Woman! What are you doing???

Photo Jan 26, 7 53 41 PM

Are you doing anything for yourself? Besides sitting on the couch scrolling thru this with your thumb on your phone while holding coffee in the other hand with the sound of fighting children or a mind numbing kid’s show on the TV in the background….

Are you actively pouring time into your goals and dreams?

Do you know what your goals and dreams are? Or have you not had enough sleep to dream?

Who were you before you had kids? Were you a daughter? A student? A wife? … those things are all given to you by other people. You didn’t chose to be the daughter to your parents, you ended up with them. Sometimes that’s super shitty. And we have to grow up way too early and then we realize when we’re parenting our own little ones that we in fact were never really parented ourselves. That is a hard day. Or a student, a good one or a bad one… but you went to school for something, right? Are you doing what you had in mind while you were this young wide-eyed twenty-something with ambition? Did you marry your dream partner or are you stuck with a complete stranger? Are you taking to time to love your partner and date your partner, not just live with them like the two of you are roommates?

Who are you, really? Was your end all, be all to be a mother? Is being someone’s mother your goal? Girl… that’s a lot of pressure to put on a tiny human. How can they possibly be the entire source of your joy and completion when they don’t even know how to tie their shoes yet? Honestly, I fear that making motherhood your ultimate goal is more dangerous than living without goals. Kids grow up. They get married, they move, they have their own kids… they leave. Then what? Is your entire purpose in life gone? This is why most Empty Nester’s end up divorcing. They spent their entire adult lives focused on this one thing that leaves. When it leaves – they don’t know who they are. They don’t know who they married. It’s lonely, it’s sad… and frankly I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

So where are you, girl? What do you want? When was the last time you sat down and asked yourself what it is that you want out of your life? What are some goals?

Write a book?

Run a marathon?

Get a job outside of the home?

Go back to school?

Whatever it is – it’s going to take work. Work, time, and a commitment to yourself to just do it. It’s going to take daily work – even if it’s just five minutes to set your intentions and break old habits. It’s going to be exhausting. It might be the hardest thing you have ever done… but oh the feeling you will have once it is complete. Girl I promise you. If you take this time for yourself – think of the lessons you will be teaching your children. Do you want you children to grow up knowing their mom never reached her full potential and believe that it’s just not that big of a deal to take care of themselves or have any goals of their own? I have two girls. I want them to be taught how to set intentions, goals, create healthy habits, S O A R … who better to teach them than me? Can I be the one to give my daughters the fuel they need to become whatever it is they want to be? I tell them to chase their dreams constantly. Am I no different? How hypocritical is that?

When was the last time you got a pedicure? One hour. I’m saying one hour a week can you vanish? It can even be during nap time so that whoever is with the kid has it easy. And girl… your husband is NOT their babysitter. He does not babysit his children. You aren’t a babysitter. He isn’t a babysitter. The only thing you have to ask him is if he will be home… you are a grown ass woman. Tell your partner that you are leaving the house for one hour. Remind him where the diapers are and then G.O. Just go. If you are married to a man child who you do not trust to watch your children… then you need a whole different blog post. He is just as much of their parent as  you are and he has his part just as much as you do. He is not your babysitter.

If we are at our lowest of lows, lonely, depressed, missing what we love, lost our identity… how can we be parent our children the way they deserve? When they are old enough, they will thank you for following your dreams.

We are women. Who aren’t we? Who aren’t we to run after our dreams? Who aren’t we to have opinions that matter? It’s 2018… what do you want?? Tell us! Tell us what you want. Write it down! Put a timeline on it! GET IT. Get what you want and what you deserve, my love. You are a fierce woman who brought precious life into this world …. what can you not do?? Nothing! There is nothing you can’t do. Stop limiting yourself. Tell your family! Tell them what your plan is. Don’t ask. Tell them. This is not up for discussion. You have given up so much for the other people in your life to follow their dreams… they can do the same for you.

Get out there, girl. What are waiting for? It‘s never going to get easier. Now is the easiest moment. Now is the time to make the decision and LEAP.

Now.

Today.

Get it, girl.

