A post dedicated to my heart + soul

Yesterday was Jon and my anniversary. With each passing year I am more and more in disbelief that 365 more days really have gone by. I don’t know what I ever did to deserve someone so caring, kind, and as special as him, but good God, am I thankful.

I’ve never felt more at home with someone physically, mentally, emotionally – you are my shelter when I need it most. You give me a sense of comfort and dependence. You are my best friend and are there for me through anything and everything, never letting me face it alone. You’ve taught me how to prioritize my own needs and make myself happy.

There is so much I could thank you for that I could write an entire book. So for the sake of this blog and my readers near and far, I will leave it at this: thank you for being ranked among my father and my grandfather as one of the most honorable, honest, caring men I know; thank you for sharing your family with me and giving me more people to open my heart to; thank you for taking me on countless adventures; thank you for not pushing me out of the car when I sing along to every song; thank you for supporting me through my Master’s degree and pushing me to advocate for what I believe in; thank you for listening to me complain about how tired I am everyday after work, even if it’s only 3:30pm; thank you for sharing bags of popcorn in bed when we binge on Bob’s Burgers.

Thank you for loving me unconditionally through all the ups and downs. For loving me when I talk to our guinea pig like he is a real life baby. For loving me when I am moody and hungry and ready to kill anything that breathes. For loving me when I am bouncing off the walls after drinking one-too-many cups of Starbucks. For loving me when I buy unnecessary things for the apartment at Target that we “have to have.” For loving me when I can’t find it in me to love myself.

I am overwhelmed with love and forever indebted to you for all you have done for me. Nothing I say or do could ever amount to the countless thanks and appreciation I have for you.

I look forward to the years ahead, going on more adventures, and snuggling on our brand new IKEA couch (!!!).

I love you.

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The power of prayer in times of despair.

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With a heartbreaking loss of a dear family-friend yesterday, I will do so much as leave you with a prayer to aide those experiencing the loss of a loved one. xoxo.

Lord, at the moment nothing seems to be able to help the loss I feel.
My heart is broken and my spirit mourns.
All I know is that Your grace is sufficient.
This day, this hour
Moment by moment
I choose to lean on You,
For when I am at my weakest Your strength is strongest.
I pour out my grief to You
And praise You that on one glorious day
When all suffering is extinguished and love has conquered
We shall walk together again.

Love in the face of loss.

This is a post I’ve been trying to avoid writing for the past two days. I’ve had time to ponder words to even write and things to even say, and I am still struggling. But there is nothing more you can do other than try.

In 2011, I graduated from a very small Catholic school with an even smaller graduating class of 36 students. Coming from a school of 125ish students and a graduating class of 36, you are friends with everyone. You are all close. You are all a family.

About a year after graduation, our graduating class of 36 shrunk to 35 following the loss of one of our peers after her courageous fight with brain cancer. That loss was one that I couldn’t even understand. Truthfully, I still don’t. I couldn’t understand why God gave her the suffering she went through, why she had to deal with all she had to deal with. I sat in my college dorm room freshman year when I got the news, alone, wondering what to do or say from there. Who did I turn to first? My boyfriend of the time was on a cruise outside of the country. I was not home. I found it hard to explain the ‘family’ aspect of our school to people whose graduating class was one of 700+ students. 5ish years later, the numbing pain has somewhat gone away, but not completely.

I asked you guys a couple weeks ago to look out for one of my friends, one of the core 36, that had quite literally completely dropped off the face of the Earth. There were no answers to his whereabouts. No clues. No leads. Nothing. The case went on for 20 days, everyone’s minds reeling over where he could be and how or why this was even happening in the first place. Two days ago, on Friday, April 28th, exactly 20 days since the missing persons report was filed, the case came to a close.

This time, I was at work. On my lunch break to be exact. With three minutes to spare before having to clock back in. Again, what was I supposed to do? Who was I to turn to? How was I supposed to hold my composure and go back and teach my class in a mere three minutes. Being strong is an option. And sometimes, its the only option you have.

