Gift Guide for Her!

The Christmas season is upon us! To kickstart the season I created a gift guide for the women in your life. Most of these items are under $30 and very well reviewed on Amazon*

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1. Oster Waffle Maker 

Who doesn’t like to wake up and make waffles on a Saturday morning? For under $30 this waffle maker is well reviewed-makes perfect size waffles, one of the best waffle makers ever owned, fast, no spill over. This is the perfect gift for anyone who wants a simple, quick way to make homemade waffles

2. Portable Charger

This is a must for the busy lady in your life. Michael and I bought a portable charger over the summer and it has been so convenient! Whether you’re camping, shopping, or spending a long day at school this is a must to avoid being stuck without a phone.

3.  Baseball Hat

I love this cute hat for a workout or walking in the rain. Every girl needs a cute ball hat in her closet!

4. Makeup Brushes

Having decent makeup brushes has changed the way I do makeup. These would be a great upgrade from basic brushes as they include 5 eyeshadow brushes perfect for blending and buffing. The brushes were reviewed as being soft and thick and better than more expensive ones.

5. Cards Against Humanity

I have heard great things about this game! This would be a great addition to game night. It has an overwhelming 5-star review. Each round one player picks a black card and all other players select a white card to respond. Just a warning this game is for adults if you’re looking for a more family-friendly version check out Apples to Apples.

6. Under Armour Water Bottle

This cute functional water bottle would be a great stocking stuffer or addon to the baseball hat. For those tracking their water intake, it holds exactly 1 L.

7. Blanket Scarf

Blanket scarves are one of the best fashion inventions, I am always cold! With this scarf, I can look cute and stay warm #needisaymore?

8. Notebook

I’m always writing down ideas or journaling. This adorable notebook is perfect to keep by your bed on in your purse.

9. Contigo Travel Mug

I have this mug and my husband who works 12-hour shifts uses it to keep his coffee warm. He loves it because his coffee stays hot for his entire shift. It holds 24 oz which is equivalent to an extra large coffee at Tim Hortons.

10. Adidas Sneakers

These shoes are so popular right now! If the lady in your life doesn’t have these shoes she will be so happy when you give them to her. They are perfect for the gym, running errands or going out with friends. These sneakers are so versatile and so cute! You will thank me later for suggesting them (;

11. Cosmetics Organizer

When I found this on Amazon I got so excited! I love being organized and being able to see all my makeup when getting ready. This is a must for the girl who loves makeup and has a lot of it. Makeup brushes would go great with this too!

 

 

If you found this list helpful be sure to share it!

<3

 

 

Favourites Friday>> Surviving Sarah Podcast

Happy FriYay!

Today’s favourite is a podcast I have been binge listening to on the drive to school and back. I absolutely cannot get enough of this podcast. I come away feeling inspired, motivated and excited each time I hear an interview with a different woman about what she is doing or has been through.

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Surviving Sarah is hosted by Sarah Bragg and each week she interviews a different woman to hear how she is surviving life. Sarah ends the interview by asking her guest a few things that are helping them to survive. She goes on to clarify that these items don’t have to be spiritual because she also enjoys other things like coffee and Target. I can totally relate to that sentiment. Following the interview, Sarah reflects on what she learned from her guest or anything that stood out from their stories.

I’ve been most impacted by the women who have families while at the same time manage a career, business, blog or ministry. One very interesting guest was Cheryl Bachelder the CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen (episode 42). I loved hearing how she leads her staff with humility and poise. Although I don’t aspire to be a CEO the insight on leadership at any level was inspiring.

Additionally, another theme I’ve gathered from listening is that we may make plans for our lives but ultimately God’s plan always prevails. For example, one woman became a single mother while being a missionary, other women have struggled with infertility, or dealt with failed adoptions or unexpected pregnancies, while other guests have struggled with issues from their past including suicide of family members or postpartum depression. In other examples, God has provided opportunities and opened doors that some women never dreamed of like being an artist, or starting a nonprofit, or designing products to help with children’s emotional intelligence. I’m learning to let go of my plans and to be open to what God has in store for me. Although I find this really hard because I thrive on predictability I trust that His plans are best for me. Hearing others women’s stories has really encouraged me in this area.

