Monday, December 31, 2012

12 in '12 Link Party!

Well Friends, We made it!! Another year older, another year wiser (I know I am).  I'm super excited to be hosting my first link party with one of my very best friends, Katelyn!!

So many times I catch myself being a Negative Nancy, so in an effort to be more positive here are 12 things I learned, I'm grateful for, 12 positive happy things to focus on ending 2012 on a positive note.

12. College.  I am so happy to be one year closer to finishing my degree!
11. Blogging.  I started this little  blog on a whim, and it's easily one of my very favorite past times.
10. Blog Friends. I look forward to reading the blog posts of all my blog friends every day!! Those who take the time to comment absolutely make my day!
9. Work. I don't always LOVE my job, specifically my boss, but I'm always thankful that I have one and that I have such amazing coworkers and members in my life.
8. I've started dating again.. I totally freak the eff out about it on an almost daily basis, but for someone who's been in serious relationships since the age of 14, it is scary and exciting!!
7. Health. Short of the flu, and a torn hamstring in the summer, I've had one of my healthiest years ever!! My immune system is getting better!!!
6. Alabama Football.  We are a week away from the National Championship Game!!! Roll Tide.  I realize it's sort of silly to be thankful/excited for football, but I'm a southern girl and I will not apologize for being a diehard football fan.
5. Exercise.  Working at a gym, it sometimes makes working out there sometimes the last thing I want to do, but I've been much more committed to exercise in 2012, and I'm looking forward to being even more active in 2013.
4. BooBooKitty.  My super cute kitty cat has been in my life for almost two years now.  I look forward to coming home everyday to kitty snuggles.
3. Divorce! I've already said a lot about this, but it's the best thing that's ever happened to me.
2. Friends.  It was a pretty trying year, but I have made some fabulous new friends, reconnected with old ones, and given and gotten second chances with my amazing besties.
1. Family. I am forever grateful for my family.  They supported me while I made one of the hardest decisions of my life.  They never tried to sway me either way because they knew it was a decision that I had to make by myself.

Don't forget to grab our button and link up with Katelyn and I for this 12 in '12 link up!!


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday Social

Linking up today with Neely and Ashley for Sunday Social.
1. Favorite New Years eve you’ve had before: I think the NYE turning into 2010.  I was with my ex, but we went to a hotel casino, played black jack and won over $1,000.  We got to stay in this AMAZING suite.  Granted, we were both super drunk and passed out pretty much immediately, it was a lot of fun!!
2. Are you doing anything for NYE this year and if so what? I am going out with this guy I've been seeing.  I'm not exactly sure what we're doing... I should probably get on that.  I did get a super cute new top for NYE!! 

3. Name a book we should all read come January? Madly in Love with Me: The daring adventure to becoming your own best friend
4. What are your new years resolutions? Um.. I am obviously a slacker.  I really don't have any yet.. Last year's was to get out of my terrible relationship and to keep off the 30lbs I had lost so we can check those off with a big fat check mark!!  I'll post a list sometime this week!
Don't forget to grab our button and link up with me and Katelyn for our 12 in '12 link party tomorrow!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Let me tell you 'bout (one of) my best friend(s)

I want to brag on one of my very best friends, Katelyn.  I feel that I can't brag on her, without sharing the story of our unlikely friendship.
Katelyn and I met on TheKnot while we were  both planning our weddings.  I'm not going to lie to you at all.. Katelyn and I pretty much hated each other.  We immediately clashed and butted heads and argued on an almost constant basis.  I thought she was a total brat, and I'm sure she thought much worse of me.
I can sometimes be a "Mean Girl".  This quality is great, if we're friends.  If we're not.. watch yourself.  Add to this the fact that I was very depressed and just an all around miserable person (for more on why read my story here), and I became down right vicious.  Sadly, I took a lot of my bratty mean girl self out on Katelyn (though, she gave it back just as good as she got!)   I'm not proud of this by any means, but it's all apart of our "weird and wonderful" friendship.  
When I filed for divorce I stopped posting on TK.  I didn't feel like I had anything positive to contribute.  I was hurting, and bitter and the last thing I wanted to be around was happy brides to be.  Katelyn and I were facebook friends, but I still don't really think we talked at all.  My memory gets sort of fuzzy during and after my divorce (I think for the most part I've just blocked it all out).  I have no idea who apologized first, but I do know that when I did apologize to Katelyn, I was very sincere.
I'm sure it's weird to some people that one of my closest friends is someone that I have never met in person, I'll give you that it's certainly not traditional (but then again, I'm not a traditional kinda girl!).  The handful of girls that I met (Cate, Whitney, Kenz & Katelyn), and kept from TK, are girls that I'm sure will be in my life forever.  Katelyn and I talk on the phone, and we text almost constantly.  It's funny how someone that I had such negative feelings towards, is now someone that I can't imagine not being in my life.  We share cat stories and pictures and we shop via text together. We rant and rave about life's many ups and downs to each other.  She get's me.  She doesn't judge my shopping habits (nor do I judge hers). She is a true friend.  
The moral of this story is don't be so quick to write off someone.. and be the bigger person and apologize when you've wronged someone.
Now for the bragging.  Y'all, Katelyn has got mad skills!!  She is a fabulous graphic designer.  She's made business cards for my mom, she's doing a blog layout for Jerrica, and my favorite obviously, is this fantastic print that she made for me.  She took my nonsensical ramblings and turned them into this fabulous print that I had been dreaming of.  It is currently being printed (via vistaprint), and it will be hung in my bed room.  

