Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Picture of the day

Recently my mom asked me to write an article for their business newsletter on how I've recently started to plan out our meals. This was our posed/fake picture of us "menu planning". Hehe. I love my "All Out Of" list I got at Urban Outfitters. It lists almost everything you could need, so I just check the items off, and write in whatever is left. Makes life easier!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Disagreeing well

I hate fighting/arguing with Eric. I know some people who say they've never had a fight with their husband/significant other. I find that truly hard to believe, and more importantly, if that is true, I wonder what the depths of their relationship are truly like. Of course I don't think couples should fight a lot - they definitely should be rare. But they happen. When two people live so closely together and know each other so intimately disagreements are inevitable. They are a healthy piece of any relationship. If you never fight or argue over something, you don't know how your partner will respond in that situation, therefore you don't completely know them.

No matter what it is we argue over, in the end when we've kissed and made up, I feel so much closer to Eric. Just knowing someone is willing to go through that with you... to voice their feelings and emotions on a subject they feel strongly about... and yet come to a compromise equal for both sides... proves he is very passionate about me and our relationship. It gives me confidence to know that we can work through anything... together.

I am working on not being so stubborn in our arguments. I tend to react very strongly when I feel someone is "telling me what to do" or proving me wrong. Of course that stems from issues with my parents and how I was raised (controlling), but I am aware of it and actively working on that issue. I hate knowing my stubbornness hurts Eric and makes our arguments even longer than they need to be. I found this article on MSNBC, which sums up why arguing can be healthy in a marriage. I agree with every point, and can say I have definitely experienced the full affect of what happens after a healthy argument.


Why arguments can be healthy for a marriage
Airing your differences can be a route to greater intimacy, says Dr. Gail Saltz. Here’s how to turn a fight into a win-win outcome.

Disagreeing well, which often takes the form of an argument, is an important part of a good relationship. Because your husband is not your clone, your opinions will sometimes differ. How you negotiate those differences is predictive of how healthy a relationship you will have. Arguing well can even result in further intimacy because it shows both of you that you can disagree yet find a way to compromise and still love each other.

But arguing well is a skill that takes time to build. Here are some suggestions:

Don't insist on being right. It's not about right or wrong. There are two sides to every story. The point is to find a position both of you can accept.

Speak up as soon as you feel anger rising. Don’t wait until you are fuming — the longer you stew on things, the harder it is to resolve a disagreement.

Listen. Nothing is more frustrating than the feeling you are not being heard. Repeating what your spouse says and making him feel understood can really help to diffuse anger.

Stick to the topic at hand. Couples tend to start fighting about specific topics and move on to every single thing that makes them mad. Pulling out old hurts and infractions will only fuel the fire.

Don't say something you will regret. If, in your rage, you fear you might say something you will later feel bad about, that’s a good time to call a time out — a short break to blow off steam. Go for a jog, take a bath, walk the dog. Return more clearly to the topic afterward.

In general, it is better to find some kind of resolution to an argument than to walk out in a huff. This can even be an agreement to disagree and to revisit the subject later.

Dr. Gail's Bottom Line: Disagreements in a marriage are necessary and healthy, but arguing well includes finishing your disputes in a constructive way.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Little moments

After spending all day majorly cleaning and organizing our apartment, Eric decided to take me out for Italian. We went to this little restaurant, Tuscany Grill. We were going to Carrabas, but their line was out the door and the wait was super long. Tuscany Grill was so cute and intimate, so I'm glad we went there instead.

On the way home, there was a most amazing sunset. We rarely see them anymore on the East coast, so I was especially excited. I made Eric pull over so we could take pictures.

It was the perfect ending to a very productive day.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Single vs. Married

Last night I saw a girl on TV with her nose pierced - one of those cute, tiny little diamond ones. I thought "Hm, maybe I want to get my nose pierced", and no sooner did that thought cross my mind then I immediately remembered that I'm married and Eric would probably not be too excited about that. I had a moment of reflecting on all the things I could still do if I was single, such as:

- Have a more flexible schedule
- Party and stay out late
- Travel whenever I want, on a moments notice
- Have a whole bed to myself
- Flirt with cute guys
- Be irresponsible with my money and shop till I drop
- Get my nose pierced, my hair cut short, etc.