The class of 36 is now down to 34. At only 24 years old, this is not something you can mentally prepare yourself for. You expect to see all your peers, your friends, 5, 10, 15, 40 years down the line at class reunions. You expect to see their accomplishments in life. Who is married. Who has kids. Who is a CEO of their own company. Now, there are two I will never see again.

The good part about graduating with a class of 36 from a school of 125ish is the endless outpouring of love and support during times of need. We all stand together as one. While it might not be at the same level, we all experience the hurt. We all experience the pain. This is something I will be grateful for throughout my years here on this little planet. I know that while sometimes I may feel as if I am alone, I am never alone. There will always be someone there supporting me.

I want to extend a sincere thank you to every single person who has reached out to any person involved in this case. I want to thank every person who tried hard to bring Kurt home. Who looked for his whereabouts. Who tried to put two ends together. Who prayed every single day for him and his family. Who hoped and wished for good news to follow. Who continues to extend love and prayers during this time of tragedy.

Today, I ask one thing of you. I ask that you hug those you love a little tighter. Remind everyone how much they mean to you. Remind everyone how their existence is great and sacred. Remind those you love that they are not alone, that you will always be by their side.

And to Kurt, thank you for the memories, brother. You were one of a kind. I am already counting down the days until I can see you again. xoxo.

kurttttttt

 

Adventures.

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For the last week and a half, Jon kept telling me he had an adventure planned for us. The catch? He wouldn’t share where we were going or what we were doing – just to be at his house on Saturday [yesterday] at 8:00am. The master planner that I am, I sat stressing out the entire week wondering what the heck was going to happen, where we were going, what I had to wear, etc.

So, yesterday I followed suit. I showed up at 8:00am and we were on our merry way. I sat in the car with the clock ticking, ticking, ticking, ticking. Having absolutely no idea where the heck I was or what direction we were even headed [no shock here]. He had nothing plugged into the GPS. No clues whatsoever. This adventure was totally outside of my comfort zone, and I totally loved it.

Much to my surprise, a few hours later, we were in Pittsburgh! The last time I was there was probably 7-ish years ago for a hockey tournament with my family, and it was Jon’s first time, so this was very exciting. So, here we are driving around, exploring the city and in the back of my mind I am still left wondering, why here?

And then, I saw it ahead of me I was freaking going to IKEA!! I have wanted to go here for honestly over 5 years and, being the wannabe  homeowner / crazy Pinterester that I am, my soul was LIVING. My entire Pinterest collection and many of my dreams were coming to life before my eyeballs [minus the whole ‘having a house thing’ but WHO CARES?!?]. I kid you not, this was the best 3 hours ever spent, solely because I was in this store. I am still reeling in this moment over 24 hours later. Yes, I am a loser. No, I don’t care! The final purchases? We got a new desk, a new dresser, and some odds and ends like towels, plants, mugs, bowls, etc.

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[Also on this adventure were trips to Jersey Mike’s, Primanti Bros., and the Grove City Outlets]. I am so lucky to be with someone who is always spoiling me, surprising me, and going on endless adventures with me. xoxo.

L O V E.

There has been so much love in the air lately, that it’s hard not to get caught up in the madness! Between Valentine’s Day, and of course, scrolling through your social media feed and seeing a new engagement/wedding/pregnancy announcement post every single day will get you in the mood to radiate nothing but these positive, loving vibes.

I did this before back in January regarding strength, so it only seemed fitting do do it again with love. Here’s some of my favorite verses describing none other than this wonderful feeling!

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. but there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”

1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

1 John 3:16-18 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If any one has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

1 John 4:18-19 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.”

1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.”

Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

Mark 12:31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as your self. There is no commandment greater than these.'”

Proverbs 3:3-4 “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”

Romans 12:9-10 “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

Romans 13:10 “Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

xoxo.

 

 

How you know you’ve found the love you deserve.

