My Guest Post on My Long Distance Marriage

Hey everyone! I’m so excited to share with you that today that I am doing my very first guest post! I am sharing a little bit about my temporary long distance marriage over at Sobremesa Stories! My good friend Lauren does an amazing series called Womanly Wednesday and she asked me to write about the time when Brad got moved (for his job) to North Carolina. That was one of my most challenging seasons in life but also such an amazing season in my life as well. Go check out her blog and read my story! Also, make sure to check out her other amazing content! I love her heart and the things that she has to offer and I know you will too!

Womanly Wednesday

 

kylie

How I Met the Love of My Life

In honor of our 3 year anniversary this past Tuesday, I thought I would share with you all how Brad and I met.

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This is the very first picture we ended up taking together. It was the night we met and we were just playing around with sparklers (my favorite firework). This was completely on accident but one of my favorite pictures!

It was a whirlwind and all happened kind of fast. We originally met on a blind date….yes I know…crazy! It was on the 4th of July and making the decision to go meet him was a hard one for me. I don’t do awkward situations, especially on purpose! Believe it or not, it was my mom that encouraged me to go! “What do you have to lose by going to meet him in an environment you’re comfortable with and when you have somewhere else to go?”

Brad, my husband, went to college at Iowa State with one of my brother’s friends. It was this friend that said I must meet this guy. I was hesitant at first and actually put it off for months…6 to be exact. Finally, the 4th of July came around and my brother and his friends were all getting together to hang out. Brad would be there if I wanted to meet him. My original answer was “ok” but after a day or so I changed my mind. I was dressed and getting ready to head to my friend’s house when my mom pulled me aside and said she thought I should go and meet him. It was with people I knew my entire life and people I was comfortable with. He was the only person I wouldn’t know and I had somewhere else to go. If it didn’t work out, then leave! No. Big. Deal. I’d be lying if I didn’t say there were some tears involved before agreeing to go. (Those kinds of things really stress me out!) She prayed for me and off I went. I was a surprise to him because last he heard I wasn’t coming. We ended up hitting it off and he even went to my friends house with me later on that evening.

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I’d love to say it was smooth sailing from there but…no dice! We went on our first date just 3 days later to a Royals’ game (GO ROYALS!!). We had  a great time and he got me out of my comfort zone to sing the song “I’ve Got Friends in Low Places” with him. Our dates continued and I was really enjoying getting to know him. He was a really great guy with a heart for the Lord and I LOVED that! He had this desire to move to Haiti in a year and do missions overseas for about a year, possibly more. WOAH….I definitely put the brakes on! This is not at all what I felt like God was calling me to do with my life. I didn’t feel called to leave Kansas City. In my mind, I was supposed to stay in Kansas City, finish getting my teaching degree and start teaching in Liberty where I grew up. Haiti was NOT part of that plan. I was confused as to why God would put a guy in my life that our life plans weren’t going to match up. I was falling for him more everyday so after digesting this news, I decided I was ready to end the relationship. I couldn’t keep falling in love with him when he was going to move overseas and I wasn’t going to go with him. I talked this over with my mom and once again she had great advice. “A lot can happen and change in a year….for both of you. Give it time, kylie girl.” So, I did.

About 6 months into our relationship, on Christmas Eve, God showed me that Brad was the guy I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I knew that I never wanted to experience another Christmas without him. I didn’t know what our future would entail (Haiti ended up not happening for either of us) but I knew that I was supposed to experience life and all God had to offer with Brad by my side. I’m a planner and I like to know what is going to happen, but God was once again, showing me that He is in charge and His plans for my life are going to be way better than my own.

SDC Christmas

 

We started talking marriage after this and after 11 months of dating, we got engaged. Our wedding was set for 7 months later in January of 2013. This is a day I will forever remember, as it is the day that I got to marry the love of my life. The adventures I have already experienced and the ones I have to look forward to being married to him are endless. I’m so excited to share more of our story with you!

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On Our Anniversary

Today marks 3 years since Brad and I said, “I do” to each other. It was a beautiful day and was absolutely perfect in my eyes. I remember being really excited about planning a January wedding. Many thought we were crazy but we got engaged in June and neither of us wanted a long engagement. I thought the idea of a January wedding sounded beautiful. I remember the stress of planning the wedding. I remember the silly fights we had in the process. For example, we fought about what kind of favor we should give out at the reception….seriously?!  I also remember the fun we had doing things together and dreaming about the kind of life we wanted to share. I remember taking walks around Watkins Mill and dreaming and talking for hours. I remember all of those days just like they were yesterday.

