Thursday, October 29, 2015

My "Unperfect" "Wedding

By the time I post this, I'll have been married 3 months to the day today. Honestly, I always imagined myself getting married young and being a wife, but in the last few years after the turmoil and heartache and trouble I let myself get into, I decided that enough was enough and that I wasn't going to get married until I graduated college and had a plan for my life. I wasn't going to let a man define me and I was going to be my own person. Well, that all happened so quickly.

My journey to self discovery came fast and I quickly found myself in a spot where I was secure enough in knowing who I am and who I want to be, that apparently that was a sign from heaven that I was ready to get married and my eyes were opened to Chris. Now, if you've seen our wedding blog, you'll know our story but in case you haven't you can read it HERE.

Anyway, things happened so quickly and I can hardly believe that I got married 3 months ago. I never would have even had the  hope to believe that I'd be married to my best friend this soon in my life. I'm only 21 years old, for heavens sake.

I guess that for anyone at any age getting married, there can be a lot of doubt or uncertainty, and for me the voice of my friends back home and even some family asking if I'm sure that I want to get married so young rang strong in my mind. I knew in my heart that Chris was my person. He's the one I want to spend eternity with, but being as anxious as I am, I worried. I worried that after two years of friendship, I didn't know him well enough. I worried that I wouldn't be a perfect wife and that it wasn't financially smart (yes, I heard that one many times) to get married so young. I worried a lot and by the time we had traveled to the wedding, I had given myself a stomach ulcer from the stress.

I cried ten minutes before I got married because my best friend decided not to show up, I almost passed out during our wedding ceremony because I was in so much pain, I was 30 minutes late to the reception and found out that our reception photographer didn't show up and of course all of the small things didn't go as I wanted them to.

I watched my beautiful friend's wedding video tonight and cried my eyes out. She was so perfect. She was beautiful and her husband was perfect. Their reception was a fairy tale.  She had everything I wish I had at my reception. I was jealous. I was completely.

I never remember being the type of girl who planned and dreamed of her wedding but once I did start planning, I knew what I wanted but I knew compromises had to be made because we couldn't afford to pay for everything I wanted.

I'm very thankful to my parents for everything they did to make my wedding happen as closely to what I wanted, but it wasn't perfect. I didn't have the perfect wedding that I wanted, and I didn't have the perfect reception, or the perfect hair or the perfect makeup, but what I did have was my best friend as my husband.

I had my amazing family and friends there to celebrate with me. I had a beautiful dress that I still want to wear every single day of my life. I had friends and family help transform a dreary old church gym into a beautiful reception site and I had friends that I hadn't seen in years show up to surprise me.  I settled for a lot in my "unperfect" wedding, but some things I didn't settle for were (1) the man I married, or (2) the family I married into, or (3) my family who did everything they could to make my day as perfect as they possibly could.

So even though I sometimes get jealous over my friends' receptions or dresses, I know I didn't need that $8000 reception venue, that $900 dress or that $1700 photographer to make my day special. I know my wedding was beautiful. I was beautiful because  I loved my dress, I loved my hair and I loved my reception. Life is not money. It is the memories you make and the people you hold dear. And my day was just that. Filled with the important people and the important memories.
PS- Shoutout to the AMAZING photographer who did our engagements and our formals. Kendra Handy is AMAZING and you can find her website here and her Facebook page here

Friday, September 25, 2015

To The Girls Who Made Fun of Me in High School

It's been a little over 3 years since I graduated high school and after I graduated, I moved out to Idaho for school. That's almost 1,800 miles away from my home. I didn't move to get away from the bullies or the mean girls. I moved because I wanted to. I moved so far away because I love traveling. I'm moved away because I wanted to get away from the people I went to high school with and meet new people. I moved because Kentucky had nothing left to offer me.

There was one particular girl in high school that was not necessarily mean to me, but she had no problem laughing at me when I messed up or when I came to school looking less than HER best. I complimented this girls' daughter recently and she was shocked. She said "You' nice" I didn't know what to say. I mean, she was genuinely shocked that I would be nice to her. She said "Why was I always so mean to you in high school? You're actually a good person." Well, I knew that the whole time and I'm just sorry that it took you this long to figure it out. We could have been good friends.

I understand now why you made fun of me in high school.

