the monthly heart purge.

today was one of those days that makes you feel good, simply because you were semi-productive.

I have been doing what I like to call the “half-pack” for about a month now. If you are moving in the near future then let me tell you, it’s a great excuse to give your husband when you don’t feel like cleaning, organizing, or being neat at all. When I was in middle school to early high school my bedroom was a disaster area. When I hit 11th grade and started grasping at control over everything in my life my room suddenly became tidy to a fault. This continued throughout college and my early marriage (since it has only been one year this refers to the first half). The combination of life getting busier, and me relaxing into who I really am has produced a shocking discovery- I like to appear neat, but in actuality, I am not. If my home looks organized and is clean, I am perfectly happy. This, however, does not apply to my closets- which results in what Brent has so fondly titled, “the monthly closet purge.” Today was the big day, I emptied out piles of stuff, discovered clothing I forgot I had, packed a box full of things I don’t wear (closet sale coming soon?) and began to organize in preparation for the real packing to begin.

Ironically this discovery about the way I keep a home reflects perfectly on my personality. I do not have life all together, not one little bit. But I have always loved to appear as if my life is picture perfect, only allowing glimpses that are beautifully packaged to show. As long as it looks good on the outside, who cares what is hiding in the closets of my heart. It is something I’ve become more and more aware of, especially in trying to keep up honest communication in my marriage. More often then I would like Brent and I are happy for weeks at a time, and then “the monthly heart purge” has to happen because I wasn’t fully communicating for fear of rocking the boat or creating conflict.

So here is a glimpse at my very messy bedroom, as a gesture of sharing my imperfect life. I am continuing to press forward in sharing my true heart, not just what I want people to realize of me!
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marriage.

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This afternoon and evening were spent celebrating two wonderful people becoming one. Joshua Tucker, one of Brent’s closest friends and longtime roommate married the girl of his dreams, and it was so sweet. Josh & Kelly are relaxed, laid back, and love their family and friends, all of which was evident in this beautiful wedding.

Today took me back a year, to when Brent & I said we do. In the moments leading up to our big day, I was slightly overwhelmed, busy arguing with my fiancee over (in retrospect) nothing, and expending all of my energy trying not to be stressed.

If only I knew where the future would lead us. How in just one tiny year so much could change. How we would face bigger decisions, more intense fights, the most challenging moments, and a deep love that only two people so committed could feel.

Looking up at my husband in the wedding party brought tears to my eyes. He beamed back at me and my heart felt so full.

This year has not been easy. I was naive to think that marriage would be.

But the Lord has carried me to places that I never could have dreamed, and He continues to, with Brent by my side.13_Katie&Brent_1542

Let Todays Be Our Somedays

This week has been perfect.

And the exciting thing is, it’s not done yet!

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Yesterday Brent and I celebrated our ONE YEAR anniversary! I can hardly believe it has been one year already, and we have been enjoying the most relaxing time at our favorite beach, Ocean Grove, New Jersey. In fact, right now my sweet husband is sacrifically watching Sports Center so that I can spend some time in our cozy room writin this blog… (or is it the other way around?).

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I love talking about memories dating back to 11th grade, like when I pretended I needed help with literature homework and “couldn’t text about it anymore,” a scheme to make “my future husband” call me. Another favorite was our senior missions trip to Latvia, when Brent participated in an interpretive dance. Enough said. I was nearly in tears as he retold that story, and have randomly laughed in public since then as I’ve pictured that scene.

More recent memories include the time Brent ran a half marathon with me, absolutely no training under his belt. Anything in the name of love. Or the time that he didn’t like the gift I got him on our first Christmas…and then I burst into tears…(now we’re getting more recent, and more vulnerable!)

I love talking about things like the highlights and challenges of marriage that we’ve experienced in the past 12 months, mainly how selfless we’ve both had to be, yet how fun sleepovers with your best friend really are.

Besides reminiscing our past, one of my favorite things to do with Brent is dream. We dream of the future, his love for business, my ideas for decor in our someday home, which beach house we’d buy if we had a million bucks, and what we’ll name our kids. I love that, to Brent, every empty lot holds potential and every abandoned house can be restored. He is a visionary and it causes me to think outside the box, not in want, but inspiration and creativity.

