I don’t do super specific resolutions, because I feel like I am ever-changing and mid-year or every week I could come up with a new goal ya know? We shouldn’t limit our goals, dreams, or desires to just once a year, BUT with a lot of reflection on last year…I do have 20 short, but sweet tid-bits I’d love to do, accomplish, see or learn.
Put down the Netflix, pick up some more Brene Brown
Remind myself that I am good at what I do
Understand that 26 is NOT old
SAVE SAVE SAVE that mula
Go to Vegas for my bachelorette partayyy
Actually utilize my barre membership meaning 3+ times a week
Continue to learn how to love every single part of my body
This is a tough one for me…but have a little less care about what others think
Know that it’s okay to not have myself completely figured out yet & find contentment knowing that I may never completely “figure myself out.”
Give more compliments to others
Give more compliments to myself
Get paid collaborations with companies I whole heartedly love
Work with local organizations that help abuse survivors
REMEMBER THAT I DONT HAVE TO DO IT ALL RIGHT NOW OR THIS YEAR
Continue to give my all to my students & host 2 more successful recitals
Go somewhere warm with my sweetie and celebrate our marriage
Clean my car more often (Kyle will appreciate this one)
Visit my bff across the pond
Start to plan my next trip to Australia
Finally….have the most beautiful, romantic wedding EVER!!! 😉
I might not crush all of these and I will most likely revert back to old behaviors occasionally or forget to prioritize my mental health, because that’s life. I’m human. Make sure if you set goals or if you want to accomplish that HUGE dream this year that you also give yourself some grace and patience. It might not happen the way you want it to. Something unforseen may occur, but don’t be too hard on yourself! Happiness is an accumulation of doing the next right thing NOT doing everything all at once and working yourself to death.
Hope your 2020 is a year where you can love every piece of you and for those that are hurting, just know your broken pieces can be placed back together and YOU WILL feel whole again.
I might be biased, but Kyle’s proposal was the best thing I’ve ever seen and It was absolutely the best night of my life so far.
I remember dreaming about this day a couple years ago and it felt so far away. Before Kyle, I really didn’t even know if I’d get married. I was so negative and distrusting of love and Kyle made me believe again, slowly but surely.
First things first, we talked about marriage, kids, and the future a lot. We got a dog together. We bought a house together. I mean we both were committed for sure, but he never gave a real indication of when a proposal would happen like NOTHING…ever. He was cool as a cucumber. It’s ridiculous and impressive!
Buuuuut one day, about a month ago, I did see a specific receipt on his phone (whoops). I did not go searching anymore after that, because I really didn’t want to ruin any surprise he might have. I started to brainstorm with friends about when this could be happening and the only conclusion was obviously Breckenridge. It’s an annual friends trip and we have a gorgeous cabin set in the mountains. We’d be surrounded by friends. I was like, “that is definitely when he’s going to do it, hands down!”
So in my mind I was going to make sure I had a cute little mountain outfit and make sure my nails were perfect, because that’s when it was going to happen, right?
Then Tuesday, November 19th rolls around and I had a scheduled dinner date with my friend Sierra and new friend, Erin who also happens to be the lovely photographer that Kyle and I had take our fall photos! We’ve become close and thought we’d catch up with Sierra after her honeymoon. Erin said she had meetings with clients that day so she was going to be dressed nice. Sierra also said she felt like dressing up a little bit and if anyone knows me, they know I have no problem dressing up! So I was like “yeah, perfect!”
We were in a group text and earlier that day I had suggested tacos but then Sierra said something about burgers at the Old Mattress Factory (Old Matt) and in my mind I was like, “omg yes sounds delicious and also I had wanted to check out the upstairs venue for our possible future wedding (premature, I know lol).
Erin met me at my house earlier that night and we were chatting about everything under the sun and of course, I brought up possibly getting engaged in Breckenridge and she fed into it brilliantly and at that point I 100% thought I would be coming back from Colorado engaged.
Flash forward to the Old Matt…we sat at the bar first. Looking back now I did think that was super odd, like why not a table? We got a drink and the lady behind the bar just happened to be the venue manager. Erin has mentioned to her that I would like to see the upstairs and then Erin had to step away for a phone call with a “friend who was on a blind date.”
The venue manager offered to take me upstairs and Sierra said she’d come with. I left my coat on the chair, because I thought it was just going to be a quick peak around. As we were walking up the stairs, the lady told me that I didn’t have to bring my drink (now I know why) and Sierra was about to set her drink down on the stairs and I was SO confused, but still had no idea.
Then….I opened the door.
