Aren’t You Too Young to Get Married?

Amanda-and-Kyle-0688To say that Kyle and I faced this question a lot would be an understatement. Those closest to us have been supportive from the very beginning, thankfully. It was our coworkers, our acquaintances, our neighbors, and even people on the street. They asked  how old we were, if I was pregnant, if we were really willing to give up dating and partying so soon. They pointed out the divorce rate and asked why we were rushing things. I never imagined I would get married before I turned twenty-two. I didn’t know anyone that had. I always thought I’d be in my thirties before the right guy came along and asked. I met Kyle and all of that changed. I wanted to be with this man for the rest of my life. Society told me that if I married young, then that made me old-fashioned, anti-feminist, ignorantly religious, and doomed for divorce. I would like to take this opportunity to say why society is wrong.

I found a man whose faith was a force to be reckoned with.
They say a truly successful marriage is between three people: the husband, the wife, and the Lord. Kyle has helped me come back to the church. He has truly helped renew my faith in Christ. Shortly after we met, I had the opportunity to complete a course at a local church with my mom. It’s called Alpha and if you have the chance, I strongly recommend going [side note – they answer the questions that most of us have about the Bible and God in a nondenominational setting. Why should I pray? Who or what is the Holy Spirit? You know, the things you probably learned in Sunday school but forgot as an adult]. Kyle encouraged me to participate and always wanted to talk about the discussion topics from the class. He encouraged me to question things and helped me find the answers He always took me to mass when we were together on a Sunday. I truly think our relationship was so strong so early on because we bonded over our faith.

We had the support of the people that mattered the most to us.
Kyle, being the southern gentleman that he is, asked my parents for their blessing before proposing to me. I know some of you may find this a little antiquated and demeaning to women. Let me stop you right there. Kyle knows that I love and respect my parents above all else. Their approval and support mean absolutely everything to me. I have always been very close to both of my parents. I could never deliberately go against their wishes and hurt them, knowing that they always have my best interests at heart. Kyle showed me that he loved me enough to respect that by asking my parents if they would bless our marriage. Could we have eloped? Absolutely. Would that have broken my mother’s heart and caused nearly irreparable damage to our relationship? Without a doubt. I am so incredibly grateful that Kyle honors not only his own parents, but mine as well. It truly is the mark of a good man.

We were ready.
It’s really as simple as that. We knew in our hearts that we were mature enough for marriage. Trust me, we talked about it a lot and for a very long time. We discussed it with our families. We both looked inside ourselves and asked if we were truly ready for a lifelong commitment, possible children, as well as the inevitable compromises and sacrifices that come along with marriage. The answer was always yes. We did not rush into our marriage. We met in March and started dating in April. Due to the physical distance between us, the majority of our relationship consisted of talking over the phone about anything and everything. We talked about religion, women’s rights, pro-life and pro-choice movements, politics, gay rights, our families, our futures, and so much more. I knew his heart from the very beginning and he knew mine. By December, we had talked about spending the rest of our lives together, but that was about it – no major plans in the works or anything. Kyle gave me a promise ring on the night before New Year’s Eve. I promised to love him and stand by him, and someday, marry him. That following May he proposed. One year later, we were married. I did not need to date Kyle for five years to prove we were ready, regardless of what society thinks.

We get to grow up and grow old together.
We get to share every single milestone and every major achievement together. Kyle was my first boyfriend. I was his first girlfriend. Each and every time Kyle gets promoted, my heart swells with pride. He never fails to congratulate me when I complete a class with an A. When I graduate, I know he’ll be there to support me. I’ll be able to help him through his first deployment. When his time with the Marine Corps is up, we will settle into civilian life together. We will discover careers together. We will buy our first home together. We will have babies together and watch them grow. I’ve held his hand at funerals, and he’s danced with me at weddings. I’ve cared for him when he was sick with a terrible fever. He has held me while I’ve cried more times than I can count. For better or for worse, as long as we both shall live, right?

There’s little to no baggage. 
Neither one of us had a messy history filled with exes and heartache. Sure, we both had crushes. Who doesn’t? Neither of us has had to endure the pain of loving someone and having them walk away. Neither of us has ever been the one to leave. I love that no woman broke my husband’s heart before I met him. I thank God for that.

We learn about the hard stuff sooner.
Getting married as young adults means that we will face innumerable challenges together. Would I be living across the country from all of my friends and family if I hadn’t married Kyle? Absolutely not. Thanks to the Marine Corps, I find myself living in the desert in the middle of southern California. I find myself alone more often than I would like, thanks to Kyle’s training schedule. I have learned what it is to compromise and sacrifice for your spouse. I have been angry and bitter about our situation. I have learned to let things go. It has not been easy to grow and change with another person, but I have certainly learned a lot along the way. I am becoming the best version of myself through all of this. I’m learning to be patient and accept the things I cannot change (I’m looking at you, Marine Corps). I’m learning to be independent in Kyle’s absence. I’m putting myself out there in ways I never would have imagined (I mean, kickball?! Really?!). We lost our first baby together; we know what it is to grieve side-by-side. We also know how make each other to smile again.

