Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Just Friends.

I was at work last week when a brief encounter with a few people I knew who claimed to be "just friends" drummed up an interesting talking point with the ladies I work with:

Can a girl and a guy be just friends?

I posed the question on social media. Also asking several people I know & respect greatly.
And the answers were seriously ALL OVER THE PLACE.
No internet. I cannot make this stuff up.

I think the answers people gave me behind this question depend greatly on someone's personality. And also based off of someone's experiences in the friend zone.
Some people can have great success when it comes to having friends of the opposite sex.
While other people struggle with their friendships immensely for various reasons.

I told myself I was going to think on my answer to this question for a while before answering.
And now that I've had some time to process, I think that it's important to state the obvious.

This is a complete gray zone.

There is no black or white, one size fits all relationship status that will work for every friendship under the sun.
I think different relationships work or don't work for different reasons.

When I was single, my relationships with the opposite sex looked a whole lot different then from when I got married.
I had several close guy friends who I confided in & trusted.
And when you are single, if there comes a time when one person in the friendship wants more than just friendship, you are able to change or altar the relationship to however both people feel.

When I got married however, it wasn't that I stopped caring about my guy friends.
But my relationships with them changed.
Because my husband is my ultimate relationship priority.
And there was never a need any longer to confide in other men.
Out of respect for my husband & for my own personal boundaries, I have very few limited guy friendships.

In my own experience, I personally do not have many guy friends that are not "couple friends."
And by couple friends, I mean you are friends with both the wife & the husband.


Meet Krista & Adam.
I knew Krista before she met Adam.


And I knew Adam before I dated Trevor.
And before Adam dated Krista.


My husband & Adam were roommates before I came along, best friends, and are pretty much as weird & inseparable as it gets. Total bromance style.


I am friends with Adam.
I love him as my friend. I respect him. I think he is a great husband & father.
But outside of my relationship with his wife Krista, I really do not have much contact with him.
We don't text each other. Call one another to see how the other is doing.
I care about Adam greatly.
But I leave all of the deeply personal, emotional, mental, "Hey, how are you really doing?" questions to my husband Trevor to talk with him about.
This again is not because I do not care.
But it's because Adam & I have healthy boundaries that clearly define our friendship & respect our marriages.
The same goes for Krista & Trevor.
This is what contributes to our lifelong friendships with Adam & Krista.



As far as relationships outside of our couple friends, I usually tend to tread lightly.
I want to say it........
Girls & guys can totally be friends.

But honestly, I have seen out there that there usually comes a day where one person wants more.
Even if they don't always admit it or keep it hidden.
Sometimes people can be very good at masking their own true intentions.
Sometimes they don't even admit their true intentions to themselves.

I want to say it........
Girls & guys can totally be friends.

But I have never seen it work effectively in my own life outside of our couple friends.
Which doesn't mean that it cannot work.
I just have never witnessed two people who are honestly "just friends", happily married, & want nothing more.

I am also not sure I would want a whole host of truly platonic guy friends.
Hear me out on this.
I mean. You'd have to be so careful with what you say, how you say it, how close is too close, respecting your spouse, respecting their spouse, honoring healthy boundaries, analyzing their true intentions, making sure your heart is in the right place, not comparing your guy friends to your husband, never complaining about your husband to your guy friends, never putting yourself in compromising situations......and on and on.

Is it just me...... or is that WAY TOO MUCH WORK for anyone else?
I'd rather spend my time snuggling with my husband & eating ice cream with my gal pals.
Where I don't feel like I need to over-analyze things just to stay true friends with them.
Where I can talk about what kind of bra to buy or what lipstick stays in place after a serious make-out session with my husband.
[And for the record, I totally had both of these conversations with my girlfriends this past week.]

I don't like myself when I am over-analyzing everything to death.
I like myself most when I am with people who allow me the comfort & freedom to be myself.
And I guess for me, Meggan - I'm not in a place in my life where I can be around a man [who isn't my Dad, my brother, or my husband] by myself & not be over-analyzing things.
Maybe I'm just not as mature as you are.
And that's okay by me to admit that.

I know that for me, Meggan - it's the most healthy for me to stick with my "couple friends."
And not confide in any man who isn't my husband.

I will say that if you are married and you do have opposite sex relationships outside of your marriage,
be mindful & respectful of your spouse.
If your spouse ever has hesitations or qualms about any of your friendships, it's better to respect your spouse's feelings.
You did afterall, take a vow before family, friends, & God to forsake all others.
Until death do you part.
Never forget that.

But if you are in a healthy friendship with someone, and both of you are happily married, will you please leave me some comments?
I'd LOVE to meet you & study you & pick your brain.
Because I think it might be possible for these truly platonic relationships to exist.
I just haven't known any that personally do outside of "couple friends."

I love learning from you & what works for you/what doesn't.
Keep the discussion going.
And may all of our relationships be God honoring & loving.
Peace out.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Currently.

Feeling…. Rested. This is mostly because my mom came up this weekend to help fill in some babysitting gaps. So that my husband could attend a memorial service while I worked. It's amazing what some extra rest & down time can do for a person who is ALWAYS. rushing. Thanks Mom.



