What my Boyfriend has taught me about Relationships

Today I am finally sharing the last bunch of photos Jordan and I took with Aleigh back in June, it’s taken me long enough hasn’t it? I love thinking about feelings/emotions/relationships…ALL OF IT. I’m not mechanically minded, I’m not necessarily business minded, I am introspectively emotionally-mined (if that’s a thing…I’m declaring it a thing). I think about the world in terms of emotions and self reflection, meaning I dedicated a lot of thought to my interpersonal relationships.

Try as I might to be Carrie Bradshaw, I’m not a relationship expert. I am constantly learning, often times through my mistakes. So today I’m not preaching at you pretending I have all the answers but earnestly sharing what I’ve learned from dating Jordan for the past two and a half years. Check back with me a couple years from now and I’m certain my perspective will have evolved. If you’re not growing you’re dying am I right? (;

All photos are by Aleigh Michelle.

Love can come at Unexpected times from Unexpected People

Before meeting Jordan I had a mental checklist of what I wanted in a boyfriend and how/where I would find it. I dated guys I met at school, I dated guys I met through friends, guys I met at parties, and even guys I met on Tinder. I had this idea of what the “guy for me” would look like, what he would think like, and what his life would be like. We should all have high standards but dating isn’t (and shouldn’t be) like creating a character on The Sims (please tell me I wasn’t the only kid who loved that game). Life has a funny way of surprising you! When I met Jordan I was casually dating a handful of different guys whom, in many ways, looked better on paper for me. After a couple sushi dates, ski days and a road trip to California it was apparent that Jordan and I shared so much I wouldn’t have known how to quantify or verbalize on paper. Whatever it is that makes up our souls, it was like mine and Jordan’s were the same (thanks for putting it so eloquently Emily Brönte).  Moral of the message? Be open. You never know who might surprise you!

Real Love is worth the work, but it does take Work!

I had a conversation with a  friend recently about dating. He mentioned wanting a relationship that never loses it’s spark. As much as we all love a good starry-eyed, romantic, fireworks inducing spark, it isn’t realistic to assume the spark alone will make your relationship last. What drew me to Jordan initially was his commitment to working at a relationship. I remember him sharing his past dating experience with me and remarking “I’ve realized how much work even the best relationships take, I’m willing to put that work in for the right person”. I won’t pretend we’ve been through any of life’s most trying difficulties, but I do try and approach the issues we face with a proactive attitude. The more we are able to foresee and communicate difficulties before they occur the better we both are at doing what needs to be done to care for one another and ultimately our relationship.

I wear these Kendra Scott Hoop earrings like 5 days a week, I am obsessed & they are worth every penny.

The dorky non-photogenic face you make when you are enamored with spinning in circles.

Time is the most Important Gift you can Give

I don’t think I fully appreciated the value of someone else’s time until I started dating a workaholic! Jordan works more than anyone I know. I am very proud of everything he has built and achieved but his work often demands evenings, weekends, etc. In past relationships I took weekend trips and week night dinner dates for granted. Now with Jord’s crazy work schedule, I consider a three day weekend together a precious luxury! Maybe your significant other is attached to your hip or maybe you have it even tougher in a long distance relationship-no matter what, time is a gift.

When possible I try to give our date nights my undivided attention. I leave my phone at home (or in my purse). I allow myself to push aside other thoughts and stressors and I fully absorb the moment. When our schedules don’t allow for undivided attention I do what I can to make our relationship work in spite of secular commitments. I’ve brought dinner to Jord’s office so we could eat/work together and tagged along to work obligations (when appropriate) so we could share time before or after his commitments. Now that I’m in law school I don’t expect our outside commitments will wane over the next three years. Finding ways to be active in one another’s lives can take some creativity but serves as a powerful reminder of what (and who) is important to us.

All Relationships are Different; Stop Comparing!

In high school and college it always felt like there were two kinds of relationships: serious relationships and flings. If you were in a serious relationship you knew you had a prom date, maybe you called each other every night before bed, and went on double dates with friends. If you were in fling there wasn’t any talk of a future, maybe you were seeing multiple people, you get the gist. Now I realize relationships aren’t so black and white. Some people choose to treat long term relationships casually, some people get married after only knowing each other a short time, some couples live together before marriage, some couples never get married, some couples share finances after 2 months of dating, some couples don’t meet each other’s families for years…we are all different!

Subconsciously I used to look at my friend’s relationships as benchmarks for what normal, age-appropriate, healthy relationships should be like. My intent wasn’t malicious but Jordan helped me realize my way of thinking could easily morph into something toxic. Relationships aren’t a competition and they certainly aren’t worth comparing. How do you measure the success of your relationship? Your own happiness, respect for one another and commitment. Asking your family and friends for honest opinions and advice isn’t wrong, but please stay in your lane and stop the ridiculous comparing! No one can fully understand your relationship except for you and your significant other.

