Relationships: The exciting beginnings

“Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.” – Rollo May

 

All relationships are different. After ending a four-year relationship with the man I was certain I was going to marry, I did not have a lot of hope in future relationships. I wanted to be alone. I wanted to achieve my dreams alone. I did not want to think about being with anyone else, ever again.

Weeks before ending my relationship, I stumbled across an article titled “F**k Yes or No” by Mark Manson (see link below). The article was a bit of an eye opener. It really is an article everyone should read at least once. In summary of the article, it addresses the grey areas of dating. It takes a very mature outlook on relationships. Either they are a “F**k yes” or “No”. There is no in between. You are not “playing games”. I hate to say that I ended my relationship because of the thoughts I had following reading this article, but I did. William was no longer a f**k yes to me. No, these feelings did not emerge over night, but over months. Time changes people and we eventually just grew apart from each other and deep down he did not want to face that fact. He was no longer the person I wanted to do life with. If I did not end things now, or soon, it would only hurt him worst in the end.  One day we were laying down watching TV together and things just did not feel right. Finally, I addressed the elephant in the room. When he asked if I wanted to try and fix things, my answer was no. My heart and my mind had moved beyond what we had shared for the past four years. I was no longer happy. I no longer looked at him the way I once use too. Breaking his heart was the hardest thing I ever had to do, but it was one of the best decisions I had ever made. Today, I would never speak a foul word about my ex, ever. He is an amazing man, who deserves the world. I pray that he finds his happiness and I hope he finds success in his career. I pray that his broken heart heals and he finds someone who will love him unconditionally.

A while after ending my relationship I became centered in a new group of friends. It was nice to have friends or to remember the feeling of what it was like to have friends. It was nice to finally enjoy college and not constantly think about what I was going to do next in my life. All I could think about before was when were we going to get engaged? When were we going to get married? Should we move in together, like now!? Everyone is counting on us getting married so this must be what I want! This has to be what I want, right?! Those were the questions I thought about all the time! Looking into the future is always a good thing, but in this case it was not. I was no longer focusing on what Paige wanted in life. Was Paige even happy?

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Never in a million years did I think I would enter another relationship while in college. I had no interest in dating, especially so soon. I wanted to enjoy college. I wanted to make more friends, get involved with clubs and organizations around campus. I wanted to be a college student! I did not want to have to worry about another relationship while I was in college, even though many people joke about husband hunting while in college. To top things off I really had not even met a guy who turned my head at Campbell, or so I thought.  However, here I am, still in college, in a relationship with one amazing man.

Entering a new relationship should be exciting! Which it was and still is, but I was nervous about it. I guess I was nervous about being bad at dating. Thankfully, Ian and I had been friends for about a year before we started “dating”, so it was not too terrible or awkward. I think being friends first really helped us out. We were both pretty bitter when it came to the subject of relationships in general. The good thing was we already knew quite a bit about each other. We both used going to Chipotle as an excuse to hang out. Then we began to start working out together. Eventually, we were cooking for each other. I was pleased with how things were going. It was the “exciting stage” of “dating”. This is the part where you get to learn what that person likes and does not like. You pick up on their good habits and bad habits. You get to learn their strengths and their weaknesses. You are building the foundation of your relationship, really. It should be an adventure for you both.  I quickly learned that Ian was an amazing cook, very well-spoken, smart, slow when it comes to doing laundry, and gives really really good back massages. Oh, and he does not like sweet tea and prefers cats over dogs. Tragic, I know.

The most challenging part of entering into a new relationship is learning how you two communicate with each other. There were multiple times where Ian and I have mistaken each other’s body language for being angry with one another. Sometimes we both like to be quite and have our space, but that does not mean we are mad at each other. After a couple months we both began bickering with each other about things. A lot of it came from body language and the other problem was our complete lack of communication with each other. A bad habit I had was talking to my best friend about the things that were irritating me instead of talking to Ian. Instead of talking to other people about your partner, you need to go straight to your partner and talk to them. No matter what the situation is and no matter how bad you do not want to talk about it. I was afraid to talk to Ian about some things because I was afraid of what he would think about me bringing said topic up. My best friend always offered me sound advice and told me multiple times to talk to Ian about my feelings. Not talking about my feelings was destroying me inside. I was angry and sad and not happy. Finally, one evening I said to myself that this was the relationship that I wanted to be in and I had to do something about the way I was feeling. After an hour and a half long conversation of us fully engaged in communicating with each other openly and honestly, our relationship made a complete 180. Being able to communicate your thoughts, your feelings, your emotions, and your problems to your partner are so important. It allows your partner to see and understand how you think about certain things. This is not just for couples who are starting to date, but for any couple.

