Sep 27, 2013

Thank You Doesn't Say Enough

I just want to thank all of you for the support you've given me over the past few weeks! I know this blog of mine is tiny and I sure don't post very often but the comments have been so supportive!

I've gotten a few of the sweetest comments from ladies that I could tell have had experience with my situation. They were no-reply comments and I wish so badly that I could respond to them. Thank you to whoever you are for those words of encouragement!

I've been getting a steady stream of letters since this weekend and they're only a few days behind. It's been great for keeping my mood positive and still feeling involved in his daily life. Those of you who've experienced this know what it feels like! I spend a good chunk of time writing letters or stalking waiting for the mail man. The closest post office is about 15 minutes away so I make that drive every day after class to mail my letters.

I'm sure he'll LOVE me for this picture..
He's in fantastic spirits and says he's happy that he chose to go. He's struggling a little with a few things so we'd greatly appreciate your prayers! Thank you for all the prayers y'all have said for us since we began this journey back in May!

I hope to keep you as updated as possible without breaking any rules! Please be patient with me if I seem to be vague about some things. Army milsos, if I slip up please don't hesitate to tell me what I did wrong or if you think there are any resources I could use please send them my way!

With love,
Mandy

Sep 24, 2013

Comfortability in Marriage

Today I've spent a lot of time thinking about the things I really appreciate in my husband. Being college students, we spend a lot of time being distracted by homework and I tend to forget about all these little things. As a newlywed, I feel as though these things should still be pretty obvious to me. Yet day to day life happens and you forget to really appreciate them.

Being away from my husband has brought out all sorts of emotions. There is the sadness and loneliness, the pride and independence, but I never thought I would feel so grateful for this time away from him. That's right, I feel grateful! It's very easy to take for granted all of the things you love about your significant other when you get into a routine. When you get comfortable in your marriage, you forget to be thankful for all the things you love about your SO.

Until they're gone (though in my case it's only temporary) you just plain forget about them. I'm so thankful that my husband takes care of all the little things I hate to do. Like taking out the trash or putting gas in the car. I'm so thankful for the encouragement my husband gives me daily. The way he never goes a day without saying "I love you" many times. Just the way he looks at me, with so much love in his eyes. The way he makes decisions when I'm so indecisive but lets me have my way most of the time. He keeps me grounded when I beg for things that just aren't practical at the time being. He is the bad guy so I don't have to be. Most of the time, he even calls places for me (except when he's trying to make a point) just because he knows how much I hate being on the phone with strangers. I'm terrible at rushing life events (marriage, babies, moving, jobs, etc.) then instead of fully enjoying them, rushing into the next event. I wish away all of this time with my husband and I'm missing those little moments!

There are just so many things that I used to obsess over when we were dating. I used to gush about him to my friends constantly and I noticed the little things that he did to make me happy. I've gotten so used to them that I'm ashamed to say I don't even realize they're happening any more. I got comfortable and that's not a good thing. You should be comfortable with the person you marry but you should never be so comfortable that you stop noticing those things they do. Those little moments should always make you fall even more in love with your SO. If you can't find at least one of those moments in every day, then you need to take a step back.

I'm so grateful for this chance to open up my eyes again. To get a second chance at appreciating what I've got in front of me! Every second of every day is not going to be easy or filled with positivity. That doesn't mean you can't still find a positive in every day!

Take an extra second today to think about what your SO does for you. We never know what tomorrow will bring so you have to appreciate it today!

The little things
-Mandy

Sep 23, 2013

This Past Week...

Good morning friends!

This past week has been sort of a whirl wind and that's why I've been a little absent! You may have seen some tweets about what I've been up to.

Last Tuesday I headed back to my home area and spent the night catching up with one of my best friends. This girl and I have known each other since preschool and she's truly one of the sweetest people I've ever met. Her significant other has been at Basic Training and AIT since the end of April. M and I are great friends with him so we had planned to go to his graduation. Since M had left before his graduation, I promised I'd still go to stand in for both of us. They were in the same training base but never got a chance to meet up.

Wednesday morning we got up pretty early and headed out on a seven hour drive. Let me just tell you, when you get two girls in a car who have plenty to talk about, the drive flies by. Though there were a few bumps along the way, we met up with her man and got to spend the rest of the day with him! I got to hear tons of stories about what M has been going through and some of the cool things he'll be learning. It was pretty hard that first night to be in the same place as M but not be able to see him. Thursday we got up bright and early to head out for graduation. It was one of the coolest things I've ever experienced and I still get goosebumps thinking about it. I cannot wait to be back there for M's graduation in a few months.

After the graduation, my friend had a little surprise in store for her! One that I'd been in on all Summer long and was getting to play photographer for. Her soldier pulled out a little box and was down on one knee before she knew what was happening! I could not be more happy for them!! They are truly an inspiration to M and myself! We spent the rest of the day driving home and just relaxing.