Thirdly a statement that I have heard multiple times on this podcast is to “do the next right thing”. In times of stress or feeling overwhelmed or even sad, listeners have shared how they have just done the next right thing. Whether that’s reading your child a story or making dinner, it’s about not giving up. I’ve tried to remember this phrase when I just want to quit or waste an hour on the internet. Sometimes the next right thing is cleaning off the table so I have a place to work when I get home. That one simple task helps me feel motivated to keep going with the rest of my day.

My favourite and the most impacting episode I listened to was with Mo Isom (whom I’ll be featuring in an upcoming Favourites post!) episode 34, she is full of such Biblical wisdom and real, relatable, heartbreaking life experience. I found her story very compelling to hear. I’m looking forward to reading her new book Wreck My Life: Journeying from Broken to Bold in the near future. Honestly, it’s hard to choose favourites because every episode has impacted me in some way. Episode 24 with Tracy Levinson is also another favourite, she inspired me with her boldness in expressing her views to others and how she articulated her message on sexuality. Overall my favourite thing about Surviving Sarah is that the podcast is geared toward women. Not moms, or wives or singles or working moms or stay at home moms. Just women in whatever stage of life they are in. This is what really attracted me to Sarah’s podcast. I hold the same value with my blog, I want to appeal to a broad range of readers. Although I tend to write about what I’m going through, my intent is never to put my identity in being married or a wife. Those roles are only a part of who I am. I want this blog to express who I am as a person, what my interests are and my reflections on life. Sarah has a good balance of women from various stages and life experiences on her show. It’s great to learn from women who have been married for thirty years or who are first-time mothers. Although our experiences are different we can always learn from what others have gone through.

 


I’m going to end this post similar to how Sarah ends her interviews by listing a few things that are helping me survive! I’d love to hear what’s been helping you survive lately too (:
  • Podcasts! I’ve pretty much stopped listening to radio in favour of a good long podcast
  • The too rare conversations/hangouts I have with my mom and bestie <3
  • Baths I love relaxing in the warm water and reading a book for pleasure (right now I’m reading the true story behind the Sound of Music)
  • Music! I love listening to Spotify while I’m cleaning, making supper or just hanging out. It instantly brings my mood up

 

 

 

 

 

*post contains Amazon affiliate link, all opinions my own

How I Learned to Cherish Each Moment Through Loss and Uncertainty Newlywed Reflections~Month 6

To read the rest of this series click here: Newlywed Reflections

Yes, I skipped a month, I quickly wrote up a post that I was going to publish Monday. I just didn’t feel right about publishing so late and I didn’t feel it was my best work. I decided to start fresh and try to stay on schedule for this month!

This past month has seemed to drag on forever. Between school being crazy busy with three midterms in a row, readings, group and placement meetings, waiting to hear back about jobs for Michael, getting the unexpected and tragic news that Michael’s grandmother was very ill and passed away, along with multiple trips down to Niagara. This month has been busy, draining, stressful, emotional and just exhausting. At the same time, I am incredibly grateful for a supportive, prayerful husband, being able to spend lots of time with family over Thanksgiving and the last few weeks and for the blessing of Michael’s new trucking job beginning on our 6 month anniversary (God’s timing is always so perfect!)

