Enduring All Things: June 2015

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What I Leaned in June

You guys! Can you believe June is almost over? Today is the last day and it's blowing my mind. Anyway, like I've done the past couple months, I'm going to recap what I learned this month because "learn" is my word of the year. So lets get started.
A lot of what I learned about God this month is stuff that I knew but I was conveniently reminded of it. Like the fact that he'll never leave or forsake His children. Or that his wisdom is more valuable than priceless gold.

I learned that Pearson may actually know more about Harry Potter than me. Shocker, I know. But that's just because he basically has a photographic memory.

I learned (or really re-learned) how much he loves Pixar movies. It really is cute. Of course, who could not love Inside Out? So good! Along the same lines, I learned that he considered "sadness" to be my dominant emotion. How sad is that? (no pun intended). But I'll share more on that and how I'm gonna fix it on Monday for my Marriage & Relationship Goals post.

I learned that I can still socialize, I just sometimes get out of practice from working from home. Sometimes I feel like I'm really awkward when I hang out with people after not hanging out with people for a long time. But what I learned is that I need things like The Music Man every once in a while to get me back into practice. It's a good feeling. :)

I also learned that I LOVE theatre. I can guarantee I'll be doing some other productions with Worthington Community Theatre in the future.

And lastly, while I already knew that I thrive in community and when I have accountability, I learned that the #GoodMorningGirls bible study is perfect for me! We're slowly moving through the bible only one chapter per day which means I can really dive deep each day. I found that all the one year bible reading plans had me reading too much each day and I felt rushed and felt like I couldn't really study what I was reading like I wanted to. With Good Morning Girls, I study each chapter completely on my own but I can read what other people think through the blog and hashtag on social media. They also have lots of optional free resources to make the study a little easier. I love it!

Other people/things:
Yoga is weird. You wouldn't think contorting your body in weird ways and just holding a position or slowly flowing from one position to another would do much. But it does! I've been so sore this month. AND I can see progress! I see specific progress in certain positions and I see general progress in how my body feels!

I am finally starting my new position in development at work. This means that this month I haven't really learned very much, but next month, I will learn a ton! July is going to be crazy with The Music Man, my in-laws coming into town, and getting used to a new work load. It will be fun though!

What have you learned this month?
Thanks for reading!
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Friday, June 26, 2015

Letters to the World {June 2015}

Today, I've written some letters like I do every month. I've come to realize that I write letters to a lot of the same "people" ever month. Looking back at past letters while I write this, I noticed I have written to the weather in some form every month since January. And this month will be no exception. I also write to TV shows a lot. But I think it's cool to look back and see what I find important enough to put in these posts. Aparently, the weather is important to me. Whether I'm complaining about winter snow or rejoicing about spring showers. So lets see what I have to say this month, shall we?
Dear Canon,
I can't believe it's been a year [today] since we lost you. I still think about you often and how you must be enjoying Heaven very much. I also think about your family and close friends and how hard this still is. You were so young. We try not to be selfish because we know you are truly in a better place and enjoying 'life' so much more now. But it's still hard. Especially today.

Dear Gilmore Girls Reunion,
Thank you for being awesome. I really wish I could have been there but I saw enough online to get me fired up about Gilmore Girls again. I'll probably start the series over on Netflix soon. (Pearson thinks I'm crazy). I really hope a movie is in the making. But I know it probably isn't. But that would be really cool, right?

Dear Rain,
Look, I love listening to you outside my window when I work. I love curling up on the couch with a book while the patio door is open to a storm. (or sitting on my grandma's back porch reading Harry Potter - one of my fondest memories). But enough is enough, amiright? I enjoy a little rain here and there, and the plants need it. I get it. But when it rains for 10 days straight, we get tired of it. And Ohio basically got nothing compared to some places. Give us a break!

Dear Music Man Cast,
Thanks for being awesome. I am enjoying every minute of working with you guys. Thanks for making this the best summer I've had in a while. I mean, of course, besides the summer I got married and honeymooned in The Bahamas. :) Next month is going to be a busy and stressful one but I'm so glad I get to work through it with you guys!

Dear New Girl,
Pearson and I have been watching through you on Netflix. I didn't really like you at first. The awkwardness and weird references bothered me. But I've grown to really enjoy you. I don't know if you got better or if I just warmed up to you. P.S. I think Jess and Nick finally getting together helped.
Dear #TheStretchProject and #YogiStrengthFoundations,
I started both of you at the beginning of this month and I could tell it was working because I am always sore. But yesterday, I had a break through! I actually got my head off the floor in wheel pose! I couldn't even think about doing that at the beginning of the month. I've still got a long way to go, but I can see progress and that gives me so much hope. So thank you! (You can follow my fitness Instagram account: @mrsmaugeri_fitness)
Dear Disney and Pixar's Inside Out,
You are awesome. A lot has been said about you on the interwebs already, so I won't say much. But you are fantastic. You took a gamble and strayed from the path of villain/hero children's movies. And you mastered it. I learned so much about the emotions in my head from you. And I hope every child who watches understands in some way.

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Thankful Thursday Party - June 2015 {link up}

I can't believe June is almost over. Today is already the last Thursday of the month! That means we're half way through 2015! How is that possible? Anyway, since it's the last Thursday, it's time for the Thankful Thursday party!

