Friday, September 20, 2013

Oh The Love...

Hello All! 
Happy Friday!

This week has felt super long.... just like last week did. I hope this isn't becoming a pattern. I'm 36 weeks and 3 days pregnant, and now that I'm down to the wire, I do not need my weeks/days/hours/minutes/or seconds dragging. At least until my little Addy finally decides to come out. Then it can slow back down. But until then, can we keep it moving, please!?!

Anyways, this week I've been....tired. That's pretty much it. I've been tired on top of tired. I've only been working half days, and every day I would go home and take a nap, only to go back to bed with my husband by 10 o'clock each night. Anything beyond cooking supper has been a trial for me. I digress. 

Yesterday my mom and I were talking on the way to my sister's house about love and affection in marriage. My parents have been married 30 years (31 years this November), and I when I'm visiting at their house I'm still having to remind them that "hello I'm in the room... you can stop groping each other now".  We all laugh and make funny jokes and innuendos (yes even my dad and mom). We are all pretty open. 

The truth is, though, I love knowing that after thirty years my parents still show that kind of affection, whether we are there or not. I remember growing up, riding in the car, and watching my dad reach over and take my mom's hand, or vice versa. I remember my daddy coming in from work, saying hello to her and giving her a kiss. I remember times where he'd tickle her, making her scream and laugh so hard until she was out of breath. 

As we were talking about love and affection, I made the statement that I thought it was good for me and my brother and sister to see that growing up, to see our parents still in love and affectionate towards each other. And I'm not talking about that overwhelming emotion you have when you are first together and every moment feels like you are walking on air. I'm talking about true love...

The love that has you snuggling closer to your husband, even when the two of you have felt distant.
The love that has your husband still kissing you years later the way he did when you were dating. 
The love the makes you want to give or do for that person just to make their day a little better.
The love that has you forgiving through the hurt.
The love that is still there after arguments and aggravation.
The love that is still there two, ten, or thirty years after marriage.
The love that is still there after your kids are grown and gone.

This kind of love comes with another component called commitment. 

I'm pretty sure since my mid-teens, my mom has spoken to me about the word commitment on several occasions, admitting that she didn't always "feel" the love for my daddy, but the commitment she made to him held them through those times. I've seen the days where I could have sworn they would bite each other's heads off fo real! And then the next day he was coming up behind her in the kitchen and wrapping his arms around her. 

I felt sad when my husband and I, about a year into our marriage, began losing that "overwhelming love" as life intruded. I see now it was a slow fade, and I hated when it happened. It made me feel like I'd lost him or that I was losing him. The truth is we were being brought out of something that would never last,  and into the beginning of something, that with work, would last a lifetime. 

Change is never easy, especially not in your relationship with your spouse. But the truth is you will go through changes in life that will put a strain on your relationship. You won't feel close, you won't feel that overwhelming emotion, you will go to bed without getting or giving a kiss goodnight, or even touching. However, I am finding that it is through these changes that love doesn't always come in overwhelming waves of passion. Sometimes love comes in subtle ripples. 

You know what is significant about those subtle ripples... is that it starts out from something small... and grows. 

Like when I'm sitting on the couch beside him massaging his legs because they are sore from being on them all day, and all he does is look at me and I see his love and thanks in his eyes...and all because I'm doing something so small as massaging his legs without him even having to ask. 

Like when I walk into the house after being out and he has washed the dishes and cleaned off the table so that I wouldn't have to when I got home. 

Like when he gets up and goes to work (a job he isn't liking and where he works with a bunch of but heads), when I know he'd rather just not. But he does it for us, and it reminds me of one of the reasons I fell in love with him. 

Like when we are laying in the bed, snuggled up beside each other, and begin walking down memory lane... Our first kiss (the best first kiss I'd ever had), the first time we went out (Which gave us our mutual love for Despicable Me), when he poked me with a fork at rally (his idea of flirting, and I loved it), the first time we traveled to his parents together, the day we got married, our honeymoon, our first fight and how we both apologized afterwards and held onto each other.

