I Love You & I Want You…

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Lately, Matt and I have been very busy and have had a hard time making time for each other. We both have been promoted at our jobs, we have recently moved into a house of our own, (with a house comes larger bills and responsibilities), we are planning a wedding, we have our growing nine and a half month old puppy and ten and a half month old kitty, and friends and family that deserve our attention and our time! Our relationship has gone through many ups and downs, just like any relationship…However, we are consciously making vast efforts to make time for what is most important, each other. Here are some of our tips that we’ve been trying to implement throughout our weekly schedules.

#1 Remind each other that you are their number one priority. When Matt and I decided that we liked each other and we wanted to spend more and more time together, life was easy. We didn’t have a house, bills, a wedding to plan, animals to care for…It was literally Matt and I. All we did was focus on each other and make each other a priority in our lives. Then we added an apartment to the equation. This came along with bills and stress. Then we brought home Rosie and Moe…and the list goes on. When our relationship grew, so did our responsibilities and stress levels. We recognized that we were putting all the things in front of our relationship and that we had lost sight of why we were even here in the first place, each other. When you are going throughout your week, make sure to remind each other that you are their number one priority and everything else isn’t as important.

#2 Leave work at work. This is a big one! What a lot of people don’t understand is work is not what defines you. It took Matt and me a while to figure this one out. Both Matt and I work in stressful situations. For Matt – he is a teacher for the county and works with special needs students. This job requires an incredible amount of patience and compassion and can leave you feeling stressed by the end of the day. For me – I work in an environment where there are very high standards expected out of me, which I love. Every day is a challenge and learning to balance certain aspects can be stressful. However, when Matt and I come home from work, we leave our issues and stress at the door. Maybe if one of us had a bad day, we will talk about it with each other and help each other de-stress. For example, if Matt knows that I had a bad day at work, he will clean the house for me because he knows I hate coming home to a dirty house. He loves me…

#3 Organize your bills and responsibilities around the house and write them down. Money and bills are a huge factor in a marriage or any relationship that will eventually cause you stress. People will tell you that money doesn’t matter and love is the only thing that matters. That’s not true. In our world, money is what provides you with food, shelter, and peace of mind. It is important to keep in mind that money is only an object and it can’t make you happy, but it will stress you out. What Matt and I are currently doing to organize our bills and responsibilities is importing them into this App on our iPhones and iPad. Once everything is organized, then the fun begins. In order for us to accomplish our goals financially, we have been finding fun and entertaining ways of saving and spending our money.

#4 Learning how to fight. This is another important one. For me, when I get angry, I need space. If Matt keeps arguing with me, I won’t back down. He is the same way. We are VERY stubborn. What we have done to eliminate that aspect of arguing is give each other time and space away. Sometimes, it will only take Matt and I five minutes to smile at each other and then it’s over. Fighting in a relationship is normal, in fact, if you’re not fighting, there is something wrong. What the tricky part about relationships is learning how each other fight and learning what you need to not continue to fight. Learning how to fight has been one of Matt and I’s goals since the beginning of our relationship and we are perfecting it every single day.

#5 Giving each other time and space for yourself and friends. Anyone who lives with their significant other understands what I mean. Spending 100% of your time with your significant other while you are not at work can get on your nerves. It is really important that you make time not only for your friends, but for yourself. In my first point, I said that making each other your number one priority is really important. But there is one exception: yourself. You are always your number one priority, you have been in a relationship with yourself for a very long time. Maybe you just want to relax and get your nails done. Maybe he just wants to go throw a couple baskets in the court for a while. Spending time away from each other only makes you miss that person even more. When Matt and I spend time away from each other, I feel accomplished because I did what I wanted for myself and I can’t wait to get home to see Matt. It makes our time together more special.

#5 Show that you love and want each other constantly. When you are alone with each other, make sure to not only tell each other that you love them, but that you want them. Feeling wanted and needed is something that every human being craves. Reminding each other, whether it is through words or a kiss, do it passionately. Even holding that kiss for an extra couple of seconds can do a lot.

There are a lot of ways of making time or creatively using your time with your significant other. You can even make doing dishes together fun. Or maybe instead of eating dinner in front of the TV on the sofa, you set the dinner table and enjoy each other’s company. Everything that you do with each other doesn’t have to be romantic, however, making that extra effort and emphasizing that time with each other is important to you, is key!

Xo,

Jessica Calkins

 

GoForIt<3

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It seems as though at many points in one’s life, there is always that time where they feel like doing something different. Something out of the ordinary. Something you aren’t quite used to, but so need to get it out of your system.

