Does He Care For You?

Did anyone else listen to Dr. Laura growing up?

My mom and I would turn her on in the morning, and she’s all about the “tough love” approach, and tries to help young women realize their worth. Something she used to say to callers stuck with me.

She used to always tell women that they should not marry a man who wouldn’t “swim through shark-infested waters to bring her lemonade.” Though this example is extreme, I remember questioning things with an ex boyfriend of mine who didn’t seem to care about what I wanted — even with the little simple things in life. I particularly remember thinking of this quote when I lived in the city and I had this gentleman come visit. I was bummed because I had been PMSing, and I really wanted an Insomnia cookie. Now, this situation is dire even if you are just a regular person craving the best cookie in the world, but during “that time of the month” you won’t stop thinking about it until you have one… Or ten. Girls, you can relate, right?!

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Anyway, the bakery was six blocks from my apartment and we were walking there on a chilly winter night. After about three blocks, my suitor said he was cold and wanted to turn around. He decided it wasn’t a good night to go, as we would have to double our walk home. I was bundled up and though I was cold, I was just happy that we were together and getting out of the house. I playfully suggested we just finish the trip, but he was insistent — and I was a pushover. We turned around and although I didn’t really care about the cookie anymore, I did care about the way my boyfriend had been treating me lately. He wasn’t attentive and though he was fine inconveniencing me, it was never alright for me to do the same in our relationship. Things weren’t even.


I have no doubt that Robert would do whatever it takes to get me what I need in life. Part of me even thinks that he’s someone who would actually swim with sharks if it meant making me happy, but I don’t plan on ever testing that theory. The point being, I encourage you to find someone who cares about your desires — big and small! Maybe it’s my experience with a chronic illness, but I do want to be with someone who will take good care of me. I want to be with a man who doesn’t just do the minimum amount of work he needs to in order to make the relationship work, but instead I’d like to be with someone who enjoys seeing me happy and doesn’t feel like doing kind things in our relationship is always a big chore.

Today’s lesson: Be with someone who knows what sacrifice looks like and is willing to make them for you sometimes. You are absolutely not being unrealistic in thinking that you can find someone who will give in the same way you will in a relationship.

My Achilles Heel

Sigh, the tears are very few and far between in this relationship, but a deployment is still a deployment, which means there are lonely nights and times your heart misses your person even more than usual.

Do you want to know what one of my biggest downfalls is? It’s the way I sin the most and something I have worked really hard for years to correct — and although I’ve made slow and steady improvements, it’s still very much a journey for me.

I worry about my future.

This is perhaps why one of my favorite Bible verses is Matthew 6:26,

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Worrying steals your precious time, it and ultimately it means you are not trusting God with His plan for you. Deep down I know God loves me and has great things in store for me to help others. I know He isn’t ever going to leave my side — even when people might — yet I still find myself questioning whether everything really will be okay.

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Did you know that an Achilles heel is something that can lead to one’s ultimate downfall? I think spending time worrying isn’t just leading towards a downfall, but it’s kind of it. I’m giving precious minutes — hours — days — of my time to create these scenarios that may or may not even happen. My biggest fear in my relationship is doing another deployment. I’m scared of getting perpetually stuck in permanent a long distance thing, and I feel like my life has become a string of long distance relationships. When my ex and I broke up I swore I would never get involved with someone I’d do long distance with, but God had a different plan for me and I really couldn’t be happier that I am in the middle of all of this right now. I wouldn’t have wanted anyone except the person I am with right now, even though he is more than 6,000 miles away from me.

Today’s lesson: My mother used to tell me growing up that most of what we worry about won’t happen, and if it does we couldn’t always have controlled it anyway.

One of my biggest struggles about being a Christian is learning to trust God with everything in my life. Sure it’s easy to trust something that I haven’t ever really had to worry about before, but when it’s things I’m all too familiar with — like being in a long distance relationship and whether or not I’ll have to deal with something like this again — it scares the hell out of me! My New Year’s resolution for 2017 is going to be trying to be more cognizant about handing my concerns to Jesus, rather than trying to control everything myself.

