Friday, May 30, 2014

The Millennial Girl's Guide to Gifts

Last week I met Michelle of MichMash in person! It was fun. It was exciting! When preparing for such a iconic event I knew I had to get her a present. And I wanted said present to be silly, but also something she (hopefully?) would like.

Thus I decided to gift Michelle with the most generic gift as possible. Things that would both scream "I'M A MILLENNIAL" while also proportionally raising the her "trendy" status meter by several hundred points.

Of course I went to target. And, consequently, my shopping trip helped me decide to write:

  • Something with owls

Owls are in, right?

Also, if you don't know many of Michelle's stories on her blog are about her embarrassingly spilling something on herself. Thus, Michelle, it will ease your mind to know this item is child proofed. My only fear is that somehow you won't be able to open it.

  • Obligatory hipster item. 

This hot-air balloon printed shirt with a collar should work.

  • Item related to mustaches. 
  • A scarf. 

I don't think you can get more generic then a scarf. I mean, its like the millennial girl's wet dream, amiright? And since I was already there, I bought one for myself as well. Because, I totally need more neck bling in my life.
  • Something pastel, polka-dotted or chevron. 

Because you want your gift to look like it came straight from a baby shower.

  • A snarky card.

Because your an adult. Also, I forgot to take a picture of it. Oh well.

  • And last but not least, a copy of the most recently viral teenage novel of dystopian nature. 

Because, books. (you can also substitute classic novel, no one reads it anyway)

So yeah, that pretty much sums it up!

(Also acceptable gifts: some kind of hair product, anything bedazzled with either glitter or cheesy band members, any brand of nail polish and, of course, beef jerky)

What would you buy?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Kitty does Photography

I had another adventure in my pink wig last week! This time I stopped at an old church. The windows and doors of the church are covered in plants AND it also happens to rest on the edge of a major highway right next to a stoplight at a major intersection. There is also a gas station right by it, so easy parking. But, needless to say I kept getting yelled at by pervy men and curious onlookers.

But it made a pretty backdrop for fun pink-haired kitty pictures! After taking these I went out shopping at a local thrift store, and then home where I snatched another vintage truck shot.

I really am loving this wig. Next week I am going to dress up as Strawberry Shortcake! I'm so excited! I'll also be participating in Delirious Rhapsody's fashion week again. If you take outfit photos, you should think about linking up as well.

Ears: Hello Happy
Wig: Violet Lace
Dress: Modcloth
Shirt/Shoes/Cardigan: Goodwill

Monday, May 26, 2014

Kawaii Skirt

My sewing machine is fixed! YAY! I hope to began sewing and reconstructing clothes again! Except, I need a table. I totally made this shirt sitting on my floor. And now my back hurts. The table that my sewing machine was on now has a computer on it...for editing my YouTube videos.

I made this skirt with fabric I already had. I was going for a lolita feel with the busy print, bows, and lace. The fabric is stretchy so I didn't even have to install a zipper! My mom actually gave me the lace she found at goodwill.

I'm beyond thrilled to have a working sewing machine again. Because, of course, I didn't have enough hobbies to began with.

 What should I sew next?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Crochet Cowl

Finally finished this crochet cowl I've been working on here and there! I started this thing in February, and put it aside when I decided to knit a sweater (and picked it back up when the sweater became so mind numbing...) I love the funky colors and fun theme!

This scarf started out as just a practice-bobbles and colorwork sample, but as it grew I decided to turn in into a wearable item. It's my own design, but I just made it up as I went along and didn't write down what I did.

And yeah, I know I have a few months until I can wear it again!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Road Trip

I recently went on a road trip! My husband and I wanted to visit his grandmother--she is in her 90s and still very active! We went hiking while there, also visited her church and met a ton of relatives!

She does not know what the internet is, so out of respect for her I won't be posting a picture of her actual face on my blog, since I didn't ask/explain about it.

