IF I KNOW WHAT LOVE IS {Life Lately}

 

I stumbled across this quote a little while ago from the lovely Bridal Musings. Instantly it hit a chord with my heart. You guys know how dear to my heart I hold quotes but this one is a little more than just what meets the eye. I haven't shared this with you guys yet, but a little over two months ago, JD & I spent about a week apart. I let busy take over my life, my marriage and my home. I let flower scraps lay on the floor for far too long and checklists take over my life.  I let radio guest appearances, magazine features and blog collabs be more important to me than my marriage. I let seeing the end-goal become the only vision I saw. I didn't see that I was putting myself, my health and my husband last. This little boutique of mine has grown rapidly.. like times 100 in the last six months. My follower count, subscriber count and blog views became far too important to me. I didn't see how it was hurting him to see me sleepless, tired and not spending quality time with him. I needed a refresh - I needed to focus and find my heart again. I spent a handful of nights sleeping at my parent's house, and what I didn't do: was open up social media. I didn't care what anyone said or thought about the mess I created. All I cared about was finding my heart and Joe and us finding our way back to each other.

Six weeks. I took six weeks off of social media. I didn't open the apps, I turned off all notifications.    Those six weeks were amazing - I found I had time for things that fed my soul and heart and quit worrying about those perfect lighting moments and angles. The pictures I did take ? Were of our special moments together, big belly laughs and stolen kisses. I sleep now. No really, I sleep every night - like "wake up with a let's conquer the day spirit" My devotions are first thing in the morning followed by my workout and Foxylilpom walk. I set boundaries. My days off - are now truly days off. JD and I are closer and stronger than ever. Trust me we are so far from any version of perfect there is, but what came out of this little refresh was a renewed spirit and appreciation for my husband. There is nothing more important to me than my Faith and my husband and our marriage.  

I lost some followers. I say that and I have no shame in that. I don't worry about how many comments I get on my photos or how many new followers I get every day. I still take special care in curating my social media photos to align them with my brand, but I don't worry about sharing every single moment - or spreading news like wildfire. Don't get me wrong, social media has it's perks - I'm a big proponent of Instagram and building community - but I see & hear so many people using it to judge their quality of life and self-esteem. I actually stumbled across a funny post somewhere that said "calm down, Instagram is like monopoly money, it's not real". How sad and true it is. We can all take a pic, and spend hours editing it and only put online what we WANT the world to see, not what our lives are really like. Taking a photo after everything has been cleaned, vacuumed and perfectly arranged. I see that far, far too often. I want to take pictures of our home being lived in, loved on and real. A couch that has zillions of throw pillows all over the place because we'd rather sit close together with our legs intertwined and holding hands, rather than worry about keeping the $30 pillows perfectly fluffed. I want to take a picture of us out belly laughing over an inside joke from eight years ago, than sitting around a dining room table that has pictures perfectly hung around it. Life happens in the imperfect moments and to hell with perfection and posting a perfect life - I want to live, I want to laugh and hell I want to love with passion and fierceness.

I now know what love is. Love is not JUST loving someone with their flaws; love is loving someone enough to tell them truths - loving them enough to want the best from them and for them. I know love because my husband loves me enough to tell me truths so we can be closer to each other. He is truly my hero in every way. I share this with you so hopefully you don't make that same mistake - seeing the end-goal and keeping "your eye on the prize' is a must - but not if you bulldoze over all the things that are dear to you. Because you want to share that prize, whatever it is for you, with them. Happy Tuesday loves, from my imperfect heart to yours.

xoxo - C

Beautiful design above by the gals behind Bridal Musings.

REFLECTIONS {Greatness Starts with Gratitude}

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These last weeks have left my heart heavy and my mind overwhelmed. In our area a tragedy occurred  and as a police-wife; it is so difficult not to put yourself in those same shoes and think "what if?"  It's so easy to be pulled down by our shortcomings and the relationships and items we don't have - so today I'm reflecting on the things I see too many people taking advantage of, and sharing the everyday "it's a given to have" things I tend to forget to be grateful for.

 I'm grateful my husband came home from duty this morning. I'm grateful that just in the other room he is tucked-in tight under the covers. Every night he leaves me and walks down the driveway - could be the last night I ever see him. I'm grateful he hasn't been called away from home to help with the riots. As I sit here typing this today - a very close friend is in my beloved St. Louis is worrying about her husband who is dealing with the riots. My heart just breaks for her and has put my problems into focus.  Friends, whatever your problems are; be grateful for what it is you have; no matter how little it may be. The breath in your lungs is a gift.  Everyday God keeps us here is a gift. We all have so much to be grateful for.

 "In your might you guide them to your sacred home" Ex. 15:13

This is for all our loved ones who put on a uniform and risk giving up the most precious thing of all. This is for the wives, the family members, the children of our heroes, this is for me, and all the sacrifices we as wives and families make every day watching our loved ones walk away and not knowing if they will come home again. This is for all those heroes whose watches have ended too early. Hug your loved ones - hug your pet - tomorrow isn't promised.

- C

 

OUR ANNIVERSARY {2014}

It's our second wedding anniversary and although it  isn't epic by any means I want to celebrate it with all of my heart because it's the small victories that keep you motivated to the finish line.  This year we were both at the card store looking for cards and instead of buying each other a card - we just picked them out laughed a little at the goofiness of it and then decided to exchanged them right there in the card aisle. I want to start a new personal series for my husband because in the blink of an eye time passes and I don't want to ever forget to tell him how much he means to me and how lucky I feel everyday I get to be his wife.

Dear Joe,

Two years ago I stood by your side as we exchanged looks, rings and stefana crowns vowing before God to love each other forever and be true to one another until death do us part.  So much has happened these last two years - and so much more has happened over the last year. I still can't believe that we built our first home.  What's even more shocking is the plans we are making for our second home and the possibilities of starting a family. What shocks me the most is the simple fact that I started my own Company and have business plans for the next two years. You have been so supportive and loving through all these changes and have been incredibly giving; not only with your time and love but also financially. I am so grateful and feel so blessed to call you my best friend over the last 9 years, but more importantly to call you husband, these last two years. I will forever be grateful to fate and the Lord above who brought us together.  Still to this day I can't get enough of your touch and the simple pleasure of holding your hand and having doors opened for me. I hope we stay this way. Walking in the rain sharing your pockets, finishing each other's sentences with clips from Seinfeld, booty dances in the kitchen, singing in the shower and chasing each other while our furry child barks. I hope you continue to complain to me about the flower messes in your perfectly organized garage, tell me to pick up my clothes and makeup from the bathroom and keep asking me how much longer until I'm ready to go. I hope I never get tired of having you wake up on Saturday's to find me in the studio pouring over floral stems, or working by my side during set up and tear down of events and I pray that I never get enough of those ice blue eyes. I love you Joe - with every bit of every part of my heart. Happy Anniversary - Forever and Always

Greek Goddess