Advertisements

How To Be Happy (Really)

There is a common misconception in the world, that if a person is sad, they have no happiness, and vice versa. If a person is happy, then they are never sad. I think for moms this misconception is even more prevalent than for most others. If a mom is struggling, having a bad day, or even if her house has one iota of dust lying around, she must be unhappy. She isn’t doing her job, she may even be -dare we utter the word- *depressed*…. Or if a mom has everything in order, her kids perfectly match, her own clothes are immaculate, and her hair and makeup are done beautifully, she is obviously the picture of what it means to be happy. The truth is most of us have our good days and our bad. Some days we are happy, and some days we are sad. Sometimes we have depression, or anxiety, or are just so exhausted we can’t even identify what we are feeling. Sometimes that exhaustion is how we know that everything we go through, everything we do, is worth it.

Moms have so much going on. Other people, even other moms, may not understand what you, specifically, are going through. You have hormones, and lord knows every kid is different, not to mention differences in circumstances, and husbands, and personalities, and even the way you yourself were parented. I need you to know that you are not alone. There are other moms out there, who although they may not be going through exactly the same thing as you, they do understand. Somewhere out there, someone understands. And really, chances are, somewhere out there, someone really has been there too.

Now being happy, and I mean really, truly happy, is a hard thing. It is difficult to even know exactly what “happy” is, or what it feels like. Personally, I think happiness is different for everyone. There are so many versions of happiness. You have to figure out which one is your real, true happiness, and then figure out how to keep making it happen. Is your happiness a euphoric feeling, is it pure joy, or maybe bliss? Is it the feeling you get when you look at a beautiful sunset, or when you drink a glass of your favorite wine? Or maybe it is that feeling of holding your baby for the very first time?

Whatever it is, find it, remember it, and hold on. For me happiness is a little of all of those things. It’s nostalgia, and remembering how things used to be. It’s letting the sadness in just enough. It is also remembering to put away my selfishness (because I am a very selfish person, who likes things my way), and remember how good it feels to just be nice to other people. It is looking in my husband’s eyes and knowing how much he loves me, or spending the day wrapped in the embraces of my kids. It’s even letting go of my frustration, and letting my kids get away with something that would normally make me mad, just because (like them playing soccer with our Christmas ornaments, don’t worry, they are plastic).

I have to give a little nod to the Disney Pixar movie Inside Out. They really hit the nail on the head with that one. If you haven’t seen it, I strongly encourage you to make it a family night. It is well worth it. The thing is, all of our emotions are important, and the only way to be really, truly happy, is to find the balance. Let your anger out and feel the sad with the happy. One of my favorite, and completely hormonally controlled, feelings, is when I nurse my son. I don’t feel a rush of euphoria, like some people. I also don’t experience a deep sadness like some others. I am filled with an overwhelming love for my son and that makes me laugh and cry all at the same time. Yes, my husband looks at me like I’m crazy… however, it is one of the happiest times of my day. I get the same feeling every time one of my older boys tells me “I love you mom”, or when my husband looks at me and tells me even after giving birth 3 times, and even weighing drastically more than when we got married, he still thinks I’m beautiful.

I guess what I am trying to say, is that to be happy, and again I mean really, truly happy, you have to take it all. Find your balance. Figure out the calm inside the storm. To paraphrase one Charles Xavier in X-Men First Class, true focus lies between rage and serenity (yes, I’m a nerd, I know). I believe true happiness lies somewhere in there also. It is a fine balance, but without the sadness and the anger and the gloppity gloop of hormones and other emotions, true happiness wouldn’t be attainable. You may suffer from depression, or anger, or anxiety, or maybe even something like chronic joy. Just remember that real, true happiness is out there, and it may look a little different than you expected.

-Written for you by Okay Mom Brittany Rice

7-year Reset

rings“Seven-year itch” what does that even mean?

“The sevenyear itch is a psychological term that suggests that happiness in a relationship declines after around year seven of a marriage. The phrase originated as a name for irritating and contagious skin complaints of a long duration.” – literally what I got when I googled it. 

Getting married when I did came off as crazy since we were so young. But he was my soulmate. My one and only since I was 12 years old. We had several years in between where I had a few boyfriends and lots of mistakes but this boy waited for me. Me. Like I was someone special. We have the fairy tale story. Anyone who knows us will attest to that. We are soulmates. In the truest sense of the word. Does that mean this is easy? Fuck no. Not even a little bit. Does that mean it’s more worth it. Fuck yes. All the way.

