May you always believe in magic.
Warning: this post will be about 70% “I love my boyfriend” cheesy-ness and 30% Support our Troops.
Since it’s Veteran’s Day, I wanted to write about my personal relationship with an American veteran and the owner of my heart; my boyfriend, in the hopes that people will gain a better understanding of what the typical US soldier truly deals with. People take their freedoms for granted way too much (myself included).
Before I start, I wanted to make a disclaimer. My boyfriend is not one to indulge in “war stories.” In fact, most of the time he only tells me about his experiences in the army when I push him to (which I try not to do very often). The level of respect I have for my boyfriend is incomparable… He joined the army when he was 18 not because of the fact that his entire family has been involved in branches of the military in some way (I’m not exaggerating either… All of the boys have enrolled in some branch of the service, and all of the girls are married to military men) but because of the fact that he realized he didn’t deserve to live such a great life without contributing to it. He always tells me it wasn’t a choice; it was his duty.
First of all, wow. How many people can say they’ve known men like this? Not enough, in my opinion. Myles is 100% American and 110% a real man in my eyes. One night as we were playing Scrabble, we were talking about concussions (don’t ask me how we got started on this topic… we literally have the most random discussions all of the time) and he was telling me that he had 2 concussions during his time in the military. When I asked how he got them, his response shocked me. On both occasions, the military transport he was riding in drove too close to an IED and the sheer volume of the bomb caused him to get a concussion. Now, I admit to being way too naive when it comes to the war in Iraq, but I had NO idea he ever came that close to such a deadly situation or that just the volume from an IED going off could cause so much damage. When I asked him how many times he was in similar situations to this, where bombs were going off around him, he said “Oh, about 15 times” in the most nonchalant voice that it literally broke my heart. To him, this was such a normal thing that he didn’t even bat an eye. To me, it’s such a far-fetched, horrifying idea that I can’t even fathom it.
We don’t really talk about all of the people in his company that died (some of whom were his friends) or the amount of people he had to kill in battle (which he states is just the nature of the beast; something he just had to do) but let’s take a moment to be real here: Can any of you imagine being put in a situation like that? The true definition of kill or be killed. We go about our simple lives, not ever giving any thought to what these men are giving up for us. How selfish. And here’s my boyfriend, never talking about his time in the military, never bragging, never thinking what he did was “special.” And never realizing that he’s done more with his life in his 5 years in the military than most of us will do in our entire lives.
It’s my hope that today, on Veteran’s Day, we make our troops feel loved. I wrote a nice letter to Myles and I’m making him a special dinner tonight. I know a simple dinner won’t make up for even an inkling of all the things he’s done for me and for our country, but it’s a way to make him feel special. To know that what he did is appreciated. I’m so proud of him. He is truly a hero and I love him more than I could ever imagine loving anyone.
“You are the best thing that’s ever been mine.”
How lucky am I to have found him out there in this crazy world? I found him and I made him mine and I have never been happier.
Till next time, everyone. Remember to say thank you.
I know I love mine :]
I’ve been doing things wrong.
I set such high standards for myself that I forget that it’s okay to make mistakes. Even now as I type this, I rephrase everything in my head; repeating things over and over to try to make it the best possible version of itself before I post it. I do this with every single aspect of my life, and it’s tiring and makes it that much more disappointing when I mess up. Tonight, I was reading one of my textbooks and realized I was just skimming some of the paragraphs instead of actually reading it word for word and I got so extremely frustrated with myself for not doing the very best that I could. I didn’t workout today because I just couldn’t talk myself into it, and I was that much more angry with myself for not pushing through it, even though I cleaned my entire bathroom in my usual, alotted “workout” time. It wasn’t good enough for me because I should have been able to do both.
Not only do I set my standards too high, I judge others by my own standards when I have no right to. Just because someone doesn’t behave the way I think they should behave doesn’t mean they aren’t doing their best. And even if they aren’t doing their best, why is it my place to be offended by that? Laziness bothers me. Not taking initiative bothers me. People who don’t do their very best when they have the potential to bothers me.