Oh What Fun

Merry  Christmas lovely friends! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday surrounded with friends and family (And dogs, of course!).

I’ve been kind of inactive on here because of what I’ve been working on for Robert. I have a few updates for y’all and will be posting them on occasion; I took a video the other day and then immediately put it on “private” because I felt like I was being a little annoying… Then realized I need to be sharing everything on my page because that’s kind of the point. I am excited to show him everything I’ve done the past week, and what I’ll be up to for the next few until he is H O M E!!

I’m going to continue to post about this for a couple of weeks, then I’ll be allllll done. Whether or not my surprise pans out I think Robert will appreciate all the work I put into it and how much all of his friends and family wanted to make this happen for him.

He Wasn’t Part Of My Plan

This is a continuation of my last post.

As I mentioned, Robert and I met when neither of us really were looking for a relationship. We had one of those instant connections, but a few things that came up on our first date — namely that he was leaving for a deployment six months later — that made me think we wouldn’t really go much further.

After our first date, though, he texted me saying what a great time he had and that he wanted to see me again. I felt the same way, so we went on date after date until I finally realized his deployment was right around the corner.

When we first met I didn’t want a relationship, but by the time Robert was leaving to go overseas I had decided he was the only guy for me, and that I was going to do the 9-12 months of long distance with him, even though I knew it was going to be incredibly difficult. The day Robert left was easily the hardest goodbye I’ve had to say to anyone. The next ten months have been incredibly difficult, as I’ve missed him every single day, but he’s also put my heart at ease with how much I trust him and through the actions he shows that I am still a priority in his life — even from over 6,000 miles away.

It feels like a lifetime ago since he was here, but I haven’t wanted anything else since he’s been gone. I miss going on dates, but only with Robert, not in general. I miss having my partner in crime around, and I miss laughing at his goofy jokes, but I know the wait will be more than worth it.

I’ve been trying to think of the perfect way to welcome him home since the day he left, and this is it (Please watch the 30 second video and help me rack up views!). Here is my “THANK YOU” video to everyone who has watched and shared to try to make this happen. I appreciate it more than you know, and whether or not we can make it happen I know Robert and I will be the two happiest people in the world in January.

(I know I am incredibly goofy, but I am actually excited to have found something that makes blogging a little easier on the days my arms are really killing me and nobody is home to help me write!)

Our Story

So if you follow me on any of my social media you might have seen what I’m working on for Robert right now. I’m going to be sharing it a lot because I really, really want to make this happen. It’s the absolute best present I could ever think of giving him, so I am going to be working for the next two weeks to make it happen. Fingers crossed something comes of it, but we shall see!

If you’ve been reading this blog from the beginning you probably know my story and actually followed along as I fell for Robert. If you’re new to SITS or don’t read all of my writing, though, I’d love to share a little bit of our story with you!

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Robert and I met on OKCupid. I was fairly recently single so I was not interested in a relationship in the least. After talking for over a month we finally were able to meet up (My schedule was packed with friends and quite a few other first dates so it always took awhile for a guy to get squeezed into my life). I definitely ended up having a little crush by the time we were done with our first dinner, but my head told me I couldn’t fall too hard. After all, my blog had just really picked up and I needed time to date around.

Plus Robert had just decided to delete all of his dating apps and stop dating altogether until he came back from the deployment he was preparing for. I did not want to give my heart to someone who would make me be in a long distance relationship again. Not like one date would turn into anything, though, so I might as well give him a chance… Or so I thought!

One date turned to two, which turned to twenty and thirty. By our third date Robert was living three and a half hours away where he was training for his mission, but saw something special in our connection, so drove back to my hometown every single weekend to see me and go out on one date. Talk about going the extra mile(s)!

