Pop Up Camper Remodel

Pop Up Camper Remodel

Last year, February to be exact, we bought a 22 year old pop up camper for $500 on Facebook Marketplace. 7232F62F-38D2-4DBB-8DEF-BF3B247FD681We knew this camper was a diamond in the rough! We dreamt of all the family vacations we could take in this little pop up. 

FIRST THINGS FIRST-INSPECTION 

We took the pop up home and popped it up.D24D2384-69E4-4B61-8579-724ED8458C12We knew initially that it had some water damage and after some research, found out that these types of campers with ABS roofs, leaked.
67475424-8AA2-480F-AAC8-AF5D48D0B3DDThe roof  leaked because of the weight of the AC unit on top of the roof.
79088843-12EF-478A-9FA9-9D2050470CE0So right out of the gate, it looked like we needed to find a solution to help the roof not sag, plus we would need to replace the entire roof. 

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ABS CEILING & ROOF REPAIR

CEILING:

My husband found a solution for the sagging roof and it was going to be by placing two, 2 inch u-channels on the interior of the roof.

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We then left the camper popped up on a day when it was raining to make sure it would not leak! It worked! No leaks!

ROOF REPAIR WITH FIBER GLASS:

Next step was to replace the roof. We tore off the ABS roof then replaced it with a fiberglass top and painted it with marine paint. You can find that you tube video HERE . In this picture, you can see two coats of the fiber glass roof material on the roof.

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INTERIER REPAIRS-REPAIRING ROTTED WOOD

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For the interior, my husband needed to replace several sections of rotted wood. One was the top on the small cabinet by the entryway, part of the floor at the entrance, a section of wood beneath the bed, by the shower plus a small section on the seated area.

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PAINTING-INTERIOR

After replacing the wood, it was finally time to paint the entire inside of the camper!

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We painted everything, including the ceiling, in Ibis White  from Sherwin Williams. We took off all of the cabinet doors to make the painting go a little easier. I decided to spray paint all of the hardware and knobs to save cost.

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REPLACING CUSHION COVERS-HOW I SEWED COVERS

Next was making all of the cushion covers for the camper. I decided to use the existing cushions & zippers, since they were in good shape.

5C5AC292-ECB3-4349-9698-3156F055B44FI did use the attachment to my carpet cleaner to clean the cushions and let them dry in the sun. I found all of my fabric on sale at Joanne’s for $50. I used two coupons! I did not have a pattern for the cushions, so I used the existing cushions as my pattern, by laying the fabric on top of the cushions and left about an inch for seam allowance on all sides.
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REPLACING OLD MATRESSES

We could not use the old mattresses that came with the camper but we did find some mattresses at a local discount store for $19.99 each! We bought plastic mattresses covers to protect them at Home Depot for $8 each.

REPLACING BEDDING

We purchased our bedding from Beddy’s and they are an absolute dream! Absolutely perfect for campers! Ours is the Modern Gray All Cotton. Beddy’s has given me a coupon code for y’all to use! If you use SSG20 at check out, you can get 20% off your purchase! Thank you Beddy’s!

CURTAIN ALTERNATIVES

We have not replaced our pop up camper curtains with the typical camper curtains.

8177E0D1-EFF8-49AE-B934-78F300E0225DWe did use a few sheers from Wal-Mart that we attached with double sided adhesive strips, just to give a more “at home” feel to the camper. I bought two sets, as each set came with two.
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CAMPER BATHROOM-SHOWER REPAIRS

The shower only needed a cleaning and a new faucet.

3FF31442-B55B-4DF2-A637-A682E598EEFASome of our paint has chipped by the shower area but it’s not a huge deal to us since this is a camper.

F1E1A5C9-4E17-49DD-8C69-9035F7D6FF51We ordered the new shower faucet from Coleman Pop Up Parts.

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REPLACING FLOORS

 

4D5039D0-85D1-4F1D-AAE9-F68A9EF38AE7I decided to use stick down floor “hardwood” vinyl “planks”. I even staggered it to make it look like hardwoods. I bought two boxes for $15 each, at a local discount store called Ollie’s.

REPLACING CANVASES

F06D3A41-E0B3-414A-B776-2E5CAC539A8FOur biggest expense in our makeover was new canvases but we felt like it was a must have! We ordered them from Bear Creek Canvas . Their site is so easy to use! All you have to do is select the camper manufacturer, ours is Coleman, select the model year, 1997 for us, select if you want a complete canvas replacement or partial canvas replacement, ours was a complete replacement, then select your camper style, such as a no wing model, 1-4 wing model or a pickupper, ours was a 2-wing model. Once you have all of that selected, it will give you your price for the replacement. Our total was $1,050.00. The customer service was also wonderful!

