28 Things I Love About You

28 Ways I Love You | www.eccentricowl.com

Today is your 28th birthday. And I don’t even know what to say. Or, correction, I don’t really know where to start. I have so many things bubbling up in my heart that itch to express through the tips of my fingers and into this post, but it’s such a chaotic mass of mush that I can’t extract coherent paragraphs. So instead, I thought I’d make a list of the 28 reasons I love you. And believe me, there are a lot more reasons than what I write down, but these are the things that come to mind first.

  1. You complete me. Where I am emotional, you are logical. When I am overwhelmed, you are solid and reassuring. When I am uninspired, you are creative. When I am afraid, you are my shelter. Everything I need, it’s you.
  2. You make me laugh. You loosen me up when I’m being a little too serious. You don’t let life get heavy.
  3. You encourage me to utilize my talents. To the point where sometimes I get annoyed because I just want to be lazy (but that’s a good thing). You won’t let me give up on my writing even when I feel like it’s useless.
  4. You think I’m funny. And I mean, that’s sort of about me, too, but there’s something about having the person you love most think you’re hilarious that just makes me love you more. Especially when nobody else would think it was that funny.
  5. You will not miss church. Not unless you’re 100% dying (or I’m 100% dying) of sickness. I would sometimes all to easily let myself give up and stay at home, but even if we’re going to be shamefully late, you still make me go. And it keeps me in line.
  6. You love kids. Do you have any idea how much I love that you tend to be the one playing with the kids at family gatherings? I mean. Not to mention when you play with your own kid. And I can’t wait to watch you become a father again.
  7. Not once have you ever been NOT talkative to me. (except for that one month at church when you wouldn’t even look at me, before we dated) With strangers, you stop up. With me, you’re always open. It’s like night and day, and I feel special to be the one you chose to open up to.
  8. That gray streak in your hair. Never cover it. It is amazing.
  9. You work hard to provide for us. You aren’t afraid to do what you need to do to make sure we are taken care of.
  10. Your love of Lord of the Rings. I mean, it’s kind of what brought us together, how could I not love it? And your willingness to actually get all costumed up as a character. I love that.
  11. How passionate you get over the things you love. Writing. Filmmaking. LOTR. Woodworking. You know what you like and you’re not afraid to be a little bit obsessed.
  12. You’re nerdy. Worse than me. You love Doctor Who and LOTR and Star Wars like nobody’s business and you know more about them than anyone I know.
  13. You think I’m beautiful, and you make me feel it.
  14. You are so talented, and you are always striving to be even better at what you do. You make such beautiful things, and such awesome films, yet you push yourself constantly to be better. When I would say that’s as good as it’s going to get, you find ways to improve.
  15. You’re always ready to GO. To explore, to have fun, to be outside, to just discover new things. There’s always an adventure waiting, and every adventure is the best when it’s with you.
  16. You protect me. You’re always willing to stand up for me when someone makes me upset (even though most of the time I’m probably just being too sensitive.) You make sure nobody bullies me. You would willingly have it out with anyone who makes me cry.
  17. Well, you know, you’re hot. I had to say it.
  18. You are someone who people never have bad things to say about. Everyone esteems you as a good, hardworking, talented person. I’ve never met one person who didn’t like you, one person who said something negative about you. Ever.
  19. You know what you believe, and you’re not afraid to state it. You say what you think, even if sometimes it makes me cringe or sometimes I disagree, you’re not afraid to stick to your guns. And you make my “I want to love everyone” side realize that sometimes it’s more worth it to stick to my beliefs than it is to try to get along with every single person alive.
  20. You put up with my emotional side. Sometimes you also point out why I’m being illogical, but most of the time you just let me cry like I need to so that I can get over it and move on. And you’re not even tired of me yet.
  21. You’ve made me a better person. I am less emotional, stronger in my faith, and much tidier around the house because of you.
  22. You will never ridicule me. I can be a complete idiot in front of you and I know you’ll never bring it up to others, because that’s just not who you are. You’ll never use it to make someone else laugh if you know it would embarrass me.
  23. You are tenderhearted. You don’t like April Fools or teasing or pranks because it humiliates other people, so you don’t do them or participate in them. You are more understanding towards Asa and I when we’ve had bad days and just need cuddles. You won’t put people through unnecessary embarrassment just for a good laugh.
  24. I never want to complain about you. I never feel the need. You don’t deserve it, and you don’t give me reasons to complain, either. You make me so thankful for YOU when I am around other married women who begin to bring up all of their husbands’ faults. Because I honestly cannot relate to them. You’re not faultless, but your faults are small and inconsequential and I don’t feel the need to bring them up… because you’re better than that.
  25. You make me feel 100% okay with being myself. Nobody I have ever known has done that, not even my best girl friends. (well, maybe Sarah… but…) I didn’t realize it until I got married, but even when I thought I was being open and totally me with others, I wasn’t. I feel the need to transform just a little bit for different friends to fit in and relate, but with you? I can be me, and know that you’re not going to reject me for that.
  26. You make me excited for our future. Even if all we do is have a bunch of kids and live our lives without doing anything else, it will be fun with you.
  27. With you I have no bad memories. The negative moments don’t stick out, because they are so few and far between, and so mild in comparison to the happy ones.
  28. You have always been consistent, and I know you always will be. I can always count on you, no matter what. You are my home. No matter where we are or what is happening, you are my safe place. And you always will be.

