February 26, 2013

Adjusting

Sunday, February 24th, marked 3 months since beau and I said "I do" and committed our whole lives to each other. It feels a little longer, but time often makes us feel that way.


Marriage life has been lovely thus far. Here’s how we have been adjusting to:

Being in each other’s space/presence. Beau and I have been in a long-distance since we started courting in 2009. I was a junior in a college in New Jersey at the time. Graduated Spring 2010. Then attended grad school in Connecticut from Fall 2010 to Spring 2012. The most time we’ve spent together in each other's presence either consisted of weekend visits to my school on occasion or week-long vacations at his parent's home in Georgia. Although this was the case, we currently are not facing any challenges where being in other’s space is involved. Beau works a normal 40-hour work week while I am home during the days, so that gives us more than enough time to be out of each other’s hair. When we are both home at the same time, we still have a balance between the amount of time spent together. Which brings me to my next point…

Spending time together. As I have stated before, beau and I are apart for a considerable amount of time during the workweek, and so obviously much time is not spent together during that time. When he’s home, most of our time time together is spent during dinner. We aim to eat dinner together every day, even if that means I have to eat at undesirable hours (read: really, really close to bed-time) because he was working late or fasting during the day to deliver a sermon/teaching at church. We have also been trying to spend more time doing things together on weekends. This is a bit of a challenge for the both of us, because I am a loner through and through. It is very easy for us to find ourselves at separate corners of the house on a Saturday doing our own thing. And there are often times when beau comes home from work and I don’t have much to say to him, neither do I desire to say much. This was especially true during the first few weeks to a month after our wedding/honeymoon. I am just so used to being alone from my childhood to even now, that I am accustomed to being by myself with no one to talk to and I am perfectly fine with it. More recently however, doing this drives me mad. This is the push I needed to be more interactive. Beau and I have also discussed “unplugging” on weekends in hopes of spending more time together. Hopefully we’ll try that soon.

 photo 028877f2-a3ba-42e1-b9c4-e6744de5aa44.jpg  photo 8a469db7-29ea-42db-b53c-885888accc64.jpg Communicating. In terms of sharing our thoughts and ideas on trivial subject matters, beau and I could get shiny award stickers for a job well done. We talk about our days and things that interest us with ease. I also find  that I am able to speak with him about issues that affect me with ease, as I have always been able to do because I trust him and his judgment. Sometimes it takes a while for me to get the thoughts and words out, but I am never terrified of discussing serious matters with him. Our hiccups in communication therefore lies in explanations and understandings. This was the most frustrating thing for me while we were dating and even now. I would explain something in what I thought were the simplest of terms, but he would not understand what I was saying. And for beau, he would explain something to me and his explanation would not make sense. Not for lack of understanding the words, but for lack of understanding or agreeing with the concept. Those are the two major issues we face in our marriage. Well, that and talking about issues that beset us sooner rather than waiting until we feel we’re ready to talk about them. We are learning.

External hardships. I keep hearing from others, ad nauseum, that we will face many hardships. We already know that and have faced many hardships up to our wedding day and even after. Not that we’re “Super Couple” and are able to ‘fight off hardships’, but I think we have just learned to expect them and battle them with grace and humility. Through our marriage, I am learning a lot about handling situations with grace and humility through beau.  I have only recently expressed this to beau, but I really and truly have observed his ways and am taking note. I usually freak out about things. I worry often. I cry lots. I. freak. out. But beau? He is like a gentle soul. I used to look at him and think that he must have some sort of bottled up frustration under all his meekness (and I am sure he does at times), but he doesn’t let it show. Neither does he harp on hardships or problems. He’ll sigh as loud as possible. He’ll have a furrowed brow or will have a discontented disposition about him. He’ll even make up a song about the problem and sing it for 5 minutes straight. But, I have never seen him complain, or worry, or … freak out. I am learning.
 Our overall relationship. Life as a newlywed is not all that it’s cracked up to be in mainstream. It is frustrating. It takes work.  But isn’t everything in life worth having? I have gone through a mixed-bag of emotions since saying “I do”. I found an article while browsing the interwebs one day, and it seriously made me feel better knowing that nothing is wrong with me for feeling the way I felt sometimes during these last 3 months. It was just a shock-to my system, for lack of a better term. But I got jolted back to reality and realized that marriage is such a beautiful thing. You get to share your all of your firsts with this person during this time period. Your first holiday. Your first achievement. Your first disappointment. Your first roadtrip. Your first hmm hmm (haha - yes, we waited until marriage to do this as well). You get to share a life with your best friend. Someone who truly loves and honors you, wants the best for you and puts your needs ahead of their own at all times. Beau is such a God-loving, God-fearing man. I love him for it. Our marriage was meant to be. I was meant to learn from it. I was meant to be broken down and built into a stronger person from it. I am learning and adjusting quite well.