We also met Michelle on our way up to visit! MICHELLE IS AMAZING CAN I COME LIVE WITH YOU? Except she's married. And so am I. Sad days. Maybe in another life?

epic pictures of epicness
On our way back from visiting the grandmother, I met Rachel and her husband Angel. Rachel is so sweet, and it was great fun visiting and talking about different countries with her. She's moving to China soon to teach English, so I wanted to see her once before she left!

All in all this was an epic, amazing trip. I ate to much fast food and bought to many books, and met two of my favorite bloggers! Here are some highlights:

at a shopping mall. what is this? and why is it $30?
beach kisses
exploring downtown Columbus
water + Rachel
Michelle showed me the MOST awesome bookstore ever
obligatory husband photo
Anyway, upon our arrival home Brian tried to wash all the pollen and dust off his car (using an outside spigot) and a pipe burst under our cabinets. You can't really see it because we were in panic mode and I didn't take picture until most of it was clean, but yeah. You get the idea. My kitchen is a hot mess right now.

How was your week? Mine was so awesome. Minus the leakage, of course!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Did God Kill My Babies?

So, the thing I'd been told would happen finally happened last week. I never actually thought it would. Because, no one would be that judgmental, right?

I'm taking about infertility.

Well, I was explaining what I was going through to a family member, and they said:

"Well, if God wanted you to have a baby you would have one."

And then they continued to say something about how I must have sin in my life and how I was being punished because of this "sin" and that's why I kept having so many miscarriages...and if I would just repent and give my heart fully to God it would stop. (I can't remember the exact words, but this is the just of what they said.)

I didn't argue with this person. But I wanted to address this mindset in a sort of open letter.

To began, one must understand a little something about God and free will, and the universe. Please note that in this blog post I try to explain a lot of biblical world view in a understandable fashion, as well as wrestle with the question of election vs. free will. This is simply what I have come to understand about the bible and and about how the world works.

I believe in God. And I believe God could have saved my babies, all of them. But I also believe God is a God of order. He made the world and it works in an orderly fashion, all the way from gravity to atoms and back again. 

If I drink five martinis at a bar and try to drive home afterwards, I will probably get in a car wreck. Now, could God save me from this car wreck? Yes, he can, but usually he lets the world operate in the order he has made it in, because he has given us free will.  God gave me free will--and he lets me do as I wish with my life. He, for some reason, respects choices and in many cases he chooses not to interfere.

So, if I use my free will to do something stupid and attempt to operate a motor vehicle after drinking an intoxicating substance, I might die in a car crash or I might arrive home safe.

Also, my free will can influence and impact another person's life. I may hit a girl driving home from college. She didn't make the choice to drink and drive, yet because of my choice she was killed in the crash. Choices, everywhere, have consequences, and not just for ourselves.

That brings me back to my family member's assumptions:

1) I have sin
2) God is punishing me for my sin by "killing" my babies
3) To stop God from doing this, I need to repent and then will magically have babies and be happy, forever

Lets talk about the first assumption, that of my sin. Yes, I am a sinful person. And yes, because of my sin I deserve death and eternal damnation and separation from God. But--wait--didn't Jesus die for my sins? Doesn't he say in the bible that he will forgive my sins and blot them out when I enter into salvation? Am I not white as snow, a pure blank slate before God? So, I have sinned, but I have fallen on my face before God. Moreover, I have received salvation from God. And while I do still struggle with many sins and have many unresolved issues, I am now a born again christian, a child of God.

Now lets talk about the second assumption. Is God punishing me for my sin by killing my unborn children? As I said before, I fully believe God is a God of order. I know that even if God forgives me of my sins, I can still suffer consequences from my sins. But I don't remember doing anything that would cause the death of three babies in my womb. (Think, driving-car-after-drinking) I didn't, that I know of, do or eat something that could have caused myself to have a miscarriage. I know consequences usually are related to the wrong I've committed, and I know I tried to do everything right once I found out I was pregnant.

Common infertility causes
The dichotomy is that even when I do everything that is right--we still live in a world where evil exists and where bad things happen.

So if God is not punishing me for my sins--(and I don't think he is) maybe the fact that I am experiencing this type of infertility is because "life" affects me? (like someone else driving drunk hitting me) Could something I ate have something in it that wasn't supposed to be there? Could my hormones be out of whack due to environmental or emotional issues? Could it be genetics? Is it just the way my body grew?