Our eighth anniversary is next month.

To say this has been the hardest year is like putting butterflies and rainbows all over a Lifetime movie. There were a few times this year where my soulmate and I looked each other in the eyes and didn’t know where to go next. Leave? Stay? Walk out the door? Fight? Snuggle the shit out of each other? I’ll let you take a wild guess what we did.

Neither of us had any affairs, neither of us “wandered” or committed any unforgivable offense. It was just hard. So fucking hard.

There have been more “I’m sorry”‘s out of my mouth this year than ever in my entire life.

What now? Do I keep apologizing? Do I keep fighting?

Y E S.

We hit this moment in the fight where I realize we are having the same fight we have had for seven years and I want to bail. My mind is telling me this is all bullshit and he will never listen to me. My heart tells me something different. I have finally begun listening to my heart. It tells me that no matter what, I will take it. If he wants to fight then lets fight! Tell me how I hurt you. Tell me what I did wrong. Tell me all the mistakes I have made in the past seven years. I will lay down and welcome it. He could be wrong. He could be so wrong that every single person in my life will tell me to leave him. But I love him. I love this man with every fiber of my being and that means that I will hurt for him. I will sacrifice for him. I will cry for him. I will die for him. After I finally figured this out, it hasn’t been streets of gold but it’s been so much easier. Easy for me to fight. Easy for me to chose him every day I wake up tired from the kids staying up late the night before. Easy for me to listen to him venting and hurting just so I can tell him I understand and he’s not alone. I love this man so much that I will hurt for him. No matter the cost. He will not take advantage of me. He will only ever protect me and love me unconditionally for the rest of his life. This man fights for me every day even when I don’t see it. That doesn’t stop him, though. He keeps fighting until his eyes are swollen and his knuckles are bleeding. Because I am his soulmate. I am his one and only. The girl he waited for. The girl he has been in love with since he was twelve years old. That’s the kind of man I married.

Seven year itch has turned into the seven year reset.

Tomorrow my husband is going to take me on another first date. Coffee. No talk of kids or bills. Just us, getting to know each other. Like it’s the first time. A reset. A new beginning. I want to get to know the man I am married to. We were married so young, the man I married eight years ago is not the man I am married to today – this is not a bad thing, just a new thing.

So, here’s to our first date. I can’t wait to meet the man I married.
***edited to say that our second first date was definitely better than real first date. I am hopeful and excited for our future as a couple. I never doubted we could get through anything. 

why I no longer am a part of the Christian church

 

My family and I joined the church when I was 9 years old after a divorce between my parents. My dad needed more Jesus so off to Grammy’s church we went. I started in children’s church and was an avid attendee throughout college.

When I got married, things started to look real. No more rose colored youth retreats where God is always ever present and answering every prayer. Things were harder than I ever thought they would be.

My husband suffers from depression. Most people do not know this and it’s not something I tell freely, however I feel it is necessary to be real with you for a minute.

He is now taking antidepressants which has changed our marriage incredibly. The decision to finally take them is another post entirely. We were exhausting ourselves trying to find an all natural alternative and also felt as though agreeing to take a man-made pill would somehow take us further away from God. -this is a lie.

But when we were in our first year of marriage, my husband was incredibly depressed and we didn’t realize that it was an actual chemical imbalance in his brain that caused the depression, we just thought he needed a better outlook on life. -this is a lie. It caused endless fights, sleepless nights, and our faith in God began to dwindle. Suddenly God was nowhere to be found. Clint was selling insurance during our first year of marriage and was still taking seminary classes online . This was exhausting, y’all. Insurance sales meant that if you didn’t sell anything that month, bills weren’t getting paid. I was a waitress and I ended up making more money on the rough months. We would have negative $3.00 in our bank account and rent would be due in the morning. We had no idea what we were going to do. Our birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day – were all spent either working or just trying to have enough money to cook a meal for dinner. It was a rough time. We were constantly told to rely on God and to never stop giving our tithes and offering. We were told that you cannot out-give God – according to this, the more money we give to our offering and tithe, the more we would get back in return. But at the end of the day, our accounts were still negative and we completely regret putting that last $20 bill in the silver bucket. We weren’t being provided for, we weren’t happy, and we weren’t thriving at all.

