Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Boring But Needed Life Update

Where do I even begin?

Its been a crazy/odd/slow/fast/exciting/disappointing…just different 7 months.

Evan has successfully finished Captains Career Course here at Fort Benning, and is now doing a month long additional course before we pack up our stuff (again) and move to Fort Riley Kansas. Unfortunately Evan hasn't enjoyed either of the courses, but he's had a lot of down time to make up for it. That means we have had a lot of time to just enjoy being together, which has been amazing. Its been the first time in our 4 year marriage that we haven't had to worry about deployments, long work days, or getting called back into work on a Saturday afternoon. It has been a nice change of pace.

Since quitting my job at our last post, I've been a stay at home housewife, which has been interesting. We knew we would only be here for a short period of time, so why get a job to only have to quit a few months later seemed silly. I of course had lots of ideas and goals that I wanted to accomplish while having this time off to myself. To no one's surprise, including myself, most of them haven't happened.

Things like blogging everyday, keeping my house impeccably clean, reading, researching, crafts, baking, cooking, taking pictures, and exercising…oh the sting of self disappointment. Well…not completely.

I successfully became a second shooter for a wedding while here. I was incredibly nervous, but it turned out, I ended up having a lot of fun, and a huge boost in my photography confidence. Quickly after that (in July) I shot my first wedding all by myself. It was a learning experience, but I was surprisingly calm and confident. I felt like I did a great job and now I can't wait until I can do it again. Hopefully when we move to Kansas I can do it full time. I've launched my website and I'm in the process of getting business cards made. I nervous about gaining a business base in Kansas. Sometimes I'm over the moon excited about it, and other days it seems really overwhelming and I couldn't care less what I end up doing as long as I make some money…is that awful? Or maybe I'm just lazy. I'm not sure which. It just makes me confused about what I should do after we move.

The only other successful thing is keeping my house clean…for the most part. I guess a few years ago this would have been a major accomplishment. Lately I've been trying to stay extra organize (including the inside of cupboards and drawers).

Looking back over these months, I am disappointed that I didn't accomplish more, but on the other hand, this might be the only time since I was in high school that I can sleep in until 10 and watch TV all day if I want to, so I'm not going to beat myself up too much. I'm thankful for this time off, but I'm starting to get the itch to get the move over with. I can't wait to get to Kansas. Evan and I traveled there a few weeks ago to get the lay of the land, along with finding a house. Its a beautiful state, with lots of new things to do, including decorate a new house that we bought. Yay for being grown ups!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Meredith Currently...

Obsessing new hair. I finally chopped it all off, and I don't regret it at all!

This idea started last year and I finally mustered up the courage to do it. I ended up cutting about 8-10 inches off. When my hair stylist first turned me around my initial inner panic took off. "Oh my gosh, what have I done, its so short...I don't think I like it it...Don't freak out...umm...ok...I like it...ahhh...No, I love it. Wait, do I look like a boy? No, I definitely love it!" All that to say, I doubted myself for a second, but I'm so happy I did it. I finally feel like an adult. Is it weird that I had to cut all my hair off to do that? Prior to super short hair, I felt like a 19 year old that happened to be married and have a job. Probably because I was always being confused as a high school student. Now I have a whole new attitude and confidence about myself. "Heck yeah, I'm 24 and I can buy this bottle of wine and drink it like a grown-up, suckers!" ...but don't tell my mom...haha kidding. But really, this hair is the new confident start to 2014 that I needed.

Wishing for...a new hat. With my short hair I'm even more obsessed with hats. I especially love Bowler hats. Although I'm having a hard time finding a quality hat that isn't $300. I can't wait to wear them all summer long! I'm thinking of something like these...


Thinking about...oh where do I even start. I have about 4 To Do lists scattered between my house and work. I can't even begin to form functional sentences about what is jumping through my head. It was a struggle to get my act together to write this. Therefore I will bullet point my thoughts below:

* A million books I want to read
* Making a meal schedule of lunches/dinners
* Photos to edit
* Things I need to clean and organize
* A certain puppies face I want to kiss
* Creative things <--- I know, only incredibly deep thoughts found here.
* House searches & moving plans
* Grocery list
* I have to pee
* Other writing drafts I have saved
* My school bag needs cleaned out

Ok well that was kind of stupid, and now I feel like I might as well be brain dead but whatever. It is what it is.