I was guarded with him. I told him that I wasn’t looking for anything serious, but that I thought he was a great person and I would surely keep in touch while he was overseas. After all, I love little acts of kindness and the great impact they can make, so I figured sending a soldier occasional care packages would be kind of fun anyway. The troops do so much for others that I always love giving back when I get the chance.

Anyway, as you can see things didn’t work out the way I thought they would. Spending several months still “single,” I dated around but always gravitated back to Robert. He is one of the kindest, most thoughtful people I know and has an amazing sense of humor. I really do think we were meant to meet when we did; the timing really couldn’t have been any closer to perfect. If I had waited just one more week to join OKC he would have been gone, and if I had said “No” to a first date with him just because he was going to be deployed I wouldn’t be in the best relationship of my life to date.

This is the first part of our story. I’ll be sharing more as the week goes on, but…

In the meantime, please give my video a watch, and SHARE with as many people as you possibly can! I’m trying to get some sort of attention to make this “welcome home” gift a reality. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Five Steps Ahead

“I had that planned out 5 moves ago.”

This is something Robert said to me after beating me for literally the hundredth time in chess yesterday. For whatever reason he is insanely great at chess (Question for Robert’s friends and family: did he play on a chess team or something in high school? I really think he has competed in this game before but is afraid to admit that he is actually the nerdier one in our relationship), but this isn’t such a bad thing, as I know his job is all about strategies.

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I’ve noticed lately that it’s not just chess he’s ahead of me in. It’s life in general — particularly my life. One thing I absolutely love about our relationship is that Robert is really in tune with what I need. He’s always said he loves taking care of me and making me happy, and his actions match up very clearly with that statement.

A few days ago Robert told me he was sending me a package and that it should be at my house any day now. If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen my post about how much I love fuzzy winter socks. The very next day I found a package on my bed — that included a pair of warm, fuzzy New England Patriots socks! He had ordered it just days before I posted about my sock obsession, which is just the epitome of how he notices everything about me before I ever even bother to mention it.

That is a very small example of something that I feel like happens every day as we get to know each other more and more. It’s really nice dating someone who gets me. My best friend and I are really good at reading each other’s minds, but I’ve never really dated someone who has been able to do that. I didn’t realize guys and girls could connect that way so seamlessly before. Robert is someone who pays attention to how others are feeling and notices whenever my mood shifts, even if it’s a really subtle change. This is hilarious whenever I start getting a little grumpy because he is really good at making me giggle and come back down to earth when something is bothering me.

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Aww this picture was taken exactly a year ago after Robert picked me up from a Christmas party!

I don’t really believe in soul mates, but if I did I’d think he was mine. There are a lot of ways we are really different, but I think many of those things just have to do with where we grew up (He’s a crazy from Boston, and I am a basic wannabe city girl who really just lives in the suburbs of Washington DC). Even when we don’t necessarily see eye to eye on things, we almost always “get” one another and are willing to learn from each other. I think that’s really important in a relationship. After all, no one is perfect — we always have room for growth — and it’s great being able to learn from people with perspectives different than our own.

Today’s lesson: The excuse “He’s just a guy — he doesn’t get it” should only apply to things like periods and giving birth (But seriously — you’ll never quiteee get how awful we feel once a month). They shouldn’t be excuses for things like showing a lack of feelings or affection. Yes, men and women are absolutely different, but I now know I can be with someone who genuinely cares for me as much as I do for him and isn’t afraid to show me.

Secret Santa Grinch

Oh my gosh guys, I am so embarrassed (side note: how many blog posts have I started with this introduction now? I’m having a serious case of Déjà vu).

I made such a silly mistake that made me seem like the biggest jerk ever.

So basically my good friend Kalika and I decided to set up a snail mail secret Santa. Sounds fun, right?! It’s the same a regular one — you draw a name and that’s the person you’re giving a gift to, except it’s all done by mail! She and I both love care packages and snail mail, so it’s perfect. You’re welcome, USPS.