This all would have been worth it had God done “what He always does” and provided for us or came in at the last minute, or always made sure that our lights were never shut off… but none of those things happened. Yes, I can sit here and tell you that we did not starve to death and although we had to spend months at both of our parents’ homes, we were never truly homeless. But why would I sit here and prove to you that we were “provided for” when that’s a completely different definition to everyone?

I still sat there with my eyes shut tight and my fists clenched forcing myself to have faith. Faith that was shoved into my soul since I was nine years old. Faith that is supposed to define me as a person. Faith that is supposed to move mountains but somehow wasn’t making my husband have a good day.

All through that to get fired from two different churches and find ourselves right where we were in our first year over and over again. We thought we were doing something wrong. Like God was our genie and we weren’t using our wishes wisely. So many people instilled in both of us that the reason things weren’t going our way was because we didn’t have enough faith. It was a vicious cycle that only ever exhausted us.

I say all this to show you the anger I have towards the lies that the Christian culture is constantly shoving down my throat.

Be a Proverbs 31 woman.

Don’t use the Lord’s name in vain.

Don’t get drunk.

Don’t watch that.

Pay tithe.

Vote Republican.

Watch those god forsaken horribly produced Christian movies to show support.

Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray.

I’m exhausted. I’m tired of living a forced lie. This isn’t God. Not a loving God. These are rules… that the church extracted from an ancient book. Yes… the Bible is legitimate. I’m not going to say that I don’t believe the Bible to be true…. what I am saying is that too many people are constantly showing these scriptures on memes, facebook statuses, or the holier than thou instagram screenshots of your damn Bible app and they’re not showing the context. The Bible is being abused at every corner.

I am no Bible enthusiast, I can’t “decode” most of it. You will win an argument against me in the authenticity of scriptures. I will never claim to be SO RIGHT. All I’m trying to do is live out God’s love.

Above all else, the only thing I am clinging to is God’s love. He loves us. All day, everyday…. all of us. gay, black, white, democrat, liberal, murderer….. the only thing I know to be clear as day in the Bible is that He has unconditional and unfailing love for every single human and creature. That’s it. Why aren’t the Christians in these churches loving people like this?? You can tell me all day that you’re Christian but you don’t love me. You don’t check up on me and take me out to coffee, you bail when I ask for help, you blast me on facebook when I have an opposing view, you remove me from facebook because I put a damn rainbow on my profile picture. JESUS DID NONE OF THESE THINGS. You know what Jesus did? He broke bread and shared wine with people he loved, people he knew were about to betray him… people who were undeserving. He still treasured them enough to have a meal and communion with them. That’s amazing.

So what is my “religion”?

I love people.

I help people.

I will sooner give a homeless man $100 than go into a mega church and give them my 10%.

I will help my friend by watching her kids as she goes through as terrible divorce and even do her laundry while I’m at it.

I will stay up late talking to my friend who is depressed and just needed to cry.

I will send a card to my friend who just went through a miscarriage. (the card does not say that I am praying for her… just that I love her and she’s not alone)

I will love my husband unconditionally and do everything in my abilities to be his teammate and cheerleader.

I will be honest with my children and never withhold the truth from them when they have questions.

I will open my messy home to a couple of new friends on a holiday just because they don’t have any plans and we want to get to know them.

I will meditate and find peace in the quiet moments.

Maybe someday I will pray again. Maybe I’ll be one of those people with an amazing “I am Second” video…. who knows. I’m open to it. But as for right now, I am no Christian. I am a lover of Christ and all of His people. That’s it.

Judge away oh holy Christians. Judge away.

 

 

image

no one wants to talk about sex.

All I’m sayin is… most of this world has such a warped and terrible view of sex.

Growing up in a Christian culture the later part of my adolescence has pretty much screwed up my view of sex.

If you were in a youth group in the early 2000’s, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

They made it sound like sex was going to KILL us.

If you have sex. you will get pregnant. and die. Right?

The sex speaker came into my youth group with a wrapped Christmas gift. He explained that our sex lives were like this Christmas gift. We DO NOT want to open it before Christmas morning. We might get tempted and peak…. or maybe even tare some of the paper off and ruin the wrapping. But full blown opening the present before it was meant to be opened is just plain detrimental to our Christmas morning. And we may or may not go to hell for that.

ist2_2446495_glowing_christmas_gift

At the time I was listening to this message, I was sitting next to my boyfriend, to whom I had lost my virginity to only a few months prior. He felt the conviction and felt awful about what we had done. We RUINED Christmas, y’all.

