Friday, April 18, 2014

Impossibly Content

My blog has been quiet for quite some time now, I'm sorry about that. I've been trying to only blog when I feel I have something worth saying. I tried doing the every other day posts to keep my readers around, but it wasn't me and it began feeling more like a burden. Who has time for that?!


Do you ever get into those ruts where you feel completely unhappy, lost, doubtful....?
I'll just go ahead and assume that everyone has been there, if not just for my own ease. :)

A few Weeks ago I had a bit of a meltdown. And "a bit"- could be putting it mildly depending on who you ask. It's really not my style to admit that to all of you, but I feel like if it could speak to someone out there, it's okay.

I was feeling very much like....I need to move. I need space. I need change. I need...I need...I need...
Looking back on those three tear-stained days, it could have easily been translated into...I WANT.

Once I pulled myself together and allowed myself to think more clearly,  I was able to see that my wants will always be my worst enemy if I don't start looking at things differently.

Deep down, I would love to accomplish and do other things in life.
But, I know that God has K & I here for a reason. Doing the things that we're doing, with the jobs we have etc...
I'm not sure what that reason is, but it's there. And God knows it. And so, my job is to be content. Here. Tomorrow. Next Week. A Year from now.

And honestly, it's not as hard as I thought it would be.

I've been reading the Word, praying, and allowing myself to be happy and content, even though sometimes I truly think it's impossible.

Even though I still have rough days, my key to getting through them is having hope & trust in the Lord.

I just wanted to let you know, it's okay to feel lonely. It's okay to feel doubt. And it's okay to wonder. It's okay to have a bad couple of days. Being a human is a tough gig sometimes.

But only you can allow yourself to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's always there- but I think we choose to put on blinders and ignore it. Because feeling sorry for ourselves is easier than changing our mentalities.

Take off those blinders and allow yourself to see the light at the end of the tunnel. You and those in your life deserve to be happy and content wherever life is right now.




Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Be Selfish. See What Happens.

I have a "guilty pleasure" of watching Bravo TV Shows, especially "The Real Housewives" series they have out.  While browsing, I caught a headline about one of the Wives filing divorce from her Husband of 27 years.  The Woman herself has always been a bit wacky, in general, but her marriage has been televised as being pretty steady. Her husband always seemed accepting and supportive of her.

As I was reading the article, the part that specifically stuck out to me was this;

"Shifting her body to directly address the audience, she told the crowd, "Nothing is written in stone, life is an evolution. Again, ladies and gentlemen, as long as you feel good about yourself you can handle anything."

I'm pretty sure it was a shake my head moment because it immediately reminded me of an important truth.



Marriage is completely about two people.
 It's not about you- feeling good about yourself. It's about you working together within the promise you've made by law & to each other.  You're vowing not to be selfish anymore. You're vowing to take care of someone and be with that person through all of life's adversities...and my friends, those adversities will surely come.

 
 
Marriage is one of those things we all kind of know is a BIG deal.
That's why we're advised to discuss God, Family, Money, Sex...before we commit.
But the moment we decide we're better off as friends. Or that marriage isn't for us. Or that your sex life isn't as hot and heavy as you expected...or maybe, surprise! Your spouse isn't making the millions you had previously suspected they were making-  society tells us it's just fine to give up.
Afterall, our personal happiness is most important.
.
You cannot marry anyone, if you think that nothing is set in stone.
When you do or when you did- make those vows- you were setting something in stone.
You were understanding that we're human & no one is perfect.
Depression happens. Losing jobs, happens. Death, happens. Physical changes, happen. Personality changes, happen. Sometimes, we say things we don't mean. Sometimes, we don't always understand each other.
It's life! It's being a human! And it's part of every marriage.

Do yourself a giant favor and understand that because we're human, we "get" marriage. We don't "get divorced" because we're human.
Does that make sense?
I've heard, "Oh, we got a divorce. We made a mistake. We're only human".
No. You stay married, because you're only human. Because you understand that humans change and grow and yes, evolution happens there. You grow and adapt to that evolution. Not give up when it shows its sometimes, scary force.