How I Learned to Cherish Each Moment Through Loss and Uncertainty

I’ve learned a lot this past month. Such as trusting God to provide (which He always does), not relying on my own strength when I’m feeling weak, to die to self, to be more disciplined with my time and to be more generous with our finances. The biggest takeaway has been to cherish life. Between Michael’s grandmother dying and unexpected doctor’s visits one just never knows how long they have with those they love. Before this month I had a solid perception of how fragile life is. As a result, I make an effort to cherish each moment I have, but sometimes my thoughts get passive and I forget how delicate time is. Our life is only a vapour and the events of October have reminded me how true this statement is. Although this month has been hard and there’s been a lot of tears, it’s been the most impactful so far of our marriage.

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We love you, Grandma Kramer, <3

We went through all of these events together. When we were dating and Michael received bad news I wasn’t physically present. I could only text or call. I felt so distant and separated from his experience. At times I wished there was more I could have done to comfort and help. During this past month, I have been so grateful for being married and the fact that it allows us to be together daily. I’ve been with him in person for those difficult and exciting phone calls. I appreciate those opportunities that marriage has brought, I want to help and be supportive and excited with him at the moment. God really worked out those moments for us this past month.

I’m also thankful for the low times in life because it allows for growth, a renewed dependence on God, it causes me to search my faith and consider what and why I believe what I do, and I come to treasure and appreciate the good moments even more. For example, each moment I can spend with family, close friends and especially my grandparents are more meaningful to me. I want to be intentional and create memories together. To learn from them and ask questions about their life experiences. All of the time I’m given with them is a precious gift. I’ve just been really impressed to not take these times for granted.

I want to close by asking what are you most grateful for in your life right now? How do you intentionally create memories with those you love even when life gets busy? (I really struggle keeping up with my friends when I get overwhelmed with school work)

XO

Click here to read:
 Newlywed Reflections Month 4: Why Marriage is Hard but Still Good

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Newlywed Reflections Month 7: 5 Traits I’m Glad I Didn’t Settle on in my Husband

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Photos: Look N C Photography

 

Don’t Let Comparison Steal Your Joy: How to Overcome the Comparison Game

Comparison is the thief of joy

Theodore Roosevelt

I’m never more unsatisfied or unhappy than when I’m comparing myself or my situation to another’s.

Don't Let Comparison Steal Your Joy: How I Overcame the Comparison Game

Yet, I do it all the time…

I perceive if I had her outfit or better hair or abs then I would be happier. If only we could have “date night” at a fancy restaurant or be as affectionate as that couple then our relationship would be “so much better”. As I scroll through Instagram looking at cute babies and young moms I just long to have that life because they get to stay home and take care of their sweet babies all day while I have to work or to school.

From a distance or on the other side of the screen everyone else’s life and appearance seem ideal to me. Perhaps that really pretty girl is also thinking she doesn’t look that great compared to the girl she saw on the bus. Or maybe that couple is putting on a front or they just had a huge fight prior. Maybe that young mom is wishing she could sleep in, have alone time with her husband or get a break from the pressures of being a mom.

I’m often only observing the surface of people’s lives. I’m sure others look at my life and may think similar things about me. I realize I am very blessed and I am very grateful and content with my life overall. Yet I have moments where in my sinfulness I lack a grateful heart and I’m overcome with wanting what I don’t have. I find these thoughts strike me when I’m bored or doing something I’d rather not be doing like working. It’s odd I don’t feel discontent when I’m driving with Michael loving life or jet skiing with friends or sleeping in on a weekday. I can be a slave to my unhealthy thoughts allowing them to rule my attitude rather than deciding to change my cognitions and my attitude. To be honest I’ve struggled with comparison for a long time. It’s tough to balance being content and grateful for knowing I have areas I want to improve while not beating myself up for where I’m at.

I have to change my thinking patterns. That’s why I try often to remember the quote above. I don’t want to live a life lacking joy. I want to be satisfied, happy, and not desiring what others seem to have.

I also find memorizing the scripture a great way to fight off negative thoughts, a long time ago I wrote out the following verse and posted it beside my bed. Every night I would be reminded of this truth and eventually, I came to know it by heart.

Let your conduct be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for He has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you.

