Thursday, May 21, 2015

Have We Made a Mistake?

It is daunting to think about our relationship sometimes. Because Justin isn't here for a visit - he lives here now. He lives with me, he's job hunting, he's applying for the Alabama DL, he's switched insurance, etc. We do all these daily things together now that neither of us are used to. And I have to keep shoving all the negative worrisome thoughts to the back of my head: What if this doesn't work out? What if he can't find a job? What if he doesn't get along with my family? What if he meets someone else? What if he gets really homesick and can't take it here?
And then there's all the fears of now living together. Do we get along? Is the toilet seat always going to stay up? Can I pee in front of him? Will he hate how I chew? Do I have to wear makeup every day to keep him interested? Will he find something I do that annoys him to no end?
When he lived in California and was 3,000 miles away it was almost easier. Because if we didn't work out, there was no chance of running into him at a store or him having to move out or fly back home. And now those possibilities are there. Now the loss would be far greater.
Things are going well, don't get me wrong, it's just such a big move and adjustment that my mind is still processing it all.
This is a big learning experience and I know that won't stop for a long time. Because how things are now, won't stay like this. He'll get a job and a place of his own. I'll then move from having him around all the time to hm being gone at work and then gone at his place while we start the switch of me moving in with him. Then he won't be here every night which will be weird until we're moved in together in a new place, and then all of those adjustments will be made as well. I haven't moved in a long time so that'll be stressful on top of having Emmy who is still adjusting and settling and learning to trust.
Lots of changes. And I hate change.
I do find myself kind of resisting a lot just in case things don't work out, which is crazy because we've been together almost three years.
But I catch myself not going places with him or keeping some distance - to keep myself safe, I guess. Which is also crazy.
Because I do find I'm loving the little things. Like cleaning the kitchen together. Who knew that could be fun? Or yesterday, we went on a beer run because some family friends are coming into town, so we drove around together and that's still so new to me. Usually I text him while I'm out - I don't turn my head and talk to him because he's sitting right there. Or when I'm anxious, he doesn't call or send me a voice message anymore, he hugs me and rubs my back and helps until I'm not as anxious.
I don't take these for granted, but they're still kind of surreal.
And still part of me is waiting for the morning where I wake up and have to take him to the airport and say goodbye again and then go sit and cry in my car after he gets through security.
My mind still doesn't accept that I don't have to say goodbye this time. It's still kind of freaking out - and freaking me out - and giving me all these thoughts about us ending and how horrible it would be because he's picked up and moved all the way here for me. For us. To be with me and have a future with me that doesn't depend on the Internet working that day. And that's some scary, scary stuff.

Inspired by this LDR Writing Prompt: Fears

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Raising Emmy: Bubble Blower

Having a puppy that likes the water is so new to me. We had one Cocker/Springer Spaniel mix growing up that loved the water but I was too young to do much with her in that area. I had my Labby who liked the water as a puppy until my uncle threw him (yes, THREW) into a pond to "make him love to swim" which ended up traumatizing him and he wouldn't even walk through puddles after that. So my little Beago, Emmy, is in love with the water so far. She adores puddles, her kiddie pool, and she's up to the second stair on our big pool by herself. Mostly she paws, blows bubbles, and eats bugs.
The water is still too cold for us to go swimming but when it's warmed up I'm hoping we can lure her in (the correct way) so she's actually swimming and not standing on the stairs. Swimming would be a God send to draining her high energy level - we're up to at least 2 miles a day and she still gets the Zoomies every night complete with donuts and high nipping. So, fingers are crossed she can swim and wear herself out. My nieces would love to have her swim with them, I'm sure. And I've never had a dog willingly go swimming so I'm looking forward to this possibility!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Happiness from 3,000 Miles Away

Ideally, making someone happy from 3,000 miles away shouldn't be the easiest thing. But in my LDR I found myself the happiest I had been with a guy. I had been in very not-so-great relationships before I met Justin. But from the start, we just clicked. He told me things I needed to hear even when I didn't realize it. He supported me. He was nice. It was all new to me, being with someone nice and that gave a damn. The longer we went being far apart the harder some things got but it also made us stronger. We had to connect on a level where the physical side had to wait. Looking back, I'm really glad we had to. We learned so much about each other and talked and connected on levels that, when visits finally happened, just made the physical side effortless. We knew each other really well before meeting in person and nothing was awkward at all when we were finally together. Communication is, of course, important, but there were a lot of things he did that made (and still make) me happy, even when he was 3,000 miles away instead of, currently, in my kitchen.

He complimented me and not just on the way I looked. He complimented the way I thought, the way I did things, my sense of humor, how I would pull the car over to rescue a turtle, how I would get the neighbor's goat's head unstuck from the adjoining fence. Little things I never thought about and just did were suddenly brought to my attention in a good way. Things that I thought were normal or that most people would do, he would tell me I'm the only person he knows that would do them (which is kind of a bummer when it comes to rescuing the turtles) or that I was literally the kindest person he knew (also a bummer - why aren't people nicer?).

