I Do Deserve this House. I Do Deserve this Life.

Adulting

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.

IMG_1062.JPGI 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Much love,

T

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New House Finds

Adulting

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

Can’t wait to show everyone the finished look!

Much love,

T

 

 

Don’t Judge a Dog by it’s Cover

Adulting

We love our lab. So much. Kyle and I decided about a year ago that we wanted a puppy. Luckily, we found an amazing family not too far away that breeds pure bread hunting labs. If you ever need a recommendation, definitely ask me for more info. You could tell when we picked our puppy up how much they love their labs and how well they care for them. We had to pick between two beautiful, rambunctious male pups, and we knew right away that Ace was the one.

Ace became the center of our lives (our new baby). Most of you already know this, because he makes a regular appearance on my Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. We like to show him off, just a little bit.

I never wanted a big dog. I was a little dog person or so I thought, but when your dog is your own, it doesn’t matter what size he/she is, you love them like a member of the family. If you don’t, then you shouldn’t have a dog, just sayin’.

Now that Ace is 9 months old, he is almost full grown. He’s a smaller lab, but currently 65 lbs. Kyle works with Ace every single day. I take him for a walk and work on training at least 2-4 times a week, so some days he’s working with us twice.

This weekend I was completely defeated. As he was dragging me around the baseball field while I was trying to watch Kyle play, I thought to myself, “none of this training is working. He looks like he’s the worst dog in the world. This is horrible.” If I’m being honest, I was almost in tears at one point.

I could feel the judging eyes staring at me and the laughter and granted, it was hilarious at times, but it looked like we had never worked with this dog a day in his life. He lost most of his training and I know I am being way to hard on him. He’s still a puppy and people who have labs/dogs, know this. People who have never experienced lab/dog ownership truly don’t understand.

My point in writing this piece is that just like mothers with screaming children at the store, DO NOT judge an owner and their dog. Ace is a completely different dog at home. He doesn’t chew up shoes, he doesn’t dig in the garbage can. He doesn’t constantly bark. He doesn’t knock you down when you walk into our home. He is loving, cuddly, and patient. Best lab I’ve ever been around and of course I’m biased, but it kills me to see that other people don’t see that side of him.

I now have so much more compassion for other dogs who get excited around people or who uncontrollably lick and smell you. They might be trained every day, like Ace, but they’re still learning and every dog is different. Not all people are dog people and I get that, but it never hurts to have a little more patience. 

Anyways, I found myself really distraught and angry, especially at Ace after the baseball game this weekend and after reflecting on that feeling a little bit, I came to the realization that it all comes down to feeling judged by others. Feeling like an inadequate dog owner. Truthfully, why do I care? Kyle and I are doing the best we can and most days, we even go above and beyond for our doggie, so who cares what others think or say. It’s not their life and it’s not their dog.

Moving forward I will be patient with Ace and his growing process and I hope those around him can be too!

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Much love from a happy dog owner,

T

 

Things I Discovered in Year Twenty-Four

Adulting, Mental Health

Year twenty-five swiftly rolled in today and to be honest, it’s just a normal day. As you get older the birthdays become less exciting, but that won’t stop me from being ethusiastic and positive about what’s in store for the next year of my life!

As each year passes way too quickly, I start to realize more and more just how short life is. Sounds cliche, but I honestly can NOT believe I’m twenty-five! I do grown up things everyday, but it blows my mind how young I still feel. I decided that age is not supposed to feel like anything and I want to cherish that youthful feeling forever. I always get overly annoyed with people that try to grow up so quickly, like slow down! You have the rest of your life to be responsible and “grown up.” I could just kick my young self right now for never being okay with the age I was at. I always wanted to be older. Now, all I want is for time to slow down a little bit.

As the next chapter of my short life approaches, there are a handful of things I discovered throughout the course of year twenty-four:

  1. Everyone is unique and special in their own way, but most of us are replaceable, especially when it comes to a job or career. So, stay humble and throw that entitlement out the window. It won’t get you far, but compassion, resiliency, and authenticity will.
  2. I need to actually care what I put on my skin, especially my face. Having a skin care routine sounded so old and weird when I was younger. Now I realize that the sooner you start using safe and effective products, the better off your skin will be. I recently became a Beautycounter consultant, because of my strong beliefs in this area!
  3. The phrase “love is hard” isn’t what I thought it meant. Love is super hard when you’re with the wrong person. I’ve been there, but now that I have been with the right person for almost two years…it’s the furthest thing from hard! Love isn’t supposed to be consistently lonely, demeaning, or emotionally exhausting. However, love does take daily mantainence and effort from both sides. It’s supposed to build you up not tear you down. The phrase “love is hard” should NEVER keep you in an unhealthy relationship.
  4. College is absolutely the best time of your life. This could easily change as new chapters of my life unfold, but dang do I miss college life. Being sort of grown up, but not fully comitting to it yet. Having a handful of roommates to get ready with in the kitchen as we plan our house party destinations. It was a time where I got to be around so many like-minded people and they truly filled my heart with joy everyday. It was stressful, but the kind of stress that was almost exciting. Because, betweens the papers and tests, there were kick a** parties, random shopping outings, and nights when I needed people and they were right there even when I didn’t ask for it.
  5. Contrary to what I thought growing up, most adults have no idea what’s going on either. I thought in order to become an adult, like some sort of right of passage, that you had to have your shiz in order. I didn’t think all adults knew everything, but I thought most of them were confident in the life they chose and the career path they were on. Not the case! Life is ever-changing and it’s refreshing, but also terrifying, knowing that we all can choose to switch things up whenever we want. Contentment rather than perfection is my goal.
  6. Salads and vegetables aren’t actually that bad. I’m easily one of the pickiest eaters I know, but it’s getting better! This year, I’ve really flown out of my comfort zone and have added a lot more variety to my diet, like lettuce. Sounds silly, but I never used to have lettuce on anything, but here I am now…just a regular old lettuce queen.
  7. I will not sacrifice my passion no matter where I end up. I realized that big changes are inevitable and money does indeed run the world, but you can always find ways to keep things that set your soul on fire close to you. I made a promise to myself this year that I will always continue my artistic passions. I would rather have my hands in a variety of things I love than work a job where I’m helping no one and achieving nothing. When I start having children, I want them to get motivated by watching their mom fulfill her dreams.

