Guest Post – Joy Will Come Again

I can’t believe the “I Have Something to Say” series ends tonight. Back in July I never could have dreamed how much it could have touched me. It has been such a blessing. And not only to me! I have had so many people reach out to me about the pieces these amazing women have shared. I am so proud to call them friends and family of mine. And I am SO blown away by their abilities as writers. I have been drawn to my computer writing so many of the pieces again and again and again. So without further ado, here is this week’s piece and the final piece in this series – Joy Will Come Again, a post by my best friend, Cara. 

My husband and I met, dated, got engaged and married within a year. Like many couples, we thought we’d start a family when we were ready and when it made sense. Growing up I never saw myself as a career woman. I wanted to have babies and be a stay-at-home mom. I’m the youngest of four kids and I’ve watched 8 (soon to be 9) children, over the past 13 years, be brought into this world through my siblings. So, when my husband and I started trying and got a positive pregnancy test within a couple months, I was thrilled! Continue reading

Guest Post: Learning Your True Strength

Today the “I Have Something to Say” series continues! If you didn’t read the original intro in the last post, this series is giving women, who don’t blog, the opportunity to share their hearts.

This week’s piece, all about being a military spouse, is by Yazmin Valdez:

As a military spouse, we face many stressful and unexpected situations. What I have learned from these challenges is that they only make us stronger. Four years ago, I married my husband and moved across the country from California to Virginia. Becoming independent was probably one of the greatest attributes that I had to adopt almost instantly. Continue reading

Our Unique Anniversary Gift Exchange

A few months ago John and I were talking about getting each anniversary gifts. Past years we haven’t exchanged and had just cut off specific time to celebrate our anniversary together. This year felt different though since this year since was a milestone year.

When we started researching what the traditional anniversary gift for five years was, we decided to make up for the past four years of gifts as well! Continue reading

It’s Our Five Year Anniversary!

I can’t believe it’s been 5 years since John and I said, “I do.” And almost 10 years since we met one another! Life has been a whirlwind since then and while everything hasn’t always been rainbows and butterflies, it’s shaped us into the people we are today and it’s made us think hard about what it means to be a team. We have purchased a home, said goodbye to many family members and a friend, had a daughter, done some pretty cool traveling, become Continue reading

If You Want Him to “Take the Picture,” Then Stop Complaining

In the past month or so I have come across three or four social media posts that have gone somewhat viral. These posts have all had the exact same sentiment and it has been directed at dads. They are written by moms who are asking, short of begging, their husbands to take pictures of them with their children. These posts have been shared repeatedly because Continue reading

Our Love Story

I was thinking of all the different posts I wanted to share that had to do with how much I love my husband, John, and while I thought of many great ones, I realized I have never taken the time to write down our love story….

John and I met through a mutual friend in September of 2005, my freshmen year at Longwood University. I was dating someone at the time, but we were in a long distance relationship so on weekends when he wasn’t visiting all of my time was devoted to my friends. I had a very close-knit group of friends in college, consisting about 50/50 of girls and guys. There weren’t many of us that dated, we were just all super close – spent birthdays together, sat for hours doing papers and homework together, watched movies, took road trips, visited each others’ families, met up each day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We genuinely loved one another and I could fully rely on any and every person in my group of friends. I think because John and I met through a mutual friend and we both immediately were part of this tight knit group that friendship was the furthest our thoughts ever went.

This group of friends stayed strong for all four years I was at Longwood. And as fate would have it, John changed his major and was there an extra year…

My senior year of college I broke up with said boyfriend because we were at such different places in life. We had different hopes and dreams and respectfully decided to end things.

That same year I was finishing my teaching degree and was completing my student teaching semester at a local school. Many people did this semester in their hometown at a school they were familiar with and as a way to save money, but the program wouldn’t accept my placement since I’m from a rather desolate location. And honestly, that was fine with me! I loved my college town and my apartment and was more than content to stay where I was for one final semester.

As the semester drew to a close and graduation neared, the principal told me about an upcoming teaching vacancy in the county. I thought about it and it didn’t take long for me to decide to apply. I loved the school where I was placed and wouldn’t have minded being an official resident in my college town. (A “townie” as we so unlovingly called those folks haha) I applied and was offered a job within two days. I accepted.

