Category Archives: Just Julie

What I Learned from 1 Year of Marriage

At the beginning of this month, George and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. This makes me a marriage pro….NOT. I know I still have a TON to learn about marriage. However, after reflecting on the past year, I have jotted down 10 things I have learned about being married. This past year has really been an incredible ride. Some days it feels like we have been together forever, and some days it seems like the wedding was just yesterday.

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So if you are looking for a little marriage advice from a newlywed, or just want a glimpse into my dream. Here goes!

 Every day is  like being on a date

I have had 365 (plus a few) date nights in a row. And it rocks. Every day, every night I get to spend with my favorite person. We have found that if we want to go out, we need to make an effort to make Friday night plans in advance. If we don’t, it will always be a pizza, a Redbox, and sweats. Here’s the catch though, I love Friday night’s like that 🙂 Don’t worry we are not hermits, we get out plenty, its just that I used to have a bad case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) that has totally vanished.

Before: A Friday night in your jammies watching Netflix by yourself = lame

After: A Friday night in your jammies watching Netflix with your husband = a date night of relaxing bliss to look forward to all week long

If I want something done, I can’t be picky about it

I’m a control freak. I am particular about the little things. I have learned if I want the dishes (or enter any other chore here) done I can’t be picky or I end up doing them myself.  So what if he uses a little too much soap, I am not the one scrubbing, soaking, and rinsing after dinner.

If you don’t want to live in a battlefield, don’t start a battle.

Some things don’t matter in the big picture. If I got upset every time the toilet seat was left up, I would spend more time chasing him down to yell at him than it was worth. I can choose to get angry, find him, yell at him, ORRR I could put the seat down and go. (Middle of the night exception…if I fall in, you bet I’m gonna wake him up and let him know haha).

Also don’t miss understand me, its not about bottling up the anger, or becoming a push over. If something really does bother me, I try my best to have a sit down conversation about it.  The angry, heat- of-the moment, conversations usually don’t go as well.140104_560

Forgive quickly

I admit, this is one is very much a work in progress. One huge difference between a room mate and a husband, is after a fight, you know he still loves you. A fight with a room mate could potentially, hopefully not, but potentially, ruin the relationship forever. When the lease is over, you can move out, life moves on, and never see them again. Moving out/divorce is NOT an option in my marriage. So why stay angry? Anger is hard work, and the longer it goes on, the harder it is to get rid of. Take a few minutes, cool down, think about the situation and what needs to be changed in the future, then forgive and move on. Heck, making up is the best part. Get there as soon as possible!

You catch more flies with honey

Some times when I am feeling like I haven’t been getting the love/appreciation I want/ deserve, I tend to get bitter and crabby.  I can really start to feel down when he doesn’t seem to notice me, appreciate something I’ve done, or hasn’t been particularity affectionate. I can either begin to sulk, snap at him or I look at myself and the way I have been treating him lately.  Getting angry sure won’t make him want to love on me. These things tend to go in cycles (he wasn’t feeling appreciated so he didn’t seem to appreciate me etc.). When I step back, I almost always see something I wish I was doing better in the relationship. Then I am honest and explain myself and my feelings, and bring up the items I want to work on along with those I wish he would pay more attention to. It’s kind of like  the saying,   “If you want to be treasured, be treasure.”  Work on yourself first before you point out the other’s flaws.

Love is not a feeling

In marriage, some days you don’t feel the giddy “puppy love” you felt on the wedding day. That’s okay. Love is not a feeling, it’s a commitment. No matter how I might be “feeling” inside, I made a promise to love, respect and honor him. He might not seem so “loveable” at all times, but its my job to love him, and his job to love me. Those moments (or days…maybe even weeks or months) pass, and uncover new amazing reasons to fall more and more in love with one another.

Respect

I read a book before I got married that talked a lot about how men yearn for respect in the same way women yearn to be loved. Of course it works vice versa, but something in men’s wiring associates respect deeply with being loved.

“Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” – Ephesians 5:33

It doesn’t mean that women don’t need to be respected or men don’t need to be loved. Its simply drawing attention to some ways that God made men and women different and therefore

have different needs. This is something that I have kept in mind throughout  the first year of marriage. Poking fun of my husband or correcting him in public are big signs of disrespect. If something bothers me, its best to address it in private.