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Tonight I was thinking of where we’ve been and where we are now. I was thinking of my little sister, and how we just dropped her off at Eastern University this past weekend. She has a blank canvas ahead of her, four years at a gorgeous school, making new friends and deciding what she wants to do with her life. When we dropped her off I found myself envious of this new adventure she’s on (half of that may be her close proximity to Trader Joe’s, but I won’t confirm…) 😉

Then I thought back to myself in that moment, graduating senior trying to figure out what to do with life. In that moment all I wanted was to be done with school, to meet a nice guy, to know I was marrying him, and to not have to figure out my life. I was pretty concerned with the future, and high school seemed like a safe option to re-enter, while college seemed like a great option to skip.

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It’s so easy to look back and think how easy life was. Or to look to the future…how fun life will be.

Why is the moment never enough?

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I knew I had to write, nothing long or in depth, just some memories, some thoughts, and the phrase that has been playing in my brain all evening.

There’s always a someday…

but what if  that day is today?

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{Carolyn & her new home ❤ }

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{a couple snapshots of our week so far}

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xoxo K + B

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Monday Inspiration

 

 

 What’s on my mind this beautiful day…

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This weekend my mother-in-law surprised me with the most enormous bouquet of flowers ever.

Not many things bring me joy like fresh flowers do, and I had so many I created multiple arrangements with more to share!

My current favs are hydrangeas and garden roses. I’ve never loved roses but those pastel pinks totally inspire me.

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Saturday we got to celebrate the marriage of one of the sweetest girls I know and a member of my Wednesday night dinner club!

Court & Nathan’s wedding had the most elegant and laid back style, and there were so many friends to spend time with. It was the perfect night!

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Yesterday Brent and I went on a countryside run near his parents home.

We ran 5.5 miles, which totally shocked and excited me because I’ve definitely being feeling a little “out of shape.”

I’m so thankful for a husband who loves me enough to slow down to my pace and stick with me on runs like that one.

The weather was truly beautiful and I loved coming home to see the evening light shine through the trees onto the brick wall of our apartment.

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We ended the weekend with a delicious fresh & local dinner, (recipe compliments of Martha Stuart herself) and watching the World Cup with friends. (Although I couldn’t really tell you much about the game since Amber and I took a walk that lasted for it’s entirety haha!)

Lately I’m learning to see the beauty in little things, and to truly enjoy moments for what they are. Our days are hardly perfect, but I find that when I focus on the pieces that I love I can cultivate thankfullness within my own heart and that of my husband, and those around me.

So here’s a recipe for you to try as you begin your week-

I really do love Martha Stewart…

A quote to inspire you-

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And a post to help you remember that Mondays aren’t so bad when you’re counting your blessings 🙂

LOVE YOU ALL!

(and sorry for the awful iPhone pics. Maybe I’ll get a camera someday!)

xoxo Katie

A Vow to Be Selfless

Two weekends ago we were at the wedding of some more dear friends of ours. (I may or may not start off every blog from now until December with this phrase. Like seriously, we’ve got one tomorrow. I’m in heaven.)

Anyway, we had the privilege of sitting next to an awesome couple who I have gotten to know through Brent’s family. Paul & Anita Keagy of JoyShop Ministries are just amazing, and you should definitely check out Anita’s story!

As we were waiting for the wedding to begin, Anita turned to me and asked how marriage was going (as is often the question when you’re almost a year in and don’t have kids to talk about 😉 ) I said great and smiled and talked about how much I just love marriage and adore Brent and blah blah blah and she goes, Marriage is hard isn’t it? I kind of looked at her and was like, “Well yea, it is…” and she continued, When you’re so used to looking out for yourself, and then you’ve got another person to work with, it just shows how selfish you are. I thought about what she was saying, and immediately my thoughts jumped to the evening before, when we were laying in bed, all settled in and the little dresser fan was perfectly positioned toward my face- Brent goes “Can you turn the fan towards me a little?” I, of course, responded in model wife fashion.

 “I don’t wanna turn the fan towards you, I’m hot. And I definitely don’t want to get out of bed to do it when you have two legs and can do it yourself.”