Friday morning I headed out with my parents to start decorating for my brother's wedding! It really didn't take too long and the space turned out very well. We talked a lot and I heard quite a few stories about my new sister. I even got to meet a new baby that I've been dying to see! Later that night the whole wedding party met up for rehearsal. I was starting to get emotional so I knew it would be a struggle to keep it together for the rest of the weekend.

Saturday I headed out with the other bridesmaids and met the Bride at the hair salon. I took lots of photos and we had a good time just being girls. I got teary eyed when the Bride was all ready to go. I was so happy that my only brother had met such a sweet, beautiful girl to share his life with. Once we were done we headed back to a guest house near the church where we all got ready. Pictures were quickly followed by an amazing lunch. I swear everyone was in a food coma all weekend because every meal we had was delicious. We marched into the church and got them married! The bride's sister and I bawled pretty much the whole ceremony which set quite a few other people off I've heard. It was a beautiful wedding, what can I say!

Before heading off on the party bus, my body decided it would be a good idea to fall down the stairs. Thankfully I only fell down a few stairs before I caught myself. A pretty big bump and some bruises were all that came of it so I wasn't going to let that stop me. The speeches at the wedding had us all in tears once again but the dancing that followed brought the mood right back up again. Though there were a few times that I was emotional during the wedding, the groomsmen (who have always been big brothers to me) made sure that I wasn't alone the whole night. I couldn't be more thankful for everyone who was watching out for me!



I have felt so blessed this past week with all the love and joy I've gotten to experience! To top it all off, I opened up my mail box last night to see my first letter from M. It brought me to tears before I opened it. Although it's a little weird to be hearing about things that happened almost two weeks ago (so much has changed since then I'm sure) it's just great to hear from him!

Hope y'all have a Monday that's as great as my last week has been!
-Mandy

Sep 16, 2013

Communicating

Just like that, there is communication in my near future!

Today, I got the much awaited phone call from my soldier. This time we had seven minutes to talk and they were pretty glorious! He gave me a few mini updates but it was mostly just good to hear his voice! You could hear it as he spoke, he was absolutely giddy to be talking to me. You never truly appreciate how much your loved one's voice alone can put a smile on your face until it's gone.

One week down and he's officially training. Hope every week flies just as fast as this one did!

Hope y'all find something this week that makes you as happy as that one phone call made me!

Happy Monday :)
-Mandy

Sep 13, 2013

Choosing Happy

No matter how hard I've tried, I sort of let myself have a pity party since Monday. Though it was understandable, I don't need to spend the rest of the semester wallowing!

This morning I woke up and just chose to be happy. I'm not sure if it was the brisk Fall breeze coming through the windows or the fact that my hair cooperated for once but I am in a good mood! I'm not the only one going through my current situation and knowing that there will be an end to all of this makes it okay.

The only thing holding you back from being happy is yourself. You can choose to find the silver lining in every situation! I'm not saying that you can't have a bad day or just be sad for awhile. You just have to choose to make the most of each day so when you look back on your life, you're happy with what you see.

I have so many things in my life that I can be happy about instead of dwelling on the one thing that's making me sad. Today, I'm going to go out and make the day count!

Happy Friday, friends!
-Mandy

Sep 12, 2013

One Step At A Time

VIA

This quote. 

This is exactly how I'm looking at things today. Baby steps will get me through the day until M comes home and for that I'm grateful!

Today I'm just thanking God for the courage to follow through.

It's been a much better day today and I hope it was for all of you as well!

-Mandy


Sep 11, 2013

Lost

My world is a little turned upside down at the moment. I'm experiencing something I've really never had to deal with, something there was no way to fully prepare for. I truly feel like I'm wandering around, lost, trying to find my way back to a normal schedule/life.

Monday morning was filled with early rising, airport mix ups, and a very emotional goodbye. If you follow me on Instagram then you probably know what I'm talking about. My husband is now officially in training to be a soldier of the United States Army.

Hurry up and wait. 

That's what I'm dealing with right now. Lord knows I'm not the first person to go through all of this and I'm definitely not the last. That doesn't make it any easier. I know with time this will be much easier to handle. It's getting through the current day without thinking too much about tomorrow that I'm struggling with.

This is what I agreed to. Yet you could never imagine how it feels until you're going through it all. I've always had respect for those who go through this daily for their whole lives! Now that respect has grown immensely because I have gotten the tiniest sliver of what it feels like. 

I'm terrible about asking for help or telling people that I'm upset unless they ask first. If I do ask for help, it took more than you could even realize to step up. Please know that things may not always be positive around here while I'm going through this. There will be bad days along with the good. Please don't tell me that it could always be worse when I'm having a down day. That's like saying the things I'm struggling with aren't important in my life.

Right now, I need support. I need people to reach out to see how I'm doing, especially if I seem to be having a bad day. We need lots of prayers and kind words. What my husband is going through (I can't even fathom) is much harder than what I'm dealing with so please include him in your prayers.



