Seven – Memories

I haven’t wanted to write very much lately, but at the same time I’ve been writing more for myself than I have in months. So much has been going on lately and I’ve written six different blog posts that I didn’t feel were very good, or were far too personal to share. This is number seven, and I’m going to post the draft when my fingers are done playing on the keyboard.


I dyed my hair brown this weekend. Well, actually, my best friend who is the most talented hairstylist on planet earth dyed my hair for me, but my point being, I went from having a 29 year streak of being a blonde to turning into a brunette for the winter. I just needed a change and it was a semi-permanent hairstyle versus a very permanent tiny tattoo on my wrist, so the hair won by a landslide.

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Hair and makeup both by Audrey!

Sometimes when I feel like life is getting away from me and I can’t control things that are happening, I will find little things I can do that offer choices. I love doing my makeup when I feel anxious, or going out and meeting new people. I love learning, cooking, or honing in on a new skill to keep my mind busy.

This year I have a lot on my plate. Some things are exciting, others are not so great, but 2020 is definitely setting itself up to be a whirlwind. I thought a lot about choosing a word for the year. The past 2 years I had the same word — “fearless.” The year before that I chose “strong.” It didn’t look like I chose a word in 2016, but if I were to have picked one at the end of 2015 for that year it would have been something along the lines of “giddy,” “bright,” or “beautiful,” because that was the year I really fell in love.


Maybe it’s because it’s my time of the month right now, but I’m feeling pretty nostalgic, so I am turning back the hands of time by reading some of the old blog posts I stumbled upon. Writing is a cool thing because you see just how much you change over time. I’ve kept journals ever since I could write. I have dozens of books filled with incredibly boring entry after entry like,

“Went to school today, then got BBQ chips and a Slurpee at 7-11 after. Great day!”

or,

“Went to Nicole’s birthday party and they gave me a hamster to keep! I’m not good at holding him, though, because his feet tickle my hands too much.”

These journals are some of the most boring reading material of all time, but they make me smile because I remember a lot of the feelings I had behind the entries. I highly recommend writing down things that are on your heart, because in the words of Andy Bernard, “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”

We spend so much freaking time wasting our lives worrying or putting off loving others because we are too busy with the unimportant details. Life is so short, and my biggest fear has always been not having enough time to show people how valuable they are, how loved they are, and how big of an impact they make on the world just by being here. I truly think that there are so many people in the world who feel confused or lonely, and I wish we could all just come together and realize how not-alone we really are.

Back to Andy Bernard, though. I am quite certain the good old days haven’t come and left for me, but the sentiment I like behind the statement is that you need to enjoy every single moment of life, because you never know when that chapter of the book will close for you, and everything left is just a memory.

Some of my old blog posts make me cry. I get to go back and read about the third date I went on with my now-husband. I can read about funny moments we had together and remember the way he looked when I knew he was falling for me. I can read about how free I felt getting over a breakup, how much my family and friends mean to me, and all the really silly things I’ve done just to make other people laugh. I can still remember the pain of deployment without having to read about it, but my body feels numb when I read about pulling to the side of the road to catch my breath after seeing a blue F-150 on the road on a particularly difficult day.


This year I want my word to be “present.” I struggle with anxiety, so this is not an easy word to choose, but I want to learn how to appreciate little things in the moments where I feel like I can’t breathe because my mind is a million miles away worrying about something else. I want to give the best parts of myself to the people I love, and I want to give myself the best version of me. This is going to be a year of finally learning the things I’ve been dying to do, it’s going to be the year of reading books that make me a more dynamic person, and I’m going to try my absolute best to enjoy even the littlest things in life instead of letting the little things get me down.


Thanks to my writing I will always be able to pull up a little visual of what it was like falling in love, and remind myself that you can never appreciate a moment too much because one day it will just be a memory. This year I want to have stories that are worth remembering, but even more than that I want to have beautiful feelings to write about — whether or not that will be on here.

