Jun 28, 2013

That First Date Did Me In


*Mushy Alert- do not read if you dislike sappy, lovey posts!*

Four years ago today I was sitting at my Grandma's 75th birthday party with all of my family. My best friend texted me to ask if I wanted to catch a movie with him and another one of his friends. I got the okay to leave and he headed over. This other friend canceled so it would just be me and him.

Insert ridiculous amount of teasing from my family. You see I had just broken up with my boyfriend and they thought it was necessary to tease me for going out with another guy, alone. That wasn't the plan I told them, he's just a friend I told them. Neither of us really admitted that it was a first date until after the movies. After helping him find his way to the house (he drove to the wrong place) I was ready to leave. They nearly scared him away by trying to force him to "come and talk" before we left. I stopped that one real quick!

We headed out to see Transformers 3. For a first date, this was just about the longest freaking movie we could have picked. We had a very awkward run-in with my (very) recent ex-boyfriends family. They just so happened to be at the same movie, at the same time. This definitely added to the "stress" of a first date. Halfway through the movie we both summoned up the courage to reach over, at the same time, to hold hands. I'm pretty sure I nearly broke his fingers, I was holding his hand so tight. The movie finally ended, though I don't really remember any of it, and we headed out the back exit. We sprinted to the car but at that moment we knew my ex's family had seen us for sure. There'd be hell to pay for that one but we really didn't care!

He asked if it would be alright to stop and see a few of his friends before he took me back to my house. It was still pretty early because I had an awesome curfew but I said sure as long as we got home in time. Meeting friends on the first date? Dang, this kid must really like me I thought. We stopped to see these friends who had had a few to drink. He introduces me and then proceeds to leave me alone while he goes to the bathroom. I don't know how long he was in there but it sure felt like forever. We headed out pretty soon after that and had a good, random conversation on the 45 minute drive home.

I started to get nervous when we pulled onto my gravel road. Would he kiss me? What teenage girl doesn't think that on the first date! Then I thought, this guy is my best friend, what if he kisses me and it ruins everything? What if we don't work out? I can still remember that exactly where we were standing, exactly how I felt, because that was the last first kiss I will ever have. I think I was a little head over heels from that first kiss on.
This picture was taken just a few weeks before

*Extra Mushy Alert*
I never would have thought that just over three years later I would marry this kid! I can't believe how much our relationship has changed since then and all of the things we've been through. Because I know you'll read this tonight, or in a day or two, I love you M and I'm so happy you asked me to hang out that day. We had that gut feeling but who would have ever thought we'd be where we are today? Thank you for taking that leap with me!

Love,
Mandy

P.S. Happy 79th birthday Grandma, I love you!

Jun 27, 2013

Photo Overload and Why I Miss My Hair

Is it just me or has it felt like Friday since yesterday morning?

I've been trying not to bore y'all with the every day details of my life so that should explain my absence. Trust me, there was nothing really all that interesting to talk about!

Last night we picked up a copy of and the rights to our engagement photos so I can finally share them with you! We took these last May and I haven't really seen them since last June. I forgot how much I loved them!

I also really miss my long hair when I look at these. It's slowly growing but I wish it would just hurry up and be long again! After seeing these pictures, I'm sure you can understand why!

That's about all I've got for you today so I'll let the pictures speak for themselves!

















We love our photographer! Fonda Photography is the best and I really couldn't imagine getting photos done anywhere else. I can't wait to be back there in a month for some more!

Happy Thursday friends!
-Mandy

Jun 20, 2013

We Are Proud


I know it's been a little while since I last posted. My mind has been a little preoccupied over the last week. This is something that I've been thinking about posting for the last month. I thought it would be so easy to come up with the words because it's been consuming my thoughts lately.. Yet here I am, at a loss for words. Yesterday made things official. My husband is now a member of the United States Army Reserve. I am now a part of the Army family as well. We've definitely been learning the phrase "hurry up and wait" and flexibility because there have been a few bumps a long the way, changing things at the very last minute.

This is a crazy, exciting adventure that we've stepped into! At first I was very apprehensive. Although we've talked about the Army many times (my father-in-law has been a part of the Army for about 30 years), this is the first time we've ever had the serious talk about M joining. We were inspired to talk about it by two of our best friends who are going through the process already. They've handled everything so well and it made me realize that it's a dream we're willing to follow!