I’m sure we’ve all had our ups and downs when it comes to relationships. But how do you know if he or she is the one?

In honor of the upcoming holiday, Valentine’s Day, here’s how I know.

Shoutout to my man for treating me like a queen.

  • You will become a priority.
  • Your needs will be put before theirs.
  • You will be looked at as if you are a masterpiece, flaws and all.
  • You will be respected one hundred and ten percent.
  • Your love will hold your hand when you feel cold, or anxious, or when they want you to know they don’t want to let you go.
  • Your relationship will be mature.
  • Your love will stay when times get rough.
  • Your love will make time for you.
  • Your love will put in effort.
  • You will not be left crying yourself to sleep.
  • Your love will see the best in you.
  • You will be welcomed with open arms.
  • Your love will support you in whatever you do, and will motivate you to keep going.
  • Your love will be honest to you.
  • Your love will mend the wrongs.
  • You will be met halfway.
  • Your love will not make you feel bad about yourself.
  • You will be embraced for your total self.
  • Your love will recognize your problems and help you fix them.
  • Your love will listen to your anxieties and your fears.
  • Your love will wipe your tears away.
  • Your love will appreciate you.
  • Your love will tell you good morning, ask you how your day is going, and tell you goodnight.
  • You will never feel as if you are not good enough.
  • Your love is about feelings found. Found again and again until the end of time.
  • Your love will love you exactly the way you are, because you are you.

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Not everybody’s love story will be the same. If they were, this would be a boring world. It would be a world without Taylor Swift songs, a world without RomCom movies. It would be a world in which all blog posts like this one are alike.

When you’ve met your love, you will know. It will feel different. A good different. And however your story unfolds, it will be the best love story there is. xoxo.

Happy birthday to my best friend!

Today, my honey turns 26 years old, only solidifying the fact that we are now both old and approaching life after retirement. *cringes*

So on the day of your birth [I certainly hope you are reading this at one point in the next couple hours or days] I am going to tell the world why I love you so:

  1. You gave into my obsession and let me adopt a guinea pig. In addition to the whole adoption part of this, you also let me name her Kenneth, and you let her live at the apartment and sleep next to your bed. You don’t get annoyed with my 8,000 pictures of her daily, and you send me 8,000 more back. And you didn’t make fun of me when I suggested we create an Instagram page for her [PSA: FOLLOW @kenneth.the.guinea.pig – you won’t regret it].
  2. You constantly compliment me, even when I feel or look like shit. It annoys the crap out of me that you think I look just as good in sweats with no makeup as I do when I am all dressed for work, but hey, guess it could be worse!
  3. You make me laugh. You are literally the funniest person I know. And your laugh makes me laugh harder – it’s a vicious cycle.
  4. We make a good team. We can do anything together. No matter what it is, we always have a good time. We say the same things at the same times. We think the same thoughts. Sometimes our clothes even match. And, we always run the table in beer pong. *high five*
  5. We always have fun. Whether it’s eating ice cream out of the carton watching Netflix in bed, going to the store at 10PM, or going away for a mini-vacation, we always have a good time. I didn’t know trips to Wegmans could be so much fun before I met you.
  6. You always support me and my life decisions. There is not one thing that I have done with my life that you have not supported. You always tell me how proud you are of me, and that means more to me than you’ll ever know.
  7. You never give up on me. You’ve seen me at the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and at the end of the day, you are always there.
  8. You love me at my best and my worst. I can act like a weirdo and you don’t question any of it. You love that I wear weird clothes and eat strange things that you don’t like. You’re always there for me when I need a shoulder to cry on or a person to laugh at. You’ve taken care of me when I was sick, and take care of me when I’m healthy.
  9. You’re so good looking. Especially with that new haircut. And dressed for work. And in crewneck sweatshirts. And always.
  10. You’re my best friend. You mean more to me than anyone in the entire universe ever has, and I’m so glad we get to adventure through this crazy life together.HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I love you! xoxo.