Enduring All Things: March 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014

I Get to See my Husband Tonight

Happy Friday everyone! I tell you, this week has dragged on. As you know, I have spent this week in Georgia for work away from Pearson and Pip. I am so ready to get home, BUT I've been able to spend this week with family and friends. I had dinner and/or coffee plans with someone different every night and I have loved it. And that is why I haven't blogged much this week. With one re-used guest post of my own, a guest post from a sponsor, one list and one day without a post, I feel sorta like a slacker. I would apologize, but I'm really not sorry. I've been living life. It's OK for the blog to take a back seat every once in a while. Anyway, lets get on to the Friday countdown, shall we?
5 Things I've Loved
  • Fresh & Fearless Mints I won at a Premier Jewelry party I went to last week. I love the tiger stripe tin and they taste good too!
  • The cute Tervis I stole from my mom to take coffee to work in this week. It says "You are a beautiful creation of God"
  • My hair cut. It was way overdue.
  • My Rental Car. I love driving a brand new car with all the fixings for a week!
  • My Planner from Barnes & Noble. It was in my stocking for Christmas and I have no idea why I am just now talking about it on here for the first time. I love this thing!
4 Blog Posts/Articles
  • Truths "Friends" Taught You About Life in Your Twenties {Buzzfeed}
  • 22 Photos That Prove Babies Need Pets {Hope Shared} There ain't no way we're getting rid of Pip if he's still around when we start a family!
  • To Share or Not to Share {Texpat} My friend from college, Kim, is pregnant with her second and she told the world even though she's only 9 weeks along! Gasp!
  • Love is an Open Door {Life With Amberly & Joe}My blogging bestie is so talented and great with children! I wish I had nieces and nephews to spoil like this and when I get them, I wanna be just like Amberly!
3 Posts I Wrote/Posted
  • Spring Date Ideas (Mon/Tues) - More on the issue of which day this was posted below
  • How a Journal Changed the Way I Blog (Wed)
  • What 3.5 Years of Marriage Has Taught Me {Guest Post} (Thurs)
2 Confessions
  • Monday night I put together my "Spring Date Ideas" post. I got it all written out, put a sweet graphic on it, added some labels and scheduled it for the next day (Tuesday) at 7:30 AM like usual. Or at least I thought I did. I actually scheduled it for that morning (Monday) at 7:30. I got a notification that Amberly had commented on that post and I was like "Whoa! She's psychic or something!" And then I realized my mistake. Oops!
  • I may be developing my own little woman crush on Candace Cameron Bure.
1 Reason to Smile
  • While this has been a great week of catching up with friends, family, and coworkers, I'm excited to go home to my hubby and furchild tonight!
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Thursday, March 27, 2014

What 3.5 Years of Marriage Has Taught Me {Guest Post}

You guys, I have a special treat for you today! I am excited to introduce to you {again} the lovely Cait from My Life as a Long! I know she has some great things to share so show her some love! Take it away, Cait!

Special thanks to Charlene for letting me take over her blog today!

I can't believe that C and I have been married for 3 and a half years. Time sure does fly by when you are having fun! I am so blessed that these 3.5 years have been so great. Like all couples, we have had our ups and downs, but we have gotten through them, together, side by side.

When I got married, I knew that I would learn things about us. I knew that marriage was a promise to learn about each other for the rest of our lives. I had no clue what marriage would actually teach me though. So, Ive made a list of the things I have learned about life, love, marriage, myself, etc.
* Remodeling is not for married couples.  C and I worked quite a bit on remodeling our guest room recently. We learned really quick that it wasn't something we would do again. We tried putting up crown molding together, and someone walked away with a busted lip. Pure accident of course, but it was the thing that sealed the deal for me. 

* Chores aren't split equally.  Maybe it is just me, but I figured that when I got married, C would take care of everything outside without complaining, and I would do the same inside. Boy was I wrong. C and I share all chores, and they aren't split the traditional way. I mean, C does dishes. And sometimes I work outside. Things won't work out the traditional way, each couple will figure out what works best for them. 

Anniversary plans don't have to be extravagant. I assumed we would always do something glamorous for our anniversary, but that first year, we picked apples and pumpkins, then went to lunch. Nothing fancy here. I have learned that as we grow as a couple, our plans change. That first year, taking a cruise wouldn't have been as beneficial as the day we spent together was. And when we have kids, I know that a week long cruise will be out of the question. The plans don't have to be extravagant, but the time you spend together celebrating your special day will be.

* Laughter truly is the best medicine. Before I got married, I wasn't very goofy. I didn't laugh often. When I got married, living together was an adjustment. Before I could have a dance party and not worry about anyone laughing at my awful dance moves. Obviously living with someone means that you aren't alone, and they will laugh at you. At first, I was offended, but I soon learned to embrace the fun and the laughter. To me one of the keys to a successful marriage is laughter. You have to be able to not only laugh at yourself, but laugh with each other as well. Life is fun. Enjoy it. 