I have a lot to be thankful for this month and I think I can attribute most of it to The Music Man. If you haven't heard, I'm in a community theatre production of The Music Man and it's taking over my summer. In a good way.
I've made some pretty great friends already. Just being out and about with other fun people is such a welcomed change. Since I work from home, there are a lot of days when I actually don't see anybody except my dog and my husband when he finally gets home at night. I'm learning how to socialize again.

I've certainly gained some confidence. I had didn't think for a second that they would want me in this show. Much less, give me the part I wanted. I haven't sung in a chorus since high school and hadn't been in a musical since middle school. I get more and more confident with every rehearsal as I'm assigned extra lines and singing parts and when the director tells me she "loved my facial expression just now." Y'all, I'm eating this up.

I am certainly in my element. I've always loved musical theatre and I've always wanted to get involved. I've just always had insecurities holding me back. If you know me personally, this is probably a surprise because I am very introverted and can be shy and reserved, but I love exploring a character and pretending to be someone else for a short while. This is part of why I love Halloween so much.

So this month, I am thankful for Worthington Community Theatre's production of The Music Man.

What are you thankful for this month? Be sure to link up below!
Thanks for reading!
We have so much to be thankful for and a lot of us take that for granted. Lets change that! I bring you the #ThankfulThursdayParty linkup with Charlene @ From Bisons to Buckeyes where we can write about what we are thankful for and link up on the last Thursday of every month. I would love to have you and can't wait to see what you're thankful for in your life! 
  • If you're interested in co-hosting, please send an email to Charlenemarie11@gmail.com.
  • Also, if you aren't getting my email reminders about this link up and would like to, please let me know in the comments or send me an email for that as well.
Linkup Rules (Guidelines):
  1. Follow your host
  2. Link up your Thankful Thursday Party post, NOT your blog URL
  3. Use the hashtag #ThankfulThursdayParty when you share on social media
  4. Grab the button and display it on your blog so others can join the party
From Bisons to Buckeyes: Thankful Thursday Party

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Marriage is Forever

You know, it's been a long time since I was really close to or hung out a lot with people who have differing values and morals from me. I went to a Christian college and moved here pretty much right after graduation. Here in Ohio I work from home so I don't have a close relationship with my coworkers and all my friends are people I've met through church. That is, until this summer. I'm doing a community theatre production of The Music Man and when you spend 4 nights a week rehearsing, you get pretty close to the rest of the cast. It's sort of a weird phenomenon to me. And a lot of the others definitely think I'm strange for some of my beliefs. Whether those beliefs are completely religious, or not so much, on the surface. I wanted to tell you one story in particular today.

Scene: I was hanging out at a picnic table outside our rehearsal space with a couple other people waiting to rehearse our scenes.

Girl: *Sees my engagement/wedding rings* What! When did that happen? Wait, are you married?

Me: Yes

Girl: How old are you?

Me: 25. I've been married for almost 3 years. We got married right out of college. But we dated for 6 years before that. (why did I feel like I needed to defend myself with this extra information?)

Girl: Oh yeah I get it. You definitely knew each other. You know, I have a friend who didn't even kiss her husband before they were married. They didn't live together or anything. Like, I get it. It's religious views or whatever, but that's a big commitment. You should be completely sure.

Me: Wow. Yeah we didn't live together first, but we definitely kissed.

Boy: That's like not test driving a car before you buy it. Then again, it's not like it's forever.

Me: Wait. You mean marriage isn't forever? Yes it is!

Boy: Not these days.

Me: Well mine is.

You guys! This is what's wrong with our society. This is why marriages don't last forever anymore. Because people have attitudes like this. Ugh. It's not by chance that you stay with your first spouse forever. It's by choice. Too many people look at marriage like a gamble. They think there's a 50/50 chance that they'll either stay happy forever or get divorced.

People think "I'll stay with you as long as you never change and I'm still attracted to you and you still meet all of my needs." They live together first to test the waters and make sure it's what they really want in a spouse instead of committing to love the other person unconditionally. NO NO NO. Wrong. Wrong.
Marriage is not about me or about my husband meeting my needs. Marriage is about meeting your spouse's needs. When you vow to love one another for better or for worse, till death do you part, you're vowing to choose to love and stay with that person no matter what happens. You're vowing to love and respect him or her even when you're old and grey. Even when you don't agree on big issues. Even when you fight over stupid things. Even when life gets in the way and you feel like you've grown apart.

I agree completely that you should know for sure that the person you're marrying is someone you can love forever. But once you're married, the decision has been made and you've promised to love them forever no matter what. Don't break that promise. Unfortunately, you can't predict the future. You don't know what kind of hardships will come. And there's no use trying to test all this out by living together first. That's how people get hurt. If you slide into the next stage of a relationship (like living together) without taking the next step in commitment (marriage), things could get messy.
Marriage isn't easy. It takes work. And that's what's missing in marriages in our society today. People think that when it gets hard they can just push the eject button and get out. They can move on to the next person who they think is better. But in reality, with that attitude, no human is going to be good enough to have their love forever. You have to choose to give your love whether your spouse deserves it or not.

Don't get me wrong, marriage is so rewarding in so many ways. But you can't expect it to be perfect all the time. And when the tough times come, work on it. Honor your vow. Honor your spouse. Remember why you married him or her in the first place. And for goodness sake, don't just give up and run away.