It is in these moments where God imperceptibly drops small pebbles of feeling and commitment into our hearts. The ripples from those pebbles form and grow, bringing back that more subtle, but nonetheless, overwhelming love, reminding you all over again why you committed yourself to that person to begin with.

I may not have been the most beautiful of choices or the smartest.
I may not have been the one with the best personality or the best singer.
But my husband fell in love and committed himself to me.
I don't want to ever take that for granted.

In 30 years...
When the years have aged us,
When we are watching our children have children,
When the world around us has completely changed and evolved,
When our memories may be blurred, but not forgotten,
that my husband and I still feel those ripples and fall in love with each other all over again.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Oh, Fall, Where Art Thou?

Welcome Monday morning....*note sarcasm*

Who really welcomes Monday morning? I am still all for skipping Monday and going directly to Wednesday. Unfortunately, no one is listening to me. Go fig! 

I'm pretty sure that I left over half of me still in the bed at home. The other half, or maybe quarter, of me is sitting here trying to make sense of the world with my sleep-fogged mind. One thing that is coming in loud and clear, though..... I am sick of the heat. And being pregnant. And being pregnant in the heat. 

I'm looking forward to the day where I can hold my little girl in low sixty, upper fifty degree weather. It is pretty sad when you actually start checking the ten day forecast to see if we are going to be hitting anything cool soon in Florida. 

The good news:
We will be hitting high-mid sixties for a low. 

The bad news:
We will still be in the high's of upper eighties and low ninties. 


Now that it is getting so close to fall, I'm ready to start decorating. For a moment (more like a millisecond), I thought I'd wait and start decorating when it cooled down. Then I laughed at myself. I would be skipping decorations for fall and decorating for Christmas if I was to do that. So I nipped that in the bud. I thought I might start decorating within the next week or so. Since my budget is limited I've been looking up some cheaper DIY fall decor Ideas, and figured I would share. Gotta love pinterest! :)

Hope it lifts your spirits like it did mine in this icky hot weather!!
 Keep Calm and FALL in Love! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Still Learning at 24

Sorry for my absence. The past week I just haven't felt like writing, as much as I love it. I've been pretty blank, going through a lot mentally, emotionally, and obviously, physically. Pregnancy is no joke. I've also been going through a lot of spiritual things as well. So, needless to say, my desire to do...well anything really, has been pretty below par.

I'm realizing today that I'm never too old to learn things or in some cases re-learn them. I feel like God is doing a lot of that with me lately. I'm having to recondition myself to things I've known all of my life, that I grew up knowing and have just lacked applying them... and God is showing me new things about myself, forcing me to go through things I've never had to go through before.

The old cliche that "an old dog can't learn new tricks" is a lie. At 24 years old (which isn't all that old, really, but old enough to have a few experiences), I'm still learning and re-learning. I'm still having to bite the bullet, to lay down my pride in some matters, and to learn to apply all of those oh so simple words we grew up with to myself and my life.

Here are a few things that God has been teaching and re-teaching me...

#1. I cannot make it without him.

This should be a given. I know this. I grew up being taught that I could try to live life without him, but that when it comes down to true peace, true joy, true love, true happiness, I need him. I have probably felt my loneliest since I've been pregnant. I know that sounds weird, and I don't believe I've told anyone that yet, but it's the truth. I'm going through  physical changes that I know other people have gone through. I'm going through the relationship changes I know others have gone through. I'm going from working to being a stay at home mommy as others have done.... And yet I have never felt more utterly insecure, anxious, worried, weary, uncertain.... you get the idea. I look for the assurances from my husband, my mother and father, my sister... and as nice as they sound they can't give me what I truly need. I have to remember that no matter what, as long as I put God first, he has my back. He will take care of me and my husband. He will take care of our uncertain future. He will take care of my baby girl.

