Relationships

  • SBL #6: Candy Store

    Hey, pretty girl!

    The next place on the summer bucket list that Jack and I went to is #6, Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store. Obviously, for y’all in different states, this one may be a bit out of reach. However, most downtown areas or malls have at least one candy store for you to check out with your S.O. or friends this summer! Some quick information about the location, cost, ratings, and more is below. For more detailed information (and photos of the location) keep scrolling past the pink section.

    Location: Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store in Jordan, Minnesota

    Cost: Bring $30-$50 in cash for purchases (they don’t take credit/debit)

    Jack’s Rating: 9/10

    In an area that seems nothing like Minnesota, comes a big yellow golf ball. You drive up thinking, wow that’s a really big eyesore, but then you go inside and it’s an entirely different world. Each room is a different cinematic experience, with candy as far as the eye can see, along with soda, pasta, pasteries and even Turkish Delight. I’d highly recommend visiting this place but make sure to bring friends or a date, it makes the experience that much better. Although the candy store is the main attraction, be sure to check out the bathrooms!

    Marin’s Rating: 7.5/10

    I’m ranking this date a 7.5 because while it was super fun to explore and was an incredibly cool location (and see Jack’s reaction to all the fun candies), it was ultimately not my favorite date location. I would’ve ranked the location higher if it was a shorter drive and if we would’ve had time to stop somewhere else in Jordan to enjoy the candy we picked out together. The half a point was for their bathrooms (they were insanely cool).

    This date is for… those with a sweet tooth.

    Kissability: 3/10

    Quick Tip: Check the sticker price of all the items of the product you want to buy. Sometimes the prices are cheaper on one and the cashier uses that sticker amount to calculate your total.

    Jack’s Quick Tip: The parking lot gets very hot in the sun – either park in the shade or cool your car before getting inside.

    You cannot miss this bright yellow sign and building coming down the highway! I’ve drove past this candy store plenty of times before, but I’d never stopped to check it out. Jack is a candy connoisseur and was missing the candy store in his college town, so we decided to head here and check it out!

    From the moment you walk into the store, you get the *kid in a candy store* feeling. The bright colors and movie characters make the inside of the building such an exciting environment. My favorite room was the first room to the right of the entrance room. It had fairytale characters and a tower for Rapunzel (my favorite Disney princess and I are pictured below). Jack took a picture next to Iron Man and it made him look tiny (he’s 6’6 so this figure was MASSIVE)! Walking around the store once to take it all in was the smartest choice we could’ve made because it allows you to appreciate all of the creativity before delving into the candy buying.

    As you can see in the photo on the left, this store does not only sell candy! They sell everything from meat to soda to bakery items to cheese curds to pasta… etc etc. Their items are so unique and that’s what makes the experience so much fun! Definitely plan on spending at least $30 if you drive to Jordan from the Twin Cities, because you probably won’t want to make that drive multiple times over the summer.

    The bathrooms at this location were a hidden gem. Jack had gone into the men’s room and sent me a text that the bathrooms were insanely nice so, naturally, I decided to head in and check them out. There is a basket filled with lollipops, striped colorful walls, puzzles put together to form paintings, and great lighting for mirror selfies.

    The Ferris wheel and yard of the bubblegum area by the checkout were absolutely adorable. It made the room feel like a small, personal circus. The items that Jack and I decided on buying at the candy store was Turkish Delight (9/10), Fruit Gems (12/10), GooGoo Cluster (8/10), Mars Bar (8/10), Maple Creme Cookies (40000/10), Milka Strawberry Chocolate Bar (9/10), Apple Strudel (lmao we didn’t get to taste it), Zotz (10/10), and Yacht Club Soda (8/10). f you end up going to this location, please share your recommendations on the candy you bought!

    With Love, Marin

  • SBL #5: Zoo

    Hey, pretty girl!

    I’m super excited to start the summer bucket list date series off. The first place on the list that Jack and I went to is #5 on the bucket list, the zoo. Some quick information about the location, cost, ratings, and more is below. For more detailed information (and photos of cute animals :)) keep scrolling past the pink section.

    Location: Como Zoo in Saint Paul, Minnesota

    Cost: FREE

    Time Needed: 2 hours

    Jack’s Rating: 8/10

    If the weather would’ve been less hot, I’d give the zoo a better tanking. It was an enjoyable experience, especially getting to see some uncommon animals! Being there with Marin is what made the experience so much better though!

    Marin’s Rating: 8/10

    I am giving the Como Zoo an 8/10 for a summer date location. This location is great for saving some money since there is no entrance fee. Jack and I both agreed that it is probably the best “free” date we will go on all summer. I loved the ability to go on an adventure close by, but also have the ability to still hold hands and kiss Jack every now and then 🙂 The only thing I wasn’t a huge fan of was how busy the zoo was, especially for a random Tuesday afternoon. I also wish I would’ve packed us some food since the prices were extremely high.

    This date is for… the animal lovers.

    Kissability: 7/10

    Quick Tip: Food is really overpriced here. I’d recommend either bringing a good amount of cash if you plan on eating a full meal or bring snacks/bottled water for the day.

    Outfit Details

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    In order to go to Como Zoo for a date, you’ll need to make a reservation online. The tickets are free but they are limiting the number of people who enter the zoo every 15 minutes. I recommend making a reservation a day in advance so that you can be sure there will be times available. I also recommend picking a day where it won’t be extremely hot. There are inside exhibits but you will be outside for the majority of the time and it gets miserable when it’s hot.

    I’m going to give a detailed rundown of what Jack and I did while we were at the zoo, giving you some info on what to make sure you do and what to avoid. First, when you arrive at the zoo, there is free parking in every lot but the lot that is closest to the entrance is the Palm Lot. After going through the entrance, the first exhibit we visited was the bird exhibit. The bird exhibit is seasonal but currently has flamingos. The next exhibit we visited was the tropical encounters exhibit inside the visitor center. I recommend spreading out the 5 indoor buildings during your time at the zoo so that you can take a break from the heat.

    The tropical encounters exhibit was our favorite (so you might want to save it for last). There are turtles and freshwater stingrays in a tank, as well as an adorable sloth at the end of the path. Instead of going to the primate exhibit next, since it’s indoors, I recommend going right out of the visitor center and following the path towards Como Harbor. Como Harbor is recently updated and houses the sea lions and the new restaurant location. From Como Harbour, there is an easy loop path to follow with a few indoor buildings to step into, whenever you’re feeling too overheated.

