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Photo booths

14 Nov

The past few years I’ve noticed a new trend at weddings: photo booths. I think it’s an awesome idea. There is just something so old school about taking pictures in a booth together. It adds a different element to the reception, and your guests have a fun souvenir to take home with them.

My cousins and I certainly had a blast at a recent family wedding.

What do you think? Would you have a photo booth at your wedding?

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Birthday wishes from afar

29 Oct

It’s days like today when long distance is especially hard. Today is Sebastian’s 25th birthday, and just like the ones before, we won’t be spending it together. In fact, we have yet to spend a birthday together. Yet, we always try to make it special for the other person, even from far away.

If it were possible, I’d hop on the first flight to Berlin to wish him happy birthday in person. But until that time, a package and a birthday call will have to suffice.

happy birthday, love

sending extra good thoughts your way

xoxo

My heart is in Germany

17 Sep

AAAAAAHHHHH! I just checked my countdown, and there are only four days until I head to Germany! I couldn’t be more excited to visit this beautiful country again. I realize my love for this place is a little biased (because it’s home to a pretty cool guy), but in all honesty, even if I had never met Sebastian I think I would have fallen in love with Germany.

I still remember my very first visit, and how I instantly loved being there. In some cities it was like traveling back in time with their old city centers and amazing architecture. And then in others, it was like visiting a city in America. I really appreciated the mix of old and new and how it fit together flawlessly.

Sebastian had already broken my stereotypical image of Germans before I visited, and it changed even more as I began talking with and meeting other German people. Before I went, I had always pictured stern-looking, serious people. I laugh thinking about it now. For the most part, everyone is super friendly and not serious at all. In fact, my boyfriend is the goofiest guy I’ve ever met – and I love him for it.

If the people and atmosphere didn’t make me fall in love, maybe it was the food or the language or the beer. Whatever it was, a part of my heart will always be in Germany.

Did I mention I CAN’T WAIT?!?! Four days!!!

I get by with a little help from my friends

3 Aug

I had one of those aha moments yesterday at a happy hour with some coworkers. We were all sitting around a table outside at a little Mexican restaurant, sipping on margaritas and munching on chips. There was a lot of laughter, funny name-guessing games and storytelling.

When I got in my car to drive home, I realized how lucky I am to have people like this in my life. People like my best friends Erika and Lindsay, my siblings, my parents, Sebastian, my coworkers – everyone helps me get by each day.

It’s easy to let life get you down sometimes. From stresses at work to missing my boyfriend to figuring out future plans. But I have great friends. They bring laughter into my life when I can’t find it on my own.

Thanks to all you wonderful people.

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Staying connected

18 Jul

When people find out I’m in a long-distance relationship (and have been for a while), they like to ask  how we make our relationship work. My answer is we talk every day. I know, I know –  it’s a no-brainer. But just like any relationship, we put in the effort to communicate with each other.

Our favorite app is WhatsApp, which enables you to message (text) for free. We message each other a couple of times a day just to see what the other person is up to.

I send pictures like this:

And he sends me pictures of his dinner (with his awful phone camera):

Yes, I get it’s silly, but when you never see the other person things like this help you feel connected.

Every night we talk during my drive home to catch up on each other’s day. The time difference is six hours so if Sebastian is tired, the call is short. But it really doesn’t matter how long the call is, the point is we always talk.

We also try to Skype for a couple of hours on the weekends. You probably think we’d run out of things to talk about, but we haven’t yet. We laugh, tell jokes, share videos and articles, talk about our upcoming trips and future goals, and before we know it, three hours have gone by.

Regardless of how often or how long we talk, I think we’ve made it through because we truly care about each other, and we do our best to let the other person know it. Whether it’s sending a quick message to say hey, sending a letter in the mail or staying up late to talk on the phone.

I’m curious though, how do you stay connected in your relationships? I know it’s sometimes easy to take the other person for granted. How do you show you still care?

Two years

15 May

Two years ago today I graduated college, and while that is a pretty significant event in my life, it’s not why this day is special to me. Two years ago today I started dating Sebastian.

I never expected to fall for a German guy, as I’m sure he never expected to fall for an American girl. But sometimes the unexpected happens. We met while playing soccer at Kent State and quickly bonded over our love for Chipotle, traveling and How I Met Your Mother.

Our relationship had an interesting start. I had just gotten out of a long-term relationship and he was heading back to Germany. It didn’t seem like the most ideal situation, and we both had our doubts.

That first summer was filled with Skype dates, phone calls, letters, emails and eventually a trip to Germany. It became pretty clear that we were both in this for the long haul.

What a whirlwind these past two years have been. We’ve traveled to more than 20 cities, stayed in 15 different hotels and learned a lot about each other along the way. And I think we both agree we wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Dear Sebastian – thank you for the most unexpected and wonderful two years.

