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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Currently - April Edition

Listening - John Mayer's version of Free Fallin' - I don't even really like him but I LOVE this.
 
Throwback Maroon 5 (thank you The Voice for reminding me that Adam has always been awesome)
 
Eating - How about trying not to? Before you get all worried about me and make sure I haven't developed some eating disorder, I'm still chubby have no fear. I'm just really really missing my old body so I am really working hard on eating healthier. 5am club is making a comeback!
 
 
Drinking - Zero water. Seriously it's the bane of my existence. Vanilla Diet Coke from Sonic is my most favorite right now. HOLLA for happy hour!
 
Reading - I just finished:
-Jesus Is ____ by Judah Smith. Best book I've read in the long time. He is hilarious and it's written very conversationally. He reminds me so much of my pastor.
-I've Never Been to Vegas, but My Luggage Has by Mandy Hale. Single ladies - I know you've heard of this one. Worth a read. I can relate to so much of her story. I'll be doing a post on it soon.
-The Dark Witch by Nora Roberts.  I've read all of Nora's books - not her romance ones (GAG) and I always love a new trilogy from her.  
  
Feeling - Hopeful. I have several things going on right now that have really just weighed me down. Things that feel major. Things that aren't easy to just shake off. Things that will take time to heal. Even though I am a Christian, things can still get the best of me. But through my relationship with God, I know that I am never alone. And really all I have to do is be faithful. Each day he renews his grace to me, and if that ain't worth shaking off your troubles then I don't know what is.
 
 
Thankful. On a happy note, one of my good friends found out she's 11 weeks pregnant!! This is after a year long battle of trying so hard to make this dream of hers come true. I had even offered to carry a baby for her at one point. We have spent so much time praying for this baby and I can't wait to hold it!
 
Weather - Well yesterday was a random fluke of snow flurries and 40-something in an otherwise 60-70's kinda springy pattern. Today it's back to sunny so I think I will live. I got my first sunkissed cheeks & shoulders of the year last Saturday at my cousin's softball tournament. I'm ready to be tan!

Wanting - Let's just always assume that I want a vacay. A personal trainer would be awesome too. I don't ask for much.

This is actually somewhere I'm looking at going in October! AAAAHHHHH! It's in Nicaragua
Watching -  I did a little DVR clean up over the weekend - I deleted all my series recordings for HIMYM, I've seen them all and it's time to move on. RHONY is one of my current guilty pleasures, I love me some Heather & Sonja (Hate Aviva!!!)
Can I just say again how much fun it is to waste time looking up gifs??? I'm obviously easily entertained!
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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

American Blogger - Your Story

Buckle up for a loooong post - consider yourself warned!
Have y'all seen this trailer for the American Blogger documentary? Take a minute to watch it and let's discuss...
  
If you're like me then you recognized some of these faces, and when you take a minute to look under the Meet the Bloggers tab, then you recognize even more of their names. Telling your story - your funny little day to day stories and your big life changing moments on your blog is such an important thing. People poke fun at bloggers, but they have no idea the friendships we form and how lasting they can be.
 
Blogging is hard to describe to people in your real life. I've told this story in some form before, but I had a friend who started a blog waaay back in 2006 because she was moving away. That was my introduction to blogging. It was a simple online journal of her journey. She had a couple girls that she connected with via the internet and I started to read their blogs too. I've always been a reader, but reading someone's first hand account of their life story seemed like such a cool concept to me. Then about 2011 I decided that maaaaybe I had a few stories in me to tell. I had no idea how to start, knew very little about HTML and it took me days to think up a name. But in it's own little way The Pink Growl was born. Through SITS girls and link ups, I began to meet girls, make connections and form friendships. We skyped, we emailed, we talked on the phone and sent each other gifts through the mail. It was a little strange, but at the same time fulfilling.
 
Not too long later, I got engaged. And my blog friends shared in my excitement. I had about 350 GFC readers at that point (give or take). I was caught up in a season of excitement and did posts about Our Love Story and wedding planning and really began to open up and share deeper parts of my story. My numbers began to grow because let's face it, girls love wedding talk. But I also ventured into talking about my mom being sick, and my mamaw passing away, my dad's by-pass surgery and other topics that I really just needed to blow off steam about. Then off a sudden in November 2012, my world fell apart when my engagement ended. My blog had grown into this portrait of a happy life as a future cop's wife, and now that identity no longer existed. I felt lost, not just in my day to day life, but in blog land as well. Where did I go from here? Most of the people I followed were in the same stages of life as I was and I couldn't bear to read about their wedding planning or marriages at that point. I did a breakup post, and was ready to shut this thing down.