What are your thoughts? Have you had conversations like this?
Thanks for reading.
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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pros and Cons of Blogging

Blogging is weird. Like, I sit here and write whatever I want and people all over the country read it in the internet. It's weird.

It's weird that I feel a lot closer to some people who live on the other side of the country or even the world who I've never met in person than I do some of my own family and real life friends.

It's weird that I tell stories and sometimes even pour my heart out to people I've never met. And I read the same sorts of things on other blogs from people I've never met as well.

Today I thought I'd give you some pros and cons to blogging. There are definitely good and bad things. But I love it and plan to continue blogging for the foreseeable future.
Friends/Community. The number one pro, hands down, is the blogging community and the friends I've made through this blog. These are people I now talk to every day and I feel like I know them better than almost anyone. Just like in any community, I've gravitated to bloggers who share similar values and beliefs as me. We connect through communities like Prayerful Bloggers and The Peony Project. We study together through She Reads Truth and Good Morning Girls. These women have really filled a place in my heart. Especially since I work at home all day by myself. I just can log into my computer and see what they've all been up to.

Hobby. After I graduated from college, and once I stopped planning a wedding, I didn't really have much of a hobby anymore. I had played sports all my life. And I was very involved in my social club at Harding. But once we moved here, I got a little bored. Blogging became that hobby for me. It was something that I really enjoyed and I could see myself getting better at.

Helping others. I've always been a lover and a helper. I love using any wisdom I have to help other people in any way possible. Through blogging, I can do that on such a wide scale. Even if I'm not an expert (and I'm not really an expert at anything), I can share my experience and make recommendations about a wide variety of things. That makes me so happy!
Time Consuming. Blogging takes time. Especially if you want to be "successful" at it. You have to spend time planning posts, writing posts, taking pictures, editing pictures, maintaining your blog, sharing your content on social media, interacting with your readers, answering comments and emails, reading other blogs and interacting with them. The list goes on. I think I lot of people don't realize what all goes on behind the scenes. It gets pretty busy and takes up time that I would sometimes like to spend doing other 'me' things like reading or journaling.

Pressure/Comparison. The blogging world can put a lot of pressure on you. You're pressured to publish 5 posts per week. You're pressured to share those posts on social media and in your communities and on link ups. You're pressured to get a lot of comments and social interaction and to do whatever you can to get your following numbers up. If you're not careful, you'll start comparing yourself to other bloggers. You know what they say, "comparison is the thief of joy." It's true. You'll notice you don't have as many followers as someone else or you didn't get as many comments as that girl did when you posted about the same thing. And you start to wonder why. It can be very dangerous and I have to remind myself that I'm only competing with myself and that I'm doing this because I love it.

Everyone knows more about me than I do about them. This phenomenon is sort of intriguing. Sometimes people will come up to me at church and ask me about something that I hardly ever talk about with anybody outside of the blog or Pearson. For example, when I was watching Gilmore Girls people would ask me how far I've gotten and stuff when I never remembered talking about it with them before. And then I sometimes feel bad that I don't know this kind of thing about them.

All in all though, I love blogging. The pros certainly outweigh the cons.
What pros or cons would you add to my list?
Thanks for reading!
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Friday, June 19, 2015

5 Things You Probably Don't Know About Me

I almost never buy anything full price. Seriously Plato's Closet is my favorite store. And I recently discovered 599fasion.com! Brilliant. I owe Samantha a lot for introducing me a little while ago!

I love to read and journal but I never seem to have time. I feel like I'm making excuses but really, especially since I started rehearsals for The Music Man I don't have much time. I use my lunch breaks for yoga and bible study. Then I have about an hour and a half after work (if I stop working right at 5 which doesn't happen much any more) before rehearsal with which I get ready, make dinner and eat dinner. And by the time I get home from rehearsal around 10 I am super tired and usually just watch TV with Pearson.

I am a worrier. I worry about everything under the sun. I'm getting better because living with someone who is totally the opposite of me in this has kind of made me change. But it's still a problem. I worry about what to wear way too much. I always think I'm going to forget something on a trip. I worry what people will think of me. And that's not always as selfish as it sounds. I don't want to hurt people. I worry about what I say too much sometimes because I care about them.

I need a lot of sleep. I don't know why but I'm just one of those people. I always have been. In high school I couldn't not sleep on the bus on the way to school and I couldn't not buy a cherry coke to take with me to first period. In college, if I woke up for my first class, I always had coffee. And now on Saturdays, I still sleep in till 12 or 1. It's kinda embarrassing but I can't help it. And I'm kinda worried about when I have a baby one day...

I've had a really hard time thinking of things you don't know because I feel like I put a lot of this stuff on my blog. Here is my about me tag. Here is a "24 Things You May Not Know About Me" post I did for my birthday last year.

What are some things I don't know about you? Tell me in the comments. Or better yet, go link up with Helene.
Thanks for reading!
Helene in Between
Linking up with Helene for You Probably Don't Know
THE GOOD LIFE BLOG  Bright on a Budget
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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Peony Project - Fellowship

One of the hardest things about moving on to a new stage in life is finding fellowship. My brother and a bunch of his friends just graduated from college and I feel for them. It's hard to find friends and people to do things with, even in the church, when you've been used to living on campus and spending every waking moment with people your age with similar interests and values as you.

When we moved here, making friends and filling the need in my heart for fellowship was the toughest part. I remember crying, thinking I would never have friends here. I thought we would never fit in with people at church and never be feel comfortable doing anything with them outside of church services.