If you are able to communicate your problems, your weaknesses, and your flaws to you partner, and both of you are willing to work together to make things better, your relationship will flourish. Ian understands my needs, he understands what upsets me and what I do not like. I understand that Ian sometimes needs his “do-nothing-days” and when he does not really want to talk to me, it is not because he is mad or upset at me. Relationships are not easy. Relationships require hard work, commitment, love, and dedication. Entering into new relationships is an adventure in itself, but we cannot get lazy in them. Ian and I got lazy there for a while, but since we have learned how we need to communicate with each other things have been wonderful. Ian and I have become such a better team. I feel like our conversations with each are more in depth and we listen better to each other. We encourage each other more, we appreciate each other more, we are putting effort in to something we both want. We are continuously learning things about each other and at the same time we are both falling more in love with each other.

Last Sunday, I decided to go try out a new church on my own. I had been praying really hard about a few things in my life and I just felt the desire and need to go to this specific church. I went and I was in awe the entire time. The church was so welcoming, the service was an answer to my prayers, and the people were SO friendly. I came home that afternoon and Ian asked how church was. I talked briefly about it. However, later that night over dinner while messing around on my phone Ian took my phone and asked me to tell him about my experience at my new church! I was delighted to tell him all about it and it meant the world to me that he asked me to talk about it.

It is things like this that help couples communicate with each other. Ian showed an interest in something I had clearly shown an interest in for the past couple of weeks. I had been dying to try out a new church and it just so happened that the first one I tried, was PERFECT!

There will always be obstacles every couples have to go through together but I think the first is learning how to communicate with each other. I could not be happier with Ian. He encourages me, he supports, and most importantly he loves me. Ian is my happiness. He is my person. He is my F**k yes.  

(Links: http://markmanson.net/fuck-yes#ahLBWd:fnHz )

As always, thanks for reading.

-P. Hawk

Super Simple French Toast Sticks

“There has never been a sadness that can’t be cured by breakfast food” -Ron Swanson 

Recently, after having to live up to the standards of my “bangin’-breakfast-makin'” boyfriend, I have found a passion for cooking breakfast foods!

Normally during the week I do not have the time in the mornings to prepare larger, more time consuming breakfast. However, I have found some ways to save time and still manage to serve a delicious breakfast to fill our tummies and jump start our day!

This past week I made French toast sticks! It’s super easy! The French toast sticks took, all together including prep time, about 15 minutes (or less) from start to finish. I did however make a side of sausage links which added to my cook time. Regardless, this is super easy and I hope you enjoy it! 

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tbs regular sugar
  • 1 tsp of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk (or heavy cream)
  • 3-4 slices of semi-stale bread.
  • 2-3 tbs unsalted butter

On a cutting board, slice bread into three even slices. These slices will become your “sticks”. In a storage container, or something that has a good surface area start on your egg wash. Beat eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon, brown sugar, sugar, and milk together. In a pan, I perfer a castiron, add 2-3tbs unsalted butter and turn to medium-low heat. Allow the butter to melt, but try to avoid letting your butter brown. While your pan is heating and your butter is melting, submerge each bread stick into the egg wash. Then place into pan. I normally cook each side for about 1-2 minutes until they are fully cooked through. While they are cooking, I like to add a sprinkle more of cinommon and sugar to them. I serve them topped with maple syrup, fresh fruit, and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.Too easy, right?!

Enjoy breakfast lovers!

-P. Hawk

 

 

 

 

 

Patriotism Is NOT A Fad

According to Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the definition of patriotism is love for or devotion to one’s country. Now, one could argue that the ways listed below are just ways of showing love and devotion to ones country however, I beg to differ.

Social media for most has become more about how many followers or friends can they get, or how many retweets and likes they can get rather than “staying connected”.

I have found that two of the latest fads are not only tasteless, but disrespectful.

One of the fads I have noticed are women wearing American Flag printed bikinis. Now if you have ever read comments on Instagram, they are truly revolting. A woman with large breast, posed in such a bikini with a caption of “I love America” or something regarding America. However the comments reflect no such “patriotism” from men, either saying “God Bless America” or some other comment talking about her body, instead of the fact “she” was trying to say something about being an American. Are women trying to sexualize patriotism? That’s what I think when I see it.

The second reason I am not a fan of American Flag printed bathing suits is for the simple fact of it is a flag. It is a symbol of the men and women who have died to protect this country, to protect our liberties and freedoms, and woman are prancing around in it? No, thank you.

Another fad I have stumbled across is the latest obsession with using an American flag as a prop in pictures! I see it more with Military couples, posing with an American flag while kissing, having it draped around them, or the tasteless boudoir photos of a naked woman wrapped up in it, on the ground, or on a bed. When did this become okay?