Anticipating...our move to Georgia in March. Evan will be going to Fort Benning to complete his Captain's Career Course Training which is 6 months long. I'm not exactly thrilled that we are moving to Georgia, lets just say its not my dream state to live in. My northern girl heart breaks a little more each time we move further south. I'm absolutely dreading a sweltering Georgia summer; I'm convinced I'm going to melt. But, I am excited to explore a new place and the possibility that I will close to Krysti. Next month we have to go look for a house, which will be fun. I love looking at houses! I think that will make it feel more real that we are really leaving Tennessee. When we first moved here I thought I would be indifferent when it came time to leave. Part of me is ready to move on and see the other places the Army might take us, but I am so sad to leave all the amazing friends I've made here. The Army is such a unique community where, I'm convinced, you make friends that become sisters more quickly than anywhere else. The girls here are so close to my heart; I already know they will be lifelong friends. I feel honored to have gone through a deployment with them, and I couldn't have survived without their company. Lastly, Tennesee the place where Evan and I had our first home together, which is especially sweet to me. We are taking our  time and enjoying every minute we have left here, as eager as we are to "see whats next."

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


This is what I want my 2014 to look like.

1. Be more creative.

I felt at one time, not so long ago, I had so many creative ideas leaking out of my body that I didn't know what to do with them all. Sometimes I blurted them out here, sometimes I took pictures, and sometimes I just read a really good book and dreamt up a hundred new endings. Now I feel grey and dull. I couldn't come up with a single semi-interesting idea right now if I had to. I absolutely hate feeling this way. Life isn't meant to be lived in black and white. I'm on the treadmill of life, rushing along each day until I can quit my job or get my floors scrubbed. Really I'm just being lazy because its a lot easier to sit on the couch every evening, mindlessly watching a TV show, than to force myself out of this funk and create something. But here I sit, publicly declaring a more creative Meredith for 2014.

2. Be a better encourager.

Many, many times throughout my days last year I had moments where I wanted to compliment a stranger or text someone a few words of encouragement, but I didn't. It just felt weird and awkward; instead I stayed quiet. A short, simple card with a few positive words can literately change someones entire week, and I want to be the person that does that for people on a consistent basis. The worst thing that could happen is I might come off as a little strange, (which probably happens regularly normally) so I'm ok with it.

3. Build some muscle.

Now that I have better self control over making healthier eating choices, I feel like its time I incorporate building some muscle. Before I could have never done both endeavors at once. I walk Scout almost a mile everyday, granted its just a stroll, but its still something. But, the last time I carried in groceries I felt like Gumby. I felt embarrassed that I was struggling to carry food 10 steps from my car into the house. Basically it comes down to knowing its time.    

Overall, I'm super excited for this year. Last year my main goal was to be better organized. I can truly say that I have completely accomplished this goal, and it feels great! My house is consistently clean and organized. Look in any drawer in my house, I dare you! Believe it or not you will not find clutter. My hamper isn't overflowing and my clothes are put away. It gives me a whole new confidence into knowing that I can indeed reach goals I set. Along with setting new goals, there are so many adventures in store for Evan and I! We will be moving not once, but twice this year. Once to Georgia for 6 months, and then to another unknown destination, which is all part of the excitement for us. Maybe Evan will stay in the Army, maybe he won't. Maybe I'll figure out what I want to be when I grow up. Maybe we will live in Germany, Alaska, or Colorado. There are so many "maybes," but I'm more excited for this year to work on changing myself for the better. Its not a year where I'm going to be counting down the days until a deployment comes, or will end. I'm not focused on school, applying for jobs, or fixing my house. I'm so happy that I can take these next 6 months and literately focus on making me the best version of me possible. Here is to 2014! Lets do this!  

Monday, May 13, 2013

Simple Monday

So I kind of felt like a really lame daughter this year because I didn't get my mom anything for Mother's Day; just a phone call and a chat about the usual. Does this make me a bad daughter? In defense, I didn't find anything that my mom would actually want. And I can't use the usual copout of flowers because she doesn't like them. But in honor of my Mom I found this, because if we're being honest, I can never find any of my crap. Maybe next year I'll do better...

I found this next gem on Pinterest. 
Oh the hours of life-sucking goodness I can find on there.
For those sad, sad souls who might not know who this is, this is a real man. 
Clark Gable. 
"Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn." 
Gone With the Wind ring any bells?
I just thought he looked so dashing here. Not to mention I can't express how much I love the name Clark. If I ever change my mind and have a kid, Clark would definitely be in the running.

Last but not least, another dashing man in my life. Scouter. 