I know this happens to a lot of people because I've talked to friends who went through the same thing after graduating form college and/or moving away from family and friends. But it could also happen because other people move, or your friends seem to "move on" in life without you.

I have a feeling it will happen again soon when all of the married friends we've made here start having children. We plan to wait till Pearson is out of school. I fear that the other couples will start having babies and they will be too busy for us. It's not their fault. Babies take up a lot of time and energy. Besides, we will start to have less and less in common with them.

But the thing is, if you want fellowship to happen, you have to make it happen. You can't wait for someone else to ask you to get some coffee, or have a bible study, or go to Ceder Point with them. If you want it, make it happen. Put yourself out there and meet new people at your new church. Make it a point to go visit the new parents and just sit and talk. Invite people to your house for game nights. I know, easier said than done, right?

I don't have the type of personality for that. But Pearson seems to. The only problem is fellowship doesn't seem to be as pressing to him as it is to me. Well, maybe that's not the right way to say it. He just doesn't miss it. It could be because I just crave deep relationships and men are typically more comfortable with surface-deep relationships where you just talk about football (I got this from His Needs, Her Needs by Willard F Harvey - I'm not making it up). It could be because he sees people in his lab every day and has friends at work while I work from home and the only interaction I have is with my dog.

Anyway, we've been very lucky with the church home we found here. It was difficult at first, but once we started putting ourselves out there, they took us in completely. And I know as life goes on and people have kids or move away or whatever changes might happen, we'll just have to make fellowship a priority and make it happen ourselves.

How do you foster fellowship in these situations?
Thanks for reading!

Linking up with Laura Jean and Madison for June's Peony Project prompt.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Find Ways to Serve Your Husband

his picture has nothing to do with this post but it's almost summer and I want to be back there right now.
It's no secret around here Pearson works really late most week nights. You should also know that he has the cheapest parking pass on campus, meaning he parks way out on west campus and has to take a bus to his building. Well in the summer time, when school is technically out, the buses stop running around 7 PM (during the school year they run 24/7). 

So when he works late, he doesn't get to ride the bus back to his car. He was going to by a closer parking pass just for the summer but he missed the deadline to upgrade by one day. Usually he can catch a ride with someone in his lab who is also staying late and who parks closer, but sometimes he just has to walk.

The other day, he called me after a very long and frustrating day and said "Can you come pick me up and take me to my car?" And you know what? I didn't even hesitate. Later, however I realized it was kind of a big sacrifice. I drove all the way to his building (about a 20 minute drive). Picked him up and drove him over to his car and then had to drive the 20 minutes home again. But you know what? I didn't care.

After I picked him up and we drove over to his car, we actually sat in my car and talked for a while. Then we decided to go to Steak-n-Shake (one of my Dearest Delights). I was so glad I went to pick him up!

Lately I've also been picking him up and going to dinner in the evenings. Since he has to stay late, and I have Music Man rehearsals most week nights starting at 7, it's sometimes the only time we can see each other. I either pick him up and we go out then I bring him back to his building before heading to rehearsal, or I bring a picnic type dinner and we eat at a picnic table right outside his building. It's certainly out of my way, but I love that time together.

Last year when Pearson got a flat tire and realized his car wasn't equipped with the tools to change it, I reluctantly drove out to where he was stranded to bring him the tools and help change the tire. The whole event ended up turning a stinky Monday into a fun spontaneous date night!

I say all this to say, find ways to serve your husband! Try not to be grumpy and complain. Instead show you care and make the best of sticky situations. I'm not saying you can't ever say no when he asks a favor. Or that you always have to drop everything to help him. But try to serve him as often as you can. I promise he will feel so loved and you will get something out of it too!

Here are some other great ideas to serve your husband!
Do you have any stories like this? Have you relunctantly helped your husband out and ended up being glad you did it?
Thanks for reading!

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tell Me About Your Town - Claim to Fame

This month's Tell Me About Your Town prompt is "Claim to Fame"...

I don't know of very many famous celebrities form Columbus (besides athletes). But I do know that Josh Radnor (Ted from HIMYM) is from here. And Dwight Yoakam! I grew up with his niece and now I go to church with his mother!
Josh Radnor // Dwight Yoakam
However, my "hometown" Atlanta claims celebrities galore! I put Atlanta in quotes because, while I always say I'm form Atlanta, in reality I lived about 45 minutes to an hour from downtown. But that's how Atlanta works. The metropolitan area is huge.

Anyway, lets see... Some of my favorite famous people that Atlanta can claim are Martin Luther King Jr., Tyler Perry, Julia Roberts, Ryan Seacrest, Ted Turner, Whitney Houston, Usher, Elton John, Jeff Foxworthy, Dakota and Elle Fanning... This list could go on.
The Walking Dead // Pres. Snow's mansion from The Hunger Games AKA the historic Swan House in Buckhead
Not only are there lots of famous people from Atlanta, the city also hosts filming of all kinds. Of course, you've got The Walking Dead, but also The Vampire Diaries, parts of The Hunger Games, Captain America: Civil War, Ant Man and many more lesser known movies and shows. I don't know what it is about Atlanta, but I guess it's a good place for filming.

