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.

When You Finally Grow the F Up

Another post written for you by one of our Okay Moms ::

KT Kinsey

I have never been the socially acceptable “normal” person I was intended to be by the people in charge of my education and upbringing. I’ve always taken the road less traveled, and that was usually the more difficult path. Baby was never meant to be put in a corner and was never meant to be told what to do! Painfully awkward, filled with incredible amounts of pent up rage from tragic events of my childhood, and lost in a big world with no real role model, I spent the first almost 30 years of my existence, well, lost.

My life never had a clear path. I didn’t have much in the way of future goals, I couldn’t see past the end of my nose and the borders of my small hometown. You know the type of place, small town, booming in population growth, where everyone either works for a plant or teaches school and everyone knows everyone else’s business.  I knew I wasn’t meant to be there, but I had no clue how to get out unless prison was involved, and I’m too in to my self-preservation for that shit. The opportunities for me weren’t plentiful and I had no idea how to get out there and make things happen myself. I was usually shut down before I could even try.

I was forced to attend college even though deep down I knew I wasn’t ready. I was too naive of the real world and had absolutely no clue what college involved or what I wanted to be when I grew up.  Seven years, three majors, three minors, and three institutions of higher learning later and I finally trucked out a half decent degree with a $40,000 price tag in student loans. I was finally done with the monotony of “formal education”, married and on my way to the state of New York for my husband’s first duty station with the Army.

The first tastes of real freedom, and what did I do with it? Immediately had a baby. Don’t get me wrong, I was so ready to have a child and I love my little boy more than anything else in the world, but I never gave myself time to consider options for just what exactly I would want out of life. By the time my husbands first contract with the Army was complete we had spent three years in the frozen tundra of upstate New York, racking up credit card debt, and doing nothing but hiding at home with my baby and eating. I was “that” military spouse. I made a couple of friends and tried a few new activities but my only true solace was junk food and fighting with imaginary people on the Internet. I was just a miserable person living a closeted miserable life.

All of the education and training and experience I had built up in the first 25 years of my life were going to absolute waste. This impasse basically slapped me in the face in 2013 when I decided to compete for the last time in an International pageant system I had been involved in for almost 10 years. I was aging out and decided to give the International competition one more go of it. I prepared my vocal selection for talent, shopped for the clothes, got in shape, had professional headshots made. I was ready! Or so I thought. I was 27 and aging out of the system and the part of the process that I hadn’t given much thought to was also the part that always came so easy to me, the Interview competition. About a month before the pageant I started thinking about things I could potentially be asked in Interview. It didn’t take me long to realize I had messed up. Questions that came to mind were things like “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” “What is your greatest accomplishment” or “How do you plan to make an impact on the world”.

That’s it, time to call the whole thing off, I’m doomed. I can belt out a song and glide across the stage in a gown all day but I had absolutely no real substance to back it up. I am not a person who cries easily. I am also that solid rock in a rocky storm type of gal. I went into sheer panic mode. I ended up in tears during a conversation with my mother, whom I was living with at the time while my husband was deployed. I realized that while I had gone through the “expected” steps of graduating high school, graduating college, marrying a respectable man, and having a beautiful child, I had absolutely nothing to really show for myself that was any indication of who I was as a person and absolutely no future path in sight other than to raise my child.

Now, before anyone wants to rake me over the coals for my last statement, I’m not saying raising my child isn’t respectable. I consider it the hardest and most rewarding job I have ever had and will ever have. This is merely my way of saying that I had never given any thought to being capable of anything other than being a wife and mom. I love those parts of my life, but in this epiphany mess of tears I realized that I was a capable human being who really did want more than what I had settled myself to.

My mom talked me off the ledge, we managed to collaborate on some believable bullshit to put on my introduction card for the pageant, and off we went to spend a week in Vegas full of hairspray, rhinestones, and memories. I ended up pulling off my second trip to the Top 10 for my age group, and while I didn’t return home with a crown I did come home with a new found thought: I am not done living my life yet.