Now, almost two months after we started this process, things are official. M was sworn in yesterday morning by his dad. That in itself was pretty amazing to see! I think the whole thing felt a little surreal. I'm such a crier, yet not one tear was shed when he was sworn in. I'm just proud! Yes, the separation will definitely suck but how could you not be proud and supportive of a courageous decision like that? In a few months he will be heading off to basic training followed by advanced training. This will be the first time ever that we have gone that long without seeing each other. We've done semi-long distance, only seeing each other every other weekend, but this is full-blown long distance. Not something I was really prepared for when I said I do, but it's an adventure that I'm ready to go through with my husband.

Unlike my husband, I have basically no knowledge of anything military related. After M met with the recruiter, he'd come back using all this lingo I couldn't understand. The only thing I could do was hop on the good ol' internet and start researching. And that's exactly what I've been doing for the last few months. Sometimes I wonder if that's good or bad! I'm trying to be honest with myself because I know it's going to be tough work. I'm not even the one who has to go through training! I've read a lot of stories about experiences from basic training and of course you worry about what they'll go through. I know God has been by our side through the whole process so far and I know we'll be leaning on Him in the future! Kaitlyn from Wifessionals and Casey from We Took the Road Less Traveled have been amazingly helpful, answering every question I've had as well!

As I drown myself in articles about the Army I am hoping I can ask for a favor from all of you, friends. As we go through the next months and years of our life with the Army, please don't hesitate to say a prayer or think positive thoughts for us and our families. If you have experience with the Army (or any military branch) please tell me everything you know! I know each person's time with the military is so different from anyone else's but all information is helpful. Don't hesitate to send me links to articles or blogs or emails of anyone you can think of! I'm a newbie to this huge world and I would love all the help and advice I can get!

I'm unsure of where this blog will go over the coming months. This is a huge part of our journey so I will talk about it but I also want to lead a normal life while M is away. I promise to still talk about other boring life events, don't worry! We need all the love and support we can get, so where better to share it than the blogging community. For now, I am a proud Army wife and we're starting our journey Army strong!



Love,
Mandy

Jun 13, 2013

Ranting about the bling!

I'm about to rant a little because sometimes it's good to get things off your mind! Plus, I failed on the crafting front for the second week in a row so I have nothing else to talk about. If today's topic still includes Pinterest, does it count as Pinterest Thursday? I say yes!

Many of you who use Pinterest have probably encountered this a time or two (hundred). The infamous wedding board before you're even engaged. Quite honestly, I didn't even join until after I was engaged so I wasn't guilty of this. However, had I joined before, I'm pretty sure you could have found me in that crowd. I understand you want to dream and fantasize about that big day. Who doesn't? I just want to say that what you think you'll want at your wedding will most likely change by the time you're actually planning it (my ideas changed twice while in the process of planning). Don't get too attached to those ideas because they probably won't be happening!

That's not even the part that bothers me. What sends me over the edge is girls who constantly, and I mean literally multiple times a day, pin images of engagement rings that they want. Not just pretty rings, but $100,000 rings that they most likely will never have but still label as "The ring I'll have one day!" Girl, who are you kidding? Unless you're solely looking for a sugar daddy, chances are your ring will look nothing like that. Dream on!

This makes me wonder why we're so obsessed with an engagement ring. I know I'm guilty of stalking someone's Facebook/Twitter/Instagram when I hear they're engaged to see a photo of the bling. Why? I sure don't know! Then when you do see it, you go into instant judgement mode. A lot of times it makes you forget about the meaning behind it (even if just for a second). I would have taken a piece of string if it still meant that I would get married to my best friend!

The reason this topic comes to mind is because I've dealt with a lot of judgement over my ring. Many people don't know that I actually had a part in choosing my ring. M wanted to make sure I would have something that I would love, even though I tried to reassure him that I would love whatever he picked. Diamonds are pretty, yes, that's for sure. I didn't want diamonds. Gasp! I wanted something that had more meaning! I gave him simple ideas and let him run with it. I said my favorite was a three stone setting (because I had a small solitare ring and I constantly scratched myself) in white gold. If he chose something that was aquamarine or pink, I would be in heaven! Honestly, we spent more on my husband's ring that on my engagement ring and wedding band put together! I don't know exactly what he spent on my engagement ring (nor do I want to) but I know a ballpark!