Hebrews 13:5

Ultimately, I’m most content when I’m not focusing on my own situation but instead turning my focus to God, through prayer or reading my Bible. I find it imperative to stay connected to the source of truth. Otherwise, it’s easy to fall into the lies of discontentment and comparison. I always try to go back to the gospel and meditate on how undeserving I am of God’s grace in providing restitution and forgiveness for my sin, something I could never do on my own. When I focus on Him I have nothing to be discontent about or wanting.


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Favourites Friday>> Boundless

As some may have noticed I have a page entitled Favourite Resources where I have listed some of my personal favourite blogs, podcasts and shows. I have never taken the time to highlight why I enjoy these particular resources. Each Friday I am going to highlight a particular resource, what it is, why I enjoy it and why you should check it out.



Boundless Home Page

I’m going, to begin with a resource I have been using since my mid-teens: Boundless.org. As a child, I used to listen to a radio drama called Adventures In Odyssey produced by Focus on the Family. As I got older I transitioned into the Focus Daily Broadcast which led me to seek a Focus resource which was geared more toward my age group. The closest I found was Boundless which is aimed at young adults and singles. At the time I couldn’t totally relate to everything they presented but as I got older Boundless has become increasingly relevant and helpful.

Boundless is a website, blog and weekly podcast for young adults navigating singleness, relationships, work, faith and life.

The Boundless website introduces a new topic or theme each week. The current theme is about Biblical womanhood and how to navigate being a woman in today’s hyper-feminist culture.

The following are a few of my favourite and most referred to articles from Boundless: Trading in Your Fairytale, 10 Things Women Should Know Before Tying the Knot, Biblical Dating Series, What He Really Means Is, Heart on Hold, and You Won’t Marry the Perfect Man. A lot of these articles influenced my perspective as I moved through a season of singleness during high school into University. I was challenged on whether I was content, if my expectations were unrealistic and what qualities to look for in a relationship. Although I didn’t follow all of the advice exactly I found this resource to be a great starting place to help me think about what my values and convictions were regarding relationships. Beyond reading the articles, every Thursday I look forward to the Podcast.

Lisa Anderson the director of Boundless is also the host of the weekly podcast. Each episode features a roundtable discussion, a culture segment and a listener question. To begin, roundtable discussions bring together various individuals to talk about subjects familiar to themselves and pertinent to young adults. Topics range from living with your parents, having multiple callings in life and navigating the myth of “the one”. Following this discussion is the culture segment which usually features an interview with an author or leader. Previous guests have included Francis and Lisa Chan, Lysa Terkurst, Kevin DeYoung and Jeremy and Tiffany Lee (Plumb). The podcast is concluded by asking a counsellor or blog contributor to answer a listener’s question usually pertaining to dating. Although I’m married now I still can’t help listening to this podcast because I enjoy hearing and learning from others perspectives and experiences, along with the discussions on work, church and social life from people in my cohort. As a millennial I find myself relating to a lot of the content. A few notable podcast episodes are What Women Want, Episode 386, Manhood Worth Modeling, Episode 321, Fifty Shades of What, Episode 330, Happy 400th, Episode 400,  and Get Real, Episode 296.

If you are a young adult I would highly encourage you to take some time this weekend to check out Boundless.org and download some of their podcasts to binge listen to. I have learned and grown so much from this resource. It truly is a wealth of sound wisdom based on Biblical principle on topics relevant to young adults in all stages.

 

 

 

Why Marriage is Hard but Still Good Newlywed Reflections~Month 4

To read the rest of this series click here: Newlywed Reflections

I love being married; it’s something I’ve desired for a very long time. At the same time, I am very cognizant of this great privilege I have been bestowed at a somewhat young age. Marriage is the most incredible gift, it’s a deeply intimate relationship different from all others that were chosen to represent Christ and His church.