  I'm obviously biased in my bragging about her talent, but even if I didn't like her, I'd love her designs.  If you're ever in the market for business cards, invites, posters, blog layouts, anything, talk to Katelyn.. she will hook you up!!
Visit her design tab here

Oh! and don't forget to link up with Katelyn and myself for our 12 in '12 New Years Eve Link Party on Monday!! Grab our button and tell us all about it!!


Friday's Findings...

For whatever reason, this week I feel like I learned a lot..

Saturday & Sunday:
I learned that 13 year old boys are really weird.  My 15 year old niece is my mini me.  My sister's boyfriend is weird and totally co-dependent. 
I Photo Bombed.
Sibling Love

My shirt was part of my christmas present from Katelyn and it says "You have Cat to be Kitten me right Meow" and I am in love with it.

I don't really remember Monday. I know I baked a bunch of cookies and wrapped a bunch of last minute presents. Around 4pm the mailman brought a package to my door. It was from my friend Ben.  Y'all, Ben sent me possibly the most creative package ever.  He sent me a party in a box.  Complete with Margarita salt, a flip flop for a wine glass, drink umbrellas and the piece de resistance, A Malibu pouch of Melon Margaritas.  Needless to say, I pre-gamed our Christmas Eve Service at Church. In my defense, my mom wasn't going so I didn't think anyone was going. I was very wrong.

Christmas!! It's not nearly as cute for a 24 year old to wake up at 6 am to open presents.  So I slept till 9am, made french toast, started Christmas Dinner. We didn't open presents until like 1pm.  My Mom made snarky unappreciative remarks about every single gift she got.  The only gifts that escaped her sass was the Dot perfume I got her, and the large Vera Bradley duffel that my dad got her.  We ate dinner around 3:30 and I finished off my pouch of happy margaritas by 5pm and watched awful movies on Netflix. I am so much fun.
Wednesday I spent about 4 hours at work taking down our Christmas decorations, and trying (un-sucessfully) to get a head start on January Resolutions. I didn't know at the time, but my parents went to go exchange and return all the gifts that my mom turned her nose up at.  Not only did my dad then take her to the Vera Bradley store and buy her a small fortunes worth of accessories to go with her large duffel bag, he then bought her a car.  A FREAKING NEW CAR?! Seriously!? She was a total brat and she gets a new car?! I'm a relatively perfect angel child who works 40 hours a week, takes college classes and maintains a relatively high GPA.  I give thoughtful gifts to my friends and loved ones.  Ask me what I got for Christmas.. Go ahead. I got new tires for my car, new tires after my current tires went flat.. 4 times in the span of a week (It was the same two tires every time, the front two). Merry Freaking Christmas. Bah Humbug.  Of course I understand that gifts aren't the real reason for the season, but seriously!? The woman got a new car after throwing the mother of all hissy fits. Wednesday night I went to bed at like 7:30 because I was exhausted, woke up at 9:30 and couldn't fall back asleep until 1am (which sucks big time when you get up at 3:45am).
I saw the sunrise and set all while being at work. 
This was a sunrise seen from the back window.
Work is super duper boring during the holidays because NO ONE COMES. Everyone feels guilty for strapping on the feed bag starting in October with Halloween and not coming up for air until New Years Day.  I spent much of my 14 hour work day alone.  I brought crayons and a coloring book.  That is all.
Last night I fell asleep about 10pm, woke up at 2:23am (I only know that because I replied to a text from Katelyn and noticed the time) and I was just awake. I tried to go back to sleep until 3:15 when I decided to just go ahead and start my day.  By 4:15am I was completely ready for work.  Around 4:30 I remembered that we were low on toilet paper and paper towels at work so I said to myself "Self.. let's go to Walmart." DON'T EVER DO THAT. EVER. Do y'all know who's at Walmart at the butt crack of dawn? WEIRDOS.  Seriously strange people.  It's not enough that these people just look weird, no, they are the weird strangers that strike up conversations in the middle of the toilet paper aisle.
Stranger: You getting that expensive toilet paper huh?
Me: Umm.. yeah. I guess. (I buy Cottonelle)
Stranger: What's that feel like on your bottom? I bet that feels real nice on your bottom. Heck! I bet that would feel good on your nose ifin you had a cold.
Me: Excuse me?
Stranger: I wish I could buy that 'spensive tp.
At this point, I gave a half smile and walked scurried away.  Almost immediately however, I was approached by an employee who was restocking milk. I reached for the coffee creamer and he mumbled something about how I hit someone over the head and took their money. I don't think I look like the kind of person who would do such a thing.. but  I didn't stick around to debate this point with him.  I think it goes without saying that at 7:52 am, I have already had enough excitement to last me all day long. 

Fingers Crossed for smooth sailing the rest of the day.