It could be any of those things. Goodness knows I've thought about them all. But those things are just life...happening. I could not be held responsible for them any more then an ant could be for getting squashed under my shoe. Neither I or the ant are really all that aware of each other, but yet, inexplicably, we affect each other. Life is like that. And I'm okay with that. I know tomorrow I could be hit by a drunk driver and that would be that. Just as I know that I might never be able to have children, and I'm okay with that as well. Bad things just exist here on this earth. They do, and it's just life!

I believe that my inability to give birth and carry a baby is not God punishing me. Yes, I'm sad about it. Yes, I've prayed and cried and poured out my heart to God over this issue. But right now he is answering my prayer with a no. And there is so much I am learning, about myself, through my struggle with infertility at this time. God never promised to fix my life into perfection. He just promised to give me joy. And he has.

Even if I never give birth to a living child, I have joy. Even if I never am able to get pregnant again, I have joy. 

So, did God decide to take those babies home? Maybe he did. Maybe he decided it was their time, or maybe he decided to intervene in their lives before they had even begun. But instead of it being a punishment, perhaps it was just God calling them home. Or perhaps it was just life. As sad and painful and traumatic as it was to go through, I believe my babies are with God. I wish I had seen them grow up, I wish I had been able to hold them--but I know they are in a better place. And I don't think it was punishment from God for a second that made them go there, because death isn't a punishment. Death is finally going home--to God--where we all belong. And it is a place where I will soon go, and there I will meet my children. There we can be together, for eternity.

I know this blog post is full of some confusing concepts to grasp. I am still myself learning about God and his amazing ways. I want to learn more about the doctrine of election and also more about free will. I believe we have free will, and I also believe in election.

Monday, May 19, 2014

How to BE a Stay-at-home-Wife

I've talked about what I love and what I dislike about being a stay home wife. Today I'm going to talk about how to be one!

  • Humble Yourself.
When I married, my priorities changed. Instead of an individual, I was now a member of a partnership. I have another person who is joined to me in spiritual, emotional and even physical ways. I am responsible, in part, for my spouse, and he is responsible for me. Before I was only responsible for myself, but in marriage I have assumed a sort of shared responsibility--a mutual "togetherness" now exists between me and my husband. It is a difficult thing to explain.

I realized quickly that I needed to live my life in a different manner. My roles as a single individual are very different then my roles as a married individual. I realized that my God-given role as a married women in a non-abusive relationship is to honor and protect and nurture my husband and to come along side him and support him in any way he needs supporting. I believe this is the role of every woman in every Christian marriage.

Therefore instead of thinking:
  • What do I want to do with my life?
  • What can I do to further my own hopes and dreams?
  • How can I take care of my own needs?

I started thinking:
  • How can I support my husband in following his dreams?
  • How can I glorify God in my marriage, instead of trying to just glorify myself?
  • How can I make my husband's life easier? 
  • What does my husband need?

These questions are met thousands of different ways in thousands of different relationships. In mine, I quickly realized that what my husband needed was for someone to stay at home and figure out all the cooking and cleaning. This is not because my husband is a chauvinistic pig and cooking is beneath him because it's women's work. This is because my husband works 10 hours a day and many weekends and has no time to cook because he is mentally and physically exhausted by the time he gets home.

By applying these questions to my individual relationship, I best meet my husband's needs by serving him where he is lacking. This not only honors my husband, but honors God as well.

Before you get your feminist panties in a wad, let me tell you that my husband also meets my needs as I meet his. This is why a marriage is a mutual partnership. My husband answers questions like:

  • How can I support my wife in following her dreams?
  • How can I make my wife's life easier?
  • What does my wife need?

In this manner he serves me. Brian and I are extremely lucky that both of our wants, needs, and desires meet up pretty much perfectly. He works so much (and enjoys his work as well) and he needs someone to manage his diet, clean his clothes, and help him relax on the weekends. In return for that, Brain provides the finances to support our lifestyle as well as fund my creative endeavors and allows me to pursue my dreams of one day owning my own business. He supports me in my dreams while I support him. And I've never been happier or more content.