Enter Kim, Cassie & Erin. These girls refused to allow to let me sink away into the darkness. They pursued me (for lack of a better word). They were relentless in sending messages of hope, love packages, and telling me their stories of struggle. Blogging is incredible y'all. You can doubt it all you want to, and that's fine. But these girls kept me going. I have tears welling up in my eyes right now just remembering how that felt to me. People in my real life were upset with me, choosing sides, saying hateful things about me and these girls were there to pick me back up - day after day. They were a source of strength for me at a time when I needed it most. I had my first blate with Kim & Cassie in Jan 2013, and the rest is history. I talk to them constantly. I've met their families, we've met each other's friends, they are a huge part of my life.

You find bloggers who inspire you and bloggers who are JUST LIKE you...ahem Manda! You "meet" girls who you have zero qualms about driving across states to hang out with. My dad still has a hard time with that concept...


My blog has since transformed into a place where I can tell you all the exciting things God is doing in my life, all my funny dating stories and throw out pictures of Luke Bryan until you are sick of seeing him (if that ever happens, we might not be friends anymore...). But my #1 goal is to keep it real. And real is NOT always an easy story to tell. Blogging has allowed me to document this life change - the good, the bad and the reeeeeally ugly - and it's pretty incredible to look back on. I'm kinda proud of myself honestly.

Basically what I'm trying to say is, I love blogging. Somehow you crazy people are interested enough in what I have to say to keep coming back every week. That's pretty awesome and I love you for it! So even when we feel like we aren't making a difference, we are. Even when we get stagnant and just do silly posts, people are still following our lives and reading our stories. TELL YOUR STORY!!

 
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Friday, April 4, 2014

32 Things That Make Me Happy - Linky

Linking up with my girl Sarah today for 32 Things That Make Me Happy -
let's keep it breezy on a Friday!
Venus Trapped in Mars

1. FRIDAYS!  Fridays are the first born child of the work week, and as the first born child in my family I can say those things.

2. Jesus. He's a pretty awesome dude.

3. French Fries. I'm chubby what do you expect?

4. Baseball season. hellllllllo baseball pants!

5. All things Real Housewives. I've tried to break this addiction (that's a lie, I've just tried to lessen it) but it ain't goin' no where!

6. Iced Coffee. Typical white girl status.

7. My baby brother - who will turn 24 in 2 weeks. Man I'm getting old!

8. A Workout That Makes Me Want to Die. Such a good feeling afterwards, not sure why I can't seem to remember that.

9. My iPhone. iPhone til I die.

10. Blog Friends. Seriously, y'all are the best. Probably better than some of my IRL friends honestly. Most supportive bunch of people eva!

11. Young Adult Books. Give me all your Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Divergent, Jodi Picoult, Lauren Oliver books. I'm a bandwagon jumper, what can I say? (also applies to TV shows, if people are talking about it, I gotta watch it)

12. Being Tan. Call me shallow if you will, but everyone looks better with some color.


13. Sports. I love em and won't apologize for it. Pretty much soccer is the only thing I don't watch. You know it's one of my THREE must haves that any boy I date loves sports like I do. Jesus, makes me laugh and sports. It's just a must. Bonus points if we like the same teams and the same sports talk hosts.
Just kidding, I want both :)
14. Cute Boys. DUH, not sure how many times I have to admit being boy crazy.

15. Pedicures. Got one yesterday - it's like I want to show my feet off to everyone now, which is oddly disgusting.

16. Not wearing socks.

17. Musicals. You know all Disney movies are musicals, right??

18. Hippos. I've always had a strange obsession with them.

19. Office Supplies.  

20. Bargains. I'm as cheap as they come.

21. 4th of July. My favorite holiday - combine sparklers, the lake and the love of America? Sign me up!

22. Patios. And we are definitely entering patio sittin' season!

23. Motivational Quotes. I can't help myself.

24. Verbal Encouragement. It's my love language.

25. Live Tweeting During Awards Shows.

26. All Things Southern. Comes with the territory.

27. History. I wanted to a history teacher for a long time. It's definitely something I am passionate about. I'm one of those nerds who wants to spend a vacay visiting Civil War Battlefields.

28. Hugs. I used to be a selective hugger, but now I want to hug everybody.

29. Yoga Pants. I'm not one of those girls who wants to be dressed up all the time. Yeah it's fun, but if I could wear yoga pants all day, erry day I would.

30. Walgreens. You would think it's my life's goal to spend my paycheck in that place.

31. East TN Happy Places. Norris Lake, the mountains, Neyland Stadium.

32. Lists. Like this one.

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

More Unsoliticed Dating Talk

Dating stories are my favorite, you know this. I always like to hear how other people are trekking in the dating world because let's be honest, it can be a jungle out there. I have so many stories that I want to tell you...but I can't really without giving up too much information. Let's stick with lessons learned. For some reason, I like to preach to y'all (I apologize for that, maybe it's just because I'm southern?) but here we go.