Just three and a half short months later, my dog and I got our first official home – a two bedroom apartment, with some pretty questionable neighbors, and I couldn’t have been happier! I had my dog (and soon after got a kitten), a half-way decorated house using stuff from my parents’ house, my college apartment, and Walmart, and the job of my dreams. Some afternoons after I’d get home from work and walk my dog, I’d be a bit bored though. Aside from writing lesson plans, grading papers, and cleaning my apartment, I didn’t have much going on. John was still living in this same town as well because he was finishing up one final class and was in the middle of a lease with a few other roommates. He worked at a local Ruby Tuesday as a bartender so one night I decided to go have dinner there. I contemplated not going since I would have to sit alone, but I figured that I wouldn’t look like too much of a loner since I knew the bartender. (Or maybe that made it even worse?! haha) Anyway, I went and had a quick dinner, chatted with John, watched some sports, chatted with some random person also sitting alone at the bar, and went home.

A few weekends later I was going out of town and couldn’t bring my dog. I asked John if he minded watching him since he lived in a house with a yard and he actually had a dog of his own. Thankfully, he didn’t mind. On Sunday when I returned I hung out for a bit with he and his roommates because I didn’t want it to look like I was just using him to watch my dog. (I’m just being truthful y’all)

As weeks and months ticked past I started eating at Ruby Tuesday more. I really needed interaction with other adult humans, not four-legged creatures or fifth graders. Our exchanges while he worked turned into texts and phone calls and then dinner dates that he could actually participate in. We would get together to let the dogs play. We started hanging out on Sundays (his one day off) and while he watched football, I worked on lesson plans.

One morning in late spring I was getting ready for Longwood’s graduation. A few of my friends that hadn’t finished classes in time, walked at this ceremony instead of the one I’d been part of the year prior. I’d had a friend that was also attending stay with me and a bunch of us from my college group of friends were getting together for the festivities. (John included). I grabbed a sundress out of my closet and walked in the bathroom to do my makeup and curl my hair. I remember it so vividly. I slipped into the dress and while I was working on my hair and makeup I realized that I was trying to impress John. I literally screamed and my friend came running in. I was like “oh my gosh, I like John!” Thinking back now, I laugh and laugh, but I truly felt like I’d been blind-sided. Here was this guy that I’d known for years and really did love and trust, but never knew I was actually busy falling in love with him!

And honestly, from there, the rest is history….

Happy Valentine’s Day, my husband!

Thank you for doing life with me, every single day!


{Photos from our Valentine’s Photo Shoot two years ago with Cynthia Tenney. These photos were actually part of our pregnancy announcement shoot with her}








Happy Valentine’s Day love bugs!!!!



Why My Husband & I Go To Bed Angry


When I first became a wife I decided that I wanted to be perfect. You probably just giggled at that line, but I’m serious. I take tasks and roles of mine very seriously and always strive to do the best. I put my whole heart into things I care about. So as a wife, a person who cared immensely about someone, it would be easy to be perfect. Right?


I would do everything I could to prevent becoming upset about something therefore not causing any type of disagreement to arise. I would cook. I would clean. Those are both easy enough! I’m easy to please so my husband wouldn’t have too hard of a time keeping me happy. But those are the big things! I would be even better at the even smaller things, the unspoken marriage rules, if you will. Well I’d make sure I did all those too and everything would go, you guessed it, perfectly. Share tasks, don’t go to bed angry, never use the word ‘divorce,’ choose your battles, you know the list… I had this list in my head and would mentally check them off when it was appropriate/necessary. That was until about a month (if that!) into marriage when I learned that, regardless of what I did, or even what we both did, no matter how hard we tried, our marriage wasn’t going to be perfect. And one of those first unspoken rules we broke? Don’t go to bed angry!

Ironically enough most of John and I’s arguments would break out right before bed (I’m pretty positive being tired and irritated from a long day of work helped that happen). We would argue about THE MOST insignificant stuff! Being the perfect wifey, I would always want to make sure we talked these things through before going to bed “angry.” Well we would talk them through alright, and through and through and through. Hours later we would still have nothing solved and just be more tired and irritated than before. I don’t remember who it was the very first time, but I remember us giving up and being like I love you, but we have to go to bed. I remember so clearly tearing up and thinking how big of failures we were. Here we were so early on in our marriage and we were breaking one of the number one rules! I remember something else too though! I remember waking up in the morning and how calmly we talked about the night before. I also think I remember giggling about how ridiculous whatever we were arguing about had been.

So take it from a overly flawed housewife, who has not once gotten that perfect thing down, sometimes you have to break the rules and go to bed angry. Sometimes you need rest to refuel and reassess what the topic at hand even is. Sometimes you have to break other marriage rules too. And sometimes you have to make some too. Whatever it may be, if you’re honoring your vows and one another, by all means do it.