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This picture was taken back when we were babies and just dating. Little did I know that I would be engaged to this wonderful man just 5 months after this picture!

We got married in a beautiful church at dusk with candles shining in the windows. At our reception we had a hot chocolate bar that I was super excited about! I had a friend of mine make me a GORGEOUS fur coat to wear over my dress for our outside pictures. You can find her stuff at KJ Clothing Design. The weather was actually amazing for a January wedding. It was in the 50’s and I almost didn’t even need my coat!

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Our photographer was Aaron Clark and you can find him at Aaron Clark Photography. My sister-in-law, Chelsea, knew him from Branson, MO which is where he is located. He does amazing work and is willing to travel. He did a fantastic job and made us laugh the whole time. The whole day was just perfect and when I look back on it, I smile.

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This day, three fast years later, there is snow on the ground and falling all around. The temperature is 18 degrees, which is a far cry from the weekend we got married! So much has changed and so much has happened. We have lived in 2 homes, have a dog and have our first child who is going to turn ONE next month! We have had to live apart for 7 months due to his job (which coincided with my pregnancy-I’ll save that for another post). We have been in pure bliss and we’ve had many disagreements.

There is not one thing that I would change about my marriage. I love him more today than the day I said “I do.” I have chosen to love him when things were hard or when I was mad at him. He has chosen to love me despite my emotional side making “issues” out of nothing or by making situations into something way bigger than they were. There is no one else in this world that I would rather do life with.

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He is the love of my life. My best friend. The father of our daughter. A great big brother. An awesome uncle. A wonderful son/son-in-law. A super handy-man. A hard worker. A follower of God. A great leader for our family. He is a dreamer. He is kind and compassionate. He is so PATIENT and loving. He is my husband and I’m so glad he is mine!

Happy Anniversary my love!! These first 3 years have flown by and have been wonderful. I can’t wait to spend the next 70 with you and see where life and God takes us!

I love you!

kylie

2016 Goals

This year Brad and I decided to be really intentional about setting goals for ourselves as individuals and as a family. We just want to start being more intentional with our lives and not waste what God has given us. So, January 1st we sat down and took about 30 minutes to an hour thinking and creating goals together. We did the family goals together and it was so good to talk through what we would like our year to look like as a family. There were some things that I wish we had done differently this past year and so we made those goals for this year. We created our individual goals alone but when we had trouble making them a SMART goal (explained below), we talked it over with each other and helped one another.

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Happy New Year!!!

 

Dave Ramsey has a book called EntreLeadership. He mentions 7 different areas where it is good to set goals. So we broke our goals down for ourselves and our family by these 7 categories (or at least the ones that were relevant to us). I have not personally read this book but Brad has and highly recommends it. Go check it out if you want some further information on it.

The categories that Dave Ramsey suggests breaking things down by are as follows:

Career, Financial, Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Family, Social

Like I mentioned above, we tried to follow the SMART system when it came to setting the goals for ourselves this year. This is what SMART stands for:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Realistic

Timely

We chose to follow this acronym because it just helps us set goals that can be met and are not too broad. Broad goals are hard to meet and hard to follow. We wanted our goals to be specific and something that we could track as the year went on. A goal of exercising more could mean so many different things and doesn’t really help motivate me to do anything. A goal of working out 5 times a  week and doing 10 minute abs twice a week is something very specific. It helps me stay focused on what it is exactly that I am wanting.

I am so thankful for setting goals this year. I have found that they have already helped me stay on track. We haven’t done this before but am looking forward to how our year turns out and how God works through our lives in 2016. I would highly encourage you to take some time to set individual and family goals. I think that it is such a great way to start off the year to make it a successful one and one that you can look back on and be proud of. Here are our family goals and my individual goals.

Family Goals:

-once a month have a couple over for dinner

-continue Sunday lunches with Clawson side

-see Paulsen side once a month (whether they come here or we go there)

-weekly date night at home

-once a month go OUT on a date

-go on a 20 minute walk once a week (weather permitting)

-read scripture together daily

-create a monthly budget/review once a week

-save up for a new car without having to take out a loan

My Individual Goals:

-learn how to garden

-continue to workout at least 5 times a week

-do 10 minute abs twice a week

-make a weekly/daily meal plan

-develop and use a daily prayer plan

-follow developed budget

-weekly day date with a friend

-meet one new stay at home mom friend

Some of these goals we started last year and would love to continue. Others are new and we think would really grow us as individuals and as a family.

What are some of your goals for 2016? Have you already created some or are you thinking about creating some now? I’d love to hear from you! Comment below 🙂

kylie