This is me asking for help.

-Mandy

Sep 6, 2013

DIY Key Holder

This is probably one of the easiest projects I've done in a long time. It took less than 5 minutes to get the entire thing done!

You can use any picture frame that you already have, as long as you can screw the hooks into it. I didn't have one that was big enough so I went the even easier route and picked one up from Target. This one holds a 5x7 picture and is made out of wood. We just used the first hooks that we found in the hardware aisle. You could also use nails if you wanted to get even more plain or you could use old knobs from cupboards or dressers to get a little fancier.

I helped M measure out the points for each hook. He twisted each one in until it was even with the ridges on the frame.

Voila!

It's literally that easy. We chose one of our wedding photos to add to the frame and we hung it up on the wall. We have a terrible habit of losing our keys for the car and apartment so we put this right next to our door. Now, as soon as we walk into our apartment we hang up the keys. Easy to find!




Excuse the terrible photo quality, typical phone pictures.

-Mandy

Sep 5, 2013

The first five photos are little pieces of our wedding day that I brought back for our first anniversary. They are little momentos that remind me of our day every time I see them. The earrings I picked out just for the big day (I even had my ears double pierced just so I could wear them). It took forever to pick out a necklace that didn't overpower the beading on my dress. Once I found this one, I knew it was perfect. The bracelet was a gift from one of my maids of honor with two special bible verses and our wedding date inscribed on it. Our cake was an obvious one that we had to bring back! Then we used our drinking glasses for supper. I love those things!






The rest of these photos are just some of the ones we took in our mini photo shoot. As I said yesterday, with limited resources, you get what you get! I'm sure the bloopers will make their way to a post sometime in the near future because they're as comical as always!



1 year photo
original wedding photo


One year photo - American Gothic style
original wedding photo - American Gothic style
The place where we had our first look on our wedding day!

M-
I can't believe it's been a whole year since our wedding day! Though it seems packed full of memories, it definitely flew by. That day, I took a leap of faith and I've trusted all of your decisions. Now I'm trusting that this next journey will have a positive impact on our lives! We will find a way to grow from the distance. I cannot wait to see all of the ways each of us grow and change through this experience. I never saw myself with a future like this but you've opened my eyes to a whole new idea. I'm ready to take on the next year with you and wherever that takes us! I love you! Happy first anniversary!

Love,
Mandy

Sep 4, 2013

Back to school, back to school

I've been a little absent around the blog lately and over the next month I will probably be just as absent. Transitioning back into school has taken a bit to get down and now transitioning to M's time during Basic Training and AIT will be priority. I would apologize for being gone so much but I've been enjoying those precious moments with my husband before he's gone. I know those who read this often will understand why that's so necessary!

Now I can catch you up on our long weekend (hey, it's only Wednesday...at least it's not Friday) back home.

A whole lot of sign language. I'm taking a sign language course that I'm ridiculously interested in so I'll probably be talking about that a lot this semester. We have to record ourselves signing a few different times so those videos might make an appearance in a post or two!

Puppy snuggles. Can never get enough of those!

Not so enthused about the ride home considering Gage likes to make my seat, his seat.

Celebrating our one year anniversary with the top of our wedding cake! We used a food saver to seal up our cake and popped it in the freezer for the last year. We were pretty nervous about how it would taste so we even recorded our reactions. Much to our surprise, the cake was still as delicious a year later as it was on our wedding day (although a little more dry). For only spending $25 on our cake, I was seriously impressed. Who says you have to spend hundreds of dollars on a wedding cake?

Not pictured: we re-enacted some of the photos we took on our wedding day and had a mini photo shoot. It took quite a while to get the photos we did get and there was only a few really fantastic photos but when you have your camera, a tripod, and a remote that sometimes works in a grass field, you take what you can get! 

We also visited a local corn maze. This is actually the place where we first met so I thought it would be sweet to go back and visit there on our first anniversary as a married couple. The weather cooperated so it wasn't ridiculously hot and we had a lot of fun navigating it all together.

Later on we went for our very last motorcycle ride of the season. I'm really going to miss being able to get rides to class on the bike or just take off after a stressful day in class. We took a leisurely ride and I really got to take in some of NEIA's finest country side. That photo was snapped just up the gravel road from my house.

We laughed because the more our cake unthawed, the more the frosting slid down the side of the cake. 

We ended the night by having a nice little bonfire, just the two of us. I ate way more s'mores then I'd care to admit and enjoyed just being outside for awhile. The last little snippet is from a video M took of me. My parents cleaned out some old stuff and they found one of those bouncy balls that little kids can sit on and hop around. Hopefully y'all know what I'm talking about! Naturally, being the two year old at heart, I hopped around for quite awhile until I fell over...onto my face. That's a price I'm willing to pay to keep my childhood alive!










Hope everyone had a great Wednesday!
-Mandy