It only took me a few minutes to make a mental list and recall memories of my "single days" when I was dating a lot, partying more, being more experiential with things, and doing whatever I wanted. I am glad I had a few years like that - I needed them. But would I really want to go back there?

Definitely not. I agree that both sides (single vs. marriage) have their charms . But having experienced both, I have to say I am much better off where I am today. I have grown so much as a person, as a woman, a wife, a daughter, an employee, an aunt, a sister .... I've changed. I believe that people can change and mature regardless of whether they are married or not - but I think marriage has sped up that process for me.

Eric is the best thing that has ever happened to me. He is opposite of me in a lot of ways, and he challenges me in such a way that I actually take it on and try. I usually react to people who try to "change" me and run in the opposite direction (i.e. Parents). I'm still working on that. Eric doesn't try to change me, because he loves me exactly the way I am. But everyone who is married knows how much your spouse can touch those areas like no one else can.

I couldn't be happier with our little life. I may not get a whole bed to myself, but I get to fall asleep in the arms of someone who loves me more than his own life. I may not be able to stay out late and party all the time (though still occasionally), but I get to go on dates with my best friend. I can't be irresponsible with my money and buy whatever I want, but I have more money to speak of now. And besides, responsibility is never a bad thing.

Marriage may impose some boundaries on your life, but it also opens up opportunities you would never have otherwise. It is an indescribable bond between two people unlike anything else on earth. It's something God created, and therefore, no man can separate it.

"To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with." (Mark Twain)

Monday, July 20, 2009

I can read him like a book

The other day I met Eric on base for lunch. While we were there, his mom called.
"Hey mom, I'm with Steph right now, so I'll call you back later." He got off the phone, and I asked what she wanted.

"Oh, she just wants to talk."

"About what?"

"I don't know, she just said she wants to hang out sometime."

"We just saw them last weekend. She never says that."
All the while, I'm scanning Eric's face because it seems suspicious. I am told that I tend to stare people down when I'm trying to figure them out. I don't even realize when I do it.
After asking a few questions, Eric didn't let on to anything other than what he'd already said, so I just told him to let me know what she wanted after he calls her back. He said ok. Now I am not a controlling or suspicious wife, I just like to know details. Usually Eric automatically gives me details, but this day he wasn't. Nothing else ever came up about that conversation, and he never told me why his mom called. It stayed in the back of my mind, in the "unresolved" file.

Last Friday on his day off, he called to tell me he couldn't meet me for lunch because he'd gotten called into work for a training. Again, I thought. Oh well. Later that day he picked up Amira for me at the vet after she'd gotten spayed. I came home early to see how she was doing, and because it was Friday.

"All her medications and instructions are on the washing machine" Eric says.

I go to there, and there, on the washer next to Amira's medicine, are the shoes I'd been asking for. Custom designed Nike Shox. Pink and Black. Eric hadn't gotten me anything for my birthday because he said I'd "already gotten a bike" and all this other stuff. But I know him too well not to spoil me. I was so excited - I love these shoes!!
And, they resolved the phone call from his mom the other day. He didn't have to go into work for training - he drove to Orlando because he had the shoes delivered to her house.

I can read him like a book. He can't stand it, because he can't get away with anything, not even surprises. He told me yesterday that we were obviously meant to be together because I know him better than anyone else. I can read him better than his own mother most of the time. I know when he's pulling a joke, when he's hiding something, when he's not being himself, and when he's sincere.

Give me enough time, and I can probably read you like a book too. :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Plans? What are those?

7/11 - Eric supposed to be off, called in to work (on my birthday)
7/12 - Eric works
7/13 - Eric off
7/14 - Eric off, called in for training
7/15 - Eric works
7/16 - Eric works
7/17 - Eric off, called in for training
7/18 - Eric off, called in for a recall

Do you see a pattern?

Gotta love being a military wife. Plans? What are those?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

All on a Wednesday

Sometimes I think my life is boring, repetitive, and unchanging. I basically do the same thing every day: wake up, take my bouncy, over-energetic dog out to pee, shower and get ready, go to work till 5, hit the gym, make dinner, spend time w/ Eric, and go to bed. That is basically it. I'm always intrigued by people who can find the littlest things that happen and make them interesting. I've decided to try and focus on the small things, the details and often go unnoticed throughout my day, and write about them occasionally.

