Ten Things I’ve Learned as a Trailing Spouse

For those of you who have been the trailing spouse, you may have different experiences than me. However, us trailing spouses all know it is very difficult and one of the most stressful things a couple could/will go through. Let me start by defining what makes a “trailing spouse”… it is pretty much exactly as it sounds. One who follows their husband/wife to a new place/state/country in lieu of that spouses career(or other) opportunities. I’m not about to glorify it either. It is tough stuff. I have only moved to a new state, I can’t imagine moving to a new country. Now, everyone’s situation is different. Sometimes both people in the couple think that moving would be the best thing ever. I’m not going to lie, Daniel had to do a lot of convincing to get me to leave the familiarity of my beautiful Southern city. I finally thought that it might be a good idea to experience something new and we high-fived on moving ourselves out to St. Louis. Then it began happening. My favorite apartment I have ever lived in was bare and before I knew it I was waving goodbye to my Chattahoochee River bank. It was all so exciting at first. I felt like a grown up spreading my wings and flying. I am still making some major adjustments in this move, but so far I have experienced and discovered so much.

Ten Things I have discovered in my experience as a ‘trailing spouse’

1.) There is a “honeymoon” phase with your new city.

-Yeah, it was all fine and dandy until it was cold like…. all the time. We have had a blast though. We have gone to carnivals and festivals, made new friends, and explored a lot. Luckily, we still have SO MUCH to explore here. I will say I am extremely happy that winter is over so the real fun can begin. Like a relighting of the Honeymoon Phase!

2.) Getting a job is 100 times harder without the connections and networks you had back home.

-Trust me on this one. The fact that I am somewhat floundering my way through life is a little depressing. I have applied and applied and applied but no one seems to be biting at the bait. Apparently, I need explore some other opportunities and maybe try to really find out what I want in life.

3.) You will compare your new state to your old/”home” state.

-I have looked and looked and FINALLY I have found some acceptable (by my southern standards) chicken wings. They still aren’t as good at the ones back home, but the Italian here is definitely better than Italian in Atlanta (sorry I’m not sorry).

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4.) Finding friends can actually be easier than you thought.

-I was lucky enough to know people who knew people who lived here before we moved (thank god). BUT. There is also this awesome site called Meetup.com. Yes, its like online dating for friends but it has been so worth it and there is always some kind of “Meetup” going on. There are of course specific categories as well such as, a running group, volleyball group, anime groups, rock climbing groups, book junkie groups etc. etc. usually if you name it, there is probably a group for it and if there is not… you can create your own. 🙂

5.) Being a housewife is neat… that is, until people start frowning upon the fact that all you do is laundry, cook, and clean.

-Umm, yeah. I have enjoyed my time away from the workplace. My house is always sparkly, my bed is always made, my laundry is always clean (and folded), dishes are always done, my dinners are planned, my kitchen is always stocked, wine isn’t needed (as much) anymore, I’m thinner from extra time spent working out, all in all I do a damn good job at being a housewife. I definitely don’t want it to go unnoticed, but there comes a time when people start asking “what do you do” and that’s when I start to feel inadequate. All I really want to say is I’M WORKING ON IT, PEOPLE. All I ask is that you give me a break. I am doing the best I can with what I have (in the job searching department).

6.) It challenges you and your spouse; positively and some times not-so-positively.

-You have your ups and downs. As the trailing spouse it is so hard to control the “Well, if we hadn’t moved…” argument at times. AVOID THROWING THIS NUGGET AT YOUR SPOUSE. I’m learning now that it hurts your spouse to be resentful and use it as leverage. I am guilty of it, and honestly there probably isn’t a trailing spouse out there that hasn’t said something along the lines of that sentence (or insinuated it). As far as the “ups” go, you really, REALLY have to rely on each other. For everything. And it is a good thing. Daniel and I have done an awesome job of spending time together, exploring new things together, learning new things together, trying new things together. We are all we have and it has brought us closer as a couple.

