#ittakestwotothompson Wedding Recap

Adulting, Relationship, Wedding

Now that it has been a couple weeks since our wedding day and after processing LOTS of emotions throughout this time, I figured I’d write about it. Writing is healing for me, but I also thought my reflection might help future brides!

Let me start off by saying that I have had the most content week ever! Because we aren’t wedding planning anymore I feel 30 pounds lighter. I am floored by just how much anxiety I was carrying around with me everyday. It’s not that our wedding was super stressful to plan, but it is A LOT no matter how simple you make it. The pressure to communicate with vendors, staying up to date with COVID requirements, making sure family and wedding party had the info, making sure I was put together and dozen of other little things! So, y’all I am feeling good! We finally get to work on some little house projects. I get to actually enjoy Kyle instead of our date nights consisting of wedding meetings. We get to plan our next travel adventures AND most importantly, I can actually focus on my business!!! I haven’t felt this productive regarding my dance studio in forever! I have a renewed energy and motivation to give it everything I’ve got.

But, I didn’t always feel this way. The couple days following our wedding, all I could think about was everything that went “wrong.” I put that in quotes, because looking back now, nothing went wrong. It went exactly as it was supposed too, but I did NOT feel that way two weeks ago. Let’s get into it shall we:

Our day was hot, like hot as hell. A couple weeks before the wedding it looked like it would be about 80 degrees and partly sunny….perfect! Nope, it turned out to be 95 and our outside ceremony was right in the blazing sun, zero shade. I am currently writing this post in beautiful, 75, slightly breezy weather and I can’t help but be a little bitter at stupid Nebraska. Anyways, the heat was a distraction for me. I get lethargic, cranky, and almost sick. I’ve always been this way, so I had to power through that. Unfortunately, I was so uncomfortable and I was worried about my guests being uncomfortable that I do think it took away from the magic a little bit.

On top of that, one of our vendors got stuck in an accident traffic jam, so 45 minutes before the ceremony, a key component was missing. I could feel the tears and panic well up in my chest. I couldn’t get a hold of the vendor at first and I had a mini meltdown where I said a lot of swear words in front of most of the family, love that for me! Right after, we realized that no one had my veil. It was still at the hotel, 15 minutes away! Thank GOD for my sister-in-law’s in-laws. They went back and saved the day. They deserve the world for how much they helped out on our wedding weekend. I am forever grateful. Also, The whole flower/bouquet situation was a bit disorganized. They were placed on and given out a little too last minute. That was my fault, not the vendor! We should’ve made a better plan there!

We’re not done. One more thing…our ceremony speaker overheated. Once again, not the vendor’s fault. The damn heat! We had no music at our ceremony, besides when I walked down the aisle. I don’t know if it was a God thing or what, but the most important part (my walk) is when the music worked, so pretty cool! Honestly, we barely noticed because I was so focused on Kyle and our ceremony was intimate anyway. It worked out just fine and Kyle’s vows were the most romantic, meaningful words I’d ever heard. There was not a dry eye in the room and no matter how hot is was, time stopped for that moment and all I thought about was how much I love him.

From that point on, it was incredible. The party bus was perfection. We got the biggest one they make, so there was plenty of room. We snapped some kick a** pictures and I can’t wait to see them! After the bus, we walked into the reception and when I say that my jaw dropped….the decorating, the flowers, the marquee letters, the drapery, the lighting, the cake table. Our vendors KILLED IT! It was the prettiest wedding reception I had ever seen. I know I’m biased, but it wow’d me and in that moment, nothing else from earlier that day mattered. It was time to PARTY!

After the dinner, amazing speeches, it was time for the most special moment of our whole day. I remember contemplating not even doing this. Kyle and I weren’t sure if we’d have enough time to make it happen, but our ballroom lesson and every single practice after was worth it. Our first dance was a choreographed (by me with help from Omaha Ballroom), slow, waltz and lyrical style inspired routine. It was the best time we had ever performed it and for 3 minutes, I forgot we were even at our reception. Just him and I. Ugh I can’t even explain how incredible it was and we even got a standing ovation! 😉 So proud of Kyle for taking it on, giving it his all, and making me feel like a princess!

Erin Ren Photography

Our night ended with a firework exit and a little too much fun at a bar down the street! We had the time of our lives and I can’t thank our families, friends, and vendors enough for making it possible. We had a few hiccups, but nothing that could ruin our special day! Before I end with some tips, I want to say if I sounded dramatic a couple paragraphs above…just know that those things don’t bother me whatsoever anymore. Mostly because, just like life, nothing is perfect. I’m listening to a podcast right now called “Wabi Sabi” by Candice Kumai which means perfectly imperfect. They say this in Japan, I believe. Our wedding was a great parallel to Kyle and I’s relationship. We get over things quickly, we don’t hold grudges, we love each other through it all, and ultimately is works out exactly as it’s supposed. Wabi Sabi!

