One Year Later: our first anniversary

Monday, February 16, 2015

Yesterday Cameron and I celebrated our first anniversary as a married couple.

It amazes me that it's been a year. It feels like it's flown by, but at the same time it feels like just yesterday we were at the church preparing for the biggest moment of our lives.

Our lives have changed a lot since we got married. We buckled down and committed to one another, which required sacrifice and effort. Marriage is hard, but it is the biggest blessing. And of course, all good things require effort.

How I got so lucky as to be given the privilege of having this man as my husband I will never know. He loves me unconditionally, cares for me always and works (what seems like) without ceasing to make a life for us. He is the most hardworking, caring man I know. And somehow I get to call him mine.

So reflecting on the last 365 days, I am thankful, humbled and in awe. Marriage has made a better person just in one year! I can't imagine what the rest of our lives will bring us. And whatever that is, I'm glad I get to do life with this guy.

Good riddance, January

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

January was a rough month. It felt like it went on forever. It was cold. There was grief and sorrow and frustration.

Last year my aunt asked me to spend the day with them and take their pictures. They got a bunch of fun photos and I got some sweet memories. Win-win. This was my favorite. Everytime he laughed she'd just gaze at him. Their marriage was an admirable, and one I'd like to base my marriage off of. They had it good for 41 years.
My uncle died January 26. If you've been following along, he was diagnosed with cancer 2+ years ago. Doctors were unable to find the origin of the beast, making it difficult to treat. 

At first, chemo and radiation did the trick. The tumors were gone, praise God! But then they came back, bigger and more resistant to treatment. This cycle continued for two years, until treatment was no longer an option. Pain set in, his body started shutting down. First the tumors on his spine took his ability to walk. Then it was lower body movement, then his arms, then speech, and so on. It was a painful last few months. 

He died on a Monday. Late Saturday night they called my dad and his brother and sister to tell them it would be soon. His breathing was swallowing, his circulation was decreasing and he was unresponsive. He was not on any machines, his own lungs inhaling and exhaling and his heart still pumping. 

Those last two days were hard on my dad. Watching his brother die, and silently wishing it would just end so he could go home to heaven. But his heart pumped for two more days. Just after sunrise that morning he passed. My family went up Monday night and all the signs of my uncle being there were gone. No hospital bed, no hospice nurses, no ply wood on the carpet used as a track for a wheelchair. 

Sunday was his service. It was short and sweet. The minister was a neighbor of my aunt and uncle's for more than 20 years. It was so nice to have someone who really knew Bill telling the story of his life. It just meant more. 

The last time I saw him was in November at my grandma's 97th birthday party. At that point he was still able to walk, but was visibly in pain when doing so. I was sick when the family got together the week after Christmas, not wanting to risk exposing him to my germs. I didn't see him bedridden, and I didn't seem him in an unresponsive state. For this I am grateful.

So when you ask me about January, that's how I will remember it. Sure there were 25 days before January 26, but it's sort of like being in college again. I remember the idea we all had that whoever presented last was the person whose presentation we'd all remember, simply because they were last. The presentations before then were obsolete. 

Product review: Full LashBloom Mascara

Monday, January 12, 2015

am a big fan of Influenster. If you've never heard of it, it's a company that sends you products in exchange for your reviews of the products every so often. 
A few weeks ago I got a #goBloom box to review Covergirl's new Full LashBloom Mascara. 

I'm super picky about mascara. There are only a few that I genuinely like and keep in my makeup drawer regularly. For me, mascara has to be a few things: smooth, light and easy to get off. I don't like mascara that clumps and chunks up my lashes or any that feels too heavy and unnatural. When I say easy to get off I don't mean mascara that wears off throughout the day or comes off if you accidentally run your eye. I like mascara that comes off easily with makeup remover. 



As you can see, it definitely plumped up my lashes with a nice, rich color. However, it did clump them. No matter how hard I brushed, rolled and even reapplied that clump would NOT go away. 
Overally, I did like the look it gave me. It was pretty casual and not too over the top. I would not recommend this to anyone who has issues with clumping though. It did remove easily with makeup remover though!

*I received this product complimentary to test and/or review from Influenster.

Conscious in 2015

Monday, January 5, 2015

If you follow me on Instagram, there's a good chance you saw this post from last week. In this particular post, I detailed a little bit about what I am working toward in 2015.

I started yoga at the end of last year (so weird to say since "last year" was last week) and it has proven to be a great addition to my life. It forces me to focus on what I need to be doing. I've decided to apply that principle to my life, therefore using "conscious" as my word. I have never been a resolution maker and have never had a word before, but I think it's a good one to start with.

Conscious (to me) means not spending hours a day scrolling mindlessly through Facebook and Twitter. Conscious means truly being present when spending time with others. Conscious means having a purpose when I go somewhere, do something, say something, etc. Conscious means being aware of everything and everyone around me.

Last year I got rid of toxins that were negatively affecting my life and I can breathe a whole lot easier now. I plan to continue putting my wellbeing first to ensure that I am at my best. After all, how am I any good to anyone else if I'm not well myself?

Dear 2015, please be less exciting than 2014

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

This year has no doubt been a busy one for me.

First, I remember absolutely nothing about January. Let's fast-forward to February, probably the biggest, most exciting, most stressful month of my entire life. Exactly halfway through the month, on February 15, I married my best friend and other half, becoming Genna Freed (at last!). After that was a complete whirlwind of activities. We left at 6 AM the next day from Columbus and flew to Miami to catch our cruise ship. February was awesome. 

March and April I once again remember nothing. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary. We worked, we came home, we ate, we slept and then started all over again.

I graduated in December 2013, but our school is small so there was no ceremony until May when most graduate. So I be grudgingly agreed, much to my mother's chagrin, to walk in the May ceremony. Don't tell her, but I'm glad I did. Putting on a capping down in joining all my friends was exciting. And I'm glad I got to celebrate all my accomplishments accordingly.

The end of June was another big month for me. On June 23 I began my first "big girl job." I still love it, and am still surprised that I ended up in radio after focusing on print all those years in college. 

Almost exactly a month after I got my new job, we bought a house. We got the keys around 3 PM July 29 and had our house completely moved in by 9 PM that night. At 8 AM on July 30 I turned in the keys to our apartment.

That first weekend in our new house, I got an unexpected call from a friend. He had adopted a dog and wasn't allowed to keep him. And that's how Bo join our family. A silver lab, he's unique and beautiful. He's a handful, but has the biggest, funniest, most energetic personality.

In November, the crappy '99 Chevy Cavalier the Cameron has owned for a few years and used just to get from point A to point B died on us. And there came our second big purchase together, a new (to us) car. I've never purchased a vehicle, so it was an adventure. 

December was a welcomingly slow. I turned 23 on the 5th, we celebrated that weekend in Indianapolis with a Mannheim steamroller concert with my parents and aunt and uncle. I decorated our house for the first time and loved it. And Christmas came and went.

Now onto 2015, which I hope is a hell of a lot less exciting than 2014. Honestly, I'd be okay with it if nothing big happened in our lives. We've had enough excitement this year for the next few.