My Month of Milestones

Tomorrow’s a new day, or for me the start of what I’m calling my “Milestone Month.” July is filled with the moments you talk about with vagueness during your childhood, and it’s hard to believe that here I am actually about to live them out.

“Oh my gosh, imagine what we’ll look like at our 10-year reunion!”  — I can still hear us squealing as freshman in high school.

Or “One day we’ll all be old and married!” — Said between giggles at a slumber party.

So yes, I’m approaching both of these, and as I look back neither has really been what I expected. Marriage has, in a word, been wonderful. Of course we have had the occasional married couple spat. Of course we have days where we take each other for granted, where we fight when we should be laughing. But I’m lucky to say that if the first year of marriage is the hardest as they say, we’re in for decades of pure joy. I truly can say I’ve never been happier, and to that I can’t wait to celebrate!

As for the high school reunion, it’s very surreal to be gathering together 10 years later. And to top it off, the main event coincidentally falls on my birthday. That’s right, just to remind me I’m a full decade older than I was when I so innocently graduated into “adulthood” as a wide-eyed senior. Thankfully I came out of high school with great memories, and have retained many of the friendships I formed during my time there. But it’s still odd to think we’re actually at the age where you get together to reunite officially.

But really, when you think about it, so much has changed in these 10 years. And thanks to social media’s explosion during our college years, we’ve had the chance see every moment play out. We’ve watched frat parties turn into bridal showers turn into baby showers turn into their children’s birthday parties. We’ve seen how each person changed (or didn’t.) Yes, social media has made high school reunions a far cry from “Romy & Michelle’s,” and I probably can’t get away with saying I invented Post-It notes to my classmates. But I’ll bet it will still be an interesting experience. I just hope the next 10 years don’t go by as quickly…

And while I toast to old friends, blow out 28 candles and share anniversary cake and bridal shower wine with my handsome hubby, I know I’ll be adding more than a few memories to my mind’s internal scrapbook. Cheers to this July — and all the spectacular ones to come!

Dare me to show up in this?

Dare me to show up in this?

What milestones do you have coming up? Share your stories, I’d love to hear them!

Where Does the Time Go?

 

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I guess I’m getting older. Ok, I know I haven’t even reached the big 3-0 yet. But already, it’s frightening how much the words “time flies” ring true in my life. I still remember rolling my eyes when people would say life moves quickly, or the years just pass by, or where did the last few months go? But now, here I am, thinking the same thing. And, since getting married, it’s seemed to evaporate with even more voracity. How is it already June? And how is my first year of marriage already approaching?

Not that it doesn’t excite me. I’m beyond thrilled to be looking forward to a year of marriage and an exotic trip to go along with it. And summer, well that’s my #1 obsession. It’s just that I feel like I was walking down the aisle, clutching to my dad for support, just yesterday. There are still days when I want to relive it all over again.  Especially when I spot a wedding show or a magazine.  But then there’s many other times when I’m grateful our evenings aren’t filled with vendor meetings, guest lists and seating charts. I’ve had friends and family members give warnings to savor this time in our lives, that when kids come along we will have none to our own. Which, I’m sure is true.

But still, even with all this “extra time” in my life, there doesn’t seem to be enough to go around. Somehow there’s always a new task to finish, a new problem to fix. Recently my 102-year-old great aunt passed away. She lived a long life filled with happiness and health, one we all could only hope to have. Yet, even still, it seemed too short. Which is why I ask of myself, of you, of anyone reading this blog to make the most of yours. Because I need all the reminders I can get to do the same.

Happy (almost) summer, friends! Go out there enjoy every moment within it.

 

Phones Down, Eyes Up

I just love how this video touches on everything I discussed in my previous blog post. It makes me so grateful to have put down my phone long enough to find the love of my life. And even though texting and calling helped us get through those long-distance relationship months, it never came close to our time together, spent laughing and making memories. I hope this will serve as a reminder for me to not let today’s fleeting moments pass by.

Can You Hear Me Now? Disconnecting to Stay Connected

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Disconnect. Relax & unwind. Leave your worries at the door. As a copywriter for a luxury hotel brand, I use these phrases often. But how realistic is it to ask ourselves to do these things in the digital world we live in? During my lunch break today, I quickly found out for myself it’s not so easy. Generally using my lunch break to chat with my husband and text friends and family, my plans were halted when my iPhone decided to not play nice.