Why Marriage is Hard but Still Good

Marriage is not a perfect always-pleasant relationship (as with anything in this life). Marriage is a refining process and sometimes it’s hard. 

“Hard is not the same thing as bad”

Abbie at M is for Mama

The intimate nature of the relationship allows one to be deeply known and this includes the imperfect, insecure parts. When one is deeply known and understood there is an opportunity for growth and change as one is challenged and encouraged by their spouse unless one develops a closed heart when faced with criticism and honesty. To be clear I’m writing from a perspective where the truth is spoken in love, is biblical and is without malicious intent. I wouldn’t necessarily choose to be challenged at such a personal level because it’s uncomfortable, difficult, discouraging and hard at times. It doesn’t feel good. Deep down I’m thankful to be challenged because without intimate relationships in my life who is going to ask me the tough questions or bring up things I need to work on. Although I may realize these things on my own, I need accountability and support from others. God uses our relationships with other humans to refine us. Part of His plan for marriage is to sanctify us, to make us more like Him. A spouse is an integral part of that process.

Marriage is more than I could have ever asked for or expected. At the same time, it’s not always easy or blissful. It reveals your true self but it also provides an avenue to become your best self.

Although I’m talking specifically about marriage this can be applied to any relationship where individuals allow themselves to be known by another. This can be a mentor, a friend or family member. Overall it’s important to cultivate community and relationships where one allows themselves to be challenged and “sharpened”.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another

Proverbs 27:17

Click here to read: Newlywed Reflections~Month 3: Why You Should be Willing to Love What Your Spouse Loves 

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Newlywed Reflections~Month 6: How I Learned to Cherish Each Moment Through Loss and Uncertainty 

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Photography: Camille Marie Photography

Why You Should be Willing to Love What Your Spouse Loves Newlywed Reflections~Month 3

To read the rest of this series click here: Newlywed Reflections

Yay 3 months, a quarter of a year! Time is just flying by.

This summer has been pretty busy between birthdays, tournaments, work, bachelor/bachelorette parties, family and just keeping up with life. It has also been one of the greatest summers filled with late-night adventures, long walks, kisses in the rain, exploring Ingersoll, hiking through forests in London, watching movies, learning to drive standard (!!), our first IKEA trip, long late talks, dinners with friends, fast car rides and sunset watching.

Another recent addition to our summer has been the game Pokemon Go. Before you judge me, let me explain. First, a lot of our adventures and exploring has been due to Pokemon. As certain areas are more likely to contain Pokemon or have a Pokestop which provides items for the game. Additionally, more rare Pokemon can be caught at night. Walking a certain amount of kilometres is needed to hatch eggs in the game. As a result we’ve hunted Pokemon in London at the mall, St. Peter’s Seminary, Ivey Park, Victoria Park, and Western University, at Gage Park in Hamilton, downtown Woodstock, all over Ingersoll, up in Montsell Beach at Mike’s dad’s and Victoria and Waterloo Park in Kitchener and Waterloo.

 

Why You Should Be Willing to Love What Your Spouse Loves

Another benefit to playing this game together besides the exercise is the time we get to spend together talking and having fun. Instead of watching a movie together or doing our own thing, we are outside either in our own neighbourhood or exploring a new park. Pokemon go is a catalyst for meaningful conversation. At the same time, we’re working towards increasing levels of our game. To be honest I usually would not be into this type of game. One of the main reasons I’m playing it is because my husband is so into it. I want us to be together and have shared experiences. Additionally, it’s a free activity. Overall it’s a win-win for both of us. Mike is happy I’m playing Pokemon with him and I’m happy we’re together and getting time to talk. Even if you or your spouse is not into a game like Pokemon, it’s important to be willing to partake in something your partner really enjoys. One thing I’ve picked up from the blog Beating 50 Percent written by Jeremy and Audrey Roloff is that if your spouse loves something there’s something you can find to love about it too.

There is something powerful about being willing to love something you wouldn’t normally love, for the sake of the person you love.