I say, do it. Why overthink every possible thing in your life? This new year, I feel like I am biting off more than I can swallow, but there are so many things that I want so badly to achieve. But above all the getting into shape, trying new things, and jumping out of an airplane, I want to become a better version of myself. I know I am always one for staying true to yourself, and never changing, no matter what anybody says, but there are some things I need to do to become the best version of myself possible. I want to worry less. I want to speak my mind more. I want to walk a mile in another’s shoes before I pass judgements. Ultimately, I want to become someone that I would want to be friends with. Someone who I can trust to talk to, and always seek them out for better understand. I want to be the person that people like to be around, and honestly..I know I can do it.

Like I said, I am not trying to become a beauty queen, or a rockstar. I am not trying to become a skinnier version of myself, or alter myself physically. I just want to care less and love more.

I am by no means saying that I am a bad person, and I truly believe that I have done a lot of wonderful things in my short lived life. All I know is that I can become better. This year, and all the years to come, I am making changes, for myself, and for the people around me.

I can never change what has happened in the past. I have had friendships gone down the drain, and frankly, there is not much I can do about them at this point. You can only try so hard, and second guess yourself so much, until you do not really care anymore. I believe that everyone can change, and people can become better, and having said that, things will get better. But for now, I will continue trying to be the best person I can possibly be, continuing to focus on myself and the people who mean the most to me.

I will work harder to be successful, take chances, and continue to listen to my instincts.

I will go for it.

Have you just ever felt like this?

We all have days where we feel like the world is caving in on us, don’t we?  Sometimes,  I feel like I am the only one. To be honest, usually I am “happy-go-lucky” all the time. In fact, my husband always looks at me in times of trouble and says “you just don’t have a care in the world”!  Always perplexed with him looking at me like that, I just node, laugh and say no! I have always looked at things as if they were meant to happen and it is all in how you handle it. I am very good under pressure, I always have been but this week, I just want to pull my hair out.

Here, let me explain…

1. Leaving a house I grew up in since I was a child.

 2. Being self-employed, the bank is driving me crazy.

  3. A good friend will not speak to me and I don’t know

what I did?

4. My daughter is getting married…

5. Everyone wants something from me.

6. My house is a cluster f@%k with furniture, lighting

and accessories for the new house everywhere.

That is why I feel like this…

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But…

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These are all the great things that come out of the bad…

1. My daughter and her fiancé are moving into the house I grew up in…

2. We are blessed beyond belief to have what we have…

3. Maybe that friend is not worth the aggregation if they

do not have the time or patience to explain why… a blessing in disguise…

4. My daughter is getting married to her perfect guy…

5. At least someone wants something from you and you are not alone…

6. Well, that I need a magic wand, it is still a cluster f@%k…

There is always a silver lining in life. Don’t forget to remember that when your hands are in your hair and you want to scream and hit your head against the wall:)

MOVIE DAY!

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Today is a prime day to have a movie day. It is cloudy and a little rainy, and I just want to cuddle up, watch Halloween movies, and drink some hot chocolate. There are so many awful scary movies out there that I cannot help but watch.

I am such a scary movie guru, and love watching the ones that are not as popular as others. In my opinion, the older movies that are not as high tech as the newer ones have the better story lines. I sometimes wish that they were re done so that they weren’t as corny and had better special effects, but then I get scared that they will lose the awesome background stories.

I feel that the newer movies get so wrapped up in the special effects and gory details that they lose the reality of what can be so scary.

Some of my favorite scenes from some scary movies are at the end of Carrie when the final catastrophe at the dance occurs. When the pigs blood is spilled on top of her, and she has her final freak out, killing everyone who has ever hurt her in some way. The other is, well every scene from the Exorcist. I love those movies so much and wish they would just keep going. When I first watched those movies I couldn’t sleep alone for what seemed like forever. I was always having nightmares about the movie, but I ALWAYS went back for more.

I would love to hear about some of your favorite movies, and why you love them. Maybe I will hear about some new movies and will have a movie day this weekend!! WOOHHOO. Movie days are the best.

One More Day!

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One more day till I can finally go home and do absolutely nothing. Fall Break is finally here and I am more than excited to go home to my wonderful family, and finally get the relaxation I have needed since the beginning of my final year of college.

If I want to sleep all day..I will do it.

If I want to go shopping..I will do it!

Spend time with my family! Ill do it.

Fall Break comes at the most perfect time. It is right after midterms, when studying becomes your life, and you can finally drop your pencils and your books and give it a rest for a while. It is the perfect time to re charge your batteries for the remainder of the semester.