Fast forward four years and we now live in Tennessee where we own a home, send our son to a nice private school, I have an incredible job, and now know what I want to be when I grow up. In those four years I took a long look at where I came from and decided to embrace what I was capable of rather than wallowing in my pathetic past. I cut myself off from a lot of Internet connection, a lot of toxic “friendships”, even more toxic family relations, and decided to be who I really am.

I now rock purple hair, I got my first tattoo recently, I embrace my full on love of Harry Potter and all things nerdy, and decided to stop letting everyone else tell me who I am supposed to be. I saw a picture on Instagram recently with a quote on it that I have really fallen in love with. It said, “Teach your daughters to worry less about fitting into glass slippers and more about shattering glass ceilings.” I’m done trying to fit myself into the molds I was never meant to fit into. I may not cure cancer, save Social Security, or win Miss America but for my child I’m going to be the best example of living my one and only life exactly the way I want to with absolutely no shame or doubt involved. If I can encourage one other person to be who they are without apology, then my work here is done.

We all kinda suck

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My bad.

I am totally the worst.

 

A hypocrite to the MAX.

I spend my entire time worrying about how moms are being judged or shamed – trying to give okay moms a voice. Trying my hardest to tell moms from every walk of life that it’s okay to be okay – to ignore the perfect instagram mommies because there’s a lot we don’t see behind their perfectly filtered pictures.

 

But at the end of the day – I took that voice away from the okay moms and used it for harm.

I digress.

My eyes were opened to my hypocrisy because of a peanut butter sandwich.

Not just any peanut butter sandwich… but a peanut butter sandwich made from a professional. It was for a peanut butter ad and it was targeting moms who pack their kid’s school lunches. The ad showed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with perfect tiny star shapes cut out of the top of the bread so you can see the perfectly smeared thin layer of (I’m sure) organic jelly and the thick layer of the protein packed peanut butter. No mess. Crust not even cut off – because of course this kid eats crusts. Perfect little lunch packed for a perfect little kid by a perfect mom. Every time this ad popped up on my Facebook feed, I wanted to throw my middle finger up. OVER IT. STAHP. No one is that perfect. No one takes the time to do this. And if they do take the time to do this – it is for a filtered instagram pic and not for their kid. Right??

 

Well I wasn’t the only one who felt that way.

 

For nearly a year I have ran a mommy support group on Facebook called the World’s Okayest Moms and it’s pretty freakin perfect. We’re coming up on almost 2,000 members and it is a well oiled machine – so far there has been very little drama (WHICH IS IMPOSSIBLE HELLO) and a huge support from all over the world… literally the world. It’s amazing and encouraging and I couldn’t be more proud of it.

A few weeks back, one of the world’s okayest moms took a screenshot of said peanut butter ad and posted it in the group with a caption along the lines of – who actually does this. The comments were hilarious. A bunch of woman, including myself, got on the thread and bashed the ad for being so fucking perfect and not messy. It was exactly what I thought would happen. Until a mom commented something I hadn’t thought of :

 

I won’t quote her directly but basically she was hurt. She said that her child had the hardest time eating and would go through bouts of refusing food for days on end (who doesn’t have that every once in a while). So in a desperate attempt to get her child to eat some protein, she made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Perfectly, no mess, cute shaped cut out of the center of the bread, and it was beautiful. The kid ate the sandwich and she finally found something that worked. It became a ritual for her to make these special sandwiches for her kid who she was worried wasn’t getting enough nutrients. She said that the comments on the post hurt her directly and she was debating leaving the group over it – she thought this group was a place without judgement and here she was, feeling completely judged. She was hurt. We hurt her. Suddenly a memory hit me that four years ago I had an extremely stubborn two year old refuse to eat for days on end with the exception of cheerios. So I did this! I used cookie cutters and cut her sandwiches into shapes for months. It was the only thing she ate and I was relived she was getting some protein so it didn’t matter to me that I had to go the extra mile for my typical two-year-old.

 

I wrote her back an apology and validated her hurt. I thanked her for not leaving the group but I think my apology was too late. I never got a reply back.

I felt terrible.

I had set out to create this environment for mommies who felt like they didn’t belong and here I am shaming mommies.

Is it possible that we are so worried about not judging and shaming okay moms that we end up shaming and judging the instagram moms?