CHALKBOARD PAINTED MENU BOARD

9172C203-98C6-4DC5-A985-9FBA13113C9CI even painted the inside of the door with half of black chalkboard paint so we could have a menu board. We already had this paint on hand!

PAINTING-EXTERIOR 

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The exterior also got a paint job from head to toe! We painted the exterior with a marine paint in Repose Gray  from Sherwin Williams. (We only use SW for all of our painting needs!) We had lots of helpers that wanted to help remove the old vinyl from the exterior of the camper and help paint!

FIRST TRIP

Leaving out for our first trip in the camper! 

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REPLACING CAMPER TIRES & SPARE TIRE 

We also replaced the tires on the pop up and purchased a new spare tire. The old tires were in good shape but we just wanted to make sure we had new tires, since we were driving so far away on our first trip. The best deal we found on tires were at Wal-Mart on sale for $26.99 each.

THE SUNSHINE STATE

Fort De Soto, FL

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ACCESSORIZE 

Most all of our accessories for our pop up came from a local Five and Below store- from our little stool, to the rug, to our outdoor mat.

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TROUBLE BEFORE PARADISE 

About 3 weeks before our first camping trip, our pop-up would not stay popped up so we had to order a Coleman Wiffle Tree Alternate. We were praying it would come in before our trip and that it would be the only issue and be resolved quickly with this new part! Thank God it worked and in just about 3 days before our trip! We purchased that part from Popuppaarts.com .

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TALLY UP

We spent a total of around $2,300 on our pop up makeover. Here is a breakdown of the costs:

$500-Pop Up Purchase Price

$1,050-Canvases

$80-Paint

$45-Mattresses

$60-Wood

$125-U-Channels

$125-Fiberglass Roof

$81-Tires

$20-Shower Faucet

$50-Fabric for Cushions

$30-Vinyl Flooring

$5-Wood Colored Caulk for floors

$144-Wiffle Tree Alternate-Part for lifting camper up

EGMONT KEY, FL

Wesley & I in Egmont Key at the lighthouse.

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SUMMARY


It was a lot of work but we are so glad to have little pop up to travel in! Definitely a bucket list item! Our two adult daughters helped us so much and we could not have done it without them! Definitely a family effort! You can read about some of our travels here . If you have any questions, please email me! What is your favorite thing about our renovation of the camper?

❤️-Shae

 

 

 

 

Exploring Egmont Key in Florida: Wildlife and History

Exploring Egmont Key in Florida: Wildlife and History

In June of this year, we had the pleasure of visiting Egmont Key, located at the mouth of Tampa Bay, Florida. It lies southwest of Fort De Soto and can only be reached by boat or ferry. The Egmont Key Lighthouse and the ruins of Fort Dade, a Spanish-American War era fort, are also located on Egmont Key. Egmont Key extends along the Tampa Port Shipping Channel. The nearest city is St. Petersburg, Florida. We took the Tampa Bay Ferry from Fort De Soto to Egmont Key and on the way over to the island, I couldn’t help but notice the Caribbean-like blue green waters of Tampa Bay.

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When we had almost arrived to the island, we had the pleasure of seeing three manatees!! This was the first time our family had ever been this up close to manatees before and I am almost at a loss of words by how amazing they were!

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Two of the manatees were kissing and they were such gentle animals!

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Arriving on Egmont Key!

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Once we arrived on the island, we walked along the pathways lined with palm trees and flowers. The flowers and palm trees were so beautiful!

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One of the first sight’s to see is the lighthouse!

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We continued walking along the pathway to the beach and decided to go exploring for sea shells! We walked along the beach and found all different types of sea shells.

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After shell searching, we worked up an appetite for lunch! We ate our lunch on the beach and decided to explore the forts on the island from the Spanish-American War.

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The picture below is Battery McIntosh, one of five gun batteries on Fort Dade.

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Fort Dade was built on the island in 1898 during the Spanish-American War and remained active until 1923.

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During this time, there was about 300 people living on the island with a small hospital, bakery, movie theater, bowling alley and tennis courts. While exploring the island, you will come across several of the remnants. The picture below is remnants of Fire Command Control Tower.

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We stumbled upon several gopher tortoises!

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We even got to feed one! Be careful though, they think brightly colored nail polish is food!

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Our family enjoyed seeing the lighthouse that was built in 1858, while being maintained by the Coast Guard for ships and boats.