Anyway, Kalika found a cool website called DrawNames.com that does all the organizing for you. You set up a profile in your little group, which includes your first and last name, address, and who you are supposed to send a gift to.

I’m not necessarily technologically challenged, but I also wouldn’t say technology and I are absolute BFFs. I’d say we’re really good friends because he’s super cool and entertaining and a generally good guy, but he sometimes decides to stab me in the back… So I should just be extra-alert when we’re hanging out.

Anyway, I was really confused when I got a package from Amazon in the mail.

What the heck did I order? I wondered to myself.

I’ve been doing some shopping for friends online lately, but I couldn’t remember purchasing anything from Amazon. Especially an item that would come in a slim envelope like the one sitting on my porch! The only thing I could really reason was that Petzi, the present Robert had sent me from Amazon, had forgotten something in my first package.

I went to the kitchen and opened it, only to find this note and Amazon gift card enclosed:

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What in the world?! I thought to myself. Who could have possibly known I would want a Kylie lip kit? Yes, I have been more into makeup lately — especially lip products — but I don’t remember talking to anyone about this particular item.

My first thought was Robert, as he’s always great at giving gifts randomly, and even better at reading my mind (As you will see in my next post!). I thought about it a little more, though, and there were too many things that didn’t add up. First, he wouldn’t have a clue what kind of makeup things were “trendy” right now. These lip kits are kind of for makeup (Or KUWTK) fanatics. Second, he’s probably never in his life purchased any sort of lip products, so wouldn’t realize that some of these kits can get very expensive compared to others. Third, how the heck would he ever pick out a color for me?! Girls would know that I’d be into the “Candy K” or “Kristin” shade, but Robert might think trying something risky like “Dead of the Night” or worse — “Trick” would be cool. Yikes.

I sat down and thought really hard. Then it all hit me at once.

Oh my gosh, my brain went into panic mode as I rushed to my laptop. My fingers thought faster than my mind, and swiftly typed “Gmail” into the browser. Then I searched, “Secret Santa” and clicked on the last email link we had been sent. It took me to the group page and I clicked the blue “Krista.” This is what I was met with:

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Everything clicked all at once as I had a flashback.

The day we created this page I was offered to “create a wishlist” for what I wanted. I remember thinking how stupid this option was, as you shouldn’t ask your Secret Santa for exactly what you want. What’s the point if you’re just going to request something? I still clicked the link, though, because the “Kylie Lip Kit” suggestion caught my eye. I scrolled through the page of recommendations, and clicked out of the page, never to give it a second thought.

Until now.

I seemed like such a jerk to some girl I don’t even know! Everyone in the Secret Santa group ended up being Kalika’s friends, most of whom I hadn’t met. I immediately felt like a moron, as any of my friends would understand this was just another goofy “Krista story,” but this person just had the impression that I demanded Kylie lip kits right and left. I looked back at the incredibly sweet note she had included and felt even worse. Most people would be so annoyed at someone demanding something that was more than twice the amount we were supposed to spend for this gift exchange, but this girl was so sweet and genuine about her gift that I really felt bad. I quickly texted Kalika with a rant about how embarrassed I was, and sent this message to the Secret Santa group:

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Luckily the person who gave me this sent me a message and was so kind about the misunderstanding, but it was still lightly traumatic for me. I hate being high maintenance or making other people feel uncomfortable, which is so unfortunate considering the person I am and how often I make goofy mistakes.

Today’s lesson: I should not be allowed to try new technologies — at least if they can affect another person!

My Heart Is Deployed

My friends who know Robert know he’s not crazy active on social media; he definitely doesn’t have a blog I can go to and read about all of his thoughts and feelings when I miss him (And in a lot of ways I’m glad there aren’t two of us who pour our hearts out to the world — that might just be a little much in one relationship, ha!).

I was missing him a little more than usual last night and did what any millennial would — I went to his Facebook page to feel like I had some sort of connection with him while he was away at work. We don’t get to talk a ton except during my mornings or afternoons, so nighttime is a particularly difficult time for me.