I understand why you and your friends and other "popular girls" were not very nice to me. I get it now. It's not because you were insecure - at least, I don't think you were. For all I know you had a lot of insecurities but we weren't close enough for me to know that. You made fun of me because I was an easy target. I wasn't "uncool" or "unpopular" but I was an easy target and I made myself so. I was nice to the people that a "popular" kid wouldn't be nice to. I was an easy target because I had all these religious beliefs that you didn't understand. I was an easy target because I was awkward. I wasn't sure of myself like you seemed to be. I didn't know who I was but I did know that I didn't care about TRYING to be the "cool kids" friend and trying to sit at their lunch table. I guess for some reason that irked you. I guess that the fact that being in the "in group" didn't appeal to me, drew your attention to me because you were so used to everyone trying to impress you and be your friend.   

You might not want my forgiveness and you probably don't even care and I might be presumptuous to give it to you, but I just want you to know that I get it now. It hurt at the time but knowing that I had real friends who actually cared about me and didn't make fun of me for my faults and insecurities, it didn't really matter in the long run. I understand. But now you have a beautiful daughter and you seem to have a good life going for you. I'm happy for you because of that. 

So, everything is okay.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Very Different, Very Happy Mother's Day.

My mom is an amazing woman. She has always been the greatest example to me. My mom deserves the moon and all the stars.
I never appreciated my mom until I was a senior in high school, but I never knew how much I loved my mom until I left for school 1,700 miles away from her.

My mom has been a strength to me my entire life. She has always been two shoulder to cry on, a hug to embrace, hands to feed, a mouthpiece  to advise and a friend to laugh with.

My Mom has always been there to comfort me from when my best friend in middle school decided she didn't want to be my friend anymore, to helping me decide what I want to be and who I want to be when I grow up, to helping me stay sane while planning my wedding.

She has always been a support to me when I wanted to start sewing, when I wanted to start dancing, when I was absolutely terrified to sing an Amazing Grace solo at my senior year choir concert, when I wanted to change my major and when I decided to marry Chris along with countless other times.

My mom never made my decisions for me, even when I wanted her to so I wouldn't have to, but allowed and expected me to make my own choices, knowing (even when I didn't) that I'd choose the right path.
My mom has always been my best friend but she always was my mother first and foremeost which I am so thankful for. At times that I wish my mom would have just been my friend rather than my mother was when I needed her to be my mother most.

She helped raise six strong, intelligent, beautiful, and talented daughters (I'm a little bias toward my sisters' characters) and for that I am ever grateful. The ability she has to support all of us, her sons-in-law, her grandchildren and her husband (who is only in the country every other month or so) and do it with a smile even when life is hard, is truly inspiring and I am so lucky to be her baby.

My Mommy will never and could never be replaced by anyone in the entire world. I always miss her and when I do get to see her, it isn't enough time. I love my mom so much and I could never begin to explain how thankful I am to her for all she has done for me. I can only hope to be as amazing, strong, beautiful, kind and selfless as she is.

This Mother's Day marks the first year for the rest of my life that I get to thank not only my birth mom and not just one mother in law, but two, for being amazing examples of strong women.

I'm getting married in 80 days to the best man that I've ever dated. Normally, when getting married, a girl gains a mother-in-law, but I get the opportunity to have two mothers-in-law.

Myra, Chris' step-mom, is a sweet woman. She loves her children and her step-children with everything she has. She accepted me when we first met and for that I am so thankful. The love and welcome I felt was comforting and I am so happy to be marrying into such a wonderful family. Myra loves her family and it is obvious to anyone that she would do anything for them. She helped bring into this world four beautiful spirits that I get to have as younger siblings (I finally get to have younger siblings!) She is an amazing woman who I am so excited to get to know a little bit better.

Chris' mother, Kelly, is not someone that I've had the pleasure to meet and someone I won't have the opportunity to meet in this life. As much as I wish that I could have met her before her time on this beautiful earth was up, I know what an amazing mother she is. I see the influence and impact she had on Chris everyday. I know by the way he talks about her, that she was a strong, beautiful woman who loved her family.
 Even though I don't get to meet her in this life, I know that she is part of the reason that I get to be happy for eternity. She brought into this world, my future sister-in-law and brother-in-law, and the wonderful, handsome man I get to marry for time and all eternity and for that I am eternally grateful. I love hearing stories of her life and I love hearing about the type of mother she was. I can only hope that she would love and accept me into her family. I cannot wait to meet her one day.

A Few Words from Chris:
Motherly Tribute

"This day always comes and goes, every year, intermixed with busy schedules, the typical social media posts and,phone calls made across the world. This year, as Mother's day is finally here, I want to take some time to truly reflect on the importance of mothers as a whole but also focus on my own mother and what she has taught me.

