Thoughts on Marriage

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Lately I've been thinking a lot about this marriage of mine. The ups and downs, ins and outs, how we function on a daily basis, etc. It's still a bit weird to me to be someone's wife even more than a year later. 
For example, the other night we were watching tv and I heard a name I liked and I said to Cameron, "that would be a beautiful name for a baby girl," and he agreed. It stopped me in my tracks a little bit. The idea that we are married and could start a family anytime we want (not that we couldn't have done so before being married, but you know). 
One of my favorite pictures from our wedding day. The moment my soon-to-be husband first saw me. 

We have our good and bad days, but the good far outnumber the bad. Last night I was laying in bed as Cameron was finishing folding his laundry and I thanked him for making his recent job change, knowing it would be for the best financially. He said it was a no-brainier and thanked me for appreciating him, even though he can be hard to love sometimes. 
In moments like that, the bond between us feels so strong, almost palpable. There's this energy holding us together as if our marriage vows were some magnetic force. I sat there and let myself feel it, the nerves on my back standing at attention as it shivered its way down my spine. For that bond I am so grateful. Certainly I have my days (and he, his) where we struggle and argue and just in general don't want to be around each other. But despite that, there is still that bond, propelling us forward on our path together.
The small moments are where I feel it the most. The co-folding laundry, passing dishes from me to him to be loaded in the washer, me sweeping with him mopping behind me. The teamwork and the strength and the cooperation never cease to amaze me. And I hope it never will. 

Conscious Update 1

Monday, March 9, 2015

At the beginning of this year I chose a word. A power word, word of the year, whatever you'd like to call it. My word for 2015 is conscious. I chose conscious because I want to force myself to be aware of myself, my surroundings and my purpose.

I ordered this amazing art from Kristin at Lovely People (seriously her work is amazing. I have a wedding portrait and a power word from her shop. Incredible!) as a reminder to hang it my office.

Anyway, why we're here. I want to hold myself accountable so I want to try to stick with at least monthly updates. Clearly that hasn't gone well since I am just now getting around to doing a January and February update, but we all know how January went for me so...

January: my goal was to focus on less screen time, more people time.
Reality: Meh. I did okay. It's so hard because you don't realize how much technology affects you until you make an effort to put it away. For example, my phone might as well be surgically attached to my hand (#mediaproblems), our tvs are on essentially from the time we get home until we go to sleep (and longer, I use the sleep timer so I have some noise/light to fall asleep to) and my laptop is pretty much always open.
But, thanks to my conscious effort, I was able to cut back on that at least a little. Less Facebooking, more yoga. Less tv watching, more us time with my loving husband. Less phone playing, more dog playing!

For the record, not all of these are ours. The far left and far right belong to us. The middle two are my sister's and brother's.
February: Cultivate meaningful relationships
Reality: I am really proud of my progress this month. I reached out to four friends and hung out with each one on at least one occassion, three of the four more than once! I'm at the point in my life where I need those healthy, genuine friendships that will really bless me. And I think I'm well on my way there.

This picture has nothing to do with this point. We just had some anniversary pictures done the weekend after our anniversary and I'm mildly obsessed with them. 
My goals for March (and April, in case I don't get around to it...again).

March: Further my efforts to be social instead of be on social media. I plan to limit myself to less than half and hour of non-work social media time. Along those same lines, I want to consciously get together with those four friends again and maybe one more during the month.

April: This month I'm taking a different approach. Of course I will continue my anti-social media efforts, but also try meditation. What better way to be conscious than truly reach into and calm my mind and just let myself be?

Any advice for a first-time meditator? Or any advice of focusing on consciousness at all?

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.