TELL ME ABOUT YOUR WEDDING

After four wonderful years together, Ben and I got married on August 9, 2015 at Whitehall Estate in Bluemont, Virginia. It was one of the best days of my life!!

We got engaged in August 2014 and started wedding planning around November 2014. We wanted a simple, personal wedding, and worked hard to make that happen with the support of our families and friends. Planning the wedding was incredibly exciting, but a little overwhelming, and I’m glad to be done with it and moving on to the next big thing in our lives.

Continue reading “TELL ME ABOUT YOUR WEDDING”

Take a walk

I’ve been loving the fall weather here in Ohio. Surprise – it’s just like fall in Virginia and Massachusetts! As often as I can, I’ve been taking advantage of the sunny skies and chilly weather by going for long walks. As always, I want to improve my photography, and dusted off my camera a few days ago to take some pictures around the neighborhood.

Here’s a little peek at autumn in Oakwood!

Oh, and PS – we bought a house. Whoops!

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Daily reminder – You Are Enough

What made her a great storyteller is that she saw herself as the fascinating main character in the wild story of her life.

TBH time!

Ever since I heard about the whole idea of blogging, I’ve wanted to write a blog. I love reading memoirs, and want my blog to read as a mini memoir/journal/place where I unload my thoughts.

I’ve tried blogging multiple times, but just like every diary I started as a kid, the blogs never stuck. If my past blogs were in the physical form of a diary, they would have hundreds of blank pages left unfilled. I don’t really have a direction for this blog, though I wish I did, so this one is simultaneously easier and more difficult to write for. I can write whatever I want, and it doesn’t have to follow a theme or be about a specific subject. And so what would make people want to read it? What makes me want to write for it? Is it for views, or to keep my family and friends updated? Is it a personal journal, or is it to someday get internet famous?

I’ve shied away from writing for this blog many evenings because when I went to write, I felt ashamed that this blog seems to have no purpose or reason. Is this post going to make people think my blog is super serious and about deep thoughts? Will people (readers? What readers?) think my blog is dumb and whiny and full of first-world problems? This blog has no name – shouldn’t it have a name?

And so this post below is something I’m going to keep open in a tab on my laptop – every time those thoughts pop into my head while I’m trying to build my blog, I will remind myself that I am enough. There’s no pressure for my blog to be anything from anyone, and that’s a beautiful, freeing notion.

“What if the next time we sat down to write, we didn’t worry about being interesting, we didn’t worry about being liked, and we didn’t worry about being reblogged?”

Source: You Are Enough

Thanks for reading! ~Margaret

Scrolling for change

What is it about a Humans of New York photo and heart-wrenching story that makes us suddenly care? What is it about a tragic picture of a lifeless three-year-old’s body washed up on the beach that makes us all want to stand up and help? And why do these aching feelings seem to subside so quickly and disappear from the social consciousness?

Social media and the global immediacy of the news these days makes us simultaneously so aware of social justice issues, but the fact that it comes and goes from our news feeds, and minds, so quickly makes it so easy to move on and almost more difficult to really care or take purposeful action in the long term. I feel guilty just thinking that I scroll through past stories of struggle and hardship and loss around the world any time I am on my phone, sometimes stopping to look and investigate if it holds my interest long enough, or if it’s relatable. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a genuinely crappy person or if it’s because it’s too overwhelming to me to learn about all of this pain in the world and not be able to feel like I’m exacting any change on it.

Reading these stories and educating myself about what’s going on in the world is so important, and I think that you can’t do responsible social justice work without making yourself fully aware of the situation. But where I’m at in my life right now, what kind of social justice work can I even do? I’m not the kind of person who’ll share an article on Facebook about something and mentally check off a box thinking that I’ve spread enough awareness for the day. Now that I’m not in college, where I could feel like I was making a difference in my little social activist circles, and now that I’m in a place where I don’t feel like I’m a part of any particular community, what can I do? At the same time, doing social justice things for the sake of making yourself feel better isn’t a great reason for motivation.

While I work on figuring this out, I’ll just keep reading and scrolling and watching and talking and learning. I think that’s the best I can do.

Thanks for reading! ~Margaret

A buttload of nostalgia

I know I’m really lucky to have so many places and experiences I can look back on and miss, but wow, does it suck sometimes.

Moving is hard. Relocating and attempting to start a “career” (whatever that is) and being newly married and trying to make friends are all kind of hard on their own, but throw on top of that a butt-load of nostalgia, and you’ve got yourself a fun mix of emotions!

This is the first September since I was 5 where I have not experienced the start of school. Being a student has been a gigantic part of my life for, well, most of my life, and finding myself missing that piece of my identity is more to grasp than I expected.

I miss the excitement of the first few weeks of school, where you’re beginning new classes and figuring out your workload for the year, getting to know your classmates, planning out your goals for the next months. Daresay I miss the homework and the readings??

I miss Wheaton – I miss the people. It was an amazing thing to be able to walk around campus at any given time of the day and run into at least two people who know who you are and who you can chat with. I miss feeling like a feminist. So much of my feminist identity over the past four to six years has been tied up with my involvement in clubs, with campus activism, with tabling, with event planning, with 2 am common room chats about feminist theory. I don’t totally know how to be a feminist outside of that context, especially in this new world of the military and midwest living.