Allow your Partner to be Flawed.

Bad news, whether you accept it or not your significant other is living, breathing human which means at some point (likely at many points) he/she is going to eff up. Your boyfriend will forget to take out the garbage, or cancel on a dinner date last minute, he’ll say the wrong thing when you want to be comforted or forget to text you back ALL DAY. Your partner will never be perfect and it is important you stop holding him/her to a ridiculously high standard.

Jordan often comments that he appreciates my positivity. In most situations I do my best to remain optimistic and I think after a stressful work day it’s a big relief for him to come home to a girlfriend who is bubbly, happy and positive. When you cut me I don’t bleed sparkles and rainbows. Weird analogy aside, I have bad days just like everyone else. When I am grumpy or whiny or negative it doesn’t mean Jordan can walk away or give up on me (not if we want a successful long term relationship at least). Just because he thought he signed up for the sunshine-y happy girl doesn’t mean he gets that every single moment of every single day, know what I mean? I need room to be human. I need room for the times I accidentally leave a burn mark on the carpet by dropping my curling iron. I need room to cry and feel sorry for myself when the world feels like it’s falling apart. I need room to wake up on the wrong side of the bed. We all do. Give your partner room to be human. This doesn’t mean we stop trying to be our best selves. Being human isn’t an excuse to act like a brat everyday for no reason and it certainly doesn’t mean staying with a partner who treats you like dirt. Recognize that you cannot expect your partner to be perfect and you will be a whole lot happier, I bet your partner will be too.

 

P.S. You can see part one and two of our shoot with Aleigh Michelle too (:

The First Day of School: 1L

Has Monday come already? The weekend seems to fly by at lightning speed when we spend it with the people we love. Last week I settled back in at home in Seattle after my trip abroad. I attended law school orientation and did my best to get my life in order before heading to Lake Chelan for the weekend. Give me sunshine and a few friends and I’m happy. Add in a boat and I’m pretty much in heaven (:

Photo Credit: Nathan Peppin

Though I took a summer course, today is the first official day of my One L year. The first day of school has always been a big deal for me. From elementary to high school I obsessed over the first day of school. I meticulously packed by backpack with all of my new school supplies and packed myself a special lunch for the first day. I wrote down my schedule in my planner, always nervous I would show up in the wrong classroom or make some sort of fatal blunder!

My first day of school outfit was an even bigger ordeal. I would start back to school clothes shopping in early August, I didn’t buy clothes much throughout the year so my parents and grandparents would take me on one huge shopping spree to stock up for the new school year. I remember laying awake dreaming about back to school shopping as a preteen…I should have known then I was bound to be a shopping addict! I would carefully unpack my shopping haul and model my new outfits for my family. Fashion shows were an important event in my household. I made my Mom (and occasionally my Dad) sit on the couch while I modeled each new look before asking my Mom to help me pick the best outfit for the first day. The first day was the MOST important, obviously, but I would plan out my outfits in advance for the first week or so. I considered all of my new school clothes SACRED and refused to wear them or cut off the tags before the school year began. Looking back, I see my clothing rituals as weird borderline obsessive but at the time it was a tradition that made me comfortable.

Though I certainly haven’t outgrown my love of clothes (or planning) I like to think I am slightly less high strung when it comes to the first day of school. Laying in bed last night I naturally couldn’t shake the first day jitters, even at 25 I worry about showing up in the wrong room or spilling coffee on myself before class. If we’re being 100% honest (and hey have you ever known me not to be?) I did spend a little time pondering what I should wear for the first day. Law school might not be New York Fashion Week but I think Elle Woods would want me to dress the part and make her proud.

What are your plans this lovely August week? Did you remember to buy glasses for the Eclipse today? Truthfully I haven’t thought much about the natural phenomena but I feel like the Eclipse on my first day as a full time, serious law student is a good omen-it just makes the day feel extra special. Despite a really thought provoking orientation dedicated to discussing racial injustice, friends from summer quarter and a cute first day outfit, I’m still nervous. Do you have any tips for shaking off the natural anxiety that comes with the start of something new?

The photos from this post were taken in July with photographer, Nathan Peppin. We had such a fun time frolicking around Lakewood Estates aiming for the perfect shots (was he frolicking too or was that just me? ha). I picked up this gorgeous high-low dress from a small boutique called, Rove, in Calistoga when I visited my family for the month of May.