From many photos and even in person, it looks like a three large diamonds with a small row of diamonds on the side. I always laugh when people ask if it is! My birthday is in March and my birthstone is aquarmarine. The three large stones in my ring are aquamarine and that has more meaning than any diamond ever could! The second I say that my engagement ring isn't full of diamonds, I see the instant judgement come across someone's face. "Oh....didn't you want a diamond ring?" Like that was the only thing I cared about when it slipped on my finger!

An engagement ring is a symbol of you being taken. A symbol of the commitment you're about to make to your significant other. Most importantly, the commitment you're about to make with God! We've become so obsessed with material things and we forget the true meaning behind these all! When I hear stories about girls who throw a fit about the diamond in their ring not being big enough or returning the ring for something they like better, I want to cry for the one who gave it to them! They truly don't deserve going through that as I'm sure they spent a painstakingly long amount of time picking it out in the first place!





Ladies, you can dream all you want but please don't put such a ridiculous amount of pressure on your man in an already stressful situation! Do you really want to be carrying around something on your hand that could put you at risk of being robbed, anyway?

End rant.

Love,
Mandy

Jun 11, 2013

Early Morning Thoughts

I woke up at 5 a.m. wide awake this morning. For some of you that may be quite normal but I've been getting up at 9 a.m. so it makes all the difference. Insomnia and stomach aches, please quite plaguing me so I can get some sleep!

Usually I sleep in until the last possible moment and then I rush, rush, rush, til I get to where I'm going. This is especially true in the Summer when I could care less what I look like. I'm enjoying my last few Summers like this because I know it's not going to last! However, starting your day off pretty frazzled doesn't really set a great tone for the rest of the day.

I took Gage outside to do his morning business and I was in awe at the beauty in front of me. It's been so long since I've had to be up when the sun is still along the horizon. I have missed the humbleness that seeing such a sight gives me. You know, just before the whole world is awake, that silence you hear? That's when it's easiest for me to hear God. During the hustle and bustle of the day, I often get distracted when talking to God. That sounds terrible but I'm being honest right now.

This morning has showed me that I need to make a much greater effort to give myself enough time in the mornings. Enough time to have an honest, deep talk with God every morning. Just to set my day in motion in a peaceful way instead of a chaotic mess.

Sometimes we get so busy with life that we forget to relax and take in the beauty God has put in front of us. Take a moment today to just enjoy that, please?

I wish I had taken a photo this morning so you could see what I saw. It was truly breathtaking!

It looked pretty similar to this! Image via Google

Happy Tuesday friends!

Love,
Mandy

Jun 10, 2013

Another One Has Come and Gone

Well, well, well, another weekend has come and gone. Settling into the Summer routine takes awhile and I feel like I'm not getting a single thing accomplished! I have a few goals set for this week so I'm hoping things get accomplished!

We're also still waiting for an important phone call so if you could think some happy thoughts for us, we'd really appreciate it!

On to the weekend!



1. Went to a friend (and bridesmaids) graduation party and spotted this little number from the wedding. Love that the girls I chose to stand by my side got along so well even though most of them didn't know each other!
2. Got my I Do Voxbox from Influenster and tried out the toothpaste! I was a little quite nervous when I saw how blue it was, especially when I started brushing my teeth and it was still blue. Not sure yet if it made my teeth whiter but they didn't come out blue and my mouth was pretty fresh so I give it a thumbs up!

3. Played with all of our feisty little kittens. They're at the perfect age where they just jump around and tackle each other. I miss being around kittens all the time!

4. While searching for a wedding card. Real nice Walmart, glad cards are categorized as birthday and not birthday. Keeping it classy I see!

5. First wedding of the season! Daddy (the groom) dancing with his daughter to Suit and Tie. The dance they planned at the beginning of the song was hilarious and made for great entertainment!

6. Being reminded of our big day! I was tearing up at the Father-Daughter (bride) dance and the first dance a little bit before this picture was taken. I love love and I love weddings!

Hope your weekend was fulfilling and your Monday isn't too much of a downer!