My mother, Kelly, has been a huge influence in my life. She raised me to be who I am today and has shaped a lot of the decisions I have made in my life. People always say you don't know how good something is until it's gone and I truly feel this way about my mother. She passed away over 10 years ago, yet, everything she taught me in the 14 years I had with her has brought me to where I am now. Sure, some people may feel sorry for me, that such a tragedy occurred to my family at a very critical age and I simply respond with, "She is still teaching me things and shaping my future and always will because I am her son."

Mother, I am so proud and extremely grateful to have had one here on Earth. I am so thankful for the morals and things she has taught me in my life and the knowledge she has given me I continually use each and every day. But mostly, I am grateful that she brought me into this world and loved me with a love only a mother could have for her child. Thank you mom, I love you!!"

This Mother's Day, I am so thankful to all the women in my life who have ever been like a mother to me and I'm so thankful to my Mommy and to my future mothers.  I hope all women, mothers, future mothers, hopeful mothers, and even those who aren't sure that they want children, know how special and loved they are.

I am so excited to one day join the amazing Motherhood Club and hopefully raise my children with as much love as my mother raised me and my sisters.

"All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother." -Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Let's Be Honest: My View of Love Has Been Ruined

The other day, I was describing my view of love to a friend of mine from home (Kentucky home) and she told me that it has been ruined. She said "love should be exactly the fantasy you can dream up and even more and if it's not that, you need to keep looking. Don't settle for someone less than your prince." My prince? Yeah, I'm not a modern day princess and my life is not a picturesque fairy tale. I'm not looking for a prince, I'm looking for a man that can love me for me.

 I grew up in  VERY loving home with parents who loved me and my sisters. I was very blessed to have been raised in a family where divorce was never an option. Of course my parents had arguments, as any normal married couple would, but there was never any infidelity or separation or whatever else the world has to throw out as option for a couple who believe they "just aren't working out".  Even though my parents loved each other and I grew up with the example of a healthy relationship, my friend was right, my view on relationships and dating HAS been ruined.

Okay look, don't feel sorry for me. I don't write this to get sympathy votes, it's just the way it is for me. My view on relationships and love has been ruined by many a failed relationship. Ever since I started dating at age 16, it's been failed relationship after failed relationship. It didn't really matter much to me in high school, but 3 years into college, I have to use both hands to count the amount of times I've been dumped, lied to, or used as a stand in for someone better to come along.

Recently I decided to take a "break" from dating so I can focus on school, church, work and myself. No dating drama. Seems pretty easy, right?  Well, this actually isn't an easy feat for me (easier said than done) because I like going on dates and meeting new people. I enjoy getting to know people and I don't like saying 'no' because I know how hard it must be for some guys to ask girls on dates. So when a guy I met last semester, let's call him Sam, asked me to watch a movie with him, I was in a really tough spot but I couldn't say no. The first time I met Sam it was through a mutual friend. When I saw him, I instantly thought he was really cute, but never did anything about it because I thought he was taken. About a week ago I found that he wasn't dating anyone. We started talking on our own instead of always waiting for me to be invited to a group activity that he would be at. It's only been five days since this spark caught flame, but here I am waiting for the fall out.

Honesty is very important to me. I don't want to hear all the reasons why you think I'm a "great girl" or why you're  "sorry that there was confusion," just be honest and the whole world will keep on spinning, and my heart WILL keep on beating. If you don't like someone that likes you, tell them that. Do it nicely, but do it. Dishonesty is one of the HUGE reasons why I'm more inclined to deny a relationship. I don't want to be lied to. Who does? Dishonesty scares my very soul. If you can't love me for me, I don't want you to love me at all.

 Really, though, if I'm being honest (ha, get it?), I can be very insecure and what dating has taught me so far is that I'm not enough this, or I'm too that. I used to believe in the whole 'fairy tale love story' that movies put out there for little girls to grow up hoping to have some day, but I don't anymore. I've learned that it doesn't work that way. Seriously, though, dating has taught me to wait for the spark to die out, to jut sit around waiting for the day that he gets bored of me, to wait for the day that someone better (no matter how good of a girlfriend I am, no matter how honest and real I am) comes along and I'm left sitting between Point A and Point B having to trudge my way all the way back to that starting point. Again and again this has happened...and I, well, I have gotten used to it. I'm realizing that I EXPECT it now. How sad is that?

It's pretty sad if you ask me.