Lessons Learned:
  • Family Pictures are way more fun when you don't take them seriously.
  • Don't drink Margarita's (note the 's.. that means several were consumed)before Church, unless you want to sweat like a drunk whore in Church.
  • When you act like a total brat about gifts you were given, You'll get a new car!
  • Don't ever go to Walmart after 11pm or before 7am. Take my word for it.. Don't go there.
What Lessons have you learned this week?

Don't forget to come back on Monday for for a 12 in '12 New Years Eve Link Party Hosted by the lovely Katelyn and myself!! Grab our button and tell us all about it!!


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Look at me!!

Look at me!! Look at me!! Look at me!! Me and my fancy smancy new blog layout. I am completely in love with it and it's all thanks to Aubrey (visit her design site here and her personal blog here).  She is amazing to work with very patient even when I send her emails like this: "So I like bright girly colors (pink, teal, orange), my favorite pattern is houndstooth, I like glitter." (I copied and pasted that from one of the numerous emails I sent her.. Yes! I'm a rambling nut job).  I have never seen something that was so me (except maybe myself in the mirror?..).  If you're in the market for a new blog layout, go check her out!!


12 in '12 Link Up

Happy Thursday Friends!!

I'm writing a quick post to tell y'all about a one time link party that Katelyn (A Wife's Life) and I are hosting!! We'll  be hosting a 12 in '12.  12 things you're grateful for, 12 things that happened, 12 things you learned. Whatever.. just 12 things.

Make sure you come back on Monday the 31st, grab our button and link up with us!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012


It sucks.


Holiday VoxBox

Here's my review of Influenster's Holiday VoxBox.  This was my first one and I was pretty surprised with the cool stuff I got!!

1. NYC Liquid Shine Lip Gloss.  This isn't actually a color that I would ever wear, so I gave it to my mom and she Loves it!! it seems to last for a while, and she's crazy about it.
2. $25 off your first pair of shoes from SoleSociety.  I've never purchased anything from SoleSociety, but I'm impressed with their selection so far! I still haven't used it, but if/when I do, I'll be sure to write more about it!!
3. Nail Dress Stickers.  I haven't tried these yet as I just got my nails done last Friday, but I'm considering rocking them on New Years Eve!
4. Goody QuickStyle hair brush. Y'all.  This brush is kind of incredible.  I have very thick, naturally curly hair that usually takes like 45 minutes or more to blow dry and even then I usually just give up because I'm bored or my arm is tired.  I've seen this brush several times and thought about buying it, but I was like "Meh.. it can't be that great". WRONG. It's that great! It really draws out the moisture in your hair!  I've used it every time I washed my hair the last few days and it has literally cut my drying time in half!!  Run, don't walk, to your nearest store and getchu one!
5. I used this today, and it's made me feel sort of jittery, which is a gross feeling.  I hate that feeling. I'd skip this.
6. These little oatmeal cups are not new to me. I have a stock pile of these at my job in the cabinets. I fix them for members sometimes, but mostly they are for me and my staff. I'm excited to try this one because all the ones I've found locally have nuts in them and I'm not a huge fan of nuts.

Overall, I really liked this VoxBox, but it could be because I like getting mail.. like a lot. Happy Wednesday!!!


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

I just wanted to wish all of my followers and everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!

Sammie & BooBooKitty


Friday, December 21, 2012


Good Morning Y'all!!

I for one stayed out way too late last night so I am super sleepy, but it was worth it. I'm super grumpy and frustrated with like 7,000 different things.  I feel anxious and nervous, but like I'm not really sure what I'm so worked up over.. which just frustrates me even more. <Insert random mumblings, grumblings and unladylike words here>

1. Last day of Work!! Till next Thursday!!
2. New makeup! See my "What's in my MakeUp Bag" post here
3. I got all my friend Christmas presents sent out and only lack 3 presents!
4. Flirting.. I'm painfully out of practice and awkward and ievitabley end up sending an abundance of " ;)" faces.
5. Alcohol. I love it. Don't judge. It eases the holiday pain of waaayyyy too much family time.

6. In an effort to stop being such a brat today: I got Christmas gifties from my members!! I got a Bath & Body Works (Winter Candy Apple... My favorite!) gift set, a really cute mug, a homemade Orange Juice Cake, Homemade Turkey soup (It's sooooo good!!), and (my favorite) a Cajun Filet Biscuit and a Large Coffee from Bojangles.  I Love my members, and my coworkers.  I am so blessed to have this job and be so surrounded by people who truly care.

Linking up with Lauren @ FromMyGreyDesk.

That's all for now! 


Thursday, December 20, 2012

What's in My Purse?

Linking up with Ricci for: What's in your purse?

First off... I am mildly obsessed with Kate Spade.

My friends and coworkers frequently refer to my purse at the black hole.. cause things get lost in there!

