Apr 11

36 Years After Our First Date…


Older couple on beach holding hands with wedding rings. Yellow and orange flowers.


Six years ago, I found myself struggling with being middle-aged, divorced and living with my 5 cats. (Yep, the stereotypical cat lady!)

Living in my head was a daily battle. Many years of shyness, self-doubt, and making all the typical bad relationship decisions, had left me depleted mentally and physically.

Then one day a friend reminded me, “You ended an unhappy marriage. That doesn’t make you damaged goods. It means your strong and smart enough to make a better life for yourself.”

That was so poignant! And, what I realized was…

Your past mistakes do not define you.

What others think about you does not define you.

How you treat others and what you do with the gifts you’ve been given are what really matters.

My hope is that every woman (whether you’re a second-time bride or not) takes my friend’s advice. Be as good to yourself as you are to others.

Young bride in lilac gown on beach holding flowers

It wasn’t until I found my path to a new and more positive life that I was blessed with all that I had been searching for. What’s that saying, “when one door closes, another opens?”

Amidst all of the turmoil, one day a message popped up on my phone. It was from my high school prom date. (What?!! Flashbacks of “An Officer and a Gentleman” came rushing back.)

In his message, he asked if I’d like to go to dinner and catch up. (After I stopped jumping up and down like my 12 yr old niece, I calmly replied back, “You know, I think I’d that.”)

36 years after our first date, we were married.

I created Turnage + Watts to empower second time brides to:

1. Be unapologetic about moving forward with their lives

2. Be unapologetic about loving the fact they have found their prince charming (their better half)


3. Be unapologetic about celebrating the hell out of it!

If I can encourage just one bride to banish the endless loop of self doubt in your head, then I really will have accomplished something to be proud of.

How will you enthusiastically and unapologetically celebrate your second marriage?



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