In July I signed the mortgage for a new home. It feels pretty good. A new kind of adventure.
The end of one adventure is just the beginning of another.
We drove from Amsterdam to Berlin. Got a piece of the Berlin Wall. Went to catch my flight back to Oslo, Norway. Cried a little bit.
Okay, cried a lot.
It was an experience I would tell my children about (and anyone else who listens.) Its not as hard as it seems to do. Buy your ticket to Europe, and just go. Just do it.
You only have this one lifetime, whatever your “Europe” is – go for it. Everything that is holding you back is in your head. Where there is a will, there is a way.
Find your way.
I had first came across Sullivan Studios work whilst out on my daily Facebook newsfeed scroll. A mutual model friend between the two of us was showing off his great aim, exquisite angling, and brilliant Photoshop work in one of her pictures. I thought to myself, “Man, I would love to work with this guy.”
Usually I leave it at that. A thought. But then I decided, no – I really want to work with this photographer. I love his work. So I sent Sullivan Studios a message – and was greeted with a gracious reply. It was set then. Not the date, but the fact that we were going to work together. I was ecstatic.
The rest took a couple of months of planning and arranging the perfect date to make the drive to Dothan. Before I knew it though, it was an early morning and my mother and I got up, gathered my outfits and make up, and hit the road. It was the first time my mother was going to see me in action. We had a two hour drive ahead of us, but it was going to be worth it.
I love modeling; it’s dress-up for adults!
When we arrived we got straight to work. We tried to get as much as we could out of the short time we were there. Working with Sullivan Studios was as awesome as I wanted it to be. We did studio work, and improvised. The building he uses for his studio is fantastic. The fog machine and extensive wardrobe was a plus! The product he returned in no time, and I loved it. I look forward to working with him again in the future. I would definitely recommend him to others. Check out how you can set up your very own appointment with the Sullivan Studios here!
Marriage is hard.
I say this, and some of you are like, “Eh, I’ve heard that before. I get it… marriage is hard.”
Yet, it’s not something you truly get until you are married.
You can’t even begin to understand; what others have told you barely has scratched the surface of the hardships you’ll face. Lets look at this for a minute.
It is as if you are destined to marry the person who is the exact opposite of you. I mean, literally, you do everything different. everything.
One of you sits to pee, the other one pees in the sink. One of you can’t stand a house not to be clean, the other sometimes gets the clothes next to the hamper, if they hadn’t already stripped down in the living room. One of you needs your personal space, you can’t be bothered while you are in the shower. The other one asks you to define personal space, as they brush their teeth with your tooth brush while you’re in the shower.
That doesn’t even begin to uncover the differences.
You speak differently, hear differently, communicate different… You even eat differently!
So you’re both so different, and you’re now sharing a confined space you call “home”. However, sometimes it feels more like a war zone than a home. I did mention you argue differently too, right? One of you storms off to clear their head, while the other one needs to cling on for dear life and share their feelings. As if you weren’t going to come back when all was better…
You were going to come back, right?
It’s not like I could sit here and name every single difference you’d face. There are books out there that do a great job of preparing you, but nothing will ever truly prepare you for marriage. It’s like the saying, “You’ll never truly be ready to have kids.”
Except this kid is a grown adult who wants you to treat them with both the utmost kindness as well as baby them when they’ve made some seriously dumb mistake. And you do it too.
Why… Why do you do it?
Because after the battle is done for the day, as you pick up the pieces in the form of dirty clothes scattered throughout the house, you realize something. You become familiar with this person, one of the only people in the world you’ve told all of your deepest, darkest secrets too. The one who’s lifted you up when you were down, encouraged you while you were up, and laughed
at with you in between.
This person is your soulmate, made for you by God. Created specifically to both annoy the heck out of you and love you unconditionally. To both drive you crazy as well as grow you in ways never possible before.
Once in a lifetime love.
Sometimes you catch yourself questioning, “Why the heck did I say ‘I do’?!” and moments later (or sometimes days) you get reminded, “Oh that’s why.”
The good outweighs the bad, the love outweighs the anger, the joy outweighs the suffering. You just know, deep down, that this marriage is worth fighting for.
You’ll question yourself, you’ll ask why… Or for how long can you keep going like this? Then just remind yourself, with God anything is possible.
Make sure you are truly with God. Pray often. Be the kind of spouse you’d expect of the person your child marries to be. Remember, the Bible is the best self-help book ever written. Not the best your-spouse-needs-help book, if they pick it up and get it, they get it. You are called to love. Choose to love your spouse as they are, and if/when God chooses to transform their hearts you may truly deserve the perfected them.
Be the lover, the friend, the partner… After all, that’s why you got into this mess.
Be Christ-like, that’s what each of you need. Because…
Marriage is hard.
23,000 miles, 4,259 photos, 110 days, $9,500, 269 videos totaling 2 hours of footage, and a lifetime of memories.
What if I told you this trip cost us less than $.050 a mile?
This trip only cost us $0.41 a mile! No, that last one is a statement not a question. That’s for serious! Granted the trip was 23,000 miles long! It was definitely worth every penny! The trip actually ended up lasting 110 days. Our plans, though originally set almost hour by hour, changed to not knowing where we were going day by day. We didn’t skimp on things we really wanted to do like going to the aquarium in Atlanta or eating BBQ in Memphis. However, we did sacrifice on, in some instances, living conditions (though not safety) and when food was not a local specialty must-have we’d eat non-parishables we brought along from home.
We had a few road trip songs; I would say there are about 3 that really touched our hearts. Home by Phillip Phillips, Home by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, and Would You Go With Me by Josh Turner.
Fast forward to today…
Now we are just trying to find our place. Figure out what God wants for us in this new season. We are working on some books. Hashing out some business ideas. We’ve applied for an 11 month mission trip with the worldrace.org. We’ve applied for and gotten jobs. Entered back into the “real world” as some would call it. Though we will always remember when we blew a mattress up in our car to see if it would fit, spray painted cars, hiked through a national forest and came face to face with a gator, rode a ferry by the statue of liberty, put chains on our tires to cross the great divide, stayed with strangers and made new friends, rode a Gondola at Veil, watched whales migrate south, camped in our car, had an allergic reaction to poison oak, hiked 6 miles round trip into the second largest canyon, had coffee at the original Starbucks, visited the Baseball Hall of fame, chilled in a hot spring, climbed a fence to get a better picture of a leopard, tried to eat breakfast in Mexico, snuck into a golf club to shower, left my wallet in Vegas, traveled the USA in 110 days…