We hate their perfect yoga pants and their skinny bodies and their avocado toast. But aren’t they doing what they need? They need the marathons, they need the cookie cutter sandwiches, they need their protein shakes in the morning. Some of them even need the likes. They need to post their filtered devotional and coffee pic in the morning so that they feel validated and noticed. It’s their way to feel creative and appreciated. Who doesn’t want that?

 

I am a creative but not with my instagram pics… I am not a photographer and I don’t spend 15 minutes working on the perfect placement of my latte on the cafe table for the perfect picture. But these women who do are only expressing their creativity in a different way than I would.

Point is – we don’t know. There is no way we could ever possibly know their life. We don’t know why they feel the need to post Breast is Best or Fed is Best posts. We don’t know why their house is pristine and their coffee always hot. We don’t know why their kids wear name brands and eat their perfect organic sandwiches every day. Just like they don’t know us.

Isn’t it time we push through that divide? Can’t a mom just be a mom? At the end of the day – we all have the same end goal…

 

don’t raise an asshole.

Right??

Let’s chill out, mommas. It’s okay to be okay and it’s also okay to be sub par and it’s also okay to be spectacular. You do you. That’s the best we can do, right? We all kinda suck – there’s some common ground!

 

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. 

sometimes i just want to pee in peace.

 

I have been a mom for a whopping total of five years. Not much… but you should know that there are two of them. You know what happens when one kid becomes two kids? Everything. Everything happens.

The second one isn’t anything like the first one. AT ALL. So you think you have this whole kid thing figured out until BAM. You had no idea.

Not to mention I have complete responsibility for those kid’s past, present, and future. I have to make sure they don’t end up being little turds who grow up to be the kid that steals other kid’s milk money. But I also have to raise them to be brave so that they can stand up to the milk money stealing turds. Teach them their ABC’s, 123’s, and how to share. That’s totally up to me.

And you know what… some days… all I can think about… is how sometimes I just want to pee in peace.img_6759

Sometimes I just want to go to the bathroom, shut the door, know that no one is choking anyone, no one knows where I am nor will they even bother to search, no tiny hands will come from underneath the door frame like a creeping Walking Dead episode, no one will come crying to me. And I just sit there… and pee…. in peace. Oh peace… Maybe even pull my phone out and creep on a few instagram feeds… whatever I want.

When you become a parent, your whole life changes… duh. But there are so many little things that you are never prepared for entering parenthood. I mean obviously everyone wants to “prepare” you before you get to that point and it just doesn’t do much.

Always sleep when the baby does…. yea… because I don’t do ANYTHING else.

Make sure the baby doesn’t have too much screen time

Never turn your car seat front facing

NO CORN SYRUP EVER

Only overpriced organic food

Haven’t you lost your baby weight yet?

Breast is best!!

But you know what I wish someone told me?

You will never pee alone again.

Screw jeans. Just give up on them. They will never be good to you again.

Always talk to other adults as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

Wine… all of it… just do it… invest in a monthly wine delivery or just go ahead and commit to the box now.

Clean after they go to bed because as soon as you finish, they will only fuck it all back up immediately after.

It’s okay… it’s okay to be okay. 

Thankfully it has only taken me five years and two kids to realize these things are the truest things but I know I still have a long way to go. We just need to be better equipped by real people… not the “perfect” ones.

 

 

Hello, I am the world’s okayest mom

Being okay is completely underrated. Why are we always trying to achieve perfection? Perfection is impossible and even if you do eventually achieve it, it’s a huge disappointment.

Guess what.

My house is almost always messy. I take care of the basics, like the kitchen, the yuckyness… but laundry?? Oh man… laundry is always around. There are piles of dirty clothes in every room and piles of clean clothes in the living room. Piles of folded clothes on the coffee table and on top of dressers, piles of laid out shirts draped over the couch waiting for the closet… forget about it. My poor husband. Our mornings usually go as follows:

Him – hey babe… wake up. I can’t find any clothes.

Her – huh? whaaaat?

Him – where can I find pants?

Her – folded on the coffee table… or wait… the dryer. Yea, the dryer.

….five minutes pass…

Him – babe, where are socks?

Her – ummmm….. yea good luck with that.

