Friday, June 28, 2013

fun finds friday!

Today's fun  finds is a little different. I wanted to share some awesome quotes I have found lately. Here ya go!!

(P.S. follow my "words" board to see more!! I like funny stuff so go follow ;) 

 And you are WELCOME for this ;)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Updated 2/17/15

This morning, like every morning, I  opened my browser and started to scan Facebook for the daily drama... erm.. I mean updates. 

I came across this article posted by a group page called Victory Girls. (Before clicking, please note, it's a heartbreaking suicide note from a 30 year old Iraqi war veteran to his family.)

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is NOT a joke.  The "idea" of PTSD is still relatively new. It wasn't entered into American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders until 1980. 

Many people didn't and still don't understand the disorder. Some people blow if off as being crazy, fake, or dramatic - yes, I've heard people say those things. As a photographer, I meet all kinds of people. One session I had the father brought a service dog. When I asked about the dog the father told me that it is a PTSD dog. After serving several tours overseas he battled with PTSD and was given this amazing dog. Some of his "tricks" include standing between people and his owner, knowing how to get his owner to the closest exit, and to simply provide comfort. It was amazing to see this pup in action and it made my heart happy that there are programs out there for those with PTSD. 

Now.... on a personal note... 

My grandfather, a WWII veteran, had PTSD - we just didn't know it until he was in his 70s. He erratic and dangerous behavior was "blamed" on his liking for alcohol, it wasn't until later that we realized that his liking for alcohol stemmed from his PTSD. He had survivors guilt and experienced things that no 18/19 year-old should have too. It breaks my heart that he spent most of his life dealing with something that he (and the medical community)  didn't understand. He was part of the "suck it up and be a man about it" generation instead of the "it's ok, you are not broken and can get help" generation. 

The main squeeze's father was a Vietnam vet. He spent two separate year long tours as an infantry Marine. He shared with Vincent some of the horrors he witnessed, but he too was not formally diagnosed until he was in his late 50s. He handled his PTSD in a quiet manner - never asking for help. He always seemed very calm but there were times where his disorder would take over and he would become extremely angry. I personally witnessed a PTSD break through and it was one of the scariest things I have ever seen. 

The main squeeze has PTSD. He served in the Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq but his PTSD is mostly from his motorcycle accident. I knew enough about the disorder to recognize when it was the disorder talking and not my husband. I knew enough to comfort him, be patient with him, and to love him through the pain. 

Mixed with his traumatic brain injury, Vincent's PTSD manifested in such ways that he would become extremely angry and depressed for "no reason." I remember one time after his accident, he couldn't find something (keys or phone probably), and he came out of the bedroom screaming at me. I know my husband and I knew that that was the PTSD talking. I remember asking him to go back into the bedroom, take a deep breath, then come back out. He did that and was fine. 

There have been other instances but its not prudent - what is important is that I, as his wife, had to learn the behaviors associated with Vincent's PTSD. I made the choice to love him through the disorder and recognize that the man I married is still there. 

I also know that suicidal thoughts are prominent in PTSD patients, so I tried very hard to maintain an open line of communication with Vincent. He was smart and brave enough to admit he needed to talk to someone, so he went to the therapist for almost two years. That is also important - HE GOT HELP. 

We have been blessed. Vincent has surpassed all expectations and has not let a brain injury or PTSD slow him down. He recently finished his MBA and is one exam away from getting his CPA. He is an inspiration. He is amazing. HE IS A FIGHTER. 

It will always be an internal battle for him and I will be by his side every step of the way. 

Why am I sharing all of this? Simple - PTSD is a highly misunderstood disorder. It's scary and sad. It is very real. Vincent and I share the same belief that if our transparency with PTSD can help one person it is worth sharing. 

Living with someone with PTSD can be a constant battle but my love for my husband will always win over his disorder. 

If you have PTSD -

If you have a loved one with PTSD - 

There are people out there that want to help you and there are people that care. I am one of those people. Even if we don't know each other, if you feel the need to talk to someone, I am here. Email me at and I will listen. 

