Thursday, April 17, 2014

I just need to WRITE...

about what I'm not sure. Where to start this? I can't guarantee it's going to end well/reasonably. There are just about a million things floating around in my head that I need to get out. So I'm just gonna pick some headings and go for it.

I wonder...
  where I'm gonna be in 6 months. The people who ask where you see yourself in 5 years are nuts.
    what our kids will look like, if we have any kids at all.
      how long it's going to take me to get used to the smell of my husband's socks in the laundry.

  I wish I could do the last half a dozen years of my life over. I know they happened for a reason, but still.
    people amaze me. The things that come out of their mouths, the lack of courtesy, the sheer rudeness.
      I really try to better myself (take a walk, read the Good Book, work on me). Other times, I take naps.

  would I have guessed the blog post I wrote a week ago would have gotten as much attention as it did.
    would I have guessed people IRL actually paid attention to my blog. Yikes?
      will I take for granted the love of my family. It still never ceases to amaze me.

  I'm starting to see my faith in my own way finally.
    this has something to do with watching 19 Kids and Counting on Netflix for the past two weeks.
      I am not ashamed at all of this. The way they describe finding their own convictions was pretty eye-opening.

It's time...
  to focus on establishing myself as something. A journalist? A wife? A professional in some other field?
    to realize that life after college isn't just find a job and be happy. It sucks is hard.
      for me to get some sleep and stop pondering life and its mysteries

I think...
the world will be at my finger tips again in the morning. 
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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

30 Things in 30 Weeks: Let's be honest starting with ourselves

Lehmann Laughter

The prompt for this week is : "Let's be honest: starting with ourselves. Are you honest with yourself about your faults, your mistakes and your life?"
When I read that I actually said out loud yikes. That is deep.
It also was a little more light-hearted for me when the line from the Queen Bey herself starting ringing in my head, "are you happy with yourself?" from Pretty Hurts.
You're welcome for providing the soundtrack for this blog post.
Back to the heart of the matter...
The roundabout, as well as the short and sweet answer, are both no.
Human nature tells us to strive to be the best, for perfection. It's the "Does this selfie accentuate my double chin? Take another" type culture. Put your best face forward and make sure that's just about the only face anyone ever sees.
Recently I've been manning opening up about a lot of the struggles I've been dealing with lately. It took a lot for me to be honest with not only the people closest to me, but myself. Sad but true.
And why is that? The "best face" culture I was just talking about. My faults are weaknesses and I certainly couldn't risk showing those...
My mistakes are a whole different ballgame. There's many, some more mundane than others, some I'm ready to talk about and some I'd rather stay away for good.
Lately being honest about my life has been a process. First is knowing and understand within myself, then accepting, then talking about it all. It has been hard because of all the life changes happening, graduation, college, moving, etc. It forces you to acknowledge things you either didn't want to or didn't realize needed acknowledgement. Sometimes those things pop out and scare the beejesus out of you, too.
Going back to the original question, my answer is still no. I still try to hide those imperfections, but I think I'm working toward a more honest, open version of me.

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Confessions

Well it's been a hot minute since I linked up with Alyx for Sunday Confessions. This week has been one for the books so I figured it was time.

1. Today is bridal shower day for my friend Danielle! I'm a bridesmaid in her wedding in May and I'm so excited! I was wondering if the excitement for weddings would wear off after my own, but it hasn't. It's something about the celebration of love before God, family and friends gives me the warm and fuzzies.

2. Thank you for all the support on Tuesday's post. It was time for me to be real and upfront about what has been going on lately and I've been really blessed since I published it.

3. I think it's time for a blog design update. I've had this one for almost two years so yeah, it's about that time.

4. I wish e-books weren't so expensive. That sounds dumb since they're a lot cheaper than hard copies, but I just go through them so fast! I've been debating trying Oyster, any thoughts?

5. I officially graduate in a couple weeks. My school doesn't have a December ceremony anymore so we all graduate in the May ceremony. I really didn't wanna come back and walk in graduation a whole semester after I was done, but my mom made me (boo) and I'm actually getting excited for it. But don't tell my mom ;)

6. I went back to campus for an awards ceremony about a week and a half ago and I got to see all the girls I was close to during my time there. It didn't hit me until I got home how much I missed them. It was great to spend the afternoon with them while all of us were honored with some award or another.
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Friday, April 11, 2014

Honeymoon Wrap-Up 5: First time cruise tips

Day 1: Grand Cayman Day 2: Cozumel Day 3: Belize Day 4: Mahogany Bay
So funny story before we get this started. I had this post originally titled "Cruise virgin tips" but I decided that was really inappropriate for a description of a honeymoon. HAHA awkward. Please tell me someone else found that funny?
This was our first cruise for our whole group of six. It was an amazing experience, but we learned a lot! I spent a lot of time on Pinterest searching for blogs with cruise tips and it really paid off. So I'm gonna share a few I loved and some more that I learned along with some miscellaneous cruise pictures I didn't include in the other few wrap-ups.