    On your way back from the loop, it’s the perfect time to stop in for refreshments and food at Como Harbor, if you want to spend the extra money. Otherwise, I’d recommend heading to the primates and then to the visitor center to exit via the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory.

    You can skip the conservatory at the end, but I’d highly recommend you check it out! The indoor rooms may be humid, but they are full of beautiful flowers, plants and trees. There are also some surprises in there such as a Koi pond and Bonsai trees. On the walk out of the conservatory, if you continue to follow the path, you will find the enchanted garden and the frog pond. Both are a really romantic and relaxing way to end your date at the zoo!

    With Love, Marin

  • Summer Bucket List: Couples Edition

    Hey, pretty girl!

    The most exciting part of the world slowly opening back up again, for me, is finally getting to explore new date locations! Many of you must feel the same way, because when I recently posted an Instagram poll, y’all overwhelmingly voted for me to post summer date recommendations. Going on real dates seems to be dead in this generation, so I’m hoping to give y’all some ideas that will help spark some couples to actually date each other, instead of just “hanging out.”

    Jack and I decided to make a “Summer Bucket List” of date ideas that we must complete in order to consider this summer together better than last summer. Our bucket list includes many classic Minnesota date locations. Throughout the summer, I’ll be running a “Summer Bucket List/SBL” series. The number of the post will correspond to a number on our bucket list (so it may go out of order).

    Each bucket list date we complete, I will write a review on the date. This review blog post will include information such as price of the activity, what Jack and I enjoyed the most, outfit details, what to avoid …. etc etc. I’m super excited for this series and hope y’all enjoy reading the posts as much as I’ll enjoy writing them.

    Jack and Marin’s Summer Bucket List

    1. Roadtrip
    2. Two Harbors, Minnesota
    3. Vali-Hi Drive In
    4. Live Music
    5. Zoo
    6. Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store
    7. River Cruise
    8. Pinz
    9. Lake Day
    10. Centennial Lake Park
    11. Sculpture Garden
    12. Valleyfair
    13. North Pole Restaurant
    14. The Quarries
    15. Shopping Day
    16. Wabasha Street Caves
    17. Color Me Mine
    18. Hi-Lo Diner
    19. Can-Can Wonderland
    20. MOA
    21. Strawberry Picking
    22. Watch Fireworks
    23. Farmer’s Market
    24. Silver Bay
    25. Go Fishing
    26. Fort Snelling
    27. Fun Coffee Shop
    28. Minnesota State Fair
    29. Minneapolis Bouldering Project
    30. Downtown Menomonie, Wisconsin
    31. Watch Fireflies
    32. – 50 (Still deciding on the rest of our bucket list dates)

    If you’re looking to make your own summer bucket list with your SO, I suggest looking up date ideas in your area, grabbing some paper and colorful pens, and get started!

    With Love, Marin

  • Valentine’s Day Gifts for your S.O.

    Hey, y’all!

    Valentine’s Day is just a few weeks away, so it’s time to start thinking of a gift for your SO (I definitely bought stuff a month ago because I love spending money on Jack, so I have a few great ideas for y’all). PSA: Jack, if you are reading this, you won’t be able to guess which ones I got you so don’t try.

    I am sharing all of my ideas below and not splitting it by gender because guys love flowers too. I, instead, am separating it by price range from under $10 to $50+. Happy shopping ya love birds.

    Gifts Under $10

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    Gifts Between $10-$25

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    Gifts Between $25-$50

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    Gifts Over $50

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  • Tiny Love Stories

    Hey, pretty girl!

    I recently purchased a book on Amazon called “Tiny Love Stories: True Tales of Love in 100 Words or Less.” This book contains short stories of all kinds of love and will totally make your heart melt. I decided I’m going to share my tiny love story and invite y’all to share your love stories too in the comment section (remember, keep it short and sweet)!! I’m all for romanticizing your life so please give your piece a title.

    Butterflies in my Stomach & Fireflies in the Prairie

    When the butterflies in my stomach first appeared, there was a tedious familiarity present – deja vu. They are the kind of butterflies that stick around for every season, even facing bitter cold and hurricane winds to keep me company. And then came the fireflies. Unlike the butterflies, the fireflies don’t stick around for long. Their nighttime illumination of the prairie stuck around just long enough to remind me that these moments now are just a brief flicker of the millions of lifetimes our souls have spent together. Maybe the fireflies will stick around for longer sometime, to tell us hushed whispers of our lifetimes together before this. But for now, the endless butterflies in my stomach will have to suffice.

    With Love, Marin

  • A Love Letter Rooted in Religion

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Last semester in Christian Morality, one of the papers we wrote was on the essence of love. An option of the format of the paper was a love letter. Here was mine (it got a 100 btw) …

    Dear future spouse (aka Jack),

    For some, marriage can often appear to be simply a transaction. I’ve heard friends refer to marriage as a legal bond that helps put one in a more stable financial place, provide citizenship to a partner, or give access to a better health insurance system. And while society emphasizes and idolizes the worldly aspects of a marriage, I would hope that the strength and quality of our love are what matters most to us in a marriage and relationship overall. I strive to create a love that is far more important than the “formality or traditional formula” the government system provides to, the unified version of, us (Francis, Section 123). I want you and I to epitomize the essence of love in our relationship.

    I want to strive for this essence of love to be present in our relationship both for our unified happiness, as well as our future children’s happiness. The strength of our spousal relationship will directly correlate to the strength of our family relationships. Our “children [will] not only want” us “to love one another, but also to be faithful and remain together” (Francis, Section 123). Unlike the environment in which I grew up, I never want our children to question if our relationship is healthy and truly eminent of love. Nor would I want them to experience broken family relationships as a result of the spousal relationship. By truly exemplifying the essence of love in our relationship, our future children will be in an environment that demonstrates the importance of love itself.

    Now, maintaining a strong love or marriage is not a simple task to manage. There are many necessary elements that must be met, in order for our relationship to have the essence of love. A strong bond between the two of us must come from an intensity that we define for ourselves, based on our own relationship and love needs (Brady, Loc 1759). In order to maintain a healthy relationship that has great longevity, there are a few crucial things that must be present. For me, and hopefully for you as well, what is important in both love and marriage is self-love, freedom, communication, gestures made out of love, growth and delight in one another’s successes.

