So I guess maybe it's time to add some more to the fairy tale. It gets a bit less action packed as time goes on.
So our "princess" had reached adulthood now. Escaping the frozen lakes of Michigan for the slightly less frozen hills of Wisconsin. It was now 1994 and a couple of months after she got back to Wisconsin she got her diploma in the mail. That summer she decided to go to stay with her grandparents in a more touristy part of the state over by the lake.
It was there she met the next in the line of toads disguised as princes. This one would give her the most precious gems in her world though, eventually. She thought he was the one at first, but it soon became more that he was someone who was comfortable and unchallenging. In 1997 she married her "Prince charming" and she was 7 months pregnant when she did.
In July of that year after 24 hours of labor the first of her true blessings was born. Alexander Ray... her marriage didn't improve with the addition of a baby. "Prince charming" started drinking and his temper showed more often. 3 years later they bought a house together and in September her second blessing was born after 14 hours of excruciating back labor. Lillian Marie.
Again the marriage continued to deteriorate. The drinking increased and the temper got worse towards her and the kids. Shortly later that year they separated for the first time. It got as far as papers being filed but he managed to convince her he would change. That he wouldn't drink so much, that he would never hit the kids or her again. And she, being the optimistic fool she somehow still was, believed him and moved back into their house together.
It was around this same time that she met someone who would come to mean more to her than anything ever had, but, spoilers...
So their life together resumed. The kids grew, they started school and had adventures. Alex turned out to be far more than a handful, he had his father's temper and his mother's stubborn nature, and was a constant challenge. Lily on the other hand was much more quiet, her challenges were yet to come. And so life went on. And in May of 2007, 10 years after the first her 3rd and final blessing was born. Elizabeth Kristine.
The marriage was by this point living on borrowed time. There had been too many fights, too many infidelities (on both sides), too much love lost that was probably never really there in the first place.