I smiled at the pictures I’ve come to know so well, and teared up at the one of us the day before we had to say goodbye. Then I saw something really strange on his page. He had written a Facebook status on Thanksgiving expressing gratitude towards his friends, family, and coworkers, but included this little line in the middle of it:

“I can’t believe the holiday season is here… It was over 8 months ago that I left Virginia, but the time has gone by quickly.”

What. The. Heck?!?!

IN WHAT WORLD HAS TIME GONE BY QUICKLY?!

I flash back to February when we said “goodbye” to our weekend visits. I barely even remember what it’s like to see someone outside my family that regularly.

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My best friend Audrey, once again, took this photo soon after Robert left for his deployment. It was so great to find this sign randomly at one of our photoshoots.

Then I think back to March and saying goodbye in Richmond. Okay, I’ll give him that, the emotions are still raw from watching him leave at 4:30 in the morning. I still can’t go back to that day without feeling really torn up about it. I am certain deep down to my core that the day we said goodbye in Richmond is exactly what leaving for a deployment is supposed to feel like. I remember walking him out to the bus, holding his hand and feeling tears dance right behind my eyes, but holding them in as best as I possibly could until I was able to run back into the lobby and break down. I remember feeling the way Kim Kardashian must when she does her signature “ugly cry” in front of everyone in the hotel lobby. When the man at the front desk asked if I was okay and came over to try to help me feel better, he put his hand on my shoulder and had a look of pity in his eyes I didn’t recognize because I hadn’t ever earned it before. This was the first time I showed that much of myself to a stranger. I remember the feeling in the pit of my stomach when I realized in that moment that was now one of the people I had always felt bad for in the past. I was someone who had to watch a loved one leave to serve for my country, and I had someone to worry about for the next ten months.

I think back to Baltimore in April and the two precious days we had together after we thought we wouldn’t see each other again until January or February. I remember that day so well too, but it feels so long ago.

As does the first week of him being gone and the many little moments I’ve collected along the way where I’ve tried my hardest to muster up just enough strength to keep pressing forward, even when I feel like my heart might not be able to handle another day of everything a deployment has to offer. Missing him often feels kind of the same day-to-day, but I can think back to several particularly difficult moments. Pulling my car to the side of the road to cry, attending weddings and events as the only couple-less one of our group, and spending  many chilly fall evenings in my PJs by myself wishing I had a snuggle buddy to name just a few.

Time is such a funny thing, and though it’s seemed very different to each of us, we both have experienced the exact same amount of time apart. We’ve also been blessed to spend the same amount with each other; it just somehow never feels like enough to me.

I’m hoping we’ll get lots of time together when he’s back. Time is easily the most valuable thing I own, and I love spending it on the people I care about most in life. I may hate deployments, but I absolutely love my soldier.

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This is a picture of Robert meeting Governor Terry McAuliffe at his departure ceremony.

Empty

Something I hear far too often is that people create online dating accounts not to form any sort of relationship with someone, but to create validation for themselves. This is a disturbing thought, as it puts your self-worth in the hands of others, rather than finding it in yourself or in God.

I am going to tell the stories of two different friends to show that seeking validation from the opposite sex is never a solution to finding your own value or self-worth.


Jenn* signs online and checks her messages.

157.

The number hovers over her little envelope like a little prize. Her heart leaps at the thought of a Prince hiding in her inbox — then drops when she doesn’t find him after searching in countless messages. Why don’t the good guys ever message her?


Mindy* signs onto the same app from her phone and holds her breath as the page loads.

zero.

There isn’t even a notification for this number; just a giant blue envelope with a glaringly invisible orange digit in the top corner. Disappointment creeps silently through her body, and she sighs as she swipes through the app in hopes to find a new match who will message her.