 For more info, please visit the National Institute of Mental Health's website or The Nation Center for PTSD. History of PTSD here.

Friday, June 21, 2013

fun finds friday!

I've slacked the last few weeks but here is another Fun Finds! <3

"There's No Place Like Home" Pillow
So, I love my Cairn Terrier, pillows, and things with words on them. I ADORE THIS. At $25 - I think it's a steal!

buy here

Signature Necklace
It's a wee bit pricey (like $200!), but this company takes a signature and makes it into a necklace! What!? I would love one in my dad's handwriting that says "I love you" - wonder if they do that?! (Hey Vincent - get on that! Birthday idea!!!!!)

buy here

Mission Belt
The Main Squeeze and I saw this on Shark Tank a while ago and he ordered one. I mean is it weird to say someone LOVES a belt!? Well who cares! Vincent LOVES this belt. No holes, genuine leather, and super stylist. It's ah-mazing. Plus every belt sold, they give a dollar to help fight poverty and hunger. Say what?! They are $35 but they are worth it.

buy here

Fondue Cups
For the fatty in me. I love the Melting Pot and these convenient little cups would be pretty rad to have ;) $15 isn't a bad price!

buy here

Temporary Hair Dye Pastels
Won't lie. I bought these. They were $16 with a coupon and free shipping so I figured what they hey. My bestie is coming in from St. Louis for the 4th so if these suckers come in we are going to have a blast ;)
buy here

"Home" Shirt
I lurv this "Home" shirt. I think it's especially great if you live in a different state and want to represent your home state ;) They have all the states and are $25!

buy here

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

15 ways the main squeeze and I are alike

Yesterday I did a post about how the main squeeze and I are different, and even though we are very opposite, we surprisingly have a ton in common. I think it's important to appreciate the differences and the similarities. So here goes!

1. We are both Christians

2. We both have VERY similar political views - from abortion to gay & women rights to military affairs - we see pretty much eye to eye.

3. We both want 2 kids. We are open to more but at least two and would like them within 2 years of each other. (I'm 13 months younger than my sister and he is 2 years older than his sister - so we want them to be close)

4. We both love fast cars. Our next car will most likely be a 6-speed SS Camaro.

5. We love action movies

6. We are both pretty great chefs. I cook more than he does, but when he gets in front of the stove he pulls out all the stops!

7. We absolutely, almost to a pathetic point, love our two dogs. 

8. We are very close to both of our families

9. We love to travel.

10. We love history - we enjoy museums, visiting places of government, and historic landmarks

11. Both of our dads have passed away but we have 2 awesome step-dads that we adore

12. We almost always agree with it other on big investments - new bed, travel, electronics, guns, etc. 

13. We are more text than call people. Or we'd rather sit face to face and talk. We both agree that social media is the best and worst thing in society today. 

14. We both agree on the "old fashion" gender roles. The man should be the bread-winner and the woman takes care of the kids and house. I was raised by a strong, working mom who raised me to be a strong independent woman. I have nothing against women working outside the house or being the primary provider - it's just not what I want. (I do work now and plan to stop when we have kids, but will keep up with my photography - just FYI ;)

15. We love each other. We drive each other crazy and push the wrong buttons but at the end of the day, we adore each other (**cue awwwwws**)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


I was looking around Pinterest and saw this! Made my day! Thanks Abigail!!

15 ways the main squeeze and I are different

So my very best friend did this post on her blog today (originally by The Pioneer Woman) and I was like - "yea - so doing this."

Photo by Ashley Goodwin Photography

I will be the first to say the main squeeze and I are pretty much opposites but I loved having to put together a list for it! So here goes!!

1. He loves watching sports (especially the Braves)
     I love watching kids movies and reality TV.

2. He is a numbers person and he is crazy good at it.
     I literally have to ask what 6x4 or 15-8 is (in all fairness I got As & Bs in school - I just don't like math!)