I tell myself I’ll do better tomorrow. I’ll workout extra hard, catch up on all my chores and school work, be less critical of others and myself, see beauty in things, relax. But the truth is, I haven’t mastered this yet. I still have breakdowns. I still question whether I’ve found my niche in life. I still wonder why some things still feel like they’re missing.
So often, I read things in my psychology textbooks that hit so close to home. Earlier today, I read this and was moved by it:
“If we are not committed personally to the value of examining our own lives, how can we inspire our clients to examine their lives? How can we take our clients any further than we have gone ourselves?”
So this got me thinking… How far have I gone? I push myself so hard so that I never feel like I wasted a day, yet I get the overall feeling that this time is being wasted regardless since I don’t allow myself to slow down and see the beauty of it. I’m always full steam ahead without stopping to think about what I’m moving toward. The light at the end of the tunnel. Yes, I have an idea of that light, but what does it consist of? What’s the end result? Will it make me as happy as I hope? Will it disappoint me because it doesn’t live up to these impossibly high, imaginary standards I have? I always tell myself that I’m moving forward to create a better future for myself, while I should be living in the moment and enjoying the parts of my life that are already good.
I really disappoint myself sometimes.
I had originally planned on writing about the things I loved during the month of October, but as usual time escaped me and we are already 4 days into the month of November. Oh well. Chalk it up to a busy schedule, spending time with my parents, who recently flew down from Dallas for an extended weekend, and an impromptu camping trip.
Anywho, here’s a list of the things I’ve been loving recently:
My Urban Decay Smoked Palette
Earlier this month, I went into Ulta to purchase the Naked 2 palette. I already own the original Naked palette (and to be completely honest, I use it every single day) but have recently been feeling the need to expand my eyeshadow collection. When I started comparing the two palettes in person, I wasn’t as impressed with Naked 2 as I thought I would be. I walked around Ulta looking at all of the other UD palettes and fell in LOVE with Smoked. Throw in the fact that it included a 24/7 liner in the color Perversion, as well as a travel size Eye Primer Potion (which has been on my “Products I want to try” list for months), and this decision was a no-brainer. I still use Naked for my everyday palette but anytime I have fancier plans than going to work/class, I use Smoked. I’ve really been working on my smokey eye lately, as it has always been an area of weakness for me. LOVE it.
I have NO idea why it’s taken me 23 years to learn how to play this game. I think I had convinced myself that it was way too difficult to learn all of the rules, but I have recently discovered that this is completely false. It is “easy to learn, difficult to master,” as my wonderful boyfriend phrased it when beginning to teach me. Chess has taken the place of our nightly Scrabble games and I find myself looking forward to playing it, as it challenges me a little more than Scrabble does.
Urban Decay’s “Grindhouse” Eyeliner Sharpener
Are you guys sensing a trend here? I am obsessed with UD and this pencil sharpener has reignited said obsession. I also love UD’s 24/7 liners, although I find some of them make my eyes water right after using them. I’ll deal with it, as the staying power of these liners is incomparable. I know it looks like a have an insane amount of liners, but I bought most of them in holiday kits. Holiday kits are where it’s AT people! They make great gifts for friends/family and even better deals for the self-proclaimed makeup-obsessed girl.
This book, and everything Tori Spelling
Am I the only one obsessed with this woman? I think I am and while I’m okay with that, I seriously suggest you read her books. She is so funny (I laugh out loud on numerous occasions when I read her books, and this one is no exception) and she’s an amazing mama, DIYer, interior designer, and has great style to top it all off. I’m convinced she’s superwoman, or at least the celebrity version of who I aspire to be. She gives me so much inspiration.
And last but not least, although it isn’t pictured I have been obsessed with Revenge during the month of October. Since we don’t have cable, I usually forget about the shows I like to watch until 4 or 5 episodes have passed and then watch them all in marathon-fashion which leads to an addiction that I am 100% okay with. Next on my list is catching up with this season of American Horror Story, although I watched the first episode when it aired and was NOT crazy about it.