Erin Ren Photography

Hopefully helpful tips. Brides:

  1. Make sure that you leave plenty of time to get flowers handed out and try to enjoy them a little bit before the busyness starts. It sounds weird, but I feel like I didn’t enjoy the flowers as much as I wanted to. Thank gosh we have pictures/video where I’ll be able to stare at them as much as I want! 🙂
  2. Have your transportation plan SOLID and delegate! Think about the things you’ll need when & where. Forgetting the veil could’ve been avoided if I would’ve delegated that job out to someone. There was way too many people with way too much of my stuff. We had one mom with this and the other mom with this. It should’ve been more organized on the front end. Having family come from out of town makes this more complicated.
  3. Spend a moment with your bridesmaids. I see other brides doing a first look with their girls and this isn’t something I requested, but I regret not doing it. Time just started to go by way too quick and having a very large bridal party makes it hard to keep everyone in the same area together especially in hotel rooms that are all strung together. It’s not that I needed a first look with them necessarily. I just wish for 15 minutes we could’ve all spent a little time together in our dresses before the busyness started.
  4. My fellow empaths or sensitive humans, it is alright if you don’t have super connected conversations with every single one of your guests. Did I feel incredibly guilty because I felt like I ignored people too much and didn’t have 25 minutes for each person? Yes I did! I got over that thought because your guests understand. They are there to witness you and your partner’s love. They are not there for a dinner date with you.
  5. Things will go wrong. Someone told me this before our wedding and I did listen, but didn’t truly understand until I went through it. It’s okay if it’s not perfect. Roll with it, breathe, and remember what the day is really about.
  6. You plan your wedding for your guests, not you and your partner. This sounds kind of obvious, but I didn’t really get to see a lot of our day. As a bride & groom you are behind the scenes. I didn’t get to see the decorations before everyone got to the venue. I didn’t get to see the flowers girls walk down the aisle. Things I didn’t realize I’d miss. BUT, that’s why you hire a talented, quality videographer and photographer!
  7. Hire a talented, quality videographer and photographer!!!! I can’t say it enough. The day goes by way too quick. You don’t get to enjoy half of what you think you’ll enjoy. Your adrenaline is pumping so much that your brain can’t physically comprehend and take everything in. I felt like I was pretty relaxed on our day overall, and we even took a moment to step back and just look around the room. That still wasn’t enough, so spend the money. Hire both! You won’t regret it.
  8. Lastly, and this may be controversial, but lets stop saying weddings should be the most perfect day of your life. No, the man I am marrying is perfect for me and we will have a lot of perfect and amazing days in this life. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on your special day. It is absolutely going to be highlight and this marks the start of our forever, but married life with Kyle should be the main focus. The wedding day is just a bonus!

Thanks for reading my wedding recap. It took a little work letting go of the shoulda woulda couldas, but I did and I am filled with joy thinking about our wedding day. I am also filled with peace and contentment knowing that it’s over and I get to enjoy this life with my sexy HUSBAND!

Much love,

T

Compliments. Can They be Toxic Without Even Realizing It?

Adulting

“OMG you look so good.”

“You are amazing!! So proud of you.”

“Girl, you look better than ever. So happy for you.”

“Give me your secret!”

“WOW, you look great!”

“Good for you for taking care of yourself and sticking to this journey. So inspirational.”

I’ve seen these comments or comments similar under so many weight loss transformation pictures, even some of my own. It feels so damn good to transform your body. I know, because I’ve done it. It’s so incredible to see someone’s weight loss and it’s hard not to praise the crap out of them, because you know they most likely went through hell to get to where they are now.

I truly would not have thought anymore about this topic a year ago. It wouldn’t have even crossed my mind that there may be an underlying issue here. I have recently started to follow women on social media of all shapes and sizes, specifically body positive influencers like Mik Zazon. This is done intentionally to broaden my understanding of women and to break free from the social construct that we are put in as young girls. We are taught and shown that image is everything. Even if your parents showered you with compliments (mine did) and let you be who you wanted to be (mine did), it’s extremely difficult for us not to compare ourselves to the thousands of images we see daily of skinnier and prettier women splashed all over social media and Netflix. How can a few compliments from our parents or spouse combat that? They can’t, they truly can’t.

“Okay, Taryn. That is no secret. It is hard to feel beautiful in today’s society, but what’s that got to do with complimenting someone’s weight loss?”