Contradictory to my words, I then slouched out of bed and made the 1/2 step journey to reach the fan (I really didn’t even need to get out of bed to do this difficult task), moved the fan an inch to the right, AND survived in the process. Pretty good right?

If it wasn’t obvious to you before this story, I am guessing it is very obvious now that I

a) am a drama queen

and

b) could win an award for my selfless attitude as a wife, and just a human being in general.

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But seriously- Selflessness is an area I find myself really struggling in when it comes to my relationships, and it is totally amplified in my marriage. It is easy to put your best face on for lots of people, but when it comes to your full-time roommate it gets a tad bit tedious.

“You need to ration those fresh strawberries to last our whole week of groceries.” (but I can eat them all if I’m hungry enough)

“UM, did you just drink the last of the filtered water? That was mine.” (as if we are experiencing a major drought here in downtown Lancaster.)

“That is not the movie had in mind…” (but I literally said in my vows we wouldn’t always watch chick-flicks)

or my current fav:

“Why don’t you wash your own baseball pants?”

(I made this comment right before a church softball game when Brent realized he had to wear dirty pants. We got there and I literally hear someone go, oh wow-that guy has already slid and they’re only warming up. he’s pretty intense.)

Nope, he just has a wife who didn’t wash his pants.

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As you can see, I have identified my “area with room to grow” for the week, or maybe for life. Marriage is fun and beautiful and I love it, but I’m also really bad at being a selfless person. By nature I care a lot about me, but my heart is to care for others, and totally to care for my husband. It takes a very conscious decision on my part to say yes I will go get you a glass of water or, yes I will make mashed potatoes which I don’t like or, fine I will watch that movie with fast cars and lots of explosions.

But I chose Brent on August 18, 2013, and when I gave him my heart on that day I promised to give him my heart again and again. To choose him over and over- I verbally stated I would make steak when I wanted vegetables, that I would watch action when I wanted comedy. I promised, and as my vows are being put to the test each day, I am realizing the conscious decision it takes love, to forgive, to choose selflessness.

Again, and again, and again.

{forever}

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Happy 9 Months of Memories

This weekend has been all about love. Brent and I kicked off the wedding season by witnessing our beautiful friends Travis & Kristin say i do on a perfect Saturday evening. All I kept saying was, love this, love this, I love this. On the way home I asked Brent what his favorite part of the wedding was, and follwed with, “Did you know I just love weddings?” I was met with, “Well if I didn’t know before tonight, I definitely do now.”

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Today I celebrated the marriage of our sweet friends, Chad & Kate, through their perfect bridal shower at Commonwealth on Queen. Just more opportunity for me to gush over details and talk about Kitchen Aids and bridal bouquets (two topics that I enjoy a little too much). You can only imagine how close my head will be to exploding when my own sisters start getting engaged.

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Today also marks exactly nine months since Brent & I said we do and chose each other forever. I realized, as I listened to the words shared at last nights wedding, how much that committment meant. As I listened to the promises made, and thought back to our own vows and promises, the reality hit me- marriage is no picnic, those promises are no small feat to accomplish. At the same time, I have adored this almost year of marriage, and am humbled to be Brent’s wife, to love him, and to keep my promises to the best of my ability.

At 5 months Brent & I blogged the things we’d learned so far. Tonight I want to share some of the things I love most about my husband. In honor of 9 months, and remembering how lucky I am.

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-I cherish our evenings, whether watching a favorite “together show” (currently 24) or reading seperately but still together. I love the moments as we’re falling asleep, me talking and talking and talking and talking… unaware that he has been sleeping for an hour.

-I love when I’m crying, sometimes with purpose, sometimes for no reason at all, and Brent fakes a sad face and starts “crying” with me. And then I start to laugh. (or dramatically sigh and pout, which only makes him laugh harder).

-I will admit to the fact that half the times we run together I get mad because he is pushing me to run faster (which is really what I’m begging for) so I try to run ahead- only to result in a sprinting match.

-One of the things I appreciate most about Brent is his humor. He is weird. And I laugh at him all the time. When he’s imitating me he gives me these weird voices that only he can do, when he’s in a super good mood he sings so loud the neighbors hear him, and when he’s working out he likes techno music. He laughs at my (often pathetic) jokes, and takes me very “seriously” at times when I’m being dramatic, only to be followed by a dry comment that brings me back to reality.