~Audrey Roloff

I try to have that attitude when Mike is excited about something or wants to try something new. I may not always be the best at it or understand it at first but I try to be willing and open to experience it. I’m really glad we play Pokemon Go together, it’s a fun challenge, we are spending lots of time outside in this beautiful weather and most importantly it’s a platform that has helped us spend more time together.

Here are a few pictures and a video of our adventures.

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XO

 Click here to read:
 Newlywed Reflections~Month 2: I thought I’d be a Perfect Wife

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Newlywed Reflections~Month 4: Why Marriage is Hard but Still Good 

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Photography: Camille Marie Photography 

I Thought I’d be a Perfect Wife Newlywed Reflections~Month 2

To read the rest of this series click here: Newlywed Reflections

I Thought I’d be a Perfect Wife…

I’m using a bit of hyperbole here, but I thought I would be a whole lot better at this wife thing. I’ve read marriage books, listened to countless Focus on the Family Podcasts, read blog after blog on all issues surrounding marriage and heard a multitude of sermons on the topic in addition to my personal study of marriage within the Bible. People encouraged me that I’d be such a great wife one day. I went into marriage with all this confidence and skill…

I Thought I'd Be A Perfect Wife

Then reality happened and at times pride got in the way of my idealist goals. At the core I expected things to be different. I know expectations are a set up for failure and dashed hopes. Alas, they are inevitable. At times I’ve felt jaded that we didn’t get more time together to do normal things like eat dinner together and chill. Other times I’ve appreciated our separation because I treasure our moments together so much more. A couple weekends ago I was driving with Mike to go get food and I was just so happy. That was our first time alone together for almost a whole week. I just missed being in his presence.

Nonetheless, this plight of mine is only reflective of a short 3.5 month season. I’m sure the next season of work and school this coming fall will bring its own challenges. In addition, I’m sure my exposure to other young married couples on social media isn’t helping my expectations. It seems that some couples spend endless amounts of time together going on spontaneous picture perfect adventures on a regular weekday. Consequently, I fall into the trap of comparison and jealousy very easily. As a result, I get down and feel unappreciative of my incredibly blessed and fortunate circumstances.

Dashed expectations regarding lack of time together are not my sole “challenge”. I thought I would be better as a wife. I know I’m only two months in, but I thought I was ready for this wife thing. Before marrying I worked on my #wifeskills like cooking, cleaning, and hosting to prepare for the domestic side of being a wife. Although I’m still figuring out how to manage a household. These proficiencies are only superficial yet beneficial skills to possess. I thought I’d be better at the relational aspects. Perhaps I shouldn’t be too hard on myself because I’ve never been married and I’ve only dated Mike. Yet, this whole relationship/partner/spouse thing has been a huge learning curve. One can learn stuff about marriage and relationships indefinitely but on a real life “living it out level” it is so. much. different. What one can’t prepare for are the dynamics of one’s relationship or the type of person one is going to be with. As it is Mike and me are different in many unexpected and delightful ways. Therefore I could only prepare for a certain level of a marriage relationship but certainly not the unique day to day challenges until I knew who I was marrying. Thankfully our pre-marriage counselling with our pastor did help tremendously to prepare for the specifics of our marriage relationship. Nonetheless, I had to experience marriage to truly understand the intricacies involved.

Pridefully, I thought I knew how to be a “perfect wife”. For example, I knew that men need respect, so make sure to affirm them. Or don’t be a nagging wife, prepare his favourite foods often, let him unwind after work, fulfill his physical needs willingly and with passion, look good for him when he comes home, communicate your needs and expectations… My brain is filled with these tidbits of advice. They are beneficial, but not always specific to my relationship. I can be checking off these boxes but neglecting real areas that I need to work on.

Overall, the biggest lesson I’ve learned this month is to take a deeper more realistic look at my life and not compare it to others. Which is soo hard!