IMG_2915I love you always.

Love, me.

Owl Always Love You

Owl Always Love You | www.eccentricowl.comDressember DaysOwl Always Love You | www.eccentricowl.com Whenever my husband takes pictures with me, I inevitably get silly and forget how to pose. I think that even though I’ve been blogging for somewhere around four years now (well, fashion blogging; I blogged about other things long before that), I still feel awkward when people I know in real life know about it. Or talk to me about it. Or ask how many followers I have (no idea, honestly! I rarely look) or whether something I’m wearing is from a sponsor, or make a big deal out of a package I’ve gotten from someone because of blogging…

Owl Always Love You | www.eccentricowl.comOwl Always Love You | www.eccentricowl.com It just feels odd. I think because my online presence — writing, blogging, youtube-ing — had been my little secret for years, and nobody outside of my parents and siblings had really known about my blog. And then I got brave and started posting outfit pictures to a personal Facebook album, and then people started telling me I should have a fashion blog and I had to respond “well… I already do…” and now everyone knows. But for quite a while, it was just my thing.

Owl Always Love You | www.eccentricowl.com I was shy to tell other people, because I’ve always felt  like an outsider a little bit. We moved around a lot when I was young, and I feel as though I grew up away from the social cliques that had formed by the time I moved back at thirteen. I was at the cusp of being aware that I did not really fit the mold of the people around me. I felt awkward and I talked too much; I was curvier than my friends;  I had chubby cheeks and small lips; I liked to act out scenes from my head in the woods, and write out stories that I was sure nobody would ever read. I didn’t care about cute boys or swoon over Orlando Bloom. I cared about Lord of the Rings and Gormenghast, library trips and climbing trees, and pretending to be a princess who could take care of herself or a weird pirate whose skin was green.

I only ever had a few close friends. I wasn’t like the other girls, who had their circle of friends, who linked arms in pictures and laughed with each other in their groups. And while I loved them, and still do, I just wasn’t… in. Owl Always Love You | www.eccentricowl.com Owl Always Love You | www.eccentricowl.com And then I found this world of other girls like me online, who blogged about their lives and fashion and it didn’t matter what size they were or whether they had the perfect features or an immaculate life or a million friends; they were beautiful and fun and I’d finally found a place where I had a niche. But to tell people in real life about it? That was scary. I thought people would find my posing and posting my outfits to be vain, or weird, or stupid.

I’m still getting over that. People ask me to tell them about blogging, or to give them advice, or just in general what it’s all about, and I trip over myself. I don’t see myself as being a proficient or professional blogger. I’m just… me. I take pictures of my outfits because it’s fun and it’s part of creating beautiful things as an artist, and I write about my life because it’s my way of keeping a journal. Owl Always Love You | www.eccentricowl.com It still amazes me that companies or Etsy shop owners out there think that this thing I do is good enough to want to work with me. Not because I have some idea that my blog is just horrible, but because I never thought I’d be in a place where people were that interested. It’s crazy how far this blog has come in the last four years. It’s crazy how many people online and in my personal life are genuinely interested in what I wear and post and talk about.  Owl Always Love You | www.eccentricowl.com Because I’m just me. A girl who grew up on a farm and lives in the country, who does not possess a perfect figure or face, who lives a mundane (but beautiful) life with her husband and admittedly internet-worthy baby in a house they don’t even own. Every moment of my life is not photo-perfect. I don’t wear designer clothes. I don’t have amazing adventures.  Owl Always Love You | www.eccentricowl.com And perhaps that is part of the fascination of it: the voyeurism of peering into another person’s mundane, normal, beautiful, everyday moments. Of seeing how another person lives their life, as simple as it may be. Those are certainly  my favorite blogs to read.  Owl Always Love You | www.eccentricowl.com Owl Always Love You | www.eccentricowl.com So, thank you for reading about me and my life. Thank you for liking this blog, what I wear, what I say, whatever it is I do. I’ve grown so much as a person because of all of you, friends that I know because of this blog, all of whom I so wish I could meet someday! I’ve grown in confidence, in conviction, in ability… all because you support this blog with your comments and emails and clicks and love. You guys truly are wonderful!Owl Always Love You | www.eccentricowl.comDress c/o Oasap | boots, JC Penney | tights, Target | scarf, husband-made | brooch, gift | glasses c/o Firmoo

And I have no good transition into this but I wanted to share it: we finally got our Christmas tree yesterday, and Asa was pretty excited.I posted a short clip on Instagram, but I also took a video with my computer as we were setting it up.