So today I most definitely claim Atlanta for "Tell Me About Your Town!"
What's your town's claim to fame? Go link up with Amanda!
Amanda Moments
Linking up with Amanda for Tell Me About Your Town
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Monday, June 15, 2015

A Dino-mite Weekend

This weekend was pretty great. We didn't have a whole lot planned, but Pearson didn't go into work Saturday or Sunday so we took it easy and played it by ear. I thought I'd give you a little recap in numbers.
4 - Dinosaur movies watched. (We watched the original 3 before seeing the new one on Sunday)
2 - New friends met (One of Pearson's co-workers and her husband)
12 - Doughnuts consumed (between the two of us and over 2 days)
3 - Scoops of ice cream consumed (between the two of us)
25 - Dollars spent at Target (that's pretty good!)
Lots - Hours of sleep.
6 - Kids taught in Sunday School
1 - Best-friend's baby I finally got to meet!
10 - Minutes of trying on costumes for The Music Man
40 - Minutes of New Girl watched

How was your weekend?
Thanks for reading!

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Friday, June 12, 2015

Dearest Delights

A couple weeks ago, Cara of MaskCara wrote a post about Pet Peeves & Dearest Delights. She made a fantastic point about how if you asked someone what is something they don't like, they'd probably say something that nobody likes. But if you ask them a pet peeve, they start to get specific and unashamedly give unique answers. It's so true!

Cara also said that she thinks there should be a good version of a pet peeve. Like something you really like that's unique to you. She calls them "Dearest Delights."

I really like hearing about people's pet peeves because because it's a fun way to get to know a little more about them. How much more fun would dearest delights be?

So I thought I'd share some of mine!
Not setting an alarm for Saturday morning! Oh it's the best. I love going to bed on Fridays and remembering that I don't have to turn on the alarm. Even if I don't sleep in very long in the morning, it's great to get up when I want to and my body is ready instead of being bullied by a loud alarm! I love waking up slowly, getting a cup of coffee and reading the Bible as I come to reality and get ready for the day ahead. (this doesn't happen on days when I have to get up for work)

Pictures of new dads with their new babies. Oh they just melt my heart! Men with puppies comes in a close second. But there's just something about that moment when a man is seems raw and vunerable because he's showing his pure, unconditional, love and admiration for his child.

Late night Steak-n-Shake runs. These probably happen far too often than they should. I'm sure our health and our bank account both suffer because of them.

Being able to talk to my husband about anything and everything under the sun! I'm not gonna elaborate too much here but let's just say, it could get deep in our conversations or be very shallow and sort of weird and gross.

Thunderstorms. I feel like I've talked about them a lot on here before, but they're just so mezmorizing. I love watching them and feeling God's awesome power. I love reading during them on a covered deck or porch. And I especially love falling asleep or waking up to the sounds.

Road trips with Pearson and WITHOUT music! You probably think I'm crazy, right? But this is when we get a lot of great quality conversation in. At least, when we're not playing the celebrity game or singing a capella versions of pop songs that came out in our high school/college days at the top of our lungs!

So those are my dearest delights!
Do you agree with any of them? Tell me some of yours! I want to learn about you!
Thanks for reading!

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Feminist or Not?

I've never really identified as a feminist. However, if someone were to ask me directly, I would say that yes I am a feminist. I would say this simply because I am a woman and I believe women should be treated equal to men in society.

However, the other day somebody posted an article on Facebook about Mark Ruffalo standing against an anti-feminist movement. I was intrigued at first because hello? Mark Ruffalo. But I was later intrigued because "Women Against Feminism?" That's a thing?

As I read through the Women Against Feminism Facebook and Tumblr accounts, I started to realize that I agree with some of the stuff they are saying. So now I'm really not sure if I'm a feminist or not. I don't feel very comfortable stating whether I am or not because I am not sure what exactly "feminism" is these days. I sort of know what it's supposed to be. And I have an idea of what society makes it out to be. But I'm not so sure true feminism really is those things.
So I decided I would just tell you all what I believe. Some of these may seem "feminist" and some may not. But that's me. So let's get started.

I believe in gender equality.

I do not believe in putting men down in the name of feminism.

I do not believe that I am a victim.

I do not believe that all men are pigs and I am not scared of them. I may be scared to go out by myself at night in a dark, sketchy part of town because of the reputation of the area, not because of the reputation of men in general.

I do not believe that I am entitled because I am a woman. I don't believe I should demand respect because I am a woman. I believe I should earn respect and I take responsibility for my actions.

I do not believe that most men still identify as the stronger gender in all areas.

I do not believe in placing all men under the same chauvinistic umbrella.

I believe in equal rights for men and women. I believe I should have the right to vote, own property and receive wages equal to men. I believe marital rape, domestic violence, and workplace harassment should be considered crimes. I am very grateful for the feminists of the past who helped make these things possible in the United States.

I believe women in other parts of the world (and some still in The States) do not have the above rights and I am completely supportive of the changes that need to happen.

I do not believe men and women were created the same. We are different. That's a fact. There are things (such as bearing a child) that one gender can do and the other can't. And I don't believe God makes mistakes. I think He made men and women different for a reason. Perhaps to fill different roles. If he thought our genders should be the same in every way, he would have only created one gender.

I believe men and women should be equal in society even if they aren't the same in every other way.

I do not believe that women must act feminine and that men must act masculine, but I believe they can if they want to and are comfortable with it. I believe that the social norms surrounding these stereotypes have no place. However, I also believe that we should not go so far in the other direction that we begin to oppress women who want to be feminine and men who want to be masculine.