    In order to be able to love one another to the fullest capacity, we must first understand our own self-worth and value, separate from our union as one. The “quality and intensity”of our love is and will be, dependent upon how well prepared we are to be in a relationship with one another in the first place (Brady, p.2). This preparation begins with a basic sense of self-love. Self-love that does not “seek its own interest” is a prerequisite to being able to truly love each other because it allows us to receive the love of others (Francis, Section 101). If one, or both, of us, is incapable of loving ourselves, it would be impossible to accept love from the other partner. This is because a basic self-love allows us to be open to “being loved by others” (Brady, Loc 1803). As a significant other, I not only want you to display love towards me, but also accept the love that I give you in return. When I am displaying love towards you, I want you to accept and know that you are deserving of a healthy relationship. I will also be cognizant of my own self-love so that I can also be accepting and open of the love you display towards me. When both of us have a basic sense of self-love, only then can we truly experience and be open to love in our relationship. Being open to love in our relationship is therefore crucial to epitomize the true essence of love together as one.

    Secondly, in our relationship, we must also allow for the independence and freedom of one another. This comes from a basic understanding that each of us is individuals on our own, containing personal freedoms, before we are a couple. This means that in our love, we must be “accepting” of each other, and understand that each of us has personal freedoms that myself or yourself, as a spouse, should not have control over (Francis, Section 92). Accepting each other as individuals with the ability to act freely is a result of our deep compassion for each other. When we give each other freedom, it will allow for both of us to experience more of the world. This is because if we spend every moment together, our experiences will not differ. Therefore, if each of us has a sense of independence, we will not be able to share “the joy” we have received “outside [our] family circle” with one another (Francis, Section 146). This freedom impacts trust. Allowing each other to have personal freedoms creates a space for both “sincerity and transparency” (Francis, Section 115). I understand that in previous relationships there may have been times where trust was violated and that it can be hard to truly trust others. However, I hope to ensure that our openness to sharing the parts of our life that we experience separately, creates a safe and trusting feeling for both of us.

    However, this aspect of sharing that comes out of freedom and trust, relies on the ability to properly communicate with one another. Communicating is essential to the expression of love in both a spousal and family relationship. As your partner, I understand that we won’t communicate and act the same way. For this reason, it is important to learn each other’s communication styles. There will be potential differences in our “tone[s],” “timing” and “other factors” that affect how we communicate with each other (Francis, 136). After creating a sense of trust pertaining to personal freedoms asI mentioned previously, we can create a space that encourages true and authentic communication between us. Authentic communication is important to conversing because we can trust each other that the dialogue is in fact, true. Following the creation of a trustworthy conversation space between us, we must understand how each person communicates. Because we have differences, it is important that both of us are willing and open to each other’s points of view. I know that I am not the best at just listening. Prior to our union, as well as during, I will work on my own “self-discipline” so that I am better at attentively listening to you, instead of always inserting my own thoughts and opinions (Francis, Section 137). I hope through effective and attentive communication between one another, that we can solve our hard times together as a team instead of viewing one another as enemies.

    Lastly, I want to grow together in our love, as I believe growth as one shows the true essence of love in our relationship. While there may be hard times that we must communicate about, we will endure and overcome our challenges. However, after enduring these challenges, we will “grow in [our] love” (Brady, Loc 1899). As we age together, not only will we mature and grow, but our love should as well. Without growth in our love, we will be at risk of losing our love. Putting God and how God loves at the center of our relationship together, will help us to accomplish this. The best way to enact growth in our relationship will be demonstrating “constant acts of love [and] kindness” (Francis, Section 134). These actions do not have to be overwhelming, time-consuming or expensive. I will show you how I love you through simple acts of service, words of affirmation and giving you quality time. I also understand that as we age, our bodies will not look the same. However, I did not fall in love with your body, I fell in love with your soul, and the “personal identity that first won [my] heart” (Francis, Section 163). Therefore, as your body experiences growth in age, I will still see you and treat you with the affection that I do now. I would ask that as my body also ages, you hold yourself to the same treatment of me as you do right now. While we may change over the years individually and as a couple, this growth is what will help our love mature and deepen into a true essence of love itself.

    When processing spending my life united with one other person in marriage, I want it to be because we exemplify the true essence of love, and not because of society’s outward standards imposed upon us. In our love and marriage, I want to recognize the importance of self-love, freedom, communication, gestures made out of love, growth and delight in one another’s successes to the strength of our relationship. With these core values at the center of our relationship, tightly wound with God’s love for us, I know that we can establish a long-lasting and strong love.

    Finally, I will love you. I will not love the idea of you, or the perception others have of you. I will love you now, just as you are. And with time, I will continue to love you as we grow and evolve together.

    Marin

  • Sandy and Danny from Grease: Hair Tutorial + Costume

    Hey, pretty girl!

    If you’re looking to be Sandy and Danny from Grease for Halloween – this is your one stop for all things hair/costume

    Sandy

    Costume:

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    Hair/Makeup:

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    Danny

    Costume:

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    Hair:

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    With Love, Marin

  • 5 Outfits for your Fall Dates

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Fall is upon us (that means cuffing season – hate that term lmao but I had to). When it comes to fall dates, there is so much versatility and options. I am sharing five outfits for some classic fall dates that are simple but cute enough for a photo opp with your boo!

    Hike

    Pumpkin Patch

    Coffee Date

    Mini Skirt

    Dinner

    Movie Night

    Top

    Bottoms

    With Love, Marin

  • “Thank God for all I’ve missed, cause it led me here to this.”

    Hey, pretty girl!

    When I first got the news that coronavirus would be sending me home from college, I was devastated.

    Let me set the scene for you: I was in an Uber on the way back from Lululemon picking up Janna’s birthday gift. The second I stepped into the Uber I received an email. My stomach dropped, knowing the rumors from the last week about being sent home due to coronavirus. The email read in bold “classes will operate fully online for the remainder of the semester.” I immediately began to tear up in the back of the Uber (overdramatic…I know).

    Questions flooded my head immediately: How would I be able to go without seeing my friends for five months? Would I really be missing the end of my freshman year dorm experience? … but the question that was looming in the back of my mind that truthfully made me tear up was … “how could I keep the boy I’m interested in, interested in me if I wasn’t hanging out with him a few times a week?”

    When I returned to campus, I sat at my desk and sobbed. Looking back, I wasn’t actually that upset about online courses. I was more upset that I would no longer be able to keep the attention of a boy I thought liked me, because I knew he would not be willing to put in the effort to talk during the five months apart (which was a MAJOR red flag). In other words, I was LOWERING MY STANDARDS FOR SOMEONE NOT WILLING TO PUT IN THE TIME FOR ME (little did I know, getting sent home would bring me the greatest blessing).

