Game, no…Life Changer

For those of you who haven’t read the ‘5 Love Languages’ book by Gary Chapman, let me help you out: you can purchase it here. This book has been an absolute game-changer for not just me and Greg in our marriage but also with me and all of my closest friends and families.

To summarize the book in my own words, everyone feels loved in 5 different categories:

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Physical Touch
  3. Receiving Gifts
  4. Acts of Service
  5. Quality Time

The way that you are loved is often the way you choose to show love, which makes sense because that is how you feel the most honored. The problem? The person you are trying to love might not feel loved in the same way. MIND. BLOWN. When I tell Greg how appreciated he is, or how proud of him I am, he doesn’t necessarily feel loved. I on the other hand, can get a hand written letter and absolutely melt into a pile of mush on the floor. A quick kiss after a long day might be enough for me, yet for Greg he feels loved by me hugging him, holding his hand, physical touch.

This is incredibly important. The way you love those around you is what strengthens your relationship, grows you, changes you, makes you more like Christ. You might be spending all of your time and energy on loving them the way you feel loved and they might not be feeling it. Not only are you making them feel completely unimportant, you are upset because they aren’t getting it. Guys, listen, this is important. It is also not just something you can forget. Once you read it, it sticks with you.

So what do you do? You keep trying. You keep learning. We change, and then we get to start the process all over again. Greg and I are still trying to figure out how to make the other feel special. Greg is still learning what he could get me for my birthday to make me feel loved. Yes, this is hard and we still argue over it, but we never claimed to be masters.

Last but not least, for those of you not currently married, Gary has written a Love Languages book for singles. While I haven’t read it, I have heard nothing but great things. As I stated earlier, my family and I have talked about this, as well as close friends.

This isn’t ‘just another marriage thing’.

Trust me.

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Birthdays and Such

Back in July I made myself a resolution to love others better, and here I am in August, less than 4 weeks later…failing. Miserably. For all of the backing I thought I had, the encouragement I gave myself, the strides I started taking, I found myself face first in a ditch wanting to quit. All in one day. All on my birthday.

I’d been investing in others, deepening relationships, reaching out and encouraging friends and on the one day I was slightly hoping to see fruit from  my efforts, I was left in the dust. And listen, please don’t hear what I’m not saying. I am not saying that I expected the whole world to stop because it was my birthday, or for everyone that I ever have spoken to bow down at my feet. I am not the ‘it’s my party I can cry if I want to’ type of girl…. but I did think that all of my efforts would result in a little bit more on the one day it would make sense to be celebrated.

My sweet husband attempted a small get together and it fell apart in front of our eyes. Friends who love me and care about me, who say they miss me, those who said they would be there; they didn’t show up. Even though we made the drive to make it easier for everyone else, picked a middle place that everyone (families or not) could enjoy, prayed for (and received) great weather and a free location. The truth came out, I wasn’t enough for others to want to see. How did I suddenly become the person who doesn’t have friends? How did I suddenly become the one who isn’t well liked? In spite of all this, still to be left blindsided. I was embarrassed. Oh guys, I was so embarrassed. I was instantly swallowed up with self-loathing. I had convinced myself and Greg, too, that this would be a great day, only to find ourselves shaking our heads on the long drive home. His efforts were suddenly void and I was ashamed to be his wife; the wife who thought she had left a life full of friends only to come back to nothing. So now while I still had absolutely nothing in Georgetown, it was blatantly clear I had nothing left for me in Cincinnati either.

I was instantly taken back to elementary school, being picked last for basketball; except this time I didn’t get to be the cool teacher-selected line leader who brought in homemade cupcakes and was suddenly friends with the whole class. I was just the now 28 year old, standing in the park watching my watch tick by wondering if those who said they would show were soon to be walking around the corner.

We were 15 miles into our trip toward home when the tears stopped and it clicked: I was going to clam up. I was mad and hurt and I wanted to cuss at everything. I determined then to spend my days talking to the very few friends I did have and close family members. Beyond that, I wouldn’t care about much else.

And then I remembered my resolution.

My goal in making the resolution had nothing to do with anyone else, nothing to do with their actions (or non actions) towards me, their thoughts about me. It had EVERYTHING to do with me, with how I feel, how I live, how I love. I have to do all these things in spite of my own feelings.

I want to love even when I am feeling especially unloved.

I want to respect in the face of disrespect.

I want to honor others even when their actions are dishonoring toward me.

I continue to choose to fight against my own selfish feelings. I am choosing to continue to invest in the friendships I have without the pain but with forgiveness. I am choosing to express my gratitude for those who didn’t in fact leave me alone (because yes there were some that showed and I couldn’t thank them enough; not then, not now, but I will keep trying).

I want to continue striving to live well, especially through the pain.I want to love better, too, because I know the painful truth: I don’t always love like I should. I fail. I fall short. But…I don’t want to live a life full of grudges or surface friendships because I am too scared to let anyone in for the risk of feeling pain. I also want to live in this moment, remember how it felt to be shoulder shaking crying in my husbands arms, to try my absolute hardest to make sure others don’t feel the same way because of me.