And now, for a little picture update of the last-minute camping trip we recently went on:
I was frustrated with myself for waiting too late into the evening to take pictures on this camping trip (darn time change had me underestimating how early the sun was going to set so the lighting is horrible in these pictures. Sad Chelsi)
Every time we go camping, we try to learn a new skill. Last time it was starting our own fires from scratch using different methods, and this time it was setting our own traps using minimal resources. We had a competition going (and when I say “we,” I really mean Myles and his brother. Out of all of the skills I have, trap-setting is not one of them) and in the above picture, Myles is making some “necessary” (his words, not mine) corrections to the deadfall trap I worked so hard on. It kills me that my survival skills aren’t up to par with the boy’s (it’s the perfectionist living inside of me’s worst nightmare). One day.
If you were wondering, Myles made the best and most efficient trap… As usual, he’s amazing at everything he touches. Annoying and inspiring at the same time!
Have an amazing, wonderful, productive week. Be good to your body and your mind!
Till next time!
Recently, I have been feeling so blessed with the leniency of my daily schedule. I pretty much make my own hours at work and can sleep in until 8:30 everyday. I get to workout and shower before work all without having to kill myself waking up at a crazy early hour. When I first started grad school, I felt guilty for being so blessed (especially after being a preschool teacher… you guys just have no idea how demanding and draining it is to be in charge of 13 toddlers all week). While I was taking a shower today, I had an epiphany (ah, the lovely shower epiphanies) that I wanted to share: Yes, I am blessed. Always. But more importantly, I paved this path myself. I worked my butt of at LSU to make all A’s and worked in psychology labs for years so that I had a better resume and a greater chance of being accepted into grad school. I challenge myself everyday with my workouts so that I never take advantage of being able to sleep in. I study hard so that I can make straight A’s at Nicholls (3 for 3 on my midterms, by the way!) so it justifies being able to have so much free time at work. I finally don’t feel guilty anymore. I did this for myself. I worked hard and it paid off and this is the way my life is supposed to be (at least for these 2 years until I move on to the next chapter in my life).
Anyways, at the risk of sounding lazy, here are a list of the things I’ve done this week!
In the last seven days, I:
- Started my second Advocare 24 Day Challenge (so far, so good… minus the dreaded Fiber Drink which makes me gag every time I have to drink it in the morning)
- Read and outlined 4 chapters from my psychology textbooks for grad school (although I don’t necessarily see this is a chore because my textbooks are so interesting… #Nerd)
- Began my first week of being 100% anxiety-medicine-free, after slowly tapering myself off for the past month
- Had a 15 minute mental breakdown in the womens restroom at work because of the withdrawal symptoms from previous bullet (the symptoms are slowly starting to reside today, thank God)
- Had to apologize to Myles and our pups on frequent occasions for being so snappy and irritable because of said withdrawal symptoms
- Listened to a lot more 80s music than any 23 year old girl should, and also reacquainted myself with the musical stylings of Better Than Ezra
- Pushed myself harder than I ever have with my workouts all week. Feel the burn!
- Had a not-so-friendly consultation with my oral surgeon to get my wisdom teeth taken out
- Set a date to get aforementioned wisdom teeth taken out (November 20th… eek, I am NOT excited about this)
- Decided to retire the middle-part I’ve been sporting for my hair, and go back to my signature side-part for the time being (don’t get me wrong, I love the sophistication and classiness of the middle-part, but the side-part is much more flattering for my face shape)
- Developed an unhealthy obsession with darker/Fall lipstick shades, specifically Sugar Plum Fairy by Wet-n-Wild ($2.00 for a gorgeous plum shade that is a dupe for Mac’s Rebel, you can’t beat it). See:
- Gone to bed before 11:00 pm for 80% of the week and actually slept like a rock, reminding me the healing power of a good night’s rest
- Consumed my body weight in fluid ounces of homemade smoothies (thank you, nutribullet)
I hope everyone had a productive week! I’m kicking my weekend off by getting some more homework done! Surprise! But I have big plans that involve Netflix, nail polish, and curling up into a ball until I feel 100% like myself again right after I’m done enjoying this psychology textbook and the view off of our balcony on this beautiful day. They’re burning the cane behind our apartment and it happens to be one of my favorite Fall smells. I could stay out here all day.
