Just a Mid-Twenties Woman Finding that Sweet Spot Between a Married Civilian and a Childless Military Spouse

Just a Mid-Twenties Woman Finding that Sweet Spot Between a Married Civilian and a Childless Military Spouse

I am a woman in her mid-twenties, semi-awkwardly caught between the extraordinarily different military and civilian life.

I married at 24. I am among the first of my civilian friends to be married, and among the last of my military friends. When I visited my now husband a year ago at his pilot training base, our tight-knit military community was counting down the days until I was engaged. When I came home to my apartment in Denver, my non-military friends panicked at the idea of being married. To this day, majority of my civilian friends are single with marriage not in the near forecast. In the military, only three of my close friends are waiting patiently for the ring from their long-term significant other, the rest have been married.

This, of course, is because the military makes it nearly impossible to physically be with your significant other unless you tie the knot, ESPECIALLY for overseas assignments.

The Military: What’s that? You’re a girlfriend and you want to come to Japan with your boyfriend? Good luck finding a job, healthcare, and paying for yourself to get there, and oh, also, we won’t let you live on base.
Girlfriend: Ok well I guess we’ll just do long distance then…
Earth: Lol did I mentioned the 14 hour time difference?

Alas, many long-term couples (including my parents, who, by the way, have a beautiful marriage) marry because they would rather be together than long distance. Luckily, for Ryan and I, about the time when the Air Force started pushing whether or not we were going to get married, we had been ready and were already planning on it.

As he was in survival training this past week, I came home to see my friends and family. Last Saturday night, I went out on the town with all my old college friends. Among those were men my age, performing the exact same debauchery they did in college except with a little more money. One guy stumbles over to me and proceeds to flirt. I tell him I’m married, and he exclaims, “You’re MARRIED?! How OLD are you?”

Thus, was the first time I realized how in the minority I was in the civilian world, especially in a big city like Denver.

On the contrary, flash back to just a few days earlier when I am visiting my fellow Air Force wives. One of my sweet friends posed me with the question, “So, do you think you’ll make it through your first overseas assignment without having children?”

Ah, yes. The ultimate military spouse topic of conversation: children. On one hand, civilian friends wonder how on Earth was I ready to marry at 24, and on the other, friends and acquaintance’s in the military are wondering if children are in the near future. What a silly catch 22!

Like my civilian friends on the topic of marriage, Husbabe and I are no where near even considering children. Yes, we eventually want them, but not for a very long time. Admittedly, a child comes near Ryan or I and we’re like, “what…am I supposed to do with this?”
I recently discovered I was one of maybe two spouses that do not have children at our new base, of a total of about 27 women. This was the same at our old base, until we had some girlfriends come along later. Because of how busy and time-consuming a mom’s job is, I often spent most of my time with Ryan and all of the single pilots.

While I had a BLAST, I was still a wife, not a pilot, who listened to the mechanics of an F-15, penis measuring hypotheticals, BFM (basic fighting maneuver) tactics, and watched YouTube videos of the Miami Dolphin’s cheerleaders for hours on end (looking at you, Mark). The point is, it seems as a mid-twenties, childless military wife, I have to listen to discussions of fighter jets or stroller choices, none of which I quite relate to. So it made me wonder, what IS my place in this lifestyle?

It’s discovering my own, individual identity as primary and a military wife as secondary. I am a writer, an idealist with a strong sense of ~wanderlust~, a photographer, creator, social media enthusiast, and lover of the outdoors. I intend to use those passions to carve my own path through this wonderful and challenging military life, with the hope that others will follow.

To those mid-twenties civilians who are married, you can still embrace your youth and have fun all with your person beside you, learning and growing together.

To my fellow, childless military spouses, where you at?! But seriously, our biological clock is not ticking, no matter how long we’ve been married, and we still very much have a place within the community regardless of our choice to procreate or not. My parents married in their early 20s, spent their mid-late 20s traveling the world, then had me at 32. We can still be at the mercy of the Air Force (or whatever branch) and pursue our hobbies and career dreams (especially with today’s technology), we just have to learn how to adjust accordingly. We have the opportunity to see parts of the world we never would have seen otherwise and embrace our spontaneity and freedom to do so.

To the military moms out there, you are some strong women. While I’m not ready to be in your position, I still look up to you ability to perform the toughest job in the world while going through deployments, AND still have fun. Yes, I will hold your child and make weird funny noises at them, but only if you occasionally get that babysitter on Friday night to come out with me.