1. Anti-Bac, Winter Cranberry. Germs are gross. 'Nuff said.
2. Keys to my car, work, various houses that I house/cat/pet-sit for..Oh! and my house key.
3. Medications: Decongestant, heartburn, BCpills, Singulair for my allergy/asthma. Cough Drops (Cherry Honey Ricola.. Lifesavers!), and mini first aid kit because I'm accident prone.
4. Seven different chap/lipsticks.  Also Gum. and a Coach Poppy rollerball.
5. Two pairs of sunglasses (one is monogrammed of course)
6. A random B&BW scentportable.  It's Mahogany Leather which also smells JUST like Fierce by Abercrombie, which smells sexual.
7. How in a purse this big do I manage to only have two pens?! and a random highlighter.  I may have written a check in highlighter once. 
8. Normally I have 78,000 receipts (yep. I spelled that wrong on the picture.. fail) but I just cleaned my purse out so I only have like 4 today.  And a DSW reward certificate and a Gift Certificate to my Salon from my very thoughtful co-workers.
9. BobbyPins & Cocoa Butter lotion.  And a nail polish remover pad.. Just in case!!

Ahh!! I completely forgot my wallet.. It's adorable (if I do say so myself!!), and completely deserving of it's own collage.

So that's what's in my purse.. What's in yours?


Hello Lovelies!!

Today I'm guest posting for Chelsee @ Southern Beauty Guide all about how I "wash" my face.  I use the OCM (Oil Cleansing Method).  So go check that out!! It's my first guest post (ever!!), and I was super excited to do it for Chelsee!!

Here's the link: Click Me!

Can I just say that Blog friends are the best?! I mean, I seriously love my friends, all of them!! I just want to send everyone Christmas Presents!!  From Chelsee who sent me the sweetest email about my How Sammie got her Sass back post, to Kate, Kati and Sally who's blogs I look so forward to reading every Monday morning in the GBU Link up.  Karli from hello darlin' is just the cutest and sweetest thing and an amazing photographer.  Chrissy who is sharing her weight loss journey with the blog world (which takes serious guts y'all!).  Helene cracks me up with every blog post, especially her recent on about the end of the world.  There are soo many others, but these were the first ladies that came to mind this morning!!  If you don't follow them, you need too!!

I'm a huge sap, but blogging has been amazing and I can't wait to meet many new bloggy friends!!

Happy Thursday Y'all!!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What's inside my makeup bag

I am by no means a beauty expert.  I do however consider myself pretty skilled at doing my own makeup at the very least.  Doing it for someone else freaks me out, but I think it's the germaphobe in me that silently panics whenever anyone asks me to do their makeup because who knows how they actually take care of their face?!  And I have never and will never be a makeup sharer.  I used to be strictly a drugstore makeup buyer, but I have discovered higher end make up brands (mostly through Birchbox) and I'm addicted!! .All of that being said, I thought I'd share a few of my new favorite must haves (links included)!!

1. Hope in a Jar I can't live without this stuff y'all. Plus, It was one of Oprah's favorite things not so long ago.. so you know it's good.

2. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment I love these!! I just got the itty bitty baby ones from Sephora (the ones they sent for your birthday) and it's the best! I love the subtle tint of the Rose.  I'm thinking I may have to get the coral and berry ones as well.

3. Naked Palettes 1 & 2  I have both. I bought the first one and was like I'll never use the colors on the second, but then I found a brand new one dirt cheap on Ebay and I was like Sold!!  So now I have them both and I use them daily.  I personally hate the look of the newest one (Naked Basics) plus they are all matte and I'm a shimmer kinda girl.

4. DiorShow Waterproof Mascara: The holy grail of mascara.

5. theBalm Hot Mama: I got a baby one in my birchbox and LOVE how flattering it is to my skin! I normally wear very pink blush since my cheeks tend to flush a lot naturally.  I've tried a coraly blush and the orangey undertones were not flattering.  This blush has a sbutble shimmer and the peach tone is universally flattering.

6. Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner: Another Birchbox find.  I could never do liquid liner, until I met this little guy.  It's a felt tip liquid liner that is SO easy to apply! even for someone like me who has ridiculously shaky hands.  They also come in funky colors like purple and aqua.. if you're into that sort of thing (I'm not).

So those are my latest beauty buys... What's in your makeup bag?

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Linking up today for What I'm Loving Wednesday!!

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment.  To die for. Go get it. Now.

DiorShow Waterproof Mascara.  I'm the eternal optimist of mascara purchases, and I can finally say that my hunt for ze (in a french accent) perfect mascara is over.  Run to your nearest Sephora (Store, Online or App) and getchusome.

I'm guest posting for Chelsee @ Southern Beauty Guide tomorrow!! (So go check that out!!)

Bigelow Vanilla Chai Tea

Southern Butter Pecan Coffee Creamer (They were out of my usual Peppermint Patty Creamer)

That Katelyn and I stay up watching Private Practice "together" even though we're actually 1084.53 miles apart (I map quested).

We text about the episodes.  They usually go something like this:
Katelyn- "Do you want me to tell you?"
Me- "No!"
Katelyn- "okay"
Me (10 minutes later)- "SHONDA WHYYYYYY?!!?!"

That I'm FINALLY getting my room in order. It's been a mess y'all.

What are Y'all loving this Wednesday?

Monday, December 17, 2012

How Sammie got her Sass back...

This will be a long post, but if you stick with it, it will be worth it.