3. He is hot natured. As in he can wear boxers and a t-shirt  year round.
     I can never feel my toes

4. He is a very quiet, private, and reflective person.
     I am loud and never shut up

5. He is a sexy Italian - that tans.
     I am a porcelain doll - that burns.

6. He wears very preppy and classic clothes.
     I am very eclectic. Patterns, colors, chunky jewelry... 

7. He hates cucumbers
     I love them

8. He will read EVERY marker at a museum
     I just like to glace at the object/exhibit and I'm good

9. He is usually pretty calm, cool, and collected
      I'm usually overly dramatic, emotional, and blunt

10. He is an older sibling
       I am a younger sibling

11. He isn't big on reading
       Reading is my escape

12. He doesn't like picking out presents but doesn't mind paying. Which is good because...
       I love buying presents!

13. He is musically inclined
       I'm a better singer

14. Vincent doesn't mind "roughing it" (he was a Marine after all!)
        I'm a germaphobe that can't stand being outside for too long

15. He "goes-with-the-flow"
       I make iteneraries

What about you and your special someone? What are y'alls differences?  Comment with your link <3

make your own travel map

For Christmas last year, my sister got this AWESOME personalized travel map from her in-laws. I LOVED it but I wasn't a fan of the price tag :(. Since the main squeeze and I just got back from a big trip together, I figured I would make my own. 

I ordered my map from I spent probably an hour trying to pick one but I figured since they weren't that expensive I could always change my mind in the future. This is the one I got. As you can see, I paid $8.99 for it and it ended up being $14 with shipping. (I will add, USPS was not kind to my first map and it was slightly damaged. I contacted AllPosters and they had another one in the mail THAT DAY. There customer service is awesome!!)

Next, I hit up Hobby Lobby with my 40% off coupon and bought a cork board that was 36x24 (the same size as the poster). After the discount, I paid around $9! I also bought some  Scotch 3M Spray Mount Spray Adhesive ($16 at Office Depot or you can use a different brand just make sure it is safe for posters/thin paper!). 

I was off to work! It took about 2 days because of drying, but the actual application part was about 10 minutes! I was actually able to most of it by myself but the main squeeze had to help me hang it. :) 

Here was what I did.

1. I rolled out my poster and laid the cork on it overnight to help flatten the poster. 

2. I took the adhesive and sprayed one edge of the cork to use as my starting point. (photo #3)

3. After I secured the first edge and practiced rolling out the map a few times, I sprayed the entire board with the adhesive to build a "base coat."

4. Next, I started to slowing unroll the map, spraying more adhesive on the map/board as I went. 

5. As I was rolling, I started to smooth out all the bumps and bubbles. I used the box the poster came in - it was the right height and worked well!

6. I spent about 5 minutes continuing to smooth out the poster and the make sure it was sticking.

7. I let it dry in front of a fan overnight. 

8. I added our pins and screwed it to the wall! (bought mine for $8 off Amazon)

Ta da!! All for a total of $47!! 

It would have been cheaper if I would have used a different adhesive or at least a coupon but that's ok! 

I also used a Sharpie to color the tops of certain pins to designate where I have been, where the main squeeze has been, and where we have been together!

Here are some photos!

I know it clashes with my table stuff, I am in the process of fixing that ;)

Monday, June 17, 2013

bridal shower wine basket

My sister's best friend got married last month and as a bridal show gift she decided to do a Wine Basket with wines for big events in a newlyweds life! I thought it was a great idea and thought I'd share it with you!

Here are the poems:

First New Years
Wine- Sequin

A time to celebrate the start of the year
So we have some wine for you right here
Toast your future, your present and the past
Your love is something that is meant to last!

First Anniversary
Wine – Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Pinot Noir 

Been married a year, where did the time go?
No longer newlyweds, now you are pros
Hope the days found you in good health and spirit
Keep saying I love you- one always needs to hear it!
Now toast this first date, it’s certainly not the last
And as you build your future don’t ever forget the past!

