Life in Pictures. With some words.

We’ve been shopping a lot lately. With the holidays coming up and Brian working on his latest fixer upper, we’ve been making a lot of trips to the city for supplies. (I feel like 78% of our relationship has been spent at Menards. Lol.)

img_4502

img_4505-1

And at our trip to Costco, I made him try on coats for this winter. I married a man who hates being cold as much as he dislikes large amounts of clothes on him. Thus, coat shopping is tricky. And he married a woman who has a slight obsession with coats – rain coats, pea coats, wool coats, quilted coats, coats with fur, coats with designs…all coats. Lol.

img_4493

And after making our rounds, we treated ourselves to a little shared milkshake :)

img_4537

Thanksgiving morning I decorated our first little tree while Brian went to fix a sink at his renters. I have never watched Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and I didn’t finish it then, but I did start it that morning. Our house is coming along!

fullsizerender-14

And yesterday we headed to the city to go Black Friday shopping after I got off of work. We decided a few weeks ago that we weren’t going to buy Christmas gifts for each other and try to save our money to get our vehicles winterized, but Brian surprised me that evening and said we could sneak out a bit and see if there was a deal we couldn’t live without. So of course I headed to Kohls! I’m very proud of myself – as the Black Friday signs flashed in my face and the incentives reached out of the aisles and practically grabbed my arms – I walked out of there with a reasonable amount of goodies in my arms and Brian felt accomplished in getting a good deal on an item he’s been wanting for over a year.

img_4528

When Top Gear ended, Brian was pretty distraught. Thankfully, The Grand Tour started up on Amazon with our favorite British characters and we have a fantastic time on Friday nights watching the show. I’m also a little focused on NBC’s Timeless. I feel like most TV shows encompass Brian and I’s relationship : the bookish girl who barely can carry on a normal sentence without contributing random trivia partnered with the athletic, good looking guy who has to learn to work with her.

img_4580

As I was getting ready for work this week, I took a look in the mirror and realized I may have a problem with plaid. Haha. Sounds about right! (And you get a good look at our makeshift closet and pile of shoes…you’re welcome. Lol.)

Happy Thanksgiving!

FullSizeRender (13).jpg

To be honest, this past year was one for the books. Our family went through so many changes in the past few months alone, I think we can agree that 2017 better be a little calmer. Lol.

We love two members of the family this year, my cousin Elijah a month before our wedding and my uncle Rob about a month after. And smack dab in the middle I was in the throws of planning a wedding. And then, after two months, I felt like a new woman. I had a new name. I had a new house, new life, new town, and now a new job. Looking back, it feels as if I blinked my eyes and everything had changed.

And with the holidays, I am very aware of everything. I am aware of my memories with my parents, I am aware of my new life with my husband. I am aware of those around me and how their lives affect mine. I am aware of money, insurance, vehicles, and things my single self merely thought of in passing. I am aware of every moment and how I need to make it count. Time is flying by me and I feel like it’s slipping through my fingers!

I am also learning. I’m learning how to enjoy the moment, no matter how fast it’s going! Just a day ago we were saying our vows, blissfully focused on one another. We’re still focused on each other, but now we look just past our beloved in order to keep them safe, well feed, and healthy. My mind in now consumed by the daily necessities that I often forget to be thankful for each thing that passes through my hands. Car keys – I have a vehicle that runs, well most of the time. Haha. Fabric – we have clothes to wear. Towels – we have a place to keep ourselves clean. EVERYTHING is something to be thankful for. An irritated customer’s voice on the other end of the telephone lets me know that I’m still employed and have a job! Haha!

Every now and then I am subdued by the idea that I’m not working in a museum in a big city, eagerly uncovering an ancient mystery. Heck, the history and genealogy department of a library would be good enough for me. But when I feel my face droop with delayed expectation, I simply have to reach over and brush Brian’s hand to remember all that I have to be thankful for.