    The first couple weeks of quarantine were tough. I spent a lot of the time stuck in my own head. I thought about how life was just a few weeks prior and how all I wanted was to have it back. And what I expected to happen with my on campus relationship, happened. I was left wondering if I was being used the last few months because now that we weren’t in each other’s presence, I barely got a text back anymore.

    That is when I decided it was time to focus on myself. I spent the rest of March starting a workout routine, getting closer with God and being happy with myself.

    Now, I never believed the saying that you’d find your person when you stop looking for them, but it couldn’t have been more accurate for me. Prior to coronacation, I had met a sweet engineering boy who was visiting friends at UST but I didn’t originally want anything more than friends with him (I was too wrapped up in needing validation from the male I was talking to at the time). Quarantine gave me the opportunity to evaluate what I really wanted in a relationship (a HEALTHY bond with someone who felt like home) and who I wanted that relationship with. And I no longer just wanted a healthy relationship with anyone… I wanted it with the boy who treated me like his everything.

    Suddenly, the sweet boy I met briefly at a party, Jack, became someone I was facetiming every single night. He became the boy I talked to my family about. He was someone I felt comfortable talking to for hours and never running out of things to say. He became the boy who tucked me in via facetime and didn’t hang up until he knew I was asleep. Jack made his intentions with me clear right from the beginning – there was no confusion or playing around with my heart – it just felt right.

    Jack and I had both been in complete lockdown of everyone besides our family, so we decided it was safe for us to go out on a date! Our first date, a couple hour hike and hammocking together, turned into days at the lake, all day movie marathons, night swims, watching fireflies, meeting each other’s families and falling in love.

    The other day, on the ride home from Jack’s place, the song “This” by Darius Rucker came on the radio. When I heard the lyrics, I knew exactly why I was hearing the song at this moment.

    I didn’t understand it way back when
    But sittin’ here right now
    It all makes perfect sense

    Every stoplight I didn’t make
    Every chance I did or I didn’t take
    All the nights I went too far
    All the girls that broke my heart
    All the doors that I had to close
    All the things I knew but I didn’t know
    Thank God for all I missed
    ‘Cause it led me here to this
    .”

    Had I not been sent home from covid, I may never have ended up with my favorite person in the world (which is why it occurred this way).

    So now, let me set the scene for you: I’m sitting in my bed at midnight in Jack’s sweatshirt that he let me borrow to protect me from the mosquitos on the way out to my car. I send a goodnight text and hug my pillow knowing that I want to make Jack the happiest man in the world, fully knowing he makes me the happiest girl.

    The girl crying in an Uber months ago would’ve never pictured my life like it is right now. I may not have understood it then, “but sittin’ here right now, it all makes perfect sense.” I “thank God for all I missed,” because He “led me here to this” beautiful love. Now, sometimes things don’t make sense to us right away, but remember that every single moment happens for a reason. And Jack, I got sent home so we could fall in love, and I am holding you to that promise you made to never break my heart.

    With Love (mostly to Jack though), Marin

  • What He Does: On Raising your Standards

    Hey, pretty girl!

    I’ve always been a huge fan of Rachel Wammack’s music. While not one of the most well known country musicians, I truly believe she deserves a lot more hype! When she released her new song on August 14th, I listened to it ASAP. The lyrics were my absolute favorite – she totally hit the point that you should never lower your standards in a relationship. The reason I love Rachel’s music so much is because she is so honest to her life in her song lyrics and speaks her truth. This really comes out in the second verse.

    “What other guys do had me pretty much believing

    Settling was standard

    ‘Til God gave me a man that sees

    All the love that I give

    All the love that I’m worth…”

    “What He Does” by Rachel Wammack

    I often hear a lot of girls say that “all men are trash” (guilty that I used to do this). I believe this song is a great song because it acknowledges that there are men that will treat you the right way, even if many other guys haven’t before. You should not settle for a guy who treats you “good enough” when there is a guy who would treat you like his whole world. Don’t settle for the boy who texts you after midnight, date the man who calls you “beautiful….baby,…just because.”

    Now, girls, this goes the other way too. You need to be reciprocating healthy relationship behavior. You need to spoil him too. You need to give him all the love that he is worth too. Relationships go both ways and both sides need to be giving it their all for it to be a strong, healthy relationship.

    With Love, Marin

  • It’s Always What You Didn’t See Coming

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Growing up, I was always told that “you’ll find love when you stop looking for it.” Now, I would always pray to God for my person and tell Him I wasn’t looking anymore so that He would send me that person. I think every one of us has done this at some point, fully knowing that we are hoping God won’t notice we were 100% still searching. While we all do this at some point, He truly knows all. I find it so silly that we do this knowing that God already has a direct plan for us and we will receive on His terms and when He sees fit for us.

    I was guilty of praying that I loved myself and I was ready for a deep relationship, time and time again. In the months prior to quarantine, I had lost my connection and patience with the Lord almost completely. I started believing that I could go find my person without His help and ignore every red flag He was sending me that I needed to be patient and it was not my time quite yet. When March 17th hit and I was moving my entire life out of college and back to my childhood bedroom, I realized that while I had progressed in some ways at college, building an outer layer of confidence and self love, I was anxious and untrusting of Him on the inside.

    I was prepared to go through the five months of quarantine, before heading back to college, by myself. I was prepared to be working, blogging, reading the Bible and exercising – things that I believed would help better prepare my confidence and self love for a fulfilling relationship. I quickly learned to love the time I had by myself and who I was as a person.

    And I guess whoever told me that when I “stop looking for love, I’ll find it,” was right. Because this time, my relationship was just so unexpected. However, I don’t know if the cause of finding love is that you stop looking for it. I believe that God’s timing is so good and so above what we expected, that it’ll make any season of your life just that much better.

    I didn’t expect for a brief encounter to turn into nightly FaceTime calls that turned into 1am drive homes from each other’s houses. I wasn’t looking for love. I was looking for myself. And that’s when I met Jack.

    To you, this picture may just be a picture

    Just a prarie with some flowers

    Just a blue skyline

    Just some trees trailing off in the background.

    But to me, this photo is a moment

    It’s Joe Pyeweed and Monarcha Birds

    It’s hiking on trails and ducking under barbed wire

    It’s firefly watching and tasting sweet honey off a shared spoon.

