9/24/14

[Healing through the hurt and heartbreak]


            I never knew I could love someone so much I could burst. We're coming up on our fourth Wedding Anniversary in February, and I just can't grasp how fast the years have flown by. Each year has been hard, not flowers and rainbows, but heartbreak, hardship, depression, weight gain, fights, sleepless nights, misunderstandings, tears, screams, frustration, and disagreements. The first year was the hardest for me, I was depressed, gained 50 lbs, I was obese, food was my way to cope with living in another country. People think "Italy" and they have this huge romanticized thought process. Heck, I'd love to go back on an actual vacation, but I'd never put myself through the hell I went though all over again. I don't wish it on my worst enemy. The views aren't worth the pain. It was beautiful yes. But that's all. 




            No matter how I explain my past, my trials, my horrible memories that I can't seem to forget, I know no one understands, and no one will. I don't need another "I know what your going through". I'm so beyond sick of that phrase, and honestly, I think it was made up for those who don't know what to say, or how to handle that kind of situation. But that is not the right thing to say for someone who just needs to vent, to let go or to just let off some steam. Friends sometimes just need to listen, yes I know it's hard, you don't want too but sometimes life is hard. It's unplanned, your dreams have vanished, no longer of importance and you feel alone. Sometimes I just need a friend, someone to listen, to care, to say "I love you, and I'll be here for you". It would help if you keep your word. 

          Back to the marriage part, I love my husband with my  whole heart, He's been there with me, held my hand, held me tight and let me cry until all my tears were spent. He reminds me of his love every single day. He knows when to break the silence, he knows when to crack a joke, he' lets me vent. He loves me through it, through my darkest, my deepest pain and heartbreak. He's loved me happy, he's loved me sad, he's loving me through every day, every mistake, every failure, and he excepts me for the true, imperfect me. Through all the fights, tears, doubts, he's loved me still, through the pain of lost friendships, judgmental people, harsh and hurtful words and "advice". 

         
 In my silence, he's loved me, when I wanted most to run away, he's loved me, through my brokenness, my questions about God, my heartbreak of misunderstandings, old fights, and flashbacks, my reality of anxiety, (hot flashes, small spaces, big crowds, not being able to drive (for now) and him not being able to touch me, my gripping fear of judgement at every turn) I'm broken, I'm bruised, I'm living out of my deepest wounds caused by my deepest hurts in the deep places of my heart. My husband has stood by me, remained faithful to me, to our marriage. Through my struggles, Chris has stood tall and protected me, sheltered me, kept me safe, held me close. He's reminded me every day of God's never ending love for me. That God has the best possible things in store. Sometimes days are just hard. The realization, I'm not perfect, the living day to day, trying to live up to my own standards, realizing that it's impossible. Realizing that God didn't make me to be the "perfect wife" or the "perfect daughter" that it's "OK" to make mistakes and it's OK to have flaws. Hurts. Struggles.

             My husband realized these things long ago, and he's been the quiet reminder, of Christ loving the church, with his selflessness and his faithfulness, his big sweet heart, and giving spirit, his grace, and understanding that I struggle more then most people. I hurt very deeply, and I have a hard time forgetting the deepest hurts in my heart . He accepts me for who I really am. Here's the facts. I'm Beautiful. I'm flawed. I'm perfectly imperfect. I'm wounded and hurt. I'm loved and excepted by God who came to rescue and save the brokenhearted. I'm God's and He's mine. I'm worthy. I'm saved. I'm scared. I'm free. I'm me. Beautifully flawed and perfectly imperfect. Created in the creators image, to be his love, his joy, his daughter. 

9/17/14

[Kelliana Grace]

I got to photograph a fun session of my sister Kellie the other day, she's such a wonderful model, and lots of sun to shoot! :)





                         











                       




[Home sweet Home]

It's been a month since we've moved home, time has flown, like it always does. It's been a good month, and it's wonderful how everything has worked out. Chris got a job three days after arriving, on his first interview. I'm so excited for him, and he LOVES it, gets along great with his co-workers. We're living with my parents, while we're waiting for our house to Close next month.

We're going to be living in Farmington, about a half hour from my family. It's a two level home, two car(heated) garage, 3-bedroom, two bathroom (with a jet tub) and a big walk in closet, really great kitchen, and pretty paint colors. I'm really feeling Blessed, God has been in this from the beginning (back in January) It's all worked out as smooth as can be.

We're so grateful to my parents for letting us live here until we have our house closed (next month sometime) I've been stressed, and I'm ready for my own space again, I can't believe it's been 4 months since we've sold our home, since we've had no place to "live" that was truly ours. We are so happy to have our own place again, living in transition has been so hard. But I'm so thankful my parents are letting us live with them and it's helping us save  money as well as have a place to sleep and eat.

We're excited for this new life together, and starting over from scratch with family and friends. We're so happy to make our own choices, and lead our own lives without the military involved in everything we do. We feel so happy we made this decision together, and look forward to what comes next.

8/15/14

[Talking about the hard stuff] and some thank yous!!!

I can't believe this weekend is finally here. After almost four years of this life together, Chris is finally getting out of the Military. I look back and see how silly and naive I was saying "oh yeah, we'll be in the full 20, no biggie" boy oh boy, was I dead wrong. This lifestyle has been the hardest thing I've ever been through in my almost 26 years of life.

With the being overseas (witch caused severe depression, marriage problems, binge eating, 50 lbs weight gain, anxiety, and worsened my already bad dyslexia) that was just the beginning. The day after days of tears, sitting in a dark room, wondering If I'd ever live by my family again, the days of eating to cope with my life situation, that I had no control over, the days of praying God would make it all go away, and I'd just be home again.