He sent surprises. Everyone likes presents, but when you're having a really, really shitty week and the doorbell rings and it's a dozen roses from your boyfriend 3,000 miles away who sent them just to cheer you up, well, you know you've met someone amazing. He never had to send anything. I never asked. I never expected anything, really. In his life, he doesn't celebrate much, so when he would send flowers or other things with no occasion it meant so much to me.

The distance didn't mean no happiness. It just meant a more creative happiness. Movie dates over the phone, dinner over Skype, sending pictures of things we came across during our day. There were tons of little things we did to stay connected. Being long distance is not a death sentence. It's just a way to think outside the box when it comes to your relationship. And I think we did pretty good considering how things have worked out. Did I mention he's in my kitchen right now? <3

Inspired by this LDR Writing Prompt: Happiness

Friday, May 8, 2015

Raising Emmy: Week 5

Enjoys playing in the mud.

 "Do you see this thing!?"

 Week five highlights:

Comes when called more often
Will sleep through the night
Does well with other dogs still if they are not rabbit reminders
Will stay in the crate for about an hour while I run errands


Come (usually)

Working on:

Not chasing cars
Not lunging on leash to get to dogs, people, etc.
Not growling at people as we walk by
Drop it
Leave it

Things have settled down some, but she's still a puppy so things are still frustrating. Having not had her early on I missed out on her formative months. She's a huge nipper still but mostly with me. She seems to favor guys and listens to my dad and Justin way more than me or my mom. I guess she thinks she's the head bitch.
She also still growls a lot which is usually fine because it's things she sees as a threat. She had a growling fit over a couch cushion a neighbor threw out on the curb. Those things, I don't mind. But when it's children or people walking by with their families, I worry a little. She's never bitten aggressively - just nipping that's usually her signal for "PLAY WITH ME RIGHT NOW" but it does make me worry I'm not exposing her enough.

I don't know what month she's in. 7? 8? 9 maybe? Whatever it is, it's like a child's terrible twos. She doesn't listen as well as when we first got her. When she wants to walk all in someone's yard and we keep her near the road or when a walk is over and it's time to go inside, she throws a tantrum and lays on the ground (sometimes in the middle of the road) until we pick her up or distract her enough to get her moving again.

I still don't understand why she seems to like everyone else better than me. Even when returning home from hours out I get an okay greeting but everyone else gets tail wags, whining, excitement and that's really frustrating to have had her over a month and her still to seem not to like me much. I feed her, walk her, train her, groom her, play with her, etc., so I thought I had more bonding time in with her. Part of me thinks I'm around too much. If I'm always here, why would she be excited to see me? But it's hard to leave often enough for her to miss me. I write/review from home and my errands don't take eight hours a day. I just don't know what to do but wait, I guess.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Closing the Gap with Anxiety

The big day was Wednesday! Justin's flight was delayed almost an hour and by the time I left I got stuck in all the school zones so I was late. Then baggage claim took forever, so I just pulled outside to the arrivals and waited there.
It's been so surreal - and super scary, which is weird. On visits it's been amazing. I've been so calm, and things were great. This time I think my mind is like, "THIS IS PERMANENT" and, "THINGS ARE CHANGING" and my body has flipped out. I've reverted to old patterns and obsession - mainly dealing with food. It's all just so bizarre. He's doing fine and I'm flipped out and I thought it would be the opposite because I'm not the one who moved 3,000 miles away and left everyone I really know. Yet here I am. Things get a little better every day. I'm eating small amounts again. But I hate that I reacted how I did. Living with an abnormal mind is not easy, and it's even harder when most of those around you don't understand why you feel the way you do.
But I know things will keep getting a bit better every day. It's been almost a week and things are going well. He has a job interview on Friday that we all have our fingers crossed on because it would be very ideal for him and of course I want him to be happy and do something he enjoys.

So far, closing the gap has been pretty much what I thought it would but with way more anxiety on my part. This is a big change, for everyone. And things will keep changing. He'll get a job and a place, I'll move in slowly since I have a dog to adjust (as well as myself) and things will keep progressing. It's very scary and I feel like I'm just bumble-fucking my way around at the moment. Which I've decided it okay. Because I have no control over this and I need to wrap my head around that. Things will keep moving forward, like life does, and I'm just along for the ride. And I need to learn to enjoy that and get excited about all that's in the future for us.

So probably not most "closing the gap" stories you've read and I did want ours to be calmer and a bit more 'normal' but I just have to accept things for what they are and breathe.

Inspired by this LDR Writing Prompt: Defining Moment

Saturday, April 25, 2015

LDR - 3 Things I Would Have Done Differently.

