Tuesday, May 29, 2012

introverts vs. extroverts

Found these little lists on Pinterest and it got me thinking.

I married an introvert. It’s pretty obvious when you meet him that he is much more reserved than I am. I read the list and actually talked to him about it to gauge his response. I found him smiling and nodding in agreement after many of the traits.
My husband married an extrovert. Now, I’m not 100%, to a T, an extrovert but I tend to sway more in that direction. I don’t agree with all of them, for me personally, but never the less I thought Vincent should know them.
It’s amazing how much you can gather just by those two personality types. I am going to print them out and hang them somewhere in our house. That way they can serve as a little reminder that we both receive love, criticism, and time differently. One way isn’t better than the other and marriage is about finding the right recipe for success and happiness.

As previously stated I, an extrovert, married an introvert. I have literally had to train myself to meet his introverted needs. That isn’t to say I changed who I am, all I am saying is that in order to be a better wife and friend I needed to understand where & how he handles things. The chart helped me personally and I started thinking about elaborating on it.
This is based on personal experiences, techniques, and beliefs nor do I claim to be an expert on personalities.
For example:
1.       Respect their need for privacy: This is a big one. As an extrovert, sometimes I forget that not all people are open books. Introverts are reserved and they just don’t feel the need to divulge every little thing.
2.       Never embarrass them in public: Another big one. As an extrovert, I tend to poke sarcastic jabs at people and pretty much let others jokes about me roll off my back. I never thought about how an introvert would respond to little “jabs” until one day Vincent told me; he does not like it. I’m not just talking about embarrassing them as a person (how they walk, talk, dress, etc) I’m talking about everything surrounding them (what they do, how they do it…). Just be aware that what you see as a joke, an introvert might not see it the same way.
3.       Let them observe a situation first: I can relate here. If I am in a new situation/location I like to take it all in at first. We both aren’t the jump-right-in type people. Vincent also has post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which makes new situations and meeting new people a little stressful and uncomfortable for him. I try to give him time to adjust.
4.       Give them time to think, don’t demand a response: I am SO guilty of not doing this. I am a I-want-a-response/result-now type person that I struggle to give him time to gather his thoughts. Sometimes it isn’t that easy. It’s not that they process things slowly, they process things differently.
5.       Reprimand them privately: You may think this is only a child-parent one but it’s so not. I am guilty of calling Vincent out on things in front of people and you can tell instantly that is makes him mad. Not cool ML. Any issues, problems, or suggestions need to be behind closed doors because an introvert will shut down and be unreceptive to suggestions if they feel attacked or embarrassed.
6.       Enable them to find one best friend & don’t push them to make lots of friends: I get this. It’s not the quantity, but quality. Don’t expect an introvert to have a gang of friends, that tends to be more of an extrovert thing.
7.       Respect their introversion: pretty self explanatory. If you aren’t an introvert don’t expect to fully (or ever) understand them.
Now for you introverts that have the wonderful privilege of being married to an extrovert ;) It’s your turn to learn:
1.       Respect their independence: I do not need to be around Vincent 24/7 (or anyone for that matter). I love him dearly but sometimes I want to be alone. I tend to go shopping alone because I like the freedom. It’s not a reflection on you as a person – I just need space.
2.       Accept and encourage their enthusiasm: This is big for me. I know I can be extremely loud, sometimes inappropriate, and never shut up – but you don’t need to remind me. The quickest way to make me shut down or feel bad about myself is to make fun of my personality.
3.        Allow them to explore and talk things out: I over think just about everything. It took me 3 months to pick out a new purse! Too big, too heavy, too expensive – ack!! I like to talk things through. Deal with it.
4.       Surprise them: um… well I would say this depends on the person. I don’t care for surprises… I mean unless it’s jewelry… I love jewelry ;).
5.       Understand when they are busy: If you interrupt me when I say I am busy, expect me to turn into a raging badger. If I am busy the last thing I can stand is to be bothered. I get super fixated on something and literally don’t care about anything else (even eating! Yes… I know!! Crazyness) The ONLY time I handle an interruption well is if you are hurt or crying...
6.       Offer options: but not too many. I don’t like feeling like there is one way in and out.
7.       Let them shine: So true. I know my personality can be overwhelming but I can’t change who I am. I try to be considerate of others around me but remember that there is nothing wrong with being an extrovert so don’t hold me back.