In order to find this place of mutual coexistence we both had to humble ourselves and stop putting what we want first. Before I quit my job I was trying to fund my creative endeavors with my part time job while being married and while trying to take care of my husband. I was unhappy and overworked and my husband was grumpy and largely left to fend for himself. We both had to stop thinking of what we individually wanted and start to think of each other.

  • Be okay with less
Both Brian and I had to be okay with living with less money. While he does make enough for us to live off of easily, we would definitely make a lot more if I was working. For this aspect I would say: make a budget. Stick to this budget. It's hard when I want something (total impulse buyer here) but I'm learning it is better to help others anyway then satisfy my own selfish need for more things. I really have enough things. Money isn't everything.

On another note, my husband is amazing at helping me see and manage my flaws. When I want something, he really helps me figure out if I love this item and could use it, or if I just am interested because it's shiny or a neat color. He does this in an way that is not condescending or judgmental as well. I also help my husband eat healthy, an area he needs to work on.

These are two key things I realized my husband and I talked though and struggled with on our journey towards me quitting my job. And it's wonderful we've found such a mutual balance! I hope you can find such a balance in your marriage.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Crochet Leggings

I finally finished these crochet leggings and took pictures! Since I've been working on my sweater I've had little time to crochet other projects. I plan to finish all my WIPs before staring on new knits, because having more then one thing going at a time is driving me crazy.

They are very warm and of course I finished them right in time for spring! Hah! I'm not worried, I'm sure I'll wear these like crazy come fall. They are very comfortable.

What about you? Can you work on more then one thing at a time?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Warnings about Love Languages

So when Brian and I got engaged we were instantly told by EVERYONE to read the book "The 5 Love Languages." So we did. I mean, I've heard about the book and the test before, but to be honest I was a little wary because of all the hype.

In the weeks leading up to our nuptials, Brian and I both took the test and read the book. I did enjoy it, and it did make me think a whole lot about my partner and his needs vs. mine.

My primary love language was Physical Touch. Right behind touch was Words of Affirmation, then Quality time and then Gifts. I actually had no points scored in Acts of Service at all. Using our scores, Brian and I talked. At the time I actually felt bad when he did acts of service for me, because I myself enjoyed doing those and kind of thought of "acts of service" as my job, as my way to show love to him.

Fast-forward a year into our marriage. 

My love language is completely different now. It's actually totally opposite to what it was when we were dating.  I didn't know this could happen! My primary love language now is Acts of Service, and the lowest score is now Physical Touch! From first to last my languages now read like this: Acts of Service, Gifts, Quality Time, Words, and then Touch. A complete and utter 180.

I guess it's because my husband touches me too much. (joke....) Actually, I kind feel more loved when he doesn't touch me now. Because usually I'm trying to sleep and he is trying to snuggle with me and it wakes me up and makes me grumpy and gives me a headache. (I naturally need more sleep then Brian and being woken up early gives me headaches. Yay.)

Now, don't take this to mean I don't enjoy snuggling with my husband, because I do--but to me cuddle time is a normal activity and does not elicit the same special feelings of amour as it did when we were just dating. And attempting to cuddle with someone when said someone is sleeping is not on my list of fun things to do. I don't think it was ever on that list. Or ever will be. (I still love you...)

My husband's love languages, however, have not changed. His love languages are: Physical Touch, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Words, Gifts.

Another thing I noticed about myself and this book is that I use different love languages on others then the ones I wish to receive. Usually the love language you want to receive is the one you give the most. Before I got married I used Acts of Service the most to show love. (You may think, well then acts of service was probably your love language all along! Well, you are wrong. Because when we were dating if Brain did the dishes or laundry or some other service-type thing, I would apologize to him and actually feel guilty.)

Now that we are married, I use Words of Affirmation with my husband to show love the most. I'm always telling my husband how sexy he is or how amazing or how much I appreciate him, and when I do this I feel like I am telling him I love him. I constantly have to remind myself that my husband feels most loved when I stop what I'm doing and just snuggle with him, combining Quality Time with Physical Touch. Words are nice, he says, but actions are much better.