* Compromise. Joining 2 lifestyles can get a bit messy. For example. I bend down, take my socks off, and put them in the hamper. C on the other hand, moon walks out of his socks and leaves them there. At first, this drove me nuts. I would yell at him all the time for leaving his socks laying around. Soon we learned the art of compromise. I quit yelling, and moved the hamper into our room. He can continue to moon walk out of his socks, as long as he puts them in the hamper. 

* Fighting will happen, so learn to fight fair. Ups and downs will happen. Fights will occur and things will be said that shouldn't be said. At least until you learn to fight fair. We have learned that fighting fair is key. Each couple will be different. Each couple will have different "rules" for fighting. Remember when your spouse loses, so do you.  

* Going to bed angry will happen too. I'm guilty of getting mad before bed over something silly, and it causing a huge fight resulting in going to bed angry. It isn't that we don't care to fix the problem. It is because we are tired, and we are going to get to the point where we don't fight fair. Usually when we go to bed angry, we wake up in a much better mood and we can resolve any issue we have in no time. Sometimes sleeping on it can allow you to see something in a whole new light. 

* Your spouse will become your best friend. That is if they aren't already. You will spend hours every day with this person, and they will be the one you can talk to about anything. That is the way it is supposed to be. C and I were friends before we got married,, but I quickly learned after we got married that he was my best friend. When we moved from GA to TN, we didn't know anyone but family, so we only had each other. It has been such a blessing to know that C will always be there for me to talk about anything, to cheer me on when I need it, to be that shoulder I need to cry on, and so much more. He is my best friend. He always will be.

* Being sexy is okay. Whoa, shocker! I never felt like I was sexy, and I certainly never embraced it. Now that I am married, I have learned that being sexy is okay. Obviously, I don't go around dressing sexy for anyone, but for my husband, yes. God created sex and it is a beautiful thing when shared in a marriage. It is a beautiful gift, and embracing that gift, as long as you embrace it within your marriage, is a good thing. 

* Keep God in the center of your marriage is key. God created marriage, and I strongly believe when you enter a marriage, it is you, your spouse, and God. I am a firm believer in my faith. It is important that each person grown their relationship with God, but it is equally as important for a couple to grown their relationship with God. There is so much out there that talks negatively about marriage, so married couples have it hard. We have so many things working against us. Satan doesn't want happy marriages, so he will do anything to destroy them. Having a marriage with a strong relationship with God wont protect you from attacks, but it will help you get through them. I believe it is key for married couples to pray for their marriage, their spouse, and for themselves on a daily basis. Keeping God in the center of our marriage has helped us overcome some pretty serious attacks and we know we wouldn't have survived them if we weren't keeping God in the center of our marriage. 

If I could give an engaged couple one bit of advice, that isn't on this list, it would be this. : Consider moving away from family. Not 10 hours away, but maybe 2. Allow you and your spouse to really grow that first year of marriage without the pressure of trying to please family. You can still visit, but you are blending 2 lifestyles which will be hard enough as it is. Trying to blend you, your spouse, and both family's lifestyle will be near impossible. Take that time to really figure out how to make thing work between you two first. Learn to lean on each other for everything. Then if you haven't fallen in love with your new place, move back. Taking that time for just you and your spouse will be worth it.

What has marriage taught you? What is your best piece of advice for an engaged couple?
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How a Journal Changed the Way I Blog

*This was originally a guest post I wrote for The Artsy Cajun. You can find the original post here.

I have always loved journals. Growing up I bought journal after journal and almost never filled them up. As I got older, I started writing in them more and would make myself fill one completely up before I would buy a new one. I would write about my experiences and how I was feeling at times. I would record fun events and even text messages that made my day. Sometime I would write down my prayers and I certainly kept lists of people to pray for.

Lately though, I haven't kept a personal journal. I have a spiritual journal where I record prayer requests and take notes at church, and I have a blog. BUT I got a new journal in my Winter Carabox and I love it! I have been journaling my thoughts, prayers, and... blog posts?
Yes I have been writing blog posts in my journal. And I don't mean just ideas for blog posts, I mean full posts that I will pretty much type into blogger word-for-word later. Let me just tell you, I think I have unlocked a huge blogging secret!

When I am blogging on my computer, I am connected to the internet so I get distracted. I sit down to blog, but I check my email first. Then I head on over to Bloglovin' just to see if anyone has posted anything new. By the time I have answered my emails and caught up on my reading, I don't have much time to blog. On top of that, once I start writing, I feel the need to check all my social media every time there is a pause in my typing. Does anyone else have this problem?
So I've started writing first drafts of blog posts in my journal. No distractions. Just pen and paper. And I can do it anywhere! On a plane, train, or automobile. By the pool (when it gets warmer, of course). Laying in bed when I can't sleep. The options are unlimited!

