Jun 27, 2015

Marriage Advice - Top 10

I was recently asked to write something for my husband's cousin to read the morning of her wedding. The ladies in the family compiled notes and advice for her to have as she got ready. I chose to do a simple top ten.

1.)Patience is so important. Gently remind yourself of this from time to time, and continue to grow it.
2.)Remember that you are on the same team, and try to put yourselves in each others shoes.
4.)Focus on what’s good. About your partner, and about the relationship. Say it out loud. Tell one another what it is you love, what they excel at, what you notice.
5.)Surprise each other. From a flower, to a favorite candy, to a loving note, to a chore.
6.)Speak up if something is bothering you. Don’t let feelings fester. Don’t try to guess. Just tell the truth, don’t hide your feelings, and talk it out. All feelings inside each of you are valid and should be heard.
7.)Learn each other’s love languages. What is most important to you? To your spouse? Words? Actions? Touch? Read about the five love languages and know yours and your partners. Make the effort to communicate to each other in these ways whenever you can.
8.)Make your home a safe space. Take pride in the place you call home. It doesn’t matter how big or small or decorated or bare. "Home" is made by the people in it, anyway. Speak well of it, keep it clean, and make it a place you want to be.
9.)Don’t let pride or ego stand in the way when it comes to arguing. Don’t keep score. Don’t be the one who has to win for the sake of winning. Don’t let nonsense and trivial issues get in your way.
10. )Focus on the moment. Time goes quickly. Be careful you don’t give too much of yourself to either the past or future. There is only right now. Life together will go faster then you think. Be fully present as often as possible. Savor each phase you’ll have as a couple. Your relationship will grow, change, and be many things throughout your lives together. Be open to your journey, and to growing together.

~ DM

Jun 20, 2015

Color Oracle Test

The color oracle test popped up on Facebook today. It's scary accurate. Take yours here. 

You have selected the colors that you currently find most pleasing and most unpleasing. Read the interpretive texts for your selections in the following paragraphs. In the case of some colors, you will find an additional question or suggestion which can help you deal with a subject area in more depth.
Keep in mind that your unconscious plays a major role in the selection of the colors. As it is the case when laying tarot cards, it is inadvisable to repeat the color test too often because otherwise, the quality of the interpretation quickly fades. Take in the texts, and let them work on you, even those you may find somewhat uncomfortable or provocative.
The Color Oracle is a psychological color test developed by the Swiss art instructor, therapist and astrologer Johannes Schneider. Astrodienst also has on offer his "Color Horoscope"- the delineation of the birth chart in combination with psychological color interpretation.

Your General Disposition

At the present time, your behavior is characterized by your need for a feeling of success. You willingly invest a great deal of energy. At the same time, though, you feel that your actions receive too little attention, acknowledgment and recognition from the people your efforts are aimed at. You find this difficult to understand since your actions prove again and again that you are good willed and giving your best.

Interpretation of the Colors You Find Most Pleasing

Of great importance to you now is...
...vigorous self-assertion.
You now want to pull out all the stops in order to achieve what you have planned. Your chances are good because if you feel something is important you are able to show initiative, grab the opportunity spontaneously and act with vigor. You can also display energetic efforts in your personal relationships: if you love or admire someone you are prepared to undertake quite a bit in order to win or hold on to his affection. You utilize a major portion of your powers for...
...vigorous effort.
You need a task that inspires you and allows you to give your all. If serious demands are made on your abilities or your strengths, you mobilize all your creativity and really stay on the ball in order to prove to yourself and others what you are capable of. If your efforts are acknowledged, you are prepared to do your best. Should someone approach you with unfair demands or, even worse, with outright injustice, however, you resolutely fend them off. At present you are working particularly hard for...
...optimistic self-encouragement.
Again and again, you consciously adopt a positive inner attitude. This helps you to better stand up under the hardships of the present. You create goals, projects or ideals for yourself that give you a boost and the hope that your life will be better and happier. You search for ways and means which allow you to enjoy life without care and to spend more time devoting yourself to the things that bring you joy. In order to forge ahead in good spirits you now need...
...making pleasurable contacts.
You would like to leave everything unpleasant and burdensome behind and to relax spending time with nice, open-minded people with whom you can have a good conversation or undertake some activity that raises your spirits and takes your mind off things. Now and again, you need the stimulation of variety and the opportunity to break out of your daily routine. You now feel that hanging your head would not be as good for you as...
...solving difficulties autonomously.
You want to attain complete control over a situation that concerns and touches you personally. You would also like to have such a good hold on yourself that you remain in control, no matter what, so that everything runs smoothly. Without being aware of it, you are also quite domineering in your dealings with others, and this doesn't sit well with all of them. You say to yourself: The thing I need to cope with my current situation is...
...objective assessment of the situation.
Whatever you perceive – people, things or information – you analyze it, both critically and with a certain amount of skepticism, because you want to be certain whether it is beneficial to you or not. You are not easily misled, and in line with the motto “once bitten, twice shy”, you keep your distance from everything that could damage your wallet, your reputation, your wellbeing or your peace of mind.