It's amazing how I can get my husband to relax or calm down just by drawing near to him. He loves being close to me. And I love being close to him, but I still sometimes forget about using a hug or a caress as love!

With my friends I use Gifts to show love. I always want to give things away or buy them dinner or lunch or a trinket. Gifts is the primary love language I use with friends to show them I care. Gifts does not work on my husband at all (as I learned early in our marriage) mostly because he knows I used money he worked for to buy it. It's like, he says, buying himself a gift by proxy.

According to the book, the language I should use the most with everyone would be Acts of Service, since it is the love language I most want to receive. But that isn't true. The only person I really do acts of service for is my husband, and I no longer see that as a way to communicate love, it's mostly just a chore that needs to be done and because of how we've structured our lives, and it's my job to do it.

I don't know...does anyone else have separate love languages like this? I want one thing but speak another. Odd. My husband wants physical touch and that is also the method he chooses to communicate love with as well. Even when it annoys me :P

So, beware. Your love language can change, and you can also unconsciously use a different language then you primarily desire. And don't take the book as exact science. It's interesting, and it makes you think--but like all advice, it needs to be filtered through the individual experience of your particular marriage.

Don't stress over it.

What about you? Did you read this book and what did you think about it?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Pink Curls

I think I'm obsessed with colorful hair now. I've always, always wanted pink hair. But I know I love my real hair as well. I'm so happy wigs exist! This particular wig is from Miss Violet Lace. Out of all the wigs I've bought, hers are the best. Not only do they look real, but they are also styled, soft, and not at all shiny. I will be buying from her again.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

I was not a virgin on my wedding night

Hi, my name is Carolynn, and I wasn't a virgin on my wedding night.

And I'm tired of feeling ashamed of myself.

I'm tired of thinking my marriage is somehow less or different then couples who waited for marriage.

I'm not going to live in shame any longer.

So, yes, I had sex before I met my husband. I had sex before I was married.

And, regardless of what you may hear from mainstream Christian media, the consensual sexual encounters I experienced with other men were not terrible. They were, in fact, rather nice. I did it more then once. And I usually did so guilt free and with wild abandon.

I will say, that now, yes, I do wish I had waited for my husband--but wishing I had done things a bit differently now that I'm older is a far cry from living in humiliation and disgrace. It's a far cry from being told, all my life, that once I have sex I am somehow broken or imperfect.

You know what--I did have sex before my wedding night. And while I do think the bible tells me to wait, I don't think I'm somehow totally beyond repair.

Regardless of my previous sexual experiences, I still have an amazing relationship with my husband. We have amazing sex. I feel perfectly able to connect with him, and I know that no part of me belongs to any other person besides him.

My husband has never made me feel guilty for anything I've done in my past.

He accepts me and loves me with all his heart.

I am not broken, because God has covered my sins.

I will not live in shame because God has set me free.

For a long time I lived in fear of my husband finding out I wasn't "pure" before our marriage. In a previous relationship, I dated a guy who would consistently bring up the fact that I'd had other sexual encounters in my life. His words and disdain towards my past always made me feel not good enough. Frequently in our relationship, I felt that he was looking down on me, that I was somehow unequal to him because of my sexual past. When I met my husband, I lived in fear of him finding out, afraid that I would hear the same scorn in his voice. I knew deep down I didn't deserve my husband, because he was a virgin and I wasn't.

But my husband has never made me feel shame about my past. He loves me, and besides the open, honest conversations we have--he never mentions it. It's made me realize how much wrong I suffered in other relationships. And contrary to popular belief, I do deserve love regardless if I've had sex outside of marriage or not!

I can't change the past. But I can change how I live now.

Today I'm going to hold my head up high and enjoy the love I have, without thinking I don't deserve it or wondering when my husband is going to leave me for a better, more virginal women.

I'm going to forget about my guilt, because it isn't necessary.

I am not broken.
I am whole.
I am pure.

And I wasn't a virgin on my wedding night.