I have been so much more productive since discovering this secret and I just had to share it in case anyone else could benefit from it.

What are some tips you guys have found help with staying focused while writing/blogging?
Thanks for reading!
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Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring Date Ideas

Spring. I love Spring. I love watching God's creation come to life. I love the warm weather because I can spend more time outside in God's creation. And when I go outside, I don't have to put 10 layers on first. So today, at risk of sounding redundant to all you bloggers who have already read and written posts about this, I thought I would come up with a list of Spring date ideas! And most of them involve being outside which makes this girl happy!

  1. Take Pip to the dog park
  2. Go to the zoo
  3. Ride bikes (first we will have to get both of our bikes fixed which could be a date itself)
  4. Go to Sky Zone
  5. Chill on our back patio all night just talking like we used to do on the infamous swings at Harding
  6. Game night
  7. Grill out
  8. Go to a Columbus Clippers (minor league baseball) game
  9. Stay up late playing video games
  10. Go to a farmer's market
  11. Have a picnic in the park complete with flying a kite (or having a kite war)
  12. Dance in a rainstorm (I stole this one from the lovely Amberly but it is totally a great idea!)
  13. Explore parts of Columbus we've never seen and eat at food trucks
  14. Work on our garden
  15. Go to the Drive-In. There are some great movies coming out this season.
Now I know we won't be able to do all of these things. Especially with how busy Pearson is right now, but I would like to try to do most of them. Maybe we will shoot for once a week. I just love Spring and everything it brings! Have I mentioned that yet?

Do you have anything to add to my list?
Thanks for reading!

Blog // Bloglovin // Twitter // Facebook

~If a front page news article was written about you, what would the headline say? Cats, Crockpots and Cal (fun fact: that was one of the names I considered for my blog before settling on Notes from a Newlywed!)~What song(s) would be included in the soundtrack of your life? That's a tough one. "What does the fox say" probably because it's random, silly and features an animal, and a Spice Girls song since that captures my youth.~What are you most looking forward to this Spring or Summer? Wearing cute dresses and flipflops again! Oh, and margaritas on the patio.

Amanda just made the switch to self-hosting this weekend and I know that is no easy task so be sure to go show her some love! And make sure you don't miss these great posts while you're at it!
~How I'm Digging Myself Out of Debt (With Actual Numbers)
~Refrigerator Oatmeal: A Recipe!
~Wedding Day Confessions and Regrets
Continue reading »

Friday, March 21, 2014

TGIF & TGIS {Thank Goodness It's Spring}

Well, another week down. On to the weekend! Oh and it's Spring now {supposedly}. Awesome! I am super excited to spend evenings on the patio and to take Pip on long walks without freezing my tail off! All the little animals around our apartment are slowly coming out of hiding and Pip is having a field day watching the squirrels run around the back yard. Ah, I just love Spring. But I have to say, I am still not used to the "Spring" weather here in Ohio. Oh well. It is still better than the winter we just had. Anyway, on to this week's countdown!
5 Things I Loved This Week
  • I bought this Target bathing suit! I talked about finding it online a couple weeks ago. Well I went to target and bought it. Just in time too, there were only 2 left (even though it is still consistently freezing here). Luckily they had my size.
  • My Naptime Diaries journal. This thing has been a blessing every day since I started in on Ash Wednesday! Love!
  • Warmer weather on the weekends. It is technically Spring now and yet we are still getting below freezing temperatures here. But I am thankful that it has been pretty warm the past several weekends.
  • Blogilates workout videos. Seriously, they are the best.
  • My Premier Designs Lavish Blooms Necklace. I've been wearing this lately because it feels very spring-ish and I am all about Spring right now. Bring it on!
4 Blog Posts/Articles I Loved This Week
  • Beagles rescued from a life of research inside a laboratory experience grass for the first time! (petflow.com)
  • 11 Reasons Why Employers Don't Hire New College Grads (SlideShare)
  • Why is Marriage Portrayed so Negatively on TV (Notes from a Newlywed)
  • The One Thing Christians Should Stop Saying (HuffPo)
3 Posts I Wrote This Week
  • The Rear-View Mirror (Mon)
  • March Gladness (Wed)
  • My Letters to the World (Thurs)
2 Confessions
  • I have already been using my self tanner a little because I do NOT want my pasty white skin to blind people when I start wearing warm-weather clothes.
  • My wonderful hubby bought me a pint of cookie dough ice cream the other day and I ate it all over the course of a couple days. #SorryNotSorry
1 Reason to Smile
  • I'm going to Georgia next week for work. I get to spend the week with my family and see friends, but I have to be away from Pearson and Pip for a whole week.
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Thursday, March 20, 2014

My Letters to the World {March 2014}

So I planned to do this post today because I have compiled a long enough list of people to write letters to since the last time I wrote letters to the world. Then when I looked back on my old "Letters to the World" posts, I realized that i have written one around the 20th of the month for the past three months without even meaning to. So maybe I should make it a thing. Now you can expect to see a "Letters to the World" post every month around this time!
Dear OSU Biophysics PhD program,
When can I have my husband back? I miss him. I know this is just a phase and that once the semester is over things will slow down and he can work more on the contract for his candidacy exam. And that is what is causing him so much stress. So can the end of this semester be now? That would be awesome!

