The Guys’ Guide to Tinder.

I am very happily in a relationship, but I love Tinder.

I certainly don’t love Tinder for its intended purpose, but rather for its entertainment value. Rick has one too, and we’ll swap phones, match each other up with some weirdos and laugh about it until 2 in the morning. It did backfire when I jokingly swiped yes to a classmate (I thought it would be ironic, but, no…) and he not-so-jokingly swiped yes to me. I don’t even think he knew we had class together. Aaaawk-ward!

I never thought too much about the whole process until I was a bored-to-death insomniac swiping through Tinder in the wee hours of the morning. That’s when it hit me that some of these guys aren’t trying to be funny- they’re actually trying to impress girls. And that’s also when I started screen-shotting. A lot. Of guys. That’s why we’re here: I’m giving you boys a rundown of what does and does not impress the ladies. Of course, it’s just my opinion, so some girls might love that you’re taking a shirtless bathroom selfie in a towel. (Keep scrolling down for that eye candy. Ugh.)
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Better to GIVE Than to Receive

It’s the most wonderful(-ly selfish) time of the year.

You just finished stuffing your face with turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, not to mention that you had pumpkin pies out the wazoo. Post-Thanksgiving meal, you then ran to Best Buy to finally use your jiu-jitsu skills on the poor fool who jumped in front of you in line for that flat-screen. You spent 7 hours of your life and 50% of your paycheck buying things that you don’t need, nor do the family members you so well-meaningly bought them for.

Hey- I’m not judging- I did it all too. Well, not the jiu-jitsu part, but I did go shopping for hours on Black Friday. Then came Cyber Monday, where we browse Walmart.com for “huge deals and savings.” Like all of the uber expensive items at Walmart, the most inexpensive store in all of America, got marked down 75%.

But now comes Giving Tuesday. I talked to both my mom and my boyfriend, and neither of them knew that Giving Tuesday was a thing. Hence why I’m writing this for everyone else who hasn’t heard of it. Giving Tuesday, better known as #GivingTuesday because we’re a Twitter-friendly society, is just a day to give back. If you’re reading this, it means that you have internet and a computer. Or an iPad. Or a smartphone. So you can afford to give to someone in need.
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Sex, Love, and Marriage

Some light topics to discuss at your next dinner party, eh?

Or never. Never at all. We tend to shy away from topics like these (in general small-talk conversations, at least) because they’re personal. Sex, love, and marriage are all major, life changing subjects: they reflect the most intimate parts of your life. So it makes perfect sense that we hesitate to share our thoughts on the matter, much less our own personal experiences. I did exactly that. Until I signed up for Honors Seminar 370: Becoming Sexually Healthy.

There were great reviews about the professor on ratemyprofessor.com, students said it was a good class, and I needed those three honors credits. So, indeed, I signed up for a sex class at Towson University. Right now, you’re probably doing what I did before class started– reducing it to that tiny box of “physical sex.” The class has been so much more than just that (thank goodness…it can be preeetty uncomfortable talking about some of the topics we discussed– I won’t even go there.)

We’ve talked about sex, love, and marriage, along with parenting, body image, gender roles, and more. It’s been enlightening, to put it in a broad term. Luckily, I’ve had a wonderful counterpart for more than 4 years now, so the lessons I’m learning about relationships and, most importantly, marriage, are not falling on deaf ears.

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I’m Enough.

I came across this video on Facebook, and it really moved me. Women stand in front of an interactive mirror, and the results are amazing.

If you’re a woman, watch this video and take it to heart. If you’re a man who loves a woman—as a mother, a wife, a sister, a friend—take the time to tell her, because I promise that she wouldn’t mind hearing why.

Babies on the Brain.

I’ve spent the past four days (in a row) with eight children.

One 6 year old, two 5 year olds, two 3 year olds, one 2 year old, and two 8 month olds. They are my wonderful, beautiful family and I love them so much. It’s a funny thing about kids, they give people different reactions. Some people freak out and don’t want to get anywhere near them, some people only talk in baby voices (something that I often plead guilty to), and some people are just apathetic to the chaos that is children. I, personally, love them. I could, and have, play all day long and that’s still not enough time with them.

But having the kids here (5 live in Cali and the other 3 live in ATL) for such a short time has made me actually seriously evaluate my life. No, for all of you panicking, I am not announcing that I’m pregnant or something totally crazy. Having them here with all the joy, innocence, honesty and laughter that they bring with them, has really reminded me of one of the most overused clichés in the universe: life is short.

Life isn’t about how clean your house is, how skinny you look, how good you are at sports, or how much money you make. Let’s be honest, no one is going to look at a picture of themselves 70 years from now and think “oh man, I wish I was on a diet back then. I should have eaten salad morning, noon, and night. I would feel so much more fulfilled right now if I had been 10 pounds lighter.”

