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ThirdLove Bra Review

I, like many women in today’s society, am unhappy with my bra. No matter how much I look around and how much I research, I always end up with a bra that doesn’t fit well or doesn’t feel right. When I saw that ThirdLove offered a “Try Before You Buy” campaign as well as a great new way to get sized for bras and a 1/2 size gimmick, I got excited.

After a couple of weeks of looking at the reviews and debating, I pulled the trigger and order a T-shirt bra that was supposed to be unbelievably comfortable and fit juuuuuuust right. Within two days of placing the order the bra arrived in a cute little box with a cute little sticker and a tag that provided tips on wearing bras. I was overjoyed.

I wore it twice.

While the straps are nice and cups feel so welcoming, the wire between the cups at the front of the bra rubs my sternum and hurts my chest. Disappointed I took it off and began the process of returning it.

First, I went through the online portal and found that my order wasn’t showing up so I sent an email. My order came up as a standard order which would require the tags to be attached and the bra unworn for return. What? I told the customer service rep that and she responded with a totally cookie cutter answer that the bra must be unworn and my order was a standard one. I replied and reiterated that somehow my order had been messed up and I had actually ordered with try before you buy. I received the same response as before, almost like I was talking to a robot. I tried a third time with some more stern words than I’d used before and yet again received a similar response.

Fed up, I turned to the instant chat system that they had advertised. I saw that it said someone was available to talk now so I clicked and was led to the email response page. The instant chat doesn’t exist. Next I turned to calling. There are two voice messages that I received alternately. The first says they’re out of the office or busy and to try later. Knowing that it was 2 pm on a Monday I opted to try a few minutes later. I received the same message. I tried a few more times over the next half hour and got the same machine until finally I got a different answer. This machine said someone would be ready to take my call in a moment and I was put on hold. The subsequent encounters with this messaging system all resulted 3 to 5 minute hold period that would inevitably end with the same message that they were out of the office. The machine would then hang up on me.

Seething, I got home and turned to Facebook where the page says they usually respond immediately. I sent a message and the immediate response was an automated option to go shop the website. Uh, no?

I read the reviews and all were very good with the exception of one that was three stars. I googled reviews of the company and nothing comes up. How is a company with terrible customer service not reviewed at all?

I resorted to posting a comment on the page only to receive a message that the people who ran the page would review my comment. That’s when it fell into place. There is no apparent customer service. There is no “Try Before You Buy” that seems to hold any water. It is only a scam that pulls women in with their incredibly enticing gimmicks and then doesn’t respond after purchase. So you may not pay for the bra initially but after 30 days when your grace period expires they charge you and I’m guessing there is nothing you can do about it.

Don’t let the lack of reviews propel you forward. There are no bad reviews because they are censoring the material that makes it through to the masses. The whole premise of the company is misleading and the customer service is horrible (if it exists at all).


Update: After significant effort I finally got them to issue me a refund label. I mailed the bra back but didn’t hear anything so I sent an email asking for a status update. I was then told that the bra they received was stained so they couldn’t restock it and wouldn’t issue me a refund but they would give me store credit. ABSOLUTELY NOT. First, I didn’t wear the damn thing long enough to stain it. Second, it was basically in mint condition when I returned it. Third, “Try Before You Buy” includes washing and wearing it for 30 days. You honestly are saying you won’t refund the price if the bra shows wear? Talk about shady fine print. I repeat my above statement. Do not order from Thirdlove.


A Day

When I was twelve years old my mother took her own life. It was sudden, as death usually is, and shocking. After some time the events started to make more sense. I was told that she had been bipolar and had suffered from severe depression. After that, things started to make more sense. That time she laughed with me and then slammed the door in my face or the way she would shut herself away in her room and say morbid things suddenly made sense. This knowledge allowed me to forgive her for being rotten to me on more than one occasion as a child.