All That Glitters

I haven’t done a ton of updates on wedding planning, mainly because I’ve just been so busy actually doing it. You know how fun and amazing the movies make everything seem? Parts of planning one of the most special days is just like that. Sharing the experience of finding the perfect dress with my mom and best friend was magical. I didn’t cry when I first found my dress — until I stepped onto the pedestal in front of the mirror and my mom started to. It was the only one that made both of us tear up, and that was the moment I knew I had found my dress. Going back to get the final seals of approval and choosing a few accessories was just as much fun. I’ve loved going to wedding expos, touring venues, and being silly and saying, “I wonder what has happened to my fiancée? Oh, I have lost my fiancée!” while I still can. I’ve loved looking at bridesmaid dresses, figuring out what colors will go with my shade of white (Who else knew there are like, ten different words for “White” when planning a wedding?), and daydreaming about what Robert will look like in a tux.

The hardest part of wedding planning isn’t the actual idea of planning, though. I love researching and chatting with people, I love thinking about little details, and I love getting to hear how passionate the vendors are about their craft. The hardest part about wedding planning is all the freaking chronic pain that’s been getting in the way. I hate to complain, but I do want to keep everything as real as I can for all of you as I go through the ups and downs of life. This is, after all, a lifestyle blog. I have so many things to check off of my list every day and mentally I can fly through them, but when I sit down to send emails and scroll through pages of ideas on my Pinterest boards and wedding message threads, my arms fatigue a lot faster than anything else. Ever since I’ve gotten in gear my arms have been bad again. I have knots and tender trigger points, and I have had the burning sensations I haven’t experienced in over a year now. I don’t know if the crunchy stuff in my elbows is still leftover scar tissue or something else, but my lacrosse ball doesn’t ever fully relieve the pain anymore.

I’ve had to take a step back and ask for more help. My mom has been incredible throughout this entire thing, and she’s gotten several of the big things checked off our list. I’m kind of in awe at how wonderfully she puts things together and has researched to figure out what vendors we can use to make our day a little easier and more carefree when it gets here. My mom is a cross between an angel and a superhero; I’ve always known this, but getting sick with a chronic illness at 22 confirmed it for me. She’s taken care of me throughout the entire time of being sick, and always puts my needs above her own. I couldn’t imagine doing any of this without her, and am so thankful that she’s doing this alongside me. If it weren’t for her, I know we couldn’t have pulled off a fall wedding.

I think the frustrating part of planning is that I so badly want to be able to craft and write down every single thing I do and learn. I want to blog about it all, I want to have a really snazzy wedding website to share all the details with all of you, and more than anything I want to be able to create so many special moments for everyone who is coming to our wedding. I wrote a little draft about my dream wedding when we first got engaged, and the most important thing is that I want everyone there to feel really special and joyful too. This is all such a Krista-y thing, and I want every moment that day to be filled with a new surprise and something that will make everyone really happy. There are about seven million things I want to do, but I have to be choosy because of my energy level and pain. Surprises and events take a whole lot of planning to just get the basics done, and I never would have anticipated so much work is put into one day!

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So, now that I’ve shared the hard part about wedding planning, I’ll be excited to share all the things that have brought me so much joy. At the end of the day, this date is so much more than just a wedding. It’s the start of the rest of my life with Robert, and it’s just a really great way to celebrate with people we love and care about. I already know that there will be hiccups, I will be nervous to be the center of attention for a short bit, and that not everything will go according to plan. I know everyone says that a wedding is something a girl dreams about her whole life, but my dreams go so far beyond this beautiful fall day. Once September has come and gone, I know the real adventure has just begun. 

Hooking Up Is Easy

Dating is easy, hooking up is easier.

In a world that finds sex before it looks for love, we find ourselves settling for mediocracy. I can’t tell you how many young women I have spoken to who feel broken and confused from the dating world. They have tried desperately to find “the one,” but keep getting chewed up and spit out by the vicious cycle that is the hookup culture.

Neither men nor women are solely to blame for what dating has become. We have both played an integral role in shaping this new reality. If you want to have sex, you can download an app. Maybe the first few matches won’t oblige, but there are endless possibilities of people who are looking for the same casual encounters.

