Rain, Rain, Go Away…

Rain, Rain, Go Away... | www.eccentricowl.com Thrifted vintage dress and heels | Target tights | self-made flower crown | old umbrella | New Old Fashion Vintage scarf Dressember Days

Well, today I am not that happy with anything. It’s dumping buckets of rain outside, which limits my photographing ability; I adore this dress but today I just couldn’t get it styled the way I want it, my hair is having one of those days (any attempt to do anything with it has been foiled) and is getting to the point where I need to decide whether to dye it red or back to my natural color and I just don’t know, and also I’m cold. So here’s the one shot I liked from the pictures I attempted today… and also, a video of Asa talking to me this morning. Because the cuteness should make up for the lack of a post.

I hope you’re all having a good Thursday!

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Thoughts on Marriage

Thoughts on Marriage | www.eccentricowl.comDressember DaysThoughts on Marriage | www.eccentricowl.com

Sometimes I feel as though because I’ve only been married for two years, or because I had  a great pregnancy and have a nearly-always-happy child, I am not qualified to give advice. Because I haven’t experienced hardships, I haven’t gone through a rough period, I didn’t have terrible pregnancy symptoms, my boobs didn’t suffer through nursing, my child sleeps fine and only has mild teething symptoms, and I’m still in what most people would qualify as the “honeymoon” stage of marriage.

But I read Kristen’s post this morning, and I thought… why can’t I share what I have learned? Just because it hasn’t been hard doesn’t mean I haven’t discovered things to make our marriage better and stronger. Just because Asa isn’t having a rough babyhood doesn’t mean I don’t still Google the heck out of things to figure out what to do sometimes. (I Google everything. I even asked Google whether it was normal that I didn’t like kissing back when we had our first kiss.)Thoughts on Marriage | www.eccentricowl.com In the last two years of marriage, I have learned a great deal. Through my own marriage, through watching others’ marriages, through advice and experience and observation. And, through my own failings. I am not a perfect person. I can be lazy and snide and unwilling to cooperate. And my husband… well, he’s one of those annoying (read: wonderful) people who only actually brings up legitimate issues, and he’s pretty much always right. And nice about it. SIGH.

In these last two years I have learned that quite literally, sometimes the key to a happy marriage is a clean kitchen. I am not a neat person by nature, but I’m learning. Because seriously, having a clean house is the difference in our marriage between happy and slightly discontent. It was a surprisingly simple revelation to me, having come from a house where neatness was not as large of a priority as other things.Thoughts on Marriage | www.eccentricowl.com I have learned that a major thing is respect. Which I knew, but I’ve learned how to respect. They always tell you that men need respect, but they never tell you what that means. And for a long while, I wondered: how do you show respect?

Respect means listening with your full attention. No checking your phone while he’s talking, interrupting mid-sentence with a thought, or spitting back your own reasons for why you’re doing something he doesn’t understand. Respect means that even if you have a perfectly legitimate excuse for why you didn’t clean anything today, you let him tell you why it bothers him and you take his advice to help you do better next time.

Let me tell you something: I HATE taking advice. I want to be perfect and I want to do it all by myself. But I can’t. And my initial response when he’s trying to help me fix the problem is to get defensive. I did that wrong because xyz happened so that’s why and don’t try to tell me I could actually get it all done if I took your advice, because I don’t want to. Even if, deep down, I know he’s right.

But the thing is, he’s not sitting there trying to attack me or even tell me that I failed. He’s trying to understand why. He’s trying to give me the benefit of the doubt. Maybe I didn’t clean house because Asa had a really bad day, and that’s okay. But maybe next time it would be easier to get things done if I asked for help, if I asked his mom or my mom to come over and give me a break, or to clean my dishes for me or get my laundry done while I deal with a cranky teething baby. Just because he’s pointed out something I’ve done that is less-than-admirable doesn’t mean he suddenly thinks I’m terrible.

Respect means acknowledging that he’s got a good point, that his advice is valid, and that he loves me even when he’s bringing up something I could improve on. And not crying, arguing, spouting excuses, or walking away from it with irritation.Thoughts on Marriage | www.eccentricowl.com I’ve learned over the last two years that just because he doesn’t crave physical affection like I do does not mean that he doesn’t find me attractive. Girls, you may be told in premarital counseling or growing up or by whomever that men always like sex more than women do. And I’m going to be really blunt and personal with you (sorry if it’s awkward mom and other family members who might be reading this), because I don’t want you to worry: sometimes, that isn’t the case. Sometimes, it’s the woman who likes the physical more. I am one of those people. My two biggest love languages are physical affection and words.