About a year after her death I was sitting in my eighth grade English classroom. We were taking the writing assessment that day. I think I remember tying the prompt to her death some how and it made my heart bleed all over again, but in the midst of a proctored exam like that there is a protocol. You aren’t really allowed to get up and leave the room to go cry or take a breath of fresh air, so I sat. I finished the essay early and folded my hands as I prepared to wait for the cessation of the exam. Suddenly, inspiration struck. Since my teacher would have had a fit or I might have been cited for cheating somehow, I wrote out a poem on my desk with my eraser. It could only be read in the glare of the ceiling if you leaned just to the right of it so it was the perfect answer to the problem I had.

I remember writing furiously and finishing it quickly. I was done and had a chance to review it even before the test was over, but I remember it didn’t need editing (or so I thought). Only on rare occasions do writers have the pleasure of words falling on to the page in front of them quickly and easily as if it were a verse they’d memorized. This one has stuck with me every day since and is burned in my brain even though it was written ten years ago this month.

I never really showed anyone. I just quietly transferred it to paper when I had the chance and carried it home with me. I showed my parents and got a little smile of recognition but no accolades or praise. I remember sending it in to a writing competition about a week later. I received a letter saying they wanted to publish my poem and request $19.95 or so for a copy of the book. I showed this to my parents as well who told me the whole thing was a scam and they probably wouldn’t print it if I didn’t mail in the money.

So the poem that follows was written quickly and easily in a time of pain from the open heart of a thirteen year old girl. It is unremarkable and has never been recognized as anything of any worth but I love it. It reminds me of so much. I hope you enjoy.

A Day

A day not too long ago

There was a girl with many woes

She dealt with many grown-up things

But still she tried to follow her dreams

She cried at night but in the day

She hid her tears and went to play

Why did she cry, so you might ask?

Because her darling mother had passed

And yet, life continued on

No matter how hard it was

Her heart ached a little more each day

But she didn’t want to make them say

Don’t be sad, it will be okay

Because she knew it would

-Clara Jenkins


Lately I’ve been numb. Well I’ll say that it’s been over a year since I remember feeling much of anything. I got married to the love of my life, spent a summer in San Diego, drove Route 66, spent Christmas in Chicago, and spent a week on the beautiful beach of Grand Cayman. Yet, I feel nothing. I’ve been walking through life in a fog. I didn’t really admit it until now. I have been away from my husband for two full weeks now and I don’t miss him. I did right when I returned to Memphis. The first few days were pretty horrible. I was depressed and I felt incomplete, but after the initial feelings passed and I got my life back together I stopped feeling again.

I have about a week that I could spare this week. I could drive to Chicago and see my husband for six days, but I’m not really interested. Sure it’s been only a couple of weeks, but aren’t I supposed to be impossibly crippled without him? Is the distance just something that I’ve gotten used to?

I know I should be jumping at the chance to go see him but when faced with the prospect of a nine hour drive alone it doesn’t sound appetizing. Six whole days and I could be in his arms but I’m not interested. Why?

Don’t get me wrong. I adore my husband. He is my Prince Charming. I’ve always loved him and we’ve endured so much. But I just don’t miss him this time.

Perhaps it has to do with the fact that I’ve accepted this as our life. We have been separated for the better part of our time knowing each other. We endured a deployment. We spent a semester on opposite coasts. Distance just isn’t new for us. So maybe I’m just resigned.

Maybe it’s independence. I’ve had to be on my own for over a year. I don’t have him to lean on except through phone calls and Skype dates. I do my own thing and have my own life. So maybe I’ve just finally learned to be alone.

Then again it could be because the promise of a few days compared with the wreck I’ll be when it’s time to leave just isn’t easy to swallow. I know it should be worth it and I’m sure it would be. Perhaps it’s just self preservation. I’m just not jumping at the chance to put myself through all the hurt that comes with six days next to my love.

The Job Hunt

As we enter 2016 I realize there were many fantastic adventures in 2015. I got married to the love of my life. Finally after almost 10 years I wore him down and convinced him we were destined to be together. Well that’s not exactly how it went but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. We drove down Route 66 together, kayaked in the Pacific ocean in La Jolla, lived in Cali and moved to Chicago, swam with stingrays, and so much more. I graduated from college, too, but that’s where things took a turn.