Simple tip: If you’re blue or saddened by something you feel you should have or think you deserve, look around and see what you do have. Family, friends, a roof, food, transportation, safety, health, imagination, dreams, etc. Gratitude is the way to happiness unlike any other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graduation Day!

graduation-4

Back in September, my parents, husband, and I drove out to New Jersey for the grand celebration of the graduating class of 2016. Since my alma mater, Thomas Edison State University is an online university, the average age of the graduates was 36, I believe. It is a school that allows higher education not founded on the expected experiences of college or university. TESU offers freedom to learn at your own pace, in your own time, and with options for a better outcome! And considering finances and location, online college was the perfect fit for my lifestyle.

So…early on September 23rd we shoved out and made it to the East Cost that evening. (On the way, we stopped and had lunch somewhere in Pennsylvania or Ohio). After an Italian dinner that left only one person satisfied, we rested at the hotel. I sort of freaked out for a bit, but everyone else was pretty calm. Ha! 

The morning of was rainy and somewhat chilly, but by the end of the day it was a beautiful breeze and sunshine.

We had arrived at 9:45 in the morning for me attend the Awards Ceremony that preceded the Commencement Ceremony, and after walking across the stage and saying my new name into the microphone, my two gold chords (for my GPA) were draped over my neck and I walked down to my seat, legs somewhat shaky and mind extremely aware that I was going to have to do that again at the next ceremony. 

Then came the actual commencement ceremony, which, after a few long speeches, presented me with my pseudo diploma and I walked back down the stage and sat as I watched people from all different walks of life reach this ending in their collegiate journey. It was humbling to see how hard everyone worked – through deployment, unemployment, children, family issues, and health problems.

That night we drove to the Atlantic Ocean at the Jersey Shore and enjoyed a half hour or so playing on the beach until dinner. It was so beautiful and calm, sweeping me back to the possible sight of people before me who had looked at that horizon with such a range of thoughts and lives. It’s moments like that, that bring me a little closer to the past that are mesmerizing.

It was a trip I’ll never forget and I give thanks to God everyday that I was able to pursue a passion – something I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to go after. While that might not be at the forefront due to recent life changes, I can still look back and say that I went after a dream.

The First 100 Days

fullsizerender-14

We’ve been married for 100 days today! Time has flown by since the day we said our vows before our guests and went to bed under one roof, finally husband and wife. I can still remember the peace that I felt when we didn’t have to drive to separate homes or make our journey back through the dark for a half hour. We finally went to parties together and we went to church in one car. We feel asleep on the couch to find ourselves waking up to the other rummaging around in the basement or kitchen. (Oh the joy in small things.)

We’ve dealt with bats and mice, no heat and no air conditioning, unemployment, road trips, poison ivy and illness, death, weddings, graduations, birthdays, and much more in this short amount of time.

And then, two weeks ago, I started my new job as a bank teller in a small town nearby. It’s been the first time that we’ve been apart the majority of the day since we’ve been married and it’s been an adjustment. We’ve had to face the grueling task of getting up and separating for almost nine hours before coming back home to do chores and snuggle for a bit before going to bed and doing it all over again. But then the joy comes when I see him walk through the door after working on his rental houses or he jumps off the couch to greet me when I drag my feet past the threshold. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Some things I’ve learned in 100 days…

I snore apparently.

I also get smacked in the face while I sleep by my husband but I don’t wake up.

I steal the covers.

I refuse to let Brian take any of my food off of my plate, claiming that I will eat it all, then proceed to beg him to eat the rest when I’m full.

I turn lights on and forget to turn them off…which is weird because I was the one that turned out the lights at my parents.

I won’t eat bacon unless it’s cold.

My body temperature fluctuates a lot during the day.

I lock all of the doors all of the time.

I’m the one with the lead foot.

I’m more emotional now that I’m married.

I don’t actually know how to relax.

He will leave a mess until the end of a project- I clean as I go.

He likes to experiment with his food – I usually stick to what I know.

He doesn’t nap during the day.

He can fix almost anything.

He would walk around the house in the dark without ever turning on a light.

But the greatest thing I’ve learned so far is how great of a man I married.

He’s gentle, patient, soft spoken, kind, honest, fair, thoughtful, intelligent, sweet, and genuine. He’s quicker to ask for advice and learn from others than I have ever been and his goofiness makes everyday an adventure. He’s not perfect by any means; I know his flaws as much as I know his strengths. And he knows mine…oh boy does he know mine ;)

I’m so grateful to have found my person so young and to have experienced so much with him already….