...for, lo, I am with you alway, even until the end of the world.
Matthew 28:20

#2. I have to let things go

As mentioned above, I am about to face an uncertainty I've never faced before. A stay at home mommy? Me? Yeah, I never thought I would be that, much less DESIRE to be that. People change, though. Their desires and circumstances change. So now I'll be quitting work to stay at home and take care of our little princess. I'm thrilled to be able to do that. However, now I'm facing being totally dependent on my husband. Since we've been married, we've both worked. We've both had incomes coming in. While I've been somewhat dependent on him for the main bills, I've still had my piece of independence with the little bit of money I made. Now we are facing living on one income. I honestly have no idea how this is going to work. I have internally debated again and again if this was the right thing, was this our only option, are we doing the right thing. I've been worrying and fretting and punching figures. I've been looking into and learning how to better save on groceries, diapers, anything really. I've even been doing my research on how to coupon, since I've never really been big into it. However, God is once again revealing to me, that I just have to let go. As mentioned above, if I continue to put him first in all things, he'll work it out. It may not be when or how I want it. It may not come as I thought it should. But he will work it out. I just need to let go and let him do his thing. It is a hard thing to do for someone who likes to know the how and when and why, but I'm just going to have to keep working at it... otherwise I'll be grey by the time I turn 25.

#3. Acceptance

I could have tied this into number 2, but I felt like in some ways, to me, it is separate, maybe because it stems from more personal issues. I am learning to accept things as they are. I'm learning to accept others as they are. I'm learning to accept situations as they are. And I'm learning to accept myself, as I am. I have to accept that I will never look like Miss America or be that perfect house-wife. I have to accept that people won't always do or act or be who I think they should. I have to accept that there are things that are going to happen that are going to hurt me, that I'm not going to like, and really I'm not going to know how to deal with at first or how to react to it. But I have to accept that it came and that it is over. This is another hard one for me. When things come at me, it almost feels like there is an instant replay going on in my head, from what happened to the way it made me feel. I will literally lay awake in bed for hours (as I did last night) and my mind just goes over and over and over until finally I am just too tired and fall asleep. Then I wake up the next morning feeling the after affects of whatever happened plus the lack of sleep. I've got to learn to accept that I can't change what happens. I can't change people. I can't change who I am and what I look like (essentially). I have to accept that what is...simply is.

#4. Forgiveness

I'm not sure which is harder... Asking Forgiveness or Granting it.
 There are times where it is easy to forgive people for something that they have done that has intentionally or unintentionally hurt you. Yet the hurt can leave scars. I'm not talking about abuse and physical wounds. There is damage that is done when someone hurts another that no one can see, but God. It leaves confusion. It leaves questions. It leaves anger and bitterness. How do you have the desire to forgive, and yet still feel all of the emotions that person's actions left you with?

I honestly don't have an answer to that question. What I do know is that forgiveness is necessary, not just for the other person, but for you as well. If you never try to forgive then...
One: It leaves you without Forgiveness. For how can you be forgiven if you can't give forgiveness?
Two: It leaves you without peace and will carry the hurt like a weight on your shoulders.

God never said that if you forgive you won't ever feel the hurt again. I don't read that in my Bible. However, I do believe that in time the hurt fades and the acceptance comes, which brings true forgiveness. One just has to remember the following:

-You are just as human as the person that hurt you
So in other words, you aren't perfect.

- You will eventually need forgiveness for something
because you are human (see above)

-You can't look for forgiveness if you have never given it
It kind of goes back to that "give and you shall receive thing".
I think that is something God took seriously.

I'm being pretty transparent on a public blogging site, and the reason for that is I hope that you realize that you are never to old to learn something new and you should not stop trying to learn things that are beneficial to you. God may be trying to teach you some of the things he is teaching me. My advice... let him. For he wants nothing but good for you. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Any Advice?

I remember when I first started meal-planning after I got married. It started out as bi-weekly planning to fit Wade's bi-weekly paycheck's (since I only got paid once a month), and then went to weekly planning when my work switched to bi-weekly payrolls. It ended up falling on the opposite week of my husband getting paid. It made things easier, as far as the planning goes, to just plan dinners and lunches for the week and go get what we need. Though, the hassle of going grocery shopping weekly gets old, I still loved  the easiness of weekly planning.