At the beginning of my sophomore year I joined Navy ROTC. I was headed on the path to become an active duty commissioned officer upon graduation. I did everything right and improved in the all the right ways. I had a great career there in my two and a half years that remained while I was in school. I overcame the obstacles: getting a contract when they were so few and a torn meniscus. My date was set and I’d finally achieve my dream in December 2015. September of last year, though, life took a turn.

After my summer in California I expected to come back refreshed. I’d noticed that despite my regular training, running was getting increasingly more difficult. Breathing was getting so much harder. It felt like I was out of shape even though that was impossible. As the weeks passed it got increasingly more difficult to breathe to the point that I was winded after only ten minutes of warm-ups. Finally, one morning, after a quarter mile lap around the track, I hit a wall. I was on the ground trying to do push-ups when I felt like someone was choking me. It felt like someone was stomping on my chest. I sat up and walked off the field to a concerned group of advisors. After 20 minutes of controlled breathing exercises I finally got to where I could breathe normally again.

The next step was to go on light duty and go to a doctor or two for a diagnosis. That first visit confirmed my worst fears. The doctor walked in a said, “You have asthma.” He said it with no hesitation and no remorse. I cried for hours. How could everything have gone so wrong so quickly. I’d done everything right and was slated to be a very strong officer. It was my dream and I’d worked so hard to deserve it.

While asthma isn’t such a bad thing to most, the military tends to not take it lightly. That word on my medical record is a total disqualifier.

A week later I went and saw a different doctor. I didn’t take any of my medical records in hopes that he would draw a totally different conclusion on his own. He too said I had asthma. Again, no hesitation. He, at least, held some remorse and talked to me for a while about ways I might be able to get around the verdict.

That week, my whole future got derailed. I’d finally gotten some answers about it and they were totally out the window. The plan had been to commission in December and then hang out in Memphis until my schooling date arrived. Then I would be off to Pensacola for flight training. I’d gotten my dream job and was going to live in sunny Florida. All of a sudden my commissioning date got postponed indefinitely and my job was a distant memory.

Fast forward to today. I spent my first Christmas season with my new husband in Chicago. It snows/rains often and it’s bitterly cold (which I hate). The bright spot is that I have gotten to spend time with him that we hadn’t counted on. Next week it’s back to Memphis for more doctor visits and waiting. I’ll be under evaluation until around May.

So what do I do now? Good question. I’ve been applying at engineering firms in Memphis. I mean, how hard should it be to get a job? I graduated with a Bachelor’s in engineering and a 3.44 GPA. Not awesome but not terrible. I have considerable background in leadership and was in plenty of professional organizations. The scary thing is that I have experience. For two years I’ve been counting on the Navy. It was a job I had waiting for me. I didn’t have to think about internships because by the time I was out of the Navy and looking for a job in the civilian world in ten years, the military experience would cover me. I never saw this coming. I never thought I’d be in this spot.

So I’m heading back to Memphis with bills to pay and no income. I’ve got to figure something out but it’s looking pretty bleak. Here’s hoping that I can get an interview and show the world what I have to offer.

Loving You Long Distance

Being apart is hard. On the bad days I can’t just come home and cuddle up with you on the couch. On the good days we can’t laugh together and celebrate. On the taxing days we can’t comfort each other as we figure out a plan of action. All we have are our words. We comfort and figure things out together through Skype dates and long phone calls. We talk everything through and do our best not to get bogged down by the circumstances.

Yes it sucks, but we are stronger for it.

Communicating is definitely the hardest thing in any relationship. Most of the time, couples take years and therapy to start speaking the same language. Women blow things out of proportion and speak in haste while men say things they don’t really mean and don’t bother to think before they speak. It’s a terrible circumstance but one that is totally unavoidable.

