Sunday, October 31, 2021

Messy, But Oh So Good

(Originally written as a guest post for Union28 Marriage Blog in 2018)

My long legs lay stretched out across his as his face was buried deep into a game on his phone, his fingers clicking diligently on the screen. He was unaware that I was staring directly at him, watching his lips clench and twist mimicking the movement of the digital player he controlled.

His face was fuller and worn with the years of being out in the sun. His hair a lot shorter keeping in line with the Air Force standards of dress and appearance. He was no longer the sixteen-year-old boy that gave me the butterflies when he would strut by with his baggy black dickies and white t-shirts. At thirty-two, with a first deployment under his belt, he changed more than I imagined he ever would. But as that sank in a little further, I realized so did I. 

We thought we had this marriage thing down pat. In fact, my confident personality felt that marriage was something I was an expert on. Friends would ask me how Jon and I managed all these years and could still be so in love. I was assured that marriage came to us naturally. That was until I discovered how easy living apart from each other came. 

 As a military family, the luxury of being a team at home comes few and far between. We had spent the past ten years of our marriage working together, sharing all aspects of our lives daily. In October of last year, he left for the first time leaving me to wonder how I could ever manage to live solo. Yet, after six months, I discovered that I could do it, and I could do it well. I didn’t need him as much as I thought I did. I really could carry on with life without him carrying me through it. It wasn’t because I wanted to, but because I had to. Choosing wasn’t an option. He was gone, and I had to own it. Life had to keep going for us back home, which, as expected, didn’t sit too well for him.

For him, life paused. He moved to a place that he knew was temporary. Six months he would have to manage to live in a dorm and the thought of home carried him through. In his mind, he would return home and life would pick up right where it left off, but what he wasn’t prepared for was that he’d return to a place that had figured out how to go on without him. 

 Things were rough in the first few weeks. It was like we had to learn new things about each other, which seemed foreign and even a bit unacceptable for a couple that had been together since sophomore year of high school. Deep down, each of us wondered if the spark that was once a roaring flame, would ever ignite a passion again. 

 It has been two months since he returned home and we still find ourselves entangled in the mess of navigating new waters in our marriage, but we have found that change can be good. With a few good melt downs and all out yelling matches, we’ve allowed each other to get to know the new sides to who we had become, and in all of it, we’re learning that marriage isn’t a trophy or badge we wear like we once thought, but rather a constant choice to walk in the mess of life with someone. Marriage isn’t a theme so easily nailed down in books or blogs, but rather an experience every day between two people going through life this side of Eternity. So if earth isn’t our final destination, then marriage doesn’t have to be as perfected as I once strived so hard to attain. It’s merely a tool God has given us as a way to survive on this journey. In our world, deployments will become a norm, life will throw its curve balls and our hearts will break more than we probably care to admit, but it is incredibly freeing when you allow your partner to grow, experience and change with the seasons of life knowing that you will too. Full of really romantic moments, terribly painful experiences, and even some really good intimacy, marriage is messy but oh so good.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The Hair

 Vanity.  It's all vanity.

But... one of my favorite little hobbies is mastering the big hair!  It comes with it's challenges.  My hair is thick and bottom heavy, so the weight of my hair often pulls down volume.  However, after seeing an IG review of hot curlers, I had to check it out for myself...  cue this product free big hair! 

It's insane how big these Jumbo Curlers made my hair.  Think 50's bouffant big.  

The whole process takes about 40 minutes - 10 minutes between putting the rollers in and out and leaving them in for about 30 minutes for the hair to heat and cool.  

Immediately after removing the curlers the hair may not feel as big as you'd hoped, but as you brush the curls out (whether with your hands or a brush) the lift takes flight.  

I've tried so many products to achieve that big hair, but this Amazon purchase is by far my favorite hair tool purchase.  For under $30, this is every big hair fan's must-buy!

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Favorite Amazon Sweaters - Just in time for Valentine's Day

We don't celebrate Valentine's around here in the traditional sense, but that isn't on purpose.  I always have grand plans but things come up and I just don't prioritize Valentine's Day.  But this year, that's changing...

I tried on four Amazon Sweaters that can work both during the Valentine's Season or during any time of the year, and I wanted to share these amazing finds with you!  So if you are in the hunt for some sweaters as we slowly transition from Winter to Spring, these are definitely a must!

-The first sweater is my absolute favorite!  I had seen it circulating Amazon's ads and instantly loved it but was so unsure if it would be good quality.  I'm here to assure you... IT IS!  I went up a size to make sure I had the loose fit that I like in sweaters and it's perfect.  The pale pink with the knit white heart is perfect for Valentine's Day!  It comes in multiple colors and its a DEFINITE YES!

- This Leopard print sweater comes in a little smaller than expected so I would definitely go up a size in order to achieve the over-sized look.  It comes in multiple color styles, but I went with the cream and pink and love the overall feel and color, and it fits pretty true to size, not like shown in the photo.

- The Camo print sweater is incredibly comfortable and comes long, perfect to wear with leggings.  I went up a size due to reviews, and although I like the oversized fit, I could have definitely stayed in my original size and still had a comfortable fit.  

- I love this sweater.  They currently ran out of the pink and grey color shown, however they have the red color available, which is even better for Valentine's Day.  It is incredibly soft and fits true to size.  

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Navigating the Digital Waters

Every year I find myself torn on how involved I want to be with the digital web.  For one thing, there is a pretty decent income when I do invest.  Those mommy blogger years when Joss was first born definitely helped bring in some cash.  

Now, with social media influencers, there is a whole new outlet for income.  But with sharing, comes the invitation into an area of one's life that I teeter with whether or not I want to share.  I struggle with feeling the need to justify, or the desire to just hide away.  

But I realized that I have allowed imaginary conversations full of assumptions of how people can or do think about me dictate the choices I had been making.  And I really don't want to live that way. 
So, I'm freeing myself to share when I want.  When I find a good find that I think you would enjoy, I'll share.  When I discover tips on navigating this military world, I'll share.  And I'll free myself from how people can view me. 
So thank you for sticking by my flaky digital presence.  You are my (digital) people.