7.) Gives you a chance to reinvent yourself.

-Thinking about it I haven’t actively changed myself. I just AM myself, here and now. Who I was at 16 doesn’t matter to anyone I have met here because I’m not that person anymore. I am stripped of anyone knowing my pointless past dramas or having “history” in a  friendship. That, in itself will reinvent YOU.

8.) You will appreciate the “comfort” of/gain pride for your home state.

-I love the city of Atlanta more than I ever have, because I have been given the beautiful/not-so-beautiful gift of missing it. I miss everything about that city from the red Coca Cola glasses you get in EVERY restaurant, to the banks of the Chattahoochee, to the beauty of a spring day in Piedmont Park. I was meant for that city and it was meant for me. I have no doubt in my mind that one day we will reunite.

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9.) Embracing new places is refreshing. 

-The Arch is possibly the COOLEST structure I have ever seen. I honestly can’t get enough of it. I love taking pictures of it and I seeing it all lit up at night. It reminds me of why I decided moving would be a good idea. To explore life in new places. To get to know a new city and fall in love with a new place. I’m still in the very VERY early stages of “falling in love” with St. Louis (mostly because I’m still pretty homesick). However, walking through Soulard the other day I couldn’t help but adore the old timey feel of the city. It gave me the same feeling I get when I see the skyscrapers of Midtown Atlanta towering over Piedmont Park.

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10.) It has cured me of shyness (I think).

-I have found that I have A LOT to say these days. I will talk to almost ANYONE. I can’t decide if it is because I am hungry for human interaction or if I really have always been this outgoing/friendly and just never noticed. Anyway, making friends has been relatively easy for me. I suppose I am one of the lucky ones because I could just talk all day if you let me and really not about anything specific.

Moving is extremely difficult but it is also fun, confusing, exciting, new, and challenging. It puts you in situations you never would have dreamed of, you experience different people, cultures, ways of life. You find that relying only on your spouse is hard and awesome all at the same time. It’s all a growing/learning experience and while it’s been tough, I’m glad we’ve experienced it together.

One thing that will FOR SURE never change: I will ALWAYS be a serious ATLANTA BRAVES fan. ❤

kellsbraves

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This Could Be My Closet.

Happy Spring! (Even though we are suppose to get snow here on Sunday)…

So, I am in no way a “Fashionista” nor am I always on the up and up with fashion, but I know what I like. I’d much rather spend money on new running shoes than a trendy brand name watch. However, I am a sucker for a good deal and I like to keep a list of things that I want in my closet. I don’t get to shop often. Husband and I are working on getting our student loans paid off so most of our money goes towards that and saving. We save, save, save. I’m in dire need of new running shoes right now, but I have to wait for a little while longer before I can get them. So, most of my fashion buys and wants are scored a little later than most people but that doesn’t stop me from loving them once they hit my closet rack. Here are the Top 5 things I have FINALLY scored in my closet (and jewelry box). After, I talk about the top 5 things I would LOVE TO HAVE in my closet.

1: CHAMBRAY: 

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Yep, I finally did it. I have been seeing this casual cuteness sneak onto the pages and style boards of every Pinterest friend I am following (Even if I were to jump on this fashion trend sooner, I’d just have to cover it with my giant heavy winter coat anyway). No, I probably won’t wear this beautiful piece with a pair of denim jeans (unless it is an extremely dark washed denim), but I LOVE it with my black leggings and I would ADORE some white jeans or shorts to pair with this baby. I bought this shirt not too long ago at a Nordstrom Rack (the TJ Max of Nordstrom) on sale for 21 buckaroo’s. Not bad for a trend that might not stick around too long (you never know it could be ‘in’ til may or ‘in’ for the next 30 years).