Women are unreasonable in many ways. We read way to far into things and we hold grudges over what we think someone meant instead of taking their words at face value. This has definitely gotten even worse with the introduction of texting and instant messaging. Sarcasm and playful inflections are lost in a text, leaving the words to interpretation. The reader can glean two entirely different meanings from a text based on their mood or another conversation they might be having at the same time. The divided attention paired with the difference in personality leaves a whole lot of room for misinterpretation.

Alan and I have definitely had to figure out our way around these things. He is a man so he doesn’t think about things he says nearly as much as I do. I’m still not great at it, but I’m definitely more forgiving when he says something stupid and I blow it out of proportion. We take five minutes to relax and then we come back and discuss the situation again.

But how do we make it all work? How do we push through the bad days to get to the good? Yeah it gets hard but looking forward is the key. We Skype most nights and talk on the phone every night. We cook dinner at the same time and watch movies at the same time. Just the other day he asked me to send him a document. I included a picture from a boudoir shoot I did before the wedding. It’s not much but he’ll get a nice little surprise when he opens the envelope today. It’s all about being thoughtful and arranging little things to make someone smile.

He loves getting notes. I write notes and hide them all through his apartment before I leave each time. I found a letter I wrote him months ago so I folded it up and sent it to him. It’s the little things that make it all work.

So I’m not saying there is a perfect recipe. Obviously see each other as much as you can and work on communicating, but just be thoughtful. Try to do things together. Try to send little surprises to make an ordinary day a little less ordinary. Of course, there is the major perk that when you see each other it feels like the first time. The spark is never gone. ❤

The Week After

So I had an incredible honeymoon. We ran around Grand Cayman and did honeymoon things. Laid on the beach and gawked at the incredibly clear, blue water. We swam with stingrays and ate the most incredible dinners. We hung out at the pool and went adventuring a time or two. The first night of the honeymoon we even went to see a STL Cardinals game. So it was overall pretty awesome.

Then I came home.

I got pretty teary eyed at the airport when we said goodbye. I was morose the whole next twenty-four hours. I got in to school the next day and it seemed like a storm had just been waiting for me. The minute I stepped back on that campus everything went straight to hell. I got a progress report that said I had a D in a class I thought I had a B in. Came to find out that was because I was counted as having two zeroes for assignments that were due while I was gone. Once I turn those in it’ll be fine.

My unit just fell apart in my absence. It wasn’t that I wasn’t there. It has kind of just been a long time coming. So everyone was running around doing crazy shit. I got yelled at over and over again because that’s what happens when you’re in charge. Your people fuck up, you get the heat. I was literally one day off the island and getting yelled at four or five times a day. Everyone was telling me I sucked and I was a shitty leader and that I needed to fix this when in reality this has been a problem that I can’t control. But ya gotta try right?

Wednesday started to look up as I started to implement plans for getting the ship righted again, but then it just got even more bad. I got an email telling me I had a test Friday (today) that is kind of a big deal. First, I thought it would be the final in the class meaning I still had two months to study. Second, it’s my senior exit exam so if I don’t pass I don’t graduate. I had two days to study everything I learned in four years. Holy shit.

The last two days have been a whirlwind of study material. I went so hard that I came home to take a nap last night before waking up to study more and wasn’t able to open my eyes until I’d been asleep 12 hours. It was bad. So now, here I am, taking a quick study break before heading back to work. I have a couple of hours before the test and a huge cup of coffee next to me because despite having slept that long, I’m still exhausted.

Going to go kick this test’s ass and then come home and watch some serious Netflix for a couple of hours before heading to work. Fingers crossed and prayers that I nip this thing in the bud.

Oh and I woke up with Pink Eye. Awesome.