Dear People who buy expensive sunglasses,
I don't get it. I can buy a pair of knock-off ray-bans for $10 or $12. I understand that better quality is important. Which is why I also understand it may not be worth it to buy $5 sunnies or cheaper, because I've broken plenty of those in my life. But I can't fathom spending hundreds on something that I could easily lose within a week.

Dear people who don't clean up after their dogs,
Really? If you live in an apartment, you share your back yard with lots of other people. Just be courteous like the rest of us. Thanks!

Dear High Heels and pointy toed shoes,
Why are you even a thing? I'll admit, I own a couple pairs of heels. But I never wear them only wear them on very special occasions like my wedding. But the pointy toe thing, I just don't get. They're painful. And frankly I don't even think they are that cute.

Dear Bachelor fans,
Don't hate me, but I don't get this either. To paraphrase a Facebook status I saw yesterday, if a man in real life kissed 20 girls and told them all he loved them on a daily basis, we would call him a cheater. But if you put him on TV, we call him The Bachelor! It is so true! I have never seen the appeal.

Dear Groceries,
We made an amazing discovery together recently. I discovered that I can carry you in in two trips! Shocking, right? I always try my hardest to get you all at once, but the other day I decided to step out of my comfort zone a little and leave some of you to come back for later. That decision changed my life and opened a door to so many possibilities! My arms don't have to ache anymore!

Dear Once Upon A Time [SPOILERS],
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you for bringing on one of my all-time favorite fairy tale characters as the new bad guy! I am so psyched to see yet another story behind the Wicked Witch of the West and I am more hooked (see what I did there) on your show than every before (if that's even possible)!

Blog // Twitter // Instagram // Facebook
-If you were a crayon, what color would you be and why? I'd probably be blue. Unlike most people, I associate the color blue with happiness. Just think about it. A beautiful blue sky, the ocean, blueberries. All those things are happy things. I'd totally be a blue crayon. 
-What are you most looking forward to this Spring or Summer? I'm looking forward to the holidays and fresh food. I mean, hello fresh fruit! Talk about yummy. 
-What is your favorite way to de-stress? Dance party anyone? I'm a really bad dancer, but I'll turn on some music and just dance in the living room and I instantly feel better even if I look silly. Or making funny faces with my husband. That always makes me laugh and I can't be stressed when I laugh. 

Be sure to check out these great posts!
~Gray and Yellow Chevron Bridal Shower
~Letter to Myself at 14
~Our Proposal
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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March Gladness

A few days ago, a friend of mine put up a Facebook status talking about blessings in her life with the hashtag #MarchGladness. I had never heard of March Gladness so I did a little research. What I found was basically that several organizations, communities, and churches that are in no way affiliated with each other use the term "March Gladness" for service projects and other wholesome activities in March.

Anyway, I thought I would use the term as a reason to talk about why I am glad. It's no secret that I've been so blessed with so many things, people, and opportunities in my life.

*Side note here. I had this post all written out. I was going to talk about how "blessed" I am and how thankful I am for these blessings. But then I read this article and my ideas shifted a little. So at the end of each paragraph, I added a little bit about how I want to use these "blessings" in the kingdom, because God doesn't promise these things to his children. I didn't earn them. And there are plenty of Christians out there who are no where near as "blessed" as me. The only reason I can be truly blessed is by using my earthly "blessings" for good.

The biggest blessing in my life right now is my husband, of course. He is my best friend. He loves and supports me. I am so glad that he chose to love me and spend his life with me. But I am more glad that I get to live out one of God's greatest earthly institutions. I pray that God continues to use me through my marriage. I am glad I get to help my partner get through life and get to heaven one day. And I am glad that I can help other wives through my experience.
I have also been given the best family on the planet. My immediate and extended family support me and believe in me. Some of my family, whether they truly believe it or not, act like I am one of the greatest people on earth and I can do no wrong. I appreciate this so much and I am so glad I can bless them by my example and love for them in such a way. I have also been immensely blessed by the family I married into. My in-laws and extended family-in-law has completely taken me in as one of their own. It even surprises Pearson sometimes. I just pray that I can prove to be a blessing in their lives as well, as time goes on.
I have been given the most wonderful friends I could ask for. I have the most remarkable friends from college, whom I still keep in touch with, I have amazing friends in Georgia who I get to see every once in a while, and I have made some fantastic friends in Ohio. All of these friends hold me accountable. They open up to me and allow me to do the same. I know that all of them would do anything for me if I asked and I am so glad. I pray that I will always do the same for them. I want God to use me to touch their lives forever.
I have a fantastic job. I love the company I work for. I love the people I work with. And I love that I get to still work for them from home in Ohio. I am very glad to even have a full time job right now. On top of that, though, I have heard horror stories about horrible jobs and mean bosses. I am so thankful for the situation I am in. I am glad for the opportunity I have, because of this job, to bless others monetarily and to touch the lives of my coworkers in a great environment.

