I Got Married!

In lieu of writing and posting anything since October, I have been busy planning a wedding. I’ll save my elope-you-fools-don’t-fall-into-the-wedding-trap rant blog for another time, since I’m writing to celebrate and share some pics.

Quick recap of the day: best day of my life! I spent most of it trying not to cry, which is probably why I am not smiling in 80% of the candid pictures of me during the ceremony. I knew if I lost it, I’d never get it back, so I had to keep myself together. It feels like a total dream looking back at these pictures. I got to finally marry the best life-partner and husband a girl could ask for, have all of my family and friends in one place, and then dance and party and have a heck of a good time. I have never felt so loved and humbled. I’m so thankful for all the people that came and shared the day with us that I can’t thank them all, plus it’s not like I won an Oscar so I’m going to keep this short, but S/O to Cree who put literally everything back together after it poured sheets and buckets of rain 30 minutes before go-time. And Emily. And Griffin. And Matt. And everyone else. I JUST LOVE EVERYBODY, YOU GUYS!

We were praying about when to get married for months, and then in October, we knew God wanted us to get married this summer. It was crystal clear. But we were terrified: it was way sooner than we had ever thought — we were planning a wedding 2 months before we got engaged in December. Everything was rushed. Looking back, I couldn’t be more glad that we got married when we did. People say that when you make plans, God laughs. It’s true, but here’s something even more true: His timing was so perfect.

My beautiful and wonderful friend Abby Caldwell captured these amazing pictures that will thankfully last longer than my recollection of the day. There are lots, so if you want the whole bunch, the link is here and the password is whippleworld. (Photobooth pictures are also online and HILARIOUS and the password is paige.) Below are just a few of my faves. I hope you find yourself in these and look back on the day as happily as I do. XOXO!

“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its jealousy as enduring as the grave. Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame.”
Song of Solomon 8:6

 

As if that wasn’t enough, we also had our crazy-talented friend Coty Nix on hand to capture some of the day, which included Abby singing during the ceremony (did I mention that she’s wonder woman?) Some of his pics are below, and they are amazeballs. I’m so thankful for him! Coty, you rock.

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Let’s Hear it for the Boy

I’m proud of my booooyfriend!

So I have big news to share. (I am still not engaged. Good grief, people.) It’s something that I’ve been struggling with how to talk about, so I’ve put it off until the very last minute. It’s also not my news to share, so that’s an added pressure.

Anyway, here it is…drum roll please…

200 (3).gifRick got a job! And not just any job. Rick got a job at the DoD. So look out, he’s going to start listening to your phone conversations. (Just kidding! Actually, I don’t know. Even if he could, but he wouldn’t be able to tell me about it so I’ll never know.) It is an incredible opportunity and I am so proud of him. He applied to this job well over a year ago, in May of last year, and it has finally become reality.

It’s funny how we both ended up in careers where we can’t talk about a lot of what we do. Granted, one of us can’t share Teen Mom spoilers and one of us can’t share United States security spoilers, but hey, we all have different priorities.

 
I can’t talk about most of the details of his job, equally because I don’t know them and if I did, would not be allowed to share them, but I can share a few things.

This position comes with a five year commitment (*brain exploding*) so we will be hanging out in DC for at least a half a decade! It’s a training program, so as I understand it, he’ll be taking courses at the DoD and going back to get his masters over the next 2-3 years and then will be upgraded/promoted/qualified to be a project manager. And he thought he was done school when he graduated in December. Ha!

But the craziest thing of all is that he can’t take his phone to work with him. Eek! When we go to California to visit my cousin and her kids, (who have since moved to Thailand, long story) they want to wake Rick up every morning so they can watch him play Boom Beach for 20 minutes. He has endless apps on his phone. He uses 10 GB of data every month (thank heavens we don’t share a phone plan.) He follows the Orioles and other various sports teams closer than the presidential election. And he can’t take his phone to work with him. *insert laughing/crying emoji here*

It’s going to be super weird not being able to contact him for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, especially since he’s been working part-time since December and has been available whenever I want to buy concert tickets last minute or need him to pick something up from the grocery store on the way home or have to vent about work. But I am looking forward to having real, substantial conversations when we both get home and maybe missing each other a little during the day.

Today is his first day, (told you I waited until the last minute) so he’s at orientation and I have no way of knowing how it’s going. We still don’t know where he’s going to be actually working– it’s all on a very need-to-know basis. After orientation, he’ll get instructions on where to go every day, what time to get there, and what to wear. He’ll have his picture taken today for his security badge (so fancy) so we cut his hair last night and he looked dapper in a suit this morning. He’s so cute.

I’m so proud of him for all the hard work he put in to get this job. One of his references played a voicemail of Rick belting out Taylor Swift’s “22” for the guy doing the background check on him. In other words, it’s a literal miracle that he got this job. *insert another laughing/crying emoji here* He’s waited patiently without hearing anything for months, and he prayed that God would make it clear where he was supposed to be. So I guess he is supposed to be in DC for the next five years.