I’d give anything at all to be back on the island with my hubby instead of counting down the days until I go pick him up from the airport. Only 24 more though. ❤

The Wedding

So I got married a little over a week ago. I married the man of my dreams. Yeah I know, everyone says that. But for us, it’s totally true. We have been involved since my freshman year of high school (almost 9 years ago). I fell in love with him the moment I saw him. Took him a little longer, but ya know, whatever we got there right? Well it was a dream come true when he proposed. A grand majority of my friends were like, dude finally even though when we got engaged we had only seen each other once in two years and had only been officially dating for a little over three months. Yeah it seems fast, but if you knew our story you’d know that this was a long time coming and it was good to finally succumb to the inevitable.

The honeymoon was magic. We spent a night in St. Louis and saw a Cardinals game. We then flew to Grand Cayman and spent a week in Tortuga. The island was incredible and the food was to die for (I’m a total foodie). The water was so beautiful. We swam with stingrays and held them. We were hanging out at Starfish Point and saw a couple of giant starfish just chilling in the water. We swam in the ocean and in the infinity pool by the ocean. (I love the beach in case you hadn’t gathered as much.) It was just incredible.

The wedding, though, was something else. I want girls to read this and hopefully get a reality check so maybe they won’t be miserable on the wedding day.

Wedding day arrived. I had some errands and a minor crisis to take care of not to mention it was raining (and the ceremony was outdoors). Finally started getting ready an hour late, but it all worked out. We did a first look that was wonderful. He surprised me by actually showing more than the characteristic smirk. Walked down the aisle and said our vows (which we wrote). His were way better than mine and I’m the writer between us so I was entirely shocked that he did so well.

The reception was a train wreck. It was set up in a gym (much to my dismay) with no alcohol (also annoying) and the size of the gym dwarfed the number of people. So it looked like no one was there. The DJ acted like he had no idea what he was doing. My sister gave a pitiful speech ( I think she was buzzed) that was sweet but it was obvious that she was making it up as she went along. My dad was a nazi about the lights and wouldn’t leave them off for some stupid reason. We took dance lessons for our first dance and yet no one clapped or acted like we had done the amazing thing that we had (we both have two left feet and no dance experience before this). My second bridesmaid was on her own program. She was absent half the time we were trying to take pictures and she changed before everything was really over. She had to go put her dress back on to finish the pictures. The bubble machine for the grand exit broke at the last minute. Overall the whole thing was embarrassing and we ended up just skipping the garter toss and the bouquet toss because I was frustrated and ready to head to the after party. It was over in less than a hour.

The after party was awesome. We ate killer BBQ, played beer pong and corn hole, did some super awesome crafty paint thing, and just sat around the fire drinking. It was chill and very very fun – total redemption.

My sister proceeded to get drunk and try to drive home to the point that someone had to come wake me up twice – once to talk to her about it and the second time to physically take her keys. I was pretty peeved.

So here is the advice. Girls, if you’re doing a wedding on a budget, don’t expect the fairytale. Unless you have a $50,000 budget and parents that will do whatever you ask, you aren’t going to have everything you want. You’ll have to make compromises and give things up. Things won’t look exactly how you pictured them or how they looked on Pinterest.

Hire a wedding planner. My mom was mine and she tended to go a little off the books with the ideas. If I had an idea, it tended to get shot down or altered. A wedding planner is only there to serve you. You make all the decisions and they do the leg work. They also make the day of much easier. My mom was stretched too thin. It would have been great to have someone with a level head running around with a plan.

Focus on the important things. My husband surprised me with the most incredible vows. I got to marry the man off my dreams. The guys looked great and my dress was totally perfect. The big things were there. I got too caught up in the little things.

I was just looking at pictures from the wedding and I realized that the whole thing really was beautiful. Yes there were some hitches, but overall it turned out to be pretty nice. So don’t get bogged down in what goes wrong. Be positive or you’re going to be miserable.

My mom did a great job. She worked very hard and brought together something really great even if it wasn’t what I pictured, but I was too caught up in what wasn’t there to really enjoy it. Just be realistic when planning the wedding.


I finally got the pictures back. K. Stoddard Photography did an outstanding job. They turned out beautifully and totally captured the essence of the day!