-I married a super talented chef, not even kidding. His love Food Network and fresh, quality ingredients makes for fun weekends and delicious meals. He is also oddly talented at cutting fruit (I have his mama to thank for that). I promise, his fruit salads do not disappoint.

-Brent has diligently, throughout our marriage so far, agreed not to encroach on my spaces. By this I mean, he does not open the door to my closet and openly judge me for the disorganized mess he sees. He is super organized. I on the other hand, the primary driver of our car and caretaker of our home, am only organized in places people can see. Do not open drawers, do not look under the bed, do not ask me for a ride, and stay away from my closet.

-Brent loves me well. He is a romantic, and he takes note of what I enjoy. He writes me letters, shares my passion for good food, knows my obsession with fresh flowers, and appreciates (when in the mood) my love for shopping, big cities, new people and frozen yogurt.

-Brent’s got style. He puts up with my clothing drama in part cause he gets it, but also cause he’s just really nice like that. I love his fashion sense, and he has picked some of the cutest stuff I have, for real.

-I love that Brent talks things through. I realize more and more that he isn’t naturally a verbal processer, but when it comes to me needing advice, needing to work something out, or us disagreeing he has grown so much in that. As evidenced by my many tales of drama and imperfection, we have our share of disagreements. I feel blessed with a husband who leads me in working through them, and getting to the root of the issue (as opposed to my potential for emotional blow-ups). Brent is steady, and I love him for it.

-No one knows me like my husband. Not only did we go through some of the worst times in my life together, graduate high school together, and date on numerous occasions in the past five years, he makes an effort to know me. He invests in me, in what I love, he affirms me, he cherishes me.

He challenges me to be myself.

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Nine months seems short and long all at once. Nine months flew, and I have already met challenges I’ve never faced, and felt parts of this journey I never imagined. I guess you could say that this love and wedding centered weekend made me reminiscent.

It made me realize not only how much I love love, but how loved I am.

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let me take a selfie.”

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Told you Brent’s got style.

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Most handsome date I ever had ❤

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No fruit salads today, but he did create this. #YUM

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A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Our Less-Than-Perfect Life

I dedicate this post to the random five months we have been married. (Not six, or a year, but five). 

Today I have a guest writer. Brent Hostetter has agreed to sit down with me and give his input on our lives over the past five months (It’s only fair that, if he thinks i’m embellishing anything which of course I never do, he add his own perspective).

So today, from the hearts of Brent & Katie Hostetter, I give you-

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Our Less-Than-Perfect Life

(*Disclaimer* While these aspects of our lives may fit us as a couple, they don’t describe everyone, and that is perfectly ok (you’re probably better off that way 🙂 )

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Let’s begin with my perspective (As the more experienced writer on this team, I get to go first. And as the girl too.)

1. The difference between 1-ply and 2-ply toilet paper. Because there is one, and it is crucial to some people’s comfort and happiness. 

2. Men don’t like leftovers. Or to make it less of a generalization, a lot of men don’t prefer leftovers. (But we’re getting there. I’ve found that the old saying “Lasagna is always better the next day” really does apply in this situation. Is that an old saying?)

3. A dinner without meat is not an acceptable dinner. Period.

4. When I want to have a calendar meeting, I need to first guarantee that Brent is fully fed and hydrated. And in an excellent mood prior. 

5. Discount gorcery stores are NOT as appealing to men as they are to women… (“You got that where? Is it stale or something?”) Please note***This also applies to Trader Joe’s, which did not impress Brent when I dragged him an hour to grocery shop. 

6. Along the same lines, Brent will buy the first thing he sees. I will search seven stores and ten websites for the best deal before I end up buying the first thing I see. 

7. When there is a good opportunity to buy food, packing lunch is never an option (Think day trip to Philly with a lunch box in my purse.)

8. Talking during a movie, sports game, or anything else projected on a TV screen? Impossible. 

9. Although he IS my best friend, my husband is never going to be the one I curl up in front of chick flicks and drink hot cocoa with. (In other words, I need girls). 

