I don’t think that it’s hard for people to notice that over the last year or so I’ve changed a lot. Not meaning that I’ve changed core parts about who I am as a person, but I have definitely gone through a period of learning new things, challenging myself, growing spiritually, and finding what’s important to me. I no longer spend hours curating perfect Instagram and blog content, and my posts are fewer and further between. I don’t have the same drive to be this ‘inspiration’ on the internet, and I have never felt so free!
(screenshot from our lake video, because he makes me so happy <3)
Looking back at my life two years ago, I see a completely different person. At the time I had no idea, but I was creating a personality of who I thought I should be, and doing things that were expected of me. I was living my life for the internet, and never did I stop to really think about the reasons why! I truly thought that those things were my personality.
Meeting Chris, dating him, getting engaged, and preparing to marry him (in 98 days!!) has made me grow up in ways I could never have imagined. I think that if two years ago I saw what my life looked like now, I would be SO happy but also wonder “why isn’t your Instagram on point? Your house isn’t always Pinterest worthy?? Why isn’t there an iced coffee in your hands?????” ;) These were things that were important to me then, and now I see that it was a stepping stone to becoming who I am today. I am nowhere near a finished work of art, and I will always be a work in progress! And I’m so excited about that! I get to grow and change and become who the Lord wants me to be.
So let’s talk about some things that are very different now…
- I’m on a budget! This may sound insane, but never before was I truly restricting my purchases. I have been so blessed with my photography business, and also blessed in that I still lived at home! I didn’t have to pay for rent, groceries, and other normal expenses. But now, we have a mortgage payment due every month. I buy food for us to eat. There’s an electric bill to pay. I am a million times more conscious of what I’m spending, and areas I can cut back on. Self control has been a big thing that I’ve had to learn, and I am far from perfect about it, but I have to stop myself from buying things. I talk about my purchases with Chris, and we decide together whether it’s a good idea for us, and he does the same.
- I try to pretty much exclusively shop online at Target now. I know, crazy, right?? I found that walking into the store was like a death trap to me, and I would end up with so many things I didn’t need. Now I order only the things we truly need online, and wait for it to show up 2 days later (Red Card = free shipping + 5% off!). There are definitely times I need to actually go in to Target, and I just try to be super conscious about what’s going into my cart. I still absolutely love Target, which is why I’ve had to cut myself off! It’s very much a love/hate relationship, because I’m so excited to walk through those doors (and my Target was recently renovated and it’s GORGEOUS), but I also cringe because I know my self control is lacking in that area ;)
- I hardly ever wear makeup or red lipstick anymore… For several reasons! Chris loves it when I don’t wear makeup and still tells me I’m beautiful, and so if I don’t have to spend time in the morning applying it and then time in the evening taking it off – YES PLEASE! And also, I just don’t go anywhere anymore!! I am either at home working on editing, or at our new house cleaning and cooking! Even when I go to the grocery store, I’m usually there au naturel. Hey, I’m just there for food, not trying to impress anybody! Haha ;) And I know that red lipstick has become my staple, and my ‘identifier’. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had meetings with potential clients, and they walk straight up to me and say “I knew it was you because of the lipstick!”! And I have loved that! And I still love red lipstick. But it is such a PAIN to put on and take off, and I just don’t care as much about it anymore! I’ll wear it to weddings and sessions, and occasionally to church too, but it’s just not a part of my daily life. I used to wear makeup and lipstick every single day, and boy am I glad I don’t do that anymore!!
- Grocery shopping is actually FUN now! It’s one of the highlights of my week, haha. I love planning out our meals, and making sure we have all the ingredients to make it. I love figuring out how I can save money by using the same ingredients in different ways! And I know that sounds so boring, but I just love knowing that at the end of Chris’s long work day, I can have dinner ready for him!
- I don’t wake up and immediately get on my phone anymore. I wake up at 5:30, I’ll text Chris “good morning”, and hop out of bed. Admittedly, I was not good about this yesterday, but it has been a very long week and I was not feeling well. There is something so satisfying about starting your day so early, and it gives me plenty of time to do my devotions, workout, and get a head start on my day. I used to wake up and check my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TimeHop, emails… ALL the social media! But it is exhausting, it makes me want to go back to sleep, and it’s just not the best way to start my day.
- Donuts and iced coffee just aren’t a thing for me anymore. I will always love them, and they will probably always be a favorite guilty pleasure of mine. But I seriously have not even eaten a donut since February! And not because I’m on some health kick, but because I just don’t care enough about them to stop to buy one! Same for iced coffee… I don’t have a desire to spend my money on it, and it’s not an important part of life anymore. Now, homemade iced coffee? Homemade donuts? Please and thank you.
- I rarely watch Netflix or cable tv while I edit now. Instead I turn on a podcast! I have always been interested in podcasts, but listened to my first one back in May. Since then, I’ve been hooked! I started with the Dave Ramsey podcasts, moved on to Serial, and now I’m going through Young House Love Has A Podcast! YHL is definitely my favorite so far, and I find myself laughing along with John and Sherry and being so invested that the time just flies by! The only problem is that I take too many breaks when I go to reference their podcast show notes to find all the fun things they talk about ;)
- I’m learning to trust more and not stress out about little things. Chris will read this and probably laugh, because literally two days ago we had a discussion about dogs where I was highly stressed out, haha. But, in spite of that, I try to just take things as they come. I know that I can’t control everything, and honestly I don’t want to! Sometimes I think that I do, but I know that God’s plans for us are always infinitely better. Not worrying is something that I will always need to make a conscious effort to do, but it definitely comes a lot easier now than it used to.
- Kind of in the same area, my personality in general is just a lot more chill and laid back. There are things that I used to really really really care about that just don’t matter to me anymore. Keeping it pretty simple, the things that I try to focus my daily life on are God, Chris, my family, and dogs (I had to slip that one in there… some things never change). I still have my high maintenance tendencies sometimes, but I am 100000% fine with having a chill day at home. I don’t always have to be doing doing doing. Being around the people I love is enough for me.
If you read through all of that, congratulations! You don’t get a prize, but you do get a little more insight into the person I’ve become. It’s been a little hard for me to maintain this blog, because even though these changes have been in the works for quite a while for me, it’s not quite as apparent on the blog (mostly due to my lack of posting!). All I want to do is blog about my decorating, meal planning, and other things I think my readers will find boring. But I’m starting to realize that that’s okay! I will never be able to please everybody, and if I lose all of my readers by staying true to myself, then I’m okay with that.
Just to give everybody even more details about my life (hehe), here’s a pretty basic look at what my everyday looks like now: I wake up at 5:30, do my devotions, and either do strength training or go for a run. Then I head to my computer and start working! I get through all my emails, and start editing. Usually I’m finished by lunchtime, but sometimes it takes a little longer. Chris reminds me to eat lunch, and then I either go to the grocery store, or head over to the house. I clean and do whatever needs to be done (like cleaning the siding), and then start working on dinner. Chris gets home around 5:30pm, we eat, clean up dinner, and then head out to the workshop! We talk, he works, sometimes I can actually help, and it’s perfect. Then clean it up, and I head home for the night.
It’s so simple. But I wouldn’t change a single thing about it. This is my life now, and I am so so thankful for it. It’s not what I thought that I wanted (I had images of going out to eat all the time, dressing up in fancy clothes, being the popular ones in the friend group, going to concerts and games and events… yeah, I had very unrealistic views ;), but it is everything that I needed, and so much more. I am so grateful for my simple-wonderful-happy-amazing life!
(photo from before we moved our couch in, and it’s starting to look like a home now!!)