The Best Two Years of my Life – Traditions with my Valentine

Relationship

Valentine’s Day is among us and some of you are going to be loved up with your significant other, while others will be loved up with themselves, a bottle of wine, and Netflix. Both are great and to be honest, the second one is what I will be up to, because my man will be playing baseball. While it’s a controversial holiday and there will always be people who despise it, I wanted to celebrate it with a quick write-up pertaining to the holiday of love.

Kyle asked me out on Valentine’s Day two years ago. It wasn’t cliché at ALL (hehe, love you hot stuff). As cliché as it might be, I don’t care, because saying yes to him on that V-day was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Valentine’s Day will always have a special place in our hearts.

In honor of our special day, I thought I would take a little moment and share a handful of traditions, routines, and goals that we have created and set throughout these last two years.

Change Jar 

About 6 months ago, when we moved into our apartment, we decided to combine our change into one jar. The jar is actually really cute and says, “hello” in cursive (thanks, Hobby Lobby). As it filled up we thought that it would be a great opportunity for us to save up for something big, like a vacation. We are going to attempt to save our change for the next 5 years and buy ourselves a big, fat trip somewhere. So, thus began our change jar tradition.

Two Big, Fat Trips

Speaking of vacations….we love to travel! We both grew up traveling quite a bit, and it’s a huge priority for us. We are so grateful to have had that influence and we want to continue that for ourselves and our future children. We are going to make it a goal (unless something unforseen happens) that we take at least two vacations every year, whether that be a short weekend trip or a two-week beach extravaganza.

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DQ Runs

This tradition is probably common amongst Wayniacs (people who grew up in Wayne) or people who attended WSC, because DQ is one of the few places to get ice cream or food for that matter. We love our blizzard runs! About once a month, we go and get ice cream together. In the busyness of life, especially with having opposite schedules, it’s a way for us to utilize a mini date to continue connecting with each other.

Secret Santa 

I had done secret santa a variety of times throughout my life, but I was reintroduced when I joined in on the Christmas Eve festivities with Kyle’s family the last 2 years. Basically, all the siblings draw a name and then we buy each other a gift around $100. It’s simple and I’m sure many families participate in similar traditions, but it’s something Kyle and I would love to continue doing on Christmas Eve with his siblings and then eventually with our children as they grow up and can participate with their own siblings.

Frozen Pizza

No matter where life takes us, or where we live, we will always have a frozen pepperoni pizza in our freezer. Every time we go grocery shopping, without fail, we get one of those bad boys for nights when we just don’t feel like throwing anything together. It’s this weird bonding moment when we both look at each other and nonverbally agree to have pizza instead of something healthy. It’s like we’re little kids again, getting away with not eating our veggies. It’s silly, but it’s us.

Hip Hop Videos

Kyle will probably be a little embarrassed by this one, but he enjoys watching hip hop dances on YouTube. Especially the ones choreographed by Willdabeast and his crew. Obviously, I love to watch them as well and it is some what required for my job! But, what makes this fun is that he knows how much dance means to me and he can share that passion just a little bit when we sit down and watch a handful of new videos together. We can appreciate the choreography and the talent it takes to perform at such a high level. I love that he was comfortable sharing this with me and I love that he also respects what I love.

Here’s our favorite video (we’d love to learn this one day):

 

Sending Songs 

Since day one, music has been in the center of our relationship. Along with hip hop videos, music is a giant part of my job, and has always been a big part of Kyle’s life as well. Brag moment….Kyle can play the piano, drums, and sing. He is so musically gifted and doesn’t even realize it. It blows me away how naturally he understands instruments. Because music is so important to us, we send songs to each other often, especially country songs. What better way to share love then through beautiful lyrics and melodies?

We have many songs, but this is the song that played around month two of being together. I knew then that I was in love with him:

 

All these traditions and routines are a small glimpse into the relationship Kyle and I have and not to be dramatic, but our love and life is so much more than a few paragraphs can even describe. I have never found someone who sets my soul on fire as much as he does. He is the best person I have ever met. I have never felt more loved and supported in my whole life. After two years, I still have to pinch myself, because I can NOT believe that I found this “love” that everyone dreams about. In fact, for way too long, I had a hard time believing that I actually deserved this kind of unconditional love. I am strong on my own and I learned to be that way through a lot of despair and resiliency, but he helps take down my armour. I don’t need walls or defenses around him, I’m able to just BE.

Kyle, I love you. You are my family. My future. My everything.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

XOXO,

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