Interpretation of the Colors You Find Most Unpleasant

At the moment you feel most anxious due to your...
...unpleasant contentiousness.
The behavior of certain other people is a thorn in your side. You don't feel like putting up with just anything without objection, and because of this, you can give no guarantee you won't end up in an argument with the person in question. Your stubborn attitude could easily provoke confrontations. At the moment, your mood is somewhat gloomy due to your...
...oppressive sense of apprehension.
You are concerned about a situation the outcome of which is uncertain. You contemplate various options of what you could do, so that everything turns out the way you think it ought to. In doing so, you cling too rigidly to your own views, and you have too little faith that it might also be good for you if, for once, events evolved differently from what you had imagined. By the way, no problem has ever been solved by worrying. You worriedly ask yourself how things will progress with regard to your...
...distressing relationship problems.
At the moment, you are more aware of your personal needs, worries and problems, and this makes contact with others more difficult. Your relationship difficulties make you all the sadder because, under the current conditions, you need loving attention more than usual. It would be easier for you to get what you need if you were better able to put yourself in the other person's shoes. You inwardly sigh over your...
...gruelling test of nerves.
Your sense of wellbeing is negatively affected by stressful circumstances. You often feel misunderstood, unfairly treated or left at the mercy of the unacceptable behavior of a person who is important to you. You don't want to let on that you are aggravated by this, and you keep your irritation to yourself. Inside you, though, the accumulated resentment strains your nerves. For this reason, you are not very emotionally resilient at this time. You assume an air of exaggerated superiority despite your...
...adverse existential uncertainty.
You are suffering from the fact that you have to do without certain amenities, enjoyments and pleasures because you don't have enough money to afford them. You have no lack of ideas for what you could do and buy but your uncertain existential situation hinders you in carrying this through. It is also possible you have decided to use your money for more important things. At the moment you are unsure what you should do about your...
...frightening lack of power.
You constantly see yourself confronted with a mountain of difficulties and problems. At the same time, you don't want to let yourself be dragged down by feelings of despair and resignation. For this reason, you concentrate on achieving what is most important to you right now. The resources you employ in doing so range from winning affability to skillful manipulation all the way to authoritarian pressure because you want to get everything under control. Your fear of being powerless arouses exactly the opposite in you: a thirst for power.

The Color Oracle
This Color Oracle is a psychological color test developed by the Swiss astrologer and art instructor Johannes Schneider. During several decades of research and practice, he investigated the effect of color on the psyche. He first published his findings on these effects under the name "Color-O-Scope" which included 25 small colored wooden plaques for use in selecting the colors.
The online version available here utilizes the same hues as the original product. The method of color selection is also identical. Since the representation of the colors is dependent on the color fidelity of the display screen in use, slight deviations in color may nonetheless occur, and Astrodienst has no control over this.
Until further notice the Color Oracle will be offered to visitors free of charge. You will also find on this website another horoscope interpretation by the same author which is based on astrology and psychology, the "Color Horoscope" by Johannes Schneider.

Jun 17, 2015

How to Ruin Your Life - response

How to Ruin Your Life (Without Even Noticing That You Are)  
By Bianca Sparacino on Thought Catalog 

"You are allowed to figure out what inspires you. You are allowed time, and I think we often forget that. We take the next step, and the next step, and the next step, thinking that we are fulfilling some checklist for life, and one day we wake up depressed. What is it with our need to fast-track relationships? Why are we so enamored with the idea of first becoming somebody’s rather than somebodies?"