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Picture below is of my husband and I!

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When we got back to the other side of the island, we headed straight to the water to cool off! It is very hot and humid, so please make sure to bring lots of water!

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On the ferry ride back to Fort De Soto, we saw dolphins!

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The dolphins were stealing all the fisherman’s bait fish off of their poles!

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Definitely a unique island to visit and explore!

Tips from our family:

*Pack food and plenty of water

*Bring sunscreen

*There are no restrooms on the island, so be prepared.

*Wear clothing and shoes that you don’t mind getting wet/sandy.

Absolutely a wonderful experience that we will treasure for a lifetime and it could possibly be one of my most favorite places to visit in the world!

Love~Shae

 

 

 

 

 

Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Something Borrowed, Something Blue

My husband and I just recently celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary! It amazes me to think how quickly we got here! We fell in love at 17 and 20 years old…. It was late fall of 1997. Fast forward to just a few months later and my family was moving 4 hours away. We quickly decided to go ahead and get married…and let me tell you that my parents were not happy! I will add that I graduated high school at 16 and was already finished with my first year of college. We married in the spring and we moved into a condo, across the street from the beach, for the summer of 1998. We like to call that beach condo, our 3 month long honeymoon!

~The dating life~

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~Our Wedding Day~

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~Time for cake~

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~Cake Time~

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A couple months into our marriage, we learned we were expecting our first daughter. We rang in the New Year with our first daughter! As our daughter grew, we quickly realized that having a family, we would need to make a lot more money!

~Our family of 3~

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We made the decision to move to Birmingham in the fall, for better job opportunities for Wesley. We also decided that I would stop going to college classes for a little while because we wanted to give our daughter a sibling. Our second daughter was born 4 years into our marriage.

~Easter Sunday~

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As we  were busy being parents, Wesley’s career was beginning to take off! A little over a year after our second daughter was born, we purchased our first home in a growing neighborhood. Shortly thereafter we launched our first entrepreneur endeavor!

~Our First Home~

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In spring of 2008, our second daughter began having seizures and was diagnosed with Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy. At that time, we didn’t know if it would be something she would have her whole life. The pediatric neurologist did say if the meds were able to stop her seizures within the first few months of onset, that she could possibly live a seizure free life.

~Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital~

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During the summer of 2008, I decided to go to med school to become a Pediatric Neurosurgeon. I wanted to help find a cure for epilepsy and be a liaison to help other families with different obstacles encountered in today’s society. After a few years of school, I felt the pull to be a wife and mother more. After praying about it, I decided to forego med school for the time being.

~Dolphin Island~

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End of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 is where our marriage got tough. I think ignoring situations in our marriage was the build up, to the fall of our marriage. We decided that right after Christmas, that we would file for divorce and split everything equally. Telling our children that we were getting divorced is one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do. I will never forget the looks on their faces when I told them that their Daddy & Mommy were getting divorced. Let me tell you, it is soul crushing.

~Our yearly trip to the pumpkin~

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During this time, I began to dive deep into my relationship with God. I read my Bible more, searched the scriptures and read The Love Dare book. It was probably one of the hardest times in my life to date but also one of the most endeavoring times, as I was learning to be on my own for the first time in my life. I went through anger, confusion, sadness, acceptance. After a couple months of Wesley and I being apart, we began talking again and hanging out as a family. We would have dinner together or go to the kids sporting events together, ect. I really feel like we were beginning to rebuild our relationship and I had a better appreciation of my spouse and vice versa.

~Snow day~

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As spring began to emerge, our relationship began to flourish. We decided to remarry! Our second daughter was also being weaned off of her one of her seizure meds and was doing wonderfully! Shortly there after, she was weaned off her second seizure med and remained seizure free! She was been seizure free for almost 12 years now! Praise God!

~Noccalula Falls~

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~Noccalula Falls~

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~On our way home from Noccalula Falls, God sends us a promise of something new with a beautiful rainbow~

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God sure does have the most perfect timing because shortly thereafter, we found out that we were expecting our 3rd baby! Wesley & I were both in agreement that He sent her to us because He knew she would be such joy and light to our family!

~Halloween-This is probably one of my most fav Halloween’s because we went to the thrift store to create costumes! For daughter #1 was a “hippie” and daughter #2 was an “80’s girl”.~

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~Wesley also painted my belly like a pumpkin~

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~Christmas-headed to celebrate my birthday at The Melting Pot~

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~Number 3 has been a JOY to our family since the day she was born~

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In 2014 we decided to start looking for a larger home for our growing family. We also decided to add one more child to our family.