As I was spending time with my grandparents this week who have been married for over 5o years I observed that marriage is about serving each other and going through seasons where you’re both working a lot and may not always get the luxury of unlimited quality time together. That’s okay because Lord willing you have the rest of your lives together. I want to purpose to enjoy every season God has so graciously blessed me with.

Click here to read:
 Newlywed Reflections~Month 1: What Surprised me About our First Month

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 Newlywed Reflections~Month 3: Why You Should be Willing to Love What Your Spouse Loves

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Photography: Camille Marie Photography 

What Surprised Me About our First Month of Marriage Newlywed Reflections~Month 1

To read the rest of this series click here: Newlywed Reflections

As of June 7th, Michael and I have been married for one month!! When we were engaged time seemed to move super slow, since we’ve been married time has flown by! Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about this past month and what I’ve learned, been surprised about or am grateful for. I wanted to share some early things I’ve been learning as a newlywed <3

What Surprised Me About Our First Month of Marriage

Things that surprised me:

How immediately our relationship felt different

After our reception, I was waiting for Mike to change out of his tuxedo and I felt sort of lost. I didn’t know where I belonged. I couldn’t wait with my parents because I was married and they just gave me away. I just had this feeling of separateness now that Michael is my husband. We were a new family. We belonged together. It was a strange and unexpected feeling.

On the other hand the next day it felt so normal being with Mike, yet very different at the same time. For example, we went shopping at Forever 21 except this time we were spending our money and I was with my husband. It’s such a hard feeling to explain, but our relationship just felt so solid and strong. I wasn’t just shopping with my boyfriend, I was with my husband.

Being together feels different especially around other people. I feel more confident with him by my side and less awkward.

Real life is better than the honeymoon

We had a wonderful honeymoon in Cuba, I’m so grateful we were able to get away. I miss the evenings where we would sit out on our balcony reading the Bible and our devo books together and just talking and watching Fernando the gecko. At the same time, the reality of life always looms over one’s head while on vacation. Honestly, I was really looking forward to returning home. I wanted to experience everyday life with Michael. To live in our apartment together and go shopping for our home. The first few days back after our vacation was just fun and blissful in a different way.

How much I miss him when we’re apart.

Honestly, I’m glad we’re not together all the time. I need Courtney time and he needs Mike time. At the end of the day, I’m so ready to come home to him. The past few days Mike has been away visiting his dad. I’m grateful he can spend some one on one time with his father especially after all the stress of his AZ course these past few weeks, but I have really missed him these past few days. It’s been so quiet, I miss hearing his voice and silly remarks. At the same time, I’m learning to lean on God for comfort and support when I start to feel sad.

Things I’m grateful for

  • How secure I feel in our relationship like we’re not going to break up if something goes wrong
  • Having freedom
  • How much I anticipate going home to Michael and our home
  • Being independent
  • Goodbye is never really goodbye
  • Being a team, when I go to work it’s for us, I’m helping contribute to our financial goals
  • His family feels like my family. I feel a stronger bond with Mike’s family since being married.
  • Michael is the sweetest husband ever! Honestly, I’m so blessed.
    • One day I came home from work and he had made me supper and did the dishes. He was also about to make the bed which he never does.
    • He’s brought me breakfast in bed a couple times.
    • Taking care of me when I wasn’t feeling well
    • When I cough in the night and he asks if I’m okay
    • Checking the oil in my car before I leave
    • Installing things for our house
    • Organizing our stuff while I’m gone
    • Being the best at dishes and cleaning up
    • Making sure I have everything I need

Things I’m learning

I can’t look to Michael to define me, complete me or validate me. I know this, but it’s a lot harder to accept it on an everyday level. I’m learning to seek my worth from God. He says I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). I’m in the midst of learning this truth and it’s really hard because I struggle with insecurity and feeling not good enough. I know that to be a good wife to Michael I first need to have a solid relationship with God. One where He is working in my heart to change the things that need to change. I’m so grateful that God brings us through situations where he grows our faith. I don’t want to remain stagnant in my walk with Him.