10. When he suggests a trip to the mall, he is picturing Chinese food and the gumball machine. NOT browsing Gap’s latest line.

11. On a more serious note- Marriage means everything in me is exposed. What I feel is what Brent feels. I have the power to set the mood for my house, and for my family. My problems are no longer just mine, he is fully affected by them. It is the best accountability but also the hardest. And Brent has been a major trooper through all of it.

12. In areas that I find sensitive, he values honesty over sugar coating. Think opinions on dinners, birthday gifts and my fashion sense. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, just a new thing. I admit I could benefit from more honesty on these subjects. 

13. I’m continually blessed (and shocked) that when my face is invaded by breakouts and my eyes are puffy from tears, Brent still loves me, holds me and says that I’m gorgeous. And I can tell he means it. 

14. Overall, I really do think that marriage is amazing. It’s this perfect balance of intense commitment and closeness, and the joy of living with my very best friend. (Even when that joy includes consistently reminding him to use air freshener in the bathroom).

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And now, a few words from my guest writer (I am super impressed, not only at his writing ability but also at the fact that he mustered up TEN THINGS for me! 🙂 )

1. Girls aren’t as intrigued with poop as guys are.

2. Katie’s idea of a fun day includes day trips and shopping. Mine is relaxing. At our house.

3. I consider a snack to be a piece of cheesecake or a sandwich. Katie considers these to be “dinner spoiling foods” and prefers kale chips.

4. Women are creatures of ambiance and scents. I don’t want to tell you how much we spend on Glade plug-ins. 

5. Events are a way bigger deal to my wife than they are to me. Parties and holidays are somehow the most exciting thing in the world.

6. It has been important for me to learn to love Katie in a way that speaks to HER not ME. Often that includes chocolate and coffee drinks.

7. Along that line- The same things that matter to you aren’t going to matter to her, and the same things that matter to her won’t always matter to you. Take time and listen.

8. Find something you enjoy doing together and do it. We love trying new recipes, entertaining, dreaming about the future, working out, and the occasional day trip.

9. The key to our marraige really is communcation. Sharing our hearts with each other is crucial. It’s easy to exist with your spouse, but that always lead to lifelessness, it seems.

10. Sometimes it’s best to just listen, not fix. 

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Ultimately, it’s the differences between us that make us love each other all the more. It’s the laughing and the fighting over big and little things that create relationships. Easy is definitely not an adjective of marriage, and sometimes “What am I doing?” is the only phrase that comes to mind. But doing life together- being real with one another- is the most pure form of relationship we can imagine.

 

Love, B + K

 

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Brent LET’S TAKE A PICTURE!”

KATIE I’M DRIVING.”

 

ImageI like to call this one the “Hello Husband” selfie.

 

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Not-so-glamorous ending of our first Christmas tree.

 

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Brent accompanies me to the treadmill section of the gym, only to watch ESPN. (Yes this was taken while running. And to his credit, he raced me at a six minute mile and I almost died right there).

 

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In our pajamas. Enough said…

Hello, I’m Barbie and this is Ken…(says no one, ever.)

Saturday morning dawned with clear skies and a crisp chill in the air…and like any other weekend I was up and at ’em at 6:00 AM. By 7 AM I had succesfully created the perfect “pre-game breakfast” and was ready to wake my husband for his basketball tournament. All this while attempting to look like I didn’t try to hard but just woke up perfectly in tact, which never really happens (I cannot defeat morning breath and bedhead without a toothbrush and a hair straightener). I woke Brent up and the day went downhill from there.

Brent- “I think I’ll get sick if I drink this chocolate milk before the game.”

Me- Oh my gosh, Katie you are an idiot. How could you mix this up. Chocolate milk is for post workout. You are the worst wife ever.

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One hour later, I’m in the midst of working out with my best pal Jillian Michaels and I recieve a text.

Brent- Where are you? I only have two games left.

Me- You are freaking kidding me. This is why I bugged you for two weeks straight about game times. 

and then

I am the worst wife ever. Not only did I try to poison him with pre-game dairy, now I’m missing the game altogether. FAIL FAIL FAIL. And there goes that shower…

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The day just went downhill from there. I won’t bore you with the details of me crying and Brent rolling his eyes, all over very petty things. Or the fact that I pulled the I am a brat and will sit here non-responsive until you apolgize act on my very own husband. Or even the threat to skip dinner because I knew it would make him mad.