We have the rest of our lives together.
You always hear couples say, “if only I had met you sooner”. Kyle and I met when he was twenty and I was nineteen. By my calculations, that gives us another sixty years together at least. We’ve stuck by each other so far. Through a long distance relationship, a miscarriage, a cross-country move, and all the absurdity of military life. Our love grows stronger every single day.

We have encountered the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. After all, when all the fancy cars, houses, clothes, schooling, jobs, and toys fall away, what are we left with? Each other. At the end of the day, I have my best friend and my better half by my side. What’s better than that?

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2/7 SUPERSTARS!

SUPERSTARSHello again! I have a much more positive post for you guys today. I joined a kickball team! It’s for spouses of the guys in Kyle’s unit. We play against spouses from other units. What’s our team name, you may ask?! We are the 2/7 Superstars, a la Mary Katherine Gallagher.

If you know me at all, you know I am not athletic now, nor have I ever been. The only marathons I’ve ever participated in consisted of me, my couch, and Netflix. All jokes aside, I really needed to make some new friends out here. With Kyle away on training, this seemed like the perfect way to do it. First of all, let me start off by saying that this league is no joke. These ladies are 100% serious. We had to buy cleats to play! We played our first scrimmage yesterday and absolutely crushed it. We won, 18-5. I’m genuinely surprised that no one passed out or puked. Did I mention that the high for yesterday was 101 degrees?! We played from about 2:30-4. Let me just tell you, I am out. of. shape. That being said, I did get a few runs in! I sounded like I was going to keel over for the entire game, but I’m proud of myself for seeing it through. I am so glad that I went against my gut and joined this team of wonderful ladies. I had so much fun yesterday, which came as a real surprise. I even left with a bit of a suntan! We have games on Sunday afternoons and practices once a week in the evenings. Wish us luck for this season and pray that I don’t get a farmer’s tan before the Marine Corps Ball!

I think my favorite thing about this team is the fact that we are in this together. All our husbands are in the same unit. When they’re on training, on a deployment, anything – they all go together. That leaves me with this fantastic group of warrior wives. We are stronger together. Here’s to a SUPER season, SUPERSTARS!

When God has a different plan…

I would like to talk about something that not a lot of people seem to want to talk about. Not many of my friends and family know this, but Kyle and I suffered a loss earlier this summer. I know that most of you are reading about this for the first time. Please understand that it’s just as hard for me to talk about it today as it was in the beginning. It’s much easier for me to write down everything exactly how I remember it happening and how it all made me feel in one place, at one time. Retelling the story of our miscarriage is painful. Our wounds are still raw. Please do not take offense if we haven’t told you in person.

Let me start at the beginning.

On Father’s Day of this year, I just felt like something was different. My chest had been really sore, I was super tired, and I just knew. So I took a test and got a positive — we were pregnant! Kyle and I were overjoyed. We had talked about children quite a lot since we met. After our wedding, we decided that we would leave it up to God. We did not actively try to prevent, or achieve pregnancy. After the initial shock, we were truly ecstatic. My family came to visit us in late July, right around when I was almost eight weeks. I had not had an ultrasound, but I had taken a LOT of tests. I also went to a clinic to have them confirm that I was, indeed, pregnant. We decided to tell my family in person rather than wait for the twelve week mark. I wanted them to know regardless. I had an ultrasound scheduled for the Tuesday after they left.

Kyle and I drove to the doctor that day. I will never forget a single moment of it. I remember telling myself not to get my hopes up, that it was still early, that we hadn’t seen or heard a heartbeat yet. They drew my blood and ran through their questions. Then, it was time for the moment of truth: the sonogram. The tech wiggled the wand around and there he was, our baby! He looked perfect to me. She measured him at eight weeks four days, a little ahead of schedule by our calculations. Then she said, “see right there? That’s where we should see a heartbeat. I don’t see that, baby…” Kyle and I just looked at her. She had to be wrong. Maybe it was just too early. She said she didn’t want to say anything for sure, so they brought us back in the next day to meet with the doctor and have another ultrasound.

The next day, the doctor confirmed that there was no heartbeat. She nonchalantly told me it was “nothing to be concerned about” and that it “happens all the time”. I just looked at her blankly, wondering if she knew how devastating this was for us. Did she know we had names picked out? That we had started thinking about the future? We did not just lose a ‘fetus’. We lost our child, as well as every hope and dream we had for him. We lost holding him in our arms at the hospital, hearing his first cry, watching him grow and learn. We’ll never know who he looked like, what his little personality would be like, or whether he was a ‘he’. She told me I could have a D&C, take a medicine to make my body miscarry, or I could let my body do so naturally. We were moving across the country in three days, so I opted to wait it out naturally. Looking back, I think that was the right choice. It gave me time to say goodbye.