I believe that women superheros can be just as awesome as men superheros. I believe more of the women from the comics should start showing up in our mainstream superhero movies and TV shows these days. And I especially believe if a woman does a really awesome stunt in a superhero movie, toys should be made of her doing that stunt! She should not be replaced by her male counterpart in the action figures! (Here's a cute little video about the issue).

Update: Pearson and I went to target after Captain America: Civil War came out and I was pleasantly surprised at the presence of a variety of Black Widow paraphernalia. But guess who was missing... Scarlet Witch. I guess we're going to have to fight this one character at a time...

I believe being a working woman in the business world, and being a homemaker are both valid choices (among many other choices out there). I believe each woman should be able to choose what she wants to do and should not feel pressured, shamed, or oppressed by men or feminists to do one or the other.

I believe most women can pull off a gorgeous gown on the red carpet, but I also believe most women are intelligent, hard working, and determined (just like most men). I believe that these things are more important than their looks and should be discussed as well.

I believe that if women want to respect themselves and their husbands, they should dress modestly. However, I also believe that modesty looks different for different women. I do not believe that it is women's responsibility to keep men from stumbling, but I do believe that if most women knew how hard it was for men, they wouldn't want to dress immodestly anyway.

I believe that the modesty issue is and should be more about not wanting to bring attention of any kind to yourself (1 Peter 3:3-4). We (men and women) should care more about our inside beauty than how we look on the outside. Though that's much easier said than done. Why do we care so much about the way we look (myself included)?

I believe women should be able to keep their own last name in marriage but I also believe they should be able to take their husband's if they want. It's their choice and nobody else's.

I believe that abortion, at any stage of the pregnancy, and under any circumstance, is murder and is wrong.

I believe in my biblical role as a wife. I believe unconditional love and respect should be given by both partners in a marriage.

I believe that a marriage relationship should reflect the relationship of Jesus to the church. Jesus is the head of the church. He loves her so much that he sacrificed everything. He gave his life. And because of that love, the church submits to His authority because we know He has our best interest at heart. It's the same in marriage. I personally believe that while submitting to my husband can be hard, he actually has the more difficult job of loving me and sacrificing himself for me like Jesus does and did for the church. (Ephesians 5: 22-33)

I believe that I have a say in all our decisions as a couple and I am equal to him in every way. However, if there is a major thing that we really don't agree on, I submit to his authority because I trust him and I love and respect him. And I know he only has my best interest at heart. (Here's a pretty cool illustration of this). Submitting to him is tough sometimes but I believe having two heads in our marriage would be even more difficult. We each have our own equally important role in the marriage.

Having said this, I believe that women do not need to be in submission to all men, all the time. I believe when the bible talks about women submitting to men, it usually means only wives submitting to their own husbands (the greek word used for women in these passages could also mean wives). I believe other passages (like 1 Corinthians 11) are simply speaking on the tradition of the time. I believe the only passage that speaks of women submitting to men in general is in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 where it talks specifically about the worship assembly. And I believe the reason for this is to help keep order in corporate worship.

So what do you think? Am I a feminist? 

If you have any questions about why I believe any of the above (especially things I backed up with scripture toward the end), please ask in the comments or email me at charlenemarie11@gmail.com and I will be glad to explain further. I just ask that you are respectful, please.

Thanks for reading!
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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

5 Phrases Your Husband Needs to Hear Regularly

You know something? It is really easy to neglect our husbands. Isn't it? Sometimes we get caught up in our routines, we get comfortable with being married, we start to take our other half for granted, and we forget to communicate.

Right? Or am I the only one who does this? Well I sure hope not.

Just in case I'm not the only one, I thought I'd share 5 phrases you should say to your husband often so he doesn't forget how you feel about him even when life gets super busy or we fall into a rut.
ONE || I love you. This one is probably a no-brainer, but it's so important. Pearson says "I love you" to me all the time. He says it out of the blue, when we wake up, when he leaves for work, when we hang up the phone, before we go to bed. All the time. I find myself always putting "too" at the end of the phrase, because he says it first and I reciprocate. I'm working on being the one to say it first more often.

TWO || I am proud of you. Nothing puts a little pep in your man's step like knowing he's doing right by you. Those 5 words really can do wonders! Tell him often, so he doesn't forget. And don't just say it, show it. Brag about him to your friends!

THREE || Thank you. Sometimes we forget to thank our men for doing the little things. Maybe it's because we expect him to do them. Maybe it's because he does them all the time and we're just used to it. But say thank you when he takes out the trash, complements you, and wakes up and goes to work in the morning. Go out of your way to find things to thank him for. And most of all, thank him for being yours!

FOUR || You are handsome. You know we women like being told we look good, but men like it too. Tell him all the time, but especially if he's dressed up real nice for a special occasion, or if he's wearing something new, or if he just got a hair cut or trimmed his beard. Really, you can't say it too much. He should never have to wonder if you still find him attractive.

FIVE || I'm glad I married you. This may be the most important of all. When we go through the day to day life, we sometimes fight and get frustrated with each other. Sometimes life is strained when we don't get to spend quality time together or we're extra stressed with work. Make sure your husband knows that you have no regretts in this department. Tell him you're glad you said "I do" however long ago it was and you wouldn't have it any other way.