The biggest thing I have learned about being married to an introvert is that his personality is unique and beautiful. There are stereotypes associated with extroverts and introverts – and I don’t think they are very fair. I’ve heard words like slow, standoffish, cold, and overly reserved associated with introverts. For extroverts, I’ve heard crazy, loud, obnoxious, and insincere. Such negative words to describe a simple misunderstanding between the two groups.
Try to remember that just because you handle life differently doesn’t mean your way is the only way ;)
I love my introverted husband just they way he is (well... I could do without the snoring... ;)

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((DISCLAIMER: I did not make the art/list. I found it on Pinterest and couldn't find the orginal source. I can not validate the accuracy (or medical/psychological validity) of the claims.)

it's called a testimony because it tests you...

So, as I posted the other day I got a tattoo while I was in St. Louis.
I have two reasons for why I got it:
1.       My nanny is my hero and I got it to remind me of her and her never failing faith. She has had a tough life (I mean TOUGH) but she remains faithful. Through all the trials she has been through, she is still a warm and beautiful person. I once asked her how she managed and she said “God has always been there for me.” (She isn’t a fan of tattoos and when I showed it to her on Mother’s Day, I jokingly said “Now, don’t hate me.. but I got in honor of you” – she laughed, gave me a big hug and said “I’d never hate you for that.” :)
2.       My faith has wavered many times in my life but my belief in God hasn’t. This is a reminder that no matter what I am going through, I am not alone. I got it in white ink because even when you don’t feel/see God’s presence – He is always there.
That being said… I wanted to share my testimony. I’ve thought about it many times and I think it is time I wrote it down. For myself, for other believers, and for those who feel lost and