I am bringing a friend of mine home with me for break so she can see what good ole Maryland has to offer. I will take her into DC, Georgetown, and Baltimore and hope to show her a good time. For any of you who live in the area, I would love to hear some ideas on where to take her!

I am not much of a tour guide so the more help the better! Hope you all enjoy your fall breaks!

TGIF!

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WOW! THANK GOD ITS FRIDAY EVERYBODY.

This week has definitely been a stressful one. Have you ever bit off more than you can chew?

Well I felt that way on Wednesday of this week. By no means am I complaining about it, because I love being busy. I love being a part of a lot of different things. But this week hit me especially hard. I am not sure if it is the gloomy weather getting to me, but GUUUURRRRRLLLLLL needs a break. So here is my post for the day.

THANK GOD ITS FRIDAY.

I know I already said that but here it is again….

THANK GOD!

What are you guys doing this weekend? Are you going out with friends? Girls night? Get away with your boyfriend? Wanna know what I am doing?

I am not touching any work this weekend. I am going to do fun things. Fun, college things. Maybe I will go to a party? Definitely going to go to the football game! I need to take some time and remember that college is about making some memories.

I have gotten so caught up in my work and my extracurriculars that I forgot that I am still a 21 year old girl who can have a little fun now and again.

Weekends to just rewind and lay low are such good remedies to a stressful week. I find myself counting down the hours till it is Friday and I do not have to be on my A game. I know many of you feel the same way too.

Let your hair down, put on some sweats, and watch a movie. I know that will be the first thing I do after I get home from classes today. I need to charge my battery so I am ready for the upcoming busy week.

I feel that college has not only reminded me that, yes, I am going to be in the real world before I realize it, but also, I need to remember to have some fun along the way. Life isn’t about work and no play. Gotta balance it somehow.

So all you business men and women.

All you stay at home mom’s  and dad’s.

All you professors, teachers, deans, colleagues.

HAVE SOME FUN!

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What “beauty” means to Michelle…

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My idea of beauty has evolved tremendously over the years. I remember growing up thinking that beauty was simply something you could see and touch or feel. A cute boy, a new dress, a great body, perfect long, thick, wavy hair. And of course love.Things to desire and obtain. The problem with this is that often these things are not obtainable…and if you are lucky enough to get them, they almost never last. The boy dumps you, the dress goes out of style, the body sags and scars, and the hair grays, thins, and may never hold that curl that you burned your forehead and deleted part of the ozone in trying to obtain. And what about love? Sure, in its greatest form it can be considered beautiful. But it can also be messy, painful, dangerous, and end in 10 pounds and puffy eyes.

I can now see and define beauty in Creation. The act combining thoughts, care, passion, materials, ideas, emotions into something significant. It is not the thing, but the process that is beautiful. Gods creation of a sunset, a photographers finding just the right moment and light, forming a lump of mud into a vessel to hold flowers or coffee, giving life to a child, making a piece of jewelry knowing it will give a smile. Creation is full of possibilities. Creation is filled with trials, learning moments, success, disappointment, all of those things that very single person experiences. And the creation of love? It is about giving, accepting, working through the hard stuff, not giving up, being vulnerable, sharing ideas, emotions, and experiences. Supporting and fighting for those you hold dear. It is the creation of friendships, partnerships and bonds that carry us through this world until the end. To me, this is beauty, and it is never-ending. 🙂

30th Act of Kindness

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I understand that this is the last day of our 30 days of kindness. I also understand that this is not where the kindness ends. We did this challenge not only to help people, but to inspire those around us to do something nice as well.

Kindness truly is contagious. It is obvious that from day one in our challenge, people were moved by our kind acts, and passed it on to others. I have to say that one of my favorite acts throughout this whole process was the “Chick FIl A” drive through act.

Not sure if many of you kept up with this challenge from the start, but the Chick Fil A act was where we payed for the next three cars behind us. We started a trend where every car paid for the car behind them. As we sat there, creeping from our car, we could tell how surprised and happy people were to have received a free meal.

This process has been so rewarding in itself. Yes, we did this to help other people. To make their days better someway or somehow. But, having said that…I feel that it was very rewarding for us. We walked away, every day, with huge smiles on our face. Knowing that we impacted peoples days, whether it was a free meal or a simple hello, was fantastic.

Not only that, but friendships were made. I have met so many new people throughout this process. The older couple at the diner? Plan on meeting them for lunch sometime soon..The girl I paid for at Rifkin? She wants to buy me lunch. Every time we did something for something, we didn’t expect anything in return. We just walked away smiling, knowing that we helped in some way.