He thinks it’s pretty great. I can already see we’re going to have a hard time keeping him from it! But y’know. It’s cute, so… oh well.

P.S. This outfit was from Saturday. And my hair is starting to fade and look like fire. I should probably fix it.

Happy Monday!

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Sunday Sweets: Where My Heart Is

Sunday Sweets: Where My Heart Is | www.eccentricowl.comSunday Sweets: Where My Heart Is | www.eccentricowl.com Sunday Sweets: Where My Heart Is | www.eccentricowl.comSunday Sweets: Where My Heart Is | www.eccentricowl.com  Sunday Sweets: Where My Heart Is | www.eccentricowl.comSunday Sweets: Where My Heart Is | www.eccentricowl.com Sunday Sweets: Where My Heart Is | www.eccentricowl.comA late Sunday Sweets post for you guys today! We were gone all day, and being me… I rarely schedule these things ahead of time! I took these photos a few weeks ago when the sun was absolutely perfect and my husband and Asa unwittingly matched.

This is where my heart is.

I hope you have all had a fantastic week!

P.S. 14 days until Dressember! Are any of you going to do it? Even if you only do a week of dresses, it’s still a great way to spread the word!

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When Love is Not a Dream

When Love is Not a Dream | www.eccentricowl.com When Love is Not a Dream | www.eccentricowl.comWhen my husband and I kissed for the first time, it brought about the sole largest crisis of our relationship. In my case, anyway.

Growing up in a more conservative family as a romantic, day-dreaming girl, I had always imagined and vowed that my first kiss would be on my wedding day. As a young woman who read many novels and watched many Austen/Bronte films, I imagined that kissing was a tender, wonderful, breathtaking thing. So, I thought, we would wait through however long it took to date and be engaged, and our first kiss would be incredibly special, a sign of our new life together, almost magical in its properties.

My husband, however, was not a fan of this idea. Being almost painfully shy in front of people he does not know, he didn’t want his first kiss to be a face-bump in front of strangers under a spotlight for everyone to see and record, awkward and tentative. And being pretty easily swayed by his coaxing and logic, I thought about it for a week or two, and decided giving up that wedding-day first-kiss was okay with me.When Love is Not a Dream | www.eccentricowl.com

Or so I thought. I told him that I had never wanted to kiss a man I wasn’t going to marry, so if he was going to marry me, he could kiss me. He asked what that even meant, and I shrugged. It meant what it meant, he could take it how he wanted, whether that meant he would eventually kiss me after we were engaged, or whether he definitely saw us being married at some point and took the jump early.

What I didn’t tell him was that I had dreamed and waited for that perfect day, my first kiss, which I had envisioned being on a special day in a romantic setting, symbolizing a new life, after years and years of waiting for the perfect person to do it. I didn’t tell him that I was afraid of disappointing my parents, who had raised us to be more reserved, and focus on personality and friendship, not physicality and romance. I merely left it at the statement of marriage, and hoped it would all work out okay.

So, a month after we had started dating, and a week after I had realized I loved him, our first kiss came in an unexpected-yet-expected way, and it was… nothing, really. It came and went so quickly I barely knew what he had done; standing in the cold, huddled together on a late ferry back from Seattle, watching the lights twinkle and shine in the blackness of the night, I looked up at him, he looked down at me, and with one swift peck, he touched his lips to mine and pulled away. When Love is Not a Dream | www.eccentricowl.com

It was not tender, or romantic; it was fleeting, tentative, awkward, barely even felt. I remember thinking — and maybe even vocalizing — “what was that?” and acting like it was no big deal. The next day, wandering the woods, he admitted he felt like he had gypped me, and maybe we should try again. So under dark, towering trees, standing on a muddy path where mushrooms sprouted about our feet and up the bark of the pines, he kissed me again.