Best resource I have found to love well? Stay tuned, readers.

Day in the Life

I recently had someone close to me flat out ask ‘so what do you do everyday?’ While the question took me off guard, it also made me realize it is a valid point. For those of you to whom I don’t speak on a daily basis, or those of you who just read along with this blog, I thought I would fill you in (in case you were wondering, too!).

Mornings: My mornings are started by waking up when Greg gets up. He makes himself breakfast and gets ready for work and I pack his lunch. We say goodbye and I start my day off right, with coffee of course. I usually change into something comfortable and after having a few sips of liquid gold, Moose and I head out for a quick walk or sometimes a short run around the neighborhood. We come home, I fix myself something to eat, refill my cup and have my quiet time. (One of the greatest things about this season of life is my ability to set aside as much time as I want to get to know my Heavenly Father. I am learning and growing and yearning for His word now more than ever before. Above everything else that makes this season joyful.) Then I really start ‘my day’. If there are any errands I need to run or places I need to go, I will choose to do it in the morning. I also prefer to have my meals planned out so I can start getting any meat taken from the freezer and thawed before it’s too late. Some of you might not know, but I also work for my parents Kona franchise. It doesn’t take up a ton of time but it is something. So if I have any work, I usually do that in the late morning. Before I know it, it’s lunch.

Afternoons: Post-lunch is usually when I start on any laundry that needs to be done. I have found it best for me personally to do it right about this time, so that I can have it washed/dried and ready to be folded around the time that Greg comes home, but more on that later. I turn on the computer and job search (yep, I’m still searching) for as long as my head and heart can handle it. This is also when I choose to check something off my ‘to-do’ list. Yes, every  Saturday/Sunday I make myself a list of items that I want to get done the upcoming week. Things like unloading more boxes, researching DIY projects for the house, actually starting to paint rooms, landscaping projects, dusting, even washing the windows. All things that I know I wouldn’t get done because they get pushed aside. Sometimes I do one, maybe two a day… other times I don’t get to the list at all, and just try again tomorrow. Afternoons are also when I sweep the house, clean the bathrooms, that sort of fun. Oh yeah, sometimes I even shower 🙂

Evenings: By the time Greg sends me a text telling me that he is packing up to head home I am starting to unwind. The TV might have been turned on as I’m working around the house, I might have stopped completely and started reading a book I checked out from the virtual library, or even started to prep dinner. Remember the laundry that needed to be folded? This is being done now; that way when he gets home and is de-briefing me about his day, I am just finishing it up in time for him to put everything away. From there we sometimes hit the gym together, eat dinner, watch a Parks and Recreation (our show right now) episode, complete something around the house that I needed his help with, take Moose for his nightly stroll, and our day is complete.

My life right now looks completely opposite from what it used to when I had an 8-5 job, and I have to fight feeling guilty about that even though most of my days are filled with productive things. But right now, this is the way my life and my days are meant to look.

I’m learning to be okay with that because well… it is a day in my life.

((To Be)) Follow up

Greg is in a wedding soon and while I can not wait to see these friends get married, I’m also just a little bit over the moon with the fact the wedding is in Nashville! We have never been before, so we’re taking off a day early to hit the town before his groomsman duties begin!

After a little bit of Pinterest/blogging research, I’ve filled up a schedule for us, but I’m still scared we’ll miss something! So if you have been/are there and want to add your favorite places onto our list, I would be incredibly grateful!

I will be sure to post about our experience after we get back!

*Update*

Do you remember my Starbucks post from a few weeks back? I am happy to announce I have expanded my horizon and tried a few new drinks. My findings:

  • Midnight Mint Mocha Frappuccino– sadly this was a disappointment. While I love dark chocolate, mint, and coffee…. this just wasn’t the correct mix. I love sweet and even for me this was too sweet. It had the fake mint flavor and not enough coffee. True story, I actually went home and made myself another cup of coffee. While I am not upset that I did try it, I am not going to purchase it again before it leaves for the summer.
  • Coconutmilk Mocha Macchiato– my mom tried this while I was in Florida and I had a sip, it was delightful, I will for sure be ordering it again.

Mid-Year Resolution

I might be slightly late because the year is more than half over, but I’m making my own rules. I’ve decided I’m going to make a mid-year resolution this year, to add to the others that I’m behind on.

Throughout this journey I have repeatedly let myself get in my own head. As I stated in my previous post I find myself thinking of me a lot lately and I don’t like who I am right now; in my head those things are not just maybe-sort-of related. No, there’s a direct correlation.

A correlation I am going to change. 

I have decided to stop thinking of myself and start thinking of others… not the way people say they ‘want to change,’ but then don’t do anything about it. I actually want to. I want to love, honor, respect and encourage others. I want to make people feel heard and let them know they matter. Because they do.

Because you do. You matter. 

What does this look like? For me, it’s a few things.

