they have always been to me. I think of them often (mostly when I want to bad-mouth my childrens' bio-dad). I must tell you that seeing your pics and following your blog has made me rediscover what a wonderful person you are. You are now and forever on my list of "good examples to refer back to" on those VERY rare and difficult days when my childrens father calls and wants to talk to them. I am so grateful to my Father in Heaven who sent wonderful Daddy to our home so that my children could have a good example of a loving, kind man who loves their Mother and them as if they are his own.

  4. Beautiful work. Beautiful post. Beautiful family.

  5. I hope you really do know what it means to your girls to know y'all can all be in the same room. I am so grateful my parents are still friends. We do nearly every family function together. My mom, my dad, and the perspective step-parents. It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside...at age 30. So, yeah. You're pretty awesome!

  6. My ex and I managed to put the reasons for our split behind us (for the most part anyway) enough that we have managed to rediscover our friendship. He and I get along well and are true partners in raising our kids. He now has a wonderful woman in his life who loves our kids and treats them like her own. Her family has also welcomed my kids with open arms and hearts. I love that my children have so many wonderful, caring people in their lives and think that they couldn't have ended up with a better step mother. We all get along and work well with each other which is the best possible outcome for our kids' well-being and happiness. If only all divorced parents could put their children first like you and I and our respective exes have...

  7. Sharing kids with step parents makes me think of sharing my adopted kids with their birthparents. To love them so much, knowing there is a risk of the other "parent" being chosen at some point. To not be threatened by their freedom to choose who to love...it reminds me of God creating humanity with the free will to totally reject him. That is love. Thank you for reminding me of this, in a round about way!

  8. Thanks for sharing this story. Trust me, your decision helps the healing all around, for the kids and the adults.

    My parents split in 1973 and still pretty much cannot forgive each other. For me, growing up in that tension was always so confusing, especially when they both re-married. I didn't resolved my issues around their divorce until I was about... 27!!!

    It's refreshing and hopeful to see other's have figured out that forgiveness is the "Promised Land."

  9. That last shot is really gorgeous :) And yes, you totally win the ex-wife of the year award!

    oh geez, as I'm writing this & ignoring my daughter, I can hear she's feeding her crackers to the dog....

    Anyway, you're doing a great thing for your kids. When I was growing up, my parents separated, got back together, separated, got back together, etc until finally divorcing when I was 16. I was so grateful to be done with all the ups & downs. Even when they were together, they never had a "normal" marriage. It wasn't until I was at a slumber party at my best friend's house in 6th grade & saw her parents kissing, and when I say "kissing", I mean KISSING. Her baptist preacher father & SAHM were kissing on the mouth! I had never seen my parents so much as give each other a peck so I literally had no idea that parents actually kissed. Total eye opener for me.

    ANYWAY. My parents are both remarried to their perfect mates. (Sometimes it takes 20-some years to get there, but I guess it always happens eventally) My brother & I are blessed with awesome step-parents & an equally amazing extended step-family on both sides. There's virtually no drama. About 10 years ago, we started having Thanksgiving dinner with all the parents together, alternating houses each year. Most people think we're nuts, but it works for us. We also celebrate birthdays (the kids & grandkids, not our parents' necessarily) together, and the occasional Sunday dinner.

    We don't do Christmas together yet, but my mom has mentioned that maybe we ought to. Since my brother & I have kids of our own, and my sister-in-law has her parents & 2 sets of grandparents in town, holidays can get really crazy for her. She is a total trooper, though.

    I guess this is all to say that from a child of divorce perspective, you & Randy are doing a good thing for your children.

  10. I hope when I decide to become a mother that I am as strong as you are.

    You are a great inspiration.

  11. You are such a wonderful person..and this is just another little reason why..

  12. I needed to read this. Thank you for such a personal, honest, and playful take on life's tortuous and fabulous turns.