My husband’s are not. And obviously he does like the hanky spanky stuff too, but it’s not as important to him as it is to me, which I found really weird and worrying at first because my female premarital counselor told me that sometimes men just need sex and we should give it to them even if we aren’t really in the mood (which, by the way, is all about being selfless and looking out for your spouse’s needs, and it doesn’t mean he’s just gonna take it whenever he wants it no matter how you feel. Unless he’s a jerk). And you know what? Usually it’s the other way around in our relationship. For a while I obsessed with the fact that his hands weren’t all over me all the time and what was wrong with me and… it was kind of destructive. Not in big ways, but little, niggling ones. I lost some confidence in myself and in him and in us for a little while. It was stupid.

The lesson here? Learn what HIS love language is, and realize that he may be showing you he loves you in his own language, not yours. Learn to communicate love in ways he understands, and be honest enough to help him learn what your love language is. It’s pretty important that you both know how to communicate love in the way that your spouse is going to know it. (Communication is a HUGE key to a good marriage. HUGE.)

Thoughts on Marriage | www.eccentricowl.com Thoughts on Marriage | www.eccentricowl.com And I have learned that sometimes, compromising is not the key.

I am pretty sure my husband hates compromise. I remember one night when I had planned to make Mongolian beef for dinner, he suggested that sweet and sour beef might be good instead. Innocently, in the effort to make everyone happy, I offered to make him sweet and sour sauce and me Mongolian beef sauce, and everyone could have what they wanted. It didn’t make him happy, though; it just made him feel as though I didn’t care what he wanted because I was going to have what I wanted no matter what, and it made him feel like he was just making more work for me.

The thing is… most of the time compromise is a way that I can get what I want. Whether subconsciously or not, I do tend to try to find a way for us both to get what we want. It’s not sacrifice, submission, or selflessness at ALL. And sometimes, giving up what you want in favor of what your spouse wants is far better than trying to compromise so that everyone is happy. Sometimes, doing it together is more important. Thoughts on Marriage | www.eccentricowl.com

Heels, belt, brooch, and vintage dress, thrifted | cardigan and tights, Target | earrings c/o Oasap | scarf, self-made | glasses, c/o Firmoo

Those are only a few of the things I’ve been learning so far in my marriage. Respect, communication, love language, selflessness… they’re important.

What is the most important thing you have learned in marriage or your relationship so far? I’d love to know!

In other news, this is me winterizing a decidedly spring/summer dress. Well, I suppose it’s not really decidedly spring or summery, just mostly in color it’s more a spring/summer palette. But I think with lots of black additions to match the black rose pattern, it works quite well for winter! I still haven’t decided how I want to tailor the top of it (you can see the whole dress here) so for now, wearing a coat or cardigan over the top works to de-crazy it. Although we all know I have a weakness for slightly crazy clothes.

Anyway. I hope you all have a happy Wednesday!

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Bohemian Lace

Bohemian Lace | www.eccentricowl.comDressember DaysBohemian Lace | www.eccentricowl.com

Let me preface this by saying: the more I look at this outfit, the less I like it. I like the pieces in and of themselves, but all together… eh. Oh well. You can’t always hit the mark perfectly, especially when you’re blogging every day!

Today is a day for laziness, for cuddling up on the couch with my coziest blanket and my squishiest baby and watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries all afternoon. Asa is quite sleepy today, which is odd because he slept an hour longer than normal and took one good nap this morning. But, it’s dark and rainy outside, and he’s growing and teething, so I’m sure he needs the sleep!Bohemian Lace | www.eccentricowl.com Bohemian Lace | www.eccentricowl.comI feel quite bohemian with this lace top. It arrived in the mail for me on Friday, and I am so in love with it! I plan to wear it to the Christmas Eve service for my one planned break from Dressember — well, a few hours of a break, anyway. I got it to be paired with this skirt. I am on the lookout for inexpensive glittery heels, and I still need to get a white tank top to go beneath it as it isn’t lined, but overall I have a pretty good idea of what I’ll be wearing. And for the rest of the day I will be wearing a dress.Bohemian Lace | www.eccentricowl.com Bohemian Lace | www.eccentricowl.com

These last few Dressember outfit posts have been some of the shortest self-shot outfit photo sessions I’ve ever done, thanks to the rain! I am determined to get daily outfit photos, though, no matter the weather. If it’s too rainy for the camera to come outdoors, I can take pictures on our deck, with the camera tucked safely just inside the sliding door. I get a little wet, but oh well! It’s worth it, and I’ve done far crazier things (strapless ball gown in snow) for outfit photos.

Bohemian Lace | www.eccentricowl.comLace top c/o Oasap | dress, earrings and tights, Target | shoes, Modcloth | scarf, husband-made | glasses, c/o Firmoo

I have nearly all of my Christmas presents done! I did a few from the list of DIY gifts I made, and I’m pretty happy with how they turned out! How are you all doing with your gift shopping?

I’m off to make good on that whole cozy cuddles while watching Netflix thing. I hope you all have a lovely Monday!