I've blogged about this, but I've never said it in these exact words. I wanted to respond to this post that resonated so deeply in hopes others hear Bianca's words, and my words. What she writes about in the blog above is exactly what I would tell my younger self. I regret nothing, as it made me who I am, but with that I can now help someone else learn these lessons earlier than I did, or find comfort or inspiration in these words.

I got caught up living the checklist and not my truth. 

If I go back and read over old journal entries I am blown away by the girl in the pages. She wants acting school in NYC to hurry and be done. She wants to be a success and she wants people to know her name now. She wants love. She wants to be married. She feels like the clock is ticking and there is a deadline and she is panicked. She needs these things to happen and she needs it now. I'm not sure she understands the why behind the wants, but nevertheless, she feels she must hurry. She has her checklist and as she begins to knock each one off, she feels a bit more successful. She is getting it done. She is getting what she wants, right? And by the way, she is so so terribly young. Of course she doesn't know this. She just knows that time is never on anyone's side. She even lists age she is sure she needs to be married by! And by the way, this age is so, so terribly young. 

I knew nothing back then of self awareness. I hadn't dug deep, gotten to know truly and deeply who I was or what I wanted. I had yet to find out what city felt like home, what "success" meant to me in this career, my strengths and my shortcomings, let alone what kind of partner would best serve me. I simply hadn't experienced enough. I hadn't lived enough life. But there is no time to explore the world, your mind, or your heart when you have tunnel vision and only see the list in front of you.

But I had a list. The list gave me a purpose and a focus and I knocked the items off, more often than not so desperate for it that I lived almost always in the future. All that mattered was what came next. 

Fast forward a number of years later. Checklist completed. And you know what was most surprising? I felt young. So, so terribly young. I was. I am. I'd completed my list. I was done. 

I had nothing left on it and I was at the very beginning of the rest of my life. 

Oh shit. And it's in the moments of the biggest "oh shits" we learn and grow the most. I was only starting to dig, to uncover who I was, and what I wanted. I reflected on the choices I had made and I realized that each time I said yes to the next step, I said yes to the checklist, but not always to what was true for me. I'd led myself right down the most unsatisfied, stagnant, and small path I could have.

Suddenly, I had never felt so convoluted in my whole life. It was the scariest, and messiest time. For a couple of years I stayed bound to the checklist. The funny thing was, from the outside, I had it all. But nobody knew my internal journey. Nobody knew what had governed me inside up to this point. I had made a string of choices based on fear. Fear of running out of time, and now I was trapped. I had no plan, no list, to guide me through what happens next. Yet there I was. The boat had been cruising along at a high speed, when suddenly the motor gave out. I was stuck. Still. Feeling the weight of the waves and water now upon me. 

I know I'm not the only one. I know I am describing a lot of people. This is the crucial point. Where you stay bound, or you leave to find what truly aligns with your soul. It took me some time to make the leap, but I chose to do it. I chose to live completely differently. No guidelines, lists, or rules. I jumped. I only knew I had to follow my gut. What I'd done before wasn't working, so I went the other way. The way of the unknown. I started be patient with myself. I started saying yes to the things and the people that lit me up. That made me feel like me. That felt like passion, and joy. 

Everything changed. My relationship status, my home, my car, my jobs, you name it and it was shaken up in all kinds of ways. 

I said yes to the right things for me for once. I tuned in. I finally realized there is no rushing anything, just like there is no forcing a fit. I spent time with men who hurt me, who I hurt, who were mean to me, who were good to me, but who were not it no matter how much I tried to tell myself they were. When I did meet the love of my life (and now husband), it happened much later than my old diary would have liked, but that's ok when you know there is no deadline. Do you hear me? There is no deadline. Hold out. Hold out for anything that you are still looking for to fuel your soul if you haven't found it yet. It's there, and you won't get a chance to see it or live it if you are filling your life with what "should" be, or settling for mediocrity because it's good enough, and you're afraid great isn't out there. 

It is. I promise that it is. Make the space in your mind, life, and heart for it so you can find it. Don't give yourself to the job or relationship that is only okay, because you're scared that its as good as it gets. That doesn't make you an ideal partner, employee, or person, nor is it fair to those around you. Nobody grows up excited to only get so far, only so happy, to choose to live life at half mass. And are you drawn to the people who do live at half mass? Do they inspire you? Do they bring you to life? No. 

This is everything I would have told my younger self. While she was stubborn and wouldn't have listened, maybe now I needed to write this simply as my love letter to her in order to forgive her. To tell her I now understand, and it's going to be okay. 