    To you, this photo is a picture.

    To me, it’s what I prayed for years to recieve.

    And it’s in moments like this, that I wish I could stop time to hold onto them for just a little longer, before making even more moments I want to freeze in time. Because God chose this to be the time I received what I had prayed for years for, because He knew when the right time was. One of the greatest joys in life is when you receive something you’ve been praying for, and watch God elevate your prayers to a level you never even imagined was possible.

    With Love, Marin

  • 5 Things You Should Expect in a Relationship

    Hey, pretty girl!

    When it comes to relationships, it can often be reflected that women “expect too much.” This usually includes actual date nights, picking you up at the door, bringing you surprise gifts, posting you on social media, communicating with you in a timely manner etc. Okay, now reread all of the things I just listed. ALL OF THOSE ARE SO SIMPLE AND YOU ARE NOT EXPECTING TOO MUCH!! When it comes to a healthy, happy relationship, it is crucial that both you and your partners treat each other in this way.

    Below I have listed 5 key things you should expect from any healthy relationship and ways you can carry these characteristics out.

    Respect

    Respect is essential for a relationship to remain healthy and happy. This is especially true when it comes to arguments – even when the argument gets heated you should NEVER start using name calling or disrespect towards your partner. This is one sure way to cause anxiety and second thoughts about your partner. It’ll cause them to wonder if you truly mean those things and were too afraid to say them.

    Some ways to show respect are: defining what you want in the relationship early, communicating what is working in the relationship, only using positive words with your partner and explain your feelings without getting upset.

    Time

    If your partner is not willing to give time to getting to know each other, dating, and communicating with you in the short term, it will definitely not occur in the long run. Time is something you should expect in a relationship. These time boundaries can be different for every couple and based on the duration of the relationship.

    Some ways to give time to your partner: Weekly or monthly date nights, checking up on them in text

    Generosity

    Generosity comes in many different forms: mental, emotional, financial and material support. Supporting one another in a relationship is a sure way to create an intimate bond. This is because when your partner (healthy relationship) is aware that you care about them when they are in need, they will reciprocate for you when you need the support.

    Some ways to show generosity: Asking how your partner is, bringing home a surprise gift, understanding how your partner deals with stress

    Communication

    Okay, communication is the NUMBER ONE NECESSITY in a relationship. Without communication, you have no relationship. Communication needs to begin at the very first date. If your partner seems to constantly be flaky over text message at the beginning of the relationship, imagine how they would be in marriage? Exactly.

    Some ways to ensure you are communicating: Did you let them know your availability? Do they know what you want out of this relationship? Do you know what they want? Do you express your feelings with each other?

    Affection

    Affection is a way to spice up a relationship. When the relationship is new, affection tends to be very easy. However, as you spend more and more time together, it is crucial to keep the spark by being affectionate with one another. Affection typically builds both intimacy and trust in your partner.

    Some ways to show affection: Physical affection, posting your partner on social media, complimenting your partner.

    BABY YOU ARE GOLD, SOLID GOLD!! Don’t let anyone treat you like anything else. You deserve a healthy relationship like this (and more).

    With Love, Marin

  • On My Side of the Fence

    When I was listening to every Dan and Shay song in preparation for their concert (before Corona postponed it) I fell in love with the song “My Side of the Fence.” (Y’all I swear it is 1000x better than “Speechless”) Listening to the lyrics, I envisioned the kind of love I wanted. I even told myself that I would wait for that kind of love and not accept anything less. However, at that same time, I was very distant from God and fulfilling Christ’s word, as well as being filled with anxiety and negative self image. I knew that I would not be able to find that kind of love until I began to work on correcting those things.

    Attending St. Thomas, and taking theology class last fall semester, I began to get closer to the Lord than I had been in an incredibly long time. That’s when I realized that that there was a reason why I had ended up at this smaller, catholic college and not a large public one. In high school I had made it clear that I didn’t have time to learn religion on top of all my school work, because school was my top priority over Him. While that was not a good excuse, now God was making a point to me that since religion was now part of my school work, I had an opportunity to learn and grow in my faith, while also focusing on my schoolwork.

    Following this class, I made a promise to myself in the new year to grow in my faith. For me, this looked like putting my anxiety on Him instead of bearing all the weight myself. When I felt like things were hard to handle, I took out my bible and read a chapter (or two or three), put on some worship music and, most importantly, prayed.

    Now, I had been praying for years, but not like I was this year. Before, I had prayed in a way that was more like a mutual deal than actual trust. I prayed that “I would do X if God would do Y.” However, I realized that God wasn’t a genie to grant my wishes and by praying in this way, I wasn’t truly trusting Him. So I learned to pray in a different way. I began to pray for what I had and for what I knew I was one day going to have through trusting His process.

    I am not going to act like this change was easy for me. As soon as I returned to college from January-term, I began to accept life without the Lord again. I was okay chasing boys instead of them chasing me. I was okay with not praying. I was okay with living with anxious thoughts. But when I was losing sight of Him, a new door had opened. I was removed from college. I was removed from every distraction taking me away from Him.

    And when I gave the time to Him, suddenly it seemed like things became a lot less heavy on my soul . I felt my anxiety lifted and a lot more at peace with the person I am. I began to set goals for myself and manifest them into existence through prayer and ultimate trust in what God had planned for me. I saw growth in my self confidence, my mental health was more at ease, I found myself only accepting of proper male behavior towards me and my side hustle was taking off.

    When I began to start getting rid of what God would not approve of, I found something (someone) that fit into my new mentality. It seemed so strange that it took a pandemic for me to manifest the “My Side of the Fence” type of love that I new I wanted to give to someone else, and also have in return. Over quarantine, my current boyfriend (I’ll introduce him to y’all super soon we just need to have a photoshoot together) treated me like no one else ever had.

    He face-timed me on the daily, kept his promises on contacting me, didn’t constantly ask “what’s up” but instead found deeper conversation, he made his intentions with me clear, and most importantly, he treated me like a man of God would. And yet, for a while, I still found it hard to leave the person who wasn’t treating me like that, behind.

    During that time, I opened up a book I had bought many months before and hadn’t gotten around to reading, “A Love Letter Life.” One quote stuck out to me, almost like I was meant to read it.

    “We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing.”