 Team work

“The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together”.    – Robert C Dodds

Such a great quote!  We are not the same person. We do not always agree, but we can come to a compromise. We often say to each other “Can you be on my team here?”. We might not totally understand each other all the time, but we do work to stand together. Looking at each other’s point of view, discussing the situation broadens our perspectives.  We are not that couple that does EVERYTHING together.   We both have our own activities, some of our own friends, and enjoy alone time.  I think this is really important in all relationships (dating and married).  We can exist without one another, but we are better versions of our selves when we are together and/or have each other’s support.

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 Blow money is essential

 I am a budget nerd. George and I have some lofty goals for our finances and savings, as a result, we keep a tight budget. I really think  having this “blow money” would help anyone who argues about finances even if you don’t keep a formal budget. In our budget we have a section for each of us that is called “blow” money (Dave Ramsey FPU Term). This is kind of similar to an allowance. This is a set amount that we have each month to spend on whatever we choose. As long as you stay in the limit, no arguments are allowed. It can be saved up over the months for something big, or blown on little items here and there. For example… I have a lot of cute boots. Do I need more boots? No. Does George want me to spend our money on boots I don’t  need? No. BUTTTTTTT. If I find  a pair I really want, and have enough in my budget for them, he can’t complain that I spend too much money on shoes.  If George decides to spend his blow money on remote control helicopters, or silly phone apps, I can’t get on his back (if he keeps it in his limit). The rest of our budget money is generally used on stuff we need, or purchases we decide on together.  We have some rules on determining what is considered a “blow” purchase, but I could write an entire post on that. (Comment or message me if you have questions on this). Overall, it really keeps us from having financial arguments.

It’s great to start off every day with a hug, kiss, and a smoothie.

My favorite place in the entire world is snuggled up my face in his chest for my morning hug before I leave for work. It’s hard to have a bad day when I start it off feeling loved, protected, and provided for by my man.

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Here is to many many more years of marriage to my favorite husband and to many many more life lessons to come. I pray that I remember these lessons years down the road and remember this feeling of love, gratitude, and excitement I have towards my husband. This year has been an amazing adventure and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I am so thankful for the family and friends that have been there as support to our relationship and as an example of love in our lives.

Do you have any advice for year two? Comment or message me please!

Life Update/Random Rants

Happy New Year!

Thought I would pop in for a little random life update.

  1. Cuties are the bomb. George and I are doing another sugar detox/whole30/get in shape challenge. This means I have been going hard on these sweet snacks….cough3or4adaycough… Yum! I hope there is no such thing as too much vitamin C or potassium intake (George has been going hard on the bananas) IMAG23102. Thick/full/bushy eyebrows are in. It’s a thing people. Unfortunately thin, blonde, nonexistent eyebrows run in the family.  Want proof? This insta pic  my sister took showing off the “Whitney Wrinkle” aka ” forehead hotdogs” also shows off the family brow (or lack there of).

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You can see we don’t have a lot in the brow department except for the 3 young boys…well see how long those last ha! Oh but check out mine (top left). This brings me to my point. I got a brow tint and LOVE it!

This is what my eyebrows looked like before (you can see the after in the shot above).

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See the blonde, thin, and patchy?

Most places that wax eyebrows will also tint them. It’s a very mild hair dye that is semi permanent. Before tinting, I had been drawing them on most days which can be hard getting them to match :/.  Now I don’t need too! When I am wanting to look fancy, I still fill in the gaps with either this or this . I would recommend starting with this Maybelline define-a-brow gelish pencil (I used light brown) to try it out. The color doesn’t have a red tint to it (like most eyebrow products do), and goes on much more natural than a regular pencil.  If you love it (and I am sure you will), you will find that it goes fast and in that case, this Tarte product (I use taupe) is worth the investment. It comes with a brush to “paint” them in. It’s called a mousse, but really goes on in a similar consistency as they gelish pencil above. The pencil is great but I found I could go through one each month. The little pot of Tarte mousse has lasted me wayyyy longer. I think it will get me past a year for sure.