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Am I Ready to be a Wife?

I think we all know the answer to that question.

I read a post from a fellow blogger, Natasha Craig, about what she gave up when she got married, and it was wonderful. I’m not going to give you a spoiler, because I think you should read it. She got married when she was 19, a year younger than I am now. (Yeah, sorry, the blog is still called Nineteen Going on Ninety because Twenty Going on Ninety isn’t nearly as catchy.) Of course, people told her not to and told her all the horror stories, how it would end in divorce, etc, etc.Image

She talks about how she did give up a lot, and what it meant to her. My favorite quote was: “I went home on June 8th in someone else’s car, to sleep in someone else’s bed, and breathe someone else’s air. It would never, from that moment on, be just ‘me’ anymore.” She says that her marriage brings her so much happiness that she even wishes she got married sooner than she did.

I think that’s amazing! But I don’t think that’s for everyone. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with getting married young- God has a different plan for everyone. Two of my best friends got married at 20, and I can’t imagine it happening any other way. But I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with waiting to get married until you’re older. I have friends that have been married for almost a decade, and they’ve said that the first year of marriage is going to be incredibly hard no matter what – you know, “you’re never ready” – so if you’re committed to marriage and staying together, it doesn’t matter if you do it at 19 or 29.

However, I respectfully disagree. Not about the first year of marriage being hard, because I’m sure it will be. I don’t want to share my bed with anyone. Ever.

I also agree that yes, you’re probably never going to be completely ready for marriage. But I’d like to get close to ready, and there’s multiple reasons why I’m not there yet. 

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Mike’s Engaged! (Plus Pictures!)

This is my chance to pretend I have a photography blog.

My oldest friend got engaged today. I’ve been friends with Mike since the sixth grade. If you do that math, it’s nine years.That would be 45% of my life. So when he called me and asked me to take pictures when he proposed, there wasn’t even a “no” option. I was so honored that he asked me to be there to document the most important moment of his life. (Until the wedding, of course.) Image

One cool memory I have of Mike actually involves another bestie of mine (who was not my bestie at the time). He had gone to Costa Rica with the middle school on a mission trip, and when they got back, Mrs. Becker said she thought Mike would love it if I went with her to pick him up from the airport. So I hitched a ride with her and Logan, who I was not a fan of at the time. Sometimes I’m still not a fan of you, Log. Just kidding, just kidding, I like you much more now than I did when I was 12 years old. (It’s a long story, and my feelings were unfounded anyway. But I was a middle school girl, let’s cut me some slack here.) Again, it was just a moment that I was excited to be a part of. I guess it was a bit of foreshadowing for today!

Mike has always been a constant in my life. Even if we don’t talk for awhile, he’s always there if I need him. He’s trustworthy, kind, and loyal, which is why I know that Jillian is lucky to have him. I knew Mike before Jillian, and he’s a better, happier man with her. I’m so excited that I’ll never know a Mike without her in his life.

ImageWhen I met Jillian for the first time years ago, I was firstly surprised by her outer beauty: the girl is a stunner. She’s gorgeous. What’s great about Jillian is that her inner beauty manages to outshine her inner beauty. I haven’t spent a ton of time with her, but you don’t need a lot of time to figure out when someone is that legitimately genuine, sweet, and Christ-centered. I just love her. She’s one of the most adorable people in the world: you meet her and you just want to be her best friend. Mike really got lucky with this one.

Anyway, the engagement story is not mine to tell, I will leave that up to the future Mrs. and Mr. I will, however, share a few pictures from the day because they’re just so cute and wonderful. They fill my heart with happiness, and I know that they’ll do the same for anyone else that knows and loves Mike and Jillian. I can’t wait for this wedding. Check out the pictures below! Continue reading

For Those With a Love of Sugar

Hello, world! Since you read my blog, you must be literate. And if you’re literate, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be reading my friend Taylor’s blog. She’s narrating for you- in her wonderful, funny, sometimes totally inappropriate way- … Continue reading

How I Really Feel About Love

Do you believe in love at first sight? Nick Miller does.

In “Exes,” Nick tells Jess that he fell in love with her the second she walked into the loft. (I’m talking about New Girl here, if you live under a rock or are deaf and blind- the only two valid reasons not to watch it.) While, yes, of course, it’s a sitcom and he has to say that so the audience falls in love with him, it made me think about what love really is, and when you really know you feel it.

And that’s perfect, because Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. How timely my thoughts are.

I believe that you can feel attraction at first sight. Interest at first sight. Even connection at first sight. They’re all very viable things to feel when you first see a person. But is it love? That’s the question. Continue reading