Watching…. Big Brother. Holy cowzers.
Do you guys watch this show?
I am a self-professed fan of all things Julie Chen.
While normally I’m all about reality television & showmances, this season though is super odd with the whole Christine/Cody relationship.
Am I the only one totally weirded out here?
I mean. She's married. And he's a flirt.
And the way these two snuggle & hold hands is sure to drum up some raised eyebrows.




Reading…. Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way
By, Shauna Niequist
My best friend Kim got me this book for my birthday. I read the first five pages.
And instantly knew why. This book is beautiful. And I’m having a hard time getting through it.
Because it’s some serious soul work happening. All sorts of good thoughts & hard thoughts to think about.


She writes:
“That’s why it’s hard, I think, to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. I love that line from the Bible, but it’s so incredibly difficult sometimes, because when you’ve got reason to rejoice, you forget what it’s like to mourn, even if you swear you never will. And because when you’re mourning, the fact that someone close to you is rejoicing seems like a personal affront.”



Listening To… Taylor Swift. Shake It Off.
She's done it again. Another catchy tune that I cannot stop loving.
With a good reminder that people who don't know you will make their opinions about you. It's best to just ignore mindless chatter & keep being yourself. It's enough. I promise.

Playing…Hide and go seek....... like every 5 minutes when I am home. My kids are super into this game right now. This might be slightly more fun if Cooper did not chase me around as I hid, giving away my stellar hiding places by barking and running after me. This dog. Sheesh.



Looking for… A mustard yellow boyfriend sweater & a blue blazer for fall. I'm also looking for a way to eat cake without gaining any sort of weight. Let me know if you figure out how that can be done.

Loving… Taking my lunches outdoors. Getting out of the office for just a half hour does wonder for a person. Not sure if it's the fresh air, nice weather, or alone time. The stress of the days seems to drift. I would highly recommend it.

Writing.... In my journal. I haven't actually written in a journal since college when my sister died. I used it as a way to process my grief. I had never thought about how therapeutic writing was for me until my husband suggested I start writing again to get out a lot of how I felt about this past year. It really has given me a private space to endure this journey away from the ministry spotlight.


Hating… my wisdom teeth. Which are coming in ever so painfully.
I'm also hating talking. Like just talking in general.
I literally talked so much this past week, my tongue was cut & rubbed raw from grinding on my teeth.
Has this ever happened to you?!
Talking is a huge part of my job. But man alive. If I didn't say more than 3 words this week, that would be just fine by me.
I'm just over talking. Chances are good if you call me at all this week, you will be talking to my voicemail instead of me. Sorry I'm not sorry.

Needing… a date night. Trev & I traveled to Chicago together for my birthday. But that's really the last time I had with him alone. We've been on such opposite work schedules lately. I hate when you see someone every single day but you really don't see them.



Wanting… To lose all the weight I've put back on this past month. Anyone else just feel totally bleh in August?!

Thinking… Only a few more weeks until my Parker starts preschool...... the place where we DROP HIM OFF twice per week. All by himself. Without MEEEEE. Don't mind me over here. I'm just having a moment.....

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Happier Weekends. Where I Wear A Lot Of Purple.


This weekend I have been nursing a sore throat and sore jaw after a rousing case of tonsillitis.
Trust me. It is way more painful than it sounds.
Last weekend was much happier, as I got to spend the weekend with my family at the lake.

I realize that most of you people think we are always at the lake.
And you might be right.
But it's because Parker lives for throwing huge handfuls of sand into the water.
Addison lives to swim.
And Cooper doesn't quite realize he was born a dog & not a fish.


It's also nice to see my mom in her element.
She loves the water more than anyone I know.
I'm hoping to convince her to retire on some sort of body of water.
She's warming up to the idea:)
Just give her some grandkids, purple flowers, and the lake.




I was just happy not wearing any makeup, holding my niece & nephew [born just ONE day apart], and eating popcorn for lunch. Also, apparently all I brought for the weekend was purple clothes. If you know my mom at all, you'll understand why that is funny mixed with awful.






I always welcome time with my family, places without wifi, and beautiful little babies to snuggle.
No seriously.
I'm pretty sure I didn't have a baby in my arms for all of 10 minutes.
It was awesome.



I think I finally got in my baby fix. But not really.
Sure it rained.
And we [and of course by 'we' I mean Trevor] forgot our bags of groceries for the cabin.
And my sister's baby pooped all over her.
And my kids kicked me in their sleep. ALL. NIGHT. LONG.
And my nephew CRIED every time I tried to hold him because he didn't know who I was:(

But the sun came out.
We made do without my bags of groceries.
And I also now have lunches planned for work for the next month.
[It's not a significant health risk to eat deli meats & cheeses for a month solid right?]
Baby pooped was washed off.
My kids loved "camping" with their sleeping bags on the floor & have asked every night since when we can go "camping" again.
And I eventually won my nephew over....
I mean, was there really any doubt? :)

I'm very thankful for my family & the ways that they have been there for us this past year.
I cannot wait for more nieces & nephews to join the party.
And for my Mom to finally buy that lake home. Cough Cough.
In the meantime, I'm enjoying getting my camera out again.
Taking pictures. Writing. Breathing. And enjoying the last few weeks of summer.