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Jenn lets out a soft groan as she reads through her messages. Nothing is new or interesting; just the same old pickup lines and mundane conversations she is so used to. Where is the excitement in dating? Nobody captures her attention, much less can keep it. She doesn’t look forward to signing on anymore; she just wants the dozens of first dates and “getting to know you” conversations to be over. She wants a boyfriend; someone she can count on and actually have a meaningful connection with. There is an empty ache in the pit of her stomach.


Tears well up in Mindy’s eyes. Why don’t men desire her the same way they do her friends? Where are the floods of messages she was promised for being a female? Why does the gaping hole in her heart feel as empty as her inbox?

She quickly feels unwanted and undesired. This turns into a slippery slope and leaves Mindy to picture living life alone. She forgets about the friends and family who surround her and absolutely love her, and her self-worth rapidly depletes.


Jenn and Mindy both close their eyes in their respective apartments. They are experiencing the same overwhelming feeling — loneliness.

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Today’s lesson: The real truth of the matter is that happiness and contentment don’t depend on the number of people at your disposal. Honestly, even having a great boyfriend doesn’t make loneliness completely disappear. You can’t rely on others to bring you contentment in life because they may not always be there to give you the love and security you are longing for. Instead work on feeling secure with yourself and finding greater purposes with your life than being connected to someone else — that’s just a really great bonus when you do find the right person!


*Names have been changed to protect privacy.

The Past Isn’t Greener

This is a letter I want to “send” to the couple of exes who still aren’t over us, but I want anyone who can’t get over an ex to let this resonate with you too. Everyone deserves a fair chance to find love, and thinking about your past isn’t going to help you move towards the beautiful future you want.


Dear Ex ,

You’ve always wanted what you can’t have. Happiness was always just one short leap away — until you took the plunge and missed.

The grass is always greener on the other side. You tried so hard to get me to date you, and when you finally had my heart being with me wasn’t what you had pictured. I’m not perfect, and that’s okay, but perfection is what you often strive for.

Now that we’re not together anymore you feel like you made a mistake breaking up with me. I wanted to write you this letter to let you know that you didn’t. Even though I wanted nothing more than to keep you at the time, deep down I think I always knew you weren’t really mine. To all the guys who have ever dumped me and regretted it — I would have eventually gotten the courage to leave. We weren’t right for each other. You are smarter than you think.

I really hope this letter gives you closure and helps you move on. Just because we weren’t a good fit doesn’t mean you don’t deserve someone who will love you the same way — or even better than I did. There are so many amazing, kind, thoughtful, and genuine girls in the world that you will surely find others who will steal your heart. When you find “the one” girl you hope to keep, treat her well. Don’t expect perfection and laugh at her flaws instead of criticizing them. Embrace your differences and take them as an opportunity to learn from each other and grow. Don’t compare her to me. Comparing people really is comparing apples to oranges. You have a tendency to idealize our relationship and only look at the beautiful parts we left behind — don’t forget that we were deeply flawed. Don’t forget that I am a human being, which means the perfection you remember is very skewed.

Finally, don’t be afraid to give away your heart again. Just because I broke it doesn’t mean every girl will. I’m not powerful enough to shatter your heart permanently; it will surely heal, and one day you’re going to meet someone who fits with you so perfectly that your heart will finally feel like it’s home. I was just a small story in your journey to find love.

Even though you aren’t in my life anymore I still care about you, want the best for you, and even pray for you when you cross my mind. I still don’t want to be friends — we both have enough of those already — but I want you to know that you can, and will, be happy with someone else. I know it hurts sometimes to see me with someone new. This is actually amazing, though, because I was always the one in our relationship who felt too much. If my heart can heal from something I thought would destroy me, yours surely will too.

Wishing you nothing but the best,
Your Ex Girlfriend

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Today’s lesson: `Don’t be afraid to fall in love again. Some girls may break your heart, but one day someone amazing is going to just stick. Keep trying until you find her. She is your forever — not me — so don’t waste your time wondering about us anymore. We have some great memories together, but imagine having someone to make memories with who will be by your side for always. That’s who your heart will beat fast for.