Stick up for your marriage, even when it means going against yourself.
Because selfishness when it's brought into nearly any situation- specifically one that is all about two people, is just plain ugly.

Ain't nobody got time for that.




{Disclaimer: If you've been divorced or experienced divorce in some capacity, I am not calling you a horrible human being. I simply believe that marriage can withstand anything when it's put on its rightful pedestal by both.}




Thursday, March 6, 2014

Intention.

This word has been shooting into the furthest corners of my mind and with a quick burst-sprinkling down to the depths of my soul.

Intentional.
{adj. Done on purpose. Deliberate}



I purchased my first issue of Darling Magazine.
It's specifically for women. It celebrates women and all that we are. It has no ads. It's full of poems, original paintings and photography and short- wonderful- articles on topics as fun as food photography to the seriousness of anxiety or eating disorders.



I'm not sure if it was preconceived but throughout the 165 thick paged magazine- the word intentional is used a dozen times, at least.  And unlike the magazines you quickly pull off the rack at WalMart for a quick makeup tip or the latest gossip, this magazine makes you revel and really contemplate you're daily decisions.



I want to be intentional in my life. Because I feel like it will bring such fullness throughout every aspect of my life.

I want to pray, intentionally.
I want to conversate, intentionally.
I want to hug, intentionally.
Really live in every moment and soak up the details of life that get swept under the rug.

My first goal is to take Sundays off from social media.  We came from a place where social media was not an active part of our daily lives- now, it takes up more time than any of us would like to admit.
I want to intentionally make my Sunday about God. About my Husband. About prepping myself physically and emotionally for a new Week.



Think about how much more you'll get from life- if you do normal, everyday things with intention.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Why my Husband is the Best. (for me)

Birthdays are pretty big between K & I.
We really enjoy celebrating the day that marks another year of life for the other. We try our best to soak up these days and make them special.



When we got married and celebrated our first birthdays as spouses- we were still really getting to know each other. What would he like? What can he use? Does he want something expensive? Handmade? (visa versa). 
And I think we're definitely getting better at figuring these things out- but this year. This year, Kyle really impressed me.

A bit of back story, recently, I found out about the whole Michael Vick debacle. I'm not a sports person or a news person- and I guess somehow along the way I missed out on the story. I did a bit of research, learned more of the story, none of which helped the boiling anger that I felt over this man.
I won't go into all the details of that now, but I will say I have been looking into ways of contacting those that are directly connected to him. But that's for another time.

It was 10pm and Kyle appeared in our bedroom doorway and told me to follow him to the office. I was completely nervous. What could he have possibly gotten me?? I expected a big box sitting in the middle of the room waiting for me.

Instead, he lead me over to the computer and told me to read the article.

Kyle gave me an allotted amount of money so that I could choose a dog to sponsor.

Even now, typing that line, brings me to tears.

I have this heart that aches to help homeless, abused, and needy animals. But I really don't have the means to be able to do all the things I'd like to do.  So by K giving me this gift....I'm able to do something that quite honestly, means the world to me.

I browsed the dogs briefly, searching for the one face that would call my name.  And there he was, a big beautiful guy named, Tug.




It was after I decided he was the one that I read the description of this fellow.
He is one of the 22 dogs rescued from Michael Vick's property.....how ironic is that?!  It confirmed that Tug was the one- and even more so- he really dislikes loud noises...same as me! :)

My heart is soooOoOOOooo full of love right now.
K picked a gift that I'll remember forever. A gift that he knew without the shadow of a doubt- I would appreciate and cherish.

Tug & I are two happies right now.

Birthday Wonders

Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes- the day was honestly, super great.
26 feels "okay" so far :)

I felt like my birthday primarily revolved around food, which if we're being honest, is fine with me! Husband planned the whole day out by himself and I thought it was sweet.