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Lazy Mode

Lazy Mode | www.eccentricowl.comDressember DaysLazy Mode | www.eccentricowl.com Mondays are for no makeup, running errands, cozy sweaters, and Christmassy scarves.

Asa is teething so hard his gums at one impending tooth are actually black and blue! Poor little guy. But he’s happy enough, and he’s ready for a nap, so this post will be short!

Lazy Mode | www.eccentricowl.com I’m not usually one for wearing a chunky, loose sweater over a dress, but this sweater was way too cute to pass up, especially when paired with this equally gorgeous scarf! I actually love this outfit, even though it’s not traditionally the most flattering on me. The sweater is way too comfortable to even care. Plus, it’s my and Mr Owl’s anniversary so today I’m running around the house trying to clean up and plan a somewhat nice dinner. We sort of celebrated last Friday, so tonight will be more relaxed.

Most likely we’re eating homemade Mongolian Beef and watching extras from the extended edition of The Desolation of Smaug while cuddling under the Lord of the Rings blanket I bought him for our anniversary and drinking a bottle of Smaug Stout just because it’s Hobbit-themed.

Because we’re cool like that. Lazy Mode | www.eccentricowl.com Lazy Mode | www.eccentricowl.comLazy Mode | www.eccentricowl.com

Sweater and scarf c/o Oasap | dress and leggings, Target | boots, JC Penney | glasses, c/o Firmoo

I hope you’re all having a good Monday!

(Day seven of Dressember here.)

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P.S. Not to be annoying about it, but the Firmoo Blogger contest is still going! I don’t expect to win anything, but hey… I might as well try, if you want to keep voting every day!

Winter Brights

Winter Brights | www.eccentricowl.comDressember DaysWinter Brights | www.eccentricowl.com In favor of posting a daily dress to the best of my ability, l am putting weekend links on hold (and also I have very few links to share, so… there’s that) but I would like to share this one,which is very important: if you can, I would highly encourage you to check out/pray for/donate to this fund.

A longtime family friend of ours’ daughter has had a brain tumor for years that they had previously been told was inoperable, but a few weeks ago a neurosurgeon called to tell them that he believes he can safely remove her tumor before any more damage is done. This tumor has caused her seizures from a very young age, and so far as I know, there was never expected to be a complete cure for it!

However, due to the nature of the tumor, they must act quickly and need to raise a bout $11,000 for food, lodging, their part of the surgery that insurance doesn’t cover, plane tickets, and vehicle rental by the time they need to leave, which is in about a week. So, if you can, please consider donating to help them with the immense cost of the trip and the surgery! Winter Brights | www.eccentricowl.comWinter Brights | www.eccentricowl.com I can’t believe the first week of December is nearly over already! Tonight and tomorrow night, Nehemiah, Asa, and I will be in our church’s yearly Living Nativity as Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus. If you live in the Gig Harbor/Tacoma/Port Orchard area, you should come! It’s completely free including parking, and every year it gets better and better! There are live animals, Angels, snacks… what more could you want?

Haha! No, really, it’s pretty awesome. You get to walk right through as though you’re part of the street stalls and sellers with their wares, you can experience the three Kings telling of their quest to seek the newborn Babe, you can walk past Mary and Joseph cuddling their child in the manger… it’s pretty cool. And every year it garners more attention; last year I think there were upwards of 3,000 people who walked through. Winter Brights | www.eccentricowl.comWinter Brights | www.eccentricowl.com Because of the Living Nativity, I went light with my makeup today because you aren’t supposed to look like you’re wearing makeup (or maybe you aren’t supposed to wear makeup, I don’t remember!) so I went incredibly minimal with everything and just added lipstick I can wipe off later.

And, because of Dressember, I thought these “hope” earrings would be perfect! Well, perfect for many things — the hope Dressember gives to women who are abused and sexually enslaved, hope for Christmas, hope for Hannah as she and her family prepare for her brain surgery… so many things!Winter Brights | www.eccentricowl.com Winter Brights | www.eccentricowl.comWinter Brights | www.eccentricowl.com Fun fact: this dress used to be a really kind of ugly romper. Well… the cut was horrendous. But I couldn’t pass up the print, and while I’m still not sold on the sleeves, I like it well enough. I think I generally like it better on me when I’m pregnant. So, next time I’m pregnant I’ll probably wear it a lot more.  Winter Brights | www.eccentricowl.com

Dress, heels, headscarf, and belt, Thrifted | tights and cardigan, Target | earrings, gift | glasses, c/o Firmoo

Well! I hope you are all having a good Saturday! I’m off to watch a few extras from the extended edition of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug before we prepare for the Living Nativity.

Happy weekend!

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P.S. Not to be annoying about it, but the Firmoo Blogger contest is still going! I don’t expect to win anything, but hey… I might as well try, if you want to keep voting every day!