    Jeremy Roloff, A Love Letter Life

    It had got to the point where staying in the confusing relationship I was in was causing me greater pain than it would be to move on. So I did what the quote told me to and made a change. I’m so incredibly grateful I did because I found that “My Side of the Fence” kind of love because I was no longer accepting less than that…

    Back in November I wrote a blog post on what I’d say when I found my person: “I’m a whole. You will never complete me. You will simply be an addition. You’re not going to be afraid to chase me. You won’t be afraid of my confidence, intelligence and self love. You will be deserving of me. And I will be deserving of you. And when I meet you, I’ll know.”

    I have some updates to that statement…

    Yes, I am a whole on my own, but life is a lot more fun with you in it. I was wrong, you’re not simply “an” addition. You’re THE addition that I never want to lose. You weren’t, and still aren’t, afraid to chase me. Both my and your confidence, intelligence and self love blend so well together. You are deserving of me. And I am deserving of you (y’all for me to say this is crazy I never think I deserve something this incredibly good). And I may not have known at first when I met you that you were my person, but I wholeheartedly do now. And…

    You’re the rain on the roof in the summer

    You’re the leaves in the fall changing color

    You’re the whisper I hear in the thunder

    On my side of the fence

    You’re the reason my heart’s beating faster

    You’re the tears falling down from the laughter

    You’re the only one I’m after

    I pray you also find this kind of love.

    With Love, Marin

  • Motivation for your Monday: Episode 7

    Hey, pretty girl!!

    Sam Hunt’s new album is my absolute favorite thing ever (and it was perfect timing with quarantine)! One of my favorite, and most relatable, songs from the album was track #11: Breaking Up Was Easy in the 90’s.

    This song has such a good message in regards to modern relationships and their direct connection to technology. It seems like it’s hard to escape your own self doubt when technology is constantly connecting you to another person. It can make starting, keeping and ending relationships a million more times difficult than “the 90’s.”

    In current times, we worry about getting left on read by our crush. We worry about that not getting that ft call. We worry about checking snap maps to see if they are actually where they said they were. We worry about stalking their Instagram seeing if they like their ex’s recent picture…and the list goes on.

    This seems to have escalated with the addition of social distancing. Relationships that were already confusing enough have an extra added level with complete physical separation from the other person. And the fact of the matter is, we are “a product of our generation.” While we can be so much more connected to our significant other than the 90’s, that might not be a good thing. We aren’t meant to dive into things too quick and when technology gives us access to view another person’s highlight reel on social media, telling us where they are and what they’re up to, it can make us feel more insecure about why they are allotting their time like they are.

    While it seems to be almost impossible to stay out of our own heads right now, here are some tips when it comes to relationships mixing with technology.

    • Set certain times to talk – text convos are meant to die out after an hour or two but it’ll be so much better to converse without someone lacking in response because it isn’t a convenient time for them.
    • Say what you mean – don’t send mixed signals or play hard to get, especially right now. You can end up hurting someone’s feelings or driving them further away.
    • Avoid checking location – this doesn’t apply as much right now. However, if you have to check someone’s location, there is probably a bigger trust issue that needs to be addressed.
    • Give yourself a reality check – why are your thoughts so consumed by the situation? If you can pinpoint what’s bothering you, it might help you to address the overall problem.

    With Love, Marin

  • Love Me Like a Girl

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Kelsea Ballerini’s new album, “Kelsea,” came out yesterday. As someone who’s been waiting for this album for months, I was incredibly excited that it came out during quarantine. It was definitely something to look forward to.

    While all the songs in this album are deep and relatable beyond belief, one song resonated with me during this time. Losing all my close girl friends this week was so very hard. Especially with the current women’s empowerment on Instagram, I believed this song was one to bring to everyone’s attention.

    After hearing the song “Love me Like a Girl,” I realized why it was so hard to leave my friends. Girls tend to form an incredibly deep bond with one another. While we all appreciate the males in our lives, sometimes we wish they would just be a little more like our gal pals 😉

    I copied the lyrics below and left my own thoughts on Kelsea’s words below them. The audio of this song is linked on the song title, as well.

    Love me Like a Girl Kelsea Ballerini

    Sometimes I don’t like what’s in the mirror
    Uncomfortable standin’ in my skin
    Yeah, sometimes I feel a little broken
    Doesn’t mean I need to be put together again

    So, when I’m cryin’
    Baby let me cry
    Don’t fix it
    Don’t try to make it right

    I wish you could love me like a girl
    I wish you could love me like a girl
    Cause my friends, they don’t hurt me, baby, not like you
    Yeah, I wish you could know me, baby, like they do
    I wish you could get inside my head
    Baby, maybe then you’d understand
    Why I wish you could love me like a girl

    I know, you don’t mean to be insensitive
    And I know, you’re never tryin’ to brush me off
    The truth is me and you, we’re wired different
    So it makes sense sometimes we get crossed

    So when I’m cryin’
    Baby pour some red
    When you want to kiss it better
    Listen instead

    I wish you could love me like a girl
    I wish you could love me like a girl
    Cause my friends, they don’t hurt me, baby, not like you
    Yeah, I wish you could know me, baby, like they do
    I wish you could get inside my head
    Baby, maybe then you’d understand
    Why I wish you could love me like a girl
    I wish you could love me like a girl

    I love the way you make me feel like I’m safely
    In the palm of your hand
    And I love the way you hold me, in the dark, babe
    Yeah, just like a man

    But I wish you could love me like a girl
    I wish you could love me like a girl
    Cause my friends, they don’t hurt me, baby, not like you
    Yeah I wish you could know me, baby, like they do
    I wish you could get inside my head
    Baby, maybe then you’d understand
    Why I wish you could love me like a girl

    We’ve all had those moments where we just hate how we look. It can be so frustrating to just look in the mirror and pick apart every small detail of yourself. Girl friends understand that. Even when you’re frustrated crying because your hair won’t function, they don’t downplay the situation. We are all wired to comfort each other and understand these insecurities.

    It can be hard for guys sometimes to understand this type of insecurity because they are just “wired different” than us. So if your man doesn’t get why you’re upset, don’t blame him. He can’t “get inside [your] head” and he doesn’t “mean to be instead.” It’s just something that us girls grasp, and sometimes we just wish our men would understand.

    Now, that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate our men. One thing our girl friends can’t do for us is give us that “in the palm of your hand” sort of feeling. So guys, try to love us like our friends do. Watch how they treat us. And that starts with “listen[ing] instead.” Let us cry when we need to. But don’t stop giving us that manly love either, we appreciate that too.