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Clara + Alan - Wedding - K. Stoddard Photography 014

It rained but we made the most of it. The lighting was beautiful and we were able to catch this reflection photo.

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Clara + Alan - Wedding - K. Stoddard Photography 087

This was right after our first look. He isn’t an emotional guy but his eyes got a bit misty that day.

My Last Summer

Well….The summer is almost over. I cannot begin to tell you how sad that makes me for a host of reasons. It means leaving Alan. It means going back to Memphis. It means school is starting again. It means I actually have to look at reality and be an adult now. I have to conquer my last semester of my Undergrad Bachelor’s of Science. I have to vanquish my senior project (which looks like a train wreck right now and is already a month behind schedule). I have to get married. Wait….what?

So I’ve spent the summer in California with the love of my life. I’ve traipsed all over San Diego and seen L.A. I’ve gone to the Safari Park and am going to Sea World this week. I’ve eaten a ridiculous amount of horribly unhealthy food and have gained so much perspective on life. I have kayaked in the Pacific and seen sea lions swimming a foot away from me. I have seen more of this great country than I ever thought I would. All of these adventures and the whole feel of the city around me makes me regret going to school in Tennessee. I would have loved to have lived out here and gone to college here. I can’t help but imagine how different my life would be if I’d come here for school and hadn’t gotten into ROTC. I can definitely say that it would have been a thousand times more fun and I probably would have learned to surf. I definitely would be a lot more tan and in shape because I know I’d have spent most of my free time out on the water or hiking.

Anyway, the summer is drawing to a close and I’m heading home next week. Time to tackle my last semester of being a young adult. In December, everything is going to be so real. I’m getting married in September. I’m graduating and commissioning into the Navy in December. I’m moving to a new state which is scary since I’ve only lived in Tennessee my entire life. I’ll be heading to a new job and a new life and I’ll be totally alone. My hubby and I won’t be stationed together. So I have to be an adult very soon.

At least it’s been an amazing summer.


Aloha! Well I just spent a couple of very solid days on the gorgeous island of Oahu. I flew out on Tuesday and was waiting for my man when he walked off the ship on Wednesday afternoon. The next couple of days flew by but they were genuinely a dream come true. I mean, come on. A few days in paradise with the love of your life? Sounds as good as it was.

Seeing someone after such a long time is sort of an out-of-body experience. The ship was on the horizon for about an hour before it was close enough that we could see that they were really booking it. Once the ship was up next to us steaming through the channel in all its awesome power and glory, my heart lept to my throat. I could see sailors standing on the flight deck in their dress whites, ready to render salutes to the memorials. He was up there somewhere. After a little over two years, he was within shouting distance. No, I didn’t cry. I don’t cry. But I very nearly did. It took a serious pep talk to keep those tears from collecting.

When I saw his face, my heart literally stopped. I could tell he was nervous by the way he was walking, but when he looked at me it was like all was right with the world. There was a second at first when we were trying to read each other. We stopped and were trying to decide how to handle the situation. Do I put my stuff down? Do I hug you first? Kiss then hug? Handshake? What? I just went straight for the hug to try to take some of the awkward out of the moment as well as to keep myself standing upright, because I was a smidge weak in the knees and very shaky from all the nerves.

I finally worked up the nerve to kiss him and while it was strange at first, it became one of the most natural feelings I’ve ever experienced. The first kiss wasn’t some awe-inspiring, movie moment, but it was real. It was the culmination of a very long distance, very serious relationship and it was real for the first time in so long.

We spent the next couple of hours being awkward and trying to figure out how to be normal with each other. Our relationship has been incredibly strange. This week was the first time for a lot of things. It was the first time we’d ever been seen in public together, our first date, the first time we’d had sex. I mean, it was an incredibly eventful week.