Searching…. Try again… Resend?… Instead of feeling relaxed that I could step away from my phone for a few minutes, all I felt was stressed. Immediately I logged into Facebook, letting everyone know that I was having phone issues and they could reach me on there instead. Ten minutes and a phone update later, I was back in business. Making me remember that sometimes it’s ok to disconnect for a little while. And in many ways, it’s necessary to maintain a happy marriage, a healthy lifestyle and a sane mind.

Many of us, I included, work in an office environment where the majority of the day is spent eyes glued to a computer screen. Have a question? We send an email. Or shoot an instant message to a co-worker, who is just steps away in the cubical next door. We have meetings where 9 out of 10 people have a laptop or phone in hand, half listening to the conversation as they answer these emails, respond to these messages, check their calendars, whatever it takes to not be truly present in the moment.

So, I’ve decided to ask myself, how can I become more connected to life by disconnecting from technology more? Here’s my short list, I would love to hear yours!

Travel often. With every new travel experience, I gain more knowledge than if I had read 1,000 articles online. I want to see the world from a new perspective, rather than just read about it.

Put down the phone. There’s nothing more annoying than trying to talk to someone who is distracted by their phone. I need to remember this the next time I pick mine up.

– Engage in conversation. My mom’s always been great at starting conversations in the checkout line at the grocery store. I’d love to be more like her, always offering a hello or at least an encouraging smile to brighten someone’s day.

Make time for friends. It’s easy to say “we need to get together soon,” and for months to pass before you do. But it’s a whole lot more fun when you put down the phone/iPad/laptop and actually do it!

– Make time for familyThe same idea that applies to friends. A phone call is nice, but a visit is wonderful.

 Pray more. God doesn’t send emails, text messages and voicemails or wait for a calendar invite to schedule a chat. He’s always there to listen, which is quite refreshing if you think about it.

– Do fun thingsGet out there and be active. Take a walk. Go see a concert. Or if you’re like my husband & me, go see seven concerts in one summer. Go to an NBA Playoff game. Plan a trip to a foreign country. Get tickets to the ACM Awards. Have something to look forward to every moment. Make everyday a new reason to remember why you fell in love in the first place.

How do you stay connected by disconnecting?

 

Our 1st Anniversary Escape

Can you believe it? Today is finally the official first day of spring, and I could not be more excited. Flip flops. Tanned skin. Sandy beaches. Ahh, bliss. Ok, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, it is only March. But a girl’s gotta look forward to something. And to ward off those winter blues, my husband and I took the plunge and applied for our passports in preparation for our 1st anniversary trip to (drumroll, please….) BELIZE!

Since visiting there for a science trip in high school, I’ve been obsessed with this beautiful island paradise. I may have come home with braids in my hair. And a newfound love for pineapple Fanta and reggae music. And of course, the assumption that I would be back. Thankfully, 12 years later my dream to return will come true. My last trip involved so many adventures, from hiking through rainforests to visiting Mayan ruins. Along with lazy afternoons on a hammock, listening to CDs on my Discman — proof it’s been too long! I know that this time around, the adventures will be even more enjoyable, spent in the company of my husband.

After many Google searches, we decided to stay on Ambergris Caye, Belize’s largest island. The town of San Pedro is just a short walk or golf cart ride from our hotel, which apparently is how most people get around the island. Now that’s what I call sloooowing it down. Such a nice break from the bustling traffic of Dallas, you won’t blame us if we never return, will you?

Our hotel's backyard

Our hotel’s backyard

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The infamous Blue Hole

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Main Street, San Pedro

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Pool view from our hotel

Where is your favorite place to escape? I’m determine to put my passport to good use and need suggestions!

Stories About Love… Or Lack Thereof

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Depending on your relationship status, I’ve learned Valentine’s Day can be one of two things: awkward or awesome. Waking up on my first married one to breakfast in bed, I’m lucky to say mine has been awesome so far. But it hasn’t always been this way. Last night, I took a walk down memory lane with my husband (who kindly listened without falling asleep) and recalled all the awkward, awful Valentine’s Days I’ve had…

– The 6th grade heart steal: Because middle school isn’t awkward enough (hello braces!), we had a little game at my school to showcase your “love.” We’d all wear a construction paper heart around our neck with our name on them, and if a boy talked to a girl or vice versa, you had to give your name (aka heart) to that person to wear around his/her neck. Then we’d all go to the skating rink together, where it was all fun and games until it was time for a couples’ skate. Don’t make eye contact!

– The 8th grade drop-off: I put a Hastings gift card on your desk (remember Hastings, anyone?) You put roses on mine. We exchange uncomfortable thanks in the hall and never speak about it again.