Keep on the lookout for blogs on future travel and tips on how I am embracing the overseas military life!

Xx

 

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No Whining on the Yacht

No Whining on the Yacht

You know the clichés: “If you want to find happiness, find gratitude” or the classic, “Never let the things you want make you forget the things you have.”

While they’re true, we tend to brush off cheesy clichés. At least I do. Which is probably why I constantly struggled applying well-intentioned but overused sayings to my life.

But have you ever been familiar with a saying or a story but heard it in a different manner or context? Suddenly your perspective changes, or as another cliché says, “if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” That’s what happened to my dad, who then passed it down to me, who then began passing it to everyone I knew.

Once upon a time, my dad was skiing in Vail, Colorado. He was on a chairlift with my brother, a woman and her young daughter, and was complaining about how his feet were cold and his boots weren’t fitting right. Suddenly, the little girl says, “no whining on the yacht, right mom?”

That sentence caused my dad to pause, reflect, and literally change his entire perspective on his scenario. He was skiing. In one of the best ski resorts in the world. He was whining, completely forgetting he was on a yacht.

You see, if the girl would have said, “be grateful for what you have!” – something that usually goes through one ear and out the other because it’s such an overused phrase – I truly don’t think it would have had a lasting effect on my family. But simply changing the words allowed us to look at our life from a more positive perspective.

I began using the phrase at my bachelorette party. We were hungover in Miami and complaining about various situations: It’s cloudy out when it’s supposed to be sunny in Miami, I’m too tired to go to brunch, and UGH I have a stomach ache. But the moment someone said, “no whining on the yacht!” We agreed to savor each moment despite our minor inconveniences.

I started saying it to friends as a reminder both to myself and them that life is something to be savored, nurtured, and appreciated. I said it to my husband’s flight class, who’s almost done learning to fly the F-15, when someone was expressing how hard it was. No Whining on the Yacht is now the class patch for Class of 17-ABK, and they wear it on their uniform every Friday (see featured image).

To say it hasn’t been a challenge to live life full of gratefulness is a lie. I’m the type that hopes for the best but prepares for the worst. I carry a medicine cabinet with me every time I travel to avoid feeling a least bit bad, but worrying about it usually means I do anyway. When things are going really great in my life, I am always on edge. Certainly something will go wrong, right? Surely I’m unsatisfied in some way.

In fact, just the other day I was upset at my situation, and taking it out on Ryan:
“I live in this crap town and have zero opportunity to excel in a career of my own. You get to achieve your dreams, be really good at it, and have your wife and friends here, too.”
I could see the hurt in Ryan’s face, so I quickly said, “I know I have to be here. I mean, I chose to be here.”
To which he said, “but why not look at it as you get to be here?”

It’s been said that the ultimate anti-depressant is not Prozac, it’s gratitude. Maybe it’s an extreme comparison, as there are people out there who need medication, but I can tell you first hand that writing down everything I’m grateful for at LEAST once a week has made me more present and at peace with myself. I truly believe that minor depression and negativity cannot exist when you are noticing beauty in the everyday. But not just noticing…writing it down. 

Write down the little, seemingly insignificant moments like, “I’m thankful for how sweet the lady was at the grocery store today,” or, “I’m thankful for this towel that makes it easier for me to dry after a shower instead of having to stand there naked until I air dry.” Literally, ANYTHING. I cannot tell you how significant your brain and perspective positively changes when you remind yourself to stop whining on the yacht.

“But what if my life is really bad right now and I have nothing to be grateful for?” You ask?

Ok, maybe you’re not on a yacht. Maybe you’re in an old pontoon boat, or a fish boat, or a canoe.

But you’re still afloat. And as long as you are, stop whining. Start paddling.

Xx,

Jenna

Recent Yacht Moments:

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Be Uncomfortable

Be Uncomfortable

I grew up living in the same town for 13 years. I was never the new student, and my future was always relatively certain: I knew after elementary school I would attend this middle school, and then that high school. I knew this would most likely be my group of friends, and I would be living in the same house.

When I shipped off to college (Sko Buffs), I was actually stoked to get out of a life a knew too well. I was itching for a change of scene, new friends, and an education full of wonder and growth. Change didn’t scare me, and I think that’s mainly because in college, all the students are going through the changes and experiencing the same nervousness and excitement as you. I spent 4 years within walking distance to all my best friends, I knew my college town front to back, and was secure in school.