And last but not least, we all have been given the greatest gift of all; salvation. I am so very glad that God sent his only Son to suffer and die like He did because He loves me.

To truly be blessed means to know God and know His children. All His children. Including those not as "blessed" as me. Thanks, in part, to this article, I realize this and I will use my "blessings" to bless others. That is what I want to do. Who is with me?
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Rear-View Mirror

via Pinterest
I wrote a post last week about things that change the older I get. Today, I'm going to expound upon one of the things I listed; "The older I get, the more I realize that I am not running the show." 

I would like to think this is how I feel. This is how I should feel. The more I mature, the more I should see God working in my life and trust Him with my live. The More i should realize he is "running the show" and I should one, stop worrying about things and two, not fret when things don't go my way.

I decided to pick a "word of the year" this year along with most of blog land. My word is TRUST, because this year I want to work on being more trusting. A big part of that is trusting God.

I am trying to trust God when things don't go the way I planned. I am trying to trust God when big decisions come my way. I am trying to trust God when it comes to my future. But it isn't proving very easy.

For 24 years of my life I've been a worrier. I worry about what to wear, what to say, about school and work, about packing for a trip, or cleaning and preparing for guests. I basically worry myself to the point of headache over anything outside of normal everyday life. And yet I will still try to tackle it myself without God's (or anyone's) help. It's a hard habit to break.

I want to give my worries over to God, and I want that to be my first  reaction. As soon as something potentially worrisome comes up, I try to pray about it and take the weight from my shoulders and put it on His. God encourages this. Psalm 55:22 says "Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you..." (ESV).

So yes, "The older I get, the surer I am that I'm not running the show." Consciously, I know that God runs the show, and as I get older, it gets easier to look back and see how God has worked in my life. I love the quote "It's sometimes easier to see God through the rear view mirror than the windshield." I am not sure who said it first, but there is a lot of truth to it.
It's sometimes easier to see God through the rear-view mirror than the windshield
Once upon a time, I was about to marry Pearson. I was working full time in my first post-college job for a company in Georgia. Pearson had just found out that he had been accepted to grad school at The Ohio State University and we decided we would move to Columbus after we got married. I started looking for a job here. I put up profiles on Monster.com, LinkedIn, and other places. I updated my resume to the best it could be, and I searched for anything remotely in my field.

Three months later, I still had zero bites. I was starting to get worried. I had little experience, the economy was in a recession, and nobody seemed to want to interview me if I couldn't be there physically. It was tough since I was in Georgia and wouldn't be able to see anyone in my new job till we moved there. I was so scared. What if I couldn't get a job? There is no way we could both live off of Pearson's school stipend. We couldn't rely much on family or friends to help until I found something since we wouldn't be living anywhere near them. What were we going to do?
The shirt I made after Pearson got into OSU
Then, one day, my manager called me into his office. He informed me that he didn't want to lose me and he talked to the president of the company. They were going to let me work remote from Ohio. Every day! This meant that I could stop worrying about finding a job. It meant I wouldn't have to start fresh with a company in a new place where I knew nobody. It meant I could work in my pajamas every day. And lastly, it meant I was valuable to the company! They wanted me!

What I couldn't get out of my head, though, was "What if I had landed a job in Columbus?" I probably would have told my manager no and then go blindly into this job knowing I could have kept my old one. Maybe the new job would be awful. Who knows? Or I would have had to tell my new job never mind. Talk about an awkward conversation. Looking back, I can see God's hand in not allowing me to land a job. At the time I couldn't see it, but boy do I now.

There are so many other stories like this in my life. When I was a Freshman in college, I didn't make the choir. I was crushed. But since I didn't make choir, I was able to do other things like play on the women's Ultimate Frisbee team. I met a lot of awesome people and was blessed in so many ways by that opportunity. Similarly, I didn't get into a social club my Freshman year either (I tried again and got it Sophomore year). But I met a bunch of my best friends that year. I am willing to bet that if I had gotten into a club, I wouldn't have been a part of "our group" that made up most of our wedding party later. And lastly, if Pearson and I never broke up, I might still not know the many life lessons that I learned during those 2 weeks!
I wouldn't know these awesome people! :(
See? God does run the show. Now if only I could see that in the here and now. I mean I may not always know the reasons, but I should use these examples as a means to relax and trust that God has everything under control.

How do you see God's hand when you look back on your life?
Thanks for reading!
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Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Older I Get...