I’m sorry, but do ya’ll know how long five years is? It is long enough for a child to be born, potty trained, learn how to read, and become a little mini-human. It is longer than high school and it is longer than college (for most people at least). That is a long time. Hi, I can’t even commit to new clothes. I keep the tags on for as long as I can, try them on 6 times, and then decide I’m going to keep them 3 months after purchase. And now my boyfriend/eventual-soon-to-be fiance/husband has locked himself/us into a five year commitment. Barf. I’ll be fine after a ginger ale and some saltines.

 
I totally plan on staying in DC for five years because I am obsessed with my job and my parents’ new puppy, but the fact that now- in theory- I have to gives me anxiety. Anyway, that’s another discussion for another therapy session.

As for Rick’s job, it’s amazing, and I’m beyond happy for him. I’m also happy for myself because this means that in the foreseeable future we can buy a house and it won’t take me an hour and a half to drive to work anymore. Bless the DoD.

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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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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‘Cause I Depend On Me!

If that title got Destiny’s Child stuck in your head, awesome: that was the point.

If it didn’t, you should be embarrassed, because that is one of my favorite songs to rock out to. It’s also the theme of this post: Independent Women. As a woman who has a loyal, loving, stead-fast boyfriend living 0.81 miles down the road, (door-to-door, I Googled it) and a roommate who has been my best friend for more than 10 years, I get used to doing everything with a companion: grocery shopping, watching TV, making dinner, running errands, even studying.

Except going to the gym. Emily, said roommate and best friend, will not go to the gym with me. Period. Ever. And Rick….goes when I really ask but isn’t exactly Mark Wahlburg. (That man’s home gym is bigger than Towson’s.) I usually end up sweating alone, so it’s fitting that the gym is where this all began. Continue reading

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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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

Real Vacations vs Fake Vacations

When are you ready to vacation with your significant other?

A question Miss Carrie Bradshaw herself would have pondered, I’m sure. But she was a little more…unchaste than I (no offense SJP!) so I think we might have different answers here.

As I sit here writing this, it’s day 2 of vacation and I have already been visibly irritated with or mad at the BF probably about 5 times. Only child syndrome- but that’s a whole separate can of worms. When you spend a week with someone, you get to know them very well. You get to know the real them. And in relationships, especially young adult relationships, that comes with good and bad.

My boyfriend and I went on our first vacation about 7 months into our relationship. Should I go all “Glamour columnist” and call him by an initial or something? He’ll probably be humiliated that I’m revealing all this info for the world to see. At that time, we were both 17 and I had just graduated high school, and he was coming up on his senior year.

I think that first vacation together was a false test. We just talked about this at the beach this morning. The first year of our relationship consisted of maybe one fight about “you should have texted me first!” or something ridiculous- and that was it. So except for a few moments of irritability with one another, we were basically fine. But that’s because it was based on lies and new-relationship fever.

But here’s how the first one went for us.

1. I wore makeup to bed.

2. I put on makeup before I saw him in the morning.

3. I showered the minute I got back from the beach and not a second later.

4. Oh yeah, I wore makeup to the beach.

5. I was passive, sweet, and ever-indulging.

6. He was passive, sweet, and ever-indulging.

“Hey, what do you want to do?”

“I’m good just laying here on my towel.”

“Oh okay, I thought you might want to go to the water.”

“You want to go to the water? Let’s go to the water.”

“No, you want to lay there. Let’s stay here!”

“No no no you want to go to the water, come on, let’s go”.

I could continue, but you get the point. 

7. He was so focused on impressing my family that he wasn’t even himself.

8. This really has nothing to do with it, but I love it. He got a henna tattoo with my name. How hilarious!

9. We spent every waking second together. It’s like that terribly annoying phase where you can’t go ANYWHERE without that person- God forbid they go to the bathroom without letting you know via smoke signal.

I’m summing it up- when you’re 17 and you’re 7 months into a relationship, you are careful how much of yourself to reveal.

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Vacation one on left, vacation three on right. See any difference?

Fast forward TWO whole years to today. I’m sitting in the kitchen of the beach house by myself, his sister and her boyfriend are asleep on the couch, he’s in the basement doing homework, and his parents are scattered about somewhere.

I am wearing no makeup, I haven’t washed my hair since I went under in the ocean, and we’ve already had a tiff over riding bikes- twice. What is there to fight about over bike riding? Nothing. It’s just the real world that we’re in now.

We still don’t fight over anything serious, but being together for as long as we have (years wise, not vacation time, obvi) and just being real with each other, we can bicker over the smallest things. It’s hilarious, and most of the time we laugh while we’re doing it, but nonetheless, it is a far cry from our first vacation together.