I expected to feel a rush, butterflies, tingles, warmth, anything. I felt nothing. Nothing except slight confusion and the thought “are we even doing this right?” We kissed a few more times, and he admitted he felt the butterflies, the tingles, the excitement… but me? Nada. My heart didn’t skip a beat, my skin didn’t flush, my thoughts didn’t fall into a jumble. In fact, my thoughts were very, very clear: I felt nothing, did this mean he wasn’t right for me?When Love is Not a Dream | www.eccentricowl.comWhen Love is Not a Dream | www.eccentricowl.com

I have never been a believer in the whole “make sure you’re sexually compatible before you get married” stuff. Honestly, I believed (and still believe) that if this was the right person for you, you didn’t have to worry about the sex. God had created this person for you, why would you not be compatible in every area?  But in that moment I realized perhaps I at least believed that kissing, something so simple and romantic, would not be a complicated thing you had to figure out. Kissing the person you loved should have been easy, right?

That Monday perhaps two days after our first kiss and a day after our second try, I was a mess. I didn’t like kissing. And not for more obvious reasons — I didn’t find it gross, I didn’t find him unattractive, I didn’t find the entire idea repulsive. It just did nothing for me, and I wanted it to. I was dying for a kiss that stirred something in me, that twisted my stomach into pleasing knots, or made my heart skip a beat, or sent a rush to my head. But no, I just didn’t feel it.When Love is Not a Dream | www.eccentricowl.com So I decided that perhaps I really wasn’t ready, and I met up with him to tell him so. I regretted letting him kiss me so early, when clearly I didn’t know what I wanted and I wasn’t sure if I had been ready. I told him as much, through welling sad emotions, and we spent the entire day talking about it, drinking coffee, sitting on the couch and just being with each other. The entire time, I silently wondered if I had made a grave mistake, if perhaps he wasn’t the one for me. I never said as much to him, but I was terrified that this man, whom I had admitted to myself just a week before that I loved, was not the love of my life. I was heartbroken that I didn’t feel anything, that the person I had finally met who felt so right in every single other area, who I got along with and who shared my interests and made me feel like the most important girl in the world… was not the one.

Because of a kiss.

At the end of that day, which was the sole largest crisis of the relationship in my mind, I decided to try once more. We kissed again, awkwardly, tentatively, with no previous practice or experience, and I still didn’t get it. But I decided to go home, to breathe, and think, and pray… and I Googled it. Because I didn’t want to disappoint my parents so early in the relationship; I didn’t feel like I could talk to my mom about it (I wish I had; when I finally admitted we kissed to her, months and months later, it wasn’t even an issue), and I didn’t want to admit to anyone else that  we had kissed; everyone I knew was aware that I had determined to wait until my wedding day. What if I was suddenly a hypocrite for changing my mind?When Love is Not a Dream | www.eccentricowl.com

To my relief, Google brought me a slew of young women out there who had experienced this lack of feeling about kissing, and a plethora of answers saying that it sometimes didn’t click right away; sometimes it took practice, sometimes one or the other was just a bad kisser. Sometimes, things just don’t work quite the way you expected and dreamed the first time.

So, reassured by Google search and answer, I went to bed with only subtle worries about whether he was really “the one.” I reminded myself that I loved him, that I couldn’t imagine life without him, that he loved me, and that hey, even if I wasn’t getting it, he certainly enjoyed it, and I went to sleep. We continued kissing; stolen kisses, unsure whether our relatively conservative families would approve of these little trysts — and perhaps that was part of my overall displeasure with the process — and I let it go. I reminded myself that kissing was definitely not the most important thing in a relationship. I reminded myself that I still loved to hold hands, cuddle, and talk to him, and that we fit together better than I had ever imagined aside from the kissing.When Love is Not a Dream | www.eccentricowl.com

Had I been a little less serious about relationships in general, it might have ended right there. I might have decided I wanted to find a man that fluttered my heart with his lips, and I might never have had the life I have now. But I know, and subconsciously knew, that love is not always how it’s portrayed in novels and Hollywood. Nothing ever is. Love, for me, was not a wild and passionate thing; it was slow and sure, steady and calm, confident and unmoving.

And the physical side of us would not always be around; someday, I knew, we would get old and no longer care. What mattered most was that we got along, that we had a solid love, that we had similar values.

A week after our first kiss and The Crisis, though, it clicked. Suddenly I felt that warming of the heart, the excitement of a really good kiss, and everything was okay.When Love is Not a Dream | www.eccentricowl.com

Scarf, c/o Quotation Marks | shirt, ??? | skirt, self-made | tights, Target | belt, thrifted | shoes, Modcloth

Kissing is undoubtedly one of my favorite pastimes now. That and, well… other things we won’t discuss. Ha! The point is… love is not always what you think it will be. It’s not always a fairytale, a romance novel, a chick flick. Kissing, sex, physical attraction, relationships… they’re not always perfect, or perhaps they’re never perfect. They’re not Hollywood wonderful, they’re real. Messy, emotional, amazing, confusing, sometimes painful, ultimately… beautiful.

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