Normally when the boys are in port, they do a ton of shopping and drinking. Half of that sounds logical, but shopping? You’d be surprised. Well we did a ton of shopping and had drinks with meals but didn’t drink in excess. I suppose the need wasn’t there. Instead we spent hours just cuddled up with each other in the hotel room, talking about anything and everything. Somehow we never ran out of things to talk about. For three whole days, I think there was one moment of silence, but it was only because we were both pretty deep in thought. It was incredible. We went out to eat and spent a little time on the beach and a ton of time shopping. We went and met up with a giant part of my family that I hadn’t seen in fifteen years. Most importantly, I kissed him every chance I got.

So let me talk about the Chongs for a moment. There is a side of my family that I pretty much only knew existed. The majority of them live in Hawaii so we don’t see a whole lot of them, especially since our family doesn’t really do reunions anymore. Alan and I went up to my Great Aunt’s house for dinner. It turned out to be a great night. Easy conversation with great people. They’re a loving group of people and very fun to be around. That’s the most family I have had in years. When my mom died, everyone went their separate ways. For the most part, since then, I haven’t had more than about three family members in the same room at a time so to be surrounded by such a big, happy family was a little overwhelming. Somehow he understood and we just rode back to the hotel in silence. I will be forever grateful to him for letting me go meet up with them and taking time out of his leave to go do something like that for me, even though he claims he wouldn’t change a thing about our days together.

Sex was definitely something I was worried about. My rebound from Jake was this hot, macho, sexy man that showed me around the bedroom in a way I thought was only something women dreamed about. I never missed the guy once he disappeared from my life, but I definitely missed the sex. I thought nothing would ever compare to that carnal, raw, sweaty sex. I was wrong. Sex with Alan was so much better. It was real and passionate but fulfilling at the same time. I’ve never been able to orgasm the first time I slept with someone. I did with him.

When I left him and got back on the plane to head home, my heart broke. I understand love now in ways that I never did before. Our goodbye on the pier was sad and sincere, but as I saw him walking away I knew I didn’t want him to be sad. So I called out to him and made him smile just one more time with a silly goodbye even though my heart was breaking. When I landed in Memphis, I cried. I’ve lived in Memphis my whole life. It’s always been home, but for the first time in 22 years, it isn’t anymore. There is a saying that is one to live by. “Home is where the heart is.” My heart isn’t with me anymore. My heart is on that aircraft carrier with the love of my life. The only thing that made the goodbye bearable was knowing that it was only for a couple of days. He’ll be on his way home at the end of the week.

So, this week I learned that love is such a powerful thing. It’s needing the other person to be okay even when you aren’t. It’s sacrificing things you want to make them happy. Any it’s spending the rest of your life with someone you can’t breathe without.

If We Wrote Our Vows

There are moments in life that stand out to you and then there are moments that kind of knock the wind out of you and you realize life will never be the same. It was like that the day I met him.

I ran cross country my freshman year of high school. There was a day that the baseball team ran with us for some conditioning. He was in the pack of guys that I was trying to motivate. I told them not to stop running as I jogged past them, but then I stopped and walked. Go figure. They all got a kick out of that, naturally. He was in that group. I didn’t see him, but he saw me.

Fast forward to the end of January. I was in Coach Jones’ classroom getting ready to practice or for a game when my friend walked outside to talk to a guy. I looked up and saw him. He was so cute and I was just drawn to him so I went and stood next to her while she talked to him. He looked at me while he talked to her. We just stared at each other, hardly breaking eye contact. Even as he walked away, he looked back at me.

I felt my world shift that day. I knew something big was going to happen and I knew my life would never be the same. For me, it was love at first sight. It took me a few months to realize that’s what it was, but I fell for him and I fell hard. We had a hard time over the next five or six years. I was too intense and passionate and inexperienced and he had a lot of growing up to do. Actually, we both did. We kept track of each other, falling more and more in love as time passed. He went off into the Navy and saw the world while I stayed behind and went to school. I had a couple of failed attempts at relationships as I tried to convince myself I was over him and he wasn’t what I wanted.

We are done fighting it. I’ve been in love with him for almost 8 years and this year I’m going to marry him.

“The magic of first love is the ignorance that it can never end.” Except it didn’t. It just grew.