February 25, 2013

At the Reading Terminal Market...



This weekend, beau and I ventured off to Reading Terminal Market to do some browsing. It was my first time walking through and seeing all the different stores/vendors. My uncle works as a chef at a restaurant right at the entrance, so other than visiting him, I've never gone in. Beau on the other hand, has ventured through a few times, frequenting his favorite cookie place.



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Reading Terminal Market is such. a. busy. place -- very fast paced. There are so many vendors. So much variety (in terms of shops and foods). And a lot people browsing through at any given time--even on a rainy, dreary Saturday in the city.
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I was like a kid exploring a new place while there. From the bakeries, to the fish stands and the various cheesesteak spots, I was in total awe.





Try stopping by if you ever visit Philly.

February 22, 2013

Army of Women: Health of Women Study


It's been a while since I've written one of these posts. Here is a study everyone can be a part of:

 Health of Women (HOW) Study

This is a research study that aims to discover HOW breast cancer starts and HOW to prevent it. Every woman can take part in the study, as well as men living with breast cancer or at high risk for breast cancer.

Research Study Goals:
  • The goal of the HOW study is to study a large group of men and women over time to examine the causes of breast cancer. In order to do this, we will need to include all ages, ethnicities, and races, as well as to compare those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer to those who have not. The HOW Study will ask you to answer questions about your health and health habits over time to give us a view of what people are doing and how their health is being affected. In addition, we will be asking specific questions of women and men living with breast cancer to give us ideas about what, beyond treatment, leads to long term survival as well as what the real long term side effects of current treatments are. We will include specific questions for underrepresented groups such as people with metastatic disease, men with breast cancer, transgender individuals, and women from particular ethnic groups. Finally, this study will address the questions you've been asking: is there an environmental cause of breast cancer, are fertility drugs and bio-identical hormones safe, and what about deodorant and underwire bras (source)?
What is involved?:
  • Participation in the HOW study will require the completion of online questionnaires addressing health and well-being, medical history, reproductive health history, and family health history periodically. You will receive a Call-to-Action email with a questionnaire whenever a new one is available. Questionnaires are only released every few months, or so, and will take between 30 and 60 minutes (or less) to complete. Study results will be shared with you. The study is long-term, but you also have the option of withdrawing from the study.
Who is conducting the study?:
  • The study is conducted by the Dr. Susan Love Research foundation, in partnership with Dr. Leslie Bernstein from the Beckman Research Institute at City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center in Duarte, CA.
Where?
  • Study participants can live anywhere worldwide.
Study Requirements (you must match ALL of these requirements):
  • You are at least 18 years old
  • You have access to an internet connection through a computer or mobile device
  • You are willing to be part of this study long term
  • You are EITHER
    • a woman (with or without breast cancer) OR
    • a man living with breast cancer or at high risk for breast cancer

 If you are interested in being a part of this study, sign up here.


** Note **
I am an Army of Women (AOW) Supporting Blogger

This simply means that I volunteer to use my blog as a medium to publish posts that will bring awareness and recruit participants for nationwide Breast Cancer Research studies. Army of Women research studies are in conjunction with the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation's initiative to:
  • Recruit 1 million women and men of every age and ethnicity, including breast cancer survivors and women at high-risk for the disease, to partner with breast cancer researchers and directly participate in the research that will eradicate breast cancer once and for all.
  • To challenge the scientific community to expand its current focus to include breast cancer prevention research conducted on healthy women.

February 20, 2013

Life of a Newlywed/Housewife?


The other day, my good friend suggested that I start a Youtube vlog channel documenting what my life is like as a newlywed and housewife. 'Ha!', I thought. Although I am an avid Youtube watcher, I do not see myself making videos, as I am scared out of my wits of putting myself out there. Crazy, I know... since I kind of put myself out there on this blog, but Youtube is a whole 'nother ball game. That conversation ended with a sharp 'no', but I have thought about it since and decided on documenting things via my blog.