My first taste of discomfort happened after I graduated college and moved into my Denver apartment with a girl I didn’t know (whom eventually would be in my wedding), my then boyfriend moved away to pilot training, and I started my first “big girl” job. Though it was an adjustment, I found it to be a relatively quick one, as my family was still within a reasonable driving distance and many of my friends from college also moved to Denver.

The discomfort I felt moving from Boulder to Denver was childsplay compared to my move from Colorado to Mississippi, and from Mississippi to Oregon. Not only was I leaving my friends and family to be with my now husband, I was leaving job security, financial and general independence, my own apartment, my state, my dog, Target, Trader Joe’s, adequate brunch places and basically all great things that a city offers.  On top of this move, I was newly engaged and desperately trying to figure out all of the hundreds of emotions I was dealing with day-to-day (see my very first post for more on that). I had zero certainty. I had zero sense of comfort, and I had all the anxiety.

As a normally self-proclaimed social butterfly, I found myself on the verge of panic every time I went to meet new people at this new base we were stationed at. I don’t think it was super noticeable to anyone, but my insides were dying: hot flashes, heart palpitations, stuttering, nausea, light-headedness. It took everything in me not to have a public meltdown in front of everyone – one of my biggest fears. Who the hell am I? I would think to myself, with shame. I was the girl who conquered 7 interviews with one company, consisting of an hour and a half grilling session with 4 interviewers against me. I was the girl that handled that with confidence, grace, and ease – who got the job. I was the girl who most would describe as talkative, social and emotionally intelligent. This intense realization of A. being barely able to handle myself in uncomfortable situations and B. not knowing who I was or what was happening to me anymore, ultimately led me to avoid social situations for a while.

It wasn’t that I suddenly developed social anxiety, I simply didn’t know how to handle big change.

I found myself being afraid of discomfort; I found myself having anxiety about anxiety. 

I could give you tons of examples about how I let discomfort overpower me, which led to intense anxiety or avoidance of the situation all together. But that doesn’t matter, what matters is how I handled (and am still handling) it.

If I’m asked to go somewhere, or do something, that I know will make me feel anxious or uncomfortable, I go or do it anyway. 

Recent Examples

I was asked to go to coffee with my husband’s flight commander’s wife.
Brain: Oh she’s so sweet, but that is a bit of pressure, flight commander’s wife?? What if I say something career ruining for Ryan. Also that’s a lot of active listening, and I always concentrate more on whether or not I look like I’m actively listening than I am actually listening. OMFG.
Me: Mmk, cool. Now go.
Result: She’s literally the easiest person to talk to. I got a smoothie, her cute little daughter was there, is was natural, normal, and comfortable. I survived.

Ryan had to work last weekend so I was invited to drive down a 3.5 hour drive to the Redwoods by myself and meet up with two gals. One I had hung out with once before, and the other I hadn’t met yet.
Brain: That’s a long drive by yourself. You know what happens when you get too much thinking time…Also what if you crash in the place where you have no service.
Me: Mmk, cool. Pack your shit and let’s go.
Result: I set up camp by myself which I was proud of. We had good wine, and walked amongst nature’s giants. Did my brain run a million miles an hour for the 3.5 hour drive alone? Yes. Was it a humbling experience and am I glad I did it? Also yes. I survived.

I was invited to go to San Diego with a new friend, for about a week. Leaving my husband, traveling alone (something I do literally all the time but for some reason never quite get used to), and rooming with someone I met just about a month ago.
Brain: Hmm that sounds fun but oh what if you have a medical emergency and you don’t know where the nearest hospital is. What if you paid all that money and had a horrible time. And if you have a horrible time in San Diego, can you have fun anywhere? No.
Me: Mmk, cool. Book your ticket.
Result: TBD. I’m going at the end of the month. But, if the pattern continues, I enjoyed it and survived.

And here’s the real kicker, if it doesn’t go okay, and I’m uncomfortable and anxious the whole time, I’m still doing it.

I have learned that I cannot let my fear of discomfort stop me from living my life. Sometimes I’ll be so glad I did it, and other times I may not be, but I would rather reflect on that after I’ve done it rather than reminisce on what could have been.

The key is to sit with the anxiety; sit with discomfort. Only then can its power be taken away.