Going forward all I can say is that fear is so often not real, and it passes. All is temporary. Good and bad. And time is both endless and fleeting. And there is no reason to be in this world other than to live your truth. No one else can do it. You are here, and that is your one job. That's it. Whatever it means, whatever it looks like, whenever it happens. You don't have to look like, or do, or be anything. And you can change your mind. And change it again. Be many things and anything that makes you happy. 

There are no rules. 

Only the boundaries you learn to set for yourself over time. The ones that are authentic to your soul. What kinds of things and people you should learn to say yes to, and should learn to say no to. 

Life didn't begin for me until I set myself free,
and released the "should be's"
The world cracked open, and it turned out she loved me. 
I loved her back, and I soared. 

You are here to live, and thrive, and shine. 
The more you do, the easier things get. 

Free yourself, the world needs you to. 


Jun 15, 2015

What's your story?

Don't you want to know everyone's story? Don't you want to crack people open and dive in? I want to pull everything out, and I want to understand. I want to see them in the way only they can. I want to see what they feel and why they feel it. I want to dig deep and I want to connect. I want bigger. I want deeper. I want more.


Jun 14, 2015

Ten months, four years.

Today we went up to Solitude Ski Resort where we were married last August. Ten months in. When we turned the corner and I saw the spot where we exchanged our vows, my eyes instantly filled with tears. Four years ago this month, we met. I still can't believe our story, and what was in store for us. I've said this before, he is my greatest mirror and guide in this lifetime. With him, I've learned many lessons. While some were incredibly hard, all were needed. His presence has shown light on so much for me. Hard and beautiful truths. I've taken a good long look inward, and I continue to learn. I continue to grow, to become the best me. Loving him has taught me what I want, who I am, how to be myself, live truthfully, and in turn, made me whole. I still can't believe we ended up together, and that he became what I always knew he should be. My husband.


Jun 12, 2015

Playing House

I got to attend an event last night that made me feel like I'd stepped right into a fantasy land! While a child might love to spend time in a toy store, testing out the newest toys, the adult version is to tour four brand new impeccably furnished modern model homes, with treats at every stop. We had appetizers in the kitchens, bbq's on the patios, and basically played the grown-up version of house for a night!

For the first time since I've been married (we're still in the honeymoon phase as we approach the one year mark this August) I could really see what the future has in store, what it will feel like when the time comes for us to start shopping for our first home together and leave our condo days behind. When we've put in a few more years of being married, how we'll have grown, and how we'll fill a house with our own family. It was actually kind of magical for me. 

I wanted one right then and there, last night. I'd take any of the four, as is. Each home we walked into was in a different style and color scheme and my eyes were opened to how endless the possibilities are when it comes to decorating a home, and the ways you can utilize space. Playrooms, game rooms, lofts, bedrooms, how do you ever choose? 

I loved pretending I was in my home(s) for a night, spending time with my good friend Meghan, and meeting new fun bloggers. I can't stop thinking about it! I want to go back and show my husband. I got some great shots of the beautiful interiors, as well as some classic funny moments. You know me. You know I had to go there. 

Oh! And if you want to see this area it up close and personal (trust me, you do) then contact the awesome folks at Oakwood Homes Utah and ask about the development in South Jordan. Not the area you're looking for? No worries, the options are endless, take a look at their site. 

Big thanks to Oakwood Homes, Williams-Sonoma, Costco, Cosset Bath and Body, Rodizio Grill, and Stuart Edge for one incredible night! 

And now, the pictures. 

Thanks for reading, and don't forget to find me on my social media:



Jun 3, 2015

The women we don't speak of.

I've been thinking about this for awhile. This is probably one of the most personal entries I could ever write. The internet and social media is saturated with mommy bloggers. Women posting about their pregnancies, and what they're learning as they set off on the journey of new mom. It's a club you don't belong to until you become a mother yourself. Babies. Toddlers. Everywhere. Women sharing jokes, and advice, and parenting tips among themselves, all able to relate to each other. This isn't hard to find. You're probably a click away from finding one now.

Then there are stories of women who tried to get pregnant, but weren't able to. There are blogs and articles dedicated to infertility. There aren't as many dedicated to this side, but they're out there.