You know how things seem to change when you get older? I mean sure you are more experienced and hopefully wiser from that. And you have more schooling so you gots more smarts, right? But what about everything else? My life, my attitude, the way I view things and people, and my interests all change as I get older as well. Here are a few things I've discovered have changes the older I get.
The older I get, the more I realize my parents were right.
The older I get, the more respect I have for our country's leaders.
The older I get, the more interested I am in the news.
The older I get, the more I realize that kids have it made.
The older I get, the more respect I have for our churches' leaders.
The older I get, the more interested I am in sports.
The older I get, the easier it is to say no to peer pressure.
The older I get, the more I realize how easy it is to go broke.
The older I get, the more awkward I become.
The older I get, the more I think before I speak.
The older I get, the more infatuated I am with fairy tales.
The older I get, the more thankful I am that I have been blessed with everything I need.
The older I get, the more respect I have for our schools' leaders.
The older I get, the more interested I am in politics.
The older I get, the more I realize that I am not running the show.
The older I get, the more thankful I am for the wonderful people in my life.
The older I get, the less I care about what other people think.
The older I get, the more interested I am in celebrities.

Blog // Facebook // Twitter // Bloglovin
-If a front page news article was written about you, what would the headline say? Woman Jumps in Front of Traffic to Save Turtle (I am a die hard animal lover so this is completely possible)
-What song(s) would be included in the soundtrack of your life? This is perhaps one of the hardest questions I have ever been asked. 
  ~The Rembrandts- I'll be there for you (otherwise known as the Friends theme song)
  ~Idina Menzel- Let it go
  ~Blessed- Martina McBride
  ~Paramore- Born For This
  ~Pitbull & Christina- Feel This Moment
  ~Avril- Here's to Never Growing Up
-What are you most looking forward to this Spring or Summer? June 14th I get to marry my very best friend? What could be better than that? 

Sorry for the difficult questions, Casey!
Everyone, be sure to check out these great posts!
~Why I watch The Bachelor

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Hard Way {TGBTL #14}

You guys know the Eric Church song "The Hard Way", right? As I thought about this week's TGBTL prompt over the weekend, this song was playing on repeat in my head. I thought I'd add it here so you all can join the party, too!

So if you haven't guessed, the prompt for this week's Girl Between the Lines linkup is "Share a life lesson you wish you learned earlier"

As I said, I spent a LOT of time thinking about this prompt. I thought about doing something funny. I thought about talking about my middle school days again. But finally I decided to talk about my relationship with Pearson (even though I wrote a similar post earlier this week), because this blog is supposed to be mostly about our marriage. I came up with several lessons I wish I had learned earlier. They all are kinda tied together though, so I didn't cheat too much.

The first lesson is, don't take your significant other for granted. Or anyone for that matter. There are times when I forget how lucky I am that this wonderful man chose me and continues to choose me every day. I expect him to just be there for me and don't treat him like he's very important. This was a problem we experienced in college. During our Freshman year, Pearson and I broke up for a whole two weeks! Can you believe it? But one thing I learned from that experience was that I had been taking Pearson for granted and that he could possibly not always be there in the future. I didn't realize what I had till I didn't have it anymore and it hurt.
The next lesson is that communication is so important. Your significant other, or anyone for that matter [again], cannot read your mind. As much as you think they know you or they should know about you, they cannot know what you are thinking all the time. It is simply not humanly possible. So talk. Tell them what is bothering you. Tell them what they can do differently to love you better. And listen when they talk to you as well-communication goes both ways. When Pearson and I broke up, we talked and communicated more in those two weeks than we ever had before. I think with our "blinded love" out of the equation, we were able to talk about our problems better. Sometimes, in relationships, it seems easier to just ignore issues and put on a happy face because you're in love, after all, and life couldn't get any better. This isn't helping anyone.
And going along with that, the third lesson is to speak kind words. Yes you need to tell people what is bothering you, but you can tell them kindly. I struggle with this a lot because I don't like to talk about things [this goes back to the communication issues] right off the bat. If something is bothering me, I tend to keep it bottled up inside. Then when it finally does come out, it is hard not to let it explode. I learned this throughout my relationship with Pearson. Even when we were broken up, I didn't want to hurt him. But I knew some things needed to be said so I chose my words carefully and asked for feedback.

You know, at first glance, I wish I had learned these lessons earlier. Maybe I could have avoided the pain, but thinking back on it, I'm glad I learned them the hard way. I believe Pearson and I are a better couple because of it. I think our relationship is stronger because of what it withstood in the past and I know I will not make these same mistakes again. At least not on the same scale, anyway.
Girl Between the Lines Link up
What's a life lesson you wish you learned earlier? Go link up with Lauren and Hayley!
Thanks for reading!
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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Reasons I'm Ready for Summer

You guys! I am currently typing this outside on my patio! Do you know what that means? It means it's warm enough to do that here in Ohio! Praise! I took Pip on a "long walk" this afternoon. This means we actually walked around the park that's close to our apartment instead of bundling up to step outside for just long enough for him to do his business. It was glorious!
Unfortunately, the forecast for our town currently says that by Wednesday evening it's supposed to get below freezing again and we might even get a little snow. Ugh, Ohio whether, why do you taunt me so??