The two weeks of waiting for it to happen were the hardest two weeks of my life. Every day I felt like my body had failed my child. I felt like I did something wrong. Maybe I ate the wrong kind of cheese or lunchmeat. Maybe I took a shower that was too hot. Maybe I drank too much coffee. I will never stop wondering why my child is not still growing inside my belly. I will never have answers. My doctor neglected to even run my blood work. Kyle called later on to see if they had found anything in the tests – low progesterone, anything – and they simply told him that they never ran any.

I feel cheated by my doctors. Never once did they warn me about the physical pain I was about to experience. They did not offer me medication or advice to help me cope. Two weeks later when the actual miscarriage began, I was terrified. I remember thinking that there was no way it was supposed to hurt this badly. Something must be wrong. We were in Louisiana at the time. I remember going to a funeral for our friends’ infant the day after the miscarriage. As strange as it sounds, it was almost comforting.

I could imagine our child, beside our friends’ baby, and all the other lost children of the world together in God’s kingdom. I wish I knew what our child saw when he opened his eyes for the first time. Did he look upon the face of God? Was Mary there to comfort him? I still mourn our baby every day; however, I find comfort in God’s plan. Maybe he knew our child would suffer. Maybe he saw things in our future that we could not imagine. I would have been seventeen weeks today. We would be finding out if our baby was a boy or girl soon. I may have even felt some kicks by now. Instead, I know that our baby is up in heaven, watching over us. I hope we can give him a brother or a sister someday. We laid our baby to rest in Louisiana. Kyle said a few beautiful prayers and I cried. We painted a memorial stone together and placed it over our child’s resting place.

Some of you may wonder why I’m choosing to share this now. I’m doing so because I wish women didn’t feel the need to hide their losses and suffering. One in four pregnant women will miscarry. Just imagine that. For every four mothers you know, one of them may have suffered a loss. When women I know found out about our miscarriage, many of them came forward with stories of their own. Hearing what others had gone through helped me know what to expect. Hearing about their grief somehow validated my own. At times I felt like I shouldn’t have been so upset. Other women had lost their babies in the third trimester or even after birth. I felt like I should have been able to pull myself together and move on. The truth is, I don’t think I ever will fully move on. I may not be able to hold my child in my arms, but I held him inside my womb for ten and half short, beautiful weeks. Why is it that I, along with other women, have debated keeping that a secret? I sincerely wish miscarriage wasn’t such a taboo subject, but rather one that allowed women to support and uplift each other. Why do people feel the need to hide miscarriage? Are they ashamed? Embarrassed? I am not sharing this for pity. I am sharing this in the hopes that maybe my story can help someone. I hope some mother somewhere out there will read this and understand that it is out of her control. God needed our babies back much sooner than we would have liked. They will never know pain, hatred, or suffering. For the entire time they were with us, they knew nothing but love.

Kyle and I are hoping for our very own “rainbow baby” someday. Until then, please keep our family in your prayers. You’re all certainly in ours. God bless you all.

Oh, Milo…

MiloOur poor pup has been struggling with some tummy issues for a while now. A visit to the vet about a month ago revealed that he had not only roundworms, but also giardia and coccidia. Allow me to translate: poop, poop, and more poop. He had one round of two antibiotics. Those seemed to aggravate things downstairs, so he had some anti-diarrhea medicine. Two weeks after he finished his medicine, we sent in another sample. Good news! No more roundworms — and thank the lord for that because they were DISGUSTING! Bad news! Still some coccidia and giardia. Onto a new medicine! We also have to bathe him a lot, wipe his paws after every trip outside, and rinse the rocks in our yard with a diluted bleach solution. I also took it upon myself to disinfect out entire house. Floors, slip covers, you name it. It’s clean now. The things we do for love, right?!

Luckily, he doesn’t act sick. He’s not lethargic. He still loves to eat. He’
s still gaining weight, although I think he looks a little too skinny. He still jumps around like a maniac when a friend comes to visit. He’s also losing his baby teeth now, which makes me sad. I’m not ready for him to grow up. I love that he still fits on our laps and likes to be held.

I love when he grabs his toy and shoves it into my lap. I love his cold, wet nose nudging my shins, his little pin teeth gnawing on my fingertips, and hi gross puppy breath. I’m so glad we brought him home. Our family wouldn’t be the same without him.

Is this thing on?

Hello and welcome! After almost a year of thinking about starting one, I finally set up a blog! It’s nothing fancy, just whatever thoughts I feel like sharing thrown together. Topics I foresee touching on include but are not limited to: marriage/our little family, life in the military, Milo and all his mischief, what’s going on in my kitchen, what projects I’m working on, how I’m decorating our home, my faith, and more. Probably no makeup tutorials. Let’s be honest here – the only reason I’m not doing a video blog is because that would require me to look presentable/put on pants. Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoy the ride!