So here is our final act of kindness.

Today I texted the people who mean to most to me. I texted them telling them how important they were to me. I have found that life is too short not to tell the people you love how much you love them. So many times we get caught up in life, and our own problems, that we are too busy to be there for the people who care about us the most.

So I want you to just take a minute and text, call, or tell these people in person how important they are to you. What makes them important to you. Why do you love them? It’s so simple, but it sticks.

This final act of kindness is the most simple. But it is the most  thoughtful.

Have a good day, everybody.

28th Random Act

28th act ronaldRonald DeBernard was diagnosed with PNET brain cancer Easter Sunday of 2013.   PNET stands for a Primitive neuroectodermal tumor. It is a very rare tumor that is typically found in children and young adults under the age of 25. Ronald was 25 years old when he was diagnosed, and 26 when he passed away on the 5th of June.

Right from the start, the cancer was very aggressive and hard on Ronald, as well as his family. Doctors didn’t really have an idea on how to treat it because it has rarely been seen in someone at Ronalds age. Treating the brain at his age was completely different than treating a 5 year old child with the same cancer.

Originally, the doctors told Ronald and his family that he would only have 2-3 months to live, due to how aggressive the cancer was and how little they could treat it. This didn’t prevent Ronald or his family from doing anything and everything to fix it. He was always up for a cure. He was willing to fight for his life. Those short 3 months turned into 14 months of a strong fight.

It was December when the tumor started developing more in Ronalds brain. With a 3rd of his brain already removed, the doctors couldn’t operate again. He started to grow very weak. In the morning he would struggle to get out of the bed. He also had a lot of trouble walking around. Slowly, his body started shutting down. He couldn’t talk well at all, and was tired all the time.

As things started to get harder and harder for Ronald, days became shorter and shorter for him. All he wanted to do was rest his eyes because he was too tired to do anything. Its at times like these that true family and friends are recognized. Siblings, cousins, niece’s and nephews all stepped up to help out with things. His family was there for him every step of the way, even when they needed others to be there for them. They stayed strong even though they were hurting on the inside as well.

My best friend and roommate Priscilla, is Ronald’s niece. Her mom is Ronald’s sister. Her grandmother is his mother. So many people who were so close to him were in a lot of pain, and thats when the community stepped up and wanted to help.

Its the little things that people did that really stood out to Ronald’s family. His friends would come and sit at his bedside while he slept, and would speak of all the memories they shared. There was laughing, there was crying, and along the way, friendships were made that were very unexpected. People traveled all the way from California and even Costa Rica to see Ronald in his last few days.

Nobody wanted to grieve his sickness and instead they celebrated the wonderful life that he had. He brightened so many people’s days, and made a mark on this world that we live in. You could say he was quite the intellectual human being.

I sit here smiling writing about this because I know how important Ronald was to his family, his friends, and frankly, everyone around him. Even though I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing him as well as everyone else, I feel that his story should not go unnoticed.

After Ronald passed, the surrounding community sent flowers, dinners, cards, and just stopped by to keep Ronalds family some company.

Ronald’s sister, after everything happened, shared a pretty meaningful quote with her daughter, and my best friend, Priscilla.

She said, “True friends are recognized in some of the darkest moments, in prison, and in a hospital”

So many people were there for them when they needed it the most, and that never went unnoticed.

Priscilla was talking to me the other day and she said, “Its really a shock that something so beautiful, like the friendships I have made, have come from something so terrible. “

Ronald was able to bring so many people together through such a dark time for him, and that, in my opinion, is one heck of a random act of kindness.

 

19th Act of Kindness

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Like I said before, even the smallest things count.

My friend Sam Calkins, and daughter of Laurie Calkins (my boss!) just started a new job at a restaurant in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, as a PR floor manager. She is awesome when it comes to dealing with people, so I am really excited for her with this new environment.

Today, as she was arriving at work, she bumped into a couple of the girls that she works with. They were all walking into the restaurant when a couple of the girls noticed that the usual guy who dropped off the beer and alcohol dropped all of it everywhere. He was scrambling to pick it all up, so they ran over to help him.

As you can see in the picture, these girls are in dresses, and they were over there heavy lifting for this guy. Sam caught it on camera and sent me the picture right away, because she felt that this act of kindness should not go unnoticed.

I am sure that the guy truly appreciated that they helped him, and his day got just a little bit better 🙂

Obviously they didn’t have to help him, but they felt it was the right thing to do. They went out of their way to help a random stranger, and that is just awesome!

YOU GO GIRLS, you deserve a pat on the back.