I grew up in a Christian household and went to a Baptist church in the Bible-belt. My parents were in the church choir, in group ensembles, and the hand bell choir. My sister and I were in the children’s choir and in the plays. I did a short stint in the children’s hand bell choir, but it wasn’t for me. We went to Sunday School just about every Sunday and we were expected to sit quietly during “big people church.” We were at the ground breaking for the new sanctuary. I’d say we were pretty active in our church.
On February 24, 2000, that all changed. It was a Friday afternoon and I was called out of class for early dismissal. My dad had been in Myrtle Beach for a business trip so I assumed he was just picking us up early. When I walked into the office, no one was in the waiting area. I was taken to the principal’s office (which for the record I had NEVER been in) and I saw my Nanny and sister. They were crying – not good. My dad had passed away the night before of massive heart attack. Not even two weeks before that, his cardiologist told him it wasn’t his heart – I’d say that 90% blockage in his aorta and an enlarged heart that resulted in a heart attack at 46 would be a HUGE indication that is was, in fact, his heart.
The next three days were a blur. I remember turning into our neighborhood and seeing a lot of cars parked out front. I remember walking in and seeing my mom for the first time and hugging her. I remember sitting with my mom and dad’s best friends, holding on to his sweatshirt for dear life. I remember my best friend, Lesley, and her father picking me up to spend the night with them so my mother could have some private time. I remember fighting with family over which dress I would wear to the funeral. I remember hundreds of people showing up for his visitation and funeral. I remember the double rainbow over the funeral home. Mostly, I remember feeling very betrayed by a God my father so faithfully served.
So, I stopped going to church. Maybe it was my way of “punishing” God for what He did to me and my family. I don’t know but I know I was mad. I couldn’t understand why God would take my dad from me.
For 4 years I only went to church when my mom made me – which wasn’t often (Easter, Christmas …). I am so thankful that my mom didn’t force me to go and that she let me figure out my own way back. I think my faith would have been damaged further if she would have demanded that I go.
I remember one time I braved my “demons” and went to try out for the children’s musical. When I didn’t get a decent part, I just didn’t go back. At the time I remember thinking that God owed me. He owed it to me to give me a decent part and when I didn’t I wasn’t too happy.
I started going back when I was in 7th grade. I went back because the boy I had a major crush on asked me to come. Pure and simple, right or wrong - that is how it went down. My faith grew for a while and I became…. popular…. I know weird word to use but I kind of had. Adults were telling me that I was a great example for their children and that I was a great example of a Christian. A lot of kids wanted to hang out with the little circle I had built and I went to all of the youth events.
Remember that boy that invited me? Well we “dated” on and off for two years. It was our freshman year in high school, and things started to back slide. He was into a punk-phase, which I mostly supported. We were both trying to figure out who we wanted to be and I noticed his faith was slipping. Instead of trying to lead him back, I followed him. We both started questioning our faith and eventually we both stopped going to church. I could make up a bunch of excuses and blame other people but I know that it was my choice… and the path I was supposed to go down.
In 10th grade, I spent some time at an Episcopal church. My two best friends went there and I felt like there was less pressure and more acceptance there. The youth group was smaller and fun. The leaders were caring and down to earth (that isn’t to say those at the other church weren’t, I just felt more at ease at the Episcopal church). I went to youth events and even served as staff on one. When my friendships started to fade…. again… I stopped going.
When Vincent and I started dating, it was known that we were both Christians but not active in a local church. It never really seemed to be a problem. We got married and the prospect of finding a local church in North Carolina didn’t seem “right.” We visited one church in the area but after no one spoke to us we didn’t go back. We found multiple excuses as to why we weren’t in church. We didn’t say grace before meals and I know I wasn’t praying at bedtime. I couldn’t even tell you where our Bibles were. When he was deployed, I sang in the choir with my mom and sister but still felt … weird.
It wasn’t until his accident that I found my way back.
Our 4 year anniversary is in 2 weeks and I started to reflect on all the things we have been through since we got married. And honestly, we have been through more life-changing events in the last four year than most couples do in 20 years.
In the first two years we went through a 7 month deployment, death of a sibling, death of a parent, traumatic motorcycle accident, and loss of a career because of motorcycle accident. We also got into a good bit of debt (I mean I’m not talking $100,000 or anything but for 20… it was bad…). In the last two years we have adjusted to Vincent’s injury (which he has taken in stride, I might add), accept our time in the military was over, gotten out of debt, move back to SC, and started school and working.
But “when life knocks you on your knees, you are in the perfect position to pray.” So I did. A lot. The day I got the call from the EMT about his accident, I spent the first half talking to my best friend and the other half I spent praying. I know people say there isn’t a wrong way to pray but I’m pretty sure going, “God- nope. You can’t have him. I won’t let you take him from me” – is not the best way. While he was in the hospital, my prayers turned into, “Lord, I’m scared. But I trust you.”
Because of the anger I had after my dad’s death, I was genuinely afraid my faith would falter after Vincent got hurt. But my faith got stronger. Instead of asking God to fix things, I asked for the patience and guidance to face my fears and trials head on. Sure, on December 1, 2009, our lives took a dramatic u-turn but I am happy where we are at.
In 2010, my sister was engaged and I was shooting several weddings in Columbia, so when Vincent and I would come into town we would go to church with my sister and brother-in-law. It was nice but we were still living in NC so we never fully developed that church family connections.
We are still trying to find our way now that we are back in Columbia. We are going to a couples Bible Study on Sunday nights, which is nice but we still haven’t committed to a church. I think, for me, it’s mostly fear that is holding me back. I don’t want to feel like a “fake” like I did in middle school and I want to feel like I belong like I did at the Episcopal Church. I fear going through another “let down” like I did with my father’s death and pulling away. I am trying to not let the fear get to me but it’s a struggle.
Lately, I have been struggling with who I am – as an individual. I question my personality at times (am I too loud, too talkative, to weird…?) and I am having a hard time opening up. I mean I have no problem telling people personal things – but I don’t let people “in” often. I try to put on this “I don’t care if people don’t like me” act but that is all it is – an act. I have been trying to let things roll off my back but it’s hard when people “pick” on you, even when they think it’s not a big deal or that they are just kidding… it hurts. Recently, my prayers have turned into “Lord, let me be comfortable with who I am and not let others get to me.”
I have become better at praying. I have become better at saying “thank you Lord” instead of “can you do this Lord.” Through it all, I know now that even when I am angry, don’t understand, and feel alone…. that I am not. Doesn’t mean I don’t feel discouraged, just means I have a way to get out of it.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