    With Love, Marin

  • Motivation for your Monday: Episode 4

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Important quote for y’all:

    “You’ll eventually reach a point in your life where you start to realize your own worth and you’ll find that you won’t take shit from anyone anymore because you’re strong enough to know that you straight-up deserve better.”

    That I do. You do too. We all deserve the best of the best. Don’t settle for less.

    I wrote this in my “Motivation for Your Monday: Episode 2” but I think it’s important to be repeated (with modifications in italics). Say it with me : I’m okay on my own. I’m strong. I’m confident. I’m smart. I’m beautiful. I KNOW my self worth and I won’t let another person treat me how I’m absolutely not supposed to be treated. I deserve the world.

    Now guys, here’s a little one for you. Say it with me: I will treat women with respect. I will not utilize, manipulate or lie for my own benefit. I will treat women the way I would want my future daughter to be treated. I will act like a man, and not a boy, because this is 2020 and I live in a progressive society where women are not objects to be played with.

    So here’s to knowing what you deserve. Girl, you deserve the world. You deserve the upmost respect from any man in your life. If he doesn’t respect you, then he does not deserve you. Most importantly, don’t “let it slide.” Lying, cheating, manipulating or using you is INEXCUSABLE. There is zero way to come back from that!! There are a million guys who would and WILL treat you how you deserve. Don’t waste time on the ones who don’t.

    With Love, Marin

  • Gifts to get your S.O. for Valentine’s Day

    Hey, pretty girl! (and guys tuning in trying to figure out what they should buy)

    For Her

    1. Barefoot Dreams Blanket
    2. Scrunchie Apple Watch Band
    3. Heart Initial Necklace
    4. Starbucks Reusable Cup
    5. Rose that lasts for a Year
    6. Heart Shaped Sunglasses (Use my link for referral)
    7. Pearl Headband
    8. Jewelry Box
    9. Pink Handbag
    10. Anything cute & cheesy (chocolates, flowers, stuffed animal…)

    For Him

    1. Custom Leather Airpods Case
    2. Temp Control Smart Mug
    3. Wool Running Shoes
    4. Winc Subscription
    5. Something cute & cheesy (guys like to be spoiled sometimes too)

    With Love, Marin

  • Nothing Good Gets Away

    Hey, pretty girl!

    I was scrolling through Pinterest tonight and saw a quote that completely resonated with me.

    “If it is right, it happens. The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.”

    Upon seeing this, I knew I wanted to write a blog post covering this topic. While it’s a little too late for a Motivation for your Monday post, it looks like this can be a Thoughts for Tuesday post.

    The first thing that comes to your mind when you see this post is probably the thing you’re currently rushing in your life right now. Is it a relationship with someone you’ve liked for a while? Is it an opportunity in your activity/sport/job? Is it reaching a personal goal you set for yourself?

    No matter what thing your brain is worried about, it is important to establish patience. I’ve been one to always wish and pray for things to come to me quicker, making deals with God and wanting things to come sooner to be than in His plan.

    However, upon recently listening to a sermon, I learned something important that I felt tied really well with this quote. In a podcast from Berean Baptist Church, given by Tony Manning, this quote resonated with me …

    God has a plan that provides the backdrop for our lives. He is in control.

    If God is in control, what is the point in hurrying things? Every single moment of your life has a purpose. If we try to rush the learning moments God has given us, the “good” thing will not feel as special. Instead of spending time focusing on things we don’t have YET, focus on the moment you are in and the purpose it is serving.

    I make it sound so simple – just be patient. But, I understand, it’s not that easy. However, when we beg God for the things we want, it is evidence that we aren’t quite ready for whatever that thing is yet. In time, however, we will be ready.

    It’s easy to be anxious about receiving the things you want, especially when you feel like it should be your turn to receive. But what if we cut that anxiety part out of the picture? Wouldn’t life be so much simpler if we just lived our lives praying for what we have, preparing for what we are to receive?

    And that is where this Pinterest quote comes in. Don’t worry about rushing things. If you are meant to receive the thing you want, you will.

    With Love, Marin

  • “Love somebody who ruins your lipstick, not your mascara.”

    Hey, pretty girl!

    When I asked what y’all wanted to see more of in 2020, I got quite a few responses of “relationship advice.” The other day when I was doing my makeup, a Runaway Jane song came on my phone. This country group is known for their female empowerment songs but this one – “Lipstick” – really spoke to me.

    So often women are told that love is “supposed to hurt sometimes.” But love shouldn’t hurt. And the analogy of how a man affects your makeup is a really good way to put this.

    If he ruins your mascara – drop him. But if he ruins your lipstick …. now that’s just him doing his job.

    I think it’s time to change the phrase that love hurts sometimes. Love isn’t easy, by any means, but if it hurts then it isn’t the right love. And your person will “fall right outta the blue,” because “he’s out there looking for you.”

    With Love, Marin

  • "He's Chasin' Me"

    Hey, pretty girl!

    My favorite pastime is pulling up the Apple Music top country playlist and hitting shuffle. Using this method, I have found my all time favorite songs and artists that I wouldn’t have heard of otherwise.

    During one of my music searching sessions this week I came across a song by an artist I hadn’t heard of before – “Chasin’ Me” by Caroline Jones. Upon hearing the lyrics of this song, I was immersed in the accuracy and relatability of the lyrics.

    I am a strong believer that if someone wants a relationship with you, they will make a conscious effort to get close to you. They will not give up (no matter how many times you left them on read..whoops, my bad…but I like you now so take a hint).

    It seems impossible or unrealistic at times to believe there is someone out there perfect for you AND willing to give you the love you deserve. This leads a lot of people to just settle.

    “They will change eventually.” “I wish they were just a little more like me.” “It drives me crazy when they do (insert something).” “They don’t give me the attention I want, but it’s good enough.”

    All of the above comments are signs that you are not in the right relationship. If you don’t feel like your partner is 100% your person, then don’t hold onto them. There will be someone more right and more deserving of your love.

    Make your person chase you. But, more importantly, chase him too.

    “But now I’m the one who’s losin’ my cool. And butterflies make me feel like a fool. I’ve always been the one in control. But that boy just does something to my soul.

    He’s chasin’ me.”

    With Love, Marin

  • Motivation for your Monday: Episode 4

    Hey, pretty girl!

    I was struggling to think of topic for this Monday. Typically, I jump on a concept that is currently nagging at my mind, but I honestly could not find something… UNTIL I was messaging my college friends while hanging with my high school ones.