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Something that bothers me is the way people don’t have to work for intimacy anymore — at all. You can find someone you’re attracted to and swipe right. If you have a match who is on there for the same reasons, you have a near immediate hookup. People don’t have to court each other or even know each other to use each other to have a few minutes of pleasure. Our generation has been conditioned to want things quickly and with ease. When it comes to sex, we have both of those things. Whether it’s at the tip of our fingertips with porn or a “dating” app, this generation knows that sex is accessible for anyone at any given time.

You know what sucks about all of this? Something that is common and easy to get isn’t special. 

Sex isn’t special anymore because our virginity isn’t something that’s cool to hold onto, and because we’re taught that watching men and women have an intimate moment on a computer screen is normal and okay. We are taught from movies that even the goofiest of comedians who make a living on playing “social outcasts” on the big screen can get in bed with a sultry actress. Instead of alluding to the fact that couples have slept together, we watch it all play out on screen. We watch drunken hookups, naked women prance around the bedroom playfully, and lots and lots of casual sex.

When did this kind of media become the norm? Why does something with a story line as incredible as Game of Thrones feel the need to fill it’s airtime with nudity and excessive sex scenes? Like I’ve said before — it’s because sex sells. People lust over the flawless bodies they see on screen and are desensitized to this being an intimate, special act. Instead of sex being saved for someone you really care about, it’s thought of as a purely physical act of making both parties “feel good” temporarily.

Having sex so available in the world hurts real life relationships. Instead of seeing your partner for how perfectly imperfect she is and having eyes and a heart only for her, other bodies are tossed around like confetti. They are stuck under the glow of faux candlelight, flaunted in front of a captive audience, and teach that it’s okay to look and lust, just not touch.

I strongly believe your body is your own, and you should be able to do what you want with it. I’m not buying the bullshit that casual sex isn’t hurting the greater population, though. I think it leaves us brokenhearted, confused, and hurt more than anything. Casual sex might not be something that you think hurts you until it’s already affected your life. Whether you meet someone you love more than anything and wish you hadn’t given so much of your own body to others before, or you realize that sleeping with someone didn’t fix the problems in the bond you have with someone, regret is often a symptom that comes with casual sex.

I want to encourage you to make decisions for yourself. Don’t buy in to the fact that “everyone” is hooking up, don’t listen to the man who tells you that if you were into him you would want to give him pleasure, and hold tight to your own morals — even if everyone around you appears to be doing the same things. It isn’t easy living differently in such a sex-saturated world. I promise you, though, at the end of the day you will never regret not having a casual encounter with someone, whereas the regret that can come after a hookup can be life-changing. Our hearts are built for love, they’re created to attach, and it’s normal to want to have a personal connection with the person you’re sleeping with. Don’t let society tell you that you’re weird for wanting these things. Sex is such a beautiful thing, but if it’s given away at every fleeting desire, it becomes something that, by definition, isn’t special anymore. How different would life be if we thought more about the really incredible person we are going to end up with, rather than giving in to the temporary desires of our bodies? What would the world be like if instead of saying its “just” sex, we taught the next generation that it’s actually an incredibly intimate and special action that should and does have feelings attached to it? I might be in the minority, but this is something I think we should start teaching our children and encouraging in our peers. Sex is a special thing, and you aren’t wrong in saving it for someone who means something to you.

You Are Meant To Be Here

You know what’s such a mindblowingly amazing thing? There are 7.4 billion people in the world, and God decided He still needed you here. That’s how absolutely special you are.

Like, He thought about it and decided that we need a “Krista” somewhere on this earth, and He has a great purpose just for me. I can’t even really wrap my mind around that, other than the fact that I try my best to make a positive impact on those I come into contact with every day… Because maybe part of my purpose of being here on this earth is to help touch an individual — or a group of individuals. I don’t know what my big purpose in life is, but I do think I have a bunch of small reasons I am here and valuable to others, which are just as important.