I originally wanted to post this on December 18th, but decided that the Blogger day of silence was a more important so I posted it on Monday, but then I came across the Pour Your Heart Out linkup from Things I can't say, and decided to repost it.  Thanks so much for those who already offered your kind words of support.  Y'all are amazing!!

December 18th would have been my 2nd Anniversary. This is one of the hardest posts I've ever written. I try to keep things light-hearted and happy on the blog because no one wants to read constant blog posts from a sad sack, and because I'm genuinely a happy person. But lately I have felt sort of cloudy, and thanks to the brilliant advice of my friends, I've decided to share my story with y'all, at the very least to get it out there and continue the healing.

I have for most of my 24 years been pretty sassy. Sure! I may have exchanged words with people in the WalMart parking lot a few times in my life (Don't leave your dog in the car in the summer, and don't park in the fire lanes! I will yell at you!). I don't take a lot of stuff off of anyone, and  I'm usually very blunt. I'll tell you how it is, (tactfully, of course). Do not mistake my sass for me being hateful, snobby or a mean person. I'm not. I am generally for the most part quite friendly. I am confident and strong. This is my story.
I joined the Navy right out of high school. I was young and away from home for the first time in my life, and having a blast. I was stationed in Mississippi. I was young, happy, and carefree. After I turned 21, I met a guy who would later be my husband, Allen (not his real name). We met at the bar on base, and I was pretty smitten (though very hesitant) from the start. He was handsome, funny, and very charismatic. His first words to me were "So, why don't you come have a drink with one of the few good men?" which is cheesy, but it worked. I was hesitant because I had been involved with a guy who was an amazing person, someone I wanted to end up with, but he was separated from his wife with a kid and it was just not meant to be. It was a really heart wrenching time for me. I was bruised and hurting, and Allen filled the void.

Shortly after we became a couple, I PCS'd (moved, for those unfamiliar with Military lingo) to Washington State (mostly for him). We spent about 6 months together there. Then he got orders to Japan. The distance added more tension to our already tense relationship.  Before the move, he had become quite jealous and controlling. He'd threaten me and give me ultimatums. Numerous times I wanted to call it quits, but he had brainwashed me into thinking that I would never find anyone else, that he was the only person who could ever possibly love me. These were some of the early warning signs that I can clearly see now, but at the time I was completely oblivious. At this point I felt about as big as an ant, and just as insignificant. I was ashamed of myself for letting myself get into this situation, I was scared, and I didn't know how to get out. We dated for a little over a year before he proposed while I was visiting him in Japan. We set a date for December 18th, 2010. Things were never roses and sunshine, but I was naive enough to think that this is what adult relationships are like, little romance, little passion, big blow up fights, "I'm sorry"s and "I still love you"s. Who knows why I thought marriage would fix any of this.
Things would be great for a while, and then we would have a huge fight and break up. We always got back together. The fights became more and more frequent and more and more severe. I got to a point where I was living in a constant state of anxiety and worry. I constantly felt sick to my stomach, threw up a lot, stopping eating. I would freak out when I missed his phone calls, but I couldn't call him back. My cell phone bills were outrageous ($500 or more every month) from talking to him on the phone- if I didn't answer, he would call me nasty names and insinuate I was cheating.

Physically, I was getting to a very unhealthy place, and mentally, an even worse place. It's hard for me to talk about it now because I have no idea how or why I let him beat me up emotionally.
One night, Allen called asking about an email I had sent to a male friend. I was really upset that he had a) hacked into my email, b) read my emails, and c) had the nerve to be upset with me about an email I had sent three months before I had even met him. He claimed that I was cheating (I wasn't), and that I was only upset that he'd caught me in a lie. Things went from bad to worse. Allen didn't want me to hang out with my friends because they were "bad influences". On the rare occasion that I did go out with friends (and by out I mean, we went to the galley for dinner, or to a movie off base) I had to keep my phone on me and answer it. If I missed a phone call, all hell would break loose. He had the passwords to my email account, my Facebook, and any other social media I had. He would go through everything, even back to messages from when I was in high school and then start fights over them. Eventually he forced me to delete my facebook account. I thought that would end the problems, but it didn't. It's like he would get bored and try to dig up dirt on me to start fights. He would force me to be on Skype for all hours that I was at home, I had to leave Skype up when I wasn't there so he could hear and see when I came in from work. We would even sleep together on Skype. Once I got so mad at him that I broke my webcam so that I wouldn't have to see him anymore, but he then demanded that I go get a new one so he could "see me when he yelled at me", and I did. Things were spiraling out of my control. I did not have a good relationship with my parents at that time, as they were less than enthusiastic about our engagement. Instead, I reached out to Allen's  parents. I cried and cried on the phone with his mom and dad. I told them how much I loved their son, but why was he so mean to me and how could I make him stop? They laughed it off. They thought it was funny, and nicknamed it "Abuse TV" and "SammieTime" (like Lifetime).