941FF217-C170-4BFC-9D55-F96CA1BC906FWe found out we were expecting baby number 4 and set up a cute pumpkin display to tell our three daughters.

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We moved into our new home on a Friday!

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I was feeling a little crampy that day, but nothing serious. I did not lift anything at all and rested when I felt tired. I felt the usual pregnancy tiredness and lower back pains over the weekend, but nothing out of the ordinary. Early Monday morning, I awoke to child birth like cramping and I knew. I prayed that God wouldn’t take our baby but He decided it was his or her time to come home.

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After a couple of weeks, we decided to start trying again and to our surprise, I became pregnant immediately with our rainbow baby!

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Baby number 5 was born on a hot summer day!

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Fast forward a couple of years and Wesley had the opportunity to change up his career! We also began a new entrepreneur endeavor!! A couple years later, we began Sweet Southern Grace with IG, Pinterest, Blogging & You Tube!  We have always enjoyed a good DIY and sharing it with others. I always like to say that, I design and he builds!

~Egmont Key~

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I read  a quote from The Marriage Mentality that hits home. It reads, “The greatest gift you can give to your marriage is time. It’s literally giving a part of your life to your spouse. A part of your life you will never get back, but always share.

~Egmont Key-Exploring the Island we saw several gopher tortoises. We even fed this one~

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~Building sand castles with our girls has always been a tradition! This is in Fort De Soto~

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~Brynne Decor Prints~

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Things that we have learned along the way…

1-Protect your marriage by guarding your hearts.

2-Don’t let the sun go down without saying, “I’m sorry” after a disagreement.

3-When you tell your parents or other family members, something that your spouse has said or done to hurt you, it is much harder for them to forgive your spouse than it is for you to forgive your spouse.

4-Communicate with each other.

5-Respect each other.

6-Learn to listen.

7-Try to establish time together each week.

8-Get marriage advice when needed. Seek help from a pastor or christian psychologist.

~20th Anniversary Vow Renewal last year. It was my first time wearing a wedding gown. I look back on that day & I felt so special, like a princess! A little back story-My parents were not happy I was getting married at 17. In fact, the only part they played in our marriage was being present on our wedding day. One of the reasons we wanted to renew our vows is so that I could pick out my own wedding gown. This is definitely one of my most fav days ever.~

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There is no “ending” to our story because we are living it now! I have three friends who have shared their stories of how God has restored their marriages. Please take the time to read, as I am sure each one will be a blessing to you!

From Blair:

“Have you ever received a gift that you thought you didn’t need, but it turned out to be the best gift ever? That’s exactly how I feel about our sweet daughter, Olive. The news of my pregnancy did not come at the ideal time for me and my husband. We were struggling.”

“Truthfully, marriage is hard at times and you may feel like giving up. In February of 2016 I was at that point. But God had other plans. What I thought was the absolute worst time to bring a child into this world, God saw it to be perfect timing. He knew that we needed Olive, desperately needed her. She saved our marriage and made our little family whole again.”

“Did you know that in the story of Noah and the ark that the olive branch represents a new beginning? In Genesis chapter 8, after 40 days Noah sends a dove out. But he could find nowhere to perch because water covered the surface. Noah waited 7 more days and again sent the dove out. When the dove returned, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive branch.”

“Then Noah knew the water had receded. At the time we chose her name, we were not aware of the meaning behind it. But oh how fitting…Olive was the new beginning for our marriage.”

From Lindsey:

“My husband and I have been married 21 years. We were very young when we married.   When we met,  I was 13 and he was 18, we started dating at 15 and 20. We married and had our 1st child at 17 and 22. Our second child was born when we were 19 and 24. We divorced at 21 and 26 and remarried at 22 and 27.
The way we met was a total God moment. I know that for most people they probably think “God doesn’t give you your spouse at 13″ but in this case he did.”

“God knows us better than we know ourselves and he knew what shenanigans we would get into and that we would need each other to not only survive them but to thrive in them.”

“Life as a teen wife and mother is not easy. I was clueless, but I loved my family. My husband worked ALL the time while I took care of our babies. We were broke, and although I was great with my kids, I had no idea how to truly take care of a home. Being so young, our parents were very involved and all of those factors, led us to separate and eventually divorce.”