P.S. Have you read all of the Taylor Swift gossip going around? I’m DESPERATELY, crazily, crossing my fingers and PRAYING we will have a set of new Taylor songs to sing along to this Fall. When you primarily listen to Taylor Swift and the occasional Disney song (sorry not sorry) three years is too long to wait for Taylor’s 6th album.

10 Things: Summer in St.Moritz

Happy Monday! I woke up bright and early this Monday morning ready to conquer the mountain of laundry from my recent trip abroad. I was fortunate enough to tag along with my Aunt & Uncle to the mountains of Switzerland for a few days in the world renowned ski village, St. Moritz. Of course there wasn’t any skiing going on this time of year, thank goodness as the cold weather seems to bring out my bratty side. Instead we spent our days hiking and exploring the summer slopes of the alpine village.

Today I want to share 10 things I think are noteworthy about St. Moritz and my travels.

1. The natural beauty of St. Moritz is truly breath taking. On the evening we arrived there was  a double rainbow glowing softly above the lake. My first impression was that Switzerland truly was the most magical place on earth, throughout the week my initial suspicions were confirmed!

St.Moritz feels like walking through the pages of a storybook.


2.Most days my family headed out for a morning hike. As St.Moritz is a winter ski town, in the summer there is hiking on the slopes. Though we definitely saw other travelers on the mountain (especially around the chalets gathering for drinks and snacks) all of the hikes felt quiet and secluded. Butterflies fluttered through the wildflowers and (my favorite!) cow bells could be heard ringing like wind chimes in the distance as cows grazed through the mountain hills. I can’t imagine happier livestock than the cows of St.Moritz.

The cutest pig beneath the gondola.

3. Dog lovers will be pleased to find an abundance of exotic dogs in the mountain village. For the first time I saw a woman with two Chinese crested dogs and a Mexican hairless dog strolling through the town. It isn’t just the hairless variety you’ll find in St.Moritz though but every breed of dog from afghan hounds to giant black russian terriers.


4. Be sure to grab high tea in “the living room of St.Moritz”, a restaurant within the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel. The view from the outdoor patio is breathtaking and the freshly baked scones and tea sandwiches hit the spot after a morning hike.


5. Grab a bike (or walk) around Lake St. Moritz. I loved that people from all over the world were in St. Moritz and there was such a diverse crowd down by the lake. At any given moment you’ll hear an abundance of languages and see a variety of styles from religious garb, to high fashion pieces to athletic wear.

Our hotel offered daily breakfast, the berry crepes and grapefruit mimosas were heavenly!

6. For shopping in St. Moritz don’t forget your limitless credit card. I personally didn’t buy much because law school is expensive and the shops in St. Moritz are primarily high end designer (Hermés, Prada, Dolce & Gabana, Gucci, etc). However, it was fun to browse the latest designer pieces and daydream about what I would wear if I was a celebrity on the red carpet or socialite jet setting the globe.

7. Swiss spas certainly do not disappoint! The Kulm hotel spa offered an indoor pool, whirlpool and open air pool in addition to “sauna world”. The outdoor pool had some of the coolest jet features that I have not seen at any spas in America. I swear the pool was like a small playground for adults.

8. After a morning hike my family and I headed back to the hotel spa for treatments. I felt thoroughly pampered on the massage table with a lake view and fantastic herbal aromas swirling through the room. The unique massage featured an exfoliating treatment that left my skin tingling (in a good way) and soft to the touch!

My Aunt Jenn & I sipping champagne in our hotel room.

9. While St.Moritz makes a romantic or relaxing get away for adults, there is plenty to keep children occupied as well. There are dozens of playgrounds thoughout the city with trampolines, teeter totters and intense climbing structures. I know it sounds ridiculous, but throughout the trip I kept pausing to admire the playgrounds on the mountain and through the city. Our hotel even offered a daily kid’s camp, kid’s club and sports lessons for children.


10. On our last night we opted to take a cab, followed by a tram up to a panoramic dinner atop a neighboring peak. A small restaurant and hotel stood isolated along the top of a mountain (we’d seen it off in the distance on our hikes). The view was incredible and the food did not disappoint (aside from when I ordered what I thought was shrimp cocktail and found mini octopus in front of me…I panicked)! Luckily my Uncle saved the day by eating the octopus appetizer. I like to think it’s not a trip abroad if you don’t have a few ordering mishaps at restaurants.

It was so fun to meet up with my Aunt’s friend Val and her son John who live in a nearby alpine town.

Now that I am back in Seattle I am battling a cold (does anyone else seem to get sick every time they fly for more than an hour or two?) and prepping for the start of fall semester. I already miss Switzerland and vow to return someday!