At the end of the guilt trip, the speaker then passed out little pieces of paper with a few survey questions.

Have you decided to stay pure until marriage because of this message?

Do you already have an active sex life?

If so, do you plan to continue this lifestyle after hearing this message?

I answered these questions bluntly and honestly. It was anonymous, otherwise I would have lied. My boyfriend completely lied and said that he wasn’t active, nor was he ever ever ever planning on it until he was married. I said straight up, I was active, and this message didn’t change it for me. I did feel convicted a little…. I mean I love Christmas presents and the guy had a good point. But I wasn’t going to flat out lie about it. I knew that we would be tempted and I would soon forget the illustration in the moment and it would be done. I might feel guilt but I was so far into my ridiculously rebellious teen years, I didn’t let it phase me for long.

You know what would have been effective? If someone was real and honest with me. I needed someone not much older than myself to look me in the eye and tell me why having sex or not having sex has effected her life.

Despite the recent allegations against Mark Driscoll, I still fully believe that his sermon series on marriage is by far the best. He and his wife get so real and talk bluntly about their struggles. I have always identified best with pastors who pull from their own struggles. I’m sure this is the case for most church-goers.

Mark explains in his sermon on sex in marriage that there are three different ways that people view sex.

  1. sex is god
  2. sex is gross
  3. sex is a gift

 

Without all the descriptions and without preaching at you, simply put:

You are either obsessed with sex and crave it constantly, putting your unhealthy lustful desire above the feelings of other people involved; think that s-e-x should NEVER be talked about, NEVER be mentioned in public, and DO NOT look at the girl’s deep v-neck sweater for she is SINNING; or that sex was simply made for the purpose of wonderful awesomeness between two people madly in love.

Obviously I was stuck between the hard awful thinking that sex was gross and a god. I knew it was terrible and yucky, but I felt like it was the only thing I could do to make me feel like an “adult” with “adult feelings”….. eh.

If I were to look at the girl sitting in that youth group, I would first of all – grab that stupid Christmas present analogy and throw it out the window…. everyone wants to open their presents before Christmas. A present now is ALWAYS better than a present later…. and then I would look at the girl sitting next to her perv boyfriend and tell her THE TRUTH.

Someday, you’re going to have to explain to the love of your life who and what… and that conversation is going to suck. I don’t care who you are – this is FACT. I’ve heard the argument, “well if that person loves me then he/she shouldn’t care about my sexual past….” WRONG. If that person loves you…. they should value your body as a treasure… a gift. Maybe jealousy is a little bit of a strong word to use here but I would be disappointed if my husband didn’t care about my sexual past… like it’s just not a big deal. Sex is a big deal. It is always a big deal. I don’t care who you are.

My husband waited for me and I did not wait for him. I regret that so much! I do have a loving, forgiving husband who was able to completely accept the fact that he would be giving me his virginity and I would not be giving him mine. But it was still a tough pill to swallow. I had to show to him that he was different from my previous boyfriends. I honored his wish to wait until marriage and on our wedding night, it was the first time we had sex. It was amazing and romantic and wonderful… not nearly as awkward as everyone told me it would be. I am so proud of us for waiting and I wouldn’t have changed that for anything.

Bottom line is, figure out how you’re viewing sex. Stop lying to yourself about how casual it is… you know the truth. Sex is never casual or pointless. There is something about being that intimate with someone that will put a lasting imprint on your life even if you have put it so far back in your mind that you have forced yourself to forget it ever happened.

You know the people who keep talking about? The magazines, the billboards, porn…. all the wrong people!

We need to be more vocal about sex! We’re married…. guess what…. WE HAVE SEX. And it’s way more freeing and liberating than when I wasn’t married. There is no stress attached… in fact… it’s a stress reliever!!

Why are the married people ashamed to brag about it?? I’m not. I love sex. And we do it. It’s fantastic.  (sorry dad… if you even were so bold to click on this after seeing the title)

Let’s talk about it! Show the kids how wonderful it can be… don’t just throw condoms at them and hope for the best. It’s way more than the risk of babies or STD’s… it’s about the risk of our emotions, too.

our goal is not just to not get a divorce

We are asked by many of our friends for marriage advice.