There are dozens of discoveries that I probably forgot to mention and I’m sure they will pop into my head as soon as I lay in bed, per usual! In closing, I can’t wait to dive into year twenty-five fearlessly, with a heart and mind that are open to new adventures.

Thank you to those who have been a part of my journery as I learn to navigate myself and this life.

Much love,

T

Long Distance Relationship: Parent Edition

Adulting, Mental Health, Relationship

Firstly, let me start by saying that we DO NOT have nearly enough meaningful discussions about transitioning into adulthood. Especially in regards to the parental relationships, that we still so desperately need. As an almost 25-year-old, I joke about “adulting” with my friends often and we make fun of ourselves for realizing that we really don’t “have it all figured out.” We are seemingly okay with not being 100% okay all the time, and I am a BIG fan of that transparency! But, at the end of the day we are expected to act like adults, pay our bills on time, know how a mortgage works, and what insurance coverage is the best? Do I have those last two figured out? Nope, not really and I guarantee most “adults” my age don’t either.

I will say that I’ve read a lot about how to spend your twenties and that we should “live it up!” Well, in between the anxiety of not knowing what the hell I’m doing and making decisions that will effect the rest of my life, I do indeed try to “live it up.” Usually by traveling or spending time with other individuals my age that hope they figure out this life thing too. My point is there is much debate on how to spend these vital years. Do we find a partner in college and begin our working lives with them, get married, and start having kids, so we don’t become “old” parents. Or do we live it up, travel, with or without a partner, and then start a family in our thirties? Or thirdly, do we live unconventionally with no regard to societal expectations and just simply go where the wind takes us?

Each one of these lifestyles is absolutely okay in my book, but one thing I have found constant no matter what path you take in your twenties and that is we all start having realizations about our parents. Whether that be that we want to be nothing like them, that we wish we hadn’t taken them for granted, or that they are truly super heroes. This year more than ever before, especially with the holidays quickly approaching, I personally find myself grieving the loss of my childhood. What I would give to crawl into bed, eat popcorn, and lay with my parents soaking up their love one last time. Knowing that through all the stress of sports and school, I still had their strength and safe arms to lean on. I took for granted just how much I relied on my parents to bring me back to myself again. Even typing it out now, it baffles me how much they did for me mentally and emotionally as I would face new challenges. A lot of times I would come into the house like a tornado and they would take it. They weren’t always happy with me and I truly think I put them through hell, but their support never wavered.

I technically have been living a part from them for 6 years now, but my parents sold my childhood home and moved to Florida with my two little brothers about a year and a half ago. That transition has been extremely difficult. I want to be happy for them, but I do feel slightly resentful that I don’t have a “home” anymore. I did move away from them first 4 years ago, so in some ways I feel like a hypocrite. That doesn’t take away from the fact that their move has stirred up some emotional turmoil for me. It’s been tough, but also made me ask myself, “how many other twenty-somethings have parents that moved away and they have these same feelings of sadness and grief?” Another question I’ve been pondering is, “when, if ever, are we supposed to feel okay without our parents and will we always long for that feeling of home?” I mean I think I am doing pretty darn good on my own and it’s been an amazing journey starting my own family (getting a dog with the boyfriend), but I still have those times where Kyle can’t give me the exact same “home” feeling my parents did.

Throughout the past year, I have spent a lot of time contemplating what these feelings mean to me and discussing them with others, especially Kyle and my parents. Through those conversations, I’d like to list some realizations that are still evolving, but important and noteworthy:

  • You are entitled to grieve the loss of your childhood. It is not weird to feel incredibly sad that those simple times where your parents made the decisions, are now in the past.
  • Whether you have a good relationship with your parents or not, they impacted you more than you’d probably like to admit! Realizing that they were human and struggling to “adult” just like we are, helps forgive them for the hurt they may have caused or it helps you realize that they didn’t have it all figured out and they still raised a bad ass, right? 
  • The most obvious realization is that we will always need our parents or adult figures, no matter how old we get. They’re an integral part of our lives, to help us with questions about mortgages, purchasing cars, insurance, etc…Lord knows I need the help!
  • Lastly, as young adults, we absolutely should swallow our pride and have real conversations about this more often. Not just placed periodically within the sarcastic rhetoric about how “adult life sucks,” but REAL heart-felt discussions where we open up about our biggest fears and wishes. 

I’m not positive, but I have a feeling many young adults are going through similar situations, like mine, with their parents. So, if you’re vibin’ with what I’m saying, please reach out! Let me know if you have any questions or if you have been there and what you learned along the way.

Much love & Happy Thanksgiving!

T