I went through some very tough things (some I won't get into) but some I will. I had a miscarriage in 2012, I wasn't far along, and only found out the day before it happened, that was gut wrenching, and the most painful experience of my life. I'm not over it, I don't know If I ever will be. I remember that day so clearly, we we're gonna Skype with my family and tell them, and I took two more tests and it was negative, and then the pain hit, and I spent the next hour in the bathroom. (I won't get into details) but those that know that pain both mentally and physically, understand.

After that, I swore off babies for at least a year, and got back on bc. Now sit there a moment, and tell me, would you want to go through that alone? imagine going through that overseas, no mommy to hold your hand and cry with you, no friends to hug, Yes I had Chris, and as wonderful as he was, it's not the same as my Mom. It's been two and a half years, and I've mostly "moved on" but I will never really move on.

Fast forward, a year later, Chris and I moved to New Mexico, had a brand new house, and a new chapter, we decided to try for a baby, we tried for 8 long months, those months turned into what felt like long years, years of negative tests month after month, of tears, of deep sadness, with so many questions. I hit my almost 9 month mark, and I couldn't take it anymore, I was at the end, I didn't want to see another "one line" test, no more meltdowns, mood swings, and drawn out fights. I was exhausted.

So we stopped all together, and I got back on bc. I look back now, and I see the last three and a half years, and I know, I've been a depressed, stressed out, anxiety filled mess, with mood swings, anger towards God, towards Chris, and towards my life circumstances. But I see now, that I've honestly been living out of severe stress, every single day, that I think my body has not been letting me conceive, my body couldn't take it (the reason for my miscarriage) I've never dealt with stress well, I've never learned how, I kinda take everything, upon myself, even things that have nothing to do with me.

I need to stop that, others people's problems, aren't mine, I can care, but I have to stop letting that control my body and emotions. I take baths, read books, light candles, take a nap, that's how I "deal" with it. I've been to counseling, and that was super helpful, learned little tips, but that doesn't stop panic attacks. I've had two in the last three months, and they are scary as heck, you feel like you can't breathe, you start losing air, your heart and back feel like your being stabbed at the same time, and you always think, your gonna die. I was all alone, for both of them.

All of that to say, these three and a half years, have been the hardest of my life (these details are only a little glimpse) some are too personal to share, but I want others to know, I've been there, and you do get through it, but you don't "get over it". I've had a hard journey, I' hated the first two years of it, yes, I HATED Italy, (If you went through as I call "my living hell" you''d understand) But for me, New Mexico has been a new chapter, it's helped me cope from many with many of my horrible experiences, and I've gotten some help.

Now it's our last weekend in New Mexico, and I am sad, I'm sad to leave this place, the place that's so plain to some, but beautiful to me. God made beauty from my pain, my thorns have started to die, and my rose is starting to bloom. I'm still not "close" as I used to be with  God, but I'm working on it, day by day. Life as a Military wife, hasn't been easy at all, even the few benefits, never made it worth being away from my family, it never gaped the distance, never made me "happy" like Minnesota does, like my family does.

So in all honestly, I am glad to move on, I'm happy for this chapter of my life to be over, once and for all, to be a civilian again (yes technically I am, but, it's different when you live this 24/7 7 days a week) We're so happy to move on, and get to be "normal" again, to have choices, to voice our options, to hold hands anywhere, no matter what, to kiss in public, and even get to have some PDA. It all sounds silly, but you wouldn't believe some of the rules.

I'm looking back and I'm grateful for the lessons, and happy I won't have to be "that" person anymore. I can't wait to just be stress free, care free, and happy. I'm happy now, but I mean, Truly happy. I'm thankful for my friends who I've made the last few years. Tiffanie has become my best friend, and true sister.She's been through my depression, and weight gain, miscarriage, weight loss, and so much more. I'm so sad to say Goodbye, but God knew what he was doing, Tiffanie is from Wisconsin, and they visit once or twice a year, so we will get to see them again. It's been three and a half long years of spending almost every week with each other. I'm gonna miss you most of all

 My sweet friend Morgaine, who's a total sweetheart, and always let me say what was on my mind, or even cry, I love my sweet friend Rose, we met at her Baby shower almost a year ago, a week later, I took her birth photos (most amazing experience of my life) and we became instant friends, we have the best "girl times". Lindsey, we haven't known one another long, but your a sweetheart, a wonderful mama, and good friend. Shauna, you and I have been been through the thick of it, I know God will get you through the hard times, I thank you for your encouragement, and selflessness, I love how much you love kids, and want to teach them about God.

Manda, It started off a session, you became one of my best friends, the one I could tell anything too, I thank you for not judging me, but showing me my worth, and that I should never be taken for granted. Thanks for answering silly camera questions, making my logo, letting me hang in your house, and trusting me to take photos with you. You've really helped me bloom into who I am as a photographer, I look up to you as a woman and how your dealing with your MS, and not letting it control you, but kicking it's butt, and still living your dream. I also look up to you as a friend, and mentor. Thank you. Love you Lady





7/8/14

4th of July [2014]

Today, is my 100th post, that's a crazy milestone. I'm not going to get all sentimental on you, this last month has been a crazy one, and this next one is proving to be the same. Today I want to focus on the 4th of July, Chris and I Saw some friends of ours, who we're moving, and chilled at our hotel, before going to see Fireworks in Portales that night. It was a great day, and a wonderful 4-day weekend. I got some photos of the 4th, and I hope you enjoy them.

















 b