Is has EVERYTHING to do with it. How many of us have looked at women who have gained weight and thought to ourselves, “Gosh, she let herself go. That’s too bad. How sad for her. I wonder if she’s okay?” Quite honestly, I’ve thought these things before. Now, how many of us have looked at women who have lost weight and thought to ourselves, “I wonder if she’s okay? I wonder if this weight loss was due to anxiety or depression? I wonder if she was feeling so shitty about herself because of society that the only way to be happy was weight loss? I wonder if she loves herself more now?”

The answer is no. We don’t think these things. We praise her. We are so proud of her. She is killin’ it! We want to be like her and she is now worthy of praise because she’s a skinnier (and better) version of herself. Before, all we saw was weight and we felt bad for her. So this is the BIG question that I want to pose to myself and all of us…Did her weight loss change all that was good about her on the inside? Is she now magically mentally more capable and/or smarter? Does she not have a million more qualitites to praise other than her appearance?

An example from my own life…

I struggle with anxiety and when I have anxiety I don’t have an appetite. I also swear that the anxiety butterflies in my chest and stomach (currently flying around as I type this) burn my calories for me. When I first had a big weight gain it was so embarassing. I was drinking way too much. I wasn’t working out. My mental health was in a horrible state. BUT, when I lost 10-15 pounds, everyone praised me for it. That initial weight loss was all due to a bad break up. I couldn’t eat and my axiety was through the roof. I also was still drinking too much. My mental health once again not great. But who cares right? Because I was skinnier, so I was better.

Flash forward a couple more years during the hardest time of my life, dealing with my mentally abusive ex. I once again dropped 10 pounds and I was THIN! My mental health…the worst it had been. I was drinking occasionally but not as often, because I was honestly scared too. I didn’t know what I’d do to myself or him if I got drunk. I needed to be clear headed in case I needed to call the police etc… but I remember saying “well, my lifes in shambles, but as least I’m skinny.” I remember feeling so sexy, but you guys I was broken and shattered.

I has been working out during this time and started to understand that going to the gym or praciticing yoga was a great way to cope. I still continue that to this day. It’s way more mental for me than physical. I am in the best place mentally I have ever been although some days, not really. Let’s just say I am in the place where I am starting to understand myself. I’m starting to understand that life’s hard just means I’m doing life right. Thank you Glennon Doyle (If you haven’t read her book Untamed, you need to). I’m human and it’s okay to be mad, sad, happy, disappointed, anxious, angry etc…it feels good to accept all that I am.

That being said, I am also in a very good place physically and trust me, everyone notices and everyone compliments. In fact, the first thing some famly members say to me when they see me is comments about my weight loss, because once again, I’m skinnier so I’m better. There’s more to be proud of, because look how good she looks! Guess what, I still have crippling anxiety that beats through my chest day in and day out. I still don’t have an appetite and have to force food down my throat sometimes. I am not better! I am still struggling, especially during these COVID-19 times when the future of my business and our wedding is unknown.

But anyways, the whole point I’m trying to make is that YOU are still worthy of love and praise and all the good things no matter what size pants you wear. YOU are not your weight! YOU are not fat, you have fat, which is perfectly normal! YOU have a beautiful wise mind and caring spirit. No matter how much your weight fluctuates, no one can take that away from you! The reverse is true too, if you are an ugly person, no amount of weight loss will heal the resentment and anger you feel towards others.

I do have a disclaimer though….my mental health and feeling confident on the outside does have a direct correlation to how I am doing on the inside. I’m also in no way saying that we should stop complimenting people’s weight loss completely. Compliments are an amazing motivator and quite frankly, they just feel fricken good! I’m still navigating how I want to move forward with my compliments on appearance. It’s tough and I don’t have all the answers. I genuinly appreciate compliments, of course, but I can’t help feel that if I gain weight will I be undeserving of them? Will I be unworthy of praise? Will people think I’ve let myself go?

We just need to be mindful of the ways in which we compliment. I think as a society, especially raising kids, we should compliment the person on who they are not always on how they look. Examples:

“Wow, you are incredibly resilient.”

“You have the most caring and loving heart.”

“You walk into a room, and it lights up.”

“I am a better person because of you.”

“You challenge me and teach me so many things. You are a blessing in my life.”

“You are an amazing human.”

This is a tough topic! I love feeling pretty and I love looking good to be quite honest. I personally feel better about myself when I’m toned, tanned, and working out. I believe in the power of moving your body. But there’s a difference between being skinny and being healthy. I always strive for health and whatever the result is physically, then it is what it is. This topic is also triggering and I apologize if I triggered you in any way. If you are stuggling with your relationship to food. I see you. If you are starving yourself to fit into that swimsuit. I see you. If you are obsessively worried about gaining weight. I see you. If you know that you’ll never look like the models and you can’t accept it. I see you. If you’re terrified of gaining weight. I see you.