While we do love offering it, it’s a little funny that we are asked in the first place because we have only been married for 6 years so far.

IMG_0431But it’s easy to see our dynamic when we’re together. Clint and I are best friends and each other’s number one fan.  I could go on a cheesy rampage on how we make each other better people and how where I am weak he is strong…. even with all of that being true, I’m trying to avoid the typical cliché’s of what it means to have a functioning marriage. While all of those things help, it’s not going to last.

You have to go into your marriage knowing that at some point, you are going to be so angry at each other that you’re not going to want to sleep in the same bed. A very common response to theses phases by marriage counselors, is to go into the marriage knowing it could fail and refusing to even utter the D-word.

The D-word cuts like a knife in any marriage. Even if neither of you say it out loud, it’s obvious when a couple is thinking it. It becomes a game of “who will say the D-word first”. Because whoever says it first, is now the one who cops out, the one who couldn’t stand it any longer. And the other one who didn’t say it, “tried everything they could to prevent it but in the end, it was the other one’s decision” . This breaks my heart for any relationship.

Over our short time being married, I’ve realized that it’s so much more than just avoiding the word divorce. Although that is a great place to start.

A marriage that doesn’t get a divorce is not a successful one. There are so many people who have been married for 20+ years and hate their lives. They hate where the live, hate where they sleep, hate who they have become. That sounds like a hell worse than divorce, to me.

Why are we, as Christians, so bent up on not divorcing? I personally know a few couples who strive after a separation. I say that lightly – a FEW couples… not a lot.

You know who gets divorced the most? Empty Nesters. The couples who have been married for 30+ years and stayed together for the sake of the kids. As soon as the kids are out of the house, in college, or in marriages of their own, the parents split. This kills me! So many years wasted, just thrown out of the window. They stayed in a loveless marriage without any signs of hope, so that the children would be happy? Ask anyone who grew up in a home like that if they were glad their parents stayed together and lived in hell… I guarantee this is a no.

The people who loved their children more than their spouse are the people who don’t know how to love their spouse when the kids are grown and out of he house. For me, I cannot wait until my girls are grown and out of the house – PARTY all the time! Finally the traveling and the loud sex can commence like when we were first married. Can I get an AMEN?!

Don’t just go into a marriage planning on not divorcing. That sounds like crap.

What kind of example are we leaving for our children? I don’t want my girls waking up one day and finding themselves in a loveless marriage. I don’t want my girls to marry some guy knowing and end up becoming a zombie version of themselves, just walking around aimlessly waiting for something to shoot them in the head.

Live in love. Learn from each other. Fight. Get over it. Fight again. Have hot make up sex. Accidentally have another kid. Go through bankruptcy. Learn how to strive together. Not just survive on your own.

Life sucks. A lot of the time. Marry someone who is exactly the partner you need in those crappy times. Because they’re coming, no matter what you do to try to avoid them.

Then when things are good, things are amazing.

And sex. Don’t forget to have all the sex all the time. That always helps.

People always ask and I always love telling…

1931056_517866546077_132_n

My favorite person in the whole wide world is my husband, Clint.

For real tho. And I don’t care if you’re tired of hearing about it.

how I met my soulmate:

Clint and I loved each other when we were 12 years old. We were in the same youth group at church, and when you’re in the same youth group, you’re meant to be… right?

Neither of us can remember the conversation where we both decided that we were going to get married, we just remember knowing that some day, we would be married to each other.

Eventually his family moved to a different church. And well you know… growing up in the church, neither of us were really aloud to have a boyfriend or a girlfriend at this age. So he wasn’t aloud to keep my number and I never heard from him after he left. It was heart breaking and I didn’t think I would ever see him again.

Two years go by, I am still in the same youth group. I have a silly little boyfriend who my dad didn’t want me to see but as a rebellious teen growing up in a church, I went behind my dad’s back and continued a relationship with this kid anyway. This one particular night, I felt guilty. I knew the only reason I was in a relationship with this kid was to make my parents angry, and because it was an infatuation. I decided that I would go home from youth group, be honest and upfront with my dad, and then break it off with the silly boyfriend.