The only way I know how to describe that moment is an absolute adrenaline rush. I remember feeling the same way another time in my life. It was on the state dance floor looking out into the thousands of people that showed up to support dance and watch my team. Pure adrenaline, love, shock, and overwhelming happiness. That’s exactly how I felt Tuesday night. It was kind of an out-of-body experience actually and I really didn’t cry much, because I was so blissfully stunned. I was trying to be in the moment, but my body was shaking and my mind was racing. I remember him shaking too while he said his beautiful speech that I know he had been working on relentlessly. I keep replaying the moment over and over, because I don’t want to ever forget how that felt.
Never in my whole life have I had someone plan something so special and thoughtful. Just solidified that he is indeed the best man in the entire world. Continues to blow my mind everyday.
After he placed the gorgeous ring on my finger, he played music and we danced….
Erin Ren Photography
Of course, throughout the whole proposal he had Erin, the talented photographer, snapping photos and I truly can’t thank him enough for planning that detail, because it was one of those moments that I really want to relive and cherish forever. Pictures help fill in the spots where my adrenaline blurred things out a bit (he got me good y’all).
Along with photos, Kyle made sure to include my best friends and that’s SO him! He’s not just the most amazing man around me, he thinks of others first, always.
So Sierra was at dinner with me and after an emotional proposal, I turned around and there was Alyssa!
These two cried more than I did. It was so dang cute! They had both known for awhile that this was coming and just a couple days before this Alyssa and I were at wine club (yes, I’m part of a wine club that meets monthly) and I couldn’t stop talking about when he would propose and where! She managed to play it off and keep silent THE WHOLE TIME. Her and Kyle’s sister both knew and their acting skills are above average. Incredible performance ladies!
Speaking of acting, Kyle had called my parents a month prior to this to ask for their blessing (they live across the country) and he also sent a picture of the ring to my Gma’s. His family also knew. Everyone around me knew and I literally didn’t have the slightest clue. Blows my mind!
I’m still basking in all the happiness. My adrenaline has been pumping nonstop and it’s been almost a week! I’m having a hard time eating, because I have so many butterflies. I also can’t stop wedding planning. We have our venue picked and a couple other big details planned already, but truthfully it’s because I’ve known that I’ve wanted to marry this man for 3 years….Soooo I might’ve have been planning on the side for a little while now. 😉
9•5•20 is going to be our best day yet!
Here’s to forever with the man that sweeps me off my feet everyday.
I’ve been having multiple conversations about faith, religion, god, and all of the above lately. I’ve chatted with a few friends about it and it’s been a topic of discussion with Kyle too as we plan for the future.
I grew up in the Methodist church and back during my high school days when my parents would drag me there, I would’ve told you it was annoying. But, when I look back now, I am thankful for that foundation and I always left church with a full heart and a comforting feeling.
Kyle has told me that his experience is different. He grew up Catholic and not meaning to offend anyone, but you can imagine what a teenager thought of a traditional Catholic service. Not relatable and something he didn’t find moving or comforting. He said he didn’t take it very serious. BUT, he did love his Catholic High School and the bond he established with his brothers. They went to Mass, had religion classes, as well as the regular curriculum. They held their students to an extremely high standard not only regarding grades, but also behavior. He loved how they had five pillars or something like that, where they were taught how to be men of faith, great future dads/husbands, and to treat everyone with respect.
Because of his memorable high school experience, we are considering having our children go there as well. My only hang up is I do not want my family to be raised in the Catholic church. There, I said it. I don’t believe it’s a requirement if your kids want to attend a Catholic school, but I also don’t know if I want them learning all about the Catholic traditions when that’s not something I necessarily agree with and not what I value in my relationship with God. Also, it’s not what I grew up with! Where I grew up I actually didn’t know a lot of Catholic families or maybe I did and I just didn’t pay attention, but most of my friends either didn’t attend church, were Methodist, Lutheran, or non-denominational.
So, this brings me to the discussion of faith and religion in general. Let’s take out all labels for one second and simply talk about Christianity. First off; I went to Sunday school, I know the main Bible stories, I grew up in church/youth group, and I was confirmed. I loved my experience for the most part and the biggest thing I took away from all those years was that we treat people like Jesus would have treated them. We don’t judge harshly and we try to live like Jesus did with compassion and empathy. The other thing I grab onto is the fact that regardless of what you believe in, there is something bigger than you out there aligning and helping you make things happen in your life. I truly believe in a higher power. I’m a pretty realistic person, but also extremely sensitive and emotional. I know in my heart that something has had my back, because some of the mistakes I made should have brought me worse things and some how I ended up okay. I ended up better than okay.
For me, it’s not about memorizing the bible front to back, chanting the same phrases over and over, sitting in a pew every Sunday, not eating certain foods on certain days, what you wear, or who you fall in love with…it’s about BEING A GOOD PERSON. Just don’t be shitty person. I really don’t think it’s that difficult of a concept.