Biggest thing I hope to do, is to at least start conversations about this. To pretend this dichotomy in our society doesn’t exist is ridiculous. Let’s keep talking about it! I hope to gain more insight on this by talking with more women. I hope one day I don’t have to rely on people’s compliments about my physical appearance to feel good about myself. I hope one day, I will believe I’m worthy all on my own.

Much love,

T

I'm Okay and Then I'm Not

Adulting, Dance, Mental Health, Womanprenuer

I wish this blog post was fun. I wish I was taking about fashion trends I’m currently loving or discussing ways to switch your old products to safer beauty, but I just don’t have it in me today.

A week ago I was hit with the reality that my business would be “shut down” until AT LEAST April 3rd. I own a dance studio and I make a living off of being there, in person, with my students. That’s my favorite part about this business actually is the personal connection I have with my kids. Yes, there’s other options and thank goodness we have technology, but it’s not the same.

I am a part of this network of dance teachers/studio owners on Facebook and while it’s been amazingly helpful at times…it has caused me so much anxiety through this process. There are thousands of members and among them are studios that have been around for 50+ years or instructors that have been teaching for 20 years or dance companies with hundreds and hundreds of students with the money/resources to tape professional, online lessons etc…. THIS as a beginner with a small town studio has made me feel inadequate and completely shaken my confidence. Gosh, I sound whiny, but it’s how I feel!

Here I am 100 miles from my studio. I have teachers that are amazing, but they are scattered around trying to still keep up with their own college classes, now online. I thought I knew how to lesson plan, but physically not being there has me stumped. Yes, I am aware of the Band App and Zoom. I’ve heard it all and I’ve read every suggestion out there. It’s a mess and today, I’m just not able to pull myself out of the negativity.

I have emailed out next steps to my WDC families. Even through my hopelessness, I do believe communication and transparency are key. I do have some solutions at the moment and I know for a fact everything will be okay…eventually.

I feel guilty for even throwing myself a pity party when there’s people out there loosing family members to this virus or the elderly who don’t have much time left and aren’t able to have visitors or the students with horrible home-life situations who rely on the schools for food and stability. It’s all too much right now.

The weight of it all feels so heavy. So heavy in fact that I want to lay on this couch and hide for awhile. I know my body needs to move and I have plenty of dancing/exercising I need to do, but I don’t want to. I’m tired.

If you know me, you know I try so hard to see the positive and keep the humor alive even in the midst of the chaos, but today I have nothing to give. I am nothing to laugh about.

I hate writing blogs like this…. where I have no advice at the end. No profound statement to give you all. No amazing words of wisdom or empowerment. All I have is sadness in my heart today and if that’s you too, you’re not alone.

Most days I power through, but I know it’s okay if there’s days where I can’t. You don’t have to either. Whatever inconveniences you may be feeling right now because of this damn virus, big or small, you are entitled to them. You want to cry? do it. You want to scream? do it.

Growing up, when I was stressed out, I remember my mom telling me to just do at least one thing or get just one thing accomplished that day. I’ve been overwhelmed since birth, I swear to god! But, I carry that advice with me especially in situations like this. One task at a time. One hour at a time. One moment at a time.

I will eventually be my motivated self again, I just know it, but for now negative Taryn is going to try to accomplish at least 1 more thing today. Positive Taryn will be back soon.

Much love,

T

Top 20 for 2020

Adulting, Mental Health

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.

  1. Put down the Netflix, pick up some more Brene Brown
  2. Remind myself that I am good at what I do
  3. Understand that 26 is NOT old
  4. SAVE SAVE SAVE that mula
  5. Go to Vegas for my bachelorette partayyy
  6. Actually utilize my barre membership meaning 3+ times a week
  7. Continue to learn how to love every single part of my body
  8. This is a tough one for me…but have a little less care about what others think
  9. Know that it’s okay to not have myself completely figured out yet & find contentment knowing that I may never completely “figure myself out.”
  10. Give more compliments to others
  11. Give more compliments to myself
  12. Get paid collaborations with companies I whole heartedly love
  13. Work with local organizations that help abuse survivors
  14. REMEMBER THAT I DONT HAVE TO DO IT ALL RIGHT NOW OR THIS YEAR
  15. Continue to give my all to my students & host 2 more successful recitals
  16. Go somewhere warm with my sweetie and celebrate our marriage
  17. Clean my car more often (Kyle will appreciate this one)
  18. Visit my bff across the pond
  19. Start to plan my next trip to Australia
  20. 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.

Much love,

T

The Proposal of My Dreams

Adulting

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.

Erin Ren Photography

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!

Erin Ren Photography

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.

Erin Ren Photography

Much love,

Taryn

Be a Good Person -God

Adulting

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!

Much love,

T