I am embarrassed to say that I was not on the ball that Saturday, in fact, I think I totally missed the perfect-little-married-couple train. But I would be remiss if I didn’t say that, at the end of it all- the tears shed, the words shared, the obnoxiousness on both our parts, I was refreshed.

We got on each other’s nerves that whole entire day.

And it was ok.

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So many things were shared on our wedding day…I couldn’t begin to try and remember them all. But I will never forget an ever-recurring analogy shared by the friend who married us.

You cannot be Ken & Barbie. Nobody even wants that from you.

We all know Ken and Barbie. Unrealisticly fit bodies, painfully white teeth, neon blonde hair and (although I never really watched those Barbie movies), perfect date nights.

Brent is a perfectionist, I am a perfectionist (as established in many posts past). But this message isn’t limited to Brent and I.

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These past few months of marriage have shown me so much. Some times, I’m just going to seem annoying and I can’t do anything about it. Sometimes, pretending everything’s ok really just brings lifelessness. Simply going through the hollow motions doesnt bring joy, fulfillment or love to my marriage. It causes resentment, it causes judgment, it causes me to lose myself.

When I feel it, my husband feels it.

Marriage might be the best accountability I’ve ever had.

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Unfortunately this post is not a DIY on having a perfect new marriage… or a perfect marriage ever. It is not an outline on what to say or what to do when you mess up, when your husband thinks your acting like a child, or when you know that if you say one more word you have crossed the border from annoying to just plain mean. There’s now “How to Dig Yourself Out of Huge Holes” section and I still struggle with beating myself up over menial things.

This is me saying to you- I’m where you are. If you can relate with me, then I can relate with you. We’re on this ship together and sometimes all we can do is look at each other and say, “I give up. I release control.”

Barbie & Ken make it look so easy…I, however, would argue- It’s not.

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I also have yet to master the art of fresh breath and perfect hair upon awakening. So for those of you who’ve got this down to a science, please share your suggestions in the comments below.

This is a lesson to all my newly married friends- from another newly married friend. One day you’re feeling all honey-mooney, and then BAM. Life happens.

Diary of a Married College Girl

When Brent and I first discussed wedding timing, there was one (seemingly) determining factor.

I was still in college.

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We got engaged in Februrary, knowing that I had one more semester until graduation. After considering the idea of a winter wedding I (being me) did not feel satisfied.

See, both of our birthdays are in December- a week a part- the 2nd and the 9th to be exact. Then comes Christmas.

I wanted to spread out my gift-getting. There was no way my anniversary was getting thrown in that mess.

[just kidding, kind of.]

So we decided to go for it, to have our wedding in August. I’d always much preferred summer weddings anyway.

All this meant one major thing- I had to figure out a schedule that would best fit my newly married lifestyle, AND figure out how to take five classes while trying to work.

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The Lord never ceases to amaze me. Somehow [ with the help of my personal registrar’s office aka. my mom] I crammed two of the classes into my summer [hence the procrastination of wedding planning until about one month prior], translated my job at Chick-fil-A into a paid internship [6 credits worth], and found a night class that I liked in walking distance from our little home.

I had life figured out.

But let me tell you something, it is not the breeze I thought it would be.

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Beyond the fact that I have to drop my best-wife-ever status on Thursdays and purchase [for the first time ever] boxed mac n cheese and Ramen noodles for my husband’s dinners…besides the fact that I rush out the door as he’s getting home from work and don’t get back until he’s either exhausted or watching the game…my MOST major struggle as a married college girl?

identity crisis

Who am I? I ask myself this at least once a week. [by week I might mean day]. I struggle with the pressure balance, of wanting to be home, of wanting to do well in school, of wanting to work more than I am, of remembering i’m a student, of the desire to live up to my degree.

This week was one of those struggle weeks, and as I struggled, I also reminisced.