And those who sit in judgement of others who may not be as “religious” as you…you’re the worst kind of human. Being Christ-like is being understanding of ALL. Jesus walked with the worst of the worst and was there for them through it all. I’ll just bring it back to my favorite quote, “Those with glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”
That is exactly what Kyle and I want our future kids to understand…that it’s about being a good human, caring for your neighbor, doing all you can to be empathetic, kind, and loving. I understand that the Catholic church does teach all those things too, but somewhere along the line I feel as though many who attend those traditional services have lost the main point. They get so wrapped up in, “well, it’s just what we do” or “If you want to go to heaven, you just have to do x, y, z.” Like no, I truly don’t believe God wants you to just go through the motions and chant the same phrases over and over again. I believe he wants you to breakdown, cry, and talk to him in your car, because you’re about to lose it. I believe he wants you to ask questions and dive deeper into the meaning of life. I believe he wants you to have transparent and HARD conversations with the ones you love. There’s no way he wants perfection, because it doesn’t exist! I believe he wants us to worship with beautiful, fun music. I believe he wants us to sit and talk about REAL issues of the world and find some answers as empathetic, loving people! AHHH I could go on!
Moral of the story is that I’m re-evaluating what it means to be a “Christian” and what the next steps look like for Kyle and I. The absolute best part about it is that we are very much on the same page. Our values align and we want the same things for our future family, we just aren’t 100% sure what that looks like yet.
I am trying to possibly find a non-denominational church in the Omaha area preferably not too far West as we are closer to downtown, so if anyone reading this has any suggestions please let me know!
Thanks so much for continuing to support my life, my journey, and my thoughts!
Buying a house, living with your significant other is BIG for anyone. It’s probably one of the biggest commitments of your whole life. I can’t believe that I’m at that point where it’s actually happening!
This year, more than any other year, I have realized that yes, I am indeed getting older. I know I’m not “old” by any means. 30 is the new 20 right? As I am creeping towards 26 it just feels like life is flying past me. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I feel like I’ve had this emotional shift and I’m really looking at every moment differently. It’s almost like the “adolescent” lens is fading into the “adult” one. Very hard to pinpoint my feelings right now, but it’s made me reflect a lot lately on who I am becoming and who I used to be? What have I learned? Have I learned and done enough?
It’s crazy to think about where I am versus where I was 5 years ago. Truthfully I didn’t know if my life would ever look like this. When I was 18 I had the toughest year of my life and then the roller coaster continued on throughout the next 5 years. Having a couple failed relationships and then a boyfriend of almost three years that would not discuss our future, kids, or marriage almost paralyzed me into believing that would never happen for me. Then, after I finally broke off from his abuse, I was negative about the whole concept of marriage. I would always say that I would have kids by a sperm donor etc…just super dramatic! But, I was hurt. Having fun with my friends and finding out who I was again was the priority and then not long after, Kyle came along and completely turned my world upside down.
I knew about a week in that he was going to change my life one way or another. We went from being by each others side everyday while I finished senior year of college to trying long distance while I worked in Minneapolis. Being that far away from him was not good enough for me. My life without him in it was miserable. I remember telling him, “I can’t wait until we are in the same place working and living together.” I had to make a change, because for me, life is too damn short to live away from the person you love (unless you literally have too i.e., military).
Moving back to Wayne to start my own dance company was the scariest, most invigorating time in my life and with him by my side I felt invincible. We moved back to Wayne together, but still lived separate for his senior year and then we got our own apartment in April of that year and it was so incredibly exciting. When we first moved in we would tell each other every single time we left the room, or if we moved something here or there. We unnecessarily updated each other on everything probably because we were feeling each other out, seeing how the other one liked to live. Thinking about it makes my giggle. I thought the apartment was exciting….but little did I know we’d be moving into a house a year later!
Now, here we are, after long distance, dating for almost 2 1/2 years and we are first time homeowners. It’s hard to find the words, because I feel like I fell into the best second family in the world. I feel like I fell into this amazing life. I feel undeserving at times, because of all the shit I went through. Throughout the last 2 years, I struggled with the idea that my life “wasn’t supposed to be like this” but now I’m coming to terms with the fact that I worked hard to get to this place. I appreciate the people that helped get me here more than ever and I’m learning that even if your life looked completely different 5 years ago, it doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a fresh start or a do-over. I actually wrote something about this topic for a friend’s blog. Coming soon!
So, if you are feeling undeserving, out of sorts, or you’re just in an odd place remember these few things:
You are exactly where you are supposed to be. Whatever religion or god or universe you believe in…let me tell ya the place you’re in (even if it’s shit) is where you are meant to be right now.