I think when my eye brows are full it frames my eyes best and helps me look more complete and awake… [eyebrow tangent complete]

3. George and I celebrated the 1st anniversary of our marriage. It has been an AMAZING year. I love him even more today than I did one year ago. I think I tell me like 10000 times a day too. I hope to post next week what I have learned so far from marriage. I could probably do 10 post on this, but overall, marriage has been absolutely wonderful. Sharing my life with this man has been better than I could ever imagine.

Remember this day? Can you believe it’s been a year?

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On a semi-related note, I am toying with the idea of selling my wedding dress. I just feel like its too pretty to just sit in a box. If you know of anyone that would love it as much as I do let me know!

4. Christmas was great this year! I was so glad to host my mother and sister- in -law at our home and then head to STL to celebrate with all the Krystopa Whitney Clan.  I stunk it up on the picture taking but here are a few I snagged on Facebook.

Christmas cookies with the Terlep’s
10341646_10204700027533563_88065903107069493_n Kathy and Anna have incredible artictic talent, George has an incredible sweet tooth for cookies and cupcakes, and well I just have a lot of fun haha.10407794_10204700001972924_8793164883288062809_nThe Krystopa crew (missing a few). We have grown so much that there is not one place in the house were we can all [safely] fit with enough room to take a picture. Thank goodness it wasn’t too cold out.

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Girl cousins (and some little ones)!

10888563_921482894537599_761136607655215567_nThe reindeer team for some family feud. Love my cousins!
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5. We grew up reading a lot in the Whitney house.  As adults, we have started a great tradition for Christmas: The Whitney Book Exchange. I am sure Shannon will do a great post about this years books soon. In the meantime, I wanted to throw a shout out to the two books I have read/reading.  I choose “Unbroken” . A movie just came out based on the book. Read it. Soooooooo goood.  The movie is good too, but there is so much more detail in the book.  This unbelievably true story is worth the read.

Now, I am currently about half way though my dad’s pick “One Second After”.  This one is really blowing my mind. This fiction novel sheds light on our society’s dependence on electronics and the scary tendencies of human nature. Apocalyptic /post- apocalyptic stories  seem to be a trend right now, but this one has really got me thinking.

Here I am bundled up with a book and my new heated blanket (the hubby gives me the best gifts)!

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In case you missed our Christmas card, here were are!christmas card

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Friday to you 🙂

Christmas Traditions & Ornaments Part II

Last week I posted on some favorite ornaments on my mom and dad’s tree. If you missed it, you can read it here.

This year, as the weather began getting colder, I started painting a picture in my head of our first Christmas together as a little family in our own home. I was brain storming of great holiday traditions that I wanted to start that we could one day tell our kids about and carry on with them.

Our friends have an elf on the shelf that they take turns setting up for each other every night. They have the cutest and funniest ideas. I wanted to make this a tradition for us too.

I bought an elf last year.

I got the elf out this year.

She has moved once…. and it was because she was in my way.

Fail.

I wanted to decorate a beautiful gingerbread house.

Did we decorate a ginger bread house? Yes.

Is it beautiful? I will leave that up to your interpretation. ha ha

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It turns out someone was a little bossy when it came to the creative vision… so we ended up each decorating one face of the house and sharing the roof.  Ill let you guess who did each side.  IMAG2254 IMAG2253

Hint. The snow must have been blowing at a fierce angle, only hitting George’s side.

This is our first Christmas (married and) in our first house. I wanted to decorate our home perfectly. I think I succeed on this goal for the most part. Butttttttt, because I love a good deal, I plan to get most of our Christmas decor on sale December 26th, so this year, our decorations are minimal 🙂 They are still oh so beautiful and I LOVE our tree. Pictures of the tree will come soon, but I am waiting for our Christmas cards to go out first so I don’t spoil the surprise.

In the meantime, I will highlight a few ornaments we have together (and those I snatched from Mom and Dads collection and brought to our tree in KC).

We received a package from our real estate agents last week. Inside was this sweet ornament commemorating our new home. I love these types of ornaments because years down the road when this house is no longer new and exiting, we will pull out our Christmas tubs and for just a minute be reminded of the feeling our house give us now. This little ornament carries the feelings of excitement, accomplishment, and family.