While our first vacation was fun with the butterflies and the thrill of a new relationship, I would much rather have the real life relationship that we have now, and I know he feels the same. Because we talked about that on the beach today too. We talk about everything. We’re 75 and married, basically.

So what all I’m saying about vacationing with a significant other is this: if you’re going to do it, don’t fake it. Just go all out and be yourself. If they don’t love you after seeing you without makeup, they’re a buttface. But I’m pretty sure they will. Teenage relationships are the most interesting, because you’re still changing and growing as a person.

I have loved growing as a person and in turn watching my relationship grow also. Vacation has been an important part of that too- but only the real vacations. Not the fake ones.

Define Friendship.

In true Carrie Bradshaw fashion, I am pondering the truths of real friendships.

In an age where sending a text is infinitely easier than meeting for coffee, what defines our friendships? Are people that we see once every six months and shoot an occasional text our friends, or our acquaintances? Or our pen pals?

How much about a persons life do you need to know in order to categorize them as a “close friend”? Is it just the person you call when you get a promotion at work, or can it be the person you talk to via text message once or twice a week?

I’ve struggled with this one for awhile, with friends going off to college and relationships being drastically altered. I’ve struggled with being the only person trying to sustain a friendship, and I’ve been on the other end of the spectrum as well. It can be so hard to be someones closest friend, and then 6 months down the road realize that you aren’t even a top 10 priority anymore. Maintaining friendships is easy when you see each other everyday- when you live far apart and have jobs, school, and other relationships, it isn’t exactly a cakewalk.

The hardest thing for me was understanding how much and how quickly relationships change, and once I figured that out,  I assumed it would get easier.

TIP OF THE ICEBERG, PEOPLE.

After you realize that friendships change, you have to continue evolving, communicating, and figuring out how to keep that friendship candle burnin’! That can be one of the most draining tasks in the world, especially if it’s one sided (or if you feel that way). There are some people in this world that either don’t care, or don’t admit that they do. For me, if you don’t admit that you want to work on having a friendship and staying close friends, then you  just must not care. You don’t care. In my mind, it’s pretty simple.

Reality isn’t the same as how it works in my head.

I’ve learned over the course of the past 2 or 3 years that not everyone is as expressive as I am. It’s been a humbling experience, to be honest, and it’s been a very emotional ride. Understanding that I am not someones first choice, or even that they don’t have time for me at all, was a tough pill to swallow. Not that I expect to be #1 on every person’s speed dial. Please. How unrealistic. But after getting accustomed to a certain lifestyle with someone, you assume that they will always want to hang out with you and talk to you. You’re friends, and that’s what friends do, right?

WRONG. I am not (nor are you) the center of the universe.

You get over the “friendships change” hurdle, and then life throws “you are not the most important thing in your friends lives” straight at ya. Yet another hard lesson I have learned. This is my advice to you: never care about someone more than they care about you. That will just make everything so much harder, and will make this realization much more painful.

Try to keep your feelings right about where theirs are, or care about them less than they care about you. Just like any other healthy relationship, always have the ball in your court and keep the power. (Is it now making sense why I don’t have a dating and relationship blog?) Okay, yes, this paragraph is a bit exaggerated, but the principal behind it is true: being the vulnerable one in a long-distance friendship is difficult. It’s been difficult and it has been painful. But it’s also led to learning a lot of lessons, especially one in humility that was much needed.

Wow, what a perfect segway into my next bullet point- being replaced. I cringed as I typed it. Yikes. No matter who you are, when your ex gets a new significant other, you stalk them on Facebook. (Do guys do this too? I’m 99% sure. They have to, it’s human nature.) You want to see how your replacement measures up to you. It’s not a bad thing, people! It’s understandable. And the same thing happens with friendships.

The hardest thing (I feel like every part that I’ve talked about I’ve said has been the hardest thing) for me has been seeing my friends develop other close friends and bonds. This is NOT saying that I’m upset or angry or whatever. Jealous, yes. It’s natural to feel jealous, and it’s okay. Or so I tell myself. Lol. Because I care about my friends, of course I want to be someone they go to with their problems and their achievements, their excitement and their sorrow.

But I’ve recently realized that even if I’m not that person, it doesn’t make me useless in their lives. (Unless I actually am useless in their life.) The most important thing is that they have that person. Greys Anatomy, anyone? Anyone? Tough crowd tonight. Just because a friendship changes, doesn’t mean it ends. And just because we feel like our friends are closer to someone else, doesn’t mean they don’t love us just as much as we love them.

So basically, I don’t think I can define friendship as a general term. I can’t even define all of mine. I just know that it’s hard work, and it pays off in the end. This post has actually been very cathartic for me, and I probably just bored the poor souls that read it to tears. My apologies.

XOXO.

^^^^Gossip Girl….Just kidding. Damn. It has been such a long day.