2: ROSE GOLD

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I love rose gold. Love Love Love. For Christmas my Instagram and Facebook accounts BLEW UP with Rose Gold Michael Kors watches and I swooned over them. A Michael Kor’s watch was on my list last year but I got other things I had been wanting so, my Christmas was pretty rockin’ also. It still didn’t cure my want and need for one of these beautiful babies. So, what did I do? Khol’s of course. You can’t beat an $18 watched that ticks the same way (and I still get compliments on it). As for the David Yurman…. It’s a David Furman (fake as all get out). I got that lovely piece at Charmin’ Charlie. Just as pretty as the real thing and I love it as well. Haters gon’ hate my fake style…. I’ll enjoy my 12$ bracelet for now.

3: PLAIN WHITE 1/4 LENGTH T-SHIRT

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This sounds absolutely silly, but this has been my favorite addition… AND IT WAS FREE at The Gap (thanks to my moms awesome Couponing skills). I love it because it goes with ANYTHING and you can pretty much dress it up or down however you want. I love it with dark jeans, an infinity scarf, and my “wanna-be” fancy jewelry. I’ve worn it with my Braves ball cap, I have worn it with sweat pants around the house, I have slept in it (I didn’t want to take it off… too comfy). It’s flowy but just in the right places. Who knew such a simple staple could go a long way.

4: STATEMENT NECKLACES

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I have had a black one, a turquoise, and a white one for a while, but right now I am really digging this one because it pairs so nicely with Rose Gold. I wear it a lot…. I have to remind myself to circulate colors because I want to wear it ALL THE TIME (kinda like my next favorite thing).

5: INFINITY SCARVES

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So, spring is on it’s way but we’ll still have those random days that a chill is in the air and what a lovely way to keep ourselves warmer! This is a light, breathable scarf so that on 60 degree days it’ll feel warm but not hot.  I wear this thing way too much. In my recent pictures this leopard print pretty is featured in nearly every one. I’d like to hang my head as a repeat leopard scarf wearer. I just can’t help it. I’m just mad for it.

So, those are a few of my favorite things in my closet at the moment. Now for five things that I would LOVE to have in my closet at the moment!

1: WHITE JEANS

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I would love me some white skinnies for spring/summer. I have seen people already wearing them and while I am a traditional lover of the Memorial/Labor day white rule I have set some new standards. I’m now saying St. Patricks Day to the First Day of Fall because if it’s 30 degrees out and you’re wearing white jeans, I still cringe a little. I wish I didn’t, but I do. To each their own I suppose.

2: MINT

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Anything or everything Mint. I am totally on the bandwagon (without it in my closet, yet). I specifically love the pants, but at this point I’ll take anything.

3: CORAL

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I just have a love affair with color this spring. Coral is pretty, girly, sunny, and I just can’t help but smile when I see it. Specifically cute with white shorts or jeans. You could even go with coral pants if you dare to brave the colored pants fad (which I personally think is lovely).

4: MORE STACKABLES!!

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You can’t go wrong with more stackable bracelets. I need/want/have to have stackables in every color (and maybe one of these days I will sport a new MK watch).

5: AZTEC AND CHEVRON PRINTS

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I love this thing for Aztec and Cheveron prints, I’m totally digging into it. I have an Aztec print tank that I wore WAY TO MUCH last summer so I would love a dress or another cute Aztec print shirt or even a skirt… pretty much anything. As for the Chevron print I’d love it in a cute flowy top or dress… ADORE.

What are your favorite things in your closet?

What are some of the trends you’d love hanging in your wardrobe?

How about jewelry?

Have a lovely Friday!

*** for your listening pleasure today we feature: The REAL Wagon Wheel not this Darius Rucker junk. 🙂 Heeeeeey, Mama Rock Me!