Anyway, I know I've said it before, but I am so ready for this winter to be over. So ready. And that seems to be the trend right now no matter where you live. And really I could just skip over Spring and go right to Summer at this point. So I decided to allow myself to dream of Summer days (and nights- Greece anyone?) and I've compiled a list of reasons I can't wait till Summer.
  1. Laying out at the pool
  2. shorts
  3. swimsuits
  4. No more tights
  5. I can get tan (or tanner than I am now)
  6. Just being outside all the time
  7. t-shirts
  8. No more classes for Pearson (he'll still be working in the lab and getting ready for his candidacy exam, but no more classes means more time for him to do that stuff during the day)
  9. grilling out
  10. hiking
  11. tank tops
  12. no more dry skin
  13. lemonade
  14. swimming
  15. natural highlights in my hair
  16. long walks
  17. fishing
  18. awesome movies coming out
  19. camping out
  20. running and exersizing outside
  21. picnics
  22. longer days
  23. fresh fruit
  24. star gazing
  25. the beach
  26. ice cream
  27. dancing in the rain
  28. smoothies
  29. bird watching
  30. catching fireflies
Wow, I didn't think I could come up with 30 things! I wrote all these down without numbering them and when I numbered them on here, there were 30. That's a lot! Summer, please hurry up!

What are you looking forward to in Summer? Did I miss anything?
Thanks for reading!
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Monday, March 10, 2014

What Being Married to Pearson has Taught Me

Lately, I've noticed several bloggers out there in blog-land writing about how marriage or their husband changed them and what they've learned. In fact, a couple weeks ago both Amberly and Lauren wrote very similar posts just a day apart. This got me thinking about how being married to Pearson has changed me.
If I'm being honest, I really don't remember much about my life before Pearson was a large part of it. We've been a couple for almost 8 years. We started dating at 16 so I really didn't have much of a life before he came into it. Actually, that's not entirely true. I had a life. It was called softball. I played year-round, travel softball and it consumed my entire life. But that is another post for another time.

Anyway, back to what I was talking about. Marriage has certainly made my life very different. For the first time ever, Pearson and I were sharing a home, name, toothpaste, bed, bank account, bills, and mailbox. But we had been dating for 6 years before we tied the knot, so we knew a lot about each other. By the time we got married, I could hardly remember what it was like to be single. And since we had been talking about marriage for 2 and a half years, I didn't have to change much about my way of thinking or start making plans to accommodate the two of us. And besides, we had already talked a lot about the taboo topics of how to raise our children and where we were going to live.
However, since we got married, I have learned a few things. Pearson taught me to communicate what I'm feeling. Or at least he taught me that I need to share things with my other half because we are a team now and nobody can break us up. Marriage has taught me not to take my spouse for granted, how to be patient, how to choose kind words over nasty ones, and that some things aren't worth fighting over while others are. But most of all, being married to Pearson is teaching me that while the romance may fade in the future, true love, true unconditional love that you choose to show your spouse, only grows with time.
I am so excited to see where this adventure takes us in the future. I couldn't be more eager to learn how to love my husband better every day and to go through this life with a wonderful man at my side.

So what has marriage taught you?
Thanks for reading!
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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

40 Days With Jesus - A Lent Journey

I've never been big on celebrating observing Lent. I was raised in the church of Christ and we certainly don't observe it as a whole body like I believe Catholics do. I have not found Lent commanded in the bible anywhere and I know some people may believe observing something like this could be "adding to the Word." But I don't think there is anything wrong with it. In fact, I participated last year by giving up Facebook. It was hard.

I think Lent is a great chance to give something up or to do something different in your every day life for 40 days that will bring you closer to God. I am all about strengthening my relationship with the Father. And yes I know I can do this any time and should do it outside of the constraints of a 40 day period leading up to Easter, but it can honestly be hard to stay motivated without some kind of goal in mind.

So people all over the world are starting today on a journey with God to strengthen their relationship with Him, spend time in prayer and hopefully grow and continue good habits after this period is over, and I thought I would join in again.
This year I'm doing something a little bit different. Instead of giving something up for Lent, I am going to add something to my every day life. Every morning I am going to spend time in the Word with the help of my 40 Days with Jesus Journal from Naptime Diaries! If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably already know that I won this journal from a giveaway on Oak and Oats blog and I was absolutely stoked! I almost couldn't wait till today to start it!
This morning I read the first passage, Luke 2:22-38, and learned about both Simeon and Anna's hope in Jesus as their Savior even though Jesus was still just a child! That's pretty amazing especially since most of the Jews around them at that time weren't even thinking about a savior. Most people had no idea He was on earth with them at that very moment. But these two believed and had hope that he would deliver their people!

