Saturday, November 5, 2016

No Coffee or Cream...just l.o.v.e.

So here I am. It’s a Saturday morning and I am finally sitting down to write my very first blog post. Blogging about my “life” is something that I have wanted to do for a few years, I just never had the nerve to do so. It wasn’t until recently when I found myself telling my best friend to do what makes her happy and post make-up videos to her Instagram account, that I realized I was being a total hypocrite. I was telling someone else to do what makes them happy, while I continued to fear the “what ifs” of starting a blog. So here I am…writing my first post. I will warn you… I love to use exclamations, I will probably use commas, periods, and any other type of punctuation incorrectly, and my grammar will be…well it is what it is…but hey, here it goes!

I thought I would start with a little post about l.o.v.e. I am 25 years old and have known what love is since I was 14. How did that happen? I have no idea. I ask God every day how I found love so young. I have seen others go through years and many struggles to find that one person who makes them happy. So how did I manage to find it so easily and at such a young age? By no means am I an expert on relationships or know the key to a perfect relationship. But I do know what is perfect, or imperfectly perfect for my kind of l.o.v.e. So here it goes…

Here is a picture from a few weeks ago. I had just come home from a long day of parent-teacher conferences and found this…yes the hamper is literally right there. I asked myself, “Is this a joke?” “Is he serious?” I asked myself many questions, but in the end I couldn’t help but just laugh.

You see this is something that I have dealt with for 10 (almost 11) years. My husband is a mess. Everything about him is a mess. And I am not kidding. So like I said I laughed. I could have cried, screamed, or started an argument over the fact that the hamper is literally right there, but I didn’t. Because what I have found is that sometimes you need to just laugh. Laugh. Yes, I will say it again…laugh. I am not saying to never communicate your feelings with your spouse, or push your feelings off to the side when something bothers you because that is just as important. And trust me, there have been many arguments in our house over housework (more on that to come). But what I am saying is that sometimes finding humor in the pure ridiculousness of your spouse is truly what reminds you of why you fell in love with that person in the first place. So I’ll say it again… in love, remember to laugh.

Ashley Shultz Photography
Now although I think it’s important to laugh, I think it is equally as important to open up, express your feelings, and communicate. I know, you’re probably thinking I am totally contradicting myself here. But I am not. I am starting to learn that I need to pick my battles, but I have also learned that being honest and expressing my feelings when necessary is just as important.

My friend once asked how my husband and I are always so honest with each other but never really “mad” at each other. I can honestly say that Donnie and I have always been very open with communication. It is just how our relationship has always been. However, we have, and continue to have bumps in the road that test how we communicate with each other.

The turning point for me was a few months ago… I was vacuuming, dusting, doing laundry, putting the dishes away, etc. etc. etc. all while my husband was sitting on the couch watching football. I kept telling myself that he will see me working and get up and offer to help. It will happen… I know it will. Well, it didn’t happen…

The normal cleaning turned into me banging dishes and slamming cupboard doors (I blame my mother for this trait), which then lead to me exploding. This was my freak out moment. And that is exactly what I did…I freaked out…and then I freaked out on my husband. During the freak out he says to me, “Why didn’t you just ask?” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Why should I have to ask? You should just KNOW to help me! (I think my words were “something” like that) But he was 100% correct. I should have just asked him to help me.

 At first, it annoyed me to “ask” my husband to do things around OUR house. But after a while, I didn’t have to “ask” as much anymore, and when I did have to “ask”, it didn’t really bother me. My husband is 100% real with me. He says it how it is and asks me about everything (even if the question is, well, dumb). He opens up and asks. I learned this about love. Your spouse is not a mind reader (even though sometimes you think they should be). Open up and ask for help, it’s ok. Chances are the next time you are doing that exact chore, your significant other will know what you’re thinking and take the initiative and help. Heck, they might even surprise you by starting the laundry and having dinner ready by the time you get home from a long day of teaching! In love, you need to open up and communicate.
Ashley Shultz Photography

Ok, so everyone knows that communication is important in a relationship, but with that I feel that you must value your significant other’s feelings as well. This is something I feel that Donnie and I continue to struggle with as a married couple. What I value and what is important to me, isn’t always as important to him and vice versa. However, I think the key word here is compromise. You have to give a little to get somewhere. Meet in the middle. Donnie could have easily denied my concern about the housework and continued watching his football, but he didn’t. He helped me with a few of the chores before going back to his game. I didn’t think I should have to “ask” my husband to do certain things around the house, but I knew I needed to in order for him to understand and value how I was feeling as well. Sunday has now become a football and housework day. The day is not fully dedicated to one or the other. And I think we can honestly say that the best part about housework and football is that we can now enjoy them together. In love, value your partner’s feelings and meet in the middle.

For my last section about l.o.v.e. I want to talk about my Nana and Pappy. My Nana and Pappy’s relationship was like no other. It was not perfect, times were hard, they laughed, they cried, they made memories with 5 wonderful children, and many grandchildren. They experienced the greatness of life and they experienced the horrible curveballs it likes to throw at you. 

My Nana passed away on December 2nd 2009. It was one of the most devastating days of my life. How could my Pappy possibly continue on without the love of his life? But he did. And I feel that he is stronger than ever before. My Nana’s passing showed me that true love doesn't end. True love is everlasting.

To this day my Pappy kisses a picture of my Nana goodnight. To this day my Pappy drives to the cemetery each and every day (even when it is snowing and we tell him not to) to see his “baby”. To this day my Pappy talks about how my Nana was the true love of his life and that he will never find a more perfect girl. My Pappy thought the world of my Nana and my Nana thought the world of him. They disagreed, they argued, and they experienced pain. But they fought for each other and they fought for everlasting love. They always, always loved each other first. They taught me that true love is everlasting.

Ashley Shultz Photography

So there is my first blog post. I am not an expert, but I do know that married life is quite the journey. Love is an incredible thing and my kind of l.o.v.e. is imperfectly perfect. My hope is that you find your imperfectly perfect love, too! 

Ashley Shultz Photography