I was asked to join this amazing site, and blog about my experiences in my own LDR (long distance relationship) since I've been in one for almost three years. So, I'll blog for them a few times a month and hopefully some of you enjoy these posts. I don't talk about our relationship much because of all the stuff that has happened but now that we're closing the gap and things are about to get a lot more interesting, I decided I'll blog about us now.
So, to start this off, I thought I would start with things I would have done differently in our relationship, especially the first year.

The first year was full of ups and downs. The first few months we got to know each other really well, we had several 'firsts' happen, I was completely head over heels for him and fell fast. I couldn't talk to him enough. Then several things started happening like his ex would call or text and threaten to expose us, his mom would see me post on his Instagram and ask who I was, his friends wanted to know who the girl on his phone was. None of this was a problem to me. Everyone knew about him and I assumed people there would know about me. Problem was, most of those he knew wouldn't accept our relationship because of our religious differences. His mom found out we were close and she demanded us to break up (refresher, his ex is the one who told his mom - because that's what bitter exes do) and most of his friends were immediately disapproving of me and the relationship. It wasn't easy, and I did touch on this in an earlier post, but looking back knowing what I know now I would have done a lot differently.

I would have said something to his ex. He wouldn't give me her number but I found it online easily. He kept saying I would make things worse if I contacted her but now I wish I would have. She got to hurt me and our relationship so much and I never got to do anything about it. I got to listen to her next scheme and get the ripple effect of it. She got to do so much and I never got to say a word. That still makes me very angry because I know exactly what she said and what she did. She is truly a horrible, vile person and I have many unkind words for her. I wish I would have contacted her very early on and put her in her place.

I would have asked what friend he was out with. Many times when he was out with a friend I assumed it was a buddy. But many times, it ended up being another girl. Were they just friends? Sure. But did finding out the next day my boyfriend spent all night at a bar buying drinks for another girl and just telling me he was out with a friend make me feel he was cheating on me and hiding things? Yes.
I wish I would have spoken up there more.

 I would have commented on his Instagram and Facebook. I didn't for so long so his friends wouldn't see and either A) tell his mom or B) confront him even more about us. Now I would say screw that. He's my boyfriend and I should be allowed to comment on a picture if I want to.
 I felt a little controlled for a while when it came to us going public. He had all these 'rules' so we would stay hidden and looking back, I wish I would have fought that. I'm not sure if we would still be together now if I had, but I wish I hadn't given in so easily. Even when we could finally go public it was like pulling teeth to make that happen and for him to finally announce us dating. Another thing I wish I would have let myself get more upset over. Being a secret couple was fun for a while but then it was almost degrading.

Who knows where we would be now if I had been stronger in the early stages of our relationship. We may not be together or maybe we would have closed the gap a long time ago. I try not to dwell on the bad things that have happened and keep my eyes on the road ahead but sometimes things come up and I can't help but wonder what would be different now.

Inspired by this LDR Writing Prompt: Pre-LDR

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Raising a More Natural Dog.

(Meatball in hand and I get any pose I want ;] )

I haven't spent the past several years ditching chemicals and bad ingredients in my life to start Emmy out on a bad commercial dog food. You've seen the ones, the ones with all kinds of grains, corn, animal by-products, etc. in them. That's just so disturbing to me. Some dog foods have the worst things in them yet the companies have no problem sending them out to be consumed by your best friend. I decided to try to keep Emmy as natural as possible, and I read her labels as closely as I read mine.
I mean, you can't deny her shiny coat and clear eyes after just 3 weeks of being here!

She's currently obsessed with the Kong Chicken Meatballs which is cool with me because all they are, are chicken, oats, rosemary, and a preservative.

I'm low on the jerky but she's in love with that. Also cool with me because it's just beef, brown sugar, salt, garlic powder, flavoring, ACV, paprika, celery powder, and a preservative. Literally might eat some myself. Okay, probably not. But I could which is my point of feeding her what I do.

The Blue Buffalo is a really good product, but I found her food ingredients to be better in the Wellness Core. Plus, it's cheaper than BB.

 She does love something on her kibble though and these Blue Buffalo Wilderness packs are about $1.50 each and I can get away using one pack on 2-3 meals. I would like to eventually switch her from these packs to something I cook up just to save some $$.

I've found that her food is pricey (a little cheaper online) but the treats are really reasonable - especially if you have a HomeGoods in your area. Hit them up! Their pet section is SO good and most of the treats have great ingredients - for like 60% off the usual price. The jerky was $2.99!
I got her shampoo there for like $5 and the ingredients are amazing and it has essential oils to naturally repel fleas and ticks. She smells like a tropical island right now. LOVE.

Now if we can just get this whole bonding thing kickstarted!


Meatball obsessed.