There is absolutely a purpose each and every one of us is here, and my hope for you is that you realize that and continue to work toward whatever it is that makes your heart beat fast. I know for me that some of the scariest things I have done have been the most rewarding. The writing that makes me the most nervous to post on here is what really moves people and makes them feel less alone in the world. At the end of the day, I believe that’s one of the biggest reasons God created me — to help others realize their heart might feel a little broken sometimes, but that our Creator can heal them and put them back together again. It’s okay to feel lost in a broken world and as long as you keep pushing forward something beautiful can come from heartbreak.

Keep going, and never forget that you are loved, and that YOU MATTER. I can’t say that enough. You matter, you are loved, and you belong here.

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Behind The Scenes Vs. Highlight Reels

One of my last posts was all about comparison when it comes to body image, but today I want to talk about comparing your love life to others’. Valentine’s Day was just a few days ago, and I absolutely loved seeing all the posts with pretty things, sweet words, and romantic gestures. I also always look forward to the single posts about treating yourself or having friends as Valentines. It has been my favorite holiday since exchanging little notes and mini candy bars in grade school, and I prepare for the holiday the same way many do for Christmas.

This year Valentine’s Day fell on a really bad day for me. I had a bunch of doctor’s appointments, including an evening one that went until 7:30, and I didn’t have much of an idea of when I would be finished beforehand. Since I knew I would be absolutely exhausted, I told Robert I wanted to keep things low key and that we’d just have to play things by ear the evening of and do something for Valentine’s the following weekend.

As the day went on, though, and I kept seeing how people were celebrating I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of jealousy. Ahhhh, no, I thought. Am I really starting to compare my day to what I am seeing on social media? I’ve always been pretty level-headed when it comes to taking everything I see with a grain of salt, but I guess my deep love for Valentine’s Day was beginning to get to me. It didn’t help that I had gotten bad news in the middle of the day (I have to protect the privacy of the person involved so will not be talking about it), so I was kind of cranky.

Poor Robert, I thought as I realized there wasn’t much of a chance he’d win the day.

I regretted my decision to not celebrate on Tuesday, and although I was genuinely happy for my friends who were going on super-fun dates that night, I wished that would be me too. I wished I would have canceled one of my appointments, and I wished I would’ve just chosen to have a normal day of celebrating, rather than feeling sick after my physical therapy appointment. I had become the girl we all giggle at — the one who says not to worry about doing anything, but doesn’t really mean it. Yes, I had meant it at the time, but who would have thought my mind would change so fast?! Oh, that’s right. Anyone who has been in this situation before would have known. Now I know what that “crazy” girl feels like and why people always advise guys to ignore whatever they say. There was a hilarious episode of The Kane Show on Valentine’s Day about guys who listened to their girlfriends about not wanting to celebrate this year, and then regretted it because the girls all of a sudden flipped a switch and wanted to do something. Apparently I was not the only one.

Anyway, I wanted to talk about this because my Valentine’s Day post got over 100 likes (Which is a decent amount for my social media accounts), and everyone knows I have a boyfriend and am not celebrating alone this year. From an outsiders perspective, I have it all going for me, and I was one of the people who had the “perfect Valentine’s Day.”

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The problem with our generation and social media is that we are comparing our own “behind the scenes” moments — hardships included — to other people’s highlight reels.

We have these expectations of life that are completely unrealistic because we are so used to seeing perfection in the online world around us. Life is not perfect, nor is love. They are both beautiful, but a big part of that is learning to love one another through the imperfections and rough patches.

Now, just to be clear, Robert did take me out to dinner and did give me a very sweet Valentine’s Day present. One thing I do really love about him is that he treats me so well every day of the year, so I do think he’s hard to beat for a special occasion. This post isn’t at all bashing the evening we had together, rather I am trying to make a point that you absolutely cannot compare your own very real life to the lives you see crafted online.

Today’s lesson: I said it in my last post, and I’ll say it again. “Comparison is the thief of joy” (–Theodore Roosevelt). The more you can live in the present and focus on yourself, the more you will learn to feel content with what you have, rather than longing for things you do not have.