Being a mom of two little ones takes up all my time. I am homeschooling the five year old and I’ll be lucky if she is counting to 15 by the end of this school year. My 18 month old is a baby genius which sounds like a good thing but ends up biting me in the ass more often than not. She is constantly testing things, like me… it’s exhausting and stressful as hell.

I live for nap time and the use of the Kindle Fire for the five year old. I look longingly forward to bed time when I can finally pop open that bottle of wine…. ok box… box of wine… and turn on a show with adults and cuss words.

Can you imagine what our mothers did before smart phones?? Thank God I have access to all my friends on a tiny device I can hold in my hands. And those mom’s who judge us for being on our phones too much…. we get it… you’re so much better than us. But if I don’t stay in contact with the people outside of my townhome filled with piles of laundry, my antidepressants will only go so far.

Can we just be okay with being okay? Can we stop striving for perfection? Our Instagram filtered pictures are killing other moms. Let’s just be OKAY for once. Just be okay with the fact that your child will eat that bug or that pile of mud… it’s good for their immune system!! Just be okay with the fact that one day our children are going to tell us they need therapy. Dip into that college savings fund and put it towards something that will actually help them.

Give yourself some grace, momma. It’s going to be okay. Being okay is okay! Take a nap! Throw some cheerios on the floor and let your kids fight for them gladiator style. Drink that glass of wine. Get on facebook and vent about it. Send me a message! I’ll level with you.

It’s going to be okay.

winemom

How to be a Hot Mess Mom

I know, people see me and they’re just jealous. I always look like I just have my shit together. So here is my How-To… trust me… motherhood becomes a lot easier once you just accept that you’re whole life is a hott mess.

Your attire:

Laundry is just a whole clusterfuck of who cares. Don’t do it every day. And once you do it, throw the clean clothes in a pile. You might want to invest in a second laundry basket so that you can have a clean clothes basket and a dirty clothes basket. Smell the pits if you are unsure.

The shirt will always have stains. Give up.

Hott mess mom hair is the messy bun you put in your hair the night before when you washed your face and then slept on it. It’s fine. The pretty girls are doing this lately. You look like you spend hours on it.

Yoga pants. Sometimes if you put them on first thing in the morning, you feel motivated to work out. You never will work out but at least you have the appearance that you do.

Flip flops – just to prove that you in fact did not work out.

Maekup? It’s not date night. Move along.

Shave above the legs? It’s not your anniversary or his birthday. Move along.

The list of your BFF’s:

  1. Netflix. It’s a very cheap babysitter. Anything with a screen will do.
  2. Dry Shampoo. Everyday. All day. Duh.
  3. Wine. Wine. Wine. Wine. Wine. Wine. Wine.
  4. Your other mom friend who understands why you cry yourself to sleep every night.
  5. A back yard. Fence is a plus.

 

What counts as a bath:

Moms who bathe their children every night aren’t real. They only exist on Pinterest. Or they only have one kid and they think that’s what they’re supposed to do. Do not kill you back and your knees every single night when they will only pour the milk all over themselves as soon as they get their breakfast. It’s a losing battle. Give up.

Here is a list of things that count as a bath. If any of the following happen in a day, you are excused of your responsibility of bathing.

  • spilling water on themselves
  • swimming in a salt water pool
  • running in the sprinkler
  • wipeys wipeys wipeys. Use all of them. They’re more expensive than a bath but worth every penny
  • a thorough diaper change
  • getting caught in the rain
  • holding them over the sink after a meal and splashing them with water

 

This is the hardest job on the planet. We are raising tiny humans into functioning adults. That is so much pressure! Give yourself some room for mistakes. Apologize often, and get real with yourself. Be honest! You will make mistakes. Big ones and little ones. Just admit that to yourself and move on. Be happy in the mess because the mess will be all you have on most days. Support each other. Let’s rise up, mothers! Let’s BE HONEST and tell it like it is. Maybe you’re reading this on your tablet in bed whilst covered with children or on your phone whilst pretending to poop in your locked bathroom. We have all been there and if we haven’t then we’re about to be and we need a head’s up.

Do whatever it is that you need to make this work. You got this momma. Don’t you fret none.

bye

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…

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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!

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