– The high school match-up: Take a compatibility quiz, and for a price we’ll show you your matches. The catch is, I went to a very small high school, so the likelihood of getting matched up with the same 5 people every year was pretty much a given.

– The college fake a date: A dorm hallway conversation takes a turn for the worst… Guy: “So what are you doing on Valentine’s Day?” Girl: Ummm, nothing I guess. You?” Guy: “Nothing. So, umm. You wanna grab dinner or something? Since, you know, everyone else will be doing something. Just chill though, of course.” Girl: (racking brain for excuse, has no luck) “Fine.”

Thankfully, my awkward Valentine’s Days are past me. Tonight’s plans consist of the things we love about being married: simply being together. In lieu of a fancy four-course dinner, we’ve decided to stay in and cook enchiladas and make margaritas. In lieu of fancy gifts, we bought tickets together for several summer concerts. Do I still hope to woo my Valentine? Of course. But it’s so much better to know he’ll always be there, no matter what happens every February 14th… and all the days in between.

Do you have any laughable Valentine’s Day memories? Share them with me!

Sick on Your Wedding Day? Oh No!

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Cough… cough… sneeze… sneeze. That’s pretty much been the soundtrack of my 2014. How about you? Hopefully you’ve been feeling a little less under the weather than my husband and me since the new year began. Apparently you don’t make a vow to be together through sickness and health for nothing. I’m talking nasty coughs. Runny noses. Fever and chills. No energy at all. Going to bed at 11 p.m. on our first married New Year’s Eve. And I’m the culprit who passed it along, plaguing Stephen just 2 days after my initial cough. Between the bitter cold “arctic blast” that has kicked the entire country’s butt this week (except for perfect lil’ Hawaii, of course) and the flus and unnamed viruses that are swirling around, I can say one thing with certainty. I’m so glad I didn’t get married in the winter.

Or at least, THIS WINTER. Oh I know, you can get sick in the summer too. Freak cold fronts can come through Oklahoma in May. Just ask my best friend Yvonne, who experienced a random Saturday in the 40s during her springtime wedding last year. I’m sure for their next 50 anniversaries it will be in the 70s. But these rare instances happen, and you suck it up and smile through it. If you’re the bride and groom, you probably don’t even notice the cold for all the adrenaline rushing through your veins.

But what if the really rare happens? What if you get sick on your wedding day? Or on your honeymoon?

Thankfully this didn’t happen to me. I rarely get sick in the summer, so I had fate on my side. Some prayers were sent too, which couldn’t have hurt. Thinking back, I was one lucky girl. And if I had to do it over again (or was getting married in the dreaded winter), I would be doing a whole lot more of this, just in case:

  • Load up on Bath & Body Works Hand Sanitizer – keep them close at all times. I think I have at least 20 stockpiled in my cabinet at the moment. Healthy and delicious smelling. Double win.
  • Take vitamins – I’ve started skimping on taking vitamins, but for awhile there I was taking prenatal ones to help my nails and hair grow. That extra boost might just help your immune system thrive. Hey, there’s a good resolution. Take more vitamins. And stop biting my nails, obviously.
  • Get a flu shot – Ever since I was out sick from high school for a week, too ill to speak to any of my friends because of the flu, I’ve gotten this shot. And I haven’t gotten the flu since. Sure, I’ve gotten sick, but nothing like that.
  • Stress less – Stress is known to do weird things to your body. The best thing you can do for your skin, hair, nails and overall health the week of your wedding is to not stress over it all.
  • Drink lots of water – It flushes out your system and keeps everything running smoothly. And a hydrated face is a pretty one.
  • Emergen-C or Airborne – If you start feeling a twinge of sickness, start downing these. The extra vitamins will jumpstart your immune system, and at the very least, you’ll have more energy to finish up the last of those favors.
  • Skimping on the cocktails – A hangover on your wedding day? No thanks. That goes for morning mimosas too. Stop at one, just enough to ease your nerves during primp time. You’ll be glad you did.

As for the honeymoon, I’m always a worrier so I packed the pharmacy with us for our trip to Hawaii. Luckily neither of us felt sick, but better safe than sorry!! I attribute this to my mom, who used to make a list of all the possible ailments that might happen during our family vacations. Imodium-AD? Check. Tylenol? Check. Advil? Check. Aleve? Check. Claritin? Check. Band-aids? Check…. Check… Check… 😉

So tell me, what did you do to prevent getting sick at your wedding or honeymoon?

Stay healthy, my friends!