You can say I'm a bit of an oddball. Once I got the hang of planning meals out and such, and forming grocery lists, I ended up learning to enjoy it. I loved the feeling knowing that I had a "flexible" plan of meals, and thanks to the planning I would know that when I went grocery shopping I would have everything down on the list that I needed. I wouldn't have to worry about not having some ingredient to make a specific meal, because I'd already planned for it.

However, since we are about to be living on one income, a dramatic cut in money, I'm trying to figure out a new strategy to my meal planning, which I think to be even more important now that we will be budgeting for everything. So do we now go back to bi-weekly, since he still gets paid that way? Do we plan monthly? I'm not sure what is the best way to go. Planning monthly seems so intimidating. I'm not a very good "guesser". I don't like to guess. I like to "know"! What happens if I guess on buying this much bread to last us the month, and it doesn't?

I know it isn't the end of the world, and I know a lot of it is trial and error, learning to see how fast each family goes through different food items. 

I need advice. Do you do monthly meal plans? How much do you budget for food and household items? What is the best way to plan for the month? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Slacker Much?

Yep that's me... a slacker. 

I totally slacked last week on my blogging. It was just one of those weeks, where I had no motivation to do anything, and when I say anything, I mean ANY-THING! Only two days our of an entire week did I work on things that needed to be done at home; Tuesday and Saturday. That was it. Otherwise I was sleeping, going to church, or laying on the couch waiting until it was a decent time to go to sleep (like at least after 9 o'clock). 

I'm still lacking a lot of motivation. It is getting harder and harder to get up to go to work, to not want to lay down and sleep on the floor while I'm at work, and to not go to bed as soon as I get home or do nothing the entire night until I can go to bed. 

The exciting thing is... that with each slacker day I have that goes by, the closer I get until I have my little Appleseed, who feels more like a bowling ball now. I can't wait to have her in my arms! 

With that said, here is a little glimpse from my baby shower that my Mommy and Sister threw for me the weekend before last...

I loved how my mom and sister incorporated Addison's very first nickname, "Appleseed", into the the decor and food! They had an Apple Bar, with Apple slices, melted milk and white chocolate, caramel, peanuts, coconut...etc. It was so cute! I loved the mason jars with the chevron straws and my totally awesome "preggo" cake! The top right picture were all the pregnant gal's at my shower...yes that made five pregnant woman, though I actually know quite a few more who are pregnant as well... 

I had the best time and was truly blessed by all the people who showed up and gave such wonderful gifts! I wanted to take a picture of a lot of things to share with you guys, but there was so many things that I decided against it! Though I will show you the picture I have of my diaper bag from my Memaw!

Yes.... it is a Vera Bradley Diaper bag. And sadly it is the only Vera Bradley thing I own, other than a VB wallet that I paid $10 for at a consignment shop. My memaw gave me a gift card to The Grey Fox to go pick out a VB diaper bag that I liked. I truly have the best grandparents. There was enough on the card to get me the diaper bag and a hair tools travel case! The bonus is.... once Addy doesn't need this anymore I can so use it for an overnight bag or whatever myself! :)

My dad made me laugh when he said he couldn't wait to see Wade carrying that thing HA-HA! My husband then decided that he would carry Addison and I could carry the diaper bag. Oh men... gotta love them! 

To continue on the baby theme of my slacker post (makes a lot of sense right? lol)... Our Maternity pictures are this Saturday! I'm so excited and have been wracking my brain and scouring google and Pinterest for ideas. My cousin, Erin (also pregnant and who done my Wedding pictures) will be coming back into town to do them at the same place Wade and I got married ... Shiloh Farms.

So anyways....that's been the last few weeks and a precursor to my coming up weekend! I know I'm a slacker at the moment, but I have promised myself to try and do better... somehow I need to self-motivate. Not sure how at the moment, but I'm working on it! Hope you guys have a happy Tuesday! :)