And this is precisely why I’m diving in to moving across the world for the next several years. Thanks to the Air Force and my hubs for constantly encouraging me to be uncomfortable. I’m aware this move won’t be nearly as challenging as the next one, and so on. But as long as I’m fully content, my growth is stunted.

So, does the idea of diving into the unknown make you uncomfortable? Go do it, only then can you know what’s on the other side.

How Instagram Inspired Me to Create (and How I Used its Downsides to My Advantage)

I’ve been into photography since I was in middle school. I was that girl that took her little digital camera out with her friends and wanted to go on photo shoots for MySpace pics. In high school, I shot strictly with a film camera and developed my work in a darkroom. Senior year, I got my first real camera (yes, the one I still shoot with today. For some reason I haven’t felt like dropping 4k on a new camera body yet). I fell in love with taking photos, but when I got to college my hobby was put to the side for academics and house parties. It was only when Instagram started to get popular that I picked my camera back up.

While working a full-time job post-college and living in Denver, I didn’t have much time for content creating, but now, working only a couple of hours a week remotely, I have all the time in the world to pursue my hobby.  I spend most of my social media time on Instagram, and dug up this old passion in me. You may be eye-rolling, “Is Instagram seriously her inspiration?” Well, sort of. But hear me out.

I began discovering a whole community on Instagram dedicated to producing epic photos of their travel and outdoor adventures . I followed people who inspired me, and suddenly, the Internet was literally doing the opposite it’s known to do – it was getting me outside and traveling. I found myself wanting to inspire others the way others inspired me. People were making literal careers out of this app. Maybe I could work with my favorite brands?! But I needed followers – a lot of them. And a theme. Oh and to join the 471984711398 people trying to do the same thing, oof.

So, I ran into some personal challenges:

  1. I became slightly obsessed with comparing myself to the “experts;” people with 100k+ followers.
  2. I only found inspiration in really, obviously pretty places. Not in the town in which I live. Which was a challenge because said pretty places were at least a 2.5 hour drive. This was a big one.
  3. If I felt that if the people close to me discounted the fact that I use Instagram as an inspiration tool, I felt discouraged and questioned if dedicating my time to this was worth it.
  4. I struggled hard with my theme and how I wanted to market myself.
  5. I hated hashtags. I thought it looked “desperate.”

Ultimately, though, I took these downsides and turned them into an advantage. I did so after I decided that I was going to create content that’s pleasing to the eye, but ensure what I was posting was authentic. Not like, edit-less, or filter-less, but was the moment in that photo real? Was I proud of that shot? Did it inspire me to continue shooting? If yes, I was doing what this platform is meant to do: embrace creativity and encourage others to do the same. Hashtags drove other creators to my page and vice versa – it encouraged me to keep going.

Further, I am still working on finding beauty in the places where it’s a bit harder to seek. Mother Air Force decided to put pilot training bases in the country’s smallest, most eventless towns. This puts a real challenge on creating something aesthetically pleasing, but when I find those moments it actually makes me enjoy where I’m at a lot more. I lived in Columbus, Mississippi at the tail end of Ryan’s Undergraduate Pilot Training. I can tell you that is the least photogenic town in America. But it had epic sunsets over the farmland. When you walked in heavy treed areas during golden hour the sun glared through the branches and it warmed your soul. In Klamath Falls, there is one bar and maybe two cool restaurants. The hills are dry and brown, and the lake isn’t even swimmable. But when the sun hits the lake just right, it glistens so bright you can’t look away. My backyard is full of fresh pine and mountain air. After an early morning rain the low fog amongst the hills gives you an eerie but peaceful moment. Noticing these instances in such regular places wouldn’t happen nearly as often if it weren’t for photography and a little app that inspired me to do so.

Allow social media platforms to inspire you to express who you are creatively, rather than letting it get you down. You don’t have to travel to extravagant places to find beauty. In fact, more power to you if you find the pretty moments in ordinary places.

View from my back deck. Klamath Falls, OR.

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Golden Hour, Columbus, MS.

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How To Be The Chill Bride

How To Be The Chill Bride

Have I mentioned that I’m usually a very anxious individual? Well, if you don’t know, now you know. So you can imagine my overall worry for our wedding day. My stresses were a little unique, however. I didn’t worry  much about the external factors, like if the schedule was going to be messed up or if weather was going to be bad or if the cake was the wrong flavor. Nope. But for months leading up to the day I was so worried about performing in front of the 120+ family and friends. As if I was the lead character on a major broadway production.