Love,
Mandy

Jun 5, 2013

Things I Should Have Learned

It's a dreary Wednesday here so I'm sitting down to do a little writing! I had a post that I planned for today but our little bump in the road yesterday postponed that one until at least next week. Some days I have absolutely no idea what to write about! I decided to poke around on the awesome topics list that Wifessionals has put together.

The one that stuck out to me was 3 things I wish I had known how to do before moving out of my parents house. Well since we're still in school, we're back and forth between living at my parent's house and our own place at school. Though we still live there, I have a few things that I struggled with when I moved out! Most people my age would say getting a job, not ruining all your clothes, cooking basic meals without burning the place down, those sort of things. Not even close for me!

This is me saying "You want me to do what? On my own?"

One thing I really wish I would have learned is the dreaded budget! My parents taught me how to handle money, don't get me wrong! I've had a checkbook since I was 14 and a pretty steady job since then as well so I knew how to balance a checkbook. I never really bought extravagant things so I never paid attention to how much I was spending. Then I got to college and I didn't have a job for an entire semester. My parents are amazing and they helped me out but I've never felt so helpless in my life! I hated depending on them for money when I should have been making it myself. I finally got a job second semester but all of our spare money went for the wedding! We had a ton of help from our family but it was still pretty draining on the bank account. When we moved into our apartment, we had very little savings! The money from the wedding went pretty quickly and I only had a very part time job to help pay the bills. 

Living paycheck to paycheck was honestly no fun and I'm so thankful that my parents would help us out with groceries so we could make sure all of our bills were paid. Once second semester came and we both had solid jobs, I decided it was time to make a budget. But I was clueless! Mint.com came to the rescue but it was still hard to know how much to allot for each category. I tweak it pretty regularly but we've already started working on our savings and I feel like I have a better handle on the budget!

The second thing I really wish I would have learned is how to just grab a bunch of ingredients and come up with a meal. This one is my fault and my fault alone! My mom and brother used to pester me to come into the kitchen and help cook so I would learn how. I never saw the use so I always refused! I can cook just about anything as long as I have a recipe and I've actually started to like cooking! Yet if you just give me a kitchen full of ingredients and say come up with something, you'll probably find me hiding in a corner looking confused! I've started to measure things less and cook by taste but that is a skill that takes a long time to master! My poor, poor husband may suffer a time or two because of this one!

The last thing I wish I would have learned is how to be comfortable getting things done on my own. Now my mom made me do a lot of things on my own but like every good mother does, she helped me out a lot too. She would schedule appointments for me and call people when things needed to be figured out. When you get out on your own, you have to do all of that yourself. As I've talked about, I hate talking on the phone! I have to give myself a little pep-talk when I want to schedule a hair appointment or order takeout. Trying to figure out where important places are at or what I need to do to get school stuff fixed is a challenge I've learned all about over the last two years! 

Two of the three things are hard to prepare for until you get out on your own and do them! One was purely my own fault! Figuring out these things is just a part of the adventure :)

What do you wish you knew before moving out?

-Mandy

Jun 4, 2013

A Sort of Life Update!

Happy Tuesday friends!

I'm on my way back from Des Moines with M so this will be short and sweet today! We had a minor setback today but hopefully we'll get things fixed and make it all official next week. Then I can stop being so vague on this little blog of mine! If you're the praying type, please say a little prayer that we have smooth sailing from here on out! Otherwise just happy, positive thoughts are appreciated! :)

I just wanted to stop by today to gush about my new purchase as of midnight last night! If you're a blogger then you've probably heard of Erin Condren planners. Personally I don't think you have to be a blogger to think these planners are awesome! I love to be organized and have everything written down on a paper calendar. This planner will be perfect to make sure I have everything written down in the Fall when things get hectic!

If you've never heard of the EC Life Planners then I suggest you head over here and check them out! They also have teacher lesson planners as well as a ton of other cool personalized stuff! If you love to make lists or write everything down then this planner is absolutely for you! The new 2013-2014 planners just became available today so head on over to snatch them up!!


I'm sorry if you've read a million posts about these planners today, I was too excited not to share it with you! 

I'm looking for some awesome stickers to add to the planner once I get it. Do you have any favorites that you think I will like?

-Mandy