At work yesterday, I had a meeting with my supervisor, as I often do. She is going to be out of town tomorrow and all next week (just like my other boss), so I'll be on my own. (insert *woo-hoo!* here) At this meeting, my supervisor was following up on an incident that happened last week involving another lady here at work, who I'll call Lucille. (I've decided that is my name for people who I'm not particularly fond of. I've already given it out once this year.) I won't get into the details, but Lucille had basically been very rude and inappropriate to me, so I mentioned it to my supervisor, and it has now revealed bigger issues I didn't even know existed. During our meeting my supervisor told me how she was going to deal with it, which I am happy about. Turns out, the CEO ended up finding out what went on, which makes me even happier that she knows what a four-letter word Lucille is. It makes me smile. Maybe that makes me a four-letter word too, but I don't particularly care.

Yesterday was my nephew's 2nd birthday - he got a pony. So after work, I'm on my way to the base gym to meet Eric for a workout. We were supposed to meet around 6, and I was there at 5:30, so I decided to go ahead and get my nephew a birthday gift at the store on base. I'm making my way to the children's clothing section, and all the while I'm eyeing the women's clothes on my right. Normally, I don't buy clothes there, and I've been known to say that all of their clothes are ugly and old-fashioned. Today, however, I seem to spot every cute item they have and feel the need to try them on, just to see. Needless to say, I left there at 6:15 with the two items (out of the 10 I must've tried on) I decided I couldn't live without, $60 poorer. And no birthday present for JJ. But I'm happy. I'll work on the birthday present again tomorrow.

So I'm at the gym on the treadmill, Eric walks in. "Hey babe, what are YOU doing for the rest of my life?" I just love him. Gosh. I'm so glad he thinks I'm sexy all the time, even when I'm hot, sweaty and my boobs and butt are bouncing. (that just put another image in my head... maybe that's why he thinks I'm hot at that particuar moment...)

Anyway, 1.6 miles, a tornado warning, and a chicken alfredo dinner later, Eric get's online and says, "hey, you started a blog?" and starts to read. "Ya know," he says, "people write blogs like they think people actually care about what they have to say. There's always someone else who is writing exactly the same thing you are."

Leave it to my husband to be brutally honest.

"That's not why I'm writing a blog, babe. I'm writing because I like to write."

"I know babe, and you're really good at it. You really could be a writer. You know, you remind me of that lady on Sex in the City... the one who's always typing on her laptop...what's her name? Samantha? Except minus being a whore."

Actually her name is Carrie Bradshaw. But I'm glad he doesn't think I'm a whore. And I was very impressed he made a reference to Sex in the City when he's probably never seen a whole episode or even 30 seconds of the movie.

I guess there are some things left to learn.

"Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams." (Ashley Smith)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Why not?

Hello world -

I have long avoided creating a blog for many reasons, but mainly because they made me feel like I must have something to write about and I must be witty and creative while doing it. This time around I decided to forget all of that, and gave in. I decided on a theme, which inspired me to create my title, "The Mrs.". (the totally cute backgrounds Jen discovered didn't hurt either! The designer in me couldn't resist ...)

I've been married to my wonderful husband, Eric, for just over a year. Now hold on - before you think this is going to be some sappy blog all about how wonderful married life is - think again. This is my blog to articulate my thoughts and feelings about my life as I now know it being Mrs. Strodtman. Throughout that process there may be tints of sappiness, anger, military-isms, and blank stares. I speak the truth, tend to be highly critical of myself and others, and don't say "I'm sorry" very easily (just ask Eric). I'm still learning and growing with the best of 'em.

I turned 24 on July 11th. I have an adorable black Pomeranian, Amira, which means "Princess" in Arabic. My husband and I had our first date in Paris, France. He is in the United States Air Force - Security Forces. He is 110% law enforcement... it's in his blood. This means I have learned to "watch my surroundings", "lock the door when you walk the dog", and most importantly learn that he has little to no control over his schedule. We live in Melbourne, Florida in a 1-bedroom apartment. I work as an Executive Assistant to the CEO of a local child-welfare agency. Eric will be in the military until October of 2010, at which time he plans/hopes to join the local police department.

So this is my life. It's a life of many unknowns, uncontrollable deployment schedules, happiness, working hard, and being newlywed. It's where we are for now, and I'm making the most of it.

"Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing." (Goethe)