Tip 1: Don't leave for your cruise right from your wedding reception.
-Holy. exhaustion. We left the reception at 11:30, changed, grabbed our bags and dropped the dog off at the in-laws then headed to Columbus to catch our flight. We got to our hotel at 2 and set a wake up call for 3:30. yes, 3:30 a.m. Terrible idea. Flight at 6, connecting in Atlanta at 10, in Miami and to the dock by 12. Then security on the ship, then lunch, then heading out. I was in the room passed out by probably 3:30 and missed us leaving Miami. By the time I woke up I was starving and there was no land in sight. Crazy.

Tip 2: Take a good versatile jacket
-It gets super windy on the ship at night and a little chilly. I took a light chambray that went with all my maxis and it was perfect for the job!

Tip 3: Bring suits, shorts, tanks and dresses.
-Kid you not that's all I wore. A few pairs of Old Navy flip flops and that was it.

Tip 4: going with a group is lots of fun.
-We had a great time with our friends. We could do stuff on our own if we wanted and had plenty of alone time. On the other hand, we had a group to go to the beach and on excursions with and have dinner with or go see shows, etc.

Tip 5: dresses, dresses, dresses!
-I mentioned before but that's almost all I wore. I had 7-8 maxis and one little black dress for the formal night. I bought all my maxis on sale in the fall (genius!) and brought a pair of nice flats and a pair of wedges that went with them all to save space in the suitcase. It was the perfect wardrobe.

Tip 6: Take advantage of the info channels
-On top of a few cable channels, there are some Carnival info channels. Some play different music with just still pictures, others are helpful, as pictured above. This channel gives you your global position (we are the triangle with the circle around it near Havana) and tons of other info. The map picture zooms in and out to show you where you are, shows your path taken and gives you a bunch of info on the bottom like sunrise time, distance traveled, etc. There's also another channel they reserve for the last two days that tells you how to debark from the ship.

Tip 7: bring an alarm clock
-I saw this on a blog before the cruise. Brilliant idea! We changed time zones and number of times and phones, even smart ones like our Samsungs and iPhones, were way off. There are wake up calls you can set, but we didn't get ours twice so we were so glad we brought our clock.
Bonus: the key to getting good chairs on deck and on the beaches (like in Mahogany Bay where it's a beach where everyone from the ship goes) is to get up early! We typically set our alarms for an hour before we got to our stop, got ready and had breakfast then waited to get off the boat.

Tip 8: a good beach bag is a necessity
-fun fact: you are in charge of your beach towel. You get bath towels in your room and beach towels. The beach towels are for on and off the ship but if you lose them it's expensive! I took an adorable monogrammed Crystal Faye bag (a shoulder bag so I could keep my eye on things) that fit: both our towels, our room key/ship IDs, some money, my camera, water bottles and more!

Tip 9: don't spend it all in one place.
-We saved a bunch, and ended up spending half of it in Grand Cayman on a dolphin/stingray excursion. This didn't leave a lot of wiggle room for us and we had to use the ATM on board (hello, fees!) twice. The excursion was fun but it would be ideal to spread it out.

Tip 10: set up on board accounts before
-On Carnival's website you can set up your account to be tied to your bank account. A little dangerous with seemingly endless funds available to spend? Yes. Totally worth it? Yes. When the last day came and everyone was rushing to pay bills and settle things, etc. we were good to go cuz it was gonna come right out of our account. No lines, no hassle.
Bonus: everything you do on-board gets charged to your room account via that ID/key card you get before you get on. Be leery of this cuz it adds up!

Tip 11: really look at the ports you're going to stop at.
-All we cared about was that it was February in Ohio (the worst in snow amounts and cold on record!!) and we were going to be out of the winter weather. I talked about this in our Belize wrap-up, but we should have paid attention to where we were stopping. Three of the four were safe, tourist-y places. Belize was not. It was third world and there was a gated area we were "strongly recommended" to stay within unless leaving on a tour bus. Definitely wished we would have planned an excursion for that stop so we didn't end up just going back to the ship.

I think that's enough for now, but I may add more if I think of them. If you're heading out on a cruise, feel free to shoot me an email and ask anything. We learned a lot and it's hard to sum it all up.
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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

30 Things in 30 Weeks: Handling problems

Lehmann Laughter

So if you've followed my blog at all, you know I've been dealing with some problems lately. If you read yesterday's post, you know the problem has been really bad lately. Let's use that as an example.
This has been a problem I've been dealing with off and on since 2008. Sometimes I'm really gung-ho about fixing it and being done with it all. Other times I just don't wanna.
Add to that little issue all the transitions currently happening. I started this blog to document those transitions, like graduating, getting a job, getting married, moving in with Cam, etc. They've been a real bear.
Admit it, we all feel like Stu at some point in our lives. via

When it comes to problems, I think I deal with them when the situation gets dire, aka I procrastinate like it's my job. I did it with big projects and homework during college. If you look through any posts from my last semester of school (September-December 2013) you'll most likely read about my miserable senior assessment project and how it was such a huge deal I just chose not to do it until I absolutely had to. I was miserable and it was my own fault.
I do the same thing with confrontation. It doesn't happen often in my life thank you Jesus, but when it does I put it off or pretend like it's just not happening.

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