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We have a set of these reflective diamond ornaments that were originally my grandpa’s when he was a kid. These puppies have been around for three generations of Christmas morning smiles!

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George and I each have our own graduation cap and gown to commemorate hours upon hours of studying.

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We painted ornaments as our own “Sips and Splatters” craft last weekend. Not too shabby aye?

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Mom  got me this one. Back in middle school I was nicknamed (by my family of course) as the “baby tamer”. I had baby sitting jobs lined up every weekend and could handle even the wild kids my sister refused.
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When I travel, I always like to snag an ornament to remind me of my adventure. Here are South Africa and Ireland.

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My oldest friend, Sarah home-made me this beauty in 2004. Love it!

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Next up a handful of memories of the days of CJA. The beloved itchy plaid skit, pole vaulting, and field hockey.

IMAG2246 IMAG2240 IMAG2239 IMAG2238Last year, my mom and dad gave me this Cinderella ornament for my last Christmas before I got married. 

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Now we have a little collection of engagement and wedding ornaments as well!

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I still have a few more fun activities that I wanted to do this year in the holiday season. We still have a week left to make some memories. 🙂 Whether  they are planed or unplanned traditions, I am sure they will develop over time. I am just excited for the upcoming family time with the ones I love!

What are your favorite traditions?

Christmas Ornament Classics

Merry (almost) Christmas! I was so glad I had the chance to head back to St. Louis this past weekend for some long over due family time. In just the 58 hours back home, we squeezed in a LOT of fun. We starting off the weekend we celebratory drinks and pinterest fest for my newly engaged sister, and ended the weekend with the Garth Brooks/Trisha Yearwood concert (which was AMAZING btw!)

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We celebrated Garth’s Dad’s Birthday. He’s much to handsome to be this damn old. 😉

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Dad labeled us with our alter egos.

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In between we celebrated my cousins 30th birthday, showered her with diapers for her soon to arrive twin boys, girl talked with the cousins  and aunts, and loved up on some sweet babies.

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The night was complete with our version of sips and splatters ornament painting and twin trivia.

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Sunday started off right with some Jesus and Jack.2

Then we decorated Fort Whitney with some Christmas spirit.

Every year at Christmas I am in aww of the beautifully decorated trees on pinterest. Or how about the trees at the mall? You know, were all the ribbons, and lights, and ornaments match perfectly. Well I can’t speak for you, but the Whitney tree is still the most beautiful tree I have ever seen. It’s not because it matches, to be honest. its really a hodgepodge of colors and shapes crammed on to every branch. I love our tree because it is FULL of wonderful memories. Each year we add a memory (or two or three) to the tree. I absolutely love digging out the ornaments each year and laughing at the funny memories and reminiscing of years past. I snapped a few photos this to share some Whitney classics.

First off, Mom was kind enough to hand-me-down the Asian santas to George (remember how he has trouble keeping his eyes open for photos?)  These squinty eyed santas will be a perfect addition to our KC Christmas.

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This Christmas will be our first spent with out Zorro.  He used to love the festivities, you could tell my his extra long naps. He especially loved when we put the blow up deer antlers on this head.

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Up next, Shannon’s personal favorite: Julie “the brace face”. Shannon was the only Whitney child who never wore braces, which also means she is the only Whitney child that does not have an embarrassing ornament to remember  the awkward middle age years with a mouth full of metal. Mom wanted to make sure we remember ALL the big events in our lives no matter how embarrassing.

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The cheer squad. Not only did mom shop for memorable ornaments, but some times the relatives joined in on the fun. I guess cheerleader ornaments are easy to find, because we have a whole squad on the tree. I think we counted 6? I brought a few of the cheerleaders to KC this year too. Below is a personal favorite, we call her DD Cheerleader, due to her large…um…pom poms.

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Next up are the photo ornaments. It seems like we made one every year at school. Here are the highlights.

Chubby santa baby 🙂

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About 3 years old I think.It’d hard to tell because I wore this christmas dress a few years…then I wore Shannon’s matching dress for a few years after. #littlesisterlove

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Christmas Brownie (1st grade?)