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October 2010– Brent and I just broke up. I don’t know what to do, I don’t know who I am, and I ESPECIALLY don’t know why I’m here. I hate school, I don’t think I will ever graduate. I’m barely passing science, and I’m never ever there. I can’t stop crying and I feel so anxious- four more years is a lifetime. I’m never going to make it that far. At this rate I’ll be graduating in six years…and I have NO motivation to pick up the pace. Who cares about school. All I wanted was to get married and have a family-and my dream life just broke up with me. 

I hate this.

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Three years ago I was a freshman at Millersville University. My high school love had just broken my heard, I hated education and thought going to class was for lame people, I wasn’t taking a full load of classes, therefore behind in graduating, and my parents actually reccommended I go to HACC-or put school on hold until I got my act together.

I couldn’t tell you when or what hit me. But somewhere in my journey I found my niche. I buckled down and took classes all year round. I worked ahead for no reason but my own self-drive, [and, little did I know, the Lord’s perfect plan].

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When I feel like I can’t make it through one more class, when I wonder what I’m doing with my life, what I will do with my life, I considere the contrast- October 2010 to October 2013. Same boy, same girl, same college, completely different story.

Sometimes I wonder why I ever doubt the Lord’s hand [working in my life].

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***On a side note***

My stomach turns at the thought of all that dye in boxed mac n cheese. I was not cut out for this quick dinner stuff! SO, I found this awesome, quick and easy recipe-

Brent’s eating well tonight 🙂

Baked Mac & Cheese  

MacCheese-Dinner_opt

Ingredients

  • 8oz. Elbow Macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons Butter
  • 3 tablespoons Flour
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • Dash of Pepper
  • 2 cups Cheese, shredded (I used Sharp, but any cheese that you like is fine)

Instructions

Prepare macaroni according to directions on box.

While the macaroni is cooking, prepare the cheese sauce.
  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter, add flour mixed with salt and pepper.
  2. Whisk until well combined, gradually add milk, whisking continually.
  3. Bring to boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, reduce heat and cook about 10 minutes, until mixture is thick.
  4. Gradually add cheese and simmer until cheese sauce is smooth and thick, about 5 minutes.
  5. Fold in cooked macaroni.
  6. Place mixture in a 13 x 9 pan, and bake at 400 degrees for about 15 – 20 minutes until golden and bubbly.

real life | sweet fairytales | joy.

“maybe the good life isn’t a fairytale…”

-some random radio station

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That’s ridiculous, I thought, as I’m driving along at a painfully slow speed on Lititz Pike. (For those of you who ever
try to enter Lancaster City from this route, you understand me. It is however a great deterrent from frozen yogurt and craft stores.)

So i’m thinking, that quote is absurd, life is beautiful, life is a fairy tale, that is the good life.

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I am a girl who loves beauty, I love beautiful clothes, keeping a beautiful home, aiming to look beautiful.

I am a girl who loves perfection, I love perfect weather, perfect days, perfect meals in a perfectly clean kitchen.

sounds magical, right?

I am a girl who cries, I cry when I burn bread, I cry when I shrink a shirt, I cry when my face breaks out ( I am being very candid here.)

I am a girl who fears, I fear a messy home, I fear a failed dinner, I fear a fight or a bad day.

and just like that, the magic is gone.

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I am learning, slowly learning, that I can’t rely on a fairy tale life to bring me joy. I can’t avoid fights with my husband to keep us “happy,” I can’t always coordinate our outfits in public (and it’s not the end of the world if I don’t), and I can’t make perfect dinners from now until I die.

Where are my margins? Where is my room for mistakes?

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My mind…that quote…passing from immediate judgment and scorn to a breath, a thought, I wonder…

What if I changed my perspective of “the good life,” what if I redefined “fairytale?”

fair-y tale, noun ; a story about magical and imaginary beings and lands,

~

fair-y tale, noun ; a beautiful illusion, something that comes of dreaming, but nothing of substance. For true life, true magical living comes moment by moment- it is not an overarching image of perfection, it is living life with the ones you love…gracing yourself with room for imperfection…openness and honesty…experiencing the reality of life with a new frame of mind.

The good life is NOT fairytales.

The good life is raw, open, honest | joy.

Image

***for those of you curious about my scorned tone at points,

(specifically the mention of culinary disasters),

to you I say one thing-

never try bread in a crock pot. the crock pot is good, not that good.