  • When I see friends celebrate a big accomplishment on any social media, I don’t want to be afraid to comment. I want to celebrate and be joyful with them (even if it’s just on social media)
  • I will pray for you.’ When I say these words I want to actually pray for them. I usually make a blanket statement but truthfully I want to come before the Throne in prayer, asking on behalf of __(use their name)__ for this specific, detailed, reason. I want to mean it, and follow up to see if there are any changes or answered prayers.
  • Volunteer– I want to research this a little more, but I think I want to start giving my time to an organization that I stand behind, one I can get excited about.

Why do I want to do this?

I want to be a better wife/daughter/sister/friend/neighbor; everything. I want to focus on how I treat others in my world and less on how the world is treating me. Also, I’m selfish, and the more I see myself spending time with the Lord, trying to encourage others…I.Feel.Good. It’s a refreshing feeling.

Why am I telling you?

I am saying this more for accountability. I want to be true to my word and if I am going to be open about everything, I want to tell you where I want to see myself grow. I want to challenge myself without becoming stagnant or even worse, digressing. I want you to help me help myself.

Lastly, I want to stay true to this blog. I promised complete openness and honesty. And my hope, my true prayer, is if even just one person feels not alone in their thoughts/emotions/situations because of something I have said written…. I have done my job.

That is why I write…..that is what makes it all worth while for me.

Cooking: Reese’s

Sometimes when I am in desperate need of a Reese’s Cup and I don’t have any at home, I make my own. Scoop some peanut butter right of out the container, eat a bit, tilt my head back and drop in chocolate chips. I am so disgusting, I know. It isn’t my fault though, I grew up seeing my dad eat peanut butter by the spoonful. So I guess you could say this is in my blood, right? Yeah, let’s go with that.

In the pursuit of ‘healthier eating,’ however, I have found a new recipe to fulfill my cravings while also not slowly killing me.  And now, may I introduce you to the healthier version of the delicious Hershey snack.

IMG_7893

Simply made of dark chocolate chips (I also made a batch with milk chocolate chips for a cheaper route. Verdict? Just as tasty/a little less healthy), natural peanut butter, and coconut milk. That’s right, only 3 ingredients and with a baking time less than 20 minutes (mostly in the freezer) it really doesn’t get much better than this!

As always, you can find this recipe in its entirety on my Pinterest page.

To all my peanut butter loving readers, enjoy! 😉

(Dis)Content

Disclaimer: this post will be jumbled and may not make any sense, or it might make complete sense to some of you. But either way, this is my heart and mind right now, and I just have to share it. So, here goes…

Do you ever feel like you are just waiting for this time to pass wishing this season of life away because you’re ready to move to the next one? That you’re so discontent you can’t wait to see what’s next?

I do.

A lot.

Which is crazy, right?! I mean I’ve hardly been able to catch a breath with the move and yet I’m so ready to see what’s next. Since we moved, I’ve transitioned away from my previous job, and now that this has come to an end I just want to know what is next for me. Do I want to go into another career job? Do I want to stay in accounting/finance? Do I want to get back into teaching? Should I use this time as a short break (as originally intended) to give myself time to acclimate into a new town/new house? Do I want to do something totally and completely different, use this time to start fresh? Maybe get a certification in another field, one I don’t have any experience in but could end up being my passion? Something like writing? Or wait, is my end goal to be a stay at home mom, and if so doesn’t it make more sense for me to get a short term job and bring in some income until I get pregnant and have the baby? (AND AM I SERIOUSLY TALKING ABOUT HAVING A BABY RIGHT NOW?????)

I.Don’t.Freaking.Know.*

Since I’m at home every day I take care of the house, the laundry, the meals and yet I wonder, am I doing all of these things to be a ‘good wife,’ or perhaps because I think it’s what’s expected of me? Am I just making up for the fact that I don’t have a full time job right now?

OR do I do all of these things to be thanked? Am I selfishly doing everything around the house when Greg is gone from work because I want him to come home and give me gratitude? Is this why I get defensive when he asks ‘what I’ve done today’ or if I have done something I hadn’t completed yet? Am I looking at all of these things to be praised? Maybe I’m not doing these things to be a wife/part of a team at all; maybe I’m only thinking of myself.

The hard truth is I don’t like who I am right now. I don’t like being unhappy, sad, quick to anger. I jokingly say ‘I’m not the easiest person to live with right now,’ but I’m actually not joking at all. I know I’m not making things easy. He really can’t win with me. I’m all over the place.

So there it is, everything I needed to get off my chest, to allow myself to say. While I’m giving myself time to grieve and figure out what’s next I feel like I’m asking too much of myself.

We’re okay right now without me having a job, the house doesn’t have to look perfect every single day, and the boxes are fine since we haven’t been here more than two months. Everything will eventually be put away. I need to be proud of myself for not running back to the place I’m so familiar with, getting out of bed, putting on real (sometimes just work out) clothes and ‘adulting.’

But then on the other hand, I feel I’m babying myself too much. Suck it up, Kelsie. Sure, you moved, but so what, that’s just something people do! Grow up, start making new relationships, love this season God has placed you in, wear freaking jeans for once and… ENJOY…this!

Love your husband well, fight this feeling of self pity.

Be thankful. Be joyful. Love well.

*All I do know is… I am one hot mess.