Happy Anniversary, love.

xoxo

Finding the can’t-live-without

19 Apr

As I was spring cleaning this month, I came upon a box of my ex-boyfriend’s things – one of them being his high school class ring. In case you’re wondering, I returned the ring. But finding all those old items made me think about our past relationship. I was the one who ended it, and at the time, it was painful. We had been dating for almost four years. To this day, I still couldn’t tell you why the relationship wasn’t working, but the fact is it wasn’t. I realized that even though you care for someone, you can’t stay in a relationship to make the other person happy. You have to be happy yourself.

I recently read an article about things to know in your twenties, and one of the points was this: “Now is also the time to get serious about relationships. And “serious” might mean walking away from a dating relationship that’s good but not great. Some of the most life-shaping decisions you’ll make during this time will be about walking away from good-enough, in search of can’t-live-without. One of the only truly devastating mistakes you can make in this season is staying with the wrong person even though you know he or she is the wrong person. It’s not fair to that person, and it’s not fair to you.”

I found myself in this situation with my ex. Now, I don’t want to give the wrong impression. Things didn’t end because he wasn’t “good-enough” for me. He’s a good guy, and he’ll make one girl really happy someday. I didn’t end it because of who he was; I walked away because of how I felt in the relationship. The longer we were together, the more things began to change. Sometimes you grow together, and sometimes you grow apart. It came to the point where I was just going through the motions, and I finally had to stop. It wasn’t fair to him and it wasn’t fair to me.

So our relationship ended, and although it hurt at the time, I will always feel that it was the best decision for both of us.

As I moved on from the breakup, something crazy and wonderful happened. I fell in love with a boy from Germany, and we’ve been happily dating for almost two years. While this long-distance relationship is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, it’s also one of the greatest. I wouldn’t do this with anyone else.

Don’t stay in a relationship because it’s comfortable or because you can’t pinpoint what’s wrong. Hearts will heal, and you’ll open yourself to finding the can’t-live-without. Trust me – you want to find the can’t-live-without.

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Laughter

23 Feb

Every time Sebastian visits, I find it hard to believe he was actually here. Was it really just Monday that he was sitting next to me? He was and it was the best surprise visit EVER.

Now that he’s back in Germany, there are a lot of things I already miss, but the thing I miss the most is his laugh. It’s the one sound that can instantly bring a smile to my face and make me laugh too. There’s nothing like being goofy with someone and laughing together.

When it comes to relationships, find someone who makes you laugh.

laughterimage via

Valentine’s surprise

15 Feb

Sebastian is a special guy. He remembers the important days and always goes out of his way to do something sweet. Because of this, I was expecting him to do something thoughtful for Valentine’s Day. When I received flowers at the office, it was really nice (especially since they were my favorite – tulips), but not a huge surprise.

tulips

{beautiful tulips}

But then he called to tell me that although nothing was confirmed, he might be in the States on Thursday. Once I got over the initial shock, I realized that Thursday was in two days! I couldn’t even believe it.

And then I got the confirmation this morning – Sebastian will be here TOMORROW!

Best Valentine’s Day ever.

love quote

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Miles apart

18 Jan

“Distance is not for the fearful, it is for the brave. It is for those willing to spend a lot of time alone in exchange for a little time with the one they love. It’s for those who know a good thing when they see it, even if they don’t see it nearly enough.”

Most of us have been there at one point in our lives. Maybe it was a few hours away, maybe it was another state, or maybe it was like my situation, across the ocean. Long-distance relationships. They’re bound to happen – unless you’re like my parents and fall in love with your high school sweetheart (but even they spent time apart when my dad was in the service.)

Some people make them work. Some people don’t. In most cases it’s a personal decision. Either it’s worth it to you or it’s not. To me, it’s worth it. And despite being 4,000 miles apart, Sebastian and I are happy in a relationship. Is it hard? Of course. Do we make it work? Somehow.

I often get asked, “How do you make it work?” The truth is, we just do. We both realize that time spent apart is better than no time at all. But if I had to give words of wisdom, here are some things I’ve learned along the way.

Make time to talk every single day. Even if it’s only for ten minutes on your drive home from work when he’s really sleepy.

Write letters. There’s something to say about physically holding something the other person touched just days ago.

Share in each other’s joys and sorrows. Even though you can’t be there, celebrate the accomplishments and be there the best you can for the hard times.

Enjoy the time you do have together. Understand that it won’t always be perfect, but it will go fast, so savor every minute of it.

Maybe 2012 will be different. Maybe we’ll end up together this year. For now though, we’ll continue to make it work. And when the distance feels difficult, because some days it will, I’ll remember he’s worth it and only a plane ride away.

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