 I've been actively trying to take more pictures. Scout unfortunately is the usual model, but recently I did a newborn session and a few quick shots of a new friend. I'll post them later this week. Now that a handful of people from work found out I take pictures, I've received a lot of compliments which I'm trying to accept with confidence. Which is hard, but I'm forcing myself to push past the feeling of insecurity into something bigger and better! 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Know Your Place

The past few weeks at work have increasingly become less and less tolerable. Yeah kids can be jerks. They can act pretty entitled, expecting A's for C- work. But, they usually aren't the worst of it, I mean lets be honest, I had my ass moments in high school too. The worst ones are the so-called adults. Teachers constantly act like they know more than anyone on the face of the planet. Yes, please talk to me like I am 4 years old because I'm "just an aide" and you have a big fancy degree: which believe it or not I also have if you would actually take a minute to talk to me, instead of acting like you are placing an order at McDonald's drive-through. It blows my mind how incredibly self-centered, thoughtless, and rude people are. What is happening to being an adult, or better yet, simply having some manners? Look at me in my damn eyes when you talk. Please. Thank-you. You're welcome. Such simple words...rotting away in the dictionary. Maybe hold a door for someone with full hands instead of being so absorbed on whatever your pathetic little mind is focused on. Open your eyes to people around you. I get it. People have bad days. But having a bad day, doesn't ever entitle you to be rude to anyone, ever. Stop acting like your life is so hard, or more important than someone else's. 

You might ask: Why not give them what they deserve? Tell them exactly what's on your mind! Don't help them again, or simply be rude in return! The fact is, I can't do that. Why? Because I know my place. My parents raised me with some manners, which includes knowing my place. People might think it as being meek and mild or a push-over, and yes, it can seem that way, but more often than not its simply shutting your mouth and being an adult with manners.

Instead of rushing to cut that one person in line, flicking off that driver, or acting like the entitled big man (or woman) on campus that you think you are; Be thankful you are healthy enough to stand in line, be blessed enough to own a car, or be alive to breathe fresh air, see the sun shine, and give others hope that humanity still has some polite people left in the world. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Insecure Elephants All in a Room

Listen, I'm going to get real honest real fast.

I'm really insecure.

I am absolutely terrified of failing. Do you ever remember having to show your parents an F that you got on a test, or worse, your report card? That feeling of terror, dread, and disappointment all seasoned with a pinch of cynicism...I'm constantly feeling as though I'm standing in the middle of The Arc of de Triomphe paralyzed. Any avenue could take me anywhere in Paris, but I'm too afraid to take the risk of crossing the street to get anywhere.

The funny thing is, I'm not really scared of letting Evan down, my family, or my friends; I'm lucky enough to have such amazing people in my life, that if I lit my farts on fire for a living, they probably would think I'm still pretty awesome. Letting myself down is another thing.

I love taking pictures. Especially meaningful pictures (duh).Yeah I've taken engagement pictures, kid's pictures, and some senior portraits, but my favorite pictures and the stolen moments. The kind where I'm floating around a party and no one seems to notice me. There isn't a demand for happy families, styled hair, or the perfect shot. I'm in love for every minute of it: until I feel the pressure. As soon as I feel that pressure of getting a perfect shot breathing on my neck: I panic. I overexpose, I underexpose, I cut off heads, and frankly act like I have no clue as to what I'm doing.

I'll get home and download my pictures and hate every single one of them. If the picture I had in mind didn't turn out right I get angry, my cheeks flush, and I feel like I never want to pick up my camera again. I'm frustrated not knowing how to work my camera to get a specific shot. I dread giving pictures to people. I'll spend hours trying to edit them to satisfaction only to fail in my eyes.
Eventually I decided that if I never actually committed to being a full time photographer, and just did it for "fun" and not as a professional, I could never fail. While this is ultimately true, it currently leaves me in a constant torturous and dissatisfied state of mind. One day I'm ready to break out, fulfill my dreams and do what I love. The next day I'm retreating back into a corner, beating myself up, thinking I'm out of my mind.

Then something happened. A few weeks ago I stumbled across Christina Greve, who is a photographer and life coach. I read this article  and felt like she wrote it just for me. It completely expressed, and shot down all the bad things I believed to be true about myself, especially when it came to taking pictures. I am not a crier, but I tear up every time I read it, because deep down I know its painfully true.

Right now I'm a little embarrassed to report that I'm still standing in  the middle of The Arc of de Triomphe. But, I can feel the roots of self-doubt and insecurities slowly disentangling themselves away from me. I'm accepting that its ok to not produce high quality, picture perfect pictures right off the bat. Its going to take time, motivation, and drive to accomplish skills that I want to possess. All of those things can't happen in a day, or even a year. I took pictures of spring around here, and I guess that's a good place as any to start.      

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Dew eyes

My eyes are covered with dew.
My hair is a nest for birds.
I have been conquered with the love I have for all people.

I can't say I'm going to grow up and change the world.
I can't say I'm going to do great things.
But I can tell you I will love people, and I will be overwhelmingly humbled at the chance that I have to be apart of this radically simple thing called life.