Five Things My Best Friend Taught Me About Marriage

For those of you who don’t know, I have been blessed to call Ashley my best friend for over 12 years. In fact, up until I got married last summer, we also called ourselves roommates; setting records at 11 years of living together. Yes, you read that correctly. I lived with the same girl, and a few other combinations of friends, for over a decade and we lived to tell about it. And we still like each other!

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Riding elephants in Thailand

I’m fairly certain that at various moments throughout the years, those closest to us questioned if we were MORE than just a couple of best friends who liked living together. Maybe it was the 10-year anniversary trip we took to Thailand that raised eyebrows?! And I’m pretty sure that if it hadn’t been for the boyfriends that popped in and out over the years, there would have been a coming-out intervention by one of our families that would have ended in complete and utter awkwardness.

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Anniversary Trip: What Really Happened…(Pregnancy Ain’t Pretty)

So I have a confession.  There may have been a bit of “lying by omission” happening in my post last month about our anniversary trip to the Northeast.  Now don’t get me wrong, we had a lovely time and I wanted to, and did, share the highlights of our adventure.  Buttttttt I also may have glossed over some of the less-than-flattering moments for me during that trip…

IMG_3188First off, let me tell you, there’s not much that’s pretty going on for a six(ish) weeks pregnant woman on vacation in August in a world where even the Panera is serving a lobster roll. I was tired, I was nauseous, I could smell EVERYTHING, and I wanted nothing to do with basically everything on their seafood-heavy restaurant menus. Normally, I’m all about enjoying seafood when we are on a coast, but after I ordered a lobster dish on the first night and took that first fateful, and disgusting, bite, I carefully navigated around similar offerings from there on out. Since most options sounded terrible or actually made me throw up (let’s just say it may be a while before I order chicken parm again…) I ordered a double portion of the buttered noodles off the kids’ menu the night we went out for our anniversary. I was even wearing a dress. Dan had the mussels and the Yankee pot roast; my first course was a fruit cup.

Thank God for kind waiters… Continue reading

Love After Life: Writing a Will When You’re 30

Being the world’s laziest people when it comes to moving, before we left for Europe, in order to justify hiring packers and movers, I decided to work an extra few days before I quit my job to cover the cost. Genius!

Let me tell you: Worth. Every. Penny.

While I definitely felt like an asshole watching four men give it their all to pack up and haul our entire life into a storage unit for four months so we could go travel the world (all while sipping a Starbucks latte), I would rather spend the cash than try to move myself ever again. I’ve been ruined!

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What To Do When You’re Expecting Baby #2…by Kathryn Shindeldecker

One of my favorite friends in all the world, Kathryn, is expecting her second little beauty NEXT week! Today, she shares a few tips on how to prepare your family for a second child.  And of course, provides a few laughs along the way!  Enjoy!

Hello! Thanks for tuning into my guest post on Alyssa’s site. Alyssa and I have been friends for over 10 years now. We both attended Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, and after an initial period of “feeling each other out” for a couple months, we became very close. By the grace of God we have maintained that closeness through good time and bad. In fact, I can thank Alyssa’s previously referenced plan to meet cute boys at church for bringing me back into a relationship with God when I was feeling very isolated and lost. I couldn’t possibly not go to church when the rest of my roommates were going! Thank God for my FOMO.

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Anyway, I was really excited when Alyssa accepted my gracious invitation to be the first guest blogger on her amazing website (read: I forced myself into her awesome dream realized). First, a little about me. My husband Brian and I are lifelong Midwesterners. We’ve been married 5 years and have an absolutely amazing 2 ½ year old daughter. I work part time at a large academic health system helping imbed population health management strategies into current clinical and strategic practices (wow, did that put you to sleep or what??). Also, our family is less than one week away from welcoming a second baby girl into the world.  (At least I hope we’re less than a week away…pregnancy is about one month too long in my opinion.) Since they always say “write what you know,” I figured I would provide you all with some tips for preparing for a second child. Continue reading

Honest Friendship

One of the most unexpected results of our miscarriage story has been learning of the other stories of loss that have been carried silently by many of the women (and men) around me. I had no idea what those around me were going through!

You see, one of the first decisions I made after the fog had lifted was was to choose for this story to be a glory story. As much as I wanted to ignore my sad feelings and pretend that life was totally and completely fine, I decided that we could do more than that through our loss. We could use it to bring God glory.

Instead of hiding it in my heart, and covering up my pain, I openly shared our experience over lunch and coffee. When asked by dear friends how my summer was going, I chose to be fully honest, rather than utter the expected pleasantries that we women tend to do when we are hanging out with each other. And in case that wasn’t enough, I decided to blow the lid off this pop stand, and shared it with basically the world and wrote about it on the blog.

And let me tell you, after I stopped freaking out about telling people what was REALLY going on in my life, it was liberating!

But what was even MORE surprising, was how I learned that I was not alone. Continue reading