The cycle of abuse continued, and I kept thinking that things would just get better after we were married.  I made myself believe that it was the distance, and once we saw each other again, everything would be okay. That no matter how many times he threatened to physically hurt me, I told myself that he wouldn't ever actually do that. Keep in mind, very few people knew of the personal hell I was living in. As a matter of fact, only two people (my supervisor and my friend from boot camp) knew, as well as his parents, and I downplayed how bad things actually were. I was on the wedding website and it was on their Military Bride's message board I started to open up. At first I was there for wedding planning advice, but found a group of ladies that I really bonded with (some of them are my very best friends in the world now-  Cate, McKenzie, Whitney, Katelyn). Still even with these new-found virtual friends, I had no one to whom I could really open up. I started chatting on an almost daily basis with these ladies, and continually felt guilty because I knew I wasn't really be honest with them, or myself. I was terrified of seeing Allen again, terrified to actually marry him and what that would mean for me.

Allen came home around the 14th of December, with my parents arriving two days later. We were set to exchange vows two days after that. My parents begged me not to go through with it. My sister (seeing how hatefully he treated me at dinner) asked me continually if I was sure. I wasn't sure at all, but at this point what could I do? I had the dress, my family was there, his family was there, was I really going to be that person? Nope. But I wish I had been strong enough then to leave right then.
Our wedding day came. I looked and felt horrible, my parents and I were fighting, Allen was too busy hanging out with his friends to actually spend any time with me. I got ready, and in the background on TV in our suite was some show about serial killers and abusive spouses (how's that for foreshadowing?). I went down to our venue and prepared to say my "I do's". My almost-husband never said "Wow, you look great!", or "You are so beautiful! I can't wait to marry you!". As I walked down the aisle, I didn't notice the beautiful music that I had picked out. I didn't notice the smiling faces of friends and family. The only thing I could hear in my head was the theme song to "Jaws". All I could see was the sadness in the eyes of my family, knowing I was about to make a huge mistake, but one that I needed to make for myself.

We went to Leavenworth, WA for a week as a honeymoon. We should have been blissfully happy newlyweds but ended up fighting, and spending lots of time apart. I would stay in our hotel room and read, he would go out to bars and drink. We decided to go skiing one day, and I HATED it. I'm sort of a control freak so throwing myself off the side of a mountain was not my idea of a good time, at all. Perhaps if I had a more patient and loving instructor, but it was all just really terrifying to me and I felt sure I would break my neck. I fell down a lot and cried, begging to just go back to the hotel, or even go sit in the lodge. I felt miserable, I felt fat and ugly and out of shape. Worst of all, my new husband was publicly berating me for not being able to ski.

I don't mean to give the impression that every single minute of every single day was miserable, because if it had been, I truly believe I wouldn't have married him. There were some good times. He made me laugh, sometimes he made me feel beautiful. Sometimes he made me feel like I was the only girl in the world. There really were good times, but it got to the point where bad far outweighed the good.

I got out of the Navy in February of 2011 after 4 years of service. The initial plan was for me to live with his parents for about a month, then I would move to Japan to be with my husband. March came, and he had been dragging his feet about extending his contract there. We fought about it all the time. He was unhappy there and didn't want to extend, I had gotten out of the Navy to be with him and now I was living with my in laws. Yes, the same in-laws that found their son's emotional abuse of me hilarious. The Tsunami that affected Japan hit in April of 2011. I was a nervous wreck. I remember waking up and feeling something was wrong, and that was about the same time Japan was being ravaged by this storm. I tried to call him, and I couldn't get through. I tried to email, same thing. His family was freaking out, I was freaking out. He finally contacted us about 18 hours after the storm to let us know that he was okay, and they had lost power for a while.  This tsunami meant that I would no longer be allowed to move overseas to be with him.

In May of 2011, I went to visit my parents back in NC. It was an adjustment at first, but I was happier there than I was in WA. I timidly asked my husband's permission to move back home until he came home the following February. He decided that we'd "make more money" if I were living in NC, so my dad and I drove across the country and I settled into my new/old life back in NC. I got a job almost immediately (as a coach at Curves), and was so much happier. Things were very good between us until about August of that year. In August he went on a detachment to Thailand. I'd been to Thailand on a deployment and I knew of all the trouble he could get himself into, and warned him to keep his nose clean. Allen went crazy. He lost his wedding band almost immediately, spent every night and hundreds of dollars in the strip club, got a huge tattoo that was out of Navy regulations, and (I found out later) started having an affair. He became distant, and even more verbally abusive towards me. He forgot my birthday (literally for more than a month, forgot my birthday), he forgot our anniversary and tried to make it up to me by sending me a gigantic teddy bear. I hate stuffed animals. I'm a grown woman. I sort of forgave forgetting my birthday, but our anniversary was a bit more painful for me. We'd been married for 365 days and spend 355 of them apart.
Throughout all of this, all of this time apart, the fights, the verbal threats, I still believed I wanted to make it work. I loved him, right? He was the one, right?