1. Rejection Sucks
I need this reminder just as much as anyone. I got myself a few hurt feelings veeerrrry recently. Let's just say I had plenty of boyfriend dreams for a fella who didn't exactly feel the same way about me. Rejection happens, it's part of dating. It can hurt a little, but you gotta dust yourself off and keep going. Just because someone is a great guy doesn't mean he's the guy for me. In fact most of the time, someone is going to have more feelings. Situations like this are a perfect reminder for me that the guy who is right for me, will make it fool-proof obviously clear that he wants to be with me. No heavy chasing required - on my part or his. 
One of my favorites from our engagement session waaaay back in 2012, feels like a lifetime ago
Photo courtesy Blush Creative Photography
I just wanted to keep it real and say I know that some days are just plain hard. You let this world bring you down and make you feel not good enough because you have been rejected on some level. You have to make the choice to view a mishap as part of the process to get you to where you are supposed to be. We all have a past. Some days I still think about Skye. I dream about him frequently. Some days I still want that life back. (I definitely want that ring back!) That life was easy, and rarely challenging. My broken engagement was the absolute biggest rejection of my life! Talk about feeling like a failure, the guy who promised to marry me decided he didn't want me anymore 5 months before our wedding. Trust me, if I can step beyond an 8 year relationship  to the sunny side of the street - then so can you. So yeah, rejection sucks but everyday I choose to keep going down the path God has planned for me.
 
2. Never Putting Yourself Out There Sucks More
I get scared. Scared to the point that I don't want to date at all. But I'm not going to find any guys magically appear in my living room while I'm binge watching Bravo (unless they are gay ones).

My compromise is to put myself out there just a little bit, if I'm interested. Flirt with him, or just suggest a date and see what happens. I'm not opposed to asking a guy out either, if I feel so moved. If you never put yourself out there because you're afraid of rejection, then really you aren't growing at all. You're stuck in a place of fear. Let your faith be bigger than your fears - not sure if I'm preaching to you now about dating or God, but either way roll with it. Dating practice gives you a thicker skin. But always remember your limits - like my 2 date rule. When all else fails, you can friend zone the crap out of him. I'm the queen of doing this, if you need assistance HA!

3. Boys Are People Too
They get nervous. They get excited. They can jump the gun and build things up in their head after 1 date. They talk to their friends about dates. They definitely talk to their friends about sex. They can feel shy. They can get depressed. They don't want to be rejected. They might need a shot of whiskey before a first date... Okay the more I continue with the list the more I realize that I really might be a guy!!! I think we tend to make them the villain sometimes, but for the most part they are a lot like us. Just maybe a little more simple minded :)
Even this guy, as beautiful as he is - he's still just a person too
Ok really I just wanted an LB pic...what is a Pink Growl post without one??

4. Trust That Spark
I told you the other day about my dad's dating advice for me "no hipsters". Really, he probably doesn't even know what a hipster means. To him it just means boys who don't play golf and wear skinny pants. Well that's kinda what it means to me too, except throw in certain hairstyles and music choices. Both of my parents (and plenty of people in my world) love to give me dating tips/advice. And while I appreciate it, it really doesn't matter. The heart wants what it wants. I could fall completely in love with a yankee hipster who has lots of tattoos and is scared of guns. That might be my dad's worst nightmare, but he could be the man of my dreams. I try to keep an open mind. I've gone out with plenty of guys who I had doubts about or wasn't traditionally attracted to. I'm not sure how else to say that I am holding out for "when you know, you know". To me personally, that feels like instant chemistry with someone from the first moment you meet them. In both instances of my serious relationships, I knew I wanted to do whatever it took to be with them before we even had a first date. I believe in that feeling with every fiber of my being. And once you know that feeling, you crave it. You want to chase it, but it's not to be chased. It cannot be developed, in my opinion. It's something that smacks you in the face so hard you fall to your knees. It makes you feel electric when you make eye contact. It somehow erases fear and allows you to go for it, even when your heart is about to knock a hole in your chest. Trust that feeling. Always follow your heart. When you know, YOU KNOW! I never want to hurt a guy's feelings, but after 2 dates if we BOTH aren't desperate to be together, then he's got to go.


These are just my experiences, based on my life and I am passionate about wanting to share this stuff to help people who are in my boat. I've been hurt, I've had slutty moments, I've been cheated on, I've been the one who cheats, I've had untruths told about me, I've been in love, I've done things that I am terribly ashamed to admit, I've lost myself in a relationship and found myself again. I am human, and I make mistakes. Small ones everyday and huge ones that I have to forgive myself for. Love talk can inspire strong feelings in all of us - some positive, some negative. Of course all these opinions are mine. You are 100% so inclined to disagree.
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