Exhausted

Guys, I’m really tired. In so many different ways.

First, I’ve been fighting something off and on for awhile now. I’m so thankful it hasn’t been anything bad, but it really is draining my energy. You know when you just feel weird, but can’t put your finger on what’s up? That’s where I am.

Second, this project I’ve been working on is so tiring! When I want something I really put my whole heart into it, and I want nothing more than to have an incredible surprise for when Robert is home. He isn’t that fond of surprises (He tried to talk me out of it when I told him I was doing a little Valentine’s Day planning and that he would need to delete his social media accounts, but I suggested it was in his best interest), but I think this one would be something he’d LOVE.

Third, having a chronic illness means I’m almost always mildly to incredibly exhausted. I can’t sleep at night and it’s physically and mentally exhausting getting through the tough POTS days.

Lastly, I’m just so darn tired of waiting. This deployment has drug on and on and on (times a million), and I’m just really ready for Robert to be home. I will have to write about the stages of going through a deployment so those who haven’t done one can better understand, but I feel like the final chapter would be titled “endless.” Like, when I found out it was just over a month until he would be back I was STOKED. I felt so excited and like it was actually real that he’d be back soon! Now that it’s been awhile, I’ve settled back into my normal routine and don’t feel the same sense of excitement. I feel like if I could knock it into my brain somehow to realize that he will, in fact, be home soon, I would be overjoyed! I just feel like it’s been such an up and down, crazy journey that it doesn’t feel very real that he’ll ever be back. I love him very much, and I love just getting to talk on the phone, but I miss being able to go out and have experiences together. I think that is an important part of a relationship, and it’s been a really long time since we’ve been able to do that.

Just a little bit longer, Krista. I’m going to keep telling myself that until I believe it. Maybe I never will until he’s actually home, but I at least have that to look forward to!

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Army Tags Are My Most Valuable Piece Of Jewelry

I have a journal that I write in every day of the year. It asks me a different question every day and it’s been really fun seeing the different answers I have each year — I’m always surprised to find how much I have grown in 365 days.

Last year I wrote “my Macbook Air” as my most valuable material possession. This year without skipping a beat, I wrote “Robert’s dog tags.”

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His dog tags are special to me for so many different reasons. First, they remind me of our time in Richmond at his deployment ceremony. He was packing all of his bags and turned to me with a smile and handed me his tags. I looked at them and thought they were cool, then he asked if I wanted to keep them. I teared up; I hadn’t ever had a boyfriend who was so excited to give me something of his before. I had asked for a sweatshirt or two, but never wanted to be too pushy about stealing a guy’s stuff.

Another reason I love them is because they were the dog tags he got when he joined the military 8 years ago. They’ve been through a lot of training and adventures, and I feel like I have a piece of him while he’s gone. When I first got them I proudly jingled around the house until I picked up a pair of silencers. Robert has given me some beautiful jewelry, but this is by far my favorite piece.

They’re something I keep safe next to my bed and fall asleep with in my hand at night. I know it’s weird holding onto two pieces of cold, clunky metal, but to me they’re a lot more than that. They’re a little piece of someone I love very much. It almost feels like a friendship bracelet, as I have these pieces and he has his own pair with the same information on it.

I read the material I already know by heart when I miss him; seeing his name and numbers makes my heart warm. Wearing the dog tags make me feel strong and like I can handle just one more day. When you’re doing a 9 month deployment that’s all you really can do. Take each day as it comes to you.

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I do think Robert has better taste in jewelry than I do, though… This was my birthday present this year!

We only have a few months left, but they feel like an eternity. I’ve been a pro at long distance relationships for awhile now, but this is different. Going on a deployment isn’t for the faint of heart, but being left at home for one isn’t either. I have so much respect for military families, and keep all of the soldiers and their loved ones in my prayers now.

Thank you to those of you who risk your life or the life of a loved one for this country. You are amazing, and the reason America is the land of the free and the home of the brave. God Bless.