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1999 was a good year for me. Denim dress, striped turtle neck and sleep in foam rollers. Oh the price of beauty.

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I call this one my “Mona Lisa smile”. This was 5th grade I think. I was very self conscious of my pre-braces smile, and tried to smile without showing my crooked teeth. I swear I was not this serious all the time.

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Skipping a few years to high school graduation, oh the memories.

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Each year it is tradition to get a god-child ornament from my god mother. This little bear for my third Christmas has always been my favorite.

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What a nerd!

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Seeing my field hockey ornaments and photos in my room really have me missing my CJA team.

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Simba and Nala are some long time favorites. We used to play barbies with the Nativity set. Baribe and friends would travel from afar to see their Aunt Mary and new baby cousin Jesus. Sometimes Simba and Nala would come too.

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And well close it out with a Mizzou Tiger.We are looking forward to the citrus bowl!  IMAG2211

George Turns 24!

Today is my husband’s 24th birthday! Whoooo!!!  Here is a little tribute to him. Below are some some well known bits, and some best kept secrets about my handsome husband, favorite person, and love of my life: George Austin Terlep.IMAG0389

  • Starting with the obvious: He LOVES Dr. Pepper. If it came in human form, he would have married it. He swears he can taste all 23 flavors of deliciousness.
    Dr. Pepper toast at the wedding
    Dr. Pepper toast at the wedding

    140104_507 He has a definitive ranking of  which restaurants and fast food joints have the best Dr. Pepper. If you think that a Dr. Pepper taste the same no matter where you go, you would most definitely be WRONG! (if you are wondering, straight from the can is the best)

    We were Doctor+Pepper for Halloween. Get it?
    We were Doctor+Pepper for Halloween. Get it?
  • I’d like to start off the second item by mentioning that George and I have a very trusting and committed relationship. BUT. There is one person I fear that some day my husband may run off with. It’s not some ex girl friend from his past. It’s Trent Raines. IMAG0835 140104_412IMAG0251 148865_1545686844601_3953463_n

199601_4044590435434_1906196721_n These two have a love affair that can not be put into words. They are two peas in a pod that have SO much in common (including their  passion for the  Lord and their obsession for Dr. Pepper, the latest tech gadgets, and marrying  beautiful women ha). Luckily Trent’s wife, Katie,  is awesome and we can bond while the boys are off getting their bro time in. George didn’t grow up with a brother,  but there is no doubt that God gave George a brother in Trent.140104_358

Oh and a little bonus story: I do not kid. On our honeymoon we were relaxing on the beach with pina coladas in hand, and my brand new husband looks at me and says. “Wow this is paradise. The only thing that could make this better is if Trent were here too”.  ON OUR HONEYMOON! My jaw dropped and he quickly added, “…and Katie too of  course. You guys could paint each others nails or something”.

We could get Trent a coozie that says "Mr.'s Best Man"
We could get Trent a coozie that says “Mr.’s Best Man”

Looks like we may need to plan a  double date vacation sometime.

Just imagine Trent jumping in on this honeymoon selfie.
Just imagine Trent jumping in on this honeymoon selfie.
  • He is a true Royals fan. I’m not sure why a kid who lives about half way between KC and Cardinal Nation would pick the Royals, but George did. Even when they loose  (aka the last 35 years) he wears his blue proud. This October was a VERY exciting time in our house. IMAG1720 IMAG2082 IMAG2074
  • George is a night owl. In college staying up until 4am then sleeping in until noon was his normal. His big-boy job puts a little damper on that schedule, but some times he is still a little hard to wake up in the mornings.

    George in the mornings :)
    George in the mornings 🙂
  • I do most of the cooking in the house, but every morning George makes a healthy breakfast . Green smoothies for the win!

    Green, or brown, or purple smoothies depending on the veggies!
    Green, or brown, or purple smoothies depending on the veggies!
  • He also has become a pro griller. His specialties are Hawaiian chicken kabobs and the most mouth watering salmon known to man kind. I don’t know how he does it, but you should come over and try it for yourself. IMAG1687
    Remember that time he made ALL the hot dogs.
    Remember that time he made ALL the hot dogs.