Things I’m looking forward to

  • Having lots of babies (;
  • Buying a house
  • Both of us getting started in our careers
 Click here to read: Newlywed Reflections~Month 2: I thought I’d be a Perfect Wife

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Photography: Camille Marie Photography 

One Year

One year ago today Michael and I went on our very first official date as boyfriend and girlfriend. We had met almost four weeks prior to December 21, but we decided to get to know each other for one month before making things official. Although Mr. Eager wanted to begin dating closer to two weeks. We made it through two more long weeks after I went back to school. Then finally I made my way back to Kitchener on January 23, 2015. I anxiously awaited Michael’s arrival at my house. I was almost more nervous than our first date. I was hiding in the back room when he shyly came to the door with carnations where my mom answered. Before we left my mom took the honorary couple picture of two very nervous slightly awkward almost “official” daters.

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We walked out to Michael’s car and sat in it for a brief moment where he asked me the question I’d been waiting to hear for so long “will you be my girlfriend?”. From that moment on I was in a new season and experience of my life. Being in a relationship opens your eyes to the world in a way you’ve never seen it before. Suddenly the love stories in movies seem different and more relatable yet less desirable. 

We headed out that night to Kelsey’s all dressed up and so very happy to be together. After finding out there would be a long wait we decided to leave. Instead of spending a lot of money at the Keg for only our very first date we ventured to Casey’s. We were so new in our relationship that night, the feelings were so invigorating I think people could sense our infatuation. While we were ordering our food an older couple was leaving. The man stopped by our table and gave us an extra coupon he had for our meal. In that moment I felt his kindness and thoughtfulness as a blessing from God. Going out to eat at a nice restaurant was a luxury for us. I’ll never forget that strangers thoughtful gesture to us.

Following our meal, I don’t quite remember if we did anything else but we eventually headed near my house. Before dropping me off we just sat in a church parking lot on a hill overlooking our city and talked for a few hours. In our early days of dating, we spent a lot of time about our pasts, our families, our dreams, our lives. We really got to know each well within those first few months.

One year later and I think I know Michael a whole lot more than I did on that late night in January. Although I know there is still much more to learn, discover and appreciate about him. I’m so thankful for all the moments and times of sharing we’ve had so far.

A few things I love about Mike:

  • He makes me laugh, whether it’s adlibbing lyrics to a song, being wacky with me, tickling me, having a water fight or jumping out at me :p he can always make me smile
  • He loves God, Mike doesn’t take God lightly, he continually encourages me to pursue God wholeheartedly,  he keeps our focus on God through prayer, bible study and discussing how we can better serve God
  • He is authentic, either Mike is all in or all out, he will always give you the honest truth
  • He prioritizes communication if I need to talk to him about something or there’s an issue we need to resolve he will deal with it on the spot
  • He loves kids, Mike is pretty much the greatest uncle ever to Maverick, it’s so obvious he loves the kid to death and he makes an effort to be part of his life even though there are an hour and a half distance between them <3
  • He pursued me and made it clear from the beginning that his intentions included marriage
  • He is  generous, kind and thoughtful, Mike is always willing to help those close to him or offer a helping hand, he considers the needs of those around him and responds, whether it’s delivering a TV, buying coffee,  making grilled cheese or charging my phone
  • He is chivalrous, this was one of the first qualities that endeared me to Mike, he would open my car door, carry groceries, warm the car up for me, turn on my seat heater or hand me a blanket when I’ve been cold
  • He has incredible insight, Mike loves to talk and I like to listen, Mike has this incredible ability to explain things and make them very understandable, he sees situations and people differently and his perspective has great wisdom
  • He’s my best friend

Happy Anniversary Babe! I love you <3

One Year: from dating to Engagement