The day began promptly at 12am with a hug, a kiss, and a birthday wish. Cupcakes, the BEST store bought cupcakes, I've ever had.  An itunes giftcard waiting in my email and a good, solid sleep.

 After Church we picked up my favorite feta and onion pizza to eat on a scenic drive to a small Town called Kent.  They have lots of antique shops along with our destination, a small chocolate shop.  We each picked out three truffles- my favorite being the Chili Truffle, surprisingly.








K made reservations at an Indian Restaurant- which if anyone knows him- you know he's not adventurous with his food.  So it was really big of him to take me to try a new food- because I love to do that type of thing.


...Luckily, the food was really delicious- we may even go back!

We went to see The Lego Movie- it was cute...and we weren't even the only adults in the theater! :)

.....see the next post on what K got me as my "BIG" gift :)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Babes & Birthdays.

My blog has been a bit quiet this past Week- it was a busy one at work. I'll tell ya what, two kids is no joke!




( Baby Husband and Baby Me )




Tomorrow is my birthday.
I will be 26.
Even seeing that number is so strange and a bit mind boggling to me. It truly kind of smacks you upside the head with a realization that time does fly.

I'm curious- if you have kids, when did you decide it was the right time?

Growing up, I always thought by this age (because 26 is soooo old)- I'd have at least two kids. And the first year and a half or so of our marriage I had the baby bug something fierce. I'm talking, glancing over a few rows at Church to see a newborn...and bawling about how beautiful it was. (Yes. this happened. Hubs may have been mildly concerned...)

But as the Years have gone by, I've gone through stages of thinking...I really don't desire having children like I used to. Or, sitting in an "iffy" phase. And also the, "Hey. Let's just do this! We'll never really be ready!"- scary phase.

The reason I bring this up is because 26 is officially closer to 30- meaning...AHHHHH!
And it really does freak a person out. I'm starting to feel a bit of that urgency to make things happen and get things rolling so that I don't miss out or regret later.

I do know, a big part of life changes, are dependent on God's timing. I truly believe that. And I want to honor and respect that. Because, I know from experience that doing things when I want or how I think it's right, usually ends up going far different than I anticipated.

Anyway.

Tomorrow is my birthday.
I will be 26.


I'll let you know how it goes. :)


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine HubBub

I'm sure it's been said before, but up until the last few years I hadn't really heard (seen) so much of the whole "Valentine's Day should be 365 days of the year" .... blah blah blah.

In general, I agree with the concept.
You shouldn't show someone you love them, JUST on Valentine's Day.
True.
But, you also don't have to be a stick in the mud because other people enjoy making the day special.

And I have to throw this out here too, because I've noticed these kind of comments coming from people who A) are single. or B) are in bad relationships.
....Not to say EVERYONE is in either of those situations- but the majority seem to be.

Basically, my thought is this: Love isn't to be displayed on Valentine's Day only- I think everyone knows that would just be ridiculous.
But being as Valentine's Day has been around for a long time, whether it's origins were originally about love or not, it is what is.

If you don't have a lover- go for a friend to grab a pizza with or a movie. If you don't have either, go find some family. A pet. Or just enjoy a cozy night by yourself with some chocolate and a favorite movie.

I really despise how people get so depressed about not having a "proper Valentine".
There were times I didn't have a boyfriend and so I grabbed a friend and said, "Let's do this." And we had fun and made the most out of this tradition.

Celebrate that there IS Love. All kinds of it.

That being said, I had a lovely Valentine's Day with my Husband....besides the people in the booth next to us discussing their Waiter's arm veins and how great they were....

So here are a few shots of our Valentine's Day.
I hope you had a good one, no matter what you did and who you were with.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

House to Home

Real quickly- I wanted to throw out that I'm glad several of you really enjoyed reading my last post about friendship- and I even recevied a few emails about how good it was for you to read.  I wanted to clarify though, incase it wasn't as obvious as I had thought, that my primary point of it- was that even if we move on through life and our friends don't seem to be there for us....don't give up on them, necessarily.