    (oh and chocolate covered strawberries for desert!)IMAG1222

  • George started the duck faceIMAG1824
  • To his family, he is known as George Austin or GA…sometimes when his is being silly I call him Austin George. His camp friends know him as just Austin. Sometimes it can get confusing.

    "Austin" at his favorite place.
    “Austin” at his favorite place.
  • He’s handy. Since we’ve moved he has replaced/installed all kinds of things in the house. He has also changed a lot of tires and batteries since I’ve known him.IMAG1743 215341_1539977421605_5145880_n IMAG1215 1408507740673
  • He’s a nerd. We met at engineering school so it’s to be expected. When I say nerd, I mean really really smart…and a total nerd 🙂

    Spring breaking with engineering friends
    Spring breaking with engineering friends
  • He can dance. He’s got to be in a good mood, and surrounded by people that make him feel comfortable, but when he is, he can really cut a rug. Remember this? He learned this dance in just 1 day!IMG_279295166960829 1536731_733127453373145_1262629692_n 140104_671
  • He like games. Playing sports, video games, backgammon, yard games, you name it. He is pretty competitive and likes to win. Good thing he usually does. IMAG1707He  thinks he’s good at corn hole, but we all know I carry the team.
  • He claims he doesn’t like to cuddle, but sometimes (when it’s cold) I wake up like this (and I love it).

    love me some cuddles!
    love me some cuddles!
  • He likes Pretty Little Liars. He claims he just watches it with me, but we all know he wants to find out who A is just as much as all the other teen age girls.

    George channeling his teenage girl...hes going to kill me for this!
    George channeling his teenage girl…hes going to kill me for this!
  • A kid at Chuckie cheese = George at Dave and busters. And the best prize? Giant slinkies!IMAG1319
  • He has a hard time keeping his eyes open in pictures. 427939_3875862457535_1440106692_n306412_2252987646679_951607280_n

All funny things aside, I am so lucky to have George in my life. He is a brilliant man who is slow to anger and full of love and understanding. Above all, George challenges me to be a better person through his honestly, patience, commitment, and strength.  I have the privilege to spend my life with him.

Honeymoon
Honeymoon
Dunn River Falls
Dunn River Falls

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Our first real date. The one that changed my life :)
Our first real date. The one that changed my life 🙂

Here’s to many more!

Bumps in the Road

A few weeks ago George and I had a few days where we seemed to keep butting heads over nothing. There was no big fight or upsetting moment. We just weren’t meshing well. I felt like he wasn’t really listening to me, and he was feeling like I wasn’t showing him much affection.  Even though we live together and physically see each other every day, we were not taking the time to really BE together.  As summers tend to be, we have been super busy. Still settling into our new house, visiting family and friends, and enjoying summer activities distracted us from our relationship. When we didn’t give our relationship the time it deserves we ended up leaving each other feeling less than loved. This feeling can carry on with me into my day at work and then home again leading to an unwelcomed crabby cycle. Lucky for me,  I have a husband who noticed this shortage of quality time together too. Talking it out and intentionally setting aside time to one another makes all the difference. Even if its just 30 minuets to divert from our daily lives to give that attention to one another allows our selves to open up and accept the love we offer. Some times this looks like dinner together (@ the table, with no phones, no TV, no radio), a car ride when we turn down the tunes, laying in bed and talking before rushing off to meet the day. Lately we have been going for a nice walk around the neighborhood together after dinner. I love this time, just me and him. Some times we talk about our day, or our thoughts on what’s new in the news, and sometimes we just enjoy each other’s company in silence. What’s most important is that we took the time away from our fun, away from our to do list, and everything else just to be with one another. Sweet and simple.

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The last few weeks I have been feeling a similar type of  unsettling in my heart. This time it is in my relationship with God. I realized that the issue is so similar to the way I was feeling with George a few weeks before. I wasn’t obviously feeling God’s love around me. I felt like He wasn’t listening to me. In reality I wasn’t giving him much to listen to. Just like I wasn’t taking the time to really BE with George even tough he was around, I was not taking time to really BE with the Lord. Going to church on Sunday is not enough for me to really fuel a relationship.  I haven’t taken much time to really sit with the Lord, to share my thoughts, to read His word, and pray on it, and listen to HIm. I was not putting in my part to this relationship.