Throughout our year of being separated, I became quite close with one girl in particular from the military bride's board, Cate. Cate was the first person that I really opened up to about just how bad our relationship was. I still tried to hide things, like the name calling, and the threats to hurt me, but Cate was on to me. Somehow she knew all the things I wasn't telling her. One day in mid January 2012, she had found a memorial website of a girl she had known personally, who was murdered by her boyfriend. Cate and I cried together reading her story and she confessed to me that she was afraid that I would end up just like that girl. At the time I remember thinking, "She's being overly dramatic", but in my heart, I knew. That very possibly could be me. I told her not to worry, that I had to give my marriage a try when we were living in the same state. I admitted that I'd feel like a failure if I quit after only spending 10 days of being married together. She understood, but asked me to prepare an emergency kit in my car with cash & a credit card under the spare tire, and an extra set of car keys in a magnetic box in the wheel well, that way if he ever tried to hit me, I could just walk out of there and never look back. Part of me feared she was being dramatic, part of me knew she wasn't being unrealistic.

I wanted out, but I felt like I needed to stick it out, to try to live together, and not just quit before we ever lived together. I was determined to stick it out. Until February.  I should have been excited to see my husband, but I wasn't.  I was almost paralyzed with fear.  I can remember skipping classes that week because I couldn't think about anything other than the fact that this man that I was married to was coming back stateside and that I was supposed to move in with him.  I was terrified to see him.  Terrified to live with him. He was set to come home in mid February. Near Valentine's Day, which was two years to the day that he had left. We started arguing about him coming home. We had found an apartment, I paid the security deposit, we were looking at furniture. He announced one day that he was buying a puppy - not something we had discussed, and when I suggested we talk about it, it exploded into a huge argument. Around this time, I was struggling to save money as I had paid the security deposit for the apartment. Cate asked me why Allen wasn't paying it with his BAH (housing allowance, in military speak). I explained he was using that for his expenses in Japan. She did some research, and quickly explained that Marines who have wives in other states are considered "Geo-bachelors", that live in barracks but still earn a full BAH. Meaning he was living rent-free and collecting more than $1100 per month that we were married, simply for being married to me. While his parents were taking rent from me, and I was working for minimum wage to just pay the bills, he had an extra $1100 that was explicitly supposed to be for taking care of my living expenses. When I asked Allen about it, he got very defensive and verbally abusive. He told me it was HIS money, and none of my business what he did with it. Cate & Brittany (another Military Bride friend) had a facebook intervention for me. They confronted me with the things I had told them. Things he had said, that didn't make sense. They reminded of the horrible things that he said to me, things that I repeated to them and then tried to deny or make light of. I think that I subconsciously knew that I was in a very precarious position. I knew that, given the chance, he wouldn't think twice about physically harming me. In my heart I wanted to believe that he wouldn't ever do that, but in my head, I knew he would. Cate thinks that at this point I was just so used to people telling me what to do, that I wanted her to tell me to leave him. I just wanted anyone to tell me that I could leave him and that everything would be okay.

Allen decided that he wanted to spend his two weeks of leave with his parents, not his wife that he hadn't seen in over a year. I was in the middle of the semester of school so I couldn't exactly drop everything to be with him. I was pissed, but I was like "Fine. Whatever. He'll spend time with them, and then he'll come to me and we won't have to deal with them for a while". He started working on our taxes right before he came home, and had sent the final copy of them to me right before he got on his flight to come home. I immediately noticed an error and when he landed brought it to his attention. He freaked out, started screaming at me, and told me that it was "none of my f_&@*^% business how much HE made last year", that I was "nothing but a greedy whore". I'm not sure why it happened right then (rather than the hundreds of other times he'd called me names and yelled at me), but this was the moment that I realized he was never going to treat me well. This was the moment that I realized that without the distance separating us, those threats of choking me, or beating the crap out of me would no longer be threats.  It wasn't a matter of "if" he'd physically hurt me, it became a matter of "when". He was never going to love me unconditionally. He was controlling and manipulative, and I had fallen for it hook, line and sinker. He didn't love me at all, he loved that he could control me. He loved that he had so much power over me. He loved that he had broken me down so that I felt like I was nothing. He told me over and over again, that I was fat, and ugly, that no one would ever love me again, that I should just kill myself. These were the things that he told me on a regular basis, that I was too embarrassed and ashamed to tell anyone, even my family. I wasn't allowed to get manicures, or hair cuts, or do anything for myself. I wasn't allowed to wear fitted things that "showed off my body". The worst part, was that he was controlling me from almost 10,000 miles away. I was terrified of him, of his temper, his family. I was a shell, just moving through the motions of my life.

Allen flew home to WA from Japan on February 11th. No sooner did his feet touch US soil, I realized I couldn't see him again so I spoke to a divorce attorney. I filed for divorce on February 13th. I told him on Valentine's Day. I waited all day to see if he would acknowledge the holiday (he didn't) and finally realized that it didn't matter if he did or not. I was done. There was no going back. Emotionally, I was finished.

I think I kept coming up with excuses to stay - every good thing he did was excuse enough to forgive all the bad that had happened. But at the end, I was just a bruised and beaten little shell of the girl I had been. In NC, the divorce process required 1 year of separation. Since we had not been together in a year, it counted. Our divorce was finalized May 8th of 2012.