Before I went home, a kid I had never seen before came and asked me if my name was Hannah….

yes? who are you?

I’m Will… I’m Clint’s best friend. He talks about you all the time. I mean like… ALL THE TIME. I told him I was visiting this church tonight and he freaked out and sent me on a mission to get your number for him.

UM. DUH. I couldn’t write my number down fast enough for him. I couldn’t wait to hear from Clint. It has been two years since I had heard his voice. AH!

Even through the excitement of possibly hearing from Clint at any moment, I knew I had a very hard night ahead of me. I get home, sit my dad and step mom down, and come clean. This was the Wednesday night before this boy’s senior prom… and two nights before his birthday. My dad was unsympathetic. He told me I needed to end it with him the first chance I got and that he would go with me to make sure it was done. Well the first chance was on this kid’s birthday and the night before his prom. My dad still let me go to his prom since we both had already spent so much money on the tickets, my dress… all that crap. But now this was going to make for the most awkward weekend E.V.E.R.

I baked a cake for the soon-to-be-ex for his birthday the night before prom and was on my way out to his house when the phone rang.

It was him…. my soulmate!! It was a quick conversation.

How have you been?

Are you driving yet?

Are you seeing anyone? – this was my favorite answer. I told him that I wasn’t going to have a boyfriend in a matter of hours… I think he was elated by this answer.

I had to hang up and go break the kid’s heart, tho. So the conversation ended and my dad and I went to go end this kid’s beliefs in love. My bad.

I did it in a Starbucks… Frank Sinatra playing, and all the barista’s watching the horrible sadness unveil. I broke this kid’s heart, y’all. Again, my bad.

To my utter disappointment, I never got another call from Clint. Will later contacted me for him and explained that his parents found out that he called me and they made him throw my number away. UGH. WHAT IS THAT??

Another two years pass us by.

I am now 18 years old, in my first year of college, and had been dating my high school boyfriend for over one year. Oh and I was still attending the same church with my family.

The church announced there was a ballet troupe performing for us on this one particular evening. My dad wanted us all to attend so he got me a ticket… the boyfriend had to work so I was just going to be with my family. Well on that Sunday morning, hours before the ballet, we just got out of church and we were doing the after-church-you-are-required-to-talk-to-a-million-people-before-leaving-for-lunch usual. I was standing in front of the main sanctuary when I see this guy walk by me. We make eye contact for one second and then he keeps walking. I lost my breath. I grabbed my friend next to me (who had been going to this church almost as long as I had) and whispered, “Is that Clint Howard??” It took her a second to respond. Like the name sounded familiar at first, and then she realized we were talking about my soulmate. All she could do was hold me and gasp! She knew what this could possibly mean. The guy walked by me and went directly into the bathroom (which he later told me was so that he could get a grip and splash his face with some water… heeehee). I wouldn’t move. I stood there, right next to my boyfriend mind you, and waited for him to come back out of the bathroom so that I could get another look.

He finally walked out, and began walking past me. I stared him down. Then he turned around, paused, and made the B-line towards me and says three words:

“is it you?”

All I could do was gasp and throw my arms around his neck, completely forgetting about the existence of the boyfriend standing right next to us.

We held each other way too long… it was amazing.

I came back to reality and realized the boyfriend was probably getting angry here so I broke away and then introduced them to each other.

Clint didn’t care, he never stopped looking at me.

We had the little catch up conversation and then the boyfriend had to go to work…. aww bummer…………..

He left and I stayed, but I didn’t even get to see the ballet that night. Clint and I stayed on the stairs and talked through the whole thing. Turns out his sister was a ballerina and had been traveling all over with this troupe. He found out they would be performing at my church and he knew he had to come and see if he could run into me there. It was a total scheme and it worked.

That night was fantastic. It was as if we had been best friends for the four years that we had been apart. At the end of the night, we had to go our separate ways. I regretfully didn’t give him my number that night for the sake of my already year-long relationship. He said he understood and of course was just so sweet about it. But I felt terrible. A big part of me still thought that I was going to marry that kid.

Now if my readers beg me enough – I will try my hardest to get Clint to sit down one day and type out his version of the story on my blog. What he goes through is insane and very much a part of how we ended up but I can’t speak for him. He needs to explain it all on his own for you.