Lately, I've found myself asking the question, "what about the in-between?" There is a group of us who lie in the haze of the middle. The group of women currently trying. We are floating in the grey area, without belonging to one category or the other. It's a strange, anxious, and superstitious place to be. Half of the month you may be sure you aren't. This is either a hopeful or hopeless phase, depending, I've found. More on that in a bit. The next half of the month you are with, and without. You proceed accordingly, but what does that mean? You may treat yourself as though you are, but if you find you're not, it's back to square one. 

This is the hardest place. It's hard not to be frustrated. To scare yourself by wondering if something is wrong. To put pressure on yourself. The emotional roller coaster is constant.

I find it spills over into many aspects of my life. It obviously affects what I eat and drink, but also my mood, and what activity I may choose to do on a weekend. It affects conversations, and how social I may feel. You must dance around your conversations and plans because you don't yet know yourself. You can't plan something months ahead since you have this priority, yet you don't know for sure, and you don't know when. You can't really talk about what you're going through, so you try to adapt as best as you can to this new existence where it all revolves around trying. A couple of weeks of extreme hope, and a couple of weeks of extreme disappointment. How I'm going to behave that month purely depends where you catch me. I'd say sorry, but I'm not. My husband, my well being, and this future family trumps everything. That's why this is hard. 

When you tell someone you're trying, in hopes of some support, you wish you hadn't more often than not. Even other women, and women who are mothers, seem to forget that before they had their babies they too went through this fragile, sacred time. A time that will be short for some, long for others. 

They ask you when. When hurts. It's impossible to know. If only we had control of what month we could get pregnant. What month we'd like a baby to be born. If only. Some know you're trying, but ask when anyway. Some make jokes. Some tease you that you are, or going to be soon, when they don't know what you've embarked on, and what you've already been experiencing. I've already written about the insensitivity of this for YoU Mag (Are you pregnant yet? Page 13) . You don't know your ultimate outcome, and what if (god forbid) you end up falling in the can't category?

Why aren't there blogs or articles dedicated to us? Who live in half hope, half disappointment each month? Who don't yet belong to a can or can't category? Who buy expensive test after test, heart pounding as we wait for the result. Who are dying for this to be the time we get to tell our husband, "I'm pregnant!" Who can sometimes power through, with faith that it's just not our time. But who sometimes spend the day crumbling, fighting back heartbreak, sure it's never going to happen. Those days, and very well the days that follow, I retreat from the world. I feel I have failed. Again.

I know I'm not alone, and I'd sure like to hear the words of others who get it. We're our own club. There is more to it here in the club of trying than I'd expected. It's definitely different than life before. I'm no longer a woman existing as I did before we decided to join.

I am reluctant to write this. This means letting even more people in on my most personal plans. But I'm in the category of women that we don't speak of, so I'm speaking about us. I'd like to meet my others. This is it's own club and I'd like to know where my women are that exist this way each month, emotionally exhausted, and wondering when it's finally going to end. 


Jun 2, 2015

Soulmate is too weak a word for him

A friend of mine posted a link to this poem a couple days ago. Wow.
Those last two paragraphs! Those last two lines! 

perhaps then this is to be your fate
in every life you live, every form you take
you will meet a boy with blood on his tongue,
a despairing glint in his eye
and you will love him, scars and all
oh, as you have never loved before.
it is not always love at first sight (it almost never is)
but one way or another,
he always falls for your quiet humor, your unwavering spirit
and you for the way his eyes dance when he laughs,
for the shuddering strength in his hands.
before long, you do not remember how it was
to not be his.
now in some lives, you resist his pull
in others, he strays from the path
one wretched time, he dies before you meet
and you spend the rest of that life aching and incomplete.
sometimes you die with him, content to your last breath
sometimes you are torn from his side too soon
and only the stars bear witness to your gasping pain,
your dizzying ruin.
some souls are bound together,
so the poets say,
but you and he are more than destined, more than merely bound—
your love is not just written in the stars,
it is woven into the fabric of the heavens, the essence of the cosmos. 

the two of you are, i truth, but one: 
one heart, one spirit, one intrinsic soul-
it is not that you are fated to be with him, but rather 
fate has not the audacity to keep you apart.

— soulmate is too weak a word for him, Amrita C (via tumblr)   

Sometimes I feel as though I was put on this earth to love him. Sometimes just being here, as the one who loves him, is more than enough. I am satisfied. I am overflowing. I am full. I am content. As if this is what I was made for. Meant for.