The drama didn't end with the finality of our divorce.  In August/September of this year, we were audited because of the error on our taxes (I told him to fix it!).  In October I got a phone call that made my blood run cold. My ex had put his girlfriend/mistress in the hospital.  They had a disagreement, and he left her with a ruptured spleen, several broken ribs, and choke marks around her neck. I heard this and I absolutely fell apart.  I was unprepared for all of the emotions I would feel. I was scared, because he knew where I lived (I changed all of my contact information when we got divorced, but I didn't move).  I was horrified because we had only been divorced for 5 months and that very easily could have been me.  I felt guilty, because I knew what he was like, and I did nothing to stop him.  I know that with no physical abuse documented, I could do nothing, but I still felt like I needed to help.  I wanted to send her flowers with a note that said "Get out Now! Press Charges! Oh! and Get Well Soon!".  Hearing all of this really freaked me out for a while.  I cried for this girl that had been in all honesty sleeping with my husband when he was still my husband. I cried for the physical pain he had caused her, and the emotional pain he had caused me. I cried out of relied that I had gotten out.

It's funny to me now, how I could be held under his thumb for so long, and how in an instant I was strong enough to leave. I know that it wasn't really instantaneous though. If I hadn't had the emotional support from my friends I couldn't have done it. It hasn't always been easy, and for awhile I questioned whether it was the right decision. I know now it was 100% the right thing to do. Is it easy being 24 and a "divorcee"? Is it fun to explain all of this to strangers or people from high school? Not at all. But it's part of my life now, and it's part of what makes me who I am today. A friend of mine about my age who had been divorced before from a similarly abusive situation told me: "The worst day without him is better than the best day with him." And that's the honest to God truth.

Even now, I get upset with my friends who warn me against getting my hopes up about a guy.  I get frustrated because I sometimes feel like they baby me, but I know that they just don't want to see me get hurt again.  They love me for me, and they won't let me settle again for someone who doesn't love me in all my imperfect glory. Words can't even express how much I love my friends for caring so much about me.  They tell me often how proud of me they are, and how strong I am, but I know in my heart that I wouldn't be where I am now without their unwavering support. I am grateful everyday for how very blessed I am to have these amazing women in my life.  I love y'all.

If you, or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, talk to them. It might will become frustrating, but no matter what, don't abandon them. Let them know that they aren't alone. Don't get angry with them when they forgive their abuser, or they go back. If my friends had abandoned me, I don't think I would have had the strength to get out of my terrible relationship. On the other side of this terrible road, I have friends for life, I have a chance at real, happy relationships. I'm dating again (hesitantly!), I'm focused and doing well in school.  Physically not much has changed, my hair's a little longer, I've lost some weight, and I stand up a little taller.  Emotionally I'm a completely different person.  I'm much more confident (even if I do text my friends 48,000 pictures of my hair or outfit before I go out on a date.. Thanks Jerrica & Katelyn!).

I'm not 100% happy all the time, but I'm so much happier than I was this time last year. Happier, Healthier and most importantly, I'm free.

Types of Violence

Warning Signs


Safe Horizon

The Good, Bad and Ugly...

I'm going to be honest, I had written a really long, whiney post about how I had all sorts of crappy luck and stupid car problems over the weekend.  I (as I often do) was focused way too much on myself.  Yeah, I had some bad luck over the weekend, but my "good, bad & ugly" was nothing compared the devastation and heartbreak those in Newton, CT felt.

Tomorrow, December 18th, will be a day of blogging silence. 

We will post the button and that's it. Please try to not post anything else that day if possible.

We are also raising money that will go to an organization in the memory of this tragedy. The organization is called The Newtown Family Youth and Family Services. Here is the official description of the support service we are donating to: 

"Newtown Youth and Family Services, Inc. is a licensed, non-profit, mental health clinic and youth services bureau dedicated to helping children and families achieve their highest potential. NYFS provides programs, services, activities, counseling, support groups and education throughout the Greater Newtown area.


You can make a donation HERE

We can't imagine how they must be feeling, especially this close to the holidays. We would love for you to spread the word on your own blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Let's make a difference and use blogging in a positive way. Thank you in advance for participating.

Linking up with Kate & Kati for a GBU Monday.

Friday, December 14, 2012


We made it to another Friday Friends!!!

I'm so stoked that this week went by so fast, and that I'm done with classes!! I could probably in all honesty come up with 12 things I'm excited about but I'll try to contain myself.

1. The Beautiful snowflake ornament that one of my sweet members made for me and the staff (we each got our own!).  She is just an incredible member who's always thinking of others.  She was a high school French teacher for ever, so she has LOTS of stories. 
2. This BooBooKitty who is THE BEST Snuggler ever.
3. Katelyn & Jerrica who let me bombard them with countless pictures of my makeup, my outfit, my stupid faces, my "Should I wear my hair like this?" "or like this?" and my mini freakouts due to nerves. They never let me leave the house looking like a mess, and I appreciate that!! Y'all are the best!! xoxoxox
4. Finals are. O-V-E-R.  Winter Break has begun and I'm not looking at another text book until January 7th.. (except I may already be shopping around for my text books for next semester now.)
5. 3 Wick candles at Bath and Body works are now 2 for $22.. $8 a piece.  Yeah, someone's getting candles this christmas.... or maybe I'm just getting more candles. :) (My Fave's for Winter are "Snowed In" and "Sparkling Icicles")