First Thanksgiving
Wine- Butternut

Here’s a perfect addition to your 1st turkey dinner
Stuffing, pie… and a wine that’s a winner
At your own home or with family or a friend
Uncork this bottle and share until the end!

First Christmas Eve
Wine- Belle Notte (means beautiful night)

The tree, lights, decorations and more
Family, friends and gifts galore
Awaiting Santa’s arrival from the chimney above
A holiday filled with laughter and love!
So open this bottle and enjoy the night.
It’s a Christmas Eve gift that will surely delight!

First House
Wine- Casa

Buying a home together is certainly new.
It will take money and work that much is true!
When the closing is done, this bottle is to share.
But drink it down fast or those boxes will still be there!

First Baby
Wine  Fre (Alcohol free wine)

The news that a baby will soon share your life
will make you a mother not only a wife.
You’ll see it through good times and sometimes bad.
Elise the loving mother and Matt the dearest dad.
And though she’ll toast with wine that’s alcohol free
In 9 months you’ll become a family of three!

First Beach Trip
Wine- The Beach House

The sun setting over the sea
Is certainly no place for a cup of tea
Tan under the sun with a glass of this wine
Walk on the beach and forget the time.

First Fight
Wine - Clean Slate Riesling 

 You’re angry and mad and tempers flare
You need it to end right then and there
Open this bottle and make amends
And see how quickly the argument ends
Toast each other and make up with a kiss
The very best way to settle all this!

For other awesome examples, check out this blog and this one too!

Saturday, June 8, 2013


Five years later....

Friday, June 7, 2013

happy anniversary

Five years ago today, I said "I do" to the main squeeze. Pretty hard to believe it's only been five years because we have been through so much that is feels like much longer. 

Five years ago today, people thought we were nuts. And we were. I mean who gets married 3 days after graduating high school?!? Apparently my crazy butt does. 

Five years ago today, we had no idea what we were getting into. We had no idea where we'd be today and we had no idea if we'd still even like each other.

Five years ago today, we took a chance and went with our gut.... and I'm so glad we did.

The last five years have been tough but they have also been rewarding. I was going to type out all the things we have done together in the last 7 years  but instead I made a little video. It's long but I made it for the main squeeze so he better watch it ;)

We've laughed and cried. 
We've fought and made-up. 
We've been on adventures and stayed close to home. 
We've come so far.

I can't imagine my life with out you and I look forward to many more. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

the big pineapple


We spent a little over 2.5 days in Honolulu. I went to Hawaii when I was in high school so it was a dream come true to be able to go there with Vincent. 

The first day we went to the Dole Planation and of course had the pineapple ice cream. To. Die. For. After that, we headed to North Shore and had photos taken by Ashley Goodwin Photography for our 5 year anniversary. We had a great time and I can't wait to see what she managed to pull off ;)

The next day, we headed to Pearl Harbor. We opted to go to the USS Missouri which ended up being awesome. We got to see where the Japanese surrendered to the Allies and tour a pretty cool piece of history.

We hit up the swap meet for about an hour. We got some cute gifts for family and Vincent bought a ukulele! 

Next we hustled over to Diamond Head to go for a hike. We rushed to the top because we got there at 4 and the park closes at 6 (as in you don't get out, your car is trapped. yikes). We made it to the top in under 25 minutes and we were pooped. It's not a bad or long hike but like I said - 4PM. It's a great view and I'm glad I got to share it with Vincent. 

Lastly, we went to Waikiki. We walked up and down the main strip, dipped our toes in the Pacific, then heading to dinner at this great seafood restaurant right on  the beach. It was lovely.

The next morning, we hit up Jamba Juice and Vincent got his Loco Moco. We spent the morning driving around just seeing the area. :)

Can't wait to go back! 

pineapple ice cream at the Dole Plantation 

North Shore
lunch in front of the USS Missouri
surrender deck
before the hike
walking around and dinner at Waikiki
Jamba Juice and Loco Moco!!