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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My New Hobby: Podcasts

I've been slowly falling into the world of podcasts. It started innocently enough a few years ago with This American Life. It was popular, easy to access, referenced everywhere and something C really loved. Then I subscribed to The Moth, a direct result of listening to This American Life. And then came Democracy Now, which I listened to on my drive home, but I always tended to miss it so I just decided to bypass the radio altogether.

Podcasts bridge that gap between the times I can't focus on reading, but don't feel like listening to music. It fills moments with other's thoughts and words. They challenge me, intrigue me, frustrate me; make me laugh and make me cry. I've spent hours upon hours listening to podcasts and then even more hours talking to C about what we've heard.

Podcasts keep me up to date with current events and modern thought. They broaden my view of the world, by bringing stories from Afghanistan, reporters from Switzerland, interviews with Julian Assange and fictional tales from David Sedaris.

They've become the filler in my commute. The connection between me & the larger world.

After spending nearly a week in the car over the past two, I've listened through all my podcast subscriptions & decided to dive deeper into this world... and I went on a subscription spree. I added some popular, some informative, some sexy & flirtatious, some super specific to only a small crowd and some meant for everyone. It was really fun!

So now I have an iPhone full of podcasts and ears ready to listen. I'm looking forward to opening this little world up even more & seeing what I can find.

Are you a podcast listener? What's you're favorite? Tell me! ♥

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Weekend of Freedom

Five Year Anniversary

Today, I'm the happiest I've ever been with C. It's not a happiness that is frivolous or naive, as it was during the early stages of our marriage, but one that is fought for and the result of a lot of hard, dedicated work.

Over the past year we've opened up to each other in a way I never dreamed possible. I hear older couples saying that at 10 years, 25 years, 40 years, they are more in love than they ever were. I always thought they were crazy for saying that. At year one, I didn't know how that was possible. And at year five, I now know the best is ahead of us, and this is a journey that has only begun.

Five Year Anniversary
Five Year Anniversary
Five Year Anniversary

Part of this new found security is the result of growing more secure in who I am as an individual. I've spent the better part of two years now really diving into me. This blog, my interests, my passions and priorities all shifted into something deeper, more intentional and with the long game in mind. I love myself - my mind, my personality, my body - more now than I ever have. I'm secure in who I am, and doubt myself less. I'm proud of who I am and what I'm capable of doing. And now, when I move forward into new things, it's from a place of inspiration and motivation instead of insecurity, boredom or complacency.

Part of our new security is that we are both in better places outside of the home. I'm in a job right now that is challenging and fulfilling. I'm constantly growing professionally, in an actual career, instead of just wasting my day away answering phones or filing expense reports. Discovering the world of web design & development fit so perfectly into my personality and abilities it's a wonder I didn't discover it sooner. (I can't get enough of it! Which is why I began freelance work.) C was able to get into a grad program, something he's been talking & dreaming about for years. Now it's here & he's attacking life with so much purpose and vigor.

Five Year Anniversary
Five Year Anniversary
Five Year Anniversary

To celebrate this deeper, more secure and much more fun relationship, as well as our five year anniversary, we decided to take a different approach than our usual downtown, late night partying. (Though that's still fun.) This year, we rented a cabin outside of Ruston, Louisiana. Home of Louisiana Tech and pretty much nothing else. It was a cabin with no internet, no TV and barely any phone service. It had a gas stove, gas oven, no dishwasher, a bed, some chairs, giant tub and was literally surrounded by a Louisiana moat. We had to drive my little car over a little bridge and it was quite the way to start our weekend of freedom.

We brought books, played games, cooked great food and talked like we never had before. It was a quiet, slow moving few days where we shard intimate secrets and reveled in this life we've been able to build for ourselves. It was magical. And at the end of it all, instead of wishing to be back to the comforts of our usual lives, we were even more desperate and hungry to know each other more, to dive even deeper than we had before.

Five Year Anniversary
Five Year Anniversary
Five Year Anniversary

Alas, not all get aways can last. We drove back home, went back to work, gave our dog belly rubs and went back to life. But today our house is different than last week. I can feel the difference. I can see how needed a weekend away was, and see how beneficial acknowledging our hard work and dedication to each other is.

It was a weekend of freedom. A weekend of love. A weekend of remembering.

I hope it's one weekend in the midst of many others like this that we'll get to experience together. ♥

Five Year Anniversary

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Five years ago today...

And just for fun.... us in high school. Nine years ago.
We're hitting that 10 year mark pretty soon. I can't wait ♥

My dearest, as we're embarking on another year of being us, I had to take some time to reflect on years past....

Year one was about settling in, enjoying ourselves and getting over the shock of what we'd done. We were so young, so poor, so naive. It was beautiful. It's easy to romanticize that time, so I'll admit it wasn't easy, but it was the start to something beautiful. And you have to start somewhere!

Year two was fun. We were transitioning out of college, playing with our growing nephew, experimenting with just living life as "adults". We were a little less young, a little less poor and a little less naive. I started this blog (yikes) and you jumped in right behind me to support my crazy. We went through vegetarian and vegan phases, lemon cayenne detox weeks and the Four Hour Body (you were right about that one, by the way). We kept busy, worked a ton of jobs, and just squeezed by... I'm so glad we kept up the hard work.

Year three was about growing as individuals. We were past college, finding our way in the world, through new jobs, new interests, new friends & a new house. We kept ourselves going one day, one weekend, one month at a time. But against the odds, we made it through. Older & more ready to take on another year.

Year four was about growing as a couple. We added a dog to our little clan, settled into new routines and developed new plans. We also settled even more into each other, learning to trust & love in a way that wasn't possible even a year ago. I love how much we've grown and matured over the past 12 months. The way you talk to me, look at me, rest with me is a blessing. I hope you feel the same.

Happy five years to us. I can't wait to see where we're at 365 days from now ♥

To see our marriage evolve over the years, here's all of my marriage posts. And year two, three & four.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Open Road Song

I'm going to see this girl! ♥

It's been a while since I've jumped in the car and gone on a road trip, and I've never actually done a road trip by myself. I got it in my mind that a solo road trip was going to happen this summer. It just felt right & I just knew it was something I needed to do at least once in my life. And why not now?

So I started planning a trip to visit my dad at his summer job in Casper, WY, but the timing just kept not working out. And then I found out my mom was flying to Missouri to visit my sister July 4th weekend.... and then I found out my dad was flying in from Wyoming to be with them too... and THEN I looked at a calendar & saw July 4th is on a Friday.

So I decided to join them.

I'll be making the 12 hour drive in two parts Wednesday after work (crashing with Jessica in Oklahoma) and Thursday, then back in one trip on Sunday. It's going to be a whirlwind trip for sure. But I'm homesick for family time, even if I have to go to a different state to get it!

Have a lovely holiday weekend. Stay safe. But enjoy yourself ♥ See you when I get back. I have some really awesome things I've been up to that I can't wait to share!

PS -- A road trip mix tape, if you missed it.