I miss being able to travel all over New England any given weekend. Ben and I had so much fun exploring Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Maine, Newport, and lots of little towns right around us. There’s so much to see and do in Massachusetts and the surrounding states. I know there’s plenty to see and do in Ohio, but with new jobs and the move, we aren’t as able to get out there and find it all. We were so lucky to be able to travel as much as we did.

I miss feeling organized and put together and feeling like I have a plan. When I was in college, I felt like I knew what I was doing. I knew what my major was, when I would graduate, and by the time senior year rolled around, I knew that after graduation, I would get married and move. It all seemed so straight-forward and comfortably challenging. Now here I am in Ohio, so happy to be married and with Ben and in a new place to start post-grad life, but post-grad life is a little scarier than I thought it would be! I just started a new job, but it’s part-time and not in the career field I spent the last four years preparing for. I’m glad to be employed and to be meeting new people through it and to learn lots of new things, but I always had a picture in my mind that after college, I would easily find a non-profit or teaching job that I could settle into comfortably and feel successful in.

Heck, it’s only September, so all those things can still come. I’m sure in a few months I’ll feel more settled and happy with Ohio living. I’m also sure I’ll always miss the past, since I’m prone to getting hit by waves of nostalgia more often than I’d like. I am so so lucky to have this much to miss.

I’ve just got to learn to be patient and keep an eye towards the future but my mind in the present.

Thanks for reading! ~Margaret

Today’s thoughts: I can’t wait to move

This evening, I learned the hard way that you cannot turn on the faucet in the kitchen and take a hot shower at the same time.

I can’t wait to move.

I’m quickly learning that as a military spouse, there’s a lot of jargon and acronyms to learn and remember – TLF being one of those. TLF stands for Temporary Living Facility, which is where Ben and I have been living since we got to Dayton. When you’re PCSing (moving to a different base) you usually get to stay in the TLF for a few days on the military’s dime, which is what we’re doing for a few more days. Since we can’t move into our house until September 4th, we’re extending our stay until then.


At Wright-Patt, the TLF for us (married couple, no kids) ended up being a duplex which used to be base housing. Two bedrooms, one bathroom, a full kitchen, and laundry. It also comes with a heat lamp in the bathroom that glows red and makes the room look like a murder room! Doesn’t every house need one of those?

It’s been really great to have a home base while we’ve been exploring the area, and it feels super safe here. It’s nice to have the kitchen even though the pots and pans they provide are ooooold and kinda crusty. Ben is awesome at making it work, and even cooked us some insanely delicious pan roasted brussel sprouts with garlic and bacon. He’s an amazing chef!!

Anyways, while we are so lucky to have this space while we wait for our house, some parts of it are getting a little frustrating!! For one, I’m really looking forward to being able to shower and do dishes at the same time.

Also, there’s no wifi. Boo.

 

Thanks for reading! ~Margaret

HEY THIS HAPPENED

WE GOT MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!

August 9, 2015 ranks pretty damn high as one of the best days of my life. Ben and I exchanged vows (that we wrote ourselves) in front of 100 of our closest friends and family members. We got married and had the reception at Whitehall Manor in Bluemont, Virginia. Everything came together wonderfully and we are so happy – it’s been a week and a half and we still can’t stop grinning ear-to-ear!

Four days after the wedding, we moved out to Dayton, Ohio, which is where we will be for the next few years. Ben is currently stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and is attending graduate school with the Air Force Institute of Technology here for a year and a half. His next assignment might be here in Ohio as well, so we’re excited to start putting down some roots. We’re staying in temporary housing on base (and counting the days) until we can move into the perfectawesomebeautifulamazing house in Kettering, Ohio that we just signed the lease on yesterday! I’m still looking for a job, but I know I’ll find something I enjoy doing soon enough. We are quickly finding our favorite parts of Dayton and already have coffee shops we’re planning on being regulars at. Before we moved here, people kept mentioning how nice Ohioans (Buckeyes?? I don’t know what to call them) are, and that is definitely true so far. We are being welcomed with open arms and I’m really looking forward to the next few years here!

I’ll write a more in-depth post about the details of our wedding and the vendors we worked with when we get the rest of the pictures back from our photographer! By the way, our photographer is the best photographer in the world and everyone should hire her. All photo credit goes to her!

Thanks for reading! ~Margaret

READ THIS NOW – You Deserve a Drink by Mamrie Hart

I have a slight obsession with YouTube. I have a set few YouTubers who, upon seeing they’ve uploaded videos, make me want to drop everything I’m doing to press play and watch. Some are comedians, like Grace Helbig, some are part-time vloggers, like Zoella, some are beauty gurus, like itsjudytime, and some are just plain amazeballs human beings, like Mamrie Hart.

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Mamrie Hart is, honest to goodness, one of the funniest people I have ever watched. She has two channels, You Deserve a Drink and mametown, and was the host of the online travel web series HeyUSA for two seasons. All of these things make me literally laugh out loud and sometimes even snort. And now, she has written a book! Just like her original YouTube channel, it’s called You Deserve a Drink: Boozy Misadventures and Tales of Debauchery. I love memoir-type books, especially ones with some humor, and let me tell ya, this one is BANGIN. Okay, I just finished reading it today, so her writing style may have rubbed off on me… And if I was Mamrie, I know I’d have a terrible pun to go along with that last sentence!! But alas, I am not, so if you want the funnies, you will have to go buy her book. Continue reading “READ THIS NOW – You Deserve a Drink by Mamrie Hart”