Do you ever forget to say some of these things to your husband? I know I'm guilty! What is a phrase you would add to my list?
Thanks for reading!
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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Book Review: Little Women

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. The classic story of 4 American sisters living in the mid 1800's. I'm sure most of you have read it. And if not, you've most definitely heard of it.
Growing up I was never too interested in Little Women. It wasn't that I was averted to the book, I just never sought it out. However, it was brought to my attention again earlier this year when Joey read it on F*R*I*E*N*D*S. I still didn't seek it out but, it was always in the back of my mind. Then one Saturday while Pearson was working and I was running errands, I decided to check out the Village Bookshop. I LOVED the bookshop but that's another story. I saw a brand new paperback of Little Women for only $3. I grabbed it and started reading it that day!
I love stories set in the 1800's so it really is a wonder that I hadn't read it before this. I often think I was born in the wrong time period. Of course, there are many things I would not like about the 19th century... But I crave the simplicity of life, the innocence of society, the proper language, and the emphasis on morals and family.

It's no secret that I love Pride & Prejudice. Unfortunately, that is the only work of Jane Austen that I have read. But there's something about Little Women that was more enjoyable to me. It was totally different. There was more of an emphasis on love and less on money. There was more playing and less sitting proper and reading. There was hard work. There was bubbling friendships. There was tragedy. Something about it just seemed so much more relatable.
I think this is due partly to the fact that it was set about 50 years later than Pride & Prejudice, but I think it was more due to the fact that it was set in America instead of England. Little Women embodies the American Girl. These girls were down to earth. They worked to make her own way in the world. They didn't need a husband, but it was a nice and welcomed addition.

Each of the girls have their own unique personality and desires. But they all love each other dearly and simply want to do what's right for themselves and their family.

If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. It's not as scary as it may seem to begin with. I can't wait to get my hands on Little Men and Jo's Boys!

Have you read Little Women? What did you think?
Thanks for reading!
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Friday, June 5, 2015

Father's Day Gift Ideas: Minted

 I received a Minted gift card in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.

You know something that I really love? Community. I love seeing people come together and support each other in whatever the community is all about. I love the accountability it can bring and I love how connected you feel to others.
I enjoy my local communities of Dublin and Columbus. I cherish the community that my church family provides. I adore the Harding University community and the Harding Young Alumni community. I love the blogging community and the Blogilates community.

I even admire communities that I'm not a part of. I just enjoy seeing people support each other. Especially if it is in a competitive setting. Minted is one of those communities. It's a community and marketplace for independent artists. And you know I enjoy supporting small businesses! Some off the stuff on the site is just beautiful!
Some of my favorite pieces form Minted: Georgia on My Mind || Atlanta Map || Zebra From Above
I am seriously awestruck at some of the creativity and talent displayed on their website and blog. They have everything you can think of from customized art and father's day gifts, to wedding stationery and foil map art! It's all so beautiful! I personally love the journals (If you know me, I'm sure that's not surprising).
Just a few of my favorite journals from Minted.
You know what else I really love? My dad. But it's so hard to shop for father's day, am I right? It's no longer cute to make something tacky for him to put in his office, and I don't have kids to do that for him yet either. I remember making clay paperclip holders among other random things that I was so proud of. And yet, I still want to get him something personal and perhaps personalized because he is unique. Generic father's day gifts are no fun and even if he needs it, I don't want to get him a boring tie or dress shirt, you know?
How cute is this shape of Georgia with pictures of my dad in it!
So again, I am so glad I found minted because they have some of the cutest personalizeable gifts and cards for father's day. I actually think this Georgia state print is pretty cool and creative! I was just playing around so I may find some better pictures to use, but I love the look and the idea for Father's Day.

They also have some of the cutest and most unique personalizable greeting cards! So cleaver!
However, my favorite is the below card because it is perfect for my situation. I'm married and moved out but I don't have kids yet or anything so this is perfect, personal, and sentimental.
Yes that is me and my dad.
Be sure to check out some of the great, creative art and stationery on Minted. I guarantee they have something for everybody!

What ideas do you have for Father's Day gifts?
Thanks for reading!
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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What I'm Up To {June 2015}

Happy June, again. I'm so excited for summer! I just hope it gets here when it's supposed to. The temperatures have been in the 50s this week and I am sick of it. But enough of that, lets take a look at what I'll be up to this month!
Cooking: Healthy crock-pot meals
Drinking: Flavored Sparkling Water. It's delicious!
Reading: Percy Jackson: The Last Olympian
Wanting: To find another show as good as Gilmore Girls and Friends. Any suggestions?
Looking: A little tan thanks to a couple days a the pool and hiking at Highbanks
Playing: Solitaire
Wishing: It would stay nice and warm. The first two days of June were actually pretty chilly.
Enjoying: Summer
Waiting: Patiently for Candace Cameron Bure's new book, Dancing Through Life
Liking: That Eddie Redmayne will be in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Wondering: Where the Spring/Summer weather went in Columbus
Loving: The Music Man rehearsals!
Needing: Accountability to keep up with my goals.
Smelling: A yummy pineapple scented candle that I stole from my mom last time I was home.
Wearing: Lots of athletic clothes for The Music Man choreography
Following: Lots of fitness accounts with my new Instagram fitness account
Knowing: I am flawed and that is OK. Everybody is.
Feeling: A little sore. Probably a combination of dancing and yoga
Watching: BBC's Pride & Prejudice miniseries on Hulu!
Listening to: My Broadway Playlist again
Obsessing over: Fuller House!!! Everybody but the Olsen Twins are in board now. I can certainly live with that!
Shopping for: Some new, cute, but modest workout clothes to get me excited for working out.
Learning: All this
Bothered by: The fact that even though it was Black Widow who did the awesome motor cycle stunt in Avengers: Age of Ultron. the toys they made of the motorcycle have Captain America on them because Black Widow is a woman. I thought we were way past this stuff in society. But apparently not.
Wasting time on: Netflix, Hulu, and Youtube
Praying for: My good blog--friend Jessy's father in law. He's 
Working on: A better and more organized blog calendar
Looking forward to: Going to Cedar Point in a few weeks!