I could almost understand doing it for only your husband or spouses eyes (something no one knows about), but these women take it to social media to try and get some kind of praise for it.

People have the freedom of expression and I respect that wholeheartedly, but what I do not respect if the way they carelessy handle the American Flag and how American Flag printed material is now a fad. Have you ever seen how carefully and properly a flag is handle? Have you ever seen how properly, with great poise, an American flag is folded specifically at a Military funeral?

The people who are a part of this obviously know NO Flag Etiquette. One rule imparticular is
“Never use the flag for decoration”

If you would like to read further into this, please visit http://www.vfw.org/flag/

Some may argue “then why aren’t you saying this to athletes at the olympics, or people at the World Cup” and I may sound a wee-bit hypocritcal, but Olympic athletes are representing their country, against the world. They have a sense of patriotism. People dressed up in red, white, and blue, or is “Patriotic attire” are there to support their country. They are not prancing around in it for likes, they are showing love and devotion to one’s country.

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In addition, patriotism is not something you tweet about or take pictures of. Patriotism is NOT a fad. Being an American is a true honor, something everyone should be grateful of and respectful of. Our flag is a symbol of that.

In closing, I would just like to add there is a million different ways for you to show your love and devotion to your country, besides dressing like an American Flag or posing with one. Get involved in your community, get involved with organizations, be active in society. Get out and enjoy your liberties and freedoms that the American Flag represents.

As always, thanks for reading!

-P.Hawk
xoxo

The Best Feeling, Ever

On October 12, 2013 I saw William off on his third deployment. I knew what it would be like because we had been through a deployment before, but for some reason this one was harder than I ever could have imagined.

It may have been because we only had 2 1/2 weeks with each other before he left. I had been in training from May to the end of September. This was our first real taste at the dual military life I suppose. We both already weren’t a fan of how the Army seemed to love to take our time together away. We had an amazing 2 1/2 weeks together and fell in love with each other all over again. In retrospect, out of 14 months we had spent 17 days together.

The day he deployed, all I could do was just cry. I really had just got home, how could this already be happening? How could he already be leaving? We would spend the next 8 1/2 months, living through E-mails, imessage, phone calls, and the occasional FaceTime Date when the “wifi” there allowed it.

I stayed busy over course of this deployment. I was back in school, I finally went to my National Guard unit, and I adopted us a dog. I always had something new and exciting to tell William when I talked to him. I will admit, this deployment did seem to go by very quickly, but not quick enough. Nearing April and May, William started dropping Homecoming dates. Mind you, I had had a photographer booked for the event since December. From what William told me I would he would be home the first week in June. Awesome.

On June 5th, I headed to Raleigh to practice for a pistol match with other Soldiers in my unit. The 6th I worked at my unit. The 7th and 8th, was Drill Weekend. On the 8th I heard from William finally at like 0200  “I am in Romania baby. I love you” . All day the 8th I am just waiting for a phone call saying “I have hit the states.” I am googling “how long is the flight from Romania to the states”, trying to make my own crazy timeline of when he may be home.

After being dismissed from Drill on Sunday the 8th, I ran to my car and “hotdogged” it out of the gate to head towards Fayetteville. William had booked me a room at a hotel right off of Ft.Bragg (isn’t he the best). Once I got to the hotel it really started to hit me that in a few hours I would finally have him back home. My Mom, Dad, and Brittany (our photographer) made their way down to the hotel later that night. I had found out later that night that the FRG asked all families to arrive at the air field at 0200.

I finally began to get ready, you know the drill before a homecoming. You have to get back into that routine of shaving, you pulled out the sexiest matching pair of undies and bra you could find. Preferably something with lace and a bow. You took your time doing your hair, plucked away those few pesky eyebrow hairs, and pulled out the best make-up in your bag.

At 1130 my parents got there, along with Brittany, and I finally heard from William at about Midnight. He was back in the states and was in South Carolina. They were picking up new crew members for the flight, customs was going through the plane, and then they would be on their way to Ft.Bragg. Shortly after my sister and brother-in-law arrived it was almost time to head onto Post. But no sooner than both cars turned out of the parking lot, Williams calls me. “Shit you not, I’m not trying to surprise you, I may not be home tonight”

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Uh. Excuse me? At this point we are already “slightly” bickering with each other because we are both SO frustrated.He hangs up on me after I’m about three questions deep. Apparently the plane was “broken”. Oh. Well I’m glad it got them across the Atlantic and gets to South Carolina and THEN decides to break. We made our way back to the hotel and I am in near tears. It would be another 18 hours before they can get a flight out of South Carolina. They had made arrangements for all the troops to be bused to a hotel for the night.