military discounts

If you are in the military – Active Duty, medically retired, retired, or a dependent – you know that sometimes you can get some great discounts by flashing that ID around. Movie theatres, museums, and restaurants all around the country have awesome discounts.
 I have found mine to be especially useful at outlet malls! I’m familiar with the outlets in Myrtle Beach, Charleston, SC, and Williamsburg, VA and I know they have some good ones. Always ask!
I got a Vincent polo from Ralph Lauren for $22 because they had 20% off (it was a simple dark grey, totally can be worn whenever).  IZOD offers $10 off if you spend $50 so I got Vincent 2 IZOD polos and 2 pairs of flat front shorts! Not to mention that I totally made out at the Bali store and got 3 bras ;) Whoot whoot!
I mean – how awesome?!
The Melting Pot in Myrtle Beach also has a 20% discount – it’s called America’s Heroes (how sweet!?)

Anyway here are some more that might have you save a couple pennies here and there (always ask and must show ID. I do not guarantee that all the locations have discounts) :
 Listed alphabetically by category:
- Stores
- Restaurants
- Services
- Travel/Leisure
- City Discounts (with links)
- Veteran’s Day Freebies
        - Food
        - Admissions/Tickets


        ·  Aeropostale – 10% off
        ·  Ann Taylor Loft – 10% off
        ·  Apple – 17% off on military products
        ·  Banana Republic – 10% military discount 1st of every month 
        ·  Barnes & Noble – online orders – free shipping and 6% off. Need to call to receive discount or click here. 
        ·   Bass Pro Shop – 10% off from 15th to 22nd of each month
        ·  Buckle – 10% off
        ·  Dell Computers – Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you.
        ·  Express - 10% off on top of other coupons ID
·  Finish Line – 20% off.
·  Foot Locker and Ladies Foot Locker – 20% off
·  Forever 21 – 10% off
·  Gap - 10% military discount 1st of every month
·  Hickory Farms.com – free shipping to APOs
·  Home Depot – 10% off
·  Jockey – 10% off
·  Kohls – 15% off (I personally can’t confirm this but I have heard about it)
·  Lowe’s – 10% off
·  Macy’s - The first Tuesday take an extra 15 percent off of regular and sale prices when you use your Macy’s card and 10 percent off when you use another form of paymen
·  Maurices – 20% off
·  Michael's Crafts - 10% on Wednesday
·  Nautica - 10% off
·  New York & Company - 15% off
·  Nike - 10% off
·  Old Navy - 10% off on the 1st of the month
·  Outlet Malls - not all stores offer them but many do. It ranges from 20% off to $10 off if you spend $50 or more. Just ask!
·  Payless Shoes – 10% off
·  Sally’s Beauty – up to 10% off
·  Sam's Club - Get a $15 gift card when you become a member
·  Shoe Carnival – 10% off shoes
·  Under Armor Outlet Store – 10% off
·  Walgreens – 15% at some locations
·  Wet Seal - 10% off


·  Buffalo Wild Wings – 10% off
·  Cracker Barrel – 10-15% off, at manager’s discretion
·  Dairy Queen – depends on location, usually 10% off
·  Dunkin’ Doughnuts – depends on location, usually 10% off
·  Fazoli's – 15% off entire
·  Fudruckers – 10 - 20% off entire meal depending on location
·  Golden Corral – many locations offer a discount! Always ask.
·  Hard Rock CafĂ© – 15% off – I have been to 4 Hard Rocks in the country and all of them offer it!
·  IHOP – most locations offer 20% off if in uniform
·  Johnny Rockets – 50% off if in uniform
·  Longhorn Steakhouse – 10% military discount (this may not be honored at all locations)
·  Margaritaville – 10% off at all locations
·  Moe’s Southwest Grill – 10% off with ID or in uniform!
·  O’Charley’s – 10% off
·  Subway – 10%
·  Texas Roadhouse – 10% off
·  WingZone – 10% off
·  Other locations that have either had discounts in the past or occasionally have them (I would call first. % is listed it "known") :
·  Arby’s – 10% off
·  Burger King
·  Captain D’s
·  Chick-fil-a
·  Cinnabon – 15% off
·  Hardee’s – 10% off
·  KFC
·  Pizza Hut
·  Sonic – 10% off
·  Quizno’s – 10% off
·  Taco Bell