“Between the separation and divorce, we were apart for 2 years. During the time of our divorce, which was the hardest time of our marriage, we had good moments together, times we only spoke to trade the kids off, times we fought like cats and dogs, I had a boyfriend/he a girlfriend, it was just a complete roller coaster. We were both trying to find ourselves and not in the healthiest ways…But God!!! God stepped in. The kids & I were living with my parents and like I said before, being so young, our parents were heavily involved. My mom wanted me to do things her way and one night when I didn’t want to, she told me we couldn’t stay there anymore. I panicked but decided to ask my ex-husband if we could stay with him, until I bought a house (I was already looking for one). He said yes and we moved in.”

“When we first moved in, we continued the way we had splitting who had the kids, the same as before, finances separate, just roommates. Over the next few months, we hung out more and more, remarried, and just overall decided to try again to make it work. I got pregnant and gave birth to number 3 and even though we still had a rocky marriage, we just continued to show up. Over time and with God guiding us, in ways that we didn’t even realize, our marriage healed and continued to get better and better. I’m not going to tell you we are perfect but, we still show up and our marriage is better than it’s ever been.”

From Rebecca:

“My husband and I started dating at 17 and were married at 20. We bought our first home at 21 and had our first child at 22. Life was happening fast!!”

“Both of us came from divorced families and had never seen what a healthy marriage was made of. We were basically just winging it. We had no friends at that point because our friends were out partying and being young. It was just us. My husband traveled out of town Monday through Thursday for 13 years, which was extremely hard on our marriage. Not only was he traveling but he was traveling with single men who wanted to go out and party at night. I was home working and taking care of our daughter while he traveled the country with single friends. Thankfully my husband remained faithful but y’all, it was hard! Too hard to put into words. It was like I had a weekend husband and my daughter had a weekend dad. When he would return home late on Thursday nights we would try to squeeze in as much family time as we possibly could along with chores around the house. He would get completely overwhelmed and it would usually turn into an argument.”

“This was our life for years. I think at that point we started to resent each other and it got to where I didn’t want him to come home and he didn’t want to come home. When my daughter was 2, I called it quits. I just couldn’t live like that anymore. I was so miserable and walking on egg shells all the time. He moved out Labor Day weekend 2009. I felt like a complete and total failure. I had failed at marriage. I had failed at giving my daughter both parents in the same home. All I could think of was that my little girl would end up, just like us, with divorced parents and being pulled in 10 different directions at holidays. She would be around step-parents and step-family’s, where you feel like the odd ball that is just being included by default. I will never forget Christmas morning without him. It was just me and my daughter Christmas morning and I’ve never felt so sad and so defeated in my life. I’m tearing up now just typing that line because I can still remember that morning like it was yesterday and it was 10 years ago.”

“My husband took the divorce really hard and started finding unhealthy outlets which resulted in a severe seizure right after the New Year. I will never forget that call from his work. They still had my contact number because we had just separated 3 months before. “Ms. ——, your husband had a seizure and is being taken to the hospital via ambulance.” I was at work and I can remember sitting there stunned and trying to figure out what I was feeling. How did I react? I was divorced remember, so I wasn’t suppose to care. I sat there thinking, oh well, he’s not my responsibility anymore. I remember trying so hard not to care! I didn’t want to care. I wanted to keep hating this man that had ruined my idea of marriage. I called his Mom and let her know and went back to work. I couldn’t focus all day. All day I tried not to care and tried to be ok. Then I thought ok if I just see him and know he’s alive, I’ll be ok right? So after work I took our daughter to see her Dad.”

“As soon as I walked in I knew I loved this man fiercely. I knew that this seizure was God’s way of waking him up and I always say “shaking some sense into him.” From that night on, we started building a relationship again. He would come over and we would spend time together as a family, until we didn’t want to leave each other’s side anymore.”

“The rest is history. We’ve been together 17 years next month and life is good. Life is not perfect, life is not a hallmark movie or a romance novel. Marriage is hard! Marriage is work! Marriage is compromise! There are days that I think, why did I come back to this dude?! Then there are days where I know exactly why I came back! And that is normal.”

“For all of the newlyweds or newly-engaged people reading this, my biggest piece of advice is DO NOT COMPARE!! Do not compare your relationship to movies, friends, relatives, etc. You have no idea what goes on behind closed doors. I once was so jealous of a marriage that I thought was perfect and I kept thinking her husband is so much better than mine and guess what. That husband was cheating the entire time. So it isn’t always what it seems. No ones marriage is perfect. They may want you to think it is and only show you the highlights but everyone struggles and that’s ok. I have learned that through those biggest hurdles we grow stronger and stronger every single time until we’ve basically become unbreakable!”

If ya’ll made it to the end, I am so thankful you stopped by to take the time to read our story. If you have any prayer requests specifically for your marriage, please let me know.

❤️-Melia Shae