Atlanta = <3

I wouldn’t say that I am an absolute expert on the city, but I have been around. After walking a total of 8 miles around the perimeter of Georgia Tech’s Campus in one day I would like to say I have a pretty good grasp on this place. Well, I’ve found out that isn’t even half of what this town has to offer. I’ve done the whole Centennial Olympic Park/Coca Cola/Georgia Aquarium/CNN thing -and in one day to be exact. I’ve eaten in Atlantic Station and partied in Midtown. I’ve hung out at Piedmont Park on beautiful sunny spring days. I went to Fern Bank when I was younger, and watched shows at Shakespeare’s Tavern.  You might call me Un-Atlantan on this one-I have never been to the Fox Theater, but I can tell you how to get there. I mean, my Junior prom was at Turner Field and my Senior prom was at The Georgia Aquarium. Braves Games- if I go a summer without seeing at least one, I would consider myself unAmerican. There are tons of things to do in this city. I have really only scraped the surface. There is also Stone Mountain, Six Flags, The Varsity, Underground Atlanta, Zoo Atlanta etc. Yesterday I found something I haven’t done in Atlanta that was pretty cheap in price and so much fun. I finally went to Sweetwater Brewing Co. for a tour and tastings. So, I am thinking this is something rarely done and it will be a lot like a wine tasting, right? Wrong. This was like a serious social event. People were LINED UP outside the doors to get in. We mistakenly got there early – and good thing we did because the line was halfway across the block when they finally started letting us all in. You have a choice of a free small “DD” cup or to purchase the pint sized souvenir cup and 6 tickets to taste the beers.  Then you walk into a huge room like a bar and you fight to get to the front in order to score some beer. There is also an outside area for your smoking pleasure and a bar outside as well, so you can just keep you and your charming cancer stick scent out there. I can’t imagine how packed this place would be in the summer because walking anywhere was like pushing through an obstacle course. We went on the tour and the people that work there are pretty rad. It is a really cool place to experience and I would put it on my list of top ten favorite things to do in this city. So what are my top 10 things to do in this city?

1. The Georgia Aquarium

– Duh, originally I wanted to be a Marine Biologist. This place is what I always wanted to be about. I went to Georgia Tech night at the Aquarium and we got to go on the behind the scenes tour. Hello Whale Shark!!!

2. The World of Coca Cola

-I mean, before I started dieting I use to bleed this stuff.

3. Centennial Olympic Park

-While you’re visiting the Georgia Aquarium and The World of Coke, you might as well stop and take in the history made here at the park. Yes, I have a brick.

4. See a Braves Game

-I grew up with Tom Glavine, David Justice, John Smoltz, Ryan Klesko, Javy Lopez, Greg Maddux, Steve Avery, Mark Lemke… you get it. Baseball was big with my Family. This is me and Dad after watching John Smoltz throw his 3000th strike out.

5. Hang out at Piedmont Park

-You never know what you might run into. In the summer they use to have this event “Screen On The Green” they’d bring out a theater style lawn screen and you could watch movies from it. I once saw Grease. Sometimes in the spring, the park has cool food vendors and other neat things to check out.

6. Stone Mountain

-Summer, Spring, Fall, and now Winter fun being had. They now have Christmas at Stone Mountain and Snow Mountain from Dec-Feb.

7. Night life in Midtown

-Fun places to eat and hang. My Favorite place to eat: Tin Lizzys. My Favorite place to hang: Flip Flops. There are also other clubs and bars that line Crescent Ave. Front Page News, Opera, Cosmo Lava etc.

8. Lenox Mall/Phipps Plaza

-Sure the shopping is for rich folks, but who wouldn’t mind a little window shopping at Tiffany’s?!?!

9. Visiting Little 5 Points

-This fun quirky place is home of the Vortex (delicious burgers at an artery clogging price!) and you can sometimes find cool shops like The Junkmans Daughter and art shows. Watch out for the beggers ;-).

10. Sweetwater 420 Fest/Sweetwater Brewing Co.

-The festival is the weekend closest to April 20th (FYI 420 is the name of one of their beers.) and I just checked out the Brewery yesterday and it was a BLAST.

Don’t Float The Mainstream!!!

p.s. I spared you all from me talking about my love for Georgia Tech… Yes, hanging out at Tech is in my top ten but not many people would actually go do it.

What are your Top Ten things to do in your City? If your city is ATL does your Top Ten differ from mine?

Happy Weekend Ya’ll!!!