My family, decided to just go on post anyway, scope out where we needed to be, and ask a few questions. They were useless. They knew much less than what I knew. I knew they were going to be stuck in South Carolina for 18 hours. I knew Ft. Bragg wasn’t trying to get buses to go pick them up. I knew he wouldn’t be here today and I knew my family, and Brittany couldn’t wait around all day with me.

We made the decision to go back to the hotel for just a little longer, just to see if any new news came through. Sure enough, Williams texts me saying they have to go BACK to the terminal, because they “think” they can fix the plane. I don’t know about you guys, but I need a solid 100% we CAN fix it before I get on it. Long, frustrating story short, they were on the plane and taking off by 0445. In the mean time, we all decided to try to get a few minutes of sleep. It was me, my sister, Brittany, and my mom all in the bed. Brittany doesn’t know us all that well, but it was a few minutes of sleep so I don’t think she really cared too much. My dad and brother-in-law were on the pull-out couch. Once my alarm went off everyone is up and at it, grabbing our stuff, making sure we look good, and surprisingly no one is ill due to the lack of sleep. We all agreed that 50 minutes of sleep was the best 50 minutes ever.

We heard the plane touch down at 0600 and was able to watch them disembark the plane. By 0630 we were all seated again, and finally by 0700 they marched in.

William was in the front of the formation and as soon as he marched in, he saw me. They of course had a few speakers to speak about the 82nd SB and all their hard work and accomplishments they had over the deployment. I couldn’t tell you a word they said though.

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My heart was beating out of my chest, I had a knot in my throat, I was ready to run to William and finally I heard those sweet sweet words “Dismissed!”

Oh, how is was the best feeling ever to be back in his arms.

ImageSo thankful for Rainy Day Photography by Brittany Stafford. The pictures she was able to capture are truly amazing and we are so happy to have them.

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-P.Hawk

 

Late Night Post

I know I post about my dogs a lot, but how can I not? Look at that face?

Abby, will be 13 this year and I cannot believe it. That face, is a face of 13 years of loyalty and love. A face of never ending friendship and I am truly grateful I can her my best friend. Woman’s best friend.

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Life Lessons #1

Here is 30 things I think every woman needs to know. You can read some of them on twitter #PaigeHawkinsLifeLessons. I hope you enjoy and you can relate to them. Some of  these are just meant to be funny. Enjoy!!!

1. People will always talk about you behind your back, no matter what.

2. People aren’t always jealous of you, some people really do just hate you. If they hate you, all the more power to you to make them hate you more.

3. A glass of wine should never be enjoyed alone, but if it is… have the bottle.

4. Cheap dates are the best dates.

5. Always always, ALWAYS, follow your heart. The road will take you to unexpected places.

6. The car is sometimes the best place to talk to God.

7. Expensive lingerie is overrated. You don’t wear it long.

8. Be thankful everyday & screw everyone who calls you ungrateful for going Black Friday shopping. It’s a recession. A deal is a deal.

9. We all have to break one guys heart in our lifetime. Yes, he will hate you. Forever.

10. Sometimes, heels just aren’t worth it. Do squats, and make them stare at your booty anyway.

11. Target will ALWAYS have cute things. Don’t buy something just because it is on sale.

12. Don’t say your boyfriend/fiancé/husband is better than anyone else’s. You’ve simply found the perfect man for you.

13. Crease the pages, scuff the edges, highlight, underline, tear the pages, but whatever you do get lost in a good book every now and then.

14. Do NOT postpone your dreams for love. Seek your dreams and love will follow.

15. “I can’t” is not a option. It’s either “I am lazy”, “I am scared I will fail”, “I’m not confident”, But always know you CAN do anything.

16. Always take your make-up off before you go to bed.

17. WEAR sunscreen!!

18.  Do NOT go to the tanning bed. Even if you are whiter than Casper the friendly ghost… DO NOT DO IT!

19. Travel every chance you get.

20. You don’t need a lot of friends. All you need is your family, & sometimes a few close friends count as family.

21. A little gossip never hurt anyone.

22. Don’t send nude pictures. If anyone wants to see you naked, they can take your clothes off themselves.

23. Diamond stud earrings are a must.

24. Coach bags will never go out of style. So splurge willingly.

25. We can learn a lot from dogs, such as loyalty. Sometimes, they really are the only friends we can count on to talk to. Sometimes we just need someone to listen and love us anyway.

26. Don’t base your political opinions off what you read on twitter/facebook/your friends, get out and find out what YOU believe in on your own.

27. Get an education. Knowledge is something no one can ever take from you. Ignorance is bliss.

28. Learn to forgive. Not for them, but for you.

29. Skinny is not always pretty.

30. Be kind to others, it says a lot about the person you are.

-P.Hawk

More to follow…. stay tuned.