Y’all…. one.more.year.passes.by.

I’m still with the high school boyfriend and he is three weeks away from graduation. To my surprise, he up and breaks up with me. I guess I needed to be put in my place for breaking a kid’s heart in Starbucks, right?

I’m a tad OCD. I’m saying this so that I don’t sound like a creeper. Mmmk?

My boyfriend broke up with me on January 3, 2008. It came out of nowhere for me and I was way too sad to function, which is incredibly embarrassing to admit but hey… we all go through embarrassing heart break at some point, right? So my bestie for the restie came to rescue me with some diet coke and other comfort food. She listens to me sobbing for a good minute, and then she finally says what we’re all thinking….

Dude, you need to look up Clint Howard on Facebook.

Facebook was only two years old. We were super excited about getting to stalk old friends.

I eventually agreed to be a creeper on Facebook and look him up. After much extended creeping, I found Clint Howard. omg so cute…. jussayin.

I sent him one message, three words.

is it you?

no reply.

for like way too long.

I was going nuts.

I sent another message.

And then one more.

The last one had my number in it. Basically saying I didn’t care when he was going to message me back. Let’s just cut to the chase and CALL ME IMMEDIATELY. I was a little excited…

Still no answer.

Now a little side story on Hannah. I was quite the partier. I started partying in high school because duh. And then it just never faded. I was a waitress… another duh.

On January 19, I decided that I needed to drink away my break up with a big group of my friends from the restaurant I was currently working at. We went to a house party and got stupid drunk. It was one of those nights where you regret everything and forget everything else. Dumb, dumb decisions.

The next morning I woke up incredibly upset with myself to say the least. I was over it. The partying phase needed to end. Like yesterday. I was acting like a child and I needed to grow the mess up. This was not a “I need to stop drinking” hangover that is later cured by more drinking. This was the real deal for me. The turning point my life needed to have.

I had a full day where all I could do was detox the night before out of my system and really make the change. Deleting certain people off of my Facebook, cutting off a few ties, and being honest with my family.

Just in time.

On January 21, at almost 11:00 pm, my phone rang. It was Clint Howard.

We talked until 5:00 in the morning. I knew it was the beginning. Our lives were finally lined up and we were exactly where we needed to be so that we could be together. We were free to be in a relationship and man, we were ready.

I was completely up front and honest with him from the first night. I knew that I was going to marry this man and I needed to start this relationship on nothing but honesty. There was nothing he wouldn’t know about me. Telling him my past with my previous relationships was one of the hardest conversations I have ever had. Clint never really got into that scene. He had a few small relationships but he knew that they weren’t really worth his time and energy. He had plans to wait to have sex until marriage. I had to tell him that I didn’t wait. I made a few mistakes in the years that we were apart. I felt terrible. But he needed to know everything. And I needed to show him that he was different, not like the other boyfriends I had wasted my time with in the past.

Clint and I were engaged on June 26, 2008. We spent one year apart while he was in college – worst year EVER! Y’all… long distance is PAINFUL.

We were married on August 29, 2009. I was 21 years old, and Clint was turning 20 in three days. It was the best day.

The fist time Clint and I had sex was on our wedding night. This was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It was hard, don’t get me wrong. But he needed it, and I needed it. I’m convinced that it is one of the main factors that has made our relationship as strong as it is today.

So many people thought we were crazy to get married at that age. But GUYS. Did you see the part where I said we were waiting until marriage to have sex? I mean come on.

Just kidding.

Well not all the way kidding.

But that wasn’t the only reason we got married so young.

We got married so young because simply this :

When you know you know.

I thought I “knew” I was going to spend the rest of my life with my other boyfriend but at the end of the day, my relationship with him was dwindling and if I was really being honest with myself, I knew it wasn’t going to last.

You know. Don’t act like you don’t. You know if you’re in a relationship that won’t last forever.

With my husband, I know that divorce is not an option. It won’t end.

But that’s a different topic for a different time.

In our short six years of marriage, we have learned so much. I’m not going to sit here and tell you I have it all figured out. But I will tell you that I have lots of advice to share. And this blog will be perfect for that.

As always, ask my anything. I’m an open book…. or blog.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more of our marriage adventures!

1914348_539727376797_262119_n