What are you up to this month?
Thanks for reading!
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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Personal Goals for June

Alrighty, it's time to share my personal goals for this month. I really did not do too well last month and I've discovered (as I said on Friday) that I need accountability for motivation. So for this month, I've added a few forms of accountability. Lets take a look!
I did not do well on this last month. And I feel like that's been a recurring problem. So I'm finally doing something about it and I got some accountability (besides the husband). Jessy from The Artsy Cajun and I have decided to be accountability partners. We are going to keep each other accountable in a lot of areas, but mostly our spiritual lives. I am super excited about this and I really hope it helps! So this month, I am going to continue reading the One Year Bible and my goal is to read every day in June! Hopefully it will happen with Jessy checking in!

I've also slacked in the exercise and healthy eating area this month. I did some pool running quite a bit, but when it was too cold or rainy for that, I just didn't do anything. Work also got really busy so I lost my lunch breaks for a while and then The Music Man rehearsal's started and I didn't want to tire myself out during the day before going to auditions and rehearsals.

And that brings me to this month's goal. On days when I know we're doing choreography for The Music Man, I am not going to worry about cardio. But the rest of the time, on weekends especially, I am going to work something in. Like last month, I'm not going to confine myself to just running though. I gotta keep it fun.

I'm also doing three yoga/stretch challenges on Instagram. Apparently these fitness Instagram challenges are all the rage right now and instructors give out daily prizes and all that fun stuff. So because of these challenges and because I learned that I need accountability, I decided to create an Instagram account solely for my fitness journey, @mrsmaugeri_fitness. Come follow if you're so inclined!

And lastly, for healthy eating, I will record EVERYTHING on My Fitness Pal. No more cheeting and not putting things on there. If it goes in my mouth, it goes in the diary. Follow me on there too if you want! I could always use more accountability!

Last month my goal was to finish Little Women and one other book. Well technically, I succeeded. I finished Little Women last Wednesday and I picked Percy Jackson: The Battle of the Labyrinth again. I was about half way through it when I stopped last time. I finished it on Saturday and I am actually pretty eager to go ahead and read the last one immediately. I've been slowly reading the Percy Jackson series in between other books for the last year or so and have just not been that into them. But this time I'm actually reading them back to back.

Anyway, so for June I will read all of Percy Jackson: The Last Olympian and I will finish a second book. I'm not sure what I will read next but it will probably be non-fiction. I need to catch up on those since I resolved to read 15 books this year and 5 of them have to be non-fiction.

So what are your goals for this month?
Thanks for reading!
Linking up with Andrea for My Monthly Goals
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Monday, June 1, 2015

More Weekly Date Nights - Marriage & Relationship Goals {link up}

Happy June, everyone! Can you believe it's June? I sure can't! The beginning of June means a lot of things, but today is all about new Marriage Goals!

Last month, my main goal for my marriage was to go on an intentional date with my husband every week. And guess what, we did it! I set up rules, and for the most part, we followed those rules. So lets take a moment to look at those dates, shall we?
  • At the beginning of the month, we saw Age of Ultron. In fact, we saw it twice in one weekend.
  • The next weekend, we were in Searcy for my brother's graduation. I count the entire weekend as a date because we were constantly together and having fun with family and friends.
  • The next Saturday, we watched Pitch Perfect on DVD before heading to the theater for Pitch Perfect 2
  • Then, on Memorial Day Weekend, we bought a car and hiked the trails at Highbanks Metro Park.
  • And just this past Saturday, we went to the Village Bookshop. We thought about doing the Bookstore Scavenger hunt, but we decided to just explore because it was Pearson's first time there. Afterwords, we went to Jeni's because they've reopened after the listeria crises! Yay!
This month, I'd like to continue the intentional date nights. This may be a little tough because I have The Music Man rehearsals on week nights, but I still think we can do it. The dates must be intentional. Anything we would do anyway, like running errands or eating dinner, doesn't count. The dates must be planned ahead of time and they must happen outside of the our apartment.

Another goal I want to add this month is that I am not going to micro-manage Pearson. I don't think I do this that often. At least not out loud. But I've noticed a little in the past few weeks that I sometimes ask him to do something and get really mad when he doesn't do it exactly like I would have and I criticize every little thing he does in my head. Hello? He's a different person from me. He does things differently. And who am I to say my way is always better? Also, I'm not his mother. It's not my job to gripe at him to do things a certain way. I should be thankful he wants to help or he's willing to do something for me!

So those are my goals for June; weekly intentional date nights and no micro-managing/criticizing my husband!

What are your goals this month? Be sure to link up below!
Thanks for reading!
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 to continue moving 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.

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