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We got married in Las Vegas

My birthday is November 25th, Thanksgiving is around that time too. So we told everybody that my birthday present in 2004 would be a trip to Las Vegas. Only very few people guessed, what we were really up to. Everybody probably thought, I wouldn't want to be married ever again - after this expensive divorce, that I had just barely survived.

We flew to Las Vegas on November 20th - a monthiversary! - and had a civil marriage on Sunday, November 21st 2004. Nothing fancy, no limousine, no flashy dress, just black jeans and a white shirt for both of us. The most expensive part were the rings.  medium_lv_hilton.jpg

What a fabulous week we had! I'd recommend Las Vegas to everybody. If you want to have fun, relax, and have a hassle-free wedding - there is no better place. After coming back home as husband and wife, we had some major explaining and some minor stress-levels to go thru. Of course Alejandra didn't like it at all - even though nothing changes for her.

Want to do it too?

Here's my instructions (in German):
Anleitung zum Heiraten in Las Vegas

04:00 Posted in 01, History | Permalink | Comments (0)


Both divorces finalized

Tom's paperwork was easier. Once he decided to have his lawyer finalize it, things went pretty fast. June 2004 he was a free man. Mine took longer. Because my ex wanted to have a lot more money, and we had to set up a contract about how and why and when I have to pay him, and I have to pay the judge, and the notary, and all of Alejandra's support. All together in total I ended up paying 60,000 € just to be free.

I'm still not done paying, of course, but as of November 10th 2004 I am a free person again. Deeply in debt, and deeply satisfied. Fernando got a load of money - and I got all the rest: I have Alejandra, I own two apartments, I found Tom, my life ahead looks bright and shiny.

The interpreter in court (because Fernando doesn't know enough German after 18 years!) talked to me for a while, during our wait outside the judge's office. After skimming thru that *contract* she said *But, do you realize that this isn't very fair? You are paying everything, while he doesn't even pay child support!*. I said *I know, but I don't care. I believe in automatic justice - Fernando will meet his, sooner or later.*.

06:15 Posted in 01, History | Permalink | Comments (0)


Tom loses his job

The company had been struggling all thru 2003, their one main customer cutting back on projects. We knew this was coming, but we didn't know exactly when. End of February 2004 it finally happened: Tom was fired, effective June 1st. Since he had been working for over three years, he was entitled to unemployment money - 800 € per month. Half of that goes to Mollie for support.

At first we thought we'd have no real trouble to find something else. And the timing seemed convenient, because that way Tom could spend the entire summer playing around in Munich with Mollie.

But after approximately 60 applications for jobs, only one interview, and still no job, panic started to set in. We calculated, how long I would be able to support the family on my salary alone. And what would happen, when the unemployment money would stop after 12 months? Would Tom even be allowed to stay in Germany?

We had to come up with a plan fast! This is what we decided to do: first finalize both our divorces, then get married, and then prepare to move to the USA. 

08:00 Posted in 01, History | Permalink | Comments (0)


Tom finds a good Job

First he had to learn German, and then we had to find a job for him. Newspaper ads proved to be useless. Good thing I know a few people. The old saying is still true: *it's not impotant WHAT you know, it's important WHOM you know*.

A small IT consulting company was willing to hire Tom as a mainframe programmer, even though he had never worked on a mainframe at all, just based on the fact that I said *I know he will be able to do this*.

And he was, with some training from his employer, and some help from me. Tom learned fast, he enjoyed his job, and it looked like our future would be smooth sailing.

02:00 Posted in 01, History | Permalink | Comments (0)


Our first *family vacation*

The three of us flew to Fort Wayne to spend two weeks of vacation together with both girls, trying to 'bond'. This first vacation together was pretty much a disaster. The two girls didn't get along at all. They were jealous of each other, and also jealous of their respective 'step-parents' - while we were trying hard to create some *peace and harmony*.medium_family.jpg

In the back of our heads we also had this nagging feeling of guilt towards our children. For *destroying* their families, just to be able to pursue our own, personal happiness. I wouldn't consider it a vacation, but we survived. After that we spent many more weeks together, all four of us, and we learned to live with conflicts. Respecting each other's territory, setting up some basic rules, and (most important) never argue about how we educate our respective daughters.

That summer we started to answer *yes, but not to each other* when asked *are you married?*. And we started to say *yes, one each* when people asked *do you have kids?*. 

01:00 Posted in 01, History | Permalink | Comments (0)

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