Although I don't quite consider myself a housewife, just a wife who is home most (read: all) of the time, there are some things I can share in regards to general life as a newlywed, home-decor, learning how to interact with my beau and things in-between. Seriously, I know that it seems like I am already doing that, but I am not. I often share generic parts of my life with beau: dinners, outings, etc. You know, the surface stuff.

This will be a great undertaking since this will be something personal to both beau and I. However, I have learned quite a bit about being a wife over the past 3 months, and it is obvious that there is still more to learn. Lots to experience. Once again, I hope these posts that I share are relatable to my readers and visitors. I hope you find inspiration in them. I hope you feel free to share some advice and tips, as well. This is all a learning process, as life generally is.

February 14, 2013

Let Me Call You Sweetheart

 

Let Me Call You Sweetheart by Bing Crosby 

"Let me call you Sweetheart
I'm in love with you
Let me hear you whisper
That you love me too
Keep the love light glowing
In your eyes so blue
Let me call you Sweetheart
I'm in love with you"
 
Happy Valentine's Day, readers. 

February 13, 2013

Lately

Lately (more like very recently):

I have decided to take a step back and take life one day at a time. Worrying is apparently my thing, and it's pretty self-destructive. After a well-needed sit-down with beau, he expressed some of his concerns/observations about me. Simply put, he stated that I worry too much about insignificant things: physical appearance, money, etc. That my worries are for naught since they don't have any real value in the grand scheme of life referencing Matthew 6:25-34. I'm really glad for him putting things into perspective for me. 

Project 365 is still a go for me. There is just a lack of photographic inspiration with my little point-and-shoot camera, lately. I have also decided to only share snippets of the 365 days (read: I don't want to clog this blog with too many photos of nothing).
I tried looking into tickets for a Bill Cosby show in our area (Beau loves him), but prices are ridiculous! Oh my goodness, Bill Cosby!

Things have just been generally quiet around here. Not much adventure. Not much of anything different, really. It would be nice to get away from mundanity, but for now, all is well.

P.S. We are STILL waiting for our wedding photos! That's unheard of in this day and age, right? (Seriously, I would like to know if this is normal or not).  

// photos via



February 7, 2013

Just Keep Swimmin'


Every once in a while, I get overtaken by unhappy feelings. The most recent was just a week ago, when I tweeted this statement. It seems like it deserved the hashtag of #morbidtweet, but not at the time. I thought it was clever and disclosed how I was feeling exactly at that moment in time.

You see, I go through bouts of sadness. Not so much depression, as I still wake up, get out of bed and do things during the day, but sadness. Sad that I wake up and do just about the same thing everyday. Sad that I feel stuck-- even though there is a high-probability of getting out of joblessness. Sad that after all these years of living, I still haven't found a way to be content with whatever my current state of life may be, contrary to what I stated in a previous post.

To be honest, I don't know how I feel sometimes. Sometimes, I am indeed content. Then, the green-eyed monster comes in and someone else's seemingly joyous life full of beauty, laughter, employment and deeper relationships with God makes me wish I had all of that too. Although, I do have most of it, in my own personal way.

Gahh. I seem to be writing in circles here. I just wanted to release a bit of what has been on my heart lately. (which may be the first step to dealing).

Emotions are funny. They are fleeting... transient. I guess that's why we have to focus on greater things in life.

And maybe... I should learn to swim -- figuratively and literally (as to not allow myself to drown).

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 
Phillipians 4:8



February 4, 2013

Dinner Date

For my birthday, beau took me out for lovely dinner on the Moshulu. The Moshulu is a "floating" restaurant in Philly, located right on the Delaware River with views of Camden, NJ. I have been on the Moshulu before for a friend's birthday party, but not for a sit down meal. We had such a sweet time. This dinner date reminded me of one of our earlier dates on the Spirit of New York-- a birthday gift for beau a few months into our dating relationship. We talked. We laughed. And we enjoyed each others company. 


The food was absolutely amazing as well. Beau had the crab cake (one of his favorite meals) and I had the chicken with truffle gnocchi. The waiter recommended the mac n cheese, so I had to try that as well. And for dessert, our waiter also recommended the s'more which was also delicious. 


All in all, it was a sweet dinner date, and a lovely surprise. 


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