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!

thailand

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.

Continue reading

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!

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

To Swipe or Not To Swipe: Adventures in Online Dating

This past Sunday afternoon, my girlfriend and I met up at a local bar for an overdue catch-up and to witness my fantasy team sail to its third consecutive victory.  From my calculations, I am currently in the lead of the  2015-2016 Va Jay Jay Cutler league, but I can’t get too cocky! That killed me last year. So in between ciders and wings, the topic of dating and relationships became a hot topic of discussion; this is how guys watch football right?!

My friend in question just celebrated her thirtieth birthday.  She is beautiful, funny, smart, and I have to say, knows more about football than most ladies (and guys) I know; which from what I know about men, would definitely make her a hot commodity.  However, she is fed up with trying to meet anyone; especially online.  And I can’t blame her!

Now I know that I am married, and that automatically makes me not your favorite person to talk to about dating, but in the effort of solidarity, and since boyfriend weather is upon us, I thought I would regale you with a couple tales from my less-than-flattering time of being single and trying to find love online.  While this may or may not encourage you to invest in this dating method yourself, my hope is that you can at least find relief that if you’re currently dating or wanting to date, you’re not the only one who has a couple of bad stories to tell. Continue reading

Our Little Life: How I Saw God In Miscarriage (Post 2)

This is the second of two posts I have written about the miscarriage we experienced back in July. If there’s one thing that this heartbreak has shown me, it’s that my faith in Christ is something that will always sustain me. I hope you’ll find hope in this truth, too.

And if you think I’m cray, thanks for not telling it to my face. I like to pretend everyone always likes what I have to say…

Miscarriage feels like a cruel joke. At least that’s how I would describe it. You go from excitement to heartbreak. From joy to loss. From growing life to losing life. It’s basically a horrible oxymoron of a life experience.

And the week it was happening to us, I cried out to God so many times to tell me WHY. Why does He make life just to take it? Why do we have to be going through this? Why? Why? Why?

I mean, doesn’t Jesus love the little children?!

But even if we don’t get to know the why behind our pain, we do get to know the One who heals it. And He was with me every. step. of. the. way.

Continue reading

Our Little Life: Experiencing Miscarriage (Post 1)

Recently in another post of (over?)sharing  I admitted that Daniel and I had been walking in the world of God’s timing for starting a family since we had lost our luggage, and our only form of birth control, on our way to the Grecian finale of our Euro tour back in May.  So you can imagine my shock when a single cycle into our family planning journey, a second faint line began appearing on one (of the twenty-pack!) of the cheapo pregnancy tests I had bought on Amazon.

Have I said I love Amazon Prime?!

I might also mention that in order to take said test, I had snuck into our second bathroom before six AM and before I had any reason, or viable symptom, to suspect pregnancy. Per usual, I was trying to not explain my crazy to my husband.  Well, mission failed…

So with hands shaking, I immediately woke Dan up from a dead sleep and showed him the evidence that our lives were about to change.  Talk about a wake-up call! Convinced that the test’s price tag was responsible for its overzealous representation of a positive test, I ran downstairs to the Walgreens on the corner and was able to confirm the news with a top-shelf First Response that we were officially “expecting”. Continue reading

Family Planning: Confessions Of A Crazy Person

It’s been about four months since a fire in the Rome airport created mass chaos and forced Dan and me to gate check our luggage (against our will) in exchange for seats on a flight with a final destination of Athens, Greece.   As fate would have it, after a long delay and a connection through Istanbul, we were left staring at an empty luggage cue well after midnight in the Athens airport.

IMG_2587Just great…

Despite our frustration, we were able to grab a last-minute (and very overpriced) room at the hotel across the street and hoped that our bags would miraculously appear by morning. When morning arrived with no bags in sight, we cabbed it into town and found an H&M and pharmacy to grab supplies for the next few days. Scheduled to depart to Mykonos the next morning, we decided that if need be, we could probably rough it in the Greek islands if necessary.

I know, tough life. Continue reading

His Plans Are Better: Thoughts On Not Having Control

There are a few things I know to be sure in life: God is real, my Mom is the most selfless person I’ve ever met, I’ve been blessed with a husband I don’t deserve, and His plans are always better.

If it had been up to me, I would have spent the entirety of my formative years in Richmond Heights, Ohio in a small three-bedroom ranch house. I would have graduated from Richmond Heights High School, and inevitably, like most other grads, went on to Ohio State. However, instead of living in the same home collecting memories  with the same group of friends for 18 years, over the course of our childhood, my sisters and I were forced to go to two elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. And after that, all three of us even went to two colleges!

Isn’t that nuts? Continue reading