 

Our relationship with God is just that, a relationship. Marriage is  a model of God’s love for us.  Christ if the bride of the church. He has given us the gift of marriage to teach revel to us more about his love and grace. Just like our relationships with others here on earth, our relationship with God  is constantly in need of time, attention. Just as any other relationship has give and take, our relationship with God is similar except for one thing. God is ALWAYS giving. Sometimes we may not see or feel this, but he is always there calling our name, begging for us to love him back. He wants us to show our hearts, to bring him our needs, to worship him. He doesn’t need it, God already knows our thoughts, but he wants it for us. When we give ourselves to him we are better  able to hear his call and feel his presence in our lives.

 

Just like setting aside time for a walk with my husband has allowed us to grow closer as a couple, setting aside time each morning to read God’s word has grown my faith and deepened my relationship with Christ.  How cool that He uses our daily live to teach us lessons about Him.

Birthday…I mean Birthweek

You know some people have a birthday and some people have a birthweek? Well I am unashamed  to be one that celebrates the latter. I think people often turn the calendar over to August and realize that summer has gone way to fast and there is still so much fun to be had before the kids head back to school. When August starts people are ready to start squeezing as much fun into the last precious days of summer. AKA my birthday week…heck if I could make it a birthMONTH I would :).

This year most definitely did not disappoint. We kicked of Julie Palooza week at Table Rock Lake with the family. It was so nice to relax and soak in the sun as we boated and swam. This year we went all out and got neon family shirts. Here is the crew (minus 5). We were lucky everyone was able to join us at least for a few days.

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My family has a handful of summer birthday’s so we celebrated poolside with cake every night. (Yes I am generous enough to share my birthweek with others as long as I get some cookie cake).

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Here are the cousins at Luke’s birthday celebration. (Photos from mine are still “developing” AKA my mother is a little slow to the upload).

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George and I cooked dinner one night. We found a bomb marinade recipe for chicken and veggie kabobs. They were a huge hit.

George Foreman here on the grill
George Foreman here on the grill

 We also got to try the famous Heffer-itias. A twist on the usually margs.I miss seeing my family on the regular now that I am living across the state. It is so nice to spend time with them.

Because I used up a lot of my vacation time on the honeymoon, George and I had to head back to KC for work Thursday and Friday. The fun continued when my mother in law and sister in law  headed into town and grabbed lunch with me and got a quick tour of my work.

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Sisters!

We all headed to the royals game to tailgate and catch a win.

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We even saw friends!

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Friday after work Julia and Elisa came to town for more birthday celebrations 🙂 We had a girls night out at Power and Light on Friday.

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Saturday was spent mostly shopping and prepping food for the party. Luckily we were able to work in a long run and swim. I know I needed the exercise before I stuffed my face with all the delicious food we made and people brought. I mean how could you resist this?

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You see these hotdogs? Yeah I bought a huge pack of the big fatty dogs for the party and decided to get a big pack of the regular ones just incase more people  than I expected came. Well my wonderful grilling husband decided that we needed all the hotdogs….. I mean look at how many we have here! I may be looking for some creative hotdog casseroles if someone doesn’t help me eat them.

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It was great to hang out, eat and play games with my KC crew.

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No, I did not buy my own crown for my own birthday party. But I am not going to turn it down when someone else brings me one. Now that would just be rude. PS. I love crowns 🙂

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Sunday my boo thang surprised me with the sweetest gift. He had planned a nice dinner out, and when I started getting ready, he had my gift all set out: a beautifully coordinated outfit. He did some major research on my sizes and styles and picked out a dress, shoes, and accessories for our date.

Please ignore my awkward selfies/ posing. My modeling career did not take off for a reason.

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Ps I was trying to by sneaky and cover up the athletic tape on my knee/leg…I do not usually stand like this, and no, I do not have to pee.

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How cute are these little lady bug earrings? Get it? They used to call me Julie bug.

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Matching shoes and bracelet.

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Oh and if you haven’t seen this yet, my sister posted some birthday pay back for this post I made for her birthday

Thanks for all the sweet birthday wishes. Its been a great year. Here’s to 23!