Ok!

When you live in a fairly small apartment- it's so easy to grab whatever furniture you can afford and throw it together and call it messy stylish. But since moving into our new place, it's become painfully clear that our furniture is quite mismatched- and not in a cool way.

I have had this urgency as of late to make things happen. To get new furniture, to finally paint the living/dining room, to really bring about my vision of "Home".

We're doing little things, step by step, to make our dreams reality. It'll take some time- but I feel like once I see our house as "put together"- I'll feel so much comfortable having people over...and overall, a stronger sense of pride.

I don't have everything quite figured out- but here are some of my inspirations.
(all found on Pinterest- you can follow me here: http://www.pinterest.com/mandajsven/ )






Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I won't be the best friend you'll ever have.



I was the 6 year old girl who was pinning white (clean) burp cloths to my hair, smudging lipstick on my tiny lips, and finding the nearest flowy nightgown- in order to make myself beautiful for the wedding I was planning to my Prince Charming.

When the time finally came, I was 20 years old and brand newly engaged. I called a few people, namely my best friend since age 2 (or earlier?!) and my Family. I texted others in a flurry of emotion, excitement, and disbelief. My heart raced and I had no idea what to do next. (Update my facebook status, obviously!)

I felt like amidst the 9 months leading to my wedding day and the two weeks following when I moved into my new Connecticut home- I felt and visibly saw many friendships that I considered special, dwindle. Many weren't genuinely excited for my engagement. Many didn't come to my wedding. Many didn't keep in contact with me after I moved.

I can say, that even nearly 5 years later, I can see that sometimes- distance doesn't actually make the heart grow fonder. I've seen once strong friendships turn into random "how are you?" facebook messages- and making childhood plans turn into- "Oh, you're getting married? Congratulations!"

I hate that.
I SO hate that.

I'm totally nostalgic when it comes to friendships.
For me, once you've created a bond- whether you're 5 or 50, it's always there.  Whether you move away, gain a degree, a spouse, or a child...at one time, you and that person (people) had a strong relationship.And, I truly, have never been able to accept that people "just grow apart".

I can, however, see that sometimes- you quit working at your friendship.

I have always considered myself, up until the last year or so, at the top of the totem pole. Which is ridiculous on my part. I should never look at myself and think, "Dang! I'm an awesome friend! Go me!"

And so today, in the last hour, I've decided that instead of pointing out those who I think could try harder. Or looking sadly at the past- to friendships I miss- I'm going to work harder to make those friendships stronger, to rekindle the good times.

And so, I won't be the best friend you'll ever have.

But, I'm sure going to try to be a good one.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Sicks.



I've been blessed with employers who understand that sometimes you get sick. And so, I'm taking today for myself. I'm on the very last leg of a nearly week-long head cold and I'm resting, watching The Bachelor, and watching the snow come down out the window.

It's nice.

I'm awful when I'm sick, I hate to admit.
I always make fun of K because he sneezes and complains that death is imminent.
But, truth be told...he's awesome when he's sick. He still goes about life normally, for the most part.
I've learned that it's OK to be sick. It really does...just happen. Especially in my line of work. I used to feel so bad about calling out of work that my stomach would cramp up from nerves and guilt. But...not anymore! I'm going to allow myself time to rest. Time to regain strength...and I'm not going to feel bad about it.

Things getting me through this sickness have been tons of tea & honey, L'Occitaine handcreams, Dr.Bronner's Magic Chapstick, a book, and my bed.



I have big plans for keeping my system up and running smoothly for the future. They may only last a Week if I lose motivation...but...I have plans!! :)  Multi-vitamins, more tea & water, healthier diet, and working out.

What are some of your favorite routines for keeping up your immune system?