The great thing about this journal is that, while I am sure I have read that passage many times, I have never stopped and thought about it this much. Especially not in the context of "the living and real hope we have in Jesus." (Naptime Diaries' 40 Days With Jesus 1st page).

I am super excited to see where this journey takes me. I can't wait to explore that hope as well as God's call for me to be something more. I want to revisit how my life should look as I follow Him and how to bless others along the way!

Are you celebrating Lent this year? What are you doing different for 40 days?
Thanks for reading!
*Linking up with Oak and Oats blog
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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

What I'm Up To {March 2014}

Well like I said on Friday, February was a great month. But here's to moving on to March and the official first day of Spring, St. Patrick's Day, and my Grandparents' 60th anniversary!
So here's what else I'll be up to this month.

Making: I'm working on my State String art inspired by this pin. I started it a long time ago and quit for a while and have picked it back up again.
Cooking: Feta cheese chicken. This was Pearson's favorite meal growing up and I have never known how to make it, but I learned.
Drinking: Less sugary drinks. Namely flavored coffees from my Keurig
Reading: His Needs, Her Needs by Willard F. Harley, Jr. and Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
Wanting: This new Samsung Chromebook!
Playing: Candy Crush. I've fallen back into the trap.
Wishing: Spring would get here already!
Enjoying: Spending time with Jesus in the mornings before work. I'm determined to keep the habit up this time.
Waiting: For the Divergent movie to come out
Wondering: What I need to do to get invited to the Oscars. Besides getting nominated of course.
Loving: My new Radiant Orchid (not sure if they actually are but I'm sticking to it) pants
Hoping: Spring will come fast!
Needing: To see August: Osage County, Blue Jasmine, Gravity, Nebraska, and 12 Years a Slave
Smelling: Hopefully some smells of spring soon. But I'm doubtful. 
Wearing: Warm clothes. Still. Ugh.
Following: the Divergent movie!
Noticing: All the beautiful fashion on the red carpet of the Academy Awards. I've never really paid this much attention before.
Knowing: That my hubby loves me.
Feeling: Overwhelmed with work
Watching: How I Met Your Mother on Netflix
Listening to: New country hits. They're already better than last year. 
Obsessing over: Cute bathing suits all over the internet. I want summer now!
Shopping for: Fun spring clothes. 
Learning: How to better hope in Jesus, follow God, live according to His will, and bless others along the way thanks to my 40 Days with Jesus journal
Bothered by: The fact that Ohio keeps getting warm over the weekend but it can't stay that way!!
Wasting time on: Watching my box set of all 8 seasons of Full House
Praying for: My hubby who is pretty stressed and busy lately
Working on: My 40 Days With Jesus Lent journal
Looking forward to: Spending a weekend in Arkansas for my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary!
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Monday, March 3, 2014

All My Goals Seem to Involve Not Being Selfish - Marriage & Relationship Goals {Link-up}

So I haven't done so well on my goals this month. In my last marriage goals post, I talked about spending quality time and conversation with Pearson. I said I would put away technology when he was around. Fail. I also said in my 5 Love Languages post that I would try to have quality conversation with him every night. Fail. But this one isn't completely my fault.

Which brings me to my next point. Pearson has been spending a lot of hours in the lab. I mean, he comes home at 9:00 or later most nights and works on the weekends. At first, I just went with it and supported him, but it is getting harder and harder to smile and be perky while I sit at home at night watching Full House or blogging or reading by myself. It is especially frustrating when we have somewhere to go and at the last minute have to back out because he can't get away from the lab.
So I've decided for this month's goal I am going to be more compassionate about Pearson's working so much. I am going to love and support him. It's not his fault he has to stay late. He doesn't want to. He is stressed with classes, keeping up with lab work and getting a committee together for his candidacy exam so he can officially become a doctoral candidate and start his dissertation work. He doesn't need a nagging, emotional and non-supportive wife on top of all that.

So starting today, before I get mad when Pearson doesn't get home in time or feel upset when I am stuck at home by myself on a Saturday, I will step back and try to put myself in his shoes. I will stop being selfish and worrying about myself and how he's not being sensitive to my needs. I will support him, tell him how much I appreciate him and make the most of the time we do have to spend together. And most of all, I will remember how lucky I am to have him instead of dwelling on the negative.

What are your goals for you marriage or relationships this month? Be sure to link up below!
Marriage & Relationship Goals

New to the Marriage & Relationship Goals Link-up? Goals help our relationships grow stronger and get better with time as well as help us move forward and avoid the "ruts" of life. This link-up was created in hopes of inspiring your relationship with your significant other no matter your chapter in life and love. We would love for you to join us in making the things we do in our relationships intentional.  If you would like more information, click here. If you would like to sign up for the newsletter, click here. If you are interested in cohosting, click here.
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