Look, my view on relationships is a little bit of a negative one, but that doesn't keep me from actively looking for the person that will treat me differently the next time around. I don't expect someone to miraculously change me, and I don't expect some fairy-tale "knight in shining armor" to save me. I'm doing my best to change my view on relationships and I do that by meeting people who make relationships look real, instead of like some fantasy world that only the most happy, perfect people are allowed in to. I spend less time trying to dream up this fantasy man and pray more to find someone who has a lot of patience, because heaven only knows I have to marry a patient man. I spend less time worrying about having a boyfriend, and more time trying to be a better daughter of God, a better sister, a better friend.

My view on relationships isn't perfect and it can be a little bitter sometimes (welcome to almost every single, 20-something, hopeless romantic's life) but I won't apologize for that. I am not in any way atni-love or anti-relationships. In fact, I absolutely love the idea of relationships and falling in love, and getting married. I LOVE the fact that two people who love each other can spend the rest of eternity together, even after death. Just so you know, I WANT a relationship. I WANT to find that person who is going to help make me a better woman. I WANT to find the love of my life, and I'm working on it, I'm just slowing down a little bit. So, to all those people at home who ask my Mom every week if I'm married yet: Nope, I'm not and that's okay. I will be eventually and I promise to let you know when I finally get to say 'I do' to that special man.

My view of love has been ruined, but mostly my view of love has just become more realistic and mature.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Have Patience with Yourself

If you don't attend Brigham Young University- Idaho, you probably don't know that every Tuesday at 2pm campus shuts down for a weekly, hour-long devotional. This devotional is given by a wide-range of people, anyone from the Student Activities Director on campus to a member of the Seventy might be asked to speak to the students of BYUI.

A couple weeks ago, Elder Bradley D. Foster, a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, addressed the school and gave a heart-filling devotional.

On Tuesdays, I get off work early so that I can participate in these devotionals. Lately, I have been muddling through each week's devotional because I'm tired, or hungry, or I haven't prepared myself to hear what is being said. This particular week, I ended up sitting alone because my roommates didn't go, my sister was sick, and the friend I had been sitting with recently hadn't really said anything about it. I wasn't really in the mood to sit alone, but because I was so tired, I sat down hoping that someone would show up to sit next to me, but nobody did.

Even though I sat alone, how grateful am I, that I chose to stay and listen to the words of this man. His talk resonated deep within me and I felt that he was speaking directly to me.

Elder Foster spoke about trusting in the Lord's plan for us. His words hit me hard as he spoke about being patient with yourself and your life.

If any of you reading this blog know me, you know that this past year has been an emotional roller coaster for me: so many highs and many, many terrible lows. I began scolding and blaming myself for the things that were happening to me, for the friends that I lost, and for all of those emotional lows. I questioned the plan that the Lord had for me, asking

 "Why, if I'm doing everything I should be doing, is this not happening for me?"
 "Why am I having such terrible luck?"
 "How long is it going to take to prove myself?"
 "Why can't I keep a relationship for longer than a month?"

And the worst question of all:

Hearing Elder Foster speak gave me a new outlook on my so-called "bad luck". I don't have bad luck, I'm just impatient. I romanticize the life that I want which only brings self-doubt and loathing when the things that I want to happen, don't happen.

The Lord has a plan for me. I remind myself of that every day and it's easier to be friends with that ex, mend a lost or broken friendship, and love the life I am currently living. If you have ever asked yourself, any of the questions that I hounded myself with, I want you to know that there is nothing wrong with you, you don't have bad luck, and you don't have to prove yourself to anyone but the Lord. He is the one who has the plan for you, who knows you best, and who shows you unconditional love every day, even if you don't see it.

I have always been a firm believer that you cannot plan the outcome of your life. You can plan and sort and perfect every detail of your life, but at the end of the day, the Lord has a plan for you and that it is what matters. I believe in being prepared and having goals and gaining experience in this life, but really, we can't control the outcome of our life and we have to trust that the Lord has something planned for us. He has not forgotten about you.

So, thank you, Elder Foster, for helping me understand that having patience with myself is the BEST thing that I can do for myself.

Friday, December 27, 2013

To the Bride and Groom...and My Best Friends

My best friend got married today.
She made the biggest decision she's ever had to make in her entire life (so far) and married Vincent.
This day was full of joy and bliss for her, her husband, her friends and family, and for me.
It was, however, tinged with a little bit of sadness for me.

Although it is the beginning of a new family that was sealed for time and all eternity in the Lord's temple, it marked the end of a time when I had my best friend as a roommate. Haley has been there for me through so much. I know I've already blogged about her once, but I think she deserves another blog post. Her parents treated me like part of their family and they never let me forget how thankful they were for me. I hope that I have let them know how thankful I am for their hospitality and for raising a daughter who loves others so much and so easily. She has been the greatest friend to me and it saddens me to know that she will never be my roommate again, but it does make me happy to know that she will be living with a man who will love her and protect her and be her constant companion for the rest of time.