·  Autozone – Depending on the store, you can receive a discount with ID. Call your local store.
·  Cell Phones – most carriers offer a discount. We have AT&T and get like 17% off Firestone – up to 10% off on select products
·  Mattress Firm - 5% off mattress
·  PODS – military discount 5-10% off for delivery and storage
·  Sports Clips – 25% off
·  U-Haul - up to 15% off


·  Car dealerships - most have some sort of rebate (We got $500 off our Toyota and $500 off our Kia)
·  Car rentals  – offer discounted rates
·  Enterprise
·  Hertz
·  Alamo
·  Budget
·  Dollar
·  Thrifty
·  Cruise lines
·  Carnival - offers amazing discounts to vets and their families.  I went on a Carnival and got a great discount!
·  Royal Caribbean – depends on the package you book
·  Princess – free on board credit if you book through them
·   IMAX theatres – $1 off tickets
 · Hotels - most hotels - to name a few    
             ·  Sandals Resorts – 10% off vacation
·  Marriot
·  Sheraton
·  Choice Hotels
·  Hilton
·  Museums – most offer specials.
·  National Baseball Hall of Fame – free admission (Cooperstown, New York.)
·  Ripley’s Believe It or Not – discounted rates, depends on location
·  South Carolina State museum  - $1 off with ID
·  World of Coke -  free at ticket window (Atlanta, GA)
·   Sports – most teams have specials. Check their site.
·  Baseball – each team differs. Here is a link to a site that has them all listed  - click here!
·  Theme Parks with discounts-
·  Carowinds, NC - there are certain times during the year that they have free admission (Memorial weeknd for example)
·  Cedar Point, OH - $15 off admission
·  Disneyland, CA - must book through base travel/installation - Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR)
·  Dollywood, TN – 30% off admission
·  Great Wolf Lodge – theme park/hotel combo
·  Here’s to the Heros – free admission, must register on their site
·   Busch Gardens, VA
·   Seaworld
·   Watercountry USA
·   Adventure Island
·  Knott’s Berry Farm, CA - $25.99 instead of $36.99 (pre-order) or $57.99 (at gate)
·  Legoland, CA - 10% off
·  Six Flags - must book through base travel/installation - Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR)
·   Universal Studios - must book through base travel/installation - Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR)
·   USO – ALWAYS check out the USO at airports if you have time!! The one in Charlotte and St. Louis are fantastic!! Free food, drinks, books, and a quiet, comfortable place to wait for a flight.
·  Zoos –
·  Riverbank Zoo, Columbia SC - $1 off
·  San Diego – 1-day complementary pass
·  Houston Zoo – free with ID
·  Atlanta Zoo – $4 off
·  Bronx Zoo – free to AD and 50% for up to 3 family members
·  Indianapolis Zoo – 20% off

City Links with Discounts: click to see links :)
·       Chicago
·       Philadelphia
·       Los Angeles
·       New York City 

·  Free food:
·  Applebee’s Restaurant - Free dinners from a new Veterans Day menu.
·  Golden Corral - Free buffet dinner from 5-9 p.m.
·  Hooter’s - Veterans and active duty military personnel will receive 10 free wings with a drink purchase at all participating Hooter’s locations.
·  Krispy Kreme - One free doughnut of any variety
·  Outback Steakhouse - Free Blooming Onion and beverage.
·  Subway - Free six inch subs.

·  Free admission to:
·  All national parks
·  Colonial Williamsburg – November 6-11
·  Historic Jamestown
·  Knott’s Berry Farm – November 1-26
·  Vulcan Park and Museum
·  Zoo
·  Greenbay (WI) New Zoo
·  Central Florida Zoo

Again, not all locations will have the discounts and I have not personally used all of these. I know I am probably missing some so if you have more please let me know! :) And if some don’t work – let me know so I can take them off!

God bless!


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