In my previous post I talked about my engagement process and getting through all the (very real) doubts and questions that run through a new bride (or groom!)’s head when preparing for a lifetime commitment. Once all that inner work was completed, I became much more confident in marriage and what comes after a wedding. But my brain, of course, needed to channel all that energy into worrying about something else: the actual wedding day. This is interesting because as Sheryl Paul describes in her book (and as I mentioned in my last post), most brides actually focus too much on the wedding day and not what comes afterwards, which usually leads to post-wedding blues. I was switched. Here are some actual thoughts that ruminated through my head constantly leading to the day:

  • What if I don’t have enough energy to talk and socialize with everyone?
    And then that comes off as really bitchy?
  • What if I get so nervous walking down the aisle I projectile vomit? (Yep, real thought)
    And then it makes it on YouTube then goes viral?
  • What if I faint at the alter?
    …And then it makes it on YouTube and goes viral?
  • What if I can’t handle being the center of attention and have a public meltdown? 
  • What if ALL THE MONEY my parent’s spent on this doesn’t pay off and they think it was a waste and it was all my fault?

Ridiculous, right? Those thoughts aren’t really typical worries you see come out of a bride. I was so scared about performing well and depicting myself as really happy, energetic and blissful 24/7. I texted every new bride I knew for advice. Forgetting about the actual rational reality of it, which is I’ll be surrounded by people who love me not a bunch of Simon Cowell’s, I finally looked in the mirror and said, “get your sh*t together, Jenna.”

Spoiler Alert! I was the calmest and most present I have ever been on my wedding day. Here’s how:

Drop The Details.
Because that’s all they are. Details. Who cares? Multiple times my mom came in the room throughout the day with a minor issue. Every time my response was, “it’s okay, mom, it isn’t important.” Which would calm both her and everyone around me. It doesn’t matter if a couple flowers in your bouquet are welting, or if people can’t really see the seating chart cause it’s not perfectly placed, or if the schedule isn’t right on time. Do you want to know what does matter? It’s a doozy so get ready:

  • You walk out of the night married to your person.
  • You spent time with the people you love.

The morning of the wedding, my bridesmaids and I woke up slow. Hannah and I watched the sunrise and listened to music. Kate had a cup of coffee and read her book. We popped champagne and joked around just like any normal day. Ryan and I’s first look was the best part of the day because it was quality time with him. Forget insignificant details and cherish the quiet, human moments.

Do Not Have A Single Expectation.
I’ve heard it said, “expectations are planned disappointments.” Ever gotten really hyped up for New Years? Or your birthday? And then those days didn’t even come close to what you wanted? That’s because you expected in the first place. Believe me, I was always guilty of this. Hence why I’ve ended up ugly crying almost every single New Years except this past one – the one where I had no idea how the night would turn out and had no plan.
Once I let go of the concept of perfection and everything going to plan for my wedding, the day naturally fell into place. Not only did I start doing this for my wedding, but I am applying it to everyday life. Instead of telling myself those “what if’s” definitely won’t happen, I said, “Hm, maybe they will happen, maybe they won’t. Who’s to say?” Which brings me to my next point.

Accept And Surrender To What Is.
Buddha said, “serenity comes when you trade expectations for acceptance.” I accepted the fact that something may go wrong, and accepted the fact that I may not feel happy or energetic all day, and just generally accepted the day for what will be. It sounds simple, but that decision to surrender to what is, and not fight anything not going “my way,” was the single most important reason why I felt completely at peace all day. Again, this is an incredibly powerful tool to apply in your everyday life. It will change the way you see the world.

If you’re about to have a wedding, be along for the ride and don’t fight the wave. If you do this, you can’t be anything but present.

 

Xx,

Jenna

 

 

 

5 Crucial Lessons I Learned While I Was Engaged

5 Crucial Lessons I Learned While I Was Engaged

I’m 10 days out from my wedding. 7 months of planning an event that’s been in my imagination for years is now within my grasp. Amidst all of the wedding logistics, I decided to sit down and truly reflect on the past 7 months of engagement and expose what really went down: what I would do differently, what I learned, and what’s actually important. I can accredit most of my realizations expressed in this post to the book The Conscious Bride by Sheryl Paul. I highly, HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who’s engaged, about to be engaged, or even in their first year of marriage.