Although this sealing between Haley and Vincent means that Haley will be able to be in the sealing room when it is my turn to be sealed to my husband, I wasn't be able to witness hers.  I wish so much with all of my heart that I could have  been in that room with her and Vincent, her family, his friends, and their loved ones, but I couldn't, and that makes me sad. I know that it isn't important for me to be there, but I wish I could have been. However, because she will have already made those Temple covenants, she will be able to witness my sealing.

Although Haley and Vincent are so in love, their love spikes a little bit of jealousy in me. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE how in love they are,  but I am also jealous of their love. They are each others absolute best friends and she is the first person that I've had the opportunity to witness in the process of falling in love. I can't help but feeling anxious for the day that someone looks at me the way Vincent looks at Haley. I can't help but feeling anxious for the day that I get to go through the temple with my very best friend for the first time to make covenants with the Lord. I can't help but feeling anxious for the day that I get to be sealed to my best friend for time and all eternity.  I am so happy for them, and also jealous for my own selfish reasons.

Haley has taught me to be strong and true. She has taught me to never lose faith, even when it feels like everything inside of you is telling you to give up. She has helped me see that we all have our "time" and that mine is coming...and that we both hope it's sooner rather than later (haha). Haley may not know the path she wants to take in life, but she knows, spiritually, where she needs to be. I have had the opportunity to watch her grow spiritually over the last (approximately) 9 months that we've lived together and I've been inspired by her growth along with an increase in maturity.

Vincent is a whole other story. To be honest, I wasn't his biggest fan when I first met him, but he has become like a brother to me. We put on appearances, but we really do enjoy each other's company. I love him for loving Haley and being so good for her. I love that he treats her well and has shown me how a man should love a woman. He will have no problem being a loving husband to Haley and a father to their future children. He is a great example of faith, character, and hard work in my life. He doesn't ever do anything out of selfishness and he is a light in a world of darkness.

So even, though this day brings some sadness to my life, my heart is full of love and joy for the happy couple. I am excited for what the Lord has in store for their future.

To the Bride and Groom,

I am more than honored to be included in your wedding party. I love you both more than I can put into words.

Mr and Mrs Vincent Furfaro
Est. 27 December 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

What's in a Name?

This semester has been a different experience for me. It's been so incredibly hard, yet so incredibly amazing at the same time. 
It's been quite the adventure filled with heartache, home-sickness, tears, hurt feelings, love, joy, achievement, and bonding, but what I really want to tell you about today is the bonding experiences I've had this semester, but in order to do that I have to start with a little back story about last semester.

Last semester...was not the easiest four months of my life, in fact, it was pretty miserable. I had no family here, one friend who I rarely saw and I felt extremely alone. I loved my roommates but sometimes I felt that I wasn't wanted. I grew to love them more as the semester went by and I never thought that the bond could be any stronger.

This semester has proven that to be incorrect. I want to tell you about one roommate in particular. I don't know what it was, but she and I bonded so quickly. She came back to Rexburg in September and the first thing she told the rest of us was that she was ENGAGED! We all saw it coming, but I was still extremely excited for her. Her fiance is wonderful and I have grown to love him even more than I did at the end of last semester. They have become my very best friends. 

Haley got me to start running with her, and even though it's sometimes a struggle for her to get me to the gym or when I complain, she still encourages me and is always so proud of me. 

We do pretty much everything together. Okay, so not everything, but I spend a lot of time with her and Vince.  I don't know what I'd do without them this semester and I don't know what I'm going to do without them in the winter.

Haley understands me, even when I'm crying hysterically about something dumb. She never makes something that I feel is a huge deal, less than what it feels like. 

Whether it's acting really stupid in public, going to the testing center together, going to the gym, building a bunk bed fort and having a sleep over, spooning, crying to each other, planning a wedding, we have been through a lot this semester and I cannot express to you how much this girl inspires me.

She'd do anything for me and I'd do anything for her. I feel like I can't say "thank you" to her enough for all that she does for me.

She, to me, is the true definition of a friend. I can't call her my "best friend" because that doesn't explain our friendship. Besides, what's in a name? It means nothing if it can't be explained. She's more than a "best friend" to me.

I'm so thankful for her and for all that she does for me!
I love you, H!

I cannot wait to be a bridesmaid in your wedding! I love seeing you so happy!
31 DAYS!