Snowballing off of that…YOU are in control of your happiness and contentment. You need help? Ask for it. Unhappy with your job? Make a plan, change it up. Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is the definition of insanity.
Say YES. Tell fear to shove it and say yes to things that maybe you wouldn’t have before. obviously don’t overfill your plate so much that you’re completely swamped, but push yourself a little. No one grows emotionally, spiritually, financially from playing it safe.
Be vulnerable. Not like “oh, I suck at cleaning the house sometimes.” Be honest with yourself and rumble (my favorite Brene Brown word) with your emotions. Don’t stuff them down. Feel them and feel them hard. After doing so, have the tough conversations you may need to have. Confrontation doesn’t have to be negative people. It’s necessary in business and relationships.
Lastly, be kind to yourself. I am not perfect. I swear too much. I struggle with laziness. Just because you didn’t get your 250-word checklist done doesn’t mean you suck. Throw the expectations away and as my grandma used to say, “it’ll be there for you to do tomorrow.”
Speaking of tomorrow, our new floors will be finished, we will get our couch picked up next week and we finally will be sleeping in our new master bedroom. We peaked at the first coat of finish today and you guys, the floor is INCREDIBLE! Changed the whole look of the house and we are pumped! Pictures coming soon. Thanks for following our journey and hope my words can provide some of you with a little hope or the motivation you needed today.
We are less than a week away from closing!! Yay! I can’t wait to live with my best friend. I remember being 21 and day-dreaming about decorating a cute, little home in the city. Everything I pictured is what we are about to have and I feel overwhelmingly grateful, especially for Kyle’s parents who helped us achieve this dream.
This last month, we have been searching high and low for the best furniture and home decor finds. Our first big purchase was a large charcoal sectional. We were nervous about the size, but realized we want our living room to be inviting, comfortable, with a touch of modern.
Speaking of modern, we love greys and whites. That’s the trend right now and we are totally loving it. Our kitchen is all white with a grey subway tile backdrop and concrete counter tops. Yes, you heard that right…CONCRETE counter tops. Probably my favorite feature of the house. Kyle and I decided to paint pretty much every single wall in the house either a shade of grey or white. In our living room we wanted to play with the contrast of our dark charcoal couch and white features like these tables from Rush Market!
FYI you must have an account with Rush Market and I am not sure about shipping or ordering online. We went to the actual location in West Omaha. The prices are insane for the quality. we will definitely be going back!
To bring our whole living room together, we chose a lighter gray patterned rug from Ruggable. If you have not heard of this company before…Oh. My. Gosh. you need to check it out. They are machine-washable rugs and they are about the same price, maybe a little more, than your average rugs. The style selection is huge, so you can definitely find one that fits your style. Basically, there’s a big pad you lay down first that sticks to your floor and then the “rug” part lines up with it to create the thick, rug look. BUT, you can remove the “rug” layer and throw it in the wash! We have a yellow lab and eventually, kids (we hope) so it will be great for stains, spills, dog hair, etc.
6×9 Crosshatch Light Grey Ruggable
The other amazing thing with Ruggable, is that you get a discount for your first order! Use Welcome10 for 10%!
Along with finding the dream house, we bought it from the dream couple! They are leaving a hefty amount of stuff behind for us. To name a few; a ping-pong table, washer/dryer, dining room table, mini outdoor chimney, and best of all…art! The husband is an artist and glass blower. So we will have hand-crafted art pieces that we are using for decorating inspiration. This one is our favorite and it’s the center of our living room. We had this large, gorgeous piece in mind when purchasing all our living room furniture.
Lamps were a hot topic. We weren’t impressed with the in-store selection at all. Kyle isn’t too keen on online shopping for home stuff, but I convinced him to check out Wayfair with me. Finally, we had a couple we agreed upon and we think the sleek black metal will pair well the white tables and the painting.
We thought about having all white tables, but thought that would be a bit much. We also love wood accents. We have a round wood tray that we are going to set on the white table and I’m sure they’ll be more rustic accents throughout the room as well. Because of that we got this little side table that will sit next to a statement chair. We’re in the process of finding a chair with color or patterns that tie into our painting. This end table is also from Wayfair.
Lastly, one of my favorites pieces we’ve found thus far is our bedroom bench. I highly suggest searching your local antique stores for unique home decor. We talked about having a bench at the end of our bed, but it wasn’t a prioity, but then….we stopped at this antique store right by Kyle’s parents house and we knew we had to have it!
There’s a little sneak peek into some of our finds. Most of these were inexpensive or on sale. I’m not going to lie, it’s been nice that Kyle had some time off before starting his job and I’ve been flexible since summer classes don’t start until July at my studio. We are lucky that we have been able to really search. Way more time-consuming that I expected, but worth it!