You Don’t Have To Have A Wedding
*GASP.* I know if my parents or in-laws are reading this, they’re rolling their eyes. That’s because both of them told me this. If I had a dollar for every time my dad said “take the money and run,” I would have enough money to pay for this wedding. But alas, I was blinded by Pinterest boards and the completely overrated and not to mention ridiculously expensive societal norm. Also, I have this super stubborn tendency to discover things for myself instead of taking people’s word for it. Sorry, dad.
About half way through my engagement (of course when it was too late to cancel and elope), I completely 180’d in perspective. Maybe it was seeing the spread sheet on how much money my parents were putting down for this shindig, or maybe it was all the reading I did on the real importance of a wedding: marriage. Suddenly I cared a little less about what flavor cake I wanted and what the center pieces were going to look like.  The younger me was all about being the center of attention and now I’m less than stoked to have all eyes on me for 7 hours. Anyway, we came up with a way (with a little help from the Air Force) to help us focus more on the marriage aspect and less on the wedding details, which in the end made the whole planning process less painful. More on that in a near future post.
If you’re wishy-washy on the idea of a wedding, consider other options. Elope on a mountain top, have a tiny ceremony, or courthouse marry then throw a party. You don’t HAVE to have a wedding.

This Is A Huge Transition – Remember To Put Self Care First
Should you decide to have a wedding and dive into all its chaos, remember to take care of yourself. One of my biggest challenges during engagement was not knowing how to attend to or understand all the emotions that come with committing to someone for life. One of many ways that brides mask this discomfort is completely immersing themselves in wedding planning. This is because it’s way easier to channel your energy into researching venues and photographers than to face the nagging feeling of “why do I feel sad?” This brings me to the next sub-point, which is feel all the feels. Because it’s all normal.
Frustration, numbness, grief, bliss, nostalgia- everything. Not only be ready for these emotions, but embrace them. Invite them in. One of the biggest flaws in wedding culture is that it’s supposed to be the “happiest time of your life,” when in reality, it’s the craziest roller coaster of emotions. Giving up single-hood, becoming a wife and figuring out what that means, moving in together, changing your last name, and narrowing your career option (especially for my fellow military spouses out there) are enough to shake any bride. According to Sheryl Paul, If you take the time to address your feelings, face them and understand them, your chances of being ever present and ready on your big day are exponentially heightened.

Doubt Doesn’t Mean Don’t
Similar to the last point and contrary to popular belief, if you have doubts about your lifetime commitment it doesn’t mean you should run. As a person who’s always had anxiety, I constantly searched for the 100% certainty. I was uncomfortable if I didn’t know what the outcome was going to be. I have since come a long way from that notion. Whether we like it or not, life is never certain. Even though my relationship with Ryan is healthy, loving, and loyal, there is always a possibility for failure. There is always a possibility that your fears could come true. But there is also a strong possibility of a life full of love. Learning to be comfortable with uncertainty and diving into it anyway, is one of the most important lessons that has gotten me through the toughest times.

**I should note, there are obviously real red flags that exist in particularly unhealthy relationships. If your partner is emotionally or physically abusive, silences and puts you down, manipulates or controls you or anything of the sort, that is NOT someone you want to commit your life to. If you are a victim of domestic violence, please contact 1.800.799.SAFE.**

Remember Why You’re Having A Wedding In The First Place
It’s easy to forget the most important part of a wedding is the marriage. There’s a reason why there’s this phenomenon called “post-wedding depression.” Many brides forget to channel some of that wedding planning energy into what comes after: being a wife. What roles do you want to establish in the house? How will you and your husband handle a budget? How will you guys handle conflict? How do you want to raise your future children? Inner (or personal) work and pre-marital counseling is an amazing tool for preparing the couple for these type of questions.

Every Couple Is Different
There are couples who married in their late teens or early twenties and have had a long, healthy and happy marriage. There are 30-something-year-olds that get married and it fails, and vice versa. There are couples who have a massive production of a wedding who divorced the next year, and couples who married in a courthouse and have been together for 50 years, and vice versa. There are couples who didn’t find “the one” until their 3rd marriage and couples who found their person the first time around. Every couple is different and has their own story. Don’t compare your relationship to others and base your decisions off of someone else’s experience. If your significant other loves you for you, encourages you to be independent and pursue your goals, is honest, loyal, and makes you laugh, embrace it. Cherish it. Dive into it. Love unconditionally.

So excited to make Ryan McKone mine for life.

Xx,
Jenna