Remember to take things day by day. Not only does it make things easier, it also reminds us not to live in the past or waste time obsessing over the future. What happens, happens.
Till next time!
This weekend, Myles and I went on a semi-impromptu and amazingly relaxing camping trip with his brother. The boys love to practice their fire-starting techniques (thanks to all the Dual Survival/Man, Woman, Wild shows we’ve been watching the past few years) but I love to go hiking and just be completely relaxed and surrounded by nothing but the wilderness. It’s so nice to escape from reality for a while.
This time, I was even more excited to go because I knew I’d be able to practice with my Canon Powershot sx510. I’ve been messing around with it here and there a few times a week in Thibodaux, but this was the first time I really got to put it to good use. Looking at the campground with an artistic eye gave me an even better appreciation for nature and all of its beauty.
And now, before I make myself sound like too much of a hippie, here are some of the better shots I took (PS all are unedited and please keep in mind that I am just beginning my photography venture!)
My Mill girl actually loved camping this time around (usually she just sulks and sits by our car until it’s time to leave). She was exploring and playing with our other dog Finn, who loves camping. I was such a proud mama.
I think this mushroom picture would have been so much better if I had time to adjust my camera to the proper settings. If I’ve learned anything about photography, it’s that it is ALL ABOUT LIGHT. I’ve been trying to only use my camera on manual mode (which means I’m the one who adjusts the ISO, aperture, and shutter speed as opposed to using preprogramed settings). I feel like it will make me that much more prepared if I ever decide to purchase a more expensive DSLR model.
If anyone was wondering, this is a close-up picture of my favorite candy, Orange Slices. I’ve said this before but I may be the only one keeping that company in business.
And last but not least, this one is my favorite and was taken towards the end of the day which makes me feel a little more confident that my photography skills are improving somewhat! I love classic backlit photos (where the sun is behind the object of the photo, giving the background a slightly blurred effect) and this was my first time successfully pulling it off! Makes me that much more excited to practice some more!
And here are a few iPhone pictures, just because!
Me and my love on the way to pick up Mike before our adventure. He hates pictures. Says he can’t smile on command without looking fake haha.
Millie being a trooper!
My favorite boys before we started our 3 mile hike!
The older I get, the more I enjoy the tranquility of being surrounded by my loved ones in a place mostly untouched by man. It was exactly what I needed, even though it was only for a day/night. It reminded me to try to find beauty in even the most unexpected places. I came back to Thibodaux with a good attitude and a happy heart, ready to tackle this new week.
Don’t forget it! You are beautiful.
Till next time!
Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed more and more that my sense of self-confidence has been maturing. My whole life, I was always so quick to second guess myself but lately, I find myself more certain of my actions and responses. Especially in grad school, I find myself answering items on my exams with an “I know this” mindset, as opposed to my “Uhhhh, I’m not sure… It could be this or it could be that” mindset I had grown so accustomed to my whole life.
It’s a combination of getting older, successfully navigating through grad school (so far, at least), working out, and just having a sense of clarity and peace with my life. I used to compare myself to others and think of all the ways I needed to change myself, but now I truly realize that the only battle I need to fight is with myself. There will always be someone who is smarter than you, prettier than you, skinnier than you, etc. but there is only one YOU. Why should you compare yourself or try to imitate others? In this world, we only have ourselves. Realizing all of this has helped me to overcome my previous thought patterns and really strive to be the best version of myself FOR MYSELF alone.
Being more confident has given me the hindsight to not be so worried about what other people think of me. This has always been an area I’ve struggled with. But now, more than ever I find myself thinking “So what?” So what if you don’t agree with my choices and so what if I don’t agree with yours. We are all different and we are all fighting our own battle. This is my life and I am so happy with it. I’m working my ass off to better myself, mentally and physically. I’ll do what I want and if you don’t agree with it, don’t watch.
Till next time, everyone!