Married Life.

IMG_6985

(PC: simplyvintagegirl.com)

I’ve been married for 27 days.

While I was preparing for marriage being wonderful, I didn’t realize it would be this calming. I know that whatever happens, I have my best friend with me. No matter how stressed or irritated I get, there is someone right beside me who vowed to stick with me.

When I wake up in the morning, I am warmed by his feet touching mine, making sure I’m still right there beside him. At breakfast I get to start my morning by seeing the man I love at the table, sleepily eating his breakfast. Leaving him is not the best, but being apart makes me more anxious to get back to him.

When I get home, he’s either waiting for me, or I get to prepare the house for his arrival. It’s the newness of everything that makes my heart skip a beat. Things others might not notice. Like, chopping celery. Folding his clothes and matching his socks. I enjoy making our house a home. Feminists would balk at this picture, but there’s a strength in homemaking and femininity that they gloss over – SACRIFICE.  I thought I was easy going and a joy to live with, yet, being with someone 24/7 shows me just how selfish I am and how much I insist that things be done my way, simply because I want them to.

However, in 1 Corinthians 13:5 we read, “Love does not insist on its own way.”

Yet I do. I insist that the curtains be open. I insist that the fans be on. I insist that the pillows lay like this. I insist that the laundry be done like that. Nothing that really matters or bears any weight on anything except that it’s how I want them done. But if I step back and were to see Brian acting this way, I would see someone who was not looking sacrificially at their spouse. (Quite the contrary, he is the most compassionate and patient man I know). So, I learn. And I grow.

So far marriage has been a blast! But in our short time of this new chapter, we have learned how much understanding and patience goes into a loving, warm relationship.

I thank God we are aware of the right and wrong way to work at marriage – I simply pray the ability to see it through to the end.

Engaged.

IMG_5609 IMG_5611

Yep, I’m engaged!

My wonderful boyfriend of 10 months asked me to be his wife and I agreed. I haven’t the slightest hesitation about sticking with this man through the good and bad times. I know his heart and he knows mine.

Our wedding is in 58 days at the gardens where he proposed. A lot of people congratulate on us for going ahead and just pushing forward while others seem to be determined to let us know that two months isn’t enough time to plan a wedding, no matter what we want. Lol. I just look at those people and smile.

So…with my last day of college officially behind me, I have a new goal that lies before me in the form of MARRIAGE. It’s like a dream. And I’m going to chase it, catch it, and hold fast for the rest of my life.

PC: My talented cousin Emily (simplyvintagegirl.com)

 

The Things I Love.

FullSizeRender-11

  1. You walk with your feet turned out and you fall heavy on your heel. While it is quite loud, I always know where you’re at.
  2. Your nose is adorable – the perfect size. It wrinkles when you think something is truly funny.
  3. Your steadiness. As I toss and turn on the sea of emotions, you are the anchor which keeps me from getting lost.
  4. As a big brother to 8, you know how to tease but with me you are gentle.
  5. You reach for my hand first and you always want to hold my hand in the truck.
  6. On our first date you let me pick the music and then knew the words to my absolute favourite song.
  7. Your adventurous spirit. I’ve never met someone quite willing to experience the rush. You are my adrenaline junkie.
  8. Your vision. You are always looking to try the next thing, to change the way things have been done, to think outside the box, and to shirk the system.
  9. Your size. To others you aren’t the tallest person but to me you are the perfect height.
  10. Your voice. I love listening to you speak – your cadence is light like a cloud and your tone is one of the most pleasant sounds on earth.
  11. Your confidence.
  12. Your eyes are almost the color of the sea and just as a changing.
  13. Your uncanny knack to learn things so easily – you could change the word with your mind.
  14. Your passion for engines and racing. While I didn’t grow up doing those things, your persisting love of machines is wonderful to me. To see your eyes light up when you experience a new car or a bike…
  15. Your joy. I am a pretty light hearted and easy going gal and you keep right up with me, babe. We make a great team!