    In that moment, I realized how incredibly blessed I am to have two great friend groups full of people who love and support me. Six years ago, I definitely would not have thought this would be my reality. Middle school, for me, was a time where I had truly felt like I didn’t fit in. Now here I was, surrounded by people accepting of who I’ve become.

    Friends are second family. Having great friends is truly something that is a blessing to be grateful for. However, having great friends who support you no matter what, are ever better.

    This got me thinking… what if we were all each other’s friends? What if we all treated each other with the kindness and respect that we give to our friends?

    Conclusion : this world would be a lot less cruel, dark and hateful.

    Now, you’re going to say to me, “but what about the people who I CANNOT be friends with.” I challenge yourself to understand why they behave the way that makes you unable to be their friend.

    Situation #1 : The toxic friend who causes detriment to your mental health.

    Situation #2 : The friend who is not being a friend for reasons that you may be unaware of.

    Obviously, these are not the only two scenarios when it comes to friends. However, it is important to acknowledge the distinction between these two friend behaviors. In the case of the second, we must understand to be empathetic of those around us.

    Keep the following quote in mind when determining between the two situations :

    And I’ll leave you with this – let’s be friends. Reach out to me and I’ll be here. It’s our job to be each other’s support, regardless of how well you know each other now. There is always the potential to GET TO KNOW each other.

    With Love, Marin

  • Motivation for your Monday : Episode 2

    Hey, pretty girl!

    For this episode of Motivation for your Monday, I want to focus on the idea of self worth and acceptance of yourself while single.

    First things first, you are not defined by your relationship status. You are not defined by how many people hit on you. You are not defined by how many boyfriends you’ve had. My point? you are not defined by ANOTHER PERSON.

    Our society teaches us that we need another person to “complete us.” But the truth is, you’re not a half waiting to become whole. You have always been a whole. Another person will never truly make you feel complete; only true acceptance of yourself can make you feel that way.

    I understand it isn’t that simple. We won’t just wake up one day and feel complete. And it’s not easy to see the best in ourselves, especially when we are constantly comparing our lives to those around us. Acceptance and forgiving others for their flaws is easy to do, so why is it so hard to do for ourselves?

    Well, it could be because we know ourselves better than anyone in the world does. We expect so much for ourselves and hold a level of perfection that is simply unattainable.

    “I want to get married by 25.” “I need kids before age 30.” “I cannot be alone for the holiday season.”

    It never hurts to have a plan, but in the same respect, our lives aren’t supposed to follow a plan. If everything followed our plan, life would be pretty boring. Imagine it like this – you follow a very strict diet and never spontaneously deviate from it – boring, right? Same idea. Let life be like that chocolate bar you ate for lunch.

    Back to the point….. I told myself that if I started a blog, I’d always be honest. And honestly, I wish I would follow my own advice. The truth is, no matter how pretty someone’s Instagram page is, they have insecurities too. My insecurity stems from difficulty accepting myself while single.

    I’m about to get really vulnerable y’all so hold onto your hats. I am insecure about the relationships I’ve had with men. Or rather, the lack of them. It can be self defeating to feel like you’re never the girl a guy wants to date. I constantly have felt that because I am not afraid to be myself, I scare every boy away from me. And that, my friends, is my insecurity. I can tell myself over and over again that “men do not determine my happiness,” but I struggle to believe it. I feel like I’m constantly waiting for someone to sweep me off my feet and be my Hallmark movie ending instead of being okay on my own.

    And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. I’m not the only one who is constantly searching for the person who’s supposed to jump into my life and change everything – waiting for my “other half.” But I’ve made a mindset change tonight. I’m not going to wait around and you shouldn’t either.

    Say it with me : I’m okay on my own. I’m strong. I’m confident. I’m smart. I’m beautiful. I KNOW my self worth and I won’t let another person’s opinion take that from me. Anyone who passes on me is NOT worth my time (subtweet).

    I challenge you to find your self worth. Find the place where you thrive best and give it everything you have. Your future partner will admire your passion, not be intimidated by your self acceptance.

    Remember : The only person who deserves you, is the person who thinks they don’t. Never settle for less.

    Now, to the girl who is lost when it comes to love : blare Born to Fly by Sara Evans a couple times. I promise it’ll hit you on a whole different level.

    And to whoever my person is : I’m a whole. You will never complete me. You will simply be an addition. You’re not going to be afraid to chase me. You won’t be afraid of my confidence, intelligence and self love. You will be deserving of me. And I will be deserving of you. And when I meet you, I’ll know.

    With Love, Marin

  • “The Night Before, Life Goes On.”

    Hey, pretty girl!

    When Trace Adkins’ “You’re Gonna Miss This” comes on your radio 5 times in the last three months, it’s the world telling you a little something. Y2Kountry, thank you for helping me realize my current state of sadness that high school is really over – just like that. 

    I am writing this blog post for anyone who’s struggling to move on to the next big step in their life. Especially those of you moving into college really soon…like me…tomorrow (ahh). 

    High school is only four years long. Each class, day, and week passes slowly, but each year goes by so fast. I felt like I wished those four years away. I wanted to grow up, go to college, and move on. And once I walked across the stage, all I wanted was to relive the four years all over again. Yet, what we all need to realize is that those will not be the “best years of our lives.” There will be so many more great, and better, years. 

    It can be a scary concept to grasp. People we’ve known for thirteen years could suddenly turn into people we will never see again after graduation. Some of us are naturally ready to move on. But, if you’re like me, you’ll spend too many late nights breaking into tears over the idea of it. 

    It’s taken time, but what I’ve come to terms with is that you cannot start a new chapter without ending the last one. High school may be over, but there are so many more chapters to be written in my life. Instead of being sad over what has happened, I decided to be grateful for the many memories and stories I will be able to cherish for my entire life. 

    But, when your friends leave for college, cry. When you get dropped off at college, cry. When you miss high school three years down the road, cry. But make those tears about the happy moments you’ve shared, not what you’re losing. 

    For those of you still in high school…

    • Be yourself
    • Have fun as often as you can
    • Study like crazy
    • Go after what you want
    • Slow down, it goes fast

    Songs to get you in the feels for move-in day

    • Trace Adkins – “You’re Gonna Miss This”
    • Carrie Underwood – “The Night Before (Life Goes On)
    • Hailey Whitters – “The Days”
    • Carrie Underwood – “Don’t Forget to Remember Me”
    • Kenny Chesney – “Don’t Blink”

    With Love, Marin